In spite of a very robust body of literature and definitive data demonstrating the importance of the programmed cell death receptor-1 (PD-1) pathway in T cells and their function, the data on NK cell PD-1 expression have been highly variable and, particularly in the case of mouse NK cells, scarce. In this issue of the JCI, Hsu et al. present data demonstrating PD-1 expression on mouse NK cells only within tumors and show that PD-1 blockade elicits an antitumor NK cell–mediated response. This study indicates that, given the complexity of both the biology and study of NK cells, further work is needed to more clearly determine the role of the PD-1/PD-1 ligand (PD-L1) on NK cells.
Cordelia Dunai, William J. Murphy
About one-third of the US population will develop herpes zoster (HZ, commonly known as shingles) over a lifetime, while two-thirds will not. It is not clear exactly why certain people are susceptible to HZ; however, we may be coming closer to an answer. In this issue of the JCI, a study by Levin et al. provides important details concerning pathogenesis of and protection from HZ. The authors characterized differences in the immunologic responses induced by two HZ vaccines, the live attenuated zoster vaccine (ZV) and the more recently developed adjuvanted varicella-zoster virus (VZV) glycoprotein E (gE) subunit herpes zoster vaccine (HZ/su), in vaccine-naive subjects and those previously vaccinated with HZ. The observed differences in responses paralleled the observed clinical protection of the two zoster vaccines, with HZ/su being superior to HZ. Together, these results seem to explain immunologically why the new subunit vaccine outperforms the live vaccine. These differences may also provide clues as to why HZ develops in the first place.
Anne A. Gershon
Stephen T. Oh
Over 40 years ago, Loeb and colleagues proposed that errors in DNA replication produce a mutator phenotype that is involved in generating the multiple mutations required for tumor development. In this issue of the JCI, Li, Castrillon, and colleagues describe a mouse model containing a single base change in the gene encoding replicative DNA polymerase ε (POLE) that mimics the “ultramutator” phenotype recently reported in many human tumors. Their seminal accomplishment validates Loeb’s hypothesis and the use of mutational signatures to understand the origins and potentially the treatment of human tumors, and it offers an exciting opportunity to further explore the mechanisms responsible for normal DNA replication fidelity and their perturbations.
Thomas A. Kunkel
T cell–dependent germinal center (GC) reactions are the pinnacle of adaptive immune responses, with profound effects on human health and disease. It has long been known that ligands of an innate immune pattern recognition receptor subgroup, TLRs, amplify antibody responses; however, the mechanisms regulating this phenomenon are poorly understood. In this issue of the JCI, Raso et al. demonstrate that αvβ3 integrins regulate the magnitude and speed of TLR-augmented GC reactions, limiting both short- and long-term humoral immunity. This phenomenon is dependent on a noncanonical form of the autophagy pathway and Rubicon, a noncanonical autophagy-associated protein. B cell–specific deletion of the gene encoding αvβ3 integrin enhanced GC responses in mice and conferred a dramatic survival advantage compared with controls after influenza infection, confirming that B cell integrin manipulation represents a potential and exciting target for augmenting or inhibiting GC reactions.
Jeremy S. Leventhal
Although mutant forms of the gene encoding surfactant protein C (SFTPC) have been linked to interstitial lung disease, the mechanisms by which the most common of these mutations, SFTPCI73T, results in lung fibrosis are uncertain. In this issue of the JCI, Nureki et al. developed a knockin mouse model and showed that SFTPCI73T is expressed by alveolar type II (AT2) epithelial cells in the lungs. These mice developed an age-related fibrotic phenotype when the mutant allele was expressed at low levels and acute lung inflammation/injury followed by lung fibrosis when mutant SFTPCI73T expression was enhanced. This work provides important information regarding the impact of AT2 cell dysfunction on fibrotic remodeling in the lungs.
Timothy S. Blackwell
Under normal conditions, there is a paucity of neutrophils within the intestinal mucosa; however, these innate immune cells rapidly infiltrate the mucosa in response to infection and are critical for pathogen control. Unfortunately, these cells can cause extensive damage to the intestine if the initial inflammatory influx is not resolved. Factors that promote resolution of inflammation are of great interest, as they have therapeutic potential for limiting uncontrolled inflammatory damage. In this issue of the JCI, Szabady et al. demonstrate that the multidrug resistance transporter P-glycoprotein (P-gp) secretes endocannabinoids into the intestinal lumen that counteract the proinflammatory actions of the eicosanoid hepoxilin A3, which is secreted into the lumen by the efflux pump MRP2 and serves as a potent neutrophil chemoattractant. Moreover, the antiinflammatory actions of P-gp–secreted endocannabinoids were mediated by peripheral cannabinoid receptor CB2 on neutrophils. Together, the results of this study identify an important mechanism by which endogenous endocannabinoids facilitate the resolution of inflammation; this mechanism has potential to be therapeutically exploited.
Andrew S. Neish
RBCs are the most abundant circulating cells in humans and typically comprise 35% to 45% of the blood volume (hematocrit). Anemia is associated with an increase in bleeding, and epidemiological studies have shown an association between an elevated hematocrit and thrombosis. RBCs may contribute to hemostasis and thrombosis via mechanisms that include platelet margination leading to an increase in the near-wall platelet concentration, blood viscosity, thrombin generation, and platelet activation. In this issue of the JCI, Klatt et al. report that binding of the Fas ligand FasL on the surface of platelets to its cognate receptor FasR on the surface of RBCs increases thrombin generation in vitro and thrombosis in mouse models. This represents a new mechanism by which RBCs contribute to thrombosis.
The introduction of a whole-cell vaccine against Bordetella pertussis, the causative agent of whooping cough, dramatically reduced disease incidence. Unfortunately, the whole-cell formulation also induces severe reactions in some infants. Because of this, acellular vaccines have been developed, but they are used exclusively in high-income countries. However, the acellular vaccines do not provide long-term protection, and despite the use of routine boosters, the disease is on the rise. In this issue of the JCI, da Silva Antunes and colleagues demonstrate that the whole-cell vaccines promote long-term polarization toward Th1 and Th17 responses, while the acellular vaccines induce Th2 polarization. Moreover, this polarization is long term, as the response to acellular boosters is dependent on the initial vaccine given in infancy. The authors speculate that Tregs may be induced by initial acellular vaccine administration. The results of this study have important implications for the development of pertussis vaccination strategies that would induce Th1 and Th17 polarization.
Stanley A. Plotkin
The mechanisms responsible for the development of the impaired awareness of hypoglycemia often seen in insulin-treated patients with diabetes remain uncertain, but cerebral adaptations to recurrent hypoglycemia are frequently hypothesized. In this issue of the JCI, Ma et al. demonstrate that neuropeptide Y (NPY) secretion from adrenal chromaffin cells persists during exposure to recurrent hypoglycemia and activation of the sympathetic nerves at the same time that epinephrine secretion is reduced. This results in the inhibition of tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme for catecholamine synthesis. These observations suggest that a peripheral mechanism downstream from the brain contributes to the development of impaired awareness of hypoglycemia.
Elizabeth R. Seaquist
No posts were found with this tag.