Whereas mobilization of intracellular Ca2+ stimulates neuronal adenylyl cyclase via Ca2+/calmodulin, mobilized Ca2+ directly inhibits adenylyl cyclase in other tissues. To determine the physiologic role of the Ca(2+)-dependent interaction between Na+/Ca2+ exchange and beta-adrenergic signal transduction in the intact heart, digoxin (0.3 mg/kg) was administered intravenously in rabbits. 30 min after the administration, digoxin impaired the peak left ventricular dP/dt response to dobutamine infusions by up to 38% as compared with control rabbits. This impairment was not caused by changes in either beta-adrenergic receptor number or in the functional activity of stimulatory guanine nucleotide-binding protein. It was associated with 33-36% reductions in basal and stimulated adenylyl cyclase activities. Animals treated with calcium gluconate (20 mg/kg/min for 30 min) also demonstrated similar reductions in adenylyl cyclase activities. In addition, increasing the free Ca2+ concentration progressively inhibited adenylyl cyclase activity in the control, digoxin-treated, and calcium gluconate-treated sarcolemma preparations in vitro. Moreover, digoxin and calcium gluconate pretreatment blunted the increase in cAMP in myocardial tissue after dobutamine infusion in vivo. Thus, digoxin rapidly reduces beta-adrenergic contractile response in rabbit hearts. This reduction may reflect an inhibition of adenylyl cyclase by Ca2+ mobilized via Na+/Ca2+ exchange.
Although bone loss around the time of menopause is driven by estrogen deficiency, the roles of estrogens and androgens in the preservation of skeletal mass at other stages of life are less well understood. To address this issue we studied 231 women between the ages of 32 and 77 with multiple measurements of sex steroids and bone mass over a period of 2-8 yr. In all women bone mass was negatively associated with concentrations of sex-hormone binding globulin, and positively associated with weight. Bone loss occurred from all skeletal sites in peri- and postmenopausal women, but premenopausal women lost bone only from the hip (-0.3%/yr) and had positive rates of change in the radius and spine. Bone loss was significantly associated with lower androgen concentrations in premenopausal women, and with lower estrogens and androgens in peri- and postmenopausal women. Sex steroids are important for the maintenance of skeletal integrity before menopause, and for as long as 20-25 yr afterwards.
Endothelium-dependent vasodilation is impaired in humans with diabetes mellitus. Inactivation of endothelium-derived nitric oxide by oxygen-derived free radicals contributes to abnormal vascular reactivity in experimental models of diabetes. To determine whether this observation is relevant to humans, we tested the hypothesis that the antioxidant, vitamin C, could improve endothelium-dependent vasodilation in forearm resistance vessels of patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. We studied 10 diabetic subjects and 10 age-matched, nondiabetic control subjects. Forearm blood flow was determined by venous occlusion plethysmography. Endothelium-dependent vasodilation was assessed by intraarterial infusion of methacholine (0.3-10 micrograms/min). Endothelium-independent vasodilation was measured by intraarterial infusion of nitroprusside (0.3-10 micrograms/min) and verapamil (10-300 micrograms/min). Forearm blood flow dose-response curves were determined for each drug before and during concomitant intraarterial administration of vitamin C (24 mg/min). In diabetic subjects, endothelium-dependent vasodilation to methacholine was augmented by simultaneous infusion of vitamin C (P = 0.002); in contrast, endothelium-independent vasodilation to nitroprusside and to verapamil were not affected by concomitant infusion of vitamin C (P = 0.9 and P = 0.4, respectively). In nondiabetic subjects, vitamin C administration did not alter endothelium-dependent vasodilation (P = 0.8). We conclude that endothelial dysfunction in forearm resistance vessels of patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus can be improved by administration of the antioxidant, vitamin C. These findings support the hypothesis that nitric oxide inactivation by oxygen-derived free radicals contributes to abnormal vascular reactivity in diabetes.
In red cells from patients with sickle cell anemia, hemoglobin S denatures and forms Heinz bodies. Binding of Heinz bodies to the inner surface of the sickle cell membrane promotes clustering and colocalization of the membrane protein band 3, outer surface-bound autologous IgG and, to some extent, the membrane proteins glycophorin and ankyrin. Loss of transbilayer lipid asymmetry is also found in certain populations of sickle red cells. The lateral distribution of sickle cell membrane lipids has not been examined, however. In this report, we examine by fluorescence microscopy the incorporation and distribution of the fluorescent phospholipid analogues 7-nitro-2,1,3-benzoxadiazol-4-yl (NBD)-phosphatidylserine and NBD-phosphatidylcholine in sickle red cells. Both phospholipid analogues are observed to accumulate prominently at sites of Heinz bodies. Accumulation at sites of Heinz bodies is also shown by 1,'1-dihexadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate, a fluorescent lipid analogue that readily crosses membranes, but not by fluorescein-phosphatidylethanolamine, an analogue that is localized to the outer leaflet of the membrane. Double labeling and confocal microscopy techniques show that NBD-lipids, band 3 protein, protein 4.1, ankyrin, and spectrin are all sequestered within sickle red cells and colocalized at sites of Heinz bodies. We propose that Heinz bodies provide a hydrophobic surface on which sickle red cell membrane lipids and proteins are sequestered.
Although elevated plasma plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) is associated with obesity, very little is known about its tissue or cellular origin, or about the events that lead to increased PAI-1 levels under obese conditions. Since TNF-alpha is increased in rodents both during obesity and in response to endotoxin treatment, we examined the effects of these agents on PAI-1 gene expression in the adipose tissue of CB6 mice. In untreated mice, PAI-1 mRNA was detected in both mature adipocytes and in stromal vascular cells. Both TNF-alpha and endotoxin significantly increased PAI-1 mRNA in the adipose tissue, peaking at 3-8 h. In situ hybridization analysis of adipose tissue from untreated mice revealed a weak signal for PAI-1 mRNA only in the smooth muscle cells within the vascular wall. In contrast, after endotoxin or TNF-alpha treatment, PAI-1 mRNA also was detected in adipocytes and in adventitial cells of vessels. Endotoxin also induced PAI-1 in endothelial cells, while TNF-alpha additionally induced it in smooth muscle cells. Mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes in culture also expressed PAI-1 mRNA, and its rate of synthesis was also upregulated by TNF-alpha. These studies suggest that the adipose tissue itself may be an important contributor to the elevated PAI-1 levels observed in the plasma under obese conditions.
Obstructive lung disease is the most common form of respiratory disturbance. However, the location of brain structures underlying the ventilatory response to resistive expiratory loads is unknown in humans. To study this issue, midsagittal magnetic resonance images were acquired in eight healthy volunteers before and after application of a moderate resistive expiratory load (30 cmH2O/liter/s), using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) strategies (1.5-T magnetic resonance; repetition time: 72 ms; echo time: 45 ms; flip angle: 30 degrees; field of view: 26 cm; slice thickness: 5 mm; 128 x 256 x 1 number of excitations). Digital image subtractions and region of interest analyses revealed significant increases in fMRI signal intensity in discrete areas of the ventral medulla, ventral and dorsal pontomedullary structures, basal forebrain, and cerebellum. Upon load withdrawal, a rapid fMRI signal off-transient occurred in all activated sites. Application of an identical load immediately after recovery from the initial stimulus resulted in smaller signal increases (P < 0.02). Prolongation of load duration was associated with progressive fMRI signal decrease across activated regions. In three additional subjects, the threshold for significant MRI signal increases was established at expiratory loads > or = 15 cmH2O/liter/s and was dose dependent with increasing loads. We conclude that resistive expiratory loads > or = 15 cmH2O/liter/s elicit regional activation of discrete brain locations in humans.
Immune surveillance depends on lymphocyte access to tissue. Lymphocytes emigrate from blood when adhesion receptors such as L-selectin and the alpha 4 beta 7 integrin on these cells bind to ligands expressed on venular endothelium. Among transgenic mouse lines expressing an oncoprotein (Tag) in islet beta cells, some recognize Tag as nonself. In these mice, Tag expression elicits both beta cell hyperplasia with subsequent progression to tumors and lymphocytic infiltration. Endothelial ligands for L-selectin and alpha 4 beta 7 were upregulated in infiltrated islets in these transgenic mice. These ligands were not expressed in tumors, which were devoid of lymphocytic infiltration. In contrast, the adhesion molecules PECAM-1, ICAM-1, and VCAM-1 were expressed on endothelium in both noninfiltrated tumors and infiltrated islets. Thus, upregulation of expression of endothelial ligands for L-selectin and alpha 4 beta 7 may contribute to autoimmune infiltration. Repression of expression of these same ligands may be involved in the failure of tumor immunity.
The postprandial responses of apo B48, B100, E and lipids in triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TRL) to a meal containing one-third of daily energy (39% fat calories) were compared in normolipidemic young men with apo E3/3 and apo E4/3 phenotypes. After the two groups consumed a diet rich in polyunsaturated fat for 15-29 d, their postabsorptive concentrations of TRL triglycerides, apo B48, and apo B100 were virtually identical, but their postprandial responses differed. In both groups, TRL apo B48 increased at 3 h but returned to postabsorptive values at 6 h only in the apo E3/3 group; in the apo E4/3 group the concentration of apo B48 at 6 h was 80% higher than postabsorptive values. TRL apo B100 also increased at 3 h in the two groups and fell to post-absorptive values at 6 h in the apo E3/3 group but remained 51% higher than postabsorptive concentrations in the apo E4/3 group; this response was closely coupled to that of TRL cholesterol and apo E. These observations suggest that clearance of intestinal and hepatogenous TRL remnants is impaired in young men with an apo E4/3 phenotype.
Methotrexate (MTX) is one of the most widely used drugs for the treatment of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and is commonly given in high doses. However, the rationale for high-dose MTX (HDMTX) has been challenged recently. To determine whether higher MTX polyglutamate (MTXPG) concentrations in ALL blasts translate into greater antileukemic effects, 150 children with newly diagnosed ALL were randomized to initial treatment with either HDMTX (1,000 mg/m2 intravenously over 24 h) or lower-dose MTX (30 mg/m2 by mouth every 6 h x 6). ALL blasts accumulated higher concentrations of MTXPG and long-chain MTXPG (MTXPGLC) after HDMTX (P < 0.00001). Of 101 patients evaluable for peripheral blast cytoreduction, MTXPG concentrations were higher in patients whose blast count decreased within 24 h (P = 0.005) and in those who had no detectable circulating blasts within 4 days (P = 0.004). The extent of inhibition of de novo purine synthesis in ALL blasts was significantly related to the blast concentration of MTXPGLC (IC95% = 483 pmol/10(9) blasts). The percentage of patients with 44-h MTXPGLC exceeding the IC95% was greater after HDMTX (81%) than LDMTX (46%, P < 0.0001). These data indicate that higher blast concentrations of MTXPG are associated with greater antileukemic effects, establishing a strong rationale for HD-MTX in the treatment of childhood ALL.
To investigate the temporal response of the liver to insulin and portal glucose delivery, somatostatin was infused into four groups of 42-h-fasted, conscious dogs (n = 6/group), basal insulin and glucagon were replaced intraportally, and hyperglycemia was created via a peripheral glucose infusion for 90 min (period 1). This was followed by a 240-min experimental period (period 2) in which hyperglycemia was matched to period 1 and either no changes were made (CON), a fourfold rise in insulin was created (INS), a portion of the glucose (22.4 mumol.kg-1.min-1) was infused via the portal vein (Po), or a fourfold rise in insulin was created in combination with portal glucose infusion (INSPo). Arterial insulin levels were similar in all groups during period 1 (approximately 45 pM) and were 45 +/- 9, 154 +/- 20, 43 +/- 7, and 128 +/- 14 pM during period 2 in CON, INS, Po, and INSPo, respectively. The hepatic glucose load was similar between periods and among groups (approximately 278 mumol.kg-1.min-1). Net hepatic glucose output was similar among groups during period 1 (approximately 0.1 mumol.kg-1.min-1) and did not change significantly in CON during period 2. In INS net hepatic glucose uptake (NHGU; mumol.kg-1.min-1) was -3.8 +/- 3.3 at 15 min of period 2 and did not reach a maximum (-15.9 +/- 6.6) until 90 min. In contrast, NHGU reached a maximum of -13.0 +/- 3.7 in Po after only 15 min of period 2. In INSPo, NHGU reached a maximum (-23.6 +/- 3.5) at 60 min. Liver glycogen accumulation during period 2 was 21 +/- 10, 84 +/- 17, 65 +/- 16, and 134 +/- 17 mumol/gram in CON, INS, Po, and INSPo, respectively. The increment (period 1 to period 2) in the active form of liver glycogen synthase was 0.7 +/- 0.4, 6.5 +/- 1.2, 2.8 +/- 1.0, and 8.5 +/- 1.3% in CON, INS, Po, and INSPo, respectively. Thus, in contrast to insulin, the portal signal rapidly activates NHGU. In addition, the portal signal independent of a rise in insulin, can cause glycogen accumulation in the liver.
This study investigated in eight healthy male volunteers (a) the gastric emptying pattern of 50 and 100 grams of glucose; (b) its relation to the phase of interdigestive motility (phase I or II) existing when glucose was ingested; and (c) the interplay between gastric emptying or duodenal perfusion of glucose (1.1 and 2.2 kcal/min; identical total glucose loads as orally given) and release of glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP), glucagon-like peptide-1(7-36)amide (GLP-1), C-peptide, insulin, and plasma glucose. The phase of interdigestive motility existing at the time of glucose ingestion did not affect gastric emptying or any metabolic parameter. Gastric emptying of glucose displayed a power exponential pattern with a short initial lag period. Duodenal delivery of glucose was not constant but exponentially declined over time. Increasing the glucose load reduced the rate of gastric emptying by 27.5% (P < 0.05) but increased the fractional duodenal delivery of glucose. Both glucose loads induced a fed motor pattern which was terminated by an antral phase III when approximately 95% of the meal had emptied. Plasma GLP-1 rose from basal levels of approximately 1 pmol/liter of peaks of 3.2 +/- 0.6 pmol/liter with 50 grams of glucose and of 7.2 +/- 1.6 pmol/liter with 100 grams of glucose. These peaks occurred 20 min after glucose intake irrespective of the load. A duodenal delivery of glucose exceeding 1.4 kcal/min was required to maintain GLP-1 release in contrast to ongoing GIP release with negligibly low emptying of glucose. Oral administration of glucose yielded higher GLP-1 and insulin releases but an equal GIP release compared with the isocaloric duodenal perfusion. We conclude that (a) gastric emptying of glucose displays a power exponential pattern with duodenal delivery exponentially declining over time and (b) a threshold rate of gastric emptying of glucose must be exceeded to release GLP-1, whereas GIP release is not controlled by gastric emptying.
Tryptophan (TRP) is the precursor of melatonin, the primary secretory product of the pineal gland. Hepatic heme deficiency decreases the activity of liver tryptophan pyrrolase, leading to increased plasma TRP and serotonin. As a paradox, patients with attacks of acute intermittent porphyria (AIP), exhibit low nocturnal plasma melatonin levels. This study using a rat experimental model was designed to produce a pattern of TRP and melatonin production similar to that in AIP patients. Pineal melatonin production was measured in response to: (a) a heme synthesis inhibitor, succinylacetone, (b) a heme precursor, delta-aminolevulinic acid (Ala), (c) a structural analogue of Ala, gamma-aminobutyric acid. Studies were performed in intact rats, perifused pineal glands, and pinealocyte cultures. Ala, succinylacetone, and gamma-aminobutyric acid significantly decreased plasma melatonin levels independently of blood TRP concentration. In the pineal gland, the key enzyme activities of melatonin synthesis were unchanged for hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase and decreased for N-acetyltransferase. Our results strongly suggest that Ala overproduced by the liver acts by mimicking the effect of gamma-aminobutyric acid on pineal melatonin in AIP. They also support the view that Ala acts as a toxic element in the pathophysiology of AIP.
IgG autoantibodies that bind human endothelial cells (AECA) were detected by ELISA in 30 of 42 samples of sera from patients with scleroderma. Pretreatment of human umbilical vein endothelial cells with AECA-positive scleroderma sera, or IgG purified from these sera, led to a dose- and time-dependent increase in the ability of the cells to bind human U937 monocytic cells. Threshold-active IgG concentrations were 1-10 micrograms/ml; effects were significant after 3 h and maximal after 6-12 h. IgG from AECA-negative sera or normal sera were without effect. Increased adhesion of U937 cells was accompanied by increased expression of endothelial intercellular adhesion molecule-1, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, and E-selectin. Transfer of endothelial cell-conditioned media after pretreatment with AECA and immunodepletion of IgG demonstrated the presence of transferable activity that mimicked the effects of AECA. Treatment with neutralizing anticytokine antibodies indicated that IL-1, generated by the endothelial cells in response to AECA, was involved in the upregulation of adhesion molecules and U937 cell adhesion. We conclude that AECA can play a pathogenic role in scleroderma by activating endothelial cells, in part due to autocrine or paracrine actions of IL-1.
We have reported that overnight fasting stimulates bicarbonate reabsorption (JtCo2) in rat distal tubules. The present in vivo microperfusion studies evaluated the hypothesis that endogenous angiotensin II (AII) mediates this response. Rat late distal (LD) tubules were perfused at 8 nl/min in vivo with a hypotonic solution containing 28 mM bicarbonate. In overnight-fasted rats, LD JtCO2 was significantly higher than in normally fed rats (50 +/- 4 vs. 16 +/- 6 pmol/min.mm, P < 0.05). When overnight-fasted rats were salt-loaded, JtCO2 fell significantly (38 +/- 3 pmol/min.mm, P < 0.05). Conversely, in fed rats ingesting a zero-salt diet, JtCO2 increased three-fold (45 +/- 5 pmol/min.mm, P < 0.05). Enalaprilat infusion (0.25 micrograms/kg body wt, intravenously), in these zero-salt and overnight-fasted rats, reduced LD JtCO2 values to normal. Further, infusion of losartan (5 mg/kg body wt, intravenously), the specific AII AT1 receptor blocker, reduced JtCO2 in overnight-fasted rats by two-thirds (16 +/- 4 pmol/min.mm, P < 0.05). Finally, we perfused 10(-11) M AII intraluminally with and without 10(-6) M losartan: AII increased JtCO2 to 45 +/- 6 pmol/min.mm, equal to the zero-salt flux. This was completely abrogated by simultaneous losartan perfusion. Therefore, these results suggest that AII is an in vivo stimulator of late distal tubule bicarbonate reabsorption.
Despite extensive recent studies, understanding of the normal postprandial processes underlying immediate storage of substrate and maintenance of glucose homeostasis in humans after a mixed meal has been incomplete. The present study applied 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to measure sequential changes in hepatic glycogen concentration, a novel tracer approach to measure postprandial suppression of hepatic glucose output, and acetaminophen to trace the pathways of hepatic glycogen synthesis to elucidate the homeostatic adaptation to the fed state in healthy human subjects. After the liquid mixed meal, liver glycogen concentration rose from 207 +/- 22 to 316 +/- 19 mmol/liter at an average rate of 0.34 mmol/liter per min and peaked at 318 +/- 31 min, falling rapidly thereafter (0.26 mmol/liter per min). The mean increment at peak represented net glycogen synthesis of 28.3 +/- 3.7 g (approximately 19% of meal carbohydrate content). The contribution of the direct pathway to overall glycogen synthesis was 46 +/- 5 and 68 +/- 8% between 2 and 4 and 4 and 6 h, respectively. Hepatic glucose output was completely suppressed within 30 min of the meal. It increased steadily from 60 to 255 min from 0.31 +/- 32 to 0.49 +/- 18 mg/kg per min then rapidly returned towards basal levels (1.90 +/- 0.04 mg/kg per min). This pattern of change mirrored precisely the plasma glucagon/insulin ratio. These data provide for the first time a comprehensive picture of normal carbohydrate metabolism in humans after ingestion of a mixed meal.
Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) is an insulinotropic hormone released after nutrient ingestion which is known to augment insulin secretion, inhibit glucagon release, and promote insulin-independent glucose disposition. To determine the overall effect of GLP-1 on glucose disposition after a meal we studied a group of healthy, conscious baboons before and after intragastric glucose administration during infusions of saline, and two treatments to eliminate the action of GLP-1: (a) exendin-[9-39] (Ex-9), a peptide receptor antagonist of GLP-1; or (b) an anti-GLP-1 mAb. Fasting concentrations of glucose were higher during infusion of Ex-9 than during saline (4.44 +/- 0.05 vs. 4.16 +/- 0.05 mM, P < 0.01), coincident with an elevation in the levels of circulating glucagon (96 +/- 10 vs. 59 +/- 3 ng/liter, P < 0.02). The postprandial glycemic excursions during administration of Ex-9 and mAb were greater than during the control studies (Ex-9 13.7 +/- 2.0 vs. saline 10.0 +/- 0.8 mM, P = 0.07; and mAb 13.6 +/- 1.2 vs. saline 10.6 +/- 0.9 mM, P = 0.044). The increments in insulin levels throughout the absorption of the glucose meal were not different for the experimental and control conditions, but the insulin response in the first 30 min after the glucose meal was diminished significantly during treatment with Ex-9 (Ex-9 761 +/- 139 vs. saline 1,089 +/- 166 pM, P = 0.044) and was delayed in three of the four animals given the neutralizing antibody (mAb 946 +/- 262 vs. saline 1,146 +/- 340 pM). Thus, elimination of the action of GLP-1 impaired the disposition of an intragastric glucose meal and this was at least partly attributable to diminished early insulin release. In addition to these postprandial effects, the concurrent elevation in fasting glucose and glucagon during GLP-1 antagonism suggests that GLP-1 may have a tonic inhibitory effect on glucagon output. These findings demonstrate the important role of GLP-1 in the assimilation of glucose absorbed from the gut.
IGF I is an ubiquitous peptide that activates a membrane tyrosine kinase receptor and has autocrine/paracrine effects on vascular smooth muscle cells. Thrombin activates a G-protein coupled receptor and is also a mitogen for vascular smooth muscle cells. To assess the potential role of IGF I as a mediator of thrombin's effects, we characterized expression of IGF I and of its receptor on vascular smooth muscle cells exposed to thrombin. Thrombin dose-dependently decreased IGF I mRNA levels and caused a delayed decrease in IGF I secretion from vascular smooth muscle cells. This effect was mimicked by the hexapeptide SF-FLRN (that functions as a tethered ligand) and was inhibited by hirudin. In contrast, thrombin doubled IGF I receptor density on vascular smooth muscle cells, without altering binding affinity (Kd). An anti-IGF I antiserum markedly reduced thrombin-induced DNA synthesis, whereas nonimmune serum and an anti-fibroblast growth factor antibody were without effect. Cell counts confirmed these results. Downregulation of IGF I receptors by antisense phosphorothioate oligonucleotides likewise markedly inhibited thrombin-induced DNA synthesis. These data demonstrate that a functional IGF I-IGF I receptor pathway is essential for thrombin-induced mitogenic signaling and support the concept of cross talk between G-protein coupled and tyrosine kinase receptors.
Homocysteine is an important and independent risk factor for arteriosclerosis. We showed previously that homocysteine stimulates vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation, a hallmark of arteriosclerosis. We show here that homocysteine and serum increased DNA synthesis synergistically in both human and rat aortic smooth muscle cells (RASMCs). Treatment of quiescent RASMCs with 1 mM homocysteine or 2% calf serum for 36 h increased cyclin A mRNA levels by 8- and 14-fold, respectively, whereas homocysteine plus serum increased cyclin A mRNA levels by 40-fold, indicating a synergistic induction of cyclin A mRNA. Homocysteine did not increase the half-life of cyclin A mRNA (2.9 h), but it did increase the transcriptional rate of the cyclin A gene in nuclear run-on experiments. The positive effect of homocysteine on cyclin A gene transcription was confirmed by our finding that homocysteine increased cyclin A promoter activity and ATF-binding protein levels in RASMCs. Finally, 1 mM homocysteine increased cyclin A protein levels and cyclin A-associated kinase activity by threefold. This homocysteine-induced expression lesions by promoting proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells.
The plasma cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) mediates the transfer of cholesteryl esters from HDL to other lipoproteins and is a key regulated component of reverse cholesterol transport. Dietary hypercholesterolemia results in increased hepatic CETP gene transcription and higher plasma CETP levels. To investigate the mechanisms by which the liver senses hypercholesterolemia, mice containing a natural flanking region CETP transgene (NFR-CETP transgene) were bred with apo E or LDL receptor gene knockout mice (E0 or LDLr0 mice). Compared to NFR-CETP transgenic (Tg) mice with intact apo E genes, in NFR-CETP Tg/E0 mice there was an eightfold induction of plasma CETP levels and a parallel increase in hepatic CETP mRNA levels. Other sterol-responsive genes (LDL receptor and hydroxymethyl glutaryl CoA reductase) also showed evidence of altered regulation with decreased abundance of their mRNAs in the E0 background. A similar induction of plasma CETP and hepatic CETP mRNA levels resulted from breeding the NFR-CETP transgene into the LDL receptor gene knockout background. When placed on a high cholesterol diet, there was a further increase in CETP levels in both E0 and LDLr0 backgrounds. In CETP Tg, CETP Tg/E0, and CETP Tg/LDLr0 mice on different diets, plasma CETP and CETP mRNA levels were highly correlated with plasma cholesterol levels. The results indicate that hepatic CETP gene expression is driven by a mechanism which senses changes in plasma cholesterol levels independent of apo E and LDL receptors. Hepatic sterol-sensitive genes have mechanisms to sense hypercholesterolemia that do not require classical receptor-mediated lipoprotein uptake.
The poor ability of mammalian central nervous system (CNS) axons to regenerate has been attributed, in part, to astrocyte behavior after axonal injury. This behavior is manifested by the limited ability of astrocytes to migrate and thus repopulate the injury site. Here, the migratory behavior of astrocytes in response to injury of CNS axons in vivo was simulated in vitro using a scratch-wounded astrocytic monolayer and soluble substances derived from injured rat optic nerves. The soluble substances, applied to the scratch-wounded astrocytes, blocked their migration whereas some known wound-associated factors such as transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-beta 1), basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF), transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF-alpha), and heparin-binding epidermal growth factor in combination with insulin-like growth factor-1 (HB-EGF + IGF-1) stimulated intensive migration with consequent closure of the wound. Migration was not dominated by proliferating cells. Both bFGF and HB-EGF + IGF-1, but not TGF-beta 1, could overcome the blocking effect of the optic nerve-derived substances on astrocyte migration. The induced migration appeared to involve proteoglycans. It is suggestive that appropriate choice of growth factors at the appropriate postinjury period may compensate for the endogenous deficiency in glial supportive factors and/or presence of glial inhibitory factors in the CNS.
While it is known that nitric oxide (NO) is an important modulator of tone in the hypertensive pulmonary circulation, the roles of cyclic 3'-5'-guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) and cGMP-phosphodiesterase (PDE) are uncertain. We found that isolated lung perfusate levels of cGMP were over ninefold elevated in hypertensive vs. normotensive control rats. 98-100% of lung cGMP hydrolytic activity was cGMP-specific PDE5, with no significant decrease in PDE activity in hypertensive lungs, suggesting that the elevation in cGMP was due to accelerated production rather than reduced degradation. In pulmonary hypertensive rat lungs, in vitro, cGMP-PDE inhibition by E4021[1-(6-chloro-4-(3,4-methylbenzyl) amino-quinazolin-2-yl)piperdine-4-carboxylate], increased perfusate cGMP threefold, reduced hypoxic vasoconstriction by 58 +/- 2%, and reduced baseline pulmonary artery pressure by 37 +/- 5%. In conscious, pulmonary hypertensive rats, intravenous administration of E4021 reduced hypoxic vasoconstriction by 68 +/- 8%, pulmonary artery pressure by 12.6 +/- 3.7% and total pulmonary resistance by 13.1 +/- 6.4%, with no significant effect on cardiac output, systemic pressure, and resistance. Comparison of E4021 to inhaled nitric oxide demonstrated that cGMP-PDE inhibition was as selective and as effective as inhaled NO.
Chronic hyperglycemia causes a near-total disappearance of glucose-induced insulin secretion. To determine if glucose potentiation of nonglucose secretagogues is impaired, insulin responses to 10(-9) M glucagonlike peptide-1 (GLP-1) (7-37) were measured at 2.8, 8.3, and 16.7 mM glucose with the in vitro perfused pancreas in rats 4-6 wk after 90% pancreatectomy (Px) and sham-operated controls. In the controls, insulin output to GLP-1 was > 100-fold greater at 16.7 mM glucose versus 2.8 mM glucose. In contrast, the increase was less than threefold in Px, reaching an insulin response at 16.7 mM glucose that was 10 +/- 2% of the controls, well below the predicted 35-40% fractional beta-cell mass in these rats. Px and control rats then underwent a 40-h fast followed by pancreas perfusion using a protocol of 20 min at 16.7 mM glucose followed by 15 min at 16.7 mM glucose/10(-9) M GLP-1. In control rats, fasting suppressed insulin release to high glucose (by 90%) and to GLP-1 (by 60%) without changing the pancreatic insulin content. In contrast, in Px the insulin response to GLP-1 tripled in association with a threefold increase of the insulin content, both now being twice normal when stratified for the fractional beta-cell mass. The mechanism of the increased pancreas insulin content was investigated by assessing islet glucose metabolism and proinsulin biosynthesis. In controls with fasting, both fell 30-50%. In Px, the degree of suppression with fasting was similar, but the attained levels both exceeded those of the controls because of higher baseline (nonfasted) values. In summary, chronic hyperglycemia is associated with a fasting-induced paradoxical increase in glucose-potentiated insulin secretion. In Px rats, the mechanism is an increase in the beta-cell insulin stores, which suggests a causative role for a lowered beta-cell insulin content in the impaired glucose-potentiation of insulin secretion.
We have shown previously that human prolactinomas express transforming sequences of the heparin-binding secretory transforming gene (hst) which encodes fibroblast growth factor-4 (FGF-4). To elucidate the role of hst in pituitary tumorigenesis we treated primary rat pituitary and pituitary tumor cell cultures with recombinant FGF-4 and also stably transfected pituitary cell lines with full-length human hst cDNA. Transfectants were screened for hst mRNA expression and FGF-4 production. FGF-4 (0.1-50 ng/ml) caused a dose-dependent 2.5-fold increase of prolactin (PRL) secretion (P < 0.001) in GH4 cells and up to 60% (P < 0.05) in primary cultures, while decreasing growth hormone release (P < 0.001). GH4 hst transfectants displayed markedly enhanced basal PRL secretion (threefold, P < 0.001) and also proliferated faster (P < 0.001). FGF-4 treatment of wild-type GH4 cells, transiently transfected with an expression construct (rPRL.luc) containing a luciferase reporter driven by the rPRL promoter, resulted in a dose-dependent increase of up to 3.3-fold in PRL transcriptional activity. Tumors derived from in vivo subcutaneous injection of GH4 hst-transfected cells strongly expressing FGF-4 grew more aggressively as assessed by histologic invasiveness and proliferating cell nuclear antigen staining (P < 0.01). The results indicate that hst overexpression mediates lactotrope tumor growth and potently stimulates PRL synthesis. Thus, hst may directly facilitate prolactinoma development via paracrine or autocrine action of its secreted protein, FGF-4.
Mutations in the gene for CD40 ligand are responsible for the X-linked form of hyper IgM syndrome. However, no clinical or laboratory findings that reliably distinguish X-linked disease from other forms of hyper IgM syndrome have been reported, nor are there tests available that can be used to confidently provide carrier detection. To identify efficiently mutations in the gene for CD40 ligand, eight pairs of PCR primers that could be used to screen genomic DNA by single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) were designed. 11 different mutations were found in DNA from all 13 patients whose activated T cells failed to bind a recombinant CD40 construct. The exact nature of four of these mutations, a deletion and three splice defects, could not be determined by cDNA sequencing. In addition, SSCP analysis permitted rapid carrier detection in two families in whom the source of the mutation was most likely a male with gonadal chimerism who passed the disorder on to some but not all of his daughters. These studies document the utility of SSCP analysis for both mutation detection and carrier detection in X-linked hyper IgM syndrome.
Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) has been shown to regulate early postimplantation growth in rodents through central nervous system receptors. However, the source of VIP mediating these effects is unknown. Although VIP binding sites are present prenatally, VIP mRNA was not detected in the rat central nervous system before birth and was detected in the periphery only during the last third of pregnancy. In the present study, the embryonic day (E11) rat embryo/trophoblast was shown to have four times the VIP concentration of the E17 fetus and to have VIP receptors in the central nervous system. However, no VIP mRNA was detected in the E11 rat embryo or embryonic membranes by in situ hybridization or reverse transcriptase-PCR. RIA of rat maternal serum revealed a peak in VIP concentration at days E10-E12 of pregnancy, with VIP rising to levels 6-10-fold higher than during the final third of pregnancy. After intravenous administration of radiolabeled VIP to pregnant female mice, undegraded VIP was found in the E10 embryo. These results suggest that maternal tissues may provide neuroendocrine support for embryonic growth through a surge of VIP during early postimplantation development in the rodent.
Acute neutrophil (PMN) recruitment to postischemic cardiac or pulmonary tissue has deleterious effects in the early reperfusion period, but the mechanisms and effects of neutrophil influx in the pathogenesis of evolving stroke remain controversial. To investigate whether PMNs contribute to adverse neurologic sequelae and mortality after stroke, and to study the potential role of the leukocyte adhesion molecule intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) in the pathogenesis of stroke, we used a murine model of transient focal cerebral ischemia consisting of intraluminal middle cerebral artery occlusion for 45 min followed by 22 h of reperfusion. PMN accumulation, monitored by deposition of 111In-labeled PMNs in postischemic cerebral tissue, was increased 2.5-fold in the ipsilateral (infarcted) hemisphere compared with the contralateral (noninfarcted) hemisphere (P < 0.01). Mice immunodepleted of neutrophils before surgery demonstrated a 3.0-fold reduction in infarct volumes (P < 0.001), based on triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining of serial cerebral sections, improved ipsilateral cortical cerebral blood flow (measured by laser Doppler), and reduced neurological deficit compared with controls. In wild-type mice subjected to 45 min of ischemia followed by 22 h of reperfusion, ICAM-1 mRNA was increased in the ipsilateral hemisphere, with immunohistochemistry localizing increased ICAM-1 expression on cerebral microvascular endothelium. The role of ICAM-1 expression in stroke was investigated in homozygous null ICAM-1 mice (ICAM-1 -/-) in comparison with wild-type controls (ICAM-1 +/+). ICAM-1 -/- mice demonstrated a 3.7-fold reduction in infarct volume (P < 0.005), a 35% increase in survival (P < 0.05), and reduced neurologic deficit compared with ICAM-1 +/+ controls. Cerebral blood flow to the infarcted hemisphere was 3.1-fold greater in ICAM-1 -/- mice compared with ICAM-1 +/+ controls (P < 0.01), suggesting an important role for ICAM-1 in the genesis of postischemic cerebral no-reflow. Because PMN-depleted and ICAM-1-deficient mice are relatively resistant to cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury, these studies suggest an important role for ICAM-1-mediated PMN adhesion in the pathophysiology of evolving stroke.
Conventional allogeneic bone marrow transplantation after myeloablation can prevent experimental autoimmunity and has been proposed as treatment for humans. However, trace populations of donor hematolymphoid cells persisting in solid organ allograft recipients have been associated in some circumstances with therapeutic effects similar to replacement of the entire bone marrow. We therefore examined whether inducing hematolymphoid microchimerism without myeloablation could confer the ability to resist mercuric chloride (HgCl2)-induced autoimmunity. Brown-Norway (BN) rats were pretreated with a syngeneic or allogeneic bone marrow infusion under transient FK506 immunosuppression before receiving HgCl2. They were compared with BN rats receiving either no pretreatment (naive) or FK506 alone. Administration of HgCl2 to naive BN rats induced marked autoantibody production, systemic vasculitis and lymphocytic infiltration of the kidneys, liver and skin in all of the animals and a 47% mortality. In contrast, BN rats pretreated with HgCl2-resistant allogeneic Lewis bone marrow and transient FK506 showed less clinical disease and were completely protected from mortality. More specifically, IgG anti-laminin autoantibody production was decreased by 40% (P < 0.05), and there was less histopathological tissue injury (P < 0.005), less in vitro autoreactivity (P < 0.05), less of an increase in class II MHC expression on B cells (P < 0.01), and 22% less weight loss (P < 0.01), compared with controls. Protection from the experimental autoimmunity was associated with signs of low grade activation of the BN immune system, which included: increased numbers of circulating B and activated T cells before administration of HgCl2, and less autoreactivity and spontaneous proliferation in vitro after HgCl2.
We investigated the in vivo introduction of a reporter gene into healing rat patellar ligaments using the hemagglutinating virus of Japan (HVJ)-liposome-mediated gene transfer method. The mid-portion of the medial half of the patellar ligament was cut transversely with a scalpel in 14-wk-old male Wistar rats. A HVJ-liposome suspension containing beta-galactosidase (beta-gal) cDNA was injected directly into the injured site and pooled in the fascial pocket covering the injured site 3 d postoperatively. Thereafter, beta-gal-labeled cells were observed in the wound site accounting for 3% of the wound cells on the first day, 2% on the third, 7% on the seventh, 6% on the 14th, 2% on the 28th, and 0.2% on the 56th day after injection. The beta-gal-labeled cells were initially localized in and adjacent to the wound site, but they were observed spreading into the ligament substance away from the wound on the seventh day after injection. On day 28, beta-gal-labeled cells were observed throughout the length of the ligament substance. With double-labeling for marker antigens for monocyte/macrophage (ED-1) and for collagen I aminopropeptide (pN collagen I), it was revealed that fibroblastic (pN collagen I-positive) cells accounted for 63% and monocyte/macrophage lineage cells for 32% of the beta-gal-labeled cells in the day 7 wound. On day 28, they formed 58 and 35% of the beta-gal-labeled cells in the wound, respectively. Thus, we succeeded in introducing the beta-gal gene into healing rat patellar ligament. Moreover, labeling of the transfected cells made it possible to identify a biological event, namely that the cells in and around the wound site infiltrate into the uninjured ligament substance and come to populate the whole length of the ligament substance as repair progresses. These results suggest that ligament healing may involve not only the repair of the wound site itself but also extensive cellular infiltration of ligament substance adjacent to the wound.
Impaired fibrinolytic activity within the lung is a common manifestation of acute and chronic inflammatory lung diseases. Because the fibrinolytic system is active during repair processes that restore injured tissues to normal, reduced fibrinolytic activity may contribute to the subsequent development of pulmonary fibrosis. To examine the relationship between the fibrinolytic system and pulmonary fibrosis, lung inflammation was induced by bleomycin in transgenic mice that either overexpressed or were completely deficient in murine plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1). 2 wk after 0.075 U of bleomycin, the lungs of transgenic mice overexpressing PAI-1 contained significantly more hydroxyproline (118 +/- 8 micrograms) than littermate controls (70.5 +/- 8 micrograms, P < 0.005). 3 wk after administration of a higher dose of bleomycin (0.15 U), the lung hydroxyproline content of mice completely deficient in PAI-1 (49 +/- 8 micrograms) was not significantly different (P = 0.63) than that of control animals receiving saline (37 +/- 1 micrograms), while hydroxyproline content was significantly increased in heterozygote (77 +/- 12 micrograms, P = 0.06) and wild-type (124 +/- 19 micrograms, P < 0.001) littermates. These data demonstrate a direct correlation between the genetically determined level of PAI-1 expression and the extent of collagen accumulation that follows inflammatory lung injury. These results strongly support the hypothesis that alterations in fibrinolytic activity influence the extent of pulmonary fibrosis that occurs after inflammatory injury.
Dysfunctional endothelium is associated with and, likely, predates clinical complications of diabetes mellitus, by promoting increased vascular permeability and thrombogenicity. Irreversible advanced glycation end products (AGEs), resulting from nonenzymatic glycation and oxidation of proteins or lipids, are found in plasma, vessel wall, and tissues and have been linked to the development of diabetic complications. The principal means through which AGEs exert their cellular effects is via specific cellular receptors, one of which, receptor for AGE (RAGE), is expressed by endothelium. We report that blockade of RAGE inhibits AGE-induced impairment of endothelial barrier function, and reverse, in large part, the early vascular hyperpermeability observed in diabetic rats. Inhibition of AGE- and diabetes-mediated hyperpermeability by antioxidants, both in vitro and in vivo, suggested the central role of AGE-RAGE-induced oxidant stress in the development of hyperpermeability. Taken together, these data support the concept that ligation of AGEs by endothelial RAGE induces cellular dysfunction, at least in part by an oxidant-sensitive mechanism, contributing to vascular hyperpermeability in diabetes, and that RAGE is central to this pathologic process.
The muscles of IL-6 transgenic mice suffer from atrophy. Experiments were carried out on these transgenic mice to elucidate activation of proteolytic systems in the gastrocnemius muscles and blockage of this activation by treatment with the anti-mouse IL-6 receptor (mIL-6R) antibody. Muscle atrophy observed in 16-wk-old transgenic mice was completely blocked by treatment with the mIL-6R antibody. In association with muscle atrophy, enzymatic activities and mRNA levels of cathepsins (B and L) and mRNA levels of ubiquitins (poly- and mono-ubiquitins) increased, whereas the mRNA level of muscle-specific calpain (calpain 3) decreased. All these changes were completely eliminated by treatment with the mIL-6R antibody. This IL-6 receptor antibody could, therefore, be effective against muscle wasting in sepsis and cancer cachexia, where IL-6 plays an important role.
The cell-free fluid (ascitic fluid, AF) of a sterile inflammatory peritoneal exudate elicited in rabbits is potently bactericidal for complement-resistant gram-negative as well as gram-positive bacterial species. This activity is absent in plasma. We now show that essentially all activity in AF against Staphylococcus aureus is attributable to a group II 14-kD phospholipase A2 (PLA2), previously purified from AF in this laboratory. Antistaphylococcal activity of purified PLA2 and of whole AF containing a corresponding amount of PLA2 was comparable and blocked by anti-AF-PLA2 serum. At concentrations present in AF (approximately 10 nM), AF PLA2 kills > 2 logs of 10(6) S. aureus/ml, including methicillin-resistant clinical isolates, and other species of gram-positive bacteria. Human group II PLA2 displays similar bactericidal activity toward S. aureus (LD90 approximately 1-5 nM), whereas 14-kD PLA2 from pig pancreas and snake venom are inactive even at micromolar doses. Bacterial killing by PLA2 requires Ca2+ and catalytic activity and is accompanied by bacterial phospholipolysis and disruption of the bacterial cell membrane and cell wall. These findings reveal that group II extracellular PLA2, the function of which at inflammatory sites has been unclear, is an extraordinarily potent endogenous antibiotic against S. aureus and other gram-positive bacteria.
The control of gene transcription is mediated by sequence-specific DNA-binding proteins (trans-acting factors) that bind to upstream regulatory elements (cis elements). We have previously identified two DNA-binding proteins that specifically interact with two unique AT-rich sequences of the 5' regulatory region of the insulin receptor gene which have in vivo promoter activity. Herein we have investigated the expression of these DNA-binding proteins in cells from two unrelated patients with insulin resistance and non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. In these patients, the insulin receptor gene was normal. In EBV-transformed lymphoblasts from both patients, insulin receptor mRNA levels and insulin receptor expression were decreased. The expression of nuclear-binding proteins for the 5' regulatory region of the insulin receptor gene was markedly reduced, and this defect paralleled the decrease in insulin receptor protein expression. These studies indicate that DNA-binding proteins to the regulatory region of the insulin receptor gene are important for expression of the insulin receptor. Further, they suggest that in affected individuals, defects in the expression of these proteins may cause decreased insulin receptor expression and insulin resistance.
We investigated the effects of change in basolateral osmolality on Na(+)-dependent myo-inositol uptake in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells to test our hypothesis that the Na+/myo-inositol transporter (SMIT), an osmolyte transporter, is mainly regulated by osmolality on the basolateral surface. A significant osmotic gradient between both sides of the epithelium persisted at least 10 h after basolateral osmolality was increased. [3H]myo-inositol uptake increased in a basolateral osmolality-dependent manner. The magnitude of the increase is comparable to that for making both sides hypertonic. Apical hypertonicity also increased the uptake on the basal side, but the magnitude of the increase was significantly smaller than the basolateral or both sides hypertonicity. Betaine-gamma-amino-n-butyric acid transporter activity, measured by [3H]gamma-amino-n-butyric uptake, showed a pattern similar to SMIT activity in response to basolateral hypertonicity. The most plausible explanation for the polarized effect of hypertonicity is that the basal membrane is much more water permeable than the apical membrane. These results seem to be consistent with the localization and regulation of the SMIT in vivo.
Copyright © 2014 American Society for Clinical Investigation