The programmed death 1/programmed death ligand 1 (PD-1/PD-L1) pathway is a potent inhibitory pathway involved in immune regulation and is a potential therapeutic target in transplantation. In this study, we show that overexpression of PD-1 on T cells (PD-1 Tg) promotes allograft tolerance in a fully MHC-mismatched cardiac transplant model when combined with costimulation blockade with CTLA-4–Ig. PD-1 overexpression on T cells also protected against chronic rejection in a single MHC II–mismatched cardiac transplant model, whereas the overexpression still allowed the generation of an effective immune response against an influenza A virus. Notably, Tregs from PD-1 Tg mice were required for tolerance induction and presented greater ICOS expression than those from WT mice. The survival benefit of PD-1 Tg recipients required ICOS signaling and donor PD-L1 expression. These results indicate that modulation of PD-1 expression, in combination with a costimulation blockade, is a promising therapeutic target to promote transplant tolerance.
Thiago J. Borges, Naoka Murakami, Isadora T. Lape, Rodrigo B. Gassen, Kaifeng Liu, Songjie Cai, Joe Daccache, Kassem Safa, Tetsunosuke Shimizu, Shunsuke Ohori, Alison M. Paterson, Paolo Cravedi, Jamil Azzi, Peter T. Sage, Arlene H. Sharpe, Xian C. Li, Leonardo V. Riella
Fibroproliferative disorders such as systemic sclerosis (SSc) have no effective therapies and result in significant morbidity and mortality. We recently demonstrated that the C-terminal domain of endostatin, known as E4, prevented and reversed both dermal and pulmonary fibrosis. Our goal was to identify the mechanism by which E4 abrogates fibrosis and its cell surface binding partner(s). Our findings show that E4 activated the urokinase pathway and increased the urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) to type 1 plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1) ratio. In addition, E4 substantially increased MMP-1 and MMP-3 expression and activity. In vivo, E4 reversed bleomycin induction of PAI-1 and increased uPA activity. In patients with SSc, the uPA/PAI-1 ratio was decreased in both lung tissues and pulmonary fibroblasts compared with normal donors. Proteins bound to biotinylated-E4 were identified as enolase-1 (ENO) and uPA receptor (uPAR). The antifibrotic effects of E4 required uPAR. Further, ENO mediated the fibrotic effects of TGF-β1 and exerted TGF-β1–independent fibrotic effects. Our findings suggest that the antifibrotic effect of E4 is mediated, in part, by regulation of the urokinase pathway and induction of MMP-1 and MMP-3 levels and activity in a uPAR-dependent manner, thus promoting extracellular matrix degradation. Further, our findings identify a moonlighting function for the glycolytic enzyme ENO in fibrosis.
Shailza Sharma, Tomoya Watanabe, Tetsuya Nishimoto, Takahisa Takihara, Logan Mlakar, Xinh-Xinh Nguyen, Matthew Sanderson, Yunyun Su, Roger A. Chambers, Carol Feghali-Bostwick
CPVL (carboxypeptidase, vitellogenic-like) is a serine carboxypeptidase that was first characterized in human macrophages. However, the function of CPVL remains unclear in a variety of tumors. The quantitative PCR (qPCR), Western blotting, and IHC assays were utilized to measure the CPVL expression. CPVL was significantly upregulated in glioma cells and tissues compared with normal cells and tissues, respectively. Moreover, high CPVL expression was correlated with advanced clinical grade and poor prognosis. Silencing of CPVL promoted glioma cell apoptosis, and it inhibited cell proliferation and tumorigenicity in vitro and in vivo. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) demonstrated that CPVL silencing activated the IFN-γ/STAT1 signaling pathway, thereby inducing glioma cell apoptosis. Mechanistically, immunopurification, mass spectrometry, IP, and glutathione S-transferase (GST) pull-down experiments elucidated that CPVL physically interacts with Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) and downregulates the STAT1 phosphorylation through promoting p300-mediated STAT1 acetylation. Our findings reveal the crucial role of CPVL in promoting the progression of glioma through suppressing STAT1 phosphorylation. CPVL might serve as a potential prognostic biomarker and therapeutic target for the treatment of glioma.
Hui Yang, Xiaocen Liu, Xiaolong Zhu, Xueqin Li, Lan Jiang, Min Zhong, Mengying Zhang, Tianbing Chen, Mingzhe Ma, Xiuming Liang, Kun Lv
A substantial proportion of patients who have recovered from coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) experience COVID-19–related symptoms even months after hospital discharge. We extensively immunologically characterized patients who recovered from COVID-19. In these patients, T cells were exhausted, with increased PD-1+ T cells, as compared with healthy controls. Plasma levels of IL-1β, IL-1RA, and IL-8, among others, were also increased in patients who recovered from COVID-19. This altered immunophenotype was mirrored by a reduced ex vivo T cell response to both nonspecific and specific stimulation, revealing a dysfunctional status of T cells, including a poor response to SARS-CoV-2 antigens. Altered levels of plasma soluble PD-L1, as well as of PD1 promoter methylation and PD1-targeting miR–15-5p, in CD8+ T cells were also observed, suggesting abnormal function of the PD-1/PD-L1 immune checkpoint axis. Notably, ex vivo blockade of PD-1 nearly normalized the aforementioned immunophenotype and restored T cell function, reverting the observed post–COVID-19 immune abnormalities; indeed, we also noted an increased T cell–mediated response to SARS-CoV-2 peptides. Finally, in a neutralization assay, PD-1 blockade did not alter the ability of T cells to neutralize SARS-CoV-2 spike pseudotyped lentivirus infection. Immune checkpoint blockade ameliorates post–COVID-19 immune abnormalities and stimulates an anti–SARS-CoV-2 immune response.
Cristian Loretelli, Ahmed Abdelsalam, Francesca D’Addio, Moufida Ben Nasr, Emma Assi, Vera Usuelli, Anna Maestroni, Andy Joe Seelam, Elio Ippolito, Stefania Di Maggio, Lara Loreggian, Dejan Radovanovic, Claudia Vanetti, Jun Yang, Basset El Essawy, Antonio Rossi, Ida Pastore, Laura Montefusco, Maria Elena Lunati, Andrea M. Bolla, Mara Biasin, Spinello Antinori, Pierachille Santus, Agostino Riva, Gian Vincenzo Zuccotti, Massimo Galli, Stefano Rusconi, Paolo Fiorina
BACKGROUND. Although aberrant glycosylation is recognized as a hallmark of cancer, glycosylation in clinical breast cancer (BC) metastasis has not yet been studied. While preclinical studies show that the glycocalyx coating of cancer cells is involved in adhesion, migration, and metastasis, glycosylation changes from primary tumor (PT) to various metastatic sites remain unknown in patients. METHODS. We investigated N-glycosylation profiles in 17 metastatic BC patients from our rapid autopsy program. Primary breast tumor, lymph node metastases, multiple systemic metastases, and various normal tissue cores from each patient were arranged on unique single-patient tissue microarrays (TMAs). We performed mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) combined with extensive pathology annotation of these TMAs, and this process enabled spatially differentiated cell-based analysis of N-glycosylation patterns in metastatic BC. RESULTS. N-glycan abundance increased during metastatic progression independently of BC subtype and treatment regimen, with high-mannose glycans most frequently elevated in BC metastases, followed by fucosylated and complex glycans. Bone metastasis, however, displayed increased core-fucosylation and decreased high-mannose glycans. Consistently, N-glycosylated proteins and N-glycan biosynthesis genes were differentially expressed during metastatic BC progression, with reduced expression of mannose-trimming enzymes and with elevated EpCAM, N-glycan branching, and sialyation enzymes in BC metastases versus PT. CONCLUSION. We show in patients that N-glycosylation of breast cancer cells undergoing metastasis occurs in a metastatic site–specific manner, supporting the clinical importance of high-mannose, fucosylated, and complex N-glycans as future diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets in metastatic BC. FUNDING. NIH grants R01CA213428, R01CA213492, R01CA264901, T32CA193145, Dutch Province Limburg “LINK”, European Union ERA-NET TRANSCAN2-643638.
Klára Ščupáková, Oluwatobi T. Adelaja, Benjamin Balluff, Vinay Ayyappan, Caitlin M. Tressler, Nicole M. Jenkinson, Britt S.R. Claes, Andrew P. Bowman, Ashley M. Cimino-Mathews, Marissa J. White, Pedram Argani, Ron M.A. Heeren, Kristine Glunde
SARS-CoV-2 promotes an imbalanced host response that underlies the development and severity of COVID-19. Infections with viruses are known to modulate transposable elements (TEs), which can exert downstream effects by modulating host gene expression, innate immune sensing, or activities encoded by their protein products. We investigated the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on TE expression using RNA-Seq data from cell lines and from primary patient samples. Using a bioinformatics tool, Telescope, we showed that SARS-CoV-2 infection led to upregulation or downregulation of TE transcripts, a subset of which differed from cells infected with SARS, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV or MERS), influenza A virus (IAV), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and human parainfluenza virus type 3 (HPIV3). Differential expression of key retroelements specifically identified distinct virus families, such as Coronaviridae, with unique retroelement expression subdividing viral species. Analysis of ChIP-Seq data showed that TEs differentially expressed in SARS-CoV-2 infection were enriched for binding sites for transcription factors involved in immune responses and for pioneer transcription factors. In samples from patients with COVID-19, there was significant TE overexpression in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and downregulation in PBMCs. Thus, although the host gene transcriptome is altered by infection with SARS-CoV-2, the retrotranscriptome may contain the most distinctive features of the cellular response to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Jez L. Marston, Matthew Greenig, Manvendra Singh, Matthew L. Bendall, Rodrigo R.R. Duarte, Cédric Feschotte, Luis P. Iñiguez, Douglas F. Nixon
Nociceptors, the high-threshold primary sensory neurons that trigger pain, interact with immune cells in the periphery to modulate innate immune responses. Whether they also participate in adaptive and humoral immunity is, however, not known. In this study, we probed if nociceptors have a role in distinct airway and skin models of allergic inflammation. In both models, the genetic ablation and pharmacological silencing of nociceptors substantially reduced inflammatory cell infiltration to the affected tissue. Moreover, we also found a profound and specific deficit in IgE production in these models of allergic inflammation. Mechanistically, we discovered that the nociceptor-released neuropeptide substance P helped trigger the formation of antibody-secreting cells and their release of IgE. Our findings suggest that nociceptors, in addition to their contributions to innate immunity, play a key role in modulating the adaptive immune response, particularly B cell antibody class switching to IgE.
Shreya Mathur, Jo-Chiao Wang, Corey R. Seehus, Florence Poirier, Theo Crosson, Yu-Chen Hsieh, Benjamin Doyle, Seungkyu Lee, Clifford J. Woolf, Simmie L. Foster, Sebastien Talbot
TNF ligation of TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1) promotes either inflammation and cell survival by (a) inhibiting RIPK1’s death-signaling function and activating NF-κB or (b) causing RIPK1 to associate with the death-inducing signaling complex to initiate apoptosis or necroptosis. The cellular source of TNF that results in RIPK1-dependent cell death remains unclear. To address this, we employed in vitro systems and murine models of T cell–dependent transplant or tumor rejection in which target cell susceptibility to RIPK1-dependent cell death could be genetically altered. We show that TNF released by T cells is necessary and sufficient to activate RIPK1-dependent cell death in target cells and thereby mediate target cell cytolysis independently of T cell frequency. Activation of the RIPK1-dependent cell death program in target cells by T cell–derived TNF accelerates murine cardiac allograft rejection and synergizes with anti-PD1 administration to destroy checkpoint blockade–resistant murine melanoma. Together, the findings uncover a distinct immunological role for TNF released by cytotoxic effector T cells following cognate interactions with their antigenic targets. Manipulating T cell TNF and/or target cell susceptibility to RIPK1-dependent cell death can be exploited to either mitigate or augment T cell–dependent destruction of allografts and malignancies to improve outcomes.
Nicholas Chun, Rosalind L. Ang, Mark Chan, Robert L. Fairchild, William M. Baldwin III, Julian K. Horwitz, Jesse D. Gelles, Jerry Edward Chipuk, Michelle A. Kelliher, Vasile I. Pavlov, Yansui Li, Dirk Homann, Peter S. Heeger, Adrian T. Ting
BACKGROUND Skeletal muscle maladaptation accompanies chronic kidney disease (CKD) and negatively affects physical function. Emphasis in CKD has historically been placed on muscle fiber–intrinsic deficits, such as altered protein metabolism and atrophy. However, targeted treatment of fiber-intrinsic dysfunction has produced limited improvement, whereas alterations within the fiber-extrinsic environment have scarcely been examined.METHODS We investigated alterations to the skeletal muscle interstitial environment with deep cellular phenotyping of biopsies from patients with CKD and age-matched controls and performed transcriptome profiling to define the molecular underpinnings of CKD-associated muscle impairments. We examined changes in muscle maladaptation following initiation of dialysis therapy for kidney failure.RESULTS Patients with CKD exhibited a progressive fibrotic muscle phenotype, which was associated with impaired regenerative capacity and lower vascular density. The severity of these deficits was strongly associated with the degree of kidney dysfunction. Consistent with these profound deficits, CKD was associated with broad alterations to the muscle transcriptome, including altered ECM organization, downregulated angiogenesis, and altered expression of pathways related to stem cell self-renewal. Remarkably, despite the seemingly advanced nature of this fibrotic transformation, dialysis treatment rescued these deficits, restoring a healthier muscle phenotype. Furthermore, after accounting for muscle atrophy, strength and endurance improved after dialysis initiation.CONCLUSION These data identify a dialysis-responsive muscle fibrotic phenotype in CKD and suggest the early dialysis window presents a unique opportunity of improved muscle regenerative capacity during which targeted interventions may achieve maximal impact.TRIAL REGISTRATION NCT01452412FUNDING NIH, NIH Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA), and Einstein-Mount Sinai Diabetes Research Center
Camille R. Brightwell, Ameya S. Kulkarni, William Paredes, Kehao Zhang, Jaclyn B. Perkins, Knubian J. Gatlin, Matthew Custodio, Hina Farooq, Bushra Zaidi, Rima Pai, Rupinder S. Buttar, Yan Tang, Michal L. Melamed, Thomas H. Hostetter, Jeffrey E. Pessin, Meredith Hawkins, Christopher S. Fry, Matthew K. Abramowitz
Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent joint disease worldwide, and it is a leading source of pain and disability. To date, this disease lacks curative treatment, as underlying molecular mechanisms remain largely unknown. The histone methyltransferase DOT1L protects against osteoarthritis, and DOT1L-mediated H3K79 methylation is reduced in human and mouse osteoarthritic joints. Thus, restoring DOT1L function seems to be critical to preserve joint health. However, DOT1L-regulating molecules and networks remain elusive, in the joint and beyond. Here, we identified transcription factors and networks that regulate DOT1L gene expression using a potentially novel bioinformatics pipeline. Thereby, we unraveled a possibly undiscovered link between the hypoxia pathway and DOT1L. We provide evidence that hypoxia enhanced DOT1L expression and H3K79 methylation via hypoxia-inducible factor-1 α (HIF1A). Importantly, we demonstrate that DOT1L contributed to the protective effects of hypoxia in articular cartilage and osteoarthritis. Intra-articular treatment with a selective hypoxia mimetic in mice after surgical induction of osteoarthritis restored DOT1L function and stalled disease progression. Collectively, our data unravel a molecular mechanism that protects against osteoarthritis with hypoxia inducing DOT1L transcription in cartilage. Local treatment with a selective hypoxia mimetic in the joint restores DOT1L function and could be an attractive therapeutic strategy for osteoarthritis.
Astrid De Roover, Ana Escribano Núñez, Frederique M.F. Cornelis, Chahrazad Cherifi, Leire Casas-Fraile, An Sermon, Frederic Cailotto, Rik J. Lories, Silvia Monteagudo
The clinical utility of histone/protein deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors in combinatorial regimens with proteasome inhibitors for patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma (MM) is often limited by excessive toxicity due to HDAC inhibitor promiscuity with multiple HDACs. Therefore, more selective inhibition minimizing off-target toxicity may increase the clinical effectiveness of HDAC inhibitors. We demonstrated that plasma cell development and survival are dependent upon HDAC11, suggesting this enzyme is a promising therapeutic target in MM. Mice lacking HDAC11 exhibited markedly decreased plasma cell numbers. Accordingly, in vitro plasma cell differentiation was arrested in B cells lacking functional HDAC11. Mechanistically, we showed that HDAC11 is involved in the deacetylation of IRF4 at lysine103. Further, targeting HDAC11 led to IRF4 hyperacetylation, resulting in impaired IRF4 nuclear localization and target promoter binding. Importantly, transient HDAC11 knockdown or treatment with elevenostat, an HDAC11-selective inhibitor, induced cell death in MM cell lines. Elevenostat produced similar anti-MM activity in vivo, improving survival among mice inoculated with 5TGM1 MM cells. Elevenostat demonstrated nanomolar ex vivo activity in 34 MM patient specimens and synergistic activity when combined with bortezomib. Collectively, our data indicated that HDAC11 regulates an essential pathway in plasma cell biology establishing its potential as an emerging theraputic vulnerability in MM.
AGM Mostofa, Allison Distler, Mark B. Meads, Eva Sahakian, John J. Powers, Alexandra Achille, David Noyes, Gabriela Wright, Bin Fang, Victoria Izumi, John Koomen, Rupal Rampakrishnan, Tuan P. Nguyen, Gabriel De Avila, Ariosto S. Silva, Praneeth Sudalagunta, Rafael Renatino Canevarolo, Maria D. Coelho Siqueira Silva, Raghunandan Reddy Alugubelli, Hongyue A. Dai, Amit Kulkarni, William S. Dalton, Oliver A. Hampton, Eric A. Welsh, Jamie K. Teer, Alexandre Tungesvik, Kenneth L. Wright, Javier Pinilla-Ibarz, Eduardo M. Sotomayor, Kenneth H. Shain, Jason Brayer
Synthetic immunosuppressive glucocorticoids (GCs) are widely used to control inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, the impact of GC signaling on intestinal tumorigenesis remains controversial. Here, we report that intestinal epithelial GC receptor (GR), but not whole intestinal tissue GR, promoted chronic intestinal inflammation-associated colorectal cancer in both humans and mice. In patients with colorectal cancer, GR was enriched in intestinal epithelial cells and high epithelial cell GR levels were associated with poor prognosis. Consistently, intestinal epithelium–specific deletion of GR (GR iKO) in mice increased macrophage infiltration, improved tissue recovery, and enhanced antitumor response in a chronic inflammation–associated colorectal cancer model. Consequently, GR iKO mice developed fewer and less advanced tumors than control mice. Furthermore, oral GC administration in the early phase of tissue injury delayed recovery and accelerated the formation of aggressive colorectal cancers. Our study reveals that intestinal epithelial GR signaling repressed acute colitis but promoted chronic inflammation–associated colorectal cancer. Our study suggests that colorectal epithelial GR could serve as a predictive marker for colorectal cancer risk and prognosis. Our findings further suggest that, although synthetic GC treatment for IBD should be used with caution, there is a therapeutic window for GC therapy during colorectal cancer development in immunocompetent patients.
Shuang Tang, Zhan Zhang, Robert H. Oakley, Wenling Li, Weijing He, Xiaojiang Xu, Ming Ji, Qing Xu, Liang Chen, Alicia S. Wellman, Qingguo Li, Leping Li, Jian-Liang Li, Xinxiang Li, John A. Cidlowski, Xiaoling Li
siRNAs comprise a class of drugs that can be programmed to silence any target gene. Chemical engineering efforts resulted in development of divalent siRNAs (di-siRNAs), which support robust and long-term efficacy in rodent and nonhuman primate brains upon direct cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) administration. Oligonucleotide distribution in the CNS is nonuniform, limiting clinical applications. The contribution of CSF infusion placement and dosing regimen on relative accumulation, specifically in the context of large animals, is not well characterized. To our knowledge, we report the first systemic, comparative study investigating the effects of 3 routes of administration — intrastriatal (i.s.), i.c.v., and intrathecal catheter to the cisterna magna (ITC) — and 2 dosing regimens — single and repetitive via an implanted reservoir device — on di-siRNA distribution and accumulation in the CNS of Dorset sheep. CSF injections (i.c.v. and ITC) resulted in similar distribution and accumulation across brain regions. Repeated dosing increased homogeneity, with greater relative deep brain accumulation. Conversely, i.s. administration supported region-specific delivery. These results suggest that dosing regimen, not CSF infusion placement, may equalize siRNA accumulation and efficacy throughout the brain. These findings inform the planning and execution of preclinical and clinical studies using siRNA therapeutics in the CNS.
Chantal M. Ferguson, Bruno M.D.C. Godinho, Julia F. Alterman, Andrew H. Coles, Matthew Hassler, Dimas Echeverria, James W. Gilbert, Emily G. Knox, Jillian Caiazzi, Reka A. Haraszti, Robert M. King, Toloo Taghian, Ajit Puri, Richard P. Moser, Matthew J. Gounis, Neil Aronin, Heather Gray-Edwards, Anastasia Khvorova
A hallmark of chronic bacterial infections is the long-term persistence of 1 or more pathogen species at the compromised site. Repeated detection of the same bacterial species can suggest that a single strain or lineage is continually present. However, infection with multiple strains of a given species, strain acquisition and loss, and changes in strain relative abundance can occur. Detecting strain-level changes and their effects on disease is challenging because most methods require labor-intensive isolate-by-isolate analyses, and thus, only a few cells from large infecting populations can be examined. Here, we present a population-level method for enumerating and measuring the relative abundance of strains called population multi-locus sequence typing (PopMLST). The method exploits PCR amplification of strain-identifying polymorphic loci, next-generation sequencing to measure allelic variants, and informatic methods to determine whether variants arise from sequencing errors or low-abundance strains. These features enable PopMLST to simultaneously interrogate hundreds of bacterial cells that are cultured en masse from patient samples or are present in DNA directly extracted from clinical specimens without ex vivo culture. This method could be used to detect epidemic or super-infecting strains, facilitate understanding of strain dynamics during chronic infections, and enable studies that link strain changes to clinical outcomes.
Sarah J. Morgan, Samantha L. Durfey, Sumedha Ravishankar, Peter Jorth, Wendy Ni, Duncan T. Skerrett, Moira L. Aitken, Edward F. McKone, Stephen J. Salipante, Matthew C. Radey, Pradeep K. Singh
Glucagon, a hormone released from pancreatic α cells, plays a key role in maintaining euglycemia. New insights into the signaling pathways that control glucagon secretion may stimulate the development of novel therapeutic agents. In this study, we investigated the potential regulation of α cell function by G proteins of the Gq family. The use of a chemogenetic strategy allowed us to selectively activate Gq signaling in mouse α cells in vitro and in vivo. Acute stimulation of α cell Gq signaling led to elevated plasma glucagon levels, accompanied by increased insulin release and improved glucose tolerance. Moreover, chronic activation of this pathway greatly improved glucose tolerance in obese mice. We also identified an endogenous Gq-coupled receptor (vasopressin 1b receptor; V1bR) that was enriched in mouse and human α cells. Agonist-induced activation of the V1bR strongly stimulated glucagon release in a Gq-dependent fashion. In vivo studies indicated that V1bR-mediated glucagon release played a key role in the counterregulatory hyperglucagonemia under hypoglycemic and glucopenic conditions. These data indicate that α cell Gq signaling represents an important regulator of glucagon secretion, resulting in multiple beneficial metabolic effects. Thus, drugs that target α cell–enriched Gq-coupled receptors may prove useful to restore euglycemia in various pathophysiological conditions.
Liu Liu, Diptadip Dattaroy, Katherine F. Simpson, Luiz F. Barella, Yinghong Cui, Yan Xiong, Jian Jin, Gabriele M. König, Evi Kostenis, Jefferey C. Roman, Klaus H. Kaestner, Nicolai M. Doliba, Jürgen Wess
BACKGROUND Tight relationships between sleep quality, cognition, and amyloid-β (Aβ) accumulation, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) neuropathology, have been shown. Sleep arousals become more prevalent with aging and are considered to reflect poorer sleep quality. However, heterogeneity in arousals has been suggested while their associations with Aβ and cognition are not established.METHODS We recorded undisturbed night-time sleep with EEG in 101 healthy individuals aged 50–70 years, devoid of cognitive and sleep disorders. We classified spontaneous arousals according to their association with muscular tone increase (M+/M–) and sleep stage transition (T+/T–). We assessed cortical Aβ burden over earliest affected regions via PET imaging and assessed cognition via neuropsychological testing.RESULTS Arousal types differed in their oscillatory composition in θ (4–8 Hz) and β (16–30 Hz) EEG bands. Furthermore, T+M– arousals, interrupting sleep continuity, were positively linked to Aβ burden (P = 0.0053, R²β* = 0.08). By contrast, more prevalent T–M+ arousals, upholding sleep continuity, were associated with lower Aβ burden (P = 0.0003, R²β* = 0.13), and better cognition, particularly over the attentional domain (P < 0.05, R²β* ≥ 0.04).CONCLUSION Contrasting with what is commonly accepted, we provide empirical evidence that arousals are diverse and differently associated with early AD-related neuropathology and cognition. This suggests that sleep arousals, and their coalescence with other brain oscillations during sleep, may actively contribute to the beneficial functions of sleep and constitute markers of favorable brain and cognitive health trajectories.TRIAL REGISTRATION EudraCT 2016-001436-35.FUNDING FRS-FNRS Belgium (FRSM 3.4516.11), Actions de Recherche Concertées Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles (SLEEPDEM 17/27-09), ULiège, and European Regional Development Fund (Radiomed Project).
Daphne O. Chylinski, Maxime Van Egroo, Justinas Narbutas, Martin Grignard, Ekaterina Koshmanova, Christian Berthomier, Pierre Berthomier, Marie Brandewinder, Eric Salmon, Mohamed Ali Bahri, Christine Bastin, Fabienne Collette, Christophe Phillips, Pierre Maquet, Vincenzo Muto, Gilles Vandewalle
mRNA vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 have shown exceptional clinical efficacy, providing robust protection against severe disease. However, our understanding of transcriptional and repertoire changes following full vaccination remains incomplete. We used scRNA-Seq and functional assays to compare humoral and cellular responses to 2 doses of mRNA vaccine with responses observed in convalescent individuals with asymptomatic disease. Our analyses revealed enrichment of spike-specific B cells, activated CD4+ T cells, and robust antigen-specific polyfunctional CD4+ T cell responses following vaccination. On the other hand, although clonally expanded CD8+ T cells were observed following both vaccination and natural infection, CD8+ T cell responses were relatively weak and variable. In addition, TCR gene usage was variable, reflecting the diversity of repertoires and MHC polymorphism in the human population. Natural infection induced expansion of CD8+ T cell clones that occupy distinct clusters compared to those induced by vaccination and likely recognize a broader set of viral antigens of viral epitopes presented by the virus not seen in the mRNA vaccine. Our study highlights a coordinated adaptive immune response in which early CD4+ T cell responses facilitate the development of the B cell response and substantial expansion of effector CD8+ T cells, together capable of contributing to future recall responses.
Suhas Sureshchandra, Sloan A. Lewis, Brianna M. Doratt, Allen Jankeel, Izabela Coimbra Ibraim, Ilhem Messaoudi
The genetic bases for the congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDG) continue to expand, but how glycosylation defects cause patient phenotypes remains largely unknown. Here, we combined developmental phenotyping and biochemical studies in a potentially new zebrafish model (pmm2sa10150) of PMM2-CDG to uncover a protease-mediated pathogenic mechanism relevant to craniofacial and motility phenotypes in mutant embryos. Mutant embryos had reduced phosphomannomutase activity and modest decreases in N-glycan occupancy as detected by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry imaging. Cellular analyses of cartilage defects in pmm2sa10150 embryos revealed a block in chondrogenesis that was associated with defective proteolytic processing, but seemingly normal N-glycosylation, of the cell adhesion molecule N-cadherin. The activities of the proconvertases and matrix metalloproteinases responsible for N-cadherin maturation were significantly altered in pmm2sa10150 mutant embryos. Importantly, pharmacologic and genetic manipulation of proconvertase activity restored matrix metalloproteinase activity, N-cadherin processing, and cartilage pathology in pmm2sa10150 embryos. Collectively, these studies demonstrate in CDG that targeted alterations in protease activity create a pathogenic cascade that affects the maturation of cell adhesion proteins critical for tissue development.
Elsenoor J. Klaver, Lynn Dukes-Rimsky, Brijesh Kumar, Zhi-Jie Xia, Tammie Dang, Mark A. Lehrman, Peggi Angel, Richard R. Drake, Hudson H. Freeze, Richard Steet, Heather Flanagan-Steet
Ammonia is a cytotoxic metabolite with pleiotropic molecular and metabolic effects, including senescence induction. During dysregulated ammonia metabolism, which occurs in chronic diseases, skeletal muscle becomes a major organ for nonhepatocyte ammonia uptake. Muscle ammonia disposal occurs in mitochondria via cataplerosis of critical intermediary metabolite α-ketoglutarate, a senescence-ameliorating molecule. Untargeted and mitochondrially targeted data were analyzed by multiomics approaches. These analyses were validated experimentally to dissect the specific mitochondrial oxidative defects and functional consequences, including senescence. Responses to ammonia lowering in myotubes and in hyperammonemic portacaval anastomosis rat muscle were studied. Whole-cell transcriptomics integrated with whole-cell, mitochondrial, and tissue proteomics showed distinct temporal clusters of responses with enrichment of oxidative dysfunction and senescence-related pathways/proteins during hyperammonemia and after ammonia withdrawal. Functional and metabolic studies showed defects in electron transport chain complexes I, III, and IV; loss of supercomplex assembly; decreased ATP synthesis; increased free radical generation with oxidative modification of proteins/lipids; and senescence-associated molecular phenotype–increased β-galactosidase activity and expression of p16INK, p21, and p53. These perturbations were partially reversed by ammonia lowering. Dysregulated ammonia metabolism caused reversible mitochondrial dysfunction by transcriptional and translational perturbations in multiple pathways with a distinct skeletal muscle senescence-associated molecular phenotype.
Avinash Kumar, Nicole Welch, Saurabh Mishra, Annette Bellar, Rafaella Nasciemento Silva, Ling Li, Shashi Shekhar Singh, Mary Sharkoff, Alexis Kerr, Aruna Kumar Chelluboyina, Jinendiran Sekar, Amy H. Attaway, Charles Hoppel, Belinda Willard, Gangarao Davuluri, Srinivasan Dasarathy
Maternal obesity affects nearly one-third of pregnancies and is a major risk factor for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in adolescent offspring, yet the mechanisms behind NAFLD remain poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that nonhuman primate fetuses exposed to maternal Western-style diet (WSD) displayed increased fibrillar collagen deposition in the liver periportal region, with increased ACTA2 and TIMP1 staining, indicating localized hepatic stellate cell (HSC) and myofibroblast activation. This collagen deposition pattern persisted in 1-year-old offspring, despite weaning to a control diet (CD). Maternal WSD exposure increased the frequency of DCs and reduced memory CD4+ T cells in fetal liver without affecting systemic or hepatic inflammatory cytokines. Switching obese dams from WSD to CD before conception or supplementation of the WSD with resveratrol decreased fetal hepatic collagen deposition and reduced markers of portal triad fibrosis, oxidative stress, and fetal hypoxemia. These results demonstrate that HSCs and myofibroblasts are sensitive to maternal WSD-associated oxidative stress in the fetal liver, which is accompanied by increased periportal collagen deposition, indicative of early fibrogenesis beginning in utero. Alleviating maternal WSD-driven oxidative stress in the fetal liver holds promise for halting steatosis and fibrosis and preventing developmental programming of NAFLD.
Michael J. Nash, Evgenia Dobrinskikh, Sean A. Newsom, Ilhem Messaoudi, Rachel C. Janssen, Kjersti M. Aagaard, Carrie E. McCurdy, Maureen Gannon, Paul Kievit, Jacob E. Friedman, Stephanie R. Wesolowski
Myosin heavy chain 7 (MYH7) is a major causative gene for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, but the affected signaling pathways and therapeutics remain elusive. In this research, we identified ventricle myosin heavy chain like (vmhcl) as a zebrafish homolog of human MYH7, and we generated vmhcl frameshift mutants. We noted vmhcl-based embryonic cardiac dysfunction (VEC) in the vmhcl homozygous mutants and vmhcl-based adult cardiomyopathy (VAC) phenotypes in the vmhcl heterozygous mutants. Using the VEC model, we assessed 7 known cardiomyopathy signaling pathways pharmacologically and 11 candidate genes genetically via CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology based on microhomology-mediated end joining (MMEJ). Both studies converged on therapeutic benefits of mTOR or mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibition of VEC. While mTOR inhibition rescued the enlarged nuclear size of cardiomyocytes, MAPK inhibition restored the prolonged cell shape in the VEC model. The therapeutic effects of mTOR and MAPK inhibition were later validated in the VAC model. Together, vmhcl/myh7 loss of function is sufficient to induce cardiomyopathy in zebrafish. The VEC and VAC models in zebrafish are amenable to both efficient genetic and chemical genetic tools, offering a rapid in vivo platform for discovering candidate signaling pathways of MYH7 cardiomyopathy.
Haisong Bu, Yonghe Ding, Jiarong Li, Ping Zhu, Yu-Huan Shih, Mingmin Wang, Yuji Zhang, Xueying Lin, Xiaolei Xu
Inhibitors of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) are widely used to treat hypertension. Using mice harboring fluorescent cell lineage tracers, single-cell RNA-Seq, and long-term inhibition of RAS in both mice and humans, we found that deletion of renin or inhibition of the RAS leads to concentric thickening of the intrarenal arteries and arterioles. This severe disease was caused by the multiclonal expansion and transformation of renin cells from a classical endocrine phenotype to a matrix-secretory phenotype: the cells surrounded the vessel walls and induced the accumulation of adjacent smooth muscle cells and extracellular matrix, resulting in blood flow obstruction, focal ischemia, and fibrosis. Ablation of the renin cells via conditional deletion of β1 integrin prevented arteriolar hypertrophy, indicating that renin cells are responsible for vascular disease. Given these findings, prospective morphological studies in humans are necessary to determine the extent of renal vascular damage caused by the widespread use of inhibitors of the RAS.
Hirofumi Watanabe, Alexandre G. Martini, Evan A. Brown, Xiuyin Liang, Silvia Medrano, Shin Goto, Ichiei Narita, Lois J. Arend, Maria Luisa S. Sequeira-Lopez, R. Ariel Gomez
Kidneys are critical target organs of COVID-19, but susceptibility and responses to infection remain poorly understood. Here, we combine SARS-CoV-2 variants with genome-edited kidney organoids and clinical data to investigate tropism, mechanism, and therapeutics. SARS-CoV-2 specifically infects organoid proximal tubules among diverse cell types. Infections produce replicating virus, apoptosis, and disrupted cell morphology, features of which are revealed in the context of polycystic kidney disease. Cross-validation of gene expression patterns in organoids reflects proteomic signatures of COVID-19 in the urine of critically ill patients indicating interferon pathway upregulation. SARS-CoV-2 viral variants alpha, beta, gamma, kappa, and delta exhibit comparable levels of infection in organoids. Infection is ameliorated in ACE2–/– organoids and blocked via treatment with de novo–designed spike binder peptides. Collectively, these studies clarify the impact of kidney infection in COVID-19 as reflected in organoids and clinical populations, enabling assessment of viral fitness and emerging therapies.
Louisa Helms, Silvia Marchiano, Ian B. Stanaway, Tien-Ying Hsiang, Benjamin A. Juliar, Shally Saini, Yan Ting Zhao, Akshita Khanna, Rajasree Menon, Fadhl Alakwaa, Carmen Mikacenic, Eric D. Morrell, Mark M. Wurfel, Matthias Kretzler, Jennifer L. Harder, Charles E. Murry, Jonathan Himmelfarb, Hannele Ruohola-Baker, Pavan K. Bhatraju, Michael Gale Jr., Benjamin S. Freedman