• C5a activates a pro-inflammatory gene expression profile in human gaucher ipsc-derived macrophages

      Serfecz, Jacquelyn C.; Saadin, Afsoon; Santiago, Clayton P.; Zhang, Yuji; Bentzen, Søren M.; Vogel, Stefanie N.; Feldman, Ricardo A. (MDPI AG, 2021-09-14)
      Gaucher disease (GD) is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by bi-allelic GBA1 mutations that reduce the activity of the lysosomal enzyme β-glucocerebrosidase (GCase). GCase catalyzes the conversion of glucosylceramide (GluCer), a ubiquitous glycosphingolipid, to glucose and ceramide. GCase deficiency causes the accumulation of GluCer and its metabolite glucosylsphingosine (GluSph) in a number of tissues and organs. In the immune system, GCase deficiency deregulates signal transduction events, resulting in an inflammatory environment. It is known that the complement system promotes inflammation, and complement inhibitors are currently being considered as a novel therapy for GD; however, the mechanism by which complement drives systemic macrophagemediated inflammation remains incompletely understood. To help understand the mechanisms involved, we used human GD-induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived macrophages. We found that GD macrophages exhibit exacerbated production of inflammatory cytokines via an innate immune response mediated by receptor 1 for complement component C5a (C5aR1). Quantitative RT-PCR and ELISA assays showed that in the presence of recombinant C5a (rC5a), GD macrophages secreted 8–10-fold higher levels of TNF-α compared to rC5a-stimulated control macrophages. PMX53, a C5aR1 blocker, reversed the enhanced GD macrophage TNF-α production, indicating that the observed effect was predominantly C5aR1-mediated. To further analyze the extent of changes induced by rC5a stimulation, we performed gene array analysis of the rC5a-treated macrophage transcriptomes. We found that rC5a-stimulated GD macrophages exhibit increased expression of genes involved in TNF-α inflammatory responses compared to rC5a-stimulated controls. Our results suggest that rC5a-induced inflammation in GD macrophages activates a unique immune response, supporting the potential use of inhibitors of the C5a-C5aR1 receptor axis to mitigate the chronic inflammatory abnormalities associated with GD. © 2021 by the authors.