Clinically effective antigen-based immunotherapy must silence antigen-experienced effector T cells (Teff) driving ongoing immune pathology. Using CD4+ autoimmune Teff cells, we demonstrate that peptide immunotherapy (PIT) is strictly dependent upon sustained T cell expression of the co-inhibitory molecule PD-1. We found high levels of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) at the PD-1 (Pdcd1) promoter of non-tolerant T cells. 5hmC was lost in response to PIT, with DNA hypomethylation of the promoter. We identified dynamic changes in expression of the genes encoding the Ten-Eleven-Translocation (TET) proteins that are associated with the oxidative conversion 5-methylcytosine and 5hmC, during cytosine demethylation. We describe a model whereby promoter demethylation requires the co-incident expression of permissive histone modifications at the Pdcd1 promoter together with TET availability. This combination was only seen in tolerant Teff cells following PIT, but not in Teff that transiently express PD-1. Epigenetic changes at the Pdcd1 locus therefore determine the tolerizing potential of TCR-ligation.
Animal experimentation: This study was approved by the University of Edinburgh Ethical Review Panel and was performed in accordance with UK legislation (PPL 60/4116).
- Shimon Sakaguchi, Osaka University, Japan
© 2014, McPherson et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Downloads (link to download the article as PDF)
Download citations (links to download the citations from this article in formats compatible with various reference manager tools)
Open citations (links to open the citations from this article in various online reference manager services)
Neutrophils constitute the largest population of phagocytic granulocytes in the blood of mammals. The development and function of neutrophils and monocytes is primarily governed by the granulocyte colony-stimulating factor receptor family (CSF3R/CSF3) and macrophage colony-stimulating factor receptor family (CSF1R/IL34/CSF1) respectively. Using various techniques this study considered how the emergence of receptor:ligand pairings shaped the distribution of blood myeloid cell populations. Comparative gene analysis supported the ancestral pairings of CSF1R/IL34 and CSF3R/CSF3, and the emergence of CSF1 later in lineages after the advent of Jawed/Jawless fish. Further analysis suggested that the emergence of CSF3 lead to reorganisation of granulocyte distribution between amphibian and early reptiles. However, the advent of endothermy likely contributed to the dominance of the neutrophil/heterophil in modern-day mammals and birds. In summary, we show that the emergence of CSF3R/CSF3 was a key factor in the subsequent evolution of the modern-day mammalian neutrophil.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) serves diverse biological functions in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, including neurotransmission in vertebrates. Yet, the role of GABA in the immune system has remained elusive. Here, a comprehensive characterization of human and murine myeloid mononuclear phagocytes revealed the presence of a conserved and tightly regulated GABAergic machinery with expression of GABA metabolic enzymes and transporters, GABA-A receptors and regulators, and voltage-dependent calcium channels. Infection challenge with the common coccidian parasites Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum activated GABAergic signaling in phagocytes. Using gene silencing and pharmacological modulators in vitro and in vivo in mice, we identify the functional determinants of GABAergic signaling in parasitized phagocytes and demonstrate a link to calcium responses and migratory activation. The findings reveal a regulatory role for a GABAergic signaling machinery in the host-pathogen interplay between phagocytes and invasive coccidian parasites. The co-option of GABA underlies colonization of the host by a Trojan horse mechanism.