Latest issue: June 15, 2017

In the issue

Abstract

Adiponectin is a pleiotropic cytokine with diverse immunomodulatory effects on macrophages and lymphocytes. In the current paradigm, lymphocytes and macrophages respond to adiponectin that is produced by adipocytes and other parenchymal cells. Using a model of chronic arterial inflammation in cardiac transplants, we found that T cells derived from the recipient migrate to the heart and produce adiponectin locally. The evidence that T cells produce significant amounts of adiponectin is based on 3 experimental approaches. First, CD4+ T cells isolated from the blood and spleen after cardiac transplantation express mRNA for adiponectin. Second, reconstitution of T cell–deficient recipients with transgenic CD4+ T cells that express receptors for donor antigens results in arterial infiltrates containing T cells and increased mRNA expression for adiponectin in cardiac transplants. Third, CD4+ T cells isolated from the allograft secrete adiponectin in vitro. Taken together, these data indicate that adiponectin-competent cells originating in the recipient migrate into the transplant. Establishing T cells as a source of adiponectin provides a new dimension, to our knowledge, to the modulatory effects of adiponectin on immune responses.

Authors

Sreedevi Danturti, Karen S. Keslar, Leah R. Steinhoff, Ran Fan, Nina Dvorina, Anna Valujskikh, Robert L. Fairchild, William M. Baldwin III

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Abstract

The tumor microenvironment imposes physical and functional constraints on the antitumor efficacy of adoptive T cell immunotherapy. Preclinical testing of different T cell preparations can help in the selection of efficient immune therapies, but in vivo models are expensive and cumbersome to develop, while classical in vitro 2D models cannot recapitulate the spatiotemporal dynamics experienced by T cells targeting cancer. Here, we describe an easily customizable 3D model, in which the tumor microenvironment conditions are modulated and the functionality of different T cell preparations is tested. We incorporate human cancer hepatocytes as a single cell or as tumor cell aggregates in a 3D collagen gel region of a microfluidic device. Human T cells engineered to express tumor-specific T cell receptors (TCR–T cells) are then added in adjacent channels. The TCR–T cells’ ability to migrate and kill the tumor target and the profile of soluble factors were investigated under conditions of varying oxygen levels and in the presence of inflammatory cytokines. We show that only the 3D model detects the effect that oxygen levels and the inflammatory environment impose on engineered TCR–T cell function, and we also used the 3D microdevice to analyze the TCR–T cell efficacy in an immunosuppressive scenario. Hence, we show that our microdevice platform enables us to decipher the factors that can alter T cell function in 3D and can serve as a preclinical assay to tailor the most efficient immunotherapy configuration for a specific therapeutic goal.

Authors

Andrea Pavesi, Anthony T. Tan, Sarene Koh, Adeline Chia, Marta Colombo, Emanuele Antonecchia, Carlo Miccolis, Erica Ceccarello, Giulia Adriani, Manuela T. Raimondi, Roger D. Kamm, Antonio Bertoletti

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Abstract

Adult cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) display a low capacity to differentiate into cardiomyocytes in injured hearts, strongly limiting the regenerative capacity of the mammalian myocardium. To identify new mechanisms regulating CPC differentiation, we used primary and clonally expanded Sca-1+ CPCs from murine adult hearts in homotypic culture or coculture with cardiomyocytes. Expression kinetics analysis during homotypic culture differentiation showed downregulation of Wnt target genes concomitant with increased expression of the Wnt antagonist, Wnt inhibitory factor 1 (Wif1), which is necessary to stimulate CPC differentiation. We show that the expression of the Wif1 gene is repressed by DNA methylation and regulated by the de novo DNA methyltransferase Dnmt3a. In addition, miR-29a is upregulated early during CPC differentiation and downregulates Dnmt3a expression, thereby decreasing Wif1 gene methylation and increasing the efficiency of differentiation of Sca-1+ CPCs in vitro. Extending these findings in vivo, transient silencing of Dnmt3a in CPCs subsequently injected in the border zone of infarcted mouse hearts improved CPC differentiation in situ and remote cardiac remodeling. In conclusion, miR-29a and Dnmt3a epigenetically regulate CPC differentiation through Wnt inhibition. Remote effects on cardiac remodeling support paracrine signaling beyond the local injection site, with potential therapeutic interest for cardiac repair.

Authors

Aurelia De Pauw, Emilie Andre, Belaid Sekkali, Caroline Bouzin, Hrag Esfahani, Nicolas Barbier, Axelle Loriot, Charles De Smet, Laetitia Vanhoutte, Stéphane Moniotte, Bernhard Gerber, Vittoria di Mauro, Daniele Catalucci, Olivier Feron, Denise Hilfiker-Kleiner, Jean-Luc Balligand

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Abstract

Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGvHD) remains a major complication of allogeneic stem cell transplantation requiring novel therapies. CD146 and CCR5 are expressed by activated T cells and associated with increased T cell migration capacity and Th17 polarization. We performed a multiparametric flow cytometry analysis in a cohort of 40 HSCT patients together with a cGvHD murine model to understand the role of CD146-expressing subsets. We observed an increased frequency of CD146+ CD4 T cells in the 20 patients with active cGvHD with enhanced RORγt expression. This Th17-prone subset was enriched for cells coexpressing CD146 and CCR5 that harbor mixed Th1/Th17 features and were more frequent in cGvHD patients. Utilizing a murine cGvHD model with bronchiolitis obliterans (BO), we observed that donor T cells from CD146-deficient mice versus those from WT mice caused significantly reduced pulmonary cGvHD. Reduced cGvHD was not the result of failed germinal center B cell or T follicular helper cell generation. Instead, CD146-deficient T cells had significantly lower pulmonary macrophage infiltration and T cell CCR5, IL-17, and IFN-γ coexpression, suggesting defective pulmonary end-organ effector mechanisms. We, thus, evaluated the effect of TMP778, a small-molecule RORγt activity inhibitor. TMP778 markedly alleviated cGvHD in murine models similarly to agents targeting the Th17 pathway, such as STAT3 inhibitor or IL-17–blocking antibody. Our data suggest CD146-expressing T cells as a cGvHD biomarker and suggest that targeting the Th17 pathway may represent a promising therapy for cGvHD.

Authors

Edouard Forcade, Katelyn Paz, Ryan Flynn, Brad Griesenauer, Tohti Amet, Wei Li, Liangyi Liu, Giorgos Bakoyannis, Di Jiang, Hong Wei Chu, Mercedes Lobera, Jianfei Yang, David S. Wilkes, Jing Du, Kate Gartlan, Geoffrey R. Hill, Kelli P.A. MacDonald, Eduardo L. Espada, Patrick Blanco, Jonathan S. Serody, John Koreth, Corey S. Cutler, Joseph H. Antin, Robert J. Soiffer, Jerome Ritz, Sophie Paczesny, Bruce R. Blazar

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Abstract

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease with devastating clinical manifestations. In PD, neuronal death is associated with intracellular aggregates of the neuronal protein α-synuclein known as Lewy bodies. Although the cause of sporadic PD is not well understood, abundant clinical and pathological evidence show that misfolded α-synuclein is found in enteric nerves before it appears in the brain. This suggests a model in which PD pathology originates in the gut and spreads to the central nervous system via cell-to-cell prion-like propagation, such that transfer of misfolded α-synuclein initiates misfolding of native α-synuclein in recipient cells. We recently discovered that enteroendocrine cells (EECs), which are part of the gut epithelium and directly face the gut lumen, also possess many neuron-like properties and connect to enteric nerves. In this report, we demonstrate that α-synuclein is expressed in the EEC line, STC-1, and native EECs of mouse and human intestine. Furthermore, α-synuclein–containing EECs directly connect to α-synuclein–containing nerves, forming a neural circuit between the gut and the nervous system in which toxins or other environmental influences in the gut lumen could affect α-synuclein folding in the EECs, thereby beginning a process by which misfolded α-synuclein could propagate from the gut epithelium to the brain.

Authors

Rashmi Chandra, Annie Hiniker, Yien-Ming Kuo, Robert L. Nussbaum, Rodger A. Liddle

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Abstract

NELL-1 is a secreted, osteogenic protein first discovered to control ossification of the cranial skeleton. Recently, NELL-1 has been implicated in bone maintenance. However, the cellular determinants of NELL-1’s bone-forming effects are still unknown. Here, recombinant human NELL-1 (rhNELL-1) implantation was examined in a clinically relevant nonhuman primate lumbar spinal fusion model. Prolonged rhNELL-1 protein release was achieved using an apatite-coated β-tricalcium phosphate carrier, resulting in a local influx of stem cell antigen-1–positive (Sca-1+) mesenchymal progenitor cells (MPCs), and complete osseous fusion across all samples (100% spinal fusion rate). Murine studies revealed that Nell-1 haploinsufficiency results in marked reductions in the numbers of Sca-1+CD45CD31 bone marrow MPCs associated with low bone mass. Conversely, rhNELL-1 systemic administration in mice showed a marked anabolic effect accompanied by increased numbers of Sca-1+CD45CD31 bone marrow MPCs. Mechanistically, rhNELL-1 induces Sca-1 transcription among MPCs, in a process requiring intact Wnt/β-catenin signaling. In summary, NELL-1 effectively induces bone formation across small and large animal models either via local implantation or intravenous delivery. NELL-1 induces an expansion of a bone marrow subset of MPCs with Sca-1 expression. These findings provide compelling justification for the clinical translation of a NELL-1–based therapy for local or systemic bone formation.

Authors

Aaron W. James, Jia Shen, Rebecca Tsuei, Alan Nguyen, Kevork Khadarian, Carolyn A. Meyers, Hsin Chuan Pan, Weiming Li, Jin H. Kwak, Greg Asatrian, Cymbeline T. Culiat, Min Lee, Kang Ting, Xinli Zhang, Chia Soo

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Abstract

Chromophobe renal cell carcinoma (chRCC) typically shows ~7 chromosome losses (1, 2, 6, 10, 13, 17, and 21) and ~31 exonic somatic mutations, yet carries ~5%–10% metastatic incidence. Since extensive chromosomal losses can generate proteotoxic stress and compromise cellular proliferation, it is intriguing how chRCC, a tumor with extensive chromosome losses and a low number of somatic mutations, can develop lethal metastases. Genomic features distinguishing metastatic from nonmetastatic chRCC are unknown. An integrated approach, including whole-genome sequencing (WGS), targeted ultradeep cancer gene sequencing, and chromosome analyses (FACETS, OncoScan, and FISH), was performed on 79 chRCC patients including 38 metastatic (M-chRCC) cases. We demonstrate that TP53 mutations (58%), PTEN mutations (24%), and imbalanced chromosome duplication (ICD, duplication of ≥ 3 chromosomes) (25%) were enriched in M-chRCC. Reconstruction of the subclonal composition of paired primary-metastatic chRCC tumors supports the role of TP53, PTEN, and ICD in metastatic evolution. Finally, the presence of these 3 genomic features in primary tumors of both The Cancer Genome Atlas kidney chromophobe (KICH) (n = 64) and M-chRCC (n = 35) cohorts was associated with worse survival. In summary, our study provides genomic insights into the metastatic progression of chRCC and identifies TP53 mutations, PTEN mutations, and ICD as high-risk features.

Authors

Jozefina Casuscelli, Nils Weinhold, Gunes Gundem, Lu Wang, Emily C. Zabor, Esther Drill, Patricia I. Wang, Gouri J. Nanjangud, Almedina Redzematovic, Amrita M. Nargund, Brandon J. Manley, Maria E. Arcila, Nicholas M. Donin, John C. Cheville, R. Houston Thompson, Allan J. Pantuck, Paul Russo, Emily H. Cheng, William Lee, Satish K. Tickoo, Irina Ostrovnaya, Chad J. Creighton, Elli Papaemmanuil, Venkatraman E. Seshan, A. Ari Hakimi, James J. Hsieh

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Abstract

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) offers a cure for cancers that are refractory to chemotherapy and radiation. Most HSCT recipients develop chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD), a systemic alloimmune attack on host organs. Diagnosis is based on clinical signs and symptoms, as biopsies are risky. T cells are central to the biology of cGVHD. We found that a low Treg/CD4+ T effector memory (Tem) ratio in circulation, lymphoid, and target organs identified early and established mouse cGVHD. Using deuterated water labeling to measure multicompartment in vivo kinetics of these subsets, we show robust Tem and Treg proliferation in lymphoid and target organs, while Tregs undergo apoptosis in target organs. Since deuterium enrichment into DNA serves as a proxy for cell proliferation, we developed a whole-body clinically relevant deuterium MRI approach to nonradioactively detect cGVHD and potentially allow imaging of other diseases characterized by rapidly proliferating cells.

Authors

Nataliya P. Buxbaum, Donald E. Farthing, Natella Maglakelidze, Martin Lizak, Hellmut Merkle, Andrea C. Carpenter, Brittany U. Oliver, Veena Kapoor, Ehydel Castro, Gregory A. Swan, Liliane M. dos Santos, Nicolas J. Bouladoux, Catherine V. Bare, Francis A. Flomerfelt, Michael A. Eckhaus, William G. Telford, Yasmine Belkaid, Remy J. Bosselut, Ronald E. Gress

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Abstract

Zika virus (ZIKV) is an emerging mosquito-transmitted flavivirus that shares a considerable degree of homology with dengue virus (DENV). Here, we examined longitudinal antibody response against ZIKV during natural infection in 2 convalescent individuals. By decomposing the antibody recognition into DI/DII and DIII of the E glycoprotein, we showed their development in humans followed a spatiotemporal hierarchy. Plasma binding to DI/DII appeared to peak and wane during early infection with extensive cross-reactivity with DI/DII of DENV. Binding to DIII, however, peaked early but persisted months into the infection without detectable cross-reactivity with DIII of DENV. A clear trend of increase in DIII-specific neutralizing activity was observed over the course of infection. mAbs isolated during early infection are largely DI/DII specific, weakly neutralizing, and highly cross-reactive with DENV, while those from later infection are more diverse in recognition, potently neutralizing, and ZIKV specific. The most potent neutralizing mAb targeting the DIII provided 100% protection in mice from lethal ZIKV infection and could therefore serve as a promising candidate for antibody-based therapy and prevention. The dynamic features unveiled here will assist us to better understand the pathogenesis of ZIKV infection and inform rational design of vaccines.

Authors

Lei Yu, Ruoke Wang, Fei Gao, Min Li, Jianying Liu, Jian Wang, Wenxin Hong, Lingzhai Zhao, Yingfen Wen, Chibiao Yin, Hua Wang, Qi Zhang, Yangyang Li, Panpan Zhou, Rudian Zhang, Yang Liu, Xiaoping Tang, Yongjun Guan, Cheng-Feng Qin, Ling Chen, Xuanling Shi, Xia Jin, Gong Cheng, Fuchun Zhang, Linqi Zhang

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Abstract

Rituximab is a therapeutic anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody widely used to treat B cell lymphoma and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatic arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and autoimmune blistering skin diseases (AIBD). While rituximab fully depletes peripheral blood B cells, it remains unclear whether some preexisting B cell memory to pathogens or vaccines may survive depletion, especially in lymphoid tissues, and if these memory B cells can undergo homeostatic expansion during recovery from depletion. The limited data available on vaccine efficacy in this setting have been derived from rituximab-treated patients receiving concomitant chemotherapy or other potent immunosuppressants. Here, we present an in-depth analysis of seasonal influenza vaccine responses in AIBD patients previously treated with rituximab, who generally did not receive additional therapeutic interventions. We found that, despite a lack of influenza-specific memory B cells in the blood, patients mount robust recall responses to vaccination, comparable to healthy controls, both at a cellular and a serological level. Repertoire analyses of plasmablast responses suggest that they likely derive from a diverse pool of tissue-resident memory cells, refractory to depletion. Overall, these data have important implications for establishing an effective vaccine schedule for AIBD patients and the clinical care of rituximab-treated patients in general and contribute to our basic understanding of maintenance of normal and pathogenic human B cell memory.

Authors

Alice Cho, Bridget Bradley, Robert Kauffman, Lalita Priyamvada, Yevgeniy Kovalenkov, Ron Feldman, Jens Wrammert

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Abstract

Cancer cells can inhibit effector T cells (Teff) through both immunomodulatory receptors and the impact of cancer metabolism on the tumor microenvironment. Indeed, Teff require high rates of glucose metabolism, and consumption of essential nutrients or generation of waste products by tumor cells may impede essential T cell metabolic pathways. Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is characterized by loss of the tumor suppressor von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) and altered cancer cell metabolism. Here, we assessed how ccRCC influences the metabolism and activation of primary patient ccRCC tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL). CD8 TIL were abundant in ccRCC, but they were phenotypically distinct and both functionally and metabolically impaired. ccRCC CD8 TIL were unable to efficiently uptake glucose or perform glycolysis and had small, fragmented mitochondria that were hyperpolarized and generated large amounts of ROS. Elevated ROS was associated with downregulated mitochondrial SOD2. CD8 T cells with hyperpolarized mitochondria were also visible in the blood of ccRCC patients. Importantly, provision of pyruvate to bypass glycolytic defects or scavengers to neutralize mitochondrial ROS could partially restore TIL activation. Thus, strategies to improve metabolic function of ccRCC CD8 TIL may promote the immune response to ccRCC.

Authors

Peter J. Siska, Kathryn E. Beckermann, Frank M. Mason, Gabriela Andrejeva, Allison R. Greenplate, Adam B. Sendor, Yun-Chen J. Chiang, Armando L. Corona, Lelisa F. Gemta, Benjamin G. Vincent, Richard C. Wang, Bumki Kim, Jiyong Hong, Chiu-lan Chen, Timothy N. Bullock, Jonathan M. Irish, W. Kimryn Rathmell, Jeffrey C. Rathmell

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Abstract

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis worldwide. It is a complex disease affecting the whole joint but is generally characterized by progressive degradation of articular cartilage. Recent genome-wide association screens have implicated distinct DNA methylation signatures in OA patients. We show that the de novo DNA methyltransferase (Dnmt) 3b, but not Dnmt3a, is present in healthy murine and human articular chondrocytes and its expression decreases in OA mouse models and in chondrocytes from human OA patients. Targeted deletion of Dnmt3b in murine articular chondrocytes results in an early-onset and progressive postnatal OA-like pathology. RNA-Seq and methylC-Seq analyses of Dnmt3b loss-of-function chondrocytes show that cellular metabolic processes are affected. Specifically, TCA metabolites and mitochondrial respiration are elevated. Importantly, a chondroprotective effect was found following Dnmt3b gain of function in murine articular chondrocytes in vitro and in vivo. This study shows that Dnmt3b plays a significant role in regulating postnatal articular cartilage homeostasis. Cellular pathways regulated by Dnmt3b in chondrocytes may provide novel targets for therapeutic approaches to treat OA.

Authors

Jie Shen, Cuicui Wang, Daofeng Li, Taotao Xu, Jason Myers, John M. Ashton, Ting Wang, Michael J. Zuscik, Audrey McAlinden, Regis J. O’Keefe

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Abstract

BACKGROUND. Plasmodium vivax is the most widespread human malaria geographically; however, no effective vaccine exists. Red blood cell invasion by the P. vivax merozoite depends on an interaction between the Duffy antigen receptor for chemokines (DARC) and region II of the parasite’s Duffy-binding protein (PvDBP_RII). Naturally acquired binding-inhibitory antibodies against this interaction associate with clinical immunity, but it is unknown whether these responses can be induced by human vaccination. METHODS. Safety and immunogenicity of replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus serotype 63 (ChAd63) and modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) viral vectored vaccines targeting PvDBP_RII (Salvador I strain) were assessed in an open-label dose-escalation phase Ia study in 24 healthy UK adults. Vaccines were delivered by the intramuscular route in a ChAd63-MVA heterologous prime-boost regimen using an 8-week interval. RESULTS. Both vaccines were well tolerated and demonstrated a favorable safety profile in malaria-naive adults. PvDBP_RII–specific ex-vivo IFN-γ T cell, antibody-secreting cell, memory B cell, and serum IgG responses were observed after the MVA boost immunization. Vaccine-induced antibodies inhibited the binding of vaccine homologous and heterologous variants of recombinant PvDBP_RII to the DARC receptor, with median 50% binding-inhibition titers greater than 1:100. CONCLUSION. We have demonstrated for the first time to our knowledge that strain-transcending antibodies can be induced against the PvDBP_RII antigen by vaccination in humans. These vaccine candidates warrant further clinical evaluation of efficacy against the blood-stage P. vivax parasite. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01816113. FUNDING. Support was provided by the UK Medical Research Council, UK National Institute of Health Research Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, and the Wellcome Trust.

Authors

Ruth O. Payne, Sarah E. Silk, Sean C. Elias, Kathryn H. Milne, Thomas A. Rawlinson, David Llewellyn, A. Rushdi Shakri, Jing Jin, Geneviève M. Labbé, Nick J. Edwards, Ian D. Poulton, Rachel Roberts, Ryan Farid, Thomas Jørgensen, Daniel G.W. Alanine, Simone C. de Cassan, Matthew K. Higgins, Thomas D. Otto, James S. McCarthy, Willem A. de Jongh, Alfredo Nicosia, Sarah Moyle, Adrian V.S. Hill, Eleanor Berrie, Chetan E. Chitnis, Alison M. Lawrie, Simon J. Draper

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Abstract

BACKGROUND. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a nonpsychoactive phytocannabinoid used in multiple sclerosis and intractable epilepsies. Preclinical studies show CBD has numerous cardiovascular benefits, including a reduced blood pressure (BP) response to stress. The aim of this study was to investigate if CBD reduces BP in humans. METHODS. Nine healthy male volunteers were given 600 mg of CBD or placebo in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study. Cardiovascular parameters were monitored using a finometer and laser Doppler. RESULTS. CBD reduced resting systolic BP (–6 mmHg; P < 0.05) and stroke volume (–8 ml; P < 0.05), with increased heart rate (HR) and maintained cardiac output. Subjects who had taken CBD had lower BP (–5 mmHg; P < 0.05, especially before and after stress), increased HR (+10 bpm; P < 0.01), decreased stroke volume (–13 ml; P < 0.01), and a blunted forearm skin blood flow response to isometric exercise. In response to cold stress, subjects who had taken CBD had blunted BP (–6 mmHg; P < 0.01) and increased HR (+7 bpm; P < 0.05), with lower total peripheral resistance. CONCLUSIONS. This data shows that acute administration of CBD reduces resting BP and the BP increase to stress in humans, associated with increased HR. These hemodynamic changes should be considered for people taking CBD. Further research is required to establish whether CBD has a role in the treatment of cardiovascular disorders.

Authors

Khalid A. Jadoon, Garry D. Tan, Saoirse E. O’Sullivan

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Abstract

Lymphatic endothelium serves as a barrier to control fluid balance and immune cell trafficking to maintain tissue homeostasis. Long-term alteration of lymphatic vasculature promotes edema and fibrosis, which is an aggravating factor in the onset of cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction. Apelin is a bioactive peptide that plays a central role in angiogenesis and cardiac contractility. Despite an established role of apelin in lymphangiogenesis, little is known about its function in the cardiac lymphatic endothelium. Here, we show that apelin and its receptor APJ were exclusively expressed on newly formed lymphatic vasculature in a pathological model of myocardial infarction. Using an apelin-knockout mouse model, we identified morphological and functional defects in lymphatic vasculature associated with a proinflammatory status. Surprisingly, apelin deficiency increased the expression of lymphangiogenic growth factors VEGF-C and VEGF-D and exacerbated lymphangiogenesis after myocardial infarction. Conversely, the overexpression of apelin in ischemic heart was sufficient to restore a functional lymphatic vasculature and to reduce matrix remodeling and inflammation. In vitro, the expression of apelin prevented the alteration of cellular junctions in lymphatic endothelial cells induced by hypoxia. In addition, we demonstrated that apelin controls the secretion of the lipid mediator sphingosine-1-phosphate in lymphatic endothelial cells by regulating the level of expression of sphingosine kinase 2 and the transporter SPNS2. Taken together, our results show that apelin plays a key role in lymphatic vessel maturation and stability in pathological settings. Thus, apelin may represent a novel candidate to prevent pathological lymphatic remodeling in diseases.

Authors

Florence Tatin, Edith Renaud-Gabardos, Anne-Claire Godet, Fransky Hantelys, Francoise Pujol, Florent Morfoisse, Denis Calise, Fanny Viars, Philippe Valet, Bernard Masri, Anne-Catherine Prats, Barbara Garmy-Susini

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Abstract

β Cells are formed in embryonic life by differentiation of endocrine progenitors and expand by replication during neonatal life, followed by transition into functional maturity. In this study, we addressed the potential contribution of neuropeptide Y (NPY) in pancreatic β cell development and maturation. We show that NPY expression is restricted from the progenitor populations during pancreatic development and marks functionally immature β cells in fetal and neonatal mice and humans. NPY expression is epigenetically downregulated in β cells upon maturation. Neonatal β cells that express NPY are more replicative, and knockdown of NPY expression in neonatal mouse islets reduces replication and enhances insulin secretion in response to high glucose. These data show that NPY expression likely promotes replication and contributes to impaired glucose responsiveness in neonatal β cells. We show that NPY expression reemerges in β cells in mice fed with high-fat diet as well as in diabetes in mice and humans, establishing a potential new mechanism to explain impaired β cell maturity in diabetes. Together, these studies highlight the contribution of NPY in the regulation of β cell differentiation and have potential applications for β cell supplementation for diabetes therapy.

Authors

Pope Rodnoi, Mohan Rajkumar, Abu Saleh Md Moin, Senta K. Georgia, Alexandra E. Butler, Sangeeta Dhawan

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Abstract

Conventional histologic diagnosis of rejection in kidney transplants has limited repeatability due to its inherent requirement for subjective assessment of lesions, in a rule-based system that does not acknowledge diagnostic uncertainty. Molecular phenotyping affords opportunities for increased precision and improved disease classification to address the limitations of conventional histologic diagnostic systems and quantify levels of uncertainty. Microarray data from 1,208 kidney transplant biopsies were collected prospectively from 13 centers. Cross-validated classifier scores predicting the presence of antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR), T cell–mediated rejection (TCMR), and 5 related histologic lesions were generated using supervised machine learning methods. These scores were used as input for archetypal analysis, an unsupervised method similar to cluster analysis, to examine the distribution of molecular phenotypes related to rejection. Six archetypes were generated: no rejection, TCMR, 3 associated with ABMR (early-stage, fully developed, and late-stage), and mixed rejection (TCMR plus early-stage ABMR). Each biopsy was assigned 6 scores, one for each archetype, representing a probabilistic assessment of that biopsy based on its rejection-related molecular properties. Viewed as clusters, the archetypes were similar to existing histologic Banff categories, but there was 32% disagreement, much of it probably reflecting the “noise” in the current histologic assessment system. Graft survival was lowest for fully developed and late-stage ABMR, and it was better predicted by molecular archetype scores than histologic diagnoses. The results provide a system for precision molecular assessment of biopsies and a new standard for recalibrating conventional diagnostic systems.

Authors

Jeff Reeve, Georg A. Böhmig, Farsad Eskandary, Gunilla Einecke, Carmen Lefaucheur, Alexandre Loupy, Philip F. Halloran, the MMDx-Kidney study group

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Abstract

The direct link between sustained type I interferon (IFN-I) signaling and HIV-1–induced immunopathogenesis during chronic infection remains unclear. Here we report studies using a monoclonal antibody to block IFN-α/β receptor 1 (IFNAR1) signaling during persistent HIV-1 infection in humanized mice (hu-mice). We discovered that, during chronic HIV-1 infection, IFNAR blockade increased viral replication, which was correlated with elevated T cell activation. Thus, IFN-Is suppress HIV-1 replication during the chronic phase but are not essential for HIV-1–induced aberrant immune activation. Surprisingly, IFNAR blockade rescued both total human T cell and HIV-specific T cell numbers despite elevated HIV-1 replication and immune activation. We showed that IFNAR blockade reduced HIV-1–induced apoptosis of CD4+ T cells. Importantly, IFNAR blockade also rescued the function of human T cells, including HIV-1–specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cells. We conclude that during persistent HIV-1 infection, IFN-Is suppress HIV-1 replication, but contribute to depletion and dysfunction of T cells.

Authors

Liang Cheng, Haisheng Yu, Guangming Li, Feng Li, Jianping Ma, Jingyun Li, Liqun Chi, Liguo Zhang, Lishan Su

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Abstract

The US continues to lead the world in research and development (R&D) expenditures, but there is concern that stagnation in federal support for biomedical research in the US could undermine the leading role the US has played in biomedical and clinical research discoveries. As a readout of research output in the US compared with other countries, assessment of original research articles published by US-based authors in ten clinical and basic science journals during 2000 to 2015 showed a steady decline of articles in high-ranking journals or no significant change in mid-ranking journals. In contrast, publication output originating from China-based investigators, in both high- and mid-ranking journals, has steadily increased commensurate with significant growth in R&D expenditures. These observations support the current concerns of stagnant and year-to-year uncertainty in US federal funding of biomedical research.

Authors

Marisa L. Conte, Jing Liu, Santiago Schnell, M. Bishr Omary

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JCI Insight is a peer-reviewed journal published by the American Society for Clinical Investigation dedicated to well-executed preclinical and clinical research studies. The journal was founded in 2016 and is headed by Editor in Chief Howard Rockman.

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