Article: a PhD thesis.
Immune regulation and function of the NOD-like receptors NLRC5 and NLRP3
Guarda G., Thome-Miazza M.
Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et médecine
Faculté de biologie et de médecineUniversité de LausanneUNIL - BugnonRue du Bugnon 21 - bureau 4111CH-1015 LausanneSUISSE
Number of pages
AbstractThe vertebrate immune system is composed of the innate and the adaptive branches. Innate immune cells represent the first line of defense and detect pathogens through pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), detecting evolutionary conserved pathogen- and danger- associated molecular patterns. Engagement of these receptors initiates the inflammatory response, but also instructs antigen-specific adaptive immune cells. NOD-like receptors (NLRs) are an important group of PRRs, leading to the production of inflammatory mediators and favoring antigen presentation to Τ lymphocytes through the regulation of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules.In this work we focused our attention on selected NOD-like receptors (NLRs) and their role at the interface between innate and adaptive immunity. First, we describe a new regulatory mechanism controlling IL-1 production. Our results indicate that type I interferons (IFNs) block NLRP1 and NLRP3 inflammasome activity and interfere with LPS-driven proIL-Ια and -β induction. As type I IFNs are produced upon viral infections, these anti-inflammatory effects of type I IFN could be relevant in the context of superinfections, but could also help explaining the efficacy of IFN-β in multiple sclerosis treatment.The second project addresses the role of a novel NLR family member, called NLRC5. The function of this NLR is still matter of debate, as it has been proposed as both an inhibitor and an activator of different inflammatory pathways. We found that the expression of this protein is restricted to immune cells and is positively regulated by IFNs. We generated Nlrc5-deficient mice and found that this NLR plays an essential role in Τ, NKT and, NK lymphocytes, in which it drives the expression of MHC class I molecules. Accordingly, we could show that CD8+ Τ cell-mediated killing of target lymphocytes lacking NLRC5 is strongly impaired. Moreover, NLRC5 expression was found to be low in many lymphoid- derived tumor cell lines, a mechanism that could be exploited by tumors to escape immunosurveillance.Finally, we found NLRC5 to be involved in the production of IL-10 by CD4+ Τ cells, as Nlrc5- deficient Τ lymphocytes produced less of this cytokine upon TCR triggering. In line with these observations, Mrc5-deficient CD4+ Τ cells expanded more than control cells when transferred into lymphopenic hosts and led to a more rapid appearance of colitis symptoms. Therefore, our work gives novel insights on the function of NLRC5 by using knockout mice, and strongly supports the idea that NLRs direct not only innate, but also adaptive immune responses.
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