Rag enzymes are the main players in V(D)J recombination, the process responsible for rearrangement of TCR and Ig genes. Hypomorphic Rag mutations in humans, which maintain partial V(D)J activity, cause a peculiar SCID associated with autoimmune-like manifestations, Omenn syndrome (OS). Although a deficient ability to sustain thymopoiesis and to produce a diverse T and B cell repertoire explains the increased susceptibility to severe infections, the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the spectrum of clinical and immunological features of OS remain poorly defined. In order to better define the molecular and cellular pathophysiology of OS, we generated a knockin murine model carrying the Rag2 R229Q mutation previously described in several patients with OS and leaky forms of SCID. These Rag2R229Q/R229Q mice showed oligoclonal T cells, absence of circulating B cells, and peripheral eosinophilia. In addition, activated T cells infiltrated gut and skin, causing diarrhea, alopecia, and, in some cases, severe erythrodermia. These findings were associated with reduced thymic expression of Aire and markedly reduced numbers of naturally occurring Tregs and NKT lymphocytes. In conclusion, Rag2R229Q/R229Q mice mimicked most symptoms of human OS; our findings support the notion that impaired immune tolerance and defective immune regulation are involved in the pathophysiology of OS.
Veronica Marrella, Pietro Luigi Poliani, Anna Casati, Francesca Rucci, Laura Frascoli, Marie-Lise Gougeon, Brigitte Lemercier, Marita Bosticardo, Maria Ravanini, Manuela Battaglia, Maria Grazia Roncarolo, Marina Cavazzana-Calvo, Fabio Facchetti, Luigi D. Notarangelo, Paolo Vezzoni, Fabio Grassi, Anna Villa
Amrie C. Grammer, Rebecca Slota, Randy Fischer, Hanan Gur, Hermann Girschick, Cheryl Yarboro, Gabor G. Illei, Peter E. Lipsky
Heme oxygenase–1 (HO-1, encoded by HMOX1) dampens inflammatory reactions via the catabolism of heme into CO, Fe, and biliverdin. We report that expression of HO-1 dictates the pathologic outcome of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a model of multiple sclerosis (MS). Induction of EAE in Hmox1–/– C57BL/6 mice led to enhanced CNS demyelination, paralysis, and mortality, as compared with Hmox1+/+ mice. Induction of HO-1 by cobalt protoporphyrin IX (CoPPIX) administration after EAE onset reversed paralysis in C57BL/6 and SJL/J mice and disease relapse in SJL/J mice. These effects were not observed using zinc protoporphyrin IX, which does not induce HO-1. CoPPIX protection was abrogated in Hmox1–/– C57BL/6 mice, indicating that CoPPIX acts via HO-1 to suppress EAE progression. The protective effect of HO-1 was associated with inhibition of MHC class II expression by APCs and inhibition of Th and CD8 T cell accumulation, proliferation, and effector function within the CNS. Exogenous CO mimicked these effects, suggesting that CO contributes to the protective action of HO-1. In conclusion, HO-1 or exposure to its end product CO counters autoimmune neuroinflammation and thus might be used therapeutically to treat MS.
Ângelo A. Chora, Paulo Fontoura, Andreia Cunha, Teresa F. Pais, Sílvia Cardoso, Peggy P. Ho, Lowen Y. Lee, Raymond A. Sobel, Lawrence Steinman, Miguel P. Soares
In response to ER stress, the pancreatic endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) coordinates an adaptive program known as the integrated stress response (ISR) by phosphorylating the α subunit of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 (eIF2α). IFN-γ, which activates the ER stress response in oligodendrocytes, is believed to play a critical role in the immune-mediated CNS disorder multiple sclerosis (MS) and its mouse model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Here we report that CNS delivery of IFN-γ before EAE onset ameliorated the disease course and prevented demyelination, axonal damage, and oligodendrocyte loss. The beneficial effects of IFN-γ were accompanied by PERK activation in oligodendrocytes and were abrogated in PERK-deficient animals. Our results indicate that IFN-γ activation of PERK in mature oligodendrocytes attenuates EAE severity and suggest that therapeutic approaches to activate the ISR could prove beneficial in MS.
Wensheng Lin, Samantha L. Bailey, Hanson Ho, Heather P. Harding, David Ron, Stephen D. Miller, Brian Popko
Loss of Treg function appears to be a critical factor in the pathogenesis of human autoimmune diseases. Attention has focused on defects of CD4+CD25high Tregs, and techniques have been developed to determine their function. In contrast, the role of Tr1 regulatory T cells, which secrete the antiinflammatory cytokine IL-10, in autoimmune disease has not been well assessed. CD46 is a newly defined costimulatory molecule for T cell activation, and CD46-costimulated human T cells induce a Tr1 Treg phenotype with considerable amounts of IL-10 secretion. Here, we examined the role of Tr1 cells in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) by stimulating CD4+ T cells with anti-CD3 and -CD46 mAbs and measuring IL-10 secretion. There were striking defects in the induction of Tr1 cells with CD46 costimulation as measured by IL-10 but not IFN-γ secretion in patients with MS compared with healthy subjects. This loss of Tr1 cell–associated IL-10 secretion was specific to CD46 and not CD28 costimulation and was associated with an altered regulation of the CD46-Cy2 isoform that differentially regulates T cell function in a CD46-transgenic murine model. These data demonstrate a second major Treg defect in human autoimmune disease associated with the CD46 pathway.
Anne L. Astier, Gregory Meiffren, Samuel Freeman, David A. Hafler
Tyrosine kinases play a central role in the activation of signal transduction pathways and cellular responses that mediate the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. Imatinib mesylate (imatinib) is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor developed to treat Bcr/Abl-expressing leukemias and subsequently found to treat c-Kit–expressing gastrointestinal stromal tumors. We demonstrate that imatinib potently prevents and treats murine collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). We further show that micromolar concentrations of imatinib abrogate multiple signal transduction pathways implicated in RA pathogenesis, including mast cell c-Kit signaling and TNF-α release, macrophage c-Fms activation and cytokine production, and fibroblast PDGFR signaling and proliferation. In our studies, imatinib attenuated PDGFR signaling in fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) and TNF-α production in synovial fluid mononuclear cells (SFMCs) derived from human RA patients. Imatinib-mediated inhibition of a spectrum of signal transduction pathways and the downstream pathogenic cellular responses may provide a powerful approach to treat RA and other inflammatory diseases.
Ricardo T. Paniagua, Orr Sharpe, Peggy P. Ho, Steven M. Chan, Anna Chang, John P. Higgins, Beren H. Tomooka, Fiona M. Thomas, Jason J. Song, Stuart B. Goodman, David M. Lee, Mark C. Genovese, Paul J. Utz, Lawrence Steinman, William H. Robinson
NKT cells promote antibody-induced arthritis, but the mechanism by which NKT cells are activated in this model remains unclear. It has been proposed that Fcγ receptor (FcγR) contributes to NKT cell activation in antibody-induced arthritis. To address this issue, we explored the functions of FcγR on NKT cells in antibody-induced arthritis. RT-PCR and flow cytometric analysis demonstrated that NKT cells constitutively express surface FcγRIII but not FcγRI, -II, or -IV. FcγRIII engagement by aggregated IgG on NKT cells enhanced CD25 and CD69 expression, whereas FcγR–/– mouse NKT cells did not enhance activation. FcγRIII engagement on NKT cells enhanced the production of IL-4, IL-10, IL-13, and IFN-γ, whereas FcγR-deficient NKT cells did not alter the production of these cytokines after aggregated IgG treatment. However, FcγR-deficient NKT cells were functionally intact in terms of TCR-induced activation. Moreover, adoptive transfer of FcγR-deficient NKT cells could not restore inflammation or TGF-β production in the joint tissues of CD1d–/– mice, whereas adoptive transfer of wild-type NKT cells induced arthritis and reduced TGF-β production in joint tissues. We conclude that FcγRIII engagement by IgG in joint tissues provides activating signals to NKT cells in antibody-induced arthritis.
Hye Young Kim, Sanghee Kim, Doo Hyun Chung
We describe a double-transgenic mouse strain (opticospinal EAE [OSE] mouse) that spontaneously develops an EAE-like neurological syndrome closely resembling a human variant of multiple sclerosis, Devic disease (also called neuromyelitis optica). Like in Devic disease, the inflammatory, demyelinating lesions were located in the optic nerve and spinal cord, sparing brain and cerebellum, and the murine lesions showed histological similarity with their human correlates. OSE mice have recombination-competent immune cells expressing a TCR-αβ specific for myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) aa 35–55 peptide in the context of I-Ab along with an Ig J region replaced by the recombined heavy chain of a monoclonal antibody binding to a conformational epitope on MOG. OSE mouse B cells bound even high dilutions of recombinant MOG, but not MOG peptide, and processed and presented it to autologous T cells. In addition, in OSE mice, but not in single-transgenic parental mice, anti-MOG antibodies were switched from IgM to IgG1.
Gurumoorthy Krishnamoorthy, Hans Lassmann, Hartmut Wekerle, Andreas Holz
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a clinically and pathologically heterogeneous inflammatory/demyelinating disease of the CNS. In the MS variant Devic disease, lesions are predominantly found in the optic nerves and spinal cord but not the brain. The immunological bases of the different forms of MS are unknown. We previously generated myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein–specific (MOG-specific) TCR transgenic mice (TCRMOG mice; also referred to as 2D2 mice) and reported that a large proportion of these mice develop spontaneous isolated optic neuritis. We have now crossed the TCRMOG mice with MOG-specific Ig heavy-chain knock-in mice (IgHMOG mice; also referred to as Th mice), in which one-third of the B cells are specific for MOG. In these mice, MOG-specific B cells are very efficient in presenting MOG to the transgenic T cells and undergo class switching to IgG1 in the presence of the transgenic T cells. Sixty percent of TCRMOG×IgHMOG mice spontaneously developed a severe form of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Histological examination of the CNS revealed a selective distribution of meningeal and parenchymal inflammatory lesions in the spinal cord and optic nerves. Thus, CNS antigen–specific T and B cells cooperate to induce a distinct clinicopathologic EAE pattern that closely replicates human Devic disease.
Estelle Bettelli, Dominique Baeten, Anneli Jäger, Raymond A. Sobel, Vijay K. Kuchroo
The liver is known to be a classical immunoprivileged site with a relatively high resistance against immune responses. Here we demonstrate that highly activated liver-specific effector CD8+ T cells alone were not sufficient to trigger immune destruction of the liver in mice. Only additional innate immune signals orchestrated by TLR3 provoked liver damage. While TLR3 activation did not directly alter liver-specific CD8+ T cell function, it induced IFN-α and TNF-α release. These cytokines generated expression of the chemokine CXCL9 in the liver, thereby enhancing CD8+ T cell infiltration and liver disease in mice. Thus, nonspecific activation of innate immunity can drastically enhance susceptibility to immune destruction of a solid organ.
Karl S. Lang, Panco Georgiev, Mike Recher, Alexander A. Navarini, Andreas Bergthaler, Mathias Heikenwalder, Nicola L. Harris, Tobias Junt, Bernhard Odermatt, Pierre-Alain Clavien, Hanspeter Pircher, Shizuo Akira, Hans Hengartner, Rolf M. Zinkernagel
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