Interleukin-10 (IL-10) is a critical cytokine used by immune cells to suppress inflammation. Paradoxically, immune cell-derived IL-10 can drive insulin resistance in obesity by suppressing adipocyte energy expenditure and thermogenesis. However, the source of IL-10 necessary for the suppression of adipocyte thermogenesis is unknown. We show here that CD4+ Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) are a significant source of IL-10, and that Treg-derived IL-10 can suppress adipocyte beiging. Unexpectedly, Treg-specific loss of IL-10 resulted in increased insulin sensitivity and reduced obesity in high fat diet (HFD)-fed male mice. Mechanistically, we determined that Treg-specific loss of the transcription factor Blimp-1, a driver of IL-10 expression by Tregs, phenocopied the Treg-specific IL-10-deficient mice. Loss of Blimp-1 expression in Tregs resulted in reduced ST2+, KLRG1+, IL-10-secreting Tregs, particularly in the white adipose tissue. Blimp-1-deficient mice were protected from glucose intolerance, insulin resistance and diet-induced obesity (DIO), through increased white adipose tissue browning. Taken together, our data show that Blimp-1-regulated IL-10 secretion by Tregs represses white adipose tissue beiging to maintain adipose tissue homeostasis.
Lisa Y. Beppu, Raja Mooli, Xiaoyao Qu, Giovanni J. Marrero, Christopher A. Finley, Allen N. Fooks, Zackary P. Mullen, Adolfo B. Frias Jr., Ian J. Sipula, Bingxian Xie, Katherine E. Helfrich, Simon C. Watkins, Amanda C. Poholek, Sadeesh K. Ramakrishnan, Michael J. Jurczak, Louise M. D'Cruz
Aberrant activation of NLRP3 inflammasome has been implicated in a variety of human inflammatory diseases, however currently no pharmacological NLRP3 inhibitor has been approved in clinic. In this study, we showed that echinatin, the ingredient of the traditional herbal medicine licorice, effectively suppresses the activation of NLRP3 inflammasome in vitro and in vivo. Further investigation revealed that echinatin exerts its inhibitory effect on NLRP3 inflammasome by binding to heat-shock protein 90 (HSP90), inhibiting its ATPase activity, and disrupting the association between the cochaperone SGT1 and HSP90-NLRP3. Importantly, in vivo experiments demonstrated that administration of echinatin obviously inhibits NLRP3 inflammasome activation and ameliorates LPS-induced septic shock and DSS-induced colitis in mice. Moreover, echinatin exerted favorable pharmacological effects on liver inflammation and fibrosis in mouse model of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Collectively, our study identified echinatin as a novel inhibitor of NLRP3 inflammasome and may be developed as a potentially therapeutic approach for the treatment of NLRP3-driven diseases.
Guang Xu, Shubin Fu, Xiaoyan Zhan, Zhilei Wang, Ping Zhang, Wei Shi, Nan Qin, Yuanyuan Chen, Chunyu Wang, Ming Niu, Yuming Guo, Jia-bo Wang, Zhaofang Bai, Xiaohe Xiao
Tumor antigen-specific CD4 T cells accumulate at tumor sites evoking their involvement in antitumor effector functions in situ. Contrarily to CD8 cytotoxic T-lymphocyte exhaustion, that of CD4 T cells remains poorly appreciated. Here, using phenotypic, transcriptomic and functional approaches, we characterized CD4 T-cell exhaustion in head and neck, cervical and ovarian cancer patients. We identified a CD4 tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) population, defined by high PD-1 and CD39 expression, which contained high proportions of cytokine-producing cells, although the quantity of cytokines produced by these cells was low evoking an exhausted state. Terminal exhaustion of CD4 TILs was instated regardless of TIM-3 expression suggesting divergence with CD8 T-cell exhaustion. ScRNA-Seq and further phenotypic analyses uncovered, however, similarities with the CD8 T-cell exhaustion program. In particular, PD-1hiCD39+ CD4 TILs expressed the exhaustion transcription factor TOX and the chemokine CXCL13 and were tumor antigen-specific. In vitro, PD-1 blockade enhanced CD4 TIL activation, as evidenced by increased CD154 expression and cytokine secretion, leading to improved dendritic cell maturation and consequently to higher tumor-specific CD8 T-cell proliferation. Our data identify CD4 TIL exhaustion as a player of responsiveness to immune checkpoint blockade.
Camille-Charlotte Balança, Anna Salvioni, Clara-Maria Scarlata, Marie Michelas, Carlos Martinez-Gomez, Carlos Gomez-Roca, Victor Sarradin, Marie Tosolini, Carine Valle, Frédéric Pont, Gwénaël Ferron, Laurence Gladieff, Sébastien Vergez, Agnès Dupret-Bories, Eliane Mery, Philippe Rochaix, Jean-Jacques Fournié, Jean-Pierre Delord, Christel Devaud, Alejandra Martinez, Maha Ayyoub
Limited experimental evidence bridges nutrition and cancer immunosurveillance. Here, we show that ketogenic diet (KD) or its principal ketone body, 3-hydroxybutyrate (3HB), most specifically in an intermittent scheduling, induced T cell-dependent tumor growth retardation of aggressive tumor models. In conditions in which anti-PD-1, alone or in combination with anti-CTLA-4, failed to reduce tumor growth in mice receiving a standard diet, KD or oral supplementation of 3HB reestablished therapeutic responses. Supplementation of KD with sucrose (which breaks ketogenesis, abolishing 3HB production) or with a pharmacological antagonist of the 3HB receptor GPR109A abolished the antitumor effects. Mechanistically, 3HB prevented the ICB-linked upregulation of PD-L1 on myeloid cells while favoring the expansion of CXCR3+ T cells. KD induced compositional changes of the gut microbiota with distinct species such as Eisenbergiella massiliensis commonly emerging in mice and humans subjected to carbohydrate low diet interventions and highly correlating with serum concentrations of 3HB. Altogether, these results demonstrate that KD induces a 3HB-mediated antineoplastic effect that relies on T-cell mediated cancer immunosurveillance.
Gladys Ferrere, Maryam Tidjani Alou, Peng Liu, Anne-Gaëlle Goubet, Marine Fidelle, Oliver Kepp, Sylvère Durand, Valerio Iebba, Aurélie Fluckiger, Romain Daillère, Cassandra Thelemaque, Claudia Grajeda-Iglesias, Carolina Alves Costa Silva, Fanny Aprahamian, Deborah Lefevre, Liwei Zhao, Bernhard Ryffel, Emeline Colomba, Monica Arnedos, Damien Drubay, Conrad Rauber, Didier Raoult, Francesco Asnicar, Tim Spector, Nicola Segata, Lisa Derosa, Guido Kroemer, Laurence Zitvogel.
Management of Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) has been revolutionized by the identification of activating mutations in KIT and PDGFRA and clinical application of receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) inhibitors in advanced disease. Stratification of GIST into molecularly defined subsets provides insight into clinical behavior and response to approved targeted therapies. Although these RTK inhibitors are effective in most GIST, resistance remains a significant clinical problem. Development of effective treatment strategies for refractory GIST requires identification of novel targets to provide additional therapeutic options. Global kinome profiling has potential to identify critical signaling networks and reveal protein kinases essential in GIST. Using Multiplexed Inhibitor Beads and Mass Spectrometry, we explored the majority of the kinome in GIST specimens from the three most common molecular subtypes (KIT-mutant, PDGFRA-mutant, Succinate dehydrogenase (SDH)-deficient) to identify novel kinase targets. Kinome profiling with loss-of-function assays identified an important role for G2-M tyrosine kinase, Wee1, in GIST cell survival. In vitro and in vivo studies revealed significant efficacy of MK-1775 (Wee1 inhibitor) in combination with avapritinib in KIT and PDGFRA-mutant GIST cell lines, and notable efficacy of MK-1775 as a monotherapy in the PDGFRA-mutant line. These studies provide strong preclinical justification for the use of MK-1775 in GIST.
Shuai Ye, Dinara Sharipova, Marya Kozinova, Lillian R. Klug, Jimson W. D'Souza, Martin G. Belinsky, Katherine J. Johnson, Margret B. Einarson, Karthik Devarajan, Yan Zhou, Samuel Litwin, Michael C. Heinrich, Ronald P. DeMatteo, Margaret von Mehren, James S. Duncan, Lori Rink
Immune dysfunction is an important factor driving mortality and adverse outcomes after trauma but remains poorly understood, especially at cellular level. To deconvolute trauma-induced immune response, we applied single-cell RNA sequencing to circulating and bone marrow mononuclear cells in injured mice and circulating mononuclear cells in trauma patients. In mice, the greatest changes in gene expression were seen in monocytes across both compartments. After systemic injury, the gene expression pattern of monocytes markedly deviated from steady state with corresponding changes in critical transcription factors (TFs), which can be traced back to myeloid progenitors. These changes were largely recapitulated in human single-cell analysis. We generalized the major changes in human CD14+ monocytes into six signatures, which further defined two trauma patient subtypes (SG1 vs. SG2) identified in the whole blood leukocyte transcriptome in the initial 12h after injury. Compared with SG2, SG1 patients exhibited delayed recovery, more severe organ dysfunction and a higher incidence of infection and non-infectious complications. The two patient subtypes were also recapitulated in burn and sepsis patients, revealing a shared pattern of immune response across critical illness. Our data will be broadly useful to further explore the immune response to inflammatory diseases and critical illness.
Tianmeng Chen, Matthew J. Delano, Kong Chen, Jason L. Sperry, Rami A. Namas, Ashley J. Lamparello, Meihong Deng, Julia Conroy, Lyle L. Moldawer, Philip A. Efron, Patricia A. Loughran, Christopher W. Seymour, Derek C. Angus, Yoram Vodovotz, Wei Chen, Timothy R. Billiar
The G/T transversion, rs35705950, located approximately 3 kb upstream of the MUC5B start site, is the cardinal risk factor for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Here, we investigate the function and chromatin structure of this -3 kb region and provide evidence that it functions as a classically defined enhancer subject to epigenetic programming. We use nascent transcript analysis to show that RNA polymerase II loads within 10 bp of the G/T transversion site, definitively establishing enhancer function for the region. By integrating Assay for Transposase-Accessible Chromatin using sequencing (ATAC-seq) analysis of fresh and cultured human airway epithelial cells with nuclease sensitivity data, we demonstrate that this region is in accessible chromatin that affects the expression of MUC5B. Through applying paired single nucleus RNA- and ATAC-seq to frozen tissue from IPF lungs, we extend these findings directly to disease, with results indicating that epigenetic programming of the -3 kb enhancer in IPF occurs in both MUC5B-expressing and non-expressing lineages. In aggregate, our results indicate that the MUC5B-associated variant, rs35705950, resides within an enhancer that is subject to epigenetic remodeling and contributes to pathologic misexpression in IPF.
Fabienne Gally, Sarah K. Sasse, Jonathan Kurche, Margaret A. Gruca, Jonathan H. Cardwell, Tsukasa Okamoto, Hong Wei Chu, Xiaomeng Hou, Olivier Poirion, Justin Buchanan, Sebastian Preissl, Bing Ren, Sean P. Colgan, Robin D. Dowell, Ivana V. Yang, David A. Schwartz, Anthony N. Gerber
Transient partial remission, a period of low insulin requirement experienced by most patients soon after diagnosis has been associated with mechanisms of immune regulation. A better understanding of such natural mechanisms of immune regulation might identify new targets for immunotherapies that reverse T1D. In this study, using Cox model multivariate analysis we validate our previous findings that patients (n = 84) with the highest frequency of CD4+ CD25+CD127hi (127-hi) cells at diagnosis experience the longest partial remission and we show that the 127-hi cell population is a mix of Th1- and Th2-type cells with a significant bias towards anti-inflammatory Th2-type cells. In addition, we extend these findings to show that patients with the highest frequency of 127-hi cells at diagnosis are significantly more likely to maintain beta-cell function. Moreover, in patients treated with Alefacept in the TIDAL clinical trial, the probability of responding favorably to the anti-inflammatory drug was significantly higher in those with a higher frequency of 127-hi cells at diagnosis than those with a lower 127-hi cell frequency. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that 127-hi cells maintain an anti-inflammatory environment that is permissive for partial remission, beta-cell survival and response to anti-inflammatory immunotherapy.
Aditi Narsale, Breanna Lam, Rosita Moya, TingTing Lu, Alessandra Mandelli, Irene Gotuzzo, Benedetta Pessina, Gian Maria Giamporcaro, Rhonda Geoffrey, Kerry Buchanan, Mark Harris, Anne-Sophie Bergot, Ranjeny Thomas, Martin J. Hessner, Manuela Battaglia, Elisavet Serti, Joanna D. Davies
Psychological stress affects maternal gastrointestinal (GI) permeability, leading to low-grade inflammation which can impact negatively on fetal development. We investigated a panel of circulating markers as a biological signature of this stress exposure in pregnant women with and without the stress-related GI disorder irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Markers of GI permeability and inflammation were measured in plasma from healthy (n = 104) and IBS cohorts (n = 105) of women at 15- and 20-weeks’ gestation. Biomarkers were evaluated with respect to their degree of association to levels of stress, anxiety and depression as indicated by responses from the Perceived Stress Scale, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. High levels of stress were associated with elevations of soluble CD14, lipopolysaccharide binding protein (LBP) and tumour necrosis factor-α, while anxiety associated with elevated concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP) in otherwise healthy pregnancies. Prenatal depression was associated with higher levels of soluble CD14, LBP and CRP in the healthy cohort. High levels of prenatal anxiety and depression were also associated with lower concentrations of tryptophan and kynurenine respectively in the IBS cohort. These markers may represent a core maternal biological signature of active prenatal stress which can be used to inform intervention strategies via stress reduction techniques or other lifestyle approaches. Such interventions may need to be tailored to reflect underlying GI conditions such as IBS.
James M. Keane, Ali S. Khashan, Fergus P. McCarthy, Louise C. Kenny, James M. Collins, Sarah M. O’Donovan, Jillian R.M. Brown, John F. Cryan, Timothy G. Dinan, Gerard Clarke, Siobhain M. O'Mahony
The pathogenesis of preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy remains poorly-defined despite the substantial burden of maternal and neonatal morbidity associated with these conditions. In particular, the role of genetic variants as determinants of disease susceptibility remains unknown. Storkhead-box protein 1 (STOX1) was first identified as a preeclampsia risk gene through family-based genetic linkage studies in which loss-of-function variants were proposed to underlie increased preeclampsia susceptibility. We generated a genetic Stox1 loss-of-function mouse model (Stox1 KO), to evaluate whether STOX1 regulates blood pressure in pregnancy. Pregnant Stox1 KO mice developed gestational hypertension evidenced by a significant increase in blood pressure compared with wild type by E17.5. While severe renal, placental, or fetal growth abnormalities were not observed, the Stox1 KO phenotype was associated with placental vascular and extracellular matrix abnormalities. Mechanistically, we found that gestational hypertension in Stox1 KO mice resulted from activation of the uteroplacental renin-angiotensin system. We confirmed this mechanism by showing that treatment of pregnant Stox1 KO mice with an angiotensin II receptor blocker rescued the phenotype. Our study demonstrates the utility of genetic mouse models for uncovering links between genetic variants and effector pathways implicated in the pathogenesis of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.
Jacqueline G. Parchem, Keizo Kanasaki, Soo Bong Lee, Megumi Kanasaki, Joyce L. Yang, Yong Xu, Kadeshia M. Earl, Rachel A. Keuls, Vincent H. Gattone, Raghu Kalluri
COPD is a chronic respiratory disease characterized by small airway remodeling and alveolar emphysema due to environmental stresses such as cigarette smoking (CS). Oxidative stress is commonly implicated in COPD pathology, but recent findings suggest that one oxidant-producing NADPH oxidase homolog, dual oxidase 1 (DUOX1), is downregulated in the airways of COPD patients. We evaluated lung tissue sections from COPD patients for small airway epithelial DUOX1 protein expression, in association with measures of lung function and small airway and alveolar remodeling. We also addressed the impact of DUOX1 for lung tissue remodeling in mouse models of COPD. Small airway DUOX1 levels were decreased in advanced COPD, and correlated with loss of lung function and markers of emphysema and remodeling. Similarly, DUOX1 downregulation in correlation with extracellular matrix remodeling was observed in a genetic model of COPD, transgenic SPC-TNF-α mice. Finally, development of subepithelial airway fibrosis in mice due to exposure to the CS-component acrolein, or alveolar emphysema induced by administration of elastase, were in both cases exacerbated in Duox1-deficient mice. Collectively, our studies highlight that downregulation of DUOX1 may be a contributing feature of COPD pathogenesis, likely related to impaired DUOX1-mediated innate injury responses involved in epithelial homeostasis.
Caspar Schiffers, Cheryl van de Wetering, Robert A. Bauer, Aida Habibovic, Milena Hristova, Christopher M. Dustin, Sara Lambrichts, Pamela M. Vacek, Emiel F.M. Wouters, Niki L. Reynaert, Albert van der Vliet
Background. Neuronal hyper-excitability characterizes the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In animals, early misfolded tau and amyloid-beta (Aβ) protein accumulation, both central to AD neuropathology, promote cortical excitability and neuronal network dysfunction. In healthy humans, misfolded tau and Aβ aggregates are first detected, respectively, in the brainstem and frontomedial and temporobasal cortices, decades prior to the onset of AD cognitive symptoms. Whether cortical excitability is related to early brainstem tau, and its associated neuroinflammation, and cortical Aβ aggregations remains unknown. Methods. We probed frontal cortex excitability, using transcranial magnetic stimulation combined with electroencephalography, in a sample of 64 healthy late middle-aged individuals (50-69 y; 45 women). We assessed whole-brain [18F]THK5351 positron emission tomography (PET) uptake as a proxy measure of tau/neuroinflammation, and whole-brain Aβ burden with [18F]Flutemetamol or [18F]Florbetapir radiotracers. Results. We find that higher [18F]THK5351 uptake in a brainstem monoaminergic compartment is associated with increased cortical excitability (r = .29, p = .02). By contrast, [18F]THK5351 PET signal in the hippocampal formation, although strongly correlated with brainstem signal in whole-brain voxel-based quantification analyses (pFWE-corrected < .001), was not significantly associated with cortical excitability (r = .14, p = .25). Importantly, no significant association was found between early Aβ cortical deposits and cortical excitability (r = -.20, p = .11). Conclusion. These findings reveal potential brain substrates for increased cortical excitability in preclinical AD and may constitute functional in vivo correlates of early brainstem tau accumulation and neuroinflammation in humans. Trial registration. EudraCT 2016-001436-35. Funding. F.R.S.-FNRS Belgium, Wallonie-Bruxelles International, ULiège, Fondation Simone et Pierre Clerdent, European Regional Development Fund.
Maxime Van Egroo, Daphne O. Chylinski, Justinas Narbutas, Gabriel Besson, Vincenzo Muto, Christina Schmidt, Davide Marzoli, Paolo Cardone, Nora Vandeleene, Martin Grignard, André Luxen, Eric Salmon, Christian Lambert, Christine Bastin, Fabienne Collette, Christophe Phillips, Pierre Maquet, Mohamed Ali Bahri, Evelyne Balteau, Gilles Vandewalle
The pathogenesis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) involves aberrant responses to cellular stress caused by chronic cigarette smoke (CS) exposure. However, not all smokers develop COPD and the critical mechanisms that regulate cellular stress responses to increase COPD susceptibility are not understood. Because microRNAs are well-known regulators of cellular stress responses, we evaluated microRNA expression arrays performed on distal parenchymal lung tissue samples from 172 subjects with and without COPD. We identified miR-24-3p as the microRNA that best correlated with radiographic emphysema (ρ=-0.353, P=1.3e-04), and validated this finding in multiple cohorts. In a CS-exposure mouse model, inhibition of miR-24-3p increased susceptibility to apoptosis, including alveolar type II epithelial cell (AECII) apoptosis, and emphysema severity. In lung epithelial cells, miR-24-3p suppressed apoptosis through the BH3-only protein BIM and suppressed homology-directed DNA repair and the DNA repair protein BRCA1. Finally, we found BIM and BRCA1 are increased in COPD lung tissue, and BIM and BRCA1 expression inversely correlate with miR-24-3p. We concluded that miR-24-3p, a regulator of the cellular response to DNA damage, is decreased in COPD, and decreased miR-24-3p increases susceptibility to emphysema through increased BIM and apoptosis.
Jessica Nouws, Feng Wan, Eric Finnemore, Willy Roque, So-Jin Kim, Isabel S. Bazan, Chuan-Xing Li, C. Magnus Sköld, Qile Dai, Xiting Yan, Maurizio Chioccioli, Veronique Neumeister, Clemente J. Britto, Joann Sweasy, Ranjit S. Bindra, Åsa M. Wheelock, Jose L. Gomez, Naftali Kaminski, Patty J. Lee, Maor Sauler
Extra-pulmonary manifestations of COVID-19 are associated with a much higher mortality rate. Yet, little is known about the pathogenesis of systemic complications of COVID-19. Here, we create a murine model of SARS-CoV-2 induced severe systemic toxicity and multi-organ involvement by expressing the human ACE2 transgene in multiple tissues via viral delivery followed by systemic administration of SARS-CoV-2. The animals develop a profound phenotype within 7 days with severe weight loss, morbidity and failure to thrive. We demonstrate there is metabolic suppression of oxidative phosphorylation and the tri-carboxylic acid (TCA) cycle in multiple organs with neutrophilia, lymphopenia and splenic atrophy mirroring human COVID-19 phenotypes. Animals had a significantly lower heart rate and electron microscopy demonstrated myofibrillar disarray and myocardial edema, a common pathogenic cardiac phenotype in human COVID-19. We perform metabolomic profiling of peripheral blood and identify a panel of TCA cycle metabolites that serve as biomarkers of depressed oxidative phosphorylation. Finally, we observed that SARS-CoV-2 induces epigenetic changes of DNA methylation, that affects expression of immune response genes and could in part contribute to COVID-19 pathogenesis. Our model suggests that SARS-CoV-2 induced metabolic reprogramming and epigenetic changes in internal organs could contribute to systemic toxicity and lethality in COVID-19.
Shen Li, Feiyang Ma, Tomohiro Yokota, Gustavo Garcia Jr., Amelia Palermo, Yijie Wang, Colin Farrell, Yu-Chen Wang, Rimao Wu, Zhiqiang Zhou, Calvin Pan, Marco Morselli, Michael A. Teitell, Sergey Ryazantsev, Gregory A. Fishbein, Johanna ten Hoeve, Valerie A. Arboleda, Joshua Bloom, Barbara J. Dillon, Matteo Pellegrini, Aldons J. Lusis, Thomas G. Graeber, Vaithilingaraja Arumugaswami, Arjun Deb