Jeffery D. Molkentin
David L. Boone, Averil Ma
Functions of receptor tyrosine kinases implicated in angiogenesis were pharmacologically impaired in a mouse model of pancreatic islet cancer. An inhibitor targeting VEGFRs in endothelial cells (SU5416) is effective against early-stage angiogenic lesions, but not large, well-vascularized tumors. In contrast, a kinase inhibitor incorporating selectivity for PDGFRs (SU6668) is shown to block further growth of end-stage tumors, eliciting detachment of pericytes and disruption of tumor vascularity. Importantly, PDGFRs were expressed only in perivascular cells of this tumor type, suggesting that PDGFR+ pericytes in tumors present a complimentary target to endothelial cells for efficacious antiangiogenic therapy. Therapeutic regimes combining the two kinase inhibitors (SU5416 and SU6668) were more efficacious against all stages of islet carcinogenesis than either single agent. Combination of the VEGFR inhibitor with another distinctive kinase inhibitor targeting PDGFR activity (Gleevec) was also able to regress late-stage tumors. Thus, combinatorial targeting of receptor tyrosine kinases shows promise for treating multiple stages in tumorigenesis, most notably the often-intractable late-stage solid tumor.
Gabriele Bergers, Steven Song, Nicole Meyer-Morse, Emily Bergsland, Douglas Hanahan
Stat3 plays an essential role in IL-10 signaling pathways. A myeloid cell-specific deletion of Stat3 resulted in inflammatory cytokine production and development of chronic enterocolitis with enhanced Th1 responses in mice. In this study, we analyzed the mechanism by which a Stat3 deficiency in myeloid cells led to the induction of chronic enterocolitis in vivo. Even in the absence of Stat1, which is essential for IFN-γ signaling pathways, Stat3 mutant mice developed chronic enterocolitis. TNF-α/Stat3 double-mutant mice developed severe chronic enterocolitis with enhanced Th1 cell development. IL-12p40/Stat3 double-mutant mice, however, showed normal Th1 responses and no inflammatory change in the colon. RAG2/Stat3 double-mutant mice did not develop enterocolitis, either. These findings indicate that overproduction of IL-12p40, which induces potent Th1 responses, is essential for the development of chronic enterocolitis in Stat3 mutant mice. Furthermore, enterocolitis was significantly improved and IFN-γ production by T cells was reduced in TLR4/Stat3 double-mutant mice, indicating that TLR4-mediated recognition of microbial components triggers aberrant IL-12p40 production by myeloid cells, leading to the development of enterocolitis. Thus, this study clearly established a sequential innate and acquired immune mechanism for the development of Th1-dependent enterocolitis.
Masaya Kobayashi, Mi-Na Kweon, Hirotaka Kuwata, Robert D. Schreiber, Hiroshi Kiyono, Kiyoshi Takeda, Shizuo Akira
Characteristic of both chronic wounds and acute wounds that fail to heal are excessive leukocytosis and reduced matrix deposition. Estrogen is a major regulator of wound repair that can reverse age-related impaired wound healing in human and animal models, characterized by a dampened inflammatory response and increased matrix deposited at the wound site. Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a candidate proinflammatory cytokine involved in the hormonal regulation of inflammation. We demonstrate that MIF is upregulated in a distinct spatial and temporal pattern during wound healing and its expression is markedly elevated in wounds of estrogen-deficient mice as compared with intact animals. Wound-healing studies in mice rendered null for the MIF gene have demonstrated that in the absence of MIF, the excessive inflammation and delayed-healing phenotype associated with reduced estrogen is reversed. Moreover, in vitro assays have shown a striking estrogen-mediated decrease in MIF production by activated murine macrophages, a process involving the estrogen receptor. We suggest that estrogen inhibits the local inflammatory response by downregulating MIF, suggesting a specific target for future therapeutic intervention in impaired wound-healing states.
Gillian S. Ashcroft, Stuart J. Mills, KeJian Lei, Linda Gibbons, Moon-Jin Jeong, Marisu Taniguchi, Matthew Burow, Michael A. Horan, Sharon M. Wahl, Toshinori Nakayama
Although the role of estradiol in maintaining bone mass is well established, the relative contributions of the estradiol receptors ERα and ERβ and of the androgen receptor (AR) remain controversial. To determine the role of ERα-mediated, ERβ-mediated, and non–ER-mediated mechanisms in maintaining bone mass, gonadectomy and estradiol treatment were studied in ER-knockout mice. Estradiol treatment of ovariectomized ERαβ–/– mice failed to prevent bone loss, precluding significant effects of estradiol on bone through non–ER-signaling pathways. In contrast, estradiol prevented ovariectomy-induced bone loss in ERβ–/– mice, as in WT males and females, indicating that ERα is the major mediator of estradiol effects in bone. No response of bone to estradiol was detected in orchidectomized ERα–/– mice, suggesting estradiol cannot protect bone mass via the AR in vivo. In contrast to female ERαβ–/– and male ERα–/– mice, female ERα–/– mice were partially protected against ovariectomy-induced bone loss by estradiol, confirming that ERβ mediates estradiol effects in bone, but only in females and with a lower efficacy than ERα. We conclude that ERα is the main effector of estradiol’s protective function in bone in both male and female mice, and that, in its absence, AR is not sufficient to mediate this response.
Natalie A. Sims, Philippe Clément-Lacroix, Dominique Minet, Caroline Fraslon-Vanhulle, Martine Gaillard-Kelly, Michèle Resche-Rigon, Roland Baron
The physiologic role of the μ opioid receptor (MOR) in gut nociception, motility, and secretion is well established. To evaluate whether MOR may also be involved in controlling gut inflammation, we first showed that subcutaneous administration of selective peripheral MOR agonists, named DALDA and DAMGO, significantly reduces inflammation in two experimental models of colitis induced by administration of 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS) or peripheral expansion of CD4+ T cells in mice. This therapeutic effect was almost completely abolished by concomitant administration of the opioid antagonist naloxone. Evidence of a genetic role for MOR in the control of gut inflammation was provided by showing that MOR-deficient mice were highly susceptible to colon inflammation, with a 50% mortality rate occurring 3 days after TNBS administration. The mechanistic basis of these observations suggests that the anti-inflammatory effects of MOR in the colon are mediated through the regulation of cytokine production and T cell proliferation, two important immunologic events required for the development of colon inflammation in mice and patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). These data provide evidence that MOR plays a role in the control of gut inflammation and suggest that MOR agonists might be new therapeutic molecules in IBD.
David Philippe, Laurent Dubuquoy, Hervé Groux, Valérie Brun, Myriam Tran Van Chuoï-Mariot, Claire Gaveriaux-Ruff, Jean-Frédéric Colombel, Brigitte L. Kieffer, Pierre Desreumaux
Primary pulmonary hypertension is a fatal disease causing progressive right heart failure within 3 years after diagnosis. We describe a new concept for treatment of the disease using vasoactive intestinal peptide, a neuropeptide primarily functioning as a neurotransmitter that acts as a potent systemic and pulmonary vasodilator. Our rationale is based on the finding of a deficiency of the peptide in serum and lung tissue of patients with primary pulmonary hypertension, as evidenced by radioimmunoassay and immunohistochemistry. The relevance of this finding is underlined by an upregulation of corresponding receptor sites as shown by Northern blot analysis, Western blot analysis, and immunological techniques. Consequently, the substitution with the hormone results in substantial improvement of hemodynamic and prognostic parameters of the disease without side effects. It decreased the mean pulmonary artery pressure in our eight study patients, increased cardiac output, and mixed venous oxygen saturation. Our data provide enough proof for further investigation of vasoactive intestinal peptide and its role in primary pulmonary hypertension.
Ventzislav Petkov, Wilhelm Mosgoeller, Rolf Ziesche, Markus Raderer, Leopold Stiebellehner, Karin Vonbank, Georg-Christian Funk, Gerhard Hamilton, Clemens Novotny, Bernhard Burian, Lutz-Henning Block
Gene replacement therapy is an attractive approach for treatment of genetic disease, but may be complicated by the risk of a neutralizing immune response to the therapeutic gene product. There are examples of humoral and cellular immune responses against the transgene product as well as absence of such responses, depending on vector design and the underlying mutation in the dysfunctional gene. It has been unclear, however, whether transgene expression can induce tolerance to the therapeutic antigen. Here, we demonstrate induction of immune tolerance to a secreted human coagulation factor IX (hF.IX) antigen by adeno-associated viral gene transfer to the liver. Tolerized mice showed absence of anti-hF.IX and substantially reduced in vitro T cell responses after immunization with hF.IX in adjuvant. Tolerance induction was antigen specific, affected a broad range of Th cell subsets, and was favored by higher levels of transgene expression as determined by promoter strength, vector dose, and mouse strain. Hepatocyte-derived hF.IX expression induced regulatory CD4+ T cells that can suppress anti-hF.IX formation after adoptive transfer. With a strain-dependent rate of success, tolerance to murine F.IX was induced in mice with a large F.IX gene deletion, supporting the relevance of these data for treatment of hemophilia B and other genetic diseases.
Federico Mingozzi, Yi-Lin Liu, Eric Dobrzynski, Antje Kaufhold, Jian Hua Liu, YuQin Wang, Valder R. Arruda, Katherine A. High, Roland W. Herzog
Bone marrow or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is a potential treatment for autoimmune disease. The clinical application of this approach is, however, limited by the risks associated with allogeneic transplantation. In contrast, syngeneic transplantation would be safe and have wide clinical application. Because T cell tolerance can be induced by presenting antigen on resting antigen-presenting cells (APCs), we reasoned that hematopoietic stem cells engineered to express autoantigen in resting APCs could be used to prevent autoimmune disease. Proinsulin is a major autoantigen associated with pancreatic β cell destruction in humans with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and in autoimmune NOD mice. Here, we demonstrate that syngeneic transplantation of hematopoietic stem cells encoding proinsulin transgenically targeted to APCs totally prevents the development of spontaneous autoimmune diabetes in NOD mice. This antigen-specific immunotherapeutic strategy could be applied to prevent T1D and other autoimmune diseases in humans.
Raymond J. Steptoe, Janine M. Ritchie, Leonard C. Harrison
Insulin is a major target of the autoimmune response associated with destruction of pancreatic β cells in type 1 diabetes. A peptide that spans the junction of the insulin B chain and the connecting (C) peptide in proinsulin has been reported to stimulate T cells from humans at risk for type 1 diabetes and autoimmune diabetes–prone NOD mice. Here we show that proinsulin B24–C36 peptide binds to I-Ag7, the MHC class II molecule of the NOD mouse, and, after intranasal administration, induces regulatory CD4+ T cells that, in the absence of CD8+ T cells, block the adoptive transfer of diabetes. Curiously, however, intranasal B24–C36 did not inhibit development of spontaneous diabetes in treated mice. We then determined that B24–C36, and its core sequence B25–C34, bind to Kd, the NOD mouse MHC class I molecule, and elicit CD8+ CTLs. When the CD8+ T lymphocyte epitope was truncated at the C34 valine anchor residue for binding to Kd, the residual CD4+ T cell epitope, B24–C32/33, significantly inhibited diabetes development after a single intranasal dose. This study identifies a novel CTL epitope in proinsulin and demonstrates that the therapeutic potential of a “tolerogenic” autoantigen peptide can be compromised by the presence of an integral CTL epitope.
Nathan R. Martinez, Petra Augstein, Antonis K. Moustakas, George K. Papadopoulos, Silvia Gregori, Luciano Adorini, David C. Jackson, Leonard C. Harrison
Insulin receptors (IRs) on vascular endothelial cells have been suggested to participate in insulin-regulated glucose homeostasis. To directly address the role of insulin action in endothelial function, we have generated a vascular endothelial cell IR knockout (VENIRKO) mouse using the Cre-loxP system. Cultured endothelium of VENIRKO mice exhibited complete rearrangement of the IR gene and a more than 95% decrease in IR mRNA. VENIRKO mice were born at the expected Mendelian ratio, grew normally, were fertile, and exhibited normal patterns of vasculature in the retina and other tissues. Glucose homeostasis under basal condition was comparable in VENIRKO mice. Both eNOS and endothelin-1 mRNA levels, however, were reduced by approximately 30–60% in endothelial cells, aorta, and heart, while vascular EGF expression was maintained at normal levels. Arterial pressure tended to be lower in VENIRKO mice on both low- and high-salt diets, and on a low-salt diet VENIRKO mice showed insulin resistance. Thus, inactivation of the IR on endothelial cell has no major consequences on vascular development or glucose homeostasis under basal conditions, but alters expression of vasoactive mediators and may play a role in maintaining vascular tone and regulation of insulin sensitivity to dietary salt intake.
David Vicent, Jacob Ilany, Tatsuya Kondo, Keiko Naruse, Simon J. Fisher, Yaz Y. Kisanuki, Sven Bursell, Masashi Yanagisawa, George L. King, C. Ronald Kahn
Pituitary tumors cause considerable morbidity due to local invasion, hypopituitarism, or hormone hypersecretion. In many cases, no suitable drug therapies are available, and surgical excision is currently the only effective treatment. We show here abundant expression of nuclear hormone receptor PPAR-γ in all of 39 human pituitary tumors. PPAR-γ activating thiazolidinediones (TZDs) rosiglitazone and troglitazone induced G0-G1 cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis in human, rat somatolactotroph, and murine gonadotroph pituitary tumor cells, and suppressed in vitro hormone secretion. In vivo development and growth of murine somatolactotroph and gonadotroph tumors, generated by subcutaneous injection of prolactin-secreting (PRL-secreting) and growth hormone–secreting (GH-secreting) GH3 cells, luteinizing hormone–secreting (LH-secreting) LβT2 cells, and α-T3 cells, was markedly suppressed in rosiglitazone-treated mice, and serum GH, PRL, and LH levels were attenuated in all treated animals (P < 0.009). These results demonstrate that PPAR-γ is an important molecular target in pituitary adenoma cells and PPAR-γ ligands inhibit tumor cell growth and GH, PRL, and LH secretion in vitro and in vivo. TZDs are proposed as novel oral medications for managing pituitary tumors.
Anthony P. Heaney, Manory Fernando, Shlomo Melmed
Revertant mosaicism due to true back mutations or second-site mutations has been identified in several inherited disorders. The occurrence of revertants is considered rare, and the underlying genetic mechanisms remain mostly unknown. Here we describe somatic mosaicism in two brothers affected with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS). The original mutation causing disease in this family is a single base insertion (1305insG) in the WAS protein (WASP) gene, which results in frameshift and abrogates protein expression. Both patients, however, showed expression of WASP in a fraction of their T cells that were demonstrated to carry a second-site mutation causing the deletion of 19 nucleotides from nucleotide 1299 to 1316. This deletion abrogated the effects of the original mutation and restored the WASP reading frame. In vitro expression studies indicated that mutant protein encoded by the second-site mutation was expressed and functional, since it was able to bind to cellular partners and mediate T cell receptor/CD3 downregulation. These observations were consistent with evidence of in vivo selective advantage of WASP-expressing lymphocytes. Molecular analysis revealed that the sequence surrounding the deletion contained two 4-bp direct repeats and that a hairpin structure could be formed by five GC pairs within the deleted fragment. These findings strongly suggest that slipped mispairing was the cause of this second-site mutation and that selective accumulation of WASP-expressing T lymphocytes led to revertant mosaicism in these patients.
Taizo Wada, Akihiro Konno, Shepherd H. Schurman, Elizabeth K. Garabedian, Stacie M. Anderson, Martha Kirby, David L. Nelson, Fabio Candotti
Cardiac hypertrophy is a common and often lethal complication of arterial hypertension. Atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) has been postulated to exert local antihypertrophic effects in the heart. Thus, a loss of function of the ANP receptor guanylyl cyclase-A (GC-A) might contribute to the increased propensity to cardiac hypertrophy, although a causative role in vivo has not been definitively demonstrated. To test whether local ANP modulates cardiomyocyte growth, we inactivated the GC-A gene selectively in cardiomyocytes by homologous loxP/Cre-mediated recombination. Thereby we have circumvented the systemic, hypertensive phenotype associated with germline inactivation of GC-A. Mice with cardiomyocyte-restricted GC-A deletion exhibited mild cardiac hypertrophy, markedly increased mRNA expression of cardiac hypertrophy markers such as ANP (fivefold), α-skeletal actin (1.7-fold), and β-myosin heavy chain (twofold), and increased systemic circulating ANP levels. Their blood pressure was 7–10 mmHg below normal, probably because of the elevated systemic levels and endocrine actions of ANP. Furthermore, cardiac hypertrophic responses to aortic constriction were enhanced and accompanied by marked deterioration of cardiac function. This phenotype is consistent with a local function of the ANP/GC-A system to moderate the molecular program of cardiac hypertrophy.
Rita Holtwick, Martin van Eickels, Boris V. Skryabin, Hideo A. Baba, Alexander Bubikat, Frank Begrow, Michael D. Schneider, David L. Garbers, Michaela Kuhn
To elucidate the role of leptin in regulating neuroendocrine and metabolic function during an acute fast, six to eight healthy, lean men were studied under four separate conditions: a baseline fed state and three 72-hour fasting studies with administration of either placebo, low-dose recombinant-methionyl human leptin (r-metHuLeptin), or replacement-dose r-metHuLeptin designed to maintain serum leptin at levels similar to those in the fed state. Replacement-dose r-metHuLeptin administered during fasting prevents the starvation-induced changes in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and, in part, the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis and IGF-1 binding capacity in serum. Thus, in normal men, the fall in leptin with fasting may be both necessary and sufficient for the physiologic adaptations of these axes, which require leptin levels above a certain threshold for activation. In contrast to findings in mice, fasting-induced changes in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal, renin-aldosterone, and growth hormone–IGF-1 axes as well as fuel utilization may be independent of leptin in humans. The role of leptin in normalizing several starvation-induced neuroendocrine changes may have important implications for the pathophysiology and treatment of eating disorders and obesity.
Jean L. Chan, Kathleen Heist, Alex M. DePaoli, Johannes D. Veldhuis, Christos S. Mantzoros
Protein targeting to glycogen (PTG) is a scaffolding protein that targets protein phosphatase 1α (PP1α) to glycogen, and links it to enzymes involved in glycogen synthesis and degradation. We generated mice that possess a heterozygous deletion of the PTG gene. These mice have reduced glycogen stores in adipose tissue, liver, heart, and skeletal muscle, corresponding with decreased glycogen synthase activity and glycogen synthesis rate. Although young PTG heterozygous mice initially demonstrate normal glucose tolerance, progressive glucose intolerance, hyperinsulinemia, and insulin resistance develop with aging. Insulin resistance in older PTG heterozygous mice correlates with a significant increase in muscle triglyceride content, with a corresponding attenuation of insulin receptor signaling. These data suggest that PTG plays a critical role in glycogen synthesis and is necessary to maintain the appropriate metabolic balance for the partitioning of fuel substrates between glycogen and lipid.
Sean M. Crosson, Ahmir Khan, John Printen, Jeffrey E. Pessin, Alan R. Saltiel