Project description:The significance of Th17 cells and IL-17A signaling in host defense and disease development has been demonstrated in various infection and autoimmune models. Additionally, the generation of Th17 cells is highly influenced by microbes. However, the specific bacterial components capable of shaping Th17 responses have not been well defined. The goals of this study were to understand how a bacterial toxin, cholera toxin (CT), modulates Th17-dominated response in isolated human CD4(+) T cells, and what are the mechanisms associated with this modulation. CD4(+) cells isolated from human peripheral blood were treated with CT. The levels of cytokine production and specific Th cell responses were determined by ELISA, Luminex assay, and flow cytometry. Along with the decreased production of other proinflammatory cytokines (IFN-?, TNF-?, and IL-2), we found that CT could directly enhance the IL-17A production through a cAMP-dependent pathway. This enhancement is specific for IL-17A but not for IL-17F, IL-22, and CCL20. Interestingly, CT could increase IL-17A production only from Th17-committed cells, such as CCR6(+)CD4(+) T cells and in vitro-differentiated Th17 cells. Furthermore, we also demonstrated that this direct effect occurs at a transcriptional level because CT stimulates the reporter activity in Jurkat and primary CD4(+) T cells transfected with the IL-17A promoter-reporter construct. This study shows that CT has the capacity to directly shape Th17 responses in the absence of APCs. Our findings highlight the potentials of bacterial toxins in the regulation of human Th17 responses.
Project description:The protein kinase C (PKC) family of serine-threonine kinases plays a central role in T lymphocyte activation. Here, we identify NR2F6, a nuclear zinc-finger orphan receptor, as a critical PKC substrate and essential regulator of CD4(+) T cell activation responses. NR2F6 potently antagonized the ability of T helper 0 (Th0) and Th17 CD4(+) T cells to induce expression of key cytokine genes such as interleukin-2 (IL-2) and IL-17. Mechanistically, NR2F6 directly interfered with the DNA binding of nuclear factor of activated T cells (NF-AT):activator protein 1 (AP-1) but not nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappa B) and, subsequently, transcriptional activity of the NF-AT-dependent IL-17A cytokine promoter. Consistent with our model, Nr2f6-deficient mice had hyperreactive lymphocytes, developed a late-onset immunopathology, and were hypersusceptible to Th17-dependent experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Our study establishes NR2F6 as a transcriptional repressor of IL-17 expression in Th17-differentiated CD4(+) T cells in vitro and in vivo.
Project description:Dysregulated Th17 cell responses underlie multiple inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, including autoimmune uveitis and its animal model, EAU. However, clinical trials targeting IL-17A in uveitis were not successful. Here, we report that Th17 cells were regulated by their own signature cytokine, IL-17A. Loss of IL-17A in autopathogenic Th17 cells did not reduce their pathogenicity and instead elevated their expression of the Th17 cytokines GM-CSF and IL-17F. Mechanistic in vitro studies revealed a Th17 cell-intrinsic autocrine loop triggered by binding of IL-17A to its receptor, leading to activation of the transcription factor NF-?B and induction of IL-24, which repressed the Th17 cytokine program. In vivo, IL-24 treatment ameliorated Th17-induced EAU, whereas silencing of IL-24 in Th17 cells enhanced disease. This regulatory pathway also operated in human Th17 cells. Thus, IL-17A limits pathogenicity of Th17 cells by inducing IL-24. These findings may explain the disappointing therapeutic effect of targeting IL-17A in uveitis.
Project description:Women have increased prevalence of Th17-mediated autoimmune diseases, including lupus and multiple sclerosis, and severe asthma. While estradiol and progesterone increased IL-17A production in Th17 cells by inhibiting Let7f miRNA expression and increasing IL-23 receptor (IL-23R) expression, it remained unclear how estrogen signaling through the canonical nuclear receptors, estrogen receptor ? (ER?) and/or ER?, regulated this pathway. We hypothesized that estrogen signaling through ER? increased IL-23R expression and IL-17A production from Th17 cells. To test this hypothesis, naïve T cells from WT female, WT male, Esr1 -/- and Esr2 -/- female mice were differentiated into Th17 cells. IL-17A production and IL-23R expression were significantly increased in Th17 cells from WT female mice compared to Th17 cells from WT male mice. Deletion of ER? (Esr1 -/-), but not ER? (Esr2 -/-), significantly decreased IL-17A production and IL-23R expression in Th17 cells by limiting IL-23R expression in a Let-7f dependent manner. ER? deficiency also decreased Th17 cell proliferation as well as decreased T cell metabolism as measured by ATP-linked oxygen consumption rate and proton leakage. Further, we found that Cox20 expression, a protein involved in mitochondrial respiration through assembly of cytochrome c oxidase in the electron transport chain, was increased in Th17 cells from WT female mice compared to Th17 cells from WT male and Esr1 -/- female mice. Inhibition of Cox20 decreased IL-17 production in Th17 cells from WT female mice. Combined these studies showed that ER? signaling increased IL-17A production in Th17 cells by upregulating IL-23R expression and promoting mitochondrial respiration and proliferation.
Project description:The nuclear hormone receptor retinoic acid receptor-related-orphan-receptor-gamma t (RORγt) is the key transcription factor required for Th17 cell differentiation and for production of IL-17 family cytokines by innate and adaptive immune cells. Dysregulated Th17 immune responses have been associated with the pathogenesis of several inflammatory and autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. In this article, we describe the in vitro pharmacology of a potent and selective low molecular weight RORγt inhibitor identified after a structure-based hit-to-lead optimization effort. The compound interfered with co-activator binding to the RORγt ligand binding domain and impaired the transcriptional activity of RORγt as evidenced by blocked IL-17A secretion and RORE-mediated transactivation of a luciferase reporter gene. The inhibitor effectively reduced IL-17A production by human naive and memory T-cells and attenuated transcription of pro-inflammatory Th17 signature genes, such as IL17F, IL22, IL26, IL23R, and CCR6. The compound selectively suppressed the Th17/IL-17 pathway and did not interfere with polarization of other T helper cell lineages. Furthermore, the inhibitor was selective for RORγt and did not modify the transcriptional activity of the closely related family members RORα and RORβ. Using human keratinocytes cultured with supernatants from compound treated Th17 cells we showed that pharmacological inhibition of RORγt translated to suppressed IL-17-regulated gene expression in keratinocyte cell cultures. Furthermore, in ex vivo immersion skin cultures our RORγt inhibitor suppressed IL-17A production by Th17-skewed skin resident cells which correlated with reduced human β defensin 2 expression in the skin. Our data suggests that inhibiting RORγt transcriptional activity by a low molecular weight inhibitor may hold utility for the treatment of Th17/IL-17-mediated skin pathologies.
Project description:IL-15 is an important IL-2-related cytokine whose role in Th17 cell biology has not been fully elucidated. In this study, we show that exogenous IL-15 decreased IL-17A production in Th17 cultures. Neutralization of IL-15 using an Ab led to increases in IL-17A production in Th17 cultures. Both Il15(-/-) and Il15r(-/-) T cell cultures displayed higher frequency of IL-17A producers and higher amounts of IL-17A in the supernatants compared with those of wild-type (WT) cells in vitro. IL-15 down-modulated IL-17A production independently of retinoic acid-related orphan receptor-?t, Foxp3, and IFN-? expression. Both Th17 cells and APCs produced IL-15, which induced binding of STAT5, an apparent repressor to the Il17 locus in CD4 T cells. Also, in a model of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein-induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), Il15(-/-) mice displayed exacerbated inflammation-correlating with increased IL-17A production by their CD4(+) T cells-compared with WT controls. Exogenous IL-15 administration and IL-17A neutralization reduced the severity of EAE in Il15(-/-) mice. Taken together, these data indicate that IL-15 has a negative regulatory role in fine-tuning of IL-17A production and Th17-mediated inflammation.
Project description:TH17 cells have been extensively investigated in inflammation, autoimmune diseases, and cancer. The precise molecular mechanisms for TH17 cell regulation, however, remain elusive, especially regulation at the post-transcriptional level. Tristetraprolin (TTP) is an RNA-binding protein important for degradation of the mRNAs encoding several proinflammatory cytokines. With newly generated T cell-specific TTP conditional knockout mice (CD4CreTTPf/f), we found that aging CD4CreTTPf/f mice displayed an increase of IL-17A in serum and spontaneously developed chronic skin inflammation along with increased effector TH17 cells in the affected skin. TTP inhibited TH17 cell development and function by promoting IL-17A mRNA degradation. In a DSS-induced colitis model, CD4CreTTPf/f mice displayed severe colitis and had more TH17 cells and serum IL-17A compared with wild-type mice. Furthermore, neutralization of IL-17A reduced the severity of colitis. Our results reveal a new mechanism for regulating TH17 function and TH17-mediated inflammation post-transcriptionally by TTP, suggests that TTP might be a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of TH17-mediated diseases.
Project description:Th17, Th22, and Th1 cells are detected in psoriatic skin lesions and implicated in psoriasis pathogenesis, but inflammatory T cell numbers in blood, as well as the relative importance of each cell type, is unclear. Using 7-color flow cytometry, circulating Th17, Th22, and Th1 cells were quantified in 21 untreated psoriatics and 17 healthy individuals. CCR6 was the best cell surface marker for IL-17A+ cells when compared with IL-23R or CD161. CCR6+, IL-17A+, IL-22+, CCR6+IL-17A+, CCR6+IL-22+, CCR6+tumor necrosis factor-alpha+, IL-17A+IFN-gamma-, IL-17A+IL-22+IFN-gamma-, and IL-17A+IL-22-IFN-gamma- cells were increased in psoriatics (all values P<0.001), indicating elevations in circulating Th17 cells, using multiple criteria to define these cells. Th22 (IL-17A-IL-22+IFN-gamma-, P<0.05) and Th1 (IL-17A-IFN-gamma+, P<0.05) cells were also increased in psoriatics, but to a lesser extent. Inhibition of either NF-kappaB or STAT3 in vitro blocked cytokine production by both Th17 and Th1 cells. Circulating levels of Th17 and Th1 cells decreased in a subset of five psoriasis patients serially evaluated following induction therapy with infliximab. In summary, elevated numbers of circulating inflammatory T cells may contribute to cutaneous inflammation and systemic inflammatory disease that occurs in individuals with psoriasis.