Circulating monocytes have emerged as key regulators of the neuroinflammatory milieu in a number of neuropathological disorders. Ephrin type-A receptor 4 (Epha4) receptor tyrosine kinase, a prominent axon guidance molecule, has recently been implicated in the regulation of neuroinflammation. Using a mouse model of brain injury and GFP bone marrow (BM) chimeric approach, we find neuroprotection and lack of significant motor deficits that is marked by reduced monocyte/macrophage cortical infiltration, and increased number of arginase-1-postivity in the absence of BM-derived Epha4. This was accompanied by a shift in monocyte gene profile from pro- to anti-inflammatory that includes increased Tek (Tie2 receptor) expression. Inhibition of Tie2 attenuated enhanced expression of M2-like genes in cultured Epha4-null monocyte/macrophages. In Epha4 BM-deficient mice, cortical-isolated GFP+ monocyte/macrophages displayed a phenotypic shift from classical to an intermediate subtype, which displayed reduced Ly6chi concomitant with increased Ly6clo- and Tie2-expressing populations. Furthermore, clodronate liposome-mediated monocyte depletion mimicked these effects in wild-type but resulted in attenuation of phenotype in Epha4 BM-deficient mice suggesting control over monocyte polarization not recruitment dictates tissue damage. Thus, coordination of monocyte pro-inflammatory polarization by Epha4 is a key regulatory step mediating neural tissue damage.
Elizabeth A. Kowalski, Eman Soliman, Colin Kelly, Erwin Kristobal Gudenschwager Basso, John Leonard, Kevin J. Pridham, Jing Ju, Alison M. Cash, Amanda Hazy, Caroline de Jager, Alexandra M. Kaloss, Hanzhang Ding, Raymundo D. Hernandez, Gabriel M. Coleman, Xia Wang, Michelle L. Olsen, Alicia M. Pickrell, Michelle H. Theus
Older people exhibit dysregulated innate immunity to respiratory viral infections, including influenza and SARS-CoV-2, to increase morbidity and mortality. Nanoparticles are a potential practical therapeutic that could reduce exaggerated innate immune responses within the lungs during viral infection. However, such therapeutics have not been examined for effectiveness during respiratory viral infection, particular in aged hosts. Here, we employed a lethal model of influenza viral infection in vulnerable aged mice to examine the ability of biodegradable, cargo-free nanoparticles, designated ONP-302, to resolve innate immune dysfunction and improve outcomes during infection. We administered ONP-302 via intravenous injection to aged mice at day 3 post-infection when the hyperinflammatory innate immune response is already established. During infection, we found that ONP-302 treatment reduced the numbers of inflammatory monocytes within the lungs and increased their number in both the liver and spleen, without impacting viral clearance. Importantly, cargo-free nanoparticles reduced lung damage, histological lung inflammation and improved gas exchange and, ultimately, the clinical outcomes in influenza-infected aged mice. In conclusion, ONP-302 improves outcomes in influenza-infected aged mice. Thus, our study provides fundamental information concerning a practical therapeutic which, if translated clinically, could improve disease outcomes for vulnerable older patients suffering from respiratory viral infections.
William J. Kelley, Kathleen M. Wragg, Judy Chen, Tushar Murthy, Qichen Xu, Michael T. Boyne II, Joseph R. Podojil, Adam Elhofy, Daniel R. Goldstein
Aging is known to be associated with hippocampus-dependent memory decline, but the underlying causes of this age-related memory impairment remain yet highly debated. Here we showed that fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) from aged, but not young, animal donors in young mice is sufficient to trigger profound hippocampal alterations including astrogliosis, decreased adult neurogenesis, decreased novelty-induced neuronal activation and impairment in hippocampus-dependent memory. Furthermore, similar alterations were reported when mice were subjected to an FMT from aged human donors. To decipher the mechanisms involved in mediating these microbiota-induced effects on brain function, we mapped the vagus nerve (VN)-related neuronal activity patterns and report that aged-mice FM transplanted animals showed a reduction in neuronal activity in the ascending VN output brain structure, whether under basal condition or after VN stimulation. Targeted pharmacogenetic manipulation of VN-ascending neurons demonstrated that the decrease in vagal activity is detrimental to hippocampal functions. In contrast, increasing vagal ascending activity alleviated the adverse effects of aged mice FMT on hippocampal functions, and had a pro-mnesic effect in aged mice. Thus, pharmacogenetic VN stimulation is a potential therapeutic strategy to lessen microbiota-dependent age-associated impairments in hippocampal functions.
Damien Rei, Soham Saha, Marianne Haddad, Anna Haider Rubio, Blanca Liliana Perlaza, Marion Berard, Marie-Noelle Ungeheuer, Harry Sokol, Pierre-Marie Lledo
The ribosomal protein S6 kinase 1 (S6K1) is a relevant effector downstream the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1), best known for its role in the control of lipid homeostasis. Consistent with this, mice lacking the S6k1 gene have a defect in their ability to induce the commitment of fat precursor cells to the adipogenic lineage, which contributes to a significant reduction of fat mass. Here, we assess the therapeutic blockage of S6K1 in diet-induced obese mice challenged with LY2584702 tosylate, a specific oral S6K1 inhibitor initially developed for the treatment of solid tumours. We show that diminished S6K1 activity hampers fat mass expansion and ameliorates dyslipidaemia and hepatic steatosis, while modifying transcriptome-wide gene expression programs relevant for adipose and liver function. Accordingly, impaired mTORC1 signalling in fat (decreased) and liver (increased) co-segregated with defective epithelial-mesenchymal transition, being prominent the decreased expression of Cd36 (coding for a fatty acid translocase) and Lgals1 (Galectin 1) in both tissues. All these factors combined align with reduced adipocyte size and improved lipidomic signatures in the liver, while hepatic steatosis and hypertriglyceridemia were improved in treatments lasting either 3 months or 6 weeks.
Aina Lluch, Sonia R. Veiga, Jèssica Latorre, José M. Moreno-Navarrete, Núria Bonifaci, Van Dien Nguyen, You Zhou, Marcus Horing, Gerhard Liebisch, Vesa M. Olkkonen, David Llobet-Navas, George Thomas, Ruth Rodriguez-Barrueco, José M. Fernández-Real, Sara C. Kozma, Francisco J. Ortega
Long COVID, a type of Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 (PASC), has been associated with sustained elevated levels of immune activation and inflammation. However, the mechanisms that drive this inflammation remain unknown. Inflammation during acute Coronavirus Disease 2019 could be exacerbated by microbial translocation (from gut and/or lung) to blood. Whether microbial translocation contributes to inflammation during PASC is unknown. We did not observe a significant elevation in plasma markers of bacterial translocation during PASC. However, we observed higher levels of fungal translocation – measured as β-glucan, a fungal cell wall polysaccharide – in the plasma of individuals experiencing PASC compared to those without PASC or SARS-CoV-2 negative controls. The higher β-glucan correlated with higher inflammation and elevated levels of host metabolites involved in activating N-Methyl-D-aspartate receptors (such as metabolites within the tryptophan catabolism pathway) with established neuro-toxic properties. Mechanistically, β-glucan can directly induce inflammation by binding to myeloid cells (via Dectin-1) and activating Syk/NF-κB signaling. Using a Dectin-1/NF-κB reporter model, we found that plasma from individuals experiencing PASC induced higher NF-κB signaling compared to plasma from negative controls. This higher NF-κB signaling was abrogated by Piceatannol (Syk inhibitor). These data suggest a potential targetable mechanism linking fungal translocation and inflammation during PASC.
Leila B. Giron, Michael J. Peluso, Jianyi Ding, Grace Kenny, Netanel F. Zilberstein, Jane Koshy, Kai Ying Hong, Heather Rasmussen, Gregory E. Miller, Faraz Bishehsari, Robert A. Balk, James N. Moy, Rebecca Hoh, Scott Lu, Aaron R. Goldman, Hsin-Yao Tang, Brandon C. Yee, Ahmed Chenna, John W. Winslow, Christos J. Petropoulos, J. Daniel Kelly, Haimanot Wasse, Jeffrey N. Martin, Qin Liu, Ali Keshavarzian, Alan Landay, Steven G. Deeks, Timothy J. Henrich, Mohamed Abdel-Mohsen
Natural killer (NK) cell exhaustion is caused by chronic exposure to activating stimuli during viral infection, tumorigenesis, and prolonged cytokine treatment. Evidence suggests that exhaustion may play a role in disease progression, however relative to T cell exhaustion, the mechanisms underlying NK cell exhaustion and methods of reversing it are poorly understood. Here, we describe a novel in vitro model of exhaustion that employs plate-bound agonists of the NK cell activating receptors NKp46 and NKG2D to induce canonical exhaustion phenotypes. In this model, prolonged activation results in downregulation of activating receptors, upregulation of checkpoint markers, decreased cytokine production and cytotoxicity in vitro, defects in glycolytic metabolism, and decreased persistence, function, and tumor control in vivo. Furthermore, we discover a beneficial effect of NK cell inhibitory receptor signaling during exhaustion. By simultaneously engaging the inhibitory receptor NKG2A during activation in our model, cytokine production and cytotoxicity defects can be mitigated, suggesting that balancing positive and negative signals integrated by effector NK cells can be beneficial for anti-tumor immunity. Together, these data uncover some of the mechanisms underlying NK cell exhaustion in humans and establish our novel in vitro model as a valuable tool for studying the processes regulating exhaustion.
Jacob A. Myers, Dawn Schirm, Laura Bendzick, Rachel Hopps, Carly Selleck, Peter Hinderlie, Martin Felices, Jeffrey S. Miller
Acute kidney injury increases morbidity and mortality and previous studies have shown that remote ischemic preconditioning (RIPC) reduces the risk of acute kidney injury after cardiac surgery. RIPC increases urinary HMGB1 (high mobility group box protein-1) levels in patients which correlates with kidney protection. Here, we show that RIPC reduces renal ischemia-reperfusion injury and improves kidney function in mice. Mechanistically, RIPC increases HMGB1 levels in the plasma and urine and HMGB1 binds to Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) on renal tubular epithelial cells, inducing transcriptomic modulation of renal tubular epithelial cells and providing renal protection, whereas TLR4 activation on non-renal cells was shown to contribute to renal injury. This protection is mediated by activation of induction of AMPK⍺ and NF-kB, which induces the upregulation of Sema5b that triggers a transient, protective G1 cell-cycle arrest. In cardiac surgery patients at high risk for postoperative acute kidney injury, increased HMGB1 and Sema5b levels after RIPC were associated with renal protection after surgery. The results may help to develop future clinical treatment options for acute kidney injury.
Jan Rossaint, Melanie Meersch, Katharina Thomas, Sina Mersmann, Martin Lehmann, Jennifer Skupski, Tobias Tekath, Peter Rosenberger, John A. Kellum, Hermann Pavenstädt, Alexander Zarbock
Although macrophages are undoubtedly attractive therapeutic targets for acute kidney injury (AKI) because of their critical roles in renal inflammation and repair, the underlying mechanisms of macrophage phenotype switching and efferocytosis in the regulation of inflammatory responses during AKI are still largely unclear. The present study was to elucidate the role of JAML (junctional adhesion molecule-like protein) in the pathogenesis of AKI. We found that JAML was significantly up-regulated in the kidney from two different murine AKI models including renal ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI) and cisplatin-induced AKI. By generation of bone marrow chimeric mice, macrophage-specific and tubular-specific Jaml conditional knockout mice, we demonstrated JAML promotes AKI mainly via a macrophage-dependent mechanism and found that JAML-mediated macrophage phenotype polarization and efferocytosis is one of critical signal transduction pathways linking inflammatory responses to AKI. Mechanistically, the effects of JAML on the regulation of macrophages was at least in part, associated with a Mincle-dependent mechanism. Collectively, our studies for the first time explore new biological functions of JAML in macrophages and conclude that JAML is an important mediator and biomarker of AKI. Pharmacologic targeting of JAML mediated signaling pathways at multiple levels may provide a novel therapeutic strategy for patients with AKI.
Wei Huang, Bi-Ou Wang, Yunfeng Hou, Yi Fu, Sijia Cui, Jinghan Zhu, Xinyu Zhan, Rongkun Li, Wei Tang, Jichao Wu, Ziying Wang, Mei Wang, Xiaojie Wang, Yan Zhang, Min Liu, Yusheng Xie, Yu Sun, Fan Yi
Senescent cells have long been associated with deleterious effects in aging-related pathologies, although recent studies have uncovered their beneficial roles in certain contexts such as wound healing. We have found that hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) undergo senescence within two days after 2/3 partial hepatectomy (PHx) in young (2-3 month-old) mice, and elimination of these senescent cells by the senolytic drug ABT263 or using a genetic mouse model impairs liver regeneration. Senescent HSCs secrete IL-6 and CXCR2 ligands as part of the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP), which induces multiple signaling pathways to stimulate liver regeneration. IL-6 activates STAT3, induces YAP activation through SRC family kinases, and synergizes with CXCL2 to activate ERK1/2 to stimulate hepatocyte proliferation. The administration of either IL-6 or CXCL2 partially restores liver regeneration in mice with senescent cell elimination, and the combination of both fully restores liver weight recovery. Furthermore, the matricellular protein CCN1/CYR61 is rapidly elevated in response to PHx and induces HSC senescence. Knock-in mice expressing a mutant CCN1 unable to bind integrin α6β1 are deficient in senescent cells and liver regeneration after PHx. Thus, HSC senescence, largely induced by CCN1, is a programmed response to PHx and plays a critical role in liver regeneration through signaling pathways activated by IL-6 and ligands of CXCR2.
Naiyuan Cheng, Ki-Hyun Kim, Lester F. Lau
Blood clot formation initiates ischemic events, but coagulation roles during postischemic tissue repair are poorly understood. The endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR) regulates coagulation as well as immune and vascular signaling by protease activated receptors (PARs). Here, we show that endothelial EPCRPAR1 signaling supports reperfusion and neovascularization in hindlimb ischemia in mice. Whereas deletion of PAR2 or PAR4 did not impair angiogenesis, EPCR and PAR1 deficiency or PAR1 resistance to cleavage by activated protein C caused markedly reduced postischemic reperfusion in vivo and angiogenesis in vitro. These findings were corroborated by biased PAR1 agonism in isolated primary endothelial cells. Loss of EPCRPAR1 signaling upregulated hemoglobin expression and reduced endothelial nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability. Defective angiogenic sprouting was rescued by the NO donor DETA-NO, whereas NO scavenging increased hemoglobin and mesenchymal marker expression in human and mouse endothelial cells. Vascular specimens from patients with ischemic peripheral artery disease exhibited increased hemoglobin expression, and soluble EPCR and NO levels were reduced in plasma. Our data implicate endothelial EPCR−PAR1 signaling in the hypoxic response of endothelial cells and identify suppression of hemoglobin expression as an unexpected link between coagulation signaling, preservation of endothelial cell NO bioavailability, support of neovascularization, and prevention of fibrosis.
Magdalena L. Bochenek, Rajinikanth Gogiraju, Stefanie Großmann, Janina Krug, Jennifer Orth, Sabine Reyda, George S. Georgiadis, Henri Spronk, Stavros Konstantinides, Thomas Münzel, John H. Griffin, Philipp S. Wild, Christine Espinola-Klein, Wolfram Ruf, Katrin Schäfer
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