Infection with Helicobacter pylori (Hp) induces the formation of lymphoid tissue in the stomach and the occasional development of primary gastric B-cell lymphomas. We have studied the expression of 2 chemokines that attract B lymphocytes, BCA-1 and SLC, in gastric tissue samples obtained from patients with chronic gastritis induced by Hp infection or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as from patients with Hp-associated low-grade and high-grade gastric lymphomas. High-level expression of BCA-1 and its receptor, CXCR5, was observed in all mucosal lymphoid aggregates and in the mantle zone of all secondary lymphoid follicles in Hp-induced gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT). Follicular dendritic cells and B lymphocytes are possible sources of BCA-1, which is not expressed by T lymphocytes, macrophages, or CD1a+ dendritic cells. Strong expression of BCA-1 and CXCR5 was also detected in the transformed B cells of gastric MALT lymphomas. By contrast, SLC was confined almost exclusively to endothelial cells in and outside the lymphoid tissue. Only scant, occasional SLC expression was observed in the marginal zone of MALT follicles. Our findings indicate that BCA-1, which functions as a homing chemokine in normal lymphoid tissue, is induced in chronic Hp gastritis and is involved in the formation of lymphoid follicles and gastric lymphomas of the MALT type.
Endoglin (CD105), an accessory protein of the TGF-β receptor superfamily, is highly expressed on endothelial cells. Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia type 1 (HHT1) is associated with mutations in the Endoglin gene, leading to haploinsufficiency. To generate a disease model and ascertain the role of endoglin in development, we generated mice lacking 1 or both copies of the gene. Endoglin null embryos die at gestational day 10.0–10.5 due to defects in vessel and heart development. Vessel formation appears normal until hemorrhage occurs in yolk sacs and embryos. The primitive vascular plexus of the yolk sac fails to mature into defined vessels, and vascular channels dilate and rupture. Internal bleeding is seen in the peritoneal cavity, implying fragile vessels. Heart development is arrested at day 9.0, and the atrioventricular canal endocardium fails to undergo mesenchymal transformation and cushion-tissue formation. These data suggest that endoglin is critical for both angiogenesis and heart valve formation. Some heterozygotes, either with an inbred 129/Ola or mixed C57BL/6-129/Ola background, show signs of HHT, such as telangiectases or recurrent nosebleeds. In this murine model of HHT, it appears that epigenetic factors and modifier genes, some of which are present in 129/Ola, contribute to disease heterogeneity.
Polarization of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), a cAMP-activated chloride channel, to the apical plasma membrane of epithelial cells is critical for vectorial transport of chloride in a variety of epithelia, including the airway, pancreas, intestine, and kidney. However, the motifs that localize CFTR to the apical membrane are unknown. We report that the last 3 amino acids in the COOH-terminus of CFTR (T-R-L) comprise a PDZ-interacting domain that is required for the polarization of CFTR to the apical plasma membrane in human airway and kidney epithelial cells. In addition, the CFTR mutant, S1455X, which lacks the 26 COOH-terminal amino acids, including the PDZ-interacting domain, is mispolarized to the lateral membrane. We also demonstrate that CFTR binds to ezrin-radixin-moesin–binding phosphoprotein 50 (EBP50), an apical membrane PDZ domain–containing protein. We propose that COOH-terminal deletions of CFTR, which represent about 10% of CFTR mutations, result in defective vectorial chloride transport, partly by altering the polarized distribution of CFTR in epithelial cells. Moreover, our data demonstrate that PDZ-interacting domains and PDZ domain–containing proteins play a key role in the apical polarization of ion channels in epithelial cells.
Glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis may be due, in part, to increased apoptosis of osteocytes and osteoblasts, and bisphosphonates (BPs) are effective in the management of this condition. We have tested the hypothesis that BPs suppress apoptosis in these cell types. Etidronate, alendronate, pamidronate, olpadronate, or amino-olpadronate (IG9402, a bisphosphonate that lacks antiresorptive activity) at 10–9 to 10–6 M prevented apoptosis of murine osteocytic MLO-Y4 cells, whether it was induced by etoposide, TNF-α, or the synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone. BPs also inhibited apoptosis of primary murine osteoblastic cells isolated from calvaria. Similar antiapoptotic effects on MLO-Y4 and osteoblastic cells were seen with nanomolar concentrations of the peptide hormone calcitonin. The antiapoptotic effect of BPs and calcitonin was associated with a rapid increase in the phosphorylated fraction of extracellular signal regulated kinases (ERKs) and was blocked by specific inhibitors of ERK activation. Consistent with these in vitro results, alendronate abolished the increased prevalence of apoptosis in vertebral cancellous bone osteocytes and osteoblasts that follows prednisolone administration to mice. These results suggest that the therapeutic efficacy of BPs or calcitonin in diseases such as glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis may be due, in part, to their ability to prevent osteocyte and osteoblast apoptosis.
A hallmark of asthma is mucin overproduction, a condition that contributes to airway obstruction. The events responsible for mucin overproduction are not known but are thought to be associated with mediators of chronic inflammation. Others have shown that T-helper 2 (Th2) lymphocytes are required for mucous cell metaplasia, which then leads to mucin overproduction in animal models of allergy. We hypothesized that Th2 cell mediators are present in asthmatic airway fluid and directly stimulate mucin synthesis in airway epithelial cells. Results in cultured airway epithelial cells showed that samples of asthmatic fluid stimulated mucin (MUC5AC) synthesis severalfold more potently than non-asthmatic fluid. Consistent with this, lavage fluid from the airways of allergen-challenged dogs stimulated mucin synthesis severalfold more potently than that from non–allergen-challenged dogs. Fractionation of dog samples revealed 2 active fractions at <10 kDa and 30–100 kDa. Th2 cytokines in these molecular weight ranges are IL-9 (36 kDa), IL-5 (56 kDa), and IL-13 (10 kDa). Antibody blockade of ligand-receptor interaction for IL-9 (but not IL-5 or IL-13) inhibited mucin stimulation by dog airway fluid. Furthermore, recombinant IL-9, but not IL-5 or IL-13, stimulated mucin synthesis. These results indicate that IL-9 may account for as much as 50–60% of the mucin-stimulating activity of lung fluids in allergic airway disease.
Pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) is present in gastric nerves, and PACAP receptors (PAC1) are found on gastric enterochromaffin-like (ECL) cells. Expression of PAC1 splice variants in purified ECL cells was determined by RT-PCR. PACAP effects on ECL cells were analyzed by video imaging of [Ca2+]i and histamine release; its effects on gastric glands were examined by confocal microscopy of [Ca2+]i in ECL and parietal cells. PACAP action on D cells was measured by [Ca2+]i and radioimmunoassay. PACAP effects on acid secretion were determined in fistula rats with or without neutralizing anti-somatostatin antibodies. All splice variants of PAC1 were found, but vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) receptor (VPAC) products were absent. PACAP-27 and -38 dose-dependently raise [Ca2+]i in ECL cells, and stimulated histamine release. VIP had a much lower affinity, which demonstrates the presence of PAC1 but not VPAC. PACAP elevated [Ca2+]i in ECL and parietal cells of superfused gastric glands, but only the parietal cell signal was inhibited by ranitidine, showing the absence of PAC1 on parietal cells, and demonstrating functional coupling between the cell types. PACAP and VIP stimulated calcium signaling and somatostatin release from D cells with almost equal efficacy. Acid secretion was stimulated after intravenous injection of PACAP into rats treated with somatostatin antibody. PACAP is a candidate as a mediator of neural regulation of acid secretion.
IL-18 is a novel cytokine with pleiotropic activities critical to the development of T-helper 1 (Th1) responses. We detected IL-18 mRNA and protein within rheumatoid arthritis (RA) synovial tissues in significantly higher levels than in osteoarthritis controls. Similarly, IL-18 receptor expression was detected on synovial lymphocytes and macrophages. Together with IL-12 or IL-15, IL-18 induced significant IFN-γ production by synovial tissues in vitro. IL-18 independently promoted GM-CSF and nitric oxide production, and it induced significant TNF-α synthesis by CD14+ macrophages in synovial cultures; the latter effect was potentiated by IL-12 or IL-15. TNF-α and IFN-γ synthesis was suppressed by IL-10 and TGF-β. IL-18 production in primary synovial cultures and purified synovial fibroblasts was, in turn, upregulated by TNF-α and IL-1β, suggesting that monokine expression can feed back to promote Th1 cell development in synovial membrane. Finally, IL-18 administration to collagen/incomplete Freund’s adjuvant–immunized DBA/1 mice facilitated the development of an erosive, inflammatory arthritis, suggesting that IL-18 can be proinflammatory in vivo. Together, these data indicate that synergistic combinations of IL-18, IL-12, and IL-15 may be of importance in sustaining both Th1 responses and monokine production in RA.
We describe a severe postsynaptic congenital myasthenic syndrome with marked endplate acetylcholine receptor (AChR) deficiency caused by 2 heteroallelic mutations in the β subunit gene. One mutation causes skipping of exon 8, truncating the β subunit before its M1 transmembrane domain, and abolishing surface expression of pentameric AChR. The other mutation, a 3-codon deletion (β426delEQE) in the long cytoplasmic loop between the M3 and M4 domains, curtails but does not abolish expression. By coexpressing β426delEQE with combinations of wild-type subunits in 293 HEK cells, we demonstrate that β426delEQE impairs AChR assembly by disrupting a specific interaction between β and δ subunits. Studies with related deletion and missense mutants indicate that secondary structure in this region of the β subunit is crucial for interaction with the δ subunit. The findings imply that the mutated residues are positioned at the interface between β and δ subunits and demonstrate contribution of this local region of the long cytoplasmic loop to AChR assembly.
Insulin deficiency (e.g., in acute diabetes or fasting) is associated with enhanced protein breakdown in skeletal muscle leading to muscle wasting. Because recent studies have suggested that this increased proteolysis is due to activation of the ubiquitin-proteasome (Ub-proteasome) pathway, we investigated whether diabetes is associated with an increased rate of Ub conjugation to muscle protein. Muscle extracts from streptozotocin-induced insulin-deficient rats contained greater amounts of Ub-conjugated proteins than extracts from control animals and also 40–50% greater rates of conjugation of 125I-Ub to endogenous muscle proteins. This enhanced Ub-conjugation occurred mainly through the N-end rule pathway that involves E214k and E3α. A specific substrate of this pathway, α-lactalbumin, was ubiquitinated faster in the diabetic extracts, and a dominant negative form of E214k inhibited this increase in ubiquitination rates. Both E214k and E3α were shown to be rate-limiting for Ub conjugation because adding small amounts of either to extracts stimulated Ub conjugation. Furthermore, mRNA for E214k and E3α (but not E1) were elevated 2-fold in muscles from diabetic rats, although no significant increase in E214k and E3α content could be detected by immunoblot or activity assays. The simplest interpretation of these results is that small increases in both E214k and E3α in muscles of insulin-deficient animals together accelerate Ub conjugation and protein degradation by the N-end rule pathway, the same pathway activated in cancer cachexia, sepsis, and hyperthyroidism.
Sepsis and endotoxemia impair hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction (HPV), thereby reducing arterial oxygenation and enhancing hypoxemia. Endotoxin induces nitric oxide (NO) production by NO synthase 2 (NOS2). To assess the role of NO and NOS2 in the impairment of HPV during endotoxemia, we measured in vivo the distribution of total pulmonary blood flow (QPA) between the right (QRPA) and left (QLPA) pulmonary arteries before and after left mainstem bronchus occlusion (LMBO) in mice with and without a congenital deficiency of NOS2. LMBO reduced QLPA/QPA equally in saline-treated wild-type and NOS2-deficient mice. However, prior challenge with Escherichia coli endotoxin markedly impaired the ability of LMBO to reduce QLPA/QPA in wild-type, but not in NOS2-deficient, mice. After endotoxin challenge and LMBO, systemic oxygenation was impaired to a greater extent in wild-type than in NOS2-deficient mice. When administered shortly after endotoxin treatment, the selective NOS2 inhibitor L-NIL preserved HPV in wild-type mice. High concentrations of inhaled NO attenuated HPV in NOS2-deficient mice challenged with endotoxin. These findings demonstrate that increased pulmonary NO levels (produced by NOS2 or inhaled at high levels from exogenous sources) are necessary during the septic process to impair HPV, ventilation/perfusion matching and arterial oxygenation in a murine sepsis model.
HIV-specific CD8+ T cells play a major role in the control of virus during HIV primary infection (PI) but do not completely prevent viral replication. We used IFN-γ enzyme-linked immunospot assay and intracellular staining to characterize the ex vivo CD8+ T-cell responses to a large variety of HIV epitopic peptides in 24 subjects with early HIV PI. We observed HIV-specific responses in 71% of subjects. Gag and Nef peptides were more frequently recognized than Env and Pol peptides. The number of peptides recognized was low (median 2, range 0–6). In contrast, a much broader response was observed in 30 asymptomatic subjects with chronic infection: all were responders with a median of 5 peptides recognized (range 1–13). The frequency of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells among PBMC for a given peptide was of the same order of magnitude in both groups. The proportion of HIV-specific CD8+CD28– terminally differentiated T cells was much lower in PI than at the chronic stage of infection. The weakness of the immune response during HIV PI could partially account for the failure to control HIV. These findings have potential importance for defining immunotherapeutic strategies and establishing the goals for effective vaccination.
It was recently shown that naturally occurring Mdr1a mutant fetuses of the CF-1 outbred mouse stock have no placental Mdr1a P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and that this absence is associated with increased sensitivity to avermectin, a teratogenic pesticide. To further define the role of placental drug-transporting P-gp in toxicological protection of the fetus, we used mice with a targeted disruption of the Mdr1a and Mdr1b genes. Mdr1a+/–/1b+/– females were mated with Mdr1a+/–/1b+/– males to obtain fetuses of 3 genotypes (Mdr1a+/+/1b+/+, Mdr1a+/–/1b+/–, and Mdr 1a–/–/1b–/–) in a single mother. Intravenous administration of the P-gp substrate drugs [3H]digoxin, [14C]saquinavir, or paclitaxel to pregnant dams revealed that 2.4-, 7-, or 16-fold more drug, respectively, entered the Mdr1a–/–/1b–/– fetuses than entered wild-type fetuses. Furthermore, placental P-gp activity could be completely inhibited by oral administration of the P-gp blockers PSC833 or GG918 to heterozygous mothers. Our findings imply that the placental drug-transporting P-gp is of great importance in limiting the fetal penetration of various potentially harmful or therapeutic compounds and demonstrate that this P-gp function can be abolished by pharmacological means. The latter principle could be applied clinically to improve pharmacotherapy of the unborn child.
During immune responses, antigen-presenting cells (APCs) process antigens and present peptide epitopes complexed with human leukocyte antigen (HLA) molecules. CD4 cells recognize these naturally processed and presented epitopes (NPPEs) bound to HLA class II molecules. Epitope identification is important for developing diagnostic and therapeutic tools for immune-mediated diseases and providing insight into their etiology, but current approaches overlook effects of natural processing on epitope selection. We have developed a technique to identify NPPEs using mass spectrometry (MS) after antigen is targeted onto APCs using a lectin-based antigen delivery system (ADS). We applied the technique to identify NPPEs of the intracellular domain of the type 1 diabetes mellitus–associated (type 1 DM-associated) autoantigen insulinoma-associated-2 (IA-2ic), presented by HLA-DR4 (0401). IA-2ic–derived NPPEs eluted from HLA-DR4 constitute 6 sets of peptides nested around distinct core regions. Synthetic peptides based on these regions bind HLA-DR4 and elicit primary T-cell proliferation frequently in HLA-DR4–positive type 1 DM patients, but rarely in non–HLA-DR4 patients, and in none of the HLA-DR4 nondiabetic controls we tested. This flexible, direct approach identifies an HLA allele-specific map of NPPEs for any antigen, presented by any HLA class II molecule. This method should enable a greater understanding of epitope selection and lead to the generation of sensitive and specific reagents for detecting autoreactive T cells.
Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is a common human genetic disease characterized by cyst formation in kidney tubules and other ductular epithelia. Cells lining the cysts have abnormalities in cell proliferation and cell polarity. The majority of ADPKD cases are caused by mutations in the PKD1 gene, which codes for polycystin-1, a large integral membrane protein of unknown function that is expressed on the plasma membrane of renal tubular epithelial cells in fetal kidneys. Because signaling from cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion complexes regulates cell proliferation and polarity, we speculated that polycystin-1 might interact with these complexes. We show here that polycystin-1 colocalized with the cell adhesion molecules E-cadherin and α-, β-, and γ-catenin. Polycystin-1 coprecipitated with these proteins and comigrated with them on sucrose density gradients, but it did not colocalize, coprecipitate, or comigrate with focal adhesion kinase, a component of the focal adhesion. We conclude that polycystin-1 is in a complex containing E-cadherin and α-, β-, and γ-catenin. These observations raise the question of whether the defects in cell proliferation and cell polarity observed in ADPKD are mediated by E-cadherin or the catenins.
Homeobox transcription factors specify body plan by regulating differentiation, proliferation, and migration at a cellular level. The homeobox transcription factor Gax is expressed in quiescent vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), and its expression is downregulated by vascular injury or other conditions that lead to VSMC proliferation. Previous investigations demonstrate that Gax may regulate VSMC proliferation by upregulating the cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk) inhibitor p21. Here we examined whether Gax influences VSMC migration, a key feature in the development of stenotic lesions after balloon injury. Transduction of a Gax cDNA inhibited the migratory response of VSMCs toward PDGF-BB, basic fibroblast growth factor, or hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor. Gax expression also inhibited migration of NIH·3T3 fibroblasts and embryonic fibroblasts lacking p53. Gax was unable to inhibit the migration of fibroblasts lacking p21, but this effect could be restored in these cells by providing exogenous p21 or by overexpressing another cdk inhibitor, p16. Flow cytometric analysis implicated a Gax-mediated downregulation of αvβ3 and αvβ5 integrin expression in VSMCs as a potential cause for reduced cell motility. Gax specifically downregulated β3 and β5 in VSMCs in culture and after acute vascular injury in vivo. Repression of integrin expression was also found in NIH 3T3 cells and p53 knockout fibroblasts, but not in p21-knockout fibroblasts, unless these cells express exogenous p21 or p16. These data suggest that cycle progression, integrin expression, and cell migration can be regulated in VSMCs by the homeobox gene product Gax.
Copyright © 2014 American Society for Clinical Investigation