bims-nimamd Biomed News
on Neuroimmunity and neuroinflammation in ageing and metabolic disease
Issue of 2021‒12‒05
27 papers selected by
Fawaz Alzaïd
Sorbonne Université

  1. Sci Rep. 2021 Nov 30. 11(1): 23155
      This study investigated the role of GABA in attenuating liver insulin resistance (IR) in type 2 diabetes parents and reducing its risk in their descendants' liver. Both sexes' rats were divided into four groups of non-diabetic control, diabetic control (DC), GABA-treated (GABA), and insulin-treated (Ins). The study duration lasted for six months and the young animals followed for four months. Consequently, hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp was performed for all animals. Apart from insulin tolerance test (ITT), serum and liver lipid profile were measured in all groups. Glycogen levels, expression of Foxo1, Irs2, Akt2, and Pepck genes in the liver were assessed for all groups. Overall, GABA improved ITT, increased liver glycogen levels and decreased lipid profile, blood glucose level, and HbA1c in parents and their offspring in compared to the DC group. GIR also increased in both parents and their offspring by GABA. Moreover, the expression of Foxo1, Irs2, Akt2, and Pepck genes improved in GABA-treated parents and their descendants in compared to DC group. Results indicated that GABA reduced liver IR in both parents and their offspring via affecting their liver insulin signaling and gluconeogenesis pathways.
  2. FEBS Lett. 2021 Nov 30.
      Obesity is associated with changes in immune cell sub-populations. However, tissue and blood obesity-responsive immune phenotypic pathways have not been contrasted. Here, the local niche immune cell population and gene expression in fatty liver is compared to peripheral blood of obese individuals. The Cibersort algorithm enumerated increased fractions of memory CD4+ T lymphocytes and reductions in natural killer and memory B cells in obese liver tissue and obese blood, with similar reductions found in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease tissue. Gene expression analysis identified inflammatory immune signatures of regulatory CD4+ T cells with inferred Th1, Th17, Th2 or Treg phenotypes that differed between liver and blood. Our study suggests that the local tissue-specific immune phenotype in the liver differs from the obese peripheral circulation, with the latter reflective of multi-systemic persistent inflammation that is characteristic of obesity.
    Keywords:  Obesity; cibersort; differential gene expression; immune cell population; liver; peripheral blood
  3. Mol Immunol. 2021 Nov 25. pii: S0161-5890(21)00318-7. [Epub ahead of print]141 94-103
      Systemic autoimmune diseases are characterized by hyperactive effector T cells (Teffs), aberrant cytokines and chemokines, and dysfunctional regulatory T cells (Tregs). We previously uncovered new roles for serine/arginine-rich splicing factor 1 (SRSF1) in the control of genes involved in T cell signaling and cytokine production in human T cells. SRSF1 levels are decreased in T cells from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and low levels correlate with severe disease. Moreover, T cell-conditional Srsf1-deficient mice recapitulate the autoimmune phenotype, exhibiting CD4 T cell hyperactivity, dysfunctional Tregs, systemic autoimmunity, and tissue inflammation. However, the role of SRSF1 in controlling molecular programs in Teffs and Tregs and how these pathways are implicated in autoimmunity is not known. Here, by comparative bioinformatics analysis, we demonstrate that SRSF1 controls largely distinct gene programs in Tregs and Teffs in vivo. SRSF1 regulates 189 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) unique to Tregs, 582 DEGs unique to Teffs, and 29 DEGs shared between both. Shared genes included IL-17A, IL-17F, CSF1, CXCL10, and CXCR4, and were highly enriched for inflammatory response and cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction pathways. SRSF1 controls distinct pathways in Tregs, which include chemokine signaling and immune cell differentiation, compared with pathways in Teffs, which include cytokine production, T cell homeostasis, and activation. We identified putative mRNA binding targets of SRSF1 which include CSF1, CXCL10, and IL-17F. Finally, comparisons with transcriptomics profiles from lupus-prone MRL/lpr mice reveal that SRSF1 controls genes and pathways implicated in autoimmune disease. The target genes of SRSF1 and putative binding targets we discovered, have known roles in systemic autoimmunity. Our findings suggest that SRSF1 controls distinct molecular pathways in Tregs and Teffs and aberrant SRSF1 levels may contribute to their dysfunction and immunopathogenesis of systemic autoimmune disease.
    Keywords:  Autoimmune disease; Bioinformatics; Effector T cells; Gene expression; Regulatory T cells; SRSF1; Transcriptomics
  4. Elife. 2021 Dec 02. pii: e70978. [Epub ahead of print]10
      After antigenic activation, quiescent naive CD4+ T cells alter their metabolism to proliferate. This metabolic shift increases production of nucleotides, amino acids, fatty acids, and sterols. Here, we show that histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) is critical for activation of murine peripheral CD4+ T cells. HDAC3-deficient CD4+ T cells failed to proliferate and blast after in vitro TCR/CD28 stimulation. Upon T-cell activation, genes involved in cholesterol biosynthesis are upregulated while genes that promote cholesterol efflux are repressed. HDAC3-deficient CD4+ T cells had reduced levels of cellular cholesterol both before and after activation. HDAC3-deficient cells upregulate cholesterol synthesis appropriately after activation, but fail to repress cholesterol efflux; notably, they overexpress cholesterol efflux transporters ABCA1 and ABCG1. Repression of these genes is the primary function for HDAC3 in peripheral CD4+ T cells, as addition of exogenous cholesterol restored proliferative capacity. Collectively, these findings demonstrate HDAC3 is essential during CD4+ T-cell activation to repress cholesterol efflux.
    Keywords:  HDAC3; T cell activation; cholesterol regulation; immunology; inflammation; mouse
  5. Mol Cell. 2021 Nov 22. pii: S1097-2765(21)00956-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Quantitative subcellular metabolomic measurements can explain the roles of metabolites in cellular processes but are subject to multiple confounding factors. We developed stable isotope labeling of essential nutrients in cell culture-subcellular fractionation (SILEC-SF), which uses isotope-labeled internal standard controls that are present throughout fractionation and processing to quantify acyl-coenzyme A (acyl-CoA) thioesters in subcellular compartments by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. We tested SILEC-SF in a range of sample types and examined the compartmentalized responses to oxygen tension, cellular differentiation, and nutrient availability. Application of SILEC-SF to the challenging analysis of the nuclear compartment revealed a nuclear acyl-CoA profile distinct from that of the cytosol, with notable nuclear enrichment of propionyl-CoA. Using isotope tracing, we identified the branched chain amino acid isoleucine as a major metabolic source of nuclear propionyl-CoA and histone propionylation, thus revealing a new mechanism of crosstalk between metabolism and the epigenome.
    Keywords:  acyl-CoA; branched chain amino acids; histone; internal standard; isoleucine; matrix effects; metabolomics; mitochondria; nucleus; propionylation; subcellular
  6. Sci Rep. 2021 Dec 01. 11(1): 23237
      The dysfunction of adipose tissue with aging and the accumulation of senescent cells has been implicated in the pathophysiology of chronic diseases. Recently interventions capable of reducing the burden of senescent cells and in particular the identification of a new class of drugs termed senolytics have been object of extensive investigation. We used an in vitro model of induced senescence by treating both pre-adipocytes as well as mature adipocytes with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) at a sub-lethal concentration for 3 h for three consecutive days, and hereafter with 20 uM quercetin at a dose that in preliminary experiments resulted to be senolytic without cytotoxicity. H2O2 treated pre-adipocytes and adipocytes showed typical senescence-associated features including increased beta-galactosidase activity (SA-ß-gal) and p21, activation of ROS and increased expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines. The treatment with quercetin in senescent pre-adipocytes and adipocytes was associated to a significant decrease in the number of the SA-β-gal positive cells along with the suppression of ROS and of inflammatory cytokines. Besides, quercetin treatment decreased miR-155-5p expression in both models, with down-regulation of p65 and a trend toward an up-regulation of SIRT-1 in complete cell extracts. The senolytic compound quercetin could affect AT ageing by reducing senescence, induced in our in vitro model by oxidative stress. The downregulation of miRNA-155-5p, possibly through the modulation of NF-κB and SIRT-1, could have a key role in the effects of quercetin on both pre-adipocytes and adipocytes.
  7. Cytometry B Clin Cytom. 2021 Nov 30.
      BACKGROUND: A better understanding of innate and adaptive cells in COVID-19 is necessary for the development of effective treatment methods and vaccines.METHODS: We studied phenotypic features of innate and adaptive immune cells, oxidative burst, phagocytosis, and apoptosis. One hundred and three patients with COVID-19 were grouped according to their clinical features into the categories of mild (35%), moderate (40.8%), and severe (24.3%).
    RESULTS: Monocytes were CD16+ pro-inflammatory monocytes and tended to shed their HLA-DR, especially in severe cases (p < 0.01). Neutrophils were mature and functional, although a decline of their CD10 and CD16 was observed (p < 0.01). No defect was found in the reactive oxygen species production and their apoptosis. The percentage of natural killer cells was in the normal range, whereas the percentages of CD8+ NK and CD56+ T lymphocytes were found to be high (p < 0.01). Although the absolute numbers of all lymphocyte subsets were low and showed a tendency for a gradual decrease in accordance with the disease progression, the most decreased absolute number was that of B lymphocytes, followed by CD4+ T cells in the severe cases. The percentages of double-negative T cells; HLA-DR+ CD3+ and CD28- CD8+ subsets were found to be significantly increased. Importantly, we demonstrated the increased baseline activation of caspase-3 and increased lymphocyte apoptosis.
    CONCLUSION: We suggest that SARS-CoV-2 primarily affects the lymphocytes and not the innate cells. The increased baseline activation of Caspase-3 could make the COVID-19 lymphocytes more vulnerable to cell death. Therefore, this may interrupt the crosstalk between the adaptive and innate immune systems.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; apoptosis; caspase-3; immunophenotyping; oxidative burst
  8. FEBS J. 2021 Nov 30.
      Diabetes is a complex and multifactorial disease that affects millions of people worldwide, reducing the quality of life significantly, and results in grave consequences for our health care system. In Type 2 Diabetes (T2D), the lack of β-cell compensatory mechanisms overcoming peripherally developed insulin resistance is a paramount factor leading to disturbed blood glucose levels and lipid metabolism. Impaired β-cell functions and insulin resistance have been studied extensively resulting in a good understanding of these pathways but much less is known about interorgan crosstalk, which we define as signaling between tissues by secreted factors. Besides hormones and organokines, dysregulated blood glucose and long-lasting hyperglycemia in T2D is associated with changes in metabolism with metabolites from different tissues contributing to the development of this disease. Recent data suggest that metabolites such as lipids including free fatty acids and amino acids, play important roles in the interorgan crosstalk during the development of T2D. In general, metabolic remodeling affects physiological homeostasis and impacts the development of T2D. Hence, we highlight the importance of metabolic interorgan crosstalk in this review to gain more knowledge of the pathophysiology of T2D, which may lead to new therapeutic approaches to treat this disease.
    Keywords:  Diabetes; free fatty acids; inflammation; interorgan crosstalk; liver; metabolites; metabolomics; organokines; type 2 diabetes
  9. J Lipid Res. 2021 Nov 24. pii: S0022-2275(21)00137-1. [Epub ahead of print] 100154
      Cancer cells can become dependent on exogenous serine, depletion of which results in slower growth and activation of a number of adaptive metabolic changes. We previously demonstrated that serine and glycine (SG) deprivation causes loss of sphingosine kinase 1 (SK1) in cancer cells, thereby increasing levels of its lipid substrate, sphingosine (Sph), which mediates several adaptive biological responses. However, the signaling molecules that regulate levels of SK1 and Sph in response to SG deprivation have yet to be defined. Here, we identify 1-deoxysphinganine (dSA), a non-canonical sphingoid base generated in the absence of serine from the alternative condensation of alanine and palmitoyl CoA by serine palmitoyl transferase (SPT), as a proximal mediator of SG deprivation in SK1 loss and Sph level elevation in SG deprivation in cancer cells. SG starvation markedly increased dSA levels in vitro and in vivo, and in turn induced SK1 degradation through a SPT-dependent mechanism, resulting in an increase in SPH levels. Addition of exogenous dSA caused a moderate increase in intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), which in turn decreased pyruvate kinase PKM2 activity while increasing phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH) levels, and thereby promoted serine synthesis. We further showed that increased dSA induces the adaptive cellular and metabolic functions in the response of cells to decreased availability of serine likely by increasing Sph levels. Thus, we conclude that dSA functions as an initial sensor of serine loss, SK1 functions as its direct target, and Sph functions as a downstream effector of cellular and metabolic adaptations. These studies define a previously unrecognized 'physiological' non-toxic function for dSA.
    Keywords:  Sphingosine kinase; hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy (HSAN); mass spectrometry; phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH); pyruvate kinase (PKM2); reactive oxygen species (ROS); serine biosynthesis; serine palmitoyl transferase (SPT); sphingosine; ubiquitination
  10. Curr Opin Immunol. 2021 Nov 30. pii: S0952-7915(21)00144-8. [Epub ahead of print]74 106-111
      Human natural killer (NK) and innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) include diverse specialized phenotypic and functional subsets that reflect their roles as innate immune effector cells present in tissue and circulation. In recent years, significant advances have been made in better defining their tissue resident phenotypes, developmental pathways, and phenotypic plasticity. Here we offer a brief review of new insights into human NK cell diversity specifically defined by next generation sequencing and single-cell transcriptomic studies and integrate these into our current models of human NK cell developmental trajectories and mature subsets. These studies highlight both a deeper understanding of innate lymphoid cell differentiation and homeostasis and underscore critical questions that remain outstanding in the field.
  11. Oncoimmunology. 2021 ;10(1): 2006529
      Bladder cancer (BC) and melanoma are amenable to immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) therapy, yet most patients with advanced/metastatic disease do not respond. CD122-targeted interleukin (IL)-2 can improve ICB efficacy, but mechanisms are unclear. We tested αPD-L1 and CD122-directed immunotherapy with IL-2/αIL-2 complexes (IL-2c) in primary and metastatic bladder and melanoma tumors. IL-2c treatment of orthotopic MB49 and MBT-2 BC generated NK cell antitumor immunity through enhanced activation, reduced exhaustion, and promotion of a mature, effector NK cell phenotype. By comparison, subcutaneous B16-F10 melanoma, which is IL-2c sensitive, requires CD8+ T and not NK cells, yet we found αPD-L1 efficacy requires both CD8+ T and NK cells. We then explored αPD-L1 and IL-2c mechanisms at distinct metastatic sites and found intraperitoneal B16-F10 metastases were sensitive to αPD-L1 and IL-2c, with IL-2c but not αPD-L1, increasing CD122+ mature NK cell function, confirming conserved IL-2c effects in distinct cancer types and anatomic compartments. αPD-L1 failed to control tumor growth and prolong survival in B16-F10 lung metastases, yet IL-2c treated B16-F10 lung metastases effectively even in T cell and adaptive immunity deficient mice, which was abrogated by NK cell depletion in wild-type mice. Flow cytometric analyses of NK cells in B16-F10 lung metastases suggest that IL-2c directly boosts NK cell activation and effector function. Thus, αPD-L1 and IL-2c mediate nonredundant, immune microenvironment-specific treatment mechanisms involving CD8+ T and NK cells in primary and metastatic BC and melanoma. Mechanistic differences suggest effective treatment combinations including in other tumors or sites, warranting further studies.
    Keywords:  CD122; Il-2; NK cells; Preclinical; bladder cancer; immune checkpoint blockade; immunotherapy; lymphocyte activation; melanoma; metastasis; tumor microenvironment; urinary tissue-specific microenvironment
  12. Diabetes Metab J. 2021 Nov;45(6): 853-865
      Tissues actively involved in energy metabolism are more likely to face metabolic challenges from bioenergetic substrates and are susceptible to mitochondrial dysfunction, leading to metabolic diseases. The mitochondria receive signals regarding the metabolic states in cells and transmit them to the nucleus or endoplasmic reticulum (ER) using calcium (Ca2+) for appropriate responses. Overflux of Ca2+ in the mitochondria or dysregulation of the signaling to the nucleus and ER could increase the incidence of metabolic diseases including insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Mitochondrial transcription factor A (Tfam) may regulate Ca2+ flux via changing the mitochondrial membrane potential and signals to other organelles such as the nucleus and ER. Since Tfam is involved in metabolic function in the mitochondria, here, we discuss the contribution of Tfam in coordinating mitochondria-ER activities for Ca2+ flux and describe the mechanisms by which Tfam affects mitochondrial Ca2+ flux in response to metabolic challenges.
    Keywords:  Calcium; Cell nucleus; Diabetes mellitus, type 2; Endoplasmic reticulum; Mitochondria; TFAM protein
  13. Cell Stem Cell. 2021 Dec 02. pii: S1934-5909(21)00453-7. [Epub ahead of print]28(12): 2035-2036
      Dissecting contributions of microglia to human brain development and disease pathogenesis requires modeling interactions between these microglia and their local environment. In this issue of Cell Stem Cell, Popova et al. (2021) propose a transcriptomic "microglia report card" and create a neuroimmune organoid to model complex interactions involving human microglia.
  14. Adv Immunol. 2021 ;pii: S0065-2776(21)00032-8. [Epub ahead of print]152 157-222
      The complement system was long considered as only a powerful effector arm of the immune system that, while critically protective, could lead to inflammation and cell death if overactivated, even in the central nervous system (CNS). However, in the past decade it has been recognized as playing critical roles in key physiological processes in the CNS, including neurogenesis and synaptic remodeling in the developing and adult brain. Inherent in these processes are the interactions with cells in the brain, and the cascade of interactions and functional consequences that ensue. As a result, investigations of therapeutic approaches for both suppressing excessive complement driven neurotoxicity and aberrant sculpting of neuronal circuits, require broad (and deep) knowledge of the functional activities of multiple components of this highly evolved and regulated system to avoid unintended negative consequences in the clinic. Advances in basic science are beginning to provide a roadmap for translation to therapeutics, with both small molecule and biologics. Here, we present examples of the critical roles of proper complement function in the development and sculpting of the nervous system, and in enabling rapid protection from infection and clearance of dying cells. Microglia are highlighted as important command centers that integrate signals from the complement system and other innate sensors that are programed to provide support and protection, but that direct detrimental responses to aberrant activation and/or regulation of the system. Finally, we present promising research areas that may lead to effective and precision strategies for complement targeted interventions to promote neurological health.
    Keywords:  Brain; C1q; C3; C5a; Complement; Development; Microglia; Neurodegeneration; Neuroinflammation; Neuroprotection; Synaptic pruning
  15. Int Immunopharmacol. 2021 Nov 26. pii: S1567-5769(21)01005-5. [Epub ahead of print] 108369
      BACKGROUND: The roles of CD56bright and CD56dim natural killer (NK) subsets in the viral clearance and inflammatory processes of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) remain undefined.METHODS: A total of 39 HCs and 55 patients were enrolled to analyze peripheral CD56bright and CD56dim NK cells according to cell number, surface receptors, cytotoxic activities, and cytokine production. The plasma concentrations of IL-2, IL-6, IL-10, IFN-γ, TNF-α,and MCP-1 were detected using ELSA.
    RESULTS: Peripheral blood NK cells was significantly lower in severe patients than in HCs due to the dramatic loss of CD56dim NK cells with no changes in the cell count of CD56bright NK cells. For mild patients, decreased NKp46 expression coincided with enhanced cytolysis (CD107a, GNLY, and GrB) in CD56dim NK cells and decreased NKG2A expression with enhanced IL-10 production in CD56bright NK cells. In contrast, severe patients showed the dominant expression of NKG2A and decreased expression of NKG2D accompanied by cytotoxic dysfunction in CD56dim NK cells. Imbalanced receptor expression coincided with the increased concentrations of TNF-α in CD56bright NK cells. Moreover, EV71+ patients showed significantly decreased counts of CD56dim NK cells with cytolysis dysfunction, displayed cytokine hypersecretion in CD56bright NK cells, while the EV71- patients displayed significantly higher plasma cytokine concentrations. The changes in the immune function of NK subsets and their subpopulations were closely related to clinical inflammatory parameters.
    CONCLUSIONS: Low-frequency, exhausted immune status of CD56dim NK cells and disordered inflammatory cytokine secretion of CD56bright NK cells were associated with the progression of severe HFMD, especially in EV71-infected patients. This promoted the severity of inflammatory disorders, leading to enhanced disease pathogenesis.
    Keywords:  CD56(bright) NK cells; CD56(dim) NK cells; Enterovirus 71; HFMD; NK cells
  16. FASEB J. 2022 Jan;36(1): e22069
      Atrial natriuretic peptide (NP) and BNP increase cGMP, which reduces blood pressure and cardiac hypertrophy by activating guanylyl cyclase (GC)-A, also known as NPR-A or Npr1. Although GC-A is highly phosphorylated, and dephosphorylation inactivates the enzyme, the significance of GC-A phosphorylation to heart structure and function remains unknown. To identify in vivo processes that are regulated by GC-A phosphorylation, we substituted glutamates for known phosphorylation sites to make GC-A8E/8E mice that express an enzyme that cannot be inactivated by dephosphorylation. GC-A activity, but not protein, was increased in heart and kidney membranes from GC-A8E/8E mice. Activities were threefold higher in female compared to male cardiac ventricles. Plasma cGMP and testosterone were elevated in male and female GC-A8E/8E mice, but aldosterone was only increased in mutant male mice. Plasma and urinary creatinine concentrations were decreased and increased, respectively, but blood pressure and heart rate were unchanged in male GC-A8E/8E mice. Heart weight to body weight ratios for GC-A8E/8E male, but not female, mice were 12% lower with a 14% reduction in cardiomyocyte cross-sectional area. Subcutaneous injection of fsANP, a long-lived ANP analog, increased plasma cGMP and decreased aldosterone in male GC-AWT/WT and GC-A8E/8E mice at 15 min, but only GC-A8E/8E mice had elevated levels of plasma cGMP and aldosterone at 60 min. fsANP reduced ventricular ERK1/2 phosphorylation to a greater extent and for a longer time in the male mutant compared to WT mice. Finally, ejection fractions were increased in male but not female hearts from GC-A8E/8E mice. We conclude that increased phosphorylation-dependent GC-A activity decreases cardiac ERK activity, which results in smaller male hearts with improved systolic function.
    Keywords:  cardiac hypertrophy; extracellular-regulated kinase; guanylyl cyclase; hypertension; natriuretic peptide
  17. Sci Rep. 2021 Dec 01. 11(1): 23250
      Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a life-threatening systemic hyper-inflammatory disorder. The mortality of HLH is higher in the elderly than in young adults. Senescence-accelerated mice (SAMP1/TA-1) exhibit characteristic accelerated aging after 30 weeks of age, and HLH-like features, including hematopoietic organ damage, are seen after lipopolysaccharide (LPS) treatment. Thus, SAMP1/TA-1 is a useful model of hematological pathophysiology in the elderly with HLH. In this study, dosing of SAMP1/TA-1 mice with LPS revealed that the suppression of myelopoiesis and B-lymphopoiesis was more severe in aged mice than in young mice. The bone marrow (BM) expression of genes encoding positive regulators of myelopoiesis (G-CSF, GM-CSF, and IL-6) and of those encoding negative regulators of B cell lymphopoiesis (TNF-α) increased in both groups, while the expression of genes encoding positive-regulators of B cell lymphopoiesis (IL-7, SDF-1, and SCF) decreased. The expression of the GM-CSF-encoding transcript was lower in aged mice than in young animals. The production of GM-CSF by cultured stromal cells after LPS treatment was also lower in aged mice than in young mice. The accumulation of the TNF-α-encoding transcript and the depletion of the IL-7-encoding transcript were prolonged in aged mice compared to young animals. LPS dosing led to a prolonged increase in the proportion of BM M1 macrophages in aged mice compared to young animals. The expression of the gene encoding p16INK4a and the proportion of β-galactosidase- and phosphorylated ribosomal protein S6-positive cells were increased in cultured stromal cells from aged mice compared to those from young animals, while the proportion of Ki67-positive cells was decreased in stromal cells from aged mice. Thus, age-related deterioration of stromal cells probably causes the suppression of hematopoiesis in aged mice. This age-related latent organ dysfunction may be exacerbated in elderly people with HLH, resulting in poor prognosis.
  18. Sci Rep. 2021 Nov 30. 11(1): 23137
      Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common leukemia in the USA, affecting predominantly older adults. CLL is characterized by low physical fitness, reduced immunity, and increased risk of secondary malignancies and infections. One approach to improving CLL patients' physical fitness and immune functions may be participation in a structured exercise program. The aims of this pilot study were to examine physical and immunological changes, and feasibility of a 12-week high-intensity interval training (HIIT) combined with muscle endurance-based resistance training on older adults with treatment naïve CLL. We enrolled eighteen participants with CLL aged 64.9 ± 9.1 years and assigned them to groups depending on distance lived from our fitness center. Ten participants (4 M/6F) completed HIIT and six participants (4 M/2F) completed a non-exercising control group (Controls). HIIT consisted of three 30-min treadmill sessions/week plus two concurrent 30-min strength training sessions/week. Physical and immunological outcomes included aerobic capacity, muscle strength and endurance, and natural killer (NK) cell recognition and killing of tumor cells. We confirmed feasibility if > 70% of HIIT participants completed > 75% of prescribed sessions and prescribed minutes, and if > 80% of high-intensity intervals were at a heart rate corresponding to at least 80% of peak aerobic capacity (VO2peak). Results are presented as Hedge's G effect sizes (g), with 0.2, 0.5 and 0.8 representing small, medium and large effects, respectively. Following HIIT, leg strength (g = 2.52), chest strength (g = 1.15) and seated row strength (g = 3.07) were 35.4%, 56.1% and 39.5% higher than Controls, respectively, while aerobic capacity was 3.8% lower (g = 0.49) than Controls. Similarly, following HIIT, in vitro NK-cell cytolytic activity against the K562 cell line (g = 1.43), OSU-CLL cell line (g = 0.95), and autologous B-cells (g = 1.30) were 20.3%, 3.0% and 14.6% higher than Controls, respectively. Feasibility was achieved, with HIIT completing 5.0 ± 0.2 sessions/week and 99 ± 3.6% of the prescribed minutes/week at heart rates corresponding to 89 ± 2.8% of VO2peak. We demonstrate that 12-weeks of supervised HIIT combined with muscle endurance-based resistance training is feasible, and that high adherence and compliance are associated with large effects on muscle strength and immune function in older adults with treatment naïve CLL.Trial registration: NCT04950452.
  19. Nature. 2021 Nov 30.
      CD8 T cell-mediated autoimmune diseases result from the breakdown of self-tolerance mechanisms in autoreactive CD8 T cells1. How autoimmune T cell populations arise and are sustained and the molecular programs defining the autoimmune T cell state are unknown. In Type 1 diabetes (T1D), beta cell-specific CD8 T cells destroy insulin-producing beta cells. We followed the fate of beta cell-specific CD8 T cells in non-obese diabetic mice throughout the course of T1D. We identified a stem-like autoimmune progenitor (AP) population in the pancreatic draining lymph node (pLN), which self-renews and gives rise to pLN autoimmune mediators (AM). pLN AM migrate to the pancreas, where they differentiate further and destroy beta cells. While transplantation of as few as 20 AP induced T1D, as many as 100,000 pancreatic AM failed to do so. Pancreatic AM are short-lived and stem-like AP must continuously seed the pancreas to sustain beta cell destruction. Single cell RNA-sequencing and clonal analysis revealed that autoimmune CD8 T cells represent unique T cell differentiation states and identified features driving the transition from AP to AM. Strategies aimed at targeting the stem-like AP pool could emerge as novel and powerful immunotherapeutic interventions for T1D.
  20. Cell Stem Cell. 2021 Dec 02. pii: S1934-5909(21)00454-9. [Epub ahead of print]28(12): 2039-2040
      Doxorubicin chemotherapy causes cardiotoxicity in some patients and spares others. In this issue of Cell Stem Cell, Magdy et al. (2021) use genome-edited iPSCs to establish a common RARG coding variant as a causal risk factor, pointing to a pharmacogenomic application and to RARG-targeting treatments to protect patients from cardiotoxicity.
  21. Front Immunol. 2021 ;12 631976
      Background and Aims: We previously showed that overt acute hepatitis B (AHB) was more severe in female patients. Using the same cohort and AHB mouse model, we examined the underlying mechanism.Methods: Baseline biochemistry, virological and cytokine assays, and T helper (Th)1 and Th2 immune markers of 118 consecutive patients were analyzed. The decompensated livers of AHB and chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients who underwent liver transplantation were analyzed immunohistochemically. B6 mice were hydrodynamically injected with pHBV1.3 plasmids.
    Results: Decompensated AHB patients (n=41) were older, more often female, and had higher alanine aminotransferase (ALT), soluble programmed cell death protein 1 (sPD-1) levels, and neutrophil-lymphocyte ratios but lower rates of HBeAg positivity and quantitative HBsAg, interferon (IFN)-γ-inducible protein 10 (IP-10), IFN-γ, and interleukin-4 (IL-4) levels than the compensated patients. Female sex (95% CI OR=1.07~54.9), age (1.06~1.40), and ALT levels (1.001~1.004) were associated with hepatic decompensation. Higher sPD-1 but lower IFN-γ and IL-4 levels were observed in female patients. Compared to CHB, decompensated AHB livers had more IL-17-positive cells but fewer HBsAg-positive cells and lower CD4/CD8 ratios. Higher serum IL-17 levels were noted in the female AHB mice than those in the males.
    Conclusions: Females predominated in decompensated AHB, in which downregulated IFN-γ and IL-4 with augmented hepatic IL-17-positive cell development indicated accelerating destructive immunity to enhance viral clearance. The early surge of serum IL-17 was confirmed in the female AHB mice. Targeting the pathway involving IFN-γ, IL-4, and IL-17 might prevent liver transplantation or fatality in decompensated AHB.
    Keywords:  AHB; IFN-γ; IL-17; IL-4; female
  22. Nature. 2021 Dec 01.
      Pro-inflammatory T cells in the central nervous system (CNS) are causally associated with multiple demyelinating and neurodegenerative diseases1-6, but the pathways that control these responses remain unclear. Here we define a population of inflammatory group 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3s) that infiltrate the CNS in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. These ILC3s are derived from the circulation, localize in proximity to infiltrating T cells in the CNS, function as antigen-presenting cells that restimulate myelin-specific T cells, and are increased in individuals with multiple sclerosis. Notably, antigen presentation by inflammatory ILC3s is required to promote T cell responses in the CNS and the development of multiple-sclerosis-like disease in mouse models. By contrast, conventional and tissue-resident ILC3s in the periphery do not appear to contribute to disease induction, but instead limit autoimmune T cell responses and prevent multiple-sclerosis-like disease when experimentally targeted to present myelin antigen. Collectively, our data define a population of inflammatory ILC3s that is essential for directly promoting T-cell-dependent neuroinflammation in the CNS and reveal the potential of harnessing peripheral tissue-resident ILC3s for the prevention of autoimmune disease.
  23. Ther Adv Endocrinol Metab. 2021 ;12 20420188211055557
      Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease in western countries, affecting 25-30% of the general population and up to 65% in those with obesity and/or type 2 diabetes. Accumulation of visceral adipose tissue and insulin resistance (IR) contributes to NAFLD. NAFLD is not an innocent entity as it not only may cause nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and cirrhosis but also contribute to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. More and more people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) are becoming overweight and present with features of IR, but the prevalence and impact of NAFLD in this population are still unclear. The utility of noninvasive screening tools for NAFLD in T1D is being explored. Recent data indicate that based upon ultrasonographic criteria NAFLD is present in 27% (ranging between 19% and 31%) of adults with T1D. Magnetic resonance imaging data indicate a prevalence rate of 8.6% (ranging between 2.1% and 18.6%). There are, however, multiple factors affecting these data, ranging from study design and referral bias to discrepancies in between diagnostic modalities. Individuals with T1D have a 7-fold higher risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cardiovascular mortality is the most prominent cause of death in T1D. Patients with T1D and NALFD are also more prone to develop CVD, but the independent contribution of NAFLD to cardiovascular events has to be determined in this population. Furthermore, limited data in T1D also point towards a 2 to 3 times higher risk for microvascular complications in those with NAFLD. In this article, we will discuss epidemiological and diagnostic challenges of NAFLD in T1D, explore the link between IR and NAFLD and chronic complications, and examine the independent contribution of NAFLD to the presence of macro-, and microvascular complications.
    Keywords:  NAFLD; cardiovascular disease; metabolic syndrome; renal disease; type 1 diabetes
  24. FASEB J. 2022 Jan;36(1): e22061
      Corticosterone, the stress hormone, exacerbates alcohol-associated tissue injury, but the mechanism involved is unknown. We examined the role of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in corticosterone-mediated potentiation of alcohol-induced gut barrier dysfunction and systemic response. Hepatocyte-specific GR-deficient (GRΔHC ) and intestinal epithelial-specific GR-deficient (GRΔIEC ) mice were fed ethanol, combined with corticosterone treatment. Intestinal epithelial tight junction integrity, mucosal barrier function, microbiota dysbiosis, endotoxemia, systemic inflammation, liver damage, and neuroinflammation were assessed. Corticosterone potentiated ethanol-induced epithelial tight junction disruption, mucosal permeability, and inflammatory response in GRΔHC mouse colon; these effects of ethanol and corticosterone were absent in GRΔIEC mice. Gut microbiota compositions in ethanol-fed GRΔHC and GRΔIEC mice were similar to each other. However, corticosterone treatment in ethanol-fed mice shifted the microbiota composition to distinctly different directions in GRΔHC and GRΔIEC mice. Ethanol and corticosterone synergistically elevated the abundance of Enterobacteriaceae and Escherichia coli and reduced the abundance of Lactobacillus in GRΔHC mice but not in GRΔIEC mice. In GRΔHC mice, corticosterone potentiated ethanol-induced endotoxemia and systemic inflammation, but these effects were absent in GRΔIEC mice. Interestingly, ethanol-induced liver damage and its potentiation by corticosterone were observed in GRΔHC mice but not in GRΔIEC mice. GRΔIEC mice were also resistant to ethanol- and corticosterone-induced inflammatory response in the hypothalamus. These data indicate that the intestinal epithelial GR plays a central role in alcohol- and corticosterone-induced gut barrier dysfunction, microbiota dysbiosis, endotoxemia, systemic inflammation, liver damage, and neuroinflammation. This study identifies a novel target for potential therapeutic for alcohol-associated tissue injury.
    Keywords:  endotoxemia; hepatitis; hypothalamus; inflammation; tight junction
  25. Cell. 2021 Nov 26. pii: S0092-8674(21)01331-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy has achieved remarkable success in hematological malignancies but remains ineffective in solid tumors, due in part to CAR T cell exhaustion in the solid tumor microenvironment. To study dysfunction of mesothelin-redirected CAR T cells in pancreatic cancer, we establish a robust model of continuous antigen exposure that recapitulates hallmark features of T cell exhaustion and discover, both in vitro and in CAR T cell patients, that CAR dysregulation is associated with a CD8+ T-to-NK-like T cell transition. Furthermore, we identify a gene signature defining CAR and TCR dysregulation and transcription factors, including SOX4 and ID3 as key regulators of CAR T cell exhaustion. Our findings shed light on the plasticity of human CAR T cells and demonstrate that genetic downmodulation of ID3 and SOX4 expression can improve the efficacy of CAR T cell therapy in solid tumors by preventing or delaying CAR T cell dysfunction.
    Keywords:  CAR T cell; ID3; NK-like T cell; SOX4; T cell dysfunction; T cell exhaustion; cancer; cell transfer therapy; immunology; immunotherapy; pancreatic cancer; single-cell RNA-seq
  26. Immunity. 2021 Nov 23. pii: S1074-7613(21)00494-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      The composition of the intestinal microbiota is associated with both the development of tumors and the efficacy of anti-tumor immunity. Here, we examined the impact of microbiota-specific T cells in anti-colorectal cancer (CRC) immunity. Introduction of Helicobacter hepaticus (Hhep) in a mouse model of CRC did not alter the microbial landscape but increased tumor infiltration by cytotoxic lymphocytes and inhibited tumor growth. Anti-tumor immunity was independent of CD8+ T cells but dependent upon CD4+ T cells, B cells, and natural killer (NK) cells. Hhep colonization induced Hhep-specific T follicular helper (Tfh) cells, increased the number of colon Tfh cells, and supported the maturation of Hhep+ tumor-adjacent tertiary lymphoid structures. Tfh cells were necessary for Hhep-mediated tumor control and immune infiltration, and adoptive transfer of Hhep-specific CD4+ T cells to Tfh cell-deficient Bcl6fl/flCd4Cre mice restored anti-tumor immunity. Thus, introduction of immunogenic intestinal bacteria can promote Tfh-associated anti-tumor immunity in the colon, suggesting therapeutic approaches for the treatment of CRC.
    Keywords:  T cells; T follicular helper cell; colorectal cancer; microbiome; microbiota-specific T cells; tertiary lymphoid structure; tumor microenvironment
  27. Nat Aging. 2021 Oct;1(10): 870-879
      Cellular senescence represents a distinct cell fate characterized by replicative arrest in response to a host of extrinsic and intrinsic stresses. Senescence provides programming during development and wound healing, while limiting tumorigenesis. However, pathologic accumulation of senescent cells is implicated in a range of diseases and age-associated morbidities across organ systems. Senescent cells produce distinct paracrine and endocrine signals, causing local tissue dysfunction and exerting deleterious systemic effects. Senescent cell removal by apoptosis-inducing "senolytic" agents or therapies that inhibit the senescence-associated secretory phenotype, SASP inhibitors, have demonstrated benefit in both pre-clinical and clinical models of geriatric decline and chronic diseases, suggesting senescent cells represent a pharmacologic target for alleviating effects of fundamental aging processes. However, senescent cell populations are heterogeneous in form, function, tissue distribution, and even differ among species, possibly explaining issues of bench-to-bedside translation in current clinical trials. Here, we review features of senescent cells and strategies for targeting them, including immunologic approaches, as well as key intracellular signaling pathways. Additionally, we survey current senolytic therapies in human trials. Collectively, there is demand for research to develop targeted senotherapeutics that address the needs of the aging and chronically-ill.