C. Ronald Kahn, Lihong Chen, Shmuel E. Cohen
Steven D. Shapiro
Pulmonary emphysema, a significant global health problem, is characterized by a loss of alveolar structures. Because VEGF is a trophic factor required for the survival of endothelial cells and is abundantly expressed in the lung, we hypothesized that chronic blockade of VEGF receptors could induce alveolar cell apoptosis and emphysema. Chronic treatment of rats with the VEGF receptor blocker SU5416 led to enlargement of the air spaces, indicative of emphysema. The VEGF receptor inhibitor SU5416 induced alveolar septal cell apoptosis but did not inhibit lung cell proliferation. Viewed by angiography, SU5416-treated rat lungs showed a pruning of the pulmonary arterial tree, although we observed no lung infiltration by inflammatory cells or fibrosis. SU5416 treatment led to a decrease in lung expression of VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR-2), phosphorylated VEGFR-2, and Akt-1 in the complex with VEGFR-2. Treatment with the caspase inhibitor Z-Asp-CH2-DCB prevented SU5416-induced septal cell apoptosis and emphysema development. These findings suggest that VEGF receptor signaling is required for maintenance of the alveolar structures and, further, that alveolar septal cell apoptosis contributes to the pathogenesis of emphysema.
Yasunori Kasahara, Rubin M. Tuder, Laimute Taraseviciene-Stewart, Timothy D. Le Cras, Steven Abman, Peter K. Hirth, Johannes Waltenberger, Norbert F. Voelkel
Smooth muscle (SM) develops only in organs and sites that sustain mechanical tensions. Therefore, we determined the role of stretch in mouse and human bronchial myogenesis. Sustained stretch induced expression of SM proteins in undifferentiated mesenchymal cells and accelerated the differentiation of cells undergoing myogenesis. Moreover, bronchial myogenesis was entirely controlled in lung organ cultures by the airway intraluminal pressure. Serum response factor (SRF) is a transcription factor critical for the induction of muscle-specific gene expression. Recently, a SRF-truncated isoform produced by alternative splicing of exon 5 has been identified (SRFΔ5). Here we show that undifferentiated mesenchymal cells synthesize both SRF and SRFΔ5 but that SRFΔ5 synthesis is suppressed during bronchial myogenesis in favor of increased SRF production. Stretch induces the same change in SRF alternative splicing, and its myogenic effect is abrogated by overexpressing SRFΔ5. Furthermore, human hypoplastic lungs related to conditions that hinder cell stretching continue to synthesize SRFΔ5 and show a marked decrease in bronchial and interstitial SM cells and their ECM product, tropoelastin. Taken together, our findings indicate that stretch plays a critical role in SM myogenesis and suggest that its decrease precludes normal bronchial muscle development.
Yan Yang, Safedin Beqaj, Paul Kemp, Ilana Ariel, Lucia Schuger
The chemokine stromal-derived factor-1 (SDF-1) controls many aspects of stem cell function. Details of its regulation and sites of production are currently unknown. We report that in the bone marrow, SDF-1 is produced mainly by immature osteoblasts and endothelial cells. Conditioning with DNA-damaging agents (ionizing irradiation, cyclophosphamide, and 5-fluorouracil) caused an increase in SDF-1 expression and in CXCR4-dependent homing and repopulation by human stem cells transplanted into NOD/SCID mice. Our findings suggest that immature osteoblasts and endothelial cells control stem cell homing, retention, and repopulation by secreting SDF-1, which also participates in host defense responses to DNA damage.
Tanya Ponomaryov, Amnon Peled, Isabelle Petit, Russell S. Taichman, Liliana Habler, Judith Sandbank, Fernando Arenzana-Seisdedos, Aude Magerus, Antonio Caruz, Nobutaka Fujii, Arnon Nagler, Meir Lahav, Martin Szyper-Kravitz, Dov Zipori, Tsvee Lapidot
Mice deleted for the plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) gene are relatively protected from developing pulmonary fibrosis induced by bleomycin. We hypothesized that PAI-1 deficiency reduces fibrosis by promoting plasminogen activation and accelerating the clearance of fibrin matrices that accumulate within the damaged lung. In support of this hypothesis, we found that the lungs of PAI-1–/– mice accumulated less fibrin after injury than wild-type mice, due in part to enhanced fibrinolytic activity. To further substantiate the importance of fibrin removal as the mechanism by which PAI-1 deficiency limited bleomycin-induced fibrosis, bleomycin was administered to mice deficient in the gene for the Aα-chain of fibrinogen (fib). Contrary to our expectation, fib–/– mice developed pulmonary fibrosis to a degree similar to fib+/– littermate controls, which have a plasma fibrinogen level that is 70% of that of wild-type mice. Although elimination of fibrin from the lung was not in itself protective, the beneficial effect of PAI-1 deficiency was still associated with proteolytic activity of the plasminogen activation system. In particular, inhibition of plasmin activation and/or activity by tranexamic acid reversed both the accelerated fibrin clearance and the protective effect of PAI-1 deficiency. We conclude that protection from fibrosis by PAI-1 deficiency is dependent upon increased proteolytic activity of the plasminogen activation system; however, complete removal of fibrin is not sufficient to protect the lung.
Noboru Hattori, Jay L. Degen, Thomas H. Sisson, Hong Liu, Bethany B. Moore, Raj G. Pandrangi, Richard H. Simon, Angela F. Drew
Dominant-negative sarcomere protein gene mutations cause familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (FHC), a disease characterized by left-ventricular hypertrophy, angina, and dyspnea that can result in sudden death. We report here that a murine model of FHC bearing a cardiac myosin heavy-chain gene missense mutation (αMHC403/+), when treated with calcineurin inhibitors or a K+-channel agonist, developed accentuated hypertrophy, worsened histopathology, and was at risk for early death. Despite distinct pharmacologic targets, each agent augmented diastolic Ca2+ concentrations in wild-type cardiac myocytes; αMHC403/+ myocytes failed to respond. Pretreatment with a Ca2+-channel antagonist abrogated diastolic Ca2+ changes in wild-type myocytes and prevented the exaggerated hypertrophic response of treated αMHC403/+ mice. We conclude that FHC-causing sarcomere protein gene mutations cause abnormal Ca2+ responses that initiate a hypertrophic response. These data define an important Ca2+-dependent step in the pathway by which mutant sarcomere proteins trigger myocyte growth and remodel the heart, provide definitive evidence that environment influences progression of FHC, and suggest a rational therapeutic approach to this prevalent human disease.
Diane Fatkin, Bradley K. McConnell, James O. Mudd, Christopher Semsarian, Ivan G.P. Moskowitz, Frederick J. Schoen, Michael Giewat, Christine E. Seidman, J.G. Seidman
The V2 vasopressin receptor (V2R) plays a key role in the maintenance of a normal body water balance. To generate an in vivo model that allows the physiological and molecular analysis of the role of V2Rs in kidney function, we have created mouse lines that lack functional V2Rs by using targeted mutagenesis in mouse embryonic stem cells. Specifically, we introduced a nonsense mutation known to cause X-linked nephrogenic diabetes insipidus (XNDI) in humans (Glu242stop) into the mouse genome. V2R-deficient hemizygous male pups showed a decrease in basal urine osmolalities and were unable to concentrate their urine. These pups also exhibited an enlargement of renal pelvic space, failed to thrive, and died within the first week after birth due to hypernatremic dehydration. Interestingly, female mice heterozygous for the V2R mutation showed normal growth but displayed an XNDI-like phenotype, characterized by reduced urine concentrating ability of the kidney, polyuria, and polydipsia. Western blot analysis and immunoelectron microscopic studies showed that the loss of functional V2Rs had no significant effect on the basal expression levels of aquaporin-2 and the bumetanide-sensitive Na-K-2Cl cotransporter (BSC-1). The V2R mutant mice described here should serve as highly useful tools for the development of novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of XNDI.
June Yun, Torsten Schöneberg, Jie Liu, Angela Schulz, Carolyn A. Ecelbarger, Dominique Promeneur, Soren Nielsen, Hui Sheng, Alexander Grinberg, Chu-xia Deng, Jürgen Wess
Estrogen can modulate autoimmunity in certain models of systemic lupus erythematosus. Recently, we have shown that it can mediate survival and activation of anti-DNA B cells in a mouse transgenic for the heavy chain of a pathogenic anti-DNA antibody. To identify whether estrogen effects reflect increased prolactin secretion, we characterized B-cell autoreactivity in transgenic mice given both bromocriptine (an inhibitor of prolactin secretion) and estradiol. Treatment of mice with estradiol plus bromocriptine led to reduced titers of anti-DNA antibodies and diminished IgG deposition in kidneys compared with treatment with estradiol alone. However, mice treated with estradiol plus bromocriptine showed an expansion of transgene-expressing B cells and enhanced Bcl-2 expression, similar to those of estradiol-treated mice. We identified anergic high-affinity anti-DNA B cells in mice treated with estradiol plus bromocriptine, and we showed by molecular analysis of anti-DNA hybridomas that their B cells derive from a naive repertoire. Thus, the estradiol-induced breakdown in B-cell tolerance can be abrogated by bromocriptine, which induces anergy in the high-affinity DNA-reactive B cells. These studies demonstrate that some of the effects of estrogen on naive autoreactive B cells require the presence of prolactin and, thus, suggest potential therapeutic interventions in lupus.
Elena Peeva, Christine Grimaldi, Linda Spatz, Betty Diamond
Systemic fungal infections are becoming more common and difficult to treat, and vaccine prevention is not available. Pulmonary infection with the dimorphic fungus Blastomyces dermatitidis often progresses and requires treatment to prevent fatality. We recently created a recombinant strain of the fungus lacking the WI-1 adhesin and pathogenicity. We show here that administration of viable yeast of this attenuated strain vaccinates against lethal pulmonary experimental infection due to isogenic and nonisogenic strains from diverse geographic regions. To our knowledge, this is the first example of a recombinant attenuated vaccine against fungi. The vaccine induces delayed-type hypersensitivity and polarized type 1 cytokine responses, which are linked with resistance. A cell-wall/membrane (CW/M) antigen from the vaccine strain also induces polarized and protective immune responses. Lymph node cells and CD4+ T-cell lines raised with CW/M antigen transfer protective immunity when they release type 1 cytokine IFN-γ, but not when they release IL-4, and neutralization of IFN-γ confirmed its role in vivo. Thus, by mutating a pathogenetic locus in a dimorphic fungus, we have created an attenuated vaccine strain and have begun to elucidate fungal and host elements requisite for vaccine immunity.
Marcel Wüthrich, Hanna I. Filutowicz, Bruce S. Klein
While nephrologists often observe reduced hematocrit associated with inhibitors of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), the basis for this effect is not well understood. We now report that two strains of ACE knockout mice have a normocytic anemia associated with elevated plasma erythropoietin levels. 51Cr labeling of red cells showed that the knockout mice have a normal total blood volume but a reduced red cell mass. ACE knockout mice, which lack tissue ACE, are anemic despite having normal renal function. These mice have increased plasma levels of the peptide acetyl-SDKP, a possible stem cell suppressor. However, they also show low plasma levels of angiotensin II. Infusion of angiotensin II for 2 weeks increased hematocrit to near normal levels. These data suggest that angiotensin II facilitates erythropoiesis, a conclusion with implications for the management of chronically ill patients on inhibitors of the renin-angiotensin system.
Justin Cole, Dilek Ertoy, Hsinchen Lin, Roy L. Sutliff, Eric Ezan, Tham T. Guyene, Mario Capecchi, Pierre Corvol, Kenneth E. Bernstein
Neutral endopeptidase 24.11 (NEP, CD10) is a cell-surface enzyme expressed by prostatic epithelial cells that cleaves and inactivates neuropeptides implicated in the growth of androgen-independent prostate cancer (PC). NEP substrates such as bombesin and endothelin-1 induce cell migration. We investigated the mechanisms of NEP regulation of cell migration in PC cells, including regulation of phosphorylation on tyrosine of focal adhesion kinase (FAK). Western analyses and cell migration assays revealed an inverse correlation between NEP expression and the levels of FAK phosphorylation and cell migration in PC cell lines. Constitutively expressed NEP, recombinant NEP, and induced NEP expression using a tetracycline-repressive expression system inhibited bombesin- and endothelin-1–stimulated FAK phosphorylation and cell migration. This results from NEP-induced inhibition of neuropeptide-stimulated association of FAK with cSrc protein. Expression of a mutated catalytically inactive NEP protein also resulted in partial inhibition of FAK phosphorylation and cell migration. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments show that NEP associates with tyrosine-phosphorylated Lyn kinase, which then binds the p85 subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K) resulting in an NEP-Lyn-PI3-K protein complex. This complex competitively blocks FAK-PI3-K interaction, suggesting that NEP protein inhibits cell migration via a protein-protein interaction independent of its catalytic function. These experiments demonstrate that NEP can inhibit FAK phosphorylation on tyrosine and PC cell migration through multiple pathways and suggest that cell migration which contributes to invasion and metastases in PC cells can be regulated by NEP.
Makoto Sumitomo, Ruoqian Shen, Marc Walburg, Jie Dai, Yiping Geng, Daniel Navarro, Guy Boileau, Christos N. Papandreou, Filippo G. Giancotti, Beatrice Knudsen, David M. Nanus
We recently discovered an emerging neonatal infectious disease, neonatal toxic shock syndrome–like (TSS-like) exanthematous disease (NTED), which is induced by a superantigen, TSS toxin-1 (TSST-1), produced by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Here, we analyzed the activation and the response of TSST-1–reactive Vβ2+ T cells in NTED patients during the acute and recovery phases and in asymptomatic infants exposed to MRSA. In the acute phase, Vβ2+ T cells were anergic to stimulation with TSST-1 and underwent marked expansion, but by 2 months after disease onset, their numbers had declined to about 10% of the control level. Although the percentage of Vβ2+ T cells in the ten asymptomatic neonatal MRSA carriers was within the control range, these individuals could be divided into two groups on the basis of Vβ2+ T-cell activation. Vβ2+CD4+ T cells from three of these infants (Group 1) highly expressed CD45RO and were anergic to TSST-1, whereas in the other seven asymptomatic neonatal MRSA carriers (Group 2), these cells expressed CD45RO at the control level and were highly responsive to stimulation with TSST-1. The serum anti–TSST-1 IgG Ab titer was negligible in the four NTED patients in the acute phase and the three asymptomatic neonatal MRSA carriers in Group 1, but it was high in the seven asymptomatic carriers in Group 2. We suggest that maternally derived anti–TSST-1 IgGs helps to suppress T-cell activation by TSST-1 and protects infants from developing NTED.
Naoto Takahashi, Hidehito Kato, Ken’ichi Imanishi, Keishi Miwa, Sadao Yamanami, Hiroshi Nishida, Takehiko Uchiyama
Neuroendocrine ACTH secretion responds to peripheral inflammatory and stress signals. We previously demonstrated that the proinflammatory cytokine, leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), affects the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) by stimulating in vitro and in vivo pituitary proopiomelanocortin (POMC) gene expression and ACTH secretion and by potentiating the action of hypothalamic corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH). Whereas pathways shown thus far to regulate POMC expression exclusively involve cAMP or calcium, we here describe a direct and indirect STAT3-dependent regulation of POMC transcription by LIF. Using progressive 5′-deletions of POMC promoter, we identified a LIF-responsive –407/–301 region that contains two juxtaposed sequences within –399/–379 related to a STAT3 DNA-binding motif. Each sequence within –399/–379 separately corresponds to a low-affinity and direct binding site for STAT3, but, in combination, these sequences bind STAT3 cooperatively and with high affinity. Moreover, LIF-activated STAT3 indirectly mediates LIF corticotroph action by inducing and potentiating CRH-induced c-fos and JunB expression and binding to the POMC AP-1 element. We therefore conclude that both a direct and indirect route mediate LIF-induced STAT3 activation of POMC transcription. Demonstration of STAT3-dependent regulation of the POMC gene represents a powerful mechanism for immuno-neuroendocrine interfacing and implies a direct stimulation of ACTH secretion by inflammatory and stress-derived STAT3-inducing cytokines.
Corinne Bousquet, Maria Chiara Zatelli, Shlomo Melmed