Podocyte injury and loss are key drivers of primary and secondary glomerular diseases, such as focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and diabetic kidney disease (DKD). We previously demonstrated the renoprotective role of protein S (PS) and its cognate tyrosine-protein kinase receptor, TYRO3, in models of FSGS and DKD and that their signaling exerts anti-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory effects to confer protection against podocyte loss. Among the three TAM receptors (TYRO3, AXL, and MER), only TYRO3 expression is largely restricted to podocytes, and glomerular TYRO3 mRNA expression negatively correlates with human glomerular disease progression. We, therefore, posited that the agonism PS-TYRO3 signaling could serve as a potential therapeutic approach to attenuate glomerular disease progression. As PS function is not limited to TYRO3-mediated signal transduction but includes its anticoagulant activity, we focused on the development of TYRO3 agonist as an optimal therapeutic approach to glomerular disease. Among the small molecule TYRO3 agonist compounds screened, compound-10 (C-10) showed a select activation of TYRO3 without any effects on AXL or MER. We also confirmed that C-10 directly binds to TYRO3, but not the other receptors. In vivo, C-10 attenuated proteinuria, glomerular injury, and podocyte loss in mouse models of adriamycin-induced nephropathy and db/db model of type 2 diabetes. Moreover, these renoprotective effects of C-10 are lost in Tyro3 knockout mice, indicating that C-10 is a select agonist of TYRO3 activity that mitigates podocyte injury and glomerular disease. Therefore, C-10, a novel TYRO3 agonist, could be potentially developed as a new therapy for glomerular disease.
Fang Zhong, Hong Cai, Jia Fu, Zeguo Sun, Zhengzhe Li, David Bauman, Lois Wang, Bhaskar Das, Kyung Lee, John He
Dysfunction of alveolar epithelial type 2 cells (AEC2s), the facultative progenitors of lung alveoli, is implicated in pulmonary disease pathogenesis, highlighting the importance of human in vitro models. However, AEC2-like cells in culture have yet to be directly compared to their in vivo counterparts at single cell resolution. Here, we perform head-to-head comparisons between the transcriptomes of fresh primary (1o) adult human AEC2s, their cultured progeny, and human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived AEC2s (iAEC2s). We find each population occupies a distinct transcriptomic space with cultured AEC2s (1o and iAEC2s) exhibiting similarities to and differences from freshly purified 1o cells. Across each cell type, we find an inverse relationship between proliferative and maturation states, with pre-culture 1o AEC2s being most quiescent/mature and iAEC2s being most proliferative/least mature. Cultures of either type of human AEC2 do not generate detectable alveolar type 1 cells in these defined conditions; however, a subset of iAEC2s co-cultured with fibroblasts acquires a “transitional cell state” described in mice and humans to arise during fibrosis or following injury. Hence, we provide direct comparisons of the transcriptomic programs of 1o and engineered AEC2s, two in vitro models that can be harnessed to study human lung health and disease.
Konstantinos-Dionysios Alysandratos, Carolina Garcia-de-Alba, Changfu Yao, Patrizia Pessina, Jessie Huang, Carlos Villacorta-Martin, Olivia T. Hix, Kasey Minakin, Claire L. Burgess, Pushpinder Bawa, Aditi Murthy, Bindu Konda, Michael F. Beers, Barry R. Stripp, Carla F. Kim, Darrell N. Kotton
Understanding persistence and evolution of B cell clones after COVID-19 infection and vaccination is crucial for predicting responses against emerging viral variants and optimizing vaccines. Here, we collected longitudinal samples from severe COVID-19 patients every third to seventh day during hospitalization and every third month after recovery. We profiled the antigen-specific immune cell dynamics by combining single cell RNA-Seq, Cellular Indexing of Transcriptomes and Epitopes by Sequencing (CITE)-Seq, B cell receptor (BCR)-Seq with oligo-tagged antigen baits. While the proportion of Spike Receptor Binding Domain-specific memory B cells (MBC) increased from 3 months after infection, the other Spike- and Nucleocapsid-specific B cells remained constant. All patients showed ongoing class switching and sustained affinity maturation of antigen specific cells, which was not significantly increased early after vaccine. B cell analysis revealed a polyclonal response with limited clonal expansion; nevertheless, some clones detected during hospitalization, as plasmablasts, persisted for up to one year, as MBC. Monoclonal antibodies derived from persistent B cell families increased their binding and neutralization breadth and started recognizing viral variants by 3 months after infection. Overall, our findings provide important insights into the clonal evolution and dynamics of antigen specific B cell responses in longitudinally sampled COVID-19 infected patients.
Lydia Scharf, Hannes Axelsson, Aikaterini Emmanouilidi, Nimitha R. Mathew, Daniel J. Sheward, Susannah Leach, Pauline Isakson, Ilya V. Smirnov, Emelie Marklund, Nicolae Miron, Lars-Magnus Andersson, Magnus Gisslén, Ben Murrell, Anna Lundgren, Mats Bemark, Davide Angeletti
FOXD1+ derived stromal cells give rise to pericytes and fibroblasts that support the kidney vasculature and interstitium but are also major precursors of myofibroblasts. ZEB2 is a SMAD-interacting transcription factor that is expressed in developing kidney stromal progenitors. Here we show that Zeb2 is essential for normal FOXD1+ stromal progenitor development. Specific deletion of mouse Zeb2 in FOXD1+ stromal progenitors (Zeb2 cKO) leads to abnormal interstitial stromal cell development, differentiation, and kidney fibrosis. Immunofluorescent staining analyses revealed abnormal expression of interstitial stromal cell markers MEIS1/2/3, CDKN1C, and CSPG4 (NG2) in newborn and 3-week-old Zeb2 cKO mouse kidneys. Zeb2 deficient FOXD1+ stromal progenitors also took on a myofibroblast fate that led to kidney fibrosis and kidney failure. Cell marker studies further confirmed that these myofibroblasts expressed pericyte and resident fibroblast markers including PDGFRβ, CSPG4, Desmin, GLI1, and NT5E. Notably, increased interstitial collagen deposition associated with loss of Zeb2 in FOXD1+ stromal progenitors was accompanied by increased expression of activated SMAD1/5/8, SMAD2/3, SMAD4, and AXIN2. Thus, our study identifies a key role of ZEB2 in maintaining the cell fate of FOXD1+ stromal progenitors during kidney development whereas loss of ZEB2 leads to differentiation of FOXD1+ stromal progenitors into myofibroblasts and kidney fibrosis.
Sudhir Kumar, Xueping Fan, Hila Milo Rasouly, Richa Sharma, David J. Salant, Weining Lu
Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), the most common monogenic nephropathy, is characterized by phenotypic variability exceeding genic effects. Dysregulated metabolism and immune cell function are key disease modifiers. The tryptophan metabolites, kynurenines, produced through IDO1, are known immunomodulators. Here, we study the role of tryptophan metabolism in PKD using an orthologous disease model (C57Bl/6J Pkd1RC/RC). We found elevated kynurenine and IDO1 levels in Pkd1RC/RC kidneys versus wildtype. Further, IDO1 levels were increased in ADPKD cell lines. Genetic Ido1 loss in Pkd1RC/RC animals resulted in reduced PKD severity as measured by %kidney weight/body weight and cystic index. Consistent with an immunomodulatory role of kynurenines, Pkd1RC/RC;Ido1-/- mice presented with significant changes in the cystic immune microenvironment (CME) versus controls. Kidney macrophage numbers decreased and CD8+ T cell numbers increased, both known PKD modulators. Also, pharmacological IDO1 inhibition in Pkd1RC/RC mice and kidney specific Pkd2 knockout mice with rapidly progressive PKD resulted in less severe PKD versus controls with similar changes in the CME as in the genetic model. Our data suggest that tryptophan metabolism is dysregulated in ADPKD and that its inhibition results in changes to the CME and slows disease progression, making IDO1 a novel therapeutic target for ADPKD.
Dustin T. Nguyen, Emily K. Kleczko, Nidhi Dwivedi, Marie-Louise T. Monaghan, Berenice Y. Gitomer, Michel B. Chonchol, Eric T. Clambey, Raphael A. Nemenoff, Jelena Klawitter, Katharina Hopp
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