• The adjuvant effect of TLR agonists on CD4(+) effector T cells is under the indirect control of regulatory T cells.

      Olivier, Aurélie; Sainz-Perez, Alexander; Dong, Hui; Sparwasser, Tim; Majlessi, Laleh; Leclerc, Claude; Department of Immunology, Paris, France. (2011-08)
      TLR agonists have been suggested to directly impact Tregs, thereby enhancing or reversing their suppressive function. Here, in order to select TLR agonists leading to potent effector T-cell responses, while minimizing Treg inhibitory function, we used a model antigen, covalently linked to an inert delivery system, combined with a large panel of TLR agonists, for the immunization of mice with an attenuated/depleted or intact Treg subset. We observed that the negative modulation of effector CD4(+) T cells exerted by Tregs cannot be circumvented, whatever the TLR agonist used as adjuvant. To better understand the impact of TLR agonists on Tregs, we investigated (i) the TLR expression profile of highly purified CD4(+) Foxp3(+) Tregs, at steady state or subsequent to in vivo activation by TLR agonists and (ii) the Treg phenotype after in vivo and in vitro activation by TLR agonists. Our results demonstrate that TLR agonists, as single signal inducers, are not able to directly activate Tregs. The phenotypic Treg activation observed in vivo, following TLR administration, does not result from cross-talk with conventional T cells but is rather a consequence of the interaction with other immune cell type(s).
    • CD4+ natural regulatory T cells prevent experimental cerebral malaria via CTLA-4 when expanded in vivo.

      Haque, Ashraful; Best, Shannon E; Amante, Fiona H; Mustafah, Seri; Desbarrieres, Laure; de Labastida, Fabian; Sparwasser, Tim; Hill, Geoffrey R; Engwerda, Christian R (2010)
      Studies in malaria patients indicate that higher frequencies of peripheral blood CD4(+) Foxp3(+) CD25(+) regulatory T (Treg) cells correlate with increased blood parasitemia. This observation implies that Treg cells impair pathogen clearance and thus may be detrimental to the host during infection. In C57BL/6 mice infected with Plasmodium berghei ANKA, depletion of Foxp3(+) cells did not improve parasite control or disease outcome. In contrast, elevating frequencies of natural Treg cells in vivo using IL-2/anti-IL-2 complexes resulted in complete protection against severe disease. This protection was entirely dependent upon Foxp3(+) cells and resulted in lower parasite biomass, impaired antigen-specific CD4(+) T and CD8(+) T cell responses that would normally promote parasite tissue sequestration in this model, and reduced recruitment of conventional T cells to the brain. Furthermore, Foxp3(+) cell-mediated protection was dependent upon CTLA-4 but not IL-10. These data show that T cell-mediated parasite tissue sequestration can be reduced by regulatory T cells in a mouse model of malaria, thereby limiting malaria-induced immune pathology.
    • CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells control CD8+ T-cell effector differentiation by modulating IL-2 homeostasis.

      McNally, Alice; Hill, Geoffrey R; Sparwasser, Tim; Thomas, Ranjeny; Steptoe, Raymond J; University of Queensland Diamantina Institute, University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072, Australia. (2011-05-03)
      CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells (Treg) play a crucial role in the regulation of immune responses. Although many mechanisms of Treg suppression in vitro have been described, the mechanisms by which Treg modulate CD8(+) T cell differentiation and effector function in vivo are more poorly defined. It has been proposed, in many instances, that modulation of cytokine homeostasis could be an important mechanism by which Treg regulate adaptive immunity; however, direct experimental evidence is sparse. Here we demonstrate that CD4(+)CD25(+) Treg, by critically regulating IL-2 homeostasis, modulate CD8(+) T-cell effector differentiation. Expansion and effector differentiation of CD8(+) T cells is promoted by autocrine IL-2 but, by competing for IL-2, Treg limit CD8(+) effector differentiation. Furthermore, a regulatory loop exists between Treg and CD8(+) effector T cells, where IL-2 produced during CD8(+) T-cell effector differentiation promotes Treg expansion.
    • Characterization of the interferon-producing cell in mice infected with Listeria monocytogenes.

      Stockinger, Silvia; Kastner, Renate; Kernbauer, Elisabeth; Pilz, Andreas; Westermayer, Sandra; Reutterer, Benjamin; Soulat, Didier; Stengl, Gabriele; Vogl, Claus; Frenz, Theresa; et al. (2009-03)
      Production of type I interferons (IFN-I, mainly IFNalpha and IFNbeta) is a hallmark of innate immune responses to all classes of pathogens. When viral infection spreads to lymphoid organs, the majority of systemic IFN-I is produced by a specialized "interferon-producing cell" (IPC) that has been shown to belong to the lineage of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC). It is unclear whether production of systemic IFN-I is generally attributable to pDC irrespective of the nature of the infecting pathogen. We have addressed this question by studying infections of mice with the intracellular bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. Protective innate immunity against this pathogen is weakened by IFN-I activity. In mice infected with L. monocytogenes, systemic IFN-I was amplified via IFN-beta, the IFN-I receptor (IFNAR), and transcription factor interferon regulatory factor 7 (IRF7), a molecular circuitry usually characteristic of non-pDC producers. Synthesis of serum IFN-I did not require TLR9. In contrast, in vitro-differentiated pDC infected with L. monocytogenes needed TLR9 to transcribe IFN-I mRNA. Consistent with the assumption that pDC are not the producers of systemic IFN-I, conditional ablation of the IFN-I receptor in mice showed that most systemic IFN-I is produced by myeloid cells. Furthermore, results obtained with FACS-purified splenic cell populations from infected mice confirmed the assumption that a cell type with surface antigens characteristic of macrophages and not of pDC is responsible for bulk IFN-I synthesis. The amount of IFN-I produced in the investigated mouse lines was inversely correlated to the resistance to lethal infection. Based on these data, we propose that the engagement of pDC, the mode of IFN-I mobilization, as well as the shaping of the antimicrobial innate immune response by IFN-I differ between intracellular pathogens.
    • Depletion of FOXP3+ regulatory T cells promotes hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis.

      Klingenberg, Roland; Gerdes, Norbert; Badeau, Robert M; Gisterå, Anton; Strodthoff, Daniela; Ketelhuth, Daniel F J; Lundberg, Anna M; Rudling, Mats; Nilsson, Stefan K; Olivecrona, Gunilla; et al. (2013-03-01)
      Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease promoted by hyperlipidemia. Several studies support FOXP3-positive regulatory T cells (Tregs) as inhibitors of atherosclerosis; however, the mechanism underlying this protection remains elusive. To define the role of FOXP3-expressing Tregs in atherosclerosis, we used the DEREG mouse, which expresses the diphtheria toxin (DT) receptor under control of the Treg-specific Foxp3 promoter, allowing for specific ablation of FOXP3+ Tregs. Lethally irradiated, atherosclerosis-prone, low-density lipoprotein receptor-deficient (Ldlr(-/-)) mice received DEREG bone marrow and were injected with DT to eliminate FOXP3(+) Tregs. Depletion of Tregs caused a 2.1-fold increase in atherosclerosis without a concomitant increase in vascular inflammation. These mice also exhibited a 1.7-fold increase in plasma cholesterol and an atherogenic lipoprotein profile with increased levels of VLDL. Clearance of VLDL and chylomicron remnants was hampered, leading to accumulation of cholesterol-rich particles in the circulation. Functional and protein analyses complemented by gene expression array identified reduced protein expression of sortilin-1 in liver and increased plasma enzyme activity of lipoprotein lipase, hepatic lipase, and phospholipid transfer protein as mediators of the altered lipid phenotype. These results demonstrate that FOXP3(+) Tregs inhibit atherosclerosis by modulating lipoprotein metabolism.
    • E-N-cadherin heterodimers define novel adherens junctions connecting endoderm-derived cells.

      Straub, Beate K; Rickelt, Steffen; Zimbelmann, Ralf; Grund, Christine; Kuhn, Caecilia; Iken, Marcus; Ott, Michael; Schirmacher, Peter; Franke, Werner W (2011-11-28)
      Intercellular junctions play a pivotal role in tissue development and function and also in tumorigenesis. In epithelial cells, decrease or loss of E-cadherin, the hallmark molecule of adherens junctions (AJs), and increase of N-cadherin are widely thought to promote carcinoma progression and metastasis. In this paper, we show that this "cadherin switch" hypothesis does not hold for diverse endoderm-derived cells and cells of tumors derived from them. We show that the cadherins in a major portion of AJs in these cells can be chemically cross-linked in E-N heterodimers. We also show that cells possessing E-N heterodimer AJs can form semistable hemihomotypic AJs with purely N-cadherin-based AJs of mesenchymally derived cells, including stroma cells. We conclude that these heterodimers are the major AJ constituents of several endoderm-derived tissues and tumors and that the prevailing concept of antagonistic roles of these two cadherins in developmental and tumor biology has to be reconsidered.
    • Foxp3+ regulatory T cells control persistence of viral CNS infection.

      Reuter, Dajana; Sparwasser, Tim; Hünig, Thomas; Schneider-Schaulies, Jürgen; TWINCORE, Centre for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research GmbH, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 3-7, 30625 Hannover, Germany. (2012)
      We earlier established a model of a persistent viral CNS infection using two week old immunologically normal (genetically unmodified) mice and recombinant measles virus (MV). Using this model infection we investigated the role of regulatory T cells (Tregs) as regulators of the immune response in the brain, and assessed whether the persistent CNS infection can be modulated by manipulation of Tregs in the periphery. CD4(+) CD25(+) Foxp3(+) Tregs were expanded or depleted during the persistent phase of the CNS infection, and the consequences for the virus-specific immune response and the extent of persistent infection were analyzed. Virus-specific CD8(+) T cells predominantly recognising the H-2D(b)-presented viral hemagglutinin epitope MV-H(22-30) (RIVINREHL) were quantified in the brain by pentamer staining. Expansion of Tregs after intraperitoneal (i.p.) application of the superagonistic anti-CD28 antibody D665 inducing transient immunosuppression caused increased virus replication and spread in the CNS. In contrast, depletion of Tregs using diphtheria toxin (DT) in DEREG (depletion of regulatory T cells)-mice induced an increase of virus-specific CD8(+) effector T cells in the brain and caused a reduction of the persistent infection. These data indicate that manipulation of Tregs in the periphery can be utilized to regulate virus persistence in the CNS.
    • FoxP3+ regulatory T cells essentially contribute to peripheral CD8+ T-cell tolerance induced by steady-state dendritic cells.

      Schildknecht, Anita; Brauer, Sabine; Brenner, Corinne; Lahl, Katharina; Schild, Hansjörg; Sparwasser, Tim; Probst, Hans Christian; van den Broek, Maries; TWINCORE, Centre for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research GmbH, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 3-7, 30625 Hannover, Germany. (2010-01-05)
      Peripheral T-cell tolerance is thought to significantly contribute to the prevention of autoimmunity, and it has been shown that antigen-presenting steady-state dendritic cells efficiently induce peripheral tolerance. We previously showed that dendritic-cell-induced tolerance is a T-cell-intrinsic process that depends on coinhibitory molecules such as programmed death-1. Here we specifically analyze the involvement of FoxP3(+) regulatory T cells, which are known to be important for maintenance of self-tolerance. We show that antigen presentation by steady-state dendritic cells failed to induce peripheral tolerance in the absence of FoxP3(+) regulatory T cells but induced protective CD8(+) T-cell-mediated immunity instead. Regulatory T-cell-depleted mice had massively increased numbers of dendritic cells in lymph nodes. Dendritic cells isolated from mice without regulatory T cells had up-regulated costimulatory molecules and showed stronger T-cell stimulatory capacity ex vivo, suggesting that regulatory T cells contribute to peripheral tolerance by keeping the dendritic cells in an immature state. Using blocking antibodies, we demonstrate that CTLA-4 but not IL-10 is necessary for control of dendritic cells by regulatory T cells.
    • GATA6 promotes angiogenic function and survival in endothelial cells by suppression of autocrine transforming growth factor beta/activin receptor-like kinase 5 signaling.

      Froese, Natali; Kattih, Badder; Breitbart, Astrid; Grund, Andrea; Geffers, Robert; Molkentin, Jeffery D; Kispert, Andreas; Wollert, Kai C; Drexler, Helmut; Heineke, Joerg; et al. (2011-02-18)
      Understanding the transcriptional regulation of angiogenesis could lead to the identification of novel therapeutic targets. We showed here that the transcription factor GATA6 is expressed in different human primary endothelial cells as well as in vascular endothelial cells of mice in vivo. Activation of endothelial cells was associated with GATA6 nuclear translocation, chromatin binding, and enhanced GATA6-dependent transcriptional activation. siRNA-mediated down-regulation of GATA6 after growth factor stimulation led to a dramatically reduced capacity of macro- and microvascular endothelial cells to proliferate, migrate, or form capillary-like structures on Matrigel. Adenoviral overexpression of GATA6 in turn enhanced angiogenic function, especially in cardiac endothelial microvascular cells. Furthermore, GATA6 protected endothelial cells from undergoing apoptosis during growth factor deprivation. Mechanistically, down-regulation of GATA6 in endothelial cells led to increased expression of transforming growth factor (TGF) β1 and TGFβ2, whereas enhanced GATA6 expression, accordingly, suppressed Tgfb1 promoter activity. High TGFβ1/β2 expression in GATA6-depleted endothelial cells increased the activation of the activin receptor-like kinase 5 (ALK5) and SMAD2, and suppression of this signaling axis by TGFβ neutralizing antibody or ALK5 inhibition restored angiogenic function and survival in endothelial cells with reduced GATA6 expression. Together, these findings indicate that GATA6 plays a crucial role for endothelial cell function and survival, at least in part, by suppressing autocrine TGFβ expression and ALK5-dependent signaling.
    • Generation of healthy mice from gene-corrected disease-specific induced pluripotent stem cells.

      Wu, Guangming; Liu, Na; Rittelmeyer, Ina; Sharma, Amar Deep; Sgodda, Malte; Zaehres, Holm; Bleidissel, Martina; Greber, Boris; Gentile, Luca; Han, Dong Wook; et al. (2011-07)
      Using the murine model of tyrosinemia type 1 (fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase [FAH] deficiency; FAH⁻/⁻ mice) as a paradigm for orphan disorders, such as hereditary metabolic liver diseases, we evaluated fibroblast-derived FAH⁻/⁻-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) as targets for gene correction in combination with the tetraploid embryo complementation method. First, after characterizing the FAH⁻/⁻ iPS cell lines, we aggregated FAH⁻/⁻-iPS cells with tetraploid embryos and obtained entirely FAH⁻/⁻-iPS cell-derived mice that were viable and exhibited the phenotype of the founding FAH⁻/⁻ mice. Then, we transduced FAH cDNA into the FAH⁻/⁻-iPS cells using a third-generation lentiviral vector to generate gene-corrected iPS cells. We could not detect any chromosomal alterations in these cells by high-resolution array CGH analysis, and after their aggregation with tetraploid embryos, we obtained fully iPS cell-derived healthy mice with an astonishing high efficiency for full-term development of up to 63.3%. The gene correction was validated functionally by the long-term survival and expansion of FAH-positive cells of these mice after withdrawal of the rescuing drug NTBC (2-(2-nitro-4-fluoromethylbenzoyl)-1,3-cyclohexanedione). Furthermore, our results demonstrate that both a liver-specific promoter (transthyretin, TTR)-driven FAH transgene and a strong viral promoter (from spleen focus-forming virus, SFFV)-driven FAH transgene rescued the FAH-deficiency phenotypes in the mice derived from the respective gene-corrected iPS cells. In conclusion, our data demonstrate that a lentiviral gene repair strategy does not abrogate the full pluripotent potential of fibroblast-derived iPS cells, and genetic manipulation of iPS cells in combination with tetraploid embryo aggregation provides a practical and rapid approach to evaluate the efficacy of gene correction of human diseases in mouse models.
    • Induction of a mature hepatocyte phenotype in adult liver derived progenitor cells by ectopic expression of transcription factors.

      Iacob, Razvan; Rüdrich, Urda; Rothe, Michael; Kirsch, Sarah; Maasoumy, Benjamin; Narain, Nidhi; Verfaillie, Catherine M; Sancho-Bru, Pau; Iken, Marcus; Popescu, Irinel; et al. (2011-05)
      By ectopic expression of a distinct combination of transcription factors we aimed to induce a mature hepatocyte phenotype in an adult liver derived progenitor cell population (ALDPC).
    • Lack of Foxp3+ macrophages in both untreated and B16 melanoma-bearing mice.

      Mayer, Christian T; Kühl, Anja A; Loddenkemper, Christoph; Sparwasser, Tim (2012-02-02)
    • Langerhans cells protect from allergic contact dermatitis in mice by tolerizing CD8(+) T cells and activating Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells.

      Gomez de Agüero, Mercedes; Vocanson, Marc; Hacini-Rachinel, Fériel; Taillardet, Morgan; Sparwasser, Tim; Kissenpfennig, Adrien; Malissen, Bernard; Kaiserlian, Dominique; Dubois, Bertrand; INSERM, U851, Lyon, France. (2012-05-01)
      Allergic contact dermatitis is the most frequent occupational disease in industrialized countries. It is caused by CD8(+) T cell-mediated contact hypersensitivity (CHS) reactions triggered at the site of contact by a variety of chemicals, also known as weak haptens, present in fragrances, dyes, metals, preservatives, and drugs. Despite the myriad of potentially allergenic substances that can penetrate the skin, sensitization is relatively rare and immune tolerance to the substance is often induced by as yet poorly understood mechanisms. Here we show, using the innocuous chemical 2,4-dinitrothiocyanobenzene (DNTB), that cutaneous immune tolerance in mice critically depends on epidermal Langerhans cells (LCs), which capture DNTB and migrate to lymph nodes for direct presentation to CD8(+) T cells. Depletion and adoptive transfer experiments revealed that LCs conferred protection from development of CHS by a mechanism involving both anergy and deletion of allergen-specific CD8(+) T cells and activation of a population of T cells identified as ICOS(+)CD4(+)Foxp3(+) Tregs. Our findings highlight the critical role of LCs in tolerance induction in mice to the prototype innocuous hapten DNTB and suggest that strategies targeting LCs might be valuable for prevention of cutaneous allergy.
    • Mouse cytomegalovirus infection overrules T regulatory cell suppression on natural killer cells.

      Lindenberg, Marc; Solmaz, Gulhas; Puttur, Franz; Sparwasser, Tim; TWINCORE, Centre for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research GmbH, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 3-7, 30625 Hannover, Germany. (2014)
      Cytomegalovirus establishes lifelong persistency in the host and leads to life threatening situations in immunocompromised patients. FoxP3+ T regulatory cells (Tregs) critically control and suppress innate and adaptive immune responses. However, their specific role during MCMV infection, especially pertaining to their interaction with NK cells, remains incompletely defined.
    • Neuropilin 1 deficiency on CD4+Foxp3+ regulatory T cells impairs mouse melanoma growth.

      Hansen, Wiebke; Hutzler, Marina; Abel, Simone; Alter, Christina; Stockmann, Christian; Kliche, Stefanie; Albert, Juliane; Sparwasser, Tim; Sakaguchi, Shimon; Westendorf, Astrid M; et al. (2012-10-22)
      Infiltration of Foxp3(+) regulatory T (T reg) cells is considered to be a critical step during tumor development and progression. T reg cells supposedly suppress locally an effective anti-tumor immune response within tumor tissues, although the precise mechanism by which T reg cells infiltrate the tumor is still unclear. We provide evidence that Neuropilin 1 (Nrp-1), highly expressed by Foxp3(+) T reg cells, regulates the immunological anti-tumor control by guiding T reg cells into the tumor in response to tumor-derived vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). We demonstrate for the first time that T cell-specific ablation of Nrp-1 expression results in a significant breakdown in tumor immune escape in various transplantation models and in a spontaneous, endogenously driven melanoma model associated with strongly reduced tumor growth and prolonged tumor-free survival. Strikingly, numbers of tumor-infiltrating Foxp3(+) T reg cells were significantly reduced accompanied by enhanced activation of CD8(+) T cells within tumors of T cell-specific Nrp-1-deficient mice. This phenotype can be reversed by adoptive transfer of Nrp-1(+) T reg cells from wild-type mice. Thus, our data strongly suggest that Nrp-1 acts as a key mediator of Foxp3(+) T reg cell infiltration into the tumor site resulting in a dampened anti-tumor immune response and enhanced tumor progression.
    • Optimal isolation of functional Foxp3+ induced regulatory T cells using DEREG mice.

      Baru, Abdul Mannan; Untucht, Christopher; Ganesh, Venkateswaran; Hesse, Christina; Mayer, Christian T; Sparwasser, Tim (2012)
      Foxp3 reporter mice including DEREG (DEpletion of REGulatory T cells) mice have greatly helped in exploring the biology of Foxp3(+) Tregs. DEREG mice express a DTR-eGFP fusion protein under the control of a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC)-encoded Foxp3 promoter, allowing the viable isolation and inducible depletion of Foxp3(+) Tregs. Adaptive Tregs differentiated in vitro to express Foxp3 (iTregs) are gaining high interest as potential therapeutics for inflammatory conditions such as autoimmunity, allergy and transplant rejection. However, selective isolation of Foxp3(+) iTregs with a stable phenotype still remains to be a problem, especially in the human setting. While screening for culture conditions to generate stable CD4(+)Foxp3(+) iTregs from DEREG mice, with maximum suppressive activity, we observed an unexpected dichotomy of eGFP and Foxp3 expression which is not seen in ex vivo isolated cells from DEREG mice. Further characterization of eGFP(+)Foxp3(-) cells revealed relatively lower CD25 expression and a lack of suppressive activity in vitro. Similarly, eGFP(-) cells isolated from the same cultures were not suppressive despite of a broad CD25 expression reflecting mere T cell activation. In contrast, eGFP(+)Foxp3(+) iTregs exhibited potent suppressive activity comparable to that of natural eGFP(+)Foxp3(+) Tregs, emphasizing the importance of isolating Foxp3 expressing iTregs. Interestingly, the use of plate-bound anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 or Flt3L-driven BMDC resulted in considerable resolution of the observed dichotomy. In summary, we defined culture conditions for efficient generation of eGFP(+)Foxp3(+) iTregs by use of DEREG mice. Isolation of functional Foxp3(+) iTregs using DEREG mice can also be achieved under sub-optimal conditions based on the magnitude of surface CD25 expression, in synergy with transgene encoded eGFP. Besides, the reported phenomenon may be of general interest for exploring Foxp3 gene regulation, given that Foxp3 and eGFP expression are driven from distinct Foxp3 loci and because this dichotomy preferentially occurs only under defined in vitro conditions.
    • Regional transient portal ischemia and irradiation as preparative regimen for hepatocyte transplantation.

      Koenig, S; Yuan, Q; Krause, P; Christiansen, H; Rave-Fraenk, M; Kafert-Kasting, S; Kriegbaum, H; Schneider, A; Ott, M; Meyburg, J; et al. (2011)
      Hepatocyte transplantation is regarded as a promising option to correct hereditary metabolic liver disease. This study describes a novel method involving regional transient portal ischemia (RTPI) in combination with hepatic irradiation (IR) as a preparative regimen for hepatocyte transplantation. The right lobules of rat livers (45% of liver mass) were subjected to RTPI of 30-120 min. Liver specimens and serum samples were analyzed for transaminase levels, DNA damage, apoptosis, and proliferation. Repopulation experiments involved livers of dipeptidylpeptidase IV (DPPIV)-deficient rats preconditioned with RTPI (60-90 min) either with or without prior partial hepatic IR (25 Gy). After reperfusion intervals of 1 and 24 h, 12 million wild-type (DPPIV positive) hepatocytes were transplanted into recipient livers via the spleen. RTPI of 60-90 min caused limited hepatic injury through necrosis and induced a distinct regenerative response in the host liver. Twelve weeks following transplantation, small clusters of donor hepatocytes were detected within the portal areas. Quantitative analysis revealed limited engraftment of 0.79% to 2.95%, whereas control animals (sham OP) exhibited 4.16% (determined as relative activity of DPPIV when compared to wild-type liver). Repopulation was significantly enhanced (21.43%) when IR was performed prior to RTPI, optimum preconditioning settings being 90 min of ischemia and 1 h of reperfusion before transplantation. We demonstrate that RTPI alone is disadvantageous to donor cell engraftment, whereas the combination of IR with RTPI comprises an effective preparative regimen for liver repopulation. The method described clearly has potential for clinical application.
    • Regulatory T cells control tolerogenic versus autoimmune response to sperm in vasectomy.

      Wheeler, Karen; Tardif, Steve; Rival, Claudia; Luu, Brian; Bui, Elise; Del Rio, Roxana; Teuscher, Cory; Sparwasser, Tim; Hardy, Daniel; Tung, Kenneth S K; et al. (2011-05-03)
      Vasectomy is a well accepted global contraceptive approach frequently associated with epididymal granuloma and sperm autoantibody formation. To understand the long-term sequelae of vasectomy, we investigated the early immune response in vasectomized mice. Vasectomy leads to rapid epithelial cell apoptosis and necrosis, persistent inflammation, and sperm granuloma formation in the epididymis. Vasectomized B6AF1 mice did not mount autoimmune response but instead developed sperm antigen-specific tolerance, documented as resistance to immunization-induced experimental autoimmune orchitis (EAO) but not experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Strikingly, tolerance switches over to pathologic autoimmune state following concomitant CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cell (Treg) depletion: unilaterally vasectomized mice produce dominant autoantibodies to an orchitogenic antigen (zonadhesin), and develop CD4 T-cell- and antibody-dependent bilateral autoimmune orchitis. Therefore, (i) Treg normally prevents spontaneous organ-specific autoimmunity induction by persistent endogenous danger signal, and (ii) autoantigenic stimulation with sterile autoinflammation can lead to tolerance. Finally, postvasectomy tolerance occurs in B6AF1, C57BL/6, and A/J strains. However, C57BL/6 mice resisted EAO after 60% Treg depletion, but developed EAO after 97% Treg reduction. Therefore, variance in intrinsic Treg function--a possible genetic trait--can influence the divergent tolerogenic versus autoimmune response to vasectomy.
    • Regulatory T cells facilitate the nuclear accumulation of inducible cAMP early repressor (ICER) and suppress nuclear factor of activated T cell c1 (NFATc1).

      Vaeth, Martin; Gogishvili, Tea; Bopp, Tobias; Klein, Matthias; Berberich-Siebelt, Friederike; Gattenloehner, Stefan; Avots, Andris; Sparwasser, Tim; Grebe, Nadine; Schmitt, Edgar; et al. (2011-02-08)
      Inducible cAMP early repressor (ICER) is a transcriptional repressor, which, because of alternate promoter use, is generated from the 3' region of the cAMP response modulator (Crem) gene. Its expression and nuclear occurrence are elevated by high cAMP levels in naturally occurring regulatory T cells (nTregs). Using two mouse models, we demonstrate that nTregs control the cellular localization of ICER/CREM, and thereby inhibit IL-2 synthesis in conventional CD4(+) T cells. Ablation of nTregs in depletion of regulatory T-cell (DEREG) mice resulted in cytosolic localization of ICER/CREM and increased IL-2 synthesis upon stimulation. Direct contacts between nTregs and conventional CD4(+) T cells led to nuclear accumulation of ICER/CREM and suppression of IL-2 synthesis on administration of CD28 superagonistic (CD28SA) Ab. In a similar way, nTregs communicated with B cells and induced the cAMP-driven nuclear localization of ICER/CREM. High levels of ICER suppressed the induction of nuclear factor of activated T cell c1 (Nfatc1) gene in T cells whose inducible Nfatc1 P1 promoter bears two highly conserved cAMP-responsive elements to which ICER/CREM can bind. These findings suggest that nTregs suppress T-cell responses by the cAMP-dependent nuclear accumulation of ICER/CREM and inhibition of NFATc1 and IL-2 induction.
    • Regulatory T cells increase the avidity of primary CD8+ T cell responses and promote memory.

      Pace, Luigia; Tempez, Andy; Arnold-Schrauf, Catharina; Lemaitre, Fabrice; Bousso, Philippe; Fetler, Luc; Sparwasser, Tim; Amigorena, Sebastian; INSERM U932, Immunity and Cancer, Institut Curie, F-75248 Paris Cedex 05, France. (2012-10-26)
      Although regulatory T cells (T(regs)) are known to suppress self-reactive autoimmune responses, their role during T cell responses to nonself antigens is not well understood. We show that T(regs) play a critical role during the priming of immune responses in mice. T(reg) depletion induced the activation and expansion of a population of low-avidity CD8(+) T cells because of overproduction of CCL-3/4/5 chemokines, which stabilized the interactions between antigen-presenting dendritic cells and low-avidity T cells. In the absence of T(regs), the avidity of the primary immune response was impaired, which resulted in reduced memory to Listeria monocytogenes. These results suggest that T(regs) are important regulators of the homeostasis of CD8(+) T cell priming and play a critical role in the induction of high-avidity primary responses and effective memory.