Acute lung injury (ALI) is a severe form of lung inflammation causing acute respiratory distress syndrome in patients. ALI pathogenesis is closely linked to uncontrolled alveolar inflammation. We hypothesize that specific enzymes of the glycolytic pathway could function as key regulators of alveolar inflammation. Therefore, we screened isolated alveolar epithelia from mice exposed to ALI induced by injurious ventilation to assess their metabolic responses. These studies pointed us towards a selective role for isoform 3 of the 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase (PFKFB3). Pharmacologic inhibition or genetic deletion of Pfkfb3 in alveolar epithelia (Pfkfb3loxp/loxp SPC-ER-Cre+ mice) was associated with profound increases in ALI during injurious mechanical ventilation or acid installation. Studies in genetic models linked Pfkfb3 expression and function to hypoxia-inducible factor Hif1a. Intra-tracheal pyruvate instillation not only reconstituted Pfkfb3loxp/loxp or Hif1aloxp/loxp SPC ER Cre+ mice, but pyruvate was also effective in ALI treatment of wild-type mice. Finally, proof-of-principle studies in human lung biopsies confirmed increased PFKFB3 staining in injured lungs and co-localized PFKFB3 to alveolar epithelia. These studies reveal a specific role for PFKFB3 in counter-balancing alveolar inflammation and lay the groundwork for novel metabolic therapeutic approaches during ALI.
Christine U. Vohwinkel, Nana Burns, Ethan Coit, Xiaoyi Yuan, Eszter K. Vladar, Christina Sul, Eric P. Schmidt, Peter Carmeliet, Kurt Stenmark, Eva S. Nozik, Rubin M. Tuder, Holger K. Eltzschig
The fluid covering the surface of airway epithelia represents a first barrier against pathogens. The chemical and physical properties of the airway surface fluid are controlled by the activity of ion channels and transporters. In cystic fibrosis (CF), loss of CFTR chloride channel function causes airway surface dehydration, bacterial infection, and inflammation. We investigated the effects of IL-17A plus TNF-α, two cytokines with a relevant role in CF and other chronic lung diseases. Transcriptome analysis revealed a profound change with upregulation of several genes involved in ion transport, anti-bacterial defense, and neutrophil recruitment. At the functional level, bronchial epithelia treated in vitro with the cytokine combination showed upregulation of ENaC sodium channel, ATP12A proton pump, ADRB2 beta-adrenergic receptor, and SLC26A4 anion exchanger. The overall result of IL-17A/TNF-α treatment was hyperviscosity of the airway surface as demonstrated by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) experiments. Importantly, stimulation with a beta-adrenergic agonist switched airway surface to a low viscosity state in non-CF but not in CF epithelia. Our study suggests that CF lung disease is sustained by a vicious cycle in which epithelia cannot exit from the hyperviscous state thus perpetuating the proinflammatory airway surface condition.
Daniela Guidone, Martina Buccirossi, Paolo Scudieri, Michele Genovese, Sergio Sarnataro, Rossella De Cegli, Federico Cresta, Vito Terlizzi, Gabrielle Planelles, Gilles Crambert, Isabelle Sermet-Gaudelus, Luis J.V. Galietta
Intravenous administration of a high affinity carbon monoxide (CO)-binding molecule, recombinant neuroglobin, can improve survival in CO poisoning mouse models. The current study aims to understand how biochemical variables of the scavenger determine the CO removal from the RBCs by evaluating three readily available hemoproteins, 2,3-diphosphoglycerate stripped human hemoglobin (StHb), N-ethylmaleimide modified hemoglobin (NEMHb), and equine myoglobin (Mb). These molecules efficiently sequester CO from hemoglobin in erythrocytes in vitro. A kinetic model was developed to predict the CO binding efficacy for hemoproteins, based on their measured in vitro oxygen and CO binding affinities, suggesting that the therapeutic efficacy of hemoproteins for CO poisoning relates to a high M value, which is the binding affinity for CO relative to oxygen (KA,CO/KA,O2). In a lethal CO poisoning mouse model, StHb, NEMHb, and Mb improved survival by 100%, 100%, and 60%, respectively, compared with saline controls, and were well tolerated in 48-hour toxicology assessments. In conclusion, both StHb and NEMHb have high CO binding affinities and M values and scavenge CO efficiently in vitro and in vivo, highlighting their therapeutic potential for point-of-care antidotal therapy of CO poisoning.
Qinzi Xu, Jason J. Rose, Xiukai Chen, Ling Wang, Anthony W. DeMartino, Matthew R. Dent, Sagarika Tiwari, Kaitlin Bocian, Xueyin N. Huang, Qin Tong, Charles F. McTiernan, Lanping Guo, Elmira Alipour, Trevor C. Jones, Kamil Burak Ucer, Daniel B. Kim-Shapiro, Jesus Tejero, Mark T. Gladwin
Pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic and progressive interstitial lung disease associated with the decay of pulmonary function leading to a fatal outcome. As an essential epigenetic regulator of DNA methylation, the involvement of Ubiquitin-like containing PHD and RING finger domains 1 (UHRF1) in fibroblast activation remains largely undefined in pulmonary fibrosis. In the present study, we found that growth factor–β1(TGF-β1)-mediated upregulation of UHRF1 repressed Beclin1 via its promoter methylation induction which finally results in fibroblast activation and lung fibrosis both in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, knockdown of UHRF1 significantly arrested fibroblast proliferation and reactivated Beclin 1 in lung fibroblasts. Henceforth, intravenous administration of UHRF1 siRNA-loaded liposomes significantly protected mice against experimental pulmonary fibrosis. Accordingly, our data suggested that UHRF1 might be a novel potential therapeutic target in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis.
Demin Cheng, Yue Wang, Ziwei Li, Haojie Xiong, Wenqing Sun, Sichuan Xi, Siyun Zhou, Yi Liu, Chunhui Ni
Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) is the main reason for poor outcomes after lung transplantation (LTx). We and others have recently identified B cells as major contributors to BOS after LTx. The extent of B cell heterogeneity and the relative contributions of B cell subpopulations to BOS, however, remain unclear. Here, we provide a comprehensive analysis of cell population changes and their gene expression patterns during chronic rejection after orthotopic LTx in mice. Of 11 major cell types, Mzb1-expressing plasma cells (PCs) were the most prominently increased population in BOS lungs. These findings were validated in 2 different cohorts of human BOS after LTx. A Bhlhe41, Cxcr3, and Itgb1 triple-positive B cell subset, also expressing classical markers of the innate-like B-1 B cell population, served as the progenitor pool for Mzb1+ PCs. This subset accounted for the increase in IgG2c production within BOS lung grafts. A genetic lack of Igs decreased BOS severity after LTx. In summary, we provide a detailed analysis of cell population changes during BOS. IgG+ PCs and their progenitors — an innate B cell subpopulation — are the major source of local Ab production and a significant contributor to BOS after LTx.
Natalia F. Smirnova, Kent Riemondy, Marta Bueno, Susan Collins, Pavan Suresh, Xingan Wang, Kapil N. Patel, Carlyne Cool, Melanie Königshoff, Nirmal S. Sharma, Oliver Eickelberg
Obesity-induced asthma responds poorly to all current pharmacological interventions, including steroids; suggesting that classic, eosinophilic inflammation is not a mechanism. As insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia are common in obese individuals and associated with increased risk of asthma, we used diet-induced obese mice to study how insulin induces airway hyperreactivity. Inhaled 5-HT or methacholine induced dose dependent bronchoconstriction that was significantly potentiated in obese mice. Cutting the vagus nerves eliminated bronchoconstriction in both obese and non-obese animals indicating it was mediated by a neural reflex. There was significantly greater density of airway sensory nerves in obese than in non-obese mice. Deleting insulin receptors on sensory nerves prevented the increase in sensory nerve density and prevented airway hyperreactivity in obese mice with hyperinsulinemia. Our data demonstrate that high levels of insulin drives obesity-induced airway hyperreactivity by increasing sensory innervation of the lung. Therefore, pharmacological interventions to control metabolic syndrome and limit reflex-mediated bronchoconstriction may be a more effective approach to reduce asthma exacerbations in obese and asthmatic patients.
Gina N. Calco, Jessica N. Maung, David B. Jacoby, Allison D. Fryer, Zhenying Nie
A central feature of progressive vascular remodeling is altered smooth muscle cell (SMC) homeostasis; however, the understanding of how different cell populations contribute to this process is limited. Here, we utilized single cell RNA sequencing to provide insight into cellular composition changes within isolated pulmonary arteries (PA) from pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and donor lungs. Our results revealed that remodeling skewed the balanced communication network between immune and structural cells, in particular SMC. Comparative analysis with murine PA showed that human PA harbor heterogeneous SMC populations with an abundant intermediary cluster displaying a gradient transition between SMC and adventitial fibroblasts. Transcriptionally distinct SMC populations were enriched in specific biological processes and could be distinguished into four major clusters: oxygen sensing (enriched in pericytes), contractile, synthetic and fibroblast-like. End-stage remodeling was associated with phenotypic shift of pre-existing SMC populations and accumulation of synthetic SMC in neointima. Distinctly regulated genes in clusters built non-redundant regulatory hubs encompassing stress response and differentiation regulators. The current study provides a blueprint of cellular and molecular changes on a single cell level that are defining pathological vascular remodeling process.
Slaven Crnkovic, Francesco Valzano, Elisabeth Fließer, Juergen Gindlhuber, Helene Thekkekara Puthenparampil, Maria C. Basil, Michael P. Morley, Jeremy Katzen, Elisabeth Gschwandtner, Walter Klepetko, Edward Cantu, Heimo Wolinski, Horst Olschewski, Jorg Lindenmann, You-Yang Zhao, Edward E. Morrisey, Leigh M. Marsh, Grazyna Kwapiszewska
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic disease of unmet medical need. It is characterized by formation of scar tissue leading to a progressive and irreversible decline in lung function. IPF is associated with repeated injury, which may alter the composition of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Here, we demonstrate that IPF patient–derived pulmonary ECM drives profibrotic response in normal human lung fibroblasts (NHLF) in a 3D spheroid assay. Next, we reveal distinct alterations in composition of the diseased ECM, identifying potentially novel associations with IPF. Growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15) was identified among the most significantly upregulated proteins in the IPF lung–derived ECM. In vivo, GDF15 neutralization in a bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis model led to significantly less fibrosis. In vitro, recombinant GDF15 (rGDF15) stimulated α smooth muscle actin (αSMA) expression in NHLF, and this was mediated by the activin receptor-like kinase 5 (ALK5) receptor. Furthermore, in the presence of rGDF15, the migration of NHLF in collagen gel was reduced. In addition, we observed a cell type–dependent effect of GDF15 on the expression of cell senescence markers. Our data suggest that GDF15 mediates lung fibrosis through fibroblast activation and differentiation, implicating a potential direct role of this matrix-associated cytokine in promoting aberrant cell responses in disease.
Agata Radwanska, Christopher Travis Cottage, Antonio Piras, Catherine Overed-Sayer, Carina Sihlbom, Ramachandramouli Budida, Catherine Wrench, Jane Connor, Susan Monkley, Petra Hazon, Holger Schluter, Matthew J. Thomas, Cory M. Hogaboam, Lynne A. Murray
Chitinase 3-like 1 (CHI3L1) is the prototypic chitinase-like protein mediating inflammation, cell proliferation, and tissue remodeling. Limited data suggests CHI3L1 is elevated in human pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and is associated with disease severity. Despite its importance as a regulator of injury/repair responses, the relationship between CHI3L1 and pulmonary vascular remodeling is not well understood. We hypothesize that CHI3L1 and its signaling pathways contribute to the vascular remodeling responses that occur in pulmonary hypertension (PH). We examined the relationship of plasma CHI3L1 levels and severity of PH in patients with various forms of PH, including Group 1 PAH and Group 3 PH, and found that circulating levels of serum CHI3L1 were associated with worse hemodynamics and correlated directly with mean pulmonary artery pressure and pulmonary vascular resistance. We also used transgenic mice with constitutive knockout and inducible overexpression of CHI3L1 to examine its role in hypoxia-, monocrotaline-, and bleomycin-induced models of pulmonary vascular disease. In all 3 mouse models of pulmonary vascular disease, pulmonary hypertensive responses were mitigated in CHI3L1 null mice and accentuated in transgenic mice that overexpress CHI3L1. Finally, CHI3L1 alone was sufficient to induce pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cell proliferation, inhibit pulmonary vascular endothelial cell apoptosis, induce the loss of endothelial barrier function, and induce endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition. These findings demonstrate that CHI3L1 and its receptors play an integral role in pulmonary vascular disease pathobiology and may offer a novel target for the treatment PAH and PH associated with fibrotic lung disease.
Xiuna Sun, Erika Nakajima, Carmelissa Norbrun, Parand Sorkhdini, Alina Xiaoyu Yang, Dongqin Yang, Corey E. Ventetuolo, Julie Braza, Alexander Vang, Jason Aliotta, Debasree Banerjee, Mandy Pereira, Grayson Baird, Qing Lu, Elizabeth O. Harrington, Sharon Rounds, Chun Geun Lee, Hongwei Yao, Gaurav Choudhary, James R. Klinger, Yang Zhou
Increased red cell distribution width (RDW), which measures erythrocyte volume (MCV) variability (anisocytosis), has been linked to early mortality in many diseases and in older adults through unknown mechanisms. Hypoxic stress has been proposed as a potential mechanism. However, experimental models to investigate the link between increased RDW and reduced survival are lacking. Here, we show that lifelong hypobaric hypoxia (~10% O2) increases erythrocyte numbers, hemoglobin and RDW, while reducing longevity in male mice. Compound heterozygous knockout (chKO) mutations in succinate dehydrogenase (Sdh; mitochondrial complex II) genes Sdhb, Sdhc and Sdhd reduce Sdh subunit protein levels, RDW, and increase healthy lifespan compared to wild-type (WT) mice in chronic hypoxia. RDW-SD, a direct measure of MCV variability, and the standard deviation of MCV (1SD-RDW) show the most statistically significant reductions in Sdh hKO mice. Tissue metabolomic profiling of 147 common metabolites shows the largest increase in succinate with elevated succinate to fumarate and succinate to oxoglutarate (2-ketoglutarate) ratios in Sdh hKO mice. These results demonstrate that mitochondrial complex II level is an underlying determinant of both RDW and healthy lifespan in hypoxia, and suggest that therapeutic targeting of Sdh might reduce high RDW-associated clinical mortality in hypoxic diseases.
Bora E. Baysal, Abdulrahman A. Alahmari, Tori C. Rodrick, Debra Tabaczynski, Leslie Curtin, Mukund Seshadri, Drew R. Jones, Sandra Sexton
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