BACKGROUND Induction of innate immune memory, also termed trained immunity, by the antituberculosis vaccine bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) contributes to protection against heterologous infections. However, the overall impact of BCG vaccination on the inflammatory status of an individual is not known; while induction of trained immunity may suggest increased inflammation, BCG vaccination has been epidemiologically associated with a reduced incidence of inflammatory and allergic diseases.METHODS We investigated the impact of BCG (BCG-Bulgaria, InterVax) vaccination on systemic inflammation in a cohort of 303 healthy volunteers, as well as the effect of the inflammatory status on the response to vaccination. A targeted proteome platform was used to measure circulating inflammatory proteins before and after BCG vaccination, while ex vivo Mycobacterium tuberculosis– and Staphylococcus aureus–induced cytokine responses in peripheral blood mononuclear cells were used to assess trained immunity.RESULTS While BCG vaccination enhanced cytokine responses to restimulation, it reduced systemic inflammation. This effect was validated in 3 smaller cohorts, and was much stronger in men than in women. In addition, baseline circulating inflammatory markers were associated with ex vivo cytokine responses (trained immunity) after BCG vaccination.CONCLUSION The capacity of BCG to enhance microbial responsiveness while dampening systemic inflammation should be further explored for potential therapeutic applications.FUNDING Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, European Research Council, and the Danish National Research Foundation.
Valerie A.C.M. Koeken, L. Charlotte J. de Bree, Vera P. Mourits, Simone J.C.F.M. Moorlag, Jona Walk, Branko Cirovic, Rob J.W. Arts, Martin Jaeger, Helga Dijkstra, Heidi Lemmers, Leo A.B. Joosten, Christine S. Benn, Reinout van Crevel, Mihai G. Netea
Allergic disorders include food allergy, allergic rhinitis, and certain forms of asthma resulting from the inappropriate development of immune responses to otherwise innocuous aeroallergens and foods. In this issue of the JCI, Thouvenot and Roitel et al. explore transcription infidelity as a mechanism that underlies the ability of these benign proteins to become allergens. Some foods and bioaerosols that produce allergies have RNA polymerase with a propensity to generate RNA gaps, thereby causing translational frameshifts. These frameshifts often create cationic carboxy-terminus residues that replace hydrophobic amino acids and have enhanced MHC binding, resulting in the tendency to provoke immune responses. IgE antibody responses initiated by these variant transcripts can later lead to IgE against the native molecule and also explain how anaphylaxis may occur in individuals who lacked specific IgE when tested using native protein reagents. This study has the potential to transform the diagnosis and treatment of allergic disorders.
Cells sense the extracellular environment and mechanical stimuli and translate these signals into intracellular responses through mechanotransduction, which alters cell maintenance, proliferation, and differentiation. Here we use a mouse model of trauma-induced heterotopic ossification (HO) to examine how cell-extrinsic forces impact mesenchymal progenitor cell (MPC) fate. After injury, single-cell (sc) RNA sequencing of the injury site reveals an early increase in MPC genes associated with pathways of cell adhesion and ECM-receptor interactions, and MPC trajectories to cartilage and bone. Immunostaining uncovers active mechanotransduction after injury with increased focal adhesion kinase signaling and nuclear translocation of transcriptional coactivator TAZ, inhibition of which mitigates HO. Similarly, joint immobilization decreases mechanotransductive signaling, and completely inhibits HO. Joint immobilization decreases collagen alignment and increases adipogenesis. Further, scRNA sequencing of the HO site after injury with or without immobilization identifies gene signatures in mobile MPCs correlating with osteogenesis, and signatures from immobile MPCs with adipogenesis. scATAC-seq in these same MPCs confirm that in mobile MPCs, chromatin regions around osteogenic genes are open, whereas in immobile MPCs, regions around adipogenic genes are open. Together these data suggest that joint immobilization after injury results in decreased ECM alignment, altered MPC mechanotransduction, and changes in genomic architecture favoring adipogenesis over osteogenesis, resulting in decreased formation of HO.
Amanda K. Huber, Nicole Patel, Chase A. Pagani, Simone Marini, Karthik R. Padmanabhan, Daniel L. Matera, Mohamed Said, Charles Hwang, Ginny Ching-Yun Hsu, Andrea A. Poli, Amy L. Strong, Noelle D. Visser, Joseph A. Greenstein, Reagan Nelson, Shuli Li, Michael T. Longaker, Yi Tang, Stephen J. Weiss, Brendon M. Baker, Aaron W. James, Benjamin Levi
Transcription infidelity (TI) is a mechanism that increases RNA and protein diversity. We found that single-base omissions (i.e., gaps) occurred at significantly higher rates in the RNA of highly allergenic legumes. Transcripts from peanut, soybean, sesame, and mite allergens contained a higher density of gaps than those of nonallergens. Allergen transcripts translate into proteins with a cationic carboxy terminus depleted in hydrophobic residues. In mice, recombinant TI variants of the peanut allergen Ara h 2, but not the canonical allergen itself, induced, without adjuvant, the production of anaphylactogenic specific IgE (sIgE), binding to linear epitopes on both canonical and TI segments of the TI variants. The removal of cationic proteins from bovine lactoserum markedly reduced its capacity to induce sIgE. In peanut-allergic children, the sIgE reactivity was directed toward both canonical and TI segments of Ara h 2 variants. We discovered 2 peanut allergens, which we believe to be previously unreported, because of their RNA-DNA divergence gap patterns and TI peptide amino acid composition. Finally, we showed that the sIgE of children with IgE-negative milk allergy targeted cationic proteins in lactoserum. We propose that it is not the canonical allergens, but their TI variants, that initiate sIgE isotype switching, while both canonical and TI variants elicit clinical allergic reactions.
Benoit Thouvenot, Olivier Roitel, Julie Tomasina, Benoit Hilselberger, Christelle Richard, Sandrine Jacquenet, Françoise Codreanu-Morel, Martine Morisset, Gisèle Kanny, Etienne Beaudouin, Christine Delebarre-Sauvage, Thierry Olivry, Claude Favrot, Bernard E. Bihain
BACKGROUND Cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA4) is essential for immune homeostasis. Genetic mutations causing haploinsufficiency (CTLA4h) lead to a phenotypically heterogenous, immune-mediated disease that can include neuroinflammation. The neurological manifestations of CTLA4h are poorly characterized.METHODS We performed an observational natural history study of 50 patients with CTLA4h who were followed at the NIH. We analyzed clinical, radiological, immunological, and histopathological data.RESULTS Evidence for neuroinflammation was observed in 32% (n = 16 of 50) of patients in this cohort by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and/or by cerebrospinal fluid analysis. Clinical symptoms were commonly absent or mild in severity, with headaches as the leading complaint (n = 13 of 16). The most striking findings were relapsing, large, contrast-enhancing focal lesions in the brain and spinal cord observed on MRI. We detected inflammation in the cerebrospinal fluid and leptomeninges before the parenchyma. Brain biopsies of inflammatory lesions from 10 patients showed perivascular and intraparenchymal mixed cellular infiltrates with little accompanying demyelination or neuronal injury.CONCLUSIONS Neuroinflammation due to CTLA4h is mediated primarily by an infiltrative process with a distinct and striking dissociation between clinical symptoms and radiological findings in the majority of patients.FUNDING NIAID, NIH, Division of Intramural Research, NINDS, NIH, Division of Intramural Research, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society–American Brain Foundation.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00001355.
Matthew K. Schindler, Stefania Pittaluga, Yoshimi Enose-Akahata, Helen C. Su, V. Koneti Rao, Amy Rump, Steven Jacobson, Irene Cortese, Daniel S. Reich, Gulbu Uzel
Epithelial cell dysfunction has emerged as a central component of the pathophysiology of diffuse parenchymal diseases including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Alveolar type 2 (AT2) cells represent a metabolically active lung cell population important for surfactant biosynthesis and alveolar homeostasis. AT2 cells and other distal lung epithelia, like all eukaryotic cells, contain an elegant quality control network to respond to intrinsic metabolic and biosynthetic challenges imparted by mutant protein conformers, dysfunctional subcellular organelles, and dysregulated telomeres. Failed AT2 quality control components (the ubiquitin-proteasome system, unfolded protein response, macroautophagy, mitophagy, and telomere maintenance) result in diverse cellular endophenotypes and molecular signatures including ER stress, defective autophagy, mitochondrial dysfunction, apoptosis, inflammatory cell recruitment, profibrotic signaling, and altered progenitor function that ultimately converge to drive downstream fibrotic remodeling in the IPF lung. As this complex network becomes increasingly better understood, opportunities will emerge to identify targets and therapeutic strategies for IPF.
Jeremy Katzen, Michael F. Beers
Senescent cells (SnCs) are implicated in the pathogenesis of age-related diseases including osteoarthritis (OA), in part via expression of a senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) that includes immunologically relevant factors and cytokines. In a model of posttraumatic OA (PTOA), anterior cruciate ligament transection (ACLT) induced a type 17 immune response in the articular compartment and draining inguinal lymph nodes (LNs) that paralleled expression of the senescence marker p16INK4a (Cdkn2a) and p21 (Cdkn1a). Innate lymphoid cells, γδ+ T cells, and CD4+ T cells contributed to IL-17 expression. Intra-articular injection of IL-17–neutralizing antibody reduced joint degeneration and decreased expression of the senescence marker Cdkn1a. Local and systemic senolysis was required to attenuate tissue damage in aged animals and was associated with decreased IL-17 and increased IL-4 expression in the articular joint and draining LNs. In vitro, we found that Th17 cells induced senescence in fibroblasts and that SnCs skewed naive T cells toward Th17 or Th1, depending on the presence of TGF-β. The SASP profile of the inflammation-induced SnCs included altered Wnt signaling, tissue remodeling, and cell-cycle pathways not previously implicated in senescence. These findings provide molecular targets and mechanisms for senescence induction and therapeutic strategies to support tissue healing in an aged environment.
Heather J. Faust, Hong Zhang, Jin Han, Matthew T. Wolf, Ok Hee Jeon, Kaitlyn Sadtler, Alexis N. Peña, Liam Chung, David R. Maestas Jr., Ada J. Tam, Drew M. Pardoll, Judith Campisi, Franck Housseau, Daohong Zhou, Clifton O. Bingham III, Jennifer H. Elisseeff
Pathologic lymphatic remodeling in lymphedema evolves during periods of tissue inflammation and hypoxia through poorly defined processes. In human and mouse lymphedema, there is a significant increase of hypoxia inducible factor 1 α (HIF-1α), but a reduction of HIF-2α protein expression in lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs). We questioned whether dysregulated expression of these transcription factors contributes to disease pathogenesis and found that LEC-specific deletion of Hif2α exacerbated lymphedema pathology. Even without lymphatic vascular injury, the loss of LEC-specific Hif2α caused anatomic pathology and a functional decline in fetal and adult mice. These findings suggest that HIF-2α is an important mediator of lymphatic health. HIF-2α promoted protective phosphorylated TIE2 (p-TIE2) signaling in LECs, a process also replicated by upregulating TIE2 signaling through adenovirus-mediated angiopoietin-1 (Angpt1) gene therapy. Our study suggests that HIF-2α normally promotes healthy lymphatic homeostasis and raises the exciting possibility that restoring HIF-2α pathways in lymphedema could mitigate long-term pathology and disability.
Xinguo Jiang, Wen Tian, Eric J. Granucci, Allen B. Tu, Dongeon Kim, Petra Dahms, Shravani Pasupneti, Gongyong Peng, Yesl Kim, Amber H. Lim, F. Hernan Espinoza, Matthew Cribb, J. Brandon Dixon, Stanley G. Rockson, Gregg L. Semenza, Mark R. Nicolls
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 recognized. These nonspecific 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, while 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.
S. Prentice, H.M. Dockrell
Tumor immunosuppression is a limiting factor for successful cancer therapy. The lipid sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), which signals through 5 distinct G protein–coupled receptors (S1PR1–5), has emerged as an important regulator of carcinogenesis. However, the utility of targeting S1P in tumors is hindered by S1P’s impact on immune cell trafficking. Here, we report that ablation of the immune cell–specific receptor S1PR4, which plays a minor role in immune cell trafficking, delayed tumor development and improved therapy success in murine models of mammary and colitis-associated colorectal cancer through increased CD8+ T cell abundance. Transcriptome analysis revealed that S1PR4 affected proliferation and survival of CD8+ T cells in a cell-intrinsic manner via the expression of Pik3ap1 and Lta4h. Accordingly, PIK3AP1 expression was connected to increased CD8+ T cell proliferation and clinical parameters in human breast and colon cancer. Our data indicate a so-far-unappreciated tumor-promoting role of S1P by restricting CD8+ T cell expansion via S1PR4.
Catherine Olesch, Evelyn Sirait-Fischer, Matthias Berkefeld, Annika F. Fink, Rosa M. Susen, Birgit Ritter, Birgitta E. Michels, Dieter Steinhilber, Florian R. Greten, Rajkumar Savai, Kazuhiko Takeda, Bernhard Brüne, Andreas Weigert
BACKGROUND The antituberculosis vaccine bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) reduces overall infant mortality. Induction of innate immune memory, also termed trained immunity, contributes toward protection against heterologous infections. Since immune cells display oscillations in numbers and function throughout the day, we investigated the effect of BCG administration time on the induction of trained immunity.METHODS Eighteen volunteers were vaccinated with BCG at 6 pm and compared with 36 age- and sex-matched volunteers vaccinated between 8 am and 9 am. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were stimulated with Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium tuberculosis before, as well as 2 weeks and 3 months after, BCG vaccination. Cytokine production was measured to assess the induction of trained immunity and adaptive responses, respectively. Additionally, the influence of vaccination time on induction of trained immunity was studied in an independent cohort of 302 individuals vaccinated between 8 am and 12 pm with BCG.RESULTS Compared with evening vaccination, morning vaccination elicited both a stronger trained immunity and adaptive immune phenotype. In a large cohort of 302 volunteers, early morning vaccination resulted in a superior cytokine production capacity compared with later morning. A cellular, rather than soluble, substrate of the circadian effect of BCG vaccination was demonstrated by the enhanced capacity to induce trained immunity in vitro in morning- compared with evening-isolated monocytes.CONCLUSIONS BCG vaccination in the morning induces stronger trained immunity and adaptive responses compared with evening vaccination. Future studies should take vaccine administration time into account when studying specific and nonspecific effects of vaccines; early morning should be the preferred moment of BCG administration.FUNDING The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, the European Research Council, and the Danish National Research Foundation.
L. Charlotte J. de Bree, Vera P. Mourits, Valerie A.C.M. Koeken, Simone J.C.F.M. Moorlag, Robine Janssen, Lukas Folkman, Daniele Barreca, Thomas Krausgruber, Victoria Fife-Gernedl, Boris Novakovic, Rob J.W. Arts, Helga Dijkstra, Heidi Lemmers, Christoph Bock, Leo A.B. Joosten, Reinout van Crevel, Christine S. Benn, Mihai G. Netea
Immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) has revolutionized cancer therapeutics. Desmoplastic malignancies, such as cholangiocarcinoma (CCA), have an abundant tumor immune microenvironment (TIME). However, to date, ICB monotherapy in such malignancies has been ineffective. Herein, we identify tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) as the primary source of programmed death–ligand 1 (PD-L1) in human and murine CCA. In a murine model of CCA, recruited PD-L1+ TAMs facilitated CCA progression. However, TAM blockade failed to decrease tumor progression due to a compensatory emergence of granulocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells (G-MDSCs) that mediated immune escape by impairing T cell response. Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-Seq) of murine tumor G-MDSCs highlighted a unique ApoE G-MDSC subset enriched with TAM blockade; further analysis of a human scRNA-Seq data set demonstrated the presence of a similar G-MDSC subset in human CCA. Finally, dual inhibition of TAMs and G-MDSCs potentiated ICB. In summary, our findings highlight the therapeutic potential of coupling ICB with immunotherapies targeting immunosuppressive myeloid cells in CCA.
Emilien Loeuillard, Jingchun Yang, EeeLN Buckarma, Juan Wang, Yuanhang Liu, Caitlin Conboy, Kevin D. Pavelko, Ying Li, Daniel O’Brien, Chen Wang, Rondell P. Graham, Rory L. Smoot, Haidong Dong, Sumera Ilyas
The development of broadly neutralizing antibodies (BNAbs) in HIV infection is a result of long-term coevolutionary interaction between viruses and antibodies. Understanding how this interaction promotes the increase of neutralization breadth during infection will improve the way in which AIDS vaccine strategies are designed. In this paper, we used SIV-infected rhesus macaques as a model to study the development of neutralization breadth by infecting rhesus macaques with longitudinal NAb escape variants and evaluating the kinetics of NAb response and viral evolution. We found that the infected macaques developed a stepwise NAb response against escape variants and increased neutralization breadth during the course of infection. Furthermore, the increase of neutralization breadth correlated with the duration of infection but was independent of properties of the inoculum, viral loads, or viral diversity during infection. These results imply that the duration of infection was the main factor driving the development of BNAbs. These data suggest the importance of novel immunization strategies to induce effective NAb response against HIV infection by mimicking long-term infection.
Fan Wu, Ilnour Ourmanov, Andrea Kirmaier, Sivan Leviyang, Celia LaBranche, Jinghe Huang, Sonya Whitted, Kenta Matsuda, David Montefiori, Vanessa M. Hirsch
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. Nevertheless, most strategies to improve diabetes or its complications via regulation of HIF-1α have not currently proven to be clinically useful. The intersection of HIF biology with diabetes is a complex area in which many further questions remain, especially regarding the well-conducted studies clearly describing discrepant effects of different methods of increasing HIF-1α, even within the same tissues. This Review presents a brief overview of HIFs; discusses the range of evidence implicating HIFs in β cell dysfunction, diabetes pathogenesis, and diabetes complications; and examines the differing outcomes of HIF-targeting approaches in these conditions.
Jenny E. Gunton
The liver has strong innate immunity to counteract pathogens from the gastrointestinal tract. During the development of liver cancer, which is typically driven by chronic inflammation, the composition and biological roles of the innate immune cells are extensively altered. Hypoxia is a common finding in all stages of liver cancer development. Hypoxia drives the stabilization of hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs), which act as central regulators to dampen the innate immunity of liver cancer. HIF signaling in innate immune cells and liver cancer cells together favors the recruitment and maintenance of pro-tumorigenic immune cells and the inhibition of anti-tumorigenic immune cells, promoting immune evasion. HIFs represent attractive therapeutic targets to inhibit the formation of an immunosuppressive microenvironment and growth of liver cancer.
Vincent Wai-Hin Yuen, Carmen Chak-Lui Wong
Postnatal failure of oligodendrocyte maturation has been proposed as a cellular mechanism of diffuse white matter injury (WMI) in premature infants. However, the molecular mechanisms for oligodendrocyte maturational failure remain unclear. In neonatal mice and cultured differentiating oligodendrocytes, sublethal intermittent hypoxic (IH) stress activated cyclophilin D–dependent mitochondrial proton leak and uncoupled mitochondrial respiration, leading to transient bioenergetic stress. This was associated with development of diffuse WMI: poor oligodendrocyte maturation, diffuse axonal hypomyelination, and permanent sensorimotor deficit. In normoxic mice and oligodendrocytes, exposure to a mitochondrial uncoupler recapitulated the phenotype of WMI, supporting the detrimental role of mitochondrial uncoupling in the pathogenesis of WMI. Compared with WT mice, cyclophilin D–knockout littermates did not develop bioenergetic stress in response to IH challenge and fully preserved oligodendrocyte maturation, axonal myelination, and neurofunction. Our study identified the cyclophilin D–dependent mitochondrial proton leak and uncoupling as a potentially novel subcellular mechanism for the maturational failure of oligodendrocytes and offers a potential therapeutic target for prevention of diffuse WMI in premature infants experiencing chronic IH stress.
Zoya Niatsetskaya, Sergey Sosunov, Anna Stepanova, James Goldman, Alexander Galkin, Maria Neginskaya, Evgeny Pavlov, Vadim Ten
Late-onset inflammatory toxicities resembling hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) or macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) occur after chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR T cell) infusion and represent a therapeutic challenge. Given the established link between perforin deficiency and primary HLH, we investigated the role of perforin in anti-CD19 CAR T cell efficacy and HLH-like toxicities in a syngeneic murine model. Perforin contributed to both CD8+ and CD4+ CAR T cell cytotoxicity but was not required for in vitro or in vivo leukemia clearance. Upon CAR-mediated in vitro activation, perforin-deficient CAR T cells produced higher amounts of proinflammatory cytokines compared with WT CAR T cells. Following in vivo clearance of leukemia, perforin-deficient CAR T cells reexpanded, resulting in splenomegaly with disruption of normal splenic architecture and the presence of hemophagocytes, which are findings reminiscent of HLH. Notably, a substantial fraction of patients who received anti-CD22 CAR T cells also experienced biphasic inflammation, with the second phase occurring after the resolution of cytokine release syndrome, resembling clinical manifestations of HLH. Elevated inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β and IL-18 and concurrent late CAR T cell expansion characterized the HLH-like syndromes occurring in the murine model and in humans. Thus, a murine model of perforin-deficient CAR T cells recapitulated late-onset inflammatory toxicities occurring in human CAR T cell recipients, providing therapeutically relevant mechanistic insights.
Kazusa Ishii, Marie Pouzolles, Christopher D. Chien, Rebecca A. Erwin-Cohen, M. Eric Kohler, Haiying Qin, Haiyan Lei, Skyler Kuhn, Amanda K. Ombrello, Alina Dulau-Florea, Michael A. Eckhaus, Haneen Shalabi, Bonnie Yates, Daniel A. Lichtenstein, Valérie S. Zimmermann, Taisuke Kondo, Jack F. Shern, Howard A. Young, Naomi Taylor, Nirali N. Shah, Terry J. Fry
To improve the clinical outcome of adoptive NK cell therapy in patients with solid tumors, NK cells need to persist within the tumor microenvironment (TME) in which the abundance of ROS could dampen antitumor immune responses. In the present study, we demonstrated that IL-15–primed NK cells acquired resistance against oxidative stress through the thioredoxin system activated by mTOR. Mechanistically, the activation of thioredoxin showed dependence on localization of thioredoxin-interacting protein. We show that NK cells residing in the tumor core expressed higher thiol densities that could aid in protecting other lymphocytes against ROS within the TME. Furthermore, the prognostic value of IL15 and the NK cell gene signature in tumors may be influenced by tobacco smoking history in patients with non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Collectively, the levels of reducing antioxidants in NK cells may not only predict better tumor penetrance but potentially even the immune therapy response.
Ying Yang, Shi Yong Neo, Ziqing Chen, Weiyingqi Cui, Yi Chen, Min Guo, Yongfang Wang, Haiyan Xu, Annina Kurzay, Evren Alici, Lars Holmgren, Felix Haglund, Kai Wang, Andreas Lundqvist
During hemolysis, macrophages in the liver phagocytose damaged erythrocytes to prevent the toxic effects of cell-free hemoglobin and heme. It remains unclear how this homeostatic process modulates phagocyte functions in inflammatory diseases. Using a genetic mouse model of spherocytosis and single-cell RNA sequencing, we found that erythrophagocytosis skewed liver macrophages into an antiinflammatory phenotype that we defined as MarcohiHmoxhiMHC class IIlo erythrophagocytes. This phenotype transformation profoundly mitigated disease expression in a model of an anti-CD40–induced hyperinflammatory syndrome with necrotic hepatitis and in a nonalcoholic steatohepatitis model, representing 2 macrophage-driven sterile inflammatory diseases. We reproduced the antiinflammatory erythrophagocyte transformation in vitro by heme exposure of mouse and human macrophages, yielding a distinctive transcriptional signature that segregated heme-polarized from M1- and M2-polarized cells. Mapping transposase-accessible chromatin in single cells by sequencing defined the transcription factor NFE2L2/NRF2 as a critical driver of erythrophagocytes, and Nfe2l2/Nrf2 deficiency restored heme-suppressed inflammation. Our findings point to a pathway that regulates macrophage functions to link erythrocyte homeostasis with innate immunity.
Marc Pfefferlé, Giada Ingoglia, Christian A. Schaer, Ayla Yalamanoglu, Raphael Buzzi, Irina L. Dubach, Ge Tan, Emilio Y. López-Cano, Nadja Schulthess, Kerstin Hansen, Rok Humar, Dominik J. Schaer, Florence Vallelian
Alarmins, sequestered self-molecules containing damage-associated molecular patterns, are released during tissue injury to drive innate immune cell proinflammatory responses. Whether endogenous negative regulators controlling early immune responses are also released at the site of injury is poorly understood. Herein, we establish that the stromal cell–derived alarmin interleukin 33 (IL-33) is a local factor that directly restricts the proinflammatory capacity of graft-infiltrating macrophages early after transplantation. By assessing heart transplant recipient samples and using a mouse heart transplant model, we establish that IL-33 is upregulated in allografts to limit chronic rejection. Mouse cardiac transplants lacking IL-33 displayed dramatically accelerated vascular occlusion and subsequent fibrosis, which was not due to altered systemic immune responses. Instead, a lack of graft IL-33 caused local augmentation of proinflammatory iNOS+ macrophages that accelerated graft loss. IL-33 facilitated a metabolic program in macrophages associated with reparative and regulatory functions, and local delivery of IL-33 prevented the chronic rejection of IL-33–deficient cardiac transplants. Therefore, IL-33 represents what we believe is a novel regulatory alarmin in transplantation that limits chronic rejection by restraining the local activation of proinflammatory macrophages. The local delivery of IL-33 in extracellular matrix–based materials may be a promising biologic for chronic rejection prophylaxis.
Tengfang Li, Zhongqiang Zhang, Joe G. Bartolacci, Gaelen K. Dwyer, Quan Liu, Lisa R. Mathews, Murugesan Velayutham, Anna S. Roessing, Yoojin C. Lee, Helong Dai, Sruti Shiva, Martin H. Oberbarnscheidt, Jenna L. Dziki, Steven J. Mullet, Stacy G. Wendell, James D. Wilkinson, Steven A. Webber, Michelle Wood-Trageser, Simon C. Watkins, Anthony J. Demetris, George S. Hussey, Stephen F. Badylak, Hēth R. Turnquist