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B lymphocytes migrate among varied microenvironmental niches during diversification, selection, and conversion to memory or Ab-secreting plasma cells. Aspects of the nutrient milieu differ within these lymphoid microenvironments and can influence signaling molecules such as the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR). However, much remains to be elucidated as to the B cell-intrinsic functions of nutrient-sensing signal transducers that modulate B cell differentiation or Ab affinity. We now show that the amino acid-sensing mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) is vital for induction of Bcl6-a key transcriptional regulator of the germinal center (GC) fate-in activated B lymphocytes. Accordingly, disruption of mTORC1 after B cell development and activation led to reduced populations of Ag-specific memory B cells as well as plasma cells and GC B cells. In addition, induction of the germ line transcript that guides activation-induced deaminase in selection of the IgG1 H chain region during class switching required mTORC1. Expression of the somatic mutator activation-induced deaminase was reduced by a lack of mTORC1 in B cells, whereas point mutation frequencies in Ag-specific GC-phenotype B cells were only halved. These effects culminated in a B cell-intrinsic defect that impacted an antiviral Ab response and drastically impaired generation of high-affinity IgG1. Collectively, these data establish that mTORC1 governs critical B cell-intrinsic mechanisms essential for establishment of GC differentiation and effective Ab production.
Copyright © 2018 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
In lymphomas arising from the germinal center, prognostic factors are linked to the myeloid compartment. In particular, high circulating monocyte or myeloid-derived suppressor cell counts are associated with poor prognosis for patients with high-grade B-cell lymphomas. Macrophages with an M2 phenotype are enriched within lymphoma tumors. However, the M1/M2 nomenclature is now deprecated and the clinical impact of this phenotype remains controversial. Across cancer types, myeloid cells are primarily thought to function as immune suppressors during tumor initiation and maintenance, but the biological mechanisms behind the myeloid signatures are still poorly understood in germinal center B-cell lymphomas. Herein, we describe the role and clinical relevance of myeloid cells in B-cell lymphoma and propose innovative approaches to decipher this complex cellular compartment. Indeed, characterization of this heterogeneous cell ecosystem has been largely accomplished with "low-resolution" approaches like morphological evaluation and immunohistochemistry, where cells are characterized using a few proteins and qualitative metrics. High-resolution, quantitative approaches, such as mass cytometry, are valuable to better understand myeloid cell diversity, functions, and to identify potential targets for novel therapies.
BACKGROUND - Follicular lymphoma (FL) is an indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma that has a risk of transformation to more aggressive lymphoma. Relatively little is known about the nonmalignant B-cell and T-cell subset composition within the tumor microenvironment and whether altered phenotypes are associated with patterns of lymphoma B-cell heterogeneity.
METHODS - Two mass cytometry (CyTOF) panels were designed to immunophenotype B and T cells in FL tumors. Populations of malignant B cells, nonmalignant B cells, and T cells from each FL tumor were identified and their phenotypes compared to B and T cells from healthy human tonsillar tissue.
RESULTS - Diversity in cellular phenotype between tumors was greater for the malignant B cells than for nonmalignant B or T cells. The malignant B-cell population bore little phenotypic similarity to any healthy B-cell subset, and unexpectedly clustered closer to naïve B-cell populations than GC B-cell populations. Among the nonmalignant B cells within FL tumors, a significant lack of GC and plasmablast B cells was observed relative to tonsil controls. In contrast, nonmalignant T cells in FL tumors were present at levels similar to their cognate tonsillar T-cell subsets.
CONCLUSION - Mass cytometry revealed that diverse HLA-DR expression on FL cells within individual tumors contributed greatly to tumor heterogeneity. Both malignant and nonmalignant B cells in the tumor bore little phenotypic resemblance to healthy GC B cells despite the presence of T follicular helper cells in the tumor. These findings suggest that ongoing signaling interactions between malignant B cells and intra-tumor T cells shape the tumor microenvironment. © 2016 International Clinical Cytometry Society.
© 2016 International Clinical Cytometry Society.
Somatic mutations in CREBBP occur frequently in B-cell lymphoma. Here, we show that loss of CREBBP facilitates the development of germinal center (GC)-derived lymphomas in mice. In both human and murine lymphomas, CREBBP loss-of-function resulted in focal depletion of enhancer H3K27 acetylation and aberrant transcriptional silencing of genes that regulate B-cell signaling and immune responses, including class II MHC. Mechanistically, CREBBP-regulated enhancers are counter-regulated by the BCL6 transcriptional repressor in a complex with SMRT and HDAC3, which we found to bind extensively to MHC class II loci. HDAC3 loss-of-function rescued repression of these enhancers and corresponding genes, including MHC class II, and more profoundly suppressed CREBBP-mutant lymphomas in vitro and in vivo Hence, CREBBP loss-of-function contributes to lymphomagenesis by enabling unopposed suppression of enhancers by BCL6/SMRT/HDAC3 complexes, suggesting HDAC3-targeted therapy as a precision approach for CREBBP-mutant lymphomas.
SIGNIFICANCE - Our findings establish the tumor suppressor function of CREBBP in GC lymphomas in which CREBBP mutations disable acetylation and result in unopposed deacetylation by BCL6/SMRT/HDAC3 complexes at enhancers of B-cell signaling and immune response genes. Hence, inhibition of HDAC3 can restore the enhancer histone acetylation and may serve as a targeted therapy for CREBBP-mutant lymphomas. Cancer Discov; 7(1); 38-53. ©2016 AACR.See related commentary by Höpken, p. 14This article is highlighted in the In This Issue feature, p. 1.
©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.
Germinal centres (GCs) promote humoral immunity and vaccine efficacy. In GCs, antigen-activated B cells proliferate, express high-affinity antibodies, promote antibody class switching, and yield B cell memory. Whereas the cytokine milieu has long been known to regulate effector functions that include the choice of immunoglobulin class, both cell-autonomous and extrinsic metabolic programming have emerged as modulators of T-cell-mediated immunity. Here we show in mice that GC light zones are hypoxic, and that low oxygen tension () alters B cell physiology and function. In addition to reduced proliferation and increased B cell death, low impairs antibody class switching to the pro-inflammatory IgG2c antibody isotype by limiting the expression of activation-induced cytosine deaminase (AID). Hypoxia induces HIF transcription factors by restricting the activity of prolyl hydroxyl dioxygenase enzymes, which hydroxylate HIF-1α and HIF-2α to destabilize HIF by binding the von Hippel-Landau tumour suppressor protein (pVHL). B-cell-specific depletion of pVHL leads to constitutive HIF stabilization, decreases antigen-specific GC B cells and undermines the generation of high-affinity IgG, switching to IgG2c, early memory B cells, and recall antibody responses. HIF induction can reprogram metabolic and growth factor gene expression. Sustained hypoxia or HIF induction by pVHL deficiency inhibits mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) activity in B lymphoblasts, and mTORC1-haploinsufficient B cells have reduced clonal expansion, AID expression, and capacities to yield IgG2c and high-affinity antibodies. Thus, the normal physiology of GCs involves regional variegation of hypoxia, and HIF-dependent oxygen sensing regulates vital functions of B cells. We propose that the restriction of oxygen in lymphoid organs, which can be altered in pathophysiological states, modulates humoral immunity.
Autoantibodies to insulin are a harbinger of autoimmunity in type 1 diabetes in humans and in non-obese diabetic mice. To understand the genesis of these autoantibodies, we investigated the interactions of insulin-specific T and B lymphocytes using T cell and B cell receptor transgenic mice. We found spontaneous anti-insulin germinal center (GC) formation throughout lymphoid tissues with GC B cells binding insulin. Moreover, because of the nature of the insulin epitope recognized by the T cells, it was evident that GC B cells presented a broader repertoire of insulin epitopes. Such broader recognition was reproduced by activating naive B cells ex vivo with a combination of CD40 ligand and interleukin 4. Thus, insulin immunoreactivity extends beyond the pancreatic lymph node-islets of Langerhans axis and indicates that circulating insulin, despite its very low levels, can have an influence on diabetogenesis.
© 2016 Wan et al.
Differences in the quality of BCR signaling control key steps of B cell maturation and differentiation. Endogenously produced H2O2 is thought to fine tune the level of BCR signaling by reversibly inhibiting phosphatases. However, relatively little is known about how B cells at different stages sense and respond to such redox cues. In this study, we used phospho-specific flow cytometry and high-dimensional mass cytometry (CyTOF) to compare BCR signaling responses in mature human tonsillar B cells undergoing germinal center (GC) reactions. GC B cells, in contrast to mature naive B cells, memory B cells, and plasmablasts, were hypersensitive to a range of H2O2 concentrations and responded by phosphorylating SYK and other membrane-proximal BCR effectors in the absence of BCR engagement. These findings reveal that stage-specific redox responses distinguish human GC B cells.
Copyright © 2015 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
Autoimmune diabetes occurs when invading lymphocytes destroy insulin-producing beta cells in pancreatic islets. The role of lymphocytic aggregates at this inflammatory site is not understood. We find that B and T lymphocytes attacking islets in NOD mice organize into lymphoid structures with germinal centers. Analysis of BCR L chain genes was used to investigate selection of B lymphocytes in these tertiary lymphoid structures and in draining pancreatic lymph nodes. The pancreatic repertoire as a whole was found to be highly diverse, with the profile of L chain genes isolated from whole pancreas differing from that observed in regional lymph nodes. A Vkappa14 L chain predominated within the complex pancreatic repertoire of NOD mice. Skewing toward Vkappa4 genes was observed in the pancreas when the repertoire of NOD mice was restricted using a fixed Ig H chain transgene. Nucleotide sequencing of expressed Vkappas identified shared mutations in some sequences consistent with Ag-driven selection and clonal expansion at the site of inflammation. Isolated islets contained oligoclonal B lymphocytes enriched for the germinal center marker GL7 and for sequences containing multiple mutations within CDRs, suggesting local T-B interactions. Together, these findings identify a process that selects B lymphocyte specificities within the pancreas, with further evolution of the selected repertoire at the inflamed site. This interpretation is reinforced by Ag-binding studies showing a large population of insulin-binding B lymphocytes in the pancreas compared with draining lymph nodes.
Lyn is the only member of the Src family expressed in DT40 B cells, which provide a unique model to study the singular contribution of this protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) family to cell signaling. In these cells, gene ablation of Lyn leads to defective B cell receptor signaling. Complementary DNA array analysis of Lyn-deficient DT40 cells shows that the absence of Lyn leads to down-regulation of numerous genes encoding proteins involved in B cell receptor signaling, proliferation, control of transcription, immunity/inflammation response, and cytoskeletal organization. Most of these expression changes have not been previously associated with Lyn PTK signaling. They include alterations in mRNA levels of germinal center-associated nuclear protein (germinal center-associated DNA primase) (GANP), CD74, CD22, NF-kappaB, elongation factor 1alpha, CD79b, octamer binding factor 1, Ig H chain, stathmin, and gamma-actin. Changes in GANP expression were also confirmed in Lyn-deficient mice, suggesting that Lyn PTK has a unique function not compensated for by other Src kinases. Because Lyn-deficient mice have impaired development of germinal centers in spleen, the decreased expression of GANP in the Lyn-deficient DT40 cell line and Lyn-deficient mice suggests that Lyn controls the formation and proliferation of germinal centers via GANP. GANP promoter activity was higher in wild-type vs Lyn-deficient cells. Mutation of the PU.1 binding site reduced activity in wild-type cells and had no effect in Lyn-deficient cells. The presence of Lyn enhanced PU.1 expression in a Northern blot. Thus, the following new signaling pathway has been described: Lyn-->PU.1-->GANP.
A key event in the pathogenesis of allergies is the production of antibodies of the immunoglobulin (Ig)E class. In normal individuals the levels of IgE are tightly regulated, as illustrated by the low serum IgE concentration. In addition, multiple immunizations are usually required to generate detectable IgE responses in normal experimental animals. To define the parameters that regulate IgE production in vivo, we generated mice bearing monoclonal populations of B and T lymphocytes specific for influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) and chicken ovalbumin (OVA), respectively. A single immunization of the monoclonal mice with the cross-linked OVA-HA antigen led to serum IgE levels that reached 30-200 microg/ml. This unusually high IgE response was prevented by the infusion of regulatory alpha/beta CD4(+) T cells belonging to both CD25(+) and CD25(-) subpopulations. The regulation by the infused T cells impeded the development of fully competent OVA-specific effector/memory Th2 lymphocytes without inhibiting the initial proliferative response of T cells or promoting activation-induced cell death. Our results indicate that hyper IgE responses do not occur in normal individuals due to the presence of regulatory T cells, and imply that the induction of regulatory CD4(+) T cells could be used for the prevention of atopy.