Liver fibrosis, a consequence of chronic liver injury and a way station to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, lacks effective treatment. Endocannabinoids acting via cannabinoid-1 receptors (CB1R) induce profibrotic gene expression and promote pathologies that predispose to liver fibrosis. CB1R antagonists produce opposite effects, but their therapeutic development was halted due to neuropsychiatric side effects. Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) also promotes liver fibrosis and its underlying pathologies, but iNOS inhibitors tested to date showed limited therapeutic efficacy in inflammatory diseases. Here, we introduce a peripherally restricted, orally bioavailable CB1R antagonist, which accumulates in liver to release an iNOS inhibitory leaving group. In mouse models of fibrosis induced by CCl4 or bile duct ligation, the hybrid CB1R/iNOS antagonist surpassed the antifibrotic efficacy of the CB1R antagonist rimonabant or the iNOS inhibitor 1400W, without inducing anxiety-like behaviors or CB1R occupancy in the CNS. The hybrid inhibitor also targeted CB1R-independent, iNOS-mediated profibrotic pathways, including increased PDGF, Nlrp3/Asc3, and integrin αvβ6 signaling, as judged by its ability to inhibit these pathways in cnr1–/– but not in nos2–/– mice. Additionally, it was able to slow fibrosis progression and to attenuate established fibrosis. Thus, dual-target peripheral CB1R/iNOS antagonists have therapeutic potential in liver fibrosis.
Resat Cinar, Malliga R. Iyer, Ziyi Liu, Zongxian Cao, Tony Jourdan, Katalin Erdelyi, Grzegorz Godlewski, Gergő Szanda, Jie Liu, Joshua K. Park, Bani Mukhopadhyay, Avi Z. Rosenberg, Jeih-San Lieow, Robin G. Lorenz, Pal Pacher, Robert B. Innis, George Kunos
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory airways disease that usually begins in early life and involves gene-environment interactions. Although most asthma exhibits allergic inflammation, many allergic individuals do not have asthma. Here, we report how the asthma gene a disintegrin and metalloprotease 33 (
Elizabeth R. Davies, Joanne F.C. Kelly, Peter H. Howarth, David I. Wilson, Stephen T. Holgate, Donna E. Davies, Jeffrey A. Whitsett, Hans Michael Haitchi
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common clinical condition defined as a rapid decline in kidney function. AKI is a global health burden, estimated to cause 2 million deaths annually worldwide. Unlike AKI in the young, which is reversible, AKI in the elderly often leads to end-stage renal disease, and the mechanism that prevents kidney repair in the elderly is unclear. Here we demonstrate that aged but not young mice developed multiple tertiary lymphoid tissues (TLTs) in the kidney after AKI. TLT size was associated with impaired renal function and increased expression of proinflammatory cytokines and homeostatic chemokines, indicating a possible contribution of TLTs to sustained inflammation after injury. Notably, resident fibroblasts from a single lineage diversified into p75 neurotrophin receptor+ (p75NTR+) fibroblasts and homeostatic chemokine–producing fibroblasts inside TLTs, and retinoic acid–producing fibroblasts around TLTs. Deletion of CD4+ cells as well as late administration of dexamethasone abolished TLTs and improved renal outcomes. Importantly, aged but not young human kidneys also formed TLTs that had cellular and molecular components similar to those of mouse TLTs. Therefore, the inhibition of TLT formation may offer a novel therapeutic strategy for AKI in the elderly.
Yuki Sato, Akiko Mii, Yoko Hamazaki, Harumi Fujita, Hirosuke Nakata, Kyoko Masuda, Shingo Nishiyama, Shinsuke Shibuya, Hironori Haga, Osamu Ogawa, Akira Shimizu, Shuh Narumiya, Tsuneyasu Kaisho, Makoto Arita, Masashi Yanagisawa, Masayuki Miyasaka, Kumar Sharma, Nagahiro Minato, Hiroshi Kawamoto, Motoko Yanagita
The autosomal recessive neuromuscular disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by loss of survival motor neuron (SMN) protein. Molecular pathways that are disrupted downstream of SMN therefore represent potentially attractive therapeutic targets for SMA. Here, we demonstrate that therapeutic targeting of ubiquitin pathways disrupted as a consequence of SMN depletion, by increasing levels of one key ubiquitination enzyme (ubiquitin-like modifier activating enzyme 1 [UBA1]), represents a viable approach for treating SMA. Loss of UBA1 was a conserved response across mouse and zebrafish models of SMA as well as in patient induced pluripotent stem cell–derive motor neurons. Restoration of UBA1 was sufficient to rescue motor axon pathology and restore motor performance in SMA zebrafish. Adeno-associated virus serotype 9–UBA1 (AAV9-UBA1) gene therapy delivered systemic increases in UBA1 protein levels that were well tolerated over a prolonged period in healthy control mice. Systemic restoration of UBA1 in SMA mice ameliorated weight loss, increased survival and motor performance, and improved neuromuscular and organ pathology. AAV9-UBA1 therapy was also sufficient to reverse the widespread molecular perturbations in ubiquitin homeostasis that occur during SMA. We conclude that UBA1 represents a safe and effective therapeutic target for the treatment of both neuromuscular and systemic aspects of SMA.
Rachael A. Powis, Evangelia Karyka, Penelope Boyd, Julien Côme, Ross A. Jones, Yinan Zheng, Eva Szunyogova, Ewout J.N. Groen, Gillian Hunter, Derek Thomson, Thomas M. Wishart, Catherina G. Becker, Simon H. Parson, Cécile Martinat, Mimoun Azzouz, Thomas H. Gillingwater
Urine concentration is regulated by vasopressin. Congenital nephrogenic diabetes insipidus (NDI) is caused by vasopressin type 2 receptor (V2R) mutations. We studied whether metformin could improve urine concentration in rodent models of congenital NDI by stimulating AMPK. To block the V2R in rats, tolvaptan (10 mg/kg/d) was given by oral gavage with or without metformin (800 mg/kg/d). Control rats received vehicle with or without metformin. Tamoxifen-induced V2R KO mice were given metformin (600 mg/kg) or vehicle twice daily. Urine osmolality in tolvaptan-treated rats (1,303 ± 126 mOsM) was restored to control levels by metformin (2,335 ± 273 mOsM) within 3 days and was sustained for up to 10 days. Metformin increased protein abundance of inner medullary urea transporter UT-A1 by 61% and aquaporin 2 (AQP2) by 44% in tolvaptan-treated rats, and immunohistochemistry showed increased membrane accumulation of AQP2 with acute and chronic AMPK stimulation. Outer medullary Na+-K+-2Cl– cotransporter 2 (NKCC2) abundance increased (117%) with AMPK stimulation in control rats but not in V2R-blocked rats. Metformin increased V2R KO mouse urine osmolality within 3 hours, and the increase persisted for up to 12 hours. Metformin increased AQP2 in the V2R KO mice similar to the tolvaptan-treated rats. These results indicate that AMPK activators, such as metformin, might provide a promising treatment for congenital NDI.
Orhan Efe, Janet D. Klein, Lauren M. LaRocque, Huiwen Ren, Jeff M. Sands
Low-grade chronic inflammation is a key etiological phenomenon responsible for the initiation and perpetuation of obesity and diabetes. Novel therapeutic approaches that can specifically target inflammatory pathways are needed to avert this looming epidemic of metabolic disorders. Genetic and chemical inhibition of SH2-containing inositol 5′ phosphatase 1 (SHIP1) has been associated with systemic expansion of immunoregulatory cells that promote a lean-body state; however, SHIP1 function in immunometabolism has never been assessed. This led us to investigate the role of SHIP1 in metabolic disorders during excess caloric intake in mice. Using a small-molecule inhibitor of SHIP1 (SHIPi), here we show that SHIPi treatment in mice significantly reduces body weight and fat content, improves control of blood glucose and insulin sensitivity, and increases energy expenditure, despite continued consumption of a high-fat diet. Additionally, SHIPi reduces age-associated fat in mice. We found that SHIPi treatment reverses diet-associated obesity by attenuating inflammation in the visceral adipose tissue (VAT). SHIPi treatment increases IL-4–producing eosinophils in VAT and consequently increases both alternatively activated macrophages and myeloid-derived suppressor cells. In addition, SHIPi decreases the number of IFN-γ–producing T cells and NK cells in VAT. Thus, SHIPi represents an approach that permits control of obesity and diet-induced metabolic syndrome without apparent toxicity.
Neetu Srivastava, Sonia Iyer, Raki Sudan, Christie Youngs, Robert W. Engelman, Kyle T. Howard, Christopher M. Russo, John D. Chisholm, William G. Kerr
Cardiovascular progenitor cells (CPCs) expressing the ISL1-LIM–homeodomain transcription factor contribute developmentally to cardiomyocytes in all 4 chambers of the heart. Here, we show that ISL1-CPCs can be applied to myocardial regeneration following injury. We used a rapid 3D methylcellulose approach to form murine and human ISL1-CPC spheroids that engrafted after myocardial infarction in murine hearts, where they differentiated into cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells, integrating into the myocardium and forming new blood vessels. ISL1-CPC spheroid–treated mice exhibited reduced infarct area and increased blood vessel formation compared with control animals. Moreover, left ventricular (LV) contractile function was significantly better in mice transplanted with ISL1-CPCs 4 weeks after injury than that in control animals. These results provide proof-of-concept of a cardiac repair strategy employing ISL1-CPCs that, based on our previous lineage-tracing studies, are committed to forming heart tissue, in combination with a robust methylcellulose spheroid–based delivery approach.
Oscar Bartulos, Zhen Wu Zhuang, Yan Huang, Nicole Mikush, Carol Suh, Alda Bregasi, Lin Wang, William Chang, Diane S. Krause, Lawrence H. Young, Jordan S. Pober, Yibing Qyang
Homeostasis of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is controlled by complex interactions between epithelial and immune cells and the resident microbiota. Here, we studied the role of Wnt signaling in GI homeostasis using
Haim Belinson, Adam K. Savage, Douglas Fadrosh, Yien-Ming Kuo, Din Lin, Ricardo Valladares, Ysbrand Nusse, Anthony Wynshaw-Boris, Susan V. Lynch, Richard M. Locksley, Ophir D. Klein
Tissue-resident memory T cells (TRM) are a recently defined, noncirculating subset with the potential for rapid in situ protective responses, although their generation and role in vaccine-mediated immune responses is unclear. Here, we assessed TRM generation and lung-localized protection following administration of currently licensed influenza vaccines, including injectable inactivated influenza virus (IIV, Fluzone) and i.n. administered live-attenuated influenza virus (LAIV, FluMist) vaccines. We found that, while IIV preferentially induced strain-specific neutralizing antibodies, LAIV generated lung-localized, virus-specific T cell responses. Moreover, LAIV but not IIV generated lung CD4+ TRM and virus-specific CD8+ TRM, similar in phenotype to those generated by influenza virus infection. Importantly, these vaccine-generated TRM mediated cross-strain protection, independent of circulating T cells and neutralizing antibodies, which persisted long-term after vaccination. Interestingly, intranasal administration of IIV or injection of LAIV failed to elicit T cell responses or provide protection against viral infection, demonstrating dual requirements for respiratory targeting and a live-attenuated strain to establish TRM. The ability of LAIV to generate lung TRM capable of providing long-term protection against nonvaccine viral strains, as demonstrated here, has important implications for protecting the population against emergent influenza pandemics by direct fortification of lung-specific immunity.
Kyra D. Zens, Jun Kui Chen, Donna L. Farber
The majority of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) patients are treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) in first-line treatment; however, a fraction are refractory to these antiangiogenic drugs. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are regulatory molecules proven to be accurate biomarkers in cancer. Here, we identified miRNAs predictive of progressive disease under TKI treatment through deep sequencing of 74 metastatic clear cell RCC cases uniformly treated with these drugs. Twenty-nine miRNAs were differentially expressed in the tumors of patients who progressed under TKI therapy (
Jesús García-Donas, Benoit Beuselinck, Lucía Inglada-Pérez, Osvaldo Graña, Patrick Schöffski, Agnieszka Wozniak, Oliver Bechter, Maria Apellániz-Ruiz, Luis Javier Leandro-García, Emilio Esteban, Daniel E. Castellano, Aranzazu González del Alba, Miguel Angel Climent, Susana Hernando, José Angel Arranz, Manuel Morente, David G. Pisano, Mercedes Robledo, Cristina Rodriguez-Antona
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