BACKGROUND. Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitidies (AAV) are life-threatening systemic autoimmune conditions. ANCA directed against proteinase 3 (PR3) or myeloperoxidase (MPO) bind their cell surface-presented antigen, activate neutrophils and cause vasculitis. An imbalance between PR3 and its major inhibitor α1-antitrypsin (AAT) was proposed to underlie PR3- but not MPO-AAV. We measured AAT and PR3 in healthies and AAV patients and studied protective AAT effects pertaining to PR3- and MPO-ANCA. METHODS. Plasma and blood neutrophils were assessed for PR3 and AAT. Wild-type, mutant, and oxidation-resistant AAT species were produced to characterize AAT-PR3 interactions by flow cytometry, immunoblotting, FRET assays, and surface plasmon resonance measurements. Neutrophil activation was measured using the ferricytochrome C assay and AAT methionine-oxidation by Parallel Reaction Monitoring. RESULTS. We found significantly increased PR3 and AAT pools in both PR3- and MPO-AAV patients, however, only in PR3-AAV did the PR3 pool correlate with ANCA titer, inflammatory response and disease severity. Mechanistically, AAT prevented PR3 from binding to CD177, thereby reducing neutrophil surface antigen for ligation by PR3-ANCA. Active PR3-AAV patients showed critical methionine-oxidation in plasma AAT that was recapitulated by ANCA-activated neutrophils. The protective PR3-related AAT effects were compromised by methionine-oxidation in the AAT reactive center loop but preserved when two critical methionines were substituted by valine and leucine. CONCLUSION. Pathogenic differences between PR3- and MPO-AAV are related to AAT regulation of membrane-PR3, attenuating neutrophil activation by PR3- rather than MPO-ANCA. Oxidation-resistant AAT could serve as adjunctive therapy in PR3-AAV.
Maximilian J.P. Ebert, Uwe Jerke, Claudia Eulenberg-Gustavus, Lovis Kling, Dieter E. Jenne, Marieluise Kirchner, Philipp Mertins, Markus Bieringer, Saban Elitok, Kai-Uwe Eckardt, Adrian Schreiber, Alan D. Salama, Ralph Kettritz
BACKGROUND. Cytochrome P450 Family 8 Subfamily B Member 1 (CYP8B1) generates 12α-hydroxylated bile acids (BAs) which were associated with insulin resistance in humans. METHODS. To determine if reduced CYP8B1 activity improves insulin sensitivity, we sequenced CYP8B1 in individuals without diabetes and identified carriers of complete loss-of-function (CLOF) mutations utilizing functional assays. RESULTS. Mutation carriers had lower plasma 12α-hydroxylated:non-12α-hydroxylated BA and cholic acid (CA):chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA) ratios compared to age-, gender- and BMI-matched controls. During insulin clamps, hepatic glucose production was suppressed to a similar magnitude by insulin, but glucose infusion rates to maintain euglycemia were higher in mutation carriers, indicating increased peripheral insulin sensitivity. Consistently, a polymorphic CLOF CYP8B1 mutation associated with lower fasting insulin in the AMP-T2D-GENES study. Exposure of primary human muscle cells to carrier CA:CDCA ratios demonstrated increased FOXO1 activity, and upregulation of both insulin signaling and glucose uptake, which were mediated by increased CDCA. Inhibition of FOXO1 attenuated the CDCA-mediated increase in muscle insulin signaling and glucose uptake. We find that reduced CYP8B1 activity associates with increased insulin sensitivity in humans. CONCLUSION. Our findings suggest that increased circulatory CDCA due to reduced CYP8B1 activity increases skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity, contributing to increased whole-body insulin sensitization. FUNDING. This study was funded by BMRC/NMRC Bench and Bedside grant (BnB13Dec011) to HCT and RRS.
Shiqi Zhong, Raphael Chevre, David Castaño Mayan, Maria Corlianò, Blake J. Cochran, Kai Ping Sem, Theo H. van Dijk, Jianhe Peng, Liang Juin Tan, Siddesh V. Hartimath, Boominathan Ramasamy, Peter Cheng, Albert K. Groen, Folkert Kuipers, Julian L. Goggi, Chester Drum, Rob M. van Dam, Ru-San Tan, Kerry-Anne Rye, Michael R. Hayden, Ching-Yu Cheng, Shaji Chacko, Jason Flannick, Xueling Sim, Hong Chang Tan, Roshni R. Singaraja
BACKGROUND Several molecular imaging strategies can identify bacterial infections in humans. PET affords the potential for sensitive infection detection deep within the body. Among PET-based approaches, antibiotic-based radiotracers, which often target key bacterial-specific enzymes, have considerable promise. One question for antibiotic radiotracers is whether antimicrobial resistance (AMR) reduces specific accumulation within bacteria, diminishing the predictive value of the diagnostic test.METHODS Using a PET radiotracer based on the antibiotic trimethoprim (TMP), [11C]-TMP, we performed in vitro uptake studies in susceptible and drug-resistant bacterial strains and whole-genome sequencing (WGS) in selected strains to identify TMP resistance mechanisms. Next, we queried the NCBI database of annotated bacterial genomes for WT and resistant dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) genes. Finally, we initiated a first-in-human protocol of [11C]-TMP in patients infected with both TMP-sensitive and TMP-resistant organisms to demonstrate the clinical feasibility of the tool.RESULTS We observed robust [11C]-TMP uptake in our panel of TMP-sensitive and -resistant bacteria, noting relatively variable and decreased uptake in a few strains of P. aeruginosa and E. coli. WGS showed that the vast majority of clinically relevant bacteria harbor a WT copy of DHFR, targetable by [11C]-TMP, and that despite the AMR, these strains should be “imageable.” Clinical imaging of patients with [11C]-TMP demonstrated focal radiotracer uptake in areas of infectious lesions.CONCLUSION This work highlights an approach to imaging bacterial infection in patients, which could affect our understanding of bacterial pathogenesis as well as our ability to better diagnose infections and monitor response to therapy.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03424525.FUNDING Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, NIH Office of the Director Early Independence Award (DP5-OD26386), and University of Pennsylvania NIH T32 Radiology Research Training Grant (5T32EB004311-12).
Iris K. Lee, Daniel A. Jacome, Joshua K. Cho, Vincent Tu, Anthony J. Young, Tiffany Dominguez, Justin D. Northrup, Jean M. Etersque, Hsiaoju S. Lee, Andrew Ruff, Ouniol Aklilu, Kyle Bittinger, Laurel J. Glaser, Daniel Dorgan, Denis Hadjiliadis, Rahul M. Kohli, Robert H. Mach, David A. Mankoff, Robert K. Doot, Mark A. Sellmyer
Background We report updated safety, efficacy, and immunogenicity of AZD1222 (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) from an ongoing phase 3 trial.Methods Adults at increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection were randomized (2:1), stratified by age, to receive 2 doses of AZD1222 or placebo. The primary efficacy end point was confirmed SARS-CoV-2 reverse-transcriptase PCR–positive (RT-PCR–positive) symptomatic COVID-19 at 15 or more days after a second dose in baseline SARS-CoV-2–seronegative participants. The 21,634 and 10,816 participants were randomized to AZD1222 and placebo, respectively.Findings Data cutoff for this analysis was July 30, 2021; median follow-up from second dose was 78 and 71 days for the double-blind period (censoring at unblinding or nonstudy COVID-19 vaccination) and 201 and 82 days for the period to nonstudy COVID-19 vaccination (regardless of unblinding) in the AZD1222 and placebo groups, respectively. For the primary efficacy end point in the double-blind period (141 and 184 events; incidence rates: 39.2 and 118.8 per 1,000 person years), vaccine efficacy was 67.0% (P < 0.001). In the period to nonstudy COVID-19 vaccination, incidence of events remained consistently low and stable through 6 months in the AZD1222 group; for the primary efficacy end point (328 and 219 events; incidence rates: 36.4, 108.4) and severe/critical disease (5 and 13 events; incidence rates: 0.6, 6.4), respective vaccine efficacy estimates were 65.1% and 92.1%. AZD1222 elicited humoral immune responses over time, with waning at day 180. No emergent safety issues were seen.Conclusion AZD1222 is safe and well tolerated, demonstrating durable protection and immunogenicity with median follow-up (AZD1222 group) of 6 months.Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04516746.Funding AstraZeneca; US government.
Magdalena E. Sobieszczyk, Jill Maaske, Ann R. Falsey, Stephanie Sproule, Merlin L. Robb, Robert W. Frenck Jr., Hong-Van Tieu, Kenneth H. Mayer, Lawrence Corey, Kathleen M. Neuzil, Tina Tong, Margaret Brewinski Isaacs, Holly Janes, Himanshu Bansal, Lindsay M. Edwards, Justin A. Green, Elizabeth J. Kelly, Kathryn Shoemaker, Therese Takas, Tom White, Prakash Bhuyan, Tonya Villafana, and Ian Hirsch, on behalf of the AstraZeneca AZD1222 Clinical Study Group
BACKGROUND AND METHODS. The functional and transcriptional features of immune effector senescence and their influence on therapeutic response were investigated in independent AML clinical cohorts comprising 1,896 patients treated with chemotherapy and/or immune checkpoint blockade (ICB). RESULTS. We show that senescent-like bone marrow CD8+ T cells were impaired in killing autologous AML blasts, and that their proportion negatively correlated with overall survival (OS). We defined new immune effector dysfunction (IED) signatures using two gene expression profiling platforms and report that IED scores correlated with adverse-risk molecular lesions, stemness, and poor outcomes as a potentially more powerful predictor of OS than 2017-ELN risk or leukemia stem cell (LSC17) scores. IED expression signatures also identified an ICB-unresponsive tumor microenvironment and predicted significantly worse OS. CONCLUSION. The newly described IED scores provided improved AML risk stratification and could facilitate the delivery of personalized immunotherapies to patients who are most likely to benefit.
Sergio Rutella, Jayakumar Vadakekolathu, Francesco Mazziotta, Stephen Reeder, Tung-On Yau, Rupkatha Mukhopadhyay, Benjamin Dickins, Heidi Altmann, Michael Kramer, Hanna A. Knaus, Bruce R. Blazar, Vedran Radojcic, Joshua F. Zeidner, Andrea Arruda, Bofei Wang, Hussein A. Abbas, Mark D. Minden, Sarah K. Tasian, Martin Bornhäuser, Ivana Gojo, Leo Luznik
BACKGROUND. Studies in cell cultures and rodents suggest that toll-like receptor (TLR)4 is involved in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance, but direct data in humans are limited. We tested the hypothesis that pharmacologic blockade of TLR4 with the competitive inhibitor eritoran would improve insulin resistance in humans. METHODS. In Protocol I, 10 lean, healthy subjects received the following 72-h intravenous (I.V.) infusions in a randomized crossover design: saline (30 ml/h)+vehicle; Intralipid® (30 ml/h)+vehicle; or Intralipid® (30 ml/h)+eritoran (12 mg I.V. every 12 h). In Protocol II, 9 obese, non-diabetic subjects received eritoran (12 mg I.V. every 12 h) or vehicle for 72 h, also in a randomized crossover design. The effects of eritoran were assessed with a euglycemic, hyperinsulinemic clamp. RESULTS. In Protocol I, lipid infusion significantly decreased peripheral insulin sensitivity (M value) by 14% and increased fasting plasma glucose (FPG), fasting plasma insulin (FPI) and HOMA insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR) by 7%, 22%, and 26%, respectively. Eritoran did not prevent lipid-induced alterations in these metabolic parameters. Eritoran also failed to improve any baseline metabolic parameters (M, FPG, FPI, HOMA-IR) in obese, insulin-resistant subjects (Protocol II). CONCLUSIONS. Acute TLR4 inhibition with eritoran did not protect against lipid-induced insulin resistance. Short-term eritoran administration also failed to improve obesity-associated insulin resistance. These data do not support a role for TLR4 in insulin resistance. Future studies with a different class of TLR4 inhibitors, longer drug exposure, and/or lipid-enhancing interventions richer in saturated fats may be needed to further clarify the role of TLR4 on metabolic dysfunction in humans. TRIAL REGISTRATIONS. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02321111, NCT02267317 FUNDING. NIH grants R01DK080157, P30AG044271, P30AG013319 and UL1TR002645.
Hanyu Liang, Nattapol Sathavarodom, Claudia Colmenares, Jonathan Gelfond, Sara E. Espinoza, Vinutha Ganapathy, Nicolas Musi
BACKGROUND. Cognitive impairment is a common symptom of Parkinson’s Disease (PD), which increases in risk and severity as the disease progresses. The stage at which patients exhibit cognitive deficit on neuropsychological tests but daily social and occupational functioning is unaffected is termed mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Currently, an unmet clinical need is accurately predicting the risk of progression from the MCI stage to PDD which negatively affects the patients quality of life and incurs a greater cost on society and caregivers. METHODS. We investigated the use of a supervised learning algorithm called Support Vector Machine (SVM) to retrospectively stratify patients based on brain fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) –PET. Of 43 PD-MCI patients scanned at baseline, 23 progressed to PDD within a 5 year follow-up period, whereas 20 remained stable MCI. The baseline FDG-PET scans were used to train an SVM model which optimally separated patients as PDD converters vs. stable MCI with 95% sensitivity and 91% specificity. RESULTS. The high classification performance was confirmed with 10-fold cross-validation (87% sensitivity and 85% specificity). The hyperplane of the resulting SVM model was topographically characterized by hypometabolism in the posterior temporal and parietal lobes and hypermetabolism in the anterior cingulum, putamen, insular gyrus, mesiotemporal lobe, postcentral gyrus and supplementary motor area. The statistical significance of the hyperplane topology was verified by a permutation test, suggesting that these brain metabolic signatures robustly predicted PDD conversions within 5 years from PD-MCI status. The performance of the SVM model was tested on an independent dataset from two brain imaging centers located in Seoul (South Korea) and Winnipeg (Canada) which confirmed that the model is also sensitive to later stage PDD (17 of 19; 89% sensitivity) and Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB; 16 of 17; 94% sensitivity). Only 12% of cognitively normal PD patients (2 of 17) were classified as PDD converters while none of the 18 normal control subjects were classified as such. Finally, anti-PD medication status did not change the SVM classification of the another set of 10 PD patients (3 of 10 patients were classified as PDD converters) who were scanned twice ON and OFF medication. CONCLUSIONS. These results potentially indicate that the proposed FDG-PET-based SVM classifier has high utility for providing accurate prognosis of dementia development in PD-MCI patients.
Samuel Booth, Kye Won Park, Chong Sik Lee, Ji Hyun Ko
BACKGROUND. Herpes simplex virus lymphadenitis (HSVL) is an unusual presentation of HSV reactivation in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients characterized by systemic symptoms and no herpetic lesions. The immune responses during HSVL have not been studied. METHODS. Peripheral blood and lymph node samples of a patient with HSVL were obtained. HSV-2 viral load, antibody levels, B and T cell responses, cytokine levels, and tumor burden were measured. RESULTS. This patient showed HSV-2 viremia for at least 6 weeks. During this period, she had a robust HSV-specific antibody response with neutralizing and antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis activity. Activated (HLA-DR+, CD38+) CD4+ and CD8+ T cells increased 18-fold and HSV-specific CD8+ T cells were detected in the blood at higher numbers. HSV-specific B and T cell responses in the lymph node were also detected. Markedly elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the blood were also observed. Surprisingly, a sustained decrease in CLL tumor burden without CLL-directed therapy was observed with this and also a prior episode of HSVL. CONCLUSION. HSVL should be considered as part of the differential diagnosis in CLL patients who present with signs and symptoms of aggressive lymphoma transformation. An interesting finding was the sustained tumor control after 2 episodes of HSVL in this patient. This tumor burden reduction may be due to the HSV-specific response serving as an adjuvant for activating tumor-specific or bystander T cells. Studies in additional CLL patients are needed to confirm and extend these findings. FUNDING. National Institutes of Health and Winship Cancer Institute.
Andres Chang, Anton M. Sholukh, Andreas Wieland, David L. Jaye, Mary Carrington, Meei-Li Huang, Hong Xie, Keith R. Jerome, Pavitra Roychoudhury, Alexander L. Greninger, Jean L. Koff, Jonathon B. Cohen, David M. Koelle, Lawrence Corey, Christopher R. Flowers, Rafi Ahmed
BACKGROUND. Adoptive cell therapy (ACT) with tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) has achieved remarkable clinical efficacy in metastatic cancers such as melanoma and cervical cancer (CC). Here we explored the safety, feasibility and preliminary tumor response and performed translational investigations of adjuvant immunotherapy using infusion of autogenous (auto)-TILs following concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) in CC patients with locally advanced disease. METHODS. Twenty-seven CC patients with stage III to IV disease were recruited in this single-center, phase I study. TILs were isolated from lesions in the uterine cervix and generated under good manufacturing practices (GMP) conditions and then infused after CCRT plus intramuscular interleukin (IL)-2 injections. RESTULTS. From 27 patients, TILs were successfully expanded from 20 patients, with a feasibility of 74.1%. Twelve patients received TILs following CCRT. Adverse events (AEs) were primarily attributable to CCRT. Only 1 (8.3%) patient experienced severe toxicity with a grade 3 hypersensitivity reaction after TIL infusion. No autoimmune AEs, such as pneumonitis, hepatitis, or myocarditis, occurred, and there was no treatment-related mortality. Nine of 12 patients (75.0%) attained complete response, with a disease control duration of 9 to 22 months. Translational investigation showed that the transcriptomic characteristics of the infused TIL products and some immune biomarkers in the tumor microenvironment and serum of CC patients at baseline were correlated with the clinical response. CONCULSION. TIL-based ACT following CCRT was safe in an academic center setting, with potential effective responses in locally advanced CC patients. ‘Hot’ inflammatory immune environments are beneficial to the clinical efficacy of TIL-based ACT as adjuvant therapy. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04443296. FUNDING. Natinoal Key R&D Program: Sci-Tech Key Program of the Guangzhou City Science Foundation; the Guangdong Provinve Sci-Tech International Key Program; the National Natural Science Foundation of China.
He Huang, Caiping Nie, Xiu-feng Liu, Bin Song, Jian-hui Yue, Jingxiao Xu, Jia He, Kui Li, Yan-ling Feng, Ting Wan, Min Zheng, Yanna Zhang, Wei-jun Ye, Jun-dong Li, Yan-fang Li, Jun-yun Li, Xin-Ping Cao, Zhi-min Liu, Xiao-Shi Zhang, Qing Liu, Xi Zhang, Ji-Hong Liu, Jiang Li
Background: Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma not associated with human papillomavirus (HPV-unrelated HNSCC) is associated with high rates of recurrence and poor survival. Methods: We conducted a clinical trial in 14 patients with newly diagnosed, HPV-unrelated HNSCC to evaluate the safety and efficacy of neoadjuvant bintrafusp alfa, a bifunctional fusion protein that blocks programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) and neutralizes transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-). Results: Bintrafusp alfa was well tolerated, and no treatment-associated surgical delays or complications occurred. Objective pathologic responses were observed and 12 of 14 patients (86%) were alive and disease free at one year. Alterations in regulatory T cell infiltration and spatial distribution relative to proliferating CD8 T cells indicated reversal of Treg immunosuppression in the primary tumor. Detection of neoepitope-specific tumor T cell responses, but not viral-specific responses, correlated with development of a pathologic response. Detection of neoepitope-specific responses and pathologic responses in tumors was not correlated with genomic features or tumor antigenicity but was associated with reduced pre-treatment myeloid cell tumor infiltration. These results indicate that dual PD-L1 and TGF- blockade can safely enhance tumor antigen-specific immunity and highlight the feasibility of multi-mechanism neoadjuvant immunotherapy in patients with HPV-unrelated HNSCC. Conclusion: Our studies provide new insight into the ability of neoadjuvant immunotherapy to induce polyclonal neoadjuvant-specific T cell responses in tumors and suggest that features of the tumor microenvironment, such as myeloid cell infiltration, may be a major determinant of enhanced anti-tumor immunity following such treatment.
Jason M. Redman, Jay Friedman, Yvette Robbins, Cem Sievers, Xinping Yang, Wiem Lassoued, Andrew Sinkoe, Antonios Papanicolau-Sengos, Chyi-Chia R. Lee, Jennifer L. Marte, Evrim B. Turkbey, Wojciech Mydlarz, Arjun S. Joshi, Nyall R. London, Jr., Matthew Pierce, Rodney J. Taylor, Steven Hong, Andrew Nguyen, Patrick Soon-Shiong, Jeffrey Schlom, James L. Gulley, Clint T. Allen
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