In this issue, Agak et al. interrogated the antimicrobial machinery of TH17 cells, which play a key role in host defense against infections. They found that a subpopulation of antimicrobial TH17 cells have the ability to form T cell extracellular traps and secrete a combination of antimicrobial molecules that kill pathogenic bacteria. The cover image shows a positive control of extracellular traps from a neutrophil in response to C. acnes and phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate stimulation.
E. Dale Abel
Jeffrey C. Rathmell, W. Kimryn Rathmell
Louis J. Ptáček, Ying-Hui Fu
Robert V. Farese Jr., Tobias C. Walther
Robert M. Califf, Lesley H. Curtis, Robert A. Harrington, Adrian F. Hernandez, Eric D. Peterson
Nigel Paneth, Michael Joyner
Both basal and glucose-stimulated insulin release occur primarily by insulin secretory granule exocytosis from pancreatic β cells, and both are needed to maintain normoglycemia. Loss of insulin-secreting β cells, accompanied by abnormal glucose tolerance, may involve simple exhaustion of insulin reserves (which, by immunostaining, appears as a loss of β cell identity), or β cell dedifferentiation, or β cell death. While various sensing and signaling defects can result in diminished insulin secretion, somewhat less attention has been paid to diabetes risk caused by insufficiency in the biosynthetic generation and maintenance of the total insulin granule storage pool. This Review offers an overview of insulin biosynthesis, beginning with the preproinsulin mRNA (translation and translocation into the ER), proinsulin folding and export from the ER, and delivery via the Golgi complex to secretory granules for conversion to insulin and ultimate hormone storage. All of these steps are needed for generation and maintenance of the total insulin granule pool, and defects in any of these steps may, weakly or strongly, perturb glycemic control. The foregoing considerations have obvious potential relevance to the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes and some forms of monogenic diabetes; conceivably, several of these concepts might also have implications for β cell failure in type 1 diabetes.
Ming Liu, Yumeng Huang, Xiaoxi Xu, Xin Li, Maroof Alam, Anoop Arunagiri, Leena Haataja, Li Ding, Shusen Wang, Pamela Itkin-Ansari, Randal J. Kaufman, Billy Tsai, Ling Qi, Peter Arvan
Diabetes mellitus is a major public health problem, affecting about 10% of the population. Pharmacotherapy aims to protect against microvascular complications, including blindness, end-stage kidney disease, and amputations. Landmark clinical trials have demonstrated that intensive glycemic control slows progression of microvascular complications (retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy). Long-term follow-up has demonstrated that intensive glycemic control also decreases risk of macrovascular disease, albeit rigorous evidence of macrovascular benefit did not emerge for over a decade. The US FDA’s recent requirement for dedicated cardiovascular outcome trials ushered in a golden age for understanding the clinical profiles of new type 2 diabetes drugs. Some clinical trials with sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1) receptor agonists reported data demonstrating cardiovascular benefit (decreased risk of major adverse cardiovascular events and hospitalization for heart failure) and slower progression of diabetic kidney disease. This Review discusses current guidelines for use of the 12 classes of drugs approved to promote glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes. The Review also anticipates future developments with potential to improve the standard of care: availability of generic dipeptidylpeptidase-4 (DPP4) inhibitors and SGLT2 inhibitors; precision medicine to identify the best drugs for individual patients; and new therapies to protect against chronic complications of diabetes.
Simeon I. Taylor, Zhinous Shahidzadeh Yazdi, Amber L. Beitelshees
Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy has shown considerable promise for hematologic malignancies, leading to the US Food and Drug Administration approval of two CAR T cell–based therapies for the treatment of B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and large B cell lymphoma. Despite success in hematologic malignancies, the treatment landscape of CAR T cell therapy for solid tumors has been limited. There are unique challenges in the development of novel CAR T cell therapies to improve both safety and efficacy. Improved understanding of the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment and resistance mechanisms has led to encouraging approaches to mitigating these obstacles. This Review will characterize challenges with current CAR T designs for hematologic malignancies and solid tumors and emphasize preclinical and clinical strategies to overcome them with novel CAR T cell therapies.
Emiliano Roselli, Rawan Faramand, Marco L. Davila
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) affects hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, reducing their quality of life and leading to death from respiratory failure within years of diagnosis. Treatment options remain limited, with only two FDA-approved drugs available in the United States, neither of which reverse the lung damage caused by the disease or prolong the life of individuals with IPF. The only cure for IPF is lung transplantation. In this review, we discuss recent major advances in our understanding of the role of the immune system in IPF that have revealed immune dysregulation as a critical driver of disease pathophysiology. We also highlight ways in which an improved understanding of the immune system’s role in IPF may enable the development of targeted immunomodulatory therapies that successfully halt or potentially even reverse lung fibrosis.
Kevin Shenderov, Samuel L. Collins, Jonathan D. Powell, Maureen R. Horton
IL-36 is a member of the IL-1 superfamily and consists of three agonists and one receptor antagonist (IL-36Ra). The three endogenous agonists, IL-36α, –β, and –γ, act primarily as proinflammatory cytokines, and their signaling through the IL-36 receptor (IL-36R) promotes immune cell infiltration and secretion of inflammatory and chemotactic molecules. However, IL-36 signaling also fosters secretion of profibrotic soluble mediators, suggesting a role in fibrotic disorders. IL-36 isoforms and IL-36 have been implicated in inflammatory diseases including psoriasis, arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases, and allergic rhinitis. Moreover, IL-36 has been connected to fibrotic disorders affecting the kidney, lung, and intestines. This review summarizes the expression, cellular source, and function of IL-36 in inflammation and fibrosis in various organs, and proposes that IL-36 modulation may prove valuable in preventing or treating inflammatory and fibrotic diseases and may reveal a mechanistic link between inflammation and fibrosis.
Michael Elias, Shuai Zhao, Hongnga T. Le, Jie Wang, Markus F. Neurath, Clemens Neufert, Claudio Fiocchi, Florian Rieder
The increase in food allergy prevalence in recent years suggests that environmental factors, such as diet and intestinal microbiota, play contributory roles. In this issue of the JCI, Bao et al. compared twins that differed with respect to food allergies. The researchers analyzed sequences from microbe ribosomal RNA and profiled microbe metabolites, identifying health-associated microbes at the species level. In addition to revealing microbes from the Clostridia class enriched in healthy twins, the authors identified two commensal species (Phascolarctobacterium faecium and Ruminococcus bromii) related to the healthy fecal metabolome. This study advances the goal for next-generation probiotic therapies that effectively treat or prevent food allergy.
M. Cecilia Berin
Advancing proteomic and metabolomic technologies that integrate curated omic databases have crossed a threshold to enable their clinical utility. In this issue of the JCI, Sharma et al. exploit emerging technologies to evaluate whether biomarkers identified in the mitochondrial encephalomyopathy lactic acidosis and stroke-like episodes (MELAS) syndrome could refine disease characterization, uncover pathways to monitor therapeutic efficacy, and/or delineate disease-modifying targets. The authors analyzed blood and urine samples from patients with this genetic mitochondrial disease and elucidated proteins and metabolites related to NADH-reductive stress. These circulating biomarkers have intriguing clinical potential that implicate disease pathophysiology and may prove important biomarkers for the future management of MELAS.
Marjan Gucek, Michael N. Sack
The genetic, epigenetic, and environmental etiologic basis of congenital heart disease (CHD) for most heart anomalies remains unexplained. In this issue of the JCI, Lahm et al. performed the largest genome-wide association study (GWAS) to date of European individuals with CHD and clinical subtypes. The comprehensive meta-analysis included over 4000 patients and 8000 controls and uncovered common genetic variants that associated with cardiac anomalies. Lahm and colleagues performed single-cell analysis of induced pluripotent stem cells and heart cells, revealing a role for MACROD2, GOSR2, WNT3, and MSX1 in the developing heart. This study advances our understanding of the genetic basis of common forms of CHD.
Commensal or pathogenic bacterial communities of the skin interact with the host immune system to preserve homeostasis or sustain disease. In this issue of the JCI, Agak et al. substantially advance our conceptual understanding of TH17 cell biology. The researchers identified IL-26–independent mechanisms by which CD4+ TH17 clones directly kill bacteria. These CD4+ TH17 clones share antimicrobial properties with cytotoxic T cells and granulocytes as evidenced by secretion of granulysin, granzyme B, and histone-laden DNA extracellular traps. Interestingly, these clones emerged following monocyte education by Cutibacterium acnes strains associated with healthy skin, but not those associated with acne. Overall, the antimicrobial mechanisms employed by these TH17 subsets suggest a unique link between innate and adaptive immune responses.
Diane M. Thiboutot, Amanda M. Nelson
A number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine candidates have shown promising results, but substantial uncertainty remains regarding their effectiveness and global rollout. Boosting innate immunity with bacillus Calmette Guérin (BCG) or other live attenuated vaccines may also play a role in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. BCG has long been known for its nonspecific beneficial effects that are most likely explained by epigenetic and metabolic reprogramming of innate immune cells, termed trained immunity. In this issue of the JCI, Rivas et al. add to these arguments by showing that BCG-vaccinated health care providers from a Los Angeles health care organization had lower rates of COVID-19 diagnoses and seropositivity compared with unvaccinated individuals. Prospective clinical trials are thus warranted to explore the effects of BCG vaccination in COVID-19. We posit that beyond COVID-19, vaccines such as BCG that elicit trained immunity may mitigate the impact of emerging pathogens in future pandemics.
Mihai G. Netea, Jos W.M. van der Meer, Reinout van Crevel
Individuals harboring the loss-of-function (LOF) proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 Gln152His variation (PCSK9Q152H) have low circulating low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and are therefore protected against cardiovascular disease (CVD). This uncleavable form of proPCSK9, however, is retained in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of liver hepatocytes, where it would be expected to contribute to ER storage disease (ERSD), a heritable condition known to cause systemic ER stress and liver injury. Here, we examined liver function in members of several French-Canadian families known to carry the PCSK9Q152H variation. We report that PCSK9Q152H carriers exhibited marked hypocholesterolemia and normal liver function despite their lifelong state of ER PCSK9 retention. Mechanistically, hepatic overexpression of PCSK9Q152H using adeno-associated viruses in male mice greatly increased the stability of key ER stress-response chaperones in liver hepatocytes and unexpectedly protected against ER stress and liver injury rather than inducing them. Our findings show that ER retention of PCSK9 not only reduced CVD risk in patients but may also protect against ERSD and other ER stress–driven conditions of the liver. In summary, we have uncovered a cochaperone function for PCSK9Q152H that explains its hepatoprotective effects and generated a translational mouse model for further mechanistic insights into this clinically relevant LOF PCSK9 variant.
Paul F. Lebeau, Hanny Wassef, Jae Hyun Byun, Khrystyna Platko, Brandon Ason, Simon Jackson, Joshua Dobroff, Susan Shetterly, William G. Richards, Ali A. Al-Hashimi, Kevin Doyoon Won, Majambu Mbikay, Annik Prat, An Tang, Guillaume Paré, Renata Pasqualini, Nabil G. Seidah, Wadih Arap, Michel Chrétien, Richard C. Austin
Resistance to oncogene-targeted therapies involves discrete drug-tolerant persister cells, originally discovered through in vitro assays. Whether a similar phenomenon limits efficacy of programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) blockade is poorly understood. Here, we performed dynamic single-cell RNA-Seq of murine organotypic tumor spheroids undergoing PD-1 blockade, identifying a discrete subpopulation of immunotherapy persister cells (IPCs) that resisted CD8+ T cell–mediated killing. These cells expressed Snai1 and stem cell antigen 1 (Sca-1) and exhibited hybrid epithelial-mesenchymal features characteristic of a stem cell–like state. IPCs were expanded by IL-6 but were vulnerable to TNF-α–induced cytotoxicity, relying on baculoviral IAP repeat-containing protein 2 (Birc2) and Birc3 as survival factors. Combining PD-1 blockade with Birc2/3 antagonism in mice reduced IPCs and enhanced tumor cell killing in vivo, resulting in durable responsiveness that matched TNF cytotoxicity thresholds in vitro. Together, these data demonstrate the power of high-resolution functional ex vivo profiling to uncover fundamental mechanisms of immune escape from durable anti–PD-1 responses, while identifying IPCs as a cancer cell subpopulation targetable by specific therapeutic combinations.
Kartik Sehgal, Andrew Portell, Elena V. Ivanova, Patrick H. Lizotte, Navin R. Mahadevan, Jonathan R. Greene, Amir Vajdi, Carino Gurjao, Tyler Teceno, Luke J. Taus, Tran C. Thai, Shunsuke Kitajima, Derek Liu, Tetsuo Tani, Moataz Noureddine, Christie J. Lau, Paul T. Kirschmeier, David Liu, Marios Giannakis, Russell W. Jenkins, Prafulla C. Gokhale, Silvia Goldoni, Maria Pinzon-Ortiz, William D. Hastings, Peter S. Hammerman, Juan J. Miret, Cloud P. Paweletz, David A. Barbie
Mitochondrial disorders represent a large collection of rare syndromes that are difficult to manage both because we do not fully understand biochemical pathogenesis and because we currently lack facile markers of severity. The m.3243A>G variant is the most common heteroplasmic mitochondrial DNA mutation and underlies a spectrum of diseases, notably mitochondrial encephalomyopathy lactic acidosis and stroke-like episodes (MELAS). To identify robust circulating markers of m.3243A>G disease, we first performed discovery proteomics, targeted metabolomics, and untargeted metabolomics on plasma from a deeply phenotyped cohort (102 patients, 32 controls). In a validation phase, we measured concentrations of prioritized metabolites in an independent cohort using distinct methods. We validated 20 analytes (1 protein, 19 metabolites) that distinguish patients with MELAS from controls. The collection includes classic (lactate, alanine) and more recently identified (GDF-15, α-hydroxybutyrate) mitochondrial markers. By mining untargeted mass-spectra we uncovered 3 less well-studied metabolite families: N-lactoyl-amino acids, β-hydroxy acylcarnitines, and β-hydroxy fatty acids. Many of these 20 analytes correlate strongly with established measures of severity, including Karnofsky status, and mechanistically, nearly all markers are attributable to an elevated NADH/NAD+ ratio, or NADH-reductive stress. Our work defines a panel of organelle function tests related to NADH-reductive stress that should enable classification and monitoring of mitochondrial disease.
Rohit Sharma, Bryn Reinstadler, Kristin Engelstad, Owen S. Skinner, Erin Stackowitz, Ronald G. Haller, Clary B. Clish, Kerry Pierce, Melissa A. Walker, Robert Fryer, Devin Oglesbee, Xiangling Mao, Dikoma C. Shungu, Ashok Khatri, Michio Hirano, Darryl C. De Vivo, Vamsi K. Mootha
T cell–mediated responses are dependent on their secretion of key effector molecules. However, the critical molecular determinants of the secretion of these proteins are largely undefined. Here, we demonstrate that T cell activation increases trafficking via the ER-to-Golgi pathway. To study the functional role of this pathway, we generated mice with a T cell–specific deletion in SEC23B, a core subunit of coat protein complex II (COPII). We found that SEC23B critically regulated the T cell secretome following activation. SEC23B-deficient T cells exhibited a proliferative defect and reduced effector functions in vitro, as well as in experimental models of allogeneic and xenogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation in vivo. However, T cells derived from 3 patients with congenital dyserythropoietic anemia II (CDAII), which results from Sec23b mutation, did not exhibit a similar phenotype. Mechanistic studies demonstrated that unlike murine KO T cells, T cells from patients with CDAII harbor increased levels of the closely related paralog, SEC23A. In vivo rescue of murine KO by expression of Sec23a from the Sec23b genomic locus restored T cell functions. Together, our data demonstrate a critical role for the COPII pathway, with evidence for functional overlap in vivo between SEC23 paralogs in the regulation of T cell immunity in both mice and humans.
Stephanie Kim, Rami Khoriaty, Lu Li, Madison McClune, Theodosia A. Kalfa, Julia Wu, Daniel Peltier, Hideaki Fujiwara, Yaping Sun, Katherine Oravecz-Wilson, Richard A. King, David Ginsburg, Pavan Reddy
Tumors depend on a blood supply to deliver oxygen and nutrients, making tumor vasculature an attractive anticancer target. However, only a fraction of patients with cancer benefit from angiogenesis inhibitors. Whether antiangiogenic therapy would be more effective if targeted to individuals with specific tumor characteristics is unknown. To better characterize the tumor vascular environment both within and between cancer types, we developed a standardized metric — the endothelial index (EI) — to estimate vascular density in over 10,000 human tumors, corresponding to 31 solid tumor types, from transcriptome data. We then used this index to compare hyper- and hypovascular tumors, enabling the classification of human tumors into 6 vascular microenvironment signatures (VMSs) based on the expression of a panel of 24 vascular “hub” genes. The EI and VMS correlated with known tumor vascular features and were independently associated with prognosis in certain cancer types. Retrospective testing of clinical trial data identified VMS2 classification as a powerful biomarker for response to bevacizumab. Thus, we believe our studies provide an unbiased picture of human tumor vasculature that may enable more precise deployment of antiangiogenesis therapy.
Benjamin M. Kahn, Alfredo Lucas, Rohan G. Alur, Maximillian D. Wengyn, Gregory W. Schwartz, Jinyang Li, Kathryn Sun, H. Carlo Maurer, Kenneth P. Olive, Robert B. Faryabi, Ben Z. Stanger
The tumor microenvironment affects the outcome of radiotherapy against head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). We recently found that tolerogenic myeloid cells accumulate in the circulation of HNSCC patients undergoing radiotherapy. Here, we analyzed tumor-containing lymph node biopsies collected from these patients. After 2 weeks of radiotherapy, we found an increase in tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) with activated STAT3, while CD8+ T cells were reduced as detected using multiplex IHC. Gene expression profiling indicated upregulation of M2 macrophage–related genes (CD163, CD206), immunosuppressive mediators (ARG1, LIF, TGFB1), and Th2 cytokines (IL4, IL5) in irradiated tumors. We next validated STAT3 as a potential target in human HNSCC-associated TAMs, using UM-SCC1 xenotransplants in humanized mice. Local injections of myeloid cell–targeted STAT3 antisense oligonucleotide (CpG-STAT3ASO) activated human DCs/macrophages and promoted CD8+ T cell recruitment, thereby arresting UM-SCC1 tumor growth. Furthermore, CpG-STAT3ASO synergized with tumor irradiation against syngeneic HPV+ mEERL and HPV– MOC2 HNSCC tumors in mice, triggering tumor regression and/or extending animal survival. The antitumor immune responses were CD8+ and CD4+ T cell dependent and associated with the activation of antigen-presenting cells (DCs/M1 macrophages) and increased CD8+ to regulatory T cell ratio. Our observations suggest that targeted inhibition of STAT3 in tumor-associated myeloid cells augments the efficacy of radiotherapy against HNSCC.
Dayson Moreira, Sagus Sampath, Haejung Won, Seok Voon White, Yu-Lin Su, Marice Alcantara, Chongkai Wang, Peter Lee, Ellie Maghami, Erminia Massarelli, Marcin Kortylewski
FOXP3+ Tregs rely on fatty acid β-oxidation–driven (FAO-driven) oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) for differentiation and function. Recent data demonstrate a role for Tregs in the maintenance of tissue homeostasis, with tissue-resident Tregs possessing tissue-specific transcriptomes. However, specific signals that establish tissue-resident Treg programs remain largely unknown. Tregs metabolically rely on FAO, and considering the lipid-rich environments of tissues, we hypothesized that environmental lipids drive Treg homeostasis. First, using human adipose tissue to model tissue residency, we identified oleic acid as the most prevalent free fatty acid. Mechanistically, oleic acid amplified Treg FAO–driven OXPHOS metabolism, creating a positive feedback mechanism that increased the expression of FOXP3 and phosphorylation of STAT5, which enhanced Treg-suppressive function. Comparing the transcriptomic program induced by oleic acid with proinflammatory arachidonic acid, we found that Tregs sorted from peripheral blood and adipose tissue of healthy donors transcriptomically resembled the Tregs treated in vitro with oleic acid, whereas Tregs from patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) more closely resembled an arachidonic acid transcriptomic profile. Finally, we found that oleic acid concentrations were reduced in patients with MS and that exposure of MS Tregs to oleic acid restored defects in their suppressive function. These data demonstrate the importance of fatty acids in regulating tissue inflammatory signals.
Saige L. Pompura, Allon Wagner, Alexandra Kitz, Jacob LaPerche, Nir Yosef, Margarita Dominguez-Villar, David A. Hafler
Bone is maintained by coupled activities of bone-forming osteoblasts/osteocytes and bone-resorbing osteoclasts. Alterations in this relationship can lead to pathologic bone loss such as osteoporosis. It is well known that osteogenic cells support osteoclastogenesis via production of RANKL. Interestingly, our recently identified bone marrow mesenchymal cell population—marrow adipogenic lineage precursors (MALPs) that form a multidimensional cell network in bone—was computationally demonstrated to be the most interactive with monocyte-macrophage lineage cells through high and specific expression of several osteoclast regulatory factors, including RANKL. Using an adipocyte-specific Adipoq-Cre to label MALPs, we demonstrated that mice with RANKL deficiency in MALPs have a drastic increase in trabecular bone mass in long bones and vertebrae starting from 1 month of age, while their cortical bone appears normal. This phenotype was accompanied by diminished osteoclast number and attenuated bone formation at the trabecular bone surface. Reduced RANKL signaling in calvarial MALPs abolished osteolytic lesions after LPS injections. Furthermore, in ovariectomized mice, elevated bone resorption was partially attenuated by RANKL deficiency in MALPs. In summary, our studies identified MALPs as a critical player in controlling bone remodeling during normal bone metabolism and pathological bone loss in a RANKL-dependent fashion.
Wei Yu, Leilei Zhong, Lutian Yao, Yulong Wei, Tao Gui, Ziqing Li, Hyunsoo Kim, Nicholas Holdreith, Xi Jiang, Wei Tong, Nathaniel Dyment, X. Sherry Liu, Shuying Yang, Yongwon Choi, Jaimo Ahn, Ling Qin
Early appearance of neutralizing antibodies during acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is associated with spontaneous viral clearance. However, the longitudinal changes in antigen-specific memory B cell (MBCs) associated with divergent HCV infection outcomes remain undefined. We characterized longitudinal changes in E2 glycoprotein-specific MBCs from subjects who either spontaneously resolved acute HCV infection or progressed to chronic infection, using single-cell RNA-seq and functional assays. HCV-specific antibodies in plasma from chronically infected subjects recognized multiple E2 genotypes, while those from spontaneous resolvers exhibited variable cross-reactivity to heterotypic E2. E2-specific MBCs from spontaneous resolvers peaked early after infection (4–6 months), following expansion of activated circulating T follicular helper cells (cTfh) expressing interleukin 21. In contrast, E2-specific MBCs from chronically infected subjects, enriched in VH1-69, expanded during persistent infection (> 1 year), in the absence of significantly activated cTfh expansion. Early E2-specific MBCs from spontaneous resolvers produced monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) with fewer somatic hypermutations and lower E2 binding but similar neutralization as mAbs from late E2-specific MBCs of chronically infected subjects. These findings indicate that early cTfh activity accelerates expansion of E2-specific MBCs during acute infection, which might contribute to spontaneous clearance of HCV.
Eduardo Salinas, Maude Boisvert, Amit A. Upadhyay, Nathalie Bédard, Sydney A. Nelson, Julie Bruneau, Cynthia A. Derdeyn, Joseph Marcotrigiano, Matthew J. Evans, Steven E. Bosinger, Naglaa H. Shoukry, Arash Grakoui
TH17 cell subpopulations have been defined that contribute to inflammation and homeostasis, yet the characteristics of TH17 cells that contribute to host defense against infection are not clear. To elucidate the antimicrobial machinery of the TH17 subset, we studied the response to Cutibacterium acnes, a skin commensal that is resistant to IL-26, the only known TH17-secreted protein with direct antimicrobial activity. We generated C. acnes–specific antimicrobial TH17 clones (AMTH17) with varying antimicrobial activity against C. acnes, which we correlated by RNA sequencing to the expression of transcripts encoding proteins that contribute to antimicrobial activity. Additionally, we validated that AMTH17-mediated killing of C. acnes and bacterial pathogens was dependent on the secretion of granulysin, granzyme B, perforin, and histone H2B. We found that AMTH17 cells can release fibrous structures composed of DNA decorated with histone H2B that entangle C. acnes that we call T cell extracellular traps (TETs). Within acne lesions, H2B and IL-17 colocalized in CD4+ T cells, in proximity to TETs in the extracellular space composed of DNA decorated with H2B. This study identifies a functionally distinct subpopulation of TH17 cells with an ability to form TETs containing secreted antimicrobial proteins that capture and kill bacteria.
George W. Agak, Alice Mouton, Rosane M.B. Teles, Thomas Weston, Marco Morselli, Priscila R. Andrade, Matteo Pellegrini, Robert L. Modlin
Genetic factors undoubtedly affect the development of congenital heart disease (CHD) but still remain ill defined. We sought to identify genetic risk factors associated with CHD and to accomplish a functional analysis of SNP-carrying genes. We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 4034 White patients with CHD and 8486 healthy controls. One SNP on chromosome 5q22.2 reached genome-wide significance across all CHD phenotypes and was also indicative for septal defects. One region on chromosome 20p12.1 pointing to the MACROD2 locus identified 4 highly significant SNPs in patients with transposition of the great arteries (TGA). Three highly significant risk variants on chromosome 17q21.32 within the GOSR2 locus were detected in patients with anomalies of thoracic arteries and veins (ATAV). Genetic variants associated with ATAV are suggested to influence the expression of WNT3, and the variant rs870142 related to septal defects is proposed to influence the expression of MSX1. We analyzed the expression of all 4 genes during cardiac differentiation of human and murine induced pluripotent stem cells in vitro and by single-cell RNA-Seq analyses of developing murine and human hearts. Our data show that MACROD2, GOSR2, WNT3, and MSX1 play an essential functional role in heart development at the embryonic and newborn stages.
Harald Lahm, Meiwen Jia, Martina Dreßen, Felix Wirth, Nazan Puluca, Ralf Gilsbach, Bernard D. Keavney, Julie Cleuziou, Nicole Beck, Olga Bondareva, Elda Dzilic, Melchior Burri, Karl C. König, Johannes A. Ziegelmüller, Claudia Abou-Ajram, Irina Neb, Zhong Zhang, Stefanie A. Doppler, Elisa Mastantuono, Peter Lichtner, Gertrud Eckstein, Jürgen Hörer, Peter Ewert, James R. Priest, Lutz Hein, Rüdiger Lange, Thomas Meitinger, Heather J. Cordell, Bertram Müller-Myhsok, Markus Krane
BACKGROUND There has been a striking generational increase in the prevalence of food allergies. We have proposed that this increase can be explained, in part, by alterations in the commensal microbiome.METHODS To identify bacterial signatures and metabolic pathways that may influence the expression of this disease, we collected fecal samples from a unique, well-controlled cohort of twins concordant or discordant for food allergy. Samples were analyzed by integrating 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry metabolite profiling.RESULTS A bacterial signature of 64 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) distinguished healthy from allergic twins; the OTUs enriched in the healthy twins were largely taxa from the Clostridia class. We detected significant enrichment in distinct metabolite pathways in each group. The enrichment of diacylglycerol in healthy twins is of particular interest for its potential as a readily measurable fecal biomarker of health. In addition, an integrated microbial-metabolomic analysis identified a significant association between healthy twins and Phascolarctobacterium faecium and Ruminococcus bromii, suggesting new possibilities for the development of live microbiome-modulating biotherapeutics.CONCLUSION Twin pairs exhibited significant differences in their fecal microbiomes and metabolomes through adulthood, suggesting that the gut microbiota may play a protective role in patients with food allergies beyond the infant stage.TRIAL REGISTRATION Participants in this study were recruited as part of an observational study (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01613885) at multiple sites from 2014 to 2018.FUNDING This work was supported by the Sunshine Charitable Foundation; the Moss Family Foundation; the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) (R56AI134923 and R01AI 140134); the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research; the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (R01 HL 118612); the Orsak family; the Kepner family; and the Stanford Institute for Immunity, Transplant and Infection.
Riyue Bao, Lauren A. Hesser, Ziyuan He, Xiaoying Zhou, Kari C. Nadeau, Cathryn R. Nagler
The triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 1 (TREM-1) drives inflammatory responses in several cardiovascular diseases but its role in abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) remains unknown. Our objective was to explore the role of TREM-1 in a mouse model of angiotensin II–induced (AngII–induced) AAA. TREM-1 expression was detected in mouse aortic aneurysm and colocalized with macrophages. Trem1 gene deletion (Apoe–/–Trem1–/–), as well as TREM-1 pharmacological blockade with LR-12 peptide, limited both AAA development and severity. Trem1 gene deletion attenuated the inflammatory response in the aorta, with a reduction of Il1b, Tnfa, Mmp2, and Mmp9 mRNA expression, and led to a decreased macrophage content due to a reduction of Ly6Chi classical monocyte trafficking. Conversely, antibody-mediated TREM-1 stimulation exacerbated Ly6Chi monocyte aorta infiltration after AngII infusion through CD62L upregulation and promoted proinflammatory signature in the aorta, resulting in worsening AAA severity. AngII infusion stimulated TREM-1 expression and activation on Ly6Chi monocytes through AngII receptor type I (AT1R). In human AAA, TREM-1 was detected and TREM1 mRNA expression correlated with SELL mRNA expression. Finally, circulating levels of sTREM-1 were increased in patients with AAA when compared with patients without AAA. In conclusion, TREM-1 is involved in AAA pathophysiology and may represent a promising therapeutic target in humans.
Marie Vandestienne, Yujiao Zhang, Icia Santos-Zas, Rida Al-Rifai, Jeremie Joffre, Andreas Giraud, Ludivine Laurans, Bruno Esposito, Florence Pinet, Patrick Bruneval, Juliette Raffort, Fabien Lareyre, Jose Vilar, Amir Boufenzer, Lea Guyonnet, Coralie Guerin, Eric Clauser, Jean-Sébastien Silvestre, Sylvie Lang, Laurie Soulat-Dufour, Alain Tedgui, Ziad Mallat, Soraya Taleb, Alexandre Boissonnas, Marc Derive, Giulia Chinetti, Hafid Ait-Oufella
Intellectual and social disabilities are common comorbidities in adolescents and adults with MAGE family member L2 (MAGEL2) gene deficiency characterizing the Prader-Willi and Schaaf-Yang neurodevelopmental syndromes. The cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the risk for autism in these syndromes are not understood. We asked whether vasopressin functions are altered by MAGEL2 deficiency and whether a treatment with vasopressin could alleviate the disabilities of social behavior. We used Magel2-knockout mice (adult males) combined with optogenetic or pharmacological tools to characterize disease modifications in the vasopressinergic brain system and monitor its impact on neurophysiological and behavioral functions. We found that the activation of vasopressin neurons and projections in the lateral septum were inappropriate for performing a social habituation/discrimination task. Mechanistically, the lack of vasopressin impeded the deactivation of somatostatin neurons in the lateral septum, which predicted social discrimination deficits. Correction of vasopressin septal content by administration or optogenetic stimulation of projecting axons suppressed the activity of somatostatin neurons and ameliorated social behavior. This preclinical study identified vasopressin in the lateral septum as a key factor in the pathophysiology of Magel2-related neurodevelopmental syndromes.
Amélie M. Borie, Yann Dromard, Gilles Guillon, Aleksandra Olma, Maurice Manning, Françoise Muscatelli, Michel G. Desarménien, Freddy Jeanneteau
BACKGROUND Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused more than 1 million deaths worldwide; thus, there is an urgent need to develop preventive and therapeutic strategies. The antituberculosis vaccine bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) demonstrates nonspecific, protective innate immune–boosting effects. Here, we determined whether a history of BCG vaccination was associated with decreased SARS-CoV-2 infection and seroconversion in a longitudinal, retrospective observational study of a diverse cohort of health care workers (HCWs).METHODS We assessed SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence and collected medical questionnaires, which included information on BCG vaccination status and preexisting demographic and clinical characteristics, from an observational cohort of HCWs in a multisite Los Angeles health care organization. We used multivariate analysis to determine whether a history of BCG vaccination was associated with decreased rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection and seroconversion.RESULTS Of the 6201 HCWs, 29.6% reported a history of BCG vaccination, whereas 68.9% had not received BCG vaccination. Seroprevalence of anti–SARS-CoV-2 IgG as well as the incidence of self-reported clinical symptoms associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were markedly decreased among HCWs with a history of BCG vaccination compared with those without BCG vaccination. After adjusting for age and sex, we found that a history of BCG vaccination, but not meningococcal, pneumococcal, or influenza vaccination, was associated with decreased SARS-CoV-2 IgG seroconversion.CONCLUSIONS A history of BCG vaccination was associated with a decrease in the seroprevalence of anti–SARS-CoV-2 IgG and a lower number of participants who self-reported experiencing COVID-19–related clinical symptoms in this cohort of HCWs. Therefore, large randomized, prospective clinical trials of BCG vaccination are urgently needed to confirm whether BCG vaccination can confer a protective effect against SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Magali Noval Rivas, Joseph E. Ebinger, Min Wu, Nancy Sun, Jonathan Braun, Kimia Sobhani, Jennifer E. Van Eyk, Susan Cheng, Moshe Arditi
Diabetes mellitus (DM) and atrial fibrillation (AF) are major unsolved public health problems, and diabetes is an independent risk factor for AF. However, the mechanism(s) underlying this clinical association is unknown. ROS and protein O-GlcNAcylation (OGN) are increased in diabetic hearts, and calmodulin kinase II (CaMKII) is a proarrhythmic signal that may be activated by ROS (oxidized CaMKII, ox-CaMKII) and OGN (OGN-CaMKII). We induced type 1 (T1D) and type 2 DM (T2D) in a portfolio of genetic mouse models capable of dissecting the role of ROS and OGN at CaMKII and global OGN in diabetic AF. Here, we showed that T1D and T2D significantly increased AF, and this increase required CaMKII and OGN. T1D and T2D both required ox-CaMKII to increase AF; however, we did not detect OGN-CaMKII or a role for OGN-CaMKII in diabetic AF. Collectively, our data affirm CaMKII as a critical proarrhythmic signal in diabetic AF and suggest ROS primarily promotes AF by ox-CaMKII, while OGN promotes AF by a CaMKII-independent mechanism(s). These results provide insights into the mechanisms for increased AF in DM and suggest potential benefits for future CaMKII and OGN targeted therapies.
Olurotimi O. Mesubi, Adam G. Rokita, Neha Abrol, Yuejin Wu, Biyi Chen, Qinchuan Wang, Jonathan M. Granger, Anthony Tucker-Bartley, Elizabeth D. Luczak, Kevin R. Murphy, Priya Umapathi, Partha S. Banerjee, Tatiana N. Boronina, Robert N. Cole, Lars S. Maier, Xander H. Wehrens, Joel L. Pomerantz, Long-Sheng Song, Rexford S. Ahima, Gerald W. Hart, Natasha E. Zachara, Mark E. Anderson
Yueqin Zhou, Sharon Carmona, A.K.M.G. Muhammad, Shaughn Bell, Jesse Landeros, Michael Vazquez, Ritchie Ho, Antonietta Franco, Bin Lu, Gerald W. Dorn II, Shaomei Wang, Cathleen M. Lutz, Robert H. Baloh