NLRP3 Regulates IL-4 Expression in TOX<sup>+</sup> CD4<sup>+</sup> T Cells of Cutaneous T Cell Lymphoma to Potentially Promote Disease Progression

Huanosta-Murillo, E., Alcántara-Hernández, M., Hernández-Rico, B., Victoria-Acosta, G., Miranda-Cruz, P., Domínguez-Gómez, M. A., ? Bonifaz, L. C. (2021). NLRP3 Regulates IL-4 Expression in TOX+ CD4+ T Cells of Cutaneous T Cell Lymphoma to Potentially Promote Disease Progression. Frontiers in Immunology, 12. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2021.668369


In cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL), a dominant Th2 profile associated with disease progression has been proposed. Moreover, although the production and regulation of IL-4 expression during the early stages of the disease may have important implications in later stages, these processes are poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate the presence of TOX CD4 T cells that produce IL-4 in early-stage skin lesions of CTCL patients and reveal a complex mechanism by which the NLRP3 receptor promotes a Th2 response by controlling IL-4 production. Unassembled NLRP3 is able to translocate to the nucleus of malignant CD4 T cells, where it binds to the human promoter. Accordingly, IL-4 expression is decreased by knocking down and increased by promoting the nuclear localization of NLRP3. We describe a positive feedback loop in which IL-4 inhibits NLRP3 inflammasome assembly, thereby further increasing its production. IL-4 induced a potentially malignant phenotype measured based on TOX expression and proliferation. This mechanism of IL-4 regulation mediated by NLRP3 is amplified in late-stage CTCL associated with disease progression. These results indicate that NLRP3 might be a key regulator of IL-4 expression in TOX CD4 T cells of CTCL patients and that this mechanism might have important implications in the progression of the disease.

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