It is critical for survival to assign positive or negative valence to salient stimuli in a correct manner. Accordingly, harmful stimuli and internal states characterized by perturbed homeostasis are accompanied by discomfort, unease, and aversion. Aversive signaling causes extensive suffering during chronic diseases, including inflammatory conditions, cancer, and depression. Here, we investigated the role of melanocortin 4 receptors (MC4Rs) in aversive processing using genetically modified mice and a behavioral test in which mice avoid an environment that they have learned to associate with aversive stimuli. In normal mice, robust aversions were induced by systemic inflammation, nausea, pain, and κ opioid receptor–induced dysphoria. In sharp contrast, mice lacking MC4Rs displayed preference or indifference toward the aversive stimuli. The unusual flip from aversion to reward in mice lacking MC4Rs was dopamine dependent and associated with a change from decreased to increased activity of the dopamine system. The responses to aversive stimuli were normalized when MC4Rs were reexpressed on dopamine D1 receptor–expressing cells or in the striatum of mice otherwise lacking MC4Rs. Furthermore, activation of arcuate nucleus proopiomelanocortin neurons projecting to the ventral striatum increased the activity of striatal neurons in an MC4R-dependent manner and elicited aversion. Our findings demonstrate that melanocortin signaling through striatal MC4Rs is critical for assigning negative motivational valence to harmful stimuli.
Anna Mathia Klawonn, Michael Fritz, Anna Nilsson, Jordi Bonaventura, Kiseko Shionoya, Elahe Mirrasekhian, Urban Karlsson, Maarit Jaarola, Björn Granseth, Anders Blomqvist, Michael Michaelides, David Engblom
Protease-activated receptor 2 (PAR-2), an airway epithelial pattern recognition receptor (PRR), participates in the genesis of house dust mite–induced (HDM-induced) asthma. Here, we hypothesized that lung endothelial cells and proangiogenic hematopoietic progenitor cells (PACs) that express high levels of PAR-2 contribute to the initiation of atopic asthma. HDM extract (HDME) protease allergens were found deep in the airway mucosa and breaching the endothelial barrier. Lung endothelial cells and PACs released the Th2-promoting cytokines IL-1α and GM-CSF in response to HDME, and the endothelium had PAC-derived VEGF-C–dependent blood vessel sprouting. Blockade of the angiogenic response by inhibition of VEGF-C signaling lessened the development of inflammation and airway remodeling in the HDM model. Reconstitution of the bone marrow in WT mice with PAR-2–deficient bone marrow also reduced airway inflammation and remodeling. Adoptive transfer of PACs that had been exposed to HDME induced angiogenesis and Th2 inflammation with remodeling similar to that induced by allergen challenge. Our findings identify that lung endothelium and PACs in the airway sense allergen and elicit an angiogenic response that is central to the innate nonimmune origins of Th2 inflammation.
Kewal Asosingh, Kelly Weiss, Kimberly Queisser, Nicholas Wanner, Mei Yin, Mark Aronica, Serpil Erzurum
Jumonji D3 (JMJD3) histone demethylase epigenetically regulates development and differentiation, immunity, and tumorigenesis by demethylating a gene repression histone mark, H3K27-me3, but a role for JMJD3 in metabolic regulation has not been described. SIRT1 deacetylase maintains energy balance during fasting by directly activating both hepatic gluconeogenic and mitochondrial fatty acid β-oxidation genes, but the underlying epigenetic and gene-specific mechanisms remain unclear. In this study, JMJD3 was identified unexpectedly as a gene-specific transcriptional partner of SIRT1 and epigenetically activated mitochondrial β-oxidation, but not gluconeogenic, genes during fasting. Mechanistically, JMJD3, together with SIRT1 and the nuclear receptor PPARα, formed a positive autoregulatory loop upon fasting-activated PKA signaling and epigenetically activated β-oxidation–promoting genes, including Fgf21, Cpt1a, and Mcad. Liver-specific downregulation of JMJD3 resulted in intrinsic defects in β-oxidation, which contributed to hepatosteatosis as well as glucose and insulin intolerance. Remarkably, the lipid-lowering effects by JMJD3 or SIRT1 in diet-induced obese mice were mutually interdependent. JMJD3 histone demethylase may serve as an epigenetic drug target for obesity, hepatosteatosis, and type 2 diabetes that allows selective lowering of lipid levels without increasing glucose levels.
Sunmi Seok, Young-Chae Kim, Sangwon Byun, Sunge Choi, Zhen Xiao, Naoki Iwamori, Yang Zhang, Chaochen Wang, Jian Ma, Kai Ge, Byron Kemper, Jongsook Kim Kemper
HIV infection changes the lymph node (LN) tissue architecture, potentially impairing the immunologic response to antigenic challenge. The tissue-resident immune cell dynamics in virologically suppressed HIV+ patients on combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) are not clear. We obtained LN biopsies before and 10 to 14 days after trivalent seasonal influenza immunization from healthy controls (HCs) and HIV+ volunteers on cART to investigate CD4+ T follicular helper (Tfh) and B cell dynamics by flow cytometry and quantitative imaging analysis. Prior to vaccination, compared with those in HCs, HIV+ LNs exhibited an altered follicular architecture, but harbored higher numbers of Tfh cells and increased IgG+ follicular memory B cells. Moreover, Tfh cell numbers were dependent upon preservation of the follicular dendritic cell (FDC) network and were predictive of the magnitude of the vaccine-induced IgG responses. Interestingly, postvaccination LN samples in HIV+ participants had significantly (P = 0.0179) reduced Tfh cell numbers compared with prevaccination samples, without evidence for peripheral Tfh (pTfh) cell reduction. We conclude that influenza vaccination alters the cellularity of draining LNs of HIV+ persons in conjunction with development of antigen-specific humoral responses. The underlying mechanism of Tfh cell decline warrants further investigation, as it could bear implications for the rational design of HIV vaccines.
Eirini Moysi, Suresh Pallikkuth, Leslie R. De Armas, Louis E. Gonzalez, David Ambrozak, Varghese George, David Huddleston, Rajendra Pahwa, Richard A. Koup, Constantinos Petrovas, Savita Pahwa
Although it has been reported that hypoxia inducible factor 2 α (Hif2a), a major transcriptional factor inducible by low oxygen tension, is expressed in the mouse uterus during embryo implantation, its role in pregnancy outcomes remains unclear. This study aimed to clarify functions of uterine HIF using transgenic mouse models. Mice with deletion of Hif2a in the whole uterus (Hif2a-uKO mice) showed infertility due to implantation failure. Supplementation with progesterone (P4) and leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) restored decidual growth arrest and aberrant position of implantation sites in Hif2a-uKO mice, respectively, but did not rescue pregnancy failure. Histological analyses in Hif2a-uKO mice revealed persistence of the intact luminal epithelium, which blocked direct contact between stroma and embryo, inactivation of PI3K-AKT pathway (embryonic survival signal), and failed embryo invasion. Mice with stromal deletion of Hif2a (Hif2a-sKO mice) showed infertility with impaired embryo invasion and those with epithelial deletion of Hif2a (Hif2a-eKO mice) showed normal fertility, suggesting the importance of stromal HIF2α in embryo invasion. This was reflected in reduced expression of membrane type 2 metalloproteinase (MT2-MMP), lysyl oxidase (LOX), VEGF, and adrenomedullin (ADM) in Hif2a-uKO stroma at the attachment site, suggesting that stromal HIF2α regulates these mediators to support blastocyst invasion. These findings provide new insight that stromal HIF2α allows trophoblast invasion through detachment of the luminal epithelium and activation of an embryonic survival signal.
Leona Matsumoto, Yasushi Hirota, Tomoko Saito-Fujita, Norihiko Takeda, Tomoki Tanaka, Takehiro Hiraoka, Shun Akaeda, Hidetoshi Fujita, Ryoko Shimizu-Hirota, Shota Igaue, Mitsunori Matsuo, Hirofumi Haraguchi, Mayuko Saito-Kanatani, Tomoyuki Fujii, Yutaka Osuga
Toll-like receptors TLR7 and TLR9 are both implicated in the activation of autoreactive B cells and other cell types associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) pathogenesis. However, Tlr9–/– autoimmune-prone strains paradoxically develop more severe disease. We have now leveraged the negative regulatory role of TLR9 to develop an inducible rapid-onset murine model of systemic autoimmunity that depends on T cell detection of a membrane-bound OVA fusion protein expressed by MHC class II+ cells, expression of TLR7, expression of the type I IFN receptor, and loss of expression of TLR9. These mice are distinguished by a high frequency of OVA-specific Tbet+, IFN-γ+, and FasL-expressing Th1 cells as well as autoantibody-producing B cells. Unexpectedly, contrary to what occurs in most models of SLE, they also developed skin lesions that are very similar to those of human cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE) as far as clinical appearance, histological changes, and gene expression. FasL was a key effector mechanism in the skin, as the transfer of FasL-deficient DO11gld T cells completely failed to elicit overt skin lesions. FasL was also upregulated in human CLE biopsies. Overall, our model provides a relevant system for exploring the pathophysiology of CLE as well as the negative regulatory role of TLR9.
Purvi Mande, Bahar Zirak, Wei-Che Ko, Keyon Taravati, Karen L. Bride, Tia Y. Brodeur, April Deng, Karen Dresser, Zhaozhao Jiang, Rachel Ettinger, Katherine A. Fitzgerald, Michael D. Rosenblum, John E. Harris, Ann Marshak-Rothstein
Ikaros/IKZF1 is an essential transcription factor expressed throughout hematopoiesis. IKZF1 is implicated in lymphocyte and myeloid differentiation and negative regulation of cell proliferation. In humans, somatic mutations in IKZF1 have been linked to the development of B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in children and adults. Recently, heterozygous germline IKZF1 mutations have been identified in patients with a B cell immune deficiency mimicking common variable immunodeficiency. These mutations demonstrated incomplete penetrance and led to haploinsufficiency. Herein, we report 7 unrelated patients with a novel early-onset combined immunodeficiency associated with de novo germline IKZF1 heterozygous mutations affecting amino acid N159 located in the DNA-binding domain of IKZF1. Different bacterial and viral infections were diagnosed, but Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia was reported in all patients. One patient developed a T cell ALL. This immunodeficiency was characterized by innate and adaptive immune defects, including low numbers of B cells, neutrophils, eosinophils, and myeloid dendritic cells, as well as T cell and monocyte dysfunctions. Notably, most T cells exhibited a naive phenotype and were unable to evolve into effector memory cells. Functional studies indicated these mutations act as dominant negative. This defect expands the clinical spectrum of human IKZF1-associated diseases from somatic to germline, from haploinsufficient to dominant negative.
David Boutboul, Hye Sun Kuehn, Zoé Van de Wyngaert, Julie E. Niemela, Isabelle Callebaut, Jennifer Stoddard, Christelle Lenoir, Vincent Barlogis, Catherine Farnarier, Frédéric Vely, Nao Yoshida, Seiji Kojima, Hirokazu Kanegane, Akihiro Hoshino, Fabian Hauck, Ludovic Lhermitte, Vahid Asnafi, Philip Roehrs, Shaoying Chen, James W. Verbsky, Katherine R. Calvo, Ammar Husami, Kejian Zhang, Joseph Roberts, David Amrol, John Sleaseman, Amy P. Hsu, Steven M. Holland, Rebecca Marsh, Alain Fischer, Thomas A. Fleisher, Capucine Picard, Sylvain Latour, Sergio D. Rosenzweig
Very few B cells in germinal centers (GCs) and extrafollicular (EF) regions of lymph nodes express CD30. Their specific features and relationship to CD30-expressing Hodgkin and Reed/Sternberg (HRS) cells of Hodgkin lymphoma are unclear but highly relevant, because numerous patients with lymphoma are currently treated with an anti-CD30 immunotoxin. We performed a comprehensive analysis of human CD30+ B cells. Phenotypic and IgV gene analyses indicated that CD30+ GC B lymphocytes represent typical GC B cells, and that CD30+ EF B cells are mostly post-GC B cells. The transcriptomes of CD30+ GC and EF B cells largely overlapped, sharing a strong MYC signature, but were strikingly different from conventional GC B cells and memory B and plasma cells, respectively. CD30+ GC B cells represent MYC+ centrocytes redifferentiating into centroblasts; CD30+ EF B cells represent active, proliferating memory B cells. HRS cells shared typical transcriptome patterns with CD30+ B cells, suggesting that they originate from these lymphocytes or acquire their characteristic features during lymphomagenesis. By comparing HRS to normal CD30+ B cells we redefined aberrant and disease-specific features of HRS cells. A remarkable downregulation of genes regulating genomic stability and cytokinesis in HRS cells may explain their genomic instability and multinuclearity.
Marc A. Weniger, Enrico Tiacci, Stefanie Schneider, Judith Arnolds, Sabrina Rüschenbaum, Janine Duppach, Marc Seifert, Claudia Döring, Martin-Leo Hansmann, Ralf Küppers
Medial vascular calcification, associated with enhanced mortality in chronic kidney disease (CKD), is fostered by osteo-/chondrogenic transdifferentiation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Here, we describe that serum- and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase 1 (SGK1) was upregulated in VSMCs under calcifying conditions. In primary human aortic VSMCs, overexpression of constitutively active SGK1S422D, but not inactive SGK1K127N, upregulated osteo-/chondrogenic marker expression and activity, effects pointing to increased osteo-/chondrogenic transdifferentiation. SGK1S422D induced nuclear translocation and increased transcriptional activity of NF-κB. Silencing or pharmacological inhibition of IKK abrogated the osteoinductive effects of SGK1S422D. Genetic deficiency, silencing, and pharmacological inhibition of SGK1 dissipated phosphate-induced calcification and osteo-/chondrogenic transdifferentiation of VSMCs. Aortic calcification, stiffness, and osteo-/chondrogenic transdifferentiation in mice following cholecalciferol overload were strongly reduced by genetic knockout or pharmacological inhibition of Sgk1 by EMD638683. Similarly, Sgk1 deficiency blunted vascular calcification in apolipoprotein E–deficient mice after subtotal nephrectomy. Treatment of human aortic smooth muscle cells with serum from uremic patients induced osteo-/chondrogenic transdifferentiation, effects ameliorated by EMD638683. These observations identified SGK1 as a key regulator of vascular calcification. SGK1 promoted vascular calcification, at least partly, via NF-κB activation. Inhibition of SGK1 may, thus, reduce the burden of vascular calcification in CKD.
Jakob Voelkl, Trang T.D. Luong, Rashad Tuffaha, Katharina Musculus, Tilman Auer, Xiaoming Lian, Christoph Daniel, Daniel Zickler, Beate Boehme, Michael Sacherer, Bernhard Metzler, Dietmar Kuhl, Maik Gollasch, Kerstin Amann, Dominik N. Müller, Burkert Pieske, Florian Lang, Ioana Alesutan
Radiographic contrast agents cause acute kidney injury (AKI), yet the underlying pathogenesis is poorly understood. Nod-like receptor pyrin containing 3–deficient (Nlrp3-deficient) mice displayed reduced epithelial cell injury and inflammation in the kidney in a model of contrast-induced AKI (CI-AKI). Unexpectedly, contrast agents directly induced tubular epithelial cell death in vitro that was not dependent on Nlrp3. Rather, contrast agents activated the canonical Nlrp3 inflammasome in macrophages. Intravital microscopy revealed diatrizoate (DTA) uptake within minutes in perivascular CX3CR1+ resident phagocytes in the kidney. Following rapid filtration into the tubular luminal space, DTA was reabsorbed and concentrated in tubular epithelial cells via the brush border enzyme dipeptidase-1 in volume-depleted but not euvolemic mice. LysM-GFP+ macrophages recruited to the kidney interstitial space ingested contrast material transported from the urine via direct interactions with tubules. CI-AKI was dependent on resident renal phagocytes, IL-1, leukocyte recruitment, and dipeptidase-1. Levels of the inflammasome-related urinary biomarkers IL-18 and caspase-1 were increased immediately following contrast administration in patients undergoing coronary angiography, consistent with the acute renal effects observed in mice. Taken together, these data show that CI-AKI is a multistep process that involves immune surveillance by resident and infiltrating renal phagocytes, Nlrp3-dependent inflammation, and the tubular reabsorption of contrast via dipeptidase-1.
Arthur Lau, Hyunjae Chung, Takanori Komada, Jaye M. Platnich, Christina F. Sandall, Saurav Roy Choudhury, Justin Chun, Victor Naumenko, Bas G.J. Surewaard, Michelle C. Nelson, Annegret Ulke-Lemée, Paul L. Beck, Hallgrimur Benediktsson, Anthony M. Jevnikar, Sarah L. Snelgrove, Michael J. Hickey, Donna L. Senger, Matthew T. James, Justin A. Macdonald, Paul Kubes, Craig N. Jenne, Daniel A. Muruve