Bacterial permeability family member A1 (BPIFA1), also known as short palate, lung, and nasal epithelium clone 1 (SPLUNC1), is a protein involved in the antiinflammatory response. The goal of this study was to determine whether BPIFA1 expression in asthmatic airways is regulated by genetic variations, altering epithelial responses to type 2 cytokines (e.g., IL-13). Nasal epithelial cells from patients with mild to severe asthma were collected from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Severe Asthma Research Program centers, genotyped for rs750064, and measured for BPIFA1. To determine the function of rs750064, cells were cultured at air-liquid interface and treated with IL-13 with or without recombinant human BPIFA1 (rhBPIFA1). Noncultured nasal cells with the rs750064 CC genotype had significantly less BPIFA1 mRNA expression than the CT and TT genotypes. Cultured CC versus CT and TT cells without stimulation maintained less BPIFA1 expression. With IL-13 treatment, CC genotype cells secreted more eotaxin-3 than CT and TT genotype cells. Also, rhBPIFA1 reduced IL-13–mediated eotaxin-3. BPIFA1 mRNA levels negatively correlated with serum IgE and fractional exhaled nitric oxide. Baseline FEV1% levels were lower in the asthma patients with the CC genotype (n = 1,016). Our data suggest that less BPIFA1 in asthma patients with the CC allele may predispose them to greater eosinophilic inflammation, which could be attenuated by rhBPIFA1 protein therapy.
Niccolette Schaefer, Xingnan Li, Max A. Seibold, Nizar N. Jarjour, Loren C. Denlinger, Mario Castro, Andrea M. Coverstone, W. Gerald Teague, Jonathan Boomer, Eugene R. Bleecker, Deborah A. Meyers, Wendy C. Moore, Gregory A. Hawkins, John Fahy, Brenda R. Phillips, David T. Mauger, Azzeddine Dakhama, Shaan Gellatly, Nicole Pavelka, Reena Berman, Y. Peter Di, Sally E. Wenzel, Hong Wei Chu
Adipose tissue macrophages (ATM) are crucial for maintaining adipose tissue homeostasis and mediating obesity-induced metabolic abnormalities, including prediabetic conditions and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Despite their key functions in regulating adipose tissue metabolic and immunologic homeostasis under normal and obese conditions, a high-resolution transcriptome annotation system that can capture ATM multifaceted activation profiles has not yet been developed. This is primarily attributed to the complexity of their differentiation/activation process in adipose tissue and their diverse activation profiles in response to microenvironmental cues. Although the concept of multifaceted macrophage action is well-accepted, no current model precisely depicts their dynamically regulated in vivo features. To address this knowledge gap, we generated single-cell transcriptome data from primary bone marrow-derived macrophages under polarizing and non-polarizing conditions to develop new high-resolution algorithms. The outcome was creation of a two-index platform, MacSpectrum (https://macspectrum.uconn.edu), that enables comprehensive high-resolution mapping of macrophage activation states from diverse mixed cell populations. MacSpectrum captured dynamic transitions of macrophage subpopulations under both in vitro and in vivo conditions. Importantly, MacSpectrum revealed unique “signature” gene sets in ATMs and circulating monocytes that displayed significant correlation with BMI and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) in obese human patients. Thus, MacSpectrum provides unprecedented resolution to decode macrophage heterogeneity and will open new areas of clinical translation.
Chuan Li, Antoine Menoret, Cullen Farragher, Zhengqing Ouyang, Christopher Bonin, Paul Holvoet, Anthony T. Vella, Beiyan Zhou
Dysregulation of the JAK/STAT signaling pathway is associated with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and its mouse model, Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE). Suppressors Of Cytokine Signaling (SOCS) negatively regulate the JAK/STAT pathway. We previously reported a severe, brain-targeted, atypical form of EAE in mice lacking Socs3 in myeloid cells (Socs3ΔLysM), which is associated with cerebellar neutrophil infiltration. There is emerging evidence that neutrophils are detrimental in the pathology of MS/EAE, however, their exact function is unclear. Here we demonstrate that neutrophils from the cerebellum of Socs3ΔLysM mice show a hyper-activated phenotype with excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) at the peak of EAE. Neutralization of ROS in vivo delayed the onset and reduced severity of atypical EAE. Mechanistically, Socs3-deficient neutrophils exhibit enhanced STAT3 activation, a hyper-activated phenotype in response to G-CSF, and upon G-CSF priming, increased ROS production. Neutralization of G-CSF in vivo significantly reduced the incidence and severity of the atypical EAE phenotype. Overall, our work elucidates that hypersensitivity of G-CSF/STAT3 signaling in Socs3ΔLysM mice leads to atypical EAE by enhanced neutrophil activation and increased oxidative stress, which may explain the detrimental role of G-CSF in MS patients.
Zhaoqi Yan, Wei Yang, Luke Parkitny, Sara A. Gibson, Kevin S. Lee, Forrest Collins, Jessy S. Deshane, Wayne Cheng, Amy S. Weinmann, Hairong Wei, Hongwei Qin, Etty N. Benveniste
Heart failure (HF) is associated in humans and mice with increased circulating levels of CXCL9 and CXCL10, chemokine ligands of the CXCR3 receptor, predominantly expressed on CD4+ T helper type 1 (Th1) cells. Chemokine engagement of receptors is required for T cell integrin activation and recruitment to sites of inflammation. Th1 cells drive adverse cardiac remodeling in pressure overload induced cardiac dysfunction, and mice lacking the integrin ligand ICAM-1 show defective T cell recruitment to the heart. Here, we show that CXCR3+ T cells infiltrate the heart in humans and mice with pressure overload induced cardiac dysfunction. Genetic deletion of CXCR3 disrupts CD4+ T cell heart infiltration and prevents adverse cardiac remodeling. We demonstrate that cardiac myeloid cells that include resident and infiltrated macrophages, and cardiac fibroblasts are the source of CXCL9 and CXCL10; which, mechanistically promote Th1 cell adhesion to ICAM-1 under shear conditions in a CXCR3-dependent manner. Our findings identify a previously unrecognized role for CXCR3 in Th1 cell recruitment into the heart in pressure overload induced cardiac dysfunction.
Njabulo Ngwenyama, Ane M. Salvador, Francisco Velázquez, Tania Nevers, Alexander Levy, Mark J. Aronovitz, Andrew D. Luster, Gordon S. Huggins, Pilar Alcaide
Psoriasis (PS) is a systemic, immune-mediated inflammatory disorder. However, the whole lymphocyte compartment and the potential pathologies of PS have not been fully characterized. In the present study, we examined whole lymphocyte subsets and signal transduction proteins using high-dimensional single-cell mass cytometry and a bioinformatics pipeline for an in-depth characterization of the immune cell subsets and protein profiles involved in pathways in the peripheral blood of patients with PS. We identified 15 major immune cell populations in T cell lineages, and characterized various CD3+CD4+T helper and CD3+CD8+T cytotoxic cell populations simultaneously across 24 leukocyte markers and 7 proteins related to the signal transduction pathways. High-dimensional analysis identified three new subsets that are abundant in PS peripheral blood, resembling CD3-CD4+ lymphoid tissue inducer cells, Tc17, and CD8+CXCR3+ Tregs. We confirmed the CD3-CD4+ cells, and their features and functions, in an independent PS cohort. The use of single-cell mass cytometry allows systemic-level characterization of lymphocyte subpopulations and dysregulated signaling pathways in the blood of patients with PS, identifying abnormalities of different immune cell subsets. We validated that the CD3-CD4+ cells had elevated OX40 and decreased FRA2 expression, which were positively associated with the psoriasis area and severity index.
Ruru Guo, Ting Zhang, Xinyu Meng, Zhen Lin, Jinran Lin, Yu Gong, Xuesong Liu, Yuetian Yu, Guilin Zhao, Xianting Ding, Xiaoxiang Chen, Liangjing Lu
Although Type-2 (T2) induced epithelial dysfunction is likely to profoundly alter epithelial differentiation and repair in asthma, the mechanisms for these effects are poorly understood. A role for specific mucins, heavily N-glycosylated epithelial glycoproteins, in orchestrating epithelial cell fate in response to T2 stimuli has not previously been investigated. Levels of a sialylated MUC4β isoform were found to be increased in airway specimens from asthmatic patients, in association with T2 inflammation. We hypothesized that IL-13 would increase sialylation of MUC4β, thereby altering its function and that the β-galactoside α-2,6-sialyltranferase 1 (ST6GAL1) would regulate the sialylation. Using human biologic specimens and cultured primary human airway epithelial cells (HAECs), we demonstrated that IL-13 increased sialylation of MUC4β under control of ST6GAL1, and that both were increased in asthma, particularly in those with elevated T2 biomarkers. ST6GAL1 induced sialylation of MUC4β altered its lectin binding and secretion. Both ST6GAL1 and MUC4β inhibited epithelial cell proliferation while promoting goblet cell differentiation. These in vivo and in vitro data provide strong evidence for a critical role for ST6GAL1 induced sialylation of MUC4β in epithelial dysfunction associated with T2-High asthma, thereby identifying specific sialylation pathways as potential targets in asthma.
Xiuxia Zhou, Carol L. Kinlough, Rebecca P. Hughey, Mingzhu Jin, Hideki Inoue, Emily Etling, Brian D. Modena, Naftali Kaminski, Eugene R. Bleecker, Deborah A. Meyers, Nizar N. Jarjour, John B. Trudeau, Fernando Holguin, Anuradha Ray, Sally E. Wenzel
Plexiform neurofibroma is a major contributor to morbidity in patients with neurofibromatosis type I (NF1). Macrophages and mast cells infiltrate neurofibroma, and data from mouse models implicate these leukocytes in neurofibroma development. Antiinflammatory therapy targeting these cell populations has been suggested as a means to prevent neurofibroma development. Here, we compare gene expression in Nf1-mutant nerves, which invariably form neurofibroma, and show disruption of neuron–glial cell interactions and immune cell infiltration to mouse models, which rarely progresses to neurofibroma with or without disruption of neuron–glial cell interactions. We find that the chemokine Cxcl10 is uniquely upregulated in NF1 mice that invariably develop neurofibroma. Global deletion of the CXCL10 receptor Cxcr3 prevented neurofibroma development in these neurofibroma-prone mice, and an anti–Cxcr3 antibody somewhat reduced tumor numbers. Cxcr3 expression localized to T cells and DCs in both inflamed nerves and neurofibromas, and Cxcr3 expression was necessary to sustain elevated macrophage numbers in Nf1-mutant nerves. To our knowledge, these data support a heretofore-unappreciated role for T cells and DCs in neurofibroma initiation.
Jonathan S. Fletcher, Jianqiang Wu, Walter J. Jessen, Jay Pundavela, Jacob A. Miller, Eva Dombi, Mi-Ok Kim, Tilat A. Rizvi, Kashish Chetal, Nathan Salomonis, Nancy Ratner
Psoriasis is one of the most common skin inflammatory diseases worldwide. The vitamin D3 analog calcipotriol has been used alone or in combination with corticosteroids in treating plaque psoriasis, but how it suppresses psoriatic inflammation has not been fully understood. Using an experimental mouse psoriasis model, we show that topical calcipotriol inhibited the pivotal IL-23/IL-17 axis and neutrophil infiltration in psoriatic skin, and interestingly, such effects were mediated through the vitamin D receptor (VDR) in keratinocytes (KCs). We further reveal that IL-36α and IL-36γ, which have recently emerged as key players in psoriasis pathogenesis, were effectively repressed by calcipotriol via direct VDR signaling in mouse KCs. Accordingly, calcipotriol treatment suppressed IL-36α/γ expression in lesional skin from patients with plaque psoriasis, which was accompanied by a reduced IL-23/IL-17 expression. In contrast, dexamethasone indirectly reduced IL-36α/γ expression in mouse psoriatic skin through immune cells. Furthermore, we demonstrate that calcipotriol and dexamethasone, in combination, synergistically suppressed the expression of IL-36α/γ, IL-23, and IL-17 in the established mouse psoriasis. Our findings indicate that the combination of calcipotriol and corticosteroid efficiently disrupts the IL-36 and IL-23/IL-17 positive feedback loop, thus revealing a mechanism underlying the superior efficacy of calcipotriol and corticosteroid combination therapy for psoriasis.
Beatriz Germán, Ruicheng Wei, Pierre Hener, Christina Martins, Tao Ye, Cornelia Gottwick, Jianying Yang, Julien Seneschal, Katia Boniface, Mei Li
Although the importance of the tumor immune environment for the modulation of tumorigenesis and tumor regression is becoming increasingly clear, most of the research related to tumor-immune therapies has focused on adaptive immune cells, while the role and regulation of innate leukocytes such as neutrophils remains controversial and less defined. Here we observed that the selective deletion of Tollip, a key innate immune-cell modulator, led to enhanced tumor immune surveillance in a chemically induced colorectal cancer model. Tollip-deficient neutrophils significantly elevated T cell activation through enhanced expression of the costimulatory molecule CD80, and reduced expression of the inhibitory molecule PD-L1. Mechanistically, Tollip deficiency increased STAT5 and reduced STAT1, the transcription factors responsible for the expression of CD80 and PD-L1, respectively. Through adoptive transfer, we demonstrate that Tollip-deficient neutrophils, but not Tollip-deficient monocytes, are sufficient to drive enhanced tumor immune surveillance and reduced colorectal cancer burden in vivo. Our data reveal a strategy for the reprogramming of neutrophil functions conducive for the enhancement of the antitumor immune environment.
Yao Zhang, Christina Lee, Shuo Geng, Liwu Li
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common clinical condition of growing incidence. Patients who suffer severe AKI have a higher risk of developing interstitial fibrosis, chronic kidney disease, and end-stage renal disease later in life. Cellular senescence is a persistent cell cycle arrest and altered gene expression pattern evoked by multiple stressors. The number of senescent cells increases with age and even in small numbers these cells can induce chronic inflammation and fibrosis; indeed, in multiple organs including kidneys, the accumulation of such cells is a hallmark of aging. We hypothesized that cellular senescence might be induced in the kidney after injury and that this might contribute to progressive organ fibrosis. Testing this hypothesis, we found that tubular epithelial cells (TECs) in mice senesce within a few days of kidney injury and that this response is mediated by epithelial Toll-like and interleukin 1 receptors (TLR/IL-1R) of the innate immune system. Epithelial cell–specific inhibition of innate immune signaling in mice by knockout of myeloid differentiation 88 (Myd88) reduced fibrosis as well as damage to kidney tubules, and also prevented the accumulation of senescent TECs. Importantly, although inactivation of Myd88 after injury ameliorated fibrosis, it did not reduce damage to the tubules. Selectively induced apoptosis of senescent cells by two different approaches only partially reduced kidney fibrosis, without ameliorating damage to the tubules. Our data reveal a cell-autonomous role for epithelial innate immunity in controlling TEC senescence after kidney injury, and additionally suggest that early therapeutic intervention is required for effective reduction of long-term sequelae of AKI.
Heng Jin, Yan Zhang, Qiong Ding, Shan Shan Wang, Prerna Rastogi, Dao-Fu Dai, Dongmei Lu, Madison Purvis, Chao Cao, Angela Wang, Dingxiao Liu, Chongyu Ren, Sarah Elhadi, Ming-Chang Hu, Yanfen Chai, Diana Zepeda-Orozco, Judith Campisi, Massimo Attanasio
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