Publications by authors named "Urvashi Bhatia"

8 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

CD8 T cell-mediated endotheliopathy is a targetable mechanism of neuro-inflammation in Susac syndrome.

Nat Commun 2019 12 18;10(1):5779. Epub 2019 Dec 18.

Institute of Clinical Neuroimmunology, Biomedical Center and Hospital of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Großhaderner Straße 9, Martinsried, 82152, Munich, Germany.

Neuroinflammation is often associated with blood-brain-barrier dysfunction, which contributes to neurological tissue damage. Here, we reveal the pathophysiology of Susac syndrome (SuS), an enigmatic neuroinflammatory disease with central nervous system (CNS) endotheliopathy. By investigating immune cells from the blood, cerebrospinal fluid, and CNS of SuS patients, we demonstrate oligoclonal expansion of terminally differentiated activated cytotoxic CD8 T cells (CTLs). Neuropathological data derived from both SuS patients and a newly-developed transgenic mouse model recapitulating the disease indicate that CTLs adhere to CNS microvessels in distinct areas and polarize granzyme B, which most likely results in the observed endothelial cell injury and microhemorrhages. Blocking T-cell adhesion by anti-α4 integrin-intervention ameliorates the disease in the preclinical model. Similarly, disease severity decreases in four SuS patients treated with natalizumab along with other therapy. Our study identifies CD8 T-cell-mediated endotheliopathy as a key disease mechanism in SuS and highlights therapeutic opportunities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-13593-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6920411PMC
December 2019

Time-resolved transcriptome and proteome landscape of human regulatory T cell (Treg) differentiation reveals novel regulators of FOXP3.

BMC Biol 2018 05 7;16(1):47. Epub 2018 May 7.

Unit of Computational Medicine, Center for Molecular Medicine, Department of Medicine Solna, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital and Science for Life Laboratory, 17176, Stockholm, Sweden.

Background: Regulatory T cells (Tregs) expressing the transcription factor FOXP3 are crucial mediators of self-tolerance, preventing autoimmune diseases but possibly hampering tumor rejection. Clinical manipulation of Tregs is of great interest, and first-in-man trials of Treg transfer have achieved promising outcomes. Yet, the mechanisms governing induced Treg (iTreg) differentiation and the regulation of FOXP3 are incompletely understood.

Results: To gain a comprehensive and unbiased molecular understanding of FOXP3 induction, we performed time-series RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) and proteomics profiling on the same samples during human iTreg differentiation. To enable the broad analysis of universal FOXP3-inducing pathways, we used five differentiation protocols in parallel. Integrative analysis of the transcriptome and proteome confirmed involvement of specific molecular processes, as well as overlap of a novel iTreg subnetwork with known Treg regulators and autoimmunity-associated genes. Importantly, we propose 37 novel molecules putatively involved in iTreg differentiation. Their relevance was validated by a targeted shRNA screen confirming a functional role in FOXP3 induction, discriminant analyses classifying iTregs accordingly, and comparable expression in an independent novel iTreg RNA-Seq dataset.

Conclusion: The data generated by this novel approach facilitates understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying iTreg generation as well as of the concomitant changes in the transcriptome and proteome. Our results provide a reference map exploitable for future discovery of markers and drug candidates governing control of Tregs, which has important implications for the treatment of cancer, autoimmune, and inflammatory diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12915-018-0518-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5937035PMC
May 2018

Transcriptional Repressor HIC1 Contributes to Suppressive Function of Human Induced Regulatory T Cells.

Cell Rep 2018 02;22(8):2094-2106

Turku Centre for Biotechnology, University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland. Electronic address:

Regulatory T (Treg) cells are critical in regulating the immune response. In vitro induced Treg (iTreg) cells have significant potential in clinical medicine. However, applying iTreg cells as therapeutics is complicated by the poor stability of human iTreg cells and their variable suppressive activity. Therefore, it is important to understand the molecular mechanisms of human iTreg cell specification. We identified hypermethylated in cancer 1 (HIC1) as a transcription factor upregulated early during the differentiation of human iTreg cells. Although FOXP3 expression was unaffected, HIC1 deficiency led to a considerable loss of suppression by iTreg cells with a concomitant increase in the expression of effector T cell associated genes. SNPs linked to several immune-mediated disorders were enriched around HIC1 binding sites, and in vitro binding assays indicated that these SNPs may alter the binding of HIC1. Our results suggest that HIC1 is an important contributor to iTreg cell development and function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2018.01.070DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5842026PMC
February 2018

Analysis of Lymphocyte Extravasation Using an In Vitro Model of the Human Blood-brain Barrier.

J Vis Exp 2017 04 5(122). Epub 2017 Apr 5.

Department of Neurology with Institute of Translational Neurology, University Hospital Münster;

Lymphocyte extravasation into the central nervous system (CNS) is critical for immune surveillance. Disease-related alterations of lymphocyte extravasation might result in pathophysiological changes in the CNS. Thus, investigation of lymphocyte migration into the CNS is important to understand inflammatory CNS diseases and to develop new therapy approaches. Here we present an in vitro model of the human blood-brain barrier to study lymphocyte extravasation. Human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMEC) are confluently grown on a porous polyethylene terephthalate transwell insert to mimic the endothelium of the blood-brain barrier. Barrier function is validated by zonula occludens immunohistochemistry, transendothelial electrical resistance (TEER) measurements as well as analysis of evans blue permeation. This model allows investigation of the diapedesis of rare lymphocyte subsets such as CD56CD16 NK cells. Furthermore, the effects of other cells, cytokines and chemokines, disease-related alterations, and distinct treatment regimens on the migratory capacity of lymphocytes can be studied. Finally, the impact of inflammatory stimuli as well as different treatment regimens on the endothelial barrier can be analyzed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3791/55390DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5564469PMC
April 2017

Neurochondrin is a neuronal target antigen in autoimmune cerebellar degeneration.

Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm 2017 Jan 5;4(1):e307. Epub 2016 Dec 5.

Institute of Experimental Immunology (R.M., M. Scharf, I.M.D., S.M., Y.D., B.T., C.P., S.B., W.S., L.K.), Euroimmun AG, Lübeck; Department of Neurology (C.C.G., K.S.G., M.H., U.B., A.S.-M., K.B., C.S., H.L., M.D., T.W., H.W., S.G.M., N.M.), University of Münster; Centre for Neurology and Hertie-Institute for Clinical Brain Research (L.S., M. Synofzik), Tübingen; German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) (L.S., M. Synofzik), Tübingen; and Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Department of Neurology (K.-P.W.), University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein, Lübeck, Germany.

Objective: To report on a novel neuronal target antigen in 3 patients with autoimmune cerebellar degeneration.

Methods: Three patients with subacute to chronic cerebellar ataxia and controls underwent detailed clinical and neuropsychological assessment together with quantitative high-resolution structural MRI. Sera and CSF were subjected to comprehensive autoantibody screening by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and immunoblot. Immunoprecipitation with lysates of hippocampus and cerebellum combined with mass spectrometric analysis was used to identify the autoantigen, which was verified by recombinant expression in HEK293 cells and use in several immunoassays. Multiparameter flow cytometry was performed on peripheral blood and CSF, and peripheral blood was subjected to T-cell receptor spectratyping.

Results: Patients presented with a subacute to chronic cerebellar and brainstem syndrome. MRI was consistent with cortical and cerebellar gray matter atrophy associated with subsequent neuroaxonal degeneration. IFA screening revealed strong immunoglobulin G1 reactivity in sera and CSF with hippocampal and cerebellar molecular and granular layers, but not with a panel of 30 recombinantly expressed established neural autoantigens. Neurochondrin was subsequently identified as the target antigen, verified by IFA and immunoblot with HEK293 cells expressing human neurochondrin as well as the ability of recombinant neurochondrin to neutralize the autoantibodies' tissue reaction. Immune phenotyping revealed intrathecal accumulation and activation of B and T cells during the acute but not chronic phase of the disease. T-cell receptor spectratyping suggested an antigen-specific T-cell response accompanying the formation of antineurochondrin autoantibodies. No such neurochondrin reactivity was found in control cohorts of various neural autoantibody-associated neurologic syndromes, relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, cerebellar type of multiple system atrophy, hereditary cerebellar ataxias, other neurologic disorders, or healthy donors.

Conclusion: Neurochondrin is a neuronal target antigen in autoimmune cerebellar degeneration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/NXI.0000000000000307DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5141526PMC
January 2017

Effects of blood transportation on human peripheral mononuclear cell yield, phenotype and function: implications for immune cell biobanking.

PLoS One 2014 26;9(12):e115920. Epub 2014 Dec 26.

University Hospital Muenster, Department of Neurology, Albert-Schweitzer-Campus 1, Muenster, Germany.

Human biospecimen collection, processing and preservation are rapidly emerging subjects providing essential support to clinical as well as basic researchers. Unlike collection of other biospecimens (e.g. DNA and serum), biobanking of viable immune cells, such as peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and/or isolated immune cell subsets is still in its infancy. While certain aspects of processing and freezing conditions have been studied in the past years, little is known about the effect of blood transportation on immune cell survival, phenotype and specific functions. However, especially for multicentric and cooperative projects it is vital to precisely know those effects. In this study we investigated the effect of blood shipping and pre-processing delay on immune cell phenotype and function both on cellular and subcellular levels. Peripheral blood was collected from healthy volunteers (n = 9): at a distal location (shipped overnight) and in the central laboratory (processed immediately). PBMC were processed in the central laboratory and analyzed post-cryopreservation. We analyzed yield, major immune subset distribution, proliferative capacity of T cells, cytokine pattern and T-cell receptor signal transduction. Results show that overnight transportation of blood samples does not globally compromise T- cell subsets as they largely retain their phenotype and proliferative capacity. However, NK and B cell frequencies, the production of certain PBMC-derived cytokines and IL-6 mediated cytokine signaling pathway are altered due to transportation. Various control experiments have been carried out to compare issues related to shipping versus pre-processing delay on site. Our results suggest the implementation of appropriate controls when using multicenter logistics for blood transportation aiming at subsequent isolation of viable immune cells, e.g. in multicenter clinical trials or studies analyzing immune cells/subsets. One important conclusion might be that despite changes due to overnight shipment, highly standardized central processing (and analysis) could be superior to multicentric de-central processing with more difficult standardization.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0115920PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4277394PMC
November 2015

Ultraviolet B light attenuates the systemic immune response in central nervous system autoimmunity.

Ann Neurol 2014 May 13;75(5):739-58. Epub 2014 May 13.

Department of Neurology, University of Münster, Münster.

Objective: Environmental conditions (eg, latitude) play a critical role in the susceptibility and severity of many autoimmune disorders, including multiple sclerosis (MS). Here, we investigated the mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of immune regulatory processes induced in the skin by moderate ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation on central nervous system (CNS) autoimmunity.

Methods: Effects of UVB light were analyzed in a murine model of CNS autoimmunity (experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis). Additionally, patients with relapsing-remitting MS were treated with narrowband UVB phototherapy. Immunomodulatory effects were examined in skin biopsies, serum samples, and immune cells of the peripheral blood.

Results: Regulatory T cells (Tregs), which are induced locally in the skin-draining lymph nodes in response to UVB exposure, connect the cutaneous immune response to CNS immunity by migration to the sites of inflammation (blood, spleen, CNS). Here, they attenuate the inflammatory response and ameliorate disease symptoms. Treg-inducing tolerogenic dendritic cells (DCs) were further necessary for induction of this systemic immune regulation by UVB radiation, because ablation of Langerhans cells abolished the UVB-induced phenotype. MS patients treated with UVB phototherapy showed an increase in induced Tregs and tolerogenic DCs accompanied by the downregulation of the T-cell effector cytokine interleukin 21. The treatment further induced elevated serum levels of vitamin D.

Interpretation: Local UVB radiation of the skin influences systemic immune reactions and attenuates systemic autoimmunity via the induction of skin-derived tolerogenic DCs and Tregs. Our data could have implications for the understanding or therapeutic modulation of environmental factors that influence immune tolerance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ana.24165DOI Listing
May 2014

T-bet and GATA3 orchestrate Th1 and Th2 differentiation through lineage-specific targeting of distal regulatory elements.

Nat Commun 2012 ;3:1268

Division of Infection and Immunity and UCL Cancer Institute, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK.

T-bet and GATA3 regulate the CD4+ T cell Th1/Th2 cell fate decision but little is known about the interplay between these factors outside of the murine Ifng and Il4/Il5/Il13 loci. Here we show that T-bet and GATA3 bind to multiple distal sites at immune regulatory genes in human effector T cells. These sites display markers of functional elements, act as enhancers in reporter assays and are associated with a requirement for T-bet and GATA3. Furthermore, we demonstrate that both factors bind distal sites at Tbx21 and that T-bet directly activates its own expression. We also show that in Th1 cells, GATA3 is distributed away from Th2 genes, instead occupying T-bet binding sites at Th1 genes, and that T-bet is sufficient to induce GATA3 binding at these sites. We propose these aspects of T-bet and GATA3 function are important for Th1/Th2 differentiation and for understanding transcription factor interactions in other T cell lineage decisions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms2260DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3535338PMC
June 2013
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