Several reports have demonstrated that mouse Cx3cr1 signaling promotes monocyte/macrophage survival. In agreement, we previously found that, in a mouse model of systemic candidiasis, genetic deficiency of Cx3cr1 resulted in increased mortality and impaired tissue fungal clearance associated with decreased macrophage survival. We translated this finding by showing that the dysfunctional CX3CR1 variant CX3CR1-M280 was associated with increased risk and worse outcome of human systemic candidiasis. However, the impact of this mutation on human monocyte/macrophage survival is poorly understood. Herein, we hypothesized that CX3CR1-M280 impairs human monocyte survival. We identified WT (CX3CR1-WT/WT), CX3CR1-WT/M280 heterozygous, and CX3CR1-M280/M280 homozygous healthy donors of European descent, and we show that CX3CL1 rescues serum starvation–induced cell death in CX3CR1-WT/WT and CX3CR1-WT/M280 but not in CX3CR1-M280/M280 monocytes. CX3CL1-induced survival of CX3CR1-WT/WT monocytes is mediated via AKT and ERK activation, which are both impaired in CX3CR1-M280/M280 monocytes, associated with decreased blood monocyte counts in CX3CR1-M280/M280 donors at steady state. Instead, CX3CR1-M280/M280 does not affect monocyte CX3CR1 surface expression or innate immune effector functions. Together, we show that homozygocity of the M280 polymorphism in CX3CR1 is a potentially novel population-based genetic factor that influences human monocyte signaling.
Amanda L. Collar, Muthulekha Swamydas, Morgan O’Hayre, Md Sanaullah Sajib, Kevin W. Hoffman, Satya P. Singh, Ahmad Mourad, Melissa D. Johnson, Elise M.N. Ferre, Joshua M. Farber, Jean K. Lim, Constantinos M. Mikelis, J. Silvio Gutkind, Michail S. Lionakis
NK cell–based immunotherapies have been gaining traction in the clinic for treatment of cancer. IL-15 is currently being used in number of clinical trials to improve NK cell expansion and function. The objective of this study is to evaluate the effect of repetitive IL-15 exposure on NK cells. An in vitro model in which human NK cells are continuously (on on on) or intermittently (on off on) treated with IL-15 was used to explore this question. After treatment, cells were evaluated for proliferation, survival, cell cycle gene expression, function, and metabolic processes. Our data indicate that continuous treatment of NK cells with IL-15 resulted in decreased viability and a cell cycle arrest gene expression pattern. This was associated with diminished signaling, decreased function both in vitro and in vivo, and reduced tumor control. NK cells continuously treated with IL-15 also displayed a reduced mitochondrial respiration profile when compared with NK cells treated intermittently with IL-15. This profile was characterized by a decrease in the spare respiratory capacity that was dependent on fatty acid oxidation (FAO). Limiting the strength of IL-15 signaling via utilization of an mTOR inhibitor rescued NK cell functionality in the group continuously treated with IL-15. The findings presented here show that human NK cells continuously treated with IL-15 undergo a process consistent with exhaustion that is accompanied by a reduction in FAO. These findings should inform IL-15–dosing strategies in NK cell cancer immunotherapeutic settings.
Martin Felices, Alexander J. Lenvik, Ron McElmurry, Sami Chu, Peter Hinderlie, Laura Bendzick, Melissa A. Geller, Jakub Tolar, Bruce R. Blazar, Jeffrey S. Miller
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease involving both cartilage and synovium. The canonical Wnt/β-catenin pathway, which is activated in OA, is emerging as an important regulator of tissue repair and fibrosis. This study seeks to examine Wnt pathway effects on synovial fibroblasts and articular chondrocytes as well as the therapeutic effects of Wnt inhibition on OA disease severity. Mice underwent destabilization of the medial meniscus surgery and were treated by intra-articular injection with XAV-939, a small-molecule inhibitor of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Wnt/β-catenin signaling was highly activated in murine synovial fibroblasts as well as in OA-derived human synovial fibroblasts. XAV-939 ameliorated OA severity associated with reduced cartilage degeneration and synovitis in vivo. Wnt inhibition using mechanistically distinct small-molecule inhibitors, XAV-939 and C113, attenuated the proliferation and type I collagen synthesis in synovial fibroblasts in vitro but did not affect human OA-derived chondrocyte proliferation. However, Wnt modulation increased COL2A1 and PRG4 transcripts, which are downregulated in chondrocytes in OA. In conclusion, therapeutic Wnt inhibition reduced disease severity in a model of traumatic OA via promoting anticatabolic effects on chondrocytes and antifibrotic effects on synovial fibroblasts and may be a promising class of drugs for the treatment of OA.
Caressa Lietman, Brian Wu, Sarah Lechner, Andrew Shinar, Madhur Sehgal, Evgeny Rossomacha, Poulami Datta, Anirudh Sharma, Rajiv Gandhi, Mohit Kapoor, Pampee P. Young
Acute lung injury is characterized by excessive extracellular matrix proteolysis and neutrophilic inflammation. A major risk factor for lung injury is bacterial pneumonia. However, host factors that protect against pathogen-induced and host-sustained proteolytic injury following infection are poorly understood. Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) is a major cause of nosocomial pneumonia and secretes proteases to amplify tissue injury. We show that thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1), a matricellular glycoprotein released during inflammation, dose-dependently inhibits PA metalloendoprotease LasB, a virulence factor. TSP-1–deficient (Thbs1–/–) mice show reduced survival, impaired host defense, and increased lung permeability with exaggerated neutrophil activation following acute intrapulmonary PA infection. Administration of TSP-1 from platelets corrects the impaired host defense and aberrant injury in Thbs1–/– mice. Although TSP-1 is cleaved into 2 fragments by PA, TSP-1 substantially inhibits Pseudomonas elastolytic activity. Administration of LasB inhibitor, genetic disabling of the PA type II secretion system, or functional deletion of LasB improves host defense and neutrophilic inflammation in mice. Moreover, TSP-1 provides an additional line of defense by directly subduing host-derived proteolysis, with dose-dependent inhibition of neutrophil elastase from airway neutrophils of mechanically ventilated critically ill patients. Thus, a host matricellular protein provides dual levels of protection against pathogen-initiated and host-sustained proteolytic injury following microbial trigger.
Yanyan Qu, Tolani Olonisakin, William Bain, Jill Zupetic, Rebecca Brown, Mei Hulver, Zeyu Xiong, Jesus Tejero, Robert M.Q. Shanks, Jennifer M. Bomberger, Vaughn S. Cooper, Michael E. Zegans, Hyunryul Ryu, Jongyoon Han, Joseph Pilewski, Anuradha Ray, Zhenyu Cheng, Prabir Ray, Janet S. Lee
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a chronic disease characterized by an autoimmune-mediated destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic β cells. Environmental factors such as viruses play an important role in the onset of T1D and interact with predisposing genes. Recent data suggest that viral infection of human islets leads to a decrease in insulin production rather than β cell death, suggesting loss of β cell identity. We undertook this study to examine whether viral infection could induce human β cell dedifferentiation. Using the functional human β cell line EndoC-βH1, we demonstrate that polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (PolyI:C), a synthetic double-stranded RNA that mimics a byproduct of viral replication, induces a decrease in β cell–specific gene expression. In parallel with this loss, the expression of progenitor-like genes such as SOX9 was activated following PolyI:C treatment or enteroviral infection. SOX9 was induced by the NF-κB pathway and also in a paracrine non–cell-autonomous fashion through the secretion of IFN-α. Lastly, we identified SOX9 targets in human β cells as potentially new markers of dedifferentiation in T1D. These findings reveal that inflammatory signaling has clear implications in human β cell dedifferentiation.
Masaya Oshima, Klaus-Peter Knoch, Marc Diedisheim, Antje Petzold, Pierre Cattan, Marco Bugliani, Piero Marchetti, Pratik Choudhary, Guo-Cai Huang, Stefan R. Bornstein, Michele Solimena, Olivier Albagli-Curiel, Raphael Scharfmann
Type I IFN (IFN-I) dysregulation contributes to type 1 diabetes (T1D) development, and although increased IFN-I signals are pathogenic at the initiation of autoimmune diabetes, IFN-I dysregulation at later pathogenic stages more relevant for therapeutic intervention is not well understood. We discovered that 5 key antigen-presenting cell subsets from adult prediabetic NOD mice have reduced responsiveness to IFN-I that is dominated by a decrease in the tonic-sensitive subset of IFN-I response genes. Blockade of IFNAR1 in prediabetic NOD mice accelerated diabetes and increased Th1 responses. Therefore, IFN-I responses shift from pathogenic to protective as autoimmunity progresses, consistent with chronic IFN-I exposure. In contrast, IL-1–associated inflammatory pathways were elevated in prediabetic mice. These changes correlated with human T1D onset-associated gene expression. Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and prostaglandin receptor 4 (PTGER4), a receptor for PGE2 that mediates both inflammatory and regulatory eicosanoid signaling, were higher in NOD mice and drive innate immune dysregulation. Treating prediabetic NOD mice with a PTGER4 antagonist restored IFNAR signaling, decreased IL-1 signaling, and decreased infiltration of leukocytes into the islets. Therefore, innate cytokine alterations contribute to both T1D-associated inflammation and autoimmune pathogenesis. Modulating innate immune balance via signals such as PTGER4 may contribute to treatments for autoimmunity.
M. Jubayer Rahman, Kameron B. Rodrigues, Juan A. Quiel, Yi Liu, Vipul Bhargava, Yongge Zhao, Chie Hotta-Iwamura, Han-Yu Shih, Annie W. Lau-Kilby, Allison M.W. Malloy, Timothy W. Thoner, Kristin V. Tarbell
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) — known to be resistant to genotoxic radiation and chemotherapy — are fundamental to therapy failure and cancer relapse. Here, we reveal that glioma CSCs are hypersensitive to radiation, but a temporal DNA repair mechanism converts the intrinsic sensitivity to genomic instability and treatment resistance. Transcriptome analysis identifies DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) as a predominant DNA repair enzyme in CSCs. Notably, DNA-PK activity is suppressed after irradiation when ROS induce the dissociation of DNA-PKcs with Ku70/80, resulting in delayed DNA repair and radiosensitivity; subsequently, after ROS clearance, the accumulated DNA damage and robust activation of DNA-PK induce genomic instability, facilitated by Rad50-mediated cell-cycle arrest, leading to enhanced malignancy, CSC overgrowth, and radioresistance. Finally, we show a requisite in vivo role for DNA-PK in CSC-mediated radioresistance and glioma progression. These findings identify a time-sensitive mechanism controlling CSC resistance to DNA-damaging treatments and suggest DNA-PK/Rad50 as promising targets for CSC eradication.
Yanling Wang, Haineng Xu, Tianrun Liu, Menggui Huang, Param-Puneet Butter, Chunsheng Li, Lin Zhang, Gary D. Kao, Yanqing Gong, Amit Maity, Constantinos Koumenis, Yi Fan
Neutrophils dominate the early immune response in pathogen-induced acute lung injury, but efforts to harness their responses have not led to therapeutic advancements. Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) have been proposed as an innate defense mechanism responsible for pathogen clearance, but there are concerns that NETs may induce collateral damage to host tissues. Here, we detected NETs in abundance in mouse models of severe bacterial pneumonia/acute lung injury and in human subjects with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) from pneumonia or sepsis. Decreasing NETs reduced lung injury and improved survival after DNase I treatment or with partial protein arginine deiminase 4 deficiency (PAD4+/–). Complete PAD4 deficiency (PAD4–/–) reduced NETs and lung injury but was counterbalanced by increased bacterial load and inflammation. Importantly, we discovered that the lipoxin pathway could be a potent modulator of NET formation, and that mice deficient in the lipoxin receptor (Fpr2–/–) produced excess NETs leading to increased lung injury and mortality. Lastly, we observed in humans that increased plasma NETs were associated with ARDS severity and mortality, and lower plasma DNase I levels were associated with the development of sepsis-induced ARDS. We conclude that a critical balance of NETs is necessary to prevent lung injury and to maintain microbial control, which has important therapeutic implications.
Emma Lefrançais, Beñat Mallavia, Hanjing Zhuo, Carolyn S. Calfee, Mark R. Looney
Intestinal epithelial cells condition tolerogenic properties in DCs. Aqueous-deficient dry eye is associated with goblet cell (GC) loss and increased IFN-γ expression in the conjunctiva. We hypothesized that loss of GCs reduces tolerance-inducing properties of antigen presenting cells (APCs) in the conjunctiva and draining nodes. Mice lacking the SAM pointed domain containing ETS transcription factor (Spdef) that is required for GC differentiation had an increased frequency of macrophages in the conjunctiva and CD11b+CD11c+ DCs in the conjunctiva and draining nodes, and these cells had greater IL-12 expression than WT mice. Conditioned media from cultured WT conjunctival GCs suppressed LPS-induced IL-12 production by conjunctival APCs. OVA antigen–specific OTII CD4+ T cells primed by Spdef-KO draining lymph node APCs showed greater proliferation, lower frequency of Foxp3+, increased frequency of IFN-γ+ and IL-17+ cells, and greater IFN-γ production than those primed by WT APCs. The immune tolerance to OVA antigen topically applied to the conjunctiva measured by cutaneous delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) reaction, OVA-specific T cell proliferation, Foxp3 induction, and IFN-γ production observed in WT mice was lost in the Spdef-KO mice. We concluded that conjunctival GCs condition tolerogenic properties in APCs that suppress IL-12 production and Th1 polarization.
Byung Yi Ko, Yangyan Xiao, Flavia L. Barbosa, Cintia S. de Paiva, Stephen C. Pflugfelder
The role of proinflammation, and specifically TNF-α, on downstream fibrosis and healing after cardiac injury remains unknown. Using iRhom2-deficient mice, which lack myeloid-specific shedding of TNF-α, we reveal increased macrophages (MΦs) that were skewed towards a more proinflammatory (M1) state at day 4, followed by more reparative, antiinflammatory (M2) state at day 7 after myocardial infarction (MI). However, associated functional cytokine expression was significantly reduced in iRhom2-mutant M1 and M2 MΦs, respectively. A dampened proinflammatory signature in iRhom2-deficient mice during the acute phase of injury and subsequent changes in MΦ polarization were associated with reduced phagocytosis and a more sparse distribution within the scar region. This resulted in impaired collagen deposition and fibrosis, and increased left ventricular remodelling and mortality in iRhom2-deficient mice after MI. Our findings reveal a requirement for an iRhom2-mediated proinflammatory response during downstream scarring and fibrosis, which is driven in part by TNF-α signaling. These conclusions challenge the existing model that infarct repair is determined exclusively by antiinflammatory signaling of M2 MΦs, and as such we propose an alternative view of immunomodulation to maintain effective healing after infarction.
Damien N. Barnette, Thomas J. Cahill, Mala Gunadasa-Rohling, Carolyn A. Carr, Matthew Freeman, Paul R. Riley
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