Rapid generation of a functional NK-cell compartment.
ABSTRACT: Bone marrow transplants are an important therapeutic tool for treating certain types of cancer as well as genetic diseases affecting the hematopoietic system. Until the transferred stem cells differentiate and reconstitute the immune system, recipients are at increased risk from opportunistic infections. We report the rapid generation of a functional natural killer (NK) compartment in lethally irradiated mice that received bone marrow cells from a syngeneic donor by treatment with IL-2/anti-IL-2 antibody complexes. We demonstrate that IL-2 complexes specifically expand the donor but not the host NK population and discuss the implications of this finding in the context of graft-versus-host disease and tumor relapse. Finally, we show that NK cells rapidly generated by IL-2 complexes kill MHC class I-deficient cells effectively in vivo. These data underline the unique therapeutic potential of IL-2 complexes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The peculiar multiple myeloma microenvironment, characterized by up-regulated levels of several inflammatory chemokines, including the CXCR3 receptor ligands CXCL9 and CXCL10, limits NK cell positioning into the bone marrow by interfering with CXCR4 function. It is still unclear if the consequent reduced influx of transferred cells into the tumor represents a potential limiting factor for the success of NK cell-based adoptive therapy. We hypothesize that inhibition of CXCR3 function on NK cells will result in increased tumor clearance, due to higher NK cell bone marrow infiltration. METHODS:Since different activation protocols differently affect expression and function of homing receptors, we analyzed the bone marrow homing properties and anti-tumor efficacy of NK cells stimulated in vitro with two independent protocols. NK cells were purified from wild-type or Cxcr3-/- mice and incubated with IL-15 alone or with a combination of IL-12, IL-15, IL-18 (IL-12/15/18). Alternatively, CXCR3 function was neutralized in vivo using a specific blocking antibody. NK cell functional behavior and tumor growth were analyzed in bone marrow samples by FACS analysis. RESULTS:Both activation protocols promoted degranulation and IFN-? production by donor NK cells infiltrating the bone marrow of tumor-bearing mice, although IL-15 promoted a faster but more transient acquisition of functional capacities. In addition, IL-15-activated cells accumulated more in the bone marrow in a short time but showed lower persistence in vivo. Targeting of CXCR3 increased the bone marrow homing capacity of IL-15 but not IL12/15/18 activated NK cells. This effect correlated with a superior and durable myeloma clearance capacity of transferred cells in vivo. CONCLUSIONS:Our results demonstrate that in vitro activation affects NK cell anti-myeloma activity in vivo by regulating their BM infiltration. Furthermore, we provided direct evidence that CXCR3 restrains NK cell anti-tumor capacity in vivo according to the activation protocol used, and that the effects of NK cell-based adoptive immunotherapy for multiple myeloma can be improved by increasing their bone marrow homing through CXCR3 inhibition.
Project description:Pigs with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) are an emerging biomedical animal model. Swine are anatomically and physiologically more similar to humans than mice, making them an invaluable tool for preclinical regenerative medicine and cancer research. One essential step in further developing this model is the immunological humanization of SCID pigs. In this work we have generated T- B- NK- SCID pigs through site directed CRISPR/Cas9 mutagenesis of IL2RG within a naturally occurring DCLRE1C (ARTEMIS) -/- genetic background. We confirmed ART -/- IL2RG -/Y pigs lacked T, B, and NK cells in both peripheral blood and lymphoid tissues. Additionally, we successfully performed a bone marrow transplant on one ART -/- IL2RG -/Y male SCID pig with bone marrow from a complete swine leukocyte antigen (SLA) matched donor without conditioning to reconstitute porcine T and NK cells. Next, we performed in utero injections of cultured human CD34+ selected cord blood cells into the fetal ART -/- IL2RG -/Y SCID pigs. At birth, human CD45+ CD3?+ cells were detected in cord and peripheral blood of in utero injected SCID piglets. Human leukocytes were also detected within the bone marrow, spleen, liver, thymus, and mesenteric lymph nodes of these animals. Taken together, we describe critical steps forwards the development of an immunologically humanized SCID pig model.
Project description:Tbet-deficient mice have reduced natural killer (NK) cells in blood and spleen, but increased NK cells in bone marrow and lymph nodes, a phenotype that is thought to be the result of defective migration. Here, we revisit the role of Tbet in NK cell bone marrow egress. We definitively show that the accumulation of NK cells in the bone marrow of Tbet-deficient Tbx21-/- animals occurs because of a migration defect and identify a module of genes, co-ordinated by Tbet, which affects the localization of NK cells in the bone marrow. Cxcr6 is approximately 125-fold underexpressed in Tbx21-/- , compared with wild-type, immature NK cells. Immature NK cells accumulate in the bone marrow of CXCR6-deficient mice, and CXCR6-deficient progenitors are less able to reconstitute the peripheral NK cell compartment than their wild-type counterparts. However, the CXCR6 phenotype is largely confined to immature NK cells, whereas the Tbet phenotype is present in both immature and mature NK cells, suggesting that genes identified as being more differentially expressed in mature NK cells, such as S1pr5, Cx3cr1, Sell and Cd69, may be the major drivers of the phenotype.
Project description:Effects of SOCS3 on the transcriptional response of bone marrow-derived macrophages to IL-6. Fetal liver cells from SOCS3+/+ or SOCS3-/- embryos were used to reconstitute recipient mice. Donor derived bone marrow from these mice was differentiated to macrophages. Macrophages were either unstimulated, or stimulated for 100 or 400 minutes with 10 ng/ml IL-6. Keywords = macrophage, SOCS3, IL-6, interferon
Project description:The differentiation of natural killer (NK) cells and a subpopulation of NK cells which requires an intact thymus, that is, thymic NK cells, is poorly understood. Previous in vitro studies indicate that double negative (CD4?CD8?, DN) thymocytes can develop into cells with NK cell markers, but these cells have not been well characterized. Herein, we generated and characterized NK cells differentiating from thymic DN precursors. Sorted DN1 (CD44?CD25?) CD122?NK1.1? thymocytes from Rag1(?/?) mice were adoptively transferred into Rag1(?/?)Ly5.1 congenic mice. After intrathymic injection, donor-derived cells phenotypically resembling thymic NK cells were found. To further study their differentiation, we seeded sorted DN1 CD122?)NK1.1? thymocytes on irradiated OP9 bone marrow stromal cells with IL-15, IL-7, Flt3L, and stem cell factor. NK1.1? cells emerged after 7 days. In vitro differentiated NK cells acquired markers associated with immature bone marrow-derived NK cells, but also expressed CD127, which is typically found on thymic NK cells. Furthermore, we found that in vitro cells generated from thymic precursors secreted cytokines when stimulated and degranulated on target exposure. Together, these data indicate that functional thymic NK cells can develop from a DN1 progenitor cell population.
Project description:Tachykinins are a large group of neuropeptides with both central and peripheral activity. Despite the increasing number of studies reporting a growth supportive effect of tachykinin peptides in various in vitro stem cell systems, it remains unclear whether these findings are applicable in vivo. To determine how neurokinin-1 receptor (NK-1R) deficient hematopoietic stem cells would behave in a normal in vivo environment, we tested their reconstitution efficiency using competitive bone marrow repopulation assays. We show here that bone marrow taken from NK-1R deficient mice (Tacr1(-/-)) showed lineage specific B and T cell engraftment deficits compared to wild-type competitor bone marrow cells, providing evidence for an involvement of NK-1R signalling in adult hematopoiesis. Tachykinin knockout mice lacking the peptides SP and/or HK-1 (Tac1 (-/-), Tac4 (-/-) and Tac1 (-/-)/Tac4 (-/-) mice) repopulated a lethally irradiated wild-type host with similar efficiency as competing wild-type bone marrow. The difference between peptide and receptor deficient mice indicates a paracrine and/or endocrine mechanism of action rather than autocrine signalling, as tachykinin peptides are supplied by the host environment.
Project description:Multiple origins, including the bone marrow, have been suggested to contribute to fibroblast populations in the lung. Using bone marrow reconstitution strategies, the present study tested the hypothesis that the bone marrow hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) gives rise to lung tissue fibroblasts in vivo. Data demonstrate that the nonadherent bone marrow fraction is enriched for CD45(+) HSC-derived cells and was able to reconstitute hematopoiesis in lethally irradiated animals. Analysis of peripheral blood and lung tissues from engrafted mice demonstrated the ability of this population to give rise to CD45(+)/Discoidin-Domain Receptor-2(+) (DDR2) circulating fibroblast precursors (CFPs) in blood and fibroblast populations in lung. An HSC origin for lung fibroblasts was confirmed using a novel clonal cell transplantation method in which the bone marrow is reconstituted by a clonal population derived from a single HSC. Together, these findings provide evidence for an HSC contribution to lung fibroblasts and demonstrate a circulating intermediate through the CD45(+)/DDR2(+) HSC-derived CFP.
Project description:Extramedullary hematopoiesis has been shown to contribute to the pathogenesis of a variety of diseases including cardiovascular diseases. In this process, the spleen is seeded with mobilized bone marrow cells that augment its hematopoietic ability. It is unclear whether these immigrant cells that are produced/reprogrammed in spleen are similar or different from those found in the bone marrow. To begin to understand this, we investigated the relative potency of adult splenocytes per se to repopulate bone marrow of lethally-irradiated mice and its functional consequences in atherosclerosis. The splenocytes were harvested from GFP donor mice and transplanted into myeloablated wild type recipient mice without the inclusion of any bone marrow helper cells. We found that adult splenocytes repopulated bone marrow of myeloablated mice and the transplanted cells differentiated into a full repertoire of myeloid cell lineages. The level of monocytes/macrophages in the bone marrow of recipient mice was dependent on the cell origin, i.e., the donor splenocytes gave rise to significantly more monocytes/macrophages than the donor bone marrow cells. This occurred despite a significantly lower number of hematopoietic stem cells being present in the donor splenocytes when compared with donor bone marrow cells. Atherosclerosis studies revealed that donor splenocytes displayed a similar level of atherogenic and atheroprotective activities to those of donor bone marrow cells. Cell culture studies showed that the phenotype of macrophages derived from spleen is different from those of bone marrow. Together, these results demonstrate that splenocytes can seed bone marrow of myeloablated mice and modulate atherosclerosis. In addition, our study shows the potential of splenocytes for therapeutic interventions in inflammatory disease.
Project description:Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) continues to be a serious complication that limits the success of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT). Using IL-7-deficient murine models, we have previously shown that IL-7 is necessary for the pathogenesis of GVHD. In the present study, we determined whether GVHD could be prevented by antibody-mediated blockade of IL-7 receptor alpha (IL-7Ralpha) signaling. C57/BL6 (H2K(b)) recipient mice were lethally irradiated and underwent cotransplantation with T-cell-depleted (TCD) BM and lymph node (LN) cells from allogeneic BALB/c (H2K(d)) donor mice. Following transplantation, the allogeneic BMT recipients were injected weekly with either anti-IL-7Ralpha antibody (100 mug per mouse per week) or PBS for 4 weeks. Anti-IL-7Ralpha antibody treatment significantly decreased GVHD-related morbidity and mortality compared with placebo (30% to 80%). IL-7Ralpha blockade resulted in the reduction of donor CD4(+) or CD8(+) T cells in the periphery by day 30 after transplantation. Paradoxically, the inhibition of GVHD by anti-IL-7Ralpha antibody treatment resulted in improved long-term thymic and immune function. Blockade of IL-7R by anti-IL-7Ralpha antibody resulted in elimination of alloreactive T cells, prevention of GVHD, and improvement of donor T-cell reconstitution.
Project description:A polarized macrophage response into inflammatory (M1) or regenerative/anti-inflammatory (M2) phenotypes is critical in host response to multiple intracellular bacterial infections. Ehrlichia is an obligate Gram-negative intracellular bacterium that causes human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME): a febrile illness that may progress to fatal sepsis with multi-organ failure. We have shown that liver injury and Ehrlichia-induced sepsis occur due to dysregulated inflammation. Here, we investigated the contribution of macrophages to Ehrlichia-induced sepsis using murine models of mild and fatal ehrlichiosis. Lethally-infected mice showed accumulation of M1 macrophages (iNOS-positive) in the liver. In contrast, non-lethally infected mice showed polarization of M2 macrophages and their accumulation in peritoneum, but not in the liver. Predominance of M1 macrophages in lethally-infected mice was associated with expansion of IL-17-producing T, NK, and NKT cells. Consistent with the in vivo data, infection of bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMM) with lethal Ehrlichia polarized M0 macrophages into M1 phenotype under an mTORC1-dependent manner, while infection with non-lethal Ehrlichia polarized these cells into M2 types. This work highlights that mTORC1-mediated polarization of macrophages towards M1 phenotype may contribute to induction of pathogenic immune responses during fatal ehrlichiosis. Targeting mTORC1 pathway may provide a novel aproach for treatment of HME.