Regeneration of hepatic sinusoidal vasculature is essential for non-fibrotic liver regrowth and restoration of its metabolic capacity. However, little is known about how this specialized vascular niche is regenerated. Here we show that activation of endothelial sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor-1 (S1P1) by its natural ligand bound to HDL (HDL-S1P) induces liver regeneration and curtails fibrosis. In mice lacking HDL-S1P, liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy was impeded and associated with aberrant vascular remodeling, thrombosis and peri-sinusoidal fibrosis. Notably, this “maladaptive repair” phenotype was recapitulated in mice that lack S1P1 in the endothelium. Reciprocally, enhanced plasma levels of HDL-S1P or administration of SEW2871, a pharmacological agonist specific for S1P1 enhanced regeneration of metabolically functional vasculature and alleviated fibrosis in mouse chronic injury and cholestasis models. This study shows that natural and pharmacological ligands modulate endothelial S1P1 to stimulate liver regeneration and inhibit fibrosis, suggesting that activation of this pathway may be a novel therapeutic strategy for liver fibrosis.
Bi-Sen Ding, Catherine H. Liu, Yue Sun, Yutian Chen, Steven L. Swendeman, Bongnam Jung, Deebly Chavez, Zhongwei Cao, Christina Christoffersen, Lars Bo Nielsen, Susan R. Schwab, Shahin Rafii, Timothy Hla
Muscle trauma is highly morbid due to intramuscular scarring, or fibrosis, and muscle atrophy. Studies have shown that bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) reduce muscle atrophy. However, increased BMP signaling at muscle injury sites causes heterotopic ossification, as seen in patients with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), or patients with surgically placed BMP implants for bone healing. We use a genetic mouse model of hyperactive BMP signaling to show the development of intramuscular fibrosis surrounding areas of ectopic bone following muscle injury. Rapamycin, which we have previously shown to eliminate ectopic ossification in this model, also eliminates fibrosis without reducing osteogenic differentiation, suggesting clinical value for patients with FOP and with BMP implants. Finally, we use reporter mice to show that BMP signaling is positively associated with myofiber cross-sectional area. These findings underscore an approach in which 2 therapeutics (rapamycin and BMP ligand) can offset each other, leading to an improved outcome.
Shailesh Agarwal, David Cholok, Shawn Loder, John Li, Christopher Breuler, Michael T. Chung, Hsiao Hsin Sung, Kavitha Ranganathan, Joe Habbouche, James Drake, Joshua Peterson, Caitlin Priest, Shuli Li, Yuji Mishina, Benjamin Levi
Noonan syndrome (NS) is a common autosomal dominant disorder that presents with short stature, craniofacial dysmorphism, and cardiac abnormalities. Activating mutations in the
Jae-Sung Yi, Yan Huang, Andrea T. Kwaczala, Ivana Y. Kuo, Barbara E. Ehrlich, Stuart G. Campbell, Frank J. Giordano, Anton M. Bennett
A barrier to drug development for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is the absence of translational preclinical human-relevant systems. An in vitro liver model was engineered to incorporate hepatic sinusoidal flow, transport, and lipotoxic stress risk factors (glucose, insulin, free fatty acids) with cocultured primary human hepatocytes, hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), and macrophages. Transcriptomic, lipidomic, and functional endpoints were evaluated and compared with clinical data from NASH patient biopsies. The lipotoxic milieu promoted hepatocyte lipid accumulation (4-fold increase,
Ryan E. Feaver, Banumathi K. Cole, Mark J. Lawson, Stephen A. Hoang, Svetlana Marukian, Brett R. Blackman, Robert A. Figler, Arun J. Sanyal, Brian R. Wamhoff, Ajit Dash
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive neuromuscular disease and one of the leading inherited causes of infant mortality. SMA results from insufficient levels of the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein, and studies in animal models of the disease have shown that increasing SMN protein levels ameliorates the disease phenotype. Our group previously identified and optimized a new series of small molecules, with good potency and toxicity profiles and reasonable pharmacokinetics, that were able to increase SMN protein levels in SMA patient–derived cells. We show here that ML372, a representative of this series, almost doubles the half-life of residual SMN protein expressed from the SMN2 locus by blocking its ubiquitination and subsequent degradation by the proteasome. ML372 increased SMN protein levels in muscle, spinal cord, and brain tissue of SMA mice. Importantly, ML372 treatment improved the righting reflex and extended survival of a severe mouse model of SMA. These results demonstrate that slowing SMN degradation by selectively inhibiting its ubiquitination can improve the motor phenotype and lifespan of SMA model mice.
Mahlet B. Abera, Jingbo Xiao, Jonathan Nofziger, Steve Titus, Noel Southall, Wei Zheng, Kasey E. Moritz, Marc Ferrer, Jonathan J. Cherry, Elliot J. Androphy, Amy Wang, Xin Xu, Christopher Austin, Kenneth H. Fischbeck, Juan J. Marugan, Barrington G. Burnett
Clinical monitoring of adoptive T cell transfer (ACT) utilizes serial blood analyses to discern T cell activity. While useful, these data are 1-dimensional and lack spatiotemporal information related to treatment efficacy or toxicity. We utilized a human genetic reporter, somatostatin receptor 2 (SSTR2), and PET, to quantitatively and longitudinally visualize whole-body T cell distribution and antitumor dynamics using a clinically approved radiotracer. Initial evaluations determined that SSTR2-expressing T cells were detectable at low densities with high sensitivity and specificity. SSTR2-based PET was applied to ACT of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells targeting intercellular adhesion molecule-1, which is overexpressed in anaplastic thyroid tumors. Timely CAR T cell infusions resulted in survival of tumor-bearing mice, while later infusions led to uniform death. Real-time PET imaging revealed biphasic T cell expansion and contraction at tumor sites among survivors, with peak tumor burden preceding peak T cell burden by several days. In contrast, nonsurvivors displayed unrelenting increases in tumor and T cell burden, indicating that tumor growth was outpacing T cell killing. Thus, longitudinal PET imaging of SSTR2-positive ACT dynamics enables prognostic, spatiotemporal monitoring with unprecedented clarity and detail to facilitate comprehensive therapy evaluation with potential for clinical translation.
Yogindra Vedvyas, Enda Shevlin, Marjan Zaman, Irene M. Min, Alejandro Amor-Coarasa, Spencer Park, Susan Park, Keon-Woo Kwon, Turner Smith, Yonghua Luo, Dohyun Kim, Young Kim, Benedict Law, Richard Ting, John Babich, Moonsoo M. Jin
Marc A. Simon, Rebecca R. Vanderpool, Mehdi Nouraie, Timothy N. Bachman, Pamela M. White, Masataka Sugahara, John Gorcsan III, Ed L. Parsley, Mark T. Gladwin
There continues to be a need for immunotherapies to treat type 1 diabetes in the clinic. We previously reported that nondepleting anti-CD4 and -CD8 Ab treatment effectively reverses diabetes in new-onset NOD mice. A key feature of the induction of remission is the egress of the majority of islet-resident T cells. How this occurs is undefined. Herein, the effects of coreceptor therapy on islet T cell retention were investigated. Bivalent Ab binding to CD4 and CD8 blocked TCR signaling and T cell cytokine production, while indirectly downregulating islet chemokine expression. These processes were required for T cell retention, as ectopic IFN-γ or CXCL10 inhibited Ab-mediated T cell purging. Importantly, treatment of humanized mice with nondepleting anti–human CD4 and CD8 Ab similarly reduced tissue-infiltrating human CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. These findings demonstrate that Ab binding of CD4 and CD8 interrupts a feed-forward circuit by suppressing T cell–produced cytokines needed for expression of chemotactic cues, leading to rapid T cell egress from the islets. Coreceptor therapy therefore offers a robust approach to suppress T cell–mediated pathology by purging T cells in an inflammation-dependent manner.
Aaron J. Martin, Matthew Clark, Gregory Gojanovich, Fatima Manzoor, Keith Miller, Douglas E. Kline, Y. Maurice Morillon, Bo Wang, Roland Tisch
Processing by the proprotein convertase furin is believed to be critical for the biological activity of multiple proteins involved in hemostasis, including coagulation factor VIII (FVIII). This belief prompted the retention of the furin recognition motif (amino acids 1645–1648) in the design of B-domain–deleted FVIII (FVIII-BDD) products in current clinical use and in the drug development pipeline, as well as in experimental FVIII gene therapy strategies. Here, we report that processing by furin is in fact deleterious to FVIII-BDD secretion and procoagulant activity. Inhibition of furin increases the secretion and decreases the intracellular retention of FVIII-BDD protein in mammalian cells. Our new variant (FVIII-ΔF), in which this recognition motif is removed, efficiently circumvents furin. FVIII-ΔF demonstrates increased recombinant protein yields, enhanced clotting activity, and higher circulating FVIII levels after adeno-associated viral vector–based liver gene therapy in a murine model of severe hemophilia A (HA) compared with FVIII-BDD. Moreover, we observed an amelioration of the bleeding phenotype in severe HA dogs with sustained therapeutic FVIII levels after FVIII-ΔF gene therapy at a lower vector dose than previously employed in this model. The immunogenicity of FVIII-ΔF did not differ from that of FVIII-BDD as a protein or a gene therapeutic. Thus, contrary to previous suppositions, FVIII variants that can avoid furin processing are likely to have enhanced translational potential for HA therapy.
Joshua I. Siner, Benjamin J. Samelson-Jones, Julie M. Crudele, Robert A. French, Benjamin J. Lee, Shanzhen Zhou, Elizabeth Merricks, Robin Raymer, Timothy C. Nichols, Rodney M. Camire, Valder R. Arruda
Using mice rendered insulin resistant with high fat diets (HFD), we examined blood glucose levels and insulin resistance after i.v. delivery of an adeno-associated virus type 8 encoding murine urocortin 2 (AAV8.UCn2). A single i.v. injection of AAV8.UCn2-normalized blood glucose and glucose disposal within weeks, an effect that lasted for months. Hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps showed reduced plasma insulin, increased glucose disposal rates, and increased insulin sensitivity following UCn2 gene transfer. Mice with corticotropin-releasing hormone type 2-receptor deletion that were rendered insulin resistant by HFD showed no improvement in glucose disposal after UCn2 gene transfer, indicating that the effect requires UCn2’s cognate receptor. We also demonstrated increased glucose disposal after UCn2 gene transfer in db/db mice, a second model of insulin resistance. UCn2 gene transfer reduced fatty infiltration of the liver in both models of insulin resistance. UCn2 increases Glut4 translocation to the plasma membrane in skeletal myotubes in a manner quantitatively similar to insulin, indicating a mechanism through which UCn2 operates to increase insulin sensitivity. UCn2 gene transfer, in a dose-dependent manner, is insulin sensitizing and effective for months after a single injection. These findings suggest a potential long-term therapy for clinical type-2 diabetes.
Mei Hua Gao, Dimosthenis Giamouridis, N. Chin Lai, Evelyn Walenta, Vivian Almeida Paschoal, Young Chul Kim, Atsushi Miyanohara, Tracy Guo, Min Liao, Li Liu, Zhen Tan, Theodore P. Ciaraldi, Simon Schenk, Aditi Bhargava, Da Young Oh, H. Kirk Hammond
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