Neonatal diabetes is caused by single gene mutations reducing pancreatic β cell number or impairing β cell function. Understanding the genetic basis of rare diabetes subtypes highlights fundamental biological processes in β cells. We identified 6 patients from 5 families with homozygous mutations in the YIPF5 gene, which is involved in trafficking between the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the Golgi. All patients had neonatal/early-onset diabetes, severe microcephaly, and epilepsy. YIPF5 is expressed during human brain development, in adult brain and pancreatic islets. We used 3 human β cell models (YIPF5 silencing in EndoC-βH1 cells, YIPF5 knockout and mutation knockin in embryonic stem cells, and patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells) to investigate the mechanism through which YIPF5 loss of function affects β cells. Loss of YIPF5 function in stem cell–derived islet cells resulted in proinsulin retention in the ER, marked ER stress, and β cell failure. Partial YIPF5 silencing in EndoC-βH1 cells and a patient mutation in stem cells increased the β cell sensitivity to ER stress–induced apoptosis. We report recessive YIPF5 mutations as the genetic cause of a congenital syndrome of microcephaly, epilepsy, and neonatal/early-onset diabetes, highlighting a critical role of YIPF5 in β cells and neurons. We believe this is the first report of mutations disrupting the ER-to-Golgi trafficking, resulting in diabetes.
Elisa De Franco, Maria Lytrivi, Hazem Ibrahim, Hossam Montaser, Matthew N. Wakeling, Federica Fantuzzi, Kashyap Patel, Céline Demarez, Ying Cai, Mariana Igoillo-Esteve, Cristina Cosentino, Väinö Lithovius, Helena Vihinen, Eija Jokitalo, Thomas W. Laver, Matthew B. Johnson, Toshiaki Sawatani, Hadis Shakeri, Nathalie Pachera, Belma Haliloglu, Mehmet Nuri Ozbek, Edip Unal, Ruken Yıldırım, Tushar Godbole, Melek Yildiz, Banu Aydin, Angeline Bilheu, Ikuo Suzuki, Sarah E. Flanagan, Pierre Vanderhaeghen, Valérie Senée, Cécile Julier, Piero Marchetti, Decio L. Eizirik, Sian Ellard, Jonna Saarimäki-Vire, Timo Otonkoski, Miriam Cnop, Andrew T. Hattersley
Dysregulation of habit formation has been recently proposed as pivotal to eating disorders. Here, we report that a subset of patients suffering from restrictive anorexia nervosa have enhanced habit formation compared with healthy controls. Habit formation is modulated by striatal cholinergic interneurons. These interneurons express vesicular transporters for acetylcholine (VAChT) and glutamate (VGLUT3) and use acetylcholine/glutamate cotransmission to regulate striatal functions. Using mice with genetically silenced VAChT (VAChT conditional KO, VAChTcKO) or VGLUT3 (VGLUT3cKO), we investigated the roles that acetylcholine and glutamate released by cholinergic interneurons play in habit formation and maladaptive eating. Silencing glutamate favored goal-directed behaviors and had no impact on eating behavior. In contrast, VAChTcKO mice were more prone to habits and maladaptive eating. Specific deletion of VAChT in the dorsomedial striatum of adult mice was sufficient to phenocopy maladaptive eating behaviors of VAChTcKO mice. Interestingly, VAChTcKO mice had reduced dopamine release in the dorsomedial striatum but not in the dorsolateral striatum. The dysfunctional eating behavior of VAChTcKO mice was alleviated by donepezil and by l-DOPA, confirming an acetylcholine/dopamine deficit. Our study reveals that loss of acetylcholine leads to a dopamine imbalance in striatal compartments, thereby promoting habits and vulnerability to maladaptive eating in mice.
Mathieu Favier, Helena Janickova, Damian Justo, Ornela Kljakic, Léonie Runtz, Joman Y. Natsheh, Tharick A. Pascoal, Jurgen Germann, Daniel Gallino, Jun-II Kang, Xiang Qi Meng, Christina Antinora, Sanda Raulic, Jacob P.R. Jacobsen, Luc Moquin, Erika Vigneault, Alain Gratton, Marc G. Caron, Philibert Duriez, Mark P. Brandon, Pedro Rosa Neto, M. Mallar Chakravarty, Mohammad M. Herzallah, Philip Gorwood, Marco A.M. Prado, Vania F. Prado, Salah El Mestikawy
Astrocytes have multiple functions in the brain, including affecting blood vessel (BV) homeostasis and function. However, the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we provide evidence that astrocytic neogenin (NEO1), a member of deleted in colorectal cancer (DCC) family netrin receptors, is involved in blood vessel homeostasis and function. Mice with Neo1 depletion in astrocytes exhibited clustered astrocyte distribution and increased BVs in their cortices. These BVs were leaky, with reduced blood flow, disrupted vascular basement membranes (vBMs), decreased pericytes, impaired endothelial cell (EC) barrier, and elevated tip EC proliferation. Increased proliferation was also detected in cultured ECs exposed to the conditioned medium (CM) of NEO1-depleted astrocytes. Further screening for angiogenetic factors in the CM identified netrin-1 (NTN1), whose expression was decreased in NEO1-depleted cortical astrocytes. Adding NTN1 into the CM of NEO1-depleted astrocytes attenuated EC proliferation. Expressing NTN1 in NEO1 mutant cortical astrocytes ameliorated phenotypes in blood-brain barrier (BBB), EC, and astrocyte distribution. NTN1 depletion in astrocytes resulted in BV/BBB deficits in the cortex similar to those in Neo1 mutant mice. In aggregate, these results uncovered an unrecognized pathway, astrocytic NEO1 to NTN1, not only regulating astrocyte distribution, but also promoting cortical BV homeostasis and function.
Ling-Ling Yao, Jin-Xia Hu, Qiang Li, Daehoon Lee, Xiao Ren, Jun-Shi Zhang, Dong Sun, Hong-Sheng Zhang, Yong-Gang Wang, Lin Mei, Wen-Cheng Xiong
The dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) has been recognized as a key cortical area for nociceptive modulation. However, the underlying neural pathway and the function of specific cell types remain largely unclear. Here, we show that lesions in the dmPFC induced an algesic and anxious state. Using multiple tracing methods including a rabies-based transsynaptic tracing method, we outlined an excitatory descending neural pathway from the dmPFC to the ventrolateral periaqueductal gray (vlPAG). Specific activation of the dmPFC/vlPAG neural pathway by optogenetic manipulation produced analgesic and antianxiety effects in a mouse model of chronic pain. Inhibitory neurons in the dmPFC were specifically activated using a chemogenetic approach, which logically produced an algesic and anxious state under both normal and chronic pain conditions. Antagonists of the GABAA receptor (GABAAR) or mGluR1 were applied to the dmPFC, which produced analgesic and antianxiety effects. In summary, the results of our study suggest that the dmPFC/vlPAG neural pathway might participate in the maintenance of pain thresholds and antianxiety behaviors under normal conditions, while silencing or suppressing the dmPFC/vlPAG pathway might be involved in the initial stages and maintenance of chronic pain and the emergence of anxiety-like behaviors.
Jun-Bin Yin, Shao-Hua Liang, Fei Li, Wen-Jun Zhao, Yang Bai, Yi Sun, Zhen-Yu Wu, Tan Ding, Yan Sun, Hai-Xia Liu, Ya-Cheng Lu, Ting Zhang, Jing Huang, Tao Chen, Hui Li, Zhou-Feng Chen, Jing Cao, Rui Ren, Ya-Nan Peng, Juan Yang, Wei-Dong Zang, Xiang Li, Yu-Lin Dong, Yun-Qing Li
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has emerged as a global pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS–CoV-2). So far, viral targets of cellular immunity and factors determining successful mounting of T cell responses are poorly defined. We therefore analyzed cellular responses to membrane, nucleocapsid, and spike proteins in individuals suffering from moderate or severe infection and in individuals who recovered from mild disease. We demonstrate that the CoV-2–specific CD4+ T helper cell response is directed against all 3 proteins with comparable magnitude, ex vivo proliferation, and portions of responding patients. However, individuals who died were more likely to have not mounted a cellular response to the proteins. Higher patient age and comorbidity index correlated with increased frequencies of CoV-2–specific CD4+ T cells, harboring higher portions of IL-2–secreting, but lower portions of IFN-γ–secreting, cells. Diminished frequencies of membrane protein–reactive IFN-γ+ T cells were particularly associated with higher acute physiology and chronic health evaluation II scores in patients admitted to intensive care. CoV-2–specific T cells exhibited elevated PD-1 expression in patients with active disease as compared with those individuals who recovered from previous mild disease. In summary, our data suggest a link between individual patient predisposition with respect to age and comorbidity and impairment of CoV-2–specific Th1-type cellular immunity, thereby supporting a concept of altered T cell function in at-risk patients.
Arne Sattler, Stefan Angermair, Helena Stockmann, Katrin Moira Heim, Dmytro Khadzhynov, Sascha Treskatsch, Fabian Halleck, Martin E. Kreis, Katja Kotsch
Clinical trials are currently testing whether induction of haploidentical mixed chimerism (Haplo-MC) induces organ transplantation tolerance. Whether Haplo-MC can be used to treat established autoimmune diseases remains unknown. Here, we show that established autoimmunity in euthymic and adult-thymectomized NOD (H-2g7) mice was cured by induction of Haplo-MC under a non-myeloablative anti-thymocyte globulin–based conditioning regimen and infusion of CD4+ T cell–depleted hematopoietic graft from H-2b/g7 F1 donors that expressed autoimmune-resistant H-2b or from H-2s/g7 F1 donors that expressed autoimmune-susceptible H-2s. The cure was associated with enhanced thymic negative selection, increased thymic Treg (tTreg) production, and anergy or exhaustion of residual host-type autoreactive T cells in the periphery. The peripheral tolerance was accompanied by expansion of donor- and host-type CD62L–Helios+ tTregs as well as host-type Helios–Nrp1+ peripheral Tregs (pTregs) and PD-L1hi plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs). Depletion of donor- or host-type Tregs led to reduction of host-type PD-L1hi pDCs and recurrence of autoimmunity, whereas PD-L1 deficiency in host-type DCs led to reduction of host-type pDCs and Helios–Nrp1+ pTregs. Thus, induction of Haplo-MC reestablished both central and peripheral tolerance through mechanisms that depend on allo-MHC+ donor-type DCs, PD-L1hi host-type DCs, and the generation and persistence of donor- and host-type tTregs and pTregs.
Yuqing Liu, Xiaoqi Wang, Yongping Zhu, Mingfeng Zhang, Ubaydah Nasri, Sharne S. Sun, Stephen J. Forman, Arthur D. Riggs, Xi Zhang, Defu Zeng
After over 3 decades of research, an effective anti-HIV vaccine remains elusive. The recently halted HVTN702 clinical trial not only further stresses the challenge to develop an effective HIV vaccine but also emphasizes that unconventional and novel vaccine strategies are urgently needed. Here, we report that a vaccine focusing the immune response on the sequences surrounding the 12 viral protease cleavage sites (PCSs) provided greater than 80% protection to Mauritian cynomolgus macaques against repeated intravaginal SIVmac251 challenges. The PCS-specific T cell responses correlated with vaccine efficacy. The PCS vaccine did not induce immune activation or inflammation known to be associated with increased susceptibility to HIV infection. Machine learning analyses revealed that the immune microenvironment generated by the PCS vaccine was predictive of vaccine efficacy. Our study demonstrates, for the first time to our knowledge, that a vaccine which targets only viral maturation, but lacks full-length Env and Gag immunogens, can prevent intravaginal infection in a stringent macaque/SIV challenge model. Targeting HIV maturation thus offers a potentially novel approach to developing an effective HIV vaccine.
Hongzhao Li, Robert W. Omange, Binhua Liang, Nikki Toledo, Yan Hai, Lewis R. Liu, Dane Schalk, Jose Crecente-Campo, Tamara G. Dacoba, Andrew B. Lambe, So-Yon Lim, Lin Li, Mohammad Abul Kashem, Yanmin Wan, Jorge F. Correia-Pinto, Michael S. Seaman, Xiao Qing Liu, Robert F. Balshaw, Qingsheng Li, Nancy Schultz-Darken, Maria J. Alonso, Francis A. Plummer, James B. Whitney, Ma Luo
Interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs) are pacemaker cells in the intestine, and their function can be compromised by loss of C-KIT expression. Macrophage activation has been identified in intestine affected by Hirschsprung disease–associated enterocolitis (HAEC). In this study, we examined proinflammatory macrophage activation and explored the mechanisms by which it downregulates C-KIT expression in ICCs in colon affected by HAEC. We found that macrophage activation and TNF-α production were dramatically increased in the proximal dilated colon of HAEC patients and 3-week-old Ednrb–/– mice. Moreover, ICCs lost their C-KIT+ phenotype in the dilated colon, resulting in damaged pacemaker function and intestinal dysmotility. However, macrophage depletion or TNF-α neutralization led to recovery of ICC phenotype and restored their pacemaker function. In isolated ICCs, TNF-α–mediated phosphorylation of p65 induced overexpression of microRNA-221 (miR-221), resulting in suppression of C-KIT expression and pacemaker currents. We also identified a TNF-α/NF-κB/miR-221 pathway that downregulated C-KIT expression in ICCs in the colon affected by HAEC. These findings suggest the important roles of proinflammatory macrophage activation in a phenotypic switch of ICCs, representing a promising therapeutic target for HAEC.
Xuyong Chen, Xinyao Meng, Hongyi Zhang, Chenzhao Feng, Bin Wang, Ning Li, Khalid Mohamoud Abdullahi, Xiaojuan Wu, Jixin Yang, Zhi Li, Chunlei Jiao, Jia Wei, Xiaofeng Xiong, Kang Fu, Lei Yu, Gail E. Besner, Jiexiong Feng
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 the 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 upregulation of Hedgehog (Hh) signaling. Furthermore, pharmacological intervention in Hh signaling using JQ1 suppressed the development of HO. Thus, our results show that Ctsk-Cre labels a subpopulation of TDPCs contributing to HO and that 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
Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is a mature T cell neoplasm that often expresses the CD4+ T cell surface marker. It usually harbors the t(2;5) (p23;q35) translocation, leading to the ectopic expression of NPM-ALK, a chimeric tyrosine kinase. We demonstrated that in vitro transduction of normal human CD4+ T lymphocytes with NPM-ALK results in their immortalization and malignant transformation. The tumor cells displayed morphological and immunophenotypical characteristics of primary patient–derived anaplastic large cell lymphomas. Cell growth, proliferation, and survival were strictly dependent on NPM-ALK activity and include activation of the key factors STAT3 and DNMT1 and expression of CD30 (the hallmark of anaplastic large-cell lymphoma). Implantation of NPM-ALK–transformed CD4+ T lymphocytes into immunodeficient mice resulted in the formation of tumors indistinguishable from patients’ anaplastic large cell lymphomas. Integration of “Omic” data revealed that NPM-ALK–transformed CD4+ T lymphocytes and primary NPM-ALK+ ALCL biopsies share similarities with early T cell precursors. Of note, these NPM-ALK+ lymphoma cells overexpress stem cell regulators (OCT4, SOX2, and NANOG) and HIF2A, which is known to affect hematopoietic precursor differentiation and NPM-ALK+ cell growth. Altogether, for the first time our findings suggest that NPM-ALK could restore progenitor-like features in mature CD30+ peripheral CD4+ T cells, in keeping with a thymic progenitor-like pattern.
Annabelle Congras, Coralie Hoareau-Aveilla, Nina Caillet, Marie Tosolini, Patrick Villarese, Agata Cieslak, Laura Rodriguez, Vahid Asnafi, Elisabeth Macintyre, Gerda Egger, Pierre Brousset, Laurence Lamant, Fabienne Meggetto
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