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Cytokines IL-4 and IL-13 play important roles in polarization of macrophages/dendritic cells to an M2 phenotype, which is important for recovery from acute kidney injury. Both IL-4 and IL-13 activate JAK3/STAT6 signaling. In mice with diphtheria toxin receptor expression in proximal tubules (selective injury model), a relatively selective JAK3 inhibitor, tofacitinib, led to more severe kidney injury, delayed recovery from acute kidney injury, increased inflammatory M1 phenotype markers and decreased reparative M2 phenotype markers of macrophages/dendritic cells, and development of more severe renal fibrosis after diphtheria toxin administration. Similarly, there was delayed recovery and increased tubulointerstitial fibrosis in these diphtheria toxin-treated mice following tamoxifen-induced deletion of both IL-4 and IL-13, with increased levels of M1 and decreased levels of M2 markers in the macrophages/dendritic cells. Furthermore, deletion of IL-4 and IL-13 led to a decrease of tissue reparative M2a phenotype markers but had no effect on anti-inflammatory M2c phenotype markers. Deletion of IL-4 and IL-13 also inhibited recovery from ischemia-reperfusion injury in association with increased M1 and decreased M2 markers and promoted subsequent tubulointerstitial fibrosis. Thus, IL-4 and IL-13 are required to effectively polarize macrophages/dendritic cells to an M2a phenotype and to promote recovery from acute kidney injury.
Copyright © 2016 International Society of Nephrology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Allergic airway diseases are immune disorders associated with heightened type 2 immune responses and IL-5 and IL-13 production at the site of inflammation. We have previously reported that cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibition by indomethacin augmented allergic airway inflammation in a STAT6-independent manner. However, the key COX product(s) responsible for restraining indomethacin-mediated STAT6-independent allergic inflammation is unknown. In this study, using the mouse model of OVA-induced allergic airway inflammation, we identified that PGI2 receptor (IP) signaling was critical for indomethacin-induced, STAT6-independent proallergic effects. We demonstrated that IP deficiency increased inflammatory cell infiltration, eosinophilia, and IL-5 and IL-13 expression in the lung in a STAT6-independent manner. The augmented STAT6-independent allergic inflammation correlated with enhanced primary immune responses to allergic sensitization and elevated production of multiple inflammatory chemokines (CCL11, CCL17, CCL22, and CXCL12) in the lung after allergen challenge. We also showed that the PGI2 analogue cicaprost inhibited CD4 T cell proliferation and IL-5 and IL-13 expression in vitro, and IP deficiency diminished the stimulatory effect of indomethacin on STAT6-independent IL-5 and IL-13 responses in vivo. The inhibitory effects of PGI2 and the IP signaling pathway on CD4 T cell activation, inflammatory chemokine production, and allergic sensitization and airway inflammation suggest that PGI2 and its analogue iloprost, both Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs, may be useful in treating allergic diseases and asthma. In addition, inhibiting PGI2 signaling by drugs that either block PGI2 production or restrain IP signaling may augment STAT6-independent pathways of allergic inflammation.
Copyright © 2016 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
Amplifications at 9p24 have been identified in breast cancer and other malignancies, but the genes within this locus causally associated with oncogenicity or tumor progression remain unclear. Targeted next-generation sequencing of postchemotherapy triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs) identified a group of 9p24-amplified tumors, which contained focal amplification of the Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) gene. These patients had markedly inferior recurrence-free and overall survival compared to patients with TNBC without JAK2 amplification. Detection of JAK2/9p24 amplifications was more common in chemotherapy-treated TNBCs than in untreated TNBCs or basal-like cancers, or in other breast cancer subtypes. Similar rates of JAK2 amplification were confirmed in patient-derived TNBC xenografts. In patients for whom longitudinal specimens were available, JAK2 amplification was selected for during neoadjuvant chemotherapy and eventual metastatic spread, suggesting a role in tumorigenicity and chemoresistance, phenotypes often attributed to a cancer stem cell-like cell population. In TNBC cell lines with JAK2 copy gains or amplification, specific inhibition of JAK2 signaling reduced mammosphere formation and cooperated with chemotherapy in reducing tumor growth in vivo. In these cells, inhibition of JAK1-signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling had little effect or, in some cases, counteracted JAK2-specific inhibition. Collectively, these results suggest that JAK2-specific inhibitors are more efficacious than dual JAK1/2 inhibitors against JAK2-amplified TNBCs. Furthermore, JAK2 amplification is a potential biomarker for JAK2 dependence, which, in turn, can be used to select patients for clinical trials with JAK2 inhibitors.
Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
While progress has been made in treating primary epithelial tumors, metastatic tumors remain largely incurable and still account for 85-90 % of all cancer-related deaths. Interleukin-4 (IL4), a Th2 cytokine, and the IL4/IL4 receptor (IL4R) interaction have well defined roles in the immune system. Yet, IL4 receptors are over-expressed by many epithelial cancers and could be a promising target for metastatic tumor therapy. The IL4/IL4R signaling axis is a strong promoter of pro-metastatic phenotypes in epithelial cancer cells including enhanced migration, invasion, survival, and proliferation. The promotion of breast cancer growth specifically is also supported in part by IL4-induced glutamine metabolism, and we have shown that IL4 is also capable of inducing glucose metabolism in breast cancer cells. Importantly, there are several types of FDA approved medications for use in asthma patients that inhibit the IL4/IL4R signaling axis. However, these approved medications inhibit both the type I IL4 receptor found on immune cells, and the type II IL4 receptor that is predominantly expressed by some non-hematopoietic cells including epithelial cancer cells. This article reviews existing therapies targeting IL4, IL4R, or IL4/IL4R signaling, and recent findings guiding the creation of novel therapies that specifically inhibit the type II IL4R, while taking into consideration effects on immune cells within the tumor microenvironment. Some of these therapies are currently in clinical trials for cancer patients, and may be exploitable for the treatment of metastatic disease.
Mucous cell metaplasia is a hallmark of asthma, and may be mediated by signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT)-6 signaling. IL-17A is increased in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of patients with severe asthma, and IL-17A also increases mucus production in airway epithelial cells. Asthma therapeutics are being developed that inhibit STAT6 signaling, but the role of IL-17A in inducing mucus production in the absence of STAT6 remains unknown. We hypothesized that IL-17A induces mucous cell metaplasia independent of STAT6, and we tested this hypothesis in two murine models in which increased IL-17A protein expression is evident. In the first model, ovalbumin (OVA)-specific D011.10 Th17 cells were adoptively transferred into wild-type (WT) or STAT6 knockout (KO) mice, and the mice were challenged with OVA or PBS. WT-OVA and STAT6 KO-OVA mice demonstrated increased airway IL-17A and IL-13 protein expression and mucous cell metaplasia, compared with WT-PBS or STAT6 KO-PBS mice. In the second model, WT, STAT1 KO, STAT1/STAT6 double KO (DKO), or STAT1/STAT6/IL-17 receptor A (RA) triple KO (TKO) mice were challenged with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) or mock viral preparation, and the mucous cells were assessed. STAT1 KO-RSV mice demonstrated increased airway mucous cell metaplasia compared with WT-RSV mice. STAT1 KO-RSV and STAT1/STAT6 DKO-RSV mice also demonstrated increased mucous cell metaplasia, compared with STAT1/STAT6/IL17RA TKO-RSV mice. We also treated primary murine tracheal epithelial cells (mTECs) from WT and STAT6 KO mice. STAT6 KO mTECs showed increased periodic acid-Schiff staining with IL-17A but not with IL-13. Thus, asthma therapies targeting STAT6 may increase IL-17A protein expression, without preventing IL-17A-induced mucus production.
Patients suffering from ulcerative colitis (UC) exhibit chronic colonic inflammation caused by a dysregulated mucosal immune response and epithelial barrier disruption. Th2 cytokines, including IL-13, have been implicated in the pathogenesis of UC. IL-13 induces phosphorylation of STAT6, and we previously demonstrated increased epithelial p-STAT6 in children with UC. In this study, we investigated the role of STAT6 in oxazolone colitis, a murine model of UC, by inducing colitis in STAT6-deficient (STAT6(-/-)) and wild type (WT) mice. We observed increased epithelial cell, T cell, macrophage, and NKT cell STAT6 phosphorylation, as well as increased p-STAT6(+) IL-13-producing NKT cells, in colitic WT mice. Colitis was attenuated in STAT6(-/-) mice, with improvements in weight, colon length, and histopathology. There was decreased induction of the pore-forming tight junction protein claudin-2 in STAT6(-/-) mice. Similarly, short hairpin RNA STAT6 knockdown reduced claudin-2 induction and transepithelial resistance decrease in IL-13-treated human T84 cells. Tissue expression of IL-13, IFN-γ, IL-17, and IL-10 mRNA was similarly induced in WT and STAT6(-/-) colitic mice; however, we observed increased mRNA expression for the Th2-inducing cytokines IL-33 and thymic stromal lymphopoietin in WT mice with colitis, which was abrogated in STAT6(-/-) mice. Mesenteric lymph node cells from STAT6(-/-) mice with colitis exhibited reduced secretion of IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, and IFN-γ. IL-33 augmented mesenteric lymph node cell secretion of IL-5, IL-13, IL-6, and IFN-γ. These data implicate STAT6 in the pathogenesis of colitis in vivo with important roles in altering epithelial barrier function and regulating Th2-inducing cytokine production.
BACKGROUND - Knowledge about signaling pathways in malignant cells may provide prognostic and diagnostic information in addition to identify potential molecular targets for therapy. B-cell receptor (BCR) and co-receptor CD40 signaling is essential for normal B cells, and there is increasing evidence that signaling via BCR and CD40 plays an important role in the pathogenesis of B-cell lymphoma. The aim of this study was to investigate basal and induced signaling in lymphoma B cells and infiltrating T cells in single-cell suspensions of biopsies from small cell lymphocytic lymphoma/chronic lymphocytic leukemia (SLL/CLL) and marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) patients.
METHODS - Samples from untreated SLL/CLL and MZL patients were examined for basal and activation induced signaling by phospho-specific flow cytometry. A panel of 9 stimulation conditions targeting B and T cells, including crosslinking of the B cell receptor (BCR), CD40 ligand and interleukins in combination with 12 matching phospho-protein readouts was used to study signaling.
RESULTS - Malignant B cells from SLL/CLL patients had higher basal levels of phosphorylated (p)-SFKs, p-PLCγ, p-ERK, p-p38, p-p65 (NF-κB), p-STAT5 and p-STAT6, compared to healthy donor B cells. In contrast, anti-BCR induced signaling was highly impaired in SLL/CLL and MZL B cells as determined by low p-SFK, p-SYK and p-PLCγ levels. Impaired anti-BCR-induced p-PLCγ was associated with reduced surface expression of IgM and CD79b. Similarly, CD40L-induced p-ERK and p-p38 were also significantly reduced in lymphoma B cells, whereas p-p65 (NF-κB) was equal to that of normal B cells. In contrast, IL-2, IL-7 and IL-15 induced p-STAT5 in tumor-infiltrating T cells were not different from normal T cells.
CONCLUSIONS - BCR signaling and CD40L-induced p-p38 was suppressed in malignant B cells from SLL/CLL and MZL patients. Single-cell phospho-specific flow cytometry for detection of basal as well as activation-induced phosphorylation of signaling proteins in distinct cell populations can be used to identify aberrant signaling pathways.
The differentiation of naïve CD4(+) T cells into T helper 2 (Th2) cells requires production of the cytokine IL-4 in the local microenvironment. It is evident that naïve/quiescently activated CD4(+) T cells produce the IL-4 that drives Th2 cell differentiation. Because early production of IL-4 in naïve T cells leads to preferential Th2 cell differentiation, this process needs to be tightly regulated so as to avoid catastrophic and misdirected Th2 cell differentiation. Here, we show that Thp5, a novel peptide with structural similarity to vasoactive intestinal peptide, regulates production of early IL-4 in newly activated CD4(+) T cells. Induction of IL-4 in CD4(+) T cells by Thp5 is independent of the transcription factor STAT6 but dependent on ERK1/2 signaling. Furthermore, cytokines (IL-12 and TGF-β) that promote the differentiation of Th1 or Th17 cells inhibit Thp5 induction, thus suppressing Th2 cell differentiation. We further showed that Thp5 enhances Th2 responses and exacerbates allergic airway inflammation in mice. Taken together, our findings reveal that early activated CD4(+) T cells produce Thp5, which plays a critical role as a molecular switch in the differentiation of Th cells, biasing the response toward the Th2 cell phenotype.
Poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase (PARP)14--a member of the B aggressive lymphoma (BAL) family of macrodomain-containing PARPs--is an ADP ribosyltransferase that interacts with Stat6, enhances induction of certain genes by IL-4, and is expressed in B lymphocytes. We now show that IL-4 enhancement of glycolysis in B cells requires PARP14 and that this process is central to a role of PARP14 in IL-4-induced survival. Thus, enhancements of AMP-activated protein kinase activity restored both IL-4-induced glycolytic activity in Parp14(-/-) B cells and prosurvival signaling by this cytokine. Suppression of apoptosis is central to B-lymphoid oncogenesis, and elevated macro-PARP expression has been correlated with lymphoma aggressiveness. Strikingly, PARP14 deficiency delayed B lymphomagenesis and reversed the block to B-cell maturation driven by the Myc oncogene. Collectively, these findings reveal links between a mammalian ADP ribosyltransferase, cytokine-regulated metabolic activity, and apoptosis; show that PARP14 influences Myc-induced oncogenesis; and suggest that the PARP14-dependent capacity to increase cellular metabolic rates may be an important determinant of lymphoma pathobiology.
BACKGROUND - Interleukin 13 (IL-13) is upregulated in ulcerative colitis (UC) and increases colon epithelial permeability by inducing apoptosis and expression of the pore-forming tight junction protein claudin-2. IL-13 induces activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 (STAT6). However, the STAT6 phosphorylation status in patients with UC is unknown, as is the effect of STAT6 inhibition on colonic epithelium exposed to IL-13. The study aims were to determine if mucosal STAT6 phosphorylation is increased in patients with UC, and if STAT6 inhibition attenuates IL-13-induced colon epithelial cell dysfunction.
METHODS - Immunohistochemical staining for phosphorylated (p) STAT6 was performed on colonic tissue from newly diagnosed pediatric subjects with UC (early UC) or Crohn's disease (CD), colectomy tissue from adults with UC (advanced UC), and controls. Colon HT-29 and T84 cells were transfected with STAT6 small interfering RNA (siRNA), or treated with suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor that inhibits STAT6, prior to IL-13 treatment.
RESULTS - The median score for epithelial pSTAT6 was 0 in control subjects, 2 in early UC (versus control P = 0.019), 4 in advanced UC (P = 0.003), and 0 in CD (P = 0.4). Cell transfection with STAT6 siRNA prevented IL-13-induced apoptosis and claudin-2 expression. SAHA inhibited IL-13-induced STAT6 phosphorylation, apoptosis, and claudin-2 expression, and mitigated IL-13-induced reductions in transepithelial resistance.
CONCLUSIONS - UC is associated with increased colonic epithelial STAT6 phosphorylation, and STAT6 inhibition prevents IL-13-induced apoptosis and barrier disruption. These data identify STAT6 as a novel target for UC treatment and support further study of SAHA as a therapeutic agent.
Copyright © 2011 Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, Inc.