Mkrtchian S, Kåhlin J, Gómez-Galán M, Ebberyd A, Yoshitake T, Schmidt S, Kehr J, Hildenborg M, Jonsson Fagerlund M, Erlandsson Harris H, Eriksson LI
Exp. Physiol. 105 (9) 1634-1647 [2020-09-00; online 2020-07-24]
What is the central question of this study? Are carotid bodies (CBs) modulated by the damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) and humoral factors of aseptic tissue injury? What are the main findings and their importance? DAMPs (HMGB1, S100 A8/A9) and blood plasma from rats subjected to tibia surgery, a model of aseptic injury, stimulate the release of neurotransmitters (ATP, dopamine) and TNF-α from ex vivo rat CBs. All-thiol HMGB1 mediates upregulation of immune-related biological pathways. These data suggest regulation of CB function by endogenous mediators of innate immunity. The glomus cells of carotid bodies (CBs) are the primary sensors of arterial partial O 2 and CO2 tensions and moreover serve as multimodal receptors responding also to other stimuli, such as pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) produced by acute infection. Modulation of CB function by excessive amounts of these immunomodulators is suggested to be associated with a detrimental hyperinflammatory state. We have hypothesized that yet another class of immunomodulators, endogenous danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), released upon aseptic tissue injury and recognized by the same pathogen recognition receptors as PAMPs, might modulate the CB activity in a fashion similar to PAMPs. We have tested this hypothesis by exposing rat CBs to various DAMPs, such as HMGB1 (all-thiol and disulfide forms) and S100 A8/A9 in a series of ex vivo experiments that demonstrated the release of dopamine and ATP, neurotransmitters known to mediate CB homeostatic responses. We observed a similar response after incubating CBs with conditioned blood plasma obtained from the rats subjected to tibia surgery, a model of aseptic injury. In addition, we have investigated global gene expression in the rat CB using an RNA sequencing approach. Differential gene expression analysis showed all-thiol HMGB1-driven upregulation of a number of prominent pro-inflammatory markers including Il1α and Il1β. Interestingly, conditioned plasma had a more profound effect on the CB transcriptome resulting in inhibition rather than activation of the immune-related pathways. These data are the first to suggest potential modulation of CB function by endogenous mediators of innate immunity.
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