Project description:Treg cells need to acquire an effector phenotype to function in settings of inflammation. Whether effector Treg cells can limit disease severity in lupus is unknown. Interferon regulatory factor 4 (IRF-4) is an essential controller of effector Treg cells and regulates their ability to express interleukin-10 (IL-10). In non-Treg cells, IRF-4 activity is modulated by interactions with DEF-6 and its homolog switch-associated protein 70 (SWAP-70). Although mice lacking both DEF-6 and SWAP-70 (double-knockout [DKO] mice) develop lupus, they display normal survival, suggesting that in DKO mice, Treg cells can moderate disease development. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether Treg cells from DKO mice have an increased capacity to become effector Treg cells due to the ability of DEF-6 and SWAP-70 to restrain IRF-4 activity.Treg cells were evaluated by fluorescence-activated cell sorting. The B lymphocyte-induced maturation protein 1 (BLIMP-1)/IL-10 axis was assessed by crossing DKO mice with BLIMP-1-YFP-10BiT dual-reporter mice. Deletion of IRF-4 in Treg cells from DKO mice was achieved by generating FoxP3(Cre) IRF-4(fl/fl) DKO mice.The concomitant absence of DEF-6 and SWAP-70 led to increased numbers of Treg cells, which acquired an effector phenotype in a cell-intrinsic manner. In addition, Treg cells from DKO mice exhibited enhanced expression of the BLIMP-1/IL-10 axis. Notably, DKO effector Treg cells survived and expanded as disease progressed. The accumulation of Treg cells from DKO mice was associated with the up-regulation of genes controlling autophagy. IRF-4 was required for the expansion and function of effector Treg cells from DKO mice.This study revealed the existence of mechanisms that, by acting on IRF-4, can fine-tune the function and survival of effector Treg cells in lupus. These findings suggest that the existence of a powerful effector Treg cell compartment that successfully survives in an unfavorable inflammatory environment could limit disease development.
Project description:In this study, we have analyzed the in vivo dynamics of the interaction between polyclonal Foxp3(+) Treg cells, effector T (Teff) cells, and DCs in order to further our understanding of the mechanisms of Treg cell-mediated suppression. Cotransfer of polyclonal activated Treg cells into healthy mice attenuated the induction of EAE. Suppression of disease strongly correlated with a reduced number of Teff cells in the spinal cord, but not with Treg cell-mediated inhibition of Th1/Th17 differentiation. Cotransfer of Treg cells with TCR-Tg Teff cells followed by immunization by multiple routes resulted in an enhanced number of Teff cells in the lymph nodes draining the site of immunization without an inhibition of Teff-cell differentiation. Fewer Teff cells could be detected in the blood in the presence of Treg cells and fewer T cells could access a site of antigen exposure in a modified delayed-type hypersensitivity assay. Teff cells recovered from LNs in the presence of Treg cells expressed decreased levels of CXCR4, syndecan, and the sphingosine phosphate receptor, S1P1 (sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor 1). Thus, polyclonal Treg cells influence Teff-cell responses by targeting trafficking pathways, thus allowing immunity to develop in lymphoid organs, but limiting the number of potentially auto-aggressive cells that are allowed to enter the tissues.
Project description:Using a model of lethal oral infection with Toxoplasma gondii, we examined the fate of both induced and natural regulatory T (Treg) cells in the face of strong inflammatory responses occurring in a tolerogenic-prone environment. We found that during highly T helper 1 (Th1) cell-polarized mucosal immune responses, Treg cell numbers collapsed via multiple pathways, including blockade of Treg cell induction and disruption of endogenous Treg cell homeostasis. In particular, shutdown of interleukin 2 (IL-2) in the highly Th1 cell-polarized environment triggered by infection directly contributes to Treg cell incapacity to suppress effector responses and eventually leads to immunopathogenesis. Furthermore, we found that environmental cues provided by both local dendritic cells and effector T cells can induce the expression of T-bet transcription factor and IFN-gamma by Treg cells. These data reveal a mechanism for Th1 cell pathogenicity that extends beyond their proinflammatory program to limit Treg cell survival.
Project description:T cell antigen receptor (TCR) signaling is essential for the differentiation and maintenance of effector regulatory T (Treg) cells. However, the contribution of individual TCR-dependent genes in Treg cells to the maintenance of immunotolerance remains largely unknown. Here we demonstrate that Treg cells lacking E protein undergo further differentiation into effector cells that exhibit high expression of effector Treg signature genes, including IRF4, ICOS, CD103, KLRG-1, and ROR?t. E protein-deficient Treg cells displayed increased stability and enhanced suppressive capacity. Transcriptome and ChIP-seq analyses revealed that E protein directly regulates a large proportion of the genes that are specific to effector Treg cell activation, and importantly, most of the up-regulated genes in E protein-deficient Treg cells are also TCR dependent; this indicates that E proteins comprise a critical gene regulatory network that links TCR signaling to the control of effector Treg cell differentiation and function.
Project description:Reconstitution of the recipient lymphoid compartment following hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is typically delayed. The present studies investigated the residual host CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) (Treg) compartment after several conditioning regimens, including T cell-depleted and T cell-replete HCT and observed (1) a small number of recipient Treg cells survived aggressive conditioning; (2) the surviving, that is, residual Tregs underwent marked expansion; and (3) recipient CD4(+)FoxP3(+) cells composed the majority of the Treg compartment for several months post-syngeneic HCT. Notably, residual Tregs also dominated the compartment post-HCT with T cell-depleted (TCD) major histocompatibility complex-matched allogeneic bone marrow but not following T cell-replete transplantations. The residual Treg cell compartment was functionally competent as assessed by in vitro lymphoid suppression and in vivo autoimmune disease transfer assay. These observations support the notion that functional host Tregs initially occupy a niche in lymphopenic transplantation recipients, undergo significant expansion, and contribute to the compartment for an extended period before donor-derived CD4(+)FoxP3(+) T cells eventually compose the majority of the compartment. In total, the findings suggest that the presence of host Tregs may be important to consider regarding elicitation of immune (eg, antitumor, vaccine) responses in recipients during the early post-transplant period involving autologous and certain allogeneic HCT regimens.