FTY720 is a treatment for relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (MS). It is an analog of sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) and targets S1P receptors 1, 3, 4, and 5. Recent reports indicate an association between long-term exposure to FTY720 and cases of cryptococcal infection. Here, we studied the effect of FTY720 and its derivative, BAF312, which only target S1P receptors 1 and 5, in a mouse model of cryptococcal infection. We found that treatment with FTY720, but not with BAF312, led to decreased survival and increased organ burden in mouse cryptococcal granulomas. Both FTY720 and BAF312 caused a profound CD4+ and CD8+ T cell depletion in blood and lungs but only treatment with FTY720 led to cryptococcal reactivation. Treatment with FTY720, but not with BAF312, was associated with disorganization of macrophages and with M2 polarization at the granuloma site. In a cell system, FTY720 decreased phagocytosis and production of reactive oxygen species by macrophages, a phenotype recapitulated in the S1pr3–/– knockout macrophages. Our results suggest that FTY720 reactivates cryptococcosis from the granuloma through a S1P receptor 3–mediated mechanism and support the rationale for development of more-specific receptor modulators for therapeutic use of MS.
Arielle M. Bryan, Jeehyun Karen You, Travis McQuiston, Cristina Lazzarini, Zhijuan Qiu, Brian Sheridan, Barbara Nuesslein-Hildesheim, Maurizio Del Poeta
Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT). For decades, GVHD prophylaxis has included calcineurin inhibitors, despite their incomplete efficacy and impairment of graft-versus-leukemia (GVL). Distinct from pharmacologic immune suppression, we have developed what we believe is a novel, human CD83-targeted chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell for GVHD prevention. CD83 is expressed on allo-activated conventional CD4+ T cells (Tconvs) and proinflammatory dendritic cells (DCs), which are both implicated in GVHD pathogenesis. Human CD83 CAR T cells eradicate pathogenic CD83+ target cells, substantially increase the ratio of regulatory T cells (Tregs) to allo-activated Tconvs, and provide durable prevention of xenogeneic GVHD. CD83 CAR T cells are also capable of treating xenogeneic GVHD. We show that human acute myeloid leukemia (AML) expresses CD83 and that myeloid leukemia cell lines are readily killed by CD83 CAR T cells. Human CD83 CAR T cells are a promising cell-based approach to preventing 2 critical complications of allo-HCT — GVHD and relapse. Thus, the use of human CD83 CAR T cells for GVHD prevention and treatment, as well as for targeting CD83+ AML, warrants clinical investigation.
Bishwas Shrestha, Kelly Walton, Jordan Reff, Elizabeth M. Sagatys, Nhan Tu, Justin Boucher, Gongbo Li, Tayyebb Ghafoor, Martin Felices, Jeffrey S. Miller, Joseph Pidala, Bruce R. Blazar, Claudio Anasetti, Brian C. Betts, Marco L. Davila
Peripheral neurotoxicity is a debilitating condition that afflicts up to 90% of patients with colorectal cancer receiving oxaliplatin-containing therapy. Although emerging evidence has highlighted the importance of various solute carriers to the toxicity of anticancer drugs, the contribution of these proteins to oxaliplatin-induced peripheral neurotoxicity remains controversial. Among candidate transporters investigated in genetically engineered mouse models, we provide evidence for a critical role of the organic cation transporter 2 (OCT2) in satellite glial cells in oxaliplatin-induced neurotoxicity, and demonstrate that targeting OCT2 using genetic and pharmacological approaches ameliorates acute and chronic forms of neurotoxicity. The relevance of this transport system was verified in transporter-deficient rats as a secondary model organism, and translational significance of preventive strategies was demonstrated in preclinical models of colorectal cancer. These studies suggest that pharmacological targeting of OCT2 could be exploited to afford neuroprotection in cancer patients requiring treatment with oxaliplatin.
Kevin M. Huang, Alix F. Leblanc, Muhammad Erfan Uddin, Ji Young Kim, Mingqing Chen, Eric D. Eisenmann, Alice A. Gibson, Yang Li, Kristen W. Hong, Duncan DiGiacomo, Sherry H. Xia, Paola Alberti, Alessia Chiorazzi, Stephen N. Housley, Timothy C. Cope, Jason A. Sprowl, Jing Wang, Charles L. Loprinzi, Anne Noonan, Maryam B. Lustberg, Guido Cavaletti, Navjot Pabla, Shuiying Hu, Alex Sparreboom
Myelopoiesis is invariably present and contributes to pathology in animal models of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). In humans, a rich inflammatory infiltrate bearing macrophage markers has also been described in histological studies. In order to determine the origin, functional properties, and role in pathogenesis of these cells, we isolated single-cell suspensions from acute cutaneous GVHD and subjected them to genotype, transcriptome, and in vitro functional analysis. A donor-derived population of CD11c+CD14+ cells was the dominant population of all leukocytes in GVHD. Surface phenotype and NanoString gene expression profiling indicated the closest steady-state counterpart of these cells to be monocyte-derived macrophages. In GVHD, however, there was upregulation of monocyte antigens SIRPα and S100A8/9 transcripts associated with leukocyte trafficking, pattern recognition, antigen presentation, and costimulation. Isolated GVHD macrophages stimulated greater proliferation and activation of allogeneic T cells and secreted higher levels of inflammatory cytokines than their steady-state counterparts. In HLA-matched mixed leukocyte reactions, we also observed differentiation of activated macrophages with a similar phenotype. These exhibited cytopathicity to a keratinocyte cell line and mediated pathological damage to skin explants independently of T cells. Together, these results define the origin, functional properties, and potential pathogenic roles of human GVHD macrophages.
Laura Jardine, Urszula Cytlak, Merry Gunawan, Gary Reynolds, Kile Green, Xiao-Nong Wang, Sarah Pagan, Maharani Paramitha, Christopher A. Lamb, Anna K. Long, Erin Hurst, Smeera Nair, Graham H. Jackson, Amy Publicover, Venetia Bigley, Muzlifah Haniffa, A.J. Simpson, Matthew Collin
Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Donor T cells are key mediators in pathogenesis, but a contribution from host T cells has not been explored, as conditioning regimens are believed to deplete host T cells. To evaluate a potential role for host T cells in GVHD, the origin of skin and blood T cells was assessed prospectively in patients after HSCT in the absence of GVHD. While blood contained primarily donor-derived T cells, most T cells in the skin were host derived. We next examined patient skin, colon, and blood during acute GVHD. Host T cells were present in all skin and colon acute GVHD specimens studied, yet were largely absent in blood. We observed acute skin GVHD in the presence of 100% host T cells. Analysis demonstrated that a subset of host T cells in peripheral tissues were proliferating (Ki67+) and producing the proinflammatory cytokines IFN-γ and IL-17 in situ. Comparatively, the majority of antigen-presenting cells (APCs) in tissue in acute GVHD were donor derived, and donor-derived APCs were observed directly adjacent to host T cells. A humanized mouse model demonstrated that host skin-resident T cells could be activated by donor monocytes to generate a GVHD-like dermatitis. Thus, host tissue-resident T cells may play a previously unappreciated pathogenic role in acute GVHD.
Sherrie J. Divito, Anders T. Aasebø, Tiago R. Matos, Pei-Chen Hsieh, Matthew Collin, Christopher P. Elco, John T. O’Malley, Espen S. Bækkevold, Henrik Reims, Tobias Gedde-Dahl, Michael Hagerstrom, Jude Hilaire, John W. Lian, Edgar L. Milford, Geraldine S. Pinkus, Vincent T. Ho, Robert J. Soiffer, Haesook T. Kim, Martin C. Mihm, Jerome Ritz, Indira Guleria, Corey S. Cutler, Rachael A. Clark, Frode L. Jahnsen, Thomas S. Kupper
Th cells integrate signals from their microenvironment to acquire distinct specialization programs for efficient clearance of diverse pathogens or for immunotolerance. Ionic signals have recently been demonstrated to affect T cell polarization and function. Sodium chloride (NaCl) was proposed to accumulate in peripheral tissues upon dietary intake and to promote autoimmunity via the Th17 cell axis. Here, we demonstrate that high-NaCl conditions induced a stable, pathogen-specific, antiinflammatory Th17 cell fate in human T cells in vitro. The p38/MAPK pathway, involving NFAT5 and SGK1, regulated FoxP3 and IL-17A expression in high-NaCl conditions. The NaCl-induced acquisition of an antiinflammatory Th17 cell fate was confirmed in vivo in an experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) mouse model, which demonstrated strongly reduced disease symptoms upon transfer of T cells polarized in high-NaCl conditions. However, NaCl was coopted to promote murine and human Th17 cell pathogenicity, if T cell stimulation occurred in a proinflammatory and TGF-β–low cytokine microenvironment. Taken together, our findings reveal a context-dependent, dichotomous role for NaCl in shaping Th17 cell pathogenicity. NaCl might therefore prove beneficial for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases in combination with cytokine-blocking drugs.
Julia Matthias, Sylvia Heink, Felix Picard, Julia Zeiträg, Anna Kolz, Ying-Yin Chao, Dominik Soll, Gustavo P. de Almeida, Elke Glasmacher, Ilse D. Jacobsen, Thomas Riedel, Anneli Peters, Stefan Floess, Jochen Huehn, Dirk Baumjohann, Magdalena Huber, Thomas Korn, Christina E. Zielinski
Breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) play a critical role in cancer recurrence and metastasis. Chemotherapy induces BCSC specification through increased expression of pluripotency factors, but how their expression is regulated is not fully understood. Here, we delineate a pathway controlled by hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) that epigenetically activates pluripotency factor gene transcription in response to chemotherapy. Paclitaxel induces HIF-1–dependent expression of S100A10, which forms a complex with ANXA2 that interacts with histone chaperone SPT6 and histone demethylase KDM6A. S100A10, ANXA2, SPT6, and KDM6A are recruited to OCT4 binding sites and KDM6A erases H3K27me3 chromatin marks, facilitating transcription of genes encoding the pluripotency factors NANOG, SOX2, and KLF4, which along with OCT4 are responsible for BCSC specification. Silencing of S100A10, ANXA2, SPT6, or KDM6A expression blocks chemotherapy-induced enrichment of BCSCs, impairs tumor initiation, and increases time to tumor recurrence after chemotherapy is discontinued. Pharmacological inhibition of KDM6A also impairs chemotherapy-induced BCSC enrichment. These results suggest that targeting HIF-1/S100A10–dependent and KDM6A-mediated epigenetic activation of pluripotency factor gene expression in combination with chemotherapy may block BCSC enrichment and improve clinical outcome.
Haiquan Lu, Yangyiran Xie, Linh Tran, Jie Lan, Yongkang Yang, Naveena L. Murugan, Ru Wang, Yueyang J. Wang, Gregg L. Semenza
J. Wesley Pike, Mark B. Meyer
Exposure of mononuclear phagocytes to β-glucan, a naturally occurring polysaccharide, contributes to the induction of innate immune memory, which is associated with long-term epigenetic, metabolic, and functional reprogramming. Although previous studies have shown that innate immune memory induced by β-glucan confers protection against secondary infections, its impact on autoinflammatory diseases, associated with inflammasome activation and IL-1β secretion, remains poorly understood. In particular, whether β-glucan–induced long-term reprogramming affects inflammasome activation in human macrophages in the context of these diseases has not been explored. We found that NLRP3 inflammasome–mediated caspase-1 activation and subsequent IL-1β production were reduced in β-glucan–reprogrammed macrophages. β-Glucan acted upstream of the NLRP3 inflammasome by preventing potassium (K+) efflux, mitochondrial ROS (mtROS) generation, and, ultimately, apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a CARD (ASC) oligomerization and speck formation. Importantly, β-glucan–induced memory in macrophages resulted in a remarkable attenuation of IL-1β secretion and caspase-1 activation in patients with an NLRP3-associated autoinflammatory disease, cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS). Our findings demonstrate that β-glucan–induced innate immune memory represses IL-1β–mediated inflammation and support its potential clinical use in NLRP3-driven diseases.
Giorgio Camilli, Mathieu Bohm, Alícia Corbellini Piffer, Rachel Lavenir, David L. Williams, Benedicte Neven, Gilles Grateau, Sophie Georgin-Lavialle, Jessica Quintin
Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) benefits increasing numbers of patients with otherwise lethal diseases. Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), however, remains one of the most potentially life-threatening complications due to its own comorbidities and the side effects of its treatment. In this issue of the JCI, two groups have turned dogma on its head by providing evidence for alternative mechanisms of acute GVHD (aGVHD) in humans. The principle of donor T cell reactivity elicited by host antigen-presenting cells (APCs) expressing MHC-encoded major HLA disparities or expressing minor histocompatibility antigen (miHA) differences presented by identical HLA molecules remains intact. These reports, however, demonstrate that GVHD can additionally result from peripheral host T cells resident in skin and gut being stimulated against donor APCs in the form of monocyte-derived macrophages. Moreover, these donor monocyte-derived macrophages can themselves mediate cytopathic effects against resident host T cells in skin explants and against a keratinocyte-derived cell line.
James W. Young
Patients with common variable immunodeficiency associated with autoimmune cytopenia (CVID+AIC) generate few isotype-switched B cells with severely decreased frequencies of somatic hypermutations (SHMs), but their underlying molecular defects remain poorly characterized. We identified a CVID+AIC patient who displays a rare homozygous missense M466V mutation in β-catenin–like protein 1 (CTNNBL1). Because CTNNBL1 binds activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) that catalyzes SHM, we tested AID interactions with the CTNNBL1 M466V variant. We found that the M466V mutation interfered with the association of CTNNBL1 with AID, resulting in decreased AID in the nuclei of patient EBV-transformed B cell lines and of CTNNBL1 466V/V Ramos B cells engineered to express only CTNNBL1 M466V using CRISPR/Cas9 technology. As a consequence, the scarce IgG+ memory B cells from the CTNNBL1 466V/V patient showed a low SHM frequency that averaged 6.7 mutations compared with about 18 mutations per clone in healthy-donor counterparts. In addition, CTNNBL1 466V/V Ramos B cells displayed a decreased incidence of SHM that was reduced by half compared with parental WT Ramos B cells, demonstrating that the CTNNBL1 M466V mutation is responsible for defective SHM induction. We conclude that CTNNBL1 plays an important role in regulating AID-dependent antibody diversification in humans.
Marcel Kuhny, Lisa R. Forbes, Elif Çakan, Andrea Vega-Loza, Valentyna Kostiuk, Ravi K. Dinesh, Salomé Glauzy, Asbjorg Stray-Pedersen, Ashley E. Pezzi, I. Celine Hanson, Alexander Vargas-Hernandez, Mina LuQuing Xu, Zeynep H. Coban-Akdemir, Shalini N. Jhangiani, Donna M. Muzny, Richard A. Gibbs, James R. Lupski, Ivan K. Chinn, David G. Schatz, Jordan S. Orange, Eric Meffre
Despite the widespread use of antibiotics, bacterial pneumonias in donors strongly predispose to the fatal syndrome of primary graft dysfunction (PGD) following lung transplantation. We report that bacterial endotoxin persists in human donor lungs after pathogen is cleared with antibiotics and is associated with neutrophil infiltration and PGD. In mouse models, depletion of tissue-resident alveolar macrophages (TRAMs) attenuated neutrophil recruitment in response to endotoxin as shown by compartmental staining and intravital imaging. Bone marrow chimeric mice revealed that neutrophils were recruited by TRAM through activation of TLR4 in a MyD88-dependent manner. Intriguingly, low levels of endotoxin, insufficient to cause donor lung injury, promoted TRAM-dependent production of CXCL2, increased neutrophil recruitment, and led to PGD, which was independent of donor NCMs. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) increased in human donor lungs starting from the warm-ischemia phase and were associated with increased transcription and translocation to the plasma membrane of TLR4 in donor TRAMs. Consistently, scavenging ROS or inhibiting their production to prevent TLR4 transcription/translocation or blockade of TLR4 or coreceptor CD14 on donor TRAMs prevented neutrophil recruitment in response to endotoxin and ameliorated PGD. Our studies demonstrate that residual endotoxin after successful treatment of donor bacterial pneumonia promotes PGD through ischemia/reperfusion-primed donor TRAMs.
Mahzad Akbarpour, Emilia Lecuona, Stephen F. Chiu, Qiang Wu, Melissa Querrey, Ramiro Fernandez, Félix L. Núñez-Santana, Haiying Sun, Sowmya Ravi, Chitaru Kurihara, James M. Walter, Nikita Joshi, Ziyou Ren, Scott C. Roberts, Alan Hauser, Daniel Kreisel, Wenjun Li, Navdeep S. Chandel, Alexander V. Misharin, Thalachallour Mohanakumar, G. R. Scott Budinger, Ankit Bharat
Dominant mutations in the HSP70 cochaperone DNAJB6 cause a late-onset muscle disease termed limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type D1 (LGMDD1), which is characterized by protein aggregation and vacuolar myopathology. Disease mutations reside within the G/F domain of DNAJB6, but the molecular mechanisms underlying dysfunction are not well understood. Using yeast, cell culture, and mouse models of LGMDD1, we found that the toxicity associated with disease-associated DNAJB6 required its interaction with HSP70 and that abrogating this interaction genetically or with small molecules was protective. In skeletal muscle, DNAJB6 localizes to the Z-disc with HSP70. Whereas HSP70 normally diffused rapidly between the Z-disc and sarcoplasm, the rate of diffusion of HSP70 in LGMDD1 mouse muscle was diminished, probably because it had an unusual affinity for the Z-disc and mutant DNAJB6. Treating LGMDD1 mice with a small-molecule inhibitor of the DNAJ-HSP70 complex remobilized HSP70, improved strength, and corrected myopathology. These data support a model in which LGMDD1 mutations in DNAJB6 are a gain-of-function disease that is, counterintuitively, mediated via HSP70 binding. Thus, therapeutic approaches targeting HSP70-DNAJB6 may be effective in treating this inherited muscular dystrophy.
Rocio Bengoechea, Andrew R. Findlay, Ankan K. Bhadra, Hao Shao, Kevin C. Stein, Sara K. Pittman, Jil A.W. Daw, Jason E. Gestwicki, Heather L. True, Conrad C. Weihl
The transcription factor ISL1 is expressed in pituitary gland stem cells and the thyrotrope and gonadotrope lineages. Pituitary-specific Isl1 deletion causes hypopituitarism with increased stem cell apoptosis, reduced differentiation of thyrotropes and gonadotropes, and reduced body size. Conditional Isl1 deletion causes development of multiple Rathke’s cleft-like cysts, with 100% penetrance. Foxa1 and Foxj1 are abnormally expressed in the pituitary gland and associated with a ciliogenic gene-expression program in the cysts. We confirmed expression of FOXA1, FOXJ1, and stem cell markers in human Rathke’s cleft cyst tissue, but not craniopharyngiomas, which suggests these transcription factors are useful, pathological markers for diagnosis of Rathke’s cleft cysts. These studies support a model whereby expression of ISL1 in pituitary progenitors drives differentiation into thyrotropes and gonadotropes and without it, activation of FOXA1 and FOXJ1 permits development of an oral epithelial cell fate with mucinous cysts. This pituitary-specific Isl1 mouse knockout sheds light on the etiology of Rathke’s cleft cysts and the role of ISL1 in normal pituitary development.
Michelle L. Brinkmeier, Hironori Bando, Adriana C. Camarano, Shingo Fujio, Koji Yoshimoto, Flávio S.J. de Souza, Sally A. Camper
Esophageal atresia (EA/TEF) is a common congenital abnormality present in 1 of 4000 births. Here we show that atretic esophagi lack Noggin (NOG) expression, resulting in immature esophagus that contains respiratory glands. Moreover, when using mouse esophageal organoid units (EOUs) or tracheal organoid units (TOUs) as a model of foregut development and differentiation in vitro, NOG determines whether foregut progenitors differentiate toward esophageal or tracheal epithelium. These results indicate that NOG is a critical regulator of cell fate decisions between esophageal and pulmonary morphogenesis, and its lack of expression results in EA/TEF.
Carolina Pinzon-Guzman, Sreedhara Sangadala, Katherine M. Riera, Evgenya Y. Popova, Elizabeth Manning, Won Jae Huh, Matthew S. Alexander, Julia S. Shelton, Scott D. Boden, James R. Goldenring
Joubert syndrome (JBTS) is a recessive neurodevelopmental ciliopathy characterized by a pathognomonic hindbrain malformation. All known JBTS genes encode proteins involved in the structure or function of primary cilia, ubiquitous antenna-like organelles essential for cellular signal transduction. Here, we used the recently identified JBTS-associated protein armadillo repeat motif–containing 9 (ARMC9) in tandem-affinity purification and yeast 2-hybrid screens to identify a ciliary module whose dysfunction underlies JBTS. In addition to the known JBTS-associated proteins CEP104 and CSPP1, we identified coiled-coil domain containing 66 (CCDC66) and TOG array regulator of axonemal microtubules 1 (TOGARAM1) as ARMC9 interaction partners. We found that TOGARAM1 variants cause JBTS and disrupt TOGARAM1 interaction with ARMC9. Using a combination of protein interaction analyses, characterization of patient-derived fibroblasts, and analysis of CRISPR/Cas9-engineered zebrafish and hTERT-RPE1 cells, we demonstrated that dysfunction of ARMC9 or TOGARAM1 resulted in short cilia with decreased axonemal acetylation and polyglutamylation, but relatively intact transition zone function. Aberrant serum-induced ciliary resorption and cold-induced depolymerization in ARMC9 and TOGARAM1 patient cell lines suggest a role for this new JBTS-associated protein module in ciliary stability.
Brooke L. Latour, Julie C. Van De Weghe, Tamara D.S. Rusterholz, Stef J.F. Letteboer, Arianna Gomez, Ranad Shaheen, Matthias Gesemann, Arezou Karamzade, Mostafa Asadollahi, Miguel Barroso-Gil, Manali Chitre, Megan E. Grout, Jeroen van Reeuwijk, Sylvia E.C. van Beersum, Caitlin V. Miller, Jennifer C. Dempsey, Heba Morsy, University of Washington Center for Mendelian Genomics, Michael J. Bamshad, Genomics England Research Consortium, Deborah A. Nickerson, Stephan C.F. Neuhauss, Karsten Boldt, Marius Ueffing, Mohammad Keramatipour, John A. Sayer, Fowzan S. Alkuraya, Ruxandra Bachmann-Gagescu, Ronald Roepman, Dan Doherty
The identification of loss-of-function mutations in MKRN3 in patients with central precocious puberty in association with the decrease in MKRN3 expression in the medial basal hypothalamus of mice before the initiation of reproductive maturation suggests that MKRN3 is acting as a brake on gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) secretion during childhood. In the current study, we investigated the mechanism by which MKRN3 prevents premature manifestation of the pubertal process. We showed that, as in mice, MKRN3 expression is high in the hypothalamus of rats and nonhuman primates early in life, decreases as puberty approaches, and is independent of sex steroid hormones. We demonstrated that Mkrn3 is expressed in Kiss1 neurons of the mouse hypothalamic arcuate nucleus and that MKRN3 repressed promoter activity of human KISS1 and TAC3, 2 key stimulators of GnRH secretion. We further showed that MKRN3 has ubiquitinase activity, that this activity is reduced by MKRN3 mutations affecting the RING finger domain, and that these mutations compromised the ability of MKRN3 to repress KISS1 and TAC3 promoter activity. These results indicate that MKRN3 acts to prevent puberty initiation, at least in part, by repressing KISS1 and TAC3 transcription and that this action may involve an MKRN3-directed ubiquitination-mediated mechanism.
Ana Paula Abreu, Carlos A. Toro, Yong Bhum Song, Victor M. Navarro, Martha A. Bosch, Aysegul Eren, Joy N. Liang, Rona S. Carroll, Ana Claudia Latronico, Oline K. Rønnekleiv, Carlos F. Aylwin, Alejandro Lomniczi, Sergio Ojeda, Ursula B. Kaiser
Idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIM) involve chronic inflammation of skeletal muscle and subsequent muscle degeneration due to an uncontrolled autoimmune response; however, the mechanisms leading to pathogenesis are not well understood. A compromised sarcolemmal repair process could promote an aberrant exposure of intramuscular antigens with the subsequent initiation of an inflammatory response that contributes to IIM. Using an adoptive transfer mouse model of IIM, we show that sarcolemmal repair is significantly compromised in distal skeletal muscle in the absence of inflammation. We identified autoantibodies against TRIM72 (also known as MG53), a muscle-enriched membrane repair protein, in IIM patient sera and in our mouse model of IIM by ELISA. We found that patient sera with elevated levels of TRIM72 autoantibodies suppress sarcolemmal resealing in healthy skeletal muscle, and depletion of TRIM72 antibodies from these same serum samples rescues sarcolemmal repair capacity. Autoantibodies targeting TRIM72 lead to skeletal muscle fibers with compromised membrane barrier function, providing a continuous source of autoantigens to promote autoimmunity and further amplifying humoral responses. These findings reveal a potential pathogenic mechanism that acts as a feedback loop contributing to the progression of IIM.
Kevin E. McElhanon, Nicholas Young, Jeffrey Hampton, Brian J. Paleo, Thomas A. Kwiatkowski, Eric X Beck, Ana Capati, Kyle Jablonski, Travis Gurney, Miguel A. Lopez Perez, Rohit Aggarwal, Chester V. Oddis, Wael N. Jarjour, Noah Weisleder
The signals maintaining quiescence of the reproductive endocrine axis during childhood before its reawakening at puberty had been enigmatic. Studies in patients with abnormal puberty have illuminated the identity of the signals; kisspeptin has emerged as a major stimulator of puberty, and makorin RING finger protein 3 (MKRN3) as an inhibitory signal that prevents premature initiation of puberty. In this issue of the JCI, Abreu et al. investigated the mechanism by which MKRN3 regulates pubertal onset. The authors found that a reduction in MKRN3 alleviated the constraint on kisspeptin-expressing neurons to allow pubertal initiation, a phenomenon observed across species, including nonhuman primates. Further, the ubiquitinase activity of MKRN3 required its RING finger domain, in order to repress the promoter activity of genes encoding kisspeptin and neurokinin B. These data advance our understanding of the regulation of kisspeptin-expressing neurons by MKRN3 to initiate puberty.
Ali Abbara, Waljit S. Dhillo
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a genetically heterogenous group of eye diseases in which initial degeneration of rods triggers secondary degeneration of cones, leading to significant loss of daylight, color, and high-acuity vision. Gene complementation with adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors is one strategy to treat RP. Its implementation faces substantial challenges, however; for example, the tremendous number of loci with causal mutations. Gene therapy targeting secondary cone degeneration is an alternative approach that could provide a much-needed generic treatment for many patients with RP. Here, we show that microglia are required for the upregulation of potentially neurotoxic inflammatory factors during cone degeneration in RP, creating conditions that might contribute to cone dysfunction and death. To ameliorate the effects of such factors, we used AAV vectors to express isoforms of the antiinflammatory cytokine transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β). AAV-mediated delivery of TGF-β1 rescued degenerating cones in 3 mouse models of RP carrying different pathogenic mutations. Treatment with TGF-β1 protected vision, as measured by 2 behavioral assays, and could be pharmacologically disrupted by either depleting microglia or blocking the TGF-β receptors. Our results suggest that TGF-β1 may be broadly beneficial for patients with cone degeneration, and potentially other forms of neurodegeneration, through a pathway dependent upon microglia.
Sean K. Wang, Yunlu Xue, Constance L. Cepko
This Viewpoint describes how physicians and researchers can utilize approaches based on relationship-centered care and structural competence to reduce racism and enhance trustworthiness in health care and biomedical research.
Lisa A. Cooper, Deidra C. Crews
Antibodies targeting human leukocyte antigen (HLA)/major histocompatibility complex (MHC) proteins limit successful transplantation and transfusion, and their presence in blood products can cause lethal transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI). It is unclear which cell types are bound by these ‘anti-leukocyte’ antibodies to initiate an immunologic cascade resulting in lung injury. We therefore conditionally removed MHC class I (MHC I) from likely cellular targets in antibody-mediated lung injury. Only the removal of endothelial MHC I reduced lung injury and mortality, related mechanistically to absent endothelial complement fixation and lung platelet retention. Restoration of endothelial MHC I rendered MHC I-deficient mice susceptible to lung injury. Neutrophil responses, including neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) release, were intact in endothelial MHC I-deficient mice, whereas complement depletion reduced both lung injury and NETs. Human pulmonary endothelial cells showed high HLA class I expression, and post-transfusion complement activation was increased in clinical TRALI. These results indicate that the critical source of antigen for ‘anti-leukocyte’ antibodies is in fact the endothelium, which reframes our understanding of TRALI as a rapid-onset vasculitis. Inhibition of complement activation may have multiple beneficial effects of reducing endothelial injury, platelet retention, and NET release in conditions where antibodies trigger these pathogenic responses.
Simon J. Cleary, Nicholas Kwaan, Jennifer J. Tian, Daniel R. Calabrese, Beñat Mallavia, Mélia Magnen, John R. Greenland, Anatoly Urisman, Jonathan P. Singer, Steven R. Hays, Jasleen Kukreja, Ariel M. Hay, Heather L. Howie, Pearl Toy, Clifford A. Lowell, Craig N. Morrell, James C. Zimring, Mark R. Looney
Background: Initial reports from the Severe Acute Respiratory Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic described children as being less susceptible to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) than adults. Subsequently, a severe and novel pediatric disorder termed Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) emerged. We report on unique hematologic and immunologic parameters that distinguish between COVID-19 and MIS-C and provide insight into pathophysiology. Methods: We prospectively enrolled hospitalized patients with evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection and classified them as having MIS-C or COVID-19. Patients with COVID-19 were classified as having either minimal or severe disease. Cytokine profiles, viral cycle thresholds (Cts), blood smears, and soluble C5b-9 values were analyzed with clinical data. Twenty patients were enrolled (9 severe COVID-19, 5 minimal COVID-19, and 6 MIS-C). Five cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-10, IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-α) contributed to the analysis. TNF-α and IL-10 discriminated between patients with MIS-C and severe COVID-19. Cts and burr cells on blood smears also differentiated between patients with severe COVID-19 and those with MIS-C. Conclusion: Pediatric patients with SARS-CoV-2 are at risk for critical illness with severe COVID-19 and MIS-C. Cytokine profiling and examination of peripheral blood smears may distinguish between patients with MIS-C and severe COVID-19.
Caroline Diorio, Sarah E. Henrickson, Laura A. Vella, Kevin O. McNerney, Julie M. Chase, Chakkapong Burudpakdee, Jessica H. Lee, Cristina Jasen, Fran Balamuth, David M. Barrett, Brenda Banwell, Kathrin M. Bernt, Allison M. Blatz, Kathleen Chiotos, Brian T. Fisher, Julie C. Fitzgerald, Jeffrey S. Gerber, Kandace Gollomp, Christopher Gray, Stephan A. Grupp, Rebecca M. Harris, Todd J. Kilbaugh, Audrey R. Odom John, Michele P. Lambert, Emily J. Liebling, Michele Paessler, Whitney Petrosa, Charles A. Phillips, Anne F. Reilly, Neil Romberg, Alix E. Seif, Deborah Sesok-Pizzini, Kathleen Sullivan, Julie Vardaro, Edward M Behrens, David T. Teachey, Hamid Bassiri
Intermittent hypoxia (IH) is a hallmark manifestation of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a widespread disorder of breathing. This review focuses on the role of hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) in hypertension, type 2 diabetes (T2D), and cognitive decline in experimental models of IH patterned after O2 profiles seen in OSA. IH increases HIF-1α and decreases HIF-2α protein levels. Dysregulated HIFs increase reactive oxygen species (ROS) through HIF-1-dependent activation of pro-oxidant enzyme genes in addition to reduced transcription of anti-oxidant genes by HIF-2. ROS in turn activates chemoreflex and suppresses baroreflex, thereby stimulating the sympathetic nervous system and causing hypertension. We will also discuss how increased ROS generation by HIF-1 also contributes to IH-induced insulin resistance and T2D as well as disrupted NMDA receptor signaling in the hippocampus, resulting in cognitive decline.
Nanduri R. Prabhakar, Ying-Jie Peng, Jayasri Nanduri
As a hallmark of immunological ageing, the low-grade, chronic inflammation with accumulation of effector-memory T cells contributes to the increased susceptibility of many ageing-related diseases. While the proinflammatory state of aged T cells indicates a dysregulation of immune homeostasis, whether and how ageing drives regulatory T (Treg) cell ageing and alters their function is not fully understood due to a lack of specific ageing markers. Here, by a combination of cellular, molecular and bioinformatic approaches, we discover that Treg cells senesce more severely than conventional T (Tconv) cells during ageing. We found Treg cells from aged mice were less efficient than young Treg cells to suppress Tconv cell function in an inflammatory-bowel-disease model and to prevent Tconv cell ageing in the irradiation-induced ageing model. Furthermore, we revealed that DCAF1 (DDB1 and CUL4 associated factor 1) was downregulated in aged Treg cells and was critical to restrain Treg cell ageing via glutathione S-transferase P (GSTP1) regulated reactive-oxygen-species (ROS). Importantly, interfering with GSTP1 and ROS pathways reinvigorated the proliferation and function of aged Treg cells. Therefore, our studies uncover an important role of DCAF1-GSTP1-ROS axis in Treg cell senescence, which leads to uncontrolled inflammation and immunological ageing.
Zengli Guo, Gang Wang, Bing Wu, Wei-Chun Chou, Liang Cheng, Chenlin Zhou, Jitong Lou, Di Wu, Lishan Su, Junnian Zheng, Jenny Pan-Yun Ting, Yisong Y. Wan
Prostate cancer is associated with dysregulated gene expression, but how the chromatin landscape influences RNA Polymerase II (RNA Pol II) and transcriptional output remains unclear. In this issue of the JCI, Ramanand, Chen, Yuan, and colleagues mapped the RNA Pol II/chromatin interaction of healthy or cancerous prostate cell lines. The researchers used a modified paired-end tag sequencing technique to immunoprecipitate chromatin from crosslinked cells. They revealed thousands of protein-DNA and DNA-DNA interactions. This study highlights the importance of genome structure and transcriptional dysregulation in prostate cancer. The cover image ‘Burst of Passion II’ by artist Ken Bonner exemplifies the coordinated and dynamic nature of transcriptional machinery. Image credit: Ken Bonner.
JCI This Month is a digest of the research, reviews, and other features published each month.
Latency describes the persistence of a microorganism within its host in the absence of clinical symptoms of disease. Both microorganism and host benefit from induction of latency: the microorganism establishes a stable environment that facilitates survival, and the host avoids progressive damage and disease. Latent states have been observed in bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infectious diseases, though the mechanisms differ within each microorganism and host pair. In this issue, a Review Series on Latency in Infectious Disease explores the different strategies that various microorganisms use to achieve latency. Conceptualized by JCI’s Deputy Editor Arturo Casadevall, the series highlights the latency mechanisms employed by herpesviruses, HIV, Cryptococcus neoformans, and Toxoplasma gondii. In addition to describing mechanisms, the reviews outline the detrimental effects of latent disease and recent progress toward treatment and eradication.