Concise Communication

Abstract

The transmission of pruritoceptive (itch) messages involves specific neural circuits within the spinal cord that are distinct from those that transmit pain messages. These itch-specific circuits are tonically regulated by inhibitory interneurons in the dorsal horn. Consistent with these findings, it has previously been reported that loss of GABAergic interneurons in mice harboring a deletion of the transcription factor Bhlhb5 generates a severe, nonremitting condition of chronic itch. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the neuropathic itch in BHLHB5-deficient animals can be treated by restoring inhibitory controls through spinal cord transplantation and integration of precursors of cortical inhibitory interneurons derived from the embryonic medial ganglionic eminence. We specifically targeted the transplants to segments of the spinal cord innervated by areas of the body that were most severely affected. BHLHB5-deficient mice that received transplants demonstrated a substantial reduction of excessive scratching and dramatic resolution of skin lesions. In contrast, the scratching persisted and skin lesions worsened over time in sham-treated mice. Together, these results indicate that cell-mediated restoration of inhibitory controls has potential as a powerful, cell-based therapy for neuropathic itch that not only ameliorates symptoms of chronic itch, but also may modify disease.

Authors

Joao M. Braz, Dina Juarez-Salinas, Sarah E. Ross, Allan I. Basbaum

×

Abstract

The neuropeptide kisspeptin regulates reproduction by stimulating gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons via the kisspeptin receptor KISS1R. In addition to GnRH neurons, KISS1R is expressed in other brain areas and peripheral tissues, which suggests that kisspeptin has additional functions beyond reproduction. Here, we studied the energetic and metabolic phenotype in mice lacking kisspeptin signaling (Kiss1r KO mice). Compared with WT littermates, adult Kiss1r KO females displayed dramatically higher BW, leptin levels, and adiposity, along with strikingly impaired glucose tolerance. Conversely, male Kiss1r KO mice had normal BW and glucose regulation. Surprisingly, despite their obesity, Kiss1r KO females ate less than WT females; however, Kiss1r KO females displayed markedly reduced locomotor activity, respiratory rate, and energy expenditure, which were not due to impaired thyroid hormone secretion. The BW and metabolic phenotype in Kiss1r KO females was not solely reflective of absent gonadal estrogen, as chronically ovariectomized Kiss1r KO females developed obesity, hyperleptinemia, reduced metabolism, and glucose intolerance compared with ovariectomized WT females. Our findings demonstrate that in addition to reproduction, kisspeptin signaling influences BW, energy expenditure, and glucose homeostasis in a sexually dimorphic and partially sex steroid–independent manner; therefore, alterations in kisspeptin signaling might contribute, directly or indirectly, to some facets of human obesity, diabetes, or metabolic dysfunction.

Authors

Kristen P. Tolson, Christian Garcia, Stephanie Yen, Stephanie Simonds, Aneta Stefanidis, Alison Lawrence, Jeremy T. Smith, Alexander S. Kauffman

×

Abstract

Damage to the intestinal mucosa results in the translocation of microbes from the intestinal lumen into the circulation. Microbial translocation has been proposed to trigger immune activation, inflammation, and coagulopathy, all of which are key factors that drive HIV disease progression and non-HIV comorbidities; however, direct proof of a causal link is still lacking. Here, we have demonstrated that treatment of acutely SIV-infected pigtailed macaques with the drug sevelamer, which binds microbial lipopolysaccharide in the gut, dramatically reduces immune activation and inflammation and slightly reduces viral replication. Furthermore, sevelamer administration reduced coagulation biomarkers, confirming the contribution of microbial translocation in the development of cardiovascular comorbidities in SIV-infected nonhuman primates. Together, our data suggest that early control of microbial translocation may improve the outcome of HIV infection and limit noninfectious comorbidities associated with AIDS.

Authors

Jan Kristoff, George Haret-Richter, Dongzhu Ma, Ruy M. Ribeiro, Cuiling Xu, Elaine Cornell, Jennifer L. Stock, Tianyu He, Adam D. Mobley, Samantha Ross, Anita Trichel, Cara Wilson, Russell Tracy, Alan Landay, Cristian Apetrei, Ivona Pandrea

×

Abstract

In a wide array of kidney diseases, type 1 angiotensin (AT1) receptors are present on the immune cells that infiltrate the renal interstitium. Here, we examined the actions of AT1 receptors on macrophages in progressive renal fibrosis and found that macrophage-specific AT1 receptor deficiency exacerbates kidney fibrosis induced by unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO). Macrophages isolated from obstructed kidneys of mice lacking AT1 receptors solely on macrophages had heightened expression of proinflammatory M1 cytokines, including IL-1. Evaluation of isolated AT1 receptor–deficient macrophages confirmed the propensity of these cells to produce exaggerated levels of M1 cytokines, which led to more severe renal epithelial cell damage via IL-1 receptor activation in coculture compared with WT macrophages. A murine kidney crosstransplantation concomitant with UUO model revealed that augmentation of renal fibrosis instigated by AT1 receptor–deficient macrophages is mediated by IL-1 receptor stimulation in the kidney. This study indicates that a key role of AT1 receptors on macrophages is to protect the kidney from fibrosis by limiting activation of IL-1 receptors in the kidney.

Authors

Jian-dong Zhang, Mehul B. Patel, Robert Griffiths, Paul C. Dolber, Phillip Ruiz, Matthew A. Sparks, Johannes Stegbauer, Huixia Jin, Jose A. Gomez, Anne F. Buckley, William S. Lefler, Daian Chen, Steven D. Crowley

×

Abstract

The transcription factor steroidogenic factor 1 (SF-1; also known as NR5A1) is a crucial mediator of both steroidogenic and nonsteroidogenic tissue differentiation. Mutations within SF1 underlie different disorders of sexual development (DSD), including sex reversal, spermatogenic failure, ovarian insufficiency, and adrenocortical deficiency. Here, we identified a recessive mutation within SF1 that resulted in a substitution of arginine to glutamine at codon 103 (R103Q) in a child with both severe 46,XY-DSD and asplenia. The R103Q mutation decreased SF-1 transactivation of TLX1, a transcription factor that has been shown to be essential for murine spleen development. Additionally, the SF1 R103Q mutation impaired activation of steroidogenic genes, without affecting synergistic SF-1 and sex-determining region Y (SRY) coactivation of the testis development gene SOX9. Together, our data provide evidence that SF-1 is required for spleen development in humans via transactivation of TLX1 and that mutations that only impair steroidogenesis, without altering the SF1/SRY transactivation of SOX9, can lead to 46,XY-DSD.

Authors

David Zangen, Yotam Kaufman, Ehud Banne, Ariella Weinberg-Shukron, Abdulsalam Abulibdeh, Benjamin P. Garfinkel, Dima Dweik, Moein Kanaan, Núria Camats, Christa Flück, Paul Renbaum, Ephrat Levy-Lahad

×

Abstract

Taken orally, the drug dimethyl fumarate (DMF) has been shown to improve functional outcomes for patients with MS; however, it is unclear how DMF mediates a protective effect. DMF and, more so, its active metabolite, monomethyl fumarate, are known agonists of the hydroxycarboxylic acid receptor 2 (HCA2), a G protein–coupled membrane receptor. Here, we evaluated the contribution of HCA2 in mediating the protective effect afforded by DMF in EAE, a mouse model of MS. DMF treatment reduced neurological deficit, immune cell infiltration, and demyelination of the spinal cords in wild-type mice, but not in Hca2–/– mice, indicating that HCA2 is required for the therapeutic effect of DMF. In particular, DMF decreased the number of infiltrating neutrophils in a HCA2-dependent manner, likely by interfering with neutrophil adhesion to endothelial cells and chemotaxis. Together, our data indicate that HCA2 mediates the therapeutic effects of DMF in EAE. Furthermore, identification of HCA2 as a molecular target may help to optimize MS therapy.

Authors

Hui Chen, Julian C. Assmann, Antje Krenz, Mahbubur Rahman, Myriam Grimm, Christian M. Karsten, Jörg Köhl, Stefan Offermanns, Nina Wettschureck, Markus Schwaninger

×

Abstract

The majority of mammalian cells have nonmotile primary cilia on their surface that act as antenna-like sensory organelles. Genetic defects that result in ciliary dysfunction are associated with obesity in humans and rodents, which suggests that functional cilia are important for controlling energy balance. Here we demonstrated that neuronal cilia lengths were selectively reduced in hypothalami of obese mice with leptin deficiency and leptin resistance. Treatment of N1 hypothalamic neuron cells with leptin stimulated cilia assembly via inhibition of the tumor suppressors PTEN and glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β). Induction of short cilia in the hypothalamus of adult mice increased food intake and decreased energy expenditure, leading to a positive energy balance. Moreover, mice with short hypothalamic cilia exhibited attenuated anorectic responses to leptin, insulin, and glucose, which indicates that leptin-induced cilia assembly is essential for sensing these satiety signals by hypothalamic neurons. These data suggest that leptin governs the sensitivity of hypothalamic neurons to metabolic signals by controlling the length of the cell’s antenna.

Authors

Yu Mi Han, Gil Myoung Kang, Kyunghee Byun, Hyuk Wan Ko, Joon Kim, Mi-Seon Shin, Hyun-Kyong Kim, So Young Gil, Ji Hee Yu, Bonghee Lee, Min-Seon Kim

×

Abstract

Targeted cancer therapies often induce “outlier” responses in molecularly defined patient subsets. One patient with advanced-stage lung adenocarcinoma, who was treated with oral sorafenib, demonstrated a near-complete clinical and radiographic remission for 5 years. Whole-genome sequencing and RNA sequencing of primary tumor and normal samples from this patient identified a somatic mutation, ARAF S214C, present in the cancer genome and expressed at high levels. Additional mutations affecting this residue of ARAF and a nearby residue in the related kinase RAF1 were demonstrated across 1% of an independent cohort of lung adenocarcinoma cases. The ARAF mutations were shown to transform immortalized human airway epithelial cells in a sorafenib-sensitive manner. These results suggest that mutant ARAF is an oncogenic driver in lung adenocarcinoma and an indicator of sorafenib response.

Authors

Marcin Imielinski, Heidi Greulich, Bethany Kaplan, Luiz Araujo, Joseph Amann, Leora Horn, Joan Schiller, Miguel A. Villalona-Calero, Matthew Meyerson, David P. Carbone

×

Abstract

Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is commonly employed for hematologic and non-hematologic malignancies. In clinical trials, HSCT has been evaluated for severe autoimmunity as a method to “reset” the immune system and produce a new, non-autoimmune repertoire. While the feasibility of eliminating the vast majority of mature T cells is well established, accurate and quantitative determination of the relationship of regenerated T cells to the baseline repertoire has been difficult to assess. Here, in a phase II study of HSCT for poor-prognosis multiple sclerosis, we used high-throughput deep TCRβ chain sequencing to assess millions of individual TCRs per patient sample. We found that HSCT has distinctive effects on CD4+ and CD8+ T cell repertoires. In CD4+ T cells, dominant TCR clones present before treatment were undetectable following reconstitution, and patients largely developed a new repertoire. In contrast, dominant CD8+ clones were not effectively removed, and the reconstituted CD8+ T cell repertoire was created by clonal expansion of cells present before treatment. Importantly, patients who failed to respond to treatment had less diversity in their T cell repertoire early during the reconstitution process. These results demonstrate that TCR characterization during immunomodulatory treatment is both feasible and informative, and may enable monitoring of pathogenic or protective T cell clones following HSCT and cellular therapies.

Authors

Paolo A. Muraro, Harlan Robins, Sachin Malhotra, Michael Howell, Deborah Phippard, Cindy Desmarais, Alessandra de Paula Alves Sousa, Linda M. Griffith, Noha Lim, Richard A. Nash, Laurence A. Turka

×

Abstract

Chronic rejection is the primary cause of long-term failure of transplanted organs and is often viewed as an antibody-dependent process. Chronic rejection, however, is also observed in mice and humans with no detectable circulating alloantibodies, suggesting that antibody-independent pathways may also contribute to pathogenesis of transplant rejection. Here, we have provided direct evidence that chronic rejection of vascularized heart allografts occurs in the complete absence of antibodies, but requires the presence of B cells. Mice that were deficient for antibodies but not B cells experienced the same chronic allograft vasculopathy (CAV), which is a pathognomonic feature of chronic rejection, as WT mice; however, mice that were deficient for both B cells and antibodies were protected from CAV. B cells contributed to CAV by supporting splenic lymphoid architecture, T cell cytokine production, and infiltration of T cells into graft vessels. In chimeric mice, in which B cells were present but could not present antigen, both T cell responses and CAV were markedly reduced. These findings establish that chronic rejection can occur in the complete absence of antibodies and that B cells contribute to this process by supporting T cell responses through antigen presentation and maintenance of lymphoid architecture.

Authors

Qiang Zeng, Yue-Harn Ng, Tripti Singh, Ke Jiang, Khaleefathullah A. Sheriff, Renee Ippolito, Salwa Zahalka, Qi Li, Parmjeet Randhawa, Rosemary A. Hoffman, Balathiripurasundari Ramaswami, Frances E. Lund, Geetha Chalasani

×

No posts were found with this tag.