Precursor B Cells Increase in the Lung during Airway Allergic Inflammation: A Role for B Cell-Activating Factor.
ABSTRACT: B cells, key cells in allergic inflammation, differentiate in the bone marrow and their precursors include pro-B, pre-B and immature B cells. Eosinophil progenitor cells increase in the lung after allergen exposure. However, the existence and possible role of B cell precursors in the lung during allergic inflammation remains elusive.A BALB/c mouse model of allergic airway inflammation was utilized to perform phenotypic and quantification analyses of pro-B and pre-B cells in the lung by flow cytometry. B cell maturation factors IL-7 and B cell-activating factor (BAFF) and their receptors (CD127 and BAFFR, BCMA, TACI, respectively) were also evaluated in the lung and serum. The effect of anti-BAFF treatment was investigated both in vivo (i.p. administration of BAFF-R-Ig fusion protein) and in vitro (colony forming cell assay). Finally, BAFF levels were examined in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) of asthmatic patients and healthy controls.Precursor pro and pre-B cells increase in the lung after allergen exposure, proliferate in the lung tissue in vivo, express markers of chemotaxis (CCR10 and CXCR4) and co-stimulation (CD40, CD86) and are resistant to apoptosis (Bax). Precursor B cells express receptors for BAFF at baseline, while after allergen challenge both their ligand BAFF and the BCMA receptor expression increases in B cell precursors. Blocking BAFFR in the lung in vivo decreases eosinophils and proliferating precursor B cells. Blocking BAFFR in bone marrow cultures in vitro reduces pre-B colony formation units. BAFF is increased in the BAL of severe asthmatics.Our data support the concept of a BAFF-mediated role for B cell precursors in allergic airway inflammation.
Project description:BAFF, APRIL and their receptors regulate the survival, maturation and homeostasis of mature B-cells. Despite the lack of a functional role of BAFF/APRIL system during normal early B-cell development, previous studies indicated a contribution of these molecules in the pathogenesis of B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). Here, we evaluated the expression of this system in B-ALL and its involvement in spontaneous and drug-induced apoptosis of B-lymphoblasts, taking into consideration the distinct disease subtypes. We found that BAFFR is the most predominant aberrantly expressed receptor in B-ALL and that its expression, along with BCMA and APRIL, positively correlates with the maturation stage of B-lymphoblasts. Moreover, the binding of the E2A-PBX1 chimeric protein to the BAFFR promoter suggests that the transcriptional activator promotes the increase in BAFFR expression observed in about 50% of pre-B-ALL patients carrying the t (1, 19) translocation. BAFF binding to BAFFR led to the processing of NF-?B2 p100 in pre-B ALL cells suggesting that BAFFR can activate the NF-?B2 pathway in pre-B ALL cells. Surprisingly, we found that BAFF treatment promotes the cell death of primary BCR-ABL+ BAFFR+ pre-B-lymphoblasts in adult B-ALL. It also enhances glucocorticoid-induced apoptosis in the E2A-PBX1+ pre-B-ALL cell line 697. These data suggest that BAFF/BAFFR signaling in B-ALL cells differs from normal B cells and that it may affect the pathogenesis of the disease.
Project description:The closely related TNF family ligands B cell activation factor (BAFF) and a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL) serve in the generation and maintenance of mature B-lymphocytes. Both BAFF and APRIL assemble as homotrimers that bind and activate several receptors that they partially share. However, heteromers of BAFF and APRIL that occur in patients with autoimmune diseases are incompletely characterized. The N and C termini of adjacent BAFF or APRIL monomers are spatially close and can be linked to create single-chain homo- or hetero-ligands of defined stoichiometry. Similar to APRIL, heteromers consisting of one BAFF and two APRILs (BAA) bind to the receptors B cell maturation antigen (BCMA), transmembrane activator and CAML interactor (TACI) but not to the BAFF receptor (BAFFR). Heteromers consisting of one APRIL and two BAFF (ABB) bind to TACI and BCMA and weakly to BAFFR in accordance with the analysis of the receptor interaction sites in the crystallographic structure of ABB. Receptor binding correlated with activity in reporter cell line assays specific for BAFFR, TACI, or BCMA. Single-chain BAFF (BBB) and to a lesser extent single-chain ABB, but not APRIL or single-chain BAA, rescued BAFFR-dependent B cell maturation in BAFF-deficient mice. In conclusion, BAFF-APRIL heteromers of different stoichiometries have distinct receptor-binding properties and activities. Based on the observation that heteromers are less active than BAFF, we speculate that their physiological role might be to down-regulate BAFF activity.
Project description:The TNF superfamily ligands BAFF and APRIL interact with three receptors, BAFFR, BCMA, and TACI, to play discrete and crucial roles in regulating B cell selection and homeostasis in mammals. The interactions between these ligands and receptors are both specific and redundant: BAFFR binds BAFF, whereas BCMA and TACI bind to either BAFF or APRIL. In a previous phylogenetic inquiry, we identified and characterized a <i>BAFF</i>-like gene in lampreys, which, with hagfish, are the only extant jawless vertebrates, both of which have B-like and T-like lymphocytes. To gain insight into lymphocyte regulation in jawless vertebrates, in this study we identified two <i>BCMA</i>-like genes in lampreys, <i>BCMAL1</i> and <i>BCMAL2</i>, which were found to be preferentially expressed by B-like lymphocytes. In vitro analyses indicated that the lamprey BAFF-like protein can bind to a BCMA-like receptor Ig fusion protein and to both BCMAL1- and BCMAL2-transfected cells. Discriminating regulatory roles for the two BCMA-like molecules are suggested by their differential expression before and after activation of the B-like lymphocytes in lampreys. Our composite results imply that BAFF-based mechanisms for B cell regulation evolved before the divergence of jawed and jawless vertebrates.
Project description:Myeloid cells express the TNF family ligands BAFF/BLyS and APRIL, which exert their effects on B cells at different stages of differentiation via the receptors BAFFR, TACI (Transmembrane Activator and CAML-Interactor) and/or BCMA (B Cell Maturation Antigen). BAFF and APRIL are proteins expressed at the cell membrane, with both extracellular and intracellular domains. Therefore, receptor/ligand engagement may also result in signals in ligand-expressing cells via so-called "reverse signalling". In order to understand how TACI-Fc (atacicept) technically may mediate immune stimulation instead of suppression, we investigated its potential to activate reverse signalling through BAFF and APRIL. BAFFR-Fc and TACI-Fc, but not Fn14-Fc, reproducibly stimulated the ERK and other signalling pathways in bone marrow-derived mouse macrophages. However, these effects were independent of BAFF or APRIL since the same activation profile was observed with BAFF- or APRIL-deficient cells. Instead, cell activation correlated with the presence of high molecular mass forms of BAFFR-Fc and TACI-Fc and was strongly impaired in macrophages deficient for Fc receptor gamma chain. Moreover, a TACI-Fc defective for Fc receptor binding elicited no detectable signal. Although these results do not formally rule out the existence of BAFF or APRIL reverse signalling (via pathways not tested in this study), they provide no evidence in support of reverse signalling and point to the importance of using appropriate specificity controls when working with Fc receptor-expressing myeloid cells.
Project description:Antibodies that target a clinically relevant group of receptors within the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily (TNFRSF), including CD40 and CD95 (Fas/Apo-1), also require binding to Fc gamma receptors (Fc?Rs) to elicit a strong agonistic activity. This Fc?R dependency largely relies on the mere cellular anchoring through the antibody's Fc domain and does not involve the engagement of Fc?R signaling. The aim of this study was to elicit agonistic activity from ?CD40 and ?CD95 antibodies in a myeloma cell anchoring-controlled Fc?R-independent manner. For this purpose, various antibody variants (IgG1, IgG1N297A, Fab2) against the TNFRSF members CD40 and CD95 were genetically fused to a single-chain-encoded B-cell activating factor (scBaff) trimer as a C-terminal myeloma-specific anchoring domain substituting for Fc domain-mediated Fc?R binding. The antibody-scBaff fusion proteins were evaluated in binding studies and functional assays using tumor cell lines expressing one or more of the three receptors of Baff: BaffR, transmembrane activator and CAML interactor (TACI) and B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA). Cellular binding studies showed that the binding properties of the different domains within the fusion proteins remained fully intact in the antibody-scBaff fusion proteins. In co-culture assays of CD40- and CD95-responsive cells with BaffR, BCMA or TACI expressing anchoring cells, the antibody fusion proteins displayed strong agonism while only minor receptor stimulation was observed in co-cultures with cells without expression of Baff-interacting receptors. Thus, our CD40 and CD95 antibody fusion proteins display myeloma cell-dependent activity and promise reduced systemic side effects compared to conventional CD40 and CD95 agonists.
Project description:Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily consists of 19 ligands and 29 receptors and is related to multiple cellular events from proliferation and differentiation to apoptosis and tumor reduction. In this review, we overview the whole system, and we focus on A proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL, TNFSF13) and B cell-activating factor (BAFF, TNFSF13B) and their receptors transmembrane activator and Ca2+ modulator (CAML) interactor (TACI, TNFRSF13B), B cell maturation antigen (BCMA, TNFRSF17), and BAFF receptor (BAFFR, TNFRSF13C). We explore their role in cancer and novel biological therapies introduced for multiple myeloma and further focus on breast cancer, in which the modulation of this system seems to be of potential interest, as a novel therapeutic target. Finally, we discuss some precautions which should be taken into consideration, while targeting the APRIL-BAFF system.
Project description:It has been shown that B cell activating factor receptor (BAFFR) is critical for B cell development and survival. In this study, we sought to evaluate the expression and function of BAFFR across multiple stains of mice that vary in their potential to develop systemic autoimmune disease. The inability of a commercial antibody to bind to BAFFR in the autoimmune prone mouse strains, MRL and MRL/Lpr led to the discovery of a mutation in TNFRSF13C gene (encoding BAFFR) that resulted in a Pro44Ser substitution in the N-terminus near the BAFF binding site in these strains. To define the biological consequences of mutant BAFFR, we compared the expression and activity of BAFFR in MRL and MRL/Lpr mice to BALB/c, which express the consensus version of TNFRSF13C. B cells from MRL and MRL/Lpr mice expressed mutant BAFFR on surface and were capable of responding to BAFF as exhibited by BAFF-mediated reduction in apoptosis and NF-?B2 activation. Signaling through MAPK ERK1/2 was not significantly induced by BAFF in MRL/Lpr mice; however, MAPK ERK1/2 signaling was intact in MRL mice. The inability of MRL/Lpr B cells to significantly activate ERK1/2 in response to BAFF was due to the high basal activity of the signaling pathway in these cells. In fact, basal activity of ERK1/2 in B cells correlated with the degree of autoimmune susceptibility exhibited by each strain. In addition, aged MRL/Lpr mice with severe autoimmune disease had high BAFF levels, low surface BAFFR, and high basal NF-?B2 activation, a pattern which is attributed to the high frequency of antibody secreting cells. We conclude that P44S BAFFR mutation does not hinder BAFFR function or enhance B cell activity in MRL/Lpr and MRL mice and that other susceptibility loci on the MRL background contributed to the hyperactivity of these cells.
Project description:Local production of IgA and IgE in the airways has been proposed to be an important event in both immune protection from pathogens and the pathogenesis of airway allergic diseases.The objective of this study was to investigate the production of B cell-activating factor of the TNF family (BAFF), an important regulator of B-cell survival and immunoglobulin class-switch recombination, in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid after segmental allergen challenge of allergic subjects.Segmental allergen challenge with saline or allergen was performed in 16 adult allergic subjects. BAL was performed at both saline- and allergen-challenged sites 20 to 24 hours after challenge. Concentrations of B cell-active cytokines, including BAFF, IL-6, and IL-13, were measured by using specific ELISA and cytometric bead array assays.Levels of BAFF protein were significantly increased in BAL fluid after allergen challenge (53.8 pg/mL [range, 0-407.4 pg/mL], P = .001) compared with those at saline-challenged sites (0 pg/mL [0-34.7 pg/mL]). In the BAL fluid after allergen challenge, BAFF levels were significantly correlated with absolute numbers of total cells (r = 0.779, P < .001), lymphocytes (r = 0.842, P < .001), neutrophils (r = 0.809, P < .001), and eosinophils (r = 0.621, P = .010) but did not correlate with macrophages. Normalization to albumin indicated that BAFF production occurred locally in the airways. BAFF levels were also significantly correlated with the other B cell-activating cytokines IL-6 (r = 0.875, P < .001) and IL-13 (r = 0.812, P < .001).The antigen-induced production of BAFF in the airway might contribute to local class-switch recombination and immunoglobulin synthesis by B cells.
Project description:Memory B cells (MBCs) are long-lived cells that form a critical part of immunological memory, providing rapid antibody responses to recurring infections. However, very little is known about signals controlling MBC survival. Previous work has shown that antigen is not required for MBC survival, but a requirement for the B cell antigen receptor (BCR) has not been tested. Other studies have shown that, unlike naive B cells, MBCs do not express BAFFR and their survival is independent of BAFF, the ligand for BAFFR. Here, using inducible genetic ablation, we show that survival of MBCs is critically dependent on the BCR and on signaling through the associated CD79A protein. Unexpectedly, we found that MBCs express BAFFR and that their survival requires BAFF and BAFFR; hence, loss of BAFF or BAFFR impairs recall responses. Finally, we show that MBC survival requires IKK2, a kinase that transduces BAFFR signals. Thus, MBC survival is critically dependent on signaling from BCR and BAFFR.
Project description:Changing the immune responses to allergens is the cornerstone of allergen immunotherapy. Allergen-specific immunotherapy that consists of repeated administration of increasing doses of allergen extract is potentially curative. The major inconveniences of allergen-specific immunotherapy include failure to modify immune responses, long-term treatment leading to non-compliance and the potential for developing life-threating anaphylaxis. Here we investigated the effect of a novel liposomal formulation carrying low dose of allergen combined with CpG-ODN, a synthetic TLR9 agonist, on established allergic lung inflammation. We found that challenge with allergen (OVA) encapsulated in cationic liposome induced significantly less severe cutaneous anaphylactic reaction. Notably, short-term treatment (three doses) with a liposomal formulation containing co-encapsulated allergen plus CpG-ODN, but not allergen or CpG-ODN alone, reversed an established allergic lung inflammation and provided long-term protection. This liposomal formulation was also effective against allergens derived from Blomia tropicalis mite extract. The attenuation of allergic inflammation was not associated with increased numbers of Foxp3-positive or IL-10-producing regulatory T cells or with increased levels of IFN-gamma in the lungs. Instead, the anti-allergic effect of the liposomal formulation was dependent of the innate immune signal transduction generated in CD11c-positive putative dendritic cells expressing MyD88 molecule. Therefore, we highlight the pivotal role of dendritic cells in mediating the attenuation of established allergic lung inflammation following immunotherapy with a liposomal formulation containing allergen plus CpG-ODN.