[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The immune system in sepsis is impaired as seen by reduced numbers and function of immune cells and impaired antigen-specific antibody responses. We studied T cell function in septic mice using cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) as a clinically relevant mouse model for sepsis. The proliferative response of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells was suppressed in septic mice. Adoptive transfer experiments demonstrated that the T cells were not intrinsically altered by CLP. Instead, the septic host environment was responsible for this T cell suppression. While CLP-induced suppression was dependent on TNF activity, neither the activation of TNF receptors type 1 nor TNF receptor type 2 alone was sufficient to generate sepsis-induced suppression showing that the two TNF receptors can substitute each other. Specific depletion of regulatory T (Treg) cells improved the impaired T cell proliferation in septic recipients demonstrating participation of Treg in sepsis-induced suppression. In summary, sepsis leads to TNF-dependent suppression of T cell proliferation in vivo involving induction of Treg cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Efficient formation of early germinal centers (GCs) depends on the close interaction between GC B cells and antigen-primed CD4+ follicular helper T cells (TFH cells). A tight and stable formation of TFH/B cell-conjugates is required for cytokine-driven immunoglobulin class switching and somatic hypermutation (SHM) of GC B cells. Recently it has been shown that the formation of TFH/B cell-conjugates is crucial for B-cell differentiation and class switch following infection with Leishmania (L.) major parasites. However, the subtype of dendritic cells (DCs) responsible for TFH-cell priming against dermal antigens is thus far unknown. Utilizing a transgenic C57BL/6 mouse model designed to trigger the ablation of Langerin+ DC subsets in vivo, we show that the functionality of TFH/B cell-conjugates is disturbed after depletion of Langerhans cells (LCs): LC-depleted mice show a reduction in SHM in B cells isolated from TFH/B cell-conjugates and markedly reduced GC reactions within skin-draining lymph nodes. In conclusion this study reveals an indispensable role for LCs in promoting GC B-cell differentiation following cutaneous infection with L. major parasites. We propose that LCs are key regulators of GC formation and therefore have broader implications for the development of allergies and autoimmunity as well as for future vaccination strategies.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
Preview · Article · Oct 2014 · European Journal of Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: TNF and TNF receptor type 2 (TNFR2) have been shown to be important for generation of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC). In order to analyze whether and how TNFR2 passes the effect of TNF on, myeloid cells from TNFR2-deficient mice were compared to respective cells from wild-type mice. Primary TNFR2-deficient myeloid cells showed reduced production of NO and IL-6 which was attributable to CD11b+ CD11c− Ly6C+ Ly6G− immature monocytic MDSC. TNFR2-deficient MDSC isolated from bone marrow were less suppressive for T cell proliferation compared to WT-derived MDSC. These differences on myeloid cells between the two mouse lines were still observed after co-culture of bone marrow cells from the two mouse lines together during myeloid cell differentiation, which demonstrated that the impaired functional capacity of TNFR2-deficient cells was independent of soluble factors but required membrane expression of TNFR2. Similarly, adoptive transfer of TNFR2-deficient bone marrow cells into wild-type hosts did not rescue the TNFR2-specific phenotype of bone marrow-derived myeloid cells. Therefore, membrane TNFR2 expression determines generation and function of monocytic MDSC.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumor xenografts in immunodeficient mice, while routinely used in cancer research, preclude studying interactions of immune and cancer cells or, if humanized by allogeneic immune cells, are of limited use for tumor-immunological questions. Here, we explore a novel way to generate cancer models with an autologous humanized immune system. We demonstrate that hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) from bone marrow aspirates of non-metastasized carcinoma patients, which are taken at specialized centers for diagnostic purposes, can be used to generate a human immune system in NOD-scid IL2rγ(null) (NSG) and HLA-I expressing NSG mice (NSG-HLA-A2/HHD) comprising both, lymphoid and myeloid cell lineages. Using NSG-HLA-A2/HHD mice, we show that responsive and self-tolerant human T cells develop and human antigen presenting cells can activate human T cells. As critical factors we identified the low potential of bone marrow HSPCs to engraft, generally low HSPC numbers in patient-derived bone marrow samples, cryopreservation and routes of cell administration. We provide here an optimized protocol that uses a minimum number of HSPCs, preselects high-quality bone marrow samples defined by the number of initially isolated leukocytes and intra-femoral or intra-venous injection. In conclusion, the use of diagnostic bone marrow aspirates from non-metastasized carcinoma patients for the immunological humanization of immunodeficient mice is feasible and opens the chance for individualized analyses of anti-tumoral T cell responses.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sepsis-induced immune reactions are reduced in TNF receptor 2 (TNFR2)-deficient mice as previously shown. In order to elucidate the underlying mechanisms, the functional integrity of myeloid cells of TNFR2-deficient mice was analyzed and compared to wild type (WT) mice. The capacity of dendritic cells to produce IL-12 was strongly impaired in TNF-deficient mice, mirroring impaired production of IL-12 by WT dendritic cells in sepsis or after LPS or TNF pre-treatment. In addition, TNFR2-deficient mice were refractory to LPS pre-treatment and also to hyper-sensitization by inactivated Propionibacterium acnes, indicating habituation to inflammatory stimuli by the immune response when TNFR2 is lacking. Constitutive expression of TNF mRNA in kidney, liver, spleen, colon and lung tissue, and the presence of soluble TNFR2 in urine of healthy WT mice supported the conclusion that TNF is continuously present in naïve mice and controlled by soluble TNFR2. In TNFR2-deficient mice endogenous TNF levels cannot be balanced and the continuous exposure to enhanced TNF levels impairs dendritic cell function. In conclusion, TNF pre-exposure suppresses secondary inflammatory reactions of myeloid cells; therefore, continuous control of endogenous TNF by soluble TNFR2 seems to be essential for the maintenance of adequate sensitivity to inflammatory stimuli.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lymphotoxin beta-receptor (LTβR) is involved in the formation and maintenance of secondary lymphoid structures, as well as in the regulation of inflammatory responses. Because LTβR lymphoid structure formation continues to develop in infants, we compared two different chimera models: one using adult mice and the other using a transplantation model of neonatal mice. To elucidate the function of LTβR on lymphoid and non-lymphoid cells, we generated bone marrow chimeras on the wild type C57Bl/6 and the LTβR-deficient (LTβR(-/-)) background, and reconstituted the mice with bone marrow cells reciprocally. These chimeric mice were analyzed in the experimental model of acute dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis. Interestingly, both models revealed not only equal reconstitution levels but also similar immunological responses: LTβR expression on stromal cells is essential for lymph node formation, whereas LTBR on hematopoietic cells is crucial for a decrease in inflammation. In addition, mice lacking LTβR on hematopoietic cells revealed (a) an increase of immature granulocytic cells in the spleen and (b) a reduced proportion of myeloid cells in peripheral blood and spleen expressing CD11b(+)Ly6C(+)Ly6G(-) (myeloid-derived suppressor cells expression profile). In conclusion, LTβR expression on hematopoietic cells seems to be involved in the down-regulation of acute inflammatory reactions paralleled by the appearance of immature myeloid cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ficolins activate the lectin pathway of the complement system upon binding to carbohydrate patterns on pathogens. To characterize the producer cells of ficolin-B the expression of mouse ficolin-B, the orthologue of human M-ficolin, was studied in macrophages and dendritic cells during differentiation from bone marrow cells, in primary granulocytes, and during differentiation of granulocytes derived from ER-Hoxb8 cells. Expression of ficolin-B mRNA declined in all myeloid cell types to low levels during terminal differentiation. However, in contrast to macrophages and dendritic cells, ficolin-B expression was enhanced upon activation in granulocytes. High expression of ficolin-B was observed in primary immature neutrophilic CD11b(+) Ly-6C(int) Ly-6G(high) granulocytes when isolated from the bone marrow, in particular during sepsis. Ficolin-B was demonstrated in lysates of primary granulocytes, ER-Hoxb8-derived granulocytes, bone marrow-derived macrophages, and dendritic cells. Native ficolin-B from cell lysates and supernatants of granulocytes activated the lectin pathway as measured by binding to MASP-2 and inducing C4 deposition. Specific staining demonstrated intra-cellular or cell associated ficolin-B protein in activated immature granulocytes deposited in a granular fashion. This study shows that ficolin-B is stored in and set free from immature granulocytic myeloid cells indicating a role in the early infection-induced cellular response of these inflammatory cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bacterial infection with Group B Streptococcus (GBS) represents a prominent threat to neonates and fetuses in the Western world, causing severe organ damage and even death. To improve current therapeutic strategies and to investigate new approaches, an appropriate in vivo model to study the immune response of a human immune system is needed.Therefore we introduced the humanized mice as a new model for GBS-induced sepsis. Humanized mice feature similar deficiencies as found in neonates such as lower immunoglobulin levels and myeloid cell dysfunction. Due to the husbandry in SPF facilities the human immune cells in these mice also exhibit a naïve phenotype which mimics the conditions in fetuses/neonates. Following infection, cytokine release, leukocyte trafficking from the bone marrow to the lymphoid organ (spleen) and into the peritoneum (site of infection) as well as bacterial spreading and clearance was traceable in the humanized mice. Furthermore, we investigated the effects of betamethasone and indomethacin treatment using this novel sepsis model. Although both drugs are commonly used in perinatal care, little is known about their effects on the neonatal immune system. Treatment of infected humanized mice not only induced the reduction of human leucocytes in the spleen but also increased the bacterial load in all analyzed organs including the brain which did not show infiltration of live GBS in untreated controls.These studies demonstrate the utility of the humanized mice as a new model to study an immature human immune response during bacterial infection and allow the investigation of side effects induced by various treatments.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Infection and immunity
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The correlation between chronic stress and aggravation of inflammatory diseases has long been implied. A variety of studies in men and mice have proven the increase in myeloid cell blood counts as a hallmark of stressor exposure. Redistribution of myeloid cells from primary and secondary lymphoid organs into the blood is thought to be the major reason for that phenomenon. Recently, we established a model of chronic subordinate colony housing (CSC) in male mice. CSC induced an aggravation of DSS-induced colitis. Gut inflammation was accompanied with an increased translocation of commensal bacteria from the gut lumen into the surrounding tissue.
We now analysed changes in the composition and function of myeloid cell subtypes in spleen and gut. CSC stress induced an increase in myeloid cells in blood, spleen and gut. A detailed analysis revealed that CD11b+ cells in the spleen consisted mainly of Ly6G+ granulocytic cells. Furthermore, myeloid cells from the spleen reacted with an increased cytokine production to in vitro restimulation with LPS indicating an inflammatory phenotype of those cells. CSC also induced up-regulation of CXCL1 and CXCL2 in the spleen and in the gut.
Our study showed a stress-induced accumulation of distinct myeloid cells in secondary lymphoid organs and peripheral tissue that seemed to be mediated by specific chemokines induced during exposure to CSC. Due to their inflammatory phenotype these cells might contribute to the aggravation of local gut inflammation seen in the DSS-induced colitis.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Brain Behavior and Immunity
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Animal models of chronic social stress are known to contribute to a great extent to the research of stress-related disorders in humans. Our previous data revealed a generalized activation of T cells and an altered reaction of T cell subtypes not showing a shift towards Th2 responses after 19 days of chronic subordinate colony housing (CSC), a chronic psycho-social stress model in male mice.
In this study, we evaluated the time-dependent effects of CSC on the T cell activation status. Our results demonstrated changes in T cell composition concerning CD3, CD8, CD4 as well as Treg, Th1, and Th17 cells. In addition, the activation status of T cells differed during the time of CSC.
In conclusion, CSC stress induced distinct changes in the T cell compartment depending on the duration of stress exposure.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Brain Behavior and Immunity
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Resistance to Leishmania major infection is dependent on the development of a cell-mediated Th1 immune response in resistant C57BL/6 mice whereas Th2-prone BALB/c mice develop non-healing lesions after infection. The chemokine receptor CCR6 is shared by anti-inflammatory regulatory T cells and pro-inflammatory Th17 cells. In a recent study we showed that C57BL/6 mice deficient in CCR6 exhibited enhanced footpad swelling and impaired T helper cell migration indicated by reduced recruitment of total T helper cells into the skin after infection and a reduced delayed type hypersensitivity reaction. Based on these findings we tested whether the lack of CCR6 alters Treg or Th17 cell responses during the course of Leishmania major infection. When we analyzed T cell subsets in the lymph nodes of CCR6-deficient mice, Th17 cell numbers were not different. However, reduced numbers of Treg cells paralleled with a stronger IFNγ response. Furthermore, the early increase in IFNγ-producing cells correlated with increased local tissue inflammation at later time points. Our data indicate an important role of CCR6 for Treg cells and a redundant role for Th17 cells in a Th1 cell-driven anti-parasitic immune response against Leishmania major parasites in resistant C57BL/6 mice.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: On the grounds of clinical, in vitro and in vivo studies, tumour necrosis factor (TNF) is considered to be one of the inflammatory cytokines that contributes to to the generation of hypoferraemia and anaemia of inflammation (AI). We used a recently described murine model for AI and hypoferraemia, based on sublethal caecal ligation and puncture (CLP) with ensuing protracted peritonitis, to investigate the contribution of TNF to the generation of hypoferraemia. During the early inflammatory response to CLP, a marked decrease in serum iron concentration occurs within 8 h. To determine whether TNF contributes to the generation of hypoferraemia at this time point, we studied TNF-deficient mice and wild-type mice that underwent CLP. The serum iron concentration was decreased in wild-type mice whereas TNF-deficient mice maintained normal serum iron levels following CLP. Hypoferraemia in wild-type mice was accompanied by the downregulation of ferroportin 1 (Fp1) in macrophages. In the macrophages of TNF-deficient mice, Fp1 was not downregulated following CLP. The initial expression of hepcidin was detectable at the mRNA level but not at the protein level by immunohisto-chemistry in wild-type and TNF-deficient mice. Therefore, hepcidin does not appear to be involved in the regulation of early hypoferraemia. TNF appears to regulate the expression of Fp1 by transcriptional control. Our results demonstrate that TNF mediates hypoferraemia during the early inflammatory response by regulating the expression of Fp1 in macrophages.
No preview · Article · Jul 2012 · Molecular Medicine Reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In an experimental model of immune-complex-mediated glomerulonephritis, mice excreted increased levels of urinary protein starting three days after the induction. Mice lacking the TNF receptor type 2 (TNFR2) were protected from early proteinuria and enhanced mortality. Analysis of the molecular basis of the mechanisms of glomerulonephritis revealed that naïve mice continuously excrete soluble TNF-neutralizing TNFR2 in urine. Mice kept in a specific pathogen-free environment did not go on to develop early proteinuria or enhanced mortality, following induction of glomerulonephritis. TNFR2-deficient mice were protected from early proteinuria and enhanced mortality only when housed conventionally. Mice producing human TNFR2 that can be activated by mouse TNF, in addition to mouse TNFR2, did not demonstrate enhanced susceptibility to the lethal effects of glomerulonephritis, indicating that pro-inflammatory signalling via TNFR2 does not account for a sensitizing effect. Finally, we suggest that the protective effect seen in mice lacking TNFR2 results rather from environment-induced attenuation by low dose bacterial endotoxins than from missing pro-inflammatory signalling via the TNFR2.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Proteinuria represents a parameter for a damaged filtration capacity of the kidney. We investigated how inflammation influences the development of experimental, immune complex-mediated glomerulonephritis by monitoring proteinuria. Mice pre-treated with LPS or TNF, one day before induction of glomerulonephritis, excreted high levels of protein in the urine immediately after the induction of glomerulonephritis, in contrast to non-treated mice where proteinuria increased steadily after day 3. Protein levels in the urine of pre-treated mice remained elevated over the 15-day observation time. The severity of proteinuria at later times correlated with the degree of tissue pathology and mortality in individual mice. Pre-treatment with inflammatory agents accelerated the development of proteinuria and induced more severe kidney damage.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is evidence that open as well as minimally invasive abdominal surgery impair post-operative innate and acquired immune function. To compare the impact of these approaches as well as the one of different peritoneal gas exposures on immune function, we investigated cellular as well as cytokine-based immune parameters in mesenteric lymph nodes and the spleen postoperatively.
Mice (n = 26) were randomly assigned to the 4 study groups: (1) sham controls undergoing anesthesia alone, (2) laparotomy, and (3) air, or (4) carbon dioxide pneumoperitoneum. Mice were sacrificed 48 h after the intervention, and their spleens and mesenteric lymph nodes were harvested. Cytokine production (TNF-α, IL-6, IL-10, and IFN-γ), splenic T cell subpopulations (cytotoxic T cells, T helper cells, and regulatory T cells) were analyzed.
TNF-α production of splenocytes 16 h after ex vivo lipopolysaccharides (LPS) stimulation was significantly increased in the laparotomy group compared to all other groups. In contrast, TNF-α production of lymph node cells and IL-6 production of splenocytes after ex vivo LPS stimulation did not differ significantly between the groups. The numbers of regulatory T cells (Treg) in the spleen differed between groups. A significant reduction in Treg cell frequency was detected in the CO(2) insufflation group compared to the laparotomy and the air insufflation group.
Our findings demonstrate a distinct difference in immune effector functions and cellular composition of the spleen with regard to splenic TNF-α production and increased numbers of Treg cells in the spleen. These findings are in line with a higher peritoneal inflammatory status consequent to peritoneal air rather than CO(2) exposure. Treg turned out to be key modulators of postoperative dysfunction of acquired immunity.
No preview · Article · Mar 2012 · Pediatric Surgery International