CCR10+ epithelial cells from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis lungs drive remodeling.
ABSTRACT: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a devastating fibrotic lung disease of unknown etiology and limited therapeutic options. In this report, we characterize what we believe is a novel CCR10+ epithelial cell population in IPF lungs. There was a significant increase in the percentage of CCR10+ epithelial cells in IPF relative to normal lung explants and their numbers significantly correlated to lung remodeling in humanized NSG mice. Cultured CCR10-enriched IPF epithelial cells promoted IPF lung fibroblast invasion and collagen 1 secretion. Single-cell RNA sequencing analysis showed distinct CCR10+ epithelial cell populations enriched for inflammatory and profibrotic transcripts. Consistently, cultured IPF but not normal epithelial cells induced lung remodeling in humanized NSG mice, where the number of CCR10+ IPF, but not normal, epithelial cells correlated with hydroxyproline concentration in the remodeled NSG lungs. A subset of IPF CCR10hi epithelial cells coexpress EphA3 and ephrin A signaling induces the expression of CCR10 by these cells. Finally, EphA3+CCR10hi epithelial cells induce more consistent lung remodeling in NSG mice relative to EphA3-CCR10lo epithelial cells. Our results suggest that targeting epithelial cells, highly expressing CCR10, may be beneficial in IPF.
Project description:Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a fibrotic lung disease, with unknown etiopathogenesis and suboptimal therapeutic options. Previous reports have shown that increased T-cell numbers and CD28null phenotype is predictive of prognosis in IPF, suggesting that these cells might have a role in this disease. Flow cytometric analysis of explanted lung cellular suspensions showed a significant increase in CD8+ CD28null T cells in IPF relative to normal lung explants. Transcriptomic analysis of CD3+ T cells isolated from IPF lung explants revealed a loss of CD28-transcript expression and elevation of pro-inflammatory cytokine expression in IPF relative to normal T cells. IPF lung explant-derived T cells (enriched with CD28null T cells), but not normal donor lung CD28+ T cells induced dexamethasone-resistant lung remodeling in humanized NSG mice. Finally, CD28null T cells expressed similar CTLA4 and significantly higher levels of PD-1 proteins relative to CD28+ T cells and blockade of either proteins in humanized NSG mice, using anti-CTLA4, or anti-PD1, mAb treatment-accelerated lung fibrosis. Together, these results demonstrate that IPF CD28null T cells may promote lung fibrosis but the immune checkpoint proteins, CTLA-4 and PD-1, appears to limit this effect.
Project description:Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a fibrotic lung disease of unknown etiopathogenesis with limited therapeutic options. IPF is characterized by an abundance of fibroblasts and loss of epithelial progenitors, which cumulates in unrelenting fibrotic lung remodeling and loss of normal oxygenation. IPF has been challenging to model in rodents; nonetheless, mouse models of lung fibrosis provide clues as to the natural progression of lung injury and remodeling, but many have not been useful in predicting efficacy of therapeutics in clinical IPF. We provide a detailed methodologic description of various iterations of humanized mouse models, initiated by the i.v. injection of cells from IPF lung biopsy or explants specimens into severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID)/beige or nonobese diabetic SCID γ mice. Unlike cells from normal lung samples, IPF cells promote persistent, nonresolving lung remodeling in SCID mice. Finally, we provide examples and discuss potential advantages and pitfalls of human-specific targeting approaches in a humanized SCID model of pulmonary fibrosis.
Project description:Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a debilitating lung disease characterized by excessive collagen production and fibrogenesis. Apoptosis in lung epithelial cells is critical in IPF pathogenesis, as heightened loss of these cells promotes fibroblast activation and remodeling. Changes in glutathione redox status have been reported in IPF patients. S-glutathionylation, the conjugation of glutathione to reactive cysteines, is catalyzed in part by glutathione-S-transferase ? (GSTP). To date, no published information exists linking GSTP and IPF to our knowledge. We hypothesized that GSTP mediates lung fibrogenesis in part through FAS S-glutathionylation, a critical event in epithelial cell apoptosis. Our results demonstrate that GSTP immunoreactivity is increased in the lungs of IPF patients, notably within type II epithelial cells. The FAS-GSTP interaction was also increased in IPF lungs. Bleomycin- and AdTGF?-induced increases in collagen content, ?-SMA, FAS S-glutathionylation, and total protein S-glutathionylation were strongly attenuated in Gstp-/- mice. Oropharyngeal administration of the GSTP inhibitor, TLK117, at a time when fibrosis was already apparent, attenuated bleomycin- and AdTGF?-induced remodeling, ?-SMA, caspase activation, FAS S-glutathionylation, and total protein S-glutathionylation. GSTP is an important driver of protein S-glutathionylation and lung fibrosis, and GSTP inhibition via the airways may be a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of IPF.
Project description:Treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is based on histological analysis and molecular profiling of targetable driver oncogenes. Therapeutic responses are further defined by the landscape of passenger mutations, or loss of tumor suppressor genes. We report here a thorough study to address the physiological role of the putative lung cancer tumor suppressor EPH receptor A3 (EPHA3), a gene that is frequently mutated in human lung adenocarcinomas. Our data shows that homozygous or heterozygous loss of EphA3 does not alter the progression of murine adenocarcinomas that result from Kras mutation or loss of Trp53, and we detected negligible postnatal expression of EphA3 in adult wild-type lungs. Yet, EphA3 was expressed in the distal mesenchyme of developing mouse lungs, neighboring the epithelial expression of its Efna1 ligand; this is consistent with the known roles of EPH receptors in embryonic development. However, the partial loss of EphA3 leads only to subtle changes in epithelial Nkx2-1, endothelial Cd31 and mesenchymal Fgf10 RNA expression levels, and no macroscopic phenotypic effects on lung epithelial branching, mesenchymal cell proliferation, or abundance and localization of CD31-positive endothelia. The lack of a discernible lung phenotype in EphA3-null mice might indicate lack of an overt role for EPHA3 in the murine lung, or imply functional redundancy between EPHA receptors. Our study shows how biological complexity can challenge in vivo functional validation of mutations identified in sequencing efforts, and provides an incentive for the design of knock-in or conditional models to assign the role of EPHA3 mutation during lung tumorigenesis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is characterized by profound changes in the lung phenotype including excessive extracellular matrix deposition, myofibroblast foci, alveolar epithelial cell hyperplasia and extensive remodeling. The role of epigenetic changes in determining the lung phenotype in IPF is unknown. In this study we determine whether IPF lungs exhibit an altered global methylation profile. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Immunoprecipitated methylated DNA from 12 IPF lungs, 10 lung adenocarcinomas and 10 normal histology lungs was hybridized to Agilent human CpG Islands Microarrays and data analysis was performed using BRB-Array Tools and DAVID Bioinformatics Resources software packages. Array results were validated using the EpiTYPER MassARRAY platform for 3 CpG islands. 625 CpG islands were differentially methylated between IPF and control lungs with an estimated False Discovery Rate less than 5%. The genes associated with the differentially methylated CpG islands are involved in regulation of apoptosis, morphogenesis and cellular biosynthetic processes. The expression of three genes (STK17B, STK3 and HIST1H2AH) with hypomethylated promoters was increased in IPF lungs. Comparison of IPF methylation patterns to lung cancer or control samples, revealed that IPF lungs display an intermediate methylation profile, partly similar to lung cancer and partly similar to control with 402 differentially methylated CpG islands overlapping between IPF and cancer. Despite their similarity to cancer, IPF lungs did not exhibit hypomethylation of long interspersed nuclear element 1 (LINE-1) retrotransposon while lung cancer samples did, suggesting that the global hypomethylation observed in cancer was not typical of IPF. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:Our results provide evidence that epigenetic changes in IPF are widespread and potentially important. The partial similarity to cancer may signify similar pathogenetic mechanisms while the differences constitute IPF or cancer specific changes. Elucidating the role of these specific changes will potentially allow better understanding of the pathogenesis of IPF.
Project description:Single-dose intratracheal bleomycin has been instrumental for understanding fibrotic lung remodeling, but fails to recapitulate several features of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Since IPF is thought to result from recurrent alveolar injury, we aimed to develop a repetitive bleomycin model that results in lung fibrosis with key characteristics of human disease, including alveolar epithelial cell (AEC) hyperplasia. Wild-type and cell fate reporter mice expressing ?-galactosidase in cells of lung epithelial lineage were given intratracheal bleomycin after intubation, and lungs were harvested 2 wk after a single or eighth biweekly dose. Lungs were evaluated for fibrosis and collagen content. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) was performed for cell counts. TUNEL staining and immunohistochemistry were performed for pro-surfactant protein C (pro-SP-C), Clara cell 10 (CC-10), ?-galactosidase, S100A4, and ?-smooth muscle actin. Lungs from repetitive bleomycin mice had marked fibrosis with prominent AEC hyperplasia, similar to usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP). Compared with single dosing, repetitive bleomycin mice had greater fibrosis by scoring, morphometry, and collagen content; increased TUNEL+ AECs; and reduced inflammatory cells in BAL. Sixty-four percent of pro-SP-C+ cells in areas of fibrosis expressed CC-10 in the repetitive model, suggesting expansion of a bronchoalveolar stem cell-like population. In reporter mice, 50% of S100A4+ lung fibroblasts were derived from epithelial mesenchymal transition compared with 33% in the single-dose model. With repetitive bleomycin, fibrotic remodeling persisted 10 wk after the eighth dose. Repetitive intratracheal bleomycin results in marked lung fibrosis with prominent AEC hyperplasia, features reminiscent of UIP.
Project description:Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are both debilitating lung diseases which can lead to hypoxemia and pulmonary hypertension (PH). Nuclear Factor of Activated T-cells (NFAT) is a transcription factor implicated in the etiology of vascular remodeling in hypoxic PH. We have previously shown that mice lacking the ability to generate Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide (VIP) develop spontaneous PH, pulmonary arterial remodeling and lung inflammation. Inhibition of NFAT attenuated PH in these mice suggesting a connection between NFAT and VIP. To test the hypotheses that: 1) VIP inhibits NFAT isoform c3 (NFATc3) activity in pulmonary vascular smooth muscle cells; 2) lung NFATc3 activation is associated with disease severity in IPF and COPD patients, and 3) VIP and NFATc3 expression correlate in lung tissue from IPF and COPD patients. NFAT activity was determined in isolated pulmonary arteries from NFAT-luciferase reporter mice. The % of nuclei with NFAT nuclear accumulation was determined in primary human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell (PASMC) cultures; in lung airway epithelia and smooth muscle and pulmonary endothelia and smooth muscle from IPF and COPD patients; and in PASMC from mouse lung sections by fluorescence microscopy. Both NFAT and VIP mRNA levels were measured in lungs from IPF and COPD patients. Empirical strategies applied to test hypotheses regarding VIP, NFATc3 expression and activity, and disease type and severity. This study shows a significant negative correlation between NFAT isoform c3 protein expression levels in PASMC, activity of NFATc3 in pulmonary endothelial cells, expression and activity of NFATc3 in bronchial epithelial cells and lung function in IPF patients, supporting the concept that NFATc3 is activated in the early stages of IPF. We further show that there is a significant positive correlation between NFATc3 mRNA expression and VIP RNA expression only in lungs from IPF patients. In addition, we found that VIP inhibits NFAT nuclear translocation in primary human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMC). Early activation of NFATc3 in IPF patients may contribute to disease progression and the increase in VIP expression could be a protective compensatory mechanism.
Project description:Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is characterized by lung remodeling arising from epithelial injury, aberrant fibroblast growth, and excessive deposition of extracellular matrix. Repeated epithelial injury elicits abnormal wound repair and lung remodeling, often associated with alveolar collapse and edema, leading to focal hypoxia. Here, we demonstrate that hypoxia is a physiological insult that contributes to pulmonary fibrosis (PF) and define its molecular roles in profibrotic activation of lung epithelial cells. Hypoxia increased transcription of profibrotic genes and altered the proteomic signatures of lung epithelial cells. Network analysis of the hypoxic epithelial proteome revealed a crosstalk between transforming growth factor-?1 and FAK1 (focal adhesion kinase-1) signaling, which regulated transcription of galectin-1, a profibrotic molecule. Galectin-1 physically interacted with and activated FAK1 in lung epithelial cells. We developed a novel model of exacerbated PF wherein hypoxia, as a secondary insult, caused PF in mice injured with subclinical levels of bleomycin. Hypoxia elevated expression of phosphorylated FAK1, galectin-1, and ?-smooth muscle actin and reduced caspase-3 activation, suggesting aberrant injury repair. Galectin-1 inhibition caused apoptosis in the lung parenchyma and reduced FAK1 activation, preventing the development of hypoxia-induced PF. Galectin-1 inhibition also attenuated fibrosis-associated lung function decline. Further, galectin-1 transcript levels were increased in the lungs of IPF patients. In summary, we have identified a profibrotic role of galectin-1 in hypoxia signaling driving PF.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Recent studies have highlighted the contribution of senescent mesenchymal and epithelial cells in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), but little is known regarding the molecular mechanisms that regulate the accumulation of senescent cells in this disease. Therefore, we addressed the hypothesis that the loss of DNA repair mechanisms mediated by DNA protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) in IPF, promoted the accumulation of mesenchymal progenitors and progeny, and the expression of senescent markers by these cell types. METHODS:Surgical lung biopsy samples and lung fibroblasts were obtained from patients exhibiting slowly, rapidly or unknown progressing IPF and lung samples lacking any evidence of fibrotic disease (i.e. normal; NL). The expression of DNA-Pkcs in lung tissue was assessed by quantitative immunohistochemical analysis. Chronic inhibition of DNA-PKcs kinase activity was mimicked using a highly specific small molecule inhibitor, Nu7441. Proteins involved in DNA repair (stage-specific embryonic antigen (SSEA)-4+ cells) were determined by quantitative Ingenuity Pathway Analysis of transcriptomic datasets (GSE103488). Lastly, the loss of DNA-PKc was modeled in a humanized model of pulmonary fibrosis in NSG SCID mice genetically deficient in PRKDC (the transcript for DNA-PKcs) and treated with Nu7441. RESULTS:DNA-PKcs expression was significantly reduced in IPF lung tissues. Chronic inhibition of DNA-PKcs by Nu7441 promoted the proliferation of SSEA4+ mesenchymal progenitor cells and a significant increase in the expression of senescence-associated markers in cultured lung fibroblasts. Importantly, mesenchymal progenitor cells and their fibroblast progeny derived from IPF patients showed a loss of transcripts encoding for DNA damage response and DNA repair components. Further, there was a significant reduction in transcripts encoding for PRKDC (the transcript for DNA-PKcs) in SSEA4+ mesenchymal progenitor cells from IPF patients compared with normal lung donors. In SCID mice lacking DNA-PKcs activity receiving IPF lung explant cells, treatment with Nu7441 promoted the expansion of progenitor cells, which was observed as a mass of SSEA4+ CgA+ expressing cells. CONCLUSIONS:Together, our results show that the loss of DNA-PKcs promotes the expansion of SSEA4+ mesenchymal progenitors, and the senescence of their mesenchymal progeny.
Project description:We provide a single-cell atlas of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a fatal interstitial lung disease, by profiling 312,928 cells from 32 IPF, 28 smoker and nonsmoker controls, and 18 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) lungs. Among epithelial cells enriched in IPF, we identify a previously unidentified population of aberrant basaloid cells that coexpress basal epithelial, mesenchymal, senescence, and developmental markers and are located at the edge of myofibroblast foci in the IPF lung. Among vascular endothelial cells, we identify an ectopically expanded cell population transcriptomically identical to bronchial restricted vascular endothelial cells in IPF. We confirm the presence of both populations by immunohistochemistry and independent datasets. Among stromal cells, we identify IPF myofibroblasts and invasive fibroblasts with partially overlapping cells in control and COPD lungs. Last, we confirm previous findings of profibrotic macrophage populations in the IPF lung. Our comprehensive catalog reveals the complexity and diversity of aberrant cellular populations in IPF.