T cell therapy is a promising means to treat chronic HBV infection and HBV-associated hepatocellular carcinoma. T cells engineered to express an HBV-specific T cell receptor (TCR) may achieve cure of HBV infection upon adoptive transfer. We investigated the therapeutic potential and safety of T cells stably expressing high affinity HBV envelope- or core-specific TCRs recognizing European and Asian HLA-A2 subtypes. Both CD8+ and CD4+ T cells from healthy donors and from chronic hepatitis B patients became polyfunctional effector cells when grafted with HBV-specific TCRs and eliminated HBV from infected HepG2-NTCP cell cultures. A single transfer of TCR-grafted T cells into HBV-infected, humanized mice controlled HBV infection and virological markers declined 4-5 log or below detection limit. When — as in a typical clinical setting — only a minority of hepatocytes were infected, engineered T cells specifically cleared infected hepatocytes without damaging non-infected cells. Cell death was compensated by hepatocyte proliferation and alanine amino transferase levels peaking at day 5 to 7 normalized again thereafter. Co-treatment with the entry inhibitor Myrcludex B ensured long-term control of HBV infection. Thus, T cells stably transduced with highly functional TCRs have the potential to mediate clearance of HBV-infected cells causing limited liver injury.
Karin Wisskirchen, Janine Kah, Antje Malo, Theresa Asen, Tassilo Volz, Lena Allweiss, Jochen M. Wettengel, Marc Lütgehetmann, Stephan Urban, Tanja Bauer, Maura Dandri, Ulrike Protzer
Diabetic individuals are at considerable risk for invasive infection by Staphylococcus aureus, however, the mechanisms underlying this enhanced susceptibility to infection are unclear. We observed increased mortality following i.v. S. aureus infection in diabetic mice compared with nondiabetic controls, correlating with increased numbers of low-density neutrophils (LDNs) and neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). LDNs have been implicated in the inflammatory pathology of diseases such as lupus, given their release of large amounts of NETs. Our goal was to describe what drives LDN increases during S. aureus infection in the diabetic host and mechanisms that promote increased NET production by LDNs. LDN development is dependent on TGF-β, which we found to be more activated in the diabetic host. Neutralization of TGF-β, or the TGF-β–activating integrin αvβ8, reduced LDN numbers and improved survival during S. aureus infection. Targeting S. aureus directly with MEDI4893*, an α toxin–neutralizing monoclonal antibody, blocked TGF-β activation, reduced LDNs and NETs, and significantly improved survival. A comparison of gene and protein expression in high-density neutrophils and LDNs identified increased GPCRs and elevated phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) in the LDN subset. Inhibition of PTEN improved the survival of infected diabetic mice. Our data identify a population of neutrophils in infected diabetic mice that correlated with decreased survival and increased NET production and describe 3 therapeutic targets, a bacterial target and 2 host proteins, that prevented NET production and improved survival.
Taylor S. Cohen, Virginia Takahashi, Jessica Bonnell, Andrey Tovchigrechko, Raghothama Chaerkady, Wen Yu, Omari Jones-Nelson, Young Lee, Rajiv Raja, Sonja Hess, C. Kendall Stover, John J. Worthington, Mark A. Travis, Bret R. Sellman
DCs undergo metabolic reprogramming from a predominantly oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) to glycolysis to mount an immunogenic response. The mechanism underpinning the metabolic reprogramming remains elusive. We demonstrate that miRNA-142 (miR-142) is pivotal for this shift in metabolism, which regulates the tolerogenic and immunogenic responses of DCs. In the absence of miR-142, DCs fail to switch from OXPHOS and show reduced production of proinflammatory cytokines and the ability to activate T cells in vitro and in in vivo models of sepsis and alloimmunity. Mechanistic studies demonstrate that miR-142 regulates fatty acid (FA) oxidation, which causes the failure to switch to glycolysis. Loss- and gain-of-function experiments identified carnitine palmitoyltransferase -1a (CPT1a), a key regulator of the FA pathway, as a direct target of miR-142 that is pivotal for the metabolic switch. Thus, our findings show that miR-142 is central to the metabolic reprogramming that specifically favors glycolysis and immunogenic response by DCs.
Yaping Sun, Katherine Oravecz-Wilson, Sydney Bridges, Richard McEachin, Julia Wu, Stephanie H. Kim, Austin Taylor, Cynthia Zajac, Hideaki Fujiwara, Daniel Christopher Peltier, Thomas Saunders, Pavan Reddy
T cell heterogeneity is highly relevant to allergic disorders. We resolved the heterogeneity of human tissue CD3+ T cells during allergic inflammation, focusing on a tissue-specific allergic disease, eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). We investigated 1088 single T cells derived from patients with a spectrum of disease activity. Eight disparate tissue T cell subtypes (designated T1–T8) were identified, with T7 and T8 enriched in the diseased tissue. The phenotypes of T7 and T8 resemble putative Treg (FOXP3+) and effector Th2-like (GATA3+) cells, respectively. Prodigious levels of IL-5 and IL-13 were confined to HPGDS+ CRTH2+IL-17RB+FFAR3+CD4+ T8 effector Th2 cells. EoE severity closely paralleled a lipid/fatty acid–induced activation node highlighted by the expression of the short-chain fatty acid receptor FFAR3. Ligands for FFAR3 induced Th2 cytokine production from human and murine T cells, including in an in vivo allergy model. Therefore, we elucidated the defining characteristics of tissue-residing CD3+ T cells in EoE, a specific enrichment of CD4+ Treg and effector Th2 cells, confinement of type 2 cytokine production to the CD4+ effector population, a highly likely role for FFAR3 in amplifying local Th2 responses in EoE, and a resource to further dissect tissue lymphocytes and allergic responses.
Ting Wen, Bruce J. Aronow, Yrina Rochman, Mark Rochman, Kiran KC, Phil J. Dexheimer, Philip Putnam, Vincent Mukkada, Heather Foote, Kira Rehn, Sam Darko, Daniel Douek, Marc E. Rothenberg
It remains unknown what causes inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including signaling networks perpetuating chronic gastrointestinal inflammation in Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), in humans. According to an analysis of up to 500 patients with IBD and 100 controls, we report that key transcripts of the IL-7 receptor (IL-7R) pathway are accumulated in inflamed colon tissues of severe CD and UC patients not responding to either immunosuppressive/corticosteroid, anti-TNF, or anti-α4β7 therapies. High expression of both IL7R and IL-7R signaling signature in the colon before treatment is strongly associated with nonresponsiveness to anti-TNF therapy. While in mice IL-7 is known to play a role in systemic inflammation, we found that in humans IL-7 also controlled α4β7 integrin expression and imprinted gut-homing specificity on T cells. IL-7R blockade reduced human T cell homing to the gut and colonic inflammation in vivo in humanized mouse models, and altered effector T cells in colon explants from UC patients grown ex vivo. Our findings show that failure of current treatments for CD and UC is strongly associated with an overexpressed IL-7R signaling pathway and point to IL-7R as a relevant therapeutic target and potential biomarker to fill an unmet need in clinical IBD detection and treatment.
Lyssia Belarif, Richard Danger, Laetitia Kermarrec, Véronique Nerrière-Daguin, Sabrina Pengam, Tony Durand, Caroline Mary, Elise Kerdreux, Vanessa Gauttier, Aneta Kucik, Virginie Thepenier, Jerome C. Martin, Christie Chang, Adeeb Rahman, Nina Salabert-Le Guen, Cécile Braudeau, Ahmed Abidi, Grégoire David, Florent Malard, Celine Takoudju, Bernard Martinet, Nathalie Gérard, Isabelle Neveu, Michel Neunlist, Emmanuel Coron, Thomas T. MacDonald, Pierre Desreumaux, Hoa-Le Mai, Stephanie Le Bas-Bernardet, Jean-François Mosnier, Miriam Merad, Régis Josien, Sophie Brouard, Jean-Paul Soulillou, Gilles Blancho, Arnaud Bourreille, Philippe Naveilhan, Bernard Vanhove, Nicolas Poirier
IL-26 is an antimicrobial protein secreted by Th17 cells that has the ability to directly kill extracellular bacteria. To ascertain whether IL-26 contributes to host defense against intracellular bacteria, we studied leprosy, caused by the obligate intracellular pathogen Mycobacterium leprae, as a model. Analysis of leprosy skin lesions by gene expression profiling and immunohistology revealed that IL-26 was more strongly expressed in lesions from the self-limited tuberculoid compared with expression in progressive lepromatous patients. IL-26 directly bound to M. leprae in axenic culture and reduced bacteria viability. Furthermore, IL-26, when added to human monocyte–derived macrophages infected with M. leprae, entered the infected cell, colocalized with the bacterium, and reduced bacteria viability. In addition, IL-26 induced autophagy via the cytoplasmic DNA receptor stimulator of IFN genes (STING), as well as fusion of phagosomes containing bacilli with lysosomal compartments. Altogether, our data suggest that the Th17 cytokine IL-26 contributes to host defense against intracellular bacteria.
Angeline Tilly Dang, Rosane M.B. Teles, David I. Weiss, Kislay Parvatiyar, Euzenir N. Sarno, Maria T. Ochoa, Genhong Cheng, Michel Gilliet, Barry R. Bloom, Robert L. Modlin
The impact of food antigens on intestinal homeostasis and immune function is poorly understood. Here, we explored the impact of dietary antigens on the phenotype and fate of intestinal T cells. Physiological uptake of dietary proteins generated a highly activated CD44+Helios+CD4+ T cell population predominantly in Peyer patches. These cells are distinct from regulatory T cells and develop independently of the microbiota. Alimentation with a protein-free, elemental diet led to an atrophic small intestine with low numbers of activated T cells, including Tfh cells and decreased amounts of intestinal IgA and IL-10. Food-activated CD44+Helios+CD4+ T cells in the Peyer patches are controlled by the immune checkpoint molecule PD-1. Blocking the PD-1 pathway rescued these T cells from apoptosis and triggered proinflammatory cytokine production, which in IL-10–deficient mice was associated with intestinal inflammation. In support of these findings, our study of patients with Crohn’s disease revealed significantly reduced frequencies of apoptotic CD4+ T cells in Peyer patches as compared with healthy controls. These results suggest that apoptosis of diet-activated T cells is a hallmark of the healthy intestine.
Alexander Visekruna, Sabrina Hartmann, Yasmina Rodriguez Sillke, Rainer Glauben, Florence Fischer, Hartmann Raifer, Hans Mollenkopf, Wilhelm Bertrams, Bernd Schmeck, Matthias Klein, Axel Pagenstecher, Michael Lohoff, Ralf Jacob, Oliver Pabst, Paul William Bland, Maik Luu, Rossana Romero, Britta Siegmund, Krishnaraj Rajalingam, Ulrich Steinhoff
We investigated human T-cell repertoire formation using high throughput TCRβ CDR3 sequencing in immunodeficient mice receiving human hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and human thymus grafts. Replicate humanized mice generated diverse and highly divergent repertoires. Repertoire narrowing and increased CDR3β sharing was observed during thymocyte selection. While hydrophobicity analysis implicated self-peptides in positive selection of the overall repertoire, positive selection favored shorter shared sequences that had reduced hydrophobicity at positions 6 and 7 of CDR3βs, suggesting weaker interactions with self-peptides than unshared sequences, possibly allowing escape from negative selection. Sharing was similar between autologous and allogeneic thymi and occurred between different cell subsets. Shared sequences were enriched for allo-crossreactive CDR3βs and for Type 1 diabetes-associated autoreactive CDR3βs. Single-cell TCR-sequencing showed increased sharing of CDR3αs compared to CDR3βs between mice. Our data collectively implicate preferential positive selection for shared human CDR3βs that are highly cross-reactive. While previous studies suggested a role for recombination bias in producing “public” sequences in mice, our study is the first to demonstrate a role for thymic selection. Our results implicate positive selection for promiscuous TCRβ sequences that likely evade negative selection, due to their low affinity for self-ligands, in the abundance of “public” human TCRβ sequences.
Mohsen Khosravi-Maharlooei, Aleksandar Obradovic, Aditya Misra, Keshav Motwani, Markus Holzl, Howard R. Seay, Susan DeWolf, Grace Nauman, Nichole Danzl, Haowei Li, Siu-hong Ho, Robert Winchester, Yufeng Shen, Todd M. Brusko, Megan Sykes
Rationale Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes are widely associated with positive outcomes, yet carry key indicators of a systemic failed immune response against unresolved cancer. Cancer immunotherapies can reverse their tolerance phenotypes, while preserving tumor-reactivity and neoantigen-specificity shared with circulating immune cells. Objectives We performed comprehensive transcriptomic analyses to identify gene signatures common to circulating and tumor infiltrating lymphocytes in the context of clear cell renal cell carcinoma. Modulated genes also associated with disease outcome were validated in other cancer types. Findings Using bioinformatics, we identified practical diagnostic markers and actionable targets of the failed immune response. On circulating lymphocytes, three genes, LEF1, FASLG, and MMP9, could efficiently stratify patients from healthy control donors. From their associations with resistance to cancer immunotherapies and microbial infections, we uncovered not only pan-cancer, but pan-pathology failed immune response profiles. A prominent lymphocytic matrix metallopeptidase cell migration pathway, is central to a panoply of diseases and tumor immunogenicity, correlates with multi-cancer recurrence, and identifies a feasible, non-invasive approach to pan-pathology diagnoses. Conclusions The non-invasive differently expressed genes we have identified warrant future investigation towards the development of their potential in precision diagnostics and precision pan-disease immunotherapeutics.
Anne Monette, Antigoni Morou, Nadia A. Al-Banna, Louise Rousseau, Jean-Baptiste Lattouf, Sara Rahmati, Tomas Tokar, Jean-Pierre Routy, Jean-Francois Cailhier, Daniel E. Kaufmann, Igor Jurisica, Rejean Lapointe
Post-transplantation cyclophosphamide (PTCy) recently has had a marked impact on human allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Yet, our understanding of how PTCy prevents graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) largely has been extrapolated from major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-matched murine skin allografting models that were highly contextual in their efficacy. Herein, we developed a T-cell-replete, MHC-haploidentical, murine HCT model (B6C3F1→B6D2F1) to test the putative underlying mechanisms: alloreactive T-cell elimination, alloreactive T-cell intrathymic clonal deletion, and suppressor T-cell induction. In this model and confirmed in four others, PTCy did not eliminate alloreactive T cells identified using either specific Vβs or the 2C or 4C T-cell receptors. Furthermore, the thymus was not necessary for PTCy’s efficacy. Rather, PTCy induced alloreactive T-cell functional impairment which was supported by highly active suppressive mechanisms established within one day after PTCy that were sufficient to prevent new donor T cells from causing GVHD. These suppressive mechanisms included the rapid, preferential recovery of CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ regulatory T cells, including those that were alloantigen-specific, which served an increasingly critical function over time. Our results prompt a paradigm-shift in our mechanistic understanding of PTCy. These results have direct clinical implications for understanding tolerance induction and for rationally developing novel strategies to improve patient outcomes.
Lucas P. Wachsmuth, Michael T. Patterson, Michael A. Eckhaus, David J. Venzon, Ronald E. Gress, Christopher G. Kanakry