Following the advent of molecular assays that measure T cell receptor excision circles (TRECs) present in recent thymic emigrants, it has been conclusively shown that thymopoiesis persists in most adults, but that functional output decreases with age, influencing the maintenance of a diverse and functional T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire. Space flight has been shown to result in a variety of phenotypic and functional changes in human T cells and in the reactivation of latent viruses. While space flight has been shown to influence thymic architecture in rodents, thymopoiesis has not previously been assessed in astronauts. Here, we assessed thymopoiesis longitudinally over a 1-year period prior to and after long-term space flight (median duration, 184 days) in 16 astronauts. While preflight assessments of thymopoiesis remained quite stable in individual astronauts, we detected significant suppression of thymopoiesis in all subjects upon return from space flight. We also found significant increases in urine and plasma levels of endogenous glucocorticoids coincident with the suppression of thymopoiesis. The glucocorticoid induction and thymopoiesis suppression were transient, and they normalized shortly after return to Earth. This is the first report to our knowledge to prospectively demonstrate a significant change in thymopoiesis in healthy individuals in association with a defined physiologic emotional and physical stress event. These results suggest that suppression of thymopoiesis has the potential to influence the maintenance of the TCR repertoire during extended space travel. Further studies of thymopoiesis and endogenous glucocorticoids in other stress states, including illness, are warranted.
Cara L. Benjamin, Raymond P. Stowe, Lisa St. John, Clarence F. Sams, Satish K. Mehta, Brian E. Crucian, Duane L. Pierson, Krishna V. Komanduri
Recent gene-profiling analyses showed significant upregulation of the folate hydrolase (
Rana Rais, Weiwei Jiang, Huihong Zhai, Krystyna M. Wozniak, Marigo Stathis, Kristen R. Hollinger, Ajit G. Thomas, Camilo Rojas, James J. Vornov, Michael Marohn, Xuhang Li, Barbara S. Slusher
Osteoarthritis (OA) of spine (facet joints [FJs]) is one of the major causes of severe low back pain and disability worldwide. The degeneration of facet cartilage is a hallmark of FJ OA. However, endogenous mechanisms that initiate degeneration of facet cartilage are unknown, and there are no disease-modifying therapies to stop FJ OA. In this study, we have identified microRNAs (small noncoding RNAs) as mediators of FJ cartilage degeneration. We first established a cohort of patients with varying degrees of facet cartilage degeneration (control group: normal or mild facet cartilage degeneration; FJ OA group: moderate to severe facet cartilage degeneration) and then screened 2,100 miRNAs and identified 2 miRNAs (miR-181a-5p and miR-4454) that were significantly elevated in FJ OA cartilage compared with control facet cartilage. We further explored their role, function, and signaling mechanisms using computational, in vitro functional, and in vivo studies. We specifically indicate that miR-181a-5p and miR-4454 are involved in promoting inflammatory, catabolic, and cell death activity in FJ chondrocytes. This is the first report to our knowledge that identifies miR-181a-5p and miR-4454 as mediators of cartilage degeneration in FJs and potential therapeutic targets for stopping cartilage degeneration.
Akihiro Nakamura, Y. Raja Rampersaud, Anirudh Sharma, Stephen J. Lewis, Brian Wu, Poulami Datta, Kala Sundararajan, Helal Endisha, Evgeny Rossomacha, Jason S. Rockel, Igor Jurisica, Mohit Kapoor
A single-cycle herpes simplex virus (HSV) deleted in glycoprotein D (ΔgD-2) elicited high titer HSV-specific antibodies (Abs) that (i) were rapidly transported into the vaginal mucosa; (ii) elicited antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity but little neutralization; (iii) provided complete protection against lethal intravaginal challenge; and (iv) prevented establishment of latency in mice. However, clinical isolates may differ antigenically and impact vaccine efficacy. To determine the breadth and further define mechanisms of protection of this vaccine candidate, we tested ΔgD-2 against a panel of clinical isolates in a murine skin challenge model. The isolates were genetically diverse, as evidenced by genomic sequencing and in vivo virulence. Prime and boost immunization (s.c.) with live but not heat- or UV-inactivated ΔgD-2 completely protected mice from challenge with the most virulent HSV-1 and HSV-2 isolates. Furthermore, mice were completely protected against 100 times the lethal dose that typically kills 90% of animals (LD90) of a South African isolate (SD90), and no latent virus was detected in dorsal root ganglia. Immunization was associated with rapid recruitment of HSV-specific FcγRIII- and FcγRIV-activating IgG2 Abs into the skin, resolution of local cytokine and cellular inflammatory responses, and viral clearance by day 5 after challenge. Rapid clearance and the absence of latent virus suggest that ΔgD-2 elicits sterilizing immunity.
Christopher D. Petro, Brian Weinrick, Nazanin Khajoueinejad, Clare Burn, Rani Sellers, William R. Jacobs Jr, Betsy C. Herold
It is well established that maladaptive innate immune responses to sterile tissue injury represent a fundamental mechanism of disease pathogenesis. In the context of cardiac ischemia reperfusion injury, neutrophils enter inflamed heart tissue, where they play an important role in potentiating tissue damage and contributing to contractile dysfunction. The precise mechanisms that govern how neutrophils are recruited to and enter the injured heart are incompletely understood. Using a model of cardiac transplant–mediated ischemia reperfusion injury and intravital 2-photon imaging of beating mouse hearts, we determined that tissue-resident CCR2+ monocyte–derived macrophages are essential mediators of neutrophil recruitment into ischemic myocardial tissue. Our studies revealed that neutrophil extravasation is mediated by a TLR9/MyD88/CXCL5 pathway. Intravital 2-photon imaging demonstrated that CXCL2 and CXCL5 play critical and nonredundant roles in guiding neutrophil adhesion and crawling, respectively. Together, these findings uncover a specific role for a tissue-resident monocyte-derived macrophage subset in sterile tissue inflammation and support the evolving concept that macrophage ontogeny is an important determinant of function. Furthermore, our results provide the framework for targeting of cell-specific signaling pathways in myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury.
Wenjun Li, Hsi-Min Hsiao, Ryuji Higashikubo, Brian T. Saunders, Ankit Bharat, Daniel R. Goldstein, Alexander S. Krupnick, Andrew E. Gelman, Kory J. Lavine, Daniel Kreisel
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
Over one-fifth of North American women of childbearing age are obese, putting these women at risk for a variety of detrimental chronic diseases. In addition, obesity increases the risk for developing major complications during pregnancy. The mechanisms by which obesity contributes to pregnancy complications and loss remain unknown. Increasing evidence indicates that obesity results in major changes to adipose tissue immune cell composition and function; whether or not obesity also affects immune function in the uterus has not been explored. Here we investigated the effect of obesity on uterine natural killer (uNK) cells, which are essential for uterine artery remodeling and placental development. Using a cohort of obese or lean women, we found that obesity led to a significant reduction in uNK cell numbers accompanied with impaired uterine artery remodeling. uNK cells isolated from obese women had altered expression of genes and pathways associated with extracellular matrix remodeling and growth factor signaling. Specifically, uNK cells were hyper-responsive to PDGF, resulting in overexpression of decorin. Functionally, decorin strongly inhibited placental development by limiting trophoblast survival. Together, these findings establish a potentially new link between obesity and poor pregnancy outcomes, and indicate that obesity-driven changes to uterine-resident immune cells critically impair placental development.
Sofie Perdu, Barbara Castellana, Yoona Kim, Kathy Chan, Lauren DeLuca, Alexander G. Beristain
The deubiquitinase-encoding gene
Yingai Jane Jin, Sally Wang, Joshua Cho, M. Angelica Selim, Tim Wright, George Mosialos, Jennifer Y. Zhang
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
Significant morbidity in cystic fibrosis (CF) results from chronic lung inflammation, most commonly due to
Kong Chen, Brian T. Campfield, Sally E. Wenzel, Jeremy P. McAleer, James L. Kreindler, Geoffrey Kurland, Radha Gopal, Ting Wang, Wei Chen, Taylor Eddens, Kathleen M. Quinn, Mike M. Myerburg, William T. Horne, Jose M. Lora, Brian K. Albrecht, Joseph M. Pilewski, Jay K. Kolls
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