- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although the pathways that permit IL-2 production and the full activation of T cells upon Ag encounter are fairly well defined, the negative regulatory circuits that limit these pathways are poorly understood. In this study, we show that the E3 ubiquitin ligase adaptor Ndfip1 directs one such negative regulatory circuit. T cells lacking Ndfip1 produce IL-2, upregulate IL-2Rα, and proliferate, in the absence of CD28 costimulation. Furthermore, T cells in mice lacking both Ndfip1 and CD28 become activated, produce IL-4, and drive inflammation at barrier surfaces. Ndfip1 constrains T cell activation by limiting the duration of IL-2 mRNA expression after TCR stimulation. Ndfip1 and IL-2 have a similar expression pattern, and, following TCR stimulation, expression of both Ndfip1 and IL-2 requires the activity of NFAT and Erk. Taken together, these data support a negative regulatory circuit in which factors that induce IL-2 expression downstream of TCR engagement also induce the expression of Ndfip1 to limit the extent of IL-2 production and, thus, dampen T cell activation.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The glucocorticoid-induced TNFR-related (GITR) protein is a coactivating receptor that is constitutively expressed on Treg cells and induced on activated T cells. To better under-stand the role of long-term GITR signaling, we generated a mouse that constitutively expresses GITR ligand (GITRL) on APCs that mimics the physiological distribution of GITRL in vivo. Despite a five-fold expansion of the Treg-cell pool, there is increased activation and depletion of naive T cells in the transgenic (Tg) mice, suggesting that the increased number of Treg cells cannot fully suppress T-cell activation. Interestingly, GITRL Tg mice have multiorgan lymphocytic infiltrates yet display no overt autoimmunity, indicating the existence of a compensatory immunoregulatory mechanism(s). In the spleens and tissue infiltrates ofGITRL Tg mice, we found increased numbers of Foxp3(-) IL-10-producing type 1 regulatory T (Tr-1)-like cells that suppress naïve T-cell proliferation in an IL-10-dependent fashion. Increased IL-27 production from Tg APCs and activation of c-Maf in the Tr1-like cells suggest a possible mechanism for their induction. Our results demonstrate that enhanced GITR/GITRL interactions have a pleiotropic role on the regulation of T-cell responses, which includes promoting the differentiation of Tr-1-like cells, which contribute to the maintenance of peripheral T-cell tolerance.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ndfip1 is an adaptor for the E3 ubiquitin ligase Itch. Both Ndfip1- and Itch-deficient T cells are biased toward Th2 cytokine production. In this study, we demonstrate that lungs from Ndfip1(-/-) mice showed increased numbers of neutrophils and Th17 cells. This was not because Ndfip1(-/-) T cells are biased toward Th17 differentiation. In fact, fewer Ndfip1(-/-) T cells differentiated into Th17 cells in vitro due to high IL-4 production. Rather, Th17 differentiation was increased in Ndfip1(-/-) mice due to increased numbers of IL-6-producing eosinophils. IL-6 levels in mice that lacked both Ndfip1 and IL-4 were similar to wild-type controls, and these mice had fewer Th17 cells in their lungs. These results indicate that Th2 inflammation, such as that observed in Ndfip1(-/-) mice, can increase Th17 differentiation by recruiting IL-6-producing eosinophils into secondary lymphoid organs and tissues. This may explain why Th17 cells develop within an ongoing Th2 inflammatory response.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Accumulating evidence indicates that IL-1 family members and Th17 cytokines have a pathogenic role in psoriasis. We investigated the regulatory interactions of the IL-1-like IL-36 cytokine family and the Th17 cytokines in the context of skin inflammation. We observed increased gene expression of all three IL-36 cytokines in a Th17-dominant psoriasis-like animal model. The induction was downregulated by neutralizing IL-22. Expression of the IL-36s was also induced in cultured primary human keratinocytes (KC) by IL-17A and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and IL-22 synergized with IL-17A and TNF-α. Furthermore, the IL-36s directly induced their own expression and the production of proinflammatory mediators (TNF-α, IL-6, IL-8) in KC. These functions were markedly enhanced with the addition of IL-17A or TNF-α to the cultures. Similarly, IL-36α and IL-36β augmented IL-17A-mediated induction of antibacterial peptides. Finally, we show that the increased gene expression of IL-36 correlated with Th17 cytokines in the lesions of psoriatic patients. Our results indicate that the IL-36 cytokines are not only regulated by Th17 cytokines, but that they themselves can regulate the expression and enhance the function of Th17 cytokines. We propose that a feedback loop between the IL-36 and Th17 cytokines is involved in driving cytokine expression in psoriatic tissues.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nedd4 family interacting protein 1 (Ndfip1) is an adaptor protein that regulates Itch, an E3 ubiquitin ligase that ubiquitylates JunB, thereby preventing interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-5 production. Mice lacking Ndfip1 or Itch develop T helper type 2 (T(H)2)-mediated inflammation in the skin and lungs and die prematurely. In this study we show that Ndfip1-/- mice also develop inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. Inflammation is characterized by infiltration of eosinophils and T cells and is accompanied by a failure to gain weight. T cells are both necessary and sufficient for eosinophil recruitment and inflammation. This is because Ndfip1-/- T cells become activated and produce IL-5. Itch mutant mice develop much less severe gastrointestinal inflammation, suggesting that Ndfip1 regulation of Itch cannot entirely account for this phenotype and that Ndfip1 has both Itch-dependent and Itch-independent roles. Ndfip1 may also regulate human disease. We found single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the Ndfip1 locus that associate with inflammatory bowel disease. Taken together, our data support a role for Ndfip1 in gastrointestinal inflammation in both mice and humans.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The zinc finger transcription factor EGR-2 has been shown to play an important role in the induction of T cell anergy and the regulation of peripheral T cell tolerance. In vitro, a prior study has show that T cells deficient in EGR-2 are hyperproliferative to IL-2 and produce elevated levels of the effector cytokine IFN-γ. EGR-2 deficient mice have increased levels of CD44(high) T cells in peripheral lymphoid organs, and with age, develop autoimmune-like features. Here we show that despite increased numbers of cells bearing an activated CD44(high)CD62L(low) phenotype, T cells from young healthy EGR-2 deficient mice have normal proliferative and cytokine responses, and the mice themselves mount normal immune responses against minor histocompatibility antigens, and the pathogens Toxoplasma gondii and lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus. Our results indicate that EGR-2 is not required to mount normal acute in vivo immune responses against foreign antigens, and suggest instead that it may serve to regulate the response to chronic antigenic exposure, such as that which occurs to autoantigens.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Engagement of the T cell receptor (TCR) with its cognate peptide/MHC initiates a cascade of signaling events that results in T cell activation. Limiting the extent and duration of TCR signaling ensures a tightly constrained response, protecting cells from the deleterious impact of chronic activation. In order to limit the duration of activation, T cells must adjust levels of key signaling proteins. This can be accomplished by altering protein synthesis or by changing the rate of protein degradation. Ubiquitination is a process of 'tagging' a protein with ubiquitin and is one means of initiating protein degradation. This process is activated when an E3 ubiquitin ligase mediates the transfer of ubiquitin to a target protein. Accordingly, E3 ubiquitin ligases have recently emerged as key regulators of immune cell function. This review will explore how a small group of E3 ubiquitin ligases regulate T cell responses and thus direct adaptive immunity.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alloreactive memory T cells may be refractory to many of the tolerance-inducing strategies that are effective against naive T cells and thus present a significant barrier to long-term allograft survival. Because CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs) are critical elements of many approaches to successful induction/maintenance of transplantation tolerance, we used MHC class I and II alloreactive TCR-transgenic models to explore the ability of antigen-specific Tregs to control antigen-specific memory T cell responses. Upon coadoptive transfer into RAG-1(-/-) mice, we found that Tregs effectively suppressed the ability of naive T cells to reject skin grafts, but neither antigen-unprimed nor antigen-primed Tregs suppressed rejection by memory T cells. Interestingly, different mechanisms appeared to be active in the ability of Tregs to control naive T cell-mediated graft rejection in the class II versus class I alloreactive models. In the former case, we observed decreased early expansion of effector cells in lymphoid tissue. In contrast, in the class I model, an effect of Tregs on early proliferation and expansion was not observed. However, at a late time point, significant differences in cell numbers were seen, suggesting effects on responding T cell survival. Overall, these data indicate that the relative resistance of both CD4(+) and CD8(+) alloreactive memory T cells to regulation may mediate resistance to tolerance induction seen in hosts with preexisting alloantigen-specific immunity and further indicate the multiplicity of mechanisms by which Tregs may control alloimmune responses in vivo.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have taken an immunoglobulin transgenic approach to study how self-reactive B cells are held in check in healthy mice and what parameters contribute to their activation in autoimmunity. Using this strategy, we have documented that a population of anti-chromatin B cells migrate to the periphery. In a healthy background, these cells have a reduced lifespan, appear developmentally arrested, and localize primarily to the T/B cell interface in the spleen. Importantly, they are capable of differentiating into antibody-forming cells when provided with T cell help. T(H)1 and T(H)2 cells induce IgG2a and IgG1 autoantibodies, respectively. In the context of the autoimmune-prone lpr/lpr or gld/gld mutations, these autoreactive B cells populate the B cell follicle, and this is dependent upon CD4 T cells. However, after 10 weeks of age serum autoantibodies are produced. We hypothesize that control of autoantibody production in young autoimmune-prone mice is regulated by the counterbalancing influence of regulatory T cells. We show that while autoantibody production is blocked in the context of regulatory T cells, early events characterizing a productive T cell-B cell interaction are not disturbed, with the notable exceptions of T(H) ICOS levels and IFN-gamma and IL-10 production.
University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, United States