Joachim Herz, Dudley K. Strickland
Maria Febbraio, David P. Hajjar, Roy L. Silverstein
J. Frederick Woessner Jr.
Michael J. Robertson
Primary and secondary forms of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) are characterized by depletion of podocytes and constitute a central manifestation of chronic progressive glomerular diseases. Here we report that podocytes undergo apoptosis at early stages in the course of progressive glomerulosclerosis in TGF-β1 transgenic mice. Apoptosis is associated with progressive depletion of podocytes and precedes mesangial expansion. Smad7 protein expression is strongly induced specifically in damaged podocytes of transgenic mice and in cultured murine podocytes treated with TGF-β. TGF-β1 and Smad7 each induce apoptosis in podocytes, and their coexpression has an additive effect. Activation of p38 MAP kinase and caspase-3 is required for TGF-β–mediated apoptosis, but not for apoptosis induced by Smad7. Unlike TGF-β, Smad7 inhibits nuclear translocation and transcriptional activity of the cell survival factor NF-κB. Our results suggest a novel functional role for Smad7 as amplifier of TGF-β−induced apoptosis in podocytes and a new pathomechanism for podocyte depletion in progressive glomerulosclerosis.
Mario Schiffer, Markus Bitzer, Ian S.D. Roberts, Jeffrey B. Kopp, Peter ten Dijke, Peter Mundel, Erwin P. Böttinger
Tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases regulate ECM degradation by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). We have developed a mouse line deficient for tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-3 (TIMP-3), the only TIMP known to reside within the ECM. Homozygous Timp-3–null animals develop spontaneous air space enlargement in the lung that is evident at 2 weeks after birth and progresses with age of the animal. As early as 13 months of age animals become moribund. Lung function, measured by carbon monoxide uptake, is impaired in aged null animals. Lungs from aged null animals have reduced abundance of collagen, enhanced degradation of collagen in the peribronchiolar space, and disorganization of collagen fibrils in the alveolar interstitium, but no increase in inflammatory cell infiltration or evidence of fibrosis in comparison with controls. Using in situ zymography, we show that lungs from aged null animals have heightened MMP activity over wild-type and heterozygotic animals. Finally, TIMP-3–null fibroblast cultures demonstrate enhanced destruction of ECM molecules in vitro. We propose that the deletion of TIMP-3 results in a shift of the TIMP/MMP balance in the lung to favor ECM degradation, culminating in incapacitating illness and a shorter life span.
Kevin J. Leco, Paul Waterhouse, Otto H. Sanchez, Katrina L.M. Gowing, A. Robin Poole, Andrew Wakeham, Tak W. Mak, Rama Khokha
The proapoptotic proteinase inhibitor TIMP-3 is the only molecule of this family thought to influence cell death. We examined epithelial apoptosis in TIMP-3–deficient mice during mammary gland involution. Lactation was not affected by the absence of TIMP-3, but glandular function, as measured by gland-to-body weight ratio and production of β-casein, was suppressed earlier during post-lactational involution than in controls. Histological examination revealed accelerated lumen collapse, alveolar-epithelial loss, and adipose reconstitution in Timp-3–/– females. Epithelial apoptosis peaked on the first day of involution in Timp-3–null glands but at day 3 in wild-type littermates. Unscheduled activation of gelatinase-A was evident by zymography and correlated with earlier fragmentation of fibronectin in Timp-3–/– mammary. To obtain independent evidence of the proapoptotic effects of TIMP-3 deficiency, we introduced recombinant TIMP-3–releasing pellets into regressing Timp-3–/– mammary tissue and showed that this treatment rescued lumen collapse and epithelial apoptosis. Ex vivo, involuting Timp-3–/– mammary tissue demonstrated accelerated epithelial apoptosis that could be reduced by metalloproteinase inhibition. The physiological relevance of TIMP-3 became apparent as Timp-3–/– dams failed to reestablish lactation after brief cessation of suckling. Thus, TIMP-3 is a critical epithelial survival factor during mammary gland involution.
Jimmie E. Fata, Kevin J. Leco, Evelyn B. Voura, Hoi-Ying E. Yu, Paul Waterhouse, Gillian Murphy, Roger A. Moorehead, Rama Khokha
The ABC transporter ABCA1 regulates HDL levels and is considered to control the first step of reverse cholesterol transport from the periphery to the liver. To test this concept, we studied the effect of ABCA1 deficiency on hepatic metabolism and hepatobiliary flux of cholesterol in mice. Hepatic lipid contents and biliary secretion rates were determined in Abca1–/–, Abca1+/–, and Abca1+/+ mice with a DBA background that were fed either standard chow or a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet. Hepatic cholesterol and phospholipid contents in Abca1–/– mice were indistinguishable from those in Abca1+/– and Abca1+/+ mice on both diets. In spite of the absence of HDL, biliary secretion rates of cholesterol, bile salts, and phospholipid were unimpaired in Abca1–/– mice. Neither the hepatic expression levels of genes controlling key steps in cholesterol metabolism nor the contribution of de novo synthesis to biliary cholesterol and bile salts were affected by Abca genotype. Finally, fecal excretion of neutral and acidic sterols was similar in all groups. We conclude that plasma HDL levels and ABCA1 activity do not control net cholesterol transport from the periphery via the liver into the bile, indicating that the importance of HDL in reverse cholesterol transport requires re-evaluation.
Albert K. Groen, Vincent W. Bloks, Robert H.J. Bandsma, Roelof Ottenhoff, Giovanna Chimini, Folkert Kuipers
The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway regulates growth and survival of many cell types, and its constitutive activation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a variety of malignancies. In this study we demonstrate that small-molecule MEK inhibitors (PD98059 and PD184352) profoundly impair cell growth and survival of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cell lines and primary samples with constitutive MAPK activation. These agents abrogate the clonogenicity of leukemic cells but have minimal effects on normal hematopoietic progenitors. MEK blockade also results in sensitization to spontaneous and drug-induced apoptosis. At a molecular level, these effects correlate with modulation of the expression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors (p27Kip1 and p21Waf1/CIP1) and antiapoptotic proteins of the inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAP) and Bcl-2 families. Interruption of constitutive MEK/MAPK signaling therefore represents a promising therapeutic strategy in AML.
Michele Milella, Steven M. Kornblau, Zeev Estrov, Bing Z. Carter, Hélène Lapillonne, David Harris, Marina Konopleva, Shourong Zhao, Elihu Estey, Michael Andreeff
Certain autoimmune disorders, including Sjögren syndrome (SS) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), are characterized by autoantibodies against the Ro/SSA and La/SSB cellular antigens. Although the implication of these autoantibodies in disease pathogenesis is still unclear, it is believed that the aberrant responses against autoantigens may extend to other proteins that are not yet well defined. In an attempt to analyze the regulated gene expression in lymphocytes by an HIV-suppressive immunomodulator, we have identified and cloned a novel gene encoding a 56-kDa protein, named SS-56, which is structurally related to the 52-kDa Ro/SSA antigen. The new protein showed primarily perinuclear cytoplasmic localization, and recombinant SS-56 was found to react in ELISA with sera from most patients with SS or SLE. Western blot analysis confirmed the autoantigenic nature of native SS-56 in extracts from HeLa cells. Interestingly, the incidence of antibodies to SS-56 was associated with visceral complications in SLE, and roughly half of the 17 SS or SLE patients with no detectable antibodies to SSA and SSB antigens presented measurable antibodies against recombinant SS-56. Thus, SS-56 represents a new member of the SS family of autoantigens and could become an additional and important diagnostic marker for SS and SLE.
Odile Billaut-Mulot, Cécile Cocude, Vincent Kolesnitchenko, Marie-José Truong, Edward K.L. Chan, Eric Hachula, Xavier de la Tribonnière, André Capron, George M. Bahr
The lineage relationship between short-lived effector T cells and long-lived memory cells is not fully understood. We have described T-GFP mice previously, in which naive and early activated T cells express GFP uniformly, whereas cells that have differentiated into effector cytotoxic T cells selectively lose GFP expression. Here we studied antigen-specific CD8 T cell differentiation using T-GFP mice crossed to the TCR transgenic (Tg) mice P14 (specific for the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus glycoprotein peptide, gp33-41). After activation with antigenic peptide, P14XT-GFP CD8+ T cells cultured in high-dose IL-2 developed into cells with effector phenotype and function: they were blastoid, lost GFP expression, expressed high levels of activation and effector markers, and were capable of immediate cytotoxic function. In contrast, cells cultured in IL-15 or low-dose IL-2 never developed into full-fledged effector cells. Rather, they resembled memory cells: they were smaller, were GFP+, did not express effector markers, and were incapable of immediate cytotoxicity. However, they mediated rapid-recall responses in vitro. After adoptive transfer, they survived in vivo for at least 10 weeks and mounted a secondary immune response after antigen rechallenge that was as potent as endogenously generated memory cells. In addition to providing a simple means to generate memory cells in virtually unlimited numbers, our results suggest that effector differentiation is not a prerequisite for memory cell generation.
N. Manjunath, P. Shankar, J. Wan, W. Weninger, M.A. Crowley, K. Hieshima, T.A. Springer, X. Fan, H. Shen, J. Lieberman, U.H. von Andrian
Developing B cells must pass a series of checkpoints that are regulated by membrane-bound Igμ through the Igα-Igβ signal transducers. To determine how Igμ expression affects B cell development and Ab selection in humans we analyzed Ig gene rearrangements in pro-B cells from two patients who are unable to produce Igμ proteins. We find that Igμ expression does not affect VH, D, or JH segment usage and is not required for human Igκ and Igλ recombination or expression. However, the heavy and light chains found in pro-B cells differed from those in peripheral B cells in that they showed unusually long CDR3s. In addition, the Igκ repertoire in Igμ-deficient pro-B cells was skewed to downstream Jκs and upstream Vκs, consistent with persistent secondary V(D)J rearrangements. Thus, Igμ expression is not required for secondary V(D)J recombination in pro-B cells. However, B cell receptor expression shapes the Ab repertoire in humans and is essential for selection against Ab’s with long CDR3s.
Eric Meffre, Michèle Milili, Carla Blanco-Betancourt, Henedina Antunes, Michel C. Nussenzweig, Claudine Schiff
Epstein-Barr virus–associated lymphoproliferative disease (EBV-LPD) is a potentially life-threatening complication in immune-deficient patients. We have used the severe combined immune deficient (SCID) mouse engrafted with human leukocytes (hu-PBL-SCID) to evaluate the use of human cytokines in the prevention of EBV-LPD in vivo. Daily low-dose IL-2 therapy can prevent EBV-LPD in the hu-PBL-SCID mouse, but protection is lost if murine natural killer (NK) cells are depleted. Here we demonstrate that combined therapy with human GM-CSF and low-dose IL-2 is capable of preventing EBV-LPD in the hu-PBL-SCID mouse in the absence of murine NK cells. Lymphocyte depletion experiments showed that human NK cells, CD8+ T cells, and monocytes were each required for the protective effects of GM-CSF and IL-2 combination therapy. This treatment resulted in a marked expansion of human CD3+CD8+ lymphocytes in vivo. Using HLA tetramers complexed with EBV immunodominant peptides, a subset of these lymphocytes was found to be EBV-specific. These data establish that combined GM-CSF and low-dose IL-2 therapy can prevent the immune deficiencies that lead to fatal EBV-LPD in the hu-PBL-SCID mouse depleted of murine NK cells, and they point to a critical role for several human cellular subsets in mediating this protective effect.
Robert A. Baiocchi, Jacqueline S. Ward, Lester Carrodeguas, Charles F. Eisenbeis, Ruoqi Peng, Sameek Roychowdhury, Srinivas Vourganti, Taryn Sekula, Maggie O’Brien, Melvin Moeschberger, Michael A. Caligiuri
Primary T cell proliferative responses to TCR ligation plus CD28 costimulation are surprisingly heterogeneous. Many cells that enter G1 fail to progress further through the cell cycle, and some of these cells subsequently fail to divide upon restimulation, even in the presence of IL-2. Such IL-2–refractory anergy is distinct from the IL-2–reversible anergy induced by TCR occupancy in the absence of CD28 costimulation. Here, we focus on the contributions of cell cycle progression and costimulatory (CD28/CTLA-4) signals in the regulation of anergy. We show that CD28 costimulation is not sufficient for anergy avoidance and that activated T cells must progress through the cell cycle in order to escape anergy. Induction of this “division-arrest” form of anergy requires CTLA-4 signaling during the primary response. Also, cell division per se is not sufficient for anergy avoidance: the few T cells that undergo multiple rounds of cell division during overt CD28 costimulatory blockade do not escape the ultimate induction of clonal anergy. Anergy avoidance by primary T cells is thus a multistep process: in order to participate in a productive immune response, an individual T cell activated through its antigen receptor must receive CD28 costimulation and progress through the cell cycle. Anergy may be induced either through a combination of CTLA-4 signaling and the failure of cell cycle progression, or through a proliferation-independent mechanism in which TCR ligation occurs in the absence of CD28.
Andrew D. Wells, Matthew C. Walsh, Jeffrey A. Bluestone, Laurence A. Turka
Smith-Lemli-Opitz/RSH syndrome (SLOS), a relatively common birth-defect mental-retardation syndrome, is caused by mutations in DHCR7, whose product catalyzes an obligate step in cholesterol biosynthesis, the conversion of 7-dehydrocholesterol to cholesterol. A null mutation in the murine Dhcr7 causes an identical biochemical defect to that seen in SLOS, including markedly reduced tissue cholesterol and total sterol levels, and 30- to 40-fold elevated concentrations of 7-dehydrocholesterol. Prenatal lethality was not noted, but newborn homozygotes breathed with difficulty, did not suckle, and died soon after birth with immature lungs, enlarged bladders, and, frequently, cleft palates. Despite reduced sterol concentrations in Dhcr7–/– mice, mRNA levels for 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase, the rate-controlling enzyme for sterol biosynthesis, the LDL receptor, and SREBP-2 appeared neither elevated nor repressed. In contrast to mRNA, protein levels and activities of HMG-CoA reductase were markedly reduced. Consistent with this finding, 7-dehydrocholesterol accelerates proteolysis of HMG-CoA reductase while sparing other key proteins. These results demonstrate that in mice without Dhcr7 activity, accumulated 7-dehydrocholesterol suppresses sterol biosynthesis posttranslationally. This effect might exacerbate abnormal development in SLOS by increasing the fetal cholesterol deficiency.
Barbara U. Fitzky, Fabian F. Moebius, Hitoshi Asaoka, Heather Waage-Baudet, Liwen Xu, Guorong Xu, Nobuyo Maeda, Kimberly Kluckman, Sylvia Hiller, Hongwei Yu, Ashok K. Batta, Sarah Shefer, Thomas Chen, Gerald Salen, Kathleen Sulik, Robert D. Simoni, Gene C. Ness, Hartmut Glossmann, Shailendra B. Patel, G.S. Tint
Macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC) is a potent chemoattractant for antigen-specific T lymphocytes. We hypothesized that Adenovirus- (Ad-) transduced dendritic cells (DCs) overexpressing MDC would enhance the T cell–mediated humoral immune response specific for antigens presented by the DC. We challenged two strains of mice with lethal Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection 3 weeks after immunization with AdMDC-modified DCs pulsed with heat-killed P. aeruginosa. MDC-expressing DCs specifically attracted T lymphocytes and preserved typical DC surface phenotypes without growth factors in vitro. Mice immunized with AdMDC/Pseudomonas/DCs developed high levels of serum anti-Pseudomonas Ab’s and were protected from a lethal respiratory challenge with Pseudomonas. The in vivo protective immunity required CD4+ T cells, B cells, and IL-4, but not CD8+ T cells and IL-12. AdMDC/DCs pulsed with Pseudomonas yielded significant but not absolute cross-protection against different strains of P. aeruginosa. Pseudomonas-pulsed AdMDC/DCs protected mice from Pseudomonas but not Escherichia coli and vice versa; this microbe-specific protection correlated with microbe-specific induction of CD4+ T cell proliferation and IL-4 secretion. Based on these observations, AdMDC-modified DCs pulsed with a killed bacteria may be a useful approach to vaccination against infectious disorders.
Toshiaki Kikuchi, Ronald G. Crystal
Urease and the cytotoxin VacA are two major virulence factors of the human pathogen Helicobacter pylori, which is responsible for severe gastroduodenal diseases. Diffusion of urea, the substrate of urease, into the stomach is critically required for the survival of infecting H. pylori. We now show that VacA increases the transepithelial flux of urea across model epithelia by inducing an unsaturable permeation pathway. This transcellular pathway is selective, as it conducts thiourea, but not glycerol and mannitol, demonstrating that it is not due to a loosening of intercellular junctions. Experiments performed with different cell lines, grown in a nonpolarized state, confirm that VacA permeabilizes the cell plasma membrane to urea. Inhibition studies indicate that transmembrane pores formed by VacA act as passive urea transporters. Thus, their inhibition by the anion channel blocker 5-nitro-2-(3-phenylpropylamino) benzoic acid significantly decreases toxin-induced urea fluxes in both polarized and nonpolarized cells. Moreover, phloretin, a well-known inhibitor of eukaryotic urea transporters, blocks VacA-mediated urea and ion transport and the toxin’s main biologic effects. These data show that VacA behaves as a low-pH activated, passive urea transporter potentially capable of permeabilizing the gastric epithelium to urea. This opens the novel possibility that in vivo VacA may favor H. pylori infectivity by optimizing urease activity.
Francesco Tombola, Laura Morbiato, Giuseppe Del Giudice, Rino Rappuoli, Mario Zoratti, Emanuele Papini