Redundant Notch1 and Notch2 Signaling Is Necessary for IFNγ Secretion by T Helper 1 Cells During Infection with Leishmania major

Department of Biochemistry, WHO Immunology Research and Training Center, University of Lausanne, Epalinges, Switzerland.
PLoS Pathogens (Impact Factor: 7.56). 03/2012; 8(3):e1002560. DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1002560
Source: PubMed


The protective immune response to intracellular parasites involves in most cases the differentiation of IFNγ-secreting CD4(+) T helper (Th) 1 cells. Notch receptors regulate cell differentiation during development but their implication in the polarization of peripheral CD4(+) T helper 1 cells is not well understood. Of the four Notch receptors, only Notch1 (N1) and Notch2 (N2) are expressed on activated CD4(+) T cells. To investigate the role of Notch in Th1 cell differentiation following parasite infection, mice with T cell-specific gene ablation of N1, N2 or both (N1N2(ΔCD4Cre)) were infected with the protozoan parasite Leishmania major. N1N2(ΔCD4Cre) mice, on the C57BL/6 L. major-resistant genetic background, developed unhealing lesions and uncontrolled parasitemia. Susceptibility correlated with impaired secretion of IFNγ by draining lymph node CD4(+) T cells and increased secretion of the IL-5 and IL-13 Th2 cytokines. Mice with single inactivation of N1 or N2 in their T cells were resistant to infection and developed a protective Th1 immune response, showing that CD4(+) T cell expression of N1 or N2 is redundant in driving Th1 differentiation. Furthermore, we show that Notch signaling is required for the secretion of IFNγ by Th1 cells. This effect is independent of CSL/RBP-Jκ, the major effector of Notch receptors, since L. major-infected mice with a RBP-Jκ deletion in their T cells were able to develop IFNγ-secreting Th1 cells, kill parasites and heal their lesions. Collectively, we demonstrate here a crucial role for RBP-Jκ-independent Notch signaling in the differentiation of a functional Th1 immune response following L. major infection.

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Available from: Fabienne Tacchini-Cottier
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    • "These data once again showcase RBP-Jκ independent, but Notch1 dependent regulation of effector T cell responses in vitro. A recent study has also suggested such RBP-Jκ independent Notch signaling in regulating TH1 responses in vivo by showing that CD4+ T cells lacking RBP-Jκ could mount a protective response to Leishmania major but those lacking both the Notch1 and Notch2 receptors could not (34). In addition to TH1, we observed an increase in the number of CD25+FoxP3+ double positive cells in the absence of RBP-Jκ suggesting that induction of regulatory T cells may also rely on non-canonical Notch signaling. "
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    ABSTRACT: Cleavage of the Notch receptor via a γ-secretase, results in the release of the active intra-cellular domain of Notch that migrates to the nucleus and interacts with RBP-Jκ, resulting in the activation of downstream target genes. This canonical Notch signaling pathway has been documented to influence T cell development and function. However, the mechanistic details underlying this process remain obscure. In addition to RBP-Jκ, the intra-cellular domain of Notch also interacts with other proteins in the cytoplasm and nucleus, giving rise to the possibility of an alternate, RBP-Jκ independent Notch pathway. However, the contribution of such RBP-Jκ independent, "non-canonical" Notch signaling in regulating peripheral T cell responses is unknown. In this report, we specifically demonstrate the requirement of Notch1 for regulating signal strength and signaling events distal to the T cell receptor in peripheral CD4(+) T cells. By using mice with a conditional deletion in Notch1 or RBP-Jκ, we show that Notch1 regulates activation and proliferation of CD4(+) T cells independently of RBP-Jκ. Furthermore, differentiation to TH1 and iTreg lineages although Notch dependent, is RBP-Jκ independent. Our striking observations demonstrate that many of the cell-intrinsic functions of Notch occur independently of RBP-Jκ. Such non-canonical regulation of these processes likely occurs through NF-κ B. This reveals a previously unknown, novel role of non-canonical Notch signaling in regulating peripheral T cell responses.
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    • "NOTCH signaling is required for T cell development. When NOTCH1 is deleted early in thymocyte development, i.e., when cre expression is driven by the CD4 promoter, NOTCH2 can substitute in a redundant fashion and generate mature T cells with intact IFN- production (Auderset et al., 2012). Thus, we chose to induce deletion of NOTCH1 from IFN-responsive, mature T cells to examine the specific effects of NOTCH1 signaling in peripheral T cells that had developed under normal thymic conditions. "
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    ABSTRACT: Severe aplastic anemia (AA) is a bone marrow (BM) failure (BMF) disease frequently caused by aberrant immune destruction of blood progenitors. Although a Th1-mediated pathology is well described for AA, molecular mechanisms driving disease progression remain ill defined. The NOTCH signaling pathway mediates Th1 cell differentiation in the presence of polarizing cytokines, an action requiring enzymatic processing of NOTCH receptors by γ-secretase. Using a mouse model of AA, we demonstrate that expression of both intracellular NOTCH1(IC) and T-BET, a key transcription factor regulating Th1 cell differentiation, was increased in spleen and BM-infiltrating T cells during active disease. Conditionally deleting Notch1 or administering γ-secretase inhibitors (GSIs) in vivo attenuated disease and rescued mice from lethal BMF. In peripheral T cells from patients with untreated AA, NOTCH1(IC) was significantly elevated and bound to the TBX21 promoter, showing NOTCH1 directly regulates the gene encoding T-BET. Treating patient cells with GSIs in vitro lowered NOTCH1(IC) levels, decreased NOTCH1 detectable at the TBX21 promoter, and decreased T-BET expression, indicating that NOTCH1 signaling is responsive to GSIs during active disease. Collectively, these results identify NOTCH signaling as a primary driver of Th1-mediated pathogenesis in AA and may represent a novel target for therapeutic intervention.
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    ABSTRACT: CD4(+) T helper cells are playing critical roles in host defense to pathogens and in the maintenance of immune homeostasis. Naïve CD4(+) T cells, upon antigen-specific recognition, receive signals to differentiate into distinct effector T helper cell subsets characterized by their pattern of cytokine production and specific immune functions. A tight balance between these different subsets ensures proper control of the immune response. There is increasing evidence revealing an important role for Notch signaling in the regulation of CD4(+) T helper cell differentiation or function in the periphery. However, the exact mechanisms involved remain unclear and appear contradictory. In this review, we summarize current knowledge and discuss recent advances in the field to reconcile different views on the role of Notch signaling in the differentiation of functional T helper subsets.
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