In this issue, Zhou et al. report DNA methylation signatures in peanut-allergic and nonallergic individuals, including allergy-discordant pairs of monozygotic twins. Comparison of monozygotic pairs with nonrelated individuals indicated that genetics contribute to variation in methylation signatures. Further, methylation signatures were more sensitive than serum peanut-specific IgE in identifying peanut-allergic individuals. These findings support DNA methylation signatures as a potential diagnostic approach and as a strategy to identify biomarkers for food allergy. Image credit: choan/Shutterstock.
Since their relatively recent discovery, innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) have been shown to be tissue-resident lymphocytes that are critical mediators of tissue homeostasis, regeneration, and pathogen response. However, ILC dysregulation contributes to a diverse spectrum of human diseases, spanning virtually every organ system. ILCs rapidly respond to environmental cues by altering their own phenotype and function as well as influencing the behavior of other local tissue-resident cells. With a growing understanding of ILC biology, investigators continue to elucidate mechanisms that expand our ability to phenotype, isolate, target, and expand ILCs ex vivo. With mounting preclinical data and clinical correlates, the role of ILCs in both disease pathogenesis and resolution is evident, justifying ILC manipulation for clinical benefit. This Review will highlight areas of ongoing translational research and critical questions for future study that will enable us to harness the full therapeutic potential of these captivating cells.
Laura M. Cobb, Michael R. Verneris
High mortality in acute lung injury (ALI) results from sustained proinflammatory signaling by alveolar receptors, such as TNF-α receptor type 1 (TNFR1). Factors that determine the sustained signaling are not known. Unexpectedly, optical imaging of live alveoli revealed a major TNF-α–induced surge of alveolar TNFR1 due to a Ca2+-dependent mechanism that decreased the cortical actin fence. Mouse mortality due to inhaled LPS was associated with cofilin activation, actin loss, and the TNFR1 surge. The constitutively active form of the GTPase, Rac1 (V12Rac1), given intranasally (i.n.) as a noncovalent construct with a cell-permeable peptide, enhanced alveolar filamentous actin (F-actin) and blocked the TNFR1 surge. V12Rac1 also protected against ALI-induced mortality resulting from i.n. instillation of LPS or of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We propose a potentially new therapeutic paradigm in which actin enhancement by exogenous Rac1 strengthens the alveolar actin fence, protecting against proinflammatory receptor hyperexpression, and therefore blocking ALI.
Galina A. Gusarova, Shonit R. Das, Mohammad N. Islam, Kristin Westphalen, Guangchun Jin, Igor O. Shmarakov, Li Li, Sunita Bhattacharya, Jahar Bhattacharya
Excess macrophages and smooth muscle cells (SMCs) characterize many cardiovascular diseases, but crosstalk between these cell types is poorly defined. Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a lethal disease in which lung arteriole SMCs proliferate and migrate, coating the normally unmuscularized distal arteriole. We hypothesized that increased macrophage platelet-derived growth factor–B (PDGF-B) induces pathological SMC burden in PH. Our results indicate that clodronate attenuates hypoxia-induced macrophage accumulation, distal muscularization, PH, and right ventricle hypertrophy (RVH). With hypoxia exposure, macrophage Pdgfb mRNA was upregulated in mice, and LysM‑Cre mice carrying floxed alleles for hypoxia-inducible factor 1a, hypoxia-inducible factor 2a, or Pdgfb had reduced macrophage Pdgfb and were protected against distal muscularization and PH. Conversely, LysM‑Cre von-Hippel Lindaufl/fl mice had increased macrophage Hifa and Pdgfb and developed distal muscularization, PH, and RVH in normoxia. Similarly, Pdgfb was upregulated in macrophages from human idiopathic or systemic sclerosis–induced pulmonary arterial hypertension patients, and macrophage-conditioned medium from these patients increased SMC proliferation and migration via PDGF-B. Finally, in mice, orotracheal administration of nanoparticles loaded with Pdgfb siRNA specifically reduced lung macrophage Pdgfb and prevented hypoxia-induced distal muscularization, PH, and RVH. Thus, macrophage-derived PDGF-B is critical for pathological SMC expansion in PH, and nanoparticle-mediated inhibition of lung macrophage PDGF-B has profound implications as an interventional strategy for PH.
Aglaia Ntokou, Jui M. Dave, Amy C. Kauffman, Maor Sauler, Changwan Ryu, John Hwa, Erica L. Herzog, Inderjit Singh, W. Mark Saltzman, Daniel M. Greif
Altered inflammation and tissue remodeling are cardinal features of cardiovascular disease and cardiac transplant rejection. Neutrophils have increasingly been understood to play a critical role in acute rejection and early allograft failure; however, discrete mechanisms that drive this damage remain poorly understood. Herein, we demonstrate that early acute cardiac rejection increases allograft prolyl endopeptidase (PE) in association with de novo production of the neutrophil proinflammatory matrikine proline-glycine-proline (PGP). In a heterotopic murine heart transplant model, PGP production and PE activity were associated with early neutrophil allograft invasion and allograft failure. Pharmacologic inhibition of PE with Z-Pro-prolinal reduced PGP, attenuated early neutrophil graft invasion, and reduced proinflammatory cytokine expression. Importantly, these changes helped preserve allograft rejection-free survival and function. Notably, within 2 independent patient cohorts, both PGP and PE activity were increased among patients with biopsy-proven rejection. The observed induction of PE and matrikine generation provide a link between neutrophilic inflammation and cardiovascular injury, represent a potential target to reduce allogenic immune responses, and uncover a mechanism of cardiovascular disease that has been previously unrecognized to our knowledge.
Gregory A. Payne, Nirmal S. Sharma, Charitharth V. Lal, Chunyan Song, Lingling Guo, Camilla Margaroli, Liliana Viera, Siva Kumar, Jindong Li, Dongqi Xing, Melanie Bosley, Xin Xu, J. Michael Wells, James F. George, Jose Tallaj, Massoud Leesar, J. Edwin Blalock, Amit Gaggar
X-linked neutropenia (XLN) is caused by gain-of-function mutations in the actin regulator Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome protein (WASp). XLN patients have reduced numbers of cytotoxic cells in peripheral blood; however, their capacity to kill tumor cells remains to be determined. Here, we examined NK and T cells from 2 patients with XLN harboring the activating WASpL270P mutation. XLN patient NK and T cells had increased granzyme B content and elevated degranulation and IFN-γ production when compared with healthy control cells. Murine WASpL272P NK and T cells formed stable synapses with YAC-1 tumor cells and anti-CD3/CD28–coated beads, respectively. WASpL272P mouse T cells had normal degranulation and cytokine response whereas WASpL272P NK cells showed an enhanced response. Imaging experiments revealed that while WASpL272P CD8+ T cells had increased accumulation of actin upon TCR activation, WASpL272P NK cells had normal actin accumulation at lytic synapses triggered through NKp46 signaling but had impaired response to lymphocyte function associated antigen-1 engagement. When compared with WT mice, WASpL272P mice showed reduced growth of B16 melanoma and increased capacity to reject MHC class I–deficient cells. Together, our data suggest that cytotoxic cells with constitutively active WASp have an increased capacity to respond to and kill tumor cells.
Joanna S. Kritikou, Mariana M.S. Oliveira, Julien Record, Mezida B. Saeed, Saket M. Nigam, Minghui He, Marton Keszei, Arnika K. Wagner, Hanna Brauner, Anton Sendel, Saikiran K. Sedimbi, Stamatina Rentouli, David P. Lane, Scott B. Snapper, Klas Kärre, Peter Vandenberghe, Jordan S. Orange, Lisa S. Westerberg
Complexity of lung microenvironment and changes in cellular composition during disease make it exceptionally hard to understand molecular mechanisms driving development of chronic lung diseases. Although recent advances in cell type–resolved approaches hold great promise for studying complex diseases, their implementation relies on local access to fresh tissue, as traditional tissue storage methods do not allow viable cell isolation. To overcome these hurdles, we developed a versatile workflow that allows storage of lung tissue with high viability, permits thorough sample quality check before cell isolation, and befits sequencing-based profiling. We demonstrate that cryopreservation enables isolation of multiple cell types from both healthy and diseased lungs. Basal cells from cryopreserved airways retain their differentiation ability, indicating that cellular identity is not altered by cryopreservation. Importantly, using RNA sequencing and EPIC Array, we show that gene expression and DNA methylation signatures are preserved upon cryopreservation, emphasizing the suitability of our workflow for omics profiling of lung cells. Moreover, we obtained high-quality single-cell RNA-sequencing data of cells from cryopreserved human lungs, demonstrating that cryopreservation empowers single-cell approaches. Overall, thanks to its simplicity, our workflow is well suited for prospective tissue collection by academic collaborators and biobanks, opening worldwide access to viable human tissue.
Maria Llamazares-Prada, Elisa Espinet, Vedrana Mijošek, Uwe Schwartz, Pavlo Lutsik, Raluca Tamas, Mandy Richter, Annika Behrendt, Stephanie T. Pohl, Naja P. Benz, Thomas Muley, Arne Warth, Claus Peter Heußel, Hauke Winter, Jonathan J. M. Landry, Felix J.F. Herth, Tinne C.J. Mertens, Harry Karmouty-Quintana, Ina Koch, Vladimir Benes, Jan O. Korbel, Sebastian M. Waszak, Andreas Trumpp, David M. Wyatt, Heiko F. Stahl, Christoph Plass, Renata Z. Jurkowska
The liver is an immune-privileged organ that can deactivate autoreactive T cells. Yet in autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), autoreactive T cells can defy hepatic control and attack the liver. To elucidate how tolerance to self-antigens is lost during AIH pathogenesis, we generated a spontaneous mouse model of AIH, based on recognition of an MHC class II–restricted model peptide in hepatocytes by autoreactive CD4+ T cells. We found that the hepatic peptide was not expressed in the thymus, leading to deficient thymic deletion and resulting in peripheral abundance of autoreactive CD4+ T cells. In the liver, autoreactive CD4+ effector T cells accumulated within portal ectopic lymphoid structures and maturated toward pathogenic IFN-γ and TNF coproducing cells. Expansion and pathogenic maturation of autoreactive effector T cells was enabled by a selective increase of plasticity and instability of autoantigen-specific Tregs but not of nonspecific Tregs. Indeed, antigen-specific Tregs were reduced in frequency and manifested increased IL-17 production, reduced epigenetic demethylation, and reduced expression of Foxp3. As a consequence, autoantigen-specific Tregs had a reduced suppressive capacity, as compared with that of nonspecific Tregs. In conclusion, loss of tolerance and the pathogenesis of AIH were enabled by combined failure of thymic deletion and peripheral regulation.
Max Preti, Lena Schlott, David Lübbering, Daria Krzikalla, Anna-Lena Müller, Fenja A. Schuran, Tobias Poch, Miriam Schakat, Sören Weidemann, Ansgar W. Lohse, Christina Weiler-Normann, Marcial Sebode, Dorothee Schwinge, Christoph Schramm, Antonella Carambia, Johannes Herkel
Regulatory T (Treg) cells orchestrate resolution and repair of acute lung inflammation and injury after viral pneumonia. Compared with younger patients, older individuals experience impaired recovery and worse clinical outcomes after severe viral infections, including influenza and SARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Whether age is a key determinant of Treg cell prorepair function after lung injury remains unknown. Here, we showed that aging results in a cell-autonomous impairment of reparative Treg cell function after experimental influenza pneumonia. Transcriptional and DNA methylation profiling of sorted Treg cells provided insight into the mechanisms underlying their age-related dysfunction, with Treg cells from aged mice demonstrating both loss of reparative programs and gain of maladaptive programs. Strategies to restore youthful Treg cell functional programs could be leveraged as therapies to improve outcomes among older individuals with severe viral pneumonia.
Luisa Morales-Nebreda, Kathryn A. Helmin, Manuel A. Torres Acosta, Nikolay S. Markov, Jennifer Yuan-Shih Hu, Anthony M. Joudi, Raul Piseaux-Aillon, Hiam Abdala-Valencia, Yuliya Politanska, Benjamin D. Singer
DNA methylation (DNAm) has been shown to play a role in mediating food allergy; however, the mechanism by which it does so is poorly understood. In this study, we used targeted next-generation bisulfite sequencing to evaluate DNAm levels in 125 targeted highly informative genomic regions containing 602 CpG sites on 70 immune-related genes to understand whether DNAm can differentiate peanut allergy (PA) versus nonallergy (NA). We found PA-associated DNAm signatures associated with 12 genes (7 potentially novel to food allergy, 3 associated with Th1/Th2, and 2 associated with innate immunity), as well as DNAm signature combinations with superior diagnostic potential compared with serum peanut–specific IgE for PA versus NA. Furthermore, we found that, following peanut protein stimulation, peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMCs) from PA participants showed increased production of cognate cytokines compared with NA participants. The varying responses between PA and NA participants may be associated with the interaction between the modification of DNAm and the interference of environment. Using Euclidean distance analysis, we found that the distances of methylation profile comprising 12 DNAm signatures between PA and NA pairs in monozygotic (MZ) twins were smaller than those in randomly paired genetically unrelated individuals, suggesting that PA-related DNAm signatures may be associated with genetic factors.
Xiaoying Zhou, Xiaorui Han, Shu-Chen Lyu, Bryan Bunning, Laurie Kost, Iris Chang, Shu Cao, Vanitha Sampath, Kari C. Nadeau
Here, we report on a phase IIa study to determine the intubation rate, survival, viral clearance, and development of endogenous Abs in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia treated with convalescent plasma (CCP) containing high levels of neutralizing anti–SARS-CoV-2 Abs. Radiographic and laboratory evaluation confirmed all 51 treated patients had COVID-19 pneumonia. Fresh or frozen CCP from donors with high titers of neutralizing Abs was administered. The nonmechanically ventilated patients (n = 36) had an intubation rate of 13.9% and a 30-day survival rate of 88.9%, and the overall survival rate for a comparative group based on network data was 72.5% (1625/2241). Patients had negative nasopharyngeal swab rates of 43.8% and 73.0% on days 10 and 30, respectively. Patients mechanically ventilated had a day-30 mortality rate of 46.7%; the mortality rate for a comparative group based on network data was 71.0% (369/520). All evaluable patients were found to have neutralizing Abs on day 3 (n = 47), and all but 1 patient had Abs on days 30 and 60. The only adverse event was a mild rash. In this study on patients with COVID-19 disease, we show therapeutic use of CCP was safe and conferred transfer of Abs, while preserving endogenous immune response.
Michele L. Donato, Steven Park, Melissa Baker, Robert Korngold, Alison Morawski, Xue Geng, Ming Tan, Andrew Ip, Stuart Goldberg, Scott Rowley, Kar Chow, Emily Brown, Joshua Zenreich, Phyllis McKiernan, Kathryn Buttner, Anna Ullrich, Laura Long, Rena Feinman, Andrea Ricourt, Marlo Kemp, Mariefel Vendivil, Hyung Suh, Bindu Balani, Cristina Cicogna, Rani Sebti, Abdulla Al-Khan, Steven Sperber, Samit Desai, Stacey Fanning, Danit Arad, Ronaldo Go, Elizabeth Tam, Keith Rose, Sean Sadikot, David Siegel, Martin Gutierrez, Tatyana Feldman, Andre Goy, Andrew Pecora, Noa Biran, Lori Leslie, Alfred Gillio, Sarah Timmapuri, Michele Boonstra, Sam Singer, Sukhdeep Kaur, Ernest Richards, David S. Perlin
BACKGROUND Beige and brown adipose tissue (BAT) are associated with improved metabolic homeostasis. We recently reported that the β3-adrenergic receptor agonist mirabegron induced beige adipose tissue in obese insulin-resistant subjects, and this was accompanied by improved glucose metabolism. Here we evaluated pioglitazone treatment with a combination pioglitazone and mirabegron treatment and compared these with previously published data evaluating mirabegron treatment alone. Both drugs were used at FDA-approved dosages.METHODS We measured BAT by PET CT scans, measured beige adipose tissue by immunohistochemistry, and comprehensively characterized glucose and lipid homeostasis and insulin sensitivity by euglycemic clamp and oral glucose tolerance tests. Subcutaneous white adipose tissue, muscle fiber type composition and capillary density, lipotoxicity, and systemic inflammation were evaluated by immunohistochemistry, gene expression profiling, mass spectroscopy, and ELISAs.RESULTS Treatment with pioglitazone or the combination of pioglitazone and mirabegron increased beige adipose tissue protein marker expression and improved insulin sensitivity and glucose homeostasis, but neither treatment induced BAT in these obese subjects. When the magnitude of the responses to the treatments was evaluated, mirabegron was found to be the most effective at inducing beige adipose tissue. Although monotherapy with either mirabegron or pioglitazone induced adipose beiging, combination treatment resulted in less beiging than either alone. The 3 treatments also had different effects on muscle fiber type switching and capillary density.CONCLUSION The addition of pioglitazone to mirabegron treatment does not enhance beiging or increase BAT in obese insulin-resistant research participants.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02919176.FUNDING NIH DK112282 and P20GM103527 and Clinical and Translational Science Awards grant UL1TR001998.
Brian S. Finlin, Hasiyet Memetimin, Beibei Zhu, Amy L. Confides, Hemendra J. Vekaria, Riham H. El Khouli, Zachary R. Johnson, Philip M. Westgate, Jianzhong Chen, Andrew J. Morris, Patrick G. Sullivan, Esther E. Dupont-Versteegden, Philip A. Kern
The splenic microenvironment regulates hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) function, particularly during demand-adapted hematopoiesis; however, practical strategies to enhance splenic support of transplanted HSPCs have proved elusive. We have previously demonstrated that inhibiting 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase (15-PGDH), using the small molecule (+)SW033291 (PGDHi), increases BM prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) levels, expands HSPC numbers, and accelerates hematologic reconstitution after BM transplantation (BMT) in mice. Here we demonstrate that the splenic microenvironment, specifically 15-PGDH high-expressing macrophages, megakaryocytes (MKs), and mast cells (MCs), regulates steady-state hematopoiesis and potentiates recovery after BMT. Notably, PGDHi-induced neutrophil, platelet, and HSPC recovery were highly attenuated in splenectomized mice. PGDHi induced nonpathologic splenic extramedullary hematopoiesis at steady state, and pretransplant PGDHi enhanced the homing of transplanted cells to the spleen. 15-PGDH enzymatic activity localized specifically to macrophages, MK lineage cells, and MCs, identifying these cell types as likely coordinating the impact of PGDHi on splenic HSPCs. These findings suggest that 15-PGDH expression marks HSC niche cell types that regulate hematopoietic regeneration. Therefore, PGDHi provides a well-tolerated strategy to therapeutically target multiple HSC niches, promote hematopoietic regeneration, and improve clinical outcomes of BMT.
Julianne N.P. Smith, Dawn M. Dawson, Kelsey F. Christo, Alvin P. Jogasuria, Mark J. Cameron, Monika I. Antczak, Joseph M. Ready, Stanton L. Gerson, Sanford D. Markowitz, Amar B. Desai
Functional dyspepsia (FD) is associated with chronic gastrointestinal distress and with anxiety and depression. Here, we hypothesized that aberrant gastric signals, transmitted by the vagus nerve, may alter key brain regions modulating affective and pain behavior. Using a previously validated rat model of FD characterized by gastric hypersensitivity, depression-like behavior, and anxiety-like behavior, we found that vagal activity — in response to gastric distention — was increased in FD rats. The FD phenotype was associated with gastric mast cell hyperplasia and increased expression of corticotrophin-releasing factor (Crh) and decreased brain-derived neurotrophic factor genes in the central amygdala. Subdiaphragmatic vagotomy reversed these changes and restored affective behavior to that of controls. Vagotomy partially attenuated pain responses to gastric distention, which may be mediated by central reflexes in the periaqueductal gray, as determined by local injection of lidocaine. Ketotifen, a mast cell stabilizer, reduced vagal hypersensitivity, normalized affective behavior, and attenuated gastric hyperalgesia. In conclusion, vagal activity, partially driven by gastric mast cells, induces long-lasting changes in Crh signaling in the amygdala that may be responsible for enhanced pain and enhanced anxiety- and depression-like behaviors. Together, these results support a “bottom-up” pathway involving the gut-brain axis in the pathogenesis of both gastric pain and psychiatric comorbidity in FD.
Zachary A. Cordner, Qian Li, Liansheng Liu, Kellie L. Tamashiro, Aditi Bhargava, Timothy H. Moran, Pankaj Jay Pasricha
The early COVID-19 pandemic was characterized by rapid global spread. In Maryland and Washington, DC, United States, more than 2500 cases were reported within 3 weeks of the first COVID-19 detection in March 2020. We aimed to use genomic sequencing to understand the initial spread of SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — in the region. We analyzed 620 samples collected from the Johns Hopkins Health System during March 11–31, 2020, comprising 28.6% of the total cases in Maryland and Washington, DC. From these samples, we generated 114 complete viral genomes. Analysis of these genomes alongside a subsampling of over 1000 previously published sequences showed that the diversity in this region rivaled global SARS-CoV-2 genetic diversity at that time and that the sequences belong to all of the major globally circulating lineages, suggesting multiple introductions into the region. We also analyzed these regional SARS-CoV-2 genomes alongside detailed clinical metadata and found that clinically severe cases had viral genomes belonging to all major viral lineages. We conclude that efforts to control local spread of the virus were likely confounded by the number of introductions into the region early in the epidemic and the interconnectedness of the region as a whole.
Peter M. Thielen, Shirlee Wohl, Thomas Mehoke, Srividya Ramakrishnan, Melanie Kirsche, Oluwaseun Falade-Nwulia, Nídia S. Trovão, Amanda Ernlund, Craig Howser, Norah Sadowski, C. Paul Morris, Mark Hopkins, Matthew Schwartz, Yunfan Fan, Victoria Gniazdowski, Justin Lessler, Lauren Sauer, Michael C. Schatz, Jared D. Evans, Stuart C. Ray, Winston Timp, Heba H. Mostafa
Myofibroblasts are the major cellular source of collagen, and their accumulation — via differentiation from fibroblasts and resistance to apoptosis — is a hallmark of tissue fibrosis. Clearance of myofibroblasts by dedifferentiation and restoration of apoptosis sensitivity has the potential to reverse fibrosis. Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and mitogens such as FGF2 have each been shown to dedifferentiate myofibroblasts, but — to our knowledge — the resultant cellular phenotypes have neither been comprehensively characterized or compared. Here, we show that PGE2 elicited dedifferentiation of human lung myofibroblasts via cAMP/PKA, while FGF2 utilized MEK/ERK. The 2 mediators yielded transitional cells with distinct transcriptomes, with FGF2 promoting but PGE2 inhibiting proliferation and survival. The gene expression pattern in fibroblasts isolated from the lungs of mice undergoing resolution of experimental fibrosis resembled that of myofibroblasts treated with PGE2 in vitro. We conclude that myofibroblast dedifferentiation can proceed via distinct programs exemplified by treatment with PGE2 and FGF2, with dedifferentiation occurring in vivo most closely resembling the former.
Sean M. Fortier, Loka R. Penke, Dana King, Tho X. Pham, Giovanni Ligresti, Marc Peters-Golden
Ventilation throughout life is dependent on the formation of pulmonary alveoli, which create an extensive surface area in which the close apposition of respiratory epithelium and endothelial cells of the pulmonary microvascular enables efficient gas exchange. Morphogenesis of the alveoli initiates at late gestation in humans and the early postnatal period in the mouse. Alveolar septation is directed by complex signaling interactions among multiple cell types. Here, we demonstrate that IGF1 receptor gene (Igf1r) expression by a subset of pulmonary fibroblasts is required for normal alveologenesis in mice. Postnatal deletion of Igf1r caused alveolar simplification, disrupting alveolar elastin networks and extracellular matrix without altering myofibroblast differentiation or proliferation. Moreover, loss of Igf1r impaired contractile properties of lung myofibroblasts and inhibited myosin light chain (MLC) phosphorylation and mechanotransductive nuclear YAP activity. Activation of p-AKT, p-MLC, and nuclear YAP in myofibroblasts was dependent on Igf1r. Pharmacologic activation of AKT enhanced MLC phosphorylation, increased YAP activation, and ameliorated alveolar simplification in vivo. IGF1R controls mechanosignaling in myofibroblasts required for lung alveologenesis.
Hua He, John Snowball, Fei Sun, Cheng-Lun Na, Jeffrey A. Whitsett
Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is a devastating form of stroke with a high mortality rate and few treatment options. Discovery of therapeutic interventions has been slow given the challenges associated with studying acute injury in the human brain. Inflammation induced by exposure of brain tissue to blood appears to be a major part of brain tissue injury. Here, we longitudinally profiled blood and cerebral hematoma effluent from a patient enrolled in the Minimally Invasive Surgery with Thrombolysis in Intracerebral Hemorrhage Evacuation trial, offering a rare window into the local and systemic immune responses to acute brain injury. Using single-cell RNA-Seq (scRNA-Seq), this is the first report to our knowledge that characterized the local cellular response during ICH in the brain of a living patient at single-cell resolution. Our analysis revealed shifts in the activation states of myeloid and T cells in the brain over time, suggesting that leukocyte responses are dynamically reshaped by the hematoma microenvironment. Interestingly, the patient had an asymptomatic rebleed that our transcriptional data indicated occurred prior to detection by CT scan. This case highlights the rapid immune dynamics in the brain after ICH and suggests that sensitive methods such as scRNA-Seq would enable greater understanding of complex intracerebral events.
Brittany A. Goods, Michael H. Askenase, Erica Markarian, Hannah E. Beatty, Riley S. Drake, Ira Fleming, Jonathan H. DeLong, Naomi H. Philip, Charles C. Matouk, Issam A. Awad, Mario Zuccarello, Daniel F. Hanley, J. Christopher Love, Alex K. Shalek, Lauren H. Sansing, the ICHseq Investigators
Mutations in LAMB2, encoding laminin β2, cause Pierson syndrome and occasionally milder nephropathy without extrarenal abnormalities. The most deleterious missense mutations that have been identified affect primarily the N-terminus of laminin β2. On the other hand, those associated with isolated nephropathy are distributed across the entire molecule, and variants in the β2 LEa-LF-LEb domains are exclusively found in cases with isolated nephropathy. Here we report the clinical features of mild isolated nephropathy associated with 3 LAMB2 variants in the LEa-LF-LEb domains (p.R469Q, p.G699R, and p.R1078C) and their biochemical characterization. Although Pierson syndrome missense mutations often inhibit laminin β2 secretion, the 3 recombinant variants were secreted as efficiently as WT. However, the β2 variants lost pH dependency for heparin binding, resulting in aberrant binding under physiologic conditions. This suggests that the binding of laminin β2 to negatively charged molecules is involved in glomerular basement membrane (GBM) permselectivity. Moreover, the excessive binding of the β2 variants to other laminins appears to lead to their increased deposition in the GBM. Laminin β2 also serves as a potentially novel cell-adhesive ligand for integrin α4β1. Our findings define biochemical functions of laminin β2 variants influencing glomerular filtration that may underlie the pathogenesis of isolated nephropathy caused by LAMB2 abnormalities.
Yamato Kikkawa, Taeko Hashimoto, Keiichi Takizawa, Seiya Urae, Haruka Masuda, Masumi Matsunuma, Yuji Yamada, Keisuke Hamada, Motoyoshi Nomizu, Helen Liapis, Masataka Hisano, Yuko Akioka, Kenichiro Miura, Motoshi Hattori, Jeffrey H. Miner, Yutaka Harita
Comorbid medical illnesses, such as obesity and diabetes, are associated with more severe COVID-19, hospitalization, and death. However, the role of the immune system in mediating these clinical outcomes has not been determined. We used multiparameter flow cytometry and systems serology to comprehensively profile the functions of T cells and antibodies targeting spike, nucleocapsid, and envelope proteins in a convalescent cohort of COVID-19 subjects who were either hospitalized (n = 20) or not hospitalized (n = 40). To avoid confounding, subjects were matched by age, sex, ethnicity, and date of symptom onset. Surprisingly, we found that the magnitude and functional breadth of virus-specific CD4+ T cell and antibody responses were consistently higher among hospitalized subjects, particularly those with medical comorbidities. However, an integrated analysis identified more coordination between polyfunctional CD4+ T cells and antibodies targeting the S1 domain of spike among subjects who were not hospitalized. These data reveal a functionally diverse and coordinated response between T cells and antibodies targeting SARS-CoV-2, which is reduced in the presence of comorbid illnesses that are known risk factors for severe COVID-19.
Krystle K.Q. Yu, Stephanie Fischinger, Malisa T. Smith, Caroline Atyeo, Deniz Cizmeci, Caitlin R. Wolf, Erik D. Layton, Jennifer K. Logue, Melissa S. Aguilar, Kiel Shuey, Carolin Loos, Jingyou Yu, Nicholas Franko, Robert Y. Choi, Anna Wald, Dan H. Barouch, David M. Koelle, Douglas Lauffenburger, Helen Y. Chu, Galit Alter, Chetan Seshadri
One of the most common malignancies affecting adults with Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is the malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST), an aggressive and often fatal sarcoma that commonly arises from benign plexiform neurofibromas. Despite advances in our understanding of MPNST pathobiology, there are few effective therapeutic options, and no investigational agents have proven successful in clinical trials. To further understand the genomic heterogeneity of MPNST, and to generate a preclinical platform that encompasses this heterogeneity, we developed a collection of NF1-MPNST patient-derived xenografts (PDX). These PDX were compared with the primary tumors from which they were derived using copy number analysis, whole exome sequencing, and RNA sequencing. We identified chromosome 8 gain as a recurrent genomic event in MPNST and validated its occurrence by FISH in the PDX and parental tumors, in a validation cohort, and by single-cell sequencing in the PDX. Finally, we show that chromosome 8 gain is associated with inferior overall survival in soft-tissue sarcomas. These data suggest that chromosome 8 gain is a critical event in MPNST pathogenesis and may account for the aggressive nature and poor outcomes in this sarcoma subtype.
Carina Dehner, Chang In Moon, Xiyuan Zhang, Zhaohe Zhou, Chris Miller, Hua Xu, Xiaodan Wan, Kuangying Yang, Jay Mashl, Sara J.C. Gosline, Yuxi Wang, Xiaochun Zhang, Abigail Godec, Paul A. Jones, Sonika Dahiya, Himanshi Bhatia, Tina Primeau, Shunqiang Li, Kai Pollard, Fausto J. Rodriguez, Li Ding, Christine A. Pratilas, Jack F. Shern, Angela C. Hirbe
The programmed death-1 (PD-1) and the PD ligand 1 (PD-L1) interaction represents a key immune checkpoint within the tumor microenvironment (TME), and PD-1 blockade has led to exciting therapeutic advances in clinical oncology. Although IFN-γ–dependent PD-L1 induction on tumor cells was initially thought to mediate the suppression on effector cells, recent studies have shown that PD-L1 is also expressed at high level on tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) in certain types of tumors. However, the precise role of PD-L1 expression on TAMs in suppressing antitumor immunity within the TME remains to be defined. Using a myeloid-specific Pdl1-knockout mouse model, here we showed definitive evidence that PD-L1 expression on TAMs is critical for suppression of intratumor CD8+ T cell function. We further demonstrated that tumor-derived Sonic hedgehog (Shh) drives PD-L1 expression in TAMs to suppress tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cell function, leading to tumor progression. Mechanistically, Shh-dependent upregulation of PD-L1 in TAMs is mediated by signal transducer and activator of transcription 3, a cascade that has not been previously reported to our knowledge. Last, single-cell RNA sequencing analysis of human hepatocellular carcinoma revealed that PD-L1 is mainly expressed on M2 TAMs, supporting the clinical relevance of our findings. Collectively, our data revealed an essential role for Shh-dependent PD-L1 upregulation in TAMs in suppressing antitumor immunity within the TME, which could lead to the development of new immunotherapeutic strategies for treating cancer.
Amy J. Petty, Rui Dai, Rosa Lapalombella, Robert A. Baiocchi, Don M. Benson, Zihai Li, Xiaopei Huang, Yiping Yang
Primary graft dysfunction (PGD) is the predominant cause of early graft loss following lung transplantation. We recently demonstrated that donor pulmonary intravascular nonclassical monocytes (NCM) initiate neutrophil recruitment. Simultaneously, host-origin classical monocytes (CM) permeabilize the vascular endothelium to allow neutrophil extravasation necessary for PGD. Here, we show that a CCL2-CCR2 axis is necessary for CM recruitment. Surprisingly, although intravital imaging and multichannel flow cytometry revealed that depletion of donor NCM abrogated CM recruitment, single cell RNA sequencing identified donor alveolar macrophages (AM) as predominant CCL2 secretors. Unbiased transcriptomic analysis of murine tissues combined with murine KOs and chimeras indicated that IL-1β production by donor NCM was responsible for the early activation of AM and CCL2 release. IL-1β production by NCM was NLRP3 inflammasome dependent and inhibited by treatment with a clinically approved sulphonylurea. Production of CCL2 in the donor AM occurred through IL-1R–dependent activation of the PKC and NF-κB pathway. Accordingly, we show that IL-1β–dependent paracrine interaction between donor NCM and AM leads to recruitment of recipient CM necessary for PGD. Since depletion of donor NCM, IL-1β, or IL-1R antagonism and inflammasome inhibition abrogated recruitment of CM and PGD and are feasible using FDA-approved compounds, our findings may have potential for clinical translation.
Chitaru Kurihara, Emilia Lecuona, Qiang Wu, Wenbin Yang, Félix L. Núñez-Santana, Mahzad Akbarpour, Xianpeng Liu, Ziyou Ren, Wenjun Li, Melissa Querrey, Sowmya Ravi, Megan L. Anderson, Emily Cerier, Haiying Sun, Megan E. Kelly, Hiam Abdala-Valencia, Ali Shilatifard, Thalachallour Mohanakumar, G.R. Scott Budinger, Daniel Kreisel, Ankit Bharat