The etiology and pathogenesis of the vascular lesions characterizing primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH), an often fatal pulmonary vascular disease, are largely unknown. Plexiform lesions composed of proliferating endothelial cells occur in between 20 and 80% of the cases of this irreversible pulmonary vascular disease. Recently, technology to assess monoclonality has allowed the distinction between cellular proliferation present in neoplasms from that in reactive nonneoplastic tissue. To determine whether the endothelial cell proliferation in plexiform lesions in PPH is monoclonal or polyclonal, we assessed the methylation pattern of the human androgen receptor gene by PCR (HUMARA) in proliferated endothelial cells in plexiform lesions from female PPH patients (n = 4) compared with secondary pulmonary hypertension (PH) patients (n = 4). In PPH, 17 of 22 lesions (77%) were monoclonal. However, in secondary PH, all 19 lesions examined were polyclonal. Smooth muscle cell hyperplasia in pulmonary vessels (n = 11) in PPH and secondary PH was polyclonal in all but one of the examined vessels. The monoclonal expansion of endothelial cells provides the first marker that allows the distinction between primary and secondary PH. Our data of a frequent monoclonal endothelial cell proliferation in PPH suggests that a somatic genetic alteration similar to that present in neoplastic processes may be responsible for the pathogenesis of PPH.
A consistent phenotype observed in both human patients and several different mouse models of autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD) is an increased activity of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in the affected kidneys. To determine whether this increased activity of the EGFR is a functional event that is directly part of the disease pathway of renal cyst formation, we used a genetic approach to introduce a mutant EGFR with decreased tyrosine kinase activity into a murine model of ARPKD. We found that the modified form of the EGFR could block the increase in EGFR-specific tyrosine kinase activity that normally accompanies the development of renal cysts, and this correlated with an improvement in kidney function and a substantial decrease in cyst formation in the collecting ducts. These results suggest that changes in the expression of the EGFR contribute to the formation of cysts in the collecting ducts, and that drugs that target the tyrosine kinase activity of the EGFR may potentially be therapeutic in ARPKD.
Excessive proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) contributes to vessel renarrowing after angioplasty. Here we investigated the transcriptional regulation of the cyclin A gene, a key positive regulator of S phase that is induced after angioplasty. We show that Ras-dependent mitogenic signaling is essential for the normal stimulation of cyclin A promoter activity and DNA synthesis in VSMCs. Overexpression of the AP-1 transcription factor c-fos can circumvent this requirement via interaction with the cAMP-responsive element (CRE) in the cyclin A promoter. Moreover, c-fos overexpression in serum-starved VSMCs results in the induction of cyclin A promoter activity in a CRE-dependent manner, and increased binding of endogenous c-fos protein to the cyclin A CRE precedes the onset of DNA replication in VSMCs induced by serum in vitro and by angioplasty in vivo. We also show that E2F function is essential for both serum- and c-fos-dependent induction of cyclin A expression. Taken together, these findings suggest that c-fos and E2F are important components of the signaling cascade that link Ras activity to cyclin A transcription in VSMCs. These studies illustrate a novel link between the transcriptional and cell cycle machinery that may be relevant to the pathogenesis of vascular proliferative disorders.
Nitric oxide was proposed as an endogenous inhibitor of myometrial contractility during pregnancy. Carbon monoxide (CO) like nitric oxide increases cGMP and is generated during the degradation of heme to biliverdin IX by hemeoxygenases (HO). Here we report that the expression of both HO-1 (inducible) and HO-2 (constitutive) were > 15-fold higher in pregnant myometrium compared to nonpregnant myometrium (n = 4, P < 0.001, P < 0.005, respectively). Moreover, the activation of the HO-CO pathway by the HO inducer, hemin (10 microM), completely inhibited spontaneous contractility (n = 3). Oxytocin-stimulated contractions (n = 5) were also significantly reduced (P < 0.05) in myometrial strips mounted for isometric recording under 2 g tension in Krebs solution. Reverse transcription-PCR analysis revealed that mRNA encoding HO-1 and HO-2 was undetected in explant cultures of nonlaboring pregnant myometrium under basal conditions, however, exposure to progesterone, but not estradiol-17beta, induced the expression of HO-1 and HO-2 mRNAs. Progesterone also significantly induced HO-1 protein synthesis (n = 4, P < 0.001) while estradiol-17beta had no effect (n = 4). In term (37-42-wk gestation) nonlaboring myometrial explants, CO production was stimulated by progesterone (10(-6) M) (n = 2) and hemin (10 microM) (n = 3) after 2 h of incubation and the effect of hemin was inhibited by 1 h of preincubation with the HO inhibitor tin protoporphyrin IX (20 microM). This study clearly demonstrates the expression of HO in the human myometrium and shows that its induction produces CO that limits uterine contractility in pregnant myometrium indicating a role for the HO-CO-cGMP pathway in the maintenance of the quiescent state of the uterus during pregnancy.
The associations between six genetic polymorphisms in the hepatic lipase (HL) gene (LIPC) and variation in postheparin HL activity and fasting serum lipoproteins were evaluated in 395 male Finnish coronary heart disease patients with HDL cholesterol concentrations = 1.1 mmol/liter. The LIPC promoter polymorphism at position -514 was highly significantly associated with variation in HL activity (P = 0.0000008), with mean activities of 20.4, 17.5, and 13.2 mumol free fatty acid/ml per hour in subjects having C/C, C/T, and T/T genotypes, respectively. Furthermore, the triglyceride content of low density lipoprotein, intermediate density lipoprotein and HDL, and the cholesterol content of intermediate density lipoprotein were found to be associated with variation at LIPC position -514. However, there was no association of this polymorphism with coronary heart disease. These data suggest that the LIPC promoter variation is likely to be the basis for variation in HL activity, which underlies the variation in serum lipoprotein phenotypes in this sample.
In humans, autologous transplants derived from bone marrow (BM) usually engraft more slowly than transplants derived from mobilized peripheral blood. Allogeneic BM transplants show a further delay in engraftment and have an apparent requirement for donor T cells to facilitate engraftment. In mice, Thy-1.1(lo)Lin-/loSca-1+ hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are the principal population in BM which is responsible for engraftment in syngeneic hosts at radioprotective doses, and higher doses of HSCs can radioprotect an allogeneic host in the absence of donor T cells. Using the mouse as a preclinical model, we wished to test to what extent engraftment kinetics was a function of HSC content, and whether at high doses of c-Kit+Thy-1.1(lo)Lin-/loSca-1+ (KTLS) cells rapid allogeneic engraftment could also be achieved. Here we demonstrate that engraftment kinetics varied greatly over the range of KTLS doses tested (100-10,000 cells), with the most rapid engraftment being obtained with a dose of 5,000 or more syngeneic cells. Mobilized splenic KTLS cells and the rhodamine 123(lo) subset of KTLS cells were also able to engraft rapidly. Higher doses of allogeneic cells were needed to produce equivalent engraftment kinetics. This suggests that in mice even fully allogeneic barriers can be traversed with high doses of HSCs, and that in humans it may be possible to obtain rapid engraftment in an allogeneic context with clinically achievable doses of purified HSCs.
Most evidence indicates that nitric oxide plays a role in normal wound repair; however, involvement of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) has not been established. Experiments were carried out to determine the requirement for iNOS in closing excisional wounds. Wound closure was delayed by 31% in iNOS knockout mice compared with wild-type animals. An identical delay in wound closure was observed in wild-type mice given a continuous infusion of the partially selective iNOS inhibitor N6-(iminoethyl)-L-lysine. Delayed wound healing in iNOS-deficient mice was completely reversed by a single application of an adenoviral vector containing human iNOS cDNA (AdiNOS) at the time of wounding. Reverse transcription PCR identified iNOS mRNA expression in wild-type mice peaking 4-6 d after wounding, and confirmed expression of human iNOS in the adenoviral vector containing human iNOS cDNA-treated animals. These results establish the key role of iNOS in wound closure, and suggest a gene therapy strategy to improve wound healing in iNOS-deficient states such as diabetes, and during steroid treatment.
Transition from placental to pulmonary oxygenation at birth depends on a rapid removal of fetal lung fluid from the developing alveoli. Alveolar fluid clearance was examined in ventilated, anesthetized developing guinea pigs of the ages newborn, 2-d-old, 5-d-old, 30-d-old, and 60-d-old (adult). An isosmolar 5% albumin solution was instilled into the lungs of the guinea pigs; the guinea pigs were then studied for 1 h. Alveolar fluid clearance was measured from the increase in alveolar protein concentration as water was reabsorbed. Newborn guinea pigs had a very high alveolar fluid clearance rate that declined rapidly within the first 5 postnatal days towards adult levels. The high alveolar fluid clearance at birth was apparently mediated by the beta-adrenergic system as demonstrated by the elevated plasma epinephrine levels and the increased sensitivity to inhibition by the beta-adrenergic antagonist propranolol immediately after birth. Surprisingly, exogenous addition of epinephrine was not able to stimulate alveolar fluid clearance in the newborn lung, but exogenous epinephrine stimulation increased over time to adult levels. The elevated alveolar fluid clearance at birth was associated with a significantly greater amiloride sensitivity in the newborn guinea pig lung. Northern blot analysis of distal lung tissue as well as isolated alveolar epithelial type II cells showed and confirmed higher levels of the alpha-subunit of the epithelial sodium channel mRNA in the newborn lung that rapidly tapered off toward adult levels. In conclusion, these data demonstrate the importance of the beta-adrenergic system and amiloride-sensitive sodium transporting pathways for clearance of fetal lung fluid at birth.
The thrombospondins are a family of extracellular calcium-binding proteins that modulate cellular phenotype. Thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) reportedly regulates cellular attachment, proliferation, migration, and differentiation in vitro. To explore its function in vivo, we have disrupted the TSP-1 gene by homologous recombination in the mouse genome. Platelets from these mice are completely deficient in TSP-1 protein; however, thrombin-induced platelet aggregation is not diminished. TSP-1-deficient mice display a mild and variable lordotic curvature of the spine that is apparent from birth. These mice also display an increase in the number of circulating white blood cells, with monocytes and eosinophils having the largest percent increases. The brain, heart, kidney, spleen, stomach, intestines, aorta, and liver of TSP-1-deficient mice showed no major abnormalities. However, consistent with high levels of expression of TSP-1 in lung, we observe abnormalities in the lungs of mice that lack the protein. Although normal at birth, histopathological analysis of lungs from 4-wk-old TSP-1-deficient mice reveals extensive acute and organizing pneumonia, with neutrophils and macrophages. The macrophages stain for hemosiderin, indicating that diffuse alveolar hemorrhage is occurring. At later times, the number of neutrophils decreases and a striking increase in the number of hemosiderin-containing macrophages is observed associated with multiple-lineage epithelial hyperplasia and the deposition of collagen and elastin. A thickening and ruffling of the epithelium of the airways results from increasing cell proliferation in TSP-1-deficient mice. These results indicate that TSP-1 is involved in normal lung homeostasis.
The binding of 125I-factor Xa to human aortic smooth muscle cell (SMC) monolayers was studied. At 4 degreesC, 125I-factor Xa bound to a single class of binding sites with a dissociation constant value of 3.6+/-0.7 nM and a binding site density of 11,720+/-1,240 sites/cell (n = 9). 125I-factor Xa binding was not affected by factor X, thrombin, or by DX9065, a direct inhibitor of factor Xa, but was inhibited by factor Xa (IC50 = 5.4+/-0.2 nM; n = 9) and by antibodies specific for the effector cell protease receptor 1 (EPR-1), a well-known receptor of factor Xa on various cell types. A factor X peptide duplicating the inter-EGF sequence Leu83-Leu88-(Gly) blocked the binding of 125I-factor Xa to these cells in a dose-dependent manner (IC50 = 110+/-21 nM). Factor Xa increased phosphoinositide turnover in SMCs and when added to SMCs in culture was a potent mitogen. These effects were inhibited by DX9065 and by antibodies directed against EPR-1 and PDGF. Increased expression of EPR-1 was identified immunohistochemically on SMCs growing in culture and in SMCs from the rabbit carotid artery after vascular injury. When applied locally to air-injured rabbit carotid arteries, antibodies directed against EPR-1 (100 mug/ artery) strongly reduced myointimal proliferation 14 d after vascular injury (65-71% inhibition, P < 0.01). DX9065 (10 mg/kg, subcutaneous) inhibited myointimal proliferation significantly (43% inhibition, P < 0.05). These findings indicate that SMCs express functional high affinity receptors for factor Xa related to EPR-1, which may be of importance in the regulation of homeostasis of the vascular wall and after vascular injury.
Heme oxygenase (HO) activity leads to accumulation of the antioxidant bilirubin, and degradation of the prooxidant heme. Moderate overexpression of the inducible form, HO-1, is associated with protection against oxidative injury. However, the role of HO-2 in oxidative stress has not been explored. We evaluated survival, indices of oxidative injury, and lung and HO expression in HO-2 null mutant mice exposed to > 95% O2 compared with wild-type controls. Similar basal levels of major lung antioxidants were observed, except that the knockouts had a twofold increase in total glutathione content. Despite increased HO-1 expression from HO-1 induction, knockout animals were sensitized to hyperoxia-induced oxidative injury and mortality, and also had significantly increased markers of oxidative injury before hyperoxic exposure. Furthermore, during hyperoxia, lung hemoproteins and iron content were significantly increased without increased ferritin, suggesting accumulation of available redox-active iron. These results demonstrate that the absence of HO-2 is associated with induction of HO-1 and increased oxygen toxicity in vivo, apparently due to accumulation of lung iron. These results suggest that HO-2 functions to augment the turnover of lung iron during oxidative stress, and that this function does not appear to be compensated for by induction of HO-1 in the knockouts.
Retinoids, including retinol and retinoic acid derivatives, maintain the normal growth and differentiation of human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells and are under investigation as agents for lung cancer prevention. In this study, we examined the biologic effects of retinoids on normal HBE cells and the molecular mechanisms of retinoid actions. At a dose of 10(-6) M, all-trans retinoic acid (t-RA) suppressed the proliferation of normal HBE cells, which accumulated in the G0 phase. No evidence of programmed cell death was observed. The class of retinoid nuclear receptor that mediated the growth arrest was explored. Normal HBE cell growth was suppressed by a retinoid that selectively activates retinoic acid receptors but not by one that activates retinoid X receptors. The E2F transcription factor has demonstrated a role in G0 entry through transcriptional suppression of genes that induce cell cycle progression. To investigate the role of E2F in retinoid signaling, transient transfection assays were performed using reporter plasmids containing E2F-binding sites. Findings from these experiments suggested that t-RA treatment converted E2F into a transcriptional suppressor. Supporting this possibility, t-RA inhibited the expression of the E2F target genes B-myb, cyclin A, and cyclin E. Further, t-RA increased the levels of nuclear E2F-4, p107, and p130 and enhanced the binding of E2F-4 to p107, which have been associated with the conversion of E2F into a transcriptional suppressor in other cells. These findings point to retinoic acid receptor- and E2F-dependent pathways as potential mediators of retinoid-induced growth arrest in normal HBE cells and have implications for the use of retinoids in clinical trials on the prevention of lung cancer.
Leptin is thought to regulate energy balance through effects on food intake and thermogenesis. In addition, leptin may serve as a mediator of the neuroendocrine response to starvation, and may modulate the stress response and the timing of puberty. A role for leptin in development is suggested by the presence of neuroendocrine and structural neuronal abnormalities in ob/ob mice with genetic leptin deficiency. Here, we sought to determine the ontogeny of leptin expression and its relationship to the developing neuroendocrine axis. Leptin increased 5-10-fold in female mice during the second postnatal week independent of fat mass, and declined after weaning. The rise in leptin preceded the establishment of adult levels of corticosterone, thyroxine, and estradiol. In contrast to adult mice, leptin was not acutely regulated by food deprivation during the early postnatal period. Circadian rhythms of leptin, corticosterone, and thyroxine were regulated by food intake in adult mice. When ad libitum feeding was restricted to the light cycle, peak corticosterone levels were shifted to the beginning of the light cycle and coincided with the nadir of leptin. The inverse relationship between leptin and corticosterone was maintained such that a rise in leptin after feeding was associated with a decline in corticosterone. To determine whether changes in corticosterone during food restriction are mediated by leptin, we compared the patterns of corticosterone levels among ob/ob, db/db, and lean mice. Despite their higher basal levels of corticosterone, leptin deficiency in ob/ ob mice did not prevent the nocturnal rise in corticosterone. In contrast, the nocturnal surge of corticosterone was blunted in db/db mice. Therefore, it is likely that factors in addition to leptin are involved in the regulation of the circadian rhythm of corticosterone. The temporal relationship between leptin and other hormones in neonatal and adult mice suggests that leptin is involved in the maturation and function of the neuroendocrine axis.
A 12-yr-old hypothyroid girl was diagnosed at birth as athyreotic because her thyroid gland could not be visualized by isotope scanning. Goiter development due to incomplete thyrotropin suppression, a thyroidal radioiodide uptake of < 1%, and a low saliva to plasma ratio of 2.5 suggested iodide (I-) transport defect. mRNA isolated from her thyroid gland and injected into Xenopus oocytes failed to increase I- transport. Sequencing of the entire Na+/I- symporter (NIS) cDNA revealed a C to G transversion of nucleotide (nt) 1146 in exon 6, resulting in a Gln 267 (CAG) to Glu (GAG) substitution. This missense mutation produces an NIS with undetectable I- transport activity when expressed in COS-7 cells. Although only this missense mutation was identified in thyroid and lymphocyte cDNA, genotyping revealed that the proposita and her unaffected brother and father were heterozygous for this mutation. However, amplification of cDNA with a primer specific for the wild-type nt 1146 yielded a sequence lacking 67 nt. Genomic DNA showed a C to G transversion of nt 1940, producing a stop codon as well as a new downstream cryptic 3' splice acceptor site in exon 13, responsible for the 67 nt deletion, frameshift, and premature stop predicting an NIS lacking 129 carboxy-terminal amino acids. This mutation was inherited from the mother and present in the unaffected sister. Thus, although the proposita is a compound heterozygote, because of the very low expression (< 2.5%) of one mutant allele, she is functionally hemizygous for an NIS without detectable bioactivity.
Thiopurine methyltransferase (TPMT) catalyzes S-methylation of thiopurine drugs such as 6-mercaptopurine. Large variations in levels of TPMT activity in human tissue can result from a common genetic polymorphism with a series of alleles for low activity. This polymorphism is an important factor responsible for large individual variations in thiopurine toxicity and therapeutic efficacy. We now report a new variant allele, TPMT*4, that contains a G--> A transition that disrupts the intron/exon acceptor splice junction at the final 3' nucleotide of intron 9, the terminal intron of the TPMT gene. This new allele cosegregated within an extended kindred with reduced TPMT activity. We attempted to determine the mechanism(s) by which the presence of TPMT*4 might result in low enzyme activity. Although very few mature transcripts derived from allele TPMT*4 were detected, the mutation did lead to generation of at least two aberrant mRNA species. The first resulted from use of a novel splice site located one nucleotide 3' downstream from the original splice junction. That mRNA species contained a single nucleotide deletion and a frameshift within exon 10, the terminal exon of the gene. The second novel mRNA species resulted from activation of a cryptic splice site located within intron 9, leading to inclusion of 330 nucleotides of intron sequence. That sequence contained a premature translation termination codon. TPMT*4 is the first reported allele for low TPMT activity as a result of a mutation within an intron. These observations also provide insight into mechanisms of mRNA processing after disruption of a terminal exon splice junction.
Potassium depletion (KD) causes renal chloride wasting, suggesting defect(s) in Cl- reabsorption in renal tubules. To determine whether alterations in expression of the major Cl- transporter genes might contribute to the chloride wasting, we analyzed their expression in renal cortex and medulla of animals placed on KD diet. Feeding KD diet to rats resulted in significant hypokalemia at 14 d but not at 6 d. Northern hybridization revealed that mRNA levels for the apical Na-K-2Cl cotransporter in the medulla decreased by 56 and 51% at 6 and 14 d of KD diet, respectively. Functional studies in tubular suspensions from medullary thick ascending limb demonstrated that the Na-K-2Cl cotransporter activity decreased by approximately 45 and approximately 37% at 6 and 14 d of KD diet, respectively. mRNA levels for the thiazide-sensitive Na-Cl cotransporter decreased by 57 and 64% at 6 and 14 d of KD diet. Decreased expression of the apical Na-Cl and the Na-K-2Cl cotransporters became evident at 48 and 72 h of KD, respectively. Urinary chloride excretion increased at 48 h and further increased at 72 h of KD, correlating with suppression of the Na-Cl and the Na-K-2Cl transporters. Our results indicate that increased urinary chloride loss in KD results from suppression of the chloride-absorbing transporters. Downregulation of chloride transporters in KD is an early event and can lead to hypochloremia and subsequently hypovolemia and decreased glomerular filtration rate.
Tumor growth and metastasis are angiogenesis dependent. Previously, we reported that angiostatin, a potent angiogenesis inhibitor, produced by a primary Lewis lung carcinoma suppressed its growth of lung metastases (O'Reilly, M.S., L. Holmgren, Y. Shing, C. Chen, R.A. Rosenthal, M. Moses, W.S. Lane, Y. Cao, E.H. Sage, and J. Folkman. 1994. Cell. 79:315-328). Now we show that a shift of balance of tumor angiogenesis by gene transfer of a cDNA coding for mouse angiostatin into murine T241 fibrosarcoma cells suppresses primary and metastatic tumor growth in vivo. Implantation of stable clones expressing mouse angiostatin in C57Bl6/J mice inhibits primary tumor growth by an average of 77%. After removal of primary tumors, the pulmonary micrometastases in approximately 70% of mice remain in a microscopic dormant and avascular state for the duration of the experiments, e.g., 2-5 mo. The tumor cells in the dormant micrometastases exhibit a high rate of apoptosis balanced by a high proliferation rate. Our study, to our knowledge, for the first time shows the diminished growth of lung metastases after removal of the primary tumor, suggesting that metastases are self-inhibitory by halting angiogenesis. Our data may also provide a novel approach for cancer therapy by antiangiogenic gene therapy with a specific angiogenesis inhibitor.
Low density lipoprotein (LDL) interactions with the endothelium are thought to play a major role in the development of atherosclerosis. The mechanism(s) involved are not fully understood, although several lines of evidence support the idea that oxidation of LDL increases its atherogenicity. In this study we report for the first time that native LDL (n-LDL) binding to the LDL receptor (100-700 mug/ml) triggers a rise in intracellular calcium which acts as a second messenger to induce vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) expression in human coronary artery (HCAEC) and pig aortic endothelial cells (PAEC) and VCAM-1 and E-selectin expression in human aortic (HAEC) endothelial cells. Preincubation of HCAEC with a monoclonal antibody (IgGC7) to the classical LDL receptor or pretreatment with pertussis toxin blocked the n-LDL-induced calcium transients. Preincubation of each of the endothelial cell lines with the calcium chelator 1,-2-bis(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N', N'-tetraacetic acetomethyl ester (BAPTA/AM) prevented the expression of VCAM-1 and E-selectin. The increase in VCAM-1 by n-LDL results in increased monocyte binding to HCAEC which can be attenuated by inhibiting the intracellular calcium rise or by blocking the VCAM-1 binding sites. These studies in human and pig endothelial cells link calcium signaling conferred by n-LDL to mechanisms controlling the expression of endothelial cell adhesion molecules involved in atherogenesis.
Water retention is characteristic of pregnancy but the mechanism(s) of the altered water metabolism has yet to be elucidated. The collecting duct water channel, aquaporin 2 (AQP2), plays a pivotal role in the renal water regulation, and we hypothesized that AQP2 expression could be modified during pregnancy. Sprague-Dawley female rats were studied on days 7 (P7), 14 (P14), and 20 (P20) of pregnancy, and expression of AQP2 in papillae was examined. Nonpregnant (NP) littermates were used as controls. Plasma osmolalities were significantly lower in pregnant rats by day 7 of gestation (P7 283.8+/-1.82, P14 284.3+/-1.64, P < 0.001, P20 282. 4+/-1.32, P < 0.0001, vs. NP 291.8+/-1.06 mosmol/kgH2O). However, plasma vasopressin concentrations in pregnant rats were not significantly different than in nonpregnant rats (NP 1.03+/-0.14, P7 1.11+/-0.21, P14 1.15+/-0.21, P20 1.36+/-0.24 pg/ml, NS). The mRNA of AQP2 was increased early during pregnancy: AQP2/beta actin: P7 196+/-17.9, P14 200+/-6.8, and P20 208+/-15.5%, P < 0.005 vs. NP (100+/-11.1%). AQP2 protein was also increased during pregnancy: AQP2 protein: P7 269+/-10.0, P14 251+/-12.0, P < 0.0001, and P20 250+/-13.6%, P < 0.001 vs. NP (100+/-12.5%). The effect of V2 vasopressin receptor antagonist, OPC-31260, was then investigated. AQP2 mRNA was suppressed significantly by OPC-31260 administration to P14 rats (AQP2/beta actin: P14 with OPC-31260 39.6+/-1.7%, P < 0.001 vs. P14 with vehicle) and was decreased to the same level of expression as NP rats receiving OPC-31260. Similar findings were found with the analysis of AQP2 protein. The decreased plasma osmolality of P14 rats was not modified by OPC-31260. The results of the study indicate that upregulation of AQP2 contributes to the water retention in pregnancy through a V2 receptor-mediated effect. In addition to vasopressin, other factors may be involved in this upregulation.
Familial defective apolipoprotein B100 (FDB) is caused by a mutation of apo-B100 (R3500Q) that disrupts the receptor binding of low density lipoproteins (LDL), which leads to hypercholesterolemia and premature atherosclerosis. In this study, mutant forms of human apo-B were expressed in transgenic mice, and the resulting human recombinant LDL were purified and tested for their receptor-binding activity. Site-directed mutagenesis and other evidence indicated that Site B (amino acids 3,359-3,369) binds to the LDL receptor and that arginine-3,500 is not directly involved in receptor binding. The carboxyl-terminal 20% of apo-B100 is necessary for the R3500Q mutation to disrupt receptor binding, since removal of the carboxyl terminus in FDB LDL results in normal receptor-binding activity. Similarly, removal of the carboxyl terminus of apo-B100 on receptor-inactive VLDL dramatically increases apo-B-mediated receptor-binding activity. We propose that the carboxyl terminus normally functions to inhibit the interaction of apo-B100 VLDL with the LDL receptor, but after the conversion of triglyceride-rich VLDL to smaller cholesterol-rich LDL, arginine-3,500 interacts with the carboxyl terminus, permitting normal interaction between LDL and its receptor. Moreover, the loss of arginine at this site destabilizes this interaction, resulting in receptor-binding defective LDL.
The pancreatic beta cell normally maintains a stable balance among insulin secretion, insulin production, and insulin degradation to keep optimal intracellular stores of the hormone. Elevated levels of FFA markedly enhance insulin secretion; however, the effects of FFA on insulin production and intracellular stores remain unclear. In this study, twofold elevation in total circulating FFA effected by infusion of lard oil and heparin into rats for 6 h under normoglycemic conditions resulted in a marked elevation of circulating insulin levels evident after 4 h, and a 30% decrease in pancreatic insulin content after a 6-h infusion in vivo. Adding 125 muM oleate to isolated rat pancreatic islets cultured with 5.6 mM glucose caused a 50% fall in their insulin content over 24 h, coupled with a marked enhancement of basal insulin secretion. Both effects of fatty acid were blocked by somatostatin. In contrast to the stimulatory effects of oleate on insulin secretion, glucose-induced proinsulin biosynthesis was inhibited by oleate up to 24 h, but was unaffected thereafter. This result was in spite of a two- to threefold oleate-induced increase in preproinsulin mRNA levels, underscoring the importance of translational regulation of proinsulin biosynthesis in maintaining beta cell insulin stores. Collectively, these results suggest that chronically elevated FFA contribute to beta cell dysfunction in the pathogenesis of NIDDM by significantly increasing the basal rate of insulin secretion. This increase in turn results in a decrease in the beta cell's intracellular stores that cannot be offset by commensurate FFA induction of proinsulin biosynthesis.
The Fas receptor and ligand initiate an apoptotic pathway. Alterations in this pathway within tumor cells can result in escape from apoptosis and immune surveillance. We evaluated Fas protein expression in 42 primary pulmonary adenocarcinomas, and Fas expression and function in the lung adenocarcinoma cell lines A549 and A427. Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated Fas protein expression in 47.6% of the tumors; however, Fas-positive tumors demonstrated cytoplasmic staining without cell surface expression. Northern blot analysis indicated that levels of Fas mRNA were similar in Fas protein-positive tumors to levels in normal lung tissue, but were reduced in Fas protein-negative tumors. Soluble form Fas was not detected in the majority of these tumors either by RT-PCR or Western blot analysis. Cell surface Fas protein expression was minimal in A549 and A427 cell lines as determined by flow cytometry. Both cell lines demonstrated Fas mRNA expression by Northern blot analysis and abundant protein expression by Western blot analysis. Transfection of the Fas cDNA derived from A549 cells induced surface Fas protein in COS cells; however, stable transfection of a native Fas cDNA into A549 cells failed to induce surface Fas protein expression. Parental A549 cells and A549 cells transfected with a Fas expression vector were resistant to Fas-mediated apoptosis. Transgenic expression of a FLAG-tagged Fas cDNA in A549 cells, with visualization of the Fas-FLAG protein using confocal microscopy, demonstrated that the Fas-FLAG protein was retained within cytoplasmic portions of the cell and was not translocated to the cell surface. These findings suggest that the Fas protein is reduced or not present on the cell surface in the primary lung tumors and is sequestered within A549 tumorigenic lung cells, and these alterations directly affect the cells resistance to Fas-mediated apoptosis.
Some patients with severe insulin resistance develop pathological tissue growth reminiscent of acromegaly. Previous studies of such patients have suggested the presence of a selective postreceptor defect of insulin signaling, resulting in the impairment of metabolic but preservation of mitogenic signaling. As the activation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) is considered essential for insulin's metabolic signaling, we have examined insulin-stimulated PI 3-kinase activity in anti-insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-1 immunoprecipitates from cultured dermal fibroblasts obtained from pseudoacromegalic (PA) patients and controls. At a concentration of insulin (1 nM) similar to that seen in vivo in PA patients, the activation of IRS-1-associated PI 3-kinase was reduced markedly in fibroblasts from the PA patients (32+/-7% of the activity of normal controls, P < 0.01). Genetic and biochemical studies indicated that this impairment was not secondary to a defect in the structure, expression, or activation of the insulin receptor, IRS-1, or p85alpha. Insulin stimulation of mitogenesis in PA fibroblasts, as determined by thymidine incorporation, was indistinguishable from controls, as was mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphorylation, confirming the integrity of insulin's mitogenic signaling pathways in this condition. These findings support the existence of an intrinsic defect of postreceptor insulin signaling in the PA subtype of insulin resistance, which involves impairment of the activation of PI 3-kinase. The PA tissue growth seen in such patients is likely to result from severe in vivo hyperinsulinemia activating intact mitogenic signaling pathways emanating from the insulin receptor.
To determine whether ketone bodies sustain neuronal function as energy substrates, we examined the effects of beta-hydroxybutyrate (betaHB) on synaptic transmission and morphological integrity during glucose deprivation in rat hippocampal slices. After the depression of excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) by 60 min of glucose deprivation, administration of 0.5-10 mM D-betaHB restored EPSPs in slices from postnatal day (PND) 15 rats but not in slices from PND 30 or 120 rats. At PND 15, adding D-betaHB to the media allowed robust long-term potentiation of EPSPs triggered by high frequency stimulation, and prevented the EPSP-spike facilitation that suggests hyperexcitability of neurons. Even after PND 15,D-betaHB blocked morphological changes produced by either glucose deprivation or glycolytic inhibition. These results indicate that D-betaHB is not only able to substitute for glucose as an energy substrate but is also able to preserve neuronal integrity and stability, particularly during early development.
CD40-CD40-ligand (CD154) interactions play a critical role in immune activation. Using replication defective adenovirus encoding mouse CD154 (Ad-CD154), we modified human chronic lymphocytic leukemia B cells to express a functional ligand for CD40. This not only induces expression of immune accessory molecules on the infected cell, but also allows it to trans-activate noninfected bystander leukemia B cells. Also, factors that impair the antigen-presenting capacity of leukemia B cells are downmodulated. Ad-CD154- infected leukemia cells are highly effective stimulators in mixed lymphocyte reactions and can induce generation of cytotoxic T lymphocytes specific for autologous nonmodified leukemia cells. As such, Ad-CD154 can induce a host antileukemia response that may have therapeutic potential.
Methylglyoxal (MG), a dicarbonyl compound produced by the fragmentation of triose phosphates, forms advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) in vitro. Glyoxalase-I catalyzes the conversion of MG to S-D-lactoylglutathione, which in turn is converted to D-lactate by glyoxalase-II. To evaluate directly the effect of glyoxalase-I activity on intracellular AGE formation, GM7373 endothelial cells that stably express human glyoxalase-I were generated. Glyoxalase-I activity in these cells was increased 28-fold compared to neo-transfected control cells (21.80+/-0.1 vs. 0. 76+/-0.02 micromol/min/mg protein, n = 3, P < 0.001). In neo-transfected cells, 30 mM glucose incubation increased MG and D-lactate concentration approximately twofold above 5 MM (35.5+/-5.8 vs. 19.6+/-1.6, P < 0.02, n = 3, and 21.0+/-1.3 vs. 10.0+/-1.2 pmol/ 10(6) cells, n = 3, P < 0.001, respectively). In contrast, in glyoxalase-I-transfected cells, 30 mM glucose incubation did not increase MG concentration at all, while increasing the enzymatic product D-lactate by > 10-fold (18.9+/-3.2 vs. 18.4+/- 5.8, n = 3, P = NS, and 107.1+/-9.0 vs. 9.4+/-0 pmol/10(6) cells, n = 3, P < 0.001, respectively). After exposure to 30 mM glucose, intracellular AGE formation in neo cells was increased 13.6-fold (2.58+/-0.15 vs. 0.19+/-0.03 total absorbance units, n = 3, P < 0.001). Concomitant with increased intracellular AGEs, macromolecular endocytosis by these cells was increased 2.2-fold. Overexpression of glyoxalase-I completely prevented both hyperglycemia-induced AGE formation and increased macromolecular endocytosis.
Pneumocystis carinii remains an important cause of pneumonia in patients with AIDS. Attachment of the organism to epithelial cells is a central event in establishing infection, impairing the growth potential of lung epithelial cells and thereby slowing repair. In light of investigations documenting a central role for cyclin-dependent kinases in controlling the cell cycle, we addressed the hypothesis that P. carinii inhibits epithelial cell growth by interfering with host epithelial cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk) activity. We observed that P. carinii significantly impaired growth of cultured mink lung epithelial cells, with effects observed after 48-72 h of treatment. However, the kinase activity associated with p34cdc2 or p33cdk2 was maximally inhibited as early as 24 h after P. carinii exposure. The inhibitory effect on cyclin-dependent kinase activity was mediated by the trophozoite form of P. carinii, in that highly purified trophozoites exerted marked inhibition of p34cdc2 activity. Growth impairment was similarly preceded by P. carinii-induced alteration in the state of epithelial cell p34cdc2 phosphorylation, with no change in p34cdc2 or p33cdk2 protein levels. These data strongly suggest that the antiproliferative activity of P. carinii on respiratory epithelium is mediated in part through modulation of the host cell cycle machinery.
We tested the hypothesis that endothelium-dependent vasodilatation is a determinant of insulin resistance of skeletal muscle glucose uptake in human obesity. Eight obese (age 26+/-1 yr, body mass index 37+/-1 kg/m2) and seven nonobese males (25+/-2 yr, 23+/-1 kg/m2) received an infusion of bradykinin into the femoral artery of one leg under intravenously maintained normoglycemic hyperinsulinemic conditions. Blood flow was measured simultaneously in the bradykinin and insulin- and the insulin-infused leg before and during hyperinsulinemia using [15O]-labeled water ([15O]H2O) and positron emission tomography (PET). Glucose uptake was quantitated immediately thereafter in both legs using [18F]- fluoro-deoxy-glucose ([18F]FDG) and PET. Whole body insulin-stimulated glucose uptake was lower in the obese (507+/-47 mumol/m2 . min) than the nonobese (1205+/-97 micromol/m2 . min, P < 0.001) subjects. Muscle glucose uptake in the insulin-infused leg was 66% lower in the obese (19+/-4 micromol/kg muscle . min) than in the nonobese (56+/-9 micromol/kg muscle . min, P < 0.005) subjects. Bradykinin increased blood flow during hyperinsulinemia in the obese subjects by 75% from 16+/-1 to 28+/-4 ml/kg muscle . min (P < 0.05), and in the normal subjects by 65% from 23+/-3 to 38+/-9 ml/kg muscle . min (P < 0.05). However, this flow increase required twice as much bradykinin in the obese (51+/-3 microg over 100 min) than in the normal (25+/-1 mug, P < 0.001) subjects. In the obese subjects, blood flow in the bradykinin and insulin-infused leg (28+/-4 ml/kg muscle . min) was comparable to that in the insulin-infused leg in the normal subjects during hyperinsulinemia (24+/-5 ml/kg muscle . min). Despite this, insulin-stimulated glucose uptake remained unchanged in the bradykinin and insulin-infused leg (18+/-4 mumol/kg . min) compared with the insulin-infused leg (19+/-4 micromol/kg muscle . min) in the obese subjects. Insulin-stimulated glucose uptake also was unaffected by bradykinin in the normal subjects (58+/-10 vs. 56+/-9 micromol/kg . min, bradykinin and insulin versus insulin leg). These data demonstrate that obesity is characterized by two distinct defects in skeletal muscle: insulin resistance of cellular glucose extraction and impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilatation. Since a 75% increase in blood flow does not alter glucose uptake, insulin resistance in obesity cannot be overcome by normalizing muscle blood flow.
Transcription factors of the NF-kappaB/Rel family are critical for inducible expression of multiple genes involved in inflammatory responses. Sulfasalazine and its salicylate moiety 5-aminosalicylic acid are among the most effective agents for treating inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis. However, the mode of action of these drugs remains unclear. Here we provide evidence that the transcription factor NF-kappaB is a target of sulfasalazine-mediated immunosuppression. Treatment of SW620 colon cells with sulfasalazine inhibited TNFalpha-, LPS-, or phorbol ester- induced NF-kappaB activation. NF-kappaB-dependent transcription was inhibited by sulfasalazine at micro- to millimolar concentrations. In contrast, 5-aminosalicylic acid or sulfapyridine did not block NF-kappaB activation at all doses tested. TNFalpha-induced nuclear translocation of NF-kappaB was prevented by sulfasalazine through inhibition of IkappaBalpha degradation. When blocking proteasome-mediated degradation of IkappaBalpha, we could demonstrate that sulfasalazine interfered with IkappaBalpha phosphorylation, suggesting a direct effect on an IkappaBalpha kinase or on an upstream signal. Inhibition of NF-kappaB activation seems to be specific since other DNA-binding activities such as AP1 were not affected. These results demonstrate that sulfasalazine is a potent and specific inhibitor of NF-kappaB activation, and thus may explain some of the known biological properties of sulfasalazine.
Hepatocyte growth factor-like protein (HGFL) is a liver-derived serum glycoprotein involved in cell proliferation and differentiation, and is proposed to have a fundamental role in embryogenesis, fertility, hematopoiesis, macrophage activation, and tissue repair. To assess the in vivo effects of total loss of HGFL, we generated mice with targeted disruption of the gene resulting in loss of the protein. Disruption of the HGFL gene allowed for normal embryogenesis, and followed a Mendelian pattern of genetic transmission. Mice homozygous for the targeted allele (HGFL-/- mice) are fertile, and grow to adulthood without obvious phenotypic abnormalities in unchallenged animals, except for development of lipid-containing cytoplasmic vacuoles in hepatocytes throughout the liver lobules. These histologic changes are not accompanied by discernible changes in synthetic or excretory hepatic functions. Hematopoiesis appears unaltered, and although macrophage activation is delayed in the absence of HGFL, migration to the peritoneal cavity upon challenge with thioglycollate was similar in HGFL-/- and wild-type mice. Challenged with incision to skin, HGFL-/- mice display normal wound healing. These data demonstrate that HGFL is not essential for embryogenesis, fertility, or wound healing. HGFL-deficient mice will provide a valuable means to assess the role of HGFL in hepatic and systemic responses to inflammatory and infectious stimuli in vivo.
A critical role of the coagulation system in the development of atherosclerosis has been frequently postulated based on a variety of indirect observations, including the expression of procoagulants and fibrinolytic factors within atherosclerotic vessels, the presence of substantial amounts of fibrin(ogen) and fibrin degradation products within intimal lesions, the cellular infiltration and assimilation of mural thrombi into developing plaques, and the identification of high plasma fibrinogen (Fib) levels as an independent risk factor for the development of ischemic heart disease. To directly examine the role of fibrin(ogen) in atherogenesis, Fib-deficient mice were crossed to atherosclerosis-prone apolipoprotein E (apo E)-deficient mice. Both apo E-/- and apo E-/-/Fib-/- mice developed lesions throughout the entire aortic tree, ranging in appearance from simple fatty streaks to complex fibrous plaques. Furthermore, remarkably little difference in lesion size and complexity was observed within the aortae of age- and gender-matched apo E-/- and apo E-/-/Fib-/- mice. These results indicate that the contribution of fibrin(ogen) to intimal mass and local cell adhesion, migration, and proliferation is not strictly required for the development of advanced atherosclerotic disease in mice with a severe defect in lipid metabolism.
Copyright © 2014 American Society for Clinical Investigation