Design of efficacious Treg-based therapies and establishment of clinical tolerance in autoimmune diseases have proven to be challenging. The clinical implementation of Treg immunotherapy has been hampered by various impediments related to the stability and isolation procedures of Tregs as well as the specific in vivo targets of Treg modalities. Herein, we have demonstrated that Foxp3+ Tregs potently suppress autoimmune responses in vivo through inhibition of the autophagic machinery in DCs in a cytotoxic T-lymphocyte–associated protein 4–dependent (CTLA4-dependent) manner. Autophagy-deficient DCs exhibited reduced immunogenic potential and failed to prime autoantigen-specific CD4+ T cells to mediate autoimmunity. Mechanistically, CTLA4 binding promoted activation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR axis and FoxO1 nuclear exclusion in DCs, leading to decreased transcription of the autophagy component microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3β (Lc3b). Human DCs treated with CTLA4-Ig, a fusion protein composed of the Fc region of IgG1 and the extracellular domain of CTLA4 (also known as abatacept, marketed as Orencia), demonstrated reduced levels of autophagosome formation, while DCs from CTLA4-Ig–treated rheumatoid arthritis patients displayed diminished LC3B transcripts. Collectively, our data identify the canonical autophagy pathway in DCs as a molecular target of Foxp3+ Treg–mediated suppression that leads to amelioration of autoimmune responses. These findings may pave the way for the development of therapeutic protocols that exploit Tregs for the treatment of autoimmunity as well as diseases in which disturbed tolerance is a common denominator.
Themis Alissafi, Aggelos Banos, Louis Boon, Tim Sparwasser, Alessandra Ghigo, Kajsa Wing, Dimitrios Vassilopoulos, Dimitrios Boumpas, Triantafyllos Chavakis, Ken Cadwell, Panayotis Verginis
A large proportion of human T cells are autoreactive to group 1 CD1 proteins, which include CD1a, CD1b, and CD1c. However, the physiological role of the CD1 proteins remains poorly defined. Here, we have generated a double-transgenic mouse model that expresses human CD1b and CD1c molecules (hCD1Tg) as well as a CD1b-autoreactive TCR (HJ1Tg) in the ApoE-deficient background (hCD1Tg HJ1Tg
Sreya Bagchi, Ying He, Hong Zhang, Liang Cao, Ildiko Van Rhijn, D. Branch Moody, Johann E. Gudjonsson, Chyung-Ru Wang
Despite the benefit of insulin, blockade of autoimmune attack and regeneration of pancreatic islets are ultimate goals for the complete cure of type 1 diabetes (T1D). Long-term consumption of ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) is known to suppress inflammatory processes, making these fatty acids candidates for the prevention and amelioration of autoimmune diseases. Here, we explored the preventative and therapeutic effects of ω-3 PUFAs on T1D. In NOD mice, dietary intervention with ω-3 PUFAs sharply reduced the incidence of T1D, modulated the differentiation of Th cells and Tregs, and decreased the levels of IFN-γ, IL-17, IL-6, and TNF-α. ω-3 PUFAs exerted similar effects on the differentiation of CD4+ T cells isolated from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The regulation of CD4+ T cell differentiation was mediated at least in part through ω-3 PUFA eicosanoid derivatives and by mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) inhibition. Importantly, therapeutic intervention in NOD mice through nutritional supplementation or lentivirus-mediated expression of an ω-3 fatty acid desaturase, m
Xinyun Bi, Fanghong Li, Shanshan Liu, Yan Jin, Xin Zhang, Tao Yang, Yifan Dai, Xiaoxi Li, Allan Zijian Zhao
Genetic variations in the
Mohd Hafeez Faridi, Samia Q. Khan, Wenpu Zhao, Ha Won Lee, Mehmet M. Altintas, Kun Zhang, Vinay Kumar, Andrew R. Armstrong, Carmelo Carmona-Rivera, Jessica M. Dorschner, Abigail M. Schnaith, Xiaobo Li, Yogita Ghodke-Puranik, Erica Moore, Monica Purmalek, Jorge Irizarry-Caro, Tingting Zhang, Rachael Day, Darren Stoub, Victoria Hoffmann, Shehryar Jehangir Khaliqdina, Prachal Bhargava, Ana M. Santander, Marta Torroella-Kouri, Biju Issac, David J. Cimbaluk, Andrew Zloza, Rajeev Prabhakar, Shashank Deep, Meenakshi Jolly, Kwi Hye Koh, Jonathan S. Reichner, Elizabeth M. Bradshaw, JianFeng Chen, Luis F. Moita, Peter S. Yuen, Wanxia Li Tsai, Bhupinder Singh, Jochen Reiser, Swapan K. Nath, Timothy B. Niewold, Roberto I. Vazquez-Padron, Mariana J. Kaplan, Vineet Gupta
B cells contribute to multiple aspects of autoimmune disorders and may play a role in triggering disease. Thus, targeting B cells may be a promising strategy for treating autoimmune disorders. Better understanding of the B cell subsets that are responsible for the development of autoimmunity will be critical for developing efficient therapies. Here we have reported that B cells expressing the transcription factor T-bet promote the rapid appearance of autoantibodies and germinal centers in spontaneous murine models of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Conditional deletion of T-bet from B cells impaired the formation of germinal centers and mitigated the development of kidney damage and rapid mortality in SLE mice. B cell–specific deletion of T-bet was also associated with lower activation of both B cells and T cells. Taken together, our results suggest that targeting T-bet–expressing B cells may be a potential target for therapy for autoimmune diseases.
Kira Rubtsova, Anatoly V. Rubtsov, Joshua M. Thurman, Johanna M. Mennona, John W. Kappler, Philippa Marrack
MicroRNAs (miRs) are tightly regulated in the immune system, and aberrant expression of miRs often results in hematopoietic malignancies and autoimmune diseases. Previously, it was suggested that elevated levels of miR-27 in T cells isolated from patients with multiple sclerosis facilitate disease progression by inhibiting Th2 immunity and promoting pathogenic Th1 responses. Here we have demonstrated that, although mice with T cell–specific overexpression of miR-27 harbor dysregulated Th1 responses and develop autoimmune pathology, these disease phenotypes are not driven by miR-27 in effector T cells in a cell-autonomous manner. Rather, dysregulation of Th1 responses and autoimmunity resulted from a perturbed Treg compartment. Excessive miR-27 expression in murine T cells severely impaired Treg differentiation. Moreover, Tregs with exaggerated miR-27–mediated gene regulation exhibited diminished homeostasis and suppressor function in vivo. Mechanistically, we determined that miR-27 represses several known as well as previously uncharacterized targets that play critical roles in controlling multiple aspects of Treg biology. Collectively, our data show that miR-27 functions as a key regulator in Treg development and function and suggest that proper regulation of miR-27 is pivotal to safeguarding Treg-mediated immunological tolerance.
Leilani O. Cruz, Somaye Sadat Hashemifar, Cheng-Jang Wu, Sunglim Cho, Duc T. Nguyen, Ling-Li Lin, Aly Azeem Khan, Li-Fan Lu
Alterations in the apoptosis of immune cells have been associated with autoimmunity. Here, we have identified a homozygous missense mutation in the gene encoding the base excision repair enzyme Nei endonuclease VIII-like 3 (
Michel J. Massaad, Jia Zhou, Daisuke Tsuchimoto, Janet Chou, Haifa Jabara, Erin Janssen, Salomé Glauzy, Brennan G. Olson, Henner Morbach, Toshiro K. Ohsumi, Klaus Schmitz, Markianos Kyriacos, Jennifer Kane, Kumiko Torisu, Yusaku Nakabeppu, Luigi D. Notarangelo, Eliane Chouery, Andre Megarbane, Peter B. Kang, Eman Al-Idrissi, Hasan Aldhekri, Eric Meffre, Masayuki Mizui, George C. Tsokos, John P. Manis, Waleed Al-Herz, Susan S. Wallace, Raif S. Geha
Although necrosis and necroinflammation are central features of many liver diseases, the role of programmed necrosis in the context of inflammation-dependent hepatocellular death remains to be fully determined. Here, we have demonstrated that the pseudokinase mixed lineage kinase domain–like protein (MLKL), which plays a key role in the execution of receptor-interacting protein (RIP) kinase–dependent necroptosis, is upregulated and activated in human autoimmune hepatitis and in a murine model of inflammation-dependent hepatitis. Using genetic and pharmacologic approaches, we determined that hepatocellular necrosis in experimental hepatitis is driven by an MLKL-dependent pathway that occurs independently of RIPK3. Moreover, we have provided evidence that the cytotoxic activity of the proinflammatory cytokine IFN-γ in hepatic inflammation is strongly connected to induction of MLKL expression via activation of the transcription factor STAT1. In summary, our results reveal a pathway for MLKL-dependent programmed necrosis that is executed in the absence of RIPK3 and potentially drives the pathogenesis of severe liver diseases.
Claudia Günther, Gui-Wei He, Andreas E. Kremer, James M. Murphy, Emma J. Petrie, Kerstin Amann, Peter Vandenabeele, Andreas Linkermann, Christopher Poremba, Ulrike Schleicher, Christin Dewitz, Stefan Krautwald, Markus F. Neurath, Christoph Becker, Stefan Wirtz
Patients with mutations in
Tineke Cantaert, Jean-Nicolas Schickel, Jason M. Bannock, Yen-Shing Ng, Christopher Massad, Fabien R. Delmotte, Natsuko Yamakawa, Salome Glauzy, Nicolas Chamberlain, Tuure Kinnunen, Laurence Menard, Aubert Lavoie, Jolan E. Walter, Luigi D. Notarangelo, Julie Bruneau, Waleed Al-Herz, Sara Sebnem Kilic, Hans D. Ochs, Charlotte Cunningham-Rundles, Mirjam van der Burg, Taco W. Kuijpers, Sven Kracker, Hideo Kaneko, Yujin Sekinaka, Shigeaki Nonoyama, Anne Durandy, Eric Meffre
Studies of the genetic factors associated with human autoimmune disease suggest a multigenic origin of susceptibility; however, how these factors interact and through which tolerance pathways they operate generally remain to be defined. One key checkpoint occurs through the activity of the autoimmune regulator
Irina Proekt, Corey N. Miller, Marion Jeanne, Kayla J. Fasano, James J. Moon, Clifford A. Lowell, Douglas B. Gould, Mark S. Anderson, Anthony L. DeFranco
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a devastating multisystemic autoimmune disorder. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying its pathogenesis remain elusive. Some patients with Noonan syndrome, a congenital disorder predominantly caused by gain-of-function mutations in the protein tyrosine phosphatase SH2 domain–containing PTP (SHP2), have been shown to develop SLE, suggesting a functional correlation between phosphatase activity and systemic autoimmunity. To test this directly, we measured SHP2 activity in spleen lysates isolated from lupus-prone MRL/
Jianxun Wang, Masayuki Mizui, Li-Fan Zeng, Roderick Bronson, Michele Finnell, Cox Terhorst, Vasileios C. Kyttaris, George C. Tsokos, Zhong-Yin Zhang, Maria I. Kontaridis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease of the CNS that is characterized by BBB dysfunction and has a much higher incidence in females. Compared with other strains of mice, EAE in the SJL mouse strain models multiple features of MS, including an enhanced sensitivity of female mice to disease; however, the molecular mechanisms that underlie the sex- and strain-dependent differences in disease susceptibility have not been described. We identified sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 2 (S1PR2) as a sex- and strain-specific, disease-modifying molecule that regulates BBB permeability by destabilizing adherens junctions. S1PR2 expression was increased in disease-susceptible regions of the CNS of both female SJL EAE mice and female patients with MS compared with their male counterparts. Pharmacological blockade or lack of S1PR2 signaling decreased EAE disease severity as the result of enhanced endothelial barrier function. Enhanced S1PR2 signaling in an in vitro BBB model altered adherens junction formation via activation of Rho/ROCK, CDC42, and caveolin endocytosis-dependent pathways, resulting in loss of apicobasal polarity and relocation of abluminal CXCL12 to vessel lumina. Furthermore, S1PR2-dependent BBB disruption and CXCL12 relocation were observed in vivo. These results identify a link between S1PR2 signaling and BBB polarity and implicate S1PR2 in sex-specific patterns of disease during CNS autoimmunity.
Lillian Cruz-Orengo, Brian P. Daniels, Denise Dorsey, Sarah Alison Basak, José G. Grajales-Reyes, Erin E. McCandless, Laura Piccio, Robert E. Schmidt, Anne H. Cross, Seth D. Crosby, Robyn S. Klein
Patients with the autoimmune rheumatic disease systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have multiple defects in lymphocyte signaling and function that contribute to disease pathogenesis. Such defects could be attributed to alterations in metabolic processes, including abnormal control of lipid biosynthesis pathways. Here, we reveal that CD4+ T cells from SLE patients displayed an altered profile of lipid raft–associated glycosphingolipids (GSLs) compared with that of healthy controls. In particular, lactosylceramide, globotriaosylceramide (Gb3), and monosialotetrahexosylganglioside (GM1) levels were markedly increased. Elevated GSLs in SLE patients were associated with increased expression of liver X receptor β (LXRβ), a nuclear receptor that controls cellular lipid metabolism and trafficking and influences acquired immune responses. Stimulation of CD4+ T cells isolated from healthy donors with synthetic and endogenous LXR agonists promoted GSL expression, which was blocked by an LXR antagonist. Increased GSL expression in CD4+ T cells was associated with intracellular accumulation and accelerated trafficking of GSL, reminiscent of cells from patients with glycolipid storage diseases. Inhibition of GSL biosynthesis in vitro with a clinically approved inhibitor (N-butyldeoxynojirimycin) normalized GSL metabolism, corrected CD4+ T cell signaling and functional defects, and decreased anti-dsDNA antibody production by autologous B cells in SLE patients. Our data demonstrate that lipid metabolism defects contribute to SLE pathogenesis and suggest that targeting GSL biosynthesis restores T cell function in SLE.
Georgia McDonald, Shantal Deepak, Laura Miguel, Cleo J. Hall, David A. Isenberg, Anthony I. Magee, Terry Butters, Elizabeth C. Jury
Autoantibodies against cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors inhibit normal immunity and are implicated in inflammatory autoimmune disease and diseases of immune deficiency. In an effort to evaluate serum from autoimmune and immunodeficient patients for Abs against cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors in a high-throughput and unbiased manner, we constructed a multiplex protein microarray for detection of serum factor–binding Abs and used the microarray to detect autoantibody targets in SLE. We designed a nitrocellulose-surface microarray containing human cytokines, chemokines, and other circulating proteins and demonstrated that the array permitted specific detection of serum factor–binding probes. We used the arrays to detect previously described autoantibodies against cytokines in samples from individuals with autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 1 and chronic mycobacterial infection. Serum profiling from individuals with SLE revealed that among several targets, elevated IgG autoantibody reactivity to B cell–activating factor (BAFF) was associated with SLE compared with control samples. BAFF reactivity correlated with the severity of disease-associated features, including IFN-α–driven SLE pathology. Our results showed that serum factor protein microarrays facilitate detection of autoantibody reactivity to serum factors in human samples and that BAFF-reactive autoantibodies may be associated with an elevated inflammatory disease state within the spectrum of SLE.
Jordan V. Price, David J. Haddon, Dodge Kemmer, Guillaume Delepine, Gil Mandelbaum, Justin A. Jarrell, Rohit Gupta, Imelda Balboni, Eliza F. Chakravarty, Jeremy Sokolove, Anthony K. Shum, Mark S. Anderson, Mickie H. Cheng, William H. Robinson, Sarah K. Browne, Steven M. Holland, Emily C. Baechler, Paul J. Utz
Myasthenia gravis (MG) is the most common disorder affecting the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). MG is frequently caused by autoantibodies against acetylcholine receptor (AChR) and a kinase critical for NMJ formation, MuSK; however, a proportion of MG patients are double-negative for anti-AChR and anti-MuSK antibodies. Recent studies in these subjects have identified autoantibodies against low-density lipoprotein receptor–related protein 4 (LRP4), an agrin receptor also critical for NMJ formation. LRP4 autoantibodies have not previously been implicated in MG pathogenesis. Here we demonstrate that mice immunized with the extracellular domain of LRP4 generated anti-LRP4 antibodies and exhibited MG-associated symptoms, including muscle weakness, reduced compound muscle action potentials (CMAPs), and compromised neuromuscular transmission. Additionally, fragmented and distorted NMJs were evident at both the light microscopic and electron microscopic levels. We found that anti-LRP4 sera decreased cell surface LRP4 levels, inhibited agrin-induced MuSK activation and AChR clustering, and activated complements, revealing potential pathophysiological mechanisms. To further confirm the pathogenicity of LRP4 antibodies, we transferred IgGs purified from LRP4-immunized rabbits into naive mice and found that they exhibited MG-like symptoms, including reduced CMAP and impaired neuromuscular transmission. Together, these data demonstrate that LRP4 autoantibodies induce MG and that LRP4 contributes to NMJ maintenance in adulthood.
Chengyong Shen, Yisheng Lu, Bin Zhang, Dwight Figueiredo, Jonathan Bean, Jiung Jung, Haitao Wu, Arnab Barik, Dong-Min Yin, Wen-Cheng Xiong, Lin Mei
Common variable immune deficiency (CVID) is an assorted group of primary diseases that clinically manifest with antibody deficiency, infection susceptibility, and autoimmunity. Heterozygous mutations in the gene encoding the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member TACI are associated with CVID and autoimmune manifestations, whereas two mutated alleles prevent autoimmunity. To assess how the number of
Neil Romberg, Nicolas Chamberlain, David Saadoun, Maurizio Gentile, Tuure Kinnunen, Yen Shing Ng, Manmeet Virdee, Laurence Menard, Tineke Cantaert, Henner Morbach, Rima Rachid, Natalia Martinez-Pomar, Nuria Matamoros, Raif Geha, Bodo Grimbacher, Andrea Cerutti, Charlotte Cunningham-Rundles, Eric Meffre
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a genetically mediated autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. B cells have recently emerged as major contributors to disease pathogenesis, but the mechanisms responsible for the loss of B cell tolerance in patients with MS are largely unknown. In healthy individuals, developing autoreactive B cells are removed from the repertoire at 2 tolerance checkpoints during early B cell development. Both of these central and peripheral B cell tolerance checkpoints are defective in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and type 1 diabetes (T1D). Here, we found that only the peripheral, but not the central, B cell tolerance checkpoint is defective in patients with MS. We show that this specific defect is accompanied by increased activation and homeostatic proliferation of mature naive B cells. Interestingly, all of these MS features parallel defects observed in FOXP3-deficient IPEX patients, who harbor nonfunctional Tregs. We demonstrate that in contrast to patients with RA or T1D, bone marrow central B cell selection in MS appears normal in most patients. In contrast, patients with MS suffer from a specific peripheral B cell tolerance defect that is potentially attributable to impaired Treg function and that leads to the accumulation of autoreactive B cell clones in their blood.
Tuure Kinnunen, Nicolas Chamberlain, Henner Morbach, Tineke Cantaert, Megan Lynch, Paula Preston-Hurlburt, Kevan C. Herold, David A. Hafler, Kevin C. O’Connor, Eric Meffre
Multiple autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Graves disease, and systemic lupus erythematosus, are associated with an allelic variant of protein tyrosine phosphatase nonreceptor 22 (
Xuezhi Dai, Richard G. James, Tania Habib, Swati Singh, Shaun Jackson, Socheath Khim, Randall T. Moon, Denny Liggitt, Alejandro Wolf-Yadlin, Jane H. Buckner, David J. Rawlings
The ability to selectively inactivate immune cells with immunosuppressants is a much sought-after modality for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus and autoimmunity in general. Here, we designed and tested a novel nanogel drug delivery vehicle for the immunosuppressant mycophenolic acid (MPA). Treatment with MPA-loaded nanogels increased the median survival time (MST) of lupus-prone NZB/W F1 mice by 3 months with prophylactic use (MST was 50 weeks versus 38 weeks without treatment), and by 2 months when administered after the development of severe renal damage (MST after proteinuria onset was 12.5 weeks versus 4 weeks without treatment). Equivalent and greater doses of MPA administered in buffer were not efficacious. Nanogels had enhanced biodistribution to organs and association with immune cells. CD4-targeted nanogels yielded similar therapeutic results compared with nontargeted formulations, with protection from glomerulonephritis and decreases in IFN-γ–positive CD4 T cells. DCs that internalized nanogels helped mediate immunosuppression, as they had reduced production of inflammatory cytokines such as IFN-γ and IL-12. Our results demonstrate efficacy of nanogel-based lupus therapy and implicate a mechanism by which immunosuppression is enhanced, in part, by the targeting of antigen-presenting cells.
Michael Look, Eric Stern, Qin A. Wang, Leah D. DiPlacido, Michael Kashgarian, Joe Craft, Tarek M. Fahmy
Mice with a DC-specific deletion of the transcriptional repressor B lymphocyte–induced maturation protein-1 (
Sun Jung Kim, Peter K. Gregersen, Betty Diamond
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