Transcriptional profiling of lung macrophages identifies a predictive signature for inflammatory lung disease in preterm infants.
ABSTRACT: Lung macrophages mature after birth, placing newborn infants, particularly those born preterm, within a unique window of susceptibility to disease. We hypothesized that in preterm infants, lung macrophage immaturity contributes to the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), the most common serious complication of prematurity. By measuring changes in lung macrophage gene expression in preterm patients at risk of BPD, we show here that patients eventually developing BPD had higher inflammatory mediator expression even on the first day of life. Surprisingly, the ex vivo response to LPS was similar across all samples. Our analysis did however uncover macrophage signature genes whose expression increased in the first week of life specifically in patients resilient to disease. We propose that these changes describe the dynamics of human lung macrophage differentiation. Our study therefore provides new mechanistic insight into both neonatal lung disease and human developmental immunology.
Project description:Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a common chronic lung disease and major risk factor for severe respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection among preterm infants. The Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) is involved in oxidative injury responses in the lungs. Two non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms in the TLR4 gene have been associated with RSV infection in children. However, it is unclear to what extent this association is confounded by BPD or prematurity. In this study, we analyzed two population-based cohorts of preterm infants at risk for BPD as well as ethnicity-matched infants born at term, to test whether the TLR4 polymorphisms Asp299Gly (rs4986790) and Thr399Ile (rs4986791) are independently associated with BPD or premature birth. In a Canadian cohort (n = 269) composed of a majority of Caucasian preterm infants (BPD incidence of 38%), the TLR4-299 heterozygous genotype was significantly under-represented in infants without BPD (1.6% of infants versus 12% in infants with severe BPD) after adjusting for twins, ethnicity, gestational age, birth weight and gender (p = 0.014). This association was not replicated in a Finnish cohort (n = 434) of premature singletons or first-born siblings of Caucasian descent, although the incidence of BPD was substantially lower in this latter population (15%). We did not detect a significant association (>2-fold) between TLR4 genotypes and prematurity (p>0.05). We conclude that these TLR4 genotypes may have, at best, a modest influence on BPD severity in some populations of high-risk preterm infants. Further studies are warranted to clarify how clinical heterogeneity may impact genetic susceptibility to BPD.
Project description:Oral microbiome mediated nitrate reductase (NR) activity regulates nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability and signaling. While deficits in NO-bioavailability impact several morbidities of extreme prematurity including bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), whether oral NR activity is associated with morbidities of prematurity is not known. We characterized NR activity in extremely preterm infants from birth until 34 weeks' post menstrual age (PMA), determined whether changes in the oral microbiome contribute to changes in NR activity, and determined whether changes in NR activity correlated with disease. In this single center prospective cohort study (n = 28), we observed two surprising findings: (1) NR activity unexpectedly peaked at 29 weeks' PMA (p < 0.05) and (2) when infants were stratified for BPD status, infants who developed BPD had significantly less NR activity at 29 weeks' PMA compared to infants who did not develop BPD. Oral microbiota and NR activity may play a role in BPD development in extremely preterm infants, indicating potential for disease prediction and therapeutic targeting.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Premature birth is a growing and serious public health problem affecting more than one of every ten infants worldwide. Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is the most common neonatal morbidity associated with prematurity and infants with BPD suffer from increased incidence of respiratory infections, asthma, other forms of chronic lung illness, and death (Day and Ryan, Pediatr Res 81: 210-213, 2017; Isayama et la., JAMA Pediatr 171:271-279, 2017). BPD is now understood as a longitudinal disease process influenced by the intrauterine environment during gestation and modulated by gene-environment interactions throughout the neonatal and early childhood periods. Despite of this concept, there remains a paucity of multidisciplinary team-based approaches dedicated to the comprehensive study of this complex disease. METHODS:The Discovery BPD (D-BPD) Program involves a cohort of infants < 1,250 g at birth prospectively followed until 6 years of age. The program integrates analysis of detailed clinical data by machine learning, genetic susceptibility and molecular translation studies. DISCUSSION:The current gap in understanding BPD as a complex multi-trait spectrum of different disease endotypes will be addressed by a bedside-to-bench and bench-to-bedside approach in the D-BPD program. The D-BPD will provide enhanced understanding of mechanisms, evolution and consequences of lung diseases in preterm infants. The D-BPD program represents a unique opportunity to combine the expertise of biologists, neonatologists, pulmonologists, geneticists and biostatisticians to examine the disease process from multiple perspectives with a singular goal of improving outcomes of premature infants. TRIAL REGISTRATION:Does not apply for this study.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Previous studies have identified genetic variants associated with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in extremely preterm infants. However, findings with genome-wide significance have been rare, and not replicated. We hypothesized that whole exome sequencing (WES) of premature subjects with extremely divergent phenotypic outcomes could facilitate the identification of genetic variants or gene networks contributing disease risk. RESULTS:The Prematurity and Respiratory Outcomes Program (PROP) recruited a cohort of >?765 extremely preterm infants for the identification of markers of respiratory morbidity. We completed WES on 146 PROP subjects (85 affected, 61 unaffected) representing extreme phenotypes of early respiratory morbidity. We tested for association between disease status and individual common variants, screened for rare variants exclusive to either affected or unaffected subjects, and tested the combined association of variants across gene loci. Pathway analysis was performed and disease-related expression patterns were assessed. Marginal association with BPD was observed for numerous common and rare variants. We identified 345 genes with variants unique to BPD-affected preterm subjects, and 292 genes with variants unique to our unaffected preterm subjects. Of these unique variants, 28 (19 in the affected cohort and 9 in unaffected cohort) replicate a prior WES study of BPD-associated variants. Pathway analysis of sets of variants, informed by disease-related gene expression, implicated protein kinase A, MAPK and Neuregulin/epidermal growth factor receptor signaling. CONCLUSIONS:We identified novel genes and associated pathways that may play an important role in susceptibility/resilience for the development of lung disease in preterm infants.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a common chronic lung disease associated with very preterm birth. The major risk factors include lung inflammation and lung immaturity. In addition, genetic factors play an important role in susceptibility to moderate-to-severe BPD. In this study, the aim was to investigate whether common polymorphisms of specific genes that are involved in inflammation or differentiation of the lung have influence on BPD susceptibility. METHODS: Genes encoding interleukin-6 (IL6) and its receptors (IL6R and IL6ST), IL-10 (IL10), tumor necrosis factor (TNF), and glucocorticoid receptor (NR3C1) were assessed for associations with moderate-to-severe BPD susceptibility. Five IL6, nine IL6R, four IL6ST, one IL10, two TNF, and 23 NR3C1 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were analyzed in very preterm infants born in northern Finland (56 cases and 197 controls) and Canada (58 cases and 68 controls). IL-6, TNF and gp130 contents in umbilical cord blood, collected from very preterm infants, were studied for associations with the polymorphisms. Epistasis (i.e., interactions between SNPs in BPD susceptibility) was also examined. SNPs showing suggestive associations were analyzed in additional replication populations from Finland (39 cases and 188 controls) and Hungary (29 cases and 40 controls). RESULTS: None of the studied SNPs were associated with BPD nor were the IL6, TNF or IL6ST SNPs associated with cord blood IL-6, TNF and gp130, respectively. However, epistasis analysis suggested that SNPs in IL6ST and IL10 were associated interactively with risk of BPD in the northern Finnish population; however, this finding did not remain significant after correction for multiple testing and the finding was not replicated in the other populations. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that the analyzed SNPs within IL6, IL6R, IL6ST, IL10, TNF, and NR3C1 were not associated with BPD. Furthermore, there was no evidence that the studied SNPs directly contribute to the cord blood protein contents.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To use a large current prospective cohort of infants <29 weeks to compare bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) rates in black and white infants. STUDY DESIGN:The Prematurity and Respiratory Outcome Program (PROP) enrolled 835 infants born in 2011-2013 at <29 weeks of gestation; 728 black or white infants survived to 36 weeks postmenstrual age (PMA). Logistic regression was used to compare BPD outcomes (defined as supplemental oxygen requirement at 36 weeks PMA) between the races, adjusted for gestational age (GA), antenatal steroid use, intubation at birth, and surfactant use at birth. RESULTS:Of 707 black or white infants with available BPD outcomes, BPD was lower in black infants (38% vs 45%), even though they were of significantly lower GA. At every GA, BPD was more common in white infants. The aOR for BPD was 0.60 (95% CI, 0.42-0.85; P?=?.004) for black infants compared with white infants after adjusting for GA. Despite the lower rate of BPD, black infants had a higher rate of first-year post-prematurity respiratory disease (black, 79%; white, 63%). CONCLUSIONS:In this large cohort of recently born preterm infants at <29 weeks GA, compared with white infants, black infants had a lower risk of BPD but an increased risk of persistent respiratory morbidity.
Project description:More than 50 years after the first description of Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) by Northway, this chronic lung disease affecting many preterm infants is still poorly understood. Additonally, approximately 40% of preterm infants suffering from severe BPD also suffer from Bronchopulmonary dysplasia-associated pulmonary hypertension (BPD-PH), leading to a significant increase in total morbidity and mortality. Until today, there is no curative therapy for both BPD and BPD-PH available. It has become increasingly evident that growth factors are playing a central role in normal and pathologic development of the pulmonary vasculature. Thus, this review aims to summarize the recent evidence in our understanding of BPD-PH from a basic scientific point of view, focusing on the potential role of Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF)/FGF10 signaling pathway contributing to disease development, progression and resolution.
Project description:Infants born with intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) are at increased risk of adverse pulmonary outcomes at birth, including meconium aspiration and persistent pulmonary hypertension. Preterm infants with IUGR are at especially high risk of developing bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), a disease hallmarked by alveolar hypoplasia. Although vitamin A supplementation has been shown to decrease the incidence of BPD or death in preterm very low birth weight infants, its potential to reduce BPD or death in preterm infants with IUGR remains unknown. We used a well-characterized rat model of caloric restriction to mimic IUGR and determine the impact of IUGR on lung development. We hypothesized that retinoic acid treatment would preserve alveolar formation through increases in key signaling molecules of the retinoic acid signaling pathway. Our results showed that alveolar hypoplasia caused by caloric restriction can be reversed with refeeding, and that retinoic acid prevents the alveolar hypoplasia coincident with the increased expression of elastin and retinoic acid receptor-? and decreased transforming growth factor-? activity in developing rat lungs. These findings suggest that alveolar hypoplasia attributable to caloric restriction is reversible, and raises the possibility that retinoic acid therapy may prove a useful strategy to prevent adverse pulmonary sequelae such as BPD in preterm infants with IUGR.
Project description:Male sex is a risk factor for development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), a common chronic lung disease following preterm birth. We previously found that tracheal aspirate mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) from premature infants developing BPD show reduced expression of PDGFR?, which is required for normal lung development. We hypothesized that MSCs from male infants developing BPD exhibit a pathologic gene expression profile deficient in PDGFR and its downstream effectors, thereby favoring delayed lung development. In a discovery cohort of 6 male and 7 female premature infants, we analyzed the tracheal aspirate MSCs transcriptome. A unique gene signature distinguished MSCs from male infants developing BPD from all other MSCs. Genes involved in lung development, PDGF signaling and extracellular matrix remodeling were differentially expressed. We sought to confirm these findings in a second cohort of 13 male and 12 female premature infants. mRNA expression of PDGFRA, FGF7, WNT2, SPRY1, MMP3 and FOXF2 were significantly lower in MSCs from male infants developing BPD. In female infants developing BPD, tracheal aspirate levels of proinflammatory CCL2 and profibrotic Galectin-1 were higher compared to male infants developing BPD and female not developing BPD. Our findings support a notion for sex-specific differences in the mechanisms of BPD development.
Project description:We characterized the expression profile of angiogenesis-related genes (ARG) and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) genes in preterm infants, with and without bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). We reanalyzed a gene expression dataset for preterm infants from the Gene Expression Omnibus database using the Gene-Cloud of Biotechnology Information platform. A total of 1,652 genes were differentially (1.2-fold change) expressed: 811 were highly expressed in infants with BPD, and 841 were highly expressed in those without BPD. Twenty-eight and 11 ARGs were upregulated in infants with and without BPD, respectively. Among 27 detected MMPs and TIMPs, MMP8, MMP9, MMP25, TIMP2 and TIMP3 were differently expressed. Levels of THBS1, MMP8, MMP9, MMP25, TIMP2 and TIMP3 increased as severity of BPD and retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) increased, whereas ETS1, LEF1 and SPOCK2 exhibited the opposite trend. Expression of ETS1 and LEF1 had a fitting rate of R2 = 0.849 and P < 0.001. ELISAs showed a positive correlation between THBS1 and CD36 (receptor of THBS1) levels in serum samples from preterm infants. Our study indicates that the upregulation of THBS1 and downregulation of ETS1, LEF1 promotes BPD in preterm infants by disrupting blood vessel formation rather than by dysregulation of MMPs and TIMPs.