Immune tolerance is critical to the avoidance of unwarranted immune responses against self antigens. Multiple, non-redundant checkpoints are in place to prevent such potentially deleterious autoimmune responses while preserving immunity integral to the fight against foreign pathogens. Nevertheless, a large and growing segment of the population is developing autoimmune diseases. Deciphering cellular and molecular pathways of immune tolerance is an important goal, with the expectation that understanding these pathways will lead to new clinical advances in the treatment of these devastating diseases. The vast majority of autoimmune diseases develop as a consequence of complex mechanisms that depend on genetic, epigenetic, molecular, cellular, and environmental elements and result in alterations in many different checkpoints of tolerance and ultimately in the breakdown of immune tolerance. The manifestations of this breakdown are harmful inflammatory responses in peripheral tissues driven by innate immunity and self antigen–specific pathogenic T and B cells. T cells play a central role in the regulation and initiation of these responses. In this Review we summarize our current understanding of the mechanisms involved in these fundamental checkpoints, the pathways that are defective in autoimmune diseases, and the therapeutic strategies being developed with the goal of restoring immune tolerance.
Jeffrey A. Bluestone, Hélène Bour-Jordan, Mickie Cheng, Mark Anderson
Individuals with an inherited deficiency in gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) have impaired sexual reproduction. Previous genetic linkage studies and sequencing of plausible gene candidates have identified mutations associated with inherited GnRH deficiency, but the small number of affected families and limited success in validating candidates have impeded genetic diagnoses for most patients. Using a combination of exome sequencing and computational modeling, we have identified a shared point mutation in semaphorin 3E (
Anna Cariboni ... Fanny Mann, Christiana Ruhrberg
Kidney size adaptively increases as mammals grow and in response to the loss of 1 kidney. It is not clear how kidneys size themselves or if the processes that adapt kidney mass to lean body mass also mediate renal hypertrophy following unilateral nephrectomy (UNX). Here, we demonstrated that mice harboring a proximal tubule–specific deletion of
Jian-Kang Chen ... Eric G. Neilson, Raymond C. Harris
Several HIV envelope-targeting (Env-targeting) antibodies with broad and potent neutralizing activity have been identified and shown to have unusual features. Of these, the PG9 antibody has a long heavy chain complementarity determining region 3 (HCDR3) and possesses unique structural elements that interact with protein and glycan features of the HIV Env glycoprotein. Here, we used the Rosetta software suite to design variants of the PG9 antibody HCDR3 loop with the goal of identifying variants with increased potency and breadth of neutralization for diverse HIV strains. One variant, designated PG9_N100FY, possessed increased potency and was able to neutralize a diverse set of PG9-resistant HIV strains, including those lacking the Env N160 glycan, which is critical for PG9 binding. An atomic resolution structure of the PG9_N100FY fragment antigen binding (Fab) confirmed that the mutated residue retains the paratope surface when compared with WT PG9. Differential scanning calorimetry experiments revealed that the mutation caused a modest increase in thermodynamic stability of the Fab, a feature predicted by the computational model. Our findings suggest that thermodynamic stabilization of the long HCDR3 in its active conformation is responsible for the increased potency of PG9_N100FY, and strategies aimed at stabilizing this region in other HIV antibodies could become an important approach to in silico optimization of antibodies.
Jordan R. Willis ... Jens Meiler, James E. Crowe Jr.
The kidney, like other organs, grows in constant proportion to the rest of the body. When one kidney is removed, the remaining one hypertrophies. In a comprehensive series of studies, Chen et al. show that growth during maturation is mediated by the mTORC1 signaling pathway, which is induced by EGF-like peptides, and requires PI3K, PDK, AKT, mTORC2, and activation of mTORC1 through the combined effects of TSC and RHEB as part of a multiprotein complex localized on lysosomes. However, compensatory growth is mediated by amino acids, which act on mTORC1 independently of the previous pathway, and requires a class III PI3K (VPS34) that is known to be involved in vesicle trafficking to the lysosomes.
While current HIV-1 therapies have greatly improved the quality and duration of life for infected individuals, a vaccine to prevent transmission of the virus is lacking. Broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (bnmAbs) with the capacity to neutralize multiple HIV-1 variants have been isolated from HIV-1–infected individuals, and there has been a great effort to investigate how these bnmAbs arise, due their potential for HIV-1 vaccination. In this issue of the
George K. Lewis
Kallmann syndrome is an inherited deficiency of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) that is characterized by hypogonadism with delayed or absent puberty and dysfunctional olfaction. While Kallmann syndrome–associated mutations have been identified in some sets of patients, for many of these individuals, the underlying cause remains unknown. In this issue of the
Bacterial meningitis is a serious infection of the CNS that results when blood-borne bacteria are able to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Group B
Brandon J. Kim ... David Traver, Kelly S. Doran
Breast cancer mortality is principally due to recurrent tumors that arise from a reservoir of residual tumor cells that survive therapy. Remarkably, breast cancers can recur after extended periods of clinical remission, implying that at least some residual tumor cells pass through a dormant phase prior to relapse. Nevertheless, the mechanisms that contribute to breast cancer recurrence are poorly understood. Using a mouse model of recurrent mammary tumorigenesis in combination with bioinformatics analyses of breast cancer patients, we have identified a role for Notch signaling in mammary tumor dormancy and recurrence. Specifically, we found that Notch signaling is acutely upregulated in tumor cells following HER2/neu pathway inhibition, that Notch signaling remains activated in a subset of dormant residual tumor cells that persist following HER2/neu downregulation, that activation of Notch signaling accelerates tumor recurrence, and that inhibition of Notch signaling by either genetic or pharmacological approaches impairs recurrence in mice. Consistent with these findings, meta-analysis of microarray data from over 4,000 breast cancer patients revealed that elevated Notch pathway activity is independently associated with an increased rate of recurrence. Together, these results implicate Notch signaling in tumor recurrence from dormant residual tumor cells and provide evidence that dormancy is a targetable stage of breast cancer progression.
Daniel L. Abravanel ... Christopher J. Sterner, Lewis A. Chodosh
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is characterized by insulin resistance and increased hepatic glucose production, yet the molecular mechanisms underlying these abnormalities are poorly understood. MicroRNAs (miRs) are a class of small, noncoding RNAs that have been implicated in the regulation of human diseases, including T2D. miR-26a is known to play a critical role in tumorigenesis; however, its function in cellular metabolism remains unknown. Here, we determined that miR-26a regulates insulin signaling and metabolism of glucose and lipids. Compared with lean individuals, overweight humans had decreased expression of miR-26a in the liver. Moreover, miR-26 was downregulated in 2 obese mouse models compared with control animals. Global or liver-specific overexpression of miR-26a in mice fed a high-fat diet improved insulin sensitivity, decreased hepatic glucose production, and decreased fatty acid synthesis, thereby preventing obesity-induced metabolic complications. Conversely, silencing of endogenous miR-26a in conventional diet–fed mice impaired insulin sensitivity, enhanced glucose production, and increased fatty acid synthesis. miR-26a targeted several key regulators of hepatic metabolism and insulin signaling. These findings reveal miR-26a as a regulator of liver metabolism and suggest miR-26a should be further explored as a potential target for the treatment of T2D.
Xianghui Fu ... David D. Moore, Wendong Huang
Transfusion of donor-derived platelets is commonly used for thrombocytopenia, which results from a variety of clinical conditions and relies on a constant donor supply due to the limited shelf life of these cells. Embryonic stem (ES) and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells represent a potential source of megakaryocytes and platelets for transfusion therapies; however, the majority of current ES/iPS cell differentiation protocols are limited by low yields of hematopoietic progeny. In both mice and humans, mutations in the gene-encoding transcription factor GATA1 cause an accumulation of proliferating, developmentally arrested megakaryocytes, suggesting that GATA1 suppression in ES and iPS cell–derived hematopoietic progenitors may enhance megakaryocyte production. Here, we engineered ES cells from WT mice to express a doxycycline-regulated (dox-regulated) shRNA that targets
Ji-Yoon Noh ... Mortimer Poncz, Mitchell J. Weiss
Cytokines play a critical role in controlling the differentiation of CD4 Th cells into distinct subsets, including IL-17–producing Th17 cells. Unfortunately, the incidence of a number of autoimmune diseases, particularly those in which the IL-23/IL-17 axis has been implicated, has risen in the last several decades, suggesting that environmental factors can promote autoimmunity. Here we review the role of cytokines in Th17 differentiation, particularly the role of IL-23 in promoting the differentiation of a pathogenic subset of Th17 cells that potently induce autoimmune tissue inflammation. Moreover, we highlight emerging data that indicate that environmental factors, including the intestinal microbiota and changes in diet, can alter normal cytokine regulation with potent effects on Th17 differentiation and thus promote autoimmunity, which has strong implications for human disease.
Patrick R. Burkett, Gerd Meyer zu Horste, Vijay K. Kuchroo
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a prototype systemic autoimmune disease that results from a break in immune tolerance to self-antigens, leading to multi-organ destruction. Autoantibody deposition and inflammatory cell infiltration in target organs such as kidneys and brain lead to complications of this disease. Dysregulation of cellular and humoral immune response elements, along with organ-defined molecular aberrations, form the basis of SLE pathogenesis. Aberrant T lymphocyte activation due to signaling abnormalities, linked to defective gene transcription and altered cytokine production, are important contributors to SLE pathophysiology. A better understanding of signaling and gene regulation defects in SLE T cells will lead to the identification of specific novel molecular targets and predictive biomarkers for therapy.
Vaishali R. Moulton, George C. Tsokos
Steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS) is a frequent cause of progressive renal function decline and affects millions of people. In a recent study, 30% of SRNS cases evaluated were the result of monogenic mutations in 1 of 27 different genes. Here, using homozygosity mapping and whole-exome sequencing, we identified recessive mutations in
Heon Yung Gee ... Zhe Han, Friedhelm Hildebrandt
BACKGROUND. Individuals treated with the cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitor anacetrapib exhibit a reduction in both LDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B (ApoB) in response to...
BACKGROUND. Individuals treated with the cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitor anacetrapib exhibit a reduction in both LDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B (ApoB) in response to monotherapy or combination therapy with a statin. It is not clear how anacetrapib exerts these effects; therefore, the goal of this study was to determine the kinetic mechanism responsible for the reduction in LDL and ApoB in response to anacetrapib.
METHODS. We performed a trial of the effects of anacetrapib on ApoB kinetics. Mildly hypercholesterolemic subjects were randomized to background treatment of either placebo (
RESULTS. Anacetrapib markedly reduced the LDL-ApoB-100 pool size (PS) in both the placebo and ATV groups. These changes in PS resulted from substantial increases in LDL-ApoB-100 FCRs in both groups. Anacetrapib had no effect on LDL-ApoB-100 PRs in either treatment group. Moreover, there were no changes in the PCSK9 PS, FCR, or PR in either group. Anacetrapib treatment was associated with considerable increases in the LDL triglyceride/cholesterol ratio and LDL size by NMR.
CONCLUSION. These data indicate that anacetrapib, given alone or in combination with a statin, reduces LDL-ApoB-100 levels by increasing the rate of ApoB-100 fractional clearance.
TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00990808.
FUNDING. Merck & Co. Inc., Kenilworth, New Jersey, USA. Additional support for instrumentation was obtained from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (UL1TR000003 and UL1TR000040).
John S. Millar ... Henry N. Ginsberg, Daniel J. Rader
Restoration of hypoxia-induced apoptosis in tumors harboring p53 mutations has been proposed as a potential therapeutic strategy; however, the transcriptional targets that mediate hypoxia-induced p53-dependent apoptosis remain elusive. Here, we demonstrated that hypoxia-induced p53-dependent apoptosis is reliant on the DNA-binding and transactivation domains of p53 but not on the acetylation sites K120 and K164, which, in contrast, are essential for DNA damage–induced, p53-dependent apoptosis. Evaluation of hypoxia-induced transcripts in multiple cell lines identified a group of genes that are hypoxia-inducible proapoptotic targets of p53, including inositol polyphosphate-5-phosphatase (
Katarzyna B. Leszczynska ... Francesca M. Buffa, Ester M. Hammond
Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is characterized by renal cyst formation, inflammation, and fibrosis. Macrophages infiltrate cystic kidneys, but the role of these and other inflammatory factors in disease progression are poorly understood. Here, we identified macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) as an important regulator of cyst growth in ADPKD. MIF was upregulated in cyst-lining epithelial cells in polycysitn-1–deficient murine kidneys and accumulated in cyst fluid of human ADPKD kidneys. MIF promoted cystic epithelial cell proliferation by activating ERK, mTOR, and Rb/E2F pathways and by increasing glucose uptake and ATP production, which inhibited AMP-activated protein kinase signaling. MIF also regulated cystic renal epithelial cell apoptosis through p53-dependent signaling. In polycystin-1–deficient mice, MIF was required for recruitment and retention of renal macrophages, which promoted cyst expansion, and
Li Chen ... Jared J. Grantham, Xiaogang Li
The presence of hypoxia within a tumor is associated with poor clinical outcome, which is often exacerbated by loss of the tumor suppressor p53. In the presence of functional p53, hypoxic conditions promote apoptosis; however, the p53-dependent genes that mediate this process are not well understood. In this issue of the
Zhong Yun, Peter M. Glazer
The creation of a donor-independent source of platelets has been challenging; however, recent advances show growing promise for alternative platelet sources. Pluripotent stem cells have the capacity to differentiate into mature megakaryocytes with the ability to produce functional platelets. In this issue of
Matthew C. Canver, Daniel E. Bauer, Stuart H. Orkin
Timothy D. Kurt ... Qingzhong Kong, Christina J. Sigurdson
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.
Min-Jong Kang ... Yeon-Mok Oh, Jack A. Elias
B cells differentiate from pluripotent hematopoietic stem cells (pHSCs) in a series of distinct stages. During early embryonic development, pHSCs migrate into the fetal liver, where they develop and mature to B cells in a transient wave, which preferentially populates epithelia and lung as well as gut-associated lymphoid tissues. This is followed by continuous B cell development throughout life in the bone marrow to immature B cells that migrate to secondary lymphoid tissues, where they mature. At early stages of development, before B cell maturation, the gene loci encoding the heavy and light chains of immunoglobulin that determine the B cell receptor composition undergo stepwise rearrangements of variable region-encoding gene segments. Throughout life, these gene rearrangements continuously generate B cell repertoires capable of recognizing a plethora of self-antigens and non–self-antigens. The microenvironment in which these B cell repertoires develop provide signaling molecules that play critical roles in promoting gene rearrangements, proliferation, survival, or apoptosis, and that help to distinguish self-reactive from non–self-reactive B cells at four distinct checkpoints. This refinement of the B cell repertoire directly contributes to immunity, and defects in the process contribute to autoimmune disease.
In this Review we focus on the initiation of autoantibody production and autoantibody pathogenicity, with a special emphasis on the targeted antigens. Release of intracellular antigens due to excessive cell death or to ineffective clearance of apoptotic debris, modification of self-antigens during inflammatory responses, and molecular mimicry contribute to the initiation of autoantibody production. We hypothesize that those autoreactive B cells that survive and produce pathogenic autoantibodies have specificity for self-antigens that are TLR ligands. Such B cells experience both B cell receptor (BCR) activation and TLR engagement, leading to an escape from tolerance. Moreover, the autoantibodies they produce form immune complexes that can activate myeloid cells and thereby establish the proinflammatory milieu that further negates tolerance mechanisms of both B and T cells.
Jolien Suurmond, Betty Diamond
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.
Shannon L. Macauley ... Courtney L. Sutphen, David M. Holtzman
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.
Melissa C. Hanson ... Stefanie Mueller, Darrell J. Irvine
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
Ludovic Desvignes ... Joel D. Ernst, Stefan Feske
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.
Taishi Nakamura ... Philip Eaton, David A. Kass
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
Anindita Basak ... Zdenek Sedlacek, Vijay G. Sankaran
James T. Walsh ... Frauke Zipp, Jonathan Kipnis
Glycosphingolipids (GSLs) are essential constituents of cell membranes and lipid rafts and can modulate signal transduction events. The contribution of GSLs in osteoclast (OC) activation and osteolytic bone diseases in malignancies such as the plasma cell dyscrasia multiple myeloma (MM) is not known. Here, we tested the hypothesis that pathological activation of OCs in MM requires de novo GSL synthesis and is further enhanced by myeloma cell–derived GSLs. Glucosylceramide synthase (GCS) inhibitors, including the clinically approved agent
Adel Ersek ... Nicole J. Horwood, Anastasios Karadimitris
Glutaminase (GLS), which converts glutamine to glutamate, plays a key role in cancer cell metabolism, growth, and proliferation. GLS is being explored as a cancer therapeutic target, but whether GLS inhibitors affect cancer cell–autonomous growth or the host microenvironment or have off-target effects is unknown. Here, we report that loss of one copy of
Yan Xiang ... Dean W. Felsher, Chi V. Dang
Autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system attacks and destroys the organs and tissues of its own host. Autoimmunity is the third most common type of disease in the United States. Because there is no cure for autoimmunity, it is extremely important to study the mechanisms that trigger these diseases. Most autoimmune diseases predominantly affect females, indicating a strong sex bias. Various factors, including sex hormones, the presence or absence of a second X chromosome, and sex-specific gut microbiota can influence gene expression in a sex-specific way. These changes in gene expression may, in turn, lead to susceptibility or protection from autoimmunity, creating a sex bias for autoimmune diseases. In this Review we discuss recent findings in the field of sex-dependent regulation of gene expression and autoimmunity.
Kira Rubtsova, Philippa Marrack, Anatoly V. Rubtsov
Ductular reactions (DRs) are observed in virtually all forms of human liver disease; however, the histogenesis and function of DRs in liver injury are not entirely understood. It is widely believed that DRs contain bipotential liver progenitor cells (LPCs) that serve as an emergency cell pool to regenerate both cholangiocytes and hepatocytes and may eventually give rise to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Here, we used a murine model that allows highly efficient and specific lineage labeling of the biliary compartment to analyze the histogenesis of DRs and their potential contribution to liver regeneration and carcinogenesis. In multiple experimental and genetic liver injury models, biliary cells were the predominant precursors of DRs but lacked substantial capacity to produce new hepatocytes, even when liver injuries were prolonged up to 12 months. Genetic modulation of NOTCH and/or WNT/β-catenin signaling within lineage-tagged DRs impaired DR expansion but failed to redirect DRs from biliary differentiation toward the hepatocyte lineage. Further, lineage-labeled DRs did not produce tumors in genetic and chemical HCC mouse models. In summary, we found no evidence in our system to support mouse biliary-derived DRs as an LPC pool to replenish hepatocytes in a quantitatively relevant way in injury or evidence that DRs give rise to HCCs.
Simone Jörs ... Jens T. Siveke, Fabian Geisler
Podocytes are specialized epithelial cells in the kidney glomerulus that play important structural and functional roles in maintaining the filtration barrier. Nephrotic syndrome results from a breakdown of the kidney filtration barrier and is associated with proteinuria, hyperlipidemia, and edema. Additionally, podocytes undergo changes in morphology and internalize plasma proteins in response to this disorder. Here, we used fluid-phase tracers in murine models and determined that podocytes actively internalize fluid from the plasma and that the rate of internalization is increased when the filtration barrier is disrupted. In cultured podocytes, the presence of free fatty acids (FFAs) associated with serum albumin stimulated macropinocytosis through a pathway that involves FFA receptors, the Gβ/Gγ complex, and RAC1. Moreover, mice with elevated levels of plasma FFAs as the result of a high-fat diet were more susceptible to Adriamycin-induced proteinuria than were animals on standard chow. Together, these results support a model in which podocytes sense the disruption of the filtration barrier via FFAs bound to albumin and respond by enhancing fluid-phase uptake. The response to FFAs may function in the development of nephrotic syndrome by amplifying the effects of proteinuria.
Jun-Jae Chung ... Jeffrey H. Miner, Andrey S. Shaw
Mast cells (MCs) have been identified in various tumors; however, the role of these cells in tumorigenesis remains controversial. Here, we quantified MCs in human and murine malignant pleural effusions (MPEs) and evaluated the fate and function of these cells in MPE development. Evaluation of murine MPE-competent lung and colon adenocarcinomas revealed that these tumors actively attract and subsequently degranulate MCs in the pleural space by elaborating CCL2 and osteopontin. MCs were required for effusion development, as MPEs did not form in mice lacking MCs, and pleural infusion of MCs with MPE-incompetent cells promoted MPE formation. Once homed to the pleural space, MCs released tryptase AB1 and IL-1β, which in turn induced pleural vasculature leakiness and triggered NF-κB activation in pleural tumor cells, thereby fostering pleural fluid accumulation and tumor growth. Evaluation of human effusions revealed that MCs are elevated in MPEs compared with benign effusions. Moreover, MC abundance correlated with MPE formation in a human cancer cell–induced effusion model. Treatment of mice with the c-KIT inhibitor imatinib mesylate limited effusion precipitation by mouse and human adenocarcinoma cells. Together, the results of this study indicate that MCs are required for MPE formation and suggest that MC-dependent effusion formation is therapeutically addressable.
Anastasios D. Giannou ... Theodora Agalioti, Georgios T. Stathopoulos
Functional interactions between neurons, vasculature, and glia within neurovascular units are critical for maintenance of the retina and other CNS tissues. For example, the architecture of the neurosensory retina is a highly organized structure with alternating layers of neurons and blood vessels that match the metabolic demand of neuronal activity with an appropriate supply of oxygen within perfused blood. Here, using murine genetic models and cell ablation strategies, we have demonstrated that a subset of retinal interneurons, the amacrine and horizontal cells, form neurovascular units with capillaries in 2 of the 3 retinal vascular plexuses. Moreover, we determined that these cells are required for generating and maintaining the intraretinal vasculature through precise regulation of hypoxia-inducible and proangiogenic factors, and that amacrine and horizontal cell dysfunction induces alterations to the intraretinal vasculature and substantial visual deficits. These findings demonstrate that specific retinal interneurons and the intraretinal vasculature are highly interdependent, and loss of either or both elicits profound effects on photoreceptor survival and function.
Yoshihiko Usui ... Michael I. Dorrell, Martin Friedlander
Copyright © 2015 American Society for Clinical Investigation