Discovering dominant epitopes for T cells, particularly CD4+ T cells, in human immune-mediated diseases remains a significant challenge. Here, we used bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cells from HLA-DP2-expressing patients with chronic beryllium disease (CBD), a debilitating granulomatous lung disorder characterized by accumulations of beryllium (Be)-specific CD4+ T cells in the lung. We discovered lung resident CD4+ T cells that expressed a disease-specific public CDR3β T cell receptor motif and were specific to Be-modified self-peptides derived from C-C motif ligands 4 (CCL4) and 3 (CCL3). HLA-DP2-CCL/Be tetramer staining confirmed that these chemokine-derived peptides represented major antigenic targets in CBD. Furthermore, Be induced CCL3 and 4 secretion in the lungs of mice and humans. In a murine model of CBD, the addition of LPS to Be oxide exposure enhanced CCL4 and CCL3 secretion in the lung and significantly increased the number and percentage of CD4+ T cells specific for the HLA-DP2-CCL/Be epitope. Thus, we demonstrate a direct link between Be-induced innate production of chemokines and the development of a robust adaptive immune response to those same chemokines presented as Be-modified self-peptides, creating a vicious cycle of innate and adaptive immune activation.
Michael T. Falta, Jeremy C. Crawford, Alex N. Tinega, Laurie G. Landry, Frances Crawford, Douglas G. Mack, Allison K. Martin, Shaikh M. Atif, Li Li, Radleigh G. Santos, Maki Nakayama, John W. Kappler, Lisa A. Maier, Paul G. Thomas, Clemencia Pinilla, Andrew P. Fontenot
Women with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) exhibit better right ventricular (RV) function and survival than men; however, the underlying mechanisms are unknown. We hypothesized that 17β-estradiol (E2), through estrogen receptor α (ERα), attenuates PAH-induced RV failure (RVF) by up-regulating the pro-contractile and pro-survival peptide apelin via a bone morphogenetic protein receptor 2 (BMPR2)-dependent mechanism. We report that ERα and apelin levels are decreased in RV homogenates from patients with RVF and from rats with maladaptive (but not adaptive) RV remodeling. RV cardiomyocyte apelin abundance increased in vivo or in vitro after treatment with E2 or ERα agonist. Studies employing ERα or ERβ null mice, ERα mutant rats or siRNA demonstrated that ERα is necessary for E2 to upregulate RV apelin. E2 and ERα increased BMPR2 in PH-RVs and in isolated RV cardiomyocytes, associated with ERα binding to the Bmpr2 promoter. BMPR2 is required for E2-mediated increases in apelin abundance, and both BMPR2 and apelin are necessary for E2 to enhance pro-survival signaling. E2 or ERα agonist rescued monocrotaline-PH and restored RV apelin and BMPR2 expression. We identified a novel cardioprotective E2-ERα-BMPR2-apelin axis in the RV. Harnessing this axis may lead to novel, RV-targeted therapies for PAH patients of either sex.
Andrea L. Frump, Marjorie E. Albrecht, Bakhtiyor Yakubov, Sandra Breuils Bonnet, Valerie Nadeau, Eve Tremblay, Francois Potus, Junichi Omura, Todd Cook, Amanda Fisher, Brooke E. Rodriguez, R. Dale Brown, Kurt R. Stenmark, C. Dustin Rubinstein, Kathy Krentz, Diana M. Tabima, Rongbo Li, Xin Sun, Naomi C. Chesler, Steeve Provencher, Sebastien Bonnet, Tim Lahm
Fibrosis is a macrophage-driven process of uncontrolled extracellular matrix accumulation. Neuronal guidance proteins such as netrin-1 promote inflammatory scarring. We found that macrophage-derived netrin-1 stimulates fibrosis through its neuronal guidance functions. In mice, fibrosis due to inhaled bleomycin engendered netrin-1–expressing macrophages and fibroblasts, remodeled adrenergic nerves, and augmented noradrenaline. Cell-specific knockout mice showed that collagen accumulation, fibrotic histology, and nerve-associated endpoints required netrin-1 of macrophage but not fibroblast origin. Adrenergic denervation; haploinsufficiency of netrin-1’s receptor, deleted in colorectal carcinoma; and therapeutic α1 adrenoreceptor antagonism improved collagen content and histology. An idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) lung microarray data set showed increased netrin-1 expression. IPF lung tissues were enriched for netrin-1+ macrophages and noradrenaline. A longitudinal IPF cohort showed improved survival in patients prescribed α1 adrenoreceptor blockade. This work showed that macrophages stimulate lung fibrosis via netrin-1–driven adrenergic processes and introduced α1 blockers as a potentially new fibrotic therapy.
Ruijuan Gao, Xueyan Peng, Carrighan Perry, Huanxing Sun, Aglaia Ntokou, Changwan Ryu, Jose L. Gomez, Benjamin C. Reeves, Anjali Walia, Naftali Kaminski, Nir Neumark, Genta Ishikawa, Katharine E. Black, Lida P. Hariri, Meagan W. Moore, Mridu Gulati, Robert J. Homer, Daniel M. Greif, Holger K. Eltzschig, Erica L. Herzog
Pulmonary ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) is a clinical syndrome of acute lung injury that occurs after lung transplantation or remote organ ischemia. IRI causes early mortality and has no effective therapies. While natural killer (NK) cells are innate lymphocytes capable of recognizing injured cells, their roles in acute lung injury are incompletely understood. Here, we demonstrated that NK cells were increased in frequency and cytotoxicity in two different IRI mouse models. We showed that NK cells trafficked to the lung tissue from peripheral reservoirs and were more mature within lung tissue. Acute lung ischemia-reperfusion injury was blunted in a NK cell-deficient mouse strain but restored with adoptive transfer of NK cells. Mechanistically, NK cell NKG2D receptor ligands were induced on lung endothelial and epithelial cells following IRI, and antibody-mediated NK cell depletion or NKG2D stress receptor blockade abrogated acute lung injury. In human lung tissue, NK cells were increased at sites of ischemia-reperfusion injury and activated NK cells were increased in prospectively collected human bronchoalveolar lavage in subjects with severe IRI. These data support a causal role for recipient peripheral NK cells in pulmonary IRI via NK cell NKG2D receptor ligation. Therapies targeting NK cells may hold promise in acute lung injury.
Daniel R. Calabrese, Emily Aminian, Benat Mallavia, Fengchun Liu, Simon J. Cleary, Oscar A. Aguilar, Ping Wang, Jonathan Hoover, Jonathan P. Singer, Steven R. Hays, Jeffrey A. Golden, Jasleen Kukreja, Daniel T. Dugger, Mary Nakamura, Lewis L. Lanier, Mark R. Looney, John R. Greenland
The SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus global pandemic (COVID-19) has led to millions of cases and hundreds of thousands of deaths globally. While older adults appear at high risk for severe disease, hospitalizations and deaths due to SARS-CoV-2 among children have been relatively rare. Integrating single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) of developing mouse lung with temporally-resolved immunofluorescence in mouse and human lung tissue, we found expression of SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein primer TMPRSS2 was highest in ciliated cells and type I alveolar epithelial cells (AT1), and TMPRSS2 expression increased with aging in mice and humans. Analysis of autopsy tissue from fatal COVID-19 cases detected SARS-CoV-2 RNA most frequently in ciliated and secretory cells in airway epithelium and AT1 cells in peripheral lung. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was highly colocalized in cells expressing TMPRSS2. Together, these data demonstrate the cellular spectrum infected by SARS-CoV-2 in lung epithelium and suggest that developmental regulation of TMPRSS2 may underlie the relative protection of infants and children from severe respiratory illness.
Bryce A. Schuler, A. Christian Habermann, Erin J. Plosa, Chase J. Taylor, Christopher Jetter, Nicholas M. Negretti, Meghan E. Kapp, John T. Benjamin, Peter Gulleman, David S. Nichols, Lior Z. Braunstein, Alice Hackett, Michael Koval, Susan H. Guttentag, Timothy S. Blackwell, Steven A. Webber, Nicholas E. Banovich, Jonathan A. Kropski, Jennifer M. S. Sucre
Emerging evidence indicates that early life events can increase the risk for developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Using an inducible transgenic mouse model for NF-κB activation in the airway epithelium, we found that a brief period of inflammation during the saccular stage [postnatal day (PN)3 - PN5] but not alveolar stage (PN10 - PN12) of lung development disrupts elastic fiber assembly, resulting in permanent reduction in lung function and development of a COPD-like lung phenotype that progresses through 24 months of age. Neutrophil depletion prevented disruption of elastic fiber assembly and restored normal lung development. Mechanistic studies uncovered a role for neutrophil elastase (NE) in downregulating expression of critical elastic fiber assembly components, particularly fibulin-5 and elastin. Further, both purified human NE and NE-containing exosomes from tracheal aspirates of premature infants with lung inflammation down-regulated elastin and fibulin-5 expression by saccular stage mouse lung fibroblasts. Together, our studies define a critical developmental window for assembling the elastin scaffold in the distal lung, which is required to support lung structure and function throughout the lifespan. While neutrophils play a well-recognized role in COPD development in adults, neutrophilic inflammation may also contribute to early life predisposition to COPD.
John T. Benjamin, Erin Plosa, Jennifer Sucre, Riet van der Meer, Shivangi Dave, Sergey S. Gutor, David Nichols, Peter Gulleman, Christopher Jetter, Wei Han, Matthew K. Xin, Peter C. Dinella, Ashley Catanzarite, Seunghyi Kook, Kalsang Dolma, Charitharth V. Lal, Amit Gaggar, J. Edwin Blalock, Dawn C. Newcomb, Bradley W. Richmond, Jonathan A. Kropski, Lisa R. Young, Susan Guttentag, Timothy S. Blackwell
Macrophages are main effectors of heme metabolism, increasing transiently in the liver during heightened disposal of damaged or senescent red blood cells (sRBC). Macrophages are also essential in defense against microbial threats, but pathologic states of heme excess may be immunosuppressive. Herein, we uncovered a mechanism whereby an acute rise in sRBC disposal by macrophages led to an immunosuppressive phenotype following intrapulmonary Klebsiella pneumoniae infection characterized by increased extrapulmonary bacterial proliferation and reduced survival from sepsis in mice. The impaired immunity to K. pneumoniae during heightened sRBC disposal was independent of iron acquisition by bacterial siderophores, as K. pneumoniae mutant lacking siderophore function recapitulated findings observed with wildtype strain. Rather, sRBC disposal induced a liver transcriptomic profile notable for suppression of Stat1 and interferon-related responses during K. pneumoniae sepsis. Excess heme handling by macrophages recapitulated STAT1 suppression during infection that required synergistic NRF1 and NRF2 activation but was independent of heme oxygenase-1 induction. Whereas iron was dispensable, the porphyrin moiety of heme was sufficient to mediate suppression of STAT1-dependent responses in human and mouse macrophages and promoted liver dissemination of K. pneumoniae in vivo. Thus, cellular heme metabolism dysfunction negatively regulates the STAT1 pathway with implications in severe infection.
Tolani F. Olonisakin, Tomeka L. Suber, Shekina Gonzalez-Ferrer, Zeyu Xiong, Hernán F. Peñaloza, Rick van der Geest, Yuting Xiong, David O. Osei-Hwedieh, Jesus Tejero, Matthew R. Rosengart, Wendy M. Mars, Daria Van Tyne, Andreas Perlegas, Samuel Brashears, Daniel B. Kim-Shapiro, Mark T. Gladwin, Michael A. Bachman, Eldad A. Hod, Claudette St. Croix, Yulia Y. Tyurina, Valerian E. Kagan, Rama K. Mallampalli, Anuradha Ray, Prabir Ray, Janet S. Lee
BACKGROUND. The ABO histo-blood group is defined by carbohydrate modifications and is associated with risk for multiple diseases including Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). We hypothesized that genetically determined blood subtype A1 is associated with increased risk of ARDS and markers of microvascular dysfunction and coagulation. METHODS. We conducted analyses in three cohorts of critically ill trauma and sepsis patients (n = 3,710) genotyped on genome-wide platforms to determine the association of the A1 blood type genotype with ARDS risk. We subsequently determined if associations were present in FUT2 defined non-secretors who lack ABO antigens on epithelium, but not endothelium. In a patient subgroup, we determined the associations of blood type with plasma levels of endothelial glycoproteins and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). Lastly, we tested if blood type A was associated with less donor lung injury recovery during human ex vivo lung perfusion (EVLP). RESULTS. The A1 genotype was associated with a higher risk of moderate to severe ARDS relative to type O in all three populations. In sepsis, this relationship was strongest in non-pulmonary infections. The association persisted in non-secretors, suggesting a vascular mechanism. The A1 genotype was also associated with higher DIC risk as well as concentrations of thrombomodulin and von Willebrand Factor, which in turn were associated with ARDS risk. Blood type A was also associated with less lung injury recovery during EVLP. CONCLUSIONS. We identified a replicable association between ABO blood type A1 and risk of ARDS among the critically ill possibly mediated through microvascular dysfunction and coagulation.
John P. Reilly, Nuala J. Meyer, Michael G.S. Shashaty, Brian J. Anderson, Caroline Ittner, Thomas G. Dunn, Brian Lim, Caitlin Forker, Michael P. Bonk, Ethan D. Kotloff, Rui Feng, Edward Cantu, Nilam S. Mangalmurti, Carolyn S. Calfee, Michael A. Matthay, Carmen Mikacenic, Keith R. Walley, James A. Russell, David C. Christiani, Mark M. Wurfel, Paul N. Lanken, Muredach P. Reilly, Jason D. Christie
Antibodies targeting human leukocyte antigen (HLA)/major histocompatibility complex (MHC) proteins limit successful transplantation and transfusion, and their presence in blood products can cause lethal transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI). It is unclear which cell types are bound by these ‘anti-leukocyte’ antibodies to initiate an immunologic cascade resulting in lung injury. We therefore conditionally removed MHC class I (MHC I) from likely cellular targets in antibody-mediated lung injury. Only the removal of endothelial MHC I reduced lung injury and mortality, related mechanistically to absent endothelial complement fixation and lung platelet retention. Restoration of endothelial MHC I rendered MHC I-deficient mice susceptible to lung injury. Neutrophil responses, including neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) release, were intact in endothelial MHC I-deficient mice, whereas complement depletion reduced both lung injury and NETs. Human pulmonary endothelial cells showed high HLA class I expression, and post-transfusion complement activation was increased in clinical TRALI. These results indicate that the critical source of antigen for ‘anti-leukocyte’ antibodies is in fact the endothelium, which reframes our understanding of TRALI as a rapid-onset vasculitis. Inhibition of complement activation may have multiple beneficial effects of reducing endothelial injury, platelet retention, and NET release in conditions where antibodies trigger these pathogenic responses.
Simon J. Cleary, Nicholas Kwaan, Jennifer J. Tian, Daniel R. Calabrese, Beñat Mallavia, Mélia Magnen, John R. Greenland, Anatoly Urisman, Jonathan P. Singer, Steven R. Hays, Jasleen Kukreja, Ariel M. Hay, Heather L. Howie, Pearl Toy, Clifford A. Lowell, Craig N. Morrell, James C. Zimring, Mark R. Looney
Mothers living near high-traffic roads before or during pregnancy have increased odds of having children with asthma. Mechanisms are unknown. Using a mouse model, here we showed that maternal exposure to diesel exhaust particles (DEP) predisposed offspring to allergic airway disease/AAD (murine counterpart of human asthma) through programming of their NK cells; predisposition to AAD did not develop in ‘DEP’ pups that lacked NK cells and was induced in normal pups receiving NK cells from wild type ‘DEP’ pups. “DEP’ NK cells expressed GATA3 and co-secreted IL-13 and the ‘killer’ protease granzyme B in response to allergen challenge. Extracellular granzyme B did not kill but instead it stimulated protease-activated receptor 2 (PAR2) to cooperate with IL-13 in the induction of IL-25 in airway epithelial cells. Through loss-of-function and reconstitution experiments in pups, we showed that NK cells and granzyme B were required for IL-25 induction and activation of the type-2 immune response, and IL-25 mediated NK cell effects on type-2 response and AAD. Lastly, experiments using human cord blood and airway epithelial cells suggested that DEP might induce an identical pathway in humans. Collectively, we described an NK cell-dependent endotype of AAD that emerged in early life as a result of maternal exposure to DEP.
Qian Qian, Bidisha Paul Chowdhury, Zehua Sun, Jerica Lenberg, Rafeul Alam, Eric Vivier, Magdalena M. Gorska