Autoreactive CD4 T cells that differentiate into pathogenic Th17 cells can trigger autoimmune diseases. Therefore, investigating the regulatory network that modulates Th17 differentiation may yield important therapeutic insights. miR-146a has emerged as a critical modulator of immune reactions, but its role in regulating autoreactive Th17 cells and organ-specific autoimmunity remains largely unknown. Here, we have reported that miR-146a–deficient mice developed more severe experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of human multiple sclerosis (MS). We bred miR-146a–deficient mice with 2D2 T cell receptor–Tg mice to generate 2D2 CD4 T cells that are deficient in miR-146a and specific for myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG), an autoantigen in the EAE model. miR-146a–deficient 2D2 T cells induced more severe EAE and were more prone to differentiate into Th17 cells. Microarray analysis revealed enhancements in IL-6– and IL-21–induced Th17 differentiation pathways in these T cells. Further study showed that miR-146a inhibited the production of autocrine IL-6 and IL-21 in 2D2 T cells, which in turn reduced their Th17 differentiation. Thus, our study identifies miR-146a as an important molecular brake that blocks the autocrine IL-6– and IL-21–induced Th17 differentiation pathways in autoreactive CD4 T cells, highlighting its potential as a therapeutic target for treating autoimmune diseases.
Bo Li, Xi Wang, In Young Choi, Yu-Chen Wang, Siyuan Liu, Alexander T. Pham, Heesung Moon, Drake J. Smith, Dinesh S. Rao, Mark P. Boldin, Lili Yang
In rheumatoid arthritis (RA), immunological triggers at mucosal sites, such as the gut microbiota, may promote autoimmunity that affects joints. Here, we used discovery-based proteomics to detect HLA-DR–presented peptides in synovia or peripheral blood mononuclear cells and identified 2 autoantigens, N-acetylglucosamine-6-sulfatase (GNS) and filamin A (FLNA), as targets of T and B cell responses in 52% and 56% of RA patients, respectively. Both GNS and FLNA were highly expressed in synovia. GNS appeared to be citrullinated, and GNS antibody values correlated with anti–citrullinated protein antibody (ACPA) levels. FLNA did not show the same results. The HLA-DR–presented GNS peptide has marked sequence homology with epitopes from sulfatase proteins of the Prevotella sp. and Parabacteroides sp., whereas the HLA-DR–presented FLNA peptide has homology with epitopes from proteins of the Prevotella sp. and Butyricimonas sp., another gut commensal. Patients with T cell reactivity with each self-peptide also had responses to the corresponding microbial peptides, and the levels were directly correlated. Furthermore, HLA-DR molecules encoded by shared-epitope (SE) alleles were predicted to bind these self- and microbial peptides strongly, and these responses were more common in RA patients with SE alleles. Thus, sequence homology between T cell epitopes of 2 self-proteins and a related order of gut microbes may provide a link between mucosal and joint immunity in patients with RA.
Annalisa Pianta, Sheila L. Arvikar, Klemen Strle, Elise E. Drouin, Qi Wang, Catherine E. Costello, Allen C. Steere
Design of efficacious Treg-based therapies and establishment of clinical tolerance in autoimmune diseases have proven to be challenging. The clinical implementation of Treg immunotherapy has been hampered by various impediments related to the stability and isolation procedures of Tregs as well as the specific in vivo targets of Treg modalities. Herein, we have demonstrated that Foxp3+ Tregs potently suppress autoimmune responses in vivo through inhibition of the autophagic machinery in DCs in a cytotoxic T-lymphocyte–associated protein 4–dependent (CTLA4-dependent) manner. Autophagy-deficient DCs exhibited reduced immunogenic potential and failed to prime autoantigen-specific CD4+ T cells to mediate autoimmunity. Mechanistically, CTLA4 binding promoted activation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR axis and FoxO1 nuclear exclusion in DCs, leading to decreased transcription of the autophagy component microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3β (Lc3b). Human DCs treated with CTLA4-Ig, a fusion protein composed of the Fc region of IgG1 and the extracellular domain of CTLA4 (also known as abatacept, marketed as Orencia), demonstrated reduced levels of autophagosome formation, while DCs from CTLA4-Ig–treated rheumatoid arthritis patients displayed diminished LC3B transcripts. Collectively, our data identify the canonical autophagy pathway in DCs as a molecular target of Foxp3+ Treg–mediated suppression that leads to amelioration of autoimmune responses. These findings may pave the way for the development of therapeutic protocols that exploit Tregs for the treatment of autoimmunity as well as diseases in which disturbed tolerance is a common denominator.
Themis Alissafi, Aggelos Banos, Louis Boon, Tim Sparwasser, Alessandra Ghigo, Kajsa Wing, Dimitrios Vassilopoulos, Dimitrios Boumpas, Triantafyllos Chavakis, Ken Cadwell, Panayotis Verginis
A large proportion of human T cells are autoreactive to group 1 CD1 proteins, which include CD1a, CD1b, and CD1c. However, the physiological role of the CD1 proteins remains poorly defined. Here, we have generated a double-transgenic mouse model that expresses human CD1b and CD1c molecules (hCD1Tg) as well as a CD1b-autoreactive TCR (HJ1Tg) in the ApoE-deficient background (hCD1Tg HJ1Tg
Sreya Bagchi, Ying He, Hong Zhang, Liang Cao, Ildiko Van Rhijn, D. Branch Moody, Johann E. Gudjonsson, Chyung-Ru Wang
Despite the benefit of insulin, blockade of autoimmune attack and regeneration of pancreatic islets are ultimate goals for the complete cure of type 1 diabetes (T1D). Long-term consumption of ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) is known to suppress inflammatory processes, making these fatty acids candidates for the prevention and amelioration of autoimmune diseases. Here, we explored the preventative and therapeutic effects of ω-3 PUFAs on T1D. In NOD mice, dietary intervention with ω-3 PUFAs sharply reduced the incidence of T1D, modulated the differentiation of Th cells and Tregs, and decreased the levels of IFN-γ, IL-17, IL-6, and TNF-α. ω-3 PUFAs exerted similar effects on the differentiation of CD4+ T cells isolated from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The regulation of CD4+ T cell differentiation was mediated at least in part through ω-3 PUFA eicosanoid derivatives and by mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) inhibition. Importantly, therapeutic intervention in NOD mice through nutritional supplementation or lentivirus-mediated expression of an ω-3 fatty acid desaturase, m
Xinyun Bi, Fanghong Li, Shanshan Liu, Yan Jin, Xin Zhang, Tao Yang, Yifan Dai, Xiaoxi Li, Allan Zijian Zhao
Genetic variations in the
Mohd Hafeez Faridi, Samia Q. Khan, Wenpu Zhao, Ha Won Lee, Mehmet M. Altintas, Kun Zhang, Vinay Kumar, Andrew R. Armstrong, Carmelo Carmona-Rivera, Jessica M. Dorschner, Abigail M. Schnaith, Xiaobo Li, Yogita Ghodke-Puranik, Erica Moore, Monica Purmalek, Jorge Irizarry-Caro, Tingting Zhang, Rachael Day, Darren Stoub, Victoria Hoffmann, Shehryar Jehangir Khaliqdina, Prachal Bhargava, Ana M. Santander, Marta Torroella-Kouri, Biju Issac, David J. Cimbaluk, Andrew Zloza, Rajeev Prabhakar, Shashank Deep, Meenakshi Jolly, Kwi Hye Koh, Jonathan S. Reichner, Elizabeth M. Bradshaw, JianFeng Chen, Luis F. Moita, Peter S. Yuen, Wanxia Li Tsai, Bhupinder Singh, Jochen Reiser, Swapan K. Nath, Timothy B. Niewold, Roberto I. Vazquez-Padron, Mariana J. Kaplan, Vineet Gupta
B cells contribute to multiple aspects of autoimmune disorders and may play a role in triggering disease. Thus, targeting B cells may be a promising strategy for treating autoimmune disorders. Better understanding of the B cell subsets that are responsible for the development of autoimmunity will be critical for developing efficient therapies. Here we have reported that B cells expressing the transcription factor T-bet promote the rapid appearance of autoantibodies and germinal centers in spontaneous murine models of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Conditional deletion of T-bet from B cells impaired the formation of germinal centers and mitigated the development of kidney damage and rapid mortality in SLE mice. B cell–specific deletion of T-bet was also associated with lower activation of both B cells and T cells. Taken together, our results suggest that targeting T-bet–expressing B cells may be a potential target for therapy for autoimmune diseases.
Kira Rubtsova, Anatoly V. Rubtsov, Joshua M. Thurman, Johanna M. Mennona, John W. Kappler, Philippa Marrack
MicroRNAs (miRs) are tightly regulated in the immune system, and aberrant expression of miRs often results in hematopoietic malignancies and autoimmune diseases. Previously, it was suggested that elevated levels of miR-27 in T cells isolated from patients with multiple sclerosis facilitate disease progression by inhibiting Th2 immunity and promoting pathogenic Th1 responses. Here we have demonstrated that, although mice with T cell–specific overexpression of miR-27 harbor dysregulated Th1 responses and develop autoimmune pathology, these disease phenotypes are not driven by miR-27 in effector T cells in a cell-autonomous manner. Rather, dysregulation of Th1 responses and autoimmunity resulted from a perturbed Treg compartment. Excessive miR-27 expression in murine T cells severely impaired Treg differentiation. Moreover, Tregs with exaggerated miR-27–mediated gene regulation exhibited diminished homeostasis and suppressor function in vivo. Mechanistically, we determined that miR-27 represses several known as well as previously uncharacterized targets that play critical roles in controlling multiple aspects of Treg biology. Collectively, our data show that miR-27 functions as a key regulator in Treg development and function and suggest that proper regulation of miR-27 is pivotal to safeguarding Treg-mediated immunological tolerance.
Leilani O. Cruz, Somaye Sadat Hashemifar, Cheng-Jang Wu, Sunglim Cho, Duc T. Nguyen, Ling-Li Lin, Aly Azeem Khan, Li-Fan Lu
Alterations in the apoptosis of immune cells have been associated with autoimmunity. Here, we have identified a homozygous missense mutation in the gene encoding the base excision repair enzyme Nei endonuclease VIII-like 3 (
Michel J. Massaad, Jia Zhou, Daisuke Tsuchimoto, Janet Chou, Haifa Jabara, Erin Janssen, Salomé Glauzy, Brennan G. Olson, Henner Morbach, Toshiro K. Ohsumi, Klaus Schmitz, Markianos Kyriacos, Jennifer Kane, Kumiko Torisu, Yusaku Nakabeppu, Luigi D. Notarangelo, Eliane Chouery, Andre Megarbane, Peter B. Kang, Eman Al-Idrissi, Hasan Aldhekri, Eric Meffre, Masayuki Mizui, George C. Tsokos, John P. Manis, Waleed Al-Herz, Susan S. Wallace, Raif S. Geha
Although necrosis and necroinflammation are central features of many liver diseases, the role of programmed necrosis in the context of inflammation-dependent hepatocellular death remains to be fully determined. Here, we have demonstrated that the pseudokinase mixed lineage kinase domain–like protein (MLKL), which plays a key role in the execution of receptor-interacting protein (RIP) kinase–dependent necroptosis, is upregulated and activated in human autoimmune hepatitis and in a murine model of inflammation-dependent hepatitis. Using genetic and pharmacologic approaches, we determined that hepatocellular necrosis in experimental hepatitis is driven by an MLKL-dependent pathway that occurs independently of RIPK3. Moreover, we have provided evidence that the cytotoxic activity of the proinflammatory cytokine IFN-γ in hepatic inflammation is strongly connected to induction of MLKL expression via activation of the transcription factor STAT1. In summary, our results reveal a pathway for MLKL-dependent programmed necrosis that is executed in the absence of RIPK3 and potentially drives the pathogenesis of severe liver diseases.
Claudia Günther, Gui-Wei He, Andreas E. Kremer, James M. Murphy, Emma J. Petrie, Kerstin Amann, Peter Vandenabeele, Andreas Linkermann, Christopher Poremba, Ulrike Schleicher, Christin Dewitz, Stefan Krautwald, Markus F. Neurath, Christoph Becker, Stefan Wirtz
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