Background: Patients with diffuse midline gliomas (DMG), including diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), have dismal outcomes. We previously described the H3.3K27M mutation as a shared neoantigen in HLA-A*02.01+ H3.3K27M+ DMGs. Within the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium, we assessed safety and efficacy of an H3.3K27M-targeted peptide vaccine. Patients and Methods: Newly diagnosed patients aged 3-21 years with HLA-A*02.01+ and H3.3K27M+ status were enrolled into Stratum A (DIPG) and Stratum B (non-pontine DMG). Vaccine was administered in combination with poly-ICLC every three weeks for eight cycles, followed by once every six weeks. Immuno-monitoring and imaging occurred every three months. Imaging was centrally reviewed. Immunological responses were assessed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells using mass cytometry. Results: 19 patients enrolled in Stratum A (median age=11 years) and 10 in Stratum B (median age=13 years). There were no grade 4 treatment-related adverse events (TRAE). Injection site reaction was the most commonly reported TRAE. Overall survival (OS) at 12 months was 40% (95% CI, 22% to 73%) for Stratum A and 39% (95% CI, 16% to 93%) for Stratum B. The median OS was 16.1 months in patients exhibiting an expansion of H3.3K27M-reactive CD8+ T-cells compared to 9.8 months for their counterparts (p=0.05). DIPG patients with below-median baseline levels of myeloid-derived suppressor cells had prolonged OS compared to their counterparts (p<0.01). Immediate pre-treatment dexamethasone administration inversely associated with H3.3K27M-reactive CD8+ T-cell responses. Conclusion: Administration of the H3.3K27M-specific vaccine is well tolerated. Patients with H3.3K27M-specific CD8+ immunological responses demonstrated prolonged OS compared to non-responders.
Sabine Mueller, Jared M. Taitt, Javier E. Villanueva-Meyer, Erin R. Bonner, Takahide Nejo, Rishi R Lulla, Stewart Goldman, Anu Banerjee, Susan N. Chi, Nicholas S. Whipple, John R. Crawford, Karen Gauvain, Kellie J. Nazemi, Payal B. Watchmaker, Neil D. Almeida, Kaori Okada, Andres M. Salazar, Ryan D. Gilbert, Javad Nazarian, Annette M. Molinaro, Lisa H. Butterfield, Michael D. Prados, Hideho Okada
BACKGROUND. Current methods for the detection and surveillance of bladder cancer (BCa) are often invasive and/or possess suboptimal sensitivity and specificity, especially in early stage, minimal, residual tumors. METHODS. We developed a novel method for the detection of urine tumor DNA Methylation at multiple genomic regions by Mass Array, termed utMeMA. We identified the BCa-specific methylation markers by combined analyses of Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital (SYSMH), TCGA and GEO cohorts. The BCa diagnostic model was built in a retrospective cohort (n=313) and validated in a multicenter, prospective cohort (n=175). The performance of this diagnostic assay was analyzed and compared with urine cytology and FISH. RESULTS. We first discovered 26 significant methylation markers of BCa in combined analyses. We build and validate a two-marker-based diagnostic model that discriminated patients with BCa with high accuracy (86.7%), sensitivity (90.0%) and specificity (83.1%). Furthermore, utMeMA based assay achieved a great improvement in sensitivity over urine cytology and FISH, especially in the detection of early stage (Ta and low grade tumor, 64.5% vs. 11.8%, 15.8%), minimal (81.0% vs. 14.8%, 37.9%), residual (93.3% vs. 27.3%, 64.3%) and recurrent (89.5% vs. 31.4%, 52.8%) tumors. The urine diagnostic score (UD-score) from this assay was better associated with tumor malignancy and burden. CONCLUSIONS. Urine tumor DNA methylation assessment for early diagnosis, minimal, residual tumor detection and surveillance in bladder cancer is a rapid, high-throughput, non-invasive and promising approach, which may reduce the burden of cystoscopy and blind second surgery.
Xu Chen, Jingtong Zhang, Weimei Ruan, Ming Huang, Chanjuan Wang, Hong Wang, Zeyu Jiang, Shaogang Wang, Zheng Liu, Chunxiao Liu, Wanlong Tan, Jin Yang, Jiaxin Chen, Zhiwei Chen, Xia Li, Xiaoyu Zhang, Peng Xu, Lin Chen, Ruihui Xie, Qianghua Zhou, Shizhong Xu, Darryl Irwin, JIAN-BING FAN, Jian Huang, Tianxin Lin
Clinical trials are currently testing whether induction of MHC-haploidentical mixed chimerism (Haplo-MC) induces organ transplantation tolerance. Whether Haplo-MC can be used to treat established autoimmune diseases remains unknown. Here, we show that established autoimmunity in euthymic and adult-thymectomized NOD (H-2g7) mice was cured by induction of Haplo-MC under a non-myeloablative anti-thymocyte globulin-based conditioning regimen and infusion of CD4+ T-depleted hematopoietic graft from H-2b/g7 F1 donors that express autoimmune-resistant H-2b or from H-2s/g7 F1 donors that express autoimmune susceptible H-2s. The cure was associated with enhanced thymic negative selection, increased thymic Treg (tTreg) production, and anergy or exhaustion of residual host-type autoreactive T cells in the periphery. The peripheral tolerance was accompanied with expansion of donor- and host-type CD62L1Helios+ tTreg as well as host-type Helios-Nrp1+ peripheral Treg (pTreg) and PD-L1hi plasmacytoid DCs (pDC). Depletion of donor- or host-type Treg cells led to reduction of host-type PD-L1hi pDCs and recurrence of autoimmunity; whereas PD-L1 deficiency in host-type DCs led to reduction of host-type pDCs and Helios-Nrp1+ pTreg cells. Thus, induction of Haplo-MC re-established both central and peripheral tolerance through mechanisms that depend on allo-MHC+ donor-type DC, PD-L1hi host-type DCs, and the generation and persistence of donor and host-type tTreg and pTreg cells.
Yuqing Liu, Xiaoqi Wang, Yongping Zhu, Mingfeng Zhang, Ubaydah Nasri, Sharne S. Sun, Stephen J. Forman, Arthur D. Riggs, Zhang Xi, Defu Zeng
Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination induces variable protection against pulmonary tuberculosis (TB), and a more effective TB vaccine is needed. The potential for BCG to provide protection against heterologous infections, by induction of innate immune memory, is increasingly recognised. These non-specific responses may substantially benefit public health, but are also variable. In this issue of the JCI, Koeken and de Bree et al. report that BCG reduces circulating inflammatory markers in males but not in females, whilst de Bree and Mouritis et al. describe how diurnal rhythms affect the degree of BCG-induced innate memory. These studies further delineate factors that influence the magnitude of responses to BCG and may be crucial to harnessing its potential benefits.
Sarah Prentice, Hazel M. Dockrell
Epstein-Barr virus-induced gene 3 (EBI3) is a subunit common to IL-27, IL-35, and IL-39. Here, we explore an intracellular role of EBI3 independent of function as cytokines. EBI3-deficient naive CD4+ T cells had reduced IFN-γ production and failed to induce T cell-dependent colitis in mice. Similarly reduced IFN-γ production was observed in vitro in EBI3-deficient CD4+ T cells differentiated under pathogenic Th17 polarizing conditions with IL-23. This is because the induction of expression of one of IL-23 receptor (R) subunits, IL-23Rα, but not another IL-23R subunit, IL-12Rβ1, was selectively decreased at the protein level but not the mRNA level. EBI3 augmented IL-23Rα expression via binding to the chaperone molecule calnexin and to IL-23Rα in a peptide-dependent manner, but not glycan-dependent manner. Indeed, EBI3 failed to augment the IL-23Rα expression in the absence of endogenous calnexin. Moreover, EBI3 poorly augmented the expression of G149R, an IL-23Rα variant that protects against the development of human colitis, because binding of EBI3 to the variant was reduced. Taking together with the result that EBI3 expression is inducible in T cells, the present results suggest that EBI3 plays a critical role in augmenting IL-23Rα protein expression via calnexin under inflammatory conditions.
Izuru Mizoguchi, Mio Ohashi, Hideaki Hasegawa, Yukino Chiba, Naoko Orii, Shinya Inoue, Chiaki Kawana, Mingli Xu, Katsuko Sudo, Koji Fujita, Masahiko Kuroda, Shin-ichi Hashimoto, Kouji Matsushima, Takayuki Yoshimoto
Hypoxia can be defined as a relative deficiency in the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues. Hypoxia inducible factors (HIFs) are critical regulators of the mammalian response to hypoxia. In normal circumstances, HIF-1α protein turnover is rapid, and hyperglycemia further destabilizes the protein. In addition to their role in diabetes pathogenesis, HIFs are implicated in development of the microvascular and macrovascular complications of diabetes. Improving glucose control in people with diabetes increases HIF-1α protein and has wide-ranging benefits, some of which are at least partially mediated by HIF-1α. Despite this, most strategies to improve diabetes or its complications via regulating HIF-1α have not proven currently clinically useful. The intersection of HIF biology with diabetes is a complex area in which many further questions remain, especially around the well-conducted and clearly-described discrepant effects of different methods of increasing HIF-1α, even within the same tissues. This review will present a brief overview of HIFs, discuss the range of evidence implicating HIFs in β-cell dysfunction, diabetes pathogenesis, and diabetes complications, and examine the differing outcomes of HIF-targeting approaches in these conditions.
Jenny E. Gunton
Interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs) are pacemaker cells in the intestine, and their function can be compromised due to loss of C-KIT expression. Macrophage activation has been identified in intestine affected by Hirschsprung disease associated enterocolitis (HAEC). In this study, we examined proinflammatory macrophage activation and explored the mechanisms by which this down-regulates C-KIT expression in ICCs in colon affected by HAEC. We found that macrophage activation and TNF-α production were dramatically increased in the proximal dilated colon of HAEC patients and 3-week old Ednrb-/- mice. Moreover, ICCs lost their C-KIT+ phenotype in the dilated colon, resulting in damaged pacemaker function and intestinal dysmotility. However, macrophage depletion or TNF-α neutralization led to recovery of ICC phenotype and restored their pacemaker function. In isolated ICCs, TNF-α-mediated phosphorylated-P65 induced over-expression of miR221, resulting in suppression of C-KIT expression and pacemaker currents. We also identified a TNF-α-NF-κB-miR221 pathway which downregulated C-KIT expression in ICCs in the colon affected by HAEC. These findings suggest the important roles of proinflammatory macrophage activation in a phenotypic switch of ICCs, representing a promising therapeutic target for HAEC.
Xuyong Chen, Xinyao Meng, Hongyi Zhang, Chenzhao Feng, Bin Wang, Ning Li, Khalid Mohamoud Abdullahi, Xiaojuan Wu, Jixin Yang, Zhi Li, Chunlei Jiao, Jia Wei, Xiaofeng Xiong, Kang Fu, Lei Yu, Gail Besner, Jiexiong Feng
BACKGROUND. COVID-19 patients develop pneumonia generally associated to lymphopenia and severe inflammatory response due to uncontrolled cytokine release. These mediators are transcriptionally regulated by the JAK-STAT signaling pathways, which can be disabled by small molecules. METHODS. A group of subjects (n = 20) was treated with baricitinib according to an off-label use of the drug. The study was designed as an observational longitudinal trial and approved by the local ethical committee. The patients were treated with baricitinib 4 mg twice daily for 2 days, followed by 4 mg per day for the remaining 7 days. Changes in the immune phenotype and expression of pSTAT3 in blood cells were evaluated and correlated with serum-derived cytokine levels and antibodies anti-SARS-CoV-2. In a single treated patient, we evaluated also the alteration of myeloid cell functional activity. RESULTS. We provided evidences that baricitinib-treated patients have a marked reduction in serum levels of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1β and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, a rapid recovery in circulating T and B cell frequencies, and increased antibody production against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which were clinically associated with a reduction in oxygen flow need and progressive increase in the P/F. CONCLUSION. Baricitinib prevented the progression towards a severe/extreme form of the viral disease by modulating the patients’ immune landscape and these changes were associated with a safer and favorable clinical outcome of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. TRIAL REGISTRATION. The ClinicalTrials.gov identifier of this project is protocol NCT04438629. FUNDING. This work was supported by Fondazione Cariverona (ENACT Project) and Fondazione TIM.
Vincenzo Bronte, Stefano Ugel, Elisa Tinazzi, Antonio Vella, Francesco De Sanctis, Stefania Canè, Veronica Batani, Rosalinda Trovato, Alessandra Fiore, Varvara Petrova, Francesca Hofer, Roza Maria Barouni, Chiara Musiu, Simone Caligola, Laura Pinton, Lorena Torroni, Enrico Polati, Katia Donadello, Simonetta Friso, Francesca Pizzolo, Manuela Iezzi, Federica Facciotti, Pier Giuseppe Pelicci, Daniela Righetti, Paolo Bazzoni, Mariaelisa Rampudda, Andrea C. Comel, Walter Mosaner, Claudio Lunardi, Oliviero Olivieri
Background:While mitochondria play an important role in innate immunity, the relationship between mitochondrial dysfunction and inflammation in heart failure (HF) is poorly understood. In this study we aimed to investigate the mechanistic link between mitochondrial dysfunction and inflammatory activation in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), and the potential anti-inflammatory effect of boosting NAD level.Methods:We compared the PBMC mitochondrial respiration of 19 hospitalized Stage D HF patients with 19 healthy participants. We then created an in vitro model of sterile inflammation by treating healthy PBMC with MitoDAMP (Mitochondrial Damage-Associated Molecular Patterns) isolated from human heart tissue. Lastly, we enrolled Stage D HF patients and sampled their blood before and after taking 5-9 days of oral nicotinamide riboside, an NAD precursor.Results:We demonstrated that HF is associated with both reduced respiratory capacity and elevated proinflammatory cytokine gene expressions. In our in vitro model, MitoDAMP-treated PBMCs secreted IL-6 that impaired mitochondrial respiration by reducing Complex I activity. Last, oral NR administration enhanced PBMC respiration and reduced proinflammatory cytokine gene expression in 4 HF subjects.Conclusion:These findings suggest that systemic inflammation in HF patients is causally linked to mitochondrial function of the PBMC. Increasing NAD levels may have the potential to improve mitochondrial respiration and attenuate proinflammatory activation of PBMC in HF. FundingThis study is funded by NIH R21 HL126209 (to RT and KO), NIH R01 HL144937 (to KO and RT) and University of Washington ITHS Catalyst Award (to DDW). Both BZ (18POST33990352) and DDW (18POST34030098) are funded by the AHA Postdoctoral Fellowships.
Bo Zhou, Dennis D. Wang, Yanhua Qiu, Sophia Airhart, Yaxin Liu, April Stempien-Otero, Kevin D. O’Brien, Rong Tian.
The transcription factor, Mef2d, is important in the regulation of differentiation and adaptive responses in many cell types. Among T cells, Mef2d gains new functions in Foxp3+ T-regulatory (Treg) cells as a result of its interactions with the transcription factor, Foxp3, and its release from canonical partners, like histone/protein deacetylases. Though not necessary for the generation and maintenance of Tregs, Mef2d is required for the expression of IL-10, Ctla-4 and Icos, and for the acquisition of an effector Treg phenotype. At these loci, Mef2d acts both synergistically and additively to Foxp3, and down-stream of Blimp1. Mice with the conditional deletion in Tregs of the gene encoding Mef2d are unable to maintain long-term allograft survival despite costimulation blockade and have enhanced antitumor immunity in syngeneic models, but they display only minor evidence of autoimmunity when maintained under normal conditions. The role played by Mef2d in sustaining effector Foxp3+ Treg functions without abrogating their basal actions suggests its suitability for drug discovery efforts in cancer therapy.
Eros Di Giorgio, Liqing Wang, Yan Xiong, Tatiana Akimova, Lanette M. Christensen, Rongxiang Han, Arabinda Samanta, Matteo Trevisanut, Tricia R. Bhatti, Ulf H. Beier, Wayne W. Hancock
No treatment for frontotemporal dementia (FTD), the second most common early-onset dementia, is available but therapeutics are being investigated to target the two main proteins associated with FTD pathological subtypes: TDP-43 (FTLD-TDP) and tau (FTLD-tau). Testing potential therapies in clinical trials is hamstrung by our inability to distinguish between patients with FTLD-TDP and FTLD-tau. Therefore, we evaluated truncated stathmin-2 (STMN2) as a proxy of TDP-43 pathology, given reports that TDP-43 dysfunction causes truncated STMN2 accumulation. Truncated STMN2 accumulated in human iPSC-derived neurons depleted of TDP-43, but not in those with pathogenic TARDBP mutations in the absence of TDP-43 aggregation or loss of nuclear protein. In RNA-seq analyses of human brain samples from the NYGC ALS cohort, truncated STMN2 RNA was confined to tissues and disease sub-types marked by TDP-43 inclusions. Lastly, we validated that truncated STMN2 RNA is elevated in the frontal cortex of a cohort of FTLD-TDP cases but not in controls or cases with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a type of FTLD-tau. Further, in FTLD-TDP, we observed significant associations of truncated STMN2 RNA with phosphorylated TDP-43 levels and an earlier age of disease onset. Overall, our data uncovered truncated STMN2 as a marker for TDP-43 dysfunction in FTD.
Mercedes Prudencio, Jack Humphrey, Sarah Pickles, Anna-Leigh Brown, Sarah E. Hill, Jennifer Kachergus, Ji Shi, Michael Heckman, Matthew Spiegel, Casey Cook, Yuping Song, Mei Yue, Lillian Daughrity, Yari Carlomagno, Karen Jansen-West, Cristhoper Fernandez De Castro, Michael DeTure, Shunsuke Koga, Ying-Chih Wang, Prasanth Sivakumar, Cristian Bodo, Ana Candalija, Kevin Talbot, Bhuvaneish T. Selvaraj, Karen Burr, Siddharthan Chandran, Jia Newcombe, Tammaryn Lashley, Isabel Hubbard, Demetra Catalano, Duyang Kim, Nadia Propp, Samantha Fennessey, Delphine Fagegaltier, Hemali Phatnani, Maria Secrier, Elizabeth M.C. Fisher, Björn Oskarsson, Marka van Blitterswijk, Rosa Rademakers, Neill R. Graff-Radford, Bradley Boeve, David S. Knopman, Ronald Petersen, Keith Josephs, E. Aubrey Thompson, Towfique Raj, Michael E. Ward, Dennis Dickson, Tania F. Gendron, Pietro Fratta, Leonard Petrucelli
Gain-of-function mutations in the WNK1 and WNK4 genes are responsible for Familial Hyperkalemic Hypertension (FHHt), a rare inherited disorder characterized by arterial hypertension and hyperkalemia with metabolic acidosis. More recently, FHHt-causing mutations in the KLHL3-CUL3 E3 ubiquitin ligase complex have shed light on the importance of WNKs cellular degradation on renal ion transport. Using full exome sequencing in a four-generation family and then targeted sequencing in other suspected cases, we have identified new missense variants at the WNK1 gene, clustering in the short conserved acidic motif known to interact with the KLHL3-CUL3 ubiquitin complex. Affected subjects had an early-onset and a marked hyperkalemic phenotype, but normal blood pressure values. Functional experiments in Xenopus laevis oocytes and HEK293T cells demonstrated that these mutations strongly decrease the ubiquitination of the kidney-specific isoform KS-WNK1 by the KLHL3-CUL3 complex, rather than the long ubiquitous catalytically active L-WNK1 isoform. A corresponding CRISPR-Cas9 engineered mouse model recapitulated both the clinical and biological phenotype. Renal investigations showed increased activation of the SPAK-NCC phosphorylation cascade, associated with impaired ROMK apical expression in the distal part of the renal tubule. Altogether, these new WNK1 genetic variants highlight the importance of the KS-WNK1 isoform abundance on potassium homeostasis.
Helene Louis-Dit-Picard, Ilektra Kouranti, Chloe Rafael, Irmine Loisel-Ferreira, Maria Chavez-Canales, Waed Abdel Khalek, Eduardo Argaiz, Stephanie Baron, Sarah Vacle, Tiffany Migeon, Richard Coleman, Marcio Do Cruzeiro, Marguerite Hureaux, Nirubiah Thurairajasingam, Stéphane Decramer, Xavier Girerd, Kevin M. O'Shaughnessy, Paolo Mulatero, Gwenaelle Roussey, Ivan Tack, Robert J. Unwin, Rosa Vargas-Poussou, Olivier Staub, P. Richard Grimm, Paul A. Welling, Gerardo Gamba, Eric Clauser, Juliette Hadchouel, Xavier Jeunemaitre
SARS-CoV-2 is responsible for development of COVID-19 in infected individuals, who can either exhibit mild symptoms or progress towards a life-threatening acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Exacerbated inflammation and dysregulated immune responses involving T and myeloid cells occur in COVID-19 patients with severe clinical progression. However, the differential contribution of specific subsets of dendritic cells and monocytes to ARDS is still poorly understood. In addition, the role of CD8+ T cells present in the lung of COVID-19 patients and relevant for viral control has not been characterized. Here, we have studied the frequencies and activation profiles of dendritic cells and monocytes present in the blood and lung of COVID-19 patients with different clinical severity in comparison with healthy individuals. Furthermore, these subpopulations and their association with antiviral effector CD8+ T cell subsets were also characterized in lung infiltrates from critical COVID-19 patients. Our results indicate that inflammatory transitional and non-classical monocytes and CD1c+ conventional dendritic cells preferentially migrate from blood to lungs in patients with severe COVID-19. Thus, this study increases the knowledge on specific myeloid subsets involved in the pathogenesis of COVID-19 disease and could be useful for the design of therapeutic strategies to fight SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Ildefonso Sánchez-Cerrillo, Pedro Landete, Beatriz Aldave, Santiago Sánchez-Alonso, Ana Sánchez-Azofra, Ana Marcos-Jiménez, Elena Ávalos, Ana Alcaraz-Serna, Ignacio de los Santos, Tamara Mateu-Albero, Laura Esparcia, Celia López-Sanz, Pedro Martínez-Fleta, Ligia Gabrie, Luciana del Campo Guerola, Hortensia de la Fuente, María J Calzada, Isidoro González-Álvaro, Arantzazu Alfranca, Francisco Sánchez-Madrid, Cecilia Muñoz-Calleja, Joan B. Soriano, Julio Ancochea, Enrique Martín-Gayo
Background: The recent failure of checkpoint-blockade therapies for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in late-phase clinical trials has directed interest towards adoptive cellular immunotherapies (ACT). In this open-label, first-in-human trial, we have assessed the safety and therapeutic potential of cytomegalovirus (CMV)-specific ACT in an adjuvant setting for patients with primary GBM, with an ultimate goal to prevent or delay recurrence and prolong overall survival. Methods: Twenty-eight patients with primary GBM were recruited to this prospective study, 25 of whom were treated with in vitro-expanded autologous CMV-specific T cells. Participants were monitored for safety, progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS) and immune reconstitution. Results: No participants showed evidence of ACT-related toxicities. Of 25 evaluable participants, ten were alive at the completion of follow-up, while five were disease free. Reconstitution of CMV-specific T-cell immunity was evident and CMV-specific ACT may trigger bystander effect leading to additional T-cell responses to non-viral tumour-associated antigens through epitope spreading. Long-term follow-up of participants treated before recurrence showed significantly improved OS when compared to those who progressed before ACT (median 23 months, range 7–65 vs. median 14 months, range 5–19; p=0.018). Gene expression analysis of the ACT products indicated that a favourable T-cell gene signature was associated with improved long-term survival. Conclusion: Data presented in this study demonstrate that CMV-specific ACT can be safely used as an adjuvant therapy for primary GBM and, if offered before recurrence, this therapy may improve overall survival of GBM patients.Trial registration: anzctr.org.au: ACTRN12615000656538Funding Source:National Health & Medical Research Council (Australia) Trial registration: anzctr.org.au: ACTRN12615000656538 Funding Source: Philanthropic funding &National Health & Medical Research Council (Australia)
Corey Smith, Katie E. Lineburg, J. Paulo Martins, George Ambalathingal, Michelle A. Neller, Beth Morrison, Katherine K. Matthews, Sweera Rehan, Pauline Crooks, Archana Panikkar, Leone Beagley, Laetitia Le Texier, Sriganesh Srihari, David Walker, Rajiv Khanna
Particulate matter < 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) air pollution is the world’s leading environmental risk factor contributing to mortality through cardiometabolic pathways. In this study, we modeled early life exposure using chow-fed C57BL/6J male mice, exposed to real-world inhaled concentrated PM2.5 (~10 times ambient levels / ~60-120ug/m3) or filtered air over 14 weeks. We investigated PM2.5 effects on phenotype, transcriptome and chromatin accessibility, compared the effects with a prototypical high-fat diet (HFD) stimulus, and examined cessation of exposure on reversibility of phenotype. Exposure to PM2.5 impaired glucose and insulin tolerance, reduced energy expenditure and 18FDG-PET uptake in brown adipose tissue. Multiple differentially expressed gene (DEG) clusters in pathways involving metabolism and circadian rhythm were noted in insulin responsive tissues. Although the magnitude of transcriptional change seen with PM2.5 was lower than HFD, the degree of alteration in chromatin accessibility after PM2.5 exposure was significant. A novel chromatin remodeler SMARCA5 (SWI/SNF complex) was regulated in response to PM2.5 with cessation of exposure associated with reversal of insulin resistance, restoration of chromatin accessibility/nucleosome positioning near transcription start sites (TSS) and exposure induced changes in the transcriptome including SMARCA5, indicating pliable epigenetic control mechanisms following exposure cessation.
Sanjay Rajagopalan, Bongsoo Park, Rengasamy Palanivel, Vinesh Vinayachandran, Jeffrey A. Deiuliis, Roopesh Singh Gangwar, Lopa M. Das, Jinhu Yin, Youngshim Choi, Sadeer Al-Kindi, Mukesh K. Jain, Kasper D. Hansen, Shyam Biswal
Background. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell immunotherapy has achieved complete remission and durable response in highly refractory patients. However, logistical complexity and high costs of manufacturing autologous viral products limit CAR T cell availability. Methods. We reported the early results of a phase I/II trial in B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) patients relapsed after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) using donor-derived CD19 CAR T cells generated with the Sleeping Beauty (SB) transposon and differentiated into cytokine induced killer cells (CIK). Results. The cellular product was produced successfully for all patients from the donor peripheral blood (PB) and consisted mostly of CD3+ lymphocytes with 43% CAR expression. Four pediatric and 9 adult patients were infused with a single dose of CAR T cells. Toxicities reported were two grade I and a grade II cytokine release syndrome (CRS) cases at the highest dose, in the absence of graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), neurotoxicity, or dose-limiting toxicities. Six out of 7 patients, receiving the highest doses, achieved CR and CRi at day 28. Five out of 6 patients in CR were also minimal residual disease (MRD)-negative. Robust expansion was achieved in the majority of the patients. CAR T cells were measurable by transgene copy PCR up to 10 months. Integration site analysis showed a positive safety profile and highly polyclonal repertoire in vitro and at early time points after infusion. Conclusion. SB-engineered CAR T cells expand and persist in pediatric and adult B-ALL patients relapsed after HSCT. Anti-leukemic activity was achieved without severe toxicities. Trial registration. clinicaltrials.gov NCT03389035.Funding. This study was supported by grants from AIRC; CRUK; FC AECC; Ministero della salute; FRRB.
Chiara F. Magnani, Giuseppe Gaipa, Federico Lussana, Daniela Belotti, Giuseppe Gritti, Sara Napolitano, Giada Matera, Benedetta Cabiati, Chiara Buracchi, Gianmaria Borleri, Grazia Fazio, Silvia Zaninelli, Sarah Tettamanti, Stefania Cesana, Valentina Colombo, Michele Quaroni, Giovanni Cazzaniga, Attilio Rovelli, Ettore Biagi, Stefania Galimberti, Andrea Calabria, Fabrizio Benedicenti, Eugenio Montini, Silvia Ferrari, Martino Introna, Adriana Balduzzi, Maria Grazia Valsecchi, Giuseppe Dastoli, Alessandro Rambaldi, Andrea Biondi
Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) identified DUSP8, a dual-specificity phosphatase targeting MAP kinases, as type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk gene. Here, we unravel Dusp8 as gatekeeper in the hypothalamic control of glucose homeostasis in mice and humans. Male but not female Dusp8 loss-of-function mice, either with global or CRH neuron-specific deletion, had impaired systemic glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity when exposed to high-fat diet (HFD). Mechanistically, we found impaired hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis feedback, blunted sympathetic responsiveness, and chronically elevated corticosterone levels driven by hypothalamic hyperactivation of Jnk signaling. Accordingly, global Jnk1 ablation, AAV-mediated Dusp8 overexpression in the mediobasal hypothalamus, or metyrapone-induced chemical adrenalectomy rescued the impaired glucose homeostasis of obese male Dusp8 KO mice, respectively. The sex-specific role of murine Dusp8 in governing hypothalamic Jnk signaling, insulin sensitivity and systemic glucose tolerance was consistent with fMRI data in human volunteers that revealed an association of the DUSP8 rs2334499 risk variant with hypothalamic insulin resistance in men. Further, expression of DUSP8 was increased in the infundibular nucleus of T2D humans. In summary, our findings suggest the GWAS-identified gene Dusp8 as novel hypothalamic factor that plays a functional role in the etiology of T2D.
Sonja C. Schriever, Dhiraj G. Kabra, Katrin Pfuhlmann, Peter Baumann, Emily V. Baumgart, Joachim Nagler, Fabian Seebacher, Luke Harrison, Martin Irmler, Stephanie Kullmann, Felipe Corrêa-da-Silva, Florian Giesert, Ruchi Jain, Hannah Schug, Julien Castel, Sarah Martinez, Moya Wu, Hans-Ulrich Häring, Martin Hrabe de Angelis, Johannes Beckers, Timo D. Müller, Kerstin Stemmer, Wolfgang Wurst, Jan Rozman, Rubén Nogueiras, Meri De Angelis, Jeffery D. Molkentin, Natalie Krahmer, Chun-Xia Yi, Mathias V. Schmidt, Serge Luquet, Martin Heni, Matthias H. Tschoep, Paul T. Pfluger
Convalescent plasma is a leading treatment for COVID-19, but there is a paucity of data identifying therapeutic efficacy. Among 126 potential convalescent plasma donors, the humoral immune response was evaluated by a SARS-CoV-2 virus neutralization assay using Vero-E6-TMPRSS2 cells, commercial IgG and IgA ELISA to spike(S) protein S1 domain (Euroimmun), IgA, IgG and IgM indirect ELISAs to the full-length S or S-receptor binding domain(S-RBD), and an IgG avidity assay. Multiple linear regression and predictive models were utilized to assess the correlations between antibody responses with demographic and clinical characteristics. IgG titers were greater than either IgM or IgA for S1, full length S, and S-RBD in the overall population. Of the 126 plasma samples, 101(80%) had detectable neutralizing antibody(nAb) titers. Using nAb titers as the reference, the IgG ELISAs confirmed between 95-98% of the nAb positive, but only 20-32% of the nAb negative samples. Male sex, older age, and hospitalization with COVID-19 were associated with increased antibody responses across the serological assays. There was substantial heterogeneity in the antibody response among potential convalescent plasma donors, but sex, age, and hospitalization emerged as factors that can be used to identify individuals with a high likelihood of having strong antiviral antibody responses.
Sabra L. Klein, Andrew Pekosz, Han-Sol Park, Rebecca L. Ursin, Janna R. Shapiro, Sarah E. Benner, Kirsten Littlefield, Swetha Kumar, Harnish Mukesh Naik, Michael Betenbaugh, Ruchee Shrestha, Annie A. Wu, Robert M. Hughes, Imani Burgess, Patrizio Caturegli, Oliver Laeyendecker, Thomas C. Quinn, David J. Sullivan, Shmuel Shoham, Andrew D. Redd, Evan M. Bloch, Arturo Casadevall, Aaron A. R. Tobian
Emerging data indicate that complement and neutrophils contribute to the maladaptive immune response that fuels hyper-inflammation and thrombotic microangiopathy, thereby increasing COVID-19 mortality. Here, we investigated how complement interacts with the platelet/neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs)/thrombin axis, using COVID-19 specimens, cell-based inhibition studies and NETs/human aortic endothelial cell (HAEC) co-cultures. Increased plasma levels of NETs, tissue factor (TF) activity and sC5b-9 were detected in patients. Neutrophils of patients yielded high TF expression and released NETs carrying active TF. Treatment of control neutrophils with COVID-19 platelet-rich plasma generated TF-bearing NETs that induced thrombotic activity of HAEC. Thrombin or NETosis inhibition or C5aR1 blockade attenuated platelet-mediated NET-driven thrombogenicity. COVID-19 serum induced complement activation in vitro, consistent with high complement activity in clinical samples. Complement C3 inhibition with compstatin Cp40 disrupted TF expression in neutrophils. In conclusion, we provide a mechanistic basis for a pivotal role of complement and NETs in COVID-19 immunothrombosis. This study supports strategies against SARS-CoV-2 that exploit complement or NETosis inhibition.
Panagiotis Skendros, Alexandros Mitsios, Akrivi Chrysanthopoulou, Dimitrios C. Mastellos, Simeon Metallidis, Petros Rafailidis, Maria Ntinopoulou, Eleni Sertaridou, Victoria Tsironidou, Christina Tsigalou, Maria G. Tektonidou, Theocharis Konstantinidis, Charalampos Papagoras, Ioannis Mitroulis, Georgios Germanidis, John D. Lambris, Konstantinos Ritis
Mitochondria have emerged as key actors of innate and adaptive immunity. Mitophagy has a pivotal role in cell homeostasis but its contribution to macrophage functions and host defense remains to be delineated. Here we showed that lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in combination with IFNγ, inhibits PINK1-dependent mitophagy in macrophages through a STAT1-dependent activation of the inflammatory caspases 1 and 11. In addition, we demonstrated that the inhibition of mitophagy triggers classical macrophage activation in a mitochondrial ROS-dependent manner. In a murine model of polymicrobial infection (cecal ligature and puncture, CLP), adoptive transfer of Pink1-deficient bone marrow or pharmacological inhibition of mitophagy promoted macrophage activation which favored bactericidal clearance and lead to a better survival. Reciprocally, mitochondrial uncouplers, that promote mitophagy, reverse LPS/IFNγ-mediated activation of macrophages and lead to immuno-paralysis with impaired bacterial clearance and lowered survival. In critically ill patients, we showed that mitophagy is inhibited in blood monocytes of patients with sepsis as compared to non-septic patients. Overall, this work demonstrates that the inhibition of mitophagy is a physiological mechanism that contributes to the activation of myeloid cells and improves the outcome of sepsis.
Danish Patoli, Franck Mignotte, Valérie Deckert, Alois Dusuel, Adelie Dumont, Aurelie Rieu, Antoine Jalil, Kevin Van Dongen, Thibaut Bourgeois, Thomas Gautier, Charlene Magnani, Naig Le Guern, Stéphane Mandard, Jean Bastin, Fatima Djouadi, Christine Schaeffer, Nina Guillaumot, Michel Narce, Maxime Nguyen, Julien Guy, Auguste Dargent, Jean-Pierre Quenot, Mickaël Rialland, David Masson, Johan Auwerx, Laurent Lagrost, Charles Thomas