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Abstract

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a deadly disease with limited therapies. Tissue fibrosis is associated with type 2 immune response, although the causal contribution of immune cells is not defined. The AP-1 transcription factor Fra-2 is upregulated in IPF lung sections, and Fra-2 transgenic mice (Fra-2Tg) exhibit spontaneous lung fibrosis. Here, we show that bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis is attenuated upon myeloid inactivation of Fra-2 and aggravated in Fra-2Tg bone marrow chimeras. Type VI collagen (ColVI), a Fra-2 transcriptional target, is upregulated in 3 lung fibrosis models, and macrophages promote myofibroblast activation in vitro in a ColVI- and Fra-2–dependent manner. Fra-2 or ColVI inactivation does not affect macrophage recruitment and alternative activation, suggesting that Fra-2/ColVI specifically controls the paracrine profibrotic activity of macrophages. Importantly, ColVI-KO mice and ColVI-KO bone marrow chimeras are protected from bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis. Therapeutic administration of a Fra-2/AP-1 inhibitor reduces ColVI expression and ameliorates fibrosis in Fra-2Tg mice and in the bleomycin model. Finally, Fra-2 and ColVI positively correlate in IPF patient samples and colocalize in lung macrophages. Therefore, the Fra-2/ColVI profibrotic axis is a promising biomarker and therapeutic target for lung fibrosis and possibly other fibrotic diseases.

Authors

Alvaro C. Ucero, Latifa Bakiri, Ben Roediger, Masakatsu Suzuki, Maria Jimenez, Pratyusha Mandal, Paola Braghetta, Paolo Bonaldo, Luis Paz-Ares, Coral Fustero-Torre, Pilar Ximenez-Embun, Ana Isabel Hernandez, Diego Megias, Erwin F. Wagner

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Abstract

The presence of tumor-infiltrating T cells is associated with favorable patient outcomes, yet most pancreatic cancers are immunologically silent and resistant to currently available immunotherapies. Here we show using a syngeneic orthotopic implantation model of pancreatic cancer that Pik3ca regulates tumor immunogenicity. Genetic silencing of Pik3ca in KrasG12D/Trp53R172H-driven pancreatic tumors resulted in infiltration of T cells, complete tumor regression, and 100% survival of immunocompetent host mice. By contrast, Pik3ca-null tumors implanted in T cell–deficient mice progressed and killed all of the animals. Adoptive transfer of tumor antigen–experienced T cells eliminated Pik3ca-null tumors in immunodeficient mice. Loss of PIK3CA or inhibition of its effector AKT increased the expression of MHC class I and CD80 on tumor cells. These changes contributed to the increased susceptibility of Pik3ca-null tumors to T cell surveillance. Our results indicate that tumor cell PIK3CA-AKT signaling limits T cell recognition and clearance of pancreatic cancer cells. Strategies that target this pathway may yield an effective immunotherapy for this cancer.

Authors

Nithya Sivaram, Patrick A. McLaughlin, Han V. Han, Oleksi Petrenko, Ya-Ping Jiang, Lisa M. Ballou, Kien Pham, Chen Liu, Adrianus W.M. van der Velden, Richard Z. Lin

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Abstract

Programmed death-1 receptor ligand 1 (PD-L1) is a promising therapeutic target in aggressive cancers. However, immune landscapes and cancer hallmarks of human PD-L1+ tumors as well as their roles in determining therapeutic efficacies are unknown. Here, we showed, in detailed studies of gene data regarding 9769 patients of 32 types of human cancers, that PD-L1 could not exclusively represent the IFN-γ signature and potentially signified proinflammatory myeloid responses in a tumor. PD-L1 heterogeneity endowed by local immune landscapes controlled cancer hallmarks and clinical outcomes of patients. Mechanically, NF-κB signal elicited by macrophage inflammatory responses generated PD-L1+ cancer cells exhibiting capabilities to aggressively survive, support angiogenesis, and metastasize, whereas STAT1 signal triggered by activated T cells induced PD-L1+ cancer cells susceptive to apoptosis. Importantly, PD-L1+ cancer cells generated by macrophages established great resistance to conventional chemotherapy, cytotoxicity of tumor-specific effector T cells, and therapy of immune-checkpoint blockade. Therapeutic strategy combining immune-checkpoint blockade with macrophage depletion or NF-κB inhibition in vivo effectively and successfully elicited cancer regression. Our results provide insight into the functional features of PD-L1+ tumors and suggest that strategies to influence functional activities of inflammatory cells may benefit immune-checkpoint blockade therapy.

Authors

Yuan Wei, Qiyi Zhao, Zhiliang Gao, Xiang-Ming Lao, Wei-Ming Lin, Dong-Ping Chen, Ming Mu, Chun-Xiang Huang, Zheng-Yu Liu, Bo Li, Limin Zheng, Dong-Ming Kuang

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Abstract

The migration of leukocytes into the CNS drives the neuropathology of multiple sclerosis (MS). It is likely that this penetration utilizes energy resources that remain to be defined. Using the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model of MS, we determined that macrophages within the perivascular cuff of postcapillary venules are highly glycolytic, as manifested by strong expression of lactate dehydrogenase A (LDHA), which converts pyruvate to lactate. These macrophages expressed prominent levels of monocarboxylate transporter-4 (MCT-4), which is specialized in the secretion of lactate from glycolytic cells. The functional relevance of glycolysis was confirmed by siRNA-mediated knockdown of LDHA and MCT-4, which decreased lactate secretion and macrophage transmigration. MCT-4 was in turn regulated by EMMPRIN (also known as CD147), as determined through coexpression and co-IP studies and siRNA-mediated EMMPRIN silencing. The functional relevance of MCT-4–EMMPRIN interaction was confirmed by lower macrophage transmigration in culture using the MCT-4 inhibitor α-cyano-4-hydroxy-cinnamic acid (CHCA), a cinnamon derivative. CHCA also reduced leukocyte infiltration and the clinical severity of EAE. Relevance to MS was corroborated by the strong expression of MCT-4, EMMPRIN, and LDHA in perivascular macrophages in MS brains. These results detail the metabolism of macrophages for transmigration from perivascular cuffs into the CNS parenchyma and identify CHCA and diet as potential modulators of neuroinflammation in MS.

Authors

Deepak Kumar Kaushik, Anindita Bhattacharya, Reza Mirzaei, Khalil S. Rawji, Younghee Ahn, Jong M. Rho, V. Wee Yong

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Abstract

Tumorigenicity is a well-documented risk to overcome for pluripotent or multipotent cell applications in regenerative medicine. To address the emerging demand for safe cell sources in tissue regeneration, we established a novel, protein-based reprogramming method that does not require genome integration or oncogene activation to yield multipotent fibromodulin (FMOD)-reprogrammed (FReP) cells from dermal fibroblasts. When compared with induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), FReP cells exhibited a superior capability for bone and skeletal muscle regeneration with markedly less tumorigenic risk. Moreover, we showed that the decreased tumorigenicity of FReP cells was directly related to an upregulation of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2B (CDKN2B) expression during the FMOD reprogramming process. Indeed, sustained suppression of CDKN2B resulted in tumorigenic, pluripotent FReP cells that formed teratomas in vivo that were indistinguishable from iPSC-derived teratomas. These results highlight the pivotal role of CDKN2B in cell fate determination and tumorigenic regulation and reveal an alternative pluripotent/multipotent cell reprogramming strategy that solely uses FMOD protein.

Authors

Zhong Zheng, Chenshuang Li, Pin Ha, Grace X. Chang, Pu Yang, Xinli Zhang, Jong Kil Kim, Wenlu Jiang, Xiaoxiao Pang, Emily A. Berthiaume, Zane Mills, Christos S. Haveles, Eric Chen, Kang Ting, Chia Soo

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Abstract

Neurologic involvement of HIV remains an important concern for patients, physicians, and investigators. Catastrophic decline is rarely seen in patients on combination antiretroviral therapy (cART); however, neurological decline remains a critical clinical challenge. In this issue of the JCI, Spudich and associates investigated the status of HIV in the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) and revealed ongoing presence of HIV in the nervous system. Surprisingly, even in the face of optimal treatment, including suppressed HIV RNA, almost half of the patients investigated showed cell-associated HIV (CA-HIV) DNA in the CSF. Spudich et al. find that persistence of HIV in CSF cells is associated with lower performance on neurocognitive testing. These findings emphasize the need to consider a viral-associated mechanism as playing a significant and potentially ongoing role in HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND).

Authors

David B. Clifford

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Abstract

BACKGROUND Persistence of HIV in sanctuary sites despite antiretroviral therapy (ART) presents a barrier to HIV remission and may affect neurocognitive function. We assessed HIV persistence in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and associations with inflammation and neurocognitive performance during long-term ART.METHODS Participants enrolled in the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) HIV Reservoirs Cohort Study (A5321) underwent concurrent lumbar puncture, phlebotomy, and neurocognitive assessment. Cell-associated HIV DNA and HIV RNA (CA-DNA, CA-RNA) were measured by quantitative PCR (qPCR). in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and in cell pellets from CSF. In CSF supernatant and blood plasma, cell-free HIV RNA was quantified by qPCR with single copy sensitivity, and inflammatory biomarkers were measured by enzyme immunoassay.RESULTS Sixty-nine participants (97% male, median age 50 years, CD4 696 cells/mm3, plasma HIV RNA <100 copies/mL) were assessed after a median 8.6 years of ART. In CSF, cell-free RNA was detected in 4%, CA-RNA in 9%, and CA-DNA in 48% of participants (median level 2.1 copies/103 cells). Detection of cell-free CSF HIV RNA was associated with higher plasma HIV RNA (P = 0.007). CSF inflammatory biomarkers did not correlate with HIV persistence measures. Detection of CSF CA-DNA HIV was associated with worse neurocognitive outcomes including global deficit score (P = 0.005), even after adjusting for age and nadir CD4 count.CONCLUSION HIV-infected cells persist in CSF in almost half of individuals on long-term ART, and their detection is associated with poorer neurocognitive performance.FUNDING This observational study, AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) HIV Reservoirs Cohort Study (A5321), was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIAID and NIMH).

Authors

Serena Spudich, Kevin R. Robertson, Ronald J. Bosch, Rajesh T. Gandhi, Joshua C. Cyktor, Hanna Mar, Bernard J. Macatangay, Christina M. Lalama, Charles Rinaldo, Ann C. Collier, Catherine Godfrey, Joseph J. Eron, Deborah McMahon, Jana L. Jacobs, Dianna Koontz, Evelyn Hogg, Alyssa Vecchio, John W. Mellors

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Abstract

Cytosolic arginine sensor for mTORC1 subunits 1 and 2 (CASTOR1 and CASTOR2) inhibit the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) upon arginine deprivation. mTORC1 regulates cell proliferation, survival, and metabolism and is often dysregulated in cancers, indicating that cancer cells may regulate CASTOR1 and CASTOR2 to control mTORC1 signaling and promote tumorigenesis. mTORC1 is the most effective therapeutic target of Kaposi sarcoma, which is caused by infection with the Kaposi sarcoma–associated herpesvirus (KSHV). Hence, KSHV-induced cellular transformation is a suitable model for investigating mTORC1 regulation in cancer cells. Currently, the mechanism of KSHV activation of mTORC1 in KSHV-induced cancers remains unclear. We showed that KSHV suppressed CASTOR1 and CASTOR2 expression to activate the mTORC1 pathway. CASTOR1 or CASTOR2 overexpression and mTOR inhibitors abolished cell proliferation and colony formation in soft agar of KSHV-transformed cells by attenuating mTORC1 activation. Furthermore, the KSHV-encoded miRNA miR-K4-5p, and probably miR-K1-5p, directly targeted CASTOR1 to inhibit its expression. Knockdown of miR-K1-5p and -K4-5p restored CASTOR1 expression and thereby attenuated mTORC1 activation. Overexpression of CASTOR1 or CASTOR2 and mTOR inhibitors abolished the activation of mTORC1 and growth transformation induced by pre–miR-K1 and -K4. Our results define the mechanism of KSHV activation of the mTORC1 pathway and establish the scientific basis for targeting this pathway to treat KSHV-associated cancers.

Authors

Tingting Li, Enguo Ju, Shou-Jiang Gao

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Abstract

Glycosylation of immune receptors and ligands, such as T cell receptor and coinhibitory molecules, regulates immune signaling activation and immune surveillance. However, how oncogenic signaling initiates glycosylation of coinhibitory molecules to induce immunosuppression remains unclear. Here we show that IL-6–activated JAK1 phosphorylates programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) Tyr112, which recruits the endoplasmic reticulum–associated N-glycosyltransferase STT3A to catalyze PD-L1 glycosylation and maintain PD-L1 stability. Targeting of IL-6 by IL-6 antibody induced synergistic T cell killing effects when combined with anti–T cell immunoglobulin mucin-3 (anti–Tim-3) therapy in animal models. A positive correlation between IL-6 and PD-L1 expression was also observed in hepatocellular carcinoma patient tumor tissues. These results identify a mechanism regulating PD-L1 glycosylation initiation and suggest the combination of anti–IL-6 and anti–Tim-3 as an effective marker-guided therapeutic strategy.

Authors

Li-Chuan Chan, Chia-Wei Li, Weiya Xia, Jung-Mao Hsu, Heng-Huan Lee, Jong-Ho Cha, Hung-Ling Wang, Wen-Hao Yang, Er-Yen Yen, Wei-Chao Chang, Zhengyu Zha, Seung-Oe Lim, Yun-Ju Lai, Chunxiao Liu, Jielin Liu, Qiongzhu Dong, Yi Yang, Linlin Sun, Yongkun Wei, Lei Nie, Jennifer L. Hsu, Hui Li, Qinghai Ye, Manal M. Hassan, Hesham M. Amin, Ahmed O. Kaseb, Xin Lin, Shao-Chun Wang, Mien-Chie Hung

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Abstract

The gut microbiome is a key regulator of bone health that affects postnatal skeletal development and skeletal involution. Alterations in microbiota composition and host responses to the microbiota contribute to pathological bone loss, while changes in microbiota composition that prevent, or reverse, bone loss may be achieved by nutritional supplements with prebiotics and probiotics. One mechanism whereby microbes influence organs of the body is through the production of metabolites that diffuse from the gut into the systemic circulation. Recently, short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which are generated by fermentation of complex carbohydrates, have emerged as key regulatory metabolites produced by the gut microbiota. This Review will focus on the effects of SCFAs on the musculoskeletal system and discuss the mechanisms whereby SCFAs regulate bone cells.

Authors

Mario M. Zaiss, Rheinallt M. Jones, Georg Schett, Roberto Pacifici

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Abstract

Elevated blood glucose (hyperglycemia) is a hallmark metabolic abnormality in diabetes. Hyperglycemia is associated with protein kinase A–dependent (PKA-dependent) stimulation of L-type Ca2+ channels in arterial myocytes resulting in increased vasoconstriction. However, the mechanisms by which glucose activates PKA remain unclear. Here, we showed that elevating extracellular glucose stimulates cAMP production in arterial myocytes, and that this was specifically dependent on adenylyl cyclase 5 (AC5) activity. Super-resolution imaging suggested nanometer proximity between subpopulations of AC5 and the L-type Ca2+ channel pore-forming subunit CaV1.2. In vitro, in silico, ex vivo, and in vivo experiments revealed that this close association is critical for stimulation of L-type Ca2+ channels in arterial myocytes and increased myogenic tone upon acute hyperglycemia. This pathway supported the increase in L-type Ca2+ channel activity and myogenic tone in 2 animal models of diabetes. Our collective findings demonstrate a unique role for AC5 in PKA-dependent modulation of L-type Ca2+ channel activity and vascular reactivity during acute hyperglycemia and diabetes.

Authors

Arsalan U. Syed, Gopireddy R. Reddy, Debapriya Ghosh, Maria Paz Prada, Matthew A. Nystoriak, Stefano Morotti, Eleonora Grandi, Padmini Sirish, Nipavan Chiamvimonvat, Johannes W. Hell, Luis F. Santana, Yang K. Xiang, Madeline Nieves-Cintrón, Manuel F. Navedo

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Abstract

Receptor activator of NF-κb ligand (RANKL) activates, while osteoprotegerin (OPG) inhibits, osteoclastogenesis. A neutralizing Ab against RANKL, denosumab, improves bone strength in osteoporosis. OPG also improves muscle strength in mouse models of Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy (mdx) and denervation-induced atrophy, but its role and mechanisms of action on muscle weakness in other conditions remain to be investigated. We investigated the effects of RANKL inhibitors on muscle in osteoporotic women and mice that either overexpress RANKL (HuRANKLTg+), or lack Pparb and concomitantly develop sarcopenia (Pparb–/–). In women, taking denosumab for more than 3 years improved appendicular lean mass and handgrip strength compared with no treatment, whereas bisphosphonate did not. HuRANKLTg+ mice displayed lower limb force and maximal speed, while their leg muscle mass was diminished, with a lower number of type I and II fibers. Both OPG and denosumab increased limb force proportionally to the increase in muscle mass. They markedly improved muscle insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake, and decreased antimyogenic and inflammatory gene expression in muscle, such as myostatin and protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor-γ. Similarly, in Pparb–/–, OPG increased muscle volume and force while also normalizing insulin signaling and higher expression of inflammatory genes in skeletal muscle. In conclusion, RANKL deteriorates while its inhibitors improve muscle strength and insulin sensitivity in osteoporotic mice and humans. Hence, denosumab could represent a novel therapeutic approach for sarcopenia.

Authors

Nicolas Bonnet, Lucie Bourgoin, Emmanuel Biver, Eleni Douni, Serge Ferrari

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Abstract

Acute liver failure (ALF) is a life-threatening condition, and liver transplantation is the only therapeutic option. Although immune dysregulation is central to its pathogenesis, the precise mechanism remains unclear. Here, we show that the number of peripheral and hepatic plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) decrease during acute liver injury in both humans and mice. Selective depletion of pDCs in Siglechdtr/+ mice exacerbated concanavalin A–induced acute liver injury. In contrast, adoptively transferred BM-derived pDCs preferentially accumulated in the inflamed liver and protected against liver injury. This protective effect was independent of TLR7 and TLR9 signaling, since a similar effect occurred following transfer of MyD88-deficient pDCs. Alternatively, we found an unexpected immunosuppressive role of pDCs in an IL-35–dependent manner. Both Il12a and Ebi3, heterodimeric components of IL-35, were highly expressed in transferred pDCs and CD4+CD25+ Tregs. However, the protective effect of pDC transfer was completely lost in mice depleted of Tregs by anti-CD25 antibody. Moreover, pDCs derived from IL-35–deficient mice had less of a protective effect both in vivo and in vitro even in the presence of Tregs. These results highlight a unique aspect of pDCs in association with Tregs, serving as a guide for immunotherapeutic options in ALF.

Authors

Yuzo Koda, Nobuhiro Nakamoto, Po-Sung Chu, Aya Ugamura, Yohei Mikami, Toshiaki Teratani, Hanako Tsujikawa, Shunsuke Shiba, Nobuhito Taniki, Tomohisa Sujino, Kentaro Miyamoto, Takahiro Suzuki, Akihiro Yamaguchi, Rei Morikawa, Katsuaki Sato, Michiie Sakamoto, Takayuki Yoshimoto, Takanori Kanai

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Abstract

BACKGROUND In the Joslin Medalist Study (Medalists), we determined whether significant associations exist between β cell function and pathology and clinical characteristics.METHODS Individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D) for 50 or more years underwent evaluation including HLA analysis, basal and longitudinal autoantibody (AAb) status, and β cell function by a mixed-meal tolerance test (MMTT) and a hyperglycemia/arginine clamp procedure. Postmortem analysis of pancreases from 68 Medalists was performed. Monogenic diabetes genes were screened for the entire cohort.RESULTS Of the 1019 Medalists, 32.4% retained detectable C-peptide levels (>0.05 ng/mL, median: 0.21 ng/mL). In those who underwent a MMTT (n = 516), 5.8% responded with a doubling of baseline C-peptide levels. Longitudinally (n = 181, median: 4 years), C-peptide levels increased in 12.2% (n = 22) and decreased in 37% (n = 67) of the Medalists. Among those with repeated MMTTs, 5.4% (3 of 56) and 16.1% (9 of 56) had waxing and waning responses, respectively. Thirty Medalists with baseline C-peptide levels of 0.1 ng/mL or higher underwent the clamp procedure, with HLA–/AAb– and HLA+/AAb– Medalists being most responsive. Postmortem examination of pancreases from 68 Medalists showed that all had scattered insulin-positive cells; 59 additionally had few insulin-positive cells within a few islets; and 14 additionally had lobes with multiple islets with numerous insulin-positive cells. Genetic analysis revealed that 280 Medalists (27.5%) had monogenic diabetes variants; in 80 (7.9%) of these Medalists, the variants were classified as “likely pathogenic” (rare exome variant ensemble learner [REVEL] >0.75).CONCLUSION All Medalists retained insulin-positive β cells, with many responding to metabolic stimuli even after 50 years of T1D. The Medalists were heterogeneous with respect to β cell function, and many with HLA+ diabetes risk alleles also had monogenic diabetes variants, indicating the importance of genetic testing for clinically diagnosed T1D.FUNDING Funding for this work was provided by the Dianne Nunnally Hoppes Fund; the Beatson Pledge Fund; the NIH, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK); and the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

Authors

Marc Gregory Yu, Hillary A. Keenan, Hetal S. Shah, Scott G. Frodsham, David Pober, Zhiheng He, Emily A. Wolfson, Stephanie D’Eon, Liane J. Tinsley, Susan Bonner-Weir, Marcus G. Pezzolesi, George Liang King

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Abstract

Development of novel and effective therapeutics for treating various cancers is probably the most congested and challenging enterprise of pharmaceutical companies. Diverse drugs targeting malignant and nonmalignant cells receive clinical approval each year from the FDA. Targeting cancer cells and nonmalignant cells unavoidably changes the tumor microenvironment, and cellular and molecular components relentlessly alter in response to drugs. Cancer cells often reprogram their metabolic pathways to adapt to environmental challenges and facilitate survival, proliferation, and metastasis. While cancer cells’ dependence on glycolysis for energy production is well studied, the roles of adipocytes and lipid metabolic reprogramming in supporting cancer growth, metastasis, and drug responses are less understood. This Review focuses on emerging mechanisms involving adipocytes and lipid metabolism in altering the response to cancer treatment. In particular, we discuss mechanisms underlying cancer-associated adipocytes and lipid metabolic reprogramming in cancer drug resistance.

Authors

Yihai Cao

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Abstract

The discovery of insulin almost 100 years ago has resulted in a remarkable increase in lifespan and quality of life for patients with type 1 diabetes. The Joslin Medalist Study has allowed researchers to access and study patients (Medalists) with type 1 diabetes who have been insulin dependent for 50 years or more. In this issue of the JCI, Yu et al. evaluated HLA variants, autoantibody status, β cell function, C-peptide release, and monogenetic diabetes genes in a cohort of Medalists. Postmortem analysis of pancreata from Medalists revealed the presence of insulin-positive β cells in these patients. Moreover, some patients were still able to respond to metabolic stimuli despite long-term insulin dependence. Overall, the Medalist cohort was highly heterogenous, and genetic testing suggested that several patients would fall into categories other than type 1 diabetes on the basis of REVEL (rare exome variant ensemble learner) classification and may be able to transfer to other therapy options.

Authors

Fabrizio Barbetti, Simeon I. Taylor

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Abstract

T follicular helper cells (Tfh), a subset of CD4+ T cells, provide requisite help to B cells in the germinal centers (GC) of lymphoid tissue. GC Tfh are identified by high expression of the chemokine receptor CXCR5 and the inhibitory molecule PD-1. Although more accessible, blood contains lower frequencies of CXCR5+ and PD-1+ cells that have been termed circulating Tfh (cTfh). However, it remains unclear whether GC Tfh exit lymphoid tissues and populate this cTfh pool. To examine exiting cells, we assessed the phenotype of Tfh present within the major conduit of efferent lymph from lymphoid tissues into blood, the human thoracic duct. Unlike what was found in blood, we consistently identified a CXCR5-bright PD-1–bright (CXCR5BrPD-1Br) Tfh population in thoracic duct lymph (TDL). These CXCR5BrPD-1Br TDL Tfh shared phenotypic and transcriptional similarities with GC Tfh. Moreover, components of the epigenetic profile of GC Tfh could be detected in CXCR5BrPD-1Br TDL Tfh and the transcriptional imprint of this epigenetic signature was enriched in an activated cTfh subset known to contain vaccine-responding cells. Together with data showing shared TCR sequences between the CXCR5BrPD-1Br TDL Tfh and cTfh, these studies identify a population in TDL as a circulatory intermediate connecting the biology of Tfh in blood to Tfh in lymphoid tissue.

Authors

Laura A. Vella, Marcus Buggert, Sasikanth Manne, Ramin S. Herati, Ismail Sayin, Leticia Kuri-Cervantes, Irene Bukh Brody, Kaitlin C. O’Boyle, Hagop Kaprielian, Josephine R. Giles, Son Nguyen, Alexander Muselman, Jack P. Antel, Amit Bar-Or, Matthew E. Johnson, David H. Canaday, Ali Naji, Vitaly V. Ganusov, Terri M. Laufer, Andrew D. Wells, Yoav Dori, Maxim G. Itkin, Michael R. Betts, E. John Wherry

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Abstract

T follicular helper (Tfh) cells in germinal centers of secondary lymphoid organs are pivotal for B and T cell interactions required for induction of humoral immunity. It has long been debated whether Tfh cells exit from lymph nodes into the blood as circulating Tfh cells. In this issue of the JCI, Vella et al. have taken the bull by the horns and applied considerable technical muscle to answer this question. By analyzing phenotype, transcriptome, epigenetic profile, and T cell receptor clonotype, the authors provide evidence that a subset of cTfh cells do indeed originate in lymph nodes and traffic into the blood via the thoracic duct.

Authors

Savita Pahwa

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Abstract

Authors

Motoshi Suzuki, Ke Cao, Seiichi Kato, Yuji Komizu, Naoki Mizutani, Kouji Tanaka, Chinatsu Arima, Mei Chee Tai, Kiyoshi Yanagisawa, Norie Togawa, Takahiro Shiraishi, Noriyasu Usami, Tetsuo Taniguchi, Takayuki Fukui, Kohei Yokoi, Keiko Wakahara, Yoshinori Hasegawa, Yukiko Mizutani, Yasuyuki Igarashi, Jin-ichi Inokuchi, Soichiro Iwaki, Satoshi Fujii, Akira Satou, Yoko Matsumoto, Ryuichi Ueoka, Keiko Tamiya-Koizumi, Takashi Murate, Mitsuhiro Nakamura, Mamoru Kyogashima, Takashi Takahashi

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Abstract

Epithelial barrier dysfunction is a significant factor in many allergic diseases, including eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). Infiltrating leukocytes and tissue adaptations increase metabolic demands and decrease oxygen availability at barrier surfaces. Understanding of how these processes impact barrier is limited, particularly in allergy. Here, we identified a regulatory axis whereby the oxygen-sensing transcription factor HIF-1α orchestrated epithelial barrier integrity, selectively controlling tight junction CLDN1 (claudin-1). Prolonged experimental hypoxia or HIF1A knockdown suppressed HIF-1α–dependent claudin-1 expression and epithelial barrier function, as documented in 3D organotypic epithelial cultures. L2-IL5OXA mice with EoE-relevant allergic inflammation displayed localized eosinophil oxygen metabolism, tissue hypoxia, and impaired claudin-1 barrier via repression of HIF-1α/claudin-1 signaling, which was restored by transgenic expression of esophageal epithelial-targeted stabilized HIF-1α. EoE patient biopsy analysis identified a repressed HIF-1α/claudin-1 axis, which was restored via pharmacologic HIF-1α stabilization ex vivo. Collectively, these studies reveal HIF-1α’s critical role in maintaining barrier and highlight the HIF-1α/claudin-1 axis as a potential therapeutic target for EoE.

Authors

Joanne C. Masterson, Kathryn A. Biette, Juliet A. Hammer, Nathalie Nguyen, Kelley E. Capocelli, Bejan J. Saeedi, Rachel F. Harris, Shahan D. Fernando, Lindsay B. Hosford, Caleb J. Kelly, Eric L. Campbell, Stefan F. Ehrentraut, Faria N. Ahmed, Hiroshi Nakagawa, James J. Lee, Eóin N. McNamee, Louise E. Glover, Sean P. Colgan, Glenn T. Furuta

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Abstract

Background: Checkpoint inhibitor pneumonitis (CIP) is a highly morbid complication of immune checkpoint immunotherapy (ICI), one which precludes the continuation of ICI. Yet, the mechanistic underpinnings of CIP are unknown. Methods: To better understand the mechanism of lung injury in CIP, we prospectively collected bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) samples in ICI-treated patients with (n=12) and without CIP (n=6), prior to initiation of first-line therapy for CIP (high dose corticosteroids. We analyzed BAL immune cell populations using a combination of traditional multicolor flow cytometry gating, unsupervised clustering analysis and BAL supernatant cytokine measurements. Results: We found increased BAL lymphocytosis, predominantly CD4+ T cells, in CIP. Specifically, we observed increased numbers of BAL central memory T-cells (Tcm), evidence of Type I polarization, and decreased expression of CTLA-4 and PD-1 in BAL Tregs, suggesting both activation of pro-inflammatory subsets and an attenuated suppressive phenotype. CIP BAL myeloid immune populations displayed enhanced expression of IL-1β and decreased expression of counter-regulatory IL-1RA. We observed increased levels of T cell chemoattractants in the BAL supernatant, consistent with our pro-inflammatory, lymphocytic cellular landscape. Conclusion: We observe several immune cell subpopulations that are dysregulated in CIP, which may represent possible targets that could lead to therapeutics for this morbid immune related adverse event.

Authors

Karthik Suresh, Jarushka Naidoo, Qiong Zhong, Ye Xiong, Jennifer Mammen, Marcia Villegas de Flores, Laura Cappelli, Aanika Balaji, Tsvi Palmer, Patrick M. Forde, Valsamo Anagnostou, David S. Ettinger, Kristen A. Marrone, Ronan J. Kelly, Christine L. Hann, Benjamin Levy, Josephine L. Feliciano, Cheng-Ting Lin, David Feller-Kopman, Andrew D. Lerner, Hans Lee, Majid Shafiq, Lonny Yarmus, Evan J. Lipson, Mark Soloski, Julie R. Brahmer, Sonye K. Dannoff, Franco D'Alessio

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Abstract

Loss-of-function mutations in genes encoding TET DNA dioxygenase occur frequently in hematopoietic malignancy, but rarely in solid tumors which instead commonly have reduced activity. The impact of decreased TET activity in solid tumors is not known. Here we show that TET2 mediates interferon γ (IFNγ)-JAK-STAT signaling pathway to control chemokine and PD-L1 expression, lymphocyte infiltration and cancer immunity. IFNγ stimulated STAT1 to bind TET2 and recruit TET2 to hydroxymethylate chemokine and PD-L1 genes. Reduced TET activity was associated with decreased TH1-type chemokines and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) and the progression of human colon cancer. Deletion of Tet2 in murine melanoma and colon tumor cells reduced chemokine expression and TILs, enabling tumors to evade anti-tumor immunity and to resist anti-PD-L1 therapy. Conversely, stimulating TET activity by systematic injection of its co-factor, ascorbate/vitamin C, increased chemokine and TILs, leading to enhanced anti-tumor immunity and anti-PD-L1 efficacy and extended lifespan of tumor-bearing mice. These results suggest an IFNγ-JAK-STAT-TET signaling pathway that mediates tumor response to anti-PD-L1/PD-1 therapy and is frequently disrupted in solid tumors. Our findings also suggest TET activity as a biomarker for predicting the efficacy and patient response to anti-PD-1/PD-L1 therapy, and stimulating TET activity as an adjuvant immunotherapy of solid tumors.

Authors

Yan-ping Xu, Lei Lv, Ying Liu, Matthew D. Smith, Wen-Cai Li, Xian-ming Tan, Meng Cheng, Zhijun Li, Michael Bovino, Jeffrey Aubé, Yue Xiong

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Abstract

Prostate cancer (PC) is initially dependent on androgen receptor (AR) signaling for survival and growth. Therapeutics designed to suppress AR activity serve as the primary intervention for advanced disease. However, supraphysiological androgen (SPA) concentrations can produce paradoxical responses leading to PC growth inhibition. We sought to discern the mechanisms by which SPA inhibits PC and to determine if molecular context associates with anti-tumor activity. SPA produced an AR-mediated, dose-dependent induction of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), G0/G1 cell cycle arrest and cellular senescence. SPA repressed genes involved in DNA repair and delayed the restoration of damaged DNA which was augmented by PARP1 inhibition. SPA-induced DSBs were accentuated in BRCA2-deficient PCs, and combining SPA with PARP or DNA-PKcs inhibition further repressed growth. Next-generation sequencing was performed on biospecimens from PC patients receiving SPA as part of ongoing Phase II clinical trials. Patients with mutations in genes mediating homology-directed DNA repair were more likely to exhibit clinical responses to SPA. These results provide a mechanistic rationale for directing SPA therapy to PCs with AR amplification or DNA repair deficiency, and for combining SPA therapy with PARP inhibition.

Authors

Payel Chatterjee, Michael T. Schweizer, Jared M. Lucas, Ilsa Coleman, Michael D. Nyquist, Sander B. Frank, Robin Tharakan, Elahe Mostaghel, Jun Luo, Colin C. Pritchard, Hung-Ming Lam, Eva Corey, Emmanuel S. Antonarakis, Samuel R. Denmeade, Peter S. Nelson

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Abstract

Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) increases the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD) in humans by poorly understood mechanisms. Using mouse models of T1DM-accelerated atherosclerosis, we found that relative insulin deficiency rather than hyperglycemia elevated levels of apolipoprotein C3 (APOC3), an apolipoprotein that prevents clearance of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TRLs) and their remnants. We then showed that serum APOC3 levels predict incident CVD events in subjects with T1DM in the Coronary Artery Calcification in Type 1 Diabetes (CACTI) study. To explore underlying mechanisms, we investigated the impact of Apoc3 antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) on lipoprotein metabolism and atherosclerosis in a mouse model of T1DM. Apoc3 ASO treatment abolished the increased hepatic Apoc3 expression in diabetic mice - resulting in lower levels of TRLs - without improving glycemic control. APOC3 suppression also prevented arterial accumulation of APOC3-containing lipoprotein particles, macrophage foam cell formation, and the accelerated atherosclerosis in diabetic mice. Our observations demonstrate that relative insulin deficiency increases APOC3 and that this results in elevated levels of TRLs and accelerated atherosclerosis in a mouse model of T1DM. Because serum levels of APOC3 predicted incident CVD events in the CACTI study, inhibiting APOC3 might reduce CVD risk in T1DM patients.

Authors

Jenny E. Kanter, Baohai Shao, Farah Kramer, Shelley Barnhart, Masami Shimizu-Albergine, Tomas Vaisar, Mark J. Graham, Rosanne M. Crooke, Clarence R. Manuel, Rebecca A. Haeusler, Daniel Mar, Karol Bomsztyk, John E. Hokanson, Gregory L. Kinney, Janet K. Snell-Bergeon, Jay W. Heinecke, Karin E. Bornfeldt

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Abstract

Persistent, unresolved inflammation in the liver represents a key trigger for hepatic injury and fibrosis in various liver diseases and is controlled by classically activated pro-inflammatory macrophages, while restorative macrophages of the liver are capable of reversing inflammation once the injury trigger ceases. Here we have identified a novel role for neutrophils as key contributors to resolving the inflammatory response in the liver. Using two models of liver inflammatory resolution, we found that mice undergoing neutrophil depletion during the resolution phase exhibited unresolved hepatic inflammation, activation of the fibrogenic machinery and early fibrosis. These findings were associated with an impairment of the phenotypic switch of pro-inflammatory macrophages into a restorative stage after removal of the cause of injury and an increased NLRP3 / miR-223 ratio. Mice with a deletion of the granulocyte specific miR-223 gene showed a similarly impaired resolution profile that could be reversed by restoring miR-223 levels using a miR-223 3p mimic or infusing neutrophils from wildtype animals. Collectively, our findings reveal a novel role for neutrophils in the liver as resolving effector cells that induce pro-inflammatory macrophages into a restorative phenotype, potentially via miR-223.

Authors

Carolina Jimenez Calvente, Masahiko Tameda, Casey D. Johnson, Hana del Pilar, Yun Chin Lin, Nektaria Andronikou, Xavier De Mollerat Du Jeu, Cristina Llorente, Josh Boyer, Ariel E. Feldstein

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July 2019

July 2019 Issue

On the cover:
Controlling formation of deep vein thrombi

Deep venous thrombi (DVTs) result from dysregulated coagulation that may be exacerbated by trauma, infection, or other inflammatory conditions. In this issue of the JCI, Yadav, Chi, et al. identify a role for the ATP-hydrolyzing enzyme CD39 (also known as ENTPD-1) in venous thrombogenesis. In a model of flow-restricted venous thrombosis, they show that CD39 deficiency enhances inflammasome activation and elevates circulating IL-1β, mediating increases in clot incidence, size, and fibrin content. These insights into pivotal roles of CD39 and the inflammasome in regulating vascular thrombosis and inflammation point to potential interventions for DVT risk.

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July 2019 JCI This Month

JCI This Month is a digest of the research, reviews, and other features published each month.

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Review Series - More

Reparative Immunology

Series edited by Hamid Rabb and Franco R. D'Alessio

The immune system mounts a rapid inflammatory response to injury to mobilize cells and molecular pathways that promote hemostasis and prevent infection, but this acute response is only the first phase of recovery. Wound repair and inflammation-resolving processes are essential to recovering homeostasis in the aftermath of an injury: inefficient healing or prolonged inflammation can drive chronic dysfunction in the affected tissue. The Reparative Immunology series highlights the immune system’s contributions to these critical repair processes, from the roles of T cells, macrophages, neutrophils, and innate lymphoid cells in physiological repair to the influence of cytokine signaling, immunometabolism, and epigenetic reprogramming on pathological outcomes of injury. Together, these reviews emphasize the complexity of the immune environment in injured tissue and indicate numerous potential opportunities to intervene in dysfunctional wound-healing.

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