Lung complications are a major cause of rheumatoid arthritis-related mortality. Involvement of gut microbiota in lung diseases by the gut-lung axis has been widely observed, but the underlying mechanism remains mostly unknown. Using an autoimmune arthritis model, we show that a constituent of the gut microbiota, segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB), distantly provoke lung pathology. SFB induce autoantibodies in lung during the pre-arthritic phase, and SFB-dependent lung pathology requires the T helper 17 (Th17) responses. SFB-induced gut Th17 cells are preferentially recruited to lung over spleen due to robust expression in the lung of the Th17 chemoattractant, CCL20. Additionally, we found that in peripheral tissues, SFB selectively expand dual T cell receptor (TCR)-expressing Th17 cells recognizing both an SFB epitope and self-antigen, thus augmenting autoimmunity. This study reveals mechanisms for commensal-mediated gut-lung crosstalk and dual TCR-based autoimmunity.
Select humans and animals control persistent viral infections via adaptive immune responses that include production of neutralizing antibodies. The precise genetic basis for the control remains enigmatic. Here, we report positional cloning of the gene responsible for production of retrovirus-neutralizing antibodies in mice of the I/LnJ strain. It encodes the beta subunit of the non-classical major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II)-like molecule H2-O, a negative regulator of antigen presentation. The recessive and functionally null I/LnJ H2-Ob allele supported the production of virus-neutralizing antibodies independently of the classical MHC haplotype. Subsequent bioinformatics and functional analyses of the human H2-Ob homolog, HLA-DOB, revealed both loss- and gain-of-function alleles, which could affect the ability of their carriers to control infections with human hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV) viruses. Thus, understanding of the previously unappreciated role of H2-O (HLA-DO) in immunity to infections may suggest new approaches in achieving neutralizing immunity to viruses.
The HVEM (TNFRSF14) receptor gene is among the most frequently mutated genes in germinal center lymphomas. We report that loss of HVEM leads to cell-autonomous activation of B cell proliferation and drives the development of GC lymphomas in vivo. HVEM-deficient lymphoma B cells also induce a tumor-supportive microenvironment marked by exacerbated lymphoid stroma activation and increased recruitment of T follicular helper (TFH) cells. These changes result from the disruption of inhibitory cell-cell interactions between the HVEM and BTLA (B and T lymphocyte attenuator) receptors. Accordingly, administration of the HVEM ectodomain protein (solHVEM(P37-V202)) binds BTLA and restores tumor suppression. To deliver solHVEM to lymphomas in vivo, we engineered CD19-targeted chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells that produce solHVEM locally and continuously. These modified CAR-T cells show enhanced therapeutic activity against xenografted lymphomas. Hence, the HVEM-BTLA axis opposes lymphoma development, and our study illustrates the use of CAR-T cells as "micro-pharmacies" able to deliver an anti-cancer protein.