Latest issue: May 19, 2016


Recently published

Abstract

Obesity is an increasing health problem worldwide, and nonsurgical strategies to treat obesity have remained rather inefficient. We here show that acute loss of TGF-β–activated kinase 1 (TAK1) in adipocytes results in an increased rate of apoptotic adipocyte death and increased numbers of M2 macrophages in white adipose tissue. Mice with adipocyte-specific TAK1 deficiency have reduced adipocyte numbers and are resistant to obesity induced by a high-fat diet or leptin deficiency. In addition, adipocyte-specific TAK1-deficient mice under a high-fat diet showed increased energy expenditure, which was accompanied by enhanced expression of the uncoupling protein UCP1. Interestingly, acute induction of adipocyte-specific TAK1 deficiency in mice already under a high-fat diet was able to stop further weight gain and improved glucose tolerance. Thus, loss of TAK1 in adipocytes reduces the total number of adipocytes, increases browning of white adipose tissue, and may be an attractive strategy to treat obesity, obesity-dependent diabetes, and other associated complications.

Authors

Antonia Sassmann-Schweda, Pratibha Singh, Cong Tang, Astrid Wietelmann, Nina Wettschureck, Stefan Offermanns

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Abstract

Secreted by activated cells or passively released by damaged cells, extracellular HMGB1 is a prototypical damage-associated molecular pattern (DAMP) inflammatory mediator. During the course of developing extracorporeal approaches to treating injury and infection, we inadvertently discovered that haptoglobin, the acute phase protein that binds extracellular hemoglobin and targets cellular uptake through CD163, also binds HMGB1. Haptoglobin-HMGB1 complexes elicit the production of antiinflammatory enzymes (heme oxygenase-1) and cytokines (e.g., IL-10) in WT but not in CD163-deficient macrophages. Genetic disruption of haptoglobin or CD163 expression significantly enhances mortality rates in standardized models of intra-abdominal sepsis in mice. Administration of haptoglobin to WT and to haptoglobin gene-deficient animals confers significant protection. These findings reveal a mechanism for haptoglobin modulation of the inflammatory action of HMGB1, with significant implications for developing experimental strategies targeting HMGB1-dependent inflammatory diseases.

Authors

Huan Yang, Haichao Wang, Yaakov A. Levine, Manoj K. Gunasekaran, Yongjun Wang, Meghan Addorisio, Shu Zhu, Wei Li, Jianhua Li, Dominique P.V. de Kleijn, Peder S. Olofsson, H. Shaw Warren, Mingzhu He, Yousef Al-Abed, Jesse Roth, Daniel J. Antoine, Sangeeta S. Chavan, Ulf Andersson, Kevin J. Tracey

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Abstract

Central clonal deletion has been considered the critical factor responsible for the robust state of tolerance achieved by chimerism-based experimental protocols, but split-tolerance models and the clinical experience are calling this assumption into question. Although clone-size reduction through deletion has been shown to be universally required for achieving allotolerance, it remains undetermined whether it is sufficient by itself. Therapeutic Treg treatment induces chimerism and tolerance in a stringent murine BM transplantation model devoid of myelosuppressive recipient treatment. In contrast to irradiation chimeras, chronic rejection (CR) of skin and heart allografts in Treg chimeras was permanently prevented, even in the absence of complete clonal deletion of donor MHC-reactive T cells. We show that minor histocompatibility antigen mismatches account for CR in irradiation chimeras without global T cell depletion. Furthermore, we show that Treg therapy–induced tolerance prevents CR in a linked suppression–like fashion, which is maintained by active regulatory mechanisms involving recruitment of thymus-derived Tregs to the graft. These data suggest that highly efficient intrathymic and peripheral deletion of donor-reactive T cells for specificities expressed on hematopoietic cells preclude the expansion of donor-specific Tregs and, hence, do not allow for spreading of tolerance to minor specificities that are not expressed by donor BM.

Authors

Nina Pilat, Benedikt Mahr, Lukas Unger, Karin Hock, Christoph Schwarz, Andreas M. Farkas, Ulrike Baranyi, Fritz Wrba, Thomas Wekerle

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Abstract

Reperfusion injury can exacerbate tissue damage in ischemic stroke, but little is known about the mechanisms linking ROS to stroke severity. Here, we tested the hypothesis that protein methionine oxidation potentiates NF-κB activation and contributes to cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury. We found that overexpression of methionine sulfoxide reductase A (MsrA), an antioxidant enzyme that reverses protein methionine oxidation, attenuated ROS-augmented NF-κB activation in endothelial cells, in part, by protecting against the oxidation of methionine residues in the regulatory domain of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII). In a murine model, MsrA deficiency resulted in increased NF-κB activation and neutrophil infiltration, larger infarct volumes, and more severe neurological impairment after transient cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury. This phenotype was prevented by inhibition of NF-κB or CaMKII. MsrA-deficient mice also exhibited enhanced leukocyte rolling and upregulation of E-selectin, an endothelial NF-κB–dependent adhesion molecule known to contribute to neurovascular inflammation in ischemic stroke. Finally, bone marrow transplantation experiments demonstrated that the neuroprotective effect was mediated by MsrA expressed in nonhematopoietic cells. These findings suggest that protein methionine oxidation in nonmyeloid cells is a key mechanism of postischemic oxidative injury mediated by NF-κB activation, leading to neutrophil recruitment and neurovascular inflammation in acute ischemic stroke.

Authors

Sean X. Gu, Ilya O. Blokhin, Katina M. Wilson, Nirav Dhanesha, Prakash Doddapattar, Isabella M. Grumbach, Anil K. Chauhan, Steven R. Lentz

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Abstract

The PTPN11 gene, encoding the tyrosine phosphatase SHP-2, is overexpressed in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) compared with osteoarthritis (OA) FLS and promotes RA FLS invasiveness. Here, we explored the molecular basis for PTPN11 overexpression in RA FLS and the role of SHP-2 in RA pathogenesis. Using computational methods, we identified a putative enhancer in PTPN11 intron 1, which contained a glucocorticoid receptor–binding (GR-binding) motif. This region displayed enhancer function in RA FLS and contained 2 hypermethylation sites in RA compared with OA FLS. RA FLS stimulation with the glucocorticoid dexamethasone induced GR binding to the enhancer and PTPN11 expression. Glucocorticoid responsiveness of PTPN11 was significantly higher in RA FLS than OA FLS and required the differentially methylated CpGs for full enhancer function. SHP-2 expression was enriched in the RA synovial lining, and heterozygous Ptpn11 deletion in radioresistant or innate immune cells attenuated K/BxN serum transfer arthritis in mice. Treatment with SHP-2 inhibitor 11a-1 reduced RA FLS migration and responsiveness to TNF and IL-1β stimulation and reduced arthritis severity in mice. Our findings demonstrate how abnormal epigenetic regulation of a pathogenic gene determines FLS behavior and demonstrate that targeting SHP-2 or the SHP-2 pathway could be a therapeutic strategy for RA.

Authors

Keisuke Maeshima, Stephanie M. Stanford, Deepa Hammaker, Cristiano Sacchetti, Li-fan Zeng, Rizi Ai, Vida Zhang, David L. Boyle, German R. Aleman Muench, Gen-Sheng Feng, John W. Whitaker, Zhong-Yin Zhang, Wei Wang, Nunzio Bottini, Gary S. Firestein

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Abstract

Eosinophilic inflammation and Th2 cytokine production are central to the pathogenesis of asthma. Agents that target either eosinophils or single Th2 cytokines have shown benefits in subsets of biomarker-positive patients. More broadly effective treatment or disease-modifying effects may be achieved by eliminating more than one inflammatory stimulator. Here we present a strategy to concomitantly deplete Th2 T cells, eosinophils, basophils, and type-2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) by generating monoclonal antibodies with enhanced effector function (19A2) that target CRTh2 present on all 4 cell types. Using human CRTh2 (hCRTh2) transgenic mice that mimic the expression pattern of hCRTh2 on innate immune cells but not Th2 cells, we demonstrate that anti-hCRTh2 antibodies specifically eliminate hCRTh2+ basophils, eosinophils, and ILC2s from lung and lymphoid organs in models of asthma and Nippostrongylus brasiliensis infection. Innate cell depletion was accompanied by a decrease of several Th2 cytokines and chemokines. hCRTh2-specific antibodies were also active on human Th2 cells in vivo in a human Th2-PBMC-SCID mouse model. We developed humanized hCRTh2-specific antibodies that potently induce antibody-dependent cell cytotoxicity (ADCC) of primary human eosinophils and basophils and replicated the in vivo depletion capacity of their murine parent. Therefore, depletion of hCRTh2+ basophils, eosinophils, ILC2, and Th2 cells with h19A2 hCRTh2–specific antibodies may be a novel and more efficacious treatment for asthma.

Authors

Tao Huang, Meredith Hazen, Yonglei Shang, Meijuan Zhou, Xiumin Wu, Donghong Yan, Zhonghua Lin, Margaret Solon, Elizabeth Luis, Hai Ngu, Yongchang Shi, Arna Katewa, David F. Choy, Nandhini Ramamoorthi, Erick R. Castellanos, Mercedesz Balazs, Min Xu, Wyne P. Lee, Marissa L. Matsumoto, Jian Payandeh, Joseph R. Arron, Jo-Anne Hongo, Jianyong Wang, Isidro Hötzel, Cary D. Austin, Karin Reif

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Abstract

Despite major advances in early detection and prognosis, chemotherapy resistance is a major hurdle in the battle against breast cancer. Identifying predictive markers and understanding the mechanisms are key steps to overcoming chemoresistance. Methylation-controlled J protein (MCJ, also known as DNAJC15) is a negative regulator of mitochondrial respiration and has been associated with chemotherapeutic drug sensitivity in cancer cell lines. Here we show, in a retrospective study of a large cohort of breast cancer patients, that low MCJ expression in breast tumors predicts high risk of relapse in patients treated with chemotherapy; however, MCJ expression does not correlate with response to endocrine therapy. In a prospective study in breast cancer patients undergoing neoadjuvant therapy, low MCJ expression also correlates with poor clinical response to chemotherapy and decreased disease-free survival. Using MCJ-deficient mice, we demonstrate that lack of MCJ is sufficient to induce mammary tumor chemoresistance in vivo. Thus, loss of expression of this endogenous mitochondrial modulator in breast cancer promotes the development of chemoresistance.

Authors

Maria J. Fernández-Cabezudo, Issam Faour, Kenneth Jones, Devin P. Champagne, Mohammed A. Jaloudi, Yassir A. Mohamed, Ghada Bashir, Saeeda Almarzooqi, Alia Albawardi, M. Jawad Hashim, Thomas S. Roberts, Haytham El-Salhat, Hakam El-Taji, Adnan Kassis, Dylan E. O’Sullivan, Brock C. Christensen, James DeGregori, Basel K. al-Ramadi, Mercedes Rincon

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Abstract

BACKGROUND. Kidney function decreases with age. A potential mechanistic explanation for kidney and allograft half-life has evolved through the realization that linear reduction in glomerular podocyte density could drive progressive glomerulosclerosis to impact both native kidney and allograft half-lives.

METHODS. Predictions from podometrics (quantitation of podocyte parameters) were tested using independent pathologic, functional, and outcome data for native kidneys and allografts derived from published reports and large registries.

RESULTS. With age, native kidneys exponentially develop glomerulosclerosis, reduced renal function, and end-stage kidney disease, projecting a finite average kidney life span. The slope of allograft failure rate versus age parallels that of reduction in podocyte density versus age. Quantitative modeling projects allograft half-life at any donor age, and rate of podocyte detachment parallels the observed allograft loss rate.

CONCLUSION. Native kidneys are designed to have a limited average life span of about 100–140 years. Allografts undergo an accelerated aging-like process that accounts for their unexpectedly short half-life (about 15 years), the observation that older donor age is associated with shorter allograft half-life, and the fact that long-term allograft survival has not substantially improved. Podometrics provides potential readouts for these processes, thereby offering new approaches for monitoring and intervention.

FUNDING: National Institutes of Health.

Authors

Abhijit S. Naik, Farsad Afshinnia, Diane Cibrik, Jeffrey B. Hodgin, Fan Wu, Min Zhang, Masao Kikuchi, Larysa Wickman, Milagros Samaniego, Markus Bitzer, Jocelyn E. Wiggins, Akinlolu Ojo, Yi Li, Roger C. Wiggins

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Abstract

DC-based vaccines that initiate T cell responses are well tolerated and have demonstrated efficacy for tumor immunotherapy, with the potential to be combined with other therapies. Targeting vaccine antigens (Ag) directly to the DCs in vivo is more effective than cell-based therapies in mouse models and is therefore a promising strategy to translate to humans. The human CD141+ DCs are considered the most clinically relevant for initiating CD8+ T cell responses critical for killing tumors or infected cells, and they specifically express the C-type lectin-like receptor CLEC9A that facilitates presentation of Ag by these DCs. We have therefore developed a human chimeric Ab that specifically targets CLEC9A on CD141+ DCs in vitro and in vivo. These human chimeric Abs are highly effective at delivering Ag to DCs for recognition by both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Given the importance of these cellular responses for antitumor or antiviral immunity, and the superior specificity of anti-CLEC9A Abs for this DC subset, this approach warrants further development for vaccines.

Authors

Kirsteen M. Tullett, Ingrid M. Leal Rojas, Yoshihito Minoda, Peck S. Tan, Jian-Guo Zhang, Corey Smith, Rajiv Khanna, Ken Shortman, Irina Caminschi, Mireille H. Lahoud, Kristen J. Radford

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The American Society for Clinical Investigation and Journal of Clinical Investigation are pleased to launch JCI Insight, a peer-reviewed journal dedicated to biomedical research, ranging from preclinical to clinical studies. Headed by Editor in Chief Howard Rockman, JCI Insight provides the research community with a broad forum to publish well-executed, high-quality, and insightful research articles across biomedical specialties.