• 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.
    • 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.
    • TLR3 is required for survival following Coxsackievirus B3 infection by driving T lymphocyte activation and polarization: The role of dendritic cells.

      Sesti-Costa, Renata; Françozo, Marcela Cristina Santiago; Silva, Grace Kelly; Proenca-Modena, José Luiz; Silva, João Santana; Zentrum für experimentelle und klinische Infektionsforschung GmbH, Feodor-Lynen-Str.7, 30625 Hannover, Germany. (2017)
      Type B coxsackievirus (CVB) is a common cause of acute and chronic myocarditis, meningitis and pancreatitis, often leading to heart failure and pancreatic deficiency. The polarization of CD4+ T lymphocytes and their cytokine milieu are key factors in the outcome of CVB-induced diseases. Thus, sensing the virus and driving the adaptive immune response are essential for the establishment of a protective immune response. TLR3 is a crucial virus recognition receptor that confers the host with resistance to CVB infection. In the current study, we found that TLR3 expression in dendritic cells plays a role in their activation upon CVB3 infection in vitro, as TLR3-deficient dendritic cells up-regulate CD80 and CD86 to a less degree than WT cells. Instead, they up-regulated the inhibitory molecule PD-L1 and secreted considerably lower levels of TNF-α and IL-10 and a higher level of IL-23. T lymphocyte proliferation in co-culture with CVB3-infected dendritic cells was increased by TLR3-expressing DCs and other cells. Furthermore, in the absence of TLR3, the T lymphocyte response was shifted toward a Th17 profile, which was previously reported to be deleterious for the host. TLR3-deficient mice were very susceptible to CVB3 infection, with increased pancreatic injury and extensive inflammatory infiltrate in the heart that was associated with uncontrolled viral replication. Adoptive transfer of TLR3+ dendritic cells slightly improved the survival of TLR-deficient mice following CVB3 infection. Therefore, our findings highlight the importance of TLR3 signaling in DCs and in other cells to induce activation and polarization of the CD4+ T lymphocyte response toward a Th1 profile and consequently for a better outcome of CVB3 infection. These data provide new insight into the immune-mediated mechanisms by which CVBs are recognized and cleared in order to prevent the development of myocarditis and pancreatitis and may contribute to the design of therapies for enteroviral infections.