Identification of novel regulators in T-cell differentiation of aplastic anemia patients.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Aplastic anemia (AA) is a bone marrow failure syndrome mostly characterized by an immune-mediated destruction of marrow hematopoietic progenitor/stem cells. The resulting hypocellularity limits a detailed analysis of the cellular immune response. To overcome this technical problem we performed a microarray analysis of CD3+ T-cells derived from bone marrow aspirates and peripheral blood samples of newly diagnosed AA patients and healthy volunteers. Two AA patients were additionally analyzed after achieving a partial remission following immunosuppression. The regulation of selected candidate genes was confirmed by real-time RT-PCR. RESULTS: Among more than 22,200 transcripts, 583 genes were differentially expressed in the bone marrow of AA patients compared to healthy controls. Dysregulated genes are involved in T-cell mediated cytotoxicity, immune response of Th1 differentiated T-cells, and major regulators of immune function. In hematological remission the expression levels of several candidate genes tend to normalize, such as immune regulators and genes involved in proinflammatory immune response. CONCLUSION: Our study suggests a pivotal role of Th1/Tc1 differentiated T-cells in immune-mediated marrow destruction of AA patients. Most importantly, immune regulatory genes could be identified, which are likely involved in the recovery of hematopoiesis and may help to design new therapeutic strategies in bone marrow failure syndromes.
Project description:Aplastic anemia (AA) is characterized by bone marrow (BM) hypocellularity, resulting in peripheral cytopenias. An antigen-driven and likely auto-immune dysregulated T-cell homeostasis results in hematopoietic stem cell injury, which ultimately leads to the pathogenesis of the acquired form of this disease. Auto-immune and inflammatory processes further influence the disease course as well as response rate to therapy, mainly consisting of intensive immunosuppressive therapy and allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. Bone marrow hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells are strongly regulated by the crosstalk with the surrounding microenvironment and its components like mesenchymal stromal cells, also consistently altered in AA. Whether latter is a contributing cause or rather consequence of the disease remains an open question. Overall, niche disruption may contribute to disease progression, sustain pancytopenia and promote clonal evolution. Here we review the existing knowledge on BM microenvironmental changes in acquired AA and discuss their relevance for the pathogenesis and therapy.
Project description:Severe aplastic anemia (AA) is a bone marrow (BM) failure (BMF) disease frequently caused by aberrant immune destruction of blood progenitors. Although a Th1-mediated pathology is well described for AA, molecular mechanisms driving disease progression remain ill defined. The NOTCH signaling pathway mediates Th1 cell differentiation in the presence of polarizing cytokines, an action requiring enzymatic processing of NOTCH receptors by ?-secretase. Using a mouse model of AA, we demonstrate that expression of both intracellular NOTCH1(IC) and T-BET, a key transcription factor regulating Th1 cell differentiation, was increased in spleen and BM-infiltrating T cells during active disease. Conditionally deleting Notch1 or administering ?-secretase inhibitors (GSIs) in vivo attenuated disease and rescued mice from lethal BMF. In peripheral T cells from patients with untreated AA, NOTCH1(IC) was significantly elevated and bound to the TBX21 promoter, showing NOTCH1 directly regulates the gene encoding T-BET. Treating patient cells with GSIs in vitro lowered NOTCH1(IC) levels, decreased NOTCH1 detectable at the TBX21 promoter, and decreased T-BET expression, indicating that NOTCH1 signaling is responsive to GSIs during active disease. Collectively, these results identify NOTCH signaling as a primary driver of Th1-mediated pathogenesis in AA and may represent a novel target for therapeutic intervention.
Project description:Aplastic anemia (AA) is generally considered as an immune-mediated bone marrow failure syndrome with defective hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and marrow microenvironment. Previous studies have demonstrated the defective HSCs and aberrant T cellular-immunity in AA using a microarray approach. However, little is known about the overall specialty of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs). In the present study, we comprehensively compared the biological features and gene expression profile of BM-MSCs between AA patients and healthy volunteers. In comparison with healthy controls, BM-MSCs from AA patients showed aberrant morphology, decreased proliferation and clonogenic potential and increased apoptosis. BM-MSCs from AA patients were susceptible to be induced to differentiate into adipocytes but more difficult to differentiate into osteoblasts. Consistent with abnormal biological features, a large number of genes implicated in cell cycle, cell division, proliferation, chemotaxis and hematopoietic cell lineage showed markedly decreased expression in BM-MSCs from AA patients. Conversely, more related genes with apoptosis, adipogenesis and immune response showed increased expression in BM-MSCs from AA patients. The gene expression profile of BM-MSCs further confirmed the abnormal biological properties and provided significant evidence for the possible mechanism of the destruction of the bone marrow microenvironment in AA.
Project description:Acquired aplastic anemia (AA) is a potentially fatal bone marrow (BM) failure syndrome. IFN-?-producing Th1 CD4(+) T cells mediate the immune destruction of hematopoietic cells, and they are central to the pathogenesis. However, the molecular events that control the development of BM-destructive Th1 cells remain largely unknown. Ezh2 is a chromatin-modifying enzyme that regulates multiple cellular processes primarily by silencing gene expression. We recently reported that Ezh2 is crucial for inflammatory T cell responses after allogeneic BM transplantation. To elucidate whether Ezh2 mediates pathogenic Th1 responses in AA and the mechanism of Ezh2 action in regulating Th1 cells, we studied the effects of Ezh2 inhibition in CD4(+) T cells using a mouse model of human AA. Conditionally deleting Ezh2 in mature T cells dramatically reduced the production of BM-destructive Th1 cells in vivo, decreased BM-infiltrating Th1 cells, and rescued mice from BM failure. Ezh2 inhibition resulted in significant decrease in the expression of Tbx21 and Stat4, which encode transcription factors T-bet and STAT4, respectively. Introduction of T-bet but not STAT4 into Ezh2-deficient T cells fully rescued their differentiation into Th1 cells mediating AA. Ezh2 bound to the Tbx21 promoter in Th1 cells and directly activated Tbx21 transcription. Unexpectedly, Ezh2 was also required to prevent proteasome-mediated degradation of T-bet protein in Th1 cells. Our results demonstrate that Ezh2 promotes the generation of BM-destructive Th1 cells through a mechanism of transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulation of T-bet. These results also highlight the therapeutic potential of Ezh2 inhibition in reducing AA and other autoimmune diseases.
Project description:Interleukin-18 (IL-18), also known as interferon-gamma (IFN-?)-inducing factor, is involved in Th1 responses and regulation of immunity. Accumulating evidence implicates IL-18 in autoimmune diseases, but little is known of its role in acquired aplastic anemia (AA), the immune-mediated destruction of bone marrow (BM) hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs). IL-18 protein levels were significantly elevated in sera of severe AA (SAA) patients, including both responders and nonresponders assayed before treatment, and decreased after treatment. IL-18 receptor (IL-18R) was expressed on HSPCs. Co-culture of human BM CD34+ cells from healthy donors with IL-18 upregulated genes in the helper T-cell and Notch signaling pathways and downregulated genes in the cell cycle regulation, telomerase, and IL-6 signaling pathways. Plasma IL-18 levels were also elevated in murine models of immune-mediated BM failure. However, deletion of IL-18 in donor lymph node cells or deletions of either IL-18 or IL-18R in recipients did not attenuate elevations of circulating IFN-?, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, or IL-6, nor did they alleviate BM failure. In summary, our findings suggest that, although increased circulating IL-18 is a feature of SAA, it may reflect an aberrant immune response but be dispensable to the pathogenesis of AA.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The immune-mediated destruction of hematopoietic stem cells is implicated in the pathophysiology of aplastic anemia (AA). Immunosuppressive therapy (IST) using antithymocyte globulin and cyclosporine is successful in this setting. Eltrombopag is active in patients with refractory AA, presumably by increasing the bone marrow progenitors. METHODS:This phase 2 trial initially was designed to evaluate standard IST in newly diagnosed patients with severe AA and later was amended to add eltrombopag to simultaneously address immune destruction and stem cell depletion. The primary outcome was the overall response rate (ORR) at 3 months and 6 months. RESULTS:A total of 38 patients were enrolled: 17 (45%) received IST alone and 21 (55%) received additional eltrombopag. The ORR was 74%. Patients receiving IST plus eltrombopag had a similar ORR (76% vs 71%; P = .72), complete remission rate (38% vs 29%; P = .73), and median time to response (84 days vs 57 days; P = .30) compared with those receiving IST alone. The 2-year overall survival rate in the IST group was 91% compared with 82% for those patients treated with IST plus eltrombopag (P = .82). No cumulative toxicities were noted after the addition of eltrombopag. CONCLUSIONS:The addition of eltrombopag to standard IST was well tolerated and resulted in similar responses.
Project description:The diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) can be made based on peripheral blood or bone marrow blasts. In this review, we will discuss the role of bone marrow evaluation and peripheral blood monitoring in the diagnosis, management, and follow up of AML patients. For patients with circulating blasts, it is reasonable to perform the necessary studies needed for diagnosis and risk stratification, including multiparametric flow cytometry, cytogenetics, and molecular analysis, on a peripheral blood specimen. The day 14 marrow is used to document hypocellularity in response to induction chemotherapy, but it is unclear if that assessment is necessary as it often does not affect immediate management. Currently, response assessments performed at count recovery for evaluation of remission and measurable residual disease rely on bone marrow sampling. For monitoring of relapse, peripheral blood evaluation may be adequate, but the sensitivity of bone marrow testing is in some cases superior. While bone marrow evaluation can certainly be avoided in particular situations, this cumbersome and uncomfortable procedure currently remains the de facto standard for response assessment.
Project description:The present study is to investigate the profiles of Th17, Th1 and Treg cells in bone marrow of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).Flow cytometry was used to analyze the frequencies of Th17, Th1 and Treg cells in paired peripheral blood and bone marrow of 26 RA patients and 11 osteoarthritis (OA) patients, as well as 10 healthy controls. In addition, the disease activity was analyzed by the 28-joint disease activity score (DAS28).The frequencies of Th17 and Th1 cells were significantly elevated in bone marrow of RA patients. Importantly, Th17 and Th1 cells were significantly elevated in bone marrow compared with the matched peripheral blood from RA patients. However, Treg cells were significantly decreased in bone marrow of RA patients compared with the matched peripheral blood of RA patients and bone marrow of osteoarthritis patients and healthy controls. Moreover, the frequencies of tumor necrosis factor-?-producing T cells were significantly elevated in bone marrow from RA patients. Additionally, Th17 and Th1 cells in bone marrow were positively correlated with DAS28, while Treg cells were negatively correlated with DAS28.The present study demonstrates that Th17 and Th1 cells are markedly increased in bone marrow from RA patients. By contrast, Treg cells are significantly decreased in bone marrow from RA patients. These results suggest that local abnormality of Th17, Th1 and Treg cells in bone marrow of RA patients may contribute to bone destruction in skeletal system.
Project description:Aplastic anemia (AA) is an autoimmune disease characterized by peripheral blood pancytopenia and bone marrow failure. Recently, a research study verified bone marrow failure of AA patients resulting from hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) attack by active T cells. Nonetheless, whether B cells, as one of the important immune cells, destruct the hematopoiesis is still unclear. Here, a large-scale single-cell transcriptomic sequencing of 20,000 bone marrow cells from AA patients and healthy donors was performed. A total of 17 clusters and differentially expressed genes were identified in each cluster relative to other clusters, which were considered potential marker genes in each cluster. The top differentially expressed genes in HSPCs (S100A8, RETN, and TNFAIP3), monocytes (CXCL8, JUN, and IL1B), and neutrophils and granulocytes (CXCL8, NFKBIA, and MT-CYB) were related to immune and inflammatory injury. Then, the B-cell receptor (BCR) diversities and pairing frequencies of V and J genes were analyzed. The highest pairing frequencies in AA patients were IGHV3-20-IGKJ2, IGHV3-20-IGKJ4, and IGHV3-20-IGHLJ2. Meanwhile, there were 3 V genes, including IGHV3-7, IGHV3-33, and IGLV2-11, with elevated expression in B cells from AA patients. Cell type-specific ligand-receptor was further identified in B-cell interaction with hematopoietic cells in the bone marrow. The changed ligand-receptor pairs involved antigen presentation, inflammation, apoptosis, and proliferation of B cells. These data showed the transcriptomic landscape of hematopoiesis in AA at single-cell resolution, providing new insights into hematopoiesis failure related with aberrance of B cells, and provide available targets of treatment for AA.
Project description:Perforin is a cytolytic protein expressed mainly in activated cytotoxic lymphocytes and natural killer cells. Inherited perforin mutations account for 20% to 40% of familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, a fatal disease of early childhood characterized by the absence of functional perforin. Aplastic anemia, the paradigm of immune-mediated bone marrow failure syndromes, is characterized by hematopoietic stem cell destruction by activated T cells and Th1 cytokines. We examined whether mutations in the perforin gene occurred in acquired aplastic anemia. Three nonsynonymous PRF1 mutations among 5 unrelated patients were observed. Four of 5 patients with the mutations showed some hemophagocytosis in the bone marrow at diagnosis. Perforin protein levels in these patients were very low or absent, and perforin granules were completely absent. Natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxicity from these patients was significantly decreased. Our data suggest that PRF1 genetic alterations help explain the aberrant proliferation and activation of cytotoxic T cells and may represent genetic risk factors for bone marrow failure.