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J Immunol. 2017 Mar 15;198(6):2260-2268. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1601547. Epub 2017 Feb 3.

NLRX1 Regulates Effector and Metabolic Functions of CD4+ T Cells.

Author information

1
Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Laboratory, Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061.
2
Metabolic Phenotyping Core, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061.
3
Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061; and.
4
Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061.
5
Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Laboratory, Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061; jbassaga@vt.edu.

Abstract

Nucleotide oligomerization domain-like receptor X1 (NLRX1) has been implicated in viral response, cancer progression, and inflammatory disorders; however, its role as a dual modulator of CD4+ T cell function and metabolism has not been defined. The loss of NLRX1 results in increased disease severity, populations of Th1 and Th17 cells, and inflammatory markers (IFN-γ, TNF-α, and IL-17) in mice with dextran sodium sulfate-induced colitis. To further characterize this phenotype, we used in vitro CD4+ T cell-differentiation assays and show that NLRX1-deficient T cells have a greater ability to differentiate into an inflammatory phenotype and possess greater proliferation rates. Further, NLRX1-/- cells have a decreased responsiveness to immune checkpoint pathways and greater rates of lactate dehydrogenase activity. When metabolic effects of the knockout are impaired, NLRX1-deficient cells do not display significant differences in differentiation or proliferation. To confirm the role of NLRX1 specifically in T cells, we used an adoptive-transfer model of colitis. Rag2-/- mice receiving NLRX1-/- naive or effector T cells experienced increased disease activity and effector T cell populations, whereas no differences were observed between groups receiving wild-type or NLRX1-/- regulatory T cells. Metabolic effects of NLRX1 deficiency are observed in a CD4-specific knockout of NLRX1 within a Citrobacter rodentium model of colitis. The aerobic glycolytic preference in NLRX1-/- effector T cells is combined with a decreased sensitivity to immunosuppressive checkpoint pathways to provide greater proliferative capabilities and an inflammatory phenotype bias leading to increased disease severity.

PMID:
28159898
PMCID:
PMC5340590
DOI:
10.4049/jimmunol.1601547
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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