Osteoarthritis (OA) of spine (facet joints [FJs]) is one of the major causes of severe low back pain and disability worldwide. The degeneration of facet cartilage is a hallmark of FJ OA. However, endogenous mechanisms that initiate degeneration of facet cartilage are unknown, and there are no disease-modifying therapies to stop FJ OA. In this study, we have identified microRNAs (small noncoding RNAs) as mediators of FJ cartilage degeneration. We first established a cohort of patients with varying degrees of facet cartilage degeneration (control group: normal or mild facet cartilage degeneration; FJ OA group: moderate to severe facet cartilage degeneration) and then screened 2,100 miRNAs and identified 2 miRNAs (miR-181a-5p and miR-4454) that were significantly elevated in FJ OA cartilage compared with control facet cartilage. We further explored their role, function, and signaling mechanisms using computational, in vitro functional, and in vivo studies. We specifically indicate that miR-181a-5p and miR-4454 are involved in promoting inflammatory, catabolic, and cell death activity in FJ chondrocytes. This is the first report to our knowledge that identifies miR-181a-5p and miR-4454 as mediators of cartilage degeneration in FJs and potential therapeutic targets for stopping cartilage degeneration.
Akihiro Nakamura, Y. Raja Rampersaud, Anirudh Sharma, Stephen J. Lewis, Brian Wu, Poulami Datta, Kala Sundararajan, Helal Endisha, Evgeny Rossomacha, Jason S. Rockel, Igor Jurisica, Mohit Kapoor
Mucous membrane pemphigoid (MMP) is a systemic mucosal scarring disease, commonly causing blindness, for which there is no antifibrotic therapy. Aldehyde dehydrogenase family 1 (ALDH1) is upregulated in both ocular MMP (OMMP) conjunctiva and cultured fibroblasts. Application of the ALDH metabolite, retinoic acid (RA), to normal human conjunctival fibroblasts in vitro induced a diseased phenotype. Conversely, application of ALDH inhibitors, including disulfiram, to OMMP fibroblasts in vitro restored their functionality to that of normal controls. ALDH1 is also upregulated in the mucosa of the mouse model of scarring allergic eye disease (AED), used here as a surrogate for OMMP, in which topical application of disulfiram decreased fibrosis in vivo. These data suggest that progressive scarring in OMMP results from ALDH/RA fibroblast autoregulation, that the ALDH1 subfamily has a central role in immune-mediated ocular mucosal scarring, and that ALDH inhibition with disulfiram is a potential and readily translatable antifibrotic therapy.
Sarah D. Ahadome, David J. Abraham, Suryanarayana Rayapureddi, Valerie P. Saw, Daniel R. Saban, Virginia L. Calder, Jill T. Norman, Markella Ponticos, Julie T. Daniels, John K. Dart
Fibrosis is a shared end-stage pathway to lung, liver, and heart failure. In the ocular mucosa (conjunctiva), fibrosis leads to blindness in trachoma, pemphigoid, and allergy. The indirect fibrogenic role of DCs via T cell activation and inflammatory cell recruitment is well documented. However, here we demonstrate that DCs can directly induce fibrosis. In the mouse model of allergic eye disease (AED), classical CD11b+ DCs in the ocular mucosa showed increased activity of aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), the enzyme required for retinoic acid synthesis. In vitro, CD11b+ DC–derived ALDH was associated with 9-
Sarah D. Ahadome, Rose Mathew, Nancy J. Reyes, Priyatham S. Mettu, Scott W. Cousins, Virginia L. Calder, Daniel R. Saban
Current methods of drug screening in human blood focus on the immediate products of the affected pathway and mostly rely on approaches that lack sensitivity and the capacity for multiplex analysis. We have developed a sensitive and selective method based on ultra-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry to scan the effect of drugs on the bioactive eicosanoid lipidome in vitro and ex vivo. Using small sample sizes, we can reproducibly measure a broad spectrum of eicosanoids in human blood and capture drug-induced substrate rediversion and unexpected shifts in product formation. Microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 (mPGES-1) is an antiinflammatory drug target alternative to COX-1/-2. Contrasting effects of targeting mPGES-1 versus COX-1/-2, due to differential substrate shifts across the lipidome, were observed and can be used to rationalize and evaluate drug combinations. Finally, the in vitro results were extrapolated to ex vivo studies by administration of the COX-2 inhibitor, celecoxib, to volunteers, illustrating how this approach can be used to integrate preclinical and clinical studies during drug development.
Liudmila L. Mazaleuskaya, John A. Lawson, Xuanwen Li, Gregory Grant, Clementina Mesaros, Tilo Grosser, Ian A. Blair, Emanuela Ricciotti, Garret A. FitzGerald
It is well established that maladaptive innate immune responses to sterile tissue injury represent a fundamental mechanism of disease pathogenesis. In the context of cardiac ischemia reperfusion injury, neutrophils enter inflamed heart tissue, where they play an important role in potentiating tissue damage and contributing to contractile dysfunction. The precise mechanisms that govern how neutrophils are recruited to and enter the injured heart are incompletely understood. Using a model of cardiac transplant–mediated ischemia reperfusion injury and intravital 2-photon imaging of beating mouse hearts, we determined that tissue-resident CCR2+ monocyte–derived macrophages are essential mediators of neutrophil recruitment into ischemic myocardial tissue. Our studies revealed that neutrophil extravasation is mediated by a TLR9/MyD88/CXCL5 pathway. Intravital 2-photon imaging demonstrated that CXCL2 and CXCL5 play critical and nonredundant roles in guiding neutrophil adhesion and crawling, respectively. Together, these findings uncover a specific role for a tissue-resident monocyte-derived macrophage subset in sterile tissue inflammation and support the evolving concept that macrophage ontogeny is an important determinant of function. Furthermore, our results provide the framework for targeting of cell-specific signaling pathways in myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury.
Wenjun Li, Hsi-Min Hsiao, Ryuji Higashikubo, Brian T. Saunders, Ankit Bharat, Daniel R. Goldstein, Alexander S. Krupnick, Andrew E. Gelman, Kory J. Lavine, Daniel Kreisel
Senescent cells accumulate in many tissues as animals age and are considered to underlie several aging-associated pathologies. The tumor suppressors p19ARF and p16INK4a, both of which are encoded in the
Michihiro Hashimoto, Azusa Asai, Hiroyuki Kawagishi, Ryuta Mikawa, Yuji Iwashita, Kazuki Kanayama, Kazushi Sugimoto, Tadashi Sato, Mitsuo Maruyama, Masataka Sugimoto
Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a potentially fatal autoimmune disorder with limited therapeutic options. Sclerodermatous graft versus host disease (sclGvHD), induced by transfer of B10.D2 splenocytes into BALB/c
Katia Urso, David Alvarez, Viviana Cremasco, Kelly Tsang, Angelo Grauel, Robert Lafyatis, Ulrich H. von Andrian, Joerg Ermann, Antonios O. Aliprantis
Ashutosh Lal, Esteban Gomez, Cassandra Calloway
A single-cycle herpes simplex virus (HSV) deleted in glycoprotein D (ΔgD-2) elicited high titer HSV-specific antibodies (Abs) that (i) were rapidly transported into the vaginal mucosa; (ii) elicited antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity but little neutralization; (iii) provided complete protection against lethal intravaginal challenge; and (iv) prevented establishment of latency in mice. However, clinical isolates may differ antigenically and impact vaccine efficacy. To determine the breadth and further define mechanisms of protection of this vaccine candidate, we tested ΔgD-2 against a panel of clinical isolates in a murine skin challenge model. The isolates were genetically diverse, as evidenced by genomic sequencing and in vivo virulence. Prime and boost immunization (s.c.) with live but not heat- or UV-inactivated ΔgD-2 completely protected mice from challenge with the most virulent HSV-1 and HSV-2 isolates. Furthermore, mice were completely protected against 100 times the lethal dose that typically kills 90% of animals (LD90) of a South African isolate (SD90), and no latent virus was detected in dorsal root ganglia. Immunization was associated with rapid recruitment of HSV-specific FcγRIII- and FcγRIV-activating IgG2 Abs into the skin, resolution of local cytokine and cellular inflammatory responses, and viral clearance by day 5 after challenge. Rapid clearance and the absence of latent virus suggest that ΔgD-2 elicits sterilizing immunity.
Christopher D. Petro, Brian Weinrick, Nazanin Khajoueinejad, Clare Burn, Rani Sellers, William R. Jacobs Jr, Betsy C. Herold
Recent gene-profiling analyses showed significant upregulation of the folate hydrolase (
Rana Rais, Weiwei Jiang, Huihong Zhai, Krystyna M. Wozniak, Marigo Stathis, Kristen R. Hollinger, Ajit G. Thomas, Camilo Rojas, James J. Vornov, Michael Marohn, Xuhang Li, Barbara S. Slusher
Following the advent of molecular assays that measure T cell receptor excision circles (TRECs) present in recent thymic emigrants, it has been conclusively shown that thymopoiesis persists in most adults, but that functional output decreases with age, influencing the maintenance of a diverse and functional T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire. Space flight has been shown to result in a variety of phenotypic and functional changes in human T cells and in the reactivation of latent viruses. While space flight has been shown to influence thymic architecture in rodents, thymopoiesis has not previously been assessed in astronauts. Here, we assessed thymopoiesis longitudinally over a 1-year period prior to and after long-term space flight (median duration, 184 days) in 16 astronauts. While preflight assessments of thymopoiesis remained quite stable in individual astronauts, we detected significant suppression of thymopoiesis in all subjects upon return from space flight. We also found significant increases in urine and plasma levels of endogenous glucocorticoids coincident with the suppression of thymopoiesis. The glucocorticoid induction and thymopoiesis suppression were transient, and they normalized shortly after return to Earth. This is the first report to our knowledge to prospectively demonstrate a significant change in thymopoiesis in healthy individuals in association with a defined physiologic emotional and physical stress event. These results suggest that suppression of thymopoiesis has the potential to influence the maintenance of the TCR repertoire during extended space travel. Further studies of thymopoiesis and endogenous glucocorticoids in other stress states, including illness, are warranted.
Cara L. Benjamin, Raymond P. Stowe, Lisa St. John, Clarence F. Sams, Satish K. Mehta, Brian E. Crucian, Duane L. Pierson, Krishna V. Komanduri