Chronic signaling via the metabolic checkpoint kinase mTORC1 induces macrophage granuloma formation and marks sarcoidosis progression.
ABSTRACT: The aggregation of hypertrophic macrophages constitutes the basis of all granulomatous diseases, such as tuberculosis or sarcoidosis, and is decisive for disease pathogenesis. However, macrophage-intrinsic pathways driving granuloma initiation and maintenance remain elusive. We found that activation of the metabolic checkpoint kinase mTORC1 in macrophages by deletion of the gene encoding tuberous sclerosis 2 (Tsc2) was sufficient to induce hypertrophy and proliferation, resulting in excessive granuloma formation in vivo. TSC2-deficient macrophages formed mTORC1-dependent granulomatous structures in vitro and showed constitutive proliferation that was mediated by the neo-expression of cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4). Moreover, mTORC1 promoted metabolic reprogramming via CDK4 toward increased glycolysis while simultaneously inhibiting NF-?B signaling and apoptosis. Inhibition of mTORC1 induced apoptosis and completely resolved granulomas in myeloid TSC2-deficient mice. In human sarcoidosis patients, mTORC1 activation, macrophage proliferation and glycolysis were identified as hallmarks that correlated with clinical disease progression. Collectively, TSC2 maintains macrophage quiescence and prevents mTORC1-dependent granulomatous disease with clinical implications for sarcoidosis.
Project description:Gene expression analysis of primary CSF1-deprived bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM) of Tsc2fl/fl LysM+/+ and TSC2fl/fl LysM+/cre mice Maintenance of tissue homeostasis requires a tight control of the in situ-proliferative capacity of tissue-resident macrophages. Here we show that specific deletion of Tsc2 in myeloid cells breaks quiescence and strongly induces macrophage proliferation and hypertrophy leading to granuloma formation in vivo in an mTORC1-dependent manner. Intriguingly, the growth factor CSF1 induces expression of cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4) via TSC2-mTORC1 to stimulate cell proliferation, while simultaneously NF-κB signaling and apoptosis are inhibited. Tsc2-deficient macrophages show constitutive CDK4 expression and enhanced M2-like polarization that is supported by a metabolic reprogramming towards increased glycolysis and mitochondrial metabolism. Strikingly, mTORC1 activation and macrophage proliferation are identified as a hallmark of the human granulomatous disease sarcoidosis and correlate with a clinically progressive disease outcome. In conclusion, TSC2-mTORC1 integrates macrophage quiescence, polarization, and metabolism to prevent granulomatous disease. Fundamentally, we show that the macrophage cell cycle is controlled by a growth factor-induced expression of CDK4. Overall design: Total RNA of CSF1-deprived bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM) of Tsc2fl/fl LysM+/+ and TSC2fl/fl LysM+/cre mice (n=4/group) was subjected to microarray analysis on Affymetrix GeneChip® Mouse Gene 2.0 ST arrays. Array data were processed using Affymetrix Expression Console. No technical replicates were performed.
Project description:Background:Sarcoidosis is a chronic inflammatory disease of unknown cause characterized by granuloma formation. Mechanisms for chronic persistence of granulomas are unknown. Matrix Metalloproteinase-12 (MMP12) degrades extracellular matrix elastin and enables infiltration of immune cells responsible for inflammation and granuloma formation. Previous studies report increased MMP12 in sarcoidosis patients and association between MMP12 expression and disease severity. We also observed elevated MMP12 in our multiwall carbon nanotube (MWCNT) murine model of granulomatous inflammation. Here we hypothesized that MMP12 is important to acute and late phases of granuloma pathogenesis. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed granulomatous and inflammatory responses of Mmp12 knock-out (KO) mice at 10 (acute) and 60 days (late) after MWCNT instillation. Methods:C57BL/6 (wildtype) and Mmp12 KO mice underwent oropharyngeal instillation of MWCNT. Lungs were harvested at 3, 10, 20, and 60 days post instillation for evaluation of MMP12 expression and granulomatous changes. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cells were analyzed 60 days after MWCNT instillation for expression of mediators thought to play a role in sarcoid granulomatosis: peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR?), interferon-gamma (IFN-?), and CCL2 (MCP-1). Results:Pulmonary granuloma appearance at 10 days after MWCNT instillation showed no differences between wildtype and Mmp12 KO mice. In contrast, by 60 days after MWCNT instillation, Mmp12 KO mice revealed markedly attenuated granuloma formation together with elevated PPAR? and reduced IFN? expression in BAL cells compared to wildtype. Unexpectedly, Mmp12 KO mice further demonstrated increased alveolar macrophages with increased CCL2 at 60 days. Conclusions:The striking reduction of granuloma formation at day 60 in Mmp12 KO mice suggests that MMP12 is required to maintain chronic granuloma pathophysiology. The increased PPAR? and decreased IFN? findings suggest that these mediators also may be involved since previous studies have shown that PPAR? suppresses IFN? and PPAR? deficiency amplifies granuloma formation. Interestingly, a role of MMP12 in granuloma resolution is also suggested by increases in both macrophage influx and CCL2. Overall, our results strongly implicate MMP12 as a key factor in granuloma persistence and as a possible therapeutic target in chronic pulmonary sarcoidosis.
Project description:Glucocorticoids (GCs) play a central role in modulation of inflammation in various diseases, including respiratory diseases such as sarcoidosis. Surprisingly, the specific anti-inflammatory effects of GCs on different myeloid cells especially in macrophages remain poorly understood. Sarcoidosis is a systemic granulomatous disease of unknown etiology that occurs worldwide and is characterized by granuloma formation in different organs. Alveolar macrophages play a role in sarcoidosis granuloma formation and progressive lung disease. The goal of the present study is to identify the effect of GCs on transcriptomic profiles and the cellular pathways in sarcoidosis alveolar macrophages and their corresponding blood myeloid cells. We determined and compared the whole transcriptional signatures of alveolar macrophages from sarcoidosis patients and blood CD14+ monocytes of the same subjects in response to in vitro treatment with dexamethasone (DEX) via RNA-sequencing. In response to DEX, we identified 2,834 genes that were differentially expressed in AM. Predominant pathways affected were as following: metabolic pathway (FDR = 4.1 × 10-10), lysosome (FDR = 6.3 × 10-9), phagosome (FDR = 3.9 × 10-5). The DEX effect on AMs is associated with metabolic derangements involving glycolysis, oxidative phosphorylation and lipid metabolisms. In contrast, the top impacted pathways in response to DEX treatment in blood CD14+ monocytes were as following; cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction (FDR = 6 × 10-6) and transcriptional misregulation in cancer (FDR = 1 × 10-4). Pathways similarly affected in both cell types were genes involved in lysosomes, cytoskeleton and transcriptional misregulation in cancer. These data suggest that the different effects of DEX on AMs and peripheral blood monocytes are partly dictated by lineage specific transcriptional programs and their physiological functions.
Project description:Mechanistic or mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) is an important regulator of effector functions, proliferation, and cellular metabolism in macrophages. The biochemical processes that are controlled by mTORC1 are still being defined. Here, we demonstrate that integrative multiomics in conjunction with a data-driven inverse modeling approach, termed COVRECON, identifies a biochemical node that influences overall metabolic profiles and reactions of mTORC1-dependent macrophage metabolism. Using a combined approach of metabolomics, proteomics, mRNA expression analysis, and enzymatic activity measurements, we demonstrate that Tsc2, a negative regulator of mTORC1 signaling, critically influences the cellular activity of macrophages by regulating the enzyme phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (Phgdh) in an mTORC1-dependent manner. More generally, while lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated macrophages repress Phgdh activity, IL-4-stimulated macrophages increase the activity of the enzyme required for the expression of key anti-inflammatory molecules and macrophage proliferation. Thus, we identify Phgdh as a metabolic checkpoint of M2 macrophages.
Project description:The mechanisms underlying abnormal granuloma formation in patients with sarcoidosis are complex and remain poorly understood. A novel in vitro human granuloma model was used to determine the molecular mechanisms of granuloma genesis in patients with sarcoidosis in response to putative disease-causing mycobacterial antigens. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from patients with active sarcoidosis and from normal, disease-free control subjects were incubated for 7 days with purified protein derivative-coated polystyrene beads. Molecular responses, as reflected by differential expression of genes, extracellular cytokine patterns, and cell surface receptor expression, were analyzed. Unbiased systems biology approaches were used to identify signaling pathways engaged during granuloma formation. Model findings were compared with human lung and mediastinal lymph node gene expression profiles. Compared with identically treated PBMCs of control subjects (n?=?5), purified protein derivative-treated sarcoidosis PBMCs (n?=?6) were distinguished by the formation of cellular aggregates resembling granulomas. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis of differential expression gene patterns identified molecular pathways that are primarily regulated by IL-13, which promotes alternatively activated (M2) macrophage polarization. M2 polarization was further demonstrated by immunohistochemistry performed on the in vitro sarcoidosis granuloma-like structures. IL-13-regulated gene pathways were confirmed in human sarcoidosis lung and mediastinal lymph node tissues. The in vitro human sarcoidosis granuloma model provides novel insights into early granuloma formation, particularly IL-13 regulation of molecular networks that regulate M2 macrophage polarization. M2 macrophages are predisposed to aggregation and multinucleated giant cell formation, which are characteristic features of sarcoidosis granulomas. Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT01857401).
Project description:The critical innate immune mechanisms that regulate granulomatous inflammation in sarcoidosis are unknown. Because the granuloma-inducing component of sarcoidosis tissues has physicochemical properties similar to those of amyloid fibrils, we hypothesized that host proteins capable of forming poorly soluble aggregates or amyloid regulate inflammation in sarcoidosis.To determine the role of the amyloid precursor protein, serum amyloid A, as an innate regulator of granulomatous inflammation in sarcoidosis.Serum amyloid A expression was determined by immunohistochemistry in sarcoidosis and control tissues and by ELISA. The effect of serum amyloid A on nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB induction, cytokine expression, and Toll-like receptor-2 stimulation was determined with transformed human cell lines and bronchoalveolar lavage cells from patients with sarcoidosis. The effects of serum amyloid A on regulating helper T cell type 1 (Th1) granulomatous inflammation were determined in experimental models of sarcoidosis, using Mycobacterium tuberculosis catalase-peroxidase.We found that the intensity of expression and distribution of serum amyloid A within sarcoidosis granulomas was unlike that in many other granulomatous diseases. Serum amyloid A localized to macrophages and giant cells within sarcoidosis granulomas but correlated with CD3(+) lymphocytes, linking expression to local Th1 responses. Serum amyloid A activated NF-kappaB in Toll-like receptor-2-expressing human cell lines; regulated experimental Th1-mediated granulomatous inflammation through IFN-gamma, tumor necrosis factor, IL-10, and Toll-like receptor-2; and stimulated production of tumor necrosis factor, IL-10, and IL-18 in lung cells from patients with sarcoidosis, effects inhibited by blocking Toll-like receptor-2.Serum amyloid A is a constituent and innate regulator of granulomatous inflammation in sarcoidosis through Toll-like receptor-2, providing a mechanism for chronic disease and new therapeutic targets.
Project description:Metabolic reprogramming is rapidly gaining appreciation in the etiology of immune cell dysfunction in a variety of diseases. Tuberculosis, schistosomiasis, and sarcoidosis represent an important class of diseases characterized by the formation of granulomas, where macrophages are causatively implicated in disease pathogenesis. Recent studies support the incidence of macrophage metabolic reprogramming in granulomas of both infectious and non-infectious origin. These publications identify the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), as well as the major regulators of lipid metabolism and cellular energy balance, peroxisome proliferator receptor gamma (PPAR-?) and adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK), respectively, as key players in the pathological progression of granulomas. In this review, we present a comprehensive breakdown of emerging research on the link between macrophage cell metabolism and granulomas of different etiology, and how parallels can be drawn between different forms of granulomatous disease. In particular, we discuss the role of PPAR-? signaling and lipid metabolism, which are currently the best-represented metabolic pathways in this context, and we highlight dysregulated lipid metabolism as a common denominator in granulomatous disease progression. This review therefore aims to highlight metabolic mechanisms of granuloma immune cell fate and open up research questions for the identification of potential therapeutic targets in the future.
Project description:Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (Map) causes chronic granulomatous disease in cattle and ruminant livestock, causing substantial economic losses. Current vaccines delay clinical signs but cannot train the immune system to fully eradicate latent Map. During latency, Map uses host defenses, cage-like macrophage clusters called granuloma, as incubators for months or years. We used an in vitro model to investigate the early coordination of macrophages into granuloma upon Map infection over ten days. We found that at multiplicities of infection (MOI; Map:macrophages) of 1:2 and below, the macrophages readily form clusters and evolve pro-inflammatory cytokines in keeping with a cell-mediated immune response. At higher MOIs, viability of host macrophages is negatively impacted. At 1:4 MOI, we quantified viable Map in our model and confirmed that intracellular Map reproduced over the first five days of infection. Host cells expressed Type 1-specific cytokines, and Map-infected macrophages displayed reduced motility compared to Map-exposed, uninfected macrophages, suggesting an important role for uninfected macrophages in the early aggregative response. Reported is the first in vitro JD granuloma model capturing Map and macrophage viability, size distribution of resulting clusters, motility of monocyte-derived macrophages, and cytokine response during clustering, allowing quantitative analysis of multiple parameters of the Map-specific granulomatous response.
Project description:Lung granulomas are associated with numerous conditions, including inflammatory disorders, exposure to environmental pollutants, and infection. Osteopontin is a chemotactic cytokine produced by macrophages, and is implicated in extracellular matrix remodeling. Furthermore, osteopontin is up-regulated in granulomatous disease, and osteopontin null mice exhibit reduced granuloma formation. Animal models currently used to investigate chronic lung granulomatous inflammation bear a pathological resemblance, but lack the chronic nature of human granulomatous disease. Carbon nanoparticles are generated as byproducts of combustion. Interestingly, experimental exposures to carbon nanoparticles induce pulmonary granuloma-like lesions. However, the recruited cellular populations and extracellular matrix gene expression profiles within these lesions have not been explored. Because of the rapid resolution of granulomas in current animal models, the mechanisms responsible for persistence have been elusive. To overcome the limitations of previous models, we investigated whether a model using multiwall carbon nanoparticles would resemble chronic human lung granulomatous inflammation. We hypothesized that pulmonary exposure to multiwall carbon nanoparticles would induce granulomas, elicit a macrophage and T-cell response, and mimic other granulomatous disorders with an up-regulation of osteopontin. This model demonstrates: (1) granulomatous inflammation, with macrophage and T-cell infiltration; (2) resemblance to the chronicity of human granulomas, with persistence up to 90 days; and (3) a marked elevation of osteopontin, metalloproteinases, and cell adhesion molecules in granulomatous foci isolated by laser-capture microdissection and in alveolar macrophages from bronchoalveolar lavage. The establishment of such a model provides an important platform for mechanistic studies on the persistence of granuloma.
Project description:Many aspects of pathogenic granuloma formation are poorly understood, requiring new relevant laboratory models that represent the complexity (genetics and diversity) of human disease. To address this need, we developed an in vitro model of granuloma formation using human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) derived from patients with active sarcoidosis, latent tuberculosis (TB) infection (LTBI), or normal healthy control subjects. PBMCs were incubated for 7 days with uncoated polystyrene beads or beads coated with purified protein derivative (PPD) or human serum albumin. In response to PPD-coated beads, PBMCs from donors with sarcoidosis and LTBI formed robust multicellular aggregates resembling granulomas, displaying a typical T-helper cell type 1 immune response, as assessed by cytokine analyses. In contrast, minimal PBMC aggregation occurred when control PBMCs were incubated with PPD-coated beads, whereas the response to uncoated beads was negligible in all groups. Sarcoidosis PBMCs responded to human serum albumin-coated beads with modest cellular aggregation and inflammatory cytokine release. Whereas the granuloma-like aggregates formed in response to PPD-coated beads were similar for sarcoidosis and LTBI, molecular profiles differed significantly. mRNA expression patterns revealed distinct pathways engaged in early granuloma formation in sarcoidosis and LTBI, and they resemble molecular patterns reported in diseased human tissues. This novel in vitro human granuloma model is proposed as a tool to investigate mechanisms of early granuloma formation and for preclinical drug discovery research of human granulomatous disorders. Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT01857401).