The cellular barriers of the central nervous system proficiently protect the brain parenchyma from infectious insults. Yet, the single-celled parasite Toxoplasma gondii commonly causes latent cerebral infection in humans and other vertebrates. Here, we addressed the role of the cerebral vasculature in the passage of T. gondii to the brain parenchyma. Shortly after inoculation in mice, parasites mainly localized to cortical capillaries, in preference over post-capillary venules, cortical arterioles or meningeal and choroidal vessels. Early invasion to the parenchyma (days 1-5) occurred in absence of a measurable increase in blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability, perivascular leukocyte cuffs or hemorrhage. However, sparse focalized permeability elevations were detected adjacently to replicative parasite foci. Further, T. gondii triggered inflammatory responses in cortical microvessels and endothelium. Pro- and anti-inflammatory treatments of mice with LPS and hydrocortisone, respectively, impacted BBB permeability and parasite loads in the brain parenchyma. Finally, pharmacological inhibition or Cre/loxP conditional knockout of endothelial focal adhesion kinase (FAK), a BBB intercellular junction regulator, facilitated parasite translocation to the brain parenchyma. The data reveal that the initial passage of T. gondii to the central nervous system occurs principally across cortical capillaries. The integrity of the microvascular BBB restricts parasite transit, which conversely is exacerbated by the inflammatory response.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Antonio Barragan
- Antonio Barragan
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All animal experimentation was approved by the Regional Animal Research Ethical Board, Stockholm, Sweden, (protocol numbers N135/15, 9707-2018 and 14458-2019), following proceedings described in EU legislation (Council Directive 2010/63/EU).
- Sebastian Lourido, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, United States
© 2021, Olivera et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
The regulation of inflammatory responses is an important intervention in biological function and macrophages play an essential role during inflammation. Skeletal muscle is the largest organ in the human body and releases various factors which mediate anti-inflammatory/immune modulatory effects. Recently, the roles of extracellular vesicles (EVs) from a large variety of cells are reported. In particular, EVs released from skeletal muscle are attracting attention due to their therapeutic effects on dysfunctional organs and tissues. Also, ultrasound (US) promotes release of EVs from skeletal muscle. In this study, we investigated the output parameters and mechanisms of US-induced EV release enhancement and the potential of US-treated skeletal muscle-derived EVs in the regulation of inflammatory responses in macrophages. High-intensity US (3.0 W/cm2) irradiation increased EV secretion from C2C12 murine muscle cells via elevating intracellular Ca2+ level without negative effects. Moreover, US-induced EVs suppressed expression levels of pro-inflammatory factors in macrophages. miRNA sequencing analysis revealed that miR-206-3p and miR-378a-3p were especially abundant in skeletal myotube-derived EVs. In this study we demonstrated that high-intensity US promotes the release of anti-inflammatory EVs from skeletal myotubes and exert anti-inflammatory effects on macrophages.
Thymus-originated tTregs and in vitro induced iTregs are subsets of regulatory T cells. While they share the capacity of immune suppression, their stabilities are different, with iTregs losing their phenotype upon stimulation or under inflammatory milieu. Epigenetic differences, particularly methylation state of Foxp3 CNS2 region, provide an explanation for this shift. Whether additional regulations, including cellular signaling, could directly lead phenotypical instability requires further analysis. Here, we show that upon TCR (T cell receptor) triggering, SOCE (store-operated calcium entry) and NFAT (nuclear factor of activated T cells) nuclear translocation are blunted in tTregs, yet fully operational in iTregs, similar to Tconvs. On the other hand, tTregs show minimal changes in their chromatin accessibility upon activation, in contrast to iTregs that demonstrate an activated chromatin state with highly accessible T cell activation and inflammation related genes. Assisted by several cofactors, NFAT driven by strong SOCE signaling in iTregs preferentially binds to primed-opened T helper (TH) genes, resulting in their activation normally observed only in Tconv activation, ultimately leads to instability. Conversely, suppression of SOCE in iTregs can partially rescue their phenotype. Thus, our study adds two new layers, cellular signaling and chromatin accessibility, of understanding in Treg stability, and may provide a path for better clinical applications of Treg cell therapy.