bims-nimamd Biomed News
on Neuroimmunity and neuroinflammation in ageing and metabolic disease
Issue of 2022‒01‒02
twenty-four papers selected by
Fawaz Alzaïd
Sorbonne Université

  1. Int Immunopharmacol. 2021 Dec 23. pii: S1567-5769(21)01126-7. [Epub ahead of print]103 108490
      Female NOD mice develop autoimmune diabetes spontaneously without extrinsic manipulation. Previously, we have shown that weekly administration of the prediabetic female NOD mice with the histone modifier Trichostatin A (TSA) prevented diabetes onset. Herein we show that T lymphocytes from diabetic mice transferred diabetes into immunodeficient NOD.scid recipients while those isolated from drug-treated mice displayed reduced disease-causing ability. Drug treatment also repressed T cell receptor-mediated IFN-γ transcription. Splenic CD4+ T-cells purified from prediabetic mice could be polarized into IFN-γ -producing Th1 and IL-17A-expressing Th17 subsets ex vivo. Adoptive transfer of these cells into immunocompromised NOD.scid mice caused diabetes comparably. Polarized Th1 cells were devoid of IL-17A-producing cells and did not transdifferentiate into Th17 cells in the spleen of immunodeficient recipients. However, polarized Th17 cell preparation had a few contaminant Th1 cells. Adoptive transfer of polarized Th17 cells into NOD.scid recipients led to IFN-γ transcription in recipient splenocytes. Notably, TSA treatment of prediabetic mice abolished the ability of CD4+ T-cells to differentiate into diabetogenic Th1 and Th17 cells ex vivo. This was accompanied by the absence of Ifng and Il17a transcription in the spleen of NOD.scid recipients receiving cells, respectively cultured under Th1 and Th17 polarizing conditions. Significantly, the histone modifier restored the ability of CD4+ but not CD8+ T-cells to undergo CD3-mediated apoptosis ex vivo in a caspase-dependent manner. These results indicate that the histone modifier bestowed protection against type 1 diabetes via negative regulation of signature lymphokines and restitution of self-tolerance in CD4+ T cells.
    Keywords:  Epigenetics; Self-tolerance; Th1 cells; Th17 cells; Trichostatin A; and Type 1 diabetes
  2. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Dec 31. pii: dgab931. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: Dyslipidaemia is a feature of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and may augment metabolic dysfunction in this population.OBJECTIVE: Using comprehensive lipidomic profiling and gold-standard metabolic measures, we examined whether distinct lipid biomarkers were associated with metabolic risk in women with and without PCOS.
    METHODS: Using pre-existing data and bio-banked samples from 76 women (n=42 with PCOS), we profiled >700 lipid species by mass spectrometry. Lipids were compared between women with and without PCOS and correlated with direct measures of adiposity (dual X-ray absorptiometry and computed tomography) and insulin sensitivity (hyperinsulinaemic-euglycaemic clamp), as well as fasting insulin, HbA1c, and hormonal parameters (luteinizing and follicle stimulating hormones; total and free testosterone; sex hormone-binding globulin [SHBG]; and free androgen index [FAI]). Multivariable linear regression was used with correction for multiple testing.
    RESULTS: Despite finding no differences by PCOS status, lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI) species esterified with an 18:0 fatty acid were the strongest lipid species associated with all the metabolic risk factors measured in women with and without PCOS. Across the cohort, higher concentrations of LPI(18:0) and lower concentrations of lipids containing docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6) n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) were associated with higher adiposity, insulin resistance, fasting insulin, HbA1c and FAI, and lower SHBG.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicate that a distinct lipidomic signature comprising high LPI(18:0) and low DHA-containing lipids are associated with key metabolic risk factors that cluster in PCOS, independent of PCOS status. Prospective studies are needed to corroborate these findings in larger cohorts of women with varying PCOS phenotypes.
    Keywords:  Polycystic ovary syndrome; biomarkers; cardiometabolic risk; insulin resistance; lipidomics; obesity
  3. Cell Signal. 2021 Dec 23. pii: S0898-6568(21)00311-9. [Epub ahead of print]91 110222
      Adiponectin exerts its atheroprotection by stimulating adenosine triphosphate binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1)-mediated cholesterol efflux to apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I). However, involvement of the apoA-I residues in this process have not been studied. In Tamm-Horsfall 1 (THP-1) macrophages and baby hamster kidney (BHK) cells we assessed adiponectin's potential to restore cholesterol efflux in the presence of apoA-I and ABCA1 mutants, respectively. Adiponectin was unable to restore efflux from THP-1 macrophages in the presence of apoA-I carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) successive mutants from residues 187-243 versus apoA-I mutants alone. Furthermore, adiponectin did not significantly influence cholesterol efflux to apoA-I from BHK-ABCA1 mutant cells. Adiponectin appears to require functional apoA-I CTD residues 187-243 and wild-type ABCA1 to mediate efficient cholesterol efflux from THP-1 macrophages and BHK cells, respectively. Therefore, adiponectin cannot rescue defective cholesterol efflux in apoA-I- or ABCA1-mutant conditions, but rather increases cholesterol efflux in wild-type apoA-I conditions compared to apoA-I exposure alone.
    Keywords:  ATP binding cassette transporter A1; Adiponectin; Apolipoprotein A-I; Binding; Carboxy-terminal domain; Cholesterol efflux
  4. Aging Cell. 2021 Dec 27. e13525
      Aging and senescence impact CD4 T helper cell (Th) subset differentiation during influenza infection. In the lungs of infected aged mice, there were significantly greater percentages of Th cells expressing the transcription factor FoxP3, indicative of regulatory CD4 T cells (Treg), when compared to young. TGF-beta levels, which drive FoxP3 expression, were also higher in the bronchoalveolar lavage of aged mice and blocking TGF-beta reduced the percentage of FoxP3+ Th in aged lungs during influenza infection. Since TGF-beta can be the product of senescent cells, these were targeted by treatment with senolytic drugs. Treatment of aged mice with senolytics prior to influenza infection restored the differentiation of Th cells in those aged mice to a more youthful phenotype with fewer Th cells expressing FoxP3. In addition, treatment with senolytic drugs induced differentiation of aged Th toward a healing Type 2 phenotype, which promotes a return to homeostasis. These results suggest that senescent cells, via production of cytokines such as TGF-beta, have a significant impact on Th differentiation.
    Keywords:  T cells; aging; influenza; senescence; senolytics
  5. J Hepatol. 2021 Dec 24. pii: S0168-8278(21)02294-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND & AIMS: Cirrhosis is a deadly liver disease; fibrosis being a key feature. Due to the lack of genetic animal models exhibiting clinical characteristics, molecular pathogenesis of cirrhosis has been so far poorly characterized, and treatments remain limited.METHODS: We report the first murine genetic model mimicking human cirrhosis induced by hepatocyte-specific elimination of microspherule 1 (MCRS1), a member of non-specific lethal (NSL) and INO80 chromatin-modifier complexes. Using this genetic tool with other mouse models, cell culture and human samples, combined with quantitative proteomic, single nuclear/cell RNA sequencing and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays, mechanisms of cirrhosis are investigated.
    RESULTS: MCRS1 loss in mouse hepatocytes modulates the expression of bile acid (BA) transporters, with a pronounced downregulation of Na+-taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide (NTCP), concentrating BAs in sinusoids, thereby activating hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) via nuclear farnesoid X receptor (FXR); FXR being predominantly expressed in human and mouse HSCs. Consistently, re-expression of NTCP in mice reduces cirrhosis, and genetic ablation of FXR in HSCs suppresses fibrotic marks in mice and in vitro cell culture. Mechanistically, deletion of a putative SANT domain from MCRS1 evicts histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) from its histone H3 anchoring sites, increasing histone acetylation of BA transporter genes, modulating their expression and perturbing BA flow. Accordingly, human cirrhosis displays decreased nuclear MCRS1 and NTCP expression.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our data reveal a previously unrecognized function of MCRS1 as a critical histone acetylation regulator, maintaining gene expression and liver homeostasis. MCRS1 loss induces BA transporter acetylation, perturbation of BA flow, and consequently, FXR activation in HSCs. This axis represents a central and universal signaling event in liver cirrhosis, and targeting it would have significant implications for cirrhosis treatment.
    Keywords:  Bile acid transporter; Bile acids; Cirrhosis; FXR; Fibroblasts; Hepatic stellate cells; Histone acetylation; Liver fibrosis; MCRS1; NTCP
  6. Mol Metab. 2021 Dec 23. pii: S2212-8778(21)00283-0. [Epub ahead of print] 101425
      INTRODUCTION: High-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity impairs clearance of cholesterol through the Reverse Cholesterol Transport (RCT) pathway, with downregulation in hepatic expression of cholesterol and bile acid transporters, ABCG5/8 and ABCB11, and reduced high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol efflux capacity (CEC). Within the current study we hypothesized that development of hepatosteatosis, secondary to adipose-tissue dysfunction, contributes to obesity-impaired RCT and such effects could be mitigated using the anti-inflammatory drug sodium salicylate (NaS).MATERIALS AND METHODS: C57BL/6j mice, fed HFD±NaS or low-fat diet (LFD) for 24 weeks, underwent glucose and insulin tolerance testing and 3H-cholesterol movement from macrophage-to-feces was assessed in vivo. HDL-CEC was determined ex vivo. Cytokine secretion from adipose-derived stromal vascular fraction (SVF) cells was measured ex vivo. Liver and HDL proteins were determined by mass spectrometry and analysed using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis.
    RESULTS: NaS delayed HFD-induced weight-gain, abrogated priming of pro-IL-1β in SVFs, attenuated insulin resistance and prevented ectopic fat accumulation in the liver. Prevention of hepatosteatosis coincided with increased expression of PPAR-alpha/beta-oxidation proteins with NaS and reduced expression of LXR/RXR-induced proteins including apolipoproteins; these latter effects were mirrored within the HDL proteome in circulation. Despite remarkable protection against steatosis, HFD-induced hypercholesterolemia and repression of the liver-to-bile cholesterol transporter ABCG5/8 were not rescued with NaS.
    DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS: The cardiometabolic health benefits of NaS are likely attributable to reprogramming of hepatic metabolic pathways to increase fatty acid utilization in the setting of nutritional overabundance. Reduced hepatic cholesterol levels, coupled with reduced LXR/RXR-induced proteins, may underlie lack of rescue of ABCG5/8 expression with NaS. This remarkable protection against HFD-induced hepatosteatosis did not translate to improvements in cholesterol homeostasis.
    Keywords:  HDL proteomics; Metabolic Inflammation; Reverse Cholesterol transport; Sodium Salicylate; hepatosteatosis; liver proteomics
  7. Front Immunol. 2021 ;12 787797
      Phytochemicals derived from oats are reported to possess a beneficial effect on modulating dyslipidemia, specifically on lowering total and LDL cholesterol. However, deeper insights into its mechanism remain unclear. In this randomized controlled study, we assigned 210 mildly hypercholesterolemic subjects from three study centers across China (Beijing, Nanjing, and Shanghai) to consume 80 g of oats or rice daily for 45 days. Plasma lipid profiles, short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), and fecal microbiota were measured. The results showed that total cholesterol (TC) and non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C) decreased significantly with both oats and rice intake after 30 and 45 days. The reduction in TC and non-HDL-C was greater in the participants consuming oats compared with rice at day 45 (p = 0.011 and 0.049, respectively). Oat consumption significantly increased the abundance of Akkermansia muciniphila and Roseburia, and the relative abundance of Dialister, Butyrivibrio, and Paraprevotella, and decreased unclassified f-Sutterellaceae. In the oat group, Bifidobacterium abundance was negatively correlated with LDL-C (p = 0.01, r = -0.31) and, TC and LDL-C were negatively correlated to Faecalibacterium prausnitzii (p = 0.02, r = -0.29; p = 0.03, r = -0.27, respectively). Enterobacteriaceae, Roseburia, and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii were positively correlated with plasma butyric acid and valeric acid concentrations and negatively correlated to isobutyric acid. HDL-C was negatively correlated with valeric acid (p = 0.02, r = -0.25) and total triglyceride (TG) was positively correlated to isovaleric acid (p = 0.03, r = 0.23). Taken together, oats consumption significantly reduced TC and LDL-C, and also mediated a prebiotic effect on gut microbiome. Akkermansia muciniphila, Roseburia, Bifidobacterium, and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, and plasma SCFA correlated with oat-induced changes in plasma lipids, suggesting prebiotic activity of oats to modulate gut microbiome could contribute towards its cholesterol-lowering effect.
    Keywords:  cholesterol; microbiota; oat; polyphenol; short-chain fatty acids; β-glucan
  8. Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm. 2022 Mar;pii: e1125. [Epub ahead of print]9(2):
      BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: There has been growing interest in potential roles of the immune system in the pathogenesis of Parkinson disease (PD). The aim of the current study was to comprehensively characterize phenotypic and functional profiles of circulating immune cells in patients with PD vs controls.METHODS: Peripheral blood was collected from patients with PD and age- and sex-matched neurologically normal controls (NCs) in 2 independent cohorts (discovery and validation). Comprehensive multicolor flow cytometry was performed on whole blood leukocytes and peripheral blood mononuclear cells to characterize different immune subsets and their ex vivo responses.
    RESULTS: The discovery cohort included 17 NCs and 12 participants with PD, and the validation cohort included 18 NCs and 18 participants with PD. Among major immune cell types, B cells appeared to be preferentially affected in PD. Proliferating B cell counts were decreased in patients with PD compared with controls. Proportions of B-cell subsets with regulatory capacity such as transitional B cells were preferentially reduced in the patients with PD, whereas proportions of proinflammatory cytokine-producing B cells increased, resulting in a proinflammatory shift of their B-cell functional cytokine responses. Unsupervised principal component analysis revealed increased expression of TNFα and GM-CSF by both B cells and T cells of patients with PD. In addition, levels of follicular T cells, an important B-cell helper T-cell population, decreased in the patients with PD, correlating with their B-cell abnormality.
    DISCUSSION: Our findings define a novel signature of peripheral immune cells and implicate aberrant Tfh:B-cell interactions in patients with PD.
  9. Nat Cell Biol. 2021 Dec 30.
      Loss of alveolar type 2 cells (AEC2s) and the ectopic appearance of basal cells in the alveoli characterize severe lung injuries such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Here we demonstrate that human alveolar type 2 cells (hAEC2s), unlike murine AEC2s, transdifferentiate into basal cells in response to fibrotic signalling in the lung mesenchyme, in vitro and in vivo. Single-cell analysis of normal hAEC2s and mesenchymal cells in organoid co-cultures revealed the emergence of pathologic fibroblasts and basaloid cells previously described in IPF. Transforming growth factor-β1 and anti-bone morphogenic protein signalling in the organoids promoted transdifferentiation. Trajectory and histologic analyses of both hAEC2-derived organoids and IPF epithelium indicated that hAEC2s transdifferentiate into basal cells through alveolar-basal intermediates that accumulate in proximity to pathologic CTHRC1hi/TGFB1hi fibroblasts. Our study indicates that hAEC2 loss and expansion of alveolar metaplastic basal cells in severe human lung injuries are causally connected through an hAEC2-basal cell lineage trajectory driven by aberrant mesenchyme.
  10. Front Immunol. 2021 ;12 775526
      Diverse liver diseases undergo a similar pathophysiological process in which liver regeneration follows a liver injury. Given the important role of the gut-liver axis in health and diseases, the role of gut microbiota-derived signals in liver injury and regeneration has attracted much attention. It has been observed that the composition of gut microbiota dynamically changes in the process of liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy, and gut microbiota modulation by antibiotics or probiotics affects both liver injury and regeneration. Mechanically, through the portal vein, the liver is constantly exposed to gut microbial components and metabolites, which have immense effects on the immunity and metabolism of the host. Emerging data demonstrate that gut-derived lipopolysaccharide, gut microbiota-associated bile acids, and other bacterial metabolites, such as short-chain fatty acids and tryptophan metabolites, may play multifaceted roles in liver injury and regeneration. In this perspective, we provide an overview of the possible molecular mechanisms by which gut microbiota-derived signals modulate liver injury and regeneration, highlighting the potential roles of gut microbiota in the development of gut microbiota-based therapies to alleviate liver injury and promote liver regeneration.
    Keywords:  SCFA (short chain fatty acids); bile acid (BA); gut microbial metabolites; gut microbiota (GM); lipopolisaccharide (LPS); liver injury and regeneration; tryptophan metabolites
  11. FASEB J. 2022 Jan;36(1): e22125
      Aging is associated with gradual changes in liver structure and physiological/pathological functions in hepatic cells including hepatocytes, cholangiocytes, Kupffer cells, hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), and liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs). LSECs are specialized hepatic endothelial cells that regulate liver homeostasis. These cells actively impact the hepatic microenvironment as they have fenestrations and a thin morphology to allow substance exchange between circulating blood and the liver tissue. As aging occurs, LSECs have a reduction in both the number and size of fenestrations, which is referred to as pseudocapillarization. This along with the aging of the liver leads to increased oxidative stress, decreased availability of nitric oxide, decreased hepatic blood flow, and increased inflammatory cytokines in LSECs. Vascular aging can also lead to hepatic hypoxia, HSC activation, and liver fibrosis. In this review, we described the basic structure of LSECs, and the effect of LSECs on hepatic inflammation and fibrosis during aging process. We briefly summarized the changes of hepatic microcirculation during liver inflammation, the effect of aging on the clearance function of LSECs, the interactions between LSECs and immunity, hepatocytes or other hepatic nonparenchymal cells, and the therapeutic intervention of liver diseases by targeting LSECs and vascular system. Since LSECs play an important role in the development of liver fibrosis and the changes of LSEC phenotype occur in the early stage of liver fibrosis, the study of LSECs in the fibrotic liver is valuable for the detection of early liver fibrosis and the early intervention of fibrotic response.
    Keywords:  aging; chronic liver injury; endothelial dysfunction; inflammation; liver fibrosis
  12. Diabetes. 2021 Oct 21. pii: db201208. [Epub ahead of print]
      Calcium/calmodulin-dependent serine protein kinase (CASK) is involved in the secretion of insulin vesicles in pancreatic β-cells. The present study revealed a new in vivo role of CASK in glucose homeostasis during the progression of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). A Cre-loxP system was used to specifically delete the Cask gene in mouse β-cells (βCASKKO), and the glucose metabolism was evaluated in βCASKKO mice fed a normal chow diet (ND) or a high-fat diet (HFD). ND-fed mice exhibited impaired insulin secretion in response to glucose stimulation. Transmission electron microscopy showed significantly reduced numbers of insulin granules at or near the cell membrane in the islets of βCASKKO mice. By contrast, HFD-fed βCASKKO mice showed reduced blood glucose and a partial relief of hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance when compared to HFD-fed wildtype mice. The IRS1/PI3K/AKT signaling pathway was upregulated in the adipose tissue of HFD-βCASKKO mice. These results indicated that knockout of the Cask gene in β cells had a diverse effect on glucose homeostasis: reduced insulin secretion in ND-fed mice, but improves insulin sensitivity in HFD-fed mice. Therefore, CASK appears to function in the insulin secretion and contributes to hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance during the development of obesity-related T2DM.
  13. Diabetes. 2021 Oct 21. pii: db210363. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND & AIMS: Hepatosteatosis, defined as excessive intrahepatic lipid accumulation, represents the first step of NAFLD. When combined with additional cellular stress, this benign status progresses to local and systemic pathological conditions such as NASH and insulin resistance. However, the molecular events directly caused by hepatic lipid build-up, in terms of its impact on liver biology and peripheral organs, remain unclear. Carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A (CPT1A) is the rate limiting enzyme for long chain fatty acid beta-oxidation in the liver. Here we utilise hepatocyte-specific Cpt1a knockout (LKO) mice to investigate the physiological consequences of abolishing hepatic long chain fatty acid metabolism.APPROACH & RESULTS: Compared to the wild-type (WT) littermates, high fat diet (HFD)-fed LKO mice displayed more severe hepatosteatosis but were otherwise protected against diet-induced weight gain, insulin resistance, hepatic ER stress, inflammation and damage. Interestingly, increased energy expenditure was observed in LKO mice, accompanied by enhanced adipose tissue browning. RNAseq analysis revealed that the peroxisome proliferator activator alpha (PPARα)- fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) axis was activated in liver of LKO mice. Importantly, antibody-mediated neutralization of FGF21 abolished the healthier metabolic phenotype and adipose browning in LKO mice, indicating that the elevation of FGF21 contributes to the improved liver pathology and adipose browning in HFD-treated LKO mice.
    CONCLUSIONS: Liver with deficient CPT1A expression adopts a healthy steatotic status that protects against HFD-evoked liver damage and potentiates adipose browning in an FGF21-dependent manner. Inhibition of hepatic CPT1A may serve as a viable strategy for the treatment of obesity and NAFLD.
  14. Front Immunol. 2021 ;12 773598
      Langerhans cell histiocytosis lesions are characterized by CD1a+ myeloid lineage LCH cells and an inflammatory infiltrate of cytokines and immune cells, including T cells. T cells that recognize CD1a may be implicated in the pathology of many disease states including cancer and autoimmunity but have not been studied in the context of LCH despite the expression of CD1a by LCH cells. In this perspective article, we discuss the expression of CD1a by LCH cells, and we explore the potential for T cells that recognize CD1a to be involved in LCH pathogenesis.
    Keywords:  CD1a; CD1a-restricted T cells; LCH cells; Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH); T cells
  15. Diabetes. 2021 Oct 21. pii: db210316. [Epub ahead of print]
      Increased oxidative stress in glomerular endothelial cells (GEnCs) contributes to early diabetic kidney disease (DKD). While mitochondrial respiratory complex IV activity is reduced in DKD, it remains unclear whether this is a driver or a consequence of oxidative stress in GEnCs. Synthesis of cytochrome C oxidase 2 (SCO2), a key metallochaperone in the electron transport chain, is critical to the biogenesis and assembly of subunits required for functional respiratory complex IV activity. Here, we investigated the effects of Sco2 hypomorphs (Sco2KO/KI, Sco2KI/KI), with a functional loss of SCO2, in the progression of DKD using a murine model of Type II Diabetes Mellitus, db/db mice. Diabetic Sco2KO/KI and Sco2KI/KI hypomorphs exhibited a reduction in complex IV activity, but an improvement in albuminuria, serum creatinine, and histomorphometric evidence of early DKD as compared to db/db mice. Single-nucleus RNA sequencing with gene set enrichment analysis of differentially expressed genes in the endothelial cluster of Sco2KO/KI;db/db mice demonstrated an increase in genes involved in VEGF-VEGFR2 signaling and reduced oxidative stress as compared to db/db mice. These data suggest that reduced complex IV activity due to a loss of functional SCO2 might be protective in GEnCs in early DKD.
  16. Front Med (Lausanne). 2021 ;8 799850
    Keywords:  autoimmune disease; cytokines; kidney disease; signaling pathways; therapeutic agents
  17. Front Genet. 2021 ;12 779494
      VitD3 may contribute to a successful pregnancy through modulation of immune responses, so VitD3 deficiency may have a role in the immunopathogenesis of unexplained recurrent spontaneous abortion (URSA). However, the mechanisms of immunomodulatory actions of VitD3 in decreasing the risk of recurrent spontaneous abortion have not been understood well. Objective: The purpose of this research was to investigate the influence of 1,25VitD3 on IL-25 and related cytokines of Th17 cells including IL-17A, IL-6, and IL-23 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of healthy women as a control group and women with unexplained recurrent spontaneous abortion. Method: Isolation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was performed from peripheral blood of the subjects of the studied groups (20 women with URSA as a case group, and 20 control women). The effects of 1,25VitD3 (50 nM, for 24 h) on the studied parameters were evaluated and were compared to the positive and negative controls in vitro. Flow cytometry analysis was used to determine the percentages of regulatory T cells and Th17 cells. For gene expression measurement and cytokines assay, real-time PCR and ELISA were carried out. Results: The proportion of Th17 cells in women with URSA was considerably higher than in the control group. IL-25 mRNA and protein levels in cultured PBMCs from women with URSA were lower than the controls. 1,25VitD3 increased IL-25 expressions at both the protein and mRNA levels in PBMCs from women with URSA relative to the control group. Additionally, 1,25VitD3 treatment not only significantly decreased the percentage of Th17 cells frequency but also reduced expressions of IL-6, IL-17A, and IL-23 in PBMCs from women with URSA. Conclusion: 1,25VitD3 may diminish inflammatory responses cells via downregulation of IL-25 expression. It could be an interesting subject for future researches in the field of the immunopathology of URSA to identify molecular pathways in URSA treatment.
    Keywords:  IL-25; Th17 cells; URSA; VitD3; inflammation
  18. Aging Cell. 2021 Dec 31. e13538
      Several interventions have recently emerged that were proposed to reverse rather than just attenuate aging, but the criteria for what it takes to achieve rejuvenation remain controversial. Distinguishing potential rejuvenation therapies from other longevity interventions, such as those that slow down aging, is challenging, and these anti-aging strategies are often referred to interchangeably. We suggest that the prerequisite for a rejuvenation intervention is a robust, sustained, and systemic reduction in biological age, which can be assessed by biomarkers of aging, such as epigenetic clocks. We discuss known and putative rejuvenation interventions and comparatively analyze them to explore underlying mechanisms.
    Keywords:  aging; biomarkers; epigenetic clocks; rejuvenation
  19. J Exp Med. 2022 Feb 07. pii: e20211220. [Epub ahead of print]219(2):
      Emerging viruses threaten global health, but few experimental models can characterize the virus and host factors necessary for within- and cross-species transmission. Here, we leverage a model whereby pet store mice or rats-which harbor natural rodent pathogens-are cohoused with laboratory mice. This "dirty" mouse model offers a platform for studying acute transmission of viruses between and within hosts via natural mechanisms. We identified numerous viruses and other microbial species that transmit to cohoused mice, including prospective new members of the Coronaviridae, Astroviridae, Picornaviridae, and Narnaviridae families, and uncovered pathogen interactions that promote or prevent virus transmission. We also evaluated transmission dynamics of murine astroviruses during transmission and spread within a new host. Finally, by cohousing our laboratory mice with the bedding of pet store rats, we identified cross-species transmission of a rat astrovirus. Overall, this model system allows for the analysis of transmission of natural rodent viruses and is a platform to further characterize barriers to zoonosis.
  20. Diabetes. 2021 Oct 21. pii: db210596. [Epub ahead of print]
      Chronic low-grade inflammation, often referred to as metainflammation, develops in response to overnutrition and is a major player in the regulation of insulin sensitivity. While many studies have investigated adipose tissue inflammation from the perspective of the immune cell compartment, little is known about how adipocytes intrinsically contribute to metainflammation and insulin resistance at the molecular level. Here, we demonstrate a novel role for Jumonji C Domain Containing Protein 8 (JMJD8) as an adipocyte-intrinsic molecular nexus between inflammation and insulin resistance. We determined that JMJD8 was highly enriched in white adipose tissue, especially in the adipocyte fraction. Adipose JMJD8 levels were dramatically increased in obesity-associated insulin resistance models. Its levels were increased by feeding and insulin, and inhibited by fasting. A JMJD8 gain of function was sufficient to drive insulin resistance, whereas loss of function improved insulin sensitivity in mouse and human adipocytes. Consistent with this, Jmjd8-ablated mice had increased whole-body and adipose insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance on both chow and a high-fat diet, while adipocyte-specific Jmjd8-overexpressing mice displayed worsened whole-body metabolism on a high-fat diet. We found that JMJD8 affected the transcriptional regulation of inflammatory genes. In particular, it was required for LPS-mediated inflammation and insulin resistance in adipocytes. For this, JMJD8 required Interferon Regulatory Factor (IRF3) to mediate its actions in adipocytes. Together, our results demonstrate that JMJD8 acts as a novel molecular factor that drives adipocyte inflammation in conjunction with insulin sensitivity.
  21. Blood. 2021 Dec 27. pii: blood.2021014559. [Epub ahead of print]
      Fibrinogen plays a pathologic role in multiple diseases. It contributes to thrombosis and modifies inflammatory and immune responses, supported by studies in mice expressing fibrinogen variants with altered function or with a germline fibrinogen deficiency. However, therapeutic strategies to safely and effectively tailor plasma fibrinogen concentration are lacking. Here, we developed a strategy to tune fibrinogen expression by administering lipid nanoparticle (LNP)-encapsulated siRNA targeting the fibrinogen α chain (siFga). Three distinct LNP-siFga reagents reduced both hepatic Fga mRNA and fibrinogen levels in platelets and plasma, with plasma levels decreased to 42%, 16% and 4% of normal within one-week of administration. Using the most potent siFga, circulating fibrinogen was controllably decreased to 32%, 14%, and 5% of baseline with a 0.5, 1, and 2 mg/kg dose, respectively. Whole blood from mice treated with siFga formed clots with significantly decreased clot strength ex vivo, but siFga treatment did not compromise hemostasis following saphenous vein puncture or tail transection. In an endotoxemia model, siFga suppressed the acute phase response and decreased plasma fibrinogen, D-dimer, and proinflammatory cytokine levels. In a sterile peritonitis model, siFga restored normal macrophage migration in plasminogen-deficient mice. Finally, treatment of mice with siFga decreased the metastatic potential of tumour cells in a manner comparable to that observed in fibrinogen-deficient mice. The results indicate that siFga causes robust and controllable depletion of fibrinogen and provide the proof-of-concept that this strategy can modulate the pleiotropic effects of fibrinogen in relevant disease models.
  22. Elife. 2021 Dec 29. pii: e70472. [Epub ahead of print]10
      Background: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is characterized by excessive lipid accumulation and imbalances in lipid metabolism in the liver. Although nuclear receptors (NRs) play a crucial role in hepatic lipid metabolism, the underlying mechanisms of NR regulation in NAFLD remain largely unclear.Methods: Using network analysis and RNA-seq to determine the correlation between NRs and microRNA in human NAFLD patients, we revealed that MIR20B specifically targets PPARA. MIR20B mimic and anti-MIR20B were administered to human HepG2 and Huh-7 cells and mouse primary hepatocytes as well as high fat diet (HFD)- or methionine-deficient diet (MCD)-fed mice to verify the specific function of MIR20B in NAFLD. We tested the inhibition of the therapeutic effect of a PPARα agonist, fenofibrate, by Mir20b and the synergic effect of combination of fenofibrate with anti-Mir20b in NAFLD mouse model.
    Results: We revealed that MIR20B specifically targets PPARA through miRNA regulatory network analysis of nuclear receptor genes in NAFLD. The expression of MIR20B was upregulated in free fatty acid (FA)-treated hepatocytes and the livers of both obesity-induced mice and NAFLD patients. Overexpression of MIR20B significantly increased hepatic lipid accumulation and triglyceride levels. Furthermore, MIR20B significantly reduced FA oxidation and mitochondrial biogenesis by targeting PPARA. In Mir20b-introduced mice, the effect of fenofibrate to ameliorate hepatic steatosis was significantly suppressed. Finally, inhibition of Mir20b significantly increased FA oxidation and uptake, resulting in improved insulin sensitivity and a decrease in NAFLD progression. Moreover, combination of fenofibrate and anti-Mir20b exhibited the synergic effect on improvement of NAFLD in MCD-fed mice.
    Conclusions: Taken together, our results demonstrate that the novel MIR20B targets PPARA, plays a significant role in hepatic lipid metabolism, and present an opportunity for the development of novel therapeutics for NAFLD.
    Funding: This research was funded by Korea Mouse Phenotyping Project (2016M3A9D5A01952411), the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (2020R1F1A1061267, 2018R1A5A1024340, NRF-2021R1I1A2041463, 2020R1I1A1A01074940), and the Future-leading Project Research Fund (1.210034.01) of UNIST.
    Keywords:  cell biology; human; medicine; mouse
  23. Front Immunol. 2021 ;12 783944
      Neutrophil cytosolic factor 1 (Ncf1) is a major genetic factor associated with autoimmune diseases and has been identified as a key player in autoimmune mediated inflammation. We addressed the role of Ncf1 in an antigen-induced pulmonary inflammation model, and found that the Ncf1m1j mutation, causing a deficient reactive oxygen species response, alleviated disease. The Ncf1m1j mutation was associated with a reduced inflammatory cell infiltration in airways, but had limited effect on mucus secretion, antibody production and lung fibrosis. The disease remission in the Ncf1 mutated mice was reversed when functional Ncf1 was transgenically expressed in alveolar macrophages, suggesting that the cellular inflammation was depended on functional Ncf1 in alveolar macrophages. By determining cytokine and chemokine profiles in lung and serum, we found that Ncf1 deficiency allowed an increased expression of Th1 cytokines, including TNF-α, IFN-γ and IL-12. Since also epithelial cytokines were found to be regulated by Ncf1, we tested the effect of Ncf1 in IL-33 and IL-25 induced lung inflammation models. Mice with the Ncf1m1j mutation showed less sensitivity to IL-33, but not IL-25, induced lung inflammation, in a macrophage independent manner. The mice with deficient Ncf1 showed a reduced eosinophil infiltration and group 2 innate lymphoid cell (ILC2) activation. The production of IFN-γ in CD4+ T cells was increased, whereas IL-5 and IL-13 in ILC2 were decreased. Importantly, anti-IFN-γ antibody treatment of Ncf1 deficient mice increased eosinophil infiltration and rescued ILC2 activation in the lung. We conclude that Ncf1 deficiency enhances Th1 response, deactivates ILC2, and protects against pulmonitis.
    Keywords:  ILC2; Ncf1; Th1 response; asthma; macrophages