Thursday, July 21, 2016

PD-1 signaling assists regulatory T cells when Foxp3 is down

Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) maintain peripheral tolerance to self. Several molecules expressed by Tregs, such as CTLA-4, play crucial role in maintaining this state of tolerance to self. PD-1 is another such molecule, though its role in Tregs function is less clear.

This study arose from unexpected observation in new gene-modified mice where GFP was inserted in Foxp3 locus (mice carrying the IRES-GFPcre reporter KI at the 3′ untranslated region of the FoxP3 gene, FoxP3-GFPcreKI). When these mice were crossed with PD-1KO mice, it was found that male offspring of such cross showed early death, reminiscence of Foxp3KO mice. This was surprising since PD-1KO mice ordinarily do not show such phenotype.

Further experimentation found that GFP insertion affected Foxp3 stability thus resulted in reduced Foxp3 levels in FoxP3-GFPcreKI mice.

Indeed, FoxP3-GFPcreKI/PD-1KO male mice could be rescued with transfer of WT Tregs irrespective of their PD-1 expression indicating that PD-1 function were dispensable Tregs with normal level of Foxp3.

Finally, the authors showed that absence of PD-1 could further destabilize "Foxp3-low" Tregs function (conversion into ex-Foxp3 Tregs) resulting in lethal autoimmunity.

In summary, this study revealed that PD-1 could contribute to Tregs function in situations that affects Foxp3 stability.

David Usharauli

No comments:

Post a Comment