In this issue, Pará et al. demonstrate in a mucopolysaccharidosis IIIC mouse model that synaptic and neurotransmission defects in CA1 pyramidal neurons precede the first cognitive symptoms due to disrupted microtubule structure and impaired axonal transport. The cover image shows a mouse hippocampal neuron in culture stained for α-tubulin (green), actin filaments (red), and DRAQ5 (blue).
Obesity is a risk factor for gallbladder cancer (GBC) development, and it correlates with shorter overall survival. Leptin, derived from adipocytes, has been suggested to contribute to the growth of cancer cells; however, the detailed mechanism of leptin in GBC drug resistance remains uninvestigated. In this study, our finding that patients with GBC with a higher BMI were associated with increased GBC risks, including shortened survival, is clinically relevant. Moreover, obese NOD/SCID mice exhibited a higher circulating concentration of leptin, which is associated with GBC growth and attenuated gemcitabine efficacy. We further revealed that leptin can inhibit gemcitabine-induced GBC cell death through myeloid cell leukemia 1 (MCL1) activation. The transcription factor C/EBP δ (CEBPD) is responsive to activated STAT3 (pSTAT3) and contributes to MCL1 transcriptional activation upon leptin treatment. In addition, MCL1 mediates leptin-induced mitochondrial fusion and is associated with GBC cell survival. The findings in this study suggest the involvement of the pSTAT3/CEBPD/MCL1 axis in leptin-induced mitochondrial fusion and survival and provide a potentially new therapeutic target to improve the efficacy of gemcitabine in patients with GBC.
Wei-Jan Wang, Hong-Yue Lai, Fei Zhang, Wan-Jou Shen, Pei-Yu Chu, Hsin-Yin Liang, Ying-Bin Liu, Ju-Ming Wang
BACKGROUND Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) decreases energy intake and is, therefore, an effective treatment of obesity. The behavioral bases of the decreased calorie intake remain to be elucidated. We applied the methodology of microstructural analysis of meal intake to establish the behavioral features of ingestion in an effort to discern the various controls of feeding as a function of RYGB.METHODS The ingestive microstructure of a standardized liquid meal in a cohort of 11 RYGB patients, in 10 patients with obesity, and in 10 healthy-weight adults was prospectively assessed from baseline to 1 year with a custom-designed drinkometer. Statistics were performed on log-transformed ratios of change from baseline so that each participant served as their own control, and proportional increases and decreases were numerically symmetrical. Data-driven (3 seconds) and additional burst pause criteria (1 and 5 seconds) were used.RESULTS At baseline, the mean meal size (909.2 versus 557.6 kCal), burst size (28.8 versus 17.6 mL), and meal duration (433 versus 381 seconds) differed between RYGB patients and healthy-weight controls, whereas suck volume (5.2 versus 4.6 mL) and number of bursts (19.7 versus 20.1) were comparable. At 1 year, the ingestive differences between the RYGB and healthy-weight groups disappeared due to significantly decreased burst size (P = 0.008) and meal duration (P = 0.034) after RYGB. The first-minute intake also decreased after RYGB (P = 0.022).CONCLUSION RYGB induced dynamic changes in ingestive behavior over the first postoperative year. While the eating pattern of controls remained stable, RYGB patients reduced their meal size by decreasing burst size and meal duration, suggesting that increased postingestive sensibility may mediate postbariatric ingestive behavior.TRIAL REGISTRATION NCT03747445; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03747445.FUNDING This work was supported by the University of Zurich, the Swiss National Fund (32003B_182309), and the Olga Mayenfisch Foundation. Bálint File was supported by the Hungarian Brain Research Program Grant (grant no. 2017-1.2.1-NKP-2017-00002).
Daniel Gero, Bálint File, Daniela Alceste, Lukas D. Frick, Michele Serra, Aiman E.M. Ismaeil, Robert E. Steinert, Alan C. Spector, Marco Bueter
In chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and very likely all cancer types, extracellular vesicles (EVs) are a common mechanism by which intercellular messages are communicated between normal, diseased, and transformed cells. Studies of EVs in CLL and other cancers have great variability and often lack reproducibility. For CLL patient plasma and cell lines, we sought to characterize current approaches used in isolating EV products and understand whether cell culture–conditioned media or complex biological fluids confound results. Utilizing nanoparticle tracking analysis, protein quantification, and electron microscopy, we show that ultracentrifugation with an OptiPrep cushion can effectively minimize contaminants from starting materials including plasma and conditioned media of CLL cell lines grown in EV-depleted complete RPMI media but not grown in the serum-free media AIM V commonly used in CLL experimental work. Moreover, we confirm the benefit of including 25 mM trehalose in PBS during EV isolation steps to reduce EV aggregation, to preserve function for downstream applications and characterization. Furthermore, we report the highest particles/μg EVs were obtained from our CLL cell lines utilizing the CELLine bioreactor flask. Finally, we optimized a proliferation assay that offers a functional evaluation of our EVs with minimal sample requirements.
Sara Elgamal, Emanuele Cocucci, Ellen J. Sass, Xiaokui M. Mo, Angela R. Blissett, Edward P. Calomeni, Kerry A. Rogers, Jennifer A. Woyach, Seema A. Bhat, Natarajan Muthusamy, Amy J. Johnson, Karilyn T. Larkin, John C. Byrd
The mitochondrial enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) catalyzes the detoxification of acetaldehyde and endogenous lipid aldehydes. Approximately 40% of East Asians, accounting for 8% of the human population, carry the E504K mutation in ALDH2 that leads to accumulation of toxic reactive aldehydes and increases the risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer, and Alzheimer disease, among others. However, the role of ALDH2 in acute kidney injury (AKI) remains poorly defined and is therefore the subject of the present study using various cellular and organismal sources. In murine models, in which AKI was induced by either the contrast agent iohexol or renal ischemia/reperfusion, KO, activation/overexpression of ALDH2 were associated with increased and decreased renal injury, respectively. In murine renal tubular epithelial cells (RTECs), ALDH2 upregulated Beclin-1 expression, promoted autophagy activation, and eliminated ROS. In vivo and in vitro, both 3-MA and Beclin-1 siRNAs inhibited autophagy and abolished ALDH2-mediated renoprotection. In mice with iohexol-induced AKI, ALDH2 knockdown in RTECs using AAV-shRNA impaired autophagy activation and aggravated renal injury. In human renal proximal tubular epithelial HK-2 cells exposed to iohexol, ALDH2 activation potentiated autophagy and attenuated apoptosis. In mice with AKI induced by renal ischemia/reperfusion, ALDH2 overexpression or pretreatment regulated autophagy mitigating apoptosis of RTECs and renal injury. In summary, our data collectively substantiate a critical role of ALDH2 in AKI via autophagy activation involving the Beclin-1 pathway.
Tonghui Xu, Jialin Guo, Maozeng Wei, Jiali Wang, Kehui Yang, Chang Pan, Jiaojiao Pang, Li Xue, Qiuhuan Yuan, Mengyang Xue, Jian Zhang, Wentao Sang, Tangxing Jiang, Yuguo Chen, Feng Xu
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a disease with high morbidity and mortality, especially when ruptured. The rationale of this study was to evaluate the repurposing of lenvatinib, a multi–tyrosine kinase inhibitor, in limiting experimental AAA growth targeting vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) and angiogenesis. We applied systemic and local lenvatinib treatment to elastase-induced murine aortic aneurysms, and RNA profiling identified myosin heavy chain 11 (Myh11) as the most deregulated transcript. Daily oral treatment substantially reduced aneurysm formation in 2 independent mouse models. In addition, a large animal aneurysm model in hypercholesterolemic low-density lipoprotein receptor–knockout (LDLR–/–) Yucatan minipigs was applied to endovascularly deliver lenvatinib via drug-eluting balloons (DEBs). Here, a single local endovascular delivery blocked AAA progression successfully compared with a DEB-delivered control treatment. Reduced VSMC proliferation and a restored contractile phenotype were observed in animal tissues (murine and porcine), as well as AAA patient-derived cells. Apart from increasing MYH11 levels, lenvatinib reduced downstream ERK signaling. Hence, lenvatinib is a promising therapy to limit aortic aneurysm expansion upon local endovascular delivery. The tyrosine kinase inhibitor was able to positively affect pathways of key relevance to human AAA disease, even in a potentially new local delivery using DEBs.
Albert Busch, Jessica Pauli, Greg Winski, Sonja Bleichert, Ekaterina Chernogubova, Susanne Metschl, Hanna Winter, Matthias Trenner, Armin Wiegering, Christoph Otto, Johannes Fischer, Judith Reiser, Julia Werner, Joy Roy, Christine Brostjan, Christoph Knappich, Hans-Henning Eckstein, Valentina Paloschi, Lars Maegdefessel
Gain-of-function polymorphisms in the transcription factor IFN regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) are associated with an increased risk of developing systemic lupus erythematosus. However, the IRF5-expressing cell type(s) responsible for lupus pathogenesis in vivo is not known. We now show that monoallelic IRF5 deficiency in B cells markedly reduced disease in a murine lupus model. In contrast, similar reduction of IRF5 expression in macrophages, monocytes, and neutrophils did not reduce disease severity. B cell receptor and TLR7 signaling synergized to promote IRF5 phosphorylation and increase IRF5 protein expression, with these processes being independently regulated. This synergy increased B cell–intrinsic IL-6 and TNF-α production, both key requirements for germinal center (GC) responses, with IL-6 and TNF-α production in vitro and in vivo being substantially lower with loss of 1 allele of IRF5. Mechanistically, TLR7-dependent IRF5 nuclear translocation was reduced in B cells from IRF5-heterozygous mice. In addition, we show in multiple lupus models that IRF5 expression was dynamically regulated in vivo with increased expression in GC B cells compared with non-GC B cells and with further sequential increases during progression to plasmablasts and long-lived plasma cells. Overall, a critical threshold level of IRF5 in B cells was required to promote disease in murine lupus.
Alex Pellerin, Kei Yasuda, Abraham Cohen-Bucay, Vanessa Sandra, Prachi Shukla, Barry K. Horne Jr, Kerstin Nündel, Gregory A. Viglianti, Yao Xie, Ulf Klein, Ying Tan, Ramon G. Bonegio, Ian R. Rifkin
The majority of patients affected with lysosomal storage disorders (LSD) exhibit neurological symptoms. For mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIC (MPSIIIC), the major burdens are progressive and severe neuropsychiatric problems and dementia, primarily thought to stem from neurodegeneration. Using the MPSIIIC mouse model, we studied whether clinical manifestations preceding massive neurodegeneration arise from synaptic dysfunction. Reduced levels or abnormal distribution of multiple synaptic proteins were revealed in cultured hippocampal and CA1 pyramidal MPSIIIC neurons. These defects were rescued by virus-mediated gene correction. Dendritic spines were reduced in pyramidal neurons of mouse models of MPSIIIC and other (Tay-Sachs, sialidosis) LSD as early as at P10. MPSIIIC neurons also presented alterations in frequency and amplitude of miniature excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic currents, sparse synaptic vesicles, reduced postsynaptic densities, disorganized microtubule networks, and partially impaired axonal transport of synaptic proteins. Furthermore, postsynaptic densities were reduced in postmortem cortices of human MPS patients, suggesting that the pathology is a common hallmark for neurological LSD. Together, our results demonstrate that lysosomal storage defects cause early alterations in synaptic structure and abnormalities in neurotransmission originating from impaired synaptic vesicular transport, and they suggest that synaptic defects could be targeted to treat behavioral and cognitive defects in neurological LSD patients.
Camila Pará, Poulomee Bose, Luigi Bruno, Erika Freemantle, Mahsa Taherzadeh, Xuefang Pan, Chanshuai Han, Peter S. McPherson, Jean-Claude Lacaille, Éric Bonneil, Pierre Thibault, Claire O’Leary, Brian Bigger, Carlos Ramon Morales, Graziella Di Cristo, Alexey V. Pshezhetsky
Native myocardial voltage-gated sodium (NaV) channels function in macromolecular complexes comprising a pore-forming (α) subunit and multiple accessory proteins. Here, we investigated the impact of accessory NaVβ1 and NaVβ3 subunits on the functional effects of 2 well-known class Ib antiarrhythmics, lidocaine and ranolazine, on the predominant NaV channel α subunit, NaV1.5, expressed in the mammalian heart. We showed that both drugs stabilized the activated conformation of the voltage sensor of domain-III (DIII-VSD) in NaV1.5. In the presence of NaVβ1, the effect of lidocaine on the DIII-VSD was enhanced, whereas the effect of ranolazine was abolished. Mutating the main class Ib drug-binding site, F1760, affected but did not abolish the modulation of drug block by NaVβ1/β3. Recordings from adult mouse ventricular myocytes demonstrated that loss of Scn1b (NaVβ1) differentially affected the potencies of lidocaine and ranolazine. In vivo experiments revealed distinct ECG responses to i.p. injection of ranolazine or lidocaine in WT and Scn1b-null animals, suggesting that NaVβ1 modulated drug responses at the whole-heart level. In the human heart, we found that SCN1B transcript expression was 3 times higher in the atria than ventricles, differences that could, in combination with inherited or acquired cardiovascular disease, dramatically affect patient response to class Ib antiarrhythmic therapies.
Wandi Zhu, Wei Wang, Paweorn Angsutararux, Rebecca L. Mellor, Lori L. Isom, Jeanne M. Nerbonne, Jonathan R. Silva
Engineered heart tissue (EHT) strategies, by combining cells within a hydrogel matrix, may be a novel therapy for heart failure. EHTs restore cardiac function in rodent injury models, but more data are needed in clinically relevant settings. Accordingly, an upscaled EHT patch (2.5 cm × 1.5 cm × 1.5 mm) consisting of up to 20 million human induced pluripotent stem cell–derived cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs) embedded in a fibrin-based hydrogel was developed. A rabbit myocardial infarction model was then established to test for feasibility and efficacy. Our data showed that hPSC-CMs in EHTs became more aligned over 28 days and had improved contraction kinetics and faster calcium transients. Blinded echocardiographic analysis revealed a significant improvement in function in infarcted hearts that received EHTs, along with reduction in infarct scar size by 35%. Vascularization from the host to the patch was observed at week 1 and stable to week 4, but electrical coupling between patch and host heart was not observed. In vivo telemetry recordings and ex vivo arrhythmia provocation protocols showed that the patch was not pro-arrhythmic. In summary, EHTs improved function and reduced scar size without causing arrhythmia, which may be due to the lack of electrical coupling between patch and host heart.
Richard J. Jabbour, Thomas J. Owen, Pragati Pandey, Marina Reinsch, Brian Wang, Oisín King, Liam Steven Couch, Dafni Pantou, David S. Pitcher, Rasheda A. Chowdhury, Fotios G. Pitoulis, Balvinder S. Handa, Worrapong Kit-Anan, Filippo Perbellini, Rachel C. Myles, Daniel J. Stuckey, Michael Dunne, Mayooran Shanmuganathan, Nicholas S. Peters, Fu Siong Ng, Florian Weinberger, Cesare M. Terracciano, Godfrey L. Smith, Thomas Eschenhagen, Sian E. Harding
BACKGROUND Wolfram syndrome is a rare ER disorder characterized by insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, optic nerve atrophy, and progressive neurodegeneration. Although there is no treatment for Wolfram syndrome, preclinical studies in cell and rodent models suggest that therapeutic strategies targeting ER calcium homeostasis, including dantrolene sodium, may be beneficial.METHODS Based on results from preclinical studies on dantrolene sodium and ongoing longitudinal studies, we assembled what we believe is the first-ever clinical trial in pediatric and adult Wolfram syndrome patients with an open-label phase Ib/IIa trial design. The primary objective was to assess the safety and tolerability of dantrolene sodium in adult and pediatric Wolfram syndrome patients. Secondary objectives were to evaluate the efficacy of dantrolene sodium on residual pancreatic β cell functions, visual acuity, quality-of-life measures related to vision, and neurological functions.RESULTS Dantrolene sodium was well tolerated by Wolfram syndrome patients. Overall, β cell functions were not significantly improved, but there was a significant correlation between baseline β cell functions and change in β cell responsiveness (R2, P = 0.004) after 6-month dantrolene therapy. Visual acuity and neurological functions were not improved by 6-month dantrolene sodium. Markers of inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress, such as IFN-γ, IL-1β, TNF-α, and isoprostane, were elevated in subjects.CONCLUSION This study justifies further investigation into using dantrolene sodium and other small molecules targeting the ER for treatment of Wolfram syndrome.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT02829268FUNDING NIH/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) (DK112921, DK113487, DK020579), NIH/National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) (TR002065, TR000448), NIH training grant (F30DK111070), Silberman Fund, Ellie White Foundation, Snow Foundation, Unravel Wolfram Syndrome Fund, Stowe Fund, Eye Hope Foundation, Feiock Fund, Washington University Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences grant UL1TR002345 from NIH/NCATS, Bursky Center for Human Immunology & Immunotherapy Programs.
Damien Abreu, Stephen I. Stone, Toni S. Pearson, Robert C. Bucelli, Ashley N. Simpson, Stacy Hurst, Cris M. Brown, Kelly Kries, Chinyere Onwumere, Hongjie Gu, James Hoekel, Lawrence Tychsen, Gregory P. Van Stavern, Neil H. White, Bess A. Marshall, Tamara Hershey, Fumihiko Urano
Angelman syndrome (AS) is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder for which only symptomatic treatment with limited benefits is available. AS is caused by mutations affecting the maternally inherited ubiquitin protein ligase E3A (UBE3A) gene. Previous studies showed that the silenced paternal Ube3a gene can be activated by targeting the antisense Ube3a-ATS transcript. We investigated antisense oligonucleotide–induced (ASO-induced) Ube3a-ATS degradation and its ability to induce UBE3A reinstatement and rescue of AS phenotypes in an established Ube3a mouse model. We found that a single intracerebroventricular injection of ASOs at postnatal day 1 (P1) or P21 in AS mice resulted in potent and specific UBE3A reinstatement in the brain, with levels up to 74% of WT levels in the cortex and a full rescue of sensitivity to audiogenic seizures. AS mice treated with ASO at P1 also showed rescue of established AS phenotypes, such as open field and forced swim test behaviors, and significant improvement on the reversed rotarod. Hippocampal plasticity of treated AS mice was comparable to WT but not significantly different from PBS-treated AS mice. No rescue was observed for the marble burying and nest building phenotypes. Our findings highlight the promise of ASO-mediated reactivation of UBE3A as a disease-modifying treatment for AS.
Claudia Milazzo, Edwin J. Mientjes, Ilse Wallaard, Søren Vestergaard Rasmussen, Kamille Dumong Erichsen, Tejaswini Kakunuri, A.S. Elise van der Sman, Thomas Kremer, Meghan T. Miller, Marius C. Hoener, Ype Elgersma
We previously reported heightened expression of the human endogenous retroviral protein HERV-K deoxyuridine triphosphate nucleotidohydrolase (dUTPase) in circulating monocytes and pulmonary arterial (PA) adventitial macrophages of patients with PA hypertension (PAH). Furthermore, recombinant HERV-K dUTPase increased IL-6 in PA endothelial cells (PAECs) and caused pulmonary hypertension in rats. Here we show that monocytes overexpressing HERV-K dUTPase, as opposed to GFP, can release HERV-K dUTPase in extracellular vesicles (EVs) that cause pulmonary hypertension in mice in association with endothelial mesenchymal transition (EndMT) related to induction of SNAIL/SLUG and proinflammatory molecules IL-6 as well as VCAM1. In PAECs, HERV-K dUTPase requires TLR4-myeloid differentiation primary response–88 to increase IL-6 and SNAIL/SLUG, and HERV-K dUTPase interaction with melanoma cell adhesion molecule (MCAM) is necessary to upregulate VCAM1. TLR4 engagement induces p-p38 activation of NF-κB in addition to p-pSMAD3 required for SNAIL and pSTAT1 for IL-6. HERV-K dUTPase interaction with MCAM also induces p-p38 activation of NF-κB in addition to pERK1/2-activating transcription factor-2 (ATF2) to increase VCAM1. Thus in PAH, monocytes or macrophages can release HERV-K dUTPase in EVs, and HERV-K dUTPase can engage dual receptors and signaling pathways to subvert PAEC transcriptional machinery to induce EndMT and associated proinflammatory molecules.
Shoichiro Otsuki, Toshie Saito, Shalina Taylor, Dan Li, Jan-Renier Moonen, David P. Marciano, Rebecca L. Harper, Aiqin Cao, Lingli Wang, Maria E. Ariza, Marlene Rabinovitch
The transcription factor Twist1 regulates several processes that could impact kidney disease progression, including epithelial cell differentiation and inflammatory cytokine induction. Podocytes are specialized epithelia that exhibit features of immune cells and could therefore mediate unique effects of Twist1 on glomerular disease. To study Twist1 functions in podocytes during proteinuric kidney disease, we employed a conditional mutant mouse in which Twist1 was selectively ablated in podocytes (Twist1-PKO). Deletion of Twist1 in podocytes augmented proteinuria, podocyte injury, and foot process effacement in glomerular injury models. Twist1 in podocytes constrained renal accumulation of monocytes/macrophages and glomerular expression of CCL2 and the macrophage cytokine TNF-α after injury. Deletion of TNF-α selectively from podocytes had no impact on the progression of proteinuric nephropathy. By contrast, the inhibition of CCL2 abrogated the exaggeration in proteinuria and podocyte injury accruing from podocyte Twist1 deletion. Collectively, Twist1 in podocytes mitigated urine albumin excretion and podocyte injury in proteinuric kidney diseases by limiting CCL2 induction that drove monocyte/macrophage infiltration into injured glomeruli. Myeloid cells, rather than podocytes, further promoted podocyte injury and glomerular disease by secreting TNF-α. These data highlight the capacity of Twist1 in the podocyte to mitigate glomerular injury by curtailing the local myeloid immune response.
Jiafa Ren, Yuemei Xu, Xiaohan Lu, Liming Wang, Shintaro Ide, Gentzon Hall, Tomokazu Souma, Jamie R. Privratsky, Robert F. Spurney, Steven D. Crowley
Background It is increasingly recognized that intestinal cells can store lipids after a meal, yet the effect of this phenomenon on lipid absorption patterns in insulin resistance remains unknown.Methods The kinetics of meal fat appearance were measured in insulin-sensitive (IS, n = 8) and insulin-resistant (IR, n = 8) subjects after sequential, isotopically labeled lunch and dinner meals. Plasma dynamics on triacylglycerol-rich (TAG-rich) lipoproteins and plasma hormones were analyzed using a nonlinear, non–steady state kinetic model.Results At the onset of dinner, IS subjects showed an abrupt plasma appearance of lunch lipid consistent with the “second-meal effect,” followed by slower appearance of dinner fat in plasma, resulting in reduced accumulation of dinner TAG of 48% compared with lunch. By contrast, IR subjects exhibited faster meal TAG appearance rates after both lunch and dinner. This effect of lower enterocyte storage between meals was associated with greater nocturnal and next-morning hyperlipidemia. The biochemical data and the kinetic analysis of second-meal effect dynamics are consistent with rapid secretion of stored TAG bypassing lipolysis and resynthesis. In addition, the data are consistent with a role for the diurnal pattern of plasma leptin in regulating the processing of dietary lipid.Conclusion These data support the concept that intestinal lipid storage may be physiologically beneficial in IS subjects.Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02020343.Funding This study was supported by a grant from the American Diabetes Association (grant 1-13-TS-12).
Miriam Jacome-Sosa, Qiong Hu, Camila M. Manrique-Acevedo, Robert D. Phair, Elizabeth J. Parks
Idiopathic nephrotic syndrome (INS) is characterized by proteinuria and renal sodium retention leading to edema. This sodium retention is usually attributed to epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) activation after plasma aldosterone increase. However, most nephrotic patients show normal aldosterone levels. Using a corticosteroid-clamped (CC) rat model of INS (CC-PAN), we showed that the observed electrogenic and amiloride-sensitive Na retention could not be attributed to ENaC. We then identified a truncated variant of acid-sensing ion channel 2b (ASIC2b) that induced sustained acid-stimulated sodium currents when coexpressed with ASIC2a. Interestingly, CC-PAN nephrotic ASIC2b-null rats did not develop sodium retention. We finally showed that the expression of the truncated ASIC2b in the kidney was dependent on the presence of albumin in the tubule lumen and activation of ERK in renal cells. Finally, the presence of ASIC2 mRNA was also detected in kidney biopsies from patients with INS but not in any of the patients with other renal diseases. We have therefore identified a variant of ASIC2b responsible for the renal Na retention in the pathological context of INS.
Marc Fila, Ali Sassi, Gaëlle Brideau, Lydie Cheval, Luciana Morla, Pascal Houillier, Christine Walter, Michel Gennaoui, Laure Collignon, Mathilde Keck, Gabrielle Planelles, Naziha Bakouh, Michel Peuchmaur, Georges Deschênes, Ignacio Anegon, Séverine Remy, Bruno Vogt, Gilles Crambert, Alain Doucet
Sepsis is a critical illness characterized by dysregulated inflammatory responses lacking counter-regulation. Specialized proresolving mediators are agonists for antiinflammation and for promoting resolution, and they are protective in preclinical sepsis models. Here, in human sepsis, we mapped resolution circuits for the specialized proresolving mediators resolvin D1 and resolvin D2 in peripheral blood neutrophils and monocytes, their regulation of leukocyte activation and function ex vivo, and their relationships to measures of clinical severity. Neutrophils and monocytes were isolated from healthy subjects and patients with sepsis by inertial microfluidics and resolvin D1 and resolvin D2 receptor expression determined by flow cytometry. The impact of these resolvins on leukocyte activation was determined by isodielectric separation and leukocyte function by stimulated phagolysosome formation. Leukocyte proresolving receptor expression was significantly higher in sepsis. In nanomolar concentrations, resolvin D1 and resolvin D2 partially reversed sepsis-induced changes in leukocyte activation and function. Principal component analyses of leukocyte resolvin receptor expression and responses differentiated sepsis from health and were associated with measures of sepsis severity. These findings indicate that resolvin D1 and resolvin D2 signaling for antiinflammation and resolution are uncoupled from leukocyte activation in early sepsis and suggest that indicators of diminished resolution signaling correlate with clinical disease severity.
Bakr Jundi, Do-Hyun Lee, Hyungkook Jeon, Melody G. Duvall, Julie Nijmeh, Raja-Elie E. Abdulnour, Mayra Pinilla-Vera, Rebecca M. Baron, Jongyoon Han, Joel Voldman, Bruce D. Levy
Degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) is the most common cause of nontraumatic spinal cord injury in adults worldwide. Surgical decompression is generally effective in improving neurological outcomes and halting progression of myelopathic deterioration. However, a subset of patients experience suboptimal neurological outcomes. Given the emerging evidence that apolipoprotein E4 (ApoE4) allelic status influences neurodegenerative conditions, we examined whether the presence of the ApoE4 allele may account for the clinical heterogeneity of treatment outcomes in patients with DCM. Our results demonstrate that human ApoE4+ DCM patients have a significantly lower extent of improvement after decompression surgery. Functional analysis of our DCM mouse model in targeted-replacement mice expressing human ApoE4 revealed delayed gait recovery, forelimb grip strength, and hind limb mechanical sensitivity after decompression surgery, compared with their ApoE3 counterparts. This was accompanied by an exacerbated proinflammatory response resulting in higher concentrations of TNF-α, IL-6, CCL3, and CXCL9. At the site of injury, there was a significant decrease in gray matter area, an increase in the activation of microglia/macrophages, and increased astrogliosis after decompression surgery in the ApoE4 mice. Our study is the first to our knowledge to investigate the pathophysiological underpinnings of ApoE4 in DCM, which suggests a possible personalized medicine approach for the treatment of DCM in ApoE4 carriers.
Alexa Desimone, James Hong, Sydney T. Brockie, Wenru Yu, Alex M. Laliberte, Michael G. Fehlings
The stimulator of IFN genes (STING) protein senses cyclic dinucleotides released in response to double-stranded DNA and functions as an adaptor molecule for type I IFN (IFNI) signaling by activating IFNI-stimulated genes (ISG). We found impaired T cell infiltration into the peritoneum in response to TNF-α in global and EC-specific STING–/– mice and discovered that T cell transendothelial migration (TEM) across mouse and human endothelial cells (EC) deficient in STING was strikingly reduced compared with control EC, whereas T cell adhesion was not impaired. STING–/– T cells showed no defect in TEM or adhesion to EC, or immobilized endothelial cell–expressed molecules ICAM1 and VCAM1, compared with WT T cells. Mechanistically, CXCL10, an ISG and a chemoattractant for T cells, was dramatically reduced in TNF-α–stimulated STING–/– EC, and genetic loss or pharmacologic antagonisms of IFNI receptor (IFNAR) pathway reduced T cell TEM. Our data demonstrate a central role for EC-STING during T cell TEM that is dependent on the ISG CXCL10 and on IFNI/IFNAR signaling.
Marina Anastasiou, Gail A. Newton, Kuljeet Kaur, Francisco J. Carrillo-Salinas, Sasha A. Smolgovsky, Abraham L. Bayer, Vladimir Ilyukha, Shruti Sharma, Alexander Poltorak, Francis W. Luscinskas, Pilar Alcaide
Taspase1, a highly conserved threonine protease encoded by TASP1, cleaves nuclear histone-modifying factors and basal transcription regulators to orchestrate diverse transcription programs. Hereditary loss-of-function mutation of TASP1 has recently been reported in humans as resulting in an anomaly complex syndrome, which manifests with hematological, facial, and skeletal abnormalities. Here, we demonstrate that Taspase1-mediated cleavage of TFIIAα-β, rather than of MLL1 or MLL2, in mouse embryos was required for proper fetal liver hematopoiesis and correct segmental identities of the axial skeleton. Homozygous genetic deletion of Taspase1 disrupted embryonic hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal and quiescence states and axial skeleton fates. Strikingly, mice carrying knockin noncleavable mutations of TFIIAα-β, a well-characterized basal transcription factor, displayed more pronounced fetal liver and axial skeleton defects than those with noncleavable MLL1 and MLL2, 2 trithorax group histone H3 trimethyl transferases. Our study offers molecular insights into a syndrome in humans that results from loss of TASP1 and describes an unexpected role of TFIIAα-β cleavage in embryonic cell fate decisions.
Hidetaka Niizuma, Adam C. Searleman, Shugaku Takeda, Scott A. Armstrong, Christopher Y. Park, Emily H. Cheng, James J. Hsieh
Gorham-Stout disease (GSD) is a sporadically occurring lymphatic disorder. Patients with GSD develop ectopic lymphatics in bone, gradually lose bone, and can have life-threatening complications, such as chylothorax. The etiology of GSD is poorly understood, and current treatments for this disease are inadequate for most patients. To explore the pathogenesis of GSD, we performed targeted high-throughput sequencing with samples from a patient with GSD and identified an activating somatic mutation in KRAS (p.G12V). To characterize the effect of hyperactive KRAS signaling on lymphatic development, we expressed an active form of KRAS (p.G12D) in murine lymphatics (iLECKras mice). We found that iLECKras mice developed lymphatics in bone, which is a hallmark of GSD. We also found that lymphatic valve development and maintenance was altered in iLECKras mice. Because most iLECKras mice developed chylothorax and died before they had significant bone disease, we analyzed the effect of trametinib (an FDA-approved MEK1/2 inhibitor) on lymphatic valve regression in iLECKras mice. Notably, we found that trametinib suppressed this phenotype in iLECKras mice. Together, our results demonstrate that somatic activating mutations in KRAS can be associated with GSD and reveal that hyperactive KRAS signaling stimulates the formation of lymphatics in bone and impairs the development of lymphatic valves. These findings provide insight into the pathogenesis of GSD and suggest that trametinib could be an effective treatment for GSD.
Nassim Homayun-Sepehr, Anna L. McCarter, Raphaël Helaers, Christine Galant, Laurence M. Boon, Pascal Brouillard, Miikka Vikkula, Michael T. Dellinger
The ectocervix is part of the lower female reproductive tract (FRT), which is susceptible to sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Comprehensive knowledge of the phenotypes and T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire of tissue-resident memory T cells (TRMs) in the human FRT is lacking. We took single-cell RNA-Seq approaches to simultaneously define gene expression and TCR clonotypes of the human ectocervix. There were significantly more CD8+ than CD4+ T cells. Unsupervised clustering and trajectory analysis identified distinct populations of CD8+ T cells with IFNGhiGZMBloCD69hiCD103lo or IFNGloGZMBhiCD69medCD103hi phenotypes. Little overlap was seen between their TCR repertoires. Immunofluorescence staining showed that CD103+CD8+ TRMs were preferentially localized in the epithelium, whereas CD69+CD8+ TRMs were distributed evenly in the epithelium and stroma. Ex vivo assays indicated that up to 14% of cervical CD8+ TRM clonotypes were HSV-2 reactive in HSV-2–seropositive persons, reflecting physiologically relevant localization. Our studies identified subgroups of CD8+ TRMs in the human ectocervix that exhibited distinct expression of antiviral defense and tissue residency markers, anatomic locations, and TCR repertoires that target anatomically relevant viral antigens. Optimization of the location, number, and function of FRT TRMs is an important approach for improving host defenses to STIs.
Tao Peng, Khamsone Phasouk, Emily Bossard, Alexis Klock, Lei Jin, Kerry J. Laing, Christine Johnston, Noel A. Williams, Julie L. Czartoski, Dana Varon, Annalyssa N. Long, Jason H. Bielas, Thomas M. Snyder, Harlan Robins, David M. Koelle, M. Juliana McElrath, Anna Wald, Lawrence Corey, Jia Zhu
Immune dysregulation is characteristic of the more severe stages of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Understanding the mechanisms by which the immune system contributes to COVID-19 severity may open new avenues to treatment. Here, we report that elevated IL-13 was associated with the need for mechanical ventilation in 2 independent patient cohorts. In addition, patients who acquired COVID-19 while prescribed Dupilumab, a mAb that blocks IL-13 and IL-4 signaling, had less severe disease. In SARS-CoV-2–infected mice, IL-13 neutralization reduced death and disease severity without affecting viral load, demonstrating an immunopathogenic role for this cytokine. Following anti–IL-13 treatment in infected mice, hyaluronan synthase 1 (Has1) was the most downregulated gene, and accumulation of the hyaluronan (HA) polysaccharide was decreased in the lung. In patients with COVID-19, HA was increased in the lungs and plasma. Blockade of the HA receptor, CD44, reduced mortality in infected mice, supporting the importance of HA as a pathogenic mediator. Finally, HA was directly induced in the lungs of mice by administration of IL-13, indicating a new role for IL-13 in lung disease. Understanding the role of IL-13 and HA has important implications for therapy of COVID-19 and, potentially, other pulmonary diseases. IL-13 levels were elevated in patients with severe COVID-19. In a mouse model of the disease, IL-13 neutralization reduced the disease and decreased lung HA deposition. Administration of IL-13–induced HA in the lung. Blockade of the HA receptor CD44 prevented mortality, highlighting a potentially novel mechanism for IL-13–mediated HA synthesis in pulmonary pathology.
Alexandra N. Donlan, Tara E. Sutherland, Chelsea Marie, Saskia Preissner, Benjamin T. Bradley, Rebecca M. Carpenter, Jeffrey M. Sturek, Jennie Z. Ma, G. Brett Moreau, Jeffrey R. Donowitz, Gregory A. Buck, Myrna G. Serrano, Stacey L. Burgess, Mayuresh M. Abhyankar, Cameron Mura, Philip E. Bourne, Robert Preissner, Mary K. Young, Genevieve R. Lyons, Johanna J. Loomba, Sarah J. Ratcliffe, Melinda D. Poulter, Amy J. Mathers, Anthony J. Day, Barbara J. Mann, Judith E. Allen, William A. Petri Jr.
The release of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) by hyperactive neutrophils is recognized to play an important role in the thromboinflammatory milieu inherent to severe presentations of COVID-19. At the same time, a variety of functional autoantibodies have been observed in individuals with severe COVID-19, where they likely contribute to immunopathology. Here, we aimed to determine the extent to which autoantibodies might target NETs in COVID-19 and, if detected, to elucidate their potential functions and clinical associations. We measured anti-NET antibodies in 328 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19 alongside 48 healthy controls. We found high anti-NET activity in the IgG and IgM fractions of 27% and 60% of patients, respectively. There was a strong correlation between anti–NET IgG and anti–NET IgM. Both anti–NET IgG and anti–NET IgM tracked with high levels of circulating NETs, impaired oxygenation efficiency, and high circulating D-dimer. Furthermore, patients who required mechanical ventilation had a greater burden of anti-NET antibodies than did those not requiring oxygen supplementation. Levels of anti–NET IgG (and, to a lesser extent, anti–NET IgM) demonstrated an inverse correlation with the efficiency of NET degradation by COVID-19 sera. Furthermore, purified IgG from COVID-19 sera with high levels of anti-NET antibodies impaired the ability of healthy control serum to degrade NETs. In summary, many individuals hospitalized with COVID-19 have anti-NET antibodies, which likely impair NET clearance and may potentiate SARS-CoV-2–mediated thromboinflammation.
Yu Zuo, Srilakshmi Yalavarthi, Sherwin A. Navaz, Claire K. Hoy, Alyssa Harbaugh, Kelsey Gockman, Melanie Zuo, Jacqueline A. Madison, Hui Shi, Yogendra Kanthi, Jason S. Knight
SCN2A, encoding the neuronal voltage-gated Na+ channel NaV1.2, is one of the most commonly affected loci linked to autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Most ASD-associated mutations in SCN2A are loss-of-function mutations, but studies examining how such mutations affect neuronal function and whether Scn2a mutant mice display ASD endophenotypes have been inconsistent. We generated a protein truncation variant Scn2a mouse model (Scn2aΔ1898/+) by CRISPR that eliminates the NaV1.2 channel’s distal intracellular C-terminal domain, and we analyzed the molecular and cellular consequences of this variant in a heterologous expression system, in neuronal culture, in brain slices, and in vivo. We also analyzed multiple behaviors in WT and Scn2aΔ1898/+ mice and correlated behaviors with clinical data obtained in human subjects with SCN2A variants. Expression of the NaV1.2 mutant in a heterologous expression system revealed decreased NaV1.2 channel function, and cultured pyramidal neurons isolated from Scn2aΔ1898/+ forebrain showed correspondingly reduced voltage-gated Na+ channel currents without compensation from other CNS voltage-gated Na+ channels. Na+ currents in inhibitory neurons were unaffected. Consistent with loss of voltage-gated Na+ channel currents, Scn2aΔ1898/+ pyramidal neurons displayed reduced excitability in forebrain neuronal culture and reduced excitatory synaptic input onto the pyramidal neurons in brain slices. Scn2aΔ1898/+ mice displayed several behavioral abnormalities, including abnormal social interactions that reflect behavior observed in humans with ASD and with harboring loss-of-function SCN2A variants. This model and its cellular electrophysiological characterizations provide a framework for tracing how a SCN2A loss-of-function variant leads to cellular defects that result in ASD-associated behaviors.
Hong-Gang Wang, Charlotte C. Bavley, Anfei Li, Rebecca M. Jones, Jonathan Hackett, Yared Bayleyen, Francis S. Lee, Anjali M. Rajadhyaksha, Geoffrey S. Pitt
Passage of systemically delivered pharmacological agents into the brain is largely blocked by the blood-brain-barrier (BBB), an organotypic specialization of brain endothelial cells (ECs). Tumor vessels in glioblastoma (GBM), the most common malignant brain tumor in humans, are abnormally permeable, but this phenotype is heterogeneous and may differ between the tumor’s center and invasive front. Here, through single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) of freshly isolated ECs from human glioblastoma and paired tumor peripheral tissues, we have constructed a molecular atlas of human brain ECs providing unprecedented molecular insight into the heterogeneity of the human BBB and its molecular alteration in glioblastoma. We identified 5 distinct EC phenotypes representing different states of EC activation and BBB impairment, and associated with different anatomical locations within and around the tumor. This unique data resource provides key information for designing rational therapeutic regimens and optimizing drug delivery.
Yuan Xie, Liqun He, Roberta Lugano, Yanyu Zhang, Haiyan Cao, Qiyuan He, Min Chao, Boxuan Liu, Qingze Cao, Jianhao Wang, Yang Jiao, Yaqin Hu, Liying Han, Yong Zhang, Hua Huang, Lene Uhrbom, Christer Betsholtz, Liang Wang, Anna Dimberg, Lei Zhang
A subset of COVID-19 patients exhibit post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC), but little is known about the immune signatures associated with these syndromes. We investigated longitudinal peripheral blood samples in 50 individuals with previously confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, including 20 who experienced prolonged duration of COVID-19 symptoms (lasting more than 30 days; median = 74 days) compared with 30 who had symptom resolution within 20 days. Individuals with prolonged symptom duration maintained antigen-specific T cell response magnitudes to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in CD4+ and circulating T follicular helper cell populations during late convalescence, while those without persistent symptoms demonstrated an expected decline. The prolonged group also displayed increased IgG avidity to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Significant correlations between symptom duration and both SARS-CoV-2–specific T cells and antibodies were observed. Activation and exhaustion markers were evaluated in multiple immune cell types, revealing few phenotypic differences between prolonged and recovered groups, suggesting that prolonged symptom duration is not due to persistent systemic inflammation. These findings demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2–specific immune responses are maintained in patients suffering from prolonged post–COVID-19 symptom duration in contrast to those with resolved symptoms and may suggest the persistence of viral antigens as an underlying etiology.
Jacob K. Files, Sanghita Sarkar, Tim R. Fram, Sushma Boppana, Sarah Sterrett, Kai Qin, Anju Bansal, Dustin M. Long, Steffanie Sabbaj, James J. Kobie, Paul A. Goepfert, Nathan Erdmann