To induce an effective immune response, microorganisms must stimulate complex sets of pattern-recognition receptors, both within and outside of the TLR family. The combined activation of these different receptors can result in complementary, synergistic or antagonistic effects that modulate innate and adaptive immunity. Our past work has uncovered the significant synergy in dendritic cell activation between ligands of different T cell receptors and the role of type I interferon in regulating TLR downstream signaling in both dendritic cells and tissue and tumor cells. The cellular response to TLR ligands is not only production of pro-inflammatory mediators, but they are also involved in control of tissue homeostasis and regulate cellular differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis. The balance between MyD88 and TRIF signaling and the production of type I IFN determine proliferation versus apoptosis in tissue and tumor cells and activation versus survival in dendritic cells. We also have found that the stimulation of the dendritic cells by beta-glucan (a component of yeast and fungi) through the dectin 1 receptor facilitate the induction of a Th17 response in human and synergize with TLR receptor stimulation for activation of dendritic cells and pro-inflammatory cytokine production. Signaling through dectin 1, a receptor with an ITAM-like motif in its cytoplasmic portion, results in the induction of only a small number of early responding cytokine such as IL-1beta, IL-6, and TNF and in only a very modest activation of NF-kappaB. However, IL-1beta induced by beta-glucan stimulation exerts a potent positive feedback mechanism that it is necessary for optimal NF-kappaB activation and production of late responsive cytokines such as IL-12 and IL-23. The observation that beta-glucan stimulation but not LPS stimulation induced high levels of IL-1beta secretion by human mono-DC (6) led us to investigate whether IL-1beta plays a feedback positive role in the secretion of cytokines in response to beta-glucan. IL-1 production was dependent on SYK mediated activation of NALP3 that in turn activated caspase-1 required for pro-IL-1beta splicing and secretion. Blocking the effect of endogenous IL-1beta with IL-1RA (or with antibodies to IL-1beta or by blocking caspase-1) the early gene induction was not affected but the expression of several of the late genes was almost completely abolished. Induced genes could be divided into three major groups; early, IL-1-independent genes (induced well at 4 h but less so at 12 h); late IL-1-dependent genes (induced better at 12 than at 4 h); and late IL-1-independent genes. Overall our analysis established that a subset of genes induced by beta-glucan is strictly dependent on endogenous IL-1 for maintained expression in mono-DC and these genes include many immunologically relevant genes such as IL-12, IL-23, IL-10, and TNF. Many of these genes are also induced by LPS but most of them with only a transient kinetics. Addition of exogenous IL-1beta to LPS maintains the expression of these genes, suggesting that the IL-1R and TLR can similarly signal for the transcription of these genes but that their long term expression requires the positive feedback of endogenous IL-1. Both beta-glucan and LPS l induce the early expression of type I IFN dependent genes that it is blocked when endogenous type I IFN signaling is prevented by neutralizing antibodies. However, the induction of IFN-beta is modest with LPS and almost undetectable with beta-glucan. These studies are clearly unveiling new mechanisms of inflammatory and homeostatic gene regulation that are likely to play an important role in inflammation, immunity, and cancer. Interleukin-1 and Interferon-gamma differentially program beta-Glucan-Activated Dendritic Cells via IkB-zeta. We showed that beta-glucan transcriptionally activates late induced genes such as those encoding the immunoregulatory cytokines IL)6, IL-12, IL-23, and IL-10 via an IL-1beta-mediated positive feedback that acts by maintaining the expression of the transcriptional cofactor IkB-zeta. We demonstrate that in addition to its known ability to act on T cells, IL-1beta also programs DCs to promote Th17 responses. Both IL-1beta activities are dependent on the MyD88-mediated induction of IkB-zeta. Interferon (IFN)-gamma priming of beta-glucan-activated DCs interfered with the IL-1/IkB-zeta axis and resulted in a pattern of cytokine production that promoted Th1 rather than Th17 responses. Thus, endogenous IL-1beta and exogenous IFN-gamma differentially regulate the expression of genes relevant for DC programming and are likely to play a major role in fine tuning the immune response in the inflammatory environment caused by pathogens activating ITAM-associated receptors. T-helper cells represent a functionally diverse group of regulatory cells that orchestrate the immune response by controlling activation or inhibition of a wide range of immune and non-immune cells. Th22 cells are a relatively novel addition to the T-helper. Here, using analysis of T-helper cells polarized under different conditions we show that Th22 cells are plastic and capable of becoming IL-17 producing cells upon stimulation with Th17-polarizing cytokines. Transcriptome analysis showed that majority of genes expressed by Th22 cells contained signatures of Th17 and Th0 cells, with only small contribution of their own. These results are now been extended to studies using single cell RNAseq as well as analysis of the transcriptional regulation of T cell subset genome by ATAC-seq. On the basis of our results, given the high degree of plasticity and the intermediate/transitional gene expression signature, we suggest that Th22 cells do not represent a completely independent T-helper subset, but a quasi-T-helper cell subset closely related to Th17 cells, which together rather comprise a single Th17/Th22 regulatory axis with a primary function to control immune responses of barrier and connective tissues. Therefore, we propose that Th22 cells represent a transcriptionally novel mode of T-helper cell differentiation and speculate of a possibility of other T-helper cells falling into a similar quasi-T-helper subset category. In parallel mouse studies, we studied CD4+ T lymphocytes that consist of naive, conventional antigen-specific memory, and memory-phenotype (MP) cell compartments in steady state. MP cells exert significant, innate-like effector function in host defense against pathogens controlled by Th1-type immunity. However, the mechanisms determining the differentiation of MP cells under homeostatic conditions remain to be defined. We first characterized MP lymphocytes as consisting of T-bet(high), T-bet(int), and T-bet(low) subsets, with innate Th1-like effector activity exclusively associated with T-bet(high) cells. We further showed that steady-state differentiation of T-bet(high) MP cells is promoted by IL-12-producing CD8+ DCs localized in the T cell zone. Tonic IL-12 production depended on microbial-independent TLR-MyD88 signaling and was further enhanced by CD40-CD40L interactions with MP CD4+ T lymphocytes. The latter response was positively associated with the TCR affinity of these cells to self. Taken together, our findings reveal that the optimal differentiation of host-protective T-bet(high) MP lymphocytes in steady state requires IL-12 tonically produced by CD8+ DCs in a MyD88 and CD40 signaling-dependent fashion.

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