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1.
Sci Transl Med ; 11(519)2019 Nov 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31748230

RESUMO

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may display atypical CD21-/lo B cells in their blood, but the implication of this observation remains unclear. We report here that the group of patients with RA and elevated frequencies of CD21-/lo B cells shows decreased ataxia telangiectasia-mutated (ATM) expression and activation in B cells compared with other patients with RA and healthy donor controls. In agreement with ATM involvement in the regulation of V(D)J recombination, patients with RA who show defective ATM function displayed a skewed B cell receptor (BCR) Igκ repertoire, which resembled that of patients with ataxia telangiectasia (AT). This repertoire was characterized by increased Jκ1 and decreased upstream Vκ gene segment usage, suggesting improper secondary recombination processes and selection. In addition, altered ATM function in B cells was associated with decreased osteoprotegerin and increased receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand (RANKL) production. These changes favor bone loss and correlated with a higher prevalence of erosive disease in patients with RA who show impaired ATM function. Using a humanized mouse model, we also show that ATM inhibition in vivo induces an altered Igκ repertoire and RANKL production by immature B cells in the bone marrow, leading to decreased bone density. We conclude that dysregulated ATM function in B cells promotes bone erosion and the emergence of circulating CD21-/lo B cells, thereby contributing to RA pathophysiology.

2.
Eur Respir Rev ; 28(154)2019 Dec 31.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31748421

RESUMO

The complexity of asthma is underscored by the number of cell types and mediators implicated in the pathogenesis of this heterogeneous syndrome. Type 2 CD4+ T-cells (Th2) and more recently, type 2 innate lymphoid cells dominate current descriptions of asthma pathogenesis. However, another important source of these type 2 cytokines, especially interleukin (IL)-5 and IL-13, are CD8+ T-cells, which are increasingly proposed to play an important role in asthma pathogenesis, because they are abundant and are comparatively insensitive to corticosteroids. Many common triggers of asthma exacerbations are mediated via corticosteroid-resistant pathways involving neutrophils and CD8+ T-cells. Extensive murine data reveal the plasticity of CD8+ T-cells and their capacity to enhance airway inflammation and airway dysfunction. In humans, Tc2 cells are predominant in fatal asthma, while in stable state, severe eosinophilic asthma is associated with greater numbers of Tc2 than Th2 cells in blood, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and bronchial biopsies. Tc2 cells strongly express CRTH2, the receptor for prostaglandin D2, the cysteinyl leukotriene receptor 1 and the leukotriene B4 receptor. When activated, these elicit Tc2 cell chemotaxis and production of chemokines and type 2 and other cytokines, resulting directly or indirectly in eosinophil recruitment and survival. These factors position CD8+ Tc2 cells as important and underappreciated effector cells contributing to asthma pathogenesis. Here, we review recent advances and new insights in understanding the pro-asthmatic functions of CD8+ T-cells in eosinophilic asthma, especially corticosteroid-resistant asthma, and the molecular mechanisms underlying their pathologic effector function.

3.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31626843

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Inducible CD4+CD25+ regulatory T (iTreg) cells can become pathogenic effector cells, enhancing lung allergic responses. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to define the underlying cellular and molecular pathways activated by TGF-ß, which determine the suppressor or enhancing activities of iTreg cells. METHODS: Sensitized wild-type and CD8-deficient (CD8-/-) mice were challenged with allergen. Isolated CD4+CD25- T cells were activated by using anti-CD3/anti-CD28. To generate suppressor iTreg cells, cells were then differentiated in the presence of TGF-ß, whereas IL-17-producing effector T cells were additionally exposed to IL-6. After TGF-ß, Smad3 and TGF-ß-activated kinase 1 (TAK1) kinase levels were monitored. The consequences of inhibiting either kinase were determined in vitro and after transfer into CD8-/- recipients. Quantitative PCR and chromatin immunoprecipitation were used to monitor gene expression and histone modifications at the retinoic acid-related orphan receptor γt (Rorγt) locus. RESULTS: In wild-type mice, iTreg cells suppressed lung allergic responses linked to Smad3-dependent forkhead box P3 (Foxp3) expression and IL-10 production. In the presence of IL-6, iTreg cells converted to TH17 cells, mediating a neutrophil-dependent enhancement of lung allergic responses in CD8-/- mice. Conversion was regulated by TAK1. Inhibition or silencing of TAK1 prevented expression of Rorγt and TH17 differentiation through histone modifications of Rorγt; Foxp3 expression and iTreg cell-mediated suppression remained intact. In the same cell, TGF-ß induced coexpression of Smad3 and TAK1 proteins; in the presence of IL-6, expression of Smad3 and Foxp3 but not TAK1 decreased. CONCLUSION: TGF-ß regulates iTreg cell outcomes through 2 distinct signal transduction pathways: one Smad3 dependent and the other TAK1 dependent. The balance of these pathways has important implications in TH17-mediated autoimmune diseases and neutrophil-dependent asthma.

4.
Am J Hum Genet ; 105(3): 549-561, 2019 Sep 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31447097

RESUMO

FOXN1 is the master regulatory gene of thymic epithelium development. FOXN1 deficiency leads to thymic aplasia, alopecia, and nail dystrophy, accounting for the nude/severe combined immunodeficiency (nu/SCID) phenotype in humans and mice. We identified several newborns with low levels of T cell receptor excision circles (TRECs) and T cell lymphopenia at birth, who carried heterozygous loss-of-function FOXN1 variants. Longitudinal analysis showed persistent T cell lymphopenia during infancy, often associated with nail dystrophy. Adult individuals with heterozygous FOXN1 variants had in most cases normal CD4+ but lower than normal CD8+ cell counts. We hypothesized a FOXN1 gene dosage effect on the function of thymic epithelial cells (TECs) and thymopoiesis and postulated that these effects would be more prominent early in life. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed TEC subset frequency and phenotype, early thymic progenitor (ETP) cell count, and expression of FOXN1 target genes (Ccl25, Cxcl12, Dll4, Scf, Psmb11, Prss16, and Cd83) in Foxn1nu/+ (nu/+) mice and age-matched wild-type (+/+) littermate controls. Both the frequency and the absolute count of ETP were significantly reduced in nu/+ mice up to 3 weeks of age. Analysis of the TEC compartment showed reduced expression of FOXN1 target genes and delayed maturation of the medullary TEC compartment in nu/+ mice. These observations establish a FOXN1 gene dosage effect on thymic function and identify FOXN1 haploinsufficiency as an important genetic determinant of T cell lymphopenia at birth.

6.
J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract ; 7(6): 1970-1985.e4, 2019.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30877075

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Although autoimmunity and hyperinflammation secondary to recombination activating gene (RAG) deficiency have been associated with delayed diagnosis and even death, our current understanding is limited primarily to small case series. OBJECTIVE: Understand the frequency, severity, and treatment responsiveness of autoimmunity and hyperinflammation in RAG deficiency. METHODS: In reviewing the literature and our own database, we identified 85 patients with RAG deficiency, reported between 2001 and 2016, and compiled the largest case series to date of 63 patients with prominent autoimmune and/or hyperinflammatory pathology. RESULTS: Diagnosis of RAG deficiency was delayed a median of 5 years from the first clinical signs of immune dysregulation. Most patients (55.6%) presented with more than 1 autoimmune or hyperinflammatory complication, with the most common etiologies being cytopenias (84.1%), granulomas (23.8%), and inflammatory skin disorders (19.0%). Infections, including live viral vaccinations, closely preceded the onset of autoimmunity in 28.6% of cases. Autoimmune cytopenias had early onset (median, 1.9, 2.1, and 2.6 years for autoimmune hemolytic anemia, immune thrombocytopenia, and autoimmune neutropenia, respectively) and were refractory to intravenous immunoglobulin, steroids, and rituximab in most cases (64.7%, 73.7%, and 71.4% for autoimmune hemolytic anemia, immune thrombocytopenia, and autoimmune neutropenia, respectively). Evans syndrome specifically was associated with lack of response to first-line therapy. Treatment-refractory autoimmunity/hyperinflammation prompted hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in 20 patients. CONCLUSIONS: Autoimmunity/hyperinflammation can be a presenting sign of RAG deficiency and should prompt further evaluation. Multilineage cytopenias are often refractory to immunosuppressive treatment and may require hematopoietic cell transplantation for definitive management.

7.
Clin Immunol ; 200: 55-63, 2019 Mar.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30639167

RESUMO

Ataxia-Telangiectasia (AT) is an immunodeficiency most often associated with T cell abnormalities. We describe a patient with a hyper-IgM phenotype and immune cell abnormalities that suggest a distinct clinical phenotype. Significant B cell abnormalities with increased unswitched memory B cells, decreased naive transitional B cells, and an elevated frequency of CD19+CD38loCD27-CD10-CD21-/low B cells expressing high levels of T-bet and Fas were demonstrated. The B cells were hyporesponsive to in vitro stimulation through the B cell receptor, Toll like receptors (TLR) 7 and 9, and CD40. T cell homeostasis was also disturbed with a significant increase in γδ T cells, circulating T follicular helper cells (Tfh), and decreased numbers of T regulatory cells. The ATM mutations in this patient are posited to have resulted in the perturbations in the frequencies and distributions of B and T cell subsets, resulting in the phenotype in this patient. KEY MESSAGES: A novel mutation creating a premature stop codon and a nonsense mutation in the ATM gene are postulated to have resulted in the unique clinical picture characterized by abnormal B and T cell populations, lymphocyte subset dysfunction, granuloma formation, and a hyper-IgM phenotype. CAPSULE SUMMARY: A patient presented with ataxia-telangiectasia, cutaneous granulomas, and a hyper-IgM phenotype; a novel combination of mutations in the ATM gene was associated with abnormal distributions, frequencies, and function of T and B lymphocyte subsets.

8.
J Allergy Clin Immunol ; 143(6): 2026-2037.e7, 2019 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30660639

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: CD8+ type 2 cytotoxic T (TC2) cells undergo transcriptional reprogramming to IL-13 production in the presence of IL-4 to become potent, steroid-insensitive, pathogenic effector cells in asthmatic patients and in mice in a model of experimental asthma. However, no studies have described the effects of hypoxia exposure on TC2 cell differentiation. OBJECTIVE: We determined the effects of hypoxia exposure on IL-13-producing CD8+ TC2 cells. METHODS: CD8+ transgenic OT-1 cells differentiated with IL-2 and IL-4 (TC2 cells) were exposed to normoxia (21% oxygen) or hypoxia (3% oxygen), and IL-13 production in vitro was monitored. After differentiation under these conditions, cells were adoptively transferred into CD8-deficient mice, and lung allergic responses, including airway hyperresponsiveness to inhaled methacholine, were assessed. The effects of pharmacologic inhibitors of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) 1α and HIF-2α were determined, as were responses in HIF-1α-deficient OT-1 cells. RESULTS: Under hypoxic conditioning, CD8+ TC2 cell differentiation was significantly enhanced, with increased numbers of IL-13+ T cells and increased production of IL-13 in vitro. Adoptive transfer of TC2 cells differentiated under hypoxic conditioning restored lung allergic responses in sensitized and challenged CD8-deficient recipients to a greater degree than seen in recipients of TC2 cells differentiated under normoxic conditioning. Pharmacologic inhibition of HIF-1α or genetic manipulation to reduce HIF-1α expression reduced the hypoxia-enhanced differentiation of TC2 cells, IL-13 production, and the capacity of transferred cells to restore lung allergic responses in vivo. IL-4-dependent, hypoxia-mediated increases in HIF-1α and TC2 cell differentiation were shown to be mediated through activation of Janus kinase 1/3 and GATA-3. CONCLUSIONS: Hypoxia enhances CD8+ TC2 cell-dependent airway hyperresponsiveness and inflammation through HIF-1α activation. These findings coupled with the known insensitivity of CD8+ T cells to corticosteroids suggests that activation of the IL-4-HIF-1α-IL-13 axis might play a role in the development of steroid-refractory asthma.

9.
J Clin Invest ; 128(12): 5489-5504, 2018 Dec 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30395541

RESUMO

We report the molecular, cellular, and clinical features of 5 patients from 3 kindreds with biallelic mutations in the autosomal LIG1 gene encoding DNA ligase 1. The patients exhibited hypogammaglobulinemia, lymphopenia, increased proportions of circulating γδT cells, and erythrocyte macrocytosis. Clinical severity ranged from a mild antibody deficiency to a combined immunodeficiency requiring hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Using engineered LIG1-deficient cell lines, we demonstrated chemical and radiation defects associated with the mutant alleles, which variably impaired the DNA repair pathway. We further showed that these LIG1 mutant alleles are amorphic or hypomorphic, and exhibited variably decreased enzymatic activities, which lead to premature release of unligated adenylated DNA. The variability of the LIG1 genotypes in the patients was consistent with that of their immunological and clinical phenotypes. These data suggest that different forms of autosomal recessive, partial DNA ligase 1 deficiency underlie an immunodeficiency of variable severity.

11.
J Fam Pract ; 67(10 Suppl): S19-S26, 2018 Oct.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30423007
12.
Immunol Allergy Clin North Am ; 38(4): 655-665, 2018 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30342586

RESUMO

Diagnosis and management of asthma is commonly implemented based on clinical assessment. Although these nonmolecular biomarkers have been useful, limited resolution of the heterogeneity among asthmatic patients and little information regarding the underlying pathobiology of disease in individuals have been provided. Molecular endotying using global transcriptome expression profiling associated with clinical features of asthma has improved our understanding of disease mechanisms, risk assessment of asthma exacerbations, and treatment responses, especially in patients with type 2 inflammation. Further advances in establishing pathobiological subgroups, bioactive pathways, and true disease endotypes hold potential for a more personalized medical approach in asthmatic patients.

13.
J Thorac Imaging ; 33(6): 377-383, 2018 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30067570

RESUMO

Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) is associated with significant chronic lung disease. The purpose of this paper was to describe the clinical, radiologic, and pathologic findings of CVID-associated lung diseases. These include airways' disease, interstitial lung disease, lymphoma, and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma. In addition, a genetic syndrome termed Kabuki syndrome results in CVID-like immune abnormalities. These patients may also present with CVID-associated lung disease. Awareness and precise identification of CVID-associated lung disease may allow for better assessment of prognosis and direction of therapy.

14.
Stem Cells Transl Med ; 7(7): 551-558, 2018 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29730892

RESUMO

All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) or mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been shown to promote lung tissue regeneration in animal models of emphysema. However, the reparative effects of the combination of the two and the role of p70S6 kinase-1 (p70S6k1) activation in the repair process have not been defined. Twenty-one days after intratracheal instillation of porcine pancreatic elastase (PPE), MSC and/or 10 days of ATRA treatment was initiated. Thirty-two days later, static lung compliance (Cst), mean linear intercepts (MLIs), and alveolar surface area (S) were measured. After PPE, mice demonstrated increased values of Cst and MLI, and decreased S values. Both ATRA and MSC transfer were individually effective in improving these outcomes while the combination of ATRA and MSCs was even more effective. The combination of p70S6k1-/- MSCs transfer followed by ATRA demonstrated only modest effects, and rapamycin treatment of recipients with wild-type (WT) MSCs and ATRA failed to show any effect. However, transfer of p70S6k1 over-expressing-MSCs together with ATRA resulted in further improvements over those seen following WT MSCs together with ATRA. ATRA activated p70S6k1 in MSCs in vitro, which was completely inhibited by rapamycin. Tracking of transferred MSCs following ATRA revealed enhanced accumulation and extended survival of MSCs in recipient lungs following PPE but not vehicle instillation. These data suggest that in MSCs, p70S6k1 activation plays a critical role in ATRA-enhanced lung tissue repair, mediated in part by prolonged survival of transferred MSCs. p70S6k1-activated MSCs may represent a novel therapeutic approach to reverse the lung damage seen in emphysema. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2018;7:551-558.

15.
Ann Am Thorac Soc ; 15(Supplement_2): S129, 2018 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29676619

RESUMO

RATIONALE: Acute exposure to ambient particle matter is associated with increased levels of the cysteinyl leukotriene (CysLT) biomarker, urinary leukotriene E4 (uLTE4), in subjects with asthma. OBJECTIVES: The role of CysLTs in mediating asthma worsening after particulate matter exposures was explored. METHODS: Daily concentrations of particulate matter of 2.5 µm and smaller diameter (PM2.5) and repeated measurements of albuterol use over a 5-month period were collected in 44 urban school children with persistent asthma. DNA was analyzed for gene polymorphisms on genes involved in the CysLT pathway to identify gene-environment interactions. An experimental challenge study in 16 adults with mild, nonpersistent asthma was performed to define biological pathways explaining these gene-environment interactions. Subjects in the challenge study were exposed on two different days to filtered air or diesel exhaust (300 µg PM2.5/m3). FEV1 and CysLT-related gene DNA methylation and messenger RNA expression changes were measured before and 6 hours after exposure challenges. RESULTS: In school children with asthma, associations between PM2.5 and school-time albuterol usage were significantly greater in those with the variant C allele in the CysLT receptor 1 (CysLTR1) rs320995 locus (5.4% increase per interquartile range PM2.5 increase) compared with those homozygous for the wild-type T allele (1.6% decrease; P = 0.005 for allele × PM2.5 interaction). In the challenge study, declines in forced expiratory volume in 1 second after diesel exhaust exposure were associated with lower CysLTR1 expression (r2 = 0.52; P = 0.01), which, in turn, was associated with decreased leukotriene C4 synthase cg1631890 (P = 0.02) and increased CysLTR1 cg26848126 (P = 0.01) methylation, as assessed in a multivariable model (r2 = 0.69). CONCLUSIONS: Health effects of acute particulate exposure on asthma are associated with changes in CysLTR1 expression and methylation of CpG sites on CysLTR1 and leukotriene C4 synthase genes.

16.
J Immunol ; 200(4): 1261-1269, 2018 Feb 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29352000

RESUMO

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) exert immune modulatory properties and previous studies demonstrated suppressive effects of MSC treatment in animal models of allergic airway inflammation. However, the underlying mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. We studied the role of MSC in immune activation and subsequent recruitment of monocytes in suppressing airway hyperresponsiveness and airway inflammation using a mouse model of allergic airway inflammation. MSC administration prior to or after allergen challenge inhibited the development of airway inflammation in allergen-sensitized mice. This was accompanied by an influx of CCR2-positive monocytes, which were localized around injected MSC in the lungs. Notably, IL-10-producing monocytes and/or macrophages were also increased in the lungs. Systemic administration of liposomal clodronate or a CCR2 antagonist significantly prevented the suppressive effects of MSC. Activation of MSC by IFN-γ leading to the upregulation of CCL2 expression was essential for the suppressive effects, as administration of wild-type MSC into IFN-γ-deficient recipients, or IFN-γ receptor-deficient or CCL2-deficient MSC into wild-type mice failed to suppress airway inflammation. These results suggest that MSC activation by IFN-γ, followed by increased expression of CCL2 and recruitment of monocytes to the lungs, is essential for suppression by MSC in allergen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness and airway inflammation.

17.
J Allergy Clin Immunol ; 141(3): 1060-1073.e3, 2018 Mar.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28629746

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Autosomal dominant anhidrotic ectodermal dysplasia with immune deficiency (AD EDA-ID) is caused by heterozygous point mutations at or close to serine 32 and serine 36 or N-terminal truncations in IκBα that impair its phosphorylation and degradation and thus activation of the canonical nuclear factor κ light chain enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) pathway. The outcome of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is poor in patients with AD EDA-ID despite achievement of chimerism. Mice heterozygous for the serine 32I mutation in IκBα have impaired noncanonical NF-κB activity and defective lymphorganogenesis. OBJECTIVE: We sought to establish genotype-phenotype correlation in patients with AD EDA-ID. METHODS: A disease severity scoring system was devised. Stability of IκBα mutants was examined in transfected cells. Immunologic, biochemical, and gene expression analyses were performed to evaluate canonical and noncanonical NF-κB signaling in skin-derived fibroblasts. RESULTS: Disease severity was greater in patients with IκBα point mutations than in those with truncation mutations. IκBα point mutants were expressed at significantly higher levels in transfectants compared with truncation mutants. Canonical NF-κB-dependent IL-6 secretion and upregulation of the NF-κB subunit 2/p100 and RELB proto-oncogene, NF-κB subunit (RelB) components of the noncanonical NF-κB pathway were diminished significantly more in patients with point mutations compared with those with truncations. Noncanonical NF-κB-driven generation of the transcriptionally active p100 cleavage product p52 and upregulation of CCL20, intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM1), and vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM1), which are important for lymphorganogenesis, were diminished significantly more in LPS plus α-lymphotoxin ß receptor-stimulated fibroblasts from patients with point mutations compared with those with truncations. CONCLUSIONS: IκBα point mutants accumulate at higher levels compared with truncation mutants and are associated with more severe disease and greater impairment of canonical and noncanonical NF-κB activity in patients with AD EDA-ID.

18.
Pharmacol Res ; 129: 204-215, 2018 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29155256

RESUMO

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is the chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Recently, studies of the interplay between the adaptive and innate immune responses have provided a better understanding of the immunopathogenesis of inflammatory disorders such as IBD, as well as identification of novel targets for more potent interventions. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a class of proteins that play a significant role in the innate immune system and are involved in inflammatory processes. Activation of TLR signal transduction pathways lead to the induction of numerous genes that function in host defense, including those for inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, and antigen presenting molecules. It was proposed that TLR mutations and dysregulation are major contributing factors to the predisposition and susceptibility to IBD. Thus, modulating TLRs represent an innovative immunotherapeutic approach in IBD therapy. This article outlines the role of TLRs in IBD, focusing on both animal and human studies; the role of TLR-targeted agonists or antagonists as potential therapeutic agents in the different stages of the disease is discussed.

19.
J Autoimmun ; 88: 114-120, 2018 Mar.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29129473

RESUMO

A genetic variant in the SAND domain of autoimmune regulator (AIRE), R247C, was identified in a patient with type I diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and his mother with rheumatoid arthritis. In vitro, the variant dominantly inhibited AIRE; however, typical features of Autoimmune Polyendocrinopathy Candidiasis and Ectodermal Dysplasia (APECED) were not seen in the subjects. Rather, early manifestation of autoimmunity appeared to be dependent on additional genetic factors. On a population level, diverse variants were identified in this region. Surprisingly, many likely pathogenic variants were seen disproportionately in Africans when compared to Europeans, reinforcing the importance of these variants in altering the immune repertoire. In light of these findings, we propose that R247C and other variants within the SAND-domain alter protein function in a dominant fashion and hold potential as drivers of autoimmunity.

20.
J Allergy Clin Immunol ; 141(2): 659-670.e2, 2018 Feb.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28479331

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Regulatory T (Treg) cells play an essential role in the maintenance of immune homeostasis in allergic diseases. OBJECTIVES: We sought to define the mechanisms underlying induction of tolerance to peanut protein and prevention of the development of peanut allergy. METHODS: High or low doses of peanut extract were administered to pups every day for 2 weeks before peanut sensitization and challenge. After challenge, symptoms, Treg cell numbers, and forkhead box protein 3 (Foxp3), TH2 and TH17 cytokine, and Tgfß expression in mesenteric lymph node (MLN) CD4+ T cells and jejunum were monitored. Treg cell suppressive activity and Foxp3 methylation in MLN CD4+ T cells were assayed. RESULTS: Feeding high but not low doses of peanut before sensitization induced tolerance, as demonstrated by prevention of diarrhea and peanut-specific IgE responses, increases in the percentage of CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ cells in MLNs, and Foxp3 mRNA and protein expression in CD4+ cells from MLNs or jejunum. Feeding high doses of peanut before sensitization decreased percentages of CD3+CD4+IL-13+ and CD3+CD4+IL-17+ cells in MLNs and decreased Il13 and Il17a and increased Tgfß mRNA expression in the jejunum; numbers of CD103+ dendritic cells in MLNs were significantly increased. Treg cell suppression was shown to be antigen specific. Foxp3 methylation was increased in peanut extract-sensitized and challenged mice, whereas in tolerized mice levels were significantly reduced. CONCLUSIONS: Feeding high doses of peanut to pups induced tolerance to peanut protein. Foxp3 demethylation was associated with tolerance induction, indicating that Treg cells play an important role in the regulation of peanut sensitivity and maintenance of immune homeostasis.

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