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Abstract

Cigarette smoke (CS) and viruses promote the inflammation and remodeling associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The MAVS/RIG-I–like helicase (MAVS/RLH) pathway and inflammasome-dependent innate immune pathways are important mediators of these responses. At baseline, the MAVS/RLH pathway is suppressed, and this inhibition must be reversed to engender tissue effects; however, the mechanisms that mediate activation and repression of the pathway have not been defined. In addition, the regulation and contribution of MAVS/RLH signaling in CS-induced inflammation and remodeling responses and in the development of human COPD remain unaddressed. Here, we demonstrate that expression of NLRX1, which inhibits the MAVS/RLH pathway and regulates other innate immune responses, was markedly decreased in 3 independent cohorts of COPD patients. NLRX1 suppression correlated directly with disease severity and inversely with pulmonary function, quality of life, and prognosis. In murine models, CS inhibited NLRX1, and CS-induced inflammation, alveolar destruction, protease induction, structural cell apoptosis, and inflammasome activation were augmented in NLRX1-deficient animals. Conversely, MAVS deficiency abrogated this CS-induced inflammation and remodeling. Restoration of NLRX1 in CS-exposed animals ameliorated alveolar destruction. These data support a model in which CS-dependent NLRX1 inhibition facilitates MAVS/RHL activation and subsequent inflammation, remodeling, protease, cell death, and inflammasome responses.

Authors

Min-Jong Kang ... Yeon-Mok Oh, Jack A. Elias

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Abstract

Epidemiological studies show that patients with type-2-diabetes (T2DM) and individuals with a diabetes-independent elevation in blood glucose have an increased risk for developing dementia, specifically dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). These observations suggest that abnormal glucose metabolism likely plays a role in some aspects of AD pathogenesis, leading us to investigate the link between aberrant glucose metabolism, T2DM, and AD in murine models. Here, we combined two techniques — glucose clamps and in vivo microdialysis — as a means to dynamically modulate blood glucose levels in awake, freely moving mice while measuring real-time changes in amyloid-β (Aβ), glucose, and lactate within the hippocampal interstitial fluid (ISF). In a murine model of AD, induction of acute hyperglycemia in young animals increased ISF Aβ production and ISF lactate, which serves as a marker of neuronal activity. These effects were exacerbated in aged AD mice with marked Aβ plaque pathology. Inward rectifying, ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels mediated the response to elevated glucose levels, as pharmacological manipulation of KATP channels in the hippocampus altered both ISF Aβ levels and neuronal activity. Taken together, these results suggest that KATP channel activation mediates the response of hippocampal neurons to hyperglycemia by coupling metabolism with neuronal activity and ISF Aβ levels.

Authors

Shannon L. Macauley ... Courtney L. Sutphen, David M. Holtzman

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Abstract

Cyclic dinucleotides (CDNs) are agonists of stimulator of IFN genes (STING) and have potential as vaccine adjuvants. However, cyclic di-GMP (cdGMP) injected s.c. shows minimal uptake into lymphatics/draining lymph nodes (dLNs) and instead is rapidly distributed to the bloodstream, leading to systemic inflammation. Here, we encapsulated cdGMP within PEGylated lipid nanoparticles (NP-cdGMP) to redirect this adjuvant to dLNs. Compared with unformulated CDNs, encapsulation blocked systemic dissemination and markedly enhanced dLN accumulation in murine models. Delivery of NP-cdGMP increased CD8+ T cell responses primed by peptide vaccines and enhanced therapeutic antitumor immunity. A combination of a poorly immunogenic liposomal HIV gp41 peptide antigen and NP-cdGMP robustly induced type I IFN in dLNs, induced a greater expansion of vaccine-specific CD4+ T cells, and greatly increased germinal center B cell differentiation in dLNs compared with a combination of liposomal HIV gp41 and soluble CDN. Further, NP-cdGMP promoted durable antibody titers that were substantially higher than those promoted by the well-studied TLR agonist monophosphoryl lipid A and comparable to a much larger dose of unformulated cdGMP, without the systemic toxicity of the latter. These results demonstrate that nanoparticulate delivery safely targets CDNs to the dLNs and enhances the efficacy of this adjuvant. Moreover, this approach can be broadly applied to other small-molecule immunomodulators of interest for vaccines and immunotherapy.

Authors

Melissa C. Hanson ... Stefanie Mueller, Darrell J. Irvine

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Abstract

Chronic infections induce a complex immune response that controls pathogen replication, but also causes pathology due to sustained inflammation. Ca2+ influx mediates T cell function and immunity to infection, and patients with inherited mutations in the gene encoding the Ca2+ channel ORAI1 or its activator stromal interaction molecule 1 (STIM1) are immunodeficient and prone to chronic infection by various pathogens, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). Here, we demonstrate that STIM1 is required for T cell–mediated immune regulation during chronic Mtb infection. Compared with WT animals, mice with T cell–specific Stim1 deletion died prematurely during the chronic phase of infection and had increased bacterial burdens and severe pulmonary inflammation, with increased myeloid and lymphoid cell infiltration. Although STIM1-deficient T cells exhibited markedly reduced IFN-γ production during the early phase of Mtb infection, bacterial growth was not immediately exacerbated. During the chronic phase, however, STIM1-deficient T cells displayed enhanced IFN-γ production in response to elevated levels of IL-12 and IL-18. The lack of STIM1 in T cells was associated with impaired activation-induced cell death upon repeated TCR engagement and pulmonary lymphocytosis and hyperinflammation in Mtb-infected mice. Chronically Mtb-infected, STIM1-deficient mice had reduced levels of inducible regulatory T cells (iTregs) due to a T cell–intrinsic requirement for STIM1 in iTreg differentiation and excessive production of IFN-γ and IL-12, which suppress iTreg differentiation and maintenance. Thus, STIM1 controls multiple aspects of T cell–mediated immune regulation to limit injurious inflammation during chronic infection.

Authors

Ludovic Desvignes ... Joel D. Ernst, Stefan Feske

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Abstract

The cGMP-dependent protein kinase-1α (PKG1α) transduces NO and natriuretic peptide signaling; therefore, PKG1α activation can benefit the failing heart. Disease modifiers such as oxidative stress may depress the efficacy of PKG1α pathway activation and underlie variable clinical results. PKG1α can also be directly oxidized, forming a disulfide bond between homodimer subunits at cysteine 42 to enhance oxidant-stimulated vasorelaxation; however, the impact of PKG1α oxidation on myocardial regulation is unknown. Here, we demonstrated that PKG1α is oxidized in both patients with heart disease and in rodent disease models. Moreover, this oxidation contributed to adverse heart remodeling following sustained pressure overload or Gq agonist stimulation. Compared with control hearts and myocytes, those expressing a redox-dead protein (PKG1αC42S) better adapted to cardiac stresses at functional, histological, and molecular levels. Redox-dependent changes in PKG1α altered intracellular translocation, with the activated, oxidized form solely located in the cytosol, whereas reduced PKG1αC42S translocated to and remained at the outer plasma membrane. This altered PKG1α localization enhanced suppression of transient receptor potential channel 6 (TRPC6), thereby potentiating antihypertrophic signaling. Together, these results demonstrate that myocardial PKG1α oxidation prevents a beneficial response to pathological stress, may explain variable responses to PKG1α pathway stimulation in heart disease, and indicate that maintaining PKG1α in its reduced form may optimize its intrinsic cardioprotective properties.

Authors

Taishi Nakamura ... Philip Eaton, David A. Kass

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Abstract

A transition from fetal hemoglobin (HbF) to adult hemoglobin (HbA) normally occurs within a few months after birth. Increased production of HbF after this period of infancy ameliorates clinical symptoms of the major disorders of adult β-hemoglobin: β-thalassemia and sickle cell disease. The transcription factor BCL11A silences HbF and has been an attractive therapeutic target for increasing HbF levels; however, it is not clear to what extent BCL11A inhibits HbF production or mediates other developmental functions in humans. Here, we identified and characterized 3 patients with rare microdeletions of 2p15-p16.1 who presented with an autism spectrum disorder and developmental delay. Moreover, these patients all exhibited substantial persistence of HbF but otherwise retained apparently normal hematologic and immunologic function. Of the genes within 2p15-p16.1, only BCL11A was commonly deleted in all of the patients. Evaluation of gene expression data sets from developing and adult human brains revealed that BCL11A expression patterns are similar to other genes associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. Additionally, common SNPs within the second intron of BCL11A are strongly associated with schizophrenia. Together, the study of these rare patients and orthogonal genetic data demonstrates that BCL11A plays a central role in silencing HbF in humans and implicates BCL11A as an important factor for neurodevelopment.

Authors

Anindita Basak ... Zdenek Sedlacek, Vijay G. Sankaran

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May 2015


125-5-cover

May 2015 Issue

On the cover:
Visualizing tumor-infiltrating T cells

The cover image is a modified 3D reconstruction of an [18F]-L-FMAU PET/CT scan to detect hematopoietic cells labeled with a reporter gene, showing tumor-infiltrating cells within the left flank and engraftment of cells within the BM. On page 1815, McCracken et al. describe a noninvasive technique for visualizing engineered immune cells in multiple mouse models of adoptive cellular immunotherapy.

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Jci_impact_2015_05

May 2015 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

Enteric Nervous System

Series edited by Rodger Liddle

The enteric nervous system (ENS) encompasses extrinsic and intrinsic neurons, glia, and sensory epithelial cells that are embedded throughout the gastrointestinal tract. The circuits formed by these cells are responsible for interpreting sensory information in the gut lumen in order to regulate gut motility, secretion, food intake, and immune function. The ENS communicates with the CNS in a bidirectional manner, allowing stimuli in the gut to influence mood, food intake, and other behaviors. Reviews in this series examine the mechanisms by which the ENS develops from neural crest cells, chemosensory mechanisms that allow for the detection of and response to fats and other nutrients within the gut lumen, the role of the enteric glia, regulation of ENS function by the immune system and inflammation, and the impact of surgery and the gut microbiota on ENS communication with the brain.

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