In this issue, Xin Geng and colleagues report that sphingosine-1 phosphate receptor 1 (S1PR1) modulates the crosstalk between laminar shear stress and VEGF-C signaling in the lymphatic vasculature. Laminar shear stress enhances VEGF-C signaling, and this pathway is specifically antagonized by S1PR1. The cover image shows the mesenteric vasculature of an embryonic S1PR1-GFP mouse, in which GFP indicates active S1PR1 signaling (green). The S1PR1-GFP reporter is heterogeneously expressed within the lymphatic vasculature, with GFP expression observed in more-mature and quiescent lymphatic vessels but not in actively growing lymphatic vessels. CD31+ blood vessels are blue, and VEGFR3+ lymphatic vessels are red.
Expression of immune checkpoint ligands (ICLs) is necessary to trigger the inhibitory signal via immune checkpoint receptors (ICRs) in exhausted T cells under tumor immune microenvironment. Nevertheless,to our knowledge, ICL expression profile in cancer patients has not been investigated. Using previously reported RNA-seq data sets, we found that expression of ICLs was patient specific but their coexpression can be patterned in non–small-cell lung cancers (NSCLCs). Since the expression of PD-L1 and poliovirus receptor (PVR) among various ICLs was independently regulated, we could stratify the patients who were treated with anti–PD-1 later into 4 groups according to the expression level of PD-L1 and PVR. Of interest, high PVR and low PVR expressions in PD-L1–expressing patients enriched nonresponders and responders to PD-1 blockade, respectively, helping in further selection of responders. Using a genetically engineered cancer model, we also found that PVR-deficient and PD-L1–sufficient tumor-bearing mice were highly sensitive to anti–PD-1 therapy, whereas PVR-sufficient and PD-L1–deficient tumor-bearing mice were resistant to anti–PD-1 therapy. Taken together, our study provides a concept that combinatorial expression patterns of PVR and PD-L1 are key determinants for PD-1 blockade and furthermore suggest a better therapeutic usage of immune checkpoint blockades (ICBs).
Bo Ryeong Lee, Sehyun Chae, Jihyun Moon, Myeong Joon Kim, Hankyu Lee, Hyuk Wan Ko, Byoung Chul Cho, Hyo Sup Shim, Daehee Hwang, Hye Ryun Kim, Sang-Jun Ha
Apelin is a well-established mediator of survival and mitogenic signaling through the apelin receptor (Aplnr) and has been implicated in various cancers; however, little is known regarding Elabela (ELA/APELA) signaling, also mediated by Aplnr, and its role and the role of the conversion of its precursor proELA into mature ELA in cancer are unknown. Here, we identified a function of mTORC1 signaling as an essential mediator of ELA that repressed kidney tumor cell growth, migration, and survival. Moreover, sunitinib and ELA showed a synergistic effect in repressing tumor growth and angiogenesis in mice. The use of site-directed mutagenesis and pharmacological experiments provided evidence that the alteration of the cleavage site of proELA by furin induced improved ELA antitumorigenic activity. Finally, a cohort of tumors and public data sets revealed that ELA was only repressed in the main human kidney cancer subtypes, namely clear cell, papillary, and chromophobe renal cell carcinoma. Aplnr was expressed by various kidney cells, whereas ELA was generally expressed by epithelial cells. Collectively, these results showed the tumor-suppressive role of mTORC1 signaling mediated by ELA and established the potential use of ELA or derivatives in kidney cancer treatment.
Fabienne Soulet, Clement Bodineau, Katarzyna B. Hooks, Jean Descarpentrie, Isabel Alves, Marielle Dubreuil, Amandine Mouchard, Malaurie Eugenie, Jean-Luc Hoepffner, Jose J. López, Juan A. Rosado, Isabelle Soubeyran, Mercedes Tomé, Raúl V. Durán, Macha Nikolski, Bruno O. Villoutreix, Serge Evrard, Geraldine Siegfried, Abdel-Majid Khatib
The aim of this study was to elucidate the role and the pathways used by bile acid receptor TGR5 in transmitting satiety signals. We showed TGR5 colocalized with cholecystokinin type A (CCK-A) receptors in a subpopulation of rat nodose ganglia (NG) neurons. Intra-arterial injection of deoxycholic acid (DCA) dose-dependently increased firing rate in NG while a subthreshold dose of DCA and CCK-8 increased firing rates synergistically. TGR5-specific agonist oleanolic acid induced NG neuronal firing in a dose-dependent manner. However, the same units did not respond to GW4064, a nuclear receptor–specific agonist. Quantity of DCA-activated neurons in the hypothalamus was determined by c-Fos expression. Combining DCA and CCK-8 caused a 4-fold increase in c-Fos activation. In the arcuate nucleus, c-Fos–positive neurons coexpressed cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript and proopiomelanocortin. DCA-induced c-Fos expression was eliminated following truncal vagotomy or silencing of TGR5 in the NG. Feeding studies showed intravenous injection of 1 μg/kg of DCA reduced food intake by 12% ± 3%, 24% ± 5%, and 32% ± 6% in the first 3 hours, respectively. Silencing of TGR5 or CCK-A receptor in the NG enhanced spontaneous feeding by 18% ± 2% and 13.5% ± 2.4%, respectively. When both TGR5 and CCK-A receptor were silenced, spontaneous feeding was enhanced by 37% ± 4% in the first 3 hours, suggesting that bile acid may have a physiological role in regulating satiety. Working in concert with CCK, bile acid synergistically enhanced satiety signals to reduce spontaneous feeding.
Xiaoyin Wu, Ji-Yao Li, Allen Lee, Yuan-Xu Lu, Shi-Yi Zhou, Chung Owyang
Following myocardial infarction (MI), the adult heart has minimal regenerative potential. Conversely, the neonatal heart can undergo extensive regeneration, and neovascularization capacity was hypothesized to contribute to this difference. Here, we demonstrate the higher angiogenic potential of neonatal compared with adult mouse cardiac endothelial cells (MCECs) in vitro and use this difference to identify candidate microRNAs (miRs) regulating cardiac angiogenesis after MI. miR expression profiling revealed miR-96 and miR-183 upregulation in adult compared with neonatal MCECs. Their overexpression decreased the angiogenic potential of neonatal MCECs in vitro and prevented scar resolution and neovascularization in neonatal mice after MI. Inversely, their inhibition improved the angiogenic potential of adult MCECs, and miR-96/miR-183–KO mice had increased peri-infarct neovascularization. In silico analyses identified anillin (ANLN) as a direct target of miR-96 and miR-183. In agreement, Anln expression declined following their overexpression and increased after their inhibition in vitro. Moreover, ANLN expression inversely correlated with miR-96 expression and age in cardiac ECs of cardiovascular patients. In vivo, ANLN+ vessels were enriched in the peri-infarct area of miR-96/miR-183–KO mice. These findings identify miR-96 and miR-183 as regulators of neovascularization following MI and miR-regulated genes, such as anillin, as potential therapeutic targets for cardiovascular disease.
Raphael F.P. Castellan, Milena Vitiello, Martina Vidmar, Steven Johnstone, Dominga Iacobazzi, David Mellis, Benjamin Cathcart, Adrian Thomson, Christiana Ruhrberg, Massimo Caputo, David E. Newby, Gillian A. Gray, Andrew H. Baker, Andrea Caporali, Marco Meloni
Infective endocarditis is a life-threatening infection of heart valves and adjacent structures characterized by vegetations on valves and other endocardial surfaces, with tissue destruction and risk of embolization. We used high-resolution mass spectrometry to define the proteome of staphylococcal and non-staphylococcal vegetations and Terminal Amine Isotopic Labeling of Substrates (TAILS) to define their proteolytic landscapes. These approaches identified over 2000 human proteins in staphylococcal and non-staphylococcal vegetations. Individual vegetation proteomes demonstrated comparable profiles of quantitatively major constituents that overlapped with serum, platelet, and neutrophil proteomes. Staphylococcal vegetation proteomes resembled one another more than the proteomes of non-staphylococcal vegetations. TAILS demonstrated extensive proteolysis within vegetations, with numerous previously undescribed cleavages. Several proteases and pathogen-specific proteins, including virulence factors, were identified in most vegetations. Proteolytic peptides in fibronectin and complement C3 were identified as potential infective endocarditis biomarkers. Overlap of staphylococcal and non-staphylococcal vegetation proteomes suggests a convergent thrombotic and immune response to endocardial infection by diverse pathogens. However, the differences between staphylococcal and non-staphylococcal vegetations and internal variance within the non-staphylococcal group indicate that additional pathogen- or patient-specific effects exist. Pervasive proteolysis of vegetation components may arise from vegetation-intrinsic proteases and destabilize vegetations, contributing to embolism.
Daniel R. Martin, James C. Witten, Carmela D. Tan, E. Rene Rodriguez, Eugene H. Blackstone, Gosta B. Pettersson, Deborah E. Seifert, Belinda B. Willard, Suneel S. Apte
The α-1-antitrypsin (or alpha-1-antitrypsin, A1AT) Z variant is the primary cause of severe A1AT deficiency and forms polymeric chains that aggregate in the endoplasmic reticulum of hepatocytes. Around 2%–5% of Europeans are heterozygous for the Z and WT M allele, and there is evidence of increased risk of liver disease when compared with MM A1AT individuals. We have shown that Z and M A1AT can copolymerize in cell models, but there has been no direct observation of heteropolymer formation in vivo. To this end, we developed a monoclonal antibody (mAb2H2) that specifically binds to M in preference to Z A1AT, localized its epitope using crystallography to a region perturbed by the Z (Glu342Lys) substitution, and used Fab fragments to label polymers isolated from an MZ heterozygote liver explant. Glu342 is critical to the affinity of mAb2H2, since it also recognized the mild S-deficiency variant (Glu264Val) present in circulating polymers from SZ heterozygotes. Negative-stain electron microscopy of the Fab2H2-labeled liver polymers revealed that M comprises around 6% of the polymer subunits in the MZ liver sample. These data demonstrate that Z A1AT can form heteropolymers with polymerization-inert variants in vivo with implications for liver disease in heterozygous individuals.
Mattia Laffranchi, Emma L.K. Elliston, Elena Miranda, Juan Perez, Riccardo Ronzoni, Alistair M. Jagger, Nina Heyer-Chauhan, Mark L. Brantly, Annamaria Fra, David A. Lomas, James A. Irving
Group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) in mouse lungs are activated by the epithelium-derived alarmin IL-33. Activated ILC2s proliferate and produce IL-5 and IL-13 that drive allergic responses. In neonatal lungs, the occurrence of spontaneous activation of lung ILC2s is dependent on endogenous IL-33. Here, we report that neonatal lung ILC2 activation by endogenous IL-33 has significant effects on ILC2 functions in adulthood. Most neonatal lung ILC2s incorporated 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU) and persisted into adulthood. BrdU+ ILC2s in adult lungs responded more intensely to IL-33 treatment compared with BrdU– ILC2s. In IL-33–deficient (KO) mice, lung ILC2s develop normally, but they are not activated in the neonatal period. Lung ILC2s in KO mice responded less intensely to IL-33 in adulthood compared with WT ILC2s. While there was no difference in the number of lung ILC2s, there were fewer IL-13+ ILC2s in KO mice compared with those in WT mice. The impaired responsiveness of ILC2s in KO mice was reversed by i.n. administrations of IL-33 in the neonatal period. These results suggest that activation of lung ILC2s by endogenous IL-33 in the neonatal period may “train” ILC2s seeding the lung after birth to become long-lasting resident cells that respond more efficiently to challenges later in life.
Catherine A. Steer, Laura Mathä, Hanjoo Shim, Fumio Takei
Off-tumor targeting of human antigens is difficult to predict in preclinical animal studies and can lead to serious adverse effects in patients. To address this, we developed a mouse model with stable and tunable human Her2 (hHer2) expression on normal hepatic tissue and compared toxicity between affinity-tuned Her2 chimeric antigen receptor T cells (CARTs). In mice with hHer2-high livers, both the high-affinity (HA) and low-affinity (LA) CARTs caused lethal liver damage due to immunotoxicity. In mice with hHer2-low livers, LA-CARTs exhibited less liver damage and lower systemic levels of IFN-γ than HA-CARTs. We then compared affinity-tuned CARTs for their ability to control a hHer2-positive tumor xenograft in our model. Surprisingly, the LA-CARTs outperformed the HA-CARTs with superior antitumor efficacy in vivo. We hypothesized that this was due, in part, to T cell trafficking differences between LA and HA-CARTs and found that the LA-CARTs migrated out of the liver and infiltrated the tumor sooner than the HA-CARTs. These findings highlight the importance of T cell targeting in reducing toxicity of normal tissue and also in preventing off-tumor sequestration of CARTs, which reduces their therapeutic potency. Our model may be useful to evaluate various CARTs that have conditional expression of more than 1 single-chain variable fragment (scFv).
Mauro Castellarin, Caroline Sands, Tong Da, John Scholler, Kathleen Graham, Elizabeth Buza, Joseph A. Fraietta, Yangbing Zhao, Carl H. June
Regulatory T cells (Tregs) play essential roles in maintaining immunological self-tolerance and preventing autoimmunity. The adoptive transfer of antigen-specific Tregs has been expected to be a potent therapeutic method for autoimmune diseases, severe allergy, and rejection in organ transplantation. However, effective Treg therapy has not yet been established because of the difficulty in preparing a limited number of antigen-specific Tregs. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells have been shown to be a powerful therapeutic method for treating B cell lymphomas, but application of CAR to Treg-mediated therapy has not yet been established. Here, we generated CD19-targeted CAR (CD19-CAR) Tregs from human PBMCs (hPBMCs) and optimized the fraction of the Treg source as CD4+CD25+CD127loCD45RA+CD45RO–. CD19-CAR Tregs could be expanded in vitro while maintaining Treg properties, including high expression of the latent form of TGF-β. CD19-CAR Tregs suppressed IgG antibody production and differentiation of B cells via a TGF-β–dependent mechanism. Unlike conventional CD19-CAR CD8+ T cells, CD19-CAR Tregs suppressed antibody production in immunodeficient mice that were reconstituted with hPBMCs, reducing the risk of graft-versus-host disease. Therefore, the adoptive transfer of CD19-CAR Tregs may provide a novel therapeutic method for treating autoantibody-mediated autoimmune diseases.
Yuki Imura, Makoto Ando, Taisuke Kondo, Minako Ito, Akihiko Yoshimura
Rituximab, a B cell–depleting therapy, is indicated for treating a growing number of autoantibody-mediated autoimmune disorders. However, relapses can occur after treatment, and autoantibody-producing B cell subsets may be found during relapses. It is not understood whether these autoantibody-producing B cell subsets emerge from the failed depletion of preexisting B cells or are generated de novo. To further define the mechanisms that cause postrituximab relapse, we studied patients with autoantibody-mediated muscle-specific kinase (MuSK) myasthenia gravis (MG) who relapsed after treatment. We carried out single-cell transcriptional and B cell receptor profiling on longitudinal B cell samples. We identified clones present before therapy that persisted during relapse. Persistent B cell clones included both antibody-secreting cells and memory B cells characterized by gene expression signatures associated with B cell survival. A subset of persistent antibody-secreting cells and memory B cells were specific for the MuSK autoantigen. These results demonstrate that rituximab is not fully effective at eliminating autoantibody-producing B cells and provide a mechanistic understanding of postrituximab relapse in MuSK MG.
Ruoyi Jiang, Miriam L. Fichtner, Kenneth B. Hoehn, Minh C. Pham, Panos Stathopoulos, Richard J. Nowak, Steven H. Kleinstein, Kevin C. O’Connor
Alcohol-associated liver disease is a spectrum of liver disorders with histopathological changes ranging from simple steatosis to steatohepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Recent data suggest that chronic-plus-binge ethanol intake induces steatohepatitis by promoting release by hepatocytes of proinflammatory mitochondrial DNA–enriched (mtDNA-enriched) extracellular vesicles (EVs). The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of the stress kinase apoptosis signal–regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38) in chronic-plus-binge ethanol–induced steatohepatitis and mtDNA-enriched EV release. Microarray analysis revealed the greatest hepatic upregulation of metallothionein 1 and 2 (Mt1/2), which encode 2 of the most potent antioxidant proteins. Genetic deletion of the Mt1 and Mt2 genes aggravated ethanol-induced liver injury, as evidenced by elevation of serum ALT, neutrophil infiltration, oxidative stress, and ASK1/p38 activation in the liver. Inhibition or genetic deletion of Ask1 or p38 ameliorated ethanol-induced liver injury, inflammation, ROS levels, and expression of phagocytic oxidase and ER stress markers in the liver. In addition, inhibition of ASK1 or p38 also attenuated ethanol-induced mtDNA-enriched EV secretion from hepatocytes. Taken together, these findings indicate that induction of hepatic mtDNA-enriched EVs by ethanol is dependent on ASK1 and p38, thereby promoting alcoholic steatohepatitis.
Jing Ma, Haixia Cao, Robim M. Rodrigues, Mingjiang Xu, Tianyi Ren, Yong He, Seonghwan Hwang, Dechun Feng, Ruixue Ren, Peixin Yang, Suthat Liangpunsakul, Jian Sun, Bin Gao
TLR7 has been linked to the pathogenesis of glomerulonephritis, but its precise roles are not clear. In this study, we evaluated the roles of TLR7 in IgA nephropathy (IgAN). TLR7 proteins were abundant in CD19+ B cells infiltrated in the kidneys of patients with IgAN. The intensities of both intrarenal TLR7 and CD19 proteins were closely associated with kidney function (estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] and serum creatinine concentration) and renal histopathology (tubular atrophy, leukocyte infiltration, tubulointerstitial fibrosis, and global glomerulosclerosis) in patients with IgAN. Meanwhile, TLR7 mRNA levels were significantly increased in peripheral blood B cells of patients with IgAN. TLR7+CD19+ B cells expressed inflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and IL-12) in kidneys and produced high levels of IgA1 and galactose deficient-IgA1 (Gd-IgA1) in peripheral blood of patients with IgAN. Mechanistically, TLR7 activated B cells to produce high levels of Gd-IgA1 via the TLR7-GALNT2 axis in IgAN. Protein levels of GALNT2 were increased by overexpression of TLR7, while they were reduced by TLR7 knockdown in B cells. GALNT2 overexpression augmented Gd-IgA1 production in B cells derived from patients with IgAN. Taken together, high TLR7 expression in B cells has dual roles in the development and progression of IgAN, by facilitating renal inflammation and Gd-IgA1 antibody synthesis.
Nuoyan Zheng, Kaifeng Xie, Hongjian Ye, Yu Dong, Bing Wang, Ning Luo, Jinjin Fan, Jiaqing Tan, Wei Chen, Xueqing Yu
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) is a lethal malignancy that has no effective treatment. The tumor microenvironment (TME) of PDA employs a multitude of immune derangement strategies to protect PDA from immune elimination. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of immune suppression of the PDA TME; however, its underlying mechanisms remained largely unknown. Using primary patient samples, our studies showed that, in comparison with macrophages isolated from normal pancreatic tissues, the phagocytosis activity of the PDA TAMs was significantly reduced. We found that the expression of homeobox protein VentX, a master regulator of macrophage plasticity, was significantly decreased in the PDA TAMs. We demonstrated that VentX was required for phagocytosis and that restoration of VentX expression in PDA TAMs promoted phagocytosis through the regulation of the signaling cascades involved in the process. Using an ex vivo culture model of primary human PDA, we showed that VentX-modulated TAMs transformed the PDA TME from a protumor milieu to an antitumor microenvironment by rectifying differentiation, proliferation, and activation of PDA-infiltrating immune cells. Using NSG-PDX models of primary human PDAs, we showed that VentX-modulated TAMs exerted strong inhibition on PDA tumorigenesis in vivo. Taken together, our data revealed a central mechanism underlying immune evasion of PDA and a potential novel venue to improve PDA prognosis.
Yi Le, Hong Gao, William Richards, Lei Zhao, Ronald Bleday, Thomas Clancy, Zhenglun Zhu
Tissue regeneration capacity declines with aging in association with heightened oxidative stress. Expression of the oxidant-generating enzyme, NADPH oxidase 4 (Nox4), is elevated in aged mice with diminished capacity for fibrosis resolution. Bromodomain-containing protein 4 (Brd4) is a member of the bromodomain and extraterminal (BET) family of proteins that function as epigenetic “readers” of acetylated lysine groups on histones. In this study, we explored the role of Brd4 and its interaction with the p300 acetyltransferase in the regulation of Nox4 and the in vivo efficacy of a BET inhibitor to reverse established age-associated lung fibrosis. BET inhibition interferes with the association of Brd4, p300, and acetylated histone H4K16 with the Nox4 promoter in lung fibroblasts stimulated with the profibrotic cytokine, TGF-β1. A number of BET inhibitors, including I-BET-762, JQ1, and OTX015, downregulate Nox4 gene expression and activity. Aged mice with established and persistent lung fibrosis recover capacity for fibrosis resolution with OTX015 treatment. This study implicates epigenetic regulation of Nox4 by Brd4 and p300 and supports BET/Brd4 inhibition as an effective strategy for the treatment of age-related fibrotic lung disease.
Yan Y. Sanders, Xing Lyv, Q. Jennifer Zhou, Zheyi Xiang, Denise Stanford, Sandeep Bodduluri, Steven M. Rowe, Victor J. Thannickal
De novo lipogenesis (DNL) plays a role in the development of hepatic steatosis. In humans with lipodystrophy, reduced adipose tissue causes lower plasma leptin, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and ectopic triglyceride (TG) accumulation. We hypothesized that recombinant leptin (metreleptin) for 6 months in 11 patients with lipodystrophy would reduce DNL by decreasing insulin resistance and glycemia, thus reducing circulating TG and hepatic TG. The percentage of TG in TG-rich lipoprotein particle (TRLP-TG) derived from DNL (%DNL) was measured by deuterium incorporation from body water into palmitate. At baseline, DNL was elevated, similar to levels previously shown in obesity-associated nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). After metreleptin, DNL decreased into the normal range. Similarly, absolute DNL (TRLP-TG × %DNL) decreased by 88% to near-normal levels. Metreleptin improved peripheral insulin sensitivity (hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp) and lowered hemoglobin A1c and hepatic TG. Both before and after metreleptin, DNL positively correlated with insulin resistance, insulin doses, and hepatic TG, supporting the hypothesis that hyperinsulinemia stimulates DNL and that elevated DNL is integral to the pathogenesis of lipodystrophy-associated NAFLD. These data suggest that leptin-mediated improvement in insulin sensitivity increases clearance of blood glucose by peripheral tissues, reduces hepatic carbohydrate flux, and lowers insulinemia, resulting in DNL reductions and improvements in hepatic steatosis and dyslipidemia.
Annah P. Baykal, Elizabeth J. Parks, Robert Shamburek, Majid M. Syed-Abdul, Shaji Chacko, Elaine Cochran, Megan Startzell, Ahmed M. Gharib, Ronald Ouwerkerk, Khaled Z. Abd-Elmoniem, Peter J. Walter, Mary Walter, Ranganath Muniyappa, Stephanie T. Chung, Rebecca J. Brown
Free light chains (FLCs) induce inflammatory pathways in proximal tubule cells (PTCs). The role of TLRs in these responses is unknown. Here we present findings on the role of TLRs in FLC-induced PTC injury. We exposed human kidney PTC cultures to κ and λ FLCs and used cell supernatants and pellets for ELISA and gene expression studies. We also analyzed tissues from Stat1–/– and littermate control mice treated with daily i.p. injections of a κ FLC for 10 days. FLCs increased the expression of TLR2, TLR4, and TLR6 via HMGB1, a damage-associated molecular pattern. Countering TLR2, TLR4, and TLR6 through GIT-27 or specific TLR siRNAs reduced downstream cytokine responses. Blocking HMGB1 through siRNA or pharmacologic inhibition, or via STAT1 inhibition, reduced FLC-induced TLR2, TLR4, and TLR6 expression. Blocking endocytosis of FLCs through silencing of megalin/cubilin, with bafilomycin A1 or hypertonic sucrose, attenuated FLC-induced cytokine responses in PTCs. IHC showed decreased TLR4 and TLR6 expression in kidney sections from Stat1–/– mice compared with their littermate controls. PTCs exposed to FLCs released HMGB1, which induced expression of TLR2, TLR4, and TLR6 and downstream inflammation. Blocking FLCs’ endocytosis, Stat1 knockdown, HMGB1 inhibition, and TLR knockdown each rescued PTCs from FLC-induced injury.
Rohit Upadhyay, Wei-Zhong Ying, Zannatul Nasrin, Hana Safah, Edgar A. Jaimes, Wenguang Feng, Paul W. Sanders, Vecihi Batuman
Mycobacterium tuberculosis–specific (M. tuberculosis–specific) T cell responses associated with immune control during asymptomatic latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) remain poorly understood. Using a nonhuman primate aerosol model, we studied the kinetics, phenotypes, and functions of M. tuberculosis antigen-specific T cells in peripheral and lung compartments of M. tuberculosis–infected asymptomatic rhesus macaques by longitudinally sampling blood and bronchoalveolar lavage, for up to 24 weeks postinfection. We found substantially higher frequencies of M. tuberculosis–specific effector and memory CD4+ and CD8+ T cells producing IFN-γ in the airways compared with peripheral blood, and these frequencies were maintained throughout the study period. Moreover, M. tuberculosis–specific IL-17+ and IL-17+IFN-γ+ double-positive T cells were present in the airways but were largely absent in the periphery, suggesting that balanced mucosal Th1/Th17 responses are associated with LTBI. The majority of M. tuberculosis–specific CD4+ T cells that homed to the airways expressed the chemokine receptor CXCR3 and coexpressed CCR6. Notably, CXCR3+CD4+ cells were found in granulomatous and nongranulomatous regions of the lung and inversely correlated with M. tuberculosis burden. Our findings provide insights into antigen-specific T cell responses associated with asymptomatic M. tuberculosis infection that are relevant for developing better strategies to control TB.
Uma Shanmugasundaram, Allison N. Bucsan, Shashank R. Ganatra, Chris Ibegbu, Melanie Quezada, Robert V. Blair, Xavier Alvarez, Vijayakumar Velu, Deepak Kaushal, Jyothi Rengarajan
Cigarette smoking (CS) and genetic susceptibility determine the risk for development, progression, and severity of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD). We posited that an incidental balanced reciprocal chromosomal translocation was linked to a patient’s risk of severe COPD. We determined that 46,XX,t(1;4)(p13.1;q34.3) caused a breakpoint in the immunoglobulin superfamily member 3 (IGSF3) gene, with markedly decreased expression. Examination of COPDGene cohort identified 14 IGSF3 SNPs, of which rs1414272 and rs12066192 were directly and rs6703791 inversely associated with COPD severity, including COPD exacerbations. We confirmed that IGSF3 is a tetraspanin-interacting protein that colocalized with CD9 and integrin B1 in tetraspanin-enriched domains. IGSF3-deficient patient–derived lymphoblastoids exhibited multiple alterations in gene expression, especially in the unfolded protein response and ceramide pathways. IGSF3-deficient lymphoblastoids had high ceramide and sphingosine-1 phosphate but low glycosphingolipids and ganglioside levels, and they were less apoptotic and more adherent, with marked changes in multiple TNFRSF molecules. Similarly, IGSF3 knockdown increased ceramide in lung structural cells, rendering them more adherent, with impaired wound repair and weakened barrier function. These findings suggest that, by maintaining sphingolipid and membrane receptor homeostasis, IGSF3 is required for cell mobility–mediated lung injury repair. IGSF3 deficiency may increase susceptibility to CS-induced lung injury in COPD.
Kelly S. Schweitzer, Natini Jinawath, Raluca Yonescu, Kevin Ni, Natalia Rush, Varodom Charoensawan, Irina Bronova, Evgeny Berdyshev, Sonia M. Leach, Lucas A. Gillenwater, Russel P. Bowler, David B. Pearse, Constance A. Griffin, Irina Petrache
Cancer is instigated by mutator phenotypes, including deficient mismatch repair and p53-associated chromosomal instability. More recently, a distinct class of cancers was identified with unusually high mutational loads due to heterozygous amino acid substitutions (most commonly P286R) in the proofreading domain of DNA polymerase ε, the leading strand replicase encoded by POLE. Immunotherapy has revolutionized cancer treatment, but new model systems are needed to recapitulate high mutational burdens characterizing human cancers and permit study of mechanisms underlying clinical responses. Here, we show that activation of a conditional LSL-PoleP286R allele in endometrium is sufficient to elicit in all animals endometrial cancers closely resembling their human counterparts, including very high mutational burden. Diverse investigations uncovered potentially novel aspects of Pole-driven tumorigenesis, including secondary p53 mutations associated with tetraploidy, and cooperation with defective mismatch repair through inactivation of Msh2. Most significantly, there were robust antitumor immune responses with increased T cell infiltrates, accelerated tumor growth following T cell depletion, and unfailing clinical regression following immune checkpoint therapy. This model predicts that human POLE-driven cancers will prove consistently responsive to immune checkpoint blockade. Furthermore, this is a robust and efficient approach to recapitulate in mice the high mutational burdens and immune responses characterizing human cancers.
Hao-Dong Li, Changzheng Lu, He Zhang, Qing Hu, Junqiu Zhang, Ileana C. Cuevas, Subhransu S. Sahoo, Mitzi Aguilar, Elizabeth G. Maurais, Shanrong Zhang, Xiaojing Wang, Esra A. Akbay, Guo-Min Li, Bo Li, Prasad Koduru, Peter Ly, Yang-Xin Fu, Diego H. Castrillon
HIV-1 infection remains incurable owing to the persistence of a viral reservoir that harbors integrated provirus within host cellular DNA. Increasing evidence links sex-based differences in HIV-1 immune responses and pathogenesis; however, little is known about differences in HIV-1 infection persistence. Here, we quantified persistent HIV-1 infection in 90 adults on suppressive antiretroviral therapy in Rakai, Uganda (57 female patients). Total HIV-1 DNA was quantified by PCR, and replication-competent provirus by quantitative viral outgrowth assay (QVOA). Immune phenotyping of T cell subsets and plasma biomarkers was also performed. We found that whereas both sexes had similar total HIV DNA levels, female patients had significantly fewer resting CD4+ T cells harboring replication-competent virus, as measured by viral outgrowth in the QVOA. Factors associated with viral outgrowth differed by sex; notably, frequency of programmed cell death 1 (PD1+) CD4+ T cells correlated with reservoir size in male but not female patients. The sex-based differences in HIV-1 persistence observed in this cohort warrant additional research, especially given the widespread use of the QVOA to assess reservoir size and current explorations of PD1 agonists in cure protocols. Efforts should be made to power future cure studies to assess outcomes in both male and female patients.
Jessica L. Prodger, Adam A. Capoferri, Katherine Yu, Jun Lai, Steven J. Reynolds, Jingo Kasule, Taddeo Kityamuweesi, Paul Buule, David Serwadda, Kyungyoon J. Kwon, Katherine Schlusser, Craig Martens, Eileen Scully, Yun-Hee Choi, Andrew D. Redd, Thomas C. Quinn
Patients with hereditary or acquired hemolytic anemias have a high risk of developing in situ thrombosis of the pulmonary vasculature. While pulmonary thrombosis is a major morbidity associated with hemolytic disorders, the etiological mechanism underlying hemolysis-induced pulmonary thrombosis remains largely unknown. Here, we use intravital lung microscopy in mice to assess the pathogenesis of pulmonary thrombosis following deionized water–induced acute intravascular hemolysis. Acute hemolysis triggered the development of αIIbβ3-dependent platelet-rich thrombi in precapillary pulmonary arterioles, which led to the transient impairment of pulmonary blood flow. The hemolysis-induced pulmonary thrombosis was phenocopied with intravascular ADP- but not thrombin-triggered pulmonary thrombosis. Consistent with a mechanism involving ADP release from hemolyzing erythrocytes, the inhibition of platelet P2Y12 purinergic receptor signaling attenuated pulmonary thrombosis and rescued blood flow in the pulmonary arterioles of mice following intravascular hemolysis. These findings are the first in vivo studies to our knowledge to suggest that acute intravascular hemolysis promotes ADP-dependent platelet activation, leading to thrombosis in the precapillary pulmonary arterioles, and that thrombin generation most likely does not play a significant role in the pathogenesis of acute hemolysis–triggered pulmonary thrombosis.
Tomasz Brzoska, Ravi Vats, Margaret F. Bennewitz, Egemen Tutuncuoglu, Simon C. Watkins, Margaret V. Ragni, Matthew D. Neal, Mark T. Gladwin, Prithu Sundd
BACKGROUND Reprogramming of host metabolism supports viral pathogenesis by fueling viral proliferation, by providing, for example, free amino acids and fatty acids as building blocks.METHODS To investigate metabolic effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection, we evaluated serum metabolites of patients with COVID-19 (n = 33; diagnosed by nucleic acid testing), as compared with COVID-19–negative controls (n = 16).RESULTS Targeted and untargeted metabolomics analyses identified altered tryptophan metabolism into the kynurenine pathway, which regulates inflammation and immunity. Indeed, these changes in tryptophan metabolism correlated with interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels. Widespread dysregulation of nitrogen metabolism was also seen in infected patients, with altered levels of most amino acids, along with increased markers of oxidant stress (e.g., methionine sulfoxide, cystine), proteolysis, and renal dysfunction (e.g., creatine, creatinine, polyamines). Increased circulating levels of glucose and free fatty acids were also observed, consistent with altered carbon homeostasis. Interestingly, metabolite levels in these pathways correlated with clinical laboratory markers of inflammation (i.e., IL-6 and C-reactive protein) and renal function (i.e., blood urea nitrogen).CONCLUSION In conclusion, this initial observational study identified amino acid and fatty acid metabolism as correlates of COVID-19, providing mechanistic insights, potential markers of clinical severity, and potential therapeutic targets.FUNDING Boettcher Foundation Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Award; National Institute of General and Medical Sciences, NIH; and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH.
Tiffany Thomas, Davide Stefanoni, Julie A. Reisz, Travis Nemkov, Lorenzo Bertolone, Richard O. Francis, Krystalyn E. Hudson, James C. Zimring, Kirk C. Hansen, Eldad A. Hod, Steven L. Spitalnik, Angelo D’Alessandro
During the growth of lymphatic vessels (lymphangiogenesis), lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) at the growing front sprout by forming filopodia. Those tip cells are not exposed to circulating lymph, as they are not lumenized. In contrast, LECs that trail the growing front are exposed to shear stress, become quiescent, and remodel into stable vessels. The mechanisms that coordinate the opposed activities of lymphatic sprouting and maturation remain poorly understood. Here, we show that the canonical tip cell marker Delta-like 4 (DLL4) promotes sprouting lymphangiogenesis by enhancing VEGF-C/VEGF receptor 3 (VEGFR3) signaling. However, in lumenized lymphatic vessels, laminar shear stress (LSS) inhibits the expression of DLL4, as well as additional tip cell markers. Paradoxically, LSS also upregulates VEGF-C/VEGFR3 signaling in LECs, but sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor 1 (S1PR1) activity antagonizes LSS-mediated VEGF-C signaling to promote lymphatic vascular quiescence. Correspondingly, S1pr1 loss in LECs induced lymphatic vascular hypersprouting and hyperbranching, which could be rescued by reducing Vegfr3 gene dosage in vivo. In addition, S1PR1 regulates lymphatic vessel maturation by inhibiting RhoA activity to promote membrane localization of the tight junction molecule claudin-5. Our findings suggest a potentially new paradigm in which LSS induces quiescence and promotes the survival of LECs by downregulating DLL4 and enhancing VEGF-C signaling, respectively. S1PR1 dampens LSS/VEGF-C signaling, thereby preventing sprouting from quiescent lymphatic vessels. These results also highlight the distinct roles that S1PR1 and DLL4 play in LECs when compared with their known roles in the blood vasculature.
Xin Geng, Keisuke Yanagida, Racheal G. Akwii, Dongwon Choi, Lijuan Chen, YenChun Ho, Boksik Cha, Md. Riaj Mahamud, Karen Berman de Ruiz, Hirotake Ichise, Hong Chen, Joshua D. Wythe, Constantinos M. Mikelis, Timothy Hla, R. Sathish Srinivasan
It has been proposed that unmethylated insulin promoter fragments in plasma derive exclusively from β cells, reflect their recent demise, and can be used to assess β cell damage in type 1 diabetes. Herein we describe an ultrasensitive assay for detection of a β cell–specific DNA methylation signature, by simultaneous assessment of 6 DNA methylation markers, that identifies β cell DNA in mixtures containing as little as 0.03% β cell DNA (less than 1 β cell genome equivalent). Based on this assay, plasma from nondiabetic individuals (N = 218, aged 4–78 years) contained on average only 1 β cell genome equivalent/mL. As expected, cell-free DNA (cfDNA) from β cells was significantly elevated in islet transplant recipients shortly after transplantation. We also detected β cell cfDNA in a patient with KATP congenital hyperinsulinism, in which substantial β cell turnover is thought to occur. Strikingly, in contrast to previous reports, we observed no elevation of β cell–derived cfDNA in autoantibody-positive subjects at risk for type 1 diabetes (N = 32), individuals with recent-onset type 1 diabetes (<4 months, N = 92), or those with long-standing disease (>4 months, N = 38). We discuss the utility of sensitive β cell cfDNA analysis and potential explanations for the lack of a β cell cfDNA signal in type 1 diabetes.
Daniel Neiman, David Gillis, Sheina Piyanzin, Daniel Cohen, Ori Fridlich, Joshua Moss, Aviad Zick, Tal Oron, Frida Sundberg, Gun Forsander, Oskar Skog, Olle Korsgren, Floris Levy-Khademi, Dan Arbel, Saar Hashavya, A.M. James Shapiro, Cate Speake, Carla Greenbaum, Jennifer Hosford, Amanda Posgai, Mark A. Atkinson, Benjamin Glaser, Desmond A. Schatz, Ruth Shemer, Yuval Dor
Yogendra Kanthi, Jason S. Knight, Yu Zuo, David J. Pinsky