Biliary epithelium and liver B cells exposed to bacteria activate intrahepatic MAIT cells through MR1.
ABSTRACT: Mucosal-Associated Invariant T (MAIT) cells are innate-like T cells characterised by the invariant TCR-chain, V?7.2-J?33, and are restricted by MR1, which presents bacterial vitamin B metabolites. They are important for antibacterial immunity at mucosal sites; however, detailed characteristics of liver-infiltrating MAIT (LI-MAIT) and their role in biliary immune surveillance remain unexplored.The phenotype and intrahepatic localisation of human LI-MAIT cells was examined in diseased and normal livers. MAIT cell activation in response to E. coli-exposed macrophages, biliary epithelial cells (BEC) and liver B cells was assessed with/without anti-MR1.Intrahepatic MAIT cells predominantly localised to bile ducts in the portal tracts. Consistent with this distribution, they expressed biliary tropic chemokine receptors CCR6, CXCR6, and integrin ?E?7. LI-MAIT cells were also present in the hepatic sinusoids and possessed tissue-homing chemokine receptor CXCR3 and integrins LFA-1 and VLA-4, suggesting their recruitment via hepatic sinusoids. LI-MAIT cells were enriched in the parenchyma of acute liver failure livers compared to chronic diseased livers. LI-MAIT cells had an activated, effector memory phenotype, expressed ?4?7 and receptors for IL-12, IL-18, and IL-23. Importantly, in response to E. coli-exposed macrophages, liver B cells and BEC, MAIT cells upregulated IFN-? and CD40 Ligand and degranulated in an MR1-dependent, cytokine-independent manner. In addition, diseased liver MAIT cells expressed T-bet and ROR?t and the cytokines IFN-?, TNF-?, and IL-17.Our findings provide the first evidence of an immune surveillance effector response for MAIT cells towards BEC in human liver; thus they could be manipulated for treatment of biliary disease in the future.
Project description:Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are an abundant innate-like T lymphocyte population that are enriched in liver and mucosal tissues. They are restricted by MR1, which presents antigens derived from a metabolic precursor of riboflavin synthesis, a pathway present in many microbial species, including commensals. Therefore, MR1-mediated MAIT cell activation must be tightly regulated to prevent inappropriate activation and immunopathology. Using an in vitro model of MR1-mediated activation of primary human MAIT cells, we investigated the mechanisms by which it is regulated. Uptake of intact bacteria by antigen presenting cells (APCs) into acidified endolysosomal compartments was required for efficient MR1-mediated MAIT cell activation, while stimulation with soluble ligand was inefficient. Consistent with this, little MR1 was seen at the surface of human monocytic (THP1) and B-cell lines. Activation with a TLR ligand increased the amount of MR1 at the surface of THP1 but not B-cell lines, suggesting differential regulation in different cell types. APC activation and NF-?B signaling were critical for MR1-mediated MAIT cell activation. In primary cells, however, prolonged TLR signaling led to downregulation of MR1-mediated MAIT cell activation. Overall, MR1-mediated MAIT cell activation is a tightly regulated process, dependent on integration of innate signals by APCs.
Project description:Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells have a semi-invariant TCR V?-chain, and their optimal development is dependent upon commensal flora and expression of the nonpolymorphic MHC class I-like molecule MR1. MAIT cells are activated in an MR1-restricted manner by diverse strains of bacteria and yeast, suggesting a widely shared Ag. Recently, human and mouse MR1 were found to bind bacterial riboflavin metabolites (ribityllumazine [RL] Ags) capable of activating MAIT cells. In this study, we used MR1/RL tetramers to study MR1 dependency, subset heterogeneity, and protective effector functions important for tuberculosis immunity. Although tetramer(+) cells were detected in both MR1(+/+) and MR1(-/-) TCR V?19i-transgenic (Tg) mice, MR1 expression resulted in significantly increased tetramer(+) cells coexpressing TCR V?6/8, NK1.1, CD44, and CD69 that displayed more robust in vitro responses to IL-12 plus IL-18 and RL Ag, indicating that MR1 is necessary for the optimal development of the classic murine MAIT cell memory/effector subset. In addition, tetramer(+) MAIT cells expressing CD4, CD8, or neither developing in MR1(+/+) V?19i-Tg mice had disparate cytokine profiles in response to RL Ag. Therefore, murine MAIT cells are considerably more heterogeneous than previously thought. Most notably, after mycobacterial pulmonary infection, heterogeneous subsets of tetramer(+) V?19i-Tg MAIT cells expressing CXCR3 and ?4?1 were recruited into the lungs and afforded early protection. In addition, V?19iC?(-/-)MR(+/+) mice were significantly better protected than were V?19iC?(-/-)MR1(-/-), wild-type, and MR1(-/-) non-Tg mice. Overall, we demonstrate considerable functional diversity of MAIT cell responses, as well as that MR1-restricted MAIT cells are important for tuberculosis protective immunity.
Project description:Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are an evolutionarily conserved ?? T-cell lineage that express a semi-invariant T-cell receptor (TCR) restricted to the MHC related-1 (MR1) protein. MAIT cells are dependent upon MR1 expression and exposure to microbes for their development and stimulation, yet these cells can exhibit microbial-independent stimulation when responding to MR1 from different species. We have used this microbial-independent, cross-species reactivity of MAIT cells to define the molecular basis of MAIT-TCR/MR1 engagement and present here a 2.85 Å complex structure of a human MAIT-TCR bound to bovine MR1. The MR1 binding groove is similar in backbone structure to classical peptide-presenting MHC class I molecules (MHCp), yet is partially occluded by large aromatic residues that form cavities suitable for small ligand presentation. The docking of the MAIT-TCR on MR1 is perpendicular to the MR1 surface and straddles the MR1 ?1 and ?2 helices, similar to classical ?? TCR engagement of MHCp. However, the MAIT-TCR contacts are dominated by the ?-chain, focused on the MR1 ?2 helix. TCR ?-chain contacts are mostly through the variable CDR3? loop that is positioned proximal to the CDR3? loop directly over the MR1 open groove. The elucidation of the MAIT TCR/MR1 complex structure explains how the semi-invariant MAIT-TCR engages the nonpolymorphic MR1 protein, and sheds light onto ligand discrimination by this cell type. Importantly, this structure also provides a critical link in our understanding of the evolution of ?? T-cell recognition of MHC and MHC-like ligands.
Project description:MHC-related protein 1 (MR1) is a highly conserved MHC class I-like molecule. Human and murine mucosal associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are restricted by MR1 and express an invariant T cell receptor. Even though MR1 protein expression on the cell surface has not been demonstrated in vivo or ex vivo, it is assumed that MR1 presents a bacterial antigen from the intestinal lumen to MAIT cells because MAIT cells are present in the lamina propria and their expansion is dependent on the presence of intestinal micro flora. The existence of bovine MAIT cells and MR1 has been demonstrated recently although ovine MAIT cells and MR1 have not yet been described. We cloned bovine and ovine MR1 transcripts, including splice variants, and identified an anti human MR1 antibody that recognizes cells transfected with the bovine homolog. Using this antibody, no MR1 staining was detected using cells freshly isolated from blood, thymus, spleen, colon, ileum, and lymph node. MAIT cells are known to be enriched in the CD4/CD8 double negative peripheral blood T cell population, but their relative abundance in different tissues is not known. Comparison of the amount of MAIT cell-specific TCR transcript to the amount of constant alpha chain transcript revealed that numbers of MAIT cells are low in neonates and increase by 3-weeks of age. In 3-month old animals, MAIT cells are abundant in spleen and less so in ileum, peripheral blood, lymph node, colon, and thymus.
Project description:Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells express an invariant T cell receptor (TCR) ?-chain (TRAV1-2 joined to TRAJ33, TRAJ20, or TRAJ12 in humans), which pairs with an array of TCR ?-chains. MAIT TCRs can bind folate- and riboflavin-based metabolites restricted by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-related class I-like molecule, MR1. However, the impact of MAIT TCR and MR1-ligand heterogeneity on MAIT cell biology is unclear. We show how a previously uncharacterized MR1 ligand, acetyl-6-formylpterin (Ac-6-FP), markedly stabilized MR1, potently up-regulated MR1 cell surface expression, and inhibited MAIT cell activation. These enhanced properties of Ac-6-FP were attributable to structural alterations in MR1 that subsequently affected MAIT TCR recognition via conformational changes within the complementarity-determining region (CDR) 3? loop. Analysis of seven TRBV6-1(+) MAIT TCRs demonstrated how CDR3? hypervariability impacted on MAIT TCR recognition by altering TCR flexibility and contacts with MR1 and the Ag itself. Ternary structures of TRBV6-1, TRBV6-4, and TRBV20(+) MAIT TCRs in complex with MR1 bound to a potent riboflavin-based antigen (Ag) showed how variations in TRBV gene usage exclusively impacted on MR1 contacts within a consensus MAIT TCR-MR1 footprint. Moreover, differential TRAJ gene usage was readily accommodated within a conserved MAIT TCR-MR1-Ag docking mode. Collectively, MAIT TCR heterogeneity can fine-tune MR1 recognition in an Ag-dependent manner, thereby modulating MAIT cell recognition.
Project description:Several nonclassical major histocompatibilty antigens (class Ib molecules) have emerged as key players in the early immune response to pathogens or stress. Class Ib molecules activate subsets of T cells that mount effector responses before the adaptive immune system, and thus are called innate T cells. MR1 is a novel class Ib molecule with properties highly suggestive of its regulation of mucosal immunity. The Mr1 gene is evolutionarily conserved, is non-Mhc linked, and controls the development of mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells. MAIT cells preferentially reside in the gut, and their development is dependent on commensal microbiota. Although these properties suggest that MAIT cells function as innate T cells in the mucosa, this has been difficult to test, due to the (i) paucity of MAIT cells that display MR1-specific activation in vitro and (ii) lack of knowledge of whether or not MR1 presents antigen. Here we show that both mouse and human MAIT cells display a high level of cross-reactivity on mammalian MR1 orthologs, but with differences consistent with limited ligand discrimination. Furthermore, acid eluates from recombinant or cellular MR1 proteins enhance MAIT cell activation in an MR1-specific and cross-species manner. Our findings demonstrate that the presentation pathway of MR1 to MAIT cells is highly evolutionarily conserved.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Chronic liver diseases are frequently accompanied with activation of biliary epithelial cells (BECs) that can differentiate into hepatocytes and cholangiocytes, providing an endogenous back-up system. Functional studies on BECs often rely on isolations of an BEC cell population from healthy and/or injured livers. However, a consensus on the characterization of these cells has not yet been reached. The aim of this study was to compare the publicly available transcriptome profiles of human and mouse BECs and to establish gene signatures that can identify quiescent and activated human and mouse BECs. METHODS:We used publicly available transcriptome data sets of human and mouse BECs, compared their profiles and analyzed co-expressed genes and pathways. By merging both human and mouse BEC-enriched genes, we obtained a quiescent and activation gene signature and tested them on BEC-like cells and different liver diseases using gene set enrichment analysis. In addition, we identified several genes from both gene signatures to identify BECs in a scRNA sequencing data set. RESULTS:Comparison of mouse BEC transcriptome data sets showed that the isolation method and array platform strongly influences their general profile, still most populations are highly enriched in most genes currently associated with BECs. Pathway analysis on human and mouse BECs revealed the KRAS signaling as a new potential pathway in BEC activation. We established a quiescent and activated BEC gene signature that can be used to identify BEC-like cells and detect BEC enrichment in alcoholic hepatitis, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and peribiliary sclerotic livers. Finally, we identified a gene set that can distinguish BECs from other liver cells in mouse and human scRNAseq data. CONCLUSIONS:Through a meta-analysis of human and mouse BEC gene profiles we identified new potential pathways in BEC activation and created unique gene signatures for quiescent and activated BECs. These signatures and pathways will help in the further characterization of this progenitor cell type in mouse and human liver development and disease.
Project description:Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are a subset of innate-like lymphocytes that are restricted by major histocompatibility complex-related molecule 1 (MR1). In this study, we investigated the role of MAIT cells in the pathogenesis of lupus in Fc?RIIb-/- Yaa mice, a spontaneous animal model of lupus. Using two approaches of MAIT cell deficiency, MR1 knockout animals and a newly synthesized inhibitory MR1 ligand, we demonstrate that MAIT cells augment the disease course of lupus by enhancing autoantibody production and tissue inflammation. MR1 deficiency reduced germinal center responses and T cell responses in these mice. Suppression of MAIT cell activation by the inhibitory MR1 ligand reduced autoantibody production and lupus nephritis in Fc?RIIb-/- Yaa mice. MAIT cells directly enhanced autoantibody production by B cells in vitro. Our results indicate the contribution of MAIT cells to lupus pathology and the potential of these cells as novel therapeutic targets for autoimmune diseases such as lupus.
Project description:Upon mild liver injury, new hepatocytes originate from preexisting hepatocytes. However, if hepatocyte proliferation is impaired, a manifestation of severe liver injury, biliary epithelial cells (BECs) contribute to new hepatocytes through BEC dedifferentiation into liver progenitor cells (LPCs), also termed oval cells or hepatoblast-like cells (HB-LCs), and subsequent differentiation into hepatocytes. Despite the identification of several factors regulating BEC dedifferentiation and activation, little is known about factors involved in the regulation of LPC differentiation into hepatocytes during liver regeneration. Using a zebrafish model of near-complete hepatocyte ablation, we show that bone morphogenetic protein (Bmp) signaling is required for BEC conversion to hepatocytes, particularly for LPC differentiation into hepatocytes. We found that severe liver injury led to the up-regulation of genes involved in Bmp signaling, including smad5, tbx2b, and id2a, in the liver. Bmp suppression did not block BEC dedifferentiation into HB-LCs; however, the differentiation of HB-LCs into hepatocytes was impaired due to the maintenance of HB-LCs in an undifferentiated state. Later Bmp suppression did not affect HB-LC differentiation but increased BEC number through proliferation. Notably, smad5, tbx2b, and id2a mutants exhibited similar liver regeneration defects as those observed in Bmp-suppressed livers. Moreover, BMP2 addition promoted the differentiation of a murine LPC line into hepatocytes in vitro. CONCLUSIONS:Bmp signaling regulates BEC-driven liver regeneration through smad5, tbx2b, and id2a: it regulates HB-LC differentiation into hepatocytes through tbx2b and BEC proliferation through id2a; our findings provide insights into promoting innate liver regeneration as a novel therapy. (Hepatology 2017;66:1616-1630).
Project description:Like CD1d-restricted iNKT cells, mucosal-associated invariant T cells (MAITs) are "innate" T cells that express a canonical TCRalpha chain, have a memory phenotype, and rapidly secrete cytokines upon TCR ligation. Unlike iNKT cells, MAIT cells require the class Ib molecule MHC-related protein I (MR1), B cells, and gut flora for development and/or expansion, and they preferentially reside in the gut lamina propria. Evidence strongly suggests that MAIT cell activation is ligand-dependent, but the nature of MR1 ligand is unknown. In this study, we define a mechanism of endogenous antigen presentation by MR1 to MAIT cells. MAIT cell activation was dependent neither on a proteasome-processed ligand nor on the chaperoning by the MHC class I peptide loading complex. However, MAIT cell activation was enhanced by overexpression of MHC class II chaperones Ii and DM and was strikingly diminished by silencing endogenous Ii. Furthermore, inhibiting the acidification of the endocytic compartments reduced MR1 surface expression and ablated MAIT cell activation. The importance of the late endosome for MR1 antigen presentation was further corroborated by the localization of MR1 molecules in the multivesicular endosomes. These findings demonstrate that MR1 traffics through endocytic compartments, thereby allowing MAIT cells to sample both endocytosed and endogenous antigens.