S M Schwartz
F C Fang
The alpha6 integrin subunit participates in the formation of both alpha6beta1 and alpha6beta4 laminin receptors, which have been reported to play an important role in cell adhesion and migration and in morphogenesis. In squamous epithelia, the alpha6beta4 heterodimer is the crucial component for the assembly and stability of hemidesmosomes. These anchoring structures are ultrastructurally abnormal in patients affected with junctional epidermolysis bullosa with pyloric atresia (PA-JEB), a recessively inherited blistering disease of skin and mucosae characterized by an altered immunoreactivity with antibodies specific to integrin alpha6beta4. In this report, we describe the first mutation in the alpha6 integrin gene in a PA-JEB patient presenting with generalized skin blistering, aplasia cutis, and defective expression of integrin alpha6beta4. The mutation (791delC) is a homozygous deletion of a single base (C) leading to a frameshift and a premature termination codon that results in a complete absence of alpha6 polypeptide. We also describe the DNA-based prenatal exclusion of the disease in this family at risk for recurrence of PA-JEB. Our results demonstrate that, despite the widespread distribution of the alpha6 integrin subunit, lack of expression of the alpha6 integrin chain is compatible with fetal development, and results in a phenotype indistinguishable from that caused by mutations in the beta4 chain, which is expressed in a more limited number of tissues.
L Ruzzi, L Gagnoux-Palacios, M Pinola, S Belli, G Meneguzzi, M D'Alessio, G Zambruno
The overzealous production of proinflammatory cytokines in sepsis can result in shock, multiorgan dysfunction, and even death. In this study, we assessed the role of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) as a mediator of sepsis in endotoxin-challenged mice. Intraperitoneal administration of LPS to CD-1 mice induced a substantial time-dependent increase in MCP-1 in plasma, lung, and liver. The passive immunization of mice with rabbit antimurine MCP-1 antiserum 2 h before endotoxin administration resulted in a striking increase in LPS-induced mortality from 10% in control animals to 65% in anti-MCP-1-treated animals. Importantly, the administration of anti-MCP-1 antibodies to endotoxin-challenged mice resulted in increases in peak TNF-alpha and IL-12 levels, and also in a trend toward decreased serum levels of IL-10. Conversely, the administration of recombinant murine MCP-1 intraperitoneally significantly protected mice from endotoxin-induced lethality, and resulted in an increase in IL-10 levels, a decrease in IL-12 levels, and a trend toward decreased levels of TNF. In conclusion, our findings indicate that MCP-1 is a protective cytokine expressed in murine endotoxemia, and does so by shifting the balance in favor of antiinflammatory cytokine expression in endotoxin-challenged animals.
D A Zisman, S L Kunkel, R M Strieter, W C Tsai, K Bucknell, J Wilkowski, T J Standiford
Intrauterine growth retardation and neurodevelopmental handicaps are common among infants born to HIV-positive mothers and may be due to the actions of virions and/or maternally derived viral products. The viral envelope protein, gp120, is toxic to neurons, induces neuronal dystrophy, and retards behavioral development in neonatal rats. Vasoactive intestinal peptide, a neuropeptide regulator of early postimplantation embryonic growth, and the neuroprotective protein, activity-dependent neurotrophic factor, prevent gp120-induced neurotoxicity. Whole embryo culture of gestational day 9.5 mouse embryos was used to assess the effect of gp120 on growth. Embryos treated with gp120 exhibited a dose-dependent inhibition of growth. gp120-treated embryos (10(-8) M) grew 1.2 somites in the 6-h incubation period, compared with 3.9 somites by control embryos. Embryos treated with gp120 were significantly smaller in cross-sectional area and had significantly less DNA and protein than controls. Growth inhibition induced by gp120 was prevented by cotreatment with vasoactive intestinal peptide or activity-dependent neurotrophic factor. gp120 may play a role in the growth retardation and developmental delays experienced by infants born to HIV-positive mothers. Vasoactive intestinal peptide and related factors may provide a therapeutic strategy in preventing developmental deficits.
D A Dibbern Jr, G W Glazner, I Gozes, D E Brenneman, J M Hill
Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is a vasculitic syndrome that preferentially affects medium and large-sized arteries. Glucocorticoid therapy resolves clinical symptoms within hours to days, but therapy has to be continued over several years to prevent disease relapses. It is not known whether and how glucocorticoids affect the function of the inflammatory infiltrate or why the disease persists subclinically despite chronic treatment. GCA is self-sustained in temporal arteries engrafted into SCID mice, providing a model in which the mechanisms of action and limitations of glucocorticoid therapy can be examined in vivo. Administration of dexamethasone to temporal artery-SCID chimeras for 1 wk induced a partial suppression of T cell and macrophage function as indicated by the reduced tissue concentrations of IL-2, IL-1beta, and IL-6 mRNA, and by the diminished expression of inducible NO synthase. In contrast, synthesis of IFN-gamma mRNA was only slightly decreased, and expression of TGF-beta1 was unaffected. These findings correlated with activation of the IkappaBalpha gene and blockade of the nuclear translocation of NFkappaB in the xenotransplanted tissue. Dose-response experiments suggested that steroid doses currently used in clinical medicine are suboptimal in repressing NFkappaB-mediated cytokine production in the inflammatory lesions. Chronic steroid therapy was able to deplete the T cell products IL-2 and IFN-gamma, whereas the activation of tissue-infiltrating macrophages was only partially affected. IL-1beta transcription was abrogated; in contrast, TGF-beta1 mRNA synthesis was steroid resistant. The persistence of TGF-beta1-transcribing macrophages, despite paralysis of T cell function, may provide an explanation for the chronicity of the disease, and may identify a novel therapeutic target in this inflammatory vasculopathy.
A Brack, H L Rittner, B R Younge, C Kaltschmidt, C M Weyand, J J Goronzy
Matrix metalloproteinases of the stromelysin family are expressed in the human endometrium as a consequence of cellular events during the menstrual cycle that require extracellular matrix remodeling. We have recently documented the presence of these enzymes in lesions of endometriosis, a benign disease that presents as persistent ectopic sites of endometrial tissue, usually within the peritoneal cavity. Endometriosis can develop after retrograde menstruation of endometrial tissue fragments, and establishment of ectopic sites within the peritoneal cavity requires breakdown of extracellular matrix. To examine whether matrix metalloproteinases might contribute to the steroid-dependent epidemiology and cellular pathophysiology of endometriosis, we have developed an experimental model of endometriosis using athymic nude mice as recipients of human endometrial tissue. Our results demonstrate that estrogen treatment of human endometrial tissue in organ culture maintains secretion of matrix metalloproteinases, and promotes establishment of ectopic peritoneal lesions when injected into recipient animals. In contrast, suppressing metalloproteinase secretion in vitro with progesterone treatment, or blocking enzyme activity with a natural inhibitor of metalloproteinases, inhibits the formation of ectopic lesions in this experimental model.
K L Bruner, L M Matrisian, W H Rodgers, F Gorstein, K G Osteen
Dietary administration of probucol (0.5%, wt/wt) efficiently reduced total plasma cholesterol levels in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice (apoE-/-) by 40%, with decreases in high density lipoprotein (HDL) and apoAI by 70 and 50%, respectively. Paradoxically, however, aortic atherosclerotic plaques in the probucol-treated apoE-/- mice formed more rapidly than in the untreated apoE-/- mice, and the lesions were two to four times larger and more mature regardless of sex, age, and genetic background (P < 10(-)6). Histologically, lesions in probucol-treated mice contained increased fibrous materials and cells other than foam cells, and were commonly associated with focal inflammation and aneurysmal dilatation. Probucol treatment also accelerated lesion development in apoE+/- mice fed an atherogenic diet, indicating that the adverse effect is not dependent on the complete absence of apoE. Furthermore, mice lacking apoE and apoAI have plasma lipoprotein profiles very similar to the probucol-treated apoE-/- mice, but do not have accelerated plaque development. Thus, the enhanced atherosclerosis in the probucol-treated animals is unlikely to be caused by the reduction of HDL and apoAI levels. Our data indicate that a reduction in plasma cholesterol caused by probucol does not necessarily lead to an antiatherogenic effect.
S H Zhang, R L Reddick, E Avdievich, L K Surles, R G Jones, J B Reynolds, S H Quarfordt, N Maeda
Monocyte-derived macrophages (Mphis) are pivotal participants in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Evidence from both animal and human plaques indicates that local proliferation may contribute to accumulation of lesion Mphis, and the major Mphi growth factor, macrophage colony stimulating factor (MCSF), is present in atherosclerotic plaques. However, most in vitro studies have failed to demonstrate that human monocytes/Mphis possess significant proliferative capacity. We now report that, although human monocytes cultured in isolation showed only limited MCSF-induced proliferation, monocytes cocultured with aortic endothelial cells at identical MCSF concentrations underwent enhanced (up to 40-fold) and prolonged (21 d) proliferation. In contrast with monocytes in isolation, this was optimal at low seeding densities, required endothelial cell contact, and could not be reproduced by coculture with smooth muscle cells. Intimal Mphi isolated from human aortas likewise showed endothelial cell contact-dependent, MCSF-induced proliferation. Consistent with a two-signal mechanism governing Mphi proliferation, the cell cycle regulatory protein, cyclin E, was rapidly upregulated by endothelial cell contact in an MCSFindependent fashion, but MCSF was required for successful downregulation of the cell cycle inhibitory protein p27(Kip1) before cell cycling. Thus endothelial cells and MCSF differentially and synergistically regulate two Mphi genes critical for progression through the cell cycle.
A S Antonov, D H Munn, F D Kolodgie, R Virmani, R G Gerrity
Previous studies suggest oxygen free radicals' involvement in the etiology of cardiomyopathy with cataracts. To investigate the role of free radicals in the pathogenesis of the cardiomyopathy with cataracts and complex I deficiency, fibroblasts from patients were assessed for hydroxyl radical formation and aldehydic lipid peroxidation products with and without redox active agents that increase free radicals. The rate of hydroxyl radical formation in patient cells was increased over 2-10-fold under basal conditions, and up to 20-fold after menadione or doxorubicin treatment compared with normal cells. We also found an overproduction of aldehydes in patient cells both under basal conditions and after treatment. Both hydroxyl radicals and toxic aldehydes such as hexanal, 4-hydroxynon-2-enal, and malondialdehyde were elevated in cells from patients with three types of complex I deficiency. In contrast, acyloins, the less toxic conjugated products of pyruvate and saturated aldehydes, were lower in the patient cells. Our data provide direct evidence for the first time that complex I deficiency is associated with excessive production of hydroxyl radicals and lipid peroxidation. The resultant damage may contribute to the early onset of cardiomyopathy and cataracts and death in early infancy in affected patients with this disease.
X Luo, S Pitkänen, S Kassovska-Bratinova, B H Robinson, D C Lehotay
Wistar rats develop glucose intolerance and have a diminished insulin response to glucose with age. The aim of this study was to investigate if these changes were reversible with glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), a peptide that we have previously shown could increase insulin mRNA and total insulin content in insulinoma cells. We infused 1.5 pmol/ kg-1.min-1 GLP-1 subcutaneously using ALZET microosmotic pumps into 22-mo-old Wistar rats for 48 h. Rat infused with either GLP-1 or saline were then subjected to an intraperitoneal glucose (1 g/kg body weight) tolerance test, 2 h after removing the pump. 15 min after the intraperitoneal glucose, GLP-1-treated animals had lower plasma glucose levels (9.04+/-0.92 mmol/liter, P < 0.01) than saline-treated animals (11.61+/-0.23 mmol/liter). At 30 min the plasma glucose was still lower in the GLP-1-treated animals (8.61+/-0.39 mmol/liter, P < 0.05) than saline-treated animals (10.36+/-0.43 mmol/liter). This decrease in glucose levels was reflected in the higher insulin levels attained in the GLP-1-treated animals (936+/-163 pmol/liter vs. 395+/-51 pmol/liter, GLP-1 vs. saline, respectively, P < 0.01), detected 15 min after glucose injection. GLP-1 treatment also increased pancreatic insulin, GLUT2, and glucokinase mRNA in the old rats. The effects of GLP-1 were abolished by simultaneous infusion of exendin [9-39], a specific antagonist of GLP-1. GLP-1 is therefore able to reverse some of the known defects that arise in the beta cell of the pancreas of Wistar rats, not only by increasing insulin secretion but also by inducing significant changes at the molecular level.
Y Wang, R Perfetti, N H Greig, H W Holloway, K A DeOre, C Montrose-Rafizadeh, D Elahi, J M Egan
Cholangiocytes represent an important target of injury during the ischemia and metabolic stress that accompanies liver preservation. Since K+ efflux serves to minimize injury during ATP depletion in certain other cell types, the purpose of these studies was to evaluate the effects of ATP depletion on plasma membrane K+ permeability of Mz-ChA-1 cells, a model human biliary cell line. Cells were exposed to dinitrophenol (50 microM) and 2-deoxyglucose (10 mM) as the standard model of metabolic injury. Whole-cell and single K+ channel currents were measured using patch clamp techniques; and intracellular [Ca2+] ([Ca2+]i) was estimated by calcium green-1 fluorescence. Metabolic stress increased [Ca2+]i, and stimulated translocation of the alpha isoform of protein kinase C (PKCalpha) from cytosolic to particulate cell fractions. The same maneuver increased membrane K+ permeability 40-70-fold as detected by (a) activation of K+selective whole cell currents of 2,176+/-218 pA (n = 34), and (b) opening of apamin-sensitive K+ channels with a unitary conductance of 17.0+/-0.2 pS. PKCalpha translocation and channel opening appear to be related since stress-induced K+ efflux is inhibited by chelation of cytosolic Ca2+, exposure to the PKC inhibitor chelerythrine (25 microM) and downregulation of PKC by phorbol esters. Moreover, K+ currents were activated by intracellular perfusion with recombinant PKCalpha in the absence of metabolic inhibitors. These findings indicate that in biliary cells apamin-sensitive K+ channels are functionally coupled to cell metabolism and suggest that cytosolic Ca2+ and PKCalpha are selectively involved in the response.
Y Wang, R Roman, T Schlenker, Y A Hannun, J Raymond, J G Fitz
We described recently the activation of the Janus kinasesignal transducer and activator of transcription (JakSTAT) and mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathways by leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) through gp130, a signal transducer of IL-6-related cytokines, that transduces hypertrophic signals in cardiac myocytes. In addition, stimulation of gp130 by IL-6-related cytokines is known to exert a cytoprotective effect. In the present study, we investigated the possibility that activation of gp130 initiates activation of the cytoprotective genes in cardiac myocytes. Incubation of cardiac myocytes with LIF induced the expression of bcl-x, and the isoform that was induced by LIF was identified as bcl-xL. Induction of bcl-xL protein was also identified by Western blotting. Antisense oligonucleotide against bcl-x mRNA inhibited protective effect of LIF accompanied with the reduction in bclxL protein. We constructed bcl-x promoter-luciferase reporter gene plasmids (-639/+10- or -161/+10-luciferase), and transfected them to cardiac myocytes. LIF stimulation increased the luciferase activity of -639/+10-luciferase plasmids. Although -161/+10-luciferase plasmids presented comparable responsiveness to LIF, the basal transcription level was impaired. The LIF-responsive cis-element was localized to a DNA fragment (positions -161 to +10) that contains an interferon-gamma activation site (GAS) motif (GGA) at position -41 of the bcl-x gene promoter. This motif bound to STAT1, not to STAT3, and site-directed mutagenesis revealed that this motif was essential for LIF-responsive promoter activity. These data suggest that LIF induces bcl-x mRNA via STAT1 binding cis-element in cardiac myocytes, presenting cytoprotective effect.
Y Fujio, K Kunisada, H Hirota, K Yamauchi-Takihara, T Kishimoto
The intracellular mechanism(s) underlying the upregulation of the hepatic Na+/taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide (ntcp) by prolactin (PRL) are unknown. In this report, we demonstrate a time-dependent increase in nuclear translocation of phosphorylated liver Stat5 (a member of the ignal ransducers and ctivators of ranscription family) that correlated with suckling-induced increases in serum PRL levels. In electrophoretic mobility gel shift assays, nuclear Stat5 exhibited specific DNA-binding ability towards IFN-gamma-activated sequence (GAS)-like elements (GLEs; 5'TTC/A-PyNPu-G/TAA-3') located in the -937 to -904 bp region of the ntcp promoter. Transient cotransfections in HepG2 cells revealed that PRL inducibility (2.5-3-fold) required coexpression of the long form of the PRL receptor (PRLRL) and Stat5. Deletion analysis mapped the PRLinducible region to -1237 to -758 bp of the ntcp promoter. Linking this 0.5-kb region to a heterologous thymidine kinase (tk) promoter, or linking multimerized ntcp GLEs either upstream of the ntcp minimal promoter (-158 to +47 bp) or the heterologous promoter conferred dose-dependent PRL responsiveness. The short form of the PRL receptor failed to transactivate ntcp GLEs. These results indicate that PRL acts via the PRLRL to facilitate Stat5 binding to ntcp-GLEs and to transcriptionally regulate ntcp.
T C Ganguly, M L O'Brien, S J Karpen, J F Hyde, F J Suchy, M Vore
Endotoxin (LPS) can cause hepatocellular injury under several circumstances, and leukotrienes have been implicated as a contributing factor. Since ion channel activation has been associated with cytotoxicity, the aim of this study was to determine the circumstances under which LPS and/or leukotrienes activate ionic conductances in hepatocytes. LPS treatment of rats increased Cl- conductance in hepatocytes from 232+/-42 to 1236+/-134 pS/pF. Voltage dependence and inhibitor specificity of this conductance were similar to that of a swelling-activated Cl- conductance, and internal dialysis with nucleoside analogues suggested control by an inhibitory G protein. The lipoxygenase inhibitor nordihydroguaiaretic acid, the specific leukotriene D4 (LTD4) receptor antagonist MK-571, and the 5-lipoxygenase activating protein inhibitor MK-886 all significantly inhibited the conductance. Intracellular dialysis with LTD4 (1.5 microM) elevated intracellular Ca2+ from 143+/-6.5 to 388+/-114 nM within 6 min and stimulated an outwardly rectifying conductance from 642+/-159 to 1669+/-224 pS/pF (n = 9, P < 0.001). In hepatocytes prepared from untreated rats, this concentration of intracellular LTD4 neither raised intracellular Ca2+ nor activated the conductance. The LTD4 response could be induced in normal hepatocytes by culture with either conditioned medium from LPS-treated macrophages or purified TNF-alpha. In conclusion, intracellular LTD4 activates a chloride conductance in hepatocytes isolated from rats treated with LPS or primed in vitro with TNF-alpha. Changes in the hepatocellular accumulation of leukotrienes therefore mediate channel activation and may contribute to liver injury during sepsis and other inflammatory conditions.
X J Meng, M W Carruth, S A Weinman
The normal pattern of daily glucocorticoid production in mammals requires circadian modulation of hypothalamicpituitary-adrenal axis activity. To assess both the factors responsible for imparting this diurnal profile and its physiologic importance, we have exploited corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH)-deficient mice generated by homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells. CRH-deficient mice have lost normal circadian variations in plasma ACTH and glucocorticoid while maintaining normal circadian locomotor activity. Constant peripheral infusion of CRH produced marked diurnal excursions of plasma glucocorticoid, indicating that CRH acts in part as a permissive factor for other circadian modulators of adrenocortical activity. The presence of atrophic adrenals in CRH-deficient mice without an overt deficit in basal plasma ACTH concentration suggests that the diurnal increase in ACTH is essential to maintain normal adrenal function.
L J Muglia, L Jacobson, S C Weninger, C E Luedke, D S Bae, K H Jeong, J A Majzoub
Interleukin 1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) levels are elevated in the blood of patients with a variety of infectious, immune, or traumatic conditions. To examine whether IL1Ra is produced by liver cells with characteristics resembling an acute-phase protein, human primary hepatocytes isolated from liver biopsies and HepG2 hepatoma cells were stimulated with IL-1beta, IL-6, and TNFalpha. IL-1Ra was present in the supernatants of both cells, with production significantly enhanced by IL-1beta, and by the combination of IL-1beta and IL-6. The term IL-1Ra refers to two different proteins encoded by the same gene, but generated by alternative splicing of two different first exons. One isoform is secreted (17-kD sIL-1Ra), and the other isoform remains in the cytoplasm (18-kD icIL-1Ra). By Western blot analysis, the supernatants of human hepatoma (HepG2) cells contained only sIL-1Ra, whereas the lysates contained a novel smaller molecular mass isoform of 16 kD. RT-PCR and ribonuclease protection assay with RNA from HepG2 cells showed that only sIL-1Ra mRNA was expressed, and confirmed the inducing effect of IL-1beta and IL-6. Transfection studies were performed using constructs containing the promoters of either sIL-1Ra or icIL-1Ra coupled to the luciferase reporter gene. The sIL-1Ra promoter was active in HepG2 cells stimulated by IL-1beta and/or IL-6, whereas the icIL-1Ra promoter was inactive. Mutation of binding sites for transcription factors NF-kappaB and/or C/EBP within the proximal sIL-1Ra promoter led to significant decreases in response to IL-1beta and IL-6 in comparison to the wild-type promoter. Electromobility gel shift assays confirmed the presence of NF-kappaB and C/EBP binding sites within the sIL-1Ra promoter, and indicated a significant increase in the binding activities of nuclear proteins from HepG2 cells treated with IL-1beta and IL-6. In summary, sIL-1Ra, but not icIL-1Ra, is produced by hepatocytes, and is regulated by proinflammatory cytokines as an acute-phase protein. In addition, NF-kappaB and C/EBP family members are likely to play important roles in the full expression of IL-1Ra by hepatocytes during inflammatory conditions.
C Gabay, M F Smith, D Eidlen, W P Arend
In vascular endothelium, the electroneutral Na-K-Cl cotransport system is thought to function in the maintenance of a selective permeability barrier in certain vascular beds (e.g., brain), as well as in the preservation of endothelial homeostasis in the face of fluctuating osmotic conditions that may accompany certain pathophysiological conditions (e.g., diabetes mellitus). Here we demonstrate that the gene encoding the bumetanide-sensitive cotransporter BSC2, one of the two major isoforms of Na-K-Cl cotransporters present in mammalian cells, can be differentially regulated by inflammatory cytokines and fluid mechanical forces in cultured endothelium. Interleukin-1beta and tumor necrosis factor-alpha significantly upregulate expression of BSC2 mRNA and protein in human umbilical vein endothelial cells, a response that is inhibited by pretreatment with interferon-gamma. Steady laminar fluid shear stress, at a physiologic magnitude (10 dyn/cm2), is also able to induce and maintain elevated expression of BSC2 in cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells, while a comparable time-averaged magnitude of turbulent fluid shear stress is not. In vivo, BSC2 mRNA is upregulated after intraperitoneal administration of bacterial endotoxin (LPS) in murine lung and kidney, but not in cardiac tissue. These results provide the first experimental evidence that the BSC2 gene can be selectively regulated by different inflammatory cytokine and fluid mechanical stimuli in endothelium, and support a role for BSC2 in vascular homeostasis and inflammation.
J N Topper, S M Wasserman, K R Anderson, J Cai, D Falb, M A Gimbrone Jr
Tissue transglutaminase is a calcium-dependent enzyme that catalyzes the cross-linking of polypeptide chains, including those of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, through the formation of epsilon-(gamma-glutamyl) lysine bonds. This crosslinking leads to the formation of protein polymers that are highly resistant to degradation. As a consequence, the enzyme has been implicated in the deposition of ECM protein in fibrotic diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis and atherosclerosis. In this study, we have investigated the involvement of tissue transglutaminase in the development of kidney fibrosis in adult male Wistar rats submitted to subtotal nephrectomy (SNx). Groups of six rats were killed on days 7, 30, 90, and 120 after SNx. As previously described, these rats developed progressive glomerulosclerosis and tubulo-interstitial fibrosis. The tissue level of epsilon-(gamma-glutamyl) lysine cross-link (as determined by exhaustive proteolytic digestion followed by cation exchange chromatography) increased from 3.47+/- 0.94 (mean+/-SEM) in controls to 13.24+/-1.43 nmol/g protein 90 d after SNx, P = 0.01. Levels of epsilon-(gamma-glutamyl) lysine cross-link correlated well with the renal fibrosis score throughout the 120 observation days (r = 0.78, P = 0.01). Tissue homogenates showed no significant change in overall transglutaminase activity (14C putrescine incorporation assay) unless adjusted for the loss of viable tubule cells, when an increase from 5.77+/-0.35 to 13.93+/-4.21 U/mg DNA in cytosolic tissue transglutaminase activity was seen. This increase was supported by Western blot analysis, showing a parallel increase in renal tissue transglutaminase content. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that this large increase in epsilon-(gamma-glutamyl) lysine cross-link and tissue transglutaminase took place predominantly in the cytoplasm of tubular cells, while immunofluorescence also showed low levels of the epsilon-(gamma-glutamyl) lysine cross-link in the extracellular renal interstitial space. The number of cells showing increases in tissue transglutaminase and its cross-link product, epsilon-(gamma-glutamyl) lysine appeared greater than those showing signs of typical apoptosis as determined by in situ end-labeling. This observed association between tissue transglutaminase, epsilon-(gamma-glutamyl) lysine cross-link, and renal tubulointerstitial scarring in rats submitted to SNx suggests that tissue transglutaminase may play an important role in the development of experimental renal fibrosis and the associated loss of tubule integrity.
T S Johnson, M Griffin, G L Thomas, J Skill, A Cox, B Yang, B Nicholas, P J Birckbichler, C Muchaneta-Kubara, A Meguid El Nahas
It has been reported that PTH exerts bone-forming effects in vivo when administered intermittently. In the present study, the anabolic effects of PTH(1-34) on osteoblast differentiation were examined in vitro. Osteoblastic cells isolated from newborn rat calvaria were cyclically treated with PTH(1-34) for the first few hours of each 48-h incubation cycle. When osteoblastic cells were intermittently exposed to PTH only for the first hour of each 48-h incubation cycle and cultured for the remainder of the cycle without the hormone, osteoblast differentiation was inhibited by suppressing alkaline phosphatase activity, bone nodule formation, and mRNA expression of alkaline phosphatase, osteocalcin, and PTH/PTHrP receptor. Experiments using inhibitors and stimulators of cAMP/protein kinase A (PKA) and Ca2+/PKC demonstrated that cAMP/PKA was the major signal transduction system in the inhibitory action of PTH. In contrast, the intermittent exposure to PTH for the first 6 h of each 48-h cycle stimulated osteoblast differentiation. Both cAMP/ PKA and Ca2+/PKC systems appeared to be involved cooperatively in this anabolic effect. Continuous exposure to PTH during the 48-h incubation cycle strongly inhibited osteoblast differentiation. Although both cAMP/PKA and Ca2+/PKC were involved in the effect of continuous exposure to PTH, they appeared to act independently. A neutralizing antibody against IGF-I blocked the stimulatory effect on alkaline phosphatase activity and the expression of osteocalcin mRNA induced by the 6-h intermittent exposure. The inhibitory effect induced by the 1-h intermittent exposure was not affected by anti-IGF-I antibody. These results suggest that PTH has diverse effects on osteoblast differentiation depending on the exposure time in vitro mediated through different signal transduction systems. These in vitro findings explain at least in part the in vivo action of PTH that varies with the mode of administration.
T Ishizuya, S Yokose, M Hori, T Noda, T Suda, S Yoshiki, A Yamaguchi
Several lines of investigation point to a new herpesvirus, human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8), as the cause of two different neoplasms seen in AIDS patients-Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) and body cavity B cell lymphoma. If this virus is the etiological agent, rather than another opportunistic infectious agent, it should be present in the earliest detectable clinical lesions on a temporal basis, and localize to specific target cells in a spatial pattern consistent with tumorigenic pathways. In this study, we take advantage of the clinical accessibility to biopsy early (patch stage) skin lesions of KS to address the temporal issue, combined with in situ PCR and dual immunostaining using a marker identifying malignant cells, to address the spatial localization issue. 21 different tissue samples were subjected to PCR analysis and in situ PCR with and without simultaneous immunostaining. In normal skin from healthy individuals, no HHV-8 DNA was detected by PCR or in situ PCR. However, in all PCR-positive tissues, distinct and specific in situ PCR staining was observed. In four different patch stage KS lesions, in situ PCR staining localized to nuclei of endothelial cells and perivascular spindle-shaped tumor cells. Later stage KS lesions (plaques and nodules) revealed additional positive cells, including epidermal keratinocytes (four of five), and eccrine epithelia (two of four). These patterns were nonrestricted to skin, as pulmonary KS also revealed HHV-8-specific infection of endothelial cells and KS tumor cells, as well as epithelioid pneumocytes (two of two). In body cavity B cell lymphoma by dual staining, HHV-8 was present in malignant tumor cells (EMA immunostained positive) and not in reactive lymphocytes. These results reveal an early temporal onset and nonrandom tissue and cellular distribution pattern for HHV-8 infection that is consistent with a causal link between this DNA virus and two AIDS-related neoplasms.
K E Foreman, P E Bacon, E D Hsi, B J Nickoloff
Transient pulmonary neuroendocrine cell hyperplasia and non-neuroendocrine lung tumors develop in nitrosaminetreated hamsters, which we hypothesized might modulate epithelial cell phenotype by expressing gene(s) homologous to human chromosome 3p gene(s) deleted in small cell carcinoma of the lung (SCLC). We differentially screened a chromosome 3 library using nitrosamine-treated versus normal hamster lung cDNAs and identified hepatocyte growth factor-like/macrophage-stimulating protein (HGFL/MSP) in injured lung. HGFL/MSP mRNA is low to undetectable in human SCLC and carcinoid tumors, but the HGFL/MSP tyrosine kinase receptor, RON, is present and functional on many of these neuroendocrine tumors. In H835, a pulmonary carcinoid cell line, and H187, a SCLC cell line, HGFL/ MSP induced adhesion/flattening and apoptosis. Using viable cell counts to assess proliferation after 14 d of treatment with HGFL/MSP, there is growth inhibition of H835 but not H187. Nitrosamine-treated hamsters also demonstrate pulmonary neuroendocrine cell apoptosis in situ during the same time period as expression of the endogenous HGFL/ MSP gene, immediately preceding the spontaneous regression of neuroendocrine cell hyperplasia. These observations suggest that HGFL/MSP might regulate neuroendocrine cell survival during preneoplastic lung injury, which could influence the ultimate tumor cell phenotype.
C G Willett, D I Smith, V Shridhar, M H Wang, R L Emanuel, K Patidar, S A Graham, F Zhang, V Hatch, D J Sugarbaker, M E Sunday
Intraamniotic infection is associated with increased IL-1 activity in amniotic fluid, increased incidence of preterm labor, and with decreased incidence of respiratory distress syndrome in infants born prematurely. We hypothesized that an elevated IL-1 in amniotic fluid promotes fetal lung maturation. On day 23 or 25 of gestation (term 31 d), either IL-1alpha (150 or 1,500 ng per fetus) or its antagonist IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra, 20 microg) was injected to the amniotic fluid sacs in one uterine horn, whereas the contralateral amniotic sacs were injected with vehicle. Within 40 h, IL-1alpha caused a dose-dependent increase in surfactant protein-A (SP-A) and SP-B mRNAs (maximally, fivefold), without affecting lung growth or increasing inflammatory cells in the lung. Both genders, and upper and lower lung lobes were similarly affected. IL-1ra did not modify SP-A, -B, or -C mRNA. IL-1 increased the intensity of staining of alveolar type II cells for SP-B, and the concentrations of SP-B, -A, and disaturated phosphatidylcholine in bronchoalveolar lavage. The dynamic lung compliance and the postventilatory expansion of lungs were increased two- to fourfold after IL-1alpha treatment. In fetal lung explants, IL-1alpha increased the expression of SP-A mRNA. IL-1 in amniotic fluid in preterm labor may promote lung maturation and thus be part of a host-defense mechanism that prepares the fetus for extrauterine life.
K Bry, U Lappalainen, M Hallman
Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) is a severe childhood malignancy. The autocrine production of GMCSF is believed to be responsible for the spontaneous proliferation of JMML cells. A nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB)/Rel binding site within the GM-CSF gene promoter, termed the kappaB element, plays an important role in controlling transcription from the GM-CSF gene. We investigated the effect of an oligonucleotide GM3, directed to form a DNA triple helix across this kappaB element, on growth and GM-CSF production by JMML cells. Treatment of these cells, either unstimulated or induced by TNFalpha, with GM3 led to a significant and specific inhibition of both GM-CSF production and spontaneous colony formation. This constitutes the first report linking specific triplex-mediated inhibition of gene transcription with a functional outcome; i.e., cell growth. We observed the constitutive presence of NF-kappaB/Rel proteins in the nucleus of JMML cells. The constitutive and TNFalpha-induced NF-kappaB/Rel complexes were identical and were composed mainly of p50 and c-Rel proteins. Treatment of the cells with a neutralizing anti-TNFalpha monoclonal antibody completely abrogated constitutive nuclear expression of NF-kappaB/Rel proteins. These results indicate that the aberrant, constitutive GM-CSF gene activation in JMML is maintained by TNFalpha-mediated activation of NF-kappaB/Rel proteins. Our findings identify the molecular basis for the autocrine TNFalpha activation of the GM-CSF gene in JMML and suggest potential novel and specific approaches for the treatment of this aggressive childhood leukemia.
M Kochetkova, P O Iversen, A F Lopez, M F Shannon
Lesional skin of atopic dermatitis (AD) harbors high numbers of dendritic cells with enhanced stimulatory capacity for T lymphocytes. In this study, lesional AD skin was shown to stain heavily in both epidermal and dermal compartments for GM-CSF, a cytokine crucial to dendritic cell functions. Keratinocyte cultures established from uninvolved skin of AD patients exhibited markedly increased spontaneous and PMA-stimulated release of GM-CSF compared with keratinocytes from nonatopic controls. Correspondingly, keratinocytes from AD patients showed higher constitutive as well as PMA-induced GM-CSF gene expression. Larger amounts of GM-CSF were produced by AD keratinocytes, also in response to IL-1alpha, but not after stimulation with LPS, lipoteichoic acid, or staphylococcal enterotoxin B. Hydrocortisone reduced GM-CSF gene expression and protein release in both atopic and control keratinocytes. Supernatants from atopic keratinocytes were able to strongly stimulate PBMC proliferation in a GM-CSF-dependent manner. Moreover, conditioned medium from PMA-treated AD keratinocytes, together with exogenous IL-4, could support phenotypical and functional maturation of peripheral blood precursors into dendritic cells. Enhanced production of GM-CSF by keratinocytes may contribute relevantly to the establishment and chronicity of AD lesions, in particular to the increased number, sustained activation, and enhanced antigen-presenting functions of dendritic cells.
S Pastore, E Fanales-Belasio, C Albanesi, L M Chinni, A Giannetti, G Girolomoni
Thyroid gland agenesis is the most common cause of congenital hypothyroidism and is usually sporadic. We investigated a brother and sister from consanguineous parents, ascertained through systematic newborn screening, and initially diagnosed with thyroid agenesis. Careful cervical ultrasonography in both patients revealed a very hypoplastic thyroid gland. By direct sequencing of the thyrotropin receptor gene, we identified the substitution of threonine in place of a highly conserved alanine at position 553, in the fourth predicted transmembrane domain. The mutation was found homozygous in the affected siblings, and heterozygous in both parents and two unaffected siblings. Functional analysis in transfected COS-7 cells showed that it resulted in extremely low expression at the cell surface as compared with the wild-type receptor, in spite of an apparently normal intracellular synthesis. The small amount of mutated receptor expressed at the surface of transfected cells bound thyrotropin with normal affinity and responded in terms of cAMP production, but the in vivo significance of these data from overexpressed receptor in transfected cells is unclear. Of note, blood thyroglobulin was unexpectedly elevated in the patients at the time of diagnosis, a finding that might prove useful in refining etiologies of congenital hypothyroidism.
M J Abramowicz, L Duprez, J Parma, G Vassart, C Heinrichs
Interleukin-12, a cytokine with an important role against intracellular pathogens, promotes Th1 cell development, cellmediated cytotoxicity, and interferon-gamma production. We investigated the immunoregulatory role of IL-12 in 72 chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) carriers, 33 of whom were monitored longitudinally during interferon-alpha treatment. Serum levels of IL-12 heterodimer, IL-12 p40 subunit, IL-4, and Th1 cytokines were determined by specific ELISAs, and hepatitis B core antigen-specific T cell response by a proliferation assay. Chronic HBV carriers had higher serum levels of IL-12 and IL-12 p40 in comparison with controls (P < 0.01), suggesting that IL-12 production is not impaired. The longitudinal analysis revealed a further substantial increase (> 2.5x baseline level) of bioactive IL-12 and Th1 cytokines in patients who cleared HBV and seroconverted to anti- hepatitis B e, unlike the 23 nonresponders with persistent HBV replication (P < 0.01). The IL-12 peak followed the peak of hepatocytolysis by 9.8+/-2.8 wk and occurred either before or simultaneously with hepatitis B e seroconversion. Hepatitis B core antigen-specific T cell proliferation closely correlated with hepatocytolysis and increased significantly in all patients (8 responders and 15 nonresponders) who developed hepatitis flare, irrespective of the virological outcome. These results provide in vivo evidence that IL-12 may have an important role for viral clearance in chronic HBV infection.
S Rossol, G Marinos, P Carucci, M V Singer, R Williams, N V Naoumov
A common mutation (G-455--> A) in the promoter region of the beta-fibrinogen gene has been associated with elevated plasma fibrinogen levels. Whether fibrinogen genotype affects plasma fibrinogen levels and risk of ischemic heart disease in the general population has not been studied. We investigated the association between fibrinogen genotype, plasma fibrinogen levels, and ischemic heart disease in a general population sample (n = 9,127). The A-allele (relative frequency, 0.20) was associated with elevated plasma fibrinogen levels in both genders (P < 0.001). While the effect of the A-allele on fibrinogen level was additive in men, the effect was dominant in postmenopausal women. The A-allele raising effect appeared to be two- to threefold greater in individuals with ischemic heart disease than in those without. An increase of 1 SD in plasma fibrinogen increased the odds ratio for ischemic heart disease by approximately 20% (P < 0.01 for women and < 0.005 for men). However, the frequency of the A-allele was similar in those with and without ischemic heart disease, and genotype was not a predictor of disease. These results demonstrate that the (G-455--> A) mutation in the promoter region of the beta-fibrinogen gene is associated with an increase in plasma fibrinogen in both genders in the general population. This increase does not appear to cause ischemic heart disease.
A Tybjaerg-Hansen, B Agerholm-Larsen, S E Humphries, S Abildgaard, P Schnohr, B G Nordestgaard