Endocrine Autoimmune Disease as a Fragility of Immune Surveillance against Hypersecreting Mutants

Some endocrine organs are frequent targets of autoimmune attack. Here, we addressed the origin of autoimmune disease from the viewpoint of feedback control. Endocrine tissues maintain mass through feedback loops that balance cell proliferation and removal according to hormone-driven regulatory signals. We hypothesized the existence of a dedicated mechanism that detects and removes mutant cells that missense the signal and therefore hyperproliferate and hypersecrete with potential to disrupt organismal homeostasis. In this mechanism, hypersecreting cells are preferentially eliminated by autoreactive T cells at the cost of a fragility to autoimmune disease. The “autoimmune surveillance of hypersecreting mutants” (ASHM) hypothesis predicts the presence of autoreactive T cells in healthy individuals and the nature of self-antigens as peptides from hormone secretion pathway. It explains why some tissues get prevalent autoimmune disease, whereas others do not and instead show prevalent mutant-expansion disease (e.g., hyperparathyroidism). The ASHM hypothesis is testable, and we discuss experimental follow-up.

Team STORMing Cancer
Journal Immunity
Authors Yael Korem Kohanim et al
DATE 19 May 2020
Structure of the mucosal and stool microbiome in Lynch syndrome

The gut microbiota has been associated with colorectal cancer (CRC), but causal alterations preceding CRC have not been elucidated. To prospectively assess microbiome changes prior to colorectal neoplasia, we investigated samples from 100 Lynch syndrome patients using 16S rRNA gene sequencing of colon biopsies, coupled with metagenomic and metatranscriptomic sequencing of feces. Colectomy and CRC history represented the largest effects on microbiome profiles. A subset of Clostridiaceae were depleted in stool corresponding with baseline adenomas, while Desulfovibrio was enriched both in stool and in mucosal biopsies. A classifier leveraging stool metatranscriptomes resulted in modest power to predict interval development of preneoplastic colonic adenoma. Predictive transcripts corresponded with a shift in flagellin contributors and oxidative metabolic microenvironment, potentially factors in local CRC pathogenesis. This suggests that the effectiveness of prospective microbiome monitoring for adenomas may be limited but supports the potential causality of these consistent, early microbial changes in colonic neoplasia.

Journal Cell Host and Microbe
Authors Yan Yan et al
DATE 08 April 2020
Expression of free fatty acid receptor 2 by dendritic cells prevents their expression of interleukin 27 and is required for…

Background & Aims: Intestinal microbes and their metabolites affect the development of colorectal cancer (CRC). Short-chain fatty acids are metabolites generated by intestinal microbes from dietary fiber. We investigated the mechanisms by which free fatty acid receptor 2 (FFAR2), a receptor for short-chain fatty acids that can affect the composition of the intestinal microbiome, contributes to the pathogenesis of CRC.

Methods: We performed studies with ApcMin/+ mice, ApcMin/+Ffar2–/– mice, mice with conditional disruption of Ffar2 in dendritic cells (DCs) (Ffar2fl/flCD11c-Cre mice), ApcMin/+Ffar2fl/flCD11c-Cre mice, and Ffar2fl/fl mice (controls); some mice were given dextran sodium sulfate to induce colitis, with or without a FFAR2 agonist or an antibody against interleukin 27 (IL27). Colon and tumor tissues were analyzed by histology, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing; lamina propria and mesenteric lymph node tissues were analyzed by RNA sequencing and flow cytometry. Intestinal permeability was measured after gavage with fluorescently labeled dextran. We collected data on colorectal tumors from The Cancer Genome Atlas.

Results: ApcMin/+Ffar2–/– mice developed significantly more spontaneous colon tumors than ApcMin/+ mice and had increased gut permeability before tumor development, associated with reduced expression of E-cadherin. Colon tumors from ApcMin/+Ffar2–/– mice had a higher number of bacteria than tumors from ApcMin/+ mice, as well as higher frequencies of CD39+CD8+ T cells and exhausted or dying T cells. DCs from ApcMin/+Ffar2–/– mice had an altered state of activation, increased death, and higher production of IL27. Administration of an antibody against IL27 reduced the numbers of colon tumors in ApcMin/+ mice with colitis. Frequencies of CD39+CD8+ T cells and IL27+ DCs were increased in colon lamina propria from Ffar2fl/flCD11c-Cre mice with colitis compared with control mice or mice without colitis. ApcMin/+Ffar2fl/flCD11c-Cre mice developed even more tumors than ApcMin/+Ffar2fl/fl mice, and their tumors had even higher numbers of IL27+ DCs. ApcMin/+ mice with colitis given the FFAR2 agonist developed fewer colon tumors, with fewer IL27+ DCs, than mice not given the agonist. DCs incubated with the FFAR2 agonist no longer had gene expression patterns associated with activation or IL27 production.

Conclusions: Loss of FFAR2 promotes colon tumorigenesis in mice by reducing gut barrier integrity, increasing tumor bacterial load, promoting exhaustion of CD8+ T cells, and overactivating DCs, leading to their death. Antibodies against IL27 and an FFAR2 agonist reduce tumorigenesis in mice and might be developed for the treatment of CRC.

Journal Gastroenterology
Authors Sydney Lavoie et al
DATE April 2020
An integrated analysis of lymphocytic reaction, tumour molecular characteristics and patient survival in colorectal cancer

Background: Histological lymphocytic reaction is regarded as an independent prognostic marker in colorectal cancer. Considering the lack of adequate statistical power, adjustment for selection bias and comprehensive tumour molecular data in most previous studies, we investigated the strengths of the prognostic associations of lymphocytic reaction in colorectal carcinoma by utilising an integrative database of two prospective cohort studies.

Methods: We examined Crohn’s-like reaction, intratumoural periglandular reaction, peritumoural reaction and tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes in 1465 colorectal carcinoma cases. Using covariate data of 4420 colorectal cancer cases in total, inverse probability-weighted Cox proportional hazard regression model was used to control for selection bias (due to tissue availability) and potential confounders, including stage, MSI status, LINE-1 methylation, PTGS2 and CTNNB1 expression, KRASBRAF and PIK3CA mutations, and tumour neoantigen load.

Results: Higher levels of each lymphocytic reaction component were associated with better colorectal cancer-specific survival (Ptrend < 0.002). Compared with cases with negative/low intratumoural periglandular reaction, multivariable-adjusted HRs were 0.55 (95% CI, 0.42–0.71) in cases with intermediate reaction and 0.20 (95% CI, 0.12–0.35) in cases with high reaction. These relationships were consistent in strata of MSI status or neoantigen loads (Pinteraction > 0.2).

Conclusions: The four lymphocytic reaction components are prognostic biomarkers in colorectal carcinoma.

Journal British Journal of Cancer
Authors Koichiro Haruki et al
DATE 11 March 2020
The impact of patient characteristics and lifestyle factors on the risk of an ipsilateral event after a primary DCIS: A…

Objective: The majority of ‘low-risk’ (grade I/II) Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS) may not progress to invasive breast cancer during a women’s lifetime. Therefore, the safety of active surveillance versus standard surgical treatment for DCIS is prospectively being evaluated in clinical trials. If proven safe and selectively implemented in clinical practice, a significant group of women with low-risk DCIS may forego surgery and radiotherapy in the future. Identification of modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors associated with prognosis after a primary DCIS would also enhance our care of women with low-risk DCIS.

Methods: To identify modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors for subsequent breast events after DCIS, we performed a systematic literature search in PUBMED, EMBASE and Scopus.

Results: Six out of the 3870 articles retrieved were included for final data extraction. These six studies included a total of 4950 patients with primary DCIS and 640 recorded subsequent breast events. There was moderate evidence for an association of a family history of breast cancer, premenopausal status, high BMI, and high breast density with a subsequent breast cancer or further DCIS.

Conclusion: There is a limited number of recent studies published on the impact of modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors on subsequent events after DCIS. The available evidence is insufficient to identify potential targets for risk reduction strategies, reflecting the relatively small numbers and the lack of long-term follow-up in DCIS, a low-event condition.

Journal The Breast
Authors Sena Alaeikhanehshir et al
DATE 29 February 2020