Homeostatic regulation of T cells involves an ongoing balance of new T cell generation, peripheral expansion, and turnover. The recovery of T cells when this balance is disrupted provides insight into the mechanisms that govern homeostasis. In a long-term, single cohort study, we assessed the role of thymic function after autologous transplant in adults, correlating serial computed tomography imaging of thymic size with concurrent measurements of peripheral CD4+ T cell populations. We established the age-dependent incidence, time course, and duration of thymic enlargement in adults and demonstrated that these changes were correlated with peripheral recovery of naive CD45RA+CD62L+ and signal-joint TCR rearrangement excision circle–bearing CD4+ populations with broad TCR diversity. Furthermore, we demonstrated that renewed thymopoiesis was critical for the restoration of peripheral CD4+ T cell populations. This recovery encompassed the recovery of normal CD4+ T cell numbers, a low ratio of effector to central memory cells, and a broad repertoire of TCR Vβ diversity among these memory cells. These data define the timeline and consequences of renewal of adult thymopoietic activity at levels able to quantitatively restore peripheral T cell populations. They further suggest that structural thymic regrowth serves as a basis for the regeneration of peripheral T cell populations.
Frances T. Hakim, Sarfraz A. Memon, Rosemarie Cepeda, Elizabeth C. Jones, Catherine K. Chow, Claude Kasten-Sportes, Jeanne Odom, Barbara A. Vance, Barbara L. Christensen, Crystal L. Mackall, Ronald E. Gress
Porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV) is a potential pathogen in clinical xenotransplantation; transmission of PERV in vivo has been suggested in murine xenotransplantation models. We analyzed the transmission of PERV to human cells in vivo using a model in which immunodeficient NOD/SCID transgenic mice were transplanted with porcine and human lymphohematopoietic tissues. Our results demonstrate, we believe for the first time, that human and pig cells can coexist long-term (up to 25 weeks) without direct PERV infection of human cells. Despite the transplantation of porcine cells that did not produce human-tropic PERV, human cells from the chimeric mice were frequently found to contain PERV sequences. However, this transmission was due to the pseudotyping of PERV-C (a virus without human tropism) by xenotropic murine leukemia virus, rather than to de novo generation of human-tropic PERV. Thus, pseudotyping might account for the PERV transmission previously observed in mice. The absence of direct human cell infection following long-term in vivo coexistence with large numbers of porcine cells provides encouragement regarding the potential safety of using pigs that do not produce human-tropic PERV as source animals for transplantation to humans.
Yong-Guang Yang, James C. Wood, Ping Lan, Robert A. Wilkinson, Megan Sykes, Jay A. Fishman, Clive Patience
Extracellular nucleotides play an important role in thrombosis and inflammation, triggering a range of effects such as platelet activation and recruitment, endothelial cell activation, and vasoconstriction. CD39, the major vascular nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase (NTPDase), converts ATP and ADP to AMP, which is further degraded to the antithrombotic and anti-inflammatory mediator adenosine. Deletion of CD39 renders mice exquisitely sensitive to vascular injury, and CD39-null cardiac xenografts show reduced survival. Conversely, upregulation of CD39 by somatic gene transfer or administration of soluble NTPDases has major benefits in models of transplantation and inflammation. In this study we examined the consequences of transgenic expression of human CD39 (hCD39) in mice. Importantly, these mice displayed no overt spontaneous bleeding tendency under normal circumstances. The hCD39 transgenic mice did, however, exhibit impaired platelet aggregation, prolonged bleeding times, and resistance to systemic thromboembolism. Donor hearts transgenic for hCD39 were substantially protected from thrombosis and survived longer in a mouse cardiac transplant model of vascular rejection. These thromboregulatory manifestations in hCD39 transgenic mice suggest important therapeutic potential in clinical vascular disease and in the control of serious thrombotic events that compromise the survival of porcine xenografts in primates.
Karen M. Dwyer, Simon C. Robson, Harshal H. Nandurkar, Duncan J. Campbell, Hilton Gock, Lisa J. Murray-Segal, Nella Fisicaro, Tharun B. Mysore, Elzbieta Kaczmarek, Peter J. Cowan, Anthony J.F. d’Apice
CD4+CD25+ regulatory T (Treg) cells suppress naive T cell responses, prevent autoimmunity, and delay allograft rejection. It is not known, however, whether Treg cells suppress allograft rejection mediated by memory T cells, as the latter mount faster and stronger immune responses than their naive counterparts. Here we show that antigen-induced, but not naive, Treg cells suppress allograft rejection mediated by memory CD8+ T cells. Suppression was allospecific, as Treg cells induced by third-party antigens did not delay allograft rejection. In vivo and in vitro analyses revealed that the apoptosis of allospecific memory CD8+ T cells is significantly increased in the presence of antigen-induced Treg cells, while their proliferation remains unaffected. Importantly, neither suppression of allograft rejection nor enhanced apoptosis of memory CD8+ T cells was observed when Treg cells lacked CD30 or when CD30 ligand–CD30 interaction was blocked with anti–CD30 ligand Ab. This study therefore provides direct evidence that pathogenic memory T cells are amenable to suppression in an antigen-specific manner and identifies CD30 as a molecule that is critical for the regulation of memory T cell responses.
Zhenhua Dai, Qi Li, Yinong Wang, Ge Gao, Lonnette S. Diggs, George Tellides, Fadi G. Lakkis
Minor histocompatibility antigens with expression restricted to the recipient hematopoietic compartment represent prospective immunological targets for graft-versus-leukemia therapy. It remains unclear, however, whether donor T cell recognition of these hematopoietically derived minor histocompatibility antigens will induce significant graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Using established bone marrow irradiation chimeras across the multiple minor histocompatibility antigen–disparate, C57BL/6→BALB.B combination, we studied the occurrence of lethal GVHD mediated by CD4+ T cells in recipient mice expressing only hematopoietically derived alloantigens. Even substantial dosages of donor C57BL/6 CD4+ T cells were unable to elicit lethal GVHD when transplanted into [BALB.B→C57BL/6] chimeras. Instead, chimeric mice displayed transient cachexia with reduced target-tissue injury over time, reflecting an early, limited, graft-versus-host response. On the other hand, the importance of minor histocompatibility antigens derived from nonhematopoietic tissues was demonstrated by the finding that [C57BL/6→BALB.B] chimeric mice succumbed to C57BL/6 CD4+ T cell–mediated GVHD. These data suggest that severe acute CD4+ T cell–mediated GVHD across this minor histocompatibility antigen barrier depends on the expression of nonhematopoietically rather than hematopoietically derived alloantigens for maximal target-tissue infiltration and injury.
Stephen C. Jones, George F. Murphy, Thea M. Friedman, Robert Korngold
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), an established angiogenesis factor, is expressed in allografts undergoing rejection, but its function in the rejection process has not been defined. Here, we initially determined that VEGF is functional in the trafficking of human T cells into skin allografts in vivo in the humanized SCID mouse. In vitro, we found that VEGF enhanced endothelial cell expression of the chemokines monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 and IL-8, and in combination with IFN-γ synergistically induced endothelial cell production of the potent T cell chemoattractant IFN-inducible protein-10 (IP-10). Treatment of BALB/c (H-2d) recipients of fully MHC-mismatched C57BL/6 (H-2b) donor hearts with anti-VEGF markedly inhibited T cell infiltration of allografts and acute rejection. Anti-VEGF failed to inhibit T cell activation responses in vivo, but inhibited intragraft expression of several endothelial cell adhesion molecules and chemokines, including IP-10. In addition, whereas VEGF expression was increased, neovascularization was not associated with acute rejection, and treatment of allograft recipients with the angiogenesis inhibitor endostatin failed to inhibit leukocyte infiltration of the grafts. Thus, VEGF appears to be functional in acute allograft rejection via its effects on leukocyte trafficking. Together, these observations provide mechanistic insight into the proinflammatory function of VEGF in immunity.
Marlies E.J. Reinders, Masayuki Sho, Atsushi Izawa, Ping Wang, Debabrata Mukhopadhyay, Kerith E. Koss, Christopher S. Geehan, Andrew D. Luster, Mohamed H. Sayegh, David M. Briscoe
Inducible costimulatory molecule (ICOS) plays a pivotal role in T cell activation and Th1/Th2 differentiation. ICOS blockade has disparate effects on immune responses depending on the timing of blockade. Its role in transplantation immunity, however, remains incompletely defined. We used a vascularized mouse cardiac allograft model to explore the role of ICOS signaling at different time points after transplantation, targeting immune initiation (early blockade) or the immune effector phase (delayed blockade). In major histocompatibility–mismatched recipients, ICOS blockade prolonged allograft survival using both protocols but did so more effectively in the delayed-treatment group. By contrast, in minor histocompatibility–mismatched recipients, early blockade accelerated rejection and delayed blockade prolonged graft survival. Alloreactive CD4+ T cell expansion and alloantibody production were suppressed in both treatment groups, whereas only delayed blockade resulted in suppression of effector CD8+ T cell generation. After delayed ICOS blockade, there was a diminished frequency of allospecific IL-10–producing cells and an increased frequency of both IFN-γ– and IL-4–producing cells. The beneficial effects of ICOS blockade in regulating allograft rejection were seen in the absence of CD28 costimulation but required CD8+ cells, cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4, and an intact signal transducer and activator of transcription–6 pathway. These data define the complex functions of the ICOS-B7h pathway in regulating alloimmune responses in vivo.
Hiroshi Harada, Alan D. Salama, Masayuki Sho, Atsushi Izawa, Sigrid E. Sandner, Toshiro Ito, Hisaya Akiba, Hideo Yagita, Arlene H. Sharpe, Gordon J. Freeman, Mohamed H. Sayegh
Many strategies have been proposed to induce tolerance to transplanted tissue in rodents; however, few if any have shown equal efficacy when tested in nonhuman primate transplant models. We hypothesized that a critical distinction between specific pathogen-free mice and nonhuman primates or human patients is their acquired immune history. Here, we show that a heterologous immune response — specifically, virally induced alloreactive memory — is a potent barrier to tolerance induction. A critical threshold of memory T cells is needed to promote rejection, and CD8+ “central” memory T cells are primarily responsible. Finally, treatment with deoxyspergualin, an inhibitor of NF-κB translocation, together with costimulation blockade, synergistically impairs memory T cell activation and promotes antigen-specific tolerance of memory. These data offer a potential explanation for the difficulty encountered when inducing tolerance in nonhuman primates and human patients and provide insight into the signaling pathways essential for memory T cell activation and function.
Andrew B. Adams, Matthew A. Williams, Thomas R. Jones, Nozomu Shirasugi, Megan M. Durham, Susan M. Kaech, E. John Wherry, Thandi Onami, J. Gibson Lanier, Kenneth E. Kokko, Thomas C. Pearson, Rafi Ahmed, Christian P. Larsen
The Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are recently discovered germline-encoded receptors on APCs that are critically important in innate immune recognition of microbial pathogens. However, their role in solid-organ transplantation is unknown. To explore this role, we employed a skin allograft model using mice with targeted deletion of the universal TLR signal adaptor protein, MyD88. We report that minor antigen–mismatched (HY-mismatched) allograft rejection cannot occur in the absence of MyD88 signaling. Furthermore, we show that the inability to reject these allografts results from a reduced number of mature DCs in draining lymph nodes, leading to impaired generation of anti–graft-reactive T cells and impaired Th1 immunity. Hence, this work demonstrates that TLRs can be activated in a transplant setting and not solely by infections. These results link innate immunity to the initiation of the adaptive alloimmune response.
Daniel R. Goldstein, Bethany M. Tesar, Shizuo Akira, Fadi G. Lakkis
Graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) mediated by donor T cells recognizing host alloantigens is associated with beneficial graft-versus-tumor effects in recipients of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplants. Since leukemias and lymphomas reside largely within the lymphohematopoietic system, we have proposed that the desired graft-versus-leukemia or graft-versus-lymphoma effect can be separated from the complication of GvHD by confinement of the graft-versus-host alloresponse to the lymphohematopoietic tissues. Since the new sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor agonist immunosuppressive drug FTY720 leads to trapping of T cells in secondary lymphoid tissues, we evaluated the possibility that this drug could diminish GvHD, a disease involving epithelial target tissues, while permitting a beneficial alloresponse to take place within the lymphohematopoietic system, leading to graft-versus-lymphoma effects. We demonstrate here that FTY720 markedly reduces GvHD in a clinically relevant, haploidentical strain combination, while permitting antitumor effects against a T cell lymphoma of unshared host MHC haplotype to proceed unhindered. These results establish a potential new immunotherapeutic approach to separating graft-versus-leukemia effects from GvHD.
Yong-Mi Kim, Teviah Sachs, Wannee Asavaroengchai, Roderick Bronson, Megan Sykes
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