Role of macrophage migration inhibitory factor in the regulatory T cell response of tumor-bearing mice.
ABSTRACT: Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is involved in tumorigenesis by facilitating tumor proliferation and evasion of apoptosis; however, its role in tumor immunity is unclear. In this study, we investigated the effect of MIF on the progression of the syngenic, CT26 colon carcinoma and the generation of tumor regulatory T cells (Tregs). The results showed that the tumor growth rate was significantly lower in MIF knockout (MIF(-/-)) mice than in wild-type (MIF(+/+)) mice. Flow cytometric analysis of both spleen and tumor cells revealed that MIF(-/-) mice had significantly lower levels of tumor-associated CD4(+)Tregs than MIF(+/+) mice. The splenic cells of MIF(-/-) mice also showed a decrease in CD8(+)Tregs, which was accompanied by an increase in CD8-induced tumor cytotoxicity. Interestingly, the inducible Treg response in spleen cells to anti-CD3/CD28 plus IL-2 plus TGF-? was greater in MIF(-/-) mice than in MIF(+/+) mice. Spleen cells of MIF(-/-) mice, stimulated with anti-CD3/CD28, produced lower levels of IL-2, but not TGF-?, than those of MIF(+/+) mice, which was recovered by the addition of recombinant MIF. Conversely, a neutralizing anti-MIF Ab blocked anti-CD3-induced IL-2 production by splenocytes of MIF(+/+) mice and suppressed the inducible Treg generation. Moreover, the administration of IL-2 into tumor-bearing MIF(-/-) mice restored the generation of Tregs and tumor growth. Taken together, our data suggest that MIF promotes tumor growth by increasing Treg generation through the modulation of IL-2 production. Thus, anti-MIF treatment might be useful in enhancing the adaptive immune response to colon cancers.
Project description:Regulatory T cells (Tregs) play a critical role in the maintenance of immunological tolerance. The best-characterized Tregs are those expressing the transcription factor Foxp3 and in vivo modulation of Foxp3 Tregs has been employed to study their role in immune homeostasis. Latency-associated peptide (LAP) is a membrane-bound TGF-? complex that has also been shown to play a role in Treg function and oral tolerance. We developed a novel anti-mouse LAP mAb that allowed us to investigate the effect of targeting LAP in vivo on immune function and on anti-CD3-induced oral tolerance. We found that in vivo anti-LAP mAb administration led to a decrease in the number of CD4+LAP+ Tregs in spleen and lymph nodes without affecting CD4+Foxp3+ Tregs. Spleen cells from anti-LAP-injected mice proliferated more in vitro and produced increased amounts of IL-2, IL-17 and IFN-?. Moreover, injection of anti-LAP antibody abrogated the protective effect of oral anti-CD3 on experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Finally, in vivo anti-LAP administration prior to myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein immunization resulted in severe EAE in the absence of pertussis toxin, which is used for EAE induction. Our findings demonstrate the importance of CD4+LAP+ T cells in the control of immune homeostasis and autoimmunity and provides a new tool for the in vivo investigation of murine LAP+ Tregs on immune function.
Project description:Cancer immunotherapy is hampered by the immunosuppression maintained by regulatory T cells (Tregs) in tumor-bearing hosts. Stimulation of the Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) by Pam3Cys is known to affect Treg-mediated suppression. We found that Pam3Cys increases the proliferation of both CD4(+) effector T cells (Teffs) and Tregs co-cultured in vitro, but did not induce the proliferation of Tregs alone upon CD3 and CD28 stimulation. In a mouse model of RMA-MUC1 tumors, Pam3Cys was administered either alone or in combination with a modified vaccinia ankara (MVA)-based mucin 1 (MUC1) therapeutic vaccine. The combination of Pam3Cys with MVA-MUC1 (1) diminished splenic Treg/CD4(+) T-cell ratios to those found in tumor-free mice, (2) stimulated a specific anti-MUC1 interferon ? (IFN?) response and (3) had a significant therapeutic effect on tumor growth and mouse survival. When CD4(+) Teffs and Tregs were isolated from Pam3Cys-treated mice, Teffs had become resistant to Treg-mediated suppression while upregulating the expression of BclL-x(L). Tregs from Pam3Cys-treated mice were fully suppressive for Teffs from naïve mice. Bcl-x(L) was induced by Pam3Cys with different kinetics in Tregs and Teffs. Teff from Pam3Cys-treated mice produced increased levels of Th1 and Th2-type cytokines and an interleukin (IL)-6-dependent secretion of IL-17 was observed in Teff:Treg co-cultures, suggesting that TLR2 stimulation had skewed the immune response toward a Th17 profile. Our results show for the first time that in a tumor-bearing host, TLR2 stimulation with Pam3Cys affects both Tregs and Teffs, protects Teff from Treg-mediated suppression and has strong therapeutic effects when combined with an MVA-based antitumor vaccine.
Project description:Recent work from our laboratory has shown that hyperlipidemia promotes accelerated rejection of vascularized cardiac allografts in mice by inducing anti-donor Th17 reactivity and production of IL-17. Here, we show that hyperlipidemia also affects FoxP3(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs). Hyperlipidemia promotes the development of Tregs that express low levels of CD25. Hyperlipidemia also promotes a decrease in central Tregs and an increase in effector Tregs that appears to account for the increase in the frequency of CD25(low) Tregs. Alterations in Treg subsets also appear to lead to alterations in Treg function. The ability of FoxP3(+) , CD25(high) , CD4(+) Tregs from hyperlipidemic mice to inhibit proliferation of effector T cells stimulated with anti-CD3 and CD28 was reduced when compared with Tregs from control mice. Regulatory T cells isolated from hyperlipidemic recipients exhibit increased activation of Akt, and a reduction in Bim levels that permits the expansion of FoxP3(+) CD25(low) CD4(+) T cells. Hyperlipidemic mice were also resistant to tolerance induction using costimulatory molecule blockade consisting of anti-CD154 and CTLA4Ig, a strategy that requires Tregs. Together, our data suggest that hyperlipidemia profoundly affects Treg subsets and function as well as the ability to induce tolerance.
Project description:Regulatory T cells (Tregs) can suppress immunologic damage in renal ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI), but the isolation and ex vivo expansion of these cells for clinical application remains challenging. Here, we investigated whether the IL-2/anti-IL-2 complex (IL-2C), a mediator of Treg expansion, can attenuate renal IRI in mice. IL-2C administered before bilateral renal IRI induced Treg expansion in both spleen and kidney, improved renal function, and attenuated histologic renal injury and apoptosis after IRI. Furthermore, IL-2C administration reduced the expression of inflammatory cytokines and attenuated the infiltration of neutrophils and macrophages in renal tissue. Depletion of Tregs with anti-CD25 antibodies abrogated the beneficial effects of IL-2C. However, IL-2C-mediated renal protection was not dependent on either IL-10 or TGF-?. Notably, IL-2C administered after IRI also enhanced Treg expansion in spleen and kidney, increased tubular cell proliferation, improved renal function, and reduced renal fibrosis. In conclusion, these results indicate that IL-2C-induced Treg expansion attenuates acute renal damage and improves renal recovery in vivo, suggesting that IL-2C may be a therapeutic strategy for renal IRI.
Project description:Glucocorticoid-induced tumor necrosis factor receptor family-related protein (TNFRSF18, CD357) is constitutively expressed on regulatory T cells (Tregs) and is inducible on effector T cells. In this report, we examine the role of glucocorticoid-induced TNF receptor family-related protein ligand (GITR-L), which is expressed by antigen presenting cells, on the development and expansion of Tregs. We found that GITR-L is dispensable for the development of naturally occurring FoxP3(+) Treg cells in the thymus. However, the expansion of Treg in GITR-L (-/-) mice is impaired after injection of the dendritic cells (DCs) inducing factor Flt3 ligand. Furthermore, DCs from the liver of GITR-L (-/-) mice were less efficient in inducing proliferation of antigen-specific Treg cells in vitro than the same cells from WT littermates. Upon gene transfer of ovalbumin into hepatocytes of GITR-L (-/-)FoxP3(GFP) reporter mice using adeno-associated virus (AAV8-OVA) the number of antigen-specific Treg in liver and spleen is reduced. The reduced number of Tregs resulted in an increase in the number of ovalbumin specific CD8(+) T effector cells. This is highly significant because proliferation of antigen-specific CD8(+) cells itself is dependent on the presence of GITR-L, as shown by in vitro experiments and by adoptive transfers into GITR-L (-/-) Rag (-/-) and Rag (-/-) mice that had received AAV8-OVA. Surprisingly, administering ?CD3 significantly reduced the numbers of FoxP3(+) Treg cells in the liver and spleen of GITR-L (-/-) but not WT mice. Because soluble Fc-GITR-L partially rescues ?CD3 induced in vitro depletion of the CD103(+) subset of FoxP3(+)CD4(+) Treg cells, we conclude that expression of GITR-L by antigen presenting cells is requisite for optimal Treg-mediated regulation of immune responses including those in response during gene transfer.
Project description:Regulatory T cells (Tregs) represent an important contributor to cancer immune escape, but the molecular mechanism responsible for Treg expansion in tumors is heterogeneous and unclear. Here, we investigated the role of S1P1, a receptor of the bioactive lipid sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P), in regulating the crosstalk between tumor cells and tumor-associated Tregs in bladder cancer (BC). We found that the frequency of CD4+Foxp3+ Tregs was increased in circulating and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes from BC patients. S1P1 expression was upregulated in BC tissues compared with tumor-adjacent tissues and was positively correlated with the density of tumor-infiltrated Foxp3+ Tregs. Both S1P1 and Treg predicted poor overall survival in BC patients. The in vitro data paralleled the in vivo data and suggested that the activation or overexpression of S1P1 in BC cells promoted the generation of BC-induced (i)Tregs from CD4+CD25-cells, and the generation of these cells was reversed by treatment with anti-IL-10 or anti-TGF-?. Moreover, S1P1 promoted Treg migration mediated by BC cells. Mechanistically, S1P1 activated the TGF-? signaling pathway, leading to the secretion of TGF-? and IL-10 from BC cells. In total, our findings suggest that S1P1 induces tumor-derived Treg expansion in a cell-specific manner and serves as a potent prognostic biomarker and therapeutic target in BC.
Project description:Chorioamnionitis is associated with preterm labor and fetal inflammatory response syndrome (FIRS), causing fetal organ injury and morbidity, particularly in extremely premature infants. However, the effects of inflammation on the fetal immune system remain poorly understood, due to the difficulty of studying immune development in infants. Therefore, we used the model of intra-amniotic LPS administered at ?80% gestation in rhesus monkeys to cause chorioamnionitis and FIRS that is similar in human pathology. Importantly, the frequency of IL-17(+) and IL-22(+) CD4(+) T cells increased in the spleen of LPS-exposed fetuses, whereas regulatory T cell (Treg) frequency decreased. These changes persisted for at least 48 h. Notably, Th17 cytokines were predominantly expressed by FOXP3(+)CD4(+) T cells and not by their FOXP3(-) counterparts. Bifunctional IL-17(+)FOXP3(+) exhibited a phenotype of inflammatory Tregs (RORc(High/+), Helios(Low/-), IL-2(+), IFN-?(+), and IL-8(+)) compared with typical FOXP3(+) cells. Diminished splenic Treg frequency in LPS-exposed fetuses was associated with inadequate Treg generation in the thymus. Mechanistically, the emergence of inflammatory Tregs was largely dependent on IL-1 signaling. However, blockage of IL-1R signaling did not abolish the deleterious effects of LPS on Treg frequency in the thymus or spleen. Collectively, we demonstrate that a prenatal inflammatory environment leads to inadequate Treg generation in the thymus with a switch of splenic Tregs toward an inflammatory phenotype. Both processes likely contribute to the pathogenesis of chorioamnionitis. Approaches to manipulate Treg numbers and function could thus be useful therapeutically to alleviate FIRS in preterm infants.
Project description:Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are a subpopulation of T cells that are specialized in suppressing immune responses. Here we show that the arginine methyl transferase protein PRMT5 can complex with FOXP3 transcription factors in Tregs. Mice with conditional knock out (cKO) of PRMT5 expression in Tregs develop severe scurfy-like autoimmunity. In these PRMT5 cKO mice, the spleen has reduced numbers of Tregs, but normal numbers of Tregs are found in the peripheral lymph nodes. These peripheral Tregs that lack PRMT5, however, display a limited suppressive function. Mass spectrometric analysis showed that FOXP3 can be di-methylated at positions R27, R51, and R146. A point mutation of Arginine (R) 51 to Lysine (K) led to defective suppressive functions in human CD4 T cells. Pharmacological inhibition of PRMT5 by DS-437 also reduced human Treg functions and inhibited the methylation of FOXP3. In addition, DS-437 significantly enhanced the anti-tumor effects of anti-erbB2/neu monoclonal antibody targeted therapy in Balb/c mice bearing CT26Her2 tumors by inhibiting Treg function and induction of tumor immunity. Controlling PRMT5 activity is a promising strategy for cancer therapy in situations where host immunity against tumors is attenuated in a FOXP3 dependent manner.
Project description:Fas ligand expression in certain tumors has been proposed to contribute to immunosuppression and poor prognosis. However, immunotherapeutic approaches may elicit the Fas-mediated elimination of immunosuppressive regulatory T cells (Tregs) and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) within tumors that represent major obstacles for cancer immunotherapy. Previously, we showed that IL-2 and agonistic CD40 Ab (?CD40) elicited synergistic antitumor responses coincident with the efficient removal of Tregs and MDSCs. We demonstrate in this study in two murine tumor models that Treg and MDSC loss within the tumor microenvironment after IL-2/?CD40 occurs through a Fas-dependent cell death pathway. Among tumor-infiltrating leukocytes, CD8(+) T cells, neutrophils, and immature myeloid cells expressed Fas ligand after treatment. Fas was expressed by tumor-associated Tregs and immature myeloid cells, including MDSCs. Tregs and MDSCs in the tumor microenvironment expressed active caspases after IL-2/?CD40 therapy and, in contrast with effector T cells, Tregs significantly downregulated Bcl-2 expression. In contrast, Tregs and MDSCs proliferated and expanded in the spleen after treatment. Adoptive transfer of Fas-deficient Tregs or MDSCs into wild-type, Treg-, or MDSC-depleted hosts resulted in the persistence of Tregs or MDSCs and the loss of antitumor efficacy in response to IL-2/?CD40. These results demonstrate the importance of Fas-mediated Treg/MDSC removal for successful antitumor immunotherapy. Our results suggest that immunotherapeutic strategies that include exploiting Treg and MDSC susceptibility to Fas-mediated apoptosis hold promise for treatment of cancer.
Project description:Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are critical for self-tolerance. Although adoptive transfer of expanded Tregs limits graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), ex vivo generation of large numbers of functional Tregs remains difficult. Here, we demonstrate that in vivo targeting of the TNF superfamily receptor TNFRSF25 using the TL1A-Ig fusion protein, along with IL-2, resulted in transient but massive Treg expansion in donor mice, which peaked within days and was nontoxic. Tregs increased in multiple compartments, including blood, lymph nodes, spleen, and colon (GVHD target tissue). Tregs did not expand in bone marrow, a critical site for graft-versus-malignancy responses. Adoptive transfer of in vivo-expanded Tregs in the setting of MHC-mismatched or MHC-matched allogeneic HSCT significantly ameliorated GVHD. Critically, transplantation of Treg-expanded donor cells facilitated transplant tolerance without GVHD, with complete sparing of graft-versus-malignancy. This approach may prove valuable as a therapeutic strategy promoting transplantation tolerance.