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Concept: Natural killer cell

257

Elderly people have increased susceptibility to infections and cancer that are associated with decline in cellular immune function. The objective of this work was to determine the efficacy of Bifidobacterium (B.) animalis ssp. lactis HN019 (HN019) supplementation on cellular immune activity in healthy elderly subjects. We conducted a systematic review of Medline and Embase for controlled trials that reported polymorphonuclear (PMN) cell phagocytic capacity or natural killer (NK) cell tumoricidal activity following B. lactis HN019 consumption in the elderly. A random effects meta-analysis was performed with standardized mean difference (SMD) and 95% confidence interval between probiotic and control groups for each outcome. A total of four clinical trials were included in this analysis. B. lactis HN019 supplementation was highly efficacious in increasing PMN phagocytic capacity with an SMD of 0.74 (95% confidence interval: 0.38 to 1.11, p < 0.001) and moderately efficacious in increasing NK cell tumoricidal activity with an SMD of 0.43 (95% confidence interval: 0.08 to 0.78, p = 0.02). The main limitations of this research were the small number of included studies, short-term follow-up, and assessment of a single probiotic strain. In conclusion, daily consumption of B. lactis HN019 enhances NK cell and PMN function in healthy elderly adults.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Epidemiology, Virus, Randomized controlled trial, Effectiveness, Natural killer cell, Bifidobacterium animalis

172

BACKGROUND: The use of natalizumab in multiple sclerosis (MS) may favour JC virus reactivation; this phenomenon is usually asymptomatic but can, albeit rarely, evolve into frank progressive multifocal leucoencephalopathy (PML). METHODS: JCV-specific CD8+ T lymphocytes were evaluated by flow cytometry over a 24-month period in 24 natalizumab-treated MS patients in whom JCV DNA was or was not detected in blood using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction; all these cases were asymptomatic. RESULTS: Perforin- and grazymes-containing VP-1-specific CD8+ T lymphocytes were reduced whereas CD107a-expressing cells were increased in JCV positive patients, suggesting an active degranulation of these cells; naive CD8+ T lymphocytes were also decreased whereas memory cells were increased in patients in whom JCV reactivation was observed. CONCLUSION: The presence of a CD8+ T lymphocyte-mediated effector immune response offers a greater insight into reactivation of JCV and its clinical sequelae, and may help the monitoring of patients on natalizumab therapy.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, DNA, Polymerase chain reaction, Natural killer cell, Multiple sclerosis, Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, JC virus

171

Interferon-beta (IFNB) therapy for multiple sclerosis can lead to the induction of neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) against IFNB. Various methods are used for detection and quantification of NAbs.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Cytokine, Natural killer cell, Interferon, Multiple sclerosis, Interferon beta-1a, Interferon beta-1b

169

The immune responses of natural killer cells are regulated, in part, by killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR). The 16 closely-related genes in the KIR gene system have been diversified by gene duplication and unequal crossing over, thereby generating haplotypes with variation in gene copy number. Allelic variation also contributes to diversity within the complex. In this study, we estimated allele-level haplotype frequencies and pairwise linkage disequilibrium statistics for 14 KIR loci. The typing utilized multiple methodologies by four laboratories to provide at least 2x coverage for each allele. The computational methods generated maximum-likelihood estimates of allele-level haplotypes. Our results indicate the most extensive allele diversity was observed for the KIR framework genes and for the genes localized to the telomeric region of the KIR A haplotype. Particular alleles of the stimulatory loci appear to be nearly fixed on specific, common haplotypes while many of the less frequent alleles of the inhibitory loci appeared on multiple haplotypes, some with common haplotype structures. Haplotype structures cA01 and/or tA01 predominate in this cohort, as has been observed in most populations worldwide. Linkage disequilibrium is high within the centromeric and telomeric haplotype regions but not between them and is particularly strong between centromeric gene pairs KIR2DL5∼KIR2DS3S5 and KIR2DS3S5∼KIR2DL1, and telomeric KIR3DL1∼KIR2DS4. Although 93% of the individuals have unique pairs of full-length allelic haplotypes, large genomic blocks sharing specific sets of alleles are seen in the most frequent haplotypes. These high-resolution, high-quality haplotypes extend our basic knowledge of the KIR gene system and may be used to support clinical studies beyond single gene analysis.

Concepts: Immune system, DNA, Gene, Genetics, Evolution, Virus, Natural killer cell, Haplotype

168

Two populations of human natural killer (NK) cells can be identified in peripheral blood. The majority are CD3(-)CD56(dim) cells while the minority exhibits a CD3(-)CD56(bright) phenotype. In vitro evidence indicates that CD56(bright) cells are precursors of CD56(dim) cells, but in vivo evidence is lacking. Here, we studied NK cells from a patient that suffered from a melanoma and opportunistic fungal infection during childhood. The patient exhibited a stable phenotype characterized by a reduction in the frequency of peripheral blood CD3(-)CD56(dim) NK cells, accompanied by an overt increase in the frequency and absolute number of CD3(-)CD56(bright) cells. These NK cells exhibited similar expression of perforin, CD57 and CD158, the major activating receptors CD16, NKp46, NKG2D, DNAM-1, and 2B4, as well as the inhibitory receptor CD94/NKG2A, on both CD56(bright) and CD56(dim) NK cells as healthy controls. Also, both NK cell subpopulations produced IFN-γ upon stimulation with cytokines, and CD3(-)CD56(dim) NK cells degranulated in response to cytokines or K562 cells. However, upon stimulation with cytokines, a substantial fraction of CD56(dim) cells failed to up-regulate CD57 and CD158, showed a reduction in the percentage of CD16(+) cells, and CD56(bright) cells did not down-regulate CD62L, suggesting that CD56(dim) cells could not acquire a terminally differentiated phenotype and that CD56(bright) cells exhibit a maturation defect that might result in a potential altered migration pattern. These observations, support the notion that NK cells of this patient display a maturation/activation defect that precludes the generation of mature NK cells at a normal rate accompanied by CD56(dim) NK cells that cannot completely acquire a terminally differentiated phenotype. Thus, our results provide evidence that support the concept that in vivo CD56(bright) NK cells differentiate into CD56(dim) NK cells, and contribute to further understand human NK cell ontogeny.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Natural killer cell, Interferon, Interleukin, Cytotoxicity, Perforin, Granzyme

167

Natural killer (NK) cells represent a key component of the innate immune system against cancer. Nevertheless, malignant diseases arise in immunocompetent individuals despite tumor immunosurveillance. Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is characterized by CD30+ tumor cells and a massive infiltration of immune effector cells in affected lymph nodes. The latter obviously fail to eliminate the malignant cell population. Here, we tested for functional NK cell defects in HL and suggest an improvement of NK function by therapeutic means. We demonstrate that peripheral NK cells (pNK) from patients with HL fail to eliminate HL cell lines in ex vivo killing assays. Impaired NK cell function correlated with elevated serum levels of soluble ligands for NK cell receptors NKp30 (BAG6/BAT3) and NKG2D (MICA), factors known to constrict NK cell function. In vitro, NK cell cytotoxicity could be restored by an NKG2D/NKp30-independent bispecific antibody construct (CD30xCD16A). It artificially links the tumor receptor CD30 with the cytotoxicity NK cell receptor CD16A. Moreover, we observed that NK cells from patients treated with this construct were generally activated and displayed a restored cytotoxicity against HL target cells. These data suggest that reversible suppression of NK cell activity contributes to immune evasion in HL and can be antagonized therapeutically.Molecular Therapy (2013); doi:10.1038/mt.2013.14.

Concepts: Immune system, Lymphocyte, Antibody, Protein, Cancer, Innate immune system, Natural killer cell, Cytotoxicity

124

Asbestos exposure causes malignant tumors such as lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma. Based on our hypothesis in which continuous exposure to asbestos of immune cells cause reduction of antitumor immunity, the decrease of natural killer cell killing activity with reduction of NKp46 activating receptor expression, inhibition of cytotoxic T cell clonal expansion, reduced CXCR3 chemokine receptor expression and production of interferon-γ production in CD4+ T cells were reported using cell line models, freshly isolated peripheral blood immune cells from health donors as well as asbestos exposed patients such as pleural plaque and mesothelioma. In addition to these findings, regulatory T cells (Treg) showed enhanced function through cell-cell contact and increased secretion of typical soluble factors, interleukin (IL)-10 and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β, in a cell line model using the MT-2 human polyclonal T cells and its sublines exposed continuously to asbestos fibers. Since these sublines showed a remarkable reduction of FoxO1 transcription factor, which regulates various cell cycle regulators in asbestos-exposed sublines, the cell cycle progression in these sublines was examined and compared with that of the original MT-2 cells. Results showed that cyclin D1 expression was markedly enhanced, and various cyclin-dependent kinase-inhibitors were reduced with increased S phases in the sublines. Furthermore, the increase of cyclin D1 expression was regulated by FoxO1. The overall findings indicate that antitumor immunity in asbestos-exposed individuals may be reduced in Treg through changes in the function and volume of Treg.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Cancer, Signal transduction, Natural killer cell, Cell cycle, Mesothelioma, Asbestos

120

Spondyloarthritis encompasses a group of common inflammatory diseases thought to be driven by IL-17A-secreting type-17 lymphocytes. Here we show increased numbers of GM-CSF-producing CD4 and CD8 lymphocytes in the blood and joints of patients with spondyloarthritis, and increased numbers of IL-17A(+)GM-CSF(+) double-producing CD4, CD8, γδ and NK cells. GM-CSF production in CD4 T cells occurs both independently and in combination with classical Th1 and Th17 cytokines. Type 3 innate lymphoid cells producing predominantly GM-CSF are expanded in synovial tissues from patients with spondyloarthritis. GM-CSF(+)CD4(+) cells, isolated using a triple cytokine capture approach, have a specific transcriptional signature. Both GM-CSF(+) and IL-17A(+)GM-CSF(+) double-producing CD4 T cells express increased levels of GPR65, a proton-sensing receptor associated with spondyloarthritis in genome-wide association studies and pathogenicity in murine inflammatory disease models. Silencing GPR65 in primary CD4 T cells reduces GM-CSF production. GM-CSF and GPR65 may thus serve as targets for therapeutic intervention of spondyloarthritis.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, White blood cell, Antibody, Gene expression, Interleukin 1, Natural killer cell, Interleukin

116

To elucidate the roles of human herpesvirus (HHV)-6 primary unexplained infertile women, a prospective randomized study was conducted on a cohort of primary unexplained infertile women and a cohort of control women, with at least one successful pregnancy. HHV-6 DNA was analyzed and the percentage and immune-phenotype of resident endometrial Natural Killer (NK) cells, as the first line of defense towards viral infections, was evaluated in endometrial biopsies. Cytokine levels in uterine flushing samples were analyzed. HHV-6A DNA was found in 43% of endometrial biopsies from primary unexplained infertile women, but not in control women. On the contrary, HHV-6B DNA was absent in endometrial biopsies, but present in PBMCs of both cohorts. Endometrial NK cells presented a different distribution in infertile women with HHV6-A infection compared with infertile women without HHV6-A infection. Notably, we observed a lower percentage of endometrial specific CD56brightCD16- NK cells. We observed an enhanced HHV-6A-specific endometrial NK cell response in HHV-6A positive infertile women, with a marked increase in the number of endometrial NK cells activating towards HHV-6A infected cells. The analysis of uterine flushing samples showed an increase in IL-10 levels and a decrease of IFN-gamma concentrations in infertile women with HHV6-A infection. Our study indicates, for the first time, that HHV-6A infection might be an important factor in female unexplained infertility development, with a possible role in modifying endometrial NK cells immune profile and ability to sustain a successful pregnancy.

Concepts: Immune system, Pregnancy, Bacteria, Virus, Infection, Natural killer cell, Infertility, Cytomegalovirus

96

Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) use polarized secretion to rapidly destroy virally infected and tumor cells. To understand the temporal relationships between key events leading to secretion, we used high-resolution 4D imaging. CTLs approached targets with actin-rich projections at the leading edge, creating an initially actin-enriched contact with rearward-flowing actin. Within 1 min, cortical actin reduced across the synapse, T cell receptors (TCRs) clustered centrally to form the central supramolecular activation cluster (cSMAC), and centrosome polarization began. Granules clustered around the moving centrosome within 2.5 min and reached the synapse after 6 min. TCR-bearing intracellular vesicles were delivered to the cSMAC as the centrosome docked. We found that the centrosome and granules were delivered to an area of membrane with reduced cortical actin density and phospholipid PIP2. These data resolve the temporal order of events during synapse maturation in 4D and reveal a critical role for actin depletion in regulating secretion.

Concepts: White blood cell, Cell, Signal transduction, Cell membrane, Cell biology, Natural killer cell, Cytotoxic T cell, Thymus