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Autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes (T1D) arise from unrestrained activation of effector lymphocytes that destroy target tissues. Many efforts have been made to eliminate these effector lymphocytes, but none has produced a long-term cure. An alternative to depletion therapy is to enhance endogenous immune regulation. Among these endogenous alternatives, naturally occurring Igs have been applied for inflammatory disorders but have lacked potency in antigen-specific autoimmunity. We hypothesized that naturally occurring polyclonal IgMs, which represent the majority of circulating, noninduced antibodies but are present only in low levels in therapeutic Ig preparations, possess the most potent capacity to restore immune homeostasis. Treatment of diabetes-prone NOD mice with purified IgM isolated from Swiss Webster (SW) mice (nIgM) reversed new-onset diabetes, eliminated autoreactive B lymphocytes, and enhanced regulatory T-cell (Treg) numbers both centrally and peripherally. Conversely, IgM from prediabetic NOD mice could not restore this endogenous regulation, which represents an unrecognized component of T1D pathogenesis. Of note, IgM derived from healthy human donors was similarly able to expand human CD4 Tregs in humanized mice and produced permanent diabetes protection in treated NOD mice. Overall, these studies demonstrate that a potent, endogenous regulatory mechanism, nIgM, is a promising option for reversing autoimmune T1D in humans.
© 2018 by the American Diabetes Association.
OBJECTIVE (S) - Our objective was to investigate alterations in the cecal microbial composition during the development of type 1 diabetes (T1D) with or without IgM therapy, and correlate these alterations with the corresponding immune profile.
METHODS - (1) Female nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice treated with IgM or saline (n = 20/group) were divided into 5-week-old nondiabetic; 9 to 12-week-old prehyperglycemic stage-1; ≥13-week-old prehyperglycemic stage-2; and diabetic groups. 16S rRNA libraries were prepared from bacterial DNA and deep-sequenced. (2) New-onset diabetic mice were treated with IgM (200 μg on Days 1, 3, and 5) and their blood glucose monitored for 2 months.
RESULTS - Significant dysbiosis was observed in the cecal microbiome with the progression of T1D development. The alteration in microbiome composition was characterized by an increase in the bacteroidetes:firmicutes ratio. In contrast, IgM conserved normal bacteroidetes:firmicutes ratio and this effect was long-lasting. Furthermore, oral gavage using cecal content from IgM-treated mice significantly diminished the incidence of diabetes compared with controls, indicating that IgM specifically affected mucosa-associated microbes, and that the affect was causal and not an epiphenomenon. Also, regulatory immune cell populations (myeloid-derived suppressor cells and regulatory T cells) were expanded and insulin autoantibody production diminished in the IgM-treated mice. In addition, IgM therapy reversed hyperglycemia in 70% of new-onset diabetic mice (n = 10) and the mice remained normoglycemic for the entire post-treatment observation period.
CONCLUSIONS - The cecal microbiome appears to be important in maintaining immune homeostasis and normal immune responses.
Early breaches in B cell tolerance are central to type 1 diabetes progression in mouse and man. Conventional BCR transgenic mouse models (VH125.Tg NOD) reveal the power of B cell specificity to drive disease as APCs. However, in conventional fixed IgM models, comprehensive assessment of B cell development is limited. To provide more accurate insight into the developmental and functional fates of anti-insulin B cells, we generated a new NOD model (V125NOD) in which anti-insulin VDJH125 is targeted to the IgH chain locus to generate a small (1-2%) population of class switch-competent insulin-binding B cells. Tracking of this rare population in a polyclonal repertoire reveals that anti-insulin B cells are preferentially skewed into marginal zone and late transitional subsets known to have increased sensitivity to proinflammatory signals. Additionally, IL-10 production, characteristic of regulatory B cell subsets, is increased. In contrast to conventional models, class switch-competent anti-insulin B cells proliferate normally in response to mitogenic stimuli but remain functionally silent for insulin autoantibody production. Diabetes development is accelerated, which demonstrates the power of anti-insulin B cells to exacerbate disease without differentiation into Ab-forming or plasma cells. Autoreactive T cell responses in V125NOD mice are not restricted to insulin autoantigens, as evidenced by increased IFN-γ production to a broad array of diabetes-associated epitopes. Together, these results independently validate the pathogenic role of anti-insulin B cells in type 1 diabetes, underscore their diverse developmental fates, and demonstrate the pathologic potential of coupling a critical β cell specificity to predominantly proinflammatory Ag-presenting B cell subsets.
Copyright © 2018 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease characterised by selective destruction of pancreatic beta cells by the immune system. The transcription factor nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) regulates innate and adaptive immune responses. Using gene targeting and in vitro analysis of pancreatic islets and immune cells, NF-κB activation has been implicated in type 1 diabetes development. Here we use a non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse model that expresses a luciferase reporter of transcriptionally active NF-κB to determine its activation in vivo during development of diabetes. Increased luciferase activity was readily detected upon treatment with Toll-like receptor ligands in vitro and in vivo, indicating activation of NF-κB. However, activated NF-κB was detectable at low levels above background in unmanipulated NOD mice, but did not vary with age, despite the progression of inflammatory infiltration in islets over time. NF-κB was highly activated in an accelerated model of type 1 diabetes that requires CD4 T cells and inflammatory macrophages. These data shed light on the nature of the inflammatory response in the development of type 1 diabetes.
Basal-like/triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs) are among the most aggressive forms of breast cancer, and disproportionally affects young premenopausal women and women of African descent. Patients with TNBC suffer a poor prognosis due in part to a lack of molecularly targeted therapies, which represents a critical barrier for effective treatment. Here, we identify EphA2 receptor tyrosine kinase as a clinically relevant target for TNBC. EphA2 expression is enriched in the basal-like molecular subtype in human breast cancers. Loss of EphA2 function in both human and genetically engineered mouse models of TNBC reduced tumor growth in culture and in vivo. Mechanistically, targeting EphA2 impaired cell cycle progression through S-phase via downregulation of c-Myc and stabilization of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27/KIP1. A small molecule kinase inhibitor of EphA2 effectively suppressed tumor cell growth in vivo, including TNBC patient-derived xenografts. Thus, our data identify EphA2 as a novel molecular target for TNBC.
Overcoming the immune response to establish durable immune tolerance in type 1 diabetes remains a substantial challenge. The ongoing effector immune response involves numerous immune cell types but is ultimately orchestrated and sustained by the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niche. We therefore hypothesized that tolerance induction also requires these pluripotent precursors. In this study, we determined that the tolerance-inducing agent anti-CD45RB induces HSC mobilization in nonautoimmune B6 mice but not in diabetes-prone NOD mice. Ablation of HSCs impaired tolerance to allogeneic islet transplants in B6 recipients. Mobilization of HSCs resulted in part from decreasing osteoblast expression of HSC retention factors. Furthermore, HSC mobilization required a functioning sympathetic nervous system; sympathectomy prevented HSC mobilization and completely abrogated tolerance induction. NOD HSCs were held in their niche by excess expression of CXCR4, which, when blocked, led to HSC mobilization and prolonged islet allograft survival. Overall, these findings indicate that the HSC compartment plays an underrecognized role in the establishment and maintenance of immune tolerance, and this role is disrupted in diabetes-prone NOD mice. Understanding the stem cell response to immune therapies in ongoing human clinical studies may help identify and maximize the effect of immune interventions for type 1 diabetes.
© 2017 by the American Diabetes Association.
T cell-mediated destruction of insulin-producing β cells in the pancreas causes type 1 diabetes (T1D). CD4 T cell responses play a central role in β cell destruction, but the identity of the epitopes recognized by pathogenic CD4 T cells remains unknown. We found that diabetes-inducing CD4 T cell clones isolated from nonobese diabetic mice recognize epitopes formed by covalent cross-linking of proinsulin peptides to other peptides present in β cell secretory granules. These hybrid insulin peptides (HIPs) are antigenic for CD4 T cells and can be detected by mass spectrometry in β cells. CD4 T cells from the residual pancreatic islets of two organ donors who had T1D also recognize HIPs. Autoreactive T cells targeting hybrid peptides may explain how immune tolerance is broken in T1D.
Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Adoptive transfer of gene modified T cells provides possible immunotherapy for patients with cancers refractory to other treatments. We have previously used the non-viral piggyBac transposon system to gene modify human T cells for potential immunotherapy. However, these previous studies utilized adoptive transfer of modified human T cells to target cancer xenografts in highly immunodeficient (NOD-SCID) mice that do not recapitulate an intact immune system. Currently, only viral vectors have shown efficacy in permanently gene-modifying mouse T cells for immunotherapy applications. Therefore, we sought to determine if piggyBac could effectively gene modify mouse T cells to target cancer cells in a mouse cancer model. We first demonstrated that we could gene modify cells to express murine interleukin-12 (p35/p40 mIL-12), a transgene with proven efficacy in melanoma immunotherapy. The OT-I melanoma mouse model provides a well-established T cell mediated immune response to ovalbumin (OVA) positive B16 melanoma cells. B16/OVA melanoma cells were implanted in wild type C57Bl6 mice. Mouse splenocytes were isolated from C57Bl6 OT-I mice and were gene modified using piggyBac to express luciferase. Adoptive transfer of luciferase-modified OT-I splenocytes demonstrated homing to B16/OVA melanoma tumors in vivo. We next gene-modified OT-I cells to express mIL-12. Adoptive transfer of mIL-12-modified mouse OT-I splenocytes delayed B16/OVA melanoma tumor growth in vivo compared to control OT-I splenocytes and improved mouse survival. Our results demonstrate that the piggyBac transposon system can be used to gene modify splenocytes and mouse T cells for evaluating adoptive immunotherapy strategies in immunocompetent mouse tumor models that may more directly mimic immunotherapy applications in humans.
Outer surface protein C (OspC) is one of the major lipoproteins expressed on the surface of Borrelia burgdorferi during tick feeding and the early phase of mammalian infection. OspC is required for B. burgdorferi to establish infection in both immunocompetent and SCID mice and has been proposed to facilitate evasion of innate immune defenses. However, the exact biological function of OspC remains elusive. In this study, we showed that the ospC-deficient spirochete could not establish infection in NOD-scid IL2rγ(null) mice that lack B cells, T cells, NK cells, and lytic complement. The ospC mutant also could not establish infection in anti-Ly6G-treated SCID and C3H/HeN mice (depletion of neutrophils). However, depletion of mononuclear phagocytes at the skin site of inoculation in SCID and C3H/HeN mice allowed the ospC mutant to establish infection in vivo. In phagocyte-depleted mice, the ospC mutant was able to colonize the joints and triggered neutrophilia during dissemination. Furthermore, we found that phagocytosis of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-expressing ospC mutant spirochetes by murine peritoneal macrophages and human THP-1 macrophage-like cells, but not in PMN-HL60, was significantly higher than parental wild-type B. burgdorferi strains, suggesting that OspC has an antiphagocytic property. In addition, overproduction of OspC in spirochetes also decreased the uptake of spirochetes by murine peritoneal macrophages. Together, our findings provide evidence that mononuclear phagocytes play a key role in clearance of the ospC mutant and that OspC promotes spirochetes' evasion of macrophages during early Lyme borreliosis.
Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.