Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune neurodegenerative disease characterized by chronic brain inflammation. Leukocyte infiltration of brain tissue causes inflammation, demyelination, and the subsequent formation of sclerotic plaques, which are a hallmark of MS. Activation of proinflammatory cytokines is essential for regulation of lymphocyte migration across the blood-brain barrier. We demonstrate increased levels of many cytokines, including IL-2RA, CCL5, CCL11, MIF, CXCL1, CXCL10, IFNγ, SCF, and TRAIL, were upregulated in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), whereas IL-17, CCL2, CCL3, CCL4, and IL-12(p40) were activated in MS serum. Interaction analysis of cytokines in CSF demonstrated a connection between IFNγ and CCL5 as well as MIF. Many cells can contribute to production of these cytokines including CD8 and Th1 lymphocytes and astrocytes. Therefore, we suggest that IFNγ released by Th1 lymphocytes can activate astrocytes, which then produce chemoattractants, including CCL5 and MIF. These chemokines promote an inflammatory milieu and interact with multiple chemokines including CCL27 and CXCL1. Of special note, upregulation of CCL27 was found in CSF of MS cases. This observation is the first to demonstrate CCL27 as a potential contributor of brain pathology in MS. Our data suggest that CCL27 may be involved in activation and migration of autoreactive encephalitogenic immune effectors in the brain. Further, our data support the role of Th1 lymphocytes in the pathogenesis of brain inflammation in MS, with several cytokines playing a central role.
The Skin–Brain Connection Hypothesis, Bringing Together CCL27-Mediated T-Cell Activation in the Skin and Neural Cell Damage in the Adult Brain
Recent discovery of an association of low serum melatonin levels with relapse in multiple sclerosis (MS) opens a new horizon in understanding the pathogenesis of this disease. Skin is the main organ for sensing seasonal changes in duration of sunlight exposure. Level of melatonin production is dependent on light exposure. The molecular mechanisms connecting peripheral (skin) sensing of the light exposure and developing brain inflammation (MS) have not been investigated. We hypothesize that there is a connection between the reaction of skin to seasonal changes in sunlight exposure and the risk of MS and that seasonal changes in light exposure cause peripheral (skin) inflammation, the production of cytokines, and the subsequent inflammation of the brain. In skin of genetically predisposed individuals, cytokines attract memory cutaneous lymphocyte-associated antigen (CLA+) T lymphocytes, which then maintain local inflammation. Once inflammation is resolved, CLA+ lymphocytes return to the circulation, some of which eventually migrate to the brain. Once in the brain these lymphocytes may initiate an inflammatory response. Our observation of increased CC chemokine ligand 27 (CCL27) in MS sera supports the involvement of skin in the pathogenesis of MS. Further, the importance of our data is that CCL27 is a chemokine released by activated keratinocytes, which is upregulated in inflamed skin. We propose that high serum levels of CCL27 in MS are the result of skin inflammation due to exposure to seasonal changes in the sunlight. Future studies will determine whether CCL27 serum level correlates with seasonal changes in sunlight exposure, MS exacerbation, and skin inflammation.
Humoral Immunity Profiling of Subjects with MyalgicEncephalomyelitis Using a Random Peptide MicroarrayDifferentiates Cases from Controls with High Specificityand Sensitivity
Authors: Sahajpreet Singh, Phillip Stafford, Karen A. Schlauch, Richard R. Tillett, Martin Gollery, Stephen Albert Johnston, Svetlana F. Khaiboullina, Kenny L. De Meirleir, Shanti Rawat, Tatjana Mijatovic, Krishnamurthy Subramanian, András Palotás, Vincent C. Lombardi
Publication: Mol Neurobiol (DOI 10.1007/s12035-016-0334-0)
Abstract Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) is a complex, heterogeneous illness of unknown etiology. The search for biomarkers that can delineate cases from controls is one of the most active areas of ME research; however, little progress has been made in achieving this goal. In contrast to identifying biomarkers that are directly involved in the pathological process, an immunosignature identifies antibodies raised to proteins expressed during, and potentially involved in, the pathological process. Although these proteins might be unknown, it is possible to detect antibodies that react to these proteins using random peptide arrays. In the present study, we probe a custom 125,000 random 12-mer peptide microarray with sera from 21 ME cases and 21 controls from the USA and Europe and used these data to develop a diagnostic signature. We further used these peptide sequences to potentially uncover the naturally occurring candidate antigens to which these antibodies may specifically react with in vivo. Our analysis revealed a subset of 25 peptides that distinguished cases and controls with high specificity and sensitivity. Additionally, Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) searches suggest that these peptides primarily represent human selfantigens and endogenous retroviral sequences and, to a minor extent, viral and bacterial pathogens.
Failure of gut-associated pDCs to express membrane bound APRIL and BAFF prevents their ability to promote low-affinity IgA expression in ME/CFS
Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a heterogeneous illness characterized by a number of comorbid conditions; gastrointestinal (GI) dysregulation make up one subgroup of this disease. IgA is the most abundant antibody isotype found in mucosal secretions including the gut. In a process of class switch recombination (CSR), that relies on the interaction of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) with B cells, in a T cell independent (TI) manner, low-affinity IgA are produced that limit the adhesion of commensal bacteria to intestinal epithelia without neutralizing them. These low-affinity antibodies also limit bacterial overgrowth and potential bacterial translocation thus maintaining gut homeostasis. This process is known as “immune exclusion”. Two ligands on the surface of pDCs that are obligatory for the process; the membrane bound form of APRIL and BAFF. The upregulation of APRIL and BAFF on the surface of pDCs is dependent on low-level expression of type I interferon (IFN) which is produced by intestinal stromal cells in response to Toll-like receptor (TLR) engagement. Previous studies suggest that peripheral pDCs are significantly lower in subjects with ME/CFS when compared to controls and studies conducted by us further suggest these cells likely redistribute from the periphery to the gut. We have observed that, in contrast to controls, gut-associated pDCs in subjects with ME/CFS lack APRIL and BAFF expression. These data support a model of gut pathology in ME/CFS whereby dysregulated pDCs fail to promote the production of low-affinity IgA through the process of TI activation of B cells, thereby leading to bacterial overgrowth, dysbiosis, bacterial translocation and systemic immune activation.
Decreased Numbers of CD57+CD3− Cells Identify Potential Innate Immune Differences in Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Authors: Siniscalco D, Mijatovic T, Bosmans E, Cirillo A, Kruzliak P, Lombardi VC, DE Meirleir K, Antonucci N Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov Publication: in vivo (2016)
Background. Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are complex, and severe heterogeneous neurodevelopmental pathologies with accepted but complex immune system abnormalities. Additional knowledge regarding potential immune dysfunctions may provide a greater understanding of this malady. Aim. The aim of this study was to evaluate the CD57+CD3− mature lymphocyte subpopulation of natural killer cells as a marker of immune dysfunction in ASD. Materials and Methods. Three-color flow cytometrybased analysis of fresh peripheral blood samples from children with autism was utilized to measure CD57+CD3−lymphocytes. Results. A reduction of CD57+CD3−lymphocyte counts was recorded in a significant number of patients with autism. Discussion and conclusion. We demonstrate that the number of peripheral CD57+CD3−cells in children with autism often falls below the clinically accepted normal range. This implies that a defect in the counter-regulatory functions necessary for balancing proinflammatory cytokines exists, thus opening the way to chronic inflammatory conditions associated with ASD.
Transcriptional Analysis of Blood Lymphocytes and Skin Fibroblasts, Keratinocytes, and Endothelial Cells as a Potential Biomarker for Alzheimer’s Disease.
Authors: Mukhamedyarov MA, Rizvanov AA, Yakupov EZ, Zefirov AL, Kiyasov AP, Reis HJ, Teixeira AL, Vieira LB, Lima LM, Salafutdinov II, Petukhova EO, Khaiboullina SF, Schlauch KA, Lombardi VC, Palotás A. Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27589530 Publication: J Alzheimers Dis. 2016 Sep 2. [Epub ahead of print]
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a devastating and progressive form of dementia that is typically associated with a build-up of amyloid-β plaques and hyperphosphorylated and misfolded tau protein in the brain. Presently, there is no single test that confirms AD; therefore, a definitive diagnosis is only made after a comprehensive medical evaluation, which includes medical history, cognitive tests, and a neurological examination and/or brain imaging. Additionally, the protracted prodromal phase of the disease makes selection of control subjects for clinical trials challenging. In this study we have utilized a gene-expression array to screen blood and skin punch biopsy (fibroblasts, keratinocytes, and endothelial cells) for transcriptional differences that may lead to a greater understanding of AD as well as identify potential biomarkers. Our analysis identified 129 differentially expressed genes from blood of dementia cases when compared to healthy individuals, and four differentially expressed punch biopsy genes between AD subjects and controls. Additionally, we identified a set of genes in both tissue compartments that showed transcriptional variation in AD but were largely stable in controls. The translational products of these variable genes are involved in the maintenance of the Golgi structure, regulation of lipid metabolism, DNA repair, and chromatin remodeling. Our analysis potentially identifies specific genes in both tissue compartments that may ultimately lead to useful biomarkers and may provide new insight into the pathophysiology of AD.