SHP-1 in T cells limits the production of CD8 effector cells without impacting the formation of long-lived central memory cells.
ABSTRACT: During responses against viruses and malignancies, naive CD8 T lymphocytes expand to form both short-lived effector cells and a population containing cells with the potential to be long-lived and participate in memory responses (memory precursor effector cells). The strength of antigenic, costimulatory, and cytokine signals during responses impacts the magnitude and type of CD8 populations formed. In vitro studies have revealed that the tyrosine phosphatase Src homology region 2 domain-containing phosphatase-1 (SHP-1) regulates signal transduction from receptors on T cells including the TCR, helping set the activation threshold, and therefore may shape responses of mature CD8 T cells in vivo. Analysis of CD8 T cells from motheaten mice, which are globally deficient in SHP-1, proved problematic due to cell-extrinsic effects of SHP-1 deficiency in non-T cells on CD8 T cells. Therefore, a conditional knockout of SHP-1 in mature single-positive T cells was developed to analyze cell-intrinsic consequences of complete and partial SHP-1 deficiency on CD8 T cell responses to acute viral infection. The results demonstrated that SHP-1 has disparate effects on subpopulations of responding cells, limiting the magnitude and quality of primary and secondary responses by reducing the number of short-lived effector cells generated without affecting the size of the memory precursor effector cell pool that leads to formation of long-term memory.
Project description:T cell expression of inhibitory proteins can be a critical component for the regulation of immunopathology owing to self-reactivity or potentially exuberant responses to pathogens, but it may also limit T cell responses to some malignancies, particularly if the tumor Ag being targeted is a self-protein. We found that the abrogation of Src homology region 2 domain-containing phosphatase-1 (SHP-1) in tumor-reactive CD8(+) T cells improves the therapeutic outcome of adoptive immunotherapy in a mouse model of disseminated leukemia, with benefit observed in therapy employing transfer of CD8(+) T cells alone or in the context of also providing supplemental IL-2. SHP-1(-/-) and SHP-1(+/+) effector T cells were expanded in vitro for immunotherapy. Following transfer in vivo, the SHP-1(-/-) effector T cells exhibited enhanced short-term accumulation, followed by greater contraction, and they ultimately formed similar numbers of long-lived, functional memory cells. The increased therapeutic effectiveness of SHP-1(-/-) effector cells was also observed in recipients that expressed the tumor Ag as a self-antigen in the liver, without evidence of inducing autoimmune toxicity. SHP-1(-/-) effector CD8(+) T cells expressed higher levels of eomesodermin, which correlated with enhanced lysis of tumor cells. Furthermore, reduction of SHP-1 expression in tumor-reactive effector T cells by retroviral transduction with vectors that express SHP-1-specific small interfering RNA, a translatable strategy, also exhibited enhanced antitumor activity in vivo. These studies suggest that abrogating SHP-1 in effector T cells may improve the efficacy of tumor elimination by T cell therapy without affecting the ability of the effector cells to persist and provide a long-term response.
Project description:Adoptive transfer of tumor-specific cytotoxic T cells is a promising advance in cancer therapy. Similarly, checkpoint inhibition has shown striking clinical results in some patients. Here we combine adoptive cell transfer with ablation of the checkpoint protein Src homology 2-domain-containing phosphatase 1 (SHP-1, Ptpn6). Naturally occurring motheaten mice lack SHP-1 and do not survive weaning due to extensive immunopathology. To circumvent this limitation, we created a novel SHP-1(null) mouse that is viable up to 12 weeks of age by knocking out IL1r1. Using this model, we demonstrate that the absence of SHP-1 augments the ability of adoptively transferred CD8(+) T cells to control tumor growth. This therapeutic effect was only observed in situations where T-cell numbers were limited, analogous to clinical settings. However, adoptive transfer of non-CD8(+) SHP-1(null) hematopoietic cells resulted in lethal motheaten-like pathology, indicating that systemic inhibition of SHP-1 could have serious adverse effects. Despite this caveat, our findings support the development of SHP-1 inhibition strategies in human T cells to complement adoptive transfer therapies in the clinic.
Project description:The transcriptional regulation underlying the differentiation of CD8(+) effector and memory T cells remains elusive. Here, we show that 18-month-old mice lacking the transcription factor Smad4 (homolog 4 of mothers against decapentaplegic, Drosophila), a key intracellular signaling effector for the TGF-? superfamily, in T cells exhibited lower percentages of CD44(hi)CD8(+) T cells. To explore the role of Smad4 in the activation/memory of CD8(+) T cells, 6- to 8-week-old mice with or without Smad4 in T cells were challenged with Listeria monocytogenes. Smad4 deficiency did not affect antigen-specific CD8(+) T-cell expansion but led to partially impaired cytotoxic function. Less short-lived effector T cells but more memory-precursor effector T cells were generated in the absence of Smad4. Despite that, Smad4 deficiency led to reduced memory CD8(+) T-cell responses. Further exploration revealed that the generation of central memory T cells was impaired in the absence of Smad4 and the cells showed survival issue. In mechanism, Smad4 deficiency led to aberrant transcriptional programs in antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells. These findings demonstrated an essential role of Smad4 in the control of effector and memory CD8(+) T-cell responses to infection.
Project description:Memory CD8 T cells that circulate in the blood and are present in lymphoid organs are an essential component of long-lived T cell immunity. These memory CD8 T cells remain poised to rapidly elaborate effector functions upon re-exposure to pathogens, but also have many properties in common with naive cells, including pluripotency and the ability to migrate to the lymph nodes and spleen. Thus, memory cells embody features of both naive and effector cells, fuelling a long-standing debate centred on whether memory T cells develop from effector cells or directly from naive cells. Here we show that long-lived memory CD8 T cells are derived from a subset of effector T cells through a process of dedifferentiation. To assess the developmental origin of memory CD8 T cells, we investigated changes in DNA methylation programming at naive and effector cell-associated genes in virus-specific CD8 T cells during acute lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus infection in mice. Methylation profiling of terminal effector versus memory-precursor CD8 T cell subsets showed that, rather than retaining a naive epigenetic state, the subset of cells that gives rise to memory cells acquired de novo DNA methylation programs at naive-associated genes and became demethylated at the loci of classically defined effector molecules. Conditional deletion of the de novo methyltransferase Dnmt3a at an early stage of effector differentiation resulted in reduced methylation and faster re-expression of naive-associated genes, thereby accelerating the development of memory cells. Longitudinal phenotypic and epigenetic characterization of the memory-precursor effector subset of virus-specific CD8 T cells transferred into antigen-free mice revealed that differentiation to memory cells was coupled to erasure of de novo methylation programs and re-expression of naive-associated genes. Thus, epigenetic repression of naive-associated genes in effector CD8 T cells can be reversed in cells that develop into long-lived memory CD8 T cells while key effector genes remain demethylated, demonstrating that memory T cells arise from a subset of fate-permissive effector T cells.
Project description:Adoptive T cell therapy (ACT) has been established as an efficacious methodology for the treatment of cancer. Identifying targets to enhance the antigen recognition, functional capacity and longevity of T cells has the potential to broaden the applicability of these approaches in the clinic. We previously reported that targeting expression of phosphotyrosine phosphatase, non-receptor type (PTPN) 22 in effector CD8+ T cells enhances the efficacy of ACT for tumor clearance in mice. In the current work, we demonstrate that, upon ACT, PTPN22-deficient effector CD8+ T cells afford greater protection against tumors expressing very low affinity antigen, but do not survive long-term in vivo. Persistence of CD8+ T cells following tumor clearance is improved by ACT of memory phenotype cells that have a distinct metabolic phenotype as compared to effector T cells. Importantly, PTPN22-deficient T cells have comparable capacity to form long-lived memory cells in vivo but enhanced anti-tumor activity in vivo and effector responses ex vivo. These findings provide key insight into the regulation of effector and memory T cell responses in vivo, and indicate that PTPN22 is a rationale target to improve ACT for cancer.
Project description:Virus infections induce CD8+ T cell responses comprised of a large population of terminal effector cells and a smaller subset of long-lived memory cells. The transcription factors regulating the relative expansion versus the long-term survival potential of anti-viral CD8+ T cells are not completely understood. We identified ZBTB32 as a transcription factor that is transiently expressed in effector CD8+ T cells. After acute virus infection, CD8+ T cells deficient in ZBTB32 showed enhanced virus-specific CD8+ T cell responses, and generated increased numbers of virus-specific memory cells; in contrast, persistent expression of ZBTB32 suppressed memory cell formation. The dysregulation of CD8+ T cell responses in the absence of ZBTB32 was catastrophic, as Zbtb32-/- mice succumbed to a systemic viral infection and showed evidence of severe lung pathology. We found that ZBTB32 and Blimp-1 were co-expressed following CD8+ T cell activation, bound to each other, and cooperatively regulated Blimp-1 target genes Eomes and Cd27. These findings demonstrate that ZBTB32 is a key transcription factor in CD8+ effector T cells that is required for the balanced regulation of effector versus memory responses to infection.
Project description:Immunization in the absence of CD4(+) T cell help results in defective CD8(+) T cell memory, deficient recall responses and diminished protective immunity. Here we investigated at what stage during the immune response to pathogen CD4(+) T cells are essential in the promotion of functional CD8(+) T cell memory. Memory CD8(+) T cell numbers decreased gradually in the absence of CD4(+) T cells despite the presence of similar numbers of memory cell precursors at the peak of the effector phase. Adoptive transfer of effector or memory CD8(+) T cells into wild-type or CD4(+) T cell-deficient mice demonstrated that the presence of CD4(+) T cells was important only after, not during, the early CD8(+) T cell programming phase. In the absence of CD4(+) T cells, memory CD8(+) T cells became functionally impaired and decreased in quantity over time. We conclude that in the context of an acute infection, CD4(+) T cells are required only during the maintenance phase of long-lived memory CD8(+) T cells.
Project description:The induction of long-lived effector CD8+ T cells is key to the development of efficient cancer vaccines. In this study, we demonstrated that a Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) agonist-fused antigen increased antigen presentation via TLR2 signaling and induced effector memory-like CD8+ T cells against cancer after immunization. The N-terminus of ovalbumin (OVA) was biologically fused with a bacterial lipid moiety TLR2 agonist to produce a recombinant lipidated ovalbumin (rlipo-OVA). We demonstrated that rlipo-OVA activated bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BM-DCs) maturation and increased antigen presentation by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I via TLR2. After immunization, rlipo-OVA skewed the immune response towards T helper (Th) 1 and induced OVA-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses. Moreover, immunization with rlipo-OVA induced higher numbers of effector memory (CD44+CD62L-) CD8+ T cells compared with recombinant ovalbumin (rOVA) alone or rOVA mixed with the TLR2 agonist Pam3CSK4. Accordingly, the CD27+CD43+ effector memory CD8+ T cells expressed high levels of the long-lived CD127 marker. The administration of rlipo-OVA could inhibit tumor growth, but the anti-tumor effects were lost after the depletion of CD8 or CD127 cells in vivo. These findings suggested that the TLR2 agonist-fused antigen induced long-lived memory CD8+ T cells for efficient cancer therapy.
Project description:CD8(+) T cells develop increased sensitivity following Ag experience, and differences in sensitivity exist between T cell memory subsets. How differential TCR signaling between memory subsets contributes to sensitivity differences is unclear. We show in mouse effector memory T cells (TEM) that >50% of lymphocyte-specific protein tyrosine kinase (Lck) exists in a constitutively active conformation, compared with <20% in central memory T cells (TCM). Immediately proximal to Lck signaling, we observed enhanced Zap-70 phosphorylation in TEM following TCR ligation compared with TCM Furthermore, we observed superior cytotoxic effector function in TEM compared with TCM, and we provide evidence that this results from a lower probability of TCM reaching threshold signaling owing to the decreased magnitude of TCR-proximal signaling. We provide evidence that the differences in Lck constitutive activity between CD8(+) TCM and TEM are due to differential regulation by SH2 domain-containing phosphatase-1 (Shp-1) and C-terminal Src kinase, and we use modeling of early TCR signaling to reveal the significance of these differences. We show that inhibition of Shp-1 results in increased constitutive Lck activity in TCM to levels similar to TEM, as well as increased cytotoxic effector function in TCM Collectively, this work demonstrates a role for constitutive Lck activity in controlling Ag sensitivity, and it suggests that differential activities of TCR-proximal signaling components may contribute to establishing the divergent effector properties of TCM and TEM. This work also identifies Shp-1 as a potential target to improve the cytotoxic effector functions of TCM for adoptive cell therapy applications.
Project description:T-cell interactions with antigen-presenting cells are important for CD8 T-cell effector or memory fate determination. The integrin leukocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) mediates T-cell adhesion but the contribution of LFA-1-induced signaling pathways to T-cell responses is poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that proline-rich tyrosine kinase-2 (PYK2) deficiency impairs CD8 T-cell activation by synergistic LFA-1 and T-cell receptor stimulation. Furthermore, PYK2 is essential for LFA-1-mediated CD8 T-cell adhesion and LFA-1 costimulation of CD8 T-cell migration. During lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus infection in vivo, PYK2 deficiency results in a specific loss of short-lived effector CD8 T cells but does not affect memory-precursor CD8 T-cell development. Similarly, lack of LFA-1 primarily impairs the generation of short-lived effector cells. Thus, PYK2 facilitates LFA-1-dependent CD8 T-cell responses and promotes CD8 T-cell short-lived effector fate, suggesting that PYK2 may be an interesting therapeutic target to suppress exacerbated CD8 T-cell responses.