Human blood monocytes comprise at least 3 subpopulations that differ in phenotype and function. Here, we present the first in-depth regulome analysis of human classical (CD14(++)CD16(-)), intermediate (CD14(+)CD16(+)), and nonclassical (CD14(dim)CD16(+)) monocytes. Cap analysis of gene expression adapted to Helicos single-molecule sequencing was used to map transcription start sites throughout the genome in all 3 subsets. In addition, global maps of H3K4me1 and H3K27ac deposition were generated for classical and nonclassical monocytes defining enhanceosomes of the 2 major subsets. We identified differential regulatory elements (including promoters and putative enhancers) that were associated with subset-specific motif signatures corresponding to different transcription factor activities and exemplarily validated novel downstream enhancer elements at the CD14 locus. In addition to known subset-specific features, pathway analysis revealed marked differences in metabolic gene signatures. Whereas classical monocytes expressed higher levels of genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism, priming them for anaerobic energy production, nonclassical monocytes expressed higher levels of oxidative pathway components and showed a higher mitochondrial routine activity. Our findings describe promoter/enhancer landscapes and provide novel insights into the specific biology of human monocyte subsets.
Next-generation sequencing of the hypervariable V3 region of the 16s rRNA gene isolated from serial stool specimens collected from 31 patients receiving allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT) was performed to elucidate variations in the composition of the intestinal microbiome in the course of allogeneic SCT. Metagenomic analysis was complemented by strain-specific enterococcal PCR and indirect assessment of bacterial load by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry of urinary indoxyl sulfate. At the time of admission, patients showed a predominance of commensal bacteria. After transplantation, a relative shift toward enterococci was observed, which was more pronounced under antibiotic prophylaxis and treatment of neutropenic infections. The shift was particularly prominent in patients that developed subsequently or suffered from active gastrointestinal (GI) graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). The mean proportion of enterococci in post-transplant stool specimens was 21% in patients who did not develop GI GVHD as compared with 46% in those that subsequently developed GI GVHD and 74% at the time of active GVHD. Enterococcal PCR confirmed predominance of Enterococcus faecium or both E. faecium and Enterococcus faecalis in these specimens. As a consequence of the loss of bacterial diversity, mean urinary indoxyl sulfate levels dropped from 42.5 ± 11 ?mol/L to 11.8 ± 2.8 ?mol/L in all post-transplant samples and to 3.5 ± 3 ?mol/L in samples from patients with active GVHD. Our study reveals major microbiome shifts in the course of allogeneic SCT that occur in the period of antibiotic treatment but are more prominent in association with GI GVHD. Our data indicate early microbiome shifts and a loss of diversity of the intestinal microbiome that may affect intestinal inflammation in the setting of allogeneic SCT.
Induction of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), the rate-limiting enzyme in tryptophan degradation along the kynurenine pathway, acts as a potent immunoregulatory loop. To address its role in human allogeneic stem cell transplantation, we measured major tryptophan metabolites, such as quinolinic acid and kynurenine, in serial urine specimens from 51 patients by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Samples were collected between admission and day 90 after transplantation, and metabolite levels were correlated with early clinical events and outcome. In selected patients, IDO gene expression was assessed by quantitative RT-PCR in intestinal biopsies. Surviving patients had significantly lower metabolite levels on days 28, 42, and 90, respectively, compared with patients dying of GVHD and associated complications (n = 10). Kynurenine levels were directly correlated with severity and clinical course of GVHD: Mean urinary quinolinic acid levels were 4.5 ± 0.3 ?mol/mmol creatinine in the absence of acute GVHD, 8.0 ± 1.1 ?mol/mmol creatinine for GVHD grade 1 or 2, and 13.5 ± 2.7 ?mol/mmol creatinine for GVHD grade 3 or 4 (P < .001), respectively. GVHD-dependent induction of IDO was further suggested by increased expression of IDO mRNA in intestinal biopsies from patients with severe GVHD. Our data indicate reactive release of kynurenines in GVHD-associated inflammation.
The anti-diabetic thiazolidinedione compound pioglitazone, a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma agonist, and selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors are clinically used in patients with advanced malignancies. Several previously published in vivo and in vitro studies showed growth inhibitory effects on different cancer cell lines. However, the underlying mechanisms are fairly unclear. Here, we analyzed the effects of pioglitazone in combination with other drugs in a three-dimensional multicellular tumor spheroid culture system (MCTS) generated from the two prostate carcinoma cell lines PC3 and LNCaP. As expected, pioglitazone also inhibited tumor cell proliferation in the MCTS system. Further studies revealed that pioglitazone lowered the pH of the culture medium, decreased oxygen consumption and increased lactate secretion in both tumor cell lines. Other glitazones, troglitazone and ciglitazone, had similar effects. The combination of pioglitazone with 2-deoxyglucose, a potent inhibitor of glycolysis, had an additive effect on the inhibition of cell proliferation and led to MCTS disintegration. Our data propose a new mechanism of growth inhibition by pioglitazone through modulation of the tumor cell metabolism.
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