Bachelor of Medicine, Wenzhou Medical College (2005)
Doctor of Philosophy, Shanghai Jiaotong University (2010)
In studies of immune aging, naive T cells frequently take center stage. Describing the complexity of the human naive T cell repertoire remains a daunting task; however, emerging data suggest that homeostatic mechanisms are robust enough to maintain a large and diverse CD4 T cell repertoire with age. Compartment shrinkage and clonal expansions are challenges for naive CD8 T cells. In addition to population aspects, identification of potentially targetable cellular defects is receiving renewed interest. The last decade has seen remarkable progress in identifying genetic and biochemical pathways that are pertinent for aging in general and that are instructive to understand naive T cell dysfunction. One hallmark sets naive T cell aging apart from most other tissues except stem cells: they initiate but do not complete differentiation programs toward memory cells. Maintaining quiescence and avoiding differentiation may be the ultimate challenge to maintain the functions unique for naive T cells.
View details for DOI 10.4049/jimmunol.1500046
View details for Web of Science ID 000353727400005
View details for PubMedID 25888703
Interleukin (IL)-17 plays a key role in immunity. In acute infections, a rapid IL-17 response must be induced without prior antigen exposure, and γδ T cells are the major initial IL-17 producers. In fact, some γδ T cells make IL-17 within hours after an immune challenge. These cells appear to acquire the ability to respond to IL-1 and IL-23 and to make IL-17 naturally in naïve animals. They are known as the natural Tγδ17 (nTγδ17) cells. The rapidity of the nTγδ17 response, and the apparent lack of explicit T cell receptor (TCR) engagement for its induction have led to the view that this is a cytokine (IL-1, IL-23)-mediated response. However, pharmacological inhibition or genetic defects in TCR signaling drastically reduce the nTγδ17 response and/or their presence. To better understand antigen recognition in this rapid IL-17 response, we analyzed the antigen receptor repertoire of IL-1R(+)/IL-23R(+) γδ T cells, a proxy for nTγδ17 cells in naïve animals directly ex vivo, using a barcode-enabled high throughput single-cell TCR sequence analysis. We found that regardless of their anatomical origin, these cells have a highly focused TCR repertoire. In particular, the TCR sequences have limited V gene combinations, little or no junctional diversity and much reduced or no N region diversity. In contrast, IL-23R(-) cells at mucosal sites similar to most of the splenic γδ T cells and small intestine epithelial γδ lymphocytes expressed diverse TCRs. This remarkable commonality and restricted repertoire of IL-1R(+)/IL-23R(+) γδ T cells underscores the importance of antigen recognition in their establishment/function.
View details for DOI 10.3389/fimmu.2015.00118
View details for PubMedID 25852688
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are thought to be prevalent regulators of gene expression, but the consequences of lncRNA inactivation in vivo are mostly unknown. Here, we show that targeted deletion of mouse Hotair lncRNA leads to derepression of hundreds of genes, resulting in homeotic transformation of the spine and malformation of metacarpal-carpal bones. RNA sequencing and conditional inactivation reveal an ongoing requirement of Hotair to repress HoxD genes and several imprinted loci such as Dlk1-Meg3 and Igf2-H19 without affecting imprinting choice. Hotair binds to both Polycomb repressive complex 2, which methylates histone H3 at lysine 27 (H3K27), and Lsd1 complex, which demethylates histone H3 at lysine 4 (H3K4) in vivo. Hotair inactivation causes H3K4me3 gain and, to a lesser extent, H3K27me3 loss at target genes. These results reveal the function and mechanisms of Hotair lncRNA in enforcing a silent chromatin state at Hox and additional genes.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.celrep.2013.09.003
View details for Web of Science ID 000326152100002