Primary varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection in adults is often complicated by severe pneumonia, which is difficult to treat and associated with high morbidity and mortality. Here, the simian varicella virus (SVV) nonhuman primate (NHP) model was used to investigate the pathogenesis of varicella pneumonia. SVV infection resulted in transient fever, viremia and robust virus replication in alveolar pneumocytes and bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue. Clearance of infectious virus from lungs coincided with robust innate immune responses, leading to recruitment of inflammatory cells, mainly neutrophils and lymphocytes, and finally severe acute lung injury. SVV infection caused neutrophil activation and formation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) in vitro and in vivo. Notably, NETs were also detected in lung and blood specimens of varicella pneumonia patients. Lung pathology in the SVV NHP model was associated with dysregulated expression of alveolar epithelial cell tight junction proteins (claudin-2, claudin-10 and claudin-18) and alveolar endothelial adherens junction protein VE-cadherin. Importantly, factors released by activated neutrophils, including NETs, were sufficient to reduce claudin-18 and VE-cadherin expression in NHP lung slice cultures. Collectively, the data indicate that local inflammatory responses involving activated neutrophils contribute to impaired alveolar epithelial/endothelial barrier integrity in varicella pneumonia and possibly other virus-induced acute lung injuries.
Werner J.D. Ouwendijk, Henk Jan van den Ham, Mark W. Delany, Jeroen J.A. van Kampen, Gijsbert P. van Nierop, Tamana Mehraban, Fatiha Zaaraoui-Boutahar, Wilfred F.J. van IJcken, Judith M.A. van den Brand, Rory D. De Vries, Arno C. Andeweg, Georges M.G.M. Verjans
Ischemia-reperfusion-induced edema (IRE) one of the most significant causes of mortality after lung transplantation can be mimicked ex-vivo in isolated perfused mouse lungs (IPL). Transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) is a non-selective cation channel studied in endothelium, while its role in the lung epithelium remains elusive. Here we show enhanced IRE in TRPV4-deficient (TRPV4–/–) IPL compared to wild-type (WT) controls, indicating a protective role of TRPV4 to maintain the alveolar epithelial barrier. By immunohistochemistry, mRNA profiling and electrophysiological characterization, we detected TRPV4 in bronchial epithelium, alveolar type I (ATI) and alveolar type II (ATII) cells. Genetic ablation of TRPV4 resulted in reduced expression of the water conducting aquaporin-5 (AQP-5) channel in ATI cells. Migration of TRPV4–/– ATI cells was reduced and cell barrier function was impaired. Analysis of isolated primary TRPV4-deficient ATII cells revealed a reduced expression of surfactant protein C (SP-C) and the TRPV4 activator GSK1016790A induced increases in current densities only in WT ATII cells. Moreover, TRPV4–/– lungs of adult mice developed significantly larger mean chord lengths and altered lung function compared to WT lungs. Therefore, our data discover essential functions of TRPV4 channels in alveolar epithelial cells and in the protection from edema formation.
Jonas Weber, Suhasini Rajan, Christian Schremmer, Yu-Kai Chao, Gabriela Krasteva-Christ, Martina Kannler, Ali Önder Yildirim, Monika Brosien, Johann Schredelseker, Norbert Weissmann, Christian Grimm, Thomas Gudermann, Alexander Dietrich
Based on its clinical benefits, Trikafta, the combination of folding correctors VX-661 (tezacaftor), VX-445 (elexacaftor), and the gating potentiator VX-770 (ivacaftor) was FDA-approved for treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients carrying deletion of phenylalanine 508 (F508del) of the CF Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (CFTR) on at least one allele. Neither the mechanism of action of VX-445, nor the susceptibility of rare CF folding mutants to Trikafta are known. Here we show that in human bronchial epithelial cells, VX-445 synergistically restores F508del-CFTR processing in combination with type I or II correctors that target the nucleotide binding domain 1 (NBD1)-membrane spanning domains (MSDs) interface and NBD2, respectively, consistent with a type III corrector mechanism. This inference was supported by the VX-445 binding to and unfolding suppression of the isolated F508del-NBD1 of CFTR. The VX-661+VX-445 treatment restored F508del-CFTR chloride channel function in the presence of VX-770 to ~62% of wild-type CFTR in homozygous nasal epithelia. Substantial rescue of rare misprocessing mutations (S13F, R31C, G85E, E92K, V520F, M1101K and N1303K), confined to MSD1, MSD2, NBD1 and NBD2 of CFTR, was also observed in airway epithelia, suggesting an allosteric correction mechanism and the possible application of Trikafta for patients with rare misfolding mutants of CFTR.
Guido Veit, Ariel Roldan, Mark A. Hancock, Dillon F. Da Fonte, Haijin Xu, Maytham Hussein, Saul Frenkiel, Elias Matouk, Tony Velkov, Gergely L. Lukacs
Increased metabolism distinguishes myofibroblasts or fibrotic lung fibroblasts (fLfs) from the normal lung fibroblasts (nLfs). The mechanism of metabolic activation in fLfs has not been fully elucidated. Further, the anti-fibrogenic effects of caveolin-1 scaffolding domain peptide CSP/CSP7 involve metabolic reprogramming in fLfs is unclear. We therefore analyzed lactate and succinate levels, and the expression of glycolytic enzymes, and hypoxia inducible factor-1alpha (HIF-1α). Lactate and succinate levels as well as the basal expression of glycolytic enzymes and HIF-1α αwere increased in fLfs. These changes were reversed following restoration of p53 or its transcriptional target microRNA-34a (miR-34a) expression in fLfs. Conversely, inhibition of basal p53 or miR-34a increased glucose metabolism, glycolytic enzymes and HIF-1α in nLfs. Treatment of fLfs or mice having bleomycin- or TGF-beta1-induced lung fibrosis with CSP/CSP7, reduced the expression of glycolytic enzymes and HIF-1α. Further, inhibition of p53 or miR-34a abrogated CSP/CSP7-mediated restoration of glycolytic flux in fLfs in vitro and in mice with pulmonary fibrosis and lacking p53 or miR-34a expression in fibroblasts in vivo. Our data indicate that dysregulation of glucose metabolism in fLfs is causally linked to loss of basal expression of p53 and miR-34a. Treatment with CSP/CSP7 constrains aberrant glucose metabolism through restoration of p53 and miR-34a.
Venkadesaperumal Gopu, Liang Fan, Rashmi Shetty, MR Nagaraja, Sreerama Shetty
Airway mucociliary clearance (MCC) is the main mechanism of lung defense keeping airways free of infection and mucus obstruction. Airway surface liquid volume, ciliary beating, and mucus are central for proper MCC and critically regulated by sodium absorption and anion secretion. Impaired MCC is a key feature of muco-obstructive diseases. The calcium-activated potassium channel KCa.3.1, encoded by Kcnn4, participates in ion secretion, and studies showed that its activation increases Na+ absorption in airway epithelia, suggesting that KCa3.1-induced hyperpolarization was sufficient to drive Na+ absorption. However, its role in airway epithelium is not fully understood. We aimed to elucidate the role of KCa3.1 in MCC using a genetically engineered mouse. KCa3.1 inhibition reduced Na+ absorption in mouse and human airway epithelium. Furthermore, the genetic deletion of Kcnn4 enhanced cilia beating frequency and MCC ex vivo and in vivo. Kcnn4 silencing in the Scnn1b-transgenic mouse (Scnn1btg/+), a model of muco-obstructive lung disease triggered by increased epithelial Na+ absorption, improved MCC, reduced Na+ absorption, and did not change the amount of mucus but did reduce mucus adhesion, neutrophil infiltration, and emphysema. Our data support that KCa3.1 inhibition attenuated muco-obstructive disease in the Scnn1btg/+ mice. K+ channel modulation may be a therapeutic strategy to treat muco-obstructive lung diseases.
Génesis Vega, Anita Guequén, Amber R. Philp, Ambra Gianotti, Llilian Arzola, Manuel Villalón, Olga Zegarra-Moran, Luis J.V. Galietta, Marcus A. Mall, Carlos A. Flores
Alpha 1-antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency, a hereditary disorder characterized by low serum levels of functional AAT, is associated with early development of panacinar emphysema. AAT inhibits serine proteases, including neutrophil elastase, protecting the lung from proteolytic destruction. Cigarette smoke, pollution, and inflammatory cell–mediated oxidation of methionine (M) 351 and 358 inactivates AAT, limiting lung protection. In vitro studies using amino acid substitutions demonstrated that replacing M351 with valine (V) and M358 with leucine (L) on a normal M1 alanine (A) 213 background provided maximum antiprotease protection despite oxidant stress. We hypothesized that a onetime administration of a serotype 8 adeno-associated virus (AAV8) gene transfer vector coding for the oxidation-resistant variant AAT (A213/V351/L358; 8/AVL) would maintain antiprotease activity under oxidant stress compared with normal AAT (A213/M351/M358; 8/AMM). 8/AVL was administered via intravenous (IV) and intrapleural (IPL) routes to C57BL/6 mice. High, dose-dependent AAT levels were found in the serum and lung epithelial lining fluid (ELF) of mice administered 8/AVL or 8/AMM by IV or IPL. 8/AVL serum and ELF retained serine protease–inhibitory activity despite oxidant stress while 8/AMM function was abolished. 8/AVL represents a second-generation gene therapy for AAT deficiency providing effective antiprotease protection even with oxidant stress.
Meredith L. Sosulski, Katie M. Stiles, Esther Z. Frenk, Fiona M. Hart, Yuki Matsumura, Bishnu P. De, Stephen M. Kaminsky, Ronald G. Crystal
Background: The complement system plays a key role in host defense but is activated by ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI). Primary graft dysfunction (PGD) is a form of acute lung injury occurring predominantly due to IRI, which worsens survival after lung transplantation (LTx). Local complement activation is associated with acute lung injury, but whether it is more reflective of allograft injury compared to systemic activation remains unclear. We proposed that local complement activation would help identify those who develop PGD post-LTx. We also aimed to identify which complement activation pathways are associated with PGD. Methods: We performed a multicenter cohort study at the University of Pennsylvania and Washington University. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and plasma specimens were obtained from recipients within 24 h post-LTx. PGD was scored based on the consensus definition. Complement activation products and components of each arm of the complement cascade were measured using ELISA. Results: In both cohorts, sC4d and sC5b-9 levels were increased in BAL of subjects with PGD compared to those without PGD. Subjects with PGD also had higher C1q, C2, C4, and C4b, compared to subjects without PGD, suggesting classical and lectin pathway involvement. Ba levels were higher in subjects with PGD, suggesting alternative pathway activation. Among lectin pathway-specific components, MBL and FCN-3 had a moderate-to-strong correlation with the terminal complement complex in the BAL but not in the plasma. Conclusion: Complement activation fragments are detected in the BAL within 24 h post-LTx. Components of all three pathways are locally increased in subjects with PGD. Our findings create a precedent for investigating complement-targeted therapeutics to mitigate PGD. Funding: This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), American Lung Association, Children’s Discovery Institute, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation, The Danish Hearth Foundation], The Danish Research Foundation of Independent Research, The Svend Andersen Research Foundation and the Novo Nordisk Research Foundation.
Hrishikesh S. Kulkarni, Kristy Ramphal, Lina Ma, Melanie Brown, Michelle L. Oyster, Kaitlyn Speckhart, Tsuyoshi Takahashi, Derek E. Byers, Mary K. Porteous, Laurel Kalman, Ramsey R. Hachem, Melanie Rushefski, Ja'Nia McPhatter, Marlene Cano, Daniel Kreisel, Masina Scavuzzo, Brigitte Mittler, Edward Cantu, Katrine Pilely, Peter Garred, Jason D. Christie, John Atkinson, Andrew E. Gelman, Joshua M. Diamond
Cigarette smoking (CS) and genetic susceptibility determine the risk for development, progression, and severity of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD). We posited that an incidental balanced reciprocal chromosomal translocation was linked to a patient’s risk of severe COPD. We determined 46,XX,t(1;4)(p13.1;q34.3) caused a breakpoint in IGSF3 (immunoglobulin superfamily, member 3) gene, with markedly decreased expression. Examination of COPDGene cohort identified 14 IGSF3 SNPs of which, rs1414272 and rs12066192 were directly- and rs6703791 inversely associated with COPD severity, including COPD exacerbations. We confirmed that IGSF3 is a tetraspanin-interacting protein that colocalized with CD9 and integrin B1 in tetraspanin enriched domains. IGSF3-deficient patient-derived lymphoblastoids exhibited multiple alterations in gene expression, especially in the unfolded protein response and ceramide pathways. IGSF3-deficient lymphoblastoids had high ceramide- and sphingosine-1 phosphate-, but low glycosphingolipids- and gangliosides levels; were less apoptotic and more adherent; with marked changes in multiple TNFRSF molecules. Similarly, IGSF3 knockdown increased ceramide in lung structural cells, rendering them more adherent, with impaired wound repair and a weakened barrier function. These findings suggest that, by maintaining sphingolipid and membrane receptor homeostasis, IGSF3 is required for cell mobility-mediated lung injury repair. IGSF3 deficiency may increase susceptibility to CS-induced lung injury in COPD.
Kelly S. Schweitzer, Natini Jinawath, Raluca Yonescu, Kevin Ni, Natalia Rush, Varodom Charoensawan, Irina Bronova, Evgeny Berdyshev, Sonia M. Leach, Lucas A. Gillenwater, Russell P. Bowler, David B. Pearse, Constance A. Griffin, Irina Petrache
The acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) results from overwhelming pulmonary inflammation. Prior bulk RNA sequencing provided limited insights into ARDS pathogenesis. We used single cell RNA sequencing to probe ARDS at a higher resolution. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells of patients with pneumonia and sepsis with early ARDS were compared to that of sepsis patients who did not develop ARDS. Monocyte clusters from ARDS patients revealed multiple distinguishing characteristics in comparison to monocytes from patients without ARDS including down-regulation of SOCS3 expression accompanied by a pro-inflammatory signature with up-regulation of multiple type I IFN-induced genes, especially in CD16+ cells. To generate an ARDS risk score, we identified up-regulation of 29 genes in the monocytes of these patients, and 17 showed a similar profile in cells of patients in independent cohorts. Monocytes had increased expression of RAB11A, known to inhibit neutrophil efferocytosis, ATP2B1, a calcium pump that exports Ca2+ implicated in endothelial barrier disruption, and SPARC, associated with processing of pro-collagen to collagen. These data show that monocytes of ARDS patients up-regulate expression of genes not just restricted to those associated with inflammation. Together, our findings identify molecules that are likely involved in ARDS pathogenesis that may inform biomarker and therapeutic development.
Yale Jiang, Brian R. Rosborough, Jie Chen, Sudipta Das, Georgios D. Kitsios, Bryan J. McVerry, Rama K. Mallampalli, Janet S. Lee, Anuradha Ray, Wei Chen, Prabir Ray
Background Currently recommended traditional spirometry outputs do not reflect their relative contributions to airflow, and we hypothesized that machine learning algorithms can be trained on spirometry data to identify these structural phenotypes. Methods Participants enrolled in a large multicenter study (COPDGene) were included. The data points from expiratory flow-volume curves were trained using a deep learning model to predict structural phenotypes of COPD on computed tomography (CT), and results were compared with traditional spirometry metrics and an optimized random forest classifier. Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) and weighted F-score were used to measure the discriminative accuracy of a fully convolutional neural network, Random Forest, and traditional spirometry metrics to phenotype CT as normal, emphysema-predominant (>5% emphysema), airway-predominant (Pi10>median), and mixed phenotypes. Similar comparisons were made for the detection of functional small airway disease phenotype (fSAD>20% on parametric response mapping). Results Among 8,980 individuals, neural network was more accurate in discriminating predominant emphysema/airway phenotypes (AUC 0.80, 95%CI 0.79-0.81) than traditional measures of spirometry, FEV1/FVC (AUC 0.71, 95%CI 0.69-0.71) and FEV1 %predicted (AUC 0.70, 95%CI 0.68-0.71) ), and random forest classifier (AUC 0.78, 95%CI 0.77-0.79). The neural network was also more accurate in discriminating predominant emphysema/small airway phenotypes (AUC 0.91, 95%CI 0.90-0.92) than FEV1/FVC (AUC 0.80, 95%CI 0.78-0.82), FEV1 %predicted (AUC 0.83, 95%CI 0.80-0.84), and with comparable accuracy with random forest classifier (AUC 0.90, 95%CI 0.88-0.91). Conclusions Structural phenotypes of COPD can be identified from spirometry using deep learning and machine learning approaches, demonstrating their potential to identify individuals for targeted therapies.
Sandeep Bodduluri, Arie Nakhmani, Joseph M. Reinhardt, Carla G. Wilson, Merry-Lynn N. McDonald, Ramaraju Rudraraju, Byron C Jaeger, Nirav R. Bhakta, Peter J. Castaldi, Frank C. Sciurba, Chengcui Zhang, Purushotham V. Bangalore, Surya P. Bhatt
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