Ahn, Maarsingh, Walker et al. report that a recently identified positive allosteric modulator (PAM) of the β2-adrenergic receptor potentiates the bronchoprotective effect of a β agonist in an asthma model. The cover image illustrates how addition of a β2-adrenergic receptor–selective PAM, compound-6 (orange/red/blue), enhances fenoterol-activated (blue/red), β2-adrenergic receptor–mediated (green) airway dilation in a guinea pig lung slice. This finding highlights the potential utility of β2-adrenergic receptor–selective PAMs in the treatment of airway narrowing for patients with asthma.
Michael P. McGill, David W. Threadgill
Interest in cardioimmunology has reached new heights as the experimental cardiology field works to tap the unrealized potential of immunotherapy for clinical care. Within this space is the cardiac macrophage, a key modulator of cardiac function in health and disease. After a myocardial infarction, myeloid macrophages both protect and harm the heart. To varying degrees, such outcomes are a function of myeloid ontogeny and heterogeneity, as well as functional cellular plasticity. Diversity is further shaped by the extracellular milieu, which fluctuates considerably after coronary occlusion. Ischemic limitation of nutrients constrains the metabolic potential of immune cells, and accumulating evidence supports a paradigm whereby macrophage metabolism is coupled to divergent inflammatory consequences, although experimental evidence for this in the heart is just emerging. Herein we examine the heterogeneous cardiac macrophage response following ischemic injury, with a focus on integrating putative contributions of immunometabolism and implications for therapeutically relevant cardiac injury versus cardiac repair.
Edward B. Thorp
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive scarring disease of the lung with poor survival. The incidence and mortality of IPF are rising, but treatment remains limited. Currently, two drugs can slow the scarring process but often at the expense of intolerable side effects, and without substantially changing overall survival. A better understanding of mechanisms underlying IPF is likely to lead to improved therapies. The current paradigm proposes that repetitive alveolar epithelial injury from noxious stimuli in a genetically primed individual is followed by abnormal wound healing, including aberrant activity of extracellular matrix–secreting cells, with resultant tissue fibrosis and parenchymal damage. However, this may underplay the importance of the vascular contribution to fibrogenesis. The lungs receive 100% of the cardiac output, and vascular abnormalities in IPF include (a) heterogeneous vessel formation throughout fibrotic lung, including the development of abnormal dilated vessels and anastomoses; (b) abnormal spatially distributed populations of endothelial cells (ECs); (c) dysregulation of endothelial protective pathways such as prostacyclin signaling; and (d) an increased frequency of common vascular and metabolic comorbidities. Here, we propose that vascular and EC abnormalities are both causal and consequential in the pathobiology of IPF and that fuller evaluation of dysregulated pathways may lead to effective therapies and a cure for this devastating disease.
James May, Jane A. Mitchell, R. Gisli Jenkins
Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) have emerged as a revolutionary therapeutic class, combining the precise targeting ability of monoclonal antibodies with the potent cytotoxic effects of chemotherapeutics. Notably, ADCs have rapidly advanced in the field of breast cancer treatment. This innovative approach holds promise for strengthening the immune system through antibody-mediated cellular toxicity, tumor-specific immunity, and adaptive immune responses. However, the development of upfront and acquired resistance poses substantial challenges in maximizing the effectiveness of these therapeutics, necessitating a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanisms. These mechanisms of resistance include antigen loss, derangements in ADC internalization and recycling, drug clearance, and alterations in signaling pathways and the payload target. To overcome resistance, ongoing research and development efforts are focused on urgently identifying biomarkers, integrating immune therapy approaches, and designing novel cytotoxic payloads. This Review provides an overview of the mechanisms and clinical effectiveness of ADCs, and explores their unique immune-boosting function, while also highlighting the complex resistance mechanisms and safety challenges that must be addressed. A continued focus on how ADCs impact the tumor microenvironment will help to identify new payloads that can improve patient outcomes.
Hannah L. Chang, Blake Schwettmann, Heather L. McArthur, Isaac S. Chan
Douglas E. Vaughan
Suppression of antitumor immunity is a prominent feature of the tumor microenvironment. In this issue of the JCI, Taves, Otsuka, and authors show that glucocorticoids (GCs), which are potent immunosuppressive hormones mainly produced by the adrenals, can be reconverted from their inactive form to active metabolites via the 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) enzyme expressed by murine tumor cell lines. In the tumor microenvironment, GCs acted on CD4+ regulatory T cells to enhance their immunosuppressive function and promote tumor growth. The findings suggest that targeting GC recycling as a strategy for modulating tumor immunosuppression has the potential to improve therapeutic efficacy of immune checkpoint blockade.
Julian Swatler, Young-Jun Ju, Ana C. Anderson, Enrico Lugli
Severe, early-onset fetal growth restriction is a leading cause of medically indicated preterm birth and substantially increases the risk for perinatal death or disability. No treatments exist to improve fetal growth or safely prolong pregnancy. Furthermore, wide-ranging phenotypes limit the accurate prediction of pregnancy outcome. In this issue of the JCI, Spencer and colleagues combine a discovery-science approach with ultrasound parameters to identify the most discriminative models for predicting either the primary outcome of fetal or neonatal death, or a secondary outcome of death or delivery at 28 weeks of gestation or earlier. Their findings can better individualize patient counseling but, just as compellingly, provide the capacity to identify those pregnancies that are at such considerable risk as to justify enrollment in paradigm-shifting interventional trials that are in the pipeline.
Emily J. Su
The tumor extracellular matrix (ECM) critically regulates cancer progression and treatment response. Expression of the basement membrane component collagen XVIII (ColXVIII) is induced in solid tumors, but its involvement in tumorigenesis has remained elusive. We show here that ColXVIII was markedly upregulated in human breast cancer (BC) and was closely associated with a poor prognosis in high-grade BCs. We discovered a role for ColXVIII as a modulator of epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase (ErbB) signaling and show that it forms a complex with ErbB1 and -2 (also known as EGFR and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 [HER2]) and α6-integrin to promote cancer cell proliferation in a pathway involving its N-terminal portion and the MAPK/ERK1/2 and PI3K/AKT cascades. Studies using Col18a1 mouse models crossed with the mouse mammary tumor virus–polyoma virus middle T antigen (MMTV-PyMT) mammary carcinogenesis model showed that ColXVIII promoted BC growth and metastasis in a tumor cell–autonomous manner. Moreover, the number of mammary cancer stem cells was significantly reduced in the MMTV-PyMT and human cell models upon ColXVIII inhibition. Finally, ablation of ColXVIII substantially improved the efficacy of ErbB-targeting therapies in both preclinical models. In summary, ColXVIII was found to sustain the stemness properties of BC cells and tumor progression and metastasis through ErbB signaling, suggesting that targeting ColXVIII in the tumor milieu may have important therapeutic potential.
Raman Devarajan, Valerio Izzi, Hellevi Peltoketo, Gunilla Rask, Saila Kauppila, Marja-Riitta Väisänen, Heli Ruotsalainen, Guillermo Martínez-Nieto, Sanna-Maria Karppinen, Timo Väisänen, Inderjeet Kaur, Jussi Koivunen, Takako Sasaki, Robert Winqvist, Aki Manninen, Fredrik Wärnberg, Malin Sund, Taina Pihlajaniemi, Ritva Heljasvaara
RECK is downregulated in various human cancers; however, how RECK inactivation affects carcinogenesis remains unclear. We addressed this issue in a pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) mouse model and found that pancreatic Reck deletion dramatically augmented the spontaneous development of PDAC with a mesenchymal phenotype, which was accompanied by increased liver metastases and decreased survival. Lineage tracing revealed that pancreatic Reck deletion induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in PDAC cells, giving rise to inflammatory cancer-associated fibroblast–like cells in mice. Splenic transplantation of Reck-null PDAC cells resulted in numerous liver metastases with a mesenchymal phenotype, whereas reexpression of RECK markedly reduced metastases and changed the PDAC tumor phenotype into an epithelial one. Consistently, low RECK expression correlated with low E-cadherin expression, poor differentiation, metastasis, and poor prognosis in human PDAC. RECK reexpression in the PDAC cells was found to downregulate MMP2 and MMP3, with a concomitant increase in E-cadherin and decrease in EMT-promoting transcription factors. An MMP inhibitor recapitulated the effects of RECK on the expression of E-cadherin and EMT-promoting transcription factors and invasive activity. These results establish the authenticity of RECK as a pancreatic tumor suppressor, provide insights into its underlying mechanisms, and support the idea that RECK could be an important therapeutic effector against human PDAC.
Tomonori Masuda, Akihisa Fukuda, Go Yamakawa, Mayuki Omatsu, Mio Namikawa, Makoto Sono, Yuichi Fukunaga, Munemasa Nagao, Osamu Araki, Takaaki Yoshikawa, Satoshi Ogawa, Kenji Masuo, Norihiro Goto, Yukiko Hiramatsu, Yu Muta, Motoyuki Tsuda, Takahisa Maruno, Yuki Nakanishi, Toshihiko Masui, Etsuro Hatano, Tomoko Matsuzaki, Makoto Noda, Hiroshi Seno
Glial activation and inflammation coincide with neurofibrillary tangle (NFT) formation in neurons. However, the mechanism behind the interaction between tau fibrils and glia is poorly understood. Here, we found that tau preformed fibrils (PFFs) caused induction of inflammation in microglia by specifically activating the TLR2/MyD88, but not the TLR4/MyD88, pathway. Accordingly, the WT TLR2–interacting domain of MyD88 (wtTIDM) peptide inhibited tau PFF–induced activation of the TLR2/MyD88/NF-κB pathway, resulting in reduced inflammation. Nasal administration of wtTIDM in P301S tau–expressing PS19 mice was found to inhibit gliosis and inflammatory markers, as well as to reduce pathogenic tau in the hippocampus, resulting in improved cognitive behavior in PS19 mice. The inhibitory effect of wtTIDM on tau pathology was absent in PS19 mice lacking TLR2, reinforcing the essential involvement of TLR2 in wtTIDM-mediated effects in vivo. Studying the mechanism further, we found that the tau promoter harbored a potential NF-κB–binding site and that proinflammatory molecules increased transcription of tau in neurons via NF-κB. These results suggest that tau-induced neuroinflammation and neuropathology require TLR2 and that neuroinflammation directly upregulates tau in neurons via NF-κB, highlighting a direct connection between inflammation and tauopathy.
Debashis Dutta, Malabendu Jana, Ramesh Kumar Paidi, Moumita Majumder, Sumita Raha, Sridevi Dasarathy, Kalipada Pahan
Circadian rhythms govern glucose homeostasis, and their dysregulation leads to complex metabolic diseases. Gut microbes exhibit diurnal rhythms that influence host circadian networks and metabolic processes, yet underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we showed hierarchical, bidirectional communication among the liver circadian clock, gut microbes, and glucose homeostasis in mice. To assess this relationship, we utilized mice with liver-specific deletion of the core circadian clock gene Bmal1 via Albumin-cre maintained in either conventional or germ-free housing conditions. The liver clock, but not the forebrain clock, required gut microbes to drive glucose clearance and gluconeogenesis. Liver clock dysfunctionality expanded proportions and abundances of oscillating microbial features by 2-fold relative to that in controls. The liver clock was the primary driver of differential and rhythmic hepatic expression of glucose and fatty acid metabolic pathways. Absent the liver clock, gut microbes provided secondary cues that dampened these rhythms, resulting in reduced lipid fuel utilization relative to carbohydrates. All together, the liver clock transduced signals from gut microbes that were necessary for regulating glucose and lipid metabolism and meeting energy demands over 24 hours.
Katya Frazier, Sumeed Manzoor, Katherine Carroll, Orlando DeLeon, Sawako Miyoshi, Jun Miyoshi, Marissa St. George, Alan Tan, Evan A. Chrisler, Mariko Izumo, Joseph S. Takahashi, Mrinalini C. Rao, Vanessa A. Leone, Eugene B. Chang
The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is the most promising target for drug use disorder treatment. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of NAc is effective for drug use disorder treatment. However, the mechanisms by which DBS produces its therapeutic effects remain enigmatic. Here, we define a behavioral cutoff criterion to distinguish depressive-like behaviors and non-depressive-like behaviors in mice after morphine withdrawal. We identified a basolateral amygdala (BLA) to NAc D1 medium spiny neuron (MSN) pathway that controls depressive-like behaviors after morphine withdrawal. Furthermore, the paraventricular nucleus of thalamus (PVT) to NAc D2 MSN pathway controls naloxone-induced acute withdrawal symptoms. Optogenetically induced long-term potentiation with κ-opioid receptor (KOR) antagonism enhanced BLA to NAc D1 MSN signaling and also altered the excitation/inhibition balance of NAc D2 MSN signaling. We also verified that a new 50 Hz DBS protocol reversed morphine withdrawal–evoked abnormal plasticity in NAc. Importantly, this refined DBS treatment effectively alleviated naloxone-induced withdrawal symptoms and depressive-like behaviors and prevented stress-induced reinstatement. Taken together, the results demonstrated that input- and cell type–specific synaptic plasticity underlies morphine withdrawal, which may lead to novel targets for the treatment of opioid use disorder.
Yongsheng Zhu, Kejia Wang, Tengfei Ma, Yuanyuan Ji, Yin Lou, Xiaoyu Fu, Ye Lu, Yige Liu, Wei Dang, Qian Zhang, Fangyuan Yin, Kena Wang, Bing Yu, Hongbo Zhang, Jianghua Lai, Yunpeng Wang
Glucocorticoids are steroid hormones with potent immunosuppressive properties. Their primary source is the adrenals, where they are generated via de novo synthesis from cholesterol. In addition, many tissues have a recycling pathway in which glucocorticoids are regenerated from inactive metabolites by the enzyme 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1, encoded by Hsd11b1). Here, we find that multiple tumor types express Hsd11b1 and produce active glucocorticoids. Genetic ablation of Hsd11b1 in such cells had no effect on in vitro growth, but reduced in vivo tumor progression, which corresponded with increased frequencies of CD8+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) expressing activation markers and producing effector cytokines. Tumor-derived glucocorticoids were found to promote signatures of Treg activation and suppress signatures of conventional T cell activation in tumor-infiltrating Tregs. Indeed, CD8+ T cell activation was restored and tumor growth reduced in mice with Treg-specific glucocorticoid receptor deficiency. Importantly, pharmacologic inhibition of 11β-HSD1 reduced tumor growth to the same degree as gene knockout and rendered immunotherapy-resistant tumors susceptible to PD-1 blockade. Given that HSD11B1 expression is upregulated in many human tumors and that inhibition of 11β-HSD1 is well tolerated in clinical studies, these data suggest that targeting 11β-HSD1 may be a beneficial adjunct in cancer therapy.
Matthew D. Taves, Shizuka Otsuka, Michaela A. Taylor, Kaitlynn M. Donahue, Thomas J. Meyer, Margaret C. Cam, Jonathan D. Ashwell
BACKGROUND Cellular cholesterol efflux capacity (CEC) is a better predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD) events than HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C) but is not suitable as a routine clinical assay.METHODS We developed an HDL-specific phospholipid efflux (HDL-SPE) assay to assess HDL functionality based on whole plasma HDL apolipoprotein–mediated solubilization of fluorescent phosphatidylethanolamine from artificial lipid donor particles. We first assessed the association of HDL-SPE with prevalent coronary artery disease (CAD): study I included NIH severe-CAD (n = 50) and non-CAD (n = 50) participants, who were frequency matched for sex, BMI, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and smoking; study II included Japanese CAD (n = 70) and non-CAD (n = 154) participants. We also examined the association of HDL-SPE with incident CVD events in the Prevention of Renal and Vascular End-stage Disease (PREVEND) study comparing 340 patients with 340 controls individually matched for age, sex, smoking, and HDL-C levels.RESULTS Receiver operating characteristic curves revealed stronger associations of HDL-SPE with prevalent CAD. The AUCs in study I were as follows: HDL-SPE, 0.68; apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I), 0.62; HDL-C, 0.63; and CEC, 0.52. The AUCs in study II were as follows: HDL-SPE, 0.83; apoA-I, 0.64; and HDL-C, 0.53. Also longitudinally, HDL-SPE was significantly associated with incident CVD events independent of traditional risk factors with ORs below 0.2 per SD increment in the PREVEND study (P < 0.001).CONCLUSION HDL-SPE could serve as a routine clinical assay for improving CVD risk assessment and drug discovery.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01621594.FUNDING NHLBI Intramural Research Program, NIH (HL006095-06).
Masaki Sato, Edward B. Neufeld, Martin P. Playford, Yu Lei, Alexander V. Sorokin, Angel M. Aponte, Lita A. Freeman, Scott M. Gordon, Amit K. Dey, Kianoush Jeiran, Masato Hamasaki, Maureen L. Sampson, Robert D. Shamburek, Jingrong Tang, Marcus Y. Chen, Kazuhiko Kotani, Josephine L.C. Anderson, Robin P.F. Dullaart, Nehal N. Mehta, Uwe J.F. Tietge, Alan T. Remaley
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is not recommended for treating learning and memory decline in menopausal women because it exerts adverse effects by activating classic estrogen receptors ERα and ERβ. The membrane estrogen receptor G protein-coupled receptor 30 (GPR30) has been reported to be involved in memory modulation; however, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, we found that GPR30 deletion in astrocytes, but not in neurons, impaired learning and memory in female mice. Astrocytic GPR30 depletion induced A1 phenotype transition, impairing neuronal function. Further exploration revealed that Praja1 (PJA1), a RING ubiquitin ligase, mediated the effects of astrocytic GPR30 on learning and memory by binding to Serpina3n, which is a molecular marker of neuroinflammation in astrocytes. GPR30 positively modulated PJA1 expression through the CREB signaling pathway in cultured murine and human astrocytes. Additionally, the mRNA levels of GPR30 and PJA1 were reduced in exosomes isolated from postmenopausal women while Serpina3n levels were increased in the plasma. Together, our findings suggest a key role for astrocytic GPR30 in the learning and memory abilities of female mice and identify GPR30/PJA1/Serpina3n as potential therapeutic targets for learning and memory loss in peri- and postmenopausal women.
Xinshang Wang, Yongli Jiang, Ban Feng, Xue Ma, Kun Zhang, Fan Yang, Zhenguo Liu, Le Yang, Jiao Yue, Liang Lu, Dake Song, Qingjuan Guo, Jingyu Qi, Xubo Li, Min Wang, Huinan Zhang, Jing Huang, Minggao Zhao, Shuibing Liu
X-linked myotubular myopathy (XLMTM) is a fatal congenital disorder caused by mutations in the MTM1 gene. Currently, there are no approved treatments, although AAV8-mediated gene transfer therapy has shown promise in animal models and preliminarily in patients. However, 4 patients with XLMTM treated with gene therapy have died from progressive liver failure, and hepatobiliary disease has now been recognized more broadly in association with XLMTM. In an attempt to understand whether loss of MTM1 itself is associated with liver pathology, we have characterized what we believe to be a novel liver phenotype in a zebrafish model of this disease. Specifically, we found that loss-of-function mutations in mtm1 led to severe liver abnormalities including impaired bile flux, structural abnormalities of the bile canaliculus, and improper endosome-mediated trafficking of canalicular transporters. Using a reporter-tagged Mtm1 zebrafish line, we established localization of Mtm1 in the liver in association with Rab11, a marker of recycling endosomes, and canalicular transport proteins and demonstrated that hepatocyte-specific reexpression of Mtm1 could rescue the cholestatic phenotype. Last, we completed a targeted chemical screen and found that Dynasore, a dynamin-2 inhibitor, was able to partially restore bile flow and transporter localization to the canalicular membrane. In summary, we demonstrate, for the first time to our knowledge, liver abnormalities that were directly caused by MTM1 mutation in a preclinical model, thus establishing the critical framework for better understanding and comprehensive treatment of the human disease.
Sophie Karolczak, Ashish R. Deshwar, Evangelina Aristegui, Binita M. Kamath, Michael W. Lawlor, Gaia Andreoletti, Jonathan Volpatti, Jillian L. Ellis, Chunyue Yin, James J. Dowling
Expanding β cell mass is a critical goal in the fight against diabetes. CDK4, an extensively characterized cell cycle activator, is required to establish and maintain β cell number. β cell failure in the IRS2-deletion mouse type 2 diabetes model is, in part, due to loss of CDK4 regulator cyclin D2. We set out to determine whether replacement of endogenous CDK4 with the inhibitor-resistant mutant CDK4-R24C rescued the loss of β cell mass in IRS2-deficient mice. Surprisingly, not only β cell mass but also β cell dedifferentiation was effectively rescued, despite no improvement in whole body insulin sensitivity. Ex vivo studies in primary islet cells revealed a mechanism in which CDK4 intervened downstream in the insulin signaling pathway to prevent FOXO1-mediated transcriptional repression of critical β cell transcription factor Pdx1. FOXO1 inhibition was not related to E2F1 activity, to FOXO1 phosphorylation, or even to FOXO1 subcellular localization, but rather was related to deacetylation and reduced FOXO1 abundance. Taken together, these results demonstrate a differentiation-promoting activity of the classical cell cycle activator CDK4 and support the concept that β cell mass can be expanded without compromising function.
Rachel E. Stamateris, Huguet V. Landa-Galvan, Rohit B. Sharma, Christine Darko, David Redmond, Sushil G. Rane, Laura C. Alonso
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease associated with episodic airway narrowing. Inhaled β2-adrenergic receptor (β2AR) agonists (β2-agonists) promote — with limited efficacy — bronchodilation in asthma. All β2-agonists are canonical orthosteric ligands that bind the same site as endogenous epinephrine. We recently isolated a β2AR-selective positive allosteric modulator (PAM), compound-6 (Cmpd-6), which binds outside of the orthosteric site and modulates orthosteric ligand functions. With the emerging therapeutic potential of G-protein coupled receptor allosteric ligands, we investigated the impact of Cmpd-6 on β2AR-mediated bronchoprotection. Consistent with our findings using human β2ARs, Cmpd-6 allosterically potentiated β2-agonist binding to guinea pig β2ARs and downstream signaling of β2ARs. In contrast, Cmpd-6 had no such effect on murine β2ARs, which lack a crucial amino acid in the Cmpd-6 allosteric binding site. Importantly, Cmpd-6 enhanced β2 agonist–mediated bronchoprotection against methacholine-induced bronchoconstriction in guinea pig lung slices, but — in line with the binding studies — not in mice. Moreover, Cmpd-6 robustly potentiated β2 agonist–mediated bronchoprotection against allergen-induced airway constriction in lung slices obtained from a guinea pig model of allergic asthma. Cmpd-6 similarly enhanced β2 agonist–mediated bronchoprotection against methacholine-induced bronchoconstriction in human lung slices. Our results highlight the potential of β2AR-selective PAMs in the treatment of airway narrowing in asthma and other obstructive respiratory diseases.
Seungkirl Ahn, Harm Maarsingh, Julia K.L. Walker, Samuel Liu, Akhil Hegde, Hyeje C. Sumajit, Alem W. Kahsai, Robert J. Lefkowitz
Vascular networks form, remodel, and mature under the influence of both fluid shear stress (FSS) and soluble factors. Physiological FSS promotes and maintains vascular stability via synergy with bone morphogenic proteins 9 and 10 (BMP9 and BMP10). Conversely, mutation of the BMP receptors activin-like kinase 1 (ALK1), endoglin (ENG), or the downstream effector, SMAD family member 4 (SMAD4) leads to hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), characterized by fragile and leaky arterial-venous malformations (AVMs). How endothelial cells (ECs) integrate FSS and BMP signals in vascular development and homeostasis and how mutations give rise to vascular malformations is not well understood. Here, we aimed to elucidate the mechanism of synergy between FSS and SMAD signaling in vascular stability and how disruption of this synergy leads to AVMs. We found that loss of Smad4 increased the sensitivity of ECs to flow by lowering the FSS set point, with resulting AVMs exhibiting features of excessive flow-mediated morphological responses. Mechanistically, loss of SMAD4 disinhibits flow-mediated KLF4-TIE2-PI3K/Akt signaling, leading to cell cycle progression–mediated loss of arterial identity due to KLF4-mediated repression of cyclin dependent Kinase (CDK) inhibitors CDKN2A and CDKN2B. Thus, AVMs caused by Smad4 deletion are characterized by chronic high flow remodeling with excessive EC proliferation and loss of arterial identity as triggering events.
Kuheli Banerjee, Yanzhu Lin, Johannes Gahn, Julio Cordero, Purnima Gupta, Islam Mohamed, Mariona Graupera, Gergana Dobreva, Martin A. Schwartz, Roxana Ola
Clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP) is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), putatively via inflammasome activation. We pursued an inflammatory gene modifier scan for CHIP-associated CVD risk among 424,651 UK Biobank participants. We identified CHIP using whole-exome sequencing data of blood DNA and modeled as a composite, considering all driver genes together, as well as separately for common drivers (DNMT3A, TET2, ASXL1, and JAK2). We developed predicted gene expression scores for 26 inflammasome-related genes and assessed how they modify CHIP-associated CVD risk. We identified IL1RAP as a potential key molecule for CHIP-associated CVD risk across genes and increased AIM2 gene expression leading to heightened JAK2- and ASXL1-associated CVD risk. We show that CRISPR-induced Asxl1-mutated murine macrophages had a particularly heightened inflammatory response to AIM2 agonism, associated with an increased DNA damage response, as well as increased IL-10 secretion, mirroring a CVD-protective effect of IL10 expression in ASXL1 CHIP. Our study supports the role of inflammasomes in CHIP-associated CVD and provides evidence to support gene-specific strategies to address CHIP-associated CVD risk.
Zhi Yu, Trevor P. Fidler, Yunfeng Ruan, Caitlyn Vlasschaert, Tetsushi Nakao, Md Mesbah Uddin, Taralynn Mack, Abhishek Niroula, J. Brett Heimlich, Seyedeh M. Zekavat, Christopher J. Gibson, Gabriel K. Griffin, Yuxuan Wang, Gina M. Peloso, Nancy Heard-Costa, Daniel Levy, Ramachandran S. Vasan, François Aguet, Kristin G. Ardlie, Kent D. Taylor, Stephen S. Rich, Jerome I. Rotter, Peter Libby, Siddhartha Jaiswal, Benjamin L. Ebert, Alexander G. Bick, Alan R. Tall, Pradeep Natarajan
Adoptive immunotherapy with Tregs is a promising approach for preventing or treating type 1 diabetes. Islet antigen–specific Tregs have more potent therapeutic effects than polyclonal cells, but their low frequency is a barrier for clinical application. To generate Tregs that recognize islet antigens, we engineered a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) derived from a monoclonal antibody with specificity for the insulin B chain 10–23 peptide presented in the context of the IAg7 MHC class II allele present in NOD mice. Peptide specificity of the resulting InsB-g7 CAR was confirmed by tetramer staining and T cell proliferation in response to recombinant or islet-derived peptide. The InsB-g7 CAR redirected NOD Treg specificity such that insulin B 10–23–peptide stimulation enhanced suppressive function, measured via reduction of proliferation and IL-2 production by BDC2.5 T cells and CD80 and CD86 expression on dendritic cells. Cotransfer of InsB-g7 CAR Tregs prevented adoptive transfer diabetes by BDC2.5 T cells in immunodeficient NOD mice. In WT NOD mice, InsB-g7 CAR Tregs prevented spontaneous diabetes. These results show that engineering Treg specificity for islet antigens using a T cell receptor–like CAR is a promising therapeutic approach for the prevention of autoimmune diabetes.
Justin A. Spanier, Vivian Fung, Christine M. Wardell, Mohannad H. Alkhatib, Yixin Chen, Linnea A. Swanson, Alexander J. Dwyer, Matthew E. Weno, Nubia Silva, Jason S. Mitchell, Paul C. Orban, Majid Mojibian, C. Bruce Verchere, Brian T. Fife, Megan K. Levings
BACKGROUND Severe, early-onset fetal growth restriction (FGR) causes significant fetal and neonatal mortality and morbidity. Predicting the outcome of affected pregnancies at the time of diagnosis is difficult, thus preventing accurate patient counseling. We investigated the use of maternal serum protein and ultrasound measurements at diagnosis to predict fetal or neonatal death and 3 secondary outcomes: fetal death or delivery at or before 28+0 weeks, development of abnormal umbilical artery (UmA) Doppler velocimetry, and slow fetal growth.METHODS Women with singleton pregnancies (n = 142, estimated fetal weights [EFWs] below the third centile, less than 600 g, 20+0 to 26+6 weeks of gestation, no known chromosomal, genetic, or major structural abnormalities) were recruited from 4 European centers. Maternal serum from the discovery set (n = 63) was analyzed for 7 proteins linked to angiogenesis, 90 additional proteins associated with cardiovascular disease, and 5 proteins identified through pooled liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry. Patient and clinician stakeholder priorities were used to select models tested in the validation set (n = 60), with final models calculated from combined data.RESULTS The most discriminative model for fetal or neonatal death included the EFW z score (Hadlock 3 formula/Marsal chart), gestational age, and UmA Doppler category (AUC, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.86–0.97) but was less well calibrated than the model containing only the EFW z score (Hadlock 3/Marsal). The most discriminative model for fetal death or delivery at or before 28+0 weeks included maternal serum placental growth factor (PlGF) concentration and UmA Doppler category (AUC, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.83–0.94).CONCLUSION Ultrasound measurements and maternal serum PlGF concentration at diagnosis of severe, early-onset FGR predicted pregnancy outcomes of importance to patients and clinicians.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02097667.FUNDING The European Union, Rosetrees Trust, Mitchell Charitable Trust.
Rebecca Spencer, Kasia Maksym, Kurt Hecher, Karel Maršál, Francesc Figueras, Gareth Ambler, Harry Whitwell, Nuno Rocha Nené, Neil J. Sebire, Stefan R. Hansson, Anke Diemert, Jana Brodszki, Eduard Gratacós, Yuval Ginsberg, Tal Weissbach, Donald M. Peebles, Ian Zachary, Neil Marlow, Angela Huertas-Ceballos, Anna L. David
Protease-activated receptor 4 (PAR4) (gene F2RL3) harbors a functional dimorphism, rs773902 A/G (encoding Thr120/Ala120, respectively) and is associated with greater platelet aggregation. The A allele frequency is more common in Black individuals, and Black individuals have a higher incidence of ischemic stroke than White individuals. However, it is not known whether the A allele is responsible for worse stroke outcomes. To directly test the in vivo effect of this variant on stroke, we generated mice in which F2rl3 was replaced by F2RL3, thereby expressing human PAR4 (hPAR4) with either Thr120 or Ala120. Compared with hPAR4 Ala120 mice, hPAR4 Thr120 mice had worse stroke outcomes, mediated in part by enhanced platelet activation and platelet-neutrophil interactions. Analyses of 7,620 Black subjects with 487 incident ischemic strokes demonstrated the AA genotype was a risk for incident ischemic stroke and worse functional outcomes. In humanized mice, ticagrelor with or without aspirin improved stroke outcomes in hPAR4 Ala120 mice, but not in hPAR4 Thr120 mice. P selectin blockade improved stroke outcomes and reduced platelet-neutrophil interactions in hPAR4 Thr120 mice. Our results may explain some of the racial disparity in stroke and support the need for studies of nonstandard antiplatelet therapies for patients expressing PAR4 Thr120.
Frederik Denorme, Nicole D. Armstrong, Michelle L. Stoller, Irina Portier, Emilia A. Tugolukova, Rikki M. Tanner, Emilie Montenont, Seema Bhatlekar, Mark Cody, John L. Rustad, Abigail Ajanel, Neal D. Tolley, Darian C. Murray, Julie L. Boyle, Marvin T. Nieman, Steven E. McKenzie, Christian Con Yost, Leslie A. Lange, Mary Cushman, Marguerite R. Irvin, Paul F. Bray, Robert A. Campbell
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a hereditary hemoglobinopathy characterized by painful vaso-occlusive crises (VOC) and chronic hemolysis. The mononuclear phagocyte system is pivotal to SCD pathophysiology, but the mechanisms governing monocyte/macrophage differentiation remain unknown. This study examined the influence of hemolysis on circulating monocyte trajectories in SCD. We discovered that hemolysis stimulated CSF-1 production, partly by endothelial cells via Nrf2, promoting classical monocyte (CMo) differentiation into blood patrolling monocytes (PMo) in SCD mice. However, hemolysis also upregulated CCL-2 through IFN-I, inducing CMo transmigration and differentiation into tissue monocyte–derived macrophages. Blocking CMo transmigration by anti–P selectin antibody in SCD mice increased circulating PMo, corroborating that CMo-to–tissue macrophage differentiation occurs at the expense of CMo-to–blood PMo differentiation. We observed a positive correlation between plasma CSF-1/CCL-2 ratios and blood PMo levels in patients with SCD, underscoring the clinical significance of these two opposing factors in monocyte differentiation. Combined treatment with CSF-1 and anti–P selectin antibody more effectively increased PMo numbers and reduced stasis compared with single-agent therapies in SCD mice. Altogether, these data indicate that monocyte fates are regulated by the balance between two heme pathways, Nrf2/CSF-1 and IFN-I/CCL-2, and suggest that the CSF-1/CCL-2 ratio may present a diagnostic and therapeutic target in SCD.
Yunfeng Liu, Shan Su, Sarah Shayo, Weili Bao, Mouli Pal, Kai Dou, Patricia A. Shi, Banu Aygun, Sally Campbell-Lee, Cheryl A. Lobo, Avital Mendelson, Xiuli An, Deepa Manwani, Hui Zhong, Karina Yazdanbakhsh