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OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS - Characterization of the localized adaptive immune response in the airway scar of patients with idiopathic subglottic stenosis (iSGS).
STUDY DESIGN - Basic Science.
METHODS - Utilizing 36 patients with subglottic stenosis (25 idiopathic subglottic stenosis [iSGS], 10 iatrogenic post-intubation stenosis [iLTS], and one granulomatosis with polyangiitis [GPA]) we applied immunohistochemical and immunologic techniques coupled with RNA sequencing.
RESULTS - iSGS, iLTS, and GPA demonstrate a significant immune infiltrate in the subglottic scar consisting of adaptive cell subsets (T cells along with dendritic cells). Interrogation of T cell subtypes showed significantly more CD69 CD103 CD8 tissue resident memory T cells (T ) in the iSGS airway scar than iLTS specimens (iSGS vs. iLTS; 50% vs. 28%, P = .0065). Additionally, subglottic CD8 clones possessed T-cell receptor (TCR) sequences with known antigen specificity for viral and intracellular pathogens.
CONCLUSIONS - The human subglottis is significantly enriched for CD8 tissue resident memory T cells in iSGS, which possess TCR sequences proven to recognize viral and intracellular pathogens. These results inform our understanding of iSGS, provide a direction for future discovery, and demonstrate immunologic function in the human proximal airway. Laryngoscope, 131:610-617, 2021.
© 2020 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.
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.
BACKGROUND - The National Comprehensive Cancer Network and American Society of Clinical Oncology recommend consideration of the use of echocardiography 6 to 12 months after completion of anthracycline-based chemotherapy in at-risk populations. Assessment of BNP (B-type natriuretic peptide) has also been suggested by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association/Heart Failure Society of America for the identification of Stage A (at risk) heart failure patients. The real-world frequency of the use of these tests in patients after receipt of anthracycline therapy, however, has not been studied previously.
METHODS AND RESULTS - In this retrospective study, using administrative claims data from the OptumLabs Data Warehouse, we identified 31 447 breast cancer and lymphoma patients (age ≥18 years) who were treated with an anthracycline in the United States between January 1, 2008 and January 31, 2018. Continuous medical and pharmacy coverage was required for at least 6 months before the initial anthracycline dose and 12 months after the final dose. Only 36.1% of patients had any type of cardiac surveillance (echocardiography, BNP, or cardiac imaging) in the year following completion of anthracycline therapy (29.7% echocardiography). Surveillance rate increased from 37.5% in 2008 to 42.7% in 2018 (25.6% in 2008 to 40.5% echocardiography in 2018). Lymphoma patients had a lower likelihood of any surveillance compared with patients with breast cancer (odds ratio, 0.79 [95% CI, 0.74-0.85]; <0.001). Patients with preexisting diagnoses of coronary artery disease and arrhythmia had the highest likelihood of cardiac surveillance (odds ratio, 1.54 [95% CI, 1.39-1.69] and odds ratio, 1.42 [95% CI, 1.3-1.53]; <0.001 for both), although no single comorbidity was associated with a >50% rate of surveillance.
CONCLUSIONS - The majority of survivors of breast cancer and lymphoma who have received anthracycline-based chemotherapy do not undergo cardiac surveillance after treatment, including those with a history of cardiovascular comorbidities, such as heart failure.
Intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL) comprise a diverse population of cells residing in the epithelium at the interface between the intestinal lumen and the sterile environment of the lamina propria. Because of this anatomical location, IEL are considered critical components of intestinal immune responses. Indeed, IEL are involved in many different immunological processes, ranging from pathogen control to tissue stability. However, despite their critical importance in mucosal immune responses, very little is known about the homeostasis of different IEL subpopulations. The phosphoprotein osteopontin is important for critical physiological processes, including cellular immune responses, such as survival of Th17 cells and homeostasis of NK cells among others. Because of its impact in the immune system, we investigated the role of osteopontin in the homeostasis of IEL. In this study, we report that mice deficient in the expression of osteopontin exhibit reduced numbers of the IEL subpopulations TCRγδ, TCRβCD4, TCRβCD4CD8α, and TCRβCD8αα cells in comparison with wild-type mice. For some IEL subpopulations, the decrease in cell numbers could be attributed to apoptosis and reduced cell division. Moreover, we show in vitro that exogenous osteopontin stimulates the survival of murine IEL subpopulations and unfractionated IEL derived from human intestines, an effect mediated by CD44, a known osteopontin receptor. We also show that iCD8α IEL but not TCRγδ IEL, TCRβ IEL, or intestinal epithelial cells, can promote survival of different IEL populations via osteopontin, indicating an important role for iCD8α cells in the homeostasis of IEL.
Copyright © 2020 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
Current laboratory models of lymphatic metastasis generally require either genetically modified animals or are technically challenging. Herein, we have developed a robust protocol for the induction of intralymphatic metastasis in wild-type mice with reproducible outcomes. To determine an optimal injection quantity and timeline for tumorigenesis, C57Bl/6 mice were injected directly into the mesenteric lymph duct (MLD) with varying numbers of syngeneic murine colon cancer cells (MC38) or gastric cancer cells (YTN16) expressing GFP/luciferase and monitored over 2-4 weeks. Tumor growth was tracked via whole-animal in vivo bioluminescence imaging (IVIS). Our data indicate that the injection of tumor cells into the MLD is a viable model for lymphatic metastasis as necropsies revealed large tumor burdens and metastasis in regional lymph nodes. This protocol enables a closer study of the role of lymphatics in cancer metastasis and opens a window for the development of novel approaches for treatment of metastatic diseases.
PURPOSE - Merkel cell carcinoma is highly sensitive to both radiation and immunotherapy. Moreover, concurrent radioimmunotherapy may capitalize on anti-tumor immune activity and improve Merkel cell treatment response, although an enhanced immune system may cross-react with native tissues and lead to significant sequelae.
METHODS - Here we present a case study of a patient with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma treated with radiotherapy concurrent with pembrolizumab.
RESULTS - After radioimmunotherapy, the patient developed sensory neuropathy, visual hallucinations, and mixed motor neuron findings. Neurologic dysfunction progressed to profound gastrointestinal dysmotility necessitating parenteral nutrition and intubation with eventual expiration.
CONCLUSION - This case represents a unique autoimmune paraneoplastic neurologic syndrome, likely specific to neuroendocrine tumors and motivated by concurrent radioimmunotherapy. Recognition of the potential role of radioimmunotherapy may provide an advantage in anticipating these severe sequelae.
Tumor-associated macrophage and T-cell subsets are implicated in the pathogenesis of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, and classical Hodgkin lymphoma. Macrophages provide essential mechanisms of tumor immune evasion through checkpoint ligand expression and secretion of suppressive cytokines. However, normal and tumor-associated macrophage phenotypes are less well characterized than those of tumor-infiltrating T-cell subsets, and it would be especially valuable to know whether the polarization state of macrophages differs across lymphoma tumor microenvironments. Here, an established mass cytometry panel designed to characterize myeloid-derived suppressor cells and known macrophage maturation and polarization states was applied to characterize B-lymphoma tumors and non-malignant human tissue. High-dimensional single-cell analyses were performed using dimensionality reduction and clustering tools. Phenotypically distinct intra-tumor macrophage subsets were identified based on abnormal marker expression profiles that were associated with lymphoma tumor types. While it had been proposed that measurement of CD163 and CD68 might be sufficient to reveal macrophage subsets in tumors, results here indicated that S100A9, CCR2, CD36, Slan, and CD32 should also be measured to effectively characterize lymphoma-specific tumor macrophages. Additionally, the presence of phenotypically distinct, abnormal macrophage populations was closely linked to the phenotype of intra-tumor T-cell populations, including PD-1 expressing T cells. These results further support the close links between macrophage polarization and T-cell functional state, as well as the rationale for targeting tumor-associated macrophages in cancer immunotherapies.
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) has increased in Western countries due to the prevalence of obesity. Current interests are aimed at identifying the type and function of immune cells that infiltrate the liver and key factors responsible for mediating their recruitment and activation in NASH. We investigated the function and phenotype of CD8 T cells under obese and nonobese NASH conditions. We found an elevation in CD8 staining in livers from obese human subjects with NASH and cirrhosis that positively correlated with α-smooth muscle actin, a marker of hepatic stellate cell (HSC) activation. CD8 T cells were elevated 3.5-fold in the livers of obese and hyperlipidemic NASH mice compared with obese hepatic steatosis mice. Isolated hepatic CD8 T cells from these mice expressed a cytotoxic IL-10-expressing phenotype, and depletion of CD8 T cells led to significant reductions in hepatic inflammation, HSC activation, and macrophage accumulation. Furthermore, hepatic CD8 T cells from obese and hyperlipidemic NASH mice activated HSCs in vitro and in vivo. Interestingly, in the lean NASH mouse model, depletion and knockdown of CD8 T cells did not impact liver inflammation or HSC activation. We demonstrated that under obese/hyperlipidemia conditions, CD8 T cell are key regulators of the progression of NASH, while under nonobese conditions they play a minimal role in driving the disease. Thus, therapies targeting CD8 T cells may be a novel approach for treatment of obesity-associated NASH. Our study demonstrates that CD8 T cells are the primary hepatic T cell population, are elevated in obese models of NASH, and directly activate hepatic stellate cells. In contrast, we find CD8 T cells from lean NASH models do not regulate NASH-associated inflammation or stellate cell activation. Thus, for the first time to our knowledge, we demonstrate that hepatic CD8 T cells are key players in obesity-associated NASH.