Targeting fibroblast growth factor-inducible-14 signaling protects from chronic relapsing experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.
ABSTRACT The TNF-related weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) is a TNF family member mediating proinflammatory effects by its receptor fibroblast growth factor-inducible-14 (Fn14). We studied the role of TWEAK/Fn14 in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) by protein vaccination with TWEAK and Fn14 and recombinant TWEAK-DNA, respectively. TWEAK-DNA vaccination worsened the clinical course of EAE and increased central nervous system (CNS) inflammation. TWEAK increased the secretion of CCL2 [monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1)] by CNS endothelial cells and astrocytes in vitro, suggesting CCL2 as a critical mediator of TWEAKs proinflammatory effects. Vaccination with the extracellular domain of TWEAK or with Fn14 resulted in the induction of specific inhibitory antibodies and an amelioration of EAE signs in two different models in rats and mice. Spinal cord inflammatory infiltrates were significantly diminished. Purified IgG from TWEAK- or Fn14-vaccinated rats prevented TWEAK-induced production of CCL2 by endothelial cells. Blocking Fn14 signaling represents a novel approach with potential for the treatment of CNS autoimmunity.
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ABSTRACT: The TNF superfamily member TWEAK (TNFSF12) is a multifunctional cytokine implicated in physiological tissue regeneration and wound repair. TWEAK is initially synthesized as a membrane-anchored protein, but furin cleavage within the stalk region can generate a secreted TWEAK isoform. Both TWEAK isoforms bind to a small cell surface receptor named Fn14 (TNFRSF12A) and this interaction stimulates various cellular responses, including proliferation and migration. Fn14, like other members of the TNF receptor superfamily, is not a ligand-activated protein kinase. Instead, TWEAK:Fn14 engagement promotes Fn14 association with members of the TNFR associated factor family of adapter proteins, which triggers activation of various signaling pathways, including the classical and alternative NF-κB pathways. Numerous studies have revealed that Fn14 gene expression is significantly elevated in injured tissues and in most solid tumor types. Also, sustained Fn14 signaling has been implicated in the pathogenesis of cerebral ischemia, chronic inflammatory diseases, and cancer. Accordingly, several groups are developing TWEAK- or Fn14-targeted agents for possible therapeutic use in patients. These agents include monoclonal antibodies, fusion proteins, and immunotoxins. In this article, we provide an overview of some of the TWEAK/Fn14 axis-targeted agents currently in pre-clinical animal studies or in human clinical trials and discuss two other potential approaches to target this intriguing signaling node.Frontiers in Immunology 12/2013; 4:473. DOI:10.3389/fimmu.2013.00473
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ABSTRACT: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a, T cell-mediated autoimmune disease, the management of which remains challenging. The recently described fusion protein, Fn14·TRAIL, combining the extracellular domain of Fn14 (capable of blocking the pro-inflammatory TWEAK ligand) fused to the extracellular domain of the TRAIL ligand (capable of sending apoptotic signals through its receptors on activated inflammatory cells) was designed to modulate the immune system as an anti-inflammatory agent. The present study explores the efficacy of this purified protein as an anti-inflammatory agent, using the animal model of MS - experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). EAE was induced by myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG). Fn14·TRAIL or vehicle were injected daily for 4 to 16 days, at different time points after disease induction. Animals were examined daily and evaluated for EAE clinical signs. Lymphocytes were analyzed for ex vivo re-stimulation, cytokine secretion, transcription factor expression and subtype cell analysis. Spinal cords were checked for inflammatory foci. The Mann- Whitney rank sum test, Student's t-test or ANOVA were used for statistical analysis. Significant improvement of EAE in the group treated with Fn14·TRAIL was noted from day 6 of disease onset and lasted until the end of follow-up (day 40 from disease induction), even in animals treated for 4 days only. Clinical improvement was linked to decreased lymphocyte infiltrates in the central nervous system (CNS) and to decreased Th1 and Th17 responses and to increased number of T- regulatory in the treated mice. No liver or kidney toxicity was evident. In vitro assays established the ability of Fn14·TRAIL to induce apoptosis of T cell lines expressing TRAIL receptors and TWEAK. In this study we established the potency of Fn14·TRAIL, a unique fusion protein combining two potentially functional domains, in inhibiting the clinical course of EAE, even when given for a short time, without apparent toxicity. These findings make Fn14·TRAIL a highly promising agent to be used for targeted amelioration of neuro-inflammatory processes, as well as other autoimmune pathologies.Journal of Neuroinflammation 03/2013; 10:36. DOI:10.1186/1742-2094-10-36 · 4.90 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Tumor necrosis factor-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) is a newly identified monocyte derived cytokine, which has weak apoptosis inducing function against sensitive tumor cell lines in vitro. Also, TWEAK has been reported to have proangiogenic and proinflammatory activities in vivo. However, its functions in pathological situation remain to be elucidated. Here, we analyzed soluble TWEAK in serum of 24 patients with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) in combination with interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and killer-specific secretory protein of 37 kDa (Ksp37). Soluble TWEAK was not detected in serum of healthy individuals. Soluble TWEAK was markedly elevated in all six primary HLH patients and 12 of 18 secondary HLH patients. Serum IFN-gamma, which is an only known mediator to stimulate TWEAK production in monocyte in vitro, was not elevated despite elevated serum TWEAK in three of six primary HLH patients, although IFN-gamma was markedly elevated in other cases. Ksp37 was only slightly increased in HLH patients. These results indicate that TWEAK may be involved in pathogenesis of HLH and is useful as a clinical marker.American Journal of Hematology 03/2008; 83(3):222-5. DOI:10.1002/ajh.21082 · 3.48 Impact Factor