Neonatal diabetes (NDM) results from single-gene mutations that impair β cell function or negatively impact β cell populations. In this issue of the JCI, De Franco et al. investigate homozygous mutations in YIPF5 identified in 6 patients with NDM and microcephaly from 5 families. YIPF5-mutant β cells differentiated from genetically engineered human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) displayed proinsulin accumulation, increased ER stress, and impaired C-peptide secretion in the implanted mice, providing a mechanistic explanation for insulin deficiency in affected patients. In addition to characterizing a novel gene underlying NDM with neurological features, the work provides novel insights into biological pathways essential for β cell function. The cover image depicts an hESC-derived islet implanted under the kidney capsule of immunocompromised mice, showing β cells in yellow, α cells in cyan, and nuclei in red. Image credit: Hazem Ibrahim, Jonna Saarimäki-Vire, and Hossam Montaser.
Jill E. Weatherhead, Eva Clark, Tiphanie P. Vogel, Robert L. Atmar, Prathit A. Kulkarni
Briyana Chisholm, Enid R. Neptune, Sherita Hill Golden, Linda M.S. Resar
Nancy J. Brown
Human coronaviruses (hCoVs) cause severe respiratory illness in the elderly. Age-related impairments in innate immunity and suboptimal virus-specific T cell and antibody responses are believed to cause severe disease upon respiratory virus infections. This phenomenon has recently received increased attention, as elderly patients are at substantially elevated risk for severe COVID-19 disease and experience increased rates of mortality following SARS-CoV-2 infection compared with younger populations. However, the basis for age-related fatal pneumonia following pathogenic hCoVs is not well understood. In this Review, 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.
Rudragouda Channappanavar, Stanley Perlman
COVID-19 spans a wide range of symptoms, sometimes with profound immune system involvement. How immune cell subsets change during the disease course and with disease severity needs further study. While myeloid cells have been shown to initiate and maintain responses to pneumonia and lung inflammation, often playing a role in resolution, their involvement with COVID-19 remains unknown. In this issue of the JCI, Sánchez-Cerrillo and Landete et al. investigated DCs and monocytes from blood and bronchial secretions of patients with varying COVID-19 severity and with healthy controls. The authors conclude that circulating monocytes and DCs migrate from the blood into the inflamed lungs. While sampling differences in sex, collection timing, bacteria/fungal infection, and corticosteroid treatment limit interpretation, we believe that reprogramming monocyte or macrophages by targeting immunometabolism, epigenetics, or the cytokine milieu holds promise in resolving lung inflammation associated with COVID-19.
Franco R. D’Alessio, Nicola M. Heller
Although corticosteroids dampen the dysregulated immune system and sometimes are prescribed as an adjunctive treatment for pneumonia, their effectiveness in the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remains controversial. In this issue of the JCI, Liu and Zhang et al. evaluated corticosteroid treatment in more than 400 patients with severe COVID-19. The authors assessed subjects retrospectively for cardiac and liver injury, shock, ventilation, mortality, and viral clearance. Corticosteroids in severe COVID-19–related acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) were associated with increased mortality and delayed viral clearance. Here, we consider how to reconcile the negative effects of corticosteroids revealed by Liu and Zhang et al. with the favorable effects (reduced mortality) that were described in the RECOVERY trial. We posit that treatment timing, dosage, and COVID-19 severity determine immune response and viral outcome. Patients with moderate-to-severe COVID-19 pneumonia are likely to benefit from moderate-dose corticosteroid treatment when administered relatively late in the disease course.
Michael A. Matthay, Katherine D. Wick
The disease spectrum of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) ranges from no symptoms to multisystem failure and death. Characterization of virus-specific immune responses to severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS–CoV-2) is key to understanding disease pathogenesis, but few studies have evaluated T cell immunity. In this issue of the JCI, Sattler and Angermair et al. sampled blood from subjects with COVID-19 and analyzed the activation and function of virus antigen–specific CD4+ T cells. T cells that failed to respond to peptides from the membrane, spike, or nucleocapsid proteins were more common in subjects who died. In those whose T cells had the capacity to respond, older patients with comorbidity had larger numbers of activated T cells compared with patients who had fewer risk factors, but these cells showed impaired IFN-γ production. This cross-sectional study relates activated T cell responses to patient risk factors and outcome. However, T cell response trajectory over the disease course remains an open question.
Diane E. Griffin
Individuals with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can develop pneumonia and a severe inflammatory response with excessive cytokine release known as the cytokine storm. The JAK inhibitor baricitinib, used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, reduces inflammation by modifying the cytokine pathway. In this issue of the JCI, Bronte, Ugel, and colleagues performed an observational longitudinal study to evaluate the use of baricitinib in 20 patients with COVID-19. The treated patients showed reduced levels of plasma IL-6, TNF, IL-1β, and phosphorylated STAT3 as well as swift lymphocyte restoration. Notably, these patients had a dramatically favorable clinical outcome. While bias can plague uncontrolled research, this study has biological credibility and warrants randomized, controlled studies.
David L. Thomas
Identifying genes that result in monogenic diabetes can provide insights that can build a scientific foundation for precision medicine. At present, nearly 20% of neonatal diabetes cases have unknown causes. In this issue of the JCI, De Franco and Lytrivi et al. sequenced the genome of two probands with a rare neonatal diabetes subtype that also associated with microcephaly and epilepsy. The authors revealed mutations in the YIPF5 gene. YIPF5 resides in the Golgi apparatus and is thought to play a critical role in vesicular trafficking. Notably, disrupting YIPF5 in β cell–based models induced ER stress signaling and resulted in the accumulation of intracellular proinsulin. We believe that utilizing registries and biobanks to reveal other monogenic atypical forms of diabetes is an important approach to gaining insight and suggest that an insulin sensitizer may alleviate ER stress associated with YIPF5 disruption by decreasing the demand for insulin secretion.
Toni I. Pollin, Simeon I. Taylor
Human antibody responses to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) hold intense interest, with research efforts directed at optimizing antibody-based interventions and monitoring immune status. By relating individual variations in antibody response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) severity, beneficial antiviral immune responses may be identified in detail. In this issue of the JCI, Secchi and collaborators describe antibody response profiles in 509 patients with COVID-19 from Italy during the 2020 pandemic. The research team found that multiple antibody types to multiple SARS-CoV-2 antigens developed over four weeks. Notably, IgG against the spike receptor binding domain (RBD) was predictive of survival and IgA against the viral spike protein (S protein) associated with rapid virologic clearance. These results may help guide selection of convalescent plasma, hyperimmune products, monoclonal antibodies, and vaccine strategies for COVID-19.
Jeffrey P. Henderson
Patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) fail to secrete insulin in response to increased glucose levels that occur with eating. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) are two incretins secreted from gastrointestinal cells that amplify insulin secretion when glucose is high. In this issue of the JCI, Oduori et al. explore the role of ATP-sensitive K+ (KATP) channels in maintaining glucose homeostasis. In persistently depolarized β cells from KATP channel knockout (KO) mice, the researchers revealed a shift in G protein signaling from the Gs family to the Gq family. This shift explains why GLP-1, which signals via Gq, but not GIP, which signals preferentially via Gs, can effectively potentiate secretion in islets from the KATP channel–deficient mice and in other models of KATP deficiency, including diabetic KK-Ay mice. Their results provide one explanation for differential insulinotropic potential of incretins in human T2D and point to a potentially unifying model for T2D progression itself.
Colin G. Nichols, Nathaniel W. York, Maria S. Remedi
Some germ cell tumors (GCTs) in men develop into hematologic malignancies; however, the clonal origins of such malignancies remain unknown. In this issue of the JCI, Taylor, Donoghue, et al. unravel the clonal relationship between primary mediastinal nonseminomas (PMNs) and hematologic somatic-type malignancies (HSTMs). Whole-exome sequencing was used to construct phylogenetic trees of the PMNs and the ensuing HSTM clones. HSTMs were derived from multiple distinct clones not detected within the PMNs. Clones from PMNs and HSTMs shared a common precursor, arguably an embryonal carcinoma cell resulting from a reprogrammed primordial germ cell from the thymus. Mutational and copy number variation analysis of a large cohort of patients with PMNs also demonstrated a high prevalence of TP53 mutations not found in testicular nonseminomas. These data likely explain why patients with PMNs are frequently resistant to platinum-based chemotherapy and provide TP53 mutations as potential targets.
J. Wolter Oosterhuis, Leendert H.J. Looijenga
The transcription factor MEF2D is important in the regulation of differentiation and adaptive responses in many cell types. We found that among T cells, MEF2D gained new functions in Foxp3+ T regulatory (Treg) cells due to its interactions with the transcription factor Foxp3 and its release from canonical partners, like histone/protein deacetylases. Though not necessary for the generation and maintenance of Tregs, MEF2D was required for the expression of IL-10, CTLA4, and Icos, and for the acquisition of an effector Treg phenotype. At these loci, MEF2D acted both synergistically and additively to Foxp3, and downstream of Blimp1. Mice with the conditional deletion in Tregs of the gene encoding MEF2D were unable to maintain long-term allograft survival despite costimulation blockade, had enhanced antitumor immunity in syngeneic models, but displayed only minor evidence of autoimmunity when maintained under normal conditions. The role played by MEF2D in sustaining effector Foxp3+ Treg functions without abrogating their basal actions suggests its suitability for drug discovery efforts in cancer therapy.
Eros Di Giorgio, Liqing Wang, Yan Xiong, Tatiana Akimova, Lanette M. Christensen, Rongxiang Han, Arabinda Samanta, Matteo Trevisanut, Tricia R. Bhatti, Ulf H. Beier, Wayne W. Hancock
FOXP3+CD4+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) are critical for immune homeostasis and respond to local tissue cues, which control their stability and function. We explored here whether developmental endothelial locus-1 (DEL-1), which, like Tregs, increases during resolution of inflammation, promotes Treg responses. DEL-1 enhanced Treg numbers and function at barrier sites (oral and lung mucosa). The underlying mechanism was dissected using mice lacking DEL-1 or expressing a point mutant thereof, or mice with T cell–specific deletion of the transcription factor RUNX1, identified by RNA sequencing analysis of the DEL-1–induced Treg transcriptome. Specifically, through interaction with αvβ3 integrin, DEL-1 promoted induction of RUNX1-dependent FOXP3 expression and conferred stability of FOXP3 expression upon Treg restimulation in the absence of exogenous TGF-β1. Consistently, DEL-1 enhanced the demethylation of the Treg-specific demethylated region (TSDR) in the mouse Foxp3 gene and the suppressive function of sorted induced Tregs. Similarly, DEL-1 increased RUNX1 and FOXP3 expression in human conventional T cells, promoting their conversion into induced Tregs with increased TSDR demethylation, enhanced stability, and suppressive activity. We thus uncovered a DEL-1/αvβ3/RUNX1 axis that promotes Treg responses at barrier sites and offers therapeutic options for modulating inflammatory/autoimmune disorders.
Xiaofei Li, Alessandra Colamatteo, Lydia Kalafati, Tetsuhiro Kajikawa, Hui Wang, Jong-Hyung Lim, Khalil Bdeir, Kyoung-Jin Chung, Xiang Yu, Clorinda Fusco, Antonio Porcellini, Salvatore De Simone, Giuseppe Matarese, Triantafyllos Chavakis, Veronica De Rosa, George Hajishengallis
BACKGROUND Current methods for the detection and surveillance of bladder cancer (BCa) are often invasive and/or possess suboptimal sensitivity and specificity, especially in early-stage, minimal, and residual tumors.METHODS We developed an efficient method, termed utMeMA, for the detection of urine tumor DNA methylation at multiple genomic regions by MassARRAY. We identified the BCa-specific methylation markers by combined analyses of cohorts from Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital (SYSMH), The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), and the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database. The BCa diagnostic model was built in a retrospective cohort (n = 313) and validated in a multicenter, prospective cohort (n = 175). The performance of this diagnostic assay was analyzed and compared with urine cytology and FISH.RESULTS We first discovered 26 significant methylation markers of BCa in combined analyses. We built and validated a 2-marker–based diagnostic model that discriminated among patients with BCa with high accuracy (86.7%), sensitivity (90.0%), and specificity (83.1%). Furthermore, the utMeMA-based assay achieved a great improvement in sensitivity over urine cytology and FISH, especially in the detection of early-stage (stage Ta and low-grade tumor, 64.5% vs. 11.8%, 15.8%), minimal (81.0% vs. 14.8%, 37.9%), residual (93.3% vs. 27.3%, 64.3%), and recurrent (89.5% vs. 31.4%, 52.8%) tumors. The urine diagnostic score from this assay was better associated with tumor malignancy and burden.CONCLUSION Urine tumor DNA methylation assessment for early diagnosis, minimal, residual tumor detection and surveillance in BCa is a rapid, high-throughput, noninvasive, and promising approach, which may reduce the burden of cystoscopy and blind second surgery.FUNDING This study was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.
Xu Chen, Jingtong Zhang, Weimei Ruan, Ming Huang, Chanjuan Wang, Hong Wang, Zeyu Jiang, Shaogang Wang, Zheng Liu, Chunxiao Liu, Wanlong Tan, Jin Yang, Jiaxin Chen, Zhiwei Chen, Xia Li, Xiaoyu Zhang, Peng Xu, Lin Chen, Ruihui Xie, Qianghua Zhou, Shizhong Xu, Darryl Luke Irwin, Jian-Bing Fan, Jian Huang, Tianxin Lin
SARS-CoV-2 is responsible for the development of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in infected individuals, who can either exhibit mild symptoms or progress toward a life-threatening acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Exacerbated inflammation and dysregulated immune responses involving T and myeloid cells occur in COVID-19 patients with severe clinical progression. However, the differential contribution of specific subsets of dendritic cells and monocytes to ARDS is still poorly understood. In addition, the role of CD8+ T cells present in the lung of COVID-19 patients and relevant for viral control has not been characterized. Here, we have studied the frequencies and activation profiles of dendritic cells and monocytes present in the blood and lung of COVID-19 patients with different clinical severity in comparison with healthy individuals. Furthermore, these subpopulations and their association with antiviral effector CD8+ T cell subsets were also characterized in lung infiltrates from critical COVID-19 patients. Our results indicate that inflammatory transitional and nonclassical monocytes and CD1c+ conventional dendritic cells preferentially migrate from blood to lungs in patients with severe COVID-19. Thus, this study increases the knowledge of specific myeloid subsets involved in the pathogenesis of COVID-19 disease and could be useful for the design of therapeutic strategies for fighting SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Ildefonso Sánchez-Cerrillo, Pedro Landete, Beatriz Aldave, Santiago Sánchez-Alonso, Ana Sánchez-Azofra, Ana Marcos-Jiménez, Elena Ávalos, Ana Alcaraz-Serna, Ignacio de los Santos, Tamara Mateu-Albero, Laura Esparcia, Celia López-Sanz, Pedro Martínez-Fleta, Ligia Gabrie, Luciana del Campo Guerola, Hortensia de la Fuente, María J. Calzada, Isidoro González-Álvaro, Arantzazu Alfranca, Francisco Sánchez-Madrid, Cecilia Muñoz-Calleja, Joan B. Soriano, Julio Ancochea, Enrique Martín-Gayo, the REINMUN-COVID and EDEPIMIC groups
The mechanism by which inflammasome activation is modulated remains unclear. In this study, we identified an AIM2-interacting protein, the E3 ubiquitin ligase HUWE1, which was also found to interact with NLRP3 and NLRC4 through the HIN domain of AIM2 and the NACHT domains of NLRP3 and NLRC4. The BH3 domain of HUWE1 was important for its interaction with NLRP3, AIM2, and NLRC4. Caspase-1 maturation, IL-1β release, and pyroptosis were reduced in Huwe1-deficient bone marrow–derived macrophages (BMDMs) compared with WT BMDMs in response to stimuli to induce NLRP3, NLRC4, and AIM2 inflammasome activation. Furthermore, the activation of NLRP3, NLRC4, and AIM2 inflammasomes in both mouse and human cells was remarkably reduced by treatment with the HUWE1 inhibitor BI8622. HUWE1 mediated the K27-linked polyubiquitination of AIM2, NLRP3, and NLRC4, which led to inflammasome assembly, ASC speck formation, and sustained caspase-1 activation. Huwe1-deficient mice had an increased bacterial burden and decreased caspase-1 activation and IL-1β production upon Salmonella, Francisella, or Acinetobacter baumannii infection. Our study provides insights into the mechanisms of inflammasome activation as well as a potential therapeutic target against bacterial infection.
Yu Guo, Longjun Li, Tao Xu, Xiaomin Guo, Chaoming Wang, Yihui Li, Yanan Yang, Dong Yang, Bin Sun, Xudong Zhao, Genze Shao, Xiaopeng Qi
Desmoglein 3 chimeric autoantibody receptor T cells (DSG3-CAART) expressing the pemphigus vulgaris (PV) autoantigen DSG3 fused to CD137-CD3ζ signaling domains, represent a precision cellular immunotherapy approach for antigen-specific B cell depletion. Here, we present definitive preclinical studies enabling a first-in-human trial of DSG3-CAART for mucosal PV. DSG3-CAART specifically lysed human anti-DSG3 B cells from PV patients and demonstrated activity consistent with a threshold dose in vivo, resulting in decreased target cell burden, decreased serum and tissue-bound autoantibodies, and increased DSG3-CAART engraftment. In a PV active immune model with physiologic anti-DSG3 IgG levels, DSG3-CAART inhibited antibody responses against pathogenic DSG3 epitopes and autoantibody binding to epithelial tissues, leading to clinical and histologic resolution of blisters. DSG3 autoantibodies stimulated DSG3-CAART IFN-γ secretion and homotypic clustering, consistent with an activated phenotype. Toxicology screens using primary human cells and high-throughput membrane proteome arrays did not identify off-target cytotoxic interactions. These preclinical data guided the trial design for DSG3-CAART and may help inform CAART preclinical development for other antibody-mediated diseases.
Jinmin Lee, Daniel K. Lundgren, Xuming Mao, Silvio Manfredo-Vieira, Selene Nunez-Cruz, Erik F. Williams, Charles-Antoine Assenmacher, Enrico Radaelli, Sangwook Oh, Baomei Wang, Christoph T. Ellebrecht, Joseph A. Fraietta, Michael C. Milone, Aimee S. Payne
BACKGROUND Patients with diffuse midline gliomas (DMGs), including diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), have dismal outcomes. We previously described the H3.3K27M mutation as a shared neoantigen in HLA-A*02.01+, H3.3K27M+ DMGs. Within the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium, we assessed the safety and efficacy of an H3.3K27M-targeted peptide vaccine.METHODS Newly diagnosed patients, aged 3–21 years, with HLA-A*02.01+ and H3.3K27M+ status were enrolled in stratum A (DIPG) or stratum B (nonpontine DMG). Vaccine was administered in combination with polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid-poly-I-lysine carboxymethylcellulose (poly-ICLC) every 3 weeks for 8 cycles, followed by once every 6 weeks. Immunomonitoring and imaging were performed every 3 months. Imaging was centrally reviewed. Immunological responses were assessed in PBMCs using mass cytometry.RESULTS A total of 19 patients were enrolled in stratum A (median age,11 years) and 10 in stratum B (median age, 13 years). There were no grade-4 treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs). Injection site reaction was the most commonly reported TRAE. Overall survival (OS) at 12 months was 40% (95% CI, 22%–73%) for patients in stratum A and 39% (95% CI, 16%–93%) for patients in stratum B. The median OS was 16.1 months for patients who had an expansion of H3.3K27M-reactive CD8+ T cells compared with 9.8 months for their counterparts (P = 0.05). Patients with DIPG with below-median baseline levels of myeloid-derived suppressor cells had prolonged OS compared with their counterparts (P < 0.01). Immediate pretreatment dexamethasone administration was inversely associated with H3.3K27M-reactive CD8+ T cell responses.CONCLUSION Administration of the H3.3K27M-specific vaccine was well tolerated. Patients with H3.3K27M-specific CD8+ immunological responses demonstrated prolonged OS compared with nonresponders.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02960230.FUNDING The V Foundation, the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium Foundation, the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, the Mithil Prasad Foundation, the MCJ Amelior Foundation, the Anne and Jason Farber Foundation, Will Power Research Fund Inc., the Isabella Kerr Molina Foundation, the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), NIH (R35NS105068).
Sabine Mueller, Jared M. Taitt, Javier E. Villanueva-Meyer, Erin R. Bonner, Takahide Nejo, Rishi R. Lulla, Stewart Goldman, Anu Banerjee, Susan N. Chi, Nicholas S. Whipple, John R. Crawford, Karen Gauvain, Kellie J. Nazemi, Payal B. Watchmaker, Neil D. Almeida, Kaori Okada, Andres M. Salazar, Ryan D. Gilbert, Javad Nazarian, Annette M. Molinaro, Lisa H. Butterfield, Michael D. Prados, Hideho Okada
Neonatal diabetes is caused by single gene mutations reducing pancreatic β cell number or impairing β cell function. Understanding the genetic basis of rare diabetes subtypes highlights fundamental biological processes in β cells. We identified 6 patients from 5 families with homozygous mutations in the YIPF5 gene, which is involved in trafficking between the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the Golgi. All patients had neonatal/early-onset diabetes, severe microcephaly, and epilepsy. YIPF5 is expressed during human brain development, in adult brain and pancreatic islets. We used 3 human β cell models (YIPF5 silencing in EndoC-βH1 cells, YIPF5 knockout and mutation knockin in embryonic stem cells, and patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells) to investigate the mechanism through which YIPF5 loss of function affects β cells. Loss of YIPF5 function in stem cell–derived islet cells resulted in proinsulin retention in the ER, marked ER stress, and β cell failure. Partial YIPF5 silencing in EndoC-βH1 cells and a patient mutation in stem cells increased the β cell sensitivity to ER stress–induced apoptosis. We report recessive YIPF5 mutations as the genetic cause of a congenital syndrome of microcephaly, epilepsy, and neonatal/early-onset diabetes, highlighting a critical role of YIPF5 in β cells and neurons. We believe this is the first report of mutations disrupting the ER-to-Golgi trafficking, resulting in diabetes.
Elisa De Franco, Maria Lytrivi, Hazem Ibrahim, Hossam Montaser, Matthew N. Wakeling, Federica Fantuzzi, Kashyap Patel, Céline Demarez, Ying Cai, Mariana Igoillo-Esteve, Cristina Cosentino, Väinö Lithovius, Helena Vihinen, Eija Jokitalo, Thomas W. Laver, Matthew B. Johnson, Toshiaki Sawatani, Hadis Shakeri, Nathalie Pachera, Belma Haliloglu, Mehmet Nuri Ozbek, Edip Unal, Ruken Yıldırım, Tushar Godbole, Melek Yildiz, Banu Aydin, Angeline Bilheu, Ikuo Suzuki, Sarah E. Flanagan, Pierre Vanderhaeghen, Valérie Senée, Cécile Julier, Piero Marchetti, Decio L. Eizirik, Sian Ellard, Jonna Saarimäki-Vire, Timo Otonkoski, Miriam Cnop, Andrew T. Hattersley
Heterotopic ossification (HO) is pathological bone formation characterized by ossification within muscle, tendons, or other soft tissues. However, the cells of origin and mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of HO remain elusive. Here we show that deletion of suppressor of fused (Sufu) in cathepsin K–Cre–expressing (Ctsk-Cre–expressing) cells resulted in spontaneous and progressive ligament, tendon, and periarticular ossification. Lineage tracing studies and cell functional analysis demonstrated that Ctsk-Cre could label a subpopulation of tendon-derived progenitor cells (TDPCs) marked by the tendon marker Scleraxis (Scx). Ctsk+Scx+ TDPCs are enriched for tendon stem cell markers and show the highest self-renewal capacity and differentiation potential. Sufu deficiency caused enhanced chondrogenic and osteogenic differentiation of Ctsk-Cre–expressing tendon-derived cells via upregulation of Hedgehog (Hh) signaling. Furthermore, pharmacological intervention in Hh signaling using JQ1 suppressed the development of HO. Thus, our results show that Ctsk-Cre labels a subpopulation of TDPCs contributing to HO and that their cell-fate changes are driven by activation of Hh signaling.
Heng Feng, Wenhui Xing, Yujiao Han, Jun Sun, Mingxiang Kong, Bo Gao, Yang Yang, Zi Yin, Xiao Chen, Yun Zhao, Qing Bi, Weiguo Zou
BACKGROUND Serological assays are of critical importance to investigate correlates of response and protection in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), to define previous exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in populations, and to verify the development of an adaptive immune response in infected individuals.METHODS We studied 509 patients confirmed to have COVID-19 from the San Raffaele Hospital of Milan and 480 samples of prepandemic organ donor sera collected in 2010–2012. Using fluid-phase luciferase immune precipitation (LIPS) assays, we characterized IgG, IgM, and IgA antibodies to the spike receptor binding domain (RBD), S1+S2, nucleocapsid, and ORF6 to ORF10 of SARS-CoV-2, to the HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-HKU1 betacoronaviruses spike S2, and the H1N1Ca2009 flu virus hemagglutinin. Sequential samples at 1 and 3 months after hospital discharge were also tested for SARS-CoV-2 RBD antibodies in 95 patients.RESULTS Antibodies developed rapidly against multiple SARS-CoV-2 antigens in 95% of patients by 4 weeks after symptom onset and IgG to the RBD increased until the third month of follow-up. We observed a major synchronous expansion of antibodies to the HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-HKU1 spike S2. A likely coinfection with influenza was neither linked to a more severe presentation of the disease nor to a worse outcome. Of the measured antibody responses, positivity for IgG against the SARS-CoV-2 spike RBD was predictive of survival.CONCLUSION The measurement of antibodies to selected epitopes of SARS-CoV-2 antigens can offer a more accurate assessment of the humoral response in patients and its impact on survival. The presence of partially cross-reactive antibodies with other betacoronaviruses is likely to impact on serological assay specificity and interpretation.TRIAL REGISTRATION COVID-19 Patients Characterization, Biobank, Treatment Response and Outcome Predictor (COVID-BioB). ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT04318366.FUNDING IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele and Università Vita Salute San Raffaele.
Massimiliano Secchi, Elena Bazzigaluppi, Cristina Brigatti, Ilaria Marzinotto, Cristina Tresoldi, Patrizia Rovere-Querini, Andrea Poli, Antonella Castagna, Gabriella Scarlatti, Alberto Zangrillo, Fabio Ciceri, Lorenzo Piemonti, Vito Lampasona
Gain-of-function mutations in with no lysine (K) 1 (WNK1) and WNK4 genes are responsible for familial hyperkalemic hypertension (FHHt), a rare, inherited disorder characterized by arterial hypertension and hyperkalemia with metabolic acidosis. More recently, FHHt-causing mutations in the Kelch-like 3–Cullin 3 (KLHL3-CUL3) E3 ubiquitin ligase complex have shed light on the importance of WNK’s cellular degradation on renal ion transport. Using full exome sequencing for a 4-generation family and then targeted sequencing in other suspected cases, we have identified new missense variants in the WNK1 gene clustering in the short conserved acidic motif known to interact with the KLHL3-CUL3 ubiquitin complex. Affected subjects had an early onset of a hyperkalemic hyperchloremic phenotype, but normal blood pressure values”Functional experiments in Xenopus laevis oocytes and HEK293T cells demonstrated that these mutations strongly decrease the ubiquitination of the kidney-specific isoform KS-WNK1 by the KLHL3-CUL3 complex rather than the long ubiquitous catalytically active L-WNK1 isoform. A corresponding CRISPR/Cas9 engineered mouse model recapitulated both the clinical and biological phenotypes. Renal investigations showed increased activation of the Ste20 proline alanine–rich kinase–Na+-Cl– cotransporter (SPAK-NCC) phosphorylation cascade, associated with impaired ROMK apical expression in the distal part of the renal tubule. Together, these new WNK1 genetic variants highlight the importance of the KS-WNK1 isoform abundance on potassium homeostasis.
Hélène Louis-Dit-Picard, Ilektra Kouranti, Chloé Rafael, Irmine Loisel-Ferreira, Maria Chavez-Canales, Waed Abdel-Khalek, Eduardo R. Argaiz, Stéphanie Baron, Sarah Vacle, Tiffany Migeon, Richard Coleman, Marcio Do Cruzeiro, Marguerite Hureaux, Nirubiah Thurairajasingam, Stéphane Decramer, Xavier Girerd, Kevin O’Shaugnessy, Paolo Mulatero, Gwenaëlle Roussey, Ivan Tack, Robert Unwin, Rosa Vargas-Poussou, Olivier Staub, Richard Grimm, Paul A. Welling, Gerardo Gamba, Eric Clauser, Juliette Hadchouel, Xavier Jeunemaitre
Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is a mature T cell neoplasm that often expresses the CD4+ T cell surface marker. It usually harbors the t(2;5) (p23;q35) translocation, leading to the ectopic expression of NPM-ALK, a chimeric tyrosine kinase. We demonstrated that in vitro transduction of normal human CD4+ T lymphocytes with NPM-ALK results in their immortalization and malignant transformation. The tumor cells displayed morphological and immunophenotypical characteristics of primary patient–derived anaplastic large cell lymphomas. Cell growth, proliferation, and survival were strictly dependent on NPM-ALK activity and include activation of the key factors STAT3 and DNMT1 and expression of CD30 (the hallmark of anaplastic large-cell lymphoma). Implantation of NPM-ALK–transformed CD4+ T lymphocytes into immunodeficient mice resulted in the formation of tumors indistinguishable from patients’ anaplastic large cell lymphomas. Integration of “Omic” data revealed that NPM-ALK–transformed CD4+ T lymphocytes and primary NPM-ALK+ ALCL biopsies share similarities with early T cell precursors. Of note, these NPM-ALK+ lymphoma cells overexpress stem cell regulators (OCT4, SOX2, and NANOG) and HIF2A, which is known to affect hematopoietic precursor differentiation and NPM-ALK+ cell growth. Altogether, for the first time our findings suggest that NPM-ALK could restore progenitor-like features in mature CD30+ peripheral CD4+ T cells, in keeping with a thymic progenitor-like pattern.
Annabelle Congras, Coralie Hoareau-Aveilla, Nina Caillet, Marie Tosolini, Patrick Villarese, Agata Cieslak, Laura Rodriguez, Vahid Asnafi, Elisabeth Macintyre, Gerda Egger, Pierre Brousset, Laurence Lamant, Fabienne Meggetto
BACKGROUND Patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) develop pneumonia generally associated with lymphopenia and a severe inflammatory response due to uncontrolled cytokine release. These mediators are transcriptionally regulated by the JAK/STAT signaling pathways, which can be disabled by small molecules.METHODS We treated a group of patients (n = 20) with baricitinib according to an off-label use of the drug. The study was designed as an observational, longitudinal trial and approved by the local ethics committee. The patients were treated with 4 mg baricitinib twice daily for 2 days, followed by 4 mg per day for the remaining 7 days. Changes in the immune phenotype and expression of phosphorylated STAT3 (p-STAT3) in blood cells were evaluated and correlated with serum-derived cytokine levels and antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome–coronavirus 2 (anti–SARS-CoV-2). In a single treated patient, we also evaluated the alteration of myeloid cell functional activity.RESULTS We provide evidence that patients treated with baricitinib had a marked reduction in serum levels of IL-6, IL-1β, and TNF-α, a rapid recovery of circulating T and B cell frequencies, and increased antibody production against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, all of which were clinically associated with a reduction in the need for oxygen therapy and a progressive increase in the P/F (PaO2, oxygen partial pressure/FiO2, fraction of inspired oxygen) ratio.CONCLUSION These data suggest that baricitinib prevented the progression to a severe, extreme form of the viral disease by modulating the patients’ immune landscape and that these changes were associated with a safer, more favorable clinical outcome for patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04438629.FUNDING This work was supported by the Fondazione Cariverona (ENACT Project) and the Fondazione TIM.
Vincenzo Bronte, Stefano Ugel, Elisa Tinazzi, Antonio Vella, Francesco De Sanctis, Stefania Canè, Veronica Batani, Rosalinda Trovato, Alessandra Fiore, Varvara Petrova, Francesca Hofer, Roza Maria Barouni, Chiara Musiu, Simone Caligola, Laura Pinton, Lorena Torroni, Enrico Polati, Katia Donadello, Simonetta Friso, Francesca Pizzolo, Manuela Iezzi, Federica Facciotti, Pier Giuseppe Pelicci, Daniela Righetti, Paolo Bazzoni, Mariaelisa Rampudda, Andrea Comel, Walter Mosaner, Claudio Lunardi, Oliviero Olivieri
BACKGROUND Corticosteroids are widely used in patients with COVID 19, although their benefit-to-risk ratio remains controversial.METHODS Patients with severe COVID-19–related acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) were included from December 29, 2019 to March 16, 2020 in 5 tertiary Chinese hospitals. Cox proportional hazards and competing risks analyses were conducted to analyze the impact of corticosteroids on mortality and SARS–CoV-2 RNA clearance, respectively. We performed a propensity score (PS) matching analysis to control confounding factors.RESULTS Of 774 eligible patients, 409 patients received corticosteroids, with a median time from hospitalization to starting corticosteroids of 1.0 day (IQR 0.0–3.0 days) . As compared with usual care, treatment with corticosteroids was associated with increased rate of myocardial (15.6% vs. 10.4%, P = 0.041) and liver injury (18.3% vs. 9.9%, P = 0.001), of shock (22.0% vs. 12.6%, P < 0.001), of need for mechanical ventilation (38.1% vs. 19.5%, P < 0.001), and increased rate of 28-day all-cause mortality (44.3% vs. 31.0%, P < 0.001). After PS matching, corticosteroid therapy was associated with 28-day mortality (adjusted HR 1.46, 95% CI 1.01–2.13, P = 0.045). High dose (>200 mg) and early initiation (≤3 days from hospitalization) of corticosteroid therapy were associated with a higher 28-day mortality rate. Corticosteroid use was also associated with a delay in SARS–CoV-2 coronavirus RNA clearance in the competing risk analysis (subhazard ratio 1.59, 95% CI 1.17–2.15, P = 0.003).CONCLUSION Administration of corticosteroids in severe COVID-19–related ARDS is associated with increased 28-day mortality and delayed SARS–CoV-2 coronavirus RNA clearance after adjustment for time-varying confounders.FUNDING None.
Jiao Liu, Sheng Zhang, Xuan Dong, Zhongyi Li, Qianghong Xu, Huibin Feng, Jing Cai, Sisi Huang, Jun Guo, Lidi Zhang, Yizhu Chen, Wei Zhu, Hangxiang Du, Yongan Liu, Tao Wang, Limin Chen, Zhenliang Wen, Djillali Annane, Jieming Qu, Dechang Chen
After over 3 decades of research, an effective anti-HIV vaccine remains elusive. The recently halted HVTN702 clinical trial not only further stresses the challenge to develop an effective HIV vaccine but also emphasizes that unconventional and novel vaccine strategies are urgently needed. Here, we report that a vaccine focusing the immune response on the sequences surrounding the 12 viral protease cleavage sites (PCSs) provided greater than 80% protection to Mauritian cynomolgus macaques against repeated intravaginal SIVmac251 challenges. The PCS-specific T cell responses correlated with vaccine efficacy. The PCS vaccine did not induce immune activation or inflammation known to be associated with increased susceptibility to HIV infection. Machine learning analyses revealed that the immune microenvironment generated by the PCS vaccine was predictive of vaccine efficacy. Our study demonstrates, for the first time to our knowledge, that a vaccine which targets only viral maturation, but lacks full-length Env and Gag immunogens, can prevent intravaginal infection in a stringent macaque/SIV challenge model. Targeting HIV maturation thus offers a potentially novel approach to developing an effective HIV vaccine.
Hongzhao Li, Robert W. Omange, Binhua Liang, Nikki Toledo, Yan Hai, Lewis R. Liu, Dane Schalk, Jose Crecente-Campo, Tamara G. Dacoba, Andrew B. Lambe, So-Yon Lim, Lin Li, Mohammad Abul Kashem, Yanmin Wan, Jorge F. Correia-Pinto, Michael S. Seaman, Xiao Qing Liu, Robert F. Balshaw, Qingsheng Li, Nancy Schultz-Darken, Maria J. Alonso, Francis A. Plummer, James B. Whitney, Ma Luo
Interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs) are pacemaker cells in the intestine, and their function can be compromised by loss of C-KIT expression. Macrophage activation has been identified in intestine affected by Hirschsprung disease–associated enterocolitis (HAEC). In this study, we examined proinflammatory macrophage activation and explored the mechanisms by which it downregulates C-KIT expression in ICCs in colon affected by HAEC. We found that macrophage activation and TNF-α production were dramatically increased in the proximal dilated colon of HAEC patients and 3-week-old Ednrb–/– mice. Moreover, ICCs lost their C-KIT+ phenotype in the dilated colon, resulting in damaged pacemaker function and intestinal dysmotility. However, macrophage depletion or TNF-α neutralization led to recovery of ICC phenotype and restored their pacemaker function. In isolated ICCs, TNF-α–mediated phosphorylation of p65 induced overexpression of microRNA-221 (miR-221), resulting in suppression of C-KIT expression and pacemaker currents. We also identified a TNF-α/NF-κB/miR-221 pathway that downregulated C-KIT expression in ICCs in the colon affected by HAEC. These findings suggest the important roles of proinflammatory macrophage activation in a phenotypic switch of ICCs, representing a promising therapeutic target for HAEC.
Xuyong Chen, Xinyao Meng, Hongyi Zhang, Chenzhao Feng, Bin Wang, Ning Li, Khalid Mohamoud Abdullahi, Xiaojuan Wu, Jixin Yang, Zhi Li, Chunlei Jiao, Jia Wei, Xiaofeng Xiong, Kang Fu, Lei Yu, Gail E. Besner, Jiexiong Feng
Clinical trials are currently testing whether induction of haploidentical mixed chimerism (Haplo-MC) induces organ transplantation tolerance. Whether Haplo-MC can be used to treat established autoimmune diseases remains unknown. Here, we show that established autoimmunity in euthymic and adult-thymectomized NOD (H-2g7) mice was cured by induction of Haplo-MC under a non-myeloablative anti-thymocyte globulin–based conditioning regimen and infusion of CD4+ T cell–depleted hematopoietic graft from H-2b/g7 F1 donors that expressed autoimmune-resistant H-2b or from H-2s/g7 F1 donors that expressed autoimmune-susceptible H-2s. The cure was associated with enhanced thymic negative selection, increased thymic Treg (tTreg) production, and anergy or exhaustion of residual host-type autoreactive T cells in the periphery. The peripheral tolerance was accompanied by expansion of donor- and host-type CD62L–Helios+ tTregs as well as host-type Helios–Nrp1+ peripheral Tregs (pTregs) and PD-L1hi plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs). Depletion of donor- or host-type Tregs led to reduction of host-type PD-L1hi pDCs and recurrence of autoimmunity, whereas PD-L1 deficiency in host-type DCs led to reduction of host-type pDCs and Helios–Nrp1+ pTregs. Thus, induction of Haplo-MC reestablished both central and peripheral tolerance through mechanisms that depend on allo-MHC+ donor-type DCs, PD-L1hi host-type DCs, and the generation and persistence of donor- and host-type tTregs and pTregs.
Yuqing Liu, Xiaoqi Wang, Yongping Zhu, Mingfeng Zhang, Ubaydah Nasri, Sharne S. Sun, Stephen J. Forman, Arthur D. Riggs, Xi Zhang, Defu Zeng
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has emerged as a global pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS–CoV-2). So far, viral targets of cellular immunity and factors determining successful mounting of T cell responses are poorly defined. We therefore analyzed cellular responses to membrane, nucleocapsid, and spike proteins in individuals suffering from moderate or severe infection and in individuals who recovered from mild disease. We demonstrate that the CoV-2–specific CD4+ T helper cell response is directed against all 3 proteins with comparable magnitude, ex vivo proliferation, and portions of responding patients. However, individuals who died were more likely to have not mounted a cellular response to the proteins. Higher patient age and comorbidity index correlated with increased frequencies of CoV-2–specific CD4+ T cells, harboring higher portions of IL-2–secreting, but lower portions of IFN-γ–secreting, cells. Diminished frequencies of membrane protein–reactive IFN-γ+ T cells were particularly associated with higher acute physiology and chronic health evaluation II scores in patients admitted to intensive care. CoV-2–specific T cells exhibited elevated PD-1 expression in patients with active disease as compared with those individuals who recovered from previous mild disease. In summary, our data suggest a link between individual patient predisposition with respect to age and comorbidity and impairment of CoV-2–specific Th1-type cellular immunity, thereby supporting a concept of altered T cell function in at-risk patients.
Arne Sattler, Stefan Angermair, Helena Stockmann, Katrin Moira Heim, Dmytro Khadzhynov, Sascha Treskatsch, Fabian Halleck, Martin E. Kreis, Katja Kotsch
Astrocytes have multiple functions in the brain, including affecting blood vessel (BV) homeostasis and function. However, the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we provide evidence that astrocytic neogenin (NEO1), a member of deleted in colorectal cancer (DCC) family netrin receptors, is involved in blood vessel homeostasis and function. Mice with Neo1 depletion in astrocytes exhibited clustered astrocyte distribution and increased BVs in their cortices. These BVs were leaky, with reduced blood flow, disrupted vascular basement membranes (vBMs), decreased pericytes, impaired endothelial cell (EC) barrier, and elevated tip EC proliferation. Increased proliferation was also detected in cultured ECs exposed to the conditioned medium (CM) of NEO1-depleted astrocytes. Further screening for angiogenetic factors in the CM identified netrin-1 (NTN1), whose expression was decreased in NEO1-depleted cortical astrocytes. Adding NTN1 into the CM of NEO1-depleted astrocytes attenuated EC proliferation. Expressing NTN1 in NEO1 mutant cortical astrocytes ameliorated phenotypes in blood-brain barrier (BBB), EC, and astrocyte distribution. NTN1 depletion in astrocytes resulted in BV/BBB deficits in the cortex similar to those in Neo1 mutant mice. In aggregate, these results uncovered an unrecognized pathway, astrocytic NEO1 to NTN1, not only regulating astrocyte distribution, but also promoting cortical BV homeostasis and function.
Ling-Ling Yao, Jin-Xia Hu, Qiang Li, Daehoon Lee, Xiao Ren, Jun-Shi Zhang, Dong Sun, Hong-Sheng Zhang, Yong-Gang Wang, Lin Mei, Wen-Cheng Xiong
The sodium-phosphate cotransporter NPT2a plays a key role in the reabsorption of filtered phosphate in proximal renal tubules, thereby critically contributing to phosphate homeostasis. Inadequate urinary phosphate excretion can lead to severe hyperphosphatemia as in tumoral calcinosis and chronic kidney disease (CKD). Pharmacological inhibition of NPT2a may therefore represent an attractive approach for treating hyperphosphatemic conditions. The NPT2a-selective small-molecule inhibitor PF-06869206 was previously shown to reduce phosphate uptake in human proximal tubular cells in vitro. Here, we investigated the acute and chronic effects of the inhibitor in rodents and report that administration of PF-06869206 was well tolerated and elicited a dose-dependent increase in fractional phosphate excretion. This phosphaturic effect lowered plasma phosphate levels in WT mice and in rats with CKD due to subtotal nephrectomy. PF-06869206 had no effect on Npt2a-null mice, but promoted phosphate excretion and reduced phosphate levels in normophophatemic mice lacking Npt2c and in hyperphosphatemic mice lacking Fgf23 or Galnt3. In CKD rats, once-daily administration of PF-06869206 for 8 weeks induced an unabated acute phosphaturic and hypophosphatemic effect, but had no statistically significant effect on FGF23 or PTH levels. Selective pharmacological inhibition of NPT2a thus holds promise as a therapeutic option for genetic and acquired hyperphosphatemic disorders.
Valerie Clerin, Hiroshi Saito, Kevin J. Filipski, An Hai Nguyen, Jeonifer Garren, Janka Kisucka, Monica Reyes, Harald Jüppner
Chronic viral infections are often established by the exploitation of immune-regulatory mechanisms that result in nonfunctional T cell responses. Viruses that establish persistent infections remain a serious threat to human health. Sphingosine kinase 2 (SphK2) generates sphingosine 1-phosphate, which is a molecule known to regulate multiple cellular processes. However, little is known about SphK2’s role during the host immune responses to viral infection. Here, we demonstrate that SphK2 functions during lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus Cl 13 (LCMV Cl 13) infection to limit T cell immune pathology, which subsequently aids in the establishment of virus-induced immunosuppression and the resultant viral persistence. The infection of Sphk2-deficient (Sphk2–/–) mice with LCMV Cl 13 led to the development of nephropathy and mortality via T cell–mediated immunopathology. Following LCMV infection, Sphk2–/– CD4+ T cells displayed increased activity and proliferation, and these cells promoted overactive LCMV Cl 13–specific CD8+ T cell responses. Notably, oral instillation of an SphK2-selective inhibitor promoted protective T cell responses and accelerated the termination of LCMV Cl 13 persistence in mice. Thus, SphK2 is indicated as an immunotherapeutic target for the control of persistent viral infections.
Caleb J. Studstill, Curtis J. Pritzl, Young-Jin Seo, Dae Young Kim, Chuan Xia, Jennifer J. Wolf, Ravi Nistala, Madhuvanthi Vijayan, Yong-Bin Cho, Kyung Won Kang, Sang-Myeong Lee, Bumsuk Hahm
Homeostasis of bone metabolism is regulated by the central nervous system, and mood disorders such as anxiety are associated with bone metabolism abnormalities, yet our understanding of the central neural circuits regulating bone metabolism is limited. Here, we demonstrate that chronic stress in crewmembers resulted in decreased bone density and elevated anxiety in an isolated habitat mimicking a space station. We then used a mouse model to demonstrate that GABAergic neural circuitry in the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) mediates chronic stress–induced bone loss. We show that GABAergic inputs in the dorsomedial VMH arise from a specific group of somatostatin neurons in the posterior region of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, which is indispensable for stress-induced bone loss and is able to trigger bone loss in the absence of stressors. In addition, the sympathetic system and glutamatergic neurons in the nucleus tractus solitarius were employed to regulate stress-induced bone loss. Our study has therefore identified the central neural mechanism by which chronic stress–induced mood disorders, such as anxiety, influence bone metabolism.
Fan Yang, Yunhui Liu, Shanping Chen, Zhongquan Dai, Dazhi Yang, Dashuang Gao, Jie Shao, Yuyao Wang, Ting Wang, Zhijian Zhang, Lu Zhang, William W. Lu, Yinghui Li, Liping Wang
The dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) has been recognized as a key cortical area for nociceptive modulation. However, the underlying neural pathway and the function of specific cell types remain largely unclear. Here, we show that lesions in the dmPFC induced an algesic and anxious state. Using multiple tracing methods including a rabies-based transsynaptic tracing method, we outlined an excitatory descending neural pathway from the dmPFC to the ventrolateral periaqueductal gray (vlPAG). Specific activation of the dmPFC/vlPAG neural pathway by optogenetic manipulation produced analgesic and antianxiety effects in a mouse model of chronic pain. Inhibitory neurons in the dmPFC were specifically activated using a chemogenetic approach, which logically produced an algesic and anxious state under both normal and chronic pain conditions. Antagonists of the GABAA receptor (GABAAR) or mGluR1 were applied to the dmPFC, which produced analgesic and antianxiety effects. In summary, the results of our study suggest that the dmPFC/vlPAG neural pathway might participate in the maintenance of pain thresholds and antianxiety behaviors under normal conditions, while silencing or suppressing the dmPFC/vlPAG pathway might be involved in the initial stages and maintenance of chronic pain and the emergence of anxiety-like behaviors.
Jun-Bin Yin, Shao-Hua Liang, Fei Li, Wen-Jun Zhao, Yang Bai, Yi Sun, Zhen-Yu Wu, Tan Ding, Yan Sun, Hai-Xia Liu, Ya-Cheng Lu, Ting Zhang, Jing Huang, Tao Chen, Hui Li, Zhou-Feng Chen, Jing Cao, Rui Ren, Ya-Nan Peng, Juan Yang, Wei-Dong Zang, Xiang Li, Yu-Lin Dong, Yun-Qing Li
Tregs require Foxp3 expression and induction of a specific DNA hypomethylation signature during development, after which Tregs persist as a self-renewing population that regulates immune system activation. Whether maintenance DNA methylation is required for Treg lineage development and stability and how methylation patterns are maintained during lineage self-renewal remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate that the epigenetic regulator ubiquitin-like with plant homeodomain and RING finger domains 1 (Uhrf1) is essential for maintenance of methyl-DNA marks that stabilize Treg cellular identity by repressing effector T cell transcriptional programs. Constitutive and induced deficiency of Uhrf1 within Foxp3+ cells resulted in global yet nonuniform loss of DNA methylation, derepression of inflammatory transcriptional programs, destabilization of the Treg lineage, and spontaneous inflammation. These findings support a paradigm in which maintenance DNA methylation is required in distinct regions of the Treg genome for both lineage establishment and stability of identity and suppressive function.
Kathryn A. Helmin, Luisa Morales-Nebreda, Manuel A. Torres Acosta, Kishore R. Anekalla, Shang-Yang Chen, Hiam Abdala-Valencia, Yuliya Politanska, Paul Cheresh, Mahzad Akbarpour, Elizabeth M. Steinert, Samuel E. Weinberg, Benjamin D. Singer
BACKGROUND Marked progress is achieved in understanding the physiopathology of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which caused a global pandemic. However, the CD4+ T cell population critical for antibody response in COVID-19 is poorly understood.METHODS In this study, we provided a comprehensive analysis of peripheral CD4+ T cells from 13 COVID-19 convalescent patients, defined as confirmed free of SARS-CoV-2 for 2 to 4 weeks, using flow cytometry and magnetic chemiluminescence enzyme antibody immunoassay. The data were correlated with clinical characteristics.RESULTS We observed that, relative to healthy individuals, convalescent patients displayed an altered peripheral CD4+ T cell spectrum. Specifically, consistent with other viral infections, cTfh1 cells associated with SARS-CoV-2–targeting antibodies were found in COVID-19 covalescent patients. Individuals with severe disease showed higher frequencies of Tem and Tfh-em cells but lower frequencies of Tcm, Tfh-cm, Tfr, and Tnaive cells, compared with healthy individuals and patients with mild and moderate disease. Interestingly, a higher frequency of cTfh-em cells correlated with a lower blood oxygen level, recorded at the time of admission, in convalescent patients. These observations might constitute residual effects by which COVID-19 can impact the homeostasis of CD4+ T cells in the long-term and explain the highest ratio of class-switched virus-specific antibody producing individuals found in our severe COVID-19 cohort.CONCLUSION Our study demonstrated a close connection between CD4+ T cells and antibody production in COVID-19 convalescent patients.FUNDING Six Talent Peaks Project in Jiangsu Province and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC).
Fang Gong, Yaping Dai, Ting Zheng, Liang Cheng, Dan Zhao, Hao Wang, Min Liu, Hao Pei, Tengchuan Jin, Di Yu, Pengcheng Zhou
BACKGROUND Interpatient differences in the accumulation of methotrexate’s active polyglutamylated metabolites (MTXPGs) in leukemia cells influence its antileukemic effects.METHODS To identify genomic and epigenomic and patient variables determining the intracellular accumulation of MTXPGs, we measured intracellular MTXPG levels in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells from 388 newly diagnosed patients after in vivo high-dose methotrexate (HDMTX) (1 g/m2) treatment, defined ALL subtypes, and assessed genomic and epigenomic variants influencing folate pathway genes (mRNA, miRNA, copy number alterations [CNAs], SNPs, single nucleotide variants [SNVs], CpG methylation).RESULTS We documented greater than 100-fold differences in MTXPG levels, which influenced its antileukemic effects (P = 4 × 10–5). Three ALL subtypes had lower MTXPG levels (T cell ALL [T-ALL] and B cell ALL [B-ALL] with the TCF3-PBX1 or ETV6-RUNX1 fusions), and 2 subtypes had higher MTXPG levels (hyperdiploid and BCR-ABL like). The folate pathway genes SLC19A1, ABCC1, ABCC4, FPGS, and MTHFD1 significantly influenced intracellular MTXPG levels (P = 2.9 × 10–3 to 3.7 × 10–8). A multivariable model including the ALL subtype (P = 1.1 × 10–14), the SLC19A1/(ABCC1 + ABCC4) transporter ratio (P = 3.6 × 10–4), the MTX infusion time (P = 1.5 × 10–3), FPGS mRNA expression (P = 2.1 × 10–3), and MTX systemic clearance (P = 4.4 × 10–2) explained 42% of the variation in MTXPG accumulation (P = 1.1 × 10–38). Model simulations indicated that a longer infusion time (24 h vs. 4 h) was superior in achieving higher intracellular MTXPG levels across all subtypes if ALL.CONCLUSIONS These findings provide insights into mechanisms underlying interpatient differences in intracellular accumulation of MTXPG in leukemia cells and its antileukemic effectsFUNDING THE National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Institute of General Medical Sciences of the NIH, the Basque Government Programa Posdoctoral de Perfeccionamiento de Personal Investigador doctor, and the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC).
Elixabet Lopez-Lopez, Robert J. Autry, Colton Smith, Wenjian Yang, Steven W. Paugh, John C. Panetta, Kristine R. Crews, Erik J. Bonten, Brandon Smart, Deqing Pei, J. Robert McCorkle, Barthelemy Diouf, Kathryn G. Roberts, Lei Shi, Stanley Pounds, Cheng Cheng, Charles G. Mullighan, Ching-Hon Pui, Mary V. Relling, William E. Evans
Dysregulation of habit formation has been recently proposed as pivotal to eating disorders. Here, we report that a subset of patients suffering from restrictive anorexia nervosa have enhanced habit formation compared with healthy controls. Habit formation is modulated by striatal cholinergic interneurons. These interneurons express vesicular transporters for acetylcholine (VAChT) and glutamate (VGLUT3) and use acetylcholine/glutamate cotransmission to regulate striatal functions. Using mice with genetically silenced VAChT (VAChT conditional KO, VAChTcKO) or VGLUT3 (VGLUT3cKO), we investigated the roles that acetylcholine and glutamate released by cholinergic interneurons play in habit formation and maladaptive eating. Silencing glutamate favored goal-directed behaviors and had no impact on eating behavior. In contrast, VAChTcKO mice were more prone to habits and maladaptive eating. Specific deletion of VAChT in the dorsomedial striatum of adult mice was sufficient to phenocopy maladaptive eating behaviors of VAChTcKO mice. Interestingly, VAChTcKO mice had reduced dopamine release in the dorsomedial striatum but not in the dorsolateral striatum. The dysfunctional eating behavior of VAChTcKO mice was alleviated by donepezil and by l-DOPA, confirming an acetylcholine/dopamine deficit. Our study reveals that loss of acetylcholine leads to a dopamine imbalance in striatal compartments, thereby promoting habits and vulnerability to maladaptive eating in mice.
Mathieu Favier, Helena Janickova, Damian Justo, Ornela Kljakic, Léonie Runtz, Joman Y. Natsheh, Tharick A. Pascoal, Jurgen Germann, Daniel Gallino, Jun-II Kang, Xiang Qi Meng, Christina Antinora, Sanda Raulic, Jacob P.R. Jacobsen, Luc Moquin, Erika Vigneault, Alain Gratton, Marc G. Caron, Philibert Duriez, Mark P. Brandon, Pedro Rosa Neto, M. Mallar Chakravarty, Mohammad M. Herzallah, Philip Gorwood, Marco A.M. Prado, Vania F. Prado, Salah El Mestikawy
BACKGROUND T cell responses to the common cold coronaviruses have not been well characterized. Preexisting T cell immunity to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been reported, and a recent study suggested that this immunity was due to cross-recognition of the novel coronavirus by T cells specific for the common cold coronaviruses.METHODS We used the enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assay to characterize the T cell responses against peptide pools derived from the spike protein of 3 common cold coronaviruses (HCoV-229E, HCoV-NL63, and HCoV-OC43) and SARS-CoV-2 in 21 healthy donors (HDs) who were seronegative for SARS-CoV-2 and had no known exposure to the virus. An in vitro expansion culture assay was also used to analyze memory T cell responses.RESULTS We found responses to the spike protein of the 3 common cold coronaviruses in many of the donors. We then focused on HCoV-NL63 and detected broad T cell responses to the spike protein and identified 22 targeted peptides. Interestingly, only 1 study participant had a significant response to SARS-CoV-2 spike or nucleocapsid protein in the ELISPOT assay. In vitro expansion studies suggested that T cells specific for the HCoV-NL63 spike protein in this individual could also recognize SARS-CoV-2 spike protein peptide pools.CONCLUSION HDs have circulating T cells specific for the spike proteins of HCoV-NL63, HCoV-229E, and HCoV-OC43. T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 spike and nucleocapsid proteins were present in only 1 participant and were potentially the result of cross-recognition by T cells specific for the common cold coronaviruses. Further studies are needed to determine whether this cross-recognition influences coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outcomes.
Bezawit A. Woldemeskel, Abena K. Kwaa, Caroline C. Garliss, Oliver Laeyendecker, Stuart C. Ray, Joel N. Blankson
By restoring glucose-regulated insulin secretion, glucagon-like peptide-1–based (GLP-1–based) therapies are becoming increasingly important in diabetes care. Normally, the incretins GLP-1 and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) jointly maintain normal blood glucose levels by stimulation of insulin secretion in pancreatic β cells. However, the reason why only GLP-1–based drugs are effective in improving insulin secretion after presentation of diabetes has not been resolved. ATP-sensitive K+ (KATP) channels play a crucial role in coupling the systemic metabolic status to β cell electrical activity for insulin secretion. Here, we have shown that persistent membrane depolarization of β cells due to genetic (β cell–specific Kcnj11–/– mice) or pharmacological (long-term exposure to sulfonylureas) inhibition of the KATP channel led to a switch from Gs to Gq in a major amplifying pathway of insulin secretion. The switch determined the relative insulinotropic effectiveness of GLP-1 and GIP, as GLP-1 can activate both Gq and Gs, while GIP only activates Gs. The findings were corroborated in other models of persistent depolarization: a spontaneous diabetic KK-Ay mouse and nondiabetic human and mouse β cells of pancreatic islets chronically treated with high glucose. Thus, a Gs/Gq signaling switch in β cells exposed to chronic hyperglycemia underlies the differential insulinotropic potential of incretins in diabetes.
Okechi S. Oduori, Naoya Murao, Kenju Shimomura, Harumi Takahashi, Quan Zhang, Haiqiang Dou, Shihomi Sakai, Kohtaro Minami, Belen Chanclon, Claudia Guida, Lakshmi Kothegala, Johan Tolö, Yuko Maejima, Norihide Yokoi, Yasuhiro Minami, Takashi Miki, Patrik Rorsman, Susumu Seino
BACKGROUND Understanding outcomes and immunologic characteristics of cellular therapy recipients with SARS-CoV-2 is critical to performing these potentially life-saving therapies in the COVID-19 era. In this study of recipients of allogeneic (Allo) and autologous (Auto) hematopoietic cell transplant and CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR T) therapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, we aimed to identify clinical variables associated with COVID-19 severity and assess lymphocyte populations.METHODS We retrospectively investigated patients diagnosed between March 15, 2020, and May 7, 2020. In a subset of patients, lymphocyte immunophenotyping, quantitative real-time PCR from nasopharyngeal swabs, and SARS-CoV-2 antibody status were available.RESULTS We identified 77 patients with SARS-CoV-2 who were recipients of cellular therapy (Allo, 35; Auto, 37; CAR T, 5; median time from cellular therapy, 782 days; IQR, 354–1611 days). Overall survival at 30 days was 78%. Clinical variables significantly associated with the composite endpoint of nonrebreather or higher oxygen requirement and death (n events = 25 of 77) included number of comorbidities (HR 5.41, P = 0.004), infiltrates (HR 3.08, P = 0.032), and neutropenia (HR 1.15, P = 0.04). Worsening graft-versus-host disease was not identified among Allo recipients. Immune profiling revealed reductions and rapid recovery in lymphocyte populations across lymphocyte subsets. Antibody responses were seen in a subset of patients.CONCLUSION In this series of Allo, Auto, and CAR T recipients, we report overall favorable clinical outcomes for patients with COVID-19 without active malignancy and provide preliminary insights into the lymphocyte populations that are key for the antiviral response and immune reconstitution.FUNDING NIH grant P01 CA23766 and NIH/National Cancer Institute grant P30 CA008748.
Gunjan L. Shah, Susan DeWolf, Yeon Joo Lee, Roni Tamari, Parastoo B. Dahi, Jessica A. Lavery, Josel Ruiz, Sean M. Devlin, Christina Cho, Jonathan U. Peled, Ioannis Politikos, Michael Scordo, N. Esther Babady, Tania Jain, Santosha Vardhana, Anthony Daniyan, Craig S. Sauter, Juliet N. Barker, Sergio A. Giralt, Cheryl Goss, Peter Maslak, Tobias M. Hohl, Mini Kamboj, Lakshmi Ramanathan, Marcel R.M. van den Brink, Esperanza Papadopoulos, Genovefa Papanicolaou, Miguel-Angel Perales
Germ cell tumors (GCTs) are the most common cancer in men between the ages of 15 and 40. Although most patients are cured, those with disease arising in the mediastinum have distinctly poor outcomes. One in every 17 patients with primary mediastinal nonseminomatous GCTs develop an incurable hematologic malignancy and prior data intriguingly suggest a clonal relationship exists between hematologic malignancies and GCTs in these cases. To date, however, the precise clonal relationship between GCTs and the diverse additional somatic malignancies arising in such individuals have not been determined. Here, we traced the clonal evolution and characterized the genetic features of each neoplasm from a cohort of 15 patients with GCTs and associated hematologic malignancies. We discovered that GCTs and hematologic malignancies developing in such individuals evolved from a common shared precursor, nearly all of which harbored allelically imbalanced p53 and/or RAS pathway mutations. Hematologic malignancies arising in this setting genetically resembled mediastinal GCTs rather than de novo myeloid neoplasms. Our findings argue that this scenario represents a unique clinical syndrome, distinct from de novo GCTs or hematologic malignancies, initiated by an ancestral precursor that gives rise to the parallel evolution of GCTs and blood cancers in these patients.
Justin Taylor, Mark T.A. Donoghue, Caleb Ho, Kseniya Petrova-Drus, Hikmat A. Al-Ahmadie, Samuel A. Funt, Yanming Zhang, Umut Aypar, Pavitra Rao, Shweta S. Chavan, Michael Haddadin, Roni Tamari, Sergio Giralt, Martin S. Tallman, Raajit K. Rampal, Priscilla Baez, Rajya Kappagantula, Satyajit Kosuri, Ahmet Dogan, Satish K. Tickoo, Victor E. Reuter, George J. Bosl, Christine A. Iacobuzio-Donahue, David B. Solit, Barry S. Taylor, Darren R. Feldman, Omar Abdel-Wahab
Gene editing of the erythroid-specific BCL11A enhancer in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) from patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) induces fetal hemoglobin (HbF) without detectable toxicity, as assessed by mouse xenotransplant. Here, we evaluated autologous engraftment and HbF induction potential of erythroid-specific BCL11A enhancer–edited HSPCs in 4 nonhuman primates. We used a single guide RNA (sgRNA) with identical human and rhesus target sequences to disrupt a GATA1 binding site at the BCL11A +58 erythroid enhancer. Cas9 protein and sgRNA ribonucleoprotein complex (RNP) was electroporated into rhesus HSPCs, followed by autologous infusion after myeloablation. We found that gene edits persisted in peripheral blood (PB) and bone marrow (BM) for up to 101 weeks similarly for BCL11A enhancer– or control locus–targeted (AAVS1-targeted) cells. Biallelic BCL11A enhancer editing resulted in robust γ-globin induction, with the highest levels observed during stress erythropoiesis. Indels were evenly distributed across PB and BM lineages. Off-target edits were not observed. Nonhomologous end-joining repair alleles were enriched in engrafting HSCs. In summary, we found that edited HSCs can persist for at least 101 weeks after transplant and biallelic-edited HSCs provide substantial HbF levels in PB red blood cells, together supporting further clinical translation of this approach.
Selami Demirci, Jing Zeng, Yuxuan Wu, Naoya Uchida, Anne H. Shen, Danilo Pellin, Jackson Gamer, Morgan Yapundich, Claire Drysdale, Jasmine Bonanno, Aylin C. Bonifacino, Allen E. Krouse, Nathaniel S. Linde, Theresa Engels, Robert E. Donahue, Juan J. Haro-Mora, Alexis Leonard, Tina Nassehi, Kevin Luk, Shaina N. Porter, Cicera R. Lazzarotto, Shengdar Q. Tsai, Mitchell J. Weiss, Shondra M. Pruett-Miller, Scot A. Wolfe, Daniel E. Bauer, John F. Tisdale
BACKGROUND Data from studies conducted in rodent models have shown that decreased adipose tissue (AT) oxygenation is involved in the pathogenesis of obesity-induced insulin resistance. Here, we evaluated the potential influence of AT oxygenation on AT biology and insulin sensitivity in people.METHODS We evaluated subcutaneous AT oxygen partial pressure (pO2); liver and whole-body insulin sensitivity; AT expression of genes and pathways involved in inflammation, fibrosis, and branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) catabolism; systemic markers of inflammation; and plasma BCAA concentrations, in 3 groups of participants that were rigorously stratified by adiposity and insulin sensitivity: metabolically healthy lean (MHL; n = 11), metabolically healthy obese (MHO; n = 15), and metabolically unhealthy obese (MUO; n = 20).RESULTS AT pO2 progressively declined from the MHL to the MHO to the MUO group, and was positively associated with hepatic and whole-body insulin sensitivity. AT pO2 was positively associated with the expression of genes involved in BCAA catabolism, in conjunction with an inverse relationship between AT pO2 and plasma BCAA concentrations. AT pO2 was negatively associated with AT gene expression of markers of inflammation and fibrosis. Plasma PAI-1 increased from the MHL to the MHO to the MUO group and was negatively correlated with AT pO2, whereas the plasma concentrations of other cytokines and chemokines were not different among the MHL and MUO groups.CONCLUSION These results support the notion that reduced AT oxygenation in individuals with obesity contributes to insulin resistance by increasing plasma PAI-1 concentrations and decreasing AT BCAA catabolism and thereby increasing plasma BCAA concentrations.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02706262.FUNDING This study was supported by NIH grants K01DK109119, T32HL130357, K01DK116917, R01ES027595, P42ES010337, DK56341 (Nutrition Obesity Research Center), DK20579 (Diabetes Research Center), DK052574 (Digestive Disease Research Center), and UL1TR002345 (Clinical and Translational Science Award); NIH Shared Instrumentation Grants S10RR0227552, S10OD020025, and S10OD026929; and the Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
Vincenza Cifarelli, Scott C. Beeman, Gordon I. Smith, Jun Yoshino, Darya Morozov, Joseph W. Beals, Brandon D. Kayser, Jeramie D. Watrous, Mohit Jain, Bruce W. Patterson, Samuel Klein
The transcription factor IFN regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) is a central mediator of innate and adaptive immunity. Genetic variations within IRF5 are associated with a risk of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and mice lacking Irf5 are protected from lupus onset and severity, but how IRF5 functions in the context of SLE disease progression remains unclear. Using the NZB/W F1 model of murine lupus, we show that murine IRF5 becomes hyperactivated before clinical onset. In patients with SLE, IRF5 hyperactivation correlated with dsDNA titers. To test whether IRF5 hyperactivation is a targetable function, we developed inhibitors that are cell permeable, nontoxic, and selectively bind to the inactive IRF5 monomer. Preclinical treatment of NZB/W F1 mice with an inhibitor attenuated lupus pathology by reducing serum antinuclear autoantibodies, dsDNA titers, and the number of circulating plasma cells, which alleviated kidney pathology and improved survival. Clinical treatment of MRL/lpr and pristane-induced lupus mice with an inhibitor led to significant reductions in dsDNA levels and improved survival. In ex vivo human studies, the inhibitor blocked SLE serum–induced IRF5 activation and reversed basal IRF5 hyperactivation in SLE immune cells. We believe this study provides the first in vivo clinical support for treating patients with SLE with an IRF5 inhibitor.
Su Song, Saurav De, Victoria Nelson, Samin Chopra, Margaret LaPan, Kyle Kampta, Shan Sun, Mingzhu He, Cherrie D. Thompson, Dan Li, Tiffany Shih, Natalie Tan, Yousef Al-Abed, Eugenio Capitle, Cynthia Aranow, Meggan Mackay, William L. Clapp, Betsy J. Barnes
Tertiary lymphoid organs are aggregates of immune and stromal cells including high endothelial venules and lymphatic vessels that resemble secondary lymphoid organs and can be induced at nonlymphoid sites during inflammation. The function of lymphatic vessels within tertiary lymphoid organs remains poorly understood. During lung transplant tolerance, Foxp3+ cells accumulate in tertiary lymphoid organs that are induced within the pulmonary grafts and are critical for the local downregulation of alloimmune responses. Here, we showed that tolerant lung allografts could induce and maintain tolerance of heterotopic donor-matched hearts through pathways that were dependent on the continued presence of the transplanted lung. Using lung retransplantation, we showed that Foxp3+ cells egressed from tolerant lung allografts via lymphatics and were recruited into donor-matched heart allografts. Indeed, survival of the heart allografts was dependent on lymphatic drainage from the tolerant lung allograft to the periphery. Thus, our work indicates that cellular trafficking from tertiary lymphoid organs regulates immune responses in the periphery. We propose that these findings have important implications for a variety of disease processes that are associated with the induction of tertiary lymphoid organs.
Wenjun Li, Jason M. Gauthier, Alice Y. Tong, Yuriko Terada, Ryuji Higashikubo, Christian C. Frye, Margaret S. Harrison, Kohei Hashimoto, Amit I. Bery, Jon H. Ritter, Ruben G. Nava, Varun Puri, Brian W. Wong, Kory J. Lavine, Ankit Bharat, Alexander S. Krupnick, Andrew E. Gelman, Daniel Kreisel
The newly emerged severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) highlights the urgent need for assays that detect protective levels of neutralizing antibodies. We studied the relationship among anti-spike ectodomain (anti-ECD), anti–receptor-binding domain (anti-RBD) IgG titers, and SARS-CoV-2 virus neutralization (VN) titers generated by 2 in vitro assays using convalescent plasma samples from 68 patients with COVID-19. We report a strong positive correlation between both plasma anti-RBD and anti-ECD IgG titers and in vitro VN titers. The probability of a VN titer of ≥160, the FDA-recommended level for convalescent plasma used for COVID-19 treatment, was ≥80% when anti-RBD or anti-ECD titers were ≥1:1350. Of all donors, 37% lacked VN titers of ≥160. Dyspnea, hospitalization, and disease severity were significantly associated with higher VN titer. Frequent donation of convalescent plasma did not significantly decrease VN or IgG titers. Analysis of 2814 asymptomatic adults found 73 individuals with anti-ECD IgG titers of ≥1:50 and strong positive correlation with anti-RBD and VN titers. Fourteen of these individuals had VN titers of ≥1:160, and all of them had anti-RBD titers of ≥1:1350. We conclude that anti-RBD or anti-ECD IgG titers can serve as a surrogate for VN titers to identify suitable plasma donors. Plasma anti-RBD or anti-ECD titers of ≥1:1350 may provide critical information about protection against COVID-19 disease.
Eric Salazar, Suresh V. Kuchipudi, Paul A. Christensen, Todd Eagar, Xin Yi, Picheng Zhao, Zhicheng Jin, S. Wesley Long, Randall J. Olsen, Jian Chen, Brian Castillo, Christopher Leveque, Dalton Towers, Jason Lavinder, Jimmy Gollihar, Jose Cardona, Gregory Ippolito, Ruth Nissly, Ian Bird, Denver Greenawalt, Randall M. Rossi, Abhinay Gontu, Sreenidhi Srinivasan, Indira Poojary, Isabella M. Cattadori, Peter J. Hudson, Nicole M. Josleyn, Laura Prugar, Kathleen Huie, Andrew Herbert, David W. Bernard, John M. Dye, Vivek Kapur, James M. Musser
BACKGROUND Kisspeptin is a key regulator of hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons and is essential for reproductive health. A specific kisspeptin receptor (KISS1R) agonist could significantly expand the potential clinical utility of therapeutics targeting the kisspeptin pathway. Herein, we investigate the effects of a KISS1R agonist, MVT-602, in healthy women and in women with reproductive disorders.METHODS We conducted in vivo and in vitro studies to characterize the action of MVT-602 in comparison with native kisspeptin-54 (KP54). We determined the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of MVT-602 (doses 0.01 and 0.03 nmol/kg) versus KP54 (9.6 nmol/kg) in the follicular phase of healthy women (n = 9), and in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS; n = 6) or hypothalamic amenorrhea (HA; n = 6). Further, we investigated their effects on KISS1R-mediated inositol monophosphate (IP1) and Ca2+ signaling in cell lines and on action potential firing of GnRH neurons in brain slices.RESULTS In healthy women, the amplitude of luteinizing hormone (LH) rise was similar to that after KP54, but peaked later (21.4 vs. 4.7 hours; P = 0.0002), with correspondingly increased AUC of LH exposure (169.0 vs. 38.5 IU∙h/L; P = 0.0058). LH increases following MVT-602 were similar in PCOS and healthy women, but advanced in HA (P = 0.004). In keeping with the clinical data, MVT-602 induced more potent signaling of KISS1R-mediated IP1 accumulation and a longer duration of GnRH neuron firing than KP54 (115 vs. 55 minutes; P = 0.0012).CONCLUSION Taken together, these clinical and mechanistic data identify MVT-602 as having considerable therapeutic potential for the treatment of female reproductive disorders.TRIAL REGISTRATION International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN) Registry, ISRCTN21681316.FUNDING National Institute for Health Research and NIH.
Ali Abbara, Pei Chia Eng, Maria Phylactou, Sophie A. Clarke, Rachel Richardson, Charlene M. Sykes, Chayarndorn Phumsatitpong, Edouard Mills, Manish Modi, Chioma Izzi-Engbeaya, Debbie Papadopoulou, Kate Purugganan, Channa N. Jayasena, Lisa Webber, Rehan Salim, Bryn Owen, Paul Bech, Alexander N. Comninos, Craig A. McArdle, Margaritis Voliotis, Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova, Suzanne Moenter, Aylin Hanyaloglu, Waljit S. Dhillo