Intracellular bacteria have been described in several species of filarial nematodes, but their relationships with, and effects on, their nematode hosts have not previously been elucidated. In this study, intracellular bacteria were observed in tissues of the rodent parasite Litomosoides sigmodontis by transmission electron microscopy and by immunohistochemistry using antiendobacterial heat shock protein-60 antisera. Molecular phylogenetic analysis of the bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA gene, isolated by PCR, showed a close relationship to the rickettsial Wolbachia endobacteria of arthropods and to other filarial intracellular bacteria. The impact of tetracycline therapy of infected rodents on L. sigmodontis development was analyzed in order to understand the role(s) these bacteria might play in filarial biology. Tetracycline therapy, when initiated with L. sigmodontis infection, eliminated the bacteria and resulted in filarial growth retardation and infertility. If initiated after microfilarial development, treatment reduced filarial fertility. Treatment with antibiotics not affecting rickettsial bacteria did not inhibit filarial development. Acanthocheilonema viteae filariae were shown to lack intracellular bacteria and to be insensitive to tetracycline. These results suggest a mutualistic interaction between the intracellular bacteria and the filarial nematode. Investigation of such a mutualism in endobacteria-containing human filariae is warranted for a potential chemotherapeutic exploitation.
Achim Hoerauf, Kerstin Nissen-Pähle, Christel Schmetz, Kim Henkle-Dührsen, Mark L. Blaxter, Dietrich W. Büttner, Michaela Y. Gallin, Khaled M. Al-Qaoud, Richard Lucius, Bernhard Fleischer
The adapter protein SLP-76 is expressed in T lymphocytes and hematopoietic cells of the myeloid lineage, and is known to be a substrate of the protein tyrosine kinases that are activated after ligation of the T-cell antigen receptor. Transient overexpression of SLP-76 in a T-cell line potentiates transcriptional activation after T-cell receptor ligation, while loss of SLP-76 expression abrogates several T-cell receptor–dependent signaling pathways. Mutant mice that lack SLP-76 manifest a severe block at an early stage of thymocyte development, implicating SLP-76 in signaling events that promote thymocyte maturation. While it is clear that SLP-76 plays a key role in development and activation of T lymphocytes, relatively little is understood regarding its role in transducing signals initiated after receptor ligation in other hematopoietic cell types. In this report, we describe fetal hemorrhage and perinatal mortality in SLP-76–deficient mice. Although megakaryocyte and platelet development proceeds normally in the absence of SLP-76, collagen-induced platelet aggregation and granule release is markedly impaired. Furthermore, treatment of SLP-76–deficient platelets with collagen fails to elicit tyrosine phosphorylation of phospholipase C-γ2 (PLC-γ2), suggesting that SLP-76 functions upstream of PLC-γ2 activation. These data provide one potential mechanism for the fetal hemorrhage observed in SLP-76–deficient mice and reveal that SLP-76 expression is required for optimal receptor-mediated signal transduction in platelets as well as T lymphocytes.
James L. Clements, Jong Ran Lee, Barbara Gross, Baoli Yang, John D. Olson, Alexander Sandra, Stephen P. Watson, Steven R. Lentz, Gary A. Koretzky
The mouse autosomal dominant mutation Mody develops hyperglycemia with notable pancreatic β-cell dysfunction. This study demonstrates that one of the alleles of the gene for insulin 2 in Mody mice encodes a protein product that substitutes tyrosine for cysteine at the seventh amino acid of the A chain in its mature form. This mutation disrupts a disulfide bond between the A and B chains and can induce a drastic conformational change of this molecule. Although there was no gross defect in the transcription from the wild-type insulin 2 allele or two alleles of insulin 1, levels of proinsulin and insulin were profoundly diminished in the β cells of Mody mice, suggesting that the number of wild-type (pro)insulin molecules was also decreased. Electron microscopy revealed a dramatic reduction of secretory granules and a remarkably enlarged lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum. Little proinsulin was processed to insulin, but high molecular weight forms of proinsulin existed with concomitant overexpression of BiP, a molecular chaperone in the endoplasmic reticulum. Furthermore, mutant proinsulin expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells was inefficiently secreted, and its intracellular fraction formed complexes with BiP and was eventually degraded. These findings indicate that mutant proinsulin was trapped and accumulated in the endoplasmic reticulum, which could induce β-cell dysfunction and account for the dominant phenotype of this mutation.
Jie Wang, Toshiyuki Takeuchi, Shigeyasu Tanaka, Suely-Kunimi Kubo, Tsuyoshi Kayo, Danhong Lu, Kuniaki Takata, Akio Koizumi, Tetsuro Izumi
A novel approach was employed to assess the contribution of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) to obstructive nephropathy in neonatal mice having zero to four functional copies of the angiotensinogen gene (Agt). Two-day-old mice underwent unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) or sham operation; 28 days later, renal interstitial fibrosis and tubular atrophy were quantitated. In all Agt genotypes, UUO reduced ipsilateral renal mass and increased that of the opposite kidney. Renal interstitial collagen increased after UUO linearly with Agt expression, from a fractional area of 25% in zero-copy mice to 54% in two-copy mice. Renal expression of transforming growth factor-β1 was increased by ipsilateral UUO in mice expressing Agt, but not in zero-copy mice. However, the prevalence of atrophic tubules due to UUO did not vary with Agt expression. Blood pressure was not different in all groups, except for a reduction in sham zero-copy mice. We conclude that a functional RAS is not necessary for compensatory renal growth. This study demonstrates conclusively that angiotensin regulates at least 50% of the renal interstitial fibrotic response in obstructive nephropathy, an effect independent of systemic hemodynamic changes. Angiotensin-induced fibrosis likely is a mechanism common to the progression of many forms of renal disease.
Robert J. Fern, Christine M. Yesko, Barbara A. Thornhill, Hyung-Suk Kim, Oliver Smithies, Robert L. Chevalier
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory disease associated with intense angiogenesis and vascular expression of integrin αvβ3. Intra-articular administration of a cyclic peptide antagonist of integrin αvβ3 to rabbits with antigen-induced arthritis early in disease resulted in inhibition of synovial angiogenesis and reduced synovial cell infiltrate, pannus formation, and cartilage erosions. These effects were not associated with lymphopenia or impairment of leukocyte function. Furthermore, when administered in chronic, preexisting disease, the αvβ3 antagonist effectively diminished arthritis severity and was associated with a quantitative increase in apoptosis of the angiogenic blood vessels. Therefore, angiogenesis appears to be a central factor in the initiation and persistence of arthritic disease, and antagonists of integrin αvβ3 may represent a novel therapeutic strategy for RA.
Chris M. Storgard, Dwayne G. Stupack, Alfred Jonczyk, Simon L. Goodman, Robert I. Fox, David A. Cheresh
Complement is involved in the pathogenesis of many diseases, and there is great interest in developing inhibitors of complement for therapeutic application. CD59 is a natural membrane-bound inhibitor of the cytolytic complement membrane attack complex (MAC). In this study, the preparation and characterization of antibody-CD59 (IgG-CD59) chimeric fusion proteins are described. Constructs were composed of soluble CD59 fused to an antibody-combining site at the end of CH1, after the hinge (H), and after CH3 Ig regions. The antigen specificity of each construct was for the hapten 5-dimethylamino-naphthalene-1-sulfonyl (dansyl). Correct folding of each IgG-CD59 fusion partner was indicated by recognition with anti-CD59 antibodies specific for conformational determinants and by IgG-CD59 binding to dansyl. The IgG-CD59 fusion proteins all bound specifically to dansyl-labeled Chinese hamster ovary cells and provided targeted cells, but not untargeted cells, with effective protection from complement-mediated lysis. Data indicate that CD59 must be positioned in close proximity to the site of MAC formation for effective function, and that modes of membrane attachment other than glycophosphatidylinositol linkage can affect CD59 functional activity.
Hui-fen Zhang, Jinghua Yu, Ednan Bajwa, Sherie L. Morrison, Stephen Tomlinson
Angiotensin II type 2 (AT2) receptor is abundantly expressed in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) of the fetal vasculature during late gestation (embryonic day 15–20), during which the blood vessels undergo remodeling. To examine directly the influence of AT2 receptor expression in the developmental biology of VSMC, we studied cultures of VSMC from fetal and postnatal wild-type (Agtr2+) and AT2 receptor null (Agtr2–) mice. Consistent with in vivo data, AT2 receptor binding in cultured Agtr2+ VSMC increased by age, peaking at embryonic day 20, and decreased dramatically after birth. Angiotensin II–induced growth in Agtr2+ VSMC (embryonic day 20) was increased by the AT2 receptor blocker PD123319, indicating that the AT2 receptors are functional and exert an antigrowth effect in Agtr2+ VSMC. Growth of VSMC in response to serum decreased age dependently and was higher in Agtr2– than in Agtr2+, inversely correlating with AT2 receptor expression. However, serum-induced growth in Agtr2+ and Agtr2– VSMC and the exaggerated Agtr2– VSMC growth was maintained even in the presence of PD123319 or losartan, an AT1 receptor blocker. Moreover, Agtr2– VSMC showed greater growth responses to platelet-derived growth factor and basic fibroblast growth factor, indicating that Agtr2– cells exhibit a generalized exaggerated growth phenotype. We studied the mechanism responsible for this phenotype and observed that extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activity was higher in Agtr2– VSMC at baseline and also in response to serum. ERK kinase inhibitor PD98059 inhibited both growth and ERK phosphorylation dose–dependently, while the regression lines between growth and ERK phosphorylation were identical in Agtr2+ and Agtr2– VSMC, suggesting that increased ERK activity in Agtr2– VSMC is pivotal in the growth enhancement. Furthermore, the difference in ERK phosphorylation between Agtr2+ and Agtr2– was abolished by vanadate but not by okadaic acid, implicating tyrosine phosphatase in the difference in ERK activity. These results suggest that the AT2 receptor expression during the fetal vasculogenesis influences the growth phenotype of VSMC via the modulation of ERK cascade.
Masahiro Akishita, Masaaki Ito, Jukka Y.A. Lehtonen, Laurent Daviet, Victor J. Dzau, Masatsugu Horiuchi
Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) is upregulated in renal parenchymal cells during kidney disease. To investigate whether MCP-1 promotes tubular and/or glomerular injury, we induced nephrotoxic serum nephritis (NSN) in MCP-1 genetically deficient mice. Mice were analyzed when tubules and glomeruli were severely damaged in the MCP-1–intact strain (day 7). MCP-1 transcripts increased fivefold in MCP-1–intact mice. MCP-1 was predominantly localized within cortical tubules (90%), and most cortical tubules were damaged, whereas few glomerular cells expressed MCP-1 (10%). By comparison, there was a marked reduction (>40%) in tubular injury in MCP-1–deficient mice (histopathology, apoptosis). MCP-1–deficient mice were not protected from glomerular injury (histopathology, proteinuria, macrophage influx). Macrophage accumulation increased adjacent to tubules in MCP-1–intact mice compared with MCP-1–deficient mice (70%, P < 0.005), indicating that macrophages recruited by MCP-1 induce tubular epithelial cell (TEC) damage. Lipopolysaccharide-activated bone marrow macrophages released molecules that induced TEC death that was not dependent on MCP-1 expression by macrophages or TEC. In conclusion, MCP-1 is predominantly expressed by TEC and not glomeruli, promotes TEC and not glomerular damage, and increases activated macrophages adjacent to TEC that damage TEC during NSN. Therefore, we suggest that blockage of TEC MCP-1 expression is a therapeutic strategy for some forms of kidney disease.
Gregory H. Tesch, Andreas Schwarting, Koji Kinoshita, Hui Y. Lan, Barrett J. Rollins, Vicki Rubin Kelley
The role of the plasminogen activation system (PAS) was investigated during the course of infection of a relapsing fever Borrelia species in plasminogen-deficient (plg –/–) and control (plg+/+ and plg+/–) mice. Subcutaneous inoculation of 104 spirochetes resulted in a peak spirochetemia five days after infection with 20–23 × 106 organisms per milliliter of whole blood in all mice, indicating that the PAS had no effect on the development of this phase of the infection. Anemia, thrombocytopenia, hepatitis, carditis, and splenomegaly were noted in all mice during and immediately after peak spirochetemia. Fibrin deposition in organs was noted in plg–/– mice but not in controls during these stages. Significantly greater spirochetal DNA burdens were consistently observed in the hearts and brains of control mice 28–30 days after infection, as determined by PCR amplification of this organism's flagellin gene (flaB), followed by quantitative densitometry. Furthermore, the decreased spirochetal load in brains of plg –/– mice was associated with a significant decrease in the degree of inflammation of the leptomeninges in these mice. These findings indicate a role for the PAS in heart and brain invasion by relapsing fever Borrelia, resulting in organ injury.
Joseph A. Gebbia, Juan Carlos Garcia Monco, Jay L. Degen, Thomas H. Bugge, Jorge L. Benach
We investigated the effect of increasing dietary cholesterol on bile acid pool sizes and the regulation of the two bile acid synthetic pathways (classic, via cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase, and alternative, via sterol 27-hydroxylase) in New Zealand white rabbits fed 3 g cholesterol/per day for up to 15 days. Feeding cholesterol for one day increased hepatic cholesterol 75% and cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase activity 1.6 times without significant change of bile acid pool size or sterol 27-hydroxylase activity. After three days of cholesterol feeding, the bile acid pool size increased 83% (P < 0.01), and further feeding produced 10%–20% increments, whereas cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase activity declined progressively to 60% below baseline. In contrast, sterol 27-hydroxylase activity rose 58% after three days of cholesterol feeding and remained elevated with continued intake. Bile drainage depleted the bile acid pool and stimulated downregulated cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase activity but did not affect sterol 27-hydroxylase activity. Thus, increasing hepatic cholesterol does not directly inhibit cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase and initially favors enzyme induction, whereas increased bile acid pool is the most powerful inhibitor of cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase. Sterol 27-hydroxylase is insensitive to the bile acid flux but is upregulated by increasing hepatic cholesterol.
Guorong Xu, Gerald Salen, Sarah Shefer, G. Stephen Tint, Lien B. Nguyen, Thomas S. Chen, David Greenblatt
In the leukocyte adhesion deficiency (LAD)-1 syndrome, there is diminished expression of β2(CD18) integrins. This is caused by lesions in the β2-subunit gene and gives rise to recurrent bacterial infections, impaired pus formation, and poor wound healing. We describe a patient with clinical features compatible with a moderately severe phenotype of LAD-1 but who expresses the β2 integrins lymphocyte function– associated molecule (LFA)-1 and Mac-1 at 40%–60% of normal levels. This level of expression should be adequate for normal integrin function, but both the patient's Mac-1 on neutrophils and LFA-1 on T cells failed to bind ligands such as fibrinogen and intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1, respectively, or to display a β2-integrin activation epitope after adhesion-inducing stimuli. Unexpectedly, divalent cation treatment induced the patient's T cells to bind to ICAM-2 and ICAM-3. Sequencing of the patient's two CD18 alleles revealed the mutations S138P and G273R. Both mutations are in the β2-subunit conserved domain, with S138P a putative divalent cation coordinating residue in the metal ion–dependent adhesion site (MIDAS) motif. After K562 cell transfection with α subunits, the mutated S138P β subunit was coexpressed but did not support function, whereas the G273R mutant was not expressed. In summary, the patient described here exhibits failure of the β2 integrins to function despite adequate levels of cell-surface expression.
Nancy Hogg, Mairi P. Stewart, Sarah L. Scarth, Rebecca Newton, Jacqueline M. Shaw, S.K. Alex Law, Nigel Klein
The potent cytolethal distending toxin produced by Haemophilus ducreyi is a putative virulence factor in the pathogenesis of chancroid. We studied its action on eukaryotic cells, with the long-term goal of understanding the pathophysiology of the disease. Intoxication of cultured human epithelial-like cells, human keratinocytes, and hamster fibroblasts was irreversible, and appeared as a gradual distention of three- to fivefold the size of control cells. Organized actin assemblies appeared concomitantly with cell enlargement, promoted by a mechanism that probably does not involve small GTPases of the Rho protein family. Intoxicated cells did not proliferate. Similar to cells treated with other cytolethal distending toxins, these cells accumulated in the G2 phase of the cell cycle, demonstrating an increased level of the tyrosine phosphorylated (inactive) form of the cyclin-dependent kinase p34cdc2. DNA synthesis was not affected until several hours after this increase, suggesting that the toxin acts directly on some kinase/phosphatase in the signaling network controlling the p34cdc2 activity. We propose that this toxin has an important role both in the generation of chancroid ulcers and in their slow healing. The toxin may also be an interesting new tool for molecular studies of the eukaryotic cell- cycle machinery.
Ximena Cortes-Bratti, Esteban Chaves-Olarte, Teresa Lagergård, Monica Thelestam
We recently cloned monoclonal IgM autoantibodies which bind to epitopes of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (OxLDL) from apoE-deficient mice (EO– autoantibodies). We now demonstrate that those EO– autoantibodies that were originally selected for binding to copper-oxidized low-density lipoproteins (CuOx-LDL), also bound both to the oxidized protein and to the oxidized lipid moieties of CuOx-LDL. The same EO– autoantibodies showed specific binding to products of oxidized 1-palmitoyl-2-arachidonoyl-phosphatidylcholine (OxPAPC) and to the specific oxidized phospholipid, 1-palmitoyl-2-(5-oxovaleroyl)-phosphatidyl-choline (POVPC), whereas oxidation of fatty acids (linoleic or arachidonic acid) or cholesteryl esters (cholesteryl-oleate or cholesteryl-linoleate) did not yield any binding activity. Those EO– autoantibodies that bound to oxidized phospholipids (e.g., EO6) inhibited the binding and degradation of CuOx-LDL by mouse peritoneal macrophages up to 91%, whereas other IgM EO– autoantibodies, selected for binding to malondialdehyde (MDA)-LDL, had no influence on binding of either CuOx-LDL or MDA-LDL by macrophages. F(ab′)2 fragments of EO6 were equally effective as the intact EO6 in preventing the binding of CuOx-LDL by macrophages. The molar ratios of IgM to LDL needed to maximally inhibit the binding varied from ∼8 to 25 with different CuOx-LDL preparations. Finally, a POVPC–bovine serum albumin (BSA) adduct also inhibited CuOx-LDL uptake by macrophages. These data suggest that oxidized phospholipid epitopes, present either as lipids or as lipid-protein adducts, represent one class of ligands involved in the recognition of OxLDL by macrophages, and that apoE-deficient mice have IgM autoantibodies that can bind to these neoepitopes and inhibit OxLDL uptake.
Sohvi Hörkkö, David A. Bird, Elizabeth Miller, Hiroyuki Itabe, Norbert Leitinger, Ganesamoorthy Subbanagounder, Judith A. Berliner, Peter Friedman, Edward A. Dennis, Linda K. Curtiss, Wulf Palinski, Joseph L. Witztum
The first known human case of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) deficiency is presented in this report. The patient is a six-year-old boy with severe growth retardation. He has been suffering from persistent hemolytic anemia characterized by marked erythrocyte fragmentation and intravascular hemolysis, with paradoxical increase of serum haptoglobin and low bilirubin. An abnormal coagulation/fibrinolysis system, associated with elevated thrombomodulin and von Willebrand factor, indicated the presence of severe, persistent endothelial damage. Electron microscopy of renal glomeruli revealed detachment of endothelium, with subendothelial deposition of an unidentified material. Iron deposition was noted in renal and hepatic tissue. Immunohistochemistry of hepatic tissue and immunoblotting of a cadmium-stimulated Epstein-Barr virus–transformed lymphoblastoid cell line (LCL) revealed complete absence of HO-1 production. An LCL derived from the patient was extremely sensitive to hemin-induced cell injury. Sequence analysis of the patient's HO-1 gene revealed complete loss of exon-2 of the maternal allele and a two-nucleotide deletion within exon3 of the paternal allele. Growth retardation, anemia, iron deposition, and vulnerability to stressful injury are all characteristics observed in recently described HO–1 targeted mice. This study presents not only the first human case of HO-1 deficiency but may also provide clues to the key roles played by this important enzyme in vivo.
Akihiro Yachie, Yo Niida, Taizo Wada, Noboru Igarashi, Hisashi Kaneda, Tomoko Toma, Kazuhide Ohta, Yoshihito Kasahara, Shoichi Koizumi
Cholestatic liver injury appears to result from the induction of hepatocyte apoptosis by toxic bile salts such as glycochenodeoxycholate (GCDC). Previous studies from this laboratory indicate that cathepsin B is a downstream effector protease during the hepatocyte apoptotic process. Because caspases can initiate apoptosis, the present studies were undertaken to determine the role of caspases in cathepsin B activation. Immunoblotting of GCDC-treated McNtcp.24 hepatoma cells demonstrated cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase and lamin B1 to fragments that indicate activation of effector caspases. Transfection with CrmA, an inhibitor of caspase 8, prevented GCDC-induced cathepsin B activation and apoptosis. Consistent with these results, an increase in caspase 8–like activity was observed in GCDC-treated cells. Examination of the mechanism of GCDC-induced caspase 8 activation revealed that dominant-negative FADD inhibited apoptosis and that hepatocytes isolated from Fas-deficient lymphoproliferative mice were resistant to GCDC-induced apoptosis. After GCDC treatment, immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrated Fas oligomerization, and confocal microscopy demonstrated ΔFADD-GFP (Fas-associated death domain–green fluorescent protein, aggregation in the absence of detectable Fas ligand mRNA. Collectively, these data suggest that GCDC-induced hepatocyte apoptosis involves ligand-independent oligomerization of Fas, recruitment of FADD, activation of caspase 8, and subsequent activation of effector proteases, including downstream caspases and cathepsin B.
William A. Faubion, M. Eugenia Guicciardi, Hideyuki Miyoshi, Steven F. Bronk, Patricia J. Roberts, Phyllis A. Svingen, Scott H. Kaufmann, Gregory J. Gores
Heterozygous mice bearing an Arg403Gln missense mutation in the α cardiac myosin heavy chain gene (α-MHC403/+) exhibit the histopathologic features of human familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Surprisingly, homozygous α-MHC403/403 mice die by postnatal day 8. Here we report that neonatal lethality is caused by a fulminant dilated cardiomyopathy characterized by myocyte dysfunction and loss. Heart tissues from neonatal wild-type and α-MHC403/403 mice demonstrate equivalent switching of MHC isoforms; α isoforms in each increase from 30% at birth to 70% by day 6. Cardiac dimensions and function, studied for the first time in neonatal mice by high frequency (45 MHz) echocardiography, were normal at birth. Between days 4 and 6, α-MHC403/403 mice developed a rapidly progressive cardiomyopathy with left ventricular dilation, wall thinning, and reduced systolic contraction. Histopathology revealed myocardial necrosis with dystrophic calcification. Electron microscopy showed normal architecture intermixed with focal myofibrillar disarray. We conclude that 45-MHz echocardiography is an excellent tool for assessing cardiac physiology in neonatal mice and that the concentration of Gln403 α cardiac MHC in myocytes influences both cell function and cell viability. We speculate that variable incorporation of mutant and normal MHC into sarcomeres of heterozygotes may account for focal myocyte death in familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Diane Fatkin, Michael E. Christe, Orlando Aristizabal, Bradley K. McConnell, Shardha Srinivasan, Frederick J. Schoen, Christine E. Seidman, Daniel H. Turnbull, J.G. Seidman