Convergent pathways of the hyperferritinemic syndromes.
ABSTRACT: Hyperferritinemia and pronounced hemophagocytosis help distinguish a subset of patients with a particularly inflammatory and deadly systemic inflammatory response syndrome. Two clinically similar disorders typify these hyperferritinemic syndromes: hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) and macrophage activation syndrome (MAS). HLH is canonically associated with a complete disturbance of perforin/granzyme-mediated cytotoxicity, whereas MAS occurs in the context of the related rheumatic diseases systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis and adult-onset Still's disease, with associated IL-1 family cytokine activation. In practice, however, there are accumulating lines of evidence for innate immune dysregulation in HLH as well as partial impairments of cytotoxicity in MAS, and these mechanisms likely represent only a fraction of the host and environmental factors driving hyperferritinemic inflammation. Herein, we present new findings that highlight the pathogenic differences between HLH and MAS, two conditions that present with life-threatening hyperinflammation, hyperferritinemia and hemophagocytosis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Hemophagocytic lymfohistiocytosis (HLH) is a rare, life-threatening hyperinflammation, characterized by immune system over-activation resulting in hemophagocytosis. HLH could appear as a primary disease caused by mutations of immune-regulatory genes, or develop as a result of viral or bacterial infections, or malignancy. Congenital factor VII (FVII) deficiency is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by prolonged prothrombin time (PT) and low FVII, which may increase bleeding risk. CASE PRESENTATION:A 50-year-old woman was admitted for a fever persisted for 20 days, presenting with cytopenia, high hyperferritinemia, low activity of NK cells. Bone marrow aspiration showed hemophagocytosis. CT scanning found pulmonary infection. EBV and CMV were not detected. Genetic scanning did not find pathogenic mutation of a HLH NGS panel including 26 genes. This patient was treated as recommended by the HLH 2004 Guidelines. Coagulation tests identified FVII deficiency. Genetic analysis of F7 gene in the patient and her family members identified recurrent compound heterozygous F7 c.64?+?5G?>?A and c.1224 T?>?G (p.His408Gln) mutations in this patient and her brother who showed postoperative hemorrhage after surgical resection of renal cell carcinoma. Heterozygotes in this family were asymptomatic. CONCLUSIONS:To our knowledge, this is the first report of HLH in combination with congenital FVII deficiency in Chinese population.
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:Hyperferritinemia (>10,000 ng/ml) is an important hallmark used as an indicator of infection triggered macrophage activation syndrome leading to hemophagocytic lympho histiocytosis (HLH). Measurement of serum ferritin can be used in diagnosis as well as disease monitoring indicator and prognosis related to HLH, cAPS, sepsis, neoplasm and inflammatory conditions. It is a major contributor to manage critically ill patients as predicting and monitoring indicator. It can be used as acute phase response in conditions of MAS, AOSD, cAPS etc. A case study in our hospital showed extremely high ferritin values along with low hemoglobin, elevated LDH and triglycerides with positive MRSA in sputum culture and macrophage proliferation and hemophagocytosis in the bone marrow examination. Patient showed definite inverse relation with steroid therapy and serum ferritin levels.
Project description:The severe form of COVID-19 share several clinical and laboratory features with four entities gathered under the term "hyperferritinemic syndromes" and including macrophage activation syndrome (MAS), adult-onset Still's disease (AOSD), catastrophic anti-phospholipid syndrome (CAPS) and septic shock. COVID-19 systemic inflammatory reaction and "hyperferritinemic syndromes" are all characterized by high serum ferritin and a life-threatening hyper-inflammation sustained by a cytokines storm which eventually leads to multi-organ failure. In this review, we analyze the possible epidemiological and molecular mechanisms responsible for hyper-inflammation in patients with severe COVID-19 and we underline the similarities between this condition and "hyperferritinemic syndromes" which would allow considering severe COVID-19 as a fifth member of this spectrum of inflammatory conditions.
Project description:The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), an acute respiratory disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), has been declared as a worldwide public health emergency. Interestingly, severe COVID-19 is characterized by fever, hyperferritinemia, and a hyper-inflammatory process with a massive release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which may be responsible for the high rate of mortality. These findings may advocate for a similarity between severe COVID-19 and some challenging rheumatic diseases, such as adult onset Still's disease, secondary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, and catastrophic anti-phospholipid syndrome, which have been included in the "hyperferritinemic syndrome" category. Furthermore, as performed in these hyper-inflammatory states, severe COVID-19 may benefit from immunomodulatory therapies.
Project description:Severe H1N1 influenza can be lethal in otherwise healthy individuals and can have features of reactive hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). HLH is associated with mutations in lymphocyte cytolytic pathway genes, which have not been previously explored in H1N1 influenza.Sixteen cases of fatal influenza A(H1N1) infection, 81% with histopathologic hemophagocytosis, were identified and analyzed for clinical and laboratory features of HLH, using modified HLH-2004 and macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) criteria. Fourteen specimens were subject to whole-exome sequencing. Sequence alignment and variant filtering detected HLH gene mutations and potential disease-causing variants. Cytolytic function of the PRF1 p.A91V mutation was tested in lentiviral-transduced NK-92 natural killer (NK) cells.Despite several lacking variables, cases of influenza A(H1N1) infection met 44% and 81% of modified HLH-2004 and MAS criteria, respectively. Five subjects (36%) carried one of 3 heterozygous LYST mutations, 2 of whom also possessed the p.A91V PRF1 mutation, which was shown to decrease NK cell cytolytic function. Several patients also carried rare variants in other genes previously observed in MAS.This cohort of fatal influenza A(H1N1) infections confirms the presence of hemophagocytosis and HLH pathology. Moreover, the high percentage of HLH gene mutations suggests they are risk factors for mortality among individuals with influenza A(H1N1) infection.
Project description:Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) and macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) are life-threatening hyperferritinemic systemic inflammatory disorders. Although profound cytotoxic impairment causes familial HLH (fHLH), the mechanisms driving non-fHLH and MAS are largely unknown. MAS occurs in patients with suspected rheumatic disease, but the mechanistic basis for its distinction is unclear. Recently, a syndrome of recurrent MAS with infantile enterocolitis caused by NLRC4 inflammasome hyperactivity highlighted the potential importance of interleukin-18 (IL-18). We tested this association in hyperferritinemic and autoinflammatory patients and found a dramatic correlation of MAS risk with chronic (sometimes lifelong) elevation of mature IL-18, particularly with IL-18 unbound by IL-18 binding protein, or free IL-18. In a mouse engineered to carry a disease-causing germ line NLRC4T337S mutation, we observed inflammasome-dependent, chronic IL-18 elevation. Surprisingly, this NLRC4T337S-induced systemic IL-18 elevation derived entirely from intestinal epithelia. NLRC4T337S intestines were histologically normal but showed increased epithelial turnover and upregulation of interferon-?-induced genes. Assessing cellular and tissue expression, classical inflammasome components such as Il1b, Nlrp3, and Mefv predominated in neutrophils, whereas Nlrc4 and Il18 were distinctly epithelial. Demonstrating the importance of free IL-18, Il18 transgenic mice exhibited free IL-18 elevation and more severe experimental MAS. NLRC4T337S mice, whose free IL-18 levels were normal, did not. Thus, we describe a unique connection between MAS risk and chronic IL-18, identify epithelial inflammasome hyperactivity as a potential source, and demonstrate the pathogenicity of free IL-18. These data suggest an IL-18-driven pathway, complementary to the cytotoxic impairment of fHLH, with potential as a distinguishing biomarker and therapeutic target in MAS.
Project description:Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) and macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) are 2 similar diseases characterized by a cytokine storm, overwhelming inflammation, multiorgan dysfunction, and death. Animal models of HLH suggest that disease is driven by IFN-? produced by CD8? lymphocytes stimulated by persistent antigen exposure. In these models and patients with "primary" HLH, the antigen persists due to genetic defects, resulting in ineffective cytotoxic responses by CD8? T cells and poor pathogen clearance. However, infectious triggers are often not identified in patients with MAS, and some patients with HLH or MAS lack defects in cytotoxic T cell killing. Herein, we show that repeated stimulation of TLR9 produced an HLH/MAS-like syndrome on a normal genetic background, without exogenous antigen. Like previous HLH models, TLR9-induced MAS was IFN-? dependent; however, unlike other models, disease did not require lymphocytes. We further showed that IL-10 played a protective role in this model and that blocking IL-10 signaling led to the development of hemophagocytosis. IL-10 may therefore be an important target for the development of effective therapeutics for MAS. Our data provide insight into MAS-like syndromes in patients with inflammatory diseases in which there is chronic innate immune activation but no genetic defects in cytotoxic cell function.
Project description:SARS-CoV-2 infection is characterized by a protean clinical picture that can range from asymptomatic patients to life-threatening conditions. Severe COVID-19 patients often display a severe pulmonary involvement and develop neutrophilia, lymphopenia, and strikingly elevated levels of IL-6. There is an over-exuberant cytokine release with hyperferritinemia leading to the idea that COVID-19 is part of the hyperferritinemic syndrome spectrum. Indeed, very high levels of ferritin can occur in other diseases including hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, macrophage activation syndrome, adult-onset Still's disease, catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome and septic shock. Numerous studies have demonstrated the immunomodulatory effects of ferritin and its association with mortality and sustained inflammatory process. High levels of free iron are harmful in tissues, especially through the redox damage that can lead to fibrosis. Iron chelation represents a pillar in the treatment of iron overload. In addition, it was proven to have an anti-viral and anti-fibrotic activity. Herein, we analyse the pathogenic role of ferritin and iron during SARS-CoV-2 infection and propose iron depletion therapy as a novel therapeutic approach in the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.