bims-imseme Biomed News
on Immunosenescence and T cell metabolism
Issue of 2022‒04‒17
eleven papers selected by
Pierpaolo Ginefra
Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research

  1. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Mar 26. pii: 3652. [Epub ahead of print]23(7):
      Recent mouse model experiments support an instrumental role for senescent cells in age-related diseases and senescent cells may be causal to certain age-related pathologies. A strongly supported hypothesis is that extranuclear chromatin is recognized by the cyclic GMP-AMP synthase-stimulator of interferon genes pathway, which in turn leads to the induction of several inflammatory cytokines as part of the senescence-associated secretory phenotype. This sterile inflammation increases with chronological age and age-associated disease. More recently, several intracellular and extracellular metabolic changes have been described in senescent cells but it is not clear whether any of them have functional significance. In this review, we highlight the potential effect of dietary and age-related metabolites in the modulation of the senescent phenotype in addition to discussing how experimental conditions may influence senescent cell metabolism, especially that of energy regulation. Finally, as extracellular citrate accumulates following certain types of senescence, we focus on the recently reported role of extracellular citrate in aging and age-related pathologies. We propose that citrate may be an active component of the senescence-associated secretory phenotype and via its intake through the diet may even contribute to the cause of age-related disease.
    Keywords:  ageing; cancer; citrate; energy; metabolism; senescence; telomere; transport
  2. Sci Immunol. 2022 Apr 14.
      Sex bias exists in the development and progression of non-reproductive organ cancers, but the underlying mechanisms are enigmatic. Studies so far have focused largely on sexual dimorphisms in cancer biology and socioeconomic factors. Here, we establish a role for CD8+ T cell-dependent anti-tumor immunity in mediating sex differences in tumor aggressiveness, which is driven by the gonadal androgen but not sex chromosomes. A male bias exists in the frequency of intratumoral antigen-experienced Tcf7/TCF1+ progenitor exhausted CD8+ T cells that are devoid of effector activity as a consequence of intrinsic androgen receptor (AR) function. Mechanistically, we identify a novel sex-specific regulon in progenitor exhausted CD8+ T cells and a pertinent contribution from AR as a direct transcriptional trans-activator of Tcf7/TCF1. The T cell intrinsic function of AR in promoting CD8+ T cell exhaustion in vivo was established using multiple approaches including loss-of-function studies with CD8-specific Ar knockout mice. Moreover, ablation of the androgen-AR axis rewires the tumor microenvironment to favor effector T cell differentiation and potentiates the efficacy of anti-PD-1 immune checkpoint blockade. Collectively, our findings highlight androgen-mediated promotion of CD8+ T cell dysfunction in cancer and imply broader opportunities for therapeutic development from understanding sex disparities in health and disease.
  3. Front Immunol. 2022 ;13 850177
      Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGvHD) is the most common complication after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) and significantly linked with morbidity and mortality. Although much work has been engaged to investigate aGvHD pathogenesis, the understanding of alloreactive T-cell activation remains incomplete. To address this, we studied transcriptional activation of carbohydrate, nucleotide, tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, and amino acid metabolism of T cells before aGvHD onset by mining the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) datasets. Glycolysis had the most extensive correlation with other activated metabolic sub-pathways. Through Pearson correlation analyses, we found that glycolytic activation was positively correlated with activated CD4 memory T-cell subset and T-cell proliferation and migration. T-cell receptor (TCR), mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1), myelocytomatosis oncogene (MYC) signaling pathways and E2F6 might be "master regulators" of glycolytic activity. aGvHD predictive model constructed by glycolytic genes (PFKP, ENO3, and GAPDH) through logistic regression showed high predictive and discriminative value. Furthermore, higher expressions of PFKP, ENO3, and GAPDH in alloreactive T cells were confirmed in our pre-aGvHD patient cohort. And the predictive value of the aGvHD risk model was also validated. In summary, our study demonstrated that glycolytic activation might play a pivotal function in alloreactive T-cell activation before aGvHD onset and would be the potential target for aGvHD therapy.
    Keywords:  T cells; aGvHD; allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; glycolytic; metabolic reprogramming
  4. Cell Rep. 2022 Apr 12. pii: S2211-1247(22)00384-9. [Epub ahead of print]39(2): 110632
      Differential interleukin-2 (IL-2) signaling and production are associated with disparate effector and memory fates. Whether the IL-2 signals perceived by CD8 T cells come from autocrine or paracrine sources, the timing of IL-2 signaling and their differential impact on CD8 T cell responses remain unclear. Using distinct models of germline and conditional IL-2 ablation in post-thymic CD8 T cells, this study shows that paracrine IL-2 is sufficient to drive optimal primary expansion, effector and memory differentiation, and metabolic function. In contrast, autocrine IL-2 is uniquely required during primary expansion to program robust secondary expansion potential in memory-fated cells. This study further shows that IL-2 production by antigen-specific CD8 T cells is largely independent of CD4 licensing of dendritic cells (DCs) in inflammatory infections with robust DC activation. These findings bear implications for immunizations and adoptive T cell immunotherapies, where effector and memory functions may be commandeered through IL-2 programming.
    Keywords:  CD8 T cell differentiation; CP: Immunology; IL-2; autocrine; conditional ablation; effector; memory; metabolism; paracrine; programming; recall expansion
  5. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2022 ;2022 2713483
      There is a hot topic in stem cell research to investigate the process of hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) aging characterized by decreased self-renewal ability, myeloid-biased differentiation, impaired homing, and other abnormalities related to hematopoietic repair function. It is of crucial importance that HSCs preserve self-renewal and differentiation ability to maintain hematopoiesis under homeostatic states over time. Although HSC numbers increase with age in both mice and humans, this cannot compensate for functional defects of aged HSCs. The underlying mechanisms regarding HSC aging have been studied from various perspectives, but the exact molecular events remain unclear. Several cell-intrinsic and cell-extrinsic factors contribute to HSC aging including DNA damage responses, reactive oxygen species (ROS), altered epigenetic profiling, polarity, metabolic alterations, impaired autophagy, Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK/STAT) pathway, nuclear factor- (NF-) κB pathway, mTOR pathway, transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) pathway, and wingless-related integration site (Wnt) pathway. To determine how deficient HSCs develop during aging, we provide an overview of different hallmarks, age-related signaling pathways, and epigenetic modifications in young and aged HSCs. Knowing how such changes occur and progress will help researchers to develop medications and promote the quality of life for the elderly and possibly alleviate age-associated hematopoietic disorders. The present review is aimed at discussing the latest advancements of HSC aging and the role of HSC-intrinsic factors and related events of a bone marrow niche during HSC aging.
  6. Blood Sci. 2021 Jan;3(1): 1-5
      Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) replenish all lineages of blood cells throughout the lifespan. During aging, the repopulation capacity of HSCs declined, and aged HSCs display a tendency for myeloid differentiation. Several intrinsic and extrinsic factors have been identified to promote HSCs aging. In this review, we focus on the contribution of aging-associated inflammation in provoking HSCs aging and discuss the future research direction of inflammation and HSC aging.
    Keywords:  Hematopoietic stem cells aging; Inflammation
  7. J Clin Invest. 2022 Apr 15. pii: e148073. [Epub ahead of print]132(8):
      Cellular senescence plays an important role in human diseases, including osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Senescent cells (SCs) produce the senescence-associated secretory phenotype to affect the function of neighboring cells and SCs themselves. Delayed fracture healing is common in the elderly and is accompanied by reduced mesenchymal progenitor cells (MPCs). However, the contribution of cellular senescence to fracture healing in the aged has not to our knowledge been studied. Here, we used C57BL/6J 4-month-old young and 20-month-old aged mice and demonstrated a rapid increase in SCs in the fracture callus of aged mice. The senolytic drugs dasatinib plus quercetin enhanced fracture healing in aged mice. Aged callus SCs inhibited the growth and proliferation of callus-derived MPCs (CaMPCs) and expressed high levels of TGF-β1. TGF-β-neutralizing Ab prevented the inhibitory effects of aged callus SCs on CaMPCs and promoted fracture healing in aged mice, which was associated with increased CaMPCs and proliferating cells. Thus, fracture triggered a significant cellular senescence in the callus cells of aged mice, which inhibited MPCs by expressing TGF-β1. Short-term administration of dasatinib plus quercetin depleted callus SCs and accelerated fracture healing in aged mice. Senolytic drugs represent a promising therapy, while TGF-β1 signaling is a molecular mechanism for fractures in the elderly via SCs.
    Keywords:  Aging; Bone Biology; Bone disease; Cellular senescence; Osteoclast/osteoblast biology
  8. Immunity. 2022 Apr 12. pii: S1074-7613(22)00134-0. [Epub ahead of print]55(4): 582-585
      Immune checkpoint blockade has dramatically improved cancer therapy but remains ineffective for most colorectal tumors. In this issue of Immunity, Peuker et al. describe a microbiota-myeloid-tumor cell crosstalk that inhibits CD8+ T cells and promotes colorectal cancer progression.
  9. Nat Commun. 2022 Apr 13. 13(1): 1983
      Dendritic cells (DC) are traditionally classified according to their ontogeny and their ability to induce T cell response to antigens, however, the phenotypic and functional state of these cells in cancer does not necessarily align to the conventional categories. Here we show, by using 16 different stimuli in vitro that activated DCs in human blood are phenotypically and functionally dichotomous, and pure cultures of type 2 conventional dendritic cells acquire these states (termed Secretory and Helper) upon appropriate stimuli. PD-L1highICOSLlow Secretory DCs produce large amounts of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines but induce very low levels of T helper (Th) cytokines following co-culturing with T cells. Conversely, PD-L1lowICOSLhigh Helper DCs produce low levels of secreted factors but induce high levels and a broad range of Th cytokines. Secretory DCs bear a single-cell transcriptomic signature indicative of mature migratory LAMP3+ DCs associated with cancer and inflammation. Secretory DCs are linked to good prognosis in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, and to response to checkpoint blockade in Melanoma. Hence, the functional dichotomy of DCs we describe has both fundamental and translational implications in inflammation and immunotherapy.
  10. Cells. 2022 Mar 31. pii: 1180. [Epub ahead of print]11(7):
      Despite significant advances in our understanding of the mechanisms that underlie age-related physiological decline, our ability to translate these insights into actionable strategies to extend human healthspan has been limited. One of the major reasons for the existence of this barrier is that with a few important exceptions, many of the proteins that mediate aging have proven to be undruggable. The argument put forth here is that the amenability of ion channels and transporters to pharmacological manipulation could be leveraged to develop novel therapeutic strategies to combat aging. This review delves into the established roles for ion channels and transporters in the regulation of aging and longevity via their influence on membrane excitability, Ca2+ homeostasis, mitochondrial and endolysosomal function, and the transduction of sensory stimuli. The goal is to provide the reader with an understanding of emergent themes, and prompt further investigation into how the activities of ion channels and transporters sculpt the trajectories of cellular and organismal aging.
    Keywords:  ER; aging; calcium; ion channels; lifespan; longevity; lysosomes