Interferon lambda-1 (IFN-lambda1/IL-29) modulaties the Th1/Th2 response.

Jordan WJ, Eskdale J, Sriniva S,. Boniotto, M. Rodia, D. Kellner, G. Gallagher.

Genes and Immunity. 2007 March 15; [Epub ahead of print]

Interferon lambda-1 (IFN-lambda1/IL-29) is a member of the Type-III interferon family, which contains three ligands: IFN-lambda1, 2 and 3. These three ligands use the same unique heterodimeric receptor composed of CRF2-12 (IFN-lambda-R1/IL-28Ralpha) and CRF2-4 (IL10-R-beta) chains. Like their close relatives, the Type-I interferons, IFN-lambda1, 2 and 3, promote the phosphorylation of STAT1 and STAT2, induce the ISRE3 complex, elevate OAS and MxA expression and exhibit antiviral activity in vitro. Their use of the IL10-R-beta chain and their ability to phosphorylate STAT3, STAT4 and STAT5 suggested that they may also exhibit immunomodulatory activity; their antiviral action led us to hypothesize that this activity might be directed toward the Th1/Th2 system. Here, we have demonstrated that IFN-lambda1 altered the activity of Th cells in three separate experimental systems: (i) mitogen stimulation, (ii) mixed-lymphocyte reaction (MLR) and (iii) stimulation of naive T cells by monocyte-derived dendritic cells (mDC). In Con-A stimulation assays, the inclusion of IFN-lambda1 consistently led to markedly diminished levels of secreted interleukin (IL-13) with occasional coincident, modest elevation of secreted IFN-gamma. IL-13 secretion was 100-fold more sensitive to IFN-lambda1 than was IFN-gamma secretion. These observations were also made in the allogeneic two-way MLR. IFN-lambda1 was able to alter cytokine-mediated Th biasing and when naive T cells were exposed to allogeneic mDC that had been matured in the presence of IFN-lambda1, secreted IL-13 was again markedly and consistently reduced, whereas secreted IFN-gamma was largely unaltered. These functions were independent of IL-10. Our data support a hitherto unsuspected role for IFN-lambda1 in modulating the development of Th1 and Th2 cells, with an apparent emphasis on the diminution of IL-13 secretion

 

Altered expression and endocytic function of CD205 in human dendritic cells, and detection of a CD205-DCL-1 fusion protein upon dendritic cell maturation.

Butler M, Morel AS, Jordan WJ, Eren E, Hue S, Shrimpton RE, Ritter MA.

Immunology. 2007 Mar;120(3): 362-71.

CD205 (DEC-205) is a member of the macrophage mannose receptor family of C-type lectins. These molecules are known to mediate a wide variety of biological functions including the capture and internalization of ligands for subsequent processing and presentation by dendritic cells. Although its ligands await identification, the endocytic properties of CD205 make it an ideal target for those wishing to design vaccines and targeted immunotherapies. We present a detailed analysis of CD205 expression, distribution and endocytosis in human monocyte-derived dendritic cells undergoing lipopolysaccharide-induced maturation. Unlike other members of the macrophage mannose receptor family, CD205 was up-regulated upon dendritic cell maturation. This increase was a result of de novo synthesis as well as a redistribution of molecules from endocytic compartments to the cell surface. Furthermore, the endocytic capacity of CD205 was abrogated and small amounts of the recently identified CD205-DCL-1 fusion protein were detected in mature DC. Our results suggest that CD205 has two distinct functions -- one as an endocytic receptor on immature dendritic cells and a second as a non-endocytic molecule on mature dendritic cells -- and further highlight its potential as an immuno-modulatory target for vaccine and immunotherapy development.

 

Modulation of the human cytokine response by Interferon Lambda-1 (IL-29).

W. J. Jordan, J. Eskdale, M. Boniotto, M. Rodia, D. Kellner, and G. Gallagher.

Genes and Immunity. 2007 Jan;8(1):13-20.

The interferon lambda family (IFN-lambda1/2/3) is a newly described group of cytokines that are related to both the type-1 interferons and IL-10 family members. These novel cytokines are induced during viral infection and, like type-1 interferons, display significant anti-viral activity. In order to understand their function in more depth, we have examined the ability of IFN-lambda1/IL-29 to regulate cytokine production by human immune cells. Whole peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) exposed to IFN-lambda1 specifically upregulated IL-6, -8 and -10 but there were no visible effects on TNF or IL-1. This response was produced in a dose-dependant fashion and was inhibited by IL-10. Examination of purified cell populations isolated from PBMC demonstrated that monocytes, rather than lymphocytes, were the major IFN-lambda1-responsive cellular subset, producing IL-6, -8 and -10 in response to IFN-lambda1. Monocyte responses induced by low-level LPS stimulation were also synergistically enhanced by the presence of IFN-lambda1. Human macrophages were also shown to react to IFN-lambda1 similarly to monocytes, by producing the cytokines IL-6, -8 and -10. In conclusion, we have shown that IFN-lambda1, a cytokine produced in response to viral infection, activates both monocytes and macrophages producing a restricted panel of cytokines and may therefore be important in activating innate immune responses at the site of viral infection.

 

Human Interleukin-19: Structure, Function and Disease Associations.

G. Gallagher, J. Eskdale, W. Jordan, M. Boniotto, M. Rodia, D. Kellner, E. Witte, R. Sabat, K. Wolk.

Anti-Inflammatory & Anti-Allergy Agents in Medicinal Chemistry, 2006 5: 233-242,

Interleukin(IL) -19 is a member of the recently described IL-10 family of cytokines. Based on the genomic localization of its gene, its structure, conserved amino acids, cellular sources and receptor, IL-19 forms a subfamily with IL- 20 and IL-24. The IL-19-encoding gene comprises seven exons and is located on chromosome 1. Secreted IL-19 is composed of 159 amino acids that form an α-helical structure. IL-19 is produced by activated monocytes, and to a lesser extent, by B cells. As known so far, IL-19 functions through a receptor complex composed of IL-20R1 and IL-20R2, which is also utilized by IL-20 and IL-24. High levels of both receptor chains are present in several stromal tissues including the skin, lungs, and tissues from the reproductive organs. However, no expression is found in any immune cell population. Nonetheless, all effects of IL-19 described so far concern immune cells. Such conflicting data may be due to the existence of an additional (so far undiscovered) receptor complex for IL-19, or to the ability of the known IL-19 receptor to mediate its effects when present on the cell surface at a very low density. IL-19 has been shown to enhance the production of Th2 cytokines in T cells. Furthermore, it induced IL-10 expression in monocytes. Apart from the implied role for IL-19 in atopic and allergic responses and disorders, it also seems to be involved in the pathogenesis of the Th1-type skin disease psoriasis. IL-19 therefore represents an exciting new cytokine with immunoregulatory functions.

 

Human -Defensin 2 Induces a Vigorous Cytokine Response in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells.

Michele Boniotto*,  William J Jordan*, Joyce Eskdale, Alessandro Tossi, Nikolinka Antcheva, Sergio Crovella, Nancy D Connell, Grant Gallagher (*denotes both authors contributed equally to this paper)

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2006 Apr ;50:1433-41

beta-Defensins are a family of small cationic peptides involved in the innate response to microbial infection. Although their role in microbial killing is well established, the mechanisms through which this occurs remain largely undefined. Here, using protein array technology, we describe a role for human beta-defensins in the induction of an inflammatory cytokine response by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Human beta-defensins 1, 2, and 3 were examined for induction of an array of cytokines and chemokines. Some cytokines, such as interleukin 8 (IL-8) and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1, were up-regulated by all three defensins, while others, such as IL-6 and IL-10, were induced more selectively. It was notable that each defensin induced a unique pattern of cytokines. This report documents, for the first time, an analysis of the composite cytokine response of human PBMCs to beta-defensins. The induction or up-regulation of a number of cytokines involved in the adaptive immune response suggests a possible role for these defensins in linking innate and acquired immunity.

 

Interferon-alpha2a is sufficient for promoting dendritic cell immunogenicity.

A Tamir, W J Jordan, M Ritter, N Habib, R I Lechler, G R Foster, G Lombardi

Clin Exp Immunol. 2005 Dec ;142:471-80

Summary Type I interferons (IFNs) are widely used therapeutically. IFN-alpha2a in particular is used as an antiviral agent, but its immunomodulatory properties are poorly understood. Dendritic cells (DCs) are the only antigen-presenting cells able to prime naive T cells and therefore play a crucial role in initiating the adaptive phase of the immune response. We studied the effects of IFN-alpha2a on DC maturation and its role in determining Th1/Th2 equilibrium. We found that IFN-alpha2a induced phenotypic maturation of DCs and increased their allostimulatory capacity. When dendritic cells were stimulated simultaneously by CD40 ligation and IFN-alpha2a, the production of interleukin (IL)-10 and IL-12 was increased. In contrast, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation in the presence of IFN-alpha2a mainly induced IL-10 release. The production of IFN-gamma and IL-5 by the responder naive T cells was also amplified in response to IFN-alpha2a-treated DCs. Furthermore, IL-12 production by IFN-alpha2a-treated DCs was enhanced further in the presence of anti-IL-10 antibody. Different results were obtained when DCs were treated simultaneously with IFN-alpha2a and other maturation factors, in particular LPS, and then stimulated by CD40 ligation 36 h later. Under these circumstances, IFN-alpha2a did not modify the DC phenotype, and the production of IL-10/IL-12 and IFN-gamma/IL-5 by DCs and by DC-stimulated naive T cells, respectively, was inhibited compared to the effects on DCs treated with maturation factors alone. Altogether, this work suggests that IFN-alpha2a in isolation is sufficient to promote DC activation, however, other concomitant events, such as exposure to LPS during a bacterial infection, can inhibit its effects. These results clarify some of the in vivo findings obtained with IFN-alpha2a and have direct implications for the design of IFN-alpha-based vaccines for immunotherapy.

 

Creation of tolerogenic human dendritic cells via intracellular CTLA4: a novel strategy with potential in clinical immunosuppression.

Peng H Tan, John B Yates, Shao-An Xue, Cliburn Chan, William J Jordan, Jennifer E Harper, Martin P Watson, Rong Dong, Mary A Ritter, Robert I Lechler, Giovanna Lombardi, Andrew J T George

Blood. 2005 Nov 1;106:2936-43

Activation of T lymphocytes requires the recognition of peptide-major histocompatibility complexes (MHCs) and costimulatory signals provided by antigen-presenting cells (APCs). It has been shown that T-cell activation without costimulation can lead to anergy. In this study, we developed a novel strategy to inhibit expression of B7 molecules (CD80/86) by transfecting APCs with a gene construct encoding a modified cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA4) molecule (CTLA4-KDEL) that is targeted to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). APCs expressing this construct failed to express CD80/86 on their surface, were unable to stimulate allogeneic and peptide-specific T-cell responses, and induced antigen-specific anergy of the responding T cells. Cells expressing CTLA4-KDEL do not up-regulate the indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase enzyme, unlike cells treated with soluble CTLA4-immunoglobin (Ig). This gene-based strategy to knock out surface receptors is an attractive alternative to using immature dendritic cells for preventing transplant rejection and treating of autoimmune diseases.

 

A non-conservative, coding single-nucleotide polymorphism in the N-terminal region of lactoferrin is associated with aggressive periodontitis in an African-American, but not a Caucasian population.

W J Jordan, J Eskdale, G P Lennon, R Pestoff, L Wu, D H Fine, G Gallagher

Genes Immun. 2005 Oct ;6:632-5

Lactoferrin is an antimicrobial protein which plays an important role in regulating bacteria that are associated with aggressive periodontitis. Lactoferrin kills directly (via its strongly cationic N-terminal region) and indirectly, through sequestering the iron that bacteria require for growth. As aggressive periodontitis has a strong heritable component, we hypothesized that genetic variation within the lactoferrin gene may play a role in susceptibility to this condition. We have identified and examined a novel, functional, single-point A/G nucleotide mutation causing a threonine/alanine substitution at position 11 (T11A) of the secreted lactoferrin protein. In a pilot case-controlled study of aggressive periodontitis, analysis of 46 African-American patients and 78 controls showed that patients were twice as likely to express the G nucleotide (alanine) allele over controls (60.3 vs 30.4%; P=0.0007, odds ratio=2.564, 95% CI=1.475-4.459). A Caucasian population of 77 patients and 131 controls showed no such association (P=0.5201, odds ratio=0.862, 95% CI=0.548-1.356). The data presented provide a new insight into the genetic susceptibility to aggressive periodontitis.

 

Toll-like receptor mRNA expression patterns in human dendritic cells and monocytes.

I Kokkinopoulos, W J Jordan, M A Ritter

Mol Immunol. 2005 May ;42:957-68

The innate immune system recognises a wide spectrum of pathogens without a need for prior exposure. The main cells responsible are monocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells (DC) and neutrophils phagocytose microbial pathogens triggering a cytokine network resulting in the development of inflammatory and specific immune responses. Findings in the Toll-like receptor (TLR) family, initially discovered in Drosophila, further elucidated these processes. Toll-like receptors induce activation of an innate immune response and at present ten TLRs have been identified, named TLRs 1-10. In addition to the ignition of the innate immune response, evidence implicates the TLR family in a spectrum of systemic disorders following bacterial infections including sepsis and multiple organ failure, and can be detrimental, leading to tissue injury. In this project, our main goal was to investigate the effects of a TLR4 ligand, lipolysaccharide (LPS) in human DC and monocytes. Our hypothesis is that different professional APCs, express different mRNA TLR transcripts. Our findings indicate that TLR expression patterns change in relation to the pathogen involved and in the case of DC, and the maturation stage the latter are upon challenging. Our results and interpretation showed significant alteration of transcript expression patterns upon LPS challenge in all cell subsets, with DC subsets expressing different TLR mRNA patterns as they go through different maturation stages.

 

Human interleukin-19 and its receptor: a potential role in the induction of Th2 responses.

Grant Gallagher, Joyce Eskdale, William Jordan, Jon Peat, John Campbell, Michele Boniotto, Greig P Lennon, Harold Dickensheets, Raymond P Donnelly

Int Immunopharmacol. 2004 May ;4:615-26

Interleukin-19 (IL-19) is a newly discovered member of the IL-10 family of ligands whose function is presently undefined. We recently described its cloning and initial characterization and in so doing, noted that the induction of IL-19 by LPS in human monocytes was down-regulated by interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and up-regulated by IL-4. This preliminary observation led us to speculate that IL-19 may play a role in the Th1/Th2 system and we examined this hypothesis further. Our results suggested that IL-19 is able to influence the maturation of human T-cells. CD4+ T-cells resulting from SEB stimulation in the presence of IL-19 contained a higher proportion of IL-4 producing cells than those developing in the absence of IL-19. This observation was complimented by the observation that fewer IFN-gamma cells accrued in the presence of IL-19, thereby suggesting that IL-19 altered the balance of Th1/Th2 cells in favour of Th2. Furthermore, in whole PBMC cultures, IL-19 up-regulated IL-4 and down-regulated IFNgamma in a dose-dependent manner. These results are presented here in review format, in the context of an overall discussion of IL-19 and its receptor.

 

Novel hairpin-shaped primer assay to study the association of the -44 single-nucleotide polymorphism of the DEFB1 gene with early-onset periodontal disease.

Michele Boniotto, Manzour Hernando Hazbn, William James Jordan, Greig Patrick Lennon, Joyce Eskdale, David Alland, Grant Gallagher

Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 2004 Jul ;11:766-9

A powerful, cost-effective new method for studying single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) is described. This method is based on the use of hairpin-shaped primers (HP), which give a sensitive and specific PCR amplification of each specific allele, without the use of costly fluorophore-labeled probes and any post-PCR manipulation. The amplification is monitored in real-time using SYBR Green I dye and takes only 2 h to yield results. The HP assay has a simple design and utilizes a conventional real-time PCR apparatus. The -44 C-->G transversion in the DEFB1 gene (which encodes human beta-defensin 1) has been previously associated with Candida carriage in oral epithelia. In this study, we analyzed the association between early-onset periodontal disease (EOP) and the -44 SNP. We used an HP assay to study the distribution of the -44 SNP in 264 human DNAs obtained from two cohorts of EOP patients and healthy controls from different ethnic backgrounds. The results indicate that the -44 SNP has a similar distribution between EOP and healthy patients, suggesting that it is not associated with the disease.

 

Human IL-19 regulates immunity through auto-induction of IL-19 and production of IL-10.

William Jordan, Joyce Eskdale, Michele Boniotto, Greig P Lennon, Jon Peat, John D M Campbell, Grant Gallagher

Eur J Immunol. 2005 May ;35:1576-82

IL-19 is a novel, recently identified member of the IL-10 family of cytokines. We identified IL-10 as a cytokine that was strongly induced in IL-19-stimulated PBMC. IL-19-induced IL-10 secretion was dose-dependent and could be detected in culture supernatants after 3 h of stimulation. Furthermore, quantitative RT-PCR analysis demonstrated that IL-19 stimulation increased the level of IL-10 mRNA present within cells, suggesting that IL-19 is a transcriptional activator of IL-10. IL-19 was also able to induce its own expression, with IL-10 potently down-regulating this IL-19 'auto-induction'. LPS induction of IL-19 expression was also regulated by IL-10, demonstrating that IL-10 is likely an important regulator of human IL-19 induction. Maturation of dendritic cells from human PBMC in the presence of IL-19 resulted in an increase in IL-10 levels within these cells, whereas IL-12 was not affected. These results advance our understanding of the function of this novel cytokine and its regulation within the human immune system, in addition to providing a new insight into the control of the important immunoregulatory cytokine, IL-10.

 

IL-13 production by donor T cells is prognostic of acute graft-versus-host disease following unrelated donor stem cell transplantation.

William J Jordan, Paul A Brookes, Richard M Szydlo, John M Goldman, Robert I Lechler, Mary A Ritter

Blood. 2004 Jan 15;103:717-24

Despite the success of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing in allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT) it is rare to find an unrelated donor that is perfectly matched, making identification of "permissive" mismatches of paramount importance. Here, we describe novel associations between donor T-cell cytokine production during donor-antipatient mixed lymphocyte reactions (MLRs) and acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD). The data reveal positive correlations between both Th1-type and Th2-type cytokine production and GVHD and the assay established could potentially represent a useful tool for identification of permissible unrelated SCT donors. Associations between interleukin 13 (IL-13) levels and aGVHD were by far the strongest predictor of a GVHD (P =.0002). All patients suffering severe (grade III) aGVHD following SCT had donors who produced very high pretransplantation IL-13 responses, while those developing little or no aGVHD (grades 0-I) produced no IL-13 at all. IL-13 levels were independent of all other cytokines measured as well as cytotoxic T-lymphocyte precursor (CTLp) frequencies. The cytokines IL-5, interferon gamma (IFN-gamma), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) also predicted development of aGVHD (P <.05 for all 3), appearing to be coproduced in the assay and correlating with estimated CTLp frequencies. The data challenge the notion that aGVHD is purely a Th1-type cytokine-driven response, high-lighting a novel and highly significant link between the Th2-type cytokine IL-13 and aGVHD.

 

Cross-species costimulation: relative contributions of CD80, CD86, and CD40.

Nicola J Rogers, Ian M Jackson, William J Jordan, Muhamed A Hawadle, Anthony Dorling, Robert I Lechler

Transplantation. 2003 Jun 27;75:2068-76

BACKGROUND: The response of human CD4+ T cells against porcine cells is of comparable magnitude to that induced by human leukocyte antigen-mismatched allogeneic cells. This reflects productive interactions between key costimulatory molecules across the species barrier. Inhibition of these molecular interactions will be crucial in overcoming CD4+ T-cell-mediated rejection of xenografts. We have performed a detailed investigation to determine the expression profiles and relative contributions of the three key costimulatory molecules in the porcine-human xenogeneic response. Whereas only porcine CD86 is constitutively expressed on resting endothelial cells, both CD40 and CD80 are rapidly expressed after activation. All three costimulatory molecules are expressed by professional antigen-presenting cells. METHODS: We have isolated full-length cDNA clones for human and porcine CD80, CD86, and CD40. Human fibroblast cell lines (M1) coexpressing DR1 were transfected with these cDNAs and used in mixed lymphocyte reactions and flow cytometric studies in vitro. RESULTS: These data provide the first characterization of the expression profile and functional role of porcine CD80. Functional assays demonstrate that pCD40, pCD80, and pCD86 are independently capable of costimulating human CD4+ T cells, albeit with differing kinetics. Proliferative responses were of comparable magnitude to those obtained when costimulation was provided by human CD40, CD80, and CD86. CONCLUSIONS: These data have implications for therapy targeting the direct pathway of xenorecognition; costimulatory molecule blockade must be directed against both the B7/CD28 and CD40/CD40L pathways.

 

CD40 can costimulate human memory T cells and favors IL-10 secretion.

Nicola Jane Rogers, Ian Michael Jackson, William James Jordan, Giovanna Lombardi, Alexandros Delikouras, Robert Ian Lechler

Eur J Immunol. 2003 Apr ;33:1094-104

Optimal proliferation of T cells, although initiated via ligation of the CD3/TCR complex, requires additional costimulatory signals. While the most well-defined in vitro pathway of costimulation is via the B7 family of molecules, a large body of data clearly demonstrates an in vivo role for the CD40/CD154 pathway in transplantation, autoimmunity and allergy. We have examined the role of CD40 as an independent costimulatory molecule by generating a panel of transfected human fibroblasts expressing DR1 with either CD80, CD86 or CD40. Functional assays using allogeneic CD4(+) T cells as responders demonstrated that CD40 was capable of costimulating CD4(+) T cell proliferation particularly in the CD45RO subset. Costimulation by CD40 induced much higher levels of IL-10 than were induced by B7-expressing cells. On day 3 the dominant costimulation was provided by CD40, while by day 5 this was overshadowed by CD80 and CD86. Nonetheless, the provision of costimulation by CD40 was enough to expand an alloreactive T cell line. These results were confirmed in experiments using primary cultures of CD40(+)CD80/CD86(-) renal tubular epithelial cells as the stimulator population. Thus, CD40 is capable of functioning independently (in the absence of B7) as a costimulatory molecule both in terms of proliferation and cytokine release. The data have interesting implications concerning the consequences of antigen presentation by tissue parenchymal cells.

 

Optimal analysis of composite cytokine responses during alloreactivity.

Bill Jordan, Mary A Ritter

J Immunol Methods. 2002 Feb 1;260:1-14

The one-way mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) is a useful model of the graft-vs.-host (GvH) response that occurs following bone-marrow transplantation (BMT). Previous studies of the MLR have shown high levels of type-1 cytokine production, such as IL-1, IL-6, IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha, but low or undetectable levels of type-2 cytokines, such as IL-4 and IL-10. Here, through establishing optimal conditions for the examination of levels and kinetics of a more definitive panel of type-1/type-2 cytokines (IL-4, IL-5, IL-10 and IL-13, IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha and the soluble IL-4 receptor) we show that, contrary to previously published data, the human alloresponse is truly heterogeneous, resulting in abundant type-2 as well as type-1 cytokine secretion. The kinetics of cytokine levels in the MLR show surprising complexity, suggesting a well-defined regulation as the alloresponse develops over time. Furthermore, each MLR responder:stimulator combination tested produces a composite cytokine profile that is intrinsic to that particular pairing. These combination-specific cytokine responses are reproducible when tested on multiple occasions over time. These data reveal a potential clinical application for the cytokine MLR in selecting donors for BMT with the least inflammatory cytokine profile. Additional analysis of this system reveals that the bulk of cytokine measured is both allospecific and T-cell-derived, with comparatively low levels produced through an autologous mechanism. Interestingly, although most of the cytokine detected is produced by CD45RO+ 'mature/activated' T cells, CD45RA+ 'naive' T cells are responsible for transient early production of IL-4. This novel finding suggests that naive T cells themselves could regulate type-1/type-2 developmental fate through an autocrine IL-4 mechanism.

 

"Accomodated" pig endothelial cells promote nitric oxide-dependent Th-2 cytokine responses from human T cells.

A Dorling,  W Jordan, P Brookes, A Delikouras, R I Lechler

Transplantation. 2001 Nov 27;72:1597-602

BACKGROUND: Cardiac and renal allo- and xenografts can become naturally resistant to vascular rejection. Understanding this process of "accommodation" would enhance our understanding of vascular inflammatory responses and have implications for immune manipulation and tolerance induction. A feature of these grafts is infiltration by leukocytes secreting a Th-2 pattern of cytokines. METHODS: HLA-DR-1-transfected, immortalized porcine endothelial cells (IPEC) were incubated with polyclonal human immunoglobulin G (IgG) for 6 days before incubation with purified human CD4+ T cells. RESULTS: IgG-incubated IPEC stimulated a normal proliferative response from alloreactive T cells. However, interferon (IFN)-gamma levels were significantly reduced, whereas interleukin (IL)-5 and IL-10 were maintained at levels equivalent to those stimulated by control IPEC. Cognate interaction between T cells and IPEC was not required for this effect, because IgG-incubated, MHC-class II-negative IPEC caused reduced IFN-gamma secretion during a response to human Epstein-Barr virus-transformed B cells. Experiments with the nitric oxide (NO) donor, (z)-1-2-[2-Aminoethyl)-N-(2-ammonioethyl)amino]diazen-1-ium-1,2-diolate (DETA-NO), and the NO synthase inhibitor, NG-monomethyl-L-arginine.monoacetate (L-NMMA), showed that NO released by the IgG-incubated IPEC was actively involved in the development of this phenotype. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest a novel, IgG-mediated, NO-dependent mechanism by which endothelial cells (EC) influence T cell responsiveness and that the Th-2 cytokine skewing seen in "accommodated" grafts may be a secondary phenomenon, resulting from the T-EC interactions.

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