The inducible co-stimulatory molecule (ICOS) is a CD28 homologue implicated in regulating T-cell differentiation. Because co-stimulatory signals are critical for regulating T-cell activation, an understanding of co-stimulatory signals may enable the design of rational therapies for immune-mediated diseases. According to the two-signal model for T-cell activation, T cells require an antigen-specific signal and a second, co-stimulatory, signal for optimal T-cell activation. The co-stimulatory signal promotes T-cell proliferation, lymphokine secretion and effector function. The B7-CD28 pathway provides essential signals for T-cell activation, but does not account for all co-stimulation. We have generated mice lacking ICOS (ICOS-/- ) to determine the essential functions of ICOS. Here we report that ICOS-/- mice exhibit profound deficits in immunoglobulin isotype class switching, accompanied by impaired germinal centre formation. Class switching was restored in ICOS-/- mice by CD40 stimulation, showing that ICOS promotes T-cell/B-cell collaboration through the CD40/CD40L pathway.
Programmed death I (PD-I)-deficient mice develop a variety of autoimmune-like diseases, which suggests that this immunoinhibitory receptor plays an important role in tolerance. We identify here PD-1 ligand 2 (PD-L2) as a second ligand for PD-1 and compare the function and expression of PD-L1 and PD-L2. Engagement of PD-1 by PD-L2 dramatically inhibits T cell receptor (TCR)-mediated proliferation and cytokine production by CD4+ T cells. At low antigen concentrations, PD-L2-PD-1 interactions inhibit strong B7-CD28 signals. In contrast, at high antigen concentrations, PD-L2-PD-1 interactions reduce cytokine production but do not inhibit T cell proliferation. PD-L-PD-1 interactions lead to cell cycle arrest in G0/G1 but do not increase cell death. In addition, ligation of PD-1 + TCR leads to rapid phosphorylation of SHP-2, as compared to TCR ligation alone. PD-L expression was up-regulated on antigen-presenting cells by interferon gamma treatment and was also present on some normal tissues and tumor cell lines. Taken together, these studies show overlapping functions of PD-L1 and PD-L2 and indicate a key role for the PD-L-PD-1 pathway in regulatingT cell responses.
CDC45 is required for the initiation of DNA replication in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and functions as a DNA polymerase alpha loading factor in Xenopus, but its role in mammalian DNA replication is unknown. To investigate the genetic and physiological functions of CDC45, we used a gene targeting strategy to generate mice lacking a functional CDC45 gene. Homozygous mutant mice lacking a functional CDC45 gene underwent uterine implantation and induced uterine decidualization but did not develop substantially thereafter. Detailed analysis of CDC45 null embryos cultured in vitro revealed impaired proliferation of the inner cell mass. These findings make CDC45 the only putative replication factor experimentally proven to be essential for mammalian development. The CDC45 gene localizes to human chromosome 22q11.2 in the DiGeorge syndrome critical region (DGCR). Almost 90% of individuals with congenital cardiac and craniofacial defects have a monoallelic deletion in the DGCR that includes CDC45. We report here that heterozygous mutant mice develop into adulthood without any apparent abnormalities, so that it is unlikely that hemizygosity of CDC45 alone is responsible for the cardiac and craniofacial defects in the congenital syndromes.
SH2D1A, which encodes signaling lymphocyte activation molecule (SLAM)-associated protein (SAP), is altered in patients with X-linked lymphoproliferative disease (XLP), a primary immunodeficiency. SAP-deficient mice infected with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus had greatly increased numbers of CD8+ and CD4+ interferon-gamma-producing spleen and liver cells compared to wild-type mice. The immune responses of SAP-deficient mice to infection with Leishmania major together with in vitro studies showed that activated SAP-deficient T cells had an impaired ability to differentiate into T helper 2 cells. The aberrant immune responses in SAP-deficient mice show that SAP controls several distinct key T cell signal transduction pathways, which explains in part the complexity of the XLP phenotypes.
T cell costimulation by B7 molecules plays an important role in the regulation of alloimmune responses. Although both B7-1 and B7-2 bind CD28 and CTLA-4 on T cells, the role of B7-1 and B7-2 signaling through CTLA-4 in regulating alloimmune responses is incompletely understood. To address this question, we transplanted CD28-deficient mice with fully allogeneic vascularized cardiac allografts and studied the effect of selective blockade of B7-1 or B7-2. These mice reject their grafts by a mechanism that involves both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells. Blockade of CTLA-4 or B7-1 significantly accelerated graft rejection. In contrast, B7-2 blockade significantly prolonged allograft survival and, unexpectedly, reversed the acceleration of graft rejection caused by CTLA-4 blockade. Furthermore, B7-2 blockade prolonged graft survival in recipients that were both CD28 and CTLA-4 deficient. Our data indicate that B7-1 is the dominant ligand for CTLA-4-mediated down-regulation of alloimmune responses in vivo and suggest that B7-2 has an additional receptor other than CD28 and CTLA-4 to provide a positive costimulatory signal for T cells.
The activation of T cells by B7 costimulation in trans has been demonstrated in vitro, but the in vivo relevance is unknown. To study costimulation in trans of CD4(+) T cells in vivo, we performed cardiac transplants from B7-1/B7-2-deficient mice to recipients that do not express MHC class II molecules on peripheral APCs, but do have functional CD4(+) T cells (II(-)/4(+) mice). This model restricts the B7-dependent activation of CD4(+) T cells to costimulation in trans and excludes any contribution from indirect Ag presentation. We find that II(-)/4(+) recipients reject B7-deficient grafts as rapidly as wild-type grafts, suggesting that costimulation in trans can mediate rejection as potently as costimulation in cis. Treatment of II(-)/4(+) recipients of B7-deficient grafts with depleting Abs to CD4 or CD8 demonstrates that indirect Ag presentation to CD8(+) cells does not significantly contribute to rejection. This is the first demonstration that costimulation in trans can mediate an immune response in vivo and has important therapeutic implications.
Antibody and cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) responses have critical roles in eliminating many viral infections. In addition to stimulation of the T-cell receptor, T cells require costimulatory signals to respond optimally. We evaluated the role of B7 costimulatory molecules (B7-1 and B7-2) in the immune response to viral infection using vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) and mice lacking either B7-1 or B7-2 or both molecules. Mice lacking both B7-1 and B7-2 had essentially no anti-VSV immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) response, decreased IgG2a responses, and normal IgM responses, while mice lacking either B7-1 or B7-2 had unaltered anti-VSV antibody responses compared to wild-type mice. Depletion of CD4(+) cells further reduced the IgG2a response in mice lacking both B7 molecules, suggesting that CD4(-) cells may supply help for IgG2a in the absence of B7 costimulation. The absence of both B7 molecules profoundly reduced generation of both primary and secondary VSV-specific class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-restricted CTL, whereas VSV-specific CTL responses in mice lacking either B7-1 or B7-2 were similar to those of wild-type animals. Class I MHC-restricted CTL in wild-type mice were not dependent on CD4(+) cells, suggesting that the failure of CTL in the absence of B7s is due to a lack of B7 costimulation directly to the CD8(+) CTL. These data demonstrate that B7-1 and B7-2 have critical, overlapping functions in the antibody and CTL responses to this viral infection.
To investigate the roles of B7-1 and/or B7-2 co-stimulatory molecule in the development of graft arterial disease (GAD), major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II-mismatched allograft hearts were transplanted into wild-type, B7-1(-/-), B7-2(-/-), or B7-1/B7-2(-/-) recipient mice. Grafts were explanted at 4 or 8 weeks and used for histological and immunohistochemical analyses, RNase protection assay, and flow cytometry of graft infiltrating cells. Grafts in wild-type recipients showed macrophage, recipient MHC class II, and B7 molecule co-localization by immunohistochemistry to GAD lesions. Flow cytometry revealed that CD11b(+) and MHC class II(+) graft infiltrating cells expressed B7-1 more than B7-2, whereas B7-2 expression was predominant in CD11b(-) cells at 4 and 8 weeks. GAD was significantly attenuated in the allografts in B7-1(-/-) and B7-1/B7-2(-/-) but not in B7-2(-/-) recipients compared to wild-type hosts. Interferon-gamma mRNA levels were comparable in all graft combinations, whereas interleukin-4 mRNA levels decreased in grafts in B7-2 deficient hosts, but did not correlate with GAD attenuation. The findings indicate distinct roles for B7-1 and B7-2 co-stimulatory molecules in the development of GAD, potentially because of differential expression of B7-1 and B7-2 molecules on distinct stimulator and/or effector cell populations.
The activation of T lymphocytes requires both Ag-mediated signaling through the TCR as well as costimulatory signals transmitted through B7-1 and/or B7-2 with CD28. The interference of B7-mediated costimulatory signals has been proposed as one immunotherapeutic intervention for the prevention autoimmune disease. This study has examined autoantibody responses and autoimmune pathology in a murine model of human systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the MRL-lpr/lpr mouse, genetically deficient in B7-1 or B7-2, or in mice treated with B7-1/B7-2 blocking Abs. In contrast to other studies of murine models of SLE, MRL-lpr/lpr mice treated with B7 blocking Abs exhibit strong anti-small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) and anti-DNA autoantibody responses with some changes in isotype switching as compared with untreated animals. All MRL-lpr/lpr mice deficient in B7-1 or B7-2 produce anti-snRNP and anti-DNA titers with isotypes virtually identical with wild-type animals. However, the absence of B7-2 costimulation did interfere with the spontaneous activation and the accumulation of memory CD4+ or CD8+ T lymphocytes characteristic of wild-type MRL-lpr/lpr mice. IgG and C3 complement deposition was less pronounced in the kidneys of B7-2 deficient MRL-lpr/lpr mice, reflecting their lessor degree of glomerulonephritis. By comparison, B7-1-deficient MRL-lpr/lpr mice had more severe IgG and C3 deposits in glomeruli.
Whether B7-1 and B7-2 have distinct functions for eliciting immune responses to antigens that are presented to the immune system by intracellular and extracellular antigen processing pathways is an unresolved question. To investigate this issue we compared the humoral and cellular immune responses elicited by immunizing wild-type, B7-1-/- and B7-2-/- mice with either HIV-1 gp120 plasmid DNA, recombinant gp120 protein or vaccinia virus expressing gp120. The generation of both humoral and cellular immune responses to an antigen produced intracellularly following DNA vaccination had critical requirements for B7-2, but not B7-1. Neither of the molecules was essential for the generation of antibody responses to an extracellular protein antigen administered with adjuvant; B7-1 had little effect on the elicited immune responses. When recombinant vaccinia virus was used to present antigen intracellularly in the context of a viral infection, B7-2 was absolutely required for antibody and T cell proliferative responses, but it exerted a suppressive effect on the elicited CTL activity. These results demonstrate that antigens presented to the immune system by different mechanisms have distinct B7-1 and B7-2 co-stimulatory requirements.
Autoimmune lupus nephritis is dependent on infiltrating autoreactive leukocytes and Igs. B7 costimulatory molecules (B7-1 and B7-2) provide signals essential for T cell activation and Ig class switching. In MRL-Faslpr mice, a model of human lupus, although multiple tissues are targeted for autoimmune injury, nephritis is fatal. We identified intrarenal B7-1 and B7-2 expression, restricted to kidney-infiltrating leukocytes, before and increasing with progressive nephritis in MRL-Faslpr mice. Thus, we hypothesized that the B7 pathway is required for autoimmune disease in MRL-Faslpr mice. To investigate the role of B7 costimulatory molecules in this autoimmune disease, we generated a MRL-Faslpr strain deficient in B7-1 and B7-2. Strikingly, MRL-Faslpr mice lacking both B7 costimulators do not develop kidney (glomerular, tubular, interstitial, vascular) pathology, or proteinuria, and survive far longer. Intrarenal downstream effector transcripts (IFN-gamma, IL-12, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, CSF-1) linked to nephritis remained at normal levels compared with wild-type mice. Skin lesions and lymphoid enlargement characteristic of MRL-Faslpr mice were diminished in B7-1/B7-2-deficient MRL-Faslpr mice. B7-1/B7-2-deficient MRL-Faslpr mice did not develop leukocytic infiltrates, elevated serum IgG and isotypes (G1,G2b,G3), autoantibodies, and intrarenal IgG deposits. Our findings demonstrate that B7-1 and B7-2 costimulatory pathways are critical to the pathogenesis of autoimmune lupus.
The wild mouse ecotropic retrovirus, Cas-Br-E, induces progressive, noninflammatory spongiform neurodegenerative disease in susceptible mice. Functional genetic analysis of the Cas-Br-E genome indicates that neurovirulence maps to the env gene, which encodes the surface glycoprotein responsible for binding and fusion of virus to host cells. To understand how the envelope protein might be involved in the induction of disease, we examined the regional and temporal expression of Cas-Br-E Env protein in the central nervous systems (CNS) of mice infected with the highly neurovirulent chimeric virus FrCas(E). We observed that multiple isoforms of Cas-Br-E Env were expressed in the CNS, with different brain regions exhibiting unique patterns of processed Env glycoprotein. Specifically, the expression of gp70 correlated with regions showing microglial infection and spongiform neurodegeneration. In contrast, regions high in neuronal infection and without neurodegenerative changes (the cerebellum and olfactory bulb) were characterized by a gp65 Env protein isoform. Sedimentation analysis of brain region extracts indicated that gp65 rather than gp70 was incorporated into virions. Biochemical analysis of the Cas-Br-E Env isoforms indicated that they result from differential processing of N-linked sugars. Taken together, these results indicate that differential posttranslational modification of the Cas-Br-E Env is associated with a failure to incorporate certain Env isoforms into virions in vivo, suggesting that defective viral assembly may be associated with the induction of spongiform neurodegeneration.
B7-1 and B7-2 are important costimulatory molecules in the activation of T cell immunity. We have used mice made genetically deficient in either or both B7 molecules to determine the role of B7 molecules in activation of primary alloreactive CTL. The absence of either B7-1 or B7-2 did not alter generation of CTL from unfractionated lymphocytes, but the absence of B7-2 greatly decreased CTL generation from purified CD8+ responder cells. However, if B7-1 was induced on the stimulating cells then CTL generation was restored to wild-type levels. Absence of both B7-1 and B7-2 from MLR using whole splenocytes resulted in a profound reduction in generation of CTL. This could completely be reversed by the addition of IL-2. B7 molecules could directly costimulate CD8+ cells, as purified CD8+ cells developed into mature CTL when stimulated with wild-type APC, but not with B7-deficient APC. Again, IL-2 could drive CTL generation from purified CD8+ cells, even in the absence of B7 molecules. Taken together, these results demonstrate an important role for B7 costimulation in CTL generation.
Protein-tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP-1B) is a major protein-tyrosine phosphatase that has been implicated in the regulation of insulin action, as well as in other signal transduction pathways. To investigate the role of PTP-1B in vivo, we generated homozygotic PTP-1B-null mice by targeted gene disruption. PTP-1B-deficient mice have remarkably low adiposity and are protected from diet-induced obesity. Decreased adiposity is due to a marked reduction in fat cell mass without a decrease in adipocyte number. Leanness in PTP-1B-deficient mice is accompanied by increased basal metabolic rate and total energy expenditure, without marked alteration of uncoupling protein mRNA expression. In addition, insulin-stimulated whole-body glucose disposal is enhanced significantly in PTP-1B-deficient animals, as shown by hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp studies. Remarkably, increased insulin sensitivity in PTP-1B-deficient mice is tissue specific, as insulin-stimulated glucose uptake is elevated in skeletal muscle, whereas adipose tissue is unaffected. Our results identify PTP-1B as a major regulator of energy balance, insulin sensitivity, and body fat stores in vivo.
Inhibitory antibody formation is a major complication of factor VIII replacement therapy in patients with hemophilia A. To better understand the pathogenesis of this immunologic reaction, we evaluated the role of T-cell costimulatory signals for antifactor VIII antibody formation in a murine model of hemophilia A. Repeated intravenous injections of factor VIII in these factor VIII-deficient mice induced an antifactor VIII inhibitor antibody response. This response was shown to be T-cell dependent by its absence in hemophilic mice also deficient for the T-cell costimulatory ligand B7-2. In separate experiments, injection of murine CTLA4-Ig completely blocked the primary response to factor VIII in hemophilic mice with intact B7 function. This reagent also prevented or diminished further increases in antifactor VIII when given to hemophilic mice with low antifactor VIII antibody titers. These studies suggest that strategies targeting the B7-CD28 pathway are potential therapies to prevent and treat inhibitory antifactor VIII antibodies. Moreover, because the development of antibodies to replaced proteins may limit the success of many human gene therapy approaches, our results may be broadly applicable. (Blood. 2000;95:1324-1329)
The effect of B7-mediated costimulation on T cell homeostasis was examined in studies of B7-1 (CD80) and B7-2 (CD86) transgenic as well as B7-deficient mice. B7 overexpression in transgenic mice resulted in marked polyclonal peripheral T cell hyperplasia accompanied by skewing toward an increased proportion of CD8 single-positive cells and a decreased proportion of CD4 single-positive cells in thymus and more markedly in peripheral T cells. B7-induced T cell expansion was dependent on both CD28 and TCR expression. Transgenic overexpression of B7-1 or B7-2 resulted in down-regulation of cell surface CD28 on thymocytes and peripheral T cells through a mechanism mediated by intercellular interaction. Mice deficient in B7-1 and B7-2 exhibited changes that were the reciprocal of those observed in B7-overexpressing transgenics: a marked increase in the CD4/CD8 ratio in peripheral T cells and an increase in cell surface CD28 in thymus and peripheral T cells. These reciprocal effects of genetically engineered increase or decrease in B7 expression indicate that B7 costimulation plays a physiological role in the regulation of CD4+ and CD8+ T cell homeostasis.
CD28 antagonists have been shown to promote long-term graft survival and induce donor-specific tolerance. In this study, the role of CD28/B7 costimulation and the relative importance of host versus donor B7 expression in allograft rejection was assessed in a murine abdominal vascularized heterotopic heart transplant model. Wild-type, CD28-deficient, or B7-1/B7-2-deficient C57BL/6 (B6) mice were grafted with allogeneic wild type or B7-1/B7-2-deficient hearts. The results demonstrate allogeneic heart grafts survive long-term in mCTLA4Ig-treated B6 and untreated B7-1/B7-2-deficient B6 recipients but not CD28KO B6 mice. B7-1/B7-2KO B6 recipients treated with anti-CD28 (PV-1) or recombinant human IL-2 rejected the heart transplants indicating that these mice are immunologically competent to reject grafts if costimulatory signals are supplied or bypassed. Finally, there was no difference in rejection between normal animals transplanted with wild-type versus B7-1/B7-2-deficient hearts. These results support a critical role for B7-expressing host antigen presenting cells in the rejection of heart allografts in mice and differences among B7KO and CD28KO animals.
A costimulatory signal in addition to an Ag-specific stimulus is required for optimal activation of T lymphocytes. CD28, the primary positive costimulatory receptor on T cells, has two identified ligands, B7-1 and B7-2. Whether B7-1 and B7-2 have identical, overlapping, or distinct functions remains unresolved. In this study, we show that mice lacking B7-2 were unable to generate CTL responses following immunization with a plasmid DNA vaccine. The ability of these B7-2-deficient mice to generate CTL responses following plasmid gp120 DNA vaccination was fully reconstituted by coadministering either a plasmid expressing B7-2 or B7-1. Moreover, the ability to generate CTL responses following plasmid DNA vaccination in mice lacking both B7-1 and B7-2 could be reconstituted by administering either plasmid B7-1 or plasmid B7-2 with the vaccine construct. These data demonstrate that either B7-1 or B7-2 administered concurrently with a plasmid DNA vaccine can fully costimulate vaccine-elicited CTL responses. Functional differences between B7-1 and B7-2 observed in vivo therefore may not reflect inherent differences in the interactions of CD28 with these ligands.
Presentation of Ag to T lymphocytes in the absence of the requisite costimulatory signals leads to an Ag-specific unresponsiveness termed anergy, whereas Ag presentation in conjunction with costimulation leads to clonal expansion. B7/CD28 signaling has been shown to provide this critical costimulatory signal and blockade of this pathway may inhibit in vitro and in vivo immune responses. Although T cells from CD28-deficient mice are lacking in a variety of responses, they nonetheless are capable of various primary and secondary responses without the induction of anergy expected in the absence of costimulation. This suggests that there may be alternative costimulatory pathways that can replace CD28 signaling under certain circumstances. In this paper, we show that ICAM-1becomes a dominant costimulatory molecule for CD28-deficient T cells. ICAM-1 costimulates anti-CD3-mediated T cell proliferation and IL-2 secretion in CD28-deficient murine T cells. Furthermore, splenocytes from ICAM-1-deficient mice could not activate CD28-deficient T cells and splenocytes lacking both ICAM and CD28 fail to proliferate in response to anti-CD3-induced T cell signals. This confirms that not only can ICAM-1 act as a CD28-independent costimulator, but it is the dominant, requisite costimulatory molecule for the activation of T cells in the absence of B7/CD28 costimulation.
The inducible costimulatory (ICOS) molecule is expressed by activated T cells and has homology to CD28 and CD152. ICOS binds B7h, a molecule expressed by APC with homology to CD80 and CD86. To investigate regulation of ICOS expression and its role in Th responses we developed anti-mouse ICOS mAbs and ICOS-Ig fusion protein. Little ICOS is expressed by freshly isolated mouse T cells, but ICOS is rapidly up-regulated on most CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells following stimulation of the TCR. Strikingly, ICOS up-regulation is significantly reduced in the absence of CD80 and CD86 and can be restored by CD28 stimulation, suggesting that CD28-CD80/CD86 interactions may optimize ICOS expression. Interestingly, TCR-transgenic T cells differentiated into Th2 expressed significantly more ICOS than cells differentiated into Th1. We used two methods to investigate the role of ICOS in activation of CD4(+) T cells. First, CD4(+) cells were stimulated with beads coated with anti-CD3 and either B7h-Ig fusion protein or control Ig fusion protein. ICOS stimulation enhanced proliferation of CD4(+) cells and production of IFN-gamma, IL-4, and IL-10, but not IL-2. Second, TCR-transgenic CD4(+) T cells were stimulated with peptide and APC in the presence of ICOS-Ig or control Ig. When the ICOS:B7h interaction was blocked by ICOS-Ig, CD4(+) T cells produced more IFN-gamma and less IL-4 and IL-10 than CD4(+) cells differentiated with control Ig. These results demonstrate that ICOS stimulation is important in T cell activation and that ICOS may have a particularly important role in development of Th2 cells.