Project description:Dendritic cells (DC) are unrivaled in their potential to prime naive T cells by presenting antigen and providing costimulation. DC are furthermore believed to decode antigen context by virtue of pattern recognition receptors and to polarize T cells through cytokine secretion toward distinct effector functions. Diverse polarized T helper (T<sub>H</sub>) cells have been explored in great detail. In contrast, studies of instructing DC have to date largely been restricted to <i>in vitro</i> settings or adoptively transferred DC. Here we report efforts to unravel the DC response to cognate T cell encounter in antigen-challenged lymph nodes (LN). Mice engrafted with antigen-specific T cells were immunized with nanoparticles (NP) entrapping adjuvants and absorbed with antigen to study the immediate DC response to T cell encounter using bulk and single cell RNA-seq profiling. NP induced robust antigen-specific T<sub>H</sub>1 cell responses with minimal bystander activation. Fluorescent-labeled NP allowed identification of antigen-carrying DC and focus on transcriptional changes in DC that encounter T cells. Our results support the existence of a bi-directional crosstalk between DC and T cells that promotes T<sub>H</sub>1 responses, including involvement of the ubiquitin-like molecule Isg15 that merits further study.
Project description:We designed an experimental set up to probe DC responses to cognate T cell encounter in antigen draining LN Overall design: We immunized mice that had been engrafted with antigen-specific T cells (OT-I, OT-II), with nanoparticles (NP) entrapping antigen (OVA), adjuvants (CpG) and a fluorescent dye (6G rhodamine) to study the immediate DC response to T cell encounter using bulk and single cell RNA-seq profiling.
Project description:Generating adaptive immunity postinfection or immunization requires physical interaction within a lymph node T zone between Ag-bearing dendritic cells (DCs) and rare cognate T cells. Many fundamental questions remain regarding the dynamics of DC-CD4+ T cell interactions leading to priming. For example, it is not known how the production of primed CD4+ T cells relates to the numbers of cognate T cells, Ag-bearing DCs, or peptide-MHCII level on the DC. To address these questions, we developed an agent-based model of a lymph node to examine the relationships among cognate T cell frequency, DC density, parameters characterizing DC-T cell interactions, and the output of primed T cells. We found that the output of primed CD4+ T cells is linearly related to cognate frequency, but nonlinearly related to the number of Ag-bearing DCs present during infection. This addresses the applicability of two photon microscopy studies to understanding actual infection dynamics, because these types of experiments increase the cognate frequency by orders of magnitude compared with physiologic levels. We found a trade-off between the quantity of peptide-major histocompatibility class II on the surface of individual DCs and number of Ag-bearing DCs present in the lymph node in contributing to the production of primed CD4+ T cells. Interestingly, peptide-major histocompatibility class II t(1/2) plays a minor, although still significant, role in determining CD4+ T cell priming, unlike the primary role that has been suggested for CD8+ T cell priming. Finally, we identify several pathogen-targeted mechanisms that, if altered in their efficiency, can significantly effect the generation of primed CD4+ T cells.
Project description:The adaptive immune response is initiated in lymph nodes by contact between antigen-bearing dendritic cells (DCs) and antigen-specific T cells. A selected number of naïve T cells that recognize a specific antigen may proliferate into expanded clones, differentiate, and acquire an effector phenotype. Despite growing experimental knowledge, certain mechanistic aspects of T cell behavior in lymph nodes remain poorly understood. Computational modeling approaches may help in addressing such gaps. Here we introduce an agent-based model describing T cell movements and their interactions with DCs, leading to activation and expansion of cognate T cell clones, in a two-dimensional representation of the lymph node paracortex. The primary objective was to test the putative role of T cell chemotaxis toward DCs, and quantitatively assess the impact of chemotaxis with respect to T cell priming efficacy. Firstly, we evaluated whether chemotaxis of naïve T cells toward a nearest DC may accelerate the scanning process, by quantifying, through simulations, the number of unique T cell-DC contact events. We demonstrate that, in the presence of naïve T cell-to-DC chemoattraction, a higher total number of contacts occurs, as compared to a T cell random walk scenario. However, the forming swarm of naïve T cells, as these cells get attracted to the neighborhood of a DC, may then physically restrict access of additional T cells to the DC, leading to an actual decrease in the cumulative number of unique contacts between naïve T cells and DCs. Secondly, we investigated the potential role of chemotaxis in maintaining cognate T cell clone expansion. The time course of cognate T cells number in the system was used as a quantitative characteristic of the expansion. Model-based simulations indicate that inclusion of chemotaxis, which is selective for already activated (but not naïve) antigen-specific T cells, may strongly accelerate the time of immune response occurrence, which subsequently increases the overall amplitude of the T cell clone expansion process.
Project description:Differentiation of naive CD4(+) T cells into T helper (Th) cells is a defining event in adaptive immunity. The cytokines and transcription factors that control Th cell differentiation are understood, but it is not known how this process is orchestrated within lymph nodes (LNs). Here we have shown that the CXCR3 chemokine receptor was required for optimal generation of interferon-? (IFN-?)-secreting Th1 cells in vivo. By using a CXCR3 ligand reporter mouse, we found that stromal cells predominately expressed the chemokine ligand CXCL9 whereas hematopoietic cells expressed CXCL10 in LNs. Dendritic cell (DC)-derived CXCL10 facilitated T cell-DC interactions in LNs during T cell priming while both chemokines guided intranodal positioning of CD4(+) T cells to interfollicular and medullary zones. Thus, different chemokines acting on the same receptor can function locally to facilitate DC-T cell interactions and globally to influence intranodal positioning, and both functions contribute to Th1 cell differentiation.
Project description:Two-photon excitation microscopy (TPEM) has revolutionized the understanding of adaptive immunity. However, TPEM usually requires animal models and is not amenable to the study of human disease. The recognition of antigen by T cells requires cell contact and is associated with changes in T cell shape. We postulated that by capturing these features in fixed tissue samples, we could quantify in situ adaptive immunity. Therefore, we used a deep convolutional neural network to identify fundamental distance and cell-shape features associated with cognate help (cell-distance mapping (CDM)). In mice, CDM was comparable to TPEM in discriminating cognate T cell-dendritic cell (DC) interactions from non-cognate T cell-DC interactions. In human lupus nephritis, CDM confirmed that myeloid DCs present antigen to CD4+ T cells and identified plasmacytoid DCs as an important antigen-presenting cell. These data reveal a new approach with which to study human in situ adaptive immunity broadly applicable to autoimmunity, infection, and cancer.
Project description:Our data suggest that peptide-presenting DC receive signals from synapse-forming antigen specific CD4+ or CD8+ T cells that alter the DC expression profile. To further test this notion, we hock immunized T cell-engrafted mice with NP harboring CpG and coated with OVA (OVA / CpG NP) or the control antigen BSA (BSA / CpG NP) and isolated NP+ DC for RNAseq. Overall design: NP+ DC were isolated 20 hrs post sub-cutaneous immunization with (OVA/CpG) NP or (BSA/CpG) NP from popliteal and inguinal lymph nodes. (OVA / CpG) or (BSA/CpG) NP+ DC were single-cell sorted into 384w-plates, barcoded and MARS-sequenced.
Project description:Decoding of mRNAs is performed by aminoacyl tRNAs (aa-tRNAs). This process is highly accurate, however, at low frequencies (10(-3) - 10(-4)) the wrong aa-tRNA can be selected, leading to incorporation of aberrant amino acids. Although our understanding of what constitutes the correct or cognate aa-tRNA:mRNA interaction is well defined, a functional distinction between near-cognate or single mismatched, and unpaired or non-cognate interactions is lacking.Misreading of several synonymous codon substitutions at the catalytic site of firefly luciferase was assayed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Analysis of the results in the context of current kinetic and biophysical models of aa-tRNA selection suggests that the defining feature of near-cognate aa-tRNAs is their potential to form mini-helical structures with A-site codons, enabling stimulation of GTPase activity of eukaryotic Elongation Factor 1A (eEF1A). Paromomycin specifically stimulated misreading of near-cognate but not of non-cognate aa-tRNAs, providing a functional probe to distinguish between these two classes. Deletion of the accessory elongation factor eEF1Bgamma promoted increased misreading of near-cognate, but hyperaccurate reading of non-cognate codons, suggesting that this factor also has a role in tRNA discrimination. A mutant of eEF1Balpha, the nucleotide exchange factor for eEF1A, promoted a general increase in fidelity, suggesting that the decreased rates of elongation may provide more time for discrimination between aa-tRNAs. A mutant form of ribosomal protein L5 promoted hyperaccurate decoding of both types of codons, even though it is topologically distant from the decoding center.It is important to distinguish between near-cognate and non-cognate mRNA:tRNA interactions, because such a definition may be important for informing therapeutic strategies for suppressing these two different categories of mutations underlying many human diseases. This study suggests that the defining feature of near-cognate aa-tRNAs is their potential to form mini-helical structures with A-site codons in the ribosomal decoding center. An aminoglycoside and a ribosomal factor can be used to distinguish between near-cognate and non-cognate interactions.
Project description:Evolution of melanoma from a primary tumor to widespread metastasis is crucially dependent on lymphatic spread. The mechanisms regulating the initial step in metastatic dissemination via regional lymph nodes remain largely unknown. We have previously described a dysfunctional immune profile that precedes evidence of metastasis in the first node draining from the primary tumor, the sentinel lymph node (SLN). Herein, we explore the role of melanoma-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) as mediators of this pre-metastatic niche through cargo-specific polarization of dendritic cells (DCs). Utilizing mass cytometry, pre-metastatic SLNs demonstrate compromised co-stimulatory CD80 expression compared to healthy lymph nodes. Similarly, DCs matured in vitro in the presence of melanoma EVs showed impaired co-stimulation and polarization towards a chronic inflammatory cytokine milieu. Profiling of melanoma EV cargo identified shared proteomic and RNA signatures including the signaling axis S100A8, S100A9 and cognate receptor TLR4. Mechanistically, S100A8 and S100A9 compromised DC maturation, a phenotype which was partially recovered following TLR4 blockade. Early evidence demonstrates similar EVs can be isolated from human afferent lymphatic fluid ex vivo. Taken together, we propose synergistic interactions among melanoma EV cargo are responsible for suppressing DC maturation, potentially explaining the survival of malignant melanocytes metastasizing into seemingly “normal” regional lymph nodes.