IgA nephropathy (IgAN) is a leading cause of kidney failure, yet little is known about the immunopathogenesis of this disease. IgAN is characterized by deposition of IgA in the kidney glomeruli, but the source and stimulus for IgA production are not known. Clinical and experimental data suggest a role for aberrant immune responses to mucosal microbiota in IgAN, and in some countries with high disease prevalence, tonsillectomy is regarded as standard-of-care therapy. To evaluate the relationship between microbiota and mucosal immune responses, we characterized the tonsil microbiota in patients with IgAN versus nonrelated household-matched control group participants and identified increased carriage of the genus Neisseria and elevated Neisseria-targeted serum IgA in IgAN patients. We reverse-translated these findings in experimental IgAN driven by BAFF overexpression in BAFF-transgenic mice rendered susceptible to Neisseria infection by introduction of a humanized CEACAM-1 transgene (B × hC-Tg). Colonization of B × hC-Tg mice with Neisseria yielded augmented levels of systemic Neisseria-specific IgA. Using a custom ELISPOT assay, we discovered anti-Neisseria–specific IgA-secreting cells within the kidneys of these mice. These findings suggest a role for cytokine-driven aberrant mucosal immune responses to oropharyngeal pathobionts, such as Neisseria, in the immunopathogenesis of IgAN. Furthermore, in the presence of excess BAFF, pathobiont-specific IgA can be produced in situ within the kidney.
Elissa G. Currie, Bryan Coburn, Elisa A. Porfilio, Ping Lam, Olga L. Rojas, Jan Novak, Stuart Yang, Raad B. Chowdhury, Lesley A. Ward, Pauline W. Wang, Khashayar Khaleghi, James An, Sarah Q. Crome, Michelle A. Hladunewich, Sean J. Barbour, Daniel C. Cattran, Rulan S. Parekh, Christoph Licht, Rohan John, Rupert Kaul, Kenneth Croitoru, Scott D. Gray-Owen, David S. Guttman, Jennifer L. Gommerman, Heather N. Reich
Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) is the most common genetic cause and risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, but the field lacks a large-animal model that allows for longitudinal assessment of pulmonary function. We hypothesized that ferrets would model human AATD-related lung and hepatic disease. AAT-knockout (AAT-KO) and PiZZ (E342K, the most common mutation in humans) ferrets were generated and compared with matched controls using custom-designed flexiVent modules to perform pulmonary function tests, quantitative computed tomography (QCT), bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) proteomics, and alveolar morphometry. Complete loss of AAT (AAT-KO) led to increased pulmonary compliance and expiratory airflow limitation, consistent with obstructive lung disease. QCT and morphometry confirmed emphysema and airspace enlargement, respectively. Pathway analysis of BAL proteomics data revealed inflammatory lung disease and impaired cellular migration. The PiZ mutation resulted in altered AAT protein folding in the liver, hepatic injury, and reduced plasma concentrations of AAT, and PiZZ ferrets developed obstructive lung disease. In summary, AAT-KO and PiZZ ferrets model the progressive obstructive pulmonary disease seen in AAT-deficient patients and may serve as a platform for preclinical testing of therapeutics including gene therapy.
Nan He, Xiaoming Liu, Amber R. Vegter, T. Idil A. Evans, Jaimie S. Gray, Junfeng Guo, Shashanna R. Moll, Lydia J. Guo, Meihui Luo, Ningxia Ma, Xingshen Sun, Bo Liang, Ziying Yan, Zehua Feng, Lisi Qi, Arnav S. Joshi, Weam Shahin, Yaling Yi, Katherine N. Gibson-Corley, Eric A. Hoffman, Kai Wang, Christian Mueller, John F. Engelhardt, Bradley H. Rosen
TNF inhibitors are widely used to treat inflammatory diseases; however, 30%–50% of treated patients develop new autoantibodies, and 0.5%–1% develop secondary autoimmune diseases, including lupus. TNF is required for formation of germinal centers (GCs), the site where high-affinity autoantibodies are often made. We found that TNF deficiency in Sle1 mice induced TH17 T cells and enhanced the production of germline encoded, T-dependent IgG anti-cardiolipin antibodies but did not induce GC formation or precipitate clinical disease. We then asked whether a second hit could restore GC formation or induce pathogenic autoimmunity in TNF-deficient mice. By using a range of immune stimuli, we found that somatically mutated autoantibodies and clinical disease can arise in the setting of TNF deficiency via extrafollicular pathways or via atypical GC-like pathways. This breach of tolerance may be due to defects in regulatory signals that modulate the negative selection of pathogenic autoreactive B cells.
Tam D. Quach, Weiqing Huang, Ranjit Sahu, Catherine M.M. Diadhiou, Chirag Raparia, Roshawn Johnson, Tung Ming Leung, Susan Malkiel, Peta Gay Ricketts, Stefania Gallucci, Çagla Tükel, Chaim O. Jacob, Martin L. Lesser, Yong-Rui Zou, Anne Davidson
Recovery from pneumococcal pneumonia remodels the pool of alveolar macrophages so that they exhibit new surface marker profiles, transcriptomes, metabolomes, and responses to infection. Mechanisms mediating alveolar macrophage phenotypes after pneumococcal pneumonia have not been delineated. IFN-γ and its receptor on alveolar macrophages were essential for certain, but not all, aspects of the remodeled alveolar macrophage phenotype. IFN-γ was produced by CD4+ T cells plus other cells, and CD4+ cell depletion did not prevent alveolar macrophage remodeling. In mice infected or recovering from pneumococcus, monocytes were recruited to the lungs, and the monocyte-derived macrophages developed characteristics of alveolar macrophages. CCR2 mediated the early monocyte recruitment but was not essential to the development of the remodeled alveolar macrophage phenotype. Lineage tracing demonstrated that recovery from pneumococcal pneumonias converted the pool of alveolar macrophages from being primarily of embryonic origin to being primarily of adult hematopoietic stem cell origin. Alveolar macrophages of either origin demonstrated similar remodeled phenotypes, suggesting that ontogeny did not dictate phenotype. Our data reveal that the remodeled alveolar macrophage phenotype in lungs recovered from pneumococcal pneumonia results from a combination of new recruitment plus training of both the original cells and the new recruits.
Emad I. Arafa, Anukul T. Shenoy, Kimberly A. Barker, Neelou S. Etesami, Ian M.C. Martin, Carolina Lyon De Ana, Elim Na, Christine V. Odom, Wesley N. Goltry, Filiz T. Korkmaz, Alicia K. Wooten, Anna C. Belkina, Antoine Guillon, E. Camilla Forsberg, Matthew R. Jones, Lee J. Quinton, Joseph P. Mizgerd
Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a chronic, multisystem orphan disease with a highly variable clinical course, high mortality rate, and a poorly understood complex pathogenesis. We have identified an important role for a subpopulation of monocytes and macrophages characterized by surface expression of the scavenger receptor macrophage receptor with collagenous structure (MARCO) in chronic inflammation and fibrosis in SSc and in preclinical disease models. We show that MARCO+ monocytes and macrophages accumulate in lesional skin and lung in topographic proximity to activated myofibroblasts in patients with SSc and in the bleomycin-induced mouse model of SSc. Short-term treatment of mice with a potentially novel nanoparticle, poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLG), which is composed of a carboxylated, FDA-approved, biodegradable polymer and modulates activation and trafficking of MARCO+ inflammatory monocytes, markedly attenuated bleomycin-induced skin and lung inflammation and fibrosis. Mechanistically, in isolated cells in culture, PLG nanoparticles inhibited TGF-dependent fibrotic responses in vitro. Thus, MARCO+ monocytes are potent effector cells of skin and lung fibrosis and can be therapeutically targeted in SSc using PLG nanoparticles.
Dan Xu, Swati Bhattacharyya, Wenxia Wang, Igal Ifergan, Ming-Yi Alice Chiang Wong, Daniele Procissi, Anjana Yeldandi, Swarna Bale, Roberta Goncalves Marangoni, Craig Horbinski, Stephen D. Miller, John Varga
Phosphopeptides derived from dysregulated protein phosphorylation in cancer cells can be processed and presented by MHC class I and class II molecules and, therefore, represent an untapped class of tumor-specific antigens that could be used as widely expressed “public” cancer neoantigens (NeoAgs). We generated a TCR mimic (TCRm) mAb, 6B1, specific for a phosphopeptide derived from insulin receptor substrate 2 (pIRS2) presented by HLA-A*02:01. The pIRS2 epitope’s presentation by HLA-A*02:01 was confirmed by mass spectrometry. The TCRm 6B1 specifically bound to pIRS2/HLA-A2 complex on tumor cell lines that expressed pIRS2 in the context of HLA-A*02:01. Bispecific mAbs engaging CD3 of T cells were able to kill tumor cell lines in a pIRS2- and HLA-A*02:01–restricted manner. Structure modeling shows a prerequisite for an arginine or lysine at the first position to bind mAb. Therefore, 6B1 could recognize phosphopeptides derived from various phosphorylated proteins with similar amino acid compositions. This raised the possibility that a TCRm specific for the pIRS2/HLA-A2 complex could target a range of phosphopeptides presented by HLA-A*02:01 in various tumor cells. This is the first TCRm mAb to our knowledge targeting a phosphopeptide/MHC class I complex; the potential of this class of agents for clinical applications warrants further investigation.
Tao Dao, Sung Soo Mun, Zaki Molvi, Tatyana Korontsvit, Martin G. Klatt, Abdul G. Khan, Elisabeth K. Nyakatura, Mary Ann Pohl, Thomas E. White, Paul J. Balderes, Ivo C. Lorenz, Richard J. O’Reilly, David A. Scheinberg
Subpial cortical demyelination is an important component of multiple sclerosis (MS) pathology contributing to disease progression, yet mechanism(s) underlying its development remain unclear. Compartmentalized inflammation involving the meninges may drive this type of injury. Given recent findings identifying substantial white matter (WM) lesion activity in patients with progressive MS, elucidating whether and how WM lesional activity relates to meningeal inflammation and subpial cortical injury is of interest. Using postmortem FFPE tissue blocks (range, 5–72 blocks; median, 30 blocks) for each of 27 patients with progressive MS, we assessed the relationship between meningeal inflammation, the extent of subpial cortical demyelination, and the state of subcortical WM lesional activity. Meningeal accumulations of T cells and B cells, but not myeloid cells, were spatially adjacent to subpial cortical lesions, and greater immune cell accumulation was associated with larger subpial lesion areas. Patients with a higher extent of meningeal inflammation harbored a greater proportion of active and mixed active/inactive WM lesions and an overall lower proportion of inactive and remyelinated WM lesions. Our findings support the involvement of meningeal lymphocytes in subpial cortical injury and point to a potential link between inflammatory subpial cortical demyelination and pathological mechanisms occurring in the subcortical WM.
Shanzeh M. Ahmed, Nina L. Fransen, Hanane Touil, Iliana Michailidou, Inge Huitinga, Jennifer L. Gommerman, Amit Bar-Or, Valeria Ramaglia
Molecular chaperones are responsible for maintaining cellular homeostasis, and one such chaperone, GRP170, is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) resident that oversees both protein biogenesis and quality control. We previously discovered that GRP170 regulates the degradation and assembly of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC), which reabsorbs sodium in the distal nephron and thereby regulates salt-water homeostasis and blood pressure. To define the role of GRP170 — and, more generally, molecular chaperones in kidney physiology — we developed an inducible, nephron-specific GRP170-KO mouse. Here, we show that GRP170 deficiency causes a dramatic phenotype: profound hypovolemia, hyperaldosteronemia, and dysregulation of ion homeostasis, all of which are associated with the loss of ENaC. Additionally, the GRP170-KO mouse exhibits hallmarks of acute kidney injury (AKI). We further demonstrate that the unfolded protein response (UPR) is activated in the GRP170-deficient mouse. Notably, the UPR is also activated in AKI when originating from various other etiologies, including ischemia, sepsis, glomerulonephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and transplant rejection. Our work establishes the central role of GRP170 in kidney homeostasis and directly links molecular chaperone function to kidney injury.
Aidan W. Porter, Diep N. Nguyen, Dennis R. Clayton, Wily G. Ruiz, Stephanie M. Mutchler, Evan C. Ray, Allison L. Marciszyn, Lubika J. Nkashama, Arohan R. Subramanya, Sebastien Gingras, Thomas R. Kleyman, Gerard Apodaca, Linda M. Hendershot, Jeffrey L. Brodsky, Teresa M. Buck
Infants born prematurely worldwide have up to a 50% chance of developing bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), a clinical morbidity characterized by dysregulated lung alveolarization and microvascular development. It is known that PDGFR alpha–positive (PDGFRA+) fibroblasts are critical for alveolarization and that PDGFRA+ fibroblasts are reduced in BPD. A better understanding of fibroblast heterogeneity and functional activation status during pathogenesis is required to develop mesenchymal population–targeted therapies for BPD. In this study, we utilized a neonatal hyperoxia mouse model (90% O2 postnatal days 0–7, PN0–PN7) and performed studies on sorted PDGFRA+ cells during injury and room air recovery. After hyperoxia injury, PDGFRA+ matrix and myofibroblasts decreased and PDGFRA+ lipofibroblasts increased by transcriptional signature and population size. PDGFRA+ matrix and myofibroblasts recovered during repair (PN10). After 7 days of in vivo hyperoxia, PDGFRA+ sorted fibroblasts had reduced contractility in vitro, reflecting loss of myofibroblast commitment. Organoids made with PN7 PDGFRA+ fibroblasts from hyperoxia in mice exhibited reduced alveolar type 1 cell differentiation, suggesting reduced alveolar niche-supporting PDGFRA+ matrix fibroblast function. Pathway analysis predicted reduced WNT signaling in hyperoxia fibroblasts. In alveolar organoids from hyperoxia-exposed fibroblasts, WNT activation by CHIR increased the size and number of alveolar organoids and enhanced alveolar type 2 cell differentiation.
Matthew R. Riccetti, Mereena George Ushakumary, Marion Waltamath, Jenna Green, John Snowball, Sydney E. Dautel, Mehari Endale, Bonny Lami, Jason Woods, Shawn K. Ahlfeld, Anne-Karina T. Perl
Allergens have been identified as potential triggers in patients with atopic dermatitis (AD). Patients with AD are highly sensitive to cockroach allergen. The underlying mechanism, however, remains undetermined. Here, we established a cockroach allergen–induced AD-like mouse model, and we demonstrate that repeated exposure to cockroach allergen led to aggravated mouse skin inflammation, characterized by increased type 2 immunity, type 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s), and mast cells. Increased mast cells were also observed in patients with AD. Mast cell–deficient mice (KitW-sh/W-sh) showed diminished skin inflammation, suggesting that mast cells are required in allergen-induced skin inflammation. Furthermore, DC immunoreceptor (DCIR) is upregulated in skin mast cells of patients with AD and mediates allergen binding and uptake. DCIR–/– mice or reconstituted KitW-sh/W-sh mice with DCIR–/– mast cells showed a significant reduction in AD-like inflammation. Both in vitro and in vivo analyses demonstrate that DCIR–/– mast cells had reduced IgE-mediated mast cell activation and passive cutaneous anaphylaxis. Mechanistically, DCIR regulates allergen-induced IgE-mediated mast cell ROS generation and oxidation of calmodulin kinase II (ox-CaMKII). ROS-resistant CaMKII (MM-VVδ) prevents allergen-induced mast cell activation and inflammatory mediator release. Our study reveals a DCIR/ROS/CaMKII axis that controls allergen-induced mast cell activation and AD-like inflammation.
Xiaoyan Luo, Jingsi Chen, Huan Yang, Xinyue Hu, Martin P. Alphonse, Yingchun Shen, Yuko Kawakami, Xiaoying Zhou, Wei Tu, Toshiaki Kawakami, Mei Wan, Nathan K. Archer, Hua Wang, Peisong Gao
Type I IFNs (TI-IFNs) drive immune effector functions during acute viral infections and regulate cell cycling and systemic metabolism. That said, chronic TI-IFN signaling in the context of HIV infection treated with antiretroviral therapy (ART) also facilitates viral persistence, in part by promoting immunosuppressive responses and CD8+ T cell exhaustion. To determine whether inhibition of IFN-α might provide benefit in the setting of chronic, ART-treated SIV infection of rhesus macaques, we administered an anti–IFN-α antibody followed by an analytical treatment interruption (ATI). IFN-α blockade was well-tolerated and associated with lower expression of TI-IFN–inducible genes (including those that are antiviral) and reduced tissue viral DNA (vDNA). The reduction in vDNA was further accompanied by higher innate proinflammatory plasma cytokines, expression of monocyte activation genes, IL-12–induced effector CD8+ T cell genes, increased heme/metabolic activity, and lower plasma TGF-β levels. Upon ATI, SIV-infected, ART-suppressed nonhuman primates treated with anti–IFN-α displayed lower levels of weight loss and improved erythroid function relative to untreated controls. Overall, these data demonstrated that IFN-α blockade during ART-treated SIV infection was safe and associated with the induction of immune/erythroid pathways that reduced viral persistence during ART while mitigating the weight loss and anemia that typically ensue after ART interruption.
Louise A. Swainson, Ashish Arunkumar Sharma, Khader Ghneim, Susan Pereira Ribeiro, Peter Wilkinson, Richard M. Dunham, Rebecca G. Albright, Samson Wong, Jacob D. Estes, Michael Piatak, Steven G. Deeks, Peter W. Hunt, Rafick-Pierre Sekaly, Joseph M. McCune
The intermittent fasting (IF) diet has profound benefits for diabetes prevention. However, the precise mechanisms underlying IF’s beneficial effects remain poorly defined. Here, we show that the expression levels of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), an enzyme that produces prostaglandins, are suppressed in white adipose tissue (WAT) of obese humans. In addition, the expression of COX-2 in WAT is markedly upregulated by IF in obese mice. Adipocyte-specific depletion of COX-2 led to reduced fractions of CD4+Foxp3+ Tregs and a substantial decrease in the frequency of CD206+ macrophages, an increase in the abundance of γδT cells in WAT under normal chow diet conditions, and attenuation of IF-induced antiinflammatory and insulin-sensitizing effects, despite a similar antiobesity effect in obese mice. Mechanistically, adipocyte-derived prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) promoted Treg proliferation through the CaMKII pathway in vitro and rescued Treg populations in adipose tissue in COX-2–deficient mice. Ultimately, inactivation of Tregs by neutralizing anti-CD25 diminished IF-elicited antiinflammatory and insulin-sensitizing effects, and PGE2 restored the beneficial effects of IF in COX-2–KO mice. Collectively, our study reveals that adipocyte COX-2 is a key regulator of Treg proliferation and that adipocyte-derived PGE2 is essential for IF-elicited type 2 immune response and metabolic benefits.
Chunqing Wang, Xing Zhang, Liping Luo, Yan Luo, Xin Yang, Xiaofeng Ding, Lu Wang, Huyen Le, Lily Elizabeth R. Feldman, Xuebo Men, Cen Yan, Wendong Huang, Yingmei Feng, Feng Liu, Xuexian O. Yang, Meilian Liu
Recent data establish a logarithmic expansion of leucine rich repeat containing G protein coupled receptor 5–positive (Lgr5+) colonic epithelial stem cells (CESCs) in human colorectal cancer (CRC). Complementary studies using the murine 2-stage azoxymethane–dextran sulfate sodium (AOM-DSS) colitis-associated tumor model indicate early acquisition of Wnt pathway mutations drives CESC expansion during adenoma progression. Here, subdivision of the AOM-DSS model into in vivo and in vitro stages revealed DSS induced physical separation of CESCs from stem cell niche cells and basal lamina, a source of Wnt signals, within hours, disabling the stem cell program. While AOM delivery in vivo under non-adenoma-forming conditions yielded phenotypically normal mucosa and organoids derived thereof, niche injury ex vivo by progressive DSS dose escalation facilitated outgrowth of Wnt-independent dysplastic organoids. These organoids contained 10-fold increased Lgr5+ CESCs with gain-of-function Wnt mutations orthologous to human CRC driver mutations. We posit CRC originates by niche injury–induced outgrowth of normally suppressed mutated stem cells, consistent with models of adaptive oncogenesis.
Stefan Klingler, Kuo-Shun Hsu, Guoqiang Hua, Maria Laura Martin, Mohammad Adileh, Timour Baslan, Zhigang Zhang, Philip B. Paty, Zvi Fuks, Anthony M.C. Brown, Richard Kolesnick
Parturition is a well-orchestrated process characterized by increased uterine contractility, cervical ripening, and activation of the chorioamniotic membranes; yet, the transition from a quiescent to a contractile myometrium heralds the onset of labor. However, the cellular underpinnings of human parturition in the uterine tissues are still poorly understood. Herein, we performed a comprehensive study of the human myometrium during spontaneous term labor using single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-Seq). First, we established a single-cell atlas of the human myometrium and unraveled the cell type–specific transcriptomic activity modulated during labor. Major cell types included distinct subsets of smooth muscle cells, monocytes/macrophages, stromal cells, and endothelial cells, all of which communicated and participated in immune (e.g., inflammation) and nonimmune (e.g., contraction) processes associated with labor. Furthermore, integrating scRNA-Seq and microarray data with deconvolution of bulk gene expression highlighted the contribution of smooth muscle cells to labor-associated contractility and inflammatory processes. Last, myometrium-derived single-cell signatures can be quantified in the maternal whole-blood transcriptome throughout pregnancy and are enriched in women in labor, providing a potential means of noninvasively monitoring pregnancy and its complications. Together, our findings provide insights into the contributions of specific myometrial cell types to the biological processes that take place during term parturition.
Roger Pique-Regi, Roberto Romero, Valeria Garcia-Flores, Azam Peyvandipour, Adi L. Tarca, Errile Pusod, Jose Galaz, Derek Miller, Gaurav Bhatti, Robert Para, Tomi Kanninen, Ola Hadaya, Carmen Paredes, Kenichiro Motomura, Jeffrey R. Johnson, Eunjung Jung, Chaur-Dong Hsu, Stanley M. Berry, Nardhy Gomez-Lopez
Understanding the endogenous mechanisms regulating resolution of pain may identify novel targets for treatment of chronic pain. Resolution of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) after treatment completion depends on CD8+ T cells and on IL-10 produced by other cells. Using Rag2–/– mice lacking T and B cells and adoptive transfer of Il13–/– CD8+ T cells, we showed that CD8+ T cells producing IL-13 were required for resolution of CIPN. Intrathecal administration of anti–IL-13 delayed resolution of CIPN and reduced IL-10 production by dorsal root ganglion macrophages. Depleting local CD206+ macrophages also delayed resolution of CIPN. In vitro, TIM3+CD8+ T cells cultured with cisplatin, apoptotic cells, or phosphatidylserine liposomes produced IL-13, which induced IL-10 in macrophages. In vivo, resolution of CIPN was delayed by intrathecal administration of anti-TIM3. Resolution was also delayed in Rag2–/– mice reconstituted with Havcr2 (TIM3)–/– CD8+ T cells. Our data indicated that cell damage induced by cisplatin activated TIM3 on CD8+ T cells, leading to increased IL-13 production, which in turn induced macrophage IL-10 production and resolution of CIPN. Development of exogenous activators of the IL-13/IL-10 pain resolution pathway may provide a way to treat the underlying cause of chronic pain.
Susmita K. Singh, Karen Krukowski, Geoffroy O. Laumet, Drew Weis, Jenolyn F. Alexander, Cobi J. Heijnen, Annemieke Kavelaars
Currently, the most effective strategy for dealing with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is delaying the onset of dementia. Severe hypoglycemia is strongly associated with dementia; however, the effects of recurrent moderate hypoglycemia (RH) on the progression of cognitive deficits in patients with diabetes with genetic susceptibility to AD remain unclear. Here, we report that insulin-controlled hyperglycemia slightly aggravated AD-type pathologies and cognitive impairment; however, RH significantly increased neuronal hyperactivity and accelerated the progression of cognitive deficits in streptozotocin-induced (STZ-induced) diabetic APP/PS1 mice. Glucose transporter 3–mediated (GLUT3-mediated) neuronal glucose uptake was not significantly altered under hyperglycemia but was markedly reduced by RH, which induced excessive mitochondrial fission in the hippocampus. Overexpression of GLUT3, specifically in the dentate gyrus (DG) area of the hippocampus, enhanced mitochondrial function and improved cognitive deficits. Activation of the transient receptor potential channel 6 (TRPC6) increased GLUT3-mediated glucose uptake in the brain and alleviated RH-induced cognitive deficits, and inactivation of the Ca2+/AMPK pathway was responsible for TRPC6-induced GLUT3 inhibition. Taken together, RH impairs brain GLUT3-mediated glucose uptake and further provokes neuronal mitochondrial dysfunction by inhibiting TRPC6 expression, which then accelerates progression of cognitive deficits in diabetic APP/PS1 mice. Avoiding RH is essential for glycemic control in patients with diabetes, and TRPC6/GLUT3 represents potent targets for delaying the onset of dementia in patients with diabetes.
Chengkang He, Qiang Li, Yuanting Cui, Peng Gao, Wentao Shu, Qing Zhou, Lijuan Wang, Li Li, Zongshi Lu, Yu Zhao, Huan Ma, Xiaowei Chen, Hongbo Jia, Hongting Zheng, Gangyi Yang, Daoyan Liu, Martin Tepel, Zhiming Zhu
Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) affects 1% of women and carries significant medical and psychosocial sequelae. Approximately 10% of POI has a defined genetic cause, with most implicated genes relating to biological processes involved in early fetal ovary development and function. Recently, Ythdc2, an RNA helicase and N6-methyladenosine reader, has emerged as a regulator of meiosis in mice. Here, we describe homozygous pathogenic variants in YTHDC2 in 3 women with early-onset POI from 2 families: c. 2567C>G, p.P856R in the helicase-associated (HA2) domain and c.1129G>T, p.E377*. We demonstrated that YTHDC2 is expressed in the developing human fetal ovary and is upregulated in meiotic germ cells, together with related meiosis-associated factors. The p.P856R variant resulted in a less flexible protein that likely disrupted downstream conformational kinetics of the HA2 domain, whereas the p.E377* variant truncated the helicase core. Taken together, our results reveal that YTHDC2 is a key regulator of meiosis in humans and pathogenic variants within this gene are associated with POI.
Sinéad M. McGlacken-Byrne, Ignacio Del Valle, Polona Le Quesne Stabej, Laura Bellutti, Luz Garcia-Alonso, Louise A. Ocaka, Miho Ishida, Jenifer P. Suntharalingham, Andrey Gagunashvili, Olumide K. Ogunbiyi, Talisa Mistry, Federica Buonocore, GOSgene, Berta Crespo, Nadjeda Moreno, Paola Niola, Tony Brooks, Caroline E. Brain, Mehul T. Dattani, Daniel Kelberman, Roser Vento-Tormo, Carlos F. Lagos, Gabriel Livera, Gerard S. Conway, John C. Achermann
Following myocardial infarction (MI), elderly patients have a poorer prognosis than younger patients, which may be linked to increased coronary microvessel susceptibility to injury. Interleukin-36 (IL-36), a newly discovered proinflammatory member of the IL-1 superfamily, may mediate this injury, but its role in the injured heart is currently not known. We first demonstrated the presence of IL-36(α/β) and its receptor (IL-36R) in ischemia/reperfusion-injured (IR-injured) mouse hearts and, interestingly, noted that expression of both increased with aging. An intravital model for imaging the adult and aged IR-injured beating heart in real time in vivo was used to demonstrate heightened basal and injury-induced neutrophil recruitment, and poorer blood flow, in the aged coronary microcirculation when compared with adult hearts. An IL-36R antagonist (IL-36Ra) decreased neutrophil recruitment, improved blood flow, and reduced infarct size in both adult and aged mice. This may be mechanistically explained by attenuated endothelial oxidative damage and VCAM-1 expression in IL-36Ra–treated mice. Our findings of an enhanced age-related coronary microcirculatory dysfunction in reperfused hearts may explain the poorer outcomes in elderly patients following MI. Since targeting the IL-36/IL-36R pathway was vasculoprotective in aged hearts, it may potentially be a therapy for treating MI in the elderly population.
Juma El-Awaisi, Dean P.J. Kavanagh, Marco R. Rink, Chris J. Weston, Nigel E. Drury, Neena Kalia
Diabetic nephropathy (DN) arises from systemic and local changes in glucose metabolism and hemodynamics. We have reported that many glycolytic and mitochondrial enzymes, such as pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2), were elevated in renal glomeruli of DN-protected patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Here, mice with PKM2 overexpression specifically in podocytes (PPKM2Tg) were generated to uncover the renal protective function of PPKM2Tg as a potential therapeutic target that prevented elevated albumin/creatinine ratio (ACR), mesangial expansion, basement membrane thickness, and podocyte foot process effacement after 7 months of streptozotocin-induced (STZ-induced) diabetes. Furthermore, diabetes-induced impairments of glycolytic rate and mitochondrial function were normalized in diabetic PPKM2Tg glomeruli, in concordance with elevated Ppargc1a and Vegf expressions. Restored VEGF expression improved glomerular maximal mitochondrial function in diabetic PPKM2Tg and WT mice. Elevated VEGF levels were observed in the glomeruli of DN-protected patients with chronic type 1 diabetes and clinically correlated with estimated glomerular filtration (GFR) — but not glycemic control. Mechanistically, the preservations of mitochondrial function and VEGF expression were dependent on tetrameric structure and enzymatic activities of PKM2 in podocytes. These findings demonstrate that PKM2 structure and enzymatic activation in podocytes can preserve the entire glomerular mitochondrial function against toxicity of hyperglycemia via paracrine factors such as VEGF and prevent DN progression.
Jialin Fu, Takanori Shinjo, Qian Li, Ronald St-Louis, Kyoungmin Park, Marc G. Yu, Hisashi Yokomizo, Fabricio Simao, Qian Huang, I-Hsien Wu, George L. King
Calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD) is heritable, as revealed by recent GWAS. While polymorphisms linked to increased expression of CACNA1C — encoding the CaV1.2 L-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channel — and increased Ca2+ signaling are associated with CAVD, whether increased Ca2+ influx through the druggable CaV1.2 causes CAVD is unknown. We confirmed the association between increased CaV1.2 expression and CAVD in surgically removed aortic valves from patients. We extended our studies with a transgenic mouse model that mimics increased CaV1.2 expression within aortic valve interstitial cells (VICs). In young mice maintained on normal chow, we observed dystrophic valve lesions that mimic changes found in presymptomatic CAVD and showed activation of chondrogenic and osteogenic transcriptional regulators within these valve lesions. Chronic administration of verapamil, a CaV1.2 antagonist used clinically, slowed the progression of lesion development in vivo. Exploiting VIC cultures, we demonstrated that increased Ca2+ influx through CaV1.2 drives signaling programs that lead to myofibroblast activation of VICs and upregulation of genes associated with aortic valve calcification. Our data support a causal role for Ca2+ influx through CaV1.2 in CAVD and suggest that early treatment with Ca2+ channel blockers is an effective therapeutic strategy.
Maiko Matsui, Rihab Bouchareb, Mara Storto, Yasin Hussain, Andrew Gregg, Steven O. Marx, Geoffrey S. Pitt
Benchmarks for protective immunity from infection or severe disease after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination are still being defined. Here, we characterized virus neutralizing and ELISA antibody levels, cellular immune responses, and viral variants in 4 separate groups: healthy controls (HCs) weeks (early) or months (late) following vaccination in comparison with symptomatic patients with SARS-CoV-2 after partial or full mRNA vaccination. During the period of the study, most symptomatic breakthrough infections were caused by the SARS-CoV-2 Alpha variant. Neutralizing antibody levels in the HCs were sustained over time against the vaccine parent virus but decreased against the Alpha variant, whereas IgG titers and T cell responses against the parent virus and Alpha variant declined over time. Both partially and fully vaccinated patients with symptomatic infections had lower virus neutralizing antibody levels against the parent virus than the HCs, similar IgG antibody titers, and similar virus-specific T cell responses measured by IFN-γ. Compared with HCs, neutralization activity against the Alpha variant was lower in the partially vaccinated infected patients and tended to be lower in the fully vaccinated infected patients. In this cohort of breakthrough infections, parent virus neutralization was the superior predictor of breakthrough infections with the Alpha variant of SARS-CoV-2.
Han-Sol Park, Janna R. Shapiro, Ioannis Sitaras, Bezawit A. Woldemeskel, Caroline C. Garliss, Amanda Dziedzic, Jaiprasath Sachithanandham, Anne E. Jedlicka, Christopher A. Caputo, Kimberly E. Rousseau, Manjusha Thakar, San Suwanmanee, Pricila Hauk, Lateef Aliyu, Natalia I. Majewska, Sushmita Koley, Bela Patel, Patrick Broderick, Giselle Mosnaim, Sonya L. Heath, Emily S. Spivak, Aarthi Shenoy, Evan M. Bloch, Thomas J. Gniadek, Shmuel Shoham, Arturo Casadevall, Daniel Hanley, Andrea L. Cox, Oliver Laeyendecker, Michael J. Betenbaugh, Steven M. Cramer, Heba H. Mostafa, Andrew Pekosz, Joel N. Blankson, Sabra L. Klein, Aaron A.R. Tobian, David Sullivan, Kelly A. Gebo
Hundreds of genetic variants in KCNQ2 encoding the voltage-gated potassium channel KV7.2 are associated with early onset epilepsy and/or developmental disability, but the functional consequences of most variants are unknown. Absent functional annotation for KCNQ2 variants hinders identification of individuals who may benefit from emerging precision therapies. We employed automated patch clamp recordings to assess at, to our knowledge, an unprecedented scale the functional and pharmacological properties of 79 missense and 2 inframe deletion KCNQ2 variants. Among the variants we studied were 18 known pathogenic variants, 24 mostly rare population variants, and 39 disease-associated variants with unclear functional effects. We analyzed electrophysiological data recorded from 9,480 cells. The functional properties of 18 known pathogenic variants largely matched previously published results and validated automated patch clamp for this purpose. Unlike rare population variants, most disease-associated KCNQ2 variants exhibited prominent loss-of-function with dominant-negative effects, providing strong evidence in support of pathogenicity. All variants responded to retigabine, although there were substantial differences in maximal responses. Our study demonstrated that dominant-negative loss-of-function is a common mechanism associated with missense KCNQ2 variants. Importantly, we observed genotype-dependent differences in the response of KCNQ2 variants to retigabine, a proposed precision therapy for KCNQ2 developmental and epileptic encephalopathy.
Carlos G. Vanoye, Reshma R. Desai, Zhigang Ji, Sneha Adusumilli, Nirvani Jairam, Nora Ghabra, Nishtha Joshi, Eryn Fitch, Katherine L. Helbig, Dianalee McKnight, Amanda S. Lindy, Fanggeng Zou, Ingo Helbig, Edward C. Cooper, Alfred L. George Jr.
Symmetric, progressive, necrotizing lesions in the brainstem are a defining feature of Leigh syndrome (LS). A mechanistic understanding of the pathogenesis of these lesions has been elusive. Here, we report that leukocyte proliferation is causally involved in the pathogenesis of LS. Depleting leukocytes with a colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor inhibitor disrupted disease progression, including suppression of CNS lesion formation and a substantial extension of survival. Leukocyte depletion rescued diverse symptoms, including seizures, respiratory center function, hyperlactemia, and neurologic sequelae. These data reveal a mechanistic explanation for the beneficial effects of mTOR inhibition. More importantly, these findings dramatically alter our understanding of the pathogenesis of LS, demonstrating that immune involvement is causal in disease. This work has important implications for the mechanisms of mitochondrial disease and may lead to novel therapeutic strategies.
Julia C. Stokes, Rebecca L. Bornstein, Katerina James, Kyung Yeon Park, Kira A. Spencer, Katie Vo, John C. Snell, Brittany M. Johnson, Philip G. Morgan, Margaret M. Sedensky, Nathan A. Baertsch, Simon C. Johnson
Severe acute lung injury has few treatment options and a high mortality rate. Upon injury, neutrophils infiltrate the lungs and form neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), damaging the lungs and driving an exacerbated immune response. Unfortunately, no drug preventing NET formation has completed clinical development. Here, we report that disulfiram — an FDA-approved drug for alcohol use disorder — dramatically reduced NETs, increased survival, improved blood oxygenation, and reduced lung edema in a transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) mouse model. We then tested whether disulfiram could confer protection in the context of SARS-CoV-2 infection, as NETs are elevated in patients with severe COVID-19. In SARS-CoV-2–infected golden hamsters, disulfiram reduced NETs and perivascular fibrosis in the lungs, and it downregulated innate immune and complement/coagulation pathways, suggesting that it could be beneficial for patients with COVID-19. In conclusion, an existing FDA-approved drug can block NET formation and improve disease course in 2 rodent models of lung injury for which treatment options are limited.
Jose M. Adrover, Lucia Carrau, Juliane Daßler-Plenker, Yaron Bram, Vasuretha Chandar, Sean Houghton, David Redmond, Joseph R. Merrill, Margaret Shevik, Benjamin R. tenOever, Scott K. Lyons, Robert E. Schwartz, Mikala Egeblad
Therapeutic IL-12 has demonstrated the ability to reduce local immune suppression in preclinical models, but clinical development has been limited by severe inflammation-related adverse events with systemic administration. Here, we show that potent immunologic tumor control of established syngeneic carcinomas can be achieved by i.t. administration of a tumor-targeted IL-12 antibody fusion protein (NHS–rmIL-12) using sufficiently low doses to avoid systemic toxicity. Single-cell transcriptomic analysis and ex vivo functional assays of NHS–rmIL-12–treated tumors revealed reinvigoration and enhanced proliferation of exhausted CD8+ T lymphocytes, induction of Th1 immunity, and a decrease in Treg number and suppressive capacity. Similarly, myeloid cells transitioned toward inflammatory phenotypes and displayed reduced suppressive capacity. Cell type–specific IL-12 receptor–KO BM chimera studies revealed that therapeutic modulation of both lymphoid and myeloid cells is required for maximum treatment effect and tumor cure. Study of single-cell data sets from human head and neck carcinomas revealed IL-12 receptor expression patterns similar to those observed in murine tumors. These results describing the diverse mechanisms underlying tumor-directed IL-12–induced antitumor immunity provide the preclinical rationale for the clinical study of i.t. NHS–IL-12.
Youji Hong, Yvette Robbins, Xinping Yang, Wojciech K. Mydlarz, Anastasia Sowers, James B. Mitchell, James L. Gulley, Jeffrey Schlom, Sofia R. Gameiro, Cem Sievers, Clint T. Allen