Lupus nephritis is a leading cause of mortality among systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients, and its heterogeneous nature poses a significant challenge to the development of effective diagnostics and treatments. Single cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) offers a potential solution to dissect the heterogeneity of the disease and enables the study of similar cell types distant from the site of renal injury to identify novel biomarkers. We applied scRNA-seq to human renal and skin biopsy tissues and demonstrated that scRNA-seq can be performed on samples obtained during routine care. Chronicity index, IgG deposition, and quantity of proteinuria correlated with a transcriptomic-based score composed of IFN-inducible genes in renal tubular cells. Furthermore, analysis of cumulative expression profiles of single cell keratinocytes dissociated from nonlesional, non–sun-exposed skin of patients with lupus nephritis also revealed upregulation of IFN-inducible genes compared with keratinocytes isolated from healthy controls. This indicates the possible use of scRNA-seq analysis of skin biopsies as a biomarker of renal disease. These data support the potential utility of scRNA-seq to provide new insights into the pathogenesis of lupus nephritis and pave the way for exploiting a readily accessible tissue to reflect injury in the kidney.
Evan Der, Saritha Ranabothu, Hemant Suryawanshi, Kemal M. Akat, Robert Clancy, Pavel Morozov, Manjunath Kustagi, Mareike Czuppa, Peter Izmirly, H. Michael Belmont, Tao Wang, Nicole Jordan, Nicole Bornkamp, Janet Nwaukoni, July Martinez, Beatrice Goilav, Jill P. Buyon, Thomas Tuschl, Chaim Putterman
Despite expression of immunogenic polypeptides, tumors escape immune surveillance by engaging T cell checkpoint regulators and expanding Tregs, among other mechanisms. What orchestrates these controls is unknown. We report that free C3d, a fragment of the third component of complement, inside tumor cells — or associated with irradiated tumor cells and unattached to antigen — recruits, accelerates, and amplifies antitumor T cell responses, allowing immunity to reverse or even to prevent tumor growth. C3d enhances antitumor immunity independently of B cells, NK cells, or antibodies, but it does so by increasing tumor infiltrating CD8+ lymphocytes, by depleting Tregs, and by suppressing expression of programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) by T cells. These properties of C3d appear specific for the tumor and dependent on complement receptor 2, and they incur no obvious systemic toxicity. The heretofore unrecognized properties of free C3d suggest that protein might determine the effectiveness of immune surveillance and that increasing availability of the protein might prove advantageous in the treatment or prevention of cancer and premalignant conditions.
Jeffrey L. Platt, Inês Silva, Samuel J. Balin, Adam R. Lefferts, Evan Farkash, Ted M. Ross, Michael C. Carroll, Marilia Cascalho
Despite recent evidence of improved graft outcomes and safety, the high incidence of early acute cellular rejection with belatacept, a high-affinity CTLA4-Ig, has limited its use in clinical transplantation. Here we define how the incomplete control of endogenous donor-reactive memory T cells results in belatacept-resistant rejection in an experimental model of BALB/c.2W-OVA donor heart transplantation into C57BL/6 recipients presensitized to donor splenocytes. These sensitized mice harbored modestly elevated numbers of endogenous donor-specific memory T cells and alloantibodies compared with naive recipients. Continuous CTLA4-Ig treatment was unexpectedly efficacious at inhibiting endogenous graft-reactive T cell expansion but was unable to inhibit late CD4+ and CD8+ T cell infiltration into the allografts, and rejection was observed in 50% of recipients by day 35 after transplantation. When CTLA4-Ig was combined with the sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor-1 (S1PR1) functional antagonist FTY720, alloantibody production was inhibited and donor-specific IFN-γ–producing T cells were reduced to levels approaching nonsensitized tolerant recipients. Late T cell recruitment into the graft was also restrained, and graft survival improved with this combination therapy. These observations suggest that a rational strategy consisting of inhibiting memory T cell expansion and trafficking into the allograft with CTLA4-Ig and FTY720 can promote allograft survival in allosensitized recipients.
Stella H. Khiew, Jinghui Yang, James S. Young, Jianjun Chen, Qiang Wang, Dengping Yin, Vinh Vu, Michelle L. Miller, Roger Sciammas, Maria-Luisa Alegre, Anita S. Chong
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is caused by dystrophin deficiency resulting in progressive muscle weakness and fibrotic scarring. Muscle fibrosis impairs blood flow, hampering muscle repair and regeneration. Irrespective of the success of gene restoration, functional improvement is limited without reducing fibrosis. The levels of miR-29c, a known regulator of collagen, are reduced in DMD. Our goal is to develop translational, antifibrotic therapy by overexpressing miR-29c. We injected the gastrocnemius muscle with either self-complementary AAV.CMV.miR-29c or single-stranded AAV.MCK.micro-dystrophin alone or in combination in the
Kristin N. Heller, Joshua T. Mendell, Jerry R. Mendell, Louise R. Rodino-Klapac
Here, we report the isolation of broadly neutralizing mAbs (bNAbs) from persons with broadly neutralizing serum who spontaneously cleared hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. We found that bNAbs from two donors bound the same epitope and were encoded by the same germline heavy chain variable gene segment. Remarkably, these bNAbs were encoded by antibody variable genes with sparse somatic mutations. For one of the most potent bNAbs, these somatic mutations were critical for antibody neutralizing breadth and for binding to autologous envelope variants circulating late in infection. However, somatic mutations were not necessary for binding of the bNAb unmutated ancestor to envelope proteins of early autologous transmitted/founder viruses. This study identifies a public B cell clonotype favoring early recognition of a conserved HCV epitope, proving that anti-HCV bNAbs can achieve substantial neutralizing breadth with relatively few somatic mutations, and identifies HCV envelope variants that favored selection and maturation of an anti-HCV bNAb in vivo. These data provide insight into the molecular mechanisms of immune-mediated clearance of HCV infection and present a roadmap to guide development of a vaccine capable of stimulating anti-HCV bNAbs with a physiologic number of somatic mutations characteristic of vaccine responses.
Justin R. Bailey, Andrew I. Flyak, Valerie J. Cohen, Hui Li, Lisa N. Wasilewski, Anna E. Snider, Shuyi Wang, Gerald H. Learn, Nurgun Kose, Leah Loerinc, Rebecca Lampley, Andrea L. Cox, Jennifer M. Pfaff, Benjamin J. Doranz, George M. Shaw, Stuart C. Ray, James E. Crowe Jr.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. Physicians often use surrogate endpoints to monitor the progression of glaucomatous neurodegeneration. These approaches are limited in their ability to quantify disease severity and progression due to inherent subjectivity, unreliability, and limitations of normative databases. Therefore, there is a critical need to identify specific molecular markers that predict or measure glaucomatous neurodegeneration. Here, we demonstrate that growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15) is associated with retinal ganglion cell death.
Norimitsu Ban, Carla J. Siegfried, Jonathan B. Lin, Ying-Bo Shui, Julia Sein, Wolfgang Pita-Thomas, Abdoulaye Sene, Andrea Santeford, Mae Gordon, Rachel Lamb, Zhenyu Dong, Shannon C. Kelly, Valeria Cavalli, Jun Yoshino, Rajendra S. Apte
Non–transferrin-bound iron (NTBI) and free hemoglobin (Hb) accumulate in circulation following stored RBC transfusions. This study investigated transfusion, vascular disease, and mortality in guinea pigs after stored RBC transfusion alone and following cotransfusion with apo-transferrin (apo-Tf) and haptoglobin (Hp). The effects of RBC exchange transfusion dose (1, 3, and 9 units), storage period (14 days), and mortality were evaluated in guinea pigs with a vascular disease phenotype. Seven-day mortality and the interaction between iron and Hb as cocontributors to adverse outcome were studied. Concentrations of iron and free Hb were greatest after transfusion with 9 units of stored RBCs compared with fresh RBCs or stored RBCs at 1- and 3-unit volumes. Nine units of stored RBCs led to mortality in vascular diseased animals, but not normal animals. One and 3 units of stored RBCs did not cause a mortality effect, suggesting the concomitant relevance of NTBI and Hb on outcome. Cotransfusion with apo-Tf or Hp restored survival to 100% following 9-unit RBC transfusions in vascular diseased animals. Our data suggest that increases in plasma NTBI and Hb contribute to vascular disease–associated mortality through iron-enhanced Hb oxidation and enhanced tissue injury.
Jin Hyen Baek, Ayla Yalamanoglu, Yamei Gao, Ricardo Guenster, Donat R. Spahn, Dominik J. Schaer, Paul W. Buehler
Development of antiviral therapy against acute viral diseases, such as dengue virus (DENV), suffers from the narrow window of viral load detection in serum during onset and clearance of infection and fever. We explored a biomarker approach using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) PET in established mouse models for primary and antibody-dependent enhancement infection with DENV. 18F-FDG uptake was most prominent in the intestines and correlated with increased virus load and proinflammatory cytokines. Furthermore, a significant temporal trend in 18F-FDG uptake was seen in intestines and selected tissues over the time course of infection. Notably, 18F-FDG uptake and visualization by PET robustly differentiated treatment-naive groups from drug-treated groups as well as nonlethal from lethal infections with a clinical strain of DENV2. Thus, 18F-FDG may serve as a novel DENV infection–associated inflammation biomarker for assessing treatment response during therapeutic intervention trials.
Ann-Marie Chacko, Satoru Watanabe, Keira J. Herr, Shirin Kalimuddin, Jing Yang Tham, Joanne Ong, Marie Reolo, Raymond M.F. Serrano, Yin Bun Cheung, Jenny G.H. Low, Subhash G. Vasudevan
Contact hypersensitivity (CHS) is a common skin disease induced by epicutaneous sensitization to haptens. Conflicting results have been obtained regarding pathogenic versus protective roles of mast cells (MCs) in CHS, and this has been attributed in part to the limitations of certain models for studying MC functions in vivo. Here we describe a fluorescent imaging approach that enables in vivo selective labeling and tracking of MC secretory granules by real-time intravital 2-photon microscopy in living mice, and permits the identification of such MCs as a potential source of cytokines in different disease models. We show using this method that dermal MCs release their granules progressively into the surrounding microenvironment, but also represent an initial source of the antiinflammatory cytokine IL-10, during the early phase of severe CHS reactions. Finally, using 3 different types of MC-deficient mice, as well as mice in which IL-10 is ablated specifically in MCs, we show that IL-10 production by MCs can significantly limit the inflammation and tissue pathology observed in severe CHS reactions.
Laurent L. Reber, Riccardo Sibilano, Philipp Starkl, Axel Roers, Michele A. Grimbaldeston, Mindy Tsai, Nicolas Gaudenzio, Stephen J. Galli
The discovery of metabolite-phenotype associations may highlight candidate biomarkers and metabolic pathways altered in disease states. We sought to identify novel metabolites associated with obesity and one of its major complications, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), using a liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry method. In 997 individuals in Framingham Heart Study Generation 3 (FHS Gen 3), we identified an association between anandamide (AEA) and BMI. Further examination revealed that AEA was associated with radiographic hepatic steatosis. In a histologically defined NAFLD cohort, AEA was associated with NAFLD severity, the presence of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, and fibrosis. These data highlight AEA as a marker linking cardiometabolic disease and NAFLD severity.
W. Taylor Kimberly, John F. O’Sullivan, Anjali K. Nath, Michelle Keyes, Xu Shi, Martin G. Larson, Qiong Yang, Michelle T. Long, Ramachandran Vasan, Randall T. Peterson, Thomas J. Wang, Kathleen E. Corey, Robert E. Gerszten
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