[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glucocorticoids (GCs) repress lymphocyte function by controlling gene expression. In this study, we investigated Ag-specific effector T cells and provide evidence that GCs also modulate these cells' cytoskeletal architecture by nongenomic mechanisms. Following GC treatment, effector T cells rapidly lose their polarized morphology, which impedes both their migratory capacity and their interaction with APCs. The cytoskeleton rearrangements are preceded by an activation of ezrin-radixin-moesin proteins, which transiently increases the cellular rigidity but seems to occur independently of altered tyrosine phosphorylation. Phospholipase C activity is critically involved in mediating these nongenomic effects, because its inhibition prevents both T cell depolarization and ezrin-radixin-moesin phosphorylation after GC exposure. GC administration in vivo induced similar morphological changes in effector T cells as observed in vitro, suggesting that the above process plays a role in modulating inflammatory diseases. Taken together, our findings identify a novel mechanism through which GCs rapidly repress T cell function independently of gene transcription.
The Journal of Immunology 03/2013; · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During early gestation, a considerable increase of different leukocyte subsets can be observed in the decidualized endometrium concomitantly to the invasion of cytotrophoblast cells (CTB). To date, it is still in question which factors induce this accumulation of immune cells and whether it is evoked by an in-situ proliferation or by a migratory process. Studies on hepatoblastoma cells identified thrombopoietin (TPO) as a novel factor which elicits dose dependent chemotactic and chemokinetic effects. However, the impact and function of TPO on decidual cells has not been clarified yet.This study analyses the expression and function of TPO and its receptor c-Mpl in decidua during early gestation.Applying western blot analysis, we detected that TPO is expressed by decidual immune cells (uNK cells and CD14+ monocytes) as well as CTB and decidual stromal cells (DSC). Expression of the different isoforms of c-Mpl was found in uNK cells, CD14+ monocytes and DSC. Studying the signalling pathway proteins in uNK cells, an activation of STAT3/Tyr by TPO was detected. The investigation of the proliferative effects of TPO on the decidual cell subsets revealed that TPO enhances the proliferation of uNK cells and CTB. No change of the proliferative activity after TPO incubation was found in DSC and even a decrease in CD14+ monocytes. In addition, TPO was observed to induce significantly the migratory activity of uNK cells, CD14+ monocytes and CTB. Investigating the effects of TPO on the cytokine profile of the isolated decidual cells, we observed a decrease of the secretion of IL-8, IL-10 and IL-1β of isolated uNK cells, CD14+ monocytes and CTB, although these changes did not reach statistical significance.Thus, we here identified TPO as a novel factor modulating the proliferation, migration and possibly cytokine secretion of decidual cell subsets.
Molecular Human Reproduction 01/2013; · 4.54 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized at the cellular level by a destruction of neuromelanin (NM)-containing dopaminergic cells and a profound reduction in striatal dopamine. It has been shown recently that anti-melanin antibodies are increased in sera of Parkinson patients, suggesting that NM may act as an autoantigen. In this study we tested whether NM is being recognized by dendritic cells (DCs), the major cell type for inducing T- and B-cell responses in vivo. This recognition of NM by DCs is a prerequisite to trigger an adaptive autoimmune response directed against NM-associated structures.
Murine DCs were treated with NM of substantia nigra (SN) from human subjects or with synthetic dopamine melanin (DAM). DCs effectively phagocytized NM and subsequently developed a mature phenotype (CD86(high)/MHCII(high)). NM-activated DCs secreted the proinflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-α. In addition, they potently triggered T cell proliferation in a mixed lymphocyte reaction, showing that DC activation was functional to induce a primary T cell response. In contrast, DAM, which lacks the protein and lipid components of NM but mimics the dopamine-melanin backbone of NM, had only very little effect on DC phenotype and function.
NM is recognized by DCs in vitro and triggers their maturation. If operative in vivo, this would allow the DC-mediated transport and presentation of SN antigens to the adaptive immune system, leading to autoimmmunity in susceptible individuals. Our data provide a rationale for an autoimmune-based pathomechanism of PD with NM as the initial trigger.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Macrophage inhibitory cytokine-1 (MIC-1) is a multifunctional cytokine produced in high amounts by placental tissue. Inhibiting trophoblast invasion and suppressing inflammation through inhibition of macrophage activation, MIC-1 is thought to provide pleiotropic functions in the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy. So far, little is known about the decidual cell subsets producing MIC-1 and the effect of this cytokine on dendritic cells (DCs), which are known to play a distinct role in the development of pro-fetal tolerance in pregnancy.
To identify the decidual cell types expressing and secreting MIC-1, immunohistochemical staining, PCR experiments, western blot analysis and ELISAs were performed. Immature DCs (iDCs) were generated from peripheral blood-derived monocytes and differentiated in the presence of MIC-1 or dexamethasone (Dex) for control. Migratory and proliferative activity of DCs after MIC-1 exposure was investigated by migration and proliferation assay. Cytokine secretion after MIC-1 exposure was tested in isolated uNK cells, isolated CD14+ monocytes, monocyte-derived iDCs and mature DCs. Subsequently, the phenotype of DCs was studied using FACS analysis. To test the T-cell stimulatory capacity of pre-incubated DCs, mixed lymphocyte reaction was applied. Finally, the expression of the tryptophan-catabolizing enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) after the exposure of MIC-1 to maturing DCs was analysed by western blot.
Immunohistochemical staining, PCR and western blot experiments demonstrated that MIC-1 is mainly expressed by trophoblast cells and decidual stromal cells. Analysis of the MIC-1 secretion of decidual cell types by ELISA again characterized trophoblast and stromal cells as main producers. The migratory activity of iDCs was significantly induced by MIC-1. No changes in proliferative activity of DCs were observed after MIC-1 pre-incubation. The secretion of pro- or anti-inflammatory cytokines was not affected significantly by MIC-1. Studying the phenotype of DCs after MIC-1 exposure by FACS analysis, we observed that MIC-1 suppresses the expression of typical maturation molecules such as CD25 and CD83 as well as of CD86 during cytokine-induced DC maturation similar to Dex. In addition, T-cell stimulatory capacity of DCs was significantly reduced after MIC-1 exposure. MIC-1 was also able to increase slightly the expression of IDO (a key immunomodulatory enzyme promoting periphereal tolerance) in maturing DCs.
We have identified MIC-1 as a novel factor (secreted by decidual cells in early pregnancy) that could promote the increase of a tolerogenic subtype of DC in decidua.
Human Reproduction 11/2011; 27(1):200-9. · 4.67 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Measles virus (MV)-infected DC fail to promote T-cell expansion, and this could explain important aspects of measles immunosuppression. The efficiency of the immune synapse (IS) is determined by the formation of stable, stimulatory conjugates involving a spatially and timely controlled architecture. PlexinA1 (plexA1) and its co-receptor neuropilin (NP-1) have been implicated in IS efficiency, while their repulsive ligand, SEMA3A, likely acts in terminating T-cell activation. Conjugates involving MV-infected DC and T cells are unstable and not stimulatory, and thus we addressed the potential role of plexA1/NP-1 and semaphorins (SEMAs) in this system. MV does not grossly affect expression levels of plexA1/NP-1 on T cells or DC, yet prevents their recruitment towards stimulatory interfaces. Moreover, MV infection promoted early release of SEMA3A from DC, which caused loss of actin based protrusions on T cells as did the plexA4 ligand SEMA6A. SEMA3A/6A differentially modulated chemokinetic migration of T cells and conjugation with allogeneic DC. Thus, MV targets SEMA receptor function both at the level of IS recruitment, and by promoting a timely inappropriate release of their repulsive ligand, SEMA3A. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first example of viral targeting of SEMA receptor function in the IS.
European Journal of Immunology 01/2011; 41(1):151-63. · 4.97 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CD30(+) T-cell lymphoproliferations comprise a spectrum of clinically heterogeneous entities, including systemic anaplastic large cell lymphomas (ALK(-) and ALK(+)) and primary cutaneous CD30(+) T-cell lymphoproliferative disorders. While all these entities are characterized by proliferation of highly atypical, anaplastic CD30(+) T cells, the expression of T-cell specific antigens in the tumor cells is not consistently detectable.
We evaluated biopsies from 19 patients with primary cutaneous CD30(+) lymphoproliferative disorders, 38 with ALK(-) and 33 with ALK(+) systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma. The biopsies were examined for the expression of T-cell receptorαβ/CD3 complex (CD3γ, δ, ε, ζ), transcription factors regulating T-cell receptor expression (ATF1, ATF2, TCF-1, TCF-1α/LEF-1, Ets1), and molecules of T-cell receptor-associated signaling cascades (Lck, ZAP-70, LAT, bcl-10, Carma1, NFATc1, c-Jun, c-Fos, Syk) using immunohistochemistry.
In comparison to the pattern in 20 peripheral T-cell lymphomas, not otherwise specified, we detected a highly disturbed expression of the T-cell receptor/CD3 complex, TCF-1, TCF-1α/LEF-1, Lck, ZAP-70, LAT, NFATc1, c-Jun, c-Fos and Syk in most of the systemic anaplastic large cell lymphomas. In addition, primary cutaneous CD30(+) lymphoproliferative disorders showed such a similar expression pattern to that of systemic anaplastic large cell lymphomas, that none of the markers we investigated can reliably distinguish between these CD30(+) T-cell lymphoproliferations.
Severely altered expression of the T-cell receptor/CD3 complex, T-cell receptor-associated transcription factors and signal transduction molecules is a common characteristic of systemic and cutaneous CD30(+) lymphoproliferations, although the clinical behavior of these entities is very different. Since peripheral T-cell lymphomas, not otherwise specified retain the full expression program required for functioning T-cell receptor signaling, the differential expression of a subset of these markers might be of diagnostic utility in distinguishing peripheral T-cell lymphomas, not otherwise specified from the entire group of CD30(+) lymphoproliferations.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During pregnancy, the immune and the endocrine system cooperate to ensure that the fetal allograft develops without eliciting a maternal immune response. This is presumably in part achieved by dendritic cells (DCs) that play a dominant role in maintaining peripheral tolerance. In this study, we investigated whether female sex hormones, such as human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), progesterone (Prog), and estradiol (E2), which are highly elevated during pregnancy, induce the differentiation of DCs into a tolerance-inducing phenotype.
Immature DCs were generated from blood-derived monocytes and differentiated in the presence of hCG, Prog, E2, or Dexamethasone (Dex) as a control. Unlike Dex, female sex hormones did not prevent the upregulation of surface markers characteristic for mature DCs, such as CD40, CD83, and CD86, except for hCG, which inhibited HLA-DR expression. Similarly, hCG, Prog, and E2 had any impact on neither the rearrangement of the F-actin cytoskeleton nor the enhanced chemokine secretion following DC maturation, both of which were strongly altered by Dex. Nevertheless, the T-cell stimulatory capacity of DCs was significantly reduced after hCG and E2 exposure.
Our findings suggest that the female sex hormones hCG and E2 inhibit the T-cell stimulatory capacity of DCs, which may help in preventing an allogenic T-cell response against the embryo.
American Journal Of Reproductive Immunology 10/2009; 62(3):165-73. · 3.32 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Problem: Pregnancy represents an exclusive situation in which the immune and the endocrine system cooperate to prevent rejection of the embryo by the maternal immune system. While immature dendritic cells (iDC) in the early pregnancy decidua presumably contribute to the establishment of peripheral tolerance, hormones like estradiol (E2), progesterone (Prog) and bHCG are candidates that could direct the differentiation of DCs into a tolerance-inducing phenotype. Methods and Results: To test this hypothesis we generated iDCs from peripheral-blood-monocytes and exposed them to E2, Prog, bHCG and Dexamethasone (Dex) as control. Surprisingly, E2, Prog and bHCG upregulated the expression of HLA-DR, CD 40, CD 83 and CD 86. Visualization of the F-actin cytoskeleton confirmed these observations. In contrast, the T-cell stimulatory capacity of DCs was reduced after E2, Prog and bHCG exposure. Conclusion: These findings suggest that E2, Prog and bHCG interfere with selected aspects of DC maturation and may thereby help preventing activation of allogenic T-cells by the embryo.
American journal of reproductive immunology (New York, N.Y.: 1989) 08/2008; 60(1):86. · 3.32 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Members of the tetraspanin family including CD9 contribute to the structural organization and plasticity of the plasma membrane. K41, a CD9-specific monoclonal antibody, inhibits the release of HIV-1 and canine distemper virus (CDV)- but not measles virus (MV)-induced cell-cell fusion. We now report that K41, which recognizes a conformational epitope on the large extracellular loop of CD9, induces rapid relocation and clustering of CD9 in net-like structures at cell-cell contact areas. High-resolution analyses revealed that CD9 clustering is accompanied by the formation of microvilli that protrude from either side of adjacent cell surfaces, thus forming structures like microvilli zippers. While the cellular CD9-associated proteins beta(1)-integrin and EWI-F were co-clustered with CD9 at cell-cell interfaces, viral proteins in infected cells were differentially affected. MV envelope proteins were detected within CD9 clusters, whereas CDV proteins were excluded from CD9 clusters. Thus, the tetraspanin CD9 can regulate cell-cell fusion by controlling the access of the fusion machinery to cell contact areas.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Administration of the CD28 superagonistic antibody JJ316 is an efficient means to treat autoimmune diseases in rats, but the humanized antibody TGN1412 caused devastating side effects in healthy volunteers during a clinical trial. Here we show that JJ316 treatment of rats induced a dramatic redistribution of T lymphocytes from the periphery to the secondary lymphoid organs, resulting in severe T lymphopenia. Live imaging of secondary lymphoid organs revealed that JJ316 administration almost instantaneously (<2 minutes) arrested T cells in situ. This reduction in T cell motility was accompanied by profound cytoskeletal rearrangements and increased cell size. In addition, surface expression of lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 was enhanced, endothelial differentiation sphingolipid G protein-coupled receptor 1 and L selectin levels were downregulated, and the cells lost their responsiveness to sphingosine 1-phosphate-directed migration. These proadhesive alterations were accompanied by signs of strong activation, including upregulation of CD25, CD69, CD134, and proinflammatory mediators. However, this did not lead to a cytokine storm similar to the clinical trial. While most of the early changes disappeared within 48 hours, we observed that CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ regulatory T cells experienced a second phase of activation, which resulted in massive cell enlargement, extensive polarization, and increased motility. These data suggest that CD28 superagonists elicit 2 qualitatively distinct waves of activation.
Journal of Clinical Investigation 04/2008; 118(4):1405-16. · 12.81 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pregnancy represents an exclusive situation in which the immune and the endocrine system cooperate to prevent rejection of the embryo by the maternal immune system. While immature dendritic cells (iDC) in the early pregnancy decidua presumably contribute to the establishment of peripheral tolerance, glycoprotein-hormones of the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) family including activin A (ActA) and inhibin A (InA) are candidates that could direct the differentiation of DCs into a tolerance-inducing phenotype.
To test this hypothesis we generated iDCs from peripheral-blood-monocytes and exposed them to TGF-beta1, ActA, as well as InA and Dexamethasone (Dex) as controls.
Both glycoprotein-hormones prevented up-regulation of HLA-DR during cytokine-induced DC maturation similar to Dex but did not influence the expression of CD 40, CD 83 and CD 86. Visualization of the F-actin cytoskeleton confirmed that the DCs retained a partially immature phenotype under these conditions. The T-cell stimulatory capacity of DCs was reduced after ActA and InA exposure while the secretion of cytokines and chemokines was unaffected.
These findings suggest that ActA and InA interfere with selected aspects of DC maturation and may thereby help preventing activation of allogenic T-cells by the embryo. Thus, we have identified two novel members of the TGF-beta superfamily that could promote the generation of tolerance-inducing DCs.
Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 02/2008; 6:17. · 2.14 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glucocorticoids (GCs) are involved in the modulation of macrophage function and thereby control the host's immune responses to pathogens. However, neither the role of hormone concentration nor the differential contribution of the glucocorticoid (GR) and the mineralocorticoid receptors (MR) to these activities are known. Here we show that low levels of corticosterone enhance NO production as well as mRNA expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines and enzymes required for mediator synthesis. In contrast, at high corticosterone concentrations macrophage function was strongly repressed. Importantly, inactivation of the GR by lentiviral delivery of siRNAs abrogated both the immunostimulatory and the immunosuppressive GC actions whereas inactivation of the MR had no effect. Furthermore, removal of endogenous GCs by adrenalectomy in vivo induced a preactivated state in macrophages that could be modulated by corticosterone. We conclude that GCs exert distinct effects on macrophage function dependent on their concentration, and that they primarily act through the GR despite concomitant expression of the MR.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recruitment of naturally occurring CD4+ CD25+ regulatory T (T(reg)) cells is a highly promising approach for the treatment of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a widely used model of multiple sclerosis. Here, we studied the in vivo interaction of T(reg) cells, induced by the monoclonal anti-CD28 antibody JJ316, with encephalitogenic T cell lines established from eGFP-transgenic rats. By tracking these fluorescent cells using flow cytometry and confocal microscopy, we found that the activation and expansion of T(reg) cells inhibited infiltration of the CNS by pathogenic T cells. Interference with effector cell migration occured within the secondary lymphoid organs, since the early therapeutic effects were achieved despite the absence of T(reg) cells in the spinal cord. However, the delayed homing to the CNS seen after prophylactic JJ316 administration indicates that T(reg) cells may play an additional role within the target tissue. In addition, the blood-brain barrier remained largely intact after JJ316 treatment, the secretion of T(H)2 cytokines was augmented and the encephalitogenic T cells exhibited a reduced secretion of IFN-gamma. This in turn resulted in a reduced expression of the chemokine receptor CXCR-3 on effector T cells which may interfere with their capacity to infiltrate the CNS. Importantly, these effects were not achieved by direct action of JJ316 on the encephalitogenic cells. Our data rather suggest that polyclonal activation of T(reg) cells in the secondary lymphoid organs is instrumental in preventing the pathological transmigration of encephalitogenic T cells into the CNS. We anticipate that these results may help to better understand the role of T(reg) cells in controlling autoimmunity in the CNS.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CD3/CD28-induced activation of the PI3/Akt kinase pathway and proliferation is impaired in T cells after contact with the measles virus (MV) glycoprotein (gp) complex. We now show that this signal also impairs actin cytoskeletal remodeling in T cells, which loose their ability to adhere and to promote microvilli formation. MV exposure results in an almost complete collapse of membrane protrusions associated with reduced phosphorylation levels of cofilin and ezrin/radixin/moesin (ERM) proteins. Consistent with their inability to activate Cdc42 and Rac1 in response to the ligation of CD3/CD28, T cells exposed to MV fail to acquire a morphology consistent with spreading and lamellopodia formation. In spite of these impairments of cytoskeleton-driven morphological alterations, these cells are recruited into conjugates with dendritic cells as efficiently as control T cells. The signal elicited by MV, however, prevents T cells to polarize as documented by a failure to redistribute the microtubule organizing center toward the synapse. Moreover, CD3 cannot be efficiently clustered and redistributed to the central region of the immunological synapse. Thus, by inducing microvillar collapse and interfering with cytoskeletal remodeling, MV signaling disturbs the ability of T cells to adhere, spread, and cluster receptors essential for sustained T-cell activation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glucocorticoids (GC) induce apoptosis in a variety of cells, but their exact mode of action is controversial. Although initiation relies on the GC receptor (GR) and de novo gene expression, the effector phase differs among cell types. Proteasomal degradation as well as caspase-3, - 8, and -9 activity are essential for GC-induced apoptosis in murine thymocytes, but the same enzymes are dispensable in splenic T cells. Live imaging by confocal microscopy revealed that lysosomal cathepsin B, an unrecognized component of this pathway to date, becomes rapidly activated in thymocytes after GC exposure. This is followed by leakage of cathepsin B into the cytosol, nuclear condensation, and processing of caspase-8 and -3. According to our model, activation of caspase-3 by caspase-9 in thymocytes occurs both directly as well as indirectly via a lysosomal amplification loop. Interestingly, acute T lymphoblastic leukemia cells depend on caspase activity to undergo GC-induced cell death similar to thymocytes. Collectively, the apoptotic program induced by GCs comprises cell type-specific as well as common features.
The Journal of Immunology 03/2006; 176(3):1695-702. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: By a contact-dependent surface interaction, the measles virus (MV) glycoprotein complex induces a pronounced inhibition of T-cell proliferation. We now show that MV directly interacts with glycosphingolipid-enriched membrane microdomains on human primary T cells and alters recruitment and segregation of membrane proximal signaling components. Contact-dependent interference with T-cell receptor-stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation and Ca mobilization is a late event seen 24 h after MV treatment. In contrast, stimulated recruitment of pleckstrin homology domain-containing proteins such as Akt and Vav is inhibited early after MV contact, as is segregation of the activated Akt kinase from rafts. Tyrosine phosphorylation of the regulatory subunit of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), p85, is apparently normal then, yet this protein fails to partition to the lipid raft fraction, and this is associated with stable expression of its negative regulator Cbl-b. Thus, by interaction with lipid rafts, MV contact initially targets recruitment of PI3K by preventing stimulated Cbl-b degradation and activation of PI3K-dependent signaling components.
Journal of Virology 10/2004; 78(17):9552-9. · 5.08 Impact Factor