Feng et al. identified monocyte-derived macrophages (MoMFs) that coordinate the resolution of liver necrotic lesions by interacting with hepatocytes and hepatic stellate cells. The cover image shows multiplex immunofluorescence staining of liver tissue 96 hours after concanavalin A–induced liver injury. MoMFs (red) formed an inner layer facing necrotic areas, while activated hepatic stellate cells (green) formed an outer layer adjacent to hepatocytes. Some other cell types, including T cells (cyan), neutrophils (magenta), and endothelial cells (blue), were also detected around necrotic lesions. Kupffer cells (orange) were only found in nondamaged regions.
Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation can cure patients with high-risk leukemia through graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) effects, the process by which malignant leukemic cells are cleared by donor-derived immune cells from the graft. The problem of harnessing GVL effects while controlling inflammation and host-organ damage linked with graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) has been the most formidable hurdle facing allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. This powerful, curative-intent therapy remains among the most toxic treatments in the hematologist’s armamentarium due to the combined risks of GVHD-related morbidity, infections, and leukemia relapse. In this issue of the JCI, Li, Wang, et al. report that T cell Stat3 deficiency can extricate GVL effects from GVHD through tissue-specific programmed death-ligand 1/programmed cell death protein 1–dependent (PD-L1/PD-1-dependent) bioenergetic alterations that blunt harmful T cell effects in GVHD target organs, while preserving their beneficial antitumor activity in lymphohematopoietic tissues.
Joshua D. Brandstadter, Riley Outen, Ivan Maillard
Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) is a severe complication of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Hematopoietic dysfunction accompanied by severe aGVHD, which may be caused by niche impairment, is a long-standing clinical problem. However, how the bone marrow (BM) niche is damaged in aGVHD hosts is poorly defined. To comprehensively address this question, we used a haplo-MHC–matched transplantation aGVHD murine model and performed single-cell RNA-Seq of nonhematopoietic BM cells. Transcriptional analysis showed that BM mesenchymal stromal cells (BMSCs) were severely affected, with a reduction in cell ratio, abnormal metabolism, compromised differentiation potential, and defective hematopoiesis-supportive function, all of which were validated by functional assays. We found that ruxolitinib, a selective JAK1/2 inhibitor, ameliorated aGVHD-related hematopoietic dysfunction through a direct effect on recipient BMSCs, resulting in improved proliferation ability, adipogenesis/osteogenesis potential, mitochondria metabolism capacity, and crosstalk with donor-derived hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells. By inhibiting the JAK2/STAT1 pathway, ruxolitinib maintained long-term improvement of aGVHD BMSC function. Additionally, ruxolitinib pretreatment in vitro primed BMSCs to better support donor-derived hematopoiesis in vivo. These observations in the murine model were validated in patient samples. Overall, our findings suggest that ruxolitinib can directly restore BMSC function via the JAK2/STAT1 pathway and, in turn, improve the hematopoietic dysfunction caused by aGVHD.
Yan Lin, Quan Gu, Shihong Lu, Zengkai Pan, Zining Yang, Yapu Li, Shangda Yang, Yanling Lv, Zhaofeng Zheng, Guohuan Sun, Fanglin Gou, Chang Xu, Xiangnan Zhao, Fengjiao Wang, Chenchen Wang, Shiru Yuan, Xiaobao Xie, Yang Cao, Yue Liu, Weiying Gu, Tao Cheng, Hui Cheng, Xiaoxia Hu
Patients with cancer who have high serum levels of squamous cell carcinoma antigen 1 (SCCA1, now referred to as SERPINB3) commonly experience treatment resistance and have a poor prognosis. Despite being a clinical biomarker, the modulation of SERPINB3 in tumor immunity is poorly understood. We found positive correlations of SERPINB3 with CXCL1, CXCL8 (CXCL8/9), S100A8, and S100A9 (S100A8/A9) myeloid cell infiltration through RNA-Seq analysis of human primary cervical tumors. Induction of SERPINB3 resulted in increased CXCL1/8 and S100A8/A9 expression, which promoted monocyte and myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC) migration in vitro. In mouse models, Serpinb3a tumors showed increased MDSC and tumor-associated macrophage (TAM) infiltration, contributing to T cell inhibition, and this was further augmented upon radiation. Intratumoral knockdown (KD) of Serpinb3a resulted in tumor growth inhibition and reduced CXCL1 and S100A8/A expression and MDSC and M2 macrophage infiltration. These changes led to enhanced cytotoxic T cell function and sensitized tumors to radiotherapy (RT). We further revealed that SERPINB3 promoted STAT-dependent expression of chemokines, whereby inhibition of STAT activation by ruxolitinib or siRNA abrogated CXCL1/8 and S100A8/ A9 expression in SERPINB3 cells. Patients with elevated pretreatment SCCA levels and high phosphorylated STAT3 (p-STAT3) had increased intratumoral CD11b+ myeloid cells compared with patients with low SCCA levels and p-STAT3, who had improved overall survival after RT. These findings provide a preclinical rationale for targeting SERPINB3 in tumors to counteract immunosuppression and improve the response to RT.
Liyun Chen, Victoria Shi, Songyan Wang, Lulu Sun, Rebecca Freeman, Jasmine Yang, Matthew J. Inkman, Subhajit Ghosh, Fiona Ruiz, Kay Jayachandran, Yi Huang, Jingqin Luo, Jin Zhang, Pippa Cosper, Clifford J. Luke, Catherine S. Spina, Perry W. Grigsby, Julie K. Schwarz, Stephanie Markovina
Clonal hematopoiesis plays a critical role in the initiation and development of hematologic malignancies. In patients with del(5q) myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), the transcription factor FOXM1 is frequently downregulated in CD34+ cells. In this study, we demonstrated that Foxm1 haploinsufficiency disturbed normal hematopoiesis and conferred a competitive repopulation advantage for a short period. However, it impaired the long-term self-renewal capacity of hematopoietic stem cells, recapitulating the phenotypes of abnormal hematopoietic stem cells observed in patients with MDS. Moreover, heterozygous inactivation of Foxm1 led to an increase in DNA damage in hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs). Foxm1 haploinsufficiency induced hematopoietic dysplasia in a mouse model with LPS-induced chronic inflammation and accelerated AML-ETO9a–mediated leukemogenesis. We have also identified Parp1, an important enzyme that responds to various types of DNA damage, as a target of Foxm1. Foxm1 haploinsufficiency decreased the ability of HSPCs to efficiently repair DNA damage by downregulating Parp1 expression. Our findings suggest that the downregulation of the Foxm1-Parp1 molecular axis may promote clonal hematopoiesis and reduce genome stability, contributing to del(5q) MDS pathogenesis.
Chunjie Yu, Yue Sheng, Fang Yu, Hongyu Ni, Alan Qiu, Yong Huang, Zhijian Qian
STAT3 deficiency (STAT3–/–) in donor T cells prevents graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), but the impact on graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) activity and mechanisms of GVHD prevention remains unclear. Here, using murine models of GVHD, we show that STAT3–/– donor T cells induced only mild reversible acute GVHD while preserving GVL effects against nonsusceptible acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells in a donor T cell dose–dependent manner. GVHD prevention depended on programmed death ligand 1/programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-L1/PD-1) signaling. In GVHD target tissues, STAT3 deficiency amplified PD-L1/PD-1 inhibition of glutathione (GSH)/Myc pathways that regulate metabolic reprogramming in activated T cells, with decreased glycolytic and mitochondrial ATP production and increased mitochondrial ROS production and dysfunction, leading to tissue-specific deletion of host-reactive T cells and prevention of GVHD. Mitochondrial STAT3 deficiency alone did not reduce GSH expression or prevent GVHD. In lymphoid tissues, the lack of host-tissue PD-L1 interaction with PD-1 reduced the inhibition of the GSH/Myc pathway despite reduced GSH production caused by STAT3 deficiency and allowed donor T cell functions that mediate GVL activity. Therefore, STAT3 deficiency in donor T cells augments PD-1 signaling–mediated inhibition of GSH/Myc pathways and augments dysfunction of T cells in GVHD target tissues while sparing T cells in lymphoid tissues, leading to prevention of GVHD while preserving GVL effects.
Qinjian Li, Xiaoqi Wang, Qingxiao Song, Shijie Yang, Xiwei Wu, Dongyun Yang, Isabelle J. Marié, Hanjun Qin, Moqian Zheng, Ubaydah Nasri, Xiaohui Kong, Bixin Wang, Elizabeth Lizhar, Kaniel Cassady, Josh Tompkins, David Levy, Paul J. Martin, Xi Zhang, Defu Zeng
An increasing number of studies have demonstrated that disease states of the endocrine or exocrine pancreas aggravate one another, which implies bidirectional blood flow between islets and exocrine cells. However, this is inconsistent with the current model of unidirectional blood flow, which is strictly from islets to exocrine tissues. This conventional model was first proposed in 1932, and it has never to our knowledge been revisited to date. Here, large-scale image capture was used to examine the spatial relationship between islets and blood vessels in the following species: human, monkey, pig, rabbit, ferret, and mouse. While some arterioles passed by or traveled through islets, the majority of islets had no association with them. Islets with direct contact with the arteriole were significantly larger in size and fewer in number than those without contact. Unique to the pancreas, capillaries directly branched out from the arterioles and have been labeled as “small arterioles” in past studies. Overall, the arterioles emerged to feed the pancreas regionally, not specifically targeting individual islets. Vascularizing the pancreas in this way may allow an entire downstream region of islets and acinar cells to be simultaneously exposed to changes in the blood levels of glucose, hormones, and other circulating factors.
Adam A. Rizk, Michael P. Dybala, Khalil C. Rodriguez, Marjan Slak Rupnik, Manami Hara
CXCR7 is an atypical chemokine receptor that recruits β-arrestin (ARRB2) and internalizes into clathrin-coated intracellular vesicles where the complex acts as a scaffold for cytoplasmic kinase assembly and signal transduction. Here, we report that CXCR7 was elevated in the majority of prostate cancer (PCa) cases with neuroendocrine features (NEPC). CXCR7 markedly induced mitotic spindle and cell cycle gene expression. Mechanistically, we identified Aurora Kinase A (AURKA), a key regulator of mitosis, as a novel target that was bound and activated by the CXCR7-ARRB2 complex. CXCR7 interacted with proteins associated with microtubules and golgi, and, as such, the CXCR7-ARRB2-containing vesicles trafficked along the microtubules to the pericentrosomal golgi apparatus, where the complex interacted with AURKA. Accordingly, CXCR7 promoted PCa cell proliferation and tumor growth, which was mitigated by AURKA inhibition. In summary, our study reveals a critical role of CXCR7-ARRB2 in interacting and activating AURKA, which can be targeted by AURKA inhibitors to benefit a subset of patients with NEPC.
Galina Gritsina, Ka-wing Fong, Xiaodong Lu, Zhuoyuan Lin, Wanqing Xie, Shivani Agarwal, Dong Lin, Gary E. Schiltz, Himisha Beltran, Eva Corey, Colm Morrissey, Yuzhuo Wang, Jonathan C. Zhao, Maha Hussain, Jindan Yu
The liver can fully regenerate after partial resection, and its underlying mechanisms have been extensively studied. The liver can also rapidly regenerate after injury, with most studies focusing on hepatocyte proliferation; however, how hepatic necrotic lesions during acute or chronic liver diseases are eliminated and repaired remains obscure. Here, we demonstrate that monocyte-derived macrophages (MoMFs) were rapidly recruited to and encapsulated necrotic areas during immune-mediated liver injury and that this feature was essential in repairing necrotic lesions. At the early stage of injury, infiltrating MoMFs activated the Jagged1/notch homolog protein 2 (JAG1/NOTCH2) axis to induce cell death–resistant SRY-box transcription factor 9+ (SOX9+) hepatocytes near the necrotic lesions, which acted as a barrier from further injury. Subsequently, necrotic environment (hypoxia and dead cells) induced a cluster of complement 1q–positive (C1q+) MoMFs that promoted necrotic removal and liver repair, while Pdgfb+ MoMFs activated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) to express α–smooth muscle actin and induce a strong contraction signal (YAP, pMLC) to squeeze and finally eliminate the necrotic lesions. In conclusion, MoMFs play a key role in repairing the necrotic lesions, not only by removing necrotic tissues, but also by inducing cell death–resistant hepatocytes to form a perinecrotic capsule and by activating α-smooth muscle actin–expressing HSCs to facilitate necrotic lesion resolution.
Dechun Feng, Xiaogang Xiang, Yukun Guan, Adrien Guillot, Hongkun Lu, Chingwen Chang, Yong He, Hua Wang, Hongna Pan, Cynthia Ju, Sean P. Colgan, Frank Tacke, Xin Wei Wang, George Kunos, Bin Gao
Entry of antigen-specific T cells into human tumors is critical for immunotherapy, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, we combined high-dimensional spatial analyses with in vitro and in vivo modeling to study the mechanisms underlying immune infiltration in human multiple myeloma (MM) and its precursor monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). Clustered tumor growth was a feature of MM but not MGUS biopsies, and this growth pattern was reproduced in humanized mouse models. MM biopsies exhibited intralesional as well as spatial heterogeneity, with coexistence of T cell–rich and T cell–sparse regions and the presence of areas of T cell exclusion. In vitro studies demonstrated that T cell entry into MM clusters was regulated by agonistic signals and CD2-CD58 interactions. Upon adoptive transfer, antigen-specific T cells localized to the tumor site but required in situ DC–mediated antigen presentation for tumor entry. C-type lectin domain family 9 member A–positive (CLEC9A+) DCs appeared to mark portals of entry for gradients of T cell infiltration in MM biopsies, and their proximity to T cell factor 1–positive (TCF1+) T cells correlated with disease state and risk status. These data illustrate a role for tumor-associated DCs and in situ activation in promoting the infiltration of antigen-specific T cells in MM and provide insights into spatial alterations in tumor/immune cells with malignant evolution.
M. Hope Robinson, Nancy Y. Villa, David L. Jaye, Ajay K. Nooka, Alyssa Duffy, Samuel S. McCachren, Julia Manalo, Jeffrey M. Switchenko, Sierra Barnes, Sayalee Potdar, Maryam I. Azeem, Ava A. Horvat, Vaunita C. Parihar, Jingjing Gong, Yan Liang, Geoffrey H. Smith, Vikas A. Gupta, Lawrence H. Boise, Jonathan L. Kaufman, Craig C. Hofmeister, Nisha S. Joseph, Sagar Lonial, Kavita M. Dhodapkar, Madhav V. Dhodapkar
BACKGROUND Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) is a serious complication of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). More accurate information regarding the risk of developing cGVHD is required. Bone marrow (BM) grafts contribute to lower cGVHD, which creates a dispute over whether risk biomarker scores should be used for peripheral blood (PB) and BM.METHODS Day 90 plasma proteomics from PB and BM recipients developing cGVHD revealed 5 risk markers that were added to 8 previous cGVHD markers to screen 982 HCT samples of 2 multicenter Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network (BMTCTN) cohorts. Each marker was tested for its association with cause-specific hazard ratios (HRs) of cGVHD using Cox-proportional-hazards models. We paired these clinical studies with biomarker measurements in a mouse model of cGVHD.RESULTS Spearman correlations between DKK3 and MMP3 were significant in both cohorts. In BMTCTN 0201 multivariate analyses, PB recipients with 1-log increase in CXCL9 and DKK3 were 1.3 times (95% CI: 1.1–1.4, P = 0.001) and 1.9 times (95%CI: 1.1–3.2, P = 0.019) and BM recipients with 1-log increase in CXCL10 and MMP3 were 1.3 times (95%CI: 1.0–1.6, P = 0.018 and P = 0.023) more likely to develop cGVHD. In BMTCTN 1202, PB patients with high CXCL9 and MMP3 were 1.1 times (95%CI: 1.0–1.2, P = 0.037) and 1.2 times (95%CI: 1.0–1.3, P = 0.009) more likely to develop cGVHD. PB patients with high biomarkers had increased likelihood to develop cGVHD in both cohorts (22%–32% versus 8%–12%, P = 0.002 and P < 0.001, respectively). Mice showed elevated circulating biomarkers before the signs of cGVHD.CONCLUSION Biomarker levels at 3 months after HCT identify patients at risk for cGVHD occurrence.FUNDING NIH grants R01CA168814, R21HL139934, P01CA158505, T32AI007313, and R01CA264921.
Brent R. Logan, Denggang Fu, Alan Howard, Mingwei Fei, Jianqun Kou, Morgan R. Little, Djamilatou Adom, Fathima A. Mohamed, Bruce R. Blazar, Philip R. Gafken, Sophie Paczesny
Exaggerated Type 2 immune responses play critical roles in the pathogenesis of a variety of diseases including asthma, allergy, and pulmonary fibrosis. Recent studies have highlighted the importance of innate type 2 immune responses and innate lymphoid 2 cells (ILC2s) in these disorders. However, the mechanisms that control the development of pulmonary innate type 2 responses (IT2IR) and the recruitment and/or activation of ILC2 cells are poorly understood. In mouse models of pulmonary IT2IR, we demonstrated that phospholipid scramblase-1 (PLSCR1), a type II transmembrane protein that mediates bidirectional and nonspecific translocation of phospholipids between the inner and outer leaflets of the plasma membrane, was a critical regulator of IT2IR in the lung. We further suggested that (a) PLSCR1 bound to and physically interacted with chemoattractant receptor-homologous molecule(CRTH2), which is a G-protein-coupled receptor that is expressed on TH2 cells and on multiple immune cells and is commonly used to identify ILC2 cells, and (b) the effects of PLSCR1 on ILC2 activation and IT2IR were mediated via CRTH2-dependent mechanisms. Overall, our studies demonstrated that PLSCR1 played an essential role in the pathogenesis of ILC2 responses, providing critical insights into biology and disease pathogenesis and identifying targets that can be manipulated in attempts to control IT2IR in chronic diseases such as asthma.
Ashley Hernandez-Gutierrez, Sonoor Majid, Adam Eberle, Ashley Choi, Parand Sorkhdini, Dongqin Yang, Alina Xiaoyu Yang, Carmelissa Norbrun, Chuan Hua He, Chang-min Lee, Chun Geun Lee, Jack A. Elias, Yang Zhou
Neutrophil (PMN) mobilization to sites of insult is critical for host defense and requires transendothelial migration (TEM). TEM involves several well-studied sequential adhesive interactions with vascular endothelial cells (ECs); however, what initiates or terminates this process is not well-understood. Here, we describe what we believe to be a new mechanism where vessel-associated macrophages through localized interactions primed EC responses to form ICAM-1 “hot spots” to support PMN TEM. Using real-time intravital microscopy of LPS-inflamed intestines in CX3CR1-EGFP macrophage-reporter mice, complemented by whole-mount tissue imaging and flow cytometry, we found that macrophage vessel association is critical for the initiation of PMN-EC adhesive interactions, PMN TEM, and subsequent accumulation in the intestinal mucosa. Anti–colony stimulating factor 1 receptor Ab-mediated macrophage depletion in the lamina propria and at the vessel wall resulted in elimination of ICAM-1 hot spots impeding PMN-EC interactions and TEM. Mechanistically, the use of human clinical specimens, TNF-α–KO macrophage chimeras, TNF-α/TNF receptor (TNF-α/TNFR) neutralization, and multicellular macrophage-EC-PMN cocultures revealed that macrophage-derived TNF-α and EC TNFR2 axis mediated this regulatory mechanism and was required for PMN TEM. As such, our findings identified clinically relevant mechanisms by which macrophages regulate PMN trafficking in inflamed mucosa.
Xingsheng Ren, Laura D. Manzanares, Enzo B. Piccolo, Jessica M. Urbanczyk, David P. Sullivan, Lenore K. Yalom, Triet M. Bui, Connor Lantz, Hinda Najem, Parambir S. Dulai, Amy B. Heimberger, Edward B. Thorp, Ronen Sumagin