Latest issue: September 20, 2018

In the issue

Abstract

IFN-inducible protein 16 (IFI16) is an innate immune sensor that forms filamentous oligomers when activated by double-stranded DNA (dsDNA). Anti-IFI16 autoantibodies occur in patients with Sjögren’s syndrome (SS) and associate with severe phenotypic features. We undertook this study to determine whether the structural and functional properties of IFI16 play a role in its status as an SS autoantigen. IFI16 immunostaining in labial salivary glands (LSGs) yielded striking evidence of filamentous IFI16 structures in the cytoplasm of ductal epithelial cells, representing the first microscopic description of IFI16 oligomerization in human tissues, to our knowledge. Transfection of cultured epithelial cells with dsDNA triggered the formation of cytoplasmic IFI16 filaments with similar morphology to those observed in LSGs. We found that a majority of SS anti-IFI16 autoantibodies immunoprecipitate IFI16 more effectively in the oligomeric dsDNA-bound state. Epitopes in the C-terminus of IFI16 are accessible to antibodies in the DNA-bound oligomer and are preferentially targeted by SS sera. Furthermore, cytotoxic lymphocyte granule pathways (highly enriched in the SS gland) induce striking release of IFI16•dsDNA complexes from cultured cells. Our studies reveal that IFI16 is present in a filamentous state in the target tissue of SS and suggest that this property of DNA-induced filament formation contributes to its status as an autoantigen in SS. These studies highlight the role that tissue-specific modifications and immune effector pathways might play in the selection of autoantigens in rheumatic diseases.

Authors

Brendan Antiochos, Mariusz Matyszewski, Jungsan Sohn, Livia Casciola-Rosen, Antony Rosen

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Abstract

A major pathogenic feature associated with HIV infection is lymphoid fibrosis, which persists during antiretroviral therapy (ART). Lymphoid tissues play critical roles in the generation of antigen-specific immune response, and fibrosis disrupts the stromal network of lymphoid tissues, resulting in impaired immune cell trafficking and function, as well as immunodeficiency. Developing an animal model for investigating the impact of HIV infection–induced lymphoid tissue fibrosis on immunodeficiency and immune cell impairment is critical for therapeutics development and clinical translation. Said model will enable in vivo mechanistic studies, thus complementing the well-established surrogate model of SIV infection–induced lymphoid tissue fibrosis in macaques. We developed a potentially novel human immune system–humanized mouse model by coengrafting autologous fetal thymus, spleen, and liver organoids under the kidney capsule, along with i.v. injection of autologous fetal liver–derived hematopoietic stem cells, thus termed the BM-liver-thymus-spleen (BLTS) humanized mouse model. BLTS humanized mouse model supports development of human immune cells and human lymphoid organoids (human thymus and spleen organoids). HIV infection in BLTS humanized mice results in progressive fibrosis in human lymphoid tissues, which was associated with immunodeficiency in the lymphoid tissues, and lymphoid tissue fibrosis persists during ART, thus recapitulating clinical outcomes.

Authors

Jasmine Samal, Samantha Kelly, Ali Na-Shatal, Abdallah Elhakiem, Antu Das, Ming Ding, Anwesha Sanyal, Phalguni Gupta, Kevin Melody, Brad Roland, Watfa Ahmed, Aala Zakir, Moses Bility

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Abstract

Zebrafish are a powerful tool for studying muscle function owing to their high numbers of offspring, low maintenance costs, evolutionarily conserved muscle functions, and the ability to rapidly take up small molecular compounds during early larval stages. Fukutin-related protein (FKRP) is a putative protein glycosyltransferase that functions in the Golgi apparatus to modify sugar chain molecules of newly translated proteins. Patients with mutations in the FKRP gene can have a wide spectrum of clinical symptoms with varying muscle, eye, and brain pathologies depending on the location of the mutation in the FKRP protein. Patients with a common L276I FKRP mutation have mild adult-onset muscle degeneration known as limb-girdle muscular dystrophy 2I (LGMD2I), whereas patients with more C-terminal pathogenic mutations develop the severe Walker-Warburg syndrome (WWS)/muscle-eye-brain (MEB) disease. We generated fkrp-mutant zebrafish that phenocopy WWS/MEB pathologies including severe muscle breakdowns, head malformations, and early lethality. We have also generated a milder LGMD2I-model zebrafish via overexpression of a heat shock–inducible human FKRP (L276I) transgene that shows milder muscle pathology. Screening of an FDA-approved drug compound library in the LGMD2I zebrafish revealed a strong propensity towards steroids, antibacterials, and calcium regulators in ameliorating FKRP-dependent pathologies. Together, these studies demonstrate the utility of the zebrafish to both study human-specific FKRP mutations and perform compound library screenings for corrective drug compounds to treat muscular dystrophies.

Authors

Peter R. Serafini, Michael J. Feyder, Rylie M. Hightower, Daniela Garcia-Perez, Natássia M. Vieira, Angela Lek, Devin E. Gibbs, Omar Moukha-Chafiq, Corinne E. Augelli-Szafran, Genri Kawahara, Jeffrey J. Widrick, Louis M. Kunkel, Matthew S. Alexander

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Abstract

Since the proper activation of T cells requires the physical interaction with target cells through the formation of immunological synapses (IS), an alteration at this level could be a reason why tumors escape the immune response. As part of their life cycle, it is thought that T cells alternate between a static phase, the IS, and a dynamic phase, the immunological kinapse (IK), depending on high or low antigen sensing. Our investigation performed in tissue samples of human glioma shows that T cells are able to establish synapsing interactions not only with glioma tumorigenic cells, but also with stromal myeloid cells. Particularly, the IS displaying a T cell receptor–rich (TCR-rich) central supramolecular activation cluster (cSMAC) is preferentially established with stromal cells, as opposed to malignant cells. Conversely, T cells in the malignant areas showed distinct morphometric parameters compared with nonneoplastic tissue — the former characterized by an elongated shape, well-suited to kinaptic dynamics. Importantly, high-resolution 3-dimensional analyses demonstrated the existence of bona-fide IK preferentially arranged in malignant areas of the tumor. This imbalance of IS/IK states between these 2 microenvironments reveals the low antigenic sensing of T cells when patrolling tumorigenic cells and reflects the immunoevasive environment of the tumor.

Authors

Laura R. Díaz, Elena Saavedra-López, Leire Romarate, Izaskun Mitxitorena, Paola V. Casanova, George P. Cribaro, José M. Gallego, Ana Pérez-Vallés, Jerónimo Forteza-Vila, Clara Alfaro-Cervello, José M. García-Verdugo, Carlos Barcia Sr., Carlos Barcia Jr.

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Abstract

Chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) have an antigen-binding domain fused to transmembrane, costimulatory, and CD3ζ domains. Two CARs with regulatory approval include a CD28 or 4-1BB costimulatory domain. While both CARs achieve similar clinical outcomes, biologic differences have become apparent but not completely understood. Therefore, in this study we aimed to identify mechanistic differences between 4-1BB and CD28 costimulation that contribute to the biologic differences between the 2 CARs and could be exploited to enhance CAR T cell function. Using CD19-targeted CAR T cells with 4-1BB we determined that enhancement of T cell function is driven by NF-κB. Comparison to CAR T cells with CD28 also revealed that 4-1BB is associated with more antiapoptotic proteins and dependence on persistence for B cell killing. While TNF receptor–associated factor 2 (TRAF2) has been presupposed to be required for 4-1BB costimulation in CAR T cells, we determined that TRAF1 and TRAF3 are also critical. We observed that TRAFs impacted CAR T viability and proliferation, as well as cytotoxicity and/or cytokines, in part by regulating NF-κB. Our study demonstrates how 4-1BB costimulation in CAR T cells impacts antitumor eradication and clinical outcomes and has implications for enhanced CAR design.

Authors

Gongbo Li, Justin C. Boucher, Hiroshi Kotani, Kyungho Park, Yongliang Zhang, Bishwas Shrestha, Xuefeng Wang, Lawrence Guan, Nolan Beatty, Daniel Abate-Daga, Marco L. Davila

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Abstract

Black women, compared with White women, have high rates of whole-body insulin resistance but a lower prevalence of fasting hyperglycemia and hepatic steatosis. This dissociation of whole-body insulin resistance from fasting hyperglycemia may be explained by racial differences in gluconeogenesis, hepatic fat, or tissue-specific insulin sensitivity. Two groups of premenopausal federally employed women, without diabetes were studied. Using stable isotope tracers, [2H2O] and [6,62-H2]glucose, basal glucose production was partitioned into its components (gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis) and basal whole-body lipolysis ([2H5]glycerol) was measured. Indices of insulin sensitivity, whole-body (SI), hepatic (HISIGPR), and adipose tissue, were calculated. Hepatic fat was measured by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Black women had less hepatic fat and lower fractional and absolute gluconeogenesis. Whole-body SI, HISIGPR, and adipose tissue sensitivity were similar by race, but at any given level of whole-body SI, Black women had higher HISIGPR. Therefore, fasting hyperglycemia may be a less common early pathological feature of prediabetes in Black women compared with White women, because gluconeogenesis remains lower despite similar whole-body SI.

Authors

Stephanie T. Chung, Amber B. Courville, Anthony U. Onuzuruike, Mirella Galvan-De La Cruz, Lilian S. Mabundo, Christopher W. DuBose, Kannan Kasturi, Hongyi Cai, Ahmed M. Gharib, Peter J. Walter, H. Martin Garraffo, Shaji Chacko, Morey W. Haymond, Anne E. Sumner

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Abstract

The robust regenerative potential of skeletal muscle is imperative for the maintenance of tissue function across a host of potential insults including exercise, infection, and trauma. The highly coordinated action of multiple immune populations, especially macrophages, plays an indispensable role in guiding this reparative program. However, it remains unclear how skeletal muscle repair proceeds in a chronically inflamed setting, such as infection, where an active immune response is already engaged. To address this question, we used a cardiotoxin injury model to challenge the reparative potential of chronically infected muscle. Compared with regenerating naive skeletal muscle, infected skeletal muscle exhibited multiple indicators of delayed muscle repair including a divergent morphologic response to injury and dysregulated expression of myogenic regulatory factors. Further, using both flow cytometric and single-cell RNA sequencing approaches, we show that reduced macrophage heterogeneity due to delayed emergence of restorative subsets underlies dysfunctional tissue repair during chronic infection. Our findings highlight how the preexisting inflammatory environment within tissue alters reparative immunity and ultimately the quality of tissue regeneration.

Authors

Richard M. Jin, Jordan Warunek, Elizabeth A. Wohlfert

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Abstract

Stroke triggers a complex inflammatory process in which the balance between pro- and antiinflammatory mediators is critical for the development of the brain infarct. However, systemic changes may also occur in parallel with brain inflammation. Here we demonstrate that administration of recombinant IL-33, a recently described member of the IL-1 superfamily of cytokines, promotes Th2-type effects following focal ischemic stroke, resulting in increased plasma levels of Th2-type cytokines and fewer proinflammatory (3-nitrotyrosine+F4/80+) microglia/macrophages in the brain. These effects of IL-33 were associated with reduced infarct size, fewer activated microglia and infiltrating cytotoxic (natural killer–like) T cells, and more IL-10–expressing regulatory T cells. Despite these neuroprotective effects, mice treated with IL-33 displayed exacerbated post-stroke lung bacterial infection in association with greater functional deficits and mortality at 24 hours. Supplementary antibiotics (gentamicin and ampicillin) mitigated these systemic effects of IL-33 after stroke. Our findings highlight the complex nature of the inflammatory mechanisms differentially activated in the brain and periphery during the acute phase after ischemic stroke. The data indicate that a Th2-promoting agent can provide neuroprotection without adverse systemic effects when given in combination with antibiotics.

Authors

Shenpeng R. Zhang, Marius Piepke, Hannah X. Chu, Brad R.S. Broughton, Raymond Shim, Connie H.Y. Wong, Seyoung Lee, Megan A. Evans, Antony Vinh, Samy Sakkal, Thiruma V. Arumugam, Tim Magnus, Samuel Huber, Mathias Gelderblom, Grant R. Drummond, Christopher G. Sobey, Hyun Ah Kim

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Abstract

Central nervous system (CNS) immune activation is an important driver of neuronal injury during several neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases. During HIV infection, CNS immune activation is associated with high rates of neurocognitive impairment, even during sustained long-term suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART). However, the cellular subsets that drive immune activation and neuronal damage in the CNS during HIV infection and other neurological conditions remain unknown, in part because CNS cells are difficult to access in living humans. Using single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood from adults with and without HIV, we identified a rare (<5% of cells) subset of myeloid cells that are found only in CSF and that present a gene expression signature that overlaps significantly with neurodegenerative disease–associated microglia. This highlights the power of scRNA-seq of CSF to identify rare CNS immune cell subsets that may perpetuate neuronal injury during HIV infection and other conditions.

Authors

Shelli F. Farhadian, Sameet S. Mehta, Chrysoula Zografou, Kevin Robertson, Richard W. Price, Jenna Pappalardo, Jennifer Chiarella, David A. Hafler, Serena S. Spudich

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Abstract

Paneth cells contribute to small intestinal homeostasis by secreting antimicrobial peptides and constituting the intestinal stem cell (ISC) niche. Certain T cell–mediated enteropathies are characterized by extensive Paneth cell depletion coincident with mucosal destruction and dysbiosis. In this study, mechanisms of intestinal crypt injury have been investigated by characterizing responses of mouse intestinal organoids (enteroids) in coculture with mouse T lymphocytes. Activated T cells induced enteroid damage, reduced Paneth cell and Lgr5+ ISC mRNA levels, and induced Paneth cell death through a caspase-3/7–dependent mechanism. IFN-γ mediated these effects, because IFN-γ receptor–null enteroids were unaffected by activated T cells. In mice, administration of IFN-γ induced enteropathy with crypt hyperplasia, villus shortening, Paneth cell depletion, and modified ISC marker expression. IFN-γ exacerbated radiation enteritis, which was ameliorated by treatment with a selective JAK1/2 inhibitor. Thus, IFN-γ induced Paneth cell death and impaired regeneration of small intestinal epithelium in vivo, suggesting that IFN-γ may be a useful target for treating defective mucosal regeneration in enteric inflammation.

Authors

Yoshihiro Eriguchi, Kiminori Nakamura, Yuki Yokoi, Rina Sugimoto, Shuichiro Takahashi, Daigo Hashimoto, Takanori Teshima, Tokiyoshi Ayabe, Michael E. Selsted, André J. Ouellette

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Abstract

Altered response to the intestinal microbiota strongly associates with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD); however, how commensal microbial cues are integrated by the host during the pathogenesis of IBD is not understood. Epigenetics represents a potential mechanism that could enable intestinal microbes to modulate transcriptional output during the development of IBD. Here, we reveal a histone methylation signature of intestinal epithelial cells isolated from the terminal ilea of newly diagnosed pediatric IBD patients. Genes characterized by significant alterations in histone H3-lysine 4 trimethylation (H3K4me3) showed differential enrichment in pathways involving immunoregulation, cell survival and signaling, and metabolism. Interestingly, a large subset of these genes was epigenetically regulated by microbiota in mice and several microbiota-sensitive epigenetic targets demonstrated altered expression in IBD patients. Remarkably though, a substantial proportion of these genes exhibited H3K4me3 levels that correlated with the severity of intestinal inflammation in IBD, despite lacking significant differential expression. Collectively, these data uncover a previously unrecognized epigenetic profile of IBD that can be primed by commensal microbes and indicate sensitive targets in the epithelium that may underlie how microbiota predispose to subsequent intestinal inflammation and disease.

Authors

Daniel Kelly, Michael Kotliar, Vivienne Woo, Sajjeev Jagannathan, Jordan Whitt, Jessica Moncivaiz, Bruce J. Aronow, Marla C. Dubinsky, Jeffrey S. Hyams, James F. Markowitz, Robert N. Baldassano, Michael C. Stephens, Thomas D. Walters, Subra Kugathasan, Yael Haberman, Nambirajan Sundaram, Michael J. Rosen, Michael Helmrath, Rebekah Karns, Artem Barski, Lee A. Denson, Theresa Alenghat

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Abstract

BACKGROUND. Neutrophils and their inflammatory mediators are key pathogenic components in multiple autoimmune diseases, while their role in human type 1 diabetes (T1D), a disease that progresses sequentially through identifiable stages prior to the clinical onset, is not well understood. We previously reported that the number of circulating neutrophils is reduced in patients with T1D and in presymptomatic at-risk subjects. The aim of the present work was to identify possible changes in circulating and pancreas-residing neutrophils throughout the disease course to better elucidate neutrophil involvement in human T1D. METHODS. Data collected from 389 subjects at risk of developing T1D, and enrolled in 4 distinct studies performed by TrialNet, were analyzed with comprehensive statistical approaches to determine whether the number of circulating neutrophils correlates with pancreas function. To obtain a broad analysis of pancreas-infiltrating neutrophils throughout all disease stages, pancreas sections collected worldwide from 4 different cohorts (i.e., nPOD, DiViD, Siena, and Exeter) were analyzed by immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence. Finally, circulating neutrophils were purified from unrelated nondiabetic subjects and donors at various T1D stages and their transcriptomic signature was determined by RNA sequencing. RESULTS. Here, we show that the decline in β cell function is greatest in individuals with the lowest peripheral neutrophil numbers. Neutrophils infiltrate the pancreas prior to the onset of symptoms and they continue to do so as the disease progresses. Of interest, a fraction of these pancreas-infiltrating neutrophils also extrudes neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), suggesting a tissue-specific pathogenic role. Whole-transcriptome analysis of purified blood neutrophils revealed a unique molecular signature that is distinguished by an overabundance of IFN-associated genes; despite being healthy, said signature is already present in T1D-autoantibody-negative at-risk subjects. CONCLUSIONS. These results reveal an unexpected abnormality in neutrophil disposition both in the circulation and in the pancreas of presymptomatic and symptomatic T1D subjects, implying that targeting neutrophils might represent a previously unrecognized therapeutic modality. FUNDING. Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), NIH, Diabetes UK.

Authors

Federica Vecchio, Nicola Lo Buono, Angela Stabilini, Laura Nigi, Matthew J. Dufort, Susan Geyer, Paola Maria Rancoita, Federica Cugnata, Alessandra Mandelli, Andrea Valle, Pia Leete, Francesca Mancarella, Peter S. Linsley, Lars Krogvold, Kevan C. Herold, Helena Elding Larsson, Sarah J. Richardson, Noel G. Morgan, Knut Dahl-Jørgensen, Guido Sebastiani, Francesco Dotta, Emanuele Bosi, the DRI_Biorepository Group, the Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet Study Group, Manuela Battaglia

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Abstract

When draining lymph nodes become infected by Yersinia pestis (Y. pestis), a massive influx of phagocytic cells occurs, resulting in distended and necrotic structures known as buboes. The bubonic stage of the Y. pestis life cycle precedes septicemia, which is facilitated by trafficking of infected mononuclear phagocytes through these buboes. However, how Y. pestis convert these immunocytes recruited by host to contain the pathogen into vehicles for bacterial dispersal and the role of immune cell death in this context are unknown. We show that the lymphatic spread requires Yersinia outer protein J (YopJ), which triggers death of infected macrophages by downregulating a suppressor of receptor-interacting protein kinase 1–mediated (RIPK1-mediated) cell death programs. The YopJ-triggered cell death was identified as necroptotic, which released intracellular bacteria, allowing them to infect new neighboring cell targets. Dying macrophages also produced chemotactic sphingosine 1-phosphate, enhancing cell-to-cell contact, further promoting infection. This necroptosis-driven expansion of infected macrophages in buboes maximized the number of bacteria-bearing macrophages reaching secondary lymph nodes, leading to sepsis. In support, necrostatins confined bacteria within macrophages and protected mice from lethal infection. These findings define necrotization of buboes as a mechanism for bacterial spread and a potential target for therapeutic intervention.

Authors

Mohammad Arifuzzaman, W.X. Gladys Ang, Hae Woong Choi, Matthew L. Nilles, Ashley L. St. John, Soman N. Abraham

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Abstract

Adoptive T cell transfer (ACT) immunotherapy benefits from early differentiated stem cell memory T (Tscm) cells capable of persisting in the long term and generating potent antitumor effectors. Due to their paucity ex vivo, Tscm cells can be derived from naive precursors, but the molecular signals at the basis of Tscm cell generation are ill-defined. We found that less differentiated human circulating CD8+ T cells display substantial antioxidant capacity ex vivo compared with more differentiated central and effector memory T cells. Limiting ROS metabolism with antioxidants during naive T cell activation hindered terminal differentiation, while allowing expansion and generation of Tscm cells. N-acetylcysteine (NAC), the most effective molecule in this regard, induced transcriptional and metabolic programs characteristic of self-renewing memory T cells. Upon ACT, NAC-generated Tscm cells established long-term memory in vivo and exerted more potent antitumor immunity in a xenogeneic model when redirected with CD19-specific CAR, highlighting the translational relevance of NAC as a simple and inexpensive method to improve ACT.

Authors

Karolina Pilipow, Eloise Scamardella, Simone Puccio, Sanjivan Gautam, Federica De Paoli, Emilia M.C. Mazza, Gabriele De Simone, Sara Polletti, Marta Buccilli, Veronica Zanon, Pietro Di Lucia, Matteo Iannacone, Luca Gattinoni, Enrico Lugli

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Abstract

Clonal expansion of T cells harboring replication-competent virus has recently been demonstrated in patients on suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimens. However, there has not been direct evidence of this phenomenon in settings of natural control, including in posttreatment controllers who maintain control of viral replication after treatment when ART is discontinued. We present a case of an individual who has had undetectable viral loads for more than 15 years following the cessation of ART. Using near-full-genome sequence analysis, we demonstrate that 9 of 12 replication-competent isolates cultured from this subject were identical and that this identity was maintained 6 months later. A similar pattern of replication-competent virus clonality was seen in a treatment-naive HLA-B*57 elite controller. In both cases, we show that CD8+ T cells are capable of suppressing the replication of the clonally expanded viruses in vitro. Our data suggest that, while clonal expansion of replication-competent virus can present a barrier to viral eradication, these viral isolates remain susceptible to HIV-specific immune responses and can be controlled in patients with long-term suppression of viral replication.

Authors

Rebecca T. Veenhuis, Abena K. Kwaa, Caroline C. Garliss, Rachel Latanich, Maria Salgado, Christopher W. Pohlmeyer, Christopher L. Nobles, John Gregg, Eileen P. Scully, Justin R. Bailey, Frederic D. Bushman, Joel N. Blankson

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Abstract

Therapeutic strategies that augment antiviral immunity and reduce the viral reservoir are critical to achieving durable remission of HIV. The coinhibitory receptor programmed death-1 (PD-1) regulates CD8+ T cell dysfunction during chronic HIV and SIV infections. We previously demonstrated that in vivo blockade of PD-1 during chronic SIV infection improves the function of antiviral CD8+ T cells and B cells. Here, we tested the immunological and virological effects of PD-1 blockade combined with antiretroviral therapy (ART) in rhesus macaques. Administration of anti–PD-1 antibody 10 days prior to ART initiation rapidly enhanced antiviral CD8+ T cell function and diminished IFN-stimulated genes. This resulted in faster viral suppression in plasma and better Th17 cell reconstitution in the rectal mucosa following ART initiation. PD-1 blockade during ART resulted in lower levels of cell-associated replication-competent virus. Following ART interruption, PD-1 antibody–treated animals showed markedly higher expansion of proliferating CXCR5+perforin+granzyme B+ effector CD8+ T cells and lower regulatory T cells that resulted in better control of viremia. Our results show that PD-1 blockade can be administered safely with ART to augment antiviral CD8+ T cell function and reduce the viral reservoir, leading to improved control of viral rebound after ART interruption.

Authors

Geetha H. Mylvaganam, Lynette S. Chea, Gregory K. Tharp, Sakeenah Hicks, Vijayakumar Velu, Smita S. Iyer, Claire Deleage, Jacob D. Estes, Steven E. Bosinger, Gordon J. Freeman, Rafi Ahmed, Rama R. Amara

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Abstract

During the last half-century, numerous antiinflammatory agents were tested in dozens of clinical trials and have proven ineffective for treating septic shock. The observation in multiple studies that cell-free hemoglobin (CFH) levels are elevated during clinical sepsis and that the degree of increase correlates with higher mortality suggests an alternative approach. Human haptoglobin binds CFH with high affinity and, therefore, can potentially reduce iron availability and oxidative activity. CFH levels are elevated over approximately 24–48 hours in our antibiotic-treated canine model of S. aureus pneumonia that simulates the cardiovascular abnormalities of human septic shock. In this 96-hour model, resuscitative treatments, mechanical ventilation, sedation, and continuous care are translatable to management in human intensive care units. We found, in this S. aureus pneumonia model inducing septic shock, that commercial human haptoglobin concentrate infusions over 48-hours bind canine CFH, increase CFH clearance, and lower circulating iron. Over the 96-hour study, this treatment was associated with an improved metabolic profile (pH, lactate), less lung injury, reversal of shock, and increased survival. Haptoglobin binding compartmentalized CFH to the intravascular space. This observation, in combination with increasing CFHs clearance, reduced available iron as a potential source of bacterial nutrition while decreasing the ability for CFH and iron to cause extravascular oxidative tissue injury. In contrast, haptoglobin therapy had no measurable antiinflammatory effect on elevations in proinflammatory C-reactive protein and cytokine levels. Haptoglobin therapy enhances normal host defense mechanisms in contrast to previously studied antiinflammatory sepsis therapies, making it a biologically plausible novel approach to treat septic shock.

Authors

Kenneth E. Remy, Irene Cortés-Puch, Steven B. Solomon, Junfeng Sun, Benjamin M. Pockros, Jing Feng, Juan J. Lertora, Roy R. Hantgan, Xiaohua Liu, Andreas Perlegas, H. Shaw Warren, Mark T. Gladwin, Daniel B. Kim-Shapiro, Harvey G. Klein, Charles Natanson

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Abstract

Cardiac Nav1.5 and Kir2.1–2.3 channels generate Na (INa) and inward rectifier K (IK1) currents, respectively. The functional INa and IK1 interplay is reinforced by the positive and reciprocal modulation between Nav15 and Kir2.1/2.2 channels to strengthen the control of ventricular excitability. Loss-of-function mutations in the SCN5A gene, which encodes Nav1.5 channels, underlie several inherited arrhythmogenic syndromes, including Brugada syndrome (BrS). We investigated whether the presence of BrS-associated mutations alters IK1 density concomitantly with INa density. Results obtained using mouse models of SCN5A haploinsufficiency, and the overexpression of native and mutated Nav1.5 channels in expression systems — rat ventricular cardiomyocytes and human induced pluripotent stem cell–derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) — demonstrated that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) trafficking–defective Nav1.5 channels significantly decreased IK1, since they did not positively modulate Kir2.1/2.2 channels. Moreover, Golgi trafficking–defective Nav1.5 mutants produced a dominant negative effect on Kir2.1/2.2 and thus an additional IK1 reduction. Moreover, ER trafficking–defective Nav1.5 channels can be partially rescued by Kir2.1/2.2 channels through an unconventional secretory route that involves Golgi reassembly stacking proteins (GRASPs). Therefore, cardiac excitability would be greatly affected in subjects harboring Nav1.5 mutations with Golgi trafficking defects, since these mutants can concomitantly trap Kir2.1/2.2 channels, thus unexpectedly decreasing IK1 in addition to INa.

Authors

Marta Pérez-Hernández, Marcos Matamoros, Silvia Alfayate, Paloma Nieto-Marín, Raquel G. Utrilla, David Tinaquero, Raquel de Andrés, Teresa Crespo, Daniela Ponce-Balbuena, B. Cicero Willis, Eric N. Jiménez-Vazquez, Guadalupe Guerrero-Serna, Andre M. da Rocha, Katherine Campbell, Todd J. Herron, F. Javier Díez-Guerra, Juan Tamargo, José Jalife, Ricardo Caballero, Eva Delpón

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Abstract

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a progressive chronic disease of the central retina, is associated with aging and is a leading cause of blindness worldwide. Here, we demonstrate that leukotriene B4 (LTB4) receptor 1 (BLT1) promotes laser-induced choroidal neovascularization (CNV) in a mouse model for wet-type AMD. CNV was significantly less in BLT1-deficient (BLT1-KO) mice compared with BLT1-WT controls. Expression of several proangiogenic and profibrotic factors was lower in BLT1-KO eyes than in BLT1-WT eyes. LTB4 production in the eyes was substantially increased in the early phase after laser injury. BLT1 was highly expressed in M2 macrophages in vitro and in vivo, and ocular BLT1+ M2 macrophages were increased in the aged eyes after laser injury. Furthermore, M2 macrophages were rapidly attracted by LTB4 and subsequently produced VEGF-A– through BLT1-mediated signaling. Consequently, intravitreal injection of M2 macrophages augmented CNV formation, which was attenuated by BLT1 deficiency. Thus, laser-induced injury to the retina triggered LTB4 production and attracted M2 macrophages via BLT1, leading to development of CNV. A selective BLT1 antagonist (CP105696) and 3 LTB4 inhibitors (zileuton, MK-886, and bestatin) reduced CNV in a dose-dependent manner. CP105696 also inhibited the accumulation of BLT1+ M2 macrophages in the laser-injured eyes of aged mice. Together, these results indicate that the LTB4-BLT1 axis is a potentially novel therapeutic target for CNV of wet-type AMD.

Authors

Fumiyuki Sasaki, Tomoaki Koga, Mai Ohba, Kazuko Saeki, Toshiaki Okuno, Keijiro Ishikawa, Takahito Nakama, Shintaro Nakao, Shigeo Yoshida, Tatsuro Ishibashi, Hamid Ahmadieh, Mozhgan Rezaei Kanavi, Ali Hafezi-Moghadam, Josef M. Penninger, Koh-Hei Sonoda, Takehiko Yokomizo

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Abstract

Colon cancer is a devastating illness that is associated with gut inflammation. Here, we explored the possible role of lipin-1, a phosphatidic acid phosphatase, in the development of colitis-associated tumorigenesis. Azoxymethane and dextran sodium sulfate–treated (DSS-treated) animals deficient in lipin-1 harbored fewer tumors and carcinomas than WT animals due to decreased cellular proliferation, lower expression of antiapoptotic and protumorigenic factors, and a reduced infiltration of macrophages in colon tumors. They also displayed increased resistance to DSS-induced colitis by producing less proinflammatory cytokines and experiencing less immune infiltration. Lipin-1–deficient macrophages from the colon were less activated and displayed lower phosphatidic acid phosphatase activity than WT macrophages isolated from DSS-treated animals. Transference of WT macrophages into lipin-1–deficient animals was sufficient to increase colitis burden. Furthermore, treatment of lipin-1–deficient mice with IL-23 exacerbated colon inflammation. Analysis of human databases from colon cancer and ulcerative colitis patients showed that lipin-1 expression is increased in those disorders and correlates with the expression of the proinflammatory markers CXCL1 and CXCL2. And finally, clinically, LPIN1 expression had prognostic value in inflammatory and stem-cell subtypes of colon cancers. Collectively, these data demonstrate that lipin-1 is a critical regulator of intestinal inflammation and inflammation-driven colon cancer development.

Authors

Clara Meana, Ginesa García-Rostán, Lucía Peña, Gema Lordén, África Cubero, Antonio Orduña, Balázs Győrffy, Jesús Balsinde, María A. Balboa

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Abstract

Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is an immune-mediated thrombocytopenic disorder associated with a severe prothrombotic state. We investigated whether neutrophils and neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) contribute to the development of thrombosis in HIT. Using an endothelialized microfluidic system and a murine passive immunization model, we show that HIT induction leads to increased neutrophil adherence to venous endothelium. In HIT mice, endothelial adherence is enhanced immediately downstream of nascent venous thrombi, after which neutrophils undergo retrograde migration via a CXCR2-dependent mechanism to accumulate into the thrombi. Using a microfluidic system, we found that PF4 binds to NETs, leading them to become compact and DNase resistant. PF4-NET complexes selectively bind HIT antibodies, which further protect them from nuclease digestion. In HIT mice, inhibition of NET formation through Padi4 gene disruption or DNase treatment limited venous thrombus size. PAD4 inactivation did affect arterial thrombi or severity of thrombocytopenia in HIT. Thus, neutrophil activation contributes to the development of venous thrombosis in HIT by enhancing neutrophil-endothelial adhesion and neutrophil clot infiltration, where incorporated PF4-NET-HIT antibody complexes lead to thrombosis propagation. Inhibition of neutrophil endothelial adhesion, prevention of neutrophil chemokine-dependent recruitment of neutrophils to thrombi, or suppression of NET release should be explored as strategies to prevent venous thrombosis in HIT.

Authors

Kandace Gollomp, Minna Kim, Ian Johnston, Vincent Hayes, John Welsh, Gowthami M. Arepally, Mark Kahn, Michele P. Lambert, Adam Cuker, Douglas B. Cines, Lubica Rauova, M. Anna Kowalska, Mortimer Poncz

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Abstract

The pathogenetic mechanisms underlying the pathologic fibrosis in diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) are poorly understood. To identify genetic factors affecting susceptibility to IPF, we analyzed a murine genetic model of IPF in which a profibrotic cytokine (TGF-β1) was expressed in the lungs of 10 different inbred mouse strains. Surprisingly, the extent of TGF-β1–induced lung fibrosis was highly strain dependent. Haplotype-based computational genetic analysis and gene expression profiling of lung tissue obtained from fibrosis-susceptible and -resistant strains identified laminin α1 (Lama1) as a genetic modifier for susceptibility to IPF. Subsequent studies demonstrated that Lama1 plays an important role in multiple processes that affect the pulmonary response to lung injury and susceptibility to fibrosis, which include: macrophage activation, fibroblast proliferation, myofibroblast transformation, and the production of extracellular matrix. Also, Lama1 mRNA expression was significantly increased in lung tissue obtained from IPF patients. These studies identify Lama1 as the genetic modifier of TGF-β1 effector responses that significantly affects the development of pulmonary fibrosis.

Authors

Chang-Min Lee, Soo Jung Cho, Won-Kyung Cho, Jin Wook Park, Jae-Hyun Lee, Augustine M. Choi, Ivan O. Rosas, Ming Zheng, Gary Peltz, Chun Geun Lee, Jack A. Elias

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Abstract

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), associated with cigarette smoke–induced (CS-induced) emphysema, contributes significantly to the global health care burden of disease. Although chronic kidney disease (CKD) may occur in patients with COPD, the relationship between COPD and CKD remains unclear. Using a murine model of experimental COPD, we show that chronic CS exposure resulted in marked kidney injury and fibrosis, as evidenced by histological and ultrastructural changes, altered macrophage subpopulations, and expression of tissue injury, fibrosis, and oxidative stress markers. CS induced mitochondrial dysfunction, and increased autophagic flux in kidney tissues and in kidney tubular epithelial (HK-2) cells, as determined by LC3B turnover assays. Mice heterozygous for Beclin-1 (Becn1+/–) were protected from the development of kidney tissue injury and renal fibrosis in response to CS exposure, and displayed impaired basal and inducible mitochondrial turnover by mitophagy. Interestingly, CS caused a reduction of Beclin-1 expression in mouse kidneys and kidney tubular epithelial cells, attributed to increased autophagy-dependent turnover of Beclin-1. These results suggest that Beclin-1 is required for CS-induced kidney injury and that reduced levels of Beclin-1 may confer renoprotection. These results identify the kidney as a target for CS-induced injury in COPD and the Beclin-1–dependent autophagy pathway as a potential therapeutic target in CKD.

Authors

Maria A. Pabón, Edwin Patino, Divya Bhatia, Joselyn Rojas-Quintero, Kevin C. Ma, Eli J. Finkelsztein, Juan C. Osorio, Faryal Malick, Francesca Polverino, Caroline A. Owen, Stefan W. Ryter, Augustine M.K. Choi, Suzanne M. Cloonan, Mary E. Choi

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