Specific sequences of infectious challenge lead to secondary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis-like disease in mice.
ABSTRACT: 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:Hemophagocytic lymphohistocytosis (HLH) is characterized by fulminant cytokine storm leading to multiple organ dysfunction and high mortality. HLH is classified into familial (fHLH) and into secondary (sHLH). fHLH is rare and it is due to mutations of genes encoding for perforin or excretory granules of natural killer (NK) cells of CD8-lymphocytes. sHLH is also known as macrophage activation syndrome (MAS). Macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) in adults is poorly studied. Main features are fever, hepatosplenomegaly, hepatobiliary dysfunction (HBD), coagulopathy, cytopenia of two to three cell lineages, increased triglycerides and hemophagocytosis in the bone marrow. sHLH/MAS complicates hematologic malignancies, autoimmune disorders and infections mainly of viral origin. Pathogenesis is poorly understood and it is associated with increased activation of macrophages and NK cells. An autocrine loop of interleukin (IL)-1? over-secretion leads to cytokine storm of IL-6, IL-18, ferritin, and interferon-gamma; soluble CD163 is highly increased from macrophages. The true incidence of sHLH/MAS among patients with sepsis has only been studied in the cohort of the Hellenic Sepsis Study Group. Patients meeting the Sepsis-3 criteria and who had positive HSscore or co-presence of HBD and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) were classified as patients with macrophage activation-like syndrome (MALS). The frequency of MALS ranged between 3 and 4% and it was an independent entity associated with early mortality after 10 days. Ferritin was proposed as a diagnostic and surrogate biomarker. Concentrations >4,420 ng/ml were associated with diagnosis of MALS with 97.1% specificity and 98% negative predictive value. Increased ferritin was also associated with increased IL-6, IL-18, IFN?, and sCD163 and by decreased IL-10/TNF? ratio. A drop of ferritin by 15% the first 48 h was a surrogate finding of favorable outcome. There are 10 on-going trials in adults with sHLH; two for the development of biomarkers and eight for management. Only one of them is focusing in sepsis. The acronym of the trial is PROVIDE (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03332225) and it is a double-blind randomized clinical trial aiming to deliver to patients with septic shock treatment targeting their precise immune state. Patients diagnosed with MALS are receiving randomized treatment with placebo or the IL-1? blocker anakinra.
Project description:Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), or termed macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) when associated with rheumatic disorders, is a frequently fatal complication of infections, rheumatic disorders, and hematopoietic malignancies. Clinically, HLH/MAS is a life-threatening condition that is usually diagnosed among febrile hospitalized patients (children and adults) who commonly present with unremitting fever and a shock-like multiorgan dysfunction scenario. Laboratory studies reveal pancytopenia, elevated liver enzymes, elevated markers of inflammation (ESR, CRP), hyperferritinemia, and features of coagulopathy. In about 60% of cases, excess hemophagocytosis (macrophages/histiocytes engulfing other hematopoietic cell types) is noted on biopsy specimens from the bone marrow, liver, lymph nodes, and other organs. HLH/MAS has been hypothesized to occur when a threshold level of inflammation has been achieved, and genetic and environmental risk factors are believed to contribute to the hyperinflammatory state. A broad variety of infections, from viruses to fungi to bacteria, have been identified as triggers of HLH/MAS, either in isolation or in addition to an underlying inflammatory disease state. Certain infections, particularly by members of the herpesvirus family, are the most notorious triggers of HLH/MAS. Treatment for infection-triggered MAS requires therapy for both the underlying infection and dampening of the hyperactive immune response.
Project description:Hemophagocytic lymphohistocytosis (HLH) is a rare but fatal hyperinflammatory syndrome caused by uncontrolled proliferation of activated macrophages and T lymphocytes secreting high amounts of inflammatory cytokines. Genetic defect is a common cause of HLH. HLH is complicated to be diagnosed as there are many common symptoms with other disorders.Here we report on an HLH case caused by 1 bp deletion in gene SH2D1A. Patient was a 3-years-old boy and had fever for more than 8 days. Splenomegaly and hemophagocytosis in bone marrow were observed in examination. The results of the blood analysis suggested the diagnosis of HLH. Genetic test based on high throughput amplicon sequencing was then conducted by targeting all six known HLH-causing genes simultaneously. It took only one single day to accomplish the amplicon sequencing library preparation, sequencing and data analysis. Finally, a novel 1 bp deletion in gene SH2D1A was discovered. The result was also confirmed by Sanger sequencing. The result of the genetic test served as a good basis for further diagnosis of HLH.This is the first case that the disease-causing genetic defect of HLH was quickly determined by high throughput amplicon sequencing. This diagnosis was also confirmed by Sanger sequencing and cross-validated by blood analysis and other clinical criteria. This case suggests that genetic test based on amplicon sequencing is a powerful tool for diagnosis of HLH and other diseases caused by genetic defect.
Project description:Severe COVID-19 associated respiratory failure, poses the one challenge of our days. Assessment and treatment of COVID-19 associated hyperinflammation may be key to improve outcomes. It was speculated that in subgroups of patients secondary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (sHLH) or cytokine release syndrome (CRS) with features of macrophage activation syndrome might drive severe disease trajectories. If confirmed, profound immunosuppressive therapy would be a rationale treatment approach. Over a median observation period of 11 (IQR: 8; 16) days, 19 consecutive confirmed severe COVID-19-patients admitted to our intensive-care-unit were tested for presence of sHLH by two independent experts. HScores and 2004-HLH diagnostic criteria were assessed. Patients were grouped according to short-term clinical courses: discharge from ICU versus ongoing ARDS or death at time of analysis. The median HScore at admission was 157 (IQR: 98;180), without the key clinical triad of HLH, i.e. progressive cytopenia, persistent fever and organomegaly. Independent expert chart review revealed the absence of sHLH in all cases. No patient reached more than 3/6 of modified HLH 2004 criteria. Nevertheless, patients presented hyperinflammation with peripheral neutrophilic signatures (neutrophil/lymphocyte-ratio?>?3.5). The latter best paralleled their short-term clinical courses, with declining relative neutrophil numbers prior to extubation (4.4, [IQR: 2.5;6.3]; n?=?8) versus those with unfavourable courses (7.6, [IQR: 5.2;31], n?=?9). Our study rules out virus induced sHLH as the leading cause of most severe-COVID-19 trajectories. Instead, an associated innate neutrophilic hyperinflammatory response or virus-associated-CRS appears dominant in patients with an unfavourable clinical course. Therapeutic implications are discussed.
Project description:Secondary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (sHLH) is a life-threatening condition clinically presenting as SIRS (Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome). However, there is no comprehensive data concerning diagnostic algorithms, prevalence, outcome and biomarker performance in SIRS patients. We conducted a prospective observational cohort study on 451 consecutive patients fulfilling ≥2 SIRS criteria. The Hscore and the HLH-2004 criteria were used to determine the presence of sHLH, and the correlation of the screening-biomarkers ferritin, sCD25, and sCD163 with both scores was assessed. Out of 451 standard-care SIRS patients, five patients had high Hscores (≥169), suggesting incipient or HLH-like disease, and these patients were in urgent need for intensified therapy. However, none of these patients fulfilled five HLH-2004 criteria required for formal diagnosis. From the studied biomarkers, ferritin correlated strongest to both the HLH-2004 criteria and the Hscore (rs = 0.72, 0.41, respectively), and was the best predictor of 30-day survival (HR:1.012 per 100 μg/L, 95% CI: 1.004-1.021), when adjusted for patient's age, sex, bacteremia and malignant underlying-disease. Also, the HLH-2004 (HR per point increase: 1.435, 95% CI: 1.1012-2.086) and the Hscore (HR per point increase:1.011, 95% CI: 1.002-1.020) were independent predictors of 30-day-survival. The Hscore detected patients in hyperinflammatory states requiring urgent therapy escalation. Degrees of hyperinflammation, as assessed by ferritin and both HLH scores, are associated with worse outcomes.
Project description: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: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:A subset of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients exhibit clinical features of cytokine storm. However, clinicopathologic features diagnostic of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) have not been reported. We studied the reticuloendothelial organs of 4 consecutive patients who died of COVID-19 and correlated with clinical and laboratory parameters to detect HLH. METHODS:Autopsies were performed on 4 patients who died of COVID-19. Routine H&E staining and immunohistochemical staining for CD163 were performed to detect hemophagocytosis. Clinical and laboratory results from premortem blood samples were used to calculate H-scores. RESULTS:All 4 cases demonstrated diffuse alveolar damage within the lungs. Three of the 4 cases had histologic evidence of hemophagocytosis within pulmonary lymph nodes. One case showed hemophagocytosis in the spleen but none showed hemophagocytosis in liver or bone marrow. Lymphophagocytosis was the predominant form of hemophagocytosis observed. One patient showed diagnostic features of HLH with an H-score of 217, while a second patient likely had HLH with a partial H-score of 145 due to a missing triglyceride level. The remaining 2 patients had H-scores of 131 and 96. CONCLUSIONS:This is the first report of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2-associated HLH. Identification of HLH in a subset of patients with severe COVID-19 will inform clinical trials of therapeutic strategies.
Project description:Splenic red pulp macrophages (RPM) degrade senescent erythrocytes and recycle heme-associated iron. The transcription factor SPI-C is selectively expressed by RPM and is required for their development, but the physiologic stimulus inducing Spic is unknown. Here, we report that Spic also regulated the development of F4/80(+)VCAM1(+) bone marrow macrophages (BMM) and that Spic expression in BMM and RPM development was induced by heme, a metabolite of erythrocyte degradation. Pathologic hemolysis induced loss of RPM and BMM due to excess heme but induced Spic in monocytes to generate new RPM and BMM. Spic expression in monocytes was constitutively inhibited by the transcriptional repressor BACH1. Heme induced proteasome-dependent BACH1 degradation and rapid Spic derepression. Furthermore, cysteine-proline dipeptide motifs in BACH1 that mediate heme-dependent degradation were necessary for Spic induction by heme. These findings are the first example of metabolite-driven differentiation of a tissue-resident macrophage subset and provide new insights into iron homeostasis.
Project description:Macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) are increasingly recognized as being on a continuum of cytokine storm syndromes, with different initiating pathways culminating in cytotoxic dysfunction and uncontrolled activation and proliferation of T lymphocytes and macrophages. The activated immune cells produce large amounts of proinflammatory cytokines, including interleukin 1? (IL)-1?. Management depends on the recognized diagnosis. In the setting of a cytokine storm syndrome and infection, collaborative involvement of specialists, including infectious disease and rheumatology is ideal. Anakinra, a recombinant IL-1 receptor antagonist, has been used subcutaneously and intravenously in pediatric patients and is considered a first-line treatment for MAS and secondary HLH (sHLH) among many pediatric rheumatologists. Previous reports of anakinra used in adults for treatment of MAS or sHLH are limited to subcutaneous administration. In this issue, Moneagudo et al. present a series of adult patients with sHLH treated with intravenous anakinra, including patients in whom subcutaneous anakinra was insufficient. As the authors suggest, there is a potential therapeutic use for anakinra in sHLH or the cytokine storm syndrome triggered by COVID19. Trial design will be key, with the patient subpopulation, timing of intervention, and doses tested important.