Concepción, A. R. ; Salas, J. T. ; Sáez, Elena; et al.
28588 - 28606
Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is a chronic cholestatic disease of unknown etiopathogenesis showing progressive autoimmune-mediated cholangitis. In PBC patients, the liver and lymphocytes exhibit diminished expression of AE2/SLC4A2, a Cl-/HCO3- anion exchanger involved in biliary bicarbonate secretion and intracellular pH regulation. Decreased AE2 expression may be pathogenic as Ae2a,b(-/-) mice reproduce hepatobiliary and immunological features resembling PBC. To understand the role of AE2 deficiency for autoimmunity predisposition we focused on the phenotypic changes of T cells that occur over the life-span of Ae2a,b(-/-) mice. At early ages (1-9 months), knockout mice had reduced numbers of intrahepatic T cells, which exhibited increased activation, programmed-cell-death (PD)-1 expression, and apoptosis. Moreover, young knockouts had upregulated PD-1 ligand (PD-L1) on bile-duct cells, and administration of neutralizing anti-PD-L1 antibodies prevented their intrahepatic T-cell deletion. Older (¿ 10 months) knockouts, however, showed intrahepatic accumulation of cytotoxic CD8(+) T cells with downregulated PD-1 and diminished apoptosis. In-vitro DNA demethylation with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine partially reverted PD-1 downregulation of intrahepatic CD8(+) T cells from aged knockouts.
Early in life, AE2 deficiency results in intrahepatic T-cell activation and PD-1/PD-L1 mediated deletion. With aging, intrahepatic CD8+ T cells epigenetically suppress PD-1, and their consequential expansion and further activation favor autoimmune cholangitis.
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY
1341 - 1351
Mitogenic stimulation of lymphocytes involves alkalinization of intracellular pH (pHi ). Subsequent pHi regulation may involve HCO3 (-) extrusion through Cl(-) /HCO3 (-) exchangers and/or Na(+) -HCO3 (-) co-transporters with acid-loading capability. Abnormalities in these mechanisms could result in immune dysfunctions, as suggested by the CD8(+) T-cell expansion encountered in mice lacking Ae2 (a widely expressed acid loader with electroneutral and Na(+) -independent Cl(-) /HCO3 (-) anion-exchange activity). Here we report that CD8(+) T cells but not CD4(+) T cells or other lymphocyte populations, are crucially dependent on Ae2 for pHi regulation. While total lymphocytes (including isolated CD4(+) T cells) exhibit Ae1 expression and Na(+) -HCO3 (-) co-transport with acidifying potential, CD8(+) T cells lack these acid-loading mechanisms. In Ae2-KO mice, CD4(+) but not CD8(+) T cells upregulate these potential Ae2 surrogates. As a consequence, Ae2-KO CD8(+) T cells exhibit alkalinized pHi , and dramatically increase their pHi upon CD3 stimulation. Moreover, stimulated Ae2-deficient CD8(+) T cells show enhanced intracellular production of IL-2 and membrane expression of its receptor IL-2R¿, together with increased cell proliferation and activation. These findings demonstrate that CD8(+) T cells are critically dependent on Ae2 for pHi homeostasis and tuning of cell proliferation and activation. Ae2 thus constitutes a novel target to modulate CD8(+) T-cell responses.