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Abstract

Regulatory T cells (Tregs) have been shown to enhance immune reconstitution and prevent graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; however, it is unclear how Tregs mediate these effects. Here, we developed a model to examine the mechanism of Treg-dependent regulation of immune reconstitution. Lymphopenic mice were selectively reconstituted with Tregs prior to transfer of conventional CD4+ T cells. Full Treg reconstitution prevented the rapid oligoclonal proliferation that gives rise to pathogenic CD4 effector T cells, while preserving the slow homeostatic form of lymphopenia-induced peripheral expansion that repopulates a diverse peripheral T cell pool. Treg-mediated CTLA-4–dependent downregulation of CD80/CD86 on DCs was critical for inhibition of rapid proliferation and was a function of the Treg/DC ratio achieved by reconstitution. In an allogeneic BM transplant model, selective Treg reconstitution before T cell transfer also normalized DC costimulation and provided complete protection against GVHD. In contrast, cotransfer of Tregs was not protective. Our results indicate that achieving optimal recovery from lymphopenia should aim to improve early Treg reconstitution in order to increase the relative number of Tregs to DCs and thereby inhibit spontaneous oligoclonal T cell proliferation.

Authors

Holly A. Bolton, Erhua Zhu, Alexandra M. Terry, Thomas V. Guy, Woon-Puay Koh, Sioh-Yang Tan, Carl A. Power, Patrick Bertolino, Katharina Lahl, Tim Sparwasser, Elena Shklovskaya, Barbara Fazekas de St. Groth

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Abstract

Induced pluripotent stem cell–derived (iPS-derived) neural precursor cells may represent the ideal autologous cell source for cell-based therapy to promote remyelination and neuroprotection in myelin diseases. So far, the therapeutic potential of reprogrammed cells has been evaluated in neonatal demyelinating models. However, the repair efficacy and safety of these cells has not been well addressed in the demyelinated adult CNS, which has decreased cell plasticity and scarring. Moreover, it is not clear if these induced pluripotent–derived cells have the same reparative capacity as physiologically committed CNS-derived precursors. Here, we performed a side-by-side comparison of CNS-derived and skin-derived neural precursors in culture and following engraftment in murine models of adult spinal cord demyelination. Grafted induced neural precursors exhibited a high capacity for survival, safe integration, migration, and timely differentiation into mature bona fide oligodendrocytes. Moreover, grafted skin–derived neural precursors generated compact myelin around host axons and restored nodes of Ranvier and conduction velocity as efficiently as CNS-derived precursors while outcompeting endogenous cells. Together, these results provide important insights into the biology of reprogrammed cells in adult demyelinating conditions and support use of these cells for regenerative biomedicine of myelin diseases that affect the adult CNS.

Authors

Sabah Mozafari, Cecilia Laterza, Delphine Roussel, Corinne Bachelin, Antoine Marteyn, Cyrille Deboux, Gianvito Martino, Anne Baron-Van Evercooren

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Abstract

Juvenile ciliopathy syndromes that are associated with renal cysts and premature renal failure are commonly the result of mutations in the gene encoding centrosomal protein CEP290. In addition to centrosomes and the transition zone at the base of the primary cilium, CEP290 also localizes to the nucleus; however, the nuclear function of CEP290 is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that reduction of cellular CEP290 in primary human and mouse kidney cells as well as in zebrafish embryos leads to enhanced DNA damage signaling and accumulation of DNA breaks ex vivo and in vivo. Compared with those from WT mice, primary kidney cells from Cep290-deficient mice exhibited supernumerary centrioles, decreased replication fork velocity, fork asymmetry, and increased levels of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs). Treatment of Cep290-deficient cells with CDK inhibitors rescued DNA damage and centriole number. Moreover, the loss of primary cilia that results from CEP290 dysfunction was rescued in 3D cell culture spheroids of primary murine kidney cells after exposure to CDK inhibitors. Together, our results provide a link between CEP290 and DNA replication stress and suggest CDK inhibition as a potential treatment strategy for a wide range of ciliopathy syndromes.

Authors

Gisela G. Slaats, Joshua C. Saldivar, Julien Bacal, Michelle K. Zeman, Andrew C. Kile, Ann Marie Hynes, Shalabh Srivastava, Jekaterina Nazmutdinova, Krista den Ouden, Miriam S. Zagers, Veronica Foletto, Marianne C. Verhaar, Colin Miles, John A. Sayer, Karlene A. Cimprich, Rachel H. Giles

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Abstract

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common childhood cancer; however, its genetic diversity limits investigation into the molecular pathogenesis of disease and development of therapeutic strategies. Here, we engineered mice that conditionally express the E2A-PBX1 fusion oncogene, which results from chromosomal translocation t(1;19) and is present in 5% to 7% of pediatric ALL cases. The incidence of leukemia in these mice varied from 5% to 50%, dependent on the Cre-driving promoter (Cd19, Mb1, or Mx1) used to induce E2A-PBX1 expression. Two distinct but highly similar subtypes of B cell precursor ALLs that differed by their pre–B cell receptor (pre-BCR) status were induced and displayed maturation arrest at the pro-B/large pre–B II stages of differentiation, similar to human E2A-PBX1 ALL. Somatic activation of E2A-PBX1 in B cell progenitors enhanced self-renewal and led to acquisition of multiple secondary genomic aberrations, including prominent spontaneous loss of Pax5. In preleukemic mice, conditional Pax5 deletion cooperated with E2A-PBX1 to expand progenitor B cell subpopulations, increasing penetrance and shortening leukemia latency. Recurrent secondary activating mutations were detected in key signaling pathways, most notably JAK/STAT, that leukemia cells require for proliferation. These data support conditional E2A-PBX1 mice as a model of human ALL and suggest targeting pre-BCR signaling and JAK kinases as potential therapeutic strategies.

Authors

Jesús Duque-Afonso, Jue Feng, Florian Scherer, Chiou-Hong Lin, Stephen H.K. Wong, Zhong Wang, Masayuki Iwasaki, Michael L. Cleary

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Abstract

Dietary iron supplementation is associated with increased appetite. Here, we investigated the effect of iron on the hormone leptin, which regulates food intake and energy homeostasis. Serum ferritin was negatively associated with serum leptin in a cohort of patients with metabolic syndrome. Moreover, the same inverse correlation was observed in mice fed a high-iron diet. Adipocyte-specific loss of the iron exporter ferroportin resulted in iron loading and decreased leptin, while decreased levels of hepcidin in a murine hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) model increased adipocyte ferroportin expression, decreased adipocyte iron, and increased leptin. Treatment of 3T3-L1 adipocytes with iron decreased leptin mRNA in a dose-dependent manner. We found that iron negatively regulates leptin transcription via cAMP-responsive element binding protein activation (CREB activation) and identified 2 potential CREB-binding sites in the mouse leptin promoter region. Mutation of both sites completely blocked the effect of iron on promoter activity. ChIP analysis revealed that binding of phosphorylated CREB is enriched at these two sites in iron-treated 3T3-L1 adipocytes compared with untreated cells. Consistent with the changes in leptin, dietary iron content was also directly related to food intake, independently of weight. These findings indicate that levels of dietary iron play an important role in regulation of appetite and metabolism through CREB-dependent modulation of leptin expression.

Authors

Yan Gao, Zhonggang Li, J. Scott Gabrielsen, Judith A. Simcox, Soh-hyun Lee, Deborah Jones, Bob Cooksey, Gregory Stoddard, William T. Cefalu, Donald A. McClain

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Abstract

Group 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3s) have demonstrated roles in promoting antibacterial immunity, maintaining epithelial barrier function, and supporting tissue repair. ILC3 alterations are associated with chronic inflammation and inflammatory disease; however, the characteristics and relevant regulatory mechanisms of this cell population in HIV-1 infection are poorly understood due in part to a lack of a robust model. Here, we determined that functional human ILC3s develop in lymphoid organs of humanized mice and that persistent HIV-1 infection in this model depletes ILC3s, as observed in chronic HIV-1–infected patients. In HIV-1–infected mice, effective antiretroviral therapy reversed the loss of ILC3s. HIV-1–dependent reduction of ILC3s required plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs), IFN-I, and the CD95/FasL pathway, as targeted depletion or blockade of these prevented HIV-1–induced ILC3 depletion in vivo and in vitro, respectively. Finally, we determined that HIV-1 infection induces CD95 expression on ILC3s via a pDC- and IFN-I–dependent mechanism that sensitizes ILC3s to undergo CD95/FasL-mediated apoptosis. We conclude that chronic HIV-1 infection depletes ILC3s through pDC activation, induction of IFN-I, and CD95-mediated apoptosis.

Authors

Zheng Zhang, Liang Cheng, Juanjuan Zhao, Guangming Li, Liguo Zhang, Weiwei Chen, Weiming Nie, Natalia J. Reszka-Blanco, Fu-Sheng Wang, Lishan Su

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Abstract

Hereditary retinal degenerative diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP), are characterized by the progressive loss of rod photoreceptors followed by loss of cones. While retinal gene therapy clinical trials demonstrated temporary improvement in visual function, this approach has yet to achieve sustained functional and anatomical rescue after disease onset in patients. The lack of sustained benefit could be due to insufficient transduction efficiency of viral vectors (“too little”) and/or because the disease is too advanced (“too late”) at the time therapy is initiated. Here, we tested the latter hypothesis and developed a mouse RP model that permits restoration of the mutant gene in all diseased photoreceptor cells, thereby ensuring sufficient transduction efficiency. We then treated mice at early, mid, or late disease stages. At all 3 time points, degeneration was halted and function was rescued for at least 1 year. Not only do our results demonstrate that gene therapy effectively preserves function after the onset of degeneration, our study also demonstrates that there is a broad therapeutic time window. Moreover, these results suggest that RP patients are treatable, despite most being diagnosed after substantial photoreceptor loss, and that gene therapy research must focus on improving transduction efficiency to maximize clinical impact.

Authors

Susanne F. Koch, Yi-Ting Tsai, Jimmy K. Duong, Wen-Hsuan Wu, Chun-Wei Hsu, Wei-Pu Wu, Luis Bonet-Ponce, Chyuan-Sheng Lin, Stephen H. Tsang

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: The disrupted in schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) gene locus was originally identified in a Scottish pedigree with a high incidence of psychiatric disorders that is associated with a balanced t(1;11)(q42.1;q14.3) chromosomal translocation. Here, we investigated whether members of this family carrying the t(1;11)(q42.1;q14.3) translocation have a common brain-related phenotype and whether this phenotype is similar to that observed in schizophrenia (SCZ), using multivariate pattern recognition techniques.

METHODS: We measured cortical thickness, cortical surface area, subcortical volumes, and regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in healthy controls (HC) (n = 24), patients diagnosed with SCZ (n = 24), patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder (BP) (n = 19), and members of the original Scottish family (n = 30) who were either carriers (T+) or noncarriers (T–) of the DISC1 translocation. Binary classification models were developed to assess the differences and similarities across groups.

RESULTS: Based on cortical thickness, 72% of the T– group were assigned to the HC group, 83% of the T+ group were assigned to the SCZ group, and 45% of the BP group were classified as belonging to the SCZ group, suggesting high specificity of this measurement in predicting brain-related phenotypes. Shared brain-related phenotypes between SCZ and T+ individuals were found for cortical thickness only. Finally, a classification accuracy of 73% was achieved when directly comparing the pattern of cortical thickness of T+ and T– individuals.

CONCLUSION: Together, the results of this study suggest that the DISC1 translocation may increase the risk of psychiatric disorders in this pedigree by affecting neurostructural phenotypes such as cortical thickness.

FUNDING: This work was supported by the National Health Service Research Scotland, the Scottish Translational Medicine Research Collaboration, the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), The Wellcome Trust, the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), and Pfizer.

Authors

Orla M. Doyle, Catherine Bois, Pippa Thomson, Liana Romaniuk, Brandon Whitcher, Steven C.R. Williams, Federico E. Turkheimer, Hreinn Stefansson, Andrew M. McIntosh, Mitul A. Mehta, Stephen M. Lawrie

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Abstract

Iron-deficient individuals experience a loss of appetite that can be restored with iron supplementation. It has been proposed that iron influences the satiety hormone leptin; however, a direct link between iron and leptin has remained elusive. In this issue of the JCI, Gao and colleagues demonstrate an inverse relationship between adipocyte iron and leptin that is mediated by iron-dependent activation of cAMP-responsive element binding protein (CREB), the transcription factor that represses leptin transcription. Together, the results of this study provide a mechanistic connection between dietary iron and the appetite-regulating hormone leptin.

Authors

Nancy C. Andrews

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Abstract

Recent gene therapy progress has raised the possibility that vision loss caused by inherited retinal degeneration can be slowed or prevented. Unfortunately, patients are not usually diagnosed until enough degeneration has occurred that the deterioration in vision is noticeable. Therefore, effective gene therapy must halt degeneration to stabilize and preserve any remaining vision. Gene therapy methods currently in human clinical trials rely on subretinal or intravitreal injections of adeno-associated virus to deliver the therapeutic gene. To date, long-term results in patients treated with subretinal injections for Leber congenital amaurosis have been mixed. Proposed limitations include variability in the gene delivery method and a possible point of no return, at which treatment would be ineffective. In this issue of the JCI, Koch et al. describe a well-controlled and precise mouse model for testing the ability of gene therapy to halt the progress of degeneration. Instead of viral-mediated therapeutic gene delivery, the authors induced expression of an integrated transgene at specific times during the course of photoreceptor degeneration. In Pde6b-deficient retina, this strategy halted degeneration, even when more than 70% of photoreceptors had already degenerated. The results of this study demonstrate that retinal degeneration can be stopped, even at late stages of disease.

Authors

James B. Hurley, Jennifer R. Chao

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Abstract

B cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP ALL) is the most common malignancy in children. While treatments have improved remarkably over the past four decades, resistant disease and late effects that result from cytotoxic chemotherapy remain serious problems for individuals with BCP ALL. Improved genetic tools have led to the discovery of numerous somatic mutations associated with BCP ALL, leading to a framework for the genetic classification of BCP ALL. In this issue of the JCI, Duque-Afonso et al. develop an accurate in vivo model for BCP ALL that recapitulates the key features of human disease, including acquired mutations in genes encoding PAX5 and components of the JAK/STAT pathway. The authors further show, as proof of principle, that this model can be used to evaluate the efficacy of drugs designed to target specific acquired mutations in patients with BCP ALL.

Authors

Terry J. Fry, Peter D. Aplan

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Abstract

HIV-1 infection usually leads to systemic chronic inflammation that is associated with gut microbial translocation. The recently defined group 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3s) are critical for maintenance of intestinal barrier function; however, it is not clear whether and how HIV-1 infection influences the function of these cells. In this issue of the JCI, Zhang and colleagues present compelling evidence that the survival and function of ILC3s are dramatically impaired by HIV-1 infection. The authors provide evidence that HIV-1 infection induces persistent activation of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) and production of type I IFNs, which together increase expression of death receptor CD95 on ILC3s and thereby promote subsequent ILC3 apoptosis. Together, these results identify a mechanism that explains the impaired intestinal barrier function that results from chronic HIV-1 infection and shed light on the role of pDCs in HIV-1 immunopathogenesis and therapy.

Authors

Xiaohuan Guo, Yang-Xin Fu

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August 2015

125 8 cover 125 8 cover

On the cover:
Ankyrin-B mutation impairs metabolism


125 8 cover

August 2015 Issue

On the cover:
Ankyrin-B mutation impairs metabolism

This month’s cover is an isosurface rendering of 3D confocal images showing enlarged lipid droplets (green) in differentiated adipocytes expressing the R1788W human AnkB variant (red), with nuclei shown in blue. On page 3087, Lorenzo et al. explore the mechanisms by which rare variants in ankyrin-B promote metabolic dysfunction. Image credit: Damaris N. Lorenzo.

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Jci impact 2015 08

August 2015 JCI This Month

JCI This Month 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

Autoimmunity

Series edited by Antonio La Cava

Autoimmune disease encompasses a diverse group of over 80 chronic disorders. Each of these diseases has distinct clinical manifestations that are due to the differences in the cells and organ systems involved; however, these diseases are universally characterized by a loss of self-tolerance, resulting in autoreactive immune cells, autoantibodies, and elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines. Reviews in this series examine mechanisms underlying autoimmunity, including failure of B cell tolerance checkpoints, the generation of autoantibodies, cytokine dysregulation, aberrant T cell signaling, and the loss of immune suppressive cells and functions. They also explore the influence of genetic background, environment, microRNAs, and sex-specific factors on the loss of immune homeostasis.

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