Peroxisome proliferator–activated receptors (PPARs) are members of the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily and have a dominant regulatory role in adipocyte and monocyte differentiation. PPAR-γ agonists are also negative regulators of macrophage activation and have modulatory effects on tumorigenesis. In this study we demonstrate that synovial tissue localized expression of PPAR-γ in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We detected markedly enhanced expression of PPAR-γ in macrophages, as well as modestly enhanced expression in the synovial lining layer, fibroblasts, and endothelial cells. Activation of the PPAR-γ by 15-deoxy-Δ12,14-prostaglandin J2 (15d-PGJ2) and the synthetic PPAR-γ ligand (troglitazone) induced RA synoviocyte apoptosis in vitro. Moreover, intraperitoneal administration of these PPAR-γ ligands ameliorated adjuvant-induced arthritis with suppression of pannus formation and mononuclear cell infiltration in female Lewis rats. Anti-inflammatory effects of 15d-PGJ2 were more potent than troglitazone. These findings suggest that PPAR-γ may be an important immunoinflammatory mediator and its ligands, especially 15d-PGJ2, may be useful in the treatment of RA.
Yutaka Kawahito, Motoharu Kondo, Yasunori Tsubouchi, Akira Hashiramoto, David Bishop-Bailey, Ken-ichiro Inoue, Masataka Kohno, Ryoji Yamada, Timothy Hla, Hajime Sano
Systemically primed BALB/c mice developed severe diarrhea after repeated oral administration of ovalbumin (OVA). Histological analysis demonstrated that dramatic infiltration of eosinophils and mast cells occurred in the large intestine but not in the small intestine of mice with diarrhea. Interestingly, CD4+ αβ T cells of the large intestine secreted IL-4 and IL-13 at high levels. Identically treated STAT6 gene-disrupted mice failed to develop OVA-induced diarrhea. Further, treatment of BALB/c mice with monoclonal anti–IL-4 antibody prevented the development of allergic diarrhea. An adoptive transfer study showed that systemically primed splenic CD4+ T cells were preferentially recruited into the large intestine upon exposure to oral OVA. These results strongly suggest that systemically derived CD4+ αβ T cells of the large intestine play a critical role in the onset of Th2-mediated intestinal allergic disorders via STAT6 signal transduction.
Mi-Na Kweon, Masafumi Yamamoto, Masahiro Kajiki, Ichiro Takahashi, Hiroshi Kiyono
IFN-γ, a pleiotropic cytokine, is a key effector molecule in the pathogenesis of several autoimmune diseases, including lupus. Importantly, deletion of IFN-γ or IFN-γR in several lupus-predisposed mouse strains resulted in significant disease reduction, suggesting the potential for therapeutic intervention. We evaluated whether intramuscular injections of plasmids with cDNA encoding IFN-γR/Fc can retard lupus development and progression in MRL-Faslpr mice. Therapy significantly reduced serum levels of IFN-γ, as well as disease manifestations (autoantibodies, lymphoid hyperplasia, glomerulonephritis, mortality), when treatment was initiated at the predisease stage, particularly when IFN-γR/Fc expression was enhanced by electroporation at the injection site. Remarkably, disease was arrested and even ameliorated when this treatment was initiated at an advanced stage. This therapy represents a rare example of disease reversal and makes application of this nonviral gene therapy in humans with lupus (and perhaps other autoimmune/inflammatory conditions) highly promising.
Brian R. Lawson, Gerald J. Prud’homme, Yigang Chang, Humphrey A. Gardner, Jason Kuan, Dwight H. Kono, Argyrios N. Theofilopoulos
Anti-streptococcal antibodies cross-reactive with N-acetyl-βD-glucosamine (GlcNAc) and myosin are present in the sera of patients with rheumatic fever (RF). However, their role in tissue injury is not clear. In this study, we show that anti-GlcNAc/anti-myosin mAb 3.B6 from a rheumatic carditis patient was cytotoxic for human endothelial cell lines and reacted with human valvular endothelium and underlying basement membrane. Reactivity of mAb 3.B6 with the valve was inhibited by human cardiac myosin > laminin > GlcNAc. The mAb 3.B6 epitopes were localized in fragments of human cardiac myosin, including heavy meromyosin (HMM), the S1 subfragment, and two light meromyosin (LMM) peptides containing amino acid sequences KEALISSLTRGKLTYTQQ (LMM 1) and SERVQLLHSQNTSLINQK (LMM 33). A novel feature of mAb 3.B6 was its reactivity with the extracellular matrix protein laminin, which may explain its reactivity with the valve surface. A laminin A-chain peptide (HTQNT) that includes homology to LMM33 inhibited the reactivity of mAb 3.B6 with human valve. These data support the hypothesis that cross-reactive antibodies in rheumatic carditis cause injury at the endothelium and underlying matrix of the valve.
Jeffrey E. Galvin, Mark E. Hemric, Kent Ward, Madeleine W. Cunningham
The role of EGF in the evolution of renal lesions after injury is still controversial. To determine whether the EGF expression is beneficial or detrimental, we generated transgenic mice expressing a COOH-terminal–truncated EGF-R under the control of the kidney-specific type 1 γ-glutamyl transpeptidase promoter. As expected, the transgene was expressed exclusively at the basolateral membrane of proximal tubular cells. Under basal conditions, transgenic mice showed normal renal morphology and function. Infusion of EGF to transgenic animals revealed that the mutant receptor behaved in a dominant-negative manner and prevented EGF-signaled EGF-R autophosphorylation. We next evaluated the impact of transgene expression on the development of renal lesions in two models of renal injury. After 75% reduction of renal mass, tubular dilations were less severe in transgenic mice than in wild-type animals. After prolonged renal ischemia, tubular atrophy and interstitial fibrosis were reduced in transgenic mice as compared with wild-type mice. The beneficial effect of the transgene included a reduction of tubular cell proliferation, interstitial collagen accumulation, and mononuclear cell infiltration. In conclusion, functional inactivation of the EGF-R in renal proximal tubular cells reduced tubulo-interstitial lesions after renal injury. These data suggest that blocking the EGF pathway may be a therapeutic strategy to reduce the progression of chronic renal failure.
Fabiola Terzi, Martine Burtin, Mehrak Hekmati, Pierre Federici, Giselle Grimber, Pascale Briand, Gérard Friedlander
Proper insulin secretion requires the coordinated functioning of the numerous β cells that form pancreatic islets. This coordination depends on a network of communication mechanisms whereby β cells interact with extracellular signals and adjacent cells via connexin channels. To assess whether connexin-dependent communication plays a role in vivo, we have developed transgenic mice in which connexin 32 (Cx32), one of the vertebrate connexins found in the pancreas, is expressed in β cells. We show that the altered β-cell coupling that results from this expression causes reduced insulin secretion in response to physiologically relevant concentrations of glucose and abnormal tolerance to the sugar. These alterations were observed in spite of normal numbers of islets, increased insulin content, and preserved secretory response to glucose by individual β cells. Moreover, glucose-stimulated islets showed improved electrical synchronization of these cells and increased cytosolic levels of Ca2+. The results show that connexins contribute to the control of β cells in vivo and that their excess is detrimental for insulin secretion.
Anne Charollais, Asllan Gjinovci, Joachim Huarte, Juliette Bauquis, Angel Nadal, Franz Martín, Etelvina Andreu, Juan V. Sánchez-Andrés, Alessandra Calabrese, Domenico Bosco, Bernat Soria, Claes B. Wollheim, Pedro L. Herrera, Paolo Meda
Immunoglobulins can serve as tolerogenic carriers for antigens, and B cells can function as tolerogenic antigen-presenting cells. We used this principle to design a strategy for gene therapy of experimental autoimmune uveitis, a cell-mediated autoimmune disease model for human uveitis induced with the uveitogenic interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (IRBP). A retroviral vector was constructed containing a major uveitogenic IRBP epitope in frame with mouse IgG1 heavy chain. This construct was used to transduce peripheral B cells, which were infused into syngeneic recipients. A single infusion of transduced cells, 10 days before uveitogenic challenge, protected mice from clinical disease induced with the epitope or with the native IRBP protein. Protected mice had reduced antigen-specific responses, but showed no evidence for a classic Th1/Th2 response shift or for generalized anergy. Protection was not transferable, arguing against a mechanism dependent on regulatory cells. Importantly, the treatment was protective when initiated 7 days after uveitogenic immunization or concurrently with adoptive transfer of primed uveitogenic T cells. We suggest that this form of gene therapy can induce epitope-specific protection not only in naive, but also in already primed recipients, thus providing a protocol for treatment of established autoimmunity.
Rajeev K. Agarwal, Yubin Kang, Elias Zambidis, David W. Scott, Chi-Chao Chan, Rachel R. Caspi
By integrating an agonist satiety signal, provided by alpha–melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH), and an antagonist signal, provided by agouti-related protein (AGRP), the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4-R) is a key element in the hypothalamic control of food intake. Inactivation of the gene encoding this G protein–coupled receptor causes obesity in mice. In humans, frameshift mutations in MC4-R cause an early-onset dominant form of obesity in two families. In this study we find a high frequency (4%) of rare heterozygous MC4-R mutations in a large population of morbidly obese patients. No such mutations were found in controls. By analyzing the phenotypes of the probands carrying these mutations, we demonstrate that these patients display a common, nonsyndromic form of obesity. Interestingly, functional analysis of the mutant receptors indicates that obesity-associated defects in MC4-R range from loss of function to constitutive activation. Transmission of these mutations in the families of the carriers indicates a variable expressivity that is not related to the functional severity of the mutations. This variable expressivity of MC4-R–associated obesity is not due to variations in genes for α-MSH or AGRP. Taken together, these results demonstrate that MC4-R mutations are a frequent but heterogeneous genetic cause of morbid obesity.
Christian Vaisse, Karine Clement, Emmanuelle Durand, Serge Hercberg, Bernard Guy-Grand, Philippe Froguel
We reported previously that stimulation of glycoprotein 130 (gp130) by a combination of human IL-6 and soluble IL-6 receptor (sIL-6R) could support proliferation, differentiation, and terminal maturation of erythroid cells in the absence of erythropoietin (EPO) from human CD34+ cells in culture with stem cell factor (SCF). This observation suggested that differentiation of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells to erythroid cells progressed according to an intrinsic program and that EPO receptor (EPOR) could be replaced by other cytokine receptors. In other words, EPOR appeared to be dispensable for erythropoiesis. Here we examined the role of EPOR in erythropoiesis stimulated by SCF, sIL-6R, and IL-6. Surprisingly, reduction of EPOR expression using antisense oligodeoxynucleotides suppressed erythropoiesis stimulated not only by SCF and EPO, but also by SCF, sIL-6R, and IL-6. EPO mRNA was detected in erythroid cells but not myeloid cells cultured in the presence of SCF, sIL-6R, and IL-6. Furthermore, high concentrations of anti–EPO-neutralizing antibody abrogated erythropoiesis in cultures without exogenous EPO. Based on these results, we suggest that erythroid progenitors themselves secrete EPO and that they have the potential to differentiate and mature in response to this endogenous EPO.
Takeshi Sato, Taira Maekawa, Sumiko Watanabe, Kohichiro Tsuji, Tatsutoshi Nakahata
Over 20 severely obese subjects in 11 independent kindreds have been reported to have pathogenic heterozygous mutations in the gene encoding the melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R), making this the most common known monogenic cause of human obesity. To date, the detailed clinical phenotype of this dominantly inherited disorder has not been defined, and no homozygous subjects have been described. We determined the nucleotide sequence of the entire coding region of the MC4R gene in 243 subjects with severe, early-onset obesity. A novel two–base pair GT insertion in codon 279 was found in two unrelated subjects, and four novel missense mutations, N62S, R165Q, V253I, C271Y, and one mutation (T112M) reported previously were found in five subjects. N62S was found in homozygous form in five children with severe obesity from a consanguineous pedigree. All four heterozygous carriers were nonobese. Several features of the phenotype, e.g. hyperphagia, tendency toward tall stature, hyperinsulinemia, and preserved reproductive function, closely resemble those reported previously in Mc4r knock-out mice. In addition, a marked increase in bone mineral density was seen in all affected subjects. In transient transfection assays, the N62S mutant receptor showed a responsiveness to αMSH that was intermediate between the wild-type receptor and mutant receptors carrying nonsense and missense mutations associated with dominantly inherited obesity. Thus MC4R mutations result in a syndrome of hyperphagic obesity in humans that can present with either dominant or recessive patterns of inheritance.
I. Sadaf Farooqi, Giles S.H. Yeo, Julia M. Keogh, Shiva Aminian, Susan A. Jebb, Gary Butler, Tim Cheetham, Stephen O’Rahilly
Congenital sucrase-isomaltase deficiency (CSID) is an autosomal recessive human intestinal disorder that is clinically characterized by fermentative diarrhea, abdominal pain, and cramps upon ingestion of sugar. The symptoms are the consequence of absent or drastically reduced enzymatic activities of sucrase and isomaltase, the components of the intestinal integral membrane glycoprotein sucrase-isomaltase (SI). Several known phenotypes of CSID result from an altered posttranslational processing of SI. We describe here a novel CSID phenotype, in which pro-SI undergoes an unusual intracellular cleavage that eliminates its transmembrane domain. Biosynthesis of pro-SI in intestinal explants and in cells transfected with the SI cDNA of this phenotype demonstrated a cleavage occurring within the endoplasmic reticulum due to a point mutation that converts a leucine to proline at residue 340 of isomaltase. Cleaved pro-SI is transported to and processed in the Golgi apparatus and is ultimately secreted into the exterior milieu as an active enzyme. To our knowledge this is the first report of a disorder whose pathogenesis results not from protein malfolding or mistargeting, but from the conversion of an integral membrane glycoprotein into a secreted species that is lost from the cell surface.
Ralf Jacob, Klaus-Peter Zimmer, Jacques Schmitz, Hassan Y. Naim
Nephron function is stabilized by tubuloglomerular feedback (TGF). TGF operates within the juxtaglomerular apparatus, sensing changes in tubular flow and eliciting compensatory changes in single nephron GFR (SNGFR). The mediator(s) of TGF remains unconfirmed. One theory is that ATP consumed in active transport by the macula densa leads to formation of adenosine, which causes glomerular vasoconstriction. We performed micropuncture in rats to test this hypothesis. Adenosine activity was manipulated by microperfusing nephrons with adenosine A1 receptor blocker, A1-agonist, or 5′-nucleotidase inhibitor. Effects on TGF were characterized by changes in TGF efficiency (the compensation for small perturbations in tubular flow) and by changes in the maximum range over which TGF can cause SNGFR to change. These data were further applied to generate TGF profiles [SNGFR versus late proximal flow (VLP)]. TGF efficiency was significantly reduced by blocking A1-receptors. TGF efficiency, TGF range, and the slope of the TGF profile (ΔSNGFR/ΔVLP) were all significantly reduced by blocking 5′-nucleotidase. When adenosine activity was clamped by combining 5′-nucleotidase inhibitor with A1-agonist to determine whether TGF requires adenosine to be present or to fluctuate, the TGF slope was reduced by 83%, indicating that adenosine activity must fluctuate for normal TGF to occur and that adenosine is a mediator of TGF.
Scott Thomson, Dingjiu Bao, Aihua Deng, Volker Vallon
CSX/NKX2.5 is an evolutionarily conserved homeodomain-containing (HD-containing) transcription factor that is essential for early cardiac development. Recently, ten different heterozygous CSX/NKX2.5 mutations were found in patients with congenital heart defects that are transmitted in an autosomal dominant fashion. To determine the consequence of these mutations, we analyzed nuclear localization, DNA binding, transcriptional activation, and dimerization of mutant CSX/NKX2.5 proteins. All mutant proteins were translated and located to the nucleus, except one splice-donor site mutant whose protein did not accumulate in the cell. All mutants that had truncation or missense mutations in the HD had severely reduced DNA binding activity and little or no transcriptional activation function. In contrast, mutants with intact HDs exhibit normal DNA binding to the monomeric binding site but had three- to ninefold reduction in DNA binding to the dimeric binding sites. HD missense mutations that preserved homodimerization ability inhibited the activation of atrial natriuretic factor by wild-type CSX/NKX2.5. Although our studies do not characterize the genotype-phenotype relationship of the ten human mutations, they identify specific abnormalities of CSX/NKX2.5 function essential for transactivation of target genes.
Hideko Kasahara, Bora Lee, Jean-Jacques Schott, D. Woodrow Benson, J.G. Seidman, Christine E. Seidman, Seigo Izumo
A potent and selective inhibitor of the osteoclastic V-H+-ATPase, (2Z,4E)-5-(5,6-dichloro-2-indolyl)-2-methoxy-N-(1,2,2,6,6-pentamethylpiperidin-4-yl) -2,4-pentadienamide (SB 242784), was evaluated in two animal models of bone resorption. SB 242784 completely prevented retinoid-induced hypercalcemia in thyroparathyroidectomized (TPTX) rats when administered orally at 10 mg/kg. SB 242784 was highly efficacious in the prevention of ovariectomy-induced bone loss in the rat when administered orally for 6 months at 10 mg/kg/d and was partially effective at 5 mg/kg/d. Its activity was demonstrated by measurement of bone mineral density (BMD), biochemical markers of bone resorption, and histomorphometry. SB 242784 was at least as effective in preventing bone loss as an optimal dose of estrogen. There were no adverse effects of compound administration and no effects on kidney function or urinary acidity. Selectivity of the inhibitor was further studied using an in situ cytochemical assay for bafilomycin-sensitive V-H+-ATPase using sections of osteoclastoma and numerous other tissues. SB 242784 inhibited the osteoclast enzyme at 1,000-fold lower concentrations than enzymes in any of the other tissues evaluated. SB 242784 demonstrates the utility of selective inhibition of the osteoclast V-H+-ATPase as a novel approach to the prevention of bone loss in humans.
Luciano Visentin, Robert A. Dodds, Maurizio Valente, Paola Misiano, Jeremy N. Bradbeer, Sergio Oneta, Xiaoguang Liang, Maxine Gowen, Carlo Farina