TCR Affinity Biases Th Cell Differentiation by Regulating CD25, Eef1e1, and Gbp2.
ABSTRACT: Naive CD4+ T lymphocytes differentiate into various Th cell subsets following TCR binding to microbial peptide:MHC class II (p:MHCII) complexes on dendritic cells (DCs). The affinity of the TCR interaction with p:MHCII plays a role in Th differentiation by mechanisms that are not completely understood. We found that low-affinity TCRs biased mouse naive T cells to become T follicular helper (Tfh) cells, whereas higher-affinity TCRs promoted the formation of Th1 or Th17 cells. We explored the basis for this phenomenon by focusing on IL-2R signaling, which is known to promote Th1 and suppress Tfh cell differentiation. SIRP?+ DCs produce abundant p:MHCII complexes and consume IL-2, whereas XCR1+ DCs weakly produce p:MHCII but do not consume IL-2. We found no evidence, however, of preferential interactions between Th1 cell-prone, high-affinity T cells and XCR1+ DCs or Tfh cell-prone, low-affinity T cells and SIRP?+ DCs postinfection with bacteria expressing the peptide of interest. Rather, high-affinity T cells sustained IL-2R expression longer and expressed two novel Th cell differentiation regulators, Eef1e1 and Gbp2, to a higher level than low-affinity T cells. These results suggest that TCR affinity does not influence Th cell differentiation by biasing T cell interactions with IL-2-consuming DCs, but instead, directly regulates genes in naive T cells that control the differentiation process.
Project description:High-affinity class-switched Abs and memory B cells are products of the germinal center (GC). The CD4+ T cell help required for the development and maintenance of the GC is delivered by follicular Th cells (T(FH)), a CD4+ Th cell subset characterized by expression of Bcl-6 and secretion of IL-21. The cellular interactions that mediate differentiation of TFH and GC B cells remain an important area of investigation. We previously showed that MHC class II (MHCII)-dependent dendritic cell Ag presentation is sufficient for the differentiation of a T(FH) intermediate (termed pre-T(FH)), characterized by Bcl-6 expression but lacking IL-21 secretion. In this article, we examine the contributions of MHCII Ag presentation by B cells to T(FH) differentiation and GC responses in several contexts. B cells alone do not efficiently prime naive CD4+ T cells or induce T(FH) after protein immunization; however, during lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus infection, B cells induce T(FH) differentiation despite the lack of effector CD4+ T cell generation. Still, MHCII+ dendritic cells and B cells cooperate for optimal T(FH) and GC B cell differentiation in response to both model Ags and viral infection. This study highlights the roles for B cells in both CD4+ T cell priming and T(FH) differentiation, and demonstrates that different APC subsets work in tandem to mediate the GC response.
Project description:Follicular CD4(+) Th (Tfh) cells provide B cell help in germinal center reactions that support class switching, somatic hypermutation, and the generation of high-affinity Abs. In this article, we show that deficiency in NFAT1 and NFAT2 in CD4(+) T cells leads to impaired germinal center reactions upon viral infection because of reduced Tfh cell differentiation and defective expression of proteins involved in T/B interactions and B cell help, including ICOS, PD-1, and SLAM family receptors. Genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation data suggest that NFAT proteins likely directly participate in regulation of genes important for Tfh cell differentiation and function. NFAT proteins are important TCR and Ca(2+)-dependent regulators of T cell biology, and in this article we demonstrate a major positive role of NFAT family members in Tfh differentiation.
Project description:The chemokine (C motif) receptor 1 (XCR1) and its ligandXCL1 have been intensively studied in the mouse and human immune systems. Here, we determined the molecular characteristics of cattle XCR1 and XCL1 and their distribution among peripheral blood cells. Cattle XCR1 mRNA expression was mainly restricted to CD26+CADM1+CD205+MHCII+CD11b- cells in blood that were otherwise lineage marker negative (lin-); these represented a subset of classic dendritic cells (DCs), not plasmacytoid DCs. Some of these DCs expressed CD11a, CD44, CD80 and CD86, but they did not express CD4, CD8, CD163 or CD172a. Cattle XCL1 was expressed in quiescent NK cells and in activated CD8+ T cells. Cattle XCR1+ DCs migrated chemotactically in response to mouse, but not to human, XCL1. The distribution characters of cattle XCR1 and XCL1 suggested a vital role in regulation of acquired immune responses and indicated a potential for a DC targeted veterinary vaccine in cattle using XCL1 fused antigens.
Project description:Follicular helper T cells (Tfh) are crucial for the production of high-affinity antibodies, such as alloantibodies, by providing the signals for B-cell proliferation and differentiation. Here, we demonstrate that human allogeneic dendritic cells (DC) stimulated with antibodies against HLA class II antigens preferentially differentiate human naive CD4+ T cells into Tfh cells. Following coculture with DCs treated with these antibodies, CD4+ T cells expressed CXCR5, ICOS, IL-21, Bcl-6 and phosphorylated STAT3. Blockade of IL-21 abrogated Bcl-6, while addition of the IL-12p40 subunit to the coculture increased CXCR5, Bcl-6, phosphorylated STAT3 and ICOS, indicating that they were both involved in Tfh polarization. We further phenotyped the peripheral T cells in a cohort of 55 kidney transplant recipients. Patients with anti-HLA-II donor-specific antibodies (DSA) presented higher blood counts of circulating Tfh cells than those with anti-HLA-I DSAs. Moreover, there was a predominance of lymphoid aggregates containing Tfh cells in biopsies from patients with antibody-mediated rejection and anti-HLA-II DSAs. Collectively, these data suggest that alloantibodies against HLA class II specifically promote the differentiation of naive T cells to Tfh cells following contact with DCs, a process that might appear in situ in human allografts and constitutes a therapeutic target.
Project description:Advancing age leads to significant decline in immune functions. IL-21 is produced primarily by T follicular helper (Tfh) cells and is required for effective immune cell functions. Here we compared the induction of IL-21 in aged and young subjects. Our investigation demonstrates that CD4+T cells from healthy elderly individuals (age ? 65) secreted significantly higher levels of IL-21 on priming with aged and young dendritic cells (DC). Though the aged and young DCs secreted comparable levels of IL-12 on stimulation with anti-CD40 antibody and LPS, culture of DCs with aged CD4+ T cells resulted in increased production of IL-21 as compared to that with young CD4+ T cells. Further examination revealed that the response of aged naïve CD4+ T cells to IL-12 was altered, resulting in increased differentiation of aged Th cells towards Tfh cells. Investigation into the signaling mechanism suggested that phosphorylation of STAT-4 in response to IL-12 was sustained for a longer duration in aged CD4+ T cells as compared to CD4+ T cells from young subjects. Additional analysis demonstrated that increased IL-21 secretion correlated with chronic CMV infection in aged subjects. These findings indicate that chronic CMV infection alters the response of aged CD4+ T cells to IL-12 resulting in an increased secretion of IL-21 and that aging affects Tfh cell responses in humans which may contribute to age-associated inflammation and immune dysfunctions.
Project description:T follicular helper cells (Tfh) are important regulators of humoral responses. Human Tfh polarization pathways have been thus far associated with Th1 and Th17 polarization pathways. How human Tfh cells differentiate in Th2-skewed environments is unknown. We show that thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP)-activated dendritic cells (DCs) promote human Tfh differentiation from naive CD4 T cells. We identified a novel population, distinct from Th2 cells, expressing IL-21 and TNF, suggestive of inflammatory cells. TSLP-induced T cells expressed CXCR5, CXCL13, ICOS, PD1, BCL6, BTLA, and SAP, among other Tfh markers. Functionally, TSLP-DC-polarized T cells induced IgE secretion by memory B cells, and this depended on IL-4R?. TSLP-activated DCs stimulated circulating memory Tfh cells to produce IL-21 and CXCL13. Mechanistically, TSLP-induced Tfh differentiation depended on OX40-ligand, but not on ICOS-ligand. Our results delineate a pathway of human Tfh differentiation in Th2 environments.
Project description:Follicular T helper cells (Tfh) are critical for providing help to B cells for germinal center (GC) formation. Mutations affecting SAP prevent GC formation due to defective T:B cell interactions, yet effects on Tfh cell differentiation remain unclear. We describe the in vitro differentiation of functionally competent “Tfh-like” cells that expressed IL-21, Tfh markers, and Bcl6, and rescued GC formation in SAP-deficient hosts substantially better than other T helper (Th) cells. SAP-deficient Tfh-like cells appeared virtually indistinguishable from wildtype, yet failed to support GCs in vivo. Interestingly, both Tfh-like and in vivo-derived Tfh cells could produce effector cytokines in response to polarizing conditions. Moreover, other Th cell populations could be reprogrammed to obtain Tfh characteristics. ChIP-Seq analyses revealed positive epigenetic markings on Tbx21, Gata3 and Rorc in Tfh-like and ex vivo Tfh cells, and Bcl6 in other Th cells, supporting the concept of plasticity between Tfh and other Th populations. We describe the in vitro differentiation of functionally competent IL-21-producing cells with Tfh-like properties. Importantly, transfer of low numbers of these cells induced GC formation in SAP-deficient hosts more effectively than other in vitro differentiated Th cells, suggesting they represent bona fide Tfh cell precursors. We have chosen the name “Tfh-like” cells for these in vitro differentiated IL-21 producing cells as they exhibit Tfh characteristics, but do not reside within B cell follicles. SAP-deficient Tfh-like cells were virtually indistinguishable from WT, yet nonetheless, failed to effectively contribute to Tfh cells and rescue GC formation in vivo. Evaluation of cytokine production as well as epigenetic chromatin modifications of genes encoding Th cell-specific transcription factors from either in vitro-generated Tfh-like cells or Tfh cells isolated directly ex vivo provided evidence for plasticity between Tfh-like and other Th cell populations. Our results provide insight into the requirements for differentiation and plasticity of Tfh cells, which are critical for the generation of effective long-term humoral immunity. RNA was prepared from subconfluent asynchronously proliferating cells using TRIZOL and purified by RNeasy MinElute Cleanup kit (Qiagen). Hybridization to Affymetrix GeneChip Mouse Genome 430 2.0 arrays was used to generate gene expression profiles of WT Tfh-like and SAP-deficient Tfh-like cells.
Project description:CD4+ T cell differentiation is influenced by a plethora of intrinsic and extrinsic factors, providing the immune system with the ability to tailor its response according to specific stimuli. Indeed, different classes of pathogens may induce a distinct balance of CD4+ T cell differentiation programmes. Here, we report an uncommonly strong bias toward follicular helper (Tfh) differentiation of CD4+ T cells reactive with a retroviral envelope glycoprotein model antigen, presented in its natural context during retroviral infection. Conversely, the response to the same antigen, presented in different immunization regimens, elicited a response typically balanced between Tfh and T helper 1 cells. Comprehensive quantitation of variables known to influence Tfh differentiation revealed the closest correlation with the strength of T cell receptor (TCR) signaling, leading to PD-1 expression, but not with surface TCR downregulation, irrespective of TCR clonotypic avidity. In contrast, strong TCR signaling leading to TCR downregulation and induction of LAG3 expression in high TCR avidity clonotypes restrained CD4+ T cell commitment and further differentiation. Finally, stunted Th1 differentiation, correlating with limited IL-2 availability in retroviral infection, provided permissive conditions for Tfh development, suggesting that Tfh differentiation is the default program of envelope-reactive CD4+ T cells.
Project description:Naive CD8(+) T cell priming during tumor development or many primary infections requires cross-presentation by XCR1(+) dendritic cells (DCs). Memory CD8(+) T lymphocytes (mCTLs) harbor a lower activation threshold as compared with naive cells. However, whether their recall responses depend on XCR1(+) DCs is unknown. By using a new mouse model allowing fluorescent tracking and conditional depletion of XCR1(+) DCs, we demonstrate a differential requirement of these cells for mCTL recall during secondary infections by different pathogens. XCR1(+) DCs were instrumental to promote this function upon secondary challenges with Listeria monocytogenes, vesicular stomatitis virus, or Vaccinia virus, but dispensable in the case of mouse cytomegalovirus. We deciphered how XCR1(+) DCs promote mCTL recall upon secondary infections with Listeria. By visualizing for the first time the in vivo choreography of XCR1(+) DCs, NK cells and mCTLs during secondary immune responses, and by neutralizing in vivo candidate molecules, we demonstrate that, very early after infection, mCTLs are activated, and attracted in a CXCR3-dependent manner, by NK cell-boosted, IL-12-, and CXCL9-producing XCR1(+) DCs. Hence, depending on the infectious agent, strong recall of mCTLs during secondary challenges can require cytokine- and chemokine-dependent cross-talk with XCR1(+) DCs and NK cells.
Project description:Host defense against viruses and intracellular parasites depends on effector CD8(+) T cells, whose optimal clonal expansion, differentiation, and memory properties require signals from CD4(+) T cells. Here, we addressed the role of dendritic cell (DC) subsets in initial activation of the two T cell types and their co-operation. Surprisingly, initial priming of CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells was spatially segregated within the lymph node and occurred on different DCs with temporally distinct patterns of antigen presentation via MHCI versus MHCII molecules. DCs that co-present antigen via both MHC molecules were detected at a later stage; these XCR1(+) DCs are the critical platform involved in CD4(+) T cell augmentation of CD8(+) T cell responses. These findings delineate the complex choreography of cellular interactions underlying effective cell-mediated anti-viral responses, with implications for basic DC subset biology, as well as for translational application to the development of vaccines that evoke optimal T cell immunity.