Wagner Denisa D.

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Denisa D.

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  • Article
    NLRP3 inflammasome assembly in neutrophils is supported by PAD4 and promotes NETosis under sterile conditions
    (Frontiers Media, 2021-03-28) Münzer, Patrick ; Negro, Roberto ; Fukui, Shoichi ; di Meglio, Lucas ; Aymonnier, Karen ; Chu, Long ; Cherpokova, Deya ; Gutch, Sarah ; Sorvillo, Nicoletta ; Shi, Lai ; Magupalli, Venkat Giri ; Weber, Alexander N. R. ; Scharf, Rüdiger E. ; Waterman, Clare M. ; Wu, Hao ; Wagner, Denisa D.
    Neutrophil extracellular trap formation (NETosis) and the NLR family pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome assembly are associated with a similar spectrum of human disorders. While NETosis is known to be regulated by peptidylarginine deiminase 4 (PAD4), the role of the NLRP3 inflammasome in NETosis was not addressed. Here, we establish that under sterile conditions the cannonical NLRP3 inflammasome participates in NETosis. We show apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a CARD (ASC) speck assembly and caspase-1 cleavage in stimulated mouse neutrophils without LPS priming. PAD4 was needed for optimal NLRP3 inflammasome assembly by regulating NLRP3 and ASC protein levels post-transcriptionally. Genetic ablation of NLRP3 signaling resulted in impaired NET formation, because NLRP3 supported both nuclear envelope and plasma membrane rupture. Pharmacological inhibition of NLRP3 in either mouse or human neutrophils also diminished NETosis. Finally, NLRP3 deficiency resulted in a lower density of NETs in thrombi produced by a stenosis-induced mouse model of deep vein thrombosis. Altogether, our results indicate a PAD4-dependent formation of the NLRP3 inflammasome in neutrophils and implicate NLRP3 in NETosis under noninfectious conditions in vitro and in vivo.
  • Article
    Inflammasome activation in neutrophils of patients with severe COVID-19
    (American Society of Hematology, 2022-04-12) Aymonnier, Karen ; Ng, Julie ; Fredenburgh, Laura E. ; Zambrano-Vera, Katherin ; Münzer, Patrick ; Gutch, Sarah ; Fukui, Shoichi ; Desjardins, Michael ; Subramaniam, Meera ; Baron, Rebecca M. ; Raby, Benjamin A. ; Perrella, Mark A. ; Lederer, James A. ; Wagner, Denisa D.
    Infection by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) engages the inflammasome in monocytes and macrophages and leads to the cytokine storm in COVID-19. Neutrophils, the most abundant leukocytes, release neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), which have been implicated in the pathogenesis of COVID-19. Our recent study shows that activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome is important for NET release in sterile inflammation. However, the role of neutrophil inflammasome formation in human disease is unknown. We hypothesized that SARS-CoV-2 infection may induce inflammasome activation in neutrophils. We also aimed to assess the localization of inflammasome formation (ie, apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a CARD [ASC] speck assembly) and timing relative to NETosis in stimulated neutrophils by real-time video microscopy. Neutrophils isolated from severe COVID-19 patients demonstrated that ∼2% of neutrophils in both the peripheral blood and tracheal aspirates presented ASC speck. ASC speck was observed in neutrophils with an intact poly-lobulated nucleus, suggesting early formation during neutrophil activation. Additionally, 40% of nuclei were positive for citrullinated histone H3, and there was a significant correlation between speck formation and nuclear histone citrullination. Time-lapse microscopy in lipopolysaccharide -stimulated neutrophils from fluorescent ASC reporter mice showed that ASC speck formed transiently and at the microtubule organizing center long before NET release. Our study shows that ASC speck is present in neutrophils from COVID-19 patients with respiratory failure and that it forms early in NETosis. Our findings suggest that inhibition of neutrophil inflammasomes may be beneficial in COVID-19.