Heterotopic ossification (HO) is pathological bone formation characterized by ossification within muscle, tendons, or other soft tissues. However, the cells of origin and mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of HO remain elusive. Here we show that deletion of Suppressor of fused (Sufu) in Cathepsin K-Cre-expressing (Ctsk-Cre-expressing) cells resulted in spontaneous and progressive ligament, tendon, and periarticular ossification. Lineage tracing studies and cell functional analysis demonstrated that Ctsk-Cre could label a subpopulation of tendon-derived progenitor cells (TDPCs) marked by tendon marker Scleraxis (Scx). Ctsk+Scx+ TDPCs are enriched for tendon stem cell markers and show the highest self-renewal capacity and differentiation potential. Sufu deficiency caused enhanced chondrogenic and osteogenic differentiation of Ctsk-Cre-expressing tendon-derived cells via upregulating Hedgehog (Hh) signaling. Furthermore, pharmacological intervention of hedgehog signaling using JQ1 suppressed the development of HO. Thus, our results display that Cathepsin K-Cre labels a subpopulation of TDPCs contributing to HO and their cell fate changes are driven by activation of Hh signaling.
Heng Feng, Wenhui Xing, Yujiao Han, Jun Sun, Mingxiang Kong, Bo Gao, Yang Yang, Zi Yin, Xiao Chen, Yun Zhao, Qing Bi, Weiguo Zou
Desmoglein 3 chimeric autoantibody receptor T-cells (DSG3-CAART) expressing the pemphigus vulgaris (PV) autoantigen DSG3, fused to CD137-CD3ζ signaling domains, represent a precision cellular immunotherapy approach for antigen-specific B-cell depletion. Here, we present definitive preclinical studies enabling a first-in-human trial of DSG3-CAART for mucosal PV. DSG3-CAART specifically lysed human anti-DSG3 B-cells from PV patients and demonstrated activity consistent with a threshold dose in vivo, resulting in decreased target cell burden, decreased serum and tissue-bound autoantibodies, and increased DSG3-CAART engraftment. In a PV active immune model with physiologic anti-DSG3 IgG levels, DSG3-CAART inhibited antibody responses against pathogenic DSG3 epitopes and autoantibody binding to epithelial tissues, leading to clinical and histologic resolution of blisters. DSG3 autoantibodies stimulate DSG3-CAART IFNγ secretion and homotypic clustering, consistent with an activated phenotype. Toxicology screens using primary human cells and high-throughput membrane proteome arrays did not identify off-target cytotoxic interactions. These preclinical data guided the trial design for DSG3-CAART and may help inform CAART preclinical development for other antibody-mediated diseases.
Jinmin Lee, Daniel K. Lundgren, Xuming Mao, Silvio Manfredo-Vieira, Selene Nunez-Cruz, Erik F. Williams, Charles-Antoine Assenmacher, Enrico Radaelli, Sangwook Oh, Baomei Wang, Christoph T. Ellebrecht, Joseph A. Fraietta, Michael C. Miloneǂ, Aimee S. Payne
Globoid cell leukodystrophy (GLD; Krabbe disease) is a progressive, incurable neurodegenerative disease caused by deficient activity of the hydrolytic enzyme galactosylceramidase (GALC). The ensuing cytotoxic accumulation of psychosine results in diffuse central and peripheral nervous system (CNS, PNS) demyelination. Presymptomatic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is the only treatment for infantile-onset GLD; however, clinical outcomes of HSCT recipients often remain poor, and procedure-related morbidity is high. There are no effective therapies for symptomatic patients. Herein, we demonstrate in the naturally occurring canine model of GLD that presymptomatic monotherapy with intrathecal AAV9 encoding canine GALC administered into the cisterna magna increased GALC enzyme activity, normalized psychosine concentration, improved myelination, and attenuated inflammation in both the CNS and PNS. Moreover, AAV-mediated therapy successfully prevented clinical neurological dysfunction, allowing treated dogs to live beyond 2.5 years of age, more than 7 times longer than untreated dogs. Furthermore, we found that a 5-fold lower dose resulted in an attenuated form of disease, indicating that sufficient dosing is critical. Finally, postsymptomatic therapy with high-dose AAV9 also significantly extended lifespan, signifying a treatment option for patients for whom HSCT is not applicable. If translatable to patients, these findings would improve the outcomes of patients treated either pre- or postsymptomatically.
Allison M. Bradbury, Jessica H. Bagel, Duc Nguyen, Erik A. Lykken, Jill Pesayco Salvador, Xuntian Jiang, Gary P. Swain, Charles A. Assenmacher, Ian J. Hendricks, Keiko Miyadera, Rebecka S. Hess, Arielle Ostrager, Patricia ODonnell, Mark S. Sands, Daniel S. Ory, G. Diane Shelton, Ernesto R. Bongarzone, Steven J. Gray, Charles H. Vite
Although the immune response within draining lymph nodes (DLNs) has been studied for decades, how their stromal compartment contributes to this process remains to be fully explored. Here, we show that donor mast cells were prominent activators of collagen I deposition by fibroblastic reticular cells (FRCs) in DLNs shortly following transplantation. Serial analysis of the DLN indicated that the LN stroma did not return to its baseline microarchitecture following organ rejection and that the DLN contained significant fibrosis following repetitive organ transplants. Using several FRC conditional-knockout mice, we show that induction of senescence in the FRCs of the DLN resulted in massive production of collagen I and a proinflammatory milieu within the DLN. Stimulation of herpes virus entry mediator (HVEM) on FRCs by its ligand LIGHT contributed chiefly to the induction of senescence in FRCs and overproduction of collagen I. Systemic administration of ex vivo–expanded FRCs to mice decreased DLN fibrosis and strengthened the effect of anti-CD40L in prolonging heart allograft survival. These data demonstrate that the transformation of FRCs into proinflammatory myofibroblasts is critically important for the maintenance of a proinflammatory milieu within a fibrotic DLN.
Xiaofei Li, Jing Zhao, Vivek Kasinath, Mayuko Uehara, Liwei Jiang, Naima Banouni, Martina M. McGrath, Takaharu Ichimura, Paolo Fiorina, Dario R. Lemos, Su Ryon Shin, Carl F. Ware, Jonathan S. Bromberg, Reza Abdi
Despite effective antiretroviral therapy, HIV-1-nfected cells continue to produce viral antigens and induce chronic immune exhaustion. We propose to identify HIV-1-suppressing agents which can inhibit HIV-1 reactivation and reduce HIV-1-induced immune activation. Using a novel dual reporter system and a high-throughput drug screen, we identified FDA-approved drugs which can suppress HIV-1 reactivation in both cell line models and CD4+ T cells from virally suppressed, HIV-1-infected individuals. We identified 11 cellular pathways required for HIV-1 reactivation as druggable targets. Using differential expression analysis, gene set enrichment analysis and exon-intron landscape analysis, we examined the impact of drug treatment on the cellular environment at a genome-wide level. We identified a new function of a JAK inhibitor filgotinib which suppresses HIV-1 splicing. First, filgotinib preferentially suppresses spliced HIV-1 RNA transcription. Second, filgotinib suppresses HIV-1-driven aberrant cancer-related gene expression at the integration site. Third, we found that filgotinib suppresses HIV-1 transcription by inhibiting T cell activation and by modulating RNA splicing. Finally, we found that filgotinib treatment reduces the proliferation of HIV-1-infected cells. Overall, the combination of a drug screen and transcriptome analysis provides systemic understanding of cellular targets required for HIV-1 reactivation and drug candidates that may reduce HIV-1-related immune activation.
Yang-Hui Jimmy Yeh, Katharine M. Jenike, Rachela M. Calvi, Jennifer Chiarella, Rebecca Hoh, Steven G. Deeks, Ya-Chi Ho
Cachexia, a devastating wasting syndrome characterized by severe weight loss with specific losses of muscle and adipose tissue, is driven by reduced food intake, increased energy expenditure, excess catabolism, and inflammation. Cachexia is associated with poor prognosis and high mortality, and frequently occurs in patients with cancer, chronic kidney disease, infection, and many other illnesses. There is no effective treatment for this condition. Hypothalamic melanocortins have a potent and long-lasting inhibitory effect on feeding and anabolism, and pathophysiological processes increase melanocortin signaling tone leading to anorexia, metabolic changes, and eventual cachexia. We utilized three rat models of anorexia and cachexia (LPS, methylcholanthrene sarcoma, and 5/6 subtotal nephrectomy) to evaluate efficacy of TCMCB07, a synthetic antagonist of the melanocortin-4 receptor. Our data show that peripheral treatment of TCMCB07 with intraperitoneal, subcutaneous, and oral administration increased food intake and body weight, and preserved fat mass and lean mass during cachexia and LPS-induced anorexia. Furthermore, administration of TCMCB07 diminished hypothalamic inflammatory gene expression in cancer cachexia. These results suggest that peripheral TCMCB07 treatment effectively inhibits central melanocortin signaling and therefore stimulates appetite and enhances anabolism, indicating that TCMCB07 is a promising drug candidate to treat cachexia.
Xinxia Zhu, Michael F. Callahan, Kenneth A. Gruber, Marek Szumowski, Daniel L. Marks
There are more than 7000 described rare diseases, most lacking specific treatment. Autosomal-dominant hyper-IgE syndrome (AD-HIES, Job’s syndrome) is caused by mutations in signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3). These patients present with immunodeficiency accompanied by severe non-immunological features including skeletal, connective tissue and vascular abnormalities, poor post-infection lung healing, and subsequent pulmonary failure. No specific therapies are available for these abnormalities. Here we investigated underlying mechanisms in order to identify therapeutic targets. Histological analysis of skin wounds demonstrated delayed granulation tissue formation and vascularization during skin wound healing in AD-HIES patients. Global gene expression analysis in AD-HIES patient skin fibroblasts identified deficiencies in a STAT3 controlled transcriptional network regulating extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling and angiogenesis, with hypoxia inducible factor 1α (HIF1α) being a major contributor. Consistent with this, histological analysis of skin wounds and coronary arteries from AD-HIES patients showed decreased HIF1α expression, and revealed abnormal organization of the ECM and altered formation of the coronary vasa vasorum. Disease modeling utilizing cell culture and mouse models of angiogenesis and wound healing confirmed these predicted deficiencies and demonstrated therapeutic benefit of HIF1α stabilizing drugs. The study provides mechanistic insights into AD-HIES pathophysiology and finds new treatment option for this rare disease.
Natalia I. Dmitrieva, Avram D. Walts, Dai P. Nguyen, Alex Grubb, Xue Zhang, Xujing Wang, Xianfeng Ping, Hui Jin, Zhen Yu, Zu-Xi Yu, Dan Yang, Robin Schwartzbeck, Clifton L. Dalgard, Beth A. Kozel, Mark D. Levin, Russell H. Knutsen, Delong Liu, Joshua D. Milner, Diego B. López, Michael P. O'Connell, Chyi-Chia R. Lee, Ian A. Myles, Amy P. Hsu, Alexandra F. Freeman, Steven M. Holland, Guibin Chen, Manfred Boehm
Nadine Haase, Donald J. Foster, Mark W. Cunningham, Julia Bercher, Tuyen Nguyen, Svetlana Shulga-Morskaya, Stuart Milstein, Sarfraz Shaikh, Jeff Rollins, Michaela Golic, Florian Herse, Kristin Kräker, Ivo Bendix, Meray Serdar, Hanna Napieczynska, Arnd Heuser, Alexandra Gellhaus, Kristin Thiele, Gerd Wallukat, Dominik N. Müller, Babbette LaMarca, Ralf Dechend
Tumor-associated peptide–human leukocyte antigen complexes (pHLAs) represent the largest pool of cell surface–expressed cancer-specific epitopes, making them attractive targets for cancer therapies. Soluble bispecific molecules that incorporate an anti-CD3 effector function are being developed to redirect T cells against these targets using 2 different approaches. The first achieves pHLA recognition via affinity-enhanced versions of natural TCRs (e.g., immune-mobilizing monoclonal T cell receptors against cancer [ImmTAC] molecules), whereas the second harnesses an antibody-based format (TCR-mimic antibodies). For both classes of reagent, target specificity is vital, considering the vast universe of potential pHLA molecules that can be presented on healthy cells. Here, we made use of structural, biochemical, and computational approaches to investigate the molecular rules underpinning the reactivity patterns of pHLA-targeting bispecifics. We demonstrate that affinity-enhanced TCRs engage pHLA using a comparatively broad and balanced energetic footprint, with interactions distributed over several HLA and peptide side chains. As ImmTAC molecules, these TCRs also retained a greater degree of pHLA selectivity, with less off-target activity in cellular assays. Conversely, TCR-mimic antibodies tended to exhibit binding modes focused more toward hot spots on the HLA surface and exhibited a greater degree of crossreactivity. Our findings extend our understanding of the basic principles that underpin pHLA selectivity and exemplify a number of molecular approaches that can be used to probe the specificity of pHLA-targeting molecules, aiding the development of future reagents.
Christopher J. Holland, Rory M. Crean, Johanne M. Pentier, Ben de Wet, Angharad Lloyd, Velupillai Srikannathasan, Nikolai Lissin, Katy A. Lloyd, Thomas H. Blicher, Paul J. Conroy, Miriam Hock, Robert J. Pengelly, Thomas E. Spinner, Brian Cameron, Elizabeth A. Potter, Anitha Jeyanthan, Peter E. Molloy, Malkit Sami, Milos Aleksic, Nathaniel Liddy, Ross A. Robinson, Stephen Harper, Marco Lepore, Chris R. Pudney, Marc W. van der Kamp, Pierre J. Rizkallah, Bent K. Jakobsen, Annelise Vuidepot, David K. Cole
Seizures often herald the clinical appearance of gliomas or appear at later stages. Dissecting their precise evolution and cellular pathogenesis in brain malignancies could inform the development of staged therapies for these highly pharmaco-resistant epilepsies. Studies in immunodeficient xenograft models have identified local interneuron loss and excess glial glutamate release as chief contributors to network disinhibition, but how hyperexcitability in the peritumoral microenvironment evolves in an immunocompetent brain is unclear. We generated gliomas in WT mice via in utero deletion of key tumor suppressor genes and serially monitored cortical epileptogenesis during tumor infiltration with in vivo electrophysiology and GCAMP7 calcium imaging, revealing a reproducible progression from hyperexcitability to convulsive seizures. Long before seizures, coincident with loss of inhibitory cells and their protective scaffolding, gain of glial glutamate antiporter xCT expression, and reactive astrocytosis, we detected local Iba1+ microglial inflammation that intensified and later extended far beyond tumor boundaries. Hitherto unrecognized episodes of cortical spreading depolarization that arose frequently from the peritumoral region may provide a mechanism for transient neurological deficits. Early blockade of glial xCT activity inhibited later seizures, and genomic reduction of host brain excitability by deleting MapT suppressed molecular markers of epileptogenesis and seizures. Our studies confirmed xenograft tumor–driven pathobiology and revealed early and late components of tumor-related epileptogenesis in a genetically tractable, immunocompetent mouse model of glioma, allowing the complex dissection of tumor versus host pathogenic seizure mechanisms.
Asante Hatcher, Kwanha Yu, Jochen Meyer, Isamu Aiba, Benjamin Deneen, Jeffrey L. Noebels
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