bims-imseme Biomed News
on Immunosenescence and T cell metabolism
Issue of 2022‒01‒23
twelve papers selected by
Pierpaolo Ginefra
Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research

  1. Cell Mol Immunol. 2022 Jan 17.
      T cell metabolism is dynamic and highly regulated. While the intrinsic metabolic programs of T cell subsets are integral to their distinct differentiation and functional patterns, the ability of cells to acquire nutrients and cope with hostile microenvironments can limit these pathways. T cells must function in a wide variety of tissue settings, and how T cells interpret these signals to maintain an appropriate metabolic program for their demands or if metabolic mechanisms of immune suppression restrain immunity is an area of growing importance. Both in inflamed and cancer tissues, a wide range of changes in physical conditions and nutrient availability are now acknowledged to shape immunity. These include fever and increased temperatures, depletion of critical micro and macro-nutrients, and accumulation of inhibitory waste products. Here we review several of these factors and how the tissue microenvironment both shapes and constrains immunity.
    Keywords:  T cell; cancer; immunometabolism; inflammation; microenvironment
  2. EMBO Rep. 2022 Jan 17. e53302
      Decline in immune function during aging increases susceptibility to different aging-related diseases. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms, especially the genetic factors contributing to imbalance of naïve/memory T-cell subpopulations, still remain largely elusive. Here, we show that loss of DJ-1 encoded by PARK7/DJ-1, causing early-onset familial Parkinson's disease (PD), unexpectedly diminished signs of immunoaging in T-cell compartments of both human and mice. Compared with two gender-matched unaffected siblings of similar ages, the index PD patient with DJ-1 deficiency showed a decline in many critical immunoaging features, including almost doubled non-senescent T cells. The observation was further consolidated by the results in 45-week-old DJ-1 knockout mice. Our data demonstrated that DJ-1 regulates several immunoaging features via hematopoietic-intrinsic and naïve-CD8-intrinsic mechanisms. Mechanistically, DJ-1 depletion reduced oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and impaired TCR sensitivity in naïve CD8 T cells at a young age, accumulatively leading to a reduced aging process in T-cell compartments in older mice. Our finding suggests an unrecognized critical role of DJ-1 in regulating immunoaging, discovering a potent target to interfere with immunoaging- and aging-associated diseases.
    Keywords:  CD8 T cells; PARK7/DJ-1; aging; immune aging; immunosenescence
  3. FEBS J. 2022 Jan 20.
      Senescence is a multi-functional cell fate, characterized by an irreversible cell-cycle arrest and a pro-inflammatory phenotype, commonly known as the Senescence-Associated secretory Phenotype (SASP). Emerging evidence indicates that accumulation of senescent cells in multiple tissues, drives tissue dysfunction and several age-related conditions. This has spurred the academic community and industry to identify new therapeutic interventions targeting this process. Mitochondrial dysfunction is an often-unappreciated hallmark of cellular senescence which plays important roles not only in the senescence growth arrest but also in the development of the SASP and resistance to cell-death. Here, we review the evidence that supports a role for mitochondria in the development of senescence and describe the underlying mechanisms. Finally, we propose that a detailed road map of mitochondrial biology in senescence will be crucial to guide the future development of senotherapies.
    Keywords:  Mitochondria; SASP; aging; senescence
  4. Diabetes. 2022 Jan 14. pii: db210209. [Epub ahead of print]
      Diabetes mellitus type 2 (T2D) causes an increased risk of morbidity and mortality in response to viral infection. T2D is characterized by hyperglycemia and is typically associated with insulin resistance and compensatory hyperinsulinemia. CD8 T cells express the insulin receptor and previously we have shown that insulin is able to directly modulate effector CD8 T cell function. We therefore hypothesized memory CD8 T cell responsiveness in context of T2D is negatively impacted by hyperinsulinemia or hyperglycemia. Using a mouse model for T2D we could show that memory CD8 T cell function was significantly reduced in response to re-challenge by viral infection or with melanoma cells. Basal insulin injection of mice increased GLUT-1 expression and glucose uptake in memory CD8 T cell precursors early after infection, which was prevented when these cells were deficient for the insulin receptor. However, neither insulin injection, nor insulin receptor deficiency resulted in a difference in metabolism, memory formation, cytokine production or recall responses of memory CD8 T cells compared to controls. Importantly, in context of obesity, insulin receptor deficiency on CD8 T cells did not affect the functional capacity of memory CD8 T cells. In contrast, we could show in vitro and in vivo that hyperglycemia significantly impairs the antiviral capacity of memory CD8 T cells. Our findings indicate that obesity impairs the memory CD8 T cell response against viral infection and cancer through the detrimental effects of hyperglycemia rather than hyperinsulinemia.
  5. Cell Rep. 2022 Jan 18. pii: S2211-1247(21)01778-2. [Epub ahead of print]38(3): 110266
      Production of effector CD8+ T cells during persistent infection requires a stable pool of stem-like cells that can give rise to effector cells via a proliferative intermediate population. In infection models marked by T cell exhaustion, this process can be transiently induced by checkpoint blockade but occurs spontaneously in mice chronically infected with the protozoan intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii. We observe distinct locations for parasite-specific T cell subsets, implying a link between differentiation and anatomical niches in the spleen. Loss of the chemokine receptor CXCR3 on T cells does not prevent white pulp-to-red pulp migration but reduces interactions with CXCR3 ligand-producing dendritic cells (DCs) and impairs memory-to-intermediate transition, leading to a buildup of memory T cells in the red pulp. Thus, CXCR3 increases T cell exposure to differentiation-inducing signals during red pulp migration, providing a dynamic mechanism for modulating effector differentiation in response to environmental signals.
    Keywords:  CD8+ T cell differentiation; CXCL10; CXCL9; CXCR3; Toxoplasma gondii; bridging channel; cDC-2s; chronic infection; red pulp; white pulp
  6. Cell. 2022 Jan 13. pii: S0092-8674(21)01561-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      The relevance of extracellular magnesium in cellular immunity remains largely unknown. Here, we show that the co-stimulatory cell-surface molecule LFA-1 requires magnesium to adopt its active conformation on CD8+ T cells, thereby augmenting calcium flux, signal transduction, metabolic reprogramming, immune synapse formation, and, as a consequence, specific cytotoxicity. Accordingly, magnesium-sufficiency sensed via LFA-1 translated to the superior performance of pathogen- and tumor-specific T cells, enhanced effectiveness of bi-specific T cell engaging antibodies, and improved CAR T cell function. Clinically, low serum magnesium levels were associated with more rapid disease progression and shorter overall survival in CAR T cell and immune checkpoint antibody-treated patients. LFA-1 thus directly incorporates information on the composition of the microenvironment as a determinant of outside-in signaling activity. These findings conceptually link co-stimulation and nutrient sensing and point to the magnesium-LFA-1 axis as a therapeutically amenable biologic system.
    Keywords:  CAR T cells; Mg2+; T cell engaging antibodies; co-stimulation/LFA-1; immune control; integration of microenvironment and T cell function; magnesium; memory CD8 T cells; microenvironment; tumor-specific T cells
  7. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Jan 10. pii: 323. [Epub ahead of print]14(2):
      One of the limitations of immunotherapy is the development of a state referred to as T cell exhaustion (TEx) whereby T cells express inhibitory receptors (IRs) and lose production of effectors involved in killing of their targets. In the present studies we have used the repeated stimulation model with anti CD3 and anti CD28 to understand the factors involved in TEx development and treatments that may reduce changes of TEx. The results show that addition of nicotinamide (NAM) involved in energy supply to cells prevented the development of inhibitory receptors (IRs). This was particularly evident for the IRs CD39, TIM3, and to a lesser extent LAG3 and PD1 expression. NAM also prevented the inhibition of IL-2 and TNFα expression in TEx and induced differentiation of CD4+ and CD8 T cells to effector memory and terminal effector T cells. The present results showed that effects of NAM were linked to regulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) consistent with previous studies implicating ROS in upregulation of TOX transcription factors that induce TEx. These effects of NAM in reducing changes of TEx and in increasing the differentiation of T cells to effector states appears to have important implications for the use of NAM supplements in immunotherapy against cancers and viral infections and require further exploration in vivo.
    Keywords:  EZH2; T cell exhaustion; TOX; epigenetics; inhibitory receptors; metabolism; nicotinamide
  8. Cancer Immunol Res. 2022 Jan 20. pii: canimm.0419.2021. [Epub ahead of print]
      CD8+ T cells play an important role in the elimination of tumors. However, the underlying mechanisms involved in eliciting and maintaining effector responses in CD8+ T cells remain to be elucidated. Pellino1 (Peli1) is a receptor signal-responsive ubiquitin E3 ligase, which acts as a critical mediator for innate immunity. Here, we found that the risk of developing tumors was dependent on Peli1 expression. Peli1 was upregulated in CD8+ T cells among tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). In contrast, a deficit of Peli1 enhanced the maintenance and effector function of CD8+ TILs. The development of Peli1-deficient CD8+ TILs prevented T-cell exhaustion and retained the hyperactivated states of T cells to eliminate tumors. We also found that Peli1 directly interacted with protein kinase C-theta (PKCθ), a central kinase in T-cell receptor downstream signal transduction, but whose role in tumor immunology remains unknown. Peli1 inhibited the PKCθ pathway by lysine 48-mediated ubiquitination degradation in CD8+ TILs. In summary, the Peli1-PKCθ signaling axis is a common inhibitory mechanism that prevents anti-tumor CD8+ T-cell function, and thus targeting Peli1 may be a useful therapeutic strategy for improving cytotoxic T-cell activity.
  9. Nature. 2022 Jan 19.
      Ageing is accompanied by a decline in cellular proteostasis, which underlies many age-related protein misfolding diseases1,2. Yet, how ageing impairs proteostasis remains unclear. As nascent polypeptides represent a substantial burden on the proteostasis network3, we hypothesized that altered translational efficiency during ageing could help to drive the collapse of proteostasis. Here we show that ageing alters the kinetics of translation elongation in both Caenorhabditis elegans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Ribosome pausing was exacerbated at specific positions in aged yeast and worms, including polybasic stretches, leading to increased ribosome collisions known to trigger ribosome-associated quality control (RQC)4-6. Notably, aged yeast cells exhibited impaired clearance and increased aggregation of RQC substrates, indicating that ageing overwhelms this pathway. Indeed, long-lived yeast mutants reduced age-dependent ribosome pausing, and extended lifespan correlated with greater flux through the RQC pathway. Further linking altered translation to proteostasis collapse, we found that nascent polypeptides exhibiting age-dependent ribosome pausing in C. elegans were strongly enriched among age-dependent protein aggregates. Notably, ageing increased the pausing and aggregation of many components of proteostasis, which could initiate a cycle of proteostasis collapse. We propose that increased ribosome pausing, leading to RQC overload and nascent polypeptide aggregation, critically contributes to proteostasis impairment and systemic decline during ageing.
  10. Mol Cancer. 2022 Jan 21. 21(1): 27
      Cellular metabolism constitutes a fundamental process in biology. During tumor initiation and progression, each cellular component in the cancerous niche undergoes dramatic metabolic reprogramming, adapting to a challenging microenvironment of hypoxia, nutrient deprivation, and other stresses. While the metabolic hallmarks of cancer have been extensively studied, the metabolic states of the immune cells are less well elucidated. Here we review the metabolic disturbance and fitness of the immune system in the tumor microenvironment (TME), focusing on the impact of oncometabolites to the function of immune cells and the clinical significance of targeting metabolism in anti-tumor immunotherapy. Metabolic alterations in the immune system of TME offer novel therapeutic insight into cancer treatment.
    Keywords:  Immune cells; Immunotherapy; Metabolic reprogramming; Oncometabolites; Tumor microenvironment
  11. Pharmacol Res. 2022 Jan 13. pii: S1043-6618(22)00026-3. [Epub ahead of print]176 106081
      To enhance therapeutic efficacy and reduce adverse effects, ancient practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) prescribe combinations of plant species/animal species and minerals designated "TCM formulae" developed based on TCM theory and clinical experience. TCM formulae have been shown to exert curative effects on complex diseases via immune regulation but the underlying mechanisms remain unknown at present. Considerable progress in the field of immunometabolism, referring to alterations in the intracellular metabolism of immune cells that regulate their function, has been made over the past decade. The core context of immunometabolism is regulation of the allocation of metabolic resources supporting host defense and survival, which provides a critical additional dimension and emerging insights into how the immune system and metabolism influence each other during disease progression. This review summarizes research findings on the significant association between the immune function and metabolic remodeling in health and disease as well as the therapeutic modulatory effects of TCM formulae on immunometabolism. Progressive elucidation of the immunometabolic mechanisms involved during the course of TCM treatment continues to aid in the identification of novel potential targets against pathogenicity. In this report, we have provided a comprehensive overview of the benefits of TCM based on regulation of immunometabolism that are potentially applicable for the treatment of modern diseases.
    Keywords:  6-gingerol (PubChem CID: 442793); Aconitine (PubChem CID: 245005); Astragaloside (PubChem CID: 5488387); Calycosin glucoside (PubChem CID: 5318267); Disease; Ferulic acid (PubChem CID: 445858); Glycyrrhizic acid (PubChem CID: 14982); Hypoaconitine (PubChem CID: 441737); Immune cell; Immunometabolism; Liquiritin (PubChem CID: 503737); Mesaconitine (PubChem CID: 441747); Metabolic pathway; TCM formulae
  12. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Biol Lipids. 2022 Jan 17. pii: S1388-1981(21)00222-5. [Epub ahead of print] 159094
      Cardiolipin (CL) deficiency causes mitochondrial dysfunction and aberrant metabolism that are associated in humans with the severe disease Barth syndrome (BTHS). Several metabolic abnormalities are observed in BTHS patients and model systems, including decreased oxidative phosphorylation, reduced tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle flux, and accumulated lactate and D-β-hydroxybutyrate, which strongly suggests that nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) redox metabolism may be altered in CL-deficient cells. In this study, we identified abnormal NAD+ metabolism in multiple BTHS model systems and demonstrate that supplementation of NAD+ precursors such as nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) improves mitochondrial function. Improved mitochondrial function in the Drosophila model was associated with restored exercise endurance, which suggests a potential therapeutic benefit of NAD+ precursor supplementation in the management of BTHS patients.
    Keywords:  Barth syndrome; Cardiolipin deficiency; Mitochondrial function; NAD(+) precursors; NAD(+) redox; Nicotinamide mononucleotide