β-Agonist exposure preferentially impacts lung macrophage cyclic AMP-related gene expression in asthma and asthma COPD overlap syndrome

Kaveh Moghbeli, Eleanor Valenzi, Rachel Naramore, John Charles Sembrat, Kong Chen, Mauricio M. Rojas, Sally E. Wenzel, Robert Lafyatis, Brian Modena, Nathaniel M. Weathington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) samples from Severe Asthma Research Program (SARP) patients display suppression of a module of genes involved in cAMP-signaling pathways (BALcAMP) correlating with severity, therapy, and macrophage constituency. We sought to establish if gene expression changes were specific to macrophages and compared gene expression trends from multiple sources. Datasets included single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) from lung specimens including a fatal exacerbation of severe Asthma COPD Overlap Syndrome (ACOS) after intense therapy and controls without lung disease, bulk RNA sequencing from cultured macrophage (THP-1) cells after acute or prolonged β-agonist exposure, SARP datasets, and data from the Immune Modulators of Severe Asthma (IMSA) cohort. THP monocytes suppressed BALcAMP network gene expression after prolonged relative to acute β-agonist exposure, corroborating SARP observations. scRNA-seq from healthy and diseased lung tissue revealed 13 cell populations enriched for macrophages. In severe ACOS, BALcAMP gene network expression scores were decreased in many cell populations, most significantly for macrophage populations (P < 3.9e-111). Natural killer (NK) cells and type II alveolar epithelial cells displayed less robust network suppression (P < 9.2e-8). Alveolar macrophages displayed the most numerous individual genes affected and the highest amplitude of modulation. Key BALcAMP genes demonstrate significantly decreased expression in severe asthmatics in the IMSA cohort. We conclude that suppression of the BALcAMP gene module identified from SARP BAL samples is validated in the IMSA patient cohort with physiological parallels observed in a monocytic cell line and in a severe ACOS patient sample with effects preferentially localizing to macrophages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L837-L843
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Volume321
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adrenergic β receptor agonists
  • Asthma
  • Macrophages
  • Obstructive lung diseases
  • Single-cell analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology

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