[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glucocorticoids remain the cornerstone of treatment for inflammatory conditions, but their utility is limited by a plethora of side effects. One of the key goals of immunotherapy across medical disciplines is to minimize patients' glucocorticoid use. Increasing evidence suggests that variations in the adaptive immune response play a critical role in defining the dose of glucocorticoids required to control an individual's disease, and Th17 cells are strong candidate drivers for nonresponsiveness [also called steroid resistance (SR)]. Here we use gene-expression profiling to further characterize the SR phenotype in T cells and show that Th17 cells generated from both SR and steroid-sensitive individuals exhibit restricted genome-wide responses to glucocorticoids in vitro, and that this is independent of glucocorticoid receptor translocation or isoform expression. In addition, we demonstrate, both in transgenic murine T cells in vitro and in an in vivo murine model of autoimmunity, that Th17 cells are reciprocally sensitive to suppression with the calcineurin inhibitor, cyclosporine A. This result was replicated in human Th17 cells in vitro, which were found to have a conversely large genome-wide shift in response to cyclosporine A. These observations suggest that the clinical efficacy of cyclosporine A in the treatment of SR diseases may be because of its selective attenuation of Th17 cells, and also that novel therapeutics, which target either Th17 cells themselves or the effector memory T-helper cell population from which they are derived, would be strong candidates for drug development in the context of SR inflammation.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis is a model for noninfectious posterior segment intraocular inflammation in humans. Although this disease is CD4(+) T cell dependent, in the persistent phase of disease CD8(+) T cells accumulate. We show that these are effector memory CD8(+) T cells that differ from their splenic counterparts with respect to surface expression of CD69, CD103, and Ly6C. These retinal effector memory CD8(+) T cells have limited cytotoxic effector function, are impaired in their ability to proliferate in response to Ag-specific stimulation, and upregulate programmed death 1 receptor. Treatment with fingolimod (FTY720) during the late phase of disease revealed that retinal CD8(+) T cells were tissue resident. Despite signs of exhaustion, these cells were functional, as their depletion resulted in an expansion of retinal CD4(+) T cells and CD11b(+) macrophages. These results demonstrate that, during chronic autoimmune inflammation, exhausted CD8(+) T cells become established in the local tissue. They are phenotypically distinct from peripheral CD8(+) T cells and provide local signals within the tissue by expression of inhibitory receptors such as programmed death 1 that limit persistent inflammation.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · The Journal of Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clinically available anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF) biologics, which inhibit both soluble (sTNF) and transmembrane forms (tmTNF) of TNF, eliminating all TNF signalling, have successfully treated autoimmune diseases including uveitis. These have potentially serious side effects such as reactivation of latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis and, therefore, more specific inhibition of TNF signalling pathways may maintain clinical efficacy while reducing adverse effects. To determine the effects of specific pharmacological inhibition of sTNF on macrophage activation and migration, we used a mouse model of uveitis (experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis; EAU). We show that selective inhibition of sTNF is sufficient to suppress EAU by limiting inflammatory CD11b(+) macrophages and CD4(+) T cell migration into the eye. However, inhibition of both sTNF and tmTNF is required to inhibit interferon-γ-induced chemokine receptor 2, CD40, major histocompatibility complex class II and nitric oxide (NO) up-regulation, and signalling via tmTNF is sufficient to mediate tissue damage. In confirmation, intravitreal inhibition of sTNF alone did not suppress disease, and inflammatory cells that migrated into the eye were activated, generating NO, thus causing structural damage to the retina. In contrast, intravitreal inhibition of both sTNF and tmTNF suppressed macrophage activation and therefore disease. We conclude that sTNF is required for inflammatory cell infiltration into target tissue, but at the tissue site inhibition of both sTNF and tmTNF is required to inhibit macrophage activation and to protect from tissue damage.