Host-commensal interactions are critical for the generation of robust inflammatory responses, yet the mechanisms leading to this effect remain poorly understood. Using a murine model of cytokine storm, we identified that host microbiota are required to sustain systemic TLR-driven immune responses. Mice treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics or raised in germ-free conditions responded normally to an initial TLR signal but failed to sustain production of proinflammatory cytokines following administration of repeated TLR signals in vivo. Mechanistically, host microbiota primed JAK signaling in myeloid progenitors to promote TLR-enhanced myelopoiesis, which is required for the accumulation of TLR-responsive monocytes. In the absence of TLR-enhanced monocytopoiesis, antibiotic-treated mice lost their ability to respond to repeated TLR stimuli and were protected from cytokine storm–induced immunopathology. These data reveal priming of TLR-enhanced myelopoiesis as a microbiota-dependent mechanism that regulates systemic inflammatory responses and highlight a role for host commensals in the pathogenesis of cytokine storm syndromes.
Lehn K. Weaver, Danielle Minichino, Chhanda Biswas, Niansheng Chu, Jung-Jin Lee, Kyle Bittinger, Sabrin Albeituni, Kim E. Nichols, Edward M. Behrens
Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is an intractable disorder with a poor prognosis. Although lung fibroblasts play a central role in PF, the key regulatory molecules involved in this process remain unknown. To address this issue, we performed a time-course transcriptome analysis on lung fibroblasts of bleomycin- and silica-treated murine lungs. We found gene modules whose expression kinetics were associated with the progression of PF and human idiopathic PF (IPF). Upstream analysis of a transcriptome network helped in identifying 55 hub transcription factors that were highly connected with PF-associated gene modules. Of these hubs, the expression of Srebf1 decreased in line with progression of PF and human IPF, suggesting its suppressive role in fibroblast activation. Consistently, adoptive transfer and genetic modification studies revealed that the hub transcription factor SREBP-1c suppressed PF-associated gene expression changes in lung fibroblasts and PF pathology in vivo. Moreover, therapeutic pharmacological activation of LXR, an SREBP-1c activator, suppressed the Srebf1-dependent activation of fibroblasts and progression of PF. Thus, SREBP-1c acts as a protective hub of lung fibroblast activation in PF. Collectively, the findings of the current study may prove to be valuable in the development of effective therapeutic strategies for PF.
Shigeyuki Shichino, Satoshi Ueha, Shinichi Hashimoto, Mikiya Otsuji, Jun Abe, Tatsuya Tsukui, Shungo Deshimaru, Takuya Nakajima, Mizuha Kosugi-Kanaya, Francis H.W. Shand, Yutaka Inagaki, Hitoshi Shimano, Kouji Matsushima
In diabetic retinopathy (DR), pericyte dropout from capillary walls is believed to cause the breakdown of the blood-retina barrier (BRB), which subsequently leads to vision-threatening retinal edema. While various proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines are upregulated in eyes with DR, their distinct contributions to disease progression remain elusive. Here, we evaluated roles of stromal cell–derived factor-1α (SDF-1α) and its receptor CXCR4 in the BRB breakdown initiated by pericyte deficiency. After inhibition of pericyte recruitment to developing retinal vessels in neonatal mice, endothelial cells (ECs) upregulated the expression of SDF-1α. Administration of CXCR4 antagonists, or EC-specific disruption of the CXCR4 gene, similarly restored the BRB integrity, even in the absence of pericyte coverage. Furthermore, CXCR4 inhibition significantly decreased both the expression levels of proinflammatory genes (P < 0.05) and the infiltration of macrophages (P < 0.05) into pericyte-deficient retinas. Taken together, EC-derived SDF-1α induced by pericyte deficiency exacerbated inflammation through CXCR4 in an autocrine or paracrine manner and thereby induced macrophage infiltration and BRB breakdown. These findings suggest that the SDF-1α/CXCR4 signaling pathway may be a potential therapeutic target in DR.
Keisuke Omori, Nanae Nagata, Kaori Kurata, Yoko Fukushima, Erika Sekihachi, Nobutaka Fujii, Tomoko Namba-Hamano, Yoshitsugu Takabatake, Marcus Fruttiger, Takashi Nagasawa, Akiyoshi Uemura, Takahisa Murata
In high-grade serous ovarian cancer (OC), chemotherapy eliminates the majority of tumor cells, leaving behind residual tumors enriched in OC stem cells (OCSC). OCSC, defined as aldehyde dehydrogenase–positive (ALDH+), persist and contribute to tumor relapse. Inflammatory cytokine IL-6 is elevated in residual tumors after platinum treatment, and we hypothesized that IL-6 plays a critical role in platinum-induced OCSC enrichment. We demonstrate that IL-6 regulates stemness features of OCSC driven by ALDH1A1 expression and activity. We show that platinum induces IL-6 secretion by cancer-associated fibroblasts in the tumor microenvironment, promoting OCSC enrichment in residual tumors after chemotherapy. By activating STAT3 and upregulating ALDH1A1 expression, IL-6 treatment converted non-OCSC to OCSC. Having previously shown altered DNA methylation in OCSC, we show here that IL-6 induces DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) expression and the hypomethylating agent (HMA) guadecitabine induced differentiation of OCSC and reduced — but did not completely eradicate — OCSC. IL-6 neutralizing antibody (IL-6-Nab) combined with HMA fully eradicated OCSC, and the combination blocked IL-6/IL6-R/pSTAT3–mediated ALDH1A1 expression and eliminated OCSC in residual tumors that persisted in vivo after chemotherapy. We conclude that IL-6 signaling blockade combined with an HMA can eliminate OCSC after platinum treatment, supporting this strategy to prevent tumor recurrence after standard chemotherapy.
Yinu Wang, Xingyue Zong, Sumegha Mitra, Anirban Kumar Mitra, Daniela Matei, Kenneth P. Nephew
The peptidylarginine deiminases PAD2 and PAD4 are implicated in the pathogenesis of several autoimmune diseases. PAD4 may be pathogenic in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) through its role in neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation that promotes autoantigen externalization, immune dysregulation, and organ damage. The role of this enzyme in mouse models of autoimmunity remains unclear, as pan-PAD chemical inhibitors improve clinical phenotype, whereas PAD4-KO models have given conflicting results. The role of PAD2 in SLE has not been investigated. The differential roles of PAD2 and PAD4 in TLR-7–dependent lupus autoimmunity were examined. Padi4–/– displayed decreased autoantibodies, type I IFN responses, immune cell activation, vascular dysfunction, and NET immunogenicity. Padi2–/– mice showed abrogation of Th subset polarization, with some disease manifestations reduced compared with WT but to a lesser extent than Padi4–/– mice. RNA sequencing analysis revealed distinct modulation of immune-related pathways in PAD-KO lymphoid organs. Human T cells express both PADs and, when exposed to either PAD2 or PAD4 inhibitors, displayed abrogation of Th1 polarization. These results suggest that targeting PAD2 and/or PAD4 activity modulates dysregulated TLR-7–dependent immune responses in lupus through differential effects of innate and adaptive immunity. Compounds that target PADs may have potential therapeutic roles in T cell–mediated diseases.
Yudong Liu, Yaíma L. Lightfoot, Nickie Seto, Carmelo Carmona-Rivera, Erica Moore, Rishi Goel, Liam O’Neil, Pragnesh Mistry, Victoria Hoffmann, Santanu Mondal, Padmavathy Nandha Premnath, Katherine Gribbons, Stefania Dell’Orso, Kan Jiang, Paul R. Thompson, Hong-Wei Sun, Scott A. Coonrod, Mariana J. Kaplan
BACKGROUND. Inflammation helps regulate normal growth and tissue repair. Although bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) and inflammation are known contributors to abnormal bone formation, how these pathways interact in ossification remains unclear. METHODS. We examined this potential link in patients with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), a genetic condition of progressive heterotopic ossification caused by activating mutations in the Activin A type I receptor (ACVR1/ALK2). FOP patients show exquisite sensitivity to trauma, suggesting that BMP pathway activation may alter immune responses. We studied primary blood, monocyte, and macrophage samples from control and FOP subjects using multiplex cytokine, gene expression, and protein analyses; examined CD14+ primary monocyte and macrophage responses to TLR ligands; and assayed BMP, TGF-β activated kinase 1 (TAK1), and NF-κB pathways. RESULTS. FOP subjects at baseline without clinically evident heterotopic ossification showed increased serum IL-3, IL-7, IL-8, and IL-10. CD14+ primary monocytes treated with the TLR4 activator LPS showed increased CCL5, CCR7, and CXCL10; abnormal cytokine/chemokine secretion; and prolonged activation of the NF-κB pathway. FOP macrophages derived from primary monocytes also showed abnormal cytokine/chemokine secretion, increased TGF-β production, and p38MAPK activation. Surprisingly, SMAD phosphorylation was not significantly changed in the FOP monocytes/macrophages. CONCLUSIONS. Abnormal ACVR1 activity causes a proinflammatory state via increased NF-κB and p38MAPK activity. Similar changes may contribute to other types of heterotopic ossification, such as in scleroderma and dermatomyositis; after trauma; or with recombinant BMP-induced bone fusion. Our findings suggest that chronic antiinflammatory treatment may be useful for heterotopic ossification.
Emilie Barruet, Blanca M. Morales, Corey J. Cain, Amy N. Ton, Kelly L. Wentworth, Tea V. Chan, Tania A. Moody, Mariëlle C. Haks, Tom H.M. Ottenhoff, Judith Hellman, Mary C. Nakamura, Edward C. Hsiao
Asthma is one of the most common immunological diseases and is characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), mucus overproduction, and airway eosinophilia. Although mouse models have provided insight into the mechanisms by which type-2 cytokines induce asthmatic airway inflammation, differences between the rodent and human immune systems hamper efforts to improve understanding of human allergic diseases. In this study, we aim to establish a preclinical animal model of asthmatic airway inflammation using humanized IL-3/GM-CSF or IL-3/GM-CSF/IL-5 Tg NOD/Shi-scid-IL2rγnull (NOG) mice and investigate the roles of human type-2 immune responses in the asthmatic mice. Several important characteristics of asthma — such as AHR, goblet cell hyperplasia, T cell infiltration, IL-13 production, and periostin secretion — were induced in IL-3/GM-CSF Tg mice by intratracheally administered human IL-33. In addition to these characteristics, human eosinophilic inflammation was observed in IL-3/GM-CSF/IL-5 Tg mice. The asthmatic mechanisms of the humanized mice were driven by activation of human Th2 and mast cells by IL-33 stimulation. Furthermore, treatment of the humanized mice with an anti–human IL-13 antibody significantly suppressed these characteristics. Therefore, the humanized mice may enhance our understanding of the pathophysiology of allergic disorders and facilitate the preclinical development of new therapeutics for IL-33–mediated type-2 inflammation in asthma.
Ryoji Ito, Shuichiro Maruoka, Kaori Soda, Ikumi Katano, Kenji Kawai, Mika Yagoto, Asami Hanazawa, Takeshi Takahashi, Tomoyuki Ogura, Motohito Goto, Riichi Takahashi, Shota Toyoshima, Yoshimichi Okayama, Kenji Izuhara, Yasuhiro Gon, Shu Hashimoto, Mamoru Ito, Satoshi Nunomura
In this study we evaluated the role of hyaluronan (HA) in reactive adipogenesis, a local expansion of preadipocytes that provides host defense by release of antimicrobial peptides. We observed that HA accumulated during maturation of adipocytes in vitro and was associated with increased expression of preadipocyte factor 1, zinc finger protein 423, and early B cell factor 1. Although HA is normally abundant in the extracellular matrix, a further increase in HA staining occurred in mice at sites of reactive adipogenesis following injury of colon by dextran sodium sulfate or injury of skin from infection with Staphylococcus aureus. HA also abundantly accumulated around adipocytes seen in the colons of patients with inflammatory bowel disease. This HA was necessary for adipocyte maturation because digestion of HA by administration of soluble hyaluronidase or transgenic expression of hyaluronidase 1 inhibited adipogenesis in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, hyaluronidase also suppressed inflammation of both skin and colon and decreased antimicrobial peptide expression by developing preadipocytes. This resulted in increased bacterial transit across the epithelial barrier despite decreased tissue injury from inflammation. These observations suggest HA plays an important role in reactive adipogenesis and host defense after injury.
Tatsuya Dokoshi, Ling-juan Zhang, Teruaki Nakatsuji, Christopher A. Adase, James A. Sanford, Rudolph D. Paladini, Hiroki Tanaka, Mikihiro Fujiya, Richard L. Gallo
Aortic dissection (AD) is a life-threatening vascular disease with limited treatment strategies. Here, we show that loss of the GWAS-identified SH2B3 gene, encoding lymphocyte adaptor protein LNK, markedly increases susceptibility to acute AD and rupture in response to angiotensin (Ang) II infusion. As early as day 3 following Ang II infusion, prior to the development of AD, Lnk–/– aortas display altered mechanical properties, increased elastin breaks, collagen thinning, enhanced neutrophil accumulation, and increased MMP-9 activity compared with WT mice. Adoptive transfer of Lnk–/– leukocytes into Rag1–/– mice induces AD and rupture in response to Ang II, demonstrating that LNK deficiency in hematopoietic cells plays a key role in this disease. Interestingly, treatment with doxycycline prevents the early accumulation of aortic neutrophils and significantly reduces the incidence of AD and rupture. PrediXcan analysis in a biobank of more than 23,000 individuals reveals that decreased expression of SH2B3 is significantly associated with increased frequency of AD-related phenotypes (odds ratio 0.81). Thus, we identified a role for LNK in the pathology of AD in experimental animals and humans and describe a new model that can be used to inform both inherited and acquired forms of this disease.
Fanny Laroumanie, Arina Korneva, Matthew R. Bersi, Matthew R. Alexander, Liang Xiao, Xue Zhong, Justin P. Van Beusecum, Yuhan Chen, Mohamed A. Saleh, William G. McMaster, Kyle A. Gavulic, Bethany L. Dale, Shilin Zhao, Yan Guo, Yu Shyr, Daniel S. Perrien, Nancy J. Cox, John A. Curci, Jay D. Humphrey, Meena S. Madhur
Molecular mechanisms that control leukocyte migration across the vascular endothelium (transendothelial migration; TEndoM) have been extensively characterized in vivo, but details of leukocyte transepithelial migration (TEpM) and its dysregulation (a pathologic feature of many mucosal diseases) are missing due to the lack of suitable animal models. Here, we describe a murine model that utilizes a vascularized proximal colonic segment (pcLoop) and enables quantitative studies of leukocyte trafficking across colonic epithelium. Consistent with previous in vitro studies, intraluminal injection of antibodies against integrin CD11b/CD18 reduced recruitment of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) into the lumen of pcLoops, and it increased subepithelial accumulation of PMN. We extended studies using the pcLoop to determine contributions of Junctional Adhesion Molecule-A (JAM-A, or F11R) in PMN TEpM and confirmed that mice with total loss of JAM-A or mice with intestinal epithelial selective loss of JAM-A had increased colonic permeability. Furthermore, there was reduced PMN migration into the colonic lumen that paralleled subepithelial accumulation of PMN in global-KO mice, as well as in intestinal epithelial-targeted JAM-A–deficient mice. These findings highlight a potentially novel role for JAM-A in regulating PMN TEpM in vivo and demonstrate utility of this model for identifying receptors that may be targeted in vivo to reduce pathologic intestinal inflammation.
Sven Flemming, Anny-Claude Luissint, Asma Nusrat, Charles A. Parkos
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