(1/604) Identification of a subpopulation of lymphocytes in human peripheral blood cytotoxic to autologous fibroblasts.

A naturally occurring subpopulation of human peripheral blood lymphocytes is cytotoxic to autologous and/or allogeneic fibroblasts. The autocytotoxic lymphocytes have a receptor for the third component of complement and for aggregated gamma globulin, do not form rosettes with sheep red blood cells, and are not removed by passage through nylon. The autocytotoxic subpopulation is not present in the thymus and tonsils of normal children or in the peripheral blood of individuals with X-linked agammaglobulinemia. Fibroblast absorption experiments demonstrate that the autocytotoxic cells are "sensitized" to antigens expressed on allogeneic fibroblasts in addition to the antigens expressed on autologous cells. Some normal individuals have a second subpopulation of lymphocytes that may "regulate" the autocytotoxic cells. The relevance of these observations to the murine autocytotoxic cells is discussed.  (+info)

(2/604) Induction of human immunoglobulin synthesis and secretion in somatic cell hybrids of mouse myeloma and human B lymphocytes from patients with agammaglobulinemia.

Somatic cell hybrid clones were isolated from the fusion of RPC 5,4 mouse myeloma cells and B lymphocytes from three patients with agammaglobulinemia. One patient had X-linked agammaglobulinemia; the remaining two patients had common varied agammaglobulinemia. All three patients had B lymphocytes which fail to secrete immunoglobulin. The hybrid nature of the clones was established by examination of metaphase chromosome spreads. Most of the clones from all three patients expressed surface immunoglobulin of mouse and human parental origin. Clones from two of the patients had fewer cells with surface Ig than hybrids from normal persons, while clones from the third patient had large numbers of surface Ig fluorescent cells. Most of the clones from all three patients synthesized and secreted human and mouse immunoglobulin. As determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate acrylamide gel electrophoresis of radioactively labeled proteins, clones from each of the patients produced human gamma, alpha, and mu-heavy chains. These studies demonstrate the presence of functional structural genes coding for human immunoglobulin heavy chains in B lymphocytes of patients with agammaglobulinemia. Further, they represent induction in the somatic cell hybrids of a gene product not expressed in the parental B lymphocytes.  (+info)

(3/604) Functions of Bruton's tyrosine kinase in mast and B cells.

Bruton's tyrosine kinase (Btk) plays crucial roles in B cell differentiation as well as mast cell activation through the high-affinity IgE receptor (FcepsilonRI). Defects in the btk gene lead to agammaglobulinemia (XLA) in humans and X-linked immunodeficiency (xid) in mice. Mast cells from xid and btk null mice exhibit mild defects in degranulation and severe impairments in the production of proinflammatory cytokines upon FcepsilonRI cross-linking. Recent studies demonstrated the role of Btk in a sustained increase in intracellular calcium concentrations in response to antigen receptor stimulation. Btk is also involved in the activation of stress-activated protein kinases, JNK/SAPK1/2, and thereby regulates c-Jun and other transcription factors that are important in cytokine gene activation. Regulation of the JNK/SAPK activation pathway by Btk may be related to the proapoptotic function of Btk in the programmed cell death in these hematopoietic cells.  (+info)

(4/604) Comparative genomics and host resistance against infectious diseases.

The large size and complexity of the human genome have limited the identification and functional characterization of components of the innate immune system that play a critical role in front-line defense against invading microorganisms. However, advances in genome analysis (including the development of comprehensive sets of informative genetic markers, improved physical mapping methods, and novel techniques for transcript identification) have reduced the obstacles to discovery of novel host resistance genes. Study of the genomic organization and content of widely divergent vertebrate species has shown a remarkable degree of evolutionary conservation and enables meaningful cross-species comparison and analysis of newly discovered genes. Application of comparative genomics to host resistance will rapidly expand our understanding of human immune defense by facilitating the translation of knowledge acquired through the study of model organisms. We review the rationale and resources for comparative genomic analysis and describe three examples of host resistance genes successfully identified by this approach.  (+info)

(5/604) IgM heavy chain complementarity-determining region 3 diversity is constrained by genetic and somatic mechanisms until two months after birth.

Due to the greater range of lengths available to the third complementarity determining region of the heavy chain (HCDR3), the Ab repertoire of normal adults includes larger Ag binding site structures than those seen in first and second trimester fetal tissues. Transition to a steady state range of HCDR3 lengths is not complete until the infant reaches 2 mo of age. Fetal constraints on length begin with a genetic predilection for use of short DH (D7-27 or DQ52) gene segments and against use of long DH (e.g., D3 or DXP) and JH (JH6) gene segments in both fetal liver and fetal bone marrow. Further control of length is achieved through DH-specific limitations in N addition, with D7-27 DJ joins including extensive N addition and D3-containing DJ joins showing a paucity of N addition. DH-specific constraints on N addition are no longer apparent in adult bone marrow. Superimposed upon these genetic mechanisms to control length is a process of somatic selection that appears to ensure expression of a restricted range of HCDR3 lengths in both fetus and adult. B cells that express Abs of an "inappropriate" length appear to be eliminated when they first display IgM on their cell surface. Control of N addition appears aberrant in X-linked agammaglobulinemia, which may exacerbate the block in B cell development seen in this disease. Restriction of the fetal repertoire appears to be an active process, forcing limits on the diversity, and hence range of Ab specificities, available to the young.  (+info)

(6/604) Early arrest in B cell development in transgenic mice that express the E41K Bruton's tyrosine kinase mutant under the control of the CD19 promoter region.

Bruton's tyrosine kinase (Btk) is a nonreceptor protein kinase that is defective in X-linked agammaglobulinemia in humans and in X-linked immunodeficiency in mice. To study the effect of Btk activation in early B cell development in vivo, we have created transgenic mouse strains expressing Btk under the control of the human CD19 promoter region. The transgenic expression of wild-type human Btk corrected all X-linked immunodeficiency features in mice carrying a targeted disruption of the Btk gene. In contrast, expression of an activated form of Btk, the E41K mutant, resulted in an almost complete arrest of B cell development in the immature IgM+IgD- B cell stage in the bone marrow, irrespective of the presence of the endogenous intact Btk gene. Immature B cells were arrested at the progression from IgMlow into IgMhigh cells, which reflects the first immune tolerance checkpoint at which autoreactive B cells become susceptible to apoptosis. As the constitutive activation of Btk is likely to mimic B cell receptor occupancy by autoantigens in the bone marrow, our findings are consistent with a role for Btk as a mediator of B cell receptor-induced apoptotic signals in the immature B cell stage. Whereas the peripheral mature B cell pool was reduced to <1% of the normal size, significant numbers of IgM-secreting plasma cells were present in the spleen. Serum IgM levels were substantial and increased with age, but specific Ab responses in vivo were lacking. We conclude that the residual peripheral B cells were efficiently driven into IgM+ plasma cell differentiation, apparently without functional selection.  (+info)

(7/604) In vivo modulation of cytokine synthesis by intravenous immunoglobulin.

We examined the effects of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) on cytokine regulation in vivo using samples taken before and after replacement-dose (200-400 mg/kg) IVIG in a group of patients with common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) and X-linked agammaglobulinaemia (XLA). The intracellular cytokine content of CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes, and their CD28+/- subsets, were measured following in vitro activation with phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) and ionomycin. The cytokines IL-2, interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and the early activation marker CD69, were assessed by four-colour flow cytometry of whole blood cultures taken before and after IVIG infusion. There was a significant increase in IL-2 expression in CD4+ (and CD4+28-) cells and an increase in TNF-alpha expression in CD8+28- cells following IVIG in CVID, but not in XLA patients. IFN-gamma and CD69 expression were not affected by IVIG infusion. This increase in TNF-alpha and IL-2, combined with unchanged IFN-gamma expression, is evidence against the putative 'anti-inflammatory' role of IVIG, and may explain the failure of resolution of granulomata in CVID patients treated with IVIG alone.  (+info)

(8/604) CD95 expression and function on lymphocyte subpopulations in common variable immunodeficiency (CVID); related to increased apoptosis.

Apoptosis is now recognized as a central process of development and disease, and it has been proposed as one of the mechanisms that may account for the lymphopenia seen in some diseases. In this study we measured spontaneous apoptosis and CD95 expression on different cell subpopulations from CVID patients, using flow cytometric techniques. We divided our patients into two groups according to their CD4+ and CD4+CD45RA+ cell counts. Our results clearly show increased spontaneous apoptosis and CD95 expression on the CD4+ and CD4+CD45RA+ subsets from lymphopenic CVID patients compared with normal subjects and disease controls. Interestingly, our lymphopenic CVID patients presented a profound reduction in absolute counts, mainly affecting the CD4+CD45RA+ subpopulation. We also found a statistically significant direct correlation between absolute numbers of CD4+CD45RA+ T cells and spontaneous apoptosis on the same subset in CVID patients, but attempts to induce CD95-mediated apoptosis were unsuccessful despite increased CD95 expression on CD4+ T cells. These findings suggest that apoptosis could be one of the mechanisms implicated in the significant lymphopenia present in these patients.  (+info)