Gliomas are the most common primary brain tumor in both children and adults. The prognosis for glioblastoma (GBM), the most common type of malignant glioma, has remained dismal, with median survival a little over one year despite maximal therapy with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Although immunotherapy has become increasingly successful against many systemic tumors, clinical efficacy against brain tumors has been limited. One reason for this is an incomplete understanding of the local immunologic tumor microenvironment, particularly the function of large numbers of infiltrating myeloid derived cells. Monocytes/microglia are myeloid derived immunomodulatory cells, and they represent the predominant infiltrating immune cell population in gliomas. Our group has previously demonstrated using complementary in
vitro and in
vivo approaches that GBM tumor cells polarize tumor-associated myeloid cells (TAMs) and suppress their immunostimulatory function.
Methods and Results
To better understand the mechanisms responsible for this immunosuppression, we used gene expression profiling of stimulated monocytes in the presence or absence of GBM tumor cells. Our analysis identified caveolin-1 (CAV1), a plasma membrane molecule with pleiotropic functions, as significantly up-regulated in monocytes in the presence of GBMs. We validated these findings ex
vivo by confirming up-regulation of CAV1 in TAMs isolated from GBMs immediately after surgical resection. Finally, we demonstrate that siRNA inhibition of CAV1 restores myeloid cell function, as measured by TNF-alpha secretion, in the presence of GBMs.
Restoration of TAM function through pharmacologic blockage of CAV1 may facilitate more successful immunotherapeutic strategies directed against a variety of solid human tumors infiltrated by TAMs.
Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is an aggressive cutaneous neuroendocrine tumor with high mortality rates. Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV), identified in the majority of MCC, may drive tumorigenesis via viral T antigens. However, mechanisms underlying pathogenesis in MCPyV-negative MCC remain poorly understood. To nominate genes contributing to pathogenesis of MCPyV-negative MCC, we performed DNA microarray analysis on 30 MCCs. MCPyV status of MCCs was determined by PCR for viral DNA and RNA. 1593 probe-sets were differentially expressed between MCPyV-negative and -positive MCC, with significant differential expression defined as at least 2-fold change in either direction and p-value of ≤ 0.05. MCPyV-negative tumors showed decreased RB1 expression, whereas MCPyV-positive tumors were enriched for immune response genes. Validation studies included immunohistochemistry demonstration of decreased RB protein expression in MCPyV-negative tumors and increased peritumoral CD8+ T lymphocytes surrounding MCPyV-positive tumors. In conclusion, our data suggest that loss of RB1 expression may play an important role in tumorigenesis of MCPyV-negative MCC. Functional and clinical validation studies are needed to determine whether this tumor suppressor pathway represents an avenue for targeted therapy.
Psoriasis vulgaris (PsV) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) are inter-related disorders, with PsA representing a disease within a disease. From an epidemiological perspective, the genetic contributions of PsV and PsA are now well documented. HLA-C is firmly established as a PsV/PsA gene, with HLA-Cw*0602 as a major risk allele. Fine mapping studies within the MHC region in PsV and PsA have identified novel loci that are independent of the HLA-Cw6 allele. Recent genome-wide association scans have led to a substantial increase in the number of candidate genes reaching genome-wide significance in PsV and PsA cohorts. Most of these genes can be grouped into an integrated pathogenic model of PsV/PsA comprised of distinct signaling networks affecting skin barrier function (LCE3, DEFB4, GJB2), innate immune responses involving NFkB and interferon signaling (TNFAIP3, TNIP1, NFKBIA, REL, FBXL19, TYK2, NOS2), and adaptive immune responses involving CD8 T-lymphocytes and IL-23/IL-17-mediated lymphocyte signaling (HLA-C, IL12B, IL23R, IL23A, TRAF3IP2, ERAP1). Further development of a global genetic risk score and inclusion of potential gene/gene and gene/environment interactions will likely enhance the predictive value of recently identified genetic variants.
psoriasis; psoriatic arthritis; genes; genome-wide association scans
Intraoperative brain stimulation mapping reduces permanent postoperative deficits and extends tumor removal in resective surgery for glioma patients. Successful functional mapping is assumed to depend on the surgical team's expertise. In this study, glioma resection results are quantified and compared using a novel approach, so-called resection probability maps (RPM), exemplified by a surgical team comparison, here with long and short experience in mapping.
Adult patients with glioma were included by two centers with two and fifteen years of mapping experience. Resective surgery was targeted at non-enhanced MRI extension and was limited by functional boundaries. Neurological outcome was compared. To compare resection results, we applied RPMs to quantify and compare the resection probability throughout the brain at 1 mm resolution. Considerations for spatial dependence and multiple comparisons were taken into account.
The senior surgical team contributed 56, and the junior team 52 patients. The patient cohorts were comparable in age, preoperative tumor volume, lateralization, and lobe localization. Neurological outcome was similar between teams. The resection probability on the RPMs was very similar, with none (0%) of 703,967 voxels in left-sided tumors being differentially resected, and 124 (0.02%) of 644,153 voxels in right-sided tumors.
RPMs provide a quantitative volumetric method to compare resection results, which we present as standard for quality assessment of resective glioma surgery because brain location bias is avoided. Stimulation mapping is a robust surgical technique, because the neurological outcome and functional-based resection results using stimulation mapping are independent of surgical experience, supporting wider implementation.
EphA2 is a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) that triggers keratinocyte differentiation upon activation and subsequently down-regulation by ephrin-A1 ligand. The objective for this study was to determine if the EphA2/ephrin-A1 signaling axis was altered in psoriasis, an inflammatory skin condition where keratinocyte differentiation is abnormal. Microarray analysis of skin biopsies from psoriasis patients revealed increased mRNA transcripts for several members of this RTK family in plaques, including the EphA1, EphA2 and EphA4 subtypes prominently expressed by keratinocytes. Of these, EphA2 showed the greatest up-regulation, a finding that was confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR, IHC analysis and ELISA. In contrast, psoriatic lesions exhibited reduced ephrin-A ligand immunoreactivity. Exposure of primary keratinocytes induced to differentiated in high calcium or a 3-dimensiosnal raft culture of human epidermis to a combination of growth factors and cytokines elevated in psoriasis increased EphA2 mRNA and protein expression while inducing S100A7 and disrupting differentiation. Pharmacological delivery of a soluble ephrin-A1 peptidomimetic ligand led to a reduction in EphA2 expression and ameliorated proliferation and differentiation in raft cultures exposed to EGF and IL-1α. These findings suggest that ephrin-A1-mediated down-regulation of EphA2 supports keratinocyte differentiation in the context of cytokine perturbation.
Psoriasis lesions are characterized by large-scale shifts in gene expression. Mechanisms that underlie differentially expressed genes (DEGs), however, are not completely understood. We analyzed existing datasets to evaluate genome-wide expression in lesions from 163 psoriasis patients. Our aims were to identify mechanisms that drive differential expression and to characterize heterogeneity among lesions in this large sample.
We identified 1233 psoriasis-increased DEGs and 977 psoriasis-decreased DEGs. Increased DEGs were attributed to keratinocyte activity (56%) and infiltration of lesions by T-cells (14%) and macrophages (11%). Decreased DEGs, in contrast, were associated with adipose tissue (63%), epidermis (14%) and dermis (4%). KC/epidermis DEGs were enriched for genes induced by IL-1, IL-17A and IL-20 family cytokines, and were also disproportionately associated with AP-1 binding sites. Among all patients, 50% exhibited a heightened inflammatory signature, with increased expression of genes expressed by T-cells, monocytes and dendritic cells. 66% of patients displayed an IFN-γ-strong signature, with increased expression of genes induced by IFN-γ in addition to several other cytokines (e.g., IL-1, IL-17A and TNF). We show that such differences in gene expression can be used to differentiate between etanercept responders and non-responders.
Psoriasis DEGs are partly explained by shifts in the cellular composition of psoriasis lesions. Epidermal DEGs, however, may be driven by the activity of AP-1 and cellular responses to IL-1, IL-17A and IL-20 family cytokines. Among patients, we uncovered a range of inflammatory- and cytokine-associated gene expression patterns. Such patterns may provide biomarkers for predicting individual responses to biologic therapy.
AP-1; Etanercept; IL-17; IL-20; Inflammation; Keratinocyte; Microarray; TNF; T-cell; Transcription factor
Diffuse gliomas are incurable brain tumors divided in 3 WHO grades (II; III; IV) based on histological criteria. Grade II/III gliomas are clinically very heterogeneous and their prognosis somewhat unpredictable, preventing definition of appropriate treatment. On a cohort of 65 grade II/III glioma patients, a QPCR-based approach allowed selection of a biologically relevant gene list from which a gene signature significantly correlated to overall survival was extracted. This signature clustered the training cohort into two classes of low and high risk of progression and death, and similarly clustered two external independent test cohorts of 104 and 73 grade II/III patients. A 22-gene class predictor of the training clusters optimally distinguished poor from good prognosis patients (median survival of 13–20 months versus over 6 years) in the validation cohorts. This classification was stronger at predicting outcome than the WHO grade II/III classification (P≤2.8E-10 versus 0.018). When compared to other prognosis factors (histological subtype and genetic abnormalities) in a multivariate analysis, the 22-gene predictor remained significantly associated with overall survival. Early prediction of high risk patients (3% of WHO grade II), and low risk patients (29% of WHO grade III) in clinical routine will allow the development of more appropriate follow-up and treatments.
Fluorescence imaging has the potential to significantly improve neurosurgical resection of oncologic lesions through improved differentiation between normal and cancerous tissue at the tumor margins. In order to successfully mark glioma tissue a fluorescent tracer must have the ability to penetrate through the blood brain barrier (BBB) and provide delineation in the tumor periphery where heterogeneously intact BBB may exist. In this study it was hypothesized that, due to its smaller size, fluorescently labeled anti-EGFR Affibody protein (∼7 kDa) would provide a more clear delineation of the tumor margin than would fluorescently labeled cetuximab, a full antibody (∼150 kDa) to the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR).
Cetuximab and anti-EGFR targeted Affibody were conjugated to two different fluorescent dyes (both emitting in the near-infrared) and injected intravenously into 6 athymic mice which were inoculated orthotopically with green fluorescent protein (GFP) expressing human U251 glioma cells. Each mouse was sacrificed at 1-h post injection, at which time brains were removed, snap frozen, sectioned and quantitatively analyzed for fluorescence distribution.
Ex vivo analysis showed on average, nearly equal concentrations of cetuximab and Affibody within the tumor (on average Affibody made up 49±6% of injected protein), however, the cetuximab was more confined to the center of the tumor with Affibody showing significantly higher concentrations at the tumor periphery (on average Affibody made up 72±15% of injected protein in the outer 50 um of the tumor). Further ex vivo analysis of detection studies showed that the Affibody provided superior discrimination for differentiation of tumor from surrounding normal brain.
The present study indicates that fluorescently labeled anti-EGFR Affibody can provide significantly better delineation of tumor margins than a fluorescently labeled anti-EGFR antibody and shows considerable potential for guiding margin detection during neurosurgery.
A single previous study has demonstrated significant association of psoriasis with copy number of beta-defensin genes, using DNA from psoriasis cases and controls from Nijmegen and Erlangen. In this study we attempted to replicate that finding in larger new cohorts from Erlangen (N = 2017) and Michigan (N = 5412), using improved methods for beta-defensin copy number determination based on the paralog ratio test (PRT), and enhanced methods of analysis and association testing implemented in the CNVtools resource. We demonstrate that the association with psoriasis found in the discovery sample is maintained after applying improved typing and analysis methods (p = 5.5 × 10−4, OR = 1.25). We also find that the association is replicated in 2616 cases and 2526 controls from Michigan, although at reduced significance (p = 0.014), but not in new samples from Erlangen (1396 cases and 621 controls, p = 0.38). Meta-analysis across all cohorts suggests a nominally significant association (p = 6.6 × 10−3/2 × 10−4) with an effect size (OR = 1.081) much lower than found in the discovery study (OR = 1.32). This reduced effect size and significance on replication is consistent with a genuine but weak association.
We have shown that autocrine proliferation of human keratinocytes (KC) is strongly dependent upon amphiregulin (AREG), whereas blockade of heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor (HB-EGF) inhibits KC migration in scratch wound assays. Here we demonstrate that expression of soluble HB-EGF (sHB-EGF) or full-length transmembrane HB-EGF (proHB-EGF), but not proAREG, results in profound increases in KC migration and invasiveness in monolayer culture. Coincident with these changes, HB-EGF significantly decreases mRNA expression of several epithelial markers including keratins 1, 5, 10, and 14, while increasing expression of markers of cellular motility including SNAI1, ZEB1, COX-2 and MMP1. Immunostaining revealed HB-EGF-induced expression of the mesenchymal protein vimentin and decreased expression of E-cadherin as well as nuclear translocation of β-catenin. Suggestive of a trade-off between KC motility and proliferation, overexpression of HB-EGF also reduced KC growth by more than 90%. We also show that HB-EGF is strongly induced in regenerating epidermis after partial thickness wounding of human skin. Taken together, our data suggest that expression of HB-EGF in human KC triggers a migratory and invasive phenotype with many features of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which may be beneficial in the context of cutaneous wound healing.
Heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor; epidermal growth factor receptor; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; wound healing; invasion
The blood-brain-barrier (BBB) presents a significant obstacle to the delivery of systemically administered chemotherapeutics for the treatment of brain cancer. Irreversible electroporation (IRE) is an emerging technology that uses pulsed electric fields for the non-thermal ablation of tumors. We hypothesized that there is a minimal electric field at which BBB disruption occurs surrounding an IRE-induced zone of ablation and that this transient response can be measured using gadolinium (Gd) uptake as a surrogate marker for BBB disruption. The study was performed in a Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) compliant facility and had Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval. IRE ablations were performed in vivo in normal rat brain (n = 21) with 1-mm electrodes (0.45 mm diameter) separated by an edge-to-edge distance of 4 mm. We used an ECM830 pulse generator to deliver ninety 50-μs pulse treatments (0, 200, 400, 600, 800, and 1000 V/cm) at 1 Hz. The effects of applied electric fields and timing of Gd administration (−5, +5, +15, and +30 min) was assessed by systematically characterizing IRE-induced regions of cell death and BBB disruption with 7.0-T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and histopathologic evaluations. Statistical analysis on the effect of applied electric field and Gd timing was conducted via Fit of Least Squares with α = 0.05 and linear regression analysis. The focal nature of IRE treatment was confirmed with 3D MRI reconstructions with linear correlations between volume of ablation and electric field. Our results also demonstrated that IRE is an ablation technique that kills brain tissue in a focal manner depicted by MRI (n = 16) and transiently disrupts the BBB adjacent to the ablated area in a voltage-dependent manner as seen with Evan's Blue (n = 5) and Gd administration.
In 1912, Max Wertheimer published his paper on phi motion, widely recognized as the start of Gestalt psychology. Because of its continued relevance in modern psychology, this centennial anniversary is an excellent opportunity to take stock of what Gestalt psychology has offered and how it has changed since its inception. We first introduce the key findings and ideas in the Berlin school of Gestalt psychology, and then briefly sketch its development, rise, and fall. Next, we discuss its empirical and conceptual problems, and indicate how they are addressed in contemporary research on perceptual grouping and figure-ground organization. In particular, we review the principles of grouping, both classical (e.g., proximity, similarity, common fate, good continuation, closure, symmetry, parallelism) and new (e.g., synchrony, common region, element and uniform connectedness), and their role in contour integration and completion. We then review classic and new image-based principles of figure-ground organization, how it is influenced by past experience and attention, and how it relates to shape and depth perception. After an integrated review of the neural mechanisms involved in contour grouping, border-ownership, and figure-ground perception, we conclude by evaluating what modern vision science has offered compared to traditional Gestalt psychology, whether we can speak of a Gestalt revival, and where the remaining limitations and challenges lie. A better integration of this research tradition with the rest of vision science requires further progress regarding the conceptual and theoretical foundations of the Gestalt approach, which will be the focus of a second review paper.
Gestalt; grouping principles; figure-ground organization; neural mechanisms; vision science
To investigate the expression and prognostic value of bone sialoprotein (BSP) in glioma patients.
We determined the expression of BSP using real-time RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry in tissue microarrays containing 15 normal brain and 270 glioma samples. Cumulative survival was calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method and analyzed by the log-rank test. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed by the stepwise forward Cox regression model.
Both BSP mRNA and protein levels were significantly elevated in high-grade glioma tissues compared with those of normal brain and low-grade glioma tissues, and BSP expression positively correlated with tumor grade (P<0.001). Univariate and multivariate analysis showed high BSP expression was an independent prognostic factor for a shorter progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in both grade III and grade IV glioma patients [hazard ratio (HR) = 2.549 and 3.154 for grade III glioma, and HR = 1.637 and 1.574 for grade IV glioma, respectively]. Patients with low BSP expression had a significantly longer median OS and PFS than those with high BSP expression. Small extent of resection and lineage of astrocyte served as independent risk factors of both shorter PFS and OS in grade III glioma patients; GBM patients without O6-methylguanine (O6-meG) DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) methylation and Karnofsky performance score (KPS) less than 70 points were related to poor prognosis. Lack of radiotherapy related to shorter OS but not affect PFS in both grade III and grade IV glioma patients.
High BSP expression occurs in a significant subset of high-grade glioma patients and predicts a poorer outcome. The study identifies a potentially useful molecular marker for the categorization and targeted therapy of gliomas.
Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic inflammatory musculoskeletal disease affecting up to 30% of psoriasis vulgaris (PsV) cases and approximately 0.25% to 1% of the general population. To identify common susceptibility loci, we performed a meta-analysis of three imputed genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on psoriasis, stratified for PsA. A total of 1,160,703 SNPs were analyzed in the discovery set consisting of 535 PsA cases and 3,432 controls from Germany, the United States and Canada. We followed up two SNPs in 1,931 PsA cases and 6,785 controls comprising six independent replication panels from Germany, Estonia, the United States and Canada. In the combined analysis, a genome-wide significant association was detected at 2p16 near the REL locus encoding c-Rel (rs13017599, P=1.18×10−8, OR=1.27, 95% CI=1.18–1.35). The rs13017599 polymorphism is known to associate with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and another SNP near REL (rs702873) was recently implicated in PsV susceptibility. However, conditional analysis indicated that rs13017599, rather than rs702873, accounts for the PsA association at REL. We hypothesize that c-Rel, as a member of the Rel/NF-κB family, is associated with PsA in the context of disease pathways that involve other identified PsA and PsV susceptibility genes including TNIP1, TNFAIP3 and NFκBIA.
The TNFAIP3 gene has been associated with psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes mellitus, systemic lupus erythematosus and celiac disease. TNFAIP3 encodes A20, a TNF-α-inducible zinc finger protein thought to limit NF-κB mediated immune responses. In this study we report association of response of psoriasis to TNF blockers with two TNFAIP3 SNPs (rs2230926 in exon 3 and rs610604 in intron 6) and their haplotypes. Treatment response was self-evaluated using a 0–5 visual analog scale in 433 psoriasis patients who received TNF blockers. Confirmation was sought in 199 psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis patients from Toronto who were followed prospectively. Response variables were dichotomized separately in the two cohorts, yielding similar proportions of good responses. While significant associations were observed only for the Michigan cohort, fixed-effects meta-analysis retained significant association between dosage of the G allele of rs610604 and good combined response to all TNF blockers (OR = 1.50, pcorr = 0.050) and etanercept (OR = 1.64, pcorr = 0.016). The rs2230926 T–rs610604 G haplotype was similarly associated. By demonstrating an association with therapeutic response, these results provide a clinically relevant functional correlate to the recently described genetic association between psoriasis and TNFAIP3.
psoriasis; TNFAIP3; tumor necrosis factor; pharmacogenetics
To estimate the effectiveness of anterior cervical discectomy with arthroplasty (ACDA) compared to anterior cervical discectomy with fusion (ACDF) for patient-important outcomes for single-level cervical spondylosis.
Electronic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Register for Randomized Controlled Trials, BIOSIS and LILACS), archives of spine meetings and bibliographies of relevant articles.
We included RCTs of ACDF versus ACDA in adult patients with single-level cervical spondylosis reporting at least one of the following outcomes: functionality, neurological success, neck pain, arm pain, quality of life, surgery for adjacent level degeneration (ALD), reoperation and dysphonia/dysphagia. We used no language restrictions. We performed title and abstract screening and full text screening independently and in duplicate.
We used random-effects model to pool data using mean difference (MD) for continuous outcomes and relative risk (RR) for dichotomous outcomes. We used GRADE to evaluate the quality of evidence for each outcome.
Of 2804 citations, 9 articles reporting on 9 trials (1778 participants) were eligible. ACDA is associated with a clinically significant lower incidence of neurologic failure (RR = 0.53, 95% CI = 0.37–0.75, p = 0.0004) and improvement in the Neck pain visual analogue scale (VAS) (MD = 6.56, 95% CI = 3.22–9.90, p = 0.0001; Minimal clinically important difference (MCID) = 2.5. ACDA is associated with a statistically but not clinically significant improvement in Arm pain VAS and SF-36 physical component summary. ACDA is associated with non-statistically significant higher improvement in the Neck Disability Index Score and lower incidence of ALD requiring surgery, reoperation, and dysphagia/dysphonia.
There is no strong evidence to support the routine use of ACDA over ACDF in single-level cervical spondylosis. Current trials lack long-term data required to assess safety as well as surgery for ALD. We suggest that ACDA in patients with single level cervical spondylosis is an option although its benefits and indication over ACDF remain in question.
Early detection and evaluation of brain tumors during surgery is crucial for accurate resection. Currently cryosections during surgery are regularly performed. Confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE) is a novel technique permitting in vivo histologic imaging with miniaturized endoscopic probes at excellent resolution. Aim of the current study was to evaluate CLE for in vivo diagnosis in different types and models of intracranial neoplasia. In vivo histomorphology of healthy brains and two different C6 glioma cell line allografts was evaluated in rats. One cell line expressed EYFP, the other cell line was used for staining with fluorescent dyes (fluorescein, acriflavine, FITC-dextran and Indocyanine green). To evaluate future application in patients, fresh surgical resection specimen of human intracranial tumors (n = 15) were examined (glioblastoma multiforme, meningioma, craniopharyngioma, acoustic neurinoma, brain metastasis, medulloblastoma, epidermoid tumor). Healthy brain tissue adjacent to the samples served as control. CLE yielded high-quality histomorphology of normal brain tissue and tumors. Different fluorescent agents revealed distinct aspects of tissue and cell structure (nuclear pattern, axonal pathways, hemorrhages). CLE discrimination of neoplastic from healthy brain tissue was easy to perform based on tissue and cellular architecture and resemblance with histopathology was excellent. Confocal laser endomicroscopy allows immediate in vivo imaging of normal and neoplastic brain tissue at high resolution. The technology might be transferred to scientific and clinical application in neurosurgery and neuropathology. It may become helpful to screen for tumor free margins and to improve the surgical resection of malignant brain tumors, and opens the door to in vivo molecular imaging of tumors and other neurologic disorders.
The clinical features of psoriasis, characterized by sharply demarcated scaly erythematous plaques, are typically so distinctive that a diagnosis can easily be made on these grounds alone. However, there is great variability in treatment response between individual patients, and this may reflect heterogeneity of inflammatory networks driving the disease. In this study, whole-genome transcriptional profiling was used to characterize inflammatory and cytokine networks in 62 lesional skin samples obtained from patients with stable chronic plaque psoriasis. We were able to stratify lesions according to their inflammatory gene expression signatures, identifying those associated with strong (37% of patients), moderate (39%) and weak inflammatory infiltrates (24%). Additionally, we identified differences in cytokine signatures with heightened cytokine-response patterns in one sub-group of lesions (IL-13-strong; 50%) and attenuation of these patterns in a second sub-group (IL-13-weak; 50%). These sub-groups correlated with the composition of the inflammatory infiltrate, but were only weakly associated with increased risk allele frequency at some psoriasis susceptibility loci (e.g., REL, TRAF3IP2 and NOS2). Our findings highlight variable points in the inflammatory and cytokine networks known to drive chronic plaque psoriasis. Such heterogeneous aspects may shape clinical course and treatment responses, and can provide avenues for development of personalized treatments.
Skin aging is associated with intrinsic processes that compromise the structure of the extracellular matrix while promoting loss of functional and regenerative capacity. These processes are accompanied by a large-scale shift in gene expression, but underlying mechanisms are not understood and conservation of these mechanisms between humans and mice is uncertain.
We used genome-wide expression profiling to investigate the aging skin transcriptome. In humans, age-related shifts in gene expression were sex-specific. In females, aging increased expression of transcripts associated with T-cells, B-cells and dendritic cells, and decreased expression of genes in regions with elevated Zeb1, AP-2 and YY1 motif density. In males, however, these effects were contrasting or absent. When age-associated gene expression patterns in human skin were compared to those in tail skin from CB6F1 mice, overall human-mouse correspondence was weak. Moreover, inflammatory gene expression patterns were not induced with aging of mouse tail skin, and well-known aging biomarkers were in fact decreased (e.g., Clec7a, Lyz1 and Lyz2). These unexpected patterns and weak human-mouse correspondence may be due to decreased abundance of antigen presenting cells in mouse tail skin with age.
Aging is generally associated with a pro-inflammatory state, but we have identified an exception to this pattern with aging of CB6F1 mouse tail skin. Aging therefore does not uniformly heighten inflammatory status across all mouse tissues. Furthermore, we identified both intercellular and intracellular mechanisms of transcriptome aging, including those that are sex- and species-specific.
IL-1F6, IL-1F8 and IL-1F9 and the IL-1R6(RP2) receptor antagonist IL-1F5 constitute a novel IL-1 signaling system that is poorly characterized in skin. To further characterize these cytokines in healthy and inflamed skin, we studied their expression in healthy control (NN), uninvolved psoriasis (PN) and psoriasis plaque (PP) skin using QRT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. Expression of IL-1F5, -1F6, -1F8, and -1F9 were increased 2-3 orders of magnitude in PP versus PN skin, which was supported immunohistologically. Moreover, treatment of psoriasis with etanercept led to significantly decreased IL-1F5, -1F6, -1F8 and -1F9 mRNAs, concomitant with clinical improvement. Similarly increased expression of IL-1F5, -1F6, -1F8 and -1F9 was seen in the involved skin of two mouse models of psoriasis. Suggestive of their importance in inflamed epithelia, IL-1α and TNF-α induced IL-1F5, -1F6, -1F8, and -1F9 transcript expression by normal human keratinocytes. Microarray analysis revealed that these cytokines induce the expression of anti-microbial peptides and matrix metalloproteins by reconstituted human epidermis. In particular, IL-1F8 increased mRNA expression of HBD2, HBD3 and CAMP and protein secretion of HBD2 and HBD3. Collectively, our data suggest important roles for these novel cytokines in inflammatory skin diseases and identify these peptides as potential targets for antipsoriatic therapies.
Skin; inflammation; cytokine; IL-1; psoriasis; anti-microbial peptides
Earlier studies have shown that psoriasis in Japan and Thailand is associated with two different MHC haplotypes—those bearing HLA-Cw6 and those bearing HLA-Cw1 and HLA-B46. In an independent case-control sample from Thailand, we confirmed association of psoriasis with both haplotypes. No association was seen in Thai HLA-Cw1 haplotypes lacking HLA-B46, nor was HLA-Cw1 associated with psoriasis in a large Caucasian sample. To assess whether these risk haplotypes share a common origin, we sequenced genomic DNA from a Thai HLA-Cw1-B46 homozygote across the ~300 kb MHC risk interval, and compared it to sequence of a HLA-Cw6-B57 risk haplotype. Three small regions of homology were found, but these regions share equivalent sequence similarity with one or more clearly non-risk haplotypes, and they contain no polymorphism alleles unique to all risk haplotypes. Differences in psoriasis phenotype were also observed, including lower risk of disease, greater nail involvement, and later age at onset in HLA-Cw1-B46 carriers compared to HLA-Cw6 carriers. These findings suggest locus heterogeneity at PSORS1, the major psoriasis susceptibility locus in the MHC, with HLA-Cw6 imparting risk in both Caucasians and Asians, and an allele other than HLA-Cw1 on the HLA-Cw1-B46 haplotype acting as an additional risk variant in East Asians.
Psoriasis; Human Leukocyte Antigens; human genetics; Major Histocompatibility Complex
Genome-wide association (GWA) studies have identified numerous, replicable, genetic associations between common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and risk of common autoimmune and inflammatory (immune-mediated) diseases, some of which are shared between two diseases. Along with epidemiological and clinical evidence, this suggests that some genetic risk factors may be shared across diseases—as is the case with alleles in the Major Histocompatibility Locus. In this work we evaluate the extent of this sharing for 107 immune disease-risk SNPs in seven diseases: celiac disease, Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and type 1 diabetes. We have developed a novel statistic for Cross Phenotype Meta-Analysis (CPMA) which detects association of a SNP to multiple, but not necessarily all, phenotypes. With it, we find evidence that 47/107 (44%) immune-mediated disease risk SNPs are associated to multiple—but not all—immune-mediated diseases (SNP-wise PCPMA<0.01). We also show that distinct groups of interacting proteins are encoded near SNPs which predispose to the same subsets of diseases; we propose these as the mechanistic basis of shared disease risk. We are thus able to leverage genetic data across diseases to construct biological hypotheses about the underlying mechanism of pathogenesis.
Over the last five years we have found over 100 genetic variants predisposing to common diseases affecting the immune system. In this study we analyze 107 such variants across seven diseases and find that almost half are shared across diseases. We also find that the patterns of sharing across diseases cluster these variants into groups; proteins encoded near variants in the same group tend to interact. This suggests that genetic variation may influence entire pathways to create risk to multiple diseases.
Ligands of the EGF family regulate autocrine keratinocyte proliferation and IL-1 family cytokines orchestrate epithelial defense responses. While members of both families are overexpressed in wound healing and psoriasis, their roles in regulating the innate immune functions of keratinocytes remain incompletely explored. Using sensitive assays, we found significant increases of HB-EGF, TGF-α and amphiregulin mRNA and protein in lesional psoriasis compared with uninvolved or control skin. In normal human keratinocyte (NHK) monolayers, EGFR ligands were ineffective in inducing DEFB4, S100A7, and CCL20 mRNAs and hBD-2 peptide. Combined with IL-1α, however, EGFR ligands provoked 250× more DEFB4 and CCL20 and a 9-fold rise in S100A7 mRNA relative to the EGFR ligand alone. This synergy was also reflected in secreted hBD-2 protein, both from NHK and reconstituted human epidermis. Keratinocyte differentiation was critical for these responses, as postconfluent NHK yielded mRNA and protein levels an order of magnitude greater than subconfluent cells. Differentiation also influenced signal transduction, with subconfluent cells utilizing NF-κB and postconfluent cells utilizing EGFR, MEK1/2, and p38. We propose that EGFR ligands are important modifiers of IL-1 activity, synergizing with IL-1 to stimulate epidermal production of hBD-2, S100A7 and CCL20, three of the most upregulated transcripts in psoriatic plaques.
Psoriasis is a multifactorial skin disease characterized by epidermal hyperproliferation and chronic inflammation, the most common form of which is psoriasis vulgaris (PsV). We present a genome-wide association analysis of 2,339,118 SNPs in 472 psoriasis patients and 1,146 controls from Germany, with follow-up of the 147 most significant SNPs in 2,746 PsV cases and 4,140 controls from three independent replication panels. We identified an association at TRAF3IP2 on 6q21 and genotyped two SNPs at this locus in two additional replication panels (the combined discovery and replication panels consisted of 6,487 cases and 8,037 controls; combinded P = 2.36×10−10 for rs13210247 and combined P = 1.24×10−16 for rs33980500). About 15% of psoriasis cases develope psoriatic arthritis (PsA). A stratified analysis of our datasets including only PsA cases (1,922 cases compared to 8,037 controls, P=4.57×10−12 for rs33980500) suggested that TRAF3IP2 represents a shared susceptibility for PsV and PsA. TRAF3IP2 encodes a protein involved in IL-17 signaling and which interacts with memebers of the Rel/NF-κB transcription factor family.
To further elucidate molecular alterations in psoriasis, we performed a gene expression study on 58 paired lesional and uninvolved psoriatic and 64 control skin samples. Comparison of involved psoriatic (PP) and normal (NN) skin identified 1,326 differentially regulated transcripts encoding 918 unique genes (548 up- and 369 down-regulated), of which over 600 were to our knowledge unreported, including S100A7A, THRSP and ELOVL3. Strongly up-regulated genes included SERPINB4, PI3, DEFB4 and several S100 family members. Strongly down-regulated genes included Wnt-inhibitory factor-1 (WIF1), betacellulin (BTC), and CCL27. Enriched gene ontology categories included immune response, defense response, and keratinocyte differentiation. Biological processes regulating fatty acid and lipid metabolism were enriched in the down-regulated gene set. Comparison of the psoriatic transcriptome to the transcriptomes of cytokine-stimulated cultured keratinocytes (IL-17, IL-22, IL-1α, IFN-γ, TNF-α and oncostatin-M) revealed surprisingly little overlap, with the cytokine stimulated keratinocyte expression representing only 2.5%, 0.7%, 1.5%, 5.6%, 5.0% and 1.9% of the lesional psoriatic dysregulated transcriptome, respectively. This comprehensive analysis of differentially regulated transcripts in psoriasis provides additional insight into the pathogenic mechanisms involved and emphasizes the need for more complex yet tractable experimental models of psoriasis.
psoriasis; gene expression; microarray; skin; immunology