Immunol Cell Biol. 2018 Sep

Antigen-specific Helios- , Neuropilin-1- Tregs induce apoptosis of autoreactive B cells via PD-L1.

Gotot J, Dhana E, Yagita H, Kaiser R, Ludwig-Portugall I, Kurts C.

Regulatory T cells (Tregs) maintain self-tolerance and prevent autoimmunity by controlling autoreactive T cells. We recently demonstrated in vivo that Tregs can directly suppress auto-reactive B cells via programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) that ligated PD-1 on B cells and caused them to undergo apoptosis. Here, we asked whether this mechanism is utilized by thymus-derived natural Tregsand/or by peripheral lymphoid tissue-induced Tregs. We first demonstrated that antigen-specific PD-L1-expressing Tregs were induced in the draining lymph node of autoantigen-expressing tissue and characterized them by their lack of the transcription factor Helios and of the surface marker Neuropilin-1 (Nrp-1). Next, we established an in vitro co-culture system to study the interaction between B cells and Treg subsets under controlled conditions. We found that Nrp- Treg, but not Nrp+ Treg suppressed autoreactive B cells, whereas both were able to suppress T-helper cells. Such suppression was antigen-specific and was facilitated by PD-L1/PD-1-induced apoptosis. Furthermore, it required physical cell contact and was MHC II-restricted, providing an explanation for the antigen-specificity of peripherally-induced Tregs. These findings identify a role for peripherally induced Helios- Nrp-1- inducible Treg in controlling peripheral B-cell tolerance against tissue auto-antigens.

PMID: 29617057