Inflammatory Responses Reprogram TREGS Through Impairment of Neuropilin-1

Sci Rep. 2019 Jul 18;9(1):10429. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-46934-x.


Chronic inflammatory insults compromise immune cell responses and ultimately contribute to pathologic outcomes. Clinically, it has been suggested that bone debris and implant particles, such as polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), which are persistently released following implant surgery evoke heightened immune, inflammatory, and osteolytic responses that contribute to implant failure. However, the precise mechanism underlying this pathologic response remains vague. TREGS, the chief immune-suppressive cells, express the transcription factor Foxp3 and are potent inhibitors of osteoclasts. Using an intra-tibial injection model, we show that PMMA particles abrogate the osteoclast suppressive function of TREGS. Mechanistically, PMMA particles induce TREG instability evident by reduced expression of Foxp3. Importantly, intra-tibial injection of PMMA initiates an acute innate immune and inflammatory response, yet the negative impact on TREGS by PMMA remains persistent. We further show that PMMA enhance TH17 response at the expense of other T effector cells (TEFF), particularly TH1. At the molecular level, gene expression analysis showed that PMMA particles negatively regulate Nrp-1/Foxo3a axis to induce TREG instability, to dampen TREG activity and to promote phenotypic switch of TREGS to TH17 cells. Taken together, inflammatory cues and danger signals, such as bone and implant particles exacerbate inflammatory osteolysis in part through reprogramming TREGS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / immunology
  • Immunity, Innate / drug effects
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Neuropilin-1 / immunology*
  • Osteoclasts / drug effects
  • Osteoclasts / immunology
  • Osteolysis / immunology
  • Polymethyl Methacrylate
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / drug effects
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*
  • Th17 Cells / drug effects
  • Th17 Cells / immunology


  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Neuropilin-1
  • Polymethyl Methacrylate