Publications by authors named "Steve L Kunkel"

9 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

The Histone Methyltransferase Setdb2 Modulates Macrophage Phenotype and Uric Acid Production in Diabetic Wound Repair.

Immunity 2019 08 23;51(2):258-271.e5. Epub 2019 Jul 23.

Department of Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. Electronic address:

Macrophage plasticity is critical for normal tissue repair to ensure transition from the inflammatory to the proliferative phase of healing. We examined macrophages isolated from wounds of patients afflicted with diabetes and of healthy controls and found differential expression of the methyltransferase Setdb2. Myeloid-specific deletion of Setdb2 impaired the transition of macrophages from an inflammatory phenotype to a reparative one in normal wound healing. Mechanistically, Setdb2 trimethylated histone 3 at NF-κB binding sites on inflammatory cytokine gene promoters to suppress transcription. Setdb2 expression in wound macrophages was regulated by interferon (IFN) β, and under diabetic conditions, this IFNβ-Setdb2 axis was impaired, leading to a persistent inflammatory macrophage phenotype in diabetic wounds. Setdb2 regulated the expression of xanthine oxidase and thereby the uric acid (UA) pathway of purine catabolism in macrophages, and pharmacologic targeting of Setdb2 or the UA pathway improved healing. Thus, Setdb2 regulates macrophage plasticity during normal and pathologic wound repair and is a target for therapeutic manipulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni.2019.06.015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6703945PMC
August 2019

SIRT3 Regulates Macrophage-Mediated Inflammation in Diabetic Wound Repair.

J Invest Dermatol 2019 12 15;139(12):2528-2537.e2. Epub 2019 Jun 15.

Department of Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. Electronic address:

Control of inflammation is critical for the treatment of nonhealing wounds, but a delicate balance exists between early inflammation that is essential for normal tissue repair and the pathologic inflammation that can occur later in the repair process. This necessitates the development of novel therapies that can target inflammation at the appropriate time during repair. Here, we found that SIRT3 is essential for normal healing and regulates inflammation in wound macrophages after injury. Under prediabetic conditions, SIRT3 was decreased in wound macrophages and resulted in dysregulated inflammation. In addition, we found that FABP4 regulates SIRT3 in human blood monocytes, and inhibition of FABP4 in wound macrophages decreases inflammatory cytokine expression, making FABP4 a viable target for the regulation of excess inflammation and wound repair in diabetes. Using a series of ex vivo and in vivo studies with genetically engineered mouse models and diabetic human monocytes, we showed that FABP4 expression is epigenetically upregulated in diabetic wound macrophages and, in turn, diminishes SIRT3 expression, thereby promoting inflammation. These findings have significant implications for controlling inflammation and promoting tissue repair in diabetic wounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jid.2019.05.017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7185380PMC
December 2019

Targeting epigenetic mechanisms in diabetic wound healing.

Transl Res 2019 02 10;204:39-50. Epub 2018 Oct 10.

Department of Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michgan. Electronic address:

Impaired wound healing is a major secondary complication of type 2 diabetes that often results in limb loss and disability. Normal tissue repair progresses through discrete phases including hemostasis, inflammation, proliferation, and remodeling. In diabetes, normal progression through these phases is impaired resulting in a sustained inflammatory state and dysfunctional epithelialization in the wound. Due to their plasticity, macrophages play a critical role in the transition from the inflammation phase to the proliferation phase. Diabetes disrupts macrophage function by impairing monocyte recruitment to the wound, reducing phagocytosis, and prohibiting the transition of inflammatory macrophages to an anti-inflammatory state. Diabetes also impedes keratinocyte and fibroblast function during the later phases resulting in impaired epithelialization of the wound. Several recent studies suggest that altered epigenetic regulation of both immune and structural cells in wounds may influence cell phenotypes and healing, particularly in pathologic states, such as diabetes. Specifically, it has been shown that macrophage plasticity during wound repair is partly regulated epigenetically and that diabetes alters this epigenetic regulation and contributes to a sustained inflammatory state. Epigenetic regulation is also known to regulate keratinocyte and fibroblast function during wound repair. In this review, we provide an introduction to the epigenetic mechanisms that regulate tissue repair and highlight recent findings that demonstrate, how epigenetic events are altered during the course of diabetic wound healing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.trsl.2018.10.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6331222PMC
February 2019

Murine macrophage chemokine receptor CCR2 plays a crucial role in macrophage recruitment and regulated inflammation in wound healing.

Eur J Immunol 2018 09 26;48(9):1445-1455. Epub 2018 Jun 26.

Department of Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

Macrophages play a critical role in the establishment of a regulated inflammatory response following tissue injury. Following injury, CCR2 monocytes are recruited from peripheral blood to wound tissue, and direct the initiation and resolution of inflammation that is essential for tissue repair. In pathologic states where chronic inflammation prevents healing, macrophages fail to transition to a reparative phenotype. Using a murine model of cutaneous wound healing, we found that CCR2-deficient mice (CCR2 ) demonstrate significantly impaired wound healing at all time points postinjury. Flow cytometry analysis of wounds from CCR2 and WT mice revealed a significant decrease in inflammatory, Ly6C recruited monocyte/macrophages in CCR2 wounds. We further show that wound macrophage inflammatory cytokine production is decreased in CCR2 wounds. Adoptive transfer of mT/mG monocyte/macrophages into CCR2 and CCR2 mice demonstrated that labeled cells on days 2 and 4 traveled to wounds in both CCR2 and CCR2 mice. Further, adoptive transfer of monocyte/macrophages from WT mice restored normal healing, likely through a restored inflammatory response in the CCR2-deficient mice. Taken together, these data suggest that CCR2 plays a critical role in the recruitment and inflammatory response following injury, and that wound repair may be therapeutically manipulated through modulation of CCR2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eji.201747400DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6371802PMC
September 2018

Ly6C Blood Monocyte/Macrophage Drive Chronic Inflammation and Impair Wound Healing in Diabetes Mellitus.

Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2018 05 1;38(5):1102-1114. Epub 2018 Mar 1.

From the Department of Surgery (A.K., A.J., F.M.D., A.D., A.B., A.O., P.K.H., K.A.G.)

Objective: Wound monocyte-derived macrophage plasticity controls the initiation and resolution of inflammation that is critical for proper healing, however, in diabetes mellitus, the resolution of inflammation fails to occur. In diabetic wounds, the kinetics of blood monocyte recruitment and the mechanisms that control in vivo monocyte/macrophage differentiation remain unknown.

Approach And Results: Here, we characterized the kinetics and function of Ly6C [Lin (CD3CD19NK1.1Ter-119) Ly6GCD11b] and Ly6C [Lin (CD3CD19NK1.1Ter-119) Ly6GCD11b] monocyte/macrophage subsets in normal and diabetic wounds. Using flow-sorted -labeled Ly6C monocyte/macrophages, we show Ly6C cells transition to a Ly6C phenotype in normal wounds, whereas in diabetic wounds, there is a late, second influx of Ly6C cells that fail transition to Ly6C. The second wave of Ly6C cells in diabetic wounds corresponded to a spike in MCP-1 (monocyte chemoattractant protein-1) and selective administration of anti-MCP-1 reversed the second Ly6C influx and improved wound healing. To examine the in vivo phenotype of wound monocyte/macrophages, RNA-seq-based transcriptome profiling was performed on flow-sorted Ly6C [LinLy6GCD11b] and Ly6C [LinLy6GCD11b] cells from normal and diabetic wounds. Gene transcriptome profiling of diabetic wound Ly6C cells demonstrated differences in proinflammatory and profibrotic genes compared with controls.

Conclusions: Collectively, these data identify kinetic and functional differences in diabetic wound monocyte/macrophages and demonstrate that selective targeting of CD11bLy6C monocyte/macrophages is a viable therapeutic strategy for inflammation in diabetic wounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/ATVBAHA.118.310703DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5920725PMC
May 2018

The Histone Methyltransferase MLL1 Directs Macrophage-Mediated Inflammation in Wound Healing and Is Altered in a Murine Model of Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.

Diabetes 2017 09 29;66(9):2459-2471. Epub 2017 Jun 29.

Department of Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Macrophages are critical for the initiation and resolution of the inflammatory phase of wound repair. In diabetes, macrophages display a prolonged inflammatory phenotype in late wound healing. Mixed-lineage leukemia-1 (MLL1) has been shown to direct gene expression by regulating nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB)-mediated inflammatory gene transcription. Thus, we hypothesized that MLL1 influences macrophage-mediated inflammation in wound repair. We used a myeloid-specific knockout ( ) to determine the function of MLL1 in wound healing. mice display delayed wound healing and decreased wound macrophage inflammatory cytokine production compared with control animals. Furthermore, wound macrophages from mice demonstrated decreased histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation (H3K4me3) (activation mark) at NF-κB binding sites on inflammatory gene promoters. Of note, early wound macrophages from prediabetic mice displayed similarly decreased MLL1, H3K4me3 at inflammatory gene promoters, and inflammatory cytokines compared with controls. Late wound macrophages from prediabetic mice demonstrated an increase in MLL1, H3K4me3 at inflammatory gene promoters, and inflammatory cytokines. Prediabetic macrophages treated with an MLL1 inhibitor demonstrated reduced inflammation. Finally, monocytes from patients with type 2 diabetes had increased compared with control subjects without diabetes. These results define an important role for MLL1 in regulating macrophage-mediated inflammation in wound repair and identify a potential target for the treatment of chronic inflammation in diabetic wounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/db17-0194DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5566299PMC
September 2017

Notch Regulates Macrophage-Mediated Inflammation in Diabetic Wound Healing.

Front Immunol 2017 1;8:635. Epub 2017 Jun 1.

Department of Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States.

Macrophages are essential immune cells necessary for regulated inflammation during wound healing. Recent studies have identified that Notch plays a role in macrophage-mediated inflammation. Thus, we investigated the role of Notch signaling on wound macrophage phenotype and function during normal and diabetic wound healing. We found that Notch receptor and ligand expression are dynamic in wound macrophages during normal healing. Mice with a myeloid-specific Notch signaling defect ( ) demonstrated delayed early healing (days 1-3) and wound macrophages had decreased inflammatory gene expression. In our physiologic murine model of type 2 diabetes (T2D), Notch receptor expression was significantly increased in wound macrophages on day 6, following the initial inflammatory phase of wound healing, corresponding to increased inflammatory cytokine expression. This increase in and was also observed in human monocytes from patients with T2D. Further, in prediabetic mice with a genetic Notch signaling defect ( on a high-fat diet), improved wound healing was seen at late time points (days 6-7). These findings suggest that Notch is critical for the early inflammatory phase of wound healing and directs production of macrophage-dependent inflammatory mediators. These results identify that canonical Notch signaling is important in directing macrophage function in wound repair and define a translational target for the treatment of non-healing diabetic wounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2017.00635DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5451506PMC
June 2017

Ulcerative Dermatitis in C57BL/6NCrl Mice on a Low-Fat or High-Fat Diet With or Without a Mineralized Red-Algae Supplement.

J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci 2015 Sep;54(5):487-96

Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.

Ulcerative dermatitis (UD) is a spontaneous idiopathic disease that often affects C57BL/6 mice or mice on a C57BL/6 background. UD is characterized by intense pruritus and lesion formation, most commonly on the head or dorsal thorax. Self-trauma likely contributes to wound severity and delayed wound healing. Histologically, changes are nonspecific, consisting of ulceration with neutrophilic and mastocytic infiltration and epithelial hyperplasia and hyperkeratosis. Diet appears to have a profound effect on the development and progression of UD lesions. We investigated the incidence and severity of UD in C57BL/6NCrl mice on a high-fat western-style diet (HFWD) compared with a standard rodent chow. In addition, we examined the protective effects of dietary supplementation with a multimineral-rich product derived from marine red algae on UD in these 2 diet groups. HFWD-fed mice had an increased incidence of UD. In addition, mice on a HFWD had significantly more severe clinical and histologic lesions. Dietary mineral supplementation in mice on a HFWD decreased the histologic severity of lesions and reduced the incidence of UD in female mice in both diets. In conclusion, a high-fat western-style diet may potentiate UD in C57BL/6NCrl mice. Insufficient mineral supply and mineral imbalance may contribute to disease development. Mineral supplementation may be beneficial in the treatment of UD.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4587616PMC
September 2015

Inhibition of delta-like ligand 4 decreases Th1/Th17 response in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis.

Neurosci Lett 2013 Apr 1;541:161-6. Epub 2013 Mar 1.

Servei de Neurologia-Neuroimmunologia, Centre d'Esclerosi Múltiple de Catalunya (CEM-Cat), Vall d'Hebron Institut de Recerca (VHIR), Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Ps. Vall d'Hebron, 119-129, 08035 Barcelona, Spain.

Notch is a family of receptors involved in the differentiation of several tissues, including the central nervous system and the immune system. One of the Notch ligands, delta-like 4 (Dll4), has been implicated in the differentiation of Th1 cells and the development of Th17 responses, which are involved in the pathogenesis of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and multiple sclerosis. Our results show that a single administration of an anti-Dll4 antibody is not enough to avoid the development of EAE or to ameliorate the already established clinical signs, despite the treatment reduces the proliferative T cell responses and decreases Th1/Th17 immune responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2013.02.038DOI Listing
April 2013