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Sci Immunol. 2019 May 31;4(35). pii: eaaw0902. doi: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aaw0902.

CTLA-4-mediated transendocytosis of costimulatory molecules primarily targets migratory dendritic cells.

Author information

1
Institute of Immunity and Transplantation, University College London Division of Infection and Immunity, Royal Free Campus, NW3 2PF London , UK.
2
Department of Haematology, University College London Cancer Institute, Royal Free Campus, NW3 2PF London, UK.
3
Institute of Immunity and Transplantation, University College London Division of Infection and Immunity, Royal Free Campus, NW3 2PF London , UK. lucy.walker@ucl.ac.uk.

Abstract

CTLA-4 is a critical negative regulator of the immune system and a major target for immunotherapy. However, precisely how it functions in vivo to maintain immune homeostasis is not clear. As a highly endocytic molecule, CTLA-4 can capture costimulatory ligands from opposing cells by a process of transendocytosis (TE). By restricting costimulatory ligand expression in this manner, CTLA-4 controls the CD28-dependent activation of T cells. Regulatory T cells (Tregs) constitutively express CTLA-4 at high levels and, in its absence, show defects in TE and suppressive function. Activated conventional T cells (Tconv) are also capable of CTLA-4-dependent TE; however, the relative use of this mechanism by Tregs and Tconv in vivo remains unclear. Here, we set out to characterize both the perpetrators and cellular targets of CTLA-4 TE in vivo. We found that Tregs showed constitutive cell surface recruitment of CTLA-4 ex vivo and performed TE rapidly after TCR stimulation. Tregs outperformed activated Tconv at TE in vivo, and expression of ICOS marked Tregs with this capability. Using TCR transgenic Tregs that recognize a protein expressed in the pancreas, we showed that the presentation of tissue-derived self-antigen could trigger Tregs to capture costimulatory ligands in vivo. Last, we identified migratory dendritic cells (DCs) as the major target for Treg-based CTLA-4-dependent regulation in the steady state. These data support a model in which CTLA-4 expressed on Tregs dynamically regulates the phenotype of DCs trafficking to lymph nodes from peripheral tissues in an antigen-dependent manner.

PMID:
31152091
PMCID:
PMC6570622
[Available on 2019-11-30]
DOI:
10.1126/sciimmunol.aaw0902

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