Cytoplasmic aggregated proteins are a common neuropathological feature of neurodegenerative diseases. Cytoplasmic mislocalization and aggregation of TAR-DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) is found in the majority of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and in approximately 50% of patients dying of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). In this issue of the JCI, Prudencio, Humphrey, Pickles, and colleagues investigated the relationship of TDP-43 pathology with the loss of stathmin-2 (STMN2), an essential protein for axonal growth and maintenance. Comparing genetic, cellular, and neuropathological data from patients with TDP-43 proteinopathies (ALS, ALS–frontotemporal dementia [ALS-FTD], and FTLD-TDP-43 [FTLD-TDP]) with data from patients with non-TDP–related neurodegenerations, they demonstrate a direct relationship between TDP-43 pathology and STMN2 reduction. Loss of the normal transcription suppressor function of TDP-43 allowed transcription of an early termination cryptic axon, resulting in truncated, nonfunctional mRNA. The authors suggest that measurement of truncated STMN2 mRNA could be a biomarker for discerning TDP proteinopathies from other pathologies.
Jonathan D. Glass
Human T cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is mainly transmitted vertically through breast milk. The rate of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) through formula feeding, although significantly lower than through breastfeeding, is approximately 2.4%–3.6%, suggesting the possibility of alternative transmission routes. MTCT of HTLV-1 might occur through the uterus, birth canal, or placental tissues; the latter is known as transplacental transmission. Here, we found that HTLV-1 proviral DNA was present in the placental villous tissues of the fetuses of nearly half of pregnant carriers and in a small number of cord blood samples. An RNA ISH assay showed that HTLV-1–expressing cells were present in nearly all subjects with HTLV-1–positive placental villous tissues, and their frequency was significantly higher in subjects with HTLV-1–positive cord blood samples. Furthermore, placental villous trophoblasts expressed HTLV-1 receptors and showed increased susceptibility to HTLV-1 infection. In addition, HTLV-1–infected trophoblasts expressed high levels of viral antigens and promoted the de novo infection of target T cells in a humanized mouse model. In summary, during pregnancy of HTLV-1 carriers, HTLV-1 was highly expressed in placental villous tissues, and villous trophoblasts showed high HTLV-1 sensitivity, suggesting that MTCT of HTLV-1 occurs through the placenta.
Kenta Tezuka, Naoki Fuchi, Kazu Okuma, Takashi Tsukiyama, Shoko Miura, Yuri Hasegawa, Ai Nagata, Nahoko Komatsu, Hiroo Hasegawa, Daisuke Sasaki, Eita Sasaki, Takuo Mizukami, Madoka Kuramitsu, Sahoko Matsuoka, Katsunori Yanagihara, Kiyonori Miura, Isao Hamaguchi
No treatment for frontotemporal dementia (FTD), the second most common type of early-onset dementia, is available, but therapeutics are being investigated to target the 2 main proteins associated with FTD pathological subtypes: TDP-43 (FTLD-TDP) and tau (FTLD-tau). Testing potential therapies in clinical trials is hampered 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 the reports that TDP-43 dysfunction causes truncated STMN2 accumulation. Truncated STMN2 accumulated in human induced pluripotent stem cell–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 subtypes marked by TDP-43 inclusions. Last, we validated that truncated STMN2 RNA was elevated in the frontal cortex of a cohort of patients with FTLD-TDP but not in controls or patients with progressive supranuclear palsy, a type of FTLD-tau. Further, in patients with 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 M. Kachergus, J. Shi, Michael G. Heckman, Matthew R. Spiegel, Casey Cook, Yuping Song, Mei Yue, Lillian M. 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, NYGC ALS Consortium, Delphine Fagegaltier, Hemali Phatnani, Maria Secrier, Elizabeth M.C. Fisher, Björn Oskarsson, Marka van Blitterswijk, Rosa Rademakers, Neil R. Graff-Radford, Bradley F. Boeve, David S. Knopman, Ronald C. Petersen, Keith A. Josephs, E. Aubrey Thompson, Towfique Raj, Michael Ward, Dennis W. Dickson, Tania F. Gendron, Pietro Fratta, Leonard Petrucelli
In a stunningly short period of time, the unexpected coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS–CoV-2), has turned the unprepared world topsy-turvy. Although the rapidity with which the virus struck was indeed overwhelming, scientists throughout the world have been up to the task of deciphering the mechanisms by which SARS–CoV-2 induces the multisystem and multiorgan inflammatory responses that, collectively, contribute to the high mortality rate in affected individuals. In this issue of the JCI, Skendros and Mitsios et al. is one such team who report that the complement system plays a substantial role in creating the hyperinflammation and thrombotic microangiopathy that appear to contribute to the severity of COVID-19. In support of the hypothesis that the complement system along with neutrophils and platelets contributes to COVID-19, the authors present empirical evidence showing that treatment with the complement inhibitor compstatin Cp40 inhibited the expression of tissue factor in neutrophils. These results confirm that the complement axis plays a critical role and suggest that targeted therapy using complement inhibitors is a potential therapeutic option to treat COVID-19–induced inflammation.
Berhane Ghebrehiwet, Ellinor I. Peerschke
T cell exclusion causes resistance to cancer immunotherapies via immune checkpoint blockade (ICB). Myeloid cells contribute to resistance by expressing signal regulatory protein-α (SIRPα), an inhibitory membrane receptor that interacts with ubiquitous receptor CD47 to control macrophage phagocytosis in the tumor microenvironment. Although CD47/SIRPα-targeting drugs have been assessed in preclinical models, the therapeutic benefit of selectively blocking SIRPα, and not SIRPγ/CD47, in humans remains unknown. We report a potent synergy between selective SIRPα blockade and ICB in increasing memory T cell responses and reverting exclusion in syngeneic and orthotopic tumor models. Selective SIRPα blockade stimulated tumor nest T cell recruitment by restoring murine and human macrophage chemokine secretion and increased anti-tumor T cell responses by promoting tumor-antigen crosspresentation by dendritic cells. However, nonselective SIRPα/SIRPγ blockade targeting CD47 impaired human T cell activation, proliferation, and endothelial transmigration. Selective SIRPα inhibition opens an attractive avenue to overcoming ICB resistance in patients with elevated myeloid cell infiltration in solid tumors.
Vanessa Gauttier, Sabrina Pengam, Justine Durand, Kevin Biteau, Caroline Mary, Aurore Morello, Mélanie Néel, Georgia Porto, Géraldine Teppaz, Virginie Thepenier, Richard Danger, Nicolas Vince, Emmanuelle Wilhelm, Isabelle Girault, Riad Abes, Catherine Ruiz, Charlène Trilleaud, Kerry-Leigh Ralph, E. Sergio Trombetta, Alexandra Garcia, Virginie Vignard, Bernard Martinet, Alexandre Glémain, Sarah Bruneau, Fabienne Haspot, Safa Dehmani, Pierre Duplouye, Masayuki Miyasaka, Nathalie Labarrière, David Laplaud, Stéphanie Le Bas-Bernardet, Christophe Blanquart, Véronique Catros, Pierre-Antoine Gouraud, Isabelle Archambeaud, Hélène Aublé, Sylvie Metairie, Jean-François Mosnier, Dominique Costantini, Gilles Blancho, Sophie Conchon, Bernard Vanhove, Nicolas Poirier
Useful animal models of disease in neuroscience can make accurate predictions about a therapeutic outcome, a feature known as predictive validity. In this issue of the JCI, Knowland et al. provide an improved model to assess nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) ligands for treating chronic pain. The authors identify two proteins, the voltage-dependent calcium channel auxiliary subunit BARP and the unfolded protein response sensor IRE1α, that are required for robust heterologous expression of α6β4, an nAChR subtype in dorsal root ganglia (DRG). This nAChR is a candidate for the analgesic effects of nicotine as well as the frog toxin epibatidine. Now researchers can efficiently screen for α6β4 nAChR–selective agonists using heterologous expression systems. Candidates that emerge will enable researchers to test the predictive validity of mouse models for chronic pain in the nAChR context. If all these steps work, one can envision a class of non-opioid nAChR-targeted analgesics for chronic pain.
Stephen Grant, Henry A. Lester
Convalescent plasma is a leading treatment for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but there is a paucity of data identifying its therapeutic efficacy. Among 126 potential convalescent plasma donors, the humoral immune response was evaluated using a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS–CoV-2) virus neutralization assay with Vero-E6-TMPRSS2 cells; a commercial IgG and IgA ELISA to detect the spike (S) protein S1 domain (EUROIMMUN); IgA, IgG, and IgM indirect ELISAs to detect the full-length S protein or S receptor–binding domain (S-RBD); and an IgG avidity assay. We used multiple linear regression and predictive models to assess the correlations between antibody responses and demographic and clinical characteristics. IgG titers were greater than either IgM or IgA titers 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 95%–98% of the nAb-positive samples, but 20%–32% of the nAb-negative samples were still IgG ELISA positive. Male sex, older age, and hospitalization for 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 J. Betenbaugh, Ruchee Shrestha, Annie A. Wu, Robert M. Hughes, Imani Burgess, Patricio Caturegli, Oliver Laeyendecker, Thomas C. Quinn, David Sullivan, Shmuel Shoham, Andrew D. Redd, Evan M. Bloch, Arturo Casadevall, Aaron A.R. Tobian
The α6β4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is enriched in dorsal root ganglia neurons and is an attractive non-opioid therapeutic target for pain. However, difficulty expressing human α6β4 receptors in recombinant systems has precluded drug discovery. Here, genome-wide screening identified accessory proteins that enable reconstitution of human α6β4 nAChRs. BARP, an auxiliary subunit of voltage-dependent calcium channels, promoted α6β4 surface expression while IRE1α, an unfolded protein response sensor, enhanced α6β4 receptor assembly. Effects on α6β4 involve BARP’s N-terminal region and IRE1α’s splicing of XBP1 mRNA. Furthermore, clinical efficacy of nicotinic agents in relieving neuropathic pain best correlated with their activity on α6β4. Finally, BARP-knockout, but not NACHO-knockout mice lacked nicotine-induced antiallodynia, highlighting the functional importance of α6β4 in pain. These results identify roles for IRE1α and BARP in neurotransmitter receptor assembly and unlock drug discovery for the previously elusive α6β4 receptor.
Daniel Knowland, Shenyan Gu, William A. Eckert III, G. Brent Dawe, Jose A. Matta, James Limberis, Alan D. Wickenden, Anindya Bhattacharya, David S. Bredt
Emerging data indicate that complement and neutrophils contribute to the maladaptive immune response that fuels hyperinflammation and thrombotic microangiopathy, thereby increasing coronavirus 2019 (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 NET/human aortic endothelial cell (HAEC) cocultures. 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 HAECs. 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 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 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 Tektonidou, Theocharis Konstantinidis, Charalampos Papagoras, Ioannis Mitroulis, Georgios Germanidis, John D. Lambris, Konstantinos Ritis
Although cancer is commonly perceived as a disease of dedifferentiation, the hallmark of early-stage prostate cancer is paradoxically the loss of more plastic basal cells and the abnormal proliferation of more differentiated secretory luminal cells. However, the mechanism of prostate cancer proluminal differentiation is largely unknown. Through integrating analysis of the transcription factors (TFs) from 806 human prostate cancers, we found that ERG was highly correlated with prostate cancer luminal subtyping. ERG overexpression in luminal epithelial cells inhibited those cells’ normal plasticity to transdifferentiate into a basal lineage, and ERG superseded PTEN loss, which favored basal differentiation. ERG KO disrupted prostate cell luminal differentiation, whereas AR KO had no such effects. Trp63 is a known master regulator of the prostate basal lineage. Through analysis of 3D chromatin architecture, we found that ERG bound and inhibited the enhancer activity and chromatin looping of a Trp63 distal enhancer, thereby silencing its gene expression. Specific deletion of the distal ERG binding site resulted in the loss of ERG-mediated inhibition of basal differentiation. Thus, ERG, in its fundamental role in lineage differentiation in prostate cancer initiation, orchestrated chromatin interactions and regulated prostate cell lineage toward a proluminal program.
Fei Li, Qiuyue Yuan, Wei Di, Xinyi Xia, Zhuang Liu, Ninghui Mao, Lin Li, Chunfeng Li, Juan He, Yunguang Li, Wangxin Guo, Xiaoyu Zhang, Yiqin Zhu, Rebiguli Aji, Shangqian Wang, Xinyuan Tong, Hongbin Ji, Ping Chi, Brett Carver, Yong Wang, Yu Chen, Dong Gao
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 that is independent of its function in 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 the IL-23 receptor (IL-23R) 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 a glycan-dependent manner. Indeed, EBI3 failed to augment 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. Taken 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
Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) identified DUSP8, encoding a dual-specificity phosphatase targeting mitogen-activated protein kinases, as a type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk gene. Here, we reveal that Dusp8 is a 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 corticotropin-releasing hormone 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 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 functional MRI 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 a 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, Ruben Nogueiras, Meri De Angelis, Jeffery D. Molkentin, Natalie Krahmer, Chun-Xia Yi, Mathias V. Schmidt, Serge Luquet, Martin Heni, Matthias H. Tschöp, Paul T. Pfluger
Jia Wang, Peng Cheng, Marat S. Pavlyukov, Hai Yu, Zhuo Zhang, Sung-Hak Kim, Mutsuko Minata, Ahmed Mohyeldin, Wanfu Xie, Dongquan Chen, Violaine Goidts, Brendan Frett, Wenhao Hu, Hongyu Li, Yong Jae Shin, Yeri Lee, Do-Hyun Nam, Harley I. Kornblum, Maode Wang, Ichiro Nakano
Muscular dystrophies are a heterogeneous group of genetic diseases, characterized by progressive degeneration of skeletal and cardiac muscle. Despite the intense investigation of different therapeutic options, a definitive treatment has not been developed for this debilitating class of pathologies. Cell-based therapies in muscular dystrophies have been pursued experimentally for the last three decades. Several cell types with different characteristics and tissues of origin, including myogenic stem and progenitor cells, stromal cells, and pluripotent stem cells, have been investigated over the years and have recently entered in the clinical arena with mixed results. In this Review, we do a roundup of the past attempts and describe the updated status of cell-based therapies aimed at counteracting the skeletal and cardiac myopathy present in dystrophic patients. We present current challenges, summarize recent progress, and make recommendations for future research and clinical trials.
Stefano Biressi, Antonio Filareto, Thomas A. Rando
BACKGROUND The recent failure of checkpoint-blockade therapies for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in late-phase clinical trials has directed interest toward adoptive cellular therapies (ACTs). In this open-label, first-in-human trial, we have assessed the safety and therapeutic potential of cytomegalovirus-specific (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, overall survival (OS), and immune reconstitution.RESULTS No participants showed evidence of ACT-related toxicities. Of 25 evaluable participants, 10 were alive at the completion of follow-up, while 5 were disease free. Reconstitution of CMV-specific T cell immunity was evident and CMV-specific ACT may trigger a bystander effect leading to additional T cell responses to nonviral tumor-associated antigens through epitope spreading. Long-term follow-up of participants treated before recurrence showed significantly improved OS when compared with 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 favorable 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 OS of GBM patients.TRIAL REGISTRATION anzctr.org.au: ACTRN12615000656538.FUNDING Philanthropic funding and the National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia).
Corey Smith, Katie E. Lineburg, J. Paulo Martins, George R. 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
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 antiinflammatory effect of boosting the NAD level.METHODS We compared the PBMC mitochondrial respiration of 19 hospitalized patients with stage D HF with that of 19 healthy participants. We then created an in vitro model of sterile inflammation by treating healthy PBMCs with mitochondrial damage–associated molecular patterns (MitoDAMPs) isolated from human heart tissue. Last, we enrolled patients with stage D HF and sampled their blood before and after taking 5 to 9 days of oral nicotinamide riboside (NR), a 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 subjects with HF.CONCLUSION These findings suggest that systemic inflammation in patients with HF is causally linked to mitochondrial function of the PBMCs. Increasing NAD levels may have the potential to improve mitochondrial respiration and attenuate proinflammatory activation of PBMCs in HF.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03727646.FUNDING This study was funded by the NIH, the University of Washington, and the American Heart Association.
Bo Zhou, Dennis Ding-Hwa Wang, Yanhua Qiu, Sophia Airhart, Yaxin Liu, April Stempien-Otero, Kevin D. O’Brien, Rong Tian
Edema is an important target for clinical intervention after traumatic brain injury (TBI). We used in vivo cellular resolution imaging and electrophysiological recording to examine the ionic mechanisms underlying neuronal edema and their effects on neuronal and network excitability after controlled cortical impact (CCI) in mice. Unexpectedly, we found that neuronal edema 48 hours after CCI was associated with reduced cellular and network excitability, concurrent with an increase in the expression ratio of the cation-chloride cotransporters (CCCs) NKCC1 and KCC2. Treatment with the CCC blocker bumetanide prevented neuronal swelling via a reversal in the NKCC1/KCC2 expression ratio, identifying altered chloride flux as the mechanism of neuronal edema. Importantly, bumetanide treatment was associated with increased neuronal and network excitability after injury, including increased susceptibility to spreading depolarizations (SDs) and seizures, known agents of clinical worsening after TBI. Treatment with mannitol, a first-line edema treatment in clinical practice, was also associated with increased susceptibility to SDs and seizures after CCI, showing that neuronal volume reduction, regardless of mechanism, was associated with an excitability increase. Finally, we observed an increase in excitability when neuronal edema normalized by 1 week after CCI. We conclude that neuronal swelling may exert protective effects against damaging excitability in the aftermath of TBI and that treatment of edema has the potential to reverse these effects.
Punam A. Sawant-Pokam, Tyler J. Vail, Cameron S. Metcalf, Jamie L. Maguire, Thomas O. McKean, Nick O. McKean, K.C. Brennan
Arthur L. Caplan, Joanne Waldstreicher, Karla Childers, Aran Maree