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Abstract

The lung is a specialized barrier organ that must tightly regulate interstitial fluid clearance and prevent infection in order to maintain effective gas exchange. Lymphatic vessels are important for these functions in other organs, but their roles in the lung have not been fully defined. In the present study, we evaluated how the lymphatic vasculature participates in lung homeostasis. Studies using mice carrying a lymphatic reporter allele revealed that, in contrast to other organs, lung lymphatic collecting vessels lack smooth muscle cells entirely, suggesting that forward lymph flow is highly dependent on movement and changes in pressure associated with respiration. Functional studies using C-type lectin domain family 2–deficient (CLEC2-deficient) mice in which lymph flow is impaired because of loss of lympho-venous hemostasis, or using inducible lung-specific ablation of lymphatic endothelial cells in a lung transplant model revealed that loss of lymphatic function leads to an inflammatory state characterized by the formation of tertiary lymphoid organs (TLOs). In addition, impaired lymphatic flow in mice resulted in hypoxia and features of lung injury that resembled emphysema. These findings reveal both a lung-specific mechanism of lymphatic physiology and a lung-specific consequence of lymphatic dysfunction that may contribute to chronic lung diseases that arise in association with TLO formation.

Authors

Hasina Outtz Reed, Liqing Wang, Jarrod Sonett, Mei Chen, Jisheng Yang, Larry Li, Petra Aradi, Zoltan Jakus, Jeanine D’Armiento, Wayne W. Hancock, Mark L. Kahn

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Abstract

Cortical bones account for more than 80% of human bone mass. The periosteum, a thin tissue that covers almost the entire bone surface, is essential for bone formation and regeneration. However, its osteogenic and bone regenerative abilities are not well studied. In this study, we found that macrophage-lineage cells recruit periosteum-derived cells (PDCs) for cortical bone formation. Knockout of colony-stimulating factor-1 eliminated macrophage-lineage cells and resulted in loss of PDCs with impaired periosteal bone formation. Moreover, macrophage-lineage tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase–positive (TRAP+) cells induced transcriptional expression of periostin and recruitment of PDCs to the periosteal surface through secretion of PDGF-BB, where the recruited PDCs underwent osteoblast differentiation coupled with type H vessel formation. We also found that subsets of Nestin+ and LepR+CD45–Ter119–CD31– cells (LepR+ PDCs) possess multipotent and self-renewal abilities and contribute to cortical bone formation. Nestin+ PDCs are found primarily during bone development, whereas LepR+ PDCs are essential for bone homeostasis in adult mice. Importantly, conditional knockout of Pdgfr-β in LepR+ cells impaired periosteal bone formation and regeneration. These findings uncover the essential role of periosteal macrophage-lineage cells in regulating periosteum homeostasis and regeneration.

Authors

Bo Gao, Ruoxian Deng, Yu Chai, Hao Chen, Bo Hu, Xiao Wang, Shouan Zhu, Yong Cao, Shuangfei Ni, Mei Wan, Liu Yang, Zhuojing Luo, Xu Cao

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Abstract

Preclinical studies demonstrate that rapid-acting antidepressants, including ketamine, require stimulation of mTORC1 signaling. This pathway is regulated by neuronal activity and endocrine and metabolic signals, notably including the amino acid leucine, which activates mTORC1 signaling via binding to the upstream regulator sestrin. Here, we examined the antidepressant actions of NV-5138, a highly selective small molecule modulator of sestrin that penetrates the blood-brain barrier. The results demonstrate that a single dose of NV-5138 produced rapid and long-lasting antidepressant effects and rapidly reversed anhedonia caused by chronic stress exposure. The antidepressant actions of NV-5138 required brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) release, as the behavioral responses were blocked by infusion of a BDNF-neutralizing Ab into the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) or, in mice, with a knockin of a BDNF polymorphism that blocked activity-dependent BDNF release. NV-5138 administration also rapidly increased synapse number and function in the mPFC and reversed the synaptic deficits caused by chronic stress. Together, the results demonstrate that NV-5138 produces rapid synaptic and antidepressant behavioral responses via activation of the mTORC1 pathway and BDNF signaling, indicating that pharmacological modulation of sestrin may be an attractive approach for the development of rapid-acting antidepressants.

Authors

Taro Kato, Santosh Pothula, Rong-Jian Liu, Catharine H. Duman, Rosemarie Terwilliger, George P. Vlasuk, Eddine Saiah, Seung Hahm, Ronald S. Duman

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Abstract

Increased urinary oxalate excretion (hyperoxaluria) promotes the formation of calcium oxalate crystals. Monogenic diseases due to hepatic enzyme deficiency result in chronic hyperoxaluria, promoting end-stage renal disease in children and young adults. Ethylene glycol poisoning also results in hyperoxaluria, promoting acute renal failure and frequently death. Stiripentol is an antiepileptic drug used to treat children affected by Dravet syndrome. It has been shown to inhibit neuronal lactate dehydrogenase 5 enzyme. As this isoenzyme is also the last step of hepatic oxalate production, we hypothesized that stiripentol would potentially reduce hepatic oxalate production and urine oxalate excretion. In vitro, stiripentol decreased the synthesis of oxalate by hepatocytes in a dose-dependent manner. In vivo, oral administration of stiripentol significantly reduced urine oxalate excretion in rats. Stiripentol protected the kidneys against calcium oxalate crystal deposits in acute ethylene glycol intoxication and chronic calcium oxalate nephropathy models. In both models, stiripentol significantly improved renal function. Patients affected by Dravet syndrome and treated with stiripentol had a lower urine oxalate excretion than control patients. A young girl affected by severe type I hyperoxaluria received stiripentol for several weeks, and urine oxalate excretion decreased by two-thirds. Stiripentol is a promising potential therapy against genetic hyperoxaluria and ethylene glycol poisoning.

Authors

Marine Le Dudal, Léa Huguet, Joëlle Perez, Sophie Vandermeersch, Elise Bouderlique, Ellie Tang, Carole Martori, Nicole Chemaly, Rima Nabbout, Jean-Philippe Haymann, Vincent Frochot, Laurent Baud, Georges Deschênes, Michel Daudon, Emmanuel Letavernier

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Abstract

The nuclear protein DEK is an endogenous DNA-binding chromatin factor regulating hematopoiesis. DEK is one of only 2 known secreted nuclear chromatin factors, but whether and how extracellular DEK regulates hematopoiesis is not known. We demonstrated that extracellular DEK greatly enhanced ex vivo expansion of cytokine-stimulated human and mouse hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and regulated HSC and hematopoietic progenitor cell (HPC) numbers in vivo and in vitro as determined both phenotypically (by flow cytometry) and functionally (through transplantation and colony formation assays). Recombinant DEK increased long-term HSC numbers and decreased HPC numbers through a mechanism mediated by the CXC chemokine receptor CXCR2 and heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) (as determined utilizing Cxcr2–/– mice, blocking CXCR2 antibodies, and 3 different HSPG inhibitors) that was associated with enhanced phosphorylation of ERK1/2, AKT, and p38 MAPK. To determine whether extracellular DEK required nuclear function to regulate hematopoiesis, we utilized 2 mutant forms of DEK: one that lacked its nuclear translocation signal and one that lacked DNA-binding ability. Both altered HSC and HPC numbers in vivo or in vitro, suggesting the nuclear function of DEK is not required. Thus, DEK acts as a hematopoietic cytokine, with the potential for clinical applicability.

Authors

Maegan L. Capitano, Nirit Mor-Vaknin, Anjan K. Saha, Scott Cooper, Maureen Legendre, Haihong Guo, Rafael Contreras-Galindo, Ferdinand Kappes, Maureen A. Sartor, Christopher T. Lee, Xinxin Huang, David M. Markovitz, Hal E. Broxmeyer

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Abstract

In this issue of the JCI, Capitano et al. demonstrate that the secreted form of the DNA-binding chromatin factor DEK regulates hematopoiesis. It is known that DEK can be secreted by macrophages and other cells, but no function has been attached to secreted DEK. Capitano et al. showed that extracellular DEK activates signaling through the CXCL2 receptor, which in turn enhances the proliferation of hematopoietic stem cells and decreases hematopoietic progenitor cell numbers both in vivo and in vitro. These results offer the opportunity to expand transplantable stem cells to improve outcomes in patients undergoing bone marrow transplant.

Authors

David M. Bodine

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Abstract

Growing evidence implicates altered mTORC1 signaling cascades in the pathophysiology of depression, suggesting that direct modulation of mTORC1 signaling may offer novel therapeutic potential. In this issue of the JCI, Kato and colleagues reported that administration of NV-5138, a recently developed synthetic leucine analog, has a rapid and sustained antidepressant action in rat models via activation of mTORC1 signaling. The investigators also found that the antidepressant effect of NV-5138 is mediated by upregulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signaling and that NV-5138 treatment produces rapid synaptic responses in the medial prefrontal cortex. These findings highlight the direct activation of mTORC1 signaling as a potential pharmacological intervention for the treatment of depression.

Authors

Yuto Hasegawa, Xiaolei Zhu, Atsushi Kamiya

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Abstract

Macrophages are tissue-resident or infiltrated immune cells critical for innate immunity, normal tissue development, homeostasis, and repair of damaged tissue. Macrophage function is a sum of their ontogeny, the local environment in which they reside, and the type of injuries or pathogen to which they are exposed. In this Review, we discuss the role of macrophages in the restoration of tissue function after injury, highlighting important questions about how they respond to and modify the local microenvironment to restore homeostasis.

Authors

Satoshi Watanabe, Michael Alexander, Alexander V. Misharin, G.R. Scott Budinger

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Abstract

Excessive excretion of oxalate in the urine results in the formation of calcium oxalate crystals and subsequent kidney stone formation. Severe forms of hyperoxaluria, including genetic forms and those that result from ethylene glycol poisoning, can result in end-stage renal disease. Therapeutic interventions are limited and often rely on dietary intervention. In this issue of the JCI, Le Dudal and colleagues demonstrate that the lactate dehydrogenase 5 inhibitor (LDH5) stiripentol reduces urinary oxalate excretion. Importantly, stiripentol treatment of a single individual with primary hyperoxaluria reduced the urinary oxalate excretion. Together, these results support further evaluation of LDH5 as a therapeutic target for hyperoxaluria.

Authors

Jacob S. Stevens, Qais Al-Awqati

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Abstract

The gut microbiota is crucial for our health, and well-balanced interactions between the host’s immune system and the microbiota are essential to prevent chronic intestinal inflammation, as observed in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). A variant in protein tyrosine phosphatase non-receptor type 22 (PTPN22) is associated with reduced risk of developing IBD, but promotes the onset of autoimmune disorders. While the role of PTPN22 in modulating molecular pathways involved in IBD pathogenesis is well studied, its impact on shaping the intestinal microbiota has not been addressed in depth. Here, we demonstrate that mice carrying the PTPN22 variant (619W mice) were protected from acute dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) colitis, but suffered from pronounced inflammation upon chronic DSS treatment. The basal microbiota composition was distinct between genotypes, and DSS-induced dysbiosis was milder in 619W mice than in WT littermates. Transfer of microbiota from 619W mice after the first DSS cycle into treatment-naive 619W mice promoted colitis, indicating that changes in microbial composition enhanced chronic colitis in those animals. This indicates that presence of the PTPN22 variant affects intestinal inflammation by modulating the host’s response to the intestinal microbiota.

Authors

Marianne R. Spalinger, Thomas S.B. Schmidt, Marlene Schwarzfischer, Larissa Hering, Kirstin Atrott, Silvia Lang, Claudia Gottier, Annelies Geirnaert, Christophe Lacroix, Xuezhi Dai, David J. Rawlings, Andrew C. Chan, Christian von Mering, Gerhard Rogler, Michael Scharl

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Abstract

Glial cells have emerged as key players in the central control of energy balance and etiology of obesity. Astrocytes play a central role in neural communication via the release of gliotransmitters. Acyl-CoA–binding protein–derived (ACBP-derived) endozepines are secreted peptides that modulate the GABAA receptor. In the hypothalamus, ACBP is enriched in arcuate nucleus (ARC) astrocytes, ependymocytes, and tanycytes. Central administration of the endozepine octadecaneuropeptide (ODN) reduces feeding and improves glucose tolerance, yet the contribution of endogenous ACBP in energy homeostasis is unknown. We demonstrated that ACBP deletion in GFAP+ astrocytes, but not in Nkx2.1-lineage neural cells, promoted diet-induced hyperphagia and obesity in both male and female mice, an effect prevented by viral rescue of ACBP in ARC astrocytes. ACBP+ astrocytes were observed in apposition with proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons, and ODN selectively activated POMC neurons through the ODN GPCR but not GABAA, and suppressed feeding while increasing carbohydrate utilization via the melanocortin system. Similarly, ACBP overexpression in ARC astrocytes reduced feeding and weight gain. Finally, the ODN GPCR agonist decreased feeding and promoted weight loss in ob/ob mice. These findings uncover ACBP as an ARC gliopeptide playing a key role in energy balance control and exerting strong anorectic effects via the central melanocortin system.

Authors

Khalil Bouyakdan, Hugo Martin, Fabienne Liénard, Lionel Budry, Bouchra Taib, Demetra Rodaros, Chloé Chrétien, Éric Biron, Zoé Husson, Daniela Cota, Luc Pénicaud, Stephanie Fulton, Xavier Fioramonti, Thierry Alquier

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Abstract

We studied human T cell repertoire formation using high-throughput T cell receptor β (TCRβ) complementarity-determining region 3 (CDR3) sequencing in immunodeficient mice receiving human hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and human thymus grafts. Replicate humanized mice generated diverse and highly divergent repertoires. We observed repertoire narrowing and increased CDR3β sharing during thymocyte selection. Whereas hydrophobicity analysis implicated self-peptides in positive selection of the overall repertoire, positive selection favored shorter shared sequences that had reduced hydrophobicity at positions 6 and 7 of CDR3βs, suggesting weaker interactions with self-peptides than were observed with unshared sequences, possibly allowing escape from negative selection. Sharing was similar between autologous and allogeneic thymi and occurred between different cell subsets. Shared sequences were enriched for allo–cross-reactive CDR3βs and for type 1 diabetes–associated autoreactive CDR3βs. Single-cell TCR sequencing showed increased sharing of CDR3αs compared with CDR3βs between mice. Our data collectively implicate preferential positive selection for shared human CDR3βs that are highly cross-reactive. Although previous studies suggested a role for recombination bias in producing “public” sequences in mice, our study is the first to our knowledge to demonstrate a role for thymic selection. Our results implicate positive selection for promiscuous TCRβ sequences that probably evade negative selection, given their low affinity for self-ligands, in the abundance of “public” human TCRβ sequences.

Authors

Mohsen Khosravi-Maharlooei, Aleksandar Obradovic, Aditya Misra, Keshav Motwani, Markus Holzl, Howard R. Seay, Susan DeWolf, Grace Nauman, Nichole Danzl, Haowei Li, Siu-hong Ho, Robert Winchester, Yufeng Shen, Todd M. Brusko, Megan Sykes

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Abstract

Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) are emerging as attractive drug targets by virtue of their prevalence in various diseases including cancer. Drug development targeting IDPs is challenging because IDPs have dynamic structure features and conventional drug design is not applicable. NUPR1 is an IDP that plays an important role in pancreatic cancer. We previously reported that trifluoperazine (TFP), an antipsychotic agent, was capable of binding to NUPR1 and inhibiting tumor growth. Unfortunately, TFP showed strong central nervous system side effects. In the present work, we undertook a multidisciplinary approach to optimize TFP based on the synergy of computer modeling, chemical synthesis, and a variety of biophysical, biochemical, and biological evaluations. A family of TFP-derived compounds was produced and the most active one, ZZW-115, showed a dose-dependent tumor regression with no neurological effects and an ability to induce cell death mainly by necroptosis. This study opens a new perspective for drug development against IDPs, demonstrating the possibility of successful ligand-based drug design for such challenging targets.

Authors

Patricia Santofimia-Castaño, Yi Xia, Wenjun Lan, Zhengwei Zhou, Can Huang, Ling Peng, Philippe Soubeyran, Adrián Velázquez-Campoy, Olga Abián, Bruno Rizzuti, José L. Neira, Juan Iovanna

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Abstract

Opioid use disorder is associated with the emergence of persistent negative emotional states during drug abstinence that drive compulsive drug taking and seeking. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in rats identified neurocircuits that were activated by stimuli that were previously paired with heroin withdrawal. The activation of amygdala and hypothalamic circuits was related to the degree of heroin dependence, supporting the significance of conditioned negative affect in sustaining compulsive-like heroin seeking and taking and providing neurobiological insights into the drivers of the current opioid crisis.

Authors

Stephanie A. Carmack, Robin J. Keeley, Janaina C. M. Vendruscolo, Emily G. Lowery-Gionta, Hanbing Lu, George F. Koob, Elliot A. Stein, Leandro F. Vendruscolo

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Abstract

Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) are widely associated with positive outcomes, yet carry key indicators of a systemic failed immune response against unresolved cancer. Cancer immunotherapies can reverse their tolerance phenotypes while preserving tumor reactivity and neoantigen specificity shared with circulating immune cells. We performed comprehensive transcriptomic analyses to identify gene signatures common to circulating and TILs in the context of clear cell renal cell carcinoma. Modulated genes also associated with disease outcome were validated in other cancer types. Through comprehensive bioinformatics analyses, we identified practical diagnostic markers and actionable targets of the failed immune response. On circulating lymphocytes, 3 genes (LEF1, FASLG, and MMP9) could efficiently stratify patients from healthy control donors. From their associations with resistance to cancer immunotherapies and microbial infections, we uncovered not only pan-cancer, but pan-pathology, failed immune response profiles. A prominent lymphocytic matrix metallopeptidase cell migration pathway is central to a panoply of diseases and tumor immunogenicity, correlates with multi-cancer recurrence, and identifies a feasible noninvasive approach to pan-pathology diagnoses. The differentially expressed genes we have identified warrant future investigation into the development of their potential in noninvasive precision diagnostics and precision pan-disease immunotherapeutics.

Authors

Anne Monette, Antigoni Morou, Nadia A. Al-Banna, Louise Rousseau, Jean-Baptiste Lattouf, Sara Rahmati, Tomas Tokar, Jean-Pierre Routy, Jean-François Cailhier, Daniel E. Kaufmann, Igor Jurisica, Réjean Lapointe

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Abstract

Prevalence of obesity among infants and children below 5 years of age is rising dramatically, and early childhood obesity is a forerunner of obesity and obesity-associated diseases in adulthood. Childhood obesity is hence one of the most serious public health challenges today. Here, we have identified a mother-to-child lipid signaling that protects from obesity. We have found that breast milk–specific lipid species, so-called alkylglycerol-type (AKG-type) ether lipids, which are absent from infant formula and adult-type diets, maintain beige adipose tissue (BeAT) in the infant and impede the transformation of BeAT into lipid-storing white adipose tissue (WAT). Breast milk AKGs are metabolized by adipose tissue macrophages (ATMs) to platelet-activating factor (PAF), which ultimately activates IL-6/STAT3 signaling in adipocytes and triggers BeAT development in the infant. Accordingly, lack of AKG intake in infancy leads to a premature loss of BeAT and increases fat accumulation. AKG signaling is specific for infants and is inactivated in adulthood. However, in obese adipose tissue, ATMs regain their ability to metabolize AKGs, which reduces obesity. In summary, AKGs are specific lipid signals of breast milk that are essential for healthy adipose tissue development.

Authors

Haidong Yu, Sedat Dilbaz, Jonas Coßmann, Anh Cuong Hoang, Victoria Diedrich, Annika Herwig, Akiko Harauma, Yukino Hoshi, Toru Moriguchi, Kathrin Landgraf, Antje Körner, Christina Lucas, Susanne Brodesser, Lajos Balogh, Julianna Thuróczy, Gopal Karemore, Michael Scott Kuefner, Edwards A. Park, Christine Rapp, Jeffrey Bryant Travers, Tamás Röszer

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Abstract

The study of beige adipose tissue (BeAT) has recently gained popularity because of its potential as a therapeutic target for the treatment of obesity and other metabolic disorders. While BeAT regulation is well understood in adults, the critical signals regulating BeAT during infant development need to be better defined. The bioactive components in breast milk have been primarily studied in the context of immunity. In this issue of the JCI, Yu and Dilbaz et al. identify how a class of breast milk–specific lipid mediators referred to as alkylglycerols (AKGs) maintain BeAT in infants and prevent the transdifferentiation of BeAT into lipid-storing white adipose tissue (WAT).

Authors

Christy M. Gliniak, Philipp E. Scherer

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Abstract

The T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire is diverse, thus allowing recognition of a wide range of pathogens by T cells. In humans, the study of the formation of TCR repertoires is problematic because of the difficulty in performing investigations in vivo. In this issue of the JCI, Khosravi-Maharlooei and colleagues describe a new humanized mouse model that allows direct investigations on this topic. Using high-throughput and single-cell TCR–complementarity-determining region 3 β (TCR-CDR3β) sequencing, the authors were able to demonstrate that human thymic selection is a major driver of TCR sequence sharing, also implicating a preferential selection of shared cross-reactive CDR3βs during repertoire formation.

Authors

Antonio La Cava

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Abstract

Immune cell populations determine the balance between ongoing damage and repair following tissue injury. Cells responding to a tissue-damaged environment have significant bioenergetic and biosynthetic needs. In addition to supporting these needs, metabolic pathways govern the function of pro-repair immune cells, including regulatory T cells and tissue macrophages. In this Review, we explore how specific features of the tissue-damaged environment such as hypoxia, oxidative stress, and nutrient depletion serve as metabolic cues to promote or impair the reparative functions of immune cell populations. Hypoxia, mitochondrial DNA stress, and altered redox balance each contribute to mechanisms regulating the response to tissue damage. For example, hypoxia induces changes in regulatory T cell and macrophage metabolic profiles, including generation of 2-hydroxyglutarate, which inhibits demethylase reactions to modulate cell fate and function. Reactive oxygen species abundant in oxidative environments cause damage to mitochondrial DNA, initiating signaling pathways that likewise control pro-repair cell function. Nutrient depletion following tissue damage also affects pro-repair cell function through metabolic signaling pathways, specifically those sensitive to the redox state of the cell. The study of immunometabolism as an immediate sensor and regulator of the tissue-damaged environment provides opportunities to consider mechanisms that facilitate healthy repair of tissue injury.

Authors

Benjamin D. Singer, Navdeep S. Chandel

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Abstract

Lactation induces bone loss to provide sufficient calcium in the milk, a process that involves osteoclastic bone resorption but also osteocytes and perilacunar resorption. The exact mechanisms by which osteocytes contribute to bone loss remain elusive. Osteocytes express genes required in osteoclasts for bone resorption, including cathepsin K (Ctsk), and lactation elevates their expression. We show that Ctsk deletion in osteocytes prevented the increase in osteocyte lacunar area seen during lactation, as well as the effects of lactation to increase osteoclast numbers and decrease trabecular bone volume, cortical thickness and mechanical properties. In addition, Ctsk deletion in osteocytes increased bone Parathyroid Hormone related Peptide (PTHrP), prevented the decrease in serum Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) induced by lactation, but amplified the increase in serum 1,25(OH)2D. The net result of these changes is to maintain serum and milk calcium levels in the normal range, ensuring normal offspring skeletal development. Our studies confirm the fundamental role of osteocytic perilacunar remodeling in physiological states of lactation and provides genetic evidence that osteocyte-derived Ctsk contributes not only to osteocyte perilacunar remodeling, but also to the regulation of PTH, PTHrP, 1,25-Dyhydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2D), osteoclastogenesis and bone loss in response to the high calcium demand associated with lactation.

Authors

Sutada Lotinun, Yoshihito Ishihara, Kenichi Nagano, Riku Kiviranta, Vincent Carpentier, Lynn Neff, Virginia Parkman, Noriko Ide, Dorothy Hu, Pamela Dann, Daniel Brooks, Mary L. Bouxsein, John Wysolmerski, Francesca Gori, Roland Baron

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Abstract

Mechanisms underlying motor neuron degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are yet unclear. Specific deletion of the ER-component membralin in astrocytes manifested postnatal motor defects and lethality in mice, causing the accumulation of extracellular glutamate through reducing the glutamate transporter EAAT2. Restoring EAAT2 levels in membralin KO astrocytes limited astrocyte-dependent excitotoxicity in motor neurons. Transcriptomic profiles from mouse astrocytic membralin KO motor cortex indicated significant perturbation in KEGG pathway components related to ALS, including downregulation of Eaat2 and upregulation of Tnfrsf1a. Changes in gene expression with membralin deletion also overlapped with mouse ALS models and reactive astrocytes. Our results shown that activation of TNF receptor (TNFR1)-NFκB pathway known to suppress Eaat2 transcription was upregulated with membralin deletion. Further, reduced membralin and EAAT2 levels correlated with disease progression in spinal cord from SOD1-mutant mouse models, and reductions in membralin/EAAT2 were observed in human ALS spinal cord. Importantly, overexpression of membralin in SOD1G93A astrocytes decreased TNFR1 levels and increased EAAT2 expression, and improved motor neuron survival. Importantly, upregulation of membralin in SOD1G93A mice significantly prolonged mouse survival. Together, our study provided a mechanism for ALS pathogenesis where membralin limited glutamatergic neurotoxicity, suggesting that modulating membralin had potentials in ALS therapy.

Authors

Lu-Lin Jiang, Bing Zhu, Yingjun Zhao, Xiaoguang Li, Tongfei Liu, Juan Pina-Crespo, Lisa Zhou, Wenxi Xu, Maria J. Rodriguez, Haiyang Yu, Don W. Cleveland, John Ravits, Sandrine Da Cruz, Tao Long, Timothy Y. Huang, Huaxi Xu

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Abstract

Gliomas account for approximately 80% of primary malignant tumors in the central nervous system. Despite aggressive therapy, the prognosis of patients remains extremely poor. Glioma stem cells (GSCs) which considered as the potential target of therapy for their crucial role in therapeutic resistance and tumor recurrence, are believed to be key factors for the disappointing outcome. Here, we took advantage of GSCs as the cell model to perform high-throughput drug screening and the old antibiotic, clofoctol, was identified as the most effective compound, showing reduction of colony-formation and induction of apoptosis of GSCs. Moreover, growth of tumors was inhibited obviously in vivo after clofoctol treatment especially in primary patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) and transgenic xenografts. The anticancer mechanisms demonstrated by analyzing related downstream genes and discovering the targeted binding protein revealed that clofoctol exhibited the inhibition of GSCs by upregulation of Kruppel-like factor 13 (KLF13), a tumor suppressor gene, through clofoctol’s targeted binding protein, Upstream of N-ras (UNR). Collectively, these data demonstrated that induction of KLF13 expression suppressed growth of gliomas and provided a potential therapy for gliomas targeting GSCs. Importantly, our results also identified the RNA-binding protein UNR as a drug target.

Authors

Yan Hu, Meilian Zhang, Ningyu Tian, Dengke Li, Fan Wu, Peishan Hu, Zhixing Wang, Liping Wang, Wei Hao, Jingting Kang, Bin Yin, Zhi Zheng, Tao Jiang, Jiangang Yuan, Boqin Qiang, Wei Han, Xiaozhong Peng

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Abstract

Highly effective direct-acting antivirals against Hepatitis C virus (HCV) have created an opportunity to transplant organs from HCV-positive individuals into HCV-negative recipients, since de novo infection can be routinely cured. As this procedure is performed more widely, it becomes increasingly important to understand the biological underpinnings of virus transmission, especially the multiplicity of infection. Here, we used single genome sequencing of plasma virus in four genotype 1a HCV-positive organ donors and their seven organ recipients to assess the genetic bottleneck associated with HCV transmission following renal and cardiac transplantation. In all recipients, de novo infection was established by multiple genetically distinct viruses that reflect the full phylogenetic spectrum of replication-competent virus circulating in donor plasma. This was true in renal and cardiac transplantation and in recipients with peak viral loads ranging between 2.9 and 6.6 log10 IU/mL. The permissive transmission process characterized here contrasts sharply with sexual or injection-related transmission, which occurs less frequently per exposure and is generally associated with a stringent genetic bottleneck. These findings highlight the effectiveness of current anti-HCV regimens, while raising caution regarding the substantially higher multiplicity of infection seen in organ transplantation-associated HCV acquisition.

Authors

Muhammad N. Zahid, Shuyi Wang, Gerald H. Learn, Peter L. Abt, Emily A. Blumberg, Peter P. Reese, David S. Goldberg, George M. Shaw, Katharine J. Bar

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Abstract

The migration of leukocytes into the CNS drives the neuropathology of multiple sclerosis (MS). This penetration likely utilizes energy resources that remain to be defined. Using the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model of MS, we determined that macrophages within the perivascular cuff of post-capillary venules are highly glycolytic as manifested by strong expression of lactate dehydrogenase A (LDHA) that converts pyruvate to lactate. These macrophages expressed prominent levels of monocarboxylate transporter-4 (MCT-4) specialized in secreting lactate from glycolytic cells. The functional relevance of glycolysis was confirmed by siRNA-mediated knockdown of LDHA and MCT-4, which decreased lactate secretion and macrophage transmigration. MCT-4 was in turn regulated by EMMPRIN (CD147) as determined through co-expression/co-immunoprecipitation studies, and siRNA-mediated EMMPRIN silencing. The functional relevance of MCT-4/EMMPRIN interaction was affirmed by lower macrophage transmigration in culture using the MCT-4 inhibitor, α-cyano-4-hydroxy-cinnamic acid (CHCA), a cinnamon derivative. CHCA also reduced leukocyte infiltration and the clinical severity of EAE. Relevance to MS was corroborated by the strong expression of MCT-4, EMMPRIN and LDHA in perivascular macrophages in MS brains. These results detail the metabolism of macrophages for transmigration from perivascular cuffs into the CNS parenchyma and identifies CHCA and diet as potential modulators of neuro-inflammation in MS.

Authors

Deepak Kumar Kaushik, Anindita Bhattacharya, Reza Mirzaei, Khalil S. Rawji, Younghee Ahn, Jong M. Rho, V. Wee Yong

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May 2019

129 5 cover

May 2019 Issue

On the cover:
Elucidating T cell subtypes in eosinophilic esophagitis

In this issue of the JCI, Wen et al. characterized heterogeneity within 1088 tissue-resident T cells isolated from human esophageal biopsies. They identified 2 distinct subtypes that were enriched in patients with active eosinophilic esophagitis, a T cell–mediated food allergic disease. Coupled with transcriptomic analyses, their observations reveal crucial insights into clinically relevant T cell subtypes, their transcriptomic markers, and pathways that lay the groundwork for tools and models that better account for allergic disease heterogeneity. The cover image spotlights the identification of distinct T cell subtypes in disease, superimposing an isolated T cell over an inflamed eosinophilic esophageal biopsy. Image credit: Chris Woods, Ting Wen, and Marc Rothenberg.

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Jci tm 05

May 2019 JCI This Month

JCI This Month is a digest of the research, reviews, and other features published each month.

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Review Series - More

Allergy

Series edited by Kari Nadeau

The increasing prevalence of allergies worldwide has spurred numerous efforts to better understand risk factors and mechanisms underlying these potentially life-threatening immune responses. Coordinated by Series Editor Kari Nadeau, these reviews address our evolving understanding of the shared and distinct mechanisms underlying allergic diseases of the skin, respiratory system, and gastrointestinal tract. In topics ranging from the molecular and cellular basis of allergy to the influence of the central nervous system, microbiome, and environment, leaders in the field highlight major insights into allergic responses as well as new concepts in treating and preventing allergy.

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