Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Clinical and Translational Sciences

First Advisor

Daniel Conrad


The proper regulation of inducible costimulator (ICOS) and its ligand (ICOSL) have been shown to be essential for maintaining immune homeostasis. Loss of either protein results in defective humoral immunity, and overexpression of ICOS results in aberrant antibody production resembling lupus. How ICOSL is regulated in response to ICOS interaction is still unclear. We demonstrate that ADAM10 is the primary physiological sheddase of ICOSL in both mouse and human. Using an in vivo system in which ADAM10 is deleted only on B cells (ADAM10B-/-), elevated levels of ICOSL were seen. This increase is also seen when ADAM10 is deleted from human B cell lines. Identification of the primary sheddase has allowed the characterization of a novel mechanism of ICOS regulation. In wildtype (WT) mice, interaction of ICOSL/ICOS results in ADAM10 induced shedding of ICOSL on B cells and moderate ICOS internalization on T cells. When this shedding is blocked, excessive ICOS internalization occurs. This results in severe defects in T follicular helper (TFH) development and Th2 polarization, seen in a house dust mite exposure model. In addition, enhanced Th1 and Th1 immune responses are seen in experimental allergic encephalomyelitis. Blockade of ICOSL rescues T cell ICOS surface expression and at least partially rescues both TFH numbers and the abnormal antibody production previously reported in these mice. Overall, we propose a novel regulation of the ICOS:ICOSL axis, with ADAM10 playing a direct role in regulating ICOSL as well as indirectly regulating ICOS, thus controlling ICOS:ICOSL-dependent responses.

Additionally, we report a specific role for the metalloprotease ADAM10 on B cells in regulating both ICOSL and ICOS in a mouse model of increased humoral immunity using mir146a-/- mice and a model of lymphoproliferative disease using the well characterized lpr model. B6lpr mice lacking ADAM10 on B cells (A10Blpr) have decreased nodal proliferation and T cell accumulation compared to control B6lpr mice. Additionally, A10Blpr mice have a drastic reduction in autoimmune anti-dsDNA antibody production. In line with this, we found a significant reduction in follicular helper T cells (TFH) and germinal center (GC) B cells in these mice. We also show that lymphoproliferation in this model is closely tied to elevated ICOS levels and decreased ICOSL levels. Overall, our data not only shows a role of B cell ADAM10 in controlling autoimmunity, but also increases our understanding of the regulation of ICOS and ICOSL in the context of autoimmunity.

Additionally, we found that ADAM17 is important for marginal zone (MZ) B cell development as well as responses to T-independent type 2 (TI2) immunizations. Mice which lack ADAM17 on B cells (A17B) have decreased MZ B cell numbers but have increased levels of antigen specific antibodies in response to TI2 Immunizations. ADAM17 also regulates the level of several surface molecules on plasma cells and MZ B cells necessary for their function and survival.

We also show a role for ADAM17 in ILC2 responsiveness to IL-33. In vivo, mice that lack ADAM17 specifically on ILC2s (ADAM17ILC2-/-) exhibit decreased ILC2 expansion in response to intranasal IL-33 as well as Nippostrongylus brasiliensis (Nb) infection. However, ADAM17ILC2-/- mice have normal ILC2 numbers in a naïve state, suggesting this defect in ILC2 function is limited to cell activation. In vitro, ADAM17 inhibited ILC2s have an increased level of apoptosis and less IL-13 production in response to IL-33 compared to vehicle treated ILC2s. The defect in cytokine production following ADAM17 inhibition is not observed in response to IL-25 stimulation, suggesting this defect is limited to IL-33 stimulation Mechanistically, ADAM17 inhibition in ILC2s specifically causes a defect in IL-33 mediated ERK activation, potentially explaining the defective survival and IL-13 production following ADAM17 inhibition in these cells. Additionally, ADAM17 regulates the level of surface IL1R2 which may affect IL-33 signaling in ILC2s.


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Available for download on Tuesday, December 12, 2023