Levamisole, an anthelmintic drug with cholinergic properties, has been implicated in cases of drug-induced vasculitis when added to cocaine for profit purposes. Neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation is a cell death mechanism characterized by extrusion of chromatin decorated with granule proteins. Aberrant NET formation and degradation have been implicated in idiopathic autoimmune diseases that share features with levamisole-induced autoimmunity as well as in drug-induced autoimmunity. This study’s objective was to determine how levamisole modulates neutrophil biology and its putative effects on the vasculature. Murine and human neutrophils exposed to levamisole demonstrated enhanced NET formation through engagement of muscarinic subtype 3 receptor. Levamisole-induced NETosis required activation of Akt and the RAF/MEK/ERK pathway, ROS induction through the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase, and peptidylarginine deiminase activation. Sera from two cohorts of patients actively using levamisole-adulterated cocaine displayed autoantibodies against NET components. Cutaneous biopsy material obtained from individuals exposed to levamisole suggests that neutrophils produce NETs in areas of vasculitic inflammation and thrombosis. NETs generated by levamisole were toxic to endothelial cells and impaired endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation. Stimulation of muscarinic receptors on neutrophils by cholinergic agonists may contribute to the pathophysiology observed in drug-induced autoimmunity through the induction of inflammatory responses and neutrophil-induced vascular damage.
Carmelo Carmona-Rivera, Monica M. Purmalek, Erica Moore, Meryl Waldman, Peter J. Walter, H. Martin Garraffo, Karran A. Phillips, Kenzie L. Preston, Jonathan Graf, Mariana J. Kaplan, Peter C. Grayson
Specialized proresolving mediators (SPMs) promote the resolution of inflammation and exert beneficial effects in animal models of chronic inflammatory diseases, including asthma. Previously, we have shown that certain SPMs reduce IgE production in B cells from healthy individuals, which has a critical role in allergic asthma. Here, we investigated the effects of SPMs on B cell IgE production in asthma patients. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from asthma patients were treated with 17-HDHA or RvD1, and IgE levels were measured. RvD1 and 17-HDHA dampened IgE production in B cells from most asthma patients, whereas B cells from a subset of patients taking oral steroids were refractory to SPM treatment. Molecular mechanisms underlying the interaction between corticosteroids and SPMs were investigated by treating B cells from nonasthmatic donors with corticosteroids in vitro. Corticosteroids blocked the inhibitory effects of 17-HDHA and RvD1 on B cell IgE production by abolishing the suppressive activity of these mediators on IgE class switching. Corticosteroids decreased the expression of transcriptional repressor Bcl-6 as well as its suppressive activity on epsilon germline transcription. We conclude that 17-HDHA and RvD1 can reduce IgE production in asthma patients not taking high doses of steroids but that corticosteroids interfere with the ability of B cells to respond to proresolving mediators.
Nina Kim, Thomas H. Thatcher, Patricia J. Sime, Richard P. Phipps
Loss of function or overexpression of methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) results in the severe neurodevelopmental disorders Rett syndrome and MeCP2 duplication syndrome, respectively. MeCP2 plays a critical role in neuronal function and the function of cells throughout the body. It has been previously demonstrated that MeCP2 regulates T cell function and macrophage response to multiple stimuli, and that immune-mediated rescue imparts significant benefit in
James C. Cronk, Jasmin Herz, Taeg S. Kim, Antoine Louveau, Emily K. Moser, Ashish K. Sharma, Igor Smirnov, Kenneth S. Tung, Thomas J. Braciale, Jonathan Kipnis
Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) vasculitis is characterized by the presence of autoantibodies to myeloperoxidase and proteinase-3, which bind monocytes in addition to neutrophils. While a pathological effect on neutrophils is acknowledged, the impact of ANCA on monocyte function is less well understood. Using IgG from patients we investigated the effect of these autoantibodies on monocytes and found that anti-myeloperoxidase antibodies (MPO-ANCA) reduced both IL-10 and IL-6 secretion in response to LPS. This reduction in IL-10 and IL-6 depended on Fc receptors and enzymatic myeloperoxidase and was accompanied by a significant reduction in TLR-driven signaling pathways. Aligning with changes in TLR signals, oxidized phospholipids, which function as TLR4 antagonists, were increased in monocytes in the presence of MPO-ANCA. We further observed that MPO-ANCA increased monocyte survival and differentiation to macrophages by stimulating CSF-1 production. However, this was independent of myeloperoxidase enzymatic activity and TLR signaling. Macrophages differentiated in the presence of MPO-ANCA secreted more TGF-β and further promoted the development of IL-10– and TGF-β–secreting CD4+ T cells. Thus, MPO-ANCA may promote inflammation by reducing the secretion of antiinflammatory IL-10 from monocytes, and MPO-ANCA can alter the development of macrophages and T cells to potentially promote fibrosis.
Reena J. Popat, Seran Hakki, Alpesh Thakker, Alice M. Coughlan, Julie Watson, Mark A. Little, Corinne M. Spickett, Paul Lavender, Behdad Afzali, Claudia Kemper, Michael G. Robson
In patients with sickle cell disease (SCD), the polymerization of intraerythrocytic hemoglobin S promotes downstream vaso-occlusive events in the microvasculature. While vaso-occlusion is known to occur in the lung, often in the context of systemic vaso-occlusive crisis and the acute chest syndrome, the pathophysiological mechanisms that incite lung injury are unknown. We used intravital microscopy of the lung in transgenic humanized SCD mice to monitor acute vaso-occlusive events following an acute dose of systemic lipopolysaccharide sufficient to trigger events in SCD but not control mice. We observed cellular microembolism of precapillary pulmonary arteriolar bottlenecks by neutrophil-platelet aggregates. Blood from SCD patients was next studied under flow in an in vitro microfluidic system. Similar to the pulmonary circulation, circulating platelets nucleated around arrested neutrophils, translating to a greater number and duration of neutrophil-platelet interactions compared with normal human blood. Inhibition of platelet P-selectin with function-blocking antibody attenuated the neutrophil-platelet interactions in SCD patient blood in vitro and resolved pulmonary arteriole microembolism in SCD mice in vivo. These results establish the relevance of neutrophil-platelet aggregate formation in lung arterioles in promoting lung vaso-occlusion in SCD and highlight the therapeutic potential of targeting platelet adhesion molecules to prevent acute chest syndrome.
Margaret F. Bennewitz, Maritza A. Jimenez, Ravi Vats, Egemen Tutuncuoglu, Jude Jonassaint, Gregory J. Kato, Mark T. Gladwin, Prithu Sundd
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a devastating muscle disease characterized by progressive muscle deterioration and replacement with an aberrant fatty, fibrous matrix. Chronic upregulation of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) is implicated as a driver of the dystrophic pathogenesis. Herein, 2 members of a novel class of NF-κB inhibitors, edasalonexent (formerly CAT-1004) and CAT-1041, were evaluated in both
David W. Hammers, Margaret M. Sleeper, Sean C. Forbes, Cora C. Coker, Michael R. Jirousek, Michael Zimmer, Glenn A. Walter, H. Lee Sweeney
Pentraxin-2 (PTX-2), also known as serum amyloid P component (SAP/APCS), is a constitutive, antiinflammatory, innate immune plasma protein whose circulating level is decreased in chronic human fibrotic diseases. Here we show that recombinant human PTX-2 (rhPTX-2) retards progression of chronic kidney disease in
Naoki Nakagawa, Luke Barron, Ivan G. Gomez, Bryce G. Johnson, Allie M. Roach, Sei Kameoka, Richard M. Jack, Mark L. Lupher Jr., Sina A. Gharib, Jeremy S. Duffield
Hepatic fibrosis arises from inflammation in the liver initiated by resident macrophage activation and massive leukocyte accumulation. Hepatic macrophages hold a central position in maintaining homeostasis in the liver and in the pathogenesis of acute and chronic liver injury linked to fibrogenesis. Interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) has recently emerged as an important proinflammatory transcription factor involved in macrophage activation under acute and chronic inflammation. Here, we revealed that IRF5 is significantly induced in liver macrophages from human subjects developing liver fibrosis from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or hepatitis C virus infection. Furthermore, IRF5 expression positively correlated with clinical markers of liver damage, such as plasma transaminase and bilirubin levels. Interestingly, mice lacking IRF5 in myeloid cells (MKO) were protected from hepatic fibrosis induced by metabolic or toxic stresses. Transcriptional reprogramming of macrophages lacking IRF5 was characterized by immunosuppressive and antiapoptotic properties. Consequently, IRF5 MKO mice respond to hepatocellular stress by promoting hepatocyte survival, leading to complete protection from hepatic fibrogenesis. Our findings reveal a regulatory network, governed by IRF5, that mediates hepatocyte death and liver fibrosis in mice and humans. Therefore, modulating IRF5 function may be an attractive approach to experimental therapeutics in fibroinflammatory liver disease.
Fawaz Alzaid, Floriane Lagadec, Miguel Albuquerque, Raphaëlle Ballaire, Lucie Orliaguet, Isabelle Hainault, Corinne Blugeon, Sophie Lemoine, Agnès Lehuen, David G. Saliba, Irina A. Udalova, Valérie Paradis, Fabienne Foufelle, Nicolas Venteclef
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a lethal interstitial lung disease characterized by airway remodeling, inflammation, alveolar destruction, and fibrosis. We utilized single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) to identify epithelial cell types and associated biological processes involved in the pathogenesis of IPF. Transcriptomic analysis of normal human lung epithelial cells defined gene expression patterns associated with highly differentiated alveolar type 2 (AT2) cells, indicated by enrichment of RNAs critical for surfactant homeostasis. In contrast, scRNA-seq of IPF cells identified 3 distinct subsets of epithelial cell types with characteristics of conducting airway basal and goblet cells and an additional atypical transitional cell that contributes to pathological processes in IPF. Individual IPF cells frequently coexpressed alveolar type 1 (AT1), AT2, and conducting airway selective markers, demonstrating “indeterminate” states of differentiation not seen in normal lung development. Pathway analysis predicted aberrant activation of canonical signaling via TGF-β, HIPPO/YAP, P53, WNT, and AKT/PI3K. Immunofluorescence confocal microscopy identified the disruption of alveolar structure and loss of the normal proximal-peripheral differentiation of pulmonary epithelial cells. scRNA-seq analyses identified loss of normal epithelial cell identities and unique contributions of epithelial cells to the pathogenesis of IPF. The present study provides a rich data source to further explore lung health and disease.
Yan Xu, Takako Mizuno, Anusha Sridharan, Yina Du, Minzhe Guo, Jie Tang, Kathryn A. Wikenheiser-Brokamp, Anne-Karina T. Perl, Vincent A. Funari, Jason J. Gokey, Barry R. Stripp, Jeffrey A. Whitsett
Muscle trauma is highly morbid due to intramuscular scarring, or fibrosis, and muscle atrophy. Studies have shown that bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) reduce muscle atrophy. However, increased BMP signaling at muscle injury sites causes heterotopic ossification, as seen in patients with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), or patients with surgically placed BMP implants for bone healing. We use a genetic mouse model of hyperactive BMP signaling to show the development of intramuscular fibrosis surrounding areas of ectopic bone following muscle injury. Rapamycin, which we have previously shown to eliminate ectopic ossification in this model, also eliminates fibrosis without reducing osteogenic differentiation, suggesting clinical value for patients with FOP and with BMP implants. Finally, we use reporter mice to show that BMP signaling is positively associated with myofiber cross-sectional area. These findings underscore an approach in which 2 therapeutics (rapamycin and BMP ligand) can offset each other, leading to an improved outcome.
Shailesh Agarwal, David Cholok, Shawn Loder, John Li, Christopher Breuler, Michael T. Chung, Hsiao Hsin Sung, Kavitha Ranganathan, Joe Habbouche, James Drake, Joshua Peterson, Caitlin Priest, Shuli Li, Yuji Mishina, Benjamin Levi
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