Ilpo T. Huhtaniemi
Grace Jordison Boxer, Laurence A. Boxer
Obesity and its related cluster of pathophysiologic conditions including insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, dyslipidemia, and hypertension are recognized as growing threats to world health. It is now estimated that 10% of the world’s population is overweight or obese. As a result, new therapeutic options for the treatment of obesity are clearly warranted. Recent research has focused on the role that gp130 receptor ligands may play as potential therapeutic targets in obesity. One cytokine in particular, ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), acts both centrally and peripherally and mimics the biologic actions of the appetite control hormone leptin, but unlike leptin, CNTF appears to be effective in obesity and as such may have therapeutic potential. In addition, CNTF suppresses inflammatory signaling cascades associated with lipid accumulation in liver and skeletal muscle. This review examines the potential role of gp130 receptor ligands as part of a therapeutic strategy to treat obesity.
Mark A. Febbraio
The discovery of the molecular basis of sickle cell disease was an important landmark in molecular medicine. The modern tools of molecular and cellular biology have refined our understanding of its pathophysiology and facilitated the development of new therapies. In this review, we discuss some of the important advances in this field and the impediments that limit the impact of these advances.
Paul S. Frenette, George F. Atweh
Diabetes results from the absolute or relative deficiency of insulin-producing β cells. The prospect that non-β pancreatic cells could be harnessed to become β cells has led to interest in understanding the plasticity of pancreatic cells. Recent studies, however, have shown that adult β cells are largely derived from preexisting β cells. In this issue of the JCI, Desai et al. show that acinar cells, the major cell type in the pancreas, do not contribute to new β cells formed during pancreatic regeneration (see the related article beginning on page 971). These studies suggest that the fate of adult pancreatic cell lineages is immutable. However, also in this issue of the JCI, Collombat et al. demonstrate that inducing a single transcription factor named Arx in adult β cells causes these cells to undergo massive transdifferentiation into α and pancreatic polypeptide endocrine cells (see the related article beginning on page 961). This finding points to an unexpected plasticity of postnatal pancreatic endocrine cells.
Jorge Ferrer, Mercè Martín, Joan Marc Servitja
Erythropoietin (EPO) is the hormonal regulator of red cell production and provided the paradigm for oxygen-regulated gene expression that led to the discovery of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF). In this issue of the JCI, Rankin and colleagues show, using targeted gene inactivation, that induction of Epo expression in murine liver is dependent on the integrity of HIF-2α, and not HIF-1α (see the related article beginning on page 1068). These results demonstrate distinct functions for different HIF-α isoforms that could potentially be exploited in therapeutic approaches to anemia.
Peter J. Ratcliffe
The deregulation of homeobox (HOX) genes in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and the potential for these master regulators to perturb normal hematopoiesis is well established. To date, overexpression of HOX genes in AML has been attributed to specific chromosomal aberrations and abnormalities involving mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL), an upstream regulator of HOX genes. The finding reported in this issue of the JCI by Scholl et al. that caudal-type homeobox transcription factor 2 (CDX2), which is capable of affecting HOX gene expression during embryogenesis, is overexpressed in 90% of patients with AML and induces a transplantable AML in murine models provides an alternative mechanism for HOX-induced leukemogenesis and yields important insights into the hierarchy of HOX gene regulation in AML (see the related article beginning on page 1037).
Kim L. Rice, Jonathan D. Licht
Hypoglycemia commonly causes brain fuel deprivation, resulting in functional brain failure, which can be corrected by raising plasma glucose concentrations. Rarely, profound hypoglycemia causes brain death that is not the result of fuel deprivation per se. In this issue of the JCI, Suh and colleagues use cell culture and in vivo rodent studies of glucose deprivation and marked hypoglycemia and provide evidence that hypoglycemic brain neuronal death is in fact increased by neuronal NADPH oxidase activation during glucose reperfusion (see the related article beginning on page 910). This finding suggests that, at least in the setting of profound hypoglycemia, therapeutic hyperglycemia should be avoided.
Philip E. Cryer
IFN-γ has long been recognized as a signature proinflammatory cytokine that plays a central role in inflammation and autoimmune disease. There is now emerging evidence indicating that IFN-γ possesses unexpected properties as a master regulator of immune responses and inflammation. In this issue of the JCI, Guillonneau et al. show that indefinite allograft survival induced by CD40Ig treatment is mediated by CD8+CD45RClow T cells through the production of IFN-γ (see the related article beginning on page 1096), supporting the emerging view that IFN-γ is critical in the self-regulation of inflammation. These contradictory roles of IFN-γ, perhaps best understood by the principle of yin and yang, represent one of nature’s paradoxes, whereby the same cytokine functions as an inducer as well as a regulator for inflammation. Understanding this complex process of IFN-γ signaling is essential, as it has therapeutic implications.
Components of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) are expressed in a number of areas in the brain involved in cardiovascular control. However, it has been difficult to link RAS actions in circumscribed brain regions to specific physiological functions. In a study appearing in this issue of the JCI, Sakai and associates use a combination of sophisticated transgenic techniques and stereotaxic microinjection of recombinant viral vectors to demonstrate a pivotal role in the regulation of thirst and salt appetite of angiotensin II generated in the subfornical organ in the brain (see the related article beginning on page 1088).
Kelly K. Parsons, Thomas M. Coffman
A novel antiinfective approach is to exploit stresses already imposed on invading organisms by the in vivo environment. Fe metabolism is a key vulnerability of infecting bacteria because organisms require Fe for growth, and it is critical in the pathogenesis of infections. Furthermore, humans have evolved potent Fe-withholding mechanisms that can block acute infection, prevent biofilm formation leading to chronic infection, and starve bacteria that succeed in infecting the host. Here we investigate a “Trojan horse” strategy that uses the transition metal gallium to disrupt bacterial Fe metabolism and exploit the Fe stress of in vivo environments. Due to its chemical similarity to Fe, Ga can substitute for Fe in many biologic systems and inhibit Fe-dependent processes. We found that Ga inhibits Pseudomonas aeruginosa growth and biofilm formation and kills planktonic and biofilm bacteria in vitro. Ga works in part by decreasing bacterial Fe uptake and by interfering with Fe signaling by the transcriptional regulator pvdS. We also show that Ga is effective in 2 murine lung infection models. These data, along with the fact that Ga is FDA approved (for i.v. administration) and there is the dearth of new antibiotics in development, make Ga a potentially promising new therapeutic for P. aeruginosa infections.
Yukihiro Kaneko, Matthew Thoendel, Oyebode Olakanmi, Bradley E. Britigan, Pradeep K. Singh
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a lethal X-linked disorder associated with dystrophin deficiency that results in chronic inflammation and severe skeletal muscle degeneration. In DMD mouse models and patients, we find that IκB kinase/NF-κB (IKK/NF-κB) signaling is persistently elevated in immune cells and regenerative muscle fibers. Ablation of 1 allele of the p65 subunit of NF-κB was sufficient to improve pathology in mdx mice, a model of DMD. In addition, conditional deletion of IKKβ in mdx mice elucidated that NF-κB functions in activated macrophages to promote inflammation and muscle necrosis and in skeletal muscle fibers to limit regeneration through the inhibition of muscle progenitor cells. Furthermore, specific pharmacological inhibition of IKK resulted in improved pathology and muscle function in mdx mice. Collectively, these results underscore the critical role of NF-κB in the progression of muscular dystrophy and suggest the IKK/NF-κB signaling pathway as a potential therapeutic target for DMD.
Swarnali Acharyya, S. Armando Villalta, Nadine Bakkar, Tepmanas Bupha-Intr, Paul M.L. Janssen, Micheal Carathers, Zhi-Wei Li, Amer A. Beg, Sankar Ghosh, Zarife Sahenk, Michael Weinstein, Katherine L. Gardner, Jill A. Rafael-Fortney, Michael Karin, James G. Tidball, Albert S. Baldwin, Denis C. Guttridge
Monocyte recruitment to sites of inflammation is regulated by members of the chemokine family of chemotactic cytokines. However, the mechanisms that govern the migration of monocytes from bone marrow to blood and from blood to inflamed tissues are not well understood. Here we report that CC chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2) is highly expressed on a subpopulation of blood monocytes whose numbers are markedly decreased in CCR2–/– mice. In bone marrow, however, CCR2–/– mice had an increased number of monocytes, suggesting that CCR2 is critical for monocyte egress. Intravenous infusion of ex vivo–labeled WT or CCR2–/– bone marrow into WT recipient mice demonstrated that CCR2 is necessary for efficient monocyte recruitment from the blood to inflamed tissue. Analysis of mice lacking monocyte chemoattractant protein–1 (MCP-1), MCP-3, MCP-5, or MCP-2 plus MCP-5 revealed that MCP-3 and MCP-1 are the CCR2 agonists most critical for the maintenance of normal blood monocyte counts. These findings provide evidence that CCR2 and MCP-3/MCP-1 are critical for monocyte mobilization and suggest new roles for monocyte chemoattractants in leukocyte homeostasis.
Chia-Lin Tsou, Wendy Peters, Yue Si, Sarah Slaymaker, Ara M. Aslanian, Stuart P. Weisberg, Matthias Mack, Israel F. Charo
Hypoglycemic coma and brain injury are potential complications of insulin therapy. Certain neurons in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex are uniquely vulnerable to hypoglycemic cell death, and oxidative stress is a key event in this cell death process. Here we show that hypoglycemia-induced oxidative stress and neuronal death are attributable primarily to the activation of neuronal NADPH oxidase during glucose reperfusion. Superoxide production and neuronal death were blocked by the NADPH oxidase inhibitor apocynin in both cell culture and in vivo models of insulin-induced hypoglycemia. Superoxide production and neuronal death were also blocked in studies using mice or cultured neurons deficient in the p47phox subunit of NADPH oxidase. Chelation of zinc with calcium disodium EDTA blocked both the assembly of the neuronal NADPH oxidase complex and superoxide production. Inhibition of the hexose monophosphate shunt, which utilizes glucose to regenerate NADPH, also prevented superoxide formation and neuronal death, suggesting a mechanism linking glucose reperfusion to superoxide formation. Moreover, the degree of superoxide production and neuronal death increased with increasing glucose concentrations during the reperfusion period. These results suggest that high blood glucose concentrations following hypoglycemic coma can initiate neuronal death by a mechanism involving extracellular zinc release and activation of neuronal NADPH oxidase.
Sang Won Suh, Elizabeth T. Gum, Aaron M. Hamby, Pak H. Chan, Raymond A. Swanson
This study illustrates that Plekhm1 is an essential protein for bone resorption, as loss-of-function mutations were found to underlie the osteopetrotic phenotype of the incisors absent rat as well as an intermediate type of human osteopetrosis. Electron and confocal microscopic analysis demonstrated that monocytes from a patient homozygous for the mutation differentiated into osteoclasts normally, but when cultured on dentine discs, the osteoclasts failed to form ruffled borders and showed little evidence of bone resorption. The presence of both RUN and pleckstrin homology domains suggests that Plekhm1 may be linked to small GTPase signaling. We found that Plekhm1 colocalized with Rab7 to late endosomal/lysosomal vesicles in HEK293 and osteoclast-like cells, an effect that was dependent on the prenylation of Rab7. In conclusion, we believe PLEKHM1 to be a novel gene implicated in the development of osteopetrosis, with a putative critical function in vesicular transport in the osteoclast.
Liesbeth Van Wesenbeeck, Paul R. Odgren, Fraser P. Coxon, Annalisa Frattini, Pierre Moens, Bram Perdu, Carole A. MacKay, Els Van Hul, Jean-Pierre Timmermans, Filip Vanhoenacker, Ruben Jacobs, Barbara Peruzzi, Anna Teti, Miep H. Helfrich, Michael J. Rogers, Anna Villa, Wim Van Hul
Autism, characterized by profound impairment in social interactions and communicative skills, is the most common neurodevelopmental disorder, and its underlying molecular mechanisms remain unknown. Ca2+-dependent activator protein for secretion 2 (CADPS2; also known as CAPS2) mediates the exocytosis of dense-core vesicles, and the human CADPS2 is located within the autism susceptibility locus 1 on chromosome 7q. Here we show that Cadps2-knockout mice not only have impaired brain-derived neurotrophic factor release but also show autistic-like cellular and behavioral phenotypes. Moreover, we found an aberrant alternatively spliced CADPS2 mRNA that lacks exon 3 in some autistic patients. Exon 3 was shown to encode the dynactin 1–binding domain and affect axonal CADPS2 protein distribution. Our results suggest that a disturbance in CADPS2-mediated neurotrophin release contributes to autism susceptibility.
Tetsushi Sadakata, Miwa Washida, Yoshimi Iwayama, Satoshi Shoji, Yumi Sato, Takeshi Ohkura, Ritsuko Katoh-Semba, Mizuho Nakajima, Yukiko Sekine, Mika Tanaka, Kazuhiko Nakamura, Yasuhide Iwata, Kenji J. Tsuchiya, Norio Mori, Sevilla D. Detera-Wadleigh, Hironobu Ichikawa, Shigeyoshi Itohara, Takeo Yoshikawa, Teiichi Furuichi
Platelets are critical for normal hemostasis. Their deregulation can lead to bleeding or to arterial thrombosis, a primary cause of heart attack and ischemic stroke. Src homology 2 domain–containing inositol 5-phosphatase 1 (SHIP1) is a 5-phosphatase capable of dephosphorylating the phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate second messenger into phosphatidylinositol 3,4-bisphosphate. SHIP1 plays a critical role in regulating the level of these 2 lipids in platelets. Using SHIP1-deficient mice, we found that its loss affects platelet aggregation in response to several agonists with minor effects on fibrinogen binding and β3 integrin tyrosine phosphorylation. Accordingly, SHIP1-null mice showed defects in arterial thrombus formation in response to a localized laser-induced injury. Moreover, these mice had a prolonged tail bleeding time. Upon stimulation, SHIP1-deficient platelets showed large membrane extensions, abnormalities in the open canalicular system, and a dramatic decrease in close cell-cell contacts. Interestingly, SHIP1 appeared to be required for platelet contractility, thrombus organization, and fibrin clot retraction. These data indicate that SHIP1 is an important element of the platelet signaling machinery to support normal hemostasis. To our knowledge, this is the first report unraveling an important function of SHIP1 in the activation of hematopoietic cells, in contrast to its well-documented role in the negative regulation of lymphocytes.
Sonia Séverin, Marie-Pierre Gratacap, Nadège Lenain, Laetitia Alvarez, Etienne Hollande, Josef M. Penninger, Christian Gachet, Monique Plantavid, Bernard Payrastre
Adhesion of platelets to an injured vessel wall and platelet activation are critical events in the formation of a thrombus. Of the agonists involved in platelet activation, thrombin, collagen, and vWF are known to induce in vitro calcium mobilization in platelets. Using a calcium-sensitive fluorochrome and digital multichannel intravital microscopy to image unstimulated and stimulated platelets, calcium mobilization was monitored as a reporter of platelet activation (as distinct from platelet accumulation) during thrombus formation in live mice. In the absence of vWF, platelet activation was normal, but platelet adherence and aggregation were attenuated during thrombus formation following laser-induced injury in the cremaster muscle microcirculation. In WT mice treated with lepirudin, platelet activation was blocked, and platelet adherence and aggregation were inhibited. The kinetics of platelet activation and platelet accumulation were similar in FcRγ–/– mice lacking glycoprotein VI (GPVI), GPVI-depleted mice, and WT mice. Our results indicate that the tissue factor–mediated pathway of thrombin generation, but not the collagen-induced GPVI-mediated pathway, is the major pathway leading to platelet activation after laser-induced injury under the conditions employed. In the tissue factor–mediated pathway, vWF plays a role in platelet accumulation during thrombus formation but is not required for platelet activation in vivo.
Christophe Dubois, Laurence Panicot-Dubois, Justin F. Gainor, Barbara C. Furie, Bruce Furie
Aristaless-related homeobox (Arx) was recently demonstrated to be involved in pancreatic α cell fate specification while simultaneously repressing the β and δ cell lineages. To establish whether Arx is not only necessary, but also sufficient to instruct the α cell fate in endocrine progenitors, we used a gain-of-function approach to generate mice conditionally misexpressing this factor. Mice with forced Arx expression in the embryonic pancreas or in developing islet cells developed a dramatic hyperglycemia and eventually died. Further analysis demonstrated a drastic loss of β and δ cells. Concurrently, a remarkable increase in the number of cells displaying α cell or, strikingly, pancreatic polypeptide (PP) cell features was observed. Notably, the ectopic expression of Arx induced in embryonic or adult β cells led to a loss of the β cell phenotype and a concomitant increase in a number of cells with α or PP cell characteristics. Combining quantitative real-time PCR and lineage-tracing experiments, we demonstrate that, in adult mice, the misexpression of Arx, rather than its overexpression, promotes a conversion of β cells into glucagon- or PP-producing cells in vivo. These results provide important insights into the complex mechanisms underlying proper pancreatic endocrine cell allocation and cell identity acquisition.
Patrick Collombat, Jacob Hecksher-Sørensen, Jens Krull, Joachim Berger, Dietmar Riedel, Pedro L. Herrera, Palle Serup, Ahmed Mansouri
It has been suggested that pancreatic acinar cells can serve as progenitors for pancreatic islets, a concept with substantial implications for therapeutic efforts to increase insulin-producing β cell mass in patients with diabetes. We report what we believe to be the first in vivo lineage tracing approach to determine the plasticity potential of pancreatic acinar cells. We developed an acinar cell–specific inducible Cre recombinase transgenic mouse, which, when mated with a reporter strain and pulsed with tamoxifen, resulted in permanent and specific labeling of acinar cells and their progeny. During various time periods of observation and using several models to provoke injury, we failed to observe any chase of the labeled cells into the endocrine compartment, indicating that acinar cells do not normally transdifferentiate into islet β cells in vivo in adult mice. In contrast, we observed a substantial role for replication of preexisting acinar cells in the regeneration of new acinar cells after partial pancreatectomy. These results indicate that mature acinar cells harbor a facultative acinar but not endocrine progenitor capacity.
Biva M. Desai, Jennifer Oliver-Krasinski, Diva D. De Leon, Cyrus Farzad, Nankang Hong, Steven D. Leach, Doris A. Stoffers
Goblet cell hyperplasia and mucous hypersecretion contribute to the pathogenesis of chronic pulmonary diseases including cystic fibrosis, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In the present work, mouse SAM pointed domain-containing ETS transcription factor (SPDEF) mRNA and protein were detected in subsets of epithelial cells lining the trachea, bronchi, and tracheal glands. SPDEF interacted with the C-terminal domain of thyroid transcription factor 1, activating transcription of genes expressed selectively in airway epithelial cells, including Sftpa, Scgb1a1, Foxj1, and Sox17. Expression of Spdef in the respiratory epithelium of adult transgenic mice caused goblet cell hyperplasia, inducing both acidic and neutral mucins in vivo, and stainined for both acidic and neutral mucins in vivo. SPDEF expression was increased at sites of goblet cell hyperplasia caused by IL-13 and dust mite allergen in a process that was dependent upon STAT-6. SPDEF was induced following intratracheal allergen exposure and after Th2 cytokine stimulation and was sufficient to cause goblet cell differentiation of Clara cells in vivo.
Kwon-Sik Park, Thomas R. Korfhagen, Michael D. Bruno, Joseph A. Kitzmiller, Huajing Wan, Susan E. Wert, Gurjit K. Khurana Hershey, Gang Chen, Jeffrey A. Whitsett
The origin and turnover of connective tissue cells in adult human organs, including the lung, are not well understood. Here, studies of cells derived from human lung allografts demonstrate the presence of a multipotent mesenchymal cell population, which is locally resident in the human adult lung and has extended life span in vivo. Examination of plastic-adherent cell populations in bronchoalveolar lavage samples obtained from 76 human lung transplant recipients revealed clonal proliferation of fibroblast-like cells in 62% (106 of 172) of samples. Immunophenotyping of these isolated cells demonstrated expression of vimentin and prolyl-4-hydroxylase, indicating a mesenchymal phenotype. Multiparametric flow cytometric analyses revealed expression of cell-surface proteins, CD73, CD90, and CD105, commonly found on mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Hematopoietic lineage markers CD14, CD34, and CD45 were absent. Multipotency of these cells was demonstrated by their capacity to differentiate into adipocytes, chondrocytes, and osteocytes. Cytogenetic analysis of cells from 7 sex-mismatched lung transplant recipients harvested up to 11 years after transplant revealed that 97.2% ± 2.1% expressed the sex genotype of the donor. The presence of MSCs of donor sex identity in lung allografts even years after transplantation provides what we believe to be the first evidence for connective tissue cell progenitors that reside locally within a postnatal, nonhematopoietic organ.
Vibha N. Lama, Lisa Smith, Linda Badri, Andrew Flint, Adin-Cristian Andrei, Susan Murray, Zhuo Wang, Hui Liao, Galen B. Toews, Paul H. Krebsbach, Marc Peters-Golden, David J. Pinsky, Fernando J. Martinez, Victor J. Thannickal
We previously demonstrated that artificial lymph nodes (aLNs) could be generated in mice by the implantation of stromal cell–embedded biocompatible scaffolds into their renal subcapsular spaces. T and B cell domains that form in aLNs have immune response functions similar to those of follicles of normal lymphoid tissue. In the present study, we show that the aLNs were transplantable to normal as well as SCID mice, where they efficiently induced secondary immune responses. Antigen-specific secondary responses were strongly induced in aLNs even 4 weeks after their transplantation. The antigen-specific antibody responses in lymphocyte-deficient SCID mice receiving transplanted aLNs were substantial. The cells from the aLNs migrated to the SCID mouse spleen and BM, where they expanded to generate large numbers of antigen-specific antibody-forming cells. Secondary responses were maintained over time after immunization (i.e., antigen challenge), indicating that aLNs can support the development of memory B cells and long-lived plasma cells. Memory CD4+ T cells were enriched in the aLNs and spleens of aLN-transplanted SCID mice. Our results indicate that aLNs support strong antigen-specific secondary antibody responses in immunodeficient mice and suggest the possibility of future clinical applications.
Noriaki Okamoto, Risa Chihara, Chiori Shimizu, Sogo Nishimoto, Takeshi Watanabe
The tumor suppressor p53 is a potent inducer of tumor cell death, and strategies exist to exploit p53 for therapeutic gain. However, because about half of human cancers contain mutant p53, application of these strategies is restricted. p53 family members, in particular p73, are in many ways functional paralogs of p53, but are rarely mutated in cancer. Methods for specific activation of p73, however, remain to be elucidated. We describe here a minimal p53-derived apoptotic peptide that induced death in multiple cell types regardless of p53 status. While unable to activate gene expression directly, this peptide retained the capacity to bind iASPP — a common negative regulator of p53 family members. Concordantly, in p53-null cells, this peptide derepressed p73, causing p73-mediated gene activation and death. Moreover, systemic nanoparticle delivery of a transgene expressing this peptide caused tumor regression in vivo via p73. This study therefore heralds what we believe to be the first strategy to directly and selectively activate p73 therapeutically and may lead to the development of broadly applicable agents for the treatment of malignant disease.
Helen S. Bell, Christine Dufes, Jim O’Prey, Diane Crighton, Daniele Bergamaschi, Xin Lu, Andreas G. Schätzlein, Karen H. Vousden, Kevin M. Ryan
Kaposi’s sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV) is the etiologic agent for primary effusion lymphoma (PEL), a non–Hodgkin type lymphoma manifesting as an effusion malignancy in the affected individual. Although KSHV has been recognized as a tumor virus for over a decade, the pathways for its tumorigenic conversion are incompletely understood, which has greatly hampered the development of efficient therapies for KSHV-induced malignancies like PEL and Kaposi’s sarcoma. There are no current therapies effective against the aggressive, KSHV-induced PEL. Here we demonstrate that activation of the p53 pathway using murine double minute 2 (MDM2) inhibitor Nutlin-3a conveyed specific and highly potent activation of PEL cell killing. Our results demonstrated that the KSHV latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA) bound to both p53 and MDM2 and that the MDM2 inhibitor Nutlin-3a disrupted the p53-MDM2-LANA complex and selectively induced massive apoptosis in PEL cells. Together with our results indicating that KSHV-infection activated DNA damage signaling, these findings contribute to the specificity of the cytotoxic effects of Nutlin-3a in KSHV-infected cells. Moreover, we showed that Nutlin-3a had striking antitumor activity in vivo in a mouse xenograft model. Our results therefore present new options for exploiting reactivation of p53 as what we believe to be a novel and highly selective treatment modality for this virally induced lymphoma.
Grzegorz Sarek, Sari Kurki, Juulia Enbäck, Guergana Iotzova, Juergen Haas, Pirjo Laakkonen, Marikki Laiho, Päivi M. Ojala
A significant challenge to efforts aimed at inducing effective antitumor immune responses is that CD8+ T cells, which play a prominent role in these responses, may be unable to respond to tumors that lack costimulatory signals and that are protected by an immune suppressive environment such as that mediated by TGF-β produced by tumor cells themselves or by infiltrating Tregs, often resulting in tolerance or anergy of tumor-specific T cells. Here we show that the in vitro activation of Cblb–/– CD8+ T cells does not depend on CD28 costimulation and is resistant to TGF-β suppression. In vivo studies further demonstrated that Cblb–/– mice, but not WT controls, efficiently rejected inoculated E.G7 and EL4 lymphomas that did not express B7 ligands and that introduction of the Cblb–/– mutation into tumor-prone ataxia telangiectasia mutated–deficient mice markedly reduced the incidence of spontaneous thymic lymphomas. Immunohistological study showed that E.G7 tumors from Cblb–/– mice contained massively infiltrating CD8+ T cells. Adoptive transfer of purified Cblb–/– CD8+ T cells into E.G7 tumor-bearing mice led to efficient eradication of established tumors. Thus, our data indicate that ablation of Cbl-b can be an efficient strategy for eliciting immune responses against both inoculated and spontaneous tumors.
Jeffrey Y. Chiang, Ihn Kyung Jang, Richard Hodes, Hua Gu
The homeobox transcription factor CDX2 plays an important role in embryonic development and regulates the proliferation and differentiation of intestinal epithelial cells in the adult. We have found that CDX2 is expressed in leukemic cells of 90% of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) but not in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells derived from normal individuals. Stable knockdown of CDX2 expression by RNA interference inhibited the proliferation of various human AML cell lines and strongly reduced their clonogenic potential in vitro. Primary murine hematopoietic progenitor cells transduced with Cdx2 acquired serial replating activity, were able to be continuously propagated in liquid culture, generated fully penetrant and transplantable AML in BM transplant recipients, and displayed dysregulated expression of Hox family members in vitro and in vivo. These results demonstrate that aberrant expression of the developmental regulatory gene CDX2 in the adult hematopoietic compartment is a frequent event in the pathogenesis of AML; suggest a role for CDX2 as part of a common effector pathway that promotes the proliferative capacity and self-renewal potential of myeloid progenitor cells; and support the hypothesis that CDX2 is responsible, in part, for the altered HOX gene expression that is observed in most cases of AML.
Claudia Scholl, Dimple Bansal, Konstanze Döhner, Karina Eiwen, Brian J.P. Huntly, Benjamin H. Lee, Frank G. Rücker, Richard F. Schlenk, Lars Bullinger, Hartmut Döhner, D. Gary Gilliland, Stefan Fröhling
Because of their low asparagine synthetase (ASNS) expression and asparagine biosynthesis, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells are exquisitely sensitive to asparagine depletion. Consequently, asparaginase is a major component of ALL therapy, but the mechanisms regulating the susceptibility of leukemic cells to this agent are unclear. In 288 children with ALL, cellular ASNS expression was more likely to be high in T-lineage ALL and low in B-lineage ALL with TEL-AML1 or hyperdiploidy. However, ASNS expression levels in bone marrow–derived mesenchymal cells (MSCs), which form the microenvironment where leukemic cells grow, were on average 20 times higher than those in ALL cells. MSCs protected ALL cells from asparaginase cytotoxicity in coculture experiments. This protective effect correlated with levels of ASNS expression: downregulation by RNA interference decreased the capacity of MSCs to protect ALL cells from asparaginase, whereas enforced ASNS expression conferred enhanced protection. Asparagine secretion by MSCs was directly related to their ASNS expression levels, suggesting a mechanism — increased concentrations of asparagine in the leukemic cell microenvironment — for the protective effects we observed. These results provide what we believe to be a new basis for understanding asparaginase resistance in ALL and indicate that MSC niches in the bone marrow can form a safe haven for leukemic cells.
Shotaro Iwamoto, Keichiro Mihara, James R. Downing, Ching-Hon Pui, Dario Campana
Prenatal stress or glucocorticoid administration has persisting “programming” effects on offspring in rodents and other model species. Multiple doses of glucocorticoids are in widespread use in obstetric practice. To examine the clinical relevance of glucocorticoid programming, we gave 50, 120, or 200 μg/kg/d of dexamethasone (dex50, dex120, or dex200) orally from mid-term to a singleton-bearing nonhuman primate, Chlorocebus aethiops (African vervet). Dexamethasone dose-dependently reduced maternal cortisol levels without effecting maternal blood pressure, glucose, electrolytes, or weight gain. Birth weight was unaffected by any dexamethasone dose, although postnatal growth was attenuated after dex120 and dex200. At 8 months of age, dex120 and dex200 offspring showed impaired glucose tolerance and hyperinsulinemia, with reduced (approximately 25%) pancreatic β cell number at 12 months. Dex120 and dex200 offspring had increased systolic and diastolic blood pressures at 12 months. Mild stress produced an exaggerated cortisol response in dex200 offspring, implying hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis programming. The data are compatible with the extrapolation of the glucocorticoid programming hypothesis to primates and indicate that repeated glucocorticoid therapy and perhaps chronic stress in humans may have long-term effects.
Annick de Vries, Megan C. Holmes, Areke Heijnis, Jürgen V. Seier, Joritha Heerden, Johan Louw, Sonia Wolfe-Coote, Michael J. Meaney, Naomi S. Levitt, Jonathan R. Seckl
Erythropoiesis is critically dependent on erythropoietin (EPO), a glycoprotein hormone that is regulated by hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF). Hepatocytes are the primary source of extrarenal EPO in the adult and express HIF-1 and HIF-2, whose roles in the hypoxic induction of EPO remain controversial. In order to define the role of HIF-1 and HIF-2 in the regulation of hepatic EPO expression, we have generated mice with conditional inactivation of Hif-1α and/or Hif-2α (Epas1) in hepatocytes. We have previously shown that inactivation of the von Hippel–Lindau tumor suppressor pVHL, which targets both HIFs for proteasomal degradation, results in increased hepatic Epo production and polycythemia independent of Hif-1α. Here we show that conditional inactivation of Hif-2α in pVHL-deficient mice suppressed hepatic Epo and the development of polycythemia. Furthermore, we found that physiological Epo expression in infant livers required Hif-2α but not Hif-1α and that the hypoxic induction of liver Epo in anemic adults was Hif-2α dependent. Since other Hif target genes such phosphoglycerate kinase 1 (Pgk) were Hif-1α dependent, we provide genetic evidence that HIF-1 and HIF-2 have distinct roles in the regulation of hypoxia-inducible genes and that EPO is preferentially regulated by HIF-2 in the liver.
Erinn B. Rankin, Mangatt P. Biju, Qingdu Liu, Travis L. Unger, Jennifer Rha, Randall S. Johnson, M. Celeste Simon, Brian Keith, Volker H. Haase
With-no-lysine (WNK) kinases are a novel family of protein kinases characterized by an atypical placement of the catalytic lysine. Mutations of 2 family members, WNK1 and WNK4, cause pseudohypoaldosteronism type 2 (PHA2), an autosomal-dominant disease characterized by hypertension and hyperkalemia. WNK1 and WNK4 stimulate clathrin-dependent endocytosis of renal outer medullar potassium 1 (ROMK1), and PHA2-causing mutations of WNK4 increase the endocytosis. How WNKs stimulate endocytosis of ROMK1 and how mutations of WNK4 increase the endocytosis are unknown. Intersectin (ITSN) is a multimodular endocytic scaffold protein. Here we show that WNK1 and WNK4 interacted with ITSN and that the interactions were crucial for stimulation of endocytosis of ROMK1 by WNKs. The stimulation of endocytosis of ROMK1 by WNK1 and WNK4 required specific proline-rich motifs of WNKs, but did not require their kinase activity. WNK4 interacted with ROMK1 as well as with ITSN. Disease-causing WNK4 mutations enhanced interactions of WNK4 with ITSN and ROMK1, leading to increased endocytosis of ROMK1. These results provide a molecular mechanism for stimulation of endocytosis of ROMK1 by WNK kinases.
Guocheng He, Hao-Ran Wang, Shao-Kuei Huang, Chou-Long Huang
The mechanism controlling cell-specific Ang II production in the brain remains unclear despite evidence supporting neuron-specific renin and glial- and neuronal-specific angiotensinogen (AGT) expression. We generated double-transgenic mice expressing human renin (hREN) from a neuron-specific promoter and human AGT (hAGT) from its own promoter (SRA mice) to emulate this expression. SRA mice exhibited an increase in water and salt intake and urinary volume, which were significantly reduced after chronic intracerebroventricular delivery of losartan. Ang II–like immunoreactivity was markedly increased in the subfornical organ (SFO). To further evaluate the physiological importance of de novo Ang II production specifically in the SFO, we utilized a transgenic mouse model expressing a floxed version of hAGT (hAGTflox), so that deletions could be induced with Cre recombinase. We targeted SFO-specific ablation of hAGTflox by microinjection of an adenovirus encoding Cre recombinase (AdCre). SRAflox mice exhibited a marked increase in drinking at baseline and a significant decrease in water intake after administration of AdCre/adenovirus encoding enhanced GFP (AdCre/AdEGFP), but not after administration of AdEGFP alone. This decrease only occurred when Cre recombinase correctly targeted the SFO and correlated with a loss of hAGT and angiotensin peptide immunostaining in the SFO. These data provide strong genetic evidence implicating de novo synthesis of Ang II in the SFO as an integral player in fluid homeostasis.
Koji Sakai, Khristofor Agassandian, Satoshi Morimoto, Puspha Sinnayah, Martin D. Cassell, Robin L. Davisson, Curt D. Sigmund
Treatment with CD40Ig results in indefinite allograft survival in a complete MHC-mismatched heart allograft model in the rat. Here we show that serial second, third, and fourth adoptive transfers of total splenocytes from CD40Ig-treated recipients into secondary recipients led to indefinite donor-specific allograft acceptance. Purification of splenocyte subpopulations from CD40Ig-treated recipients demonstrated that only the adoptively transferred CD8+CD45RClow subset resulted in donor-specific long-term survival, whereas CD8+CD45RClow T cells from naive animals did not. Accepted grafts displayed increased indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) expression restricted in the graft to ECs. Coculture of donor ECs with CD8+CD45RClow T cells purified from CD40Ig-treated animals resulted in donor-specific IDO expression dependent on IFN-γ. Neutralization of IFN-γ or IDO triggered acute allograft rejection in both CD40Ig-treated and adoptively transferred recipients. This study demonstrates for what we believe to be the first time that interference in CD40–CD40 ligand (CD40-CD40L) interactions induces allospecific CD8+ Tregs that maintain allograft survival. CD8+CD45RClow T cells act through IFN-γ production, which in turn induces IDO expression by graft ECs. Thus, donor alloantigen-specific CD8+ Tregs may promote local graft immune privilege through IDO expression.
Carole Guillonneau, Marcelo Hill, François-Xavier Hubert, Elise Chiffoleau, Caroline Hervé, Xian-Liang Li, Michèle Heslan, Claire Usal, Laurent Tesson, Séverine Ménoret, Abdelhadi Saoudi, Brigitte Le Mauff, Régis Josien, Maria Cristina Cuturi, Ignacio Anegon