Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Tolerogenic dendritic cell-based immunotherapy in Crohn’s disease
Author: Cabezón Cabello, Raquel
Director: Benítez-Ribas, Daniel
Panés Díaz, Julià
Keywords: Malaltia de Crohn
Cèl·lules dendrítiques
Crohn's disease
Dendritic cells
Issue Date: 26-Mar-2015
Publisher: Universitat de Barcelona
Abstract: [spa] Esta tesis doctoral estudia el proceso de generación de células dendríticas tolerogénicas en grado clínico, con el objetivo de establecer un protocolo destinado al tratamiento de la enfermedad de Crohn. El estudio realizado ha permitido la caracterización de dichas células y sus propiedades tolerogénicas, incluyendo la descripción novedosa de un marcador de células tolerogénicas y el estudio de sus propiedades funcionales relacionadas con la inducción de tolerancia.
[eng] The quality of life of a significant proportion of IBD patients is poor as a result of persistent disease activity and repeated surgery, among others. Current treatments for Crohn’s disease are not able to neither prevent this serious impact nor improve the long term prognosis of a significant proportion of patients. Therefore, new therapeutic approaches are needed in order to modify the immune response of these patients. We hypothesize that administration of ex-vivo generated autologous tol-DCs to Crohn’s disease patients may arrest Th1 lymphocyte proliferation and therefore may restore specific tolerance against non-pathogenic antigens in the gut. The overall objective of this thesis was to generate and characterize tol-DCs for the purpose of implementing an autologous immunotherapy treatment for Crohn’s disease patients. In the first study, we described the generation of tol-DCs from healthy donors and Crohn’s disease patients by use of clinical-grade reagents in combination with dexamethasone as immunosuppressive agent and characterized their functional properties. Our main findings demonstrated that the combination of dexamethasone with a specific cytokine cocktail yields clinical-grade DCs with the following characteristics: a semi-mature phenotype, a pronounced shift towards anti-inflammatory versus inflammatory cytokine production and low T-cell stimulatory properties. This characteristic tolerogenic profile is maintained when tol-DCs are activated using heat-inactivated Gram-negative bacteria as maturative stimulus. Whole microorganisms contain multiple PAMPs capable of stimulating DCs by different pathways. Our results clearly showed a strong inhibitory effect on DC phenotype, a robust inhibition of pro-inflammatory cytokines, increased IL-10 secretion, and inhibition of T-cell proliferation and Th1 induction. Interestingly, we showed that tol-DCs have reduced immunogenic capacity in autologous, allogeneic and antigen-specific T-cell responses. We further evaluated the ability of tol-DCs to induce CD4+ T-cell hypo-responsiveness. Our results demonstrated that T-cells or antigen-specific T-cells previously cultured with tol-DCs are anergic exhibiting a reduced capacity to proliferate as well as reduced IFN-gamma secretion when rechallenged with fully competent mDCs. With regard to tol-DCs clinical application, we importantly found that their tolerogenic properties remain stable after washing out dexamethasone and subsequent restimulation with LPS, CD40L or different Gram-negative enterobacteria strains. All these properties led us to conclude that this cell product is suitable to be tested in clinical trials of immune-based diseases such as Crohn’s disease. We further identified a positive biomarker for tol-DCs, MERTK receptor is highly expressed on clinical grade dexamethasone-induced human tol-DCs and contributes in their tolerogenic properties. Our results demonstrated that MERTK expression in human DCs is regulated by glucocorticoids and described a new function of this receptor in directly regulating T-cell response. Interestingly, our findings showed that neutralization of MERTK with monoclonal antibodies in allogeneic MLR cultures leads to increased T-cell proliferation and IFN-gamma production. The direct regulation of T-cell response was confirmed by the use of recombinant MERTK-Fc protein, used to mimic MERTK on DCs. Our results remarkably showed that MERTK-Fc suppresses naïve and antigen-specific memory Tcell proliferation and activation. These findings identified a new non-cell autonomous regulatory function of MERTK expressed on DCs. Additionally, we described that this regulation is mediated by the neutralization of MERTK soluble ligand PROS1. We also found that MERTK is expressed on T-cell surface and that PROS1 drives an autocrine pro-proliferative effect on these cells. In summary, the results of this work demonstrated that MERTK on DCs regulates T-cell activation and expansion through the competition for PROS1 interaction with MERTK in the T-cells. We showed that MERTK expression in human DCs has a key role in instructing adaptive immunity and identified MERTK as a potent suppressor of T-cell response. Therefore targeting MERTK may provide an interesting approach to effectively increase or suppress tolerance for the purpose of immunotherapy.
Appears in Collections:Tesis Doctorals - Departament - Biologia Cel·lular, Immunologia i Neurociències

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
RCC_PhD_THESIS.pdf9.6 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.