STAT1 is the main signal transducer for type I and II IFNs and plays a central role in the regulation of innate and adaptive immune responses. We used Stat1-deficient mice to test the role of donor Stat1 in MHC-matched minor histocompatibility antigen–mismatched (mHA-mismatched) and fully MHC-mismatched models of bone marrow transplantation. Lack of Stat1 in donor splenocytes reduced graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in both immunogenetic disparities, leading to substantially attenuated morbidity and mortality. Donor Stat1 deficiency resulted in reduced alloantigen-induced activation and expansion of donor T cells and correlated with the expansion of CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ Tregs in vivo. This expansion of Tregs was further confirmed by studies showing that Stat1 deficiency promoted the proliferation, while inhibiting the apoptosis, of natural Tregs, and that absence of Stat1 enhanced the induction of inducible Tregs both in vitro and in vivo. Ex vivo expanded Stat1–/– Tregs were superior to wild-type Tregs in suppressing alloantigen-driven expansion of T cells in vitro and in inhibiting the development of GVHD. These observations demonstrate that Stat1 is a regulator of Tregs and that targeting Stat1 in CD4+ T cells may facilitate in vitro and in vivo expansion of Tregs for therapeutic use.
Huihui Ma, Caisheng Lu, Judith Ziegler, Ailing Liu, Antonia Sepulveda, Hideho Okada, Suzanne Lentzsch, Markus Y. Mapara
Thrombosis is initiated by tissue factor (TF), a coagulation cofactor/receptor expressed in the vessel wall, on myeloid cells, and on microparticles (MPs) with variable procoagulant activity. However, the molecular pathways that generate prothrombotic TF in vivo are poorly defined. The oxidoreductase protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) is thought to be involved in the activation of TF. Here, we found that in mouse myeloid cells, ATP-triggered signaling through purinergic receptor P2X, ligand-gated ion channel, 7 (P2X7 receptor; encoded by P2rx7) induced activation (decryption) of TF procoagulant activity and promoted release of TF+ MPs from macrophages and SMCs. The generation of prothrombotic MPs required P2X7 receptor–dependent production of ROS leading to increased availability of solvent-accessible extracellular thiols. An antibody to PDI with antithrombotic activity in vivo attenuated the release of procoagulant MPs. In addition, P2rx7–/– mice were protected from TF-dependent FeCl3-induced carotid artery thrombosis. BM chimeras revealed that P2X7 receptor prothrombotic function was present in both hematopoietic and vessel wall compartments. In contrast, an alternative anti-PDI antibody showed activities consistent with cellular activation typically induced by P2X7 receptor signaling. This anti-PDI antibody restored TF-dependent thrombosis in P2rx7–/– mice. These data suggest that PDI regulates a critical P2X7 receptor–dependent signaling pathway that generates prothrombotic TF, defining a link between inflammation and thrombosis with potential implications for antithrombotic therapy.
Christian Furlan-Freguia, Patrizia Marchese, András Gruber, Zaverio M. Ruggeri, Wolfram Ruf
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a major cause of pulmonary thromboembolism, a leading cause of death in individuals with DVT. Several lines of evidence indicate proinflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α are involved in thrombus formation and resolution, but the roles of IFN-γ remain unclear. To address this issue, we performed ligation of the inferior vena cava to induce DVT in WT and IFN-γ–deficient (Ifng–/–) mice. In WT mice, intrathrombotic IFN-γ levels were elevated progressively as the postligation interval was extended. Thrombus size was substantially smaller at 10 and 14 days in Ifng–/– mice than in WT mice. Intrathrombotic collagen content was remarkably reduced at more than 10 days after the ligation in Ifng–/– mice compared with WT mice. The expression and activity of MMP-9, but not MMP-2, was higher at the late phase in Ifng–/– mice than in WT mice. Moreover, intrathrombotic recanalization was increased in Ifng–/– mice, with enhanced Vegf gene expression, compared with that in WT mice. Activation of the IFN-γ/Stat1 signal pathway suppressed PMA-induced Mmp9 and Vegf gene expression in peritoneal macrophages. Furthermore, administration of anti–IFN-γ mAbs accelerated thrombus resolution in WT mice. Collectively, these findings indicate that IFN-γ can have detrimental roles in thrombus resolution and may be a good molecular target for the acceleration of thrombus resolution in individuals with DVT.
Mizuho Nosaka, Yuko Ishida, Akihiko Kimura, Yumi Kuninaka, Masanori Inui, Naofumi Mukaida, Toshikazu Kondo
Transcription intermediary factor 1γ (TIF1γ) was suggested to play a role in erythropoiesis. However, how TIF1γ regulates the development of different blood cell lineages and whether TIF1γ is involved in human hematological malignancies remain to be determined. Here we have shown that TIF1γ was a tumor suppressor in mouse and human chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML). Loss of Tif1g in mouse HSCs favored the expansion of the granulo-monocytic progenitor compartment. Furthermore, Tif1g deletion induced the age-dependent appearance of a cell-autonomous myeloproliferative disorder in mice that recapitulated essential characteristics of human CMML. TIF1γ was almost undetectable in leukemic cells of 35% of CMML patients. This downregulation was related to the hypermethylation of CpG sequences and specific histone modifications in the gene promoter. A demethylating agent restored the normal epigenetic status of the TIF1G promoter in human cells, which correlated with a reestablishment of TIF1γ expression. Together, these results demonstrate that TIF1G is an epigenetically regulated tumor suppressor gene in hematopoietic cells and suggest that changes in TIF1γ expression may be a biomarker of response to demethylating agents in CMML.
Romain Aucagne, Nathalie Droin, Jérôme Paggetti, Brice Lagrange, Anne Largeot, Arlette Hammann, Amandine Bataille, Laurent Martin, Kai-Ping Yan, Pierre Fenaux, Régine Losson, Eric Solary, Jean-Noël Bastie, Laurent Delva
Hemolytic transfusion reactions (HTRs) can produce serious and potentially life-threatening complications in sickle cell disease (SCD) patients; however, the mechanisms underlying these complications remain undetermined. We established a model of alloimmune, IgG-mediated HTRs in a well-characterized humanized murine model of SCD. HTRs induced acute vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC), resulting in shortened survival of SCD mice. Acute VOC was associated with elevated circulating inflammatory chemokine levels, including striking elevation of the levels of the neutrophil chemoattractant CXCL1. Recombinant CXCL1 administration was sufficient to induce acute VOC in SCD mice, characterized by leukocyte recruitment in venules, capture of circulating red blood cells, reduction of venular flow, and shortened survival. In contrast, blockade of the CXCL1 receptor, CXCR2, prevented HTR-elicited acute VOC and prolonged survival in SCD mice. These results indicate that CXCL1 is a key inflammatory mediator of acute VOC in SCD mice. Targeted inhibition of CXCL1 and/or CXCR2 may therefore represent a new therapeutic approach for acute VOC in SCD patients.
Jung-Eun Jang, Eldad A. Hod, Steven L. Spitalnik, Paul S. Frenette
IL-15 may have a role in the development of T cell large granular lymphocyte (T-LGL) or NKT leukemias. However, the mechanisms of action and the identity of the cell subset that undergoes leukemic transformation remain elusive. Here we show that in both mice and humans, NKp46 expression marks a minute population of WT NKT cells with higher activity and potency to become leukemic. Virtually 100% of T-LGL leukemias in IL-15 transgenic mice expressed NKp46, as did a majority of human T-LGL leukemias. The minute NKp46+ NKT population, but not the NKp46– NKT population, was selectively expanded by overexpression of endogenous IL-15. Importantly, IL-15 transgenic NKp46– NKT cells did not become NKp46+ in vivo, suggesting that NKp46+ T-LGL leukemia cells were the malignant counterpart of the minute WT NKp46+ NKT population. Mechanistically, NKp46+ NKT cells possessed higher responsiveness to IL-15 in vitro and in vivo compared with that of their NKp46– NKT counterparts. Furthermore, interruption of IL-15 signaling using a neutralizing antibody could prevent LGL leukemia in IL-15 transgenic mice. Collectively, our data demonstrate that NKp46 identifies a functionally distinct NKT subset in mice and humans that appears to be directly susceptible to leukemic transformation when IL-15 is overexpressed. Thus, IL-15 signaling and NKp46 may be useful targets in the treatment of patients with T-LGL or NKT leukemia.
Jianhua Yu, Takeki Mitsui, Min Wei, Hsiaoyin Mao, Jonathan P. Butchar, Mithun Vinod Shah, Jianying Zhang, Anjali Mishra, Christopher Alvarez-Breckenridge, Xingluo Liu, Shujun Liu, Akihiko Yokohama, Rossana Trotta, Guido Marcucci, Don M. Benson Jr., Thomas P. Loughran Jr., Susheela Tridandapani, Michael A. Caligiuri
HSCs either self-renew or differentiate to give rise to multipotent cells whose progeny provide blood cell precursors. However, surprisingly little is known about the factors that regulate this choice of self-renewal versus differentiation. One candidate is the Notch signaling pathway, with ex vivo studies suggesting that Notch regulates HSC differentiation, although a functional role for Notch in HSC self-renewal in vivo remains controversial. Here, we have shown that Notch2, and not Notch1, inhibits myeloid differentiation and enhances generation of primitive Sca-1+c-kit+ progenitors following in vitro culture of enriched HSCs with purified Notch ligands. In mice, Notch2 enhanced the rate of formation of short-term repopulating multipotential progenitor cells (MPPs) as well as long-term repopulating HSCs, while delaying myeloid differentiation in BM following injury. However, consistent with previous reports, once homeostasis was achieved, neither Notch1 nor Notch2 affected repopulating cell self-renewal. These data indicate a Notch2-dependent role in assuring orderly repopulation by HSCs, MPPs, myeloid cells, and lymphoid cells during BM regeneration.
Barbara Varnum-Finney, Lia M. Halasz, Mingyi Sun, Thomas Gridley, Freddy Radtke, Irwin D. Bernstein
Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is a life-threatening disease characterized by systemic microvascular thrombosis caused by adhesion of platelets to ultra-large vWF (ULVWF) multimers. These multimers accumulate because of a deficiency of the processing enzyme ADAMTS13. vWF protein forms long multimers from homodimers that first form through C-terminal disulfide bonds and then join through their N termini by further disulfide bonding. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is an FDA-approved drug that has long been used to treat chronic obstructive lung disease and acetaminophen toxicity and is known to function in the former disorder by reducing mucin multimers. Here, we examined whether NAC could reduce vWF multimers, which polymerize in a manner similar to mucins. In vitro, NAC reduced soluble plasma-type vWF multimers in a concentration-dependent manner and rapidly degraded ULVWF multimer strings extruded from activated ECs. The effect was preceded by reduction of the intrachain disulfide bond encompassing the platelet-binding A1 domain. NAC also inhibited vWF-dependent platelet aggregation and collagen binding. Injection of NAC into ADAMTS13-deficient mice led to the rapid resolution of thrombi produced by ionophore treatment of the mesenteric venules and reduced plasma vWF multimers. These results suggest that NAC may be a rapid and effective treatment for patients with TTP.
Junmei Chen, Adili Reheman, Francisca C. Gushiken, Leticia Nolasco, Xiaoyun Fu, Joel L. Moake, Heyu Ni, José A. López
DNA damage checkpoints in the cell cycle may be important barriers against cancer progression in human cells. Fanconi anemia (FA) is an inherited DNA instability disorder that is associated with bone marrow failure and a strong predisposition to cancer. Although FA cells experience constitutive chromosomal breaks, cell cycle arrest at the G2 DNA damage checkpoint, and an excess of cell death, some patients do become clinically stable, and the mechanisms underlying this, other than spontaneous reversion of the disease-causing mutation, are not well understood. Here we have defined a clonal phenotype, termed attenuation, in which FA patients acquire an abrogation of the G2 checkpoint arrest. Attenuated cells expressed lower levels of CHK1 (also known as CHEK1) and p53. The attenuation could be recapitulated by modulating the ATR/CHK1 pathway, and CHK1 inhibition protected FA cells from cell death. FA patients who expressed the attenuated phenotype had mild bone marrow deficiency and reached adulthood, but several of them eventually developed myelodysplasia or leukemia. Better understanding of attenuation might help predict a patient’s clinical course and guide choice of treatment. Our results also highlight the importance of evaluating the cellular DNA damage checkpoint and repair pathways in cancer therapies in general.
Raphael Ceccaldi, Delphine Briot, Jérôme Larghero, Nadia Vasquez, Catherine Dubois d’Enghien, Delphine Chamousset, Maria-Elena Noguera, Quinten Waisfisz, Olivier Hermine, Corinne Pondarre, Thierry Leblanc, Eliane Gluckman, Hans Joenje, Dominique Stoppa-Lyonnet, Gérard Socié, Jean Soulier
Human leukemic stem cells, like other cancer stem cells, are hypothesized to be rare, capable of incomplete differentiation, and restricted to a phenotype associated with early hematopoietic progenitors or stem cells. However, recent work in other types of tumors has challenged the cancer stem cell model. Using a robust model of xenotransplantation based on NOD/SCID/IL2Rγc-deficient mice, we confirmed that human leukemic stem cells, functionally defined by us as SCID leukemia-initiating cells (SL-ICs), are rare in acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). In contrast to previous results, SL-ICs were found among cells expressing lineage markers (i.e., among Lin+ cells), CD38, or CD45RA, all markers associated with normal committed progenitors. Remarkably, each engrafting fraction consistently recapitulated the original phenotypic diversity of the primary AML specimen and contained self-renewing leukemic stem cells, as demonstrated by secondary transplants. While SL-ICs were enriched in the Lin–CD38– fraction compared with the other fractions analyzed, SL-ICs in this fraction represented only one-third of all SL-ICs present in the unfractionated specimen. These results indicate that human AML stem cells are rare and enriched but not restricted to the phenotype associated with normal primitive hematopoietic cells. These results suggest a plasticity of the cancer stem cell phenotype that we believe has not been previously described.
Jean-Emmanuel Sarry, Kathleen Murphy, Robin Perry, Patricia V. Sanchez, Anthony Secreto, Cathy Keefer, Cezary R. Swider, Anne-Claire Strzelecki, Cindy Cavelier, Christian Récher, Véronique Mansat-De Mas, Eric Delabesse, G. Danet-Desnoyers, Martin Carroll