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Abstract

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates multiple physiological processes, including cutaneous cell growth and differentiation. Here, we explored the effects of the major nonpsychotropic phytocannabinoid of Cannabis sativa, (-)-cannabidiol (CBD), on human sebaceous gland function and determined that CBD behaves as a highly effective sebostatic agent. Administration of CBD to cultured human sebocytes and human skin organ culture inhibited the lipogenic actions of various compounds, including arachidonic acid and a combination of linoleic acid and testosterone, and suppressed sebocyte proliferation via the activation of transient receptor potential vanilloid-4 (TRPV4) ion channels. Activation of TRPV4 interfered with the prolipogenic ERK1/2 MAPK pathway and resulted in the downregulation of nuclear receptor interacting protein-1 (NRIP1), which influences glucose and lipid metabolism, thereby inhibiting sebocyte lipogenesis. CBD also exerted complex antiinflammatory actions that were coupled to A2a adenosine receptor-dependent upregulation of tribbles homolog 3 (TRIB3) and inhibition of the NF-κB signaling. Collectively, our findings suggest that, due to the combined lipostatic, antiproliferative, and antiinflammatory effects, CBD has potential as a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of acne vulgaris.

Authors

Attila Oláh, Balázs I. Tóth, István Borbíró, Koji Sugawara, Attila G. Szöllõsi, Gabriella Czifra, Balázs Pál, Lídia Ambrus, Jennifer Kloepper, Emanuela Camera, Matteo Ludovici, Mauro Picardo, Thomas Voets, Christos C. Zouboulis, Ralf Paus, Tamás Bíró

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Abstract

Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells rapidly produce copious amounts of multiple cytokines after activation, thereby impacting a wide variety of different immune reactions. However, strong activation of iNKT cells with α-galactosylceramide (αGalCer) reportedly induces a hyporeactive state that resembles anergy. In contrast, we determined here that iNKT cells from mice pretreated with αGalCer retain cytotoxic activity and maintain the ability to respond to TCR-dependent as well as TCR-independent cytokine-mediated stimulation. Additionally, αGalCer-pretreated iNKT cells acquired characteristics of regulatory cells, including production and secretion of the immunomodulatory cytokine IL-10. Through the production of IL-10, αGalCer-pretreated iNKT cells impaired antitumor responses and reduced disease in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, a mouse model of autoimmune disease. Furthermore, a subset of iNKT cells with a similar inhibitory phenotype and function were present in mice not exposed to αGalCer and were enriched in mouse adipose tissue and detectable in human PBMCs. These data demonstrate that IL-10–producing iNKT cells with regulatory potential (NKT10 cells) represent a distinct iNKT cell subset.

Authors

Duygu Sag, Petra Krause, Catherine C. Hedrick, Mitchell Kronenberg, Gerhard Wingender

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Abstract

Aberrant activation of EGFR in human cancers promotes tumorigenesis through stimulation of AKT signaling. Here, we determined that the discoidina neuropilin-like membrane protein DCBLD2 is upregulated in clinical specimens of glioblastomas and head and neck cancers (HNCs) and is required for EGFR-stimulated tumorigenesis. In multiple cancer cell lines, EGFR activated phosphorylation of tyrosine 750 (Y750) of DCBLD2, which is located within a recently identified binding motif for TNF receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6). Consequently, phosphorylation of DCBLD2 Y750 recruited TRAF6, leading to increased TRAF6 E3 ubiquitin ligase activity and subsequent activation of AKT, thereby enhancing EGFR-driven tumorigenesis. Moreover, evaluation of patient samples of gliomas and HNCs revealed an association among EGFR activation, DCBLD2 phosphorylation, and poor prognoses. Together, our findings uncover a pathway in which DCBLD2 functions as a signal relay for oncogenic EGFR signaling to promote tumorigenesis and suggest DCBLD2 and TRAF6 as potential therapeutic targets for human cancers that are associated with EGFR activation.

Authors

Haizhong Feng, Giselle Y. Lopez, Chung Kwon Kim, Angel Alvarez, Christopher G. Duncan, Ryo Nishikawa, Motoo Nagane, An-Jey A. Su, Philip E. Auron, Matthew L. Hedberg, Lin Wang, Jeffery J. Raizer, John A. Kessler, Andrew T. Parsa, Wei-Qiang Gao, Sung-Hak Kim, Mutsuko Minata, Ichiro Nakano, Jennifer R. Grandis, Roger E. McLendon, Darell D. Bigner, Hui-Kuan Lin, Frank B. Furnari, Webster K. Cavenee, Bo Hu, Hai Yan, Shi-Yuan Cheng

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Abstract

Rheumatoid arthritis–associated (RA-associated) inflammation is mediated through the interaction between RA IgG immune complexes and IgG Fc receptors on immune cells. Polymorphisms within the gene encoding the human IgG Fc receptor IIA (hFcγRIIA) are associated with an increased risk of developing RA. Within the hFcγRIIA intracytoplasmic domain, there are 2 conserved tyrosine residues arranged in a noncanonical immunoreceptor tyrosine–based activation motif (ITAM). Here, we reveal that inhibitory engagement of the hFcγRIIA ITAM either with anti-hFcγRII F(ab′)2 fragments or intravenous hIgG (IVIg) ameliorates RA-associated inflammation, and this effect was characteristic of previously described inhibitory ITAM (ITAMi) signaling for hFcαRI and hFcγRIIIA, but only involves a single tyrosine. In hFcγRIIA-expressing mice, arthritis induction was inhibited following hFcγRIIA engagement. Moreover, hFcγRIIA ITAMi-signaling reduced ROS and inflammatory cytokine production through inhibition of guanine nucleotide exchange factor VAV-1 and IL-1 receptor–associated kinase 1 (IRAK-1), respectively. ITAMi signaling was mediated by tyrosine 304 (Y304) within the hFcγRIIA ITAM, which was required for recruitment of tyrosine kinase SYK and tyrosine phosphatase SHP-1. Anti-hFcγRII F(ab′)2 treatment of inflammatory synovial cells from RA patients inhibited ROS production through induction of ITAMi signaling. These data suggest that shifting constitutive hFcγRIIA-mediated activation to ITAMi signaling could ameliorate RA-associated inflammation.

Authors

Sanae Ben Mkaddem, Gilles Hayem, Friederike Jönsson, Elisabetta Rossato, Erwan Boedec, Tarek Boussetta, Jamel El Benna, Pierre Launay, Jean-Michel Goujon, Marc Benhamou, Pierre Bruhns, Renato C. Monteiro

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Abstract

The proteasome inhibiter bortezomib has been successfully used to treat patients with relapsed multiple myeloma; however, many of these patients become thrombocytopenic, and it is not clear how the proteasome influences platelet production. Here we determined that pharmacologic inhibition of proteasome activity blocks proplatelet formation in human and mouse megakaryocytes. We also found that megakaryocytes isolated from mice deficient for PSMC1, an essential subunit of the 26S proteasome, fail to produce proplatelets. Consistent with decreased proplatelet formation, mice lacking PSMC1 in platelets (Psmc1fl/fl Pf4-Cre mice) exhibited severe thrombocytopenia and died shortly after birth. The failure to produce proplatelets in proteasome-inhibited megakaryocytes was due to upregulation and hyperactivation of the small GTPase, RhoA, rather than NF-κB, as has been previously suggested. Inhibition of RhoA or its downstream target, Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK), restored megakaryocyte proplatelet formation in the setting of proteasome inhibition in vitro. Similarly, fasudil, a ROCK inhibitor used clinically to treat cerebral vasospasm, restored platelet counts in adult mice that were made thrombocytopenic by tamoxifen-induced suppression of proteasome activity in megakaryocytes and platelets (Psmc1fl/fl Pdgf-Cre-ER mice). These results indicate that proteasome function is critical for thrombopoiesis, and suggest inhibition of RhoA signaling as a potential strategy to treat thrombocytopenia in bortezomib-treated multiple myeloma patients.

Authors

Dallas S. Shi, Matthew C.P. Smith, Robert A. Campbell, Patrick W. Zimmerman, Zechariah B. Franks, Bjorn F. Kraemer, Kellie R. Machlus, Jing Ling, Patrick Kamba, Hansjörg Schwertz, Jesse W. Rowley, Rodney R. Miles, Zhi-Jian Liu, Martha Sola-Visner, Joseph E. Italiano Jr., Hilary Christensen, Walter H.A. Kahr, Dean Y. Li, Andrew S. Weyrich

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Abstract

Schlemm canal (SC) is a specialized vascular structure in the eye that functions to drain aqueous humor from the intraocular chamber into systemic circulation. Dysfunction of SC has been proposed to underlie increased aqueous humor outflow (AHO) resistance, which leads to elevated ocular pressure, a factor for glaucoma development in humans. Here, using lymphatic and blood vasculature reporter mice, we determined that SC, which originates from blood vessels during the postnatal period, acquires lymphatic identity through upregulation of prospero homeobox protein 1 (PROX1), the master regulator of lymphatic development. SC expressed lymphatic valve markers FOXC2 and integrin α9 and exhibited continuous vascular endothelial–cadherin (VE-cadherin) junctions and basement membrane, similar to collecting lymphatics. SC notably lacked luminal valves and expression of the lymphatic endothelial cell markers podoplanin and lymphatic vessel endothelial hyaluronan receptor 1 (LYVE-1). Using an ocular puncture model, we determined that reduced AHO altered the fate of SC both during development and under pathologic conditions; however, alteration of VEGF-C/VEGFR3 signaling did not modulate SC integrity and identity. Intriguingly, PROX1 expression levels linearly correlated with SC functionality. For example, PROX1 expression was reduced or undetectable under pathogenic conditions and in deteriorated SCs. Collectively, our data indicate that PROX1 is an accurate and reliable biosensor of SC integrity and identity.

Authors

Dae-Young Park, Junyeop Lee, Intae Park, Dongwon Choi, Sunju Lee, Sukhyun Song, Yoonha Hwang, Ki Yong Hong, Yoshikazu Nakaoka, Taija Makinen, Pilhan Kim, Kari Alitalo, Young-Kwon Hong, Gou Young Koh

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Abstract

In glaucoma, aqueous outflow into the Schlemm’s canal (SC) is obstructed. Despite striking structural and functional similarities with the lymphatic vascular system, it is unknown whether the SC is a blood or lymphatic vessel. Here, we demonstrated the expression of lymphatic endothelial cell markers by the SC in murine and zebrafish models as well as in human eye tissue. The initial stages of SC development involved induction of the transcription factor PROX1 and the lymphangiogenic receptor tyrosine kinase VEGFR-3 in venous endothelial cells in postnatal mice. Using gene deletion and function-blocking antibodies in mice, we determined that the lymphangiogenic growth factor VEGF-C and its receptor, VEGFR-3, are essential for SC development. Delivery of VEGF-C into the adult eye resulted in sprouting, proliferation, and growth of SC endothelial cells, whereas VEGF-A obliterated the aqueous outflow system. Furthermore, a single injection of recombinant VEGF-C induced SC growth and was associated with trend toward a sustained decrease in intraocular pressure in adult mice. These results reveal the evolutionary conservation of the lymphatic-like phenotype of the SC, implicate VEGF-C and VEGFR-3 as critical regulators of SC lymphangiogenesis, and provide a basis for further studies on therapeutic manipulation of the SC with VEGF-C in glaucoma treatment.

Authors

Aleksanteri Aspelund, Tuomas Tammela, Salli Antila, Harri Nurmi, Veli-Matti Leppänen, Georgia Zarkada, Lukas Stanczuk, Mathias Francois, Taija Mäkinen, Pipsa Saharinen, Ilkka Immonen, Kari Alitalo

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Abstract

Cancer has long been viewed as a genetic disease; however, epigenetic silencing as the result of aberrant promoter DNA methylation is frequently associated with cancer development, suggesting an epigenetic component to the disease. Nonetheless, it has remained unclear whether an epimutation (an aberrant change in epigenetic regulation) can induce tumorigenesis. Here, we exploited a functionally validated cis-acting regulatory element and devised a strategy to induce developmentally regulated genomic targeting of DNA methylation. We used this system to target DNA methylation within the p16Ink4a promoter in mice in vivo. Engineered p16Ink4a promoter hypermethylation led to transcriptional suppression in somatic tissues during aging and increased the incidence of spontaneous cancers in these mice. Further, mice carrying a germline p16Ink4a mutation in one allele and a somatic epimutation in the other had accelerated tumor onset and substantially shortened tumor-free survival. Taken together, these results provide direct functional evidence that p16Ink4a epimutation drives tumor formation and malignant progression and validate a targeted methylation approach to epigenetic engineering.

Authors

Da-Hai Yu, Robert A. Waterland, Pumin Zhang, Deborah Schady, Miao-Hsueh Chen, Yongtao Guan, Manasi Gadkari, Lanlan Shen

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Abstract

Schlemm’s canal (SC) is a unique vascular structure that functions to maintain fluid homeostasis by draining aqueous humor from the eye into the systemic circulation. The endothelium lining the inner wall of SC has both blood and lymphatic vascular characteristics, thus prompting exploration of the development and regulation of this unique channel. In this issue of the JCI, back-to-back papers by Aspelund et al. and Park et al. detail the mechanisms of SC development, which includes a lymphatic reprogramming that is necessary to maintain proper function. Furthermore, both groups exploit the lymph-like qualities of this canal: they identify VEGF-C as a potential therapeutic for glaucoma and suggest that expression of PROX1, a marker of lymphatic fate, could also serve as a biosensor for monitoring SC integrity. These studies provide substantial insight into the molecular and cellular pathways that govern SC development and reveal that ocular pathology is associated with deregulation of the lymph-like characteristics of SC.

Authors

Natalie O. Karpinich, Kathleen M. Caron

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July 2014


124-7-cover

July 2014 Issue

On the cover:
Guiding arterial innervation

The image shows sympathetic neurons (immunostained for tyrosine hydroxylase, red) extending axonal bundles along an artery (PECAM staining, blue), with sympathetic fibers surrounding and innervating arterial smooth muscle cells (smooth muscle actin staining, green). On page 3230, Brunet et al. uncover a critical role for the axon guidance cue netrin-1 in sympathetic arterial innervation and blood flow.

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Jci_impact_2014_07

July 2014 Impact

JCI Impact is a digest of the research, reviews, and other features published in each month's issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Review Series - More

Review_series_86
Nephrology
Series edited by John R. Sedor

Nephrology encompasses the study of normal kidney function, kidney disease, and kidney replacement therapy, including kidney transplantation and dialysis. Kidney diseases are a serious public health problem, with nearly 12% of American adults suffering from chronic kidney disease (CKD). Importantly, kidney dysfunction is associated with the increasingly common conditions of obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. Recent technological advances, including genetic and epigenetic screens, metabolic profiling, new model systems, and the use of kidney biopsies for diagnosis and treatment, have created new avenues for the study of kidney pathology. Reviews in this series provide a survey of kidney pathogenesis, including hypertension, diabetic kidney disease, IgA nephropathy, idiopathic membranous nephropathy, acute kidney injury, fibrosis, and mechanisms mediating graft failure after transplantation.

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