Research ArticleIMMUNOLOGY

Harnessing lipid signaling pathways to target specialized pro-angiogenic neutrophil subsets for regenerative immunotherapy

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Science Advances  30 Oct 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 44, eaba7702
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba7702


To gain insights into neutrophil heterogeneity dynamics in the context of sterile inflammation and wound healing, we performed a pseudotime analysis of single-cell flow cytometry data using the spanning-tree progression analysis of density-normalized events algorithm. This enables us to view neutrophil transitional subsets along a pseudotime trajectory and identify distinct VEGFR1, VEGFR2, and CXCR4 high-expressing pro-angiogenic neutrophils. While the proresolving lipid mediator aspirin-triggered resolvin D1 (AT-RvD1) has a known ability to limit neutrophil infiltration, our analysis uncovers a mode of action in which AT-RvD1 leads to inflammation resolution through the selective reprogramming toward a therapeutic neutrophil subset. This accumulation leads to enhanced vascular remodeling in the skinfold window chamber and a proregenerative shift in macrophage and dendritic cell phenotype, resulting in improved wound closure after skin transplantation. As the targeting of functional immune subsets becomes the key to regenerative immunotherapies, single-cell pseudotime analysis tools will be vital in this field.

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