Galectin-3 is a member of a large family of animal lectins. This protein is expressed abundantly by macrophages, but its function in this cell type is not well understood. We have studied the effect of galectin-3 gene targeting on phagocytosis, a major function of macrophages. Compared with wild-type macrophages, galectin-3–deficient (gal3–/–) cells exhibited reduced phagocytosis of IgG-opsonized erythrocytes and apoptotic thymocytes in vitro. In addition, gal3–/– mice showed attenuated phagocytic clearance of apoptotic thymocytes by peritoneal macrophages in vivo. These mice also exhibited reduced IgG-mediated phagocytosis of erythrocytes by Kupffer cells in a murine model of autoimmune hemolytic anemia. Additional experiments indicate that extracellular galectin-3 does not contribute appreciably to the phagocytosis-promoting function of this protein. Confocal microscopic analysis of macrophages containing phagocytosed erythrocytes revealed localization of galectin-3 in phagocytic cups and phagosomes. Furthermore, gal3–/– macrophages exhibited a lower degree of actin rearrangement upon Fcγ receptor crosslinkage. These results indicate that galectin-3 contributes to macrophage phagocytosis through an intracellular mechanism. Thus, galectin-3 may play an important role in both innate and adaptive immunity by contributing to phagocytic clearance of microorganisms and apoptotic cells.
Hideki Sano, Daniel K. Hsu, John R. Apgar, Lan Yu, Bhavya B. Sharma, Ichiro Kuwabara, Shozo Izui, Fu-Tong Liu
Alzheimer disease (AD) is characterized by the progressive deposition of the 42-residue amyloid β protein (Aβ) in brain regions serving memory and cognition. In animal models of AD, immunization with Aβ results in the clearance of Aβ deposits from the brain. However, a trial of vaccination with synthetic human Aβ1–42 in AD resulted in the development of meningoencephalitis in some patients. We measured cellular immune responses to Aβ in middle-aged and elderly healthy subjects and in patients with AD. A significantly higher proportion of healthy elderly subjects and patients with AD had strong Aβ-reactive T cell responses than occurred in middle-aged adults. The immunodominant Aβ epitopes in humans resided in amino acids 16–33. Epitope mapping enabled the identification of MHC/T cell receptor (TCR) contact residues. The occurrence of intrinsic T cell reactivity to the self-antigen Aβ in humans has implications for the design of Aβ vaccines, may itself be linked to AD susceptibility and course, and appears to be associated with the aging process.
Alon Monsonego, Victor Zota, Arnon Karni, Jeffery I. Krieger, Amit Bar-Or, Gal Bitan, Andrew E. Budson, Reisa Sperling, Dennis J. Selkoe, Howard L. Weiner
The development and mechanisms of tolerance to allergens are poorly understood. Using the murine low zone tolerance (LZT) model, where contact hypersensitivity (CHS) is prevented by repeated topical low-dose applications of contact allergens, we show that LZT induction is IL-10 dependent. IL-10 is required for the generation of LZT effector cells, that is, CD8+ regulatory T cells. Only T cells from tolerized IL-10+/+ mice or IL-10–/– mice reconstituted with IL-10 during LZT induction adoptively transferred LZT to naive mice and prevented CHS, whereas T cells from IL-10–/– mice failed to do so. The IL-10 required for normal LZT development is derived from lymph node CD4+ T cells, the only skin or lymph node cell population found to produce relevant amounts of IL-10 after tolerization. CD4+ T cells derived from IL-10+/+ mice, but not from IL-10–/– mice, allowed the induction of LZT in adoptively transferred T cell–deficient mice. Interestingly, IL-10 injections during tolerization greatly enhanced LZT responses in normal mice. Thus, the generation of CD8+ LZT effector T cells by CD4+ regulatory T cells via IL-10 may be a promising target of strategies aimed at preventing contact allergies and other harmful immune responses.
Marcus Maurer, Wolfgang Seidel-Guyenot, Martin Metz, Juergen Knop, Kerstin Steinbrink
Griscelli syndrome (GS) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder that associates hypopigmentation, characterized by a silver-gray sheen of the hair and the presence of large clusters of pigment in the hair shaft, and the occurrence of either a primary neurological impairment or a severe immune disorder. Two different genetic forms, GS1 and GS2, respectively, account for the mutually exclusive neurological and immunological phenotypes. Mutations in the gene encoding the molecular motor protein Myosin Va (MyoVa) cause GS1 and the dilute mutant in mice, whereas mutations in the gene encoding the small GTPase Rab27a are responsible for GS2 and the ashen mouse model. We herein present genetic and functional evidence that a third form of GS (GS3), whose expression is restricted to the characteristic hypopigmentation of GS, results from mutation in the gene that encodes melanophilin (Mlph), the ortholog of the gene mutated in leaden mice. We also show that an identical phenotype can result from the deletion of the MYO5A F-exon, an exon with a tissue-restricted expression pattern. This spectrum of GS conditions pinpoints the distinct molecular pathways used by melanocytes, neurons, and immune cells in secretory granule exocytosis, which in part remain to be unraveled.
Gaël Ménasché, Chen Hsuan Ho, Ozden Sanal, Jérôme Feldmann, Ilhan Tezcan, Fügen Ersoy, Anne Houdusse, Alain Fischer, Geneviève de Saint Basile
It has been shown that osteopontin (OPN) plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, the molecular mechanism of OPN action is yet to be elucidated. Splenic monocytes obtained from arthritic mice exhibited a significant capacity for cell migration toward thrombin-cleaved OPN but not toward full-length OPN. Migratory monocytes expressed α9 and α4 integrins. Since cleavage of OPN by thrombin exposes the cryptic epitope recognized by α9 and α4 integrins, we investigated the role of the cryptic epitope SLAYGLR in a murine RA model by using a specific antibody (M5) reacting to SLAYGLR sequence. The M5 antibody could abrogate monocyte migration toward the thrombin-cleaved form of OPN. Importantly, M5 antibody could inhibit the proliferation of synovium, bone erosion, and inflammatory cell infiltration in arthritic joints. Thus, we demonstrated that a cryptic epitope, the SLAYGLR sequence of murine OPN, is critically involved in the pathogenesis of a murine model of RA.
Nobuchika Yamamoto, Fumihiko Sakai, Shigeyuki Kon, Junko Morimoto, Chiemi Kimura, Harumi Yamazaki, Ikuko Okazaki, Nobuo Seki, Takashi Fujii, Toshimitsu Uede
The generation of Ig-secreting cells (ISCs) from memory B cells requires interactions between antigen-specific (Ag-specific) B cells, T cells, and dendritic cells. This process must be strictly regulated to ensure sufficient humoral immunity while avoiding production of pathogenic autoantibodies. BAFF, a member of the TNF family, is a key regulator of B cell homeostasis. BAFF exerts its effect by binding to three receptors — transmembrane activator of and CAML interactor (TACI), B cell maturation antigen (BCMA), and BAFF receptor (BAFF-R). To elucidate the contribution of BAFF to the differentiation of B cells into ISCs, we tracked the fate of human memory B cells stimulated with BAFF or CD40L. BAFF and CD40L significantly increased the overall number of surviving B cells. This was achieved via distinct mechanisms. CD40L induced proliferation of nondifferentiated blasts, while BAFF prevented apoptosis of ISCs without enhancing proliferation. The altered responsiveness of activated memory B cells to CD40L and BAFF correlated with changes in surface phenotype such that expression of CD40 and BAFF-R were reduced on ISCs while BCMA was induced. These results suggest BAFF may enhance humoral immunity in vivo by promoting survival of ISCs via a BCMA-dependent mechanism. These findings have wide-ranging implications for the treatment of human immunodeficiencies as well as autoimmune diseases.
Danielle T. Avery, Susan L. Kalled, Julia I. Ellyard, Christine Ambrose, Sarah A. Bixler, Marilyn Thien, Robert Brink, Fabienne Mackay, Philip D. Hodgkin, Stuart G. Tangye
Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in allogeneic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT). Donor T cells that accompany stem cell grafts cause GVHD by attacking recipient tissues; therefore, all patients receive GVHD prophylaxis by depletion of T cells from the allograft or through immunosuppressant drugs. In addition to providing a graft-versus-leukemia effect, donor T cells are critical for reconstituting T cell–mediated immunity. Ideally, immunity to infectious agents would be transferred from donor to host without GVHD. Most donors have been exposed to common pathogens and have an increased precursor frequency of memory T cells against pathogenic antigens. We therefore asked whether memory CD62L–CD44+ CD4+ T cells would induce less GVHD than unfractionated or naive CD4+ T cells. Strikingly, we found that memory CD4 cells induced neither clinical nor histologic GVHD. This effect was not due to the increased number of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells found in the CD62L–CD44+ fraction because memory T cells depletion of these cells did not cause GVHD. Memory CD4 cells engrafted and responded to antigen both in vivo and in vitro. If these murine results are applicable to human alloSCT, selective administration of memory T cells could greatly improve post-transplant immune reconstitution.
Britt E. Anderson, Jennifer McNiff, Jun Yan, Hester Doyle, Mark Mamula, Mark J. Shlomchik, Warren D. Shlomchik
Hyper-IgM syndrome (HIGM) is a heterogeneous condition characterized by impaired Ig class-switch recombination (CSR). The molecular defects that have so far been associated with this syndrome — which affect the CD40 ligand in HIGM type 1 (HIGM1), CD40 in HIGM3, and activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) in HIGM2 — do not account for all cases. We investigated the clinical and immunological characteristics of 15 patients with an unidentified form of HIGM. Although the clinical manifestations were similar to those observed in HIGM2, these patients exhibited a slightly milder HIGM syndrome with residual IgG production. We found that B cell CSR was intrinsically impaired. However, the generation of somatic hypermutations was observed in the variable region of the Ig heavy chain gene, as in control B lymphocytes. In vitro studies showed that the molecular defect responsible for this new HIGM entity (HIGM4) occurs downstream of the AID activity, as the AID gene was induced normally and AID-induced DNA double-strand breaks in the switch μ region of the Ig heavy chain locus were detected during CSR as normal. Thus, HIGM4 is probably the consequence of a selective defect either in a CSR-specific factor of the DNA repair machinery or in survival signals delivered to switched B cells.
Kohsuke Imai, Nadia Catalan, Alessandro Plebani, László Maródi, Özden Sanal, Satoru Kumaki, Vasantha Nagendran, Philip Wood, Catherine Glastre, Françoise Sarrot-Reynauld, Olivier Hermine, Monique Forveille, Patrick Revy, Alain Fischer, Anne Durandy
IL-10 is a pleiotropic cytokine that inhibits several immune parameters, including Th1 cell–mediated immune responses, antigen presentation, and antigen-specific T cell proliferation. Recent data implicate IL-10 as a mediator of suppression of cell-mediated immunity induced by exposure to UVB radiation (280–320 nm). To investigate the effects of IL-10 on the cutaneous immune system, we engineered transgenic mice that overexpress viral IL-10 (vIL-10) in the epidermis. vIL-10 transgenic mice demonstrated a reduced number of I-A+ epidermal and dermal cells and fewer I-A+ hapten-bearing cells in regional lymph nodes after hapten painting of the skin. Reduced CD80 and CD86 expression by I-A+ epidermal cells was also observed. vIL-10 transgenic mice demonstrated a smaller delayed-type hypersensitivity response to allogeneic cells upon challenge but had normal contact hypersensitivity to an epicutaneously applied hapten. Fresh epidermal cells from vIL-10 transgenic mice showed a decreased ability to stimulate allogeneic T cell proliferation, as did splenocytes. Additionally, chronic exposure of mice to UVB radiation led to the development of fewer skin tumors in vIL-10 mice than in WT controls, and vIL-10 transgenic mice had increased splenic NK cell activity against YAC-1targets. These findings support the concept that IL-10 is an important regulator of cutaneous immune function.
Wanhong Ding, Stefan Beissert, Liang Deng, Edward Miranda, Christopher Cassetty, Kristina Seiffert, Kristina L. Campton, Zhengmin Yan, George F. Murphy, Jeffrey A. Bluestone, Richard D. Granstein
In a strategy to specifically target complement inhibitors to sites of complement activation and disease, recombinant fusion proteins consisting of a complement inhibitor linked to a C3 binding region of complement receptor (CR) 2 were prepared and characterized. Natural ligands for CR2 are C3 breakdown products deposited at sites of complement activation. Fusion proteins were prepared consisting of a human CR2 fragment linked to either the N terminus or C terminus of soluble forms of the membrane complement inhibitors decay accelerating factor (DAF) or CD59. The targeted complement inhibitors bound to C3-opsonized cells, and all were significantly more effective (up to 20-fold) than corresponding untargeted inhibitors at protecting target cells from complement. CR2 fusion proteins also inhibited CR3-dependent adhesion of U937 cells to C3 opsonized erythrocytes, indicating a second potential anti-inflammatory mechanism of CR2 fusion proteins, since CR3 is involved in endothelial adhesion and diapedesis of leukocytes at inflammatory sites. Finally, the in vivo validity of the targeting strategy was confirmed by the demonstration that CR2-DAF, but not soluble DAF, targets to the kidney in mouse models of lupus nephritis that are associated with renal complement deposition.
Hongbin Song, Chun He, Christian Knaak, Joel M. Guthridge, V. Michael Holers, Stephen Tomlinson