In the United States, poison ivy exposure is the most common naturally occurring allergen to cause allergic contact dermatitis (ACD). The immune and pruritic mechanisms associated with poison ivy ACD remain largely unexplored. Here, we compared skin whole transcriptomes and itch mediator levels in mouse ACD models induced by the poison ivy allergen, urushiol, and the synthetic allergen, oxazolone. The urushiol model produced a Th2-biased immune response and scratching behavior, resembling findings in poison ivy patients. Urushiol-challenged skin contained elevated levels of the cytokine thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), a T-cell regulator and itch mediator, and pruritogenic serotonin (5-HT) and endothelin (ET-1), but not substance P (SP) or histamine. The oxazolone model generated a mixed Th1/Th2 response associated with increased levels of substance P, 5-HT, ET-1, but not TSLP or histamine. Injections of a TSLP monoclonal neutralizing antibody, serotonergic or endothelin inhibitors, but not SP inhibitors or antihistamines, reduced scratching behaviors in urushiol-challenged mice. Our findings suggest that the mouse urushiol model may serve as a translational model of human poison ivy ACD study. Inhibiting signaling by TSLP and other cytokines may represent alternatives to the standard steroid/antihistamine regimen for steroid-resistant or -intolerant patients and in exaggerated systemic responses to poison ivy.
Boyi Liu, Yan Tai, Boyu Liu, Ana I. Caceres, Chengyu Yin, Sven-Eric Jordt
Airway neutrophilia occurs in approximately 50% of patients with asthma and is associated with particularly severe disease. Unfortunately, this form of asthma is usually refractory to corticosteroid treatment, and there is an unmet need for new therapies. Pulmonary neutrophilic inflammation is associated with Th17 cells, whose differentiation is controlled by the nuclear receptor, RORγt. Here, we tested whether VTP-938, a selective inverse agonist of this receptor, can reduce disease parameters in animal models of neutrophilic asthma. When administered prior to allergic sensitization through the airway, the RORγt inverse agonist blunted allergen-specific Th17 cell development in lung-draining lymph nodes and attenuated allergen-induced production of IL-17. VTP-938 also reduced pulmonary production of IL-17 and airway neutrophilia when given during the allergen challenge of the model. Finally, in an environmentally relevant model of allergic responses to house dust extracts, VTP-938 suppressed production of IL-17 and neutrophilic inflammation, and also markedly diminished airway hyperresponsiveness. Together, these findings suggest that orally available inverse agonists of RORγt might provide an effective therapy to treat glucocorticoid-resistant neutrophilic asthma.
Gregory S. Whitehead, Hong Soon Kang, Seddon Y. Thomas, Alexander Medvedev, Tadeusz P. Karcz, Gentaro Izumi, Keiko Nakano, Sergei S. Makarov, Hideki Nakano, Anton M. Jetten, Donald N. Cook
Mutations in BSCL2 gene underlie human type 2 Berardinelli-Seip Congenital Lipodystrophy (BSCL2) disease. Global Bscl2−/− mice recapitulate human BSCL2 lipodystrophy and develop insulin resistance and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The pathological mechanisms underlying the development of lipodystrophy and cardiomyopathy in BSCL2 are controversial. Here we report that Bscl2−/− mice develop cardiac hypertrophy due to increased basal IGF1 receptor (IGF1R)-mediated PI3K/AKT signaling. Bscl2−/− hearts exhibited increased adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) protein stability and expression causing drastic reduction of glycerolipids. Excessive fatty acid oxidation was overt in Bscl2−/− hearts, partially attributing to the hyperacetylation of cardiac mitochondrial proteins. Intriguingly, pharmacological inhibition or genetic inactivation of ATGL could rescue adipocyte differentiation and lipodystrophy in Bscl2−/− cells and mice. Restoring a small portion of fat mass by ATGL partial deletion in Bscl2−/− mice not only reversed the systemic insulin resistance, but also ameliorated cardiac protein hyperacetylation, normalized cardiac substrate metabolism and improved contractile function. Collectively, our study uncovers novel pathways underlying lipodystrophy-induced cardiac hypertrophy and metabolic remodeling and pinpoints ATGL as a downstream target of BSCL2 in regulating the development of lipodystrophy and its associated cardiomyopathy.
Hongyi Zhou, Xinnuo Lei, Yun Yan, Todd Lydic, Jie Li, Neal L. Weintraub, Huabo Su, Weiqin Chen
Progression of fibrosis and the development of cirrhosis are responsible for the liver related morbidity and mortality associated with chronic liver diseases. There is currently a great unmet need for effective anti-fibrotic strategies. Stem cells play a central role in wound healing responses to restore liver homeostasis following injury. Here we tested the hypothesis that extracellular vesicles (EVs) isolated from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) modulate hepatic stellate cell (HSCs) activation and may have anti-fibrotic effects. Human iPSCs were generated by reprogramming primary skin fibroblasts. EVs were isolated by differential centrifugation, quantified by flow cytometry (FACS) and characterized by dynamic light scattering (DLS) and electron microscopy (TEM). Primary human HSCs were activated with TGFβ (10 ng/mL) and exposed to iPSC-EVs. Efficacy of iPSC-EVs was tested on HSC in vitro and in two murine models of liver injury (CCl4 and bile duct ligation). Characterization of iPSC-derived EVs by flow cytometry identified a large population of EVs released by iPSC, primarily with a diameter of 300 nm and that could be visualized by TEM as round, cup-shaped objects. Fluorescent tracing assays detected iPSC-EVs in HSC cytosol after a short incubation and EV uptake by HSCs resulted in both decrease of pro-fibrogenic markers αSMA, CollagenIα1, Fibronectin and TIMP-1 and HSC pro-fibrogenic responses such as chemotaxis and proliferation. Genomics analyses of iPSC-EV miRNA cargo revealed 22 highly expressed miRNAs, among which miR-92a-3p resulted the most abundant. Transcriptome analysis identified 60 genes down-modulated and 235 up-regulated in TGF-β-primed HSC in presence or absence of iPSC-EVs. Intravenous injection of iPSC-EVs in CCl4 and bile duct ligation-induced liver fibrosis resulted in anti-fibrotic effects at protein and gene levels. Results of this study identify iPSC-EVs as a novel anti-fibrotic approach that may reduce or reverse liver fibrosis in patients with chronic liver disease.
Davide Povero, Eva M. Pinatel, Aleksandra Leszczynska, Nidhi P. Goyal, Takahiro Nishio, Jihoon Kim, David Kneiber, Lucas de Araujo Horcel, Akiko Eguchi, Paulina M. Ordonez, Tatiana Kisseleva, Ariel E. Feldstein
Tuberculosis patients and mice infected with live Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) accumulate high numbers of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). Here, we hypothesized that also dead Mtb vaccines may induce MDSCs that could impair the efficacy of vaccination. We found that repeated injections of Mtb vaccines (heat-killed Mtb in Incomplete Freund's Adjuvant, like Montanide) but not single or control vaccines without Mtb strongly expanded CD11b+ myeloid cells in the spleen, that suppressed T cell proliferation and killing ex vivo. Dead Mtb vaccination induced the generation of CD11b+ Ly-6Chigh CD115+ iNOS/Nos2+ monocytic MDSCs (M-MDSCs) upon application of inflammatory or microbial activation signals. In vivo these M-MDSCs positioned strategically in the spleen by infiltrating the splenic bridging channels and white pulp areas. Notably, within 6 to 24 hours in a Nos2-dependent fashion they produced NO to rapidly kill conventional and plasmacytoid dendritic cells (cDCs, pDCs) while, surprisingly, sparing T cells in vivo. Thus, we demonstrate that Mtb vaccine induced M-MDSCs to not directly suppress T cell in vivo but, instead, M-MDSCs directly target DC subpopulations thereby indirectly suppressing effector T cell responses. Collectively, we demonstrate that Mtb booster vaccines induce M-MDSCs in the spleen that can be activated to kill DCs cautioning to thoroughly investigate MDSC formation in individuals after Mtb vaccination in clinical trials.
Eliana Ribechini, Ina Eckert, Andreas Beilhack, Nelita Du Plessis, Gerhard Walzl, Ulrike Schleicher, Uwe Ritter, Manfred B. Lutz
Whereas prior studies have demonstrated an important immunomodulatory role for the neuronal cholinergic system in the heart, the role of the non-neuronal cholinergic system is not well understood. To address the immunomodulatory role of the non-neuronal cholinergic system in the heart we used a previously validated diphtheria toxin (DT)-induced cardiomyocyte ablation model (Rosa26-DTMlc2v-Cre mice). DT-injected Rosa26-DTMlc2v-Cre mice were treated with diluent or Pyridostigmine Bromide (PYR), a reversible cholinesterase inhibitor. PYR treatment resulted in increased survival and decreased numbers of MHC-IIlowCCR2+ macrophages in DT-injected Rosa26-DTMlc2v-Cre mice compared to diluent treated Rosa26-DTMlc2v-Cre mice. Importantly, the expression of CCL2/7 mRNA and protein was reduced in the hearts of PYR-treated mice. Backcrossing Rosa26-DTMlc2v-Cre mice with a transgenic mouse line (Chat-ChR2) that constitutively overexpresses the vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT) resulted in decreased expression of Ccl2/7 mRNA and decreased numbers of CD68+ cells in DT-injured Rosa26-DTMlc2v-Cre/Chat-ChR2 mouse hearts, consistent with the pharmacologic studies with PYR. In vitro studies with cultures of LPS-stimulated peritoneal macrophages revealed a concentration-dependent reduction in CCL2 secretion following stimulation with ACh, nicotine and muscarine. Viewed together, these findings reveal a previously unappreciated immunomodulatory role for the non-neuronal cholinergic system in regulating homeostatic responses in the heart following tissue injury.
Cibele Rocha-Resende, Carla Weinheimer, Geetika Bajpai, Luigi Adamo, Scot J. Matkovich, Joel Schilling, Philip M. Barger, Kory J. Lavine, Douglas L. Mann
Excess dietary salt contributes to inflammation and hypertension via poorly understood mechanisms. Antigen presenting cells including dendritic cells (DCs) play a key role in regulating intestinal immune homeostasis in part by surveying the gut epithelial surface for pathogens. Previously, we found that highly reactive γ-ketoaldehydes or isolevuglandins (IsoLGs) accumulate in DCs and act as neoantigens, promoting an autoimmune-like state and hypertension. We hypothesized that excess dietary salt alters the gut microbiome leading to hypertension and this is associated with increased immunogenic IsoLG-adduct formation in myeloid antigen presenting cells. To test this hypothesis, we performed fecal microbiome analysis and measured blood pressure of healthy human volunteers with salt intake above or below the American Heart Association recommendations. We also performed 16S rRNA analysis on cecal samples of mice fed normal or high salt diets. In humans and mice, high salt intake was associated with changes in the gut microbiome reflecting an increase in Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and genus Prevotella bacteria. These alterations were associated with higher blood pressure in humans and predisposed mice to vascular inflammation and hypertension in response to a sub-pressor dose of angiotensin II. Mice fed a high salt diet exhibited increased intestinal inflammation including the mesenteric arterial arcade and aorta, with a marked increase in the B7 ligand CD86 and formation of IsoLG-protein adducts in CD11c+ myeloid cells. Adoptive transfer of fecal material from conventionally housed high salt-fed mice to germ-free mice predisposed them to increased intestinal inflammation and hypertension. These findings provide novel insight into the mechanisms underlying inflammation and hypertension associated with excess dietary salt and may lead to interventions targeting the microbiome to prevent and treat this important disease.
Jane F. Ferguson, Luul A. Aden, Natalia R. Barbaro, Justin P. Van Beusecum, Liang Xiao, Alan J. Simmons, Cassandra Warden, Lejla Pasic, Lauren E. Himmel, Mary K. Washington, Frank L. Revetta, Shilin Zhao, Shivani Kumaresan, Matthew B. Scholz, Zhengzheng Tang, Guanhua Chen, Muredach P. Reilly, Annet Kirabo
Sex-based differences influence incidence and outcome of infectious disease. Women have a significantly greater incidence of urinary tract infection (UTI) than men, yet, conversely, male UTI is more persistent with greater associated morbidity. Mechanisms underlying these sex-based differences are unknown, in part due to a lack of experimental models. We optimized a model to transurethrally infect male mice and directly compared UTI in both sexes. Although both sexes were initially equally colonized by uropathogenic E. coli, only male and testosterone-treated female mice remained chronically infected for up to 4 weeks. Female mice had more robust innate responses, including higher IL-17 expression, and increased γδ T cells and group 3 innate lymphoid cells in the bladder following infection. Accordingly, neutralizing IL-17 abolished resolution in female mice, identifying a cytokine pathway necessary for bacterial clearance. Our findings support the concept that sex-based responses to UTI contribute to impaired innate immunity in males and provide a rationale for non-antibiotic-based immune targeting to improve the response to UTI.
Anna Zychlinsky Scharff, Matthieu Rousseau, Livia Lacerda Mariano, Tracy Canton, Camila Rosat Consiglio, Matthew L. Albert, Magnus Fontes, Darragh Duffy, Molly A. Ingersoll
The Mitochondrial Pyruvate Carrier (MPC) occupies a central metabolic node by transporting cytosolic pyruvate into the mitochondrial matrix and linking glycolysis with mitochondrial metabolism. Two reported human MPC1 mutations cause developmental abnormalities, neurological problems, metabolic deficits, and for one patient, early death. We aimed to understand biochemical mechanisms by which the human patient C289T and T236A MPC1 alleles disrupt MPC function. MPC1 C289T encodes two protein variants, a mis-spliced, truncation mutant (A58G) and a full length point mutant (R97W). MPC1 T236A encodes a full length point mutant (L79H). Using human patient fibroblasts and complementation of CRISPR-deleted, MPC1 null mouse C2C12 cells, we investigated how MPC1 mutations cause MPC deficiency. Truncated MPC1 A58G protein was intrinsically unstable and failed to form MPC complexes. The MPC1 R97W protein was less stable but when overexpressed formed complexes with MPC2 that retained pyruvate transport activity. Conversely, MPC1 L79H protein formed stable complexes with MPC2, but these complexes failed to transport pyruvate. These findings inform MPC structure-function relationships and delineate three distinct biochemical pathologies resulting from two human patient MPC1 mutations. They also illustrate an efficient gene pass-through system for mechanistically investigating human inborn errors in pyruvate metabolism.
Lalita Oonthonpan, Adam J. Rauckhorst, Lawrence R. Gray, Audrey C. Boutron, Eric B. Taylor
Parkinson’s is primarily a non-familial, age-related disorder caused by α-synuclein accumulation and the progressive loss of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc). G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR)-cAMP signaling has been linked to a reduction in human Parkinson’s incidence and α-synuclein expression. Neuronal cAMP levels are controlled by GPCRs coupled to Gs or Gi/o, which increase or decrease cAMP, respectively. Regulator of G protein signaling 6 (RGS6) powerfully inhibits Gi/o signaling. Therefore, we hypothesized that RGS6 suppresses D2 autoreceptor- Gi/o signaling in SNc dopamine neurons promoting neuronal survival and reducing α-synuclein expression. Here we provide novel evidence that RGS6 critically suppresses late-age-onset SNc dopamine neuron loss and α-synuclein accumulation. RGS6 is restrictively expressed in human SNc dopamine neurons and, despite their loss in Parkinson’s, all surviving neurons express RGS6. RGS6-/- mice exhibit hyperactive D2 autoreceptors with reduced cAMP signaling in SNc dopamine neurons. Importantly, RGS6-/- mice recapitulate key sporadic Parkinson’s hallmarks, including: SNc dopamine neuron loss, reduced nigrostriatal dopamine, motor deficits, and α-synuclein accumulation. To our knowledge, Rgs6 is the only gene whose loss phenocopies these features of human Parkinson’s. Therefore, RGS6 is a key regulator of D2R-Gi/o signaling in SNc dopamine neurons, protecting against Parkinson’s neurodegeneration and α-synuclein accumulation.
Zili Luo, Katelin E. Ahlers-Dannen, Mackenzie M. Spicer, Jianqi Yang, Stephanie Alberico, Hanna E. Stevens, Nandakumar S. Narayanan, Rory A. Fisher
No posts were found with this tag.