Life Sciences Research for Lifelong Health


The Babraham Institute Publications database contains details of all publications resulting from our research groups and scientific services.

Individual publications are linked to the website of the journal - subscriptions may be required to view the full text. The database also includes Open Access publications, which can be identified by the icons found on search results.

Open Access symbolWe are working to provide Open Access to as many publications as possible.

'Green' Open Access publications are marked by the PDF icon. Click on the PDF icon, to access a pre-print PDF version of the publication.

​'Gold' Open Access publications have the gold open padlock icon. You can read the full version of these papers on the publishing journal’s website without a subscription.

Title / Authors / Details Open Access Download

Cell cycle RNA regulons coordinating early lymphocyte development.
Galloway A, Turner M

Lymphocytes undergo dynamic changes in gene expression as they develop from progenitor cells lacking antigen receptors, to mature cells that are prepared to mount immune responses. While transcription factors have established roles in lymphocyte development, they act in concert with post-transcriptional and post-translational regulators to determine the proteome. Furthermore, the post-transcriptional regulation of RNA regulons consisting of mRNAs whose protein products act cooperatively allows RNA binding proteins to exert their effects at multiple points in a pathway. Here, we review recent evidence demonstrating the importance of RNA binding proteins that control the cell cycle in lymphocyte development and discuss the implications for tumorigenesis. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.

+ View Abstract

Wiley interdisciplinary reviews. RNA, , 1757-7012, , 2017

PMID: 28231639

Obesity-Induced Metabolic Stress Leads to Biased Effector Memory CD4(+) T Cell Differentiation via PI3K p110δ-Akt-Mediated Signals.
Mauro C, Smith J, Cucchi D, Coe D, Fu H, Bonacina F, Baragetti A, Cermenati G, Caruso D, Mitro N, Catapano AL, Ammirati E, Longhi MP, Okkenhaug K, Norata GD, Marelli-Berg FM

Low-grade systemic inflammation associated to obesity leads to cardiovascular complications, caused partly by infiltration of adipose and vascular tissue by effector T cells. The signals leading to T cell differentiation and tissue infiltration during obesity are poorly understood. We tested whether saturated fatty acid-induced metabolic stress affects differentiation and trafficking patterns of CD4(+) T cells. Memory CD4(+) T cells primed in high-fat diet-fed donors preferentially migrated to non-lymphoid, inflammatory sites, independent of the metabolic status of the hosts. This was due to biased CD4(+) T cell differentiation into CD44(hi)-CCR7(lo)-CD62L(lo)-CXCR3(+)-LFA1(+) effector memory-like T cells upon priming in high-fat diet-fed animals. Similar phenotype was observed in obese subjects in a cohort of free-living people. This developmental bias was independent of any crosstalk between CD4(+) T cells and dendritic cells and was mediated via direct exposure of CD4(+) T cells to palmitate, leading to increased activation of a PI3K p110δ-Akt-dependent pathway upon priming.

+ View Abstract

Cell metabolism, , 1932-7420, , 2017

PMID: 28190771

Defective germinal center B-cell response and reduced arthritic pathology in microRNA-29a-deficient mice.
van Nieuwenhuijze A, Dooley J, Humblet-Baron S, Sreenivasan J, Koenders M, Schlenner SM, Linterman M, Liston A

MicroRNA (miR) are short non-coding RNA sequences of 19-24 nucleotides that regulate gene expression by binding to mRNA target sequences. The miR-29 family of miR (miR-29a, b-1, b-2 and c) is a key player in T-cell differentiation and effector function, with deficiency causing thymic involution and a more inflammatory T-cell profile. However, the relative roles of different miR-29 family members in these processes have not been dissected. We studied the immunological role of the individual members of the miR-29 family using mice deficient for miR-29a/b-1 or miR-29b-2/c in homeostasis and during collagen-induced arthritis. We found a definitive hierarchy of immunological function, with the strong phenotype of miR-29a-deficiency in thymic involution and T-cell activation being reduced or absent in miR-29c-deficient mice. Strikingly, despite elevating the Th1 and Th17 responses, loss of miR-29a conferred near-complete protection from collagen-induced arthritis (CIA), with profound defects in B-cell proliferation and antibody production. Our results identify the hierarchical structure of the miR-29 family in T-cell biology, and identify miR-29a in B cells as a potential therapeutic target in arthritis.

+ View Abstract

Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS, , 1420-9071, , 2017

PMID: 28124096

RNA-binding proteins mind the GAPs.
Turner M, Monzón-Casanova E

Nature immunology, 18, 1529-2916, 146-148, 2017

PMID: 28102216

Diet-Derived Short Chain Fatty Acids Stimulate Intestinal Epithelial Cells To Induce Mucosal Tolerogenic Dendritic Cells.
Goverse G, Molenaar R, Macia L, Tan J, Erkelens MN, Konijn T, Knippenberg M, Cook EC, Hanekamp D, Veldhoen M, Hartog A, Roeselers G, Mackay CR, Mebius RE

The gastrointestinal tract is continuously exposed to many environmental factors that influence intestinal epithelial cells and the underlying mucosal immune system. In this article, we demonstrate that dietary fiber and short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) induced the expression of the vitamin A-converting enzyme RALDH1 in intestinal epithelial cells in vivo and in vitro, respectively. Furthermore, our data showed that the expression levels of RALDH1 in small intestinal epithelial cells correlated with the activity of vitamin A-converting enzymes in mesenteric lymph node dendritic cells, along with increased numbers of intestinal regulatory T cells and a higher production of luminal IgA. Moreover, we show that the consumption of dietary fiber can alter the composition of SCFA-producing microbiota and SCFA production in the small intestines. In conclusion, our data illustrate that dietary adjustments affect small intestinal epithelial cells and can be used to modulate the mucosal immune system.

+ View Abstract

Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), , 1550-6606, , 2017

PMID: 28100682

Survival of mature T cells in the periphery is intrinsically dependent on GIMAP1 in mice.
Datta P, Webb LM, Avdo I, Pascall J, Butcher GW

An effective immune system depends upon the survival of mature T cells in the periphery. Members of the GIMAP family of GTPases have been proposed to regulate this homeostasis, supported by the paucity of peripheral T cells in rodents deficient for either GIMAP1 or GIMAP5. It is unclear whether this lack of T cells is a consequence of an ontological defect, causing the thymus to generate and export T cells incapable of surviving in the periphery, or whether (alternatively or additionally) mature T cells intrinsically require GIMAP1 for survival. Using the ER(T2) Cre(+) transgene, we conditionally deleted Gimap1 in C57BL/6 mice and demonstrate that GIMAP1 is intrinsically required for the survival of mature T cells in the periphery. We show that, in contrast to GIMAP5, this requirement is independent of the T cell's activation status. We investigated the nature of the survival defect in GIMAP1-deficient CD4(+) T cells and show that the death occurring after GIMAP1 ablation is accompanied by mitochondrial depolarisation and activation of the extrinsic apoptotic pathway. This study shows that GIMAP1 is critical for maintaining the peripheral T-cell pool in mice and offers a potent target for the treatment of T-cell-mediated diseases. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

+ View Abstract

European journal of immunology, , 1521-4141, , 2016

PMID: 27792288

Shaping Variation in the Human Immune System.
Liston A, Carr EJ, Linterman MA

Immune responses demonstrate a high level of intra-species variation, compensating for the specialization capacity of pathogens. The recent advent of in-depth immune phenotyping projects in large-scale cohorts has allowed a first look into the factors that shape the inter-individual diversity of the human immune system. Genetic approaches have identified genetic diversity as drivers of 20-40% of the variation between the immune systems of individuals. The remaining 60-80% is shaped by intrinsic factors, with age being the predominant factor, as well as by environmental influences, where cohabitation and chronic viral infections were identified as key mediators. We review and integrate the recent in-depth large-scale studies on human immune diversity and its potential impact on health. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

+ View Abstract

Trends in immunology, , 1471-4981, , 2016

PMID: 27693120

Targeting PI3K in Cancer: Impact on Tumor Cells, Their Protective Stroma, Angiogenesis, and Immunotherapy.
Okkenhaug K, Graupera M, Vanhaesebroeck B

The PI3K pathway is hyperactivated in most cancers, yet the capacity of PI3K inhibitors to induce tumor cell death is limited. The efficacy of PI3K inhibition can also derive from interference with the cancer cells' ability to respond to stromal signals, as illustrated by the approved PI3Kδ inhibitor idelalisib in B-cell malignancies. Inhibition of the leukocyte-enriched PI3Kδ or PI3Kγ may unleash antitumor T-cell responses by inhibiting regulatory T cells and immune-suppressive myeloid cells. Moreover, tumor angiogenesis may be targeted by PI3K inhibitors to enhance cancer therapy. Future work should therefore also explore the effects of PI3K inhibitors on the tumor stroma, in addition to their cancer cell-intrinsic impact.

+ View Abstract

Cancer discovery, , 2159-8290, , 2016

PMID: 27655435

Ionic immune suppression within the tumour microenvironment limits T cell effector function.
Eil R, Vodnala SK, Clever D, Klebanoff CA, Sukumar M, Pan JH, Palmer DC, Gros A, Yamamoto TN, Patel SJ, Guittard GC, Yu Z, Carbonaro V, Okkenhaug K, Schrump DS, Linehan WM, Roychoudhuri R, Restifo NP

Tumours progress despite being infiltrated by tumour-specific effector T cells. Tumours contain areas of cellular necrosis, which are associated with poor survival in a variety of cancers. Here, we show that necrosis releases intracellular potassium ions into the extracellular fluid of mouse and human tumours, causing profound suppression of T cell effector function. Elevation of the extracellular potassium concentration ([K(+)]e) impairs T cell receptor (TCR)-driven Akt-mTOR phosphorylation and effector programmes. Potassium-mediated suppression of Akt-mTOR signalling and T cell function is dependent upon the activity of the serine/threonine phosphatase PP2A. Although the suppressive effect mediated by elevated [K(+)]e is independent of changes in plasma membrane potential (Vm), it requires an increase in intracellular potassium ([K(+)]i). Accordingly, augmenting potassium efflux in tumour-specific T cells by overexpressing the potassium channel Kv1.3 lowers [K(+)]i and improves effector functions in vitro and in vivo and enhances tumour clearance and survival in melanoma-bearing mice. These results uncover an ionic checkpoint that blocks T cell function in tumours and identify potential new strategies for cancer immunotherapy.

+ View Abstract

Nature, 537, 1476-4687, 539-543, 2016

PMID: 27626381

PI3Kδ and primary immunodeficiencies.
Lucas CL, Chandra A, Nejentsev S, Condliffe AM, Okkenhaug K

Primary immunodeficiencies are inherited disorders of the immune system, often caused by the mutation of genes required for lymphocyte development and activation. Recently, several studies have identified gain-of-function mutations in the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) genes PIK3CD (which encodes p110δ) and PIK3R1 (which encodes p85α) that cause a combined immunodeficiency syndrome, referred to as activated PI3Kδ syndrome (APDS; also known as p110δ-activating mutation causing senescent T cells, lymphadenopathy and immunodeficiency (PASLI)). Paradoxically, both loss-of-function and gain-of-function mutations that affect these genes lead to immunosuppression, albeit via different mechanisms. Here, we review the roles of PI3Kδ in adaptive immunity, describe the clinical manifestations and mechanisms of disease in APDS and highlight new insights into PI3Kδ gleaned from these patients, as well as implications of these findings for clinical therapy.

+ View Abstract

Nature reviews. Immunology, , 1474-1741, , 2016

PMID: 27616589

The RNA-Binding Proteins Zfp36l1 and Zfp36l2 Enforce the Thymic β-Selection Checkpoint by Limiting DNA Damage Response Signaling and Cell Cycle Progression.
Vogel KU, Bell LS, Galloway A, Ahlfors H, Turner M

The RNA-binding proteins Zfp36l1 and Zfp36l2 act redundantly to enforce the β-selection checkpoint during thymopoiesis, yet their molecular targets remain largely unknown. In this study, we identify these targets on a genome-wide scale in primary mouse thymocytes and show that Zfp36l1/l2 regulate DNA damage response and cell cycle transcripts to ensure proper β-selection. Double-negative 3 thymocytes lacking Zfp36l1/l2 share a gene expression profile with postselected double-negative 3b cells despite the absence of intracellular TCRβ and reduced IL-7 signaling. Our findings show that in addition to controlling the timing of proliferation at β-selection, posttranscriptional control by Zfp36l1/l2 limits DNA damage responses, which are known to promote thymocyte differentiation. Zfp36l1/l2 therefore act as posttranscriptional safeguards against chromosomal instability and replication stress by integrating pre-TCR and IL-7 signaling with DNA damage and cell cycle control.

+ View Abstract

Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), , 1550-6606, , 2016

PMID: 27566829

Oxygen Sensing by T Cells Establishes an Immunologically Tolerant Metastatic Niche.
Clever D, Roychoudhuri R, Constantinides MG, Askenase MH, Sukumar M, Klebanoff CA, Eil RL, Hickman HD, Yu Z, Pan JH, Palmer DC, Phan AT, Goulding J, Gattinoni L, Goldrath AW, Belkaid Y, Restifo NP

Cancer cells must evade immune responses at distant sites to establish metastases. The lung is a frequent site for metastasis. We hypothesized that lung-specific immunoregulatory mechanisms create an immunologically permissive environment for tumor colonization. We found that T-cell-intrinsic expression of the oxygen-sensing prolyl-hydroxylase (PHD) proteins is required to maintain local tolerance against innocuous antigens in the lung but powerfully licenses colonization by circulating tumor cells. PHD proteins limit pulmonary type helper (Th)-1 responses, promote CD4(+)-regulatory T (Treg) cell induction, and restrain CD8(+) T cell effector function. Tumor colonization is accompanied by PHD-protein-dependent induction of pulmonary Treg cells and suppression of IFN-γ-dependent tumor clearance. T-cell-intrinsic deletion or pharmacological inhibition of PHD proteins limits tumor colonization of the lung and improves the efficacy of adoptive cell transfer immunotherapy. Collectively, PHD proteins function in T cells to coordinate distinct immunoregulatory programs within the lung that are permissive to cancer metastasis. PAPERCLIP.

+ View Abstract

Cell, 166, 1097-4172, 1117-1131.e14, 2016

PMID: 27565342

Clinical spectrum and features of activated phosphoinositide 3-kinase δ syndrome: A large patient cohort study.
Coulter TI, Chandra A, Bacon CM, Babar J, Curtis J, Screaton N, Goodlad JR, Farmer G, Steele CL, Leahy TR, Doffinger R, Baxendale H, Bernatoniene J, Edgar JD, Longhurst HJ, Ehl S, Speckmann C, Grimbacher B, Sediva A, Milota T, Faust SN, Williams AP, Hayman G, Kucuk ZY, Hague R, French P, Brooker R, Forsyth P, Herriot R, Cancrini C, Palma P, Ariganello P, Conlon N, Feighery C, Gavin PJ, Jones A, Imai K, Ibrahim MA, Markelj G, Abinun M, Rieux-Laucat F, Latour S, Pellier I, Fischer A, Touzot F, Casanova JL, Durandy A, Burns SO, Savic S, Kumararatne DS, Moshous D, Kracker S, Vanhaesebroeck B, Okkenhaug K, Picard C, Nejentsev S, Condliffe AM, Cant AJ

Activated phosphoinositide 3-kinase δ syndrome (APDS) is a recently described combined immunodeficiency resulting from gain-of-function mutations in PIK3CD, the gene encoding the catalytic subunit of phosphoinositide 3-kinase δ (PI3Kδ).

+ View Abstract

The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology, , 1097-6825, , 2016

PMID: 27555459

Open Access

Identification of novel regulators of developmental hematopoiesis using endoglin regulatory elements as molecular probes.
Nasrallah R, Fast EM, Solaimani P, Knezevic K, Eliades A, Patel R, Thambyrajah R, Unnikrishnan A, Thoms J, Beck D, Vink CS, Smith A, Wong J, Shepherd M, Kent D, Roychoudhuri R, Paul F, Klippert J, Hammes A, Willnow T, Göttgens B, Dzierzak E, Zon LI, Lacaud G, Kouskoff V, Pimanda JE

Enhancers are the primary determinants of cell identity and specific promoter/enhancer combinations of Endoglin (ENG) have been shown to target blood and endothelium in the embryo. Here, we generated a series of embryonic stem cell lines, each targeted with reporter constructs driven by specific promoter/enhancer combinations of ENG, to evaluate their discriminative potential and value as molecular probes of the corresponding transcriptome. The Eng promoter (P) in combination with the -8/+7/+9kb enhancers, targeted cells in FLK1 mesoderm that were enriched for blast colony forming potential, whereas the P/-8kb enhancer targeted TIE2+/c-KIT+/CD41- endothelial cells that were enriched for hematopoietic potential. These fractions were isolated using reporter expression and their transcriptomes profiled by RNA-seq. There was high concordance between our signatures and those from embryos with defects at corresponding stages of hematopoiesis. Of the six genes that were up-regulated in both hemogenic mesoderm and hemogenic endothelial fractions targeted by the reporters, LRP2, a multiligand receptor, was the only gene that had not previously been associated with hematopoiesis. We show that LRP2 is indeed involved in definitive hematopoiesis and by doing so validate the use of reporter gene coupled enhancers as probes to gain insights into transcriptional changes that facilitate cell fate transitions.

+ View Abstract

Blood, , 1528-0020, , 2016

PMID: 27554085

The RNA-binding protein TTP is a global post-transcriptional regulator of feedback control in inflammation.
Tiedje C, Diaz-Muñoz MD, Trulley P, Ahlfors H, Laaß K, Blackshear PJ, Turner M, Gaestel M

RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) facilitate post-transcriptional control of eukaryotic gene expression at multiple levels. The RBP tristetraprolin (TTP/Zfp36) is a signal-induced phosphorylated anti-inflammatory protein guiding unstable mRNAs of pro-inflammatory proteins for degradation and preventing translation. Using iCLIP, we have identified numerous mRNA targets bound by wild-type TTP and by a non-MK2-phosphorylatable TTP mutant (TTP-AA) in 1 h LPS-stimulated macrophages and correlated their interaction with TTP to changes at the level of mRNA abundance and translation in a transcriptome-wide manner. The close similarity of the transcriptomes of TTP-deficient and TTP-expressing macrophages upon short LPS stimulation suggested an effective inactivation of TTP by MK2, whereas retained RNA-binding capacity of TTP-AA to 3'UTRs caused profound changes in the transcriptome and translatome, altered NF-κB-activation and induced cell death. Increased TTP binding to the 3'UTR of feedback inhibitor mRNAs, such as Ier3, Dusp1 or Tnfaip3, in the absence of MK2-dependent TTP neutralization resulted in a strong reduction of their protein synthesis contributing to the deregulation of the NF-κB-signaling pathway. Taken together, our study uncovers a role of TTP as a suppressor of feedback inhibitors of inflammation and highlights the importance of fine-tuned TTP activity-regulation by MK2 in order to control the pro-inflammatory response.

+ View Abstract

Nucleic acids research, , 1362-4962, , 2016

PMID: 27220464

Open Access

Tbet or Continued RORγt Expression Is Not Required for Th17-Associated Immunopathology.
Brucklacher-Waldert V, Ferreira C, Innocentin S, Kamdar S, Withers DR, Kullberg MC, Veldhoen M

The discovery of Th17 cell plasticity, in which CD4(+) IL-17-producing Th17 cells give rise to IL-17/IFN-γ double-producing cells and Th1-like IFNγ(+) ex-Th17 lymphocytes, has raised questions regarding which of these cell types contribute to immunopathology during inflammatory diseases. In this study, we show using Helicobacter hepaticus-induced intestinal inflammation that IL-17A(Cre)- or Rag1(Cre)-mediated deletion of Tbx21 has no effect on the generation of IL-17/IFN-γ double-producing cells, but leads to a marked absence of Th1-like IFNγ(+) ex-Th17 cells. Despite the lack of Th1-like ex-Th17 cells, the degree of H. hepaticus-triggered intestinal inflammation in mice in which Tbx21 was excised in IL-17-producing or Rag1-expressing cells is indistinguishable from that observed in control mice. In stark contrast, using experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, we show that IL-17A(Cre)-mediated deletion of Tbx21 prevents the conversion of Th17 cells to IL-17A/IFN-γ double-producing cells as well as Th1-like IFN-γ(+) ex-Th17 cells. However, IL-17A(Cre)-mediated deletion of Tbx21 has only limited effects on disease course in this model and is not compensated by Ag-specific Th1 cells. IL-17A(Cre)-mediated deletion of Rorc reveals that RORγt is essential for the maintenance of the Th17 cell lineage, but not immunopathology during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. These results show that neither the single Th17 subset, nor its progeny, is solely responsible for immunopathology or autoimmunity.

+ View Abstract

Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), , 1550-6606, , 2016

PMID: 27183623

Open Access

BACH2 regulates CD8(+) T cell differentiation by controlling access of AP-1 factors to enhancers.
Roychoudhuri R, Clever D, Li P, Wakabayashi Y, Quinn KM, Klebanoff CA, Ji Y, Sukumar M, Eil RL, Yu Z, Spolski R, Palmer DC, Pan JH, Patel SJ, Macallan DC, Fabozzi G, Shih HY, Kanno Y, Muto A, Zhu J, Gattinoni L, O'Shea JJ, Okkenhaug K, Igarashi K, Leonard WJ, Restifo NP

T cell antigen receptor (TCR) signaling drives distinct responses depending on the differentiation state and context of CD8(+) T cells. We hypothesized that access of signal-dependent transcription factors (TFs) to enhancers is dynamically regulated to shape transcriptional responses to TCR signaling. We found that the TF BACH2 restrains terminal differentiation to enable generation of long-lived memory cells and protective immunity after viral infection. BACH2 was recruited to enhancers, where it limited expression of TCR-driven genes by attenuating the availability of activator protein-1 (AP-1) sites to Jun family signal-dependent TFs. In naive cells, this prevented TCR-driven induction of genes associated with terminal differentiation. Upon effector differentiation, reduced expression of BACH2 and its phosphorylation enabled unrestrained induction of TCR-driven effector programs.

+ View Abstract

Nature immunology, , 1529-2916, , 2016

PMID: 27158840

RNA-binding proteins ZFP36L1 and ZFP36L2 promote cell quiescence.
Galloway A, Saveliev A, Łukasiak S, Hodson DJ, Bolland D, Balmanno K, Ahlfors H, Monzón-Casanova E, Mannurita SC, Bell LS, Andrews S, Díaz-Muñoz MD, Cook SJ, Corcoran A, Turner M

Progression through the stages of lymphocyte development requires coordination of the cell cycle. Such coordination ensures genomic integrity while cells somatically rearrange their antigen receptor genes [in a process called variable-diversity-joining (VDJ) recombination] and, upon successful rearrangement, expands the pools of progenitor lymphocytes. Here we show that in developing B lymphocytes, the RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) ZFP36L1 and ZFP36L2 are critical for maintaining quiescence before precursor B cell receptor (pre-BCR) expression and for reestablishing quiescence after pre-BCR-induced expansion. These RBPs suppress an evolutionarily conserved posttranscriptional regulon consisting of messenger RNAs whose protein products cooperatively promote transition into the S phase of the cell cycle. This mechanism promotes VDJ recombination and effective selection of cells expressing immunoglobulin-μ at the pre-BCR checkpoint.

+ View Abstract

Science (New York, N.Y.), 352, 1095-9203, 453-9, 2016

PMID: 27102483

Effector γδ T Cell Differentiation Relies on Master but Not Auxiliary Th Cell Transcription Factors.
Barros-Martins J, Schmolka N, Fontinha D, Pires de Miranda M, Simas JP, Brok I, Ferreira C, Veldhoen M, Silva-Santos B, Serre K

γδ T lymphocytes are programmed into distinct IFN-γ-producing CD27(+) (γδ27(+)) and IL-17-producing CD27(-) (γδ27(-)) subsets that play key roles in protective or pathogenic immune responses. Although the signature cytokines are shared with their αβ Th1 (for γδ27(+)) and Th17 (for γδ27(-)) cell counterparts, we dissect in this study similarities and differences in the transcriptional requirements of murine effector γδ27(+), γδ27(-)CCR6(-), and γδ27(-)CCR6(+) γδ T cell subsets and αβ T cells. We found they share dependence on the master transcription factors T-bet and RORγt for IFN-γ and IL-17 production, respectively. However, Eomes is fully dispensable for IFN-γ production by γδ T cells. Furthermore, the Th17 cell auxiliary transcription factors RORα and BATF are not required for IL-17 production by γδ27(-) cell subsets. We also show that γδ27(-) (but not γδ27(+)) cells become polyfunctional upon IL-1β plus IL-23 stimulation, cosecreting IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-22, GM-CSF, and IFN-γ. Collectively, our in vitro and in vivo data firmly establish the molecular segregation between γδ27(+) and γδ27(-) T cell subsets and provide novel insight on the nonoverlapping transcriptional networks that control the differentiation of effector γδ versus αβ T cell subsets.

+ View Abstract

Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), , 1550-6606, , 2016

PMID: 26994218

Can follicular helper T cells be targeted to improve vaccine efficacy?
Linterman MA, Hill DL

The success of most vaccines relies on the generation of antibodies to provide protection against subsequent infection; this in turn depends on a robust germinal centre (GC) response that culminates in the production of long-lived antibody-secreting plasma cells. The size and quality of the GC response are directed by a specialised subset of CD4 (+) T cells: T follicular helper (Tfh) cells. Tfh cells provide growth and differentiation signals to GC B cells and mediate positive selection of high-affinity B cell clones in the GC, thereby determining which B cells exit the GC as plasma cells and memory B cells. Because of their central role in the production of long-lasting humoral immunity, Tfh cells represent an interesting target for rational vaccine design.

+ View Abstract

F1000Research, 5, 2046-1402, , 2016

PMID: 26989476

Open Access

Follicular Helper T Cells.
Vinuesa CG, Linterman MA, Yu D, MacLennan IC

Although T cell help for B cells was described several decades ago, it was the identification of CXCR5 expression by B follicular helper T (Tfh) cells and the subsequent discovery of their dependence on BCL6, that led to the recognition of Tfh cells as an independent helper subset and accelerated the pace of discovery. More than 20 transcription factors, together with RNAbinding proteins and microRNAs, control the expression of chemotactic receptors and molecules important for the function and homeostasis of Tfh cells. Tfh cells prime B cells to initiate extrafollicular and germinal center antibody responses and are crucial for affinity maturation and maintenance of humoral memory. In addition to the roles that Tfh cells have in antimicrobial defense, cancer, and as HIV reservoirs, regulation of these cells is critical to prevent autoimmunity. The realization that follicular T cells are heterogeneous, comprising helper and regulatory subsets, has raised questions regarding a possible division of labor in germinal center B cell selection and elimination. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Immunology Volume 34 is May 20, 2016. Please see for revised estimates.

+ View Abstract

Annual review of immunology, , 1545-3278, , 2016

PMID: 26907215

Transient inhibition of ROR-γt therapeutically limits intestinal inflammation by reducing TH17 cells and preserving group 3 innate lymphoid cells.
Withers DR, Hepworth MR, Wang X, Mackley EC, Halford EE, Dutton EE, Marriott CL, Brucklacher-Waldert V, Veldhoen M, Kelsen J, Baldassano RN, Sonnenberg GF

RAR-related orphan receptor-γt (ROR-γt) directs differentiation of proinflammatory T helper 17 (TH17) cells and is a potential therapeutic target in chronic autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. However, ROR-γt-dependent group 3 innate lymphoid cells ILC3s provide essential immunity and tissue protection in the intestine, suggesting that targeting ROR-γt could also result in impaired host defense after infection or enhanced tissue damage. Here, we demonstrate that transient chemical inhibition of ROR-γt in mice selectively reduces cytokine production from TH17 but not ILCs in the context of intestinal infection with Citrobacter rodentium, resulting in preserved innate immunity. Temporal deletion of Rorc (encoding ROR-γt) in mature ILCs also did not impair cytokine response in the steady state or during infection. Finally, pharmacologic inhibition of ROR-γt provided therapeutic benefit in mouse models of intestinal inflammation and reduced the frequency of TH17 cells but not ILCs isolated from primary intestinal samples of individuals with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Collectively, these results reveal differential requirements for ROR-γt in the maintenance of TH17 cell and ILC3 responses and suggest that transient inhibition of ROR-γt is a safe and effective therapeutic approach during intestinal inflammation.

+ View Abstract

Nature medicine, , 1546-170X, , 2016

PMID: 26878233

The cellular composition of the human immune system is shaped by age and cohabitation.
Carr EJ, Dooley J, Garcia-Perez JE, Lagou V, Lee JC, Wouters C, Meyts I, Goris A, Boeckxstaens G, Linterman MA, Liston A

Detailed population-level description of the human immune system has recently become achievable. We used a 'systems-level' approach to establish a resource of cellular immune profiles of 670 healthy individuals. We report a high level of interindividual variation, with low longitudinal variation, at the level of cellular subset composition of the immune system. Despite the profound effects of antigen exposure on individual antigen-specific clones, the cellular subset structure proved highly elastic, with transient vaccination-induced changes followed by a return to the individual's unique baseline. Notably, the largest influence on immunological variation identified was cohabitation, with 50% less immunological variation between individuals who share an environment (as parents) than between people in the wider population. These results identify local environmental conditions as a key factor in shaping the human immune system.

+ View Abstract

Nature immunology, , 1529-2916, , 2016

PMID: 26878114

Follicular regulatory T cells can be specific for the immunizing antigen and derive from naive T cells.
Aloulou M, Carr EJ, Gador M, Bignon A, Liblau RS, Fazilleau N, Linterman MA

T follicular regulatory (Tfr) cells are a subset of Foxp3(+) regulatory T (Treg) cells that form in response to immunization or infection, which localize to the germinal centre where they control the magnitude of the response. Despite an increased interest in the role of Tfr cells in humoral immunity, many fundamental aspects of their biology remain unknown, including whether they recognize self- or foreign antigen. Here we show that Tfr cells can be specific for the immunizing antigen, irrespective of whether it is a self- or foreign antigen. We show that, in addition to developing from thymic derived Treg cells, Tfr cells can also arise from Foxp3(-) precursors in a PD-L1-dependent manner, if the adjuvant used is one that supports T-cell plasticity. These findings have important implications for Tfr cell biology and for improving vaccine efficacy by formulating vaccines that modify the Tfr:Tfh cell ratio.

+ View Abstract

Nature communications, 7, 2041-1723, 10579, 2016

PMID: 26818004

Open Access

Inhibition of Phosphoinositide 3-Kinase p110delta Does Not Affect T Cell Driven Development of Type 1 Diabetes Despite Significant Effects on Cytokine Production.
Barbera Betancourt A, Emery JL, Recino A, Wong FS, Okkenhaug K, Wallberg M

Type 1 diabetes is caused by the destruction of insulin producing beta cells by the immune system. The p110δ isoform of PI3K is expressed primarily in cells of haematopoietic origin and the catalytic activity of p110δ is important for the activation of these cells. Targeting of this pathway offers an opportunity to reduce immune cell activity without unwanted side effects. We have explored the effects of a specific p110δ isoform inhibitor, IC87114, on diabetogenic T cells both in vitro and in vivo, and find that although pharmacological inhibition of p110δ has a considerable impact on the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, it does not delay the onset of diabetes after adoptive transfer of diabetogenic cells. Further, we demonstrate that combination treatment with CTLA4-Ig does not improve the efficacy of treatment, but instead attenuates the protective effects seen with CTLA4-Ig treatment alone. Our results suggest that decreased IL-10 production by Foxp3+ CD4+ T cells in the presence of IC87114 negates individual anti-inflammatory effects of IC8114 and CTLA4-Ig.

+ View Abstract

PloS one, 11, 1932-6203, e0146516, 2016

PMID: 26783747

Open Access