HIF1A is a critical downstream mediator for hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis.
ABSTRACT: Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a life-threatening syndrome characterized by overwhelming immune activation. A steroid and chemotherapy-based regimen remains as the first-line of therapy but it has substantial morbidity. Thus, novel, less toxic therapy for HLH is urgently needed. Although differences exist between familial HLH (FHL) and secondary HLH (sHLH), they have many common features. Using bioinformatic analysis with FHL and systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, which is associated with sHLH, we identified a common hypoxia-inducible factor 1A (HIF1A) signature. Furthermore, HIF1A protein levels were found to be elevated in the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus infected Prf1-/- mouse FHL model and the CpG oligodeoxynucleotide-treated mouse sHLH model. To determine the role of HIF1A in HLH, a transgenic mouse with an inducible expression of HIF1A/ARNT proteins in hematopoietic cells was generated, which caused lethal HLH-like phenotypes: severe anemia, thrombocytopenia, splenomegaly, and multi-organ failure upon HIF1A induction. Mechanistically, these mice show type 1 polarized macrophages and dysregulated natural killler cells. The HLH-like phenotypes in this mouse model are independent of both adaptive immunity and interferon-γ, suggesting that HIF1A is downstream of immune activation in HLH. In conclusion, our data reveal that HIF1A signaling is a critical mediator for HLH and could be a novel therapeutic target for this syndrome.
Project description:Background Familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (FLH) is an autosomal recessive disorder of immune regulation that leads to a hyperinflammatory syndrome. Fetal onset FHL is extremely rare and is considered to be the most severe form of FHL. Case We report a preterm case of FHL that presented as hydrops fetalis. The infant was treated with a chemotherapy regimen based on the HLH-2004 protocol from the third day of life. However, he had persistent cytopenia and died on the 18th day of life due to bacteremia. The detection of defective perforin expression in the patient's natural killer cells and mutations in the PRF1 gene resulted in a molecular diagnosis of FHL. Conclusion We suggest that early diagnosis and the development of an appropriate immunosuppressive strategy that can induce and maintain remission until hematopoietic stem cell transplantation can be performed are required to improve the outcomes of fetal onset FHL.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Primary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (pHLH) is a genetic disorder that is classically diagnosed by genetic testing. Secondary HLH (sHLH) is usually caused by infections, malignancies, or autoimmune disorders, but may display some mutations or polymorphisms. Rapid immunological assays examining natural killer (NK) cell activity, degranulation function (CD107a), and protein expression related to genetic deficiencies have been recommended for early pHLH identification. METHODS:A retrospective analysis of 311 HLH patients from a Chinese population was performed to evaluate the potential correlations between genetic testing and rapid immunological assays; genotyping characteristics, age of onset, and etiology were examined. RESULTS:Among the 128 (128/311) patients who were positive in the genetic screening, the most frequently detected mutant gene was UNC13D (29%), followed by LYST (21%), PRF1 (17%), and STXBP2 (10%). Among pHLH patients (n?=?39), the majority (67%) had PRF1 and UNC13D defects. FHL-2 was predominant (12/27, 44%) in patients aged under 18, while FHL-3 was the most common (6/12, 50%) in adults. Differences in genetic variant types and etiological components were noted in HLH patients based on the age of onset. NK cell activity and CD107a were observed to show a consistent trend (Ptrend?<?0.001) when grouping patients according to the severity of the genetic variant type. Moreover, NK cell activity was generally consistent within a certain range of ?CD107a values (Ptrend?<?0.001). The PPV for bi-allelic degranulation gene mutations in patients with CD107a <?5% was 38.9% (7/18), while the PPV in patients with CD107a ?10% was 16.7% (13/78). The PPV for pHLH was 41.4% (29/70) with NK cell activity ?13%. To further evaluate the diagnostic efficacy of NK cell activity assay in pHLH, a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was generated and showed an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.872, and the optimal cutoff value was determined to be 13.425% with a sensitivity of 84.21% and specificity of 80.67% when the corresponding Youden index was maximized. Flow cytometry screening for deficient proteins, including perforin, SAP, and XIAP, showed a relatively high sensitivity (83.33-93.33%). The positive predictive values (PPVs) of perforin and XIAP were relatively low (20.83-26.92%), but the negative predictive values (NPVs) for all three were excellent (all >?98%). CONCLUSIONS:Various immunological indicators have different clinical prediction and application values for the diagnosis of pHLH. The degree of reduction of immunological indicators also needs attention, and choosing appropriate cutoff value may be of important significance in guiding clinical judgment for pHLH.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (FHL) is a rare disease of infancy or early childhood. To clarify the incidence and subtypes of FHL in Japan, we performed genetic and functional analyses of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) in Japanese patients with FHL. DESIGN AND METHODS: Among the Japanese children with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) registered at our laboratory, those with more than one of the following findings were eligible for study entry under a diagnosis of FHL: positive for known genetic mutations, a family history of HLH, and impaired CTL-mediated cytotoxicity. Mutations of the newly identified causative gene for FHL5, STXBP2, and the cytotoxicity and degranulation activity of CTLs in FHL patients, were analyzed. RESULTS: Among 31 FHL patients who satisfied the above criteria, PRF1 mutation was detected in 17 (FHL2) and UNC13D mutation was in 10 (FHL3). In 2 other patients, 3 novel mutations of STXBP2 gene were confirmed (FHL5). Finally, the remaining 2 were classified as having FHL with unknown genetic mutations. In all FHL patients, CTL-mediated cytotoxicity was low or deficient, and degranulation activity was also low or absent except FHL2 patients. In 2 patients with unknown genetic mutations, the cytotoxicity and degranulation activity of CTLs appeared to be deficient in one patient and moderately impaired in the other. CONCLUSIONS: FHL can be diagnosed and classified on the basis of CTL-mediated cytotoxicity, degranulation activity, and genetic analysis. Based on the data obtained from functional analysis of CTLs, other unknown gene(s) responsible for FHL remain to be identified.
Project description:We report the largest prospective study thus far on hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) in hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a life-threatening hyperinflammatory syndrome comprising familial/genetic HLH (FHL) and secondary HLH. Although all patients with HLH typically need intensive anti-inflammatory therapy, patients with FHL also need HSCT to be cured. In the international HLH-2004 study, 187 children aged <18 years fulfilling the study inclusion criteria (5 of 8 diagnostic criteria, affected sibling, or molecular diagnosis in FHL-causative genes) underwent 209 transplants (2004-2012), defined as indicated in patients with familial/genetic, relapsing, or severe/persistent disease. Five-year overall survival (OS) post-HSCT was 66% (95% confidence interval [CI], 59-72); event-free survival (EFS) was 60% (95% CI, 52-67). Five-year OS was 81% (95% CI, 65-90) for children with a complete response and 59% (95% CI, 48-69) for those with a partial response (hazard ratio [HR], 2.12; 95% CI, 1.06-4.27; P = .035). For children with verified FHL (family history/genetically verified, n = 134), 5-year OS was 71% (95% CI, 62-78) and EFS was 62% (95% CI, 54-70); 5-year OS for children without verified FHL (n = 53) was significantly lower (52%; 95% CI, 38-65) (P = .040; HR, 1.69; 95% CI, 1.03-2.77); they were also significantly older. Notably, 20 (38%) of 53 patients without verified FHL had natural killer cell activity reported as normal at diagnosis, after 2 months, or at HSCT, suggestive of secondary HLH; and in addition 14 (26%) of these 53 children had no evidence of biallelic mutations despite having 3 or 4 FHL genes analyzed (natural killer cell activity not analyzed after 2 months or at HSCT). We conclude that post-HSCT survival in FHL remains suboptimal, and that the FHL diagnosis should be carefully investigated before HSCT. Pretransplant complete remission is beneficial but not mandatory to achieve post-HSCT survival. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00426101.
Project description:Background: Primary immunodeficiencies (PIDs) are a heterogeneous group of disorders. The lack of comprehensive disease-specific mutation databases may hinder or delay classification of the genetic variants found in samples from these patients. This is especially true for familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (FHL), a life-threatening PID classically considered an autosomal recessive condition, but with increasingly demonstrated genetic heterogeneity. Objective: The aim of this study was to build an open-access repository to collect detailed information on the known genetic variants reported in FHL. Methods: We manually reviewed more than 120 articles to identify all reported variants related to FHL. We retrieved relevant information about the allelic status, the number of patients with the same variant, and whether functional assays were done. We stored all the data retrieved in a PostgreSQL database and then built a website on top of it, using the Django framework. Results: The database designed (FHLdb) (https://www.biotoclin.org/FHLdb) contains comprehensive information on reported variants in the 4 genes related to FHL (PRF1, UNC13D, STXBP2, STX11). It comprises 240 missense, 69 frameshift, 51 nonsense, 51 splicing, 10 in-frame indel, 7 deep intronic, and 5 large rearrangement variants together with their allelic status, carrier(s) information, and functional evidence. All genetic variants have been classified as pathogenic, likely pathogenic, uncertain significance, likely benign or benign, according to the American College of Medical Genetics guidelines. Additionally, it integrates information from other relevant databases: clinical evidence from ClinVar and UniProt, population allele frequency from ExAC and gnomAD, and pathogenicity predictions from well-recognized tools (e.g., PolyPhen-2, SIFT). Finally, a diagram depicts the location of the variant relative to the gene exon and protein domain structures. Conclusion: FHLdb includes a broad range of data on the reported genetic variants in familial HLH genes. It is a free-access and easy-to-use resource that will facilitate the interpretation of molecular results of FHL patients, and it illustrates the potential value of disease-specific databases for other PIDs.
Project description:Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a life-threatening condition of uncontrolled immune activation leading to extreme inflammation. Primary HLH was once believed to be a disease that occurred only in infancy or young children, and was rarely diagnosed in adults. It is now understood that patients can develop primary HLH in their adolescence or adulthood. This study included 252 adolescent and adult patients with a clinical diagnosis of HLH from 35 general medical institutions across mainland China. All exons and 50 bp of flanking intronic sequence of six HLH-related genes (PRF1, UNC13D, STX11, STXBP2, SH2D1A, and BIRC4) were sequenced in these patients. We identified mutations in 18/252 (7.1%) of the patients, with changes in PRF1 being most common. Late-onset HLH often features viral infection and other predisposing factors. We conclude that late-onset primary HLH is not as rare as previously thought. Older patients should not be delayed to receive HLH-related genes testing when they are suspected with HLH.
Project description:Secondary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (sHLH) is a highly mortal complication associated with sepsis. In adults, it is often seen in the setting of infections, especially viral infections, but the mechanisms that underlie pathogenesis are unknown. sHLH is characterized by a hyperinflammatory state and the presence hemophagocytosis. We found that sequential challenging of mice with a nonlethal dose of viral toll-like receptor (TLR) agonist followed by a nonlethal dose of TLR4 agonist, but not other permutations, produced a highly lethal state that recapitulates many aspects of human HLH. We found that this hyperinflammatory response could be recapitulated in vitro in bone marrow-derived macrophages. RNA sequencing analyses revealed dramatic up-regulation of the red-pulp macrophage lineage-defining transcription factor SpiC and its associated transcriptional program, which was also present in bone marrow macrophages sorted from patients with sHLH. Transcriptional profiling also revealed a unique metabolic transcriptional profile in these macrophages, and immunometabolic phenotyping revealed impaired mitochondrial function and oxidative metabolism and a reliance on glycolytic metabolism. Subsequently, we show that therapeutic administration of the glycolysis inhibitor 2-deoxyglucose was sufficient to rescue animals from HLH. Together, these data identify a potential mechanism for the pathogenesis of sHLH and a potentially useful therapeutic strategy for its treatment.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Globally, ~500 000 people with severe dengue (SD) require hospitalization yearly; ~12 500 (2.5%) die. Secondary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (sHLH) is a potentially fatal hyperinflammatory condition for which HLH-directed therapy (as etoposide and dexamethasone) can be life-saving. Prompted by the high mortality in SD and the increasing awareness that patients with SD may develop sHLH, our objectives were to (1) determine the frequency of dengue-HLH in SD, (2) describe clinical features of dengue-HLH, (3) assess mortality rate in SD and dengue-HLH, and (4) identify mortality-associated risk factors in SD. METHODS:A 5-year retrospective single-center study in all adult patients with SD admitted to a tertiary intensive care unit in Malaysia. RESULTS:Thirty-nine of 180 (22%) patients with SD died. Twenty-one of 180 (12%) had HLH defined as an HLH probability ?70% according to histo score (HScore); 9 (43%) died. Similarly, 12 of 31 (39%) fulfilling ?4 and 7 of 9 (78%) fulfilling ?5 HLH-2004 diagnostic criteria died. Peak values of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase, lactate dehydrogenase, and creatinine correlated to fatality (odds ratios [ORs], 2.9, 3.4, 5.8, and 31.9; all P < .0001), as did peak ferritin (OR, 2.5; P = .0028), nadir platelets (OR, 1.9; P = .00068), hepatomegaly (OR, 2.9; P = .012), and increasing age (OR, 1.2; P = .0043). Multivariable logistic regression revealed peak AST (OR, 2.8; P = .0019), peak creatinine (OR, 7.3; P = .0065), and SOFA (Sequential Organ Failure Assessment) score (OR, 1.4; P = .0051) as independent risk factors of death. CONCLUSIONS:Be observant of dengue-HLH due to its high mortality. A prospective study is suggested on prompt HLH-directed therapy in SD patients with hyperinflammation and evolving multiorgan failure at risk of developing dengue-HLH.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase-1 (IDO1) is an immune-modulatory enzyme that catalyzes the degradation of tryptophan (Trp) to kynurenine (Kyn) and is strongly induced by interferon (IFN)-?. We previously reported highly increased levels of IFN-? and corresponding IDO activity in patients with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a hyper-inflammatory syndrome. On the other hand, IFN-? and IDO were low in patients with systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (sJIA), an autoinflammatory syndrome. As HLH can occur as a complication of sJIA, the opposing levels of both IFN-? and IDO are remarkable. In animal models for sJIA and HLH, the role of IFN-? differs from being protective to pathogenic. In this study, we aimed to unravel the role of IDO1 in the pathogenesis of sJIA and HLH. METHODS:Wild-type and IDO1-knockout (IDO1-KO) mice were used in 3 models of sJIA or HLH: complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA)-injected mice developed an sJIA-like syndrome and secondary HLH (sHLH) was evoked by either repeated injection of unmethylated CpG oligonucleotide or by primary infection with mouse cytomegalovirus (MCMV). An anti-CD3-induced cytokine release syndrome was used as a non-sJIA/HLH control model. RESULTS:No differences were found in clinical, laboratory and hematological features of sJIA/HLH between wild-type and IDO1-KO mice. As IDO modulates the immune response via induction of regulatory T cells and inhibition of T cell proliferation, we investigated both features in a T cell-triggered cytokine release syndrome. Again, no differences were observed in serum cytokine levels, percentages of regulatory T cells, nor of proliferating or apoptotic thymocytes and lymph node cells. CONCLUSIONS:Our data demonstrate that IDO1 deficiency does not affect inflammation in sJIA, sHLH and a T cell-triggered cytokine release model. We hypothesize that other tryptophan-catabolizing enzymes like IDO2 and tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase (TDO) might compensate for the lack of IDO1.
Project description:Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) are basically a heterogenous group of clinical syndromes, characterised by activation and non-malignant proliferation of benign histiocytes i.e. lymphocytes and macrophages, leading to a cytokine storm that accounts for the fever, organomegaly and multi-organ dysfunction. Two types of HLH are described, either due to known genetic defect (familial HLH/FHL) or due to some acquired cause either infection or rheumatological diseases. Here we present a case of a 3 months old baby, admitted with fever, hepatosplenomegaly and cytopenia and ultimately was diagnosed to be a case of Familial HLH type 3 due to defect in UNC13D gene as a result of compound heterozygous for two nonsense mutation resulting in the Munc13-4 protein defect.