Although the importance of the tumor immune environment for the modulation of tumorigenesis and tumor regression is becoming increasingly clear, most of the research related to tumor-immune therapies has focused on adaptive immune cells, while the role and regulation of innate leukocytes such as neutrophils remains controversial and less defined. Here we observed that the selective deletion of Tollip, a key innate immune-cell modulator, led to enhanced tumor immune surveillance in a chemically induced colorectal cancer model. Tollip-deficient neutrophils significantly elevated T cell activation through enhanced expression of the costimulatory molecule CD80, and reduced expression of the inhibitory molecule PD-L1. Mechanistically, Tollip deficiency increased STAT5 and reduced STAT1, the transcription factors responsible for the expression of CD80 and PD-L1, respectively. Through adoptive transfer, we demonstrate that Tollip-deficient neutrophils, but not Tollip-deficient monocytes, are sufficient to drive enhanced tumor immune surveillance and reduced colorectal cancer burden in vivo. Our data reveal a strategy for the reprogramming of neutrophil functions conducive for the enhancement of the antitumor immune environment.
Yao Zhang, Christina Lee, Shuo Geng, Liwu Li
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common clinical condition of growing incidence. Patients who suffer severe AKI have a higher risk of developing interstitial fibrosis, chronic kidney disease, and end-stage renal disease later in life. Cellular senescence is a persistent cell cycle arrest and altered gene expression pattern evoked by multiple stressors. The number of senescent cells increases with age and even in small numbers these cells can induce chronic inflammation and fibrosis; indeed, in multiple organs including kidneys, the accumulation of such cells is a hallmark of aging. We hypothesized that cellular senescence might be induced in the kidney after injury and that this might contribute to progressive organ fibrosis. Testing this hypothesis, we found that tubular epithelial cells (TECs) in mice senesce within a few days of kidney injury and that this response is mediated by epithelial Toll-like and interleukin 1 receptors (TLR/IL-1R) of the innate immune system. Epithelial cell–specific inhibition of innate immune signaling in mice by knockout of myeloid differentiation 88 (Myd88) reduced fibrosis as well as damage to kidney tubules, and also prevented the accumulation of senescent TECs. Importantly, although inactivation of Myd88 after injury ameliorated fibrosis, it did not reduce damage to the tubules. Selectively induced apoptosis of senescent cells by two different approaches only partially reduced kidney fibrosis, without ameliorating damage to the tubules. Our data reveal a cell-autonomous role for epithelial innate immunity in controlling TEC senescence after kidney injury, and additionally suggest that early therapeutic intervention is required for effective reduction of long-term sequelae of AKI.
Heng Jin, Yan Zhang, Qiong Ding, Shan Shan Wang, Prerna Rastogi, Dao-Fu Dai, Dongmei Lu, Madison Purvis, Chao Cao, Angela Wang, Dingxiao Liu, Chongyu Ren, Sarah Elhadi, Ming-Chang Hu, Yanfen Chai, Diana Zepeda-Orozco, Judith Campisi, Massimo Attanasio
Among other cells, macrophages regulate the inflammatory and reparative phases during wound healing but genetic determinants and detailed molecular pathways that modulate these processes are not fully elucidated. Here, we took advantage of normal variation in wound healing in 1,378 genetically outbred mice, and carried out macrophage RNA-sequencing profiling of mice with extreme wound healing phenotypes (i.e., slow and fast healers, n = 146 in total). The resulting macrophage coexpression networks were genetically mapped and led to the identification of a unique module under strong trans-acting genetic control by the Runx2 locus. This macrophage-mediated healing network was specifically enriched for cholesterol and fatty acid biosynthetic processes. Pharmacological blockage of fatty acid synthesis with cerulenin resulted in delayed wound healing in vivo, and increased macrophage infiltration in the wounded skin, suggesting the persistence of an unresolved inflammation. We show how naturally occurring sequence variation controls transcriptional networks in macrophages, which in turn regulate specific metabolic pathways that could be targeted in wound healing.
Marta Bagnati, Aida Moreno-Moral, Jeong-Hun Ko, Jérôme Nicod, Nathan Harmston, Martha Imprialou, Laurence Game, Jesus Gil, Enrico Petretto, Jacques Behmoaras
Polypropylene meshes that are commonly used for inguinal hernia repair may trigger granulomatous foreign body reactions. Here, we show that asymptomatic patients display mesh-associated inflammatory granulomas long after surgery, which are dominated by monocyte-derived macrophages expressing high levels of inflammatory activation markers. In mice, mesh implantation by the onlay technique induced rapid and strong myeloid cell accumulation, without substantial attenuation for up to 90 days. Myeloid cells segregated into distinct macrophage subsets with separate spatial distribution, activation profiles, and functional properties, showing a stable inflammatory phenotype in the tissue surrounding the biomaterial and a mixed, wound-healing phenotype in the surrounding stromal tissue. Protein mass spectrometry confirmed the inflammatory nature of the foreign body reaction, as characterized by cytokines, complement activation, and matrix-modulating factors. Moreover, immunoglobulin deposition increased over time around the implant, arguing for humoral immune responses in association with the cell-driven inflammation. Intravital multiphoton microscopy revealed a high motility and continuous recruitment of myeloid cells, which is partly dependent on the chemokine receptor CCR2. CCR2-dependent macrophages are particular drivers of fibroblast proliferation. Thus, our work functionally characterizes myeloid cell–dependent inflammation following mesh implantation, thereby providing insights into the dynamics and mechanisms of foreign body reactions to implanted biomaterials.
Felix Heymann, Klaus-Thilo von Trotha, Christian Preisinger, Petra Lynen-Jansen, Anjali A. Roeth, Melanie Geiger, Lukas Jonathan Geisler, Anna Katharina Frank, Joachim Conze, Tom Luedde, Christian Trautwein, Marcel Binnebösel, Ulf P. Neumann, Frank Tacke
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a leading cause of disability, globally. Despite an emerging role for synovial inflammation in OA pathogenesis, attempts to target inflammation therapeutically have had limited success. A better understanding of the cellular and molecular processes occurring in the OA synovium is needed to develop novel therapeutics. We investigated macrophage phenotype and gene expression in synovial tissue of OA and inflammatory-arthritis (IA) patients. Compared with IA, OA synovial tissue contained higher but variable proportions of macrophages (P < 0.001). These macrophages exhibited an activated phenotype, expressing folate receptor-2 and CD86, and displayed high phagocytic capacity. RNA sequencing of synovial macrophages revealed 2 OA subgroups. Inflammatory-like OA (iOA) macrophages are closely aligned to IA macrophages and are characterized by a cell proliferation signature. In contrast, classical OA (cOA) macrophages display cartilage remodeling features. Supporting these findings, when compared with cOA, iOA synovial tissue contained higher proportions of macrophages (P < 0.01), expressing higher levels of the proliferation marker Ki67 (P < 0.01). These data provide new insight into the heterogeneity of OA synovial tissue and suggest distinct roles of macrophages in pathogenesis. Our findings could lead to the stratification of OA patients for suitable disease-modifying treatments and the identification of novel therapeutic targets.
Matthew J. Wood, Adam Leckenby, Gary Reynolds, Rachel Spiering, Arthur G. Pratt, Kenneth S. Rankin, John D. Isaacs, Muzlifah A. Haniffa, Simon Milling, Catharien M.U. Hilkens
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
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