Impaired tolerance to innocuous particles during allergic asthma has been linked to increased plasticity of FoxP3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) reprogramming into pathogenic effector cells, thus exacerbating airway disease. However, failure of tolerance mechanisms is driven by Th2 inflammatory signals. Therefore, the in vivo role of canonical IL-4 receptor α (IL-4Rα) signaling, an essential driver of Th2-type airway responses to allergens, on the regulatory function of FoxP3+ Tregs in allergic asthma was explored. Here, we used transgenic Foxp3cre IL-4Rα–/lox and littermate control mice to investigate the role of IL-4 and IL-13 signaling via Tregs in house dust mite–induced (HDM-induced) allergic airway disease. We sensitized mice intratracheally on day 0, challenged them on days 6–10, and analyzed airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), airway inflammation, mucus production, and cellular profile on day 14. In the absence of IL-4Rα responsiveness on FoxP3+ Tregs, exacerbated AHR and airway inflammation were shown in HDM-sensitized mice. Interestingly, reduced induction of FoxP3+ Tregs accompanied increased IL-33 alarmin production and type 2 innate lymphoid cell activation in the lung, exacerbating airway hyperreactivity and lung eosinophilia. Taken together, our findings indicate that IL-4Rα–unresponsive FoxP3+ Tregs result in exaggerated innate Th2-type, IL-33–dependent airway inflammation and a break in tolerance during allergic asthma.
Jermaine Khumalo, Frank Kirstein, Sabelo Hadebe, Frank Brombacher
Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is an important mediator of extracellular matrix–integrin mechano-signal transduction that regulates cell motility, survival, and proliferation. As such, FAK is being investigated as a potential therapeutic target for malignant and fibrotic diseases, and numerous clinical trials of FAK inhibitors are underway. The function of FAK in nonmalignant, nonmotile epithelial cells is not well understood. We previously showed that hepatocytes demonstrated activated FAK near stiff collagen tracts in fibrotic livers. In this study, we examined the role of liver epithelial FAK by inducing fibrotic liver disease in mice with liver epithelial FAK deficiency. We found that mice that lacked FAK in liver epithelial cells developed more severe liver injury and worse fibrosis as compared with controls. Increased fibrosis in liver epithelial FAK-deficient mice was linked to the activation of several profibrotic pathways, including the hedgehog/smoothened pathway. FAK-deficient hepatocytes produced increased Indian hedgehog in a manner dependent on matrix stiffness. Furthermore, expression of the hedgehog receptor, smoothened, was increased in macrophages and biliary cells of hepatocyte-specific FAK-deficient fibrotic livers. These results indicate that liver epithelial FAK has important regulatory roles in the response to liver injury and progression of fibrosis.
Yun Weng, Tyler J. Lieberthal, Vivian X. Zhou, Maya Lopez-Ichikawa, Manuel Armas-Phan, Tristan K. Bond, Miya C. Yoshida, Won-Tak Choi, Tammy T. Chang
In the aging population, lower urinary tract (LUT) dysfunction is common and often leads to storage and voiding difficulties classified into overlapping symptom syndromes. Despite prevalence and consequences of these syndromes, LUT disorders continue to be undertreated simply because there are few therapeutic options. LUT function and structure were assessed in aged (>25 months) male and female Fischer 344 rats randomized to oral treatment with a purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNPase inhibitor) 8-aminoguanine (8-AG) or vehicle for 6 weeks. The bladders of aged rats exhibited multiple abnormalities: tactile insensitivity, vascular remodeling, reduced collagen-fiber tortuosity, increased bladder stiffness, abnormal smooth muscle morphology, swelling of mitochondria, and increases in urodamaging purine metabolites. Treatment of aged rats with 8-AG restored all evaluated histological, ultrastructural, and physiological abnormalities toward that of a younger state. 8-AG is an effective treatment that ameliorates key age-related structural and physiologic bladder abnormalities. Because PNPase inhibition blocks metabolism of inosine to hypoxanthine and guanosine to guanine, likely uroprotective effects of 8-AG are mediated by increased bladder levels of uroprotective inosine and guanosine and reductions in urodamaging hypoxanthine and xanthine. These findings demonstrate that 8-AG has translational potential for treating age-associated LUT dysfunctions and resultant syndromes in humans.
Lori A. Birder, Amanda Wolf-Johnston, Alan J. Wein, Fangzhou Cheng, Mara Grove-Sullivan, Anthony J. Kanai, Alan M. Watson, Donna Stoltz, Simon C. Watkins, Anne M. Robertson, Diane Newman, Roger R. Dmochowski, Edwin K. Jackson
The ability of HDL to inhibit inflammation in adipocytes and adipose tissue is reduced when HDL contains serum amyloid A (SAA) that is trapped by proteoglycans at the adipocyte surface. Because we recently found that the major extracellular matrix proteoglycan produced by hypertrophic adipocytes is versican, whereas activated adipose tissue macrophages produce mainly biglycan, we further investigated the role of proteoglycans in determining the antiinflammatory properties of HDL. The distributions of versican, biglycan, apolipoprotein A1 (the major apolipoprotein of HDL), and SAA were similar in adipose tissue from obese mice and obese human subjects. Colocalization of SAA-enriched HDL with versican and biglycan at the cell surface of adipocyte and peritoneal macrophages, respectively, was blocked by silencing these proteoglycans, which also restored the antiinflammatory property of SAA-enriched HDL despite the presence of SAA. Similar to adipocytes, normal HDL exerted its antiinflammatory function in macrophages by reducing lipid rafts, reactive oxygen species generation, and translocation of Toll-like receptor 4 and NADPH oxidase 2 into lipid rafts, effects that were not observed with SAA-enriched HDL. These findings imply that SAA present in HDL can be trapped by adipocyte-derived versican and macrophage-derived biglycan, thereby blunting HDL’s antiinflammatory properties.
Chang Yeop Han, Inkyung Kang, Mohamed Omer, Shari Wang, Tomasz Wietecha, Thomas N. Wight, Alan Chait
Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic skin disorder of unknown etiology that manifests as recurrent, painful lesions. Cutaneous dysbiosis and unresolved inflammation are hallmarks of active HS, but their origin and interplay remain unclear. Our metabolomic profiling of HS skin revealed an abnormal induction of the kynurenine pathway of tryptophan catabolism in dermal fibroblasts, correlating with the release of kynurenine pathway–inducing cytokines by inflammatory cell infiltrates. Notably, overactivation of the kynurenine pathway in lesional skin was associated with local and systemic depletion in tryptophan. Yet the skin microbiota normally degrades host tryptophan into indoles regulating tissue inflammation via engagement of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR). In HS skin lesions, we detected contextual defects in AHR activation coinciding with impaired production of bacteria-derived AHR agonists and decreased incidence of AHR ligand-producing bacteria in the resident flora. Dysregulation of tryptophan catabolism at the skin-microbiota interface thus provides a mechanism linking the immunological and microbiological features of HS lesions. In addition to revealing metabolic alterations in patients with HS, our study suggests that correcting AHR signaling would help restore immune homeostasis in HS skin.
Laure Guenin-Macé, Jean-David Morel, Jean-Marc Doisne, Angèle Schiavo, Lysiane Boulet, Véronique Mayau, Pedro Goncalves, Sabine Duchatelet, Alain Hovnanian, Vincent Bondet, Darragh Duffy, Marie-Noëlle Ungeheuer, Maïa Delage, Aude Nassif, James P. Di Santo, Caroline Demangel
Recently programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) receptor PD-1 was found in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, and PD-L1 activates PD-1 to inhibit inflammatory and neuropathic pain by modulating neuronal excitability. However, the downstream signaling of PD-1 in sensory neurons remains unclear. Here, we show that PD-L1 activated Src homology 2 domain-containing tyrosine phosphatase-1 (SHP-1) to downregulate transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) in DRG neurons and inhibit bone cancer pain in mice. Local injection of PD-L1 produced analgesia. PD-1 in DRG neurons colocalized with TRPV1 and SHP-1. PD-L1 induced the phosphorylation of SHP-1 in DRG TRPV1 neurons and inhibited TRPV1 currents. Loss of TRPV1 in mice abolished bone cancer–induced thermal hyperalgesia and PD-L1 analgesia. Conditioned deletion of SHP-1 in NaV1.8+ neurons aggravated bone cancer pain and diminished the inhibition of PD-L1 on TRPV1 currents and pain. Together, our findings suggest that PD-L1/PD-1 signaling suppresses bone cancer pain via inhibition of TRPV1 activity. Our results also suggest that SHP-1 in sensory neurons is an endogenous pain inhibitor and delays the development of bone cancer pain via suppressing TRPV1 function.
Ben-Long Liu, Qi-Lai Cao, Xin Zhao, Hui-Zhu Liu, Yu-Qiu Zhang
Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is often associated with sarcomere protein mutations that confer reduced myofilament tension–generating capacity. We demonstrated that cardiac twitch tension-time integrals can be targeted and tuned to prevent DCM remodeling in hearts with contractile dysfunction. We employed a transgenic murine model of DCM caused by the D230N-tropomyosin (Tm) mutation and designed a sarcomere-based intervention specifically targeting the twitch tension-time integral of D230N-Tm hearts using multiscale computational models of intramolecular and intermolecular interactions in the thin filament and cell-level contractile simulations. Our models predicted that increasing the calcium sensitivity of thin filament activation using the cardiac troponin C (cTnC) variant L48Q can sufficiently augment twitch tension-time integrals of D230N-Tm hearts. Indeed, cardiac muscle isolated from double-transgenic hearts expressing D230N-Tm and L48Q cTnC had increased calcium sensitivity of tension development and increased twitch tension-time integrals compared with preparations from hearts with D230N-Tm alone. Longitudinal echocardiographic measurements revealed that DTG hearts retained normal cardiac morphology and function, whereas D230N-Tm hearts developed progressive DCM. We present a computational and experimental framework for targeting molecular mechanisms governing the twitch tension of cardiomyopathic hearts to counteract putative mechanical drivers of adverse remodeling and open possibilities for tension-based treatments of genetic cardiomyopathies.
Joseph D. Powers, Kristina B. Kooiker, Allison B. Mason, Abigail E. Teitgen, Galina V. Flint, Jil C. Tardiff, Steven D. Schwartz, Andrew D. McCulloch, Michael Regnier, Jennifer Davis, Farid Moussavi-Harami
Ischemia/reperfusion-induced edema (IRE), one of the most significant causes of mortality after lung transplantation, can be mimicked ex vivo in isolated perfused mouse lungs (IPL). Transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) is a nonselective cation channel studied in endothelium; however, its role in the lung epithelium remains elusive. Here, we show enhanced IRE in TRPV4-deficient (TRPV4–/–) IPL compared with that of WT controls, indicating a protective role of TRPV4 in maintenance of the alveolar epithelial barrier. By immunohistochemistry, mRNA profiling, and electrophysiological characterization, we detected TRPV4 in bronchial epithelium, alveolar epithelial type I (ATI), and alveolar epithelial type II (ATII) cells. Genetic ablation of TRPV4 resulted in reduced expression of the water-conducting aquaporin-5 (AQP-5) channel in ATI cells. Migration of TRPV4–/– ATI cells was reduced, and cell barrier function was impaired. Analysis of isolated primary TRPV4–/– ATII cells revealed a reduced expression of surfactant protein C, and the TRPV4 activator GSK1016790A induced increases in current densities only in WT ATII cells. Moreover, TRPV4–/– lungs of adult mice developed significantly larger mean chord lengths and altered lung function compared with WT lungs. Therefore, our data illustrate essential functions of TRPV4 channels in alveolar epithelial cells and in protection from edema formation.
Jonas Weber, Suhasini Rajan, Christian Schremmer, Yu-Kai Chao, Gabriela Krasteva-Christ, Martina Kannler, Ali Önder Yildirim, Monika Brosien, Johann Schredelseker, Norbert Weissmann, Christian Grimm, Thomas Gudermann, Alexander Dietrich
A critical response to lysosomal membrane permeabilization (LMP) is the clearance of damaged lysosomes through a selective form of macroautophagy known as lysophagy. Although regulators of this process are emerging, whether organ- and cell-specific components contribute to the control of lysophagy remains incompletely understood. Here, we examined LMP and lysophagy in Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) disease, an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by the accumulation of unesterified cholesterol within late endosomes and lysosomes, leading to neurodegeneration and early death. We demonstrated that NPC human fibroblasts show enhanced sensitivity to lysosomal damage as a consequence of lipid storage. Moreover, we described a role for the glycan-binding F-box protein 2 (Fbxo2) in CNS lysophagy. Fbxo2 functions as a component of the S phase kinase-associated protein 1–cullin 1–F-box protein (SKP1-CUL1-SCF) ubiquitin ligase complex. Loss of Fbxo2 in mouse primary cortical cultures delayed clearance of damaged lysosomes and decreased viability after lysosomal damage. Moreover, Fbxo2 deficiency in a mouse model of NPC exacerbated deficits in motor function, enhanced neurodegeneration, and reduced survival. Collectively, our data identified a role for Fbxo2 in CNS lysophagy and establish its functional importance in NPC.
Elaine A. Liu, Mark L. Schultz, Chisaki Mochida, Chan Chung, Henry L. Paulson, Andrew P. Lieberman
ZIP8 is a metal transporter with a role in manganese (Mn) homeostasis. A common genetic variant in ZIP8 (rs13107325; A391T) ranks in the top 10 of pleiotropic SNPs identified in GWAS; A391T has associations with an increased risk of schizophrenia, obesity, Crohn’s disease, and reduced blood Mn. Here, we used CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knockin (KI) to generate a mouse model of ZIP8 A391T (Zip8 393T-KI mice). Recapitulating the SNP association with blood Mn, blood Mn was reduced in Zip8 393T-KI mice. There was restricted abnormal tissue Mn homeostasis, with decreases in liver and kidney Mn and a reciprocal increase in biliary Mn, providing in vivo evidence of hypomorphic Zip8 function. Upon challenge in a chemically induced colitis model, male Zip8 393T-KI mice exhibited enhanced disease susceptibility. ZIP8 391-Thr associated with reduced triantennary plasma N-glycan species in a population-based cohort to define a genotype-specific glycophenotype hypothesized to be linked to Mn-dependent glycosyltransferase activity. This glycophenotype was maintained in a cohort of patients with Crohn’s disease. These data and the pleiotropic disease associations with ZIP8 391-Thr suggest underappreciated roles of Mn homeostasis in complex human disease.
Laxmi Sunuwar, Azra Frkatović, Sodbo Sharapov, Qinchuan Wang, Heather M. Neu, Xinqun Wu, Talin Haritunians, Fengyi Wan, Sarah Michel, Shaoguang Wu, Mark Donowitz, Dermot McGovern, Gordan Lauc, Cynthia Sears, Joanna Melia
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