Over the last decade, several organoid models have evolved to acquire increasing cellular, structural, and functional complexity. Advanced lung organoid platforms derived from various sources, including adult, fetal, and induced pluripotent stem cells, have now been generated, which more closely mimic the cellular architecture found within the airways and alveoli. In this regard, the establishment of novel protocols with optimized stem cell isolation and culture conditions has given rise to an array of models able to study key cellular and molecular players involved in lung injury and repair. In addition, introduction of other nonepithelial cellular components, such as immune, mesenchymal, and endothelial cells, and employment of novel precision gene editing tools have further broadened the range of applications for these systems by providing a microenvironment and/or phenotype closer to the desired in vivo scenario. Thus, these developments in organoid technology have enhanced our ability to model various aspects of lung biology, including pathogenesis of diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, and infectious disease and host-microbe interactions, in ways that are often difficult to undertake using only in vivo models. In this Review, we summarize the latest developments in lung organoid technology and their applicability for disease modeling and outline their strengths, drawbacks, and potential avenues for future development.
Ana I. Vazquez-Armendariz, Purushothama Rao Tata
Advancing age is the most important risk factor for the development of and mortality from acute and chronic lung diseases, including pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and pulmonary fibrosis. This risk was manifest during the COVID-19 pandemic, when elderly people were disproportionately affected and died from SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia. However, the recent pandemic also provided lessons on lung resilience. An overwhelming majority of patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia, even those with severe disease, recovered with near-complete restoration of lung architecture and function. These observations are inconsistent with historic views of the lung as a terminally differentiated organ incapable of regeneration. Here, we review emerging hypotheses that explain how the lung repairs itself after injury and why these mechanisms of lung repair fail in some individuals, particularly the elderly.
SeungHye Han, G.R. Scott Budinger, Cara J. Gottardi
All cells in the body are exposed to physical force in the form of tension, compression, gravity, shear stress, or pressure. Cells convert these mechanical cues into intracellular biochemical signals; this process is an inherent property of all cells and is essential for numerous cellular functions. A cell’s ability to respond to force largely depends on the array of mechanical ion channels expressed on the cell surface. Altered mechanosensing impairs conscious senses, such as touch and hearing, and unconscious senses, like blood pressure regulation and gastrointestinal (GI) activity. The GI tract’s ability to sense pressure changes and mechanical force is essential for regulating motility, but it also underlies pain originating in the GI tract. Recent identification of the mechanically activated ion channels Piezo1 and Piezo2 in the gut and the effects of abnormal ion channel regulation on cellular function indicate that these channels may play a pathogenic role in disease. Here, we discuss our current understanding of mechanically activated Piezo channels in the pathogenesis of pancreatic and GI diseases, including pancreatitis, diabetes mellitus, irritable bowel syndrome, GI tumors, and inflammatory bowel disease. We also describe how Piezo channels could be important targets for treating GI diseases.
Sandip M. Swain, Rodger A. Liddle
First achieved in 1998 by Cole et al., the complete genome sequence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis continues to provide an invaluable resource to understand tuberculosis (TB), the leading cause of global infectious disease mortality. At the 25-year anniversary of this accomplishment, we describe how insights gleaned from the M. tuberculosis genome have led to vital tools for TB research, epidemiology, and clinical practice. The increasing accessibility of whole-genome sequencing across research and clinical settings has improved our ability to predict antibacterial susceptibility, to track epidemics at the level of individual outbreaks and wider historical trends, to query the efficacy of the bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine, and to uncover targets for novel antitubercular therapeutics. Likewise, we discuss several recent efforts to extract further discoveries from this powerful resource.
Benjamin N. Koleske, William R. Jacobs Jr., William R. Bishai
Alveolar macrophages (AMs) are the sentinel cells of the alveolar space, maintaining homeostasis, fending off pathogens, and controlling lung inflammation. During acute lung injury, AMs orchestrate the initiation and resolution of inflammation in order to ultimately restore homeostasis. This central role in acute lung inflammation makes AMs attractive targets for therapeutic interventions. Single-cell RNA-Seq and spatial omics approaches, together with methodological advances such as the generation of human macrophages from pluripotent stem cells, have increased understanding of the ontogeny, function, and plasticity of AMs during infectious and sterile lung inflammation, which could move the field closer to clinical application. However, proresolution phenotypes might conflict with proinflammatory and antibacterial responses. Therefore, therapeutic targeting of AMs at vulnerable time points over the course of infectious lung injury might harbor the risk of serious side effects, such as loss of antibacterial host defense capacity. Thus, the identification of key signaling hubs that determine functional fate decisions in AMs is of the utmost importance to harness their therapeutic potential.
Christina Malainou, Shifaa M. Abdin, Nico Lachmann, Ulrich Matt, Susanne Herold
Interest in cardioimmunology has reached new heights as the experimental cardiology field works to tap the unrealized potential of immunotherapy for clinical care. Within this space is the cardiac macrophage, a key modulator of cardiac function in health and disease. After a myocardial infarction, myeloid macrophages both protect and harm the heart. To varying degrees, such outcomes are a function of myeloid ontogeny and heterogeneity, as well as functional cellular plasticity. Diversity is further shaped by the extracellular milieu, which fluctuates considerably after coronary occlusion. Ischemic limitation of nutrients constrains the metabolic potential of immune cells, and accumulating evidence supports a paradigm whereby macrophage metabolism is coupled to divergent inflammatory consequences, although experimental evidence for this in the heart is just emerging. Herein we examine the heterogeneous cardiac macrophage response following ischemic injury, with a focus on integrating putative contributions of immunometabolism and implications for therapeutically relevant cardiac injury versus cardiac repair.
Edward B. Thorp
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive scarring disease of the lung with poor survival. The incidence and mortality of IPF are rising, but treatment remains limited. Currently, two drugs can slow the scarring process but often at the expense of intolerable side effects, and without substantially changing overall survival. A better understanding of mechanisms underlying IPF is likely to lead to improved therapies. The current paradigm proposes that repetitive alveolar epithelial injury from noxious stimuli in a genetically primed individual is followed by abnormal wound healing, including aberrant activity of extracellular matrix–secreting cells, with resultant tissue fibrosis and parenchymal damage. However, this may underplay the importance of the vascular contribution to fibrogenesis. The lungs receive 100% of the cardiac output, and vascular abnormalities in IPF include (a) heterogeneous vessel formation throughout fibrotic lung, including the development of abnormal dilated vessels and anastomoses; (b) abnormal spatially distributed populations of endothelial cells (ECs); (c) dysregulation of endothelial protective pathways such as prostacyclin signaling; and (d) an increased frequency of common vascular and metabolic comorbidities. Here, we propose that vascular and EC abnormalities are both causal and consequential in the pathobiology of IPF and that fuller evaluation of dysregulated pathways may lead to effective therapies and a cure for this devastating disease.
James May, Jane A. Mitchell, R. Gisli Jenkins
Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) have emerged as a revolutionary therapeutic class, combining the precise targeting ability of monoclonal antibodies with the potent cytotoxic effects of chemotherapeutics. Notably, ADCs have rapidly advanced in the field of breast cancer treatment. This innovative approach holds promise for strengthening the immune system through antibody-mediated cellular toxicity, tumor-specific immunity, and adaptive immune responses. However, the development of upfront and acquired resistance poses substantial challenges in maximizing the effectiveness of these therapeutics, necessitating a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanisms. These mechanisms of resistance include antigen loss, derangements in ADC internalization and recycling, drug clearance, and alterations in signaling pathways and the payload target. To overcome resistance, ongoing research and development efforts are focused on urgently identifying biomarkers, integrating immune therapy approaches, and designing novel cytotoxic payloads. This Review provides an overview of the mechanisms and clinical effectiveness of ADCs, and explores their unique immune-boosting function, while also highlighting the complex resistance mechanisms and safety challenges that must be addressed. A continued focus on how ADCs impact the tumor microenvironment will help to identify new payloads that can improve patient outcomes.
Hannah L. Chang, Blake Schwettmann, Heather L. McArthur, Isaac S. Chan
The lymphatic system (LS) is composed of lymphoid organs and a network of vessels that transport interstitial fluid, antigens, lipids, cholesterol, immune cells, and other materials in the body. Abnormal development or malfunction of the LS has been shown to play a key role in the pathophysiology of many disease states. Thus, improved understanding of the anatomical and molecular characteristics of the LS may provide approaches for disease prevention or treatment. Recent advances harnessing single-cell technologies, clinical imaging, discovery of biomarkers, and computational tools have led to the development of strategies to study the LS. This Review summarizes the outcomes of the NIH workshop entitled “Yet to be Charted: Lymphatic System in Health and Disease,” held in September 2022, with emphasis on major areas for advancement. International experts showcased the current state of knowledge regarding the LS and highlighted remaining challenges and opportunities to advance the field.
Babak J. Mehrara, Andrea J. Radtke, Gwendalyn J. Randolph, Brianna T. Wachter, Patricia Greenwel, Ilsa I. Rovira, Zorina S. Galis, Selen C. Muratoglu
In recent years, there has been an explosion of interest in how fibroblasts initiate, sustain, and resolve inflammation across disease states. Fibroblasts contain heterogeneous subsets with diverse functionality. The phenotypes of these populations vary depending on their spatial distribution within the tissue and the immunopathologic cues contributing to disease progression. In addition to their roles in structurally supporting organs and remodeling tissue, fibroblasts mediate critical interactions with diverse immune cells. These interactions have important implications for defining mechanisms of disease and identifying potential therapeutic targets. Fibroblasts in the respiratory tract, in particular, determine the severity and outcome of numerous acute and chronic lung diseases, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Here, we review recent studies defining the spatiotemporal identity of the lung-derived fibroblasts and the mechanisms by which these subsets regulate immune responses to insult exposures and highlight past, current, and future therapeutic targets with relevance to fibroblast biology in the context of acute and chronic human respiratory diseases. This perspective highlights the importance of tissue context in defining fibroblast-immune crosstalk and paves the way for identifying therapeutic approaches to benefit patients with acute and chronic pulmonary disorders.
Mohamed A. Ghonim, David F. Boyd, Tim Flerlage, Paul G. Thomas
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