The distribution, phenotype, and requirement of macrophages for fracture-associated inflammation and/or early anabolic progression during endochondral callus formation were investigated. A murine femoral fracture model [internally fixed using a flexible plate (MouseFix)] was used to facilitate reproducible fracture reduction. IHC demonstrated that inflammatory macrophages (F4/80(+)Mac-2(+)) were localized with initiating chondrification centers and persisted within granulation tissue at the expanding soft callus front. They were also associated with key events during soft-to-hard callus transition. Resident macrophages (F4/80(+)Mac-2(neg)), including osteal macrophages, predominated in the maturing hard callus. Macrophage Fas-induced apoptosis transgenic mice were used to induce macrophage depletion in vivo in the femoral fracture model. Callus formation was completely abolished when macrophage depletion was initiated at the time of surgery and was significantly reduced when depletion was delayed to coincide with initiation of early anabolic phase. Treatment initiating 5 days after fracture with the pro-macrophage cytokine colony stimulating factor-1 significantly enhanced soft callus formation. The data support that inflammatory macrophages were required for initiation of fracture repair, whereas both inflammatory and resident macrophages promoted anabolic mechanisms during endochondral callus formation. Overall, macrophages make substantive and prolonged contributions to fracture healing and can be targeted as a therapeutic approach for enhancing repair mechanisms. Thus, macrophages represent a viable target for the development of pro-anabolic fracture treatments with a potentially broad therapeutic window.
The AGEs and the receptor for AGEs (RAGE) are known contributors to diabetic complications. RAGE also has a physiological role in innate and adaptive immunity and is expressed on immune cells. The aim of this study was to determine whether deletion of RAGE from bone-marrow-derived cells influences the pathogenesis of experimental diabetic nephropathy.
Similarly to other tissues, the bone marrow contains subsets of resident tissue macrophages, which are essential to maintain bone formation, functional hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niches, and erythropoiesis. Pharmacologic doses of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) mobilize HSC in part by interfering with the HSC niche-supportive function of BM resident macrophages. Because bone marrow macrophages are key to both maintenance of HSC within their niche and erythropoiesis, we investigated the effect of mobilizing doses of G-CSF on erythropoiesis in mice. We now report that G-CSF blocks medullar erythropoiesis by depleting the erythroid island macrophages we identified as co-expressing F4/80, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, CD169, Ly-6G, and the ER-HR3 erythroid island macrophage antigen. Both broad macrophage depletion, achieved by injecting clodronate-loaded liposomes, and selective depletion of CD169(+) macrophages, also concomitantly depleted F4/80(+)VCAM-1(+)CD169(+)ER-HR3(+)Ly-6G(+) erythroid island macrophages and blocked erythropoiesis. This more precise phenotypic definition of erythroid island macrophages will enable studies on their biology and function in normal settings and on diseases associated with anemia. Finally, this study further illustrates that macrophages are a potent relay of innate immunity and inflammation on bone, hematopoietic, and erythropoietic maintenance. Agents that affect these macrophages, such as G-CSF, are likely to affect these three processes concomitantly.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) from fetal-placental tissues have translational advantages over their adult counterparts, and have variably been reported to express pluripotency markers. OCT-4 expression in fetal-placental MSC has been documented in some studies, paradoxically without tumourogenicity in vivo. It is possible that OCT-4 expression is insufficient to induce true "stemness", but this issue is important for the translational safety of fetal-derived MSC. To clarify this, we undertook a systematic literature review on OCT-4 in fetal or adnexal MSC to show that most studies report OCT-4 message or protein expression, but no study provides definitive evidence of true OCT-4A expression. Discrepant findings were attributable not to different culture conditions, tissue sources, or gestational ages but instead to techniques used. In assessing OCT-4 as a pluripotency marker, we highlight the challenges in detecting the correct OCT-4 isoform (OCT-4A) associated with pluripotency. Although specific detection of OCT-4A mRNA is achievable, it appears unlikely that any antibody can reliably distinguish between OCT-4A and the pseudogene OCT-4B. Finally, using five robust techniques we demonstrate that fetal derived-MSC do not express OCT-4A (or by default OCT-4B). Reports suggesting OCT-4 expression in fetal-derived MSC warrant reassessment, paying attention to gene and protein isoforms, pseudogenes, and antibody choice as well as primer design. Critical examination of the OCT-4 literature leads us to suggest that OCT-4 expression in fetal MSC may be a case of "The Emperors New Clothes" with early reports of (false) positive expression amplified in subsequent studies without critical attention to emerging refinements in knowledge and methodology.
In the spondyloarthropathies, the underlying molecular and cellular pathways driving disease are poorly understood. By undertaking a study in knee synovial biopsies from spondyloarthropathy (SpA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients we aimed to elucidate dysregulated genes and pathways.
Previous studies have generated conflicting results regarding the contribution of B cells to bone formation during physiology and repair. Here, we have investigated the role of B cells in osteoblast-mediated intramembranous anabolic bone modeling. Immunohistochemistry for CD45 receptor expression indicated that B cells had no propensity or aversion for endosteal regions or sites of bone modeling and/or remodeling in wild-type mice. In the endocortical diaphyseal region, quantitative immunohistology demonstrated that young wild-type and B-cell deficient mice had similar amounts of osteocalcin(+) osteoblast bone modeling surface. The degree of osteoblast-associated osteomac canopy was also comparable in these mice inferring that bone modeling cellular units were preserved in the absence of B cells. In a tibial injury model, only rare CD45 receptor positive B cells were located within areas of high anabolic activity, including minimal association with osterix(+) osteoblast-lineage committed mesenchymal cells in wild-type mice. Quantitative immunohistology demonstrated that collagen type I matrix deposition and macrophage and osteoclast distribution within the injury site were not compromised by the absence of B cells. Overall, osteoblast distribution during normal growth and bone healing via intramembranous ossification proceeded normally in the absence of B cells. These observations support that in vivo, these lymphoid cells have minimal influence, or at most, make redundant contributions to osteoblast function during anabolic bone modeling via intramembranous mechanisms.
SMG1 is a member of the phosphoinositide kinase-like kinase family of proteins that includes ATM, ATR, and DNA-PK, proteins with known roles in DNA damage and cellular stress responses. SMG1 has a well-characterized role in nonsense-mediated decay as well as suggested roles in the DNA damage response, resistance to oxidative stress, regulation of hypoxic responses, and apoptosis. To understand the roles of SMG1 further, we generated a Genetrap Smg1 mouse model. Smg1 homozygous KO mice were early embryonic lethal, but Smg1 heterozygous mice showed a predisposition to a range of cancers, particularly lung and hematopoietic malignancies, as well as development of chronic inflammation. These mice did not display deficiencies in known roles of SMG1, including nonsense-mediated decay. However, they showed elevated basal tissue and serum cytokine levels, indicating low-level inflammation before the development of tumors. Smg1 heterozygous mice also showed evidence of oxidative damage in tissues. These data suggest that the inflammation observed in Smg1 haploinsufficiency contributes to susceptibility to cancer and that Smg1-deficient animals represent a model of inflammation-enhanced cancer development.
Bone-lining tissues contain a population of resident macrophages termed osteomacs that interact with osteoblasts in vivo and control mineralization in vitro. The role of osteomacs in bone repair was investigated using a mouse tibial bone injury model that heals primarily through intramembranous ossification and progresses through all major phases of stabilized fracture repair. Immunohistochemical studies revealed that at least two macrophage populations, F4/80(+) Mac-2(-/low) TRACP(-) osteomacs and F4/80(+) Mac-2(hi) TRACP(-) inflammatory macrophages, were present within the bone injury site and persisted throughout the healing time course. In vivo depletion of osteomacs/macrophages (either using the Mafia transgenic mouse model or clodronate liposome delivery) or osteoclasts (recombinant osteoprotegerin treatment) established that osteomacs were required for deposition of collagen type 1(+) (CT1(+)) matrix and bone mineralization in the tibial injury model, as assessed by quantitative immunohistology and micro-computed tomography. Conversely, administration of the macrophage growth factor colony-stimulating factor 1 (CSF-1) increased the number of osteomacs/macrophages at the injury site significantly with a concurrent increase in new CT1(+) matrix deposition and enhanced mineralization. This study establishes osteomacs as participants in intramembranous bone healing and as targets for primary anabolic bone therapies.
In the bone marrow, hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) reside in specific niches near osteoblast-lineage cells at the endosteum. To investigate the regulation of these endosteal niches, we studied the mobilization of HSCs into the bloodstream in response to granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF). We report that G-CSF mobilization rapidly depletes endosteal osteoblasts, leading to suppressed endosteal bone formation and decreased expression of factors required for HSC retention and self-renewal. Importantly, G-CSF administration also depleted a population of trophic endosteal macrophages (osteomacs) that support osteoblast function. Osteomac loss, osteoblast suppression, and HSC mobilization occurred concomitantly, suggesting that osteomac loss could disrupt endosteal niches. Indeed, in vivo depletion of macrophages, in either macrophage Fas-induced apoptosis (Mafia) transgenic mice or by administration of clodronate-loaded liposomes to wild-type mice, recapitulated the: (1) loss of endosteal osteoblasts and (2) marked reduction of HSC-trophic cytokines at the endosteum, with (3) HSC mobilization into the blood, as observed during G-CSF administration. Together, these results establish that bone marrow macrophages are pivotal to maintain the endosteal HSC niche and that the loss of such macrophages leads to the egress of HSCs into the blood.
The development of the mononuclear phagocyte system requires macrophage colony-stimulating factor (CSF-1) signaling through the CSF-1 receptor (CSF1R, CD115). We examined the effect of an antibody against CSF1R on macrophage homeostasis and function using the MacGreen transgenic mouse (csf1r-enhanced green fluorescent protein) as a reporter. The administration of a novel CSF1R blocking antibody selectively reduced the CD115(+)Gr-1(neg) monocyte precursor of resident tissue macrophages. CD115(+)Gr-1(+) inflammatory monocytes were correspondingly increased, supporting the view that monocytes are a developmental series. Within tissue, the antibody almost completely depleted resident macrophage populations in the peritoneum, gastrointestinal tract, liver, kidney, and skin, but not in the lung or female reproductive organs. CSF1R blockade reduced the numbers of tumor-associated macrophages in syngeneic tumor models, suggesting that these cells are resident type macrophages. Conversely, it had no effect on inflammatory monocyte recruitment in models, including lipopolysaccharide-induced lung inflammation, wound healing, peritonitis, and severe acute graft-versus-host disease. Depletion of resident tissue macrophages from bone marrow transplantation recipients actually resulted in accelerated pathology and exaggerated donor T-cell activation. The data indicate that CSF1R signaling is required only for the maturation and replacement of resident-type monocytes and tissue macrophages, and is not required for monocyte production or inflammatory function.
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a key cytokine in the effector phase of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) after bone marrow transplantation, and TNF inhibitors have shown efficacy in clinical and experimental GVHD. TNF signals through the TNF receptors (TNFR), which also bind soluble lymphotoxin (LTalpha3), a TNF family member with a previously unexamined role in GVHD pathogenesis. We have used preclinical models to investigate the role of LT in GVHD. We confirm that grafts deficient in LTalpha have an attenuated capacity to induce GVHD equal to that seen when grafts lack TNF. This is not associated with other defects in cytokine production or T-cell function, suggesting that LTalpha3 exerts its pathogenic activity directly via TNFR signaling. We confirm that donor-derived LTalpha is required for graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) effects, with equal impairment in leukemic clearance seen in recipients of LTalpha- and TNF-deficient grafts. Further impairment in tumor clearance was seen using Tnf/Lta(-/-) donors, suggesting that these molecules play nonredundant roles in GVL. Importantly, donor TNF/LTalpha were only required for GVL where the recipient leukemia was susceptible to apoptosis via p55 TNFR signaling. These data suggest that antagonists neutralizing both TNF and LTalpha3 may be effective for treatment of GVHD, particularly if residual leukemia lacks the p55 TNFR.
We have quantified the relative contribution of donor antigen-presenting cell populations to alloantigen presentation after bone marrow transplantation (BMT) by using transgenic T cells that can respond to host-derived alloantigen presented within the donor major histocompatibility complex. We also used additional transgenic/knockout donor mice and/or monoclonal antibodies that allowed conditional depletion of conventional dendritic cells (cDCs), plasmacytoid DC (pDCs), macrophages, or B cells. Using these systems, we demonstrate that donor cDCs are the critical population presenting alloantigen after BMT, whereas pDCs and macrophages do not make a significant contribution in isolation. In addition, alloantigen presentation was significantly enhanced in the absence of donor B cells, confirming a regulatory role for these cells early after transplantation. These data have major implications for the design of therapeutic strategies post-BMT, and suggest that cDC depletion and the promotion of B-cell reconstitution may be beneficial tools for the control of alloreactivity.
ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is unique in its pathology where inflammation commences at the entheses before progressing to an osteoproliferative phenotype generating excessive bone formation that can result in joint fusion. The underlying mechanisms of this progression are poorly understood. Recent work has suggested that changes in Wnt signalling, a key bone regulatory pathway, may contribute to joint ankylosis in AS. Using the proteoglycan-induced spondylitis (PGISp) mouse model which displays spondylitis and eventual joint fusion following an initial inflammatory stimulus, we have characterised the structural and molecular changes that underlie disease progression. METHODS: PGISp mice were characterised 12 weeks after initiation of inflammation using histology, immunohistochemistry (IHC) and expression profiling. RESULTS: Inflammation initiated at the periphery of the intervertebral discs progressing to disc destruction followed by massively excessive cartilage and bone matrix formation, as demonstrated by toluidine blue staining and IHC for collagen type I and osteocalcin, leading to syndesmophyte formation. Expression levels of DKK1 and SOST, Wnt signalling inhibitors highly expressed in joints, were reduced by 49% and 63% respectively in the spine PGISp compared with control mice (P < 0.05) with SOST inhibition confirmed by IHC. Microarray profiling showed genes involved in inflammation and immune-regulation were altered. Further, a number of genes specifically involved in bone regulation including other members of the Wnt pathway were also dysregulated. CONCLUSIONS: This study implicates the Wnt pathway as a likely mediator of the mechanism by which inflammation induces bony ankylosis in spondyloarthritis, raising the potential that therapies targeting this pathway may be effective in preventing this process.
The spondylarthritides (SpA), including ankylosing spondylitis (AS), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), reactive arthritis, and arthritis associated with inflammatory bowel disease, cause chronic inflammation of the large peripheral and axial joints, eyes, skin, ileum, and colon. Genetic studies reveal common candidate genes for AS, PsA, and Crohns disease, including IL23R, IL12B, STAT3, and CARD9, all of which are associated with interleukin-23 (IL-23) signaling downstream of the dectin 1 ?-glucan receptor. In autoimmune-prone SKG mice with mutated ZAP-70, which attenuates T cell receptor signaling and increases the autoreactivity of T cells in the peripheral repertoire, IL-17-dependent inflammatory arthritis developed after dectin 1-mediated fungal infection. This study was undertaken to determine whether SKG mice injected with 1,3-?-glucan (curdlan) develop evidence of SpA, and the relationship of innate and adaptive autoimmunity to this process.
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