CD28-Dependent CTLA-4 Expression Fine-Tunes the Activation of Human Th17 Cells.
ABSTRACT: Previous work has demonstrated that Th17 memory cells but not Th1 cells are resistant to CD28/CTLA-4 blockade with CTLA-4 Ig, leading us to investigate the individual roles of the CD28 and CTLA-4 cosignaling pathways on Th1 versus Th17 cells. We found that selective CD28 blockade with a domain antibody (dAb) inhibited Th1 cells but surprisingly augmented Th17 responses. CD28 agonism resulted in a profound increase in CTLA-4 expression in Th17 cells as compared with Th1 cells. Consistent with these findings, inhibition of the CD28 signaling protein AKT revealed that CTLA-4 expression on Th17 cells was more significantly reduced by AKT inhibition relative to CTLA-4 expression on Th17 cells. Finally, we found that FOXO1 and FOXO3 overexpression restrained high expression of CTLA-4 on Th17 cells but not Th1 cells. This study demonstrates that the heterogeneity of the CD4+ T cell compartment has implications for the immunomodulation of pathologic T cell responses.
Project description:Memory T cells pose a significant problem to successful therapeutic control of unwanted immune responses during autoimmunity and transplantation, as they are differentially controlled by cosignaling receptors such as CD28 and CTLA-4. Treatment with abatacept and belatacept impede CD28 signaling by binding to CD80 and CD86, but they also have the unintended consequence of blocking the ligands for CTLA-4, a process that may inadvertently boost effector responses. Here, we show that a potentially novel anti-CD28 domain antibody (dAb) that selectively blocks CD28 but preserves CTLA-4 coinhibition confers improved allograft survival in sensitized recipients as compared with CTLA-4 Ig. However, both CTLA-4 Ig and anti-CD28 dAb similarly and significantly reduced the accumulation of donor-reactive CD8+ memory T cells, demonstrating that regulation of the expansion of CD8+ memory T cell populations is controlled in part by CD28 signals and is not significantly impacted by CTLA-4. In contrast, selective CD28 blockade was superior to CTLA-4 Ig in inhibiting IFN-?, TNF, and IL-2 production by CD8+ memory T cells, which in turn resulted in reduced recruitment of innate CD11b+ monocytes into allografts. Importantly, this superiority was CTLA-4 dependent, demonstrating that effector function of CD8+ memory T cells is regulated by the balance of CD28 and CTLA-4 signaling.
Project description:Effector and memory T cells may cross-react with allogeneic Ags to mediate graft rejection. Whereas the costimulation properties of Th1 cells are well studied, relatively little is known about the costimulation requirements of microbe-elicited Th17 cells. The costimulation blocker CTLA-4 Ig has been ineffective in the treatment of several Th17-driven autoimmune diseases and is associated with severe acute rejection following renal transplantation, leading us to investigate whether Th17 cells play a role in CD28/CTLA-4 blockade-resistant alloreactivity. We established an Ag-specific model in which Th1 and Th17 cells were elicited via Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Candida albicans immunization, respectively. C. albicans immunization elicited a higher frequency of Th17 cells and conferred resistance to costimulation blockade following transplantation. Compared with the M. tuberculosis group, C. albicans-elicited Th17 cells contained a higher frequency of IL-17(+)IFN-?(+) producers and a lower frequency of IL-10(+) and IL-10(+)IL-17(+) cells. Importantly, Th17 cells differentially regulated the CD28/CTLA-4 pathway, expressing similarly high CD28 but significantly greater amounts of CTLA-4 compared with Th1 cells. Ex vivo blockade experiments demonstrated that Th17 cells are more sensitive to CTLA-4 coinhibition and therefore less susceptible to CTLA-4 Ig. These novel insights into the differential regulation of CTLA-4 coinhibition on CD4(+) T cells have implications for the immunomodulation of pathologic T cell responses during transplantation and autoimmunity.
Project description:The CD28/cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4)blocker belatacept selectively inhibits alloreactive T cell responses but is associated with a high incidence of acute rejection following renal transplantation,which led us to investigate the etiology of belatacept–resistant graft rejection. T cells can differentiate into functionally distinct subsets of memory T cellsthat collectively enable protection against diverse classes of pathogens and can cross-react with allogeneicantigen and mediate graft rejection. T helper 17(Th17) cells are a pro-inflammatory CD4+ lineage that provides immunity to pathogens and are pathogenic in autoimmune disease. We found that T helper 1 (Th1)and Th17 memory compartments contained a similar frequency of divided cells following allogeneic stimulation.Compared to Th1 cells, Th17 memory cells expressed significantly higher levels of the coinhibitory molecule CTLA-4. Stimulation in the presence of belatacept inhibited Th1 responses but augmented Th17 cells due to greater sensitivity to coinhibition by CTLA-4. Th17 cells from renal transplant recipients were resistant to ex vivo CD28/CTLA-4 blockade with belatacept, and an elevated frequency of Th17 memory cells was associated with acute rejection during belatacept therapy. These data highlight important differences in costimulatory and coinhibitory requirements of CD4+ memory subsets, and demonstrate that the heterogeneity of pathogen-derived memory has implications for immunomodulation strategies.
Project description:T cell activation is a complex process that requires multiple cell signaling pathways, including a primary recognition signal and additional costimulatory signals. One of the best-characterized costimulatory pathways includes the Ig superfamily members CD28 and CTLA-4 and their ligands CD80 and CD86. Areas covered: This review discusses past, current and future biological therapies that have been utilized to block the CD28/CTLA-4 cosignaling pathway in the settings of autoimmunity and transplantation, as well the challenges facing successful implementation of these therapies. Expert opinion: The development of CD28 blockers Abatacept and Belatacept provided a more targeted therapy approach for transplant rejection and autoimmune disease relative to calcineurin inhibitors and anti-proliferatives, but overall efficacy may be limited due to their collateral effect of simultaneously blocking CTLA-4 coinhibitory signals. As such, current investigations into the potential of selective CD28 blockade to block the costimulatory potential of CD28 while exploiting the coinhibitory effects of CTLA-4 are promising. However, as selective CD28 blockade inhibits the activity of both effector and regulatory T cells, an important goal for the future is the design of therapies that will maximize the attenuation of effector responses while preserving the suppressive function of T regulatory cells.
Project description:CD28 and CTLA-4 are cell surface cosignaling molecules essential for the control of T cell activation upon the engagement of their ligands B7-1 and B7-2 from antigen-presenting cells. By employing a receptor array assay, we have demonstrated that B7-H2, best known as the ligand of inducible costimulator, was a ligand for CD28 and CTLA-4 in human, whereas these interactions were not conserved in mouse. B7-H2 and B7-1 or B7-2 interacted with CD28 through distinctive domains. B7-H2-CD28 interaction was essential for the costimulation of human T cells' primary responses to allogeneic antigens and memory recall responses. Similar to B7-1 and B7-2, B7-H2 costimulation via CD28 induced survival factor Bcl-xL, downregulated cell cycle inhibitor p27(kip1), and triggered signaling cascade of ERK and AKT kinase-dependent pathways. Our findings warrant re-evaluation of CD28 and CTLA-4's functions previously attributed exclusively to B7-1 and B7-2 and have important implications in therapeutic interventions against human diseases.
Project description:CTLA-4Ig (belatacept) blocks the CD80/CD86 ligands for both CD28 and CTLA-4; thus, in addition to the intended effect of blocking CD28-mediated costimulation, belatacept also has the unintended effect of blocking CTLA-4-mediated coinhibition. Recently, anti-CD28 domain antibodies (dAb) that selectively target CD28 while leaving CTLA-4 intact were shown to more effectively inhibit alloimmune responses and prolong graft survival. However, the impact of selective CD28 blockade on protective immunity has not been extensively investigated. Here, we sought to compare the impact of CTLA-4Ig vs anti-CD28dAb on CD8+ T cell immunity to a transplant-relevant pathogen, a murine homolog of Epstein-Barr virus. Mice were infected with murine gammaherpesvirus-68 (MHV) and treated with vehicle, CTLA-4Ig, or anti-CD28dAb. Although anti-CD28dAb resulted in a decrease in virus-specific CD8+ T cell numbers as compared to CTLA-4Ig, cytolytic function and the expression of markers of high-quality effectors were not different from CTLA-4Ig treated animals. Importantly, MHV-68 viral load was not different between the treatment groups. These results suggest that preserved CTLA-4 coinhibition limits MHV-specific CD8+ T cell accumulation, but the population that remains retains cytolytic function and migratory capacity and is not inferior in its ability to control viral burden relative to T cell responses in CTLA-4Ig-treated animals.
Project description:Th cells that produce IL-17 (Th17 cells) are a distinct subset of Th cells implicated in several autoimmune diseases. Although CD28-B7 interaction has been shown to be involved in Th17 differentiation in vitro, the role of CTLA-4 in controlling Th17 development is completely unknown. We report in this paper that blocking the CTLA-4-B7 interaction potentiates Th17 cell differentiation in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, blocking CTLA-4-B7 interaction in vivo confers the susceptibility of experimental autoimmune myocarditis to CD28(-/-) mice or increases the severity of experimental autoimmune myocarditis in wild-type mice. The enhanced disease susceptibility is mediated by heightened Th17 responses. With these results, we are the first to demonstrate that CTLA-4-B7 interaction inhibits Th17 differentiation in vitro and in vivo and suppresses Th17-mediated autoimmunity.
Project description:Belatacept is a biologic that targets CD80/86 and prevents its interaction with CD28 and its alternative ligand, cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4). Clinical experience in kidney transplantation has revealed a high incidence of rejection with belatacept, especially with intensive regimens, suggesting that blocking CTLA-4 is deleterious. We performed a head to head assessment of FR104 (n=5), a selective pegylated Fab' antibody fragment antagonist of CD28 that does not block the CTLA-4 pathway, and belatacept (n=5) in kidney allotransplantation in baboons. The biologics were supplemented with an initial 1-month treatment with low-dose tacrolimus. In cases of acute rejection, animals also received steroids. In the belatacept group, four of five recipients developed severe, steroid-resistant acute cellular rejection, whereas FR104-treated animals did not. Assessment of regulatory T cell-specific demethylated region methylation status in 1-month biopsy samples revealed a nonsignificant trend for higher regulatory T cell frequencies in FR104-treated animals. Transcriptional analysis did not reveal significant differences in Th17 cytokines but did reveal higher levels of IL-21, the main cytokine secreted by CD4 T follicular helper (Tfh) cells, in belatacept-treated animals. In vitro, FR104 controlled the proliferative response of human preexisting Tfh cells more efficiently than belatacept. In mice, selective CD28 blockade also controlled Tfh memory cell responses to KLH stimulation more efficiently than CD80/86 blockade. Our data reveal that selective CD28 blockade and belatacept exert different effects on mechanisms of renal allograft rejection, particularly at the level of Tfh cell stimulation.
Project description:Corticosteroids are routinely utilized to alleviate edema in patients with intracranial lesions and are first-line agents to combat immune-related adverse events (irAEs) that arise with immune checkpoint blockade treatment. However, it is not known if or when corticosteroids can be administered without abrogating the efforts of immunotherapy. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of dexamethasone on lymphocyte activation and proliferation during checkpoint blockade to provide guidance for corticosteroid use while immunotherapy is being implemented as a cancer treatment.Lymphocyte proliferation, differentiation, and cytokine production were evaluated during dexamethasone exposure. Human T cells were stimulated through CD3 ligation and co-stimulated either directly by CD28 ligation or by providing CD80, a shared ligand for CD28 and CTLA-4. CTLA-4 signaling was inhibited by antibody blockade using ipilimumab which has been approved for the treatment of several solid tumors. The in vivo effects of dexamethasone during checkpoint blockade were evaluated using the GL261 syngeneic mouse intracranial model, and immune populations were profiled by flow cytometry.Dexamethasone upregulated CTLA-4 mRNA and protein in CD4 and CD8 T cells and blocked CD28-mediated cell cycle entry and differentiation. Naïve T cells were most sensitive, leading to a decrease of the development of more differentiated subsets. Resistance to dexamethasone was conferred by blocking CTLA-4 or providing strong CD28 co-stimulation prior to dexamethasone exposure. CTLA-4 blockade increased IFN? expression, but not IL-2, in stimulated human peripheral blood T cells exposed to dexamethasone. Finally, we found that CTLA-4 blockade partially rescued T cell numbers in mice bearing intracranial gliomas. CTLA-4 blockade was associated with increased IFN?-producing tumor-infiltrating T cells and extended survival of dexamethasone-treated mice.Dexamethasone-mediated T cell suppression diminishes naïve T cell proliferation and differentiation by attenuating the CD28 co-stimulatory pathway. However, CTLA-4, but not PD-1 blockade can partially prevent some of the inhibitory effects of dexamethasone on the immune response.
Project description:Selective blockade of CD28 is a promising therapy to inhibit pathogenic alloimmunity. However, evaluation of this approach in transplantation has been very limited. Using a novel nonactivating single-chain Fv-based reagent (?28scFv), we have investigated the role of CD28 and cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4) in a murine cardiac transplant model. Blockade of CD28 for 2 weeks after engraftment promoted allograft survival, and significantly attenuated chronic rejection when combined with transient CD154-blockade or calcineurin inhibition. Graft acceptance was associated with decreased alloantibody production, increased proportion of early graft infiltration by regulatory T cells and increased expression of regulatory dendritic cell genes. Blockade of CTLA-4 during ?28scFv-based treatments led to prompt rejection in all animals and inhibited expression of forkhead box P3 (Foxp3), programmed death (PD)-1 and 2,3-indoleamine dioxygenase (IDO) in the graft. These results show that CD28 signaling during the first weeks after transplant is a pivotal mediator of pathogenic alloimmunity, and that selective CD28 blockade prolongs graft acceptance by at least two immunomodulatory mechanisms. Selective CD28 inhibition while sparing CTLA-4 is thus a promising approach to inhibit pathogenic alloimmunity.