Lipin 1 is a bifunctional protein that is a transcriptional regulator and has phosphatidic acid (PA) phosphohydrolase activity, which dephosphorylates PA to generate diacylglycerol. Human lipin 1 mutations lead to episodic rhabdomyolysis, and some affected patients exhibit cardiac abnormalities, including exercise-induced cardiac dysfunction and cardiac triglyceride accumulation. Furthermore, lipin 1 expression is deactivated in failing heart, but the effects of lipin 1 deactivation in myocardium are incompletely understood. We generated mice with cardiac-specific lipin 1 KO (cs-Lpin1–/–) to examine the intrinsic effects of lipin 1 in the myocardium. Cs-Lpin1–/– mice had normal systolic cardiac function but mild cardiac hypertrophy. Compared with littermate control mice, PA content was higher in cs-Lpin1–/– hearts, which also had an unexpected increase in diacylglycerol and triglyceride content. Cs-Lpin1–/– mice exhibited diminished cardiac cardiolipin content and impaired mitochondrial respiration rates when provided with pyruvate or succinate as metabolic substrates. After transverse aortic constriction–induced pressure overload, loss of lipin 1 did not exacerbate cardiac hypertrophy or dysfunction. However, loss of lipin 1 dampened the cardiac ionotropic response to dobutamine and exercise endurance in association with reduced protein kinase A signaling. These data suggest that loss of lipin 1 impairs cardiac functional reserve, likely due to effects on glycerolipid homeostasis, mitochondrial function, and protein kinase A signaling.
Kari T. Chambers, Michael A. Cooper, Alison R. Swearingen, Rita T. Brookheart, George G. Schweitzer, Carla J. Weinheimer, Attila Kovacs, Timothy R. Koves, Deborah M. Muoio, Kyle S. McCommis, Brian N. Finck
Chagas disease is caused by infection with the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi), an intracellular pathogen that causes significant morbidity and death among millions in the Americas from Canada to Argentina. Current therapy involves oral administration of the nitroimidazole benznidazole (BNZ), which has serious side effects that often necessitate cessation of treatment. To both avoid off-target side effects and reduce the necessary dosage of BNZ, we packaged the drug within poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(propylene sulfide) polymersomes (BNZ-PSs). We show that these vesicular nanocarriers enhanced intracellular delivery to phagocytic cells and tested this formulation in a mouse model of T. cruzi infection. BNZ-PS is not only nontoxic but also significantly more potent than free BNZ, effectively reducing parasitemia, intracellular infection, and tissue parasitosis at a 466-fold lower dose of BNZ. We conclude that BNZ-PS was superior to BNZ for treatment of T. cruzi infection in mice and that further modifications of this nanocarrier formulation could lead to a wide range of custom controlled delivery applications for improved treatment of Chagas disease in humans.
Xiaomo Li, Sijia Yi, Débora B. Scariot, Santiago J. Martinez, Ben A. Falk, Cheryl L. Olson, Patricia S. Romano, Evan A. Scott, David M. Engman
Trained immunity, induced by β-glucan in monocytes, is mediated by activating metabolic pathways that result in epigenetic rewiring of cellular functional programs; however, molecular mechanisms underlying these changes remain unclear. Here, we report a key immunometabolic and epigenetic pathway mediated by the miR–9-5p-isocitrate dehydrogenase 3α (IDH3α) axis in trained immunity. We found that β-glucan–trained miR–9-5p–/– monocytes showed decreased IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α production after LPS stimulation. Trained miR–9-5p–/– mice produced decreased levels of proinflammatory cytokines upon rechallenge in vivo and had worse protection against Candida albicans infection. miR–9-5p targeted IDH3α and reduced α-ketoglutarate (α-KG) levels to stabilize HIF-1α, which promoted glycolysis. Accumulating succinate and fumarate via miR–9-5p action integrated immunometabolic circuits to induce histone modifications by inhibiting KDM5 demethylases. β-Glucan–trained monocytes exhibited low IDH3α levels, and IDH3α overexpression blocked the induction of trained immunity by monocytes. Monocytes with IDH3α variants from autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa patients showed a trained immunity phenotype at immunometabolic and epigenetic levels. These findings suggest that miR–9-5p and IDH3α act as critical metabolic and epigenetic switches in trained immunity.
Haibo Su, Zhongping Liang, ShuFeng Weng, Chaonan Sun, Jiaxin Huang, TianRan Zhang, Xialian Wang, Shanshan Wu, Zhi Zhang, Yiqi Zhang, Qing Gong, Ying Xu
Despite studies implicating adipose tissue T cells (ATT) in the initiation and persistence of adipose tissue inflammation, fundamental gaps in knowledge regarding ATT function impedes progress toward understanding how obesity influences adaptive immunity. We hypothesized that ATT activation and function would have tissue-resident–specific properties and that obesity would potentiate their inflammatory properties. We assessed ATT activation and inflammatory potential within mouse and human stromal vascular fraction (SVF). Surprisingly, murine and human ATTs from obese visceral white adipose tissue exhibited impaired inflammatory characteristics upon stimulation. Both environmental and cell-intrinsic factors are implicated in ATT dysfunction. Soluble factors from obese SVF inhibit ATT activation. Additionally, chronic signaling from macrophage major histocompatibility complex II (MHCII) is necessary for ATT impairment in obese adipose tissue but is independent of increased PD1 expression. To assess intracellular signaling mechanisms responsible for ATT inflammation impairments, single-cell RNA sequencing of ATTs was performed. ATTs in obese adipose tissue exhibit enrichment of genes characteristic of T cell exhaustion and increased expression of coinhibitory receptor Btla. In sum, this work suggests that obesity-induced ATTs have functional characteristics and gene expression resembling T cell exhaustion induced by local soluble factors and cell-to-cell interactions in adipose tissue.
Cara E. Porsche, Jennifer B. Delproposto, Lynn Geletka, Robert O’Rourke, Carey N. Lumeng
Compromised regenerative capacity of lung epithelial cells can lead to cellular senescence, which may precipitate fibrosis. While increased markers of senescence have been reported in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), the origin and identity of these senescent cells remain unclear, and tools to characterize context-specific cellular senescence in human lung are lacking. We observed that the senescent marker p16 is predominantly localized to bronchiolized epithelial structures in scarred regions of IPF and systemic sclerosis–associated interstitial lung disease (SSc-ILD) lung tissue, overlapping with the basal epithelial markers Keratin 5 and Keratin 17. Using in vitro models, we derived transcriptional signatures of senescence programming specific to different types of lung epithelial cells and interrogated these signatures in a single-cell RNA-Seq data set derived from control, IPF, and SSc-ILD lung tissue. We identified a population of basal epithelial cells defined by, and enriched for, markers of cellular senescence and identified candidate markers specific to senescent basal epithelial cells in ILD that can enable future functional studies. Notably, gene expression of these cells significantly overlaps with terminally differentiating cells in stratified epithelia, where it is driven by p53 activation as part of the senescence program.
Daryle J. DePianto, Jason A. Vander Heiden, Katrina B. Morshead, Kai-Hui Sun, Zora Modrusan, Grace Teng, Paul J. Wolters, Joseph R. Arron
Preexisting cross-reactivity to SARS-CoV-2 occurs in the absence of prior viral exposure. However, this has been difficult to quantify at the population level due to a lack of reliably defined seroreactivity thresholds. Using an orthogonal antibody testing approach, we estimated that about 0.6% of nontriaged adults from the greater Vancouver, Canada, area between May 17 and June 19, 2020, showed clear evidence of a prior SARS-CoV-2 infection, after adjusting for false-positive and false-negative test results. Using a highly sensitive multiplex assay and positive/negative thresholds established in infants in whom maternal antibodies have waned, we determined that more than 90% of uninfected adults showed antibody reactivity against the spike protein, receptor-binding domain (RBD), N-terminal domain (NTD), or the nucleocapsid (N) protein from SARS-CoV-2. This seroreactivity was evenly distributed across age and sex, correlated with circulating coronaviruses’ reactivity, and was partially outcompeted by soluble circulating coronaviruses’ spike. Using a custom SARS-CoV-2 peptide mapping array, we found that this antibody reactivity broadly mapped to spike and to conserved nonstructural viral proteins. We conclude that most adults display preexisting antibody cross-reactivity against SARS-CoV-2, which further supports investigation of how this may impact the clinical severity of COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 vaccine responses.
Abdelilah Majdoubi, Christina Michalski, Sarah E. O’Connell, Sarah Dada, Sandeep Narpala, Jean Gelinas, Disha Mehta, Claire Cheung, Dirk F.H. Winkler, Manjula Basappa, Aaron C. Liu, Matthias Görges, Vilte E. Barakauskas, Mike Irvine, Jennifer Mehalko, Dominic Esposito, Inna Sekirov, Agatha N. Jassem, David M. Goldfarb, Steven Pelech, Daniel C. Douek, Adrian B. McDermott, Pascal M. Lavoie
Anastomotic leakage (AL) accounts for a major part of in-house mortality in patients undergoing colorectal surgery. Local ischemia and abdominal sepsis are common risk factors contributing to AL and are characterized by upregulation of the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) pathway. The HIF pathway is critically regulated by HIF-prolyl hydroxylases (PHDs). Here, we investigated the significance of PHDs and the effects of pharmacologic PHD inhibition (PHI) during anastomotic healing. Ischemic or septic colonic anastomoses were created in mice by ligation of mesenteric vessels or lipopolysaccharide-induced abdominal sepsis, respectively. Genetic PHD deficiency (Phd1–/–, Phd2+/–, and Phd3–/–) or PHI were applied to manipulate PHD activity. Pharmacologic PHI and genetic PHD2 haplodeficiency (Phd2+/–) significantly improved healing of ischemic or septic colonic anastomoses, as indicated by increased bursting pressure and reduced AL rates. Only Phd2+/– (but not PHI or Phd1–/–) protected from sepsis-related mortality. Mechanistically, PHI and Phd2+/– induced immunomodulatory (M2) polarization of macrophages, resulting in increased collagen content and attenuated inflammation-driven immune cell recruitment. We conclude that PHI improves healing of colonic anastomoses in ischemic or septic conditions by Phd2+/–-mediated M2 polarization of macrophages, conferring a favorable microenvironment for anastomotic healing. Patients with critically perfused colorectal anastomosis or abdominal sepsis could benefit from pharmacologic PHI.
Moritz J. Strowitzki, Gwendolyn Kimmer, Julian Wehrmann, Alina S. Ritter, Praveen Radhakrishnan, Vanessa M. Opitz, Christopher Tuffs, Marvin Biller, Julia Kugler, Ulrich Keppler, Jonathan M. Harnoss, Johannes Klose, Thomas Schmidt, Alfonso Blanco, Cormac T. Taylor, Martin Schneider
Millions of people are affected by hearing loss. Hearing loss is frequently caused by noise or aging and often associated with loss of pericytes. Pericytes populate the small vessels in the adult cochlea. However, their role in different types of hearing loss is largely unknown. Using an inducible and conditional pericyte depletion mouse model and noise-exposed mouse model, we show that loss of pericytes leads to marked changes in vascular structure, in turn leading to vascular degeneration and hearing loss. In vitro, using advanced tissue explants from pericyte fluorescence reporter models combined with exogenous donor pericytes, we show that pericytes, signaled by VEGF isoform A165 (VEGFA165), vigorously drive new vessel growth in both adult and neonatal mouse inner ear tissue. In vivo, the delivery of an adeno-associated virus serotype 1–mediated (AAV1–mediated) VEGFA165 viral vector to pericyte-depleted or noise-exposed animals prevented and regenerated lost pericytes, improved blood supply, and attenuated hearing loss. These studies provide the first clear-cut evidence that pericytes are critical for vascular regeneration, vascular stability, and hearing in adults. The restoration of vascular function in the damaged cochlea, including in noise-exposed animals, suggests that VEGFA165 gene therapy could be a new strategy for ameliorating vascular associated hearing disorders.
Jinhui Zhang, Zhiqiang Hou, Xiaohan Wang, Han Jiang, Lingling Neng, Yunpei Zhang, Qing Yu, George Burwood, Junha Song, Manfred Auer, Anders Fridberger, Michael Hoa, Xiaorui Shi
Despite the recent launch of tolvaptan, the search for safer polycystic kidney disease (PKD) drugs continues. Ciclopirox (CPX) or its olamine salt (CPX-O) is contained in a number of commercially available antifungal agents. CPX is also reported to possess anticancer activity. Several mechanisms of action have been proposed, including chelation of iron and inhibition of iron-dependent enzymes. Here, we show that CPX-O inhibited in vitro cystogenesis of primary human PKD cyst-lining epithelial cells cultured in a 3D collagen matrix. To assess the in vivo role of CPX-O, we treated PKD mice with CPX-O. CPX-O reduced the kidney-to-body weight ratios of PKD mice. The CPX-O treatment was also associated with decreased cell proliferation, decreased cystic area, and improved renal function. Ferritin levels were markedly elevated in cystic kidneys of PKD mice, and CPX-O treatment reduced renal ferritin levels. The reduction in ferritin was associated with increased ferritinophagy marker nuclear receptor coactivator 4, which reversed upon CPX-O treatment in PKD mice. Interestingly, these effects on ferritin appeared independent of iron. These data suggest that CPX-O can induce ferritin degradation via ferritinophagy, which is associated with decreased cyst growth progression in PKD mice. Most importantly these data indicate that CPX-O has the potential to treat autosomal dominant PKD.
Priyanka S. Radadiya, Mackenzie M. Thornton, Rajni V. Puri, Sireesha Yerrathota, Johnny Dinh-Phan, Brenda Magenheimer, Dharmalingam Subramaniam, Pamela V. Tran, Hao Zhu, Subhashini Bolisetty, James P. Calvet, Darren P. Wallace, Madhulika Sharma
Although low circulating levels of the vitamin A metabolite, all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality, few studies have addressed whether cardiac retinoid levels are altered in the failing heart. Here, we showed that proteomic analyses of human and guinea pig heart failure (HF) were consistent with a decline in resident cardiac ATRA. Quantitation of the retinoids in ventricular myocardium by mass spectrometry revealed 32% and 39% ATRA decreases in guinea pig HF and in patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (IDCM), respectively, despite ample reserves of cardiac vitamin A. ATRA (2 mg/kg/d) was sufficient to mitigate cardiac remodeling and prevent functional decline in guinea pig HF. Although cardiac ATRA declined in guinea pig HF and human IDCM, levels of certain retinoid metabolic enzymes diverged. Specifically, high expression of the ATRA-catabolizing enzyme, CYP26A1, in human IDCM could dampen prospects for an ATRA-based therapy. Pertinently, a pan-CYP26 inhibitor, talarozole, blunted the impact of phenylephrine on ATRA decline and hypertrophy in neonatal rat ventricular myocytes. Taken together, we submit that low cardiac ATRA attenuates the expression of critical ATRA-dependent gene programs in HF and that strategies to normalize ATRA metabolism, like CYP26 inhibition, may have therapeutic potential.
Ni Yang, Lauren E. Parker, Jianshi Yu, Jace W. Jones, Ting Liu, Kyriakos N. Papanicolaou, C. Conover Talbot Jr., Kenneth B. Margulies, Brian O’Rourke, Maureen A. Kane, D. Brian Foster
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