Journals

Do We Need Worms to Promote Immune Health?

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Do We Need Worms to Promote Immune Health?

Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 2014 Oct 19;

Authors: Weinstock JV

Abstract

Many immune-mediated diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, asthma, and food allergy appeared to have increased in frequency in developed countries in the latter part of the twentieth century. Reports from less developed countries suggest that the “epidemic” of immune-mediated diseases now is spreading into these regions as well. The “hygiene hypothesis” was developed to partly explain this phenomenon. It has been proposed that modern-day sanitary living has altered our exposure to organisms that provided protection from these diseases in the past. Alternations in the composition of our intestinal flora and fauna could play a role. Helminths are a group of worm-like parasitic organisms that have adapted to live in various regions of their hosts. Epidemiological and some clinical data suggest that these organisms can protect people from developing immune-mediated diseases. Animal experimentation has shown that helminths stimulate the production of regulatory cytokines, activate regulatory T cells, and induce regulatory dendritic cells and macrophages. This could be the mechanism by which they protect the host from these diseases. Early clinical studies also suggest that helminths may prove useful for treating immunological diseases. More sophisticated clinical studies are underway, testing live helminth agents as therapeutic agents. Also, a strong effort is ongoing to discover the agents produced by helminths that modulate host immune responses with an eye on developing new, highly effective immune modulatory therapeutic agent.

PMID: 25326880 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Do We Need Worms to Promote Immune Health?

Related Articles

Do We Need Worms to Promote Immune Health?

Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 2014 Oct 19;

Authors: Weinstock JV

Abstract

Many immune-mediated diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, asthma, and food allergy appeared to have increased in frequency in developed countries in the latter part of the twentieth century. Reports from less developed countries suggest that the “epidemic” of immune-mediated diseases now is spreading into these regions as well. The “hygiene hypothesis” was developed to partly explain this phenomenon. It has been proposed that modern-day sanitary living has altered our exposure to organisms that provided protection from these diseases in the past. Alternations in the composition of our intestinal flora and fauna could play a role. Helminths are a group of worm-like parasitic organisms that have adapted to live in various regions of their hosts. Epidemiological and some clinical data suggest that these organisms can protect people from developing immune-mediated diseases. Animal experimentation has shown that helminths stimulate the production of regulatory cytokines, activate regulatory T cells, and induce regulatory dendritic cells and macrophages. This could be the mechanism by which they protect the host from these diseases. Early clinical studies also suggest that helminths may prove useful for treating immunological diseases. More sophisticated clinical studies are underway, testing live helminth agents as therapeutic agents. Also, a strong effort is ongoing to discover the agents produced by helminths that modulate host immune responses with an eye on developing new, highly effective immune modulatory therapeutic agent.

PMID: 25326880 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Megakaryocytes maintain homeostatic quiescence and promote post-injury regeneration of hematopoietic stem cells.

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Megakaryocytes maintain homeostatic quiescence and promote post-injury regeneration of hematopoietic stem cells.

Nat Med. 2014 Oct 19;

Authors: Zhao M, Perry JM, Marshall H, Venkatraman A, Qian P, He XC, Ahamed J, Li L

Abstract

Multiple bone marrow stromal cell types have been identified as hematopoietic stem cell (HSC)-regulating niche cells. However, whether HSC progeny can serve directly as HSC niche cells has not previously been shown. Here we report a dichotomous role of megakaryocytes (MKs) in both maintaining HSC quiescence during homeostasis and promoting HSC regeneration after chemotherapeutic stress. We show that MKs are physically associated with HSCs in the bone marrow of mice and that MK ablation led to activation of quiescent HSCs and increased HSC proliferation. RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis revealed that transforming growth factor β1 (encoded by Tgfb1) is expressed at higher levels in MKs as compared to other stromal niche cells. MK ablation led to reduced levels of biologically active TGF-β1 protein in the bone marrow and nuclear-localized phosphorylated SMAD2/3 (pSMAD2/3) in HSCs, suggesting that MKs maintain HSC quiescence through TGF-β-SMAD signaling. Indeed, TGF-β1 injection into mice in which MKs had been ablated restored HSC quiescence, and conditional deletion of Tgfb1 in MKs increased HSC activation and proliferation. These data demonstrate that TGF-β1 is a dominant signal emanating from MKs that maintains HSC quiescence. However, under conditions of chemotherapeutic challenge, MK ablation resulted in a severe defect in HSC expansion. In response to stress, fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1) signaling from MKs transiently dominates over TGF-β inhibitory signaling to stimulate HSC expansion. Overall, these observations demonstrate that MKs serve as HSC-derived niche cells to dynamically regulate HSC function.

PMID: 25326798 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

A next-generation dual-recombinase system for time- and host-specific targeting of pancreatic cancer.

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A next-generation dual-recombinase system for time- and host-specific targeting of pancreatic cancer.

Nat Med. 2014 Oct 19;

Authors: Schönhuber N, Seidler B, Schuck K, Veltkamp C, Schachtler C, Zukowska M, Eser S, Feyerabend TB, Paul MC, Eser P, Klein S, Lowy AM, Banerjee R, Yang F, Lee CL, Moding EJ, Kirsch DG, Scheideler A, Alessi DR, Varela I, Bradley A, Kind A, Schnieke AE, Rodewald HR, Rad R, Schmid RM, Schneider G, Saur D

Abstract

Genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) have dramatically improved our understanding of tumor evolution and therapeutic resistance. However, sequential genetic manipulation of gene expression and targeting of the host is almost impossible using conventional Cre-loxP-based models. We have developed an inducible dual-recombinase system by combining flippase-FRT (Flp-FRT) and Cre-loxP recombination technologies to improve GEMMs of pancreatic cancer. This enables investigation of multistep carcinogenesis, genetic manipulation of tumor subpopulations (such as cancer stem cells), selective targeting of the tumor microenvironment and genetic validation of therapeutic targets in autochthonous tumors on a genome-wide scale. As a proof of concept, we performed tumor cell-autonomous and nonautonomous targeting, recapitulated hallmarks of human multistep carcinogenesis, validated genetic therapy by 3-phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase inactivation as well as cancer cell depletion and show that mast cells in the tumor microenvironment, which had been thought to be key oncogenic players, are dispensable for tumor formation.

PMID: 25326799 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Cleavage of tau by asparagine endopeptidase mediates the neurofibrillary pathology in Alzheimer’s disease.

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Cleavage of tau by asparagine endopeptidase mediates the neurofibrillary pathology in Alzheimer’s disease.

Nat Med. 2014 Oct 19;

Authors: Zhang Z, Song M, Liu X, Kang SS, Kwon IS, Duong DM, Seyfried NT, Hu WT, Liu Z, Wang JZ, Cheng L, Sun YE, Yu SP, Levey AI, Ye K

Abstract

Neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs), composed of truncated and hyperphosphorylated tau, are a common feature of numerous aging-related neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, the molecular mechanisms mediating tau truncation and aggregation during aging remain elusive. Here we show that asparagine endopeptidase (AEP), a lysosomal cysteine proteinase, is activated during aging and proteolytically degrades tau, abolishes its microtubule assembly function, induces tau aggregation and triggers neurodegeneration. AEP is upregulated and active during aging and is activated in human AD brain and tau P301S-transgenic mice with synaptic pathology and behavioral impairments, leading to tau truncation in NFTs. Tau P301S-transgenic mice with deletion of the gene encoding AEP show substantially reduced tau hyperphosphorylation, less synapse loss and rescue of impaired hippocampal synaptic function and cognitive deficits. Mice infected with adeno-associated virus encoding an uncleavable tau mutant showed attenuated pathological and behavioral defects compared to mice injected with adeno-associated virus encoding tau P301S. Together, these observations indicate that AEP acts as a crucial mediator of tau-related clinical and neuropathological changes. Inhibition of AEP may be therapeutically useful for treating tau-mediated neurodegenerative diseases.

PMID: 25326800 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Regulatory B cells are induced by gut microbiota-driven interleukin-1β and interleukin-6 production.

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Regulatory B cells are induced by gut microbiota-driven interleukin-1β and interleukin-6 production.

Nat Med. 2014 Oct 19;

Authors: Rosser EC, Oleinika K, Tonon S, Doyle R, Bosma A, Carter NA, Harris KA, Jones SA, Klein N, Mauri C

Abstract

Regulatory B cells (Breg cells) differentiate in response to inflammation and subsequently restrain excessive immune responses via the release of interleukin-10 (IL-10). However, the precise inflammatory signals governing their differentiation remain to be elucidated. Here we show that the gut microbiota promotes the differentiation of Breg cells in the spleen as well as in the mesenteric lymph nodes. Perturbation of the gut microbiome imposed either by antibiotic treatment or by changes in the sterility of housing conditions reduces the number and function of Breg cells. Following the induction of arthritis, IL-1β and IL-6 are produced only in conventionally housed mice and both cytokines directly promote Breg cell differentiation and IL-10 production. Mice lacking IL-6 receptor (IL-6R) or IL-1 receptor 1 (IL-1R1) specifically on B cells have a reduced number of IL-10-producing B cells and develop exacerbated arthritis compared to control animals. Thus, in response to inflammatory signals induced by both the gut flora and arthritis, Breg cells increase in number and restrain excessive inflammation.

PMID: 25326801 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Megakaryocytes regulate hematopoietic stem cell quiescence through CXCL4 secretion.

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Megakaryocytes regulate hematopoietic stem cell quiescence through CXCL4 secretion.

Nat Med. 2014 Oct 19;

Authors: Bruns I, Lucas D, Pinho S, Ahmed J, Lambert MP, Kunisaki Y, Scheiermann C, Schiff L, Poncz M, Bergman A, Frenette PS

Abstract

In the bone marrow, hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) lodge in specialized microenvironments that tightly control the proliferative state of HSCs to adapt to the varying needs for replenishment of blood cells while also preventing HSC exhaustion. All putative niche cells suggested thus far have a nonhematopoietic origin. Thus, it remains unclear how feedback from mature cells is conveyed to HSCs to adjust their proliferation. Here we show that megakaryocytes (MKs) can directly regulate HSC pool size in mice. Three-dimensional whole-mount imaging revealed that endogenous HSCs are frequently located adjacent to MKs in a nonrandom fashion. Selective in vivo depletion of MKs resulted in specific loss of HSC quiescence and led to a marked expansion of functional HSCs. Gene expression analyses revealed that MKs are the source of chemokine C-X-C motif ligand 4 (CXCL4, also named platelet factor 4 or PF4) in the bone marrow, and we found that CXCL4 regulates HSC cell cycle activity. CXCL4 injection into mice resulted in a reduced number of HSCs because of their increased quiescence. By contrast, Cxcl4(-/-) mice exhibited an increased number of HSCs and increased HSC proliferation. Combined use of whole-mount imaging and computational modeling was highly suggestive of a megakaryocytic niche capable of independently influencing HSC maintenance by regulating quiescence. These results indicate that a terminally differentiated cell type derived from HSCs contributes to the HSC niche, directly regulating HSC behavior.

PMID: 25326802 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

An in vivo model of human small intestine using pluripotent stem cells.

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An in vivo model of human small intestine using pluripotent stem cells.

Nat Med. 2014 Oct 19;

Authors: Watson CL, Mahe MM, Múnera J, Howell JC, Sundaram N, Poling HM, Schweitzer JI, Vallance JE, Mayhew CN, Sun Y, Grabowski G, Finkbeiner SR, Spence JR, Shroyer NF, Wells JM, Helmrath MA

Abstract

Differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) into organ-specific subtypes offers an exciting avenue for the study of embryonic development and disease processes, for pharmacologic studies and as a potential resource for therapeutic transplant. To date, limited in vivo models exist for human intestine, all of which are dependent upon primary epithelial cultures or digested tissue from surgical biopsies that include mesenchymal cells transplanted on biodegradable scaffolds. Here, we generated human intestinal organoids (HIOs) produced in vitro from human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) or induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) that can engraft in vivo. These HIOs form mature human intestinal epithelium with intestinal stem cells contributing to the crypt-villus architecture and a laminated human mesenchyme, both supported by mouse vasculature ingrowth. In vivo transplantation resulted in marked expansion and maturation of the epithelium and mesenchyme, as demonstrated by differentiated intestinal cell lineages (enterocytes, goblet cells, Paneth cells, tuft cells and enteroendocrine cells), presence of functional brush-border enzymes (lactase, sucrase-isomaltase and dipeptidyl peptidase 4) and visible subepithelial and smooth muscle layers when compared with HIOs in vitro. Transplanted intestinal tissues demonstrated digestive functions as shown by permeability and peptide uptake studies. Furthermore, transplanted HIO-derived tissue was responsive to systemic signals from the host mouse following ileocecal resection, suggesting a role for circulating factors in the intestinal adaptive response. This model of the human small intestine may pave the way for studies of intestinal physiology, disease and translational studies.

PMID: 25326803 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Age-related mutations associated with clonal hematopoietic expansion and malignancies.

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Age-related mutations associated with clonal hematopoietic expansion and malignancies.

Nat Med. 2014 Oct 19;

Authors: Xie M, Lu C, Wang J, McLellan MD, Johnson KJ, Wendl MC, McMichael JF, Schmidt HK, Yellapantula V, Miller CA, Ozenberger BA, Welch JS, Link DC, Walter MJ, Mardis ER, Dipersio JF, Chen F, Wilson RK, Ley TJ, Ding L

Abstract

Several genetic alterations characteristic of leukemia and lymphoma have been detected in the blood of individuals without apparent hematological malignancies. The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) provides a unique resource for comprehensive discovery of mutations and genes in blood that may contribute to the clonal expansion of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells. Here, we analyzed blood-derived sequence data from 2,728 individuals from TCGA and discovered 77 blood-specific mutations in cancer-associated genes, the majority being associated with advanced age. Remarkably, 83% of these mutations were from 19 leukemia and/or lymphoma-associated genes, and nine were recurrently mutated (DNMT3A, TET2, JAK2, ASXL1, TP53, GNAS, PPM1D, BCORL1 and SF3B1). We identified 14 additional mutations in a very small fraction of blood cells, possibly representing the earliest stages of clonal expansion in hematopoietic stem cells. Comparison of these findings to mutations in hematological malignancies identified several recurrently mutated genes that may be disease initiators. Our analyses show that the blood cells of more than 2% of individuals (5-6% of people older than 70 years) contain mutations that may represent premalignant events that cause clonal hematopoietic expansion.

PMID: 25326804 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Vitamin D Prevents the Intestinal Fibrosis Via Induction of Vitamin D Receptor and Inhibition of Transforming Growth Factor-Beta1/Smad3 Pathway.

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Vitamin D Prevents the Intestinal Fibrosis Via Induction of Vitamin D Receptor and Inhibition of Transforming Growth Factor-Beta1/Smad3 Pathway.

Dig Dis Sci. 2014 Oct 19;

Authors: Tao Q, Wang B, Zheng Y, Jiang X, Pan Z, Ren J

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Vitamin D deficiency in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is associated with greater disease activity and lower quality of life. Intestinal fibrosis is a main complication of IBD. However, the effect of vitamin D on intestinal fibrosis remains unclear. We investigated the prophylactic effect and the underlying mechanism of vitamin D on the intestinal fibrosis in vitamin D-deficient mice with chronic colitis.

METHODS: Vitamin D-deficient mice were randomized into two groups receiving the vitamin D-deficient or vitamin D-sufficient diet from weaning (week 4). Intestinal fibrosis was induced by six-weekly 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid administrations from week 8. At week 14, the productions of extracellular matrix (ECM) and total collagen were measured in the colons, and TGF-β1/Smad3 signal transduction was examined in isolated colonic subepithelial myofibroblasts (SEMF). The expression of vitamin D receptor (VDR), α-SMA and Collagen I in normal SEMF and VDR-null SEMF exposed to TGF-β1 and/or 1,25(OH)2D3 was measured.

RESULTS: Vitamin D significantly reduced the histological scoring, ECM and collagen productions in the colons and decreased the levels of TGF-β1, Smad-3, p-Smad3 and Collagen I in SEMF. 1,25(OH)2D3-induced VDR expression and decreased TGF-β1-stimulated α-SMA and Collagen I expressions in SEMF. Knocking down VDR expression in SEMF abolished the effect of 1,25(OH)2D3.

CONCLUSIONS: Vitamin D has prophylactic effect on intestinal fibrosis in the vitamin D-deficient mice with chronic colitis, which may be associated with the inhibited activation of TGF-β1/Smad3 pathway in the SEMF via VDR induction.

PMID: 25326845 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]