TGF-β plays an important role in lung fibrosis, which is a major cause of suffering and death seen in pulmonary disease. Smad7 has been recently identified as an antagonist of TGF-β signaling. To investigate whether this novel molecule can be exploited for therapy of lung fibrosis, we determined the effect of exogenous Smad7, introduced by a recombinant human type 5 adenovirus vector, on bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis in mice. C57BL/6 mice with bleomycin-induced lungs received an intratracheal injection of a recombinant adenovirus carrying mice Smad7 cDNA. These mice demonstrated suppression of type I precollagen mRNA, reduced hydroxyproline content, and no morphological fibrotic responses in the lungs when compared with mice administered adenovirus carrying Smad6 cDNA. In addition, we found that expression of Smad7 transgene blocked Smad2 phosphorylation induced by bleomycin in mouse lungs. These data indicated that gene transfer of Smad7 (but not Smad6) prevented bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis, suggesting that Smad7 may have applicability in the treatment of pulmonary fibrosis.
Atsuhito Nakao, Makiko Fujii, Ryutaro Matsumura, Kotaro Kumano, Yasushi Saito, Kohei Miyazono, Itsuo Iwamoto
The Fas ligand is predominantly expressed in activated T lymphocytes and is one of the major effector molecules of cytotoxic T lymphocytes and natural killer cells. Previously, we found excessive apoptosis of epithelial cells and infiltrating lymphocytes expressing Fas ligand mRNA in the lung tissue of bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis in mice. Here we demonstrated that the administration of a soluble form of Fas antigen or anti-Fas ligand antibody prevented the development of this model and that lpr and gld mice were resistant against the induction of pneumopathy. These results suggest that the Fas-Fas ligand pathway plays an essential role in the development of pulmonary fibrosis and that preventing this pathway could have therapeutic value in lung injury and fibrosis.
Kazuyoshi Kuwano, Naoki Hagimoto, Masayuki Kawasaki, Takehiro Yatomi, Norio Nakamura, Shigekazu Nagata, Takashi Suda, Ritsuko Kunitake, Takashige Maeyama, Hiroyuki Miyazaki, Nobuyuki Hara
Exogenous gene delivery to alter the function of the heart is a potential novel therapeutic strategy for treatment of cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure (HF). Before gene therapy approaches to alter cardiac function can be realized, efficient and reproducible in vivo gene techniques must be established to efficiently transfer transgenes globally to the myocardium. We have been testing the hypothesis that genetic manipulation of the myocardial β-adrenergic receptor (β-AR) system, which is impaired in HF, can enhance cardiac function. We have delivered adenoviral transgenes, including the human β2-AR (Adeno-β2AR), to the myocardium of rabbits using an intracoronary approach. Catheter-mediated Adeno-β2AR delivery produced diffuse multichamber myocardial expression, peaking 1 week after gene transfer. A total of 5 × 1011 viral particles of Adeno-β2AR reproducibly produced 5- to 10-fold β-AR overexpression in the heart, which, at 7 and 21 days after delivery, resulted in increased in vivo hemodynamic function compared with control rabbits that received an empty adenovirus. Several physiological parameters, including dP/dtmax as a measure of contractility, were significantly enhanced basally and showed increased responsiveness to the β-agonist isoproterenol. Our results demonstrate that global myocardial in vivo gene delivery is possible and that genetic manipulation of β-AR density can result in enhanced cardiac performance. Thus, replacement of lost receptors seen in HF may represent novel inotropic therapy.
John P. Maurice, Jonathan A. Hata, Ashish S. Shah, David C. White, Patricia H. McDonald, Paul C. Dolber, Katrina H. Wilson, Robert J. Lefkowitz, Donald D. Glower, Walter J. Koch
We have previously shown that expression of the human apo A-I transgene on the apo E–deficient background increases HDL cholesterol and greatly diminishes fatty streak lesion formation. To examine the mechanism, prelesional events in atherosclerotic plaque development were examined in 6- to 8-week-old apo E–deficient and apo E–deficient/human apo A-I transgenic mice. A quantitative assessment of subendothelial lipid deposition by freeze-fracture and deep-etch electron microscopy indicated that elevated apo A-I did not affect the distribution or amount of aortic arch subendothelial lipid deposits. Immunohistochemical staining for VCAM-1 demonstrated similar expression on endothelial cells at prelesional aortic branch sites from both apo E–deficient and apo E–deficient/human apo A-I transgenic mice. Transmission electron microscopy revealed monocytes bound to the aortic arch in mice of both genotypes, and immunohistochemical staining demonstrated that the area occupied by bound mononuclear cells was unchanged. Serum paraoxonase and aryl esterase activity did not differ between apo E–deficient and apo E–deficient/human apo A-I transgenic mice. These data suggest that increases in apo A-I and HDL cholesterol inhibit foam cell formation in apo E–deficient/human apo A-I transgenic mice at a stage following lipid deposition, endothelial activation, and monocyte adherence, without increases in HDL-associated paraoxonase.
Hayes M. Dansky, Sherri A. Charlton, Courtenay B. Barlow, Minna Tamminen, Jonathan D. Smith, Joy S. Frank, Jan L. Breslow
Recent studies indicate that fetal cells persist in maternal blood for decades after pregnancy. Maternal cells are known to engraft and persist in infants with immunodeficiency, but whether maternal cells persist long-term in immunocompetent offspring has not specifically been investigated. We developed sensitive human leukocyte antigen–specific (HLA-specific) PCR assays and targeted nonshared maternal HLA genes to test for persistent maternal microchimerism in subjects with scleroderma and in healthy normal subjects. Nonshared maternal-specific DNA was found in 6 of 9 scleroderma patients. In situ hybridization with double labeling for X and Y chromosome–specific sequences revealed female cells in peripheral blood samples from 2 male scleroderma patients. HLA-specific PCR also frequently revealed persistent maternal microchimerism in healthy control subjects. The mean age of all subjects with maternal microchimerism was 28 years (range: 9–49 years). With few exceptions, mothers of subjects with persistent maternal microchimerism were HLA incompatible with subjects for class I and class II alleles. These results clearly indicate that HLA-disparate maternal cells can persist in immunocompetent offspring well into adult life. The biological significance of maternal microchimerism and whether it might contribute to autoimmune disease requires further investigation.
Sean Maloney, Anajane Smith, Daniel E. Furst, David Myerson, Kate Rupert, Paul C. Evans, J. Lee Nelson
We examined the molecular pathogenesis of graft-versus-host disease–associated (GVHD-associated) liver injury in mice, focusing on the role of chemokines. At the second week after cell transfer in the parent-into-F1 model of GVHD, CD8+ T cells — especially donor-derived CD8+ T cells — infiltrated the liver, causing both portal hepatitis and nonsuppurative destructive cholangitis (NSDC). These migrating cells expressed CCR5. Moreover, macrophage inflammatory protein-1α (MIP-1α), one of the ligands for CCR5, was selectively expressed on intralobular bile duct epithelial cells, endothelial cells, and infiltrating macrophages and lymphocytes. Administration of anti-CCR5 antibody dramatically reduced the infiltration of CCR5+CD8+ T lymphocytes into the liver, and consequently protected against liver damage in GVHD. The levels of Fas ligand (FasL) mRNA expression in the liver were also decreased by anti-CCR5 antibody treatment. Anti–MIP-1α antibody treatment also reduced liver injury. These results suggest that MIP-1α–induced migration of CCR5-expressing CD8+ T cells into the portal areas of the liver plays a significant role in causing liver injury in GVHD; thus, CCR5 and its ligand may be the novel target molecules of therapeutic intervention of hepatic GVHD.
Masako Murai, Hiroyuki Yoneyama, Akihisa Harada, Zhang Yi, Christian Vestergaard, Baoyu Guo, Kenji Suzuki, Hitoshi Asakura, Kouji Matsushima
Delayed cerebral vasospasm after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) causes cerebral ischemia and infarction. To date, the pathogenesis and gene expression associated with vasospasm remain poorly understood. The present study used fluorescent differential display to identify differentially expressed genes in a rat model of SAH. By using quantitative RT-PCR, we found that heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) mRNA was prominently induced in the basilar artery and modestly in brain tissue in a rat vasospasm model. A significant correlation was observed between the degree of vasospasm and HO-1 mRNA levels in the basilar arteries exhibiting vasospasm. Intracisternal injection of antisense HO-1 oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) significantly delayed the clearance of oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin from the subarachnoid space and aggravated angiographic vasospasm. Antisense HO-1 ODN inhibited HO-1 induction in the basilar arteries but not in the whole brain tissue. This phenomenon was not observed in the nontreated, sense HO-1 ODN–treated, or scrambled ODN–treated arteries. We report the protective effects of HO-1 gene induction in cerebral vasospasm after SAH, a finding that should provide a novel therapeutic approach for cerebral vasospasm.
Hidenori Suzuki, Kenji Kanamaru, Hiroshi Tsunoda, Hiroyasu Inada, Minoru Kuroki, Hong Sun, Shiro Waga, Toshio Tanaka
Infiltration of immunocytes into pancreatic islets precedes loss of β cells in type 1 diabetes. It is conceivable that local release of cytokines affects the function of β cells before their apoptosis. This study examines whether the elevated proinsulin levels that have been described in prediabetes can result from exposure of β cells to cytokines. Human β-cell preparations were cultured for 48 or 72 hours with or without IL-1β, TNF-α, or IFN-γ, alone or in combination. None of these conditions were cytotoxic, nor did they reduce insulin biosynthetic activity. Single cytokines did not alter medium or cellular content in insulin or proinsulin. Cytokine combinations, in particular IL-1β plus IFN-γ, disproportionately elevated medium proinsulin levels. This effect expresses an altered functional state of the β cells characterized by preserved proinsulin synthesis, a slower hormone conversion, and an increased ratio of cellular proinsulin over insulin content. The delay in proinsulin conversion can be attributed to lower expression of PC1 and PC2 convertases. It is concluded that disproportionately elevated proinsulin levels in pre–type 1 diabetic patients might result from exposure of their β cells to cytokines released from infiltrating immunocytes. This hormonal alteration expresses an altered functional state of the β cells that can occur independently of β-cell death.
Katleen Hostens, Dejan Pavlovic, Yasmeeni Zambre, Zhidong Ling, Christiaan Van Schravendijk, Décio L. Eizirik, Daniel G. Pipeleers
Circulating immune complexes (CICs) isolated from sera of patients with IgA nephropathy (IgAN) consist of undergalactosylated, mostly polymeric, and J chain–containing IgA1 and IgG antibodies specific for N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc) residues in O-linked glycans of the hinge region of IgA1 heavy chains. Antibodies with such specificity occur in sera of IgAN patients, and in smaller quantities in patients with non-IgA proliferative glomerulonephritis and in healthy controls; they are present mainly in the IgG (predominantly IgG2 subclass), and less frequently in the IgA1 isotype. Their specificity for GalNAc was determined by reactivity with IgA1 myeloma proteins with enzymatically removed N-acetylneuraminic acid (NeuNAc) and galactose (Gal); removal of the O-linked glycans of IgA1 resulted in significantly decreased reactivity. Furthermore, IgA2 proteins that lack the hinge region with O-linked glycans but are otherwise structurally similar to IgA1 did not react with IgG or IgA1 antibodies. The re-formation of isolated and acid-dissociated CICs was inhibited more effectively by IgA1 lacking NeuNAc and Gal than by intact IgA1. Immobilized GalNAc and asialo-ovine submaxillary mucin (rich in O-linked glycans) were also effective inhibitors. Our results suggest that the deficiency of Gal in the hinge region of IgA1 molecules results in the generation of antigenic determinants containing GalNAc residues that are recognized by naturally occurring IgG and IgA1 antibodies.
Milan Tomana, Jan Novak, Bruce A. Julian, Karel Matousovic, Karel Konecny, Jiri Mestecky
We have studied complex I (NADH-ubiquinone reductase) defects of the mitochondrial respiratory chain in 2 infants who died in the neonatal period from 2 different neurological forms of severe neonatal lactic acidosis. Specific and marked decrease in complex I activity was documented in muscle, liver, and cultured skin fibroblasts. Biochemical characterization and study of the genetic origin of this defect were performed using cultured fibroblasts. Immunodetection of 6 nuclear DNA–encoded (20, 23, 24, 30, 49, and 51 kDa) and 1 mitochondrial DNA–encoded (ND1) complex I subunits in fibroblast mitochondria revealed 2 distinct patterns. In 1 patient, complex I contained reduced amounts of the 24- and 51-kDa subunits and normal amounts of all the other investigated subunits. In the second patient, amounts of all the investigated subunits were severely decreased. The data suggest partial or extensive impairment of complex I assembly in both patients. Cell fusion experiments between 143B206 ρ° cells, fully depleted of mitochondrial DNA, and fibroblasts from both patients led to phenotypic complementation of the complex I defects in mitochondria of the resulting cybrid cells. These results indicate that the complex I defects in the 2 reported cases are due to nuclear gene mutations.
Vincent Procaccio, Bénédicte Mousson, Réjane Beugnot, Hervé Duborjal, François Feillet, Guy Putet, Isabelle Pignot-Paintrand, Anne Lombès, René De Coo, Hubert Smeets, Joël Lunardi, Jean-Paul Issartel
Microparticles (MPs) resulting from vesiculation of platelets and other blood cells have been extensively documented in vitro and have been found in increased numbers in several vascular diseases, but little is known about MPs of endothelial origin. The aim of this study was to analyze morphological, immunological, and functional characteristics of MPs derived from human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) stimulated by TNF, and to investigate whether these MPs are detectable in healthy individuals and in patients with a prothrombotic coagulation abnormality. Electron microscopy evidenced bleb formation on the membrane of TNF-stimulated HUVECs, leading to increased numbers of MPs released in the supernatant. These endothelial microparticles (EMPs) expressed the same antigenic determinants as the corresponding cell surface, both in resting and activated conditions. MPs derived from TNF-stimulated cells induced coagulation in vitro, via a tissue factor/factor VII–dependent pathway. The expression of E-selectin, ICAM-1, αvβ3, and PECAM-1 suggests that MPs have an adhesion potential in addition to their procoagulant activity. In patients, labeling with αvβ3 was selected to discriminate EMPs from those of other origins. We provide evidence that endothelial-derived MPs are detectable in normal human blood and are increased in patients with a coagulation abnormality characterized by the presence of lupus anticoagulant. Thus, MPs can be induced by TNF in vitro, and may participate in vivo in the dissemination of proadhesive and procoagulant activities in thrombotic disorders.
Valéry Combes, Anne-Christine Simon, Georges-Emile Grau, Dominique Arnoux, Laurence Camoin, Florence Sabatier, Murielle Mutin, Marielle Sanmarco, José Sampol, Françoise Dignat-George
Reactive aldehydes derived from reducing sugars and peroxidation of lipids covalently modify proteins and may contribute to oxidative tissue damage. We recently described another mechanism for generating reactive aldehydes from free α-amino acids. The pathway begins with myeloperoxidase, a heme enzyme secreted by activated neutrophils. Conversion of α-amino acids to aldehydes requires hypochlorous acid (HOCl), formed from H2O2 and chloride by myeloperoxidase. When L-serine is the substrate, HOCl generates high yields of glycolaldehyde. We now demonstrate that a model protein, ribonuclease A (RNase A), exposed to free L-serine and HOCl exhibits the biochemical hallmarks of advanced glycation end (AGE) products — browning, increased fluorescence, and cross-linking. Furthermore, Nε-(carboxymethyl)lysine (CML), a chemically well-characterized AGE product, was generated on RNase A when it was exposed to reagent HOCl-serine, the myeloperoxidase-H2O2-chloride system plus L-serine, or activated human neutrophils plus L-serine. CML production by neutrophils was inhibited by the H2O2 scavenger catalase and the heme poison azide, implicating myeloperoxidase in the cell-mediated reaction. CML was also generated on RNase A by a myeloperoxidase-dependent pathway when neutrophils were activated in a mixture of amino acids. Under these conditions, we observed both L-serine–dependent and L-serine–independent pathways of CML formation. The in vivo production of glycolaldehyde and other reactive aldehydes by myeloperoxidase may thus play an important pathogenic role by generating AGE products and damaging tissues at sites of inflammation.
Melissa M. Anderson, Jesús R. Requena, Jan R. Crowley, Suzanne R. Thorpe, Jay W. Heinecke
B- and T-cell recirculation is crucial for the function of the immune system, with the control of cell migration being mainly mediated by several chemokines and their receptors. In this study, we investigated the expression and function of CXCR3 on normal and malignant B cells from 65 patients with chronic lymphoproliferative disorders (CLDs). Although CXCR3 is lacking on CD5+ and CD5– B cells from healthy subjects, it is expressed on leukemic B lymphocytes from all (31/31) patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The presence of CXCR3 was heterogeneous in other B-cell disorders, being expressed in 2 of 7 patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), 4 of 12 patients with hairy cell leukemia (HCL), and 11 of 15 patients with other subtypes of non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas (NHLs). Chemotaxis assay shows that normal B cells from healthy subjects do not migrate in response to IFN-inducible protein 10 (IP-10) and IFN-γ–induced monokine (Mig). In contrast, a definite migration in response to IP-10 and Mig has been observed in all malignant B cells from patients with CLL, but not in patients with HCL or MCL (1/7 cases tested). Neoplastic B cells from other NHLs showed a heterogenous pattern. The migration elicited by IP-10 and Mig was inhibited by blocking CXCR3. No effect of IP-10 and Mig chemokines was observed on the cytosolic calcium concentration in malignant B cells. The data reported here demonstrate that CXCR3 is expressed on malignant B cells from CLDs, particularly in patients with CLL, and represents a fully functional receptor involved in chemotaxis of malignant B lymphocytes.
Livio Trentin, Carlo Agostini, Monica Facco, Francesco Piazza, Alessandra Perin, Marta Siviero, Carmela Gurrieri, Silvia Galvan, Fausto Adami, Renato Zambello, Gianpietro Semenzato
House dust mite (HDM) allergens are important factors in the increasing prevalence of asthma. The lung epithelium forms a barrier that allergens must cross before they can cause sensitization. However, the mechanisms involved are unknown. Here we show that the cysteine proteinase allergen Der p 1 from fecal pellets of the HDM Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus causes disruption of intercellular tight junctions (TJs), which are the principal components of the epithelial paracellular permeability barrier. In confluent airway epithelial cells, Der p 1 led to cleavage of the TJ adhesion protein occludin. Cleavage was attenuated by antipain, but not by inhibitors of serine, aspartic, or matrix metalloproteinases. Putative Der p 1 cleavage sites were found in peptides from an extracellular domain of occludin and in the TJ adhesion protein claudin-1. TJ breakdown nonspecifically increased epithelial permeability, allowing Der p 1 to cross the epithelial barrier. Thus, transepithelial movement of Der p 1 to dendritic antigen-presenting cells via the paracellular pathway may be promoted by the allergen’s own proteolytic activity. These results suggest that opening of TJs by environmental proteinases may be the initial step in the development of asthma to a variety of allergens.
Hong Wan, Helen L. Winton, Christian Soeller, Euan R. Tovey, Dieter C. Gruenert, Philip J. Thompson, Geoffrey A. Stewart, Graham W. Taylor, David R. Garrod, Mark B. Cannell, Clive Robinson