In this issue, Yiu et al. report that infant rhesus macaques exposed to Zika virus in utero exhibited chorioretinal lesions and retinal thinning at birth but normal ocular development over 2 years postnatally. The cover image shows the macroscopic appearance of ocular abnormalities in a Zika virus–infected infant macaque, with a single oval-shaped superotemporal chorioretinal defect.
Respiratory complications are the major cause of morbidity and mortality among preterm infants, which is partially prevented by the administration of antenatal corticosteroids (ACS). Most very preterm infants are exposed to chorioamnionitis, but short- and long-term effects of ACS treatment in this setting are not well defined. In low-resource settings, ACS increased neonatal mortality by perhaps increasing infection. We report that treatment with low-dose ACS in the setting of inflammation induced by intraamniotic lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in rhesus macaques improves lung compliance and increases surfactant production relative to either exposure alone. RNA sequencing shows that these changes are mediated by suppression of proliferation and induction of mesenchymal cellular death via TP53. The combined exposure results in a mature-like transcriptomic profile with inhibition of extracellular matrix development by suppression of collagen genes COL1A1, COL1A2, and COL3A1 and regulators of lung development FGF9 and FGF10. ACS and inflammation also suppressed signature genes associated with proliferative mesenchymal progenitors similar to the term gestation lung. Treatment with ACS in the setting of inflammation may result in early respiratory advantage to preterm infants, but this advantage may come at a risk of abnormal extracellular matrix development, which may be associated with increased risk of chronic lung disease.
Augusto F. Schmidt, Paranthaman S. Kannan, James Bridges, Pietro Presicce, Courtney M. Jackson, Lisa A. Miller, Suhas G. Kallapur, Claire A. Chougnet, Alan H. Jobe
In this work, we have explored natural unmodified low- and high-density lipoproteins (LDL and HDL, respectively) as selective delivery vectors in colorectal cancer therapy. We show in vitro in cultured cells and in vivo (NanoSPECT/CT) in the CT-26 mice colorectal cancer model that LDLs are mainly taken up by cancer cells, while HDLs are preferentially taken up by macrophages. We loaded LDLs with cisplatin and HDLs with the heat shock protein-70 inhibitor AC1LINNC, turning them into a pair of “Trojan horses” delivering drugs selectively to their target cells as demonstrated in vitro in human colorectal cancer cells and macrophages, and in vivo. Coupling of the drugs to lipoproteins and stability was assessed by mass spectometry and raman spectrometry analysis. Cisplatin vectorized in LDLs led to better tumor growth suppression with strongly reduced adverse effects such as renal or liver toxicity. AC1LINNC vectorized into HDLs induced a strong oxidative burst in macrophages and innate anticancer immune response. Cumulative antitumor effect was observed for both drug-loaded lipoproteins. Altogether, our data show that lipoproteins from patient blood can be used as natural nanocarriers allowing cell-specific targeting, paving the way toward more efficient, safer, and personalized use of chemotherapeutic and immunotherapeutic drugs in cancer.
Tarik Hadi, Christophe Ramseyer, Thomas Gautier, Pierre-Simon Bellaye, Tatiana Lopez, Antonin Schmitt, Sarah Foley, Semen Yesylevskyy, Thibault Minervini, Romain Douhard, Lucile Dondaine, Lil Proukhnitzky, Samir Messaoudi, Maeva Wendremaire, Mathieu Moreau, Fabrice Neiers, Bertrand Collin, Franck Denat, Laurent Lagrost, Carmen Garrido, Frederic Lirussi
Enhanced energy expenditure in brown (BAT) and white adipose tissues (WAT) can be therapeutic against metabolic diseases. We examined the thermogenic role of adipose α/β-hydrolase domain 6 (ABHD6), which hydrolyzes monoacylglycerol (MAG), by employing adipose-specific ABHD6-KO mice. Control and KO mice showed similar phenotypes at room temperature and thermoneutral conditions. However, KO mice were resistant to hypothermia, which can be accounted for by the simultaneously increased lipolysis and lipogenesis of the thermogenic glycerolipid/free fatty acid (GL/FFA) cycle in visceral fat, despite unaltered uncoupling protein 1 expression. Upon cold stress, nuclear 2-MAG levels increased in visceral WAT of the KO mice. Evidence is provided that 2-MAG causes activation of PPARα in white adipocytes, leading to elevated expression and activity of GL/FFA cycle enzymes. In the ABHD6-ablated BAT, glucose and oxidative metabolism were elevated upon cold induction, without changes in GL/FFA cycle and lipid turnover. Moreover, response to in vivo β3-adrenergic stimulation was comparable between KO and control mice. Our data reveal a MAG/PPARα/GL/FFA cycling metabolic signaling network in visceral adipose tissue, which contributes to cold tolerance, and that adipose ABHD6 is a negative modulator of adaptive thermogenesis.
Pegah Poursharifi, Camille Attané, Yves Mugabo, Anfal Al-Mass, Anindya Ghosh, Clémence Schmitt, Shangang Zhao, Julian Guida, Roxane Lussier, Heidi Erb, Isabelle Chenier, Marie-Line Peyot, Erik Joly, Christophe Noll, André C. Carpentier, S.R. Murthy Madiraju, Marc Prentki
Small noncoding RNAs, miRNAs (miRNAs), are emerging as important modulators in the pathogenesis of kidney disease, with potential as biomarkers of kidney disease onset, progression, or therapeutic efficacy. Bulk tissue small RNA-sequencing (sRNA-Seq) and microarrays are widely used to identify dysregulated miRNA expression but are limited by the lack of precision regarding the cellular origin of the miRNA. In this study, we performed cell-specific sRNA-Seq on tubular cells, endothelial cells, PDGFR-β+ cells, and macrophages isolated from injured and repairing kidneys in the murine reversible unilateral ureteric obstruction model. We devised an unbiased bioinformatics pipeline to define the miRNA enrichment within these cell populations, constructing a miRNA catalog of injury and repair. Our analysis revealed that a significant proportion of cell-specific miRNAs in healthy animals were no longer specific following injury. We then applied this knowledge of the relative cell specificity of miRNAs to deconvolute bulk miRNA expression profiles in the renal cortex in murine models and human kidney disease. Finally, we used our data-driven approach to rationally select macrophage-enriched miR-16-5p and miR-18a-5p and demonstrate that they are promising urinary biomarkers of acute kidney injury in renal transplant recipients.
Katie L. Connor, Oliver Teenan, Carolynn Cairns, Victoria Banwell, Rachel A.B. Thomas, Julie Rodor, Sarah Finnie, Riinu Pius, Gillian M. Tannahill, Vishal Sahni, Caroline O.S. Savage, Jeremy Hughes, Ewen M. Harrison, Robert B. Henderson, Lorna P. Marson, Bryan R. Conway, Stephen J. Wigmore, Laura Denby
Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is the most common cause of severe renal disease worldwide and the single strongest predictor of mortality in diabetes patients. Kidney steatosis has emerged as a critical trigger in the pathogenesis of DKD; however, the molecular mechanism of renal lipotoxicity remains largely unknown. Our recent studies in genetic mouse models, human cell lines, and well-characterized patient cohorts have identified serine/threonine protein kinase 25 (STK25) as a critical regulator of ectopic lipid storage in several metabolic organs prone to diabetic damage. Here, we demonstrate that overexpression of STK25 aggravates renal lipid accumulation and exacerbates structural and functional kidney injury in a mouse model of DKD. Reciprocally, inhibiting STK25 signaling in mice ameliorates diet-induced renal steatosis and alleviates the development of DKD-associated pathologies. Furthermore, we find that STK25 silencing in human kidney cells protects against lipid deposition, as well as oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum stress. Together, our results suggest that STK25 regulates a critical node governing susceptibility to renal lipotoxicity and that STK25 antagonism could mitigate DKD progression.
Emmelie Cansby, Mara Caputo, Lei Gao, Nagaraj M. Kulkarni, Annika Nerstedt, Marcus Ståhlman, Jan Borén, Rando Porosk, Ursel Soomets, Matteo Pedrelli, Paolo Parini, Hanns-Ulrich Marschall, Jenny Nyström, Brian W. Howell, Margit Mahlapuu
Cardiac fibrosis is a pathophysiologic hallmark of the aging heart, but little is known about how fibroblast proliferation and transcriptional programs change throughout the life span of the organism. Using EdU pulse labeling, we demonstrated that more than 50% of cardiac fibroblasts were actively proliferating in the first day of postnatal life. However, by 4 weeks, only 10% of cardiac fibroblasts were proliferating. By early adulthood, the fraction of proliferating cardiac fibroblasts further decreased to approximately 2%, where it remained throughout the rest of the organism’s life. We observed that maximal changes in cardiac fibroblast transcriptional programs and, in particular, collagen and ECM gene expression both in the heart and cardiac fibroblast were maximal in the newly born and juvenile animal and decreased with organismal aging. Examination of DNA methylation changes both in the heart and in cardiac fibroblasts did not demonstrate significant changes in differentially methylated regions between young and old mice. Our observations demonstrate that cardiac fibroblasts attain a stable proliferation rate and transcriptional program early in the life span of the organism and suggest that phenotypic changes in the aging heart are not directly attributable to changes in proliferation rate or altered collagen expression in cardiac fibroblasts.
Rimao Wu, Feiyang Ma, Anela Tosevska, Colin Farrell, Matteo Pellegrini, Arjun Deb
Inflammatory damage contributes to β cell failure in type 1 and 2 diabetes (T1D and T2D, respectively). Mitochondria are damaged by inflammatory signaling in β cells, resulting in impaired bioenergetics and initiation of proapoptotic machinery. Hence, the identification of protective responses to inflammation could lead to new therapeutic targets. Here, we report that mitophagy serves as a protective response to inflammatory stress in both human and rodent β cells. Utilizing in vivo mitophagy reporters, we observed that diabetogenic proinflammatory cytokines induced mitophagy in response to nitrosative/oxidative mitochondrial damage. Mitophagy-deficient β cells were sensitized to inflammatory stress, leading to the accumulation of fragmented dysfunctional mitochondria, increased β cell death, and hyperglycemia. Overexpression of CLEC16A, a T1D gene and mitophagy regulator whose expression in islets is protective against T1D, ameliorated cytokine-induced human β cell apoptosis. Thus, mitophagy promotes β cell survival and prevents diabetes by countering inflammatory injury. Targeting this pathway has the potential to prevent β cell failure in diabetes and may be beneficial in other inflammatory conditions.
Vaibhav Sidarala, Gemma L. Pearson, Vishal S. Parekh, Benjamin Thompson, Lisa Christen, Morgan A. Gingerich, Jie Zhu, Tracy Stromer, Jianhua Ren, Emma C. Reck, Biaoxin Chai, John A. Corbett, Thomas Mandrup-Poulsen, Leslie S. Satin, Scott A. Soleimanpour
BACKGROUND Severe acute malnutrition (SAM) is a major contributor to global mortality in children under 5 years. Mortality has decreased; however, the long-term cardiometabolic consequences of SAM and its subtypes, severe wasting (SW) and edematous malnutrition (EM), are not well understood. We evaluated the metabolic profiles of adult SAM survivors using targeted metabolomic analyses.METHODS This cohort study of 122 adult SAM survivors (SW = 69, EM = 53) and 90 age-, sex-, and BMI-matched community participants (CPs) quantified serum metabolites using direct flow injection mass spectrometry combined with reverse-phase liquid chromatography. Univariate and sparse partial least square discriminant analyses (sPLS-DAs) assessed differences in metabolic profiles and identified the most discriminative metabolites.RESULTS Seventy-seven metabolite variables were significant in distinguishing between SAM survivors (28.4 ± 8.8 years, 24.0 ± 6.1 kg/m2) and CPs (28.4 ± 8.9 years, 23.3 ± 4.4 kg/m2) (mean ± SDs) in univariate and sPLS-DA models. Compared with CPs, SAM survivors had less liver fat; higher branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), urea cycle metabolites, and kynurenine/tryptophan (KT) ratio (P < 0.001); and lower β-hydroxybutyric acid and acylcarnitine/free carnitine ratio (P < 0.001), which were both associated with hepatic steatosis (P < 0.001). SW and EM survivors had similar metabolic profiles as did stunted and nonstunted SAM survivors.CONCLUSION Adult SAM survivors have distinct metabolic profiles that suggest reduced β-oxidation and greater risk of type 2 diabetes (BCAAs, KT ratio, urea cycle metabolites) compared with CPs. This indicates that early childhood SAM exposure has long-term metabolic consequences that may worsen with age and require targeted clinical management.FUNDING Health Research Council of New Zealand, Caribbean Public Health Agency, Centre for Global Child Health at the Hospital for Sick Children. DST is an Academic Fellow and a Restracomp Fellow at the Centre for Global Child Health. GBG is a postdoctoral fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders.
Debbie S. Thompson, Celine Bourdon, Paraskevi Massara, Michael S. Boyne, Terrence E. Forrester, Gerard Bryan Gonzales, Robert H. J. Bandsma
Alveolar macrophages (AMs) are differentially regulated by human surfactant protein-A1 (SP-A1) or SP-A2. However, AMs are very heterogeneous and differences are difficult to characterize in intact cells. Using the Toponome Imaging System (TIS), an imaging technique that uses sequential immunostaining to identify patterns of biomarker expression or combinatorial molecular phenotypes (CMPs), we studied individual single cells and identified subgroups of AMs (n = 168) from SP-A–KO mice and mice expressing either SP-A1 or SP-A2. The effects, as shown by CMPs, of SP-A1 and SP-A2 on AMs were significant and differed. SP-A1 AMs were the most diverse and shared the fewest CMPs with KO and SP-A2. Clustering analysis of each group showed 3 clusters where the CMP-based phenotype was distinct in each cluster. Moreover, a clustering analysis of all 168 AMs revealed 10 clusters, many dominated by 1 group. Some CMP overlap among groups was observed with SP-A2 AMs sharing the most CMPs and SP-A1 AMs the fewest. The CMP-based patterns identified here provide a basis for understanding not only AMs’ diversity, but also most importantly, the molecular basis for the diversity of functional differences in mouse models where the impact of genetics of innate immune molecules on AMs has been studied.
David S. Phelps, Vernon M. Chinchilli, Judith Weisz, Lili Yang, Debra Shearer, Xuesheng Zhang, Joanna Floros
Individuals younger than 6 months of age are at significant risk from influenza virus infection; however, there is currently no vaccine approved for this age group. Influenza virus neuraminidase (NA) has emerged as a potential additional target for vaccine strategies. In this study, we sought to understand the ability of newborns to mount an antibody response to NA. Here we employed a nonhuman primate model, given the similarities to humans in immune system and development. We measured antibody to NA following infection with an H1N1 virus or following vaccination and challenge. Administration of an inactivated virus vaccine was not capable of eliciting detectable NA-specific antibody, even in the presence of adjuvants previously shown to increase total virus-specific IgG. However, both naive and vaccinated newborns generated a NA-specific antibody response following virus infection. Interestingly, the presence of the vaccine-induced response did not prevent generation of systemic antibody to NA following challenge, although the respiratory response was reduced in a significant portion of newborns. These findings are the first, to our knowledge, to evaluate the newborn response to the influenza NA protein as well as the impact of previous vaccination on generation of these antibodies following virus infection.
Patrick K. Shultz, Kali F. Crofts, Beth C. Holbrook, Martha A. Alexander-Miller
Sepsis is the leading cause of acute kidney injury (AKI). However, the pathogenesis of septic AKI remains largely unclear. Here, we demonstrate a significant decrease of microRNA-376b (miR-376b) in renal tubular cells in mice with septic AKI. Urinary miR-376b in these mice was also dramatically decreased. Patients with sepsis with AKI also had significantly lower urinary miR-376b than patients with sepsis without AKI, supporting its diagnostic value for septic AKI. LPS treatment of renal tubular cells led to the activation of NF-κB, and inhibition of NF-κB prevented a decrease of miR-376b. ChIP assay further verified NF-κB binding to the miR-376b gene promoter upon LPS treatment. Functionally, miR-376b mimics exaggerated tubular cell death, kidney injury, and intrarenal production of inflammatory cytokines, while inhibiting miR-376b afforded protective effects in septic mice. Interestingly, miR-376b suppressed the expression of NF-κB inhibitor ζ (NFKBIZ) in both in vitro and in vivo models of septic AKI. Luciferase microRNA target reporter assay further verified NFKBIZ as a direct target of miR-376b. Collectively, these results illustrate the NF-κB/miR-376b/NFKBIZ negative feedback loop that regulates intrarenal inflammation and tubular damage in septic AKI. Moreover, urinary miR-376b is a potential biomarker for the diagnosis of AKI in patients with sepsis.
Zhiwen Liu, Chengyuan Tang, Liyu He, Danyi Yang, Juan Cai, Jiefu Zhu, Shaoqun Shu, Yuxue Liu, Lijun Yin, Guochun Chen, Yu Liu, Dongshan Zhang, Zheng Dong
Congenital Zika syndrome (CZS) is associated with microcephaly and various neurological, musculoskeletal, and ocular abnormalities, but the long-term pathogenesis and postnatal progression of ocular defects in infants are not well characterized. Rhesus macaques are superior to rodents as models of CZS because they are natural hosts of the virus and share similar immune and ocular characteristics, including blood–retinal barrier characteristics and the unique presence of a macula. Using a previously described model of CZS, we infected pregnant rhesus macaques with Zika virus (ZIKV) during the late first trimester and characterized postnatal ocular development and evolution of ocular defects in 2 infant macaques over 2 years. We found that one of them exhibited colobomatous chorioretinal atrophic lesions with macular and vascular dragging as well as retinal thinning caused by loss of retinal ganglion neuron and photoreceptor layers. Despite these congenital ocular malformations, axial elongation and retinal development in these infants progressed at normal rates compared with healthy animals. The ZIKV-exposed infants displayed a rapid loss of ZIKV-specific antibodies, suggesting the absence of viral replication after birth, and did not show any behavioral or neurological defects postnatally. Our findings suggest that ZIKV infection during early pregnancy can impact fetal retinal development and cause congenital ocular anomalies but does not appear to affect postnatal ocular growth.
Glenn Yiu, Sara M. Thomasy, M. Isabel Casanova, Alexander Rusakevich, Rebekah I. Keesler, Jennifer Watanabe, Jodie Usachenko, Anil Singapuri, Erin E. Ball, Eliza Bliss-Moreau, Wendi Guo, Helen Webster, Tulika Singh, Sallie Permar, Amir Ardeshir, Lark L. Coffey, Koen K.A. Van Rompay
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is characterized by hepatic lipid accumulation. The transmembrane 6 superfamily member 2 (TM6SF2) E167K genetic variant associates with NAFLD and with reduced plasma triglyceride levels in humans. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these associations remain unclear. We hypothesized that TM6SF2 E167K affects hepatic very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) secretion and studied the kinetics of apolipoprotein B100 (apoB100) and triglyceride metabolism in VLDL in homozygous subjects. In 10 homozygote TM6SF2 E167K carriers and 10 matched controls, we employed stable-isotope tracer and compartmental modeling techniques to determine apoB100 and triglyceride kinetics in the 2 major VLDL subfractions: large triglyceride-rich VLDL1 and smaller, less triglyceride-rich VLDL2. VLDL1-apoB100 production was markedly reduced in homozygote TM6SF2 E167K carriers compared with controls. Likewise, VLDL1-triglyceride production was 35% lower in the TM6SF2 E167K carriers. In contrast, the direct production rates for VLDL2-apoB100 and triglyceride were not different between carriers and controls. In conclusion, the TM6SF2 E167K genetic variant was linked to a specific reduction in hepatic secretion of large triglyceride-rich VLDL1. The impaired secretion of VLDL1 explains the reduced plasma triglyceride concentration and provides a basis for understanding the lower risk of cardiovascular disease associated with the TM6SF2 E167K genetic variant.
Jan Borén, Martin Adiels, Elias Björnson, Niina Matikainen, Sanni Söderlund, Joel Rämö, Marcus Ståhlman, Pietari Ripatti, Samuli Ripatti, Aarno Palotie, Rosellina M. Mancina, Antti Hakkarainen, Stefano Romeo, Chris J. Packard, Marja-Riitta Taskinen
Kate E. Bailey, Guy A. MacGowan, Simon Tual-Chalot, Lauren Phillips, Timothy J. Mohun, Deborah J. Henderson, Helen M. Arthur, Simon D. Bamforth, Helen M. Phillips