bims-imseme Biomed News
on Immunosenescence and T cell metabolism
Issue of 2024‒01‒14
eleven papers selected by
Pierpaolo Ginefra, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research

  1. Nat Commun. 2024 Jan 11. 15(1): 451
      Immune cells must adapt to different environments during the course of an immune response. Here we study the adaptation of CD8+ T cells to the intestinal microenvironment and how this process shapes the establishment of the CD8+ T cell pool. CD8+ T cells progressively remodel their transcriptome and surface phenotype as they enter the gut wall, and downregulate expression of mitochondrial genes. Human and mouse intestinal CD8+ T cells have reduced mitochondrial mass, but maintain a viable energy balance to sustain their function. We find that the intestinal microenvironment is rich in prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), which drives mitochondrial depolarization in CD8+ T cells. Consequently, these cells engage autophagy to clear depolarized mitochondria, and enhance glutathione synthesis to scavenge reactive oxygen species (ROS) that result from mitochondrial depolarization. Impairing PGE2 sensing promotes CD8+ T cell accumulation in the gut, while tampering with autophagy and glutathione negatively impacts the T cell pool. Thus, a PGE2-autophagy-glutathione axis defines the metabolic adaptation of CD8+ T cells to the intestinal microenvironment, to ultimately influence the T cell pool.
  2. EMBO Rep. 2024 Jan 12.
      Tumor cells reprogram nutrient acquisition and metabolic pathways to meet their energetic, biosynthetic, and redox demands. Similarly, metabolic processes in immune cells support host immunity against cancer and determine differentiation and fate of leukocytes. Thus, metabolic deregulation and imbalance in immune cells within the tumor microenvironment have been reported to drive immune evasion and to compromise therapeutic outcomes. Interestingly, emerging evidence indicates that anti-tumor immunity could modulate tumor heterogeneity, aggressiveness, and metabolic reprogramming, suggesting that immunosurveillance can instruct cancer progression in multiple dimensions. This review summarizes our current understanding of how metabolic crosstalk within tumors affects immunogenicity of tumor cells and promotes cancer progression. Furthermore, we explain how defects in the metabolic cascade can contribute to developing dysfunctional immune responses against cancers and discuss the contribution of immunosurveillance to these defects as a feedback mechanism. Finally, we highlight ongoing clinical trials and new therapeutic strategies targeting cellular metabolism in cancer.
    Keywords:  Cancer Evolution; Immunoediting; Immunometabolism
  3. bioRxiv. 2023 Dec 23. pii: 2023.12.23.573167. [Epub ahead of print]
      Unlike in infection and cancer, T cell exhaustion in autoimmune disease has not been clearly defined. Here we set out to understand inhibitory protein (PD-1, Tim3, CTLA4, Lag3) expression in CXCR5- and CXCR5+ CD8 and CD4 T cells in systemic lupus erythematosus. CXCR5+ CD8 and CD4 T cells express PD-1 and engage B cells in germinal center reactions, leading to autoantibody formation in autoimmunity. We hypothesized that CXCR5+ CD8 T cells develop an exhausted phenotype as SLE autoimmunity expands from initial to chronic, self-perpetuating disease due to chronic self-antigen exposure. Our results indicate that there is no exhaustion frequency differences between sexes, although disease kinetics vary by sex. CXCR5+ CD8 T cells express primarily IFNγ, known to promote autoimmune disease development, whereas CXCR5-CD8 T cells express TNFα and IFNγ as disease progresses from 2-6 months. Tim3 is the highest expressed inhibitory marker for all CD4 and CD8 T cell populations demonstrating potential for terminally exhausted populations. CTLA4 expression on CD4 T cells suggests potential tolerance induction in these cells. We identified exhaustion phenotypes within autoimmune disease that progress with increasing lupus erythematosus severity and possibly provide a feedback mechanism for immunological tolerance.Highlights: CXCR5- and CXCR5+ CD8 T cells expand with rate of disease in SLE mouse model.CXCR5+ CD8 T cells are low contributors to TNFα disease progression unlike CXCR5-CD8 T cells but may increase disease mechanisms through high IFNγ production.Inhibitory markers upregulate in frequency with the highest amounts seen in Tim3+ populations. Tim3+Lag3+ expression may be an indicator of terminal differentiation for all populations.Inhibitory marker expression frequency was unrelated to sex.
  4. Mol Cell. 2024 Jan 04. pii: S1097-2765(23)01034-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      Apart from the canonical serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine [5-HT])-receptor signaling transduction pattern, 5-HT-involved post-translational serotonylation has recently been noted. Here, we report a glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) serotonylation system that promotes the glycolytic metabolism and antitumor immune activity of CD8+ T cells. Tissue transglutaminase 2 (TGM2) transfers 5-HT to GAPDH glutamine 262 and catalyzes the serotonylation reaction. Serotonylation supports the cytoplasmic localization of GAPDH, which induces a glycolytic metabolic shift in CD8+ T cells and contributes to antitumor immunity. CD8+ T cells accumulate intracellular 5-HT for serotonylation through both synthesis by tryptophan hydroxylase 1 (TPH1) and uptake from the extracellular compartment via serotonin transporter (SERT). Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) degrades 5-HT and acts as an intrinsic negative regulator of CD8+ T cells. The adoptive transfer of 5-HT-producing TPH1-overexpressing chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cells induced a robust antitumor response. Our findings expand the known range of neuroimmune interaction patterns by providing evidence of receptor-independent serotonylation post-translational modification.
    Keywords:  5-HT; CD8(+) T cell; GAPDH; glycolysis; post-translational modification; serotonin; serotonylation; tumor immunity
  5. Aging Cell. 2024 Jan 11. e14082
      Circadian cycles of sleep:wake and gene expression change with age in all organisms examined. Metabolism is also under robust circadian regulation, but little is known about how metabolic cycles change with age and whether these contribute to the regulation of behavioral cycles. To address this gap, we compared cycling of metabolites in young and old Drosophila and found major age-related variations. A significant model separated the young metabolic profiles by circadian timepoint, but could not be defined for the old metabolic profiles due to the greater variation in this dataset. Of the 159 metabolites measured in fly heads, we found 17 that cycle by JTK analysis in young flies and 17 in aged. Only four metabolites overlapped in the two groups, suggesting that cycling metabolites are distinct in young and old animals. Among our top cyclers exclusive to young flies were components of the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP). As the PPP is important for buffering reactive oxygen species, and overexpression of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), a key component of the PPP, was previously shown to extend lifespan in Drosophila, we asked if this manipulation also affects sleep:wake cycles. We found that overexpression in circadian clock neurons decreases sleep in association with an increase in cellular calcium and mitochondrial oxidation, suggesting that altering PPP activity affects neuronal activity. Our findings elucidate the importance of metabolic regulation in maintaining patterns of neural activity, and thereby sleep:wake cycles.
    Keywords:   Drosophila ; aging; lipidomics; metabolomics; neuronal function; sleep
  6. bioRxiv. 2023 Dec 21. pii: 2023.12.20.572669. [Epub ahead of print]
      Immunological priming - either in the context of prior infection or vaccination - elicits protective responses against subsequent Mycobacterium tuberculosis ( Mtb ) infection. However, the changes that occur in the lung cellular milieu post-primary Mtb infection and their contributions to protection upon reinfection remain poorly understood. Here, using clinical and microbiological endpoints in a non-human primate reinfection model, we demonstrate that prior Mtb infection elicits a long-lasting protective response against subsequent Mtb exposure and that the depletion of CD4 + T cells prior to Mtb rechallenge significantly abrogates this protection. Leveraging microbiologic, PET-CT, flow cytometric, and single-cell RNA-seq data from primary infection, reinfection, and reinfection-CD4 + T cell depleted granulomas, we identify differential cellular and microbial features of control. The data collectively demonstrate that the presence of CD4 + T cells in the setting of reinfection results in a reduced inflammatory lung milieu characterized by reprogrammed CD8 + T cell activity, reduced neutrophilia, and blunted type-1 immune signaling among myeloid cells, mitigating Mtb disease severity. These results open avenues for developing vaccines and therapeutics that not only target CD4 + and CD8 + T cells, but also modulate innate immune cells to limit Mtb disease.
  7. J Liposome Res. 2024 Jan 09. 1-11
      In different types of cancer treatments, cancer-specific T cells are required for effective anticancer immunity, which has a central role in cancer immunotherapy. However, due to the multiple inhibitions of CD8+ T cells by tumor-related immune cells, CD8+ T-cell mediated antitumor immunotherapy has not achieved breakthrough progress in the treatment of solid tumors. Receptors for sialic acid (SA) are highly expressed in tumor-associated immune cells, so SA-modified nanoparticles are a drug delivery nanoplatform using tumor-associated immune cells as vehicles. To relieve the multiple inhibitions of CD8+ T cells by tumor-associated immune cells, we prepared SA-modified doxorubicin liposomes (SL-DOX, Scheme 1A). In our study, free SA decreased the toxicity of SL-DOX to tumor-associated immune cells. Compared with common liposomes, SL-DOX could inhibit tumor growth more effectively. It is worth noting that SL-DOX could not only kill tumor-related neutrophils and monocytes to relieve the multiple inhibitions of CD8+ T cells but also induce immunogenic death of tumor cells to promote the infiltration and differentiation of CD8+ T cells (Scheme 1B). Therefore, SL-DOX has potential value for the clinical therapeutic effect of CD8+ T cells mediating anti-tumor immunotherapy.
    Keywords:  CD8+ T cells; doxorubicin liposomes; sialic acid; tumor-associated immune cells
  8. Front Immunol. 2023 ;14 1308539
      Introduction: The transcription factor HELIOS is primarily known for its expression in CD4 regulatory T cells, both in humans and mice. In mice, HELIOS is found in exhausted CD8 T cells. However, information on human HELIOS+ CD8 T cells is limited and conflicting.Methods: In this study, we characterized by flow cytometry and transcriptomic analyses human HELIOS+ CD8 T cells.
    Results: These T cells primarily consist of memory cells and constitute approximately 21% of blood CD8 T cells. In comparison with memory HELIOS- T-BEThigh CD8 T cells that displayed robust effector functions, the memory HELIOS+ T-BEThigh CD8 T cells produce lower amounts of IFN-γ and TNF-α and have a lower cytotoxic potential. We wondered if these cells participate in the immune response against viral antigens, but did not find HELIOS+ cells among CD8 T cells recognizing CMV peptides presented by HLA-A2 and HLA-B7. However, we found HELIOS+ CD8 T cells that recognize a CMV peptide presented by MHC class Ib molecule HLA-E. Additionally, a portion of HELIOS+ CD8 T cells is characterized by the expression of CD161, often used as a surface marker for identifying TC17 cells. These CD8 T cells express TH17/TC17-related genes encoding RORgt, RORa, PLZF, and CCL20.
    Discussion: Our findings emphasize that HELIOS is expressed across various CD8 T cell populations, highlighting its significance beyond its role as a transcription factor for Treg or exhausted murine CD8 T cells. The significance of the connection between HELIOS and HLA-E restriction is yet to be understood.
    Keywords:  CD8 T lymphocytes; HELIOS; HLA-E; Tc17; human
  9. Nat Commun. 2024 Jan 11. 15(1): 467
      Dietary restriction (DR) delays aging, but the mechanism remains unclear. We identified polymorphisms in mtd, the fly homolog of OXR1, which influenced lifespan and mtd expression in response to DR. Knockdown in adulthood inhibited DR-mediated lifespan extension in female flies. We found that mtd/OXR1 expression declines with age and it interacts with the retromer, which regulates trafficking of proteins and lipids. Loss of mtd/OXR1 destabilized the retromer, causing improper protein trafficking and endolysosomal defects. Overexpression of retromer genes or pharmacological restabilization with R55 rescued lifespan and neurodegeneration in mtd-deficient flies and endolysosomal defects in fibroblasts from patients with lethal loss-of-function of OXR1 variants. Multi-omic analyses in flies and humans showed that decreased Mtd/OXR1 is associated with aging and neurological diseases. mtd/OXR1 overexpression rescued age-related visual decline and tauopathy in a fly model. Hence, OXR1 plays a conserved role in preserving retromer function and is critical for neuronal health and longevity.