Volume 123, Issue 3, Pages 935-1402
50 total articles
Defects in the enteric nervous system underlie several gut motility disorders. While cell therapy regimens have the potential to treat enteric neuropathies, it has been unclear if transplanted cells could generate functional enteric neurons in vivo. On page 1182, Hotta et al. show in a murine model that transplanted neural crest–derived cells can migrate, proliferate, and generate functional neurons and glial cells in the bowels of recipient mice. In this image, enteric neural crest–derived neurospheres were characterized in vitro by expression of Kikume (green) and staining for Sox10 (blue) and Tuj1 (red).
As I draft this editorial, it is almost a year into our stewardship as editors of the
Tregs have been implicated in control of homeostasis in the immune system and beyond. These cells restrain inflammatory responses to self antigens, commensal microorganisms, allergens, and pathogens and adapt their homeostatic and functional capabilities to a particular environment. In this review, we discuss a general model of integration of environmental cues by Tregs in which specialized Treg homeostatic, migratory, and suppression programs are established in dynamically changing inflammatory environments by maintaining an optimal threshold of activation of transcription factors involved in regulation of the corresponding type of effector immune responses.
Aging is like the weather: everyone talks about it, but no one seems to do anything about it. We believe this may soon change, as an improved understanding of the molecular and genetic pathways underlying aging suggests it is possible to therapeutically target the aging process and increase health span. This Review series focuses on fundamental cellular mechanisms of aging and their relationship to human disease. These pathways include telomere dysfunction in cellular senescence and induction of the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) in systemic aging, sirtuin family regulation of metabolism and aging-associated diseases, mitochondrial metabolism in aging, the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway and the use of mTOR inhibitors to increase longevity, the progressive decline of the immune system with age, and aging-associated changes to pancreatic islet β cells that may contribute to diabetes. Together, these articles explore pathways affecting aging and possible interventional targets to slow or delay the onset of age-related pathologies.
Over the last decade, accumulating evidence has suggested a causative link between mitochondrial dysfunction and major phenotypes associated with aging. Somatic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations and respiratory chain dysfunction accompany normal aging, but the first direct experimental evidence that increased mtDNA mutation levels contribute to progeroid phenotypes came from the mtDNA mutator mouse. Recent evidence suggests that increases in aging-associated mtDNA mutations are not caused by damage accumulation, but rather are due to clonal expansion of mtDNA replication errors that occur during development. Here we discuss the caveats of the traditional mitochondrial free radical theory of aging and highlight other possible mechanisms, including insulin/IGF-1 signaling (IIS) and the target of rapamycin pathways, that underlie the central role of mitochondria in the aging process.
The effects of aging on the immune system are manifest at multiple levels that include reduced production of B and T cells in bone marrow and thymus and diminished function of mature lymphocytes in secondary lymphoid tissues. As a result, elderly individuals do not respond to immune challenge as robustly as the young. An important goal of aging research is to define the cellular changes that occur in the immune system and the molecular events that underlie them. Considerable progress has been made in this regard, and this information has provided the rationale for clinical trials to rejuvenate the aging immune system.
Aging is the largest risk factor for most chronic diseases, which account for the majority of morbidity and health care expenditures in developed nations. New findings suggest that aging is a modifiable risk factor, and it may be feasible to delay age-related diseases as a group by modulating fundamental aging mechanisms. One such mechanism is cellular senescence, which can cause chronic inflammation through the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). We review the mechanisms that induce senescence and the SASP, their associations with chronic disease and frailty, therapeutic opportunities based on targeting senescent cells and the SASP, and potential paths to developing clinical interventions.
The 7 mammalian sirtuin proteins compose a protective cavalry of enzymes that can be invoked by cells to aid in the defense against a vast array of stressors. The pathologies associated with aging, such as metabolic syndrome, neurodegeneration, and cancer, are either caused by or exacerbated by a lifetime of chronic stress. As such, the activation of sirtuin proteins could provide a therapeutic approach to buffer against chronic stress and ameliorate age-related decline. Here we review experimental evidence both for and against this proposal, as well as the implications that isoform-specific sirtuin activation may have for healthy aging in humans.
Rapamycin, an inhibitor of mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), has the strongest experimental support to date as a potential anti-aging therapeutic in mammals. Unlike many other compounds that have been claimed to influence longevity, rapamycin has been repeatedly tested in long-lived, genetically heterogeneous mice, in which it extends both mean and maximum life spans. However, the mechanism that accounts for these effects is far from clear, and a growing list of side effects make it doubtful that rapamycin would ultimately be beneficial in humans. This Review discusses the prospects for developing newer, safer anti-aging therapies based on analogs of rapamycin (termed rapalogs) or other approaches targeting mTOR signaling.
Preservation and regeneration of β cell endocrine function is a long-sought goal in diabetes research. Defective insulin secretion from β cells underlies both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, thus fueling considerable interest in molecules capable of rebuilding β cell secretion capacity. Though early work in rodents suggested that regeneration might be possible, recent studies have revealed that aging powerfully restricts cell cycle entry of β cells, which may limit regeneration capacity. Consequently, aging has emerged as an enigmatic challenge that might limit β cell regeneration therapies. This Review summarizes recent data regarding the role of aging in β cell regeneration and proposes models explaining these phenomena.
Telomere length shortens with age and predicts the onset of replicative senescence. Recently, short telomeres have been linked to the etiology of degenerative diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, bone marrow failure, and cryptogenic liver cirrhosis. These disorders have recognizable clinical manifestations, and the telomere defect explains their genetics and informs the approach to their treatment. Here, I review how telomere biology has become intimately connected to clinical paradigms both for understanding pathophysiology and for individualizing therapy decisions. I also critically examine nuances of interpreting telomere length measurement in clinical studies.
Insulin resistance is typically defined as a reduced ability of insulin to induce glucose uptake by target tissues such as fat and skeletal muscle cells. It accompanies several disease states, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, hepatitis C, and polycystic ovary syndrome, and is a primary feature of metabolic syndrome. Outside of its effects on blood glucose levels, insulin resistance is also associated with a 2- to 3-fold increased risk of cardiovascular mortality. In 1996, Alain Baron, Helmut Steinberg, and colleagues demonstrated that insulin resistance is associated with endothelial dysfunction. This seminal observation led to significant advances in our understanding of insulin’s action in health and disease.
Clinical vignette: A 76-year-old man consults you for increasing shortness of breath over the past two years and an increasing requirement for home oxygen. A video-assisted thoracoscopic lung biopsy shows findings of usual interstitial pneumonitis, and he has no identifiable cause for pulmonary fibrosis, so he is considered to have idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). His diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO) is 45% of predicted, and his total lung capacity is 40% of predicted. Because of his advanced age, he is not considered a candidate for lung transplantation. What treatment should you recommend?
To address insulin insufficiency, diabetes research has long focused on techniques for replacing insulin-producing β cells. Studies in mice have suggested that, under some conditions, α cells possess the capacity to transdifferentiate into β cells, although the mechanisms that drive this conversion are unclear. In this issue, Bramswig et al. analyzed the methylation states of purified human α, β, and acinar cells and found α cells exhibit intrinsic phenotypic plasticity associated with specific histone methylation profiles. In addition to expanding our understanding of this potential source of β cells, this compendium of carefully generated human gene expression and epigenomic data in islet cell subtypes constitutes a truly valuable resource for the field.
Cardiac muscle restitution, or true regeneration, is an unmet need in the treatment of myocardial infarction (MI), prompting a decade of study with stem cells of many kinds. Among key obstacles to effective cardiac cell grafting are the cost of autologous stem cell–derived cardiomyocytes, the ethical implications of using embryonic stem cell (ESC) products, immunological barriers to allogeneic cells, functional maturation beyond just the correct lineage decision, and the lack of durable engraftment. In this issue of the
The brain and spinal cord are surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid, which provides a mechanically stable environment for these delicate structures against the forces of gravity and sudden acceleration and deceleration. Neurons and glia comprising the parenchyma of the brain are enveloped in their microenvironment by interstitial fluid. Interstitial fluid has long been considered to be unaffected by the production and flow of cerebrospinal fluid outside the brain parenchyma. However, two recent papers by Iliff et al. demonstrate that cerebrospinal fluid enters the deep substance of the brain, mixes with the interstitial fluid surrounding neurons and glia, and plays an important role in the exchange and clearance of molecules in the interstitial space of the central nervous system.
Bacterial pathogen-associated molecular pattern molecules (PAMPs) such as LPS activate the endothelium and can lead to lung injury, but the signaling pathways mediating endothelial injury remain incompletely understood. In a recent issue of the
Acute lung injury (ALI) is an inflammatory disease with a high mortality rate. Although typically seen in individuals with sepsis, ALI is also a major complication in severe acute pancreatitis (SAP). The pathophysiology of SAP-associated ALI is poorly understood, but elevated serum levels of IL-6 is a reliable marker for disease severity. Here, we used a mouse model of acute pancreatitis–associated (AP-associated) ALI to determine the role of IL-6 in ALI lethality.
T cell surveillance is often effective against virus-associated tumors because of their high immunogenicity. It is not clear why surveillance occasionally fails, particularly against hepatitis B virus– or hepatitis C virus–associated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We established a transgenic murine model of virus-induced HCC by hepatocyte-specific adenovirus-induced activation of the oncogenic SV40 large T antigen (TAg). Adenovirus infection induced cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) targeted against the virus and TAg, leading to clearance of the infected cells. Despite the presence of functional, antigen-specific T cells, a few virus-infected cells escaped immune clearance and progressed to HCC. These cells expressed TAg at levels similar to HCC isolated from neonatal TAg-tolerant mice, suggesting that CTL clearance does not select for cells with low immunogenicity. Virus-infected mice revealed significantly greater T cell infiltration in early-stage HCC compared with that in late-stage HCC, demonstrating progressive local immune suppression through inefficient T cell infiltration. Programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1) and its ligand PD-L1 were expressed in all TAg-specific CD8+ T cells and HCC, respectively, which contributed to local tumor-antigen-specific tolerance. Thus, we have developed a model of virus-induced HCC that may allow for a better understanding of human HCC.
Anti-self/tumor T cell function can be improved by increasing TCR-peptide MHC (pMHC) affinity within physiological limits, but paradoxically further increases (
Despite a general repression of translation under hypoxia, cells selectively upregulate a set of hypoxia-inducible genes. Results from deep sequencing revealed that Let-7 and miR-103/107 are hypoxia-responsive microRNAs (HRMs) that are strongly induced in vascular endothelial cells. In silico bioinformatics and in vitro validation showed that these HRMs are induced by HIF1α and target argonaute 1 (
Despite advances in clinical therapy, metastasis remains the leading cause of death in breast cancer patients. Mutations in mitochondrial DNA, including those affecting complex I and oxidative phosphorylation, are found in breast tumors and could facilitate metastasis. This study identifies mitochondrial complex I as critical for defining an aggressive phenotype in breast cancer cells. Specific enhancement of mitochondrial complex I activity inhibited tumor growth and metastasis through regulation of the tumor cell NAD+/NADH redox balance, mTORC1 activity, and autophagy. Conversely, nonlethal reduction of NAD+ levels by interfering with nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase expression rendered tumor cells more aggressive and increased metastasis. The results translate into a new therapeutic strategy: enhancement of the NAD+/NADH balance through treatment with NAD+ precursors inhibited metastasis in xenograft models, increased animal survival, and strongly interfered with oncogene-driven breast cancer progression in the MMTV-PyMT mouse model. Thus, aberration in mitochondrial complex I NADH dehydrogenase activity can profoundly enhance the aggressiveness of human breast cancer cells, while therapeutic normalization of the NAD+/NADH balance can inhibit metastasis and prevent disease progression.
Angiopoietin-like protein 1 (ANGPTL1) is a potent regulator of angiogenesis. Growing evidence suggests that ANGPTL family proteins not only target endothelial cells but also affect tumor cell behavior. In a screen of 102 patients with lung cancer, we found that ANGPTL1 expression was inversely correlated with invasion, lymph node metastasis, and poor clinical outcomes. ANGPTL1 suppressed the migratory, invasive, and metastatic capabilities of lung and breast cancer cell lines in vitro and reduced metastasis in mice injected with cancer cell lines overexpressing ANGPTL1. Ectopic expression of ANGPTL1 suppressed the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) by reducing the expression of the zinc-finger protein SLUG. A microRNA screen revealed that ANGPTL1 suppressed SLUG by inducing expression of miR-630 in an integrin α1β1/FAK/ERK/SP1 pathway–dependent manner. These results demonstrate that ANGPTL1 represses lung cancer cell motility by abrogating the expression of the EMT mediator SLUG.
Matrix stiffening and myofibroblast resistance to apoptosis are cardinal features of chronic fibrotic diseases involving diverse organ systems. The interactions between altered tissue biomechanics and cellular signaling that sustain progressive fibrosis are not well defined. In this study, we used ex vivo and in vivo approaches to define a mechanotransduction pathway involving Rho/Rho kinase (Rho/ROCK), actin cytoskeletal remodeling, and a mechanosensitive transcription factor, megakaryoblastic leukemia 1 (MKL1), that coordinately regulate myofibroblast differentiation and survival. Both in an experimental mouse model of lung fibrosis and in human subjects with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), we observed activation of the Rho/ROCK pathway, enhanced actin cytoskeletal polymerization, and MKL1 cytoplasmic-nuclear shuttling. Pharmacologic disruption of this mechanotransduction pathway with the ROCK inhibitor fasudil induced myofibroblast apoptosis through a mechanism involving downregulation of BCL-2 and activation of the intrinsic mitochondrial apoptotic pathway. Treatment with fasudil during the postinflammatory fibrotic phase of lung injury or genetic ablation of
Fusion of the androgen receptor-regulated (AR-regulated)
The formation of clathrin-coated vesicles is essential for intracellular membrane trafficking between subcellular compartments and is triggered by the ARF family of small GTPases. We previously identified SMAP1 as an ARF6 GTPase-activating protein that functions in clathrin-dependent endocytosis. Because abnormalities in clathrin-dependent trafficking are often associated with oncogenesis, we targeted
In the tumor microenvironment, TGF-β induces transdifferentiation of quiescent pericytes and related stromal cells into myofibroblasts that promote tumor growth and metastasis. The mechanisms governing myofibroblastic activation remain poorly understood, and its role in the tumor microenvironment has not been explored. Here, we demonstrate that IQ motif containing GTPase activating protein 1 (IQGAP1) binds to TGF-β receptor II (TβRII) and suppresses TβRII-mediated signaling in pericytes to prevent myofibroblastic differentiation in the tumor microenvironment. We found that TGF-β1 recruited IQGAP1 to TβRII in hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), the resident liver pericytes.
Concurrent activation of RAS/ERK and PI3K/AKT pathways is implicated in prostate cancer progression. The negative regulators of these pathways, including sprouty2 (SPRY2), protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), and phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), are commonly inactivated in prostate cancer. The molecular basis of cooperation between these genetic alterations is unknown. Here, we show that
Milk fat globule-EGF 8 (MFGE8) plays important, nonredundant roles in several biological processes, including apoptotic cell clearance, angiogenesis, and adaptive immunity. Several recent studies have reported a potential role for MFGE8 in regulation of the innate immune response; however, the precise mechanisms underlying this role are poorly understood. Here, we show that MFGE8 is an endogenous inhibitor of inflammasome-induced IL-1β production. MFGE8 inhibited necrotic cell–induced and ATP-dependent IL-1β production by macrophages through mediation of integrin β3 and P2X7 receptor interactions in primed cells.
Cell therapy has the potential to treat gastrointestinal motility disorders caused by diseases of the enteric nervous system. Many studies have demonstrated that various stem/progenitor cells can give rise to functional neurons in the embryonic gut; however, it is not yet known whether transplanted neural progenitor cells can migrate, proliferate, and generate functional neurons in the postnatal bowel in vivo. We transplanted neurospheres generated from fetal and postnatal intestinal neural crest–derived cells into the colon of postnatal mice. The neurosphere-derived cells migrated, proliferated, and generated neurons and glial cells that formed ganglion-like clusters within the recipient colon. Graft-derived neurons exhibited morphological, neurochemical, and electrophysiological characteristics similar to those of enteric neurons; they received synaptic inputs; and their neurites projected to muscle layers and the enteric ganglia of the recipient mice. These findings show that transplanted enteric neural progenitor cells can generate functional enteric neurons in the postnatal bowel and advances the notion that cell therapy is a promising strategy for enteric neuropathies.
Autoreactive T cells can infiltrate the CNS to cause disorders such as multiple sclerosis. In order to visualize T cell activation in the CNS, we introduced a truncated fluorescent derivative of nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) as a real-time T cell activation indicator. In experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, a rat model of multiple sclerosis, we tracked T cells interacting with structures of the vascular blood-brain barrier (BBB). 2-photon imaging documented the cytoplasmic-nuclear translocation of fluorescent NFAT, indicative of calcium-dependent activation of the T cells in the perivascular space, but not within the vascular lumen. The activation was related to contacts with the local antigen-presenting phagocytes and was noted only in T cells with a high pathogenic potential. T cell activation implied the presentation of an autoantigen, as the weakly pathogenic T cells, which remained silent in the untreated hosts, were activated upon instillation of exogenous autoantigen. Activation did not cogently signal long-lasting arrest, as individual T cells were able to sequentially contact fresh APCs. We propose that the presentation of local autoantigen by BBB-associated APCs provides stimuli that guide autoimmune T cells to the CNS destination, enabling them to attack the target tissue.
Lymphatic vessels are thought to arise from PROX1-positive endothelial cells (ECs) in the cardinal vein in response to induction of SOX18 expression; however, the molecular event responsible for increased SOX18 expression has not been established. We generated mice with endothelial-specific, inducible expression of an
Chemically modified mRNA is capable of inducing therapeutic levels of protein expression while circumventing the threat of genomic integration often associated with viral vectors. We utilized this novel therapeutic tool to express the regulatory T cell transcription factor, FOXP3, in a time- and site-specific fashion in murine lung, in order to prevent allergic asthma in vivo. We show that modified
Exogenous dietary fat can induce obesity and promote diabetes, but endogenous fat production is not thought to affect skeletal muscle insulin resistance, an antecedent of metabolic disease. Unexpectedly, the lipogenic enzyme fatty acid synthase (FAS) was increased in the skeletal muscle of mice with diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance. Skeletal muscle–specific inactivation of FAS protected mice from insulin resistance without altering adiposity, specific inflammatory mediators of insulin signaling, or skeletal muscle levels of diacylglycerol or ceramide. Increased insulin sensitivity despite high-fat feeding was driven by activation of AMPK without affecting AMP content or the AMP/ATP ratio in resting skeletal muscle. AMPK was induced by elevated cytosolic calcium caused by impaired sarco/endoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase (SERCA) activity due to altered phospholipid composition of the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR), but came at the expense of decreased muscle strength. Thus, inhibition of skeletal muscle FAS prevents obesity-associated diabetes in mice, but also causes muscle weakness, which suggests that mammals have retained the capacity for lipogenesis in muscle to preserve physical performance in the setting of disrupted metabolic homeostasis.
MicroRNAs are critical mediators of stem cell pluripotency, differentiation, and malignancy. Limited information exists regarding microRNA alterations that facilitate initiation and progression of human lung cancers. In this study, array techniques were used to evaluate microRNA expression in normal human respiratory epithelia and lung cancer cells cultured in the presence or absence of cigarette smoke condensate (CSC). Under relevant exposure conditions, CSC significantly repressed miR-487b. Subsequent experiments demonstrated that miR-487b directly targeted
Diabetes increases oxidant stress and doubles the risk of dying after myocardial infarction, but the mechanisms underlying increased mortality are unknown. Mice with streptozotocin-induced diabetes developed profound heart rate slowing and doubled mortality compared with controls after myocardial infarction. Oxidized Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (ox-CaMKII) was significantly increased in pacemaker tissues from diabetic patients compared with that in nondiabetic patients after myocardial infarction. Streptozotocin-treated mice had increased pacemaker cell ox-CaMKII and apoptosis, which were further enhanced by myocardial infarction. We developed a knockin mouse model of oxidation-resistant CaMKIIδ (MM-VV), the isoform associated with cardiovascular disease. Streptozotocin-treated MM-VV mice and WT mice infused with MitoTEMPO, a mitochondrial targeted antioxidant, expressed significantly less ox-CaMKII, exhibited increased pacemaker cell survival, maintained normal heart rates, and were resistant to diabetes-attributable mortality after myocardial infarction. Our findings suggest that activation of a mitochondrial/ox-CaMKII pathway contributes to increased sudden death in diabetic patients after myocardial infarction.
Insulin-secreting β cells and glucagon-secreting α cells maintain physiological blood glucose levels, and their malfunction drives diabetes development. Using ChIP sequencing and RNA sequencing analysis, we determined the epigenetic and transcriptional landscape of human pancreatic α, β, and exocrine cells. We found that, compared with exocrine and β cells, differentiated α cells exhibited many more genes bivalently marked by the activating H3K4me3 and repressing H3K27me3 histone modifications. This was particularly true for β cell signature genes involved in transcriptional regulation. Remarkably, thousands of these genes were in a monovalent state in β cells, carrying only the activating or repressing mark. Our epigenomic findings suggested that α to β cell reprogramming could be promoted by manipulating the histone methylation signature of human pancreatic islets. Indeed, we show that treatment of cultured pancreatic islets with a histone methyltransferase inhibitor leads to colocalization of both glucagon and insulin and glucagon and insulin promoter factor 1 (PDX1) in human islets and colocalization of both glucagon and insulin in mouse islets. Thus, mammalian pancreatic islet cells display cell-type–specific epigenomic plasticity, suggesting that epigenomic manipulation could provide a path to cell reprogramming and novel cell replacement-based therapies for diabetes.
Uniparental parthenotes are considered an unwanted byproduct of in vitro fertilization. In utero parthenote development is severely compromised by defective organogenesis and in particular by defective cardiogenesis. Although developmentally compromised, apparently pluripotent stem cells can be derived from parthenogenetic blastocysts. Here we hypothesized that nonembryonic parthenogenetic stem cells (PSCs) can be directed toward the cardiac lineage and applied to tissue-engineered heart repair. We first confirmed similar fundamental properties in murine PSCs and embryonic stem cells (ESCs), despite notable differences in genetic (allelic variability) and epigenetic (differential imprinting) characteristics. Haploidentity of major histocompatibility complexes (MHCs) in PSCs is particularly attractive for allogeneic cell-based therapies. Accordingly, we confirmed acceptance of PSCs in MHC-matched allotransplantation. Cardiomyocyte derivation from PSCs and ESCs was equally effective. The use of cardiomyocyte-restricted GFP enabled cell sorting and documentation of advanced structural and functional maturation in vitro and in vivo. This included seamless electrical integration of PSC-derived cardiomyocytes into recipient myocardium. Finally, we enriched cardiomyocytes to facilitate engineering of force-generating myocardium and demonstrated the utility of this technique in enhancing regional myocardial function after myocardial infarction. Collectively, our data demonstrate pluripotency, with unrestricted cardiogenicity in PSCs, and introduce this unique cell type as an attractive source for tissue-engineered heart repair.
The glymphatic system is a recently defined brain-wide paravascular pathway for cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and interstitial fluid (ISF) exchange that facilitates efficient clearance of solutes and waste from the brain. CSF enters the brain along para-arterial channels to exchange with ISF, which is in turn cleared from the brain along para-venous pathways. Because soluble amyloid β clearance depends on glymphatic pathway function, we proposed that failure of this clearance system contributes to amyloid plaque deposition and Alzheimer’s disease progression. Here we provide proof of concept that glymphatic pathway function can be measured using a clinically relevant imaging technique. Dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI was used to visualize CSF-ISF exchange across the rat brain following intrathecal paramagnetic contrast agent administration. Key features of glymphatic pathway function were confirmed, including visualization of para-arterial CSF influx and molecular size-dependent CSF-ISF exchange. Whole-brain imaging allowed the identification of two key influx nodes at the pituitary and pineal gland recesses, while dynamic MRI permitted the definition of simple kinetic parameters to characterize glymphatic CSF-ISF exchange and solute clearance from the brain. We propose that this MRI approach may provide the basis for a wholly new strategy to evaluate Alzheimer’s disease susceptibility and progression in the live human brain.
Coagulation is a host defense system that limits the spread of pathogens. Coagulation proteases, such as thrombin, also activate cells by cleaving PARs. In this study, we analyzed the role of PAR-1 in coxsackievirus B3–induced (CVB3-induced) myocarditis and influenza A infection. CVB3-infected
Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease promoted by hyperlipidemia. Several studies support FOXP3-positive regulatory T cells (Tregs) as inhibitors of atherosclerosis; however, the mechanism underlying this protection remains elusive. To define the role of FOXP3-expressing Tregs in atherosclerosis, we used the DEREG mouse, which expresses the diphtheria toxin (DT) receptor under control of the Treg-specific
Ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by radiosensitivity, genomic instability, and predisposition to cancer. A-T is caused by biallelic mutations in the ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (
The ELR+-CXCL chemokines have been described typically as potent chemoattractants and activators of neutrophils during the acute phase of inflammation. Their role in atherosclerosis, a chronic inflammatory vascular disease, has been largely unexplored. Using a mouse model of atherosclerosis, we found that CXCL5 expression was upregulated during disease progression, both locally and systemically, but was not associated with neutrophil infiltration. Unexpectedly, inhibition of CXCL5 was not beneficial but rather induced a significant macrophage foam cell accumulation in murine atherosclerotic plaques. Additionally, we demonstrated that CXCL5 modulated macrophage activation, increased expression of the cholesterol efflux regulatory protein ABCA1, and enhanced cholesterol efflux activity in macrophages. These findings reveal a protective role for CXCL5, in the context of atherosclerosis, centered on the regulation of macrophage foam cell formation.
After an initial response to chemotherapy, many patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) have recurrence of drug-resistant metastatic disease. Studies with TNBC cells suggest that chemotherapy-resistant populations of cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) with self-renewing and tumor-initiating capacities are responsible for these relapses. TGF-β has been shown to increase stem-like properties in human breast cancer cells. We analyzed RNA expression in matched pairs of primary breast cancer biopsies before and after chemotherapy. Biopsies after chemotherapy displayed increased RNA transcripts of genes associated with CSCs and TGF-β signaling. In TNBC cell lines and mouse xenografts, the chemotherapeutic drug paclitaxel increased autocrine TGF-β signaling and IL-8 expression and enriched for CSCs, as indicated by mammosphere formation and CSC markers. The TGF-β type I receptor kinase inhibitor LY2157299, a neutralizing TGF-β type II receptor antibody, and SMAD4 siRNA all blocked paclitaxel-induced
In patients with heart failure, reactivation of a fetal gene program, including atrial natriuretic peptide (
The BRAF mutant, BRAFV600E, is expressed in nearly half of melanomas, and oral BRAF inhibitors induce substantial tumor regression in patients with
Current therapies to treat autoimmune disease focus mainly on downstream targets of autoimmune responses, including effector cells and cytokines. A potentially more effective approach would entail targeting autoreactive T cells that initiate the disease cascade and break self tolerance. The murine MHC class Ib molecule Qa-1b (HLA-E in humans) exhibits limited polymorphisms and binds to 2 dominant self peptides: Hsp60p216 and Qdm. We found that peptide-induced expansion of tetramer-binding CD8+ Tregs that recognize Qa-1–Hsp60p216 but not Qa-1–Qdm strongly inhibited collagen-induced arthritis, an animal model of human rheumatoid arthritis. Perforin-dependent elimination of autoreactive follicular Th (TFH) and Th17 cells by CD8+ Tregs inhibited disease development. Infusion of in vitro–expanded CD8+ Tregs increased the efficacy of methotrexate treatment and halted disease progression after clinical onset, suggesting an alternative approach to this first-line treatment. Moreover, infusion of small numbers of Qa-1–Hsp60p216–specific CD8+ Tregs resulted in robust inhibition of autoimmune arthritis, confirming the inhibitory effects of Hsp60p216 peptide immunization. These results suggest that strategies designed to expand Qa-1–restricted (HLA-E–restricted), peptide-specific CD8+ Tregs represent a promising therapeutic approach to autoimmune disorders.
Adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors are attractive for gene delivery-based therapeutics, but data from recent clinical trials have indicated that AAV capsids induce a cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response that eliminates transduced cells. In this study, we used traditional pharmacological agents and AAV mutants to elucidate the pathway of capsid cross-presentation in AAV-permissive cells. Endosomal acidification inhibitors blocked AAV2 antigen presentation by over 90%, while proteasome inhibitors completely abrogated antigen presentation. Using mutant viruses that are defective for nuclear entry, we observed a 90% decrease in capsid antigen presentation. Different antigen presentation efficiencies were achieved by selectively mutating virion nuclear localization signals. Low antigen presentation was demonstrated with basic region 1 (BR1) mutants, despite relatively high transduction efficiency, whereas there was no difference in antigen presentation between BR2 and BR3 mutants defective for transduction, as compared with wild-type AAV2. These results suggest that effective AAV2 capsid antigen presentation is dependent on AAV virion escape from the endosome/lysosome for antigen degradation by proteasomes, but is independent of nuclear uncoating. These results should facilitate the design of effective strategies to evade capsid-specific CTL-mediated elimination of AAV-transduced target cells in future clinical trials.
Copyright © 2014 American Society for Clinical Investigation