ATG-dependent phagocytosis in dendritic cells drives myelin-specific CD4+ T cell pathogenicity during CNS inflammation.
ABSTRACT: Although reactivation and accumulation of autoreactive CD4+ T cells within the CNS are considered to play a key role in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS) and its animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the mechanisms of how these cells recognize their target organ and induce sustained inflammation are incompletely understood. Here, we report that mice with conditional deletion of the essential autophagy protein ATG5 in classical dendritic cells (DCs), which are present at low frequencies in the nondiseased CNS, are completely resistant to EAE development following adoptive transfer of myelin-specific T cells and show substantially reduced in situ CD4+ T cell accumulation during the effector phase of the disease. Endogenous myelin peptide presentation to CD4+ T cells following phagocytosis of injured, phosphatidylserine-exposing oligodendroglial cells is abrogated in the absence of ATG5. Pharmacological inhibition of ATG-dependent phagocytosis by the cardiac glycoside neriifolin, an inhibitor of the Na+, K+-ATPase, delays the onset and reduces the clinical severity of EAE induced by myelin-specific CD4+ T cells. These findings link phagocytosis of injured oligodendrocytes, a pathological hallmark of MS lesions and during EAE, with myelin antigen processing and T cell pathogenicity, and identify ATG-dependent phagocytosis in DCs as a key regulator in driving autoimmune CD4+ T cell-mediated CNS damage.
Project description:Whereas central nervous system (CNS) homeostasis is highly dependent on tissue surveillance by immune cells, dysregulated entry of leukocytes during autoimmune neuroinflammation causes severe immunopathology and neurological deficits. To invade the CNS parenchyma, encephalitogenic T helper (T<sub>H</sub>) cells must encounter their cognate antigen(s) presented by local major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II-expressing antigen-presenting cells (APCs). The precise mechanisms by which CNS-associated APCs facilitate autoimmune T cell reactivation remain largely unknown. We previously showed that mice with conditional deletion of the gene encoding the essential autophagy protein ATG5 in dendritic cells (DCs) are resistant to EAE development. Here, we report that the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase 2, also known as CYBB/NOX2, in conventional DCs (cDCs) regulates endocytosed MOG (myelin oligodendrocyte protein) antigen processing and supports MOG-antigen presentation to CD4<sup>+</sup> T cells through LC3-associated phagocytosis (LAP). Genetic ablation of <i>Cybb</i> in cDCs is sufficient to restrain encephalitogenic T<sub>H</sub> cell recruitment into the CNS and to ameliorate clinical disease development upon the adoptive transfer of MOG-specific CD4<sup>+</sup> T cells. These data indicate that CYBB-regulated MOG-antigen processing and LAP in cDCs licenses encephalitogenic T<sub>H</sub> cells to initiate and sustain autoimmune neuroinflammation.<b>Abbreviations</b>: Ag: antigen; APC: antigen-presenting cell; AT: adoptive transfer; ATG/<i>Atg</i>: autophagy-related; BAMs: border-associated macrophages; BMDC: bone marrow-derived DC; CD: cluster of differentiation; CNS: central nervous system; CSF2/GM-CSF: colony stimulating factor 2 (granulocyte-macrophage); CYBB/NOX2/gp91<sup>phox</sup>: cytochrome b-245, beta polypeptide; DC: dendritic cell; EAE: experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; fl: floxed; FOXP3: forkhead box P3; GFP: green fluorescent protein; H2-Ab: histocompatibility 2, class II antigen A, beta 1; IFN: interferon; IL: interleukin; ITGAX/CD11c: integrin subunit alpha X; LAP: LC3-associated phagocytosis; MAP1LC3/LC3: microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3; MFI: median fluorescence intensity; MG: microglia; MHCII: major histocompatibility complex class II; MOG: myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein; MS: multiple sclerosis; NADPH: nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate; ODC: oligodendroglial cell; OVA: ovalbumin; pDC: plasmacytoid DC; Ptd-L-Ser: phosphatidylserine; PTPRC: protein tyrosine phosphatase, receptor type, C; ROS: reactive oxygen species; SLE: systemic lupus erythematosus; T<sub>H</sub> cells: T helper cells; TLR: toll-like receptor; ZBTB46: zinc finger and BTB domain containing 46.
Project description:Induction of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in susceptible animals requires reactivation of encephalitogenic CD4(+) T cells by APCs in the CNS. However, it has remained unresolved from where APCs in the CNS acquire myelin Ag for T cell activation and under which conditions, that is, whether only during EAE or also in the naive CNS. In this study, we investigated the kinetics of myelin Ag uptake by CNS APCs during EAE and in the naive CNS. Our results show that during EAE CX3CR1(+)CD11b(+) microglia were the first APCs in the CNS to contain myelin Ag upon induction of disease, albeit in very small numbers. Dendritic cells (DCs) arrived in the CNS in sizable numbers significantly later (day 5 postimmunization), without detectable myelin Ag, but acquired it by day 7 postimmunization. Furthermore, a sharp increase in neuroantigen-containing DCs coincided with the onset of EAE symptoms. Importantly, in naive mice a low but consistent number of microglia contained myelin Ag, suggesting release by oligodendrocytes under steady state conditions. Although microglia isolated from naive brain and spinal cord did not elicit a strong CD4(+) T cell response in vitro, myelin Ag-containing microglia may still play a local role in modulating encephalitogenic CD4(+) T cell responses in early EAE prior to the arrival of other professional APCs, such as DCs. Finally, newly arriving DCs in the CNS not yet loaded with myelin Ag before the onset of EAE may be a potential therapeutic target.
Project description:Myelin presentation to T cells in the central nervous system (CNS) sustains inflammation in multiple sclerosis (MS). CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells contribute to MS, but only cells that present myelin to CD4(+) T cells have been identified. We show that MHC class I-restricted myelin basic protein (MBP) was presented by oligodendrocytes and cross-presented by Tip-dendritic cells (DCs) during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of MS initiated by CD4(+) T cells. Tip-DCs activated naive and effector CD8(+) T cells ex vivo, and naive MBP-specific CD8(+) T cells were activated in the CNS during CD4(+) T cell-induced EAE. These results demonstrate that CD4(+) T cell-mediated CNS autoimmunity leads to determinant spreading to myelin-specific CD8(+) T cells that can directly recognize oligodendrocytes.
Project description:Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is an established animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS). Inflammatory CD4+ T cell responses directed against CNS antigens, including myelin proteolipid protein (PLP), are key mediators of EAE. Dendritic cells (DCs) are critical for the induction of T cell responses against infectious agents. However, the importance of DCs in priming self-reactive CD4+ T cells in autoimmune disease such as MS has been unclear. To determine the requirement of DCs in PLP-specific CD4+ T cell responses and EAE, we genetically deleted CD11c+ DCs in PLP T cell receptor (TCR) transgenic SJL mice constitutively. DC deficiency did not impair the development, selection or the pathogenic function of PLP-specific CD4+ T cells in these mice, and resulted in accelerated spontaneous EAE compared to DC sufficient controls. In addition, using a genetic approach to ablate DCs conditionally in SJL mice, we show that CD11c+ DCs were dispensable for presenting exogenous or endogenous myelin antigen to PLP-specific T cells and for promoting pro-inflammatory T cell responses and severe EAE. Our findings demonstrate that constitutive or conditional ablation of CD11c+ DCs diminished self-tolerance to PLP autoantigen. They further show that in the absence of DCs, non-DCs can efficiently present CNS myelin antigens such as PLP to self-reactive T cells, resulting in accelerated onset of spontaneous or induced EAE.
Project description:Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is a well-characterized animal model of multiple sclerosis. During the early phase of EAE, infiltrating monocytes and monocyte-derived macrophages contribute to T cell recruitment, especially CD4+ T cells, into the CNS, resulting in neuronal demyelination; however, in later stages, they promote remyelination and recovery by removal of myelin debris by phagocytosis. Signal regulatory protein α and CD47 are abundantly expressed in the CNS, and deletion of either molecule is protective in myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein-induced EAE because of failed effector T cell expansion and trafficking. Here we report that treatment with the function blocking CD47 Ab Miap410 substantially reduced the infiltration of pathogenic immune cells but impaired recovery from paresis. The underlying mechanism was by blocking the emergence of CD11chiMHCIIhi microglia at peak disease that expressed receptors for phagocytosis, scavenging, and lipid catabolism, which mediated clearance of myelin debris and the transition of monocytes to macrophages in the CNS. In the recovery phase of EAE, Miap410 Ab-treated mice had worsening paresis with sustained inflammation and limited remyelination as compared with control Ab-treated mice. In summary, Ab blockade of CD47 impaired resolution of CNS inflammation, thus worsening EAE.
Project description:Evidence from experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) suggests that CNS-infiltrating dendritic cells (DCs) are crucial for restimulation of coinfiltrating T cells. Here we systematically quantified and visualized the distribution and interaction of CNS DCs and T cells during EAE. We report marked periventricular accumulation of DCs and myelin-specific T cells during EAE disease onset prior to accumulation in the spinal cord, indicating that the choroid plexus-CSF axis is a CNS entry portal. Moreover, despite emphasis on spinal cord inflammation in EAE and in correspondence with MS pathology, inflammatory lesions containing interacting DCs and T cells are present in specific brain regions.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS) characterized by damage to the neuronal myelin sheath. One of the key effectors for inflammatory injury is the antigen-presenting cell (APC). The class A scavenger receptor (SRA), constitutively expressed by APCs, such as macrophages and dendritic cells in peripheral tissues and the CNS, was shown to play a role in the phagocytosis of myelin; however, the role of SRA in the development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and autoimmune reaction in the periphery has not yet been studied. METHODS: We investigated EAE progression in wild-type (WT) vs. SRA-/- mice using clinical score measurements and characterized CNS pathology using staining. Furthermore, we assessed SRA role in mediating anti myelin pro-inflammatory response in cell cultures. RESULTS: We discovered that EAE progression and CNS demyelination were significantly reduced in SRA-/- mice compared to WT mice. In addition, there was a reduction of infiltrating peripheral immune cells, such as T cells and macrophages, in the CNS lesion of SRA-/- mice, which was associated with reduced astrogliosis. Immunological assessment showed that SRA deficiency resulted in significant reduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines that play a major role in EAE progression, such as IL-2, IFN-gamma, IL-17 and IL-6. Furthermore, we discovered that SRA-/- APCs showed impairments in activation and in their ability to induce pro-inflammatory CD4+ T cell proliferation. CONCLUSION: Expression of SRA on APCs is important for CD4+ T-cells proliferation in EAE mouse model. Further studies of SRA-mediated cellular pathways in APCs may offer useful insights into the development of MS and other autoimmune diseases, providing future avenues for therapeutic intervention.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Conditions of inflammatory tissue distress are associated with high extracellular levels of adenosine, due to increased adenosine triphosphate (ATP) degradation upon cellular stress or the release of extracellular ATP upon cell death, which can be degraded to adenosine by membrane-bound ecto-enzymes like CD39 and CD73. Adenosine is recognised to mediate anti-inflammatory effects via the adenosine A2a receptor (A2aR), as shown in experimental models of arthritis. Here, using pharmacological interventions and genetic inactivation, we investigated the roles of A2aR in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS).<h4>Methods</h4>We used two independent mouse EAE variants, i.e. active immunization in C57BL/6 with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)35-55 or transfer-EAE by proteolipid protein (PLP)139-155-stimulated T lymphocytes and EAE in mice treated with A2aR-agonist CGS21680 at different stages of disease course and in mice lacking A2aR (A2aR(-/-)) compared to direct wild-type littermates. In EAE, we analysed myelin-specific proliferation and cytokine synthesis ex vivo, as well as inflammation and demyelination by immunohistochemistry. In vitro, we investigated the effect of A2aR on migration of CD4(+) T cells, macrophages and microglia, as well as the impact of A2aR on phagocytosis of macrophages and microglia. Statistical tests were Mann-Whitney U and Student's t test.<h4>Results</h4>We found an upregulation of A2aR in the central nervous system (CNS) in EAE, predominantly detected on T cells and macrophages/microglia within the inflamed tissue. Preventive EAE treatment with A2aR-specific agonist inhibited myelin-specific T cell proliferation ex vivo and ameliorated disease, while application of the same agonist after disease onset exacerbated non-remitting EAE progression and resulted in more severe tissue destruction. Accordingly, A2aR-deficient mice showed accelerated and exacerbated disease manifestation with increased frequencies of IFN-γ-, IL-17- and GM-CSF-producing CD4(+) T helper cells and higher numbers of inflammatory lesions in the early stage. However, EAE quickly ameliorated and myelin debris accumulation was lower in A2aR(-/-) mice. In vitro, activation of A2aR inhibited phagocytosis of myelin by macrophages and primary microglia as well as migration of CD4(+) T cells, macrophages and primary microglia.<h4>Conclusions</h4>A2aR activation exerts a complex pattern in chronic autoimmune neurodegeneration: while providing anti-inflammatory effects on T cells and thus protection at early stages, A2aR seems to play a detrimental role during later stages of disease and may thus contribute to sustained tissue damage within the inflamed CNS.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>In many neuroinflammatory diseases, dendritic cells (DCs) accumulate in several compartments of the central nervous system (CNS), including the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Myeloid DCs invading the inflamed CNS are thus thought to play a major role in the initiation and perpetuation of CNS-targeted autoimmune responses. We previously reported that, in normal rats, DCs injected intra-CSF migrated outside the CNS and reached the B-cell zone of cervical lymph nodes. However, there is yet no information on the migratory behavior of CSF-circulating DCs under neuroinflammatory conditions.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>To address this issue, we performed in vivo transfer experiments in rats suffering from experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a model of multiple sclerosis. EAE or control rats were injected intra-CSF with bone marrow-derived myeloid DCs labeled with the fluorescent marker carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester (CFSE). In parallel experiments, fluorescent microspheres were injected intra-CSF to EAE rats in order to track endogenous antigen-presenting cells (APCs). Animals were then sacrificed on day 1 or 8 post-injection and their brain and peripheral lymph nodes were assessed for the presence of microspheres(+) APCs or CFSE(+) DCs by immunohistology and/or FACS analysis. Data showed that in EAE rats, DCs injected intra-CSF substantially infiltrated several compartments of the inflamed CNS, including the periventricular demyelinating lesions. We also found that in EAE rats, as compared to controls, a larger number of intra-CSF injected DCs reached the cervical lymph nodes. This migratory behavior was accompanied by an accentuation of EAE clinical signs and an increased systemic antibody response against myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein, a major immunogenic myelin antigen.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>Altogether, these results indicate that CSF-circulating DCs are able to both survey the inflamed brain and to reach the cervical lymph nodes. In EAE and maybe multiple sclerosis, CSF-circulating DCs may thus support the immune responses that develop within and outside the inflamed CNS.
Project description:Protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) play essential roles in regulating signaling events in multiple cells by tyrosine dephosphorylation. One of them, PTP?, appears important in regulating function of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC). Here we report that PTP? deletion in knockout mice and inhibition with a selective antagonist peptide exacerbated symptoms of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) by enhancing axon and myelin damage in the spinal cord. PTP?-/- mice displayed pro-inflammatory profiles in the spinal cord and lymphoid organs following MOG peptide immunization. PTP? deletion promoted a pro-inflammatory phenotype in conventional DCs and directly regulated differentiation of CD4+ T cells. It also facilitated infiltration of T lymphocytes, activation of macrophages in the CNS and development of EAE. Therefore, PTP? is a key negative regulator in EAE initiation and progression, which acts by regulating functions of DCs, T cells, and other immune cells. PTP? may become an important molecular target for treating autoimmune disorders.