Adipose tissue macrophage (ATM) infiltration is associated with adipose tissue dysfunction and insulin resistance in mice and humans. Recent single cell data highlight increased ATM heterogeneity in obesity, but do not provide a spatial context for ATM phenotype dynamics. We integrated single cell RNA-sequencing, spatial transcriptomics, and imaging of murine adipose tissue in a time course of diet-induced obesity. Overall, proinflammatory immune cells were predominant in early obesity, while non-resident antiinflammatory ATMs predominated in chronic obesity. A subset of these antiinflammatory ATMs were transcriptomically intermediate between monocytes and mature lipid-associated macrophages (LAM) and were consistent with a LAM precursor (pre-LAM). Pre-LAMs were spatially associated with early obesity crown-like structures (CLS), which indicate adipose tissue dysfunction. Spatial data showed colocalization of ligand-receptor transcripts related to lipid signaling among monocytes, pre-LAMs, and LAMs, including Apoe, Lrp1, Lpl and App. Pre-LAM expression of these ligands in early obesity suggested signaling to LAMs in the CLS microenvironment. Our results refine understanding of ATM diversity and provide insight into the dynamics of the LAM lineage during development of metabolic disease.
Cooper M. Stansbury, Gabrielle A. Dotson, Harrison Pugh, Alnawaz Rehemtulla, Indika Rajapakse, Lindsey A. Muir
IgG4-related disease (IgG4-RD) is a systemic autoimmune disease with unclear pathogenesis. We performed single-cell RNA-seq and surface proteome analyses on 61,379 PBMCs from 9 treatment-naïve IgG4-RD patients and 7 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Integrative analyses were performed for altered gene expression in IgG4-RD, and flow cytometry and immunofluorescence were used for validation. We observed expansion of plasmablasts with enhanced protein processing and activation, which correlated with number of involved organs in IgG4-RD. Increased proportions of CD4+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), CD8+ CTLs-GNLY (granulysin) and γδT cells with enhanced chemotaxis and cytotoxicity but with suppressed inhibitory receptors characterize IgG4-RD. Prominent infiltration of lymphocytes with distinct compositions were found in different organs of IgG4-RD patients. Transcription factors (TFs) including PRDM1/XBP1 and RUNX3 were upregulated in IgG4-RD, promoting the differentiation of plasmablasts and CTLs, respectively. Monocytes in IgG4-RD have stronger expression of genes related to cell adhesion and chemotaxis, which may give rise to profibrotic macrophages in lesions. The gene activation pattern in peripheral immune cells indicated activation of multiple interaction pathways between cell types, in part through chemokines or growth factors and their receptors. Specific upregulation of TFs and expansion of plasmablasts and CTLs may be involved in the pathogenesis of IgG4-RD, and each of these populations are candidate targets for therapeutic interventions in this disease.
Chenyang Lu, Shasha Li, Pingying Qing, Qiuping Zhang, Xing Ji, Zhigang Tang, Chunyan Chen, Tong Wu, Yidan Hu, Yi Zhao, Xiaohui Zhang, Qi He, David A. Fox, Chunyu Tan, Yubin Luo, Yi Liu
Darier, Hailey-Hailey, and Grover’s diseases are rare acantholytic skin diseases. While these diseases have different underlying causes, they share defects in cell-cell adhesion in the epidermis and desmosome organization. To better understand the underlying mechanisms leading to disease in these conditions we performed RNA-seq on lesional skin samples from patients. The transcriptomic profiles of Darier, Hailey-Hailey, and Grover’s disease were found to share a remarkable overlap, which did not extend to other common inflammatory skin diseases. Analysis of enriched pathways showed a shared upregulation in keratinocyte differentiation, and a decrease in cell adhesion and actin organization pathways in Darier, Hailey-Hailey, and Grover’s disease. Direct comparison to atopic dermatitis and psoriasis showed that the downregulation in actin organization pathways was a unique feature in the acantholytic skin diseases. Further, upstream regulator analysis suggested that a decrease in SRF/MRTF activity was responsible for the downregulation of actin organization pathways. Staining for MRTFA in lesional skin samples showed a decrease in nuclear MRTFA in patient skin compared to normal skin. These findings highlight the significant level of similarity in the transcriptome of Darier, Hailey-Hailey, and Grover’s disease, and identify decreases in actin organization pathways as a unique signature present in these conditions.
Quinn R. Roth-Carter, Hope E. Burks, Ziyou Ren, Jennifer L. Koetsier, Lam C. Tsoi, Paul W. Harms, Xianying Xing, Joseph Kirma, Robert M. Harmon, Lisa M. Godsel, Abbey L. Perl, Johann E. Gudjonsson, Kathleen J. Green
Rationale: Femoral atherosclerotic plaques are less inflammatory than carotid plaques histologically, but limited cell-level data exist regarding comparative immune landscapes and polarization at these sites. Objectives: We investigated intraplaque leukocyte phenotypes and transcriptional polarization in 49 total patients undergoing femoral (N=23) or carotid (N=26) endarterectomy using single-cell ribonucleic acid sequencing (scRNA-seq; N=13), flow cytometry (N=24), and immunohistochemistry (N=12). Findings: Comparative scRNA-seq of CD45 positive-selected leukocytes from femoral (N=9; 35265 cells) and carotid (N=4; 30655 cells) plaque revealed distinct transcriptional profiles. Inflammatory foam cell-like macrophages and monocytes comprised 2.5- to 4-fold higher proportions of myeloid cells in carotid plaques, whereas non-inflammatory foam cell-like macrophages and LYVE1-overexpressing resident-like macrophages comprised 3.5- to 9-fold higher proportions of myeloid cells in femoral plaque (p<0.001 for all). A significant comparative excess of CCR2+ macrophages in carotid versus femoral plaque was observed by flow cytometry in a separate validation cohort. B cells were more prevalent and exhibited a comparatively anti-inflammatory profile in femoral plaque, whereas cytotoxic CD8+ T cells were more prevalent in carotid plaque. Conclusion: Human femoral plaques exhibit distinct macrophage profiles and diminished CD8+ T cell populations compared with carotid plaques. Experimental models elucidating determinants of plaque site-specific cell polarization cues are warranted.
Joshua Slysz, Arjun Sinha, Matthew DeBerge, Shalini Singh, Harris Avgousti, Inhyeok Lee, Kristofor Glinton, Reina Nagasaka, Prarthana J. Dalal, Shaina J. Alexandria, Ching Man Wai, Ricardo Tellez, Mariavittoria Vescovo, Ashwin Sunderraj, Xinkun Wang, Matthew J. Schipma, Ryan K Sisk, Rishab Gulati, Jenifer Vallejo, Ryosuke Saigusa, Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, Jon Lomasney, Samuel E. Weinberg, Karen J. Ho, Klaus Ley, Chiara Giannarelli, Edward B. Thorp, Matthew J. Feinstein
Specific and efficient smooth muscle cell (SMC)-targeted gene deletion is typically achieved by pairing SMMHC-CreERT2-Tg mice with mice carrying the loxP-flanked gene. However, the transgene, CreERT2, is not controlled by the endogenous Myh11 gene promoter, and the codon-modified iCreERT2 exhibits significant tamoxifen-independent leakage. Furthermore, because the Cre-bearing Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) is inserted onto the Y chromosome, the SMMHC-CreERT2-Tg mice strain can only exhibit gene deletions in male mice. Additionally, there is a lack of Myh11-driven constitutive Cre mice when tamoxifen usage is a concern. We used CRISPR/Cas9-mediated homologous recombination between a donor vector carrying the 1) CreNLSP2A or 2) CreERT2-P2A sequence and homologous arm surrounding the translation start site of the Myh11 gene to generate Cre knock-in mice. The P2A sequence enables the simultaneous translation of Cre and endogenous proteins. Using reporter mice, we assessed Cre-mediated recombination efficiency, specificity, tamoxifen-dependent controllability, and functionality in both sexes. Both constitutive (Myh11-CreNLSP2A) and inducible (Myh11-CreERT2-P2A) Cre mice demonstrated efficient, SMC-specific, sex-independent Cre recombinase activity without confounding endogenous gene expression. Combined with recently generated BAC transgenic Myh11-CreERT2-RAD mice and the Itga8-CreERT2 mouse models, our new models will help expand the research toolbox, facilitating unbiased and comprehensive research in SMCs and SMC-dependent cardiovascular diseases.
Yang Zhao, Guizhen Zhao, Ziyi Chang, Tianqing Zhu, Ying Zhao, Haocheng Lu, Chao Xue, Thomas L. Saunders, Yanhong Guo, Lin Chang, Y. Eugene Chen, Jifeng Zhang
SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination generates protective B cell responses targeting the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein. Whereas anti-spike memory B cell responses are long-lasting, the anti-spike humoral antibody response progressively wanes, making booster vaccinations necessary for maintaining protective immunity. Here we investigated qualitatively the plasmablast responses by measuring from single cells within hours of sampling the affinity of their secreted antibody for the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor binding domain in cohorts of BNT162b2-vaccinated naive and COVID-19-recovered individuals. Using a unique droplet microfluidic and imaging approach, we analyzed >4,000 single IgG-secreting cells revealing high inter-individual variability in affinity for RBD with variations over 4 logs. High-affinity plasmablasts were induced by BNT162b2 vaccination against Hu-1 and Omicron RBD but disappeared quickly thereafter, whereas low-affinity plasmablasts represented >65% of the plasmablast response at all timepoints. Our droplet-based method thus proves efficient at fast and qualitative immune monitoring and should be helpful for optimization of vaccination protocols.
Matteo Broketa, Aurélien Sokal, Michael Mor, Pablo Canales-Herrerias, Angga Perima, Annalisa Meola, Ignacio Fernández, Bruno Iannascoli, Guilhem Chenon, Alexis Vandenberghe, Laetitia Languille, Marc Michel, Bertrand Godeau, Sebastien Gallien, Giovanna Melica, Marija Backovic, Felix A. Rey, Jean Baudry, Natalia T. Freund, Matthieu Mahevas, Pierre Bruhns
While the development of different vaccines slowed the dissemination of SARS-CoV-2, the occurrence of breakthrough infections has continued to fuel the COVID-19 pandemic. To at least secure partial protection in majority of the population through one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, delayed administration of boosters has been implemented in many countries. However, waning immunity and emergence of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 suggest that such measures may induce breakthrough infections due to intermittent lapses in protection. Optimizing vaccine dosing schedules to ensure prolonged continuity in protection could thus help control the pandemic. We developed a mechanistic model of immune response to vaccines as an in-silico tool for dosing schedule optimization. The model was calibrated with clinical datasets of acquired immunity to COVID-19 mRNA vaccines in healthy and immunocompromised subjects and showed robust validation by accurately predicting neutralizing antibody kinetics in response to multiple doses of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. Importantly, by estimating population vulnerability to breakthrough infections, we predicted tailored vaccination dosing schedules to minimize breakthrough infections, especially for immunocompromised subjects. We identified that the optimal vaccination schedules vary from CDC-recommended dosing, suggesting that the model is a valuable tool to optimize vaccine efficacy outcomes during future outbreaks.
Prashant Dogra, Carmine Schiavone, Zhihui Wang, Javier Ruiz-Ramírez, Sergio Caserta, Daniela I. Staquicini, Christopher Markosian, Jin Wang, H. Dirk Sostman, Renata Pasqualini, Wadih Arap, Vittorio Cristini
Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a classical neuralgic pain condition with distinct clinical characteristics. Modeling TN in rodents proves challenging. Recently, we found that a foramen in rodent skull base, the foramen lacerum, provides direct access to the trigeminal nerve root. Using this access, we developed FLIT (Foramen Lacerum Impingement of Trigeminal nerve root) model and observed distinct pain-like behaviors in rodents, including paroxysmal asymmetric facial grimaces, head tilt when eating, avoidance of solid chew, lack of wood chewing, etc. The FLIT model recapitulated key clinical features of TN, including lancinating pain-like behavior, and dental pain-like behavior. Importantly, when compared with a trigeminal neuropathic pain model (infraorbital nerve chronic constriction injury, IoN-CCI), the FLIT model was associated with significantly higher numbers of c-Fos positive cells in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1), unraveling robust cortical activation in the FLIT model. Using intravital two-photon calcium imaging, synchronized S1 neural dynamics were only present in the FLIT but not the IoN-CCI model, revealing differential implication of cortical activation in different pain models. Taken together, FLIT is a clinically relevant rodent model of TN which could facilitate pain research and therapeutics development.
Weihua Ding, Liuyue Yang, Qian Chen, Kun Hu, Yan Liu, Eric Bao, Changning Wang, Jianren Mao, Shiqian Shen
Alloreactivity can drive autoimmune syndromes. After allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HCT) chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD), a B cell-mediated autoimmune-like syndrome, commonly occurs. Because donor-derived B cells continually develop under selective pressure from host alloantigens, aberrant B Cell Receptor (BCR)-activation and IgG production can emerge and contribute to cGVHD pathobiology. To better understand molecular programing of B cells under selective pressure of alloantigens, we performed scRNA-Seq analysis on high numbers of purified B cells from allo-HCT patients. An unsupervised analysis revealed 10 clusters, distinguishable by signature genes for maturation, activation and memory. We found striking transcriptional differences in the memory B cell compartment after allo-HCT compared to healthy or infected individuals. To identify intrinsic properties when B-cell tolerance is lost after allo-HCT, we then assessed clusters for differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between patients with vs. without autoimmune-like manifestations (Active cGVHD vs. No cGVHD, respectively). DEGs were found in Active cGVHD in both naive and BCR-activated clusters, suggesting functional diversity. Some DEGs were also differentially expressed across most clusters, suggesting common molecular programs that may promote B cell plasticity. Our study of human allo-HCT and cGVHD provides new understanding of B-cell memory in the face of chronic alloantigen stimulation.
Jonathan C. Poe, Jiyuan Fang, Dadong Zhang, Marissa R. Lee, Rachel A. DiCioccio, Hsuan Su, Xiaodi Qin, Jennifer Y. Zhang, Jonathan Visentin, Sonali J. Bracken, Vincent T. Ho, Kathy S. Wang, Jeremy J. Rose, Steven Z. Pavletic, Frances T. Hakim, Wei Jia, Amy N. Suthers, Itaevia M. Curry-Chisolm, Mitchell E. Horwitz, David A. Rizzieri, William C. McManigle, Nelson J. Chao, Adela R. Cardones, Jichun Xie, Kouros Owzar, Stefanie Sarantopoulos
DNAAF5 is a dynein motor assembly factor associated with the autosomal heterogenic recessive condition of motile cilia, primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD). The effects of allele heterozygosity on motile cilia function are unknown. We used CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing in mice to recreate a human missense variant identified in patients with mild PCD and a second, frameshift null deletion in Dnaaf5. Litters with Dnaaf5 heteroallelic variants showed distinct missense and null gene dosage effects. Homozygosity for the null Dnaaf5 alleles was embryonic lethal. Compound heterozygous animals with the missense and null alleles showed severe disease manifesting as hydrocephalus and early lethality. However, animals homozygous for the missense mutation had improved survival, with partial preserved cilia function and motor assembly observed by ultrastructure analysis. Notably, the same variant alleles exhibited divergent cilia function across different multiciliated tissues. Proteomic analysis of isolated airway cilia from mutant mice revealed reduction in some axonemal regulatory and structural proteins not previously reported in DNAAF5 variants. While transcriptional analysis of mouse and human mutant cells showed increased expression of genes coding for axonemal proteins. Together, these findings suggest allele-specific and tissue-specific molecular requirements for cilia motor assembly that may affect disease phenotypes and clinical trajectory in motile ciliopathies.
Amjad Horani, Deepesh Gupta, Jian Xu, Huihui Xu, Lis del C. Puga Molina, Celia M. Santi, Sruthi Ramagiri, Steven K. Brennan, Jiehong Pan, Jeffrey R. Koenitzer, Tao Huang, Rachael M. Hyland, Sean P. Gunsten, Shin-Cheng Tzeng, Jennifer M. Strahle, Pleasantine Mill, Moe R. Mahjoub, Susan K. Dutcher, Steven L. Brody
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