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1.
Ann Intern Med ; 2020 Feb 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32066146

RESUMO

Background: Low-dose methotrexate (LD-MTX) is the most commonly used drug for systemic rheumatic diseases worldwide and is the recommended first-line agent for rheumatoid arthritis. Despite extensive clinical use for more than 30 years, few data on adverse event (AE) rates derive from randomized, placebo-controlled trials, where both causality and magnitude of risk can be inferred. Objective: To investigate AE rates, risk, and risk differences comparing LD-MTX versus placebo. Design: Prespecified secondary analyses of a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial. (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01594333). Setting: North America. Participants: Adults with known cardiovascular disease and diabetes or metabolic syndrome. Intervention: Random allocation to LD-MTX (≤20 mg/wk) or placebo. All participants received folic acid, 1 mg/d, 6 days per week. Measurements: Risks for specific AEs of interest, as well as for all AEs, were compared across treatment groups after blinded adjudication. Results: After an active run-in period, 6158 patients were enrolled and 4786 randomly assigned to a group; median follow-up was 23 months and median dosage 15 mg/wk. Among the randomly assigned participants, 81.2% were male, median age was 65.7 years, and median body mass index was 31.5 kg/m2. Of 2391 participants assigned to LD-MTX, 2080 (87.0%) had an AE of interest, compared with 1951 of 2395 (81.5%) assigned to placebo (hazard ratio [HR], 1.17 [95% CI, 1.10 to 1.25]). The relative hazards of gastrointestinal (HR, 1.91 [CI, 1.75 to 2.10]), pulmonary (HR, 1.52 [CI, 1.16 to 1.98]), infectious (HR, 1.15 [CI, 1.01 to 1.30]), and hematologic (HR, 1.15 [CI, 1.07 to 1.23]) AEs were elevated for LD-MTX versus placebo. With the exception of increased risk for skin cancer (HR, 2.05 [CI, 1.28 to 3.28]), the treatment groups did not differ in risk for other cancer or mucocutaneous, neuropsychiatric, or musculoskeletal AEs. Renal AEs were reduced in the LD-MTX group (HR, 0.85 [CI, 0.78 to 0.93]). Limitation: The trial was done in patients without rheumatic disease who tolerated LD-MTX during an active run-in period. Conclusion: Use of LD-MTX was associated with small to moderate elevations in risks for skin cancer and gastrointestinal, infectious, pulmonary, and hematologic AEs, whereas renal AEs were decreased. Primary Funding Source: National Institutes of Health.

2.
Nat Genet ; 2020 Feb 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32066938

RESUMO

Genetic studies have revealed that autoimmune susceptibility variants are over-represented in memory CD4+ T cell regulatory elements1-3. Understanding how genetic variation affects gene expression in different T cell physiological states is essential for deciphering genetic mechanisms of autoimmunity4,5. Here, we characterized the dynamics of genetic regulatory effects at eight time points during memory CD4+ T cell activation with high-depth RNA-seq in healthy individuals. We discovered widespread, dynamic allele-specific expression across the genome, where the balance of alleles changes over time. These genes were enriched fourfold within autoimmune loci. We found pervasive dynamic regulatory effects within six HLA genes. HLA-DQB1 alleles had one of three distinct transcriptional regulatory programs. Using CRISPR-Cas9 genomic editing we demonstrated that a promoter variant is causal for T cell-specific control of HLA-DQB1 expression. Our study shows that genetic variation in cis-regulatory elements affects gene expression in a manner dependent on lymphocyte activation status, contributing to the interindividual complexity of immune responses.

3.
Nat Rev Nephrol ; 2019 Dec 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31853010

RESUMO

The immune mechanisms that cause tissue injury in lupus nephritis have been challenging to define. The advent of high-dimensional cellular analyses, such as single-cell RNA sequencing, has enabled detailed characterization of the cell populations present in small biopsy samples of kidney tissue. In parallel, the development of methods that cryopreserve kidney biopsy specimens in a manner that preserves intact, viable cells, has enabled the uniform analysis of tissue samples collected at multiple sites and across many geographic areas and demographic cohorts with high-dimensional platforms. The application of these methods to kidney biopsy samples from patients with lupus nephritis has begun to define the phenotypes of both infiltrating and resident immune cells, as well as parenchymal cells, present in nephritic kidneys. The detection of similar immune cell populations in urine suggests that it might be possible to non-invasively monitor immune activation in kidneys. Once applied to large patient cohorts, these high-dimensional studies might enable patient stratification according to patterns of immune cell activation in the kidney or identify disease features that can be used as surrogate measures of efficacy in clinical trials. Applied broadly across multiple inflammatory kidney diseases, these studies promise to enormously expand our understanding of renal inflammation in the next decade.

5.
JCI Insight ; 4(20)2019 Oct 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31536480

RESUMO

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease characterized by pathologic T cell-B cell interactions and autoantibody production. Defining the T cell populations that drive B cell responses in SLE may enable design of therapies that specifically target pathologic cell subsets. Here, we evaluated the phenotypes of CD4+ T cells in the circulation of 52 SLE patients drawn from multiple cohorts and identified a highly expanded PD-1hiCXCR5-CD4+ T cell population. Cytometric, transcriptomic, and functional assays demonstrated that PD-1hiCXCR5-CD4+ T cells from SLE patients are T peripheral helper (Tph) cells, a CXCR5- T cell population that stimulates B cell responses via IL-21. The frequency of Tph cells, but not T follicular helper (Tfh) cells, correlated with both clinical disease activity and the frequency of CD11c+ B cells in SLE patients. PD-1hiCD4+ T cells were found within lupus nephritis kidneys and correlated with B cell numbers in the kidney. Both IL-21 neutralization and CRISPR-mediated deletion of MAF abrogated the ability of Tph cells to induce memory B cell differentiation into plasmablasts in vitro. These findings identify Tph cells as a highly expanded T cell population in SLE and suggest a key role for Tph cells in stimulating pathologic B cell responses.

6.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 116(41): 20635-20643, 2019 Oct 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31548399

RESUMO

SerpinB1, a protease inhibitor and neutrophil survival factor, was recently linked with IL-17-expressing T cells. Here, we show that serpinB1 (Sb1) is dramatically induced in a subset of effector CD4 cells in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Despite normal T cell priming, Sb1 -/- mice are resistant to EAE with a paucity of T helper (TH) cells that produce two or more of the cytokines, IFNγ, GM-CSF, and IL-17. These multiple cytokine-producing CD4 cells proliferate extremely rapidly; highly express the cytolytic granule proteins perforin-A, granzyme C (GzmC), and GzmA and surface receptors IL-23R, IL-7Rα, and IL-1R1; and can be identified by the surface marker CXCR6. In Sb1 -/- mice, CXCR6+ TH cells are generated but fail to expand due to enhanced granule protease-mediated mitochondrial damage leading to suicidal cell death. Finally, anti-CXCR6 antibody treatment, like Sb1 deletion, dramatically reverts EAE, strongly indicating that the CXCR6+ T cells are the drivers of encephalitis.

8.
Diabetologia ; 62(9): 1681-1688, 2019 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31270583

RESUMO

AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: Type 1 diabetes is preceded by a period of asymptomatic autoimmunity characterised by positivity for islet autoantibodies. Therefore, T helper cell responses that induce B cell activation are likely to play a critical role in the disease process. Here, we aimed to evaluate the role of a recently described subset, C-X-C motif chemokine receptor type 5-negative, programmed cell death protein 1-positive (CXCR5-PD-1hi) peripheral T helper (Tph) cells, in human type 1 diabetes. METHODS: The phenotype of blood CXCR5-PD-1hi CD4+ T cells was analysed by multicolour flow cytometry. The frequencies of circulating CXCR5-PD-1hi T cells were analysed in a cohort of 44 children with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes, 40 autoantibody-positive (AAb+) at-risk children and 84 autoantibody-negative healthy control children, and the findings were replicated in a separate cohort of 15 children with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes and 15 healthy control children. RESULTS: Circulating CXCR5-PD-1hi Tph cells share several features associated with B cell helper function with circulating CXCR5+PD-1hi follicular T helper (Tfh) cells. Moreover, the frequency of circulating Tph cells was increased in children with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes, especially in those who are positive for multiple autoantibodies. Importantly, circulating Tph cells were also increased in autoantibody-positive at-risk children who later progressed to type 1 diabetes. CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: Our results demonstrate that circulating CXCR5-PD-1hi Tph cells are associated with progression to clinical type 1 diabetes. Consequently, Tph cells could have potential both as a biomarker of disease progression and as a target for immunotherapy in type 1 diabetes.

9.
Nat Immunol ; 20(7): 902-914, 2019 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31209404

RESUMO

Lupus nephritis is a potentially fatal autoimmune disease for which the current treatment is ineffective and often toxic. To develop mechanistic hypotheses of disease, we analyzed kidney samples from patients with lupus nephritis and from healthy control subjects using single-cell RNA sequencing. Our analysis revealed 21 subsets of leukocytes active in disease, including multiple populations of myeloid cells, T cells, natural killer cells and B cells that demonstrated both pro-inflammatory responses and inflammation-resolving responses. We found evidence of local activation of B cells correlated with an age-associated B-cell signature and evidence of progressive stages of monocyte differentiation within the kidney. A clear interferon response was observed in most cells. Two chemokine receptors, CXCR4 and CX3CR1, were broadly expressed, implying a potentially central role in cell trafficking. Gene expression of immune cells in urine and kidney was highly correlated, which would suggest that urine might serve as a surrogate for kidney biopsies.


Assuntos
Rim/imunologia , Nefrite Lúpica/imunologia , Biomarcadores , Biópsia , Análise por Conglomerados , Biologia Computacional/métodos , Células Epiteliais/metabolismo , Citometria de Fluxo , Perfilação da Expressão Gênica , Regulação da Expressão Gênica , Humanos , Imunofenotipagem , Interferons/metabolismo , Rim/metabolismo , Rim/patologia , Leucócitos/imunologia , Leucócitos/metabolismo , Nefrite Lúpica/genética , Nefrite Lúpica/metabolismo , Nefrite Lúpica/patologia , Linfócitos/imunologia , Linfócitos/metabolismo , Anotação de Sequência Molecular , Células Mieloides/imunologia , Células Mieloides/metabolismo , Análise de Célula Única , Transcriptoma
10.
Nat Immunol ; 20(7): 928-942, 2019 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31061532

RESUMO

To define the cell populations that drive joint inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), we applied single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq), mass cytometry, bulk RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) and flow cytometry to T cells, B cells, monocytes, and fibroblasts from 51 samples of synovial tissue from patients with RA or osteoarthritis (OA). Utilizing an integrated strategy based on canonical correlation analysis of 5,265 scRNA-seq profiles, we identified 18 unique cell populations. Combining mass cytometry and transcriptomics revealed cell states expanded in RA synovia: THY1(CD90)+HLA-DRAhi sublining fibroblasts, IL1B+ pro-inflammatory monocytes, ITGAX+TBX21+ autoimmune-associated B cells and PDCD1+ peripheral helper T (TPH) cells and follicular helper T (TFH) cells. We defined distinct subsets of CD8+ T cells characterized by GZMK+, GZMB+, and GNLY+ phenotypes. We mapped inflammatory mediators to their source cell populations; for example, we attributed IL6 expression to THY1+HLA-DRAhi fibroblasts and IL1B production to pro-inflammatory monocytes. These populations are potentially key mediators of RA pathogenesis.


Assuntos
Artrite Reumatoide/genética , Artrite Reumatoide/metabolismo , Perfilação da Expressão Gênica , Membrana Sinovial/metabolismo , Transcriptoma , Artrite Reumatoide/patologia , Autoimunidade/genética , Biomarcadores , Biologia Computacional/métodos , Estudos Transversais , Citocinas/metabolismo , Fibroblastos/metabolismo , Citometria de Fluxo , Expressão Gênica , Perfilação da Expressão Gênica/métodos , Sequenciamento de Nucleotídeos em Larga Escala , Antígenos de Histocompatibilidade Classe II/genética , Antígenos de Histocompatibilidade Classe II/imunologia , Humanos , Leucócitos/imunologia , Leucócitos/metabolismo , Monócitos/imunologia , Monócitos/metabolismo , Transdução de Sinais , Análise de Célula Única/métodos , Membrana Sinovial/patologia , Subpopulações de Linfócitos T/imunologia , Subpopulações de Linfócitos T/metabolismo , Fluxo de Trabalho
11.
Sci Transl Med ; 11(491)2019 05 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31068444

RESUMO

Macrophages tailor their function according to the signals found in tissue microenvironments, assuming a wide spectrum of phenotypes. A detailed understanding of macrophage phenotypes in human tissues is limited. Using single-cell RNA sequencing, we defined distinct macrophage subsets in the joints of patients with the autoimmune disease rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which affects ~1% of the population. The subset we refer to as HBEGF+ inflammatory macrophages is enriched in RA tissues and is shaped by resident fibroblasts and the cytokine tumor necrosis factor (TNF). These macrophages promoted fibroblast invasiveness in an epidermal growth factor receptor-dependent manner, indicating that intercellular cross-talk in this inflamed setting reshapes both cell types and contributes to fibroblast-mediated joint destruction. In an ex vivo synovial tissue assay, most medications used to treat RA patients targeted HBEGF+ inflammatory macrophages; however, in some cases, medication redirected them into a state that is not expected to resolve inflammation. These data highlight how advances in our understanding of chronically inflamed human tissues and the effects of medications therein can be achieved by studies on local macrophage phenotypes and intercellular interactions.

12.
Nat Rev Rheumatol ; 15(8): 453-454, 2019 Aug.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31138905
13.
J Autoimmun ; 101: 121-130, 2019 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31030958

RESUMO

Despite the development of several targeted therapies for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), there is still no reliable drug-specific predictor to assist rheumatologists in selecting the most effective targeted therapy for each patient. Recently, a gene signature caused by impaired induction of PTPN22 in anti-CD3 stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) was observed in healthy at-risk individuals. However, the downstream target genes of PTPN22 and the molecular mechanisms regulating its expression are still poorly understood. Here we report that the PTPN22 gene signature is also present in PBMC from patients with active RA and can be reversed after effective treatment. The expression of PTPN22 correlates with that of more than 1000 genes in Th cells of anti-CD3 stimulated PBMC of healthy donors and is inhibited by TNFα or CD28 signals, but not IL-6, through distinct mechanisms. In addition, the impaired induction of PTPN22 in PBMC of patients with active RA can be normalized in vitro by several targeted therapies. More importantly, the in vitro normalization of PTPN22 expression correlates with clinical response to the targeted therapies in a longitudinal RA cohort. Thus, in vitro normalization of PTPN22 expression by targeted therapies can potentially be used to predict clinical response.

14.
Sci Adv ; 5(1): eaau9223, 2019 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30746468

RESUMO

Specialized immune cell subsets are involved in autoimmune disease, cancer immunity, and infectious disease through a diverse range of functions mediated by overlapping pathways and signals. However, subset-specific responses may not be detectable in analyses of whole blood samples, and no efficient approach for profiling cell subsets at high throughput from small samples is available. We present a low-input microfluidic system for sorting immune cells into subsets and profiling their gene expression. We validate the system's technical performance against standard subset isolation and library construction protocols and demonstrate the importance of subset-specific profiling through in vitro stimulation experiments. We show the ability of this integrated platform to identify subset-specific disease signatures by profiling four immune cell subsets in blood from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and matched control subjects. The platform has the potential to make multiplexed subset-specific analysis routine in many research laboratories and clinical settings.

15.
Blood ; 133(6): 605-614, 2019 02 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30429159

RESUMO

More than 1 million apheresis platelet collections are performed annually in the United States. After 2 healthy plateletpheresis donors were incidentally found to have low CD4+ T-lymphocyte counts, we investigated whether plateletpheresis causes lymphopenia. We conducted a cross-sectional single-center study of platelet donors undergoing plateletpheresis with the Trima Accel, which removes leukocytes continuously with its leukoreduction system chamber. We recruited 3 groups of platelet donors based on the total number of plateletpheresis sessions in the prior 365 days: 1 or 2, 3 to 19, or 20 to 24. CD4+ T-lymphocyte counts were <200 cells per microliter in 0/20, 2/20, and 6/20 donors, respectively (P = .019), and CD8+ T-lymphocyte counts were low in 0/20, 4/20, and 11/20 donors, respectively (P < .001). The leukoreduction system chamber's lymphocyte-extraction efficiency was ∼15% to 20% for all groups. Immunophenotyping showed decreases in naive CD4+ T-lymphocyte and T helper 17 (Th17) cell percentages, increases in CD4+ and CD8+ effector memory, Th1, and regulatory T cell percentages, and stable naive CD8+ and Th2 percentages across groups. T-cell receptor repertoire analyses showed similar clonal diversity in all groups. Donor screening questionnaires supported the good health of the donors, who tested negative at each donation for multiple pathogens, including HIV. Frequent plateletpheresis utilizing a leukoreduction system chamber is associated with CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell lymphopenia in healthy platelet donors. The mechanism may be repeated extraction of these cells during plateletpheresis. The cytopenias do not appear to be harmful.


Assuntos
Doadores de Sangue/estatística & dados numéricos , Plaquetas/citologia , Linfopenia/etiologia , Plaquetoferese/efeitos adversos , Adulto , Idoso , Estudos Transversais , Feminino , Humanos , Masculino , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Contagem de Plaquetas , Prognóstico , Adulto Jovem
16.
Genome Biol ; 19(1): 168, 2018 10 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30340504

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Cytokines are critical to human disease and are attractive therapeutic targets given their widespread influence on gene regulation and transcription. Defining the downstream regulatory mechanisms influenced by cytokines is central to defining drug and disease mechanisms. One promising strategy is to use interactions between expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) and cytokine levels to define target genes and mechanisms. RESULTS: In a clinical trial for anti-IL-6 in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, we measure interferon (IFN) status, anti-IL-6 drug exposure, and whole blood genome-wide gene expression at three time points. We show that repeat transcriptomic measurements increases the number of cis eQTLs identified compared to using a single time point. We observe a statistically significant enrichment of in vivo eQTL interactions with IFN status and anti-IL-6 drug exposure and find many novel interactions that have not been previously described. Finally, we find transcription factor binding motifs interrupted by eQTL interaction SNPs, which point to key regulatory mediators of these environmental stimuli and therefore potential therapeutic targets for autoimmune diseases. In particular, genes with IFN interactions are enriched for ISRE binding site motifs, while those with anti-IL-6 interactions are enriched for IRF4 motifs. CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights the potential to exploit clinical trial data to discover in vivo eQTL interactions with therapeutically relevant environmental variables.


Assuntos
Citocinas/genética , Regulação da Expressão Gênica , Lúpus Eritematoso Sistêmico/genética , Locos de Características Quantitativas/genética , Humanos
17.
Sci Transl Med ; 10(463)2018 10 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30333237

RESUMO

High-dimensional single-cell analyses have improved the ability to resolve complex mixtures of cells from human disease samples; however, identifying disease-associated cell types or cell states in patient samples remains challenging because of technical and interindividual variation. Here, we present mixed-effects modeling of associations of single cells (MASC), a reverse single-cell association strategy for testing whether case-control status influences the membership of single cells in any of multiple cellular subsets while accounting for technical confounders and biological variation. Applying MASC to mass cytometry analyses of CD4+ T cells from the blood of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and controls revealed a significantly expanded population of CD4+ T cells, identified as CD27- HLA-DR+ effector memory cells, in RA patients (odds ratio, 1.7; P = 1.1 × 10-3). The frequency of CD27- HLA-DR+ cells was similarly elevated in blood samples from a second RA patient cohort, and CD27- HLA-DR+ cell frequency decreased in RA patients who responded to immunosuppressive therapy. Mass cytometry and flow cytometry analyses indicated that CD27- HLA-DR+ cells were associated with RA (meta-analysis P = 2.3 × 10-4). Compared to peripheral blood, synovial fluid and synovial tissue samples from RA patients contained about fivefold higher frequencies of CD27- HLA-DR+ cells, which comprised ~10% of synovial CD4+ T cells. CD27- HLA-DR+ cells expressed a distinctive effector memory transcriptomic program with T helper 1 (TH1)- and cytotoxicity-associated features and produced abundant interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and granzyme A protein upon stimulation. We propose that MASC is a broadly applicable method to identify disease-associated cell populations in high-dimensional single-cell data.


Assuntos
Artrite Reumatoide/imunologia , Artrite Reumatoide/patologia , Linfócitos T CD4-Positivos/imunologia , Subpopulações de Linfócitos T/imunologia , Idoso , Proliferação de Células , Citotoxicidade Imunológica , Feminino , Antígenos HLA-DR/metabolismo , Humanos , Memória Imunológica , Masculino , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Células Th1/imunologia , Transcriptoma/genética , Membro 7 da Superfamília de Receptores de Fatores de Necrose Tumoral/metabolismo
18.
Front Immunol ; 9: 1924, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30190721

RESUMO

Chronically inflamed tissues commonly accrue lymphocyte aggregates that facilitate local T cell-B cell interactions. These aggregates can range from small, loosely arranged lymphocyte clusters to large, organized ectopic lymphoid structures. In some cases, ectopic lymphoid structures develop germinal centers that house prototypical T follicular helper (Tfh) cells with high expression of Bcl6, CXCR5, PD-1, and ICOS. However, in many chronically inflamed tissues, the T cells that interact with B cells show substantial differences from Tfh cells in their surface phenotypes, migratory capacity, and transcriptional regulation. This review discusses observations from multiple diseases and models in which tissue-infiltrating T cells produce factors associated with B cell help, including IL-21 and the B cell chemoattractant CXCL13, yet vary dramatically in their resemblance to Tfh cells. Particular attention is given to the PD-1hi CXCR5- Bcl6low T peripheral helper (Tph) cell population in rheumatoid arthritis, which infiltrates inflamed synovium through expression of chemokine receptors such as CCR2 and augments synovial B cell responses via CXCL13 and IL-21. The factors that regulate CD4+ T cell production of CXCL13 and IL-21 in these settings are also discussed. Understanding the range of T cell populations that can provide help to B cells within chronically inflamed tissues is essential to recognize these cells in diverse inflammatory conditions and to optimize either broad or selective therapeutic targeting of B cell-helper T cells.


Assuntos
Artrite Reumatoide/imunologia , Linfócitos B/imunologia , Centro Germinativo/imunologia , Linfócitos T Auxiliares-Indutores/imunologia , Artrite Reumatoide/patologia , Linfócitos B/patologia , Doença Crônica , Citocinas/imunologia , Centro Germinativo/patologia , Humanos , Inflamação/imunologia , Inflamação/metabolismo , Proteínas Proto-Oncogênicas c-bcl-6/imunologia , Membrana Sinovial/imunologia , Membrana Sinovial/patologia , Linfócitos T Auxiliares-Indutores/patologia
19.
Arthritis Res Ther ; 20(1): 139, 2018 07 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29996944

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Detailed molecular analyses of cells from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) synovium hold promise in identifying cellular phenotypes that drive tissue pathology and joint damage. The Accelerating Medicines Partnership RA/SLE Network aims to deconstruct autoimmune pathology by examining cells within target tissues through multiple high-dimensional assays. Robust standardized protocols need to be developed before cellular phenotypes at a single cell level can be effectively compared across patient samples. METHODS: Multiple clinical sites collected cryopreserved synovial tissue fragments from arthroplasty and synovial biopsy in a 10% DMSO solution. Mechanical and enzymatic dissociation parameters were optimized for viable cell extraction and surface protein preservation for cell sorting and mass cytometry, as well as for reproducibility in RNA sequencing (RNA-seq). Cryopreserved synovial samples were collectively analyzed at a central processing site by a custom-designed and validated 35-marker mass cytometry panel. In parallel, each sample was flow sorted into fibroblast, T-cell, B-cell, and macrophage suspensions for bulk population RNA-seq and plate-based single-cell CEL-Seq2 RNA-seq. RESULTS: Upon dissociation, cryopreserved synovial tissue fragments yielded a high frequency of viable cells, comparable to samples undergoing immediate processing. Optimization of synovial tissue dissociation across six clinical collection sites with ~ 30 arthroplasty and ~ 20 biopsy samples yielded a consensus digestion protocol using 100 µg/ml of Liberase™ TL enzyme preparation. This protocol yielded immune and stromal cell lineages with preserved surface markers and minimized variability across replicate RNA-seq transcriptomes. Mass cytometry analysis of cells from cryopreserved synovium distinguished diverse fibroblast phenotypes, distinct populations of memory B cells and antibody-secreting cells, and multiple CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell activation states. Bulk RNA-seq of sorted cell populations demonstrated robust separation of synovial lymphocytes, fibroblasts, and macrophages. Single-cell RNA-seq produced transcriptomes of over 1000 genes/cell, including transcripts encoding characteristic lineage markers identified. CONCLUSIONS: We have established a robust protocol to acquire viable cells from cryopreserved synovial tissue with intact transcriptomes and cell surface phenotypes. A centralized pipeline to generate multiple high-dimensional analyses of synovial tissue samples collected across a collaborative network was developed. Integrated analysis of such datasets from large patient cohorts may help define molecular heterogeneity within RA pathology and identify new therapeutic targets and biomarkers.


Assuntos
Artrite Reumatoide/patologia , Citometria de Fluxo/métodos , Ensaios de Triagem em Larga Escala/métodos , Membrana Sinovial/patologia , Criopreservação , Humanos
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