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Abstract

Muscle satellite cells promote regeneration and could potentially improve gene delivery for treating muscular dystrophies. Human satellite cells are scarce; therefore, clinical investigation has been limited. We obtained muscle fiber fragments from skeletal muscle biopsy specimens from adult donors aged 20 to 80 years. Fiber fragments were manually dissected, cultured, and evaluated for expression of myogenesis regulator PAX7. PAX7+ satellite cells were activated and proliferated efficiently in culture. Independent of donor age, as few as 2 to 4 PAX7+ satellite cells gave rise to several thousand myoblasts. Transplantation of human muscle fiber fragments into irradiated muscle of immunodeficient mice resulted in robust engraftment, muscle regeneration, and proper homing of human PAX7+ satellite cells to the stem cell niche. Further, we determined that subjecting the human muscle fiber fragments to hypothermic treatment successfully enriches the cultures for PAX7+ cells and improves the efficacy of the transplantation and muscle regeneration. Finally, we successfully altered gene expression in cultured human PAX7+ satellite cells with Sleeping Beauty transposon–mediated nonviral gene transfer, highlighting the potential of this system for use in gene therapy. Together, these results demonstrate the ability to culture and manipulate a rare population of human tissue-specific stem cells and suggest that these PAX7+ satellite cells have potential to restore gene function in muscular dystrophies.

Authors

Andreas Marg ... Zsuzsanna Izsvák, Simone Spuler

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Abstract

While tumor blood vessels share many characteristics with normal vasculature, they also exhibit morphological and functional aberrancies. For example, the neural adhesion molecule L1, which mediates neurite outgrowth, fasciculation, and pathfinding, is expressed on tumor vasculature. Here, using an orthotopic mouse model of pancreatic carcinoma, we evaluated L1 functionality in cancer vessels. Tumor-bearing mice specifically lacking L1 in endothelial cells or treated with anti-L1 antibodies exhibited decreased angiogenesis and improved vascular stabilization, leading to reduced tumor growth and metastasis. In line with these dramatic effects of L1 on tumor vasculature, the ectopic expression of L1 in cultured endothelial cells (ECs) promoted phenotypical and functional alterations, including proliferation, migration, tubulogenesis, enhanced vascular permeability, and endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition. L1 induced global changes in the EC transcriptome, altering several regulatory networks that underlie endothelial pathophysiology, including JAK/STAT-mediated pathways. In particular, L1 induced IL-6–mediated STAT3 phosphorylation, and inhibition of the IL-6/JAK/STAT signaling axis prevented L1-induced EC proliferation and migration. Evaluation of patient samples revealed that, compared with that in noncancerous tissue, L1 expression is specifically enhanced in blood vessels of human pancreatic carcinomas and in vessels of other tumor types. Together, these data indicate that endothelial L1 orchestrates multiple cancer vessel functions and represents a potential target for tumor vascular-specific therapies.

Authors

Elena Magrini ... Massimiliano Mazzone, Ugo Cavallaro

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Abstract

We previously positionally cloned Sorcs1 as a diabetes quantitative trait locus. Sorcs1 belongs to the Vacuolar protein sorting-10 (Vps10) gene family. In yeast, Vps10 transports enzymes from the trans-Golgi network (TGN) to the vacuole. Whole-body Sorcs1 KO mice, when made obese with the leptinob mutation (ob/ob), developed diabetes. β-Cells from these mice had a severe deficiency of secretory granules (SGs) and insulin. Interestingly, a single secretagogue challenge failed to consistently elicit an insulin secretory dysfunction. However, multiple challenges of the Sorcs1 KO ob/ob islets consistently revealed an insulin secretion defect. The luminal domain of SORCS1 (Lum-Sorcs1), when expressed in a β-cell line, acted as a dominant-negative, leading to SG and insulin deficiency. Using syncollin-dsRed5TIMER adenovirus, we found that the loss of Sorcs1 function greatly impairs the rapid replenishment of SGs following secretagogue challenge. Chronic exposure of islets from lean Sorcs1 KO mice to high glucose and palmitate depleted insulin content and evoked an insulin secretion defect. Thus, in metabolically stressed mice, Sorcs1 is important for SG replenishment, and under chronic challenge by insulin secretagogues, loss of Sorcs1 leads to diabetes. Overexpression of full-length SORCS1 led to a 2-fold increase in SG content, suggesting that SORCS1 is sufficient to promote SG biogenesis.

Authors

Melkam A. Kebede ... Anjon Audhya, Alan D. Attie

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Abstract

Binge eating afflicts approximately 5% of US adults, though effective treatments are limited. Here, we showed that estrogen replacement substantially suppresses binge-like eating behavior in ovariectomized female mice. Estrogen-dependent inhibition of binge-like eating was blocked in female mice specifically lacking estrogen receptor-α (ERα) in serotonin (5-HT) neurons in the dorsal raphe nuclei (DRN). Administration of a recently developed glucagon-like peptide-1–estrogen (GLP-1–estrogen) conjugate designed to deliver estrogen to GLP1 receptor–enhanced regions effectively targeted bioactive estrogens to the DRN and substantially suppressed binge-like eating in ovariectomized female mice. Administration of GLP-1 alone reduced binge-like eating, but not to the same extent as the GLP-1–estrogen conjugate. Administration of ERα-selective agonist propylpyrazole triol (PPT) to murine DRN 5-HT neurons activated these neurons in an ERα-dependent manner. PPT also inhibited a small conductance Ca2+-activated K+ (SK) current; blockade of the SK current prevented PPT-induced activation of DRN 5-HT neurons. Furthermore, local inhibition of the SK current in the DRN markedly suppressed binge-like eating in female mice. Together, our data indicate that estrogens act upon ERα to inhibit the SK current in DRN 5-HT neurons, thereby activating these neurons to suppress binge-like eating behavior and suggest ERα and/or SK current in DRN 5-HT neurons as potential targets for anti-binge therapies.

Authors

Xuehong Cao ... Qingchun Tong, Yong Xu

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Abstract

The NF-κB signaling pathway is implicated in various inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA); therefore, inhibition of this pathway has the potential to ameliorate an array of inflammatory diseases. Given that NF-κB signaling is critical for many immune cell functions, systemic blockade of this pathway may lead to detrimental side effects. siRNAs coupled with a safe and effective delivery nanoplatform may afford the specificity lacking in systemic administration of small-molecule inhibitors. Here we demonstrated that a melittin-derived cationic amphipathic peptide combined with siRNA targeting the p65 subunit of NF-κB (p5RHH-p65) noncovalently self-assemble into stable nanocomplexes that home to the inflamed joints in a murine model of RA. Specifically, administration of p5RHH-p65 siRNA nanocomplexes abrogated inflammatory cytokine expression and cellular influx into the joints, protected against bone erosions, and preserved cartilage integrity. The p5RHH-p65 siRNA nanocomplexes potently suppressed early inflammatory arthritis without affecting p65 expression in off-target organs or eliciting a humoral response after serial injections. These data suggest that this self-assembling, largely nontoxic platform may have broad utility for the specific delivery of siRNA to target and limit inflammatory processes for the treatment of a variety of diseases.

Authors

Hui-fang Zhou ... Samuel A. Wickline, Christine T.N. Pham

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Abstract

Chronic GVHD (cGVHD) is the major cause of late, nonrelapse death following stem cell transplantation and characteristically develops in organs such as skin and lung. Here, we used multiple murine models of cGVHD to investigate the contribution of macrophage populations in the development of cGVHD. Using an established IL-17–dependent sclerodermatous cGVHD model, we confirmed that macrophages infiltrating the skin are derived from donor bone marrow (F4/80+CSF-1R+CD206+iNOS). Cutaneous cGVHD developed in a CSF-1/CSF-1R–dependent manner, as treatment of recipients after transplantation with CSF-1 exacerbated macrophage infiltration and cutaneous pathology. Additionally, recipients of grafts from Csf1r–/– mice had substantially less macrophage infiltration and cutaneous pathology as compared with those receiving wild-type grafts. Neither CCL2/CCR2 nor GM-CSF/GM-CSFR signaling pathways were required for macrophage infiltration or development of cGVHD. In a different cGVHD model, in which bronchiolitis obliterans is a prominent manifestation, F4/80+ macrophage infiltration was similarly noted in the lungs of recipients after transplantation, and lung cGVHD was also IL-17 and CSF-1/CSF-1R dependent. Importantly, depletion of macrophages using an anti–CSF-1R mAb markedly reduced cutaneous and pulmonary cGVHD. Taken together, these data indicate that donor macrophages mediate the development of cGVHD and suggest that targeting CSF-1 signaling after transplantation may prevent and treat cGVHD.

Authors

Kylie A. Alexander ... Geoffrey R. Hill, Kelli P.A. MacDonald

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Abstract

T follicular helper (Tfh) cells contribute to the establishment of humoral immunity by controlling the delivery of helper signals to activated B cells; however, Tfh development must be restrained, as aberrant accumulation of these cells is associated with positive selection of self-reactive germinal center B cells and autoimmunity in both humans and mice. Here, we show that TGF-β signaling in T cells prevented Tfh cell accumulation, self-reactive B cell activation, and autoantibody production. Using mice with either T cell–specific loss or constitutive activation of TGF-β signaling, we demonstrated that TGF-β signaling is required for the thymic maturation of CD44+CD122+Ly49+CD8+ regulatory T cells (Tregs), which induce Tfh apoptosis and thus regulate this cell population. Moreover, peripheral Tfh cells escaping TGF-β control were resistant to apoptosis, exhibited high levels of the antiapoptotic protein BCL2, and remained refractory to regulation by CD8+ Tregs. The unrestrained accumulation of Tfh cells in the absence of TGF-β was dependent on T cell receptor engagement and required B cells. Together, these data indicate that TGF-β signaling restrains Tfh cell accumulation and B cell–associated autoimmunity and thereby controls self-tolerance.

Authors

Mark J. McCarron, Julien C. Marie

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Abstract

Calcium signaling is critical for lymphocyte function, and intracellular Ca2+ concentrations are regulated by store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) through Ca2+ release–activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channels. In patients, loss-of-function mutations in CRAC channel components ORAI1 and STIM1 abolish SOCE and are associated with recurrent and chronic viral infections. Here, using mice with conditional deletion of Stim1 and its homolog Stim2 in T cells, we determined that both components are required for the maintenance of virus-specific memory CD8+ T cells and recall responses following secondary infection. In the absence of STIM1 and STIM2, acute viral infections became chronic. Early during infection, STIM1 and STIM2 were required for the differentiation of naive CD8+ T cells into fully functional cytolytic effector cells and mediated the production of cytokines and prevented cellular exhaustion in viral-specific CD8+ effector T cells. Importantly, memory and recall responses by CD8+ T cells required expression of STIM1 and STIM2 in CD4+ T cells. CD4+ T cells lacking STIM1 and STIM2 were unable to provide “help” to CD8+ T cells due to aberrant regulation of CD40L expression. Together, our data indicate that STIM1, STIM2, and CRAC channel function play distinct but synergistic roles in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells during antiviral immunity.

Authors

Patrick J. Shaw, Carl Weidinger, Martin Vaeth, Kevin Luethy, Susan M. Kaech, Stefan Feske

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Abstract

BACKGROUND. Anemia, or low blood hemoglobin (Hgb) levels, afflicts 2 billion people worldwide. Currently, Hgb levels are typically measured from blood samples using hematology analyzers, which are housed in hospitals, clinics, or commercial laboratories and require skilled technicians to operate. A reliable, inexpensive point-of-care (POC) Hgb test would enable cost-effective anemia screening and chronically anemic patients to self-monitor their disease. We present a rapid, stand-alone, and disposable POC anemia test that, via a single drop of blood, outputs color-based visual results that correlate with Hgb levels.

METHODS. We tested blood from 238 pediatric and adult patients with anemia of varying degrees and etiologies and compared hematology analyzer Hgb levels with POC Hgb levels, which were estimated via visual interpretation using a color scale and an optional smartphone app for automated analysis.

RESULTS. POC Hgb levels correlated with hematology analyzer Hgb levels (r = 0.864 and r = 0.856 for visual interpretation and smartphone app, respectively), and both POC test methods yielded comparable sensitivity and specificity for detecting any anemia (n = 178) (<11 g/dl) (sensitivity: 90.2% and 91.1%, specificity: 83.7% and 79.2%, respectively) and severe anemia (n = 10) (<7 g/dl) (sensitivity: 90.0% and 100%, specificity: 94.6% and 93.9%, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS. These results demonstrate the feasibility of this POC color-based diagnostic test for self-screening/self-monitoring of anemia.

TRIAL REGISTRATION. Not applicable.

FUNDING. This work was funded by the FDA-funded Atlantic Pediatric Device Consortium, the Georgia Research Alliance, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the Georgia Center of Innovation for Manufacturing, and the InVenture Prize and Ideas to Serve competitions at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Authors

Erika A. Tyburski ... L. Andrew Lyon, Wilbur A. Lam

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Abstract

The transport and intracellular trafficking of heme biosynthesis intermediates are crucial for hemoglobin production, which is a critical process in developing red cells. Here, we profiled gene expression in terminally differentiating murine fetal liver-derived erythroid cells to identify regulators of heme metabolism. We determined that TMEM14C, an inner mitochondrial membrane protein that is enriched in vertebrate hematopoietic tissues, is essential for erythropoiesis and heme synthesis in vivo and in cultured erythroid cells. In mice, TMEM14C deficiency resulted in porphyrin accumulation in the fetal liver, erythroid maturation arrest, and embryonic lethality due to profound anemia. Protoporphyrin IX synthesis in TMEM14C-deficient erythroid cells was blocked, leading to an accumulation of porphyrin precursors. The heme synthesis defect in TMEM14C-deficient cells was ameliorated with a protoporphyrin IX analog, indicating that TMEM14C primarily functions in the terminal steps of the heme synthesis pathway. Together, our data demonstrate that TMEM14C facilitates the import of protoporphyrinogen IX into the mitochondrial matrix for heme synthesis and subsequent hemoglobin production. Furthermore, the identification of TMEM14C as a protoporphyrinogen IX importer provides a genetic tool for further exploring erythropoiesis and congenital anemias.

Authors

Yvette Y. Yien ... Luanne L. Peters, Barry H. Paw

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Abstract

Male germline or spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) are conserved across many species and essential for uninterrupted production of sperm over long periods of reproductive life span. A better understanding of SSC biology provides limitless opportunities in male reproductive health, fertility preservation, and regenerative medicine. Although several potential markers define SSCs, not many definitive markers exist that are specific for a rare subset of SSCs that self-renew and have the ability to give rise to other progenitors, eventually contributing to all stages of spermatogenesis. In this issue of the JCI, Aloisio and colleagues report that PAX7 is a new marker expressed uniquely in a rare subset of SSCs in mouse testes. PAX7+ cells fulfill all the criteria required for bona fide SSCs. Surprisingly, male germline-specific deletion of Pax7 indicates that it is dispensable for spermatogenesis.

Authors

T. Rajendra Kumar

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August 2014


124-8-cover

August 2014 Issue

On the cover:
Incorporating red blood cells in clots

The cover artwork depicts factor XIII, fibrinogen, and red blood cells (rbc) in a clot. On page 3590, Aleman et al. provide evidence that factor XIII plays an active role in recruiting rbc during clot formation. Their study reveals that fibrinogen residues near the factor XIII–binding site are critical for factor XIII activation and further demonstrates that blocking factor XIII activation reduces rbc content of clots. Their work suggests that targeting factor XIII could be an attractive strategy for modulating clot formation. Image credit: Ash Conrad.

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Jci_impact_2014_08

August 2014 Impact

JCI Impact is a digest of the research, reviews, and other features published in each month's issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Review Series - More

Review_series_86
Nephrology
Series edited by John R. Sedor

Nephrology encompasses the study of normal kidney function, kidney disease, and kidney replacement therapy, including kidney transplantation and dialysis. Kidney diseases are a serious public health problem, with nearly 12% of American adults suffering from chronic kidney disease (CKD). Importantly, kidney dysfunction is associated with the increasingly common conditions of obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. Recent technological advances, including genetic and epigenetic screens, metabolic profiling, new model systems, and the use of kidney biopsies for diagnosis and treatment, have created new avenues for the study of kidney pathology. Reviews in this series provide a survey of kidney pathogenesis, including hypertension, diabetic kidney disease, IgA nephropathy, idiopathic membranous nephropathy, acute kidney injury, fibrosis, and mechanisms mediating graft failure after transplantation.

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