Interleukin-10 signaling in regulatory T cells is required for suppression of Th17 cell-mediated inflammation.
ABSTRACT: Effector CD4+ T cell subsets, whose differentiation is facilitated by distinct cytokine cues, amplify the corresponding type of inflammatory response. Regulatory T (Treg) cells integrate environmental cues to suppress particular types of inflammation. In this regard, STAT3, a transcription factor essential for T helper 17 (Th17) cell differentiation, is necessary for Treg cell-mediated control of Th17 cell responses. Here, we showed that anti-inflammatory interleukin-10 (IL-10), and not proinflammatory IL-6 and IL-23 cytokine signaling, endowed Treg cells with the ability to suppress pathogenic Th17 cell responses. Ablation of the IL-10 receptor in Treg cells resulted in selective dysregulation of Th17 cell responses and colitis similar to that observed in mice harboring STAT3-deficient Treg cells. Thus, Treg cells limit Th17 cell inflammation by serving as principal amplifiers of negative regulatory circuits operating in immune effector cells.
Project description:Th17 cells and CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T (Treg) cells are thought to promote and suppress inflammatory responses, respectively. Here we explore why under Th17 cell polarizing conditions, Treg cells did not suppress, but rather upregulated, the expression of interleukin-17A (IL-17A), IL-17F, and IL-22 from responding CD4(+) T cells (Tresp cells). Upregulation of IL-17 cytokines in Tresp cells was dependent on consumption of IL-2 by Treg cells, especially at early time points both in vitro and in vivo. During an oral Candida albicans infection in mice, Treg cells induced IL-17 cytokines in Tresp cells, which markedly enhanced fungal clearance and recovery from infection. These findings show how Treg cells can promote acute Th17 cell responses to suppress mucosal fungus infections and reveal that Treg cells have a powerful capability to fight infections besides their role in maintaining tolerance or immune homeostasis.
Project description:Regulatory T (Treg) and T helper 17 (Th17) cells were recently proposed to be reciprocally regulated during differentiation. To understand the underlying mechanisms, we utilized a Th17 reporter mouse with a red fluorescent protein (RFP) sequence inserted into the interleukin-17F (IL-17F) gene. Using IL-17F-RFP together with a Foxp3 reporter, we found that the development of Th17 and Foxp3(+) Treg cells was associated in immune responses. Although TGF-beta receptor I signaling was required for both Foxp3 and IL-17 induction, SMAD4 was only involved in Foxp3 upregulation. Foxp3 inhibited Th17 differentiation by antagonizing the function of the transcription factors RORgammat and ROR*. In contrast, IL-6 overcame this suppressive effect of Foxp3 and, together with IL-1, induced genetic reprogramming in Foxp3(+) Treg cells. STAT3 regulated Foxp3 downregulation, whereas STAT3, RORgamma, and ROR* were required for IL-17 expression in Treg cells. Our data demonstrate molecular antagonism and plasticity of Treg and Th17 cell programs.
Project description:Mice that lack interleukin-23 (IL-23) are resistant to T cell-mediated autoimmunity. Although IL-23 is a maturation factor for T helper 17 (Th17) cells, a subset of ?? T cells expresses the IL-23 receptor (IL-23R) constitutively. Using IL-23R reporter mice, we showed that ?? T cells were the first cells to respond to IL-23 during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Although ?? T cells produced Th17 cell-associated cytokines in response to IL-23, their major function was to prevent the development of regulatory T (Treg) cell responses. IL-23-activated ?? T cells rendered ?? effector T cells refractory to the suppressive activity of Treg cells and also prevented the conversion of conventional T cells into Foxp3(+) Treg cells in vivo. Thus, IL-23, which by itself has no direct effect on Treg cells, is able to disarm Treg cell responses and promote antigen-specific effector T cell responses via activating ?? T cells.
Project description:Th17 cells are potent mediators in autoimmune diseases, and ROR?t is required for their development. Recent studies have shown that ROR?t+ Treg cells in the gut regulate intestinal inflammation by inhibiting effector T cell function. In the current study, we report that ROR?t+ Treg cells were also found in lymph nodes following immunization. Not only distinct from intestinal ROR?t+ Treg cells in their transcriptomes, peripheral ROR?t+ Treg cells were derived from Foxp3+ thymic Treg cells in an antigen-specific manner. Development of these ROR?t+ Treg cells, coined T regulatory 17 (Tr17) cells, depended on IL-6/Stat3 signaling. Tr17 cells showed suppressive activity against antigen-specific effector T cells in vitro. In addition, Tr17 cells efficiently inhibited myelin-specific Th17-cell-mediated CNS auto-inflammation in a passive EAE model. Collectively, our study demonstrates that Tr17 cells are effector Treg cells that potentially restrict autoimmunity.
Project description:Using a model of lethal oral infection with Toxoplasma gondii, we examined the fate of both induced and natural regulatory T (Treg) cells in the face of strong inflammatory responses occurring in a tolerogenic-prone environment. We found that during highly T helper 1 (Th1) cell-polarized mucosal immune responses, Treg cell numbers collapsed via multiple pathways, including blockade of Treg cell induction and disruption of endogenous Treg cell homeostasis. In particular, shutdown of interleukin 2 (IL-2) in the highly Th1 cell-polarized environment triggered by infection directly contributes to Treg cell incapacity to suppress effector responses and eventually leads to immunopathogenesis. Furthermore, we found that environmental cues provided by both local dendritic cells and effector T cells can induce the expression of T-bet transcription factor and IFN-gamma by Treg cells. These data reveal a mechanism for Th1 cell pathogenicity that extends beyond their proinflammatory program to limit Treg cell survival.
Project description:OBJECTIVE: The effectiveness of tolerizing immunotherapeutic strategies, such as anti-CD40L or dendritic cells (DCs), is greater when administered to young nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice than at peak insulitis. RelB(lo) DCs, generated in the presence of an nuclear factor-?B inhibitor, induce T-regulatory (Treg) cells and suppress inflammation in a model of rheumatoid arthritis. Interleukin (IL)-1? is overexpressed in humans and mice at risk of type 1 diabetes, dysregulates Treg cells, and accelerates diabetes in NOD mice. We investigated the relationship between IL-1? production and the response to RelB(lo) DCs in the prediabetic period. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We injected RelB(lo) DCs subcutaneously into 4- or 14-week-old NOD mice and tracked the incidence of diabetes and effect on Treg cell function. We measured the expression of proinflammatory cytokines by stimulated splenocytes and unstimulated islets from mice of different ages and strains and proliferative and cytokine responses of T effectors to Treg in vitro. RESULTS: Tolerizing RelB(lo) DCs significantly inhibited diabetes progression when administered to 4-week-old but not 14-week-old mice. IL-1? production by NOD splenocytes and mRNA expression by islets increased from 6 to 16 weeks of age when major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-restricted islet antigen presentation to autoreactive T-cells occurred. IL-1 reduced the capacity of Treg cells to suppress effector cells and promoted their conversion to Th17 cells. RelB(lo) DCs exacerbated the IL-1-dependent decline in Treg function and promoted Th17 conversion. CONCLUSIONS: IL-1?, generated by islet-autoreactive cells in MHC-susceptible mice, accelerates diabetes by differentiating Th17 at the expense of Treg. Tolerizing DC therapies can regulate islet autoantigen priming and prevent diabetes, but progression past the IL-1?/IL-17 checkpoint signals the need for other strategies.
Project description:Disrupted balance in the lineages of CD4+ T cell subsets, including pro-inflammatory T helper (Th) cells and anti-inflammatory regulatory T cells (Treg), is a primary pathogenic factor for developing autoimmunity. We have found that this immunomodulatory effect of naringenin on effector T cells and T-cell mediated experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). We therefore explored the effects of naringenin on the development of different effector CD4+ T cells. Naïve CD4+ T cells were differentiated under respective Th1, Th2, Th17, and Treg polarizing conditions with naringenin. Percent populations of each differentiated CD4+ T cell subsets were determined and the corresponding regulating pathways were investigated as underlying mechanisms. Naringenin mainly inhibited CD4+ T cell proliferation and differentiation to Th1 and Th17, but did not affect Th2 cells. Impeded Th1 polarization was associated with inhibition of its specific regulator proteins T-bet, p-STAT1, and p-STAT4 by naringenin. Likewise, Th17 regulator proteins ROR?t, p-STAT3, and Ac-STAT3 were also inhibited by naringenin. In addition, naringenin promoted Treg polarization and also prevented IL-6-induced suppression of Treg development via down-regulation of p-Smad2/3 as well as inhibition of IL-6 signaling, and the latter was further supported by the in vivo results showing lower soluble IL-6R but higher soluble gp130 levels in plasma of naringenin-fed compared to the control EAE mice. Naringenin impacts CD4+ T cell differentiation in a manner that would explain its beneficial effect in preventing/mitigating T cell-mediated autoimmunity.
Project description:Human autoimmune diseases are characterized by systemic T cell dysfunction, resulting in chronically activated Th1 and Th17 cells that are inadequately suppressed by regulatory T cells (Tregs). IL-6, which is overexpressed in tissue and serum of patients with autoimmune diseases, inhibits human Treg function. We sought to determine the mechanism for the antitolerogenic properties of IL-6 by examining the signaling pathways downstream of IL-6R in primary human T cells. Inhibition of Stat3 signaling in MLCs containing IL-6 restores Treg-mediated suppression, demonstrating that IL-6-mediated loss of Treg suppression requires phosphorylation of Stat3. Cultures in which either effector T cells (Teffs) or Tregs were pretreated with Stat3 inhibitors indicate that phosphorylated (p)Stat3 is required in both T cell populations for IL-6-mediated reversal of Treg function. IL-21, which signals preferentially through pStat3, also reverses Treg suppression, in contrast to IL-27 and IFN-?, which signal preferentially through Stat1 and do not inhibit Treg function. Interestingly, both Teffs and Tregs respond to IL-6 stimulation through strong Stat3 phosphorylation with minimal MAPK/Erk activation and moderate Stat1 phosphorylation. Finally, Teffs stimulated strongly through the TCR are also resistant to suppression by Tregs and show concurrent Stat3 phosphorylation. In these cultures, inhibition of pStat3 restores functional suppression by Tregs. Taken together, our findings suggest that an early dominance of Stat3 signaling, prior to subsequent T cell activation, is required for the loss of functional Treg suppression and that kinase-specific inhibitors may hold therapeutic promise in the treatment of autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases.
Project description:Janus kinase-2 (JAK2) conveys receptor-binding signals by several inflammatory cytokines, including IL-6, via phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3). We demonstrate that selective JAK2 inhibition by TG101348 during initial encounters between human T cells and allogeneic monocyte-derived dendritic cells induces durable, profound, and specific T-cell tolerance upon reexposure to the same alloantigens. Subsequent responses by nonalloreactive T cells to stimulation de novo by a pathogenic nominal antigen remain intact. TG101348 also suppresses primed T-cell responses when present only during alloantigen restimulation. TG101348 ablates IL-6/JAK2-mediated phosphorylation of STAT3, but has no off-target effects on IL-2 or IL-15/JAK3/pSTAT5-dependent signaling, which sustain the responses of regulatory T cells (Tregs) and other effector T cells. JAK2 inhibition preserves Treg numbers and thereby enhances the ratio of CD4(+) Tregs to CD8(+)CD25(+) effector T cells in favor of Tregs. JAK2 inhibition also reduces the production of IL-6 and TNF-? in allogeneic MLRs, impairing the activation of central and effector memory T cells as well as the expansion of responder Th1 and Th17 cells. While we have reported the limitations of isolated IL-6R-? inhibition on dendritic cell-stimulated alloreactivity, we demonstrate here that JAK2 represents a relevant biologic target for controlling GVHD or allograft rejection without broader immune impairment.
Project description:Multipotent human mesenchymal stromal cells (hMSCs) harbor immunomodulatory properties that are therapeutically relevant. One of the most clinically important populations of leukocytes is the interleukin-17A (IL-17A)-secreting T (Th17) lymphocytes. However, mechanisms of hMSC and Th17 cell interactions are incompletely resolved. We found that, along with Th1 responses, hMSCs strongly suppressed Th17 responses and this required both IL-25--also known as IL--17E-as well as programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1), a potent cell surface ligand for tolerance induction. Knockdown of IL-25 expression in hMSCs abrogated Th17 suppression in vitro and in vivo. However, IL-25 alone was insufficient to significantly suppress Th17 responses, which also required surface PD-L1 expression. Critically, IL-25 upregulated PD-L1 surface expression through the signaling pathways of JNK and STAT3, with STAT3 found to constitutively occupy the proximal region of the PD-L1 promoter. Our findings demonstrate the complexities of hMSC-mediated Th17 suppression, and highlight the IL-25/STAT3/PD-L1 axis as a candidate therapeutic target.