Inflammation accompanies heart failure and is a mediator of cardiac fibrosis. CaMKIIδ plays an essential role in adverse remodeling and decompensation to heart failure. We postulated that inflammation is the mechanism by which CaMKIIδ contributes to adverse remodeling in response to nonischemic interventions. We demonstrate that deletion of CaMKIIδ in the cardiomyocyte (CKO) significantly attenuates activation of NF-κB, expression of inflammatory chemokines and cytokines, and macrophage accumulation induced by angiotensin II (Ang II) infusion. The inflammasome was activated by Ang II, and this response was also diminished in CKO mice. These events occurred prior to any evidence of Ang II–induced cell death. In addition, CaMKII-dependent inflammatory gene expression and inflammasome priming were observed as early as the third hour of infusion, a time point at which macrophage recruitment was not evident. Inhibition of either the inflammasome or monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP1) signaling attenuated macrophage accumulation, and these interventions, like cardiomyocyte CaMKIIδ deletion, diminished the fibrotic response to Ang II. Thus, activation of CaMKIIδ in the cardiomyocyte represents what we believe to be a novel mechanism for initiating inflammasome activation and an inflammatory gene program that leads to macrophage recruitment and ultimately to development of fibrosis.
Andrew Willeford, Takeshi Suetomi, Audrey Nickle, Hal M. Hoffman, Shigeki Miyamoto, Joan Heller Brown
In hemolytic diseases, such as sickle cell disease (SCD), intravascular hemolysis results in the release of hemoglobin, heme, and heme-loaded membrane microvesicles in the bloodstream. Intravascular hemolysis is thus associated with inflammation and organ injury. Complement system can be activated by heme in vitro. We investigated the mechanisms by which hemolysis and red blood cell (RBC) degradation products trigger complement activation in vivo. In kidney biopsies of SCD nephropathy patients and a mouse model with SCD, we detected tissue deposits of complement C3 and C5b-9. Moreover, drug-induced intravascular hemolysis or injection of heme or hemoglobin in mice triggered C3 deposition, primarily in kidneys. Renal injury markers (Kim-1, NGAL) were attenuated in C3–/– hemolytic mice. RBC degradation products, such as heme-loaded microvesicles and heme, induced alternative and terminal complement pathway activation in sera and on endothelial surfaces, in contrast to hemoglobin. Heme triggered rapid P selectin, C3aR, and C5aR expression and downregulated CD46 on endothelial cells. Importantly, complement deposition was attenuated in vivo and in vitro by heme scavenger hemopexin. In conclusion, we demonstrate that intravascular hemolysis triggers complement activation in vivo, encouraging further studies on its role in SCD nephropathy. Conversely, heme inhibition using hemopexin may provide a novel therapeutic opportunity to limit complement activation in hemolytic diseases.
Nicolas S. Merle, Anne Grunenwald, Helena Rajaratnam, Viviane Gnemmi, Marie Frimat, Marie-Lucile Figueres, Samantha Knockaert, Sanah Bouzekri, Dominique Charue, Remi Noe, Tania Robe-Rybkine, Marie Le-Hoang, Nathan Brinkman, Thomas Gentinetta, Monika Edler, Sara Petrillo, Emanuela Tolosano, Sylvia Miescher, Sylvain Le Jeune, Pascal Houillier, Sophie Chauvet, Marion Rabant, Jordan D. Dimitrov, Veronique Fremeaux-Bacchi, Olivier P. Blanc-Brude, Lubka T. Roumenina
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) remains a disease with limited therapeutic options and dismal prognosis. Despite its etiologic heterogeneity, the underlying unifying pathophysiology is characterized by increased vascular tone and adverse remodeling of the pulmonary circulation. Myeloperoxidase (MPO), an enzyme abundantly expressed in neutrophils, has potent vasoconstrictive and profibrotic properties, thus qualifying as a potential contributor to this disease. Here, we sought to investigate whether MPO is causally linked to the pathophysiology of PAH. Investigation of 2 independent clinical cohorts revealed that MPO plasma levels were elevated in subjects with PAH and predicted adverse outcome. Experimental analyses showed that, upon hypoxia, right ventricular pressure was less increased in Mpo–/– than in WT mice. The hypoxia-induced activation of the Rho-kinase pathway, a critical subcellular signaling pathway yielding vasoconstriction and structural vascular remodeling, was blunted in Mpo–/– mice. Mice subjected to i.v. infusion of MPO revealed activation of Rho-kinase and increased right ventricular pressure, which was prevented by coinfusion of the Rho-kinase inhibitor Y-27632. In the Sugen5416/hypoxia rat model, PAH was attenuated by the MPO inhibitor AZM198. The current data demonstrate a tight mechanistic link between MPO, the activation of Rho-kinase, and adverse pulmonary vascular function, thus pointing toward a potentially novel avenue of treatment.
Anna Klinke, Eva Berghausen, Kai Friedrichs, Simon Molz, Denise Lau, Lisa Remane, Matthias Berlin, Charlotte Kaltwasser, Matti Adam, Dennis Mehrkens, Martin Mollenhauer, Kashish Manchanda, Thorben Ravekes, Gustavo A. Heresi, Metin Aytekin, Raed A. Dweik, Jan K. Hennigs, Lukas Kubala, Erik Michaëlsson, Stephan Rosenkranz, Tanja K. Rudolph, Stanley L. Hazen, Hans Klose, Ralph T. Schermuly, Volker Rudolph, Stephan Baldus
Allergic asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease dominated by a CD4+ T helper 2 (Th2) cell signature. The immune response amplifies in self-enforcing loops, promoting Th2-driven cellular immunity and leaving the host unable to terminate inflammation. Posttranscriptional mechanisms, including microRNAs (miRs), are pivotal in maintaining immune homeostasis. Since an altered expression of various miRs has been associated with T cell–driven diseases, including asthma, we hypothesized that miRs control mechanisms ensuring Th2 stability and maintenance in the lung. We isolated murine CD4+ Th2 cells from allergic inflamed lungs and profiled gene and miR expression. Instead of focusing on the magnitude of miR differential expression, here we addressed the secondary consequences for the set of molecular interactions in the cell, the interactome. We developed the Impact of Differential Expression Across Layers, a network-based algorithm to prioritize disease-relevant miRs based on the central role of their targets in the molecular interactome. This method identified 5 Th2-related miRs (mir27b, mir206, mir106b, mir203, and mir23b) whose antagonization led to a sharp reduction of the Th2 phenotype. Overall, a systems biology tool was developed and validated, highlighting the role of miRs in Th2-driven immune response. This result offers potentially novel approaches for therapeutic interventions.
Ayşe Kılıç, Marc Santolini, Taiji Nakano, Matthias Schiller, Mizue Teranishi, Pascal Gellert, Yuliya Ponomareva, Thomas Braun, Shizuka Uchida, Scott T. Weiss, Amitabh Sharma, Harald Renz
Estimating the size of the viral reservoir is critical for HIV cure strategies. Biomarkers in peripheral circulation may give insights into the establishment of the viral reservoir in compartments not easily accessible. We therefore measured systemic levels of 84 soluble biomarkers belonging to a broad array of immune pathways in acute HIV infection in both antiretroviral therapy–naive (ART-naive) individuals as well as individuals who began ART upon early detection of HIV infection. These biomarkers were measured longitudinally during acute and chronic infection and their relationship to viral reservoir establishment and persistence was assessed. We observed several distinct biomarker pathways induced following HIV infection such as IFN-γ–signaled chemokines, proinflammatory markers, and TNF-α–family members. Levels of several of these factors directly correlated with contemporaneous viral loads and/or frequency of peripheral blood mononuclear cells harboring HIV DNA during acute HIV infection. MCP-1, MIP-3β, sTNFR-II, and IL-10 levels prior to ART associated with HIV DNA levels after 96 weeks of treatment, suggesting a link between early immune signaling events and the establishment and persistence of the viral reservoir during ART. Furthermore, they offer potentially novel tools for gaining insight into relative reservoir size in acutely infected individuals and the potential of associated risks of treatment interruption.
Jeffrey E. Teigler, Louise Leyre, Nicolas Chomont, Bonnie Slike, Ningbo Jian, Michael A. Eller, Nittaya Phanuphak, Eugène Kroon, Suteeraporn Pinyakorn, Leigh Anne Eller, Merlin L. Robb, Jintanat Ananworanich, Nelson L. Michael, Hendrik Streeck, Shelly J. Krebs, RV254/RV217 study groups
Fibrosis is the end result of most inflammatory conditions, but its pathogenesis remains unclear. We demonstrate that, in animals and humans with systemic fibrosis, plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) are unaffected or are reduced systemically (spleen/peripheral blood), but they increase in the affected organs (lungs/skin/bronchoalveolar lavage). A pivotal role of pDCs was shown by depleting them in vivo, which ameliorated skin and/or lung fibrosis, reduced immune cell infiltration in the affected organs but not in spleen, and reduced the expression of genes and proteins implicated in chemotaxis, inflammation, and fibrosis in the affected organs of animals with bleomycin-induced fibrosis. As with animal findings, the frequency of pDCs in the lungs of patients with systemic sclerosis correlated with the severity of lung disease and with the frequency of CD4+ and IL-4+ T cells in the lung. Finally, treatment with imatinib that has been reported to reduce and/or prevent deterioration of skin and lung fibrosis profoundly reduced pDCs in lungs but not in peripheral blood of patients with systemic sclerosis. These observations suggest a role for pDCs in the pathogenesis of systemic fibrosis and identify the increased trafficking of pDCs to the affected organs as a potential therapeutic target in fibrotic diseases.
Suzanne Kafaja, Isela Valera, Anagha A. Divekar, Rajan Saggar, Fereidoun Abtin, Daniel E. Furst, Dinesh Khanna, Ram Raj Singh
Sepsis-associated encephalopathy manifesting as delirium is a common problem in critical care medicine. In this study, patients that had delirium due to sepsis had significant cognitive impairments at 12–18 months after hospital discharge when compared with controls and Cambridge Neuropsychological Automated Test Battery–standardized scores in spatial recognition memory, pattern recognition memory, and delayed-matching-to-sample tests but not other cognitive functions. A mouse model of S. pneumoniae pneumonia-induced sepsis, which modeled numerous aspects of the human sepsis-associated multiorgan dysfunction, including encephalopathy, also revealed similar deficits in spatial memory but not new task learning. Both humans and mice had large increases in chemokines for myeloid cell recruitment. Intravital imaging of the brains of septic mice revealed increased neutrophil and CCR2+ inflammatory monocyte recruitment (the latter being far more robust), accompanied by subtle microglial activation. Prevention of CCR2+ inflammatory monocyte recruitment, but not neutrophil recruitment, reduced microglial activation and other signs of neuroinflammation and prevented all signs of cognitive impairment after infection. Therefore, therapeutically targeting CCR2+ inflammatory monocytes at the time of sepsis may provide a novel neuroprotective clinical intervention to prevent the development of persistent cognitive impairments.
Graciela Andonegui, Erin L. Zelinski, Courtney L. Schubert, Derrice Knight, Laura A. Craig, Brent W. Winston, Simon C. Spanswick, Björn Petri, Craig N. Jenne, Janice C. Sutherland, Rita Nguyen, Natalie Jayawardena, Margaret M. Kelly, Christopher J. Doig, Robert J. Sutherland, Paul Kubes
Obesity is a risk factor for osteoarthritis (OA), the greatest cause of disability in the US. The impact of obesity on OA is driven by systemic inflammation, and increased systemic inflammation is now understood to be caused by gut microbiome dysbiosis. Oligofructose, a nondigestible prebiotic fiber, can restore a lean gut microbial community profile in the context of obesity, suggesting a potentially novel approach to treat the OA of obesity. Here, we report that — compared with the lean murine gut — obesity is associated with loss of beneficial Bifidobacteria, while key proinflammatory species gain in abundance. A downstream systemic inflammatory signature culminates with macrophage migration to the synovium and accelerated knee OA. Oligofructose supplementation restores the lean gut microbiome in obese mice, in part, by supporting key commensal microflora, particularly Bifidobacterium pseudolongum. This is associated with reduced inflammation in the colon, circulation, and knee and protection from OA. This observation of a gut microbiome–OA connection sets the stage for discovery of potentially new OA therapeutics involving strategic manipulation of specific microbial species inhabiting the intestinal space.
Eric M. Schott, Christopher W. Farnsworth, Alex Grier, Jacquelyn A. Lillis, Sarah Soniwala, Gregory H. Dadourian, Richard D. Bell, Madison L. Doolittle, David A. Villani, Hani Awad, John P. Ketz, Fadia Kamal, Cheryl Ackert-Bicknell, John M. Ashton, Steven R. Gill, Robert A. Mooney, Michael J. Zuscik
Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is an allergic inflammatory esophageal disorder with a complex underlying genetic etiology often associated with other comorbidities. Using whole-exome sequencing (WES) of 63 patients with EoE and 60 unaffected family members and family-based trio analysis, we sought to uncover rare coding variants. WES analysis identified 5 rare, damaging variants in dehydrogenase E1 and transketolase domain–containing 1 (DHTKD1). Rare variant burden analysis revealed an overabundance of putative, potentially damaging DHTKD1 mutations in EoE (P = 0.01). Interestingly, we also identified 7 variants in the DHTKD1 homolog oxoglutarate dehydrogenase-like (OGDHL). Using shRNA-transduced esophageal epithelial cells and/or patient fibroblasts, we further showed that disruption of normal DHTKD1 or OGDHL expression blunts mitochondrial function. Finally, we demonstrated that the loss of DHTKD1 expression increased ROS production and induced the expression of viperin, a gene previously shown to be involved in production of Th2 cytokines in T cells. Viperin had increased expression in esophageal biopsies of EoE patients compared with control individuals and was upregulated by IL-13 in esophageal epithelial cells. These data identify a series of rare genetic variants implicating DHTKD1 and OGDHL in the genetic etiology of EoE and underscore a potential pathogenic role for mitochondrial dysfunction in EoE.
Joseph D. Sherrill, Kiran KC, Xinjian Wang, Ting Wen, Adam Chamberlin, Emily M. Stucke, Margaret H. Collins, J. Pablo Abonia, Yanyan Peng, Qiang Wu, Philip E. Putnam, Phillip J. Dexheimer, Bruce J. Aronow, Leah C. Kottyan, Kenneth M. Kaufman, John B. Harley, Taosheng Huang, Marc E. Rothenberg
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a metabolic predisposition for development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), represents a disease spectrum ranging from steatosis to steatohepatitis to cirrhosis. Acox1, a rate-limiting enzyme in peroxisomal fatty acid β-oxidation, regulates metabolism, spontaneous hepatic steatosis, and hepatocellular damage over time. However, it is unknown whether Acox1 modulates inflammation relevant to NAFLD pathogenesis or if Acox1-associated metabolic and inflammatory derangements uncover and accelerate potential for NAFLD progression. Here, we show that mice with a point mutation in Acox1 (Acox1Lampe1) exhibited altered cellular metabolism, modified T cell polarization, and exacerbated immune cell inflammatory potential. Further, in context of a brief obesogenic diet stress, NAFLD progression associated with Acox1 mutation resulted in significantly accelerated and exacerbated hepatocellular damage via induction of profound histological changes in hepatocytes, hepatic inflammation, and robust upregulation of gene expression associated with HCC development. Collectively, these data demonstrate that β-oxidation links metabolism and immune responsiveness and that a better understanding of peroxisomal β-oxidation may allow for discovery of mechanisms central for NAFLD progression.
Maria E. Moreno-Fernandez, Daniel A. Giles, Traci E. Stankiewicz, Rachel Sheridan, Rebekah Karns, Monica Cappelletti, Kristin Lampe, Rajib Mukherjee, Christian Sina, Anthony Sallese, James P. Bridges, Simon P. Hogan, Bruce J. Aronow, Kasper Hoebe, Senad Divanovic
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