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
Conjugated bile acids (CBAs), such as tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA), are known to resolve the inflammatory and unfolded protein response (UPR) in inflammatory diseases, such as asthma. Whether CBAs exert their beneficial effects on allergic airway responses via 1 arm or several arms of the UPR, or alternatively through the signaling pathways for conserved bile acid receptor, remains largely unknown. We used a house dust mite–induced (HDM-induced) murine model of asthma to evaluate and compare the effects of 5 CBAs and 1 unconjugated bile acid in attenuating allergen-induced UPR and airway responses. Expression of UPR-associated transcripts was assessed in airway brushings from human patients with asthma and healthy subjects. Here we show that CBAs, such as alanyl β-muricholic acid (AβM) and TUDCA, significantly decreased inflammatory, immune, and cytokine responses; mucus metaplasia; and airway hyperresponsiveness, as compared with other CBAs in a model of allergic airway disease. CBAs predominantly bind to activating transcription factor 6α (ATF6α) compared with the other canonical transducers of the UPR, subsequently decreasing allergen-induced UPR activation and resolving allergic airway disease, without significant activation of the bile acid receptors. TUDCA and AβM also attenuated other HDM-induced ER stress markers in the lungs of allergic mice. Quantitative mRNA analysis of airway epithelial brushings from human subjects demonstrated that several ATF6α-related transcripts were significantly upregulated in patients with asthma compared with healthy subjects. Collectively, these results demonstrate that CBA-based therapy potently inhibits the allergen-induced UPR and allergic airway disease in mice via preferential binding of the canonical transducer of the UPR, ATF6α. These results potentially suggest a novel avenue to treat allergic asthma using select CBAs.
Emily M. Nakada, Nirav R. Bhakta, Bethany R. Korwin-Mihavics, Amit Kumar, Nicolas Chamberlain, Sierra R. Bruno, David G. Chapman, Sidra M. Hoffman, Nirav Daphtary, Minara Aliyeva, Charles G. Irvin, Anne E. Dixon, Prescott G. Woodruff, Shantu Amin, Matthew E. Poynter, Dhimant H. Desai, Vikas Anathy
Bacterial permeability family member A1 (BPIFA1), also known as short palate, lung, and nasal epithelium clone 1 (SPLUNC1), is a protein involved in the antiinflammatory response. The goal of this study was to determine whether BPIFA1 expression in asthmatic airways is regulated by genetic variations, altering epithelial responses to type 2 cytokines (e.g., IL-13). Nasal epithelial cells from patients with mild to severe asthma were collected from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Severe Asthma Research Program centers, genotyped for rs750064, and measured for BPIFA1. To determine the function of rs750064, cells were cultured at air-liquid interface and treated with IL-13 with or without recombinant human BPIFA1 (rhBPIFA1). Noncultured nasal cells with the rs750064 CC genotype had significantly less BPIFA1 mRNA expression than the CT and TT genotypes. Cultured CC versus CT and TT cells without stimulation maintained less BPIFA1 expression. With IL-13 treatment, CC genotype cells secreted more eotaxin-3 than CT and TT genotype cells. Also, rhBPIFA1 reduced IL-13–mediated eotaxin-3. BPIFA1 mRNA levels negatively correlated with serum IgE and fractional exhaled nitric oxide. Baseline FEV1% levels were lower in the asthma patients with the CC genotype (n = 1,016). Our data suggest that less BPIFA1 in asthma patients with the CC allele may predispose them to greater eosinophilic inflammation, which could be attenuated by rhBPIFA1 protein therapy.
Niccolette Schaefer, Xingnan Li, Max A. Seibold, Nizar N. Jarjour, Loren C. Denlinger, Mario Castro, Andrea M. Coverstone, W. Gerald Teague, Jonathan Boomer, Eugene R. Bleecker, Deborah A. Meyers, Wendy C. Moore, Gregory A. Hawkins, John Fahy, Brenda R. Phillips, David T. Mauger, Azzeddine Dakhama, Shaan Gellatly, Nicole Pavelka, Reena Berman, Y. Peter Di, Sally E. Wenzel, Hong Wei Chu
Adipose tissue macrophages (ATM) are crucial for maintaining adipose tissue homeostasis and mediating obesity-induced metabolic abnormalities, including prediabetic conditions and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Despite their key functions in regulating adipose tissue metabolic and immunologic homeostasis under normal and obese conditions, a high-resolution transcriptome annotation system that can capture ATM multifaceted activation profiles has not yet been developed. This is primarily attributed to the complexity of their differentiation/activation process in adipose tissue and their diverse activation profiles in response to microenvironmental cues. Although the concept of multifaceted macrophage action is well-accepted, no current model precisely depicts their dynamically regulated in vivo features. To address this knowledge gap, we generated single-cell transcriptome data from primary bone marrow-derived macrophages under polarizing and non-polarizing conditions to develop new high-resolution algorithms. The outcome was creation of a two-index platform, MacSpectrum (https://macspectrum.uconn.edu), that enables comprehensive high-resolution mapping of macrophage activation states from diverse mixed cell populations. MacSpectrum captured dynamic transitions of macrophage subpopulations under both in vitro and in vivo conditions. Importantly, MacSpectrum revealed unique “signature” gene sets in ATMs and circulating monocytes that displayed significant correlation with BMI and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) in obese human patients. Thus, MacSpectrum provides unprecedented resolution to decode macrophage heterogeneity and will open new areas of clinical translation.
Chuan Li, Antoine Menoret, Cullen Farragher, Zhengqing Ouyang, Christopher Bonin, Paul Holvoet, Anthony T. Vella, Beiyan Zhou
Dysregulation of the JAK/STAT signaling pathway is associated with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and its mouse model, Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE). Suppressors Of Cytokine Signaling (SOCS) negatively regulate the JAK/STAT pathway. We previously reported a severe, brain-targeted, atypical form of EAE in mice lacking Socs3 in myeloid cells (Socs3ΔLysM), which is associated with cerebellar neutrophil infiltration. There is emerging evidence that neutrophils are detrimental in the pathology of MS/EAE, however, their exact function is unclear. Here we demonstrate that neutrophils from the cerebellum of Socs3ΔLysM mice show a hyper-activated phenotype with excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) at the peak of EAE. Neutralization of ROS in vivo delayed the onset and reduced severity of atypical EAE. Mechanistically, Socs3-deficient neutrophils exhibit enhanced STAT3 activation, a hyper-activated phenotype in response to G-CSF, and upon G-CSF priming, increased ROS production. Neutralization of G-CSF in vivo significantly reduced the incidence and severity of the atypical EAE phenotype. Overall, our work elucidates that hypersensitivity of G-CSF/STAT3 signaling in Socs3ΔLysM mice leads to atypical EAE by enhanced neutrophil activation and increased oxidative stress, which may explain the detrimental role of G-CSF in MS patients.
Zhaoqi Yan, Wei Yang, Luke Parkitny, Sara A. Gibson, Kevin S. Lee, Forrest Collins, Jessy S. Deshane, Wayne Cheng, Amy S. Weinmann, Hairong Wei, Hongwei Qin, Etty N. Benveniste
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