We then addressed whether WT Mϕ inhibition of T-cell proliferation was a dominant effect. Addition of increasing numbers of WT Mϕ to cultures where OT-II T cells were activated by TNFR1−/− Mϕ led to a dose-dependent inhibition of proliferation. Adding WT Mϕ at a ratio of 1 : 1 with the TNFR1−/− Mϕ, prevented the proliferation induced by TNFR1−/− Mϕ (Fig. 1f). This TNF-α-dependent suppression of T-cell proliferation by naive Mϕ is similar to that induced by Mϕ in autoimmunity and by populations of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC), which prevent T-cell responses in tumour sites.13,16 The Mϕ from sites of autoimmune inflammation
and MDSC share phenotypic markers, including the expression Mitomycin C of CD11b, Gr-1 and CD31, which have been useful in identifying myeloid cells that can inhibit T-cell proliferation. As a consequence, we examined the phenotype of in vitro-generated naive Mϕ and observed that, consistent with in vivo-generated Mϕ, they expressed CD11b, CD31 and F4/80, but not Gr-1 (Supplementary Fig. S1). The activation HM781-36B research buy of BM-Mϕ with LPS or IFN-γ, in the absence of T cells, did not lead to the expression
of Gr-1 (data not shown). However, when BM-Mϕ were activated by co-culture with T cells and cognate peptide, both WT and TNFR1−/− Mϕ up-regulated Gr-1 (Fig. 2a), indicating a requirement for signals supplied by T cells for Gr-1 expression. Naive Mϕ from either mouse strain expressed CD31, which was down-regulated to a greater extent on TNFR1−/− Mϕ compared with WT Mϕ following activation (Fig. 2a). Interestingly, the mechanism by which Mϕ acquire a suppressive Gr-1+ phenotype appears to require cell–cell contact with activated T cells, rather than resulting from stimulation by soluble factors (Supplementary Fig. S2). The inhibition of T-cell proliferation in the presence of tumour-derived Mϕ has been associated with down-regulation of the ζ-chain of the CD3/TCR signal transduction complex.10,24 To determine the effects on the intracellular
expression of CD3ζ by crotamiton OT-II CD4+ cells, we examined cells stimulated by WT or TNFR1−/− BM-Mϕ. Compared with unstimulated T cells, activation with WT Mϕ led to lower levels of CD3ζ (Fig. 2b) consistent with T-cell inhibition,25 whereas activation with TNFR1−/− Mϕ led to CD3ζ up-regulation, consistent with normal activation26 (Fig. 2b). Since Mϕ in the local environment stimulate lymphocyte cytokine production but block the proliferation of T cells, we wished to ascertain the fate of T cells that escape from their presence. To do this, we tested whether co-culture with inhibitory BM-Mϕ produced a long-term unresponsive state in the T cells. OT-II CD4+ T cells were combined with BM-Mϕ and OVA peptide for 24 hr and then the non-adherent lymphocytes were removed and the T cells were re-plated in fresh medium. Cell proliferation was then assessed by [3H]thymidine incorporation.