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Frederick, MD, United States

Steinhagen F.,Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research | Steinhagen F.,University of Bonn | Mcfarland A.P.,Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research | Mcfarland A.P.,University of Washington | And 6 more authors.
European Journal of Immunology | Year: 2013

Synthetic oligonucleotides (ODN) expressing CpG motifs mimic the ability of bacterial DNA to trigger the innate immune system via TLR9. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) make a critical contribution to the ensuing immune response. This work examines the induction of antiviral (IFN-β) and pro-inflammatory (IL-6) cytokines by CpG-stimulated human pDCs and the human CAL-1 pDC cell line. Results show that interferon regulatory factor-5 (IRF-5) and NF-κB p50 are key co-regulators of IFN-β and IL-6 expression following TLR9-mediated activation of human pDCs. The nuclear accumulation of IRF-1 was also observed, but this was a late event that was dependant on type 1 IFN and unrelated to the initiation of gene expression. IRF-8 was identified as a novel negative regulator of gene activation in CpG-stimulated pDCs. As variants of IRF-5 and IRF-8 were recently found to correlate with susceptibility to certain autoimmune diseases, these findings are relevant to our understanding of the pharmacologic effects of "K" ODN and the role of TLR9 ligation under physiologic, pathologic, and therapeutic conditions. © 2013.

Watkins S.K.,Laboratory of Molecular Immunoregulation | Zhu Z.,Laboratory of Molecular Immunoregulation | Riboldi E.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Riboldi E.,University of Piemonte Orientale | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Investigation | Year: 2011

The limited success of cancer immunotherapy is often attributed to the loss of antigen-specific T cell function in situ. However, the mechanism for this loss of function is unknown. In this study, we describe a population of tumor-associated DCs (TADCs) in both human and mouse prostate cancer that tolerizes and induces suppressive activity in tumor-specific T cells. In tumors from human prostate cancer patients and transgenic adenocarcinoma of the mouse prostate (TRAMP) mice, TADCs expressed elevated levels of FOXO3 and Foxo3, respectively, which correlated with expression of suppressive genes that negatively regulate T cell function. Silencing FOXO3 and Foxo3 with siRNAs abrogated the ability of human and mouse TADCs, respectively, to tolerize and induce suppressive activity by T cells. Silencing Foxo3 in mouse TADCs was also associated with diminished expression of tolerogenic mediators, such as indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase, arginase, and TGF-β, and upregulated expression of costimulatory molecules and proinflammatory cytokines. Importantly, transfer of tumor-specific CD4 + Th cells into TRAMP mice abrogated TADC tolerogenicity, which was associated with reduced Foxo3 expression. These findings demonstrate that FOXO3 may play a critical role in mediating TADC-induced immune suppression. Moreover, our results identify what we believe to be a novel target for preventing CTL tolerance and enhancing immune responses to cancer by modulating the immunosuppressive activity of TADCs found in the tumor microenvironment.

Aiello F.B.,Laboratory of Molecular Immunoregulation | Aiello F.B.,University of Chieti Pescara | Aiello F.B.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Graciotti L.,Marche Polytechnic University | And 4 more authors.
Cytokine and Growth Factor Reviews | Year: 2013

Stem cells are able to generate both cells that differentiate and cells that remain undifferentiated but potentially have the same developmental program. The prolonged duration of the protective immune memory for infectious diseases such as polio, small pox, and measles, suggested that memory T cells may have stem cell properties. Understanding the molecular basis for the life-long persistence of memory T cells may be useful to project targeted therapies for immune deficiencies and infectious diseases and to formulate vaccines. In the last decade evidence from different laboratories shows that memory T cells may share self-renewal pathways with bone marrow hematopoietic stem cells. In stem cells the intrinsic self-renewal activity, which depends on gene expression, is known to be modulated by extrinsic signals from the environment that may be tissue specific. These extrinsic signals for stemness of memory T cells include cytokines such as IL-7 and IL-15 and there are other cytokine signals for maintaining the cytokine signature (TH1, TH2, etc.) of memory T cells. Intrinsic and extrinsic pathways that might be common to bone marrow hematopoietic stem cells and memory T lymphocytes are discussed and related to self-renewal functions. © 2013.

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