Constant exposure of the airways to inhaled pathogens requires efficient early immune responses protecting against infections. How bacteria on the epithelial surface are detected and first-line protective mechanisms are initiated are not well understood. We have recently shown that tracheal brush cells (BC) express functional taste receptors. Here we report that bitter taste signaling in murine BC induces neurogenic inflammation. We demonstrate that BC signaling stimulates adjacent sensory nerve endings in the trachea to release the neuropeptides CGRP and Substance P that mediate plasma extravasation, neutrophil recruitment and diapedesis. Moreover, we show that bitter tasting quorum-sensing molecules from Pseudomonas aeruginosa activate tracheal BC. BC signaling depends on the key taste transduction gene Trpm5, triggers secretion of immune mediators, among the most abundant members of the complement system, and is needed to combat Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections. Our data provide functional insight into first-line defense mechanisms against bacterial infections of the lung.
Monika I. Hollenhorst, Rajender Nandigama, Saskia B. Evers, Igor Gamayun, Noran Abdel Wadood, Alaa Salah, Mario Pieper, Amanda Wyatt, Alexey Stukalov, Anna Gebhardt, Wiebke Nadolni, Wera Burow, Christian Herr, Christoph Beisswenger, Soumya Kusumakshi, Fabien Ectors, Tatjana I. Kichko, Lisa Hübner, Peter Reeh, Antje Munder, Sandra-Maria Wienhold, Martin Witzenrath, Robert Bals, Veit Flockerzi, Thomas Gudermann, Markus Bischoff, Peter Lipp, Susanna Zierler, Vladimir Chubanov, Andreas Pichlmair, Peter König, Ulrich Boehm, Gabriela Krasteva-Christ
Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) is a rare genetic disease characterized by progressive and catastrophic heterotopic ossification (HO) of skeletal muscle and associated soft tissues. FOP is caused by dominantly acting mutations in the gene encoding the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) type I receptor, ACVR1 (ALK2), the most prevalent of which results in an arginine to histidine substitution at position 206[ACVR1(R206H)]. The fundamental pathological consequence of FOP-causing ACVR1 receptor mutations is to enable activin A to initiate canonical BMP signaling in fibro-adipogenic progenitors (FAPs), which drives HO. We developed a monoclonal blocking antibody (JAB0505) to the extracellular domain of ACVR1 and tested its effect on HO in two independent FOP mouse models. Although JAB0505 inhibited BMP-dependent gene expression in wild-type and ACVR1(R206H)-overexpressing cell lines, JAB0505 treatment profoundly exacerbated injury-induced HO. JAB0505-treated mice exhibited multiple, distinct foci of heterotopic lesions, suggesting an atypically broad anatomical domain of FAP recruitment to endochondral ossification. This was accompanied by dysregulated FAP population growth and an abnormally sustained immunological reaction following muscle injury. JAB0505 drove injury-induced HO in the absence of activin A, indicating that JAB0505 has receptor agonist activity. These data raise serious safety and efficacy concerns for the use of bivalent anti-ACVR1 antibodies to treat patients with FOP.
John B. Lees-Shepard, Sean J. Stoessel, Julian T. Chandler, Keith Bouchard, Patricia Bento, Lorraine N. Apuzzo, Parvathi Madhavi Devarakonda, Jeffrey W. Hunter, David J. Goldhamer
BACKGROUND. Neutralizing antibodies are considered a key correlate of protection by current SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. The manner in which human infections respond to therapeutic SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, including convalescent plasma therapy (CPT), remains to be fully elucidated. METHODS. Here, we conducted a proof-of-principle study of CPT based on a phase I trial in thirty hospitalized COVID-19 patients with a median interval between the onset of symptoms and the first transfusion of 9 days (IQR, 7-11.8 days). A comprehensive longitudinal monitoring of the virologic, serologic, and disease status of recipients allowed deciphering of parameters on which plasma therapy efficacy depends. RESULTS. In the context of this trial CPT was safe as evidenced by the absence of transfusion related adverse events and a low mortality (3.3%). Treatment with highly neutralizing plasma was significantly associated with faster virus clearance, as demonstrated by Kaplan-Meier analysis (p= 0.034) and confirmed in a parametric survival model including viral load and comorbidity (adjusted hazard ratio (HR)= 3.0 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1;8.1], p= 0.026). The onset of endogenous neutralization had a noticeable effect on viral clearance but, importantly, even after adjusting for their pre-transfusion endogenous neutralization status recipients benefitted from plasma therapy with high neutralizing antibodies (HR= 3.5 [95% CI 1.1;11], p= 0.034). CONCLUSION. In summary, our data demonstrate a clear impact of exogenous antibody therapy on the rapid clearance of viremia before and after onset of the endogenous neutralizing response and more broadly point beyond antibody-based interventions to critical laboratory parameters for improved evaluation of current and future SARS-CoV-2 therapies. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04869072 FUNDING. This study was funded via an “Innovation-Pool” project by the University Hospital Zurich, the “Swiss Red Cross “Glückskette” Corona Funding”, Pandemiefonds of the UZH Foundation and the Clinical Research Priority Program ‘Comprehensive Genomic Pathogen Detection’ of the University of Zurich.
Maddalena Marconato, Irene A. Abela, Anthony Hauser, Magdalena Schwarzmüller, Rheliana Katzensteiner, Dominique L. Braun, Selina Epp, Annette Audigé, Jacqueline Weber, Peter Rusert, Emèry Schindler, Chloé Pasin, Emily West, Jürg Böni, Verena Kufner, Michael Huber, Maryam Zaheri, Stefan Schmutz, Beat M. Frey, Roger D. Kouyos, Huldrych F. Günthard, Markus G. Manz, Alexandra Trkola
The roles of neutrophils in renal inflammation are currently unclear. On examining these cells in the unilateral ureteral obstruction murine model of chronic kidney disease, we found that the injured kidney bore a large and rapidly expanding population of neutrophils that expressed the eosinophil marker Siglec-F. We first confirmed that these cells were neutrophils. Siglec-F+ neutrophils were recently detected for the first time by several studies on other disease contexts. We then showed that (i) these cells were derived from conventional neutrophils in the renal vasculature by TGF-β1 and GM-CSF, (ii) they differed from their parent cells by more frequent hypersegmentation, higher expression of pro-fibrotic inflammatory cytokines, and, notably, expression of Collagen 1, and (iii) their depletion reduced collagen deposition and disease progression, but adoptive transfer increased renal fibrosis. These findings have thus unveiled a subtype of neutrophils that participate in renal fibrosis and maybe a new therapeutic target in chronic kidney disease.
Seungwon Ryu, Jae Woo Shin, Soie Kwon, Jiwon Lee, Yong Chul Kim, Yoe-Sik Bae, Yong-Soo Bae, Dong Ki Kim, Yon Su Kim, Seung Hee Yang, Hye Young Kim
Once human photoreceptors die, they do not regenerate, thus photoreceptor transplantation has emerged as a potential treatment approach for blinding diseases. Improvements in transplant organization, donor cell maturation and synaptic connectivity to the host will be critical in advancing this technology to clinical practice. Unlike the unstructured grafts of prior cell suspension transplantations into end-stage degeneration models, we describe extensive incorporation of iPSC retinal organoid-derived human photoreceptors into mice with cone dysfunction. This incorporative phenotype was validated in both cone-only as well as pan-photoreceptor transplantations. Rather than forming a glial barrier, Müller cells extended throughout the graft, even forming a series of adherens junctions between mouse and human cells, reminiscent of an outer limiting membrane. Donor-host interaction appeared to promote polarisation as well as development of morphological features critical for light detection, namely formation of inner and well stacked outer segments oriented towards the retinal pigment epithelium. Putative synapse formation and graft function was evident both at a structural and electrophysiological level. Overall, these results show that human photoreceptors interact readily with a partially degenerated retina. Moreover, incorporation into the host retina appears to be beneficial to graft maturation, polarisation and function.
Sylvia J. Gasparini, Karen Tessmer, Miriam Reh, Stephanie Wieneke, Madalena Carido, Manuela Völkner, Oliver Borsch, Anka Swiersy, Marta Zuzic, Olivier Goureau, Thomas Kurth, Volker Busskamp, Günther Zeck, Mike O. Karl, Marius Ader
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterized by chronic synovial inflammation with aberrant epigenetic alterations, eventually leading to joint destruction. However, the epigenetic regulatory mechanisms underlying RA pathogenesis remain largely unknown. Here we showed that Ubiquitin-like containing PHD and RING finger domains 1 (UHRF1) is a central epigenetic regulator that suppressively orchestrates multiple pathogeneses in RA. UHRF1 expression was remarkably up-regulated in synovial fibroblasts (SF) from arthritis model mice and RA patients. Mice with SF-specific Uhrf1 conditional knockout showed more severe arthritic phenotypes than littermate control. Uhrf1-deficient SF also exhibited enhanced apoptosis resistance and up-regulated expression of several cytokines including Ccl20. In RA patients, DAS28, CRP, and Th17 accumulation as well as apoptosis resistance were negatively correlated with UHRF1 expression in synovium. Finally, Ryuvidine administration that stabilizes UHRF1 ameliorated arthritis pathogeneses in a mouse model of RA. This study demonstrated that UHRF1 expressed in RA SF can contribute to negative feedback mechanisms that suppress multiple pathogenic events in arthritis, suggesting that targeting UHRF1 could be one of the therapeutic strategies for RA.
Noritaka Saeki, Kazuki Inoue, Maky Ideta-Otsuka, Kunihiko Watamori, Shinichi Mizuki, Katsuto Takenaka, Katsuhide Igarashi, Hiromasa Miura, Shu Takeda, Yuuki Imai
The protective human antibody response to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus focuses on the spike (S) protein which decorates the virion surface and mediates cell binding and entry. Most SARS-CoV-2 protective antibodies target the receptor-binding domain or a single dominant epitope (‘supersite’) on the N terminal domain (NTD). Here, using the single B cell technology LIBRA-seq, we isolated a large panel of NTD-reactive and SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies from an individual who had recovered from COVID-19. We found that neutralizing antibodies to the NTD supersite commonly are encoded by the IGHV1-24 gene, forming a genetic cluster that represents a public B cell clonotype. However, we also discovered a rare human antibody, COV2-3434, that recognizes a site of vulnerability on the SARS-CoV-2 S protein in the trimer interface and possesses a distinct class of functional activity. COV2-3434 disrupted the integrity of S protein trimers, inhibited cell-to-cell spread of virus in culture, and conferred protection in human ACE2 transgenic mice against SARS-CoV-2 challenge. This study provides insight about antibody targeting of the S protein trimer interface region, suggesting this region may be a site of virus vulnerability.
Naveenchandra Suryadevara, Andrea R. Shiakolas, Laura A. VanBlargan, Elad Binshtein, Rita E. Chen, James Brett Case, Kevin J. Kramer, Erica C. Armstrong, Luke Myers, Andrew Trivette, Christopher Gainza, Rachel S. Nargi, Christopher N. Selverian, Edgar Davidson, Benjamin J. Doranz, Summer M. Diaz, Laura S Handal, Robert H. Carnahan, Michael S. Diamond, Ivelin S. Georgiev, James E. Crowe Jr.
Highly effective modulator therapies dramatically improve the prognosis for those with cystic fibrosis (CF). The triple combination of elexacaftor, tezacaftor, and ivacaftor (ETI) benefits many, but not all, of those with the most common F508del mutation in the CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). Here, we showed that poor sweat chloride concentration responses and lung function improvements upon initiation of ETI were associated with elevated levels of active transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) in the upper airway. Furthermore, TGF-β1 impaired the function of ETI-corrected F508del-CFTR, thereby increasing airway surface liquid (ASL) absorption rates and inducing mucus hyperconcentration in primary CF bronchial epithelial cells in vitro. TGF-β1 not only decreased CFTR mRNA but was also associated with increases in the mRNA expression of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFA) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) and TNF-⍺ protein. Losartan improved TGF-β1-mediated inhibition of ETI-corrected F508del-CFTR function and reduced TNFA and COX2 mRNA and TNF⍺ protein expression. This occurred likely by improving correction of mutant CFTR rather than increasing its mRNA (without an effect on potentiation), thereby reversing the negative effects of TGF-β1 and improving ASL hydration in the CF airway epithelium in vitro. Importantly, these effects were independent of type 1 angiotensin II receptor inhibition.
Michael D. Kim, Charles D. Bengtson, Makoto Yoshida, Asef J. Niloy, John S. Dennis, Nathalie Baumlin, Matthias Salathe
BACKGROUND. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the most common intrauterine infection, leading to infant brain damage. Prognostic assessment of CMV-infected fetuses has remained an ongoing challenge in prenatal care, in the absence of established prenatal biomarkers of congenital CMV (cCMV) infection severity. We aimed to identify prognostic biomarkers of cCMV-related fetal brain injury. METHODS. Global proteome analysis was performed in mid-gestation amniotic fluid samples, comparing fetuses with severe cCMV to asymptomatic CMV-infected fetuses. The levels of selected differentially-excreted proteins were further determined by specific immunoassays. RESULTS. Employing unbiased proteome analysis in a discovery cohort, we identified amniotic fluid proteins related to inflammation and neurological disease pathways, which demonstrated distinct abundance in fetuses with severe cCMV. Amniotic fluid levels of two of these proteins - the immunomodulatory proteins chemerin and galectin-3-binding-protein - were highly predictive of the severity of cCMV in an independent validation cohort, differentiating between fetuses with severe (N=17) and asymptomatic (N=26) cCMV, with 100-93.8% positive predictive value, and 92.9-92.6% negative predictive value (for chemerin - galectin-3-binding-protein, respectively). CONCLUSION. Analysis of chemerin and galectin-3-binding-protein in mid-gestation amniotic fluids could be employed in the clinical setting to profoundly improve the prognostic assessment of CMV-infected fetuses. TRIAL REGISTRATION. NA FUNDING. Israel Science Foundation; Research Fund - Hadassah Medical Organization.
Olesya Vorontsov, Lorinne Levitt, Daniele Lilleri, Gilad W. Vainer, Orit Caplan, Licita Schreiber, Alessia Arossa, Arsenio Spinillo, Milena Furione, Or Alfi, Esther Oiknine-Djian, Meital Kupervaser, Yuval Nevo, Sharona Elgavish, Moran Yassour, Maurizio Zavattoni, Tali Bdolah-Abram, Fausto Baldanti, Miriam Geal-Dor, Zichria Zakay-Rones, Nili Yanai, Simcha Yagel, Amos Panet, Dana G. Wolf
CD4 T helper (Th) cells play a key role in orchestrating immune responses, but the identity of the CD4 Th cells involved in the anti-tumor immune response remains to be defined. We analyzed the immune cell infiltrates of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and colorectal cancers and identified a subset of CD4 Th cells distinct from FOXP3+ regulatory T cells that co-express PD-1 and ICOS. These tumor-infiltrating CD4 Th cells (CD4 Th TIL) have a tissue-resident memory phenotype, are present in MHC class II-rich areas and proliferate in the tumor suggesting local antigen recognition. The T-cell receptor repertoire of the PD-1+ICOS+ CD4 Th TIL is oligoclonal, with T-cell clones expanded in the tumor, but present at low frequencies in the periphery. Finally, these PD-1+ICOS+ CD4 Th TIL were shown to recognize both tumor-associated antigens and tumor-specific neoantigens. Our findings provide an approach for isolating tumor-reactive CD4 Th TIL directly ex vivo that will help define their role in the anti-tumor immune response and potentially improve future adoptive T-cell therapy approaches.
Rebekka Duhen, Olivier Fesneau, Kimberly A. Samson, Alexandra K. Frye, Michael Beymer, Venkatesh Rajamanickam, David Ross, Eric Tran, Brady Bernard, Andrew D. Weinberg, Thomas Duhen
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