Latest issue: October 4, 2018

In the issue

Abstract

Macrophages polarize into heterogeneous proinflammatory M1 and antiinflammatory M2 subtypes. Heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) protects against inflammatory processes such as ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI), organ transplantation, and atherosclerosis. To test our hypothesis that HO-1 regulates macrophage polarization and protects against IRI, we generated myeloid-specific HO-1–knockout (mHO-1–KO) and –transgenic (mHO-1–Tg) mice, with deletion or overexpression of HO-1, in various macrophage populations. Bone marrow–derived macrophages (BMDMs) from mHO-1–KO mice, treated with M1-inducing LPS or M2-inducing IL-4, exhibited increased mRNA expression of M1 (CXCL10, IL-1β, MCP1) and decreased expression of M2 (Arg1 and CD163) markers as compared with controls, while BMDMs from mHO-1–Tg mice displayed the opposite. A similar pattern was observed in the hepatic M1/M2 expression profile in a mouse model of liver IRI. mHO-1–KO mice displayed increased hepatocellular damage, serum AST/ALT levels, Suzuki’s histological score of liver IRI, and neutrophil and macrophage infiltration, while mHO-1–Tg mice exhibited the opposite. In human liver transplant biopsies, subjects with higher HO-1 levels showed lower expression of M1 markers together with decreased hepatocellular damage and improved outcomes. In conclusion, myeloid HO-1 expression modulates macrophage polarization, and protects against liver IRI, at least in part by favoring an M2 phenotype.

Authors

Min Zhang, Kojiro Nakamura, Shoichi Kageyama, Akeem O. Lawal, Ke Wei Gong, May Bhetraratana, Takehiro Fujii, Dawoud Sulaiman, Hirofumi Hirao, Subhashini Bolisetty, Jerzy W. Kupiec-Weglinski, Jesus A. Araujo

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Abstract

Physiological and premature aging are frequently associated with an accumulation of prelamin A, a precursor of lamin A, in the nuclear envelope of various cell types. Here, we aimed to underpin the hitherto unknown mechanisms by which prelamin A alters myonuclear organization and muscle fiber function. By experimentally studying membrane-permeabilized myofibers from various transgenic mouse lines, our results indicate that, in the presence of prelamin A, the abundance of nuclei and myosin content is markedly reduced within muscle fibers. This leads to a concept by which the remaining myonuclei are very distant from each other and are pushed to function beyond their maximum cytoplasmic capacity, ultimately inducing muscle fiber weakness.

Authors

Yotam Levy, Jacob A. Ross, Marili Niglas, Vladimir A. Snetkov, Steven Lynham, Chen-Yu Liao, Megan J. Puckelwartz, Yueh-Mei Hsu, Elizabeth M. McNally, Manfred Alsheimer, Stephen D.R. Harridge, Stephen G. Young, Loren G. Fong, Yaiza Español, Carlos Lopez-Otin, Brian K. Kennedy, Dawn A. Lowe, Julien Ochala

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Abstract

We hypothesized that the gut microbiota influences survival of murine cardiac allografts through modulation of immunity. Antibiotic pretreated mice received vascularized cardiac allografts and fecal microbiota transfer (FMT), along with tacrolimus immunosuppression. FMT source samples were from normal, pregnant (immune suppressed), or spontaneously colitic (inflammation) mice. Bifidobacterium pseudolongum (B. pseudolongum) in pregnant FMT recipients was associated with prolonged allograft survival and lower inflammation and fibrosis, while normal or colitic FMT resulted in inferior survival and worse histology. Transfer of B. pseudolongum alone resulted in reduced inflammation and fibrosis. Stimulation of DC and macrophage lines with B. pseudolongum induced the antiinflammatory cytokine IL-10 and homeostatic chemokine CCL19 but induced lesser amounts of the proinflammatory cytokines TNFα and IL-6. In contrast, LPS and Desulfovibrio desulfuricans (D. desulfuricans), more abundant in colitic FMT, induced a more inflammatory cytokine response. Analysis of mesenteric and peripheral lymph node structure showed that B. pseudolongum gavage resulted in a higher laminin α4/α5 ratio in the lymph node cortical ridge, indicative of a suppressive environment, while D. desulfuricans resulted in a lower laminin α4/α5 ratio, supportive of inflammation. Discrete gut bacterial species alter immunity and may predict graft outcomes through stimulation of myeloid cells and shifts in lymph node structure and permissiveness.

Authors

Jonathan S. Bromberg, Lauren Hittle, Yanbao Xiong, Vikas Saxena, Eoghan M. Smyth, Lushen Li, Tianshu Zhang, Chelsea Wagner, W. Florian Fricke, Thomas Simon, Colin C. Brinkman, Emmanuel F. Mongodin

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Abstract

Sudden death is the most common mode of exodus in patients with heart failure and preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). Cardiosphere-derived cells (CDCs) reduce inflammation and fibrosis in a rat model of HFpEF, improving diastolic function and prolonging survival. We tested the hypothesis that CDCs decrease ventricular arrhythmias (VAs) and thereby possibly contribute to prolonged survival. Dahl salt-sensitive rats were fed a high-salt diet to induce HFpEF. Allogeneic rat CDCs (or phosphate-buffered saline as placebo) were injected in rats with echo-verified HFpEF. CDC-injected HFpEF rats were less prone to VA induction by programmed electrical stimulation. Action potential duration (APD) was shortened, and APD homogeneity was increased by CDC injection. Transient outward potassium current density was upregulated in cardiomyocytes from CDC rats relative to placebo, as were the underlying transcript (Kcnd3) and protein (Kv4.3) levels. Fibrosis was attenuated in CDC-treated hearts, and survival was increased. Sudden death risk also trended down, albeit nonsignificantly. CDC therapy decreased VA in HFpEF rats by shortening APD, improving APD homogeneity, and decreasing fibrosis. Unlike other stem/progenitor cells, which often exacerbate arrhythmias, CDCs reverse electrical remodeling and suppress arrhythmogenesis in HFpEF.

Authors

Jae Hyung Cho, Peter J. Kilfoil, Rui Zhang, Ryan E. Solymani, Catherine Bresee, Elliot M. Kang, Kristin Luther, Russell G. Rogers, Geoffrey de Couto, Joshua I. Goldhaber, Eduardo Marbán, Eugenio Cingolani

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Abstract

The identification of targetable vulnerabilities in the context of therapeutic resistance is a key challenge in cancer treatment. We detected pervasive aberrant splicing as a characteristic feature of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), irrespective of splicing factor mutation status, which was associated with sensitivity to the spliceosome modulator, E7107. Splicing modulation affected CLL survival pathways, including members of the B cell lymphoma-2 (BCL2) family of proteins, remodeling antiapoptotic dependencies of human and murine CLL cells. E7107 treatment decreased myeloid cell leukemia-1 (MCL1) dependence and increased BCL2 dependence, sensitizing primary human CLL cells and venetoclax-resistant CLL-like cells from an Eμ-TCL1–based adoptive transfer murine model to treatment with the BCL2 inhibitor venetoclax. Our data provide preclinical rationale to support the combination of venetoclax with splicing modulators to reprogram apoptotic dependencies in CLL for treating venetoclax-resistant CLL cases.

Authors

Elisa ten Hacken, Rebecca Valentin, Fara Faye D. Regis, Jing Sun, Shanye Yin, Lillian Werner, Jing Deng, Michaela Gruber, Jessica Wong, Mei Zheng, Amy L. Gill, Michael Seiler, Peter Smith, Michael Thomas, Silvia Buonamici, Emanuela M. Ghia, Ekaterina Kim, Laura Z. Rassenti, Jan A. Burger, Thomas J. Kipps, Matthew L. Meyerson, Pavan Bachireddy, Lili Wang, Robin Reed, Donna Neuberg, Ruben D. Carrasco, Angela N. Brooks, Anthony Letai, Matthew S. Davids, Catherine J. Wu

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Abstract

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients suffer from chronic abdominal pain and extraintestinal comorbidities, including overactive bladder (OAB) and interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome (IC-PBS). Mechanistic understanding of the cause and time course of these comorbid symptoms is lacking, as are clinical treatments. Here, we report that colitis triggers hypersensitivity of colonic afferents, neuroplasticity of spinal cord circuits, and chronic abdominal pain, which persists after inflammation. Subsequently, and in the absence of bladder pathology, colonic hypersensitivity induces persistent hypersensitivity of bladder afferent pathways, resulting in bladder-voiding dysfunction, indicative of OAB/IC-PBS. Daily administration of linaclotide, a guanylate cyclase-C (GC-C) agonist that is restricted to and acts within the gastrointestinal tract, reverses colonic afferent hypersensitivity, reverses neuroplasticity-induced alterations in spinal circuitry, and alleviates chronic abdominal pain in mice. Intriguingly, daily linaclotide administration also reverses persistent bladder afferent hypersensitivity to mechanical and chemical stimuli and restores normal bladder voiding. Linaclotide itself does not inhibit bladder afferents, rather normalization of bladder function by daily linaclotide treatment occurs via indirect inhibition of bladder afferents via reduced nociceptive signaling from the colon. These data support the concepts that cross-organ sensitization underlies the development and maintenance of visceral comorbidities, while pharmaceutical treatments that inhibit colonic afferents may also improve urological symptoms through common sensory pathways.

Authors

Luke Grundy, Andrea M. Harrington, Joel Castro, Sonia Garcia-Caraballo, Annemie Deiteren, Jessica Maddern, Grigori Y. Rychkov, Pei Ge, Stefanie Peters, Robert Feil, Paul Miller, Andre Ghetti, Gerhard Hannig, Caroline B. Kurtz, Inmaculada Silos-Santiago, Stuart M. Brierley

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Abstract

Innate immune responses that control early Mtb infection are poorly understood, but understanding these responses may inform vaccination and immunotherapy strategies. Innate T cells that respond to conserved bacterial ligands such as mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) and γδ T cells are prime candidates to mediate these early innate responses but have not been examined in subjects who have been recently exposed to Mtb. We recruited a cohort living in the same household with an active tuberculosis (TB) case and examined the abundance and functional phenotypes of 3 innate T cell populations reactive to M. tuberculosis: γδ T, invariant NK T (iNKT), and MAIT cells. Both MAIT and γδ T cells from subjects with Mtb exposure display ex vivo phenotypes consistent with recent activation. However, both MAIT and γδ T cell subsets have distinct response profiles, with CD4+ MAIT and γδ T cells accumulating after infection. Examination of exposed but uninfected contacts demonstrates that resistance to initial infection is accompanied by robust MAIT cell CD25 expression and granzyme B production coupled with a depressed CD69 and IFNγ response. Finally, we demonstrate that MAIT cell abundance and function correlate with the abundance of specific gut microbes, suggesting that responses to initial infection may be modulated by the intestinal microbiome.

Authors

Charles Kyriakos Vorkas, Matthew F. Wipperman, Kelin Li, James Bean, Shakti K. Bhattarai, Matthew Adamow, Phillip Wong, Jeffrey Aubé, Marc Antoine Jean Juste, Vanni Bucci, Daniel W. Fitzgerald, Michael S. Glickman

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Abstract

Alopecia areata (AA) is an autoimmune disease in which cytotoxic T cells specifically target growing hair follicles. We used high-throughput TCR sequencing in the C3H/HeJ mouse model of AA and in human AA patients to gain insight into pathogenic T cell populations and their dynamics, which revealed clonal CD8+ T cell expansions in lesional skin. In the C3H/HeJ model, we observed interindividual sharing of TCRβ chain protein sequences, which strongly supports a model of antigenic drive in AA. The overlap between the lesional TCR repertoire and a population of CD8+NKG2D+ T cells in skin-draining lymph nodes identified this subset as pathogenic effectors. In AA patients, treatment with the oral JAK inhibitor tofacitinib resulted in a decrease in clonally expanded CD8+ T cells in the scalp but also revealed that many expanded lesional T cell clones do not completely disappear from either skin or blood during treatment with tofacitinib, which may explain in part the relapse of disease after stopping treatment.

Authors

Annemieke de Jong, Ali Jabbari, Zhenpeng Dai, Luzhou Xing, Dustin Lee, Mei Mei Li, Madeleine Duvic, Maria Hordinsky, David A. Norris, Vera Price, Julian Mackay-Wiggan, Raphael Clynes, Angela M. Christiano

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Abstract

Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a major complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT). The tyrosine kinase SYK contributes to both acute and chronic GVHD development, making it an attractive target for GVHD prevention. Entospletinib (ENTO) is a second-generation highly selective SYK inhibitor with a high safety profile. Potential utility of ENTO as GVHD prophylaxis in patients was examined using a preclinical mouse model of eye and skin GVHD and ENTO-compounded chow. We found that early SYK inhibition improved blood immune cell reconstitution in GVHD mice and prolonged survival, with 60% of mice surviving to day +120 compared with 10% of mice treated with placebo. Compared with mice receiving placebo, mice receiving ENTO had dramatic improvements in clinical eye scores, alopecia scores, and skin scores. Infiltrating SYK+ cells expressing B220 or F4/80, resembling SYK+ cells found in lichenoid skin lesions of chronic GVHD patients, were abundant in the skin of placebo mice but were rare in ENTO-treated mice. Thus, ENTO given early after HCT safely prevented GVHD.

Authors

Jonathan C. Poe, Wei Jia, Julie A. Di Paolo, Nancy J. Reyes, Ji Yun Kim, Hsuan Su, John S. Sundy, Adela R. Cardones, Victor L. Perez, Benny J. Chen, Nelson J. Chao, Diana M. Cardona, Daniel R. Saban, Stefanie Sarantopoulos

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Abstract

Adoptive cell transfer (ACT) of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) targeting neoantigens can mediate tumor regression in selected patients with metastatic epithelial cancer. However, effectively identifying and harnessing neoantigen-reactive T cells for patient treatment remains a challenge and it is unknown whether current methods to detect neoantigen-reactive T cells are missing potentially clinically relevant neoantigen reactivities. We thus investigated whether the detection of neoantigen-reactive TILs could be enhanced by enriching T cells that express PD-1 and/or T cell activation markers followed by microwell culturing to avoid overgrowth of nonreactive T cells. In 6 patients with metastatic epithelial cancer, this method led to the detection of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells targeting 18 and 1 neoantigens, respectively, compared with 6 and 2 neoantigens recognized by CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, respectively, when using our standard TIL fragment screening approach. In 2 patients, no recognition of mutated peptides was observed using our conventional screen, while our high-throughput approach led to the identification of 5 neoantigen-reactive T cell receptors (TCRs) against 5 different mutations from one patient and a highly potent MHC class II–restricted KRASG12V-reactive TCR from a second patient. In addition, in a metastatic tumor sample from a patient with serous ovarian cancer, we isolated 3 MHC class II–restricted TCRs targeting the TP53G245S hot-spot mutation. In conclusion, this approach provides a highly sensitive platform to isolate clinically relevant neoantigen-reactive T cells or their TCRs for cancer treatment.

Authors

Rami Yossef, Eric Tran, Drew C. Deniger, Alena Gros, Anna Pasetto, Maria R. Parkhurst, Jared J. Gartner, Todd D. Prickett, Gal Cafri, Paul F. Robbins, Steven A. Rosenberg

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Abstract

The presence of a reservoir of latently infected cells in HIV-infected patients is a major barrier towards finding a cure. One active cure strategy is to find latency-reversing agents that induce viral reactivation, thus leading to immune cell recognition and elimination of latently infected cells, known as the shock-and-kill strategy. Therefore, the identification of molecules that reactivate latent HIV and increase immune activation has the potential to further these strategies into the clinic. Here, we characterized synthetic molecules composed of a TLR2 and a TLR7 agonist (dual TLR2/7 agonists) as latency-reversing agents and compared their activity with that of the TLR2 agonist Pam2CSK4 and the TLR7 agonist GS-9620. We found that these dual TLR2/7 agonists reactivate latency by 2 complementary mechanisms. The TLR2 component reactivates HIV by inducing NF-κB activation in memory CD4+ T cells, while the TLR7 component induces the secretion of TNF-α by monocytes and plasmacytoid dendritic cells, promoting viral reactivation in CD4+ T cells. Furthermore, the TLR2 component induces the secretion of IL-22, which promotes an antiviral state and blocks HIV infection in CD4+ T cells. Our study provides insight into the use of these agonists as a multipronged approach targeting eradication of latent HIV.

Authors

Amanda B. Macedo, Camille L. Novis, Caroline M. De Assis, Eric S. Sorensen, Paula Moszczynski, Szu-han Huang, Yanqin Ren, Adam M. Spivak, R. Brad Jones, Vicente Planelles, Alberto Bosque

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Abstract

BACKGROUND. Crohn’s disease (CD) is highly heterogeneous, due in large part to variability in cellular processes that underlie the natural history of CD, thereby confounding effective therapy. There is a critical need to advance understanding of the cellular mechanisms that drive CD heterogeneity. METHODS. We performed small RNA sequencing of adult colon tissue from CD and NIBD controls. Colonic epithelial cells and immune cells were isolated from colonic tissues, and microRNA-31 (miR-31) expression was measured. miR-31 expression was measured in colonoid cultures generated from controls and patients with CD. We performed small RNA-sequencing of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded colon and ileum biopsies from treatment-naive pediatric patients with CD and controls and collected data on disease features and outcomes. RESULTS. Small RNA-sequencing and microRNA profiling in the colon revealed 2 distinct molecular subtypes, each with different clinical associations. Notably, we found that miR-31 expression was a driver of these 2 subtypes and, further, that miR-31 expression was particularly pronounced in epithelial cells. Colonoids revealed that miR-31 expression differences are preserved in this ex vivo system. In adult patients, low colonic miR-31 expression levels at the time of surgery were associated with worse disease outcome as measured by need for an end ileostomy and recurrence of disease in the neoterminal ileum. In pediatric patients, lower miR-31 expression at the time of diagnosis was associated with future development of fibrostenotic ileal CD requiring surgery CONCLUSIONS. These findings represent an important step forward in designing more effective clinical trials and developing personalized CD therapies. FUNDING. This work was supported by CCF Career Development Award (SZS), R01-ES024983 from NIEHS (SZS and TSF), 1R01DK104828-01A1 from NIDDK (SZS and TSF), P01-DK094779-01A1 from NIDDK (SZS), P30-DK034987 from NIDDK (SZS), 1-16-ACE-47 ADA Pathway Award (PS), UNC Nutrition Obesity Research Center Pilot & Feasibility Grant P30DK056350 (PS), CCF PRO-KIIDS NETWORK (SZS and PS), UNC CGIBD T32 Training Grant from NIDDK (JBB), T32 Training Grant (5T32GM007092-42) from NIGMS (MH), and SHARE from the Helmsley Trust (SZS). The UNC Translational Pathology Laboratory is supported, in part, by grants from the National Cancer Institute (3P30CA016086) and the UNC University Cancer Research Fund (UCRF) (PS).

Authors

Benjamin P. Keith, Jasmine B. Barrow, Takahiko Toyonaga, Nevzat Kazgan, Michelle Hoffner O’Connor, Neil D. Shah, Matthew S. Schaner, Elisabeth A. Wolber, Omar K. Trad, Greg R. Gipson, Wendy A. Pitman, Matthew Kanke, Shruti J. Saxena, Nicole Chaumont, Timothy S. Sadiq, Mark J. Koruda, Paul A. Cotney, Nancy Allbritton, Dimitri G. Trembath, Francisco Sylvester, Terrence S. Furey, Praveen Sethupathy, Shehzad Z. Sheikh

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Abstract

Pituitary corticotroph somatostatin receptor subtype 5 (SSTR5) signals to inhibit adrenocorticotrophin (ACTH) secretion. As ACTH deficiency results in attenuated adrenal cortisol production and an impaired stress response, we sought to clarify the role of SSTR5 in modifying the hypothalamic/pituitary/adrenal (HPA) axis. We generated Tg HP5 mice overexpressing SSTR5 in pituitary corticotrophs that produce the ACTH precursor proopiomelanocortin (POMC). Basal ACTH and corticosterone were similar in HP5 and WT mice, while HP5 mice showed attenuated ACTH and corticosterone responses to corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH). HP5 mice exhibited attenuated corticosterone responses upon a restraint stress test and inflammatory stress following LPS injection, as well as increased anxiety-like and depressive-like behavior on open field and forced swim tests. Pituitary corticotroph CRH receptor subtype 1 (CRHR1) mRNA expression and ACTH responses to CRH were also attenuated in HP5 mice. In AtT20 cells stably overexpressing SSTR5, CRHR1 expression and cAMP response to CRH were reduced, whereas both were increased after SSTR5 KO. In elucidating mechanisms for these observations, we show that SSTR5-induced miR-449c suppresses both CRHR1 expression and function. We conclude that corticotroph SSTR5 attenuates HPA axis responses via CRHR1 downregulation, suggesting a role for SSTR5 in the pathogenesis of secondary adrenal insufficiency.

Authors

Masaaki Yamamoto, Anat Ben-Shlomo, Hiraku Kameda, Hidenori Fukuoka, Nan Deng, Yan Ding, Shlomo Melmed

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Abstract

Neuroinflammation is a recognized pathogenic mechanism underlying motor neuron degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but the inflammatory mechanisms influencing peripheral motor axon degeneration remain largely unknown. A recent report showed a pathogenic role for c-Kit–expressing mast cells mediating inflammation and neuromuscular junction denervation in muscles from SOD1G93A rats. Here, we have explored whether mast cells infiltrate skeletal muscles in autopsied muscles from ALS patients. We report that degranulating mast cells were abundant in the quadriceps muscles from ALS subjects but not in controls. Mast cells were associated with myofibers and motor endplates and, remarkably, interacted with neutrophils forming large extracellular traps. Mast cells and neutrophils were also abundant around motor axons in the extensor digitorum longus muscle, sciatic nerve, and ventral roots of symptomatic SOD1G93A rats, indicating that immune cell infiltration extends along the entire peripheral motor pathway. Postparalysis treatment of SOD1G93A rats with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor drug masitinib prevented mast cell and neutrophil infiltration, axonal pathology, secondary demyelination, and the loss of type 2B myofibers, compared with vehicle-treated rats. These findings provide further evidence for a yet unrecognized contribution of immune cells in peripheral motor pathway degeneration that can be therapeutically targeted by tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

Authors

Emiliano Trias, Peter H. King, Ying Si, Yuri Kwon, Valentina Varela, Sofía Ibarburu, Mariángeles Kovacs, Ivan C. Moura, Joseph S. Beckman, Olivier Hermine, Luis Barbeito

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Abstract

Otits media (OM) is the most frequent indication for antimicrobial prescription to US children. Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae) remains one of the most common pathogens causing OM. Successful eradication of S. pneumoniae in the middle ear can be achieved by adhering to a 7–10 day regimen of oral antibiotics. However, oral drug administration is challenging for parents. Lack of adherence has been associated with treatment failure or early relapse. To overcome this challenge, we used a noninvasive formulation to achieve high transtympanic antibiotic flux and cured S. pneumoniae OM in chinchillas. The formulation consists of a thermosensitive in situ gelling hydrogel, chemical permeation enhancers, and an antibiotic. The direct transport of drugs into the middle ear produced high concentrations of ciprofloxacin (in the range of hundreds of micrograms per milliliter) within the first 24 hours of administration. Drug concentrations above the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) for S. pneumoniae were sustained throughout the 7-day treatment. S. pneumoniae OM in a chinchilla model was successfully eradicated, without causing tissue toxicity. Transtympanic delivery minimized systemic drug exposure, as evidenced by undetectable levels in blood, measured by high-performance liquid chromatography.

Authors

Rong Yang, Vishakha Sabharwal, Nadya Shlykova, Obiajulu S. Okonkwo, Stephen I. Pelton, Daniel S. Kohane

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Abstract

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease caused by mutations in the CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. The major cause of limited life span in CF patients is progressive lung disease. CF models have been generated in 4 species (mice, rats, ferrets, and pigs) to enhance our understanding of the CF pathogenesis. Sheep may be a particularly relevant animal to model CF in humans due to the similarities in lung anatomy and development in the two species. Here, we describe the generation of a sheep model for CF using CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) techniques. We generated cells with CFTR gene disruption and used them for production of CFTR–/– and CFTR+/– lambs. The newborn CFTR–/– sheep developed severe disease consistent with CF pathology in humans. Of particular relevance were pancreatic fibrosis, intestinal obstruction, and absence of the vas deferens. Also, substantial liver and gallbladder disease may reflect CF liver disease that is evident in humans. The phenotype of CFTR–/– sheep suggests this large animal model will be a useful resource to advance the development of new CF therapeutics. Moreover, the generation of specific human CF disease–associated mutations in sheep may advance personalized medicine for this common genetic disorder.

Authors

Zhiqiang Fan, Iuri Viotti Perisse, Calvin U. Cotton, Misha Regouski, Qinggang Meng, Chaim Domb, Arnaud J. Van Wettere, Zhongde Wang, Ann Harris, Kenneth L. White, Irina A. Polejaeva

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Abstract

BACKGROUND. The PD-1–blocking antibody nivolumab persists in patients several weeks after the last infusion. However, no study has systematically evaluated the maximum duration that the antibody persists on T cells or the association between this duration and residual therapeutic efficacy or potential adverse events. METHODS. To define the duration of binding and residual efficacy of nivolumab after discontinuation, we developed a simplified strategy for T cell monitoring and used it to analyze T cells from peripheral blood from 11 non–small cell lung cancer patients previously treated with nivolumab. To determine the suitability of our method for other applications, we compared transcriptome profiles between nivolumab-bound and nivolumab-unbound CD8 T cells. We also applied T cell monitoring in 2 nivolumab-treated patients who developed progressive lung tumors during long-term follow-up. RESULTS. Prolonged nivolumab binding was detected more than 20 weeks after the last infusion, regardless of the total number of nivolumab infusions (2–15 doses) or type of subsequent treatment, in 9 of the 11 cases in which long-term monitoring was possible. Ki-67 positivity, a proliferation marker, in T cells decreased in patients with progressive disease. Transcriptome profiling identified the signals regulating activation of nivolumab-bound T cells, which may contribute to nivolumab resistance. In 2 patients who restarted nivolumab, T cell proliferation markers exhibited the opposite trend and correlated with clinical response. CONCLUSIONS. Although only a few samples were analyzed, our strategy of monitoring both nivolumab binding and Ki-67 in T cells might help determine residual efficacy under various types of concurrent or subsequent treatment. TRIAL REGISTRATION. University Hospital Medical Information Network Clinical Trials Registry, UMIN000024623. FUNDING. This work was supported by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science KAKENHI (JP17K16045, JP18H05282, and JP15K09220), Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (JP17cm0106310, JP18cm0106335 and JP18cm059042), and Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (JPMJCR16G2).

Authors

Akio Osa, Takeshi Uenami, Shohei Koyama, Kosuke Fujimoto, Daisuke Okuzaki, Takayuki Takimoto, Haruhiko Hirata, Yukihiro Yano, Soichiro Yokota, Yuhei Kinehara, Yujiro Naito, Tomoyuki Otsuka, Masaki Kanazu, Muneyoshi Kuroyama, Masanari Hamaguchi, Taro Koba, Yu Futami, Mikako Ishijima, Yasuhiko Suga, Yuki Akazawa, Hirotomo Machiyama, Kota Iwahori, Hyota Takamatsu, Izumi Nagatomo, Yoshito Takeda, Hiroshi Kida, Esra A. Akbay, Peter S. Hammerman, Kwok-kin Wong, Glenn Dranoff, Masahide Mori, Takashi Kijima, Atsushi Kumanogoh

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Abstract

The acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) causes an estimated 70,000 US deaths annually. Multiple pharmacologic interventions for ARDS have been tested and failed. An unmet need is a suitable laboratory human model to predictively assess emerging therapeutics on organ function in ARDS. We previously demonstrated that the small molecule BC1215 blocks actions of a proinflammatory E3 ligase–associated protein, FBXO3, to suppress NF-κB signaling in animal models of lung injury. Ex vivo lung perfusion (EVLP) is a clinical technique that maintains lung function for possible transplant after organ donation. We used human lungs unacceptable for transplant to model endotoxemic injury with EVLP for 6 hours. LPS infusion induced inflammatory injury with impaired oxygenation of pulmonary venous circulation. BC1215 treatment after LPS rescued oxygenation and decreased inflammatory cytokines in bronchoalveolar lavage. RNA sequencing transcriptomics from biopsies taken during EVLP revealed robust inflammatory gene induction by LPS with a strong signal for NF-κB–associated transcripts. BC1215 treatment reduced the LPS induction of genes associated with inflammatory and host defense gene responses by Gene Ontology (GOterm) and pathways analysis. BC1215 also significantly antagonized LPS-mediated NF-κB activity. EVLP may provide a unique human platform for preclinical study of chemical entities such as FBXO3 inhibitors on tissue physiology.

Authors

Nathaniel M. Weathington, Diana Álvarez, John Sembrat, Josiah Radder, Nayra Cárdenes, Kentaro Noda, Qiaoke Gong, Hesper Wong, Jay Kolls, Jonathan D’Cunha, Rama K. Mallampalli, Bill B. Chen, Mauricio Rojas

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Abstract

Maternal obesity and a high-fat diet (HFD) during the perinatal period have documented short- and long-term adverse outcomes for offspring. However, the mechanisms of maternal HFD effects on neonatal offspring are unclear. While the effects of maternal HFD exposure during pregnancy on the offspring are increasingly being appreciated, we do not know if maternal HFD alters the microbiota or affects neonatal susceptibility to inflammatory conditions, nor the mechanisms involved. In this study, we show that the offspring of mothers exposed to HFD develop a unique microbiota, marked by expansion of Firmicutes, and an increase in IL-17–producing type 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3s). The expansion of ILC3s was recapitulated through neocolonization with HFD microbiota alone. Further, the HFD offspring were susceptible to a neonatal model of inflammation that was reversible with IL-17 blockade. Collectively, these data suggest a previously unknown and unique role for ILC3s in the promotion of an early inflammatory susceptibility in the offspring of mothers exposed to HFD.

Authors

Sarah Thomas Babu, Xinying Niu, Megan Raetz, Rashmin C. Savani, Lora V. Hooper, Julie Mirpuri

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Abstract

BACKGROUND. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) results from loss of immune regulation, leading to the development of autoimmunity to pancreatic β cells, involving autoreactive T effector cells (Teffs). Tregs, which prevent autoimmunity, require IL-2 for maintenance of immunosuppressive functions. Using a response-adaptive design, we aimed to determine the optimal regimen of aldesleukin (recombinant human IL-2) to physiologically enhance Tregs while limiting expansion of Teffs. METHODS. DILfrequency is a nonrandomized, open-label, response-adaptive study of participants, aged 18–70 years, with T1D. The initial learning phase allocated 12 participants to 6 different predefined regimens. Then, 3 cohorts of 8 participants were sequentially allocated dose frequencies, based on repeated interim analyses of all accumulated trial data. The coprimary endpoints were percentage change in Tregs and Teffs and CD25 (α subunit of the IL-2 receptor) expression by Tregs, from baseline to steady state. RESULTS. Thirty-eight participants were enrolled, with thirty-six completing treatment. The optimal regimen to maintain a steady-state increase in Tregs of 30% and CD25 expression of 25% without Teff expansion is 0.26 × 106 IU/m2 (95% CI –0.007 to 0.485) every 3 days. Tregs and CD25 were dose-frequency responsive, Teffs were not. The commonest adverse event was injection site reaction (464 of 694 events). CONCLUSIONS. Using a response-adaptive design, aldesleukin treatment can be optimized. Our methodology can generally be employed to immediately access proof of mechanism, thereby leading to more efficient and safe drug development. TRIAL REGISTRATION. International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number Register, ISRCTN40319192; ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02265809. FUNDING. Sir Jules Thorn Trust, the Swiss National Science Foundation, Wellcome, JDRF, and NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre.

Authors

Eleonora Seelig, James Howlett, Linsey Porter, Lucy Truman, James Heywood, Jane Kennet, Emma L. Arbon, Katerina Anselmiova, Neil M. Walker, Ravinder Atkar, Marcin L. Pekalski, Ed Rytina, Mark Evans, Linda S. Wicker, John A. Todd, Adrian P. Mander, Simon Bond, Frank Waldron-Lynch

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Abstract

Copeptin, a marker of arginine vasopressin (AVP) secretion, is elevated throughout human pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia (PE), and AVP infusion throughout gestation is sufficient to induce the major phenotypes of PE in mice. Thus, we hypothesized a role for AVP in the pathogenesis of PE. AVP infusion into pregnant C57BL/6J mice resulted in hypertension, renal glomerular endotheliosis, intrauterine growth restriction, decreased placental growth factor (PGF), altered placental morphology, placental oxidative stress, and placental gene expression consistent with human PE. Interestingly, these changes occurred despite a lack of placental hypoxia or elevations in placental fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (FLT1). Coinfusion of AVP receptor antagonists and time-restricted infusion of AVP uncovered a mid-gestational role for the AVPR1A receptor in the observed renal pathologies, versus mid- and late-gestational roles for the AVPR2 receptor in the blood pressure and fetal phenotypes. These findings demonstrate that AVP is sufficient to initiate phenotypes of PE in the absence of placental hypoxia, and indicate that AVP may mechanistically (independently, and possibly synergistically with hypoxia) contribute to the development of clinical signs of PE in specific subtypes of human PE. Additionally, they identify divergent and gestational time-specific signaling mechanisms that mediate the development of PE phenotypes in response to AVP.

Authors

Jeremy A. Sandgren, Guorui Deng, Danny W. Linggonegoro, Sabrina M. Scroggins, Katherine J. Perschbacher, Anand R. Nair, Taryn E. Nishimura, Shao Yang Zhang, Larry N. Agbor, Jing Wu, Henry L. Keen, Meghan C. Naber, Nicole A. Pearson, Kathy A. Zimmerman, Robert M. Weiss, Noelle C. Bowdler, Yuriy M. Usachev, Donna A. Santillan, Matthew J. Potthoff, Gary L. Pierce, Katherine N. Gibson-Corley, Curt D. Sigmund, Mark K. Santillan, Justin L. Grobe

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Abstract

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is characterized by abnormal retinal neovascularization in response to vessel loss. Platelets regulate angiogenesis and may influence ROP progression. In preterm infants, we assessed ROP and correlated with longitudinal postnatal platelet counts (n = 202). Any episode of thrombocytopenia (<100 × 109/l) at ≥30 weeks postmenstrual age (at onset of ROP) was independently associated with severe ROP, requiring treatment. Infants with severe ROP also had a lower weekly median platelet count compared with infants with less severe ROP. In a mouse oxygen-induced retinopathy model of ROP, platelet counts were lower at P17 (peak neovascularization) versus controls. Platelet transfusions at P15 and P16 suppressed neovascularization, and platelet depletion increased neovascularization. Platelet transfusion decreased retinal of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) mRNA and protein expression; platelet depletion increased retinal VEGFA mRNA and protein expression. Resting platelets with intact granules reduced neovascularization, while thrombin-activated degranulated platelets did not. These data suggest that platelet releasate has a local antiangiogenic effect on endothelial cells to exert a downstream suppression of VEGFA in neural retina. Low platelet counts during the neovascularization phase in ROP is significantly associated with the development of severe ROP in preterm infants. In a murine model of retinopathy, platelet transfusion during the period of neovascularization suppressed retinopathy.

Authors

Bertan Cakir, Raffael Liegl, Gunnel Hellgren, Pia Lundgren, Ye Sun, Susanna Klevebro, Chatarina Löfqvist, Clara Mannheimer, Steve Cho, Alexander Poblete, Rubi Duran, Boubou Hallberg, Jorge Canas, Viola Lorenz, Zhi-Jian Liu, Martha C. Sola-Visner, Lois E.H. Smith, Ann Hellström

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