63 research outputs found

    Characterization of Antigen-Specific Antigen Processing by the Resting B cell: a Thesis

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    An optimal antibody response to a thymus-dependent antigen requires cooperation between the B cell and an antigen-specific helper T cell. Major histocompatibility complex restriction of this interaction implies that the helper T cell recognizes antigen on the B cell surface in the context of MHC molecules, and that the antigen-specific B cell gets help by acting as an antigen presenting cell for the helper T cell. However, a number of studies have shown that normal resting B cells are ineffective as antigen presenting cells, implying that the B cell must leave the resting state before it can interact specifically with a helper T cell. On the contrary, other studies, including those using rabbit Ig as antigen, and rabbit globulin-specific mouse T cell lines and hybridomas, show that certain T cell lines can be efficiently stimulated by normal resting B cells. One possibility I considered was that small B cells are unable to process antigens, and that the rabbit Ig-specific T cell lines used above recognize native antigen on the B cell surface. In the majority of cases, experiments with B cell lines and macrophages have shown that antigen presentation requires antigen processing, a sequence of events which includes: internalization of antigen into an acid compartment, denaturation or digestion of antigen into fragments, and the return of processed antigen to the cell surface where it can then be recognized by the T cell in the context of class II molecules of the MHC. The experiments reported here show that the rabbit Ig-specific T cell lines do require an antigen processing step, and that small resting B cells, like other antigen presenting cells, process antigen before presenting it to T cells. Specifically, I show that an incubation of 2-8 hours is required after the antigen pulse before antigen presentation becomes resistant to fixation or irradiation. Shortly after the pulse, the antigen enters a pronase resistant compartment. Chloroquine, which raises the pH of endocytic vesicles, inhibits presentation. In addition, a large excess of antibody to native antigen fails to block presentation of antigen after a 2-8 hour incubation. Also, although membrane Ig, the antigen receptor on the B cell, is required for efficient presentation of antigen at low concentrations, antigen is no longer associated with the B cell receptor at the time of presentation to the T cell. Modulation of membrane Ig by anti-Ig blocks presentation before but not after the antigen pulse

    Differential In Vitro Cultivation of Francisella tularensis Influences Live Vaccine Protective Efficacy by Altering the Immune Response

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    Francisella tularensis (Ft) is a biothreat agent for which there is no FDA-approved human vaccine. Currently, there are substantial efforts underway to develop both vaccines and improved tools to assess these vaccines. Ft expresses distinct sets of antigens (Ags) in vivo as compared to those expressed in vitro. Importantly, Ft grown in brain-heart infusion medium (BHIM) more closely mimics the antigenic profile of macrophage-grown Ft when compared to Mueller-Hinton medium (MHM)-grown Ft. Thus, we predicted that when used as a live vaccine BHIM-grown Ft (BHIM-Ft) would provide better protection, as compared to MHM-Ft. We first determined if there was a difference in growth kinetics between BHIM and MHM-Ft. We found that BHIM-Ft exhibited an initial growth advantage ex vivo that manifests as slightly hastened intracellular replication as compared to MHM-Ft. We also observed that BHIM-Ft exhibited an initial growth advantage in vivo represented by rapid bacterial expansion and systemic dissemination associated with a slightly shorter mean survival time of naive animals. Next, using two distinct strains of Ft LVS (WT and sodB), we observed that mice vaccinated with live BHIM-Ft LVS exhibited significantly better protection against Ft SchuS4 respiratory challenge compared to MHM-Ft-immunized mice. This enhanced protection correlated with lower bacterial burden, reduced tissue inflammation, and reduced pro-inflammatory cytokine production late in infection. Splenocytes from BHIM-Ft sodB-immunized mice contained more CD4+, effector, memory T-cells, and were more effective at limiting intracellular replication of Ft LVS in vitro. Concurrent with enhanced killing of Ft LVS, BHIM-Ft sodB-immune splenocytes produced significantly higher levels of IFN-γ and IL-17A cytokines than their MHM-Ft sodB-immunized counterparts indicating development of a more effective T cell memory response when immunizing mice with BHIM-Ft

    Differential Growth of Francisella tularensis, Which Alters Expression of Virulence Factors, Dominant Antigens, and Surface-Carbohydrate Synthases, Governs the Apparent Virulence of Ft SchuS4 to Immunized Animals

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    The gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis (Ft) is both a potential biological weapon and a naturally occurring microbe that survives in arthropods, fresh water amoeba, and mammals with distinct phenotypes in various environments. Previously, we used a number of measurements to characterize Ft grown in Brain-Heart Infusion (BHI) broth as (1) more similar to infection-derived bacteria, and (2) slightly more virulent in naïve animals, compared to Ft grown in Mueller Hinton Broth (MHB). In these studies we observed that the free amino acids in MHB repress expression of select Ft virulence factors by an unknown mechanism. Here, we tested the hypotheses that Ft grown in BHI (BHI-Ft) accurately displays a full protein composition more similar to that reported for infection-derived Ft and that this similarity would make BHI-Ft more susceptible to pre-existing, vaccine-induced immunity than MHB-Ft. We performed comprehensive proteomic analysis of Ft grown in MHB, BHI, and BHI supplemented with casamino acids (BCA) and compared our findings to published “omics” data derived from Ft grown in vivo. Based on the abundance of ~1,000 proteins, the fingerprint of BHI-Ft is one of nutrient-deprived bacteria that—through induction of a stringent-starvation-like response—have induced the FevR regulon for expression of the bacterium's virulence factors, immuno-dominant antigens, and surface-carbohydrate synthases. To test the notion that increased abundance of dominant antigens expressed by BHI-Ft would render these bacteria more susceptible to pre-existing, vaccine-induced immunity, we employed a battery of LVS-vaccination and S4-challenge protocols using MHB- and BHI-grown Ft S4. Contrary to our hypothesis, these experiments reveal that LVS-immunization provides a barrier to infection that is significantly more effective against an MHB-S4 challenge than a BHI-S4 challenge. The differences in apparent virulence to immunized mice are profoundly greater than those observed with primary infection of naïve mice. Our findings suggest that tularemia vaccination studies should be critically evaluated in regard to the growth conditions of the challenge agent

    Host-Adaptation of Francisella tularensis Alters the Bacterium's Surface-Carbohydrates to Hinder Effectors of Innate and Adaptive Immunity

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    The gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis survives in arthropods, fresh water amoeba, and mammals with both intracellular and extracellular phases and could reasonably be expected to express distinct phenotypes in these environments. The presence of a capsule on this bacterium has been controversial with some groups finding such a structure while other groups report that no capsule could be identified. Previously we reported in vitro culture conditions for this bacterium which, in contrast to typical methods, yielded a bacterial phenotype that mimics that of the bacterium's mammalian, extracellular phase.SDS-PAGE and carbohydrate analysis of differentially-cultivated F. tularensis LVS revealed that bacteria displaying the host-adapted phenotype produce both longer polymers of LPS O-antigen (OAg) and additional HMW carbohydrates/glycoproteins that are reduced/absent in non-host-adapted bacteria. Analysis of wildtype and OAg-mutant bacteria indicated that the induced changes in surface carbohydrates involved both OAg and non-OAg species. To assess the impact of these HMW carbohydrates on the access of outer membrane constituents to antibody we used differentially-cultivated bacteria in vitro to immunoprecipitate antibodies directed against outer membrane moieties. We observed that the surface-carbohydrates induced during host-adaptation shield many outer membrane antigens from binding by antibody. Similar assays with normal mouse serum indicate that the induced HMW carbohydrates also impede complement deposition. Using an in vitro macrophage infection assay, we find that the bacterial HMW carbohydrate impedes TLR2-dependent, pro-inflammatory cytokine production by macrophages. Lastly we show that upon host-adaptation, the human-virulent strain, F. tularensis SchuS4 also induces capsule production with the effect of reducing macrophage-activation and accelerating tularemia pathogenesis in mice.F. tularensis undergoes host-adaptation which includes production of multiple capsular materials. These capsules impede recognition of bacterial outer membrane constituents by antibody, complement, and Toll-Like Receptor 2. These changes in the host-pathogen interface have profound implications for pathogenesis and vaccine development

    Class II MHC molecules and antigen enter the same vesicles during internalization by resting B lymphocytes

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    Efficient presentation of Ag by a B cell to a T cell requires that Ag bind to the Ag receptor (Ig) on the B cell, after which it is internalized into an acid compartment where it is modified and returned to the cell surface in the context of class II MHC molecules. It remains uncertain whether processed Ag binds to class II which has been internalized and recycled with Ag, or to nascent class II inside the cell. To determine if cell surface class II enters the same vesicles as Ag, or is excluded during internalization of Ag which is bound to the B cell receptor, 5- and 16-nm gold particles were labeled with anti-class II and anti-Ig, respectively. Cells were incubated at 37 degrees C and internalization of these particles was observed using electron microscopy. By 10 min, 60-75% of the B cell sections contained vesicles with gold particles inside them. Between 40 and 64% of these vesicles had both 5- and 16-nm particles. Maximum internalization occurred by 30-60 min, and by 2 hr the number of small and large particles on the B cell surface became constant or increased, respectively. Both kinds of particles moved from electron-lucent to electron-dense vesicles as the incubation time increased, although a portion of the anti-class II particles remained in electron-lucent vesicles. These data clearly show that labeled, cell surface class II is not selectively excluded from Ag-containing vesicles during Ag internalization. Thus, cointernalization of Ag and class II may represent a mechanism by which processed Ag meets class II

    Targeting of a Fixed Bacterial Immunogen to Fc Receptors Reverses the Anti-Inflammatory Properties of the Gram-Negative Bacterium, Francisella tularensis, during the Early Stages of Infection.

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    Production of pro-inflammatory cytokines by innate immune cells at the early stages of bacterial infection is important for host protection against the pathogen. Many intracellular bacteria, including Francisella tularensis, the agent of tularemia, utilize the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10, to evade the host immune response. It is well established that IL-10 has the ability to inhibit robust antigen presentation by dendritic cells and macrophages, thus suppressing the generation of protective immunity. The pathogenesis of F. tularensis is not fully understood, and research has failed to develop an effective vaccine to this date. In the current study, we hypothesized that F. tularensis polarizes antigen presenting cells during the early stages of infection towards an anti-inflammatory status characterized by increased synthesis of IL-10 and decreased production of IL-12p70 and TNF-α in an IFN-ɣ-dependent fashion. In addition, F. tularensis drives an alternative activation of alveolar macrophages within the first 48 hours post-infection, thus allowing the bacterium to avoid protective immunity. Furthermore, we demonstrate that targeting inactivated F. tularensis (iFt) to Fcγ receptors (FcɣRs) via intranasal immunization with mAb-iFt complexes, a proven vaccine strategy in our laboratories, reverses the anti-inflammatory effects of the bacterium on macrophages by down-regulating production of IL-10. More specifically, we observed that targeting of iFt to FcγRs enhances the classical activation of macrophages not only within the respiratory mucosa, but also systemically, at the early stages of infection. These results provide important insight for further understanding the protective immune mechanisms generated when targeting immunogens to Fc receptors

    Characterization of antigen processing and presentation by resting B lymphocytes

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    The production of antibody to a thymus-dependent Ag requires cooperation between the B cell and an Ag-specific Th cell. MHC restriction of this interaction implies that the Th cell recognizes Ag on the B cell surface in the context of MHC molecules and that the Ag-specific B cell gets help by acting as an APC for the Th cell. However, a number of studies have suggested that normal resting B cells are ineffective as APC, implying that the B cell must leave the resting state before it can interact specifically with a Th cell. Other studies, including our own with rabbit globulin-specific mouse T cell lines and hybridomas, show that certain T cell lines can be efficiently stimulated by normal resting B cells. One possible explanation for the above contradiction is that our B cells have become activated before presentation. Here we show that presentation by size-selected small B cells is not the result of nonspecific activation signals generated by the T cells or components of the medium. Also, although LPS activation does increase the efficiency of presentation by small B cells, use of large cells in place of small cells or preincubation of resting B cells with mitogenic doses of anti-Ig does not. Another possibility that we considered was that small B cells are unable to process Ag and that we had selected T cell lines that were capable of recognizing native Ag on the B cell surface. In the majority of cases, experiments with B cell lines and macrophages have shown that Ag presentation requires Ag processing, a sequence of events that includes internalization of Ag into an acid compartment, denaturation or digestion of Ag into fragments, and its return to the cell surface in the context of class II MHC molecules. The experiments reported here show that our T cell lines require an Ag processing step and that small resting B cells, like other APC, process Ag before presenting it to T cells. Specifically, we show that an incubation of 2 to 4 h is required after the Ag pulse before Ag presentation becomes resistant to irradiation. Shortly after the pulse, the Ag enters a pronase-resistant compartment. Although efficient Ag presentation requires initial binding to membrane Ig, Ag is no longer associated with membrane Ig at the time of presentation and is not presented in its intact form, because removal of membrane Ig by goat anti-Ig blocks presentation before but not after the Ag pulse

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    Production of Genetically Engineered Biotinylated Interleukin-2 and Its Application in a Rapid Nonradioactive Assay for T-Cell Activation

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    The development of reliable assay systems that can measure lymphocyte activation in vitro has been a major goal of immunodiagnostics. Traditionally, tritiated thymidine incorporation has been used to monitor T-cell activation. Other methods include enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), enzyme-linked immunospot assay, and colorimetric assays. We have established a lymphocyte activation assay that utilizes fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-streptavidin bound to recombinant biotinylated human interleukin-2 (IL-2). Utilizing recombinant DNA technology, a unique monobiotinylated human IL-2 has been created and isolated using the Promega PinPoint vector system. ELISA has been used to demonstrate streptavidin binding and recognition by a human IL-2-specific antibody. IL-2 function has been demonstrated using a murine IL-2-dependent T-cell line, CTLL-2, responsive to human IL-2. Recombinant biotinylated human IL-2 conjugated to streptavidin-FITC or streptavidin-horseradish peroxidase has been used to monitor T-cell activation in the presence of antigen as well as mitogen. The sensitivity and convenience of this method make this lymphocyte activation assay an attractive alternative to tritiated thymidine incorporation as a method for monitoring T-cell activation. In addition, the availability of a recombinant biotinylated human IL-2 will permit the production of a uniform product suitable for diagnostic and clinical application
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