T and B lymphocytes, as well as endothelial cells, express distinctive profiles of G protein–coupled receptors for sphingosine 1–phosphate, which is a major regulator of T cell development, B and T cell recirculation, tissue homing patterns, and chemotactic responses to chemokines. The capacity of drugs that act on type 1 sphingosine 1–phosphate receptors to suppress organ graft rejection in humans and autoimmunity in animal models without apparent impairment of host defenses against infections suggests that this system is a promising target for new forms of immunotherapy.
Edward J. Goetzl, Hugh Rosen
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Western countries. Previous studies have highlighted the beneficial effects of PPARγ activators on cardiovascular disease; however, the role of other PPAR family members in atherosclerosis is less clear. A report in this issue of the JCI expands our understanding of PPARs in vascular biology and highlights the potential use of multiple PPAR agonists to limit lipid accumulation in macrophages.
Antonio Castrillo, Peter Tontonoz
Several studies have demonstrated the existence of pluripotent bone marrow–derived stem cells capable of homing to injured cardiac and skeletal muscle; however, there has been little evidence demonstrating the induction of tissue-specific endogenous genes in donor stem cells following engraftment. A new study in this issue reports an intriguing finding that raises additional concerns relating to stem cell plasticity and stem cell therapy in an already heated and controversial field. The study demonstrates that wild-type bone marrow–derived side population stem cells are indeed readily incorporated into both skeletal and cardiac muscle when transplanted into mice that lack δ-sarcoglycan — a model of cardiomyopathy and muscular dystrophy. However, these cells fail to express sarcoglycan and thus to repair the tissue, which suggests that this stem cell population has limited potential for cardiac and skeletal muscle regeneration.
Mitral valve prolapse (MVP), an abnormal displacement into the left atrium of a thickened and redundant mitral valve during systole, is a relatively frequent abnormality in humans and may be associated with serious complications. A recent study implicates fibrillin-1, a component of extracellular matrix microfibrils, in the pathogenesis of a murine model of MVP. This investigation represents an initial step toward understanding the mechanisms involved in human MVP disease and the development of potential treatments.
Arthur E. Weyman, Marielle Scherrer-Crosbie
Studies in genetically engineered mice have shown the importance of cross-talk between organs in the regulation of energy metabolism. In this issue, a careful metabolic characterization of mice with genetic deficiency of the GLUT4 glucose transporter in adipocytes and muscle is reported. These mice compensate for decreased peripheral glucose disposal by increasing hepatic glucose uptake and lipid synthesis as well as by increasing lipid utilization in peripheral tissues. These findings are relevant to humans with type 2 diabetes, in whom a key feature is diminished peripheral glucose disposal.
Perry E. Bickel
Cardiac-restricted overexpression of the Ca2+-binding protein S100A1 has been shown to lead to increased myocardial contractile performance in vitro and in vivo. Since decreased cardiac expression of S100A1 is a characteristic of heart failure, we tested the hypothesis that S100A1 gene transfer could restore contractile function of failing myocardium. Adenoviral S100A1 gene delivery normalized S100A1 protein expression in a postinfarction rat heart failure model and reversed contractile dysfunction of failing myocardium in vivo and in vitro. S100A1 gene transfer to failing cardiomyocytes restored diminished intracellular Ca2+ transients and sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ load mechanistically due to increased SR Ca2+ uptake and reduced SR Ca2+ leak. Moreover, S100A1 gene transfer decreased elevated intracellular Na+ concentrations to levels detected in nonfailing cardiomyocytes, reversed reactivated fetal gene expression, and restored energy supply in failing cardiomyocytes. Intracoronary adenovirus-mediated S100A1 gene delivery in vivo to the postinfarcted failing rat heart normalized myocardial contractile function and Ca2+ handling, which provided support in a physiological context for results found in myocytes. Thus, the present study demonstrates that restoration of S100A1 protein levels in failing myocardium by gene transfer may be a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of heart failure.
Patrick Most, Sven T. Pleger, Mirko Völkers, Beatrix Heidt, Melanie Boerries, Dieter Weichenhan, Eva Löffler, Paul M.L. Janssen, Andrea D. Eckhart, Jeffrey Martini, Matthew L. Williams, Hugo A. Katus, Andrew Remppis, Walter J. Koch
PPARα, β/δ, and γ regulate genes involved in the control of lipid metabolism and inflammation and are expressed in all major cell types of atherosclerotic lesions. In vitro studies have suggested that PPARs exert antiatherogenic effects by inhibiting the expression of proinflammatory genes and enhancing cholesterol efflux via activation of the liver X receptor–ABCA1 (LXR-ABCA1) pathway. To investigate the potential importance of these activities in vivo, we performed a systematic analysis of the effects of PPARα, β, and γ agonists on foam-cell formation and atherosclerosis in male LDL receptor–deficient (LDLR–/–) mice. Like the PPARγ agonist, a PPARα-specific agonist strongly inhibited atherosclerosis, whereas a PPARβ-specific agonist failed to inhibit lesion formation. In concert with their effects on atherosclerosis, PPARα and PPARγ agonists, but not the PPARβ agonist, inhibited the formation of macrophage foam cells in the peritoneal cavity. Unexpectedly, PPARα and PPARγ agonists inhibited foam-cell formation in vivo through distinct ABCA1-independent pathways. While inhibition of foam-cell formation by PPARα required LXRs, activation of PPARγ reduced cholesterol esterification, induced expression of ABCG1, and stimulated HDL-dependent cholesterol efflux in an LXR-independent manner. In concert, these findings reveal receptor-specific mechanisms by which PPARs influence macrophage cholesterol homeostasis. In the future, these mechanisms may be exploited pharmacologically to inhibit the development of atherosclerosis.
Andrew C. Li, Christoph J. Binder, Alejandra Gutierrez, Kathleen K. Brown, Christine R. Plotkin, Jennifer W. Pattison, Annabel F. Valledor, Roger A. Davis, Timothy M. Willson, Joseph L. Witztum, Wulf Palinski, Christopher K. Glass
Pluripotent bone marrow–derived side population (BM-SP) stem cells have been shown to repopulate the hematopoietic system and to contribute to skeletal and cardiac muscle regeneration after transplantation. We tested BM-SP cells for their ability to regenerate heart and skeletal muscle using a model of cardiomyopathy and muscular dystrophy that lacks δ-sarcoglycan. The absence of δ-sarcoglycan produces microinfarcts in heart and skeletal muscle that should recruit regenerative stem cells. Additionally, sarcoglycan expression after transplantation should mark successful stem cell maturation into cardiac and skeletal muscle lineages. BM-SP cells from normal male mice were transplanted into female δ-sarcoglycan–null mice. We detected engraftment of donor-derived stem cells into skeletal muscle, with the majority of donor-derived cells incorporated within myofibers. In the heart, donor-derived nuclei were detected inside cardiomyocytes. Skeletal muscle myofibers containing donor-derived nuclei generally failed to express sarcoglycan, with only 2 sarcoglycan-positive fibers detected in the quadriceps muscle from all 14 mice analyzed. Moreover, all cardiomyocytes with donor-derived nuclei were sarcoglycan-negative. The absence of sarcoglycan expression in cardiomyocytes and skeletal myofibers after transplantation indicates impaired differentiation and/or maturation of bone marrow–derived stem cells. The inability of BM-SP cells to express this protein severely limits their utility for cardiac and skeletal muscle regeneration.
Karen A. Lapidos, Yiyin E. Chen, Judy U. Earley, Ahlke Heydemann, Jill M. Huber, Marcia Chien, Averil Ma, Elizabeth M. McNally
Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) is a common human phenotype, yet little is known about the pathogenesis of this condition. MVP can occur in the context of genetic syndromes, including Marfan syndrome (MFS), an autosomal-dominant connective tissue disorder caused by mutations in fibrillin-1. Fibrillin-1 contributes to the regulated activation of the cytokine TGF-β, and enhanced signaling is a consequence of fibrillin-1 deficiency. We thus hypothesized that increased TGF-β signaling may contribute to the multisystem pathogenesis of MFS, including the development of myxomatous changes of the atrioventricular valves. Mitral valves from fibrillin-1–deficient mice exhibited postnatally acquired alterations in architecture that correlated both temporally and spatially with increased cell proliferation, decreased apoptosis, and excess TGF-β activation and signaling. In addition, TGF-β antagonism in vivo rescued the valve phenotype, suggesting a cause and effect relationship. Expression analyses identified increased expression of numerous TGF-β–related genes that regulate cell proliferation and survival and plausibly contribute to myxomatous valve disease. These studies validate a novel, genetically engineered murine model of myxomatous changes of the mitral valve and provide critical insight into the pathogenetic mechanism of such changes in MFS and perhaps more common nonsyndromic variants of mitral valve disease.
Connie M. Ng, Alan Cheng, Loretha A. Myers, Francisco Martinez-Murillo, Chunfa Jie, Djahida Bedja, Kathleen L. Gabrielson, Jennifer M.W. Hausladen, Robert P. Mecham, Daniel P. Judge, Harry C. Dietz
Hypomorphic mutations in the zinc finger domain of NF-κB essential modulator (NEMO) cause X-linked hyper-IgM syndrome with ectodermal dysplasia (XHM-ED). Here we report that patient B cells are characterized by an absence of Ig somatic hypermutation (SHM) and defective class switch recombination (CSR) despite normal induction of activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) and Iε-Cε transcripts. This indicates that AID expression alone is insufficient to support neutralizing antibody responses. Furthermore, we show that patient B cells stimulated with CD40 ligand are impaired in both p65 and c-Rel activation, and whereas addition of IL-4 can enhance p65 activity, c-Rel activity remains deficient. This suggests that these NF-κB components have different activation requirements and that IL-4 can augment some but not all NEMO-dependent NF-κB signaling. Finally, using microarray analysis of patient B cells we identified downstream effects of impaired NF-κB activation and candidate factors that may be necessary for CSR and SHM in B cells.
Ashish Jain, Chi A. Ma, Eduardo Lopez-Granados, Gary Means, William Brady, Jordan S. Orange, Shuying Liu, Steven Holland, Jonathan M.J. Derry
IL-1 receptor antagonist–deficient (IL-1Ra–/–) mice spontaneously develop autoimmune arthritis. We demonstrate here that T cells are required for the induction of arthritis; T cell–deficient IL-1Ra–/– mice did not develop arthritis, and transfer of IL-1Ra–/– T cells induced arthritis in nu/nu mice. Development of arthritis was also markedly suppressed by TNF-α deficiency. We found that TNF-α induced OX40 expression on T cells and blocking the interaction between either CD40 and its ligand or OX40 and its ligand suppressed development of arthritis. These findings suggest that IL-1 receptor antagonist deficiency in T cells disrupts homeostasis of the immune system and that TNF-α plays an important role in activating T cells through induction of OX40.
Reiko Horai, Akiko Nakajima, Katsuyoshi Habiro, Motoko Kotani, Susumu Nakae, Taizo Matsuki, Aya Nambu, Shinobu Saijo, Hayato Kotaki, Katsuko Sudo, Akihiko Okahara, Hidetoshi Tanioka, Toshimi Ikuse, Naoto Ishii, Pamela L. Schwartzberg, Ryo Abe, Yoichiro Iwakura
Initiation of the adaptive immune response is dependent on the priming of naive T cells by APCs. Proteomic analysis of unactivated and activated human NK cell membrane–enriched fractions demonstrated that activated NK cells can efficiently stimulate T cells, since they upregulate MHC class II molecules and multiple ligands for TCR costimulatory molecules. Furthermore, by manipulating antigen administration, we show that NK cells possess multiple independent unique pathways for antigen uptake. These results highlight NK cell–mediated cytotoxicity and specific ligand recognition by cell surface–activating receptors on NK cells as unique mechanisms for antigen capturing and presentation. In addition, we analyzed the T cell–activating potential of human NK cells derived from different clinical conditions, such as inflamed tonsils and noninfected and CMV-infected uterine decidual samples, and from transporter-associated processing antigen 2–deficient patients. This in vivo analysis revealed that proinflammatory, but not immune-suppressive, microenvironmental requirements can selectively dictate upregulation of T cell–activating molecules on NK cells. Taken together, these observations offer new and unexpected insights into the direct interactions between NK and T cells and suggest novel APC-like activating functions for human NK cells.
Jacob Hanna, Tsufit Gonen-Gross, Jonathan Fitchett, Tony Rowe, Mark Daniels, Tal I. Arnon, Roi Gazit, Aviva Joseph, Karoline W. Schjetne, Alexander Steinle, Angel Porgador, Dror Mevorach, Debra Goldman-Wohl, Simcha Yagel, Michael J. LaBarre, Jane H. Buckner, Ofer Mandelboim
Evidence suggests that Alzheimer disease (AD) begins as a disorder of synaptic function, caused in part by increased levels of amyloid β-peptide 1–42 (Aβ42). Both synaptic and cognitive deficits are reproduced in mice double transgenic for amyloid precursor protein (AA substitution K670N,M671L) and presenilin-1 (AA substitution M146V). Here we demonstrate that brief treatment with the phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor rolipram ameliorates deficits in both long-term potentiation (LTP) and contextual learning in the double-transgenic mice. Most importantly, this beneficial effect can be extended beyond the duration of the administration. One course of long-term systemic treatment with rolipram improves LTP and basal synaptic transmission as well as working, reference, and associative memory deficits for at least 2 months after the end of the treatment. This protective effect is possibly due to stabilization of synaptic circuitry via alterations in gene expression by activation of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA)/cAMP regulatory element–binding protein (CREB) signaling pathway that make the synapses more resistant to the insult inflicted by Aβ. Thus, agents that enhance the cAMP/PKA/CREB pathway have potential for the treatment of AD and other diseases associated with elevated Aβ42 levels.
Bing Gong, Ottavio V. Vitolo, Fabrizio Trinchese, Shumin Liu, Michael Shelanski, Ottavio Arancio
The most common form of human congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD) is caused by mutations in the laminin-α2 gene. Loss of laminin-α2 function in this autosomal recessive type 1A form of CMD results in neuromuscular dysfunction and, often, early death. Laminin-α2–deficient skeletal muscles in both humans and mice show signs of muscle cell death by apoptosis. To examine the significance of apoptosis in CMD1A pathogenesis, we determined whether pathogenesis in laminin-α2–deficient (Lama2–/–) mice could be ameliorated by inhibiting apoptosis through either (a) inactivation of the proapoptosis protein Bax or (b) overexpression of the antiapoptosis protein Bcl-2 from a muscle-specific transgene. We found that both of these genetic interventions produced a several-fold increase in the lifespan of Lama2–/– mice. Bax inactivation also improved postnatal growth rate and myofiber histology and decreased fixed contractures of Lama2–/– mice. Thus, Bcl-2 family–mediated apoptosis contributes significantly to pathogenesis in the mouse model of CMD1A, and antiapoptosis therapy may be a possible route to amelioration of neuromuscular dysfunction due to laminin-α2 deficiency in humans.
Mahasweta Girgenrath, Janice A. Dominov, Christine A. Kostek, Jeffrey Boone Miller
How Tregs migrate to GCs, and whether they regulate the helper activity of the T cells in GCs (GC-Th cells) remains poorly understood. We found a T cell subset in human tonsils that displays potent suppressive activities toward GC-Th cell–dependent B cell responses. These Tregs with the surface phenotype of CD4+CD25+CD69– migrate well to CCL19, a chemokine expressed in the T cell zone, but poorly to CXCL13, a chemokine expressed in the B cell zone. This migration toward the T cell–rich zone rapidly changes to trafficking toward B cell follicles upon T cell activation. This change in chemotactic behavior upon activation of T cells is consistent with their switch in the expression of the 2 chemokine receptors CXCR5 and CCR7. CD4+CD25+CD69– Tregs suppress GC-Th cells and GC-Th cell–induced B cell responses such as Ig production, survival, and expression of activation-induced cytosine deaminase. Our results have identified a subset of Tregs that is physiologically relevant to GC-Th cell–dependent B cell responses and a potential regulation mechanism for the trafficking of these Tregs to GCs.
Hyung W. Lim, Peter Hillsamer, Chang H. Kim
Aberrant activation of the JAK-STAT pathway has been implicated in tumor formation; for example, constitutive activation of JAK2 kinase or the enforced expression of STAT5 induces leukemia in mice. We show here that the Janus kinase TYK2 serves an opposite function. Mice deficient in TYK2 developed Abelson-induced B lymphoid leukemia/lymphoma as well as TEL-JAK2–induced T lymphoid leukemia with a higher incidence and shortened latency compared with WT controls. The cell-autonomous properties of Abelson murine leukemia virus–transformed (A-MuLV–transformed) TYK2–/– cells were unaltered, but the high susceptibility of TYK2–/– mice resulted from an impaired tumor surveillance, and accordingly, TYK2–/– A-MuLV–induced lymphomas were easily rejected after transplantation into WT hosts. The increased rate of leukemia/lymphoma formation was linked to a decreased in vitro cytotoxic capacity of TYK2–/– NK and NKT cells toward tumor-derived cells. RAG2/TYK2 double-knockout mice succumbed to A-MuLV–induced leukemia/lymphoma faster than RAG2–/–TYK2+/– mice. This defines NK cells as key players in tumor surveillance in Abelson-induced malignancies. Our observations provide compelling evidence that TYK2 is an important regulator of lymphoid tumor surveillance.
Dagmar Stoiber, Boris Kovacic, Christian Schuster, Carola Schellack, Marina Karaghiosoff, Rita Kreibich, Eva Weisz, Michaela Artwohl, Olaf C. Kleine, Mathias Muller, Sabina Baumgartner-Parzer, Jacques Ghysdael, Michael Freissmuth, Veronika Sexl
Molecular mimicry of Campylobacter jejuni lipo-oligosaccharides (LOS) with gangliosides in nervous tissue is considered to induce cross-reactive antibodies that lead to Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), an acute polyneuropathy. To determine whether specific bacterial genes are crucial for the biosynthesis of ganglioside-like structures and the induction of anti-ganglioside antibodies, we characterized the C. jejuni LOS biosynthesis gene locus in GBS-associated and control strains. We demonstrated that specific types of the LOS biosynthesis gene locus are associated with GBS and with the expression of ganglioside-mimicking structures. Campylobacter knockout mutants of 2 potential GBS marker genes, both involved in LOS sialylation, expressed truncated LOS structures without sialic acid, showed reduced reactivity with GBS patient serum, and failed to induce an anti-ganglioside antibody response in mice. We demonstrate, for the first time, to our knowledge, that specific bacterial genes are crucial for the induction of anti-ganglioside antibodies.
Peggy C.R. Godschalk, Astrid P. Heikema, Michel Gilbert, Tomoko Komagamine, C. Wim Ang, Jobine Glerum, Denis Brochu, Jianjun Li, Nobuhiro Yuki, Bart C. Jacobs, Alex van Belkum, Hubert P. Endtz
A critical defect in type 2 diabetes is impaired insulin-stimulated glucose transport and metabolism in muscle and adipocytes. To understand the metabolic adaptations this elicits, we generated mice with targeted disruption of the GLUT4 glucose transporter in both adipocytes and muscle (AMG4KO). In contrast to total body GLUT4-null mice, AMG4KO mice exhibit normal growth, development, adipose mass, and longevity. They develop fasting hyperglycemia and glucose intolerance and are at risk for greater insulin resistance than mice lacking GLUT4 in only one tissue. Hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp studies showed a 75% decrease in glucose infusion rate and markedly reduced 2-deoxyglucose uptake into skeletal muscle (85–90%) and white adipose tissue (65%). However, AMG4KO mice adapt by preferentially utilizing lipid fuels, as evidenced by a lower respiratory quotient and increased clearance of lipids from serum after oral lipid gavage. While insulin action on hepatic glucose production and gluconeogenic enzymes is impaired, hepatic glucokinase expression, incorporation of 14C-glucose into lipids, and hepatic VLDL-triglyceride release are increased. The lipogenic activity may be mediated by increased hepatic expression of SREBP-1c and acetyl-CoA carboxylase. Thus, inter-tissue communication results in adaptations to impaired glucose transport in muscle and adipocytes that involve increased hepatic glucose uptake and lipid synthesis, while muscle adapts by preferentially utilizing lipid fuels. Genetic determinants limiting this “metabolic flexibility” may contribute to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes in humans.
Ko Kotani, Odile D. Peroni, Yasuhiko Minokoshi, Olivier Boss, Barbara B. Kahn
Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) synthesis modulates the response to radiation injury in the mouse intestinal epithelium through effects on crypt survival and apoptosis; however, the downstream signaling events have not been elucidated. WT mice receiving 16,16-dimethyl PGE2 (dmPGE2) had fewer apoptotic cells per crypt than untreated mice. Apoptosis in Bax–/– mice receiving 12 Gy was approximately 50% less than in WT mice, and the ability of dmPGE2 to attenuate apoptosis was lost in Bax–/– mice. Positional analysis revealed that apoptosis in the Bax–/– mice was diminished only in the bax-expressing cells of the lower crypts and that in WT mice, dmPGE2 decreased apoptosis only in the bax-expressing cells. The HCT-116 intestinal cell line and Bax–/– HCT-116 recapitulated the apoptotic response of the mouse small intestine with regard to irradiation and dmPGE2. Irradiation of HCT-116 cells resulted in phosphorylation of AKT that was enhanced by dmPGE2 through transactivation of the EGFR. Inhibition of AKT phosphorylation prevented the reduction of apoptosis by dmPGE2 following radiation. Transfection of HCT-116 cells with a constitutively active AKT reduced apoptosis in irradiated cells to the same extent as in nontransfected cells treated with dmPGE2. Treatment with dmPGE2 did not alter bax or bcl-x expression but suppressed bax translocation to the mitochondrial membrane. Our in vivo studies indicate that there are bax-dependent and bax-independent radiation-induced apoptosis in the intestine but that only the bax-dependent apoptosis is reduced by dmPGE2. The in vitro studies indicate that dmPGE2, most likely by signaling through the E prostaglandin receptor EP2, reduces radiation-induced apoptosis through transactivation of the EGFR and enhanced activation of AKT and that this results in reduced bax translocation to the mitochondria.
Teresa G. Tessner, Filipe Muhale, Terrence E. Riehl, Shrikant Anant, William F. Stenson
April D. Strader, Ofer Reizes, Stephen C. Woods, Stephen C. Benoit, Randy J. Seeley
Scott M. Grundy
H. George Mandel, Elliot S. Vesell