FOXP3+ Tregs rely on fatty acid β-oxidation–driven (FAO-driven) oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) for differentiation and function. Recent data demonstrate a role for Tregs in the maintenance of tissue homeostasis, with tissue-resident Tregs possessing tissue-specific transcriptomes. However, specific signals that establish tissue-resident Treg programs remain largely unknown. Tregs metabolically rely on FAO, and considering the lipid-rich environments of tissues, we hypothesized that environmental lipids drive Treg homeostasis. First, using human adipose tissue to model tissue residency, we identified oleic acid as the most prevalent free fatty acid. Mechanistically, oleic acid amplified Treg FAO–driven OXPHOS metabolism, creating a positive feedback mechanism that increased the expression of FOXP3 and phosphorylation of STAT5, which enhanced Treg-suppressive function. Comparing the transcriptomic program induced by oleic acid with proinflammatory arachidonic acid, we found that Tregs sorted from peripheral blood and adipose tissue of healthy donors transcriptomically resembled the Tregs treated in vitro with oleic acid, whereas Tregs from patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) more closely resembled an arachidonic acid transcriptomic profile. Finally, we found that oleic acid concentrations were reduced in patients with MS and that exposure of MS Tregs to oleic acid restored defects in their suppressive function. These data demonstrate the importance of fatty acids in regulating tissue inflammatory signals.
Saige L. Pompura, Allon Wagner, Alexandra Kitz, Jacob LaPerche, Nir Yosef, Margarita Dominguez-Villar, David A. Hafler
T cell–mediated responses are dependent on their secretion of key effector molecules. However, the critical molecular determinants of the secretion of these proteins are largely undefined. Here, we demonstrate that T cell activation increases trafficking via the ER-to-Golgi pathway. To study the functional role of this pathway, we generated mice with a T cell–specific deletion in SEC23B, a core subunit of coat protein complex II (COPII). We found that SEC23B critically regulated the T cell secretome following activation. SEC23B-deficient T cells exhibited a proliferative defect and reduced effector functions in vitro, as well as in experimental models of allogeneic and xenogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation in vivo. However, T cells derived from 3 patients with congenital dyserythropoietic anemia II (CDAII), which results from Sec23b mutation, did not exhibit a similar phenotype. Mechanistic studies demonstrated that unlike murine KO T cells, T cells from patients with CDAII harbor increased levels of the closely related paralog, SEC23A. In vivo rescue of murine KO by expression of Sec23a from the Sec23b genomic locus restored T cell functions. Together, our data demonstrate a critical role for the COPII pathway, with evidence for functional overlap in vivo between SEC23 paralogs in the regulation of T cell immunity in both mice and humans.
Stephanie Kim, Rami Khoriaty, Lu Li, Madison McClune, Theodosia A. Kalfa, Julia Wu, Daniel Peltier, Hideaki Fujiwara, Yaping Sun, Katherine Oravecz-Wilson, Richard A. King, David Ginsburg, Pavan Reddy
Mitochondrial disorders represent a large collection of rare syndromes that are difficult to manage both because we do not fully understand biochemical pathogenesis and because we currently lack facile markers of severity. The m.3243A>G variant is the most common heteroplasmic mitochondrial DNA mutation and underlies a spectrum of diseases, notably mitochondrial encephalomyopathy lactic acidosis and stroke-like episodes (MELAS). To identify robust circulating markers of m.3243A>G disease, we first performed discovery proteomics, targeted metabolomics, and untargeted metabolomics on plasma from a deeply phenotyped cohort (102 patients, 32 controls). In a validation phase, we measured concentrations of prioritized metabolites in an independent cohort using distinct methods. We validated 20 analytes (1 protein, 19 metabolites) that distinguish patients with MELAS from controls. The collection includes classic (lactate, alanine) and more recently identified (GDF-15, α-hydroxybutyrate) mitochondrial markers. By mining untargeted mass-spectra we uncovered 3 less well-studied metabolite families: N-lactoyl-amino acids, β-hydroxy acylcarnitines, and β-hydroxy fatty acids. Many of these 20 analytes correlate strongly with established measures of severity, including Karnofsky status, and mechanistically, nearly all markers are attributable to an elevated NADH/NAD+ ratio, or NADH-reductive stress. Our work defines a panel of organelle function tests related to NADH-reductive stress that should enable classification and monitoring of mitochondrial disease.
Rohit Sharma, Bryn Reinstadler, Kristin Engelstad, Owen S. Skinner, Erin Stackowitz, Ronald G. Haller, Clary B. Clish, Kerry Pierce, Melissa A. Walker, Robert Fryer, Devin Oglesbee, Xiangling Mao, Dikoma C. Shungu, Ashok Khatri, Michio Hirano, Darryl C. De Vivo, Vamsi K. Mootha
Early appearance of neutralizing antibodies during acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is associated with spontaneous viral clearance. However, the longitudinal changes in antigen-specific memory B cell (MBCs) associated with divergent HCV infection outcomes remain undefined. We characterized longitudinal changes in E2 glycoprotein-specific MBCs from subjects who either spontaneously resolved acute HCV infection or progressed to chronic infection, using single-cell RNA-seq and functional assays. HCV-specific antibodies in plasma from chronically infected subjects recognized multiple E2 genotypes, while those from spontaneous resolvers exhibited variable cross-reactivity to heterotypic E2. E2-specific MBCs from spontaneous resolvers peaked early after infection (4–6 months), following expansion of activated circulating T follicular helper cells (cTfh) expressing interleukin 21. In contrast, E2-specific MBCs from chronically infected subjects, enriched in VH1-69, expanded during persistent infection (> 1 year), in the absence of significantly activated cTfh expansion. Early E2-specific MBCs from spontaneous resolvers produced monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) with fewer somatic hypermutations and lower E2 binding but similar neutralization as mAbs from late E2-specific MBCs of chronically infected subjects. These findings indicate that early cTfh activity accelerates expansion of E2-specific MBCs during acute infection, which might contribute to spontaneous clearance of HCV.
Eduardo Salinas, Maude Boisvert, Amit A. Upadhyay, Nathalie Bédard, Sydney A. Nelson, Julie Bruneau, Cynthia A. Derdeyn, Joseph Marcotrigiano, Matthew J. Evans, Steven E. Bosinger, Naglaa H. Shoukry, Arash Grakoui
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease characterized by inflammatory cell infiltration, as well as hyperproliferation of keratinocytes in skin lesions, and is considered a metabolic syndrome. We found that the expression of galectin-7 is reduced in skin lesions of patients with psoriasis. IL-17A and TNF-α, 2 cytokines intimately involved in the development of psoriatic lesions, suppressed galectin-7 expression in human primary keratinocytes (HEKn cells) and the immortalized human keratinocyte cell line HaCaT. A galectin-7 knockdown in these cells elevated the production of IL-6 and IL-8 and enhanced ERK signaling when the cells were stimulated with IL-17A. Galectin-7 attenuated IL-17A–induced production of inflammatory mediators by keratinocytes via the microRNA-146a/ERK pathway. Moreover, galectin-7–deficient mice showed enhanced epidermal hyperplasia and skin inflammation in response to intradermal IL-23 injection. We identified fluvastatin as an inducer of galectin-7 expression by connectivity map analysis, confirmed this effect in keratinocytes, and demonstrated that fluvastatin attenuated IL-6 and IL-8 production induced by IL-17A. Thus, we validate a role of galectin-7 in the pathogenesis of psoriasis, in both epidermal hyperplasia and keratinocyte-mediated inflammatory responses, and formulate a rationale for the use of statins in the treatment of psoriasis.
Hung-Lin Chen, Chia-Hui Lo, Chi-Chun Huang, Meng-Ping Lu, Po-Yuan Hu, Chang-Shan Chen, Di-Yen Chueh, Peilin Chen, Teng-Nan Lin, Yuan-Hsin Lo, Yu-Ping Hsiao, Daniel K. Hsu, Fu-Tong Liu
Macrophages are main effectors of heme metabolism, increasing transiently in the liver during heightened disposal of damaged or senescent RBCs (sRBCs). Macrophages are also essential in defense against microbial threats, but pathological 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 after 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, in that K. pneumoniae mutants lacking siderophore function recapitulated the findings observed with the WT strain. Rather, sRBC disposal induced a liver transcriptomic profile notable for suppression of Stat1 and IFN-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 regulated the STAT1 pathway, with implications in severe infection.
Tolani F. Olonisakin, Tomeka Suber, Shekina Gonzalez-Ferrer, Zeyu Xiong, Hernán F. Peñaloza, Rick van der Geest, Yuting Xiong, David O. Osei-Hwedieh, Jesús 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
CD4+ T cell interactions with B cells play a critical role in the pathogenesis of systemic autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus and chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD). Extrafollicular CD44hiCD62LloPSGL1loCD4+ T cells (PSGL1loCD4+ T cells) are associated with the pathogenesis of lupus and cGVHD, but their causal role has not been established. With murine and humanized MHC–/–HLA-A2+DR4+ murine models of cGVHD, we showed that murine and human PSGL1loCD4+ T cells from GVHD target tissues have features of B cell helpers with upregulated expression of programmed cell death protein 1 (PD1) and inducible T cell costimulator (ICOS) and production of IL-21. They reside in nonlymphoid tissues without circulating in the blood and have features of tissue-resident memory T cells with upregulated expression of CD69. Murine PSGL1loCD4+ T cells from GVHD target tissues augmented B cell differentiation into plasma cells and production of autoantibodies via their PD1 interaction with PD-L2 on B cells. Human PSGL1loCD4+ T cells were apposed with memory B cells in the liver tissues of humanized mice and cGVHD patients. Human PSGL1loCD4+ T cells from humanized GVHD target tissues also augmented autologous memory B cell differentiation into plasma cells and antibody production in a PD1/PD-L2–dependent manner. Further preclinical studies targeting tissue-resident T cells to treat antibody-mediated features of autoimmune diseases are warranted.
Xiaohui Kong, Deye Zeng, Xiwei Wu, Bixin Wang, Shijie Yang, Qingxiao Song, Yongping Zhu, Martha Salas, Hanjun Qin, Ubaydah Nasri, Karen M. Haas, Arthur D. Riggs, Ryotaro Nakamura, Paul J. Martin, Aimin Huang, Defu Zeng
The aorta and the large conductive arteries are immunoprivileged tissues and are protected against inflammatory attack. A breakdown of immunoprivilege leads to autoimmune vasculitis, such as giant cell arteritis, in which CD8+ Treg cells fail to contain CD4+ T cells and macrophages, resulting in the formation of tissue-destructive granulomatous lesions. Here, we report that the molecular defect of malfunctioning CD8+ Treg cells lies in aberrant NOTCH4 signaling that deviates endosomal trafficking and minimizes exosome production. By transcriptionally controlling the profile of RAB GTPases, NOTCH4 signaling restricted vesicular secretion of the enzyme NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2). Specifically, NOTCH4hiCD8+ Treg cells increased RAB5A and RAB11A expression and suppressed RAB7A, culminating in the accumulation of early and recycling endosomes and sequestering of NOX2 in an intracellular compartment. RAB7AloCD8+ Treg cells failed in the surface translocation and exosomal release of NOX2. NOTCH4hiRAB5AhiRAB7AloRAB11AhiCD8+ Treg cells left adaptive immunity unopposed, enabling a breakdown in tissue tolerance and aggressive vessel wall inflammation. Inhibiting NOTCH4 signaling corrected the defect and protected arteries from inflammatory insult. This study implicates NOTCH4-dependent transcriptional control of RAB proteins and intracellular vesicle trafficking in autoimmune disease and in vascular inflammation.
Ke Jin, Zhenke Wen, Bowen Wu, Hui Zhang, Jingtao Qiu, Yanan Wang, Kenneth J. Warrington, Gerald J. Berry, Jorg J. Goronzy, Cornelia M. Weyand
SARS-CoV-2 causes a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations and significant mortality. Studies investigating underlying immune characteristics are needed to understand disease pathogenesis and inform vaccine design. In this study, we examined immune cell subsets in hospitalized and nonhospitalized individuals. In hospitalized patients, many adaptive and innate immune cells were decreased in frequency compared with those of healthy and convalescent individuals, with the exception of an increase in B lymphocytes. Our findings show increased frequencies of T cell activation markers (CD69, OX40, HLA-DR, and CD154) in hospitalized patients, with other T cell activation/exhaustion markers (PD-L1 and TIGIT) remaining elevated in hospitalized and nonhospitalized individuals. B cells had a similar pattern of activation/exhaustion, with increased frequency of CD69 and CD95 during hospitalization followed by an increase in PD1 frequencies in nonhospitalized individuals. Interestingly, many of these changes were found to increase over time in nonhospitalized longitudinal samples, suggesting a prolonged period of immune dysregulation after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Changes in T cell activation/exhaustion in nonhospitalized patients were found to positively correlate with age. Severely infected individuals had increased expression of activation and exhaustion markers. These data suggest a prolonged period of immune dysregulation after SARS-CoV-2 infection, highlighting the need for additional studies investigating immune dysregulation in convalescent individuals.
Jacob K. Files, Sushma Boppana, Mildred D. Perez, Sanghita Sarkar, Kelsey E. Lowman, Kai Qin, Sarah Sterrett, Eric Carlin, Anju Bansal, Steffanie Sabbaj, Dustin M. Long, Olaf Kutsch, James Kobie, Paul A. Goepfert, Nathan Erdmann
Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) kills more children than any other type of brain tumor. Despite clinical trials testing many chemotherapeutic agents, palliative radiotherapy remains the standard treatment. Here, we utilized Cre/loxP technology to show that deleting Ataxia telangiectasia mutated (Atm) in primary mouse models of DIPG can enhance tumor radiosensitivity. Genetic deletion of Atm improved survival of mice with p53-deficient but not p53 wild-type gliomas after radiotherapy. Similar to patients with DIPG, mice with p53 wild-type tumors had improved survival after radiotherapy independent of Atm deletion. Primary p53 wild-type tumor cell lines induced proapoptotic genes after radiation and repressed the NRF2 target, NAD(P)H quinone dehydrogenase 1 (Nqo1). Tumors lacking p53 and Ink4a/Arf expressed the highest level of Nqo1 and were most resistant to radiation, but deletion of Atm enhanced the radiation response. These results suggest that tumor genotype may determine whether inhibition of ATM during radiotherapy will be an effective clinical approach to treat DIPGs.
Katherine Deland, Bryce F. Starr, Joshua S. Mercer, Jovita Byemerwa, Donna M. Crabtree, Nerissa T. Williams, Lixia Luo, Yan Ma, Mark Chen, Oren J. Becher, David G. Kirsch
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