Memory Th2 cell responses underlie the development and perpetuation of allergic diseases. Because these states result from immune dysregulation, established Th2 cell responses represent a significant challenge for conventional immunotherapies. New approaches that overcome the detrimental effects of immune dysregulation are required. We tested whether memory Th2 cell responses were silenced using a therapeutic approach where allergen expression in DCs is transferred to sensitized recipients using BM cells as a vector for therapeutic gene transfer. Development of allergen-specific Th2 responses and allergen-induced airway inflammation was blocked by expression of allergen in DCs. Adoptive transfer studies showed that Th2 responses were inactivated by a combination of deletion and induction of T cell unresponsiveness. Transfer of BM encoding allergen expression targeted to DCs terminated, in an allergen-specific manner, Th2 responses in sensitized recipients. Importantly, when preexisting airway inflammation was present, there was effective silencing of Th2 cell responses, airway inflammation was alleviated, and airway hyperreactivity was reversed. The effectiveness of DC-targeted allergen expression to terminate established Th2 responses in sensitized animals indicates that exploiting cell-intrinsic T cell tolerance pathways could lead to development of highly effective immunotherapies.
Jane AL-Kouba, Andrew N. Wilkinson, Malcolm R. Starkey, Rajeev Rudraraju, Rhiannon B. Werder, Xiao Liu, Soi-Cheng Law, Jay C. Horvat, Jeremy F. Brooks, Geoffrey R. Hill, Janet M. Davies, Simon Phipps, Philip M. Hansbro, Raymond J. Steptoe
Mechanical ventilation is necessary to support patients with acute lung injury, but also exacerbates injury through mechanical stress–activated signaling pathways. We show that stretch applied to cultured human cells, and to mouse lungs in vivo, induces robust expression of metallothionein, a potent antioxidant and cytoprotective molecule critical for cellular zinc homeostasis. Furthermore, genetic deficiency of murine metallothionein genes exacerbated lung injury caused by high tidal volume mechanical ventilation, identifying an adaptive role for these genes in limiting lung injury. Stretch induction of metallothionein required zinc and the zinc-binding transcription factor MTF1. We further show that mouse dietary zinc deficiency potentiates ventilator-induced lung injury, and that plasma zinc levels are significantly reduced in human patients who go on to develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) compared with healthy and non-ARDS intensive care unit (ICU) controls, as well as with other ICU patients without ARDS. Taken together, our findings identify a potentially novel adaptive response of the lung to stretch and a critical role for zinc in defining the lung’s tolerance for mechanical ventilation. These results demonstrate that failure of stretch-adaptive responses play an important role in exacerbating mechanical ventilator–induced lung injury, and identify zinc and metallothionein as targets for lung-protective interventions in patients requiring mechanical ventilation.
Francis Boudreault, Miguel Pinilla-Vera, Joshua A. Englert, Alvin T. Kho, Colleen Isabelle, Antonio J. Arciniegas, Diana Barragan-Bradford, Carolina Quintana, Diana Amador-Munoz, Jiazhen Guan, Kyoung Moo Choi, MICU Registry, Lynette Sholl, Shelley Hurwitz, Daniel J. Tschumperlin, Rebecca M. Baron
A major challenge for studying authentic liver cell function and cell replacement therapies is that primary human hepatocytes rapidly lose their advanced function in conventional, 2-dimensional culture platforms. Here, we describe the fabrication of 3-dimensional hexagonally arrayed lobular human liver tissues inspired by the liver’s natural architecture. The engineered liver tissues exhibit key features of advanced differentiation, such as human-specific cytochrome P450–mediated drug metabolism and the ability to support efficient infection with patient-derived inoculums of hepatitis C virus. The tissues permit the assessment of antiviral agents and maintain their advanced functions for over 5 months in culture. This extended functionality enabled the prediction of a fatal human-specific hepatotoxicity caused by fialuridine (FIAU), which had escaped detection by preclinical models and short-term clinical studies. The results obtained with the engineered human liver tissue in this study provide proof-of-concept determination of human-specific drug metabolism, demonstrate the ability to support infection with human hepatitis virus derived from an infected patient and subsequent antiviral drug testing against said infection, and facilitate detection of human-specific drug hepatotoxicity associated with late-onset liver failure. Looking forward, the scalability and biocompatibility of the scaffold are also ideal for future cell replacement therapeutic strategies.
Soon Seng Ng, Anming Xiong, Khanh Nguyen, Marilyn Masek, Da Yoon No, Menashe Elazar, Eyal Shteyer, Mark A. Winters, Amy Voedisch, Kate Shaw, Sheikh Tamir Rashid, Curtis W. Frank, Nam Joon Cho, Jeffrey S. Glenn
Using transcriptional profiling of platelets from patients presenting with acute myocardial infarction, we identified myeloid-related protein-14 (MRP-14, also known as S100A9) as an acute myocardial infarction gene and reported that platelet MRP-14 binding to platelet CD36 regulates arterial thrombosis. However, whether MRP-14 plays a role in venous thrombosis is unknown. We subjected WT and Mrp-14–deficient (Mrp-14-/-) mice to experimental models of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) by stasis ligation or partial flow restriction (stenosis) of the inferior vena cava. Thrombus weight in response to stasis ligation or stenosis was reduced significantly in Mrp-14-/- mice compared with WT mice. The adoptive transfer of WT neutrophils or platelets, or the infusion of recombinant MRP-8/14, into Mrp-14-/- mice rescued the venous thrombosis defect in Mrp-14-/- mice, indicating that neutrophil- and platelet-derived MRP-14 directly regulate venous thrombogenesis. Stimulation of neutrophils with MRP-14 induced neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation, and NETs were reduced in venous thrombi harvested from Mrp-14-/- mice and in Mrp-14-/- neutrophils stimulated with ionomycin. Given prior evidence that MRP-14 also regulates arterial thrombosis, but not hemostasis (i.e., reduced bleeding risk), MRP-14 appears to be a particularly attractive molecular target for treating thrombotic cardiovascular diseases, including myocardial infarction, stroke, and venous thromboembolism.
Yunmei Wang, Huiyun Gao, Chase W. Kessinger, Alvin Schmaier, Farouc A. Jaffer, Daniel I. Simon
Fibrosis results from the dysregulation of tissue repair mechanisms affecting major organ systems, leading to chronic extracellular matrix buildup, and progressive, often fatal, organ failure. Current diagnosis relies on invasive biopsies. Noninvasive methods today cannot distinguish actively progressive fibrogenesis from stable scar, and thus are insensitive for monitoring disease activity or therapeutic responses. Collagen oxidation is a universal signature of active fibrogenesis that precedes collagen crosslinking. Biochemically targeting oxidized lysine residues formed by the action of lysyl oxidase on collagen with a small-molecule gadolinium chelate enables targeted molecular magnetic resonance imaging. This noninvasive direct biochemical elucidation of the fibrotic microenvironment specifically and robustly detected and staged pulmonary and hepatic fibrosis progression, and monitored therapeutic response in animal models. Furthermore, this paradigm is translatable and generally applicable to diverse fibroproliferative disorders.
Howard H. Chen, Philip A. Waghorn, Lan Wei, Luis F. Tapias, Daniel T. Schühle, Nicholas J. Rotile, Chloe M. Jones, Richard J. Looby, Gaofeng Zhao, Justin M. Elliott, Clemens K. Probst, Mari Mino-Kenudson, Gregory Y. Lauwers, Andrew M. Tager, Kenneth K. Tanabe, Michael Lanuti, Bryan C. Fuchs, Peter Caravan
Degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) is the most common progressive nontraumatic spinal cord injury. The most common recommended treatment is surgical decompression, although the optimal timing of intervention is an area of ongoing debate. The primary objective of this study was to assess whether a delay in decompression could influence the extent of ischemia-reperfusion injury and alter the trajectory of outcome in DCM. Using a DCM mouse model, we show that decompression acutely led to a 1.5- to 2-fold increase in levels of inflammatory cytokines within the spinal cord. Delayed decompression was associated with exacerbated reperfusion injury, astrogliosis, and poorer neurological recovery. Additionally, delayed decompression was associated with prolonged elevation of inflammatory cytokines and an exacerbated peripheral monocytic inflammatory response (P < 0.01 and 0.001). In contrast, early decompression led to resolution of reperfusion-mediated inflammation, neurological improvement, and reduced hyperalgesia. Similar findings were observed in subjects from the CSM AOSpine North America and International studies, where delayed decompressive surgery resulted in poorer neurological improvement compared with patients with an earlier intervention. Our data demonstrate that delayed surgical decompression for DCM exacerbates reperfusion injury and is associated with ongoing enhanced levels of cytokine expression, microglia activation, and astrogliosis, and paralleled with poorer neurological recovery.
Pia M. Vidal, Spyridon K. Karadimas, Antigona Ulndreaj, Alex M. Laliberte, Lindsay Tetreault, Stefania Forner, Jian Wang, Warren D. Foltz, Michael G. Fehlings
Tristetraprolin (TTP, encoded by the Zfp36 gene) regulates the mRNA stability of several important cytokines. Due to the critical role of this RNA-binding protein in the control of inflammation, TTP deficiency leads to the spontaneous development of a complex inflammatory syndrome. So far, this phenotype has been largely attributed to dysregulated production of TNF and IL‑23 by myeloid cells, such as macrophages or DCs. Here, we generated mice with conditional deletion of TTP in keratinocytes (Zfp36fl/flK14-Cre mice, referred to herein as Zfp36ΔEP mice). Unlike DC-restricted (CD11c-Cre) or myeloid cell–restricted (LysM-Cre) TTP ablation, these mice developed exacerbated inflammation in the imiquimod-induced psoriasis model. Furthermore, Zfp36ΔEP mice progressively developed a spontaneous pathology with systemic inflammation, psoriatic-like skin lesions, and dactylitis. Finally, we provide evidence that keratinocyte-derived TNF production drives these different pathological features. In summary, these findings expand current views on the initiation of psoriasis and related arthritis by revealing the keratinocyte-intrinsic role of TTP.
Mathieu Andrianne, Assiya Assabban, Caroline La, Denis Mogilenko, Delphine Staumont Salle, Sébastien Fleury, Gilles Doumont, Gaëtan Van Simaeys, Sergei A. Nedospasov, Perry J. Blackshear, David Dombrowicz, Stanislas Goriely, Laurye Van Maele
Microglia play a critical role in the development and homeostasis of the CNS. While mobilization of microglia is critical for a number of pathologies, understanding of the mechanisms of their migration in vivo is limited and often based on similarities to macrophages. Kindlin3 deficiency as well as Kindlin3 mutations of integrin-binding sites abolish both integrin inside-out and outside-in signaling in microglia, thereby resulting in severe deficiencies in cell adhesion, polarization, and migration in vitro, which are similar to the defects observed in macrophages. In contrast, while Kindlin3 mutations impaired macrophage mobilization in vivo, they had no effect either on the population of microglia in the CNS during development or on mobilization of microglia and subsequent microgliosis in a model of multiple sclerosis. At the same time, acute microglial response to laser-induced injury was impaired by the lack of Kindlin3-integrin interactions. Based on 2-photon imaging of microglia in the brain, Kindlin3 is required for elongation of microglial processes toward the injury site and formation of phagosomes in response to brain injury. Thus, while Kindlin3 deficiency in human subjects is not expected to diminish the presence of microglia within CNS, it might delay the recovery process after injury, thereby exacerbating its complications.
Julia Meller, Zhihong Chen, Tejasvi Dudiki, Rebecca M. Cull, Rakhilya Murtazina, Saswat K. Bal, Elzbieta Pluskota, Samantha Stefl, Edward F. Plow, Bruce D. Trapp, Tatiana V. Byzova
A fundamental challenge to our understanding of brown adipose tissue (BAT) is the lack of an animal model that faithfully represents human BAT. Such a model is essential for direct assessment of the function and therapeutic potential of BAT depots in humans. In human adults, most of the thermoactive BAT depots are located in the supraclavicular region of the neck, while mouse studies focus on depots located in the interscapular region of the torso. We recently discovered BAT depots that are located in a region analogous to that of human supraclavicular BAT (scBAT). Here, we report that the mouse scBAT depot has morphological characteristics of classical BAT, possesses the potential for high thermogenic activity, and expresses a gene signature that is similar to that of human scBAT. Taken together, our studies reveal a mouse BAT depot that represents human BAT and provides a unique tool for developing new translatable approaches for utilizing human scBAT.
Qianxing Mo, Jordan Salley, Tony Roshan, Lisa A. Baer, Francis J. May, Eric J. Jaehnig, Adam C. Lehnig, Xin Guo, Qiang Tong, Alli M. Nuotio-Antar, Farnaz Shamsi, Yu-Hua Tseng, Kristin I. Stanford, Miao-Hsueh Chen
Intestinal tuft cells are a rare, poorly understood cell type recently shown to be a critical mediator of type 2 immune response to helminth infection. Here, we present advances in segmentation algorithms and analytical tools for multiplex immunofluorescence (MxIF), a platform that enables iterative staining of over 60 antibodies on a single tissue section. These refinements have enabled a comprehensive analysis of tuft cell number, distribution, and protein expression profiles as a function of anatomical location and physiological perturbations. Based solely on DCLK1 immunoreactivity, tuft cell numbers were similar throughout the mouse small intestine and colon. However, multiple subsets of tuft cells were uncovered when protein coexpression signatures were examined, including two new intestinal tuft cell markers, Hopx and EGFR phosphotyrosine 1068. Furthermore, we identified dynamic changes in tuft cell number, composition, and protein expression associated with fasting and refeeding and after introduction of microbiota to germ-free mice. These studies provide a foundational framework for future studies of intestinal tuft cell regulation and demonstrate the utility of our improved MxIF computational methods and workflow for understanding cellular heterogeneity in complex tissues in normal and disease states.
Eliot T. McKinley, Yunxia Sui, Yousef Al-Kofahi, Bryan A. Millis, Matthew J. Tyska, Joseph T. Roland, Alberto Santamaria-Pang, Christina L. Ohland, Christian Jobin, Jeffrey L. Franklin, Ken S. Lau, Michael J. Gerdes, Robert J. Coffey
Pulmonary function is dependent upon the precise regulation of alveolar surfactant. Alterations in pulmonary surfactant concentrations or function impair ventilation and cause tissue injury. Identification of the molecular pathways that sense and regulate endogenous alveolar surfactant concentrations, coupled with the ability to pharmacologically modulate them both positively and negatively, would be a major therapeutic advance for patients with acute and chronic lung diseases caused by disruption of surfactant homeostasis. The orphan adhesion GPCR GPR116 (also known as Adgrf5) is a critical regulator of alveolar surfactant concentrations. Here, we show that human and mouse GPR116 control surfactant secretion and reuptake in alveolar type II (AT2) cells by regulating guanine nucleotide–binding domain α q and 11 (Gq/11) signaling. Synthetic peptides derived from the ectodomain of GPR116 activated Gq/11-dependent inositol phosphate conversion, calcium mobilization, and cortical F-actin stabilization to inhibit surfactant secretion. AT2 cell–specific deletion of Gnaq and Gna11 phenocopied the accumulation of surfactant observed in Gpr116–/– mice. These data provide proof of concept that GPR116 is a plausible therapeutic target to modulate endogenous alveolar surfactant pools to treat pulmonary diseases associated with surfactant dysfunction.
Kari Brown, Alyssa Filuta, Marie-Gabrielle Ludwig, Klaus Seuwen, Julian Jaros, Solange Vidal, Kavisha Arora, Anjaparavanda P. Naren, Kathirvel Kandasamy, Kaushik Parthasarathi, Stefan Offermanns, Robert J. Mason, William E. Miller, Jeffrey A. Whitsett, James P. Bridges
The placebo effect is a phenomenon in which patients who are given an inactive treatment (e.g., inert pill) show a perceived or actual improvement in a medical condition. Placebo effects in clinical trials have been investigated for many years especially because placebo treatments often serve as the control arm of randomized clinical trial designs. Recent observations suggest that placebo effects may be modified by genetics. This observation has given rise to the term “placebome,” which refers to a group of genome-related mediators that affect an individual’s response to placebo treatments. In this study, we conduct a network analysis of the placebome and identify a placebome module in the comprehensive human interactome using a seed-connector algorithm. The placebome module is significantly enriched with neurotransmitter signaling pathways and brain-specific proteins. We validate the placebome module using a large cohort of the Women’s Genome Health Study (WGHS) trial and demonstrate that the placebome module is significantly enriched with genes whose SNPs modify the outcome in the placebo arm of the trial. To gain insights into placebo effects in different diseases and drug treatments, we use a network proximity measure to examine the closeness of the placebome module to different disease modules and drug target modules. The results demonstrate that the network proximity of the placebome module to disease modules in the interactome significantly correlates with the strength of the placebo effect in the corresponding diseases. The proximity of the placebome module to molecular pathways affected by certain drug classes indicates the existence of placebo-drug interactions. This study is helpful for understanding the molecular mechanisms mediating the placebo response, and sets the stage for minimizing its effects in clinical trials and for developing therapeutic strategies that intentionally engage it.
Rui-Sheng Wang, Kathryn T. Hall, Franco Giulianini, Dani Passow, Ted J. Kaptchuk, Joseph Loscalzo
Endometrial stromal tumors include translocation-associated low- and high-grade endometrial stromal sarcomas (ESS) and highly malignant undifferentiated uterine sarcomas (UUS). UUS is considered a poorly defined group of aggressive tumors and is often seen as a diagnosis of exclusion after ESS and leiomyosarcoma (LMS) have been ruled out. We performed a comprehensive analysis of gene expression, copy number variation, point mutations, and immune cell infiltrates in the largest series to date of all major types of uterine sarcomas to shed light on the biology of UUS and to identify potential novel therapeutic targets. We show that UUS tumors have a distinct molecular profile from LMS and ESS. Gene expression and immunohistochemical analyses revealed the presence of high numbers of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) in UUS, which makes UUS patients suitable candidates for therapies targeting TAMs. Our results show a high genomic instability of UUS and downregulation of several TP53-mediated tumor suppressor genes, such as NDN, CDH11, and NDRG4. Moreover, we demonstrate that UUS carry somatic mutations in several oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes implicated in RAS/PI3K/AKT/mTOR, ERBB3, and Hedgehog signaling.
Joanna Przybyl, Magdalena Kowalewska, Anna Quattrone, Barbara Dewaele, Vanessa Vanspauwen, Sushama Varma, Sujay Vennam, Aaron M. Newman, Michal Swierniak, Elwira Bakuła-Zalewska, Janusz A. Siedlecki, Mariusz Bidzinski, Jan Cools, Matt van de Rijn, Maria Debiec-Rychter
T follicular helper cells (TFH cells) are important regulators of antigen-specific B cell responses. The B cell chemoattractant CXCL13 has recently been linked with TFH cell infiltration and improved survival in human cancer. Although human TFH cells can produce CXCL13, their immune functions are currently unknown. This study presents data from human breast cancer, advocating a role for tumor-infiltrating CXCL13-producing (CXCR5–) TFH cells, here named TFHX13 cells, in promoting local memory B cell differentiation. TFHX13 cells potentially trigger tertiary lymphoid structure formation and thereby generate germinal center B cell responses at the tumor site. Follicular DCs are not potent CXCL13 producers in breast tumor tissues. We used the TFH cell markers PD-1 and ICOS to identify distinct effector and regulatory CD4+ T cell subpopulations in breast tumors. TFHX13 cells are an important component of the PD-1hiICOSint effector subpopulation and coexpanded with PD-1intICOShiFOXP3hi Tregs. IL2 deprivation induces CXCL13 expression in vitro with a synergistic effect from TGFβ1, providing insight into TFHX13 cell differentiation in response to Treg accumulation, similar to conventional TFH cell responses. Our data suggest that human TFHX13 cell differentiation may be a key factor in converting Treg-mediated immune suppression to de novo activation of adaptive antitumor humoral responses in the chronic inflammatory breast cancer microenvironment.
Chunyan Gu-Trantien, Edoardo Migliori, Laurence Buisseret, Alexandre de Wind, Sylvain Brohée, Soizic Garaud, Grégory Noël, Vu Luan Dang Chi, Jean-Nicolas Lodewyckx, Céline Naveaux, Hugues Duvillier, Stanislas Goriely, Denis Larsimont, Karen Willard-Gallo
Pathogenic fungi cause a wide range of syndromes in immune-competent and immune-compromised individuals, with life-threatening disease primarily seen in humans with HIV/AIDS and in patients receiving immunosuppressive therapies for cancer, autoimmunity, and end-organ failure. The discovery that specific primary immune deficiencies manifest with fungal infections and the development of animal models of mucosal and invasive mycoses have facilitated insight into fungus-specific recognition, signaling, effector pathways, and adaptive immune responses. Progress in deciphering the molecular and cellular basis of immunity against fungi is guiding preclinical studies into vaccine and immune reconstitution strategies for vulnerable patient groups. Furthermore, recent work has begun to address the role of endogenous fungal communities in human health and disease. In this review, we summarize a contemporary understanding of protective immunity against fungi.
Michail S. Lionakis, Iliyan D. Iliev, Tobias M. Hohl