Rush desensitization (DS) is a widely used and effective clinical strategy for the rapid inhibition of IgE-mediated anaphylactic responses. However, the cellular targets and underlying mechanisms behind this process remain unclear. Recent studies have implicated mast cells (MCs) as the primary target cells for DS. Here, we developed a murine model of passive anaphylaxis with demonstrated MC involvement and an in vitro assay to evaluate the effect of DS on MCs. In contrast with previous reports, we determined that functional IgE remains on the cell surface of desensitized MCs following DS. Despite notable reductions in MC degranulation following DS, the high-affinity IgE receptor FcεRI was still capable of transducing signals in desensitized MCs. Additionally, we found that displacement of the actin cytoskeleton and its continued association with FcεRI impede the capacity of desensitized MCs to evoke the calcium response that is essential for MC degranulation. Together, these findings suggest that reduced degranulation responses in desensitized MCs arise from aberrant actin remodeling, providing insights that may lead to improvement of DS treatments for anaphylactic responses.
W.X. Gladys Ang, Alison M. Church, Mike Kulis, Hae Woong Choi, A. Wesley Burks, Soman N. Abraham
In addition to the infectious consequences of immunodeficiency, patients with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) often suffer from poorly understood exaggerated immune responses that result in autoimmunity and elevated levels of serum IgE. Here, we have shown that WAS patients and mice deficient in WAS protein (WASP) frequently develop IgE-mediated reactions to common food allergens. WASP-deficient animals displayed an adjuvant-free IgE-sensitization to chow antigens that was most pronounced for wheat and soy and occurred under specific pathogen–free as well as germ-free housing conditions. Conditional deletion of Was in FOXP3+ Tregs resulted in more severe Th2-type intestinal inflammation than that observed in mice with global WASP deficiency, indicating that allergic responses to food allergens are dependent upon loss of WASP expression in this immune compartment. While WASP-deficient Tregs efficiently contained Th1- and Th17-type effector differentiation in vivo, they failed to restrain Th2 effector responses that drive allergic intestinal inflammation. Loss of WASP was phenotypically associated with increased GATA3 expression in effector memory FOXP3+ Tregs, but not in naive-like FOXP3+ Tregs, an effect that occurred independently of increased IL-4 signaling. Our results reveal a Treg-specific role for WASP that is required for prevention of Th2 effector cell differentiation and allergic sensitization to dietary antigens.
Willem S. Lexmond, Jeremy A. Goettel, Jonathan J. Lyons, Justin Jacobse, Marion M. Deken, Monica G. Lawrence, Thomas H. DiMaggio, Daniel Kotlarz, Elizabeth Garabedian, Paul Sackstein, Celeste C. Nelson, Nina Jones, Kelly D. Stone, Fabio Candotti, Edmond H.H.M. Rings, Adrian J. Thrasher, Joshua D. Milner, Scott B. Snapper, Edda Fiebiger
Mast cells (MCs) influence intercellular communication during inflammation by secreting cytoplasmic granules that contain diverse mediators. Here, we have demonstrated that MCs decode different activation stimuli into spatially and temporally distinct patterns of granule secretion. Certain signals, including substance P, the complement anaphylatoxins C3a and C5a, and endothelin 1, induced human MCs rapidly to secrete small and relatively spherical granule structures, a pattern consistent with the secretion of individual granules. Conversely, activating MCs with anti-IgE increased the time partition between signaling and secretion, which was associated with a period of sustained elevation of intracellular calcium and formation of larger and more heterogeneously shaped granule structures that underwent prolonged exteriorization. Pharmacological inhibition of IKK-β during IgE-dependent stimulation strongly reduced the time partition between signaling and secretion, inhibited SNAP23/STX4 complex formation, and switched the degranulation pattern into one that resembled degranulation induced by substance P. IgE-dependent and substance P–dependent activation in vivo also induced different patterns of mouse MC degranulation that were associated with distinct local and systemic pathophysiological responses. These findings show that cytoplasmic granule secretion from MCs that occurs in response to different activating stimuli can exhibit distinct dynamics and features that are associated with distinct patterns of MC-dependent inflammation.
Nicolas Gaudenzio, Riccardo Sibilano, Thomas Marichal, Philipp Starkl, Laurent L. Reber, Nicolas Cenac, Benjamin D. McNeil, Xinzhong Dong, Joseph D. Hernandez, Ronit Sagi-Eisenberg, Ilan Hammel, Axel Roers, Salvatore Valitutti, Mindy Tsai, Eric Espinosa, Stephen J. Galli
Immune surveillance in tissues is mediated by a long-lived subset of tissue-resident memory T cells (Trm cells). A putative subset of tissue-resident long-lived stem cells is characterized by the ability to efflux Hoechst dyes and is referred to as side population (SP) cells. Here, we have characterized a subset of SP T cells (Tsp cells) that exhibit a quiescent (G0) phenotype in humans and mice. Human Trm cells in the gut and BM were enriched in Tsp cells that were predominantly in the G0 stage of the cell cycle. Moreover, in histone 2B-GFP mice, the 2B-GFP label was retained in Tsp cells, indicative of a slow-cycling phenotype. Human Tsp cells displayed a distinct gene-expression profile that was enriched for genes overexpressed in Trm cells. In mice, proteins encoded by Tsp signature genes, including nuclear receptor subfamily 4 group A member 1 (NR4A1) and ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters, influenced the function and differentiation of Trm cells. Responses to adoptive transfer of human Tsp cells into immune-deficient mice and plerixafor therapy suggested that human Tsp cell mobilization could be manipulated as a potential cellular therapy. These data identify a distinct subset of human T cells with a quiescent/slow-cycling phenotype, propensity for tissue enrichment, and potential to mobilize into circulation, which may be harnessed for adoptive cellular therapy.
Chandra Sekhar Boddupalli, Shiny Nair, Simon M. Gray, Heba N. Nowyhed, Rakesh Verma, Joanna A. Gibson, Clara Abraham, Deepak Narayan, Juan Vasquez, Catherine C. Hedrick, Richard A. Flavell, Kavita M. Dhodapkar, Susan M. Kaech, Madhav V. Dhodapkar
Members of the NLR family can assemble inflammasome complexes with the adaptor protein ASC and caspase-1 that result in the activation of caspase-1 and the release of IL-1β and IL-18. Although the NLRC4 inflammasome is known to have a protective role in tumorigenesis, there is an increased appreciation for the inflammasome-independent actions of NLRC4. Here, we utilized a syngeneic subcutaneous murine model of B16F10 melanoma to explore the role of NLRC4 in tumor suppression. We found that NLRC4-deficient mice exhibited enhanced tumor growth that was independent of the inflammasome components ASC and caspase-1.
Ann M. Janowski, Oscar R. Colegio, Emma E. Hornick, Jennifer M. McNiff, Matthew D. Martin, Vladimir P. Badovinac, Lyse A. Norian, Weizhou Zhang, Suzanne L. Cassel, Fayyaz S. Sutterwala
Protective T cell memory is an acquired trait that is contingent upon the preservation of its constituents and therefore vulnerable to the potentially deleterious effects of organismal aging. Here, however, we have found that long-term T cell memory in a natural murine host-pathogen system can substantially improve over time. Comprehensive molecular, phenotypic, and functional profiling of aging antiviral CD8+ memory T cells (CD8+ TM) revealed a pervasive remodeling process that promotes the gradual acquisition of distinct molecular signatures, of increasingly homogeneous phenotypes, and of diversified functionalities that combine to confer a CD8+ TM–autonomous capacity for enhanced recall responses and immune protection. Notably, the process of CD8+ TM aging is characterized by a progressive harmonization of memory and naive T cell traits, is broadly amenable to experimental acceleration or retardation, and serves as a constitutional component for the “rebound model” of memory T cell maturation. By casting CD8+ TM populations within the temporal framework of their slowly evolving properties, this model establishes a simple ontogenetic perspective on the principal organization of CD8+ T cell memory that may directly inform the development of improved diagnostic, prophylactic, and therapeutic modalities.
Jens Eberlein, Bennett Davenport, Tom Nguyen, Francisco Victorino, Kelsey Haist, Kevin Jhun, Anis Karimpour-Fard, Lawrence Hunter, Ross Kedl, Eric T. Clambey, Dirk Homann
Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) is associated with mutations in the WAS protein (WASp), which plays a critical role in the initiation of T cell receptor–driven (TCR-driven) actin polymerization. The clinical phenotype of WAS includes susceptibility to infection, allergy, autoimmunity, and malignancy and overlaps with the symptoms of dedicator of cytokinesis 8 (DOCK8) deficiency, suggesting that the 2 syndromes share common pathogenic mechanisms. Here, we demonstrated that the WASp-interacting protein (WIP) bridges DOCK8 to WASp and actin in T cells. We determined that the guanine nucleotide exchange factor activity of DOCK8 is essential for the integrity of the subcortical actin cytoskeleton as well as for TCR-driven WASp activation, F-actin assembly, immune synapse formation, actin foci formation, mechanotransduction, T cell transendothelial migration, and homing to lymph nodes, all of which also depend on WASp. These results indicate that DOCK8 and WASp are in the same signaling pathway that links TCRs to the actin cytoskeleton in TCR-driven actin assembly. Further, they provide an explanation for similarities in the clinical phenotypes of WAS and DOCK8 deficiency.
Erin Janssen, Mira Tohme, Mona Hedayat, Marion Leick, Sudha Kumari, Narayanaswamy Ramesh, Michel J. Massaad, Sumana Ullas, Veronica Azcutia, Christopher C. Goodnow, Katrina L. Randall, Qi Qiao, Hao Wu, Waleed Al-Herz, Dianne Cox, John Hartwig, Darrell J. Irvine, Francis W. Luscinskas, Raif S. Geha
Suppression of CD8 and CD4 T cells is a hallmark in chronic viral infections, including hepatitis C and HIV. While multiple pathways are known to inhibit CD8 T cells, the host molecules that restrict CD4 T cell responses are less understood. Here, we used inducible and CD4 T cell–specific deletion of the gene encoding the TGF-β receptor during chronic lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus infection in mice, and determined that TGF-β signaling restricted proliferation and terminal differentiation of antiviral CD4 T cells. TGF-β signaling also inhibited a cytotoxic program that includes granzymes and perforin expression at both early and late stages of infection in vivo and repressed the transcription factor eomesodermin. Overexpression of eomesodermin was sufficient to recapitulate in great part the phenotype of TGF-β receptor–deficient CD4 T cells, while SMAD4 was necessary for CD4 T cell accumulation and differentiation. TGF-β signaling also restricted accumulation and differentiation of CD4 T cells and reduced the expression of cytotoxic molecules in mice and humans infected with other persistent viruses. These data uncovered an eomesodermin-driven CD4 T cell program that is continuously suppressed by TGF-β signaling. During chronic viral infection, this program limits CD4 T cell responses while maintaining CD4 T helper cell identity.
Gavin M. Lewis, Ellen J. Wehrens, Lara Labarta-Bajo, Hendrik Streeck, Elina I. Zuniga
NK cells are innate lymphocytes with protective functions against viral infections and tumor formation. Human NK cells carry inhibitory killer cell Ig-like receptors (KIRs), which recognize distinct HLAs. NK cells with KIRs for self-HLA molecules acquire superior cytotoxicity against HLA– tumor cells during education for improved missing-self recognition. Here, we reconstituted mice with human hematopoietic cells from donors with homozygous KIR ligands or with a mix of hematopoietic cells from these homozygous donors, allowing assessment of the resulting KIR repertoire and NK cell education. We found that co-reconstitution with 2 KIR ligand–mismatched compartments did not alter the frequency of KIR-expressing NK cells. However, NK cell education was diminished in mice reconstituted with parallel HLA compartments due to a lack of cognate HLA molecules on leukocytes for the corresponding KIRs. This change in NK cell education in mixed human donor–reconstituted mice improved NK cell–mediated immune control of EBV infection, indicating that mixed hematopoietic cell populations could be exploited to improve NK cell reactivity against leukotropic pathogens. Taken together, these findings indicate that leukocytes lacking cognate HLA ligands can disarm KIR+ NK cells in a manner that may decrease HLA– tumor cell recognition but allows for improved NK cell–mediated immune control of a human γ-herpesvirus.
Vanessa Landtwing, Ana Raykova, Gaetana Pezzino, Vivien Béziat, Emanuela Marcenaro, Claudine Graf, Alessandro Moretta, Riccarda Capaul, Andrea Zbinden, Guido Ferlazzo, Karl-Johan Malmberg, Obinna Chijioke, Christian Münz
Increases in eosinophil numbers are associated with infection and allergic diseases, including asthma, but there is also evidence that eosinophils contribute to homeostatic immune processes. In mice, the normal lung contains resident eosinophils (rEos), but their function has not been characterized. Here, we have reported that steady-state pulmonary rEos are IL-5–independent parenchymal Siglec-FintCD62L+CD101lo cells with a ring-shaped nucleus. During house dust mite–induced airway allergy, rEos features remained unchanged, and rEos were accompanied by recruited inflammatory eosinophils (iEos), which were defined as IL-5–dependent peribronchial Siglec-FhiCD62L–CD101hi cells with a segmented nucleus. Gene expression analyses revealed a more regulatory profile for rEos than for iEos, and correspondingly, mice lacking lung rEos showed an increase in Th2 cell responses to inhaled allergens. Such elevation of Th2 responses was linked to the ability of rEos, but not iEos, to inhibit the maturation, and therefore the pro-Th2 function, of allergen-loaded DCs. Finally, we determined that the parenchymal rEos found in nonasthmatic human lungs (Siglec-8+CD62L+IL-3Rlo cells) were phenotypically distinct from the iEos isolated from the sputa of eosinophilic asthmatic patients (Siglec-8+CD62LloIL-3Rhi cells), suggesting that our findings in mice are relevant to humans. In conclusion, our data define lung rEos as a distinct eosinophil subset with key homeostatic functions.
Claire Mesnil, Stéfanie Raulier, Geneviève Paulissen, Xue Xiao, Mark A. Birrell, Dimitri Pirottin, Thibaut Janss, Philipp Starkl, Eve Ramery, Monique Henket, Florence N. Schleich, Marc Radermecker, Kris Thielemans, Laurent Gillet, Marc Thiry, Maria G. Belvisi, Renaud Louis, Christophe Desmet, Thomas Marichal, Fabrice Bureau
Adoptive immunotherapy is a potentially curative therapeutic approach for patients with advanced cancer. However, the in vitro expansion of antitumor T cells prior to infusion inevitably incurs differentiation towards effector T cells and impairs persistence following adoptive transfer. Epigenetic profiles regulate gene expression of key transcription factors over the course of immune cell differentiation, proliferation, and function. Using comprehensive screening of chemical probes with defined epigenetic targets, we found that JQ1, an inhibitor of bromodomain and extra-terminal motif (BET) proteins, maintained CD8+ T cells with functional properties of stem cell–like and central memory T cells. Mechanistically, the BET protein BRD4 directly regulated expression of the transcription factor
Yuki Kagoya, Munehide Nakatsugawa, Yuki Yamashita, Toshiki Ochi, Tingxi Guo, Mark Anczurowski, Kayoko Saso, Marcus O. Butler, Cheryl H. Arrowsmith, Naoto Hirano
M1 and M2 macrophage phenotypes, which mediate proinflammatory and antiinflammatory functions, respectively, represent the extremes of immunoregulatory plasticity in the macrophage population. This plasticity can also result in intermediate macrophage states that support a balance between these opposing functions. In sepsis, M1 macrophages can compensate for hyperinflammation by acquiring an M2-like immunosuppressed status that increases the risk of secondary infection and death. The M1 to M2 macrophage reprogramming that develops during LPS tolerance resembles the pathological antiinflammatory response to sepsis. Here, we determined that p21 regulates macrophage reprogramming by shifting the balance between active p65-p50 and inhibitory p50-p50 NF-κB pathways. p21 deficiency reduced the DNA-binding affinity of the p50-p50 homodimer in LPS-primed and -rechallenged macrophages, impairing their ability to attenuate IFN-β production and acquire an M2-like hyporesponsive status. High p21 levels in sepsis patients correlated with low IFN-β expression, and p21 knockdown in human monocytes corroborated its role in IFN-β regulation. The data demonstrate that p21 adjusts the equilibrium between p65-p50 and p50-p50 NF-κB pathways to mediate macrophage plasticity in LPS tolerance. Identifying p21-related pathways involved in monocyte reprogramming may lead to potential targets for sepsis treatment.
Gorjana Rackov, Enrique Hernández-Jiménez, Rahman Shokri, Lorena Carmona-Rodríguez, Santos Mañes, Melchor Álvarez-Mon, Eduardo López-Collazo, Carlos Martínez-A, Dimitrios Balomenos
Hypoxia occurs in many pathological conditions, including chronic inflammation and tumors, and is considered to be an inhibitor of T cell function. However, robust T cell responses occur at many hypoxic inflammatory sites, suggesting that functions of some subsets are stimulated under low oxygen conditions. Here, we investigated how hypoxic conditions influence human T cell functions and found that, in contrast to naive and central memory T cells (TN and TCM), hypoxia enhances the proliferation, viability, and cytotoxic action of effector memory T cells (TEM). Enhanced TEM expansion in hypoxia corresponded to high hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF1α) expression and glycolytic activity compared with that observed in TN and TCM. We determined that the glycolytic enzyme GAPDH negatively regulates
Yang Xu, Arindam Chaudhury, Ming Zhang, Barbara Savoldo, Leonid S. Metelitsa, John Rodgers, Jason T. Yustein, Joel R. Neilson, Gianpietro Dotti
Successful bacterial pathogens produce an array of virulence factors that allow subversion of the immune system and persistence within the host. For example, uropathogenic
Anna Waldhuber, Manoj Puthia, Andreas Wieser, Christine Cirl, Susanne Dürr, Silke Neumann-Pfeifer, Simone Albrecht, Franziska Römmler, Tina Müller, Yunji Zheng, Sören Schubert, Olaf Groß, Catharina Svanborg, Thomas Miethke
The cross-reactivity of T cells with pathogen- and self-derived peptides has been implicated as a pathway involved in the development of autoimmunity. However, the mechanisms that allow the clonal T cell antigen receptor (TCR) to functionally engage multiple peptide–major histocompatibility complexes (pMHC) are unclear. Here, we studied multiligand discrimination by a human, preproinsulin reactive, MHC class-I–restricted CD8+ T cell clone (1E6) that can recognize over 1 million different peptides. We generated high-resolution structures of the 1E6 TCR bound to 7 altered peptide ligands, including a pathogen-derived peptide that was an order of magnitude more potent than the natural self-peptide. Evaluation of these structures demonstrated that binding was stabilized through a conserved lock-and-key–like minimal binding footprint that enables 1E6 TCR to tolerate vast numbers of substitutions outside of this so-called hotspot. Highly potent antigens of the 1E6 TCR engaged with a strong antipathogen-like binding affinity; this engagement was governed though an energetic switch from an enthalpically to entropically driven interaction compared with the natural autoimmune ligand. Together, these data highlight how T cell cross-reactivity with pathogen-derived antigens might break self-tolerance to induce autoimmune disease.
David K. Cole, Anna M. Bulek, Garry Dolton, Andrea J. Schauenberg, Barbara Szomolay, William Rittase, Andrew Trimby, Prithiviraj Jothikumar, Anna Fuller, Ania Skowera, Jamie Rossjohn, Cheng Zhu, John J. Miles, Mark Peakman, Linda Wooldridge, Pierre J. Rizkallah, Andrew K. Sewell
Cell ablation is a powerful tool for studying cell lineage and/or function; however, current cell-ablation models have limitations. Intermedilysin (ILY), a cytolytic pore-forming toxin that is secreted by
Dechun Feng, Shen Dai, Fengming Liu, Yosuke Ohtake, Zhou Zhou, Hua Wang, Yonggang Zhang, Alison Kearns, Xiao Peng, Faliang Zhu, Umar Hayat, Man Li, Yong He, Mingjiang Xu, Chunling Zhao, Min Cheng, Lining Zhang, Hong Wang, Xiaofeng Yang, Cynthia Ju, Elizabeth C. Bryda, Jennifer Gordon, Kamel Khalili, Wenhui Hu, Shuxin Li, Xuebin Qin, Bin Gao
Immune aging results in progressive loss of both protective immunity and T cell–mediated suppression, thereby conferring susceptibility to a combination of immunodeficiency and chronic inflammatory disease. Here, we determined that older individuals fail to generate immunosuppressive CD8+CCR7+ Tregs, a defect that is even more pronounced in the age-related vasculitic syndrome giant cell arteritis. In young, healthy individuals, CD8+CCR7+ Tregs are localized in T cell zones of secondary lymphoid organs, suppress activation and expansion of CD4 T cells by inhibiting the phosphorylation of membrane-proximal signaling molecules, and effectively inhibit proliferative expansion of CD4 T cells in vitro and in vivo. We identified deficiency of NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2) as the molecular underpinning of CD8 Treg failure in the older individuals and in patients with giant cell arteritis. CD8 Tregs suppress by releasing exosomes that carry preassembled NOX2 membrane clusters and are taken up by CD4 T cells. Overexpression of NOX2 in aged CD8 Tregs promptly restored suppressive function. Together, our data support NOX2 as a critical component of the suppressive machinery of CD8 Tregs and suggest that repairing NOX2 deficiency in these cells may protect older individuals from tissue-destructive inflammatory disease, such as large-vessel vasculitis.
Zhenke Wen, Yasuhiro Shimojima, Tsuyoshi Shirai, Yinyin Li, Jihang Ju, Zhen Yang, Lu Tian, Jörg J. Goronzy, Cornelia M. Weyand
Inflammasomes form as the result of the intracellular presence of danger-associated molecular patterns and mediate the release of active IL-1β, which influences a variety of inflammatory responses. Excessive inflammasome activation results in severe inflammatory conditions, but physiological IL-1β secretion is necessary for intestinal homeostasis. Here, we have described a mechanism of NLRP3 inflammasome regulation by tyrosine phosphorylation of NLRP3 at Tyr861. We demonstrated that protein tyrosine phosphatase non-receptor 22 (PTPN22), variants in which are associated with chronic inflammatory disorders, dephosphorylates NLRP3 upon inflammasome induction, allowing efficient NLRP3 activation and subsequent IL-1β release. In murine models, PTPN22 deficiency resulted in pronounced colitis, increased NLRP3 phosphorylation, but reduced levels of mature IL-1β. Conversely, patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that carried an autoimmunity-associated PTPN22 variant had increased IL-1β levels. Together, our results identify tyrosine phosphorylation as an important regulatory mechanism for NLRP3 that prevents aberrant inflammasome activation.
Marianne R. Spalinger, Stephanie Kasper, Claudia Gottier, Silvia Lang, Kirstin Atrott, Stephan R. Vavricka, Sylvie Scharl, Petrus M. Gutte, Markus G. Grütter, Hans-Dietmar Beer, Emmanuel Contassot, Andrew C. Chan, Xuezhi Dai, David J. Rawlings, Florian Mair, Burkhard Becher, Werner Falk, Michael Fried, Gerhard Rogler, Michael Scharl
Autoimmune diseases affect 5% to 8% of the population, and females are more susceptible to these diseases than males. Here, we analyzed human thymic transcriptome and revealed sex-associated differences in the expression of tissue-specific antigens that are controlled by the autoimmune regulator (AIRE), a key factor in central tolerance. We hypothesized that the level of AIRE is linked to sexual dimorphism susceptibility to autoimmune diseases. In human and mouse thymus, females expressed less AIRE (mRNA and protein) than males after puberty. These results were confirmed in purified murine thymic epithelial cells (TECs). We also demonstrated that AIRE expression is related to sexual hormones, as male castration decreased AIRE thymic expression and estrogen receptor α–deficient mice did not show a sex disparity for AIRE expression. Moreover, estrogen treatment resulted in downregulation of AIRE expression in cultured human TECs, human thymic tissue grafted to immunodeficient mice, and murine fetal thymus organ cultures.
Nadine Dragin, Jacky Bismuth, Géraldine Cizeron-Clairac, Maria Grazia Biferi, Claire Berthault, Alain Serraf, Rémi Nottin, David Klatzmann, Ana Cumano, Martine Barkats, Rozen Le Panse, Sonia Berrih-Aknin
Adoptive immunotherapy with regulatory T cells (Tregs) is a promising treatment for allograft rejection and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Emerging data indicate that, compared with polyclonal Tregs, disease-relevant antigen-specific Tregs may have numerous advantages, such as a need for fewer cells and reduced risk of nonspecific immune suppression. Current methods to generate alloantigen-specific Tregs rely on expansion with allogeneic antigen-presenting cells, which requires access to donor and recipient cells and multiple MHC mismatches. The successful use of chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) for the generation of antigen-specific effector T cells suggests that a similar approach could be used to generate alloantigen-specific Tregs. Here, we have described the creation of an HLA-A2–specific CAR (A2-CAR) and its application in the generation of alloantigen-specific human Tregs. In vitro, A2-CAR–expressing Tregs maintained their expected phenotype and suppressive function before, during, and after A2-CAR–mediated stimulation. In mouse models, human A2-CAR–expressing Tregs were superior to Tregs expressing an irrelevant CAR at preventing xenogeneic GVHD caused by HLA-A2+ T cells. Together, our results demonstrate that use of CAR technology to generate potent, functional, and stable alloantigen-specific human Tregs markedly enhances their therapeutic potential in transplantation and sets the stage for using this approach for making antigen-specific Tregs for therapy of multiple diseases.
Katherine G. MacDonald, Romy E. Hoeppli, Qing Huang, Jana Gillies, Dan S. Luciani, Paul C. Orban, Raewyn Broady, Megan K. Levings