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
Strategies that intervene with the development of immune-mediated diseases are urgently needed, as current treatments mostly focus on alleviating symptoms rather than reversing the disease. Targeting enzymes involved in epigenetic modifications to chromatin represents an alternative strategy that has the potential to perturb the function of the lymphocytes that drive the immune response. Here, we report that 2 major epigenetic silencing pathways are increased after T cell activation. By specific inactivation of these molecules in the T cell compartment in vivo, we demonstrate that the polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) is essential for the generation of allergic responses. Furthermore, we show that small-molecule inhibition of the PRC2 methyltransferase, enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (Ezh2), reduces allergic inflammation in mice. Therefore, by systematically surveying the pathways involved in epigenetic gene silencing we have identified Ezh2 as a target for the suppression of allergic disease.
Christine R. Keenan, Nadia Iannarella, Alexandra L. Garnham, Alexandra C. Brown, Richard Y. Kim, Jay C. Horvat, Philip M. Hansbro, Stephen L. Nutt, Rhys S. Allan
BACKGROUND Clinical diagnosis of acute interstitial nephritis (AIN) is challenging because of lack of a diagnostic biomarker and requires a kidney biopsy. We hypothesized that AIN is mediated by specific T cell subsets such that specific T cell cytokine levels could serve as biomarkers to distinguish AIN from other causes of acute kidney disease (AKD).METHODS We enrolled consecutive sampling participants who underwent a kidney biopsy for AKD evaluation at 2 centers between 2015 and 2018. Three pathologists independently established AIN diagnosis through review of kidney biopsies. Through univariable and multivariable analysis of 12 selected urine and plasma cytokines, we identified 2 that were diagnostic of AIN.RESULTS Of the 218 participants, 32 (15%) were diagnosed with AIN by all 3 pathologists. Participants with AIN had consistently higher levels of urine TNF-α and IL-9 than those with other diagnoses, including acute tubular injury, glomerular diseases, and diabetic kidney disease, and those without any kidney disease. As compared with participants in the lowest quartile, we noted higher odds of AIN in participants in the highest quartiles of TNF-α levels (adjusted odds ratio, 10.9 [1.8, 65.9]) and IL-9 levels (7.5 [1.2, 45.7]) when controlling for blood eosinophils, leukocyturia, and proteinuria. Addition of biomarkers improved area under receiver operating characteristic curve over clinicians’ prebiopsy diagnosis (0.84 [0.78, 0.91]) vs. 0.62 [(0.53, 0.71]) and a model of current tests (0.84 [0.76, 0.91] vs. 0.69 [0.58, 0.80]).CONCLUSIONS Inclusion of urinary TNF-α and IL-9 improves discrimination over clinicians’ prebiopsy diagnosis and currently available tests for AIN diagnosis.FUNDING Supported by NIH awards K23DK117065, T32DK007276, K24DK090203, K23DK097201, R01DK113191, UG3-DK114866, P30DK079310; the Robert E. Leet and Clara Guthrie Patterson Trust; and American Heart Association award 18CDA34060118.
Dennis G. Moledina, F. Perry Wilson, Jordan S. Pober, Mark A. Perazella, Nikhil Singh, Randy L. Luciano, Wassim Obeid, Haiqun Lin, Michael Kuperman, Gilbert W. Moeckel, Michael Kashgarian, Lloyd G. Cantley, Chirag R. Parikh
BACKGROUND. In sepsis, there may be dysregulation in programed cell death pathways, typified by apoptosis and necroptosis. Programmed cell death pathways may contribute to variability in the immune response. TRAIL is a potent inducer of apoptosis. Receptor-interacting serine/threonine protein kinase-3 (RIPK3) is integral to the execution of necroptosis. We explored whether plasma TRAIL levels were associated with in-hospital mortality, organ dysfunction, and septic shock. We also explored the relationship between TRAIL and RIPK3. METHODS. We performed an observational study of critically ill adults admitted to intensive care units at 3 academic medical centers across 2 continents, using 1 as derivation and the other 2 as validation cohorts. Levels of TRAIL were measured in the plasma of 570 subjects by ELISA. RESULTS. In all cohorts, lower (<28.5 pg/ml) versus higher levels of TRAIL were associated with increased organ dysfunction (P ≤ 0.002) and septic shock (P ≤ 0.004). Lower TRAIL levels were associated with in-hospital mortality in 2 of 3 cohorts (Weill Cornell-Biobank of Critical Illness, P = 0.012; Brigham and Women’s Hospital Registry of Critical Illness, P = 0.011; Asan Medical Center, P = 0.369). Lower TRAIL was also associated with increased RIPK3 (P ≤ 0.001). CONCLUSION. Lower levels of TRAIL were associated with septic shock and organ dysfunction in 3 independent ICU cohorts. TRAIL was inversely associated with RIPK3 in all cohorts. FUNDING. NIH (R01-HL055330 and KL2-TR002385).
Edward J. Schenck, Kevin C. Ma, David R. Price, Thomas Nicholson, Clara Oromendia, Eliza Rose Gentzler, Elizabeth Sanchez, Rebecca M. Baron, Laura E. Fredenburgh, Jin-Won Huh, Ilias I. Siempos, Augustine M.K. Choi
Traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) triggers an acute-phase response that leads to systemic inflammation and rapid mobilization of bone marrow (BM) neutrophils into the blood. These mobilized neutrophils then accumulate in visceral organs and the injured spinal cord where they cause inflammatory tissue damage. The receptor for complement activation product 3a, C3aR1, has been implicated in negatively regulating the BM neutrophil response to tissue injury. However, the mechanism via which C3aR1 controls BM neutrophil mobilization, and also its influence over SCI outcomes, are unknown. Here, we show that the C3a/C3aR1 axis exerts neuroprotection in SCI by acting as a physiological antagonist against neutrophil chemotactic signals. We show that C3aR1 engages phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), a negative regulator of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathway, to restrain C-X-C chemokine receptor type 2–driven BM neutrophil mobilization following trauma. These findings are of direct clinical significance as lower circulating neutrophil numbers at presentation were identified as a marker for improved recovery in human SCI. Our work thus identifies C3aR1 and its downstream intermediary, PTEN, as therapeutic targets to broadly inhibit neutrophil mobilization/recruitment following tissue injury and reduce inflammatory pathology.
Faith H. Brennan, Trisha Jogia, Ellen R. Gillespie, Linda V. Blomster, Xaria X. Li, Bianca Nowlan, Gail M. Williams, Esther Jacobson, Geoff W. Osborne, Frederic A. Meunier, Stephen M. Taylor, Kate E. Campbell, Kelli P.A. MacDonald, Jean-Pierre Levesque, Trent M. Woodruff, Marc J. Ruitenberg
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