Amyloidosis involves stepwise growth of fibrils assembled from soluble precursors. Transthyretin (TTR) naturally folds into a stable tetramer, whereas conditions and mutations that foster aberrant monomer formations facilitate TTR oligomeric aggregation and subsequent fibril extension. We investigated the early assembly of oligomers by WT TTR compared with its V30M and V122I variants. We monitored time-dependent redistribution among monomer, dimer, tetramer, and oligomer contents in the presence and absence of multimeric TTR seeds. The seeds were artificially constructed recombinant multimers that contained 20–40 TTR subunits via engineered biotin-streptavidin (SA) interactions. As expected, these multimer seeds rapidly nucleated TTR monomers into larger complexes, while having less effect on dimers and tetramers. In vivo, SA-induced multimers formed TTR-like deposits in the heart and the kidney following i.v. injection in mice. While all 3 variants prominently deposited glomerulus in the kidney, only V30M resulted in extensive deposition in the heart. The cardiac TTR deposits varied in size and shape and were localized in the intermyofibrillar space along the capillaries. These results are consistent with the notion of monomeric TTR engaging in high-avidity interactions with tissue amyloids. Our multimeric induction approach provides a model for studying the initiation of TTR deposition in the heart.
Li Gao, Xinfang Xie, Pan Liu, Jing Jin
Radiation causes a collapse of bone marrow cells and elimination of microvasculature. To understand how bone marrow recovers after radiation, we focused on mesenchymal lineage cells that provide a supportive microenvironment for hematopoiesis and angiogenesis in bone. We recently discovered a nonproliferative subpopulation of marrow adipogenic lineage precursors (MALPs) that express adipogenic markers with no lipid accumulation. Single-cell transcriptomic analysis revealed that MALPs acquire proliferation and myofibroblast features shortly after radiation. Using an adipocyte-specific Adipoq-Cre, we validated that MALPs rapidly and transiently expanded at day 3 after radiation, coinciding with marrow vessel dilation and diminished marrow cellularity. Concurrently, MALPs lost most of their cell processes, became more elongated, and highly expressed myofibroblast-related genes. Radiation activated mTOR signaling in MALPs that is essential for their myofibroblast conversion and subsequent bone marrow recovery at day 14. Ablation of MALPs blocked the recovery of bone marrow vasculature and cellularity, including hematopoietic stem and progenitors. Moreover, VEGFa deficiency in MALPs delayed bone marrow recovery after radiation. Taken together, our research demonstrates a critical role of MALPs in mediating bone marrow repair after radiation injury and sheds light on a cellular target for treating marrow suppression after radiotherapy.
Leilei Zhong, Lutian Yao, Nicholas Holdreith, Wei Yu, Tao Gui, Zhen Miao, Yehuda Elkaim, Mingyao Li, Yanqing Gong, Maurizio Pacifici, Amit Maity, Theresa M. Busch, Kyu Sang Joeng, Keith Cengel, Patrick Seale, Wei Tong, Ling Qin
The importance of healthy mitochondrial function is implicated in the prevention of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and diabetic kidney disease (DKD). Sex differences also play important roles in DKD. Our previous studies revealed that mitochondrial substrate overload (modeled by homozygous deletion of carnitine acetyl-transferase [CrAT]) in proximal tubules causes renal injury. Here, we demonstrate the importance of intact mitochondrial substrate efflux by titrating the amount of overload through the generation of a heterozygous CrAT-KO model (PT-CrATHET mouse). Intriguingly, these animals developed renal injury similarly to their homozygous counterparts. Mitochondria were structurally and functionally impaired in both sexes. Transcriptomic analyses, however, revealed striking sex differences. Male mice shut down fatty acid oxidation and several other metabolism-related pathways. Female mice had a significantly weaker transcriptional response in metabolism, but activation of inflammatory pathways was prominent. Proximal tubular cells from PT-CrATHET mice of both sexes exhibited a shift toward a more glycolytic phenotype, but female mice were still able to oxidize fatty acid–based substrates. Our results demonstrate that maintaining mitochondrial substrate metabolism balance is crucial to satisfying proximal tubular energy demand. Our findings have potentially broad implications, as both the glycolytic shift and the sexual dimorphisms discovered herein offer potentially new modalities for future interventions for treating kidney disease.
Allison McCrimmon, Kerin M. Cahill, Claudia Kruger, Margaret E. Mangelli, Emily Bouffard, Timothy Dobroski, Kelly N. Michanczyk, Susan J. Burke, Robert C. Noland, Daria V. Ilatovskaya, Krisztian Stadler
Mechanisms governing entry and exit of immune cells into and out of inflamed joints remain poorly understood. We sought herein to identify the key molecular pathways regulating such migration. Using murine models of inflammation in conjunction with mice expressing a photoconvertible fluorescent protein, we characterized the migration of cells from joints to draining lymph nodes and performed RNA-Seq analysis on isolated cells, identifying genes associated with migration and retention. We further refined the gene list to those specific for joint inflammation. RNA-Seq data revealed pathways and genes previously highlighted as characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis in patient studies, validating the methodology. Focusing on pathways associated with cell migration, adhesion, and movement, we identified genes involved in the retention of immune cells in the inflamed joint, namely junctional adhesion molecule A (JAM-A), and identified a role for such molecules in T cell differentiation in vivo. Thus, using a combination of cell-tracking approaches and murine models of inflammatory arthritis, we identified genes, pathways, and anatomically specific tissue signatures regulating cell migration in a variety of inflamed sites. This skin- and joint-specific data set will be an invaluable resource for the identification of therapeutic targets for arthritis and other inflammatory disorders.
Catriona T. Prendergast, Robert A. Benson, Hannah E. Scales, Caio Santos Bonilha, John J. Cole, Iain McInnes, James M. Brewer, Paul Garside
We investigate how myeloid subsets differentially shape immunity to pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA). We show that tumor antigenicity sculpts myeloid cell composition and functionality. Antigenicity promotes accumulation of type 1 dendritic cells (cDC1), which is driven by Xcr1 signaling, and overcomes macrophage-mediated suppression. The therapeutic activity of adoptive T cell therapy or programmed cell death ligand 1 blockade required cDC1s, which sustained splenic Klrg1+ cytotoxic antitumor T cells and functional intratumoral T cells. KLRG1 and cDC1 genes correlated in human tumors, and PDA patients with high intratumoral KLRG1 survived longer than patients with low intratumoral KLRG1. The immunotherapy CD40 agonist also required host cDC1s for maximal therapeutic benefit. However, CD40 agonist exhibited partial therapeutic benefit in cDC1-deficient hosts and resulted in priming of tumor-specific yet atypical CD8+ T cells with a regulatory phenotype and that failed to participate in tumor control. Monocyte/macrophage depletion using clodronate liposomes abrogated T cell priming yet enhanced the antitumor activity of CD40 agonist in cDC1-deficient hosts via engagement of innate immunity. In sum, our study supports that cDC1s are essential for sustaining effective antitumor T cells and supports differential roles for cDC1s and monocytes/macrophages in instructing T cell fate and immunotherapy response.
Adam L. Burrack, Zoe C. Schmiechen, Michael T. Patterson, Ebony A. Miller, Ellen J. Spartz, Meagan R. Rollins, Jackson F. Raynor, Jason S. Mitchell, Tsuneyasu Kaisho, Brian T. Fife, Ingunn M. Stromnes
Monocytes play an important role in the regulation of alloimmune responses after heart transplantation (HTx). Recent studies have highlighted the importance of immunometabolism in the differentiation and function of myeloid cells. While the importance of glucose metabolism in monocyte differentiation and function has been reported, a role for fatty acid β-oxidation (FAO) has not been explored. Heterotopic HTx was performed using hearts from BALB/c donor mice implanted into C57BL/6 recipient mice and treated with etomoxir (eto), an irreversible inhibitor of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (Cpt1), a rate-limiting step of FAO, or vehicle control. FAO inhibition prolonged HTx survival, reduced early T cell infiltration/activation, and reduced DC and macrophage infiltration to heart allografts of eto-treated recipients. ELISPOT demonstrated that splenocytes from eto-treated HTx recipients were less reactive to activated donor antigen-presenting cells. FAO inhibition reduced monocyte-to-DC and monocyte-to-macrophage differentiation in vitro and in vivo. FAO inhibition did not alter the survival of heart allografts when transplanted into Ccr2-deficient recipients, suggesting that the effects of FAO inhibition were dependent on monocyte mobilization. Finally, we confirmed the importance of FAO on monocyte differentiation in vivo using conditional deletion of Cpt1a. Our findings demonstrate that targeting FAO attenuates alloimmunity after HTx, in part through impairing monocyte differentiation.
Yuehui Zhu, Hao Dun, Li Ye, Yuriko Terada, Leah P. Shriver, Gary J. Patti, Daniel Kreisel, Andrew E. Gelman, Brian W. Wong
Tissue-resident macrophage-based immune therapies have been proposed for various diseases. However, generation of sufficient numbers that possess tissue-specific functions remains a major handicap. Here, we showed that fetal liver monocytes cultured with GM-CSF (CSF2-cFLiMo) rapidly differentiated into a long-lived, homogeneous alveolar macrophage–like population in vitro. CSF2-cFLiMo retained the capacity to develop into bona fide alveolar macrophages upon transfer into Csf2ra–/– neonates and prevented development of alveolar proteinosis and accumulation of apoptotic cells for at least 1 year in vivo. CSF2-cFLiMo more efficiently engrafted empty alveolar macrophage niches in the lung and protected mice from severe pathology induced by respiratory viral infection compared with transplantation of macrophages derived from BM cells cultured with M-CSF (CSF1-cBMM) in the presence or absence of GM-CSF. Harnessing the potential of this approach for gene therapy, we restored a disrupted Csf2ra gene in fetal liver monocytes and demonstrated their capacity to develop into alveolar macrophages in vivo. Altogether, we provide a platform for generation of immature alveolar macrophage–like precursors amenable for genetic manipulation, which will be useful to dissect alveolar macrophage development and function and for pulmonary transplantation therapy.
Fengqi Li, Katarzyna Maria Okreglicka, Federica Piattini, Lea Maria Pohlmeier, Christoph Schneider, Manfred Kopf
Kidney fibrosis is the final common pathway of progressive kidney diseases, the underlying mechanisms of which are not fully understood. The purpose of the current study is to investigate a role of Piezo1, a mechanosensitive nonselective cation channel, in kidney fibrosis. In human fibrotic kidneys, Piezo1 protein expression was markedly upregulated. The abundance of Piezo1 protein in kidneys of mice with unilateral ureter obstruction (UUO) or with folic acid treatment was significantly increased. Inhibition of Piezo1 with nonspecific inhibitor GsMTx4 markedly ameliorated UUO- or folic acid–induced kidney fibrosis. Mechanical stretch, compression, or stiffness induced Piezo1 activation and profibrotic responses in human HK2 cells and primary cultured mouse proximal tubular cells (mPTCs), which were greatly prevented by inhibition or silence of Piezo1. TGF-β1 induced increased Piezo1 expression and profibrotic phenotypic alterations in HK2 cells and mPTCs, which were again markedly prevented by inhibition of Piezo1. Activation of Piezo1 by Yoda1, a Piezo1 agonist, caused calcium influx and profibrotic responses in HK2 cells and induced calcium-dependent protease calpain2 activation, followed by adhesion complex protein talin1 cleavage and upregulation of integrin β1. Also, Yoda1 promoted the link between ECM and integrin β1. In conclusion, Piezo1 is involved in the progression of kidney fibrosis and profibrotic alterations in renal proximal tubular cells, likely through activating calcium/calpain2/integrin β1 pathway.
Xiaoduo Zhao, Yonglun Kong, Baien Liang, Jinhai Xu, Yu Lin, Nan Zhou, Jing Li, Bin Jiang, Jianding Cheng, Chunling Li, Weidong Wang
Immunoproteasomes regulate the degradation of ubiquitin-coupled proteins and generate peptides that are preferentially presented by MHC class I. Mutations in immunoproteasome subunits lead to immunoproteasome dysfunction, which causes proteasome-associated autoinflammatory syndromes (PRAAS) characterized by nodular erythema and partial lipodystrophy. It remains unclear, however, how immunoproteasome dysfunction leads to inflammatory symptoms. Here, we established mice harboring a mutation in Psmb8 (Psmb8-KI mice) and addressed this question. Psmb8-KI mice showed higher susceptibility to imiquimod-induced skin inflammation (IMS). Blockade of IL-6 or TNF-α partially suppressed IMS in both control and Psmb8-KI mice, but there was still more residual inflammation in the Psmb8-KI mice than in the control mice. DNA microarray analysis showed that treatment of J774 cells with proteasome inhibitors increased the expression of the Cxcl9 and Cxcl10 genes. Deficiency in Cxcr3, the gene encoding the receptor of CXCL9 and CXCL10, in control mice did not change IMS susceptibility, while deficiency in Cxcr3 in Psmb8-KI mice ameliorated IMS. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that this mutation in Psmb8 leads to hyperactivation of the CXCR3 pathway, which is responsible for the increased susceptibility of Psmb8-KI mice to IMS. These data suggest the CXCR3/CXCL10 axis as a new molecular target for treating PRAAS.
Yuki Sasaki, Hideki Arimochi, Kunihiro Otsuka, Hiroyuki Kondo, Shin-ichi Tsukumo, Koji Yasutomo
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic illness characterized by dysregulated immune cascades in the intestines, in which the Th17 immune response plays an important role. We demonstrated that mice with intestinal epithelium–specific deletion of Krüppel-like factor 5 (Klf5) developed Th17-dependent colonic inflammation. In the absence of KLF5, there was aberrant cellular localization of phosphorylated STAT3, an essential mediator of the Th17-associated cytokine, IL-22, which is required for epithelial tissue regeneration. In contrast, mitigation of IL-17A with anti–IL-17A neutralizing antibody attenuated colitis in Klf5-deficient mice. There was also a considerable shift in the colonic microbiota of Klf5-deficient mice that phenocopied human IBD. Notably, the inflammatory response due to Klf5 deletion was alleviated by antibiotic treatment, implicating the role of microbiota in pathogenesis. Finally, human colitic tissues had reduced KLF5 levels when compared with healthy tissues. Together, these findings demonstrated the importance of KLF5 in protecting the intestinal epithelium against Th17-mediated immune and inflammatory responses. The mice described herein may serve as a potential model for human IBD.
Jason Shieh, Timothy H. Chu, Yang Liu, Julie Kim, Ainara Ruiz de Sabando, Soma Kobayashi, Sui Y. Zee, Brian S. Sheridan, Agnieszka B. Bialkowska, Vincent W. Yang
Mutation of the TET2 DNA-hydroxymethylase has been associated with a number of immune pathologies. The disparity in phenotype and clinical presentation among these pathologies leads to questions regarding the role of TET2 mutation in promoting disease evolution in different immune cell types. Here we show that, in primary mast cells, Tet2 expression is induced in response to chronic and acute activation signals. In TET2-deficient mast cells, chronic activation via the oncogenic KITD816V allele associated with mastocytosis, selects for a specific epigenetic signature characterized by hypermethylated DNA regions (HMR) at immune response genes. H3K27ac and transcription factor binding is consistent with priming or more open chromatin at both HMR and non-HMR in proximity to immune genes in these cells, and this signature coincides with increased pathological inflammation signals. HMR are also associated with a subset of immune genes that are direct targets of TET2 and repressed in TET2-deficient cells. Repression of these genes results in immune tolerance to acute stimulation that can be rescued with vitamin C treatment or reiterated with a Tet inhibitor. Overall, our data support a model where TET2 plays a direct role in preventing immune tolerance in chronically activated mast cells, supporting TET2 as a viable target to reprogram the innate immune response for innovative therapies.
Riccardo Rigo, Rabie Chelbi, Julie Agopian, Sebastien Letard, Aurélien Griffon, Hussein Ghamlouch, Julien Vernerey, Vasileios Ladopoulos, Edwige Voisset, Paulo De Sepulveda, Geoffrey Guittard, Jacques A. Nunès, Ghislain Bidaut, Berthold Göttgens, Michael Weber, Olivier A. Bernard, Patrice Dubreuil, Erinn Soucie
BACKGROUND Gut decontamination (GD) can decrease the incidence and severity of acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) in murine models of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). In this pilot study, we examined the impact of GD on gut microbiome composition and the incidence of aGVHD in HCT patients.METHODS We randomized 20 patients undergoing allogeneic HCT to receive (GD) or not receive (no-GD) oral vancomycin-polymyxin B from day –5 through neutrophil engraftment. We evaluated shotgun metagenomic sequencing of serial stool samples to compare the composition and diversity of the gut microbiome between study arms. We assessed clinical outcomes in the 2 arms and performed strain-specific analyses of pathogens that caused bloodstream infections (BSI).RESULTS The 2 arms did not differ in the predefined primary outcome of Shannon diversity of the gut microbiome at 2 weeks post-HCT (genus, P = 0.8; species, P = 0.44) or aGVHD incidence (P = 0.58). Immune reconstitution of T cell and B cell subsets was similar between groups. Five patients in the no-GD arm had 8 BSI episodes versus 1 episode in the GD arm (P = 0.09). The BSI-causing pathogens were traceable to the gut in 7 of 8 BSI episodes in the no-GD arm, including Staphylococcus species.CONCLUSION While GD did not differentially affect Shannon diversity or clinical outcomes, our findings suggest that GD may protect against gut-derived BSI in HCT patients by decreasing the prevalence or abundance of gut pathogens.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02641236.FUNDING NIH, Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, V Foundation, Sloan Foundation, Emerson Collective, and Stanford Maternal & Child Health Research Institute.
Christopher J. Severyn, Benjamin A. Siranosian, Sandra Tian-Jiao Kong, Angel Moreno, Michelle M. Li, Nan Chen, Christine N. Duncan, Steven P. Margossian, Leslie E. Lehmann, Shan Sun, Tessa M. Andermann, Olga Birbrayer, Sophie Silverstein, Carol G. Reynolds, Soomin Kim, Niaz Banaei, Jerome Ritz, Anthony A. Fodor, Wendy B. London, Ami S. Bhatt, Jennifer S. Whangbo
Clinical outcomes in colorectal cancer (CRC) correlate with T cell infiltrates, but the specific contributions of heterogenous T cell types remain unclear. To investigate the diverse function of T cells in CRC, we profiled 37,931 T cells from tumors and adjacent normal colon of 16 patients with CRC with respect to transcriptome, TCR sequence, and cell surface markers. Our analysis identified phenotypically and functionally distinguishable effector T cell types. We employed single-cell gene signatures from these T cell subsets to query the TCGA database to assess their prognostic significance. We found 2 distinct cytotoxic T cell types. GZMK+KLRG1+ cytotoxic T cells were enriched in CRC patients with good outcomes. GNLY+CD103+ cytotoxic T cells with a dysfunctional phenotype were not associated with good outcomes, despite coexpression of CD39 and CD103, markers that denote tumor reactivity. We found 2 distinct Treg subtypes associated with opposite outcomes. While total Tregs were associated with good outcomes, CD38+ Tregs were associated with bad outcomes independently of stage and possessed a highly suppressive phenotype, suggesting that they inhibit antitumor immunity in CRC. These findings highlight the potential utility of these subpopulations in predicting outcomes and support the potential for novel therapies directed at CD38+ Tregs or CD8+CD103+ T cells.
Kazuya Masuda, Adam Kornberg, Jonathan Miller, Sijie Lin, Nathan Suek, Theo Botella, Kerim A. Secener, Alyssa M. Bacarella, Liang Cheng, Matthew Ingham, Vilma Rosario, Ahmed M. Al-Mazrou, Steven A. Lee-Kong, Ravi P. Kiran, Marlon Stoeckius, Peter Smibert, Armando Del Portillo, Paul E. Oberstein, Peter A. Sims, Kelley S. Yan, Arnold Han
Diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPGs) are aggressive pediatric brain tumors, and patient survival has not changed despite many therapeutic efforts, emphasizing the urgent need for effective treatments. Here, we evaluated the anti-DIPG effect of the oncolytic adenovirus Delta-24-ACT, which was engineered to express the costimulatory ligand 4-1BBL to potentiate the antitumor immune response of the virus. Delta-24-ACT induced the expression of functional 4-1BBL on the membranes of infected DIPG cells, which enhanced the costimulation of CD8+ T lymphocytes. In vivo, Delta-24-ACT treatment of murine DIPG orthotopic tumors significantly improved the survival of treated mice, leading to long-term survivors that developed immunological memory against these tumors. In addition, Delta-24-ACT was safe and caused no local or systemic toxicity. Mechanistic studies showed that Delta-24-ACT modulated the tumor-immune content, not only increasing the number, but also improving the functionality of immune cells. All of these data highlight the safety and potential therapeutic benefit of Delta-24-ACT the treatment of patients with DIPG.
Virginia Laspidea, Montserrat Puigdelloses, Sara Labiano, Lucía Marrodán, Marc Garcia-Moure, Marta Zalacain, Marisol Gonzalez-Huarriz, Naiara Martínez-Vélez, Iker Ausejo-Mauleon, Daniel de la Nava, Guillermo Herrador-Cañete, Javier Marco-Sanz, Elisabeth Guruceaga, Carlos E. de Andrea, María Villalba, Oren Becher, Massimo Squatrito, Verónica Matía, Jaime Gállego Pérez-Larraya, Ana Patiño-García, Sumit Gupta, Candelaria Gomez-Manzano, Juan Fueyo, Marta M. Alonso
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune inflammatory disease of the CNS that is characterized by demyelination and axonal degeneration. Although several established treatments reduce relapse burden, effective treatments to halt chronic progression are scarce. Single-cell transcriptomic studies in MS and its animal models have described astrocytes and their spatial and functional heterogeneity as important cellular determinants of chronic disease. We combined CNS single-cell transcriptome data and small-molecule screens in primary mouse and human astrocytes to identify glial interactions, which could be targeted by repurposing FDA-approved small-molecule modulators for the treatment of acute and late-stage CNS inflammation. Using hierarchical in vitro and in vivo validation studies, we demonstrate that among selected pathways, blockade of ErbB by the tyrosine kinase inhibitor afatinib efficiently mitigates proinflammatory astrocyte polarization and promotes tissue-regenerative functions. We found that i.n. delivery of afatinib during acute and late-stage CNS inflammation ameliorates disease severity by reducing monocyte infiltration and axonal degeneration while increasing oligodendrocyte proliferation. We used unbiased screening approaches of astrocyte interactions to identify ErbB signaling and its modulation by afatinib as a potential therapeutic strategy for acute and chronic stages of autoimmune CNS inflammation.
Mathias Linnerbauer, Lena Lößlein, Oliver Vandrey, Thanos Tsaktanis, Alexander Beer, Ulrike J. Naumann, Franziska Panier, Tobias Beyer, Lucy Nirschl, Joji B. Kuramatsu, Jürgen Winkler, Francisco J. Quintana, Veit Rothhammer
NADPH oxidase deficiency exacerbates lupus in murine models and patients, but the mechanisms remain unknown. It is hypothesized that NADPH oxidase suppresses autoimmunity by facilitating dead cell clearance via LC3-associated phagocytosis (LAP). The absence of LAP reportedly causes an autoinflammatory syndrome in aged, nonautoimmune mice. Prior work implicated cytochrome b-245, β polypeptide (CYBB), a component of the NADPH oxidase complex, and the RUN and cysteine-rich domain-containing Beclin 1–interacting protein (RUBICON) as requisite for LAP. To test the hypothesis that NADPH oxidase deficiency exacerbates lupus via a defect in LAP, we deleted Rubicon in the B6.Sle1.Yaa and MRL.Faslpr lupus mouse models. Under this hypothesis, RUBICON deficiency should phenocopy NADPH oxidase deficiency, as both work in the same pathway. However, we observed the opposite — RUBICON deficiency resulted in reduced mortality, renal disease, and autoantibody titers to RNA-associated autoantigens. Given that our data contradict the published role for LAP in autoimmunity, we assessed whether CYBB and RUBICON are requisite for LAP. We found that LAP is not dependent on either of these 2 pathways. To our knowledge, our data reveal RUBICON as a novel regulator of SLE, possibly by a B cell–intrinsic mechanism, but do not support a role for LAP in lupus.
Rachael A. Gordon, Christina Giannouli, Chirag Raparia, Sheldon I. Bastacky, Anthony Marinov, William Hawse, Richard Cattley, Jeremy S. Tilstra, Allison M. Campbell, Kevin M. Nickerson, Anne Davidson, Mark J. Shlomchik
Human induced pluripotent stem cell–derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs) can model heritable arrhythmias to personalize therapies for individual patients. Although atrial fibrillation (AF) is a leading cause of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, current platforms to generate iPSC-atrial (a) CMs are inadequate for modeling AF. We applied a combinatorial engineering approach, which integrated multiple physiological cues, including metabolic conditioning and electrical stimulation, to generate mature iPSC-aCMs. Using the patient’s own atrial tissue as a gold standard benchmark, we assessed the electrophysiological, structural, metabolic, and molecular maturation of iPSC-aCMs. Unbiased transcriptomic analysis and inference from gene regulatory networks identified key gene expression pathways and transcription factors mediating atrial development and maturation. Only mature iPSC-aCMs generated from patients with heritable AF carrying the non-ion channel gene (NPPA) mutation showed enhanced expression and function of a cardiac potassium channel and revealed mitochondrial electron transport chain dysfunction. Collectively, we propose that ion channel remodeling in conjunction with metabolic defects created an electrophysiological substrate for AF. Overall, our electro-metabolic approach generated mature human iPSC-aCMs that unmasked the underlying mechanism of the first non-ion channel gene, NPPA, that causes AF. Our maturation approach will allow for the investigation of the molecular underpinnings of heritable AF and the development of personalized therapies.
Olivia T. Ly, Hanna Chen, Grace E. Brown, Liang Hong, Xinge Wang, Yong Duk Han, Mahmud Arif Pavel, Arvind Sridhar, Mark Maienschein-Cline, Brandon Chalazan, Sang-Ging Ong, Khaled Abdelhady, Malek Massad, Lona Ernst Rizkallah, Jalees Rehman, Salman R. Khetani, Dawood Darbar
HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) predicts risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), but the factors regulating HDL are incompletely understood. Emerging data link CVD risk to decreased HDL-C in 8% of the world population and 40% of East Asians who carry an SNP of aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) rs671, responsible for alcohol flushing syndrome; however, the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. We found significantly decreased HDL-C with increased hepatosteatosis in ALDH2-KO (AKO), ALDH2/LDLR–double KO (ALKO), and ALDH2 rs671–knock-in (KI) mice after consumption of a Western diet. Metabolomics identified ADP-ribose as the most significantly increased metabolites in the ALKO mouse liver. Moreover, ALDH2 interacted with poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1) and attenuated PARP1 nuclear translocation to downregulate poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation of liver X receptor α (LXRα), leading to an upregulation of ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) and HDL biogenesis. Conversely, AKO or ALKO mice exhibited lower HDL-C with ABCA1 downregulation due to increased nuclear PARP1 and upregulation of LXRα poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation. Consistently, PARP1 inhibition rescued ALDH2 deficiency–induced fatty liver and elevated HDL-C in AKO mice. Interestingly, KI mouse or human liver tissues showed ABCA1 downregulation with increased nuclear PARP1 and LXRα poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation. Our study uncovered a key role of ALDH2 in HDL biogenesis through the LXRα/PARP1/ABCA1 axis, highlighting a potential therapeutic strategy in CVD.
Luxiao Li, Shanshan Zhong, Rui Li, Ningning Liang, Lili Zhang, Shen Xia, Xiaodong Xu, Xin Chen, Shiting Chen, Yongzhen Tao, Huiyong Yin
Mothers that underwent bariatric surgery are at higher risk for delivering a small-for-gestational age (SGA) infant. This phenomenon is attributed to malabsorption and rapid weight loss following surgery. We compared pregnancy outcomes in lean mice that underwent sham surgery or sleeve gastrectomy (SG). SG led to a reduction in glucose levels and an increase in postprandial levels of glucagon-like peptide 1 (Glp1) without affecting mice weight during pregnancy. Pups of SG-operated mice (SG pups) were born SGA. The placenta and pancreas of the pups were not affected by SG, although a high-fat diet caused hepatic steatosis and glucose intolerance in male SG pups. Treatment with a Glp1 receptor antagonist during pregnancy normalized the birth weight of SG pups and diminished the adverse response to a high-fat diet without affecting glucose levels of pregnant mice. The antagonist did not affect the birth weight of pups of sham-operated mice. Our findings link elevated Glp1 signaling, rather than weight loss, to the increased prevalence of SGA births following bariatric surgery with metabolic consequences for the offspring. The long-term effects of bariatric surgery on the metabolic health of offspring of patients require further investigation.
Liron Hefetz, Rachel Ben-Haroush Schyr, Michael Bergel, Yhara Arad, Doron Kleiman, Hadar Israeli, Itia Samuel, Shira Azulai, Arnon Haran, Yovel Levy, Dana Sender, Amihai Rottenstreich, Danny Ben-Zvi
SARS-CoV-2 vaccines pose as the most effective approach for mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic. High-degree efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in clinical trials indicates that vaccination invariably induces an adaptive immune response. However, the emergence of breakthrough infections in vaccinated individuals suggests that the breadth and magnitude of vaccine-induced adaptive immune response may vary. We assessed vaccine-induced SARS-CoV-2 T cell response in 21 vaccinated individuals and found that SARS-CoV-2–specific T cells, which were mainly CD4+ T cells, were invariably detected in all individuals but the response was varied. We then investigated differentiation states and cytokine profiles to identify immune features associated with superior recall function and longevity. We identified SARS-CoV-2–specific CD4+ T cells were polyfunctional and produced high levels of IL-2, which could be associated with superior longevity. Based on the breadth and magnitude of vaccine-induced SARS-CoV-2 response, we identified 2 distinct response groups: individuals with high abundance versus low abundance of SARS-CoV-2–specific T cells. The fractions of TNF-α– and IL-2–producing SARS-CoV-2 T cells were the main determinants distinguishing high versus low responders. Last, we identified that the majority of vaccine-induced SARS-CoV-2 T cells were reactive against non-mutated regions of mutant S-protein, suggesting that vaccine-induced SARS-CoV-2 T cells could provide continued protection against emerging variants of concern.
Li Li, Muharrem Muftuoglu, Shaoheng Liang, Mahesh Basyal, Jiangxing LV, Mehmet Emin Akdogan, Ken Chen, Michael Andreeff, Christopher R. Flowers, Simrit Parmar
Background There is a need to support the diagnosis of anaphylaxis by objective markers. miRNAs are promising noncoding RNA species that may serve as serological biomarkers, but their use in diagnosing anaphylaxis has not been systematically studied to our knowledge. We aimed to comprehensively investigate serum biomarker profiles (proteins, lipids, and miRNAs) to support the diagnosis of anaphylaxis.Methods Adult patients admitted to the emergency room with a diagnosis of anaphylaxis (<3 hours) were included. Blood samples were taken upon emergency room arrival and 1 month later.Results Next-generation sequencing of 18 samples (6 patients with anaphylaxis in both acute and nonacute condition, for 12 total samples, and 6 healthy controls) identified hsa-miR-451a to be elevated during anaphylaxis, which was verified by quantitative real-time PCR in the remaining cohort. The random forest classifier enabled us to classify anaphylaxis with high accuracy using a composite model. We identified tryptase, 9α,11β-PGF2, apolipoprotein A1, and hsa-miR-451a as serological biomarkers of anaphylaxis. These predictors qualified as serological biomarkers individually but performed better in combination.Conclusion Unexpectedly, hsa-miR-451a was identified as the most relevant biomarker in our data set. We were also able to distinguish between patients with a history of anaphylaxis and healthy individuals with higher accuracy than any other available model. Future studies will need to verify miRNA biomarker utility in real-life clinical settings.Funding This work is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) as part of the clinical research unit (CRU339): Food Allergy and Tolerance (FOOD@) (project number 409525714) and a grant to MW (Wo541-16-2, project number 264921598), as well as by FOOD@ project numbers 428094283 and 428447634.
Wojciech Francuzik, Kristijan Pažur, Magdalena Dalke, Sabine Dölle-Bierke, Magda Babina, Margitta Worm
Duration of protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection in people living with HIV (PWH) following vaccination is unclear. In a substudy of the phase II/III the COV002 trial (NCT04400838), 54 HIV+ male participants on antiretroviral therapy (undetectable viral loads, CD4+ T cells > 350 cells/μL) received 2 doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) 4–6 weeks apart and were followed for 6 months. Responses to vaccination were determined by serology (IgG ELISA and Meso Scale Discovery [MSD]), neutralization, ACE-2 inhibition, IFN-γ ELISpot, activation-induced marker (AIM) assay and T cell proliferation. We show that, 6 months after vaccination, the majority of measurable immune responses were greater than prevaccination baseline but with evidence of a decline in both humoral and cell-mediated immunity. There was, however, no significant difference compared with a cohort of HIV-uninfected individuals vaccinated with the same regimen. Responses to the variants of concern were detectable, although they were lower than WT. Preexisting cross-reactive T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 spike were associated with greater postvaccine immunity and correlated with prior exposure to beta coronaviruses. These data support the ongoing policy to vaccinate PWH against SARS-CoV-2, and they underpin the need for long-term monitoring of responses after vaccination.
Ane Ogbe, Matthew Pace, Mustapha Bittaye, Timothy Tipoe, Sandra Adele, Jasmini Alagaratnam, Parvinder K. Aley, M. Azim Ansari, Anna Bara, Samantha Broadhead, Anthony Brown, Helen Brown, Federica Cappuccini, Paola Cinardo, Wanwisa Dejnirattisai, Katie J. Ewer, Henry Fok, Pedro M. Folegatti, Jamie Fowler, Leila Godfrey, Anna L. Goodman, Bethany Jackson, Daniel Jenkin, Mathew Jones, Stephanie Longet, Rebecca A. Makinson, Natalie G. Marchevsky, Moncy Mathew, Andrea Mazzella, Yama F. Mujadidi, Lucia Parolini, Claire Petersen, Emma Plested, Katrina M. Pollock, Thurkka Rajeswaran, Maheshi N. Ramasamy, Sarah Rhead, Hannah Robinson, Nicola Robinson, Helen Sanders, Sonia Serrano, Tom Tipton, Anele Waters, Panagiota Zacharopoulou, Eleanor Barnes, Susanna Dunachie, Philip Goulder, Paul Klenerman, Gavin R. Screaton, Alan Winston, Adrian V.S. Hill, Sarah C. Gilbert, Miles Carroll, Andrew J. Pollard, Sarah Fidler, Julie Fox, Teresa Lambe, John Frater
Studying temporal gene expression shifts during disease progression provides important insights into the biological mechanisms that distinguish adaptive and maladaptive responses. Existing tools for the analysis of time course transcriptomic data are not designed to optimally identify distinct temporal patterns when analyzing dynamic differentially expressed genes (DDEGs). Moreover, there are not enough methods to assess and visualize the temporal progression of biological pathways mapped from time course transcriptomic data sets. In this study, we developed an open-source R package TrendCatcher (https://github.com/jaleesr/TrendCatcher), which applies the smoothing spline ANOVA model and break point searching strategy, to identify and visualize distinct dynamic transcriptional gene signatures and biological processes from longitudinal data sets. We used TrendCatcher to perform a systematic temporal analysis of COVID-19 peripheral blood transcriptomes, including bulk and single-cell RNA-Seq time course data. TrendCatcher uncovered the early and persistent activation of neutrophils and coagulation pathways, as well as impaired type I IFN (IFN-I) signaling in circulating cells as a hallmark of patients who progressed to severe COVID-19, whereas no such patterns were identified in individuals receiving SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations or patients with mild COVID-19. These results underscore the importance of systematic temporal analysis to identify early biomarkers and possible pathogenic therapeutic targets.
Xinge Wang, Mark A. Sanborn, Yang Dai, Jalees Rehman
Background Nonalcoholic fatty liver affects 25% to 30% of the US and European populations; is associated with insulin resistance (IR), type 2 diabetes, and increased cardiovascular risk; and is defined by hepatic triglyceride (HTG) content greater than 5.56%. However, it is unknown whether HTG content less than 5.56% is associated with cardiometabolic risk factors and whether there are ethnic (Asian Indian, AI, versus non-AI) and/or sex differences in these parameters in lean individuals.Methods We prospectively recruited 2331 individuals and measured HTG, using 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and plasma concentrations of triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, and uric acid. Insulin sensitivity was assessed using Homeostatic Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance and the Matsuda Insulin Sensitivity Index.Results The 95th percentile for HTG in lean non-AI individuals was 1.85%. Plasma insulin, triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and uric acid concentrations were increased and HDL-cholesterol was decreased in individuals with HTG content > 1.85% and ≤ 5.56% compared with those individuals with HTG content ≤ 1.85%, and these altered parameters were associated with increased IR. Mean HTG was lower in lean non-AI women compared with lean non-AI men, whereas lean AI men and women had a 40% to 100% increase in HTG when compared with non-AI men and women, which was associated with increased cardiometabolic risk factors.Conclusion We found that the 95th percentile of HTG in lean non-AI individuals was 1.85% and that HTG concentrations above this threshold were associated with IR and cardiovascular risk factors. Premenopausal women were protected from these changes whereas young, lean AI men and women manifested increased HTG content and associated cardiometabolic risk factors.Funding Grants from the United States Department of Health and Human Resources (NIH/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases): R01 DK113984, P30 DK45735, U24 DK59635, and UL1 RR024139; and the Novo Nordisk Foundation (NNF18CC0034900).
Kitt Falk Petersen, Sylvie Dufour, Fangyong Li, Douglas L. Rothman, Gerald I. Shulman
Background Responses of the metabolome to acute aerobic exercise may predict maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max) and longer-term outcomes, including the development of diabetes and its complications.Methods Serum samples were collected from overweight/obese trained (OWT) and normal-weight trained (NWT) runners prior to and immediately after a supervised 90-minute treadmill run at 60% VO2max (NWT = 14, OWT = 11) in a cross-sectional study. We applied a liquid chromatography high-resolution–mass spectrometry–based untargeted metabolomics platform to evaluate the effect of acute aerobic exercise on the serum metabolome.Results NWT and OWT metabolic profiles shared increased circulating acylcarnitines and free fatty acids (FFAs) with exercise, while intermediates of adenine metabolism, inosine, and hypoxanthine were strongly correlated with body fat percentage and VO2max. Untargeted metabolomics-guided follow-up quantitative lipidomic analysis revealed that baseline levels of fatty acid esters of hydroxy fatty acids (FAHFAs) were generally diminished in the OWT group. FAHFAs negatively correlated with visceral fat mass and HOMA-IR. Strikingly, a 4-fold decrease in FAHFAs was provoked by acute aerobic running in NWT participants, an effect that negatively correlated with circulating IL-6; these effects were not observed in the OWT group. Machine learning models based on a preexercise metabolite profile that included FAHFAs, FFAs, and adenine intermediates predicted VO2max.Conclusion These findings in overweight human participants and healthy controls indicate that exercise-provoked changes in FAHFAs distinguish normal-weight from overweight participants and could predict VO2max. These results support the notion that FAHFAs could modulate the inflammatory response, fuel utilization, and insulin resistance.Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02150889.Funding NIH DK091538, AG069781, DK098203, TR000114, UL1TR002494.
Alisa B. Nelson, Lisa S. Chow, David B. Stagg, Jacob R. Gillingham, Michael D. Evans, Meixia Pan, Curtis C. Hughey, Chad L. Myers, Xianlin Han, Peter A. Crawford, Patrycja Puchalska