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OBJECTIVE - In the randomised scleroderma: Cyclophosphamide Or Transplantation (SCOT trial) (NCT00114530), myeloablation, followed by haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), led to improved clinical outcomes compared with monthly cyclophosphamide (CYC) treatment in systemic sclerosis (SSc). Herein, the study aimed to determine global molecular changes at the whole blood transcript and serum protein levels ensuing from HSCT in comparison to intravenous monthly CYC in 62 participants enrolled in the SCOT study.
METHODS - Global transcript studies were performed at pretreatment baseline, 8 months and 26 months postrandomisation using Illumina HT-12 arrays. Levels of 102 proteins were measured in the concomitantly collected serum samples.
RESULTS - At the baseline visit, interferon (IFN) and neutrophil transcript modules were upregulated and the cytotoxic/NK module was downregulated in SSc compared with unaffected controls. A paired comparison of the 26 months to the baseline samples revealed a significant decrease of the IFN and neutrophil modules and an increase in the cytotoxic/NK module in the HSCT arm while there was no significant change in the CYC control arm. Also, a composite score of correlating serum proteins with IFN and neutrophil transcript modules, as well as a multilevel analysis showed significant changes in SSc molecular signatures after HSCT while similar changes were not observed in the CYC arm. Lastly, a decline in the IFN and neutrophil modules was associated with an improvement in pulmonary forced vital capacity and an increase in the cytotoxic/NK module correlated with improvement in skin score.
CONCLUSION - HSCT contrary to conventional treatment leads to a significant 'correction' in disease-related molecular signatures.
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease characterized by a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations and degrees of severity. Few genomic biomarkers for SLE have been validated and employed to inform clinical classifications and decisions. To discover and assess the gene-expression based SLE predictors in published studies, we performed a meta-analysis using our established signature database and a data similarity-driven strategy. From 13 training data sets on SLE gene-expression studies, we identified a SLE meta-signature (SLEmetaSig100) containing 100 concordant genes that are involved in DNA sensors and the IFN signaling pathway. We rigorously examined SLEmetaSig100 with both retrospective and prospective validation in two independent data sets. Using unsupervised clustering, we retrospectively elucidated that SLEmetaSig100 could classify clinical samples into two groups that correlated with SLE disease status and disease activities. More importantly, SLEmetaSig100 enabled personalized stratification demonstrating its ability to prospectively predict SLE disease at the individual patient level. To evaluate the performance of SLEmetaSig100 in predicting SLE, we predicted 1,171 testing samples to be either non-SLE or SLE with positive predictive value (97-99%), specificity (85%-84%), and sensitivity (60-84%). Our study suggests that SLEmetaSig100 has enhanced predictive value to facilitate current SLE clinical classification and provides personalized disease activity monitoring.
We reported previously that mouse embryonic stem cells do not have a functional IFN-based antiviral mechanism. The current study extends our investigation to the inflammatory response in mouse embryonic stem cells and mouse embryonic stem cell-differentiated cells. We demonstrate that LPS, TNF-α, and viral infection, all of which induce robust inflammatory responses in naturally differentiated cells, failed to activate NF-κB, the key transcription factor that mediates inflammatory responses, and were unable to induce the expression of inflammatory genes in mouse embryonic stem cells. Similar results were obtained in human embryonic stem cells. In addition to the inactive state of NF-κB, the deficiency in the inflammatory response in mouse embryonic stem cells is also attributed to the lack of functional receptors for LPS and TNF-α. In vitro differentiation can trigger the development of the inflammatory response mechanism, as indicated by the transition of NF-κB from its inactive to active state. However, a limited response to TNF-α and viral infection, but not to LPS, was observed in mouse embryonic stem cell-differentiated fibroblasts. We conclude that the inflammatory response mechanism is not active in mouse embryonic stem cells, and in vitro differentiation promotes only partial development of this mechanism. Together with our previous studies, the findings described in this article demonstrate that embryonic stem cells are fundamentally different from differentiated somatic cells in their innate immunity, which may have important implications in developmental biology, immunology, and embryonic stem cell-based regenerative medicine.
Copyright © 2017 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
Repeated challenge of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) alters the response to subsequent LPS exposures via modulation of toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). Whether activation of other TLRs can modulate TLR4 responses, and vice versa, remains unclear. Specifically with regards to endothelial cells, a key component of innate immunity, the impact of TLR cross-modulation is unknown. We postulated that TLR2 priming (via Pam3Csk4) would inhibit TLR4-mediated responses while TLR3 priming (via Poly I:C) would enhance subsequent TLR4-inflammatory signaling. We studied human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and neonatal human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HMVECs). Cells were primed with a combination of Poly I:C (10 μg/ml), Pam3Csk4 (10 μg/ml), or LPS (100 ng/ml), then washed and allowed to rest. They were then rechallenged with either Poly I:C, Pam3Csk4 or LPS. Endothelial cells showed significant tolerance to repeated LPS challenge. Priming with Pam3Csk4 also reduced the response to secondary LPS challenge in both cell types, despite a reduced proinflammatory response to Pam3Csk4 in HMVECs compared to HUVECs. Poly I:C priming enhanced inflammatory and interferon producing signals upon Poly I:C or LPS rechallenge, respectively. Poly I:C priming induced interferon regulatory factor 7, leading to enhancement of interferon production. Finally, both Poly I:C and LPS priming induced significant changes in receptor-interacting serine/threonine-protein kinase 1 activity. Pharmacological inhibition of receptor-interacting serine/threonine-protein kinase 1 or interferon regulatory factor 7 reduced the potentiated phenotype of TLR3 priming on TLR4 rechallenge. These results demonstrate that in human endothelial cells, prior activation of TLRs can have a significant impact on subsequent exposures and may contribute to the severity of the host response.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND & AIMS - Genetic polymorphisms within the interferon lambda (IFN-λ) region are strongly associated with hepatitis C virus (HCV) clearance; the IFNL4-ΔG/TT (rs368234815) polymorphism, which controls the generation of IFN-λ4 protein, is more strongly associated with HCV clearance than rs12979860 (the 'IL28B variant'). An IFNL3 3' untranslated region polymorphism (rs4803217) has been proposed as a causal variant that may affect HCV clearance by altering IFNL3 mRNA stability.
METHODS - We compared IFNL4-ΔG/TT and rs4803217 for association with response to pegylated-IFN-α/ribavirin in the VIRAHEP-C and HALT-C trials, and spontaneous HCV clearance in the ALIVE, UHS and WIHS studies. Genotyping was performed with TaqMan assays. We compared differences in mean reduction in HCV RNA levels by genotype and haplotype. For HCV clearance, we calculated p-values comparing c-statistics for IFNL4-ΔG/TT and rs4803217 genotypes by a bootstrap approach.
RESULTS - Among European Americans, linkage disequilibrium between IFNL4-ΔG/TT and rs4803217 was strong (r(2)=0.89-0.99) and there were no significant differences between the variants. In African American (AA) individuals enrolled in VIRAHEP-C, HCV RNA at treatment day 28 was more strongly associated with IFNL4-ΔG/TT than rs4803217 (p=0.003); the IFNL4-ΔG:rs4803217-G haplotype, which includes the putatively favorable IFNL3 allele, was actually associated with the poorest day 28 response (p=0.03, comparison to IFNL4-ΔG:rs4803217-T haplotype). Among AA participants, associations were stronger for IFNL4-ΔG/TT than rs4803217 for undetectable HCV RNA at week 24 in Virahep-C (p=0.03) and week 20 in HALT-C (p=0.03), as well as for spontaneous HCV clearance (p=0.048).
CONCLUSION - IFNL4-ΔG/TT is the primary IFN-λ region polymorphism for impaired HCV clearance.
Published by Elsevier B.V.
BACKGROUND - Some investigators find a deficiency in IFN production from airway epithelial cells infected with human rhinovirus in asthma, but whether this abnormality occurs with other respiratory viruses is uncertain.
OBJECTIVE - To assess the effect of influenza A virus (IAV) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection on IFN production and viral level in human bronchial epithelial cells (hBECs) from subjects with and without asthma.
METHODS - Primary-culture hBECs from subjects with mild to severe asthma (n = 11) and controls without asthma (hBECs; n = 7) were infected with live or ultraviolet-inactivated IAV (WS/33 strain), RSV (Long strain), or RSV (A/2001/2-20 strain) with multiplicity of infection 0.01 to 1. Levels of virus along with IFN-β and IFN-λ and IFN-stimulated gene expression (tracked by 2'-5'-oligoadenylate synthetase 1 and myxovirus (influenza virus) resistance 1 mRNA) were determined up to 72 hours postinoculation.
RESULTS - After IAV infection, viral levels were increased 2-fold in hBECs from asthmatic subjects compared with nonasthmatic control subjects (P < .05) and this increase occurred in concert with increased IFN-λ1 levels and no significant difference in IFNB1, 2'-5'-oligoadenylate synthetase 1, or myxovirus (influenza virus) resistance 1mRNA levels. After RSV infections, viral levels were not significantly increased in hBECs from asthmatic versus nonasthmatic subjects and the only significant difference between groups was a decrease in IFN-λ levels (P < .05) that correlated with a decrease in viral titer. All these differences were found only at isolated time points and were not sustained throughout the 72-hour infection period.
CONCLUSIONS - The results indicate that IAV and RSV control and IFN response to these viruses in airway epithelial cells is remarkably similar between subjects with and without asthma.
Copyright © 2014 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Asthma was the most common comorbidity in hospitalized patients during the 2009 influenza pandemic. For unknown reasons, hospitalized asthmatics had less severe outcomes and were less likely to die from pandemic influenza. Our data with primary human bronchial cells indicate that changes intrinsic to epithelial cells in asthma may protect against cytopathology induced by influenza virus. To further study influenza virus pathogenesis in allergic hosts, we aimed to develop and characterize murine models of asthma and influenza comorbidity to determine structural, physiological and immunological changes induced by influenza in the context of asthma. Aspergillus fumigatus-sensitized and -challenged C57BL/6 mice were infected with pandemic H1N1 influenza virus, either during peak allergic inflammation or during airway remodeling to gain insight into disease pathogenesis. Mice infected with the influenza virus during peak allergic inflammation did not lose body weight and cleared the virus rapidly. These mice exhibited high eosinophilia, preserved airway epithelial cell integrity, increased mucus, reduced interferon response and increased insulin-like growth factor-1. In contrast, weight loss and viral replication kinetics in the mice that were infected during the late airway remodeling phase were equivalent to flu-only controls. These mice had neutrophils in the airways, damaged airway epithelial cells, less mucus production, increased interferons and decreased insulin-like growth factor-1. The state of the allergic airways at the time of influenza virus infection alters host responses against the virus. These murine models of asthma and influenza comorbidity may improve our understanding of the epidemiology and pathogenesis of viral infections in humans with asthma.
Adenosine deaminase acting on RNA 1 (ADAR1) is a double-stranded RNA-editing enzyme that converts adenosine (A) to inosine (I), and essential for normal development. In this study, we reported an essential role of ADAR1 in the survival and maintenance of intestinal stem cells and intestinal homoeostasis by suppressing endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and interferon (IFN) signaling. ADAR1 was highly expressed in the Lgr5+ cells, and its deletion in adult mice led to a rapid apoptosis and loss of these actively cycling stem cells in the small intestine and colon. ADAR1 deletion resulted in a drastic expansion of progenitors and Paneth cells but a reduction of three other major epithelial lineages. Moreover, loss of ADAR1 induced ER stress and activation of IFN signaling, and altered expression in WNT targets, followed by intestinal inflammation. An ER stress inhibitor partially suppressed crypt apoptosis. Finally, data from cultured intestinal crypts demonstrated that loss of ADAR1 in the epithelial cells is the primary cause of these effects. These results support an essential role of ADAR1 and RNA editing in tissue homeostasis and stem cells.
The NCCN Guidelines for Melanoma provide multidisciplinary recommendations on the clinical management of patients with melanoma. This NCCN Guidelines Insights report highlights notable recent updates. Foremost of these is the exciting addition of the novel agents ipilimumab and vemurafenib for treatment of advanced melanoma. The NCCN panel also included imatinib as a treatment for KIT-mutated tumors and pegylated interferon alfa-2b as an option for adjuvant therapy. Also important are revisions to the initial stratification of early-stage lesions based on the risk of sentinel lymph node metastases, and revised recommendations on the use of sentinel lymph node biopsy for low-risk groups. Finally, the NCCN panel reached clinical consensus on clarifying the role of imaging in the workup of patients with melanoma.
Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a poorly understood condition with greater than 30% mortality. Massive recruitment of neutrophils to the lung occurs in the initial stages of the ARDS. Significant variability in the severity and duration of ARDS-associated pulmonary inflammation could be linked to heterogeneity in the inflammatory capacity of neutrophils. Interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs) are a broad gene family induced by Type I interferons. While ISGs are central to anti-viral immunity, the potential exists for these genes to evoke extensive modification in cellular response in other clinical settings. In this prospective study, we sought to determine if ISG expression in circulating neutrophils from ARDS patients is associated with changes in neutrophil function. Circulating neutrophil RNA was isolated, and hierarchical clustering ranked patients' expression of three ISGs. Neutrophil response to pathogenic bacteria was compared between normal and high ISG-expressing neutrophils. High neutrophil ISG expression was found in 25 of 95 (26%) of ARDS patients and was associated with reduced migration toward interleukin-8, and altered responses to Staphylococcus aureus, but not Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which included decreased p38 MAP kinase phosphorylation, superoxide anion release, interleukin-8 release, and a shift from necrotic to apoptotic cell death. These alterations in response were reflected in a decreased capacity to kill S. aureus, but not P. aeruginosa. Therefore, the ISG expression signature is associated with an altered circulating neutrophil response phenotype in ARDS that may predispose a large subgroup of patients to increased risk of specific bacterial infections.