T cells are central to the pathogenesis of lupus nephritis (LN), a common complication of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). CD6 and its ligand, activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule (ALCAM), are involved in T cell activation and trafficking. Previously, we showed that soluble ALCAM is increased in urine (uALCAM) of patients with LN, suggesting that this pathway contributes to disease. To investigate, uALCAM was examined in 1038 patients with SLE and LN from 5 ethnically diverse cohorts; CD6 and ALCAM expression was assessed in LN kidney cells; and disease contribution was tested via antibody blockade of CD6 in murine models of SLE and acute glomerulonephritis. Extended cohort analysis offered resounding validation of uALCAM as a biomarker that distinguishes active renal involvement in SLE, irrespective of ethnicity. ALCAM was expressed by renal structural cells whereas CD6 expression was exclusive to T cells, with elevated numbers of CD6+ and ALCAM+ cells in patients with LN. CD6 blockade in models of spontaneous lupus and immune-complex glomerulonephritis revealed significant decreases in immune cells, inflammatory markers, and disease measures. Our data demonstrate the contribution of the CD6/ALCAM pathway to LN and SLE, supporting its use as a disease biomarker and therapeutic target.
Samantha A. Chalmers, Rajalakshmy Ayilam Ramachandran, Sayra J. Garcia, Evan Der, Leal Herlitz, Jeanette Ampudia, Dalena Chu, Nicole Jordan, Ting Zhang, Ioannis Parodis, Iva Gunnarsson, Huihua Ding, Nan Shen, Michelle Petri, Chi Chiu Mok, Ramesh Saxena, Krishna R. Polu, Stephen Connelly, Cherie T. Ng, Chandra Mohan, Chaim Putterman
Ulcerating skin lesions are manifestations of human ISG15 deficiency, a type I interferonopathy. However, chronic inflammation may not be their exclusive cause. We describe two siblings with recurrent skin ulcers that healed with scar formation upon corticosteroid treatment. Both had a homozygous nonsense mutation in the ISG15 gene, leading to unstable ISG15 protein lacking the functional domain. We characterized ISG15-/- dermal fibroblasts, HaCaT keratinocytes, and human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived vascular endothelial cells. ISG15-deficient cells exhibited the expected hyperinflammatory phenotype, but also dysregulated expression of molecules critical for connective tissue and epidermis integrity, including reduced collagens and adhesion molecules, but increased matrix metalloproteases. ISG15-/- fibroblasts exhibited elevated ROS levels and reduced ROS scavenger expression. As opposed to hyperinflammation, defective collagen and integrin synthesis was not rescued by conjugation-deficient ISG15. Cell migration was retarded in ISG15-/- fibroblasts and HaCaT keratinocytes, but normalized under ruxolitinib treatment. Desmosome density was reduced in an ISG15-/- 3D epidermis model. Additionally, there were loose architecture and reduced collagen and desmoglein expression, which could be reversed by treatment with ruxolitinib/doxycycline/TGF-β1. These results reveal critical roles of ISG15 in maintaining cell migration and epidermis and connective tissue homeostasis, whereby the latter likely requires its conjugation to yet unidentified targets.
Muhammad Nasir Hayat Malik, Syed F. Hassnain Waqas, Jana Zeitvogel, Jingyuan Cheng, Robert Geffers, Zeinab Abu-Elbaha Gouda, Ahmed Mahrous Elsaman, Ahmed R. Radwan, Matthias Schefzyk, Peter Braubach, Bernd Auber, Ruth Olmer, Mathias Müsken, Lennart M. Roesner, Gisa Gerold, Sven Schuchardt, Sylvia Merkert, Ulrich Martin, Felix Meissner, Thomas Werfel, Frank Pessler
While negative selection of developing B cells in the periphery is well described, yet poorly understood, evidence of naïve B cell positive selection remains elusive. Using two humanized mouse models, we demonstrate that there is strong skewing of expressed immunoglobulin repertoire upon transit into the peripheral naïve B cell pool. This positive selection of expanded naïve B cells in humanized mice resembled that in healthy donors and was independent of autologous thymic tissue. In contrast, negative selection of autoreactive B cells required thymic-derived regulatory T cells (Tregs) and MHC class II-restricted self-antigen presentation by B cells. Indeed, both defective MHC class II expression on their B cells in rare bare lymphocyte syndrome patients or prevention of self-antigen presentation via HLA-DM inhibition in humanized mice result in the production of autoreactive naïve B cells. These latter observations suggest that Tregs repress autoreactive naïve B cells continuously produced by the bone marrow. Thus, a model emerges in which both positive and negative selection shape the human naïve B cell repertoire and that each process is mediated by fundamentally different molecular and cellular mechanisms.
Jeff W. Chen, Jean-Nicolas Schickel, Nikolaos Tsakiris, Joel Sng, Florent Arbogast, Delphine Bouis, Daniele Parisi, Ruchi Gera, Joshua M. Boeckers, Fabien R. Delmotte, Margaret Veselits, Catharina Schuetz, Eva-Maria Jacobsen, Carsten Posovszky, Ansgar S. Schulz, Klaus Schwarz, Marcus R. Clark, Laurence Menard, Eric Meffre
The secreted protein DEL-1 regulates inflammatory cell recruitment and protects against inflammatory pathologies in animal models. Here, we investigated DEL-1 in inflammatory arthritis using collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) and collagen Ab-induced arthritis (CAIA). In both models, mice with endothelial-specific overexpression of DEL-1 were protected from arthritis relative to WT controls, while arthritis was exacerbated in DEL-1-deficient mice. Compared to WT controls, mice with collagen VI promoter-driven overexpression of DEL-1 in mesenchymal cells were protected against CIA but not CAIA, suggesting a role for DEL-1 in the induction of the arthritogenic Ab response. Indeed, DEL-1 was expressed in perivascular stromal cells of the lymph nodes and inhibited T follicular helper (Tfh) and germinal center B cell responses. Mechanistically, DEL-1 inhibited dendritic cell-dependent induction of Tfh cells by targeting the LFA-1 integrin on T cells. Overall, DEL-1 restrained arthritis through a dual mechanism, one acting locally in the joints and associated with the anti-recruitment function of endothelial cell-derived DEL-1; the other mechanism acting systemically in the lymph nodes and associated with the ability of stromal cell-derived DEL-1 to restrain Tfh responses. DEL-1 may thus be a promising novel therapeutic for the treatment of inflammatory arthritis.
Hui Wang, Xiaofei Li, Tetsuhiro Kajikawa, Jieun Shin, Jong-Hyung Lim, Ioannis Kourtzelis, Kosuke Nagai, Jonathan Korostoff, Sylvia Grossklaus, Ronald Naumann, Triantafyllos Chavakis, George Hajishengallis
IL-1β is a pro-inflammatory mediator with roles in innate and adaptive immunity. Here we show that IL-1β contributes to autoimmune arthritis by inducing osteoclastogenic capacity in T regulatory cells (Tregs). Using mice with joint inflammation arising through deficiency of the IL-1 receptor antagonist (Il1rn-/-), we observed that IL-1β blockade attenuated disease more effectively in early arthritis than in established arthritis, especially with respect to bone erosion. Protection was accompanied by a reduction in synovial CD4+Foxp3+ Tregs that displayed preserved suppressive capacity and aerobic metabolism but aberrant expression of RANKL and a striking capacity to drive RANKL-dependent osteoclast differentiation. Both Il1rn-/- Tregs and wild-type Tregs differentiated with IL-1β accelerated bone erosion upon adoptive transfer. Human Tregs exhibited analogous differentiation, and corresponding RANKLhiFoxp3+ T cells could be identified in rheumatoid arthritis synovial tissue. Together, these findings identify IL-1β-induced osteoclastogenic Tregs (O-Tregs) as a contributor to bone erosion in arthritis.
Anaïs Levescot, Margaret H. Chang, Julia Schnell, Nathan Nelson-Maney, Jing Yan, Marta Martínez-Bonet, Ricardo Grieshaber-Bouyer, Pui Y. Lee, Kevin Wei, Rachel B. Blaustein, Allyn Morris, Alexandra Wactor, Yoichiro Iwakura, James A. Lederer, Deepak A. Rao, Julia F. Charles, Peter A. Nigrovic
TNFR1 and TNFR2 have received prominent attention because of their dominance in the pathogenesis of inflammation and autoimmunity. TNFR1 has been extensively studied and primarily mediates inflammation. TNFR2 remains far less studied, although emerging evidences demonstrate that TNFR2 plays an anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory role in various conditions and diseases. Herein, we report that TNFR2 regulates macrophage polarization, a highly dynamic process controlled by largely unidentified intracellular regulators. Using biochemical co-purification and mass spectrometry approaches, we isolated the signaling molecule 14-3-3ε as a component of TNFR2 complexes in response to progranulin stimulation in macrophages. In addition, 14-3-3ε was essential for TNFR2 signaling-mediated regulation of macrophage polarization and switch. Both global and myeloid-specific deletion of 14-3-3ε resulted in exacerbated inflammatory arthritis and counteracted the protective effects of progranulin-mediated TNFR2 activation against inflammation and autoimmunity. TNFR2/14-3-3ε signaled through PI3K/Akt/mTOR to restrict NF-κB activation while simultaneously stimulating C/EBPβ activation, thereby instructing macrophage plasticity. Collectively, this study identifies 14-3-3ε as a previously-unrecognized vital component of the TNFR2 receptor complex and provides new insights into the TNFR2 signaling, particularly its role in macrophage polarization with therapeutic implications for various inflammatory and autoimmune diseases with activation of the TNFR2/14-3-3ε anti-inflammatory pathway.
Wenyu Fu, Wenhuo Hu, Young-Su Yi, Aubryanna Hettinghouse, Guodong Sun, Yufei Bi, Wenjun He, Lei Zhang, Guanmin Gao, Jody Liu, Kazuhito Toyo-oka, Guozhi Xiao, David B. Solit, Png Loke, Chuan-ju Liu
FOXP3+ Tregs are expanded within the inflamed intestine of human Crohn’s disease, yet FOXP3-mediated gene repression within these cells is lost. The polycomb repressive complexes play a role in FOXP3 target gene regulation, but deeper mechanistic insight is incomplete. We have now specifically identified the polycomb-repressive complex 1 (PRC1) family member, BMI1 in the regulation of a proinflammatory enhancer network in both human and murine Tregs. Using human Tregs and lamina propria T cells, we inferred PRC1 to regulate Crohn’s associated gene networks through assays of chromatin accessibility. Conditional deletion of BMI1 in murine FOXP3+ cells led to systemic inflammation. BMI1-deficient Tregs beared a TH1/TH17-like phenotype as assessed by assays of genome wide transcription, chromatin accessibility and proteomic techniques. Finally, BMI1 mutant FOXP3+ cells did not suppress colitis in the adoptive transfer model of human inflammatory bowel disease. We propose that BMI1 plays an important role in enforcing Treg identity in vitro and in vivo. Loss of Treg identity via genetic or transient BMI1 depletion perturbs the epigenome and converts Tregs into Th1/Th17-like proinflammatory cells, a transition relevant to human Crohn’s disease associated CD4+ T cells.
Michelle M. Gonzalez, Adebowale O. Bamidele, Phyllis A. Svingen, Mary R. Sagstetter, Thomas C. Smyrk, Joseph M. Gaballa, Feda H. Hamdan, Robyn Laura Kosinsky, Hunter R. Gibbons, Zhifu Sun, Zhenqing Ye, Asha Nair, Guilherme P. Ramos, Manuel B. Braga Neto, Alexander Q. Wixom, Angela J. Mathison, Steven A. Johnsen, Raul Urrutia, William A. Faubion Jr.
Lupus nephritis is a severe organ manifestation in systemic lupus erythematosus leading to kidney failure in a subset of patients. In lupus-prone mice, controlled infection with Plasmodium parasites protects against the progression of autoimmune pathology including lethal glomerulonephritis. Here, we demonstrate that parasite-induced protection was not due to a systemic effect of infection on autoimmunity as previously assumed, but rather to specific alterations in immune cell infiltrates into kidneys and renal draining lymph nodes. Infection of lupus-prone mice with a Plasmodium parasite did not reduce the levels or specificities of autoreactive antibodies, vasculitis, immune complex–induced innate activation, or hypoxia. Instead, infection uniquely reduced kidney-infiltrating CCL17-producing bone marrow–derived type 2 inflammatory dendritic cells (iDC2s). Bone marrow reconstitution experiments revealed that infection with Plasmodium caused alterations in bone marrow cells that hindered the ability of DC2s to infiltrate the kidneys. The essential role for CCL17 in lupus nephritis was confirmed by in vivo depletion with a blocking antibody, which reduced kidney pathology and immune infiltrates, while bypassing the need for parasitic infection. Therefore, infiltration into the kidneys of iDC2s, with the potential to prime local adaptive responses, is an essential regulated event in the transition from manageable glomerulonephritis to lethal tubular injury.
Laura Amo, Hemanta K. Kole, Bethany Scott, Chen-Feng Qi, Juan Wu, Silvia Bolland
Interstitial kidney inflammation is present in various nephritides in which serum IL-23 is elevated. Here we show that IL-23 receptor (IL-23R) expressing murine and human renal tubular epithelial cells (TEC) respond to IL-23 by inducing intracellular calcium flux, enhanced glycolysis, and the upregulation of calcium/calmodulin kinase IV (CaMK4) which results in suppression of the expression of the arginine degrading enzyme arginase 1 (ARG1) thus increasing in situ levels of free L-Arginine (Arg). Limited availability of Arg suppresses the ability of infiltrating T cells to proliferate and produce inflammatory cytokines. TEC from humans and mice with nephritis express increased levels of IL-23R and CaMK4 but reduced levels of ARG1. TEC-specific deletion of Il23r or Camk4 suppressed inflammation whereas deletion of Arg1 exacerbated inflammation in different murine disease models. Finally, TEC-specific delivery of a CaMK4 inhibitor specifically curbed the renal inflammation in lupus-prone mice without affecting systemic inflammation. Our data offer first evidence on the immunosuppressive capacity of TEC through a mechanism that involves competitive uptake of Arg and signify the importance of modulation of an inflammatory cytokine on the function of non-lymphoid cells, which leads to the establishment of an inflammatory microenvironment. New approaches to treat kidney inflammation should consider restoring the immunosuppressive capacity of TEC.
Hao Li, Maria G. Tsokos, Rhea Bhargava, Iannis E. Adamopoulos, Hanni Menn-Josephy, Isaac E. Stillman, Philip Rosenstiel, Jarrat Jordan, George C. Tsokos
In rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoclastic bone resorption causes structural joint damage as well as periarticular and systemic bone loss. Periarticular bone loss is one of the earliest indices of RA, often preceding the onset of clinical symptoms via largely unknown mechanisms. Excessive osteoclastogenesis induced by receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) expressed by synovial fibroblasts causes joint erosion, whereas the role of RANKL expressed by lymphocytes in various types of bone damage has yet to be elucidated. In the bone marrow of arthritic mice, we found an increase in the number of RANKL-expressing plasma cells, which displayed an ability to induce osteoclastogenesis in vitro. Genetic ablation of RANKL in B-lineage cells resulted in amelioration of periarticular bone loss, but not of articular erosion or systemic bone loss, in autoimmune arthritis. We also show conclusive evidence for the critical contribution of synovial fibroblast RANKL to joint erosion in collagen-induced arthritis on the arthritogenic DBA/1J background. This study highlights the importance of plasma-cell RANKL in periarticular bone loss in arthritis and provides mechanistic insight into the early manifestation of bone lesion induced by autoimmunity.
Noriko Komatsu, Stephanie Win, Minglu Yan, Nam Cong-Nhat Huynh, Shinichiro Sawa, Masayuki Tsukasaki, Asuka Terashima, Warunee Pluemsakunthai, George Kollias, Tomoki Nakashima, Hiroshi Takayanagi
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