The intestinal epithelium represents the major barrier to absorption of orally administered drugs and peptides into the systemic circulation. Entry of molecules through the paracellular pathway is restricted by tight junctions. We have previously reported that these structures can be modulated by Zonula occludens toxin (Zot). In the present report, we show that Zot reversibly increases rabbit intestinal permeability to insulin by 72% (P = 0.034) and immunoglobulins by 52% (P = 0.04) in vitro. When tested in vivo, Zot induced a 10-fold increase of insulin absorption in both the rabbit jejunum and ileum, whereas no substantial changes were detected in the colon. Similar results were obtained with immunoglobulins, whereby Zot induced twofold and sixfold increases of IgG absorption in the jejunum and ileum, respectively. In diabetic rats, bioavailability of oral insulin coadministered with Zot was sufficient to lower serum glucose concentrations to levels comparable to those obtained after parenteral injection of the hormone. The survival time of diabetic animals chronically treated with oral insulin + Zot was comparable to that observed in parenterally treated rats. These studies offer an innovative strategy for the oral delivery of drugs and proteins normally not absorbed through the intestine.
Reperfusion after ischemia induces cytokines, chemoattractant chemokines, adhesion molecules, and nitric oxide (NO). The resultant neutrophil adherence and NO potentiates renal injury. alpha-Melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) is a potent anti-inflammatory agent that inhibits neutrophil migration and production of neutrophil chemokines and NO. Since neutrophils and NO promote renal ischemic injury, we sought to determine if alpha-MSH inhibits renal injury in a model of bilateral renal ischemia. alpha-MSH significantly reduced ischemia-induced renal damage, measured by changes in renal histology and plasma blood urea nitrogen and creatinine in mice. alpha-MSH significantly decreased tubule necrosis, neutrophil plugging, and capillary congestion. Delay of alpha-MSH treatment for 6 h after ischemia also significantly inhibited renal damage. alpha-MSH also significantly inhibited ischemic damage in rats. To begin to determine the mechanism of action of alpha-MSH, we measured its effects on mediators of neutrophil trafficking and induction of the inducible isoform of NO synthase-II. alpha-MSH inhibited ischemia-induced increases in mRNA for the murine neutrophil chemokine KC/IL-8. alpha-MSH also inhibited induction of mRNA for the adhesion molecule ICAM-1, which is known to be critical in renal ischemic injury. alpha-MSH inhibited nitration of kidney proteins and induction of NO synthase-II. We conclude: (a) alpha-MSH protects against renal ischemia/reperfusion injury; and (b) it may act, in part, by inhibiting the maladaptive activation of genes that cause neutrophil activation and adhesion, and induction of NO synthase.
Astrocytomas are among the most common brain tumors that are usually fatal in their malignant form. They appear to progress without significant impedance from the immune system, despite the presence of intratumoral T cell infiltration. To date, this has been thought to be the result of T cell immunosuppression induced by astrocytoma-derived cytokines. Here, we propose that cell contact-mediated events also play a role, since we demonstrate the in vivo expression of Fas ligand (FasL/CD95L) by human astrocytoma and the efficient killing of Fas-bearing cells by astrocytoma lines in vitro and by tumor cells ex vivo. Functional FasL is expressed by human, mouse, and rat astrocytoma and hence may be a general feature of this nonlymphoid tumor. In the brain, astrocytoma cells can potentially deliver a death signal to Fas+ cells which include infiltrating leukocytes and, paradoxically, astrocytoma cells themselves. The expression of FasL by astrocytoma cells may extend the processes that are postulated to occur in normal brain to maintain immune privilege, since we also show FasL expression by neurons. Overall, our findings suggest that FasL-induced apoptosis by astrocytoma cells may play a significant role in both immunosuppression and the regulation of tumor growth within the central nervous system.
Based on past studies of an experimental model of severe intrauterine pulmonary hypertension, we hypothesized that endothelin-1 (ET-1) contributes to high pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR), hypertensive lung structural changes, and right ventricular hypertrophy (RVH) caused by prolonged closure of the ductus arteriosus. To test this hypothesis, we studied the effects of BQ 123, a selective ET(A) receptor antagonist, after ligation of the ductus arteriosus in utero. In 19 late gestation fetal lambs (126+/-3 d; 147 d, term) we ligated the ductus arteriosus at surgery, and treated animals with either BQ 123 (1 mg/d) or vehicle (0.1% DMSO, HTN) in the pulmonary artery for 8 d. Chronic BQ 123 treatment attenuated the rise in mean pulmonary artery pressure (PAP) 8 d after ductus arteriosus ligation (78+/-2, HTN vs. 70+/-4 mmHg, BQ 123, P < 0.05). To study the effects of ET(A) blockade at birth, 15 animals were delivered by cesarean section and ventilated with 10% oxygen (O2), 100% O2 and inhaled nitric oxide (NO). Lambs treated with BQ 123 had lower PVR after delivery during ventilation with 10% O2, 100% O2, and inhaled NO (HTN vs. BQ 123, P < 0.05 for each intervention). Acute BQ 123 treatment (2 mg/30 min) lowered PVR in three HTN animals ventilated with 100% O2 and inhaled NO (P < 0.05). Chronic BQ 123 treatment prevented the development of RVH as determined by the ratio of the right ventricle/left ventricle + septum (0.79+/-0.03, HTN vs. 0.57+/-0.06, BQ 123, P < 0.05) and attenuated the increase in wall thickness of small pulmonary arteries (61+/-2, HTN vs. 50+/-2%, BQ 123, P < 0.05). In summary, chronic intrauterine ET(A) receptor blockade decreased PAP in utero, decreased RVH and distal muscularization of small pulmonary arteries, and increased the fall in PVR at delivery. We conclude that ET(A) receptor stimulation contributes to the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of experimental perinatal pulmonary hypertension.
Glucose tolerance is determined by both insulin action and insulin-independent effects, or "glucose effectiveness," which includes glucose-mediated stimulation of glucose uptake (Rd) and suppression of hepatic glucose output (HGO). Despite its importance to tolerance, controversy surrounds accurate assessment of glucose effectiveness. Furthermore, the relative contributions of glucose's actions on Rd and HGO under steady state and dynamic conditions are unclear. We performed hyperglycemic clamps and intravenous glucose tolerance tests in eight normal dogs, and assessed glucose effectiveness by two independent methods. During clamps, glucose was raised to three successive 90-min hyperglycemic plateaus by variable labeled glucose infusion rate; glucose effectiveness (GE) was quantified as the slope of the dose-response relationship between steady state glucose and glucose infusion rate (GE[CLAMP(total)]), Rd (GE[CLAMP(uptake)]) or HGO (GE[CLAMP(HGO)]). During intravenous glucose tolerance tests, tritiated glucose (1.2 microCi/kg) was injected with cold glucose (0.3 g/kg); glucose and tracer dynamics were analyzed using a two-compartment model of glucose kinetics to obtain Rd and HGO components of glucose effectiveness. All experiments were performed during somatostatin inhibition of islet secretion, and basal insulin and glucagon replacement. During clamps, Rd rose from basal (2.54+/-0.20) to 3.95+/-0.54, 6.76+/-1.21, and 9.48+/-1.27 mg/min per kg during stepwise hyperglycemia; conversely, HGO declined to 2.06+/-0.17, 1.17+/-0.19, and 0.52+/-0.33 mg/min per kg. Clamp-based glucose effectiveness was 0.0451+/-0.0061, 0.0337+/-0.0060, and 0.0102+/-0.0009 dl/min per kg for GE[CLAMP(total)], GE[CLAMP(uptake)], and GE[CLAMP(HGO)], respectively. Glucose's action on Rd dominated overall glucose effectiveness (72.2+/-3.3% of total), a result virtually identical to that obtained during intravenous glucose tolerance tests (71.6+/-6.1% of total). Both methods yielded similar estimates of glucose effectiveness. These results provide strong support that glucose effectiveness can be reliably estimated, and that glucose-stimulated Rd is the dominant component during both steady state and dynamic conditions.
PEX, a phosphate-regulating gene with homology to endopeptidases on the X chromosome, was recently identified as the candidate gene for X-linked hypophosphatemia. In the present study, we cloned mouse and human Pex/PEX cDNAs encoding part of the 5' untranslated region, the protein coding region, and the entire 3' untranslated region, determined the tissue distribution of Pex/PEX mRNA, and characterized the Pex mutation in the murine Hyp homologue of the human disease. Using the reverse transcriptase/polymerase chain reaction (RT/PCR) and ribonuclease protection assays, we found that Pex/PEX mRNA is expressed predominantly in human fetal and adult mouse calvaria and long bone. With RNA from Hyp mouse bone, an RT/PCR product was generated with 5' but not 3' Pex primer pairs and a protected Pex mRNA fragment was detected with 5' but not 3' Pex riboprobes by ribonuclease protection assay. Analysis of the RT/PCR product derived from Hyp bone RNA revealed an aberrant Pex transcript with retention of intron sequence downstream from nucleotide 1302 of the Pex cDNA. Pex mRNA was not detected on Northern blots of poly (A)+ RNA from Hyp bone, while a low-abundance Pex transcript of approximately 7 kb was apparent in normal bone. Southern analysis of genomic DNA from Hyp mice revealed the absence of hybridizing bands with cDNA probes from the 3' region of the Pex cDNA. We conclude that Pex/PEX is a low-abundance transcript that is expressed predominantly in bone of mice and humans and that a large deletion in the 3' region of the Pex gene is present in the murine Hyp homologue of X-linked hypophosphatemia.
Features characteristic to rheumatoid joint destruction, including synovial overgrowth and bone resorption, are experimentally produced by augmenting c-fos gene expression. We tested here if arthritic joint destruction was inhibited upon inactivation of the c-fos/AP-1 signal by administering short double-stranded AP-1 DNA oligonucleotides into mice with collagen-induced arthritis to compete for the binding of AP-1 in vivo at the promoter binding site. Arthritic joint destruction was inhibited in a sequence-specific and dose-dependent manner by oligonucleotides containing the AP-1 sequence. The oligonucleotides inhibited gene expression at the transcriptional level. Nucleotide sequences besides AP-1 also appeared to be important structurally for binding of AP-1 onto DNA and for the stability of oligonucleotides against nucleases. Immunohistochemical chase experiment administering biotinylated oligonucleotides into arthritic mice showed that AP-1 oligonucleotides reached the inflamed joint. Thus, activation of c-fos/AP-1 appears essentially important in arthritic joint destruction.
Heat shock proteins (HSP) are components of the steroid receptor complex and are released into the cell cytosol after hormone binding. We tested whether HSPs released from steroid receptors mediate an increase in calcineurin phosphatase activity by steroid hormones. Aldosterone increased calcineurin activity in microdissected rat cortical collecting ducts (CCD) and connecting tubules, but not in proximal tubules, medullary thick ascending limb, or outer medullary collecting ducts. In contrast, 5 microM dexamethasone increased calcineurin activity in both CCD and proximal tubules. Aldosterone increased CCD calcineurin activity after 30 min and this response was blocked by spironolactone, but not by actinomycin D. An antibody recognizing HSP-56 did not change basal calcineurin activity, but completely blocked the stimulation of calcineurin by aldosterone. Rapamycin, an immunosuppressive drug that stabilizes the HSP-steroid receptor complex, also blocked the aldosterone response, whereas HSP-90 or HSP-70 increased calcineurin activity in permeabilized CCD. In summary, (a) aldosterone increases calcineurin activity in CCD through a transcription-independent process; (b) maneuvers inactivating HSP-56 or slowing HSP disassociation from the receptor complex blocks stimulation of calcineurin by steroid hormones; (c) HSP-90 and HSP-70 increase CCD calcineurin activity in the absence of steroid hormone. We conclude that HSPs released from transformed steroid receptors can stimulate calcineurin activity through a transcription-independent pathway.
It is well documented that the activity of Na+,K+-ATPase can be inhibited by the arachidonic acid metabolite, 20-hydroxyeicosa-tetraenoic acid (20 HETE). Evidence is presented here that this effect is mediated by protein kinase C (PKC). PKC inhibitors abolished 20 HETE inhibition of rat Na+,K+-ATPase in renal tubular cells. 20 HETE caused translocation of PKC alpha from cytoplasm to membrane in COS cells. It also inhibited Na+,K+-ATPase activity in COS cells transfected with rat wild-type renal Na+,K+-ATPase alpha1 subunit, but not in cells transfected with Na+,K+-ATPase alpha1, where the PKC phosphorylation site, serine 23, had been mutated to alanine. PKC-induced phosphorylation of rat renal Na+,K+-ATPase, as well as of histone was strongly enhanced by 20 HETE at the physiologic calcium concentration of 1.3 microM, but not at the calcium concentration of 200 microM. The results indicate that phospholipase A2-arachidonic acid-20 HETE pathway can exert important biological effects via activation of PKC and that this effect may occur in the absence of a rise in intracellular calcium.
Cartilage specimens from osteoarthritis (OA)-affected patients spontaneously released PGE2 at 48 h in ex vivo culture at levels at least 50-fold higher than in normal cartilage and 18-fold higher than in normal cartilage + cytokines + endotoxin. The superinduction of PGE2 production coincides with the upregulation of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in OA-affected cartilage. Production of both nitric oxide (NO) and PGE2 by OA cartilage explants is regulated at the level of transcription and translation. Dexamethasone inhibited only the spontaneously released PGE2 production, and not NO, in OA-affected cartilage. The NO synthase inhibitor HN(G)-monomethyl-L-arginine monoacetate inhibited OA cartilage NO production by > 90%, but augmented significantly (twofold) the spontaneous production of PGE2 in the same explants. Similarly, addition of exogenous NO donors to OA cartilage significantly inhibited PGE2 production. Cytokine + endotoxin stimulation of OA explants increased PGE2 production above the spontaneous release. Addition of L-NMMA further augmented cytokine-induced PGE2 production by at least fourfold. Inhibition of PGE2 by COX-2 inhibitors (dexamethasone or indomethacin) or addition of exogenous PGE2 did not significantly affect the spontaneous NO production. These data indicate that human OA-affected cartilage in ex vivo conditions shows (a) superinduction of PGE2 due to upregulation of COX-2, and (b) spontaneous release of NO that acts as an autacoid to attenuate the production of the COX-2 products such as PGE2. These studies, together with others, also suggest that PGE2 may be differentially regulated in normal and OA-affected chondrocytes.
Antibody and T cell-mediated immune responses to oligodendroglial autoantigens transaldolase (TAL) and myelin basic protein (MBP) were examined in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Immunohistochemical studies of postmortem brain sections revealed decreased staining by MBP- and TAL-specific antibodies in MS plaques, indicating a concurrent loss of these antigens from demyelination sites. By Western blot high titer antibodies to human recombinant TAL were found in 29/94 sera and 16/23 cerebrospinal fluid samples from MS patients. Antibodies to MBP were undetectable in sera or cerebrospinal fluid of these MS patients. Proliferative responses to human recombinant TAL (stimulation index [SI] = 2.47+/-0.3) were significantly increased in comparison to MBP in 25 patients with MS (SI = 1.37+/-0.1; P < 0.01). After a 7-d stimulation of PBL, utilization of any of 24 different T cell receptor Vbeta gene segments in response to MBP was increased less than twofold in the two control donors and six MS patients investigated. In response to TAL-H, while skewing of individual Vbeta genes was also less than twofold in healthy controls, usage of specific Vbeta gene segments was differentially increased ranging from 2.5 to 65.9-fold in patients with MS. The results suggest that TAL may be a more potent immunogen than MBP in MS.
Physical exercise can cause marked alterations in the structure and function of human skeletal muscle. However, little is known about the specific signaling molecules and pathways that enable exercise to modulate cellular processes in skeletal muscle. The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade is a major signaling system by which cells transduce extracellular signals into intracellular responses. We tested the hypothesis that a single bout of exercise activates the MAPK signaling pathway. Needle biopsies of vastus lateralis muscle were taken from nine subjects at rest and after 60 min of cycle ergometer exercise. In all subjects, exercise increased MAPK phosphorylation, and the activity of its downstream substrate, the p90 ribosomal S6 kinase 2. Furthermore, exercise increased the activities of the upstream regulators of MAPK, MAP kinase kinase, and Raf-1. When two additional subjects were studied using a one-legged exercise protocol, MAPK phosphorylation and p90 ribosomal S6 kinase 2, MAP kinase kinase 1, and Raf-1 activities were increased only in the exercising leg. These studies demonstrate that exercise activates the MAPK cascade in human skeletal muscle and that this stimulation is primarily a local, tissue-specific phenomenon, rather than a systemic response to exercise. These findings suggest that the MAPK pathway may modulate cellular processes that occur in skeletal muscle in response to exercise.
The aim of this study was to determine whether elements of the human renin-angiotensin system (RAS) could functionally replace elements of the mouse RAS by complementing the reduced survival and renal abnormalities observed in mice carrying a gene-targeted deletion of the mouse angiotensinogen gene (mAgt). Double transgenic mice containing the human renin (HREN) and human angiotensinogen (HAGT) genes were bred to mice heterozygous for the mAgt deletion and the compound heterozygotes were identified and intercrossed. The resulting progeny (n = 139) were genotyped at each locus and the population was stratified into two groups: the first containing both human transgenes (RA+) and the second containing zero or one, but not both human transgenes (RA-). Despite appropriate Mendelian ratios of RA- mice that were wildtype (+/+), heterozygous (+/-), and homozygous (-/-) for the deletion of mAgt at birth, there was reduced survival of RA- mAgt-/- mice to adulthood (P < 0.001 by chi2). In contrast, we observed appropriate Mendelian ratios of RA+ mAgt+/+, RA+ mAgt+/-, and RA+ mAgt-/- mice at birth and in adults (P > 0.05 by chi2). These results demonstrate that the presence of both human transgenes rescues the postnatal lethality in mAgt-/- mice. The renal histopathology exhibited by RA- mAgt-/- mice, including thickened arterial walls, severe fibrosis, lymphocytic infiltration, and atrophied parenchyma, was also rescued in the RA+ mAgt-/- mice. Direct arterial blood pressure recordings in conscious freely moving mice revealed that BP (in mmHg) varied proportionally to mAgt gene copy number in RA+ mice (approximately 20 mmHg per mAgt gene copy, P < 0.001). BP in RA+ mAgt-/- mice (132+/-3, n = 14) was intermediate between wild-type (RA- mAgt+/+, 105+/-2, n = 9) and RA+ mAgt+/+ (174+/-3, n = 10) mice. These studies establish that the human renin and angiotensinogen genes can functionally replace the mouse angiotensinogen gene, and provides proof in principle that we can examine the regulation of elements of the human RAS and test the significance of human RAS gene variants by a combined transgenic and gene targeting approach.
Congenital lipoid adrenal hyperplasia (lipoid CAH) is the most severe form of CAH in which the synthesis of all gonadal and adrenal cortical steroids is markedly impaired. We report here the clinical, endocrinological, and molecular analyses of two unrelated Japanese kindreds of 46,XX subjects affected with lipoid CAH who manifested spontaneous puberty. Phenotypic female infants with 46,XX karyotypes were diagnosed with lipoid CAH as newborns based on a clinical history of failure to thrive, hyperpigmentation, hyponatremia, hyperkalemia, and low basal values of serum cortisol and urinary 17-hydroxycorticosteroid and 17-ketosteroid. These patients responded to treatment with glucocorticoid and 9alpha-fludrocortisone. Spontaneous thelarche occurred in association with increased serum estradiol levels at the age of 10 and 11 yr, respectively. Pubic hair developed at the age of 12 yr 11 mo in one subject and menarche was at the age of 12 yr in both cases. Both subjects reported periodic menstrual bleeding and subsequently developed polycystic ovaries. To investigate the molecular basis of the steroidogenic lesion in these patients, the StAR gene was characterized by PCR and direct DNA sequence analyses. DNA sequence analysis revealed that one patient is homozygous for the Gln 258 Stop mutation in exon 7 and that the other patient is a compound heterozygote with the Gln 258 Stop mutation and a single A deletion at codon 238 in the other allele causing a frame-shift, which renders the StAR protein nonfunctional. These findings demonstrate that ovarian steroidogenesis can be spared to some extent through puberty when the StAR gene product is inactive. This is in marked contrast to the early onset of severe defects in testicular and adrenocortical steroidogenesis which are characteristics of this disease.
To investigate the role of the Maillard reaction in the pathogenesis of diabetic complications, we produced several clones of monoclonal antibodies against advanced glycation end products (AGEs) by immunizing mice with AGE-modified keyhole limpet hemocyanin, and found that one clone (AG-1) of the anti-AGE antibodies reacted specifically with imidazolones A and B, novel AGEs. Thus, the imidazolones, which are the reaction products of the guanidino group of arginine with 3-deoxyglucosone (3-DG), a reactive intermediate of the Maillard reaction, were found to be common epitopes of AGE-modified proteins produced in vitro. We determined the erythrocyte levels of imidazolone in diabetic patients using ELISA with the monoclonal anti-imidazolone antibody. The imidazolone levels in the erythrocytes of diabetic patients were found to be significantly increased as compared with those of healthy subjects. Then we studied the localization of imidazolone in the kidneys and aortas obtained from diabetic patients by immunohistochemistry using the antibody. Specific imidazolone immunoreactivity was detected in nodular lesions and expanded mesangial matrix of glomeruli, and renal arteries in an advanced stage of diabetic nephropathy, as well as in atherosclerotic lesions of aortas. This study first demonstrates the localization of imidazolone in the characteristic lesions of diabetic nephropathy and atherosclerosis. These results, taken together with a recent demonstration of increased serum 3-DG levels in diabetes, strongly suggest that imidazolone produced by 3-DG may contribute to the progression of long-term diabetic complications such as nephropathy and atherosclerosis.
Expression of the adhesion molecules CD44, L-selectin (CD62L), and integrin alpha 4 beta 7 by antibody-secreting cells (ASC) was examined in human volunteers after oral, rectal, intranasal, or systemic immunization with cholera toxin B subunit. Almost all blood ASC, irrespective of immunization route, isotype (IgG and IgA), and immunogen, expressed CD44. On the other hand, marked differences were observed between systemically and intestinally induced ASC with respect to expression of integrin alpha 4 beta 7 and L-selectin, adhesion molecules conferring tissue specificity for mucosal tissues and peripheral lymph nodes, respectively. Thus, most ASC induced at systemic sites expressed L-selectin, whereas only a smaller proportion of ASC expressed alpha 4 beta 7. In contrast, virtually all IgA- and even IgG-ASC detected after peroral and rectal immunizations expressed alpha 4 beta 7, with only a minor fraction of these cells expressing L-selectin. Circulating ASC induced by intranasal immunization displayed a more promiscuous pattern of adhesion molecules, with a large majority of ASC coexpressing L-selectin and alpha 4 beta 7. These results demonstrate that circulating ASC induced by mucosal and systemic immunization express different sets of adhesion molecules. Furthermore, these findings provide for the first time evidence for differential expression of adhesion molecules on circulating ASC originating from different mucosal sites. Collectively, these results may explain the anatomical division of mucosal and systemic immune responses in humans as well as the compartmentalization of mucosal immune responses initiated in the upper vs. the lower aerodigestive tract.
High calcium intake during childhood has been suggested to increase bone mass accrual, potentially resulting in a greater peak bone mass. Whether the effects of calcium supplementation on bone mass accrual vary from one skeletal region to another, and to what extent the level of spontaneous calcium intake may affect the magnitude of the response has, however, not yet been clearly established. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 149 healthy prepubertal girls aged 7.9+/-0.1 yr (mean+/-SEM) were either allocated two food products containing 850 mg of calcium (Ca-suppl.) or not (placebo) on a daily basis for 1 yr. Areal bone mineral density (BMD), bone mineral content (BMC), and bone size were determined at six sites by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. The difference in BMD gain between calcium-supplemented (Ca-suppl.) and placebo was greater at radial (metaphysis and diaphysis) and femoral (neck, trochanter, and diaphyses) sites (7-12 mg/cm2 per yr) than in the lumbar spine (2 mg/cm2 per yr). The difference in BMD gains between Ca-suppl. and placebo was greatest in girls with a spontaneous calcium intake below the median of 880 mg/d. The increase in mean BMD of the 6 sites in the low-calcium consumers was accompanied by increased gains in mean BMC, bone size, and statural height. These results suggest a possible positive effect of calcium supplementation on skeletal growth at that age. In conclusion, calcium-enriched foods significantly increased bone mass accrual in prepubertal girls, with a preferential effect in the appendicular skeleton, and greater benefit at lower spontaneous calcium intake.
We have recently shown that ex vivo gene therapy of rabbit autologous vein grafts with antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (AS ODN) blocking cell cycle regulatory gene expression inhibits not only neointimal hyperplasia, but also diet-induced, accelerated graft atherosclerosis. We observed that these grafts remained free of macrophage invasion and foam cell deposition. Since endothelial dysfunction plays an important role in vascular disease, the current study examined the effect of this genetic engineering strategy on graft endothelial function and its potential relationship to the engineered vessels' resistance to atherosclerosis. Rabbit vein grafts transfected with AS ODN against proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and cell division cycle 2 (cdc2) kinase elaborated significantly more nitric oxide and exhibited greater vasorelaxation to both calcium ionophore and acetylcholine than did untreated or control ODN-treated grafts. This preservation of endothelial function was associated with a reduction in superoxide radical generation, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) expression, and monocyte binding activity in grafts in both normal and hypercholesterolemic rabbits. Our data demonstrate that AS ODN arrest of vascular cell cycle progression results in the preservation of normal endothelial phenotype and function, thereby influencing the biology of the vessel wall towards a reduction of its susceptibility to occlusive disease.
Renal proximal tubular response to acute administration of a low Pi diet is characterized by a rapid adaptive increase in apical brush border membrane (BBM) Na-Pi cotransport activity and Na-Pi cotransporter protein abundance, independent of a change in Na-Pi cotransporter mRNA levels (Levi, M., M. Lötscher, V. Sorribas, M. Custer, M. Arar, B. Kaissling, H. Murer, and J. Biber. 1994. Am. J. Physiol. 267: F900-F908). The purposes of the present study were to determine if the acute adaptive response occurs independent of de novo protein synthesis, and if microtubules play a role in the rapid upregulation of the Na-Pi cotransporters at the apical BBM. We found that inhibition of transcription by actinomycin D and translation by cycloheximide did not prevent the rapid adaptive response. In addition, in spite of a 3.3-fold increase in apical BBM Na-Pi cotransporter protein abundance, there was no change in cortical homogenate Na-Pi cotransporter protein abundance. Pretreatment with colchicine, which resulted in almost complete disruption of the microtubular network, abolished the adaptive increases in BBM Na-Pi cotransport activity and Na-Pi cotransporter protein abundance. In contrast, colchicine had no effect on the rapid downregulation of Na-Pi cotransport in response to acute administration of a high Pi diet. We conclude that the rapid adaptive increase in renal proximal tubular apical BBM Na-Pi cotransport activity and Na-Pi cotransporter abundance is independent of de novo protein synthesis, and is mediated by microtubule-dependent translocation of presynthesized Na-Pi cotransporter protein to the apical BBM.
Mast cell activation is a characteristic feature of chronic inflammation, a condition that may lead to fibrosis as a result of increased collagen synthesis by fibroblasts. We have investigated the potential of tryptase, the major protease of human mast cells, to stimulate collagen synthesis in the human lung fibroblast cell line MRC-5. Tryptase was isolated from human lung tissue by ion-exchange and affinity chromatography. At concentrations of 18 and 36 mU/ml, tryptase stimulated both an increase in cell numbers, and a fivefold increase in DNA synthesis as determined by methyl-[3H]thymidine incorporation. Similar concentrations of tryptase resulted in a 2.5-fold increase in collagen synthesis as determined both by incorporation of [3H]proline into collagen, and by assay of hydroxyproline concentrations in the supernatants. There was also a twofold increase in collagenolytic activity in the culture medium after tryptase treatment, indicating that the increase in collagen synthesis was not a consequence of decreased collagenase production. All of these actions of tryptase were reduced in the presence of the protease inhibitors leupeptin and benzamidine hydrochloride, indicating a requirement for an active catalytic site. SDS-PAGE and autoradiographic analysis of the [3H]collagen produced by the cells revealed it to be predominantly type I collagen. Our findings suggest that the release of tryptase from activated mast cells may provide a signal for abnormal fibrosis in inflammatory disease.
Proliferating, activated, hepatic stellate cells have a high level of collagen type I expression. Therefore, stellate cell proliferation is a critical step in hepatic fibrosis. Here we show that proliferation of activated primary rat stellate cells was blocked by elevation of cAMP with 8 Br-cAMP or isomethylbutyl xanthine, a phosphodiesterase inhibitor, and by stimulation of Ca2+ fluxes with the Ca2+ ionophore A-23187. Because phosphorylation of CREB on Ser133 is an important mediator of cAMP-protein kinase (PKA) and Ca2+-calmodulin kinase II (CAMK-II) activation, we tested whether CREB-PSer133 was essential for stellate cell quiescence. Nuclear extracts from quiescent, but not from activated, stellate cells contained CREB-PSer133. Moreover, the phosphorylation of CREB on Ser133 was stimulated in activated cells by inducing the activity of PKA or CAMK-II. In addition, coexpression of CREB and either a constitutively active PKA or a constitutively active CAMK-II inhibited the proliferation of activated stellate cells. In contrast, expression of CREB alone, PKA or CAMK-II alone, CREB-Ala 133 (which lacks the Ser133 phosphoacceptor) with PKA or CAMK-II, or CREB with inactive PKA or CAMK-II mutants did not affect stellate cell proliferation, suggesting that CREB-PSer133 is necessary for blocking the stellate cell cycle. Conversely, expression of a trans-dominant negative CREB-Ala 133 mutant (which competes with CREB/CREB-PSer133 for cognate DNA binding sites and presumably for protein interactions) induced a greater than fivefold entry into S-phase of quiescent stellate cells, compared with control cells expressing either beta-galactosidase or wt CREB, indicating that CREB-PSer133 may be indispensable for the quiescent stellate cell phenotype. This study suggests that PKA and CAMK-II play an essential role on stellate cell activation through the induction of CREB phosphorylation on Ser133, and provides potential approaches for the treatment of hepatic fibrogenesis in patients with chronic liver diseases.
In this investigation we have used a mouse model containing certain phenotypic characteristics consistent with asthma and IL-4- and CD40-deficient mice to establish the role of this cytokine and allergen-specific immunoglobulins in the initiation of airways hyperreactivity and morphological changes to the airways in responses to aeroallergen challenge. Sensitization and aerosol challenge of mice with ovalbumin resulted in a severe airways inflammatory response which directly correlated with the induction of extensive airways damage and airways hyperreactivity to beta-methacholine. Inflammatory infiltrates were primarily characterized by the presence of CD4+ T cells and eosinophils. In IL-4-deficient mice, the recruitment of airways eosinophils was impaired, but not abolished in response to aeroallergen. Moreover, the characteristic airways damage and hyperreactivity normally resulting from allergen inhalation were not attenuated. Induction of these structural and functional changes to the airways occurred in the absence of ovalbumin-specific IgE and IgG1, but IgG2a and IgG3 were detected in the sera of IL-4-deficient mice. CD4+ T cells isolated from both wild-type and IL-4-deficient mice given ovalbumin produced significant levels of IL-5 after in vitro stimulation. Treatment of IL-4-deficient mice with anti-IL-5 mAb before aeroallergen challenge abolished blood and airways eosinophilia, lung damage, and airways hyperreactivity. These results indicate that IL-4 is not essential for the development of IL-5-producing CD4+ T cells or for the induction of eosinophilic inflammation and airways damage and hyperreactivity. In response to sensitization and aerosol challenge, CD40-deficient mice did not produce ovalbumin-specific IgE, IgG isotypes, or IgA, and airways inflammation and hyperreactivity were not attenuated. Our results suggest that allergic airways disease can occur via pathways which operate independently of IL-4 and allergen-specific immunoglobulins. Activation of these pathways is intimately associated with IL-5 and eosinophilic inflammation. Such pathways may play a substantive role in the etiology of asthma.
To better define the specific function of Mac-1 (CD11b) versus LFA-1 (CD11a) and the other CD11 integrins in vivo, we have disrupted murine CD11b by targeted homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells and generated mice which are homozygous for a mutation in CD11b. A null mutation was confirmed by Southern blotting, RNase protection assay, immunohistochemistry, and flow cytometry. Neutrophils isolated from mice deficient in Mac-1 were defective in adherence to keyhole limpet hemocyanin-coated glass, iC3b-mediated phagocytosis, and homotypic aggregation. When challenged by thioglycollate intraperitoneally, Mac-1-deficient mice had similar levels of neutrophil accumulation in the peritoneal cavity at 1, 2, and 4 h. Treatment with mAb to LFA-1 blocked 78% of neutrophil accumulation in Mac-1-deficient mice and 58% in wild-type mice. Neutrophil emigration into the peritoneal cavity 16 h after the implantation of fibrinogen-coated disks was not reduced in Mac-1-deficient mice whereas neutrophil adhesion to the fibrinogen-coated disks was reduced by > 90%. Neutrophils from Mac-1-deficient mice also showed reduced degranulation. Our results demonstrate that Mac-1 plays a critical role in mediating binding of neutrophils to fibrinogen and neutrophil degranulation, but is not necessary for effective neutrophil emigration, which is more dependent upon LFA-1.
We previously demonstrated that when platelets are in motion and in proximity to endothelial cells, they become unresponsive to agonists (Marcus, A.J., L.B. Safier, K.A. Hajjar, H.L. Ullman, N. Islam, M.J. Broekman, and A.M. Eiroa. 1991. J. Clin. Invest. 88:1690-1696). This inhibition is due to an ecto-ADPase on the surface of endothelial cells which metabolizes ADP released from activated platelets, resulting in blockade of the aggregation response. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) ADPase was biochemically classified as an E-type ATP-diphosphohydrolase. The endothelial ecto-ADPase is herein identified as CD39, a molecule originally characterized as a lymphoid surface antigen. All HUVEC ecto-ADPase activity was immunoprecipitated by monoclonal antibodies to CD39. Surface localization of HUVEC CD39 was established by confocal microscopy and flow cytometric analyses. Transfection of COS cells with human CD39 resulted in both ecto-ADPase activity as well as surface expression of CD39. PCR analyses of cDNA obtained from HUVEC mRNA and recombinant human CD39 revealed products of the same size, and of identical sequence. Northern blot analyses demonstrated that HUVEC express the same sized transcripts for CD39 as MP-1 cells (from which CD39 was originally cloned). We established the role of CD39 as a prime endothelial thromboregulator by demonstrating that CD39-transfected COS cells acquired the ability to inhibit ADP-induced aggregation in platelet-rich plasma. The identification of HUVEC ADPase/CD39 as a constitutively expressed potent inhibitor of platelet reactivity offers new prospects for antithrombotic therapeusis.
The apolipoprotein(a) (apo[a]) gene encodes a protein component of lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] whose plasma levels vary widely among individuals. Hyper-Lp(a)-emia constitutes a risk factor for thromboembolic disease. We previously subclassified the apo(a) gene into four allelic types (A-D) by polymorphisms in the 5'-flanking region. To elucidate whether these polymorphisms affect the expression of apo(a), we measured plasma Lp(a) concentrations in vivo by ELISA and examined expression of the gene by an in vitro assay using its 5'-flanking region. Homozygotes of type C had significantly higher Lp(a) levels than those of type D. The relative expression of type C was also about three times higher than that of type D, which was consistent with the in vivo results. Deletion analysis revealed that the substitution of C by T (+93) led to negative regulation in expression of the gene, while the change of G to A (+121) led to positive regulation. These results indicate that the polymorphisms in the 5'-flanking region of the apo(a) gene affect the efficiency of its expression and, in part, play a role in regulating plasma Lp(a) levels.
Prostaglandins (PGs) are important mediators of epithelial integrity and function in the gastrointestinal tract. Relatively little is known, however, about the mechanism by which PGs affect stem cells in the intestine during normal epithelial turnover, or during wound repair. PGs are synthesized from arachidonate by either of two cyclooxygenases, cyclooxygenase-1 (Cox-1) or cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2), which are present in a wide variety of mamalian cells. Cox-1 is thought to be a constitutively expressed enzyme, and the expression of Cox-2 is inducible by cytokines or other stimuli in a variety of cell types. We investigated the role of PGs in mouse intestinal stem cell survival and proliferation following radiation injury. The number of surviving crypt stem cells was determined 3.5 d after irradiation by the microcolony assay. Radiation injury induced a dose-dependent decrease in the number of surviving crypts. Indomethacin, an inhibitor of Cox-1 and Cox-2, further reduced the number of surviving crypts in irradiated mice. The indomethacin dose response for inhibition of PGE2 production and reduction of crypt survival were similar. DimethylPGE2 reversed the indomethacin-induced decrease in crypt survival. Selective Cox-2 inhibitors had no effect on crypt survival. PGE2, Cox-1 mRNA, and Cox-1 protein levels all increase in the 3 d after irradiation. Immunohistochemistry for Cox-1 demonstrated localization in epithelial cells of the crypt in the unirradiated mouse, and in the regenerating crypt epithelium in the irradiated mouse. We conclude that radiation injury results in increased Cox-1 levels in crypt stem cells and their progeny, and that PGE2 produced through Cox-1 promotes crypt stem cell survival and proliferation.
The human endothelin-1 (ET-1) gene under the control of its natural promoter was transferred into the germline of mice. The transgene was expressed predominantly in the brain, lung, and kidney. Transgene expression was associated with a pathological phenotype manifested by signs such as age-dependent development of renal cysts, interstitial fibrosis of the kidneys, and glomerulosclerosis leading to a progressive decrease in glomerular filtration rate. This pathology developed in spite of only slightly elevated plasma and tissue ET-1 concentrations. Blood pressure was not affected even after the development of an impaired glomerular filtration rate. Therefore, these transgenic lines provide a new blood pressure-independent animal model of ET-1-induced renal pathology leading to renal fibrosis and fatal kidney disease.
Tumor cell interactions with adhesion proteins and growth factors likely contribute to the metastatic cascade. Evidence is provided that insulin or insulin-like growth factor-mediated signals cooperate with the commonly expressed integrin alpha v beta 5 to promote spontaneous pulmonary metastasis of multiple tumor cell types in both the chick embryo and severe combined immune deficiency mouse/human chimeric models. Expression of alpha v beta 5 in tumor cells promoted their adhesion to vitronectin in vitro. However, cell motility required cytokine stimulation, which caused redistribution of alpha-actinin to membrane-adhesive sites containing alpha v beta 5. Significantly, ligation of alpha v beta 5 and cytokine receptors were both required for spontaneous pulmonary metastasis of multiple tumor types even though it was not necessary for primary tumor growth. Thus, tumor cell metastasis can be regulated by a functional cooperation between cytokine signaling events and the adhesion receptor alpha v beta 5 in a manner independent of tumor cell growth. These findings provide evidence that integrin ligation, in conjunction with cytokine activation, plays an important role in the dissemination of malignant tumor cells.
During antidiuresis, increases in vasopressin (AVP)-elicited osmotic water permeability in the terminal inner medullary collecting duct (tIMCD) raise luminal calcium concentrations to levels (> or = 5 mM) above those associated with the formation of calcium-containing precipitates in the urine. Calcium/polycation receptor proteins (CaRs) enable cells in the parathyroid gland and kidney thick ascending limb of Henle to sense and respond to alterations in serum calcium. We now report the presence of an apical CaR in rat kidney tIMCD that specifically reduces AVP-elicited osmotic water permeability when luminal calcium rises. Purified tIMCD apical membrane endosomes contain both the AVP-elicited water channel, aquaporin 2, and a CaR. In addition, aquaporin 2-containing endosomes also possess stimulatory (G(alpha q)/G(alpha 11) and inhibitory (G(alpha i1, 2, and 3)) GTP binding proteins reported previously to interact with CaRs as well as two specific isoforms (delta and zeta) of protein kinase C. Immunocytochemistry using anti-CaR antiserum reveals the presence of CaR protein in both rat and human collecting ducts. Together, these data provide support for a unique tIMCD apical membrane signaling mechanism linking calcium and water metabolism. Abnormalities in this mechanism could potentially play a role in the pathogenesis of renal stone formation.
Inbred strains of mice differ in susceptibility to atherogenesis when challenged with a high fat, high cholesterol diet containing 0.5% cholic acid. Studies of recombinant inbred (RI) strains derived from the susceptible strain C57BL/6J (B6) and the resistant strains C3H/HeJ (C3H) and BALB/cJ have revealed an association between fatty streak lesion size and a decrease in high density lipoprotein (HDL) levels on the diet. To better understand the genetic factors contributing to HDL metabolism and atherogenesis in response to the diet, we studied mice derived from an intercross between B6 and C3H using a complete linkage map approach. A total of 185 female progeny were typed for 134 genetic markers spanning the mouse genome, resulting in an average interval of about 10 cM between markers. A locus on distal chromosome 1 containing the apolipoprotein AII gene was linked to HDL-cholesterol levels on both the chow and the atherogenic diets, but this locus did not contribute to the decrease in HDL-cholesterol in response to the diet. At least three distinct genetic loci, on chromosomes 3, 5, and 11, exhibited evidence of linkage to a decrease in HDL-cholesterol after a dietary challenge. Since a bile acid (cholic acid) is required for the diet induced changes in HDL levels and for atherogenesis in these strains, we examined cholesterol-7-alpha hydroxylase (C7AH) expression. Whereas B6 mice exhibited a large decrease in C7AH mRNA levels in response to the diet, C3H showed an increase. Among the intercross mice, multiple loci contributed to the regulation of C7AH mRNA levels in response to the diet, the most notable of which coincided with the loci on chromosomes 3, 5, and 11 controlling HDL levels in response to the diet. None of these loci were linked to the C7AH structural gene which we mapped to proximal chromosome 4. These studies reveal coordinate regulation of C7AH expression and HDL levels, and they indicate that the genetic factors controlling HDL levels are more complex than previously suggested by studies of RI strains. Furthermore, we observed that two of the loci for C7AH expression contributed to differences in gallstone formation between these strains.
The outer medullary collecting duct (OMCD) absorbs HCO3- at high rates, but it is not clear if it responds to metabolic acidosis to increase H+ secretion. We measured net HCO3- transport in isolated perfused OMCDs taken from deep in the inner stripes of kidneys from control and acidotic (NH4Cl-fed for 3 d) rabbits. We used specific inhibitors to characterize the mechanisms of HCO3- transport: 10 microM Sch 28080 or luminal K+ removal to inhibit P-type H+,K+-ATPase activity, and 5-10 nM bafilomycin A1 or 1-10 nM concanamycin A to inhibit H+-ATPase activity. The results were comparable using either of each pair of inhibitors, and allowed us to show in control rabbits that 65% of net HCO3- absorption depended on H+-ATPase (H flux), and 35% depended on H+,K+-ATPase (H,K flux). Tubules from acidotic rabbits showed higher rates of HCO3- absorption (16.8+/-0.3 vs. 12.8+/-0.2 pmol/min per mm, P < 0.01). There was no difference in the H,K flux (5.9+/-0.2 vs. 5.8+/-0.2 pmol/min per mm), whereas there was a 61% higher H flux in segments from acidotic rabbits (11.3+/-0.2 vs. 7.0+/-0.2 pmol/min per mm, P < 0.01). Transport was then measured in other OMCDs before and after incubation for 1 h at pH 6.8, followed by 2 h at pH 7.4 (in vitro metabolic acidosis). Acid incubation in vitro stimulated HCO3- absorption (12.3+/-0.3 to 16.2+/-0.3 pmol/min per mm, P < 0.01), while incubation at pH 7.4 for 3 h did not change basal rate (11.8+/-0.4 to 11.7+/-0.4 pmol/min per mm). After acid incubation the H,K flux did not change, (4.7+/-0.4 to 4.6+/-0.4 pmol/min per mm), however, there was a 60% increase in H flux (6.6+/-0.3 to 10.8+/-0.3 pmol/min per mm, P < 0.01). In OMCDs from acidotic animals, and in OMCDs incubated in acid in vitro, there was a higher basal rate and a further increase in HCO3- absorption (16.7+/-0.4 to 21.3+/-0.3 pmol/min per mm, P < 0.01) because of increased H flux (11.5+/-0.3 to 15.7+/-0.2 pmol/min per mm, P < 0.01) without any change in H,K flux (5.4+/-0.3 to 5.6+/-0.3 pmol/min per mm). These data indicate that HCO3- absorption (H+ secretion) in OMCD is stimulated by metabolic acidosis in vivo and in vitro by an increase in H+-ATPase-sensitive HCO3- absorption. The mechanism of adaptation may involve increased synthesis and exocytosis to the apical membrane of proton pumps. This adaptation helps maintain homeostasis during metabolic acidosis.
Recently, we found that different low molecular weight compounds, all known to stabilize proteins in their native conformation, are effective in correcting the temperature-sensitive protein folding defect associated with the deltaF508 cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) protein. Here we examined whether the folding of other proteins which exhibit temperature-sensitive folding defects also could be corrected via a similar strategy. Cell lines expressing temperature-sensitive mutants of the tumor suppressor protein p53, the viral oncogene protein pp60src, or a ubiquitin activating enzyme E1, were incubated at the nonpermissive temperature (39.5 degrees C) in the presence of glycerol, trimethylamine N-oxide or deuterated water. In each case, the cells exhibited phenotypes similar to those observed when the cells were incubated at the permissive temperature (32.5 degrees C), indicative that the particular protein folding defect had been corrected. These observations, coupled with our earlier work and much older studies in yeast and bacteria, indicate that protein stabilizing agents are effective in vivo for correcting protein folding abnormalities. We suggest that this type of approach may prove to be useful for correcting certain protein folding abnormalities associated with human diseases.
The regulation of allergic and autoimmune inflammatory reactions by polyunsaturated fatty acids and their metabolic products (eicosanoids) continues to be of major interest. Our data demonstrate that arachidonic acid 5,8,11,14-eicosatetraenoic acid (20:4n-6) and its hydroxylated derivatives 15(s)-hydroxy-5,8,11,13-eicosatetraenoic acid (15-HETE) and 15(s)-hydroperoxy-5,8,11,13-eicosatetraenoic acid (15-HPETE) regulate agonist-induced tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF) production, a cytokine that plays a role in inflammatory diseases. Although 20:4n-6 and 15-HETE caused a reduction in production of TNF in mononuclear leukocytes stimulated with phytohaemagglutinin, pokeweed mitogen, concanavalin A, and Staphylococcus aureus, 15-HPETE was far more active. 15-HPETE was also found to dramatically depress the ability of bacterial lipopolysaccharide to induce TNF production in monocytes and the monocytic cell line Mono Mac 6. These fatty acids depressed the expression of TNF mRNA in Mono Mac 6 cells stimulated with LPS; 15-HPETE was fivefold more active than 20:4n-6 and 15-HETE. While 15-HPETE treatment neither affected LPS binding to Mono Mac 6 cells nor caused a decrease in CD14 expression, the fatty acid significantly reduced the LPS-induced translocation of PKC (translocation of alpha, betaI, betaII, and epsilon isozymes), suggesting that 15-HPETE acts by abrogating the early signal transduction events. The findings identify another molecule that could form the basis for development of antiinflammatory pharmaceuticals.
Apoptosis is thought to be important in the pathogenesis of cerebral ischemia. The mechanism of apoptosis induction remains unclear but several studies suggest that it is preferentially triggered by mild/moderate microcirculatory disturbances. We examined in cats whether induction of apoptosis after 2.5 h of unilateral middle cerebral artery occlusion plus 10 h of reperfusion is influenced by the degree of cerebral microcirculatory disturbance. Quantitative monitoring over time of the disturbances of cerebral microcirculation in ischemic brain areas and evaluation of cytotoxic edema associated with perfusion deficits was achieved by using two noninvasive magnetic resonance imaging techniques: (a) high-speed echo planar imaging combined with a bolus of magnetic susceptibility contrast agent; and (b) diffusion-weighted imaging. Apoptosis-positive cells were counted in anatomic areas with different severity of ischemic injury characterized by magnetic resonance imaging, triphenyltetrazolium chloride, and hemotoxylin and eosin staining. The number of apoptosis-positive cells was significantly higher in anatomic areas with severe perfusion deficits during occlusion and detectable histologic changes 10 h after reperfusion. In contrast, in areas where perfusion was reduced but maintained during occlusion there were no detectable histological changes and significantly fewer apoptosis-positive cells. A similar number of cells that undergo apoptosis were shown in regions with transient or prolonged subtotal perfusion deficits. These results suggest that the apoptotic process is induced in the ischemic core and contributes significantly in the degeneration of neurons associated with transient ischemia.
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