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Elevated Fibronectin Levels in Profibrotic CD14+ Monocytes and CD14+ Macrophages in Systemic Sclerosis


Rudnik, Michał; Hukara, Amela; Kocherova, Ievgeniia; Jordan, Suzana; Schniering, Janine; Milleret, Vincent; Ehrbar, Martin; Klingel, Karin; Feghali-Bostwick, Carol; Distler, Oliver; Błyszczuk, Przemysław; Kania, Gabriela (2021). Elevated Fibronectin Levels in Profibrotic CD14+ Monocytes and CD14+ Macrophages in Systemic Sclerosis. Frontiers in Immunology, 12:642891.

Abstract

Background: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is an autoimmune disease characterized by overproduction of extracellular matrix (ECM) and multiorgan fibrosis. Animal studies pointed to bone marrow-derived cells as a potential source of pathological ECM-producing cells in immunofibrotic disorders. So far, involvement of monocytes and macrophages in the fibrogenesis of SSc remains poorly understood.

Methods and results: Immunohistochemistry analysis showed accumulation of CD14+ monocytes in the collagen-rich areas, as well as increased amount of alpha smooth muscle actin (αSMA)-positive fibroblasts, CD68+ and mannose-R+ macrophages in the heart and lungs of SSc patients. The full genome transcriptomics analyses of CD14+ blood monocytes revealed dysregulation in cytoskeleton rearrangement, ECM remodeling, including elevated FN1 (gene encoding fibronectin) expression and TGF-β signalling pathway in SSc patients. In addition, single cell RNA sequencing analysis of tissue-resident CD14+ pulmonary macrophages demonstrated activated profibrotic signature with the elevated FN1 expression in SSc patients with interstitial lung disease. Peripheral blood CD14+ monocytes obtained from either healthy subjects or SSc patients exposed to profibrotic treatment with profibrotic cytokines TGF-β, IL-4, IL-10, and IL-13 increased production of type I collagen, fibronectin, and αSMA. In addition, CD14+ monocytes co-cultured with dermal fibroblasts obtained from SSc patients or healthy individuals acquired a spindle shape and further enhanced production of profibrotic markers. Pharmacological blockade of the TGF-β signalling pathway with SD208 (TGF-β receptor type I inhibitor), SIS3 (Smad3 inhibitor) or (5Z)-7-oxozeaenol (TGF-β-activated kinase 1 inhibitor) ameliorated fibronectin levels and type I collagen secretion.

Conclusions: Our findings identified activated profibrotic signature with elevated production of profibrotic fibronectin in CD14+ monocytes and CD14+ pulmonary macrophages in SSc and highlighted the capability of CD14+ monocytes to acquire a profibrotic phenotype. Taking together, tissue-infiltrating CD14+ monocytes/macrophages can be considered as ECM producers in SSc pathogenesis.

Keywords: CD14+ macrophages; CD14+ monocytes; TGF-β; fibronectin; fibrosis; systemic sclerosis.

Abstract

Background: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is an autoimmune disease characterized by overproduction of extracellular matrix (ECM) and multiorgan fibrosis. Animal studies pointed to bone marrow-derived cells as a potential source of pathological ECM-producing cells in immunofibrotic disorders. So far, involvement of monocytes and macrophages in the fibrogenesis of SSc remains poorly understood.

Methods and results: Immunohistochemistry analysis showed accumulation of CD14+ monocytes in the collagen-rich areas, as well as increased amount of alpha smooth muscle actin (αSMA)-positive fibroblasts, CD68+ and mannose-R+ macrophages in the heart and lungs of SSc patients. The full genome transcriptomics analyses of CD14+ blood monocytes revealed dysregulation in cytoskeleton rearrangement, ECM remodeling, including elevated FN1 (gene encoding fibronectin) expression and TGF-β signalling pathway in SSc patients. In addition, single cell RNA sequencing analysis of tissue-resident CD14+ pulmonary macrophages demonstrated activated profibrotic signature with the elevated FN1 expression in SSc patients with interstitial lung disease. Peripheral blood CD14+ monocytes obtained from either healthy subjects or SSc patients exposed to profibrotic treatment with profibrotic cytokines TGF-β, IL-4, IL-10, and IL-13 increased production of type I collagen, fibronectin, and αSMA. In addition, CD14+ monocytes co-cultured with dermal fibroblasts obtained from SSc patients or healthy individuals acquired a spindle shape and further enhanced production of profibrotic markers. Pharmacological blockade of the TGF-β signalling pathway with SD208 (TGF-β receptor type I inhibitor), SIS3 (Smad3 inhibitor) or (5Z)-7-oxozeaenol (TGF-β-activated kinase 1 inhibitor) ameliorated fibronectin levels and type I collagen secretion.

Conclusions: Our findings identified activated profibrotic signature with elevated production of profibrotic fibronectin in CD14+ monocytes and CD14+ pulmonary macrophages in SSc and highlighted the capability of CD14+ monocytes to acquire a profibrotic phenotype. Taking together, tissue-infiltrating CD14+ monocytes/macrophages can be considered as ECM producers in SSc pathogenesis.

Keywords: CD14+ macrophages; CD14+ monocytes; TGF-β; fibronectin; fibrosis; systemic sclerosis.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Rheumatology Clinic and Institute of Physical Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Obstetrics
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Immunology and Allergy
Life Sciences > Immunology
Language:English
Date:2021
Deposited On:13 Sep 2021 09:11
Last Modified:26 May 2024 01:43
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:1664-3224
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.642891
PubMed ID:34504485
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)