bims-nimamd Biomed News
on Neuroimmunity and neuroinflammation in ageing and metabolic disease
Issue of 2022‒07‒24
forty-five papers selected by
Fawaz Alzaïd
Sorbonne Université

  1. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 20. 13(1): 4199
      The genome can be divided into two spatially segregated compartments, A and B, which partition active and inactive chromatin states. While constitutive heterochromatin is predominantly located within the B compartment near the nuclear lamina, facultative heterochromatin marked by H3K27me3 spans both compartments. How epigenetic modifications, compartmentalization, and lamina association collectively maintain heterochromatin architecture remains unclear. Here we develop Lamina-Inducible Methylation and Hi-C (LIMe-Hi-C) to jointly measure chromosome conformation, DNA methylation, and lamina positioning. Through LIMe-Hi-C, we identify topologically distinct sub-compartments with high levels of H3K27me3 and differing degrees of lamina association. Inhibition of Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) reveals that H3K27me3 is essential for sub-compartment segregation. Unexpectedly, PRC2 inhibition promotes lamina association and constitutive heterochromatin spreading into H3K27me3-marked B sub-compartment regions. Consistent with this repositioning, genes originally marked with H3K27me3 in the B compartment, but not the A compartment, remain largely repressed, suggesting that constitutive heterochromatin spreading can compensate for H3K27me3 loss at a transcriptional level. These findings demonstrate that Polycomb sub-compartments and their antagonism with lamina association are fundamental features of genome structure. More broadly, by jointly measuring nuclear position and Hi-C contacts, our study demonstrates how compartmentalization and lamina association represent distinct but interdependent modes of heterochromatin regulation.
  2. Nature. 2022 Jul 20.
      Mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) regulates cell growth and metabolism in response to multiple nutrients, including the essential amino acid leucine1. Recent work in cultured mammalian cells established the Sestrins as leucine-binding proteins that inhibit mTORC1 signalling during leucine deprivation2,3, but their role in the organismal response to dietary leucine remains elusive. Here we find that Sestrin-null flies (Sesn-/-) fail to inhibit mTORC1 or activate autophagy after acute leucine starvation and have impaired development and a shortened lifespan on a low-leucine diet. Knock-in flies expressing a leucine-binding-deficient Sestrin mutant (SesnL431E) have reduced, leucine-insensitive mTORC1 activity. Notably, we find that flies can discriminate between food with or without leucine, and preferentially feed and lay progeny on leucine-containing food. This preference depends on Sestrin and its capacity to bind leucine. Leucine regulates mTORC1 activity in glial cells, and knockdown of Sesn in these cells reduces the ability of flies to detect leucine-free food. Thus, nutrient sensing by mTORC1 is necessary for flies not only to adapt to, but also to detect, a diet deficient in an essential nutrient.
  3. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 19. 13(1): 4176
      Epitranscriptomic RNA modifications can regulate fundamental biological processes, but we lack approaches to map modification sites and probe writer enzymes. Here we present a chemoproteomic strategy to characterize RNA 5-methylcytidine (m5C) dioxygenase enzymes in their native context based upon metabolic labeling and activity-based crosslinking with 5-ethynylcytidine (5-EC). We profile m5C dioxygenases in human cells including ALKBH1 and TET2 and show that ALKBH1 is the major hm5C- and f5C-forming enzyme in RNA. Further, we map ALKBH1 modification sites transcriptome-wide using 5-EC-iCLIP and ARP-based sequencing to identify ALKBH1-dependent m5C oxidation in a variety of tRNAs and mRNAs and analyze ALKBH1 substrate specificity in vitro. We also apply targeted pyridine borane-mediated sequencing to measure f5C sites on select tRNA. Finally, we show that f5C at the wobble position of tRNA-Leu-CAA plays a role in decoding Leu codons under stress. Our work provides powerful chemical approaches for studying RNA m5C dioxygenases and mapping oxidative m5C modifications and reveals the existence of novel epitranscriptomic pathways for regulating RNA function.
  4. Nature. 2022 Jul 20.
      Oocytes form before birth and remain viable for several decades before fertilization1. Although poor oocyte quality accounts for most female fertility problems, little is known about how oocytes maintain cellular fitness, or why their quality eventually declines with age2. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced as by-products of mitochondrial activity are associated with lower rates of fertilization and embryo survival3-5. Yet, how healthy oocytes balance essential mitochondrial activity with the production of ROS is unknown. Here we show that oocytes evade ROS by remodelling the mitochondrial electron transport chain through elimination of complex I. Combining live-cell imaging and proteomics in human and Xenopus oocytes, we find that early oocytes exhibit greatly reduced levels of complex I. This is accompanied by a highly active mitochondrial unfolded protein response, which is indicative of an imbalanced electron transport chain. Biochemical and functional assays confirm that complex I is neither assembled nor active in early oocytes. Thus, we report a physiological cell type without complex I in animals. Our findings also clarify why patients with complex-I-related hereditary mitochondrial diseases do not experience subfertility. Complex I suppression represents an evolutionarily conserved strategy that allows longevity while maintaining biological activity in long-lived oocytes.
  5. Nature. 2022 Jul 20.
      The ability to associate temporally segregated information and assign positive or negative valence to environmental cues is paramount for survival. Studies have shown that different projections from the basolateral amygdala (BLA) are potentiated following reward or punishment learning1-7. However, we do not yet understand how valence-specific information is routed to the BLA neurons with the appropriate downstream projections, nor do we understand how to reconcile the sub-second timescales of synaptic plasticity8-11 with the longer timescales separating the predictive cues from their outcomes. Here we demonstrate that neurotensin (NT)-expressing neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus (PVT) projecting to the BLA (PVT-BLA:NT) mediate valence assignment by exerting NT concentration-dependent modulation in BLA during associative learning. We found that optogenetic activation of the PVT-BLA:NT projection promotes reward learning, whereas PVT-BLA projection-specific knockout of the NT gene (Nts) augments punishment learning. Using genetically encoded calcium and NT sensors, we further revealed that both calcium dynamics within the PVT-BLA:NT projection and NT concentrations in the BLA are enhanced after reward learning and reduced after punishment learning. Finally, we showed that CRISPR-mediated knockout of the Nts gene in the PVT-BLA pathway blunts BLA neural dynamics and attenuates the preference for active behavioural strategies to reward and punishment predictive cues. In sum, we have identified NT as a neuropeptide that signals valence in the BLA, and showed that NT is a critical neuromodulator that orchestrates positive and negative valence assignment in amygdala neurons by extending valence-specific plasticity to behaviourally relevant timescales.
  6. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 18. 13(1): 4163
      Humans and animals lacking orexin neurons exhibit daytime sleepiness, sleep attacks, and state instability. While the circuit basis by which orexin neurons contribute to consolidated wakefulness remains unclear, existing models posit that orexin neurons provide their wake-stabilizing influence by exerting excitatory tone on other brain arousal nodes. Here we show using in vivo optogenetics, in vitro optogenetic-based circuit mapping, and single-cell transcriptomics that orexin neurons also contribute to arousal maintenance through indirect inhibition of sleep-promoting neurons of the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus. Activation of this subcortical circuit rapidly drives wakefulness from sleep by differentially modulating the activity of ventrolateral preoptic neurons. We further identify and characterize a feedforward circuit through which orexin (and co-released glutamate) acts to indirectly target and inhibit sleep-promoting ventrolateral preoptic neurons to produce arousal. This revealed circuitry provides an alternate framework for understanding how orexin neurons contribute to the maintenance of consolidated wakefulness and stabilize behavioral state.
  7. Nature. 2022 Jul 20.
      Stimulator of interferon genes (STING) is an antiviral signalling protein that is broadly conserved in both innate immunity in animals and phage defence in prokaryotes1-4. Activation of STING requires its assembly into an oligomeric filament structure through binding of a cyclic dinucleotide4-13, but the molecular basis of STING filament assembly and extension remains unknown. Here we use cryogenic electron microscopy to determine the structure of the active Toll/interleukin-1 receptor (TIR)-STING filament complex from a Sphingobacterium faecium cyclic-oligonucleotide-based antiphage signalling system (CBASS) defence operon. Bacterial TIR-STING filament formation is driven by STING interfaces that become exposed on high-affinity recognition of the cognate cyclic dinucleotide signal c-di-GMP. Repeating dimeric STING units stack laterally head-to-head through surface interfaces, which are also essential for human STING tetramer formation and downstream immune signalling in mammals5. The active bacterial TIR-STING structure reveals further cross-filament contacts that brace the assembly and coordinate packing of the associated TIR NADase effector domains at the base of the filament to drive NAD+ hydrolysis. STING interface and cross-filament contacts are essential for cell growth arrest in vivo and reveal a stepwise mechanism of activation whereby STING filament assembly is required for subsequent effector activation. Our results define the structural basis of STING filament formation in prokaryotic antiviral signalling.
  8. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 16. 13(1): 4136
      Obesity and diabetes are well known risk factors for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), but the genetic factors contributing to the development of NAFLD remain poorly understood. Here we describe two semi-dominant allelic missense mutations (Oily and Carboniferous) of Predicted gene 4951 (Gm4951) identified from a forward genetic screen in mice. GM4951 deficient mice developed NAFLD on high fat diet (HFD) with no changes in body weight or glucose metabolism. Moreover, HFD caused a reduction in the level of Gm4951, which in turn promoted the development of NAFLD. Predominantly expressed in hepatocytes, GM4951 was verified as an interferon inducible GTPase. The NAFLD in Gm4951 knockout mice was associated with decreased lipid oxidation in the liver and no defect in hepatic lipid secretion. After lipid loading, hepatocyte GM4951 translocated to lipid droplets (LDs), bringing with it hydroxysteroid 17β-dehydrogenase 13 (HSD17B13), which in the absence of GM4951 did not undergo this translocation. We identified a rare non-obese mouse model of NAFLD caused by GM4951 deficiency and define a critical role for GTPase-mediated translocation in hepatic lipid metabolism.
  9. Sci Immunol. 2022 Jul 14. eabn3127
      The baseline composition of T cells directly impacts later response to pathogens, but the complexity of precursor states remains poorly defined. Here, we examined the baseline state of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells in unexposed individuals. SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ T cells were identified in pre-pandemic blood samples by class II peptide-MHC tetramer staining and enrichment. Our data revealed a substantial number of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells that expressed memory phenotype markers. Integrated phenotypic analyses demonstrated diverse pre-existing memory states that included cells with distinct polarization states and trafficking potential to barrier tissues. T cell clones generated from tetramer-labeled cells cross-reacted with antigens from commensal bacteria in the skin and gastrointestinal tract. Direct ex vivo tetramer staining for one spike-specific population showed a similar level of cross-reactivity to sequences from endemic coronavirus and commensal bacteria. These data highlight the complexity of precursor T cell repertoire and implicate non-infectious exposures to common microbes as a key factor that shapes human pre-existing immunity to SARS-CoV-2.
  10. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 20. 13(1): 4186
      As shown during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, phylogenetic and phylodynamic methods are essential tools to study the spread and evolution of pathogens. One of the central assumptions of these methods is that the shared history of pathogens isolated from different hosts can be described by a branching phylogenetic tree. Recombination breaks this assumption. This makes it problematic to apply phylogenetic methods to study recombining pathogens, including, for example, coronaviruses. Here, we introduce a Markov chain Monte Carlo approach that allows inference of recombination networks from genetic sequence data under a template switching model of recombination. Using this method, we first show that recombination is extremely common in the evolutionary history of SARS-like coronaviruses. We then show how recombination rates across the genome of the human seasonal coronaviruses 229E, OC43 and NL63 vary with rates of adaptation. This suggests that recombination could be beneficial to fitness of human seasonal coronaviruses. Additionally, this work sets the stage for Bayesian phylogenetic tracking of the spread and evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in the future, even as recombinant viruses become prevalent.
  11. J Gen Physiol. 2022 Oct 03. pii: e202213104. [Epub ahead of print]154(10):
      Ca2+ signals regulate the function of many immune cells and promote immune responses to infection, cancer, and autoantigens. Ca2+ influx in immune cells is mediated by store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) that results from the opening of Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channels. The CRAC channel is formed by three plasma membrane proteins, ORAI1, ORAI2, and ORAI3. Of these, ORAI1 is the best studied and plays important roles in immune function. By contrast, the physiological role of ORAI3 in immune cells remains elusive. We show here that ORAI3 is expressed in many immune cells including macrophages, B cells, and T cells. To investigate ORAI3 function in immune cells, we generated Orai3-/- mice. The development of lymphoid and myeloid cells in the thymus and bone marrow was normal in Orai3-/- mice, as was the composition of immune cells in secondary lymphoid organs. Deletion of Orai3 did not affect SOCE in B cells and T cells but moderately enhanced SOCE in macrophages. Orai3-deficient macrophages, B cells, and T cells had normal effector functions in vitro. Immune responses in vivo, including humoral immunity (T cell dependent or independent) and antitumor immunity, were normal in Orai3-/- mice. Moreover, Orai3-/- mice showed no differences in susceptibility to septic shock, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, or collagen-induced arthritis. We conclude that despite its expression in myeloid and lymphoid cells, ORAI3 appears to be dispensable or redundant for physiological and pathological immune responses mediated by these cells.
  12. Nature. 2022 Jul 20.
      The RNA-editing enzyme ADAR1 is essential for the suppression of innate immune activation and pathology caused by aberrant recognition of self-RNA, a role it carries out by disrupting the duplex structure of endogenous double-stranded RNA species1,2. A point mutation in the sequence encoding the Z-DNA-binding domain (ZBD) of ADAR1 is associated with severe autoinflammatory disease3-5. ZBP1 is the only other ZBD-containing mammalian protein6, and its activation can trigger both cell death and transcriptional responses through the kinases RIPK1 and RIPK3, and the protease caspase 8 (refs. 7-9). Here we show that the pathology caused by alteration of the ZBD of ADAR1 is driven by activation of ZBP1. We found that ablation of ZBP1 fully rescued the overt pathology caused by ADAR1 alteration, without fully reversing the underlying inflammatory program caused by this alteration. Whereas loss of RIPK3 partially phenocopied the protective effects of ZBP1 ablation, combined deletion of caspase 8 and RIPK3, or of caspase 8 and MLKL, unexpectedly exacerbated the pathogenic effects of ADAR1 alteration. These findings indicate that ADAR1 is a negative regulator of sterile ZBP1 activation, and that ZBP1-dependent signalling underlies the autoinflammatory pathology caused by alteration of ADAR1.
  13. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 18. 13(1): 4165
      The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant has more than 15 mutations in the receptor binding domain of the Spike protein enabling increased transmissibility and viral escape from antibodies in vaccinated individuals. It is unclear how vaccine immunity protects against Omicron infection. Here we show that vaccinated participants at a super-spreader event have robust recall response of humoral and pre-existing cellular immunity induced by the vaccines, and an emergent de novo T cell response to non-Spike antigens. Individuals with Omicron SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infections have significantly increased activated SARS-CoV-2 wild type Spike-specific cytotoxic T cells, activated follicular helper (TFH) cells, functional T cell responses, boosted humoral responses, and rapid release of Spike and RBD-specific IgG+ B cell plasmablasts and memory B cells into circulation. Omicron breakthrough infection affords significantly increased de novo memory T cell responses to non-Spike viral antigens. Concerted T and B cell responses may provide durable and broad immunity.
  14. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 20. 13(1): 4194
      Incidental memory can be challenged by increasing either the retention delay or the memory load. The dorsal hippocampus (dHP) appears to help with both consolidation from short-term (STM) to long-term memory (LTM), and higher memory loads, but the mechanism is not fully understood. Here we find that female mice, despite having the same STM capacity of 6 objects and higher resistance to distraction in our different object recognition task (DOT), when tested over 1 h or 24 h delays appear to transfer to LTM only 4 objects, whereas male mice have an STM capacity of 6 objects in this task. In male mice the dHP shows greater activation (as measured by c-Fos expression), whereas female mice show greater activation of the ventral midline thalamus (VMT). Optogenetic inhibition of the VMT-dHP pathway during off-line memory consolidation enables 6-object LTM retention in females, while chemogenetic VMT-activation impairs it in males. Thus, removing or enhancing sub-cortical inhibitory control over the hippocampus leads to differences in incidental memory.
  15. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 22. 13(1): 4253
      Myelination has been increasingly implicated in the function and dysfunction of the adult human brain. Although it is known that axon myelination shapes axon physiology in animal models, it is unclear whether a similar principle applies in the living human brain, and at the level of whole axon bundles in white matter tracts. Here, we hypothesised that in humans, cortico-cortical interactions between two brain areas may be shaped by the amount of myelin in the white matter tract connecting them. As a test bed for this hypothesis, we use a well-defined interhemispheric premotor-to-motor circuit. We combined TMS-derived physiological measures of cortico-cortical interactions during action reprogramming with multimodal myelin markers (MT, R1, R2* and FA), in a large cohort of healthy subjects. We found that physiological metrics of premotor-to-motor interaction are broadly associated with multiple myelin markers, suggesting interindividual differences in tract myelination may play a role in motor network physiology. Moreover, we also demonstrate that myelination metrics link indirectly to action switching by influencing local primary motor cortex dynamics. These findings suggest that myelination levels in white matter tracts may influence millisecond-level cortico-cortical interactions during tasks. They also unveil a link between the physiology of the motor network and the myelination of tracts connecting its components, and provide a putative mechanism mediating the relationship between brain myelination and human behaviour.
  16. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 19. 13(1): 3953
      Accurate chromosomal DNA replication is essential to maintain genomic stability. Genetic evidence suggests that certain repetitive sequences impair replication, yet the underlying mechanism is poorly defined. Replication could be directly inhibited by the DNA template or indirectly, for example by DNA-bound proteins. Here, we reconstitute replication of mono-, di- and trinucleotide repeats in vitro using eukaryotic replisomes assembled from purified proteins. We find that structure-prone repeats are sufficient to impair replication. Whilst template unwinding is unaffected, leading strand synthesis is inhibited, leading to fork uncoupling. Synthesis through hairpin-forming repeats is rescued by replisome-intrinsic mechanisms, whereas synthesis of quadruplex-forming repeats requires an extrinsic accessory helicase. DNA-induced fork stalling is mechanistically similar to that induced by leading strand DNA lesions, highlighting structure-prone repeats as an important potential source of replication stress. Thus, we propose that our understanding of the cellular response to replication stress may also be applied to DNA-induced replication stalling.
  17. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 20. 13(1): 4188
      The formation of a functional blood vessel network relies on the ability of endothelial cells (ECs) to dynamically rearrange their adhesive contacts in response to blood flow and guidance cues, such as vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) and class 3 semaphorins (SEMA3s). Neuropilin 1 (NRP1) is essential for blood vessel development, independently of its ligands VEGF-A and SEMA3, through poorly understood mechanisms. Grounding on unbiased proteomic analysis, we report here that NRP1 acts as an endocytic chaperone primarily for adhesion receptors on the surface of unstimulated ECs. NRP1 localizes at adherens junctions (AJs) where, interacting with VE-cadherin, promotes its basal internalization-dependent turnover and favors vascular permeability initiated by histamine in both cultured ECs and mice. We identify a splice variant of tryptophanyl-tRNA synthetase (mini-WARS) as an unconventionally secreted extracellular inhibitory ligand of NRP1 that, by stabilizing it at the AJs, slows down both VE-cadherin turnover and histamine-elicited endothelial leakage. Thus, our work shows a role for NRP1 as a major regulator of AJs plasticity and reveals how mini-WARS acts as a physiological NRP1 inhibitory ligand in the control of VE-cadherin endocytic turnover and vascular permeability.
  18. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 16. 13(1): 4143
      The accurate repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), highly toxic DNA lesions, is crucial for genome integrity and is tightly regulated during the cell cycle. In mitosis, cells inactivate DSB repair in favor of a tethering mechanism that stabilizes broken chromosomes until they are repaired in the subsequent cell cycle phases. How this is achieved mechanistically is not yet understood, but the adaptor protein TOPBP1 is critically implicated in this process. Here, we identify CIP2A as a TOPBP1-interacting protein that regulates TOPBP1 localization specifically in mitosis. Cells lacking CIP2A display increased radio-sensitivity, micronuclei formation and chromosomal instability. CIP2A is actively exported from the cell nucleus in interphase but, upon nuclear envelope breakdown at the onset of mitosis, gains access to chromatin where it forms a complex with MDC1 and TOPBP1 to promote TOPBP1 recruitment to sites of mitotic DSBs. Collectively, our data uncover CIP2A-TOPBP1 as a mitosis-specific genome maintenance complex.
  19. Front Immunol. 2022 ;13 908697
      CD8 T cell exhaustion is a hallmark of HIV-1 infection, characterized by phenotypic and functional CD8 T cell abnormalities that persist despite years of effective antiretroviral treatment (ART). More recently, the importance of cellular metabolism in shaping T cell antiviral function has emerged as a crucial aspect of immunotherapeutics aimed at re-invigorating exhausted CD8 T cells but remains under-investigated in HIV-1 infection. To gain a better insight into this process and identify new targets for effective CD8 T cell restoration we examined the metabolic profile of exhausted CD8 T cells in HIV-1 infection. We show that relative to HIV-1 elite controllers (EC) and HIV-1 seronegative donors, CD8 T cells from HIV-1 viraemic individuals are skewed toward a PD-1hiEOMEShiT-betlowTIGIT+ phenotype that is maintained during ART. This exhausted signature is enriched in HIV-specific CD8 T cells, compared to CMV-specific CD8 T cell populations, and further delineated by higher expression of the glucose transporter, Glut-1, impaired mitochondrial function and biogenesis, reflecting underlying metabolic defects. A notable improvement in antiviral HIV-specific CD8 T cell function was elicited via mitochondrial antioxidant treatment in combination with pharmacological modulation of mitochondrial dynamics and IL-15 treatment. These findings identify mitochondria as promising targets for combined reconstitution therapies in HIV-1 infection.
    Keywords:  CD8 T cell exhaustion; CMV; HIV-1; immunometabolism; mitochondria; oxidative phosphorylation
  20. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 20. 13(1): 4192
      Dissociation of hyper-phosphorylated Tau from neuronal microtubules and its pathological aggregates, are hallmarks in the etiology of tauopathies. The Tau-microtubule interface is subject to polyglutamylation, a reversible posttranslational modification, increasing negative charge at tubulin C-terminal tails. Here, we asked whether tubulin polyglutamylation may contribute to Tau pathology in vivo. Since polyglutamylases modify various proteins other than tubulin, we generated a knock-in mouse carrying gene mutations to abolish Tuba4a polyglutamylation in a substrate-specific manner. We found that Tuba4a lacking C-terminal polyglutamylation prevents the binding of Tau and GSK3 kinase to neuronal microtubules, thereby strongly reducing phospho-Tau levels. Notably, crossbreeding of the Tuba4a knock-in mouse with the hTau tauopathy model, expressing a human Tau transgene, reversed hyper-phosphorylation and oligomerization of Tau and normalized microglia activation in brain. Our data highlight tubulin polyglutamylation as a potential therapeutic strategy in fighting tauopathies.
  21. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 19. 13(1): 4174
      Regulation of fatty acid uptake, lipid production and storage, and metabolism of lipid droplets (LDs), is closely related to lipid homeostasis, adipocyte hypertrophy and obesity. We report here that stomatin, a major constituent of lipid raft, participates in adipogenesis and adipocyte maturation by modulating related signaling pathways. In adipocyte-like cells, increased stomatin promotes LD growth or enlargements by facilitating LD-LD fusion. It also promotes fatty acid uptake from extracellular environment by recruiting effector molecules, such as FAT/CD36 translocase, to lipid rafts to promote internalization of fatty acids. Stomatin transgenic mice fed with high-fat diet exhibit obesity, insulin resistance and hepatic impairments; however, such phenotypes are not seen in transgenic animals fed with regular diet. Inhibitions of stomatin by gene knockdown or OB-1 inhibit adipogenic differentiation and LD growth through downregulation of PPARγ pathway. Effects of stomatin on PPARγ involves ERK signaling; however, an alternate pathway may also exist.
  22. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 18. 13(1): 4148
      Pancreatic differentiation from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) provides promising avenues for investigating development and treating diseases. N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is the most prevalent internal messenger RNA (mRNA) modification and plays pivotal roles in regulation of mRNA metabolism, while its functions remain elusive. Here, we profile the dynamic landscapes of m6A transcriptome-wide during pancreatic differentiation. Next, we generate knockout hPSC lines of the major m6A demethylase ALKBH5, and find that ALKBH5 plays significant regulatory roles in pancreatic organogenesis. Mechanistic studies reveal that ALKBH5 deficiency reduces the mRNA stability of key pancreatic transcription factors in an m6A and YTHDF2-dependent manner. We further identify that ALKBH5 cofactor α-ketoglutarate can be applied to enhance differentiation. Collectively, our findings identify ALKBH5 as an essential regulator of pancreatic differentiation and highlight that m6A modification-mediated mRNA metabolism presents an important layer of regulation during cell-fate specification and holds great potentials for translational applications.
  23. Nature. 2022 Jul 21.
      The interleukin-17 (IL-17) family of cytokines and receptors play central roles in host defense against infection, and development of inflammatory diseases1. The compositions and structures of functional IL-17 family ligand-receptor signaling assemblies remain unclear. Interleukin-17E (IL-17E or IL-25) is a key regulator of Th2 immune responses and driver of inflammatory diseases such as allergic asthma and requires both IL-17 receptor A (IL-17RA) and IL-17RB to elicit functional responses2. Here, we studied IL-25-IL-17RB binary and IL-25-IL-17RB-IL-17RA ternary complexes using a combination of cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), single-molecule imaging, and cell-based signaling approaches. The IL-25-IL-17RB-IL-17RA ternary signaling assembly is a c2-symmetric complex in which the IL-25-IL-17RB homodimer is flanked by two "wing-like" IL-17RA co-receptors through a "tip-to-tip" geometry that is the key receptor-receptor interaction required for initiation of signal transduction. IL-25 interacts solely with IL-17RB to allosterically promote the formation of the IL-17RB-IL-17RA tip-to-tip interface. The resulting large separation between the receptors at the membrane-proximal level may reflect proximity constraints by the intracellular domains for signaling. Cryo-EM structures of IL-17A-IL-17RA and IL-17A-IL-17RA-IL-17RC complexes reveal that this tip-to-tip architecture is a key organizing principle of the IL-17 receptor family, Furthermore, these studies reveal dual actions for IL-17RA sharing amongst IL-17 cytokine complexes, by either directly engaging IL-17 cytokines, or alternatively functioning as a co-receptor.
  24. Nature. 2022 Jul 20.
      The RNA-editing enzyme adenosine deaminase acting on RNA 1 (ADAR1) limits the accumulation of endogenous immunostimulatory double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)1. In humans, reduced ADAR1 activity causes the severe inflammatory disease Aicardi-Goutières syndrome (AGS)2. In mice, complete loss of ADAR1 activity is embryonically lethal3-6, and mutations similar to those found in patients with AGS cause autoinflammation7-12. Mechanistically, adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) base modification of endogenous dsRNA by ADAR1 prevents chronic overactivation of the dsRNA sensors MDA5 and PKR3,7-10,13,14. Here we show that ADAR1 also inhibits the spontaneous activation of the left-handed Z-nucleic acid sensor ZBP1. Activation of ZBP1 elicits caspase-8-dependent apoptosis and MLKL-mediated necroptosis of ADAR1-deficient cells. ZBP1 contributes to the embryonic lethality of Adar-knockout mice, and it drives early mortality and intestinal cell death in mice deficient in the expression of both ADAR and MAVS. The Z-nucleic-acid-binding Zα domain of ADAR1 is necessary to prevent ZBP1-mediated intestinal cell death and skin inflammation. The Zα domain of ADAR1 promotes A-to-I editing of endogenous Alu elements to prevent dsRNA formation through the pairing of inverted Alu repeats, which can otherwise induce ZBP1 activation. This shows that recognition of Alu duplex RNA by ZBP1 may contribute to the pathological features of AGS that result from the loss of ADAR1 function.
  25. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 18. 13(1): 4157
      Cellular senescence and cell competition are important tumor suppression mechanisms that restrain cells with oncogenic mutations at the initial stage of cancer development. However, the link between cellular senescence and cell competition remains unclear. Senescent cells accumulated during the in vivo aging process contribute toward age-related cancers via the development of senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Here, we report that hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), a SASP factor, inhibits apical extrusion and promotes basal protrusion of Ras-mutated cells in the cell competition assay. Additionally, cellular senescence induced by a high-fat diet promotes the survival of cells with oncogenic mutations, whereas crizotinib, an inhibitor of HGF signaling, provokes the removal of mutated cells from mouse livers and intestines. Our study provides evidence that cellular senescence inhibits cell competition-mediated elimination of oncogenic cells through HGF signaling, suggesting that it may lead to cancer incidence during aging.
  26. Sci Transl Med. 2022 Jul 20. 14(654): eabn1413
      To combat the HIV epidemic and emerging threats such as SARS-CoV-2, immunization strategies are needed that elicit protection at mucosal portals of pathogen entry. Immunization directly through airway surfaces is effective in driving mucosal immunity, but poor vaccine uptake across the mucus and epithelial lining is a limitation. The major blood protein albumin is constitutively transcytosed bidirectionally across the airway epithelium through interactions with neonatal Fc receptors (FcRn). Exploiting this biology, here, we demonstrate a strategy of "albumin hitchhiking" to promote mucosal immunity using an intranasal vaccine consisting of protein immunogens modified with an amphiphilic albumin-binding polymer-lipid tail, forming amph-proteins. Amph-proteins persisted in the nasal mucosa of mice and nonhuman primates and exhibited increased uptake into the tissue in an FcRn-dependent manner, leading to enhanced germinal center responses in nasal-associated lymphoid tissue. Intranasal immunization with amph-conjugated HIV Env gp120 or SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD) proteins elicited 100- to 1000-fold higher antigen-specific IgG and IgA titers in the serum, upper and lower respiratory mucosa, and distal genitourinary mucosae of mice compared to unmodified protein. Amph-RBD immunization induced high titers of SARS-CoV-2-neutralizing antibodies in serum, nasal washes, and bronchoalveolar lavage. Furthermore, intranasal amph-protein immunization in rhesus macaques elicited 10-fold higher antigen-specific IgG and IgA responses in the serum and nasal mucosa compared to unmodified protein, supporting the translational potential of this approach. These results suggest that using amph-protein vaccines to deliver antigen across mucosal epithelia is a promising strategy to promote mucosal immunity against HIV, SARS-CoV-2, and other infectious diseases.
  27. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2022 Jul 18. pii: S0091-6749(22)00943-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      The release of cytokines from epithelial and stromal cells is critical for the initiation and maintenance of tissue immunity. Three such cytokines, TSLP, IL-33, and IL-25, are important regulators of type 2 immune responses triggered by parasitic worms and allergens. In particular, these cytokines activate group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s), Th2 cells, and myeloid cells that drive hallmarks of type 2 immunity. However, emerging data indicates that these tissue-associated cytokines are not only involved in canonical type 2 responses, but are also important in the context of viral infections, cancer, and even homeostasis. Here we provide a brief review of the roles of TSLP, IL-33, and IL-25 in diverse immune contexts, while highlighting their relative contributions in tissue-specific responses. We also emphasize a biologically-motivated framework for thinking about the integration of multiple immune signals, including the three featured in this review.
    Keywords:  allergy; cancer; cytokines; helminth; tissue immunity; viral infection
  28. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 16. 13(1): 4142
      Human embryonic stem cell-derived β cells (SC-β cells) hold great promise for treatment of diabetes, yet how to achieve functional maturation and protect them against metabolic stresses such as glucotoxicity and lipotoxicity remains elusive. Our single-cell RNA-seq analysis reveals that ZnT8 loss of function (LOF) accelerates the functional maturation of SC-β cells. As a result, ZnT8 LOF improves glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) by releasing the negative feedback of zinc inhibition on insulin secretion. Furthermore, we demonstrate that ZnT8 LOF mutations endow SC-β cells with resistance to lipotoxicity/glucotoxicity-triggered cell death by alleviating endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress through modulation of zinc levels. Importantly, transplantation of SC-β cells with ZnT8 LOF into mice with preexisting diabetes significantly improves glycemia restoration and glucose tolerance. These findings highlight the beneficial effect of ZnT8 LOF on the functional maturation and survival of SC-β cells that are useful as a potential source for cell replacement therapies.
  29. Cell. 2022 Jul 14. pii: S0092-8674(22)00780-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Human cleavage-stage embryos frequently acquire chromosomal aneuploidies during mitosis due to unknown mechanisms. Here, we show that S phase at the 1-cell stage shows replication fork stalling, low fork speed, and DNA synthesis extending into G2 phase. DNA damage foci consistent with collapsed replication forks, DSBs, and incomplete replication form in G2 in an ATR- and MRE11-dependent manner, followed by spontaneous chromosome breakage and segmental aneuploidies. Entry into mitosis with incomplete replication results in chromosome breakage, whole and segmental chromosome errors, micronucleation, chromosome fragmentation, and poor embryo quality. Sites of spontaneous chromosome breakage are concordant with sites of DNA synthesis in G2 phase, locating to gene-poor regions with long neural genes, which are transcriptionally silent at this stage of development. Thus, DNA replication stress in mammalian preimplantation embryos predisposes gene-poor regions to fragility, and in particular in the human embryo, to the formation of aneuploidies, impairing developmental potential.
    Keywords:  chromosomal mosaicism; chromosome fragility; developmental arrest; double-strand break; gene-poor regions; incomplete replication; micronuclei; preimplantation development; replication stress; stalled replication forks
  30. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 22. 13(1): 4237
      Glucose-induced insulin secretion depends on β-cell electrical activity. Inhibition of ATP-regulated potassium (KATP) channels is a key event in this process. However, KATP channel closure alone is not sufficient to induce β-cell electrical activity; activation of a depolarizing membrane current is also required. Here we examine the role of the mechanosensor ion channel PIEZO1 in this process. Yoda1, a specific PIEZO1 agonist, activates a small membrane current and thereby triggers β-cell electrical activity with resultant stimulation of Ca2+-influx and insulin secretion. Conversely, the PIEZO1 antagonist GsMTx4 reduces glucose-induced Ca2+-signaling, electrical activity and insulin secretion. Yet, PIEZO1 expression is elevated in islets from human donors with type-2 diabetes (T2D) and a rodent T2D model (db/db mouse), in which insulin secretion is reduced. This paradox is resolved by our finding that PIEZO1 translocates from the plasmalemma into the nucleus (where it cannot influence the membrane potential of the β-cell) under experimental conditions emulating T2D (high glucose culture). β-cell-specific Piezo1-knockout mice show impaired glucose tolerance in vivo and reduced glucose-induced insulin secretion, β-cell electrical activity and Ca2+ elevation in vitro. These results implicate mechanotransduction and activation of PIEZO1, via intracellular accumulation of glucose metabolites, as an important physiological regulator of insulin secretion.
  31. Nat Metab. 2022 Jul 21.
      Successful elimination of bacteria in phagocytes occurs in the phago-lysosomal system, but also depends on mitochondrial pathways. Yet, how these two organelle systems communicate is largely unknown. Here we identify the lysosomal biogenesis factor transcription factor EB (TFEB) as regulator for phago-lysosome-mitochondria crosstalk in macrophages. By combining cellular imaging and metabolic profiling, we find that TFEB activation, in response to bacterial stimuli, promotes the transcription of aconitate decarboxylase (Acod1, Irg1) and synthesis of its product itaconate, a mitochondrial metabolite with antimicrobial activity. Activation of the TFEB-Irg1-itaconate signalling axis reduces the survival of the intravacuolar pathogen Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. TFEB-driven itaconate is subsequently transferred via the Irg1-Rab32-BLOC3 system into the Salmonella-containing vacuole, thereby exposing the pathogen to elevated itaconate levels. By activating itaconate production, TFEB selectively restricts proliferating Salmonella, a bacterial subpopulation that normally escapes macrophage control, which contrasts TFEB's role in autophagy-mediated pathogen degradation. Together, our data define a TFEB-driven metabolic pathway between phago-lysosomes and mitochondria that restrains Salmonella Typhimurium burden in macrophages in vitro and in vivo.
  32. Cell Rep. 2022 Jul 19. pii: S2211-1247(22)00920-2. [Epub ahead of print]40(3): 111114
      Hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) generation in the aorta-gonad-mesonephros region requires HSC specification signals from the surrounding microenvironment. In zebrafish, PDGF-B/PDGFRβ signaling controls hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell (HSPC) generation and is required in the HSC specification niche. Little is known about murine HSPC specification in vivo and whether PDGF-B/PDGFRβ is involved. Here, we show that PDGFRβ is expressed in distinct perivascular stromal cell layers surrounding the mid-gestation dorsal aorta, and its deletion impairs hematopoiesis. We demonstrate that PDGFRβ+ cells play a dual role in murine hematopoiesis. They act in the aortic niche to support HSPCs, and in addition, PDGFRβ+ embryonic precursors give rise to a subset of HSPCs that persist into adulthood. These findings provide crucial information for the controlled production of HSPCs in vitro.
    Keywords:  AGM single-cell RNA-sequencing; Bmp4; CP: Developmental biology; CP: Stem cell research; HSPC precursor; MSCs; PDGFRβ; VSMCs; hematopoietic niche; osteogenesis; pericytes
  33. Nat Cell Biol. 2022 Jul 21.
      Endometriosis is characterized by the growth of endometrial-like tissue outside the uterus. It affects many women during their reproductive age, causing years of pelvic pain and potential infertility. Its pathophysiology remains largely unknown, which limits early diagnosis and treatment. We characterized peritoneal and ovarian lesions at single-cell transcriptome resolution and compared them to matched eutopic endometrium, unaffected endometrium and organoids derived from these tissues, generating data on over 122,000 cells across 14 individuals. We spatially localized many of the cell types using imaging mass cytometry. We identify a perivascular mural cell specific to the peritoneal lesions, with dual roles in angiogenesis promotion and immune cell trafficking. We define an immunotolerant peritoneal niche, fundamental differences in eutopic endometrium and between lesion microenvironments and an unreported progenitor-like epithelial cell subpopulation. Altogether, this study provides a holistic view of the endometriosis microenvironment that represents a comprehensive cell atlas of the disease in individuals undergoing hormonal treatment, providing essential information for future therapeutics and diagnostics.
  34. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 21. 13(1): 4209
      HNRNPU encodes the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein U, which participates in RNA splicing and chromatin organization. Microdeletions in the 1q44 locus encompassing HNRNPU and other genes and point mutations in HNRNPU cause brain disorders, including early-onset seizures and severe intellectual disability. We aimed to understand HNRNPU's roles in the developing brain. Our work revealed that HNRNPU loss of function leads to rapid cell death of both postmitotic neurons and neural progenitors, with an apparent higher sensitivity of the latter. Further, expression and alternative splicing of multiple genes involved in cell survival, cell motility, and synapse formation are affected following Hnrnpu's conditional truncation. Finally, we identified pharmaceutical and genetic agents that can partially reverse the loss of cortical structures in Hnrnpu mutated embryonic brains, ameliorate radial neuronal migration defects and rescue cultured neural progenitors' cell death.
  35. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 20. 13(1): 4196
      A comprehensive characterization of epigenomic organization in the embryonic mouse forebrain will enhance our understanding of neurodevelopment and provide insight into mechanisms of neurological disease. Here we collected single-cell chromatin accessibility profiles from four distinct neurogenic regions of the embryonic mouse forebrain using single nuclei ATAC-Seq (snATAC-Seq). We identified thousands of differentially accessible peaks, many restricted to distinct progenitor cell types or brain regions. We integrated snATAC-Seq and single cell transcriptome data to characterize changes of chromatin accessibility at enhancers and promoters with associated transcript abundance. Multi-modal integration of histone modifications (CUT&Tag and CUT&RUN), promoter-enhancer interactions (Capture-C) and high-order chromatin structure (Hi-C) extended these initial observations. This dataset reveals a diverse chromatin landscape with region-specific regulatory mechanisms and genomic interactions in distinct neurogenic regions of the embryonic mouse brain and represents an extensive public resource of a 'ground truth' epigenomic landscape at this critical stage of neurogenesis.
  36. Science. 2022 07 15. 377(6603): 292-297
      Hematopoietic mosaic loss of Y chromosome (mLOY) is associated with increased risk of mortality and age-related diseases in men, but the causal and mechanistic relationships have yet to be established. Here, we show that male mice reconstituted with bone marrow cells lacking the Y chromosome display increased mortality and age-related profibrotic pathologies including reduced cardiac function. Cardiac macrophages lacking the Y chromosome exhibited polarization toward a more fibrotic phenotype, and treatment with a transforming growth factor β1-neutralizing antibody ameliorated cardiac dysfunction in mLOY mice. A prospective study revealed that mLOY in blood is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and heart failure-associated mortality. Together, these results indicate that hematopoietic mLOY causally contributes to fibrosis, cardiac dysfunction, and mortality in men.
    Keywords:  clonal hematopoiesis
  37. Sci Adv. 2022 Jul 08. 8(27): eabl8809
      Hyperphosphorylation of the neuronal tau protein is a hallmark of neurodegenerative tauopathies such as Alzheimer's disease. A central unanswered question is why tau becomes progressively hyperphosphorylated. Here, we show that tau phosphorylation is governed by interdependence- a mechanistic link between initial site-specific and subsequent multi-site phosphorylation. Systematic assessment of site interdependence identified distinct residues (threonine-50, threonine-69, and threonine-181) as master sites that determine propagation of phosphorylation at multiple epitopes. CRISPR point mutation and expression of human tau in Alzheimer's mice showed that site interdependence governs physiologic and amyloid-associated multi-site phosphorylation and cognitive deficits, respectively. Combined targeting of master sites and p38α, the most central tau kinase linked to interdependence, synergistically ablated hyperphosphorylation. In summary, our work delineates how complex tau phosphorylation arises to inform therapeutic and biomarker design for tauopathies.
  38. JHEP Rep. 2022 Aug;4(8): 100524
      Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is reaching epidemic proportions, with a global prevalence of 25% in the adult population. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which can lead to cirrhosis, has become the leading indication for liver transplantation in both Europe and the USA. Liver fibrosis is the consequence of sustained, iterative liver injury, and the main determinant of outcomes in NASH. The liver possesses remarkable inherent plasticity, and liver fibrosis can regress when the injurious agent is removed, thus providing opportunities to alter long-term outcomes through therapeutic interventions. Although hepatocyte injury is a key driver of NASH, multiple other cell lineages within the hepatic fibrotic niche play major roles in the perpetuation of inflammation, mesenchymal cell activation, extracellular matrix accumulation as well as fibrosis resolution. The constituents of this cellular interactome, and how the various subpopulations within the fibrotic niche interact to drive fibrogenesis is an area of active research. Important cellular components of the fibrotic niche include endothelial cells, macrophages, passaging immune cell populations and myofibroblasts. In this review, we will describe how rapidly evolving technologies such as single-cell genomics, spatial transcriptomics and single-cell ligand-receptor analyses are transforming our understanding of the cellular interactome in NAFLD/NASH, and how this new, high-resolution information is being leveraged to develop rational new therapies for patients with NASH.
    Keywords:  BAs, bile acids; CCL, C-C motif chemokine ligand; CCR, C-C motif chemokine receptor; CLD, chronic liver disease; CTGF, connective tissue growth factor; CXCL, C-X-C motif chemokine ligand; CXCR, C-X-C motif chemokine receptor; DAMP, damage-associated molecular pattern; ECM, extracellular matrix; ER, endoplasmic reticulum; FGF, fibroblast growth factor; FXR, farnesoid X receptor; HSCs, hepatic stellate cells; IL, interleukin; ILC, innate lymphoid cell; KCs, Kupffer cells; LSECs, liver sinusoidal endothelial cells; MAIT, mucosal-associated invariant T; MAMPS, microbiota-associated molecular patterns; NAFLD, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; NASH, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis; NK(T), natural killer (T); NLR, Nod like receptors; Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD); PDGF, platelet-derived growth factor; PFs, portal fibroblasts; SASP, senescence-associated secretory phenotype; TGF, transforming growth factor; TLR, Toll-like receptor; TNF, tumour necrosis factor; VEGF, vascular endothelial growth factor; antifibrotic therapies; cellular interactome; cirrhosis; fibrosis; single-cell genomics
  39. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 22. 13(1): 4230
      Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a neurological disease caused by autoantibodies against neuromuscular-associated proteins. While MG frequently develops in thymoma patients, the etiologic factors for MG are not well understood. Here, by constructing a comprehensive atlas of thymoma using bulk and single-cell RNA-sequencing, we identify ectopic expression of neuromuscular molecules in MG-type thymoma. These molecules are found within a distinct subpopulation of medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs), which we name neuromuscular mTECs (nmTECs). MG-thymoma also exhibits microenvironments dedicated to autoantibody production, including ectopic germinal center formation, T follicular helper cell accumulation, and type 2 conventional dendritic cell migration. Cell-cell interaction analysis also predicts the interaction between nmTECs and T/B cells via CXCL12-CXCR4. The enrichment of nmTECs presenting neuromuscular molecules within MG-thymoma is further confirmed immunohistochemically and by cellular composition estimation from the MG-thymoma transcriptome. Altogether, this study suggests that nmTECs have a significant function in MG pathogenesis via ectopic expression of neuromuscular molecules.
  40. Front Immunol. 2022 ;13 864225
      Metformin (Met), a first-line drug for type 2 diabetes, lowers blood glucose levels by suppressing gluconeogenesis in the liver, presumably through the liver kinase B1-dependent activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) after inhibiting respiratory chain complex I. Met is also implicated as a drug to be repurposed for cancers; its mechanism is believed identical to that of gluconeogenesis inhibition. However, AMPK activation requires high Met concentrations at more than 1 mM, which are unachievable in vivo. The immune-mediated antitumor response might be the case in a low dose Met. Thus, we proposed activating or expanding tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells (CD8TILs) in a mouse model by orally administering Met in free drinking water. Here we showed that Met, at around 10 μM and a physiologically relevant concentration, enhanced production of IFNγ,TNFα and expression of CD25 of CD8+ T cells upon TCR stimulation. Under a glucose-rich condition, glycolysis was exclusively involved in enhancing IFNγ production. Under a low-glucose condition, fatty acid oxidation or autophagy-dependent glutaminolysis, or both, was also involved. Moreover, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase 1 (PCK1), converting oxaloacetate to phosphoenolpyruvate, became essential. Importantly, the enhanced IFNγ production was blocked by a mitochondrial ROS scavenger and not by an inhibitor of AMPK. In addition, IFNγ production by CD8TILs relied on pyruvate translocation to the mitochondria and PCK1. Our results revealed a direct effect of Met on IFNγ production of CD8+ T cells that was dependent on differential metabolic pathways and determined by nutrient conditions in the microenvironment.
    Keywords:  CD8+ T lymphocytes; FAO; IFNg; autophagy +T; glutaminolysis; glycolysis; metformin
  41. J Virol. 2022 Jul 19. e0080422
      CD4dim CD8bright T cells are a mature population of CD8+ T cells that upon activation upregulate CD4 dimly on their surface. Expression of CD4 on these cells suggests that they can be an additional source of HIV neuroinvasion and persistence in the brain. We used HIV-infected NOD/SCID/IL-2rcγ-/- (NSG) humanized mice to track CD4dim CD8bright T cell homing to the brain and define their role in HIV dissemination into the brain. We report here that CD4dim CD8bright T cells are found in the brain at a median frequency of 2.6% and in the spleen at median frequency of 7.6% of CD3+ T cells. In the brain, 10 to 20% of CD4dim CD8bright T cells contain integrated provirus, which is infectious as demonstrated by viral outgrowth assay. CD4dim CD8bright T cells in the brain exhibited significantly higher expression of the brain homing receptors CX3CR1 and CXCR3 in comparison to their single-positive CD8+ T cell counterpart. Blocking lymphocyte trafficking into the brain of humanized mice via anti-VLA4 and anti-LFA1 antibodies reduced CD4dim CD8bright T cell trafficking into the brain by 60% and diminished brain HIV proviral DNA by 72%. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that CD4dim CD8bright T cells can home to the brain and support productive HIV replication. These studies also reveal for the first time that CD4dim CD8bright T cells are capable of HIV neuroinvasion and are a reservoir for HIV. IMPORTANCE We report here a seminal finding of a novel population of T cells, termed CD4dim CD8bright T cells, that plays a role in HIV neuroinvasion and is a reservoir for HIV in the brain.
    Keywords:  AIDS; CD4dim CD8bright double-positive T cells; CD8+ T cells; HIV neuroinvasion; T cell immunity; T cells; droplet digital PCR (ddPCR); human immunodeficiency virus; immunology; lymphocyte trafficking; molecular biology; neuroimmunology; virology
  42. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 22. 13(1): 4229
      Both rodents and primates have evolved to orchestrate food intake to maintain thermal homeostasis in coping with ambient temperature challenges. However, the mechanisms underlying temperature-coordinated feeding behavior are rarely reported. Here we find that a non-canonical feeding center, the anteroventral and periventricular portions of medial preoptic area (apMPOA) respond to altered dietary states in mice. Two neighboring but distinct neuronal populations in apMPOA mediate feeding behavior by receiving anatomical inputs from external and dorsal subnuclei of lateral parabrachial nucleus. While both populations are glutamatergic, the arcuate nucleus-projecting neurons in apMPOA can sense low temperature and promote food intake. The other type, the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus (PVH)-projecting neurons in apMPOA are primarily sensitive to high temperature and suppress food intake. Caspase ablation or chemogenetic inhibition of the apMPOA→PVH pathway can eliminate the temperature dependence of feeding. Further projection-specific RNA sequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization identify that the two neuronal populations are molecularly marked by galanin receptor and apelin receptor. These findings reveal unrecognized cell populations and circuits of apMPOA that orchestrates feeding behavior against thermal challenges.
  43. Sci Immunol. 2022 Jul 22. 7(73): eabq3277
      High-level expression of the transcription factor T-bet characterizes a phenotypically distinct murine B cell population known as "age-associated B cells" (ABCs). T-bet-deficient mice have reduced ABCs and impaired humoral immunity. We describe a patient with inherited T-bet deficiency and largely normal humoral immunity including intact somatic hypermutation, affinity maturation and memory B cell formation in vivo, and B cell differentiation into Ig-producing plasmablasts in vitro. Nevertheless, the patient exhibited skewed class switching to IgG1, IgG4, and IgE, along with reduced IgG2, both in vivo and in vitro. Moreover, T-bet was required for the in vivo and in vitro development of a distinct subset of human B cells characterized by reduced expression of CD21 and the concomitantly high expression of CD19, CD20, CD11c, FCRL5, and T-bet, a phenotype that shares many features with murine ABCs. Mechanistically, human T-bet governed CD21loCD11chi B cell differentiation by controlling the chromatin accessibility of lineage-defining genes in these cells: FAS, IL21R, SEC61B, DUSP4, DAPP1, SOX5, CD79B, and CXCR4. Thus, human T-bet is largely redundant for long-lived protective humoral immunity but is essential for the development of a distinct subset of human CD11chiCD21lo B cells.
  44. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Jul 19. 119(29): e2204527119
      Mice with insulin receptor (IR)-deficient astrocytes (GFAP-IR knockout [KO] mice) show blunted responses to insulin and reduced brain glucose uptake, whereas IR-deficient astrocytes show disturbed mitochondrial responses to glucose. While exploring the functional impact of disturbed mitochondrial function in astrocytes, we observed that GFAP-IR KO mice show uncoupling of brain blood flow with glucose uptake. Since IR-deficient astrocytes show higher levels of reactive oxidant species (ROS), this leads to stimulation of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α and, consequently, of the vascular endothelial growth factor angiogenic pathway. Indeed, GFAP-IR KO mice show disturbed brain vascularity and blood flow that is normalized by treatment with the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC). NAC ameliorated high ROS levels, normalized angiogenic signaling and mitochondrial function in IR-deficient astrocytes, and normalized neurovascular coupling in GFAP-IR KO mice. Our results indicate that by modulating glucose uptake and angiogenesis, insulin receptors in astrocytes participate in neurovascular coupling.
    Keywords:  astrocytes; insulin; neurovascular coupling
  45. Sci Transl Med. 2022 Jun 07. eabq3059
      The host response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection can result in prolonged pathologies collectively referred to as post-acute sequalae of COVID-19 (PASC) or long COVID. To better understand the mechanism underlying long COVID biology, we compared the short- and long-term systemic responses in the golden hamster following either SARS-CoV-2 or influenza A virus (IAV) infection. Results demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 exceeded IAV in its capacity to cause permanent injury to the lung and kidney and uniquely impacted the olfactory bulb (OB) and epithelium (OE). Despite a lack of detectable infectious virus, the OB and OE demonstrated myeloid and T cell activation, proinflammatory cytokine production, and an interferon response that correlated with behavioral changes extending a month post viral clearance. These sustained transcriptional changes could also be corroborated from tissue isolated from individuals who recovered from COVID-19. These data highlight a molecular mechanism for persistent COVID-19 symptomology and provide a small animal model to explore future therapeutics.