Epigenetic and immunological indicators of IPEX disease in subjects with FOXP3 gene mutation

Mansi Narula, Uma Lakshmanan, Simon Borna, Janika J. Schulze, Tyson H. Holmes, Nicholas Harre, Matthew Kirkey, Akshaya Ramachandran, Veronica Maria Tagi, Federica Barzaghi, Eyal Grunebaum, Julia E.M. Upton, Vy Hong-Diep Kim, Christian Wysocki, Victoria R. Dimitriades, Kenneth Weinberg, Katja G. Weinacht, Yael Gernez, Bindu K. Sathi, Magdalena SchelottoMatthew Johnson, Sven Olek, Christoph Sachsenmaier, Maria Grazia Roncarolo, Rosa Bacchetta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Forkhead box protein 3 (FOXP3) is the master transcription factor in CD4+CD25hiCD127lo regulatory T (Treg) cells. Mutations in FOXP3 result in IPEX (immune dysregulation, polyendocrinopathy, enteropathy, X-linked) syndrome. Clinical presentation of IPEX syndrome is broader than initially described, challenging the understanding of the disease, its evolution, and treatment choice. Objective: We sought to study the type and extent of immunologic abnormalities that remain ill-defined in IPEX, across genetic and clinical heterogeneity. Methods: We performed Treg-cell–specific epigenetic quantification and immunologic characterization of severe “typical” (n = 6) and “atypical” or asymptomatic (n = 9) patients with IPEX. Results: Increased number of cells with Treg-cell–Specific Demethylated Region demethylation in FOXP3 is a consistent feature in patients with IPEX, with (1) highest values in those with typical IPEX, (2) increased values in subjects with pathogenic FOXP3 but still no symptoms, and (3) gradual increase over the course of disease progression. Large-scale profiling using Luminex identified plasma inflammatory signature of macrophage activation and TH2 polarization, with cytokines previously not associated with IPEX pathology, including CCL22, CCL17, CCL15, and IL-13, and the inflammatory markers TNF-α, IL-1A, IL-8, sFasL, and CXCL9. Similarly, both Treg-cell and Teff compartments, studied by Mass Cytometry by Time-Of-Flight, were skewed toward the TH2 compartment, especially in typical IPEX. Conclusions: Elevated TSDR-demethylated cells, combined with elevation of plasmatic and cellular markers of a polarized type 2 inflammatory immune response, extends our understanding of IPEX diagnosis and heterogeneity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • atypical IPEX
  • CD4 Teff
  • CyTOF
  • cytokines
  • epigenetic
  • FOXP3
  • T2
  • Treg cells
  • TSDR demethylation
  • typical IPEX

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Epigenetic and immunological indicators of IPEX disease in subjects with FOXP3 gene mutation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this