Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can suppress pathological inflammation. However, the mechanisms underlying the association between MSCs and inflammation remain unclear. Under coculture conditions with macrophages, MSCs highly expressed angiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPTL4) to blunt the polarization of macrophages toward the proinflammatory phenotype. ANGPTL4-deficient MSCs failed to inhibit the inflammatory macrophage phenotype. In inflammation-related animal models, the injection of coculture medium or ANGPTL4 protein increased the antiinflammatory macrophages in both peritonitis and myocardial infarction. In particular, cardiac function and pathology were markedly improved by ANGPTL4 treatment. We found that retinoic acid–related orphan receptor α (RORα) was increased by inflammatory mediators, such as IL-1β, and bound to ANGPTL4 promoter in MSCs. Collectively, RORα-mediated ANGPTL4 induction was shown to contribute to the antiinflammatory activity of MSCs against macrophages under pathological conditions. This study suggests that the capability of ANGPTL4 to induce tissue repair is a promising opportunity for safe stem cell–free regeneration therapy from a translational perspective.
Dong Im Cho, Hye-jin Kang, Ju Hee Jeon, Gwang Hyeon Eom, Hyang Hee Cho, Mi Ra Kim, Meeyoung Cho, Hye-yun Jeong, Hyen Chung Cho, Moon Hwa Hong, Yong Sook Kim, Youngkeun Ahn
It has been hypothesized that interleukin-1alpha (IL-1α) is released from damaged cardiomyocytes following myocardial infarction (MI) and activates cardiac fibroblasts via its receptor (IL-1R1) to drive the early stages of cardiac remodeling. This study aimed to definitively test this hypothesis using cell type-specific IL-1α and IL-1R1 knockout (KO) mouse models. A floxed Il1α mouse was created and used to generate a cardiomyocyte-specific IL-1α KO mouse line (MIL1AKO). A tamoxifen-inducible fibroblast-specific IL-1R1 hemizygous KO mouse line (FIL1R1KO) was also generated. Mice underwent experimental MI (permanent left anterior descending coronary artery ligation) and cardiac function was determined 4 weeks later by conductance pressure-volume catheter analysis. Molecular markers of remodeling were evaluated at various time points by real-time RT-PCR and histology. MIL1AKO mice showed no difference in cardiac function or molecular markers of remodeling post-MI compared with littermate controls. In contrast, FIL1R1KO mice showed improved cardiac function and reduced remodeling markers post-MI compared with littermate controls. In conclusion, these data highlight a key role for the IL-1R1/cardiac fibroblast signaling axis in regulating post-MI remodeling and provide support for the continued development of anti-IL-1 therapies for improving cardiac function after MI. Cardiomyocyte-derived IL-1α was not an important contributor to post-MI remodeling in this model.
Sumia A. Bageghni, Karen E. Hemmings, Nadira Y. Yuldasheva, Azhar Maqbool, Filomena O. Gamboa-Esteves, Neil E. Humphreys, Maj Simonsen Jackson, Christopher P. Denton, Sheila Francis, Karen E. Porter, Justin F. X. Ainscough, Emmanuel Pinteaux, Mark J. Drinkhill, Neil A. Turner
Steroid-refractory intestinal acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) is a frequently fatal condition with little known about mechanisms driving failed steroid responses in gut mucosa. To uncover novel molecular insights in steroid-refractory aGVHD, we compared gene expression profiles of rectosigmoid biopsies from patients at diagnosis of clinical stage 3-4 lower intestinal aGVHD (N=22), to repeat biopsies when the patients became steroid refractory (N=22), and normal controls (N=10). We also performed single gene analyses of factors associated with tolerance (programmed death ligand-1 [PDL1], indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase [IDO1], and T cell immunoreceptor with Ig and ITIM domains [TIGIT]) and found that significantly higher expression levels of these aGVHD inhibitory genes (PDL1, IDO1, TIGIT) at aGVHD onset became decreased in the steroid-refractory state. We examined genes triggered by microbial ligands to stimulate gut repair, amphiregulin (AREG) and the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), and found that both AREG and AhR gene expression levels were increased at aGVHD onset and remained elevated in steroid-refractory aGVHD. We also identified higher expression levels of metallothioneines, metal-binding enzymes induced in stress responses, and M2 macrophage genes in steroid-refractory aGVHD. We observed no differences in T-cell subsets between onset and steroid-refractory aGVHD. Patients with a rapidly fatal course showed greater DNA damage and a distinct microbial signature at aGVHD onset, whereas patients with more prolonged survival exhibited a gene expression profile consistent with activation of Smoothened. Our results extend the paradigm beyond T cell-centric therapies for steroid-refractory GI aGVHD and highlight new mechanisms for therapeutic exploration.
Shernan G. Holtan, Ashraf Shabaneh, Brian C. Betts, Armin Rashidi, Margaret L. MacMillan, Celalettin Ustun, Khalid Amin, Byron P. Vaughn, Justin Howard, Alexander Khoruts, Mukta Arora, Todd E. DeFor, Darrell Johnson, Bruce R. Blazar, Daniel J. Weisdorf, Jinhua Wang
Immune homeostasis in the gut associated lymphoid tissues (GALT) is critical to prevent the development of inadvertent pathologies. B cells as the producers of antibodies and cytokines plays an important role in maintaining the GALT homeostasis. However, the mechanism by which B cells specifically direct their responses towards non-self-antigens and become ignorant to self-antigens in the GALT is not known. Therefore, we developed a novel mouse model by expressing Duck Egg Lysozyme (DEL) in gut epithelial cells in presence of HEL reactive B cells. Notably, we observed a transient activation and rapid deletion of self-reactive B cells in Peyers Patches and Mesenteric lymph nodes upon self-antigen exposure. The survival of self-reactive B cells upon exposure to their self-antigen was partially rescued by blocking receptor editing but could be completely rescued by stronger survival signal like ectopic expression of BCL2. Importantly, rescuing the self-reactive B cells promoted production of auto-antibodies and gut inflammation. Mechanistically, we identify a specific activation of TGFβ signaling in self-reactive B cells in the gut and a critical role of this pathway in maintaining peripheral tolerance. Collectively, our studies describe functional consequences and fate of self-reactive B cells in GALT and provide novel mechanistic insights governing self-tolerance of B cells in the gut.
Ashima Shukla, Cindi Chen, Julia Jellusova, Charlotte R. Leung, Elaine Kao, Numana Bhat, Wai W. Lin, John R. Apgar, Robert C. Rickert
Rheumatoid arthritis is linked with altered host immune responses and severe joint destruction. Recent evidence suggests that loss of gut homeostasis and barrier breach by pathobionts, including Porphyromonas gingivalis, may influence disease severity. The mechanism(s) leading to altered gut homeostasis and barrier breakdown in inflammatory arthritis are poorly understood. In the present study, we found a significant reduction in intestinal concentrations of several proresolving mediators during inflammatory arthritis, including downregulation of the gut-protective mediator resolvin D5n-3 DPA (RvD5n-3 DPA). This was linked with increased metabolism of RvD5n-3 DPA to its inactive 17-oxo metabolite. We also found downregulation of IL-10 expression in the gut of arthritic mice that was coupled with a reduction in IL-10 and IL-10 receptor (IL-10R) in lamina propria macrophages. These changes were linked with a decrease in the number of mucus-producing goblet cells and tight junction molecule expression in the intestinal epithelium of arthritic mice when compared with naive mice. P. gingivalis inoculation further downregulated intestinal RvD5n-3 DPA and Il-10 levels and the expression of gut tight junction proteins. RvD5n-3 DPA, but not its metabolite 17-oxo-RvD5n-3 DPA, increased the expression of both IL-10 and IL-10R in macrophages via the upregulation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor agonist l-kynurenine. Administration of RvD5n-3 DPA to arthritic P. gingivalis–inoculated mice increased intestinal Il-10 expression, restored gut barrier function, and reduced joint inflammation. Together, these findings uncover mechanisms in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis, where disruption of the gut RvD5n-3 DPA–IL-10 axis weakens the gut barrier, which becomes permissive to the pathogenic actions of the pathobiont P. gingivalis.
Magdalena B. Flak, Romain A. Colas, Estefanía Muñoz-Atienza, Michael A. Curtis, Jesmond Dalli, Costantino Pitzalis
BACKGROUND Cerebral cavernous angiomas (CAs) with a symptomatic hemorrhage (CASH) have a high risk of recurrent hemorrhage and serious morbidity.METHODS Eighteen plasma molecules with mechanistic roles in CA pathobiology were investigated in 114 patients and 12 healthy subjects. The diagnostic biomarker of a CASH in the prior year was derived as that minimizing the Akaike information criterion and validated using machine learning, and was compared with the prognostic CASH biomarker predicting bleeding in the subsequent year. Biomarkers were longitudinally followed in a subset of cases. The biomarkers were queried in the lesional neurovascular unit (NVU) transcriptome and in plasma miRNAs from CASH and non-CASH patients.RESULTS The diagnostic CASH biomarker included a weighted combination of soluble CD14 (sCD14), VEGF, C-reactive protein (CRP), and IL-10 distinguishing CASH patients with 76% sensitivity and 80% specificity (P = 0.0003). The prognostic CASH biomarker (sCD14, VEGF, IL-1β, and sROBO-4) was confirmed to predict a bleed in the subsequent year with 83% sensitivity and 93% specificity (P = 0.001). Genes associated with diagnostic and prognostic CASH biomarkers were differentially expressed in CASH lesional NVUs. Thirteen plasma miRNAs were differentially expressed between CASH and non-CASH patients.CONCLUSION Shared and unique biomarkers of recent symptomatic hemorrhage and of future bleeding in CA are mechanistically linked to lesional transcriptome and miRNA. The biomarkers may be applied for risk stratification in clinical trials and developed as a tool in clinical practice.FUNDING NIH, William and Judith Davis Fund in Neurovascular Surgery Research, Be Brave for Life Foundation, Safadi Translational Fellowship, Pritzker School of Medicine, and Sigrid Jusélius Foundation.
Seán B. Lyne, Romuald Girard, Janne Koskimäki, Hussein A. Zeineddine, Dongdong Zhang, Ying Cao, Yan Li, Agnieszka Stadnik, Thomas Moore, Rhonda Lightle, Changbin Shi, Robert Shenkar, Julián Carrión-Penagos, Sean P. Polster, Sharbel Romanos, Amy Akers, Miguel Lopez-Ramirez, Kevin J. Whitehead, Mark L. Kahn, Mark H. Ginsberg, Douglas A. Marchuk, Issam A. Awad
Genetic susceptibility to chronic pancreatitis in humans is frequently associated with mutations that increase activation of the digestive protease trypsin. Intrapancreatic trypsin activation is an early event in experimental acute pancreatitis in rodents, suggesting that trypsin is a key driver of pathology. In contrast to trypsin, the pancreatic protease chymotrypsin serves a protective function by mitigating trypsin activation through degradation. In humans, loss-of-function mutations in chymotrypsin C (CTRC) are common risk factors for chronic pancreatitis; however, the pathogenic effect of CTRC deficiency has not been corroborated in animal models yet. Here we report that C57BL/6 mice that are widely used for genetic manipulations do not express functional CTRC due to a single-nucleotide deletion in exon 2 of the Ctrc gene. We restored a functional Ctrc locus in C57BL/6N mice and demonstrated that in the novel Ctrc+ strain the severity of cerulein-induced experimental acute and chronic pancreatitis was significantly ameliorated. Improved disease parameters were associated with reduced intrapancreatic trypsin activation suggesting a causal link between CTRC-mediated trypsinogen degradation and protection against pancreatitis. Taken together with prior human genetic and biochemical studies, the observations provide conclusive evidence for the protective role of CTRC against pancreatitis.
Andrea Geisz, Zsanett Jancsó, Balázs Csaba Németh, Eszter Hegyi, Miklós Sahin-Tóth
Airway neutrophilia occurs in approximately 50% of patients with asthma and is associated with particularly severe disease. Unfortunately, this form of asthma is usually refractory to corticosteroid treatment, and there is an unmet need for new therapies. Pulmonary neutrophilic inflammation is associated with Th17 cells, whose differentiation is controlled by the nuclear receptor, RORγt. Here, we tested whether VTP-938, a selective inverse agonist of this receptor, can reduce disease parameters in animal models of neutrophilic asthma. When administered prior to allergic sensitization through the airway, the RORγt inverse agonist blunted allergen-specific Th17 cell development in lung-draining lymph nodes and attenuated allergen-induced production of IL-17. VTP-938 also reduced pulmonary production of IL-17 and airway neutrophilia when given during the allergen challenge of the model. Finally, in an environmentally relevant model of allergic responses to house dust extracts, VTP-938 suppressed production of IL-17 and neutrophilic inflammation, and also markedly diminished airway hyperresponsiveness. Together, these findings suggest that orally available inverse agonists of RORγt might provide an effective therapy to treat glucocorticoid-resistant neutrophilic asthma.
Gregory S. Whitehead, Hong Soon Kang, Seddon Y. Thomas, Alexander Medvedev, Tadeusz P. Karcz, Gentaro Izumi, Keiko Nakano, Sergei S. Makarov, Hideki Nakano, Anton M. Jetten, Donald N. Cook
Whereas prior studies have demonstrated an important immunomodulatory role for the neuronal cholinergic system in the heart, the role of the non-neuronal cholinergic system is not well understood. To address the immunomodulatory role of the non-neuronal cholinergic system in the heart we used a previously validated diphtheria toxin (DT)-induced cardiomyocyte ablation model (Rosa26-DTMlc2v-Cre mice). DT-injected Rosa26-DTMlc2v-Cre mice were treated with diluent or Pyridostigmine Bromide (PYR), a reversible cholinesterase inhibitor. PYR treatment resulted in increased survival and decreased numbers of MHC-IIlowCCR2+ macrophages in DT-injected Rosa26-DTMlc2v-Cre mice compared to diluent treated Rosa26-DTMlc2v-Cre mice. Importantly, the expression of CCL2/7 mRNA and protein was reduced in the hearts of PYR-treated mice. Backcrossing Rosa26-DTMlc2v-Cre mice with a transgenic mouse line (Chat-ChR2) that constitutively overexpresses the vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT) resulted in decreased expression of Ccl2/7 mRNA and decreased numbers of CD68+ cells in DT-injured Rosa26-DTMlc2v-Cre/Chat-ChR2 mouse hearts, consistent with the pharmacologic studies with PYR. In vitro studies with cultures of LPS-stimulated peritoneal macrophages revealed a concentration-dependent reduction in CCL2 secretion following stimulation with ACh, nicotine and muscarine. Viewed together, these findings reveal a previously unappreciated immunomodulatory role for the non-neuronal cholinergic system in regulating homeostatic responses in the heart following tissue injury.
Cibele Rocha-Resende, Carla Weinheimer, Geetika Bajpai, Luigi Adamo, Scot J. Matkovich, Joel Schilling, Philip M. Barger, Kory J. Lavine, Douglas L. Mann
Excess dietary salt contributes to inflammation and hypertension via poorly understood mechanisms. Antigen presenting cells including dendritic cells (DCs) play a key role in regulating intestinal immune homeostasis in part by surveying the gut epithelial surface for pathogens. Previously, we found that highly reactive γ-ketoaldehydes or isolevuglandins (IsoLGs) accumulate in DCs and act as neoantigens, promoting an autoimmune-like state and hypertension. We hypothesized that excess dietary salt alters the gut microbiome leading to hypertension and this is associated with increased immunogenic IsoLG-adduct formation in myeloid antigen presenting cells. To test this hypothesis, we performed fecal microbiome analysis and measured blood pressure of healthy human volunteers with salt intake above or below the American Heart Association recommendations. We also performed 16S rRNA analysis on cecal samples of mice fed normal or high salt diets. In humans and mice, high salt intake was associated with changes in the gut microbiome reflecting an increase in Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and genus Prevotella bacteria. These alterations were associated with higher blood pressure in humans and predisposed mice to vascular inflammation and hypertension in response to a sub-pressor dose of angiotensin II. Mice fed a high salt diet exhibited increased intestinal inflammation including the mesenteric arterial arcade and aorta, with a marked increase in the B7 ligand CD86 and formation of IsoLG-protein adducts in CD11c+ myeloid cells. Adoptive transfer of fecal material from conventionally housed high salt-fed mice to germ-free mice predisposed them to increased intestinal inflammation and hypertension. These findings provide novel insight into the mechanisms underlying inflammation and hypertension associated with excess dietary salt and may lead to interventions targeting the microbiome to prevent and treat this important disease.
Jane F. Ferguson, Luul A. Aden, Natalia R. Barbaro, Justin P. Van Beusecum, Liang Xiao, Alan J. Simmons, Cassandra Warden, Lejla Pasic, Lauren E. Himmel, Mary K. Washington, Frank L. Revetta, Shilin Zhao, Shivani Kumaresan, Matthew B. Scholz, Zhengzheng Tang, Guanhua Chen, Muredach P. Reilly, Annet Kirabo
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