Klaus Pfeffer

Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

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Publications (224)1715.79 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: GBPs are essential for immunity against intracellular pathogens, especially for T. gondii control. Here, the molecular interactions of murine GBPs (mGBP1/2/3/5/6), homo- and hetero-multimerization properties of mGBP2 and its function in parasite killing were investigated by mutational, Multiparameter Fluorescence Image Spectroscopy, and live cell microscopy methodologies. Control of T. gondii replication by mGBP2 requires GTP hydrolysis and isoprenylation thus, enabling reversible oligomerization in vesicle-like structures. mGBP2 undergoes structural transitions between monomeric, dimeric and oligomeric states visualized by quantitative FRET analysis. mGBPs reside in at least two discrete subcellular reservoirs and attack the parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM) as orchestrated, supramolecular complexes forming large, densely packed multimers comprising up to several thousand monomers. This dramatic mGBP enrichment results in the loss of PVM integrity, followed by a direct assault of mGBP2 upon the plasma membrane of the parasite. These discoveries provide vital dynamic and molecular perceptions into cell-autonomous immunity.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · eLife Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)/TNF receptor (TNFR) superfamily members play essential roles in the development of the different phases of the immune response. Mouse LIGHT (TNFSF14) is a type II transmembrane protein with a C-terminus extracellular TNF homology domain (THD) that assembles in homotrimers and regulates the course of the immune responses by signaling through two receptors, the herpes virus entry mediator (HVEM, TNFSFR14) and the lymphotoxin β receptor (LTβR, TNFSFR3). LIGHT is a membrane-bound protein transiently expressed on activated T cells, natural killer (NK) cells and immature dendritic cells that can be proteolytically cleaved by a metalloprotease and released to the extracellular milieu. The immunotherapeutic potential of LIGHT blockade was evaluated in vivo. Administration of an antagonist of LIGHT interaction with its receptors attenuated the course of graft-versus-host reaction and recapitulated the reduced cytotoxic activity of LIGHT-deficient T cells adoptively transferred into non-irradiated semiallogeneic recipients. The lack of LIGHT expression on donor T cells or blockade of LIGHT interaction with its receptors slowed down the rate of T cell proliferation and decreased the frequency of precursor alloreactive T cells, retarding T cell differentiation towards effector T cells. The blockade of LIGHT/L;TβR/H;VEM pathway was associated with delayed downregulation of interleukin-7Rα and delayed upregulation of inducible costimulatory molecule expression on donor alloreactive CD8 T cells that are typical features of impaired T cell differentiation. These results expose the relevance of LIGHT/L;TβR/H;VEM interaction for the potential therapeutic control of the allogeneic immune responses mediated by alloreactive CD8 T cells that can contribute to prolong allograft survival.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · mAbs
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The liver exhibits a unique capacity for regeneration in response to injury. LTβR, a core member of the TNF/TNFR superfamily is known to play an important role in this process. However, the function of LTβR during pathophysiological alterations and its molecular mechanisms during liver regeneration are so far ill-characterized. Methods: LTβR(-/-) mice were subjected to 70 % hepatectomy and liver regeneration capacity, bile acid profiles, and transcriptome analysis were performed. Results: LTβR(-/-) deficient mice suffered from increased and prolonged liver tissue damage after 70 % hepatectomy, accompanied by deregulated bile acid homeostasis. Pronounced differences in the expression patterns of genes relevant for bile acid synthesis and recirculation were observed. LTβR and TNFRp55 share downstream signalling elements. Therefore, LTβR(-/-) mice were treated with Etanercept to create mice functionally deficient in both signalling pathways. Strikingly, the combined blockade of TNFRp55 and LTβR signalling leads to complete failure of liver regeneration resulting in death within 24 to 48 hours after PHx. Transcriptome analysis revealed a marked disparity in gene expression programs in livers of LTβR(-/-) and Etanercept-treated LTβR(-/-) vs. wildtype animals after PHx. Murinoglobulin 2 was identified as a significantly differentially regulated gene. Conclusion: LTβR is essential for efficient liver regeneration and cooperates with TNFRp55 in this process. Differences in survival kinetics strongly suggest distinct functions for these two cytokine receptors in liver regeneration. Failure of TNFR and LTβR signalling renders liver regeneration impossible.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of Hepatology
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    ABSTRACT: The potential role of fungal organisms and their co-aggregation with either periodontopathogens or opportunistic pathogens at peri-implantitis sites is unknown. The aim of the present study was to qualitatively/quantitatively analyze and correlate fungal organisms and bacterial species at peri-implantitis sites. In a total of 29 patients, submucosal/subgingival plaque samples were collected at peri-implantitis and healthy implant sites as well as teeth with a history of periodontitis (controls). A real-time PCR assay was established for the qualification of fungal organisms and a TaqMan assay for the quantification of Porphyromonas gingivalis, Parvimonas micra, Tannerella forsythia, Mycoplasma salivarium, Veillonella parvula, and Staphylococcus aureus. Fungal organisms were more frequently identified at peri-implantitis (31.6%) (i.e., Candida albicans, Candida boidinii, Penicillium spp., Rhodotorula laryngis, Paelicomyces spp., Saccharomycetes, Cladosporium cladosporioides) and healthy implant sites (40% - Candida dubliniensis, C. cladosporioides) than at selected teeth (20% - C. albicans, Fusarium solani). At implant sites, fungal organisms were significantly correlated with P. micra and T. forsythia. Candida spp. and other fungal organisms were frequently identified at peri-implantitis as well as healthy implant sites and co-colonized with P. micra and T. forsythia.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015
  • Article: ID: 165
    Klaus Pfeffer · Daniel Degrandi · Elisabeth Kravets

    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Cytokine
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    ABSTRACT: Metallo-β-lactamase German imipenemase-1 (GIM-1)-mediated carbapenem resistance is emerging in Germany but has not spread beyond a very localized region. The aim of this study was to describe the first outbreak of an extensively drug-resistant GIM-1-carrying Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain affecting 29 patients in a tertiary care hospital from 2002-2013. The outbreak was studied retrospectively and prospectively by a combination of molecular methods (carbapenemase polymerase chain reaction [PCR]), genotyping (DiversiLab, pulsed field gel electrophoresis and multi-locus sequence typing, bioMérieux, Marcy l'Etoile, France), descriptive epidemiology, and extensive environmental investigations using swabs with liquid transport medium, blaGIM-1 PCR, directly from the medium and culture. Of the 29 affected patients, 24 had been admitted to a surgical intensive care unit at some point, where environmental sampling revealed a high burden of blaGIM-1 in the wastewater system. The outbreak strain was found in several sinks and on a reusable hair washbasin. Initially, general infection control measures were applied; thereafter, specific measures were implemented, including the restriction of washbasin use. Continued surveillance over a period of 2 years has revealed no further case of GIM-1-carrying Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This long-term outbreak highlights the potential of molecular methods in surveillance for multidrug-resistant pathogens and in environmental sampling and the successful containment by application of specific control measures targeting biofilms within sink drains as potential environmental reservoirs for P aeruginosa. Copyright © 2015 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · American journal of infection control
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The viral regulatory protein Tat is essential for establishing a productive transcription from the 5′-LTR promoter during the early phase of viral gene expression. Formation of the Tat-encoding mRNAs requires splicing at the viral 3′ss A3, which has previously been shown to be both negatively and positively regulated by the downstream splicing regulatory elements (SREs) ESS2p and ESE2/ESS2. However, using the novel RESCUE-type computational HEXplorer algorithm, we were recently able to identify another splicing enhancer (ESE5807-5838, henceforth referred to as ESEtat) located between ESS2p and ESE2/ESS2. Here we show that ESEtat has a great impact on viral tat-mRNA splicing and that it is fundamental for regulated 3′ss A3 usage. Results: Mutational inactivation or locked nucleic acid (LNA)-directed masking of the ESEtat sequence in the context of a replication-competent virus was associated with a failure (i) to activate viral 3′ss A3 and (ii) to accumulate Tat-encoding mRNA species. Consequently, due to insufficient amounts of Tat protein efficient viral replication was drastically impaired. RNA in vitro binding assays revealed SRSF2 and SRSF6 as candidate splicing factors acting through ESEtat and ESE2 for 3′ss A3 activation. This notion was supported by coexpression experiments, in which wild-type, but not ESEtat-negative provirus responded to higher levels of SRSF2 and SRSF6 proteins with higher levels of tat-mRNA splicing. Remarkably, we could also find that SRSF6 overexpression established an antiviral state within provirus-transfected cells, efficiently blocking virus particle production. For the anti-HIV-1 activity the arginine-serine (RS)-rich domain of the splicing factor was dispensable. Conclusions: Based on our results, we propose that splicing at 3′ss A3 is dependent on binding of the enhancing SR proteins SRSF2 and SRSF6 to the ESEtat and ESE2 sequence. Mutational inactivation or interference specifically with ESEtat activity by LNA-directed masking seem to account for an early stage defect in viral gene expression, probably by cutting off the supply line of Tat that HIV needs to efficiently transcribe its genome.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Retrovirology
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    ABSTRACT: The AIM2 inflammasome detects double-stranded DNA in the cytosol and induces caspase-1-dependent pyroptosis as well as release of the inflammatory cytokines interleukin 1β (IL-1β) and IL-18. AIM2 is critical for host defense against DNA viruses and bacteria that replicate in the cytosol, such as Francisella tularensis subspecies novicida (F. novicida). The activation of AIM2 by F. novicida requires bacteriolysis, yet whether this process is accidental or is a host-driven immunological mechanism has remained unclear. By screening nearly 500 interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs) through the use of small interfering RNA (siRNA), we identified guanylate-binding proteins GBP2 and GBP5 as key activators of AIM2 during infection with F. novicida. We confirmed their prominent role in vitro and in a mouse model of tularemia. Mechanistically, these two GBPs targeted cytosolic F. novicida and promoted bacteriolysis. Thus, in addition to their role in host defense against vacuolar pathogens, GBPs also facilitate the presentation of ligands by directly attacking cytosolic bacteria.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Nature Immunology
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    ABSTRACT: Rationale: Lymphotoxin β receptor (LTbR) regulates immune cell trafficking and communication in inflammatory diseases. However, the role of LTbR in atherosclerosis is still unclear. Objective: The aim of this study was to elucidate the role of LTbR in atherosclerosis. Methods and results: After 15 weeks of feeding a Western-type diet, mice double-deficient in apolipoprotein E and LTbR (apoE(-/-)/LTbR(-/-)) exhibited lower aortic plaque burden than did apoE(-/-) littermates. Macrophage content at the aortic root and in the aorta was reduced, as determined by immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry. In line with a decrease in plaque inflammation, chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 5 (Ccl5) and other chemokines were transcriptionally downregulated in aortic tissue from apoE(-/-)/LTbR(-/-) mice. Moreover, bone marrow chimeras demonstrated that LTbR deficiency in hematopoietic cells mediated the atheroprotection. Furthermore, during atheroprogression, apoE(-/-) mice exhibited increased concentrations of cytokines, for example, Ccl5, whereas apoE(-/-)/LTbR(-/-) mice did not. Despite this decreased plaque macrophage content, flow cytometric analysis showed that the numbers of circulating lymphocyte antigen 6C (Ly6C)(low) monocytes were markedly elevated in apoE(-/-)/LTbR(-/-) mice. The influx of these cells into atherosclerotic lesions was significantly reduced, whereas apoptosis and macrophage proliferation in atherosclerotic lesions were unaffected. Gene array analysis pointed to chemokine (C-C motif) receptor 5 as the most regulated pathway in isolated CD115(+) cells in apoE(-/-)/LTbR(-/-) mice. Furthermore, stimulating monocytes from apoE(-/-) mice with agonistic anti-LTbR antibody or the natural ligand lymphotoxin-α1β2, increased Ccl5 mRNA expression. Conclusions: These findings suggest that LTbR plays a role in macrophage-driven inflammation in atherosclerotic lesions, probably by augmenting the Ccl5-mediated recruitment of monocytes.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Circulation Research
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    ABSTRACT: Helminths exploit intrinsic regulatory pathways of the mammalian immune system to dampen the immune response directed against them. In this article, we show that infection with the parasitic nematode Strongyloides ratti induced upregulation of the coinhibitory receptor B and T lymphocyte attenuator (BTLA) predominantly on CD4(+) T cells but also on a small fraction of innate leukocytes. Deficiency of either BTLA or its ligand herpes virus entry mediator (HVEM) resulted in reduced numbers of parasitic adults in the small intestine and reduced larval output throughout infection. Reduced parasite burden in BTLA- and HVEM-deficient mice was accompanied by accelerated degranulation of mucosal mast cells and increased Ag-specific production of the mast cell-activating cytokine IL-9. Our combined results support a model whereby BTLA on CD4(+) T cells and additional innate leukocytes is triggered by HVEM and delivers negative signals into BTLA(+) cells, thereby interfering with the protective immune response to this intestinal parasite. Copyright © 2015 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · The Journal of Immunology
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    ABSTRACT: Rationale: Lymphotoxin beta receptor (LTbR) regulates immune cell trafficking and communication in inflammatory diseases. However, the role of LTbR in atherosclerosis is still unclear. Objective: Aim of the present study was to elucidate the role of LTbR in atherosclerosis. Methods and Results: After 15 weeks of feeding a Western-type diet, mice double-deficient in apolipoprotein E and LTbR (apoE(-/-)/LTbR(-/-)) exhibited lower aortic plaque burden than did apoE(-/-) littermates. Macrophage content at the aortic root and in the aorta was reduced, as determined by immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry. In line with a decrease in plaque inflammation, chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 5 (Ccl5) and other chemokines were transcriptionally down-regulated in aortic tissue from apoE(-/-)/LTbR(-/-) mice. Moreover, bone marrow chimeras demonstrated that LTbR deficiency in hematopoietic cells mediated the atheroprotection. Furthermore, whereas during atheroprogression apoE(-/-) mice exhibited increased concentration
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Unlabelled: Skin keratinocytes represent a primary entry site for herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) in vivo. The cellular proteins nectin-1 and herpesvirus entry mediator (HVEM) act as efficient receptors for both serotypes of HSV and are sufficient for disease development mediated by HSV-2 in mice. How HSV-1 enters skin and whether both nectin-1 and HVEM are involved are not known. We addressed the impact of nectin-1 during entry of HSV-1 into murine epidermis and investigated the putative contribution of HVEM. Using ex vivo infection of murine epidermis, we showed that HSV-1 entered the basal keratinocytes of the epidermis very efficiently. In nectin-1-deficient epidermis, entry was strongly reduced. Almost no entry was observed, however, in nectin-1-deficient keratinocytes grown in culture. This observation correlated with the presence of HVEM on the keratinocyte surface in epidermis and with the lack of HVEM expression in nectin-1-deficient primary keratinocytes. Our results suggest that nectin-1 is the primary receptor in epidermis, while HVEM has a more limited role. For primary murine keratinocytes, on which nectin-1 acts as a single receptor, electron microscopy suggested that HSV-1 can enter both by direct fusion with the plasma membrane and via endocytic vesicles. Thus, we concluded that nectin-1 directs internalization into keratinocytes via alternative pathways. In summary, HSV-1 entry into epidermis was shown to strongly depend on the presence of nectin-1, but the restricted presence of HVEM can potentially replace nectin-1 as a receptor, illustrating the flexibility employed by HSV-1 to efficiently invade tissue in vivo. Importance: Herpes simplex virus (HSV) can cause a range of diseases in humans, from uncomplicated mucocutaneous lesions to life-threatening infections. The skin is one target tissue of HSV, and the question of how the virus overcomes the protective skin barrier and penetrates into the tissue to reach its receptors is still open. Previous studies analyzing entry into cells grown in vitro revealed nectin-1 and HVEM as HSV receptors. To explore the contributions of nectin-1 and HVEM to entry into a natural target tissue, we established an ex vivo infection model. Using nectin-1- or HVEM-deficient mice, we demonstrated the distinct involvement of nectin-1 and HVEM for HSV-1 entry into epidermis and characterized the internalization pathways. Such advances in understanding the involvement of receptors in tissue are essential preconditions for unraveling HSV invasion of skin, which in turn will allow the development of antiviral reagents.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Journal of Virology
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Tumor necrosis factor/tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily members conform a group of molecular interaction pathways of essential relevance during the process of T-cell activation and differentiation toward effector cells and particularly for the maintenance phase of the immune response. Specific blockade of these interacting pathways, such as CD40-CD40L, contributes to modulate the deleterious outcome of allogeneic immune responses. We postulated that antagonizing the interaction of LIGHT expression on activated T cells with its receptors, herpesvirus entry mediator and lymphotoxin β receptor, may decrease T cell-mediated allogeneic responses. Methods: A flow cytometry competition assay was designed to identify anti-LIGHT monoclonal antibodies capable to prevent the interaction of mouse LIGHT with its receptors expressed on transfected cells. An antibody with the desired specificity was evaluated in a short-term in vivo allogeneic cytotoxic assay and tested for its ability to detect endogenous mouse LIGHT. Results: We provide evidence for the first time that in mice, as previously described in humans, LIGHT protein is rapidly and transiently expressed after T-cell activation, and this expression was stronger on CD8 T cells than on CD4 T cells. Two anti-LIGHT antibodies prevented interactions of mouse LIGHT with its two known receptors, herpesvirus entry mediator and lymphotoxin β receptor. In vivo administration of anti-LIGHT antibody (clone 10F12) ameliorated host antidonor short-term cytotoxic response in wild type B6 mice, although to a lesser extent than that observed in LIGHT-deficient mice. Conclusion: The therapeutic targeting of LIGHT may contribute to achieve a better control of cytotoxic responses refractory to current immunosuppressive drugs in transplantation.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Transplantation

  • No preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Atherosclerosis
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    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014
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    ABSTRACT: IFN receptor signaling induces cell-autonomous immunity to infections with intracellular bacterial pathogens. Here, we demonstrate that IFN-inducible guanylate binding protein (Gbp) proteins stimulate caspase-11-dependent, cell-autonomous immunity in response to cytoplasmic LPS. Caspase-11-dependent pyroptosis is triggered in IFN-activated macrophages infected with the Gram-negative bacterial pathogen Legionella pneumophila. The rapid induction of pyroptosis in IFN-activated macrophages required a cluster of IFN-inducible Gbp proteins encoded on mouse chromosome 3 (Gbp(chr3)). Induction of pyroptosis in naive macrophages by infections with the cytosol-invading ΔsdhA L. pneumophila mutant was similarly dependent on Gbp(chr3), suggesting that these Gbp proteins play a role in the detection of bacteria accessing the cytosol. Cytoplasmic LPS derived from Salmonella ssp. or Escherichia coli has recently been shown to trigger caspase-11 activation and pyroptosis, but the cytoplasmic sensor for LPS and components of the caspase-11 inflammasome are not yet defined. We found that the induction of caspase-11-dependent pyroptosis by cytoplasmic L. pneumophila-derived LPS required Gbp(chr3) proteins. Similarly, pyroptosis induced by cytoplasmic LPS isolated from Salmonella was diminished in Gbp(chr3)-deficient macrophages. These data suggest a role for Gbp(chr3) proteins in the detection of cytoplasmic LPS and the activation of the noncanonical inflammasome.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: The Janus kinase / signal transducer and activator of transcription (Jak/STAT) pathway can be activated by many different cytokines, among them all members of the Interleukin (IL-)6 family. Dysregulation of this pathway, resulting in its constitutive activation, is associated with chronic inflammation and cancer development. In the present study, we show that activity of protein kinase II (CK2), a ubiquitously expressed serine/threonine kinase, is needed for induced activation of STAT1 and STAT3 by IL-6 classic and trans-signaling, IL-11, IL-27, oncostatin M (OSM), leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) and cardiotrophin-1 (CT-1). Inhibition of CK2 efficiently prevented STAT phosphorylation and inhibited cytokine-dependent cell proliferation in a Jak1-dependent manner. Conversely, forced activation of CK2 alone was not sufficient to induce activation of the Jak/STAT signaling pathway. Inhibition of CK2 in turn inhibited Jak1-dependent STAT activation by oncogenic gp130 mutations. Furthermore, CK2 inhibition diminished the Jak1- and Src kinase-dependent phosphorylation of a constitutively active STAT3 mutant recently described in human large granular lymphocytic leukemia. In conclusion, we characterize CK2 as an essential component of the Jak/STAT pathway. Pharmacologic inhibition of this kinase is therefore a promising strategy to treat human inflammatory diseases and malignancies associated with constitutive activation of the Jak/STAT pathway.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Oncotarget
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    ABSTRACT: CD8(+) T-cell functions are critical for preventing chronic viral infections by eliminating infected cells. For healthy immune responses, beneficial destruction of infected cells must be balanced against immunopathology resulting from collateral damage to tissues. These processes are regulated by factors controlling CD8(+) T-cell function, which are still incompletely understood. Here, we show that the interferon regulatory factor 4 (IRF4) and its cooperating binding partner B-cell-activating transcription factor (BATF) are necessary for sustained CD8(+) T-cell effector function. Although Irf4(-/-) CD8(+) T cells were initially capable of proliferation, IRF4 deficiency resulted in limited CD8(+) T-cell responses after infection with the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus. Consequently, Irf4(-/-) mice established chronic infections, but were protected from fatal immunopathology. Absence of BATF also resulted in reduced CD8(+) T-cell function, limited immunopathology, and promotion of viral persistence. These data identify the transcription factors IRF4 and BATF as major regulators of antiviral cytotoxic T-cell immunity.Cell Death and Differentiation advance online publication, 14 February 2014; doi:10.1038/cdd.2014.19.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · Cell death and differentiation
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    ABSTRACT: The DC-derived chemokine CCL17, a ligand of CCR4, has been shown to promote various inflammatory diseases such as atopic dermatitis, atherosclerosis, and inflammatory bowel disease. Under steady state conditions, and even after systemic stimulation with LPS, CCL17 is not expressed in resident splenic DCs as opposed to CD8α(-) CD11b(+) LN DCs, which produce large amounts of CCL17 in particular after maturation. Upon systemic NKT cell activation through α-galactosylceramide stimulation however, CCL17 can be upregulated in both CD8α(-) and CD8α(+) splenic DC subsets and enhances cross-presentation of exogenous antigens. Based on genome-wide expression profiling, we now show that splenic CD11b(+) DCs are susceptible to IFN-γ-mediated suppression of CCL17, whereas LN CD11b(+) CCL17(+) DCs downregulate the IFN-γR and are much less responsive to IFN-γ. Under inflammatory conditions, particularly in the absence of IFN-γ signaling in IFN-γRKO mice, CCL17 expression is strongly induced in a major proportion of splenic DCs by the action of GM-CSF in concert with IL-4. Our findings demonstrate that the local cytokine milieu and differential cytokine responsiveness of DC subsets regulate lymphoid organ specific immune responses at the level of chemokine expression. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2014 · European Journal of Immunology
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously characterized mouse CMV (MCMV)-encoded immune-evasive IFN signaling inhibition and identified the viral protein pM27 as inducer of proteasomal degradation of STAT2. Extending our analysis to STAT1 and STAT3, we found that MCMV infection neither destabilizes STAT1 protein nor prevents STAT1 tyrosine Y701 phosphorylation, nuclear translocation, or the capability to bind γ-activated sequence DNA-enhancer elements. Unexpectedly, the analysis of STAT3 revealed an induction of STAT3 Y705 phosphorylation by MCMV. In parallel, we found decreasing STAT3 protein amounts upon MCMV infection, although STAT3 expression normally is positive autoregulative. STAT3 phosphorylation depended on the duration of MCMV infection, the infectious dose, and MCMV gene expression but was independent of IFNAR1, IL-10, IL-6, and JAK2. Although STAT3 phosphorylation did not require MCMV immediate early 1, pM27, and late gene expression, it was restricted to MCMV-infected cells and not transmitted to bystander cells. Despite intact STAT1 Y701 phosphorylation, IFN-γ-induced target gene transcription (e.g., IRF1 and suppressor of cytokine signaling [SOCS] 1) was strongly impaired. Likewise, the induction of STAT3 target genes (e.g., SOCS3) by IL-6 was also abolished, indicating that MCMV antagonizes STAT1 and STAT3 despite the occurrence of tyrosine phosphorylation. Consistent with the lack of SOCS1 induction, STAT1 phosphorylation was prolonged upon IFN-γ treatment. We conclude that the inhibition of canonical STAT1 and STAT3 target gene expression abrogates their intrinsic negative feedback loops, leading to accumulation of phospho-tyrosine-STAT3 and prolonged STAT1 phosphorylation. These findings challenge the generalization of tyrosine-phosphorylated STATs necessarily being transcriptional active and document antagonistic effects of MCMV on STAT1/3-dependent target gene expression.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2013 · The Journal of Immunology

Publication Stats

18k Citations
1,715.79 Total Impact Points


  • 2006-2016
    • Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
      • • Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hospital Hygiene
      • • Institute of Microbiology
      Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 2014-2015
    • Universitätsklinikum Düsseldorf
      Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 1992-2005
    • Technische Universität München
      • • Institute of Micro Technology and Medical Device Technology
      • • Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie, Immunologie und Hygiene
      München, Bavaria, Germany
  • 2004
    • University of Greifswald
      • Department of Surgery
      Griefswald, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
  • 1999-2003
    • University of Cologne
      • Institute for Genetics
      Köln, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 2002
    • Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich
      • Department of Dermatology and Allergology
      München, Bavaria, Germany
  • 1987-2002
    • Universität Ulm
      • • Institute of Physiological Chemistry
      • • Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene
      • • Department of Internal Medicine
      Ulm, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 2000
    • Research Center Borstel
      • Division of Clinical and Experimental Pathology
      Borstel, Lower Saxony, Germany
  • 1997
    • Munich Re
      München, Bavaria, Germany
  • 1993-1997
    • University of Toronto
      • Department of Medical Biophysics
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • The Princess Margaret Hospital
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 1996
    • Amgen Canada
      Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
    • University of Pennsylvania
      • Department of Pathobiology
      Philadelphia, PA, United States