Publications by authors named "Sergio Romagnani"

97 Publications

Cell-mediated and humoral adaptive immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 are lower in asymptomatic than symptomatic COVID-19 patients.

Eur J Immunol 2020 Dec 9;50(12):2013-2024. Epub 2020 Nov 9.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

The characterization of cell-mediated and humoral adaptive immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 is fundamental to understand COVID-19 progression and the development of immunological memory to the virus. In this study, we detected T-cells reactive to SARS-CoV-2 proteins M, S, and N, as well as serum virus-specific IgM, IgA, IgG, in nearly all SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals, but not in healthy donors. Virus-reactive T cells exhibited signs of in vivo activation, as suggested by the surface expression of immune-checkpoint molecules PD1 and TIGIT. Of note, we detected antigen-specific adaptive immune response both in asymptomatic and symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infected subjects. More importantly, symptomatic patients displayed a significantly higher magnitude of both cell-mediated and humoral adaptive immune response to the virus, as compared to asymptomatic individuals. These findings suggest that an uncontrolled adaptive immune response contribute to the development of the life-threatening inflammatory phase of the disease. Finally, this study might open the way to develop effective vaccination strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eji.202048915DOI Listing
December 2020

The COVID-19 infection: lessons from the Italian experience.

J Public Health Policy 2020 Sep;41(3):238-244

Department of Internal Medicine, University of Genoa and IRCCS IST-Ospedale San Martino, Genoa, Italy.

The first case of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, was reported in China on 17 November 2019. By the end of March 2020, the rapid global spread of infection affected over 1 million people. Italy is one of the countries most impacted, with over 100,000 positive cases identified. The first detected cases were reported on 21 February 2020 in two Italian towns: Vo' Euganeo in the Province of Padua, Veneto region, and Codogno, in the Province of Lodi, Lombardy. In the next weeks the epidemic spread quickly across the country but mainly in the north of Italy. The two regions: Veneto and Lombardy, implemented different strategies to control the viral spread. In Veneto, health personnel tested both symptomatic and asymptomatic subjects, while in Lombardy only symptomatic cases were investigated. We analyzed the evolution of the epidemic in these regions and showed that testing both symptomatic and asymptomatic cases is a more effective strategy to mitigate the epidemic impact. We strongly recommend that decision-makers: ensure early isolation of symptomatic patients and rapid identification of their contacts; maximize testing rapidly, especially among people with multiple daily contacts with infected populations, high exposure to the public in essential services; rapidly increase diagnostic capacity by mobilizing trained personnel capable of performing rRT-PCR on respiratory samples; equip the population with protective masks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/s41271-020-00229-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7257358PMC
September 2020

Impaired immune cell cytotoxicity in severe COVID-19 is IL-6 dependent.

J Clin Invest 2020 09;130(9):4694-4703

Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

BACKGROUNDCoronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) is an emerging infectious disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. Antiviral immune response is crucial to achieve pathogen clearance; however, in some patients an excessive and aberrant host immune response can lead to an acute respiratory distress syndrome. The comprehension of the mechanisms that regulate pathogen elimination, immunity, and pathology is essential to better characterize disease progression and widen the spectrum of therapeutic options.METHODSWe performed a flow cytometric characterization of immune cell subsets from 30 patients with COVID-19 and correlated these data with clinical outcomes.RESULTSPatients with COVID-19 showed decreased numbers of circulating T, B, and NK cells and exhibited a skewing of CD8+ T cells toward a terminally differentiated/senescent phenotype. In agreement, CD4+ T and CD8+ T, but also NK cells, displayed reduced antiviral cytokine production capability. Moreover, a reduced cytotoxic potential was identified in patients with COVID-19, particularly in those who required intensive care. The latter group of patients also showed increased serum IL-6 levels that inversely correlated to the frequency of granzyme A-expressing NK cells. Off-label treatment with tocilizumab restored the cytotoxic potential of NK cells.CONCLUSIONThe association between IL-6 serum levels and the impairment of cytotoxic activity suggests the possibility that targeting this cytokine may restore antiviral mechanisms.FUNDINGThis study was supported by funds from the Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine of University of Florence (the ex-60% fund and the "Excellence Departments 2018-2022 Project") derived from Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca (Italy).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI138554DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7456250PMC
September 2020

Eomes controls the development of Th17-derived (non-classic) Th1 cells during chronic inflammation.

Eur J Immunol 2019 01 22;49(1):79-95. Epub 2018 Nov 22.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine and DENOTHE Center, University of Florence, Firenze, Italy.

It is well accepted that Th17 cells are a highly plastic cell subset that can be easily directed toward the Th1 phenotype in vitro and also in vivo during inflammation. However, there is an ongoing debate regarding the reverse plasticity (conversion from Th1 to Th17). We show here that ectopic ROR-γt expression can restore or initiate IL-17 expression by non-classic or classic Th1 cells, respectively, while common pro-Th17 cytokine cocktails are ineffective. This stability of the Th1 phenotype is at least partially due to the presence of a molecular machinery governed by the transcription factor Eomes, which promotes IFN-γ secretion while inhibiting the expression of ROR-γt and IL-17. By using a mouse model of T cell-dependent colitis we demonstrate that Eomes controls non-classic Th1 cell development also in vivo and promotes their pathogenic potential. Eomes expression associates to a highly inflammatory phenotype also in patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Indeed, it favors the acquisition of a cytotoxic signature, and promotes the development of IFN-γ GM-CSF cells that have been described to be pathogenic in chronic inflammatory disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eji.201847677DOI Listing
January 2019

The Kinetics of Antidrug Antibodies, Drug Levels, and Clinical Outcomes in Infliximab-Exposed Patients with Immune-Mediated Disorders.

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract 2018 Nov - Dec;6(6):2065-2072.e2. Epub 2018 Apr 13.

Unit of Immunoallergology, Careggi University Hospital, Florence, Italy.

Background: Hypersensitivity reactions (HRs) and loss of response (LOR) to infliximab (IFX) are related to drug immunogenicity characterized by antidrug antibodies (ADAs).

Objective: To analyze the timing of ADA appearance and its relationship with drug levels and clinical outcomes in IFX-treated patients with different diseases.

Methods: Samples were longitudinally collected before each infusion from 91 IFX-treated patients and were assayed for ADA and drug levels by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and for IgE by ImmunoCAP system. Clinical data regarding efficacy and safety of therapy were also monitored.

Results: The ADA onset occured quite early, irrespective of the type of disease, during the first year and more frequently and earlier during the second cycle of therapy. Patients with HR were more frequently ADA-positive and with higher ADA titers compared with other patient groups. ADA onset tends to precede HRs and LOR; all HRs that occur after a period of drug interruption are preceded by ADA development. Before ADA detection, a progressive decline in IFX levels until a complete disappearance was observed. The ADA titer was maintained for years both in patients with ongoing therapy and in those who interrupted it. IgE ADAs are more frequently developed in patients with higher ADA levels and earlier ADA onset, but their rate of negativization is faster.

Conclusion: The present data suggest that most IFX-exposed patients develop ADAs within the first year of treatment irrespective of disease type. The clinical outcome to the treatment is preceded by ADA development, which in turn is associated with the reduction in drug serum levels. Both ADA evaluation and therapeutic drug monitoring may have a relevant impact on clinical practice, giving new insights to predict LOR and HRs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaip.2018.04.007DOI Listing
November 2019

Therapeutic Efficacy of Autologous Non-Mobilized Enriched Circulating Endothelial Progenitors in Patients With Critical Limb Ischemia - The SCELTA Trial.

Circ J 2018 05 23;82(6):1688-1698. Epub 2018 Mar 23.

Careggi University Hospital.

Background: The therapeutic efficacy of bone marrow mononuclear cells (BM-MNC) autotransplantation in critical limb ischemia (CLI) has been reported. Variable proportions of circulating monocytes express low levels of CD34 (CD14CD34cells) and behave in vitro as endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). The aim of the present randomized clinical trial was to compare the safety and therapeutic effects of enriched circulating EPCs (ECEPCs) with BM-MNC administration.Methods and Results:ECEPCs (obtained from non-mobilized peripheral blood by immunomagnetic selection of CD14and CD34cells) or BM-MNC were injected into the gastrocnemius of the affected limb in 23 and 17 patients, respectively. After a mean of 25.2±18.6-month follow-up, both groups showed significant and progressive improvement in muscle perfusion (primary endpoint), rest pain, consumption of analgesics, pain-free walking distance, wound healing, quality of life, ankle-brachial index, toe-brachial index, and transcutaneous PO. In ECEPC-treated patients, there was a positive correlation between injected CD14CD34cell counts and the increase in muscle perfusion. The safety profile was comparable between the ECEPC and BM-MNC treatment arms. In both groups, the number of deaths and major amputations was lower compared with eligible untreated patients and historical reference patients.

Conclusions: This study supports previous trials showing the efficacy of BM-MNC autotransplantation in CLI patients and demonstrates comparable therapeutic efficacy between BM-MNC and EPEPCs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1253/circj.CJ-17-0720DOI Listing
May 2018

IL-10-Producing Infliximab-Specific T Cells Regulate the Antidrug T Cell Response in Exposed Patients.

J Immunol 2017 08 17;199(4):1283-1289. Epub 2017 Jul 17.

Unit of Immunoallergology, Careggi University Hospital, Careggi, Florence, 50134 Italy; and.

Infliximab (IFX) is a chimeric mAb that can lead to the appearance of anti-drug Abs. Recent research has identified the presence of circulating IFX-specific T cells in treated patients. The aim of the study was to analyze the functional characteristics of IFX-specific T cells, in particular their capability to produce biologically active regulatory cytokines. Drug-stimulated PBMCs or coculture systems were used to detect memory T cells in treated patients. The cytokines produced by IFX-specific T cells, T cell lines, and T cell clones were evaluated at the mRNA and protein levels. Drug infusion induced an increase in IL-10 serum levels in vivo, whereas other cytokines were unchanged. IL-10 mRNA was higher in IFX-stimulated PBMCs from treated patients compared with untreated patients. When analyzed longitudinally, an early IL-10 mRNA expression was observed. HLA class II-restricted IL-10 production by drug-specific T cells from exposed patients was observed in different experimental settings, such as a coculture system, sorted CD154 T cells, IFX peptide-stimulated PBMCs, and IFX-specific T cell clones. Finally, IL-10-producing drug-specific T cell clones downregulated the response of autologous effector T cells to IFX. Overall, these findings identify IFX-specific T cells as a source of biologically active IL-10 and suggest interference by IL-10-producing cells in the detection of drug-specific T cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.1700008DOI Listing
August 2017

Musculin inhibits human T-helper 17 cell response to interleukin 2 by controlling STAT5B activity.

Eur J Immunol 2017 09 6;47(9):1427-1442. Epub 2017 Jul 6.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine and DENOTHE Center, University of Florence, Firenze, Italy.

We recently demonstrated that human T-helper (Th) 17 cells, unlike Th1 cells, do not proliferate in response to T-cell receptor stimulation, mainly because of their reduced capacity to produce and respond to IL-2. In this study, we show that their lower responsiveness to IL-2 is due to the selective expression of Musculin (MSC), a member of the basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors. We show that MSC expression in human Th17 cells is retinoic acid orphan receptor (ROR)γt-dependent, and allows the upregulation of PPP2R2B, a regulatory member of the protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) enzyme. High PPP2R2B levels in human Th17 cells were responsible for the reduced STAT5B Ser-193 phosphorylation upon IL-2 signalling and, therefore, impaired STAT5B DNA binding and transcriptional activity on IL-2 target genes. PP2A, observed in Th17 cells, controls also STAT3, dephosphorylating Ser727, thus increasing its activity that plays a crucial role in Th17 development and/or maintenance. Thus, our findings identify an additional mechanism responsible for the limited expansion of human Th17 cells, and could provide a further explanation for the rarity of these cells in inflamed tissues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eji.201746996DOI Listing
September 2017

Chitinase 3-like-1 is produced by human Th17 cells and correlates with the level of inflammation in juvenile idiopathic arthritis patients.

Clin Mol Allergy 2016 8;14:16. Epub 2016 Nov 8.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine and DENOTHE Center, University of Florence, 50134 Florence, Italy.

Background: CHI3L1 is a chitinase-like protein without enzymatic activity, produced by activated macrophages, chondrocytes, neutrophils. Recent studies on arthritis, asthma, and inflammatory bowel diseases suggest that chitinases are important in inflammatory processes and tissue remodeling, but their production by human T cells, has never been reported.

Methods: A microarray analysis of gene expression profile was performed on Th17 and classic Th1 cell clones and CHI3L1 was found among the up-regulated genes on Th17 cells. Different types of helper T cell clones (TCCs) were then evaluated by Real Time PCR (RT-PCR) for CHI3L1 mRNA expression; protein expression was investigated in cell lysates by western blotting and in cultures supernatants by ELISA. ELISA was also used to measure CHI3L1 in the serum and in the synovial fluid (SF) of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) patients.

Results: At mRNA level CHI3L1 was highly expressed by Th17, Th17/Th1, non classic Th1 and even in Th17/Th2 cell clones, whereas it was virtually absent in CD161- classic Th1 and Th2 TCCs. CHI3L1 was also detected in cell culture supernatants of Th17 and Th17-derived cells but not of classic Th1. Moreover CHI3L1 was higher in the SF than in serum of JIA patients, and it positively correlated with the frequency of Th17 and non-classic Th1 cells in SF. CHI3L1 in SF also positively correlated with the C reactive protein (CRP) serum levels, and with the levels of some proinflammatory cytokines, such as IL-6 and p40, which is the common subunit of IL12 and IL23.

Conclusions: Here we describe for the first time CHI3L1 production by T cells owing the Th17 family. Moreover the positive correlation found between the frequency of Th17 and Th17-derived cell subsets and CHI3L1 levels in SF of JIA patients, in agreement with the suggested role of these cells in inflammatory process, candidates CHI3L1 as a possible biological target in JIA treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12948-016-0053-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5100333PMC
November 2016

IL4I1: Key immunoregulator at a crossroads of divergent T-cell functions.

Authors:
Sergio Romagnani

Eur J Immunol 2016 10;46(10):2302-2305

Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Firenze, Italy.

The interleukin (IL)-4-induced gene1 (IL4I1), which encodes the L-amino acid oxidase enzyme, plays an important immunoregulatory role. Indeed, this enzyme which is produced by B cells-including neoplastic B cells-dendritic cells and macrophages has been shown to inhibit proliferation, cytotoxicity and IFN-γ production by tumor-infiltrating CD8 T cells, thus favoring tumor escape. Moreover, the same gene has been found to be constitutively expressed by CD4 T helper 17 (Th17) cells, where it down-regulates cell proliferation through a reduction of CD3 chains expression in the T-cell receptor complex, thus impairing IL-2 production, and by maintaining in the same cells a high expression of Tob1, which inhibits cell cycle entry, through a still unknown mechanism. Finally, IL4I1 has been shown to drive the differentiation of naive T cells into inducible regulatory T (iTreg) cells. Taken together, IL4I1 down-regulates the effector CD8 T-cell response, promotes the development of iTreg cells and limits the expansion of Th17 cells, thus not only favoring tumor escape, but also reducing the potentially dangerous effects of adaptive immune responses in chronic inflammatory disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eji.201646617DOI Listing
October 2016

How pregnancy can affect autoimmune diseases progression?

Clin Mol Allergy 2016 15;14:11. Epub 2016 Sep 15.

Center of Excellence for Research, Transfer and High Education DENOTHE of the University of Florence, Florence, Italy ; Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Largo Brambilla 3, 50134 Florence, Italy.

Autoimmune disorders are characterized by tissue damage, caused by self-reactivity of different effectors mechanisms of the immune system, namely antibodies and T cells. Their occurrence may be associated with genetic and/or environmental predisposition and to some extent, have implications for fertility and obstetrics. The relationship between autoimmunity and reproduction is bidirectional. This review only addresses the impact of pregnancy on autoimmune diseases and not the influence of autoimmunity on pregnancy development. Th17/Th1-type cells are aggressive and pathogenic in many autoimmune disorders and inflammatory diseases. The immunology of pregnancy underlies the role of Th2-type cytokines to maintain the tolerance of the mother towards the fetal semi-allograft. Non-specific factors, including hormonal changes, favor a switch to Th2-type cytokine profile. In pregnancy Th2, Th17/Th2 and Treg cells accumulate in the decidua but may also be present in the mother's circulation and can regulate autoimmune responses influencing the progression of autoimmune diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12948-016-0048-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5025626PMC
September 2016

Human circulating group 2 innate lymphoid cells can express CD154 and promote IgE production.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2017 Mar 27;139(3):964-976.e4. Epub 2016 Jul 27.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine and DENOTHE Center, Florence, Italy; Regenerative Medicine Unit and Immunology and Cellular Therapy Unit of Azienda Ospedaliera Careggi, Florence, Italy. Electronic address:

Background: Protection against helminths consists of adaptive responses by T2 cells and innate responses by group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s), with these latter being well characterized in mice but less so in human subjects.

Objective: We sought to characterize human circulating ILC2s and compare their functional profile with that of autologous T2 cells.

Methods: Circulating ILC2s and T2 cells were isolated by means of fluorescence-activated cell sorting and magnetic cell sorting and expanded in vitro. ILC2s were then stimulated with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate plus ionomycin, IL-25 plus IL-33 (IL-25/IL-33), or a mixture of Toll-like receptor ligands to evaluate their ability to produce cytokines, express CD154, and induce IgE production by autologous B cells. Cytokines and transcription factor gene methylation were assessed.

Results: ILC2s expressed GATA-3, retinoic acid orphan receptor (RORC) 2, and RORα; were able to produce IL-5, IL-13, and IL-4; and, accordingly, were characterized by demethylation of IL4, IL13, IL5, GATA3, and RORC2, whereas the IFNG, IFNG promoter, and TBX21 regions of interest were methylated. ILC2s expressed TLR1, TLR4, and TLR6, and TLR stimulation induced IL-5 and IL-13 production. Moreover, ILC2s expressed CD154 in response to phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate plus ionomycin, IL-25/IL-33, or a mixture of TLR ligands. Stimulated ILC2s also induced IgM, IgG, IgA, and IgE production by B cells. Finally, circulating ILC2s from atopic patients were not different in numbers and frequency but expressed higher IL-4 levels than those from nonatopic subjects.

Conclusion: This study provides the first evidence that human ILC2s can express CD154 and stimulate the production of IgE by B lymphocytes through IL-25/IL-33 stimulation or TLR triggering.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2016.06.032DOI Listing
March 2017

Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus group 2 allergen bound to 8-OH modified adenine reduces the Th2-mediated airway inflammation without inducing a Th17 response and autoimmunity.

Mol Immunol 2016 09 29;77:60-70. Epub 2016 Jul 29.

Immunoallergology Unit, Dept. of Biomedicine, Careggi Hospital, Florence, Italy. Electronic address:

8-OH modified adenine bound to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus group 2 (nDer p2-Conj), a novel allergen-TLR7 agonist conjugate, improves murine airway inflammation in priming and therapeutic settings, however no data are known on the activity of this construct on Th17 cells. The aim of the study was to evaluate if nDer p2-Conj elicited in vivo Th17 cells and Th17-driven autoimmune responses, by using both short- and long-term priming and therapeutic protocols in a nDer p2-driven model of murine airway inflammation. The conjugate induced the in vitro production of cytokines favouring the Th17 polarization by bone marrow-derived dendritic cells. In short-term protocols, the priming or treatment with the conjugate ameliorated the airway inflammation by shifting Th2 allergen-specific cells into T cells producing IFN-γ, IL-10, but not IL-17A. Similar results were found in long-term protocol where the conjugate down-regulated airway inflammation without any evidence of autoimmune response and B cell compartment expansion. nDer p2-Conj also failed to shorten the spontaneous onset of diabetes on conjugates-primed NOD/LtJ mice. We found that neutrophils in BALF, ROR-γt and IL-17A expression in lungs were increased in conjugate-treated IL-10KO mice. These data emphasize the role of conjugate-driven IL-10 production, which can regulate the activity of memory Th17 cells and prevent the onset of autoimmune response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molimm.2016.07.011DOI Listing
September 2016

Interleukin-17-producing decidual CD4+ T cells are not deleterious for human pregnancy when they also produce interleukin-4.

Clin Mol Allergy 2016 21;14. Epub 2016 Jan 21.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine and DENOTHE Excellence Center, University of Florence, Largo Brambilla 3, 50134 Florence, Italy.

Background: Trophoblast expressing paternal HLA-C antigens resemble a semiallograft, and could be rejected by maternal CD4+ T lymphocytes. We examined the possible role in human pregnancy of Th17 cells, known to be involved in allograft rejection and reported for this reason to be responsible for miscarriages. We also studied Th17/Th1 and Th17/Th2 cells never investigated before. We defined for the first time the role of different Th17 subpopulations at the embryo implantation site and the role of HLA-G5, produced by the trophoblast/embryo, on Th17 cell differentiation.

Methods: Cytokine production by CD4+ purified T cell and T clones from decidua of normal pregnancy, unexplained recurrent abortion, and ectopic pregnancy at both embryo implantation site and distant from that site were analyzed for protein and mRNA production. Antigen-specific T cell lines were derived in the presence and in the absence of HLA-G5.

Results: We found an associated spontaneous production of IL-17A, IL-17F and IL-4 along with expression of CD161, CCR8 and CCR4 (Th2- and Th17-type markers) in fresh decidua CD4+ T cells during successful pregnancy. There was a prevalence of Th17/Th2 cells (producing IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-22 and IL-4) in the decidua of successful pregnancy, but the exclusive presence of Th17 (producing IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-22) and Th17/Th1 (producing IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-22 and IFN-γ) cells was found in the decidua of unexplained recurrent abortion. More importantly, we observed that Th17/Th2 cells were exclusively present at the embryo implantation site during tubal ectopic pregnancy, and that IL-4, GATA-3, IL-17A, ROR-C mRNA levels increased in tubal biopsies taken from embryo implantation sites, whereas Th17, Th17/Th1 and Th1 cells are exclusively present apart from implantation sites. Moreover, soluble HLA-G5 mediates the development of Th17/Th2 cells by increasing IL-4, IL-17A and IL-17F protein and mRNA production of CD4+ T helper cells.

Conclusion: No pathogenic role of decidual Th17 cells during pregnancy was observed. Indeed, a beneficial role for these cells was observed when they also produced IL-4. HLA-G5 could be the key feature of the uterine microenvironment responsible for the development of Th17/Th2 cells, which seem to be crucial for successful embryo implantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12948-016-0039-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4721137PMC
January 2016

T helper cell mediated-tolerance towards fetal allograft in successful pregnancy.

Clin Mol Allergy 2015 10;13(1). Epub 2015 Jun 10.

INSERM UMR1043, CNRS UMR5282, Université de Toulouse III, Centre de Physiopathologie Toulouse-Purpan, Toulouse, 31024 France.

Trophoblast HLA-C antigens from paternal origins, which liken the trophoblast to a semiallograft, could be presented by the maternal APCs to the specific maternal CD4+ T helper cells, which could release various cytokines in response to these alloantigens. On the basis of the cytokines produced, these cells can be classified in Th1, Th2 and Th17 cells. Th1 and Th17 cells, known to be responsible for acute allograft rejection, could be involved in miscarriage and Th2 cells together with regulatory CD4+ T cells, known to be involved in allograft tolerance, could be responsible, at least in part, for the success of pregnancy. In this review we focus the role effector CD4+ T cells Th1, Th2 and Th17 cells on the fetal allograft tolerance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12948-015-0015-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4461901PMC
June 2015

Treatment with 8-OH-modified adenine (TLR7 ligand)-allergen conjugates decreases T helper type 2-oriented murine airway inflammation.

Immunology 2015 Aug 8;145(4):570-82. Epub 2015 Jun 8.

Immunoallergology Unit, Department of Biomedicine, Careggi Hospital, Florence, Italy.

A strategy to improve allergen-specific immunotherapy is to employ new adjuvants stably linked to allergens. The study is addressed to evaluate the in vivo and in vitro effects of allergens [natural Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus 2 (nDer p 2) and ovalbumin (OVA)] chemically bound to an 8-OH-modified adenine. Humoral and cellular responses were analysed in allergen-sensitized and challenged mice by using conjugates (Conj) in a therapeutic setting. The in vitro activity of the conjugates on cytokine production induced by bone marrow dendritic cells and the co-culture system was also investigated. The nDer p 2-Conj treatment in nDer p 2-primed and challenged BALB/c mice reduced the numbers of eosinophils in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and lung, airway allergen-driven interleukin-13 (IL-13) production in lung mononuclear cells and IgE, in comparison with nDer p 2-treated mice. The increase of IgG2a paralleled that of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and IL-10 in allergen-stimulated spleen cells. Similar effects were elicited by treatment with OVA-Conj in an OVA-driven BALB/c model. The nDer p 2-Conj or OVA-Conj redirected memory T helper type 2 cells towards the production of IL-10 and IFN-γ also in C57BL/6 mice and when subcutaneously administered. Interleukin-10, IL-12 and IL-27 were produced in vitro by Conj-stimulated bone marrow dendritic cells, whereas IL-10 and IFN-γ were up-regulated in co-cultures of CD11c(+) and CD4(+) T cells from Conj-treated mice stimulated with allergen. Cytofluorometric analysis indicated that the Conj expanded IFN-γ- and IL-10- producing memory T cells. The Conj effects on IL-10(-/-) and IL-12(-/-) mice confirmed the role of IL-10 and IFN-γ in inducing a protective and balanced redirection the T helper type 2-mediated airway inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/imm.12475DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4515136PMC
August 2015

Demethylation of the RORC2 and IL17A in human CD4+ T lymphocytes defines Th17 origin of nonclassic Th1 cells.

J Immunol 2015 Apr 4;194(7):3116-26. Epub 2015 Mar 4.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Florence 50134, Italy; DENOTHE Center, University of Florence, Florence 50134, Italy; Regenerative Medicine Unit, Careggi University Hospital, Florence 50134, Italy;

Th17-derived Th1 lymphocytes, termed nonclassic, differ from classic Th1 cells because of the presence of retinoic acid orphan receptor (ROR)C2 and the surface expression of CD161 and CCR6. We demonstrate in this article that nonclassic Th1 cells, like Th17 cells, have a marked RORC2 and IL17A demethylation, whereas classic Th1 cells exhibit a complete methylation of these genes. The analysis of RORC2 DNA methylation in the CD4(+)CD161(+) and CD4(+)CD161(-) naive Th subsets from umbilical cord blood surprisingly revealed comparable hypermethylation levels. PCR analysis at the single-cell level revealed that RORC2 mRNA was expressed by none of the CD4(+)CD161(-) and present only in a minority of CD4(+)CD161(+) naive Th cells. These findings provide two important novel observations on the physiology of human Th17 cells: 1) they confirm at the epigenetic level the origin of nonclassic Th1 cells from Th17 cells, also identifying in the RORC2 and IL17A methylation status a novel tool for their distinction from classic Th1 cells, and 2) they demonstrate that RORC2-expressing cells are only a minority in the subset of CD4(+)CD161(+) naive Th cells, which are known to contain all Th17 cell precursors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.1401303DOI Listing
April 2015

The 3 major types of innate and adaptive cell-mediated effector immunity.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2015 Mar 18;135(3):626-35. Epub 2014 Dec 18.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine and the DENOTHE Center, University of Florence, Florence, Italy. Electronic address:

The immune system has tailored its effector functions to optimally respond to distinct species of microbes. Based on emerging knowledge on the different effector T-cell and innate lymphoid cell (ILC) lineages, it is clear that the innate and adaptive immune systems converge into 3 major kinds of cell-mediated effector immunity, which we propose to categorize as type 1, type 2, and type 3. Type 1 immunity consists of T-bet(+) IFN-γ-producing group 1 ILCs (ILC1 and natural killer cells), CD8(+) cytotoxic T cells (TC1), and CD4(+) TH1 cells, which protect against intracellular microbes through activation of mononuclear phagocytes. Type 2 immunity consists of GATA-3(+) ILC2s, TC2 cells, and TH2 cells producing IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13, which induce mast cell, basophil, and eosinophil activation, as well as IgE antibody production, thus protecting against helminthes and venoms. Type 3 immunity is mediated by retinoic acid-related orphan receptor γt(+) ILC3s, TC17 cells, and TH17 cells producing IL-17, IL-22, or both, which activate mononuclear phagocytes but also recruit neutrophils and induce epithelial antimicrobial responses, thus protecting against extracellular bacteria and fungi. On the other hand, type 1 and 3 immunity mediate autoimmune diseases, whereas type 2 responses can cause allergic diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2014.11.001DOI Listing
March 2015

Human Th1 dichotomy: origin, phenotype and biologic activities.

Immunology 2014 Oct 5. Epub 2014 Oct 5.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine and DENOTHE Center, University of Florence, Florence, 50134, Italy; Regenerative Medicine Unit and Immunology and Cellular Therapy Unit of Azienda Ospedaliera Careggi, Florence, 50134, Italy.

The great variety of pathogens present in the environment has obliged the immune system to evolve different mechanisms for tailored and maximally protective responses. Initially, two major types of CD4+ T helper (Th) effector cells were identified, and named as type 1 (Th1) and type (Th2) cells because of the different cytokines they produce. More recently, a third type of CD4+ Th effectors has been identified and named as Th17 cells. Th17 cells, however, have been found to exhibit high plasticity because they rapidly shift into the Th1 phenotype in the inflammatory sites. Therefore, in these sites usually there is a dichotomic mixture of classic and non classic (Th17-derived) Th1 cells. In humans, non classic Th1 cells express CD161, as well as the retinoic acid orphan receptor C, IL-17 receptor E, IL-1RI, CCR6, and IL-4-induced gene 1 and Tob-1, which are all virtually absent from classic Th1 cells. The possibility to distinguish these two cell subsets may allow the opportunity to better establish their respective pathogenic role in different chronic inflammatory disorders. In this review, we discuss the different origin, the distinctive phenotypic features and the major biologic activities of classic and non classic Th1 cells. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/imm.12399DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4557671PMC
October 2014

Th17 and non-classic Th1 cells in chronic inflammatory disorders: two sides of the same coin.

Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2014 12;164(3):171-7. Epub 2014 Jul 12.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine and DENOTHE Center, University of Florence, and Units of Regenerative Medicine, and Immunology and Cellular Therapy, Azienda Ospedaliera Careggi, Florence, Italy.

Th17 lymphocytes, beyond their protective role in the clearance of extracellular pathogens, also play a role in the pathogenesis of several autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases, psoriasis and contact dermatitis. Nevertheless, they are very rare at inflammatory sites in comparison with other T cell subsets. Recently, this rarity has been explained by the finding that Th17 cells rapidly shift into the Th1 phenotype in the presence of IL-12 and/or TNF-α as well as by the fact that they possess self-regulatory mechanisms limiting their own expansion. Th17 lymphocytes that have shifted towards a Th1 phenotype seem to be particularly aggressive and more pathogenic than the Th17 unshifted cells. As a consequence, the Th17-derived Th1 cells, named non-classic Th1 cells, can become a possible target for the therapy of some inflammatory disorders. In particular, convincing evidence has recently been accumulated indicating that this subset can play a role in Crohn's disease and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. More importantly, it has been shown that TNF-α inhibitors, which are used for the treatment of such diseases, appear to be able to inhibit the transition of Th17 lymphocytes to the non-classic Th1 phenotype, and thus they possibly help to dampen inflammation and arrest disease progression. Based on this context, the definition of the soluble factors involved in the shifting from Th17 towards non-classic Th1 subset as well as the comprehension of their respective pathogenic role in human inflammatory disorders would be of great help for developing novel therapeutic strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000363502DOI Listing
January 2015

T cell subpopulations.

Authors:
Sergio Romagnani

Chem Immunol Allergy 2014 22;100:155-64. Epub 2014 May 22.

Department of Internal Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

The role of allergen-specific CD4+ effector type 2 helper (Th2) cells in the pathogenesis of allergic disorders is an established fact. Th2 cells produce interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13, which induce immunoglobulin E production by B cells, and IL-5 that allows recruitment of eosinophils. Two main mechanisms control the Th2-mediated allergic inflammation: immune deviation (or Th1 redirection) and immune regulation. Regulatory T (Treg) cells exhibit a CD4+ phenotype and include Foxp3-positive thymic and induced Tregs, as well as Foxp3-negative IL-10-producing cells. Both immune deviation and immune regulation evoked by the maternal and newborn microbial environment probably operate in preventing allergen-specific Th2 responses. However, microbe-related protection from allergy seems to mainly depend on epigenetically controlled acetylation of the IFNG promoter of CD4+ T cells. Even Th17 and Th9 cells, as well as invariant NKT cells, have been implicated in the pathogenesis of allergic disorders, but their role is certainly more limited. Recently, innate lymphoid type 2 cells (ILC2) have been found to be able to produce high amounts of IL-5 and IL-13 in response to stimulation with IL-25 and IL-33 produced by non-immune cells. Together with Th2 cells, ILC2 may contribute to the induction and maintenance of allergic inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000358622DOI Listing
April 2015

Brief report: etanercept inhibits the tumor necrosis factor α-driven shift of Th17 lymphocytes toward a nonclassic Th1 phenotype in juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

Arthritis Rheumatol 2014 May;66(5):1372-7

University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Objective: To evaluate the effects of etanercept on the phenotype of CD4+ T helper lymphocytes from patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).

Methods: We compared the proportions of various Th cell subsets in peripheral blood (PB) from etanercept-treated and untreated JIA patients. An in vitro study was performed on PB mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from 15 children with untreated JIA, in which we evaluated the proliferative response of these cells, as well as their cytokine production profile, in the presence of various stimuli with or without etanercept.

Results: We found lower proportions of CD4+ CD161+ (nonclassic) Th1 lymphocytes in the PB of patients treated with etanercept than in untreated patients. In vitro, etanercept inhibited the proliferative response induced by either polyclonal or recall antigen stimulation of PBMCs. Moreover, etanercept increased the proportion of CD4+CD161+ Th17/Th1 and Th17 cells in vitro while decreasing the proportions of nonclassic Th1 cell subsets, leaving CD4+CD161- (classic) Th1 cells unaffected. We also found that tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) was able to induce transition of Th17 lymphocytes toward the nonclassic Th1 phenotype in vitro, probably due to the high expression of TNF receptor type II observed in Th17 cells.

Conclusion: We have previously demonstrated the occurrence of a shifting of CD4+CD161+ Th17 cells to the nonclassic Th1 phenotype in children with JIA. The present findings suggest that etanercept can exert its disease-modifying action by interfering with this shifting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.38355DOI Listing
May 2014

IL-4-induced gene 1 maintains high Tob1 expression that contributes to TCR unresponsiveness in human T helper 17 cells.

Eur J Immunol 2014 Mar 27;44(3):654-61. Epub 2013 Dec 27.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine and DENOTHE Center, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Human Th17 cells have a limited proliferative capacity compared to other T-cell subsets. We have shown that human Th17 cells display impaired IL-2 production due to IL-4-induced gene 1 (IL4I1) upregulation. Here, we show that in human Th17 cells, IL4I1 also maintains high levels of Tob1, a member of the Tob/BTG (B-cell traslocation gene) antiproliferative protein family, which prevents cell-cycle progression mediated by TCR stimulation. Indeed, Th17 cells exhibited higher levels of Tob1 than Th1 cells in both resting and TCR-activated conditions. Accordingly, the expression of positive regulators of the cell cycle (cyclin A, B, C, and E and Cdk2), as well as of Skp2, which promotes Tob1 degradation, was lower in Th17 cells than in Th1 cells. Tob1 expression in human Th17 cells correlated with both RAR (retinoic acid receptor)-related orphan receptor C (RORC) and IL4I1 levels. However, RORC was not directly involved in the regulation of Tob1 expression, whereas IL4I1 silencing in Th17 cells induced a substantial decrease of Tob1 expression. These data suggest that IL4I1 upregulation in human Th17 cells limits their TCR-mediated expansion not only by blocking the molecular pathway involved in the activation of the IL-2 promoter, but also by maintaining high levels of Tob1, which impairs entry into the cell cycle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eji.201344047DOI Listing
March 2014

Reasons for rarity of Th17 cells in inflammatory sites of human disorders.

Semin Immunol 2013 Nov 5;25(4):299-304. Epub 2013 Nov 5.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine and DENOTHE Center, University of Florence, Florence 50134, Italy; Regenerative Medicine Unit and Immunology and Cellular Therapy Unit of Azienda Ospedaliera Careggi, Florence 50134, Italy. Electronic address:

T helper 17 (Th17) cells have been reported to be responsible for several chronic inflammatory diseases. However, a peculiar feature of human Th17 cells is that they are very rare in the inflammatory sites in comparison with Th1 cells. The first reason for this rarity is the existence of some self-regulatory mechanisms that limit their expansion. The limited expansion of human Th17 cells is related to the retinoic acid orphan (ROR)C-dependent up-regulation of the interleukin (IL)-4 induced gene 1 (IL4I1), which encodes for a l-phenylalanine oxidase, that has been shown to down-regulate CD3ζ expression in T cells. This results in abnormalities of the molecular pathway which is responsible for the impairment of IL-2 production and therefore for the lack of cell proliferation in response to T-cell receptor (TCR) signalling. IL4I1 up-regulation also associates with the increased expression of Tob1, a member of the Tob/BTG anti-proliferative protein family, which is involved in cell cycle arrest. A second reason for the rarity of human Th17 cells in the inflammatory sites is their rapid shifting into the Th1 phenotype, which is mainly related to the activity of IL-12 and TNF-α. We have named these Th17-derived Th1 cells as non-classic because they differ from classic Th1 cells for the expression of molecules specific for Th17 cells, such as RORC, CD161, CCR6, IL4I1, and IL-17 receptor E. This distinction may be important for defining the respective pathogenic role of Th17, non-classic Th1 and classic Th1 cells in many human inflammatory disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.smim.2013.10.011DOI Listing
November 2013

HLA-G5 induces IL-4 secretion critical for successful pregnancy through differential expression of ILT2 receptor on decidual CD4⁺ T cells and macrophages.

J Immunol 2013 Oct 30;191(7):3651-62. Epub 2013 Aug 30.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Center of excellence for the study at molecular and clinical level of chronic, degenerative and neoplastic diseases to develop novel therapies, University of Florence, 50134 Florence, Italy;

Successful pregnancy in humans has been associated with production of IL-4 by T cells at the feto-maternal interface. Soluble HLA-G5 produced by trophoblasts potentially controls the decidual T cell cytokine profile. We studied the effect of HLA-G5 on the cytokine profile of purified human macrophages and Ag-specific T cells in vitro. We demonstrated that HLA-G5 increased production of IL-12 by purified peripheral blood macrophages. Although IL-12 production by macrophages is known to induce IFN-γ production by CD4(+) T cells, HLA-G5 increased production of IL-4 but not IFN-γ by CD4(+) T cells after Ag presentation by macrophages. We found that this apparent paradox was due to the differential expression of the ILT2 HLA-G5 receptor on activated T cells and macrophages. This receptor was upregulated in the former and downregulated in the latter after Ag presentation and activation of both cell types. This observation was confirmed in situ, where decidual macrophages and T cells are continuously exposed to HLA-G5 produced locally and activated by trophoblast alloantigens. Freshly isolated decidua basalis macrophages expressed lower levels of ILT2 than peripheral blood macrophages from the same pregnant women. They did not spontaneously produce IL-12, whereas freshly isolated decidual CD4(+) T cells expressed high levels of activation markers (CD25, HLA-DR, and CD69) as well as ILT2 and spontaneously produced IL-4 but not IFN-γ. Therefore, HLA-G5 could be responsible, at least in part, via its interaction with ILT2, for decidual T cell IL-4 production, known to be crucial for successful pregnancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.1300567DOI Listing
October 2013

Main features of human T helper 17 cells.

Ann N Y Acad Sci 2013 May;1284:66-70

Laboratory of Immunology, Allergology and Cellular Therapies, Department of Internal Medicine and Denothe Center, University of Florence, Italy.

In addition to T helper type 1 (Th1) and Th2 cells, Th17 cells are a third arm of effector CD4(+) T cells. Human Th17 cells express RORC and CD161 and originate from RORC-expressing CD161(+) precursors, which migrate to lymphoid tissue and differentiate into mature Th17 cells in response to interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-23. Human Th17 cells are rare in inflammed tissues for two reasons: (1) Th17 cells do not produce IL-2 and, therefore, do not proliferate in response to TCR signaling, mainly because of RORC-dependent IL-4I1-mediated mechanisms that interfere with IL-2 gene activation; and (2) Th17 cell shift to a Th1 phenotype in the presence of IL-12; such Th17-derived Th1 cells are considered to be nonclassical Th1 cells and can be distinguished from classical Th1 cells. The possible role of Th17 cells in human tumors is still unclear and even controversial.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nyas.12075DOI Listing
May 2013

A novel allergen-adjuvant conjugate suitable for specific immunotherapy of respiratory allergy.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2013 Jul 14;132(1):84-92. Epub 2013 Mar 14.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Centre for Research, Transfer and High Education DENOTHE, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Background: Several approaches to find a better adjuvant, focus immunomodulation, and reduce allergenicity are under investigation to improve the efficacy and safety of specific immunotherapy.

Objective: We performed an investigation of the in vitro and in vivo effects of a purified allergen chemically conjugated to a novel 8-OH modified adenine as an adjuvant.

Methods: Purified group 2 major allergen from house dust mite chemically conjugated to 4-(6-amino-9-benzyl-8-hydroxy-9H-purin-2-ylsulfanyl)-butyric acid succinimidyl ester was analyzed by using mass spectrometry. The adduct (nDer p 2-Conj) was assayed for Toll-like receptor activation on transfected HEK293 cells, stimulation of innate cells, and effects on the functional phenotype of specific T-cell lines and clones by means of flow cytometry, real-time PCR, and expression of TH-related transcription factors. Lung cells and sera of nDer p 2-Conj-sensitized C57Bl/6 mice were studied by means of cytology, histology, real-time PCR, and ELISA.

Results: nDer p 2-Conj stimulated IL-12 and IFN-α production from monocytes and plasmacytoid dendritic cells, respectively, retaining the ability to trigger Toll-like receptor 7 exclusively, and expanded human allergen-specific lymphocytes with reduced ability to produce T(H)2-related cytokines and increased IFN-γ levels, as based on GATA-3/T-bet expression. In vivo adduct-sensitized mice exhibited reduced eosinophil infiltration and IL-13 expression in the airways, IFN-γ upregulation together with IgE downregulation, and an increase in allergen-specific IgG(2a) levels in sera. The conjugate exhibited reduced ability to activate human FcεRI(+) cells without inducing T(H)17 cells or autoantibodies.

Conclusions: The codelivery of an allergen with a modified adenine as a conjugate inducing modulatory cytokines from innate cells redirects in vitro and in vivo pathogenic TH2 responses without eliciting harmful effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2013.01.030DOI Listing
July 2013

Distinctive features of classic and nonclassic (Th17 derived) human Th1 cells.

Eur J Immunol 2012 Dec 25;42(12):3180-8. Epub 2012 Oct 25.

Department of Internal Medicine and DENOTHE Center, University of Florence, Firenze, Italy.

T helper17 (Th17) lymphocytes represent a third arm of the CD4(+) T-cell effector responses, in addition to Th1 and Th2 cells. Th17 cells have been found to exhibit high plasticity because they rapidly shift into the Th1 phenotype in inflammatory sites. In humans, Th1 cells derived from Th17 cells express CD161, whereas classic Th1 cells do not; these Th17-derived Th1 cells have been termed nonclassic Th1 cells. In this study, we examined similarities and differences between classic and nonclassic human Th1 cells by assessing a panel of T-cell clones, as well as CD161(+) or CD161(-) CD4(+) T cells derived ex vivo from the circulation of healthy subjects or the synovial fluid of patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. The results show that nonclassic Th1 cells can be identified based on CD161 expression, as well as the consistent expression of retinoic acid orphan receptor C, IL-17 receptor E, CCR6, and IL-4-induced gene 1, which are all virtually absent in classic Th1 cells. The possibility to distinguish these two-cell subsets by using such a panel of markers may allow the opportunity to better establish the respective pathogenic roles of classic and nonclassic (Th17 derived) Th1 cells in different chronic inflammatory disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eji.201242648DOI Listing
December 2012

Drug-specific Th2 cells and IgE antibodies in a patient with anaphylaxis to rituximab.

Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2012 22;159(3):321-6. Epub 2012 Jun 22.

Immunoallergology Unit, Department of Biomedicine, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, Florence, Italy. vultaggioa @ aou-careggi.toscana.it

Rituximab (RTX) is currently used in the treatment of lymphoproliferative diseases and of several rheumatologic disorders and is a frequent cause of acute infusion reactions, usually classified as cytokine release syndrome (CRS). Some infusion reactions to RTX raise concern for immediate type I hypersensitivity, even if to date RTX-specific IgE antibodies have not been reported. To improve knowledge of the mechanisms of reactions to RTX, we investigated humoral and cellular immune responses to this drug in a patient suffering from rheumatoid arthritis who displayed two immediate infusion-related reactions. RTX-exposed tolerant patients and healthy untreated subjects were used as controls. Non-isotype-specific and IgE anti-RTX antibodies were positive in the serum samples collected from the reactive patient but not in those from the control groups. Only the reactive patient also displayed skin testing positivity with RTX. More importantly, RTX-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells from the reactive patient, but not from the controls, displayed a dose-dependent proliferative response associated with a Th2 cytokine production profile. Our results show the presence of RTX-specific Th2-type cells and IgE antibodies, thus suggesting that type I hypersensitivity may be an additional mechanism to CRS in the development of RTX reactions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000336839DOI Listing
December 2012

Defining the human T helper 17 cell phenotype.

Trends Immunol 2012 Oct 7;33(10):505-12. Epub 2012 Jun 7.

Department of Internal Medicine and DENOTHE Center, University of Florence, 50134 Firenze, Italy.

T helper (Th) 17 cells represent a third effector arm of CD4 T cells and complement the function of the Th1 and Th2 cell lineages. Here, we provide an overview of the transcription factors, cytokines, chemokines, and cytokine and chemokine receptors that characterize the Th17 cell phenotype. Data relevant for human Th17 cells are emphasized, with a focus on the function of two markers that have recently been associated with human Th17 cells, CD161 and interleukin-4-induced gene 1 (IL4I1). Also considered is the basis of Th17 cell plasticity towards the Th1 lineage, and we suggest that this plasticity together with the limited expansion of Th17 cells in response to T cell receptor (TCR) triggering accounts for the rarity of human Th17 cells in inflamed tissues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.it.2012.05.004DOI Listing
October 2012