Patients with Duchene Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) commonly present severe ventricular arrhythmias that contribute to heart failure. Arrhythmias and lethality are also consistently observed in adult Dmdmdx mice, a mouse model of DMD, after acute β-adrenergic stimulation. These pathological features were previously linked to aberrant expression and remodeling of the cardiac gap junction protein connexin 43 (Cx43). Here, we report that remodeled Cx43 protein forms Cx43 hemichannels in the lateral membrane of Dmdmdx cardiomyocytes and that the β -adrenergic agonist isoproterenol (Iso) aberrantly activates these hemichannels. Block of Cx43 hemichannels or a reduction in Cx43 levels (using Dmdmdx:Cx43+/- mice) prevents the abnormal increase in membrane permeability, plasma membrane depolarization and Iso-evoked electrical activity in these cells. Additionally, Iso treatment promotes nitric oxide (NO) production and S-nitrosylation of Cx43 hemichannels in Dmdmdx heart. Importantly, inhibition of NO production prevents arrhythmias evoked by Iso. We found that NO directly activates Cx43 hemichannels by S-nitrosylation of cysteine at the position 271. Our results demonstrate that opening of remodeled and S-nitrosylated Cx43 hemichannels play a key role in the development of arrhythmias in DMD mice and may serve as therapeutic targets to prevent fatal arrhythmias in DMD patients.
Mauricio A. Lillo, Eric Himelman, Natalia Shirokova, Lai-Hua Xie, Diego Fraidenraich, Jorge E. Contreras
Immune activation is associated with increased risk of tuberculosis (TB) disease in infants. We performed a case control analysis to identify drivers of immune activation and disease risk. Among 49 infants who developed TB disease over the first two years of life, and 129 matched controls who remained healthy, we found the cytomegalovirus (CMV) stimulated IFNγ response at age 4-6 months to be associated with CD8+ T cell activation (Spearmans rho, P = 6 x 10-8). A CMV specific IFNγ response was also associated with increased risk of developing TB disease (Conditional Logistic Regression, P = 0.043, OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.02-4.83), and shorter time to TB diagnosis (Log Rank Mantel-Cox P = 0.037). CMV positive infants who developed TB disease had lower expression of natural killer cell associated gene signatures and a lower frequency of CD3−CD4−CD8− lymphocytes. We identified transcriptional signatures predictive of risk of TB disease among CMV ELISpot positive (AUROC 0.98, accuracy 92.57%) and negative (AUROC 0.9, accuracy 79.3%) infants; the CMV negative signature validated in an independent infant study (AUROC 0.71, accuracy 63.9%). Understanding and controlling the microbial drivers of T cell activation, such as CMV, could guide new strategies for prevention of TB disease in infants.
Julius Müller, Rachel Tanner, Magali Matsumiya, Margaret A. Snowden, Bernard Landry, Iman Satti, Stephanie A. Harris, Matthew K. O'Shea, Lisa Stockdale, Leanne Marsay, Agnieszka Chomka, Rachel Harrington-Kandt, Zita-Rose Manjaly Thomas, Elena Stylianou, Vivek Naranbhai, Stanley Kimbung Mbandi, Mark Hatherill, Gregory Hussey, Hassan Mahomed, Michele Tameris, J. Bruce McClain, Willem A. Hanekom, Thomas G. Evans, Thomas J. Scriba, Helen McShane, Helen A. Fletcher
WHIM syndrome immunodeficiency is caused by autosomal dominant gain-of-function mutations in chemokine receptor CXCR4. Patient WHIM-09 was spontaneously cured by chromothriptic deletion of one copy of 164 genes, including the CXCR4WHIM allele, presumably in a single hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) that repopulated HSCs and the myeloid lineage. Testing the specific contribution of CXCR4 hemizygosity to her cure, we previously demonstrated enhanced engraftment of Cxcr4+/o HSCs after transplantation in WHIM (Cxcr4+/w) model mice, but the potency was not quantitated. We now report graded-dose competitive transplantation experiments using lethally irradiated Cxcr4+/+ recipients in which mixed BM cells containing ~5 Cxcr4+/o HSCs and a 100-fold excess of Cxcr4+/w HSCs achieved durable 50% Cxcr4+/o myeloid and B cell chimerism in blood and ~20% Cxcr4+/o HSC chimerism in BM. In Cxcr4+/o/Cxcr4+/w parabiotic mice, we observed 80-100% Cxcr4+/o myeloid and lymphoid chimerism in the blood and 15% Cxcr4+/o HSC chimerism in BM from the Cxcr4+/w parabiont, which was durable after separation from the Cxcr4+/o parabiont. Thus, CXCR4 haploinsufficiency likely significantly contributed to the selective repopulation of HSCs and the myeloid lineage from a single chromothriptic HSC in WHIM-09. Moreover, the results suggest that WHIM allele silencing of patient HSCs is a viable gene therapy strategy.
Ji-Liang Gao, Albert Owusu-Ansah, Andrea Paun, Kimberly Beacht, Erin Yim, Marie Siwicki, Alexander Yang, Qian Liu, David H. McDermott, Philip M. Murphy
Accumulation of senescent cells is associated with the progression of pulmonary fibrosis but mechanisms accounting for this linkage are not well understood. To explore this issue, we investigated whether a class of biologically active profibrotic lipids, the leukotrienes (LT), is part of the senescence-associated secretory phenotype. The analysis of conditioned medium (CM) lipid extracts and gene expression of LT biosynthesis enzymes revealed that senescent cells secreted LT regardless of the origin of the cells or the modality of senescence induction. The synthesis of LT was biphasic and followed by anti-fibrotic prostaglandin (PG) secretion. The LT-rich CM of senescent lung fibroblasts (IMR90) induced pro-fibrotic signaling in naïve fibroblasts, which were abrogated by inhibitors of ALOX5, the principal enzyme in LT biosynthesis. The bleomycin-induced expression of genes encoding LT and PG synthases, level of cysteinyl leukotriene in the bronchoalveolar lavage, and overall fibrosis were reduced upon senescent cells removal either in a genetic mouse model or after senolytic treatment. Quantification of ALOX5+cells in lung explants obtained from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) patients indicated that half of these cells were also senescent (p16Ink4a+). Unlike human fibroblasts from unused donor lungs made senescent by irradiation, senescent IPF fibroblasts secreted LTs but failed to synthesize PGs. This study demonstrates for the first time that senescent cells secrete functional LTs, significantly contributing to the LTs pool known to cause or exacerbate IPF.
Christopher D. Wiley, Alexis N. Brumwell, Sonnet S. Davis, Julia R. Jackson, Alexis Valdovinos, Cheresa Calhoun, Fatouma Alimirah, Carlos A. Castellanos, Richard Ruan, Ying Wei, Harold A. Chapman, Arvind Ramanathan, Judith Campisi, Claude Jourdan Le Saux
The HER2-specific monoclonal antibody (mAb), Trastuzumab, has been the mainstay of therapy for HER2+ breast cancers (BC) for ~20 years. However, its therapeutic mechanism of action (MOA) remains unclear, with antitumor responses to Trastuzumab remaining heterologous and metastatic HER2+ BC remaining incurable. Consequently, understanding its MOA could enable rational strategies to enhance its efficacy. Using both novel murine and human versions of Trastuzumab, we found its antitumor activity dependent on Fcγ-Receptor stimulation of tumor-associated-macrophages (TAM) and Antibody-Dependent-Cellular-Phagocytosis (ADCP), but not cytotoxicity (ADCC). Trastuzumab also stimulated TAM activation and expansion, but did not require adaptive immunity, natural killer cells, and/or neutrophils. Moreover, inhibition of the innate immune ADCP checkpoint, CD47, significantly enhanced Trastuzumab-mediated ADCP, TAM expansion and activation, resulting in the emergence of a unique hyper-phagocytic macrophage population, improved antitumor responses and prolonged survival. In addition, we found tumor-associated CD47 expression was inversely associated with survival in HER2+ BC patients and that human HER2+ BC xenografts treated with Trastuzumab+CD47 inhibition underwent complete tumor regression. Collectively, our study identifies Trastuzumab-mediated ADCP as a significant antitumor MOA that may be clinically enabled by CD47 blockade to augment therapeutic efficacy.
Li-Chung Tsao, Erika J. Crosby, Timothy N. Trotter, Pankaj Agarwal, Bin-Jin Hwang, Chaitanya Acharya, Casey W. Shuptrine, Tao Wang, Junping Wei, Xiao Yang, Gangjun Lei, Cong-Xiao Liu, Christopher A. Rabiola, Lewis A. Chodosh, William J. Muller, Herbert Kim Lyerly, Zachary C. Hartman
Conventional treatments for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have multiple potential side effects. Therefore, alternative treatments are desperately needed. This work demonstrated that systemic administration of exosomes from human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC-Exos) significantly mitigated colitis in various models of IBD. MSC-Exos treatment downregulated inflammatory responses, maintained intestinal barrier integrity and polarized M2b macrophages, but did not favor intestinal fibrosis. Mechanistically, infused MSC-Exos mainly acted on colonic macrophages and macrophages from colitic colons acquired obvious resistance to inflammatory re-stimulation when prepared from mice treated with MSC-Exos versus untreated mice. The beneficial effect of MSC-Exos was blocked by macrophage depletion. Besides, the induction of IL-10 production from macrophages was partially involved in the beneficial effect of MSC-Exos. MSC-Exos were enriched in proteins involved in regulating multiple biological processes associated with the anti-colitic benefit of MSC-Exos. Particularly, metallothionein-2 in MSC-Exos was required for the suppression of inflammatory responses. Taken together, MSC-Exos are critical regulators of inflammatory responses and may be promising candidates for IBD treatment.
Huashan Liu, Zhenxing Liang, Fengwei wang, Chi Zhou, Xiaobin Zheng, Tuo Hu, Xiaowen He, Xianrui Wu, Ping Lan
γδ T cells account for a large fraction of human intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) endowed with potent anti-tumor activities. However, little is known about their origin, phenotype and clinical relevance in colorectal cancer (CRC). To determine γδ IEL gut-specificity, homing and functions, γδ T cells were purified from human healthy blood, lymph nodes, liver, skin, intestine either disease-free or affected by CRC or generated from thymic precursors. The constitutive expression of NKp46 specifically identifies a new subset of cytotoxic Vδ1 T cells representing the largest fraction of gut-resident IELs. The ontogeny and gut-tropism of NKp46pos/Vδ1 IELs depends both on distinctive features of Vδ1 thymic precursors and gut-environmental factors. Either the constitutive presence of NKp46 on tissue-resident Vδ1 intestinal IELs or its induced-expression on IL-2/IL-15 activated Vδ1 thymocytes are associated with anti-tumor functions. Higher frequencies of NKp46pos/Vδ1 IELs in tumor-free specimens from CRC patients correlate with a lower risk of developing metastatic III/IV disease stages. Additionally, our in vitro settings reproducing CRC tumor-microenvironment inhibited the expansion of NKp46pos/Vδ1 cells from activated thymic precursors. These results parallel the very low frequencies of NKp46pos/Vδ1 IELs able to infiltrate CRC, thus providing new insights to either follow-up cancer progression or develop novel adoptive cellular therapies.
Joanna Mikulak, Ferdinando Oriolo, Elena Bruni, Alessandra Roberto, Federico S. Colombo, Anna Villa, Marita Bosticardo, Ileana Bortolomai, Elena Lo Presti, Serena Meraviglia, Francesco Dieli, Stefania Vetrano, Silvio Danese, Silvia Della Bella, Michele M. Carvello, Matteo Sacchi, Giovanni Cugini, Giovanni Colombo, Marco Klinger, Paola Spaggiari, Massimo Roncalli, Immo Prinz, Sarina Ravens, Biagio di Lorenzo, Emanuela Marcenaro, Bruno Silva-Santos, Antonino Spinelli, Domenico Mavilio
Rationale: Reflex-mediated sympathoexcitation is central to the pathogenesis of arrhythmias and heart disease; neuraxial modulation can favorably attenuate these cardiac reflexes leading to cardioprotection. Objective: The purpose of this study was to define the mechanism by which cardiac neural decentralization and spinal cord stimulation (SCS) reduces ischemia-induced ventricular fibrillation (VF) and sudden cardiac death (SCD) by utilizing direct neurotransmitter measurements in the heart. Methods and Results: Direct measurement of norepinephrine (NE) levels in the left ventricular (LV) interstitial fluid (ISF) by microdialysis in response to transient left anterior descending coronary artery occlusion (CAO: 15 min) in anesthetized canines. Responses were studied with: (i) intact neuraxis and were compared to those in which the (ii) intrathoracic component of the cardiac neuraxis (stellate ganglia),(iii) the intrinsic cardiac neuronal (ICN) system were surgically delinked from the central nervous system versus (iv) subjects with intact neuraxis subjected to pre-emptive SCS (T1-T3 spinal level). With an intact neuraxis, animals with exaggerated NE-ISF levels in response to CAO were at increased risk for VF and SCD. During CAO there was a 152% increase in NE level when the entire neuraxis was intact compared to 114% following intrathoracic neuraxial decentralization (removal of the stellates) and 16% increase following ICN decentralization, when the entire heart and ICN was delinked from the other levels of the neuraxis. During SCS, CAO increased NE levels by 59%. Risk for CAO-induced VF was 38% in controls, 8% following total decentralization and 11% following SCS. Conclusions: These data indicate that ischemia related afferent neuronal transmission engages central and intrathoracic sympathetic reflexes which amplifies sympathoexcitation and results in an increase in regional ventricular NE release that causes VF and SCD. Surgical decentralization or SCS prevents this amplification of sympathoexcitation, attenuating the resultant NE release, and reduces VF and SCD.
Jeffrey L. Ardell, Robert D. Foreman, J. Andrew Armour, Kalyanam Shivkumar
At diagnosis, most people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) produce measurable levels of endogenous insulin, but the rate at which insulin secretion declines is heterogeneous. To explain this heterogeneity, we sought to identify a composite signature predictive of insulin secretion, using a collaborative assay evaluation and analysis pipeline that incorporated multiple cellular and serum measures reflecting beta cell health and immune system activity. The ability to predict decline in insulin secretion would be useful for patient stratification for clinical trial enrollment or therapeutic selection. Analytes from 12 qualified assays were measured in shared samples from subjects newly diagnosed with T1D. We developed a computational tool to identify a composite panel associated with decline in insulin secretion over 2 years after diagnosis. The tool employs multiple filtering steps to reduce data dimensionality, incorporates error-estimation techniques including cross-validation and sensitivity analysis, and is flexible to assay type, clinical outcome and disease setting. Using this novel analytical tool, we identified a panel of immune markers that, in combination, are highly associated with loss of insulin secretion. The methods used here represent a novel process for identifying combined immune signatures that predict outcomes relevant for complex and heterogeneous diseases like T1D.
Cate Speake, Samuel O. Skinner, Dror Berel, Elizabeth Whalen, Matthew J. Dufort, William Chad Young, Jared M. Odegard, Anne M. Pesenacker, Frans K. Gorus, Eddie A. James, Megan K. Levings, Peter S. Linsley, Eitan M. Akirav, Alberto Pugliese, Martin J. Hessner, Gerald T. Nepom, Raphael Gottardo, S. Alice Long
Pulmonary drug delivery presents a unique opportunity to target lower airway inflammation, which is often characterized by the massive recruitment of neutrophils from blood. However specific therapies are lacking that can modulate airway neutrophil function, and difficult challenges must be overcome to achieve therapeutic efficacy against pulmonary inflammation, notably drug hydrophobicity, mucociliary and macrophage-dependent clearance, and high extracellular protease burden. Here, we present a multi-stage, aerodynamically favorable delivery platform that uses extracellular proteolysis to its advantage in order to deliver nanoparticle-embedded hydrophobic drugs to neutrophils within the lower airways. Our design consists in a self-regulated nanoparticle-in-microgel system, in which microgel activation is triggered by extracellular elastase (degranulated by inflammatory neutrophils), and nanoparticles are loaded with Nexinhib20, a potent neutrophil degranulation inhibitor. Successful in vivo delivery of Nexinhib20 to the airways and into neutrophils promoted resolution of the inflammatory response by dampening neutrophil recruitment and degranulation, pro-inflammatory cytokine production in both airway and systemic compartments, as well as the presence of neutrophil-derived pathological extracellular vesicles in the lung fluid. Our findings showcase a new platform that overcomes challenges in pulmonary drug delivery and allows customization to match the proteolytic footprint of given diseases.
Joscelyn C Mejías, Osric A Forrest, Camilla Margaroli, David A. Frey Rubio, Liliana Viera, Jindong Li, Xin Xu, Amit Gaggar, Rabindra Tirouvanziam, Krishnendu Roy
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