Immunology and Microbiology, MD/PhD
First Thesis Advisor
Ann Marshak-Rothstein, PhD
Pulmonary Fibrosis, Autoimmunity, Antinuclear Antibodies, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes
Dissertations, UMMS; Pulmonary Fibrosis; Autoimmunity; Antibodies, Antinuclear; CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes
Preclinical models of lupus indicate that T cell-B cell collaboration drives antinuclear antibody (ANA) production and sustains T cell activation. Autoreactive B lymphocytes are present in the normal repertoire but persist as ignorant or anergic cells. Mechanisms that normally limit T cell activation of autoreactive B cells remain incompletely resolved, but potentially include the absence of autoreactive effector T cell subsets and/or the presence of autoAgspecific regulatory T cells (Tregs). Several studies have addressed this issue by using experimental systems dependent on transgenic autoreactive B cells, but much less is known about the activation of autoreactive B cells present in a polyclonal repertoire. In the second chapter of this thesis, I have explored the role of effector T cells and Tregs using mice that express an inducible pseudoautoAg expressed on B cells and other antigen presenting cells (APCs). In this system, activated Th2 cells, but not naïve T cells, elicit the production of ANAs, but ANA production is severely limited by autoAg-specific Tregs. Bone marrow chimera experiments further demonstrated that this B cell activation is constrained by radioresistant autoantigen-expressing APCs (rAPC) present in the thymus as well as by non-hematopoietic stromal cells located in peripheral lymphoid tissue. Importantly, peripheral rAPC expression of autoAg induced the expansion of a highly effective subset of CD62L+CD69+ Tregs. The third chapter of this thesis focuses on the contribution of CD8+ T cells to fibrosis resulting from sterile lung injury. Type 2 effector production of IL-13 is v a demonstrated requirement in several models of fibrosis, and is routinely ascribed to CD4+ Th2 cells. However, we now demonstrate a major role for pulmonary CD8+ T cells, which mediate an exaggerated wound healing response and fibrosis through robust differentiation into IL-13-producing pro-fibrotic type 2 effectors (Tc2). Remarkably, differentiation of these Tc2 cells in the lung requires IL-21. We further show that the combination of IL-4 and IL-21 skews naïve CD8+ T cells to produce IL-21, which in turn acts in an autocrine manner to support robust IL-13 production. TGF-β negatively regulates production of IL-13 by suppressing CD8+ T cell responsiveness to IL-21. Our data illuminate a novel pathway involved in the onset and regulation of pulmonary fibrosis, and identify Tc2 cells as key mediators of fibrogenesis.
Brodeur, TB. Regulation of Type II Responses in Lung Fibrosis and Systemic Autoimmunity: A Dissertation. (2014). University of Massachusetts Medical School. GSBS Dissertations and Theses. Paper 736. DOI: 10.13028/M2MP44. https://escholarship.umassmed.edu/gsbs_diss/736
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