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T Cell Receptor & T Cell Development. 2 Questions for the next 2 lectures :  How do you generate a diverse T cell population with functional TCR rearrangements?

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Presentation on theme: "T Cell Receptor & T Cell Development. 2 Questions for the next 2 lectures :  How do you generate a diverse T cell population with functional TCR rearrangements?"— Presentation transcript:

1 T Cell Receptor & T Cell Development

2 2 Questions for the next 2 lectures :  How do you generate a diverse T cell population with functional TCR rearrangements?  How do you generate a T cell population that is self-MHC restricted?  How do you ensure that those diverse T cell receptors are not-self reactive?  How do you coordinate lineage specification with MHC specificity and coreceptor expression? -  vs.  T cell - CD4 vs. CD8

3 T lymphocyte: a key regulator of the immune system

4 T Lymphocytes Arise from stem cells resident in the bone marrow and migrate to the thymus which serves as an indoctrination center where thymocytes must learn to distinguish self from nonself Thymocytes that cannot make this induction are eliminated, those that can may further differentiate, mature, and graduate as T lymphocytes and enter the circulation

5 Origin, generation and differentiation of T cells

6 T Cell Development T cell progenitors migrate from bone marrow and seed thymus. T cell progenitors undergo differentiation to CD4, CD8 and NKT cells in thymus. Mature CD4 and CD8 T cells circulate between blood and lymphoid tissues until they meet antigens presented on dendritic cells in lymphoid tissues. T cells further undergo maturation to become functional memory or effector T cells in LT

7 Figure 5-2 Thymic involution: Human thymus is fully developed before birth and increases in size until puberty. It then progressively shrinks during adult life. Most thymectomized adults have no problem in T cell immunity because they have enough memory T cells in the periphery, and these T cells are long- lived.

8 T Cell Functions Collectively, T cells display a number of diverse functions: - They often function to initiate, regulate, and fine-tune humoral immune response - They are effector cells responsible for various types of cell mediated immune responses like; DTH, contact sensitivity, transplantation immunity, and cytotoxicity

9 T Cell Surface Molecules TCR: A very diverse heterodimer that lacks a cytoplasmic tail that would allow direct cytoplasmic signaling once TCR binds an epitope CD3 Complex: It is composed of a group of six invariant accessory molecules; one CD3 , one CD3 , two CD3ε, and an intracytoplasmic homodimer of ξ or CD247 chains Cytoplasmic signaling occurs through CD3 that noncovalently associate with TCR

10 Figure 3-6 TCR Complex

11 The CD3 complex is essential for both cell surface expression of the TCR and for signal transduction once the TCR recognizes an antigen Unlike antibodies that can readily bind free antigen, a TCR cannot bind soluble antigens, but only enzymatically cleaved fragments of larger peptides presented as peptide MHC (pMHC) complexes

12 CD4 or CD8: Most mature T cells express CD4 or CD8 molecules, they function as important co-receptors in association with the TCR By binding to invariant portions of the MHC I (CD8) or MHC II (CD4), they serve to increase the interaction of the MHC-bound antigenic fragment and the TCR

13 Figure 3-10 The structures of CD4 and CD8

14 CD8 binds MHC class I CD4 binds MHC class II Most mature T cells are either CD4+ or CD8+. CD8 T cells kill cells infected with intracellular pathogens or tumor cells while CD4 T cells regulate (activate or suppress) other immune cells’ function.

15 TCR Vs Immunoglobulin  Both: Bind antigen Have Variable region and Constant region Have a binding site that is a heterodimer (composed of 2 different chains)  TCRs act only as receptors  Igs act as receptors and effector molecules (soluble antigen-binding molecules)

16 Similarity between TCR and Ig

17 TCR Structure The TCR is a member of the immunoglobulin supergene family and is composed of two polypeptide chains; a light α or  chain and a heavy β or  chain Each polypeptide chain of the heterodimer pair contains a variable and a constant region domain The Vα and V  regions are encoded by V and J gene clusters The Vβ and V  regions are encoded by V, D, and J gene clusters The D gene cluster provides an additional source of variation

18 Figure 3-7

19  and  TCR gene loci (germline configuration)

20 The gene clusters undergo DNA rearrangement, similar to that already described for immunoglobulin genes, to synthesize αβ dimers or   dimers As with immunoglobulins, the constant domain of the α and β or  and  chains are encode by constant region genes (Cα and Cβ or C  or C  ) T cell receptors do not undergo any subsequent changes equivalent to isotype switch, and somatic hypermutation, important to generating diversity of immunoglobulins.

21 As might be imagined, in the random process of generating diversity, a variety of TCR specificities would be generated for peptides that one may never encounter during his lifetime Three distinct categories of TCR specificities can be identified: - Those that recognize peptides that will never be encountered - Those that recognize peptides produced by potential pathogens or peptides of foreign origin - Those that recognize peptides that are produced by cells of self

22 TcR  gene rearrangement by SOMATIC RECOMBINATION Spliced TcR  mRNA Germline TcR  VnVn JC V2V2V1V1 Rearranged TcR  1° transcript Rearrangement very similar to the IgL chains

23 TcR  gene rearrangement RESCUE PATHWAY There is only a 1:3 chance of the join between the V and J region being in frame VnVn JC V2V2V1V1 V  n+1  chain tries for a second time to make a productive  join using new V and J elements Productively rearranged TcR  1° transcript

24 Rearranged TcR  1° transcript Spliced TcR  mRNA L & V  x52 D1D1 J C1C1D2D2 J C2C2 Germline TcR  TcR  gene rearrangement SOMATIC RECOMBINATION D-J Joining V-DJ joining C-VDJ joining

25 D1D1 J C1C1D2D2 J C2C2 Germline TcR  D-J Joining V-DJ joining V TcR  gene rearrangement RESCUE PATHWAY There is a 1:3 chance of productive D-J rearrangement and a 1:3 chance of productive V D-J rearrangement (i.e only a 1:9 chance of a productive  chain rearrangement) 2 nd chance at V-DJ joining Need to remove non productive rearrangement Use (DJC)  2 elements

26 TCR gene rearrangements occur in the thymus n=70-80 n=52 The same RSS and the same enzymes are used to rearrange both the TCR genes and the Ig genes. P and N nucleotides are added at the junctions between rearranged segments

27 J starts with ATT No additions: J is in frame GTACTGCAGATTVJD GTACCTGCAGATT VJD One addition and J is out of frame; the ATT start for J is lost (as are all appropriate downstream codons) GTACCTGCAGGATT VJD Two addition and J is out of frame; the ATT start for J is lost (as are all appropriate downstream codons) GTACCTGCAGGCATT VJD Three addition and J is in frame; the ATT start for J is is present (as are all appropriate downstream codons) TCR  Chain D region can be read in all frames

28  -chain locus is first to be rearranged

29 Two chances for productive (=correct reading frame) rearrangement:  chain

30  -chain rearrangement

31 Multiple rounds of  -chain rearrangement can rescue nonproductive TCR

32 TCR gene rearrangement generates the TCR repertoire Pre-TCR complex stops further gene rearrangement at  locus, and induces thymocyte proliferation Finally TCR+ DP cells are made

33 Germline configuration of  and  loci TCR  D, J and C exons are encoded in the intron between the the Vs and the Js of the TCR  locus. The V segments for TCR  (4 known) are mixed in with the V segments of the TCR 


35 Figure 3-8 part 2 of 2 Most  T cells do not express CD4 or CD8. They are thought to be: First line of defense? Bridge between innate and adaptive responses?

36 Signals through the  TCR and the pre-TCR compete to determine thymocyte lineage

37 Generation of diversity in the TcR COMBINATORIAL DIVERSITY Multiple germline segments In the human TcR Variable (V) segments: ~70 , 52  Diversity (D) segments: 0 , 2  Joining (J) segments: 61 , 13  The need to pair  and  chains to form a binding site doubles the potential for diversity JUNCTIONAL DIVERSITY Addition of non-template encoded (N) and palindromic (P) nucleotides at imprecise joints made between V-D-J elements SOMATIC MUTATION IS NOT USED TO GENERATE DIVERSITY IN TcR

38 The Generation of Diversity (GOD)

39 T Cell Development T cell precursors migrate from the bone marrow to enter the thymus as thymocytes, they express neither αβTCR nor CD4 or CD8 and are called double negative (DN) cells DN cells proliferate in the subcapsular region of the thymus and differentiate to express low levels of newly generated αβTCR, both CD4 and CD8, and are called double positive (DP) cells

40 DP cells move inward to the deeper portion of the thymus, where they are fated to die within 3-4 days, unless their TCRs recognize an MHC class I or class II molecules on thymic dendritic cells. This process is called positive selection Although the mechanism of positive selection is yet unclear, partial recognition of class II by CD4 or class I by CD8 molecules must occur T cells that recognize self MHC molecules survive

41 A DP thymocyte with a TCR that engage MHC class I may become a CD8 + T cell and a DP thymocyte that recognizes MHC class II may become a CD4 + T cell Class I and class II molecules are not displayed on cell surface unless they are loaded with a peptide Only molecules of self origin are available on thymic APCs, and these are presented to the DP thymocyte in the deep or medullary area of the thymus

42 CD4+CD8+ DP cells: To be CD4 or CD8?

43 Thymocytes that show strong interaction with MHC molecules or pMHC complexes undergo apoptosis, a process known as negative selection Thymocytes that survive both positive and negative selection migrate from the thymus to populate lymphoid tissues and organs as T cells

44 Figure 5-3 part 2 of 2

45 Each thymocyte maturation stage occurs at a distinct location of the thymus Young adult:~5x10 7 thymocytes produced/day ~1.5x10 6 mature cells leave/day

46 Figure 5-3 part 1 of 2 Differentiation DN (CD4-CD8-) and DP (CD4+CD8+) Immature thymocytes are here More mature SP (CD4+CD8-or CD8+CD4-) thymocytes are here

47 Positive Selection Positive selection selects T cells that recognize peptides on self MHC This is to assure that mature T cells can respond to antigen-presented on self MHC. Self MHC I and II harboring self peptides on thymic epithelial cells recognize and activate TCRs on some DP thymocytes. DP thymocytes should receive this signal within 3-4 days to survive, otherwise they undergo apoptosis.

48 Negative Selection Negative selection eliminates T cells with TCRs that bind too strongly to self antigen/MHC complex (autoreactive cells are removed by this process) Dendritic cells and macrophages in cortico- medullary junction mediate it. Negative selection cannot eliminate T cells whose receptors are specific for self peptides that are present outside of the thymus These cells enter circulation, but soon to be rendered anergic or unresponsive by other mechanims.


50 Does receptor occupancy explain positive and negative selection ? High occupancy Negative selection Low occupancy Survival

51 Does the TIME of receptor occupancy explain positive and negative selection ? Long occupancy Negative selection Short occupancy Survival Short signaling Long signaling

52 Stage of maturation can be distinguished by the expression of specific surface molecules DN DP SP

53 Types of T cells Conventional: –Uses  TCR –Helper (CD4+) and cytotoxic (CD8+) T cells –More abundant and highly specific –Restricted by classical MHC (I and II) molecules Non-conventional: –Uses  TCR –Primitive with broad specificity –Restricted by non-classical molecules

54 CD4+ T cells T cells with CD4 marker (glycoprotein) represent 70% of T cells in the periphery Named T helper cells Play central role in modulating cellular immunity via secretion of cytokines that mediate: –B cell activation –Immunoglobulin secretion (quality) –Macrophage and dendritic cell activation –Cellular chemotaxis and inflammation Two subsets; Th1 and Th2 cells

55 Th1 and Th2 cells CD4+ T helper cells can be classified into two types based on their cytokine profiles: T helper cell type 1 (Th1) and T helper cell type 2 (Th2). –Cytokine profile is influenced by several factors: Nature and dose of antigen Route of administration Type of antigen presenting cell/ costimulation Genetic background –The cytokine profile determines the effector function of the helper cell

56 Differentiation of naive CD4 T cells into different subclasses

57 The nature and amount of ligand determine CD4 T cell functional phenotype

58 T Helper (CD4 + ) Subsets Th2 response, Humoral Immunity and Acute Hypersensitivity IL-4 IL-10 IL-13 IL-5 IL-6 Anti- Inflammatory Cytokines Th2 IL-4 Th0 IFN -  IL-2 LT Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines Th1 FasL DR4 Th1 response Cellular Immunity DTH Suicide Fas Antigen APC IL-12

59 Differences between Th1 and Th2 cells Produces type 1 cytokines –IL-2, IFN- , TNF-α, TNF-β Activates macrophages and DCs for intracellular killing of pathogens Mediates CMI Produces type 2 cytokines –IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, IL-13 Provides help to B cells in antibody response Mediates allergy and immunity to extracellular pathogens, including parasites Th1 cellTh2 cell

60 Cytotoxic T cells T cells that express CD8 molecule on their surface and they represent 30% of T cells in the periphery Destroy cells infected by intracellular pathogens and cancer cells Class I MHC molecules (nucleated body cells) expose foreign proteins TC cell releases perforin and granzymes, proteins that form pores in the target cell membrane; causing cell lysis and/or apoptosis


62 Effector molecules of T cell subsets

63 Regulation of the Immune Response How does the immune system prevent self reactivity while maintaining reactivity to invaders/non-self? –Clonal deletion/inactivation of auto- reactive cells –Regulatory T cells keep potentially pathogenic self reactive T cells in check through “suppressive” mechanisms

64 New T cell phenotypes Regulatory T cells –Naturally occurring (CD25 positive) –Induced (IL-10 and TGF-β) –Some NK T cells –Suppressor T cells Th17 cells: produce IL-17, role in acute inflammation, suppress Th2.

65 Bettelli et al., Nature 2008

66 Th17 and Treg

67 Regulatory T Cells (Treg) CD3 +, TcR +, CD4 +, CD25 + Function –Suppress the activity of effector Th and Tc cells –Inhibition is antigen specific and MHC restricted –Inhibition depends on cell:cell contact –Appear to function in autoimmunity Development –Develop in the bone marrow from DP cells –Arise as a result of strong binding to self MHC and self Ag during negative selection. Alternative to cell death or anergy –Development and maintenance are dependent upon B7

68 What are the requirements for Treg development? TCR engagement in the thymus (high affinity but not so high as negative selection) –Higher percentage of thymocytes with high affinity TCR in context of auto antigen develop into regs –T cells of appropriate affinity are “instructed” to become Tregs Selective sparing of pre-committed cells from negative selection or promotion of Treg lineage development? –higher percentage, but not higher absolute number –Preferential elimination of non-regulatory T cells rather than increased production of Tregs –TCR engagement serves as survival or expansion signal of Tregs pre-committed to that lineage.

69 T reg CD4 CD25 CTLA-4 GITR The T reg cell phenotype CD4 –Co-receptor for TCR recognition of MHC II/Ag CD25 IL-2R  –IL-2R component, confers high affinity binding to IL-2R  –Key T R growth factor CTLA-4 cytotoxic T lymphocyte Ag-4 –Binds to B7s (CD80/86) on APC, acts as co-stimulatory molecule for T R (blocking CTLA-4 inhibits T R ) GITR glucocorticoid induced TNF related protein –Ligation inhibits TR function (agonist inhibit T R, blocking augments T R ) FoxP3 –Forkhead /winged-helix TF critical for T R activity and development –Unlike surface markers / receptors, T E do not express FoxP3 Foxp3

70 Modulation of immune responses by T reg cells T reg cells are crucial for the induction and maintenance of peripheral tolerance to self-antigens T reg cells can also suppress immune responses to 1.Tumor antigens 2.Alloantigen 3.Allergens 4.Microbial antigens T eff T reg Tumor Clearance Microbial Immunity Autoimmunity Transplant rejection Graft-versus host disease Allergy T eff T reg Self-tolerance Transplantation tolerance Tumor Progression Microbial Persistence T eff T reg Self-tolerance Immunocompetence Sheng Cai

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