It has become axiomatic that basic science faculty and research programs at medical schools must support themselves. The days when excess clinical revenue was used to support basic research are long gone. With the pressure of managed care and faculty practice programs on medical school budgets, it appears that medical school leaders are looking everywhere but at clinical programs for critical support of biomedical research at their institutions, even as NIH support shrinks.
Andrew R. Marks
Type 1 diabetes is the result of an autoimmune attack against the insulin-producing β cells of the endocrine pancreas. Current treatment for patients with type 1 diabetes typically involves a rigorous and invasive regimen of testing blood glucose levels many times a day along with subcutaneous injections of recombinant DNA–derived insulin. Islet transplantation, even with its substantially improved outcome in recent years, is still not indicated for pediatric patients. However, in light of the fact that some regenerative capabilities of the endocrine pancreas have been documented and recent research has shown that human ES cell lines can be derived in vitro, this review discusses whether it is practical or even possible to combine these lines of research to more effectively treat young diabetic patients.
Adenosine is a ubiquitous biological mediator with the capacity to produce both pro- and anti-inflammatory effects in tissues. Proinflammatory and bronchoconstrictive actions of adenosine in the asthmatic lung are well recognized, with the latter being mediated, in part, through A1 receptor activation on airway smooth muscle. In this issue of the JCI, Sun et al. report findings in adenosine deaminase–deficient mice that suggest the occurrence of anti-inflammatory actions of adenosine in the lung, mediated through A1 adenosine receptors on macrophages. Here we discuss the history of the study of adenosine receptor ligands for asthma and how enhanced understanding of adenosine receptor biology may aid in the rational exploitation of these receptors as therapeutic targets.
Stephen L. Tilley, Richard C. Boucher
Insulin secretion is critically dependent on the proper function of a complex molecular network. CaV2.3-knockout (CaV2.3–/–) and PKCλ-knockout (PKCλ–/–) mouse models now suggest that these 2 players, the Cav2.3 channel and PKCλ, are important constituents of this molecular network. Subsequent to glucose stimulation, insulin is released from the pancreatic β cell in a biphasic pattern, i.e., a rapid initial phase followed by a slower, more sustained phase. Interestingly, Ca2+ influx through the CaV2.3 channel regulates only the second phase of insulin secretion. PKCλ seems to enter the β cell nucleus and in turn modulates the expression of several genes critical for β cell secretory function. Studies by Hashimoto et al. and Jing et al. in this issue of the JCI set out to answer the question of why numerous isoforms of proteins with similar functions are present in the β cell. This is important, since it has been difficult to understand the modulatory and/or regulatory roles of different isoforms of proteins in defined subcellular compartments and at various times during the secretory process in both β cell physiology and pathophysiology.
Shao-Nian Yang, Per-Olof Berggren
In this issue of the JCI, Ciampi et al. report the identification of a novel oncogene in patients affected by radiation-associated thyroid papillary carcinomas. This oncogene derives from a paracentric inversion of the long arm of chromosome 7, which results in an in-frame fusion of the N-terminus of the A-kinase anchor protein 9 (AKAP9) gene with the C-terminal catalytic domain (exons 9–18) of the serine-threonine kinase BRAF. The resulting AKAP9-BRAF fusion protein shows constitutive kinase activity, and it is able to transmit mitogenic signals to the MAPK pathways and to promote malignant transformation of NIH3T3 cells.
Alfredo Fusco, Giuseppe Viglietto, Massimo Santoro
Neurotransplantation as a treatment for Parkinson disease reached the stage of human trials over 15 years ago, but the field, which is still in its infancy, has encountered a number of roadblocks since then, both political and scientific. With hope that stem cells may be used as a new source of dopaminergic neurons to replace the degenerating nerve cells in Parkinson disease looming, it is critical that we learn from the past as we work toward achieving new milestones aimed at making this new therapeutic strategy a reality. One of those milestones, which is an important translational step in the development of stem cell technology and the subject of a report in this issue of the JCI, involves transplanting new dopaminergic cell lines to a primate model of Parkinson disease.
J. William Langston
For several decades, intravenous Ig has been used as treatment for a variety of immune-related diseases, including immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), autoimmune neuropathies, systemic lupus erythematosus, myasthenia gravis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, skin blistering syndromes, and Kawasaki disease. Despite years of use, its mechanism of immunomodulation is still unclear. Recent studies using mouse models of ITP and arthritis, including one reported in this issue of the JCI, now provide some insights into this mechanism and the rationale for the development of Fcγ receptor–targeted therapeutics.
Stromal cell–derived factor–1 (SDF-1) is a chemokine with unique functions, including a role in the trafficking of primitive blood precursor cells. A better understanding at a molecular level of how the binding of SDF-1 to its cell surface receptor, CXCR4, elicits specific biological responses in these cells has now been achieved through the identification of PKC-ζ activation as a common downstream signal. This finding suggests that treatment of a variety of clinical conditions might benefit from the targeting of PKC-ζ.
Connie J. Eaves
Progression of hepatic fibrosis requires sustained inflammation leading to activation of stellate cells into a fibrogenic and proliferative cell type, whereas regression is associated with stellate cell apoptosis. The contribution of hepatic macrophages to these events has been largely overlooked. However, a study in this issue of the JCI demonstrates that macrophages play pivotal but divergent roles, favoring ECM accumulation during ongoing injury but enhancing matrix degradation during recovery. These findings underscore the potential importance of hepatic macrophages in regulating both stellate cell biology and ECM degradation during regression of hepatic fibrosis.
Scott L. Friedman
Pregnane X receptor (PXR) plays an important role in detoxifying xenobiotics and drugs. In this issue of the JCI, Pascussi et al. provide convincing evidence that PXR can also induce vitamin D deficiency and bone disease because of its ability to cross-talk with the vitamin D–responsive gene that catabolizes 25-hydroxy-vitamin D and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D. This cross-talk behavior has important health ramifications and can be mitigated through the identification and treatment of PXR-induced vitamin D deficiency.
Michael F. Holick
Adenosine is a signaling nucleoside that has been implicated in the regulation of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Adenosine signaling can serve both pro- and anti-inflammatory functions in tissues and cells. In this study we examined the contribution of A1 adenosine receptor (A1AR) signaling to the pulmonary inflammation and injury seen in adenosine deaminase–deficient (ADA-deficient) mice, which exhibit elevated adenosine levels. Experiments revealed that transcript levels for the A1AR were elevated in the lungs of ADA-deficient mice, in which expression was localized predominantly to alveolar macrophages. Genetic removal of the A1AR from ADA-deficient mice resulted in enhanced pulmonary inflammation along with increased mucus metaplasia and alveolar destruction. These changes were associated with the exaggerated expression of the Th2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-13 in the lungs, together with increased expression of chemokines and matrix metalloproteinases. These findings demonstrate that the A1AR plays an anti-inflammatory and/or protective role in the pulmonary phenotype seen in ADA-deficient mice, which suggests that A1AR signaling may serve to regulate the severity of pulmonary inflammation and remodeling seen in chronic lung diseases by controlling the levels of important mediators of pulmonary inflammation and damage.
Chun-Xiao Sun, Hays W. Young, Jose G. Molina, Jonathan B. Volmer, Jurgen Schnermann, Michael R. Blackburn
We used bioluminescence imaging to reveal patterns of metastasis formation by human breast cancer cells in immunodeficient mice. Individual cells from a population established in culture from the pleural effusion of a breast cancer patient showed distinct patterns of organ-specific metastasis. Single-cell progenies derived from this population exhibited markedly different abilities to metastasize to the bone, lung, or adrenal medulla, which suggests that metastases to different organs have different requirements. Transcriptomic profiling revealed that these different single-cell progenies similarly express a previously described “poor-prognosis” gene expression signature. Unsupervised classification using the transcriptomic data set supported the hypothesis that organ-specific metastasis by breast cancer cells is controlled by metastasis-specific genes that are separate from a general poor-prognosis gene expression signature. Furthermore, by using a gene expression signature associated with the ability of these cells to metastasize to bone, we were able to distinguish primary breast carcinomas that preferentially metastasized to bone from those that preferentially metastasized elsewhere. These results suggest that the bone-specific metastatic phenotypes and gene expression signature identified in a mouse model may be clinically relevant.
Andy J. Minn, Yibin Kang, Inna Serganova, Gaorav P. Gupta, Dilip D. Giri, Mikhail Doubrovin, Vladimir Ponomarev, William L. Gerald, Ronald Blasberg, Joan Massagué
Macrophages perform both injury-inducing and repair-promoting tasks in different models of inflammation, leading to a model of macrophage function in which distinct patterns of activation have been proposed. We investigated macrophage function mechanistically in a reversible model of liver injury in which the injury and recovery phases are distinct. Carbon tetrachloride--–induced liver fibrosis revealed scar-associated macrophages that persisted throughout recovery. A transgenic mouse (CD11b-DTR) was generated in which macrophages could be selectively depleted. Macrophage depletion when liver fibrosis was advanced resulted in reduced scarring and fewer myofibroblasts. Macrophage depletion during recovery, by contrast, led to a failure of matrix degradation. These data provide the first clear evidence that functionally distinct subpopulations of macrophages exist in the same tissue and that these macrophages play critical roles in both the injury and recovery phases of inflammatory scarring.
Jeremy S. Duffield, Stuart J. Forbes, Christothea M. Constandinou, Spike Clay, Marina Partolina, Srilatha Vuthoori, Shengji Wu, Richard Lang, John P. Iredale
Intestinal macrophages, which are thought to orchestrate mucosal inflammatory responses, have received little investigative attention compared with macrophages from other tissues. Here we show that human intestinal macrophages do not express innate response receptors, including the receptors for LPS (CD14), Fcα (CD89), Fcγ (CD64, CD32, CD16), CR3 (CD11b/CD18), and CR4 (CD11c/CD18); the growth factor receptors IL-2 (CD25) and IL-3 (CD123); and the integrin LFA-1 (CD11a/CD18). Moreover, resident intestinal macrophages also do not produce proinflammatory cytokines, including IL-1, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12, RANTES, TGF-β, and TNF-α, in response to an array of inflammatory stimuli but retain avid phagocytic and bacteriocidal activity. Thus, intestinal macrophages are markedly distinct in phenotype and function from blood monocytes, although intestinal macrophages are derived from blood monocytes. To explain this paradox, we show that intestinal stromal cell–derived products downregulate both monocyte receptor expression and, via TGF-β, cytokine production but not phagocytic or bacteriocidal activity, eliciting the phenotype and functional profile of intestinal macrophages. These findings indicate a mechanism in which blood monocytes recruited to the intestinal mucosa retain avid scavenger and host defense functions but acquire profound “inflammatory anergy,” thereby promoting the absence of inflammation characteristic of normal intestinal mucosa despite the close proximity of immunostimulatory bacteria.
Lesley E. Smythies, Marty Sellers, Ronald H. Clements, Meg Mosteller-Barnum, Gang Meng, William H. Benjamin, Jan M. Orenstein, Phillip D. Smith
The introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has significantly decreased morbidity and mortality among patients infected with HIV-1. However, HIV-1 can acquire resistance against all currently available antiretroviral drugs targeting viral reverse transcriptase, protease, and gp41. Moreover, in a growing number of patients, the development of multidrug-resistant viruses compromises HAART efficacy and limits therapeutic options. Therefore, it is an ongoing task to develop new drugs and to identify new targets for antiretroviral therapy. Here, we identified the guanylhydrazone CNI-1493 as an efficient inhibitor of human deoxyhypusine synthase (DHS). By inhibiting DHS, this compound suppresses hypusine formation and, thereby, activation of eukaryotic initiation factor 5A (eIF-5A), a cellular cofactor of the HIV-1 Rev regulatory protein. We demonstrate that inhibition of DHS by CNI-1493 or RNA interference efficiently suppressed the retroviral replication cycle in cell culture and primary cells. We show that CNI-1493 inhibits replication of macrophage- and T cell–tropic laboratory strains, clinical isolates, and viral strains with high-level resistance to inhibitors of viral protease and reverse transcriptase. Moreover, no measurable drug-induced adverse effects on cell cycle transition, apoptosis, and general cytotoxicity were observed. Therefore, human DHS represents a novel and promising drug target for the development of advanced antiretroviral therapies, particularly for the inhibition of multidrug-resistant viruses.
Ilona Hauber, Dorian Bevec, Jochen Heukeshoven, Friedrich Krätzer, Florian Horn, Axel Choidas, Thomas Harrer, Joachim Hauber
Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in working-age adults. It is caused by oxygen starvation in the retina inducing aberrant formation of blood vessels that destroy retinal architecture. In humans, vitreal stromal cell–derived factor–1 (SDF-1) concentration increases as proliferative diabetic retinopathy progresses. Treatment of patients with triamcinolone decreases SDF-1 levels in the vitreous, with marked disease improvement. SDF-1 induces human retinal endothelial cells to increase expression of VCAM-1, a receptor for very late antigen–4 found on many hematopoietic progenitors, and reduce tight cellular junctions by reducing occludin expression. Both changes would serve to recruit hematopoietic and endothelial progenitor cells along an SDF-1 gradient. We have shown, using a murine model of proliferative adult retinopathy, that the majority of new vessels formed in response to oxygen starvation originate from hematopoietic stem cell–derived endothelial progenitor cells. We now show that the levels of SDF-1 found in patients with proliferative retinopathy induce retinopathy in our murine model. Intravitreal injection of blocking antibodies to SDF-1 prevented retinal neovascularization in our murine model, even in the presence of exogenous VEGF. Together, these data demonstrate that SDF-1 plays a major role in proliferative retinopathy and may be an ideal target for the prevention of proliferative retinopathy.
Jason M. Butler, Steven M. Guthrie, Mehmet Koc, Aqeela Afzal, Sergio Caballero, H. Logan Brooks, Robert N. Mames, Mark S. Segal, Maria B. Grant, Edward W. Scott
Genes crucial for cancer development can be mutated via various mechanisms, which may reflect the nature of the mutagen. In thyroid papillary carcinomas, mutations of genes coding for effectors along the MAPK pathway are central for transformation. BRAF point mutation is most common in sporadic tumors. By contrast, radiation-induced tumors are associated with paracentric inversions activating the receptor tyrosine kinases RET and NTRK1. We report here a rearrangement of BRAF via paracentric inversion of chromosome 7q resulting in an in-frame fusion between exons 1–8 of the AKAP9 gene and exons 9–18 of BRAF. The fusion protein contains the protein kinase domain and lacks the autoinhibitory N-terminal portion of BRAF. It has elevated kinase activity and transforms NIH3T3 cells, which provides evidence, for the first time to our knowledge, of in vivo activation of an intracellular effector along the MAPK pathway by recombination. The AKAP9-BRAF fusion was preferentially found in radiation-induced papillary carcinomas developing after a short latency, whereas BRAF point mutations were absent in this group. These data indicate that in thyroid cancer, radiation activates components of the MAPK pathway primarily through chromosomal paracentric inversions, whereas in sporadic forms of the disease, effectors along the same pathway are activated predominantly by point mutations.
Raffaele Ciampi, Jeffrey A. Knauf, Roswitha Kerler, Manoj Gandhi, Zhaowen Zhu, Marina N. Nikiforova, Hartmut M. Rabes, James A. Fagin, Yuri E. Nikiforov
Parkinson disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by loss of midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons. ES cells are currently the most promising donor cell source for cell-replacement therapy in PD. We previously described a strong neuralizing activity present on the surface of stromal cells, named stromal cell–derived inducing activity (SDIA). In this study, we generated neurospheres composed of neural progenitors from monkey ES cells, which are capable of producing large numbers of DA neurons. We demonstrated that FGF20, preferentially expressed in the substantia nigra, acts synergistically with FGF2 to increase the number of DA neurons in ES cell–derived neurospheres. We also analyzed the effect of transplantation of DA neurons generated from monkey ES cells into 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine–treated (MPTP-treated) monkeys, a primate model for PD. Behavioral studies and functional imaging revealed that the transplanted cells functioned as DA neurons and attenuated MPTP-induced neurological symptoms.
Yasushi Takagi, Jun Takahashi, Hidemoto Saiki, Asuka Morizane, Takuya Hayashi, Yo Kishi, Hitoshi Fukuda, Yo Okamoto, Masaomi Koyanagi, Makoto Ideguchi, Hideki Hayashi, Takayuki Imazato, Hiroshi Kawasaki, Hirofumi Suemori, Shigeki Omachi, Hidehiko Iida, Nobuyuki Itoh, Norio Nakatsuji, Yoshiki Sasai, Nobuo Hashimoto
The ability of leukemia cells to accumulate methotrexate polyglutamate (MTXPG) is an important determinant of the antileukemic effects of methotrexate (MTX). We measured in vivo MTXPG accumulation in leukemia cells from 101 children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and established that B-lineage ALL with either TEL-AML1 or E2A-PBX1 gene fusion, or T-lineage ALL, accumulates significantly lower MTXPG compared with B-lineage ALL without these genetic abnormalities or compared with hyperdiploid (fewer than 50 chromosomes) ALL. To elucidate mechanisms underlying these differences in MTXPG accumulation, we used oligonucleotide microarrays to analyze expression of 32 folate pathway genes in diagnostic leukemia cells from 197 children. This revealed ALL subtype–specific patterns of folate pathway gene expression that were significantly related to MTXPG accumulation. We found significantly lower expression of the reduced folate carrier (SLC19A1, an MTX uptake transporter) in E2A-PBX1 ALL, significantly higher expression of breast cancer resistance protein (ABCG2, an MTX efflux transporter) in TEL-AML1 ALL, and lower expression of FPGS (which catalyzes formation of MTXPG) in T-lineage ALL, consistent with lower MTXPG accumulation in these ALL subtypes. These findings reveal distinct mechanisms of subtype-specific differences in MTXPG accumulation and point to new strategies to overcome these potential causes of treatment failure in childhood ALL.
Leo Kager, Meyling Cheok, Wenjian Yang, Gianluigi Zaza, Qing Cheng, John C. Panetta, Ching-Hon Pui, James R. Downing, Mary V. Relling, William E. Evans
The angiogenic mechanism and therapeutic potential of PDGF-CC, a recently discovered member of the VEGF/PDGF superfamily, remain incompletely characterized. Here we report that PDGF-CC mobilized endothelial progenitor cells in ischemic conditions; induced differentiation of bone marrow cells into ECs; and stimulated migration of ECs. Furthermore, PDGF-CC induced the differentiation of bone marrow cells into smooth muscle cells and stimulated their growth during vessel sprouting. Moreover, delivery of PDGF-CC enhanced postischemic revascularization of the heart and limb. Modulating the activity of PDGF-CC may provide novel opportunities for treating ischemic diseases.
Xuri Li, Marc Tjwa, Lieve Moons, Pierre Fons, Agnes Noel, Annelii Ny, Jian Min Zhou, Johan Lennartsson, Hong Li, Aernout Luttun, Annica Pontén, Laetitia Devy, Ann Bouché, Hideyasu Oh, Ann Manderveld, Silvia Blacher, David Communi, Pierre Savi, Françoise Bono, Mieke Dewerchin, Jean-Michel Foidart, Monica Autiero, Jean-Marc Herbert, Désiré Collen, Carl-Henrik Heldin, Ulf Eriksson, Peter Carmeliet
The persistence of HIV-1 in virally suppressed infected individuals on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) remains a major therapeutic problem. The use of cytokines has been envisioned as an additional therapeutic strategy to stimulate latent proviruses in these individuals. Immune activation therapy using IL-2 has shown some promise. In the present study, we found that IL-7 was significantly more effective at enhancing HIV-1 proviral reactivation than either IL-2 alone or IL-2 combined with phytohemagglutinin (PHA) in CD8-depleted PBMCs. IL-7 also showed a positive trend for inducing proviral reactivation from resting CD4+ T lymphocytes from HIV-1–infected patients on suppressive HAART. Moreover, the phylogenetic analyses of viral envelope gp120 genes from induced viruses indicated that distinct proviral quasispecies had been activated by IL-7, as compared with those activated by the PHA/IL-2 treatment. These studies thus demonstrate that different activators of proviral latency may perturb and potentially deplete only selected, specific portions of the proviral archive in virally suppressed individuals. The known immunomodulatory effects of IL-7 could be combined with its ability to stimulate HIV-1 replication from resting CD4+ T lymphocytes, in addition to other moieties, to potentially deplete HIV-1 reservoirs and lead to the rational design of immune-antiretroviral approaches.
Feng-Xiang Wang, Yan Xu, Julie Sullivan, Emily Souder, Elias G. Argyris, Edward A. Acheampong, Jaime Fisher, Maria Sierra, Michael M. Thomson, Rafael Najera, Ian Frank, Joseph Kulkosky, Roger J. Pomerantz, Giuseppe Nunnari
Altered regulation of insulin secretion by glucose is characteristic of individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus, although the mechanisms that underlie this change remain unclear. We have now generated mice that lack the λ isoform of PKC in pancreatic β cells (βPKCλ–/– mice) and show that these animals manifest impaired glucose tolerance and hypoinsulinemia. Furthermore, insulin secretion in response to high concentrations of glucose was impaired, whereas the basal rate of insulin release was increased, in islets isolated from βPKCλ–/– mice. Neither the β cell mass nor the islet insulin content of βPKCλ–/– mice differed from that of control mice, however. The abundance of mRNAs for Glut2 and HNF3β was reduced in islets of βPKCλ–/– mice, and the expression of genes regulated by HNF3β was also affected (that of Sur1 and Kir6.2 genes was reduced, whereas that of hexokinase 1 and hexokinase 2 genes was increased). Normalization of HNF3β expression by infection of islets from βPKCλ–/– mice with an adenoviral vector significantly reversed the defect in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. These results indicate that PKCλ plays a prominent role in regulation of glucose-induced insulin secretion by modulating the expression of genes important for β cell function.
Naoko Hashimoto, Yoshiaki Kido, Tohru Uchida, Tomokazu Matsuda, Kazuhisa Suzuki, Hiroshi Inoue, Michihiro Matsumoto, Wataru Ogawa, Sakan Maeda, Hiroaki Fujihara, Yoichi Ueta, Yasuo Uchiyama, Kazunori Akimoto, Shigeo Ohno, Tetsuo Noda, Masato Kasuga
Concerted activation of different voltage-gated Ca2+ channel isoforms may determine the kinetics of insulin release from pancreatic islets. Here we have elucidated the role of R-type CaV2.3 channels in that process. A 20% reduction in glucose-evoked insulin secretion was observed in CaV2.3-knockout (CaV2.3–/–) islets, close to the 17% inhibition by the R-type blocker SNX482 but much less than the 77% inhibition produced by the L-type Ca2+ channel antagonist isradipine. Dynamic insulin-release measurements revealed that genetic or pharmacological CaV2.3 ablation strongly suppressed second-phase secretion, whereas first-phase secretion was unaffected, a result also observed in vivo. Suppression of the second phase coincided with an 18% reduction in oscillatory Ca2+ signaling and a 25% reduction in granule recruitment after completion of the initial exocytotic burst in single CaV2.3–/– β cells. CaV2.3 ablation also impaired glucose-mediated suppression of glucagon secretion in isolated islets (27% versus 58% in WT), an effect associated with coexpression of insulin and glucagon in a fraction of the islet cells in the CaV2.3–/– mouse. We propose a specific role for CaV2.3 Ca2+ channels in second-phase insulin release, that of mediating the Ca2+ entry needed for replenishment of the releasable pool of granules as well as islet cell differentiation.
Xingjun Jing, Dai-Qing Li, Charlotta S. Olofsson, Albert Salehi, Vikas V. Surve, José Caballero, Rosita Ivarsson, Ingmar Lundquist, Alexey Pereverzev, Toni Schneider, Patrik Rorsman, Erik Renström
Intravenous Ig (IVIg) mediates protection from the effects of immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) as well as numerous other autoimmune states; however, the active antibodies within IVIg are unknown. There is some evidence that antibodies specific for a cell-associated antigen on erythrocytes are responsible, at least in part, for the therapeutic effect of IVIg in ITP. Yet whether an IVIg directed to a soluble antigen can likewise be beneficial in ITP or other autoimmune diseases is also unknown. A murine model of ITP was used to determine the effectiveness of IgG specific to soluble antigens in treating immune thrombocytopenic purpura. Mice experimentally treated with soluble OVA + anti-OVA versus mice treated with OVA conjugated to rbcs (OVA-rbcs) + anti-OVA were compared. In both situations, mice were protected from ITP. Both these experimental therapeutic regimes acted in a complement-independent fashion and both also blocked reticuloendothelial function. In contrast to OVA-rbcs + anti-OVA, soluble OVA + anti-OVA (as well as IVIg) did not have any effect on thrombocytopenia in mice lacking the inhibitory receptor FcγRIIB (FcγRIIB–/– mice). Similarly, antibodies reactive with the endogenous soluble antigens albumin and transferrin also ameliorated ITP in an FcγRIIB-dependent manner. Finally, broadening the significance of these experiments was the finding that anti-albumin was protective in a K/BxN serum–induced arthritis model. We conclude that IgG antibodies directed to soluble antigens ameliorated 2 disparate IVIg-treatable autoimmune diseases.
Vinayakumar Siragam, Davor Brinc, Andrew R. Crow, Seng Song, John Freedman, Alan H. Lazarus
Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) is thought to be the only enzyme responsible for the catabolism of triglycerides (TGs) associated with TG-rich lipoproteins in adipose tissue (AT). However, LPL deficiency in humans and induced mutant mice is not associated with decreased fat mass. We investigated whether endothelial lipase (EL), a recently discovered phospholipase, might represent an alternative mechanism for the uptake of phospholipid-derived fatty acids in murine lipoprotein-deficient AT. When LPL was expressed in AT and isolated murine adipocytes, EL mRNA was not detectable. In contrast, mouse AT and isolated adipocytes that lacked LPL expressed large amounts of EL mRNA. The cellular phospholipase activity in LPL-deficient fat pads was increased 4-fold compared with control fat pads and could be inhibited to control levels by a specific EL antibody. Fatty acids produced by EL activity were absorbed by adipocytes and incorporated into the TG moiety of AT. Our results suggest that EL activity in AT and other peripheral tissues might contribute to the tissue uptake of free fatty acids, which could have important implications for the metabolism of plasma lipoproteins.
Dagmar Kratky, Robert Zimmermann, Elke M. Wagner, Juliane G. Strauss, Weijun Jin, Gerhard M. Kostner, Guenter Haemmerle, Daniel J. Rader, Rudolf Zechner
The chemokine stromal cell–derived factor–1 (SDF-1) and its receptor, CXCR4, play a major role in migration, retention, and development of hematopoietic progenitors in the bone marrow. We report the direct involvement of atypical PKC-ζ in SDF-1 signaling in immature human CD34+-enriched cells and in leukemic pre-B acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) G2 cells. Chemotaxis, cell polarization, and adhesion of CD34+ cells to bone marrow stromal cells were found to be PKC-ζ dependent. Overexpression of PKC-ζ in G2 and U937 cells led to increased directional motility to SDF-1. Interestingly, impaired SDF-1–induced migration of the pre-B ALL cell line B1 correlated with reduced PKC-ζ expression. SDF-1 triggered PKC-ζ phosphorylation, translocation to the plasma membrane, and kinase activity. Furthermore we identified PI3K as an activator of PKC-ζ, and Pyk-2 and ERK1/2 as downstream targets of PKC-ζ. SDF-1–induced proliferation and MMP-9 secretion also required PKC-ζ activation. Finally, we showed that in vivo engraftment, but not homing, of human CD34+-enriched cells to the bone marrow of NOD/SCID mice was PKC-ζ dependent and that injection of mice with inhibitory PKC-ζ pseudosubstrate peptides resulted in mobilization of murine progenitors. Our results demonstrate a central role for PKC-ζ in SDF-1–dependent regulation of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell motility and development.
Isabelle Petit, Polina Goichberg, Asaf Spiegel, Amnon Peled, Chaya Brodie, Rony Seger, Arnon Nagler, Ronen Alon, Tsvee Lapidot
Vitamin D controls calcium homeostasis and the development and maintenance of bones through vitamin D receptor activation. Prolonged therapy with rifampicin or phenobarbital has been shown to cause vitamin D deficiency or osteomalacia, particularly in patients with marginal vitamin D stores. However, the molecular mechanism of this process is unknown. Here we show that these drugs lead to the upregulation of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3-24-hydroxylase (CYP24) gene expression through the activation of the nuclear receptor pregnane X receptor (PXR; NR1I2). CYP24 is a mitochondrial enzyme responsible for inactivating vitamin D metabolites. CYP24 mRNA is upregulated in vivo in mice by pregnenolone 16α-carbonitrile and dexamethasone, 2 murine PXR agonists, and in vitro in human hepatocytes by rifampicin and hyperforin, 2 human PXR agonists. Moreover, rifampicin increased 24-hydroxylase activity in these cells, while, in vivo in mice, pregnenolone 16α-carbonitrile increased the plasma concentration of 24,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. Transfection of PXR in human embryonic kidney cells resulted in rifampicin-mediated induction of CYP24 mRNA. Analysis of the human CYP24 promoter showed that PXR transactivates the sequence between –326 and –142. We demonstrated that PXR binds to and transactivates the 2 proximal vitamin D–responsive elements of the human CYP24 promoter. These data suggest that xenobiotics and drugs can modulate CYP24 gene expression and alter vitamin D3 hormonal activity and calcium homeostasis through the activation of PXR.
Jean Marc Pascussi, Agnes Robert, Minh Nguyen, Odile Walrant-Debray, Michèle Garabedian, Pascal Martin, Thierry Pineau, Jean Saric, Fréderic Navarro, Patrick Maurel, Marie Josè Vilarem
Oligoclonal IgM bands restricted to cerebrospinal fluid are an unfavorable prognostic marker in MS, the most common demyelinating disease of the CNS. We have attempted to identify the B cell subpopulation responsible for oligoclonal IgM secretion and the specificity of these bands. In addition, we explored the relationship between specificity and disease evolution. Intrathecal B cell subpopulations present in 29 MS patients with oligoclonal IgM bands and 52 without them were analyzed. A considerable increase in CD5+ B lymphocytes was found in patients with oligoclonal IgM bands. These cells mostly secrete IgM antibodies recognizing nonproteic molecules. We also studied whether oligoclonal IgM bands present in cerebrospinal fluid of 53 MS patients were directed against myelin lipids. This was the case in most patients, with phosphatidylcholine being the most frequently recognized lipid. Disease course of 15 patients with oligoclonal IgM against myelin lipids and 33 patients lacking them was followed. Patients with anti-lipid IgM suffered a second relapse earlier, had more relapses, and showed increased disability compared with those without anti-lipid IgM. The presence of intrathecal anti–myelin lipid IgM antibodies is therefore a very accurate predictor of aggressive evolution in MS.
Luisa M. Villar, María C. Sádaba, Ernesto Roldán, Jaime Masjuan, Pedro González-Porqué, Noelia Villarrubia, Mercedes Espiño, José A. García-Trujillo, Alfredo Bootello, José C. Álvarez-Cermeño
Hyung W. Lim, Peter Hillsamer, Chang H. Kim