Granzyme B mediates neurotoxicity through a G-protein-coupled receptor

Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
The FASEB Journal (Impact Factor: 5.04). 07/2006; 20(8):1209-11. DOI: 10.1096/fj.05-5022fje
Source: PubMed


Neuroinflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) are characterized by focal regions of demyelination and axonal loss associated with infiltrating T cells. However, the role of activated T cells in causing neuronal injury remains unclear. CD4 and CD8 T cells were isolated from normal donors and polyclonally activated using plate-bound anti-CD3 and soluble anti-CD28. The conditioned T cell supernatants caused toxicity to cultured human fetal neurons, which could be blocked by immunodepleting the supernatants of granzyme B (GrB). Recombinant GrB also caused toxicity in neurons by caspase-dependent pathways but no toxicity was seen in astrocytes. The neurotoxicity was independent of perforin and could not be blocked by mannose-6-phosphate. However, GrB-induced neurotoxicity was sensitive to pertussis toxin, implicating the stimulation of Gialpha protein-coupled receptors. GrB caused a decrease in cAMP levels but only modest increases in intracellular calcium. The effect on intracellular calcium could be markedly potentiated by stromal-derived factor 1alpha. GrB-induced neurotoxicity could also be blocked by vitamin E and a neuroimmunophilin ligand. In conclusion, GrB may be an important mediator of neuronal injury in T cell-mediated neuroinflammatory disorders.

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    • "T cell activation plays an important role in inflammation-related neuronal injury associated with diseases including encephalitis, the progressive forms of multiple sclerosis [1–3] and a wide variety of other neuroinflammatory diseases. Once infiltrated in the brain, inflammatory factors released from T cells may injure neurons or impair the normal functions of local neural stem cells, resulting in loss of functional neurons and delay of recovery [4,5]. We have previously reported that granzyme B (GrB) released from activated T cells inhibits neurogenesis in adult animals and in cultured human fetal neural stem cells. "
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    ABSTRACT: Proinflammatory factors from activated T cells inhibit neurogenesis in adult animal brain and cultured human fetal neural stem cells (NSC). However, the role of inhibition of neurogenesis in human neuroinflammatory diseases is still uncertain because of the difficulty in obtaining adult NSC from patients. Recent developments in cell reprogramming suggest that NSC may be derived directly from adult fibroblasts. We generated NSC from adult human peripheral CD34+ cells by transfecting the cells with Sendai virus constructs containing Sox2, Oct3/4, c-Myc and Klf4. The derived NSC could be differentiated to glial cells and action potential firing neurons. Co-culturing NSC with activated autologous T cells or treatment with recombinant granzyme B caused inhibition of neurogenesis as indicated by decreased NSC proliferation and neuronal differentiation. Thus, we have established a unique autologous in vitro model to study the pathophysiology of neuroinflammatory diseases that has potential for usage in personalized medicine.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    • "Human neural progenitor cells (NPCs) were cultured from human fetal brain specimens of 7–8 weeks of gestation obtained from Birth Defects Research Laboratory, University of Washington, Seattle in accordance with National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines and following approval by the Institutional Review Board at the Johns Hopkins University and NIH as described previously [15], [16]. NPC were cultured at 1×105/ml in neural differentiation media (DMEM/F12 containing 2% FBS) for neuronal induction in 96-well plates for seven days and then were exposed for an additional 24 hours to conditioned media (1∶20 to dilution) from 72 hour activated CD8+ T cells treated with MgTx or vehicle control. "
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    ABSTRACT: Increased expression of the voltage-gated potassium channel Kν1.3 on activated effector memory T cells (T(EM)) is associated with pathology in multiple sclerosis (MS). To date, most studies of Kν1.3 channels in MS have focused on CD4+ T(EM) cells. Much less is known about the functional relevance of Kv1.3 on CD8+ T(EM) cells. Herein, we examined the effects of Kν1.3 blockade on CD8+ T cell proliferation, differentiation into cytotoxic effector cells, and release of granzyme B (GrB), a key effector of CD8+ T cell-mediated cytotoxicity. We confirmed the expression of Kv1.3 channels on activated human CD8+ T lymphocytes by immunofluorescent staining. To test the functional relevance of the Kv1.3 channel in CD8+ T cells, we inhibited this channel via pharmacological blockers or a lentiviral-dominant negative (Kv1.xDN) approach and determined the effects of the blockade on critical pathogenic parameters of CD8+ T cells. We found that blockade of Kv1.3 with both lentivirus and pharmacologic agents effectively inhibited cytotoxic effector memory cells' proliferation, secretion of GrB, and their ability to kill neural progenitor cells. Intriguingly, the KvDN transduced T cells exhibited arrested differentiation from central memory (T(CM)) to effector memory (T(EM)) states. Transduction of cells that had already differentiated into T(EM) with KvDN led to their conversion into T(CM). CD8+ T(EM) have a critical role in MS and other autoimmune diseases. Our present results indicate a critical role for Kv1.3 in the conversion of CD8+ T cells into potential pathogenic effector cells with cytotoxic function.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    • "The actual pathway of perforin-independent GrB effect has yet to be clarified and it is possible that GrB induces cytotoxicity through multiple mechanisms depending on different cell types and cell conditions. Previously, we observed that GrB caused cell death in human neurons independent of perforin and mannose-6-phosphate receptors but instead, through a PTX-sensitive pathway, suggesting stimulation of Gi coupled receptors [6]. We now demonstrate that the effect of GrB on retraction of neurites is more profound. "
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    ABSTRACT: Increasing evidence supports a critical role of T cells in neurodegeneration associated with acute and subacute brain inflammatory disorders. Granzyme B (GrB), released by activated T cells, is a cytotoxic proteinase which may induce perforin-independent neurotoxicity. Here, we studied the mechanism of perforin-independent GrB toxicity by treating primary cultured human neuronal cells with recombinant GrB. GrBactivated the protease-activated receptor (PAR)-1 receptor on the neuronal cell surface leading to decreased intracellular cyclic AMP levels. This was followed by increased expression and translocation of the voltage gated potassium channel, Kv1.3 to the neuronal cell membrane. Similar expression of Kv1.3 was also seen in neurons of the cerebral cortex adjacent to active inflammatory lesions in patients with multiple sclerosis. Kv1.3 expression was followed by activation of Notch-1 resulting in neurotoxicity. Blocking PAR-1, Kv1.3 or Notch-1 activation using specific pharmacological inhibitors or siRNAs prevented GrB-induced neurotoxicity. Furthermore, clofazimine protected against GrB-induced neurotoxicity in rat hippocampus, in vivo. These observations indicate that GrB released from T cells induced neurotoxicity by interacting with the membrane bound Gi-coupled PAR-1 receptor and subsequently activated Kv1.3 and Notch-1. These pathways provide novel targets to treat T cell-mediated neuroinflammatory disorders. Kv1.3 is of particular interest since it is expressed on the cell surface, only under pathological circumstances, and early in the cascade of events making it an attractive therapeutic target.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · PLoS ONE
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