Targeting T Cell Activation and Lupus Autoimmune Phenotypes by Inhibiting Glucose Transporters.
ABSTRACT: CD4+ T cells have numerous features of over-activated cellular metabolism in lupus patients and mouse models of the disease. This includes a higher glycolysis than in healthy controls. Glucose transporters play an essential role in glucose metabolism by controlling glucose import into the cell from the extracellular environment. We have previously shown that treatment of lupus-prone mice with 2-deoxy-D-glucose, which inhibits the first step of glycolysis was sufficient to prevent autoimmune activation. However, direct targeting of glucose transporters has never been tested in a mouse model of lupus. Here, we show that CG-5, a novel glucose transporter inhibitor, ameliorated autoimmune phenotypes in a spontaneous lupus-prone mouse model, B6.NZM2410.Sle1.Sle2.Sle3 (Triple-congenic, TC), and in a chronic graft- vs. host-disease (cGVHD) model of induced lupus. In vitro, CG-5 blocked glycolysis in CD4+ T cells, and limited the expansion of CD4+ T cells induced by alloreactive stimulation. CG-5 also modulated CD4+ T cell polarization by inhibiting Th1 and Th17 differentiation and promoting regulatory T (Treg) induction. Moreover, CG-5 treatment reduced lupus phenotypes including the expansion of germinal center B (GC B) cells, as well as the production of autoantibodies in both TC mice and cGVHD models. Finally, CG-5 blocked glycolysis in human T cells. Overall, our data suggest that blocking glucose uptake with a small molecule inhibitor ameliorates autoimmune activation, at least partially due to its inhibition of glycolysis in CD4+ T cells.
Project description:Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease in which autoreactive CD4(+) T cells play an essential role. CD4(+) T cells rely on glycolysis for inflammatory effector functions, but recent studies have shown that mitochondrial metabolism supports their chronic activation. How these processes contribute to lupus is unclear. We show that both glycolysis and mitochondrial oxidative metabolism are elevated in CD4(+) T cells from lupus-prone B6.Sle1.Sle2.Sle3 (TC) mice as compared to non-autoimmune controls. In vitro, both the mitochondrial metabolism inhibitor metformin and the glucose metabolism inhibitor 2-deoxy-d-glucose (2DG) reduced interferon-? (IFN-?) production, although at different stages of activation. Metformin also restored the defective interleukin-2 (IL-2) production by TC CD4(+) T cells. In vivo, treatment of TC mice and other lupus models with a combination of metformin and 2DG normalized T cell metabolism and reversed disease biomarkers. Further, CD4(+) T cells from SLE patients also exhibited enhanced glycolysis and mitochondrial metabolism that correlated with their activation status, and their excessive IFN-? production was significantly reduced by metformin in vitro. These results suggest that normalization of T cell metabolism through the dual inhibition of glycolysis and mitochondrial metabolism is a promising therapeutic venue for SLE.
Project description:Mouse models of lupus have shown that multiple immune cell types contribute to autoimmune disease. This study sought to investigate the involvement of B cells and dendritic cells in supporting the expansion of inflammatory and regulatory CD4+ T cells that are critical for lupus pathogenesis. We used lupus-prone B6.NZM2410.Sle1.Sle2.Sle3 (TC) and congenic C57BL/6J (B6) control mice to investigate how the genetic predisposition of these two cell types controls the activity of normal B6 T cells. Using an allogeneic in vitro assay, we showed that TC B1-a and conventional B cells expanded Th17 cells significantly more than their B6 counterparts. This expansion was dependent on CD86 and IL-6 expression and mapped to the Sle1 lupus-susceptibility locus. In vivo, TC B cells promoted greater differentiation of CD4+ T cells into Th1 and follicular helper T cells than did B6 B cells, but they limited the expansion of Foxp3 regulatory CD4+ T cells to a greater extent than did B6 B cells. Finally, when normal B6 CD4+ T cells were introduced into Rag1-/- mice, TC myeloid/stromal cells caused their heightened activation, decreased Foxp3 regulatory CD4+ T cell differentiation, and increased renal infiltration of Th1 and Th17 cells in comparison with B6 myeloid/stromal cells. The results show that B cells from lupus mice amplify inflammatory CD4+ T cells in a nonredundant manner with myeloid/stromal cells.
Project description:Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease in which autoreactive follicular helper T (Tfh) cells license high-affinity autoantibody production. Strikingly, the frequency of circulating Tfh is correlated with disease activity in SLE patients. As such, understanding the molecular mechanisms responsible for the aberrant Tfh cell generation and activation in lupus is of fundamental significance. We previously demonstrated that expanded Tfh cells in the B6.Sle1.Sle2.Sle3 (TC for triple congenic) lupus model exhibit high glycolysis and oxidative metabolism, which can be constrained by inhibiting glycolysis with 2-deoxyglucose (2DG). We performed RNA-seq analyses of splenic Tfh and naïve CD4+ T cells (Tn) comparing between TC and B6 mice. First, data revealed a large number of shared gene signatures in Tfh and Tn comparing between TC and B6 group, implicating that the aberrant development of Tfh initiates as early as Tn state. Further alignment of the Tfh transcriptome obtained from RNA-seq and earlier microarray assays demonstrated concerted alterations in numerous gene signatures of overactivation of T cells including dysregulated tyrosine kinase signaling and MAPK signaling pathways. Gene set enrichment analyses (GSEA) further revealed altered metabolic pathways (e.g., oxidative phosphorylation and pyruvate metabolism) among splenic TC Tfh cells. Overall design: Splenic CD4+CD44+CD162lo/-PD-1+ Tfh cells and CD4+CD44- Tn cells from B6.NZM-Sle1NZM2410/AegSle2NZM2410/AegSle3NZM2410/Aeg/LmoJ (TC) congenic mice and B6 control at the matched ages of 8 months old were sorted for RNA-seq analysis.
Project description:The autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is characterized by the production of pathogenic autoantibodies. It has been postulated that gut microbial dysbiosis may be one of the mechanisms involved in SLE pathogenesis. Here, we demonstrate that the dysbiotic gut microbiota of triple congenic (TC) lupus-prone mice (B6.<i>Sle1.Sle2.Sle3</i>) stimulated the production of autoantibodies and activated immune cells when transferred into germfree congenic C57BL/6 (B6) mice. Fecal transfer to B6 mice induced autoimmune phenotypes only when the TC donor mice exhibited autoimmunity. Autoimmune pathogenesis was mitigated by horizontal transfer of the gut microbiota between co-housed lupus-prone TC mice and control congenic B6 mice. Metabolomic screening identified an altered distribution of tryptophan metabolites in the feces of TC mice including an increase in kynurenine, which was alleviated after antibiotic treatment. Low dietary tryptophan prevented autoimmune pathology in TC mice, whereas high dietary tryptophan exacerbated disease. Reducing dietary tryptophan altered gut microbial taxa in both lupus-prone TC mice and control B6 mice. Consequently, fecal transfer from TC mice fed a high tryptophan diet, but not a low tryptophan diet, induced autoimmune phenotypes in germfree B6 mice. The interplay of gut microbial dysbiosis, tryptophan metabolism and host genetic susceptibility in lupus-prone mice suggest that aberrant tryptophan metabolism may contribute to autoimmune activation in this disease.
Project description:We report a novel model of lupus-associated cardiovascular pathology accelerated by the TLR7 agonist R848 in lupus-prone B6.<i>Sle1.Sle2.Sle3</i> (TC) mice. R848-treated TC mice but not non-autoimmune C57BL/6 (B6) controls developed microvascular inflammation and myocytolysis with intracellular vacuolization. This histopathology was similar to antibody-mediated rejection after heart transplant, although it did not involve complement. The TC or B6 recipients of serum or splenocytes from R848-treated TC mice developed a reactive cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, which also presents spontaneously in old TC mice as well as in TC.<i>Rag<sup>-/-</sup></i> mice that lack B and T cells. Each of these cardiovascular lesions correspond to abnormalities that have been reported in lupus patients. Lymphoid and non-lymphoid immune cells as well as soluble factors contribute to lupus-associated cardiovascular lesions in TC mice, which can now be dissected using this model with and without R848 treatment.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Systemic lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disease characterized by an overproduction of autoantibodies resulting from dysregulation in multiple immune cell types. D-mannose is a C<sup>-?2</sup> epimer of glucose that exhibits immunoregulatory effects in models of autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, induced rheumatoid arthritis, and airway inflammation. This study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of D-mannose treatment in mouse models of lupus.<h4>Results</h4>Firstly, the effect of D-Mannose was evaluated by flow cytometry on the in vitro activation of non-autoimmune C57BL/6 (B6) bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) and their ability to induce antigen-specific CD4<sup>+</sup> T cell proliferation and activation. D-mannose inhibited the maturation of BMDCs and their induction of antigen-specific T cell proliferation and activation. In vivo, D-mannose increased the frequency of Foxp3<sup>+</sup> regulatory T cells in unmanipulated B6 mice. To assess the effect of D-mannose in mouse models of lupus, we used the graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) induced model and the B6.lpr spontaneous model. In the cGVHD model, D-mannose treatment decreased autoantibody production, with a concomitant reduction of the frequency of effector memory and follicular helper T cells as well as germinal center B cells and plasma cells. These results were partially validated in the B6.lpr model of spontaneous lupus.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Overall, our results suggest that D-mannose ameliorates autoimmune activation in models of lupus, at least partially due to its expansion of Treg cells, the induction of immature conventional dendritic cells and the downregulation of effector T cells activation. D-Mannose showed however a weaker immunomodulatory effect in lupus than in other autoimmune diseases.
Project description:Lupus anti-nuclear Ab show the characteristics of Ag-driven T-cell-dependent (TD) humoral responses. If autoAg elicit the same response as exogenous Ag, lupus should enhance humoral responses to immunization. Blunted responses to various immunizations have, however, been reported in a significant portion of lupus patients. In this study, we show that lupus-prone C57BL/6.Sle1.Sle2.Sle3 (B6.TC) mice produce significantly less Ab in response to TD immunization than congenic controls, while producing significantly more total Ig. This blunted Ab response to TD Ag could be reconstituted with B6.TC B and CD4+ T cells. Multiple defects were found in the B6.TC response to 4-hydroxy-3-nitrophenylacetyl-keyhole limpet hemocyanin (NP-KLH) compared with total Ig, including a smaller percentage of B cells participating in the NP-response, a reduced entry into germinal centers, and highly defective production of NP-specific long-lived plasma cells (PC) in the bone marrow. B6.TC PC expressed reduced levels of FcgammaRIIb, which suggests that reduced apoptosis in resident PC prevents the establishment of newly formed NP-specific PC in bone marrow niches. Overall, these results show that lupus-prone mice responded differently to auto- and exogenous Ag and suggest that low FcgammaRIIb, hypergammaglobulinemia, and high autoAb production would be predictive of a poor response to immunization in lupus patients.
Project description:CD4+ T cell interactions with B cells play a critical role in the pathogenesis of systemic autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus and chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD). Extrafollicular CD44hiCD62LloPSGL1loCD4+ T cells (PSGL1loCD4+ T cells) are associated with the pathogenesis of lupus and cGVHD, but their causal role has not been established. With murine and humanized MHC-/-HLA-A2+DR4+ murine models of cGVHD, we showed that murine and human PSGL1loCD4+ T cells from GVHD target tissues have features of B cell helpers with upregulated expression of programmed cell death protein 1 (PD1) and inducible T cell costimulator (ICOS) and production of IL-21. They reside in nonlymphoid tissues without circulating in the blood and have features of tissue-resident memory T cells with upregulated expression of CD69. Murine PSGL1loCD4+ T cells from GVHD target tissues augmented B cell differentiation into plasma cells and production of autoantibodies via their PD1 interaction with PD-L2 on B cells. Human PSGL1loCD4+ T cells were apposed with memory B cells in the liver tissues of humanized mice and cGVHD patients. Human PSGL1loCD4+ T cells from humanized GVHD target tissues also augmented autologous memory B cell differentiation into plasma cells and antibody production in a PD1/PD-L2-dependent manner. Further preclinical studies targeting tissue-resident T cells to treat antibody-mediated features of autoimmune diseases are warranted.
Project description:The development of lupus pathogenesis results from the integration of susceptibility and resistance genes. We have used a chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) model to characterize a suppressive locus at the telomeric end of the NZM2410-derived Sle2 susceptibility locus, which we named Sle2c2. cGVHD is induced normally in Sle2c2-expressing mice, but it is not sustained. The analysis of mixed bone marrow chimeras revealed that cGVHD resistance was eliminated by non-B non-T hematopoietic cells expressing the B6 allele, suggesting that resistance is mediated by this same cell type. Furthermore, Sle2c2 expression was associated with an increased number and activation of the CD11b(+) GR-1(+) subset of granulocytes before and in the early stage of cGVHD induction. We have mapped the Sle2c2 critical interval to a 6-Mb region that contains the Cfs3r gene, which encodes for the G-CSFR, and its NZM2410 allele carries a nonsynonymous mutation. The G-CSFR-G-CSF pathway has been previously implicated in the regulation of GVHD, and our functional data on Sle2c2 suppression suggest a novel regulation of T cell-induced systemic autoimmunity through myeloid-derived suppressor cells. The validation of Csf3r as the causative gene for Sle2c2 and the further characterization of the Sle2c2 MDSCs promise to unveil new mechanisms by which lupus pathogenesis is regulated.
Project description:The absence of the mouse cell surface receptor CD38 in <i>Cd38<sup>-/-</sup></i> mice suggests that this receptor acts as a positive regulator of inflammatory and autoimmune responses. Here, we report that, in the context of the chronic graft-<i>versus</i>-host disease (cGVHD) lupus inducible model, the transfer of B6.C-H2bm12/KhEg(bm12) spleen cells into co-isogenic <i>Cd38<sup>-/-</sup></i> B6 mice causes milder lupus-like autoimmunity with lower levels of anti-ssDNA autoantibodies than the transfer of bm12 spleen cells into WT B6 mice. In addition, significantly lower percentages of Tfh cells, as well as GC B cells, plasma cells, and T-bet<sup>+</sup>CD11c<sup>hi</sup> B cells, were observed in <i>Cd38<sup>-/-</sup></i> mice than in WT mice, while the expansion of Treg cells and Tfr cells was normal, suggesting that the ability of <i>Cd38<sup>-/-</sup></i> B cells to respond to allogeneic help from bm12 CD4<sup>+</sup> T cells is greatly diminished. The frequencies of T-bet<sup>+</sup>CD11c<sup>hi</sup> B cells, which are considered the precursors of the autoantibody-secreting cells, correlate with anti-ssDNA autoantibody serum levels, IL-27, and sCD40L. Proteomics profiling of the spleens from WT cGVHD mice reflects a STAT1-driven type I IFN signature, which is absent in <i>Cd38<sup>-/-</sup></i> cGVHD mice. Kidney, spleen, and liver inflammation was mild and resolved faster in <i>Cd38<sup>-/-</sup></i> cGVHD mice than in WT cGVHD mice. We conclude that CD38 in B cells functions as a modulator receptor that controls autoimmune responses.