To understand gene expression signatures of acute kidney injury in the context of kidney histology, Ferreira and colleagues integrated spatial transcriptomics data with single-cell and single-nuclear sequencing in human and murine kidney. The cover image shows selected single-cell immune clusters overlaid on spatial transcriptomics.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the sixth most common and the fourth most deadly cancer worldwide. The development cost of new therapeutics is a major limitation in patient outcomes. Importantly, there is a paucity of preclinical HCC models in which to test new small molecules. Herein, we implemented potentially novel patient-derived organoid (PDO) and patient-derived xenografts (PDX) strategies for high-throughput drug screening. Omacetaxine, an FDA-approved drug for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), was found to be a top effective small molecule in HCC PDOs. Next, omacetaxine was tested against a larger cohort of 40 human HCC PDOs. Serial dilution experiments demonstrated that omacetaxine is effective at low (nanomolar) concentrations. Mechanistic studies established that omacetaxine inhibits global protein synthesis, with a disproportionate effect on short–half-life proteins. High-throughput expression screening identified molecular targets for omacetaxine, including key oncogenes, such as PLK1. In conclusion, by using an innovative strategy, we report — for the first time to our knowledge — the effectiveness of omacetaxine in HCC. In addition, we elucidate key mechanisms of omacetaxine action. Finally, we provide a proof-of-principle basis for future studies applying drug screening PDOs sequenced with candidate validation in PDX models. Clinical trials could be considered to evaluate omacetaxine in patients with HCC.
Ling Li, Gilad Halpert, Michael G. Lerner, Haijie Hu, Peter Dimitrion, Matthew J. Weiss, Jin He, Benjamin Philosophe, Richard Burkhart, William R. Burns, Russell N. Wesson, Andrew MacGregor Cameron, Christopher L. Wolfgang, Christos Georgiades, Satomi Kawamoto, Nilofer S. Azad, Mark Yarchoan, Stephen J. Meltzer, Kiyoko Oshima, Laura M. Ensign, Joel S. Bader, Florin M. Selaru
BACKGROUND Adipocytes were long considered inert components of the bone marrow niche, but mouse and human models suggest bone marrow adipose tissue (BMAT) is dynamic and responsive to hormonal and nutrient cues.METHODS In this study of healthy volunteers, we investigated how BMAT responds to acute nutrient changes, including analyses of endocrine determinants and paracrine factors from marrow aspirates. Study participants underwent a 10-day high-calorie protocol, followed by a 10-day fast.RESULTS We demonstrate (a) vertebral BMAT increased significantly during high-calorie feeding and fasting, suggesting BMAT may have different functions in states of caloric excess compared with caloric deprivation; (b) ghrelin, which decreased in response to high-calorie feeding and fasting, was inversely associated with changes in BMAT; and (c) in response to high-calorie feeding, resistin levels in the marrow sera, but not the circulation, rose significantly. In addition, TNF-α expression in marrow adipocytes increased with high-calorie feeding and decreased upon fasting.CONCLUSION High-calorie feeding, but not fasting, induces an immune response in bone marrow similar to what has been reported in peripheral adipose tissue. Understanding the immunomodulatory regulators in the marrow may provide further insight into the homeostatic function of this unique adipose tissue depot.FUNDING NIH grant R24 DK084970, Harvard Catalyst/The Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center (National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, NIH, award UL 1TR002541), and NIH grants P30 DK040561 and U19 AG060917S1.
Pouneh K. Fazeli, Miriam A. Bredella, Gisela Pachon-Peña, Wenxiu Zhao, Xun Zhang, Alexander T. Faje, Megi Resulaj, Sai P. Polineni, Tara M. Holmes, Hang Lee, Elizabeth K. O’Donnell, Ormond A. MacDougald, Mark C. Horowitz, Clifford J. Rosen, Anne Klibanski
Metastases cause 90% of human cancer deaths. The metastatic cascade involves local invasion, intravasation, extravasation, metastatic site colonization, and proliferation. Although individual mediators of these processes have been investigated, interactions between these mediators remain less well defined. We previously identified a complex between receptor tyrosine kinase c-Met and β1 integrin in metastases. Using cell culture and in vivo assays, we found that c-Met/β1 complex induction promoted intravasation and vessel wall adhesion in triple-negative breast cancer cells, but did not increase extravasation. These effects may have been driven by the ability of the c-Met/β1 complex to increase mesenchymal and stem cell characteristics. Multiplex transcriptomic analysis revealed upregulated Wnt and hedgehog pathways after c-Met/β1 complex induction. A β1 integrin point mutation that prevented binding to c-Met reduced intravasation. OS2966, a therapeutic antibody disrupting c-Met/β1 binding, decreased breast cancer cell invasion and mesenchymal gene expression. Bone-seeking breast cancer cells exhibited higher levels of c-Met/β1 complex than parental controls and preferentially adhered to tissue-specific matrix. Patient bone metastases demonstrated higher c-Met/β1 complex than brain metastases. Thus, the c-Met/β1 complex drove intravasation of triple-negative breast cancer cells and preferential affinity for bone-specific matrix. Pharmacological targeting of the complex may have prevented metastases, particularly osseous metastases.
Darryl Lau, Harsh Wadhwa, Sweta Sudhir, Alexander Chih-Chieh Chang, Saket Jain, Ankush Chandra, Alan T. Nguyen, Jordan M. Spatz, Ananya Pappu, Sumedh S. Shah, Justin Cheng, Michael M. Safaee, Garima Yagnik, Arman Jahangiri, Manish K. Aghi
Evolutionarily conserved signaling intermediate in Toll pathways (ECSIT) is a protein with roles in early development, activation of the transcription factor NF-κB, and production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mROS) that facilitates clearance of intracellular bacteria like Salmonella. ECSIT is also an important assembly factor for mitochondrial complex I. Unlike the murine form of Ecsit (mEcsit), we demonstrate here that human ECSIT (hECSIT) is highly labile. To explore whether the instability of hECSIT affects functions previously ascribed to its murine counterpart, we created a potentially novel transgenic mouse in which the murine Ecsit gene is replaced by the human ECSIT gene. The humanized mouse has low levels of hECSIT protein, in keeping with its intrinsic instability. Whereas low-level expression of hECSIT was capable of fully compensating for mEcsit in its roles in early development and activation of the NF-κB pathway, macrophages from humanized mice showed impaired clearance of Salmonella that was associated with reduced production of mROS. Notably, severe cardiac hypertrophy was manifested in aging humanized mice, leading to premature death. The cellular and molecular basis of this phenotype was delineated by showing that low levels of human ECSIT protein led to a marked reduction in assembly and activity of mitochondrial complex I with impaired oxidative phosphorylation and reduced production of ATP. Cardiac tissue from humanized hECSIT mice also showed reduced mitochondrial fusion and more fission but impaired clearance of fragmented mitochondria. A cardiomyocyte-intrinsic role for Ecsit in mitochondrial function and cardioprotection is also demonstrated. We also show that cardiac fibrosis and damage in humans correlated with low expression of human ECSIT. In summary, our findings identify a role for ECSIT in cardioprotection, while generating a valuable experimental model to study mitochondrial dysfunction and cardiac pathophysiology.
Linan Xu, Fiachra Humphries, Nezira Delagic, Bingwei Wang, Ashling Holland, Kevin S. Edgar, Jose R. Hombrebueno, Donna Beer Stolz, Ewa Oleszycka, Aoife M. Rodgers, Nadezhda Glezeva, Kenneth McDonald, Chris J. Watson, Mark T. Ledwidge, Rebecca J. Ingram, David J. Grieve, Paul N. Moynagh
PDCD10, also known as CCM3, is a gene found to be associated with the human disease cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs). PDCD10 forms a complex with GCKIII kinases including STK24, STK25, and MST4. Studies in C. elegans and Drosophila have shown a pivotal role of the PDCD10-GCKIII complex in maintaining epithelial integrity. Here, we found that mice deficient of Pdcd10 or Stk24/25 in the kidney tubules developed polyuria and displayed increased water consumption. Although the expression levels of aquaporin genes were not decreased, the levels of total and phosphorylated aquaporin 2 (Aqp2) protein in the apical membrane of tubular epithelial cells were decreased in Pdcd10- and Stk24/25-deficient mice. This loss of Aqp2 was associated with increased expression and membrane targeting of Ezrin and phosphorylated Ezrin, Radixin, Moesin (p-ERM) proteins and impaired intracellular vesicle trafficking. Treatment with Erlotinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor promoting exocytosis and inhibiting endocytosis, normalized the expression level and membrane abundance of Aqp2 protein, and partially rescued the water reabsorption defect observed in the Pdcd10-deficient mice. Our current study identified the PDCD10-STK-ERM signaling pathway as a potentially novel pathway required for water balance control by regulating vesicle trafficking and protein abundance of AQP2 in the kidneys.
Rui Wang, Shi-Ting Wu, Xi Yang, Yude Qian, Jaesung P. Choi, Rui Gao, Siliang Song, Yixuan Wang, Tao Zhuang, Justin J.L. Wong, Yuzhen Zhang, Zhiming Han, Hua A. Lu, Stephen I. Alexander, Renjing Liu, Yin Xia, Xiangjian Zheng
Right ventricular (RV) fibrosis is a key feature of maladaptive RV hypertrophy and dysfunction and is associated with poor outcomes in pulmonary hypertension (PH). However, mechanisms and therapeutic strategies to mitigate RV fibrosis remain unrealized. Previously, we identified that cardiac fibroblast α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7 nAChR) drives smoking-induced RV fibrosis. Here, we sought to define the role of α7 nAChR in RV dysfunction and fibrosis in the settings of RV pressure overload as seen in PH. We show that RV tissue from PH patients has increased collagen content and ACh expression. Using an experimental rat model of PH, we demonstrate that RV fibrosis and dysfunction are associated with increases in ACh and α7 nAChR expression in the RV but not in the left ventricle (LV). In vitro studies show that α7 nAChR activation leads to an increase in adult ventricular fibroblast proliferation and collagen content mediated by a Ca2+/epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling mechanism. Pharmacological antagonism of nAChR decreases RV collagen content and improves RV function in the PH model. Furthermore, mice lacking α7 nAChR exhibit improved RV diastolic function and have lower RV collagen content in response to persistently increased RV afterload, compared with WT controls. These finding indicate that enhanced α7 nAChR signaling is an important mechanism underlying RV fibrosis and dysfunction, and targeted inhibition of α7 nAChR is a potentially novel therapeutic strategy in the setting of increased RV afterload.
Alexander Vang, Denielli da Silva Gonçalves Bos, Ana Fernandez-Nicolas, Peng Zhang, Alan R. Morrison, Thomas J. Mancini, Richard T. Clements, Iuliia Polina, Michael W. Cypress, Bong Sook Jhun, Edward Hawrot, Ulrike Mende, Jin O-Uchi, Gaurav Choudhary
Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA) is a rare but serious disease with poorly understood mechanisms. Here, we report that patients with EGPA have elevated levels of TSLP, IL-25, and soluble ST2, which are well-characterized cytokine “alarmins” that activate or modulate type 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s). Patients with active EGPA have a concurrent reduction in circulating ILC2s, suggesting a role for ILC2s in the pathogenesis of this disease. To explore the mechanism of these findings in patients, we established a model of EGPA in which active vasculitis and pulmonary hemorrhage were induced by IL-33 administration in predisposed, hypereosinophilic mice. In this model, induction of pulmonary hemorrhage and vasculitis was dependent on ILC2s and signaling through IL4Rα. In the absence of IL4Rα or STAT6, IL-33–treated mice had less vascular leak and pulmonary edema, less endothelial activation, and reduced eotaxin production, cumulatively leading to a reduction of pathologic eosinophil migration into the lung parenchyma. These results offer a mouse model for use in future mechanistic studies of EGPA, and they suggest that IL-33, ILC2s, and IL4Rα signaling may be potential targets for further study and therapeutic targeting in patients with EGPA.
Maya E. Kotas, Jérémie Dion, Steven Van Dyken, Roberto R. Ricardo-Gonzalez, Claire J. Danel, Camille Taillé, Luc Mouthon, Richard M. Locksley, Benjamin Terrier
Necroptosis has emerged as a potential mechanism in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Here, we found that markers of necroptosis, including high mobility group box 1 release and phosphorylation of mixed lineage kinase domain-like protein (p-MLKL), were markedly induced in the late stage of cigarette smoking–induced (CS-induced) emphysema in mouse lung tissue as well as in lung epithelial cells and organoids with higher dosage of or more prolonged exposure to cigarette smoking extract (CSE). Apoptotic signals were also detected and maximally induced in the early stage of CS-exposed mice and CSE-treated epithelial cells. Inhibition of apoptosis by Z-VAD, a pan-caspase inhibitor, switched the cellular stress to enhanced necroptosis in lung epithelial cells and organoids treated with CSE. Depletion or inhibition of receptor-interacting protein kinase 3 (RIP3) or MLKL attenuated the CSE-induced cell death, suggesting that necroptosis contributes to CSE-induced cell death. Silencing or inhibition of RIP1 had no protective effect, indicating a RIP1-independent RIP3 activation pathway. CSE-induced necroptosis released more damage-associated molecular patterns and evoked greater engulfment but slower clearance by bone marrow–derived macrophages, leading to enhanced expression of proinflammatory cytokines Tnfα and Il6. Finally, our in vivo data verified that inhibition of necroptosis by RIP3 inhibitor GSK’872 protected mice from CS-induced emphysema and suppressed the lung inflammation. In conclusion, we provide evidence that necroptosis contributes to the pathogenesis of COPD. Targeting RIP3 and its downstream pathway may be an effective therapy for COPD.
Dongshi Chen, Alyssa D. Gregory, Xiaoyun Li, Jianxin Wei, Christine L. Burton, Gregory Gibson, Stephen J. Scott, Claudette M. St. Croix, Yingze Zhang, Steven D. Shapiro
The presence of an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment is a major obstacle in the success of cancer immunotherapies. Because extracellular matrix components can shape the microenvironment, we investigated the role of matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2) in melanoma tumorigenesis. We found that MMP2 signals proinflammatory pathways on antigen presenting cells, and this requires both TLR2 and TLR4. B16 melanoma cells that express MMP2 at baseline have slower kinetics in Tlr2–/– Tlr4–/– mice, implicating MMP2 in promoting tumor growth. Indeed, Mmp2 overexpression in B16 cells potentiated rapid tumor growth, which was accompanied by reduced intratumoral cytolytic cells and increased M2 macrophages. In contrast, knockdown of Mmp2 slowed tumor growth and enhanced T cell proliferation and NK cell recruitment. Finally, we found that these effects of MMP2 are mediated through dysfunctional DC–T cell cross-talk as they are lost in Batf3–/– and Rag2–/– mice. These findings provide insights into the detrimental role of endogenous alarmins like MMP2 in modulating immune responses in the tumor microenvironment.
Luciana R. Muniz-Bongers, Christopher B. McClain, Mansi Saxena, Gerold Bongers, Miriam Merad, Nina Bhardwaj
Cigarette smoke (CS) is the main etiological factor in the pathogenesis of emphysema/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is associated with abnormal epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Previously, we have shown an association among circadian rhythms, CS-induced lung inflammation, and nuclear heme receptor α (REV-ERBα), acting as an antiinflammatory target in both pulmonary epithelial cells and fibroblasts. We hypothesized that molecular clock REV-ERBα plays an important role in CS-induced circadian dysfunction and EMT alteration. C57BL/6J WT and REV-ERBα heterozygous (Het) and –KO mice were exposed to CS for 30 days (subchronic) and 4 months (chronic), and WT mice were exposed to CS for 10 days with or without REV-ERBα agonist (SR9009) administration. Subchronic/chronic CS exposure caused circadian disruption and dysregulated EMT in the lungs of WT and REV-ERBα–KO mice; both circadian and EMT dysregulation were exaggerated in the REV-ERBα–KO condition. REV-ERBα agonist, SR9009 treatment reduced acute CS-induced inflammatory response and abnormal EMT in the lungs. Moreover, REV-ERBα agonist (GSK4112) inhibited TGF-β/CS–induced fibroblast differentiation in human fetal lung fibroblast 1 (HFL-1). Thus, CS-induced circadian gene alterations and EMT activation are mediated through a Rev-erbα–dependent mechanism, which suggests activation of REV-ERBα as a novel therapeutic approach for smoking-induced chronic inflammatory lung diseases.
Qixin Wang, Isaac K. Sundar, Joseph H. Lucas, Thivanka Muthumalage, Irfan Rahman
BACKGROUND. Dietary sodium intake mismatches urinary sodium excretion over prolonged periods. Our aims were to localize and quantify electrostatically bound sodium within human skin using triple-quantum–filtered (TQF) protocols for MRI and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and to explore dermal sodium in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D). METHODS. We recruited adult participants with T2D (n = 9) and euglycemic participants with no history of diabetes mellitus (n = 8). All had undergone lower limb amputations or abdominal skin reduction surgery for clinical purposes. We used 20 μm in-plane resolution 1H MRI to visualize anatomical skin regions ex vivo from skin biopsies taken intraoperatively, 23Na TQF MRI/MRS to explore distribution and quantification of freely dissolved and bound sodium, and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry to quantify sodium in selected skin samples. RESULTS. Human dermis has a preponderance (>90%) of bound sodium that colocalizes with the glycosaminoglycan (GAG) scaffold. Bound and free sodium have similar anatomical locations. T2D associates with a severely reduced dermal bound sodium capacity. CONCLUSION. We provide the first evidence to our knowledge for high levels of bound sodium within human dermis, colocating to the GAG scaffold, consistent with a dermal “third space repository” for sodium. T2D associates with diminished dermal electrostatic binding capacity for sodium.
Petra Hanson, Christopher J. Philp, Harpal S. Randeva, Sean James, J. Paul O’Hare, Thomas Meersmann, Galina E. Pavlovskaya, Thomas M. Barber
Mice are normally unaffected by SARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection since the virus does not bind effectively to the murine version of the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor molecule. Here, we report that induced mild pulmonary morbidities rendered SARS-CoV-2–refractive CD-1 mice susceptible to this virus. Specifically, SARS-CoV-2 infection after application of low doses of the acute lung injury stimulants bleomycin or ricin caused severe disease in CD-1 mice, manifested by sustained body weight loss and mortality rates greater than 50%. Further studies revealed markedly higher levels of viral RNA in the lungs, heart, and serum of low-dose ricin–pretreated mice compared with non-pretreated mice. Furthermore, lung extracts prepared 2–3 days after viral infection contained subgenomic mRNA and virus particles capable of replication only when derived from the pretreated mice. The deleterious effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection were effectively alleviated by passive transfer of polyclonal or monoclonal antibodies generated against the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD). Thus, viral cell entry in the sensitized mice seems to depend on viral RBD binding, albeit by a mechanism other than the canonical ACE2-mediated uptake route. This unique mode of viral entry, observed over a mildly injured tissue background, may contribute to the exacerbation of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pathologies in patients with preexisting morbidities.
Reut Falach, Liat Bar-On, Shlomi Lazar, Tamar Kadar, Ohad Mazor, Moshe Aftalion, David Gur, Yentl Evgy, Ohad Shifman, Tamar Aminov, Ofir Israeli, Inbar Cohen-Gihon, Galia Zaide, Hila Gutman, Yaron Vagima, Efi Makdasi, Dana Stein, Ronit Rosenfeld, Ron Alcalay, Eran Zahavy, Haim Levy, Itai Glinert, Amir Ben-Shmuel, Tomer Israely, Sharon Melamed, Boaz Politi, Hagit Achdout, Shmuel Yitzhaki, Chanoch Kronman, Tamar Sabo
Mouse IgE and mast cell (MC) functions have been studied primarily using inbred strains. Here, we (a) identified effects of genetic background on mouse IgE and MC phenotypes, (b) defined the suitability of various strains for studying IgE and MC functions, and (c) began to study potentially novel genes involved in such functions. We screened 47 Collaborative Cross (CC) strains, as well as C57BL/6J and BALB/cJ mice, for strength of passive cutaneous anaphylaxis (PCA) and responses to the intestinal parasite Strongyloides venezuelensis (S.v.). CC mice exhibited a diversity in PCA strength and S.v. responses. Among strains tested, C57BL/6J and CC027 mice showed, respectively, moderate and uniquely potent MC activity. Quantitative trait locus analysis and RNA sequencing of BM-derived cultured MCs (BMCMCs) from CC027 mice suggested Sp140 as a candidate gene for MC activation. siRNA-mediated knock-down of Sp140 in BMCMCs decreased IgE-dependent histamine release and cytokine production. Our results demonstrated marked variations in IgE and MC activity in vivo, and in responses to S.v., across CC strains. C57BL/6J and CC027 represent useful models for studying MC functions. Additionally, we identified Sp140 as a gene that contributes to IgE-dependent MC activation.
Kazufumi Matsushita, Xin Li, Yuki Nakamura, Danyue Dong, Kaori Mukai, Mindy Tsai, Stephen B. Montgomery, Stephen J. Galli
Haploidentical hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (h-HSCT) represents an efficient curative approach for patients affected by hematologic malignancies in which the reduced intensity conditioning induces a state of immunologic tolerance between donor and recipient. However, opportunistic viral infections greatly affect h-HSCT clinical outcomes. NK cells are the first lymphocytes that recover after transplant and provide a prompt defense against human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection/reactivation. By undertaking a longitudinal single-cell computational profiling of multiparametric flow cytometry, we show that HCMV accelerates NK cell immune reconstitution together with the expansion of CD158b1b2jpos/NKG2Aneg/NKG2Cpos/NKp30lo NK cells. The frequency of this subset correlates with HCMV viremia, further increases in recipients experiencing multiple episodes of viral reactivations, and persists for months after the infection. The transcriptional profile of FACS-sorted CD158b1b2jpos NK cells confirmed the ability of HCMV to deregulate NKG2C, NKG2A, and NKp30 gene expression, thus inducing the expansion of NK cells with adaptive traits. These NK cells are characterized by the downmodulation of several gene pathways associated with cell migration, the cell cycle, and effector-functions, as well as by a state of metabolic/cellular exhaustion. This profile reflects the functional impairments of adaptive NK cells to produce IFN-γ, a phenomenon also due to the viral-induced expression of lymphocyte-activation gene 3 (LAG-3) and programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) checkpoint inhibitors.
Elisa Zaghi, Michela Calvi, Simone Puccio, Gianmarco Spata, Sara Terzoli, Clelia Peano, Alessandra Roberto, Federica De Paoli, Jasper J.P. van Beek, Jacopo Mariotti, Chiara De Philippis, Barbara Sarina, Rossana Mineri, Stefania Bramanti, Armando Santoro, Vu Thuy Khanh Le-Trilling, Mirko Trilling, Emanuela Marcenaro, Luca Castagna, Clara Di Vito, Enrico Lugli, Domenico Mavilio
Single-cell sequencing studies have characterized the transcriptomic signature of cell types within the kidney. However, the spatial distribution of acute kidney injury (AKI) is regional and affects cells heterogeneously. We first optimized coordination of spatial transcriptomics and single-nuclear sequencing data sets, mapping 30 dominant cell types to a human nephrectomy. The predicted cell-type spots corresponded with the underlying histopathology. To study the implications of AKI on transcript expression, we then characterized the spatial transcriptomic signature of 2 murine AKI models: ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI) and cecal ligation puncture (CLP). Localized regions of reduced overall expression were associated with injury pathways. Using single-cell sequencing, we deconvoluted the signature of each spatial transcriptomic spot, identifying patterns of colocalization between immune and epithelial cells. Neutrophils infiltrated the renal medulla in the ischemia model. Atf3 was identified as a chemotactic factor in S3 proximal tubules. In the CLP model, infiltrating macrophages dominated the outer cortical signature, and Mdk was identified as a corresponding chemotactic factor. The regional distribution of these immune cells was validated with multiplexed CO-Detection by indEXing (CODEX) immunofluorescence. Spatial transcriptomic sequencing complemented single-cell sequencing by uncovering mechanisms driving immune cell infiltration and detection of relevant cell subpopulations.
Ricardo Melo Ferreira, Angela R. Sabo, Seth Winfree, Kimberly S. Collins, Danielle Janosevic, Connor J. Gulbronson, Ying-Hua Cheng, Lauren Casbon, Daria Barwinska, Michael J. Ferkowicz, Xiaoling Xuei, Chi Zhang, Kenneth W. Dunn, Katherine J. Kelly, Timothy A. Sutton, Takashi Hato, Pierre C. Dagher, Tarek M. El-Achkar, Michael T. Eadon
Epigenetic modifications of the genome, including DNA methylation, histone methylation/acetylation, and noncoding RNAs, have been reported to play a fundamental role in regulating immune response during the progression of atherosclerosis. SETDB2 is a member of the KMT1 family of lysine methyltransferases, and members of this family typically methylate histone H3 Lys9 (H3K9), an epigenetic mark associated with gene silencing. Previous studies have shown that SETDB2 is involved in innate and adaptive immunity, the proinflammatory response, and hepatic lipid metabolism. Here, we report that expression of SETDB2 is markedly upregulated in human and murine atherosclerotic lesions. Upregulation of SETDB2 was observed in proinflammatory M1 but not antiinflammatory M2 macrophages. Notably, we found that genetic deletion of SETDB2 in hematopoietic cells promoted vascular inflammation and enhanced the progression of atherosclerosis in BM transfer studies in Ldlr-knockout mice. Single-cell RNA-Seq analysis in isolated CD45+ cells from atherosclerotic plaques from mice transplanted with SETDB2-deficient BM revealed a significant increase in monocyte population and enhanced expression of genes involved in inflammation and myeloid cell recruitment. Additionally, we found that loss of SETDB2 in hematopoietic cells was associated with macrophage accumulation in atherosclerotic lesions and attenuated efferocytosis. Overall, these studies identify SETDB2 as an important inflammatory cell regulator that controls macrophage activation in atherosclerotic plaques.
Xinbo Zhang, Jonathan Sun, Alberto Canfrán-Duque, Binod Aryal, George Tellides, Ying Ju Chang, Yajaira Suárez, Timothy F. Osborne, Carlos Fernández-Hernando
The skin lesion erythema migrans (EM) is an initial sign of the Ixodes tick–transmitted Borreliella spirochetal infection known as Lyme disease. T cells and innate immune cells have previously been shown to predominate the EM lesion and promote the reaction. Despite the established importance of B cells and antibodies in preventing infection, the role of B cells in the skin immune response to Borreliella is unknown. Here, we used single-cell RNA-Seq in conjunction with B cell receptor (BCR) sequencing to immunophenotype EM lesions and their associated B cells and BCR repertoires. We found that B cells were more abundant in EM in comparison with autologous uninvolved skin; many were clonally expanded and had circulating relatives. EM-associated B cells upregulated the expression of MHC class II genes and exhibited preferential IgM isotype usage. A subset also exhibited low levels of somatic hypermutation despite a gene expression profile consistent with memory B cells. Our study demonstrates that single-cell gene expression with paired BCR sequencing can be used to interrogate the sparse B cell populations in human skin and reveals that B cells in the skin infection site in early Lyme disease expressed a phenotype consistent with local antigen presentation and antibody production.
Ruoyi Jiang, Hailong Meng, Khadir Raddassi, Ira Fleming, Kenneth B. Hoehn, Kenneth R. Dardick, Alexia A. Belperron, Ruth R. Montgomery, Alex K. Shalek, David A. Hafler, Steven H. Kleinstein, Linda K. Bockenstedt
Alloimmune responses driven by donor-specific antibodies (DSAs) can lead to antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR) in organ transplantation. Yet, the cellular states underlying alloreactive B cell responses and the molecular components controlling them remain unclear. Using high-dimensional profiling of B cells in a cohort of 96 kidney transplant recipients, we identified expanded numbers of CD27+CD21– activated memory (AM) B cells that expressed the transcription factor T-bet in patients who developed DSAs and progressed to ABMR. Notably, AM cells were less frequent in DSA+ABMR– patients and at baseline levels in DSA– patients. RNA-Seq analysis of AM cells in patients undergoing ABMR revealed these cells to be poised for plasma cell differentiation and to express restricted IGHV sequences reflective of clonal expansion. In addition to T-bet, AM cells manifested elevated expression of interferon regulatory factor 4 and Blimp1, and upon coculture with autologous T follicular helper cells, differentiated into DSA-producing plasma cells in an IL-21–dependent manner. The frequency of AM cells was correlated with the timing and severity of ABMR manifestations. Importantly, T-bet+ AM cells were detected within kidney allografts along with their restricted IGHV sequences. This study delineates a pivotal role for AM cells in promoting humoral responses and ABMR in organ transplantation and highlights them as important therapeutic targets.
Kevin Louis, Elodie Bailly, Camila Macedo, Louis Lau, Bala Ramaswami, Alexander Chang, Uma Chandran, Douglas Landsittel, Xinyan Gu, Geetha Chalasani, Adriana Zeevi, Parmjeet Randhawa, Harinder Singh, Carmen Lefaucheur, Diana Metes
BACKGROUND Whether airspace biomarkers add value to plasma biomarkers in studying acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is not well understood. Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are an investigational therapy for ARDS, and airspace biomarkers may provide mechanistic evidence for MSCs’ impact in patients with ARDS.METHODS We carried out a nested cohort study within a phase 2a safety trial of treatment with allogeneic MSCs for moderate-to-severe ARDS. Nonbronchoscopic bronchoalveolar lavage and plasma samples were collected 48 hours after study drug infusion. Airspace and plasma biomarker concentrations were compared between the MSC (n = 17) and placebo (n = 10) treatment arms, and correlation between the two compartments was tested. Airspace biomarkers were also tested for associations with clinical and radiographic outcomes.RESULTS Compared with placebo, MSC treatment significantly reduced airspace total protein, angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2), IL-6, and soluble TNF receptor-1 concentrations. Plasma biomarkers did not differ between groups. Each 10-fold increase in airspace Ang-2 was independently associated with 6.7 fewer days alive and free of mechanical ventilation (95% CI, –12.3 to –1.0, P = 0.023), and each 10-fold increase in airspace receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) was independently associated with a 6.6-point increase in day 3 radiographic assessment of lung edema score (95% CI, 2.4 to 10.8, P = 0.004).CONCLUSION MSCs reduced biological evidence of lung injury in patients with ARDS. Biomarkers from the airspaces provide additional value for studying pathogenesis, treatment effects, and outcomes in ARDS.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02097641.FUNDING National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Katherine D. Wick, Aleksandra Leligdowicz, Hanjing Zhuo, Lorraine B. Ware, Michael A. Matthay
Several studies have associated the presence of residual insulin secretion capability (also referred to as being C-peptide positive) with lower risk of insulin-induced hypoglycemia in patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D), although the reason is unclear. We tested the hypothesis that C-peptide infusion would enhance glucagon secretion in response to hyperinsulinemia during euglycemic and hypoglycemic conditions in dogs (5 male/4 female). After a 2-hour basal period, an intravenous (IV) infusion of insulin was started, and dextrose was infused to maintain euglycemia for 2 hours. At the same time, an IV infusion of either saline (SAL) or C-peptide (CPEP) was started. After this euglycemic period, the insulin and SAL/CPEP infusions were continued for another 2 hours, but the glucose was allowed to fall to approximately 50 mg/dL. In response to euglycemic-hyperinsulinemia, glucagon secretion decreased in SAL but remained unchanged from the basal period in CPEP condition. During hypoglycemia, glucagon secretion in CPEP was 2 times higher than SAL, and this increased net hepatic glucose output and reduced the amount of exogenous glucose required to maintain glycemia. These data suggest that the presence of C-peptide during IV insulin infusion can preserve glucagon secretion during euglycemia and enhance it during hypoglycemia, which could explain why T1D patients with residual insulin secretion are less susceptible to hypoglycemia.
Mary Courtney Moore, Shana O. Warner, Yufei Dai, Nicole Sheanon, Marta Smith, Ben Farmer, Rebecca L. Cason, Alan D. Cherrington, Jason J. Winnick
Although antiretroviral therapy suppresses HIV replication, it does not eliminate viral reservoirs or restore damaged lymphoid tissue, posing obstacles to HIV eradication. Using the SIV model of AIDS, we investigated the effect of mesenchymal stem/stromal cell (MSC) infusions on gut mucosal recovery, antiviral immunity, and viral suppression and determined associated molecular/metabolic signatures. MSC administration to SIV-infected macaques resulted in viral reduction and heightened virus-specific responses. Marked clearance of SIV-positive cells from gut mucosal effector sites was correlated with robust regeneration of germinal centers, restoration of follicular B cells and T follicular helper (Tfh) cells, and enhanced antigen presentation by viral trapping within the follicular DC network. Gut transcriptomic analyses showed increased antiviral response mediated by pathways of type I/II IFN signaling, viral restriction factors, innate immunity, and B cell proliferation and provided the molecular signature underlying enhanced host immunity. Metabolic analysis revealed strong correlations between B and Tfh cell activation, anti-SIV antibodies, and IL-7 expression with enriched retinol metabolism, which facilitates gut homing of antigen-activated lymphocytes. We identified potentially new MSC functions in modulating antiviral immunity for enhanced viral clearance predominantly through type I/II IFN signaling and B cell signature, providing a road map for multipronged HIV eradication strategies.
Mariana G. Weber, Chara J. Walters-Laird, Amir Kol, Clarissa Santos Rocha, Lauren A. Hirao, Abigail Mende, Bipin Balan, Juan Arredondo, Sonny R. Elizaldi, Smita S. Iyer, Alice F. Tarantal, Satya Dandekar
The liver is the major source of glucose production during fasting under normal physiological conditions. However, the kidney may also contribute to maintaining glucose homeostasis in certain circumstances. To test the ability of the kidney to compensate for impaired hepatic glucose production in vivo, we developed a stable isotope approach to simultaneously quantify gluconeogenic and oxidative metabolic fluxes in the liver and kidney. Hepatic gluconeogenesis from phosphoenolpyruvate was disrupted via liver-specific knockout of cytosolic phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK-C; KO). 2H/13C isotopes were infused in fasted KO and WT littermate mice, and fluxes were estimated from isotopic measurements of tissue and plasma metabolites using a multicompartment metabolic model. Hepatic gluconeogenesis and glucose production were reduced in KO mice, yet whole-body glucose production and arterial glucose were unaffected. Glucose homeostasis was maintained by a compensatory rise in renal glucose production and gluconeogenesis. Renal oxidative metabolic fluxes of KO mice increased to sustain the energetic and metabolic demands of elevated gluconeogenesis. These results show the reciprocity of the liver and kidney in maintaining glucose homeostasis by coordinated regulation of gluconeogenic flux through PEPCK-C. Combining stable isotopes with mathematical modeling provides a versatile platform to assess multitissue metabolism in various genetic, pathophysiological, physiological, and pharmacological settings.
Mohsin Rahim, Clinton M. Hasenour, Tomasz K. Bednarski, Curtis C. Hughey, David H. Wasserman, Jamey D. Young
p38 MAPKs play a central role in orchestrating the cellular response to stress and inflammation and in the regulation of myogenesis. Potent inhibitors of p38 MAPKs have been pursued as potential therapies for several disease indications due to their antiinflammatory properties, although none have been approved to date. Here, we provide a brief overview of p38 MAPKs, including their role in regulating myogenesis and their association with disease progression. Finally, we discuss targeting p38 MAPKs as a therapeutic approach for treating facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy and other muscular dystrophies by addressing multiple pathological mechanisms in skeletal muscle.
Christopher M. Brennan, Charles P. Emerson Jr., Jane Owens, Nicolas Christoforou