Glucagon, a hormone released from pancreatic alpha-cells, plays a key role in maintaining proper glucose homeostasis and has been implicated in the pathophysiology of diabetes. In vitro studies suggest that intra-islet glucagon can modulate the function of pancreatic beta-cells. However, because of the lack of suitable experimental tools, the in vivo physiological role of this intra-islet cross-talk has remained elusive. To address this issue, we generated a novel mouse model that selectively expressed an inhibitory designer G protein-coupled receptor (Gi DREADD) in α-cells only. Drug-induced activation of this inhibitory designer receptor almost completely shut off glucagon secretion in vivo, resulting in significantly impaired insulin secretion, hyperglycemia, and glucose intolerance. Additional studies with mouse and human islets indicated that intra-islet glucagon stimulates insulin release primarily by activating β-cell GLP-1 receptors. These new findings strongly suggest that intra-islet glucagon signaling is essential for maintaining proper glucose homeostasis in vivo. Our work may pave the way toward the development of novel classes of antidiabetic drugs that act by modulating intra-islet cross-talk between α- and β-cells.
Lu Zhu, Diptadip Dattaroy, Jonathan Pham, Lingdi Wang, Luiz F. Barella, Yinghong Cui, Kenneth J. Wilkins, Bryan L. Roth, Ute Hochgeschwender, Franz M. Matschinsky, Klaus H. Kaestner, Nicolai M. Doliba, Jürgen Wess
IL-17-producing CD4+ cells (TH17) are pathogenically linked to autoimmunity including to autoimmune kidney disease. Erythropoietin’s (EPO) newly recognized immunoregulatory functions and its predominant intra-renal source suggested that EPO physiologically regulates TH17 differentiation, thereby serving as a barrier to the development of autoimmune kidney disease. Using in vitro studies of human and murine cells and in vivo models, we show that EPO ligation of its receptor (EPO-R) on CD4+ T cells directly inhibits TH17 generation and promotes trans-differentiation of TH17 into IL-17-FOXP3+CD4+ T cells. Mechanistically, EPO/EPO-R ligation abrogates upregulation of SGK1 gene expression and blocks p38 activity to prevent SGK1 phosphorylation, thereby inhibiting RORC-mediated transcription of IL-17 and IL-23 receptor genes. In a murine model of TH17-dependent aristolochic acid (ArA)-induced, interstitial kidney disease associated with reduced renal EPO production, we demonstrate that transgenic EPO overexpression or recombinant EPO (rEPO) administration limits TH17 formation and clinical/histological disease expression. EPO/EPO-R ligations on CD4+ T cells abrogate, while absence of T cell-expressed EPO-R augments, TH17 induction and clinical/histological expression of pristane-induced glomerulonephritis (associated with decreased intrarenal EPO). rEPO prevents spontaneous glomerulonephritis and TH17 generation in MRL-lpr mice. Together, our findings indicate that EPO physiologically and therapeutically modulate TH17 cells to limit expression of TH17-associated autoimmune kidney disease.
Chiara Donadei, Andrea Angeletti, Chiara Cantarelli, Vivette D. D'Agati, Gaetano La Manna, Enrico Fiaccadori, Julian Horwitz, Huabao Xiong, Chiara Guglielmo, Susan Hartzell, Joren C. Madsen, Umberto Maggiore, Peter S. Heeger, Paolo Cravedi
Preneoplastic lesions carry many of the antigenic targets found in cancer cells but often exhibit prolonged dormancy. Understanding how the host response to premalignancy is maintained and altered during malignant transformation is needed to prevent cancer. In order to understand the immune microenvironment in precursor monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and myeloma, we analyzed bone marrow immune cells from 12 healthy donors and 26 MGUS/myeloma patients by mass cytometry and concurrently profiled transcriptomes of 42,606 single immune cells from these bone marrows. Compared to age-matched healthy donors, memory T cells from both MGUS and myeloma patients exhibit greater terminal-effector differentiation. However, memory T cells in MGUS show greater enrichment of stem-like TCF1/7hi cells. Clusters of T cells with stem-like and tissue-residence genes were also found to be enriched in MGUS by single-cell transcriptome analysis. Early changes in both NK and myeloid cells were also observed in MGUS. Enrichment of stem-like T cells correlated with a distinct genomic profile of myeloid cells and levels of Dickkopf-1 in bone-marrow plasma. These data describe the landscape of changes in both innate and adaptive immunity in premalignancy and suggest that attrition of the bone-marrow-resident T cell compartment due to loss of stem-like cells may underlie loss of immune surveillance in myeloma.
Jithendra Kini Bailur, Samuel S. McCachren, Deon B. Doxie, Mahesh Shrestha, Katherine E. Pendleton, Ajay K. Nooka, Natalia Neparidze, Terri L. Parker, Noffar Bar, Jonathan L. Kaufman, Craig C. Hofmeister, Lawrence H. Boise, Sagar Lonial, Melissa L. Kemp, Kavita M. Dhodapkar, Madhav V. Dhodapkar
Potassium (K+) secretion by kidney tubule cells is central to electrolyte homeostasis in mammals. In the K+ secretory “principal” cells of the distal nephron, electrogenic Na+ transport by the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) generates the electrical driving force for K+ transport across the apical membrane. Regulation of this process is attributable in part to aldosterone, which stimulates the gene transcription of the ENaC-regulatory kinase, SGK1. However, a wide range of evidence supports the conclusion that an unidentified aldosterone-independent pathway exists. We show here that in principal cells, K+ itself acts through the type 2 mTOR complex (mTORC2) to activate SGK1, which stimulates ENaC to enhance K+ excretion. The effect depends on changes in K+ concentration on the blood side of the cells, and requires basolateral membrane K+-channel activity. However, it does not depend on changes in aldosterone, or on enhanced distal delivery of Na+ from upstream nephron segments. These data strongly support the idea that K+ is sensed directly by principal cells to stimulate its own secretion by activating the mTORC2-SGK1 signaling module, and stimulate ENaC. We propose that this local effect acts in concert with aldosterone and increased Na+ delivery from upstream nephron segments to sustain K+ homeostasis.
Mads Vaarby Sørensen, Bidisha Saha, Iben Skov Jensen, Peng Wu, Niklas Ayasse, Catherine E. Gleason, Samuel Levi Svendsen, Wen-Hui Wang, David Pearce
Induction of a potent CD4 and CD8 T-cell response against tumor-specific and tumor-associated antigen is critical for eliminating tumor cells. Recent vaccination strategies have been hampered by an inefficacious and low amplitude immune response. Here we describe a self-adjuvanted chimeric protein vaccine platform to address these challenges, characterized by a multidomain construction incorporating (i) a cell penetrating peptide (CPP) allowing internalization of several multiantigenic Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC)-restricted peptides within (ii) the multiantigenic domain (Mad) and (iii) a TLR2/4 agonist domain (TLRag). Functionality of the resulting chimeric protein is based on the combined effect of the above-mentioned three different domains for simultaneous activation of antigen presenting cells and antigen cross-presentation, leading to an efficacious multiantigenic and multiallelic cellular immune response. Helper and cytotoxic T-cell responses were observed against model-, neo- and self-antigens, and were highly potent in several murine tumor models. The safety and the immunogenicity of a human vaccine candidate designed for colorectal cancer treatment was demonstrated in a non-human primate model. This newly engineered therapeutic vaccine approach is promising for the treatment of poorly infiltrated tumors that do not respond to currently marketed immunotherapies.
Elodie Belnoue, Jean-François Mayol, Susanna Carboni, Wilma Di Berardino Besson, Eloise Dupuychaffray, Annika Nelde, Stefan Stevanovic, Marie-Laure Santiago-Raber, Paul R. Walker, Madiha Derouazi
Plasma calcium (Ca2+) is maintained by amending the release of parathyroid hormone and through direct effects of the Ca2+ sensing receptor (CaSR) in the renal tubule. Combined, these mechanisms alter intestinal Ca2+ absorption by modulating 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D3 production, bone resorption, and renal Ca2+ excretion. The CaSR is a therapeutic target in the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism and hypocalcemia a common complication of calcimimetic therapy. The CaSR is also expressed in intestinal epithelium, however, a direct role in regulating local intestinal Ca2+ absorption is unknown. Chronic CaSR activation decreased expression of genes involved in Ca2+ absorption. In Ussing chambers, increasing extracellular Ca2+ or basolateral application of the calcimimetic cinacalcet decreased net Ca2+ absorption across intestinal preparations acutely. Conversely, Ca2+ absorption increased with decreasing extracellular Ca2+ concentration. These responses were absent in mice expressing a non-functional TRPV6, TRPV6D541A. Cinacalcet also attenuated Ca2+ fluxes through TRPV6 in Xenopus oocytes when co-expressed with the CaSR. Moreover, the phospholipase C inhibitor, U73122, prevented cinacalcet-mediated inhibition of Ca2+ flux. These results reveal a regulatory pathway whereby activation of the CaSR in the basolateral membrane of the intestine directly attenuates local Ca2+ absorption via TRPV6 to prevent hypercalcemia and help explain how calcimimetics induce hypocalcemia.
Justin J. Lee, Xiong Liu, Debbie O'Neil, Megan R. Beggs, Petra Weissgerber, Veit Flockerzi, Xing-Zhen Chen, Henrik Dimke, R. Todd Alexander
T and B cells have been implicated in hypertension, but the mechanisms by which they produce a coordinated response is unknown. T follicular helper (Tfh) cells that produce interleukin 21 (IL21) promote germinal center (GC) B cell responses leading to immunoglobulin (Ig) production. Here we investigate the role of IL21 and Tfh cells in hypertension. In response to angiotensin (Ang) II-induced hypertension, T cell IL21 production is increased, and Il21-/- mice develop blunted hypertension, attenuated vascular end-organ damage, and decreased interleukin 17A (IL17A) and interferon gamma production. Tfh-like cells and GC B cells accumulate in the aorta and plasma IgG1 is increased in hypertensive WT but not Il21-/-mice. Furthermore, Tfh cell deficient mice develop blunted hypertension and vascular hypertrophy in response to Ang II infusion. Importantly, IL21 neutralization reduces blood pressure (BP) and reverses endothelial dysfunction and vascular inflammation. Moreover, recombinant IL21 impairs endothelium-dependent relaxation ex vivo and decreases nitric oxide production from cultured endothelial cells. Finally, we show in humans that peripheral blood T cell production of IL21 correlates with systolic BP and IL17A production. These data suggest that IL21 may be a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of hypertension and its micro- and macrovascular complications.
Bethany L. Dale, Arvind K. Pandey, Yuhan Chen, Charles D. Smart, Fanny Laroumanie, Mingfang Ao, Liang Xiao, Anna E. Dikalova, Sergey I. Dikalov, Fernando Elijovich, Jason D. Foss, Natalia R. Barbaro, Justin P. Van Beusecum, Serpil M. Deger, Aseel Alsouqi, Hana A. Itani, Allison E. Norlander, Matthew R. Alexander, Shilin Zhao, T. Alp Ikizler, Holly M. Scott Algood, Meena S. Madhur
Background: Sepsis is a complex clinical syndrome with substantial heterogeneity. We sought to identify patterns of serum biomarkers of endothelial activation and dysfunction in individuals with sepsis and evaluate subgroup-specific differences in mortality. Methods: Adult patients with sepsis (n=426) were consecutively recruited from two hospitals in Uganda. Clinical information was collected and serum concentrations of eleven biomarkers involved in the endothelial response to infection were measured in samples from 315 patients. Latent variable models were fit to evaluate whether the endothelial response to sepsis consists of one unified biological process or multiple processes and to identify subgroups of patients with distinct host-response profiles. Differences in survival at day 28 were evaluated using Kaplan-Meier survival curves. Results: We identified three patient subgroups characterized by unique host endothelial response profiles. Patients fitting Profile 2 had significantly worse survival (log-rank p<0.001). Four latent factors (Factor 1-4) were identified, each potentially representing distinct biological processes for the endothelial response to sepsis: Factor 1 (CHI3L1, sTREM1, sFLT1); Factor 2 (ANGPT1, PF4, VEGF); Factor 3 (CXCL10, VWF, sICAM1); and Factor 4 (ANGPT2, sTEK). Conclusion: Patient profiles based on patterns of circulating biomarkers of endothelial responses may provide a clinically meaningful way to categorize patients into homogeneous subgroups and may identify patients with a high risk of mortality. Profile 2 may represent dysfunction of the endothelial response to infection. Funding: Primary funding: Investigator-Initiated Award provided by Pfizer, Inc (WMS, STJ). Additional support: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Foundation grant (KCK; FDN-148439) and the Canada Research Chair program (KCK).
Danielle V. Clark, Patrick Banura, Karen Bandeen-Roche, W. Conrad Liles, Kevin C. Kain, W. Michael Scheld, William J. Moss, Shevin T. Jacob
Epidemiological findings indicate that coinfection with influenza viruses is associated with an increased risk of death in patients suffering from tuberculosis but the underlying pathomechanisms are not well understood. In this study, we demonstrate that influenza A virus (IAV) coinfection rapidly impairs control of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) in C57BL/6 mice. IAV coinfection was associated with significantly increased bacterial loads, reduced survival and a substantial modulation of innate and adaptive immune defenses including an impaired onset and development of Mtb-specific CD4+ T cell responses and the accumulation of macrophages with increased arginase-1 production in the lungs. Our findings strongly indicate that IAV coinfection compromises the host’s ability to control Mtb infection via the production of IL-10 which was rapidly induced upon viral infection. The blockade of IL-10 receptor signaling reduced the bacterial load in coinfected mice to a level comparable with that in Mtb-only-infected animals. Taken together, our data suggest that IL-10 signaling constitutes a major pathway that enhances susceptibility to Mtb during concurrent IAV infection.
Sarah Ring, Lars Eggers, Jochen Behrends, Adam Wutkowski, Dominik Schwudke, Andrea Kröger, Alexandra Maximiliane Hierweger, Christoph Hölscher, Gülsah Gabriel, Bianca Schneider
Gain of the long arm of chromosome 17 (17q) is a cytogenetic hallmark of high-risk neuroblastoma, yet its contribution to neuroblastoma pathogenesis remains incompletely understood. Combining whole-genome and RNA sequencing of neuroblastomas, we identified the prohibitin (PHB) gene as highly expressed in tumors with 17q gain. High PHB expression correlated with poor prognosis and was associated with loss of gene expression programs promoting neuronal development and differentiation. PHB depletion induced differentiation and apoptosis and slowed cell cycle progression of neuroblastoma cells, at least in part through impaired ERK1/2 activation. Conversely, ectopic expression of PHB was sufficient to increase proliferation of neuroblastoma cells and was associated with suppression of markers associated with neuronal differentiation and favorable neuroblastoma outcome. Thus, PHB is a 17q oncogene in neuroblastoma that promotes tumor cell proliferation, and de-differentiation.
Ian C. MacArthur, Yi Bei, Heathcliff Dorado García, Michael V. Ortiz, Joern Toedling, Filippos Klironomos, Jana Rolff, Angelika Eggert, Johannes H. Schulte, Alex Kentsis, Anton G. Henssen
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