Latest issue: December 6, 2018

In the issue

Abstract

OXTR modulates a variety of behaviors in mammals, including social memory and recognition. Genetic and epigenetic dysregulation of OXTR has been suggested to be implicated in neuropsychiatric disorders, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While the involvement of DNA methylation is suggested, the mechanism underlying epigenetic regulation of OXTR is largely unknown. This has hampered the experimental design and interpretation of the results of epigenetic studies of OXTR in neuropsychiatric disorders. From the generation and characterization of a new line of Tet1 mutant mice — by deleting the largest coding exon 4 (Tet1Δe4) — we discovered for the first time to our knowledge that Oxtr has an array of mRNA isoforms and a complex transcriptional regulation. Select isoforms of Oxtr are significantly reduced in the brain of Tet1Δe4–/– mice. Accordingly, CpG islands of Oxtr are hypermethylated during early development and persist into adulthood. Consistent with the reduced express of OXTR, Tet1Δe4–/– mice display impaired maternal care, social behavior, and synaptic responses to oxytocin stimulation. Our findings elucidate a mechanism mediated by TET1 protein in regulating Oxtr expression by preventing DNA hypermethylation of Oxtr. The discovery of epigenetic dysregulation of Oxtr in TET1-deficient mouse brain supports the necessity of a reassessment of existing findings and a value of future studies of OXTR in neuropsychiatric disorders.

Authors

Aaron J. Towers, Martine W. Tremblay, Leeyup Chung, Xin-lei Li, Alexandra L. Bey, Wenhao Zhang, Xinyu Cao, Xiaoming Wang, Ping Wang, Lara J. Duffney, Stephen K. Siecinski, Sonia Xu, Yuna Kim, Xiangyin Kong, Simon Gregory, Wei Xie, Yong-hui Jiang

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Abstract

In diabetic retinopathy (DR), pericyte dropout from capillary walls is believed to cause the breakdown of the blood-retina barrier (BRB), which subsequently leads to vision-threatening retinal edema. While various proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines are upregulated in eyes with DR, their distinct contributions to disease progression remain elusive. Here, we evaluated roles of stromal cell–derived factor-1α (SDF-1α) and its receptor CXCR4 in the BRB breakdown initiated by pericyte deficiency. After inhibition of pericyte recruitment to developing retinal vessels in neonatal mice, endothelial cells (ECs) upregulated the expression of SDF-1α. Administration of CXCR4 antagonists, or EC-specific disruption of the CXCR4 gene, similarly restored the BRB integrity, even in the absence of pericyte coverage. Furthermore, CXCR4 inhibition significantly decreased both the expression levels of proinflammatory genes (P < 0.05) and the infiltration of macrophages (P < 0.05) into pericyte-deficient retinas. Taken together, EC-derived SDF-1α induced by pericyte deficiency exacerbated inflammation through CXCR4 in an autocrine or paracrine manner and thereby induced macrophage infiltration and BRB breakdown. These findings suggest that the SDF-1α/CXCR4 signaling pathway may be a potential therapeutic target in DR.

Authors

Keisuke Omori, Nanae Nagata, Kaori Kurata, Yoko Fukushima, Erika Sekihachi, Nobutaka Fujii, Tomoko Namba-Hamano, Yoshitsugu Takabatake, Marcus Fruttiger, Takashi Nagasawa, Akiyoshi Uemura, Takahisa Murata

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Abstract

Immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) provides clinical benefit to a minority of patients with urothelial carcinoma (UC). The role of CD4+ T cells in ICB-induced antitumor activity is not well defined; however, CD4+ T cells are speculated to play a supportive role in the development of CD8+ T cells that kill tumor cells after recognition of tumor antigens presented by MHC class I. To investigate the mechanisms of ICB-induced activity against UC, we developed mouse organoid-based transplantable models that have histologic and genetic similarity to human bladder cancer. We found that ICB can induce tumor rejection and protective immunity with these systems in a manner dependent on CD4+ T cells but not reliant on CD8+ T cells. Evaluation of tumor infiltrates and draining lymph nodes after ICB revealed expansion of IFN-γ–producing CD4+ T cells. Tumor cells in this system express MHC class I, MHC class II, and the IFN-γ receptor (Ifngr1), but none were necessary for ICB-induced tumor rejection. IFN-γ neutralization blocked ICB activity, and, in mice depleted of CD4+ T cells, IFN-γ ectopically expressed in the tumor microenvironment was sufficient to inhibit growth of tumors in which the epithelial compartment lacked Ifngr1. Our findings suggest unappreciated CD4+ T cell–dependent mechanisms of ICB activity, principally mediated through IFN-γ effects on the microenvironment.

Authors

Yuji Sato, Jennifer K. Bolzenius, Abdallah M. Eteleeb, Xinming Su, Christopher A. Maher, Jennifer K. Sehn, Vivek K. Arora

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Abstract

Biallelic loss-of-function mutations in TRIP11, encoding the golgin GMAP-210, cause the lethal human chondrodysplasia achondrogenesis 1A (ACG1A). We now find that a homozygous splice-site mutation of the lamin B receptor (LBR) gene results in the same phenotype. Intrigued by the genetic heterogeneity, we compared GMAP-210– and LBR-deficient primary cells to unravel how particular mutations in LBR cause a phenocopy of ACG1A. We could exclude a regulatory interaction between LBR and GMAP-210 in patients’ cells. However, we discovered a common disruption of Golgi apparatus architecture that was accompanied by decreased secretory trafficking in both cases. Deficiency of Golgi-dependent glycan processing indicated a similar downstream effect of the disease-causing mutations upon Golgi function. Unexpectedly, our results thus point to a common pathogenic mechanism in GMAP-210– and LBR-related diseases attributable to defective secretory trafficking at the Golgi apparatus.

Authors

Anika Wehrle, Tomasz M. Witkos, Judith C. Schneider, Anselm Hoppmann, Sidney Behringer, Anna Köttgen, Mariet Elting, Jürgen Spranger, Martin Lowe, Ekkehart Lausch

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Abstract

The analysis and validation of flow cytometry–based biomarkers in clinical studies are limited by the lack of standardized protocols that are reproducible across multiple centers and suitable for use with either unfractionated blood or cryopreserved PBMCs. Here we report the development of a platform that standardizes a set of flow cytometry panels across multiple centers, with high reproducibility in blood or PBMCs from either healthy subjects or patients 100 days after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Inter-center comparisons of replicate samples showed low variation, with interindividual variation exceeding inter-center variation for most populations (coefficients of variability <20% and interclass correlation coefficients >0.75). Exceptions included low-abundance populations defined by markers with indistinct expression boundaries (e.g., plasmablasts, monocyte subsets) or populations defined by markers sensitive to cryopreservation, such as CD62L and CD45RA. Automated gating pipelines were developed and validated on an independent data set, revealing high Spearman’s correlations (rs >0.9) with manual analyses. This workflow, which includes pre-formatted antibody cocktails, standardized protocols for acquisition, and validated automated analysis pipelines, can be readily implemented in multicenter clinical trials. This approach facilitates the collection of robust immune phenotyping data and comparison of data from independent studies.

Authors

Sabine Ivison, Mehrnoush Malek, Rosa V. Garcia, Raewyn Broady, Anne Halpin, Manon Richaud, Rollin F. Brant, Szu-I Wang, Mathieu Goupil, Qingdong Guan, Peter Ashton, Jason Warren, Amr Rajab, Simon Urschel, Deepali Kumar, Mathias Streitz, Birgit Sawitzki, Stephan Schlickeiser, Janetta J. Bijl, Donna A. Wall, Jean-Sebastien Delisle, Lori J. West, Ryan R. Brinkman, Megan K. Levings

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Abstract

In high-grade serous ovarian cancer (OC), chemotherapy eliminates the majority of tumor cells, leaving behind residual tumors enriched in OC stem cells (OCSC). OCSC, defined as aldehyde dehydrogenase–positive (ALDH+), persist and contribute to tumor relapse. Inflammatory cytokine IL-6 is elevated in residual tumors after platinum treatment, and we hypothesized that IL-6 plays a critical role in platinum-induced OCSC enrichment. We demonstrate that IL-6 regulates stemness features of OCSC driven by ALDH1A1 expression and activity. We show that platinum induces IL-6 secretion by cancer-associated fibroblasts in the tumor microenvironment, promoting OCSC enrichment in residual tumors after chemotherapy. By activating STAT3 and upregulating ALDH1A1 expression, IL-6 treatment converted non-OCSC to OCSC. Having previously shown altered DNA methylation in OCSC, we show here that IL-6 induces DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) expression and the hypomethylating agent (HMA) guadecitabine induced differentiation of OCSC and reduced — but did not completely eradicate — OCSC. IL-6 neutralizing antibody (IL-6-Nab) combined with HMA fully eradicated OCSC, and the combination blocked IL-6/IL6-R/pSTAT3–mediated ALDH1A1 expression and eliminated OCSC in residual tumors that persisted in vivo after chemotherapy. We conclude that IL-6 signaling blockade combined with an HMA can eliminate OCSC after platinum treatment, supporting this strategy to prevent tumor recurrence after standard chemotherapy.

Authors

Yinu Wang, Xingyue Zong, Sumegha Mitra, Anirban Kumar Mitra, Daniela Matei, Kenneth P. Nephew

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Abstract

Symptomatic distal sensory polyneuropathy (sDSP) is common and debilitating in people with HIV/AIDS, leading to neuropathic pain, although the condition’s cause is unknown. To investigate biomarkers and associated pathogenic mechanisms for sDSP, we examined plasma miRNA profiles in HIV/AIDS patients with sDSP or without sDSP in 2 independent cohorts together with assessing related pathogenic effects. Several miRNAs were found to be increased in the Discovery Cohort (sDSP, n = 29; non-DSP, n = 40) by array analyses and were increased in patients with sDSP compared with patients without sDSP. miR–455-3p displayed a 12-fold median increase in the sDSP group, which was confirmed by machine learning analyses and verified by reverse transcription PCR. In the Validation Cohort (sDSP n = 16, non-DSP n = 20, healthy controls n = 15), significant upregulation of miR–455-3p was also observed in the sDSP group. Bioinformatics revealed that miR–455-3p targeted multiple host genes implicated in peripheral nerve maintenance, including nerve growth factor (NGF) and related genes. Transfection of cultured human dorsal root ganglia with miR–455-3p showed a concentration-dependent reduction in neuronal β-III tubulin expression. Human neurons transfected with miR–455-3p demonstrated reduced neurite outgrowth and NGF expression that was reversed by anti–miR–455-3p antagomir cotreatment. miR–455-3p represents a potential biomarker for HIV-associated sDSP and might also exert pathogenic effects leading to sDSP.

Authors

Eugene L. Asahchop, William G. Branton, Anand Krishnan, Patricia A. Chen, Dong Yang, Linglong Kong, Douglas W. Zochodne, Bruce J. Brew, M. John Gill, Christopher Power

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Abstract

BACKGROUND. Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a prevalent disease with significant mortality for which no effective pharmacologic therapy exists. Low-dose inhaled carbon monoxide (iCO) confers cytoprotection in preclinical models of sepsis and ARDS. METHODS. We conducted a phase I dose escalation trial to assess feasibility and safety of low-dose iCO administration in patients with sepsis-induced ARDS. Twelve participants were randomized to iCO or placebo air 2:1 in two cohorts. Four subjects each were administered iCO (100 ppm in cohort 1 or 200 ppm in cohort 2) or placebo for 90 minutes for up to 5 consecutive days. Primary outcomes included the incidence of carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) level ≥10%, prespecified administration-associated adverse events (AEs), and severe adverse events (SAEs). Secondary endpoints included the accuracy of the Coburn-Forster-Kane (CFK) equation to predict COHb levels, biomarker levels, and clinical outcomes. RESULTS. No participants exceeded a COHb level of 10%, and there were no administration-associated AEs or study-related SAEs. CO-treated participants had a significant increase in COHb (3.48% ± 0.7% [cohort 1]; 4.9% ± 0.28% [cohort 2]) compared with placebo-treated subjects (1.97% ± 0.39%). The CFK equation was highly accurate at predicting COHb levels, particularly in cohort 2 (R2 = 0.9205; P < 0.0001). Circulating mitochondrial DNA levels were reduced in iCO-treated participants compared with placebo-treated subjects. CONCLUSION. Precise administration of low-dose iCO is feasible, well-tolerated, and appears to be safe in patients with sepsis-induced ARDS. Excellent agreement between predicted and observed COHb should ensure that COHb levels remain in the target range during future efficacy trials. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02425579. FUNDING. NIH grants P01HL108801, KL2TR002385, K08HL130557, and K08GM102695.

Authors

Laura E. Fredenburgh, Mark A. Perrella, Diana Barragan-Bradford, Dean R. Hess, Elizabeth Peters, Karen E. Welty-Wolf, Bryan D. Kraft, R. Scott Harris, Rie Maurer, Kiichi Nakahira, Clara Oromendia, John D. Davies, Angelica Higuera, Kristen T. Schiffer, Joshua A. Englert, Paul B. Dieffenbach, David A. Berlin, Susan Lagambina, Mark Bouthot, Andrew I. Sullivan, Paul F. Nuccio, Mamary T. Kone, Mona J. Malik, Maria Angelica Pabon Porras, Eli Finkelsztein, Tilo Winkler, Shelley Hurwitz, Charles N. Serhan, Claude A. Piantadosi, Rebecca M. Baron, B. Taylor Thompson, Augustine M.K. Choi

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Abstract

Adeno-associated virus–mediated (AAV-mediated) CRISPR editing is a revolutionary approach for treating inherited diseases. Sustained, often life-long mutation correction is required for treating these diseases. Unfortunately, this has never been demonstrated with AAV CRISPR therapy. We addressed this question in the mdx model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). DMD is caused by dystrophin gene mutation. Dystrophin deficiency leads to ambulation loss and cardiomyopathy. We treated 6-week-old mice intravenously and evaluated disease rescue at 18 months. Surprisingly, nominal dystrophin was restored in skeletal muscle. Cardiac dystrophin was restored, but histology and hemodynamics were not improved. To determine the underlying mechanism, we evaluated components of the CRISPR-editing machinery. Intriguingly, we found disproportional guide RNA (gRNA) vector depletion. To test whether this is responsible for the poor outcome, we increased the gRNA vector dose and repeated the study. This strategy significantly increased dystrophin restoration and reduced fibrosis in all striated muscles at 18 months. Importantly, skeletal muscle function and cardiac hemodynamics were significantly enhanced. Interestingly, we did not see selective depletion of the gRNA vector after intramuscular injection. Our results suggest that gRNA vector loss is a unique barrier for systemic AAV CRISPR therapy. This can be circumvented by vector dose optimization.

Authors

Chady H. Hakim, Nalinda B. Wasala, Christopher E. Nelson, Lakmini P. Wasala, Yongping Yue, Jacqueline A. Louderman, Thais B. Lessa, Aihua Dai, Keqing Zhang, Gregory J. Jenkins, Michael E. Nance, Xiufang Pan, Kasun Kodippili, N. Nora Yang, Shi-jie Chen, Charles A. Gersbach, Dongsheng Duan

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Abstract

Methylmalonic acidemia (MMA), an organic acidemia characterized by metabolic instability and multiorgan complications, is most frequently caused by mutations in methylmalonyl-CoA mutase (MUT). To define the metabolic adaptations in MMA in acute and chronic settings, we studied a mouse model generated by transgenic expression of Mut in the muscle. Mut–/–;TgINS-MCK-Mut mice accurately replicate the hepatorenal mitochondriopathy and growth failure seen in severely affected patients and were used to characterize the response to fasting. The hepatic transcriptome in MMA mice was characterized by the chronic activation of stress-related pathways and an aberrant fasting response when compared with controls. A key metabolic regulator, Fgf21, emerged as a significantly dysregulated transcript in mice and was subsequently studied in a large patient cohort. The concentration of plasma FGF21 in MMA patients correlated with disease subtype, growth indices, and markers of mitochondrial dysfunction but was not affected by renal disease. Restoration of liver Mut activity, by transgenesis and liver-directed gene therapy in mice or liver transplantation in patients, drastically reduced plasma FGF21 and was associated with improved outcomes. Our studies identify mitocellular hormesis as a hepatic adaptation to metabolic stress in MMA and define FGF21 as a highly predictive disease biomarker.

Authors

Irini Manoli, Justin R. Sysol, Madeline W. Epping, Lina Li, Cindy Wang, Jennifer L. Sloan, Alexandra Pass, Jack Gagné, Yiouli P. Ktena, Lingli Li, Niraj S. Trivedi, Bazoumana Ouattara, Patricia M. Zerfas, Victoria Hoffmann, Mones Abu-Asab, Maria G. Tsokos, David E. Kleiner, Caterina Garone, Kristina Cusmano-Ozog, Gregory M. Enns, Hilary J. Vernon, Hans C. Andersson, Stephanie Grunewald, Abdel G. Elkahloun, Christiane L. Girard, Jurgen Schnermann, Salvatore DiMauro, Eva Andres-Mateos, Luk H. Vandenberghe, Randy J. Chandler, Charles P. Venditti

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Abstract

BACKGROUND. Hypophosphatemia can complicate intravenous iron therapy, but no head-to-head trials compared the effects of newer intravenous iron formulations on risks and mediators of hypophosphatemia. METHODS. In a randomized, double-blinded, controlled trial of adults with iron deficiency anemia from February 2016 to January 2017, we compared rates of hypophosphatemia in response to a single FDA-approved course of ferric carboxymaltose (n = 1,000) or ferumoxytol (n = 997). To investigate pathophysiological mediators of intravenous iron-induced hypophosphatemia, we nested within the parent trial a physiological substudy (ferric carboxymaltose, n = 98; ferumoxytol, n = 87) in which we measured fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23), calcitriol, and parathyroid hormone (PTH) at baseline and 1, 2, and 5 weeks later. RESULTS. The incidence of hypophosphatemia was significantly higher in the ferric carboxymaltose versus the ferumoxytol group (<2.0 mg/dl, 50.8% vs. 0.9%; <1.3 mg/dl, 10.0% vs. 0.0%; P < 0.001), and hypophosphatemia persisted through the end of the 5-week study period in 29.1% of ferric carboxymaltose–treated patients versus none of the ferumoxytol-treated patients (P < 0.001). Ferric carboxymaltose, but not ferumoxytol, increased circulating concentrations of biologically active FGF23 (mean within-patient percentage change from baseline to week 2 peak: +302.8 ± 326.2% vs. +10.1 ± 61.0%; P < 0.001), which was significantly associated with contemporaneous hypophosphatemia, renal phosphate wasting, and decreased serum calcitriol and calcium, and increased PTH concentrations. CONCLUSIONS. Ferric carboxymaltose rapidly increases biologically active FGF23 in patients with iron deficiency anemia. Paralleling hereditary and other acquired syndromes of hypophosphatemic rickets/osteomalacia, ferric carboxymaltose–induced FGF23 elevation triggers a pathophysiological cascade of renal phosphate wasting, calcitriol deficiency, and secondary hyperparathyroidism that frequently culminates in hypophosphatemia. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02694978 FUNDING. AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Role of the funding source: This study was supported by AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The academic investigators designed the clinical trial, performed the analyses, and authored the manuscript with input from the coauthors from AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Authors

Myles Wolf, Glenn M. Chertow, Iain C. Macdougall, Robert Kaper, Julie Krop, William Strauss

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Abstract

PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint therapy for cancer is commonly considered to act by reactivating T cells in the tumor microenvironment. Here, we present data from 2 mouse tumor models demonstrating an essential involvement of tumor-draining lymph nodes in PD-1 and PD-L1 therapeutic efficacy. Immune activation induced by checkpoint treatment was predominantly observed in the tumor-draining, but not nondraining, lymph nodes and was reflected in local accumulation of CD8+ T cells. Surgical resection of these lymph nodes, but not contralateral lymph nodes, abolished therapy-induced tumor regressions and was associated with decreased immune infiltrate in the tumor microenvironment. Moreover, inhibitor FTY720, which locks lymphocytes in lymph organs, also abrogated checkpoint therapy, suggesting that the tumor-draining lymph nodes function as sites of T cell invigoration required for checkpoint blockade therapy. Now that PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint treatment is applied in earlier clinical stages of cancer, our preclinical data advocate for enrolling patients with their tumor-draining lymph nodes still in place, to optimally engage the antitumor immune response and thereby enhance clinical benefit.

Authors

Marieke F. Fransen, Mark Schoonderwoerd, Philipp Knopf, Marcel G.M. Camps, Lukas J.A.C. Hawinkels, Manfred Kneilling, Thorbald van Hall, Ferry Ossendorp

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Abstract

The peptidylarginine deiminases PAD2 and PAD4 are implicated in the pathogenesis of several autoimmune diseases. PAD4 may be pathogenic in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) through its role in neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation that promotes autoantigen externalization, immune dysregulation, and organ damage. The role of this enzyme in mouse models of autoimmunity remains unclear, as pan-PAD chemical inhibitors improve clinical phenotype, whereas PAD4-KO models have given conflicting results. The role of PAD2 in SLE has not been investigated. The differential roles of PAD2 and PAD4 in TLR-7–dependent lupus autoimmunity were examined. Padi4–/– displayed decreased autoantibodies, type I IFN responses, immune cell activation, vascular dysfunction, and NET immunogenicity. Padi2–/– mice showed abrogation of Th subset polarization, with some disease manifestations reduced compared with WT but to a lesser extent than Padi4–/– mice. RNA sequencing analysis revealed distinct modulation of immune-related pathways in PAD-KO lymphoid organs. Human T cells express both PADs and, when exposed to either PAD2 or PAD4 inhibitors, displayed abrogation of Th1 polarization. These results suggest that targeting PAD2 and/or PAD4 activity modulates dysregulated TLR-7–dependent immune responses in lupus through differential effects of innate and adaptive immunity. Compounds that target PADs may have potential therapeutic roles in T cell–mediated diseases.

Authors

Yudong Liu, Yaíma L. Lightfoot, Nickie Seto, Carmelo Carmona-Rivera, Erica Moore, Rishi Goel, Liam O’Neil, Pragnesh Mistry, Victoria Hoffmann, Santanu Mondal, Padmavathy Nandha Premnath, Katherine Gribbons, Stefania Dell’Orso, Kan Jiang, Paul R. Thompson, Hong-Wei Sun, Scott A. Coonrod, Mariana J. Kaplan

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Abstract

VEGF-C is an important mediator of lymphangiogenesis and has been shown to alleviate chronic inflammation in a variety of disease models. In this study, we investigated whether targeted delivery of VEGF-C to sites of inflammation and site-specific activation of lymphatic vessels would represent a clinically feasible strategy for treating chronic skin inflammation. To this end, we generated a fusion protein consisting of human VEGF-C fused to the F8 antibody (F8-VEGF-C), which is specific for the alternatively spliced, angiogenesis-marking extradomain A (EDA) of fibronectin. In two mouse models of psoriasis-like skin inflammation, mediated by transgenic VEGF-A overexpression or repeated application of imiquimod, intravenous treatment with F8-VEGF-C but not with untargeted VEGF-C significantly reduced ear skin edema and was as effective as the clinically used TNF-α receptor-Fc fusion protein (TNFR-Fc). Treatment with F8-VEGF-C led to a marked expansion of lymphatic vessels in the inflamed skin and significantly improved lymphatic drainage function. At the same time, treatment with F8-VEGF-C significantly reduced leukocyte numbers, including CD4+ and γδ T cells. In sum, our results reveal that targeted delivery of VEGF-C and site-specific induction of lymphatic vessels represent a potentially new and promising approach for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases.

Authors

Simon Schwager, Silvana Renner, Teresa Hemmerle, Sinem Karaman, Steven T. Proulx, Roman Fetz, Alexandra Michaela Golding-Ochsenbein, Philipp Probst, Cornelia Halin, Dario Neri, Michael Detmar

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Abstract

New techniques for single-cell analysis have led to insights into hematopoiesis and the immune system, but the ability of these techniques to cross-validate and reproducibly identify the biological variation in diverse human samples is currently unproven. We therefore performed a comprehensive assessment of human bone marrow cells using both single-cell RNA sequencing and multiparameter flow cytometry from 20 healthy adult human donors across a broad age range. These data characterize variation between healthy donors as well as age-associated changes in cell population frequencies. Direct comparison of techniques revealed discrepancy in the quantification of T lymphocyte and natural killer cell populations. Orthogonal validation of immunophenotyping using mass cytometry demonstrated a strong correlation with flow cytometry. Technical replicates using single-cell RNA sequencing matched robustly, while biological replicates showed variation. Given the increasing use of single-cell technologies in translational research, this resource serves as an important reference data set and highlights opportunities for further refinement.

Authors

Karolyn A. Oetjen, Katherine E. Lindblad, Meghali Goswami, Gege Gui, Pradeep K. Dagur, Catherine Lai, Laura W. Dillon, J. Philip McCoy, Christopher S. Hourigan

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Abstract

Authors

Christopher S. Williams, Audra N. Iness, Rebecca M. Baron, Olujimi A. Ajijola, Patrick J. Hu, Jatin M. Vyas, Robert Baiocchi, Alexander J. Adami, Jeremie M. Lever, Peter S. Klein, Linda Demer, Michael Madaio, Mark Geraci, Lawrence F. Brass, Melvin Blanchard, Robert Salata, Mone Zaidi

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Abstract

BACKGROUND. Metformin reduces plasma glucose and has been shown to increase glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) secretion. Whether this is a direct action of metformin on GLP-1 release, and whether some of the glucose-lowering effect of metformin occurs due to GLP-1 release, is unknown. The current study investigated metformin-induced GLP-1 secretion and its contribution to the overall glucose-lowering effect of metformin and underlying mechanisms in patients with type 2 diabetes. METHODS. Twelve patients with type 2 diabetes were included in this placebo-controlled, double-blinded study. On 4 separate days, the patients received metformin (1,500 mg) or placebo suspended in a liquid meal, with subsequent i.v. infusion of the GLP-1 receptor antagonist exendin9-39 (Ex9-39) or saline. During 240 minutes, blood was sampled. The direct effect of metformin on GLP-1 secretion was tested ex vivo in human ileal and colonic tissue with and without dorsomorphin-induced inhibiting of the AMPK activity. RESULTS. Metformin increased postprandial GLP-1 secretion compared with placebo (P = 0.014), and the postprandial glucose excursions were significantly smaller after metformin + saline compared with metformin + Ex9-39 (P = 0.004). Ex vivo metformin acutely increased GLP-1 secretion (colonic tissue, P < 0.01; ileal tissue, P < 0.05), but the effect was abolished by inhibition of AMPK activity. CONCLUSIONS. Metformin has a direct and AMPK-dependent effect on GLP-1–secreting L cells and increases postprandial GLP-1 secretion, which seems to contribute to metformin’s glucose-lowering effect and mode of action. TRIAL REGISTRATION. NCT02050074 (https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02050074). FUNDING. This study received grants from the A.P. Møller Foundation, the Novo Nordisk Foundation, the Danish Medical Association research grant, the Australian Research Council, the National Health and Medical Research Council, and Pfizer Inc.

Authors

Emilie Bahne, Emily W. L. Sun, Richard L. Young, Morten Hansen, David P. Sonne, Jakob S. Hansen, Ulrich Rohde, Alice P. Liou, Margaret L. Jackson, Dayan de Fontgalland, Philippa Rabbitt, Paul Hollington, Luigi Sposato, Steven Due, David A. Wattchow, Jens F. Rehfeld, Jens J. Holst, Damien J. Keating, Tina Vilsbøll, Filip K. Knop

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Abstract

CD141+ DC are implicated in antiviral and antitumor immunity. However, mechanistic studies in autoimmune disease are limited. This is the first study to our knowledge examining CD141+ DC in autoimmune disease, specifically inflammatory arthritis (IA). We identified significant enrichment of CD141+ DC in the inflamed synovial joint, which were transcriptionally distinct from IA and healthy control (HC) blood CD141+ DC and significantly more activated, and they exhibited increased responsiveness to TLR3. Synovial CD141+ DC represent a bone fide CD141+ DC population that is distinct from CD1c+ DC. Synovial CD141+ DC induced higher levels of CD4+ and CD8+ T cell activation compared with their peripheral blood counterparts, as made evident by expression of IFN-γ, TNF-α, and granulocyte-macrophage CSF (GMCSF). Autologous synovial CD141+ DC cocultures also induce higher levels of these cytokines, further highlighting their contribution to synovial inflammation. Synovial CD141+ DC–T cell interactions had the ability to further activate synovial fibroblasts, inducing adhesive and invasive pathogenic mechanisms. Furthermore, we identify a mechanism in which synovial CD141+ DC are activated, via ligation of the hypoxia-inducible immune-amplification receptor TREM-1, which increased synovial CD141+ DC activation, migratory capacity, and proinflammatory cytokines. Thus, synovial CD141+ DC display unique mechanistic and transcriptomic signatures, which are distinguishable from blood CD141+ DC and can contribute to synovial joint inflammation.

Authors

Mary Canavan, Alice M. Walsh, Vipul Bhargava, Sarah M. Wade, Trudy McGarry, Viviana Marzaioli, Barry Moran, Monika Biniecka, Hannah Convery, Siobhan Wade, Carl Orr, Ronan Mullan, Jean M. Fletcher, Sunil Nagpal, Douglas J. Veale, Ursula Fearon

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Abstract

In this study, the circulating miRNome from diagnostic neuroblastoma serum was assessed for identification of noninvasive biomarkers with potential in monitoring metastatic disease. After determining the circulating neuroblastoma miRNome, 743 miRNAs were screened in 2 independent cohorts of 131 and 54 patients. Evaluation of serum miRNA variance in a model testing for tumor stage, MYCN status, age at diagnosis, and overall survival revealed tumor stage as the most significant factor impacting miRNA abundance in neuroblastoma serum. Differential abundance analysis between patients with metastatic and localized disease revealed 9 miRNAs strongly associated with metastatic stage 4 disease in both patient cohorts. Increasing levels of these miRNAs were also observed in serum from xenografted mice bearing human neuroblastoma tumors. Moreover, murine serum miRNA levels were strongly associated with tumor volume. These findings were validated in longitudinal serum samples from metastatic neuroblastoma patients, where the 9 miRNAs were associated with disease burden and treatment response.

Authors

Fjoralba Zeka, Anneleen Decock, Alan Van Goethem, Katrien Vanderheyden, Fleur Demuynck, Tim Lammens, Hetty H. Helsmoortel, Joëlle Vermeulen, Rosa Noguera, Ana P. Berbegall, Valérie Combaret, Gudrun Schleiermacher, Geneviève Laureys, Alexander Schramm, Johannes H. Schulte, Sven Rahmann, Julie Bienertová-Vašků, Pavel Mazánek, Marta Jeison, Shifra Ash, Michael D. Hogarty, Mirthala Moreno-Smith, Eveline Barbieri, Jason Shohet, Frank Berthold, Tom Van Maerken, Frank Speleman, Matthias Fischer, Katleen De Preter, Pieter Mestdagh, Jo Vandesompele

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Abstract

We describe a protective effect on autoimmune diabetes and reduced destructive insulitis in NOD.scid recipients following splenocyte injections from diabetic NOD donors and sorted CD19+ cells compared with NOD.scid recipients receiving splenocytes alone. This protective effect was age specific (only CD19+ cells from young NOD donors exerted this effect; P < 0.001). We found that the CD19+IgM+ cell is the primary subpopulation of B cells that delayed transfer of diabetes mediated by diabetogenic T cells from NOD mice (P = 0.002). Removal of IgM+ cells from the CD19+ pool did not result in protection. Notably, protection conferred by CD19+IgM+ cotransfers were not dependent on the presence of Tregs, as their depletion did not affect their ability to delay onset of diabetes. Blockade of IL-10 with neutralizing antibodies at the time of CD19+ cell cotransfers also abrogated the therapeutic effect, suggesting that IL-10 secretion was an important component of protection. These results were strengthened by ex vivo incubation of CD19+ cells with IL-5, resulting in enhanced proliferation and IL-10 production and equivalently delayed diabetes progression (P = 0.0005). The potential to expand CD19+IgM+ cells, especially in response to IL-5 stimulation or by pharmacologic agents, may be a new therapeutic option for type 1 diabetes.

Authors

Andrew D. Vonberg, Maria Acevedo-Calado, Aaron R. Cox, Susan L. Pietropaolo, Roberto Gianani, Steven K. Lundy, Massimo Pietropaolo

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