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Abstract

Glycosphingolipids (GSLs) are essential constituents of cell membranes and lipid rafts and can modulate signal transduction events. The contribution of GSLs in osteoclast (OC) activation and osteolytic bone diseases in malignancies such as the plasma cell dyscrasia multiple myeloma (MM) is not known. Here, we tested the hypothesis that pathological activation of OCs in MM requires de novo GSL synthesis and is further enhanced by myeloma cell–derived GSLs. Glucosylceramide synthase (GCS) inhibitors, including the clinically approved agent N-butyl-deoxynojirimycin (NB-DNJ), prevented OC development and activation by disrupting RANKL-induced localization of TRAF6 and c-SRC into lipid rafts and preventing nuclear accumulation of transcriptional activator NFATc1. GM3 was the prevailing GSL produced by patient-derived myeloma cells and MM cell lines, and exogenous addition of GM3 synergistically enhanced the ability of the pro-osteoclastogenic factors RANKL and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) to induce osteoclastogenesis in precursors. In WT mice, administration of GM3 increased OC numbers and activity, an effect that was reversed by treatment with NB-DNJ. In a murine MM model, treatment with NB-DNJ markedly improved osteolytic bone disease symptoms. Together, these data demonstrate that both tumor-derived and de novo synthesized GSLs influence osteoclastogenesis and suggest that NB-DNJ may reduce pathological OC activation and bone destruction associated with MM.

Authors

Adel Ersek ... Nicole J. Horwood, Anastasios Karadimitris

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Abstract

Glutaminase (GLS), which converts glutamine to glutamate, plays a key role in cancer cell metabolism, growth, and proliferation. GLS is being explored as a cancer therapeutic target, but whether GLS inhibitors affect cancer cell–autonomous growth or the host microenvironment or have off-target effects is unknown. Here, we report that loss of one copy of Gls blunted tumor progression in an immune-competent MYC-mediated mouse model of hepatocellular carcinoma. Compared with results in untreated animals with MYC-induced hepatocellular carcinoma, administration of the GLS-specific inhibitor bis-2-(5-phenylacetamido-1,3,4-thiadiazol-2-yl)ethyl sulfide (BPTES) prolonged survival without any apparent toxicities. BPTES also inhibited growth of a MYC-dependent human B cell lymphoma cell line (P493) by blocking DNA replication, leading to cell death and fragmentation. In mice harboring P493 tumor xenografts, BPTES treatment inhibited tumor cell growth; however, P493 xenografts expressing a BPTES-resistant GLS mutant (GLS-K325A) or overexpressing GLS were not affected by BPTES treatment. Moreover, a customized Vivo-Morpholino that targets human GLS mRNA markedly inhibited P493 xenograft growth without affecting mouse Gls expression. Conversely, a Vivo-Morpholino directed at mouse Gls had no antitumor activity in vivo. Collectively, our studies demonstrate that GLS is required for tumorigenesis and support small molecule and genetic inhibition of GLS as potential approaches for targeting the tumor cell–autonomous dependence on GLS for cancer therapy.

Authors

Yan Xiang ... Dean W. Felsher, Chi V. Dang

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Abstract

Ductular reactions (DRs) are observed in virtually all forms of human liver disease; however, the histogenesis and function of DRs in liver injury are not entirely understood. It is widely believed that DRs contain bipotential liver progenitor cells (LPCs) that serve as an emergency cell pool to regenerate both cholangiocytes and hepatocytes and may eventually give rise to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Here, we used a murine model that allows highly efficient and specific lineage labeling of the biliary compartment to analyze the histogenesis of DRs and their potential contribution to liver regeneration and carcinogenesis. In multiple experimental and genetic liver injury models, biliary cells were the predominant precursors of DRs but lacked substantial capacity to produce new hepatocytes, even when liver injuries were prolonged up to 12 months. Genetic modulation of NOTCH and/or WNT/β-catenin signaling within lineage-tagged DRs impaired DR expansion but failed to redirect DRs from biliary differentiation toward the hepatocyte lineage. Further, lineage-labeled DRs did not produce tumors in genetic and chemical HCC mouse models. In summary, we found no evidence in our system to support mouse biliary-derived DRs as an LPC pool to replenish hepatocytes in a quantitatively relevant way in injury or evidence that DRs give rise to HCCs.

Authors

Simone Jörs ... Jens T. Siveke, Fabian Geisler

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Abstract

Podocytes are specialized epithelial cells in the kidney glomerulus that play important structural and functional roles in maintaining the filtration barrier. Nephrotic syndrome results from a breakdown of the kidney filtration barrier and is associated with proteinuria, hyperlipidemia, and edema. Additionally, podocytes undergo changes in morphology and internalize plasma proteins in response to this disorder. Here, we used fluid-phase tracers in murine models and determined that podocytes actively internalize fluid from the plasma and that the rate of internalization is increased when the filtration barrier is disrupted. In cultured podocytes, the presence of free fatty acids (FFAs) associated with serum albumin stimulated macropinocytosis through a pathway that involves FFA receptors, the Gβ/Gγ complex, and RAC1. Moreover, mice with elevated levels of plasma FFAs as the result of a high-fat diet were more susceptible to Adriamycin-induced proteinuria than were animals on standard chow. Together, these results support a model in which podocytes sense the disruption of the filtration barrier via FFAs bound to albumin and respond by enhancing fluid-phase uptake. The response to FFAs may function in the development of nephrotic syndrome by amplifying the effects of proteinuria.

Authors

Jun-Jae Chung ... Jeffrey H. Miner, Andrey S. Shaw

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Abstract

Mast cells (MCs) have been identified in various tumors; however, the role of these cells in tumorigenesis remains controversial. Here, we quantified MCs in human and murine malignant pleural effusions (MPEs) and evaluated the fate and function of these cells in MPE development. Evaluation of murine MPE-competent lung and colon adenocarcinomas revealed that these tumors actively attract and subsequently degranulate MCs in the pleural space by elaborating CCL2 and osteopontin. MCs were required for effusion development, as MPEs did not form in mice lacking MCs, and pleural infusion of MCs with MPE-incompetent cells promoted MPE formation. Once homed to the pleural space, MCs released tryptase AB1 and IL-1β, which in turn induced pleural vasculature leakiness and triggered NF-κB activation in pleural tumor cells, thereby fostering pleural fluid accumulation and tumor growth. Evaluation of human effusions revealed that MCs are elevated in MPEs compared with benign effusions. Moreover, MC abundance correlated with MPE formation in a human cancer cell–induced effusion model. Treatment of mice with the c-KIT inhibitor imatinib mesylate limited effusion precipitation by mouse and human adenocarcinoma cells. Together, the results of this study indicate that MCs are required for MPE formation and suggest that MC-dependent effusion formation is therapeutically addressable.

Authors

Anastasios D. Giannou ... Theodora Agalioti, Georgios T. Stathopoulos

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Abstract

Functional interactions between neurons, vasculature, and glia within neurovascular units are critical for maintenance of the retina and other CNS tissues. For example, the architecture of the neurosensory retina is a highly organized structure with alternating layers of neurons and blood vessels that match the metabolic demand of neuronal activity with an appropriate supply of oxygen within perfused blood. Here, using murine genetic models and cell ablation strategies, we have demonstrated that a subset of retinal interneurons, the amacrine and horizontal cells, form neurovascular units with capillaries in 2 of the 3 retinal vascular plexuses. Moreover, we determined that these cells are required for generating and maintaining the intraretinal vasculature through precise regulation of hypoxia-inducible and proangiogenic factors, and that amacrine and horizontal cell dysfunction induces alterations to the intraretinal vasculature and substantial visual deficits. These findings demonstrate that specific retinal interneurons and the intraretinal vasculature are highly interdependent, and loss of either or both elicits profound effects on photoreceptor survival and function.

Authors

Yoshihiko Usui ... Michael I. Dorrell, Martin Friedlander

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April 2015


125-4-cover

April 2015 Issue

On the cover:
Prothrombotic microparticle gen­eration

The cover image shows inflammasome-dependent translocation of tissue factor (red) onto filopodia (actin, green) following stimulation of PR2X7 in macrophages (nuclei, blue). On page 1471, Rothmeier et al. provide evidence for a caspase-1–dependent pathway that drives the formation of procoagulant microparticles in macrophages.

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Jci_impact_2015_04

April 2015 Impact

JCI Impact is a digest of the research, reviews, and other features published in each month's issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Review Series - More

Enteric Nervous System

Series edited by Rodger Liddle

The enteric nervous system (ENS) encompasses extrinsic and intrinsic neurons, glia, and sensory epithelial cells that are embedded throughout the gastrointestinal tract. The circuits formed by these cells are responsible for interpreting sensory information in the gut lumen in order to regulate gut motility, secretion, food intake, and immune function. The ENS communicates with the CNS in a bidirectional manner, allowing stimuli in the gut to influence mood, food intake, and other behaviors. Reviews in this series examine the mechanisms by which the ENS develops from neural crest cells, chemosensory mechanisms that allow for the detection of and response to fats and other nutrients within the gut lumen, the role of the enteric glia, regulation of ENS function by the immune system and inflammation, and the impact of surgery and the gut microbiota on ENS communication with the brain.

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