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Abstract

Emerging data indicate that complement and neutrophils contribute to the maladaptive immune response that fuels hyperinflammation and thrombotic microangiopathy, thereby increasing coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) mortality. Here, we investigated how complement interacts with the platelet/neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs)/thrombin axis, using COVID-19 specimens, cell-based inhibition studies, and NET/human aortic endothelial cell (HAEC) cocultures. Increased plasma levels of NETs, tissue factor (TF) activity, and sC5b-9 were detected in patients. Neutrophils of patients yielded high TF expression and released NETs carrying active TF. Treatment of control neutrophils with COVID-19 platelet-rich plasma generated TF-bearing NETs that induced thrombotic activity of HAECs. Thrombin or NETosis inhibition or C5aR1 blockade attenuated platelet-mediated NET-driven thrombogenicity. COVID-19 serum induced complement activation in vitro, consistent with high complement activity in clinical samples. Complement C3 inhibition with compstatin Cp40 disrupted TF expression in neutrophils. In conclusion, we provide a mechanistic basis for a pivotal role of complement and NETs in COVID-19 immunothrombosis. This study supports strategies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 that exploit complement or NETosis inhibition.

Authors

Panagiotis Skendros, Alexandros Mitsios, Akrivi Chrysanthopoulou, Dimitrios C. Mastellos, Simeon Metallidis, Petros Rafailidis, Maria Ntinopoulou, Eleni Sertaridou, Victoria Tsironidou, Christina Tsigalou, Maria Tektonidou, Theocharis Konstantinidis, Charalampos Papagoras, Ioannis Mitroulis, Georgios Germanidis, John D. Lambris, Konstantinos Ritis

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Abstract

Convalescent plasma is a leading treatment for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but there is a paucity of data identifying its therapeutic efficacy. Among 126 potential convalescent plasma donors, the humoral immune response was evaluated using a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS–CoV-2) virus neutralization assay with Vero-E6-TMPRSS2 cells; a commercial IgG and IgA ELISA to detect the spike (S) protein S1 domain (EUROIMMUN); IgA, IgG, and IgM indirect ELISAs to detect the full-length S protein or S receptor–binding domain (S-RBD); and an IgG avidity assay. We used multiple linear regression and predictive models to assess the correlations between antibody responses and demographic and clinical characteristics. IgG titers were greater than either IgM or IgA titers for S1, full-length S, and S-RBD in the overall population. Of the 126 plasma samples, 101 (80%) had detectable neutralizing antibody (nAb) titers. Using nAb titers as the reference, the IgG ELISAs confirmed 95%–98% of the nAb-positive samples, but 20%–32% of the nAb-negative samples were still IgG ELISA positive. Male sex, older age, and hospitalization for COVID-19 were associated with increased antibody responses across the serological assays. There was substantial heterogeneity in the antibody response among potential convalescent plasma donors, but sex, age, and hospitalization emerged as factors that can be used to identify individuals with a high likelihood of having strong antiviral antibody responses.

Authors

Sabra L. Klein, Andrew Pekosz, Han-Sol Park, Rebecca L. Ursin, Janna R. Shapiro, Sarah E. Benner, Kirsten Littlefield, Swetha Kumar, Harnish Mukesh Naik, Michael J. Betenbaugh, Ruchee Shrestha, Annie A. Wu, Robert M. Hughes, Imani Burgess, Patricio Caturegli, Oliver Laeyendecker, Thomas C. Quinn, David Sullivan, Shmuel Shoham, Andrew D. Redd, Evan M. Bloch, Arturo Casadevall, Aaron A.R. Tobian

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Abstract

Authors

John M. Carethers

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Abstract

In a stunningly short period of time, the unexpected coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS–CoV-2), has turned the unprepared world topsy-turvy. Although the rapidity with which the virus struck was indeed overwhelming, scientists throughout the world have been up to the task of deciphering the mechanisms by which SARS–CoV-2 induces the multisystem and multiorgan inflammatory responses that, collectively, contribute to the high mortality rate in affected individuals. In this issue of the JCI, Skendros and Mitsios et al. is one such team who report that the complement system plays a substantial role in creating the hyperinflammation and thrombotic microangiopathy that appear to contribute to the severity of COVID-19. In support of the hypothesis that the complement system along with neutrophils and platelets contributes to COVID-19, the authors present empirical evidence showing that treatment with the complement inhibitor compstatin Cp40 inhibited the expression of tissue factor in neutrophils. These results confirm that the complement axis plays a critical role and suggest that targeted therapy using complement inhibitors is a potential therapeutic option to treat COVID-19–induced inflammation.

Authors

Berhane Ghebrehiwet, Ellinor I. Peerschke

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Abstract

No treatment for frontotemporal dementia (FTD), the second most common type of early-onset dementia, is available, but therapeutics are being investigated to target the 2 main proteins associated with FTD pathological subtypes: TDP-43 (FTLD-TDP) and tau (FTLD-tau). Testing potential therapies in clinical trials is hampered by our inability to distinguish between patients with FTLD-TDP and FTLD-tau. Therefore, we evaluated truncated stathmin-2 (STMN2) as a proxy of TDP-43 pathology, given the reports that TDP-43 dysfunction causes truncated STMN2 accumulation. Truncated STMN2 accumulated in human induced pluripotent stem cell–derived neurons depleted of TDP-43, but not in those with pathogenic TARDBP mutations in the absence of TDP-43 aggregation or loss of nuclear protein. In RNA-Seq analyses of human brain samples from the NYGC ALS cohort, truncated STMN2 RNA was confined to tissues and disease subtypes marked by TDP-43 inclusions. Last, we validated that truncated STMN2 RNA was elevated in the frontal cortex of a cohort of patients with FTLD-TDP but not in controls or patients with progressive supranuclear palsy, a type of FTLD-tau. Further, in patients with FTLD-TDP, we observed significant associations of truncated STMN2 RNA with phosphorylated TDP-43 levels and an earlier age of disease onset. Overall, our data uncovered truncated STMN2 as a marker for TDP-43 dysfunction in FTD.

Authors

Mercedes Prudencio, Jack Humphrey, Sarah Pickles, Anna-Leigh Brown, Sarah E. Hill, Jennifer M. Kachergus, J. Shi, Michael G. Heckman, Matthew R. Spiegel, Casey Cook, Yuping Song, Mei Yue, Lillian M. Daughrity, Yari Carlomagno, Karen Jansen-West, Cristhoper Fernandez de Castro, Michael DeTure, Shunsuke Koga, Ying-Chih Wang, Prasanth Sivakumar, Cristian Bodo, Ana Candalija, Kevin Talbot, Bhuvaneish T. Selvaraj, Karen Burr, Siddharthan Chandran, Jia Newcombe, Tammaryn Lashley, Isabel Hubbard, Demetra Catalano, Duyang Kim, Nadia Propp, Samantha Fennessey, NYGC ALS Consortium, Delphine Fagegaltier, Hemali Phatnani, Maria Secrier, Elizabeth M.C. Fisher, Björn Oskarsson, Marka van Blitterswijk, Rosa Rademakers, Neil R. Graff-Radford, Bradley F. Boeve, David S. Knopman, Ronald C. Petersen, Keith A. Josephs, E. Aubrey Thompson, Towfique Raj, Michael Ward, Dennis W. Dickson, Tania F. Gendron, Pietro Fratta, Leonard Petrucelli

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Abstract

Authors

Rotonya M. Carr

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Abstract

The α6β4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is enriched in dorsal root ganglia neurons and is an attractive non-opioid therapeutic target for pain. However, difficulty expressing human α6β4 receptors in recombinant systems has precluded drug discovery. Here, genome-wide screening identified accessory proteins that enable reconstitution of human α6β4 nAChRs. BARP, an auxiliary subunit of voltage-dependent calcium channels, promoted α6β4 surface expression while IRE1α, an unfolded protein response sensor, enhanced α6β4 receptor assembly. Effects on α6β4 involve BARP’s N-terminal region and IRE1α’s splicing of XBP1 mRNA. Furthermore, clinical efficacy of nicotinic agents in relieving neuropathic pain best correlated with their activity on α6β4. Finally, BARP-knockout, but not NACHO-knockout mice lacked nicotine-induced antiallodynia, highlighting the functional importance of α6β4 in pain. These results identify roles for IRE1α and BARP in neurotransmitter receptor assembly and unlock drug discovery for the previously elusive α6β4 receptor.

Authors

Daniel Knowland, Shenyan Gu, William A. Eckert III, G. Brent Dawe, Jose A. Matta, James Limberis, Alan D. Wickenden, Anindya Bhattacharya, David S. Bredt

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Abstract

Useful animal models of disease in neuroscience can make accurate predictions about a therapeutic outcome, a feature known as predictive validity. In this issue of the JCI, Knowland et al. provide an improved model to assess nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) ligands for treating chronic pain. The authors identify two proteins, the voltage-dependent calcium channel auxiliary subunit BARP and the unfolded protein response sensor IRE1α, that are required for robust heterologous expression of α6β4, an nAChR subtype in dorsal root ganglia (DRG). This nAChR is a candidate for the analgesic effects of nicotine as well as the frog toxin epibatidine. Now researchers can efficiently screen for α6β4 nAChR–selective agonists using heterologous expression systems. Candidates that emerge will enable researchers to test the predictive validity of mouse models for chronic pain in the nAChR context. If all these steps work, one can envision a class of non-opioid nAChR-targeted analgesics for chronic pain.

Authors

Stephen Grant, Henry A. Lester

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Abstract

T cell exclusion causes resistance to cancer immunotherapies via immune checkpoint blockade (ICB). Myeloid cells contribute to resistance by expressing signal regulatory protein-α (SIRPα), an inhibitory membrane receptor that interacts with ubiquitous receptor CD47 to control macrophage phagocytosis in the tumor microenvironment. Although CD47/SIRPα-targeting drugs have been assessed in preclinical models, the therapeutic benefit of selectively blocking SIRPα, and not SIRPγ/CD47, in humans remains unknown. We report a potent synergy between selective SIRPα blockade and ICB in increasing memory T cell responses and reverting exclusion in syngeneic and orthotopic tumor models. Selective SIRPα blockade stimulated tumor nest T cell recruitment by restoring murine and human macrophage chemokine secretion and increased anti-tumor T cell responses by promoting tumor-antigen crosspresentation by dendritic cells. However, nonselective SIRPα/SIRPγ blockade targeting CD47 impaired human T cell activation, proliferation, and endothelial transmigration. Selective SIRPα inhibition opens an attractive avenue to overcoming ICB resistance in patients with elevated myeloid cell infiltration in solid tumors.

Authors

Vanessa Gauttier, Sabrina Pengam, Justine Durand, Kevin Biteau, Caroline Mary, Aurore Morello, Mélanie Néel, Georgia Porto, Géraldine Teppaz, Virginie Thepenier, Richard Danger, Nicolas Vince, Emmanuelle Wilhelm, Isabelle Girault, Riad Abes, Catherine Ruiz, Charlène Trilleaud, Kerry-Leigh Ralph, E. Sergio Trombetta, Alexandra Garcia, Virginie Vignard, Bernard Martinet, Alexandre Glémain, Sarah Bruneau, Fabienne Haspot, Safa Dehmani, Pierre Duplouye, Masayuki Miyasaka, Nathalie Labarrière, David Laplaud, Stéphanie Le Bas-Bernardet, Christophe Blanquart, Véronique Catros, Pierre-Antoine Gouraud, Isabelle Archambeaud, Hélène Aublé, Sylvie Metairie, Jean-François Mosnier, Dominique Costantini, Gilles Blancho, Sophie Conchon, Bernard Vanhove, Nicolas Poirier

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Abstract

Human T cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is mainly transmitted vertically through breast milk. The rate of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) through formula feeding, although significantly lower than through breastfeeding, is approximately 2.4%–3.6%, suggesting the possibility of alternative transmission routes. MTCT of HTLV-1 might occur through the uterus, birth canal, or placental tissues; the latter is known as transplacental transmission. Here, we found that HTLV-1 proviral DNA was present in the placental villous tissues of the fetuses of nearly half of pregnant carriers and in a small number of cord blood samples. An RNA ISH assay showed that HTLV-1–expressing cells were present in nearly all subjects with HTLV-1–positive placental villous tissues, and their frequency was significantly higher in subjects with HTLV-1–positive cord blood samples. Furthermore, placental villous trophoblasts expressed HTLV-1 receptors and showed increased susceptibility to HTLV-1 infection. In addition, HTLV-1–infected trophoblasts expressed high levels of viral antigens and promoted the de novo infection of target T cells in a humanized mouse model. In summary, during pregnancy of HTLV-1 carriers, HTLV-1 was highly expressed in placental villous tissues, and villous trophoblasts showed high HTLV-1 sensitivity, suggesting that MTCT of HTLV-1 occurs through the placenta.

Authors

Kenta Tezuka, Naoki Fuchi, Kazu Okuma, Takashi Tsukiyama, Shoko Miura, Yuri Hasegawa, Ai Nagata, Nahoko Komatsu, Hiroo Hasegawa, Daisuke Sasaki, Eita Sasaki, Takuo Mizukami, Madoka Kuramitsu, Sahoko Matsuoka, Katsunori Yanagihara, Kiyonori Miura, Isao Hamaguchi

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Abstract

Cytoplasmic aggregated proteins are a common neuropathological feature of neurodegenerative diseases. Cytoplasmic mislocalization and aggregation of TAR-DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) is found in the majority of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and in approximately 50% of patients dying of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). In this issue of the JCI, Prudencio, Humphrey, Pickles, and colleagues investigated the relationship of TDP-43 pathology with the loss of stathmin-2 (STMN2), an essential protein for axonal growth and maintenance. Comparing genetic, cellular, and neuropathological data from patients with TDP-43 proteinopathies (ALS, ALS–frontotemporal dementia [ALS-FTD], and FTLD-TDP-43 [FTLD-TDP]) with data from patients with non-TDP–related neurodegenerations, they demonstrate a direct relationship between TDP-43 pathology and STMN2 reduction. Loss of the normal transcription suppressor function of TDP-43 allowed transcription of an early termination cryptic axon, resulting in truncated, nonfunctional mRNA. The authors suggest that measurement of truncated STMN2 mRNA could be a biomarker for discerning TDP proteinopathies from other pathologies.

Authors

Jonathan D. Glass

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Abstract

BACKGROUND The recent failure of checkpoint-blockade therapies for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in late-phase clinical trials has directed interest toward adoptive cellular therapies (ACTs). In this open-label, first-in-human trial, we have assessed the safety and therapeutic potential of cytomegalovirus-specific (CMV-specific) ACT in an adjuvant setting for patients with primary GBM, with an ultimate goal to prevent or delay recurrence and prolong overall survival.METHODS Twenty-eight patients with primary GBM were recruited to this prospective study, 25 of whom were treated with in vitro–expanded autologous CMV-specific T cells. Participants were monitored for safety, progression-free survival, overall survival (OS), and immune reconstitution.RESULTS No participants showed evidence of ACT-related toxicities. Of 25 evaluable participants, 10 were alive at the completion of follow-up, while 5 were disease free. Reconstitution of CMV-specific T cell immunity was evident and CMV-specific ACT may trigger a bystander effect leading to additional T cell responses to nonviral tumor-associated antigens through epitope spreading. Long-term follow-up of participants treated before recurrence showed significantly improved OS when compared with those who progressed before ACT (median 23 months, range 7–65 vs. median 14 months, range 5–19; P = 0.018). Gene expression analysis of the ACT products indicated that a favorable T cell gene signature was associated with improved long-term survival.CONCLUSION Data presented in this study demonstrate that CMV-specific ACT can be safely used as an adjuvant therapy for primary GBM and, if offered before recurrence, this therapy may improve OS of GBM patients.TRIAL REGISTRATION anzctr.org.au: ACTRN12615000656538.FUNDING Philanthropic funding and the National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia).

Authors

Corey Smith, Katie E. Lineburg, J. Paulo Martins, George R. Ambalathingal, Michelle A. Neller, Beth Morrison, Katherine K. Matthews, Sweera Rehan, Pauline Crooks, Archana Panikkar, Leone Beagley, Laetitia Le Texier, Sriganesh Srihari, David Walker, Rajiv Khanna

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Abstract

Muscular dystrophies are a heterogeneous group of genetic diseases, characterized by progressive degeneration of skeletal and cardiac muscle. Despite the intense investigation of different therapeutic options, a definitive treatment has not been developed for this debilitating class of pathologies. Cell-based therapies in muscular dystrophies have been pursued experimentally for the last three decades. Several cell types with different characteristics and tissues of origin, including myogenic stem and progenitor cells, stromal cells, and pluripotent stem cells, have been investigated over the years and have recently entered in the clinical arena with mixed results. In this Review, we do a roundup of the past attempts and describe the updated status of cell-based therapies aimed at counteracting the skeletal and cardiac myopathy present in dystrophic patients. We present current challenges, summarize recent progress, and make recommendations for future research and clinical trials.

Authors

Stefano Biressi, Antonio Filareto, Thomas A. Rando

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Abstract

Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) identified DUSP8, encoding a dual-specificity phosphatase targeting mitogen-activated protein kinases, as a type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk gene. Here, we reveal that Dusp8 is a gatekeeper in the hypothalamic control of glucose homeostasis in mice and humans. Male, but not female, Dusp8 loss-of-function mice, either with global or corticotropin-releasing hormone neuron–specific deletion, had impaired systemic glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity when exposed to high-fat diet (HFD). Mechanistically, we found impaired hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis feedback, blunted sympathetic responsiveness, and chronically elevated corticosterone levels driven by hypothalamic hyperactivation of Jnk signaling. Accordingly, global Jnk1 ablation, AAV-mediated Dusp8 overexpression in the mediobasal hypothalamus, or metyrapone-induced chemical adrenalectomy rescued the impaired glucose homeostasis of obese male Dusp8-KO mice, respectively. The sex-specific role of murine Dusp8 in governing hypothalamic Jnk signaling, insulin sensitivity, and systemic glucose tolerance was consistent with functional MRI data in human volunteers that revealed an association of the DUSP8 rs2334499 risk variant with hypothalamic insulin resistance in men. Further, expression of DUSP8 was increased in the infundibular nucleus of T2D humans. In summary, our findings suggest the GWAS-identified gene Dusp8 as a novel hypothalamic factor that plays a functional role in the etiology of T2D.

Authors

Sonja C. Schriever, Dhiraj G. Kabra, Katrin Pfuhlmann, Peter Baumann, Emily V. Baumgart, Joachim Nagler, Fabian Seebacher, Luke Harrison, Martin Irmler, Stephanie Kullmann, Felipe Corrêa-da-Silva, Florian Giesert, Ruchi Jain, Hannah Schug, Julien Castel, Sarah Martinez, Moya Wu, Hans-Ulrich Häring, Martin Hrabe de Angelis, Johannes Beckers, Timo D. Müller, Kerstin Stemmer, Wolfgang Wurst, Jan Rozman, Ruben Nogueiras, Meri De Angelis, Jeffery D. Molkentin, Natalie Krahmer, Chun-Xia Yi, Mathias V. Schmidt, Serge Luquet, Martin Heni, Matthias H. Tschöp, Paul T. Pfluger

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Abstract

Epstein-Barr virus–induced gene 3 (EBI3) is a subunit common to IL-27, IL-35, and IL-39. Here, we explore an intracellular role of EBI3 that is independent of its function in cytokines. EBI3-deficient naive CD4+ T cells had reduced IFN-γ production and failed to induce T cell–dependent colitis in mice. Similarly reduced IFN-γ production was observed in vitro in EBI3-deficient CD4+ T cells differentiated under pathogenic Th17 polarizing conditions with IL-23. This is because the induction of expression of one of the IL-23 receptor (IL-23R) subunits, IL-23Rα, but not another IL-23R subunit, IL-12Rβ1, was selectively decreased at the protein level, but not the mRNA level. EBI3 augmented IL-23Rα expression via binding to the chaperone molecule calnexin and to IL-23Rα in a peptide-dependent manner, but not a glycan-dependent manner. Indeed, EBI3 failed to augment IL-23Rα expression in the absence of endogenous calnexin. Moreover, EBI3 poorly augmented the expression of G149R, an IL-23Rα variant that protects against the development of human colitis, because binding of EBI3 to the variant was reduced. Taken together with the result that EBI3 expression is inducible in T cells, the present results suggest that EBI3 plays a critical role in augmenting IL-23Rα protein expression via calnexin under inflammatory conditions.

Authors

Izuru Mizoguchi, Mio Ohashi, Hideaki Hasegawa, Yukino Chiba, Naoko Orii, Shinya Inoue, Chiaki Kawana, Mingli Xu, Katsuko Sudo, Koji Fujita, Masahiko Kuroda, Shin-ichi Hashimoto, Kouji Matsushima, Takayuki Yoshimoto

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Abstract

How T cells integrate environmental cues into signals that limit the magnitude and length of immune responses is poorly understood. Here, we provide data that demonstrate that B55β, a regulatory subunit of protein phosphatase 2A, represents a molecular link between cytokine concentration and apoptosis in activated CD8+ T cells. Through the modulation of AKT, B55β induced the expression of the proapoptotic molecule Hrk in response to cytokine withdrawal. Accordingly, B55β and Hrk were both required for in vivo and in vitro contraction of activated CD8+ lymphocytes. We show that this process plays a role during clonal contraction, establishment of immune memory, and preservation of peripheral tolerance. This regulatory pathway may represent an unexplored opportunity to end unwanted immune responses or to promote immune memory.

Authors

Noé Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Iris K. Madera-Salcedo, J. Alejandro Cisneros-Segura, H. Benjamín García-González, Sokratis A. Apostolidis, Abril Saint-Martin, Marcela Esquivel-Velázquez, Tran Nguyen, Dámaris P. Romero-Rodríguez, George C. Tsokos, Jorge Alcocer-Varela, Florencia Rosetti, José C. Crispín

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Abstract

BACKGROUND Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell immunotherapy has resulted in complete remission (CR) and durable response in highly refractory patients. However, logistical complexity and high costs of manufacturing autologous viral products limit CAR T cell availability.METHODS We report the early results of a phase I/II trial in B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) patients relapsed after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) using donor-derived CD19 CAR T cells generated with the Sleeping Beauty (SB) transposon and differentiated into cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells.RESULTS The cellular product was produced successfully for all patients from the donor peripheral blood (PB) and consisted mostly of CD3+ lymphocytes with 43% CAR expression. Four pediatric and 9 adult patients were infused with a single dose of CAR T cells. Toxicities reported were 2 grade I and 1 grade II cytokine-release syndrome (CRS) cases at the highest dose in the absence of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), neurotoxicity, or dose-limiting toxicities. Six out of 7 patients receiving the highest doses achieved CR and CR with incomplete blood count recovery (CRi) at day 28. Five out of 6 patients in CR were also minimal residual disease negative (MRD–). Robust expansion was achieved in the majority of the patients. CAR T cells were measurable by transgene copy PCR up to 10 months. Integration site analysis showed a positive safety profile and highly polyclonal repertoire in vitro and at early time points after infusion.CONCLUSION SB-engineered CAR T cells expand and persist in pediatric and adult B-ALL patients relapsed after HSCT. Antileukemic activity was achieved without severe toxicities.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03389035.FUNDING This study was supported by grants from the Fondazione AIRC per la Ricerca sul Cancro (AIRC); Cancer Research UK (CRUK); the Fundación Científica de la Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer (FC AECC); Ministero Della Salute; Fondazione Regionale per la Ricerca Biomedica (FRRB).

Authors

Chiara F. Magnani, Giuseppe Gaipa, Federico Lussana, Daniela Belotti, Giuseppe Gritti, Sara Napolitano, Giada Matera, Benedetta Cabiati, Chiara Buracchi, Gianmaria Borleri, Grazia Fazio, Silvia Zaninelli, Sarah Tettamanti, Stefania Cesana, Valentina Colombo, Michele Quaroni, Giovanni Cazzaniga, Attilio Rovelli, Ettore Biagi, Stefania Galimberti, Andrea Calabria, Fabrizio Benedicenti, Eugenio Montini, Silvia Ferrari, Martino Introna, Adriana Balduzzi, Maria Grazia Valsecchi, Giuseppe Dastoli, Alessandro Rambaldi, Andrea Biondi

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Abstract

Air pollution involving particulate matter smaller than 2.5 μm in size (PM2.5) is the world’s leading environmental risk factor contributing to mortality through cardiometabolic pathways. In this study, we modeled early life exposure using chow-fed C57BL/6J male mice that were exposed to real-world inhaled, concentrated PM2.5 (~10 times ambient levels/~60–120 μg/m3) or filtered air over a 14-week period. We investigated the effects of PM2.5 on phenotype, the transcriptome, and chromatin accessibility and compared these with the effects of a prototypical high-fat diet (HFD) as well as cessation of exposure on phenotype reversibility. Exposure to PM2.5 impaired glucose and insulin tolerance and reduced energy expenditure and 18FDG-PET uptake in brown adipose tissue. Multiple differentially expressed gene clusters in pathways involving metabolism and circadian rhythm were noted in insulin-responsive tissues. Although the magnitude of transcriptional change detected with PM2.5 exposure was lower than that observed with a HFD, the degree of alteration in chromatin accessibility after PM2.5 exposure was significant. The novel chromatin remodeler SMARCA5 (SWI/SNF complex) was regulated in response to PM2.5 exposure, the cessation of which was associated with a reversal of insulin resistance and restoration of chromatin accessibility and nucleosome positioning near transcription start sites, as well as a reversal of exposure-induced changes in the transcriptome, including SMARCA5. These changes indicate pliable epigenetic control mechanisms following cessation of exposure.

Authors

Sanjay Rajagopalan, Bongsoo Park, Rengasamy Palanivel, Vinesh Vinayachandran, Jeffrey A. Deiuliis, Roopesh Singh Gangwar, Lopa Das, Jinhu Yin, Youngshim Choi, Sadeer Al-Kindi, Mukesh K. Jain, Kasper D. Hansen, Shyam Biswal

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Abstract

Store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) is the major route of Ca2+ influx in platelets. The Ca2+ sensor stromal interaction molecule 1 (STIM1) triggers SOCE by forming punctate structures with the Ca2+ channel Orai1 and the inositol trisphosphate receptor (IP3R), thereby linking the endo-/sarcoplasmic reticulum to the plasma membrane. Here, we identified the BAR domain superfamily member bridging integrator 2 (BIN2) as an interaction partner of STIM1 and IP3R in platelets. Deletion of platelet BIN2 (Bin2fl/fl,Pf4-Cre mice) resulted in reduced Ca2+ store release and Ca2+ influx in response to all tested platelet agonists. These defects were a consequence of impaired IP3R function in combination with defective STIM1-mediated SOC channel activation, while Ca2+ store content and agonist-induced IP3 production were unaltered. This severely defective Ca2+ signaling translated into impaired thrombus formation under flow and a protection of Bin2fl/fl,Pf4-Cre mice in models of arterial thrombosis and stroke. Our results establish BIN2 as a central regulator of platelet activation in thrombosis and thrombo-inflammatory disease settings.

Authors

Julia Volz, Charly Kusch, Sarah Beck, Michael Popp, Timo Vögtle, Mara Meub, Inga Scheller, Hannah S. Heil, Julia Preu, Michael K. Schuhmann, Katherina Hemmen, Thomas Premsler, Albert Sickmann, Katrin G. Heinze, David Stegner, Guido Stoll, Attila Braun, Markus Sauer, Bernhard Nieswandt

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Abstract

Authors

Arthur L. Caplan, Joanne Waldstreicher, Karla Childers, Aran Maree

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Abstract

Human coronaviruses (hCoVs) cause severe respiratory illness in the elderly. Age-related impairments in innate immunity and sub-optimal virus-specific T cell and antibody responses are believed to cause severe disease upon respiratory virus infections. However, the basis for age-related fatal pneumonia following pathogenic hCoVs is not well understood. In this review article, we provide an overview of our current understanding of hCoV-induced fatal pneumonia in the elderly. We describe host immune response to hCoV infections derived from studies of young and aged animal models, and discuss the potential role of age-associated increases in sterile inflammation (inflammaging) and virus-induced dysregulated inflammation in causing age-related severe disease. We also highlight the existing gaps in our knowledge about virus replication and host immune responses to hCoV infection in young and aged individuals.

Authors

Rudragouda Channappanavar, Stanley Perlman

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Abstract

Membrane protrusion and adhesion to the extracellular matrix, which involves the extension of actin filaments and formation of adhesion complexes, are the fundamental processes for cell migration, tumor invasion, and metastasis. How cancer cells efficiently coordinate these processes remains unclear. Here, we showed that membrane-targeted CLIC1 spatiotemporally regulates the formation of cell-matrix adhesions and membrane protrusions through the recruitment of PIP5Ks to the plasma membrane. Comparative proteomics identified CLIC1 upregulated in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and associated with tumor invasiveness, metastasis, and poor prognosis. In response to migration-related stimuli, CLIC1 recruited PIP5K1A and PIP5K1C from the cytoplasm to the leading edge of the plasma membrane, where PIP5Ks generate a PIP2-rich microdomain to induce the formation of integrin-mediated cell-matrix adhesions and the signaling for cytoskeleon extension. CLIC1 silencing inhibited the attachment of tumor cells to culture plates and the adherence and extravasation in the lung alveoli resulting in suppressed lung metastasis in mice. This study reveals an unrecognized mechanism that spatiotemporally coordinates the formation of both lamellipodium/invadopodia and nascent cell-matrix adhesions for directional migration and tumor invasion/metastasis. The unique traits of upregulation and membrane targeting of CLIC1 in cancer cells make it an excellent therapeutic target for tumor metastasis.

Authors

Jei-Ming Peng, Sheng-Hsuan Lin, Ming-Chin Yu, Sen-Yung Hsieh

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Abstract

MYC stimulates both metabolism and protein synthesis, but it is unknown how cells coordinate these complementary programs. Previous work reported that in a subset of small cell lung cancer (SCLC) cell lines, MYC activates guanosine triphosphate (GTP) synthesis and results in sensitivity to inhibitors of the GTP synthesis enzyme inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH). Here we demonstrated that primary MYCHigh human SCLC tumors also contain abundant guanosine nucleotides. We also found that elevated MYC in SCLCs with acquired chemoresistance rendered these otherwise recalcitrant tumors dependent on IMPDH. Unexpectedly, our data indicated that IMPDH links the metabolic and protein synthesis outputs of oncogenic MYC. Co-expression analysis placed IMPDH within the MYC-driven ribosome program, and GTP depletion prevented RNA Polymerase I (Pol I) from localizing to ribosomal DNA. Furthermore, the GTPases GPN1 and GPN3 were upregulated by MYC and directed Pol I to ribosomal DNA. Constitutively GTP-bound GPN1/3 mutants mitigated the effect of GTP depletion on Pol I, protecting chemoresistant SCLC cells from IMPDH inhibition. GTP therefore functions as a metabolic gate tethering MYC-dependent ribosome biogenesis to nucleotide sufficiency through GPN1 and GPN3. IMPDH dependence is a targetable vulnerability in chemoresistant, MYCHigh SCLC.

Authors

Fang Huang, Kenneth Huffman, Zixi Wang, Xun Wang, Kailong Li, Feng Cai, Chendong Yang, Ling Cai, Terry S. Shih, Lauren G. Zacharias, Andrew S. Chung, Qian Yang, Milind D. Chalishazar, Abbie S. Ireland, C. Allison Stewart, Kasey R. Cargill, Luc Girard, Yi Liu, Min Ni, Jian Xu, Xudong Wu, Hao Zhu, Benjamin J. Drapkin, Lauren A. Byers, Trudy G. Oliver, Adi Gazdar, John Minna, Ralph DeBerardinis

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Abstract

While platelets are the cellular mediators of thrombosis, platelets are also immune cells. Platelets interact both directly and indirectly with immune cells, impacting their activation and differentiation, as well as all phases of the immune response. Megakaryocytes (Mks) are the cell source of circulating platelets, and until recently Mks were typically only considered as bone marrow (BM) resident cells. However, platelet producing Mks also reside in the lung, and lung Mks express greater levels of immune molecules compared to BM Mks. We therefore sought to define the immune functions of lung Mks. Using single cell RNA-Seq of BM and lung myeloid enriched cells, we found that lung Mks (MkL) had gene expression patterns that are similar to antigen presenting cells (APC). This was confirmed using imaging and conventional flow cytometry. The immune phenotype of Mks was plastic and driven by the tissue immune environment as evidenced by BM Mks having a MkL like phenotype under the influence of pathogen receptor challenge and lung associated immune molecules, such as IL-33. Our in vitro and in vivo assays demonstrated that MkL internalized and processed both antigenic proteins and bacterial pathogens. Furthermore, MkL induced CD4+ T cell activation in a MHC II dependent manner both in vitro and in vivo. These data indicated that Mks in the lung had key immune regulatory roles dictated in part by the tissue environment.

Authors

Daphne N. Pariser, Zachary T. Hilt, Sara K. Ture, Sara K. Blick-Nitko, Mark R. Looney, Simon J. Cleary, Estheany Roman-Pagan, Jerry Saunders II, Steve N. Georas, Janelle M. Veazey, Ferralita Madere, Laura Tesoro Santos, Allison M. Arne, Nguyen PT Huynh, Alison C. Livada, Selena M. Guerrero-Martin, Claire E. Lyons, Kelly A. Metcalf Pate, Kathleen E. McGrath, James Palis, Craig Morrell

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Abstract

A considerable fraction of B cells recognize SARS-CoV-2 with germline-encoded elements of their B cell receptor resulting in the production of neutralizing and non-neutralizing antibodies. We found that antibody sequences from different discovery cohorts shared biochemical properties and could be retrieved across validation cohorts confirming the stereotyped character of this naive response in COVID-19. While neutralizing antibody sequences were found independently of disease severity in line with serological data, individual non-neutralizing antibody sequences were associated with fatal clinical courses suggesting detrimental effects of these antibodies. We mined 200 immune repertoires of healthy individuals and 500 of patients with blood or solid cancers - all acquired prior to the pandemic - for SARS-CoV-2 antibody sequences. While the largely unmutated B cell rearrangements occurred in a substantial fraction of immune repertoires from young and healthy individuals, these sequences were less likely found in individuals over 60 years of age and in cancer. This reflects B cell repertoire restriction in aging and cancer and may to a certain extent explain the different clinical COVID-19 courses observed in these risk groups. Future studies will have to address if this stereotyped B cell response to SARS-CoV-2 emerging from unmutated antibody rearrangements will create long-lived memory.

Authors

Lisa Paschold, Donjete Simnica, Edith Willscher, Maria J.G.T. Vehreschild, Jochen Dutzmann, Daniel G. Sedding, Christoph Schultheiß, Mascha Binder

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October 2020

October 2020 Issue

On the cover:
Hemolysis-transformed macrophages mitigate sterile inflammation

Liver macrophages that phagocytose lysed red blood cells (RBCs) play an important role in clearing hemoglobin and heme, which trigger inflammation, oxidative stress, and nitric oxide depletion when released into plasma and tissue. In this issue, Pfefferlé, Ingoglia, et al. identify a specialized erythrophagocytic and anti-inflammatory phenotype in liver macrophages that is driven by increased hemolysis in a mouse model of spherocytosis. In models of sterile inflammatory disease, erythrocytosis-skewed macrophages attenuated disease severity, suggesting that hemolysis is driving an adaptive transformation in liver macrophages. The cover image is an impressionistic rendition of erythrophagocytes lining sinusoidal capillaries in the liver. These specialized macrophages (brown) limit the potential adverse effects of excessive RBC lysis (red). Image credit: Rok Humar.

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October 2020 JCI This Month

JCI This Month is a digest of the research, reviews, and other features published each month.

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Review Series - More

Hypoxia-inducible factors in disease pathophysiology and therapeutics

Series edited by Gregg L. Semenza

Maintaining adequate oxygen levels in the organs and tissues of multicellular organisms is essential to preserving cellular metabolism and bioenergetics. When oxygen levels fall below normal physiological levels, hypoxia signaling pathways trigger physiological changes meant to evoke adaptive responses at organismal, tissue, and cellular levels. Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) are positioned at the crux of these oxygen-sensing mechanisms, regulating a multitude of transcriptional programs that control angiogenesis, metabolism, immune function, erythropoiesis, and more. In this issue, a review series created by JCI’s deputy editor Gregg Semenza highlights how HIFs contribute to the pathogenesis and treatment of human disease. The reviews describe the hypoxic conditions that drive or exacerbate pathophysiology in diseases ranging from pulmonary hypertension to cancer. Moreover, they highlight HIF-targeting strategies in preclinical and clinical development, discussing their potential to improve the therapeutic outcomes in these diseases.

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