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BACKGROUND - Cardiac injury, as measured by troponin elevation, has been reported among hospitalized coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients and portends a poor prognosis. However, how the dynamics of troponin elevation interplay with inflammation and coagulation biomarkers over time is unknown. We assessed longitudinal follow-up of cardiac injury, inflammation and coagulation markers in relation to disease severity and outcome.
METHODS - We retrospectively assessed 2068 patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 between January 29 and April 1, 2020 at Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, China. We defined cardiac injury as an increase in high sensitivity cardiac troponin-I (hs-cTnI) above the 99th of the upper reference limit. We explored the dynamics of elevation in hs-cTnI and the relationship with inflammation (interleukin [IL]-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-2 receptor, tumor necrosis factor-α, C-reactive protein) and coagulation (d-dimer, fibrinogen, international normalized ratio) markers in non-critically ill versus critically ill patients longitudinally and further correlated these markers to survivors and non-survivors.
RESULTS - Median age was 63 years (first to third quartile 51-70 years), 51.4% of whom were women. When compared to non-critically ill patients (N = 1592, 77.0%), critically ill (defined as requiring mechanical ventilation, in shock or multiorgan failure) patients (N = 476, 23.0%), had more frequent cardiac injury on admission (30.3% vs. 2.3%, p < 0.001), with increased mortality during hospitalization (38.4% vs. 0%, p < 0.001). Among critically ill patients, non-survivors (N = 183) had a continuous increase in hs-cTnI levels during hospitalization, while survivors (N = 293) showed a decrease in hs-cTnI level between day 4 and 7 after admission. Specifically, cardiac injury is an independent marker of mortality among critically ill patients at admission, day 4-7 and 8-14. Consistent positive correlations between hs-cTnI and interleukin (IL)-6 on admission (r = 0.59), day 4-7 (r = 0.66) and day 8-14 (r = 0.61; all p < 0.001) and d-dimer (at the same timepoints r = 0.54; 0.65; 0.61, all p < 0.001) were observed. A similar behavior was observed between hs-cTnI and most of other biomarkers of inflammation and coagulation.
CONCLUSIONS - Cardiac injury commonly occurs in critically ill COVID-19 patients, with increased levels of hs-cTnI beyond day 3 since admission portending a poor prognosis. A consistent positive correlation of hs-cTnI with IL-6 and d-dimer at several timepoints along hospitalization could suggest nonspecific cytokine-mediated cardiotoxicity.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Chorioamnionitis is a common precipitant of preterm birth and is associated with many of the morbidities of prematurity, including necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). However, a mechanistic link between these two conditions remains yet to be discovered. We have adopted a murine model of chorioamnionitis involving lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced fetal exposure to maternal inflammation (FEMI). This model of FEMI induces a sterile maternal, placental, and fetal inflammatory cascade, which is also present in many cases of clinical chorioamnionitis. Although models exist that utilize live bacteria and more accurately mimic the pathophysiology of an ascending infection resulting in chorioamnionitis, these methods may cause indirect effects on development of the immature intestinal tract and the associated developing microbiome. Using this protocol, we have demonstrated that LPS-induced FEMI results in a dose-dependent increase in pregnancy loss and preterm birth, as well as disruption of normal intestinal development in offspring. Further, we have demonstrated that FEMI significantly increases intestinal injury and serum cytokines in offspring, while simultaneously decreasing goblet and Paneth cells, both of which provide a first line of innate immunity against intestinal inflammation. Although a similar model of LPS-induced FEMI has been used to model the association between chorioamnionitis and subsequent abnormalities of the central nervous system, to our knowledge, this protocol is the first to attempt to elucidate a mechanistic link between chorioamnionitis and later perturbations in intestinal development as a potential link between chorioamnionitis and NEC.
Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is a heterogeneous disease process with a complex underlying cause. Improved understanding of CRS pathophysiology has facilitated new approaches to management of the patient with CRS that rely on targeting patient-specific characteristics and individual inflammatory pathways. A more personalized approach to care will ultimately incorporate a combination of phenotypic and endotypic classification systems to guide treatment. This review summarizes current evidence with respect to CRS phenotypes and endotypes, as well as the identification of potential biomarkers with potential to guide current and future treatment algorithms.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The mechanical properties of the actin cortex regulate shape changes during cell division, cell migration, and tissue morphogenesis. We show that modulation of myosin II (MII) filament composition allows tuning of surface tension at the cortex to maintain cell shape during cytokinesis. Our results reveal that MIIA generates cortex tension, while MIIB acts as a stabilizing motor and its inclusion in MII hetero-filaments reduces cortex tension. Tension generation by MIIA drives faster cleavage furrow ingression and bleb formation. We also show distinct roles for the motor and tail domains of MIIB in maintaining cytokinetic fidelity. Maintenance of cortical stability by the motor domain of MIIB safeguards against shape instability-induced chromosome missegregation, while its tail domain mediates cortical localization at the terminal stages of cytokinesis to mediate cell abscission. Because most non-muscle contractile systems are cortical, this tuning mechanism will likely be applicable to numerous processes driven by myosin-II contractility.
Copyright © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Background - Helper T cell activity is dysregulated in a number of diseases including those associated with rheumatic autoimmunity. Treatment options are limited and usually consist of systemic immune suppression, resulting in undesirable consequences from compromised immunity. Hedgehog (Hh) signaling has been implicated in the activation of T cells and the formation of the immune synapse, but remains understudied in the context of autoimmunity. Modulation of Hh signaling has the potential to enable controlled immunosuppression but a potential therapy has not yet been developed to leverage this opportunity.
Methods - In this work, we developed biodegradable nanoparticles to enable targeted delivery of eggmanone (Egm), a specific Hh inhibitor, to CD4 T cell subsets. We utilized two FDA-approved polymers, poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) and polyethylene glycol, to generate hydrolytically degradable nanoparticles. Furthermore, we employed maleimide-thiol mediated conjugation chemistry to decorate nanoparticles with anti-CD4 F(ab') antibody fragments to enable targeted delivery of Egm.
Results - Our novel delivery system achieved a highly specific association with the majority of CD4 T cells present among a complex cell population. Additionally, we have demonstrated antigen-specific inhibition of CD4 T cell responses mediated by nanoparticle-formulated Egm.
Conclusion - This work is the first characterization of Egm's immunomodulatory potential. Importantly, this study also suggests the potential benefit of a biodegradable delivery vehicle that is rationally designed for preferential interaction with a specific immune cell subtype for targeted modulation of Hh signaling.
© 2020 Haycook et al.
INTRODUCTION - There is an increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases worldwide. Metabolic diseases such as obesity and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) increasingly affect women during pregnancy, which can harm pregnancy outcomes and the long-term health and wellbeing of exposed offspring. Both obesity and GDM have been associated with proinflammatory effects within the placenta, the critical organ governing fetal development.
METHODS - The purpose of these studies was to model, in vitro, the effects of metabolic stress (high levels of glucose, insulin and saturated lipids) on placental macrophage biology, since these cells are the primary innate immune phagocyte within the placenta with roles in governing maternofetal immune tolerance and antimicrobial host defense. Macrophages were isolated from the villous core of term, human placentae delivered through nonlaboring, elective Cesarean sections and exposed to combinations of elevated glucose (30 mM), insulin (10 nM) and the saturated lipid palmitic acid (palmitate, 0.4 mM).
RESULTS - We found that palmitate alone induced the activation of the nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor (NLR) Family Pyrin Domain Containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome in placental macrophages, which was associated with increased interleukin 1 beta release and an increase in apoptotic cell death. Glucose and insulin neither provoked these effects nor augmented the impact of palmitate itself.
DISCUSSION - Our findings confirm an impact of saturated fat on placental macrophage immune activation and could be relevant to the impact of metabolic stress in vivo.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
is the leading cause of nosocomial diarrhea in the United States. The primary virulence factors are two homologous glucosyltransferase toxins, TcdA and TcdB, that inactivate host Rho-family GTPases. The glucosyltransferase activity has been linked to a "cytopathic" disruption of the actin cytoskeleton and contributes to the disruption of tight junctions and the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. TcdB is also a potent cytotoxin that causes epithelium necrotic damage through an NADPH oxidase (NOX)-dependent mechanism. We conducted a small molecule screen to identify compounds that confer protection against TcdB-induced necrosis. We identified an enrichment of "hit compounds" with a dihydropyridine (DHP) core which led to the discovery of a key early stage calcium signal that serves as a mechanistic link between TcdB-induced NOX activation and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Disruption of TcdB-induced calcium signaling (with both DHP and non-DHP molecules) is sufficient to ablate ROS production and prevent subsequent necrosis in cells and in a mouse model of intoxication.
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is triggered by retinal cell damage stimulated by the diabetic milieu, including increased levels of intraocular free fatty acids. Free fatty acids may serve as an initiator of inflammatory cytokine release from Müller cells, and the resulting cytokines are potent stimulators of retinal endothelial pathology, such as leukostasis, vascular permeability, and basement membrane thickening. Our previous studies have elucidated a role for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-β/δ (PPARβ/δ) in promoting several steps in the pathologic cascade in DR, including angiogenesis and expression of inflammatory mediators. Furthermore, PPARβ/δ is a known target of lipid signaling, suggesting a potential role for this transcription factor in fatty acid-induced retinal inflammation. Therefore, we hypothesized that PPARβ/δ stimulates both the induction of inflammatory mediators by Müller cells as well the paracrine induction of leukostasis in endothelial cells (EC) by Müller cell inflammatory products. To test this, we used the PPARβ/δ inhibitor, GSK0660, in primary human Müller cells (HMC), human retinal microvascular endothelial cells (HRMEC) and mouse retina. We found that palmitic acid (PA) activation of PPARβ/δ in HMC leads to the production of pro-angiogenic and/or inflammatory cytokines that may constitute DR-relevant upstream paracrine inflammatory signals to EC and other retinal cells. Downstream, EC transduce these signals and increase their synthesis and release of chemokines such as CCL8 and CXCL10 that regulate leukostasis and other cellular events related to vascular inflammation in DR. Our results indicate that PPARβ/δ inhibition mitigates these upstream (MC) as well as downstream (EC) inflammatory signaling events elicited by metabolic stimuli and inflammatory cytokines. Therefore, our data suggest that PPARβ/δ inhibition is a potential therapeutic strategy against early DR pathology.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Mucus cytokines have been linked to baseline metrics of quality of life and olfactory function in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). However, their potential utility in predicting postoperative outcomes has not been assessed. Therefore, in this study we evaluated the role of mucus cytokines in predicting 22-item Sino-Nasal Outcomes Test (SNOT-22) scores after endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS) in a prospective cohort of CRS patients.
METHODS - One hundred forty-seven patients with CRS electing surgical therapy were enrolled in a longitudinal cohort study. Mucus was collected intraoperatively from the middle meatus and tested for interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-2, -4, -5, -6, -7,- 8, -9, -10, -12, -13, -17A, and -21; tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α; interferon-γ; eotaxin; and RANTES (regulated-on-activation, normal T-cell expressed and secreted) expression using a multiplex flow-cytometric bead assay. Sixty-two patients were followed postoperatively (average, 10.2 months) with baseline and follow-up SNOT-22 surveys. Stepwise multivariate linear regression was used to model relationships between baseline cytokines, phenotype, and average postoperative SNOT-22 total and domain scores. A machine learning approach using a random forest algorithm was also used to investigate potential nonlinear relationships.
RESULTS - IL-5 was an independent predictor of postoperative total SNOT-22 improvement (β = -8.8, p < 0.0001), whereas IL-2 levels predicted postoperative worsening (β = 6.97, p = 0.0015). Similar relationships were also seen for postoperative SNOT-22 domain scores. The overall model was also noted to be significant fit for the data (adjusted R = 0.398, p < 0.0001). The random forest model similarly identified IL-5, TNF-α, IL-13, and IL-2 as major predictors of postoperative SNOT-22 scores.
CONCLUSION - Mucus cytokine profiles may help identify CRS patients who are likely to obtain postoperative improvement after ESS.
© 2019 ARS-AAOA, LLC.