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
The intracellular scaffold protein IQGAP1 supports protein complexes in conjunction with numerous binding partners involved in multiple cellular processes. Here, we determined that IQGAP1 modulates airway smooth muscle contractility. Compared with WT controls, at baseline as well as after immune sensitization and challenge,
Mallar Bhattacharya, Aparna Sundaram, Makoto Kudo, Jessica Farmer, Previn Ganesan, Amin Khalifeh-Soltani, Mehrdad Arjomandi, Kamran Atabai, Xiaozhu Huang, Dean Sheppard
The pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) remains unclear, but involves loss of alveolar surface area (emphysema) and airway inflammation (bronchitis) as the consequence of cigarette smoke (CS) exposure. Previously, we demonstrated that autophagy proteins promote lung epithelial cell death, airway dysfunction, and emphysema in response to CS; however, the underlying mechanisms have yet to be elucidated. Here, using cultured pulmonary epithelial cells and murine models, we demonstrated that CS causes mitochondrial dysfunction that is associated with a reduction of mitochondrial membrane potential. CS induced mitophagy, the autophagy-dependent elimination of mitochondria, through stabilization of the mitophagy regulator PINK1. CS caused cell death, which was reduced by administration of necrosis or necroptosis inhibitors. Genetic deficiency of PINK1 and the mitochondrial division/mitophagy inhibitor Mdivi-1 protected against CS-induced cell death and mitochondrial dysfunction in vitro and reduced the phosphorylation of MLKL, a substrate for RIP3 in the necroptosis pathway. Moreover,
Kenji Mizumura, Suzanne M. Cloonan, Kiichi Nakahira, Abhiram R. Bhashyam, Morgan Cervo, Tohru Kitada, Kimberly Glass, Caroline A. Owen, Ashfaq Mahmood, George R. Washko, Shu Hashimoto, Stefan W. Ryter, Augustine M. K. Choi
Development of the vascular disease pulmonary hypertension (PH) involves disparate molecular pathways that span multiple cell types. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) may coordinately regulate PH progression, but the integrative functions of miRNAs in this process have been challenging to define with conventional approaches. Here, analysis of the molecular network architecture specific to PH predicted that the miR-130/301 family is a master regulator of cellular proliferation in PH via regulation of subordinate miRNA pathways with unexpected connections to one another. In validation of this model, diseased pulmonary vessels and plasma from mammalian models and human PH subjects exhibited upregulation of miR-130/301 expression. Evaluation of pulmonary arterial endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells revealed that miR-130/301 targeted PPARγ with distinct consequences. In endothelial cells, miR-130/301 modulated apelin-miR-424/503-FGF2 signaling, while in smooth muscle cells, miR-130/301 modulated STAT3-miR-204 signaling to promote PH-associated phenotypes. In murine models, induction of miR-130/301 promoted pathogenic PH-associated effects, while miR-103/301 inhibition prevented PH pathogenesis. Together, these results provide insight into the systems-level regulation of miRNA-disease gene networks in PH with broad implications for miRNA-based therapeutics in this disease. Furthermore, these findings provide critical validation for the evolving application of network theory to the discovery of the miRNA-based origins of PH and other diseases.
Thomas Bertero, Yu Lu, Sofia Annis, Andrew Hale, Balkrishen Bhat, Rajan Saggar, Rajeev Saggar, W. Dean Wallace, David J. Ross, Sara O. Vargas, Brian B. Graham, Rahul Kumar, Stephen M. Black, Sohrab Fratz, Jeffrey R. Fineman, James D. West, Kathleen J. Haley, Aaron B. Waxman, B. Nelson Chau, Katherine A. Cottrill, Stephen Y. Chan
The pathogenesis of mucoinfective lung disease in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients likely involves poor mucus clearance. A recent model of mucus clearance predicts that mucus flow depends on the relative mucin concentration of the mucus layer compared with that of the periciliary layer; however, mucin concentrations have been difficult to measure in CF secretions. Here, we have shown that the concentration of mucin in CF sputum is low when measured by immunologically based techniques, and mass spectrometric analyses of CF mucins revealed mucin cleavage at antibody recognition sites. Using physical size exclusion chromatography/differential refractometry (SEC/dRI) techniques, we determined that mucin concentrations in CF secretions were higher than those in normal secretions. Measurements of partial osmotic pressures revealed that the partial osmotic pressure of CF sputum and the retained mucus in excised CF lungs were substantially greater than the partial osmotic pressure of normal secretions. Our data reveal that mucin concentration cannot be accurately measured immunologically in proteolytically active CF secretions; mucins are hyperconcentrated in CF secretions; and CF secretion osmotic pressures predict mucus layer–dependent osmotic compression of the periciliary liquid layer in CF lungs. Consequently, mucin hypersecretion likely produces mucus stasis, which contributes to key infectious and inflammatory components of CF lung disease.
Ashley G. Henderson, Camille Ehre, Brian Button, Lubna H. Abdullah, Li-Heng Cai, Margaret W. Leigh, Genevieve C. DeMaria, Hiro Matsui, Scott H. Donaldson, C. William Davis, John K. Sheehan, Richard C. Boucher, Mehmet Kesimer
Pathological remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ECM) by fibroblasts leads to organ failure. Development of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is characterized by a progressive fibrotic scarring in the lung that ultimately leads to asphyxiation; however, the cascade of events that promote IPF are not well defined. Here, we examined how the interplay between the ECM and fibroblasts affects both the transcriptome and translatome by culturing primary fibroblasts generated from IPF patient lung tissue or nonfibrotic lung tissue on decellularized lung ECM from either IPF or control patients. Surprisingly, the origin of the ECM had a greater impact on gene expression than did cell origin, and differences in translational control were more prominent than alterations in transcriptional regulation. Strikingly, genes that were translationally activated by IPF-derived ECM were enriched for those encoding ECM proteins detected in IPF tissue. We determined that genes encoding IPF-associated ECM proteins are targets for miR-29, which was downregulated in fibroblasts grown on IPF-derived ECM, and baseline expression of ECM targets could be restored by overexpression of miR-29. Our data support a model in which fibroblasts are activated to pathologically remodel the ECM in IPF via a positive feedback loop between fibroblasts and aberrant ECM. Interrupting this loop may be a strategy for IPF treatment.
Matthew W. Parker, Daniel Rossi, Mark Peterson, Karen Smith, Kristina Sikström, Eric S White, John E. Connett, Craig A. Henke, Ola Larsson, Peter B. Bitterman
The development of emphysema in humans and mice exposed to cigarette smoke is promoted by activation of an adaptive immune response. Lung myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs) derived from cigarette smokers activate autoreactive Th1 and Th17 cells. mDC-dependent activation of T cell subsets requires expression of the
Ming Shan, Ran You, Xiaoyi Yuan, Michael V. Frazier, Paul Porter, Alexander Seryshev, Jeong-Soo Hong, Li-zhen Song, Yiqun Zhang, Susan Hilsenbeck, Lawrence Whitehead, Nazanin Zarinkamar, Sarah Perusich, David B. Corry, Farrah Kheradmand
Bitter taste receptors (T2Rs) in the human airway detect harmful compounds, including secreted bacterial products. Here, using human primary sinonasal air-liquid interface cultures and tissue explants, we determined that activation of a subset of airway T2Rs expressed in nasal solitary chemosensory cells activates a calcium wave that propagates through gap junctions to the surrounding respiratory epithelial cells. The T2R-dependent calcium wave stimulated robust secretion of antimicrobial peptides into the mucus that was capable of killing a variety of respiratory pathogens. Furthermore, sweet taste receptor (T1R2/3) activation suppressed T2R-mediated antimicrobial peptide secretion, suggesting that T1R2/3-mediated inhibition of T2Rs prevents full antimicrobial peptide release during times of relative health. In contrast, during acute bacterial infection, T1R2/3 is likely deactivated in response to bacterial consumption of airway surface liquid glucose, alleviating T2R inhibition and resulting in antimicrobial peptide secretion. We found that patients with chronic rhinosinusitis have elevated glucose concentrations in their nasal secretions, and other reports have shown that patients with hyperglycemia likewise have elevated nasal glucose levels. These data suggest that increased glucose in respiratory secretions in pathologic states, such as chronic rhinosinusitis or hyperglycemia, promotes tonic activation of T1R2/3 and suppresses T2R-mediated innate defense. Furthermore, targeting T1R2/3-dependent suppression of T2Rs may have therapeutic potential for upper respiratory tract infections.
Robert J. Lee, Jennifer M. Kofonow, Philip L. Rosen, Adam P. Siebert, Bei Chen, Laurel Doghramji, Guoxiang Xiong, Nithin D. Adappa, James N. Palmer, David W. Kennedy, James L. Kreindler, Robert F. Margolskee, Noam A. Cohen
Successful host defense against numerous pulmonary infections depends on bacterial clearance by polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs); however, excessive PMN accumulation can result in life-threatening lung injury. Local expression of CXC chemokines is critical for PMN recruitment. The impact of chemokine-dependent PMN recruitment during pulmonary
Geraldine Nouailles, Anca Dorhoi, Markus Koch, Jens Zerrahn, January Weiner 3rd, Kellen C. Faé, Frida Arrey, Stefanie Kuhlmann, Silke Bandermann, Delia Loewe, Hans-Joachim Mollenkopf, Alexis Vogelzang, Catherine Meyer-Schwesinger, Hans-Willi Mittrücker, Gayle McEwen, Stefan H.E. Kaufmann
There is increasing evidence that vitamin A deficiency in utero correlates with abnormal airway smooth muscle (SM) function in postnatal life. The bioactive vitamin A metabolite retinoic acid (RA) is essential for formation of the lung primordium; however, little is known about the impact of early fetal RA deficiency on postnatal lung structure and function. Here, we provide evidence that during murine lung development, endogenous RA has a key role in restricting the airway SM differentiation program during airway formation. Using murine models of pharmacological, genetic, and dietary vitamin A/RA deficiency, we found that disruption of RA signaling during embryonic development consistently resulted in an altered airway SM phenotype with markedly increased expression of SM markers. The aberrant phenotype persisted postnatally regardless of the adult vitamin A status and manifested as structural changes in the bronchial SM and hyperresponsiveness of the airway without evidence of inflammation. Our data reveal a role for endogenous RA signaling in restricting SM differentiation and preventing precocious and excessive SM differentiation when airways are forming.
Felicia Chen, Hector Marquez, Youn-Kyung Kim, Jun Qian, Fengzhi Shao, Alan Fine, William W. Cruikshank, Loredana Quadro, Wellington V. Cardoso
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) involves aberrant airway inflammatory
responses to cigarette smoke (CS) that are associated with epithelial cell
dysfunction, cilia shortening, and mucociliary clearance disruption. Exposure to CS
reduced cilia length and induced autophagy in vivo and in differentiated mouse
tracheal epithelial cells (MTECs). Autophagy-impaired
Hilaire C. Lam, Suzanne M. Cloonan, Abhiram R. Bhashyam, Jeffery A. Haspel, Anju Singh, J. Fah Sathirapongsasuti, Morgan Cervo, Hongwei Yao, Anna L. Chung, Kenji Mizumura, Chang Hyeok An, Bin Shan, Jonathan M. Franks, Kathleen J. Haley, Caroline A. Owen, Yohannes Tesfaigzi, George R. Washko, John Quackenbush, Edwin K. Silverman, Irfan Rahman, Hong Pyo Kim, Ashfaq Mahmood, Shyam S. Biswal, Stefan W. Ryter, Augustine M.K. Choi
The use of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has been postulated to be the most effective strategy for developing patient-specific respiratory epithelial cells, which may be valuable for lung-related cell therapy and lung tissue engineering. We generated a relatively homogeneous population of alveolar epithelial type II (AETII) and type I (AETI) cells from human iPSCs that had phenotypic properties similar to those of mature human AETII and AETI cells. We used these cells to explore whether lung tissue can be regenerated in vitro. Consistent with an AETII phenotype, we found that up to 97% of cells were positive for surfactant protein C, 95% for mucin-1, 93% for surfactant protein B, and 89% for the epithelial marker CD54. Additionally, exposing induced AETII to a Wnt/β-catenin inhibitor (IWR-1) changed the iPSC-AETII–like phenotype to a predominantly AETI-like phenotype. We found that of induced AET1 cells, more than 90% were positive for type I markers, T1α, and caveolin-1. Acellular lung matrices were prepared from whole rat or human adult lungs treated with decellularization reagents, followed by seeding these matrices with alveolar cells derived from human iPSCs. Under appropriate culture conditions, these progenitor cells adhered to and proliferated within the 3D lung tissue scaffold and displayed markers of differentiated pulmonary epithelium.
Mahboobe Ghaedi, Elizabeth A. Calle, Julio J. Mendez, Ashley L. Gard, Jenna Balestrini, Adam Booth, Peter F. Bove, Liqiong Gui, Eric S. White, Laura E. Niklason
The molecular mechanisms that control innate immune cell trafficking during chronic
infection and inflammation, such as in tuberculosis (TB), are incompletely
understood. During active TB, myeloid cells infiltrate the lung and sustain local
inflammation. While the chemoattractants that orchestrate these processes are
increasingly recognized, the posttranscriptional events that dictate their
availability are unclear. We identified microRNA-223 (miR-223) as an upregulated
small noncoding RNA in blood and lung parenchyma of TB patients and during murine TB.
Deletion of miR-223 rendered TB-resistant mice highly susceptible to acute lung
infection. The lethality of
Anca Dorhoi, Marco Iannaccone, Maura Farinacci, Kellen C. Faé, Jörg Schreiber, Pedro Moura-Alves, Geraldine Nouailles, Hans-Joachim Mollenkopf, Dagmar Oberbeck-Müller, Sabine Jörg, Ellen Heinemann, Karin Hahnke, Delia Löwe, Franca Del Nonno, Delia Goletti, Rosanna Capparelli, Stefan H.E. Kaufmann
Chronic obstructive lung disease is characterized by persistent abnormalities in epithelial and immune cell function that are driven, at least in part, by infection. Analysis of parainfluenza virus infection in mice revealed an unexpected role for innate immune cells in IL-13–dependent chronic lung disease, but the upstream driver for the immune axis in this model and in humans with similar disease was undefined. We demonstrate here that lung levels of IL-33 are selectively increased in postviral mice with chronic obstructive lung disease and in humans with very severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In the mouse model, IL-33/IL-33 receptor signaling was required for
Derek E. Byers, Jennifer Alexander-Brett, Anand C. Patel, Eugene Agapov, Geoffrey Dang-Vu, Xiaohua Jin, Kangyun Wu, Yingjian You, Yael Alevy, Jean-Philippe Girard, Thaddeus S. Stappenbeck, G. Alexander Patterson, Richard A. Pierce, Steven L. Brody, Michael J. Holtzman
Gas exchange in the lung occurs within alveoli, air-filled sacs composed of type 2 and type 1 epithelial cells (AEC2s and AEC1s), capillaries, and various resident mesenchymal cells. Here, we use a combination of in vivo clonal lineage analysis, different injury/repair systems, and in vitro culture of purified cell populations to obtain new information about the contribution of AEC2s to alveolar maintenance and repair. Genetic lineage-tracing experiments showed that surfactant protein C–positive (SFTPC-positive) AEC2s self renew and differentiate over about a year, consistent with the population containing long-term alveolar stem cells. Moreover, if many AEC2s were specifically ablated, high-resolution imaging of intact lungs showed that individual survivors undergo rapid clonal expansion and daughter cell dispersal. Individual lineage-labeled AEC2s placed into 3D culture gave rise to self-renewing “alveolospheres,” which contained both AEC2s and cells expressing multiple AEC1 markers, including HOPX, a new marker for AEC1s. Growth and differentiation of the alveolospheres occurred most readily when cocultured with primary PDGFRα+ lung stromal cells. This population included lipofibroblasts that normally reside close to AEC2s and may therefore contribute to a stem cell niche in the murine lung. Results suggest that a similar dynamic exists between AEC2s and mesenchymal cells in the human lung.
Christina E. Barkauskas, Michael J. Cronce, Craig R. Rackley, Emily J. Bowie, Douglas R. Keene, Barry R. Stripp, Scott H. Randell, Paul W. Noble, Brigid L.M. Hogan
Atopic asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the lungs generally marked by excessive Th2 inflammation. The role of allergen-specific IgG in asthma is still controversial; however, a receptor of IgG–immune complexes (IgG-ICs), FcγRIII, has been shown to promote Th2 responses through an unknown mechanism. Herein, we demonstrate that allergen-specific IgG-ICs, formed upon reexposure to allergen, promoted Th2 responses in two different models of IC-mediated inflammation that were independent of a preformed T cell memory response. Development of Th2-type airway inflammation was shown to be both FcγRIII and TLR4 dependent, and T cells were necessary and sufficient for this process to occur, even in the absence of type 2 innate lymphoid cells. We sought to identify downstream targets of FcγRIII signaling that could contribute to this process and demonstrated that bone marrow–derived DCs, alveolar macrophages, and respiratory DCs significantly upregulated IL-33 when activated through FcγRIII and TLR4. Importantly, IC-induced Th2 inflammation was dependent on the ST2/IL-33 pathway. Our results suggest that allergen-specific IgG can enhance secondary responses by ligating FcγRIII on antigen-presenting cells to augment development of Th2-mediated responses in the lungs via an IL-33–dependent mechanism.
Melissa Y. Tjota, Jesse W. Williams, Tiffany Lu, Bryan S. Clay, Tiara Byrd, Cara L. Hrusch, Donna C. Decker, Claudia Alves de Araujo, Paul J. Bryce, Anne I. Sperling
Increased airway smooth muscle (ASM) contractility and the development of airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) are cardinal features of asthma, but the signaling pathways that promote these changes are poorly understood. Tyrosine phosphorylation is tightly regulated by the opposing actions of protein tyrosine kinases and phosphatases, but little is known about whether tyrosine phosphatases influence AHR. Here, we demonstrate that genetic inactivation of receptor-like protein tyrosine phosphatase J (
Tamiko R. Katsumoto, Makoto Kudo, Chun Chen, Aparna Sundaram, Elliott C. Callahan, Jing W. Zhu, Joseph Lin, Connor E. Rosen, Boryana N. Manz, Jae W. Lee, Michael A. Matthay, Xiaozhu Huang, Dean Sheppard, Arthur Weiss
Matrix stiffening and myofibroblast resistance to apoptosis are cardinal features of chronic fibrotic diseases involving diverse organ systems. The interactions between altered tissue biomechanics and cellular signaling that sustain progressive fibrosis are not well defined. In this study, we used ex vivo and in vivo approaches to define a mechanotransduction pathway involving Rho/Rho kinase (Rho/ROCK), actin cytoskeletal remodeling, and a mechanosensitive transcription factor, megakaryoblastic leukemia 1 (MKL1), that coordinately regulate myofibroblast differentiation and survival. Both in an experimental mouse model of lung fibrosis and in human subjects with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), we observed activation of the Rho/ROCK pathway, enhanced actin cytoskeletal polymerization, and MKL1 cytoplasmic-nuclear shuttling. Pharmacologic disruption of this mechanotransduction pathway with the ROCK inhibitor fasudil induced myofibroblast apoptosis through a mechanism involving downregulation of BCL-2 and activation of the intrinsic mitochondrial apoptotic pathway. Treatment with fasudil during the postinflammatory fibrotic phase of lung injury or genetic ablation of
Yong Zhou, Xiangwei Huang, Louise Hecker, Deepali Kurundkar, Ashish Kurundkar, Hui Liu, Tong-Huan Jin, Leena Desai, Karen Bernard, Victor J. Thannickal
Chemically modified mRNA is capable of inducing therapeutic levels of protein expression while circumventing the threat of genomic integration often associated with viral vectors. We utilized this novel therapeutic tool to express the regulatory T cell transcription factor, FOXP3, in a time- and site-specific fashion in murine lung, in order to prevent allergic asthma in vivo. We show that modified
Lauren E. Mays, Susanne Ammon-Treiber, Benedikt Mothes, Mohammed Alkhaled, Jennifer Rottenberger, Eva Sophie Müller-Hermelink, Melanie Grimm, Markus Mezger, Sandra Beer-Hammer, Esther von Stebut, Nikolaus Rieber, Bernd Nürnberg, Matthias Schwab, Rupert Handgretinger, Marco Idzko, Dominik Hartl, Michael S.D. Kormann
Hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction (HPV) is a physiological mechanism by which pulmonary arteries constrict in hypoxic lung areas in order to redirect blood flow to areas with greater oxygen supply. Both oxygen sensing and the contractile response are thought to be intrinsic to pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells. Here we speculated that the ideal site for oxygen sensing might instead be at the alveolocapillary level, with subsequent retrograde propagation to upstream arterioles via connexin 40 (Cx40) endothelial gap junctions. HPV was largely attenuated by Cx40-specific and nonspecific gap junction uncouplers in the lungs of wild-type mice and in lungs from mice lacking Cx40 (Cx40–/–). In vivo, hypoxemia was more severe in Cx40–/– mice than in wild-type mice. Real-time fluorescence imaging revealed that hypoxia caused endothelial membrane depolarization in alveolar capillaries that propagated to upstream arterioles in wild-type, but not Cx40–/–, mice. Transformation of endothelial depolarization into vasoconstriction involved endothelial voltage-dependent α1G subtype Ca2+ channels, cytosolic phospholipase A2, and epoxyeicosatrienoic acids. Based on these data, we propose that HPV originates at the alveolocapillary level, from which the hypoxic signal is propagated as endothelial membrane depolarization to upstream arterioles in a Cx40-dependent manner.
Liming Wang, Jun Yin, Hannah T. Nickles, Hannes Ranke, Arata Tabuchi, Julia Hoffmann, Christoph Tabeling, Eduardo Barbosa-Sicard, Marc Chanson, Brenda R. Kwak, Hee-Sup Shin, Songwei Wu, Brant E. Isakson, Martin Witzenrath, Cor de Wit, Ingrid Fleming, Hermann Kuppe, Wolfgang M. Kuebler