Thymic graft-versus-host disease (tGVHD) can contribute to profound T cell deficiency and repertoire restriction after allogeneic BM transplantation (allo-BMT). However, the cellular mechanisms of tGVHD and interactions between donor alloreactive T cells and thymic tissues remain poorly defined. Using clinically relevant murine allo-BMT models, we show here that even minimal numbers of donor alloreactive T cells, which caused mild nonlethal systemic graft-versus-host disease, were sufficient to damage the thymus, delay T lineage reconstitution, and compromise donor peripheral T cell function. Furthermore, to mediate tGVHD, donor alloreactive T cells required trafficking molecules, including CCR9, L selectin, P selectin glycoprotein ligand-1, the integrin subunits αE and β7, CCR2, and CXCR3, and costimulatory/inhibitory molecules, including Ox40 and carcinoembryonic antigen-associated cell adhesion molecule 1. We found that radiation in BMT conditioning regimens upregulated expression of the death receptors Fas and death receptor 5 (DR5) on thymic stromal cells (especially epithelium), while decreasing expression of the antiapoptotic regulator cellular caspase-8–like inhibitory protein. Donor alloreactive T cells used the cognate proteins FasL and TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) (but not TNF or perforin) to mediate tGVHD, thereby damaging thymic stromal cells, cytoarchitecture, and function. Strategies that interfere with Fas/FasL and TRAIL/DR5 interactions may therefore represent a means to attenuate tGVHD and improve T cell reconstitution in allo-BMT recipients.
Il-Kang Na, Sydney X. Lu, Nury L. Yim, Gabrielle L. Goldberg, Jennifer Tsai, Uttam Rao, Odette M. Smith, Christopher G. King, David Suh, Daniel Hirschhorn-Cymerman, Lia Palomba, Olaf Penack, Amanda M. Holland, Robert R. Jenq, Arnab Ghosh, Hien Tran, Taha Merghoub, Chen Liu, Gregory D. Sempowski, Melissa Ventevogel, Nicole Beauchemin, Marcel R.M. van den Brink
After liver transplantation in HCV-infected patients, the virus load inevitably exceeds pre-transplantation levels. This phenomenon reflects suppression of the host-effector immune responses that control HCV replication by the immunosuppressive drugs used to prevent rejection of the transplanted liver. Here, we describe an adoptive immunotherapy approach, using lymphocytes extracted from liver allograft perfusate (termed herein liver allograft–derived lymphocytes), which includes an abundance of NK/NKT cells that mounted an anti-HCV response in HCV-infected liver transplantation recipients, despite the immunosuppressive environment. This therapy involved intravenously injecting patients 3 days after liver transplantation with liver allograft–derived lymphocytes treated with IL-2 and the CD3-specific mAb OKT3. During the first month after liver transplantation, the HCV RNA titers in the sera of recipients who received immunotherapy were markedly lower than those in the sera of recipients who did not receive immunotherapy. We further explored these observations in human hepatocyte–chimeric mice, in which mouse hepatocytes were replaced by human hepatocytes. These mice unfailingly developed HCV infections after inoculation with HCV-infected human serum. However, injection of human liver–derived lymphocytes treated with IL-2/OKT3 completely prevented HCV infection. Furthermore, an in vitro study using genomic HCV replicon–containing hepatic cells revealed that IFN-γ–secreting cells played a pivotal role in such anti-HCV responses. Thus, our study presents what we believe to be a novel paradigm for the inhibition of HCV replication in HCV-infected liver transplantation recipients.
Masahiro Ohira, Kohei Ishiyama, Yuka Tanaka, Marlen Doskali, Yuka Igarashi, Hirotaka Tashiro, Nobuhiko Hiraga, Michio Imamura, Naoya Sakamoto, Toshimasa Asahara, Kazuaki Chayama, Hideki Ohdan
T cell responses to MHC-mismatched transplants can be mediated via direct recognition of allogeneic MHC molecules on the cells of the transplant or via recognition of allogeneic peptides presented on the surface of recipient APCs in recipient MHC molecules — a process known as indirect recognition. As CD4+CD25+ Tregs play an important role in regulating alloresponses, we investigated whether mouse Tregs specific for allogeneic MHC molecules could be generated in vitro and could promote transplantation tolerance in immunocompetent recipient mice. Tregs able to directly recognize allogeneic MHC class II molecules (dTregs) were obtained by stimulating CD4+CD25+ cells from C57BL/6 mice (H-2b) with allogeneic DCs from BALB/c mice (H-2d). To generate Tregs that indirectly recognized allogeneic MHC class II molecules, dTregs were retrovirally transduced with TCR genes conferring specificity for H-2Kd presented by H-2Ab MHC class II molecules. The dual direct and indirect allospecificity of the TCR-transduced Tregs was confirmed in vitro. In mice, TCR-transduced Tregs, but not dTregs, induced long-term survival of partially MHC-mismatched heart grafts when combined with short-term adjunctive immunosuppression. Further, although dTregs were only slightly less effective than TCR-transduced Tregs at inducing long-term survival of fully MHC-mismatched heart grafts, histologic analysis of long-surviving hearts demonstrated marked superiority of the TCR-transduced Tregs. Thus, Tregs specific for allogeneic MHC class II molecules are effective in promoting transplantation tolerance in mice, which suggests that such cells have clinical potential.
Julia Yuen-Shan Tsang, Yakup Tanriver, Shuiping Jiang, Shao-An Xue, Kulachelvy Ratnasothy, Daxin Chen, Hans J. Stauss, R. Pat Bucy, Giovanna Lombardi, Robert Lechler
A fraction of liver transplant recipients are able to discontinue all immunosuppressive therapies without rejecting their grafts and are said to be operationally tolerant to the transplant. However, accurate identification of these recipients remains a challenge. To design a clinically applicable molecular test of operational tolerance in liver transplantation, we studied transcriptional patterns in the peripheral blood of 80 liver transplant recipients and 16 nontransplanted healthy individuals by employing oligonucleotide microarrays and quantitative real-time PCR. This resulted in the discovery and validation of several gene signatures comprising a modest number of genes capable of identifying tolerant and nontolerant recipients with high accuracy. Multiple peripheral blood lymphocyte subsets contributed to the tolerance-associated transcriptional patterns, although NK and γδTCR+ T cells exerted the predominant influence. These data suggest that transcriptional profiling of peripheral blood can be employed to identify liver transplant recipients who can discontinue immunosuppressive therapy and that innate immune cells are likely to play a major role in the maintenance of operational tolerance in liver transplantation.
Marc Martínez-Llordella, Juan José Lozano, Isabel Puig-Pey, Giuseppe Orlando, Giuseppe Tisone, Jan Lerut, Carlos Benítez, Jose Antonio Pons, Pascual Parrilla, Pablo Ramírez, Miquel Bruguera, Antoni Rimola, Alberto Sánchez-Fueyo
Successful transplantation requires the prevention of allograft rejection and, in the case of transplantation to treat autoimmune disease, the suppression of autoimmune responses. The standard immunosuppressive treatment regimen given to patients with autoimmune type 1 diabetes who have received an islet transplant results in the loss of T cells. In many other situations, the immune system responds to T cell loss through cytokine-dependant homeostatic proliferation of any remaining T cells. Here we show that T cell loss after islet transplantation in patients with autoimmune type 1 diabetes was associated with both increased serum concentrations of IL-7 and IL-15 and in vivo proliferation of memory CD45RO+ T cells, highly enriched in autoreactive glutamic acid decarboxylase 65–specific T cell clones. Immunosuppression with FK506 and rapamycin after transplantation resulted in a chronic homeostatic expansion of T cells, which acquired effector function after immunosuppression was removed. In contrast, the cytostatic drug mycophenolate mofetil efficiently blocked homeostatic T cell expansion. We propose that the increased production of cytokines that induce homeostatic expansion could contribute to recurrent autoimmunity in transplanted patients with autoimmune disease and that therapy that prevents the expansion of autoreactive T cells will improve the outcome of islet transplantation.
Paolo Monti, Miriam Scirpoli, Paola Maffi, Nadia Ghidoli, Francesca De Taddeo, Federico Bertuzzi, Lorenzo Piemonti, Marika Falcone, Antonio Secchi, Ezio Bonifacio
T cell Ig mucin 1 (TIM-1) plays an important role in regulating immune responses in autoimmune and asthma models, and it is expressed on both Th1 and Th2 cells. Using an antagonistic TIM-1–specific antibody, we studied the role of TIM-1 in alloimmunity. A short course of TIM-1–specific antibody monotherapy prolonged survival of fully MHC-mismatched vascularized mouse cardiac allografts. This prolongation was associated with inhibition of alloreactive Th1 responses and preservation of Th2 responses. TIM-1–specific antibody treatment was more effective in Th1-type cytokine–deficient Stat4–/– recipients as compared with Th2-type cytokine–deficient Stat6–/– recipients. Subtherapeutic doses of rapamycin plus TIM-1–specific antibody resulted in allograft acceptance and prevented the development of chronic allograft vasculopathy. Allograft survival via this treatment was accompanied by a Th1- to Th2-type cytokine switch. Depletion of natural Tregs abrogated the graft-protecting effect of the TIM-1–specific antibody. Importantly, CD4+CD25+ Tregs obtained from long-term survivors had enhanced regulatory activity as compared with naive CD4+CD25+ Tregs. Consistent with this, TIM-1–specific antibody treatment both preserved Tregs and prevented the expansion of alloreactive effector Th1 cells in an alloreactive TCR transgenic adoptive transfer model. These studies define previously unknown functions of TIM-1 in regulating alloimmune responses in vivo and may provide a novel approach to promoting transplantation tolerance.
Takuya Ueno, Antje Habicht, Michael R. Clarkson, Monica J. Albin, Kazuhiro Yamaura, Olaf Boenisch, Joyce Popoola, Ying Wang, Hideo Yagita, Hisaya Akiba, M. Javeed Ansari, Jaeseok Yang, Laurence A. Turka, David M. Rothstein, Robert F. Padera, Nader Najafian, Mohamed H. Sayegh
T cell Ig mucin (Tim) molecules modulate CD4+ T cell responses. In keeping with the view that Tim-1 generates a stimulatory signal for CD4+ T cell activation, we hypothesized that an agonist Tim-1–specific mAb would intensify the CD4+ T cell–dependant allograft response. Unexpectedly, we determined that a particular Tim-1–specific mAb exerted reciprocal effects upon the commitment of alloactivated T cells to regulatory and effector phenotypes. Commitment to the Th1 and Th17 phenotypes was fostered, whereas commitment to the Treg phenotype was hindered. Moreover, ligation of Tim-1 in vitro effectively deprogrammed Tregs and thus produced Tregs unable to control T cell responses. Overall, the effects of the agonist Tim-1–specific mAb on the allograft response stemmed from enhanced expansion and survival of T effector cells; a capacity to deprogram natural Tregs; and inhibition of the conversion of naive CD4+ T cells into Tregs. The reciprocal effects of agonist Tim-1–specific mAbs upon effector T cells and Tregs serve to prevent allogeneic transplant tolerance.
Nicolas Degauque, Christophe Mariat, James Kenny, Dong Zhang, Wenda Gao, Minh Diem Vu, Sophoclis Alexopoulos, Mohammed Oukka, Dale T. Umetsu, Rosemarie H. DeKruyff, Vijay Kuchroo, Xin Xiao Zheng, Terry B. Strom
Small airway fibrosis (bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome) is the primary obstacle to long-term survival following lung transplantation. Here, we show the importance of functional microvasculature in the prevention of epithelial loss and fibrosis due to rejection and for the first time, relate allograft microvascular injury and loss of tissue perfusion to immunotherapy-resistant rejection. To explore the role of alloimmune rejection and airway ischemia in the development of fibroproliferation, we used a murine orthotopic tracheal transplant model. We determined that transplants were reperfused by connection of recipient vessels to donor vessels at the surgical anastomosis site. Microcirculation through the newly formed vascular anastomoses appeared partially dependent on VEGFR2 and CXCR2 pathways. In the absence of immunosuppression, the microvasculature in rejecting allografts exhibited vascular complement deposition, diminished endothelial CD31 expression, and absent perfusion prior to the onset of fibroproliferation. Rejecting grafts with extensive endothelial cell injury were refractory to immunotherapy. After early microvascular loss, neovascularization was eventually observed in the membranous trachea, indicating a reestablishment of graft perfusion in established fibrosis. One implication of this study is that bronchial artery revascularization at the time of lung transplantation may decrease the risk of subsequent airway fibrosis.
Ashok N. Babu, Tomohiro Murakawa, Joshua M. Thurman, Edmund J. Miller, Peter M. Henson, Martin R. Zamora, Norbert F. Voelkel, Mark R. Nicolls
Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS), a process of fibro-obliterative occlusion of the small airways in the transplanted lung, is the most common cause of lung transplant failure. We tested the role of cell-mediated immunity to collagen type V [col(V)] in this process. PBMC responses to col(II) and col(V) were monitored prospectively over a 7-year period. PBMCs from lung transplant recipients, but not from healthy controls or col(IV)-reactive Goodpasture’s syndrome patients after renal transplant, were frequently col(V) reactive. Col(V)-specific responses were dependent on both CD4+ T cells and monocytes and required both IL-17 and the monokines TNF-α and IL-1β. Strong col(V)-specific responses were associated with substantially increased incidence and severity of BOS. Incidences of acute rejection, HLA-DR mismatched transplants, and induction of HLA-specific antibodies in the transplant recipient were not as strongly associated with a risk of BOS. These data suggest that while alloimmunity initiates lung transplant rejection, de novo autoimmunity mediated by col(V)-specific Th17 cells and monocyte/macrophage accessory cells ultimately causes progressive airway obliteration.
William J. Burlingham, Robert B. Love, Ewa Jankowska-Gan, Lynn D. Haynes, Qingyong Xu, Joseph L. Bobadilla, Keith C. Meyer, Mary S. Hayney, Ruedi K. Braun, Daniel S. Greenspan, Bagavathi Gopalakrishnan, Junchao Cai, David D. Brand, Shigetoshi Yoshida, Oscar W. Cummings, David S. Wilkes
Ischemia/reperfusion (IR) injury in transplanted livers contributes to organ dysfunction and failure and is characterized in part by loss of NO bioavailability. Inhalation of NO is nontoxic and at high concentrations (80 ppm) inhibits IR injury in extrapulmonary tissues. In this prospective, blinded, placebo-controlled study, we evaluated the hypothesis that administration of inhaled NO (iNO; 80 ppm) to patients undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation inhibits hepatic IR injury, resulting in improved liver function. Patients were randomized to receive either placebo or iNO (n = 10 per group) during the operative period only. When results were adjusted for cold ischemia time and sex, iNO significantly decreased hospital length of stay, and evaluation of serum transaminases (alanine transaminase, aspartate aminotransferase) and coagulation times (prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time) indicated that iNO improved the rate at which liver function was restored after transplantation. iNO did not significantly affect changes in inflammatory markers in liver tissue 1 hour after reperfusion but significantly lowered hepatocyte apoptosis. Evaluation of circulating NO metabolites indicated that the most likely candidate transducer of extrapulmonary effects of iNO was nitrite. In summary, this study supports the clinical use of iNO as an extrapulmonary therapeutic to improve organ function following transplantation.
John D. Lang Jr., Xinjun Teng, Phillip Chumley, Jack H. Crawford, T. Scott Isbell, Balu K. Chacko, Yuliang Liu, Nirag Jhala, D. Ralph Crowe, Alvin B. Smith, Richard C. Cross, Luc Frenette, Eric E. Kelley, Diana W. Wilhite, Cheryl R. Hall, Grier P. Page, Michael B. Fallon, J. Steven Bynon, Devin E. Eckhoff, Rakesh P. Patel
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