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      Limited Costimulatory Molecule Expression on Renal Tubular Epithelial Cells Impairs T Cell Activation

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          Background/Aims: MHC molecules are upregulated on renal proximal tubular epithelial cells (TEC) under inflammatory conditions. This allows TEC to act as ‘non-professional’ antigen-presenting cells (APC). The aim of this study was to compare the costimulatory molecule expression pattern and the T cell activation capacity between renal TEC and professional APC, e.g. bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BM-DC). Methods: Flow cytometry analysis was used to study the costimulatory molecule surface expression on TEC or BM-DC. Ovalbumin-specific CD4 and CD8 T cell activation induced by TEC or BM-DC was compared, in terms of T cell proliferation, cytokine production and CTL activity. Results: TEC did not constitutively express significant amounts of costimulatory molecules. Stimulation of TEC with IFN-β or IFN-γ, but not other tested cytokines, enhanced the expression of PD-L1, ICOS-L and CD40. Compared to BM-DC, TEC only induced suboptimal T cell activation. Blockade of PD-L1 on both APC strongly increased T cell activity. Furthermore, high PD-L1-expressing TEC were more resistant to the cytolysis by CTL. Conclusion: The low costimulatory molecule expression may explain the suboptimal T cell activation by TEC. The IFN-upregulated negative costimulatory molecule PD-L1 on TEC may play a protective role to limit tissue injury during renal parenchymal immune responses.

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          Most cited references 16

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          T cell receptor antagonist peptides induce positive selection.

          We have used organ culture of fetal thymic lobes from T cell receptor (TCR) transgenic beta 2M(-/-) mice to study the role of peptides in positive selection. The TCR used was from a CD8+ T cell specific for ovalbumin 257-264 in the context of Kb. Several peptides with the ability to induce positive selection were identified. These peptide-selected thymocytes have the same phenotype as mature CD8+ T cells and can respond to antigen. Those peptides with the ability to induce positive selection were all variants of the antigenic peptide and were identified as TCR antagonist peptides for this receptor. One peptide tested, E1, induced positive selection on the beta 2M(-/-) background but negative selection on the beta 2M(+/-) background. These results show that the process of positive selection is exquisitely peptide specific and sensitive to extremely low ligand density and support the notion that low efficacy ligands mediate positive selection.
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            Toll-like receptor engagement converts T-cell autoreactivity into overt autoimmune disease.

            Autoimmune diabetes mellitus in humans is characterized by immunological destruction of pancreatic beta islet cells. We investigated the circumstances under which CD8(+) T cells specific for pancreatic beta-islet antigens induce disease in mice expressing lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) glycoprotein (GP) as a transgene under the control of the rat insulin promoter. In contrast to infection with LCMV, immunization with LCMV-GP derived peptide did not induce autoimmune diabetes despite large numbers of autoreactive cytotoxic T cells. Only subsequent treatment with Toll-like receptor ligands elicited overt autoimmune disease. This difference was critically regulated by the peripheral target organ itself, which upregulated class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC) in response to systemic Toll-like receptor-triggered interferon-alpha production. These data identify the 'inflammatory status' of the target organ as a separate and limiting factor determining the development of autoimmune disease.
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              Stimulating PD-1-negative signals concurrent with blocking CD154 co-stimulation induces long-term islet allograft survival.

              A balanced network of positive and negative T-cell co-stimulatory signals is important in regulating T-cell activation. Blocking CD28, CD154 (CD40L), or both co-stimulatory molecules has been efficacious in preventing acute allograft rejection in certain but not all transplantation models. In the present study, the authors tested the hypothesis that stimulating programmed death 1 (PD-1)-triggered negative signals concurrent with blocking CD154 co-stimulatory signals would facilitate islet allograft tolerance. The authors used a dimeric PD-L1 immunoglobulin (Ig) fusion protein to stimulate the inhibitory receptor PD-1, and a monoclonal antibody to block CD154. The effects of PD-1 engagement and CD154 blockade on lymphocyte activation were determined by cell proliferation, flow cytometry, and a model of islet transplantation. PD-L1Ig inhibited the proliferation of both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells stimulated by anti-CD3. The inhibitory effect of PD-L1Ig was enhanced by concurrent blockade of CD154 co-stimulatory signals, as demonstrated by T-cell proliferation and expression of cell surface activation markers. PD-L1Ig and anti-CD154 also synergistically blocked the activation and maturation of antigen-presenting cells. In an islet transplantation model, treatment of recipient C57BL/6 (H-2b) mice with PD-L1Ig and anti-CD154 induced long-term survival of DBA/2 (H-2d) islet allografts, whereas treatment with each reagent alone failed to prevent islet allograft rejection. These results suggest that engaging the negative receptor PD-1 exhibits critical immunoregulatory effects in the allograft response, and blocking positive co-stimulatory molecules with active delivery of inhibitory signals may represent a novel therapeutic strategy in transplantation.

                Author and article information

                Kidney Blood Press Res
                Kidney and Blood Pressure Research
                S. Karger AG
                November 2007
                31 October 2007
                : 30
                : 6
                : 421-429
                aInstitute of Physiology and Zurich Center for Integrative Human Physiology, University of Zürich-Irchel, and bClinic for Nephrology, University Hospital Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
                110578 Kidney Blood Press Res 2007;30:421–429
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 6, References: 30, Pages: 9
                Original Paper


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