Coronary revascularization is an effective means of treating ischemic heart disease; however, current therapeutic revascularization strategies are limited to large caliber vessels. Because the mammalian heart scars following cardiac injury, recent work showing that cardiac fibroblasts can transdifferentiate into new coronary endothelium raises a new and exciting approach to promoting endogenous revascularization following cardiac injury. In this issue of the JCI, He et al. report on their employment of a battery of lineage-tracing tools to address the developmental origins of fibroblasts that give rise to new endothelial cells. Surprisingly, cardiac fibroblasts did not appear to contribute appreciably to regeneration of cardiac endothelium. Instead, cardiac endothelial cells were likely to proliferate and generate new endothelium following injury. As these conclusions diverge from prior findings, additional work will be required to understand the sources that generate cardiac endothelium in new blood vessels after injury. Clarification of the origins of coronary endothelial cells during cardiac repair is essential for identifying improved approaches to revascularizing damaged myocardium in patients with ischemic heart disease.
Ravi Karra, Agoston O. Walter, Sean M. Wu
Overconsumption of fructose and other sugars has been linked to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD); however, the sugar-associated effects that lead to disease are poorly defined. In this issue of the JCI, Zhang and colleagues show that the carbohydrate response element–binding protein (ChREBP) coordinates an adaptive response to a high-fructose diet in mice and that loss of this transcription factor leads to hepatic inflammation and early signs of fibrosis. Intriguingly, ChREBP-dependent effects were due to an exaggerated activation of the proapoptotic arms of the endoplasmic reticulum stress response that is probably secondary to inappropriate derepression of cholesterol biosynthesis. These findings suggest that a previously unknown link exists between ChREBP and the regulation of cholesterol synthesis that affects liver injury.
Angela M. Hall, Brian N. Finck
While antiretroviral therapy (ART) can reduce HIV-1 to undetectable levels, the virus generally reappears if treatment is stopped. Resurgence of the virus is due to the reactivation of T cells harboring latent integrated provirus, and recent studies indicate that proliferation of these latently infected cells helps maintain the HIV-1 reservoir. In this issue of the JCI, Lee et al. evaluated CD4+ T cell subsets to determine whether certain populations are more likely to harbor full-length, replication-competent provirus. The authors identified an enrichment of clonally expanded Th1 cells containing intact HIV-1 proviruses, suggesting that this polarized subset contributes to the persistence of the reservoir. Strategies to target these provirus-harboring cells need to be considered for future therapies aimed toward HIV-1 cure.
Kyungyoon J. Kwon, Robert F. Siliciano
WNT proteins drive the development and maintenance of many tissues, including bone. It is less clear which of the many WNT proteins act on bone or where these WNTs act in the skeleton; however, loss-of-function mutations in WNT1 cause bone fragility in children and adults. In this issue of the JCI, Joeng and colleagues demonstrate that bone formation is under the control of WNT1 produced by osteocytes, the cells that reside deep in the bone matrix and form dendritic networks. The implication of WNT1 in the control of bone formation identifies a potential new target for the treatment of low bone mass disorders, such as osteoporosis.
Osteoclasts are the cells responsible for bone resorption, a process that is essential for the maintenance of healthy bones. Bone diseases, such as osteoporosis, which are characterized by high rates of bone resorption and loss of bone mass, may benefit from treatments that inhibit osteoclast formation and/or function. The RANKL/RANK pathway is critical for both osteoclast formation and function, and these effects are thought to be mediated by the transcription factor nuclear factor of activated T cells, cytoplasmic 1 (NFATc1). In this issue of the
Diabetes mellitus is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, but the link between hyperglycemia and atherothrombotic disease is not completely understood. Patients with diabetes often show hyporesponsiveness to antiplatelet therapies, and it has been suggested that hyperreactive reticulated platelets underlie this altered therapeutic response. In this issue of the
Robert H. Lee, Wolfgang Bergmeier
The spermatogenesis/oogenesis helix-loop-helix (SOHLH) proteins SOHLH1 and SOHLH2 play important roles in male and female reproduction. Although previous studies indicate that these transcriptional regulators are expressed in and have in vivo roles in postnatal ovaries, their expression and function in the embryonic ovary remain largely unknown. Because oocyte differentiation is tightly coupled with the onset of meiosis, it is of significant interest to determine how early oocyte transcription factors regulate these two processes. In this issue of the
T. Rajendra Kumar
Observed deficits in protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) function in a variety of human cancers have stimulated drug discovery efforts aimed at restoring PP2A function to inhibit tumor growth. Work published by Sangodkar et al. in this issue of the
Patients who present with unique immunological phenotypes provide an opportunity to better understand defect-driving mutations. In this issue of the
It is increasingly evident that there is a genetic contribution to autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and other neural disorders involving excessive repetition of action sequences. Among the implicated genes in these disorders are those encoding postsynaptic scaffolding proteins with roles in synaptic transmission and plasticity. Several mouse models harboring synonymous mutations have shown alterations in synaptic transmission within the striatum, which has key roles in controlling actions and action sequences. In this issue of the
David M. Lovinger
In this issue of the
It has long been viewed that the maintenance of osmotic balance in response to high salt intake is a passive process that is mediated largely by increased water consumption to balance the salt load. Two studies in this issue of the
Mark L. Zeidel
Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) represents a potentially curative treatment for a variety of hematologic malignancies due to the well-recognized graft-versus-leukemia/lymphoma (GVL) effect that is mediated by donor-derived alloreactive T cells. However, graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is mediated by the same T cells and remains a significant clinical problem associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. In this issue of the
Todd V. Brennan, Yiping Yang
Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) remains the only treatment option for several severe hematological malignancies. The development of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a common complication of the procedure and results when donor T cells become activated against recipient-specific antigens. The factors that drive the alloreactive T cell response are not completely understood. In this issue of the
Immunotherapy has emerged as a potent approach for treating aggressive cancers, such as non–small-cell lung tumors and metastatic melanoma. Clinical trials are now in progress for patients with malignant gliomas; however, a better understanding of how these tumors escape immune surveillance is required to enhance antitumor immune responses. With gliomas, the recruitment of CD8+ T cells to the tumor is impaired, in part preventing containment or elimination of the tumor. In this issue of the JCI, Kohanbash and colleagues present an elegant dissection of how gliomas exploit an enzymatic activity acquired through a common mutation to abrogate the migration of CD8+ T cells to the tumor. They show that the oncometabolite 2-hydroxyglutarate (2HG), generated by mutated forms of isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH1 and IDH2), reduces the expression of STAT1, thereby limiting the production of the chemokines CXCL9 and CXCL10. As a result, IDH1-mutated tumors are less effectively infiltrated by CD8+ T cells, contributing to tumor escape. Finally, in mice harboring syngeneic gliomas, an inhibitor of 2HG synthesis complemented vaccination to ameliorate tumor control. Understanding how to increase immune infiltration of gliomas represents a key first step in achieving tumor destruction through immunotherapy.
Liliana E. Lucca, David A. Hafler
Opioids are the gold-standard treatment for severe pain. However, potentially life-threatening side effects decrease the safety and effectiveness of these compounds. The addiction liability of these drugs has led to the current epidemic of opioid abuse in the US. Extensive research efforts have focused on trying to dissociate the analgesic properties of opioids from their undesirable side effects. Splice variants of the mu opioid receptor (MOR), which mediates opioid actions, have unique pharmacological properties and anatomic distributions that make them attractive candidates for therapeutic pain relief. In this issue of the
Stephanie Puig, Howard B. Gutstein
Blood vessels have a unified mission to circulate blood throughout the body; however, they have additional diverse and specialized roles in various organs. For example, in the liver, discontinuous sinusoids, which are fenestrated capillaries with intercellular gaps and a fragmented basement membrane, facilitate delivery of macromolecules to highly metabolic hepatocytes. During embryonic development, discontinuous sinusoids also allow circulating hematopoietic progenitor and stem cells to populate the liver and promote blood cell differentiation. In this issue of the
Courtney T. Griffin, Siqi Gao
Glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor (GLP-1R) signaling in the CNS has been linked to reduced food intake, lower body weight, improved glucose homeostasis, and activation of CNS stress axes. GLP-1 is produced by cells that express proglucagon (GCG); however, the stimuli that activate GCG+ neurons are not well known, which has made understanding the role of this neuronal population in the CNS a challenge. In this issue of the
Jonathan E. Campbell, David A. D’Alessio
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as important regulators of a variety of biological processes and pathways. In this issue of the
William F. Crowley, Ravi Balasubramanian
Muscular dystrophies result from a defect in the linkage between the muscle fiber cytoskeleton and the basement membrane (BM). Congenital muscular dystrophy type MDC1A is caused by mutations in laminin α2 that either reduce its expression or impair its ability to polymerize within the muscle fiber BM. Defects in this BM lead to muscle fiber damage from the force of contraction. In this issue of the
Steven D. Funk, Jeffrey H. Miner
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