Treatment options are limited for severe asthma, and the need for additional therapies remains great. Previously, we demonstrated that integrin αvβ6-deficient mice are protected from airway hyperresponsiveness, due in part to increased expression of the murine ortholog of human chymase. Here, we determined that chymase protects against cytokine-enhanced bronchoconstriction by cleaving fibronectin to impair tension transmission in airway smooth muscle (ASM). Additionally, we identified a pathway that can be therapeutically targeted to mitigate the effects of airway hyperresponsiveness. Administration of chymase to human bronchial rings abrogated IL-13–enhanced contraction, and this effect was not due to alterations in calcium homeostasis or myosin light chain phosphorylation. Rather, chymase cleaved fibronectin, inhibited ASM adhesion, and attenuated focal adhesion phosphorylation. Disruption of integrin ligation with an RGD-containing peptide abrogated IL-13–enhanced contraction, with no further effect from chymase. We identified α5β1 as the primary fibronectin-binding integrin in ASM, and α5β1-specific blockade inhibited focal adhesion phosphorylation and IL-13–enhanced contraction, with no additional effect from chymase. Delivery of an α5β1 inhibitor into murine airways abrogated the exaggerated bronchoconstriction induced by allergen sensitization and challenge. Finally, α5β1 blockade enhanced the effect of the bronchodilator isoproterenol on airway relaxation. Our data identify the α5β1 integrin as a potential therapeutic target to mitigate the severity of airway contraction in asthma.
Aparna Sundaram, Chun Chen, Amin Khalifeh-Soltani, Amha Atakilit, Xin Ren, Wenli Qiu, Hyunil Jo, William DeGrado, Xiaozhu Huang, Dean Sheppard
Progressive tissue fibrosis is a major cause of the morbidity and mortality associated with repeated epithelial injuries and accumulation of myofibroblasts. Successful treatment options are limited by an incomplete understanding of the molecular mechanisms that regulate myofibroblast accumulation. Here, we employed in vivo lineage tracing and real-time gene expression transgenic reporting methods to analyze the early embryonic transcription factor T-box gene 4 (TBX4), and determined that TBX4-lineage mesenchymal progenitors are the predominant source of myofibroblasts in injured adult lung. In a murine model, ablation of TBX4-expressing cells or disruption of TBX4 signaling attenuated lung fibrosis after bleomycin-induced injury. Furthermore, TBX4 regulated hyaluronan synthase 2 production to enable fibroblast invasion of matrix both in murine models and in fibroblasts from patients with severe pulmonary fibrosis. These data identify TBX4 as a mesenchymal transcription factor that drives accumulation of myofibroblasts and the development of lung fibrosis. Targeting TBX4 and downstream factors that regulate fibroblast invasiveness could lead to therapeutic approaches in lung fibrosis.
Ting Xie, Jiurong Liang, Ningshan Liu, Caijuan Huan, Yanli Zhang, Weijia Liu, Maya Kumar, Rui Xiao, Jeanine D’Armiento, Daniel Metzger, Pierre Chambon, Virginia E. Papaioannou, Barry R. Stripp, Dianhua Jiang, Paul W. Noble
Loss of the growth-suppressive effects of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling has been demonstrated to promote pulmonary arterial endothelial cell dysfunction and induce pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cell (PASMC) proliferation, leading to the development of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). MicroRNAs (miRs) mediate higher order regulation of cellular function through coordinated modulation of mRNA targets; however, miR expression is altered by disease development and drug therapy. Here, we examined treatment-naive patients and experimental models of PAH and identified a reduction in the levels of miR-140-5p. Inhibition of miR-140-5p promoted PASMC proliferation and migration in vitro. In rat models of PAH, nebulized delivery of miR-140-5p mimic prevented the development of PAH and attenuated the progression of established PAH. Network and pathway analysis identified SMAD-specific E3 ubiquitin protein ligase 1 (SMURF1) as a key miR-140-5p target and regulator of BMP signaling. Evaluation of human tissue revealed that SMURF1 is increased in patients with PAH. miR-140-5p mimic or SMURF1 knockdown in PASMCs altered BMP signaling, further supporting these factors as regulators of BMP signaling. Finally,
Alexander M.K. Rothman, Nadine D. Arnold, Josephine A. Pickworth, James Iremonger, Loredana Ciuclan, Robert Allen, Sabine Guth-Gundel, Mark Southwood, Nicholas W. Morrell, Matthew Thomas, Sheila E. Francis, David J. Rowlands, Allan Lawrie
The development of pathologic mucus, which is not readily cleared from the airways, is an important contributor to the morbidity and mortality associated with asthma. It is not clear how the major airway mucins MUC5AC and MUC5B are organized within the mucus gel or how this gel contributes to airway obstruction in asthma. Here, we demonstrated that mucus plugs from individuals with fatal asthma are heterogeneous gels with distinct MUC5AC- and MUC5B-containing domains. Stimulation of cultured human bronchial epithelial cells with IL-13, a key mediator in asthma, induced the formation of heterogeneous mucus gels and dramatically impaired mucociliary transport. Impaired transport was not associated with defects in ciliary function but instead was related to tethering of MUC5AC-containing mucus gel domains to mucus-producing cells in the epithelium. Replacement of tethered mucus with untethered mucus restored mucociliary transport. Together, our results indicate that tethering of MUC5AC-containing domains to the epithelium causes mucostasis and likely represents a major cause of mucus plugging in asthma.
Luke R. Bonser, Lorna Zlock, Walter Finkbeiner, David J. Erle
Matthew C. Frise, Hung-Yuan Cheng, Annabel H. Nickol, M. Kate Curtis, Karen A. Pollard, David J. Roberts, Peter J. Ratcliffe, Keith L. Dorrington, Peter A. Robbins
Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases globally and can be divided into presenting with or without an immune response. Current therapies have little effect on nonimmune disease, and the mechanisms that drive this type of asthma are poorly understood. Here, we have shown that loss of the transcription factors forkhead box P1 (
Shanru Li, Cynthia Koziol-White, Joseph Jude, Meiqi Jiang, Hengjiang Zhao, Gaoyuan Cao, Edwin Yoo, William Jester, Michael P. Morley, Su Zhou, Yi Wang, Min Min Lu, Reynold A. Panettieri Jr., Edward E. Morrisey
Influenza A viruses (IAV) can cause lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which is characterized by accumulation of excessive fluid (edema) in the alveolar airspaces and leads to hypoxemia and death if not corrected. Clearance of excess edema fluid is driven mostly by the alveolar epithelial Na,K-ATPase and is crucial for survival of patients with ARDS. We therefore investigated whether IAV infection alters Na,K-ATPase expression and function in alveolar epithelial cells (AECs) and the ability of the lung to clear edema. IAV infection reduced Na,K-ATPase in the plasma membrane of human and murine AECs and in distal lung epithelium of infected mice. Moreover, induced Na,K-ATPase improved alveolar fluid clearance (AFC) in IAV-infected mice. We identified a paracrine cell communication network between infected and noninfected AECs and alveolar macrophages that leads to decreased alveolar epithelial Na,K-ATPase function and plasma membrane abundance and inhibition of AFC. We determined that the IAV-induced reduction of Na,K-ATPase is mediated by a host signaling pathway that involves epithelial type I IFN and an IFN-dependent elevation of macrophage TNF-related apoptosis–inducing ligand (TRAIL). Our data reveal that interruption of this cellular crosstalk improves edema resolution, which is of biologic and clinical importance to patients with IAV-induced lung injury.
Christin Peteranderl, Luisa Morales-Nebreda, Balachandar Selvakumar, Emilia Lecuona, István Vadász, Rory E. Morty, Carole Schmoldt, Julia Bespalowa, Thorsten Wolff, Stephan Pleschka, Konstantin Mayer, Stefan Gattenloehner, Ludger Fink, Juergen Lohmeyer, Werner Seeger, Jacob I. Sznajder, Gökhan M. Mutlu, G.R. Scott Budinger, Susanne Herold
Cystic fibrosis (CF) disrupts respiratory host defenses, allowing bacterial infection, inflammation, and mucus accumulation to progressively destroy the lungs. Our previous studies revealed that mucus with abnormal behavior impaired mucociliary transport in newborn CF piglets prior to the onset of secondary manifestations. To further investigate mucus abnormalities, here we studied airway surface liquid (ASL) collected from newborn piglets and ASL on cultured airway epithelia. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching revealed that the viscosity of CF ASL was increased relative to that of non-CF ASL. CF ASL had a reduced pH, which was necessary and sufficient for genotype-dependent viscosity differences. The increased viscosity of CF ASL was not explained by pH-independent changes in HCO3– concentration, altered glycosylation, additional pH-induced disulfide bond formation, increased percentage of nonvolatile material, or increased sulfation. Treating acidic ASL with hypertonic saline or heparin largely reversed the increased viscosity, suggesting that acidic pH influences mucin electrostatic interactions. These findings link loss of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator–dependent alkalinization to abnormal CF ASL. In addition, we found that increasing Ca2+ concentrations elevated ASL viscosity, in part, independently of pH. The results suggest that increasing pH, reducing Ca2+ concentration, and/or altering electrostatic interactions in ASL might benefit early CF.
Xiao Xiao Tang, Lynda S. Ostedgaard, Mark J. Hoegger, Thomas O. Moninger, Philip H. Karp, James D. McMenimen, Biswa Choudhury, Ajit Varki, David A. Stoltz, Michael J. Welsh
Airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) affects 55%–77% of children with sickle cell disease (SCD) and occurs even in the absence of asthma. While asthma increases SCD morbidity and mortality, the mechanisms underlying the high AHR prevalence in a hemoglobinopathy remain unknown. We hypothesized that placenta growth factor (PlGF), an erythroblast-secreted factor that is elevated in SCD, mediates AHR. In allergen-exposed mice, loss of
Marthe-Sandrine Eiymo Mwa Mpollo, Eric B. Brandt, Shiva Kumar Shanmukhappa, Paritha I. Arumugam, Swati Tiwari, Anastacia Loberg, Devin Pillis, Tilat Rizvi, Mark Lindsey, Bart Jonck, Peter Carmeliet, Vijay K. Kalra, Timothy D. Le Cras, Nancy Ratner, Marsha Wills-Karp, Gurjit K. Khurana Hershey, Punam Malik
Regulation of neutrophil activity is critical for immune evasion among extracellular pathogens, yet the mechanisms by which many bacteria disrupt phagocyte function remain unclear. Here, we have shown that the respiratory pathogen
Christopher B. Hergott, Aoife M. Roche, Nikhil A. Naidu, Clementina Mesaros, Ian A. Blair, Jeffrey N. Weiser
Inflammasome activation and caspase-1–dependent (CASP1-dependent) processing and secretion of IL-1β and IL-18 are critical events at the interface of the bacterial pathogen
Katrin N. Koch, Mara L. Hartung, Sabine Urban, Andreas Kyburz, Anna S. Bahlmann, Judith Lind, Steffen Backert, Christian Taube, Anne Müller
Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome (HPS) comprises a group of inherited disorders caused by mutations that alter the function of lysosome-related organelles. Pulmonary fibrosis is the major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with subtypes HPS-1 and HPS-4, which both result from defects in biogenesis of lysosome-related organelle complex 3 (BLOC-3). The prototypic chitinase-like protein chitinase 3–like–1 (CHI3L1) plays a protective role in the lung by ameliorating cell death and stimulating fibroproliferative repair. Here, we demonstrated that circulating CHI3L1 levels are higher in HPS patients with pulmonary fibrosis compared with those who remain fibrosis free, and that these levels associate with disease severity. Using murine HPS models, we also determined that these animals have a defect in the ability of CHI3L1 to inhibit epithelial apoptosis but exhibit exaggerated CHI3L1-driven fibroproliferation, which together promote HPS fibrosis. These divergent responses resulted from differences in the trafficking and effector functions of two CHI3L1 receptors. Specifically, the enhanced sensitivity to apoptosis was due to abnormal localization of IL-13Rα2 as a consequence of dysfunctional BLOC-3–dependent membrane trafficking. In contrast, the fibrosis was due to interactions between CHI3L1 and the receptor CRTH2, which trafficked normally in BLOC-3 mutant HPS. These data demonstrate that CHI3L1-dependent pathways exacerbate pulmonary fibrosis and suggest CHI3L1 as a potential biomarker for pulmonary fibrosis progression and severity in HPS.
Yang Zhou, Chuan Hua He, Erica L. Herzog, Xueyan Peng, Chang-Min Lee, Tung H. Nguyen, Mridu Gulati, Bernadette R. Gochuico, William A. Gahl, Martin L. Slade, Chun Geun Lee, Jack A. Elias
Severe asthma (SA) is a challenge to control, as patients are not responsive to high doses of systemic corticosteroids (CS). In contrast, mild-moderate asthma (MMA) is responsive to low doses of inhaled CS, indicating that Th2 cells, which are dominant in MMA, do not solely orchestrate SA development. Here, we analyzed broncholalveolar lavage cells isolated from MMA and SA patients and determined that IFN-γ (Th1) immune responses are exacerbated in the airways of individuals with SA, with reduced Th2 and IL-17 responses. We developed a protocol that recapitulates the complex immune response of human SA, including the poor response to CS, in a murine model. Compared with WT animals,
Mahesh Raundhal, Christina Morse, Anupriya Khare, Timothy B. Oriss, Jadranka Milosevic, John Trudeau, Rachael Huff, Joseph Pilewski, Fernando Holguin, Jay Kolls, Sally Wenzel, Prabir Ray, Anuradha Ray
Cigarette smoke (CS) and viruses promote the inflammation and remodeling associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The MAVS/RIG-I–like helicase (MAVS/RLH) pathway and inflammasome-dependent innate immune pathways are important mediators of these responses. At baseline, the MAVS/RLH pathway is suppressed, and this inhibition must be reversed to engender tissue effects; however, the mechanisms that mediate activation and repression of the pathway have not been defined. In addition, the regulation and contribution of MAVS/RLH signaling in CS-induced inflammation and remodeling responses and in the development of human COPD remain unaddressed. Here, we demonstrate that expression of NLRX1, which inhibits the MAVS/RLH pathway and regulates other innate immune responses, was markedly decreased in 3 independent cohorts of COPD patients. NLRX1 suppression correlated directly with disease severity and inversely with pulmonary function, quality of life, and prognosis. In murine models, CS inhibited NLRX1, and CS-induced inflammation, alveolar destruction, protease induction, structural cell apoptosis, and inflammasome activation were augmented in NLRX1-deficient animals. Conversely, MAVS deficiency abrogated this CS-induced inflammation and remodeling. Restoration of NLRX1 in CS-exposed animals ameliorated alveolar destruction. These data support a model in which CS-dependent NLRX1 inhibition facilitates MAVS/RHL activation and subsequent inflammation, remodeling, protease, cell death, and inflammasome responses.
Min-Jong Kang, Chang Min Yoon, Bo Hye Kim, Chang-Min Lee, Yang Zhou, Maor Sauler, Rober Homer, Anish Dhamija, Daniel Boffa, Andrew Phillip West, Gerald S. Shadel, Jenny P. Ting, John R. Tedrow, Naftali Kaminski, Woo Jin Kim, Chun Geun Lee, Yeon-Mok Oh, Jack A. Elias
Epithelial cells that line the conducting airways provide the initial barrier and innate immune responses to the abundant particles, microbes, and allergens that are inhaled throughout life. The transcription factors SPDEF and FOXA3 are both selectively expressed in epithelial cells lining the conducting airways, where they regulate goblet cell differentiation and mucus production. Moreover, these transcription factors are upregulated in chronic lung disorders, including asthma. Here, we show that expression of SPDEF or FOXA3 in airway epithelial cells in neonatal mice caused goblet cell differentiation, spontaneous eosinophilic inflammation, and airway hyperresponsiveness to methacholine. SPDEF expression promoted DC recruitment and activation in association with induction of
Priya Rajavelu, Gang Chen, Yan Xu, Joseph A. Kitzmiller, Thomas R. Korfhagen, Jeffrey A. Whitsett
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is commonly associated with chronic hypoxemia in disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Prostacyclin analogs are widely used in the management of PAH patients; however, clinical efficacy and long-term tolerability of some prostacyclin analogs may be compromised by concomitant activation of the E-prostanoid 3 (EP3) receptor. Here, we found that
Ankang Lu, Caojian Zuo, Yuhu He, Guilin Chen, Lingjuan Piao, Jian Zhang, Bing Xiao, Yujun Shen, Juan Tang, Deping Kong, Sara Alberti, Di Chen, Shenkai Zuo, Qianqian Zhang, Shuai Yan, Xiaochun Fei, Fei Yuan, Bin Zhou, Shengzhong Duan, Yu Yu, Michael Lazarus, Yunchao Su, Richard M. Breyer, Colin D. Funk, Ying Yu
Vascular endothelial barrier dysfunction underlies diseases such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), characterized by edema and inflammatory cell infiltration. The transcription factor HIF2α is highly expressed in vascular endothelial cells (ECs) and may regulate endothelial barrier function. Here, we analyzed promoter sequences of genes encoding proteins that regulate adherens junction (AJ) integrity and determined that
Haixia Gong, Jalees Rehman, Haiyang Tang, Kishore Wary, Manish Mittal, Pallavi Chatturvedi, Youyang Zhao, Yulia A. Komorova, Stephen M. Vogel, Asrar B. Malik
Although aging is a known risk factor for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), the pathogenic mechanisms that underlie the effects of advancing age remain largely unexplained. Some age-related neurodegenerative diseases have an etiology that is related to mitochondrial dysfunction. Here, we found that alveolar type II cells (AECIIs) in the lungs of IPF patients exhibit marked accumulation of dysmorphic and dysfunctional mitochondria. These mitochondrial abnormalities in AECIIs of IPF lungs were associated with upregulation of ER stress markers and were recapitulated in normal mice with advancing age in response to stimulation of ER stress. We found that impaired mitochondria in IPF and aging lungs were associated with low expression of PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1). Knockdown of PINK1 expression in lung epithelial cells resulted in mitochondria depolarization and expression of profibrotic factors. Moreover, young PINK1-deficient mice developed similarly dysmorphic, dysfunctional mitochondria in the AECIIs and were vulnerable to apoptosis and development of lung fibrosis. Our data indicate that PINK1 deficiency results in swollen, dysfunctional mitochondria and defective mitophagy, and promotes fibrosis in the aging lung.
Marta Bueno, Yen-Chun Lai, Yair Romero, Judith Brands, Claudette M. St. Croix, Christelle Kamga, Catherine Corey, Jose D. Herazo-Maya, John Sembrat, Janet S. Lee, Steve R. Duncan, Mauricio Rojas, Sruti Shiva, Charleen T. Chu, Ana L. Mora
Mutations in the essential telomerase genes
Susan E. Stanley, Julian J.L. Chen, Joshua D. Podlevsky, Jonathan K. Alder, Nadia N. Hansel, Rasika A. Mathias, Xiaodong Qi, Nicholas M. Rafaels, Robert A. Wise, Edwin K. Silverman, Kathleen C. Barnes, Mary Armanios
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a fatal fibrotic lung disorder with no effective medical treatments available. The generation of myofibroblasts, which are critical for fibrogenesis, requires both a mechanical signal and activated TGF-β; however, it is not clear how fibroblasts sense and transmit the mechanical signal(s) that promote differentiation into myofibroblasts. As transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) channels are activated in response to changes in plasma membrane stretch/matrix stiffness, we investigated whether TRPV4 contributes to generation of myofibroblasts and/or experimental lung fibrosis. We determined that TRPV4 activity is upregulated in lung fibroblasts derived from patients with IPF. Moreover, TRPV4-deficient mice were protected from fibrosis. Furthermore, genetic ablation or pharmacological inhibition of TRPV4 function abrogated myofibroblast differentiation, which was restored by TRPV4 reintroduction. TRPV4 channel activity was elevated when cells were plated on matrices of increasing stiffness or on fibrotic lung tissue, and matrix stiffness–dependent myofibroblast differentiation was reduced in response to TRVP4 inhibition. TRPV4 activity modulated TGF-β1–dependent actions in a SMAD-independent manner, enhanced actomyosin remodeling, and increased nuclear translocation of the α-SMA transcription coactivator (MRTF-A). Together, these data indicate that TRPV4 activity mediates pulmonary fibrogenesis and suggest that manipulation of TRPV4 channel activity has potential as a therapeutic approach for fibrotic diseases.
Shaik O. Rahaman, Lisa M. Grove, Sailaja Paruchuri, Brian D. Southern, Susamma Abraham, Kathryn A. Niese, Rachel G. Scheraga, Sudakshina Ghosh, Charles K. Thodeti, David X. Zhang, Magdalene M. Moran, William P. Schilling, Daniel J. Tschumperlin, Mitchell A. Olman