Rituximab, a B cell-depleting therapy, is indicated for treating a growing number of autoantibody-mediated autoimmune disorders. However, relapses can occur after treatment and autoantibody-producing B cell subsets may be found during relapses. It is not understood if these autoantibody-producing B cell subsets emerge from the failed depletion of pre-existing B cells or are generated de novo. To further define the mechanisms that cause post-rituximab relapse, we studied patients with autoantibody-mediated muscle-specific kinase (MuSK) myasthenia gravis (MG) who relapsed after treatment. We carried out single-cell transcriptional and B cell receptor (BCR) profiling on longitudinal B cell samples. We identified clones present prior to therapy that continued to persist during relapse. Persistent B cell clones included both antibody-secreting cells and memory B cells characterized by gene expression signatures associated with B cell survival. A subset of persistent antibody-secreting cells and memory B cells were specific for the MuSK autoantigen. These results demonstrate that rituximab is not fully effective at eliminating autoantibody-producing B cells and provide a mechanistic understanding of post-rituximab relapse in MuSK MG.
Ruoyi Jiang, Miriam L. Fichtner, Kenneth B. Hoehn, Minh C. Pham, Panos Stathopoulos, Richard J. Nowak, Steven H. Kleinstein, Kevin C. O'Connor
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) is a lethal malignancy that has no effective treatment. The tumor microenvironment (TME) of PDA employs a multitude of immune derangement strategies to protect PDA from immune elimination. Tumor associated macrophages (TAMs) have been implicated in pathogenesis of immune suppression of PDA-TME, however, its underlying mechanisms remained largely unknown. Using primary patient samples, our studies showed that in comparison with macrophages isolated from normal pancreatic tissues, the phagocytosis activity of PDA-TAM is significantly reduced. We found that the expression of homeobox protein VentX, a master regulator of macrophage plasticity, is significantly decreased in the PDA-TAMs. We demonstrated that VentX is required for phagocytosis and that restoration of VentX expression in PDA-TAMs promotes phagocytosis through regulating the signaling cascades involved in the process. Using an ex-vivo culture model of primary human PDA, we showed that VentX-modulated-TAMs transformed PDA-TME from a pro-tumor milieu to an anti-tumor microenvironment by rectifying differentiation, proliferation and activation of PDA-infiltrating immune cells. Using NSG-PDX models of primary human PDAs, we showed that VentX-modulated-TAMs exert strong inhibition on PDA tumorigenesis in vivo. Taken together, our data revealed a central mechanism underlying immune evasion of PDA and a potential novel venue to improve PDA prognosis.
Yi Le, Hong Gao, William G. Richards, Lei Zhao, Ronald Bleday, Thomas Clancy, Zhenglun Zhu
T follicular helper (Tfh) cell migration into germinal centers (GC) is essential for the generation of GC B cells and antibody responses to T dependent (TD) antigens. This process requires interactions between LFA-1 on Tfh cells and ICAMs on B cells. The mechanisms underlying defective antibody responses to TD antigens in DOCK8 deficiency are incompletely understood. We show that mice selectively lacking DOCK8 in T cells have impaired IgG antibody responses to TD antigens, decreased GC size, and reduced numbers of GC B cells. However, they develop normal numbers of Tfh cells with intact capacity for driving B cell differentiation into a GC phenotype in vitro. Notably, migration of DOCK8 deficient T cells into GCs is defective. Following TCR/CD3 ligation, DOCK8 deficient T cells have impaired LFA-1 activation and reduced binding to ICAM-1. DOCK8 is important for LFA1-dependent positioning of Tfh cells in GCs, and thereby the generation of GC B cells and IgG antibody responses to TD antigen.
Erin Janssen, Mira Tohme, Jordan Butts, Sophie S.B. Giguere, Peter T. Sage, Francisco E. Velázquez, Christy Kam, Elena Milin, Mrinmoy Das, Ali Sobh, Salem Al-Tamemi, Francis W. Luscinskas, Facundo Batista, Raif S. Geha
Reprogramming of host metabolism supports viral pathogenesis by fueling viral proliferation, by providing, for example, free amino acids and fatty acids as building blocks. To investigate metabolic effects of SARS-COV-2 infection, we evaluated serum metabolites of COVID-19 patients (n = 33; diagnosed by nucleic acid testing), as compared to COVID-19-negative controls (n = 16). Targeted and untargeted metabolomics analyses identified altered tryptophan metabolism into the kynurenine pathway, which regulates inflammation and immunity. Indeed, these changes in tryptophan metabolism correlated with interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels. Widespread dysregulation of nitrogen metabolism was also seen in infected patients, with altered levels of most amino acids, along with increased markers of oxidant stress (e.g., methionine sulfoxide, cystine), proteolysis, and renal dysfunction (e.g., creatine, creatinine, polyamines). Increased circulating levels of glucose and free fatty acids were also observed, consistent with altered carbon homeostasis. Interestingly, metabolite levels in these pathways correlated with clinical laboratory markers of inflammation (i.e., IL-6 and C-reactive protein) and renal function (i.e., blood urea nitrogen). In conclusion, this initial observational study identified amino acid and fatty acid metabolism as correlates of COVID-19, providing mechanistic insights, potential markers of clinical severity, and potential therapeutic targets.
Tiffany Thomas, Davide Stefanoni, Julie A. Reisz, Travis Nemkov, Lorenzo Bertolone, Richard O. Francis, Krystalyn E. Hudson, James C. Zimring, Kirk C. Hansen, Eldad A. Hod, Steven L. Spitalnik, Angelo D’Alessandro
COVID-19, the disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has resulted in a global pandemic and a disruptive health crisis. COVID-19-related morbidity and mortality has been attributed to an exaggerated immune response. The role of complement activation and its contribution to illness severity is being increasingly recognized. Here, we summarize current knowledge about the interaction of coronaviruses with the complement system. We posit that: (a) coronaviruses activate multiple complement pathways; (b) severe COVID-19 clinical features often resemble complementopathies; (c) the combined effects of complement activation, dysregulated neutrophilia, endothelial injury, and hypercoagulability appear to be intertwined to drive the severe features of COVID-19; (d) a subset of patients with COVID-19 may have a genetic predisposition associated with complement dysregulation; and (e) these observations create a basis for clinical trials of complement inhibitors in life-threatening illness.
Anuja Java, Anthony J. Apicelli, M. Kathryn Liszewski, Ariella Coler-Reilly, John P. Atkinson, Alfred H.J. Kim, Hrishikesh S. Kulkarni
The acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) results from overwhelming pulmonary inflammation. Prior bulk RNA sequencing provided limited insights into ARDS pathogenesis. We used single cell RNA sequencing to probe ARDS at a higher resolution. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells of patients with pneumonia and sepsis with early ARDS were compared to that of sepsis patients who did not develop ARDS. Monocyte clusters from ARDS patients revealed multiple distinguishing characteristics in comparison to monocytes from patients without ARDS including down-regulation of SOCS3 expression accompanied by a pro-inflammatory signature with up-regulation of multiple type I IFN-induced genes, especially in CD16+ cells. To generate an ARDS risk score, we identified up-regulation of 29 genes in the monocytes of these patients, and 17 showed a similar profile in cells of patients in independent cohorts. Monocytes had increased expression of RAB11A, known to inhibit neutrophil efferocytosis, ATP2B1, a calcium pump that exports Ca2+ implicated in endothelial barrier disruption, and SPARC, associated with processing of pro-collagen to collagen. These data show that monocytes of ARDS patients up-regulate expression of genes not just restricted to those associated with inflammation. Together, our findings identify molecules that are likely involved in ARDS pathogenesis that may inform biomarker and therapeutic development.
Yale Jiang, Brian R. Rosborough, Jie Chen, Sudipta Das, Georgios D. Kitsios, Bryan J. McVerry, Rama K. Mallampalli, Janet S. Lee, Anuradha Ray, Wei Chen, Prabir Ray
Background Currently recommended traditional spirometry outputs do not reflect their relative contributions to airflow, and we hypothesized that machine learning algorithms can be trained on spirometry data to identify these structural phenotypes. Methods Participants enrolled in a large multicenter study (COPDGene) were included. The data points from expiratory flow-volume curves were trained using a deep learning model to predict structural phenotypes of COPD on computed tomography (CT), and results were compared with traditional spirometry metrics and an optimized random forest classifier. Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) and weighted F-score were used to measure the discriminative accuracy of a fully convolutional neural network, Random Forest, and traditional spirometry metrics to phenotype CT as normal, emphysema-predominant (>5% emphysema), airway-predominant (Pi10>median), and mixed phenotypes. Similar comparisons were made for the detection of functional small airway disease phenotype (fSAD>20% on parametric response mapping). Results Among 8,980 individuals, neural network was more accurate in discriminating predominant emphysema/airway phenotypes (AUC 0.80, 95%CI 0.79-0.81) than traditional measures of spirometry, FEV1/FVC (AUC 0.71, 95%CI 0.69-0.71) and FEV1 %predicted (AUC 0.70, 95%CI 0.68-0.71) ), and random forest classifier (AUC 0.78, 95%CI 0.77-0.79). The neural network was also more accurate in discriminating predominant emphysema/small airway phenotypes (AUC 0.91, 95%CI 0.90-0.92) than FEV1/FVC (AUC 0.80, 95%CI 0.78-0.82), FEV1 %predicted (AUC 0.83, 95%CI 0.80-0.84), and with comparable accuracy with random forest classifier (AUC 0.90, 95%CI 0.88-0.91). Conclusions Structural phenotypes of COPD can be identified from spirometry using deep learning and machine learning approaches, demonstrating their potential to identify individuals for targeted therapies.
Sandeep Bodduluri, Arie Nakhmani, Joseph M. Reinhardt, Carla G. Wilson, Merry-Lynn N. McDonald, Ramaraju Rudraraju, Byron C Jaeger, Nirav R. Bhakta, Peter J. Castaldi, Frank C. Sciurba, Chengcui Zhang, Purushotham V. Bangalore, Surya P. Bhatt
Expression of immune checkpoint ligands (ICLs) is necessary to trigger the inhibitory signal via immune checkpoint receptors (ICRs) in exhausted T cells under tumor immune microenvironment. Nevertheless, ICL expression profile in cancer patients has not been investigated. Using previously reported RNA-seq datasets, we found that expression of ICLs was patient-specific but their co-expression can be patterned in non-small-cell lung cancers (NSCLCs). Since the expressions of PD-L1 and PVR among various ICLs were independently regulated, we could stratify the patients, who were treated with anti-PD-1 later, into four groups according to the expression level of PD-L1 and PVR. Of interest, high PVR and low PVR expressions in PD-L1-expressing patients enriched non-responders and responders to PD-1 blockade, respectively, helping in further selection of responders. Using genetically engineered cancer model, we also found that PVR-deficient and PD-L1-sufficient tumor-bearing mice were highly sensitive to anti-PD-1 therapy, whereas PVR-sufficient and PD-L1-deficient tumor-bearing mice were resistant to anti-PD-1 therapy. Taken together, our study provides a concept that combinatorial expression patterns of PVR and PD-L1 are a key determinant for PD-1 blockade and furthermore suggest a better therapeutic usage of immune checkpoint blockades (ICBs).
Bo Ryeong Lee, Sehyun Chae, Jihyun Moon, Myeong Joon Kim, Hankyu Lee, Hyuk Wan Ko, Byoung Chul Cho, Hyo Sup Shim, Daehee Hwang, Hye Ryun Kim, Sang-Jun Ha
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb)-specific T cell responses associated with immune control during asymptomatic latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) remain poorly understood. Using a non-human primate (NHP) aerosol model, we studied the kinetics, phenotypes and functions of Mtb antigen-specific T cells in peripheral and lung compartments of Mtb-infected asymptomatic rhesus macaques by longitudinally sampling blood and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), for up to 24 weeks post-infection. We found significantly higher frequencies of Mtb-specific effector and memory CD4 and CD8 T cells producing IFN-γ in the airways compared to peripheral blood, which were maintained throughout the study period. Moreover, Mtb-specific IL-17+ and IL-17/IFN-γ double-positive T cells were present in the airways but were largely absent in the periphery, suggesting that balanced mucosal Th1/Th17 responses are associated with LTBI. The majority of Mtb-specific CD4 T cells that homed to the airways expressed the chemokine receptor CXCR3 and co-expressed CCR6. Notably, CXCR3+CD4+ cells were found in granulomatous and non-granulomatous regions of the lung and inversely correlated with Mtb burden. Our findings provide novel insights into antigen-specific T cell responses associated with asymptomatic Mtb infection that are relevant for developing better strategies to control TB
Uma Shanmugasundaram, Allison N. Bucsan, Shashank R. Ganatra, Chris Ibegbu, Melanie Quezada, Robert V. Blair, Xavier Alvarez, Vijayakumar Velu, Deepak Kaushal, Jyothi Rengarajan
Infective endocarditis is a life-threatening infection of heart valves and adjacent structures characterized by vegetations on valves and other endocardial surfaces, with tissue destruction and risk of embolization. We used high-resolution mass spectrometry to define the proteome of staphylococcal and non-staphylococcal vegetations and Terminal Amine Isotopic Labeling of Substrates (TAILS) to define their proteolytic landscapes. These approaches identified over 2000 human proteins in staphylococcal and non-staphylococcal vegetations. Individual vegetation proteomes demonstrated comparable profiles of quantitatively major constituents that overlapped with serum, platelet and neutrophil proteomes. Staphylococcal vegetation proteomes resembled each other more than the proteomes of non-staphylococcal vegetations. TAILS demonstrated extensive proteolysis within vegetations, with numerous previously undescribed cleavages. Several proteases and pathogen-specific proteins, including virulence factors were identified in most vegetations. Proteolytic peptides in fibronectin and complement C3 were identified as potential infective endocarditis biomarkers. Overlap of staphylococcal and non-staphylococcal vegetation proteomes suggests a convergent thrombotic and immune response to endocardial infection by diverse pathogens. However, the differences between staphylococcal and non-staphylococcal vegetations and internal variance within the non-staphylococcal group indicates that additional pathogen- or patient-specific effects exist. Pervasive proteolysis of vegetation components may arise from vegetation-intrinsic proteases and destabilize vegetations, contributing to embolism.
Daniel R. Martin, James C. Witten, Carmela D. Tan, E. Rene Rodriguez, Eugene H. Blackstone, Gosta Pettersson, Deborah E. Seifert, Belinda Willard, Suneel Apte
HIV-1 remains incurable due to the persistence of proviral DNA integrated into host cells, providing a reservoir for viral rebound upon cessation of antiretroviral therapy (ART). There is evidence for sex-based differences in HIV-1 immune responses and pathogenesis, but little is known about differences in HIV-1 persistence. To address this knowledge gap, we quantified persistent HIV-1 in 90 adults on suppressive ART in Rakai, Uganda (57 females). Total HIV-1 DNA was quantified by PCR and replication competent provirus by the quantitative viral outgrowth assay (QVOA). Immune phenotyping of T cell subsets and plasma biomarkers was also performed. We found that while both sexes had similar levels of total HIV DNA, females had significantly fewer cells harboring replication-competent virus, as measured by viral outgrowth in the QVOA. Predictors of viral outgrowth differed by sex; notably, frequency of PD-1+ CD4 T cells correlated with reservoir size in males, but not females. The sex-based differences in HIV-1 persistence observed in this cohort warrant additional research, especially given the widespread use of the QVOA to assess reservoir size and current explorations of PD-1 agonists in cure protocols. Efforts should be made to power future cure studies to assess outcomes in both males and females.
Jessica L. Prodger, Adam A. Capoferri, Katherine Yu, Jun Lai, Steven J. Reynolds, Jingo Kasule, Taddeo Kityamuweesi, Paul Buule, David Serwadda, Kyungyoon J. Kwon, Katherine Schlusser, Craig Martens, Eileen P. Scully, Yun-Hee Choi, Andrew D. Redd, Thomas C. Quinn
Off-tumor targeting of human antigens is difficult to predict in preclinical animal studies and can lead to serious adverse effects in patients. To address this, we developed a mouse model with stable and tunable human HER2 (hHER2) expression on normal hepatic tissue and compared toxicity between affinity-tuned HER2 CAR T cells (CARTs). In mice with hHER2-high livers, both the high-affinity (HA) and low-affinity (LA) CARTs caused lethal liver damage due to immunotoxicity. Mice with hHER2-low livers, LA-CARTs exhibited less liver damage and lower systemic levels of IFN-γ than HA-CARTs. We then compared affinity-tuned CARTs for their ability to control a hHER2-positive tumor xenograft in our model. Surprisingly, the LA-CARTs outperformed the HA-CARTs with superior antitumor efficacy in vivo. We hypothesized that this was due in part to T cell trafficking differences between LA and HA-CARTs and found that the LA-CARTs migrated out of the liver and infiltrated the tumor sooner than the HA-CARTs. These findings highlight the importance of T cell targeting in reducing toxicity of normal tissue and also in preventing off-tumor sequestration of CARTs, which reduces their therapeutic potency. Our model may be useful to evaluate various CARTs that have conditional expression of more than one scFv.
Mauro Castellarin, Caroline Sands, Tong Da, John Scholler, Kathleen Graham, Elizabeth Buza, Joseph A. Fraietta, Yangbing Zhao, Carl H. June
Following myocardial infarction (MI), the adult heart has minimal regenerative potential. Conversely, the neonatal heart can undergo extensive regeneration, and neovascularisation capacity was hypothesised to contribute to this difference. Here, we demonstrate the higher angiogenic potential of neonatal compared to adult mouse cardiac endothelial cells (MCECs) in vitro and use this difference to identify candidate microRNAs (miRs) regulating cardiac angiogenesis after MI. MiR expression profiling revealed miR-96 and miR-183 upregulation in adult compared to neonatal MCECs. Their overexpression decreased the angiogenic potential of neonatal MCECs in vitro and prevented scar resolution and neovascularisation in neonatal mice after MI. Inversely, their inhibition improved the angiogenic potential of adult MCECs, and miR-96/miR-183 knock-out mice had increased peri-infarct neovascularisation. In silico analyses identified anillin (ANLN) as a direct target of miR-96 and miR-183. In agreement, Anln expression declined following their overexpression and increased after their inhibition in vitro. Moreover, ANLN expression inversely correlated with miR-96 expression and age in cardiac ECs of cardiovascular patients. In vivo, ANLN-positive vessels were enriched in the peri-infarct area of miR-96/miR-183 knock-out mice. These findings identify miR-96 and miR-183 as regulators of neovascularisation following MI and miR-regulated genes such as anillin as potential therapeutic targets for cardiovascular disease.
Raphael F.P. Castellan, Milena Vitiello, Martina Vidmar, Steven Johnstone, Dominga Iacobazzi, David Mellis, Benjamin Cathcart, Adrian JW Thomson, Christiana Ruhrberg, Massimo Caputo, David E. Newby, Gillian A. Gray, Andrew Howard Baker, Andrea Caporali, Marco Meloni
Free light chains (FLCs) induce inflammatory pathways in proximal tubule cells (PTCs). The role of toll-like receptors (TLR) in these responses is unknown. Here we present findings on the role of TLRs in FLC-induced PTC injury. We exposed human kidney PTC cultures to κ and λ FLCs, and used cell supernatants and pellets for ELISA and gene expression studies. We also analyzed tissues from Stat1–/– and littermate control mice treated with daily intraperitoneal injections of a κ-FLC for 10 days. FLCs increased the expression of TLRs 2, 4, 6 via HMGB1, a damage-associated molecular pattern. Countering TLRs 2, 4, and 6 through GIT-27 or specific TLR-siRNAs reduced downstream cytokine responses. Blocking HMGB1 through siRNA or pharmacologic inhibition, or via STAT1 inhibition reduced FLC-induced TLRs 2, 4, and 6 expression. Blocking endocytosis of FLCs through silencing of megalin/cubilin, with bafilomycin-A1, or hypertonic sucrose attenuated FLC-induced cytokine responses in PTCs. Immunohistochemistry showed decreased TLR 4 and 6 expression in kidney sections from Stat1–/– mice compared to their littermate controls. PTCs exposed to FLCs released HMGB1, which induced TLRs 2, 4, 6 expression and downstream inflammation. Blocking FLCs’ endocytosis, Stat1 knock-down, HMGB1 inhibition, and TLR knock-down each rescued PTCs from FLC-induced injury.
Rohit Upadhyay, Wei-Zhong Ying, Zannatul Nasrin, Hana Safah, Edgar A. Jaimes, Wenguang Feng, Paul W. Sanders, Vecihi Batuman
Wnt/β-catenin signaling is active in small subpopulations of Ewing sarcoma cells and these cells display a more metastatic phenotype, in part due to antagonism of EWS-FLI1-dependent transcriptional activity. Importantly, these β-catenin-activated Ewing cells also alter secretion of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. We thus hypothesized that, in addition to cell autonomous mechanisms, Wnt/β-catenin-active tumor cells might contribute to disease progression by altering the tumor microenvironment (TME). Analysis of transcriptomic data from primary patient biopsies and from β-catenin-active versus non-active tumor cells identified angiogenic switch genes as being highly and reproducibly upregulated in the context of β-catenin activation. In addition, in silico and in vitro analyses, along with chorioallantoic membrane assays, demonstrated that β-catenin-activated Ewing cells secrete factors that promote angiogenesis. In particular, activation of canonical Wnt signaling leads Ewing sarcoma cells to upregulate expression and secretion of pro-angiogenic ECM proteins, collectively termed the angiomatrix. Significantly, our data show that induction of the angiomatrix by Wnt-responsive tumor cells is indirect and is mediated by TGF-β. Mechanistically, Wnt/β-catenin signaling antagonizes EWS-FLI1-dependent repression of TGFBR2, thereby sensitizing tumor cells to TGF-β ligands. Together these findings suggest that Wnt/β-catenin active tumor cells can contribute to Ewing sarcoma progression by promoting angiogenesis in the local TME.
Allegra G. Hawkins, Elisabeth A. Pedersen, Sydney Treichel, Kelsey Temprine, Colin Sperring, Jay A. Read, Brian Magnuson, Rashmi Chugh, Elizabeth R. Lawlor
Alcoholic liver disease is a spectrum of liver disorders with histopathological changes ranging from simple steatosis, steatohepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Recent data suggest that chronic-plus-binge ethanol intake induces steatohepatitis by promoting hepatocytes to release proinflammatory mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)-enriched extracellular vesicles (EVs). The aim of this study was to investigate the role of the stress kinase apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38) in chronic-plus-binge ethanol-induced steatohepatitis and mtDNA-enriched EV release. Microarray analysis revealed the highest hepatic upregulation of metallothionein 1/2 (Mt1/2) which encode two most potent antioxidant proteins. Genetic deletion of the Mt1/2 gene aggravated ethanol-induced liver injury, as evidenced by elevation of serum ALT, neutrophil infiltration, oxidative stress and ASK1/p38 activation in the liver. Inhibition or genetic deletion of the Ask1 or p38 ameliorated ethanol-induced liver injury, inflammation, reactive oxygen species levels, and expression of phagocytic oxidase and ER stress markers in the liver. In addition, inhibition of ASK1 or p38 also attenuated ethanol-induced mtDNA-enriched EV secretion from hepatocytes. Taken together, these findings indicate that induction of hepatic mtDNA-enriched EVs by ethanol is dependent on ASK1 and p38, thereby promoting alcoholic steatohepatitis.
Jing Ma, Haixia Cao, Robim M. Rodrigues, Mingjiang Xu, Tianyi Ren, Yong He, Seonghwan Hwang, Dechun Feng, Ruixue Ren, Peixin Yang, Suthat Liangpunsakul, Jian Sun, Bin Gao
During the growth of lymphatic vessels (lymphangiogenesis), lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) at the growing front sprout by forming filopodia. Those tip cells are not exposed to circulating lymph, as they are not lumenized. In contrast, LECs that trail the growing front are exposed to shear stress, become quiescent and remodel into stable vessels. The mechanisms that coordinate the opposed activities of lymphatic sprouting and maturation remain poorly understood. Here we show that the canonical tip cell marker Delta-Like 4 (DLL4) promotes sprouting lymphangiogenesis by enhancing Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor C (VEGF-C) /VEGF Receptor 3 (VEGFR3) signaling. However, in lumenized lymphatic vessels laminar shear stress (LSS) inhibits the expression of DLL4, as well as additional tip cell markers. Paradoxically, LSS also upregulates VEGF-C/VEGFR3 signaling in LECs, but sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptor 1 (S1PR1) activity antagonizes LSS-mediated VEGF-C signaling to promote lymphatic vascular quiescence. Correspondingly, S1pr1 loss in LECs induced lymphatic vascular hypersprouting and hyperbranching, which could be rescued by reducing Vegfr3 gene dosage in vivo. In addition, S1PR1 regulates lymphatic vessel maturation by inhibiting RhoA activity to promote membrane localization of the tight junction molecule Claudin-5. Our findings suggest a new paradigm in which LSS induces quiescence and promotes the survival of LECs by downregulating DLL4 and enhancing VEGF-C signaling, respectively. S1PR1 dampens LSS/VEGF-C signaling, thereby preventing sprouting from quiescent lymphatic vessels. These results also highlight the distinct roles that S1PR1 and DLL4 play in LECs when compared to their known roles in the blood vasculature.
Xin Geng, Keisuke Yanagida, Racheal G. Akwii, Dongwon Choi, Lijuan Chen, YenChun Ho, Boksik Cha, Md. Riaj Mahamud, Karen Berman de Ruiz, Hirotake Ichise, Hong Chen, Joshua Wythe, Constantinos M. Mikelis, Timothy Hla, R. Sathish Srinivasan
BACKGROUND. The numbers of fatal cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) continue to increase rapidly around the world. We aim to retrospectively investigate potential roles of factors, mainly immunologic parameters, in early predicting outcomes of patients with COVID-19. METHODS. A total of 1,018 patients confirmed COVID-19 were enrolled in our retrospective study from two centers. The data of clinical features, laboratory tests, immunological tests, radiological findings, and outcomes were collected. Univariate and multivariable logistic regression analysis were performed to evaluate factors associated with in-hospital mortality. Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves and survival curves were plotted to evaluate the clinical usefulness. RESULTS. Compared to the survival patients, the counts of all T lymphocytes subsets were markedly lower in non-survivors(P < 0.001), especially in CD8+ T cells (96.89 vs 203.98 cells/μl, P < 0.001) . Among all tested cytokines, IL-6 elevated most significantly with an upward trend of more than ten times (56.16 vs 5.36 pg/mL, P < 0.001). By a multivariable logistic regression analysis, two immunological indicators were found to be associated with in-hospital mortality, including IL-6 > 20 pg/mL (OR = 9.781; 95%CI, 6.304–15.174; P < 0.001) and CD8+ T cell count < 165 cells/μl (OR = 5.930; 95%CI, 3.677–9.562; P < 0.001), after adjusting confounding factors (age, gender, and underlying diseases). All the patients were divided into four groups according to levels of IL-6 and CD8+ T cells. The group with IL-6 > 20 pg/mL and CD8+ T cell count < 165 cells/μl had more old and male patients, as well as more proportion of patients with comorbidities, ventilation, ICU admission, shock, and death than those of any other group (P < 0.001). Furthermore, the ROC curve of the model combining IL-6 (>20 pg/mL) and CD8+ T cell count(<165 cells/μl) displayed more favorable discrimination than that of CURB-65 score (area under curve (AUC) = 0.907 vs 0.843, P < 0.001). Hosmer-Lemeshow test showed a good fitting of the model with no statistical significance (P = 0.581). CONCLUSIONS. We firstly identify two reliable prognostic indicators, IL-6 (>20 pg/mL) and CD8+ T cell count (<165 cells/μl), which can accurately stratify patients into risk categories and predict mortality of patients with COVID-19. Those two indicators combined may guide clinicians to evaluate patient prognosis and make appropriate decisions.
Miao Luo, Jing Liu, Weiling Jiang, Shuang Yue, Huiguo Liu, Shuang Wei
Patients with hereditary or acquired hemolytic anemias have a high risk of developing in-situ thrombosis of the pulmonary vasculature. While pulmonary thrombosis is a major morbidity associated with hemolytic disorders, the etiological mechanism underlying hemolysis-induced pulmonary thrombosis remains largely unknown. Here, we use intravital lung microscopy in mice for the first time to assess the pathogenesis of pulmonary thrombosis following deionized-water induced acute intravascular hemolysis. Acute hemolysis triggered the development of αIIbβ3-dependent platelet-rich thrombi in precapillary pulmonary arterioles, which led to the transient impairment of pulmonary blood flow. The hemolysis-induced pulmonary thrombosis was phenocopied with intravenous ADP- but not thrombin-triggered pulmonary thrombosis. Consistent with a mechanism involving ADP release from hemolyzing erythrocytes, the inhibition of platelet-P2Y12 purinergic-receptor signaling attenuated pulmonary thrombosis and rescued blood flow in the pulmonary arterioles of mice following intravascular hemolysis. These findings are the first in vivo studies to suggest that acute intravascular hemolysis promotes ADP-dependent platelet activation leading to thrombosis in the pre-capillary pulmonary arterioles and that thrombin generation most likely does not play a significant role in the pathogenesis of acute hemolysis-triggered pulmonary thrombosis.
Tomasz Brzoska, Ravi Vats, Margaret F. Bennewitz, Egemen Tutuncuoglu, Simon C. Watkins, Margaret V. Ragni, Matthew D. Neal, Mark T. Gladwin, Prithu Sundd
Musculoskeletal disorders represent the 3rd greatest burden on health in the developed world. Osteoarthritis is the single greatest cause of chronic pain, has no cure, and affects 8.5 and 27 million in the UK and US respectively. Osteoarthritis commonly occurs after joint injury, particularly affecting younger patients. Painful joints are often treated with injections of steroid or hyaluronic acid (HA), but treatments to prevent subsequent joint degeneration remain elusive. In animals, joint injury increases glutamate release into the joint, acting on nerves to cause pain, and joint tissues to cause inflammation and degeneration. This study investigated synovial fluid glutamate concentrations and glutamate receptor (GluR) expression in injured human joints and compared efficacy of GluR antagonists with current treatments in a mouse model of injury-induced osteoarthritis (ACL rupture). GluRs were expressed in ligament and meniscus after knee injury and synovial fluid glutamate concentrations ranged from 19–129 µM. Intra-articular injection of NBQX (GluR antagonist), administered at the time of injury, substantially reduced swelling and degeneration in the mouse ACL rupture model. HA had no effect and depo-medrone reduced swelling for 1 day, but increased degeneration by 50%. Intra-articular administration of NBQX was both symptom and disease modifying to a greater extent than current treatments. There is an opportunity for repurposing related drugs, developed for CNS disorders, with proven safety in man, to prevent injury-induced osteoarthritis. This could quickly reduce the substantial burden associated with osteoarthritis.
Cleo S. Bonnet, Sophie J. Gilbert, Emma J. Blain, Anwen S. Williams, Deborah J. Mason