Latest issue: February 8, 2018

In the issue

Abstract

Bone remodeling is a highly coordinated process involving bone formation and resorption, and imbalance of this process results in osteoporosis. It has long been recognized that long-term heparin therapy often causes osteoporosis, suggesting that heparan sulfate (HS), the physiological counterpart of heparin, is somehow involved in bone mass regulation. The role of endogenous HS in adult bone, however, remains unclear. To determine the role of HS in bone homeostasis, we conditionally ablated Ext1, which encodes an essential glycosyltransferase for HS biosynthesis, in osteoblasts. Resultant conditional mutant mice developed severe osteopenia. Surprisingly, this phenotype is not due to impairment in bone formation but to enhancement of bone resorption. We show that osteoprotegerin (OPG), which is known as a soluble decoy receptor for RANKL, needs to be associated with the osteoblast surface in order to efficiently inhibit RANKL/RANK signaling and that HS serves as a cell surface binding partner for OPG in this context. We also show that bone mineral density is reduced in patients with multiple hereditary exostoses, a genetic bone disorder caused by heterozygous mutations of Ext1, suggesting that the mechanism revealed in this study may be relevant to low bone mass conditions in humans.

Authors

Satoshi Nozawa, Toshihiro Inubushi, Fumitoshi Irie, Iori Takigami, Kazu Matsumoto, Katsuji Shimizu, Haruhiko Akiyama, Yu Yamaguchi

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Abstract

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a highly prevalent and devastating condition for which no curative treatment is available. Exaggerated lung cell senescence may be a major pathogenic factor. Here, we investigated the potential role for mTOR signaling in lung cell senescence and alterations in COPD using lung tissue and derived cultured cells from patients with COPD and from age- and sex-matched control smokers. Cell senescence in COPD was linked to mTOR activation, and mTOR inhibition by low-dose rapamycin prevented cell senescence and inhibited the proinflammatory senescence-associated secretory phenotype. To explore whether mTOR activation was a causal pathogenic factor, we developed transgenic mice exhibiting mTOR overactivity in lung vascular cells or alveolar epithelial cells. In this model, mTOR activation was sufficient to induce lung cell senescence and to mimic COPD lung alterations, with the rapid development of lung emphysema, pulmonary hypertension, and inflammation. These findings support a causal relationship between mTOR activation, lung cell senescence, and lung alterations in COPD, thereby identifying the mTOR pathway as a potentially new therapeutic target in COPD.

Authors

Amal Houssaini, Marielle Breau, Kanny Kebe, Shariq Abid, Elisabeth Marcos, Larissa Lipskaia, Dominique Rideau, Aurelien Parpaleix, Jin Huang, Valerie Amsellem, Nora Vienney, Pierre Validire, Bernard Maitre, Aya Attwe, Christina Lukas, David Vindrieux, Jorge Boczkowski, Genevieve Derumeaux, Mario Pende, David Bernard, Silke Meiners, Serge Adnot

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Abstract

Crohn’s disease (CD) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Cigarette smoke (CS) exposure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are risk factors for CD, although the mechanisms involved are poorly understood. We employed a mouse model of CS-induced experimental COPD and clinical studies to examine these mechanisms. Concurrent with the development of pulmonary pathology and impaired gas exchange, CS-exposed mice developed CD-associated pathology in the colon and ileum, including gut mucosal tissue hypoxia, HIF-2 stabilization, inflammation, increased microvasculature, epithelial cell turnover, and decreased intestinal barrier function. Subsequent smoking cessation reduced GIT pathology, particularly in the ileum. Dimethyloxaloylglycine, a pan-prolyl hydroxylase inhibitor, ameliorated CS-induced GIT pathology independently of pulmonary pathology. Prior smoke exposure exacerbated intestinal pathology in 2,4,6-trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid–induced (TNBS-induced) colitis. Circulating vascular endothelial growth factor, a marker of systemic hypoxia, correlated with CS exposure and CD in mice and humans. Increased mucosal vascularisation was evident in ileum biopsies from CD patients who smoke compared with nonsmokers, supporting our preclinical data. We provide strong evidence that chronic CS exposure and, for the first time to our knowledge, associated impaired gas exchange cause systemic and intestinal ischemia, driving angiogenesis and GIT epithelial barrier dysfunction, resulting in increased risk and severity of CD.

Authors

Michael Fricker, Bridie J. Goggins, Sean Mateer, Bernadette Jones, Richard Y. Kim, Shaan L. Gellatly, Andrew G. Jarnicki, Nicholas Powell, Brian G. Oliver, Graham Radford-Smith, Nicholas J. Talley, Marjorie M. Walker, Simon Keely, Philip M. Hansbro

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Abstract

Renal fibrosis is a common pathogenic response to injury in chronic kidney disease (CKD). The receptor-interacting protein kinase-3 (RIPK3), a regulator of necroptosis, has been implicated in disease pathogenesis. In mice subjected to unilateral ureteral obstruction–induced (UUO-induced) or adenine diet–induced (AD-induced) renal fibrosis, models of progressive kidney fibrosis, we demonstrate increased kidney expression of RIPK3. Mice genetically deficient in RIPK3 displayed decreased kidney fibrosis and improved kidney function relative to WT mice when challenged with UUO or AD. In contrast, mice genetically deficient in mixed-lineage kinase domain-like protein (MLKL), a downstream RIPK3 target, were not protected from UUO-induced kidney fibrosis. We demonstrate a pathway by which RIPK3 promotes fibrogenesis through the AKT-dependent activation of ATP citrate lyase (ACL). Genetic or chemical inhibition of RIPK3 suppressed the phosphorylation of AKT and ACL in response to TGF-β1 in fibroblasts. Inhibition of AKT or ACL suppressed TGF-β1–dependent extracellular matrix production and myofibroblast differentiation in fibroblasts. Pharmacological inhibition of ACL suppressed UUO-induced kidney fibrosis. RIPK3 expression was highly regulated in human CKD kidney. In conclusion, we identify a pathway by which RIPK3 promotes kidney fibrosis independently of MLKL-dependent necroptosis as a promising therapeutic target in CKD.

Authors

Mitsuru Imamura, Jong-Seok Moon, Kuei-Pin Chung, Kiichi Nakahira, Thangamani Muthukumar, Roman Shingarev, Stefan W. Ryter, Augustine M.K. Choi, Mary E. Choi

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Abstract

Despite the fact that many therapeutic strategies have been adopted to delay the development of sepsis, sepsis remains one of the leading causes of death in noncoronary intensive care units. Recently, sepsis-3 was defined as life-threatening organ dysfunction due to a dysregulated host response to infection. Here, we report that swiprosin-1 (also known as EFhd2) plays an important role in the macrophage immune response to LPS-induced or cecal ligation and puncture–induced (CLP-induced) sepsis in mice. Swiprosin-1 depletion causes higher mortality, more severe organ dysfunction, restrained macrophage recruitment in the lung and kidney, and attenuated inflammatory cytokine production (including IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, IL-10, and IFN-γ). The immunosuppression caused by swiprosin-1 deficiency is manifested by impaired bactericidal capacity and decreased HLA-DR expression in macrophages. Swiprosin-1 affects the activation of the JAK2/STAT1/STAT3 pathway by regulating the expression of IFN-γ receptors in macrophages. Our findings provide a potential target for the regulation of the macrophage immune response in sepsis.

Authors

Su Zhang, Ye Tu, Yi-Ming Sun, Ya Li, Rong-Mei Wang, Yongbing Cao, Ling Li, Li-Chao Zhang, Zhi-Bin Wang

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Abstract

Several reports have demonstrated that mouse Cx3cr1 signaling promotes monocyte/macrophage survival. In agreement, we previously found that, in a mouse model of systemic candidiasis, genetic deficiency of Cx3cr1 resulted in increased mortality and impaired tissue fungal clearance associated with decreased macrophage survival. We translated this finding by showing that the dysfunctional CX3CR1 variant CX3CR1-M280 was associated with increased risk and worse outcome of human systemic candidiasis. However, the impact of this mutation on human monocyte/macrophage survival is poorly understood. Herein, we hypothesized that CX3CR1-M280 impairs human monocyte survival. We identified WT (CX3CR1-WT/WT), CX3CR1-WT/M280 heterozygous, and CX3CR1-M280/M280 homozygous healthy donors of European descent, and we show that CX3CL1 rescues serum starvation–induced cell death in CX3CR1-WT/WT and CX3CR1-WT/M280 but not in CX3CR1-M280/M280 monocytes. CX3CL1-induced survival of CX3CR1-WT/WT monocytes is mediated via AKT and ERK activation, which are both impaired in CX3CR1-M280/M280 monocytes, associated with decreased blood monocyte counts in CX3CR1-M280/M280 donors at steady state. Instead, CX3CR1-M280/M280 does not affect monocyte CX3CR1 surface expression or innate immune effector functions. Together, we show that homozygocity of the M280 polymorphism in CX3CR1 is a potentially novel population-based genetic factor that influences human monocyte signaling.

Authors

Amanda L. Collar, Muthulekha Swamydas, Morgan O’Hayre, Md Sanaullah Sajib, Kevin W. Hoffman, Satya P. Singh, Ahmad Mourad, Melissa D. Johnson, Elise M.N. Ferre, Joshua M. Farber, Jean K. Lim, Constantinos M. Mikelis, J. Silvio Gutkind, Michail S. Lionakis

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Abstract

NK cell–based immunotherapies have been gaining traction in the clinic for treatment of cancer. IL-15 is currently being used in number of clinical trials to improve NK cell expansion and function. The objective of this study is to evaluate the effect of repetitive IL-15 exposure on NK cells. An in vitro model in which human NK cells are continuously (on on on) or intermittently (on off on) treated with IL-15 was used to explore this question. After treatment, cells were evaluated for proliferation, survival, cell cycle gene expression, function, and metabolic processes. Our data indicate that continuous treatment of NK cells with IL-15 resulted in decreased viability and a cell cycle arrest gene expression pattern. This was associated with diminished signaling, decreased function both in vitro and in vivo, and reduced tumor control. NK cells continuously treated with IL-15 also displayed a reduced mitochondrial respiration profile when compared with NK cells treated intermittently with IL-15. This profile was characterized by a decrease in the spare respiratory capacity that was dependent on fatty acid oxidation (FAO). Limiting the strength of IL-15 signaling via utilization of an mTOR inhibitor rescued NK cell functionality in the group continuously treated with IL-15. The findings presented here show that human NK cells continuously treated with IL-15 undergo a process consistent with exhaustion that is accompanied by a reduction in FAO. These findings should inform IL-15–dosing strategies in NK cell cancer immunotherapeutic settings.

Authors

Martin Felices, Alexander J. Lenvik, Ron McElmurry, Sami Chu, Peter Hinderlie, Laura Bendzick, Melissa A. Geller, Jakub Tolar, Bruce R. Blazar, Jeffrey S. Miller

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Abstract

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease involving both cartilage and synovium. The canonical Wnt/β-catenin pathway, which is activated in OA, is emerging as an important regulator of tissue repair and fibrosis. This study seeks to examine Wnt pathway effects on synovial fibroblasts and articular chondrocytes as well as the therapeutic effects of Wnt inhibition on OA disease severity. Mice underwent destabilization of the medial meniscus surgery and were treated by intra-articular injection with XAV-939, a small-molecule inhibitor of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Wnt/β-catenin signaling was highly activated in murine synovial fibroblasts as well as in OA-derived human synovial fibroblasts. XAV-939 ameliorated OA severity associated with reduced cartilage degeneration and synovitis in vivo. Wnt inhibition using mechanistically distinct small-molecule inhibitors, XAV-939 and C113, attenuated the proliferation and type I collagen synthesis in synovial fibroblasts in vitro but did not affect human OA-derived chondrocyte proliferation. However, Wnt modulation increased COL2A1 and PRG4 transcripts, which are downregulated in chondrocytes in OA. In conclusion, therapeutic Wnt inhibition reduced disease severity in a model of traumatic OA via promoting anticatabolic effects on chondrocytes and antifibrotic effects on synovial fibroblasts and may be a promising class of drugs for the treatment of OA.

Authors

Caressa Lietman, Brian Wu, Sarah Lechner, Andrew Shinar, Madhur Sehgal, Evgeny Rossomacha, Poulami Datta, Anirudh Sharma, Rajiv Gandhi, Mohit Kapoor, Pampee P. Young

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Abstract

BACKGROUND. Accumulation of diacylglycerol (DAG) and sphingolipids is thought to promote skeletal muscle insulin resistance by altering cellular signaling specific to their location. However,the subcellular localization of bioactive lipids in human skeletal muscle is largely unknown. METHODS. We evaluated subcellular localization of skeletal muscle DAGs and sphingolipids in lean individuals (n = 15), endurance-trained athletes (n = 16), and obese men and women with (n = 12) and without type 2 diabetes (n = 15). Muscle biopsies were fractionated into sarcolemmal, cytosolic, mitochondrial/ER, and nuclear compartments. Lipids were measured using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry, and insulin sensitivity was measured using hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp. RESULTS. Sarcolemmal 1,2-DAGs were not significantly related to insulin sensitivity. Sarcolemmal ceramides were inversely related to insulin sensitivity, with a significant relationship found for the C18:0 species. Sarcolemmal sphingomyelins were also inversely related to insulin sensitivity, with the strongest relationships found for the C18:1, C18:0, and C18:2 species. In the mitochondrial/ER and nuclear fractions, 1,2-DAGs were positively related to, while ceramides were inversely related to, insulin sensitivity. Cytosolic lipids as well as 1,3-DAG, dihydroceramides, and glucosylceramides in any compartment were not related to insulin sensitivity. All sphingolipids but only specific DAGs administered to isolated mitochondria decreased mitochondrial state 3 respiration. CONCLUSION. These data reveal previously unknown differences in subcellular localization of skeletal muscle DAGs and sphingolipids that relate to whole-body insulin sensitivity and mitochondrial function in humans. These data suggest that whole-cell concentrations of lipids obscure meaningful differences in compartmentalization and suggest that subcellular localization of lipids should be considered when developing therapeutic interventions to treat insulin resistance. FUNDING. National Institutes of Health General Clinical Research Center (RR-00036), National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) (R01DK089170), NIDDK (T32 DK07658), and Colorado Nutrition Obesity Research Center (P30DK048520).

Authors

Leigh Perreault, Sean A. Newsom, Allison Strauss, Anna Kerege, Darcy E. Kahn, Kathleen A. Harrison, Janet K. Snell-Bergeon, Travis Nemkov, Angelo D’Alessandro, Matthew R. Jackman, Paul S. MacLean, Bryan C. Bergman

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Abstract

Acute lung injury is characterized by excessive extracellular matrix proteolysis and neutrophilic inflammation. A major risk factor for lung injury is bacterial pneumonia. However, host factors that protect against pathogen-induced and host-sustained proteolytic injury following infection are poorly understood. Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) is a major cause of nosocomial pneumonia and secretes proteases to amplify tissue injury. We show that thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1), a matricellular glycoprotein released during inflammation, dose-dependently inhibits PA metalloendoprotease LasB, a virulence factor. TSP-1–deficient (Thbs1–/–) mice show reduced survival, impaired host defense, and increased lung permeability with exaggerated neutrophil activation following acute intrapulmonary PA infection. Administration of TSP-1 from platelets corrects the impaired host defense and aberrant injury in Thbs1–/– mice. Although TSP-1 is cleaved into 2 fragments by PA, TSP-1 substantially inhibits Pseudomonas elastolytic activity. Administration of LasB inhibitor, genetic disabling of the PA type II secretion system, or functional deletion of LasB improves host defense and neutrophilic inflammation in mice. Moreover, TSP-1 provides an additional line of defense by directly subduing host-derived proteolysis, with dose-dependent inhibition of neutrophil elastase from airway neutrophils of mechanically ventilated critically ill patients. Thus, a host matricellular protein provides dual levels of protection against pathogen-initiated and host-sustained proteolytic injury following microbial trigger.

Authors

Yanyan Qu, Tolani Olonisakin, William Bain, Jill Zupetic, Rebecca Brown, Mei Hulver, Zeyu Xiong, Jesus Tejero, Robert M.Q. Shanks, Jennifer M. Bomberger, Vaughn S. Cooper, Michael E. Zegans, Hyunryul Ryu, Jongyoon Han, Joseph Pilewski, Anuradha Ray, Zhenyu Cheng, Prabir Ray, Janet S. Lee

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Abstract

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a chronic disease characterized by an autoimmune-mediated destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic β cells. Environmental factors such as viruses play an important role in the onset of T1D and interact with predisposing genes. Recent data suggest that viral infection of human islets leads to a decrease in insulin production rather than β cell death, suggesting loss of β cell identity. We undertook this study to examine whether viral infection could induce human β cell dedifferentiation. Using the functional human β cell line EndoC-βH1, we demonstrate that polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (PolyI:C), a synthetic double-stranded RNA that mimics a byproduct of viral replication, induces a decrease in β cell–specific gene expression. In parallel with this loss, the expression of progenitor-like genes such as SOX9 was activated following PolyI:C treatment or enteroviral infection. SOX9 was induced by the NF-κB pathway and also in a paracrine non–cell-autonomous fashion through the secretion of IFN-α. Lastly, we identified SOX9 targets in human β cells as potentially new markers of dedifferentiation in T1D. These findings reveal that inflammatory signaling has clear implications in human β cell dedifferentiation.

Authors

Masaya Oshima, Klaus-Peter Knoch, Marc Diedisheim, Antje Petzold, Pierre Cattan, Marco Bugliani, Piero Marchetti, Pratik Choudhary, Guo-Cai Huang, Stefan R. Bornstein, Michele Solimena, Olivier Albagli-Curiel, Raphael Scharfmann

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Abstract

Type I IFN (IFN-I) dysregulation contributes to type 1 diabetes (T1D) development, and although increased IFN-I signals are pathogenic at the initiation of autoimmune diabetes, IFN-I dysregulation at later pathogenic stages more relevant for therapeutic intervention is not well understood. We discovered that 5 key antigen-presenting cell subsets from adult prediabetic NOD mice have reduced responsiveness to IFN-I that is dominated by a decrease in the tonic-sensitive subset of IFN-I response genes. Blockade of IFNAR1 in prediabetic NOD mice accelerated diabetes and increased Th1 responses. Therefore, IFN-I responses shift from pathogenic to protective as autoimmunity progresses, consistent with chronic IFN-I exposure. In contrast, IL-1–associated inflammatory pathways were elevated in prediabetic mice. These changes correlated with human T1D onset-associated gene expression. Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and prostaglandin receptor 4 (PTGER4), a receptor for PGE2 that mediates both inflammatory and regulatory eicosanoid signaling, were higher in NOD mice and drive innate immune dysregulation. Treating prediabetic NOD mice with a PTGER4 antagonist restored IFNAR signaling, decreased IL-1 signaling, and decreased infiltration of leukocytes into the islets. Therefore, innate cytokine alterations contribute to both T1D-associated inflammation and autoimmune pathogenesis. Modulating innate immune balance via signals such as PTGER4 may contribute to treatments for autoimmunity.

Authors

M. Jubayer Rahman, Kameron B. Rodrigues, Juan A. Quiel, Yi Liu, Vipul Bhargava, Yongge Zhao, Chie Hotta-Iwamura, Han-Yu Shih, Annie W. Lau-Kilby, Allison M.W. Malloy, Timothy W. Thoner, Kristin V. Tarbell

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Abstract

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) — known to be resistant to genotoxic radiation and chemotherapy — are fundamental to therapy failure and cancer relapse. Here, we reveal that glioma CSCs are hypersensitive to radiation, but a temporal DNA repair mechanism converts the intrinsic sensitivity to genomic instability and treatment resistance. Transcriptome analysis identifies DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) as a predominant DNA repair enzyme in CSCs. Notably, DNA-PK activity is suppressed after irradiation when ROS induce the dissociation of DNA-PKcs with Ku70/80, resulting in delayed DNA repair and radiosensitivity; subsequently, after ROS clearance, the accumulated DNA damage and robust activation of DNA-PK induce genomic instability, facilitated by Rad50-mediated cell-cycle arrest, leading to enhanced malignancy, CSC overgrowth, and radioresistance. Finally, we show a requisite in vivo role for DNA-PK in CSC-mediated radioresistance and glioma progression. These findings identify a time-sensitive mechanism controlling CSC resistance to DNA-damaging treatments and suggest DNA-PK/Rad50 as promising targets for CSC eradication.

Authors

Yanling Wang, Haineng Xu, Tianrun Liu, Menggui Huang, Param-Puneet Butter, Chunsheng Li, Lin Zhang, Gary D. Kao, Yanqing Gong, Amit Maity, Constantinos Koumenis, Yi Fan

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Abstract

Neutrophils dominate the early immune response in pathogen-induced acute lung injury, but efforts to harness their responses have not led to therapeutic advancements. Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) have been proposed as an innate defense mechanism responsible for pathogen clearance, but there are concerns that NETs may induce collateral damage to host tissues. Here, we detected NETs in abundance in mouse models of severe bacterial pneumonia/acute lung injury and in human subjects with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) from pneumonia or sepsis. Decreasing NETs reduced lung injury and improved survival after DNase I treatment or with partial protein arginine deiminase 4 deficiency (PAD4+/–). Complete PAD4 deficiency (PAD4–/–) reduced NETs and lung injury but was counterbalanced by increased bacterial load and inflammation. Importantly, we discovered that the lipoxin pathway could be a potent modulator of NET formation, and that mice deficient in the lipoxin receptor (Fpr2–/–) produced excess NETs leading to increased lung injury and mortality. Lastly, we observed in humans that increased plasma NETs were associated with ARDS severity and mortality, and lower plasma DNase I levels were associated with the development of sepsis-induced ARDS. We conclude that a critical balance of NETs is necessary to prevent lung injury and to maintain microbial control, which has important therapeutic implications.

Authors

Emma Lefrançais, Beñat Mallavia, Hanjing Zhuo, Carolyn S. Calfee, Mark R. Looney

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Abstract

Intestinal epithelial cells condition tolerogenic properties in DCs. Aqueous-deficient dry eye is associated with goblet cell (GC) loss and increased IFN-γ expression in the conjunctiva. We hypothesized that loss of GCs reduces tolerance-inducing properties of antigen presenting cells (APCs) in the conjunctiva and draining nodes. Mice lacking the SAM pointed domain containing ETS transcription factor (Spdef) that is required for GC differentiation had an increased frequency of macrophages in the conjunctiva and CD11b+CD11c+ DCs in the conjunctiva and draining nodes, and these cells had greater IL-12 expression than WT mice. Conditioned media from cultured WT conjunctival GCs suppressed LPS-induced IL-12 production by conjunctival APCs. OVA antigen–specific OTII CD4+ T cells primed by Spdef-KO draining lymph node APCs showed greater proliferation, lower frequency of Foxp3+, increased frequency of IFN-γ+ and IL-17+ cells, and greater IFN-γ production than those primed by WT APCs. The immune tolerance to OVA antigen topically applied to the conjunctiva measured by cutaneous delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) reaction, OVA-specific T cell proliferation, Foxp3 induction, and IFN-γ production observed in WT mice was lost in the Spdef-KO mice. We concluded that conjunctival GCs condition tolerogenic properties in APCs that suppress IL-12 production and Th1 polarization.

Authors

Byung Yi Ko, Yangyan Xiao, Flavia L. Barbosa, Cintia S. de Paiva, Stephen C. Pflugfelder

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Abstract

The role of proinflammation, and specifically TNF-α, on downstream fibrosis and healing after cardiac injury remains unknown. Using iRhom2-deficient mice, which lack myeloid-specific shedding of TNF-α, we reveal increased macrophages (MΦs) that were skewed towards a more proinflammatory (M1) state at day 4, followed by more reparative, antiinflammatory (M2) state at day 7 after myocardial infarction (MI). However, associated functional cytokine expression was significantly reduced in iRhom2-mutant M1 and M2 MΦs, respectively. A dampened proinflammatory signature in iRhom2-deficient mice during the acute phase of injury and subsequent changes in MΦ polarization were associated with reduced phagocytosis and a more sparse distribution within the scar region. This resulted in impaired collagen deposition and fibrosis, and increased left ventricular remodelling and mortality in iRhom2-deficient mice after MI. Our findings reveal a requirement for an iRhom2-mediated proinflammatory response during downstream scarring and fibrosis, which is driven in part by TNF-α signaling. These conclusions challenge the existing model that infarct repair is determined exclusively by antiinflammatory signaling of M2 MΦs, and as such we propose an alternative view of immunomodulation to maintain effective healing after infarction.

Authors

Damien N. Barnette, Thomas J. Cahill, Mala Gunadasa-Rohling, Carolyn A. Carr, Matthew Freeman, Paul R. Riley

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Abstract

To elucidate the mechanisms responsible for cytoprotective effects of TNF receptor–activated factor 2 (TRAF2) in the heart, we employed genetic gain- and loss-of-function studies ex vivo and in vivo in mice with cardiac-restricted overexpression of TRAF2 (Myh6-TRAF2LC). Crossing Myh6-TRAF2LC mice with mice lacking canonical signaling (Myh6-TRAF2LC/Myh6-IκBαΔN) abrogated the cytoprotective effects of TRAF2 ex vivo. In contrast, inhibiting the JAK/STAT pathway did not abrogate the cytoprotective effects of TRAF2. Transcriptional profiling of WT, Myh6-TRAF2LC, and Myh6-TRAF2LC/Myh6-IκBαΔN mouse hearts suggested that the noncanonical NF-κB signaling pathway was upregulated in the Myh6-TRAF2LC mouse hearts. Western blotting and ELISA for the NF-κB family proteins p50, p65, p52, and RelB on nuclear and cytoplasmic extracts from naive 12-week-old WT, Myh6-TRAF2LC, and Myh6-TRAF2LC/Myh6-IκBαΔN mouse hearts showed increased expression levels and increased DNA binding of p52 and RelB, whereas there was no increase in expression or DNA binding of the p50 and p65 subunits. Crossing Myh6-TRAF2LC mice with RelB–/+ mice (Myh6-TRAF2LC/RelB–/+) attenuated the cytoprotective effects of TRAF2 ex vivo and in vivo. Viewed together, these results suggest that crosstalk between the canonical and noncanonical NF-κB signaling pathways is required for mediating the cytoprotective effects of TRAF2.

Authors

Sarah Evans, Huei-Ping Tzeng, Deborah J. Veis, Scot Matkovich, Carla Weinheimer, Attila Kovacs, Philip M. Barger, Douglas L. Mann

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Abstract

BACKGROUND. DC-based tumor vaccines have had limited clinical success thus far. SOCS1, a key inhibitor of inflammatory cytokine signaling, is an immune checkpoint regulator that limits DC immunopotency. METHODS. We generated a genetically modified DC (gmDC) vaccine to perform immunotherapy. The adenovirus (Ad-siSSF) delivers two tumor-associated antigens (TAAs), survivin and MUC1; secretory bacterial flagellin for DC maturation; and an RNA interference moiety to suppress SOCS1. A 2-stage phase I trial was performed for patients with relapsed acute leukemia after allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: in stage 1, we compared the safety and efficacy between gmDC treatment (23 patients) and standard donor lymphocyte infusion (25 patients); in stage 2, we tested the efficacy of the gmDC vaccine for 12 acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients with early molecular relapse. RESULTS. gmDCs elicited potent TAA-specific CTL responses in vitro, and the immunostimulatory activity of gmDC vaccination was demonstrated in rhesus monkeys. A stage 1 study established that this combinatory gmDC vaccine is safe in acute leukemia patients and yielded improved survival rate. In stage 2, we observed a complete remission rate of 83% in 12 relapsed AML patients. Overall, no grade 3 or grade 4 graft-versus-host disease incidence was detected in any of the 35 patients enrolled. CONCLUSIONS. This study, with combinatory modifications in DCs, demonstrates the safety and efficacy of SOCS1-silenced DCs in treating relapsed acute leukemia. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01956630. FUNDING. National Institute of Health (R01CA90427); the Key New Drug Development and Manufacturing Program of the “Twelfth Five-Year Plan” of China (2011ZX09102-001-29); and Clinical Application Research of Beijing (Z131107002213148).

Authors

Danhong Wang, Xue F. Huang, Bangxing Hong, Xiao-Tong Song, Liangding Hu, Min Jiang, Bin Zhang, Hongmei Ning, Yuhang Li, Chen Xu, Xiao Lou, Botao Li, Zhiyong Yu, Jiangwei Hu, Jianlin Chen, Fan Yang, Haiyan Gao, Guoliang Ding, Lianming Liao, Lisa Rollins, Lindsey Jones, Si-Yi Chen, Hu Chen

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Abstract

Skeletal muscle mass is regulated by a complex array of signaling pathways. TGF-β–activated kinase 1 (TAK1) is an important signaling protein, which regulates context-dependent activation of multiple intracellular pathways. However, the role of TAK1 in the regulation of skeletal muscle mass remains unknown. Here, we report that inducible inactivation of TAK1 causes severe muscle wasting, leading to kyphosis, in both young and adult mice.. Inactivation of TAK1 inhibits protein synthesis and induces proteolysis, potentially through upregulating the activity of the ubiquitin-proteasome system and autophagy. Phosphorylation and enzymatic activity of AMPK are increased, whereas levels of phosphorylated mTOR and p38 MAPK are diminished upon inducible inactivation of TAK1 in skeletal muscle. In addition, targeted inactivation of TAK1 leads to the accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria and oxidative stress in skeletal muscle of adult mice. Inhibition of TAK1 does not attenuate denervation-induced muscle wasting in adult mice. Finally, TAK1 activity is highly upregulated during overload-induced skeletal muscle growth, and inactivation of TAK1 prevents myofiber hypertrophy in response to functional overload. Overall, our study demonstrates that TAK1 is a key regulator of skeletal muscle mass and oxidative metabolism.

Authors

Sajedah M. Hindi, Shuichi Sato, Guangyan Xiong, Kyle R. Bohnert, Andrew A. Gibb, Yann S. Gallot, Joseph D. McMillan, Bradford G. Hill, Shizuka Uchida, Ashok Kumar

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Abstract

In cystic fibrosis (CF), deletion of phenylalanine 508 (F508del) in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) anion channel causes misfolding and premature degradation. Considering the numerous effects of the F508del mutation on the assembly and processing of CFTR protein, combination therapy with several pharmacological correctors is likely to be required to treat CF patients. Recently, it has been reported that thymosin α-1 (Tα-1) has multiple beneficial effects that could lead to a single-molecule-based therapy for CF patients with F508del. Such effects include suppression of inflammation, improvement in F508del-CFTR maturation and gating, and stimulation of chloride secretion through the calcium-activated chloride channel (CaCC). Given the importance of such a drug, we aimed to characterize the underlying molecular mechanisms of action of Tα-1. In-depth analysis of Tα-1 effects was performed using well-established microfluorimetric, biochemical, and electrophysiological techniques on epithelial cell lines and primary bronchial epithelial cells from CF patients. The studies, which were conducted in 2 independent laboratories with identical outcome, demonstrated that Tα-1 is devoid of activity on mutant CFTR as well as on CaCC. Although Tα-1 may still be useful as an antiinflammatory agent, its ability to target defective anion transport in CF remains to be further investigated.

Authors

Valeria Tomati, Emanuela Caci, Loretta Ferrera, Emanuela Pesce, Elvira Sondo, Deborah M. Cholon, Nancy L. Quinney, Susan E. Boyles, Andrea Armirotti, Roberto Ravazzolo, Luis J.V. Galietta, Martina Gentzsch, Nicoletta Pedemonte

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