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Current Opinion in Immunology

Evgenii Tcyganov, Jerome Mastio, Eric Chen, Dmitry I Gabrilovich
In recent years, myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) have emerged as one of the major inhibitors of immune effector cell function in cancer. MDSC represent a heterogeneous population of largely immature myeloid cells that are characterized by a pathological state of activation and display potent immune suppressive activity. Two major subsets of MDSC have been identified: monocytic (M-MDSC) and polymorphonuclear (PMN-MDSC). PMN-MSDC share phenotypic and morphologic features with neutrophils, whereas M-MDSC are similar to monocytes and are characterized by high plasticity...
March 13, 2018: Current Opinion in Immunology
Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg
Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) are present in most individuals with cancer where they inhibit adaptive and innate antitumor immunity and are an obstacle to cancer immunotherapies. Chronic inflammation is characteristic of adipose tissue and is a risk factor for the onset and progression of cancer in obese individuals. Because MDSC accumulate in response to inflammation, it has been hypothesized that one of the mechanisms by which obesity promotes malignancy is through the induction of MDSC. This article reviews the data supporting this hypothesis, the role of leptin and fatty acid metabolism in the induction of MDSC, and the surprising finding that although MDSC promote tumor progression, they are protective against some of the metabolic dysfunction associated with obesity...
March 12, 2018: Current Opinion in Immunology
Danielle A Chisolm, Amy S Weinmann
The nutrient environment and metabolism play a dynamic role in cellular differentiation and research is elucidating the mechanisms that contribute to this process. Metabolites serve as an effective bridge that helps to translate information about nutrient states into specific interpretations of the genome. Part of this activity relates to the role for metabolites in regulating epigenetic processes as well as a newly appreciated role for metabolites in the regulation of genome organization. In this review, we will highlight recent research that has defined roles for metabolism in the organization and interpretation of the genome and how this influences cellular differentiation decisions...
March 8, 2018: Current Opinion in Immunology
Payal Dhar, Jennifer D Wu
NKG2D is an activating immune receptor expressed by NK and effector T cells. Induced expression of NKG2D ligand on tumor cell surface during oncogenic insults renders cancer cells susceptible to immune destruction. In advanced human cancers, tumor cells shed NKG2D ligand to produce an immune soluble form as a means of immune evasion. Soluble NKG2D ligands have been associated with poor clinical prognosis in cancer patients. Harnessing NKG2D pathway is considered a viable avenue in cancer immunotherapy over recent years...
March 8, 2018: Current Opinion in Immunology
Ivana Novak, Anna Solini
Type 2 diabetes is reaching an alarming prevalence worldwide. Its complex pathogenesis certainly includes a pivotal role of low-grade inflammation, which could be triggered by excessive purinergic signaling. In this complex scenario, extracellular ATP impairs the function of two key players: β-cell and adipose tissue. In the former, P2Y and possibly some P2X receptors-ion channels regulate insulin secretion, but it is still debated whether excessive ATP can via P2X receptors impair β-cell function directly or whether cell damage is due to an excessive systemic release of cytokines...
March 6, 2018: Current Opinion in Immunology
Ismail Sebina, Marion Pepper
Humoral immune responses are crucial for protection against invading pathogens and are the underlying mechanism of protection for most successful vaccines. Our understanding of how humoral immunity develops is largely based on animal models utilizing experimental immunization systems. While these studies have made enormous progress for the field and have defined many of the fundamental principles of B cell differentiation and function, we are only now beginning to appreciate the complexities of humoral immune responses induced by infection...
February 22, 2018: Current Opinion in Immunology
Gwendalyn J Randolph
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
February 20, 2018: Current Opinion in Immunology
Luisa Cervantes-Barragan, Marco Colonna
The immune system of the intestinal tract has the challenging task of recognizing and eliminating intestinal pathogens while maintaining tolerance to dietary and commensal antigens; therefore, it must be able to sense environmental cues within the intestine and mount suitable responses dictated by their pathogenic or nonpathogenic nature. The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) was originally characterized as a chemical sensor of the environmental pollutant 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) [12]. More recently, AHR has emerged as a major chemical sensor expressed in many intestinal immune cells that enables them to distinguish nutritional and microbial cues and is, therefore, important for development, maintenance and function of the intestinal immune system...
February 13, 2018: Current Opinion in Immunology
Mihalis Verykokakis, Barbara L Kee
Invariant Natural Killer T (iNKT) cells are a heterogeneous innate T cell population that recognizes lipid antigens. Despite the monospecific nature of their T cell receptor, iNKT cells differentiate into stable sublineages during thymic development, before foreign antigen encounter. How iNKT cell subsets acquire and maintain their functional programs is a central question in innate lymphocyte biology. Global transcriptional and epigenetic profiling of iNKT subsets has provided insights into the internal wiring of these subsets that defines their identity...
February 13, 2018: Current Opinion in Immunology
Taras Kreslavsky, Jason B Wong, Maria Fischer, Jane A Skok, Meinrad Busslinger
B-1a cells remain one of the most enigmatic lymphocyte subsets. In this review, we discuss recent advances in our understanding of the development of these cells and their regulation by the transcription factors Bhlhe41 and Arid3a as well as by the RNA-binding protein Lin28b. A large body of literature supports an instructive role of BCR signaling in B-1a cell development and lineage commitment, which is initiated only after signaling from an autoreactive BCR. While both fetal and adult hematopoiesis can generate B-1a cells, the contribution of adult hematopoiesis to the B-1a cell compartment is low under physiological conditions...
February 3, 2018: Current Opinion in Immunology
Susanne Heinzel, Julia M Marchingo, Miles B Horton, Philip D Hodgkin
Activation induced proliferation and clonal expansion of antigen specific lymphocytes is a hallmark of the adaptive immune response to pathogens. Recent studies identify two distinct control phases. In the first T and B lymphocytes integrate antigen and additional costimuli to motivate a programmed proliferative burst that ceases with a return to cell quiescence and eventual death. This proliferative burst is autonomously timed, ensuring an appropriate response magnitude whilst preventing uncontrolled expansion...
February 2, 2018: Current Opinion in Immunology
Jeanette E Boudreau, Katharine C Hsu
Natural killer (NK) cells maintain immune homeostasis by detecting and eliminating damaged cells. Simultaneous activating and inhibitory input are integrated by NK cells, with the net signal prompting cytotoxicity and cytokine production, or inhibition. Chief among the inhibitory ligands for NK cells are 'self' human leukocyte antigen (HLA) molecules, which are sensed by killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR). Through a process called 'education', the functional capabilities of each NK cell are counterbalanced by their sensitivity for inhibition by co-inherited 'self' HLA...
January 27, 2018: Current Opinion in Immunology
Beate Heizmann, Philippe Kastner, Susan Chan
The IKZF family of transcription factors are essential regulators of lymphopoiesis. Ikaros, Helios, Aiolos and Eos function as transcriptional repressors and activators during T and B cell differentiation and in mature cell function, depending on the stage of development and/or cell type. Their potential mechanisms of action are varied. Ikaros family proteins partner with multiple complexes, including NuRD, PRC2 and transcription elongation factors, to modulate gene expression and the chromatin state. In humans, mutations in the IKZF genes are associated with B cell deficiency, leukemias and autoimmunity...
December 23, 2017: Current Opinion in Immunology
Shu Zhen Chong, Maximilien Evrard, Chi Ching Goh, Lai Guan Ng
Monocytes, dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages have been classically categorized into the mononuclear phagocyte system (MPS) based on their similar functional and phenotypic characteristics. While an increasing amount of research has revealed substantial ontogenic and functional differences among these cells, the reasons behind their heterogeneity and strategic positioning in specific niches throughout the body are yet to be fully elucidated. In this review, we outline how recent advances in intravital imaging studies have dissected this phenomenon and have allowed us to appreciate how MPS cells exploit their regional niches to specialize and maximize their functional properties...
December 21, 2017: Current Opinion in Immunology
Trine A Kristiansen, Stijn Vanhee, Joan Yuan
The adult adaptive immune system is comprised of a wide spectrum of lymphocyte subsets with distinct antigen receptor repertoire profiles, effector functions, turnover times and anatomical locations, acting in concert to provide optimal host protection and self-regulation. While some lymphocyte populations are replenished by bone marrow hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) through adulthood, others emerge during a limited window of time during fetal and postnatal life and sustain through self-replenishment. Despite fundamental implications in immune regeneration, early life immunity and leukemogenesis, the impact of developmental timing on lymphocyte output remains an under explored frontier in immunology...
December 19, 2017: Current Opinion in Immunology
Cody A Cunningham, Eric Y Helm, Pamela J Fink
Recent thymic emigrants (RTEs) are those peripheral T cells that have most recently completed thymic development and egress. Over the past decade, significant advances have been made in understanding the cell-extrinsic and cell-intrinsic requirements for RTE maturation to mature naïve (MN) T cells and in detailing the functional differences that characterize these two T cell populations. Much of this work has suggested that RTEs are hypo-functional versions of more mature T cells. However, recent evidence has indicated that rather than being defective T cells, RTEs are exquisitely adapted to their cellular niche...
December 16, 2017: Current Opinion in Immunology
J L McCarville, J S Ayres
Two distinct defense strategies provide a host with survival to infectious diseases: resistance and tolerance. Resistance is dependent on the ability of the host to kill pathogens. Tolerance promotes host health while having a neutral to positive impact of pathogen fitness. Immune responses are almost inevitably defined in terms of pathogen resistance. Recent evidence has shown, however, that several effects attributed to activation of innate and adaptive immune mechanisms, cannot be readily explained with the paradigm of immunity as effectors of microbial destruction...
December 15, 2017: Current Opinion in Immunology
Rekha Dhanwani, Mariko Takahashi, Sonia Sharma
In the cytoplasm, DNA is sensed as a universal danger signal by the innate immune system. Cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) is a cytosolic DNA sensor/enzyme that catalyzes formation of 2'-5'-cGAMP, an atypical cyclic di-nucleotide second messenger that binds and activates the Stimulator of Interferon Genes (STING), resulting in recruitment of Tank Binding Kinase 1 (TBK1), activation of the transcription factor Interferon Regulatory Factor 3 (IRF3), and trans-activation of innate immune response genes, including type I Interferon cytokines (IFN-I)...
December 13, 2017: Current Opinion in Immunology
Johnny Bonnardel, Martin Guilliams
The combination between novel fate-mapping tools and single-cell RNA-sequencing technology has revealed the presence of multiple macrophage progenitors. This raises the fascinating possibility that what was once perceived as immense functional plasticity of macrophages could in fact come down to separate macrophage subsets performing distinct functions because of their differential cellular origin. The question of macrophage plasticity versus macrophage heterogeneity is broader than the difference between macrophages of embryonic or adult hematopoietic origin and is particularly relevant in the context of inflammation...
December 13, 2017: Current Opinion in Immunology
Bingyu Liu, Chengjiang Gao
RLRs (including RIG-I and MDA5) are the main receptors that recognize cytoplasmic viral RNA. Upon binding of viral RNA, RIG-I and MDA5 recruit mitochondria-localized MAVS to activate the downstream antiviral signaling. MAVS forms prion-like aggregates on the mitochondria after virus infection. The regulatory mechanisms for MAVS activation have been defined in various studies. Here, we summarize the recent advances about MAVS roles in antiviral immunity, discuss the regulation of MAVS activation, and suggest interesting areas for future research...
December 12, 2017: Current Opinion in Immunology
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