Publications

2008
Duan B, Niu H, Xu Z, Sharpe AH, Croker BP, Sobel ES, Morel L. Intrafollicular location of marginal zone/CD1d(hi) B cells is associated with autoimmune pathology in a mouse model of lupus. Lab Invest. 2008;88 (9) :1008-20.Abstract
Marginal zone (MZ) B cells contain a large number of autoreactive clones and the expansion of this compartment has been associated with autoimmunity. MZ B cells also efficiently transport blood-borne antigen to the follicles where they activate T cells and differentiate into plasma cells. Using the B6.NZM2410.Sle1.Sle2.Sle3 (B6.TC) model of lupus, we show that the IgM+ CD1d(hi)/MZ B-cell compartment is expanded, and a large number of them reside inside the follicles. Contrary to the peripheral B-cell subset distribution and their activation status, the intrafollicular location of B6.TC IgM+ CD1d(hi)/MZ B cells depends on both bone marrow- and stromal-derived factors. Among the factors responsible for this intrafollicular location, we have identified an increased response to CXCL13 by B6.TC MZ B cells and a decreased expression of VCAM-1 on stromal cells in the B6.TC MZ. However, the reduced number of MZ macrophages observed in B6.TC MZs was independent of the IgM+ CD1d(hi)/B-cell location. B7-2 but not B7-1 deficiency restored IgM+ CD1d(hi)/MZ B-cell follicular exclusion in B6.TC mice, and it correlated with tolerance to dsDNA and a significant reduction of autoimmune pathology. These results suggest that follicular exclusion of IgM+ CD1d(hi)/MZ B cells is an important B-cell tolerance mechanism, and that B7-2 signaling is involved in breaching this tolerance checkpoint.
Lucas JA, Menke J, Rabacal WA, Schoen FJ, Sharpe AH, Kelley VR. Programmed death ligand 1 regulates a critical checkpoint for autoimmune myocarditis and pneumonitis in MRL mice. J Immunol. 2008;181 (4) :2513-21.Abstract
MRL/MpJ-Fas(lpr) (MRL-Fas(lpr)) mice develop a spontaneous T cell and macrophage-dependent autoimmune disease that shares features with human lupus. Interactions via the programmed death 1/programmed death ligand 1 (PD-1/PD-L1) pathway down-regulate immune responses and provide a negative regulatory checkpoint in mediating tolerance and autoimmune disease. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway suppresses lupus nephritis and the systemic illness in MRL-Fas(lpr) mice. For this purpose, we compared kidney and systemic illness (lymph nodes, spleen, skin, lung, glands) in PD-L1 null (-/-) and PD-L1 intact (wild type, WT) MRL-Fas(lpr) mice. Unexpectedly, PD-L1(-/-);MRL-Fas(lpr) mice died as a result of autoimmune myocarditis and pneumonitis before developing renal disease or the systemic illness. Dense infiltrates, consisting of macrophage and T cells (CD8(+) > CD4(+)), were prominent throughout the heart (atria and ventricles) and localized specifically around vessels in the lung. In addition, once disease was evident, we detected heart specific autoantibodies in PD-L1(-/-);MRL-Fas(lpr) mice. This unique phenotype is dependent on MRL-specific background genes as PD-L1(-/-);MRL(+/+) mice lacking the Fas(lpr) mutation developed autoimmune myocarditis and pneumonitis. Notably, the transfer of PD-L1(-/-);MRL(+/+) bone marrow cells induced myocarditis and pneumonitis in WT;MRL(+/+) mice, despite a dramatic up-regulation of PD-L1 expression on endothelial cells in the heart and lung of WT;MRL(+/+) mice. Taken together, we suggest that PD-L1 expression is central to autoimmune heart and lung disease in lupus-susceptible (MRL) mice.
Gotsman I, Sharpe AH, Lichtman AH. T-cell costimulation and coinhibition in atherosclerosis. Circ Res. 2008;103 (11) :1220-31.Abstract
Evidence from many human and rodent studies has established that T lymphocytes enhance inflammation in atherosclerotic plaques and contribute to lesion progression and remodeling. Recent work also indicates that regulatory T cells are important in limiting proatherogenic T-cell responses. Given the important role of T cells in atherosclerosis, there is a need to fully understand how proatherogenic T cells are activated and regulated. Antigen-dependent activation of naïve T cells, leading to clonal expansion and effector T-cell differentiation, and effector and memory T cells, is enhanced by signals provided by costimulatory molecules expressed by antigen presenting cells, which bind to receptors on the T cells. In addition, T-cell responses to antigen are negatively regulated by coinhibitory molecules expressed by antigen-presenting cells, which bind to receptors on T cells. Two major families of costimulatory molecules include the B7 and the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) families. These molecules bind to receptors on T cells belonging to the CD28 or TNF receptor families, respectively. The best-defined coinhibitors and their receptors belong to the B7 and CD28 families. Recent work has begun to define how these T-cell costimulatory and coinhibitory pathways influence atherosclerosis, largely in mouse models of the disease. Profound effects are attributable to molecules in both the B7/CD28 (B7-1/2, ICOS, and PDL-1/2) and the TNF/TNF receptor (CD40, OX40, and CD137) families. One emerging theme is that both pathogenic effector T-cell responses and regulatory T cells are influenced by overlapping sets of costimulators and coinhibitors. These complexities must be considered as immunotherapeutic approaches for atherosclerotic disease are developed.
Taylor PA, Ehrhardt MJ, Lees CJ, Panoskaltsis-Mortari A, Krieg AM, Sharpe AH, Murphy WJ, Serody JS, Hemmi H, Akira S, et al. TLR agonists regulate alloresponses and uncover a critical role for donor APCs in allogeneic bone marrow rejection. Blood. 2008;112 (8) :3508-16.Abstract
Cytosine-phosphorothioate-guanine oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG ODNs) are synthetic ODNs with unmethylated DNA sequences that mimic viral and bacterial DNA and protect against infectious agents and tumor challenge. We show that CpG ODNs markedly accelerated graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) lethality by Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) ligation of host antigen-presenting cells (APCs), dependent upon host IFNgamma but independent of host IL-12, IL-6, or natural killer (NK) cells. Imaging studies showed significantly more green fluorescent protein-positive (GFP(+)) effector T cells in lymphoid and nonlymphoid organs. In engraftment studies, CpG ODNs promoted allogeneic donor bone marrow (BM) rejection independent of host IFNgamma, IL-12, or IL-6. During the course of these studies, we uncovered a previously unknown and critical role of donor BM APCs in modulating the rejection response. CpG ODNs promoted BM rejection by ligation of donor BM, but not host, TLR9. CpG ODNs did not impair engraftment of TLR9(-/-) BM unless wild-type myeloid (CD11b(+)) but not B-lineage (CD19(+)) BM cells were added to the donor inoculum. The importance of donor BM APCs in modulating the strength of the host antidonor rejection response was underscored by the finding that B7-1/B7-2(-/-) BM was less likely than wild-type BM to be rejected. Collectively, these data offer new insight into the mechanism of alloresponses regulating GVHD and BM rejection.
2007
Sharpe AH, Wherry JE, Ahmed R, Freeman GJ. The function of programmed cell death 1 and its ligands in regulating autoimmunity and infection. Nat Immunol. 2007;8 (3) :239-45.Abstract
The programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) surface receptor binds to two ligands, PD-L1 and PD-L2. Studies have shown that PD-1-PD-L interactions control the induction and maintenance of peripheral T cell tolerance and indicate a previously unknown function for PD-L1 on nonhematopoietic cells in protecting tissues from autoimmune attack. PD-1 and its ligands have also been exploited by a variety of microorganisms to attenuate antimicrobial immunity and facilitate chronic infection. Here we examine the functions of PD-1 and its ligands in regulating antimicrobial and self-reactive T cell responses and discuss the therapeutic potential of manipulating this pathway.
Keir ME, Francisco LM, Sharpe AH. PD-1 and its ligands in T-cell immunity. Curr Opin Immunol. 2007;19 (3) :309-14.Abstract
The past year has seen significant advances in our understanding of the critical roles of negative immunoregulatory signals delivered by the programmed death 1 (PD-1)-PD-1 ligand (PD-L) pathway in regulating T-cell activation and tolerance. Emerging evidence indicates that PD-Ls play an essential role on dendritic cells (DCs), both directly during DC-T cell interactions and indirectly through signaling into the DC. Recent studies point to a novel role for PD-L1 in maintaining tissue tolerance. Finally, PD-1 has recently been shown to be highly expressed on exhausted T cells during chronic viral infection, and blockade of PD-1 or PD-L1 can revive exhausted T cells, enabling them to proliferate and produce effector cytokines.
Kwan KY, Greenwald RJ, Mohanty S, Sharpe AH, Shaw AC, Wang JC. Development of autoimmunity in mice lacking DNA topoisomerase 3beta. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007;104 (22) :9242-7.Abstract
Mice lacking DNA topoisomerase 3beta are predisposed to a shortened lifespan, infertility, and lesions in multiple organs resulting from inflammatory responses. Examination of the immune system of 6- and 52-week-old top3beta(-/-) mice revealed no significant aberrations in their central and peripheral tolerance or in T lymphocyte activation. However, the older but not the younger cohort shows a high incidence of serum autoantibodies relative to their TOP3beta(+/+) age-mates. The mutant mice also show an increase in numerical aberrations of chromosomes in splenocytes and bone marrow cells, as well as an increase in apoptotic cells in the thymus. Thus, it appears plausible that the inflammatory lesions in top3beta(-/-) mice are caused by the development of autoimmunity as they age: Chromosomal abnormalities in top3beta(-/-) mice might lead to a persistent increase in apoptotic cells, which might in turn lead to the progression of autoimmunity.
Grabie N, Gotsman I, DaCosta R, Pang H, Stavrakis G, Butte MJ, Keir ME, Freeman GJ, Sharpe AH, Lichtman AH. Endothelial programmed death-1 ligand 1 (PD-L1) regulates CD8+ T-cell mediated injury in the heart. Circulation. 2007;116 (18) :2062-71.Abstract
BACKGROUND: PD-L1 and PD-L2 are ligands for the inhibitory receptor programmed death-1 (PD-1), which is an important regulator of immune responses. PD-L1 is induced on cardiac endothelial cells under inflammatory conditions, but little is known about its role in regulating immune injury in the heart. METHODS AND RESULTS: Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-mediated myocarditis was induced in mice, and the influence of PD-L1 signaling was studied with PD-L1/L2-deficient mice and blocking antibodies. During cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-induced myocarditis, the upregulation of PD-L1 on cardiac endothelia was dependent on T-cell-derived interferon-gamma, and blocking of interferon-gamma signaling worsened disease. Genetic deletion of both PD-1 ligands [PD-L1/2(-/-)], as well as treatment with PD-L1 blocking antibody, transformed transient myocarditis to lethal disease, in association with widespread polymorphonuclear leukocyte-rich microabscesses but without change in cytotoxic T-lymphocyte recruitment. PD-L1/2(-/-) mice reconstituted with bone marrow from wild-type mice remained susceptible to severe disease, which demonstrates that PD-L1 on non-bone marrow-derived cells confers the protective effect. Finally, depletion of polymorphonuclear leukocytes reversed the enhanced susceptibility to lethal myocarditis attributable to PD-L1 deficiency. CONCLUSIONS: Myocardial PD-L1, mainly localized on endothelium, is critical for control of immune-mediated cardiac injury and polymorphonuclear leukocyte inflammation.
Shen L, Jin Y, Freeman GJ, Sharpe AH, Dana RM. The function of donor versus recipient programmed death-ligand 1 in corneal allograft survival. J Immunol. 2007;179 (6) :3672-9.Abstract
Programmed death-ligand (PD-L)1 and PD-L2, newer B7 superfamily members, are implicated in the negative regulation of immune responses and peripheral tolerance. To examine their function in alloimmunity, we used the murine model of orthotopic corneal transplantation. We demonstrate that PD-L1, but not PD-L2, is constitutively expressed at high levels by the corneal epithelial cells, and at low levels by corneal CD45+ cells in the stroma, whereas it is undetectable on stromal fibroblasts and corneal endothelial cells. Inflammation induces PD-L1 up-regulation by corneal epithelial cells, and infiltration of significant numbers of PD-L1+CD45+CD11b+ cells. Blockade with anti-PD-L1 mAb dramatically enhances rejection of C57BL/6 corneal allografts by BALB/c recipients. To examine the selective contribution of donor vs host PD-L1 in modulating allorejection, we used PD-L1-/- mice as hosts or donors of combined MHC and minor H-mismatched corneal grafts. BALB/c grafts placed in PD-L1-/- C57BL/6 hosts resulted in pronounced T cell priming in the draining lymph nodes, and universally underwent rapid rejection. Allografts from PD-L1-/- C57BL/6 donors were also significantly more susceptible to rejection than wild-type C57BL/6 grafts placed into BALB/c hosts, primarily as a result of increased T cell infiltration rather than enhanced priming. Taken together, our results identify differential roles for recipient vs donor PD-L1 in regulating induction vs effector of alloimmunity in corneal grafts, the most common form of tissue transplantation, and highlight the importance of peripheral tissue-derived PD-L1 in down-regulating local immune responses.
Tai X, Van Laethem F, Sharpe AH, Singer A. Induction of autoimmune disease in CTLA-4-/- mice depends on a specific CD28 motif that is required for in vivo costimulation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007;104 (34) :13756-61.Abstract
CTLA-4-deficient mice develop a lethal autoimmune lymphoproliferative disorder that is strictly dependent on in vivo CD28 costimulation. Nevertheless, it is not known whether there is a specific site on the CD28 molecule that is required for induction of autoimmunity. Using CTLA-4-deficient mice expressing CD28 molecules with various point mutations in the CD28 cytosolic tail, the present study documents that in vivo costimulation for induction of autoimmune disease strictly requires an intact C-terminal proline motif that promotes lymphocyte-specific protein tyrosine kinase Lck binding to the CD28 cytosolic tail, because point mutations in C-terminal proline residues (Pro-187 and Pro-190) completely prevented disease induction. In contrast, in vivo costimulation for disease induction did not require either an intact YMNM motif or an intact N-terminal proline motif, which, respectively, promote phosphoinositide 3-kinase and IL2-inducible T cell kinase binding to the CD28 cytosolic tail. Thus, in vivo CD28 costimulation for induction of autoimmune disease is strictly and specifically dependent on an intact C-terminal proline motif that serves as a lymphocyte-specific protein tyrosine Lck kinase binding site in the CD28 cytosolic tail.
Keir ME, Freeman GJ, Sharpe AH. PD-1 regulates self-reactive CD8+ T cell responses to antigen in lymph nodes and tissues. J Immunol. 2007;179 (8) :5064-70.Abstract
PD-1, an inhibitory receptor expressed on activated lymphocytes, regulates tolerance and autoimmunity. We tested the role of PD-1:PD-1 ligand (PD-L) interactions in cross-presentation and the generation and control of CD8(+) responses against self-Ag. Ag-naive PD-1(-/-) OVA-specific OT-I CD8(+) T cells exhibited exacerbated responses to cross-presented Ag in mice expressing soluble OVA under the control of the rat insulin promoter (RIP-ova(high)). Following adoptive transfer into RIP-ova(high) recipients, PD-1(-/-) OT-I T cells expanded in the pancreatic lymph node. In contrast to wild-type OT-I cells, PD-1(-/-) OT-I T cells secreted IFN-gamma and migrated into the pancreas, ultimately causing diabetes. Loss of PD-1 affected CD8(+) cells intrinsically, and did not significantly alter the responses of wild-type OT-I T cells adoptively transferred into the same RIP-ova(high) recipient mouse. PD-1:PD-L interactions also limited CD8(+) effector cells, and PD-L1 expression on parenchymal tissues protected against effector OT-I T cell attack. Finally, we found that the loss of PD-1 on effector OT-I cells lowers the threshold for Ag recognition in peripheral tissues. These findings indicate two checkpoints where PD-1 attenuates self-reactive T cell responses: presentation of self-Ag to naive self-reactive T cells by dendritic cells in the draining lymph node and reactivation of pathogenic self-reactive T cells in the target organ.
Menke J, Lucas JA, Zeller GC, Keir ME, Huang XR, Tsuboi N, Mayadas TN, Lan HY, Sharpe AH, Kelley VR. Programmed death 1 ligand (PD-L) 1 and PD-L2 limit autoimmune kidney disease: distinct roles. J Immunol. 2007;179 (11) :7466-77.Abstract
The programmed death 1/programmed death 1 ligand (PD-L) pathway is instrumental in peripheral tolerance. Blocking this pathway exacerbates experimental autoimmune diseases, but its role in autoimmune kidney disease has not been explored. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that the programmed death 1 ligands (PD-L1 and PD-L2), provide a protective barrier during T cell- and macrophage (Mphi)-dependent autoimmune kidney disease. For this purpose, we compared nephrotoxic serum nephritis (NSN) in mice lacking PD-L1 (PD-L1(-/-)), PD-L2 (PD-L2(-/-)), or both (PD-L1/L2(-/-)) to wild-type (WT) C57BL/6 mice. Kidney pathology, loss of renal function, and intrarenal leukocyte infiltrates were increased in each PD-L(-/-) strain as compared with WT mice. Although the magnitude of renal pathology was similar in PD-L1(-/-) and PD-L2(-/-) mice, our findings suggest that kidney disease in each strain is regulated by distinct mechanisms. Specifically, we detected increased CD68(+) cells along with elevated circulating IgG and IgG deposits in glomeruli in PD-L2(-/-) mice, but not PD-L1(-/-) mice. In contrast, we detected a rise in activated CD8(+) T cells in PD-L1(-/-) mice, but not PD-L2(-/-) mice. Furthermore, since PD-L1 is expressed by parenchymal and hemopoietic cells in WT kidneys, we explored the differential impact of PD-L1 expression on these cell types by inducing NSN in bone marrow chimeric mice. Our results indicate that PD-L1 expression on hemopoietic cells, and not parenchymal cells, is primarily responsible for limiting leukocyte infiltration during NSN. Taken together, our findings indicate that PD-L1 and PD-L2 provide distinct negative regulatory checkpoints poised to suppress autoimmune renal disease.
Butte MJ, Keir ME, Phamduy TB, Sharpe AH, Freeman GJ. Programmed death-1 ligand 1 interacts specifically with the B7-1 costimulatory molecule to inhibit T cell responses. Immunity. 2007;27 (1) :111-22.Abstract
Pathways in the B7:CD28 family of costimulatory molecules regulate T cell activation and tolerance. B7-dependent responses in Cd28(-/-)Ctla4(-/-) T cells together with reports of stimulatory and inhibitory functions for Programmed Death-1 Ligand 1 or 2 molecules (PD-L1 or PD-L2) have suggested additional receptors for these B7 family members. We show that B7-1 and PD-L1 interacted with affinity intermediate to that of B7-1:CD28 and B7-1:CTLA-4. The PD-L1:B7-1 interface overlapped with the B7-1:CTLA-4 and PD-L1:PD-1 (Programmed Death-1) interfaces. T cell activation and cytokine production were inhibited by the interaction of B7-1 with PD-L1. The responses of PD-1-deficient versus PD-1,B7-1 double-deficient T cells to PD-L1 and of CD28,CTLA-4 double-deficient versus CD28,CTLA-4,PD-L1 triple-deficient T cells to B7-1 demonstrated that PD-L1 and B7-1 interact specifically to inhibit T cell activation. Our findings point to a substantial bidirectional inhibitory interaction between B7-1 and PD-L1 and add an additional dimension to immunoregulatory functions of the B7:CD28 family.
Kobayashi N, Karisola P, Peña-Cruz V, Dorfman DM, Jinushi M, Umetsu SE, Butte MJ, Nagumo H, Chernova I, Zhu B, et al. TIM-1 and TIM-4 glycoproteins bind phosphatidylserine and mediate uptake of apoptotic cells. Immunity. 2007;27 (6) :927-40.Abstract
The T cell immunoglobulin mucin (TIM) proteins regulate T cell activation and tolerance. Here we showed that TIM-4 is expressed on human and mouse macrophages and dendritic cells, and both TIM-4 and TIM-1 specifically bound phosphatidylserine (PS) on the surface of apoptotic cells but not any other phospholipid tested. TIM-4(+) peritoneal macrophages, TIM-1(+) kidney cells, and TIM-4- or TIM-1-transfected cells efficiently phagocytosed apoptotic cells, and phagocytosis could be blocked by TIM-4 or TIM-1 monoclonal antibodies. Mutations in the unique cavity of TIM-4 eliminated PS binding and phagocytosis. TIM-4 mAbs that blocked PS binding and phagocytosis mapped to epitopes in this binding cavity. These results show that TIM-4 and TIM-1 are immunologically restricted members of the group of receptors whose recognition of PS is critical for the efficient clearance of apoptotic cells and prevention of autoimmunity.
Mueller SN, Matloubian M, Clemens DM, Sharpe AH, Freeman GJ, Gangappa S, Larsen CP, Ahmed R. Viral targeting of fibroblastic reticular cells contributes to immunosuppression and persistence during chronic infection. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007;104 (39) :15430-5.Abstract
Many chronic viral infections are marked by pathogen persistence and a generalized immunosuppression. The exact mechanisms by which this occurs are still unknown. Using a mouse model of persistent lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) infection, we demonstrate viral targeting of fibroblastic reticular cells (FRC) in the lymphoid organs. The FRC stromal networks are critical for proper lymphoid architecture and function. High numbers of FRC were infected by LCMV clone 13, which causes a chronic infection, whereas few were infected by the acute strain, LCMV Armstrong. The function of the FRC conduit network was altered after clone 13 infection by the action of CD8(+) T cells. Importantly, expression of the inhibitory programmed death ligand 1, which was up-regulated on FRC after infection, reduced early CD8(+) T cell-mediated immunopathology and prevented destruction of the FRC architecture in the spleen. Together, this reveals an important tropism during a persistent viral infection. These data also suggest that the inhibitory PD-1 pathway, which likely evolved to prevent excessive immunopathology, may contribute to viral persistence in FRC during chronic infection.
2006
Zeller GC, Hirahashi J, Schwarting A, Sharpe AH, Kelley VR. Inducible co-stimulator null MRL-Faslpr mice: uncoupling of autoantibodies and T cell responses in lupus. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2006;17 (1) :122-30.Abstract
MRL/MpJ-Tnfrsf6lpr (MRL-Faslpr) mice develop a spontaneous T cell-dependent autoimmune disease that shares features with human lupus, including fatal nephritis, systemic pathology, and autoantibodies (autoAb). The inducible co-stimulator (ICOS) is upregulated on activated T cells and modulates T cell-mediated responses. To investigate whether ICOS has an essential role in regulating autoimmune lupus nephritis and the systemic illness in MRL-Faslpr mice, ICOS null (-/-) MRL Faslpr and ICOS intact (+/+) MRL-Faslpr strains (wild-type [WT]) were generated and compared. It was determined that in ICOS-/- MRL-Faslpr as compared with the WT strain, (1) there is a significant reduction in circulating IgG and double-stranded DNA autoantibody isotype titers, and (2) there is an amplification of the frequency of intrarenal T cells generating IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha in ICOS-/- versus WT mice. Of note, eliminating ICOS in the MRL-Faslpr strain does not alter renal pathology or function. Despite the reduction in circulating IgG and autoantibody isotypes (G1, G2a, and G2b), the amount of these IgG isotypes depositing in kidneys is similar. Furthermore, the systemic illness (skin, salivary and lacrimal glands, lungs, lymphadenopathy, and splenomegaly) is equivalent in ICOS-/- MRL-Faslpr and WT mice. These findings highlight the danger of relying on individual parameters, such as quantitative serum Ig levels and T cell functions, as prognostic indicators of lupus.
Lee K-M, Forman JP, McNerney ME, Stepp S, Kuppireddi S, Guzior D, Latchman YE, Sayegh MH, Yagita H, Park C-K, et al. Requirement of homotypic NK-cell interactions through 2B4(CD244)/CD48 in the generation of NK effector functions. Blood. 2006;107 (8) :3181-8.Abstract
2B4 belongs to the CD2 subset of the IgG family of receptors. Members in this family have been shown to function as coreceptors via homophilic or heterophilic interactions. Both 2B4 and CD2 bind to CD48, another member of this family. Because all 3 molecules are expressed on natural killer (NK) cells, it raises a possibility that the binding of 2B4 and CD2 to CD48 among NK cells may have functional consequences. Using specific monoclonal antibodies and gene-deficient NK cells, we found that 2B4/CD48, but not CD2/CD48, interaction is essential for IL-2-driven expansion and activation of murine NK cells. In the absence of 2B4/CD48 interaction, NK cytotoxicity and IFN-gamma secretion on tumor target exposure is severely impaired. Impaired activation of NK cells in 2B4-deficient mice was also demonstrated by poor NK-mediated clearance of syngeneic tumor cells in these mice. Functional impairment of NK cells in the absence of 2B4/CD48 interactions was accompanied by defective calcium signaling, suggesting that the early signaling pathway of NK receptors is inhibited. Finally, homotypic interactions among NK cells through 2B4/CD48 was visualized by specific localization of GFP-tagged 2B4 onto NK-NK conjugation sites. Thus, these data identify a novel mechanism whereby NK effector function is regulated via homotypic 2B4/CD48 interactions.
Read S, Greenwald R, Izcue A, Robinson N, Mandelbrot D, Francisco L, Sharpe AH, Powrie F. Blockade of CTLA-4 on CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells abrogates their function in vivo. J Immunol. 2006;177 (7) :4376-83.Abstract
Naturally occurring CD4+ regulatory T cells (T(R)) that express CD25 and the transcription factor FoxP3 play a key role in immune homeostasis, preventing immune pathological responses to self and foreign Ags. CTLA-4 is expressed by a high percentage of these cells, and is often considered as a marker for T(R) in experimental and clinical analysis. However, it has not yet been proven that CTLA-4 has a direct role in T(R) function. In this study, using a T cell-mediated colitis model, we demonstrate that anti-CTLA-4 mAb treatment inhibits T(R) function in vivo via direct effects on CTLA-4-expressing T(R), and not via hyperactivation of colitogenic effector T cells. Although anti-CTLA-4 mAb treatment completely inhibits T(R) function, it does not reduce T(R) numbers or their homing to the GALT, suggesting the Ab mediates its function by blockade of a signal required for T(R) activity. In contrast to the striking effect of the Ab, CTLA-4-deficient mice can produce functional T(R), suggesting that under some circumstances other immune regulatory mechanisms, including the production of IL-10, are able to compensate for the loss of the CTLA-4-mediated pathway. This study provides direct evidence that CTLA-4 has a specific, nonredundant role in the function of normal T(R). This role has to be taken into account when targeting CTLA-4 for therapeutic purposes, as such a strategy will not only boost effector T cell responses, but might also break T(R)-mediated self-tolerance.
Gotsman I, Grabie N, Gupta R, DaCosta R, MacConmara M, Lederer J, Sukhova G, Witztum JL, Sharpe AH, Lichtman AH. Impaired regulatory T-cell response and enhanced atherosclerosis in the absence of inducible costimulatory molecule. Circulation. 2006;114 (19) :2047-55.Abstract
BACKGROUND: T-cell-mediated immunity contributes to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, but little is known about how these responses are regulated. We explored the influence of the inducible costimulatory molecule (ICOS) on atherosclerosis and associated immune responses. METHODS AND RESULTS: Bone marrow chimeras were generated by transplanting ICOS-deficient or wild-type bone marrow into irradiated atherosclerosis-prone, LDR receptor-deficient mice, and the chimeric mice were fed a high-cholesterol diet for 8 weeks. Compared with controls, mice transplanted with ICOS-deficient marrow had a 43% increase in the atherosclerotic burden, and importantly, their lesions had a 3-fold increase in CD4+ T cells, as well as increased macrophage, smooth muscle cell, and collagen content. CD4+ T cells from ICOS-deficient chimeras proliferated more and secreted more interferon-gamma and tumor necrosis factor-alpha than T cells from control mice, which suggests a lack of regulation. FoxP3+ regulatory T cells (Treg) were found to constitutively express high ICOS levels, which suggests a role for ICOS in Treg function. ICOS-deficient mice had decreased numbers of FoxP3+ Treg and impaired in vitro Treg suppressive function compared with control mice. CONCLUSIONS: ICOS has a key role in regulation of atherosclerosis, through its effect on regulatory T-cell responses.
Liang SC, Greenwald RJ, Latchman YE, Rosas L, Satoskar A, Freeman GJ, Sharpe AH. PD-L1 and PD-L2 have distinct roles in regulating host immunity to cutaneous leishmaniasis. Eur J Immunol. 2006;36 (1) :58-64.Abstract
To compare the roles of programmed death 1 ligand 1 (PD-L1) and PD-L2 in regulating immunity to infection, we investigated responses of mice lacking PD-L1 or PD-L2 to infection with Leishmania mexicana. PD-L1(-/-) and PD-L2(-/-) mice exhibited distinct disease outcomes following infection with L. mexicana. In comparison to susceptible WT mice, PD-L1(-/-) mice showed resistance to L. mexicana, as demonstrated by reduced growth of cutaneous lesions and parasite burden. In contrast, PD-L2(-/-) mice developed exacerbated disease with increased parasite burden. Host resistance to L. mexicana is partly associated with the development of a Th1 response and down-regulation of the Th2 response. Both PD-L1(-/-) and PD-L2(-/-) mice produced levels of IFN-gamma similar to WT mice. However, the development of IL-4-producing cells was reduced in PD-L1(-/-) mice, demonstrating a role for PD-L1 in regulating Th cell differentiation. This inadequate Th2 response may explain the increased resistance of PD-L1(-/-) mice. Although no alterations in Th1/Th2 skewing were observed in PD-L2(-/-) mice, PD-L2(-/-) mice exhibited a marked increase in L. mexicana-specific antibody production. Increased Leishmania-specific IgG production may suppress the healing response through FcgammaR ligation on macrophages. Taken together, our results demonstrate that PD-L1 and PD-L2 have distinct roles in regulating the immune response to L. mexicana.

Pages