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Male reproductive aging arises via multifaceted mating-dependent sperm and seminal proteome declines, but is postponable inDrosophila
<jats:p>Declining ejaculate performance with male age is taxonomically widespread and has broad fitness consequences. Ejaculate success requires fully functional germline (sperm) and soma (seminal fluid) components. However, some aging theories predict that resources should be preferentially diverted to the germline at the expense of the soma, suggesting differential impacts of aging on sperm and seminal fluid and trade-offs between them or, more broadly, between reproduction and lifespan. While harmful effects of male age on sperm are well known, we do not know how much seminal fluid deteriorates in comparison. Moreover, given the predicted trade-offs, it remains unclear whether systemic lifespan-extending interventions could ameliorate the declining performance of the ejaculate as a whole. Here, we address these problems using<jats:italic>Drosophila melanogaster.</jats:italic>We demonstrate that seminal fluid deterioration contributes to male reproductive decline via mating-dependent mechanisms that include posttranslational modifications to seminal proteins and altered seminal proteome composition and transfer. Additionally, we find that sperm production declines chronologically with age, invariant to mating activity such that older multiply mated males become infertile principally via reduced sperm transfer and viability. Our data, therefore, support the idea that both germline and soma components of the ejaculate contribute to male reproductive aging but reveal a mismatch in their aging patterns. Our data do not generally support the idea that the germline is prioritized over soma, at least, within the ejaculate. Moreover, we find that lifespan-extending systemic down-regulation of insulin signaling results in improved late-life ejaculate performance, indicating simultaneous amelioration of both somatic and reproductive aging.</jats:p>
Interrogating the recognition landscape of a conserved HIV-specific TCR reveals distinct bacterial peptide cross-reactivity
<jats:p>T cell cross-reactivity ensures that diverse pathogen-derived epitopes encountered during a lifetime are recognized by the available TCR repertoire. A feature of cross-reactivity where previous exposure to one microbe can alter immunity to subsequent, non-related pathogens has been mainly explored for viruses. Yet cross-reactivity to additional microbes is important to consider, especially in HIV infection where gut-intestinal barrier dysfunction could facilitate T cell exposure to commensal/pathogenic microbes. Here we evaluated the cross-reactivity of a ‘public’, HIV-specific, CD8 T cell-derived TCR (AGA1 TCR) using MHC class I yeast display technology. Via screening of MHC-restricted libraries comprising ~2×10<jats:sup>8</jats:sup> sequence-diverse peptides, AGA1 TCR specificity was mapped to a central peptide di-motif. Using the top TCR-enriched library peptides to probe the non-redundant protein database, bacterial peptides that elicited functional responses by AGA1-expressing T cells were identified. The possibility that in context-specific settings, MHC class I proteins presenting microbial peptides influence virus-specific T cell populations in vivo is discussed.</jats:p>
<jats:p>Fibrotic diseases remain a major cause of morbidity and mortality, yet there are few effective therapies. The underlying pathology of all fibrotic conditions is the activity of myofibroblasts. Using cells from freshly excised disease tissue from patients with Dupuytren’s disease (DD), a localized fibrotic disorder of the palm, we sought to identify new therapeutic targets for fibrotic disease. We hypothesized that the persistent activity of myofibroblasts in fibrotic diseases might involve epigenetic modifications. Using a validated genetics-led target prioritization algorithm (Pi) of genome wide association studies (GWAS) data and a broad screen of epigenetic inhibitors, we found that the acetyltransferase CREBBP/EP300 is a major regulator of contractility and extracellular matrix production via control of H3K27 acetylation at the profibrotic genes, <jats:italic>ACTA2</jats:italic> and <jats:italic>COL1A1</jats:italic>. Genomic analysis revealed that EP300 is highly enriched at enhancers associated with genes involved in multiple profibrotic pathways, and broad transcriptomic and proteomic profiling of CREBBP/EP300 inhibition by the chemical probe SGC-CBP30 identified collagen VI (Col VI) as a prominent downstream regulator of myofibroblast activity. Targeted Col VI knockdown results in significant decrease in profibrotic functions, including myofibroblast contractile force, extracellular matrix (ECM) production, chemotaxis, and wound healing. Further evidence for Col VI as a major determinant of fibrosis is its abundant expression within Dupuytren’s nodules and also in the fibrotic foci of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Thus, Col VI may represent a tractable therapeutic target across a range of fibrotic disorders.</jats:p>
OBJECTIVES:Central nervous system (CNS) infections are common causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. We aimed to discover protein biomarkers that could rapidly and accurately identify the likely cause of the infections, essential for clinical management and improving outcome. METHODS:We applied liquid chromatography tandem mass-spectrometry on 45 cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from a cohort of adults with/without CNS infections to discover potential diagnostic biomarkers. We then validated the diagnostic performance of a selected biomarker candidate in an independent cohort of 364 consecutively treated adults with CNS infections admitted to a referral hospital in Vietnam. RESULTS:In the discovery cohort, we identified lipocalin 2 (LCN2) as a potential biomarker of bacterial meningitis (BM) other than tuberculous meningitis. The analysis of the validation cohort showed that LCN2 could discriminate BM from other CNS infections (including tuberculous meningitis, cryptococcal meningitis and viral/antibody-mediated encephalitis), with the sensitivity: 0.88 (95% confident interval (CI): 0.77-0.94), the specificity: 0.91 (95%CI: 0.88-0.94) and the diagnostic odd ratio: 73.8 (95%CI: 31.8-171.4)). LCN2 outperformed other CSF markers (leukocytes, glucose, protein and lactate) commonly used in routine care worldwide. The combination of LCN2, CSF leukocytes, glucose, protein and lactate resulted in the highest diagnostic performance for BM (area under receiver-operating-characteristic-curve 0.96; 95%CI: 0.93-0.99). CONCLUSIONS:Our results suggest that LCN2 is a sensitive and specific biomarker for discriminating BM from a broad spectrum of other CNS infections. A prospective study is needed to assess the diagnostic utility of LCN2 in the diagnosis and management of CNS infections.
<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title> <jats:p>Infection with SARS-CoV-2 is more likely to lead to poor outcomes in the elderly and those with cardiovascular disease, obesity or metabolic syndrome. Here we consider mechanisms by which dyslipidemia and the use of cholesterol-modifying drugs could influence the virus-host relationship. Cholesterol is essential for the assembly, replication and infectivity of enveloped virus particles; we highlight several cholesterol-modifying drugs with the potential to alter the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle that could be tested in in vitro and in vivo models. Although cholesterol is an essential component of immune cell membranes, excess levels can dysregulate protective immunity and promote exaggerated pulmonary and systemic inflammatory responses. Statins block the production of multiple sterols, oxysterols and isoprenoids, resulting in a pleotropic range of context-dependent effects on virus infectivity, immunity and inflammation. We highlight antiviral, immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects of cholesterol-modifying drugs that merit further consideration in the management of SARS-CoV-2 infection.</jats:p>
Digital pathology and artificial intelligence will be key to supporting clinical and academic cellular pathology through COVID-19 and future crises: the PathLAKE consortium perspective.
The measures to control the COVID-19 outbreak will likely remain a feature of our working lives until a suitable vaccine or treatment is found. The pandemic has had a substantial impact on clinical services, including cancer pathways. Pathologists are working remotely in many circumstances to protect themselves, colleagues, family members and the delivery of clinical services. The effects of COVID-19 on research and clinical trials have also been significant with changes to protocols, suspensions of studies and redeployment of resources to COVID-19. In this article, we explore the specific impact of COVID-19 on clinical and academic pathology and explore how digital pathology and artificial intelligence can play a key role to safeguarding clinical services and pathology-based research in the current climate and in the future.
Modifying nutritional substrates induces macrovesicular lipid droplet accumulation and metabolic alterations in a cellular model of hepatic steatosis.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS:Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) begins with steatosis, where a mixed macrovesicular pattern of large and small lipid droplets (LDs) develops. Since in vitro models recapitulating this are limited, the aims of this study were to develop mixed macrovesicular steatosis in immortalized hepatocytes and investigate effects on intracellular metabolism by altering nutritional substrates. METHODS:Huh7 cells were cultured in 11 mM glucose and 2% human serum (HS) for 7 days before additional sugars and fatty acids (FAs), either with 200 µM FAs (low fat low sugar; LFLS), 5.5 mM fructose + 200 µM FAs (low fat high sugar; LFHS), or 5.5 mM fructose + 800 µM FAs (high fat high sugar; HFHS), were added for 7 days. FA metabolism, lipid droplet characteristics, and transcriptomic signatures were investigated. RESULTS:Between the LFLS and LFHS conditions, there were few notable differences. In the HFHS condition, intracellular triacylglycerol (TAG) was increased and the LD pattern and distribution was similar to that found in primary steatotic hepatocytes. HFHS-treated cells had lower levels of de novo-derived FAs and secreted larger, TAG-rich lipoprotein particles. RNA sequencing and gene set enrichment analysis showed changes in several pathways including those involved in metabolism and cell cycle. CONCLUSIONS:Repeated doses of HFHS treatment resulted in a cellular model of NAFLD with a mixed macrovesicular LD pattern and metabolic dysfunction. Since these nutrients have been implicated in the development of NAFLD in humans, the model provides a good physiological basis for studying NAFLD development or regression in vitro.
Visualization of T Cell Migration in the Spleen Reveals a Network of Perivascular Pathways that Guide Entry into T Zones.
Lymphocyte homeostasis and immune surveillance require that T and B cells continuously recirculate between secondary lymphoid organs. Here, we used intravital microscopy to define lymphocyte trafficking routes within the spleen, an environment of open blood circulation and shear forces unlike other lymphoid organs. Upon release from arterioles into the red pulp sinuses, T cells latched onto perivascular stromal cells in a manner that was independent of the chemokine receptor CCR7 but sensitive to Gi protein-coupled receptor inhibitors. This latching sheltered T cells from blood flow and enabled unidirectional migration to the bridging channels and then to T zones, entry into which required CCR7. Inflammatory responses modified the chemotactic cues along the perivascular homing paths, leading to rapid block of entry. Our findings reveal a role for vascular structures in lymphocyte recirculation through the spleen, indicating the existence of separate entry and exit routes and that of a checkpoint located at the gate to the T zone.
<jats:p>The mitochondrial deubiquitylase USP30 negatively regulates the selective autophagy of damaged mitochondria. We present the characterisation of an N-cyano pyrrolidine compound, FT3967385, with high selectivity for USP30. We demonstrate that ubiquitylation of TOM20, a component of the outer mitochondrial membrane import machinery, represents a robust biomarker for both USP30 loss and inhibition. A proteomics analysis, on a SHSY5Y neuroblastoma cell line model, directly compares the effects of genetic loss of USP30 with chemical inhibition. We have thereby identified a subset of ubiquitylation events consequent to mitochondrial depolarisation that are USP30 sensitive. Within responsive elements of the ubiquitylome, several components of the outer mitochondrial membrane transport (TOM) complex are prominent. Thus, our data support a model whereby USP30 can regulate the availability of ubiquitin at the specific site of mitochondrial PINK1 accumulation following membrane depolarisation. USP30 deubiquitylation of TOM complex components dampens the trigger for the Parkin-dependent amplification of mitochondrial ubiquitylation leading to mitophagy. Accordingly, PINK1 generation of phospho-Ser65 ubiquitin proceeds more rapidly in cells either lacking USP30 or subject to USP30 inhibition.</jats:p>
In this review, we will highlight the importance of cancer germline antigen-specific cytotoxic CD8+ T lymphocytes (CTL) and the factors affecting antitumor CTL responses. In light of cancer immunotherapy, we will emphasis the need to further understand the features, characteristics, and actions of modulatory receptors of human cancer germline-specific CTLs, in order to determine the optimal conditions for antitumor CTL responses.
Longitudinal COVID-19 profiling associates IL-1RA and IL-10 with disease severity and RANTES with mild disease.
BACKGROUND:Identifying immune correlates of COVID-19 disease severity is an urgent need for clinical management, vaccine evaluation, and drug development. Here, we present a temporal analysis of key immune mediators, cytokines, and chemokines in blood of hospitalized COVID-19 patients from serial sampling and follow-up over 4 weeks. METHODS:A total of 71 patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 admitted to Beijing You'an Hospital in China with either mild (53 patients) or severe (18 patients) disease were enrolled with 18 healthy volunteers. We measured 34 immune mediators, cytokines, and chemokines in peripheral blood every 4-7 days over 1 month per patient using a bioplex multiplex immunoassay. RESULTS:We found that the chemokine RANTES (CCL5) was significantly elevated, from an early stage of the infection, in patients with mild but not severe disease. We also found that early production of inhibitory mediators including IL-10 and IL-1RA were significantly associated with disease severity, and a combination of CCL5, IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA), and IL-10 at week 1 may predict patient outcomes. The majority of cytokines that are known to be associated with the cytokine storm in virus infections such as IL-6 and IFN-γ were only significantly elevated in the late stage of severe COVID-19 illness. TNF-α and GM-CSF showed no significant differences between severe and mild cases. CONCLUSION:Together, our data suggest that early intervention to increase expression of CCL5 may prevent patients from developing severe illness. Our data also suggest that measurement of levels of CCL5, as well as IL-1RA and IL-10 in blood individually and in combination, might be useful prognostic biomarkers to guide treatment strategies.