Expression of angiogenic factors such as VEGF under conditions of hypoxia or other kinds of cell stress contributes to neovascularization during wound healing. The inducible endoplasmic reticulum chaperone oxygen-regulated protein 150 (ORP150) is expressed in human wounds along with VEGF. Colocalization of these two molecules was observed in macrophages in the neovasculature, suggesting a role of ORP150 in the promotion of angiogenesis. Local administration of ORP150 sense adenovirus to wounds of diabetic mice, a treatment that efficiently targeted this gene product to the macrophages of wound beds, increased VEGF antigen in wounds and accelerated repair and neovascularization. In cultured human macrophages, inhibition of ORP150 expression caused retention of VEGF antigen within the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), while overexpression of ORP150 promoted the secretion of VEGF into hypoxic culture supernatants. Taken together, these data suggest an important role for ORP150 in the setting of impaired wound repair and identify a key, inducible chaperone-like molecule in the ER. This novel facet of the angiogenic response may be amenable to therapeutic manipulation.
Systemic administration of IL-12 and intermittent doses of IL-2 induce complete regression of metastatic murine renal carcinoma. Here, we show that overt tumor regression induced by IL-12/pulse IL-2 is preceded by recruitment of CD8+ T cells, vascular injury, disrupted tumor neovascularization, and apoptosis of both endothelial and tumor cells. The IL-12/IL-2 combination synergistically enhances cell surface FasL expression on CD8+ T lymphocytes in vitro and induces Fas and FasL expression within tumors via an IFN-γ–dependent mechanism in vivo. This therapy also inhibits tumor neovascularization and induces tumor regression by mechanisms that depend critically on endogenous IFN-γ production and an intact Fas/FasL pathway. The ability of IL-12/pulse IL-2 to induce rapid destruction of tumor-associated endothelial cells and regression of established metastatic tumors is ablated in mice with a dysregulated Fas/FasL pathway. The common, critical role for endogenous IFN-γ and the Fas/FasL pathway in early antiangiogenic effects and in antitumor responses suggests that early, cytokine-driven innate immune mechanisms and CD8+ T cell–mediated responses are interdependent. Definition of critical early molecular events engaged by IL-12/IL-2 may provide new perspective into optimal therapeutic engagement of a productive host-antitumor immune response.
In NOD (nonobese diabetic) mice, a model of autoimmune diabetes, various immunomodulatory interventions prevent progression to diabetes. However, after hyperglycemia is established, such interventions rarely alter the course of disease or allow sustained engraftment of islet transplants. A proteasome defect in lymphoid cells of NOD mice impairs the presentation of self antigens and increases the susceptibility of these cells to TNF-α–induced apoptosis. Here, we examine the hypothesis that induction of TNF-α expression combined with reeducation of newly emerging T cells with self antigens can interrupt autoimmunity. Hyperglycemic NOD mice were treated with CFA to induce TNF-α expression and were exposed to functional complexes of MHC class I molecules and antigenic peptides either by repeated injection of MHC class I matched splenocytes or by transplantation of islets from nonautoimmune donors. Hyperglycemia was controlled in animals injected with splenocytes by administration of insulin or, more effectively, by implantation of encapsulated islets. These interventions reversed the established β cell–directed autoimmunity and restored endogenous pancreatic islet function to such an extent that normoglycemia was maintained in up to 75% of animals after discontinuation of treatment and removal of islet transplants. A therapy aimed at the selective elimination of autoreactive cells and the reeducation of T cells, when combined with control of glycemia, is thus able to effect an apparent cure of established type 1 diabetes in the NOD mouse.J. Clin. Invest.108:63–72 (2001). DOI:10.1172/JCI200112335.
Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades are involved in inflammation and tissue destruction in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In particular, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) is highly activated in RA fibroblast-like synoviocytes and synovium. However, defining the precise function of this kinase has been difficult because a selective JNK inhibitor has not been available. We now report the use of a novel selective JNK inhibitor and JNK knockout mice to determine the function of JNK in synoviocyte biology and inflammatory arthritis. The novel JNK inhibitor SP600125 (anthra[1,9-cd]pyrazol-6(2H)-one) completely blocked IL-1–induced accumulation of phospho-Jun and induction of c-Jun transcription in synoviocytes. Furthermore, AP-1 binding and collagenase mRNA accumulation were completely suppressed by SP600125. In contrast, complete inhibition of p38 had no effect, and ERK inhibition had only a modest effect. The essential role of JNK was confirmed in cultured synoviocytes from JNK1 knockout mice and JNK2 knockout mice, each of which had a partial defect in IL-1–induced AP-1 activation and collagenase-3 expression. Administration of SP600125 modestly decreased the rat paw swelling in rat adjuvant-induced arthritis. More striking was the near-complete inhibition of radiographic damage that was associated with decreased AP-1 activity and collagenase-3 gene expression. Therefore, JNK is a critical MAPK pathway for IL-1–induced collagenase gene expression in synoviocytes and in joint arthritis, indicating that JNK is an important therapeutic target for RA.
Most patients succumbing to colorectal cancer fail with liver-predominant metastases. To make a clinical impact in this disease, a systemic or whole-liver therapy may be required, whereas most cancer gene therapy approaches are limited in their ability to treat beyond local disease. As a preclinical model for cancer gene therapy, recombinant adenovirus containing the human IFN-β (hIFN-β) cDNA was delivered systemically in nude mouse xenograft models of human colorectal cancer liver metastases. The vector targeted hepatocytes that produced high levels of hIFN-β in the liver, resulting in a profound apoptotic response in the tumors and significant tumor regression. hIFN-β gene therapy not only resulted in improved survival and long-term cure in a micrometastatic model, but provided similar benefits in a clinically relevant gross disease model. A similar recombinant adenovirus containing the murine IFN-β (mIFN-β) cDNA also resulted in a therapeutic response and improved survival in syngeneic mouse models of colorectal cancer liver metastases. Depletion studies demonstrate a contribution of natural killer cells to this therapeutic response. The toxicity of an adenoviral vector expressing murine IFN-β in a syngeneic model is also presented. These encouraging results warrant further investigation of the use of cancer gene therapy for targeting metastatic disease.
In newborns and small mammals, cold-induced adaptive (or nonshivering) thermogenesis is produced primarily in brown adipose tissue (BAT). Heat production is stimulated by the sympathetic nervous system, but it has an absolute requirement for thyroid hormone. We used the thyroid hormone receptor-β–selective (TR-β–selective) ligand, GC-1, to determine by a pharmacological approach whether adaptive thermogenesis was TR isoform–specific. Hypothyroid mice were treated for 10 days with varying doses of T3 or GC-1. The level of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1), the key thermogenic protein in BAT, was restored by either T3 or GC-1 treatment. However, whereas interscapular BAT in T3-treated mice showed a 3.0°C elevation upon infusion of norepinephrine, indicating normal thermogenesis, the temperature did not increase (<0.5°C) in GC-1–treated mice. When exposed to cold (4°C), GC-1–treated mice also failed to maintain core body temperature and had reduced stimulation of BAT UCP1 mRNA, indicating impaired adrenergic responsiveness. Brown adipocytes isolated from hypothyroid mice replaced with T3, but not from those replaced with GC-1, had normal cAMP production in response to adrenergic stimulation in vitro. We conclude that two distinct thyroid-dependent pathways, stimulation of UCP1 and augmentation of adrenergic responsiveness, are mediated by different TR isoforms in the same tissue.
Proximal renal tubular acidosis associated with ocular abnormalities such as band keratopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts is caused by mutations in the Na+-HCO3– cotransporter (NBC-1). However, the mechanism by which NBC-1 inactivation leads to such ocular abnormalities remains to be elucidated. By immunological analysis of human and rat eyes, we demonstrate that both kidney type (kNBC-1) and pancreatic type (pNBC-1) transporters are present in the corneal endothelium, trabecular meshwork, ciliary epithelium, and lens epithelium. In the human lens epithelial (HLE) cells, RT-PCR detected mRNAs of both kNBC-1 and pNBC-1. Although a Na+-HCO3– cotransport activity has not been detected in mammalian lens epithelia, cell pH (pHi) measurements revealed the presence of Cl–-independent, electrogenic Na+-HCO3– cotransport activity in HLE cells. In addition, up to 80% of amiloride-insensitive pHi recovery from acid load in the presence of HCO3–/CO2 was inhibited by adenovirus-mediated transfer of a specific hammerhead ribozyme against NBC-1, consistent with a major role of NBC-1 in overall HCO3– transport by the lens epithelium. These results indicate that the normal transport activity of NBC-1 is indispensable not only for the maintenance of corneal and lenticular transparency but also for the regulation of aqueous humor outflow.
CD8 glycoproteins play an important role in both the maturation and function of MHC class I-restricted T lymphocytes. A 25-year-old man, from a consanguineous family, with recurrent bacterial infections and total absence of CD8+ cells, was studied. Ab deficiencies and ZAP-70 and TAP defects were ruled out. A missense mutation (gly90→ser) in both alleles of the immunoglobulin domain of the CD8α gene was shown to correlate with the absence of CD8 expression found in the patient and two sisters. Conversely, high percentages of CD4–CD8–TCRαβ+ T cells were found in the three siblings. A novel autosomal recessive immunologic defect characterized by absence of CD8+ cells is described. These findings may help to further understanding of the role of CD8 molecules in human immune response.
Limitation of movement during fetal development may lead to multiple joint contractures in the neonate, termed arthrogryposis multiplex congenita. Neuromuscular disorders are among the many different causes of reduced fetal movement. Many congenital myasthenic syndromes (CMSs) are due to mutations of the adult-specific ε subunit of the acetylcholine receptor (AChR), and, thus, functional deficits do not arise until late in gestation. However, an earlier effect on the fetus might be predicted with some defects of other AChR subunits. We studied a child who presented at birth with joint contractures and was subsequently found to have a CMS. Mutational screening revealed heteroallelic mutation within the AChR δ subunit gene, δ756ins2 and δE59K. Expression studies demonstrate that δ756ins2 is a null mutation. By contrast, both fetal and adult AChR containing δE59K have shorter than normal channel activations that predict fast decay of endplate currents. Thus, δE59K causes dysfunction of fetal as well as the adult AChR and would explain the presence of joint contractures on the basis of reduced fetal movement. This is the first report of the association of AChR gene mutations with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita. It is probable that mutations that severely disrupt function of fetal AChR will underlie additional cases.
Adenosine deaminase (ADA) deficiency in humans results in a severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). This immunodeficiency is associated with severe disturbances in purine metabolism that are thought to mediate lymphotoxicity. The recent generation of ADA-deficient (ADA–/–) mice has enabled the in vivo examination of mechanisms that may underlie the SCID resulting from ADA deficiency. We demonstrate severe depletion of T and B lymphocytes and defects in T and B cell development in ADA–/– mice. T cell apoptosis was abundant in thymi of ADA–/– mice, but no increase in apoptosis was detected in the spleen and lymph nodes of these animals, suggesting that the defect is specific to developing thymocytes. Studies of mature T cells recovered from spleens of ADA–/– mice revealed that ADA deficiency is accompanied by TCR activation defects of T cells in vivo. Furthermore, ex vivo experiments on ADA–/– T cells demonstrated that elevated adenosine is responsible for this abnormal TCR signaling. These findings suggest that the metabolic disturbances seen in ADA–/– mice affect various signaling pathways that regulate thymocyte survival and function. Experiments with thymocytes ex vivo confirmed that ADA deficiency reduces tyrosine phosphorylation of TCR-associated signaling molecules and blocks TCR-triggered calcium increases.
TNF-α is a pleiotropic cytokine activating several signaling pathways initiated at distinct intracellular domains of the TNF receptors. Although the C-terminal region is believed to be responsible for apoptosis induction, the functions of more membrane-proximal domains, including the domain that couples to neutral sphingomyelinase activation, are not yet fully elucidated. The roles of this region and of the associated adapter protein FAN (factor associated with neutral SMase activation) in the cytotoxic response to TNF have been investigated. We have now shown that stable expression in human fibroblasts of a dominant negative form of FAN abrogates TNF-induced ceramide generation from sphingomyelin hydrolysis and reduces caspase processing, thus markedly inhibiting TNF-triggered apoptosis. However, the cytotoxic responses to daunorubicin and exogenous ceramide remain unaltered, as do the TNF-induced p42/p44 MAPK activation and CD54 expression. Fibroblasts from FAN-knockout mice also proved to be resistant to TNF toxicity. These findings highlight the previously unrecognized role of the adapter protein FAN in signaling cell death induction by TNF.
Using cre/loxP gene targeting, transgenic mice with muscle-specific inactivation of the GLUT4 gene (muscle GLUT4 KO) were generated and shown to develop a diabetes phenotype. To determine the mechanism, we examined insulin-stimulated glucose uptake and metabolism during hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp in control and muscle GLUT4 KO mice before and after development of diabetes. Insulin-stimulated whole body glucose uptake was decreased by 55% in muscle GLUT4 KO mice, an effect that could be attributed to a 92% decrease in insulin-stimulated muscle glucose uptake. Surprisingly, insulin’s ability to stimulate adipose tissue glucose uptake and suppress hepatic glucose production was significantly impaired in muscle GLUT4 KO mice. To address whether these latter changes were caused by glucose toxicity, we treated muscle GLUT4 KO mice with phloridzin to prevent hyperglycemia and found that insulin-stimulated whole body and skeletal muscle glucose uptake were decreased substantially, whereas insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in adipose tissue and suppression of hepatic glucose production were normal after phloridzin treatment. In conclusion, these findings demonstrate that a primary defect in muscle glucose transport can lead to secondary defects in insulin action in adipose tissue and liver due to glucose toxicity. These secondary defects contribute to insulin resistance and to the development of diabetes.
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