Imbalances in T Cell-Related Transcription Factors Among Patients with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.
ABSTRACT: Imbalances in effector T cell functioning have been associated with a number of autoimmune diseases, including Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT). Differentiation of effector T helper (Th) 1, Th2, Th17 and regulatory T cell (Treg) lymphocytes is regulated by transcription factors, including Th1-specific T box (T-bet), GATA binding protein-3 (GATA3), retinoid-related orphan receptor (ROR)-α and forkhead box P3 (FOXP3). This study aimed to investigate Th1/Th2, Th1/Treg, Th2/Treg and Th17/Treg balances at the level of these transcription factors.This study took place between October 2015 and August 2016. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were collected from a control group of 40 healthy women recruited from the Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran, and a patient group of 40 women with HT referred to the Hazrat Ali Asghar Hospital, Zahedan. Total ribonucleic acid extraction was performed and the gene expression of transcription factors was quantitated using a real-time polymerase chain reaction technique.Expression of T-bet and GATA3 was significantly elevated, while FOXP3 expression was significantly diminished among HT patients in comparison with the controls (P = 0.03, 0.01 and 0.05, respectively). Expression of RORα was higher among HT patients, although this difference was not significant (P = 0.15). Expression of T-bet/FOXP3, GATA3/FOXP3 and RORα/FOXP3 ratios were increased among HT patients in comparison with the controls (P <0.02, <0.01 and <0.01, respectively).These results indicate that HT patients have imbalances in Th1/Treg, Th2/Treg and Th17/Treg lymphocytes at the level of the transcription factors, deviating towards Th1, Th2 and Th17 cells. Correction of these imbalances may therefore be therapeutic.
Project description:The transcriptional repressor Bcl6 is a critical arbiter of Th cell fate, promoting the follicular Th lineage while repressing other Th cell lineages. Bcl6-deficient (Bcl6(-/-)) mice develop a spontaneous and severe Th2-type inflammatory disease, thus warranting assessment of Bcl6 in regulatory T cell (Treg) function. Bcl6(-/-) Tregs were competent at suppressing T cell proliferation in vitro and Th1-type colitogenic T cell responses in vivo. In contrast, Bcl6(-/-) Tregs strongly exacerbated lung inflammation in a model of allergic airway disease and promoted higher Th2 responses, including systemic upregulation of microRNA-21. Further, Bcl6(-/-) Tregs were selectively impaired at controlling Th2 responses, but not Th1 and Th17 responses, in mixed chimeras of Bcl6(-/-) bone marrow with Foxp3(-/-) bone marrow. Bcl6(-/-) Tregs displayed increased levels of the Th2 transcription factor Gata3 and other Th2 and Treg genes. Bcl6 potently repressed Gata3 transcriptional transactivation, providing a mechanism for the increased expression of Th2 genes by Bcl6(-/-) Tregs. Gata3 has a critical role in regulating Foxp3 expression and functional fitness of Tregs; however, the signal that regulates Gata3 and restricts its transactivation of Th2 cytokines in Tregs has remained unexplored. Our results identify Bcl6 as an essential transcription factor regulating Gata3 activity in Tregs. Thus, Bcl6 represents a crucial regulatory layer in the Treg functional program that is required for specific suppression of Gata3 and Th2 effector responses by Tregs.
Project description:To investigate the expression of transcriptional factors (TFs) T-bet, GATA-3, ROR?t and FOXP in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and to evaluate the correlation between the imbalances of Th1/Th2, Th17/Treg at the expression levels and liver cancer Methods: The peripheral venous blood was drawn from 20 HCC-patients (HCC-group) and 20 health participants (C-group). The expression levels of Th1, Th2 and Th17 and the major Treg-specific TFs T-bet, GATA-3, ROR?t and FOXP3 in the PBMC were measured with quantitative real-time PCR(RT-qPCR).The mRNA level of Th1-specific TF T-bet in HCC-group was significantly lower than that of C-group (52.34±34.07 VS 104.01±56.00, P<0.01); the mRNA level of Th2-specifc TF, GATA-3, in HCC group was significantly higher than that in C-group (1.38±1.15 VS 0.58±0.65, P<0.05) and T-bet mRNA/GATA-3 mRNA ratio was significantly lower in HCC-group than in C-group (86.01±116.71 VS 461.88±708.81, P<0.05). The mRNA level of Th17-specific TF ROR?t in HCC-group was significantly higher than that of C-group (72.32±32.82 VS 33.07±22.86, P<0.01). Treg-specific TF FOXP3 mRNA level was significant higher in HCC-group than in C-group (3.17±1.59 VS 1.39±1.13, P<0.01) CONCLUSION: T-bet mRNA level was reduced whereas GATA-3 mRNA level was increased and T-bet/GATA-3 ratio was significantly reduced in PBMC, indicating that Th1/Th2 ratio was of imbalance at TF levels in PBMC of HCC, displaying Th2 thrift phenomena. The mRNA levels of ROR?t and FOXP3 in PBMC of HCC were significantly increased, indicating the existence of a predominant phenomenon of Th17- and Treg-expressing PBMC in HCC.
Project description:The Src family kinase Lck is thought to facilitate Th2 differentiation; however, its role in Th1 cells has not been well explored. Using mice that lack Lck in mature T cells, we find that lck(-/-) Th1 skewed cells have normal expression of T-bet and produce IFN-? at WT levels. However, there is a 3-fold increase in IL-10 producing cells in the mutant cultures. These cells do not have elevated levels of IL-4, GATA3, IL-17 or Foxp3, indicating that they are not Th2, Th17, or Foxp3(+) T regulatory cells (Treg). Nor do these cells behave in a similar manner as the type 1 Treg. Most of the IL-10 in the lck(-/-) Th1 cultures is derived from the memory/activated subset, as the cytokine profile from Th1 cultures established from purified CD62L(+) (naïve) cells are similar to WT cells. Furthermore, this IL-10 expression appears to be dependent on IL-12 and correlates with elevated c-Maf. These data highlight a previously unappreciated role for Lck in regulating IL-10 in Th1 cells.
Project description:FoxP3<sup>+</sup> regulatory T cells (Tregs) control inflammation and maintain mucosal homeostasis, but their functions during infection are poorly understood. Th1, Th2, and Th17 cells can be identified by master transcription factors (TFs) T-bet, GATA3, and ROR?T; Tregs also express these TFs. While T-bet<sup>+</sup> Tregs can selectively suppress Th1 cells, it is unclear whether distinct Treg populations can alter Th bias. To address this, we used Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium to induce nonlethal colitis. Following infection, we observed an early colonic Th17 response within total CD4 T cells, followed by a Th1 bias. The early Th17 response, which contains both Salmonella-specific and non-Salmonella-specific cells, parallels an increase in T-bet<sup>+</sup> Tregs. Later, Th1 cells and ROR?T<sup>+</sup> Tregs dominate. This reciprocal dynamic may indicate that Tregs selectively suppress Th cells, shaping the immune response. Treg depletion 1-2 days post-infection shifted the early Th17 response to a Th1 bias; however, Treg depletion 6-7 days post-infection abrogated the Th1 bias. Thus, Tregs are necessary for the early Th17 response, and for a maximal Th1 response later. These data show that Tregs shape the overall tissue CD4 T cell response and highlight the potential for subpopulations of Tregs to be used in targeted therapeutic approaches.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Several types of T cells have been associated with the pathogenesis of unexplained recurrent spontaneous abortion (URSA), including Th1/Th2/Th17/Tregs cell. It has been appreciated that immunotherapy with paternal or third party lymphocytes is an effective method of treatment for URSA patients. The balance of Th1/Th2 cells could be maintained and an increase of Treg cells would be beneficial after immunotherapy; however, the mechanism by which the Th17/Treg balance affects URSA has not yet been fully elucidated. METHODS: Here, we used flow cytometry, liquid chip technology and quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) methods to characterize Th17/Treg cell populations after immunotherapy. We found that after immunotherapy in URSA patients, the percentage of Th17 cells decreased and the percentage of Treg cells in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) increased, as detected by flow cytometry. RESULTS: Immunotherapy may induce a decrease in the Th17/Treg ratio and the Treg bias, which may be beneficial for the maintenance of pregnancy. The expression level of ROR gamma t, a transcription factor found in Th17 cells, decreased and the expression of the Treg-specific transcription factor Foxp3 increased in peripheral blood as detected by qPCR. Immunotherapy may induce a decrease in the ratio of ROR gamma t to Foxp3 and a Treg cell bias, which would be beneficial for pregnancy maintenance. The secretion of the Treg-associated cytokine TGF-beta, as well as Th2 cytokines, was increased in serum, while the secretion of Th17-associated cytokine IL-17A and Th1 cytokine production was decreased. The Th1/Th2 cytokine ratio significantly decreased. Similarly, the Th17/Treg ratio significantly decreased in the total patient after immunotherapy. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that in patients with URSA, immunotherapy with mononuclear cells derived from the baby's father could affect both Th1/Th2 and Th17/Treg balance, and we found that the Th2 and Treg bias would be beneficial for pregnancy, which may lead to a balancing of the Th17/Treg ratio in URSA patients after immunotherapy.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) shows a heterogeneous clinical profile that is dependent on the glutamic acid decaroxylase antibody (GADA) titer. We speculated that LADA patients with a high or low GADA titer may have distinct T-lymphocyte subset profiles and distinct expression patterns of transcription factors involved in T-cell immunomodulation. METHODS:Patients with LADA (n = 40) and type 2 diabetes (T2DM; n = 14) were recruited to the study, and peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated. The proportions of T-lymphocyte subsets (Th1 [T helper type 1], Th2 [T helper type 2], Treg [regulatory T], and Th17 [T helper type 17] cells) were determined by flow cytometry. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed to estimate mRNA expression levels of the T-cell subtype-enriched transcription factors T-bet (Th1), GATA3 (Th2), transcription factor forkhead box protein 3 (FOXP3) (Treg), and RORC (Th17). RESULTS:The frequency of Th1 (as a percentage of total CD4+T cells) was greater in the LADA patients with high-titer GADA than in the LADA patients with low-titer GADA (11.06 ± 1.62 vs. 7.05 ± 0.86, P = 0.030). Compared to the T2DM group, in the low-titer GADA group the frequency of Th1 was significantly reduced (7.05 ± 0.86 vs. 16.75 ± 3.73, P = 0.017) and the frequency of Th17 frequency was signficantly increased (1.11 ± 0.09 vs. 0.74 ± 0.16, P = 0.017). Compared to T2DM patients, in the high-titer GADA group there was a significantly reduced expression of FOXP3 (0.35 ± 0.13 vs. 1.75 ± 0.54, P = 0.002), RORC (0.53 ± 0.19 vs. 2.00 ± 0.77, P = 0.046), and GATA3 (0.74 ± 0.17 vs. 2.31 ± 0.91, P = 0.046). Similarly, the high-titer GADA group expressed reduced levels of FOXP3 and RORC compared to the low-titer GADA group (0.35 ± 0.13 vs. 1.50 ± 0.41, P = 0.027; 0.53 ± 0.19 vs. 1.35 ± 0.21, P = 0.027, respectively). There was a negative correlation between FOXP3 expression level and GADA titer for the entire cohort (r = - 0.0433, P = 0.015) and a stronger negative correlation in LADA patients (r = - 0.606, P = 0.008). CONCLUSION:LADA patients with high-titer GADA express lower levels of T-cell transcription factors, including the Treg transcription factor FOXP3, which may contribute to differences in the clinical profile compared to LADA patients with low-titer GADA. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov identifier, NCT01159847.
Project description:Kinases have been implicated in the immunopathological mechanisms of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). v-akt murine-thymoma viral-oncogene-homolog 1 (AKT1) and mitogen-activated-protein-kinase 1 (MAPK1) gene expressions in peripheral mononuclear cells from thirteen SLE patients with inactive or mild disease were evaluated using quantitative real-time reverse-transcription polymerase-chain-reaction and analyzed whether there was any correlation with T-helper (Th) transcription factors (TF) gene expression, cytokines, and S100A8/S100A9-(Calprotectin). Age- and gender-matched thirteen healthy controls were examined. AKT1 and MAPK1 expressions were upregulated in SLE patients and correlated with Th17-(Retinoic acid-related orphan receptor (ROR)-C), T-regulatory-(Treg)-(Transforming Growth Factor Beta (TGFB)-2), and Th2-(interleukin (IL)-5)-related genes. MAPK1 expression correlated with Th1-(IL-12A, T-box TF-(T-bet)), Th2-(GATA binding protein-(GATA)-3), and IL-10 expressions. IL-10 expression was increased and correlated with plasma Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF)-? and Th0-(IL-2), Th1-(IL-12A, T-bet), GATA3, Treg-(Forkhead/winged-helix transcription factor- (FOXP)-3), and IL-6 expressions. FOXP3 expression, FOXP3/RORC, and FOXP3/GATA3 expression ratios were increased. Plasma IL-1?, IL-12(p70), Interferon-(IFN)-?, and IL-6 cytokines were augmented. Plasma IL-1?, IL-6, IL-2, IFN-?, TNF-?, IL-10, and IL-13 correlated with C-reactive protein, respectively. Increased Calprotectin correlated with neutrophils. Conclusion, SLE patients presented a systemic immunoinflammatory activity, augmented AKT1 and MAPK1 expressions, proinflammatory cytokines, and Calprotectin, together with increased expression of Treg-related genes, suggesting a regulatory feedback opposing the inflammatory activity.
Project description:Foxp3(+) T regulatory (Treg) cells regulate immune responses and maintain self-tolerance. Recent work shows that Treg cells are comprised of many subpopulations with specialized regulatory functions. Here we identified Foxp3(+) T cells expressing the coinhibitory molecule TIGIT as a distinct Treg cell subset that specifically suppresses proinflammatory T helper 1 (Th1) and Th17 cell, but not Th2 cell responses. Transcriptional profiling characterized TIGIT(+) Treg cells as an activated Treg cell subset with high expression of Treg signature genes. Ligation of TIGIT on Treg cells induced expression of the effector molecule fibrinogen-like protein 2 (Fgl2), which promoted Treg-cell-mediated suppression of T effector cell proliferation. In addition, Fgl2 was necessary to prevent suppression of Th2 cytokine production in a model of allergic airway inflammation. TIGIT expression therefore identifies a Treg cell subset that demonstrates selectivity for suppression of Th1 and Th17 cell but not Th2 cell responses.
Project description:Transcription factors act in concert to induce lineage commitment towards Th1, Th2, or T regulatory (Treg) cells, and their counter-regulatory mechanisms were shown to be critical for polarization between Th1 and Th2 phenotypes. FOXP3 is an essential transcription factor for natural, thymus-derived (nTreg) and inducible Treg (iTreg) commitment; however, the mechanisms regulating its expression are as yet unknown. We describe a mechanism controlling iTreg polarization, which is overruled by the Th2 differentiation pathway. We demonstrated that interleukin 4 (IL-4) present at the time of T cell priming inhibits FOXP3. This inhibitory mechanism was also confirmed in Th2 cells and in T cells of transgenic mice overexpressing GATA-3 in T cells, which are shown to be deficient in transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta-mediated FOXP3 induction. This inhibition is mediated by direct binding of GATA3 to the FOXP3 promoter, which represses its transactivation process. Therefore, this study provides a new understanding of tolerance development, controlled by a type 2 immune response. IL-4 treatment in mice reduces iTreg cell frequency, highlighting that therapeutic approaches that target IL-4 or GATA3 might provide new preventive strategies facilitating tolerance induction particularly in Th2-mediated diseases, such as allergy.
Project description:Variants of the Bach2 gene are linked to vitiligo, celiac disease, and type 1 diabetes, but the underlying immunological mechanisms are unknown. In this study, we demonstrate that Bach2 plays crucial roles in maintaining T cell quiescence and governing the differentiation, activation, and survival of Foxp3(+) regulatory T (Treg) cells. Bach2-deficient T cells display spontaneous activation and produce elevated levels of Th1/Th2-type cytokines. Without Bach2, Treg cells exhibit diminished Foxp3 expression, depleted numbers, hyperactivation, enhanced proliferation, and profound loss of competitive fitness in vivo. Mechanistically, reduced survival of Bach2-deficient Treg cells was associated with reduced Bcl-2 and Mcl-1 levels and elevated Bim/Bcl-2 ratio. Additionally, Bach2 deficiency induced selective loss of Helios(-)Foxp3(+) Treg cells and a Treg cell transcriptome skewed toward the Th1/Th2 effector program at the expense of the Treg program. In vitro experiments confirmed that Bach2: 1) is indispensable for TCR/TGF-?-induced Foxp3 expression; and 2) mitigates aberrant differentiation of Treg cells by repression of the competing Gata3-driven Th2 effector program. Importantly, perturbations in the differentiation of induced Treg cells was linked to a fatal Th2-type chronic inflammatory lung disease in Bach2-deficient mice. Thus, Bach2 enforces T cell quiescence, promotes the development and survival of Treg lineage, restrains aberrant differentiation of Treg cells, and protects against immune-mediated diseases.