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Journal of Experimental Medicine, The

Monocytes are a heterogeneous population of phagocytic cells that are generated in the bone marrow and released into the bloodstream. There...

Allergic reactions arise when people become sensitized to otherwise harmless environmental antigens. In this issue, Shade et al. reveal that the immunoglobulin (IgE) antibodies that mediate...

Macrophages are essential components of the inflammatory microenvironment of tumors. Conventional treatment modalities (chemotherapy and radiotherapy), targeted drugs, antiangiogenic agents, and immunotherapy, including checkpoint blockade, all profoundly influence or depend on the function of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs). Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can have dual influences on TAMs in that a misdirected macrophage-orchestrated tissue repair response can result in chemoresistance, but in other circumstances, TAMs are essential for effective therapy. A better understanding of the interaction of anticancer therapies with innate immunity, and TAMs in particular, may pave the way to better patient selection and innovative combinations of conventional approaches with immunotherapy.


Monocytes are recruited from the blood to sites of inflammation, where they contribute to wound healing and tissue repair. There are at least two subsets of monocytes: classical or proinflammatory (CCR2hiCX3CR1low) and nonclassical, patrolling, or alternative (CCR2lowCX3CR1hi) monocytes. Using spinning-disk confocal intravital microscopy and mice with fluorescent reporters for each of these subsets, we were able to track the dynamic spectrum of monocytes that enter a site of sterile hepatic injury in vivo. We observed that the CCR2hiCX3CR1low monocytes were recruited early and persisted for at least 48 h, forming a ringlike structure around the injured area. These monocytes transitioned, in situ, from CCR2hiCx3CR1low to CX3CR1hiCCR2low within the ringlike structure and then entered the injury site. This phenotypic conversion was essential for optimal repair. These results demonstrate a local, cytokine driven reprogramming of classic, proinflammatory monocytes into nonclassical or alternative monocytes to facilitate proper wound-healing.


Immunoglobulin (IgE) antibodies are the primary mediators of allergic diseases, which affect more than 1 in 10 individuals worldwide. IgE specific for innocuous environmental antigens, or allergens, binds and sensitizes tissue-resident mast cells expressing the high-affinity IgE receptor, FcRI. Subsequent allergen exposure cross-links mast cell–bound IgE, resulting in the release of inflammatory mediators and initiation of the allergic cascade. It is well established that precise glycosylation patterns exert profound effects on the biological activity of IgG. However, the contribution of glycosylation to IgE biology is less clear. Here, we demonstrate an absolute requirement for IgE glycosylation in allergic reactions. The obligatory glycan was mapped to a single N-linked oligomannose structure in the constant domain 3 (C3) of IgE, at asparagine-394 (N394) in human IgE and N384 in mouse. Genetic disruption of the site or enzymatic removal of the oligomannose glycan altered IgE secondary structure and abrogated IgE binding to FcRI, rendering IgE incapable of eliciting mast cell degranulation, thereby preventing anaphylaxis. These results underscore an unappreciated and essential requirement of glycosylation in IgE biology.


Neuroinflammation is increasingly recognized as a hallmark of neurodegeneration. Activated central nervous system–resident microglia and infiltrating immune cells contribute to the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons (DNs). However, how the inflammatory process leads to neuron loss and whether blocking this response would be beneficial to disease progression remains largely unknown. CD95 is a mediator of inflammation that has also been proposed as an apoptosis inducer in DNs, but previous studies using ubiquitous deletion of CD95 or CD95L in mouse models of neurodegeneration have generated conflicting results. Here we examine the role of CD95 in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridin (MPTP)–induced neurodegeneration using tissue-specific deletion of CD95 or CD95L. We show that DN death is not mediated by CD95-induced apoptosis because deletion of CD95 in DNs does not influence MPTP-induced neurodegeneration. In contrast, deletion of CD95L in peripheral myeloid cells significantly protects against MPTP neurotoxicity and preserves striatal dopamine levels. Systemic pharmacological inhibition of CD95L dampens the peripheral innate response, reduces the accumulation of infiltrating myeloid cells, and efficiently prevents MPTP-induced DN death. Altogether, this study emphasizes the role of the peripheral innate immune response in neurodegeneration and identifies CD95 as potential pharmacological target for neurodegenerative disease.


An imbalance between remyelinating and demyelinating rates underlies degenerative processes in demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis. An optimal therapeutic strategy would be to stimulate remyelination while limiting demyelination. Although accumulation of myelin debris impairs remyelination, the mechanisms regulating the clearance of such debris by mononuclear phagocytic cells are poorly understood. We demonstrate that after cuprizone intoxication, CCR2-dependent infiltration of mouse bone marrow–derived cells is abundant in demyelinating areas, but that these cells do not impact demyelination. However, in CX3CR1-deficient mice, the clearance of myelin debris by microglia was blocked greatly, affecting the integrity of the axon and myelin sheaths and thus preventing proper remyelination. These results highlight the crucial role played by CX3CR1 in myelin removal and show that there can be no efficient remyelination after a primary demyelinating insult if myelin clearance by microglia is impaired.


Splenic myelopoiesis provides a steady flow of leukocytes to inflamed tissues, and leukocytosis correlates with cardiovascular mortality. Yet regulation of hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) activity in the spleen is incompletely understood. Here, we show that red pulp vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1)+ macrophages are essential to extramedullary myelopoiesis because these macrophages use the adhesion molecule VCAM-1 to retain HSCs in the spleen. Nanoparticle-enabled in vivo RNAi silencing of the receptor for macrophage colony stimulation factor (M-CSFR) blocked splenic macrophage maturation, reduced splenic VCAM-1 expression and compromised splenic HSC retention. Both, depleting macrophages in CD169 iDTR mice or silencing VCAM-1 in macrophages released HSCs from the spleen. When we silenced either VCAM-1 or M-CSFR in mice with myocardial infarction or in ApoE–/– mice with atherosclerosis, nanoparticle-enabled in vivo RNAi mitigated blood leukocytosis, limited inflammation in the ischemic heart, and reduced myeloid cell numbers in atherosclerotic plaques.


Vertebrate immunity has evolved a modular architecture in response to perturbations. Allergic inflammation represents such a module, with signature features of antigen-specific IgE and tissue eosinophilia, although the cellular and molecular circuitry coupling these responses remains unclear. Here, we use genetic and imaging approaches in models of IgE-dependent eosinophilic dermatitis to demonstrate a requisite role for basophils. After antigenic inflammation, basophils initiate transmigration like other granulocytes but, upon activation via their high-affinity IgE receptor, alter their migratory kinetics to persist at the endothelium. Prolonged basophil–endothelial interactions, in part dependent on activation of focal adhesion kinases, promote delivery of basophil-derived IL-4 to the endothelium and subsequent induction of endothelial vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), which is required for eosinophil accumulation. Thus, basophils are gatekeepers that link adaptive immunity with innate effector programs by altering access to tissue sites by activation-induced interactions with the endothelium.


The status of long-term quiescence and dormancy guarantees the integrity of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) during adult homeostasis. However the molecular mechanisms regulating HSC dormancy remain poorly understood. Here we show that cylindromatosis (CYLD), a tumor suppressor gene and negative regulator of NF-B signaling with deubiquitinase activity, is highly expressed in label-retaining dormant HSCs (dHSCs). Moreover, Cre-mediated conditional elimination of the catalytic domain of CYLD induced dHSCs to exit quiescence and abrogated their repopulation and self-renewal potential. This phenotype is dependent on the interactions between CYLD and its substrate TRAF2 (tumor necrosis factor–associated factor 2). HSCs expressing a mutant CYLD with an intact catalytic domain, but unable to bind TRAF2, showed the same HSC phenotype. Unexpectedly, the robust cycling of HSCs lacking functional CYLD–TRAF2 interactions was not elicited by increased NF-B signaling, but instead by increased activation of the p38MAPK pathway. Pharmacological inhibition of p38MAPK rescued the phenotype of CYLD loss, identifying the CYLD–TRAF2–p38MAPK pathway as a novel important regulator of HSC function restricting HSC cycling and promoting dormancy.


Follicular helper T cells (Tfh cells) are required for T cell help to B cells, and BCL6 is the defining transcription factor of Tfh cells. However, the functions of BCL6 in Tfh cells have largely remained unclear. Here we defined the BCL6 cistrome in primary human germinal center Tfh cells to assess mechanisms of BCL6 regulation of CD4 T cells, comparing and contrasting BCL6 function in T and B cells. BCL6 primarily acts as a repressor in Tfh cells, and BCL6 binding was associated with control of Tfh cell migration and repression of alternative cell fates. Interestingly, although some BCL6-bound genes possessed BCL6 DNA–binding motifs, many BCL6-bound loci were instead characterized by the presence of DNA motifs for AP1 or STAT. AP1 complexes are key positive downstream mediators of TCR signaling and external stimuli. We show that BCL6 can directly bind AP1, and BCL6 depends on AP1 for recruitment to BCL6-binding sites with AP1 motifs, suggesting that BCL6 subverts AP1 activity. These findings reveal that BCL6 has broad and multifaceted effects on Tfh biology and provide insight into how this master regulator mediates distinct cell context–dependent phenotypes.


The selenoenzyme glutathione peroxidase 4 (Gpx4) is a major scavenger of phospholipid hydroperoxides. Although Gpx4 represents a key component of the reactive oxygen species-scavenging network, its relevance in the immune system is yet to be defined. Here, we investigated the importance of Gpx4 for physiological T cell responses by using T cell–specific Gpx4-deficient mice. Our results revealed that, despite normal thymic T cell development, CD8+ T cells from TGpx4/Gpx4 mice had an intrinsic defect in maintaining homeostatic balance in the periphery. Moreover, both antigen-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cells lacking Gpx4 failed to expand and to protect from acute lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus and Leishmania major parasite infections, which were rescued with diet supplementation of high dosage of vitamin E. Notably, depletion of the Gpx4 gene in the memory phase of viral infection did not affect T cell recall responses upon secondary infection. Ex vivo, Gpx4-deficient T cells rapidly accumulated membrane lipid peroxides and concomitantly underwent cell death driven by ferroptosis but not necroptosis. These studies unveil an essential role of Gpx4 for T cell immunity.


Mouse B cell precursors from fetal liver and adult bone marrow (BM) generate distinctive B cell progeny when transplanted into immunodeficient recipients, supporting a two-pathway model for B lymphopoiesis, fetal "B-1" and adult "B-2." Recently, Lin28b was shown to be important for the switch between fetal and adult pathways; however, neither the mechanism of Lin28b action nor the importance of B cell antigen receptor (BCR) signaling in this process was addressed. Here, we report key advances in our understanding of the regulation of B-1/B-2 development. First, modulation of Let-7 in fetal pro-B cells is sufficient to alter fetal B-1 development to produce B cells resembling the progeny of adult B-2 development. Second, intact BCR signaling is required for the generation of B1a B cells from Lin28b-transduced BM progenitors, supporting a requirement for ligand-dependent selection, as is the case for normal B1a B cells. Third, the VH repertoire of Lin28b-induced BM B1a B cells differs from that of normal B1a, suggesting persisting differences from fetal progenitors. Finally, we identify the Arid3a transcription factor as a key target of Let-7, whose ectopic expression is sufficient to induce B-1 development in adult pro-B cells and whose silencing by knockdown blocks B-1 development in fetal pro-B cells.


Activation-induced deaminase (AID) initiates mutagenic pathways to diversify the antibody genes during immune responses. The access of AID to the nucleus is limited by CRM1-mediated nuclear export and by an uncharacterized mechanism of cytoplasmic retention. Here, we define a conformational motif in AID that dictates its cytoplasmic retention and demonstrate that the translation elongation factor eukaryotic elongation factor 1 α (eEF1A) is necessary for AID cytoplasmic sequestering. The mechanism is independent of protein synthesis but dependent on a tRNA-free form of eEF1A. Inhibiting eEF1A prevents the interaction with AID, which accumulates in the nucleus and increases class switch recombination as well as chromosomal translocation byproducts. Most AID is associated to unspecified cytoplasmic complexes. We find that the interactions of AID with eEF1A and heat-shock protein 90 kD (HSP90) are inversely correlated. Despite both interactions stabilizing AID, the nature of the AID fractions associated with HSP90 or eEF1A are different, defining two complexes that sequentially produce and store functional AID in the cytoplasm. In addition, nuclear export and cytoplasmic retention cooperate to exclude AID from the nucleus but might not be functionally equivalent. Our results elucidate the molecular basis of AID cytoplasmic retention, define its functional relevance and distinguish it from other mechanisms regulating AID.




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Journal of Experimental Medicine

Insight from (left to right) Amado Quintar, Catherine Hedrick, and Klaus Ley

Insight from Max Crispin