• 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Regulatory T cells suppress antiviral immune responses and increase viral loads during acute infection with a lymphotropic retrovirus.

      Zelinskyy, Gennadiy; Dietze, Kirsten; Sparwasser, Tim; Dittmer, Ulf; TWINCORE, Centre for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research GmbH, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 3-7, 30625 Hannover, Germany. (2009-08)
    • Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium infection-induced CD11b+ Gr1+ cells ameliorate allergic airway inflammation.

      Ganesh, Venkateswaran; Baru, Abdul Mannan; Hesse, Christina; Friedrich, Christin; Glage, Silke; Gohmert, Melanie; Jänke, Christine; Sparwasser, Tim (2014-03)
      Allergies are mainly characterized as an unrestrained Th2-biased immune response. Epidemiological data associate protection from allergic diseases with the exposure to certain infectious agents during early stages of life. Modulation of the immune response by pathogens has been considered to be a major factor influencing this protection. Recent evidence indicates that immunoregulatory mechanisms induced upon infection ameliorate allergic disorders. A longitudinal study has demonstrated reduced frequency and incidence of asthma in children who reported a prior infection with Salmonella. Experimental studies involving Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium-infected murine models have confirmed protection from induced allergic airway inflammation; however, the underlying cause leading to this amelioration remains incompletely defined. In this study, we aimed to delineate the regulatory function of Salmonella Typhimurium infection in the amelioration of allergic airway inflammation in mice. We observed a significant increase in CD11b+ Gr1+ myeloid cell populations in mice after infection with S. Typhimurium. Using in vitro and in vivo studies, we confirmed that these myeloid cells reduce airway inflammation by influencing Th2 cells. Further characterization showed that the CD11b+ Gr1+ myeloid cells exhibited their inhibitory effect by altering GATA-3 expression and interleukin-4 (IL-4) production by Th2 cells. These results indicate that the expansion of myeloid cells upon S. Typhimurium infection could potentially play a significant role in curtailing allergic airway inflammation. These findings signify the contribution of myeloid cells in preventing Th2-mediated diseases and suggest their possible application as therapeutics.
    • Schistosomes induce regulatory features in human and mouse CD1d(hi) B cells: inhibition of allergic inflammation by IL-10 and regulatory T cells.

      van der Vlugt, Luciën E P M; Labuda, Lucja A; Ozir-Fazalalikhan, Arifa; Lievers, Ellen; Gloudemans, Anouk K; Liu, Kit-Yeng; Barr, Tom A; Sparwasser, Tim; Boon, Louis; Ngoa, Ulysse Ateba; et al. (2012)
      Chronic helminth infections, such as schistosomes, are negatively associated with allergic disorders. Here, using B cell IL-10-deficient mice, Schistosoma mansoni-mediated protection against experimental ovalbumin-induced allergic airway inflammation (AAI) was shown to be specifically dependent on IL-10-producing B cells. To study the organs involved, we transferred B cells from lungs, mesenteric lymph nodes or spleen of OVA-infected mice to recipient OVA-sensitized mice, and showed that both lung and splenic B cells reduced AAI, but only splenic B cells in an IL-10-dependent manner. Although splenic B cell protection was accompanied by elevated levels of pulmonary FoxP3(+) regulatory T cells, in vivo ablation of FoxP3(+) T cells only moderately restored AAI, indicating an important role for the direct suppressory effect of regulatory B cells. Splenic marginal zone CD1d(+) B cells proved to be the responsible splenic B cell subset as they produced high levels of IL-10 and induced FoxP3(+) T cells in vitro. Indeed, transfer of CD1d(+) MZ-depleted splenic B cells from infected mice restored AAI. Markedly, we found a similarly elevated population of CD1d(hi) B cells in peripheral blood of Schistosoma haematobium-infected Gabonese children compared to uninfected children and these cells produced elevated levels of IL-10. Importantly, the number of IL-10-producing CD1d(hi) B cells was reduced after anti-schistosome treatment. This study points out that in both mice and men schistosomes have the capacity to drive the development of IL-10-producing regulatory CD1d(hi) B cells and furthermore, these are instrumental in reducing experimental allergic inflammation in mice.
    • T cell receptor stimulation-induced epigenetic changes and Foxp3 expression are independent and complementary events required for Treg cell development.

      Ohkura, Naganari; Hamaguchi, Masahide; Morikawa, Hiromasa; Sugimura, Kyoko; Tanaka, Atsushi; Ito, Yoshinaga; Osaki, Motonao; Tanaka, Yoshiaki; Yamashita, Riu; Nakano, Naoko; et al. (2012-11-16)
      The transcription factor Foxp3 is essential for the development of regulatory T (Treg) cells, yet its expression is insufficient for establishing the Treg cell lineage. Here we showed that Treg cell development was achieved by the combination of two independent processes, i.e., the expression of Foxp3 and the establishment of Treg cell-specific CpG hypomethylation pattern. Both events were induced by T cell receptor stimulation. The Treg cell-type CpG hypomethylation began in the thymus and continued to proceed in the periphery and could be fully established without Foxp3. The hypomethylation was required for Foxp3(+) T cells to acquire Treg cell-type gene expression, lineage stability, and full suppressive activity. Thus, those T cells in which the two events have concurrently occurred are developmentally set into the Treg cell lineage. This model explains how Treg cell fate and plasticity is controlled and can be exploited to generate functionally stable Treg cells.