Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by the expansion of the aortic wall. One of the most significant features is the infiltration of macrophages in the adventitia, which drives vasculature remodeling. The role of macrophage-derived interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) in macrophage infiltration and AAA formation remains unknown. RNA sequencing of AAA adventitia identified Irf5 as the top significantly increased transcription factor that is predominantly expressed in macrophages. Global and myeloid cell–specific deficiency of Irf5 reduced AAA progression, with a marked reduction in macrophage infiltration. Further cellular investigations indicated that IRF5 promotes macrophage migration by direct regulation of downstream phosphoinositide 3-kinase γ (PI3Kγ, Pik3cg). Pik3cg ablation hindered AAA progression, and myeloid cell–specific salvage of Pik3cg restored AAA progression and macrophage infiltration derived from Irf5 deficiency. Finally, we found that IRF5 and PI3Kγ expression in the adventitia is significantly increased in patients with AAA. These findings reveal that the IRF5-dependent regulation of PI3Kγ is essential for AAA formation.
Yidong Wang, Zhenjie Liu, Shen Song, Jianfang Wang, Chunna Jin, Liangliang Jia, Yuankun Ma, Tan Yuan, Zhejun Cai, Meixiang Xiang
Aging-related abnormalities in gut microbiota are associated with cognitive decline, depression, and anxiety, but underlying mechanisms remain unstudied. Here, our study demonstrated that transplanting old gut microbiota to young mice induced inflammation in the gut and brain coupled with cognitive decline, depression, and anxiety. We observed diminished mucin formation and increased gut permeability (“leaky gut”) with a reduction in beneficial metabolites like butyrate because of decline in butyrate-producing bacteria in the aged gut microbiota. This led to suppressed expression of butyrate receptors, free fatty acid receptors 2 and 3 (FFAR2/3). Administering butyrate alleviated inflammation, restored mucin expression and gut barriers, and corrected brain dysfunction. Furthermore, young mice with intestine-specific loss of FFAR2/3 exhibited gut and brain abnormalities akin to those in older mice. Our results demonstrate that reduced butyrate-producing bacteria in aged gut microbiota result in low butyrate levels and reduced FFAR2/3 signaling, leading to suppressed mucin formation that increases gut permeability, inflammation, and brain abnormalities. These findings underscore the significance of butyrate-FFAR2/3 agonism as a potential strategy to mitigate aged gut microbiota–induced detrimental effects on gut and brain health in older adults.
Sidharth P. Mishra, Shalini Jain, Bo Wang, Shaohua Wang, Brandi C. Miller, Jea Y. Lee, Cesar V. Borlongan, Lin Jiang, Julie Pollak, Subhash Taraphder, Brian T. Layden, Sushil G. Rane, Hariom Yadav
Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are indicated for a diverse range of cancer types, and characterizing the tumor immune microenvironment is critical for optimizing therapeutic strategies, including ICIs. T cell infiltration and activation status in the tumor microenvironment greatly affects the efficacy of ICIs. Here, we show that semaphorin 6D (Sema6D) forward signaling, which is reportedly involved in coordinating the orientation of cell development and migration as a guidance factor, impaired the infiltration and activation of tumor-specific CD8+ T cells in murine oral tumors. Sema6D expressed by nonhematopoietic cells was responsible for this phenotype. Plexin-A4, a receptor for Sema6D, inhibited T cell infiltration and partially suppressed CD8+ T cell activation and proliferation induced by Sema6D stimulation. Moreover, mouse oral tumors, which are resistant to PD-1–blocking treatment in wild-type mice, showed a response to the treatment in Sema6d-KO mice. Finally, analyses of public data sets of human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, pan-cancer cohorts, and a retrospective cohort study showed that SEMA6D was mainly expressed by nonhematopoietic cells such as cancer cells, and SEMA6D expression was significantly negatively correlated with CD8A, PDCD1, IFNG, and GZMB expression. Thus, targeting Sema6D forward signaling is a promising option for increasing ICI efficacy.
Takashi Hirai, Yujiro Naito, Shohei Koyama, Yoshimitsu Nakanishi, Kentaro Masuhiro, Mayuko Izumi, Tomoki Kuge, Maiko Naito, Yumiko Mizuno, Yuta Yamaguchi, Sujin Kang, Moto Yaga, Yu Futami, Satoshi Nojima, Masayuki Nishide, Takayoshi Morita, Yasuhiro Kato, Takeshi Tsuda, Norihiko Takemoto, Yumi Kinugasa-Katayama, Taiki Aoshi, Jordan Kelly Villa, Kazuo Yamashita, Tomohiro Enokida, Yuta Hoshi, Kazuto Matsuura, Makoto Tahara, Hyota Takamatsu, Yoshito Takeda, Hidenori Inohara, Atsushi Kumanogoh
While the function of many leukocytes in transplant biology has been well defined, the role of eosinophils is controversial and remains poorly explored. Conflicting data exist regarding eosinophils’ role in alloimmunity. Due to their prevalence in the lung, and their defined role in other pulmonary pathologies such as asthma, we set out to explore the role of eosinophils in the long-term maintenance of the lung allograft. We noted that depletion of eosinophils results in the generation of donor-specific antibodies. Eosinophil depletion increased memory B cell, plasma cell, and antibody-secreting cell differentiation and resulted in de novo generation of follicular germinal centers. Germinal center formation depended on the expansion of CD4+Foxp3–Bcl6+CXCR5+PD-1+ T follicular helper (Tfh) cells, which increase in number after eosinophil depletion. Mechanistically, we demonstrate that eosinophils prevent Tfh cell generation by acting as the dominant source of IFN-γ in an established lung allograft, thus facilitating Th1 rather than Tfh polarization of naive CD4+ T cells. Our data thus describe what we believe is a unique and previously unknown role for eosinophils in maintaining allograft tolerance and suggest that indiscriminate administration of eosinophil-lytic corticosteroids for treatment of acute cellular rejection may inadvertently promote humoral alloimmunity.
Zhongcheng Mei, May A. Khalil, Yizhan Guo, Dongge Li, Anirban Banerjee, Yuriko Terada, Yuhei Yokoyama, Christina Kratzmeier, Kelly Chen, Lushen Li, Christine L. Lau, Jean-Paul Courneya, Irina G. Luzina, Sergei P. Atamas, Andrew E. Gelman, Daniel Kreisel, Elizabeth A. Jacobsen, Alexander S. Krupnick
Although cold preservation remains the gold standard in organ transplantation, cold stress–induced cellular injury is a significant problem in clinical orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). Because a recent study showed that cold stress activates ferroptosis, a form of regulated cell death, we investigated whether and how ferroptosis determines OLT outcomes in mice and humans. Treatment with ferroptosis inhibitor (ferrostatin-1) during cold preservation reduced lipid peroxidation (malondialdehyde; MDA), primarily in liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs), and alleviated ischemia/reperfusion injury in mouse OLT. Similarly, ferrostatin-1 reduced cell death in cold-stressed LSEC cultures. LSECs deficient in nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2), a critical regulator of ferroptosis, were susceptible to cold stress–induced cell death, concomitant with enhanced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and expression of mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake regulator (MICU1). Indeed, supplementing MICU1 inhibitor reduced ER stress, MDA expression, and cell death in NRF2-deficient but not WT LSECs, suggesting NRF2 is a critical regulator of MICU1-mediated ferroptosis. Consistent with murine data, enhanced liver NRF2 expression reduced MDA levels, hepatocellular damage, and incidence of early allograft dysfunction in human OLT recipients. This translational study provides a clinically applicable strategy in which inhibition of ferroptosis during liver cold preservation mitigates OLT injury by protecting LSECs from peritransplant stress via an NRF2-regulatory mechanism.
Hidenobu Kojima, Hirofumi Hirao, Kentaro Kadono, Takahiro Ito, Siyuan Yao, Taylor Torgerson, Kenneth J. Dery, Hiroaki Kitajima, Takahiro Ogawa, Fady M. Kaldas, Douglas G. Farmer, Jerzy W. Kupiec-Weglinski
Linear ubiquitin chains, which are generated specifically by the linear ubiquitin assembly complex (LUBAC) ubiquitin ligase, play crucial roles in immune signaling, including NF-κB activation. LUBAC comprises catalytic large isoform of heme-oxidized iron regulatory protein 2 ubiquitin ligase 1 (HOIL-1L) interacting protein (HOIP), accessory HOIL-1L, and SHANK-associated RH domain-interacting protein (SHARPIN). Deletion of the ubiquitin ligase activity of HOIL-1L, an accessory ligase of LUBAC, augments LUBAC functions by enhancing LUBAC-mediated linear ubiquitination, which is catalyzed by HOIP. Here, we show that HOIL-1L ΔRING1 mice, which exhibit augmented LUBAC functions upon loss of the HOIL-1L ligase, developed systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and Sjögren’s syndrome in a female-dominant fashion. Augmented LUBAC activity led to hyperactivation of both lymphoid and myeloid cells. In line with the findings in mice, we sought to identify missense single nucleotide polymorphisms/variations of the RBCK1/HOIL-1L gene in humans that attenuate HOIL-1L ligase activity. We found that the R464H variant, which is encoded by rs774507518 within the RBCK1/HOIL-1L gene, attenuated HOIL-1L ligase activity and augmented LUBAC-mediated immune signaling, including that mediated by Toll-like receptors. We also found that rs774507518 was enriched significantly in patients with SLE, strongly suggesting that RBCK1/HOIL-1L is an SLE susceptibility gene and that augmented linear ubiquitin signaling generated specifically by LUBAC underlies the pathogenesis of this prototype systemic autoimmune disease.
Yasuhiro Fuseya, Keiichiro Kadoba, Xiaoxi Liu, Hiroyuki Suetsugu, Takeshi Iwasaki, Koichiro Ohmura, Takayuki Sumida, Yuta Kochi, Akio Morinobu, Chikashi Terao, Kazuhiro Iwai
The glucocerebrosidase (GCase) encoded by the GBA1 gene hydrolyzes glucosylceramide (GluCer) to ceramide and glucose in lysosomes. Homozygous or compound heterozygous GBA1 mutations cause the lysosomal storage disease Gaucher disease (GD) due to severe loss of GCase activity. Loss-of-function variants in the GBA1 gene are also the most common genetic risk factor for Parkinson’s disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Restoring lysosomal GCase activity represents an important therapeutic approach for GBA1-associated diseases. We hypothesized that increasing the stability of lysosomal GCase protein could correct deficient GCase activity in these conditions. However, it remains unknown how GCase stability is regulated in the lysosome. We found that cathepsin L, a lysosomal cysteine protease, cleaves GCase and regulates its stability. In support of these data, GCase protein was elevated in the brain of cathepsin L–KO mice. Chemical inhibition of cathepsin L increased both GCase levels and activity in fibroblasts from patients with GD. Importantly, inhibition of cathepsin L in dopaminergic neurons from a patient GBA1-PD led to increased GCase levels and activity as well as reduced phosphorylated α-synuclein. These results suggest that targeting cathepsin L–mediated GCase degradation represents a potential therapeutic strategy for GCase deficiency in PD and related disorders that exhibit decreased GCase activity.
Myung Jong Kim, Soojin Kim, Thomas Reinheckel, Dimitri Krainc
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease associated with progressive death of midbrain dopamine (DAn) neurons in the substantia nigra (SN). Since it has been proposed that patients with PD exhibit an overall proinflammatory state, and since astrocytes are key mediators of the inflammation response in the brain, here we sought to address whether astrocyte-mediated inflammatory signaling could contribute to PD neuropathology. For this purpose, we generated astrocytes from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) representing patients with PD and healthy controls. Transcriptomic analyses identified a unique inflammatory gene expression signature in PD astrocytes compared with controls. In particular, the proinflammatory cytokine IL-6 was found to be highly expressed and released by PD astrocytes and was found to induce toxicity in DAn. Mechanistically, neuronal cell death was mediated by IL-6 receptor (IL-6R) expressed in human PD neurons, leading to downstream activation of STAT3. Blockage of IL-6R by the addition of the FDA-approved anti–IL-6R antibody, Tocilizumab, prevented PD neuronal death. SN neurons overexpressing IL-6R and reactive astrocytes expressing IL-6 were detected in postmortem brain tissue of patients at early stages of PD. Our findings highlight the potential role of astrocyte-mediated inflammatory signaling in neuronal loss in PD and pave the way for the design of future therapeutics.
Meritxell Pons-Espinal, Lucas Blasco-Agell, Irene Fernandez-Carasa, Pol Andrés-Benito, Angelique di Domenico, Yvonne Richaud-Patin, Valentina Baruffi, Laura Marruecos, Lluís Espinosa, Alicia Garrido, Eduardo Tolosa, Michael J. Edel, Manel Juan Otero, José Luis Mosquera, Isidre Ferrer, Angel Raya, Antonella Consiglio
Drug-induced liver injury (DILI), especially acetaminophen overdose, is the leading cause of acute liver failure. Pregnane X receptor (PXR) is a nuclear receptor and the master regulator of drug metabolism. Aberrant activation of PXR plays a pathogenic role in the acetaminophen hepatotoxicity. Here, we aimed to examine the S-nitrosylation of PXR (SNO-PXR) in response to acetaminophen. We found that PXR was S-nitrosylated in hepatocytes and the mouse livers after exposure to acetaminophen or S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO). Mass spectrometry and site-directed mutagenesis identified the cysteine 307 as the primary residue for S-nitrosylation (SNO) modification. In hepatocytes, SNO suppressed both agonist-induced (rifampicin and SR12813) and constitutively active PXR (VP-PXR, a human PXR fused to the minimal transactivator domain of the herpes virus transcription factor VP16) activations. Furthermore, in acetaminophen-overdosed mouse livers, PXR protein was decreased at the centrilobular regions overlapping with increased SNO. In PXR–/– mice, replenishing the livers with the SNO-deficient PXR significantly aggravated hepatic necrosis, increased HMGB1 release, and exacerbated liver injury and inflammation. Particularly, we demonstrated that S-nitrosoglutathione reductase (GSNOR) inhibitor N6022 promoted hepatoprotection by increasing the levels of SNO-PXR. In conclusion, PXR is posttranslationally modified by SNO in hepatocytes in response to acetaminophen. This modification mitigated the acetaminophen-induced PXR hyperactivity. It may serve as a target for therapeutical intervention.
Qi Cui, Tingting Jiang, Xinya Xie, Haodong Wang, Lei Qian, Yanyan Cheng, Qiang Li, Tingxu Lu, Qinyu Yao, Jia Liu, Baochang Lai, Chang Chen, Lei Xiao, Nanping Wang
The resting zone of the postnatal growth plate is organized by slow-cycling chondrocytes expressing parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP), which include a subgroup of skeletal stem cells that contribute to the formation of columnar chondrocytes. The PTHrP–Indian hedgehog feedback regulation is essential for sustaining growth plate activities; however, molecular mechanisms regulating cell fates of PTHrP+ resting chondrocytes and their eventual transformation into osteoblasts remain largely undefined. Here, in a mouse model, we specifically activated Hedgehog signaling in PTHrP+ resting chondrocytes and traced the fate of their descendants using a tamoxifen-inducible Pthrp-creER line with patched-1–floxed and tdTomato reporter alleles. Hedgehog-activated PTHrP+ chondrocytes formed large, concentric, clonally expanded cell populations within the resting zone (“patched roses”) and generated significantly wider columns of chondrocytes, resulting in hyperplasia of the growth plate. Interestingly, Hedgehog-activated PTHrP+ cell descendants migrated away from the growth plate and transformed into trabecular osteoblasts in the diaphyseal marrow space in the long term. Therefore, Hedgehog activation drives resting zone chondrocytes into transit-amplifying states as proliferating chondrocytes and eventually converts these cells into osteoblasts, unraveling a potentially novel Hedgehog-mediated mechanism that facilitates osteogenic cell fates of PTHrP+ skeletal stem cells.
Shion Orikasa, Yuki Matsushita, Hiroaki Manabe, Michael Fogge, Zachary Lee, Koji Mizuhashi, Naoko Sakagami, Wanida Ono, Noriaki Ono
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