Interleukin-17 governs hypoxic adaptation of injured epithelium
Mammalian cells autonomously activate hypoxia-inducible transcription factors (HIFs) to ensure survival in low-oxygen environments. We report here that injury-induced hypoxia is insufficient to trigger HIF1Î± in damaged epithelium. Instead, multimodal single-cell and spatial transcriptomics analyses and functional studies reveal that retinoic acid-related orphan receptor Î³t+ (RORÎ³t+) Î³Î´ T cell-derived interleukin-17A (IL-17A) is necessary and sufficient to activate HIF1Î±. Protein kinase B (AKT) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) signaling proximal of IL-17 receptor C (IL-17RC) activates mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and consequently HIF1Î±. The IL-17A-HIF1Î± axis drives glycolysis in wound front epithelia. Epithelial-specific loss of IL-17RC, HIF1Î±, or blockade of glycolysis derails repair. Our findings underscore the coupling of inflammatory, metabolic, and migratory programs to expedite epithelial healing and illuminate the immune cell-derived inputs in cellular adaptation to hypoxic stress during repair.
High Systemic Type I Interferon Activity is Associated with Active Class III/IV Lupus Nephritis
OBJECTIVE:Previous studies suggest a link between high serum type I interferon (IFN) and lupus nephritis (LN). We determined whether serum IFN activity is associated with subtypes of LN and studied renal tissues and cells to understand the impact of IFN in LN. METHODS:). Podocyte cell line gene expression was measured by real-time PCR. RESULTS:expression was not closely co-localized with pDCs. IFN directly activated podocyte cell lines to induce chemokines and proapoptotic molecules. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Systemic high IFN is involved in the pathogenesis of severe LN. We do not find co-localization of pDCs with IFN signature in renal tissue, and instead observe the greatest intensity of IFN signature in glomerular areas, which could suggest a blood source of IFN.
Artificial intelligence and deep learning to map immune cell types in inflamed human tissue
Biopsies of inflammatory tissue contain a complex network of interacting cells, orchestrating the immune or autoimmune response. While standard histological examination can identify relationships, it is clear that a great amount of data on each slide is not quantitated or categorized in standard microscopic examinations. To deal with the huge amount of data present in biopsy tissue in an unbiased and comprehensive way, we have developed a deep learning algorithm to identify immune cells in biopsies of inflammatory lesions. We focused on T follicular helper (Tfh) cell subsets and B cells in dermatomyositis biopsy images. We achieved strong performance on detection and classification of cells, including the rare Tfh cell subsets present in the tissue. This algorithm could be used to perform distance mapping between cell types in tissue, and could be easily adapted to other disease states.
Combined Inhibition of SHP2 and CXCR1/2 Promotes Anti-Tumor T Cell Response in NSCLC
SHP2 inhibitors (SHP2i) alone and in various combinations are being tested in multiple tumors with over-activation of the RAS/ERK pathway. SHP2 plays critical roles in normal cell signaling; hence, SHP2is could influence the tumor microenvironment. We found that SHP2i treatment depleted alveolar and M2-like macrophages, induced tumor-intrinsic CCL5/CXCL10 secretion and promoted B and T lymphocyte infiltration in Kras- and Egfr-mutant non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, treatment also increased intratumor gMDSCs via tumor-intrinsic, NF-kB-dependent production of CXCR2 ligands. Other RAS/ERK pathway inhibitors also induced CXCR2 ligands and gMDSC influx in mice, and CXCR2 ligands were induced in tumors from patients on KRASG12C-inhibitor trials. Combined SHP2(SHP099)/CXCR1/2(SX682) inhibition depleted a specific cluster of S100a8/9high gMDSCs, generated Klrg1+ CD8+ effector T cells with a strong cytotoxic phenotype but expressing the checkpoint receptor NKG2A, and enhanced survival in Kras- and Egfr-mutant models. Our results argue for testing RAS/ERK pathway/CXCR1/2/NKG2A inhibitor combinations in NSCLC patients.
Simultaneous checkpoint inhibition and immune cell activation that is safely localized to solidtumors [Meeting Abstract]
Unlike other checkpoint inhibitors, our targeted immunotherapeutic localizes to any solid tumor and simultaneouslyshields an agent of immuno suppression while presenting a signal for immunostimulation. Phosphatidylserine (PS)exposure on the extracellular surface of living tumor cells and their vasculatures provides one avenue by which thetumor microenvironment promotes immunosuppression. Extracellular surface PS is inherent to a tumor and itsvasculature, even for inoperable tumors, and its expression cannot be mutated nor affected by acquired drugresistance. Annexin A5 (AnxA5) is a direct, high-affinity PS-binding protein that localizes to cells with PS exposed onthe outer plasma membrane. In our studies, we conjugated a proprietary modified AnxA5, lacking cellularinternalization, to TNFalpha (AnxA5 -TNFalpha) to convert the immunosuppresive environs of a murine 4T1 triplenegative breast cancer (TNBC) into an immunostimulated one. This strategy localized the immune response to the tumor and minimized side effects, as evidenced by a lack of toxicity for up to 7 days in non-tumor bearing Balb/cfemale mice given up to 1 mg/kg. Proper assembly and functionality of AnxA5 -TNFalpha was verified simultaneouslyby ellipsometry, an optical technique similar to plasmon resonance. Fully assembled constructs were tested forbinding to PS coated slides. The degree of light polarization is proportional to the amount of PS bound by the AnxA5complex. Samples could be further incubated with TNF receptors to verify TNFalpha activity. Based on dose escalationstudies in 4T1 tumor-bearing mice where the TNBC tumors were grown in the mammary fat pads, optimal dosages were determined for AnxA5 -TNFalpha (18 mug) and AnxA5 alone as a control (180 mug). These doses were furthertested in a 4T1 growth inhibition study. Tumor size was tracked by caliper in two groups of mice (n=5/group)receiving drug treatment on days 12, 14 and 16 and a repeated measures ANOVA was conducted onmeasurements taken before, during and post-treatment. While median tumor size did not differ between control and drug treatment groups during the pre-treatment interval (p=0.84), there was a significant difference post-treatment(p<0.001) with mice receiving AnxA5 -TNFalpha having much smaller TNBC tumors. Tumors from the study were embedded in paraffin, sectioned (5 mum) and the overall immune cell content determined by H&E staining. Once it was evident there was a greater quantity of immune cells in AnxA5 -TNFalpha treated tumors vs. controls, sections were stained with validated antibodies to identify and count the immunoactivated T-cells, NK-cells and macrophages. There was a 3X greater mean percentage of CD8 and CD4 T-cells in mice receiving drug vs. control(p=0.03) along with 2.5X and 5X increases in NK-cells and M1 immunoactive macrophages, respectively.
Conclusion(s): Our AnxA5 -TNFalpha inhibits the PS inhibitor while simultaneously activating TNF activators!
Decreased production of epithelial-derived antimicrobial molecules at mucosal barriers during early life
Young age is a risk factor for respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. Here, we compared infant and adult mice to identify age-dependent mechanisms that drive susceptibility to mucosal infections during early life. Transcriptional profiling of the upper respiratory tract (URT) epithelium revealed significant dampening of early life innate mucosal defenses. Epithelial-mediated production of the most abundant antimicrobial molecules, lysozyme, and lactoferrin, and the polymeric immunoglobulin receptor (pIgR), responsible for IgA transcytosis, was expressed in an age-dependent manner. This was attributed to delayed functional development of serous cells. Absence of epithelial-derived lysozyme and the pIgR was also observed in the small intestine during early life. Infection of infant mice with lysozyme-susceptible strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae or Staphylococcus aureus in the URT or gastrointestinal tract, respectively, demonstrated an age-dependent regulation of lysozyme enzymatic activity. Lysozyme derived from maternal milk partially compensated for the reduction in URT lysozyme activity of infant mice. Similar to our observations in mice, expression of lysozyme and the pIgR in nasopharyngeal samples collected from healthy human infants during the first year of life followed an age-dependent regulation. Thus, a global pattern of reduced antimicrobial and IgA-mediated defenses may contribute to increased susceptibility of young children to mucosal infections.
Episodic Aspiration with Oral Commensals Induces a MyD88-dependent, Pulmonary Th17 Response that Mitigates Susceptibility to Streptococcus pneumoniae
Rationale Cross-sectional human data suggest that enrichment of oral anaerobic bacteria in the lung is associated with increased Th17 inflammatory phenotype. In this study we evaluated the microbial and host immune response dynamics after aspiration with a oral commensals using a preclinical mouse model. Methods Aspiration with a mixture of human oral commensals (MOC; Prevotella melaninogenica, Veillonella parvula, and Streptococcus mitis) was modeled in mice followed by variable time of sacrifice. Genetic background of mice included WT, MyD88 knock out and STAT3C. Measurements 16S rRNA gene sequencing characterized changes in microbiota. Flow cytometry, cytokine measurement via Luminex and RNA host transcriptome sequencing was used to characterize host immune phenotype. Main Results While MOC aspiration correlated with lower airway dysbiosis that resolved within five days, it induced an extended inflammatory response associated with IL17-producing T-cells lasting at least 14 days. MyD88 expression was required for the IL-17 response to MOC aspiration, but not for T-cell activation or IFN-Î³ expression. MOC aspiration prior to a respiratory challenge with S. pneumoniae led to a decreased in host's susceptibility to this pathogen. Conclusions Thus, in otherwise healthy mice, a single aspiration event with oral commensals are rapidly cleared from the lower airways, but induce a prolonged Th17 response that secondarily decreased susceptibility to respiratory pathogens. Translationally, these data implicate an immuno-protective role of episodic microaspiration of oral microbes in the regulation of the lung immune phenotype and mitigation of host susceptibility to infection with lower airway pathogens.
Characterization of Immune Microenvironment in Primary Tumor and Tumor Draining Lymph Nodes from Patients with Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Using Digital Spatial Profiling [Meeting Abstract]
Rationale:Malignant pleural mesothelioma(MPM) has a poor prognosis with median survival of 12-24 months. We are not aware of prior studies examining the immune microenvironment in tumor draining lymph nodes (TDLN) in MPM. Our aim is to compare the tumor microenvironment(TME) and the microenvironment of TDLN. We hypothesize that the TME will display an immunosuppressive phenotype reflected in the TDLN.
Method(s):We performed digital spatial profiling(DSP) using the GeoMx (NanoString) platform on stored primary tumor and nodal biopsy specimens from 3 patients from our tumor bank. Samples from both primary tumor and lymph nodes were sectioned and labeled with pancytokeratin (CK). Tissue was then classified as "tumor" or "nontumor" using semi-automated segmentation based on pan-Cytokeratin (panK) labeling. The slides were then labeled with antibodies to 58 selected markers, with each unique antibody attached to a respective oligonucleotide. The tissue was exposed to UV light separately for tumor and non-tumor regions, cleaving the oligonucleotides from the attached antibodies. The oligonucleotides from the separate tumor and non-tumor regions were quantified using nCounter (NanoString).
Result(s):The non-neoplastic regions of the primary tumor contained higher expression of proteins associated with inflammatory cells including helper T-cells, cytotoxic T-cells, B-cells, macrophages, neutrophils, natural killer cells(Table 1). Furthermore, there was greater expression of immune checkpoint proteins, PD-L1 and CTLA-4, and CD163 and CD14, proteins associated with immunosuppressive macrophages, in the non-neoplastic region compared to the neoplastic region of the tumoe(Table 1). TDLNs contained similar levels of expression of lymphocyte markers, including those delineating cytotoxic T-cells and helper T-cells, as the primary tumor(Table 1). Despite this, TME expressed higher levels of T-cell exhaustion and immunsupression markers (FOXP3, LAG3, PD-1, CTLA-4) than TDLN(Table 1).
Conclusion(s):DSP is feasible in Formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) mesothelioma specimens, providing a method for using quantitative immunopathology to study corresponding immune microenvironments. In our study, the non-tumor region of the primary tumor contained macrophages, lymphocytes, natural killer cells, and cancer-associated fibroblasts consistent with prior descriptions of the mesothelioma TME. Increased expression of immune checkpoint molecules in the non-tumor region suggests an immunosuppressive TME. TDLNs demonstrated similar lymphocyte markers, but without corresponding immune checkpoint expression of t suggesting the immunosuppressive phenotype of the TME may not be reflected in TDLNs. This pilot study is the first to use DSP to preliminarily characterize TDLNs in mesothelioma. We plan to apply this approach to stored additional MPM and NSCLC specimens to gain an in-depth understanding of the relationship between TME and TDLN
Neuraminidase B controls neuraminidase A-dependent mucus production and evasion
Binding of Streptococcus pneumoniae (Spn) to nasal mucus leads to entrapment and clearance via mucociliary activity during colonization. To identify Spn factors allowing for evasion of mucus binding, we used a solid-phase adherence assay with immobilized mucus of human and murine origin. Spn bound large mucus particles through interactions with carbohydrate moieties. Mutants lacking neuraminidase A (nanA) or neuraminidase B (nanB) showed increased mucus binding that correlated with diminished removal of terminal sialic acid residues on bound mucus. The non-additive activity of the two enzymes raised the question why Spn expresses two neuraminidases and suggested they function in the same pathway. Transcriptional analysis demonstrated expression of nanA depends on the enzymatic function of NanB. As transcription of nanA is increased in the presence of sialic acid, our findings suggest that sialic acid liberated from host glycoconjugates by the secreted enzyme NanB induces the expression of the cell-associated enzyme NanA. The absence of detectable mucus desialylation in the nanA mutant, in which NanB is still expressed, suggests that NanA is responsible for the bulk of the modification of host glycoconjugates. Thus, our studies describe a functional role for NanB in sialic acid sensing in the host. The contribution of the neuraminidases in vivo was then assessed in a murine model of colonization. Although mucus-binding mutants showed an early advantage, this was only observed in a competitive infection, suggesting a complex role of neuraminidases. Histologic examination of the upper respiratory tract demonstrated that Spn stimulates mucus production in a neuraminidase-dependent manner. Thus, an increase production of mucus containing secretions appears to be balanced, in vivo, by decreased mucus binding. We postulate that through the combined activity of its neuraminidases, Spn evades mucus binding and mucociliary clearance, which is needed to counter neuraminidase-mediated stimulation of mucus secretions.
Lower airway dysbiosis affects lung cancer progression
In lung cancer, enrichment of the lower airway microbiota with oral commensals commonly occurs and ex vivo models support that some of these bacteria can trigger host transcriptomic signatures associated with carcinogenesis. Here, we show that this lower airway dysbiotic signature was more prevalent in group IIIB-IV TNM stage lung cancer and is associated with poor prognosis, as shown by decreased survival among subjects with early stage disease (I-IIIA) and worse tumor progression as measured by RECIST scores among subjects with IIIB-IV stage disease. In addition, this lower airway microbiota signature was associated with upregulation of IL-17, PI3K, MAPK and ERK pathways in airway transcriptome, and we identified Veillonella parvula as the most abundant taxon driving this association. In a KP lung cancer model, lower airway dysbiosis with V. parvula led to decreased survival, increased tumor burden, IL-17 inflammatory phenotype and activation of checkpoint inhibitor markers.