The activation of T cells by antigens or mitogens leads to the secretion of cytokines and enzymes that shape the inflammatory response. Among these molecular mediators of inflammation is a heparanase enzyme that degrades the heparan sulfate scaffold of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Activated T cells use heparanase to penetrate the ECM and gain access to the tissues. We now report that among the breakdown products of the ECM generated by heparanase is a trisulfated disaccharide that can inhibit delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) in mice. This inhibition of T-cell mediated inflammation in vivo was associated with an inhibitory effect of the disaccharide on the production of biologically active tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) by activated T cells in vitro; the trisulfated disaccharide did not affect T-cell viability or responsiveness generally. Both the in vivo and in vitro effects of the disaccharide manifested a bell-shaped dose-response curve. The inhibitory effects of the trisulfated disaccharide were lost if the sulfate groups were removed. Thus, the disaccharide, which may be a natural product of inflammation, can regulate the functional nature of the response by the T cell to activation. Such a feedback control mechanism could enable the T cell to assess the extent of tissue degradation and adjust its behavior accordingly.
|Number of pages
|Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
|Published - 23 May 1995
- delayed-type hypersensitivity
- extracellular matrix
- heparan sulfate