Airway mucin secretion is necessary for ciliary clearance of inhaled particles and pathogens, but can be detrimental in pathologies such as asthma and cystic fibrosis. Exocytosis in mammals requires a Munc18 scaffolding protein, and airway secretory cells express all three Munc18 isoforms. Using conditional airway epithelial deletant mice, we found that Munc18a has the major role in baseline mucin secretion, Munc18b has the major role in stimulated mucin secretion, and Munc18c does not function in mucin secretion. In an allergic asthma model, Munc18b deletion reduced airway mucus occlusion and airflow resistance. In a cystic fibrosis model, Munc18b deletion reduced airway mucus occlusion and emphysema. Munc18b deficiency in the airway epithelium did not result in any abnormalities of lung structure, particle clearance, inflammation, or bacterial infection. Our results show that regulated secretion in a polarized epithelial cell may involve more than one exocytic machine at the apical plasma membrane, and that the protective roles of mucin secretion can be preserved while therapeutically targeting its pathologic roles.
Ana M. Jaramillo, Lucia Piccotti, Walter V. Velasco, Anna Sofia Huerta Delgado, Zoulikha Azzegagh, Felicity S. Chung, Usman I. Nazeer, Junaid Farooq, Joshua M. Brenner, Jan Parker-Thornburg, Brenton L. Scott, Christopher M. Evans, Roberto Adachi, Alan R. Burns, Silvia M. Kreda, Michael J. Tuvim, Burton F. Dickey
Alveolar type 2 (AT2) cell endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is a prominent feature in adult and pediatric interstitial lung disease (ILD and ChILD), but in vivo models linking AT2 cell ER stress to ILD have been elusive. Based on a clinical ChILD case we identified a critical cysteine residue in the Surfactant Protein C gene (SFTPC) BRICHOS domain whose mutation induced ER stress in vitro. To model this in vivo, we generated a knock-in model expressing a cysteine-to-glycine substitution at codon 121 (C121G) in the Sftpc gene. SftpcC121G expression during fetal development resulted in a toxic gain of function resulting in fatal post-natal respiratory failure from disrupted lung morphogenesis. Induced SftpcC121G expression in adult mice resulted in an ER retained pro-protein causing AT2 cell ER stress. SftpcC121G AT2 cells were a source of cytokines expressed in concert with development of a polycellular alveolitis. These cytokines were subsequently found in a high-dimensional proteomic screen of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from ChILD patients with the same class of SFTPC mutations. Following alveolitis resolution, SftpcC121G mice developed spontaneous pulmonary fibrosis and restrictive lung impairment. This model provides proof of concept linking AT2 cell ER stress to fibrotic lung disease coupled with translationally relevant biomarkers.
Jeremy Katzen, Brandie D. Wagner, Alessandro Venosa, Meghan Kopp, Yaniv Tomer, Scott J. Russo, Alvis C. Headen, Maria C. Basil, James M. Stark, Surafel Mulugeta, Robin R. Deterding, Michael F. Beers
Macrophage activation, i.e., the classical M1 and the alternative M2, plays a critical role in many pathophysiological processes, such as inflammation and tissue injury and repair. Although the regulation of macrophage activation has been under extensive investigations, there is little knowledge about the role of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in the event. In this study, we found that lncRNA Malat1 expression is distinctly regulated in differentially activated macrophages in that it is upregulated in LPS-, whereas downregulated in IL-4-treated cells. Malat1 knockdown attenuates LPS induced M1 macrophage activation. In contrast, Malat1 knockdown enhanced IL-4 activated M2 differentiation as well as macrophage pro-fibrotic phenotype. Mechanistically, Malat1 knockdown led to decreased expression of Clec16a, of which silencing phenocopied the regulatory effect of Malat1 on M1 activation. Interestingly, Malat1 knockdown promoted IL-4 induction of mitochondrial pyruvate carriers (MPCs) and their mediation of glucose derived oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos), which was crucial to the Malat1 regulation of M2 differentiation and pro-fibrotic phenotype. Furthermore, mice with either global or conditional myeloid knockout of Malat1 demonstrated diminished LPS induced systemic and pulmonary inflammation and injury. Conversely, these mice developed more severe bleomycin induced lung fibrosis, accompanied by alveolar macrophages displaying augmented M2 and pro-fibrotic phenotype. In summary, we have identified a previously unrecognized role of Malat1 in regulation of macrophage polarization. Our data demonstrate that Malat1 is involved in pulmonary pathogeneses in association with aberrant macrophage activation.
Huachun Cui, Sami Banerjee, Sijia Guo, Na Xie, Jing Ge, Dingyuan Jiang, Martin Zörnig, Victor J. Thannickal, Gang Liu
Allergic eosinophilic asthma is a chronic condition causing airway remodeling resulting in lung dysfunction. We observed that expression of Sirtuin 2 (Sirt2), a histone deacetylase, regulates the recruitment of eosinophils after sensitization and challenge with a triple-antigen: dust mite, ragweed and Aspergillus fumigatus (DRA). Our data demonstrate that IL-4 regulates the expression of Sirt2 isoform 3/5. Pharmacological inhibition of Sirt2 by AGK2 resulted in diminished cellular recruitment, decreased CCL17/TARC, and reduced goblet cell hyperplasia. YM1 and Fizz1 expression was reduced in AGK2-treated, IL-4-stimulated lung macrophages in vitro as well as in lung macrophages from AGK2-DRA challenged mice. Conversely, overexpression of Sirt2 resulted in increased cellular recruitment, CCL17 production, and goblet cell hyperplasia following DRA challenge. Sirt2 isoform 3/5 was upregulated in primary human alveolar macrophages following IL-4 and AGK2 treatment resulted in reduced CCL17 and markers of alternative activation. These gain-of-function and loss-of-function studies indicate that Sirt2 could be developed as a treatment for eosinophilic asthma.
Yong Gyu Lee, Brenda F. Reader, Derrick Herman, Adam Streicher, Joshua A. Englert, Mathias Ziegler, Sangwoon Chung, Manjula Karpurapu, Gye Young Park, John W. Christman, Megan N. Ballinger
BACKGROUND. Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a deadly disease of the small pulmonary vasculature with an increased prevalence of insulin resistance (IR). Insulin regulates both glucose and lipid homeostasis. We sought to quantify glucose- and lipid-related IR in human PAH, testing the hypothesis that lipoprotein indices are more sensitive indices of IR in PAH. METHODS. Oral glucose tolerance testing in PAH patients and triglyceride-matched (TG-matched) controls and proteomic, metabolomics, and lipoprotein analyses were performed in PAH and controls. Results were validated in an external cohort and in explanted human PAH lungs. RESULTS. PAH patients were similarly glucose intolerant or IR by glucose homeostasis metrics compared with control patients when matched for the metabolic syndrome. Using the insulin-sensitive lipoprotein index, TG/HDL ratio, PAH patients were more commonly IR than controls. Proteomic and metabolomic analysis demonstrated separation between PAH and controls, driven by differences in lipid species. We observed a significant increase in long-chain acylcarnitines, phosphatidylcholines, insulin metabolism–related proteins, and in oxidized LDL receptor 1 (OLR1) in PAH plasma in both a discovery and validation cohort. PAH patients had higher lipoprotein axis–related IR and lipoprotein-based inflammation scores compared with controls. PAH patient lung tissue showed enhanced OLR1 immunostaining within plexiform lesions and oxidized LDL accumulation within macrophages. CONCLUSIONS. IR in PAH is characterized by alterations in lipid and lipoprotein homeostasis axes, manifest by elevated TG/HDL ratio, and elevated circulating medium- and long-chain acylcarnitines and lipoproteins. Oxidized LDL and its receptor OLR1 may play a role in a proinflammatory phenotype in PAH. FUNDING. NIH DK096994, HL060906, UL1 RR024975-01, UL1 TR000445-06, DK020593, P01 HL108800-01A1, and UL1 TR002243; American Heart Association 13FTF16070002.
Anna R. Hemnes, J. Matthew Luther, Christopher J. Rhodes, Jason P. Burgess, James Carlson, Run Fan, Joshua P. Fessel, Niki Fortune, Robert E. Gerszten, Stephen J. Halliday, Rezzan Hekmat, Luke Howard, John H. Newman, Kevin D. Niswender, Meredith E. Pugh, Ivan M. Robbins, Quanhu Sheng, Cyndya A. Shibao, Yu Shyr, Susan Sumner, Megha Talati, John Wharton, Martin R. Wilkins, Fei Ye, Chang Yu, James West, Evan L. Brittain
Acute lung injury (ALI) is characterized by exuberant proinflammatory responses and mitochondrial dysfunction. However, the link between mitochondrial dysfunction and inflammation in ALI is not well understood. In this report, we demonstrate a critical role for the mitochondrial NAD+-dependent deacetylase, sirtuin-3 (SIRT3), in regulating macrophage mitochondrial bioenergetics, ROS formation, and proinflammatory responses. We found that SIRT3 expression was significantly diminished in lungs of mice subjected to LPS-induced ALI. SIRT3-deficient mice (SIRT3–/–) develop more severe ALI compared with wild-type controls (SIRT3+/+). Macrophages obtained from SIRT3–/– mice show significant alterations in mitochondrial bioenergetic and redox homeostasis, in association with a proinflammatory phenotype characterized by NLRP3 inflammasome activation. The SIRT3 activator viniferin restored macrophage bioenergetic function in LPS-treated macrophages. Viniferin also reduced NLRP3 activation and the production of proinflammatory cytokines, effects that were absent in SIRT3–/– macrophages. In-vivo administration of viniferin reduced production of inflammatory mediators TNF-α, MIP-2, IL-6, IL-1β, and HMGB1, and diminished neutrophil influx and severity of endotoxin-mediated ALI; this protective effect of vinferin was abolished in SIRT3–/– mice. Taken together, our results show that the induction/activation of SIRT3 may serve as a new therapeutic strategy in ALI by modulating cellular bioenergetics, controlling inflammatory responses, and reducing the severity of lung injury.
Deepali Kurundkar, Ashish R. Kurundkar, Nathaniel B. Bone, Eugene J. Becker Jr., Wanqu Liu, Balu Chacko, Victor Darley-Usmar, Jaroslaw W. Zmijewski, Victor J. Thannickal
Mucus produced by submucosal glands is a key component of respiratory mucociliary transport (MCT). When it emerges from submucosal gland ducts, mucus forms long strands on the airway surface. However, the function of those strands is uncertain. To test the hypothesis that mucus strands facilitate transport of large particles, we studied newborn pigs. In ex vivo experiments, interconnected mucus strands moved over the airway surface, attached to immobile spheres, and initiated their movement by pulling them. Stimulating submucosal gland secretion with methacholine increased the percentage of spheres that moved and shortened the delay until mucus strands began moving spheres. To disrupt mucus strands, we applied reducing agents tris-(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine and dithiothreitol. They decreased the fraction of moving spheres and delayed initiation of movement for spheres that did move. We obtained similar in vivo results with CT-based tracking of microdisks in spontaneously breathing pigs. Methacholine increased the percentage of microdisks moving and reduced the delay until they were propelled up airways. Aerosolized tris-(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine prevented those effects. Once particles started moving, reducing agents did not alter their speed either ex vivo or in vivo. These findings indicate that submucosal glands produce mucus in the form of strands and that the strands initiate movement of large particles, facilitating their removal from airways.
Anthony J. Fischer, Maria I. Pino-Argumedo, Brieanna M. Hilkin, Cullen R. Shanrock, Nicholas D. Gansemer, Anna L. Chaly, Keyan Zarei, Patrick D. Allen, Lynda S. Ostedgaard, Eric A. Hoffman, David A. Stoltz, Michael J. Welsh, Mahmoud H. Abou Alaiwa
Ricin toxin (RT) ranks at the top of the list of bioweapons of concern to civilian and military personnel alike, due to its high potential for morbidity and mortality after inhalation. In nonhuman primates, aerosolized ricin triggers severe acute respiratory distress characterized by perivascular and alveolar edema, neutrophilic infiltration, and severe necrotizing bronchiolitis and alveolitis. There are currently no approved countermeasures for ricin intoxication. Here, we report the therapeutic potential of a humanized mAb against an immunodominant epitope on ricin’s enzymatic A chain (RTA). Rhesus macaques that received i.v. huPB10 4 hours after a lethal dose of ricin aerosol exposure survived toxin challenge, whereas control animals succumbed to ricin intoxication within 30 hours. Antibody intervention at 12 hours resulted in the survival of 1 of 5 monkeys. Changes in proinflammatory cytokine, chemokine, and growth factor profiles in bronchial alveolar lavage fluids before and after toxin challenge successfully clustered animals by treatment group and survival, indicating a relationship between local tissue damage and experimental outcome. This study represents the first demonstration, to our knowledge, in nonhuman primates that the lethal effects of inhalational ricin exposure can be negated by a drug candidate, and it opens up a path forward for product development.
Chad J. Roy, Dylan J. Ehrbar, Natasha Bohorova, Ognian Bohorov, Do Kim, Michael Pauly, Kevin Whaley, Yinghui Rong, Fernando J. Torres-Velez, Ellen S. Vitetta, Peter J. Didier, Lara Doyle-Meyers, Larry Zeitlin, Nicholas J. Mantis
Obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS) is a serious disorder characterized by daytime hypercapnia, disordered breathing, and a reduction in chemosensitivity. Vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG), a bariatric surgical procedure resulting in weight loss and weight-independent improvements in glucose metabolism, has been observed to substantially improve sleep-disordered breathing. However, it is unclear if the ventilatory effects of VSG are secondary to weight loss or the marked change in metabolic physiology. Using preclinical mouse models, we found that VSG leads to an improvement in the hypercapnic ventilatory response (HCVR) and reductions in circulating leptin levels independent of reductions in body mass, fat mass, and caloric intake. In the absence of leptin, VSG continues to improve body mass, fat mass, and glucose tolerance in ob/ob mice but no longer affects HCVR. However, the HCVR of ob/ob mice can be returned to wild-type levels with leptin treatment. These data demonstrate that VSG improves chemosensitivity and ventilatory drive via a leptin-dependent mechanism. Clinically, these data downgrade the relative contribution of physical, mechanical load in the pathogenesis of OHS, and instead point to physiological components of obesity, including alterations in leptin signaling, as key drivers in OHS.
Deanna M. Arble, Alan R. Schwartz, Vsevolod Y. Polotsky, Darleen A. Sandoval, Randy J. Seeley
The extracellular matrix (ECM) in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) drives fibrosis progression; however, the ECM composition of the fibroblastic focus (the hallmark lesion in IPF) and adjacent regions remains incompletely defined. Herein, we serially sectioned IPF lung specimens constructed into tissue microarrays and immunostained for ECM components reported to be deregulated in IPF. Immunostained sections were imaged, anatomically aligned, and 3D reconstructed. The myofibroblast core of the fibroblastic focus (defined by collagen I, α-smooth muscle actin, and procollagen I immunoreactivity) was associated with collagens III, IV, V, and VI; fibronectin; hyaluronan; and versican immunoreactivity. Hyaluronan immunoreactivity was also present at the fibroblastic focus perimeter and at sites where early lesions appear to be forming. Fibrinogen immunoreactivity was often observed at regions of damaged epithelium lining the airspace and the perimeter of the myofibroblast core but was absent from the myofibroblast core itself. The ECM components of the fibroblastic focus were distributed in a characteristic and reproducible manner in multiple patients. This information can inform the development of high-fidelity model systems to dissect mechanisms by which the IPF ECM drives fibrosis progression.
Jeremy Herrera, Colleen Forster, Thomas Pengo, Angeles Montero, Joe Swift, Martin A. Schwartz, Craig A. Henke, Peter B. Bitterman
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