Resident and inflammatory mononuclear phagocytes (MPh) with functional plasticity in the intestine are critically involved in the pathology of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD), in which the mechanism remains incompletely understood. In the present study, we found that increased expression of E3 ligase FBXW7 in the inflamed intestine was significantly correlated to IBD severity in both human diseases and mice model. Myeloid-Fbxw7 deﬁciency protected mice from dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) and 2,6,4-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS) induced colitis. Fbxw7 deficiency resulted in decreased production of chemokines CCL2 and CCL7 by colonic CX3CR1hi resident macrophages and reduced accumulation of CX3CR1int pro-inﬂammatory MPh in colitis colon tissue. Mice received AAV-shFbxw7 administration showed significantly improved survival rate and alleviated colitis. Mechanisms screening demonstrated that FBXW7 suppresses H3K27me3 modiﬁcation and promotes Ccl2 and Ccl7 expression via degradation of histone-lysine N-methyltransferase EZH2 in macrophages. Taken together, our results indicate that FBXW7 degrades EZH2 and increases Ccl2/Ccl7 in CX3CR1hi macrophages, which promotes the recruiting CX3CR1int pro-inﬂammatory MPh into local colon tissues with colitis. Targeting FBXW7 might represent a potential therapeutic approach for intestine inflammation intervention.
Jia He, Yinjing Song, Gaopeng Li, Peng Xiao, Yang Liu, Yue Xue, Qian Cao, Xintao Tu, Ting Pan, Zhinong Jiang, Xuetao Cao, Lihua Lai, Qingqing Wang
Induction of memory CD8 T cells is important for controlling infections such as malaria HIV/AIDS, and for cancer immunotherapy. Accurate assessment of antigen (Ag)-specific CD8 T-cells is critical for vaccine optimization and defining correlates of protection. However, conditions for determining Ag-specific CD8 T-cell responses ex-vivo using ICS may be variable, especially in humans with complex antigens. Here, we used an attenuated whole parasite malaria vaccine model in humans and various experimental infections in mice to show that the duration of antigenic stimulation and timing of brefeldin A (BFA) addition influences the magnitude of Ag-specific and bystander T cell responses. Indeed, following immunization with an attenuated whole sporozoite malaria vaccine in humans, significantly higher numbers of IFN-γ producing memory CD8 T-cells comprised of antigen specific and bystander responses were detected by increasing the duration of Ag-stimulation prior to addition of BFA. Mechanistic analyses of virus-specific CD8 T-cells in mice revealed that the increase in IFNg producing CD8 T-cells was due to bystander activation of Ag-experienced memory CD8 T-cells, and correlated with the proportion of Ag-experienced CD8 T-cells in the stimulated populations. Incubation with anti-cytokine antibodies (ex. IL-12) improved accuracy in detecting bona-fide memory CD8 T-cell responses suggesting this as the mechanism for the bystander activation. These data have important implications for accurate assessment of immune responses generated by vaccines intended to elicit protective memory CD8 T-cells.
Matthew D. Martin, Isaac J. Jensen, Andrew S. Ishizuka, Mitchell Lefebvre, Qiang Shan, Hai-Hui Xue, John T. Harty, Robert A. Seder, Vladimir P. Badovinac
Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome (SDS) is a rare and clinically-heterogeneous bone marrow (BM) failure syndrome caused by mutations in the Shwachman-Bodian-Diamond Syndrome (SBDS) gene. Although SDS was described over 50 years ago, the molecular pathogenesis is poorly understood due, in part, to the rarity and heterogeneity of the affected hematopoietic progenitors. To address this, we used single cell RNA sequencing to profile scant hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells from SDS patients. We generated a single cell map of early lineage commitment and found that SDS hematopoiesis was left-shifted with selective loss of granulocyte-monocyte progenitors. Transcriptional targets of transforming growth factor-beta (TGFβ) were dysregulated in SDS hematopoietic stem cells and multipotent progenitors, but not in lineage-committed progenitors. TGFβ inhibitors (AVID200 and SD208) increased hematopoietic colony formation of SDS patient BM. Finally, TGFβ3 and other TGFβ pathway members were elevated in SDS patient blood plasma. These data establish the TGFβ pathway as a novel candidate biomarker and therapeutic target in SDS and translate insights from single cell biology into a potential therapy.
Cailin E. Joyce, Assieh Saadatpour, Melisa Ruiz-Gutierrez, Ozge Vargel Bolukbasi, Lan Jiang, Dolly D. Thomas, Sarah Young, Inga Hofmann, Colin Sieff, Kasiani C. Myers, Jennifer Whangbo, Towia A. Libermann, Chad Nusbaum, Guo-Cheng Yuan, Akiko Shimamura, Carl D. Novina
A population of Natural Killer (NK) cells expressing the activating receptor NKG2C and the maturation marker CD57 expands in response to human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection. CD3–CD56dimCD57+NKG2C+ NK cells are similar to CD8+ memory T cells with rapid and robust effector function upon re-stimulation, persistence, and epigenetic remodeling of the IFNG locus. Chronic antigen stimulation drives CD8+ memory T cell proliferation while also inducing genome-wide epigenetic reprograming and dysfunction. We hypothesized that chronic stimulation could similarly induce epigenetic reprograming and dysfunction in NK cells. Here we show that chronic stimulation of adaptive NK cells through NKG2C using plate-bound agonistic antibodies in combination with IL-15 drove robust proliferation and activation of CD3–CD56dimCD57+NKG2C+ NK cells while simultaneously inducing high expression of the checkpoint inhibitory receptors LAG-3 and PD-1. Marked induction of checkpoint inhibitory receptors was also observed on the surface of adaptive NK cells co-cultured with HCMV-infected endothelial cells. Chronically stimulated adaptive NK cells were dysfunctional when challenged with tumor targets. These cells exhibited a pattern of epigenetic reprograming, with genome-wide alterations in DNA methylation. Our study has important implications for cancer immunotherapy and suggest that exhausted NK cells could be targeted with inhibitory checkpoint receptor blockade.
Aimee M. Merino, Bin Zhang, Phillip R. Dougherty, Xianghua Luo, Jinhua Wang, Bruce R. Blazar, Jeffrey S. Miller, Frank Cichocki
Resident microbiota activate regulatory cells that modulate intestinal inflammation and promote and maintain intestinal homeostasis. IL-10 is a key mediator of immune regulatory function. Our studies described the functional importance and mechanisms by which gut microbiota and specific microbial components influenced the development of intestinal IL-10-producing B cells. We used fecal transplant to germ-free (GF) Il10+/EGFP reporter and Il10-/- mice to demonstrate that microbiota from specific pathogen-free mice primarily stimulated IL-10-producing colon-specific B cells and T regulatory-1 cells in ex-GF mice. IL-10 in turn down-regulated microbiota-activated mucosal inflammatory cytokines. TLR2/9 ligands and enteric bacterial lysates preferentially induced IL-10 production and regulatory capacity of intestinal B cells. Analysis of Il10+/EGFP mice crossed with additional gene-deficient strains and B cell co-transfer studies demonstrated that microbiota-induced IL-10-producing intestinal B cells ameliorated chronic T cell-mediated colitis in a TLR2, MyD88 and PI3K-dependent fashion. In vitro studies implicated PI3Kp110δ and AKT downstream signaling. These studies demonstrated that resident enteric bacteria activated intestinal IL-10-producing B cells through TLR2, MyD88 and PI3K pathways. These B cells reduced colonic T cell activation and maintained mucosal homeostasis in response to intestinal microbiota.
Yoshiyuki Mishima, Akihiko Oka, Bo Liu, Jeremy W. Herzog, Chang Soo Eun, Ting-Jia Fan, Emily Bulik-Sullivan, Ian M. Carroll, Jonathan J. Hansen, Liang Chen, Justin E. Wilson, Nancy C. Fisher, Jenny P. Y. Ting, Tomonori Nochi, Angela Wahl, J. Victor Garcia, Christopher L. Karp, R. Balfour Sartor
Although joint pain in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is conventionally thought to result from inflammation, arthritis pain and joint inflammation are at least partially uncoupled. This suggests that additional pain mechanisms in RA remain to be explored. Here we show that FcγRI, an immune receptor for IgG immune complex (IgG-IC), is expressed in a subpopulation of joint sensory neurons and that, under naïve conditions, FcγRI crosslinking by IgG-IC directly activates the somata and peripheral terminals of these neurons to evoke acute joint hypernociception without obvious concurrent joint inflammation. These effects were diminished in both global and sensory neuron-specific Fcgr1 knockout mice. In murine models of inflammatory arthritis, FcγRI signaling was upregulated in joint sensory neurons. Acute blockade or global genetic deletion of Fcgr1 significantly attenuated arthritis pain and hyperactivity of joint sensory neurons without measurably altering joint inflammation. Conditional deletion of Fcgr1 in sensory neurons produced similar analgesic effects in these models. We therefore suggest that FcγRI expressed in sensory neurons contributes to arthritis pain independently of its functions in inflammatory cells. These findings expand our understanding of the immunosensory capabilities of sensory neurons and imply that neuronal FcγRI merits consideration as a target for treating RA pain.
Li Wang, Xiaohua Jiang, Qin Zheng, Sang-Min Jeon, Tiane Chen, Yan Liu, Heather Kulaga, Randall Reed, Xinzhong Dong, Michael J. Caterina, Lintao Qu
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is used to treat multiple neuropsychiatric disorders, including Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Despite widespread clinical use, its therapeutic mechanisms are unknown. Here, we developed a mouse model of subthalamic nucleus (STN) DBS for PD, to permit investigation using cell type-specific tools available in mice. We found that electrical STN DBS relieved bradykinesia, as measured by movement velocity. In addition, our model recapitulated several hallmarks of human STN DBS, including rapid onset and offset, frequency dependence, dyskinesia at higher stimulation intensity, and associations between electrode location, therapeutic benefit, and side effects. We used this model to assess whether high frequency stimulation is necessary for effective STN DBS, or if low frequency stimulation can be effective when paired with compensatory adjustments in other parameters. We found that low frequency stimulation, paired with greater pulse width and amplitude, relieved bradykinesia. Moreover, a composite metric incorporating pulse width, amplitude, and frequency predicted therapeutic efficacy better than frequency alone. We found a similar relationship between this composite metric and movement speed in a retrospective analysis of human data, suggesting correlations observed in the mouse model may extend to human patients. Together, these data establish a mouse model for elucidating mechanisms of DBS.
Jonathan S. Schor, Alexandra B. Nelson
Specific neuronal populations display high vulnerability to pathological processes in Parkinson’s disease (PD). The dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus nerve (DMnX) is a primary site of pathological α-synuclein deposition and may play a key role in the spreading of α-synuclein lesions within and outside the CNS. Using in vivo models, we show that cholinergic neurons forming this nucleus are particularly susceptible to oxidative challenges and accumulation of reactive oxidative species (ROS). Targeted α-synuclein overexpression within these neurons triggered an oxidative stress that became significantly more pronounced after exposure to the ROS-generating agent paraquat. A more severe oxidative stress resulted in enhanced production of oxidatively modified forms of α-synuclein, increased α-synuclein aggregation into oligomeric species and marked degeneration of DMnX neurons. Enhanced oxidative stress also affected neuron-to-neuron protein transfer, causing an increased spreading of α-synuclein from the DMnX toward more rostral brain regions. In vitro experiments confirmed a greater propensity of α-synuclein to pass from cell to cell under pro-oxidant conditions, and identified nitrated α-synuclein forms as highly transferable protein species. These findings substantiate the relevance of oxidative injury in PD pathogenetic processes, establish a relationship between oxidative stress and vulnerability to α-synuclein pathology and define a new mechanism, enhanced cell-to-cell α-synuclein transmission, by which oxidative stress could promote PD development and progression.
Ruth E. Musgrove, Michael Helwig, Eun-Jin Bae, Helia Aboutalebi, Seung-Jae Lee, Ayse Ulusoy, Donato A. Di Monte
Beta-arrestin-1 and -2 (Barr1 and Barr2, respectively) are intracellular signaling molecules that regulate many important metabolic functions. We previously demonstrated that mice lacking Barr2 selectively in pancreatic beta-cells showed pronounced metabolic impairments. Here we investigated whether Barr1 plays a similar role in regulating beta-cell function and whole body glucose homeostasis. Initially, we inactivated the Barr1 gene in beta-cells of adult mice (beta-barr1-KO mice). Beta-barr1-KO mice did not display any obvious phenotypes in a series of in vivo and in vitro metabolic tests. However, glibenclamide and tolbutamide, two widely used antidiabetic drugs of the sulfonylurea (SU) family, showed greatly reduced efficacy in stimulating insulin secretion in the KO mice in vivo and in perifused KO islets in vitro. Additional in vivo and in vitro studies demonstrated that Barr1 enhanced SU-stimulated insulin secretion by promoting SU-mediated activation of Epac2. Pull-down and co-immunoprecipitation experiments showed that Barr1 can directly interact with Epac2 and that SUs such as glibenclamide promote Barr1/Epac2 complex formation, triggering enhanced Rap1 signaling and insulin secretion. These findings suggest that strategies aimed at promoting Barr1 signaling in beta-cells may prove useful for the development of efficacious antidiabetic drugs.
Luiz F. Barella, Mario Rossi, Lu Zhu, Yinghong Cui, Fang C. Mei, Xiaodong Cheng, Wei Chen, Vsevolod V. Gurevich, Jürgen Wess
Cyclooxygenase 2 (Cox2) total knockout and myeloid knockout (MKO) mice develop Crohn’s-like intestinal inflammation when fed cholate-containing high fat diet (CCHF). We demonstrated that CCHF impaired intestinal barrier function and increased translocation of endotoxin, initiating TLR/MyD88-dependent inflammation in Cox2 KO but not WT mice. Cox2 MKO increased pro-inflammatory mediators in LPS-activated macrophages, and in the intestinal tissue and plasma upon CCHF challenge. Cox2 MKO also reduced inflammation resolving lipoxin A4 (LXA4) in intestinal tissue, while administration of an LXA4 analog rescued disease in Cox2 MKO mice fed CCHF. The apolipoprotein A-I (APOA1) mimetic 4F mitigated disease in both the Cox2 MKO/CCHF and piroxicam-accelerated Il10-/- models of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and reduced elevated levels of pro-inflammatory mediators in tissue and plasma. APOA1 mimetic Tg6F therapy was also effective in reducing intestinal inflammation in the Cox2 MKO/CCHF model. We further demonstrated that APOA1 mimetic peptides: i) inhibited LPS and oxidized 1-palmitoyl-2-arachidonoyl-sn-phosphatidylcholine (oxPAPC) dependent pro-inflammatory responses in human macrophages and intestinal epithelium; and ii) directly cleared pro-inflammatory lipids from mouse intestinal tissue and plasma. Our results support a causal role for pro-inflammatory and inflammation resolving lipids in IBD pathology and a translational potential for APOA1 mimetic peptides for the treatment of IBD.
David Meriwether, Dawoud Sulaiman, Carmen Volpe, Anna Dorfman, Victor Grijalva, Nasrin Dorreh, R. Sergio Solorzano-Vargas, Jiafang Wang, Ellen O’Connor, Jeremy Papesh, Muriel Larauche, Hannah Trost, Mayakonda N. Palgunachari, G.M. Anantharamaiah, Harvey R. Herschman, Martin G. Martin, Alan M. Fogelman, Srinivasa T. Reddy
Combined germline and somatic second hit inactivating mutations of the RASA1 gene, which encodes a negative regulator of the Ras signaling pathway, cause blood and lymphatic vascular lesions in the human autosomal dominant vascular disorder capillary malformation-arteriovenous malformation (CM-AVM). How RASA1 mutations in endothelial cells (EC) result in vascular lesions in CM-AVM is unknown. Here, using different murine models of RASA1-deficiency, we found that RASA1 was essential for the survival of EC during developmental angiogenesis in which primitive vascular plexuses are remodeled into hierarchical vascular networks. RASA1 was required for EC survival during developmental angiogenesis because it was necessary for export of collagen IV from EC and deposition in vascular basement membranes. In the absence of RASA1, dysregulated Ras mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signal transduction in EC resulted in impaired folding of collagen IV and its retention in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) leading to EC death. Remarkably, the chemical chaperone, 4-phenylbutyric acid, and small molecule inhibitors of MAPK and 2-oxoglutarate dependent collagen IV modifying enzymes rescued ER retention of collagen IV and EC apoptosis and resulted in normal developmental angiogenesis. These findings have important implications with regards an understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of CM-AVM and possible means of treatment.
Di Chen, Joyce Teng, Paula North, Philip E. Lapinski, Philip D. King
Environmental triggers, including those from pathogens, are thought to play an important role in triggering autoimmune diseases, such as vasculitis, in genetically susceptible individuals. The mechanism by which activation of the innate immune system contributes to vessel-specific autoimmunity in vasculitis is not known. Systemic administration of Candida albicans water-soluble extract (CAWS) induces vasculitis in the aortic root and coronary arteries of mice that mimics human Kawasaki disease. We found that Dectin-2 signaling in macrophages resident in the aortic root of the heart induced early CCL2 production and the initial recruitment of CCR2+ inflammatory monocytes (iMo) into the aortic root and coronary arteries. iMo differentiated into monocyte-derived dendritic cells (Mo-DC) in the vessel wall and were induced to release IL-1β in a Dectin-2-Syk-NLRP3 inflammasome dependent pathway. IL-1β then activated cardiac endothelial cells to express CXCL1 and CCL2 and adhesion molecules that induced neutrophil and further iMo recruitment and accumulation in the aortic root and coronary arteries. Our findings demonstrate that Dectin-2-mediated induction of CCL2 production by macrophages resident in the aortic root and coronary arteries initiates vascular inflammation in a model of Kawasaki disease, suggesting an important role for the innate immune system in initiating vasculitis.
Chie Miyabe, Yoshishige Miyabe, Laura Moreno, Jeffrey Lian, Rod A. Rahimi, Noriko N. Miura, Naohito Ohno, Yoichiro Iwakura, Tamihiro Kawakami, Andrew D. Luster
Elevated blood glucose (hyperglycemia) is a hallmark metabolic abnormality in diabetes. Hyperglycemia is associated with protein kinase A (PKA)-mediated stimulation of L-type Ca2+ channels in arterial myocytes resulting in increased vasoconstriction. However, the mechanisms by which glucose activates PKA remain unclear. Here, we showed that elevating extracellular glucose stimulates cAMP production in arterial myocytes, and that this was specifically dependent on adenylyl cyclase 5 (AC5) activity. Super-resolution imaging suggested nanometer proximity between subpopulations of AC5 and the L-type Ca2+ channel pore-forming subunit CaV1.2. In vitro, in silico, ex vivo and in vivo experiments revealed that this close association is critical for stimulation of L-type Ca2+ channels in arterial myocytes and increased myogenic tone upon acute hyperglycemia. This pathway supported the increase in L-type Ca2+ channel activity and myogenic tone in two animal models of diabetes. Our collective findings demonstrate a unique role for AC5 in PKA-dependent modulation of L-type Ca2+ channel activity and vascular reactivity during acute hyperglycemia and diabetes.
Arsalan U. Syed, Gopireddy R. Reddy, Debapriya Ghosh, Maria Paz Prada, Matthew A. Nystoriak, Stefano Morotti, Eleonora Grandi, Padmini Sirish, Nipavan Chiamvimonvat, Johannes W. Hell, Luis F. Santana, Yang K. Xiang, Madeline Nieves-Cintrón, Manuel F. Navedo
Physiological effects of cellular hypoxia are sensed by prolyl hydroxylase (PHD) enzymes which regulate HIFs. Genetic interventions on HIF/PHD pathways reveal multiple phenotypes that extend the known biology of hypoxia. Recent studies unexpectedly implicate HIF in aspects of multiple immune and inflammatory pathways. However such studies are often limited by systemic lethal effects and/or use tissue-specific recombination systems, which are inherently irreversible, un-physiologically restricted and difficult to time. To study these processes better we developed recombinant mice which express tetracycline-regulated shRNAs broadly targeting the main components of the HIF/PHD pathway, permitting timed bi-directional intervention. We have shown that stabilization of HIF levels in adult mice through PHD2 enzyme silencing by RNA interference, or inducible recombination of floxed alleles, results in multi-lineage leukocytosis and features of autoimmunity. This phenotype was rapidly normalized on re-establishment of the hypoxia-sensing machinery when shRNA expression was discontinued. In both situations these effects were mediated principally through the Hif2a isoform. Assessment of cells bearing regulatory T cell markers from these mice revealed defective function and pro-inflammatory effects in vivo. We believe our findings have shown a new role for the PHD2/Hif2a couple in the reversible regulation of T cell and immune activity.
Atsushi Yamamoto, Joanna Hester, Philip S. Macklin, Kento Kawai, Masateru Uchiyama, Daniel Biggs, Tammie Bishop, Katherine Bull, Xiaotong Cheng, Eleanor Cawthorne, Mathew L. Coleman, Tanya L. Crockford, Ben Davies, Lukas E. Dow, Rob Goldin, Kamil Kranc, Hiromi Kudo, Hannah Lawson, James McAuliffe, Kate Milward, Cheryl L. Scudamore, Elizabeth Soilleux, Fadi Issa, Peter J. Ratcliffe, Chris W. Pugh
Resistance to immunotherapy is one of the biggest problems of current oncotherapeutics. WhileT cell abundance is essential for tumor responsiveness to immunotherapy, factors that define the T cell inflamed tumor microenvironment are not fully understood. We conducted an unbiased approach to identify tumor-intrinsic mechanisms shaping the immune tumor microenvironment(TME), focusing on pancreatic adenocarcinoma because it is refractory to immunotherapy and excludes T cells from the TME. From human tumors, we identified EPHA2 as a candidate tumor intrinsic driver of immunosuppression. Epha2 deletion reversed T cell exclusion and sensitized tumors to immunotherapy. We found that PTGS2, the gene encoding cyclooxygenase-2, lies downstream of EPHA2 signaling through TGFβ and is associated with poor patient survival. Ptgs2 deletion reversed T cell exclusion and sensitized tumors to immunotherapy; pharmacological inhibition of PTGS2 was similarly effective. Thus, EPHA2-PTGS2 signaling in tumor cells regulates tumor immune phenotypes; blockade may represent a novel therapeutic avenue for immunotherapy-refractory cancers. Our findings warrant clinical trials testing the effectiveness of therapies combining EPHA2-TGFβ-PTGS2 pathway inhibitors with anti-tumor immunotherapy, and may change the treatment of notoriously therapy-resistant pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
Nune Markosyan, Jinyang Li, Yu H. Sun, Lee P. Richman, Jeffrey H. Lin, Fangxue Yan, Liz Quinones, Yogev Sela, Taiji Yamazoe, Naomi Gordon, John W. Tobias, Katelyn T. Byrne, Andrew J. Rech, Garret A. FitzGerald, Ben Z. Stanger, Robert H. Vonderheide
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a multi-organ progressive genetic disease caused by loss of functional cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) channel. Previously, we identified a significant dysfunction in CF cells and model mice of the transcription factor nuclear-factor-E2-related factor-2 (Nrf2), a major regulator of redox balance and inflammatory signaling. Here we report that approved F508del CFTR correctors VX809/VX661 recover diminished Nrf2 function and colocalization with CFTR in CF human primary bronchial epithelia by proximity ligation assay, immunoprecipitation, and immunofluorescence, concordant with CFTR correction. F508del CFTR correctors induced Nrf2 nuclear translocation, Nrf2-dependent luciferase activity, and transcriptional activation of target genes. Rescue of Nrf2 function by VX809/VX661 was dependent on significant correction of F508del and was blocked by inhibition of corrected channel function, or high-level shRNA knockdown of CFTR or F508del-CFTR. Mechanistically, F508del-CFTR modulation restored Nrf2 phosphorylation and its interaction with the coactivator CBP. Our findings demonstrate that sufficient modulation of F508del CFTR function corrects Nrf2 dysfunction in CF.
Dana C. Borcherding, Matthew E. Siefert, Songbai Lin, John Brewington, Hesham Sadek, John P. Clancy, Scott M. Plafker, Assem G. Ziady
Background: While the human fetal immune system defaults to a program of tolerance, there is concurrent need for protective immunity to meet the antigenic challenges encountered after birth. Activation of T cells in utero is associated with the fetal inflammatory response with broad implications for the health of the fetus and of the pregnancy. However, the characteristics of the fetal effector T cells that contribute to this process are largely unknown. Methods: We analyzed primary human fetal lymphoid and mucosal tissues and performed phenotypic, functional, and transcriptional analysis to identify T cells with pro-inflammatory potential. The frequency and function of fetal-specific effector T cells was assessed in the cord blood of infants with localized and systemic inflammatory pathologies and compared to healthy term controls. Results: We identified a transcriptionally distinct population of CD4+ T cells characterized by expression of the transcription factor Promyelocytic Leukemia Zinc Finger (PLZF). PLZF+ CD4+ T cells were specifically enriched in the fetal intestine, possessed an effector memory phenotype, and rapidly produced pro-inflammatory cytokines. Engagement of the C-type lectin CD161 on these cells inhibited TCR-dependent production of IFNγ in a fetal-specific manner. IFNγ-producing PLZF+ CD4+ T cells were enriched in the cord blood of infants with gastroschisis, a natural model of chronic inflammation originating from the intestine, as well as in preterm birth, suggesting these cells contribute to fetal systemic immune activation. Conclusion: Our work reveals a fetal-specific program of protective immunity whose dysregulation is associated with fetal and neonatal inflammatory pathologies.
Joanna Halkias, Elze Rackaityte, Sara L. Hillman, Dvir Aran, Ventura F. Mendoza, Lucy R. Marshall, Tippi C. MacKenzie, Trevor D. Burt
Poroma is a benign skin tumor exhibiting terminal sweat gland duct differentiation. The present study aimed to explore the potential role of gene fusions in the tumorigenesis of poromas. RNA sequencing and reverse transcription PCR identified highly recurrent YAP1-MAML2 and YAP1-NUTM1 fusions in poromas (92/104 lesions, 88.5%) and their rare malignant counterpart, porocarcinomas (7/11 lesions, 63.6%). A WWTR1-NUTM1 fusion was identified in a single lesion of poroma. Fluorescent in-situ hybridization confirmed genomic rearrangements involving these genetic loci. Immunohistochemical staining could readily identify the YAP1 fusion products as nuclear expression of the N-terminal portion of YAP1 with a lack of the C-terminal portion. YAP1 and WWTR1, also known as YAP and TAZ, respectively, encode paralogous transcriptional activators of TEAD, which are negatively regulated by the Hippo signaling pathway. The YAP1 and WWTR1 fusions strongly transactivated a TEAD reporter and promoted anchorage-independent growth, confirming their tumorigenic roles. Our results demonstrate the frequent presence of transforming YAP1 fusions in poromas and porocarcinomas and suggest YAP1/TEAD-dependent transcription as a candidate therapeutic target against porocarcinoma.
Shigeki Sekine, Tohru Kiyono, Eijitsu Ryo, Reiko Ogawa, Susumu Wakai, Hitoshi Ichikawa, Koyu Suzuki, Satoru Arai, Koji Tsuta, Mitsuaki Ishida, Yuko Sasajima, Naoki Goshima, Naoya Yamazaki, Taisuke Mori
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is a deadly disease with limited therapies. Tissue fibrosis is associated with Type 2 immune response, although the causal contribution of immune cells is not defined. The AP-1 transcription factor Fra-2 is upregulated in IPF lung sections and Fra-2 transgenic mice (Fra-2tg) exhibit spontaneous lung fibrosis. Here we show that Bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis is attenuated upon myeloid-inactivation of Fra-2 and aggravated in Fra-2tg bone marrow chimeras. Type VI collagen (ColVI), a Fra-2 transcriptional target, is up-regulated in three lung fibrosis models, and macrophages promote myofibroblast activation in vitro in a ColVI- and Fra-2-dependent manner. Fra-2 or ColVI inactivation does not affect macrophage recruitment and alternative activation, suggesting that Fra-2/ColVI specifically controls the paracrine pro-fibrotic activity of macrophages. Importantly, ColVI knock-out mice (KO) and ColVI-KO bone marrow chimeras are protected from Bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis. Therapeutic administration of a Fra-2/AP-1 inhibitor reduces ColVI expression and ameliorates fibrosis in Fra-2tg mice and in the Bleomycin model. Finally, Fra-2 and ColVI positively correlate in IPF patient samples and co-localize in lung macrophages. Therefore, the Fra-2/ColVI pro-fibrotic axis is a promising biomarker and therapeutic target for lung fibrosis, and possibly other fibrotic diseases.
Alvaro C. Ucero, Latifa Bakiri, Ben Roediger, Masakatsu Suzuki, Maria Jimenez, Pratyusha Mandal, Paola Braghetta, Paolo Bonaldo, Luis Paz-Ares, Coral Fustero-Torre, Pilar Ximenez-Embun, Ana Isabel Hernandez, Diego Megias, Erwin F. Wagner
Receptor activator of Nfkb ligand (RANKL) activates, while osteoprotegerin (OPG) inhibits, osteoclastogenesis. In turn a neutralizing Ab against RANKL, denosumab improves bone strength in osteoporosis. OPG also improves muscle strength in mouse models of Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy (mdx) and denervation-induce atrophy, but its role and mechanisms of action on muscle weakness in other conditions remains to be investigated. We investigated the effects of RANKL inhibitors on muscle in osteoporotic women and mice that either overexpress RANKL (HuRANKL-Tg+), or lack Pparb and concomitantly develop sarcopenia (Pparb-/-). In women, denosumab over 3 years improved appendicular lean mass and handgrip strength compared to no treatment, whereas bisphosphonate did not. HuRANKL-Tg+ mice displayed lower limb force and maximal speed, while their leg muscle mass was diminished, with a lower number of type I and II fibers. Both OPG and denosumab increased limb force proportionally to the increase in muscle mass. They markedly improved muscle insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake, and decrease anti-myogenic and inflammatory gene expression in muscle, such as myostatin and protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor-γ. Similarly, in Pparb-/-, OPG increased muscle volume and force, while also normalizing their insulin signaling and higher expression of inflammatory genes in skeletal muscle. In conclusions, RANKL deteriorates, while its inhibitor improves, muscle strength and insulin sensitivity in osteoporotic mice and humans. Hence denosumab could represent a novel therapeutic approach for sarcopenia.
Nicolas Bonnet, Lucie Bourgoin, Emmanuel Biver, Eleni Douni, Serge Ferrari