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T cell plasticity in renal autoimmune disease

Authors
  • Soukou, Shiwa1, 2
  • Huber, Samuel1, 2
  • Krebs, Christian F.2, 3
  • 1 Hamburg Center for Translational Immunology (HCTI), University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany
  • 2 I. Department of Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany
  • 3 Translational Immunology, III. Department of Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany
Type
Published Article
Journal
Cell and Tissue Research
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
May 03, 2021
Pages
1–11
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s00441-021-03466-z
PMID: 33937944
PMCID: PMC8088832
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Review
License
Unknown

Abstract

The presence of immune cells is a morphological hallmark of rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis, a disease group that includes anti-glomerular basement membrane glomerulonephritis, lupus nephritis, and anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)–associated glomerulonephritis. The cellular infiltrates include cells from both the innate and the adaptive immune responses. The latter includes CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. In the past, CD4+ T cell subsets were viewed as terminally differentiated lineages with limited flexibility. However, it is now clear that Th17 cells can in fact have a high degree of plasticity and convert, for example, into pro-inflammatory Th1 cells or anti-inflammatory Tr1 cells. Interestingly, Th17 cells in experimental GN display limited spontaneous plasticity. Here we review the literature of CD4+ T cell plasticity focusing on immune-mediated kidney disease. We point out the key findings of the past decade, in particular that targeting pathogenic Th17 cells by anti-CD3 injection can be a tool to modulate the CD4+ T cell response. This anti-CD3 treatment can trigger a regulatory phenotype in Th17 cells and transdifferentiation of Th17 cells into immunosuppressive IL-10-expressing Tr1 cells (Tr1exTh17 cells). Thus, targeting Th17 cell plasticity could be envisaged as a new therapeutic approach in patients with glomerulonephritis.

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