M J Blaser, J Parsonnet
Hepatic iron overload causes lipocyte activation with resultant fibrogenesis. This study examines whether rat lipocytes express ferritin receptors, which could be involved in paracellular iron movement and in cellular regulation. Lipocytes from normal rat liver were cultured on plastic and incubated with 125I-labeled rat liver ferritin (RLF) +/- a 100-fold excess of either unlabeled RLF or human heart ferritin, human liver ferritin, human recombinant H-ferritin, a mutant human recombinant L-ferritin, or a variety of nonspecific proteins. Specific binding sites for ferritin were demonstrated by displacement of 125I-RLF by RLF (64.5 +/- 4.3%) and by other ferritins (55-60%), but not by recombinant L-ferritin. Scatchard analysis demonstrated a single class of binding sites with a Kd of 5.1 +/- 2.9 x 10(-10) M, maximum binding capacity of 4.7 +/- 1.3 x 10(-12) M, and 5,000-10,000 receptor sites/cell. Ferritin receptor expression was observed only in activated lipocytes. Internalization of RLF was observed within 15 min using FITC-RLF and confocal microscopy. This study demonstrates that (a) activated lipocytes express a specific high affinity ferritin receptor; (b) the binding appears to be dependent on the H-ferritin subunit; and (c) lipocytes internalize ferritin. Expression of ferritin receptors in activated lipocytes suggests that the receptor may either be involved in the activation cascade or may be a marker of activation.
G A Ramm, R S Britton, R O'Neill, B R Bacon
Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease mediated by auto-antibodies that attack the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR). To elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying the decrease in AChR levels at the neuromuscular junction, we investigated the regulation of AChR expression by analyzing mRNA of the two AChR alpha subunit isoforms (P3A+ and P3A-) in muscle samples from myasthenic patients relative to controls. We applied a quantitative method based on reverse transcription of total RNA followed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), using an internal standard we constructed by site-directed mutagenesis. An increased expression of mRNA coding for the alpha subunit of the AChR isoforms was observed in severely affected patients (P < 0.003 versus controls) but not in moderately affected patients, independently of the anti-AChR antibody titer. Study of mRNA precursor levels indicates a higher expression in severely affected patients compared to controls, suggesting an enhanced rate of transcription of the message coding for the alpha subunit isoforms in these patients. We have also reported that mRNA encoding both isoforms are expressed at an approximate 1:1 ratio in controls and in patients. We have thus identified a new biological parameter correlated with disease severity, and provide evidence of a compensatory mechanism to balance the loss of AChR in human myasthenia gravis, which is probably triggered only above a certain degree of AChR loss.
T Guyon, P Levasseur, F Truffault, C Cottin, C Gaud, S Berrih-Aknin
The metabolism of the cartilage proteoglycan aggrecan was studied in patients with osteoarthritis (OA, n = 83), rheumatoid arthritis (RA, n = 127), and in controls (n = 117) using monoclonal antibody-based radioimmunoassays for glycosaminoglycans in the serum and synovial fluid (SF) to detect epitope 846 on chondroitin sulfate (probably only on recently synthesized molecules) and a keratan sulfate (KS) epitope AN9PI, present on intact and degraded molecules. Epitope 846 levels were always elevated in SF over serum (mean 38-fold in OA and 8.6-fold in RA) being highest in OA patients with the longest disease duration and greatest loss of cartilage, and lowest in RA joints with high leucocyte counts. Serum levels were more often elevated in RA (56%) than in OA (19%) and probably reflect increased aggrecan synthesis in diseased joints. KS levels were higher in SF than in serum in 69% of patients (up to 2.3-fold); levels were inversely (OA) and directly (RA) related to SF leucocyte counts. Serum KS was reduced in both diseases and in RA was inversely related to both systemic and joint inflammation markers. SF 846 levels were inversely related to SF KS in both diseases. These epitopes may provide a measure of the balance between cartilage synthesis and degradation in these diseases.
A R Poole, M Ionescu, A Swan, P A Dieppe
Erythropoietin (EP), insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and stem cell factor (SCF) each reduce apoptosis of human erythroid progenitor cells. To determine if these growth factors have additional roles in stimulating erythropoiesis, the proliferation, maturation, and survival of highly purified human erythroid colony-forming cells (ECFCs) were studied during the application of different combinations of these growth factors in a serum-free liquid culture. EP maintained cell viability and supported heme synthesis during erythroid maturation, with little increase in viable cell number or stimulation of DNA synthesis. The addition of SCF with EP resulted in a substantial increase in DNA synthesis, which was greater than that seen with the addition of EP and was associated with a large expansion in the number of ECFCs. Thus EP, by itself, produces little increase in cell proliferation, and expansion of the number of erythroid cells depends upon the presence of SCF with EP. The addition of IGF-I with EP led to enhanced heme synthesis and moderate cellular proliferation, but also greatly enhanced nuclear condensation and enucleation in the late erythroblasts. Thus EP, by itself, is not sufficient for complete end-terminal nuclear condensation/enucleation and the presence of IGF-I is necessary for this complete process. While EP greatly reduced apoptosis during 16 h of incubation at 37 degrees C, the addition of SCF and IGF-I with EP had little additional effect, but these additions enhanced DNA synthesis > 3.4-fold. Thus SCF may have an additional role in directly stimulating proliferation through a process that is distinct from apoptosis. Our observations indicate that EP prevents apoptosis and maintains erythroid cell viability and development. IGF-I enhances erythroid maturation and proliferation, but the proliferation of erythroid progenitors is mainly controlled by the addition of SCF with EP, independent of an effect on apoptosis.
K Muta, S B Krantz, M C Bondurant, A Wickrema
The HBx gene of hepatitis B virus has been shown to induce hepatic tumors in transgenic mice and is implicated in hepatocarcinogenesis in human hepatitis B virus infection. To further characterize the role of HBx gene in carcinogenesis, we established mouse fibroblast cell lines in which the expression of HBx gene could be controlled by glucocorticoid hormone and examined the effect of HBx gene expression on cell growth in vitro. Along with the expression of HBx gene, most cells in the G0/G1 phase moved into the S phase in 24 h, and the cell cycle progressed further toward 48 h. Induction of DNA synthesis was also demonstrated by bromo-deoxyuridine labeling analysis. These results indicate that HBx gene has a function to trigger the synthesis of cellular DNA and suggest that HBx gene may play a role in hepatocarcinogenesis in human infection by driving deregulated cell cycle progression.
K Koike, K Moriya, H Yotsuyanagi, S Iino, K Kurokawa
We studied the expression of PDGF-alpha and -beta receptors in 10 normal and 40 pathologic human kidneys (five minimal change disease, five membranous nephropathy, 25 IgA nephropathy, five lupus nephritis), by both immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization techniques. In normal-appearing kidneys, both PDGF-alpha and -beta receptors were expressed at the glomerular and interstitial level, the latter receptor more intensely than the former. The distribution and degree of expression of both receptors in nonproliferative glomerulonephritides were comparable with those found in normal-appearing kidneys. PDGF-beta receptor gene and protein expression were upregulated in proliferative nephritides both at the glomerular and the interstitial level and strictly correlated with the grade of histologic lesions. Finally, PDGF beta receptor expression was observed at a low level in normal-appearing renal vessels, and strikingly increased in injured arteries. Diseased kidneys displayed only a slight increase of PDGF-alpha receptor expression, chiefly at the interstitial level. Noteworthy, a few cases of lupus nephritis showed a moderate increase of PDGF-alpha receptor also at the glomerular level. These data establish PDGF-beta receptor activation as a candidate for driving glomerular and interstitial proliferation and, probably, expansion of extracellular matrix in proliferative glomerulonephritis, while the role of PDGF-alpha receptor activation at the renal level remains to be elucidated.
L Gesualdo, S Di Paolo, S Milani, M Pinzani, C Grappone, E Ranieri, G Pannarale, F P Schena
Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is an autoimmune blistering disease, in which autoantibodies against PV antigen (PVA or Dsg3) play a pathogenic role in inducing blister formation. Bacterial fusion proteins of PVA failed to absorb pathogenic autoantibodies from PV patients' sera probably because they did not represent the proper conformation. Therefore, a chimeric protein, PVIg, consisting of the whole extracellular domain of PVA and the constant region of human IgG1, was produced in either in COS7 or in insect Sf9 eucaryotic cells. Both PVIg-COS7 and PVIg-Sf9 were recognized by all of the 35 PV sera tested, but not by any of 10 pemphigus foliaceus (PF), 16 Brazilian PF, 10 bullous pemphigoid, or five normal control sera. Incubation of PV patients' sera with PVIg-Sf9 removed heterogeneous autoantibodies and significantly reduced their immunofluorescence titers on normal human epidermis, although PVIg-Sf9 did not affect the titers of PF sera at all. Furthermore, PVIg-Sf9 absorbed pathogenic autoantibodies from patients' sera and prevented gross blister formation in a neonatal mouse model for pemphigus. These results indicate that this baculovirus product has the proper conformation of the authentic PVA and that its conformation is important in pathogenicity of pemphigus.
M Amagai, T Hashimoto, N Shimizu, T Nishikawa
To understand how glomerular epithelial cell (GEC) proliferation may be regulated in health and disease, we studied the effects of type I collagen extracellular matrices (ECM) on EGF receptor (EGF-R) activation in cultured rat GEC. EGF stimulated proliferation of GEC adherent to ECM, but not of GEC on a plastic substratum. Significant and prolonged EGF-R tyrosine autophosphorylation (which reflects receptor kinase activation) was induced by EGF in GEC adherent to collagen, but EGF did not stimulate EGF-R autophosphorylation in GEC on plastic (at 37 degrees C). However, EGF-R autophosphorylation increased significantly in plastic-adherent GEC that were stimulated with EGF at 4 degrees C or in the presence of vanadate, an inhibitor of phosphotyrosine phosphatases. Furthermore, dephosphorylation of EGF-R was enhanced in GEC on plastic as compared with collagen. At 4 degrees C, [125I]EGF binding was not different between substrata, and there was negligible accumulation of intracellular [125I]EGF (which reflects EGF-R internalization). At 37 degrees C, EGF-R internalization was reduced significantly in collagen-adherent GEC as compared with GEC on plastic. Thus, contact with ECM facilitates proliferation and EGF-R activation in GEC. The enhanced activity of EGF-R tyrosine kinase may be due to ECM-induced reduction in EGF-R internalization and dephosphorylation by phosphotyrosine phosphatase(s). Signals from ECM to growth factor receptors may regulate cell turnover in the glomerulus under normal conditions and during immune glomerular injury.
A V Cybulsky, A J McTavish, M D Cyr
Wound repair involves cell migration and tissue remodeling, and these ordered and regulated processes are facilitated by matrix-degrading proteases. We reported that interstitial collagenase is invariantly expressed by basal keratinocytes at the migrating front of healing epidermis (Saarialho-Kere, U. K., E. S. Chang, H. G. Welgus, and W. C. Parks, 1992. J. Clin. Invest. 90:1952-1957). Because of the limited substrate specificity of collagenase, principally for interstitial fibrillar collagens, other enzymes must also be produced in the wound environment to effectively restructure tissues with a complex matrix composition. Stromelysins-1 and -2 are closely related, yet distinct metalloproteinases, and both can degrade many noncollagenous connective tissue macromolecules. Using in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry, we found that both stromelysins are produced by distinct populations of keratinocytes in a variety of chronic ulcers. Stromelysin-1 mRNA and protein were detected in basal keratinocytes adjacent to but distal from the wound edge in what probably represents the sites of proliferating epidermis. In contrast, stromelysin-2 mRNA was seen only in basal keratinocytes at the migrating front, in the same epidermal cell population that expresses collagenase. Stromelysin-1-producing keratinocytes resided on the basement membrane, whereas stromelysin-2-producing keratinocytes were in contact with the dermal matrix. Furthermore, stromelysin-1 expression was prominent in dermal fibroblasts, whereas no signal for stromelysin-2 was seen in any dermal cell. These findings demonstrate that stromelysins-1 and -2 are produced by different populations of basal keratinocytes in response to wounding and suggest that these two matrix metalloproteinases serve distinct roles in tissue repair.
U K Saarialho-Kere, A P Pentland, H Birkedal-Hansen, W C Parks, H G Welgus
Pseudo-acylceramides with different acyl properties were investigated for their capacity to restore diminished barrier function in essential fatty acid-deficient rats. Daily topical applications of synthetic pseudo-acylceramides containing ester-linked linoleic acid caused a dose-dependent, significant reduction of transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Both other pseudo-acylceramides with ester-linked oleic acid or saturated alkyl chains and ordinary ceramides exhibited a poor effect on recovery of TEWL. Furthermore, pseudoceramide containing ether-linked linoleic acid, which is biologically inactive in terms of degradation by hydrolytic enzymes, also induced a significant and similar increase in the barrier function. This restoration of barrier function by pseudo-acylceramides with linoleic acid was accompanied by suppressed DNA synthesis in the EFAD rat epidermis. In UVB-irradiated guinea pig skin, topical applications of the pseudo-acylceramides with linoleic acid immediately after the exposure significantly reduced epidermal hyperplasia, secondary to markedly diminished barrier disruption, whereas linoleic acid itself did not. A comparison of both the anti-hyperplasia and the barrier recovery effects in the series of pseudo-ceramide derivatives examined revealed that the suppressive effect on the induced epidermal hyperplasia was paralleled by the recovery of the barrier defect in EFAD rats. These findings directly suggest that acylceramide with an ester-linked linoleic acid has an essential role in the epidermal permeability barrier.
G Imokawa, Y Yada, K Higuchi, M Okuda, Y Ohashi, A Kawamata
We have previously shown that human B lymphocytes cultured in the CD40 system, composed of an anti-CD40 mAb presented by a CD32-transfected fibroblastic cell line, proliferate but do not secrete antibodies. However, the addition of particles of Staphylococcus aureus Cowan (SAC) induces B cell differentiation even in the absence of exogenous cytokines (CD40/SAC system). Additionally, B lymphocytes cultured in the CD40 system in the presence of human IL-10, produce IgM, IgG, and IgA, and Ig levels are further increased by SAC. Here, we have studied the capacity of peripheral blood lymphocytes from patients with IgA deficiency (IgA-D) to secrete Igs, particularly IgA after CD40 triggering. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMNC) from IgA-D patients cultured in the CD40/SAC system produced IgM and IgG, but not IgA. The addition of IL-10 to the cultures, enhanced the production of IgM and IgG and most strikingly induced the production of high amounts of IgA. The addition of IL-10 to PBMNC from IgA-D patients activated through CD40 alone resulted in the production of IgA. Thus, SAC and anti-CD40 mAb stimulate B cells to differentiate into cells secreting IgG and IgM whereas IL-10 plays a central role in inducing B cells from IgA-D patients to differentiate into IgA secreting cells.
F Brière, J M Bridon, D Chevet, G Souillet, F Bienvenu, C Guret, H Martinez-Valdez, J Banchereau
The selection of T cell clones with mutations in the hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (hprt) gene has been used to isolate T cells reactive to myelin basic protein (MBP) in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). These T cell clones are activated in vivo, and are not found in healthy individuals. The third complementarity determining regions (CDR3) of the T cell receptor (TCR) alpha and beta chains are the putative contact sites for peptide fragments of MBP bound in the groove of the HLA molecule. The TCR V gene usage and CDR3s of these MBP-reactive hprt-T cell clones are homologous to TCRs from other T cells relevant to MS, including T cells causing experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) and T cells found in brain lesions and in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of MS patients. In vivo activated MBP-reactive T cells in MS patients may be critical in the pathogenesis of MS.
M Allegretta, R J Albertini, M D Howell, L R Smith, R Martin, H F McFarland, S Sriram, S Brostoff, L Steinman
I Giardino, D Edelstein, M Brownlee
The acidic secretory protein chromogranin A universally occurs in amine and peptide hormone and neurotransmitter storage granules throughout the neuroendocrine system. What factors govern the activity of the chromogranin A gene, to yield such a widespread yet neuroendocrine-selective pattern of expression? To address this question, we isolated the mouse chromogranin A gene promoter. The promoter conferred cell type-specific expression in several neuroendocrine cell types (adrenal medullary chromaffin cells, anterior pituitary corticotropes, and anterior pituitary somatolactotropes) but not in control (fibroblast or kidney) cells. In neuroendocrine cells, analysis of promoter deletions established both positive and negative transcriptional regulatory domains. A distal positive domain (-4.8/-2.2 kbp) was discovered, as well as negative (-258/-181 bp) and positive (-147/-61 bp) domains in the proximate promoter. The proximate promoter contained a minimal neuroendocrine-specific element between -77 and -61 bp. Sequence alignment of the mouse promoter with corresponding regions in rat and bovine clones indicated that the mouse sequence shares over 85% homology with rat and 52% with bovine promoters. DNaseI footprinting and electrophoretic gel mobility shift assays demonstrated the presence of nuclear factors in neuroendocrine cells that recognized the proximate promoter. We conclude that the chromogranin A promoter contains both positive and negative domains governing its cell type-specific pattern of transcription, and that a small proximate region of the promoter, containing novel as well as previously described elements, interacts specifically with neuroendocrine nuclear proteins, and is thereby sufficient to ensure widespread neuroendocrine expression of the gene.
H Wu, D J Rozansky, N J Webster, D T O'Connor
Pulse-chase studies of [35S]cysteine-labeled fibrillin were performed on fibroblast strains from 55 patients with Marfan syndrome (MFS), including 13 with identified mutations in the fibrillin-1 gene and 10 controls. Quantitation of the soluble intracellular and insoluble extracellular fibrillin allowed discrimination of five groups. Groups I (n = 8) and II (n = 19) synthesize reduced amounts of normal-sized fibrillin, while synthesis is normal in groups III (n = 6), IV (n = 18), and V (n = 4). When extracellular fibrillin deposition is measured, groups I and III deposit between 35 and 70% of control values, groups II and IV < 35%, and group V > 70%. A deletion mutant with a low transcript level from the mutant allele and seven additional patients have the group I protein phenotype. Disease in these patients is caused by a reduction in microfibrils associated with either a null allele, an unstable transcript, or an altered fibrillin product synthesized in low amounts. In 68% of the MFS individuals (groups II and IV), a dominant negative effect is invoked as the main pathogenetic mechanism. Products made by the mutant allele in these fibroblasts are proposed to interfere with microfibril formation. Insertion, deletion, and exon skipping mutations, resulting in smaller fibrillin products, exhibit the group II phenotype. A truncated form of fibrillin of 60 kD was identified with specific fibrillin antibodies in one of the group II cell culture media. Seven of the nine known missense mutations, giving rise to abnormal, but normal-sized fibrillin molecules, are in group IV.
T Aoyama, U Francke, H C Dietz, H Furthmayr
To investigate the mechanisms of the negative feedback inhibition of growth hormone (GH) secretion by IGF-I, we studied parameters of GH pulsatility in six normal, fed men before and during a 48-h infusion of recombinant human IGF-I (rhIGF-I) (10-15 micrograms/kg per h). Plasma levels of IGF-I increased from the baseline value of 163.5 +/- 9.3 micrograms/liter (mean +/- SE) to a new steady state of 452.0 +/- 20.9 micrograms/liter during the infusion. Plasma GH concentrations were measured every 10 min for 24 h during both saline and rhIGF-I infusions using a sensitive chemiluminescent assay. Overall, GH concentrations were suppressed during the rhIGF-I infusion by 85 +/- 3%, mainly by attenuating spontaneous GH pulse amplitude (77 +/- 4% suppression). The apparent GH pulse frequency was attenuated from 7.8 +/- 0.9 to 4.7 +/- 0.6 pulses/24 h (P = 0.006). Administration of rhIGF suppressed GH responses to exogenous GH-releasing hormone by 82 +/- 3%, and thyroid-stimulating hormone responses to thyrotropin-releasing hormone were also suppressed by 44 +/- 9%. This constellation of hormonal effects is most compatible with the rhIGF-I-induced stimulation of hypothalamic somatostatin secretion.
M Bermann, C A Jaffe, W Tsai, R DeMott-Friberg, A L Barkan
The etiology of multiple sclerosis (MS) is considered to involve genetic, environmental, infective, and immunological factors which affect the integrity of a normally assembled myelin sheath, either directly or indirectly resulting in demyelination. In a correlative study involving protein chemical, mass spectrometric, and electron microscopic techniques we have determined that myelin obtained from victims of MS is arrested at the level of the first growth spurt (within the first 6 yr of life) and is therefore developmentally immature. The data supporting this conclusion include (a) the pattern of microheterogeneity of myelin basic protein (MBP); (b) the NH2-terminal acylation of the least cationic component of MBP ("C-8"); (c) the phase transition temperature (Tc) of myelin isolated from victims of MS correlated with the increased proportion of the least cationic component of MBP; and (d) immunogold electron microscopy using an antibody specific for "C-8" showed that the distribution of gold particles in a 2-yr-old infant was similar to the distribution found in a victim of MS. We postulate that this developmentally immature myelin is more susceptible to degradation by one or a combination of factors mentioned above, providing the initial antigenic material to the immune system.
M A Moscarello, D D Wood, C Ackerley, C Boulias
Lipoprotein oxidation is believed to play an important role in atherogenesis. To investigate whether inhibition of oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL) would alter atherogenesis in the nonhuman primate, we administered probucol, a potent antioxidant, to Macaca nemestrina fed a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet. Probucol was administered to half of the 16 monkeys 14 wk after starting the hypercholesterolemic diet, and was given daily until they were sacrificed after 11 mos. To evaluate the antioxidant effect of probucol, the resistance of isolated plasma LDL to in vitro oxidation was evaluated. Probucol significantly increased the resistance of LDL to oxidative modification, as shown by an increase in the lag time required for conjugated diene formation. Lesions in the probucol-treated animals appeared less mature, and increased accumulation of lipid was observed in smooth muscle cells. Comparison of all control and probucol-treated monkeys demonstrated that intimal lesion areas in the thoracic aortas of the probucol-treated monkeys were reduced by 43% (P < 0.0001), but no significant difference in lesion area was found in the abdominal aortas or in the iliac arteries. However, the lag phase of conjugated diene formation was not prolonged in 2 of the 8 probucol-treated animals. A plot of intimal lesion size versus lag phase of all 16 animals showed a trend that lesion size was inversely related to oxidation resistance for all anatomic sites. The strong inverse relationship between intimal lesion size and resistance of LDL to oxidation supports a role for lipoprotein oxidation in the development and progression of lesions of atherosclerosis. The possibility that some of the effect is due to other biological properties of probucol cannot be ruled out.
M Sasahara, E W Raines, A Chait, T E Carew, D Steinberg, P W Wahl, R Ross
Stem cell factor (SCF), a key regulator of hematopoiesis, potently synergizes with a number of hematopoietic growth factors. However, little is known about growth factors capable of inhibiting the actions of SCF. TNF-alpha has been shown to act as a bidirectional regulator of myeloid cell proliferation and differentiation. This study was designed to examine interactions between TNF-alpha and SCF. Here, we demonstrate that TNF-alpha potently and directly inhibits SCF-stimulated proliferation of CD34+ hematopoietic progenitor cells. Furthermore, TNF-alpha blocked all colony formation stimulated by SCF in combination with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (CSF) or CSF-1. The synergistic effect of SCF observed in combination with GM-CSF or IL-3 was also inhibited by TNF-alpha, resulting in colony numbers similar to those obtained in the absence of SCF. These effects of TNF-alpha were mediated through the p55 TNF receptor, whereas little or no inhibition was signaled through the p75 TNF receptor. Finally, TNF-alpha downregulated c-kit cell-surface expression on CD34+ bone marrow cells, and this was predominantly a p55 TNF receptor-mediated event as well.
L S Rusten, E B Smeland, F W Jacobsen, E Lien, W Lesslauer, H Loetscher, C M Dubois, S E Jacobsen
The present study was undertaken to determine the magnitude and mechanism of base transport via the apical and basolateral Na(+)-independent Cl-/base exchangers in rabbit isolated perfused superficial S2 proximal tubules. The results demonstrate that there is an apical Na(+)-independent Cl-/base exchanger on both membranes. HCO3- fails to stimulate apical Cl-/base exchange in contrast to the basolateral exchanger. Inhibition of endogenous HCO3- production does not alter the rate of apical Cl-/base exchange in Hepes-buffered solutions. Both exchangers are inhibited by H2DIDS and furosemide; however, the basolateral anion exchanger is more sensitive to these inhibitors. The results indicate that the apical and basolateral Cl-/base exchangers differ in their transport properties and are able to transport base equivalents in the absence of formate. The formate concentration in rabbit arterial serum is approximately 6 microM and in vitro tubule formate production is < 0.6 pmol/min per mm. Formate in the micromolar range stimulates Jv in a dose-dependent manner in the absence of a transepithelial Na+ and Cl- gradient and without a measurable effect on Cl(-)-induced equivalent base flux. Apical formic acid recycling cannot be an important component of any cell model, which accounts for formic acid stimulation of transcellular NaCl transport in the rabbit superficial S2 proximal tubule. We propose that transcellular NaCl transport in this nephron segment is mediated by an apical Na+/H+ exchanger in parallel with a Cl-/OH- exchanger and that the secreted H+ and OH- ions form H2O in the tubule lumen.
I Kurtz, G Nagami, N Yanagawa, L Li, C Emmons, I Lee
To gain insight into the mechanisms of autoantibody induction, sera from 40 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) were tested by ELISAs for antibody binding to denatured individual histones, native histone-histone complexes, histone-DNA subnucleosome complexes, three forms of chromatin, and DNA. Whole chromatin was the most reactive substrate, with 88% of the patients positive. By chi-square analysis, only the presence of anti-(H2A-H2B), anti-[(H2A-H2B)-DNA], and antichromatin were correlated with kidney disease measured by proteinuria > 0.5 g/d. SLE patients could be divided into two groups based on their antibody-binding pattern to the above substrates. Antibodies from about half of the patients reacted with chromatin and the (H2A-H2B)-DNA subnucleosome complex but displayed very low or no reactivity with native DNA or the (H3-H4)2-DNA subnucleosome complex. An additional third of the patients had antibody reactivity to chromatin, as well as to both subnucleosome structures and DNA. Strikingly, all sera that bound to any of the components of chromatin also bound to whole chromatin, and adsorption with chromatin removed 85-100% of reactivity to (H2A-H2B)-DNA, (H3-H4)2-DNA, and native DNA. Individual sera often bound to several different epitopes on chromatin, with some epitopes requiring quaternary protein-DNA interactions. These results are consistent with chromatin being a potent immunogenic stimulus in SLE. Taken together with previous studies, we suggest that antibody activity to the (H2A-H2B)-DNA component signals the initial breakdown of immune tolerance whereas responses to (H3-H4)2-DNA and native DNA reflect subsequent global loss of tolerance to chromatin.
R W Burlingame, M L Boey, G Starkebaum, R L Rubin
Chronic ethanol feeding selectively impairs the translocation of cytosol GSH into the mitochondrial matrix. Since ethanol-induced liver cell injury is preferentially localized in the centrilobular area, we examined the hepatic acinar distribution of mitochondrial GSH transport in ethanol-fed rats. Enriched periportal (PP) and perivenous (PV) hepatocytes from pair- and ethanol-fed rats were prepared as well as mitochondria from these cells. The mitochondrial pool size of GSH was decreased in both PP and PV cells from ethanol-fed rats either as expressed per 10(6) cells or per microliter of mitochondrial matrix volume. The rate of reaccumulation of mitochondrial GSH and the linear relationship of mitochondrial to cytosol GSH from ethanol-fed mitochondria were lower for both PP and PV cells, effects observed more prominently in the PV cells. Mitochondrial functional integrity was lower in both PP and PV ethanol-fed rats, which was associated with decreased cellular ATP levels and mitochondrial membrane potential, effects which were greater in the PV cells. Mitochondrial GSH depletion by ethanol feeding preceded the onset of functional changes in mitochondria, suggesting that mitochondrial GSH is critical in maintaining a functionally competent organelle and that the greater depletion of mitochondrial GSH by ethanol feeding in PV cells could contribute to the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver disease.
C García-Ruiz, A Morales, A Ballesta, J Rodés, N Kaplowitz, J C Fernández-Checa
Local activation of T lymphocytes is regarded as an important immunological component of psoriatic skin lesions. Within psoriatic plaques (PP) there are large numbers of dermal dendritic cells (DDCs) immediately beneath the hyperplastic epidermis surrounded by T cells. In this study we investigated the ability of DDCs isolated from PP skin to support immune responses to resting peripheral blood T cells. For comparison, other dendritic cells were obtained from blood of the same psoriatic patients, as well as DDCs from skin of normal healthy individuals (designated NN skin). All dendritic cells studied had high surface expression of HLA-DR, B7, and lymphocyte function associated antigen-1 molecules. T cell proliferative responses and cytokine production profiles to these various dendritic cells were measured in the absence and presence of PHA or bacterial-derived superantigens. In the absence of exogenous mitogens, PP skin-derived DDCs were much more effective stimulators of spontaneous T cell proliferation compared with either psoriatic blood-derived or NN skin-derived dendritic cells. Antibody blocking studies revealed involvement of HLA-DR, B7, and lymphocyte function associated antigen-1 on PP skin-derived DDCs. Cytokine profiles revealed that in the absence of exogenous stimuli PP skin-derived DDCs mediated a T cell response with high levels of IL-2 and IFN-gamma, but not IL-4 or IL-10. NN skin-derived DDCs produced a similar qualitative response, but quantitative amounts of all cytokines measured were lower. Upon addition of PHA or superantigens, both PP skin-derived and NN skin-derived DDCs mediated high levels of IL-2 and IFN-gamma production, with induction of IL-4 particularly evident for PHA reactions. Addition of conditioned medium from psoriatic dermal fragments did not enhance the autostimulatory capacity of blood-derived dendritic cells. These findings highlight the potent autostimulatory potential of PP skin-derived DDCs and suggest an important immunological contribution for these previously overlooked cell types contained within lesional skin sites.
F O Nestle, L A Turka, B J Nickoloff
While growth of blood vessels is important in hypertension, relatively little is known about the contribution of catecholamines. Using isolated rat aorta and cultured smooth muscle cells, we examined adrenergic stimulation of gene expression. Phenylephrine, a selective alpha 1 adrenergic receptor agonist, caused a rapid and transient increase in c-fos mRNA accumulation which was inhibited by prazosin, an alpha 1 receptor antagonist. Similarly, phenylephrine stimulated c-jun and c-myc mRNA accumulation. Chloroethyl-clonidine, a compound which irreversibly blocks alpha 1B receptors, completely blocked the phenylephrine-induced increase in c-fos mRNA. RNase protection experiments demonstrated that rat aorta prominently expressed mRNA for alpha 1B and alpha 1A/D receptors. Phenylephrine-induced c-fos mRNA was partially inhibited by H-7, a protein kinase C inhibitor, and by nifedipine, a Ca2+ channel blocker; these two compounds together had additive effects. In situ hybridization showed that expression of c-fos mRNA induced by phenylephrine was localized to aorta's medial layer. These results suggest that alpha 1 receptor-induced increase in c-fos mRNA in aorta is mediated by a chloroethyl-clonidine-sensitive receptor subtype signaling via increasing intracellular Ca2+ concentrations and activating protein kinase C.
M Okazaki, Z W Hu, M Fujinaga, B B Hoffman
In the present studies we sought to address the following questions: do chronically transplanted intrahepatic islets (IHI-Tx) secrete insulin in a coordinate pulsatile manner, and, if so, is reestablishment of this coordinate pulsatility a function of time after transplantation? We studied isolated perfused livers at 10 mM glucose from 27 rats rendered diabetic with streptozotocin and then transplanted with approximately 2 x 10(3) islets, 2 (n = 5), 7 (n = 5), 30 (n = 5), and 200 (n = 12) d after transplantation. 12 out of 12 of the 200-d IHI-Tx secreted insulin in coordinate pulses (frequency 3.9 +/- 0.3 pulses/h, amplitude 15.2 +/- 2.4 nmol/min). In contrast, one out of five 2-d, zero out of five 7-d, and one out of five 30-d IHI-Tx showed pulsatile insulin secretion. Insulin secretion was markedly greater (76 +/- 13 vs 13 +/- 3 nmol/min, P < 0.0001) in the 200-d versus early IHI-Tx. Pentobarbital 25 micrograms/ml had no effect on total (13.9 +/- 3.9 vs 15.9 +/- 3.9 nmol/min), nonpulsatile (12.9 +/- 3.5 vs 14.1 +/- 3.3 nmol/min), or pulsatile (pulse amplitude 17.6 +/- 4.5 vs 20.0 +/- 4.2 nmol/min, pulse frequency 4.1 +/- 0.3 vs 4.0 +/- 0.7 pulses/h) insulin secretion. Using synaptophysin, islet innervation was documented in 12 out of 12 200-d IHI-Tx but in none of the early IHI-Tx. We conclude that established (approximately 200 d) IHI-Tx secrete insulin in a coordinate pulsatile manner and that establishment of coordinate pulsatile insulin secretion by IHI-Tx is accompanied by increased total insulin secretion and is associated with islet reinnervation.
N Pørksen, S Munn, D Ferguson, T O'Brien, J Veldhuis, P Butler
Increasing evidence suggests heterogeneity in the molecular pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis (CF). Mutations such as deletion of phenylalanine at position 508 (delta F508) within the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), for example, appear to cause disease by abrogating normal biosynthetic processing, a mechanism which results in retention and degradation of the mutant protein within the endoplasmic reticulum. Other mutations, such as the relatively common glycine-->aspartic acid replacement at CFTR position 551 (G551D) appear to be normally processed, and therefore must cause disease through some other mechanism. Because delta F508 and G551D both occur within a predicted nucleotide binding domain (NBD) of the CFTR, we tested the influence of these mutations on nucleotide binding by the protein. We found that G551D and the corresponding mutation in the CFTR second nucleotide binding domain, G1349D, led to decreased nucleotide binding by CFTR NBDs, while the delta F508 mutation did not alter nucleotide binding. These results implicate defective ATP binding as contributing to the pathogenic mechanism of a relatively common mutation leading to CF, and suggest that structural integrity of a highly conserved region present in over 30 prokaryotic and eukaryotic nucleotide binding domains may be critical for normal nucleotide binding.
J Logan, D Hiestand, P Daram, Z Huang, D D Muccio, J Hartman, B Haley, W J Cook, E J Sorscher
The present study was undertaken to assess the presence of renin enzymatic activity and renin mRNA in proximal tubules of rat kidneys, and to determine the effect of converting enzyme inhibition (CEI) on proximal tubule renin gene expression. Proximal convoluted tubules (PCT), proximal straight tubules (PST), outer medullary collecting ducts (OMCD), and glomeruli (Gloms) were isolated by microdissection. Renin activity was measured in sonicated segments by radioimmunoassay. Renin mRNA levels were assessed using a quantitative PCR. Renin activity in PCT averaged 51 +/- 15 microGU/mm compared to 405 +/- 120 microGU/glomerulus. No measurable renin activity was found in PST and OMCD. Renin activity in both glomeruli and tubules had the same pH optimum, between 7.0 and 7.5. Renin mRNA was consistently detectable in cDNA prepared from PCT and PST, although its abundance per mm tubule was about 1/500th that found in one glomerulus. Renin mRNA was not detectable in OMCD. Tubular renin PCR product identity was confirmed by restriction digestion. CEI administration increased glomerular renin activity and renin mRNA, but not proximal tubular renin. The absence of a stimulatory effect of CEI on proximal tubule renin gene expression suggests the operation of different intracellular signals in control of renin synthesis in the proximal tubule than in the vascular compartment.
M Chen, M P Harris, D Rose, A Smart, X R He, M Kretzler, J P Briggs, J Schnermann
TNF alpha seems to play an important role in the pathogenesis of adult respiratory distress syndrome. We studied the effect of TNF alpha on phospholipid synthesis by isolated type II pneumocytes and attempted to characterize the role of arachidonate metabolites and the influence of pentoxifylline on such an effect. Lung tissue obtained from both multiple organ donors (n = 14) and lung cancer patients (n = 11) was used for cell isolation. Surfactant synthesis was measured by the incorporation of D-[U-14C]glucose into phosphatidylcholine (PC). The basal PC synthesis was higher in the donor group than in the malignant group (3.44 +/- 0.19 vs 2.15 +/- 0.15 pmol/microgram protein x 120 min, P < 0.01), and, in the presence of 100 ng/ml of TNF alpha, the incorporation of labeled glucose into PC was reduced significantly in both donor (1.13 +/- 0.11 vs 3.44 +/- 0.19 pmol/microgram protein x 120 min, P < 0.01) and cancer (0.99 +/- 0.11 vs 2.15 +/- 0.15 pmol/microgram protein x 120 min, P < 0.01) groups. Indomethacin was able to completely block the cytokine-induced decrease in PC synthesis by pneumocytes from the malignant group and to attenuate the inhibitory effect of TNF alpha in those from donors, nordihydroguaiaretic acid having a similar effect. The TNF alpha effect can be blocked by pentoxifylline (100 micrograms/ml), a substance which can even succeed in reverting the basal secretory inhibition of cancer patients' pneumocytes to levels similar to those of the donor group. TNF alpha may contribute to the pathophysiology of adult respiratory distress syndrome by inhibiting the synthesis of surfactant. TNF alpha might be produced in lung tumors, resulting in chronic paracrine or systemic exposure of pneumocytes to low concentrations of the cytokine. The TNF alpha effect was not prevented completely by the blockage of the arachidonic acid metabolism, hence other mediators should also be implicated.
J Arias-Díaz, E Vara, C García, J L Balibrea
T lymphocytes from patients with acute EBV-induced infectious mononucleosis rapidly die by apoptosis in vitro. Because human and viral IL-10 are likely to be induced during acute EBV infection and display a variety of functions on human T cells, we examined IL-10 effects on infectious mononucleosis T cell death. After 12 h of incubation in medium alone, only 35.6 (+/- 8.2%) of the originally seeded infectious mononucleosis T cells were viable. Addition of human IL-10 (100 U/ml) to T cell cultures significantly improved recovery of viable cells (71.3 +/- 6.2%, P = 0.0156). Viral IL-10 had comparable effects to human IL-10 in this system. Protection from death by human and viral IL-10 (100 U/ml) was dose dependent and continued over a 6-d culture period. The human IL-10 effect was neutralized by the anti-human IL-10 mAb 19F1. Morphology and analysis of DNA after separation on agarose gels showed that IL-10 inhibits loss of cell volume, chromatin condensation, and DNA fragmentation, characteristics of death by apoptosis. As assessed by [3H]thymidine incorporation, the T cells were not induced to proliferate by IL-10 above the level exhibited when first removed from blood. T cells protected from death by IL-10 proliferated to IL-2 and spontaneously killed sensitive targets as effectively as medium-precultured T cells. Thus, IL-10 promotes the survival of infectious mononucleosis T cells otherwise destined to die by apoptosis and may be critical for the establishment of immunologic memory after resolution of the illness.
K Taga, J Chretien, B Cherney, L Diaz, M Brown, G Tosato
Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) has been shown to stimulate cell proliferation after vascular injury. The mitogenic activity of bFGF requires interactions with both a high affinity receptor and a cell-surface heparan sulfate proteoglycan. We tested the ability of platelet factor 4 (PF 4) and other platelet heparin-binding proteins to modulate bFGF-stimulated [3H]thymidine incorporation into fibroblasts. The supernatant of thrombin-stimulated platelets contained an inhibitor of bFGF-induced mitogenesis; this activity coeluted with PF 4 upon gel filtration, heparin-agarose, and ion-exchange chromatography. Purified thrombospondin and beta-thromboglobulin did not inhibit the mitogenic activity of bFGF. PF 4 inhibited the activity of 5 pM bFGF with 50% inhibitory concentration of 75 nM. Purified PF 4 also inhibited the basal incorporation of [3H]thymidine into 3T3 fibroblasts and the increased [3H]thymidine incorporation occurring after wounding of a cell monolayer. PF 4 did not affect the mitogenic activity of serum. Inhibition of bFGF activity by PF 4 could be overcome by exogenous heparin or chondroitin-4-sulfate, suggesting that inhibition of mitogenesis is caused by binding of PF 4 to cell-surface glycosaminoglycans. These results indicate that an important role of PF 4 released at sites of vascular injury and platelet activation is to control cellular proliferation caused by the release of bFGF from ruptured cells.
J B Watson, S B Getzler, D F Mosher
Inbred mouse strains fed a diabetogenic diet have different propensities to develop features analogous to type 2 diabetes mellitus. To define chromosomal locations that control these characteristics, recombinant inbred strains from diabetes-prone C57BL/6J (B/6J) and diabetes-resistant A/J strains were studied. Insulin levels and hyperglycemia correlated with two different regions of mouse chromosome 7 (two point LOD scores > 3.0). For insulin levels, 15 of 16 recombinant inbred strains were concordant with a region that contains the tubby mutation that results in hyperinsulinemia. For hyperglycemia, 19 of 23 strains were concordant with the D7Mit25 marker and 20 of 23 strains with the Gpi-1 locus on proximal mouse chromosome 7. Using more stringent criteria for hyperglycemia, 10 of 11 strains characterized as A/J or B/6J like were concordant with D7Mit25. This putative susceptibility locus is consistent with that of the glycogen synthase gene (Gys) recently suggested as a candidate locus by analyses of type 2 diabetes patients. Fractional glycogen synthase activity in isolated muscle was significantly lower in normal B/6J diabetic-prone mice compared with normal diabetic-resistant A/J mice, a finding similar to that reported in relatives of human patients with type 2 diabetes. These data, taken together, raise the possibility that defects in the Gys gene may in part be responsible for the propensity to develop type 2 diabetes.
M F Seldin, D Mott, D Bhat, A Petro, C M Kuhn, S F Kingsmore, C Bogardus, E Opara, M N Feinglos, R S Surwit
Sustained contractile activity of skeletal muscle promotes angiogenesis, as well as transformation of contractile protein isoforms and mitochondrial proliferation within myofibers. Since the products of immediate early genes such as c-fos, c-jun, and egr-1 function in many signaling pathways governing cellular responses to external stimuli, we sought to determine whether sustained contractile activity induces their expression in skeletal muscle. Low voltage electrical stimulation was applied to the motor nerve innervating rabbit tibialis anterior muscles for periods ranging from 45 min to 21 d. Northern and Western analysis demonstrated marked but transient inductions of c-fos, c-jun, and egr-1 mRNA and protein within the first 24 h. Longer durations of stimulation were associated with a secondary and sustained rise in the abundance of c-fos, c-jun, and p88egr-1 protein that, surprisingly, was not accompanied by detectable changes in mRNA. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated c-fos immunoreactivity within myofiber and vascular cell nuclei during both early and late phases of this response. These findings reveal a complex pattern of c-fos, c-jun, and egr-1 expression in response to nerve stimulation and suggest that these proteins could function in regulatory pathways that modify muscle phenotype.
J B Michel, G A Ordway, J A Richardson, R S Williams
Group B streptococcal infection is a major cause of neonatal mortality. Antibody to the capsular polysaccharide protects against invasive neonatal disease, but immunization with capsular polysaccharides fails to elicit protective antibody in many recipients. Conjugation of the polysaccharide to tetanus toxoid has been shown to increase immune response to the polysaccharide. In animal models, C proteins of group B streptococci are also protective determinants. We examined the ability of the beta C protein to serve in the dual role of carrier for the polysaccharide and protective immunogen. Type III polysaccharide was covalently coupled to beta C protein by reductive amination. Immunization of rabbits with the polysaccharide-protein conjugate elicited high titers of antibody to both components, and the serum induced opsonophagocytic killing of type III, Ia/C, and Ib/C strains of group B streptococci. Female mice were immunized with the conjugate vaccine and then bred; 93% of neonatal pups born to these dams vaccinated with conjugate survived type III group B streptococcal challenge and 76% survived type Ia/C challenge, compared with 3% and 8% survival, respectively, in controls (P < 0.001). The beta C protein acted as an effective carrier for the type III polysaccharide while simultaneously induced protective immunity against beta C protein--containing strains of group B streptococci.
L C Madoff, L C Paoletti, J Y Tai, D L Kasper
Recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) promotes human T cell engraftment in mice with severe combined immunodeficiency, suggesting that rhGH may have effects on T cell adhesion and migration in vivo. The ability of rhGH to directly affect the adhesion capacity of human T cells to a variety of human or murine adhesion molecules and extracellular matrix proteins was examined. rhGH induced significant human T cell adherence to both human and murine substrates via either beta 1 or beta 2 integrin molecules. rhGH was capable of inducing significant migration of resting and activated human T cells and their subsets. Most of the migratory response to rhGH was chemokinetic rather than chemotactic. In vivo engraftment studies in severe combined immunodeficiency mice receiving human T cells revealed that treatment with rhGH resulted in improved thymic engraftment, whereas treatment with non-human-reactive ovine GH demonstrated no significant effects. These data demonstrate that rhGH directly augments human T cell trafficking to peripheral murine lymphoid tissues. rhGH appears to be capable of directly altering the adhesive and migratory capacity of human T cells to molecules of either murine or human origin. Therefore, GH may, under either isogeneic or xenogeneic conditions, play a role in normal lymphocyte recirculation.
D D Taub, G Tsarfaty, A R Lloyd, S K Durum, D L Longo, W J Murphy
Local activation of the components of the renin angiotensin system in the heart is regarded as an important modulator of cardiac phenotype and function; however, little is known about their presence, regulation, and potential activation in the human heart. To investigate the gene expression of major angiotensin-II-forming enzymes in left ventricles of normal (n = 9) and failing human hearts (n = 20), we established a competitive RNA-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for mRNA quantification of angiotensin-I converting enzyme (ACE) and human heart chymase. For each gene, competitor RNA targets with small internal deletions were used as internal standards to quantify the original number of transcripts and to control reverse transcription and PCR. In PCR, each target and the corresponding competitor were amplified by competing for the same primer oligonucleotides. The variability of ACE RNA-PCR was 11% indicating a high reproducibility of this method. In addition, ACE mRNA levels obtained by competitive RNA-PCR correlated favorably with traditional slot blot hybridization (r = 0.69, n = 10; P < 0.05). Compared with nonfailing hearts, the number of ACE transcripts referred to 100 ng of total RNA was increased threefold in patients with chronic heart failure (4.2 +/- 2.5 vs. 12.8 +/- 6 x 10(5); P < 0.0005). In contrast, no significant difference was found in chymase gene expression between normal and failing hearts. Thus, the expression of the cardiac ACE but not of human heart chymase is upregulated in failing human heart indicating an activation of the cardiac renin-angiotensin system in patients with advanced heart failure.
R Studer, H Reinecke, B Müller, J Holtz, H Just, H Drexler
We tested the hypothesis that pulmonary surfactant-associated lectins--surfactant proteins A and D (SP-A, and -D)--contribute to initial protective mechanisms against influenza A viruses (IAVs). SP-D potently inhibited hemagglutination activity of several strains of IAV as well as causing viral aggregation. SP-D enhanced neutrophil binding of IAV and neutrophil respiratory burst responses to the virus. Neutrophil dysfunction resulting from IAV exposure was diminished when the virus was pre-incubated with SP-D. Each of these effects was mediated by the calcium-dependent carbohydrate-binding property of SP-D. Native SP-D preparations of both human and rat origin, as well as recombinant rat SP-D, had similar activity. SP-A also inhibited IAV hemagglutination activity. We have previously reported that related mammalian serum lectins (mannose-binding lectin [MBL] and conglutinin) have similar effects. SP-D was at least 10-fold more potent at causing hemagglutination inhibition than were SP-A or MBL. SP-D was shown to contribute to potent anti-IAV activity of human bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. These results suggest that SP-D--alone, and in conjunction with SP-A and phagocytic cells--constitutes an important component of the natural immune response to IAV infection within the respiratory tract.
K L Hartshorn, E C Crouch, M R White, P Eggleton, A I Tauber, D Chang, K Sastry
IGF-I has been reported to increase hematopoietic progenitor cell cloning efficiency. To investigate this phenomenon, we studied the IGF-I responsiveness of human marrow cells expressing IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR), a direct strategy not used previously. IGF-IR+ and control CD34+ marrow cells were isolated using immunoaffinity methods. Then, the cells were cloned in methylcellulose containing variable amounts of serum- and lineage-appropriate growth factors supplemented with recombinant human IGF-I. In contrast to CD34+ cells, IGF-IR+ cells never gave rise to CFU-Blast, CFU-Mix, CFU-GM, BFU-E, or CFU-E. To substantiate the suggestion that CD34+ and IGF-IR+ cells were distinct populations, we used reverse transcription PCR to detect IGF-I, EpO, and KIT receptor mRNAs in these cells. The mRNA phenotype of CD34+ cells was EpO (+), KIT (+), and IGF-IR (-), while IGF-IR+ cells were IGF-IR (+), EpO (-), and KIT (-). These results suggested that IGF-IR is either not expressed or expressed at low levels on normal hematopoietic progenitor cells. Functional significance of the latter possibility was tested by exposing CD34+ cells to IGF-IR antisense oligodeoxynucleotides. Colony formation was unaffected by oligodeoxynucleotide disruption of IGF-IR, suggesting that, even if expressed at low level, the receptor's functional significance was doubtful. Nevertheless, when cultured in the presence of IGF-I, IGF-IR+ cells elaborated an activity with mild BFU-E stimulatory effects. Accordingly, if IGF-I plays a role in hematopoietic colony formation, it is probably and results from stimulation of IGF-IR-positive ancillary cells to secrete growth factors. Studies carried out with human leukemia cells yielded similar results.
M Z Ratajczak, W I Kuczynski, K Onodera, J Moore, J Ratajczak, D A Kregenow, K DeRiel, A M Gewirtz
To study signaling pathways regulated by alpha s and alpha i1 in renal epithelial cells, we expressed mutant, activated forms of alpha s and alpha i1 in a continuous proximal tubule cell line (MCT cells). alpha sQ227L increased cAMP production, and alpha ilQ204L reduced forskolin-sensitive cAMP production. alpha ilQ204L increased and alpha sQ227L decreased bradykinin-induced Ca influx across the cell membrane, but neither mutant affected bradykinin-stimulated intracellular Ca release or basal Ca influx. Bradykinin-stimulated Ca influx was reduced by dibutyryl cAMP, isoproterenol, and forskolin. Expression of a mutant regulatory type I subunit for cAMP-dependent protein kinase with reduced affinity for cAMP and treatment with KT-5720, a specific cAMP-dependent protein kinase inhibitor, enhanced Ca influx to a degree similar to that in cells expressing alpha ilQ204L. Bradykinin-stimulated c-fos mRNA expression is partially dependent on extracellular Ca. alpha sQ227L reduced and alpha ilQ204L enhanced bradykinin-stimulated c-fos expression. Consequently, in bradykinin-stimulated cells, the adenylyl cyclase system regulates Ca influx through cAMP-dependent protein kinase, but not intracellular Ca release. Furthermore, the Ca influx mechanism acts as an integrator of two signaling pathways such that Ca-dependent signals are damped by activators of adenylyl cyclase and enhanced by inhibitors of adenylyl cyclase.
K Kitamura, R T Miller
Chemokines are a family of cytokines whose participation in inflammation in vivo remains to be established. Using the rat model of anti-glomerular basement membrane (GBM) nephritis, we found that mRNA for the chemokine CINC (cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant) was induced in the kidney, and the corresponding protein was elaborated by isolated inflamed glomeruli. Production of CINC by glomeruli was unaffected by complement- or leukocyte-depletion prior to disease induction. Cytokines which induce CINC expression in renal cells (TNF-alpha and IL-1 beta) were also expressed in the kidney during glomerular inflammation. TNF-alpha production, unlike CINC, was complement and leukocyte dependent. In vivo administration of anti-CINC, but not anti-human IL-8, IgG selectively attenuated the influx of PMNs into the glomerulus and commensurately diminished proteinuria. The participation of CINC was not tissue-specific: anti-CINC IgG also diminished the influx of PMNs in dermal immune complex inflammation. In sum, we propose that glomerular immune complex deposition/complement activation leads to cytokine production which results in CINC expression by endogenous glomerular cells. The CINC produced plays a contributory role in the influx of PMNs into the glomerulus in the context of the activation of other inflammatory mediators. These results suggest a potential role for CINC homologues, IL-8 and the GRO family of chemokines, in human immune complex-mediated disease.
X Wu, A J Wittwer, L S Carr, B A Crippes, J E DeLarco, J B Lefkowith
A role for helper T cells in the induction of pathogenic lupus autoantibodies is increasingly supported by data from studies of murine lupus and patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). However, the poor in vitro function of SLE T cells has hampered the identification and characterization of autoantigen-specific T cells. We used recombinant fusion proteins to study the T cell proliferative response of 31 lupus patients and 27 healthy subjects to a well-characterized SLE autoantigen, the ribosomal P2 protein. Although PBMC from SLE patients showed marked impairment in the proliferative response to the common recall antigen tetanus toxoid when compared with normal subjects, a significantly greater proportion of SLE patients (32%) than normal individuals (0%) showed a T cell response to a recombinant P2 fusion protein. When the SLE patients were subgrouped according to the presence of serum anti-P autoantibody, 7 of 10 anti-P antibody-positive patients, but 0 of 20 anti-P antibody-negative SLE patients, demonstrated > 2,000 cpm [3H]thymidine incorporation and a P2 stimulation index > 5. The specificity of the T cell proliferative response for the P2 protein was confirmed by studies using a second recombinant human P2 fusion protein and by the specific activation of P2-primed T cells by recombinant P2 in secondary cultures. Moreover, the T cell proliferative response to the P2 autoantigen was mediated by CD4-positive T cells and was inhibited by anti-MHC class II antibodies. These data demonstrate the presence of autoantigen-specific T helper cells in patients with SLE and suggest that these T cells drive the production of autoantibodies by B lymphocytes.
M K Crow, G DelGiudice-Asch, J B Zehetbauer, J L Lawson, N Brot, H Weissbach, K B Elkon
Reovirus type 1, strain Lang (1/L), can infect hepatocytes in vivo only after hepatocellular damage is induced by hepatotoxins, surgical trauma, resection, or profound immunosuppression. To examine the role of cell cycle and cellular differentiation on liver cell susceptibility to reovirus infection, a murine hepatocarcinoma cell line, Hepa 1/A1, was infected with reovirus and assayed for the presence of infectious virus or reovirus antigen in cells. Despite a > 95% binding of reovirus to hepatocarcinoma cells as indicated by cytometric analysis; only 10% of hepatoma cells contained infectious virus by infectious center assay. In comparison, 100% of L cells were infected. Analysis of intracellular reovirus antigen revealed its presence in dividing but not in quiescent hepatocytes. This correlation of cellular division and cell capacity to support viral replication suggests that induction of hepatocyte proliferation may be a mechanism for liver susceptibility to reovirus infection.
J Taterka, M Sutcliffe, D H Rubin
To elucidate the mechanism of production of an inflammatory exudate, gingival crevicular fluid (GCF), from periodontal pockets in periodontitis, we examined the vascular permeability enhancement (VPE) activity induced by an arginine-specific cysteine proteinase, Arg-gingipain-1 (RGP-1), produced by a major periopathogenic bacterium, Porphyromonas gingivalis. Intradermal injections into guinea pigs of RGP-1 (> 10(-8) M), or human plasma incubated with RGP-1 (> 10(-9) M), induced VPE in a dose- and activity-dependent manner but with different time courses for the two routes of production. VPE activity induced by RGP-1 was augmented by kininase inhibitors, inhibited by a kallikrein inhibitor and unaffected by an antihistamine drug. The VPE activity in human plasma incubated with RGP-1 also correlated closely with generation of bradykinin (BK). RGP-1 induced 30-40% less VPE activity in Hageman factor-deficient plasma and no VPE in plasma deficient in either prekallikrein (PK) or high molecular weight kininogen (HMWK). After incubation with RGP-1, plasma deficient in PK or HMWK, reconstituted with each missing protein, caused VPE, as did a mixture of purified PK and HMWK, but RGP-1 induced no VPE from HMWK. The VPE of extracts of clinically isolated P. gingivalis were reduced to about 10% by anti-RGP-1-IgG, leupeptin, or tosyl-L-lysine chloromethyl ketone, which paralleled effects observed with RGP-1. These results indicate that RGP-1 is the major VPE factor of P. gingivalis, inducing this activity through PK activation and subsequent BK release, resulting in GCF production at sites of periodontitis caused by infection with this organism.
T Imamura, R N Pike, J Potempa, J Travis
Secretory leukoprotease inhibitor (SLPI), a 12-kD nonglycosylated serine antiprotease, helps to protect the epithelial surface of the airways from the destructive capacity of neutrophil elastase. Based on the recognition that SLPI levels can increase in the presence of airway inflammation, we hypothesized that inflammatory stimuli should modulate the expression of the SLPI gene in airway epithelial cells. To evaluate this, the modulation of SLPI gene expression with various inflammatory stimuli was evaluated in the HS-24 human bronchial epithelial cell line. After preliminary studies showed that several inflammatory mediators enhanced SLPI messenger RNA (mRNA) levels, PMA was used as a model inflammatory stimulus. PMA significantly increased the level of 0.7-kb SLPI mRNA transcripts in HS-24 cells in a dose- and time-dependent fashion and increased the amount of SLPI protein in the culture supernatant. Nuclear run-on analyses showed that the SLPI gene transcription rate increased approximately twofold after PMA stimulation. Transfection studies using fusion genes composed of fragments of up to 1.2 kb of the 5' flanking sequence of the SLPI gene and a luciferase reporter gene demonstrated potent promoter activity in the 131-bp segment (-115 to +16 relative to the transcription start site), and all longer segments up to 1.2 kb, whereas smaller segments showed low promoter activity. An 18-bp element (-98 to -115), in a region with homology to PMA-responsive regions in the Moloney murine leukemia virus enhancer and the IL-8 gene, was shown to be of importance in the level of transcription of the SLPI gene. However, this element was not responsible for the upregulation of SLPI gene expression by PMA. Evaluation of HS-24 cells in the presence of actinomycin D demonstrated that SLPI mRNA transcripts were very stable and became more so in the presence of PMA. Thus, SLPI gene expression in airway epithelial cells can be upregulated by an inflammatory stimulus, and this modulation is regulated at both the transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels. These mechanisms of SLPI upregulation likely play a role in defending the epithelial surface in the local milieu of inflammatory lung diseases.
M Maruyama, J G Hay, K Yoshimura, C S Chu, R G Crystal
The trefoil peptides, a recently recognized family of protease-resistant peptides, expressed in a regional specific pattern throughout the normal gastrointestinal tract. Although these peptides have been hypothesized to act as growth factors, their functional properties are largely unknown. Addition of recombinant trefoil peptides human spasmolytic polypeptide (HSP), rat and human intestinal trefoil factor (RITF and HITF) to subconfluent nontransformed rat intestinal epithelial cell lines (IEC-6 and IEC-17), human colon cancer-derived cell lines (HT-29 and CaCO2) or nontransformed fibroblasts (NRK and BHK) had no significant effect on proliferation. However addition of the trefoil peptides to wounded monolayers of confluent IEC-6 cells in an in vitro model of epithelial restitution resulted in a 3-6-fold increase in the rate of epithelial migration into the wound. Stimulation of restitution by the trefoil peptide HSP was enhanced in a cooperative fashion by the addition of mucin glycoproteins purified from the colon or small intestine of either rat or man, achieving up to a 15-fold enhancement in restitution. No synergistic effect was observed by the addition of nonmucin glycoproteins. In contrast to cytokine stimulation of intestinal epithelial cell restitution which is mediated through enhanced TGF beta bioactivity, trefoil peptide, and trefoil peptide-mucin glycoprotein stimulation of restitution was not associated with alteration in concentrations of bioactive TGF-beta and was not affected by the presence of immunoneutralizing anti-TGF beta antiserum. Collectively, these findings suggest that the trefoil peptides which are secreted onto the lumenal surface of the gastrointestinal tract may act in conjunction with the mucin glycoprotein products of goblet cells to promote reestablishment of mucosal integrity after injury through mechanisms distinct from those which may act at the basolateral pole of the epithelium.
A Dignass, K Lynch-Devaney, H Kindon, L Thim, D K Podolsky
R Bhatia, E A Wayner, P B McGlave, C M Verfaillie
The efficacies of probucol and a close structural analogue as antioxidants in the prevention of atherogenesis in LDL receptor-deficient rabbits were compared. The antioxidant potency of the analogue in vitro was equal to that of probucol. Its biological availability was much greater: almost comparable concentrations in total plasma were achieved by feeding 1% probucol (wt/wt) and 0.05% analogue (wt/wt). Total plasma concentrations were comparable, but the concentration of probucol within the LDL fraction was about twice that of the analogue. Probucol slowed lesion progression by almost 50%, confirming earlier reports; the analogue, however, showed no detectable inhibitory effect on atherogenesis. Resistance of LDL to oxidation was measured at the end of the study by incubating it with Cu2+ and measuring the rate of diene conjugation. Probucol prolonged diene conjugation lag time from the control value of 130 min to values > 1,000 min. The analogue approximately tripled the lag time (mean, 410 min) and yet failed to slow the atherogenic process. The results suggest that LDL resistance to oxidation must reach some threshold level before there is significant protection against atherogenesis. However, probucol has additional biological effects, possibly not shared by the analogue, that could contribute to its antiatherogenic potential.
J Fruebis, D Steinberg, H A Dresel, T E Carew
The cause of compensatory hyperinsulinemia in normoglycemic insulin-resistant states is unknown. Using spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), we tested the hypothesis that a lowered beta-cell set-point for glucose causes a hypersecretion of insulin at a normal glucose level. Islets isolated from normoglycemic hyperinsulinemic SHR were compared to age-matched (12 wk old) Wistar-Kyoto (WK) rats. The ED50 for glucose-induced insulin secretion was 6.6 +/- 1.0 mM glucose in SHR versus 9.6 +/- 0.5 mM glucose in WK (P < 0.02). Glucokinase enzymatic activity was increased 40% in SHR islets (P < 0.02) without any change in the glucokinase protein level by Western blot. The level of the beta-cell glucose transporter (GLUT-2) was increased 75% in SHR islets (P < 0.036). In summary, the beta-cell sensitivity for glucose was increased in these normoglycemic insulin resistant rats by an enhanced catalytic activity of glucokinase. We have identified a regulatory system for glucokinase in the beta-cell which entails variable catalytic activity of the enzyme, is modulated in response to variations in whole-body insulin sensitivity, and is not dependent on sustained changes in the plasma glucose level.
C Chen, H Hosokawa, L M Bumbalo, J L Leahy
We investigated the structural changes in the left lung of five adult male foxhounds 5 mo (n = 2) or 16 mo (n = 3) after right pneumonectomy (approximately 54% of lung resected) and five sex- and age-matched foxhounds 15-16 mo after right thoracotomy without pneumonectomy. Lungs were fixed by intratracheal instillation of glutaraldehyde and analyzed by standard morphometric techniques. After right pneumonectomy, volume of the left lung increased by 72%. Volumes of all septal structures increased significantly and were more pronounced at 5 than at 16 mo after pneumonectomy. At 16 mo, the relative increases in volume with respect to the control left lung were as follows: epithelium 73%, interstitium 100%, endothelium 55%, and capillary blood volume 43%. Surface areas of alveoli and capillary increased significantly by 52% and 34%, respectively. At 5 mo after pneumonectomy, harmonic mean thickness of the tissue-plasma barrier was significantly greater but at 16 mo it was not different from controls. There was a significant increase in diffusing capacity for oxygen (33% above controls) at 16 mo after pneumonectomy. These data suggest that, in contrast to previous findings after left pneumonectomy, compensatory lung growth does occur in adult dogs after resection of > 50% of lung.
C C Hsia, L F Herazo, F Fryder-Doffey, E R Weibel
Taxol, a natural product used to treat a variety of human cancers, is shown here to be extremely effective against chloroquine- and pyrimethamine-resistant malaria parasites. Addition of Taxol (1.0 microM) for one cycle to cultures of human erythrocytes infected with Plasmodium falciparum prevents the establishment of new infections. Blood parasitemia is eliminated in mice infected with Plasmodium chabaudi adami when they are given a single intraperitoneal injection of Taxol at 150 mg/m2. The majority of the animals treated immediately preceding parasite schizogony remain free of infection after eight replication cycles. The impressive antimalarial activity of Taxol, at a dosage that has been tolerated in humans, establishes its potential utility for treatment of severe, drug-resistant human malaria.
B Pouvelle, P J Farley, C A Long, T F Taraschi
Isodisomy (ID) is a genetic anomaly defined as the inheritance of two copies of the same genetic material from one parent. ID in an offspring is a rare cause of recessive genetic diseases via inheritance of two copies of a mutated gene from one carrier parent. We studied a newborn female with a mut(o) of methylmalonic acidemia and complete absence of insulin-producing beta cells in otherwise normal-appearing pancreatic islets, causing insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. The patient died 2 wk after birth. Serotyping of the HLA antigens, DNA typing of HLA-B and HLA class II loci, study of polymorphic DNA markers of chromosome 6, and cytogenetic analysis demonstrated paternal ID, involving at least a 25-centiMorgan portion of the chromosome pair that encompasses the MHC. ID probably caused methylmalonic acidemia by duplication of a mutated allele of the corresponding gene on the chromosome 6 inherited from the father. It is also very likely that ID was etiologically related to the agenesis of beta cells and consequent insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in our patient. We thus speculate on the existence of a gene on chromosome 6 involved in beta cell differentiation.
M J Abramowicz, M Andrien, E Dupont, H Dorchy, J Parma, L Duprez, F D Ledley, W Courtens, E Vamos
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disorder of indeterminate etiology characterized by a dysfunctional cellular immune response. We have previously identified a metabolic disorder of the adenylate cyclase/cAMP/protein kinase A (AC/cAMP/PKA) pathway characterized by impaired cAMP-inducible, PKA-catalyzed protein phosphorylation in intact T lymphocytes from subjects with severe SLE disease activity. Because this metabolic disorder may contribute to abnormal T cell immune effector functions, we tested the hypothesis that impaired PKA-dependent protein phosphorylation is the result of a PKA isozyme deficiency in SLE T lymphocytes. Compared with healthy and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) controls, subjects with severe SLE activity exhibited reduced PKA-catalyzed phosphorylation of proteins in the T lymphocyte plasma membrane where the type I isozyme of PKA (PKA-I) is predominantly localized. Both silver staining and biosynthetic labeling of membrane-associated proteins with [35S]methionine demonstrated that reduced protein phosphorylation was not due to either an altered distribution of or absence of proteins. Moreover, phosphorylation of SLE membrane-associated proteins with the PKA catalytic (C) subunit showed a similar distribution and extent of phosphorylation compared with membrane proteins from healthy T cells, suggesting that SLE T cell membrane proteins could be phosphorylated. Sequential column chromatography of the type I and type II isozymes of PKA (PKA-I, PKA-II) demonstrated a deficiency of PKA-I isozyme activity. Compared with a ratio of PKA-I to PKA-II activity of 4.2:1 in healthy T cells, the activity ratio in T cells from subjects with severe SLE disease activity was 0.99:1 (P = 0.01, SLE versus healthy controls for PKA-I). The deficient PKA-I activity was associated with a significant increase of free C-subunit activity (P = 0.04, SLE versus healthy controls for C-subunit). T cells from subjects with mild/moderate SLE disease activity also exhibited diminished PKA-I activity, yielding a ratio of PKA-I to PKA-II activity of 2.4:1. By contrast, T cells from RA controls possessed increased PKA-I, PKA-II, and free C-subunit activities compared with healthy controls, resulting in a ratio of PKA-I to PKA-II activity of 3.6:1. We conclude that the reduced PKA-catalyzed protein phosphorylation in the plasma membrane of SLE T cells is the result of deficient PKA-I isozyme activity. This is the first identification of a deficiency of PKA activity in SLE T lymphocytes; the deficiency, resulting in diminished protein phosphorylation, may alter cellular homeostasis, contributing to the cellular immune dysfunctions observed in SLE.
G M Kammer, I U Khan, C J Malemud
A genetic map for rat chromosome 2 that includes five candidate genes for blood pressure regulation was constructed in a region containing a quantitative trait locus (QTL) for blood pressure. Two F2 populations of male rats raised on high salt (8% NaCI) diet from weaning were studied: F2(WKY x S), derived from a cross of Dahl salt-sensitive rats (S) and Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY); and F2(MNS x S), derived from a cross of S rats and Milan normotensive strain (MNS). In both populations a blood pressure QTL was localized between Na+,K(+)-ATPase alpha 1 isoform and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II-delta loci. The LOD score for existence of this blood pressure QTL based on the combined populations (n = 330) was 5.66 and accounted for 9.2% of the total variance and 26% of the genetic variance.
A Y Deng, H Dene, J P Rapp
Oxidatively modified lipoproteins have been implicated in atherogenesis, but the mechanisms that promote oxidation in vivo have not been identified. Myeloperoxidase, a heme protein secreted by activated macrophages, generates reactive intermediates that oxidize lipoproteins in vitro. To explore the potential role of myeloperoxidase in the development of atherosclerosis, we determined whether the enzyme was present in surgically excised human vascular tissue. In detergent extracts of atherosclerotic arteries subjected to Western blotting, a rabbit polyclonal antibody monospecific for myeloperoxidase detected a 56-kD protein, the predicted molecular mass of the heavy subunit. Both the immunoreactive protein and authentic myeloperoxidase bound to a lectin-affinity column; after elution with methyl mannoside their apparent molecular masses were indistinguishable by nondenaturing size-exclusion chromatography. Peroxidase activity in detergent extracts of atherosclerotic lesions likewise bound to a lectin column and eluted with methyl mannoside. Moreover, eluted peroxidase generated the cytotoxic oxidant hypochlorous acid (HOCl), indicating that enzymatically active myeloperoxidase was present in lesions. Patterns of immunostaining of arterial tissue with antihuman myeloperoxidase antibodies were similar to those produced by an antimacrophage antibody, and were especially prominent in the shoulder region of transitional lesions. Intense foci of myeloperoxidase immunostaining also appeared adjacent to cholesterol clefts in lipid-rich regions of advanced atherosclerotic lesions. These findings identify myeloperoxidase as a component of human vascular lesions. Because this heme protein can generate reactive species that damage lipids and proteins, myeloperoxidase may contribute to atherogenesis by catalyzing oxidative reactions in the vascular wall.
A Daugherty, J L Dunn, D L Rateri, J W Heinecke
The insulin-like growth factor II (IGF2) gene is exclusively silent at the maternal allele in the mouse as well as in normal human tissues and is expressed at a high level in rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). We report here that the normally imprinted allele of the IGF2 gene is activated in RMS tumors as well as in one RMS cell line. Since overexpression of IGF2 has been shown to be important in the pathogenesis of RMS, our data suggest that loss of imprinting (LOI) may lead to overexpression of IGF2 and play an important role in the onset of RMS. Furthermore, embryonal RMS usually has loss of heterozygosity (LOH) with paternal disomy of the IGF2 locus. One informative embryonal RMS tumor evaluated in this study was heterozygous at the IGF2 allele and had LOI, raising the possibility that LOI may be the functional equivalent of LOH in this tumor with both events leading to overexpression of IGF2.
S Zhan, D N Shapiro, L J Helman
M Ferretti, V Casini-Raggi, T T Pizarro, S P Eisenberg, C C Nast, F Cominelli
Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb), the cause of Lyme disease, has appeared not to evoke a detectable specific antibody response in humans until long after infection. This delayed response has been a biologic puzzle and has hampered early diagnosis. Antibody to the abundant organism-specific outer surface proteins, such as the 31-kD OspA, has rarely been detected less than 6 mo after infection. Antibody to a less organism-specific 41-kD flagellin protein, sharing common determinants with other bacteria and thus limiting its diagnostic potential, may appear after 4 to 6 wks. To investigate our hypothesis that specific antibody to OspA may actually be formed early but remain at low levels or bound in immune complexes, we analyzed serum samples from patients with concurrent erythema migrans (EM). This is the earliest sign of Lyme disease and occurs in 60-70% of patients, generally 4-14 d after infection. We used less conventional but more sensitive methods: biotin-avidin Western blots and immune complex dissociation techniques. Antibody specificity was confirmed with recombinant OspA. Specific complexed antibody to whole Bb and recombinant OspA was detected in 10 of 11 of the EM patients compared to 0 of 20 endemic area controls. IgM was the predominant isotype to OspA in these EM patients. Free IgM to OspA was found in half the EM cases. IgM to OspA was also detected in 10 of 10 European patients with EM who also had reactive T cells to recombinant OspA. In conclusion a specific antibody response to OspA occurs early in Lyme disease. This is likely to have diagnostic implications.
S E Schutzer, P K Coyle, J J Dunn, B J Luft, M Brunner
60 cervical Chlamydia trachomatis infections identified by antigen detection from 51 prostitute women in Nairobi, Kenya were evaluated for sequence polymorphism in the major outer membrane protein (omp1) gene. DNA from clinical specimens was amplified by the polymerase chain reaction and cycle sequenced through variable domains (VD) 1, 2, and 4.37 (63%) samples had variant VD sequences, 19 (32%) samples had prototype VD sequences, and 4 (6%) samples had prototype VD sequences, and 4 (6%) samples contained omp1 sequences from two or more C. trachomatis strains. Among the 37 variant strains, 18 had two or fewer nucleotide substitutions in one or two VDs and represented point mutational drift variants. 19 strains had a larger number of nucleotide changes and displayed mosaic omp1 sequences that may have been generated by omp1 VD recombination. We conclude that the prevalence of C. trachomatis omp1 DNA polymorphism is substantial among prostitute women in Nairobi, Kenya and that this is the likely result of immune selection pressure.
R Brunham, C Yang, I Maclean, J Kimani, G Maitha, F Plummer