Anti-HLA-DR-triggered monocytes mediate in vitro T cell anergy
Monomorphic MHC class II determinants are attractive targets for immunomodulation. HLA-DR ligation on antigen-presenting cells (APCs) can dramatically alter their function or induce cell death. In monocytes, HLA-DR triggering diminishes their capacity to stimulate T cell proliferation. To further investigate this monocyte-dependent T cell inhibition, we activated human T cells 6 HLA-DR triggering on APCs and tested whether this can induce T cell anergy. Only anti-HLA-DR, but not
... e control agent anti-CD45, could modulate monocytes in primary cultures with stimulated T cells, so that T cells were hyporesponsive during re-stimulation. Cell separation studies demonstrated that HLA-DR ligation on monocytes is sufficient for mediating T cell anergy. Secretion of monokines was severely reduced after primary culture. Monocytes anergized independently of soluble factors. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation occurred early with anti-HLA-DR, but late with anti-CD45 antibody. However, ERK inhibition did not reverse the T cellanergizing potential of HLA-DR-ligated monocytes implicating other signaling pathways involved in tolerance induction. When analyzing the anergized T cells, they were refractory to exogenous IL-2 and characterized by defective secretion of various cytokines. Expression of CD25, CD28, intracellular CD3z and CTLA-4 was reduced. The hyporesponsive T cells up-regulated cell-cycle inhibitors p27 kip1 and p21 cip1 in correlation with human T cell anergy. In contrast, caspase-3 and -8, known to contribute to T cell proliferation, were equally decreased in anti-HLA-DR-and anti-CD45-inhibited cultures. In summary, anti-HLA-DR treatment can generate tolerogenic monocytes transmitting T cell anergy that may be exploited for future immunomodulatory strategies to treat immune-mediated disease states.