[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A novel subset of human regulatory B-cells has recently been described. They arise from within the transitional B-cell subpopulation and are characterised by the production of IL-10. They appear to be of significant importance in regulating T-cell immunity in vivo. Despite this important function, the molecular mechanisms by which they control T-cell activation are incompletely defined. Here we show that transitional B-cells produced more IL-10 and expressed higher levels of IL-10 receptor after CD40 engagement compared to other B-cell subsets. Furthermore, under this stimulatory condition, CD86 expressed by transitional B-cells was down regulated and T-cell proliferation was reduced. We provide evidence to demonstrate that the down-regulation of CD86 expression by transitional B-cells was due to the autocrine effect of IL-10, which in turn leads to decreased T-cell proliferation and TNF-α production. This analysis was further extended to peripheral B-cells in kidney transplant recipients. We observed that B-cells from patients tolerant to the graft maintained higher IL-10 production after CD40 ligation, which correlates with lower CD86 expression compared to patients with chronic rejection. Hence, the results obtained in this study shed light on a new alternative mechanism by which transitional B-cells inhibit T-cell proliferation and cytokine production.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Scientific Reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction Translational research organisations (TROs) are a core component of the UK's expanding research base. Equity of career opportunity is key to ensuring a diverse and internationally competitive workforce. The UK now requires TROs to demonstrate how they are supporting gender equity. Yet, the evidence base for documenting such efforts is sparse. This study is designed to inform the acceleration of women's advancement and leadership in two of the UK's leading TROs—the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs) in Oxford and London—through the development, application and dissemination of a conceptual framework and measurement tool.
Methods and analysis A cross-sectional retrospective evaluation. A conceptual framework with markers of achievement and corresponding candidate metrics has been specifically designed for this study based on an adapted balanced scorecard approach. It will be refined with an online stakeholder consultation and semistructured interviews to test the face validity and explore practices and mechanisms that influence gender equity in the given settings. Data will be collected via the relevant administrative databases. A comparison of two funding periods (2007–2012 and 2012–2017) will be carried out.
Ethics and dissemination The University of Oxford Clinical Trials and Research Governance Team and the Research and Development Governance Team of Guy's and St Thomas’ National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trust reviewed the study and deemed it exempt from full ethics review. The results of the study will be used to inform prospective planning and monitoring within the participating NIHR BRCs with a view to accelerating women's advancement and leadership. Both the results of the study and its methodology will be further disseminated to academics and practitioners through the networks of collaborating TROs, relevant conferences and articles in peer-reviewed journals.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Initially understood to be a key regulator of IFNγ producing helper T-cells, our knowledge of T-bet's functional roles has expanded considerably to encompass a growing range of cellular lineages. In addition to regulating other IFNγ producing adaptive immune cells, it is now apparent that T-bet plays a fundamental role in the regulation of innate immune responses across mucosal surfaces. This homeostatic role is highlighted by the spontaneous colitis that occurs when T-bet is deleted from innate immune cells in RAG(-/-) mice. Using this model as a focal point, we review our understanding of T-bet's regulation of adaptive and innate immune systems, focussing particularly on mucosal populations including innate lymphoid cells, dendritic cells, and intraepithelial lymphocytes. With the increasingly diverse effects of T-bet on different lineages, the classical binding-centric paradigm of T-bet's molecular functionality has increasingly struggled to account for the versatility of T-bet's biological effects. Recent recognition of the synergistic interactions between T-bet and other canonical transcription factors has led to a co-operative paradigm that has provided greater explanatory power. Synthesising insights from ChIP-seq studies and evolutionary biology, we expand the co-operative paradigm further and suggest a network approach as a powerful way to understand and model T-bet's diverse functionality. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: B cells have been reported to promote graft rejection through alloantibody production. However, there is growing evidence that B cells can contribute to the maintenance of tolerance. Here, we used a mouse model of MHC-class I mismatched skin transplantation to investigate the contribution of B cells to graft survival. We demonstrate that adoptive transfer of B cells prolongs skin graft survival but only when the B cells were isolated from mice housed in low sterility "conventional" (CV) facilities and not from mice housed in pathogen free facilities (SPF). However, prolongation of skin graft survival was lost when B cells were isolated from IL-10 deficient mice housed in CV facilities. The suppressive function of B cells isolated from mice housed in CV facilities correlated with an anti-inflammatory environment and with the presence of a different gut microflora compared to mice maintained in SPF facilities. Treatment of mice in the CV facility with antibiotics abrogated the regulatory capacity of B cells. Finally, we identified transitional B cells isolated from CV facilities as possessing the regulatory function. These findings demonstrate that B cells, and in particular transitional B cells, can promote prolongation of graft survival, a function dependent on licensing by gut microflora.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Scientific Reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are a family of immune cells that selectively accumulate in mucosal tissues serving as sentinels at the vanguard of host protective immunity. However, they are also implicated as cellular mediators of immune-mediated diseases, most notably IBD. ILCs are subdivided into distinct lineages based on the expression of effector cytokines and master transcription factors that programme their differentiation and inflammatory behaviour. Strikingly, these subsets closely resemble CD4(+) T-cell lineages, including T helper (TH)1, TH2 and TH17 cells that are similarly implicated in immune-mediated diseases. However, ILCs that promote the maintenance of intestinal epithelial cells, mostly through production of IL-22, also exist. ILCs rapidly respond to environmental cues, including cytokines, metabolic signals and luminal bacteria. They are potent and immediate producers of key cytokines linked to IBD pathogenesis, including TNF, IL-17, IL-22 and IFN-γ. Some subsets are implicated as mediators of chronic intestinal inflammation, whereas others might provide protective functions. They are present in the gut of patients with IBD and, intriguingly, closer scrutiny of IBD susceptibility loci shows that many of these genes are either expressed by, or are intimately linked to, ILC function. Looking forward, targeting ILCs could represent a new IBD treatment paradigm.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Substantial progress in molecular immunology, coupled with an increasing focus on translational research and an enthusiasm for personalized medicine, has resulted in a rapid expansion in the field of immune biomarkers in recent years. In this Science and Society article, we provide a conceptual overview of the field and discuss the progress that has been made so far, as well as the future potential in the context of the scientific, logistical, financial, legal and ethical framework within which this research is being carried out and translated into clinical use.
No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Nature Reviews Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background and aim Thymus-derived regulatory T cells (Tregs) mediate dominant peripheral tolerance and treat experimental colitis. Tregs can be expanded from patient blood and were safely used in recent phase 1 studies in graft versus host disease and type 1 diabetes. Treg cell therapy is also conceptually attractive for Crohn's disease (CD). However, barriers exist to this approach. The stability of Tregs expanded from Crohn's blood is unknown. The potential for adoptively transferred Tregs to express interleukin-17 and exacerbate Crohn's lesions is of concern. Mucosal T cells are resistant to Treg-mediated suppression in active CD. The capacity for expanded Tregs to home to gut and lymphoid tissue is unknown.
Methods To define the optimum population for Treg cell therapy in CD, CD4+CD25+CD127loCD45RA+ and CD4+CD25+CD127loCD45RA− Treg subsets were isolated from patients’ blood and expanded in vitro using a workflow that can be readily transferred to a good manufacturing practice background.
Results Tregs can be expanded from the blood of patients with CD to potential target dose within 22–24 days. Expanded CD45RA+ Tregs have an epigenetically stable FOXP3 locus and do not convert to a Th17 phenotype in vitro, in contrast to CD45RA− Tregs. CD45RA+ Tregs highly express α4β7 integrin, CD62L and CC motif receptor 7 (CCR7). CD45RA+ Tregs also home to human small bowel in a C.B-17 severe combined immune deficiency (SCID) xenotransplant model. Importantly, in vitro expansion enhances the suppressive ability of CD45RA+ Tregs. These cells also suppress activation of lamina propria and mesenteric lymph node lymphocytes isolated from inflamed Crohn's mucosa.
Conclusions CD4+CD25+CD127loCD45RA+ Tregs may be the most appropriate population from which to expand Tregs for autologous Treg therapy for CD, paving the way for future clinical trials.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lymphocyte recruitment maintains intestinal immune homeostasis but also contributes to inflammation. The orphan chemoattractant receptor GPR15 mediates regulatory T cell homing and immunosuppression in the mouse colon. We show that GPR15 is also expressed by mouse TH17 and TH1 effector cells and is required for colitis in a model that depends on the trafficking of these cells to the colon. In humans GPR15 is expressed by effector cells, including pathogenic TH2 cells in ulcerative colitis, but is expressed poorly or not at all by colon regulatory T (Treg) cells. The TH2 transcriptional activator GATA-3 and the Treg-associated transcriptional repressor FOXP3 robustly bind human, but not mouse, GPR15 enhancer sequences, correlating with receptor expression. Our results highlight species differences in GPR15 regulation and suggest it as a potential therapeutic target for colitis.
No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Nature Immunology