Arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy (ACM) is characterized by redistribution of junctional proteins, arrhythmias, and progressive myocardial injury. We previously reported that SB216763 (SB2), annotated as a GSK3β inhibitor, reverses disease phenotypes in a zebrafish model of ACM. Here, we show that SB2 prevents myocyte injury and cardiac dysfunction in vivo in two murine models of ACM at baseline and in response to exercise. SB2-treated mice with desmosome mutations showed improvements in ventricular ectopy and myocardial fibrosis/inflammation as compared with vehicle-treated (Veh-treated) mice. GSK3β inhibition improved left ventricle function and survival in sedentary and exercised
Stephen P. Chelko, Angeliki Asimaki, Peter Andersen, Djahida Bedja, Nuria Amat-Alarcon, Deeptankar DeMazumder, Ravirasmi Jasti, Calum A. MacRae, Remo Leber, Andre G. Kleber, Jeffrey E. Saffitz, Daniel P. Judge
Immunotherapies targeting the immune checkpoint receptor programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) have shown remarkable efficacy in treating cancer. CD4+CD25hiFoxP3+ Tregs are critical regulators of immune responses in autoimmunity and malignancies, but the functional status of human Tregs expressing PD-1 remains unclear. We examined functional and molecular features of PD-1hi Tregs in healthy subjects and patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), combining functional assays, RNA sequencing, and cytometry by time of flight (CyTOF). In both patients with GBM and healthy subjects, circulating PD-1hi Tregs displayed reduced suppression of CD4+ effector T cells, production of IFN-γ, and molecular signatures of exhaustion. Transcriptional profiling of tumor-resident Tregs revealed that several genes coexpressed with PD-1 and associated with IFN-γ production and exhaustion as well as enrichment in exhaustion signatures compared with circulating PD-1hi Tregs. CyTOF analysis of circulating and tumor-infiltrating Tregs from patients with GBM treated with PD-1-blocking antibodies revealed that treatment shifts the profile of circulating Tregs toward a more exhausted phenotype reminiscent of that of tumor-infiltrating Tregs, further increasing IFN-γ production. Thus, high PD-1 expression on human Tregs identifies dysfunctional, exhausted Tregs secreting IFN-γ that exist in healthy individuals and are enriched in tumor infiltrates, possibly losing function as they attempt to modulate the antitumoral immune responses.
Daniel E. Lowther, Brittany A. Goods, Liliana E. Lucca, Benjamin A. Lerner, Khadir Raddassi, David van Dijk, Amanda L. Hernandez, Xiangguo Duan, Murat Gunel, Vlad Coric, Smita Krishnaswamy, J. Christopher Love, David A. Hafler
Mst1 is a central Ser-Thr kinase in the Hippo pathway, which promotes apoptosis and inhibits cell proliferation. We have shown previously that, in cardiomyocytes, oxidative stress activates Mst1 at mitochondria, where Mst1 phosphorylates Bcl-xL at Ser14, inducing dissociation of Bcl-xL from Bax and thereby promoting apoptosis. However, the functional significance of Ser14 phosphorylation of endogenous Bcl-xL in vivo remains elusive. We generated knockin (KI) mice in which Ser14 of Bcl-xL is replaced with Ala. KI mice were born at the expected Mendelian ratio, and adult KI mice exhibited normal cardiac morphology and function at baseline. However, KI mice were protected from myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury and exhibited reduced cardiomyocyte apoptosis. Although suppression of endogenous Mst1 also reduced I/R injury, there was no additive protective effect when Mst1 was inhibited in KI mice. The development of dilated cardiomyopathy induced by cardiac-specific overexpression of Mst1 was also ameliorated in KI mice. Lats2 and YAP, two other key components of the Hippo pathway, were not affected in KI mice. These results suggest that Ser14 phosphorylation of Bcl-xL plays an essential role in mediating both cardiomyocyte apoptosis and myocardial injury by acting as a key downstream mediator of Mst1 independently of the canonical Hippo pathway.
Michinari Nakamura, Peiyong Zhai, Dominic P. Del Re, Yasuhiro Maejima, Junichi Sadoshima
Posttransplantation cyclophosphamide (PTCy) effectively prevents graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), but its immunologic impact is poorly understood. We assessed lymphocyte reconstitution via flow cytometry (
Christopher G. Kanakry, David G. Coffey, Andrea M.H. Towlerton, Ante Vulic, Barry E. Storer, Jeffrey Chou, Cecilia C.S. Yeung, Christopher D. Gocke, Harlan S. Robins, Paul V. O’Donnell, Leo Luznik, Edus H. Warren
In idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), the fibroblast focus is a key histological feature representing active fibroproliferation. On standard 2D pathologic examination, fibroblast foci are considered small, distinct lesions, although they have been proposed to form a highly interconnected reticulum as the leading edge of a “wave” of fibrosis. Here, we characterized fibroblast focus morphology and interrelationships in 3D using an integrated micro-CT and histological methodology. In 3D, fibroblast foci were morphologically complex structures, with large variations in shape and volume (range, 1.3 × 104 to 9.9 × 107 μm3). Within each tissue sample numerous multiform foci were present, ranging from a minimum of 0.9 per mm3 of lung tissue to a maximum of 11.1 per mm3 of lung tissue. Each focus was an independent structure, and no interconnections were observed. Together, our data indicate that in 3D fibroblast foci form a constellation of heterogeneous structures with large variations in shape and volume, suggesting previously unrecognized plasticity. No evidence of interconnectivity was identified, consistent with the concept that foci represent discrete sites of lung injury and repair.
Mark G. Jones, Aurélie Fabre, Philipp Schneider, Francesco Cinetto, Giacomo Sgalla, Mark Mavrogordato, Sanjay Jogai, Aiman Alzetani, Ben G. Marshall, Katherine M.A. O’Reilly, Jane A. Warner, Peter M. Lackie, Donna E. Davies, David M. Hansell, Andrew G. Nicholson, Ian Sinclair, Kevin K. Brown, Luca Richeldi
The prevention of organ damage and early death in young adults is a major clinical concern in sickle cell disease (SCD). However, mechanisms that control adult progression of SCD during the transition from adolescence are poorly defined with no cognate prophylaxis. Here, we demonstrate in a longitudinal cohort of homozygous SCD (SS) mice a link between intravascular hemolysis, vascular inflammation, lung injury, and early death. Prophylactic Nrf2 activation in young SS mice stabilized intravascular hemolysis, reversed vascular inflammation, and attenuated lung edema in adulthood. Enhanced Nrf2 activation in endothelial cells in vitro concurred with the dramatic effect on vascular inflammation in the mice. BM chimeric SS mice lacking Nrf2 expression in nonhematopoietic tissues were created to dissect the role of nonerythroid Nrf2 in SCD progression. The SS chimeras developed severe intravascular hemolysis despite having erythroid Nrf2. In addition, they developed premature vascular inflammation and pulmonary edema and died younger than donor littermates with intact nonhematopoietic Nrf2. Our results reveal a dominant protective role for nonhematopoietic Nrf2 against tissue damage in both erythroid and nonerythroid tissues in SCD. Furthermore, we show that prophylactic augmentation of Nrf2-coordinated cytoprotection effectively impedes onset of the severe adult phenotype of SCD in mice.
Samit Ghosh, Chibueze A. Ihunnah, Rimi Hazra, Aisha L. Walker, Jason M. Hansen, David R. Archer, Amma T. Owusu-Ansah, Solomon F. Ofori-Acquah
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a fatal disease without any cure. Both human disease and animal models demonstrate dysregulated wound healing and unregulated fibrogenesis in a background of low-grade chronic T lymphocyte infiltration. Tissue-resident memory T cells (Trm) are emerging as important regulators of the immune microenvironment in response to pathogens, and we hypothesized that they might play a role in regulating the unremitting inflammation that promotes lung fibrosis. Herein, we demonstrate that lung-directed immunotherapy, in the form of i.n. vaccination, induces an antifibrotic T cell response capable of arresting and reversing lung fibrosis. In mice with established lung fibrosis, lung-specific T cell responses were able to reverse established pathology — as measured by decreased lung collagen, fibrocytes, and histologic injury — and improve physiologic function. Mechanistically, we demonstrate that this effect is mediated by vaccine-induced lung Trm. These data not only have implications for the development of immunotherapeutic regimens to treat IPF, but also suggest a role for targeting tissue-resident memory T cells to treat other tissue-specific inflammatory/autoimmune disorders.
Samuel L. Collins, Yee Chan-Li, MinHee Oh, Christine L. Vigeland, Nathachit Limjunyawong, Wayne Mitzner, Jonathan D. Powell, Maureen R. Horton
To elucidate the mechanisms for reverse LV remodeling, we generated a conditional (doxycycline [dox] off) transgenic mouse tetracycline transactivating factor–TRAF2 (tTA-TRAF2) that develops a dilated heart failure (HF) phenotype upon expression of a proinflammatory transgene, TNF receptor–associated factor 2 (TRAF2), and complete normalization of LV structure and function when the transgene is suppressed. tTA-TRAF2 mice developed a significant increase in LV dimension with decreased contractile function, which was completely normalized in the tTA-TRAF2 mice fed dox for 4 weeks (tTA-TRAF2dox4W). Normalization of LV structure and function was accompanied by partial normalization (~60%) of gene expression associated with incident HF. Similar findings were observed in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy who underwent reverse LV remodeling following mechanical circulatory support. Persistence of the HF gene program was associated with an exaggerated hypertrophic response and increased mortality in tTA-TRAF2dox4W mice following transaortic constriction (TAC). These effects were no longer observed following TAC in tTA-TRAF2dox8W, wherein there was a more complete (88%) reversal of the incident HF genes. These results demonstrate that reverse LV remodeling is associated with improvements in cardiac myocyte biology; however, the persistence of the abnormal HF gene program may be maladaptive following perturbations in hemodynamic loading conditions.
Veli K. Topkara, Kari T. Chambers, Kai-Chien Yang, Huei-Ping Tzeng, Sarah Evans, Carla Weinheimer, Attila Kovacs, Jeffrey Robbins, Philip Barger, Douglas L. Mann
IL-1β is a well-established inducer of both insulin resistance and impaired pancreatic islet function. Despite this, findings examining IL-1 receptor deficiency or antagonism in in vivo animal models, as well as in clinical studies of type 2 diabetic (T2D) patients, have led to conflicting results, suggesting that the actions of IL-1β on glycemic control may be pleiotropic in nature. In the present work, we find that the ability of IL-1β to amplify glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from human islets correlates with donor BMI. Islets from obese donors are sensitized to the insulinotropic effects of this cytokine, whereas the stimulatory effects of IL-1β are lost in islets from obese T2D patients, suggesting a role for IL-1 signaling in islet compensation. Indeed, mice deficient in IL-1 receptor type I become glucose intolerant more rapidly than their WT littermates and have impaired secretory responses during the acute stages of inflammatory and metabolic stress induced by LPS and high-fat diet, respectively. IL-1β directly enhances β cell insulin secretion by increasing granule docking and soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment receptor (SNARE) complex formation at the plasma membrane. Together, our study highlights the importance of IL-1β signaling in islet compensation to metabolic and inflammatory stress.
Catherine Hajmrle, Nancy Smith, Aliya F. Spigelman, Xiaoqing Dai, Laura Senior, Austin Bautista, Mourad Ferdaoussi, Patrick E. MacDonald
BCR-ABL1+ B progenitor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ B-ALL) is an aggressive disease that frequently responds poorly to currently available therapies. Alterations in
Michelle L. Churchman, Kathryn Evans, Jennifer Richmond, Alissa Robbins, Luke Jones, Irina M. Shapiro, Jonathan A. Pachter, David T. Weaver, Peter J. Houghton, Malcolm A. Smith, Richard B. Lock, Charles G. Mullighan
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