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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