Latest issue: February 7, 2019

In the issue

Abstract

Growth hormone (GH) decreases with age, and GH therapy has been advocated by some to sustain lean muscle mass and vigor in aging patients and advocated by athletes to enhance performance. Environmental insults and aging lead to DNA damage, which — if unrepaired — results in chromosomal instability and tumorigenesis. We show that GH suppresses epithelial DNA damage repair and blocks ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) kinase autophosphorylation with decreased activity. Decreased phosphorylation of ATM target proteins p53, checkpoint kinase 2 (Chk2), and histone 2A variant led to decreased DNA repair by nonhomologous end-joining. In vivo, prolonged high GH levels resulted in a 60% increase in unrepaired colon epithelial DNA damage. GH suppression of ATM was mediated by induced tripartite motif containing protein 29 (TRIM29) and attenuated tat interacting protein 60 kDa (Tip60). By contrast, DNA repair was increased in human nontumorous colon cells (hNCC) where GH receptor (GHR) was stably suppressed and in colon tissue derived from GHR–/– mice. hNCC treated with etoposide and GH showed enhanced transformation, as evidenced by increased growth in soft agar. In mice bearing human colon GH-secreting xenografts, metastatic lesions were increased. The results elucidate a mechanism underlying GH-activated epithelial cell transformation and highlight an adverse risk for inappropriate adult GH treatment.

Authors

Vera Chesnokova, Svetlana Zonis, Robert Barrett, Hiraku Kameda, Kolja Wawrowsky, Anat Ben-Shlomo, Masaaki Yamamoto, John Gleeson, Catherine Bresee, Vera Gorbunova, Shlomo Melmed

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Abstract

Odontochondrodysplasia (ODCD) is an unresolved genetic disorder of skeletal and dental development. Here, we show that ODCD is caused by hypomorphic TRIP11 mutations, and we identify ODCD as the nonlethal counterpart to achondrogenesis 1A (ACG1A), the known null phenotype in humans. TRIP11 encodes Golgi-associated microtubule-binding protein 210 (GMAP-210), an essential tether protein of the Golgi apparatus that physically interacts with intraflagellar transport 20 (IFT20), a component of the ciliary intraflagellar transport complex B. This association and extraskeletal disease manifestations in ODCD point to a cilium-dependent pathogenesis. However, our functional studies in patient-derived primary cells clearly support a Golgi-based disease mechanism. In spite of reduced abundance, residual GMAP variants maintain partial Golgi integrity, normal global protein secretion, and subcellular distribution of IFT20 in ODCD. These functions are lost when GMAP-210 is completely abrogated in ACG1A. However, a similar defect in chondrocyte maturation is observed in both disorders, which produces a cellular achondrogenesis phenotype of different severity, ensuing from aberrant glycan processing and impaired extracellular matrix proteoglycan secretion by the Golgi apparatus.

Authors

Anika Wehrle, Tomasz M. Witkos, Sheila Unger, Judith Schneider, John A. Follit, Johannes Hermann, Tim Welting, Virginia Fano, Marja Hietala, Nithiwat Vatanavicharn, Katharina Schoner, Jürgen Spranger, Miriam Schmidts, Bernhard Zabel, Gregory J. Pazour, Agnes Bloch-Zupan, Gen Nishimura, Andrea Superti-Furga, Martin Lowe, Ekkehart Lausch

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Abstract

Th1 Tregs are characterized by the acquisition of proinflammatory cytokine secretion and reduced suppressor activity. Th1 Tregs are found at increased frequency in autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis (MS). We have previously reported that in vitro stimulation with IL-12 recapitulates the functional and molecular features of MS-associated Th1 Tregs, revealing a central role for hyperactivation of the Akt pathway in their induction. TIGIT is a newly identified coinhibitory receptor that marks Tregs that specifically control Th1 and Th17 responses. Here, we report that signaling through TIGIT counteracts the action of IL-12 in inducing the Th1 program. Specifically, TIGIT signaling represses production of IFN-γ and T-bet expression and restores suppressor function in Tregs treated with IL-12. FoxO1 functional inhibition abolishes the protective effect of TIGIT, indicating that TIGIT signaling promotes FoxO1 nuclear localization. Consistent with this observation, signaling through TIGIT leads to a rapid suppression of Akt function and FoxO1 phosphorylation. Finally, TIGIT stimulation reduces the production of IFN-γ and corrects the suppressor defect of Tregs from patients with MS. Our results indicate an important role for TIGIT in controlling the functional stability of Tregs through repression of Akt, suggesting that the TIGIT pathway could be targeted for immunomodulatory therapies in human autoimmune disorders.

Authors

Liliana E. Lucca, Pierre-Paul Axisa, Emily R. Singer, Neal M. Nolan, Margarita Dominguez-Villar, David A. Hafler

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Abstract

Quetiapine, one of the most prescribed atypical antipsychotics, has been associated with hyperlipidemia and an increased risk for cardiovascular disease in patients, but the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Here, we identified quetiapine as a potent and selective agonist for pregnane X receptor (PXR), a key nuclear receptor that regulates xenobiotic metabolism in the liver and intestine. Recent studies have indicated that PXR also plays an important role in lipid homeostasis. We generated potentially novel tissue-specific PXR-KO mice and demonstrated that quetiapine induced hyperlipidemia by activating intestinal PXR signaling. Quetiapine-mediated PXR activation stimulated the intestinal expression of cholesterol transporter Niemann-Pick C1-Like 1 (NPC1L1) and microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP), leading to increased intestinal lipid absorption. While NPC1L1 is a known PXR target gene, we identified a DR-1–type PXR-response element in the MTP promoter and established MTP as a potentially novel transcriptional target of PXR. Quetiapine’s effects on PXR-mediated gene expression and cholesterol uptake were also confirmed in cultured murine enteroids and human intestinal cells. Our findings suggest a potential role of PXR in mediating adverse effects of quetiapine in humans and provide mechanistic insights for certain atypical antipsychotic-associated dyslipidemia.

Authors

Zhaojie Meng, Taesik Gwag, Yipeng Sui, Se-Hyung Park, Xiangping Zhou, Changcheng Zhou

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Abstract

Recent guidelines recommend antiretroviral therapy (ART) to be administered as early as possible during HIV-1 infection. Few studies addressed the immunological benefit of commencing ART during the acute phase of infection. We used mass cytometry to characterize blood CD4+ T cells from HIV-1–infected patients who initiated ART during acute or chronic phase of infection. Using this method, we analyzed a large number of markers on millions of individual immune cells. The results revealed that CD4+ T cell clusters with high expression of CD27, CD28, CD127, and CD44, whose function involves T cell migration to inflamed tissues and survival, are more abundant in healthy controls and patients initiating ART during the acute phase; on the contrary, CD4+ T cell clusters in patients initiating ART during the chronic phase had reduced expression of these markers. The results are suggestive of a better preserved immune function in HIV-1–infected patients initiating ART during acute infection.

Authors

Yonas Bekele, Tadepally Lakshmikanth, Yang Chen, Jaromir Mikes, Aikaterini Nasi, Stefan Petkov, Bo Hejdeman, Petter Brodin, Francesca Chiodi

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine important genes, functions, and networks contributing to the pathobiology of cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM) from transcriptomic analyses across 3 species and 2 disease genotypes. Sequencing of RNA from laser microdissected neurovascular units of 5 human surgically resected CCM lesions, mouse brain microvascular endothelial cells, Caenorhabditis elegans with induced Ccm gene loss, and their respective controls provided differentially expressed genes (DEGs). DEGs from mouse and C. elegans were annotated into human homologous genes. Cross-comparisons of DEGs between species and genotypes, as well as network and gene ontology (GO) enrichment analyses, were performed. Among hundreds of DEGs identified in each model, common genes and 1 GO term (GO:0051656, establishment of organelle localization) were commonly identified across the different species and genotypes. In addition, 24 GO functions were present in 4 of 5 models and were related to cell-to-cell adhesion, neutrophil-mediated immunity, ion transmembrane transporter activity, and responses to oxidative stress. We have provided a comprehensive transcriptome library of CCM disease across species and for the first time to our knowledge in Ccm1/Krit1 versus Ccm3/Pdcd10 genotypes. We have provided examples of how results can be used in hypothesis generation or mechanistic confirmatory studies.

Authors

Janne Koskimäki, Romuald Girard, Yan Li, Laleh Saadat, Hussein A. Zeineddine, Rhonda Lightle, Thomas Moore, Seán Lyne, Kenneth Avner, Robert Shenkar, Ying Cao, Changbin Shi, Sean P. Polster, Dongdong Zhang, Julián Carrión-Penagos, Sharbel Romanos, Gregory Fonseca, Miguel A. Lopez-Ramirez, Eric M. Chapman, Evelyn Popiel, Alan T. Tang, Amy Akers, Pieter Faber, Jorge Andrade, Mark Ginsberg, W. Brent Derry, Mark L. Kahn, Douglas A. Marchuk, Issam A. Awad

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Abstract

Kawasaki disease (KD), the leading cause of acquired cardiac disease among children, is often associated with myocarditis that may lead to long-term myocardial dysfunction and fibrosis. Although those myocardial changes develop during the acute phase, they may persist for decades and closely correlate with long-term myocardial sequelae. Using the Lactobacillus casei cell wall extract–induced (LCWE-induced) KD vasculitis murine model, we investigated long-term cardiovascular sequelae, such as myocardial dysfunction, fibrosis, and coronary microvascular lesions following adrenergic stimuli after established KD vasculitis. We found that adrenergic stimulation with isoproterenol following LCWE-induced KD vasculitis in mice was associated with increased risk of cardiac hypertrophy and myocardial fibrosis, diminished ejection fraction, and increased serum levels of brain natriuretic peptide. Myocardial fibrosis resulting from pharmacologic-induced exercise after KD development was IL-1 signaling dependent and was associated with a significant reduction in myocardial capillary CD31 expression, indicative of a rarefied myocardial capillary bed. These observations suggest that adrenergic stimulation after KD vasculitis may lead to cardiac hypertrophy and bridging fibrosis in the myocardium in the LCWE-induced KD vasculitis mouse model and that this process involves IL-1 signaling and diminished microvascular circulation in the myocardium.

Authors

Harry H. Matundan, Jon Sin, Magali Noval Rivas, Michael C. Fishbein, Thomas J. Lehman, Shuang Chen, Roberta A. Gottlieb, Timothy R. Crother, Masanori Abe, Moshe Arditi

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Abstract

Lung transplantation (LTx) is the only therapeutic option for many patients with chronic lung disease. However, long-term survival after LTx is severely compromised by chronic rejection (chronic lung allograft dysfunction [CLAD]), which affects 50% of recipients after 5 years. The underlying mechanisms for CLAD are poorly understood, largely due to a lack of clinically relevant animal models, but lymphocytic bronchiolitis is an early sign of CLAD. Here, we report that lymphocytic bronchiolitis occurs early in a long-term murine orthotopic LTx model, based on a single mismatch (grafts from HLA-A2:B6–knockin donors transplanted into B6 recipients). Lymphocytic bronchiolitis is followed by formation of B cell–dependent lymphoid follicles that induce adjacent bronchial epithelial cell dysfunction in a spatiotemporal fashion. B cell deficiency using recipient μMT–/– mice prevented intrapulmonary lymphoid follicle formation and lymphocytic bronchiolitis. Importantly, selective inhibition of the follicle-organizing receptor EBI2, using genetic deletion or pharmacologic inhibition, prevented functional and histological deterioration of mismatched lung grafts. In sum, we provided what we believe to be a mouse model of chronic rejection and lymphocytic bronchiolitis after LTx and identified intrapulmonary lymphoid follicle formation as a target for pharmacological intervention of long-term allograft dysfunction after LTx.

Authors

Natalia F. Smirnova, Thomas M. Conlon, Carmela Morrone, Peter Dorfmuller, Marc Humbert, Georgios Stathopoulos, Stephan Umkehrer, Franz Pfeiffer, Ali Ö. Yildirim, Oliver Eickelberg

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Abstract

High macrophage infiltration in cancer is associated with reduced survival in animal models and in patients. This reflects a shift in the macrophage response from a tumor-suppressive to tumor-supportive program governed by transcriptional events regulated by the inflammatory milieu. Although several transcription factors are known to drive a prometastatic program, those that govern an antimetastatic program are less understood. IFN regulatory factor-8 (IRF8) is integral for macrophage responses against infections. Using a genetic loss-of-function approach, we tested the hypothesis that IRF8 expression in macrophages governs their capacity to inhibit metastasis. We found that: (a) metastasis was significantly increased in mice with IRF8-deficient macrophages; (b) IRF8-deficient macrophages displayed a program enriched for genes associated with metastasis; and (c) lower IRF8 expression correlated with reduced survival in human breast and lung cancer, as well as melanoma, with high or low macrophage infiltration. Thus, a macrophagehiIRF8hi signature was more favorable than a macrophagehiIRF8lo signature. The same held true for a macrophageloIRF8hi vs. a macrophageloIRF8lo signature. These data suggest that incorporating IRF8 expression levels within a broader macrophage signature or profile strengthens prognostic merit. Overall, to our knowledge, our findings reveal a previously unrecognized role for IRF8 in macrophage biology to control metastasis or predict outcome.

Authors

Danielle Y.F. Twum, Sean H. Colligan, Nicholas C. Hoffend, Eriko Katsuta, Eduardo Cortes Gomez, Mary Lynn Hensen, Mukund Seshadri, Michael J. Nemeth, Scott I. Abrams

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Abstract

Spine implant infections portend disastrous outcomes, as diagnosis is challenging and surgical eradication is at odds with mechanical spinal stability. Current imaging modalities can detect anatomical alterations and anomalies but cannot differentiate between infection and aseptic loosening, diagnose specific pathogens, or delineate the extent of an infection. Herein, a fully human monoclonal antibody 1D9, recognizing the immunodominant staphylococcal antigen A on the surface of Staphylococcus aureus, was assessed as a nuclear and fluorescent imaging probe in a preclinical model of S. aureus spinal implant infection, utilizing bioluminescently labeled bacteria to confirm the specificity and sensitivity of this targeting. Postoperative mice were administered 1D9 probe dual labeled with 89-zirconium (89Zr) and a bars represent SEM dye (NIR680) (89Zr-NIR680-1D9), and PET-CT and in vivo fluorescence and bioluminescence imaging were performed. The 89Zr-NIR680-1D9 probe accurately diagnosed both acute and subacute implant infection and permitted fluorescent image-guided surgery for selective debridement of infected tissue. Therefore, a single probe could noninvasively diagnose an infection and facilitate image-guided surgery to improve the clinical management of implant infections.

Authors

Stephen D. Zoller, Howard Y. Park, Tove Olafsen, Charles Zamilpa, Zachary D.C. Burke, Gideon Blumstein, William L. Sheppard, Christopher D. Hamad, Kellyn R. Hori, Jen-Chieh Tseng, Julie Czupryna, Craig McMannus, Jason T. Lee, Mafalda Bispo, Francisco Romero Pastrana, Elisa J.M. Raineri, Jeffery F. Miller, Lloyd S. Miller, Jan Maarten van Dijl, Kevin P. Francis, Nicholas M. Bernthal

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Abstract

Acid aspiration, which can result from several etiologies, including postoperative complications, leads to direct contact of concentrated hydrochloric acid (HCl) with the alveolar epithelium. As a result, rapid endothelial activation induces alveolar inflammation, leading to life-threatening pulmonary edema. Because mechanisms underlying the rapid endothelial activation are not understood, here we determined responses in real time through optical imaging of alveoli of live mouse lungs. By alveolar micropuncture, we microinfused concentrated HCl in the alveolar lumen. As expected, acid contact with the epithelium caused rapid, but transient, apical injury. However, there was no concomitant membrane injury to the endothelium. Nevertheless, H2O2-mediated epithelial-endothelial paracrine signaling induced endothelial barrier failure, as detected by microvascular dextran leakage and lung water quantification. Remarkably, endothelial mitochondria regulated the barrier failure by activating uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2), thereby inducing transient mitochondrial depolarization that led to cofilin-induced actin depolymerization. Knockdown, or endothelium-targeted deletion of UCP2 expression, blocked these responses, including pulmonary edema. To our knowledge, these findings are the first to mechanistically implicate endothelial mitochondria in acid-induced barrier deterioration and pulmonary edema. We suggest endothelial UCP2 may be a therapeutic target for acid-induced acute lung injury.

Authors

Rebecca F. Hough, Mohammad N. Islam, Galina A. Gusarova, Guangchun Jin, Shonit Das, Jahar Bhattacharya

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Abstract

It has been reported that 2.5%–30% of human peripheral CD27– B cells are autoreactive and anergic based on unresponsiveness to antigen receptor (BCR) stimulation and autoreactivity of cloned and expressed BCR. The molecular mechanisms that maintain this unresponsiveness are unknown. Here, we showed that in humans anergy is maintained by elevated expression of PTEN, a phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5P-3-phosphatase. Upregulation of PTEN was associated with reduced expression of microRNAs that control its expression. Pharmacologic inhibition of PTEN lead to significant restoration of responsiveness. Consistent with a role in conferring risk of autoimmunity, B cells from type 1 diabetics and autoimmune thyroid disease patients expressed reduced PTEN. Unexpectedly, in healthy individuals PTEN expression was elevated in on average 40% of CD27– B cells, with levels gradually decreasing as IgM levels increase. Our findings suggest that a much higher proportion of the peripheral repertoire is autoreactive than previously thought and that B cells upregulate PTEN in a manner that is proportional to the recognition of autoantigens of increasing avidity, thus tuning BCR signaling to prevent development of autoimmunity while providing a reservoir of cells that can be readily activated to respond when needed.

Authors

Mia J. Smith, B. Rhodes Ford, Marynette Rihanek, Brianne M. Coleman, Andrew Getahun, Virginia D. Sarapura, Peter A. Gottlieb, John C. Cambier

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Abstract

Plexiform neurofibroma is a major contributor to morbidity in patients with neurofibromatosis type I (NF1). Macrophages and mast cells infiltrate neurofibroma, and data from mouse models implicate these leukocytes in neurofibroma development. Antiinflammatory therapy targeting these cell populations has been suggested as a means to prevent neurofibroma development. Here, we compare gene expression in Nf1-mutant nerves, which invariably form neurofibroma, and show disruption of neuron–glial cell interactions and immune cell infiltration to mouse models, which rarely progresses to neurofibroma with or without disruption of neuron–glial cell interactions. We find that the chemokine Cxcl10 is uniquely upregulated in NF1 mice that invariably develop neurofibroma. Global deletion of the CXCL10 receptor Cxcr3 prevented neurofibroma development in these neurofibroma-prone mice, and an anti–Cxcr3 antibody somewhat reduced tumor numbers. Cxcr3 expression localized to T cells and DCs in both inflamed nerves and neurofibromas, and Cxcr3 expression was necessary to sustain elevated macrophage numbers in Nf1-mutant nerves. To our knowledge, these data support a heretofore-unappreciated role for T cells and DCs in neurofibroma initiation.

Authors

Jonathan S. Fletcher, Jianqiang Wu, Walter J. Jessen, Jay Pundavela, Jacob A. Miller, Eva Dombi, Mi-Ok Kim, Tilat A. Rizvi, Kashish Chetal, Nathan Salomonis, Nancy Ratner

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Abstract

Intronic polymorphisms in the α-ketoglutarate–dependent dioxygenase gene (FTO) that are highly associated with increased body weight have been implicated in the transcriptional control of a nearby ciliary gene, retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator-interacting protein-1 like (RPGRIP1L). Previous studies have shown that congenital Rpgrip1l hypomorphism in murine proopiomelanocortin (Pomc) neurons causes obesity by increasing food intake. Here, we show by congenital and adult-onset Rpgrip1l deletion in Pomc-expressing neurons that the hyperphagia and obesity are likely due to neurodevelopmental effects that are characterized by a reduction in the Pomc/Neuropeptide Y (Npy) neuronal number ratio and marked increases in arcuate hypothalamic–paraventricular hypothalamic (ARH-PVH) axonal projections. Biallelic RPGRIP1L mutations result in fewer cilia-positive human induced pluripotent stem cell–derived (iPSC-derived) neurons and blunted responses to Sonic Hedgehog (SHH). Isogenic human ARH-like embryonic stem cell–derived (ESc-derived) neurons homozygous for the obesity-risk alleles at rs8050136 or rs1421085 have decreased RPGRIP1L expression and have lower numbers of POMC neurons. RPGRIP1L overexpression increases POMC cell number. These findings suggest that apparently functional intronic polymorphisms affect hypothalamic RPGRIP1L expression and impact development of POMC neurons and their derivatives, leading to hyperphagia and increased adiposity.

Authors

Liheng Wang, Alain J. De Solis, Yossef Goffer, Kathryn E. Birkenbach, Staci E. Engle, Ross Tanis, Jacob M. Levenson, Xueting Li, Richard Rausch, Manika Purohit, Jen-Yi Lee, Jerica Tan, Maria Caterina De Rosa, Claudia A. Doege, Holly L. Aaron, Gabriela J. Martins, Jens C. Brüning, Dieter Egli, Rui Costa, Nicolas Berbari, Rudolph L. Leibel, George Stratigopoulos

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Abstract

Fusobacterium nucleatum is an oral anaerobe prevalent in intrauterine infection associated with a wide spectrum of adverse pregnancy outcomes. We demonstrate here that F. nucleatum triggers placental inflammation through maternal, rather than paternal, TLR4-mediated signaling. Elimination of TLR4 from maternal endothelial cells alleviated placental inflammation and reduced fetal and neonatal death, while elimination of TLR4 in the hematopoietic cells had no effect. The placental inflammatory response followed a spatiotemporal pattern, with NF-κB activation observed first in the maternal endothelial cells and then in the decidual cells surrounding the endothelium, followed by induction of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Supplementation of pregnant mice with fish oil as a source of omega-3 fatty acids suppressed placental inflammation, reduced F. nucleatum proliferation in the placenta, and increased fetal and neonatal survival. In vitro analysis illustrates that omega-3 fatty acids inhibit bacterial-induced inflammatory responses from human umbilical cord endothelial cells. Our study therefore reveals a mechanism by which microbial infections affect pregnancy and identifies a prophylactic therapy to protect against intrauterine infections.

Authors

Jeewon Garcia-So, Xinwen Zhang, Xiaohua Yang, Mara Roxana Rubinstein, De Yu Mao, Jan Kitajewski, Kang Liu, Yiping W. Han

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Abstract

Here, we report a pathogenic role for type I IFN (IFN-I) signaling in macrophages, and not β cells in the islets, for the development of type 1 diabetes (T1D). Following lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV) infection in the Rip-LCMV-GP T1D model, macrophages accumulated near islets and in close contact to islet-infiltrating GP-specific (autoimmune) CD8+ T cells. Depletion of macrophages with clodronate liposomes or genetic ablation of Ifnar in macrophages aborted T1D, despite proliferation of GP-specific (autoimmune) CD8+ T cells. Histopathologically, disrupted IFNα/β receptor (IFNAR) signaling in macrophages resulted in restriction of CD8+ T cells entering into the islets with significant lymphoid accumulation around the islet. Collectively, these results provide evidence that macrophages via IFN-I signaling, while not entering the islets, are directly involved in interacting, directing, or restricting trafficking of autoreactive-specific T cells into the islets as an important component in causing T1D.

Authors

Brett S. Marro, Sarah Legrain, Brian C. Ware, Michael B.A. Oldstone

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Abstract

Foxp3+ CD4 Tregs are central regulators of inflammation, including allergic inflammation in the lung. There is increasing evidence that inflammatory factors undermine adequate Treg functions and homeostasis, resulting in prolonged and exacerbated inflammation. Therefore, identifying the factors is of the utmost important. IL-27 is an antiinflammatory cytokine implicated in immune regulation and tolerance. However, the cellular mechanisms underlying IL-27–mediated immune regulation in vivo remain largely unknown. Utilizing a cockroach antigen–induced allergic inflammation model in mice, we sought to test the roles of Tregs during IL-27–mediated regulation of allergic inflammation. Intranasally delivered IL-27 significantly reduced the development of airway inflammation. Unexpectedly, the IL-27–induced reduction occurred only in the presence of Tregs. Il27ra–/– and Treg-specific Il27ra–/– mice developed severe airway inflammation, and IL-27 treatment had little impact on diminishing the inflammatory responses. IL-27–induced treatment was restored following transfer of WT Tregs but not of Tregs deficient in Lag3, a molecule induced by IL-27 in Tregs. Finally, Tregs from asthmatic patients exhibited blunted STAT1 phosphorylation following IL-27 stimulation. Taken together, our results uncover that Tregs are the primary target cells of IL-27 in vivo to mediate its antiinflammatory functions, suggesting that altered IL-27 responsiveness in Tregs may underlie inadequate Treg functions and perpetuation of inflammation.

Authors

Quang Tam Nguyen, Eunjung Jang, Hongnga T. Le, Sohee Kim, Dongkyun Kim, Nina Dvorina, Mark A. Aronica, William M. Baldwin III, Kewal Asosingh, Suzy Comhair, Booki Min

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Abstract

The antiinflammatory effects of i.v. Ig (IVIG) in the treatment of autoimmune disease are due, in part, to the Fc fragments of Ig aggregates. In order to capitalize on the known antiinflammatory and tolerogenic properties of Ig Fc aggregates, we created a recombinant human IgG1 Fc multimer, GL-2045. In vitro, GL-2045 demonstrated high-avidity binding to Fc receptors, blocked the binding of circulating immune complexes from patients with rheumatoid arthritis to human Fcγ receptors (FcγRs), and inhibited antibody-mediated phagocytosis at log order–lower concentrations than IVIG. In vivo, administration of GL-2045 conferred partial protection against antibody-mediated platelet loss in a murine immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) model. GL-2045 also suppressed disease activity in a therapeutic model of murine collagen-induced arthritis (CIA), which was associated with reduced circulating levels of IL-6. Furthermore, GL-2045 administration to nonhuman primates (NHPs) transiently increased systemic levels of the antiinflammatory cytokines IL-10 and IL-1RA, reduced the proinflammatory cytokine IL-8, and decreased surface expression of CD14 and HLA-DR on monocytes. These findings demonstrate the immunomodulatory properties of GL-2045 and suggest that it has potential as a treatment for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, as a recombinant alternative to IVIG.

Authors

Xiaoyu Zhang, Jane Owens, Henrik S. Olsen, Edward So, Erin Burch, Mark C. McCroskey, Xianfeng Li, Gregory L. Weber, Donald Bennett, Denis Rybin, Hua Zhou, Haiping Hao, Emmanuel Y. Mérigeon, David S. Block, Gregory LaRosa, Scott E. Strome

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Abstract

Psoriasis is one of the most common skin inflammatory diseases worldwide. The vitamin D3 analog calcipotriol has been used alone or in combination with corticosteroids in treating plaque psoriasis, but how it suppresses psoriatic inflammation has not been fully understood. Using an experimental mouse psoriasis model, we show that topical calcipotriol inhibited the pivotal IL-23/IL-17 axis and neutrophil infiltration in psoriatic skin, and interestingly, such effects were mediated through the vitamin D receptor (VDR) in keratinocytes (KCs). We further reveal that IL-36α and IL-36γ, which have recently emerged as key players in psoriasis pathogenesis, were effectively repressed by calcipotriol via direct VDR signaling in mouse KCs. Accordingly, calcipotriol treatment suppressed IL-36α/γ expression in lesional skin from patients with plaque psoriasis, which was accompanied by a reduced IL-23/IL-17 expression. In contrast, dexamethasone indirectly reduced IL-36α/γ expression in mouse psoriatic skin through immune cells. Furthermore, we demonstrate that calcipotriol and dexamethasone, in combination, synergistically suppressed the expression of IL-36α/γ, IL-23, and IL-17 in the established mouse psoriasis. Our findings indicate that the combination of calcipotriol and corticosteroid efficiently disrupts the IL-36 and IL-23/IL-17 positive feedback loop, thus revealing a mechanism underlying the superior efficacy of calcipotriol and corticosteroid combination therapy for psoriasis.

Authors

Beatriz Germán, Ruicheng Wei, Pierre Hener, Christina Martins, Tao Ye, Cornelia Gottwick, Jianying Yang, Julien Seneschal, Katia Boniface, Mei Li

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Abstract

Multiple sclerosis (MS) and its animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), are chronic inflammatory demyelinating and neurodegenerative diseases of the CNS. Although neurodegeneration is the major contributor to chronic disability in MS, mechanisms governing the viability of axons and neurons in MS and EAE remain elusive. Data indicate that activation of pancreatic endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) influences, positively or negatively, neuron and axon viability in various neurodegenerative diseases through induction of ATF4. In this study, we demonstrate that the PERK pathway was activated in neurons during EAE. We found that neuron-specific PERK inactivation impaired EAE resolution and exacerbated EAE-induced axon degeneration, neuron loss, and demyelination. Surprisingly, neuron-specific ATF4 inactivation did not alter EAE disease course or EAE-induced axon degeneration, neuron loss, and demyelination. These results suggest that PERK activation in neurons protects axons and neurons against inflammation in MS and EAE through ATF4-independent mechanisms.

Authors

Sarrabeth Stone, Yuan Yue, Milos Stanojlovic, Shuangchan Wu, Gerard Karsenty, Wensheng Lin

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Abstract

About one-third of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) cases are caused by mutations in sarcomere or cytoskeletal proteins. Yet treating the cytoskeleton directly is not possible because drugs that bind to actin are not well tolerated. Mutations in the actin binding protein CAP2 can cause DCM and knockout mice, either whole body (CAP2 KO) or cardiomyocyte-specific knockouts (CAP2 CKO), develop DCM with cardiac conduction disease. RNA-seq analysis of CAP2 KO hearts and isolated cardiomyocytes revealed over-activation of fetal genes including serum response factor (SRF) regulated genes such as Myl9 and Acta2 prior to the emergence of cardiac disease. To test if we could treat CAP2 KO mice, we synthesized and tested the SRF inhibitor CCG-1423-8u. CCG-1423-8u reduced expression of the SRF targets Myl9 and Acta2, as well as the biomarker of heart failure, Nppa. The median survival of CAP2 CKO mice was 98 days, while CCG-1423-8u treated CKO mice survived for 116 days and also maintain normal cardiac function longer. These results suggest that some forms of sudden cardiac death and cardiac conduction disease are under cytoskeletal stress and that inhibiting signaling through SRF may benefit DCM by reducing cytoskeletal stress.

Authors

Yao Xiong, Kenneth C. Bedi, Simon Berritt, Thomas G. Brooks, Bennette K. Attipoe, Kevin Wang, Kenneth B. Margulies, Jeffrey Field

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Abstract

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive disease with unremitting extracellular matrix deposition, leading to a distortion of pulmonary architecture and impaired gas exchange. Fibroblasts from IPF patients acquire an invasive phenotype that is essential for progressive fibrosis. Here, we performed RNA-seq analysis on invasive and non-invasive fibroblasts and found that the immune checkpoint ligand CD274 (PD-L1) was up-regulated on invasive lung fibroblasts and was required for the invasive phenotype of lung fibroblasts, is regulated by P53 and FAK, and drives lung fibrosis in a humanized IPF model in mice. Activating CD274 in IPF fibroblasts promoted invasion in vitro and pulmonary fibrosis in vivo. CD274 knockout in IPF fibroblasts and targeting CD274 by FAK inhibition or CD274 neutralizing antibodies blunted invasion and attenuated fibrosis, suggesting that CD274 may be a novel therapeutic target in IPF.

Authors

Yan Geng, Xue Liu, Jiurong Liang, David M. Habiel, Kulur Vrishika, Ana Lucia Coelho, Nan Deng, Ting Xie, Yizhou Wang, Ningshan Liu, Guanling Huang, Adrianne Kurkciyan, Zhenqiu Liu, Jie Tang, Cory M. Hogaboam, Dianhua Jiang, Paul W. Noble

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Abstract

B-cells are key contributors to chronic autoimmune pathology in multiple sclerosis (MS). Clonally related B-cells exist in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), meninges, and central nervous system (CNS) parenchyma of MS patients. We sought to investigate the presence of clonally related B-cells over time by performing immunoglobulin heavy chain variable region repertoire sequencing on B-cells from longitudinally collected blood and CSF samples of MS patients (n=10). All patients were untreated at the time of the initial sampling; the majority (n=7) were treated with immune modulating therapies 1.2 (+/-0.3 SD) years later during the second sampling. We found clonal persistence of B-cells in the CSF of five patients; these B-cells were frequently immunoglobulin (Ig) class-switched and CD27+. We identified specific blood B-cell subsets that appear to provide input into CNS repertoires over time. We demonstrate complex patterns of clonal B-cell persistence in CSF and blood, even in patients on immune modulating therapy. Our findings support the concept that peripheral B-cell activation and CNS-compartmentalized immune mechanisms can in part therapy-resistant.

Authors

Ariele L. Greenfield, Ravi Dandekar, Akshaya Ramesh, Erica L. Eggers, Hao Wu, Sarah Laurent, William Harkin, Natalie S. Pierson, Martin S. Weber, Roland G. Henry, Antje Bischof, Bruce A.C. Cree, Stephen L. Hauser, Michael R. Wilson, H.-Christian von Büdingen

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Abstract

Psoriasis (PS) is a systemic, immune-mediated inflammatory disorder. However, the whole lymphocyte compartment and the potential pathologies of PS have not been fully characterized. In the present study, we examined whole lymphocyte subsets and signal transduction proteins using high-dimensional single-cell mass cytometry and a bioinformatics pipeline for an in-depth characterization of the immune cell subsets and protein profiles involved in pathways in the peripheral blood of patients with PS. We identified 15 major immune cell populations in T cell lineages, and characterized various CD3+CD4+T helper and CD3+CD8+T cytotoxic cell populations simultaneously across 24 leukocyte markers and 7 proteins related to the signal transduction pathways. High-dimensional analysis identified three new subsets that are abundant in PS peripheral blood, resembling CD3-CD4+ lymphoid tissue inducer cells, Tc17, and CD8+CXCR3+ Tregs. We confirmed the CD3-CD4+ cells, and their features and functions, in an independent PS cohort. The use of single-cell mass cytometry allows systemic-level characterization of lymphocyte subpopulations and dysregulated signaling pathways in the blood of patients with PS, identifying abnormalities of different immune cell subsets. We validated that the CD3-CD4+ cells had elevated OX40 and decreased FRA2 expression, which were positively associated with the psoriasis area and severity index.

Authors

Ruru Guo, Ting Zhang, Xinyu Meng, Zhen Lin, Jinran Lin, Yu Gong, Xuesong Liu, Yuetian Yu, Guilin Zhao, Xianting Ding, Xiaoxiang Chen, Liangjing Lu

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Abstract

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is a condition of unknown etiology, characterized by elevated intracranial pressure frequently manifesting with chronic headaches and visual loss. Similar to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), IIH predominantly affects obese women of reproductive age. In this study, we comprehensively examined the systemic and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) androgen metabolome in women with IIH in comparison to sex-, body mass index- and age-matched control groups with either simple obesity and PCOS, i.e. obesity and androgen excess. IIH women showed a pattern of androgen excess distinct to that observed in PCOS and simple obesity, with increased serum testosterone, and increased CSF testosterone and androstenedione. Human choroid plexus expressed the androgen receptor, alongside the androgen-activating enzyme aldoketoreductase type 1C3. We show that in a rat choroid plexus cell line testosterone significantly enhanced the activity of Na+/K+ ATPase, a surrogate of CSF secretion. We demonstrate that IIH patients have a unique signature of androgen excess and provide evidence that androgens can modulate CSF secretion via the choroid plexus. These findings implicate androgen excess as a potential causal driver and therapeutic target in IIH.

Authors

Michael W. O'Reilly, Connar S.J. Westgate, Catherine Hornby, Hannah Botfield, Angela E. Taylor, Keira Markey, James L. Mitchell, William J. Scotton, Susan P. Mollan, Andreas Yiangou, Carl Jenkinson, Lorna C. Gilligan, Mark Sherlock, James Gibney, Jeremy W. Tomlinson, Gareth G. Lavery, David J. Hodson, Wiebke Arlt, Alexandra J. Sinclair

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