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Vermeer et al. report that gain-of-function mutations in the ubiquitin ligase component Kelch-like 24 (KLHL24), which occur in a subset of patients with epidermolysis bullosa simplex, promote dilated cardiomyopathy via excessive degradation of desmin. The cover image is a pseudocolored electron micrograph showing the ultrastructure of dynamically loaded, human induced pluripotent stem cell–derived engineered heart tissues.
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Persons living with HIV (PLWH) are at increased risk of tuberculosis (TB). HIV-associated TB is often the result of recent infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) followed by rapid progression to disease. Alveolar macrophages (AM) are the first cells of the innate immune system that engage Mtb, but how HIV and antiretroviral therapy (ART) impact on the anti-mycobacterial response of AM is not known. To investigate the impact of HIV and ART on the transcriptomic and epigenetic response of AM to Mtb, we obtained AM by bronchoalveolar lavage from 20 PLWH receiving ART, 16 control subjects who were HIV-free (HC), and 14 subjects who received ART as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV infection. Following in-vitro challenge with Mtb, AM from each group displayed overlapping but distinct profiles of significantly up- and down-regulated genes in response to Mtb. Comparatively, AM isolated from both PLWH and PrEP subjects presented a substantially weaker transcriptional response. In addition, AM from HC subjects challenged with Mtb responded with pronounced chromatin accessibility changes while AM obtained from PLWH and PrEP subjects displayed no significant changes in their chromatin state. Collectively, these results revealed a stronger adverse effect of ART than HIV on the epigenetic landscape and transcriptional responsiveness of AM.
Wilian Correa-Macedo, Vinicius M. Fava, Marianna Orlova, Pauline Cassart, Ron Olivenstein, Joaquín Sanz, Yong Zhong Xu, Anne Dumaine, Renata H.M. Sindeaux, Vania Yotova, Alain Pacis, Josée Girouard, Barbara Kalsdorf, Christoph Lange, Jean-Pierre Routy, Luis B. Barreiro, Erwin Schurr
BACKGROUND. Primary polydipsia, characterized by excessive fluid intake, carries the risk of water intoxication and hyponatremia, but treatment options are scarce. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) reduces appetite and food intake. In experimental models, they also play a role in thirst and drinking behavior. The aim of this trial was to investigate whether GLP-1 receptor agonists reduce fluid intake in patients with primary polydipsia. METHODS. In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 3-week crossover-trial, 34 patients with primary polydipsia received weekly dulaglutide (Trulicity®) 1.5mg and placebo (0.9% sodium chloride). During the last treatment week, patients attended an 8-hour evaluation visit with free water access. The primary endpoint was total fluid intake during the evaluation visits. Treatment effects were estimated using linear mixed-effects models. In a subset of 15 patients and additional 15 matched controls, thirst perception and neuronal activity in response to beverage pictures were assessed by functional MRI. FINDINGS. Patients on dulaglutide reduced fluid intake by 490ml [95%-CI -780, -199], p=0.002, from 2950ml [95% CI 2435, 3465] on placebo to 2460ml [95% CI 1946, 2475] on dulaglutide (model estimates), corresponding to a relative reduction of 17%. 24-hour urinary output was reduced by -943ml [95%-CI -1473, -413], p=0.001. Thirst perception in response to beverage pictures was higher in patients with primary polydipsia versus controls and lower on dulaglutide versus placebo, but functional activity was similar between groups and treatments. INTERPRETATION. GLP-1 receptor agonists reduce fluid intake and thirst perception in patients with primary polydipsia and could therefore be a treatment option for these patients.
Bettina Winzeler, Clara Odilia Sailer, David Coynel, Davide Zanchi, Deborah R. Vogt, Sandrine Andrea Urwyler, Julie Refardt, Mirjam Christ-Crain
BACKGROUND. Passive immunotherapy with convalescent plasma (CP) is a potential treatment for COVID-19 for which evidence from controlled clinical trials is inconclusive. METHODS. We conducted a randomized, open-label, controlled clinical trial at 27 hospitals in Spain. Patients had to be admitted for COVID-19 pneumonia within 7 days from symptom onset and not on mechanical ventilation or high flow oxygen devices. Patients were randomized 1:1 to treatment with CP in addition to standard of care (SOC) or to the control arm receiving only SOC. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients in categories 5 (non-invasive ventilation or high-flow oxygen), 6 (invasive mechanical ventilation or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation [ECMO]), or 7(death) at 14 days, and primary analysis was performed in the intention-to-treat population. RESULTS. Between April 4, 2020 and February 5, 2021, 350 patients were randomly assigned to either CP (n=179) or SOC (n=171). At 14 days, proportion of patients on categories 5, 6 or 7 was 11.7% in CP group versus 16.4% in control group (p=0.205). The difference was greater at 28 days, with 8.4% of patients in categories 5-7 in CP group versus 17.0% in control group (p=0.021). The difference in overall survival did not reach statistical significance (HR 0.46, 95%CI 0.19-1.14, log-rank p=0.087). CONCLUSION. CP showed a significant benefit in preventing progression to non-invasive ventilation or high-flow oxygen, invasive mechanical ventilation or ECMO, or death at 28 days. The effect on the predefined primary endpoint at 14 days and the effect on overall survival were not statistically significant. TRIAL REGISTRATION. clinicaltrials.gov, NCT04345523 FUNDING. Government of Spain, Instituto de Salud Carlos III.
Cristina Avendaño-Solá, Antonio Ramos-Martínez, Elena Muñez-Rubio, Belen Ruiz-Antorán, Rosa Malo de Molina, Ferran Torres, Ana Fernández-Cruz, Jorge Calderon-Parra, Concepcion Payares-Herrera, Alberto Díaz de Santiago, Irene Romera Martínez, Ilduara Pintos, Jaime Lora-Tamayo, Mikel Mancheño-Losa, Maria Liz Paciello Coronel, AL Martinez-Gonzalez, Julia Vidán-Estévez, Maria José Nuñez-Orantos, Maria Isabel Saez-Serrano, Maria Lourdes Porras-Leal, Maria del Castillo Jarilla-Fernández, Paula Villares, Jaime Perez de Oteyza, Ascensión Ramos-Garrido, Lydia Blanco, Maria Elena Madrigal-Sánchez, Martín Rubio-Batllés, Ana Velasco-Iglesias, José Ramón Paño-Pardo, JA Moreno-Chulilla, Eduardo Muñiz-Diaz, Inmaculada Casas-Flecha, Mayte Pérez-Olmeda, Javier García-Pérez, Jose Alcami, José Luis Bueno, Rafael F. Duarte
Atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) is an important hormone in cardiovascular biology. It is activated by the protease corin. In pregnancy, ANP and corin promote uterine spiral artery remodeling, but the underlying mechanism remains unknown. Here we report an ANP function in uterine decidualization and TNF-related apoptosis-induced ligand (TRAIL)-dependent death in spiral arterial smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and endothelial cells (ECs). In ANP- or corin-deficient mice, uterine decidualization markers and TRAIL expression were decreased, whereas in cultured human endometrial stromal cells (HESCs), ANP increased decidualization and TRAIL expression. In uterine spiral arteries from pregnant wild-type mice, SMC and EC loss occurred sequentially before trophoblast invasion. In culture, TRAIL from decidualized HESCs induced apoptosis in uterine SMCs, but not in ECs with low TRAIL receptor expression. Subsequently, cyclophilin B was identified from apoptotic SMCs that up-regulated endothelial TRAIL receptor and caused apoptosis in ECs. These results indicate that ANP promotes decidualization and TRAIL expression in endometrial stromal cells, contributing to sequential events in remodeling spiral arteries, including SMC death and cyclophilin B release, which in turn induces TRAIL receptor expression and apoptosis in ECs.
Wei Zhang, Shuo Li, Jinglei Lou, Hui Li, Meng Liu, Ningzheng Dong, Qingyu Wu
Little is known about how cells regulate and integrate distinct biosynthetic pathways governing differentiation and cell division. For B-lineage cells it is widely accepted that activated cells must complete several rounds of mitosis before yielding antibody-secreting plasma cells. However, we report that marginal zone (MZ) B cells, innate-like naïve B cells known to generate plasma cells rapidly in response to blood-borne bacteria, generate functional plasma cells despite cell cycle arrest. Further, short-term Notch2 blockade in vivo reversed division-independent differentiation potential and decreased transcript abundance for numerous mTORC1- and Myc-regulated genes. Myc loss compromised plasma cell differentiation for MZ B cells, and reciprocally induced ectopic mTORC1 signaling in follicular B cells enabled division-independent differentiation and plasma cell-affiliated gene expression. We conclude that ongoing in situ Notch2/mTORC1 signaling in MZ B cells establishes a unique cellular state that enables rapid division-independent plasma cell differentiation.
Brian T. Gaudette, Carly J. Roman, Trini A. Ochoa, Daniela Gómez Atria, Derek D. Jones, Christian W. Siebel, Ivan Maillard, David Allman
JCI This Month is a digest of the research, reviews, and other features published each month.
This collection of reviews focuses on the gut-brain axis, highlighting crosstalk between the gastrointestinal tract and the enteric and central nervous systems. While the enteric nervous system can exert independent control over the gut, multi-directional communication with the central nervous system, as well as intestinal epithelial, stromal, immune, and enteroendocrine cells can result in wide-ranging influences on health and disease. The gut microbiome and its metabolites add further complexity to this intricate interactive network. Reviews in this series take a critical approach to describing the role of gut-brain connections in conditions affecting both gut and brain, with the common goal of illuminating the importance of the central and enteric nervous system interface in disease pathogenesis and identifying nodes that offer therapeutic potential.