Differential Expression of Interleukin-17A and -17F Is Coupled to T Cell Receptor Signaling via Inducible T Cell Kinase

National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
Immunity (Impact Factor: 21.56). 10/2009; 31(4):587-97. DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2009.07.009
Source: PubMed


T helper 17 (Th17) cells play major roles in autoimmunity and bacterial infections, yet how T cell receptor (TCR) signaling affects Th17 cell differentiation is relatively unknown. We demonstrate that CD4(+) T cells lacking Itk, a tyrosine kinase required for full TCR-induced phospholipase C-gamma (PLC-gamma1) activation, exhibit decreased interleukin-17A (IL-17A) expression in vitro and in vivo, despite relatively normal expression of retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor-gammaT (ROR-gammaT) and IL-17F. IL-17A expression was rescued by pharmacologically induced Ca(2+) influx or constitutively activated nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT). Conversely, decreased TCR stimulation or calcineurin inhibition preferentially reduced IL-17A expression. We further found that the promoter of Il17a but not Il17f has a conserved NFAT binding site that bound NFATc1 in wild-type but not Itk-deficient cells, even though both exhibited open chromatin conformations. Finally, Itk(-/-) mice also showed differential regulation of IL-17A and IL-17F in vivo. Our results suggest that Itk specifically couples TCR signaling to Il17a expression and the differential regulation of Th17 cell cytokines through NFATc1.

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Available from: Pamela L Schwartzberg
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    • "Our findings highlight the dramatic differences in the expression of IL-17A and IL-17F by cells within the dermis particularly in SSc, but also in morphea and HD. IL-17A and IL-17F are generally considered to be coordinately regulated, however, differences in their production by Th17 cells upon T cell receptor engagement have been documented [33], [34]. Our findings extend these observations. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background High interleukin (IL)-17A levels are characteristically found in the skin of systemic sclerosis (SSc) individuals. Our aim was to investigate whether the dermal expression of IL-17A and related IL-17 family members (i.e. IL-17C, IL-17E and IL-17F) could distinguish fibrotic from healthy skin and could show similarities in SSc and morphea, two disorders with presumed distinct pathogenesis, but characterized by skin fibrosis. Methods Biopsies were obtained from the involved skin of 14 SSc, 5 morphea and 8 healthy donors (HD) undergoing plastic surgery. Immunohistochemistry/immunofluorescence techniques were coupled to a semi-automated imaging quantification approach to determine the presence of the IL-17 family members in the skin. The in vitro effects induced by the IL-17 family members on fibroblasts from normal and SSc individuals were assessed by ELISA and RIA. Results Positive cells for each of the IL-17 isoforms investigated were present in the dermis of all the individuals tested, though with variable frequencies. SSc individuals had increased frequency of IL-17A+ (p = 0.0237) and decreased frequency of IL-17F+ (p = 0.0127) and IL-17C+ cells (p = 0.0008) when compared to HD. Similarly, morphea individuals had less frequent IL-17C+ cells (p = 0.0186) in their skin but showed similar number of IL-17A+ and IL-17F+ cells when compared to HD. Finally, IL-17E+ cells were more numerous in morphea (p = 0.0109) and tended to be more frequent in SSc than in HD. Fibroblast production of IL-6, MMP-1 and MCP-1 was enhanced in a dose-dependent manner in the presence of IL-17E and IL-17F, but not in the presence of IL-17C. None of the cytokine tested had significant effect on type I collagen production. Of interest, in SSc the frequency of both IL-17A and IL-17F positive cells increased with disease duration. Conclusions The frequency of IL-17A and IL-17F distinguish SSc to morphea individuals while dermal expression of IL-17C (low) and IL-17E (high) identifies a fibrosis-specific motif. The specific IL-17C/IL-17E cytokine combination may thus play a role in the development of fibrosis.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    • "The target genes with direct relations with Tregs MeSH term were found significantly involved in eight pathways. Two of them were cytokine signaling, including genes IL6ST, IL6R, STAT3 and IL17A which have been reported to facilitate the differentiation of Th17 by inhibiting Tregs induction [36-38]. Up-regulation of these miRNAs might break the balance between Th17 and Tregs and finally accelerate the production of Tregs, which contributes to the abnormal homeostasis of Tregs in HCC [9,39,40]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Regulatory T cells (Tregs) exhibit functional abnormalities in the context of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The microRNAs (miRNAs) are identified as the key modulators in Tregs. This study was to explore whether the expression profiles of miRNAs of Tregs were different in HCC-activated Tregs and whether Foxp3 had special effects on them. Methods We isolated HCC-activated Tregs from mice bearing HCC and compared the expression profiles of miRNAs between HCC-activated Tregs and control Tregs by microarray. RNA interference against Foxp3 was also performed through transfection of synthetic siRNAs to Tregs for analyzing the effect of Foxp3 on the expression of miRNAs. Tregs isolated from HCC patients (n = 12) and healthy controls (n = 7) were used for validation of the differentially expressed miRNAs. Finally, bioinformatic analysis was applied to infer their possible roles. Results We found nine specifically altered miRNAs in HCC-activated Tregs from the murine model. After transfection with siRNAs against Foxp3, control Tregs showed obvious reduction of Foxp3 and five miRNAs were significantly changed; HCC-activated Tregs exhibited a slight reduction of Foxp3 with three miRNAs significantly changed. Tregs from HCC patients and healthy controls finally confirmed the up-regulation of four miRNAs (hsa-miR-182-5p, hsa-miR-214-3p, hsa-miR-129-5p and hsa-miR-30b-5p). Following bioinformatic analysis suggested these altered miRNAs would target eight important signaling pathways that could affect the functions of Tregs. Conclusions Our studies provided the first evidence that Tregs in HCC had the specifically altered expression of miRNAs, which was affected by Foxp3. These results are useful both in finding new biomarkers and in further exploring the functions of Tregs in HCC patients.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · BMC Cancer
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    • "In this context, it is likely that dexamethasone-induced Itk up-regulation is at least partly responsible for the Th2-polarizing effects of glucocorticoids. Moreover, Itk seems to favor Th17-induced T regulatory cell (iTreg) polarization [43] whereas glucocorticoids enhance the Th17/Th1 imbalance in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus [44]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Glucocorticoids affect peripheral immune responses, including modulation of T-cell activation, differentiation, and apoptosis. The quantity and quality of T-cell receptor (TCR)-triggered intracellular signals modulate T-cell function. Thus, glucocorticoids may affect T cells by interfering with the TCR signaling cascade. The purpose of the study was to search for glucocorticoid-modulated kinases downstream of the TCR. Methods Gene modulation in lymphoid cells either treated with glucocorticoids or from glucocorticoid-treated mice was studied using a RNase protection assay, real-time PCR, and western blotting. The sensitivity of genetically modified thymocytes to glucocorticoid-induced apoptosis was studied by performing hypotonic propidium iodide staining and flow cytometry. The Student’s t-test was employed for statistical evaluation. Results We found that transcription of Itk, a non-receptor tyrosine kinase of the Tec family, was up-regulated in a mouse T-cell hybridoma by the synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone. In contrast, dexamethasone down-regulated the expression of Txk, a Tec kinase that functions redundantly with Itk, and Lck, the Src kinase immediately downstream of the TCR. We investigated the expression of Itk, Txk, and Lck in thymocytes and mature lymphocytes following in vitro and in vivo dexamethasone treatment at different time points and doses. Kinase expression was differentially modulated and followed distinct kinetics. Itk was up-regulated in all cell types and conditions tested. Txk was strongly up-regulated in mature lymphocytes but only weakly up-regulated or non-modulated in thymocytes in vitro or in vivo, respectively. Conversely, Lck was down-regulated in thymocytes, but not modulated or up-regulated in mature lymphocytes in the different experimental conditions. This complex behaviour correlates with the presence of both positive and negative glucocorticoid responsive elements (GRE and nGRE, respectively) in the Itk, Txk and Lck genes. To investigate the function associated with Itk up-regulation, dexamethasone-induced apoptosis of thymocytes from Itk-deficient mice was evaluated. Our results demonstrated that Itk deficiency causes increased sensitivity to dexamethasone but not to other pro-apoptotic stimuli. Conclusions Modulation of Itk, Txk, and Lck in thymocytes and mature lymphocytes is another mechanism by which glucocorticoids modulate T-cell activation and differentiation. Itk up-regulation plays a protective role in dexamethasone-treated thymocytes.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · BMC pharmacology & toxicology
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