Chronic and excessive inflammation in skin and joints causes significant morbidity in psoriasis patients. As a prevalent T lymphocyte–mediated disorder, psoriasis, as well as the side effects associated with its treatment, affects patients globally. In this review, recent progress is discussed in the areas of genetics, the immunological synapse, the untangling of the cytokine web and signaling pathways, xenotransplantation models, and the growing use of selectively targeted therapies. Since psoriasis is currently incurable, new management strategies are proposed to replace previous serendipitous approaches. Such strategic transition from serendipity to the use of novel selective agents aimed at defined targets in psoriatic lesions is moving rapidly from research benches to the bedsides of patients with this chronic and debilitating disease.
Brian J. Nickoloff, Frank O. Nestle
Cleft lip and palate is a common human birth defect, and its causes are being dissected through studies of human populations and through the use of animal models. Mouse models in particular have made a substantial contribution to our understanding of the gene pathways involved in palate development and the nature of signaling molecules that act in a tissue-specific manner at critical stages of embryogenesis. Related work has provided further support for investigating the role of common environmental triggers as causal covariates.
Jeffrey C. Murray, Brian C. Schutte
The genetic basis for the attenuation of polio vaccines has been known since the 1980s. Changes in the internal ribosome entry site, within the 5′ noncoding region of genomic RNAs, were presumed to reduce translation in certain target organs, leading to the conclusion that attenuation is mediated at the level of translation. A report in this issue of the JCI reveals that poliovirus tropism is, in part, determined after internal ribosome entry.
Bert L. Semler
To test the hypothesis that chronic stimulation of T cells with a weak agonistic antigen will generate regulatory T cells and immune tolerance, a study reported in this issue employed the redesign of a minor histocompatibility antigen. Using knowledge of residues at which the antigen contacts the T cell receptor, a weak agonist was produced. Pretreatment with this altered antigen produced transplant tolerance, generation of regulatory T cells, and a loss of many antigen-reactive T cells.
Terry B. Strom
Noninvasive imaging strategies will be critical for defining the temporal characteristics of angiogenesis and assessing efficacy of angiogenic therapies. The αvβ3 integrin is expressed in angiogenic vessels and represents a potential novel target for imaging myocardial angiogenesis. We demonstrated the localization of an indium-111–labeled (111In-labeled) αvβ3-targeted agent in the region of injury-induced angiogenesis in a chronic rat model of infarction. The specificity of the targeted αvβ3-imaging agent for angiogenesis was established using a nonspecific control agent. The potential of this radiolabeled αvβ3-targeted agent for in vivo imaging was then confirmed in a canine model of postinfarction angiogenesis. Serial in vivo dual-isotope single-photon emission–computed tomographic (SPECT) imaging with the 111In-labeled αvβ3-targeted agent demonstrated focal radiotracer uptake in hypoperfused regions where angiogenesis was stimulated. There was a fourfold increase in myocardial radiotracer uptake in the infarct region associated with histological evidence of angiogenesis and increased expression of the αvβ3 integrin. Thus, angiogenesis in the heart can be imaged noninvasively with an 111In-labeled αvβ3-targeted agent. The noninvasive evaluation of angiogenesis may have important implications for risk stratification of patients following myocardial infarction. This approach may also have significant clinical utility for noninvasively tracking therapeutic myocardial angiogenesis.
David F. Meoli, Mehran M. Sadeghi, Svetlana Krassilnikova, Brian N. Bourke, Frank J. Giordano, Donald P. Dione, Haili Su, D. Scott Edwards, Shuang Liu, Thomas D. Harris, Joseph A. Madri, Barry L. Zaret, Albert J. Sinusas
Classical research has suggested that early palate formation develops via epithelial-mesenchymal interactions, and in this study we reveal which signals control this process. Using Fgf10–/–, FGF receptor 2b–/– (Fgfr2b–/–), and Sonic hedgehog (Shh) mutant mice, which all exhibit cleft palate, we show that Shh is a downstream target of Fgf10/Fgfr2b signaling. Our results demonstrate that mesenchymal Fgf10 regulates the epithelial expression of Shh, which in turn signals back to the mesenchyme. This was confirmed by demonstrating that cell proliferation is decreased not only in the palatal epithelium but also in the mesenchyme of Fgfr2b–/– mice. These results reveal a new role for Fgf signaling in mammalian palate development. We show that coordinated epithelial-mesenchymal interactions are essential during the initial stages of palate development and require an Fgf-Shh signaling network.
Ritva Rice, Bradley Spencer-Dene, Elaine C. Connor, Amel Gritli-Linde, Andrew P. McMahon, Clive Dickson, Irma Thesleff, David P.C. Rice
Bone marrow stromal cells (MSCs) have the capability under specific conditions of differentiating into various cell types such as osteocytes, chondrocytes, and adipocytes. Here we demonstrate a highly efficient and specific induction of cells with neuronal characteristics, without glial differentiation, from both rat and human MSCs using gene transfection with Notch intracellular domain (NICD) and subsequent treatment with bFGF, forskolin, and ciliary neurotrophic factor. MSCs expressed markers related to neural stem cells after transfection with NICD, and subsequent trophic factor administration induced neuronal cells. Some of them showed voltage-gated fast sodium and delayed rectifier potassium currents and action potentials compatible with characteristics of functional neurons. Further treatment of the induced neuronal cells with glial cell line–derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) increased the proportion of tyrosine hydroxylase–positive and dopamine-producing cells. Transplantation of these GDNF-treated cells showed improvement in apomorphine-induced rotational behavior and adjusting step and paw-reaching tests following intrastriatal implantation in a 6-hydroxy dopamine rat model of Parkinson disease. This study shows that a population of neuronal cells can be specifically generated from MSCs and that induced cells may allow for a neuroreconstructive approach.
Mari Dezawa, Hiroshi Kanno, Mikio Hoshino, Hirotomi Cho, Naoya Matsumoto, Yutaka Itokazu, Nobuyoshi Tajima, Hitoshi Yamada, Hajime Sawada, Hiroto Ishikawa, Toshirou Mimura, Masaaki Kitada, Yoshihisa Suzuki, Chizuka Ide
Uracil-DNA glycosylase (UNG) is involved in base excision repair of aberrant uracil residues in nuclear and mitochondrial DNA. Ung knockout mice generated by gene targeting are viable, fertile, and phenotypically normal and have regular mutation rates. However, when exposed to a nitric oxide donor, Ung–/– fibroblasts show an increase in the uracil/cytosine ratio in the genome and augmented cell death. After combined oxygen-glucose deprivation, Ung–/– primary cortical neurons have increased vulnerability to cell death, which is associated with early mitochondrial dysfunction. In vivo, UNG expression and activity are low in brains of naive WT mice but increase significantly after reversible middle cerebral artery occlusion and reperfusion. Moreover, major increases in infarct size are observed in Ung–/– mice compared with littermate control mice. In conclusion, our results provide compelling evidence that UNG is of major importance for tissue repair after brain ischemia.
Matthias Endres, Detlev Biniszkiewicz, Robert W. Sobol, Christoph Harms, Michael Ahmadi, Andreas Lipski, Juri Katchanov, Philipp Mergenthaler, Ulrich Dirnagl, Samuel H. Wilson, Andreas Meisel, Rudolf Jaenisch
The molecular pathogenesis of focal/diffuse proliferative lupus glomerulonephritis was studied by cDNA microarray analysis of gene expression in glomeruli from clinical biopsies. Transcriptional phenotyping of glomeruli isolated by laser-capture microscopy revealed considerable kidney-to-kidney heterogeneity in increased transcript expression, resulting in four main gene clusters that identified the presence of B cells, several myelomonocytic lineages, fibroblast and epithelial cell proliferation, matrix alterations, and expression of type I IFN–inducible genes. Glomerulus-to-glomerulus variation within a kidney was less marked. The myeloid lineage transcripts, characteristic of those found in isolated activated macrophages and myeloid dendritic cells, were widely distributed in all biopsy samples. One major subgroup of the samples expressed fibrosis-related genes that correlated with pathological evidence of glomerulosclerosis; however, decreased expression of TGF-β1 argued against its role in lupus renal fibrosis. Expression of type I IFN–inducible transcripts by a second subset of samples was associated with reduced expression of fibrosis-related genes and milder pathological features. This pattern of gene expression resembled that exhibited by activated NK cells. A large gene cluster with decreased expression found in all samples included ion channels and transcription factors, indicating a loss-of-function response to the glomerular injury.
Karin S. Peterson, Jing-Feng Huang, Jessica Zhu, Vivette D’Agati, Xuejun Liu, Nancy Miller, Mark G. Erlander, Michael R. Jackson, Robert J. Winchester
The progeny of T lymphocytes responding to immunization mostly die rapidly, leaving a few long-lived survivors functioning as immune memory. Thus, control of this choice of death versus survival is critical for immune memory. There are indications that reactive radicals may be involved in this death pathway. We now show that, in mice lacking inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), higher frequencies of both CD4 and CD8 memory T cells persist in response to immunization, even when iNOS+/+ APCs are used for immunization. Postactivation T cell death by neglect is reduced in iNOS–/– T cells, and levels of the antiapoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL are increased. Inhibitors of the iNOS-peroxynitrite pathway also enhance memory responses and block postactivation death by neglect in both mouse and human T cells. However, early primary immune responses are not enhanced, which suggests that altered survival, rather than enhanced activation, is responsible for the persistent immunity observed. Thus, in primary immune responses, iNOS in activated T cells autocrinely controls their susceptibility to death by neglect to determine the level of persisting CD4 and CD8 T cell memory, and modulation of this pathway can enhance the persistence of immune memory in response to vaccination.
Monika Vig, Smita Srivastava, Usha Kandpal, Hadassah Sade, Virginia Lewis, Apurva Sarin, Anna George, Vineeta Bal, Jeannine M. Durdik, Satyajit Rath
Poliovirus replication is limited to a few organs, including the brain and spinal cord. This restricted tropism may be a consequence of organ-specific differences in translation initiation by the poliovirus internal ribosome entry site (IRES). A C-to-U mutation at base 472 in the IRES of the Sabin type 3 poliovirus vaccine strain, known to attenuate neurovirulence, may further restrict tropism by eliminating viral replication in the CNS. To determine the relationship between IRES-mediated translation and poliovirus tropism, recombinant human adenoviruses were used to express bicistronic mRNAs in murine organs. The IRESs of poliovirus, the cardiotropic coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3), and the hepatotropic hepatitis C virus (HCV) mediate translation in many organs, including those that do not support viral replication. A translation defect associated with the Sabin type 3 IRES was observed in all organs examined. Poliovirus type 1 and recombinant polioviruses dependent on the IRES of CVB3 or HCV replicate in the CNS of mice and cause paralysis. Although the type 3 Sabin strain is an effective vaccine, polioviruses with a U at base 472 of the IRES cause paralysis in newborn mice. Tropism of wild-type and vaccine strains of poliovirus is therefore determined after internal ribosome entry.
Steven E. Kauder, Vincent R. Racaniello
T cell reactivity to minor histocompatibility (mH) antigens is responsible for rejection of HLA-matched allografts, limiting the effectiveness of transplantation for the treatment of end-stage organ failure. The deadbox gene Dby is located on the Y chromosome and encodes an mH antigen that prompts rejection of male tissues by female mice. Establishing a network of regulatory T (Treg) cells that is capable of coercing naive cells to adopt a tolerant phenotype offers an attractive strategy for immune intervention in such deleterious immune responses. While various approaches have successfully induced a dominant form of transplantation tolerance, they share the propensity to provoke chronic, incomplete activation of T cells. By identifying the T cell receptor (TCR) contact sites of the dominant epitope of the Dby gene product, we have designed an altered peptide ligand (APL) that delivers incomplete signals to naive T cells from A1 ∞ RAG1–/– mice that are transgenic for a complementary TCR. Administration of this APL to female transgenic mice polarizes T cells toward a regulatory phenotype, securing a form of dominant tolerance to male skin grafts that is capable of resisting rejection by naive lymphocytes. Our results demonstrate that incomplete signaling through the TCR may establish a network of Treg cells that may be harnessed in the service of transplantation tolerance.
Tse-Ching Chen, Herman Waldmann, Paul J. Fairchild
Deregulated expression of both Myc and Bcl-XL are consistent features of human plasma cell neoplasms (PCNs). To investigate whether targeted expression of Myc and Bcl-XL in mouse plasma cells might lead to an improved model of human PCN, we generated Myc transgenics by inserting a single-copy histidine-tagged mouse Myc gene, MycHis, into the mouse Ig heavy-chain Cα locus. We also generated Bcl-XL transgenic mice that contain a multicopy Flag-tagged mouse Bcl-xFlag transgene driven by the mouse Ig κ light-chain 3′ enhancer. Single-transgenic Bcl-XL mice remained tumor free by 380 days of age, whereas single-transgenic Myc mice developed B cell tumors infrequently (4 of 43, 9.3%). In contrast, double-transgenic Myc/Bcl-XL mice developed plasma cell tumors with short onset (135 days on average) and full penetrance (100% tumor incidence). These tumors produced monoclonal Ig, infiltrated the bone marrow, and contained elevated amounts of MycHis and Bcl-XLFlag proteins compared with the plasma cells that accumulated in large numbers in young tumor-free Myc/Bcl-XL mice. Our findings demonstrate that the enforced expression of Myc and Bcl-XL by Ig enhancers with peak activity in plasma cells generates a mouse model of human PCN that recapitulates some features of human multiple myeloma.
Wan Cheung Cheung, Joong Su Kim, Michael Linden, Liangping Peng, Brian Van Ness, Roberto D. Polakiewicz, Siegfried Janz
PTEN is a tumor suppressor gene mutated in many human cancers, and its expression is reduced or absent in almost half of hepatoma patients. We used the Cre-loxP system to generate a hepatocyte-specific null mutation of Pten in mice (AlbCrePtenflox/flox mice). AlbCrePtenflox/flox mice showed massive hepatomegaly and steatohepatitis with triglyceride accumulation, a phenotype similar to human nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Adipocyte-specific genes were induced in mutant hepatocytes, implying adipogenic-like transformation of these cells. Genes involved in lipogenesis and β-oxidation were also induced, possibly as a result of elevated levels of the transactivating factors PPARγ and SREBP1c. Importantly, the loss of Pten function in the liver led to tumorigenesis, with 47% of AlbCrePtenflox/flox livers developing liver cell adenomas by 44 weeks of age. By 74–78 weeks of age, 100% of AlbCrePtenflox/flox livers showed adenomas and 66% had hepatocellular carcinomas. AlbCrePtenflox/flox mice also showed insulin hypersensitivity. In vitro, AlbCrePtenflox/flox hepatocytes were hyperproliferative and showed increased hyperoxidation with abnormal activation of protein kinase B and MAPK. Pten is thus an important regulator of lipogenesis, glucose metabolism, hepatocyte homeostasis, and tumorigenesis in the liver.
Yasuo Horie, Akira Suzuki, Ei Kataoka, Takehiko Sasaki, Koichi Hamada, Junko Sasaki, Katsunori Mizuno, Go Hasegawa, Hiroyuki Kishimoto, Masahiro Iizuka, Makoto Naito, Katsuhiko Enomoto, Sumio Watanabe, Tak Wah Mak, Toru Nakano
Small molecule inhibitors, such as imatinib, are effective therapies for tyrosine kinase fusions BCR-ABL–TEL-PDGFβR–mediated human leukemias, but resistance may develop. The unique fusion junctions of these molecules are attractive candidates for molecularly targeted therapeutic intervention using RNA interference (RNAi), which is mediated by small interfering RNA (siRNA). We developed a retroviral system for stable expression of siRNA directed to the unique fusion junction sequence of TEL-PDGFβR in transformed hematopoietic cells. Stable expression of the siRNA resulted in approximately 90% inhibition of TEL-PDGFβR expression and its downstream effectors, including PI3K and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Expression of TEL-PDGFβR–specific siRNA (TPsiRNA) significantly attenuated the proliferation of TEL-PDGFβR–transformed Ba/F3 cells or disease latency and penetrance in mice induced by intravenous injection of these Ba/F3 cells. Although a 90% reduction in TEL-PDGFβR expression was insufficient to induce cell death, stable siRNA expression sensitized transformed cells to the PDGFβR inhibitor imatinib or to the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin. TPsiRNA also inhibited an imatinib-resistant TEL-PDGFβR mutant, and the inhibition was enhanced by siRNA in combination with PKC412, another PDGFβR inhibitor. Although siRNA delivery in vivo is a challenging problem, stable expression of siRNA, which targets oncogenic fusion genes, may potentiate the effects of conventional therapy for hematologic malignancies.
Jing Chen, Nathan R. Wall, Kerry Kocher, Nicole Duclos, Doriano Fabbro, Donna Neuberg, James D. Griffin, Yang Shi, D. Gary Gilliland
A lack of relevant animal models has hampered preclinical screening and critical evaluation of the efficacy of human vaccines in vivo. Carcinoembryonic antigen–A2Kb (CEA–A2Kb) double transgenic mice provide a biologically relevant model for preclinical screening and critical evaluation of human CEA vaccine efficacy in vivo, particularly because such animals are peripherally tolerant of CEA. We established the utility of this model by demonstrating that an oral DNA minigene vaccine induces effective HLA-A2–restricted, CEA-specific antitumor CTL responses. This finding is supported by three lines of evidence: (a) an effective HLA-A2–restricted, CEA691-specific CTL response; (b) specific in vitro killing of CEA-A2Kb transduced MC-38 colon carcinoma cells; and (c) protective immunity induced in vaccinated mice against challenges of these tumor cells. Importantly, peripheral T cell tolerance against CEA in CEA-A2Kb double transgenic mice was broken by the CEA691 (IMIGVLVGV) minigene vaccine. In conclusion, CEA-A2Kb double transgenic mice were demonstrated to be good candidates for in vivo testing of human CEA–based vaccines. This result suggests a potential for these vaccines in future human vaccine development. The feasibility of using nonmutated self-antigens as targets for therapeutic vaccinations was indicated, provided that such antigens are presented in an immunogenic context; that is, as a DNA minigene in a bacterial carrier system.
He Zhou, Yunping Luo, Masato Mizutani, Noriko Mizutani, Jürgen C. Becker, F. James Primus, Rong Xiang, Ralph A. Reisfeld