Polyclonal CD4+Foxp3+ Treg cells induce TGF?-dependent tolerogenic dendritic cells that suppress the murine lupus-like syndrome.
ABSTRACT: Interplay between Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells (Treg) and dendritic cells (DCs) maintains immunologic tolerance, but the effects of each cell on the other are not well understood. We report that polyclonal CD4(+)Foxp3(+) Treg cells induced ex vivo with transforming growth factor beta (TGF?) (iTreg) suppress a lupus-like chronic graft-versus-host disease by preventing the expansion of immunogenic DCs and inducing protective DCs that generate additional recipient CD4(+)Foxp3(+) cells. The protective effects of the transferred iTreg cells required both interleukin (IL)-10 and TGF?, but the tolerogenic effects of the iTreg on DCs, and the immunosuppressive effects of these DCs were exclusively TGF?-dependent. The iTreg were unable to tolerize Tgfbr2-deficient DCs. These results support the essential role of DCs in 'infectious tolerance' and emphasize the central role of TGF? in protective iTreg/DC interactions in vivo.
Project description:Under physiological conditions, CD4+ regulatory T (Treg) cells expressing the transcription factor Foxp3 are generated in the thymus [thymus-derived Foxp3+ Treg (tTregs) cells] and extrathymically at peripheral sites [peripherally induced Foxp3+ Treg (pTreg) cell], and both developmental subsets play non-redundant roles in maintaining self-tolerance throughout life. In addition, a variety of experimental in vitro and in vivo modalities can extrathymically elicit a Foxp3+ Treg cell phenotype in peripheral CD4+Foxp3- T cells, which has attracted much interest as an approach toward cell-based therapy in clinical settings of undesired immune responses. A particularly notable example is the in vitro induction of Foxp3 expression and Treg cell activity (iTreg cells) in initially naive CD4+Foxp3- T cells through T cell receptor (TCR) and IL-2R ligation, in the presence of exogenous TGF-?. Clinical application of Foxp3+ iTreg cells has been hampered by the fact that TGF-?-driven Foxp3 induction is not sufficient to fully recapitulate the epigenetic and transcriptional signature of in vivo induced Foxp3+ tTreg and pTreg cells, which includes the failure to imprint iTreg cells with stable Foxp3 expression. This hurdle can be potentially overcome by pharmacological interference with DNA methyltransferase activity and CpG methylation [e.g., by the cytosine nucleoside analog 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC)] to stabilize TGF-?-induced Foxp3 expression and to promote a Foxp3+ iTreg cell phenotype even in the absence of added TGF-?. However, the molecular mechanisms of 5-aza-dC-mediated Foxp3+ iTreg cell generation have remained incompletely understood. Here, we show that in the absence of exogenously added TGF-? and IL-2, efficient 5-aza-dC-mediated Foxp3+ iTreg cell generation from TCR-stimulated CD4+Foxp3- T cells is critically dependent on TGF-?R and IL-2R signaling and that this process is driven by TGF-? and IL-2, which could either be FCS derived or produced by T cells on TCR stimulation. Overall, these findings contribute to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the process of Foxp3 induction and may provide a rational basis for generating phenotypically and functionally stable iTreg cells.
Project description:TGF-? and Foxp3 expressions are crucial for the induction and functional activity of CD4(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T (iTreg) cells. Here, we demonstrate that although TGF-?-primed CD8(+) cells display much lower Foxp3 expression, their suppressive capacity is equivalent to that of CD4(+) iTreg cells, and both Foxp3(-) and Foxp3(+) CD8+ subsets have suppressive activities in vitro and in vivo. CD8(+)Foxp3(-) iTreg cells produce little IFN-? but almost no IL-2, and display a typical anergic phenotype. Among phenotypic markers expressed in CD8(+)Foxp3(-) cells, we identify CD103 expression particularly crucial for the generation and function of this subset. Moreover, IL-10 and TGF-? signals rather than cytotoxicity mediate the suppressive effect of this novel Treg population. Therefore, TGF-? can induce both CD8(+)Foxp3(-) and CD8(+)Foxp3(+) iTreg subsets, which may represent the unique immunoregulatory means to treat autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
Project description:The peripheral Foxp3(+) Treg pool consists of naturally arising Treg (nTreg) and adaptive Treg cells (iTreg). It is well known that naive CD4(+) T cells can be readily converted to Foxp3(+) iTreg in vitro, and memory CD4(+) T cells are resistant to conversion. In this study, we investigated the induction of Foxp3(+) T cells from various CD4(+) T-cell subsets in human peripheral blood. Though naive CD4(+) T cells were readily converted to Foxp3(+) T cells with TGF-? and IL-2 treatment in vitro, such Foxp3(+) T cells did not express the memory marker CD45RO as do Foxp3(+) T cells induced in the peripheral blood of Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) patients. Interestingly, a subset of human memory CD4(+) T cells, defined as CD62L(+) central memory T cells, could be induced by TGF-? to differentiate into Foxp3(+) T cells. It is well known that Foxp3(+) T cells derived from human CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells in vitro are lack suppressive functions. Our data about the suppressive functions of CD4(+)CD62L(+) central memory T cell-derived Foxp3(+) T cells support this conception, and an epigenetic analysis of these cells showed a similar methylation pattern in the FOXP3 Treg-specific demethylated region as the naive CD4(+) T cell-derived Foxp3(+) T cells. But further research showed that mouse CD4(+) central memory T cells also could be induced to differentiate into Foxp3(+) T cells, such Foxp3(+) T cells could suppress the proliferation of effector T cells. Thus, our study identified CD4(+)CD62L(+) central memory T cells as a novel potential source of iTreg.
Project description:Tumors convert conventional CD4(+) T cells into induced CD4(+)CD25(+)FoxP3(+) T regulatory (iTreg) cells that serve as an effective means of immune evasion. Therefore, the blockade of conventional CD4(+) T cell conversion into iTreg cells represents an attractive target for improving the efficacy of various immunotherapeutic approaches. Using a novel form of 4-1BBL molecule, SA-4-1BBL, we previously demonstrated that costimulation via 4-1BB receptor renders both CD4(+)and CD8(+) T effector (Teff) cells refractory to inhibition by Treg cells and increased intratumoral Teff/Treg cell ratio that correlated with therapeutic efficacy in various preclinical tumor models. Building on these studies, we herein show for the first time, to our knowledge, that signaling through 4-1BB inhibits antigen- and TGF-β-driven conversion of naïve CD4(+)FoxP3(-) T cells into iTreg cells via stimulation of IFN-γ production by CD4(+)FoxP3(-) T cells. Importantly, treatment with SA-4-1BBL blocked the conversion of CD4(+)FoxP3(-) T cells into Treg cells by EG.7 tumors. Taken together with our previous studies, these results show that 4-1BB signaling negatively modulate Treg cells by two distinct mechanisms: i) inhibiting the conversion of CD4(+)FoxP3(-) T cells into iTreg cells and ii) endowing Teff cells refractory to inhibition by Treg cells. Given the dominant role of Treg cells in tumor immune evasion mechanisms, 4-1BB signaling represents an attractive target for favorably tipping the Teff:Treg balance toward Teff cells with important implications for cancer immunotherapy.
Project description:CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells (Treg) are important mediators of immune tolerance. A subset of Treg can be generated in the periphery by TGF-beta dependent conversion of conventional CD4+CD25- T cells into induced Treg (iTreg). In chronic viral infection or malignancy, such induced iTreg, which limit the depletion of aberrant or infected cells, may be of pathogenic relevance. To identify potential targets for therapeutic intervention, we investigated the TGF-beta signaling in Treg. In contrast to conventional CD4+ T cells, Treg exhibited marked activation of the p38 MAP kinase pathway. Inhibition of p38 MAP kinase activity prevented the TGF-beta-dependent conversion of CD4+CD25- T cells into Foxp3+ iTreg in vitro. Of note, the suppressive capacity of nTreg was not affected by inhibiting p38 MAP kinase. Our findings indicate that signaling via p38 MAP kinase seems to be important for the peripheral generation of iTreg; p38 MAP kinase could thus be a therapeutic target to enhance immunity to chronic viral infection or cancer.
Project description:Foxp3(+)CD25(+)CD4(+) regulatory T cells (Treg) mediate immunological self-tolerance and suppress immune responses. A subset of dendritic cells (DCs) in the intestine is specialized to induce Treg in a TGF-beta- and retinoic acid-dependent manner to allow for oral tolerance. In this study we compare two major DC subsets from mouse spleen. We find that CD8(+) DEC-205/CD205(+) DCs, but not the major fraction of CD8(-) DC inhibitory receptor-2 (DCIR2)(+) DCs, induce functional Foxp3(+) Treg from Foxp3(-) precursors in the presence of low doses of Ag but without added TGF-beta. CD8(+)CD205(+) DCs preferentially express TGF-beta, and the induction of Treg by these DCs in vitro is blocked by neutralizing Ab to TGF-beta. In contrast, CD8(-)DCIR2(+) DCs better induce Foxp3(+) Treg when exogenous TGF-beta is supplied. In vivo, CD8(+)CD205(+) DCs likewise preferentially induce Treg from adoptively transferred, Ag-specific DO11.10 RAG(-/-) Foxp3(-)CD4(+) T cells, whereas the CD8(-)DCIR2(+) DCs better stimulate natural Foxp3(+) Treg. These results indicate that a subset of DCs in spleen, a systemic lymphoid organ, is specialized to differentiate peripheral Foxp3(+) Treg, in part through the endogenous formation of TGF-beta. Targeting of Ag to these DCs might be useful for inducing Ag-specific Foxp3(+) Treg for treatment of autoimmune diseases, transplant rejection, and allergy.
Project description:FOXP3-positive regulatory T (Treg) cells are a unique subset of T cells with immune regulatory properties. Treg cells can be induced from non-Treg CD4(+) T cells (induced Treg [iTreg] cells) by TCR triggering, IL-2, and TGF-? or retinoic acid. 1,25-Dihyroxyvitamin D(3) [1,25(OH)(2)VD(3)] affects the functions of immune cells including T cells. 1,25(OH)(2)VD(3) binds the nuclear VD receptor (VDR) that binds target DNA sequences known as the VD response element (VDRE). Although 1,25(OH)(2)VD(3) can promote FOXP3 expression in CD4(+) T cells with TCR triggering and IL-2, it is unknown whether this effect of 1,25(OH)(2)VD(3) is mediated through direct binding of VDR to the FOXP3 gene without involving other molecules. Also, it is unclear whether FOXP3 expression in 1,25(OH)(2)VD(3)-induced Treg (VD-iTreg) cells is critical for the inhibitory function of these cells. In this study, we demonstrated the presence of VDREs in the intronic conserved noncoding sequence region +1714 to +2554 of the human FOXP3 gene and the enhancement of the FOXP3 promoter activity by such VDREs in response to 1,25(OH)(2)VD(3). Additionally, VD-iTreg cells suppressed the proliferation of target CD4(+) T cells and this activity was dependent on FOXP3 expression. These findings suggest that 1,25(OH)(2)VD(3) can affect human immune responses by regulating FOXP3 expression in CD4(+) T cells through direct VDR binding to the FOXP3 gene, which is essential for inhibitory function of VD-iTreg cells.
Project description:Immature or semi-mature dendritic cells (DCs) represent tolerogenic maturation stages that can convert naive T cells into Foxp3+ induced regulatory T cells (iTreg). Here we found that murine bone marrow-derived DCs (BM-DCs) treated with cholera toxin (CT) matured by up-regulating MHC-II and costimulatory molecules using either high or low doses of CT (CThi, CTlo) or with cAMP, a known mediator CT signals. However, all three conditions also induced mRNA of both isoforms of the tolerogenic molecule cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 2 (CTLA-2α and CTLA-2β). Only DCs matured under CThi conditions secreted IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-23 leading to the instruction of Th17 cell polarization. In contrast, CTlo- or cAMP-DCs resembled semi-mature DCs and enhanced TGF-β-dependent Foxp3+ iTreg conversion. iTreg conversion could be reduced using siRNA blocking of CTLA-2 and reversely, addition of recombinant CTLA-2α increased iTreg conversion in vitro. Injection of CTlo- or cAMP-DCs exerted MOG peptide-specific protective effects in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) by inducing Foxp3+ Tregs and reducing Th17 responses. Together, we identified CTLA-2 production by DCs as a novel tolerogenic mediator of TGF-β-mediated iTreg induction in vitro and in vivo. The CT-induced and cAMP-mediated up-regulation of CTLA-2 also may point to a novel immune evasion mechanism of Vibrio cholerae.
Project description:Transferred CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ Treg cells can prevent autoimmune disease, but generally fail to ameliorate established disease. This study was undertaken to compare the effects of antigen-specific Treg cells induced with interleukin-2 (IL-2) and transforming growth factor ? (TGF?) ex vivo (induced Treg [iTreg] cells) to the effects of equivalent expanded thymus-derived natural Treg (nTreg) cells on established collagen-induced arthritis (CIA).CIA was induced in DBA/1 mice by immunization with type II collagen (CII), and before or shortly after immunization, mice were treated with iTreg or nTreg cells that were generated or expanded in vitro. Clinical scores were determined. Inflammatory responses were determined by measuring the levels of anti-CII antibody in the serum and examining the histologic features of the mouse joints. The Th1/Th17-mediated autoreactive response was evaluated by determining the cytokine profile of the draining lymph node (LN) cells of the mice by flow cytometry.Following transfer, nTreg cells exhibited decreased FoxP3 and Bcl-2 expression and decreased suppressive activity, and many converted to Th17 cells. In contrast, transferred iTreg cells were more numerous, retained FoxP3 expression and their suppressive activity in the presence of IL-6, and were resistant to Th17 conversion. Notably, 10 days after the transfer of donor iTreg cells, predominance was shifted from Th17 cells to Treg cells in the draining LNs of recipient mice.These findings provide evidence that transferred TGF?-induced iTreg cells are more stable and functional than nTreg cells in mice with established autoimmunity. Moreover, iTreg cells can have tolerogenic effects even in the presence of ongoing inflammation. The therapeutic potential of human iTreg cells in subjects with chronic, immune-mediated inflammatory diseases should be investigated.
Project description:Platelets are a rich source of many cytokines and chemokines including transforming growth factor ? 1 (TGF-?1). TGF-?1 is required to convert conventional CD4+ T (Tconv) cells into induced regulatory T (iTreg) cells that express the transcription factor Foxp3. Whether platelet contents will affect Treg cell properties has not been explored. In this study, we show that unfractionated platelet lysates (pltLys) containing TGF-?1 efficiently induced Foxp3 expression in Tconv cells. The common Treg cell surface phenotype and in vitro suppressive activity of unfractionated pltLys-iTreg cells were similar to those of iTreg cells generated using purified TGF-?1 (purTGF?-iTreg) cells. However, there were substantial differences in gene expression between pltLys-iTreg and purTGF?-iTreg cells, especially in granzyme B, interferon ?, and interleukin-2 (a 30.99-, 29.18-, and 17.94-fold difference, respectively) as determined by gene microarray analysis. In line with these gene signatures, we found that pltLys-iTreg cells improved cell recovery after transfer and immune suppressive function compared with purTGF?-iTreg cells in factor VIII (FVIII)-deficient (F8null, hemophilia A model) mice after recombinant human FVIII (rhF8) infusion. Acute antibody-mediated platelet destruction in F8null mice followed by rhF8 infusion increased the number of Treg cells and suppressed the antibody response to rhF8. Consistent with these data, ex vivo proliferation of F8-specific Treg cells from platelet-depleted animals increased when restimulated with rhF8. Together, our data suggest that pltLys-iTreg cells may have advantages in emerging clinical applications and that platelet contents impact the properties of iTreg cells induced by TGF-?1.