Acute pancreatitis (AP) is a local and/or systemic inflammatory disease that starts with acinar cell injury and necrosis, which has no effective medical treatment and thus remains a life-threatening condition. Interleukin-37 (IL-37), a natural immunomodulator, has demonstrated an anti-inflammatory effect; however, the role of IL-37 in AP remains unknown. The serum IL-37 levels of 39 healthy controls and 94 AP patients were measured. Cholecystokinin was applied to induce pancreatic acinar cell injury in vitro. Classical experimental AP models, such as caerulein, L-arginine, and Taurocholic acid sodium salt were included in the in vivo study. A transgenic mouse model with the IL-37 gene and administration of recombinant IL-37 were used to further investigate the function of IL-37 in AP. Pancreas-specific GSDMD knockout mice were used to explore the protective mechanism of IL-37. Our results showed that serum IL-37 levels of human were negatively correlated with the severity of AP. Furthermore, transgenic IL-37 mice and supplementation with recombinant IL-37 could both protect against AP. Mechanistically, IL-37 was able to suppress pyroptosis of injured acinar cells, and specific depletion of GSDMD in the pancreas counteracted the protective effect of IL-37. Our study demonstrates that IL-37 protects against acinar cell pyroptosis in AP.
Nan Ma, Chenchen Yuan, Juanjuan Shi, Qingtian Zhu, Yang Liu, Xiaojie Ma, Baiqiang Li, Weijuan Gong, Jing Xue, Guotao Lu, Weiqin Li, Jieshou Li
Disseminated coccidioidomycosis (DCM) is caused by Coccidioides, pathogenic fungi endemic to the Southwestern United States and Mexico. Illness occurs in approximately 30% of those infected, <1% of whom develop disseminated disease. To address why some individuals allow dissemination, we enrolled DCM patients and performed whole-exome sequencing. In an exploratory set of 67 DCM patients, two had haploinsufficient STAT3 mutations, while defects in β-glucan sensing and response were seen in 34/67 (50.7%) cases. Damaging CLEC7A (n=14) and PLCG2 (n=11) variants were associated with impaired production of β-glucan-stimulated TNF-α from peripheral blood mononuclear cells compared to healthy controls (P<0.005). Using ancestry-matched controls, damaging CLEC7A and PLCG2 variants were over-represented in DCM (P=0.0206, P=0.015, respectively) including CLEC7A Y238* (P=0.0105) and PLCG2 R268W (P=0.0025). A validation cohort of 111 DCM patients confirmed PLCG2 R268W (P=0.0276), CLEC7A I223S (P=0.044), and CLEC7A Y238* (P=0.0656). Stimulation with a DECTIN-1 agonist induced DUOX1/DUOXA1-derived H2O2 in transfected cells. Heterozygous DUOX1 or DUOXA1 variants which impaired H2O2 production were overrepresented in discovery and validation cohorts. Patients with DCM have impaired β-glucan sensing or response affecting TNF-α and H2O2 production. Impaired Coccidioides recognition and decreased cellular response are associated with disseminated coccidioidomycosis.
Amy P. Hsu, Agnieszka Korzeniowska, Cynthia C. Aguilar, Jingwen Gu, Eric Karlins, Andrew J. Oler, Gang Chen, Glennys V. Reynoso, Joie Davis, Alexandria Chaput, Tao Peng, Ling Sun, Justin B. Lack, Derek J. Bays, Ethan R. Stewart, Sarah E. Waldman, Daniel A. Powell, Fariba M. Donovan, Jigar V. Desai, Nima Pouladi, Debra A. Long Priel, Daisuke Yamanaka, Sergio D. Rosenzweig, Julie E. Niemela, Jennifer Stoddard, Alexandra F. Freeman, Christa S. Zerbe, Douglas B. Kuhns, Yves A. Lussier, Kenneth N. Olivier, Richard C. Boucher, Heather D. Hickman, Jeffrey Frelinger, Joshua Fierer, Lisa F. Shubitz, Thomas L. Leto, George R. Thompson III, John N. Galgiani, Michail S. Lionakis, Steven M. Holland
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
Maternal hyperthyroidism is associated with an increased incidence of congenital abnormalities at birth, but it is not clear which of those defects arise from a transient developmental excess of thyroid hormone, and which depend on pregnancy stage, antithyroid drug choice, or unwanted subsequent fetal hypothyroidism. To address this issue we studied a mouse model of comprehensive developmental thyrotoxicosis secondary to a lack of type 3 deiodinase (DIO3). Dio3-/- mice exhibit reduced neonatal viability on most genetic backgrounds and perinatal lethality on a C57BL/6 background. Dio3-/- mice exhibit severe growth retardation during the neonatal period and cartilage loss. Mice surviving after birth manifest brain and cranial dysmorphisms, severe hydrocephalus, choanal atresia, and cleft palate. These abnormalities are noticeable in C57BL/6J Dio3-/- mice at fetal stages, in addition to a thyrotoxic heart with septal defects and thin ventricular walls. Our findings stress the protecting role of DIO3 during development and support the hypothesis that human congenital abnormalities associated with hyperthyroidism during pregnancy are caused by transient thyrotoxicosis before clinical intervention. Our results also suggest thyroid hormone involvement in the etiology of idiopathic pathologies including cleft palate, choanal atresia, Chiari malformations, Kaschin-Beck disease, and Temple and other cranio-encephalic and heart syndromes.
M. Elena Martinez, Ilka Pinz, Marilena Preda, Christine R. Norton, Thomas Gridley, Arturo Hernandez
Primary immune regulatory disorders (PIRD) are a group of disorders characterized by immune dysregulation, presenting with a wide range of clinical disease including autoimmunity, autoinflammation, or lymphoproliferation. Autosomal dominant germline gain-of-function (GOF) variants in STAT3 result in a PIRD with a broad clinical spectrum. Studies in patients have documented a decreased frequency of FOXP3+ regulatory T (Treg) cells and an increased frequency of Th17 cells in some patients with active disease. However, the mechanisms of disease pathogenesis in STAT3 GOF syndrome remain largely unknown, and treatment is challenging. We developed a knock-in mouse model harboring a de novo pathogenic human STAT3 variant (p.G421R) and found these mice developed T cell dysregulation, lymphoproliferation and CD4+ Th1 cell skewing. Surprisingly, Treg cell numbers, phenotype, and function remained largely intact, however mice had a selective deficiency in the generation of iTreg cells. In parallel, we performed single-cell RNA-sequencing on T cells from STAT3 GOF patients. We demonstrate only minor changes in the Treg cell transcriptional signature and an expanded, effector CD8+ T cell population. Together, these findings suggest Treg cells are not the primary driver of disease and highlight the importance of preclinical models in the study of disease mechanisms in rare PIRD.
Erica G. Schmitt, Kelsey A. Toth, Samuel I. Risma, Ana Kolicheski, Nermina Saucier, Rafael J. Feliciano Berríos, Zev J. Greenberg, Jennifer W. Leiding, Jack J. Bleesing, Akaluck Thatayatikom, Laura G. Schuettpelz, John R. Edwards, Tiphanie P. Vogel, Megan A. Cooper
People living with HIV-1 (PLWH) exhibit more rapid antibody decline following routine immunization and elevated baseline chronic inflammation than people without HIV-1 (PWOH), indicating potential for diminished humoral immunity during SARS-CoV-2 infection. Conflicting reports have emerged on the ability of PLWH to maintain humoral protection against SARS-CoV-2 co-infection during convalescence. It is unknown if peak COVID-19 severity, along with HIV-1 infection status, associates with the quality and quantity of humoral immunity following recovery. Using a cross-sectional observational cohort from the USA and Peru, adults were enrolled 1-10 weeks post-SARS-CoV-2 infection diagnosis or symptom resolution. Serum antibodies were analyzed for SARS-CoV-2-specific response rates, binding magnitudes, ACE2 receptor blocking and antibody dependent cellular phagocytosis (ADCP). Overall, (1) PLWH exhibited a trend towards decreased magnitude of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies, despite modestly increased overall response rates when compared to PWOH, (2) PLWH recovered from symptomatic outpatient COVID-19 had comparatively diminished immune responses, and (3) PLWH lacked a corresponding increase in SARS-CoV-2 antibodies with increased COVID-19 severity when comparing asymptomatic to symptomatic outpatient disease.
Daniel J. Schuster, Shelly Karuna, Caroline Brackett, Martina S. Wesley, Shuying S. Li, Nathan Eisel, DeAnna Tenney, Sir'Tauria Hilliard, Nicole L. Yates, Jack R. Heptinstall, LaTonya D. Williams, Xiaoying Shen, Robert Rolfe, Robinson Cabello, Lu Zhang, Sheetal Sawant, Jiani Hu, April Kaur Randhawa, Ollivier Hyrien, John A. Hural, Lawrence Corey, Ian Frank, Georgia D. Tomaras, Kelly E. Seaton
Pancreatitis, the inflammatory disorder of the pancreas, has no specific therapy. Genetic, biochemical and animal model studies revealed that trypsin plays a central role in the onset and progression of pancreatitis. Here, we performed biochemical and preclinical mouse experiments to offer proof of concept that orally administered dabigatran etexilate can inhibit pancreatic trypsins and shows therapeutic efficacy in trypsin-dependent pancreatitis. We found that dabigatran competitively inhibited all human and mouse trypsin isoforms (Ki range 10-79 nM) and dabigatran plasma concentrations in mice given oral dabigatran etexilate well exceeded the Ki of trypsin inhibition. In the T7K24R trypsinogen mutant mouse model, a single oral gavage of dabigatran etexilate was effective against cerulein-induced progressive pancreatitis with a high degree of histological normalization. In contrast, spontaneous pancreatitis in T7D23A mice, which carry a more aggressive trypsinogen mutation, was not ameliorated by dabigatran etexilate, given either as daily gavages or by mixing it with solid chow. Taken together, our observations confirmed that benzamidine derivatives such as dabigatran are potent trypsin inhibitors and show therapeutic activity against trypsin-dependent pancreatitis in T7K24R mice. Lack of efficacy in T7D23A mice is likely related to the more severe pathology and insufficient drug concentrations in the pancreas.
Zsófia G. Pesei, Zsanett Jancsó, Alexandra Demcsák, Balázs Csaba Németh, Sandor Vajda, Miklós Sahin-Tóth
Since the introduction of new generation pertussis vaccines, resurgence of pertussis is observed in many developed countries. Former whole-cell pertussis vaccines (wP) are able to protect against disease and transmission but have been replaced in several industrialized countries because of their reactogenicity and adverse effects. Current acellular pertussis vaccines (aP), made of purified proteins of Bordetella pertussis, are efficient at preventing disease but fail to induce long-term protection from infection. While the systemic and mucosal T cell immunity induced by the two types of vaccines has been well described, much less is known concerning B cell responses. Taking advantage of an inducible AID fate-mapping mouse model, we compared effector and memory B cells induced by the two classes of vaccines and showed that a stronger and broader memory B cell and plasma cell response is achieved by a wP prime. We also observed that homologous or heterologous vaccine combinations that include at least one wP administration, even as a booster dose, are sufficient to induce this broad effector response, thus highlighting its dominant imprint on the B cell profile. Finally, we describe the settlement of memory B cell populations in the lung following subcutaneous wP prime vaccination.
Viviana Valeri, Akhésa Sochon, Clara Cousu, Pascal Chappert, Damiana Lecoeuche, Pascal Blanc, Jean-Claude Weill, Claude-Agnès Reynaud
We previously reported that Smad Anchor for Receptor Activation (SARA) plays a critical role in maintaining epithelial cell phenotype. Here, we show that SARA suppresses myofibroblast precursor transdifferentiation in a mouse model of scleroderma. Mice overexpressing SARA specifically in PDGFRβ+ pericytes and pan-leukocytes (SARATg) developed significantly less skin fibrosis in response to bleomycin injection compared to wild-type littermates (SARAWT).Single cell RNASeq analysis of skin PDGFRβ+ cells implicated pericyte subsets assuming myofibroblast characteristics under fibrotic stimuli, and SARA overexpression blocked the transition. In addition, a cluster that expresses molecules associated with Th2 cells and macrophage activation was enriched in SARAWT, but not in SARATg mouse, after bleomycin treatment. Th2- specific Il-31 expression was increased in skin of the bleomycin-treated SARAWT mice, and scleroderma patients. Receptor-ligand analyses indicated that lymphocytes mediate pericyte transdifferentiation in SARAWT mice, while with SARA overexpression the myofibroblast activity of pericytes was suppressed. Together, these data suggest a novel crosstalk between myofibroblast precursors and immune cells in the pathogenesis of SSc, for which SARA plays a critical role.
Katia Corano-Scheri, Xiaoyan Liang, Vidhi Dalal, I. Caroline Le Poole, John Varga, Tomoko Hayashida
Accumulating evidence suggests that high levels of Fusobacterium nucleatum (F. nucleatum) in colorectal tumor tissues can be associated with poor prognosis in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC); however, data regarding distinct prognostic subgroups in F. nucleatum-positive CRC remain limited. Herein, we demonstrated that high iron status was associated with a worse prognosis in CRC patients with F. nucleatum. Patients with CRC presenting elevated serum transferrin saturation exhibited preferential iron deposition in macrophages in the tumor microenvironment. In addition, F. nucleatum induced CCL8 expression in macrophages via the Toll-like receptor 4–nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling pathway, which was inhibited by iron deficiency. Mechanistically, iron attenuated the inhibitory phosphorylation of NF-κB p65 by activating serine/threonine phosphatases, augmenting tumor-promoting chemokine production in macrophages. Our observations indicate a key role for iron in modulating the NF-κB signaling pathway and suggest its prognostic potential as a determining factor for inter-patient heterogeneity in F. nucleatum-positive CRC.
Taishi Yamane, Yohei Kanamori, Hiroshi Sawayama, Hiromu Yano, Akihiro Nita, Yudai Ohta, Hironori Hinokuma, Ayato Maeda, Akiko Iwai, Takashi Matsumoto, Mayuko Shimoda, Mayumi Niimura, Shingo Usuki, Noriko Yasuda-Yoshihara, Masato Niwa, Yoshifumi Baba, Takatsugu Ishimoto, Yoshihiro Komohara, Tomohiro Sawa, Tasuku Hirayama, Hideo Baba, Toshiro Moroishi
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