Review

Abstract

Critical periods are discrete developmental stages when the nervous system is especially sensitive to stimuli that facilitate circuit maturation. The distinctive landscapes assumed by the developing CNS create analogous periods of susceptibility to pathogenic insults and responsiveness to therapy. Here, we review critical periods in nervous system development and disease, with an emphasis on the neurodevelopmental disorder DYT1 dystonia. We highlight clinical and laboratory observations supporting the existence of a critical period during which the DYT1 mutation is uniquely harmful, and the implications for future therapeutic development.

Authors

Jay Li, Sumin Kim, Samuel S. Pappas, William T. Dauer

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Abstract

Obesity and obesity-related diseases like type 2 diabetes (T2D) are prominent global health issues; therefore, there is a need to better understand the mechanisms underlying these conditions. The onset of obesity is characterized by accumulation of proinflammatory cells, including Ly6chi monocytes (which differentiate into proinflammatory macrophages) and neutrophils, in metabolic tissues. This shift toward chronic, low-grade inflammation is an obese-state hallmark and highly linked to metabolic disorders and other obesity comorbidities. The mechanisms that induce and maintain increased inflammatory myelopoiesis are of great interest, with a recent focus on how obesity affects more primitive hematopoietic cells. The hematopoietic system is constantly replenished by proper regulation of hematopoietic stem and progenitor (HSPC) pools in the BM. While early research suggests that chronic obesity promotes expansion of myeloid-skewed HSPCs, the involvement of the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niche in regulating obesity-induced myelopoiesis remains undefined. In this review, we explore the role of the multicellular HSC niche in hematopoiesis and inflammation, and the potential contribution of this niche to the hematopoietic response to obesity. This review further aims to summarize the potential HSC niche involvement as a target of obesity-induced inflammation and a driver of obesity-induced myelopoiesis.

Authors

Emily Bowers, Kanakadurga Singer

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Abstract

RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) are essential factors required for the physiological function of neurons, muscle, and other tissue types. In keeping with this, a growing body of genetic, clinical, and pathological evidence indicates that RBP dysfunction and/or gene mutation leads to neurodegeneration and myopathy. Here, we summarize the current understanding of matrin 3 (MATR3), a poorly understood RBP implicated not only in ALS and frontotemporal dementia but also in distal myopathy. We begin by reviewing MATR3’s functions, its regulation, and how it may be involved in both sporadic and familial neuromuscular disease. We also discuss insights gleaned from cellular and animal models of MATR3 pathogenesis, the links between MATR3 and other disease-associated RBPs, and the mechanisms underlying RBP-mediated disorders.

Authors

Ahmed M. Malik, Sami J. Barmada

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Abstract

The skin serves as the primary interface between our body and the external environment and acts as a barrier against entry of physical agents, chemicals, and microbes. Keratinocytes make up the main cellular constitute of the outermost layer of the skin, contributing to the formation of the epidermis, and they are crucial for maintaining the integrity of this barrier. Beyond serving as a physical barrier component, keratinocytes actively participate in maintaining tissue homeostasis, shaping, amplifying, and regulating immune responses in skin. Keratinocytes act as sentinels, continuously monitoring changes in the environment, and, through microbial sensing, stretch, or other physical stimuli, can initiate a broad range of inflammatory responses via secretion of various cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors. This diverse function of keratinocytes contributes to the highly variable clinical manifestation of skin immune responses. In this Review, we highlight the highly diverse functions of epidermal keratinocytes and their contribution to various immune-mediated skin diseases.

Authors

Yanyun Jiang, Lam C. Tsoi, Allison C. Billi, Nicole L. Ward, Paul W. Harms, Chang Zeng, Emanual Maverakis, J. Michelle Kahlenberg, Johann E. Gudjonsson

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Abstract

COVID-19, the disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has resulted in a global pandemic and a disruptive health crisis. COVID-19-related morbidity and mortality has been attributed to an exaggerated immune response. The role of complement activation and its contribution to illness severity is being increasingly recognized. Here, we summarize current knowledge about the interaction of coronaviruses with the complement system. We posit that: (a) coronaviruses activate multiple complement pathways; (b) severe COVID-19 clinical features often resemble complementopathies; (c) the combined effects of complement activation, dysregulated neutrophilia, endothelial injury, and hypercoagulability appear to be intertwined to drive the severe features of COVID-19; (d) a subset of patients with COVID-19 may have a genetic predisposition associated with complement dysregulation; and (e) these observations create a basis for clinical trials of complement inhibitors in life-threatening illness.

Authors

Anuja Java, Anthony J. Apicelli, M. Kathryn Liszewski, Ariella Coler-Reilly, John P. Atkinson, Alfred H.J. Kim, Hrishikesh S. Kulkarni

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Abstract

Recent large-scale GWAS and large epidemiologic studies have accelerated the discovery of genes and environmental factors that contribute to the risk of keratinocyte carcinoma (KC), which includes basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). This Review summarizes the genomic regions associated with SCC and BCC risk, examines the genetic overlap between SCC and BCC, and discusses biological pathways involved in SCC and BCC development. Next, we review environmental factors that are associated with KC risk, including those that are shared between SCC and BCC as well as others that associated with only one type of KC. We conclude with a critical appraisal of current research and potential directions for future research.

Authors

Hélène Choquet, Sepideh Ashrafzadeh, Yuhree Kim, Maryam M. Asgari, Eric Jorgenson

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Abstract

Protection from relapse after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is partly due to donor T cell–mediated graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) immune responses. Relapse remains common in HCT recipients, but strategies to augment GVL could significantly improve outcomes after HCT. Donor T cells with αβ T cell receptors (TCRs) mediate GVL through recognition of minor histocompatibility antigens and alloantigens in HLA-matched and -mismatched HCT, respectively. αβ T cells specific for other leukemia-associated antigens, including nonpolymorphic antigens and neoantigens, may also deliver an antileukemic effect. γδ T cells may contribute to GVL, although their biology and specificity are less well understood. Vaccination or adoptive transfer of donor-derived T cells with natural or transgenic receptors are strategies with potential to selectively enhance αβ and γδ T cell GVL effects.

Authors

Melinda A. Biernacki, Vipul S. Sheth, Marie Bleakley

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Abstract

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) is an autoimmune disease of the peripheral nerves that presents with either chronic progression or relapsing disease. Recent studies in samples from patients with CIDP and mouse models have delineated how defects in central (thymic) and peripheral (extrathymic) immune tolerance mechanisms can cause PNS autoimmunity. Notably, nerve parenchymal cells actively contribute to local autoimmunity and also control disease outcome. Here, we outline how emerging technologies increasingly enable an integrated view of how immune cells and PNS parenchymal cells communicate in CIDP. We also relate the known heterogeneity of clinical presentation with specific underlying mechanisms. For example, a severe subtype of CIDP with tremor is associated with pathogenic IgG4 autoantibodies against nodal and paranodal proteins. An improved understanding of pathogenic mechanisms in CIDP will form the basis for more effective mechanism-based therapies.

Authors

Jolien Wolbert, Mandy I. Cheng, Gerd Meyer zu Horste, Maureen A. Su

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Abstract

Iron is an essential element for multiple fundamental biological processes required for life; yet iron overload can be cytotoxic. Consequently, iron concentrations at the cellular and tissue level must be exquisitely governed by mechanisms that complement and fine-tune systemic control. It is well appreciated that macrophages are vital for systemic iron homeostasis, supplying or sequestering iron as needed for erythropoiesis or bacteriostasis, respectively. Indeed, recycling of iron through erythrophagocytosis by splenic macrophages is a major contributor to systemic iron homeostasis. However, accumulating evidence suggests that tissue-resident macrophages regulate local iron availability and modulate the tissue microenvironment, contributing to cellular and tissue function. Here, we summarize the significance of tissue-specific regulation of iron availability and highlight how resident macrophages are critical for this process. This tissue-dependent regulation has broad implications for understanding both resident macrophage function and tissue iron homeostasis in health and disease.

Authors

Nathan C. Winn, Katrina M. Volk, Alyssa H. Hasty

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Abstract

Recent discoveries demonstrate a critical role for circadian rhythms and sleep in immune system homeostasis. Both innate and adaptive immune responses — ranging from leukocyte mobilization, trafficking, and chemotaxis to cytokine release and T cell differentiation —are mediated in a time of day–dependent manner. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently sponsored an interdisciplinary workshop, “Sleep Insufficiency, Circadian Misalignment, and the Immune Response,” to highlight new research linking sleep and circadian biology to immune function and to identify areas of high translational potential. This Review summarizes topics discussed and highlights immediate opportunities for delineating clinically relevant connections among biological rhythms, sleep, and immune regulation.

Authors

Jeffrey A. Haspel, Ron Anafi, Marishka K. Brown, Nicolas Cermakian, Christopher Depner, Paula Desplats, Andrew E. Gelman, Monika Haack, Sanja Jelic, Brian S. Kim, Aaron D. Laposky, Yvonne C. Lee, Emmanuel Mongodin, Aric A. Prather, Brian Prendergast, Colin Reardon, Albert C. Shaw, Shaon Sengupta, Éva Szentirmai, Mahesh Thakkar, Wendy E. Walker, Laura A. Solt

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