In striking contrast to HIV infection, natural SIV infection of African nonhuman primates is asymptomatic and usually does not induce significant CD4+ T cell depletion despite high levels of virus replication. Recently, significant progress has been made in understanding the mechanisms underlying the remarkable difference in infection outcome between natural and nonnatural HIV/SIV hosts. These advances include the identification of limited immune activation as a key factor protecting natural SIV hosts from AIDS and the discovery of low CC chemokine receptor 5 expression on CD4+ T cells as a specific and consistent immunologic feature in these animals. Further elucidation of the pathways by which the differences in immune activation between natural and nonnatural hosts are manifest holds promise for the design of novel therapeutic approaches to HIV infection.
Guido Silvestri, Mirko Paiardini, Ivona Pandrea, Michael M. Lederman, Donald L. Sodora
Breast cancer is not a single disease, but rather is composed of distinct subtypes associated with different clinical outcomes. Understanding this heterogeneity is key for the development of targeted cancer-preventative and -therapeutic interventions. Current models explaining inter- and intratumoral diversity are the cancer stem cell and the clonal evolution hypotheses. Although tumor initiation and progression are predominantly driven by acquired genetic alterations, recent data implicate a role for microenvironmental and epigenetic changes as well. Comprehensive unbiased studies of tumors and patient populations have significantly advanced our molecular understanding of breast cancer, but translating these findings into clinical practice remains a challenge.
In this issue of the JCI, two separate studies on MHC-bound peptides reopen the debate on the utility of peptides for the purposes of vaccination and treatment of autoimmune diseases. In the first study, by Wahlström et al., peptides bound to HLA-DR17 from bronchoalveolar lavage cells of sarcoidosis patients were analyzed in order to identify target antigens of the autoimmune response (see the related article beginning on page 3576). In the second study, by Le Gall et al., the modulation of epitope immunodominance and the processing and presentation of HIV peptides for MHC class I recognition were shown to be dependent on flanking residues that were N terminal to the natural epitopes (see the related article beginning on page 3563). Both studies highlight the tremendous therapeutic potential of MHC-bound peptides. They also emphasize that technical issues are still plaguing this field and hindering our understanding of MHC presentation in vivo.
In this issue of the JCI, Aberg and colleagues report that psychological stress disrupts the skin’s antimicrobial barrier and increases the severity of cutaneous infections (see the related article beginning on page 3339). This effect is mediated by endogenous glucocorticoids produced secondarily to stress-related activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Thus, this study provides what I believe to be the first mechanistic link between psychological stress and increased susceptibility to microbial infection.
Pathways involving the costimulatory molecule OX40 and OX40 ligand (OX40L) enhance tumor rejection. It was presumed that this effect was mediated by changes in DCs and/or T cells. In this issue of the JCI, Zaini et al. report that, in mice, intratumoral injection of DCs genetically modified to express OX40L suppressed the growth of a preexisting melanoma by directly triggering an antitumor NKT cell response (see the related article beginning on page 3330). This work suggests that the intratumoral NKT cell population may be harnessed for cancer immunotherapy and that OX40 costimulation may be used as a unique trigger of the antitumor activity of these cells.
First-pass metabolism is a common cause of incomplete and variable absolute bioavailability for an orally dosed drug. The drug-metabolizing enzyme CYP3A4 is often implicated in this process, resulting, in some cases, in systemic exposures of less than 15% of the administered dose. By creating an elegant CYP3A4-transgenic mouse model, van Herwaarden et al. show in this issue of the JCI that first-pass metabolism of the anticancer agent docetaxel by the gut wall, and not the liver, is likely to be the major cause of its low oral bioavailability in humans (see the related article beginning on page 3583). This study helps explain interpatient differences in efficacy and safety following oral therapy with approved CYP3A4 substrates and provides a powerful new tool for preclinical predictions of first-pass metabolism for new drugs in development.
Kenneth E. Thummel
Cardiac hypertrophy and angiogenesis are coordinately regulated during physiological or adaptive cardiac growth, and disruption of the balanced growth and angiogenesis leads to contractile dysfunction and heart failure. Coordination of growth and angiogenesis is in part mediated by the secretion of angiogenic growth factors from myocytes in response to hypertrophic stimuli, which enables the vasculature to “catch up” to the growth of the myocardium. In this issue of the JCI, two studies provide novel insights into the regulatory mechanisms of cardiac growth and coronary angiogenesis. Heineke et al. demonstrate that GATA4 acts as a stress-responsive transcription factor in murine cardiac myocytes that induces the expression of angiogenic growth factors (see the related article beginning on page 3198). Tirziu et al. show that enhanced coronary angiogenesis per se leads to hypertrophic growth of myocytes through a nitric oxide–dependent mechanism (see the related article beginning on page 3188). These studies, together with previous reports, suggest the existence of reciprocal signals between the myocardium and the vasculature that promote the growth of each other in a paracrine fashion.
Kenneth Walsh , Ichiro Shiojima
Protein kinases catalyze the phosphorylation of serine/threonine or tyrosine residues, which may directly alter a protein’s functional properties. Kinases can also regulate protein functions indirectly, for example, by controlling the composition and/or subcellular localization of members of multiprotein complexes that associate with the regulated protein. In this issue of the JCI, two separate studies by Weinman et al. and Yang et al. examine the second of these two modes of kinase-mediated regulation and demonstrate the effects of kinases on two Na+-driven renal cotransporters (see the related articles beginning on pages 3403 and 3412). Their results reveal important implications for phosphate and salt homeostasis, respectively.
Nati Hernando, Carsten Wagner, Jürg Biber, Heini Murer
Macular degeneration, during which the posterior part of the eye known as the macula suffers from thinning, atrophy, and bleeding caused by abnormal angiogenesis (blood vessel formation), predominantly affects elderly adults and results in the loss of central vision. In this issue of the JCI, Kelly et al. investigate the regulation of innate immune cells, specifically macrophages, in ocular neovascularization following eye injury in mice (see the related article beginning on page 3421). They found that, as the mice aged, increased expression of IL-10 by senescent macrophages and changes in their expression of other cytokines altered the ability of these cells to restrain trauma-induced angiogenesis in the eye. These data provide insight into the effect of senescence on macrophage function and angiogenesis and have important implications for age-related diseases such as macular degeneration.
Martine J. Jager, Caroline C.W. Klaver
Repeated use of opiate analgesic drugs such as morphine for the relief of chronic pain may result in the development of opiate tolerance and dependence, leading to a narrowing of the drug’s therapeutic index and increased side effects. Previous preclinical work has shown that interruption of a signaling cascade involving the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor and NO prevents morphine tolerance. In this issue of the JCI, Muscoli and colleagues extend our understanding of the role of NO in tolerance by demonstrating that, in mice, tolerance to chronic morphine administration is associated with NO conversion to peroxynitrite, which accumulates and nitrates tyrosine moieties within various proteins in the spinal cord (see the related article beginning on page 3530). This and other data suggest that peroxynitrite plays a role in opiate tolerance and that regulation of peroxynitrite may be utilized for the management of opiate-induced tolerance.
Gavril W. Pasternak
Although studies have suggested a role for angiogenesis in determining heart size during conditions demanding enhanced cardiac performance, the role of EC mass in determining the normal organ size is poorly understood. To explore the relationship between cardiac vasculature and normal heart size, we generated a transgenic mouse with a regulatable expression of the secreted angiogenic growth factor PR39 in cardiomyocytes. A significant change in adult mouse EC mass was apparent by 3 weeks following PR39 induction. Heart weight; cardiomyocyte size; vascular density normalization; upregulation of hypertrophy markers including atrial natriuretic factor, β-MHC, and GATA4; and activation of the Akt and MAP kinase pathways were observed at 6 weeks post-induction. Treatment of PR39-induced mice with the eNOS inhibitor l-NAME in the last 3 weeks of a 6-week stimulation period resulted in a significant suppression of heart growth and a reduction in hypertrophic marker expression. Injection of PR39 or another angiogenic growth factor, VEGF-B, into murine hearts during myocardial infarction led to induction of myocardial hypertrophy and restoration of myocardial function. Thus stimulation of vascular growth in normal adult mouse hearts leads to an increase in cardiac mass.
Daniela Tirziu, Emmanuel Chorianopoulos, Karen L. Moodie, Robert T. Palac, Zhen W. Zhuang, Marc Tjwa, Carmen Roncal, Ulf Eriksson, Qiangwei Fu, Arye Elfenbein, Amy E. Hall, Peter Carmeliet, Lieve Moons, Michael Simons
The transcription factor GATA4 is a critical regulator of cardiac gene expression, modulating cardiomyocyte differentiation and adaptive responses of the adult heart. We report what we believe to be a novel function for GATA4 in murine cardiomyocytes as a nodal regulator of cardiac angiogenesis. Conditional overexpression of GATA4 within adult cardiomyocytes increased myocardial capillary and small conducting vessel densities and increased coronary flow reserve and perfusion-dependent cardiac contractility. Coculture of HUVECs with either GATA4-expressing cardiomyocytes or with myocytes expressing a dominant-negative form of GATA4 enhanced or reduced HUVEC tube formation, respectively. Expression of GATA4 in skeletal muscle by adenoviral gene transfer enhanced capillary densities and hindlimb perfusion following femoral artery ablation. Deletion of Gata4 specifically from cardiomyocytes reduced myocardial capillary density and prevented pressure overload–augmented angiogenesis in vivo. GATA4 induced the angiogenic factor VEGF-A, directly binding the Vegf-A promoter and enhancing transcription. GATA4-overexpressing mice showed increased levels of cardiac VEGF-A, while Gata4-deleted mice demonstrated decreased VEGF-A levels. The induction of HUVEC tube formation in GATA4-overexpressing cocultured myocytes was blocked with a VEGF receptor antagonist. Pressure overload–induced dysfunction in Gata4-deleted hearts was partially rescued by adenoviral gene delivery of VEGF and angiopoietin-1. To our knowledge, these results demonstrate what is to our knowledge a previously unrecognized function for GATA4 as a regulator of cardiac angiogenesis through a nonhypoxic, load, and/or disease-responsive mechanism.
Joerg Heineke, Mannix Auger-Messier, Jian Xu, Toru Oka, Michelle A. Sargent, Allen York, Raisa Klevitsky, Sachin Vaikunth, Stephen A. Duncan, Bruce J. Aronow, Jeffrey Robbins, Timothy M. Crombleholm, Jeffery D. Molkentin
Cardiac hypertrophy is a major cause of human morbidity and mortality. Although much is known about the pathways that promote hypertrophic responses, mechanisms that antagonize these pathways have not been as clearly defined. Atrogin-1, also known as muscle atrophy F-box, is an F-box protein that inhibits pathologic cardiac hypertrophy by participating in a ubiquitin ligase complex that triggers degradation of calcineurin, a factor involved in promotion of pathologic hypertrophy. Here we demonstrated that atrogin-1 also disrupted Akt-dependent pathways responsible for physiologic cardiac hypertrophy. Our results indicate that atrogin-1 does not affect the activity of Akt itself, but serves as a coactivator for members of the Forkhead family of transcription factors that function downstream of Akt. This coactivator function of atrogin-1 was dependent on its ubiquitin ligase activity and the deposition of polyubiquitin chains on lysine 63 of Foxo1 and Foxo3a. Transgenic mice expressing atrogin-1 in the heart displayed increased Foxo1 ubiquitylation and upregulation of known Forkhead target genes concomitant with suppression of cardiac hypertrophy, while mice lacking atrogin-1 displayed the opposite physiologic phenotype. These experiments define a role for lysine 63–linked ubiquitin chains in transcriptional coactivation and demonstrate that atrogin-1 uses this mechanism to disrupt physiologic cardiac hypertrophic signaling through its effects on Forkhead transcription factors.
Hui-Hua Li, Monte S. Willis, Pamela Lockyer, Nathaniel Miller, Holly McDonough, David J. Glass, Cam Patterson
Fibrin deposition within joints is a prominent feature of arthritis, but the precise contribution of fibrin(ogen) to inflammatory events that cause debilitating joint damage remains unknown. To determine the importance of fibrin(ogen) in arthritis, gene-targeted mice either deficient in fibrinogen (Fib–) or expressing mutant forms of fibrinogen, lacking the leukocyte receptor integrin αMβ2 binding motif (Fibγ390–396A) or the αIIbβ3 platelet integrin-binding motif (FibγΔ5), were challenged with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). Fib– mice exhibited fewer affected joints and reduced disease severity relative to controls. Similarly, diminished arthritis was observed in Fibγ390–396A mice, which retain full clotting function. In contrast, arthritis in FibγΔ5 mice was indistinguishable from that of controls. Fibrin(ogen) was not essential for leukocyte trafficking to joints, but appeared to be involved in leukocyte activation events. Fib– and Fibγ390–396A mice with CIA displayed reduced local expression of TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6, which suggests that αMβ2-mediated leukocyte engagement of fibrin is mechanistically upstream of the production of proinflammatory mediators. Supporting this hypothesis, arthritic disease driven by exuberant TNF-α expression was not impeded by fibrinogen deficiency. Thus, fibrin(ogen) is an important, but context-dependent, determinant of arthritis, and one mechanism linking fibrin(ogen) to joint disease is coupled to αMβ2-mediated inflammatory processes.
Matthew J. Flick, Christine M. LaJeunesse, Kathryn E. Talmage, David P. Witte, Joseph S. Palumbo, Malinda D. Pinkerton, Sherry Thornton, Jay L. Degen
Functional telomeres are required for the replicability of cancer cells. The G-rich strand of telomeric DNA can fold into a 4-stranded structure known as the G-quadruplex (G4), whose stabilization alters telomere function limiting cancer cell growth. Therefore, the G4 ligand RHPS4 may possess antitumor activity. Here, we show that RHPS4 triggers a rapid and potent DNA damage response at telomeres in human transformed fibroblasts and melanoma cells, characterized by the formation of several telomeric foci containing phosphorylated DNA damage response factors γ-H2AX, RAD17, and 53BP1. This was dependent on DNA repair enzyme ATR, correlated with delocalization of the protective telomeric DNA–binding protein POT1, and was antagonized by overexpression of POT1 or TRF2. In mice, RHPS4 exerted its antitumor effect on xenografts of human tumor cells of different histotype by telomere injury and tumor cell apoptosis. Tumor inhibition was accompanied by a strong DNA damage response, and tumors overexpressing POT1 or TRF2 were resistant to RHPS4 treatment. These data provide evidence that RHPS4 is a telomere damage inducer and that telomere disruption selectively triggered in malignant cells results in a high therapeutic index in mice. They also define a functional link between telomere damage and antitumor activity and reveal the key role of telomere-protective factors TRF2 and POT1 in response to this anti-telomere strategy.
Erica Salvati, Carlo Leonetti, Angela Rizzo, Marco Scarsella, Marcella Mottolese, Rossella Galati, Isabella Sperduti, Malcolm F.G. Stevens, Maurizio D’Incalci, Maria Blasco, Giovanna Chiorino, Serge Bauwens, Béatrice Horard, Eric Gilson, Antonella Stoppacciaro, Gabriella Zupi, Annamaria Biroccio
Malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH), now termed high-grade undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma, is a commonly diagnosed mesenchymal tumor, yet both the underlying molecular mechanisms of tumorigenesis and cell of origin remain unidentified. We present evidence demonstrating that human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are the progenitors of MFH. DKK1, a Wnt inhibitor and mediator of hMSC proliferation, is overexpressed in MFH. Using recombinant proteins, antibody depletion, and siRNA knockdown strategies of specific Wnt elements, we show that DKK1 inhibits hMSC commitment to differentiation via Wnt2/β-catenin canonical signaling and that Wnt5a/JNK noncanonical signaling regulates a viability checkpoint independent of Dkk1. Finally, we illustrate that hMSCs can be transformed via inhibition of Wnt signaling to form MFH-like tumors in nude mice, and conversely, MFH cells in which Wnt signaling is appropriately reestablished can differentiate along mature connective tissue lineages. Our results provide mechanistic insights regarding the cell of origin of MFH, establish what we believe is a novel tumor suppressor role for Wnt signaling, and identify a potential therapeutic differentiation strategy for sarcomas.
Igor Matushansky, Eva Hernando, Nicholas D. Socci, Joslyn E. Mills, Tulio A. Matos, Mark A. Edgar, Samuel Singer, Robert G. Maki, Carlos Cordon-Cardo
Glutaric acidemia type I (GA-I) is an inherited disorder of lysine and tryptophan metabolism presenting with striatal lesions anatomically and symptomatically similar to Huntington disease. Affected children commonly suffer acute brain injury in the context of a catabolic state associated with nonspecific illness. The mechanisms underlying injury and age-dependent susceptibility have been unknown, and lack of a diagnostic marker heralding brain injury has impeded intervention efforts. Using a mouse model of GA-I, we show that pathologic events began in the neuronal compartment while enhanced lysine accumulation in the immature brain allowed increased glutaric acid production resulting in age-dependent injury. Glutamate and GABA depletion correlated with brain glutaric acid accumulation and could be monitored in vivo by proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) spectroscopy as a diagnostic marker. Blocking brain lysine uptake reduced glutaric acid levels and brain injury. These findings provide what we believe are new monitoring and treatment strategies that may translate for use in human GA-I.
William J. Zinnanti, Jelena Lazovic, Cathy Housman, Kathryn LaNoue, James P. O’Callaghan, Ian Simpson, Michael Woontner, Stephen I. Goodman, James R. Connor, Russell E. Jacobs, Keith C. Cheng
Diet-induced obesity and its serious consequences such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer are rapidly becoming a major global health threat. Therefore, understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which dietary fat causes obesity and diabetes is of paramount importance in order to identify preventive and therapeutic strategies. Increased dietary fat intake results in high plasma levels of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TGRL). Tissue uptake of TGRL has been shown to promote glucose intolerance. We generated mice with an adipocyte-specific inactivation of the multifunctional receptor LDL receptor–related protein–1 (LRP1) to determine its role in mediating the effects of TGRL on diet-induced obesity and diabetes. Knockout mice displayed delayed postprandial lipid clearance, reduced body weight, smaller fat stores, lipid-depleted brown adipocytes, improved glucose tolerance, and elevated energy expenditure due to enhanced muscle thermogenesis. We further demonstrated that inactivation of adipocyte LRP1 resulted in resistance to dietary fat–induced obesity and glucose intolerance. These findings identify LRP1 as a critical regulator of adipocyte energy homeostasis, where functional disruption leads to reduced lipid transport, increased insulin sensitivity, and muscular energy expenditure.
Susanna M. Hofmann, Li Zhou, Diego Perez-Tilve, Todd Greer, Erin Grant, Lauren Wancata, Andrew Thomas, Paul T. Pfluger, Joshua E. Basford, Dean Gilham, Joachim Herz, Matthias H. Tschöp, David Y. Hui
The molecular pathogenesis of the myeloid leukemias that frequently occur in patients with Fanconi anemia (FA) is not well defined. Hematopoietic stem cells bearing inactivating mutations of FA complementation group C (FANCC) are genetically unstable and hypersensitive to apoptotic cytokine cues including IFN-γ and TNF-α, but neoplastic stem cell clones that arise frequently in vivo are resistant to these cytokines. Reasoning that the combination of genetic instability and cytokine hypersensitivity might create an environment supporting the emergence of leukemic stem cells, we tested the leukemia-promoting effects of TNF-α in murine stem cells. TNF-α exposure initially profoundly inhibited the growth of Fancc–/– stem cells. However, longer-term exposure of these cells promoted the outgrowth of cytogenetically abnormal clones that, upon transplantation into congenic WT mice, led to acute myelogenous leukemia. TNF-α induced ROS-dependent genetic instability in Fancc–/– but not in WT cells. The leukemic clones were TNF-α resistant but retained their characteristic hypersensitivity to mitomycin C and exhibited high levels of chromosomal instability. Expression of FANCC cDNA in Fancc–/– stem cells protected them from TNF-α–induced clonal evolution. We conclude that TNF-α exposure creates an environment in which somatically mutated preleukemic stem cell clones are selected and from which unaltered TNF-α–hypersensitive Fancc–/– stem cells are purged.
June Li, Daniel P. Sejas, Xiaoling Zhang, Yuhui Qiu, Kalpana J. Nattamai, Reena Rani, Keaney R. Rathbun, Hartmut Geiger, David A. Williams, Grover C. Bagby, Qishen Pang
Heme-regulated eIF2α kinase (HRI) plays an essential protective role in anemias of iron deficiency, erythroid protoporphyria, and β-thalassemia. In this study, we report that HRI protein is present in murine macrophages, albeit at a lower level than in erythroid precursors. Hri–/– mice exhibited impaired macrophage maturation and a weaker antiinflammatory response with reduced cytokine production upon LPS challenge. The level of production of hepcidin, an important player in the pathogenesis of the anemia of inflammation, was significantly decreased in Hri–/– mice, accompanied by decreased splenic macrophage iron content and increased serum iron content. Hepcidin expression was also significantly lower, with a concomitant increase in serum iron in Hri–/– mice upon LPS treatment. We also demonstrated an impairment of erythrophagocytosis by Hri–/– macrophages both in vitro and in vivo under chronic hemolytic anemia, providing evidence for the role of HRI in recycling iron from senescent red blood cells. This work demonstrates that HRI deficiency attenuates hepcidin expression and iron homeostasis in mice, indicating a potential role for HRI in the anemia of inflammation.
Sijin Liu, Rajasekhar N.V.S. Suragani, Fudi Wang, Anping Han, Wanting Zhao, Nancy C. Andrews, Jane-Jane Chen
Autoimmune encephalomyelitis, a mouse model for multiple sclerosis, is characterized by the activation of immune cells, demyelination of axons in the CNS, and paralysis. We found that TGF-β1 synthesis in glial cells and TGF-β–induced signaling in the CNS were activated several days before the onset of paralysis in mice with autoimmune encephalomyelitis. While early production of TGF-β1 was observed in glial cells TGF-β signaling was activated in neurons and later in infiltrating T cells in inflammatory lesions. Systemic treatment with a pharmacological inhibitor of TGF-β signaling ameliorated the paralytic disease and reduced the accumulation of pathogenic T cells and expression of IL-6 in the CNS. Priming of peripheral T cells was not altered, nor was the generation of TH17 cells, indicating that this effect was directed within the brain, yet affected the immune system. These results suggest that early production of TGF-β1 in the CNS creates a permissive and dangerous environment for the initiation of autoimmune inflammation, providing a rare example of the brain modulating the immune system. Importantly, inhibition of TGF-β signaling may have benefits in the treatment of the acute phase of autoimmune CNS inflammation.
Jian Luo, Peggy P. Ho, Marion S. Buckwalter, Tiffany Hsu, Lowen Y. Lee, Hui Zhang, Dae-Kee Kim, Seong-Jin Kim, Sanjiv S. Gambhir, Lawrence Steinman, Tony Wyss-Coray
DCs activate NK cells during innate immune responses to viral infections. However, the composition and kinetics of the immunological synapse mediating this interaction are largely unknown. Here, we report the rapid formation of an immunological synapse between human resting NK cells and mature DCs. Although inhibitory NK cell receptors were polarized to this synapse, where they are known to protect mature DCs from NK cell lysis, the NK cell also received activation signals that induced mobilization of intracellular calcium and CD69 upregulation. The high-affinity component of the receptor for IL-15, IL-15Rα, accumulated at the synapse center on NK cells, and blocking of IL-15Rα increased NK cell apoptosis and diminished NK cell survival during their interaction with DCs. Furthermore, IL-15Rα–deficient NK cells, obtained from donors with a history of infectious mononucleosis, showed diminished survival in culture with DCs. Synapse formation was required for IL-15Rα–mediated NK cell survival, because synapse disruption by adhesion molecule blocking decreased DC-induced NK cell survival. These results identify what we believe to be a novel regulatory NK cell synapse with hallmarks of spatially separated inhibitory and activating interactions at its center. We suggest that this synapse formation enables optimal NK cell activation by DCs during innate immune responses.
Fabienne Brilot, Till Strowig, Susanne M. Roberts, Frida Arrey, Christian Münz
The exceptional immunostimulatory capacity of DCs makes them potential targets for investigation of cancer immunotherapeutics. We show here in mice that TNF-α–stimulated DC maturation was accompanied by increased expression of OX40 ligand (OX40L), the lack of which resulted in an inability of mature DCs to generate cellular antitumor immunity. Furthermore, intratumoral administration of DCs modified to express OX40L suppressed tumor growth through the generation of tumor-specific cytolytic T cell responses, which were mediated by CD4+ T cells and NKT cells. In the tumors treated with OX40L-expressing DCs, the NKT cell population significantly increased and exhibited a substantial level of IFN-γ production essential for antitumor immunity. Additional studies evaluating NKT cell activation status, in terms of IFN-γ production and CD69 expression, indicated that NKT cell activation by DCs presenting α-galactosylceramide in the context of CD1d was potentiated by OX40 expression on NKT cells. These results show a critical role for OX40L on DCs, via binding to OX40 on NKT cells and CD4+ T cells, in the induction of antitumor immunity in tumor-bearing mice.
Jamal Zaini, Sita Andarini, Minoru Tahara, Yasuo Saijo, Naoto Ishii, Kazuyoshi Kawakami, Masaru Taniguchi, Kazuo Sugamura, Toshihiro Nukiwa, Toshiaki Kikuchi
The skin is the first line of defense against microbial infection, and psychological stress (PS) has been shown to have adverse effects on cutaneous barrier function. Here we show that PS increased the severity of group A Streptococcus pyogenes (GAS) cutaneous skin infection in mice; this was accompanied by increased production of endogenous glucocorticoids (GCs), which inhibited epidermal lipid synthesis and decreased lamellar body (LB) secretion. LBs encapsulate antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), and PS or systemic or topical GC administration downregulated epidermal expression of murine AMPs cathelin-related AMP and β-defensin 3. Pharmacological blockade of the stress hormone corticotrophin-releasing factor or of peripheral GC action, as well as topical administration of physiologic lipids, normalized epidermal AMP levels and delivery to LBs and decreased the severity of GAS infection during PS. Our results show that PS decreases the levels of 2 key AMPs in the epidermis and their delivery into LBs and that this is attributable to increased endogenous GC production. These data suggest that GC blockade and/or topical lipid administration could normalize cutaneous antimicrobial defense during PS or GC increase. We believe this to be the first mechanistic link between PS and increased susceptibility to infection by microbial pathogens.
Karin M. Aberg, Katherine A. Radek, Eung-Ho Choi, Dong-Kun Kim, Marianne Demerjian, Melanie Hupe, Joseph Kerbleski, Richard L. Gallo, Tomas Ganz, Theodora Mauro, Kenneth R. Feingold, Peter M. Elias
Replication-selective oncolytic viruses (virotherapeutics) are being developed as novel cancer therapies with unique mechanisms of action, but limitations in i.v. delivery to tumors and systemic efficacy have highlighted the need for improved agents for this therapeutic class to realize its potential. Here we describe the rational, stepwise design and evaluation of a systemically effective virotherapeutic (JX-963). We first identified a highly potent poxvirus strain that also trafficked efficiently to human tumors after i.v. administration. This strain was then engineered to target cancer cells with activation of the transcription factor E2F and the EGFR pathway by deletion of the thymidine kinase and vaccinia growth factor genes. For induction of tumor-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes, we further engineered the virus to express human GM-CSF. JX-963 was more potent than the previously used virotherapeutic Onyx-015 adenovirus and as potent as wild-type vaccinia in all cancer cell lines tested. Significant cancer selectivity of JX-963 was demonstrated in vitro in human tumor cell lines, in vivo in tumor-bearing rabbits, and in primary human surgical samples ex vivo. Intravenous administration led to systemic efficacy against both primary carcinomas and widespread organ-based metastases in immunocompetent mice and rabbits. JX-963 therefore holds promise as a rationally designed, targeted virotherapeutic for the systemic treatment of cancer in humans and warrants clinical testing.
Steve H. Thorne, Tae-Ho H. Hwang, William E. O’Gorman, David L. Bartlett, Shizuko Sei, Femina Kanji, Christopher Brown, Joel Werier, Jin-Han Cho, Dong-Ewon Lee, Yaohe Wang, John Bell, David H. Kirn
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), an inflammatory disease, involves leukocyte recruitment, immune responses, inflammatory cytokine production, vascular remodeling, neovascularization, and vascular cell apoptosis, all of which contribute to aortic dilatation. This study demonstrates that mast cells, key participants in human allergic immunity, participate in AAA pathogenesis in mice. Mast cells were found to accumulate in murine AAA lesions. Mast cell–deficient
Jiusong Sun, Galina K. Sukhova, Min Yang, Paul J. Wolters, Lindsey A. MacFarlane, Peter Libby, Chongxiu Sun, Yadong Zhang, Jian Liu, Terri L. Ennis, Rebecca Knispel, Wanfen Xiong, Robert W. Thompson, B. Timothy Baxter, Guo-Ping Shi
The Notch family of cell surface receptors and its ligands are highly conserved proteins that regulate cell fate determination, including those involved in mammalian vascular development. We report that Notch induces VEGFR-3 expression in vitro in human endothelial cells and in vivo in mice. In vitro, Notch in complex with the DNA-binding protein CBF-1/suppressor of hairless/Lag1 (CSL) bound the VEGFR-3 promoter and transactivated VEGFR-3 specifically in endothelial cells. Through induction of VEGFR-3, Notch increased endothelial cell responsiveness to VEGF-C, promoting endothelial cell survival and morphological changes. In vivo, VEGFR-3 was upregulated in endothelial cells with active Notch signaling. Mice heterozygous for null alleles of both Notch1 and VEGFR-3 had significantly reduced viability and displayed midgestational vascular patterning defects analogous to Notch1 nullizygous embryos. We found that Notch1 and Notch4 were expressed in normal and tumor lymphatic endothelial cells and that Notch1 was activated in lymphatic endothelium of invasive mammary micropapillary carcinomas. These results demonstrate that Notch1 and VEGFR-3 interact genetically, that Notch directly induces VEGFR-3 in blood endothelial cells to regulate vascular development, and that Notch may function in tumor lymphangiogenesis.
Carrie J. Shawber, Yasuhiro Funahashi, Esther Francisco, Marina Vorontchikhina, Yukari Kitamura, Stephanie A. Stowell, Valeriya Borisenko, Nikki Feirt, Simona Podgrabinska, Kazuko Shiraishi, Kallayanee Chawengsaksophak, Janet Rossant, Domenico Accili, Mihaela Skobe, Jan Kitajewski
Lymphocyte activation gene-3 (LAG-3) is a cell-surface molecule with diverse biologic effects on T cell function. We recently showed that LAG-3 signaling is important in CD4+ regulatory T cell suppression of autoimmune responses. Here, we demonstrate that LAG-3 maintains tolerance to self and tumor antigens via direct effects on CD8+ T cells using 2 murine systems. Naive CD8+ T cells express low levels of LAG-3, and expression increases upon antigen stimulation. Our data show increased levels of LAG-3 protein on antigen-specific CD8+ T cells within antigen-expressing organs or tumors. In vivo antibody blockade of LAG-3 or genetic ablation of the Lag-3 gene resulted in increased accumulation and effector function of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells within organs and tumors that express their cognate antigen. Most notably, combining LAG-3 blockade with specific antitumor vaccination resulted in a significant increase in activated CD8+ T cells in the tumor and disruption of the tumor parenchyma. A major component of this effect was CD4 independent and required LAG-3 expression by CD8+ T cells. Taken together, these data demonstrate a direct role for LAG-3 on CD8+ T cells and suggest that LAG-3 blockade may be a potential cancer treatment.
Joseph F. Grosso, Cristin C. Kelleher, Timothy J. Harris, Charles H. Maris, Edward L. Hipkiss, Angelo De Marzo, Robert Anders, George Netto, Derese Getnet, Tullia C. Bruno, Monica V. Goldberg, Drew M. Pardoll, Charles G. Drake
Recent epidemiological evidence suggests that some antihypertensive medications may reduce the risk for Alzheimer disease (AD). We screened 55 clinically prescribed antihypertensive medications for AD-modifying activity using primary cortico-hippocampal neuron cultures generated from the Tg2576 AD mouse model. These agents represent all drug classes used for hypertension pharmacotherapy. We identified 7 candidate antihypertensive agents that significantly reduced AD-type β-amyloid protein (Aβ) accumulation. Through in vitro studies, we found that only 1 of the candidate drugs, valsartan, was capable of attenuating oligomerization of Aβ peptides into high-molecular-weight (HMW) oligomeric peptides, known to be involved in cognitive deterioration. We found that preventive treatment of Tg2576 mice with valsartan significantly reduced AD-type neuropathology and the content of soluble HMW extracellular oligomeric Aβ peptides in the brain. Most importantly, valsartan administration also attenuated the development of Aβ-mediated cognitive deterioration, even when delivered at a dose about 2-fold lower than that used for hypertension treatment in humans. These preclinical studies suggest that certain antihypertensive drugs may have AD-modifying activity and may protect against progressive Aβ-related memory deficits in subjects with AD or in those at high risk of developing AD.
Jun Wang, Lap Ho, Linghong Chen, Zhong Zhao, Wei Zhao, Xianjuan Qian, Nelson Humala, Ilana Seror, Sadie Bartholomew, Clive Rosendorff, Giulio Maria Pasinetti
The pathogenesis of essential hypertension remains unknown, but thiazide diuretics are frequently recommended as first-line treatment. Recently, familial hyperkalemic hypertension (FHHt) was shown to result from activation of the thiazide-sensitive Na-Cl cotransporter (NCC) by mutations in WNK4, although the mechanism for this effect remains unknown. WNK kinases are unique members of the human kinome, intimately involved in maintaining electrolyte balance across cell membranes and epithelia. Previous work showed that WNK1, WNK4, and a kidney-specific isoform of WNK1 interact to regulate NCC activity, suggesting that WNK kinases form a signaling complex. Here, we report that WNK3, another member of the WNK kinase family expressed by distal tubule cells, interacts with WNK4 and WNK1 to regulate NCC in both human kidney cells and Xenopus oocytes, further supporting the WNK signaling complex hypothesis. We demonstrate that physiological regulation of NCC in oocytes results from antagonism between WNK3 and WNK4 and that FHHt-causing WNK4 mutations exert a dominant-negative effect on wild-type (WT) WNK4 to mimic a state of WNK3 excess. The results provide a mechanistic explanation for the divergent effects of WT and FHHt-mutant WNK4 on NCC activity, and for the dominant nature of FHHt in humans and genetically modified mice.
Chao-Ling Yang, Xiaoman Zhu, David H. Ellison
Parathyroid hormone (PTH), via activation of PKC and/or protein kinase A, inhibits renal proximal tubular phosphate reabsorption by facilitating the internalization of the major sodium-dependent phosphate transporter, Npt2a. Herein, we explore the hypothesis that the effect of PTH is mediated by phosphorylation of serine 77 (S77) of the first PDZ domain of the Npt2a-binding protein sodium-hydrogen exchanger regulatory factor–1 (NHERF-1). Using recombinant polypeptides representing PDZ I, S77 of NHERF-1 is phosphorylated by PKC but not PKA. When expressed in primate kidney epithelial cells (BSC-1 cells), however, activation of either protein kinase phosphorylates S77, suggesting that the phosphorylation of PDZ I by PKC and PKA proceeds by different biochemical pathways. PTH and other activators of PKC and PKA dissociate NHERF-1/Npt2a complexes, as assayed using quantitative coimmunoprecipitation, confocal microscopy, and sucrose density gradient ultracentrifugation in mice. Murine NHERF-1–/– renal proximal tubule cells infected with adenovirus-GFP-NHERF-1 containing an S77A mutation showed significantly increased phosphate transport compared with a phosphomimetic S77D mutation and were resistant to the inhibitory effect of PTH compared with cells infected with wild-type NHERF-1. These results indicate that PTH-mediated inhibition of renal phosphate transport involves phosphorylation of S77 of the NHERF-1 PDZ I domain and the dissociation of NHERF-1/Npt2a complexes.
Edward J. Weinman, Rajat S. Biswas, Quihong Peng, Lily Shen, Christina L. Turner, Xiaofei E, Deborah Steplock, Shirish Shenolikar, Rochelle Cunningham
Abnormal angiogenesis plays a key role in diseases of aging such as heart disease, certain cancers, and eye diseases including age-related macular degeneration. Macrophages have been shown previously to be both anti- and proangiogenic, and their role in regulating angiogenesis at sites of tissue injury is critical and complex. In this study, we analyzed cytokine gene expression patterns of mouse macrophages by real-time quantitative PCR and tested the functional effects of senescence on gene expression and macrophage polarization. Following laser injury to the retina, IL-10 was upregulated and Fas ligand (FasL), IL-12, and TNF-α were downregulated in ocular macrophages of old mice (>18 months of age). Downregulation of FasL on macrophages led to a loss of the antiangiogenic phenotype, as evidenced by the inability of these macrophages to inhibit vascular endothelial cells. Our results demonstrate that senescence, FasL, and IL-10 are key determinants of macrophage function that alter the growth of abnormal postdevelopmental blood vessels in disease processes including blinding eye disease.
Jennifer Kelly, Aslam Ali Khan, Jiyi Yin, Thomas A. Ferguson, Rajendra S. Apte
Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are associated with decreased expression of genes that regulate oxidative phosphorylation in skeletal muscle. To determine whether this defect might be inherited or acquired, we investigated the association of genetic, epigenetic, and nongenetic factors with expression of NDUFB6, a component of the respiratory chain that is decreased in muscle from diabetic patients. Expression of NDUFB6 was influenced by age, with lower gene expression in muscle of elderly subjects. Heritability of NDUFB6 expression in muscle was estimated to be approximately 60% in twins. A polymorphism in the NDUFB6 promoter region that creates a possible DNA methylation site (rs629566, A/G) was associated with a decline in muscle NDUFB6 expression with age. Although young subjects with the rs629566 G/G genotype exhibited higher muscle NDUFB6 expression, this genotype was associated with reduced expression in elderly subjects. This was subsequently explained by the finding of increased DNA methylation in the promoter of elderly, but not young, subjects carrying the rs629566 G/G genotype. Furthermore, the degree of DNA methylation correlated negatively with muscle NDUFB6 expression, which in turn was associated with insulin sensitivity. Our results demonstrate that genetic, epigenetic, and nongenetic factors associate with NDUFB6 expression in human muscle and suggest that genetic and epigenetic factors may interact to increase age-dependent susceptibility to insulin resistance.
Charlotte Ling, Pernille Poulsen, Stina Simonsson, Tina Rönn, Johan Holmkvist, Peter Almgren, Per Hagert, Emma Nilsson, Amanda G. Mabey, Peter Nilsson, Allan Vaag, Leif Groop
Adenocarcinoma is the predominant histological subtype of lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer deaths in the world. At stage I, the tumor is cured by surgery alone in about 60% of cases. Markers are needed to stratify patients by prognostic outcomes and may help in devising more effective therapies for poor prognosis patients. To achieve this goal, we used an integrated strategy combining meta-analysis of published lung cancer microarray data with expression profiling from an experimental model. The resulting 80-gene model was tested on an independent cohort of patients using RT-PCR, resulting in a 10-gene predictive model that exhibited a prognostic accuracy of approximately 75% in stage I lung adenocarcinoma when tested on 2 additional independent cohorts. Thus, we have identified a predictive signature of limited size that can be analyzed by RT-PCR, a technology that is easy to implement in clinical laboratories.
Fabrizio Bianchi, Paolo Nuciforo, Manuela Vecchi, Loris Bernard, Laura Tizzoni, Antonio Marchetti, Fiamma Buttitta, Lara Felicioni, Francesco Nicassio, Pier Paolo Di Fiore
Oxidative burst, a critical antimicrobial mechanism of neutrophils, involves the rapid generation and release of reactive oxygen intermediates (ROIs) by the NADPH oxidase complex. Genetic mutations in an NADPH oxidase subunit, gp91 (also referred to as NOX2), are associated with chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), which is characterized by recurrent and life-threatening microbial infections. To combat such infections, ROIs are produced by neutrophils after stimulation by integrin-dependent adhesion to the ECM in conjunction with stimulation from inflammatory mediators, or microbial components containing pathogen-associated molecular patterns. In this report, we provide genetic evidence that both the Vav family of Rho GTPase guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) and phospholipase C–γ2 (PLC-γ2) are critical mediators of adhesion-dependent ROI production by neutrophils in mice. We also demonstrated that Vav was critically required for neutrophil-dependent host defense against systemic infection by Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, 2 common pathogens associated with fatal cases of hospital-acquired pneumonia. We identified a molecular pathway in which Vav GEFs linked integrin-mediated signaling with PLC-γ2 activation, release of intracellular Ca2+ cations, and generation of diacylglycerol to control assembly of the NADPH oxidase complex and ROI production by neutrophils. Taken together, our data indicate that integrin-dependent signals generated during neutrophil adhesion contribute to the activation of NADPH oxidase by a variety of distinct effector pathways, all of which require Vav.
Daniel B. Graham, Charles M. Robertson, Jhoanne Bautista, Francesca Mascarenhas, M. Julia Diacovo, Vivianne Montgrain, Siu Kit Lam, Viviana Cremasco, W. Michael Dunne, Roberta Faccio, Craig M. Coopersmith, Wojciech Swat
Here we provide evidence for a critical role of the transient receptor potential cation channel, subfamily V, member 4 (TRPV4) in normal bladder function. Immunofluorescence demonstrated TRPV4 expression in mouse and rat urothelium and vascular endothelium, but not in other cell types of the bladder. Intracellular Ca2+ measurements on urothelial cells isolated from mice revealed a TRPV4-dependent response to the selective TRPV4 agonist 4α-phorbol 12,13-didecanoate and to hypotonic cell swelling. Behavioral studies demonstrated that TRPV4–/– mice manifest an incontinent phenotype but show normal exploratory activity and anxiety-related behavior. Cystometric experiments revealed that TRPV4–/– mice exhibit a lower frequency of voiding contractions as well as a higher frequency of nonvoiding contractions. Additionally, the amplitude of the spontaneous contractions in explanted bladder strips from TRPV4–/– mice was significantly reduced. Finally, a decreased intravesical stretch-evoked ATP release was found in isolated whole bladders from TRPV4–/– mice. These data demonstrate a previously unrecognized role for TRPV4 in voiding behavior, raising the possibility that TRPV4 plays a critical role in urothelium-mediated transduction of intravesical mechanical pressure.
Thomas Gevaert, Joris Vriens, Andrei Segal, Wouter Everaerts, Tania Roskams, Karel Talavera, Grzegorz Owsianik, Wolfgang Liedtke, Dirk Daelemans, Ilse Dewachter, Fred Van Leuven, Thomas Voets, Dirk De Ridder, Bernd Nilius
The transcriptional coactivator PPARγ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α) is a strong activator of mitochondrial biogenesis and oxidative metabolism. While expression of PGC-1α and many of its mitochondrial target genes are decreased in the skeletal muscle of patients with type 2 diabetes, no causal relationship between decreased PGC-1α expression and abnormal glucose metabolism has been established. To address this question, we generated skeletal muscle–specific PGC-1α knockout mice (MKOs), which developed significantly impaired glucose tolerance but showed normal peripheral insulin sensitivity. Surprisingly, MKOs had expanded pancreatic β cell mass, but markedly reduced plasma insulin levels, in both fed and fasted conditions. Muscle tissue from MKOs showed increased expression of several proinflammatory genes, and these mice also had elevated levels of the circulating IL-6. We further demonstrated that IL-6 treatment of isolated mouse islets suppressed glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. These data clearly illustrate a causal role for muscle PGC-1α in maintenance of glucose homeostasis and highlight an unexpected cytokine-mediated crosstalk between skeletal muscle and pancreatic islets.
Christoph Handschin, Cheol Soo Choi, Sherry Chin, Sheene Kim, Dan Kawamori, Amarnath J. Kurpad, Nicole Neubauer, Jiang Hu, Vamsi K. Mootha, Young-Bum Kim, Rohit N. Kulkarni, Gerald I. Shulman, Bruce M. Spiegelman
Disruptions of the melanocortin signaling system have been linked to obesity. We investigated a possible role of the central nervous melanocortin system (CNS-Mcr) in the control of adiposity through effects on nutrient partitioning and cellular lipid metabolism independent of nutrient intake. We report that pharmacological inhibition of melanocortin receptors (Mcr) in rats and genetic disruption of Mc4r in mice directly and potently promoted lipid uptake, triglyceride synthesis, and fat accumulation in white adipose tissue (WAT), while increased CNS-Mcr signaling triggered lipid mobilization. These effects were independent of food intake and preceded changes in adiposity. In addition, decreased CNS-Mcr signaling promoted increased insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake in WAT while decreasing glucose utilization in muscle and brown adipose tissue. Such CNS control of peripheral nutrient partitioning depended on sympathetic nervous system function and was enhanced by synergistic effects on liver triglyceride synthesis. Our findings offer an explanation for enhanced adiposity resulting from decreased melanocortin signaling, even in the absence of hyperphagia, and are consistent with feeding-independent changes in substrate utilization as reflected by respiratory quotient, which is increased with chronic Mcr blockade in rodents and in humans with loss-of-function mutations in MC4R. We also reveal molecular underpinnings for direct control of the CNS-Mcr over lipid metabolism. These results suggest ways to design more efficient pharmacological methods for controlling adiposity.
Ruben Nogueiras, Petra Wiedmer, Diego Perez-Tilve, Christelle Veyrat-Durebex, Julia M. Keogh, Gregory M. Sutton, Paul T. Pfluger, Tamara R. Castaneda, Susanne Neschen, Susanna M. Hofmann, Philip N. Howles, Donald A. Morgan, Stephen C. Benoit, Ildiko Szanto, Brigitte Schrott, Annette Schürmann, Hans-Georg Joost, Craig Hammond, David Y. Hui, Stephen C. Woods, Kamal Rahmouni, Andrew A. Butler, I. Sadaf Farooqi, Stephen O’Rahilly, Françoise Rohner-Jeanrenaud, Matthias H. Tschöp
Progressive pulmonary disease and infections with Pseudomonas aeruginosa remain an intractable problem in cystic fibrosis (CF). At the cellular level, CF is characterized by organellar hyperacidification, which results in altered protein and lipid glycosylation. Altered pH of the trans-Golgi network (TGN) may further disrupt the protein processing and packaging that occurs in this organelle. Here we measured activity of the major TGN endoprotease furin and demonstrated a marked upregulation in human CF cells. Increased furin activity was linked to elevated production in CF of the immunosuppressive and tissue remodeling cytokine TGF-β and its downstream effects, including macrophage deactivation and augmented collagen secretion by epithelial cells. As furin is responsible for the proteolytic processing of a range of endogenous and exogenous substrates including growth factors and bacterial toxins, we determined that elevated furin-dependent activation of exotoxin A caused increased cell death in CF respiratory epithelial cells compared with genetically matched CF transmembrane conductance regulator–corrected cells. Thus elevated furin levels in CF respiratory epithelial cells contributes to bacterial toxin–induced cell death, fibrosis, and local immunosuppression. These data suggest that the use of furin inhibitors may represent a strategy for pharmacotherapy in CF.
Wojciech Ornatowski, Jens F. Poschet, Elizabeth Perkett, Jennifer L. Taylor-Cousar, Vojo Deretic
Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS), a process of fibro-obliterative occlusion of the small airways in the transplanted lung, is the most common cause of lung transplant failure. We tested the role of cell-mediated immunity to collagen type V [col(V)] in this process. PBMC responses to col(II) and col(V) were monitored prospectively over a 7-year period. PBMCs from lung transplant recipients, but not from healthy controls or col(IV)-reactive Goodpasture’s syndrome patients after renal transplant, were frequently col(V) reactive. Col(V)-specific responses were dependent on both CD4+ T cells and monocytes and required both IL-17 and the monokines TNF-α and IL-1β. Strong col(V)-specific responses were associated with substantially increased incidence and severity of BOS. Incidences of acute rejection, HLA-DR mismatched transplants, and induction of HLA-specific antibodies in the transplant recipient were not as strongly associated with a risk of BOS. These data suggest that while alloimmunity initiates lung transplant rejection, de novo autoimmunity mediated by col(V)-specific Th17 cells and monocyte/macrophage accessory cells ultimately causes progressive airway obliteration.
William J. Burlingham, Robert B. Love, Ewa Jankowska-Gan, Lynn D. Haynes, Qingyong Xu, Joseph L. Bobadilla, Keith C. Meyer, Mary S. Hayney, Ruedi K. Braun, Daniel S. Greenspan, Bagavathi Gopalakrishnan, Junchao Cai, David D. Brand, Shigetoshi Yoshida, Oscar W. Cummings, David S. Wilkes
Histamine receptor H1 (H1R) is a susceptibility gene in both experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and experimental autoimmune orchitis (EAO), 2 classical T cell–mediated models of organ-specific autoimmune disease. Here we showed that expression of H1R in naive CD4+ T cells was required for maximal IFN-γ production but was dispensable for proliferation. Moreover, H1R signaling at the time of TCR ligation was required for activation of p38 MAPK, a known regulator of IFN-γ expression. Importantly, selective reexpression of H1R in CD4+ T cells fully complemented both the IFN-γ production and the EAE susceptibility of H1R-deficient mice. These data suggest that the presence of H1R in CD4+ T cells and its interaction with histamine regulates early TCR signals that lead to Th1 differentiation and autoimmune disease.
Rajkumar Noubade, Graeme Milligan, James F. Zachary, Elizabeth P. Blankenhorn, Roxana del Rio, Mercedes Rincon, Cory Teuscher
Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) O157:H7 causes hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) by colonizing the gut mucosa and producing Shiga toxins (Stx). The only factor clearly demonstrated to play a role in EHEC adherence to intestinal epithelial cells is intimin, which binds host cell integrins and nucleolin, as well as a receptor (Tir) that it injects into the host cell. Here we report that EHEC O157:H7 produces adhesive type IV pili, which we term hemorrhagic coli pilus (HCP), composed of a 19-kDa pilin subunit (HcpA) that is encoded by the hcpA chromosomal gene. HCP were observed as bundles of fibers greater than 10 μm in length that formed physical bridges between bacteria adhering to human and bovine host cells. Sera of HUS patients, but not healthy individuals, recognized HcpA, suggesting that the pili are produced in vivo during EHEC infections. Inactivation of the hcpA gene in EHEC EDL933 resulted in significantly reduced adherence to cultured human intestinal and bovine renal epithelial cells and to porcine and bovine gut explants. An escN mutant, which is unable to translocate Tir, adhered less than the hcpA mutant, suggesting that adherence mediated by intimin-Tir interactions is a prelude to HCP-mediated adherence. An hcpA and stx1,2 triple mutant and an hcpA mutant had similar levels of adherence to bovine and human epithelial cells while a stx1,2 double mutant had only a minor defect in adherence, indicating that HCP-mediated adherence and cytotoxicity are independent events. Our data establish that EHEC O157:H7 HCP are intestinal colonization factors that are likely to contribute to the pathogenic potential of this food-borne pathogen.
Juan Xicohtencatl-Cortes, Valério Monteiro-Neto, Maria A. Ledesma, Dianna M. Jordan, Olivera Francetic, James B. Kaper, José Luis Puente, Jorge A. Girón
Severe pain syndromes reduce quality of life in patients with inflammatory and neoplastic diseases, often because chronic opiate therapy results in reduced analgesic effectiveness, or tolerance, leading to escalating doses and distressing side effects. The mechanisms leading to tolerance are poorly understood. Our studies revealed that development of antinociceptive tolerance to repeated doses of morphine in mice was consistently associated with the appearance of several tyrosine-nitrated proteins in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord, including the mitochondrial isoform of superoxide (O2–) dismutase, the glutamate transporter GLT-1, and the enzyme glutamine synthase. Furthermore, antinociceptive tolerance was associated with increased formation of several proinflammatory cytokines, oxidative DNA damage, and activation of the nuclear factor poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase. Inhibition of NO synthesis or removal of O2– blocked these biochemical changes and inhibited the development of tolerance, pointing to peroxynitrite (ONOO–), the product of the interaction between O2– and NO, as a signaling mediator in this setting. Indeed, coadministration of morphine with the ONOO– decomposition catalyst, Fe(III) 5,10,15,20-tetrakis(N-methylpyridinium-4-yl)porphyrin, blocked protein nitration, attenuated the observed biochemical changes, and prevented the development of tolerance in a dose-dependent manner. Collectively, these data suggest a causal role for ONOO– in pathways culminating in antinociceptive tolerance to opiates. Peroxynitrite (ONOO–) decomposition catalysts may have therapeutic potential as adjuncts to opiates in relieving suffering from chronic pain.
Carolina Muscoli, Salvatore Cuzzocrea, Michael M. Ndengele, Vincenzo Mollace, Frank Porreca, Francesca Fabrizi, Emanuela Esposito, Emanuela Masini, George M. Matuschak, Daniela Salvemini
Changes in cytoplasmic Ca2+ levels regulate a variety of fundamental cellular functions in virtually all cells. In nonexcitable cells, a major pathway of Ca2+ entry involves receptor-mediated depletion of intracellular Ca2+ stores followed by the activation of store-operated calcium channels in the plasma membrane. We have established a mouse line expressing an activating EF hand motif mutant of stromal interaction molecule 1 (Stim1), an ER receptor recently identified as the Ca2+ sensor responsible for activation of Ca2+ release–activated (CRAC) channels in T cells, whose function in mammalian physiology is not well understood. Mice expressing mutant Stim1 had macrothrombocytopenia and an associated bleeding disorder. Basal intracellular Ca2+ levels were increased in platelets, which resulted in a preactivation state, a selective unresponsiveness to immunoreceptor tyrosine activation motif–coupled agonists, and increased platelet consumption. In contrast, basal Ca2+ levels, but not receptor-mediated responses, were affected in mutant T cells. These findings identify Stim1 as a central regulator of platelet function and suggest a cell type–specific activation or composition of the CRAC complex.
Johannes Grosse, Attila Braun, David Varga-Szabo, Niklas Beyersdorf, Boris Schneider, Lutz Zeitlmann, Petra Hanke, Patricia Schropp, Silke Mühlstedt, Carolin Zorn, Michael Huber, Carolin Schmittwolf, Wolfgang Jagla, Philipp Yu, Thomas Kerkau, Harald Schulze, Michael Nehls, Bernhard Nieswandt
Squamous metaplasia (SM) is common in smokers and is associated with airway obstruction in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A major mechanism of airway obstruction in COPD is thickening of the small airway walls. We asked whether SM actively contributes to airway wall thickening through alteration of epithelial-mesenchymal interactions in COPD. Using immunohistochemical staining, airway morphometry, and fibroblast culture of lung samples from COPD patients; genome-wide analysis of an in vitro model of SM; and in vitro modeling of human airway epithelial-mesenchymal interactions, we provide evidence that SM, through the increased secretion of IL-1β, induces a fibrotic response in adjacent airway fibroblasts. We identify a pivotal role for integrin-mediated TGF-β activation in amplifying SM and driving IL-1β–dependent profibrotic mesenchymal responses. Finally, we show that SM correlates with increased severity of COPD and that fibroblast expression of the integrin αvβ8, which is the major mediator of airway fibroblast TGF-β activation, correlated with disease severity and small airway wall thickening in COPD. Our findings have identified TGF-β as a potential therapeutic target for COPD.
Jun Araya, Stephanie Cambier, Jennifer A. Markovics, Paul Wolters, David Jablons, Arthur Hill, Walter Finkbeiner, Kirk Jones, V. Courtney Broaddus, Dean Sheppard, Andrea Barzcak, Yuanyuan Xiao, David J. Erle, Stephen L. Nishimura
Peptide presentation is critical for immune recognition of pathogen-infected cells by CD8+ T lymphocytes. Although a limited number of immunodominant peptide epitopes are consistently observed in diseases such as HIV-1 infection, the relationship between immunodominance and antigen processing in humans is largely unknown. Here, we have demonstrated that endogenous processing and presentation of a human immunodominant HIV-1 epitope is more efficient than that of a subdominant epitope. Furthermore, we have shown that the regions flanking the immunodominant epitope constitute a portable motif that increases the production and antigenicity of otherwise subdominant epitopes. We used a novel in vitro degradation assay involving cytosolic extracts as well as endogenous intracellular processing assays to examine 2 well-characterized HIV-1 Gag overlapping epitopes presented by the same HLA class I allele, one of which is consistently immunodominant and the other subdominant in infected persons. The kinetics and products of degradation of HIV-1 Gag favored the production of peptides encompassing the immunodominant epitope and destruction of the subdominant one. Notably, cytosolic digestion experiments revealed flanking residues proximal to the immunodominant epitope that increased the production and antigenicity of otherwise subdominant epitopes. Furthermore, specific point mutations in these portable flanking sequences modulated the production and antigenicity of epitopes. Such portable epitope processing determinants provide what we believe is a novel approach to optimizing CTL responses elicited by vaccine vectors.
Sylvie Le Gall, Pamela Stamegna, Bruce D. Walker
Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease of unknown etiology, most commonly affecting the lungs. Activated CD4+ T cells accumulate in the lungs of individuals with sarcoidosis and are considered to be of central importance for inflammation. We have previously shown that Scandinavian sarcoidosis patients expressing the HLA-DR allele DRB1*0301 are characterized by large accumulations in the lungs of CD4+ T cells expressing the TCR AV2S3 gene segment. This association afforded us a unique opportunity to identify a sarcoidosis-specific antigen recognized by AV2S3+ T cells. To identify candidates for the postulated sarcoidosis-specific antigen, lung cells from 16 HLA-DRB1*0301pos patients were obtained by bronchoalveolar lavage. HLA-DR molecules were affinity purified and bound peptides acid eluted. Subsequently, peptides were separated by reversed-phase HPLC and analyzed by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry. We identified 78 amino acid sequences from self proteins presented in the lungs of sarcoidosis patients, some of which were well-known autoantigens such as vimentin and ATP synthase. For the first time, to our knowledge, we have identified HLA-bound peptides presented in vivo during an inflammatory condition. This approach can be extended to characterize HLA-bound peptides in various autoimmune settings.
Jan Wahlström, Jörn Dengjel, Bengt Persson, Hüseyin Duyar, Hans-Georg Rammensee, Stefan Stevanović, Anders Eklund, Robert Weissert, Johan Grunewald
Cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A) enzymes constitute an important detoxification system that contributes to primary metabolism of more than half of all prescribed medications. To investigate the physiological and pharmacological roles of CYP3A, we generated Cyp3a-knockout (Cyp3a–/–) mice lacking all functional Cyp3a genes. Cyp3a–/– mice were viable, fertile, and without marked physiological abnormalities. However, these mice exhibited severely impaired detoxification capacity when exposed to the chemotherapeutic agent docetaxel, displaying higher exposure levels in response to both oral and intravenous administration. These mice also demonstrated increased sensitivity to docetaxel toxicity, suggesting a primary role for Cyp3a in xenobiotic detoxification. To determine the relative importance of intestinal versus hepatic Cyp3a in first-pass metabolism, we generated transgenic Cyp3a–/– mice expressing human CYP3A4 in either the intestine or the liver. Expression of CYP3A4 in the intestine dramatically decreased absorption of docetaxel into the bloodstream, while hepatic expression aided systemic docetaxel clearance. These results suggest that CYP3A expression determines impairment of drug absorption and efficient systemic clearance in a tissue-specific manner. The genetic models used in this study provide powerful tools to further study CYP3A-mediated xenobiotic metabolism, as well as interactions between CYP3A and other detoxification systems.
Antonius E. van Herwaarden, Els Wagenaar, Cornelia M.M. van der Kruijssen, Robert A.B. van Waterschoot, Johan W. Smit, Ji-Ying Song, Martin A. van der Valk, Olaf van Tellingen, José W.A. van der Hoorn, Hilde Rosing, Jos H. Beijnen, Alfred H. Schinkel
Jaspreet Singh Jaggi, Jorge A. Carrasquillo, Surya V. Seshan, Pat Zanzonico, Erik Henke, Andrew Nagel, Jazmin Schwartz, Brad Beattie, Barry J. Kappel, Debjit Chattopadhyay, Jing Xiao, George Sgouros, Steven M. Larson, David A. Scheinberg