Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) regulate immunity through myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) which are a heterogeneous population of immature myeloid cells with phenotypic and functional diversity. Herein, we identified a distinct subset of MDSCs induced by MSCs in the BM under inflammatory conditions. MSCs directed the differentiation of Ly6Glo BM cells from CD11bhiLy6Chi to CD11bmidLy6Cmid cells both in cell contact-independent and -dependent manners upon GM-CSF stimulation in vitro and in mice with experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis (EAU). RNA sequencing indicated that MSC-induced CD11bmidLy6CmidLy6Glo cells had a distinct transcriptome profile from CD11bhiLy6ChiLy6Glo cells. Phenotypic, molecular, and functional analyses showed that CD11bmidLy6CmidLy6Glo cells differed from CD11bhiLy6ChiLy6Glo cells by low expression of MHC class II, co-stimulatory molecules, and pro-inflammatory cytokines, high production of immunoregulatory molecules, indifference to LPS, and inhibition of T cell proliferation and activation. Consequently, adoptive transfer of MSC-induced CD11bmidLy6CmidLy6Glo cells significantly attenuated the development of EAU in mice. Further mechanistic study revealed that suppression of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and HGF secretion in MSCs by siRNA transfection partially reversed the effects of MSCs on MDSC differentiation. Altogether, data demonstrate that MSCs drive the differentiation of BM cells toward CD11bmidLy6CmidLy6Glo MDSCs in part through HGF and COX-2/PGE2, leading to resolution of ocular autoimmune inflammation.
Hyun Ju Lee, Jung Hwa Ko, Hyeon Ji Kim, Hyun Jeong Jeong, Joo Youn Oh
Alopecia areata (AA) is one of the most common autoimmune conditions, presenting initially with loss of hair without other overt skin changes. The unremarkable appearance of the skin surface contrasts with the complex immune activity occurring at the hair follicle. AA pathogenesis is due to the loss of immune privilege of the hair follicle leading to autoimmune attack. Although the literature has focused on CD8+ T cells, vital roles for CD4+ T cells and antigen-presenting cells have been suggested. Here, we use single-cell sequencing to reveal distinct expression profiles of immune cells in murine AA. We found clonal expansions of both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, with shared clonotypes across varied transcriptional states. The murine AA data were used to generate highly predictive models of human AA disease. Finally, single-cell sequencing of T cells in human AA recapitulated the clonotypic findings and the gene expression of the predictive models.
Nicholas Borcherding, Sydney B. Crotts, Luana S. Ortolan, Nicholas Henderson, Nicholas L. Bormann, Ali Jabbari
Allograft inflammatory factor-1 (AIF1) is a calcium-responsive cytoplasmic scaffold protein that directs hematopoiesis and immune responses within dendritic cells (DC) and macrophages. Although the role of AIF1 in transplant rejection and rheumatoid arthritis has been explored, little is known about its role in type 1 diabetes. Here, we show that in vivo silencing of AIF1 in NOD mice restrained infiltration of immune cells into the pancreas and inhibited diabetes incidence. Analyses of FACS-sorted CD45neg nonleukocyte populations from resected pancreatic islets showed markedly higher expression of insulin in the AIF1-silenced groups. Evaluation of CD45+ leukocytes revealed diminished infiltration of effector T cells and DC in the absence of AIF1. Transcriptional profiling further revealed a marked decrease in cDC1 DC-associated genes CD103, BATF3, and IRF8, which are required for orchestrating polarized type 1 immunity. Reduced T cell numbers within the islets were observed, with concomitant lower levels of IFN-γ and T-bet in AIF1-silenced cohorts. In turn, there was a reciprocal increase in functionally suppressive pancreas-resident CD25+Foxp3+CD4+ Tregs. Taken together, results show that AIF1 expression in myeloid cells plays a pivotal role in promoting type 1 diabetes and that its suppression restrains insulitis by shifting the immune microenvironment toward tolerance.
Diana M. Elizondo, Nailah Z.D. Brandy, Ricardo L. da Silva, Tatiana R. de Moura, Michael W. Lipscomb
Lupus nephritis, one of the most serious manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), has both a heterogeneous clinical and pathological presentation. For example, proliferative nephritis identifies a more aggressive disease class that requires immunosuppression. However, the current classification system relies on the static appearance of histopathological morphology which does not capture differences in the inflammatory response. Therefore, a biomarker grounded in the disease biology is needed to understand the molecular heterogeneity of lupus nephritis and identify immunologic mechanism and pathways. Here, we analyzed the patterns of 1000 urine protein biomarkers in 30 patients with active lupus nephritis. We found that patients stratify over a chemokine gradient inducible by interferon-gamma. Higher values identified patients with proliferative lupus nephritis. After integrating the urine proteomics with the single-cell transcriptomics of kidney biopsies, it was observed that the urinary chemokines defining the gradient were predominantly produced by infiltrating CD8 T cells, along with natural killer and myeloid cells. The urine chemokine gradient significantly correlated with the number of kidney-infiltrating CD8 cells. These findings suggest that urine proteomics can capture the complex biology of the kidney in lupus nephritis. Patient-specific pathways may be noninvasively tracked in the urine in real time, enabling diagnosis and personalized treatment.
Andrea Fava, Jill P. Buyon, Chandra Mohan, Ting Zhang, H. Michael Belmont, Peter Izmirly, Robert Clancy, Jose Monroy Trujillo, Derek M. Fine, Yuji Zhang, Laurence Magder, Deepak A. Rao, Arnon Arazi, Celine C. Berthier, Anne Davidson, Betty Diamond, Nir Hacohen, David Wofsy, William Apruzzese, The Accelerating Medicines Partnership, Soumya Raychaudhuri, Michelle Petri
Sjögren’s syndrome (SS) is a systemic autoimmune disease that mainly affects exocrine salivary and lacrimal glands. Local inflammation in the glands is thought to trigger glandular dysfunction and symptoms of dryness. However, the mechanisms underlying these processes are incompletely understood. Our work suggests T cell exosome–derived miR-142-3p as a pathogenic driver of immunopathology in SS. We first document miR-142-3p expression in the salivary glands of patients with SS, both in epithelial gland cells and within T cells of the inflammatory infiltrate, but not in healthy volunteers. Next, we show that activated T cells secreted exosomes containing miR-142-3p, which transferred into glandular cells. Finally, we uncover a functional role of miR-142-3p–containing exosomes in glandular cell dysfunction. We find that miR-142-3p targets key elements of intracellular Ca2+ signaling and cAMP production — sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase 2b (SERCA2B), ryanodine receptor 2 (RyR2), and adenylate cyclase 9 (AC9) — leading to restricted cAMP production, altered calcium signaling, and decreased protein production from salivary gland cells. Our work provides evidence for a functional role of the miR-142-3p in SS pathogenesis and promotes the concept that T cell activation may directly impair epithelial cell function through secretion of miRNA-containing exosomes.
Juan Cortes-Troncoso, Shyh-Ing Jang, Paola Perez, Jorge Hidalgo, Tomoko Ikeuchi, Teresa Greenwell-Wild, Blake M. Warner, Niki M. Moutsopoulos, Ilias Alevizos
Monocyte-derived DCs (moDCs) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of autoimmunity, but the molecular pathways determining the differentiation potential of these cells remain unclear. Here, we report that microRNA-148a (miR-148a) serves as a critical regulator for moDC differentiation. First, miR-148a deficiency impaired the moDC development in vitro and in vivo. A mechanism study showed that MAFB, a transcription factor that hampers moDC differentiation, was a direct target of miR-148a. In addition, a promoter study identified that miR-148a could be transcriptionally induced by PU.1, which is crucial for moDC generation. miR-148a ablation eliminated the inhibition of PU.1 on MAFB. Furthermore, we found that miR-148a increased in monocytes from patients with psoriasis, and miR-148a deficiency or intradermal injection of antagomir-148a immensely alleviated the development of psoriasis-like symptoms in a psoriasis-like mouse model. Therefore, these results identify a pivotal role for the PU.1-miR-148a-MAFB circuit in moDC differentiation and suggest a potential therapeutic avenue for autoimmunity.
Yao Meng, Jun Li, Zhizhong Ye, Zhihua Yin, Qing Sun, Zhuojun Liao, Guanhua Li, Jun Deng, Lu Liu, Yuqing Yu, Li Wu, Haibo Zhou, Nan Shen
In type 1 diabetes (T1D), autoimmune destruction of pancreatic β cells leads to insulin deficiency and loss of glycemic control. However, knowledge about human pancreas pathophysiology in T1D remains incomplete. To address this limitation, we established a pancreas tissue slice platform of donor organs with and without diabetes, facilitating the first live cell studies of human pancreas in T1D pathogenesis to our knowledge. We show that pancreas tissue slices from organ donors allow thorough assessment of processes critical for disease development, including insulin secretion, β cell physiology, endocrine cell morphology, and immune infiltration within the same donor organ. Using this approach, we compared detailed pathophysiological profiles for 4 pancreata from donors with T1D with 19 nondiabetic control donors. We demonstrate that β cell loss, β cell dysfunction, alterations of β cell physiology, and islet infiltration contributed differently to individual cases of T1D, allowing insight into pathophysiology and heterogeneity of T1D pathogenesis. Thus, our study demonstrates that organ donor pancreas tissue slices represent a promising and potentially novel approach in the search for successful prevention and reversal strategies of T1D.
Julia K. Panzer, Helmut Hiller, Christian M. Cohrs, Joana Almaça, Stephen J. Enos, Maria Beery, Sirlene Cechin, Denise M. Drotar, John R. Weitz, Jorge Santini, Mollie K. Huber, Mirza Muhammad Fahd Qadir, Ricardo L. Pastori, Juan Domínguez-Bendala, Edward A. Phelps, Mark A. Atkinson, Alberto Pugliese, Alejandro Caicedo, Irina Kusmartseva, Stephan Speier
The incidence of type 1 diabetes (T1D) has been increasing among children and adolescents, which environmental factors including gut microbiota play an important role. However, the underlying mechanisms are yet to be determined. Here, we show that patients with newly diagnosed T1D displayed not only a distinct profile of gut microbiota associated with decreased short-chain fatty acid (SCFAs) production, but also an altered IgA-mediated immunity compared with healthy control subjects. Using germ free (GF) non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice, we demonstrate that gut microbiota from patients with T1D promoted different IgA-mediated immune responses compared with healthy control gut microbiota. Treatment with the SCFA, acetate, reduced gut bacteria-induced IgA response accompanied by decreased severity of insulitis in NOD mice. Our study provides new insights into the functional effects of gut microbiota on inducing IgA immune response in T1D, suggesting that SCFAs might be potential therapeutic agents in T1D prevention and/or treatment.
Juan Huang, James A. Pearson, Jian Peng, Youjia Hu, Sha Sha, Yanpeng Xing, Gan Huang, Xia Li, Fang Hu, Zhiguo Xie, Yang Xiao, Shuoming Luo, Chen Chao, Florence S. Wong, Zhiguang Zhou, Li Wen
Systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (sJIA) begins with fever, rash, and high-grade systemic inflammation but commonly progresses to a persistent afebrile arthritis. The basis for this transition is unknown. To evaluate a role for lymphocyte polarization, we characterized T cells from patients with acute and chronic sJIA using flow cytometry, mass cytometry, and RNA sequencing. Acute and chronic sJIA each featured an expanded population of activated Tregs uncommon in healthy controls or in children with nonsystemic JIA. In acute sJIA, Tregs expressed IL-17A and a gene expression signature reflecting Th17 polarization. In chronic sJIA, the Th17 transcriptional signature was identified in T effector cells (Teffs), although expression of IL-17A at the protein level remained rare. Th17 polarization was abrogated in patients responding to IL-1 blockade. These findings identify evolving Th17 polarization in sJIA that begins in Tregs and progresses to Teffs, likely reflecting the impact of the cytokine milieu and consistent with a biphasic model of disease pathogenesis. The results support T cells as a potential treatment target in sJIA.
Lauren A. Henderson, Kacie J. Hoyt, Pui Y. Lee, Deepak A. Rao, A. Helena Jonsson, Jennifer P. Nguyen, Kayleigh Rutherford, Amélie M. Julé, Louis-Marie Charbonnier, Siobhan Case, Margaret H. Chang, Ezra M. Cohen, Fatma Dedeoglu, Robert C. Fuhlbrigge, Olha Halyabar, Melissa M. Hazen, Erin Janssen, Susan Kim, Jeffrey Lo, Mindy S. Lo, Esra Meidan, Mary Beth F. Son, Robert P. Sundel, Matthew L. Stoll, Chad Nusbaum, James A. Lederer, Talal A. Chatila, Peter A. Nigrovic
Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), a serine/threonine phosphatase, has been shown to control T cell function. We found that in vitro–activated B cells and B cells from various lupus-prone mice and patients with systemic lupus erythematosus display increased PP2A activity. To understand the contribution of PP2A to B cell function, we generated a Cd19CrePpp2r1afl/fl (flox/flox) mouse which lacks functional PP2A only in B cells. Flox/flox mice displayed reduced spontaneous germinal center formation and decreased responses to T cell-dependent and T-independent antigens, while their B cells responded poorly in vitro to stimulation with an anti-CD40 antibody or CpG in the presence of IL-4. Transcriptome and metabolome studies revealed altered nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and purine/pyrimidine metabolism and increased expression of purine nucleoside phosphorylase in PP2A-deficient B cells. Our results demonstrate that PP2A is required for optimal B cell function and may contribute to increased B cell activity in systemic autoimmunity.
Esra Meidan, Hao Li, Wenliang Pan, Michihito Kono, Shuilian Yu, Vasileios C. Kyttaris, Christina Ioannidis, Noe Rodriguez Rodriguez, Jose C. Crispin, Sokratis A. Apostolidis, Pui Lee, John Manis, Amir Sharabi, Maria G. Tsokos, George C. Tsokos
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