The emergence of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus during the past decade along with an impending shortage of effective antistaphylococcal antibiotics have fueled impressive advances in our understanding of how S. aureus overcomes the host environment to establish infection. Backed by recent technologic advances, studies have uncovered elaborate metabolic, nutritional, and virulence strategies deployed by S. aureus to survive the restrictive and hostile environment imposed by the host, leading to a plethora of promising antimicrobial approaches that have potential to remedy the antibiotic resistance crisis. In this Review, we highlight some of the critical and recently elucidated bacterial strategies that are potentially amenable to intervention, discuss their relevance to human diseases, and address the translational challenges posed by current animal models.
Isaac P. Thomsen, George Y. Liu
Periplakin is a component of the desmosomes that acts as a cytolinker between intermediate filament scaffolding and the desmosomal plaque. Periplakin is strongly expressed by epithelial cells in the lung and is a target antigen for autoimmunity in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The aim of this study was to determine the role of periplakin during lung injury and remodeling in a mouse model of lung fibrosis induced by bleomycin. We found that periplakin expression was downregulated in the whole lung and in alveolar epithelial cells following bleomycin-induced injury. Deletion of the Ppl gene in mice improved survival and reduced lung fibrosis development after bleomycin-induced injury. Notably, Ppl deletion promoted an antiinflammatory alveolar environment linked to profound changes in type 2 alveolar epithelial cells, including overexpression of antiinflammatory cytokines, decreased expression of profibrotic mediators, and altered cell signaling with a reduced response to TGF-β1. These results identify periplakin as a previously unidentified regulator of the response to injury in the lung.
Valérie Besnard, Rania Dagher, Tania Madjer, Audrey Joannes, Madeleine Jaillet, Martin Kolb, Philippe Bonniaud, Lynne A. Murray, Matthew A. Sleeman, Bruno Crestani
Premature infants are at high risk for developing bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), characterized by chronic inflammation and inhibition of lung development, which we have recently identified as being modulated by microRNAs (miRNAs) and alterations in the airway microbiome. Exosomes and exosomal miRNAs may regulate cell differentiation and tissue and organ development. We discovered that tracheal aspirates from infants with severe BPD had increased numbers of, but smaller, exosomes compared with term controls. Similarly, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from hyperoxia-exposed mice (an animal model of BPD) and supernatants from hyperoxia-exposed human bronchial epithelial cells (in vitro model of BPD) had increased exosomes compared with air controls. Next, in a prospective cohort study of tracheal aspirates obtained at birth from extremely preterm infants, utilizing independent discovery and validation cohorts, we identified unbiased exosomal miRNA signatures predictive of severe BPD. The strongest signal of reduced miR-876-3p in BPD-susceptible compared with BPD-resistant infants was confirmed in the animal model and in vitro models of BPD. In addition, based on our recent discovery of increased Proteobacteria in the airway microbiome being associated with BPD, we developed potentially novel in vivo and in vitro models for BPD combining Proteobacterial LPS and hyperoxia exposure. Addition of LPS led to a larger reduction in exosomal miR 876-3p in both hyperoxia and normoxia compared with hyperoxia alone, thus indicating a potential mechanism by which alterations in microbiota can suppress miR 876-3p. Gain of function of miR 876-3p improved the alveolar architecture in the in vivo BPD model, demonstrating a causal link between miR 876-3p and BPD. In summary, we provide evidence for the strong predictive biomarker potential of miR 876-3p in severe BPD. We also provide insights on the pathogenesis of neonatal lung disease, as modulated by hyperoxia and microbial product–induced changes in exosomal miRNA 876-3p, which could be targeted for future therapeutic development.
Charitharth Vivek Lal, Nelida Olave, Colm Travers, Gabriel Rezonzew, Kalsang Dolma, Alexandra Simpson, Brian Halloran, Zubair Aghai, Pragnya Das, Nirmal Sharma, Xin Xu, Kristopher Genschmer, Derek Russell, Tomasz Szul, Nengjun Yi, J. Edwin Blalock, Amit Gaggar, Vineet Bhandari, Namasivayam Ambalavanan
Although accumulation of lymphocytes in the white adipose tissue (WAT) in obesity is linked to insulin resistance, it remains unclear whether lymphocytes also participate in the regulation of energy homeostasis in the WAT. Here, we demonstrate enhanced energy dissipation in Rag1–/– mice, increased catecholaminergic input to subcutaneous WAT, and significant beige adipogenesis. Adoptive transfer experiments demonstrated that CD8+ T cell deficiency accounts for the enhanced beige adipogenesis in Rag1–/– mice. Consistently, we identified that CD8–/– mice also presented with enhanced beige adipogenesis. The inhibitory effect of CD8+ T cells on beige adipogenesis was reversed by blockade of IFN-γ. All together, our findings identify an effect of CD8+ T cells in regulating energy dissipation in lean WAT, mediated by IFN-γ modulation of the abundance of resident immune cells and of local catecholaminergic activity. Our results provide a plausible explanation for the clinical signs of metabolic dysfunction in diseases characterized by altered CD8+ T cell abundance and suggest targeting of CD8+ T cells as a promising therapeutic approach for obesity and other diseases with altered energy homeostasis.
Maria Moysidou, Sevasti Karaliota, Elisavet Kodela, Maria Salagianni, Yassemi Koutmani, Antonia Katsouda, Konstantia Kodella, Panagiotis Tsakanikas, Styliani Ourailidou, Evangelos Andreakos, Nikolaos Kostomitsopoulos, Dimitris Skokos, Antonios Chatzigeorgiou, Kyoung-Jin Chung, Stefan Bornstein, Mark W. Sleeman, Triantafyllos Chavakis, Katia P. Karalis
Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) can be caused by mutations in the PKD1 or PKD2 genes. The PKD1 gene product is a Wnt cell-surface receptor. We previously showed that a lack of the PKD2 gene product, PC2, increases β-catenin signaling in mouse embryonic fibroblasts, kidney renal epithelia, and isolated renal collecting duct cells. However, it remains unclear whether β-catenin signaling plays a role in polycystic kidney disease phenotypes or if a Wnt inhibitor can halt cyst formation in ADPKD disease models. Here, using genetic and pharmacologic approaches, we demonstrated that the elevated β-catenin signaling caused by PC2 deficiency contributes significantly to disease phenotypes in a mouse ortholog of human ADPKD. Pharmacologically inhibiting β-catenin stability or the production of mature Wnt protein, or genetically reducing the expression of Ctnnb1 (which encodes β-catenin), suppressed the formation of renal cysts, improved renal function, and extended survival in ADPKD mice. Our study clearly demonstrates the importance of β-catenin signaling in disease phenotypes associated with Pkd2 mutation. It also describes the effects of two Wnt inhibitors, XAV939 and LGK974, on various Wnt signaling targets as a potential therapeutic modality for ADPKD, for which there is currently no effective therapy.
Ao Li, Yuchen Xu, Song Fan, Jialin Meng, Xufeng Shen, Qian Xiao, Yuan Li, Li Zhang, Xiansheng Zhang, Guanqing Wu, Chaozhao Liang, Dianqing Wu
Excess lipid accumulation is an early signature of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Although liver receptor homolog 1 (LRH-1) (encoded by NR5A2) is suppressed in human NAFLD, evidence linking this phospholipid-bound nuclear receptor to hepatic lipid metabolism is lacking. Here, we report an essential role for LRH-1 in hepatic lipid storage and phospholipid composition based on an acute hepatic KO of LRH-1 in adult mice (LRH-1AAV8-Cre mice). Indeed, LRH-1–deficient hepatocytes exhibited large cytosolic lipid droplets and increased triglycerides (TGs). LRH-1–deficient mice fed high-fat diet displayed macrovesicular steatosis, liver injury, and glucose intolerance, all of which were reversed or improved by expressing wild-type human LRH-1. While hepatic lipid synthesis decreased and lipid export remained unchanged in mutants, elevated circulating free fatty acid helped explain the lipid imbalance in LRH-1AAV8-Cre mice. Lipidomic and genomic analyses revealed that loss of LRH-1 disrupts hepatic phospholipid composition, leading to lowered arachidonoyl (AA) phospholipids due to repression of Elovl5 and Fads2, two critical genes in AA biosynthesis. Our findings reveal a role for the phospholipid sensor LRH-1 in maintaining adequate pools of hepatic AA phospholipids, further supporting the idea that phospholipid diversity is an important contributor to healthy hepatic lipid storage.
Diego A. Miranda, William C. Krause, Amaury Cazenave-Gassiot, Miyuki Suzawa, Hazel Escusa, Juat Chin Foo, Diyala S. Shihadih, Andreas Stahl, Mark Fitch, Edna Nyangau, Marc Hellerstein, Markus R. Wenk, David L. Silver, Holly A. Ingraham
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is associated with enhanced levels of the IL-1 family cytokines IL-1β and IL-18, which are activated by the Nlrp3 inflammasome. Here, we investigated the role of inflammasome-driven cytokine release on T cell polarization and DC differentiation in steady state and T cell transfer colitis. In vitro and in vivo data showed that IL-1β induces Th17 polarization and increases GM‑CSF production by T cells. Reduced IL-1β levels in Nlrp3–/– mice correlated with enhanced FLT3L levels and increased frequency of tolerogenic CD103+ DC. In the T cell transfer colitis model, Nlrp3 deficiency resulted in lower IL‑1β levels, reduced Th17 immunity, and less severe colitis. Unaltered IL-18 levels in both mouse strains pointed toward Nlrp3-independent processing. Importantly, cohousing revealed that the gut microbiome had no impact on the observed Nlrp3–/– phenotype. This study demonstrates that NLRP3 acts as a molecular switch of intestinal homeostasis by shifting local immune cells toward an inflammatory phenotype via IL-1β.
Rachel Mak’Anyengo, Peter Duewell, Cornelia Reichl, Christine Hörth, Hans‑Anton Lehr, Sandra Fischer, Thomas Clavel, Gerald Denk, Simon Hohenester, Sebastian Kobold, Stefan Endres, Max Schnurr, Christian Bauer
B cells play a central role in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) pathophysiology but dysregulated pathways leading to a break in B cell tolerance remain unclear. Since Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) favors the elimination of autoreactive B cells in the periphery, we assessed TLR9 function in SLE by analyzing the responses of B cells and plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) isolated from healthy donors and patients after stimulation with CpG, a TLR9 agonist. We found that SLE B cells from patients without hydroxychloroquine treatment displayed defective in vitro TLR9 responses, as illustrated by the impaired upregulation of B cell activation molecules and the diminished production of various cytokines including antiinflammatory IL-10. In agreement with CD19 controlling TLR9 responses in B cells, decreased expression of the CD19/CD21 complex on SLE B cells was detected as early as the transitional B cell stage. In contrast, TLR7 function was preserved in SLE B cells, whereas pDCs from SLE patients properly responded to TLR9 stimulation, thereby revealing that impaired TLR9 function in SLE was restricted to B cells. We conclude that abnormal CD19 expression and TLR9 tolerogenic function in SLE B cells may contribute to the break of B cell tolerance in these patients.
Vincent Gies, Jean-Nicolas Schickel, Sophie Jung, Aurélie Joublin, Salomé Glauzy, Anne-Marie Knapp, Anne Soley, Vincent Poindron, Aurélien Guffroy, Jin-Young Choi, Jacques-Eric Gottenberg, Jennifer H. Anolik, Thierry Martin, Pauline Soulas-Sprauel, Eric Meffre, Anne-Sophie Korganow
Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a life-threatening complication of allogeneic stem cell transplantation induced by the influx of donor-derived effector T cells (TE) into peripheral tissues. Current treatment strategies rely on targeting systemic T cells; however, the precise location and nature of instructions that program TE to become pathogenic and trigger injury are unknown. We therefore used weighted gene coexpression network analysis to construct an unbiased spatial map of TE differentiation during the evolution of GVHD and identified wide variation in effector programs in mice and humans according to location. Idiosyncrasy of effector programming in affected organs did not result from variation in T cell receptor repertoire or the selection of optimally activated TE. Instead, TE were reprogrammed by tissue-autonomous mechanisms in target organs for site-specific proinflammatory functions that were highly divergent from those primed in lymph nodes. In the skin, we combined the correlation-based network with a module-based differential expression analysis and showed that Langerhans cells provided in situ instructions for a Notch-dependent T cell gene cluster critical for triggering local injury. Thus, the principal determinant of TE pathogenicity in GVHD is the final destination, highlighting the need for target organ–specific approaches to block immunopathology while avoiding global immune suppression.
Pedro Santos e Sousa, Séverine Ciré, Thomas Conlan, Laura Jardine, Claire Tkacz, Ivana R. Ferrer, Cara Lomas, Sophie Ward, Heather West, Simone Dertschnig, Sven Blobner, Terry K. Means, Stephen Henderson, Daniel H. Kaplan, Matthew Collin, Vincent Plagnol, Clare L. Bennett, Ronjon Chakraverty
Major advances in donor identification, antigen probe design, and experimental methods to clone pathogen-specific antibodies have led to an exponential growth in the number of newly characterized broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) that recognize the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein. Characterization of these bnAbs has defined new epitopes and novel modes of recognition that can result in potent neutralization of HIV-1. However, the translation of envelope recognition profiles in biophysical assays into an understanding of in vivo activity has lagged behind, and identification of subjects and mAbs with potent antiviral activity has remained reliant on empirical evaluation of neutralization potency and breadth. To begin to address this discrepancy between recombinant protein recognition and virus neutralization, we studied the fine epitope specificity of a panel of CD4-binding site (CD4bs) antibodies to define the molecular recognition features of functionally potent humoral responses targeting the HIV-1 envelope site bound by CD4. Whereas previous studies have used neutralization data and machine-learning methods to provide epitope maps, here, this approach was reversed, demonstrating that simple binding assays of fine epitope specificity can prospectively identify broadly neutralizing CD4bs–specific mAbs. Building on this result, we show that epitope mapping and prediction of neutralization breadth can also be accomplished in the assessment of polyclonal serum responses. Thus, this study identifies a set of CD4bs bnAb signature amino acid residues and demonstrates that sensitivity to mutations at signature positions is sufficient to predict neutralization breadth of polyclonal sera with a high degree of accuracy across cohorts and across clades.
Hao D. Cheng, Sebastian K. Grimm, Morgan S.A. Gilman, Luc Christian Gwom, Devin Sok, Christopher Sundling, Gina Donofrio, Gunilla B. Karlsson Hedestam, Mattia Bonsignori, Barton F. Haynes, Timothy P. Lahey, Isaac Maro, C. Fordham von Reyn, Miroslaw K. Gorny, Susan Zolla-Pazner, Bruce D. Walker, Galit Alter, Dennis R. Burton, Merlin L. Robb, Shelly J. Krebs, Michael S. Seaman, Chris Bailey-Kellogg, Margaret E. Ackerman
Proteoglycan accumulation is a hallmark of medial degeneration in thoracic aortic aneurysm and dissection (TAAD). Here, we defined the aortic proteoglycanome using mass spectrometry, and based on the findings, investigated the large aggregating proteoglycans aggrecan and versican in human ascending TAAD and a mouse model of severe Marfan syndrome. The aortic proteoglycanome comprises 20 proteoglycans including aggrecan and versican. Antibodies against these proteoglycans intensely stained medial degeneration lesions in TAAD, contrasting with modest intralamellar staining in controls. Aggrecan, but not versican, was increased in longitudinal analysis of Fbn1mgR/mgR aortas. TAAD and Fbn1mgR/mgR aortas had increased aggrecan and versican mRNAs, and reduced expression of a key proteoglycanase gene, ADAMTS5, was seen in TAAD. Fbn1mgR/mgR mice with ascending aortic dissection and/or rupture had dramatically increased aggrecan staining compared with mice without these complications. Thus, aggrecan and versican accumulation in ascending TAAD occurs via increased synthesis and/or reduced proteolytic turnover, and correlates with aortic dissection/rupture in Fbn1mgR/mgR mice. Tissue swelling imposed by aggrecan and versican is proposed to be profoundly deleterious to aortic wall mechanics and smooth muscle cell homeostasis, predisposing to type-A dissections. These proteoglycans provide potential biomarkers for refined risk stratification and timing of elective aortic aneurysm repair.
Frank S. Cikach, Christopher D. Koch, Timothy J. Mead, Josephine Galatioto, Belinda B. Willard, Kelly B. Emerton, Matthew J. Eagleton, Eugene H. Blackstone, Francesco Ramirez, Eric E. Roselli, Suneel S. Apte
Loss-of-function mutations in genes encoding contractile proteins have been observed in thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAA). To gain insight into the contribution of contractile protein deficiency in the pathogenesis of TAA, we examined human aneurysm samples. We found multiple contractile gene products deficient in TAA samples, and in particular, expression of SM22α was inversely correlated with aneurysm size. SM22α-deficient mice demonstrated pregnancy-induced aortic dissection, and SM22α deficiency worsened aortic aneurysm in Fbn1C1039G/+ (Marfan) mice, validating this gene product as a TAA effector. We found that repression of SM22α was enforced by increased activity of the methyltransferase EZH2. TGF-β effectors such as SMAD3 were excluded from binding SM22α-encoding chromatin (TAGLN) in TAA samples, while treatment with the EZH2 inhibitor GSK343 improved cytoskeletal architecture and restored SM22α expression. Finally, inhibition of EZH2 improved aortic performance in Fbn1C1039G/+ mice, in association with restoration of contractile protein expression (including SM22α). Together, these data inform our understanding of contractile protein deficiency in TAA and support the pursuit of chromatin modifying factors as therapeutic targets in aortic disease.
Christian L. Lino Cardenas, Chase W. Kessinger, Carolyn MacDonald, Arminder S. Jassar, Eric M. Isselbacher, Farouc A. Jaffer, Mark E. Lindsay
Insulin resistance is associated with increased incidence and enhanced progression of cancers. However, little is known about strategies that can effectively ameliorate insulin resistance and consequently halt cancer progression. Herein, we propose that the transcription factor Nrf2 (also known as Nfe2l2) may be such a target, given its central role in disease prevention. To this end, we developed a mouse that overexpresses the Notch intracellular domain in adipocytes (AdNICD), leading to lipodystrophy-induced severe insulin resistance and subsequent development of sarcomas, as a model reflecting that Notch signaling is deregulated in cancers and shows positive associations with insulin resistance and fatty liver disease in humans. Nrf2 pathway activation was achieved by knocking down Keap1, a repressor of Nrf2, in the AdNICD background. Constitutively enhanced Nrf2 signaling in this setting led to prevention of hepatic steatosis, dyslipidemia, and insulin resistance by repressing hepatic lipogenic pathways and restoration of the hepatic fatty acid profile to control levels. This protective effect of Nrf2 against diabetes extended to significant reduction and delay in sarcoma incidence and latency. Our study highlights that the Nrf2 pathway, which has been induced by small molecules in clinical trials, is a potential therapeutic target against insulin resistance and subsequent risk of cancer.
Dionysios V. Chartoumpekis, Yoko Yagishita, Marco Fazzari, Dushani L. Palliyaguru, Uma N.M. Rao, Apostolos Zaravinos, Nicholas K.H. Khoo, Francisco J. Schopfer, Kurt R. Weiss, George K. Michalopoulos, Ian Sipula, Robert M. O’Doherty, Thomas W. Kensler, Nobunao Wakabayashi
Early acute rejection of human allografts is mediated by circulating alloreactive host effector memory T cells (TEM). TEM infiltration typically occurs across graft postcapillary venules and involves sequential interactions with graft-derived endothelial cells (ECs) and pericytes (PCs). While the role of ECs in allograft rejection has been extensively studied, contributions of PCs to this process are largely unknown. This study aimed to characterize the effects and mechanisms of interactions between human PCs and allogeneic TEM. We report that unstimulated PCs, like ECs, can directly present alloantigen to TEM, but while IFN-γ–activated ECs (γ-ECs) show increased ability to stimulate alloreactive T cells, IFN-γ–activated PCs (γ-PCs) instead suppress TEM proliferation but not cytokine production or signaling. RNA sequencing analysis of PCs, γ-PCs, ECs, and γ-ECs reveal induction of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1) in γ-PCs to significantly higher levels than in γ-ECs that correlates with tryptophan depletion in vitro. Consistently, shRNA knockdown of IDO1 markedly reduces γ-PC–mediated immunoregulatory effects. Furthermore, human PCs express IDO1 in a skin allograft rejection humanized mouse model and in human renal allografts with acute T cell–mediated rejection. We conclude that immunosuppressive properties of human PCs are not intrinsic but instead result from IFN-γ–induced IDO1-mediated tryptophan depletion.
Rebecca Liu, Jonathan Merola, Thomas D. Manes, Lingfeng Qin, Gregory T. Tietjen, Francesc López-Giráldez, Verena Broecker, Caodi Fang, Catherine Xie, Ping-Min Chen, Nancy C. Kirkiles-Smith, Dan Jane-Wit, Jordan S. Pober
BACKGROUND. Cirrhosis is associated with gut microbial changes, but current 16S rDNA techniques sequence both dead and live bacteria. We aimed to determine the rRNA content compared with DNA from the same stool sample to evaluate cirrhosis progression and predict hospitalizations. METHODS. Cirrhotics and controls provided stool for RNA and DNA analysis. Comparisons were made between cirrhotics/controls and within cirrhosis (compensated/decompensated, infected/uninfected, renal dysfunction/not, rifaximin use/not) with respect to DNA and RNA bacterial content using linear discriminant analysis. A separate group was treated with omeprazole for 14 days with longitudinal microbiota evaluation. Patients were followed for 90 days for hospitalizations. Multivariable models for hospitalizations with clinical data with and without DNA and RNA microbial data were created. RESULTS. Twenty-six controls and 154 cirrhotics (54 infected, 62 decompensated, 20 renal dysfunction, 18 rifaximin) were included. RNA and DNA analysis showed differing potentially pathogenic taxa but similar autochthonous taxa composition. Thirty subjects underwent the omeprazole study, which demonstrated differences between RNA and DNA changes. Thirty-six patients were hospitalized within 90 days. In the RNA model, MELD score and Enterococcus were independently predictive of hospitalizations, while in the DNA model MELD was predictive and Roseburia protective. In both models, adding microbiota significantly added to the MELD score in predicting hospitalizations. CONCLUSION. DNA and RNA analysis of the same stool sample demonstrated differing microbiota composition, which independently predicts the hospitalization risk in cirrhosis. RNA and DNA content of gut microbiota in cirrhosis are modulated differentially with disease severity, infections, and omeprazole use. TRIAL REGISTRATION. NCT01458990. FUNDING. VA Merit I0CX001076.
Jasmohan S. Bajaj, Leroy R. Thacker, Andrew Fagan, Melanie B. White, Edith A. Gavis, Phillip B. Hylemon, Robert Brown, Chathur Acharya, Douglas M. Heuman, Michael Fuchs, Swati Dalmet, Masoumeh Sikaroodi, Patrick M. Gillevet
Autoimmune-mediated destruction of pancreatic islet β cells results in type 1 diabetes (T1D). Serum islet autoantibodies usually develop in genetically susceptible individuals in early childhood before T1D onset, with multiple islet autoantibodies predicting diabetes development. However, most at-risk children remain islet-antibody negative, and no test currently identifies those likely to seroconvert. We sought a genomic signature predicting seroconversion risk by integrating longitudinal peripheral blood gene expression profiles collected in high-risk children included in the BABYDIET and DIPP cohorts, of whom 50 seroconverted. Subjects were followed for 10 years to determine time of seroconversion. Any cohort effect and the time of seroconversion were corrected to uncover genes differentially expressed (DE) in seroconverting children. Gene expression signatures associated with seroconversion were evident during the first year of life, with 67 DE genes identified in seroconverting children relative to those remaining antibody negative. These genes contribute to T cell–, DC-, and B cell–related immune responses. Near-birth expression of ADCY9, PTCH1, MEX3B, IL15RA, ZNF714, TENM1, and PLEKHA5, along with HLA risk score predicted seroconversion (AUC 0.85). The ubiquitin-proteasome pathway linked DE genes and T1D susceptibility genes. Therefore, a gene expression signature in infancy predicts risk of seroconversion. Ubiquitination may play a mechanistic role in diabetes progression.
Ahmed M. Mehdi, Emma E. Hamilton-Williams, Alexandre Cristino, Anette Ziegler, Ezio Bonifacio, Kim-Anh Le Cao, Mark Harris, Ranjeny Thomas
In multiple sclerosis (MS), a demyelinating inflammatory disease of the CNS, and its animal model (experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; EAE), circulating immune cells gain access to the CNS across the blood-brain barrier to cause inflammation, myelin destruction, and neuronal damage. Here, we discovered that calnexin, an ER chaperone, is highly abundant in human brain endothelial cells of MS patients. Conversely, mice lacking calnexin exhibited resistance to EAE induction, no evidence of immune cell infiltration into the CNS, and no induction of inflammation markers within the CNS. Furthermore, calnexin deficiency in mice did not alter the development or function of the immune system. Instead, the loss of calnexin led to a defect in brain endothelial cell function that resulted in reduced T cell trafficking across the blood-brain barrier. These findings identify calnexin in brain endothelial cells as a potentially novel target for developing strategies aimed at managing or preventing the pathogenic cascade that drives neuroinflammation and destruction of the myelin sheath in MS.
Joanna Jung, Paul Eggleton, Alison Robinson, Jessica Wang, Nick Gutowski, Janet Holley, Jia Newcombe, Elzbieta Dudek, Amber M. Paul, Douglas Zochodne, Allison Kraus, Christopher Power, Luis B. Agellon, Marek Michalak
Neuregulins (NRGs) are emerging as an important family of signaling ligands that regulate glucose and lipid homeostasis. NRG1 lowers blood glucose levels in obese mice, whereas the brown fat–enriched secreted factor NRG4 protects mice from high-fat diet–induced insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis. However, the therapeutic potential of NRGs remains elusive, given the poor plasma half-life of the native ligands. Here, we engineered a fusion protein using human NRG1 and the Fc domain of human IgG1 (NRG1-Fc) that exhibited extended half-life in circulation and improved potency in receptor signaling. We evaluated its efficacy in improving metabolic parameters and dissected the mechanisms of action. NRG1-Fc treatment triggered potent AKT activation in the liver, lowered blood glucose, improved insulin sensitivity, and suppressed food intake in obese mice. NRG1-Fc acted as a potent secretagogue for the metabolic hormone FGF21; however, the latter was largely dispensable for its metabolic effects. NRG1-Fc directly targeted the hypothalamic POMC neurons to promote membrane depolarization and increase firing rate. Together, NRG1-Fc exhibits improved pharmacokinetic properties and exerts metabolic benefits through dual inhibition of hepatic gluconeogenesis and caloric intake.
Peng Zhang, Henry Kuang, Yanlin He, Sharon O. Idiga, Siming Li, Zhimin Chen, Zhao Yang, Xing Cai, Kezhong Zhang, Matthew J. Potthoff, Yong Xu, Jiandie D. Lin
BACKGROUND. A defining pathophysiologic feature of sepsis is profound apoptosis-induced death and depletion of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Interleukin-7 (IL-7) is an antiapoptotic common γ-chain cytokine that is essential for lymphocyte proliferation and survival. Clinical trials of IL-7 in over 390 oncologic and lymphopenic patients showed that IL-7 was safe, invariably increased CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocyte counts, and improved immunity. METHODS. We conducted a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of recombinant human IL-7 (CYT107) in patients with septic shock and severe lymphopenia. Twenty-seven patients at academic sites in France and the United States received CYT107 or placebo for 4 weeks. Primary aims were to determine the safety of CYT107 in sepsis and its ability to reverse lymphopenia. RESULTS. CYT107 was well tolerated without evidence of inducing cytokine storm or worsening inflammation or organ dysfunction. CYT107 caused a 3- to 4-fold increase in absolute lymphocyte counts and in circulating CD4+ and CD8+ T cells that persisted for weeks after drug administration. CYT107 also increased T cell proliferation and activation. CONCLUSIONS. This is the first trial of an immunoadjuvant therapy targeting defects in adaptive immunity in patients with sepsis. CYT107 reversed the marked loss of CD4+ and CD8+ immune effector cells, a hallmark of sepsis and a likely key mechanism in its morbidity and mortality. CYT107 represents a potential new way forward in the treatment of patients with sepsis by restoring adaptive immunity. Such immune-based therapy should be broadly protective against diverse pathogens including multidrug resistant bacteria that preferentially target patients with impaired immunity. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Trials registered at clinicaltrials.gov: NCT02640807 and NCT02797431. FUNDING. Revimmune, NIH National Institute of General Medical Sciences GM44118.
Bruno Francois, Robin Jeannet, Thomas Daix, Andrew H. Walton, Matthew S. Shotwell, Jacqueline Unsinger, Guillaume Monneret, Thomas Rimmelé, Teresa Blood, Michel Morre, Anne Gregoire, Gail A. Mayo, Jane Blood, Scott K. Durum, Edward R. Sherwood, Richard S. Hotchkiss
Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) is a potentially curative treatment for myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), but patients who relapse after transplant have poor outcomes. In order to understand the contribution of tumor clonal evolution to disease progression,we applied exome and error-corrected targeted sequencing coupled with copy number analysis to comprehensively define changes in the clonal architecture of MDS in response to therapy using 51 serially acquired tumor samples from 9 patients who progressed after an alloHCT. We show that small subclones before alloHCT can drive progression after alloHCT. Notably, at least one subclone expanded or emerged at progression in all patients. Newly acquired structural variants (SVs) were present in an emergent/expanding subclone in 8 of 9 patients at progression, implicating the acquisition of SVs as important late subclonal progression events. In addition, pretransplant therapy with azacitidine likely influenced the mutation spectrum and evolution of emergent subclones after alloHCT. Although subclone evolution is common, founding clone mutations are always present at progression and could be detected in the bone marrow as early as 30 and/or 100 days after alloHCT in 6 of 8 (75%) patients, often prior to clinical progression. In conclusion, MDS progression after alloHCT is characterized by subclonal expansion and evolution, which can be influenced by pretransplant therapy.
Meagan A. Jacoby, Eric J. Duncavage, Gue Su Chang, Christopher A. Miller, Jin Shao, Kevin Elliott, Joshua Robinson, Robert S. Fulton, Catrina C. Fronick, Michelle O’Laughlin, Sharon E. Heath, Iskra Pusic, John S. Welch, Daniel C. Link, John F. DiPersio, Peter Westervelt, Timothy J. Ley, Timothy A. Graubert, Matthew J. Walter
Current obesity interventions suffer from lack of durable effects and undesirable complications. Fumagillin, an inhibitor of methionine aminopeptidase-2, causes weight loss by reducing food intake, but with effects on weight that are superior to pair-feeding. Here, we show that feeding of rats on a high-fat diet supplemented with fumagillin (HF/FG) suppresses the aggressive feeding observed in pair-fed controls (HF/PF) and alters expression of circadian genes relative to the HF/PF group. Multiple indices of reduced energy expenditure are observed in HF/FG but not HF/PF rats. HF/FG rats also exhibit changes in gut hormones linked to food intake, increased energy harvest by gut microbiota, and caloric spilling in the urine. Studies in gnotobiotic mice reveal that effects of fumagillin on energy expenditure but not feeding behavior may be mediated by the gut microbiota. In sum, fumagillin engages weight loss–inducing behavioral and physiologic circuits distinct from those activated by simple caloric restriction.
Jie An, Liping Wang, Michael L. Patnode, Vanessa K. Ridaura, Jonathan M. Haldeman, Robert D. Stevens, Olga Ilkayeva, James R. Bain, Michael J. Muehlbauer, Erin L. Glynn, Steven Thomas, Deborah Muoio, Scott A. Summers, James E. Vath, Thomas E. Hughes, Jeffrey I. Gordon, Christopher B. Newgard