Cell-specific STORM superresolution imaging reveals nanoscale organization of cannabinoid signaling
Barna Dudok, László Barna, Marco Ledri, Szilárd I. Szabó, Eszter Szabadits, Balázs Pintér, Stephen G. Woodhams, Christopher M. Henstridge, Gyula Y. Balla, Rita Nyilas, Csaba Varga, Sang-Hun Lee, Máté Matolcsi, Judit Cervenak, Imre Kacskovics, Masahiko Watanabe, Claudia Sagheddu, Miriam Melis, Marco Pistis, Ivan Soltesz, and István Katona
A major challenge in neuroscience is to determine the nanoscale position and quantity of signaling molecules in a cell-type-, and subcellular compartment-specific manner. We therefore developed a novel approach combining cell-specific physiological and anatomical characterization with superresolution imaging, and studied the molecular and structural parameters shaping the physiological properties of synaptic endocannabinoid signaling in the mouse hippocampus. We found that axon terminals of perisomatically-projecting GABAergic interneurons possess increased CB1 receptor number, active-zone complexity, and receptor/effector ratio compared to dendritically-projecting interneurons, in agreement with higher efficiency of cannabinoid signaling at somatic versus dendritic synapses. Furthermore, chronic Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol administration, which reduces cannabinoid efficacy on GABA release, evoked dramatic CB1- downregulation in a dose-dependent manner. Full receptor recovery required several weeks after cessation of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol treatment. These findings demonstrate that cell-type-specific nanoscale analysis of endogenous protein distribution is possible in brain circuits, and identify novel molecular properties controlling endocannabinoid signaling and cannabis-induced cognitive dysfunction.
ORAI2 modulates store-operated calcium entry and T cell-mediated immunity
Martin Vaeth, Jun Yang, Megumi Yamashita, Isabelle Zee, Miriam Eckstein, Camille Knosp, Ulrike Kaufmann, Peter Karoly Jani, Rodrigo S. Lacruz, Veit Flockerzi, Imre Kacskovics, Murali Prakriya & Stefan Feske
Store-operated Ca2 þ entry (SOCE) through Ca2 þ release-activated Ca2 þ (CRAC) channels is critical for lymphocyte function and immune responses. CRAC channels are hexamers of ORAI proteins that form the channel pore, but the contributions of individual ORAI homologues to CRAC channel function are not well understood. Here we show that deletion of Orai1 reduces, whereas deletion of Orai2 increases, SOCE in mouse T cells. These distinct effects are due to the ability of ORAI2 to form heteromeric channels with ORAI1 and to attenuate CRAC channel function. The combined deletion of Orai1 and Orai2 abolishes SOCE and strongly impairs T cell function. In vivo, Orai1/Orai2 double-deﬁcient mice have impaired T cell-dependent antiviral immune responses, and are protected from T cell-mediated auto- immunity and alloimmunity in models of colitis and graft-versus-host disease. Our study demonstrates that ORAI1 and ORAI2 form heteromeric CRAC channels, in which ORAI2 ﬁne-tunes the magnitude of SOCE to modulate immune responses.
Overexpression of bovine Fcrn in mice enhances T-dependent immune responses by amplifying T helper cell frequency and germinal center enlargement in the spleen
Zita Schneider† ‡ , Péter Károly Jani ‡, Bence Szikora , Attila Végh † , Dorottya Kövesdi, Attila Iliás , Judit Cervenak , Péter Balogh, István Kurucz † and Imre Kacskovics
The neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) plays key roles in IgG and albumin homeostasis, maternal IgG transport, and antigen presentation of IgG-opsonized antigens. Previously, we reported that transgenic (Tg) mice that overexpress the bovine FcRn (bFcRn) have augmented T-dependent humoral immune response with increased IgG protection, higher level of antigen-specific antibodies, greater number of antigen-specific B cells, and effective immune response even against weakly immunogenic epitopes. In the current study, we analyzed the localization of the bFcRn in secondary lymphoid organs, and focused to demonstrate the in vivo impact of its overexpression in the spleen on the course of antibody production. bFcRn was highly expressed by red pulp macrophages and marginal zone macrophages in the spleen and by subcapsular sinus macrophages and macrophage-like cells in the interfollicular areas in the lymph node cortex. We also demonstrated that splenic dendritic cells of Tg mice express bFcRn and intraperitoneal immunization of these mice with T-dependent antigens led to more than threefold increase in the number of antigen-specific activated T helper cells with increased size and numbers of germinal centers compared to wild-type controls. bFcRn expression in splenic B cells was also detected and that may also contribute to the enhanced B cell activation. Finally, we demonstrated that these Tg mice developed efficient immune response against very low dose of antigen, reflecting another important practical benefit of these Tg mice.
FcRn Overexpression in Transgenic Mice Results in Augmented APC Activity and Robust Immune Response with Increased Diversity of Induced Antibodies
Attila Végh, Anita Farkas, Dorottya Kövesdi, Krisztián Papp, Judit Cervenak, Zita Schneider, Balázs Bender, László Hiripi, Glória László, József Prechl, János Matkó, Imre Kacskovics
Our previous studies have shown that overexpression of bovine FcRn (bFcRn) in transgenic (Tg) mice leads to an increase in the humoral immune response, characterized by larger numbers of Ag-specific B cells and other immune cells in secondary lymphoid organs and higher levels of circulating Ag-specific antibodies (Abs). To gain additional insights into the mechanisms underlying this increase in humoral immune response, we further characterized the bFcRn Tg mice. Our Western blot analysis showed strong expression of the bFcRn transgene in peritoneal macrophages and bone marrow derived dendritic cells; and a quantitative PCR analysis demonstrated that the expression ratios of the bFcRn to mFcRn were 2.6- and 10-fold in these cells, respectively. We also found that overexpression of bFcRn enhances the phagocytosis of Ag- IgG immune complexes (ICs) by both macrophages and dendritic cells and significantly improves Ag presentation by dendritic cells. Finally, we determined that immunized bFcRn mice produce a much greater diversity of Ag-specific IgM, whereas only the levels, but not the diversity, of IgG is increased by overexpression of bFcRn. We suggest that the increase in diversity of IgG in Tg mice is prevented by a selective bias towards immunodominant epitopes of ovalbumin, which was used in this study as a model antigen. These results are also in line with our previous reports describing a substantial increase in the levels of Ag-specific IgG in FcRn Tg mice immunized with Ags that are weakly immunogenic and, therefore, not affected by immunodominance.
Accelerating antibody discovery using transgenic animals overexpressing the neonatal Fc receptor as a result of augmented humoral immunity.
Cervenak J, Kurrle R, Kacskovics I.
In recent years, there has been an increasing demand for the development of faster and more efficient technologies for the generation of monoclonal antibodies against challenging targets that are weakly immunogenic or available only in limited amounts. Typical classes of such targets are cell surface antigens such as G-protein related receptors (GPCRs) or ion channels. We have developed transgenic (Tg) mice and rabbits that overexpress the neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn), resulting in an augmented humoral immune response even if challenging antigens are used for immunization. The impressively enhanced FcRn-mediated immune reactions are characterized by improved IgG protection and enhanced antigen presentation leading to greater number of antigen-specific T-helper and B-cell activation in lymphoid organs. Notably, these animals do not show any sign of autoimmunity and can be efficiently bred. FcRn overexpression thus leads to a number of practical benefits for improved generation of monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies against multiple antigens, including weakly immunogenic epitopes or tiny amounts of proteins. This review summarizes our current understanding about the mechanisms by which FcRn overexpression leads to such a significantly enhanced humoral immune response.
NFκB induces overexpression of bovine FcRn A novel mechanism that further contributes to the enhanced immune response in genetically modified animals carrying extra copies of FcRn
Judit Cervenak†, Márton Doleschall†, Balázs Bender, Balázs Mayer, Zita Schneider, Zoltán Doleschall, Yaofeng Zhao, Zsuzsanna Bősze, Lennart Hammarström, Wolfgang Oster, and Imre Kacskovics
Among the many functions of the neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) for IgG, it binds to IgG-opsonized antigen complexes and propagates their traffic into lysosomes where antigen processing occurs. We previously reported that transgenic (Tg) mice and rabbits that carry multiple copies and overexpress FcRn have augmented humoral immune responses. Nuclear factor-kappa B (NFκB) is a critical molecule in the signaling cascade in the immune response. NFκB induces human FcRn expression and our previous in silico analysis suggested NFκB binding sites in the promoter region of the bovine (b) FcRn α-chain gene (FCGRT). Here, we report the identification of three NFκB transcription factor binding sites in the promoter region of this gene using luciferase reporter gene technology, electromobility shift assay and supershift analysis. Stimulation of primary bovine endothelial cells with the Toll-like receptor-4 ligand lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which mediates its effect via NFκB, resulted in rapid upregulation of the bFcRn expression and a control gene, bovine E-selectin. This rapid bFcRn gene induction was also observed in the spleen of bFcRn Tg mice treated with intraperitoneally injected LPS, analyzed by northern blot analysis. Finally, NFκB-mediated bFcRn upregulation was confirmed at the protein level in macrophages isolated from the bFcRn Tg mice using flow cytometry with a newly developed FcRn specific monoclonal antibody that does not cross-react with the mouse FcRn. We conclude that NFκB regulates bFcRn expression and thus optimizes its functions, e.g., in the professional antigen presenting cells, and contributes to the much augmented humoral immune response in the bFcRn Tg mice.
Transgenic Rabbits That Overexpress the Neonatal Fc Receptor (FcRn) Generate Higher Quantities and Improved Qualities of Anti-Thymocyte Globulin (ATG)
Mária Baranyi, Judit Cervenak, Balázs Bender, Imre Kacskovics
Immune suppression with rabbit anti-thymocyte globulin (rATG) is a well-established therapeutic concept for preventing host rejection of transplanted organs and graft versus host disease. Increasing the efficiency of rATG production by reducing the number of animals would be highly beneficial to lower cost and to improve quality standards. We have developed transgenic (Tg) mice and rabbits that overexpress the neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) and have shown an augmented humoral immune response in these animals. To test whether our FcRn Tg rabbits produced rATG more efficiently, we immunized them and their New Zealand White controls with live Jurkat cells. By day 21 after immunization, Tg animals produced significantly, 1.5 times higher amount of total IgG compared to their wt littermates. Also, the binding efficiency of Tg sera to Jurkat cells and their complement-mediated cytotoxicity was significantly higher. The purified Tg IgG preparation contained 2.6 the amount of Jurkat specific IgG as the wt preparation analyzed by complement-mediated lysis, suggesting greater antigen-specific B cell activation in the Tg rabbits. To test this hypothesis, immunization with ovalbumin and human a1- antitrypsin was performed, resulting in significantly greater numbers of antigen-specific B-cells in the FcRn Tg rabbits as compared with wt controls. The shift towards significantly larger populations of antigen-specific B cells relative to the non- specific B cell pool is further corroborated by our previous findings in FcRn Tg mice. Consequently, our FcRn Tg rabbits have the potential to offer substantial qualitative and quantitative improvements for the production of rATG and other polyclonal or monoclonal antibodies.
Characterization of the Rabbit Neonatal Fc Receptor (FcRn) and Analyzing the Immunophenotype of the Transgenic Rabbits That Overexpresses FcRn
Ana Paula Catunda Lemos, Judit Cervenak, Balázs Bender, Orsolya Ivett Hoffmann, Mária Baranyi, Andrea Kerekes, Anita Farkas, Zsuzsanna Bősze, László Hiripi, Imre Kacskovics
The neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) regulates IgG and albumin homeostasis, mediates maternal IgG transport, takes an active role in phagocytosis, and delivers antigen for presentation. We have previously shown that overexpression of FcRn in transgenic mice significantly improves the humoral immune response. Because rabbits are an important source of polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies, adaptation of our FcRn overexpression technology in this species would bring significant advantages. We cloned the full length cDNA of the rabbit FcRn alpha-chain and found that it is similar to its orthologous analyzed so far. The rabbit FcRn - IgG contact residues are highly conserved, and based on this we predicted pH dependent interaction, which we confirmed by analyzing the pH dependent binding of FcRn to rabbit IgG using yolk sac lysates of rabbit fetuses by Western blot. Using immunohistochemistry, we detected strong FcRn staining in the endodermal cells of the rabbit yolk sac membrane, while the placental trophoblast cells and amnion showed no FcRn staining. Then, using BAC transgenesis we generated transgenic rabbits carrying and overexpressing a 110 kb rabbit genomic fragment encoding the FcRn. These transgenic rabbits – having one extra copy of the FcRn when hemizygous and two extra copies when homozygous - showed improved IgG protection and an augmented humoral immune response when immunized with a variety of different antigens. Our results in these transgenic rabbits demonstrate an increased immune response, similar to what we described in mice, indicating that FcRn overexpression brings significant advantages for the production of polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies.
Neonatal FcR Overexpression Boosts Humoral Immune Response in Transgenic Mice
Judit Cervenak, Balázs Bender, Zita Schneider, Melinda Magna, Bogdan Valer Carstea, Károly Liliom, Anna Erdei, Zsuzsanna Bosze and Imre Kacskovics
The neonatal FcR (FcRn) regulates IgG and albumin homeostasis, mediates maternal IgG transport, takes active part in phago- cytosis, and delivers Ag for presentation. We have previously shown that overexpression of FcRn in transgenic (Tg) mice extends the half-life of mouse IgG by reducing its clearance. In this paper, we demonstrate that immunization of these mice with OVA and trinitrophenyl-conjugated human IgG results in a 3- to 10-fold increase of Ag-specific IgM and IgG in serum. The IgM increase was unexpected because FcRn does not bind IgM. Our results showed that the affinity of the Ag-specific IgG was at least as good in Tg mice as in the wild-type (wt) controls, implying appropriate affinity maturation in both groups. Influenza vaccination produced a 2-fold increase in the amount of virus-specific Ab in Tg animals, which proved twice as efficient in a hemagglutination inhibition assay as was the case in wt controls. After immunization, Tg mice displayed significantly larger spleens containing a higher number of Ag-specific B cells and plasma cells, as well as many more granulocytes and dendritic cells, analyzed by ELISPOT and flow cytometric studies. The neutrophils from these Tg mice expressed the Tg FcRn and phagocytosed IgG immune complexes more efficiently than did those from wt mice. These results show that FcRn overexpression not only extends the IgG half-life but also enhances the expansion of Ag-specific B cells and plasma cells. Although both effects increase the level of Ag-specific IgG, the increase in immune response and IgG production seems to be more prominent compared with the reduced IgG clear- ance.