While antiretroviral therapy (ART) has proven effective in suppressing viremia and disease progression among people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV; PLWH), suboptimal CD4+ T cell reconstitution remains a major obstacle in nearly 30% of ART-treated individuals. Epidemiological studies demonstrate that obesity, or a body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30 kg/m2, is positively correlated with greater CD4+ T cell recovery in PLWH on ART. Leptin is a known immunomodulator that is produced in proportion to fat mass and is increased in obese individuals, including PLWH. We hypothesized that CD4+ T cells from obese PLWH have increased cell proliferation and cytokine production compared to cells from lean PLWH, potentially modulated by differential effects of leptin signaling. To test this hypothesis, peripheral blood mononuclear cells from obese and lean PLWH with long-term virologic suppression on the same ART regimen were pretreated with recombinant leptin and then stimulated with anti-CD3/CD28 or PMA/ionomycin to measure Ki67 expression, leptin receptor (LepR) surface expression and cytokine production. In the absence of leptin, Ki67 expression and IL-17A production were significantly higher in CD4+ T cells from obese compared to lean PLWH. However, LepR expression was significantly lower on CD4+ T cells from obese compared to lean PLWH. After leptin treatment, Ki67 expression was significantly increased in CD4+ T cells from obese PLWH compared to the lean participants. Leptin also increased IL-17A production in CD4+ T cells from obese healthy controls. In contrast, leptin decreased IL-17A production in CD4+ T cells from both obese and lean PLWH. Combined, these results demonstrate that obesity is associated with greater CD4+ T cell proliferation among PLWH, and that higher circulating leptin levels in obesity may contribute to improved CD4+ T reconstitution in PLWH initiating ART.
NFAT activating protein with ITAM motif 1 (NFAM1) is an ITAM bearing-transmembrane receptor that has been reported to play a role in B cell signaling and development. We performed expression analysis of NFAM1 using publicly available gene expression data sets and found that NFAM1 expression is significantly induced in intestinal biopsies from Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) patients. At the cellular level, we further observed high expression of NFAM1 in monocytes and neutrophils, and low expression in B and T cells. To explore the role of NFAM1 in multiple immune cells and its potential role in IBD, we generated NFAM1-/- mice. In contrast with previous reports using NFAM1-transgenic mice, NFAM1-/- mice have no obvious defects in immune cell development, or B cell responses. Interestingly, NFAM1-/- monocytes produce reduced levels of TNF-α in response to activation by multiple IBD-relevant stimuli, including CD40L, TLR ligands and MDP. Additional cytokines and chemokines such as IL-6, IL-12, CCL3 and CCL4 are also reduced in CD40L stimulated NFAM1-/- monocytes. Collectively, these findings indicate that NFAM1 promotes monocyte activation, thereby amplifying the response to diverse stimuli. Similarly, we observed that deletion of NFAM1 in human monocytes reduces expression of CD40L-induced CCL4. Lastly, to assess the role of NFAM1 in IBD, we compared development of anti-CD40 induced colitis in NFAM1+/+ and NFAM1-/- mice. We found that although NFAM1 deletion had no impact on development of gut pathology, we did observe a decrease in serum TNF-α, confirming that NFAM1 promotes pro-inflammatory cytokine production in vivo. Taken together, we conclude that NFAM1 functions to amplify cytokine production and should be further evaluated as a therapeutic target for treatment of autoimmune disease.
Mucosal-Associated Invariant T (MAIT) cells have been shown to play protective roles during infection with diverse pathogens through their propensity for rapid innate-like cytokine production and cytotoxicity. Among the potential applications for MAIT cells is to defend against Staphylococcus aureus, a pathogen of serious clinical significance. However, it is unknown how MAIT cell responses to S. aureus are elicited, nor has it been investigated whether MAIT cell cytotoxicity is mobilized against intracellular S. aureus. In this study, we investigate the capacity of human MAIT cells to respond directly to S. aureus. MAIT cells co-cultured with dendritic cells (DCs) infected with S. aureus rapidly upregulate CD69, express IFNγ and Granzyme B and degranulate. DC secretion of IL-12, but not IL-18, was implicated in this immune response, while TCR binding of MR1 is required to commence cytokine production. MAIT cell cytotoxicity resulted in apoptosis of S. aureus-infected cells, and reduced intracellular persistence of S. aureus. These findings implicate these unconventional T cells in important, rapid anti-S. aureus responses that may be of great relevance to the ongoing development of novel anti-S. aureus treatments.
The appearance of the SARS-CoV-2 virus initiated many studies on the effects of the virus on the human body. So far, its negative influence on the functioning of many morphological and physiological units, including the nervous system, has been demonstrated. Consequently, research has been conducted on the changes that SARS-CoV-2 may cause in the cholinergic system. The aim of this study is to review the latest research from the years 2020/2021 regarding disorders in the cholinergic system caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. As a result of the research, it was found that the presence of the COVID-19 virus disrupts the activity of the cholinergic system, for example, causing the development of myasthenia gravis or a change in acetylcholine activity. The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein has a sequence similar to neurotoxins, capable of binding nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). This may be proof that SARS-CoV-2 can bind nAChR. Nicotine and caffeine have similar structures to antiviral drugs, capable of binding angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE 2) epitopes that are recognized by SARS-CoV-2, with the potential to inhibit the formation of the ACE 2/SARS-CoV-2 complex. The blocking is enhanced when nicotine and caffeine are used together with antiviral drugs. This is proof that nAChR agonists can be used along with antiviral drugs in COVID-19 therapy. As a result, it is possible to develop COVID-19 therapies that use these compounds to reduce cytokine production. Another promising therapy is non-invasive stimulation of the vagus nerve, which soothes the body’s cytokine storm. Research on the influence of COVID-19 on the cholinergic system is an area that should continue to be developed as there is a need for further research. It can be firmly stated that COVID-19 causes a dysregulation of the cholinergic system, which leads to a need for further research, because there are many promising therapies that will prevent the SARS-CoV-2 virus from binding to the nicotinic receptor. There is a need for further research, both in vitro and in vivo. It should be noted that in the functioning of the cholinergic system and its connection with the activity of the COVID-19 virus, there might be many promising dependencies and solutions.
Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter that also has an immunomodulatory effect and is involved in multiple sclerosis (MS) pathogenesis. This study aimed to clarify the role of the β2-adrenoreceptor in the norepinephrine-mediated modulation of interleukin-17 (IL-17) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) production, which play a critical pathogenetic role in MS. CD4+ T cells obtained from twenty-five relapsing-remitting MS patients and sixteen healthy subjects were cultured ex vivo with norepinephrine and/or β2-adrenoreceptor antagonist or agonist, followed by a cytokine production analysis using ELISA. Norepinephrine suppressed IL-17 and IFN-γ production by the anti-CD3/anti-CD28-microbead-stimulated CD4+ T cells in both groups. Blockade of the β2-adrenoreceptor with the specific antagonist ICI 118.551 enhanced norepinephrine-mediated IL-17 suppression but decreased its inhibitory effect on IFN-γ production in MS patients. In contrast, the β2-adrenoreceptor agonist formoterol did not influence norepinephrine’s inhibitory effect on cytokine production in both groups. The blockade of the β2-adrenoreceptor, even in the absence of exogenous norepinephrine, suppressed IL-17 production but did not influence IFN-γ production in both groups. Conversely, β2-adrenoreceptor activation by formoterol decreased IFN-γ production and did not affect IL-17 production in both groups. These data illustrate the inhibitory effect of norepinephrine on IL-17 and IFN-γ production by CD4+ T cells in MS. The inhibitory effect of norepinephrine on IFN-γ production by CD4+ T cells in MS could be mediated via β2-adrenoreceptor activation.
Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality from hepatic complications. C1q/TNF-related protein 3 (CTRP3) is an adiponectin paralog and, in male mice, increased levels of circulating CTRP3 prevents ALD. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to replicate the observed hepatoprotective effect of elevated circulating CTRP3 levels in female mice. Twelve-week-old female wildtype and CTRP3 overexpressing transgenic mice were fed the Lieber-DeCarli alcohol-containing liquid diet (5% vol/vol) for 6 weeks. Unlike the previous study with male mice, CTRP3 overexpression provided no attenuation to alcohol-induced hepatic lipid accumulation, cytokine production, or overall mortality. In conclusion, there appears to be a clear sex-specific effect of CTRP3 in response to alcohol consumption that needs to be explored further.
Lactic acid produced by tumors has been shown to overcome immune surveillance, by suppressing the activation and function of T cells in the tumor microenvironment. The strategies employed to impair tumor cell glycolysis could improve immunosurveillance and tumor growth regulation. Dichloroacetate (DCA) limits the tumor-derived lactic acid by altering the cancer cell metabolism.
In this study, the effects of lactic acid on the activation and function of T cells, were analyzed by assessing T cell proliferation, cytokine production and the cellular redox state of T cells. We examined the redox system in T cells by analyzing the intracellular level of reactive oxygen species (ROS), superoxide and glutathione and gene expression of some proteins that have a role in the redox system. Then we co-cultured DCA-treated tumor cells with T cells to examine the effect of reduced tumor-derived lactic acid on proliferative response, cytokine secretion and viability of T cells.
We found that lactic acid could dampen T cell function through suppression of T cell proliferation and cytokine production as well as restrain the redox system of T cells by decreasing the production of oxidant and antioxidant molecules. DCA decreased the concentration of tumor lactic acid by manipulating glucose metabolism in tumor cells. This led to increases in T cell proliferation and cytokine production and also rescued the T cells from apoptosis.
Taken together, our results suggest accumulation of lactic acid in the tumor microenvironment restricts T cell responses and could prevent the success of T cell therapy. DCA supports anti-tumor responses of T cells by metabolic reprogramming of tumor cells.
A disparate array of plasma/serum markers provide
evidence for chronic inflammation in human prediabetes, a condition that is
most closely replicated by standard mouse models of obesity and meta-flammation.
These remain largely non-actionable, and contrast with our rich understanding
of inflammation in human type 2 diabetes. New data show that<b> </b>inflammatory
profiles produced by CD4<sup>+</sup> T cells define human prediabetes as a unique
inflammatory state. Regulatory T cells
(Tregs) control mitochondrial function and cytokine production by CD4<sup>+</sup>
effector T cells (Teff) in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes by supporting Th17
or Th1 cytokine production, respectively. These data suggest that Treg control
of Teff metabolism controls inflammation differentially in prediabetes compared
to type 2 diabetes. Queries of genes that impact mitochondrial function and/or
pathways leading to transcription of lipid metabolism genes identified the
fatty acid importer CD36 as highly expressed in Tregs but not Teff from
prediabetes subjects. Pharmacological blockade of CD36 in Tregs from
prediabetes subjects decreased Teff production of the Th17 cytokines that
differentiate overall prediabetes inflammation. We conclude Tregs control CD4<sup>+</sup>
T cell cytokine profiles through mechanisms determined, at least in part, by host
metabolic status. Furthermore, Treg CD36 uniquely promotes Th17 cytokine
production by Teff in prediabetes.