Differential Requirement for P2X7R Function in IL-17 Dependent vs. IL-17 Independent Cellular Immune Responses

Authors


Abstract

IL17-dependent autoimmunity to collagen type V (Col V) has been associated with lung transplant obliterative bronchiolitis. Unlike the T helper 1 (Th1)-dependent immune responses to Tetanus Toxoid (TT), the Th17 response to Col V in lung transplant patients and its Th1/17 variant observed in coronary artery disease patients requires IL-1β, tumor necrosis factor α and CD14+ cells. Given the involvement of the P2X7 receptor (P2X7R) in monocyte IL-1β responses, we investigated its role in Th17-, Th1/17- and Th1-mediated proinflammatory responses. Transfer of antigen-pulsed peripheral blood mononucleated cells (PBMCs) from Col V-reactive patients into SCID mouse footpads along with P2X7R antagonists revealed a selective inhibition of Col V-, but not TT-specific swelling responses. P2X7R inhibitors blocked IL-1β induction from monocytes, including both Col V-α1 peptide-induced (T-dependent), as well as native Col V-induced (T-independent) responses. Significantly higher P2X7R expression was found on CXCR3negCCR4+/6+ CD4+ [Th17] versus CXCR3+CCR4/6neg CD4+ [Th1] subsets in PBMCs, suggesting that the paradigm of selective dependence on P2X7R might extend beyond Col V autoimmunity. Indeed, P2X7R inhibitors suppressed not only anti-Col V, but also Th1/17-mediated alloimmunity, in a heart transplant patient without affecting anti-viral Epstein–Barr virus responses. These results suggest that agents targeting the P2X7R might effectively treat Th17-related transplant pathologies, while maintaining Th1-immunity to infection.

Ancillary