The challenge of translating findings from animal models to the clinic is well known. An example of this challenge is the striking effectiveness of neurokinin-1 receptor (NK-1R) antagonists in mouse models of inflammation coupled with their equally striking failure in clinical investigations in humans. Here, we provide an explanation for this dichotomy: Mas-related GPCRs (Mrgprs) mediate some aspects of inflammation that had been considered mediated by NK-1R. In support of this explanation, we show that conventional NK-1R antagonists have off-target activity on the mouse receptor MrgprB2 but not on the homologous human receptor MRGPRX2. An unrelated tripeptide NK-1R antagonist has dual activity on MRGPRX2. This tripeptide both suppresses itch in mice and inhibits degranulation from the LAD-2 human mast cell line elicited by basic secretagogue activation of MRGPRX2. Antagonists of Mrgprs may fill the void left by the failure of NK-1R antagonists.
Ehsan Azimi, Vemuri B. Reddy, Kai-Ting C. Shade, Robert M. Anthony, Sebastien Talbot, Paula Juliana Seadi Pereira, Ethan A. Lerner
Development of novel treatments for lymphedema has been limited by the fact that the pathophysiology of this disease is poorly understood. It remains unknown, for example, why limb swelling resulting from surgical injury resolves initially, but recurs in some cases months or years later. Finding answers for these basic questions has been hampered by the lack of adequate animal models. In the current study, we used
Jason C. Gardenier, Geoffrey E. Hespe, Raghu P. Kataru, Ira L. Savetsky, Jeremy S. Torrisi, Gabriela D. García Nores, Joseph J. Dayan, David Chang, Jamie Zampell, Inés Martínez-Corral, Sagrario Ortega, Babak J. Mehrara
Oxidative stress is implicated in various neurodegenerative disorders, including retinitis pigmentosa (RP), an inherited disease that causes blindness. The biological and cellular mechanisms by which oxidative stress mediates neuronal cell death are largely unknown. In a mouse model of RP (rd10 mice), we show that oxidative DNA damage activates microglia through MutY homolog–mediated (MUYTH-mediated) base excision repair (BER), thereby exacerbating retinal inflammation and degeneration. In the early stage of retinal degeneration, oxidative DNA damage accumulated in the microglia and caused single-strand breaks (SSBs) and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase activation. In contrast,
Shunji Nakatake, Yusuke Murakami, Yasuhiro Ikeda, Noriko Morioka, Takashi Tachibana, Kohta Fujiwara, Noriko Yoshida, Shoji Notomi, Toshio Hisatomi, Shigeo Yoshida, Tatsuro Ishibashi, Yusaku Nakabeppu, Koh-Hei Sonoda
Transgenic expression of key myelosupportive human cytokines in immune-deficient mice corrects for the lack of cross-species activities of stem cell factor (SCF), IL-3, and GM-CSF. When engrafted with human umbilical cord blood (UCB), these triple-transgenic mice produce BM and spleen grafts with much higher myeloid composition, relative to nontransgenic controls. Shortly after engraftment with UCB, these mice develop a severe, fatal macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) characterized by a progressive drop in rbc numbers, increased reticulocyte counts, decreased rbc half-life, progressive cytopenias, and evidence of chronic inflammation, including elevated human IL-6. The BM becomes strikingly hypocellular, and spleens are significantly enlarged with evidence of extramedullary hematopoiesis and activated macrophages engaged in hemophagocytosis. This manifestation of MAS does not respond to lymphocyte-suppressive therapies such as steroids, i.v. immunoglobulin, or antibody-mediated ablation of human B and T cells, demonstrating a lymphocyte-independent mechanism of action. In contrast, elimination of human myeloid cells using gemtuzumab ozogamicin (anti-CD33) completely reversed the disease. Additionally, the IL-6R antibody tocilizumab delayed progression and prolonged lifespan. This new model of MAS provides an opportunity for investigation of the mechanisms driving this disease and for the testing of directed therapies in a humanized mouse.
Mark Wunderlich, Courtney Stockman, Mahima Devarajan, Navin Ravishankar, Christina Sexton, Ashish R. Kumar, Benjamin Mizukawa, James C. Mulloy
BACKGROUND. Alopecia areata (AA) is an autoimmune disease characterized by hair loss mediated by CD8+ T cells. There are no reliably effective therapies for AA. Based on recent developments in the understanding of the pathomechanism of AA, JAK inhibitors appear to be a therapeutic option; however, their efficacy for the treatment of AA has not been systematically examined.
METHODS. This was a 2-center, open-label, single-arm trial using the pan-JAK inhibitor, tofacitinib citrate, for AA with >50% scalp hair loss, alopecia totalis (AT), and alopecia universalis (AU). Tofacitinib (5 mg) was given twice daily for 3 months. Endpoints included regrowth of scalp hair, as assessed by the severity of alopecia tool (SALT), duration of hair growth after completion of therapy, and disease transcriptome.
RESULTS. Of 66 subjects treated, 32% experienced 50% or greater improvement in SALT score. AA and ophiasis subtypes were more responsive than AT and AU subtypes. Shorter duration of disease and histological peribulbar inflammation on pretreatment scalp biopsies were associated with improvement in SALT score. Drug cessation resulted in disease relapse in 8.5 weeks. Adverse events were limited to grade I and II infections. An AA responsiveness to JAK/STAT inhibitors score was developed to segregate responders and nonresponders, and the previously developed AA disease activity index score tracked response to treatment.
CONCLUSIONS. At the dose and duration studied, tofacitinib is a safe and effective treatment for severe AA, though it does not result in a durable response. Transcriptome changes reveal unexpected molecular complexity within the disease.
TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02197455 and NCT02312882.
FUNDING. This work was supported by the US Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research and Development, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases National Institutes of Health grant R01 AR47223 and U01 AR67173, the National Psoriasis Foundation, the Swedish Society of Medicine, the Fernström Foundation, the Locks of Love Foundation, the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, and the Ranjini and Ajay Poddar Resource Fund for Dermatologic Diseases Research.
Milène Kennedy Crispin, Justin M. Ko, Brittany G. Craiglow, Shufeng Li, Gautam Shankar, Jennifer R. Urban, James C. Chen, Jane E. Cerise, Ali Jabbari, Mårten C.G. Winge, M. Peter Marinkovich, Angela M. Christiano, Anthony E. Oro, Brett A. King
GWAS have linked SNPs to risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but a systematic characterization of disease-associated genes has been lacking. Prior studies utilized microarrays that did not capture many genes encoded within risk loci or defined expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) using peripheral blood, which is not the target tissue in IBD. To address these gaps, we sought to characterize the expression of IBD-associated risk genes in disease-relevant tissues and in the setting of active IBD. Terminal ileal (TI) and colonic mucosal tissues were obtained from patients with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis and from healthy controls. We developed a NanoString code set to profile 678 genes within IBD risk loci. A subset of patients and controls were genotyped for IBD-associated risk SNPs. Analyses included differential expression and variance analysis, weighted gene coexpression network analysis, and eQTL analysis. We identified 116 genes that discriminate between healthy TI and colon samples and uncovered patterns in variance of gene expression that highlight heterogeneity of disease. We identified 107 coexpressed gene pairs for which transcriptional regulation is either conserved or reversed in an inflammation-independent or -dependent manner. We demonstrate that on average approximately 60% of disease-associated genes are differentially expressed in inflamed tissue. Last, we identified eQTLs with either genotype-only effects on expression or an interaction effect between genotype and inflammation. Our data reinforce tissue specificity of expression in disease-associated candidate genes, highlight genes and gene pairs that are regulated in disease-relevant tissue and inflammation, and provide a foundation to advance the understanding of IBD pathogenesis.
Joanna M. Peloquin, Gautam Goel, Lingjia Kong, Hailiang Huang, Talin Haritunians, R. Balfour Sartor, Mark J. Daly, Rodney D. Newberry, Dermot P. McGovern, Vijay Yajnik, Sergio A. Lira, Ramnik J. Xavier
A number of studies in model animal systems and in the clinic have established that RANKL promotes bone resorption. Paradoxically, we found that pulsing ovariectomized mice with low-dose RANKL suppressed bone resorption, decreased the levels of proinflammatory effector T cells and led to increased bone mass. This effect of RANKL is mediated through the induction of FoxP3+CD25+ regulatory CD8+ T cells (TcREG) by osteoclasts. Here, we show that pulses of low-dose RANKL are needed to induce TcREG, as continuous infusion of identical doses of RANKL by pump did not induce TcREG. We also show that low-dose RANKL can induce TcREG at 2, 3, 6, and 10 weeks after ovariectomy. Our results show that low-dose RANKL treatment in ovariectomized mice is optimal at once-per-month doses to maintain the bone mass. Finally, we found that treatment of ovariectomized mice with the Cathepsin K inhibitor odanacatib also blocked TcREG induction by low-dose RANKL. We interpret this result to indicate that antigens presented to CD8+ T cells by osteoclasts are derived from the bone protein matrix because Cathepsin K degrades collagen in the bone. Taken together, our studies provide a basis for using low-dose RANKL as a potential therapeutic for postmenopausal osteoporosis.
Anna Cline-Smith, Jesse Gibbs, Elena Shashkova, Zachary S. Buchwald, Rajeev Aurora
Mucous membrane pemphigoid (MMP) is a systemic mucosal scarring disease, commonly causing blindness, for which there is no antifibrotic therapy. Aldehyde dehydrogenase family 1 (ALDH1) is upregulated in both ocular MMP (OMMP) conjunctiva and cultured fibroblasts. Application of the ALDH metabolite, retinoic acid (RA), to normal human conjunctival fibroblasts in vitro induced a diseased phenotype. Conversely, application of ALDH inhibitors, including disulfiram, to OMMP fibroblasts in vitro restored their functionality to that of normal controls. ALDH1 is also upregulated in the mucosa of the mouse model of scarring allergic eye disease (AED), used here as a surrogate for OMMP, in which topical application of disulfiram decreased fibrosis in vivo. These data suggest that progressive scarring in OMMP results from ALDH/RA fibroblast autoregulation, that the ALDH1 subfamily has a central role in immune-mediated ocular mucosal scarring, and that ALDH inhibition with disulfiram is a potential and readily translatable antifibrotic therapy.
Sarah D. Ahadome, David J. Abraham, Suryanarayana Rayapureddi, Valerie P. Saw, Daniel R. Saban, Virginia L. Calder, Jill T. Norman, Markella Ponticos, Julie T. Daniels, John K. Dart
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
Current methods of drug screening in human blood focus on the immediate products of the affected pathway and mostly rely on approaches that lack sensitivity and the capacity for multiplex analysis. We have developed a sensitive and selective method based on ultra-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry to scan the effect of drugs on the bioactive eicosanoid lipidome in vitro and ex vivo. Using small sample sizes, we can reproducibly measure a broad spectrum of eicosanoids in human blood and capture drug-induced substrate rediversion and unexpected shifts in product formation. Microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 (mPGES-1) is an antiinflammatory drug target alternative to COX-1/-2. Contrasting effects of targeting mPGES-1 versus COX-1/-2, due to differential substrate shifts across the lipidome, were observed and can be used to rationalize and evaluate drug combinations. Finally, the in vitro results were extrapolated to ex vivo studies by administration of the COX-2 inhibitor, celecoxib, to volunteers, illustrating how this approach can be used to integrate preclinical and clinical studies during drug development.
Liudmila L. Mazaleuskaya, John A. Lawson, Xuanwen Li, Gregory Grant, Clementina Mesaros, Tilo Grosser, Ian A. Blair, Emanuela Ricciotti, Garret A. FitzGerald
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