A dendritic-cell-stromal axis maintains immune responses in lymph nodes.
ABSTRACT: Within secondary lymphoid tissues, stromal reticular cells support lymphocyte function, and targeting reticular cells is a potential strategy for controlling pathogenic lymphocytes in disease. However, the mechanisms that regulate reticular cell function are not well understood. Here we found that during an immune response in lymph nodes, dendritic cells (DCs) maintain reticular cell survival in multiple compartments. DC-derived lymphotoxin beta receptor (LT?R) ligands were critical mediators, and LT?R signaling on reticular cells mediated cell survival by modulating podoplanin (PDPN). PDPN modulated integrin-mediated cell adhesion, which maintained cell survival. This DC-stromal axis maintained lymphocyte survival and the ongoing immune response. Our findings provide insight into the functions of DCs, LT?R, and PDPN and delineate a DC-stromal axis that can potentially be targeted in autoimmune or lymphoproliferative diseases.
Project description:To initiate adaptive immunity, dendritic cells (DCs) move from parenchymal tissues to lymphoid organs by migrating along stromal scaffolds that display the glycoprotein podoplanin (PDPN). PDPN is expressed by lymphatic endothelial and fibroblastic reticular cells and promotes blood-lymph separation during development by activating the C-type lectin receptor, CLEC-2, on platelets. Here, we describe a role for CLEC-2 in the morphodynamic behavior and motility of DCs. CLEC-2 deficiency in DCs impaired their entry into lymphatics and trafficking to and within lymph nodes, thereby reducing T cell priming. CLEC-2 engagement of PDPN was necessary for DCs to spread and migrate along stromal surfaces and sufficient to induce membrane protrusions. CLEC-2 activation triggered cell spreading via downregulation of RhoA activity and myosin light-chain phosphorylation and triggered F-actin-rich protrusions via Vav signaling and Rac1 activation. Thus, activation of CLEC-2 by PDPN rearranges the actin cytoskeleton in DCs to promote efficient motility along stromal surfaces.
Project description:Scleroderma is a group of skin-fibrosing diseases for which there are no effective treatments. A feature of the skin fibrosis typical of scleroderma is atrophy of the dermal white adipose tissue (DWAT). Adipose tissue contains adipose-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (ADSCs) that have regenerative and reparative functions; however, whether DWAT atrophy in fibrosis is accompanied by ADSC loss is poorly understood, as are the mechanisms that might maintain ADSC survival in fibrotic skin. Here, we have shown that DWAT ADSC numbers were reduced, likely because of cell death, in 2 murine models of scleroderma skin fibrosis. The remaining ADSCs showed a partial dependence on dendritic cells (DCs) for survival. Lymphotoxin ? (LT?) expression in DCs maintained ADSC survival in fibrotic skin by activating an LT? receptor/?1 integrin (LT?R/?1 integrin) pathway on ADSCs. Stimulation of LT?R augmented the engraftment of therapeutically injected ADSCs, which was associated with reductions in skin fibrosis and improved skin function. These findings provide insight into the effects of skin fibrosis on DWAT ADSCs, identify a DC-ADSC survival axis in fibrotic skin, and suggest an approach for improving mesenchymal stromal cell therapy in scleroderma and other diseases.
Project description:In lymph nodes, fibroblastic reticular cells (FRCs) form a collagen-based reticular network that supports migratory dendritic cells (DCs) and T cells and transports lymph. A hallmark of FRCs is their propensity to contract collagen, yet this function is poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that podoplanin (PDPN) regulates actomyosin contractility in FRCs. Under resting conditions, when FRCs are unlikely to encounter mature DCs expressing the PDPN receptor CLEC-2, PDPN endowed FRCs with contractile function and exerted tension within the reticulum. Upon inflammation, CLEC-2 on mature DCs potently attenuated PDPN-mediated contractility, which resulted in FRC relaxation and reduced tissue stiffness. Disrupting PDPN function altered the homeostasis and spacing of FRCs and T cells, which resulted in an expanded reticular network and enhanced immunity.
Project description:After immunogenic challenge, infiltrating and dividing lymphocytes markedly increase lymph node cellularity, leading to organ expansion. Here we report that the physical elasticity of lymph nodes is maintained in part by podoplanin (PDPN) signalling in stromal fibroblastic reticular cells (FRCs) and its modulation by CLEC-2 expressed on dendritic cells. We show in mouse cells that PDPN induces actomyosin contractility in FRCs via activation of RhoA/C and downstream Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK). Engagement by CLEC-2 causes PDPN clustering and rapidly uncouples PDPN from RhoA/C activation, relaxing the actomyosin cytoskeleton and permitting FRC stretching. Notably, administration of CLEC-2 protein to immunized mice augments lymph node expansion. In contrast, lymph node expansion is significantly constrained in mice selectively lacking CLEC-2 expression in dendritic cells. Thus, the same dendritic cells that initiate immunity by presenting antigens to T lymphocytes also initiate remodelling of lymph nodes by delivering CLEC-2 to FRCs. CLEC-2 modulation of PDPN signalling permits FRC network stretching and allows for the rapid lymph node expansion--driven by lymphocyte influx and proliferation--that is the critical hallmark of adaptive immunity.
Project description:The lymphotoxin system (LT) regulates interactions between lymphocytes and stromal cells to maintain lymphoid microenvironmental homeostasis. Soluble LT beta-receptor-Ig (LT?RIg) blocks lymphocyte LT?1?2-stromal cell LT?R signaling. In a murine cardiac allograft model, LTbRIg treatment reversed the tolerance induced by anti-CD40L antibody leading to graft inflammation and fibrosis. LT?RIg treatment decreased PD-L1 expression by blood endothelial cells, and decreased VCAM-1 while increasing CXCL1, CXCL2, CXCL12, CCL5, CCL21 and IL-6 expression in fibroblastic reticular cells. In secondary lymphoid organs these effects caused T- and B cell zone disruption, loss of CD35(+) follicular dendritic cells and abnormal recruitment of CD11b(+) Ly6G(+) neutrophils. These disruptions correlated with increased numbers of CD8(+) T cells and CD11b(+) Ly6G(+) neutrophils, and decreased numbers of CD4(+) T cells and Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells in the grafts. Depleting neutrophils or blocking neutrophil-attracting chemokines restored normal histology in lymph node, spleen and grafts. Taken together, LT?RIg treatment altered stromal subset, particularly fibroblastic reticular cell, production of cytokines and chemokines, resulting in changes in neutrophil recruitment in spleen, lymph node and grafts, and inflammation and fibrosis associated with decreased Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells and increased CD8(+) T cell infiltration of grafts.
Project description:Circulating lymphocytes continuously enter lymph nodes for immune surveillance through specialized blood vessels named high endothelial venules, a process that increases markedly during immune responses. How high endothelial venules (HEVs) permit lymphocyte transmigration while maintaining vascular integrity is unknown. Here we report a role for the transmembrane O-glycoprotein podoplanin (PDPN, also known as gp38 and T1?) in maintaining HEV barrier function. Mice with postnatal deletion of Pdpn lost HEV integrity and exhibited spontaneous bleeding in mucosal lymph nodes, and bleeding in the draining peripheral lymph nodes after immunization. Blocking lymphocyte homing rescued bleeding, indicating that PDPN is required to protect the barrier function of HEVs during lymphocyte trafficking. Further analyses demonstrated that PDPN expressed on fibroblastic reticular cells, which surround HEVs, functions as an activating ligand for platelet C-type lectin-like receptor 2 (CLEC-2, also known as CLEC1B). Mice lacking fibroblastic reticular cell PDPN or platelet CLEC-2 exhibited significantly reduced levels of VE-cadherin (also known as CDH5), which is essential for overall vascular integrity, on HEVs. Infusion of wild-type platelets restored HEV integrity in Clec-2-deficient mice. Activation of CLEC-2 induced release of sphingosine-1-phosphate from platelets, which promoted expression of VE-cadherin on HEVs ex vivo. Furthermore, draining peripheral lymph nodes of immunized mice lacking sphingosine-1-phosphate had impaired HEV integrity similar to Pdpn- and Clec-2-deficient mice. These data demonstrate that local sphingosine-1-phosphate release after PDPN-CLEC-2-mediated platelet activation is critical for HEV integrity during immune responses.
Project description:In secondary lymphoid organs, development and homeostasis of stromal cells such as podoplanin (Pdpn)-positive fibroblastic reticular cells (FRCs) are regulated by hematopoietic cells, but the cellular and molecular mechanisms of such regulation have remained unclear. Here we show that ablation of either signal regulatory protein ? (SIRP?), an Ig superfamily protein, or its ligand CD47 in conventional dendritic cells (cDCs) markedly reduced the number of CD4+ cDCs as well as that of Pdpn+ FRCs and T cells in the adult mouse spleen. Such ablation also impaired the survival of FRCs as well as the production by CD4+ cDCs of tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) ligands, including TNF-?, which was shown to promote the proliferation and survival of Pdpn+ FRCs. CD4+ cDCs thus regulate the steady-state homeostasis of FRCs in the adult spleen via the production of TNFR ligands, with the CD47-SIRP? interaction in cDCs likely being indispensable for such regulation.
Project description:The stromal scaffold of the lymph node (LN) paracortex is built by fibroblastic reticular cells (FRCs). Conditional ablation of lymphotoxin-? receptor (LT?R) expression in LN FRCs and their mesenchymal progenitors in developing LNs revealed that LT?R-signaling in these cells was not essential for the formation of LNs. Although T cell zone reticular cells had lost podoplanin expression, they still formed a functional conduit system and showed enhanced expression of myofibroblastic markers. However, essential immune functions of FRCs, including homeostatic chemokine and interleukin-7 expression, were impaired. These changes in T cell zone reticular cell function were associated with increased susceptibility to viral infection. Thus, myofibroblasic FRC precursors are able to generate the basic T cell zone infrastructure, whereas LT?R-dependent maturation of FRCs guarantees full immunocompetence and hence optimal LN function during infection.
Project description:During an immune response, antigen-bearing dendritic cells (DCs) migrate to the local draining lymph node and present antigen to CD4(+) helper T cells. Antigen-activated CD4(+) T cells then up-regulate TNF superfamily members including CD40 ligand and lymphotoxin (LT)??. Although it is well-accepted that CD40 stimulation on DCs is required for DC licensing and cross-priming of CD8(+) T-cell responses, it is likely that other signals are integrated into a comprehensive DC activation program. Here we show that a cognate interaction between LT?? on CD4(+) helper T cells and LT? receptor on DCs results in unique signals that are necessary for optimal CD8(+) T-cell expansion via a type I IFN-dependent mechanism. In contrast, CD40 signaling appears to be more critical for CD8(+) T-cell IFN? production. Therefore, different TNF family members provide integrative signals that shape the licensing potential of antigen-presenting DCs.
Project description:Tolerogenic dendritic cells (DCs) have the potential to prolong graft survival after transplantation. Tolerogenic DCs are in general characterized by a low expression of co-stimulatory molecule and a high IL-10:IL-12 production ratio. Based on promising results with earlier used alternatively activated DCs, we aimed to generate in culture potentially tolerogenic DC by simultaneously blocking GSK3 by lithium chloride (LiCl) and stimulating TLR2 by PAM3CysSerLys4.Bone marrow-derived LiClPAM3 DCs were generated by the addition of LiCl 24 hours before harvesting, and one hour later PAM3CysSerLys4. The phenotype of the DCs was assessed by determining the expression of co-stimulatory molecules in flow cytometry and cytokine production in ELISA, whereas their functional properties were tested in a mixed lymphocyte reaction. A fully MHC mismatched heterotopic heart transplant preceded by infusion of donor-derived LiClPAM3 DC was performed to assess the tolerogenic potential of LiClPAM3 DCs in vivo.LiClPAM3 DCs displayed a tolerogenic phenotype accompanied with a low expression of co-stimulatory molecules and a high IL-10:IL-12 production ratio. However, in mixed lymphocyte reaction, LiClPAM3 DCs appeared superior in T cell stimulation, and induced Th1 and Th17 differentiation. Moreover, mice pretreated with LiClPAM3 DC displayed a reduced graft survival. Analysis of LiClPAM3 DC culture supernatant revealed high levels of CXCL-1, which was also found in supernatants of co-cultures of LiClPAM3 DC and T cells. Nevertheless, we could not show a role for CXCL-1 in T cell proliferation or activation in vitro.LiClPAM3 DCs display in vitro a tolerogenic phenotype with a high IL-10:IL-12 ratio, but appeared to be highly immunogenic, since allograft rejection was accelerated. As yet unidentified LiClPAM3 DC-derived factors, may explain the immunogenic character of LiClPAM3 DCs in vivo.