Eosinophil-derived TGF-β has been implicated in remodeling events in asthma. We hypothesized that reduction of bronchial mucosal eosinophils with anti–IL-5 would reduce markers of airway remodeling. Bronchial biopsies were obtained before and after three infusions of a humanized, anti–IL-5 monoclonal antibody (mepolizumab) in 24 atopic asthmatics in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. The thickness and density of tenascin, lumican, and procollagen III in the reticular basement membrane (RBM) were quantified immunohistochemically by confocal microscopy. Expression of TGF-β1 mRNA by airway eosinophils was assessed by in situ hybridization, and TGF-β1 protein was measured in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid by ELISA. At baseline, airway eosinophil infiltration and ECM protein deposition was increased in the RBM of asthmatics compared with nonasthmatic controls. Treating asthmatics with anti–IL-5 antibody, which specifically decreased airway eosinophil numbers, significantly reduced the expression of tenascin, lumican, and procollagen III in the bronchial mucosal RBM when compared with placebo. In addition, anti–IL-5 treatment was associated with a significant reduction in the numbers and percentage of airway eosinophils expressing mRNA for TGF-β1 and the concentration of TGF-β1 in BAL fluid. Therefore eosinophils may contribute to tissue remodeling processes in asthma by regulating the deposition of ECM proteins.
Patrick Flood-Page, Andrew Menzies-Gow, Simon Phipps, Sun Ying, Arun Wangoo, Mara S. Ludwig, Neil Barnes, Douglas Robinson, A. Barry Kay
T cell receptor engagement with CD28 costimulation is generally required for naive T cell activation, whereas reactivation of memory cells is less dependent on CD28 costimulation. We studied this process in chronic beryllium disease, in which the frequency of antigen-specific CD4+ T cells in the lung is large and circulating antigen-specific cells are also detectable. In the lung, a large fraction of CD4+ T cells stopped expressing CD28 mRNA and protein, and this change in phenotype correlated with lung inflammation. In the presence of concentrations of CTLA-4Ig that inhibited the CD28-B7 interaction, beryllium-specific CD4+ T cells in lung were still able to proliferate and secrete IFN-γ in response to beryllium in culture. This functional independence of CD28 costimulation included lung CD28+ effector cells. Although lung CD4+CD28– cells retained the ability to secrete Th1-type cytokines in response to beryllium, they showed less proliferative capacity and were more susceptible to cell death compared with CD28+ T cells. In contrast to lung cells, inhibition of the CD28-B7 interaction markedly reduced responses of beryllium-specific T cells in blood. Taken together, these findings suggest transition within memory CD4+ T cells from CD28 dependence in central memory cells to functional independence and then loss of CD28 expression in effector cells.
Andrew P. Fontenot, Laia Gharavi, Sean R. Bennett, Scott J. Canavera, Lee S. Newman, Brian L. Kotzin
Allogeneic hematopoietic chimerism leading to central tolerance has significant therapeutic potential. Realization of that potential has been impeded by the need for myeloablative conditioning of the host and development of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). To surmount these impediments, we have adapted a costimulation blockade–based protocol developed for solid organ transplantation for use in stem cell transplantation. The protocol combines donor-specific transfusion (DST) with anti-CD154 mAb. When applied to stem cell transplantation, administration of DST, anti-CD154 mAb, and allogeneic bone marrow leads to hematopoietic chimerism and central tolerance with no myeloablation and no GVHD. Tolerance in this system results from deletion of both peripheral host alloreactive CD8+ T cells and nascent intrathymic alloreactive CD8+ T cells. In the absence of large numbers of host alloreactive CD8+ T cells, the transfusion that precedes transplantation need not be of donor origin, suggesting that both allospecific and non-allospecific mechanisms regulate engraftment. Agents that interfere with peripheral transplantation tolerance impair establishment of chimerism. We conclude that robust allogeneic hematopoietic chimerism and central tolerance can be established in the absence of host myeloablative conditioning using a peripheral transplantation tolerance protocol.
Edward Seung, John P. Mordes, Aldo A. Rossini, Dale L. Greiner
Gonadotropins induce ovarian follicle growth that is coincident with increased follicular vasculature, suggesting a role of angiogenesis in follicle development. Functional studies performed in nonhuman primates show that administration of substances that inactivate VEGF block the development and function of preovulatory follicles as demonstrated by histological analysis or hormone measurements. Blockage of function of VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR-2) alters follicular hormone secretion, suggesting that the intraovarian effect of VEGF might be mediated by this receptor. The specific mechanism by which follicular development was blocked in these previous studies remains unclear, however. Here we characterize the intraovarian role of VEGFR-2 activity on follicular development by choosing a model in which active feedback is absent, the prepuberally hypophysectomized mouse. Hypophysectomy prevents advanced follicle growth and maturation; however, follicle development to the preovulatory stage can be stimulated by administration of gonadotropins. We report that exogenously administered gonadotropins are unable to drive follicle development to the preovulatory stage in the presence of antiangiogenic agent, VEGFR-2–neutralizing Ab’s. This inhibition of follicular development is caused by arrests to both angiogenesis and antrum formation. We conclude that the intraovarian VEGF/VEGFR-2 pathway is critical for gonadotropin-dependent angiogenesis and follicular development.
Ralf C. Zimmermann, Tipton Hartman, Suzanne Kavic, Samuel A. Pauli, Peter Bohlen, Mark V. Sauer, Jan Kitajewski
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways that is coordinated by Th2 cells in both human asthmatics and animal models of allergic asthma. Migration of Th2 cells to the lung is key to their inflammatory function and is regulated in large part by chemokine receptors, members of the seven-membrane-spanning receptor family. It has been reported recently that T cells lacking β-arrestin-2, a G protein–coupled receptor regulatory protein, demonstrate impaired migration in vitro. Here we show that allergen-sensitized mice having a targeted deletion of the β-arrestin-2 gene do not accumulate T lymphocytes in their airways, nor do they demonstrate other physiological and inflammatory features characteristic of asthma. In contrast, the airway inflammatory response to LPS, an event not coordinated by Th2 cells, is fully functional in mice lacking β-arrestin-2. β-arrestin-2–deficient mice demonstrate OVA-specific IgE responses, but have defective macrophage-derived chemokine–mediated CD4+ T cell migration to the lung. This report provides the first evidence that β-arrestin-2 is required for the manifestation of allergic asthma. Because β-arrestin-2 regulates the development of allergic inflammation at a proximal step in the inflammatory cascade, novel therapies focused on this protein may prove useful in the treatment of asthma.
Julia K.L. Walker, Alan M. Fong, Barbara L. Lawson, Jordan D. Savov, Dhavalkumar D. Patel, David A. Schwartz, Robert J. Lefkowitz
The critical role for ADP in arterial thrombogenesis was established by the clinical success of P2Y12 antagonists, currently used at doses that block 40–50% of the P2Y12 on platelets. This study was designed to determine the role of P2Y12 in platelet thrombosis and how its complete absence affects the thrombotic process. P2Y12-null mice were generated by a gene-targeting strategy. Using an in vivo mesenteric artery injury model and real-time continuous analysis of the thrombotic process, we observed that the time for appearance of first thrombus was delayed and that only small, unstable thrombi formed in P2Y12–/– mice without reaching occlusive size, in the absence of aspirin. Platelet adhesion to vWF was impaired in P2Y12–/– platelets. While adhesion to fibrinogen and collagen appeared normal, the platelets in thrombi from P2Y12–/– mice on collagen were less dense and less activated than their WT counterparts. P2Y12–/– platelet activation was also reduced in response to ADP or a PAR-4–activating peptide. Thus, P2Y12 is involved in several key steps of thrombosis: platelet adhesion/activation, thrombus growth, and stability. The data suggest that more aggressive strategies of P2Y12 antagonism will be antithrombotic without the requirement of aspirin cotherapy and may provide benefits even to the aspirin-nonresponder population.
Patrick André, Suzanne M. Delaney, Thomas LaRocca, Diana Vincent, Francis DeGuzman, Marzena Jurek, Beverley Koller, David R. Phillips, Pamela B. Conley
Aspirin has been previously shown to reduce the in vivo virulence of Staphylococcus aureus in experimental endocarditis, through antiplatelet and antimicrobial mechanisms. In the present study, salicylic acid, the major in vivo metabolite of aspirin, mitigated two important virulence phenotypes in both clinical and laboratory S. aureus strains: α-hemolysin secretion and fibronectin binding in vitro. In addition, salicylic acid reduced the expression of the α-hemolysin gene promoter, hla, and the fibronectin gene promoter, fnbA. Transcriptional analysis, fluorometry, and flow cytometry revealed evidence of salicylic acid–mediated activation of the stress-response gene sigB. Expression of the sigB-repressible global regulon sarA and the global regulon agr were also mitigated by salicylic acid, corresponding to the reduced expression of the hla and fnbA genes in vitro. Studies in experimental endocarditis confirmed the key roles of both sarA and sigB in mediating the antistaphylococcal effects of salicylic acid in vivo. Therefore, aspirin has the potential to be an adjuvant therapeutic agent against endovascular infections that result from S. aureus, by downmodulating key staphylococcal global regulons and structural genes in vivo, thus abrogating relevant virulence phenotypes.
Leon Iri Kupferwasser, Michael R. Yeaman, Cynthia C. Nast, Deborah Kupferwasser, Yan-Qiong Xiong, Marco Palma, Ambrose L. Cheung, Arnold S. Bayer
Neph1-deficient mice develop nephrotic syndrome at birth, indicating the importance of this protein in the development of a normal glomerular filtration barrier. While the precise subcellular localization of Neph1 remains unknown, its relationship with other components of the glomerular filtration barrier is of great interest in this field. In this paper, we localize the expression of Neph1 to the glomerular slit diaphragm by immunogold electron microscopy in rodents and describe its direct interaction with two other components of the slit diaphragm, nephrin and ZO-1. Both native and recombinant Neph1 associate with each other as dimers and multimers and interact with nephrin via their extracellular segments. Disruption of the Neph1-nephrin interaction in vivo by injecting combinations of individual subnephritogenic doses of anti-Neph1 and anti-nephrin results in complement- and leukocyte-independent proteinuria with preserved foot processes. This disruption modestly reduces Neph1 and nephrin protein expression in podocytes and dramatically reduces ZO-1 protein expression via the interaction of ZO-1 PDZ domains with the cytoplasmic tail of Neph1, independent of changes in mRNA expression of all three genes. The interaction between nephrin and Neph1 is specific and not shared by either protein with P-cadherin, another integral slit diaphragm protein. The interaction between nephrin and Neph1 therefore appears to be an important determinant of glomerular permeability.
Gang Liu, Beenu Kaw, Jayson Kurfis, Syed Rahmanuddin, Yashpal S. Kanwar, Sumant S. Chugh
Although the renin angiotensin system (RAS) is a major regulator of vascular homeostasis, the role of the RAS in tumor angiogenesis is little understood. Here we show that host angiotensin II (ATII) type 1 (AT1) receptor plays an important role in angiogenesis and growth of tumor cells engrafted in mice. Subcutaneous B16-F1 melanoma-induced angiogenesis as assessed by tissue capillary density and microangiography was prominent in WT mice but was reduced in AT1a receptor–deficient (AT1a–/–) mice. Consequently, tumor growth rate was significantly slower, and the mouse survival rate was greater, in AT1a–/– mice than in WT mice. Tumor growth was also reduced in WT mice treated with TCV-116, a selective blocker of AT1 receptor. Because the β-galactosidase gene was inserted into the AT1a gene locus in AT1a–/– mice, the site of β-galactosidase expression represents the AT1a receptor expression in these mutant mice. In tumor-implanted AT1a–/– mice, the major site of the β-galactosidase expression was macrophages in tissues surrounding tumors. Moreover, the number of infiltrated macrophages was significantly lower in AT1a–/– mice than in WT mice, and double-immunofluorescence staining revealed that these macrophages expressed VEGF protein intensively. Therefore, the host ATII-AT1 receptor pathway supports tumor-associated macrophage infiltration, which results in enhanced tissue VEGF protein levels. The host ATII-AT1 receptor pathway thereby plays important roles in tumor-related angiogenesis and growth in vivo.
Kimiyasu Egami, Toyoaki Murohara, Toshifumi Shimada, Ken-ichiro Sasaki, Satoshi Shintani, Takeshi Sugaya, Masahiro Ishii, Teiji Akagi, Hisao Ikeda, Toyojiro Matsuishi, Tsutomu Imaizumi
Due to genetic defects in apical membrane chloride channels, the cystic fibrosis (CF) intestine does not secrete chloride normally. Depressed chloride secretion leaves CF intestinal absorptive processes unopposed, which results in net fluid hyperabsorption, dehydration of intestinal contents, and a propensity to inspissated intestinal obstruction. This theory is based primarily on in vitro studies of jejunal mucosa. To determine if CF patients actually hyperabsorb fluid in vivo, we measured electrolyte and water absorption during steady-state perfusion of the jejunum. As expected, chloride secretion was abnormally low in CF, but surprisingly, there was no net hyperabsorption of sodium or water during perfusion of a balanced electrolyte solution. This suggested that fluid absorption processes are reduced in CF jejunum, and further studies revealed that this was due to a marked depression of passive chloride absorption. Although Na+-glucose cotransport was normal in the CF jejunum, absence of passive chloride absorption completely blocked glucose-stimulated net sodium absorption and reduced glucose-stimulated water absorption 66%. This chloride absorptive abnormality acts in physiological opposition to the classic chloride secretory defect in the CF intestine. By increasing the fluidity of intraluminal contents, absence of passive chloride absorption may reduce the incidence and severity of intestinal disease in patients with CF.
Michael A. Russo, Christoph Högenauer, Stephen W. Coates Jr., Carol A. Santa Ana, Jack L. Porter, Randall L. Rosenblatt, Michael Emmett, John S. Fordtran
Oxygen administration to immature neonates suppresses VEGF-A expression in the retina, resulting in the catastrophic vessel loss that initiates retinopathy of prematurity. To investigate the mechanisms responsible for survival of blood vessels in the developing retina, we characterized two VEGF-A receptors, VEGF receptor–1 (VEGFR-1, also known as Flt-1) and VEGF receptor–2 (VEGFR-2, also known as Flk-1). Surprisingly, these two VEGF-A receptors differed markedly during normal retinal development in mice. At 5 days postpartum (P5), VEGFR-1 protein was colocalized with retinal vessels, whereas VEGFR-2 was detected only in the neural retina. Real-time RT-PCR identified a 60-fold induction of VEGFR-1 mRNA in retina from P3 (early vascularization) to P26 (fully vascularized), and no significant change in VEGFR-2 mRNA expression. Placental growth factor-1 (PlGF-1), which exclusively binds VEGFR-1, decreased hyperoxia-induced retinal vaso-obliteration from 22.2% to 5.1%, whereas VEGF-E, which exclusively binds VEGFR-2, had no effect on blood vessel survival. Importantly, under the same conditions, PlGF-1 did not increase vasoproliferation during (a) normal vessel growth, (b) revascularization following hyperoxia-induced ischemia, or (c) the vasoproliferative phase, indicating a selective function supporting blood vessel survival. We conclude that VEGFR-1 is critical in maintaining the vasculature of the neonatal retina, and that activation of VEGFR-1 by PlGF-1 is a selective strategy for preventing oxygen-induced retinal ischemia without provoking retinal neovascularization.
Shu-Ching Shih, Meihua Ju, Nan Liu, Lois E.H. Smith
Both insulin and IGF-1 have been implicated in control of retinal endothelial cell growth, neovascularization, and diabetic retinopathy. To precisely define the role of insulin and IGF-1 signaling in endothelium in these processes, we have used the oxygen-induced retinopathy model to study mice with a vascular endothelial cell–specific knockout of the insulin receptor (VENIRKO) or IGF-1 receptor (VENIFARKO). Following relative hypoxia, VENIRKO mice show a 57% decrease in retinal neovascularization as compared with controls. This is associated with a blunted rise in VEGF, eNOS, and endothelin-1. By contrast, VENIFARKO mice show only a 34% reduction in neovascularization and a very modest reduction in mediator generation. These data indicate that both insulin and IGF-1 signaling in endothelium play a role in retinal neovascularization through the expression of vascular mediators, with the effect of insulin being most important in this process.
Tatsuya Kondo, David Vicent, Kiyoshi Suzuma, Masashi Yanagisawa, George L. King, Martin Holzenberger, C. Ronald Kahn
Asthma is on the rise despite intense, ongoing research underscoring the need for new scientific inquiry. In an effort to provide unbiased insight into disease pathogenesis, we took an approach involving expression profiling of lung tissue from mice with experimental asthma. Employing asthma models induced by different allergens and protocols, we identified 6.5% of the tested genome whose expression was altered in an asthmatic lung. Notably, two phenotypically similar models of experimental asthma were shown to have distinct transcript profiles. Genes related to metabolism of basic amino acids, specifically the cationic amino acid transporter 2, arginase I, and arginase II, were particularly prominent among the asthma signature genes. In situ hybridization demonstrated marked staining of arginase I, predominantly in submucosal inflammatory lesions. Arginase activity was increased in allergen-challenged lungs, as demonstrated by increased enzyme activity, and increased levels of putrescine, a downstream product. Lung arginase activity and mRNA expression were strongly induced by IL-4 and IL-13, and were differentially dependent on signal transducer and activator of transcription 6. Analysis of patients with asthma supported the importance of this pathway in human disease. Based on the ability of arginase to regulate generation of NO, polyamines, and collagen, these results provide a basis for pharmacologically targeting arginine metabolism in allergic disorders.
Nives Zimmermann, Nina E. King, Johanne Laporte, Ming Yang, Anil Mishra, Sam M. Pope, Emily E. Muntel, David P. Witte, Anthony A. Pegg, Paul S. Foster, Qutayba Hamid, Marc E. Rothenberg
Recent studies have identified the white adipose tissue (WAT) as an important endocrine organ that regulates energy and glucose metabolism via a number of secreted factors. Mice lacking acyl CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1), a key enzyme in mammalian triglyceride synthesis, are protected against diet-induced obesity and glucose intolerance because of increased energy expenditure and enhanced insulin sensitivity. Because DGAT1 is highly expressed in WAT, we hypothesized that DGAT1 deficiency affects the expression of adipocyte-derived factors that regulate energy and glucose metabolism. Here we show that the transplantation of DGAT1-deficient WAT decreases adiposity and enhances glucose disposal in wild-type mice. Analysis of DGAT1-deficient WAT revealed a twofold increase in the expression of adiponectin, a molecule that enhances fatty acid oxidation and insulin sensitivity, and this increase may account in part for the transplantation-induced metabolic changes. Our results highlight the importance of the endocrine function of WAT and suggest that an alteration in this function contributes to the increased energy expenditure and insulin sensitivity in DGAT1-deficient mice.
Hubert C. Chen, Dalan R. Jensen, Heather M. Myers, Robert H. Eckel, Robert V. Farese Jr.
Thyroid function depends on processing of the prohormone thyroglobulin by sequential proteolytic events. From in vitro analysis it is known that cysteine proteinases mediate proteolytic processing of thyroglobulin. Here, we have analyzed mice with deficiencies in cathepsins B, K, L, B and K, or K and L in order to investigate which of the cysteine proteinases is most important for proteolytic processing of thyroglobulin in vivo. Immunolabeling demonstrated a rearrangement of the endocytic system and a redistribution of extracellularly located enzymes in thyroids of cathepsin-deficient mice. Cathepsin L was upregulated in thyroids of cathepsin K–/– or B–/–/K–/– mice, suggesting a compensation of cathepsin L for cathepsin K deficiency. Impaired proteolysis resulted in the persistence of thyroglobulin in the thyroids of mice with deficiencies in cathepsin B or L. The typical multilayered appearance of extracellularly stored thyroglobulin was retained in cathepsin K–/– mice only. These results suggest that cathepsins B and L are involved in the solubilization of thyroglobulin from its covalently cross-linked storage form. Cathepsin K–/–/L–/– mice had significantly reduced levels of free thyroxine, indicating that utilization of luminal thyroglobulin for thyroxine liberation is mediated by a combinatory action of cathepsins K and L.
Bianca Friedrichs, Carmen Tepel, Thomas Reinheckel, Jan Deussing, Kurt von Figura, Volker Herzog, Christoph Peters, Paul Saftig, Klaudia Brix
The prostate gland is a rich source of α1-adrenergic receptors (α1-ARs). α1-AR antagonists are commonly used in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia symptoms, due to their action on smooth muscle cells. However, virtually nothing is known about the role of α1-ARs in epithelial cells. Here, by using two human prostate cancer epithelial (hPCE) cell models — primary cells from resection specimens (primary hPCE cells) and an LNCaP (lymph node carcinoma of the prostate) cell line — we identify an α1A subtype of adrenergic receptor (α1A-AR) and show its functional coupling to plasmalemmal cationic channels via direct diacylglycerol (DAG) gating. In both cell types, agonist-mediated stimulation of α1A-ARs and DAG analogues activated similar cationic membrane currents and Ca2+ influx. These currents were sensitive to the α1A-AR antagonists, prazosin and WB4101, and to transient receptor potential (TRP) channel blockers, 2–aminophenyl borate and SK&F 96365. Chronic activation of α1A-ARs enhanced LNCaP cell proliferation, which could be antagonized by α1A-AR and TRP inhibitors. Collectively, our results suggest that α1-ARs play a role in promoting hPCE cell proliferation via TRP channels.
Stephanie Thebault, Morad Roudbaraki, Vadim Sydorenko, Yaroslav Shuba, Loic Lemonnier, Christian Slomianny, Etienne Dewailly, Jean-Louis Bonnal, Brigitte Mauroy, Roman Skryma, Natalia Prevarskaya
Previous studies established that IL-5–producing CD4+ T cells play a pivotal role in allergic respiratory inflammation. It was also reported that CD4+ T cells express higher levels of CD44 in the airway than in peripheral blood of patients with allergic respiratory diseases. We have used experimental pulmonary eosinophilia induced in mice by Ascaris suum (Asc) extract to investigate the role of CD44 in the development of allergic respiratory inflammation. Intraperitoneal administration of anti-CD44 mAb prevented both lymphocyte and eosinophil accumulation in the lung. Anti-CD44 mAb also blocked antigen-induced elevation of Th2 cytokines as well as chemokines (CCL11, CCL17) in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). Treatment with anti-CD44 mAb inhibited the increased levels of hyaluronic acid (HA) and leukotriene concentrations in BALF that typically result from antigen challenge. Anti-CD44 mAb also blocked antigen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness. An anti-CD44 mAb (IM7) inhibited the HA-binding ability of splenocytes associated with decreased levels of CD44. Soluble CD44 levels in serum were increased in Asc-challenged IM7–treated mice, but not in KM201-treated mice, compared with Asc-challenged rat IgG–treated mice. Ab’s that block CD44-HA binding reduced allergic respiratory inflammation by preventing lymphocyte and eosinophil accumulation in the lung. Thus, CD44 may be critical for development of allergic respiratory inflammation.
Shigeki Katoh, Nobuhiro Matsumoto, Kumiko Kawakita, Akira Tominaga, Paul W. Kincade, Shigeru Matsukura
Characteristic of both chronic wounds and acute wounds that fail to heal are excessive leukocytosis and reduced matrix deposition. Estrogen is a major regulator of wound repair that can reverse age-related impaired wound healing in human and animal models, characterized by a dampened inflammatory response and increased matrix deposited at the wound site. Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a candidate proinflammatory cytokine involved in the hormonal regulation of inflammation. We demonstrate that MIF is upregulated in a distinct spatial and temporal pattern during wound healing and its expression is markedly elevated in wounds of estrogen-deficient mice as compared with intact animals. Wound-healing studies in mice rendered null for the MIF gene have demonstrated that in the absence of MIF, the excessive inflammation and delayed-healing phenotype associated with reduced estrogen is reversed. Moreover, in vitro assays have shown a striking estrogen-mediated decrease in MIF production by activated murine macrophages, a process involving the estrogen receptor. We suggest that estrogen inhibits the local inflammatory response by downregulating MIF, suggesting a specific target for future therapeutic intervention in impaired wound-healing states.
Gillian S. Ashcroft, Stuart J. Mills, KeJian Lei, Linda Gibbons, Moon-Jin Jeong, Marisu Taniguchi, Matthew Burow, Michael A. Horan, Sharon M. Wahl, Toshinori Nakayama
Pituitary tumors cause considerable morbidity due to local invasion, hypopituitarism, or hormone hypersecretion. In many cases, no suitable drug therapies are available, and surgical excision is currently the only effective treatment. We show here abundant expression of nuclear hormone receptor PPAR-γ in all of 39 human pituitary tumors. PPAR-γ activating thiazolidinediones (TZDs) rosiglitazone and troglitazone induced G0-G1 cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis in human, rat somatolactotroph, and murine gonadotroph pituitary tumor cells, and suppressed in vitro hormone secretion. In vivo development and growth of murine somatolactotroph and gonadotroph tumors, generated by subcutaneous injection of prolactin-secreting (PRL-secreting) and growth hormone–secreting (GH-secreting) GH3 cells, luteinizing hormone–secreting (LH-secreting) LβT2 cells, and α-T3 cells, was markedly suppressed in rosiglitazone-treated mice, and serum GH, PRL, and LH levels were attenuated in all treated animals (P < 0.009). These results demonstrate that PPAR-γ is an important molecular target in pituitary adenoma cells and PPAR-γ ligands inhibit tumor cell growth and GH, PRL, and LH secretion in vitro and in vivo. TZDs are proposed as novel oral medications for managing pituitary tumors.
Anthony P. Heaney, Manory Fernando, Shlomo Melmed
The γ-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (γ-MSH) is a natriuretic peptide derived from the N-terminal region of proopiomelanocortin (POMC). Evidence suggests that it may be part of the coordinated response to a low-sodium diet (LSD). We tested the effect of the HSD (8% NaCl) compared with LSD (0.07%) on mean arterial pressure (MAP) in mice with targeted disruption of the PC2 gene (PC2–/–), necessary for processing of POMC into γ-MSH, or the melanocortin receptor 3 gene (Mc3r–/–; the receptor for MSH). In wild-type mice, HSD for 1 week did not alter MAP versus LSD mice, but plasma γ-MSH immunoreactivity was more than double the LSD value. In contrast, in PC2–/– mice, MAP on the LSD was not greater than in wild-type mice, but plasma γ-MSH was reduced to one-seventh the wild-type value. On the HSD, MAP rose to a markedly hypertensive level while plasma γ-MSH concentration remained severely depressed. Intravenous infusion of γ-MSH (0.2 pmol/min) for 30 min to PC2–/– mice after 1 week of HSD lowered MAP from hypertensive levels to normal; infusion of α-MSH at the same rate had no effect. Injection of 60 fmol of γ-MSH into the lateral cerebral ventricle of hypertensive mice also lowered MAP to normal. Administration of a stable analogue of γ-MSH intra-abdominally by microosmotic pump to PC2–/– mice prevented the development of hypertension when ingesting the HSD. In mice with targeted disruption of the Mc3r gene, the HSD also led to marked hypertension accompanied by elevated plasma levels of γ-MSH; infusion of exogenous γ-MSH to these mice had no effect on MAP. These results strongly suggest that PC2-dependent processing of POMC into γ-MSH is necessary for the normal response to the HSD. γ-MSH deficiency results in marked salt-sensitive hypertension that is rapidly improved with exogenous γ-MSH through a central site of action. α-MSH infused at the same rate had no effect on MAP, indicating that the hypertension is a specific consequence of impaired POMC processing into γ-MSH. Absence of Mc3r produces γ-MSH resistance and hypertension on the HSD. These findings demonstrate a novel pathway mediating salt-sensitivity of blood pressure.
Xi-Ping Ni, David Pearce, Andrew A. Butler, Roger D. Cone, Michael H. Humphreys
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