Feed: JOURNAL OF CLINICAL INVESTIGATION -- CURRENT ISSUE
Journal of Clinical Investigation RSS feed -- Current issue
Angiotensin-converting enzyme overexpression in myelomonocytes prevents Alzheimer’s-like cognitive decline
Kenneth E. Bernstein, Yosef Koronyo, Brenda C. Salumbides, Julia Sheyn, Lindsey Pelissier, Dahabada H.J. Lopes, Kandarp H. Shah, Ellen A. Bernstein, Dieu-Trang Fuchs, Jeff J.-Y. Yu, Michael Pham, Keith L. Black, Xiao Z. Shen, Sebastien Fuchs, Maya Koronyo-Hamaoui
Cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is associated with elevated brain levels of amyloid β protein (Aβ), particularly neurotoxic Aβ1–42. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) can degrade Aβ1–42, and ACE overexpression in myelomonocytic cells enhances their immune function. To examine the effect of targeted ACE overexpression on AD, we crossed ACE10/10 mice, which overexpress ACE in myelomonocytes using the c-fms promoter, with the transgenic APPSWE/PS1ΔE9 mouse model of AD (AD+). Evaluation of brain tissue from these AD+ACE10/10 mice at 7 and 13 months revealed that levels of both soluble and insoluble brain Aβ1–42 were reduced compared with those in AD+ mice. Furthermore, both plaque burden and astrogliosis were drastically reduced. Administration of the ACE inhibitor ramipril increased Aβ levels in AD+ACE10/10 mice compared with the levels induced by the ACE-independent vasodilator hydralazine. Overall, AD+ACE10/10 mice had less brain-infiltrating cells, consistent with reduced AD-associated pathology, though ACE-overexpressing macrophages were abundant around and engulfing Aβ plaques. At 11 and 12 months of age, the AD+ACE10/WT and AD+ACE10/10 mice were virtually equivalent to non-AD mice in cognitive ability, as assessed by maze-based behavioral tests. Our data demonstrate that an enhanced immune response, coupled with increased myelomonocytic expression of catalytically active ACE, prevents cognitive decline in a murine model of AD.
Relative acidic compartment volume as a lysosomal storage disorder–associated biomarker
Danielle te Vruchte, Anneliese O. Speak, Kerri L. Wallom, Nada Al Eisa, David A. Smith, Christian J. Hendriksz, Louise Simmons, Robin H. Lachmann, Alison Cousins, Ralf Hartung, Eugen Mengel, Heiko Runz, Michael Beck, Yasmina Amraoui, Jackie Imrie, Elizabeth Jacklin, Kate Riddick, Nicole M. Yanjanin, Christopher A. Wassif, Arndt Rolfs, Florian Rimmele, Naomi Wright, Clare Taylor, Uma Ramaswami, Timothy M. Cox, Caroline Hastings, Xuntian Jiang, Rohini Sidhu, Daniel S. Ory, Begona Arias, Mylvaganam Jeyakumar, Daniel J. Sillence, James E. Wraith, Forbes D. Porter, Mario Cortina-Borja, Frances M. Platt
Lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs) occur at a frequency of 1 in every 5,000 live births and are a common cause of pediatric neurodegenerative disease. The relatively small number of patients with LSDs and lack of validated biomarkers are substantial challenges for clinical trial design. Here, we evaluated the use of a commercially available fluorescent probe, Lysotracker, that can be used to measure the relative acidic compartment volume of circulating B cells as a potentially universal biomarker for LSDs. We validated this metric in a mouse model of the LSD Niemann-Pick type C1 disease (NPC1) and in a prospective 5-year international study of NPC patients. Pediatric NPC subjects had elevated acidic compartment volume that correlated with age-adjusted clinical severity and was reduced in response to therapy with miglustat, a European Medicines Agency–approved drug that has been shown to reduce NPC1-associated neuropathology. Measurement of relative acidic compartment volume was also useful for monitoring therapeutic responses of an NPC2 patient after bone marrow transplantation. Furthermore, this metric identified a potential adverse event in NPC1 patients receiving i.v. cyclodextrin therapy. Our data indicate that relative acidic compartment volume may be a useful biomarker to aid diagnosis, clinical monitoring, and evaluation of therapeutic responses in patients with lysosomal disorders.
Hyaluronan digestion controls DC migration from the skin
Jun Muto, Yasuhide Morioka, Kenshi Yamasaki, Margaret Kim, Andrea Garcia, Aaron F. Carlin, Ajit Varki, Richard L. Gallo
The breakdown and release of hyaluronan (HA) from the extracellular matrix has been hypothesized to act as an endogenous signal of injury. To test this hypothesis, we generated mice that conditionally overexpressed human hyaluronidase 1 (HYAL1). Mice expressing HYAL1 in skin either during early development or by inducible transient expression exhibited extensive HA degradation, yet displayed no evidence of spontaneous inflammation. Further, HYAL1 expression activated migration and promoted loss of DCs from the skin. We subsequently determined that induction of HYAL1 expression prior to topical antigen application resulted in a lack of an antigenic response due to the depletion of DCs from the skin. In contrast, induction of HYAL1 expression concurrent with antigen exposure accelerated allergic sensitization. Administration of HA tetrasaccharides, before or simultaneously with antigen application, recapitulated phenotypes observed in HYAL1-expressing animals, suggesting that the generation of small HA fragments, rather than the loss of large HA molecules, promotes DC migration and subsequent modification of allergic responses. Furthermore, mice lacking TLR4 did not exhibit HA-associated phenotypes, indicating that TLR4 mediates these responses. This study provides direct evidence that HA breakdown controls the capacity of the skin to present antigen. These events may influence DC function in injury or disease and have potential to be exploited therapeutically for modification of allergic responses.
HSC commitment–associated epigenetic signature is prognostic in acute myeloid leukemia
Boris Bartholdy, Maximilian Christopeit, Britta Will, Yongkai Mo, Laura Barreyro, Yiting Yu, Tushar D. Bhagat, Ujunwa C. Okoye-Okafor, Tihomira I. Todorova, John M. Greally, Ross L. Levine, Ari Melnick, Amit Verma, Ulrich Steidl
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is characterized by disruption of HSC and progenitor cell differentiation. Frequently, AML is associated with mutations in genes encoding epigenetic modifiers. We hypothesized that analysis of alterations in DNA methylation patterns during healthy HSC commitment and differentiation would yield epigenetic signatures that could be used to identify stage-specific prognostic subgroups of AML. We performed a nano HpaII-tiny-fragment-enrichment-by-ligation-mediated-PCR (nanoHELP) assay to compare genome-wide cytosine methylation profiles between highly purified human long-term HSC, short-term HSC, common myeloid progenitors, and megakaryocyte-erythrocyte progenitors. We observed that the most striking epigenetic changes occurred during the commitment of short-term HSC to common myeloid progenitors and these alterations were predominantly characterized by loss of methylation. We developed a metric of the HSC commitment–associated methylation pattern that proved to be highly prognostic of overall survival in 3 independent large AML patient cohorts, regardless of patient treatment and epigenetic mutations. Application of the epigenetic signature metric for AML prognosis was superior to evaluation of commitment-based gene expression signatures. Together, our data define a stem cell commitment–associated methylome that is independently prognostic of poorer overall survival in AML.
TSHZ1-dependent gene regulation is essential for olfactory bulb development and olfaction
Daniela Ragancokova, Elena Rocca, Anne M.M. Oonk, Herbert Schulz, Elvira Rohde, Jan Bednarsch, Ilse Feenstra, Ronald J.E. Pennings, Hagen Wende, Alistair N. Garratt
The olfactory bulb (OB) receives odor information from the olfactory epithelium and relays this to the olfactory cortex. Using a mouse model, we found that development and maturation of OB interneurons depends on the zinc finger homeodomain factor teashirt zinc finger family member 1 (TSHZ1). In mice lacking TSHZ1, neuroblasts exhibited a normal tangential migration to the OB; however, upon arrival to the OB, the neuroblasts were distributed aberrantly within the radial dimension, and many immature neuroblasts failed to exit the rostral migratory stream. Conditional deletion of Tshz1 in mice resulted in OB hypoplasia and severe olfactory deficits. We therefore investigated olfaction in human subjects from families with congenital aural atresia that were heterozygous for TSHZ1 loss-of-function mutations. These individuals displayed hyposmia, which is characterized by impaired odor discrimination and reduced olfactory sensitivity. Microarray analysis, in situ hybridization, and ChIP revealed that TSHZ1 bound to and regulated expression of the gene encoding prokineticin receptor 2 (PROKR2), a G protein–coupled receptor essential for OB development. Mutations in PROKR2 lead to Kallmann syndrome, characterized by anosmia and hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism. Our data indicate that TSHZ1 is a key regulator of mammalian OB development and function and controls the expression of molecules involved in human Kallmann syndrome.
Long-lived intestinal tuft cells serve as colon cancer–initiating cells
C. Benedikt Westphalen, Samuel Asfaha, Yoku Hayakawa, Yoshihiro Takemoto, Dana J. Lukin, Andreas H. Nuber, Anna Brandtner, Wanda Setlik, Helen Remotti, Ashlesha Muley, Xiaowei Chen, Randal May, Courtney W. Houchen, James G. Fox, Michael D. Gershon, Michael Quante, Timothy C. Wang
Doublecortin-like kinase 1 protein (DCLK1) is a gastrointestinal tuft cell marker that has been proposed to identify quiescent and tumor growth–sustaining stem cells. DCLK1+ tuft cells are increased in inflammation-induced carcinogenesis; however, the role of these cells within the gastrointestinal epithelium and their potential as cancer-initiating cells are poorly understood. Here, using a BAC-CreERT–dependent genetic lineage–tracing strategy, we determined that a subpopulation of DCLK1+ cells is extremely long lived and possesses rare stem cell abilities. Moreover, genetic ablation of Dclk1 revealed that DCLK1+ tuft cells contribute to recovery following intestinal and colonic injury. Surprisingly, conditional knockdown of the Wnt regulator APC in DCLK1+ cells was not sufficient to drive colonic carcinogenesis under normal conditions; however, dextran sodium sulfate–induced (DSS-induced) colitis promoted the development of poorly differentiated colonic adenocarcinoma in mice lacking APC in DCLK1+ cells. Importantly, colonic tumor formation occurred even when colitis onset was delayed for up to 3 months after induced APC loss in DCLK1+ cells. Thus, our data define an intestinal DCLK1+ tuft cell population that is long lived, quiescent, and important for intestinal homeostasis and regeneration. Long-lived DCLK1+ cells maintain quiescence even following oncogenic mutation, but are activated by tissue injury and can serve to initiate colon cancer.
Chemical chaperone ameliorates pathological protein aggregation in plectin-deficient muscle
Lilli Winter, Ilona Staszewska, Eva Mihailovska, Irmgard Fischer, Wolfgang H. Goldmann, Rolf Schröder, Gerhard Wiche
The ubiquitously expressed multifunctional cytolinker protein plectin is essential for muscle fiber integrity and myofiber cytoarchitecture. Patients suffering from plectinopathy-associated epidermolysis bullosa simplex with muscular dystrophy (EBS-MD) and mice lacking plectin in skeletal muscle display pathological desmin-positive protein aggregation and misalignment of Z-disks, which are hallmarks of myofibrillar myopathies (MFMs). Here, we developed immortalized murine myoblast cell lines to examine the pathogenesis of plectinopathies at the molecular and single cell level. Plectin-deficient myotubes, derived from myoblasts, were fully functional and mirrored the pathological features of EBS-MD myofibers, including the presence of desmin-positive protein aggregates and a concurrent disarrangement of the myofibrillar apparatus. Using this cell model, we demonstrated that plectin deficiency leads to increased intermediate filament network and sarcomere dynamics, marked upregulation of HSPs, and reduced myotube resilience following mechanical stretch. Currently, no specific therapy or treatment is available to improve plectin-related or other forms of MFMs; therefore, we assessed the therapeutic potential of chemical chaperones to relieve plectinopathies. Treatment with 4-phenylbutyrate resulted in remarkable amelioration of the pathological phenotypes in plectin-deficient myotubes as well as in plectin-deficient mice. Together, these data demonstrate the biological relevance of the MFM cell model and suggest that this model has potential use for the development of therapeutic approaches for EBS-MD.
Mutant p53–associated myosin-X upregulation promotes breast cancer invasion and metastasis
Antti Arjonen, Riina Kaukonen, Elina Mattila, Pegah Rouhi, Gunilla Högnäs, Harri Sihto, Bryan W. Miller, Jennifer P. Morton, Elmar Bucher, Pekka Taimen, Reetta Virtakoivu, Yihai Cao, Owen J. Sansom, Heikki Joensuu, Johanna Ivaska
Mutations of the tumor suppressor TP53 are present in many forms of human cancer and are associated with increased tumor cell invasion and metastasis. Several mechanisms have been identified for promoting dissemination of cancer cells with TP53 mutations, including increased targeting of integrins to the plasma membrane. Here, we demonstrate a role for the filopodia-inducing motor protein Myosin-X (Myo10) in mutant p53–driven cancer invasion. Analysis of gene expression profiles from 2 breast cancer data sets revealed that MYO10 was highly expressed in aggressive cancer subtypes. Myo10 was required for breast cancer cell invasion and dissemination in multiple cancer cell lines and murine models of cancer metastasis. Evaluation of a Myo10 mutant without the integrin-binding domain revealed that the ability of Myo10 to transport β1 integrins to the filopodia tip is required for invasion. Introduction of mutant p53 promoted Myo10 expression in cancer cells and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma in mice, whereas suppression of endogenous mutant p53 attenuated Myo10 levels and cell invasion. In clinical breast carcinomas, Myo10 was predominantly expressed at the invasive edges and correlated with the presence of TP53 mutations and poor prognosis. These data indicate that Myo10 upregulation in mutant p53–driven cancers is necessary for invasion and that plasma-membrane protrusions, such as filopodia, may serve as specialized metastatic engines.
CXCL5-secreting pulmonary epithelial cells drive destructive neutrophilic inflammation in tuberculosis
Geraldine Nouailles, Anca Dorhoi, Markus Koch, Jens Zerrahn, January Weiner 3rd, Kellen C. Faé, Frida Arrey, Stefanie Kuhlmann, Silke Bandermann, Delia Loewe, Hans-Joachim Mollenkopf, Alexis Vogelzang, Catherine Meyer-Schwesinger, Hans-Willi Mittrücker, Gayle McEwen, Stefan H.E. Kaufmann
Successful host defense against numerous pulmonary infections depends on bacterial clearance by polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs); however, excessive PMN accumulation can result in life-threatening lung injury. Local expression of CXC chemokines is critical for PMN recruitment. The impact of chemokine-dependent PMN recruitment during pulmonary Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection is not fully understood. Here, we analyzed expression of genes encoding CXC chemokines in M. tuberculosis–infected murine lung tissue and found that M. tuberculosis infection promotes upregulation of Cxcr2 and its ligand Cxcl5. To determine the contribution of CXCL5 in pulmonary PMN recruitment, we generated Cxcl5–/– mice and analyzed their immune response against M. tuberculosis. Both Cxcr2–/– mice and Cxcl5–/– mice, which are deficient for only one of numerous CXCR2 ligands, exhibited enhanced survival compared with that of WT mice following high-dose M. tuberculosis infection. The resistance of Cxcl5–/– mice to M. tuberculosis infection was not due to heightened M. tuberculosis clearance but was the result of impaired PMN recruitment, which reduced pulmonary inflammation. Lung epithelial cells were the main source of CXCL5 upon M. tuberculosis infection, and secretion of CXCL5 was reduced by blocking TLR2 signaling. Together, our data indicate that TLR2-induced epithelial-derived CXCL5 is critical for PMN-driven destructive inflammation in pulmonary tuberculosis.
5′RNA-Seq identifies Fhl1 as a genetic modifier
Danos C. Christodoulou, Hiroko Wakimoto, Kenji Onoue, Seda Eminaga, Joshua M. Gorham, Steve R. DePalma, Daniel S. Herman, Polakit Teekakirikul, David A. Conner, David M. McKean, Andrea A. Domenighetti, Anton Aboukhalil, Stephen Chang, Gyan Srivastava, Barbara McDonough, Philip L. De Jager, Ju Chen, Martha L. Bulyk, Jochen D. Muehlschlegel, Christine E. Seidman, J.G. Seidman
The transcriptome is subject to multiple changes during pathogenesis, including the
use of alternate 5′ start-sites that can affect transcription levels and
output. Current RNA sequencing techniques can assess mRNA levels, but do not robustly
detect changes in 5′ start-site use. Here, we developed a transcriptome
sequencing strategy that detects genome-wide changes in start-site usage
(5′RNA-Seq) and applied this methodology to identify regulatory events that
occur in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Compared with transcripts from WT mice,
92 genes had altered start-site usage in a mouse model of HCM, including
four-and-a-half LIM domains protein 1 (Fhl1). HCM-induced altered
transcriptional regulation of Fhl1 resulted in robust myocyte
expression of a distinct protein isoform, a response that was conserved in humans
with genetic or acquired cardiomyopathies. Genetic ablation of Fhl1
in HCM mice was deleterious, which suggests that Fhl1
transcriptional changes provide salutary effects on stressed myocytes in this
disease. Because Fhl1 is a chromosome X–encoded gene,
stress-induced changes in its transcription may contribute to gender differences in
the clinical severity of HCM. Our findings indicate that 5′RNA-Seq has the
potential to identify genome-wide changes in 5′ start-site usage that are
associated with pathogenic phenotypes.
An AXL/LRP-1/RANBP9 complex mediates DC efferocytosis and antigen cross-presentation in vivo
Manikandan Subramanian, Crystal D. Hayes, Joseph J. Thome, Edward Thorp, Glenn K. Matsushima, Joachim Herz, Donna L. Farber, Kang Liu, Madepalli Lakshmana, Ira Tabas
The phagocytosis of apoptotic cells (ACs), or efferocytosis, by DCs is critical for self-tolerance and host defense. Although many efferocytosis-associated receptors have been described in vitro, the functionality of these receptors in vivo has not been explored in depth. Using a spleen efferocytosis assay and targeted genetic deletion in mice, we identified a multiprotein complex — composed of the receptor tyrosine kinase AXL, LDL receptor–related protein–1 (LRP-1), and RAN-binding protein 9 (RANBP9) — that mediates DC efferocytosis and antigen cross-presentation. We found that AXL bound ACs, but required LRP-1 to trigger internalization, in murine CD8α+ DCs and human-derived DCs. AXL and LRP-1 did not interact directly, but relied on RANBP9, which bound both AXL and LRP-1, to form the complex. In a coculture model of antigen presentation, the AXL/LRP-1/RANBP9 complex was used by DCs to cross-present AC-associated antigens to T cells. Furthermore, in a murine model of herpes simplex virus–1 infection, mice lacking DC-specific LRP-1, AXL, or RANBP9 had increased AC accumulation, defective viral antigen-specific CD8+ T cell activation, enhanced viral load, and decreased survival. The discovery of this multiprotein complex that mediates functionally important DC efferocytosis in vivo may have implications for future studies related to host defense and DC-based vaccines.
Optogenetic stimulation of the auditory pathway
Victor H. Hernandez, Anna Gehrt, Kirsten Reuter, Zhizi Jing, Marcus Jeschke, Alejandro Mendoza Schulz, Gerhard Hoch, Matthias Bartels, Gerhard Vogt, Carolyn W. Garnham, Hiromu Yawo, Yugo Fukazawa, George J. Augustine, Ernst Bamberg, Sebastian Kügler, Tim Salditt, Livia de Hoz, Nicola Strenzke, Tobias Moser
Auditory prostheses can partially restore speech comprehension when hearing fails. Sound coding with current prostheses is based on electrical stimulation of auditory neurons and has limited frequency resolution due to broad current spread within the cochlea. In contrast, optical stimulation can be spatially confined, which may improve frequency resolution. Here, we used animal models to characterize optogenetic stimulation, which is the optical stimulation of neurons genetically engineered to express the light-gated ion channel channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2). Optogenetic stimulation of spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) activated the auditory pathway, as demonstrated by recordings of single neuron and neuronal population responses. Furthermore, optogenetic stimulation of SGNs restored auditory activity in deaf mice. Approximation of the spatial spread of cochlear excitation by recording local field potentials (LFPs) in the inferior colliculus in response to suprathreshold optical, acoustic, and electrical stimuli indicated that optogenetic stimulation achieves better frequency resolution than monopolar electrical stimulation. Virus-mediated expression of a ChR2 variant with greater light sensitivity in SGNs reduced the amount of light required for responses and allowed neuronal spiking following stimulation up to 60 Hz. Our study demonstrates a strategy for optogenetic stimulation of the auditory pathway in rodents and lays the groundwork for future applications of cochlear optogenetics in auditory research and prosthetics.
Memory regulatory T cells reside in human skin
Robert Sanchez Rodriguez, Mariela L. Pauli, Isaac M. Neuhaus, Siegrid S. Yu, Sarah T. Arron, Hobart W. Harris, Sara Hsin-Yi Yang, Bryan A. Anthony, Francis M. Sverdrup, Elisabeth Krow-Lucal, Tippi C. MacKenzie, David S. Johnson, Everett H. Meyer, Andrea Löhr, Andro Hsu, John Koo, Wilson Liao, Rishu Gupta, Maya G. Debbaneh, Daniel Butler, Monica Huynh, Ethan C. Levin, Argentina Leon, William Y. Hoffman, Mary H. McGrath, Michael D. Alvarado, Connor H. Ludwig, Hong-An Truong, Megan M. Maurano, Iris K. Gratz, Abul K. Abbas, Michael D. Rosenblum
Regulatory T cells (Tregs), which are characterized by expression of the transcription factor Foxp3, are a dynamic and heterogeneous population of cells that control immune responses and prevent autoimmunity. We recently identified a subset of Tregs in murine skin with properties typical of memory cells and defined this population as memory Tregs (mTregs). Due to the importance of these cells in regulating tissue inflammation in mice, we analyzed this cell population in humans and found that almost all Tregs in normal skin had an activated memory phenotype. Compared with mTregs in peripheral blood, cutaneous mTregs had unique cell surface marker expression and cytokine production. In normal human skin, mTregs preferentially localized to hair follicles and were more abundant in skin with high hair density. Sequence comparison of TCRs from conventional memory T helper cells and mTregs isolated from skin revealed little homology between the two cell populations, suggesting that they recognize different antigens. Under steady-state conditions, mTregs were nonmigratory and relatively unresponsive; however, in inflamed skin from psoriasis patients, mTregs expanded, were highly proliferative, and produced low levels of IL-17. Taken together, these results identify a subset of Tregs that stably resides in human skin and suggest that these cells are qualitatively defective in inflammatory skin disease.
IL-15 regulates memory CD8+ T cell O-glycan synthesis and affects trafficking
Jeffrey C. Nolz, John T. Harty
Memory and naive CD8+ T cells exhibit distinct trafficking patterns. Specifically, memory but not naive CD8+ T cells are recruited to inflamed tissues in an antigen-independent manner. However, the molecular mechanisms that regulate memory CD8+ T cell trafficking are largely unknown. Here, using murine models of infection and T cell transfer, we found that memory but not naive CD8+ T cells dynamically regulate expression of core 2 O-glycans, which interact with P- and E-selectins to modulate trafficking to inflamed tissues. Following infection, antigen-specific effector CD8+ T cells strongly expressed core 2 O-glycans, but this glycosylation pattern was lost by most memory CD8+ T cells. After unrelated infection or inflammatory challenge, memory CD8+ T cells synthesized core 2 O-glycans independently of antigen restimulation. The presence of core 2 O-glycans subsequently directed these cells to inflamed tissue. Memory and naive CD8+ T cells exhibited the opposite pattern of epigenetic modifications at the Gcnt1 locus, which encodes the enzyme that initiates core 2 O-glycan synthesis. The open chromatin configuration in memory CD8+ T cells permitted de novo generation of core 2 O-glycans in a TCR-independent, but IL-15–dependent, manner. Thus, IL-15 stimulation promotes antigen-experienced memory CD8+ T cells to generate core 2 O-glycans, which subsequently localize them to inflamed tissues. These findings suggest that CD8+ memory T cell trafficking potentially can be manipulated to improve host defense and immunotherapy.
ALS-associated mutation FUS-R521C causes DNA damage and RNA splicing defects
Haiyan Qiu, Sebum Lee, Yulei Shang, Wen-Yuan Wang, Kin Fai Au, Sherry Kamiya, Sami J. Barmada, Steven Finkbeiner, Hansen Lui, Caitlin E. Carlton, Amy A. Tang, Michael C. Oldham, Hejia Wang, James Shorter, Anthony J. Filiano, Erik D. Roberson, Warren G. Tourtellotte, Bin Chen, Li-Huei Tsai, Eric J. Huang
Autosomal dominant mutations of the RNA/DNA binding protein FUS are linked to familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS); however, it is not clear how FUS mutations cause neurodegeneration. Using transgenic mice expressing a common FALS-associated FUS mutation (FUS-R521C mice), we found that mutant FUS proteins formed a stable complex with WT FUS proteins and interfered with the normal interactions between FUS and histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1). Consequently, FUS-R521C mice exhibited evidence of DNA damage as well as profound dendritic and synaptic phenotypes in brain and spinal cord. To provide insights into these defects, we screened neural genes for nucleotide oxidation and identified brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) as a target of FUS-R521C–associated DNA damage and RNA splicing defects in mice. Compared with WT FUS, mutant FUS-R521C proteins formed a more stable complex with Bdnf RNA in electrophoretic mobility shift assays. Stabilization of the FUS/Bdnf RNA complex contributed to Bdnf splicing defects and impaired BDNF signaling through receptor TrkB. Exogenous BDNF only partially restored dendrite phenotype in FUS-R521C neurons, suggesting that BDNF-independent mechanisms may contribute to the defects in these neurons. Indeed, RNA-seq analyses of FUS-R521C spinal cords revealed additional transcription and splicing defects in genes that regulate dendritic growth and synaptic functions. Together, our results provide insight into how gain-of-function FUS mutations affect critical neuronal functions.
B cells mediate chronic allograft rejection independently of antibody production
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
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.
Extracellular caspase-6 drives murine inflammatory pain via microglial TNF-α secretion
Temugin Berta, Chul-Kyu Park, Zhen-Zhong Xu, Ruo-Gang Xie, Tong Liu, Ning Lü, Yen-Chin Liu, Ru-Rong Ji
Increasing evidence indicates that the pathogenesis of neuropathic pain is mediated through spinal cord microglia activation. The intracellular protease caspase-6 (CASP6) is known to regulate neuronal apoptosis and axonal degeneration; however, the contribution of microglia and CASP6 in modulating synaptic transmission and pain is unclear. Here, we found that CASP6 is expressed specifically in C-fiber axonal terminals in the superficial spinal cord dorsal horn. Animals exposed to intraplantar formalin or bradykinin injection exhibited CASP6 activation in the dorsal horn. Casp6-null mice had normal baseline pain, but impaired inflammatory pain responses. Furthermore, formalin-induced second-phase pain was suppressed by spinal injection of CASP6 inhibitor or CASP6-neutralizing antibody, as well as perisciatic nerve injection of CASP6 siRNA. Recombinant CASP6 (rCASP6) induced marked TNF-α release in microglial cultures, and most microglia within the spinal cord expressed Tnfa. Spinal injection of rCASP6 elicited TNF-α production and microglia-dependent pain hypersensitivity. Evaluation of excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) revealed that rCASP6 rapidly increased synaptic transmission in spinal cord slices via TNF-α release. Interestingly, the microglial inhibitor minocycline suppressed rCASP6 but not TNF-α–induced synaptic potentiation. Finally, rCASP6-activated microglial culture medium increased EPSCs in spinal cord slices via TNF-α. Together, these data suggest that CASP6 released from axonal terminals regulates microglial TNF-α secretion, synaptic plasticity, and inflammatory pain.
Bitter and sweet taste receptors regulate human upper respiratory innate immunity
Robert J. Lee, Jennifer M. Kofonow, Philip L. Rosen, Adam P. Siebert, Bei Chen, Laurel Doghramji, Guoxiang Xiong, Nithin D. Adappa, James N. Palmer, David W. Kennedy, James L. Kreindler, Robert F. Margolskee, Noam A. Cohen
Bitter taste receptors (T2Rs) in the human airway detect harmful compounds, including secreted bacterial products. Here, using human primary sinonasal air-liquid interface cultures and tissue explants, we determined that activation of a subset of airway T2Rs expressed in nasal solitary chemosensory cells activates a calcium wave that propagates through gap junctions to the surrounding respiratory epithelial cells. The T2R-dependent calcium wave stimulated robust secretion of antimicrobial peptides into the mucus that was capable of killing a variety of respiratory pathogens. Furthermore, sweet taste receptor (T1R2/3) activation suppressed T2R-mediated antimicrobial peptide secretion, suggesting that T1R2/3-mediated inhibition of T2Rs prevents full antimicrobial peptide release during times of relative health. In contrast, during acute bacterial infection, T1R2/3 is likely deactivated in response to bacterial consumption of airway surface liquid glucose, alleviating T2R inhibition and resulting in antimicrobial peptide secretion. We found that patients with chronic rhinosinusitis have elevated glucose concentrations in their nasal secretions, and other reports have shown that patients with hyperglycemia likewise have elevated nasal glucose levels. These data suggest that increased glucose in respiratory secretions in pathologic states, such as chronic rhinosinusitis or hyperglycemia, promotes tonic activation of T1R2/3 and suppresses T2R-mediated innate defense. Furthermore, targeting T1R2/3-dependent suppression of T2Rs may have therapeutic potential for upper respiratory tract infections.
Serotonergic mechanisms responsible for levodopa-induced dyskinesias in Parkinson’s disease patients
Marios Politis, Kit Wu, Clare Loane, David J. Brooks, Lorenzo Kiferle, Federico E. Turkheimer, Peter Bain, Sophie Molloy, Paola Piccini
Levodopa-induced dyskinesias (LIDs) are the most common and disabling adverse motor effect of therapy in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients. In this study, we investigated serotonergic mechanisms in LIDs development in PD patients using 11C-DASB PET to evaluate serotonin terminal function and 11C-raclopride PET to evaluate dopamine release. PD patients with LIDs showed relative preservation of serotonergic terminals throughout their disease. Identical levodopa doses induced markedly higher striatal synaptic dopamine concentrations in PD patients with LIDs compared with PD patients with stable responses to levodopa. Oral administration of the serotonin receptor type 1A agonist buspirone prior to levodopa reduced levodopa-evoked striatal synaptic dopamine increases and attenuated LIDs. PD patients with LIDs that exhibited greater decreases in synaptic dopamine after buspirone pretreatment had higher levels of serotonergic terminal functional integrity. Buspirone-associated modulation of dopamine levels was greater in PD patients with mild LIDs compared with those with more severe LIDs. These findings indicate that striatal serotonergic terminals contribute to LIDs pathophysiology via aberrant processing of exogenous levodopa and release of dopamine as false neurotransmitter in the denervated striatum of PD patients with LIDs. Our results also support the development of selective serotonin receptor type 1A agonists for use as antidyskinetic agents in PD.
T cell repertoire following autologous stem cell transplantation for multiple sclerosis
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
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.