Corticosteroids (CS) effects on insulin resistance related genes in rat skeletal muscle were studied. In our acute study, adrenalectomized (ADX) rats were given single doses of 50 mg/kg methylprednisolone (MPL) intravenously. In our chronic study, ADX rats were implanted with Alzet mini-pumps giving zero-order release rates of 0.3 mg/kg/h MPL and sacrificed at various times up to 7 days. Total RNA was extracted from gastrocnemius muscles and hybridized to Affymetrix GeneChips. Data mining and literature searches identified 6 insulin resistance related genes which exhibited complex regulatory pathways. Insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1), uncoupling protein 3 (UCP3), pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase isoenzyme 4 (PDK4), fatty acid translocase (FAT) and glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (GPAT) dynamic profiles were modeled with mutual effects by calculated nuclear drug-receptor complex (DR(N)) and transcription factors. The oscillatory feature of endothelin-1 (ET-1) expression was depicted by a negative feedback loop. These integrated models provide testable quantitative hypotheses for these regulatory cascades.
corticosteroid; glucocorticoid; microarrays; mathematical modeling; insulin resistance
Influences of methylprednisolone (MPL) and food consumption on body weight (BW), and the effects of MPL on glycemic control including food consumption and the dynamic interactions among glucose, insulin, and free fatty acids (FFA) were evaluated in normal male Wistar rats. Six groups of animals received either saline or MPL via subcutaneous infusions at the rate of 0.03, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3 and 0.4 mg/kg/h for different treatment periods. BW and food consumption were measured twice a week. Plasma concentrations of MPL and corticosterone (CST) were determined at animal sacrifice. Plasma glucose, insulin, and FFA were measured at various times after infusion. Plasma MPL concentrations were simulated by a two-compartment model and used as the driving force in the pharmacodynamic (PD) analysis. All data were modeled using ADAPT 5. The MPL treatments caused reduction of food consumption and body weights in all dosing groups. The steroid also caused changes in plasma glucose, insulin, and FFA concentrations. Hyper-insulinemia was achieved rapidly at the first sampling time of 6 h; significant elevations of FFA were observed in all drug treatment groups; whereas only modest increases in plasma glucose were observed in the low dosing groups (0.03 and 0.1 mg/kg/h). Body weight changes were modeled by dual actions of MPL: inhibition of food consumption and stimulation of weight loss, with food consumption accounting for the input of energy for body weight. Dynamic models of glucose and insulin feedback interactions were extended to capture the major metabolic effects of FFA: stimulation of insulin secretion and inhibition of insulin-stimulated glucose utilization. These models of body weight and glucose regulation adequately captured the experimental data and reflect significant physiological interactions among glucose, insulin, and FFA. These mechanism-based PD models provide further insights into the multi-factor control of this essential metabolic system.
Glucocorticoids; Methylprednisolone; Pharmacodynamics; Food intake; Body weight; Glucose; Insulin; Free fatty acids
The myeloproliferative leukemia retrovirus (MPLV) has the v-mpl cellular sequences transduced in frame with the deleted and rearranged Friend murine leukemia virus env gene. The resulting env-mpl fusion oncogene is responsible for an acute myeloproliferative disorder induced in mice by MPLV. v-mpl is a truncated form of the c-mpl gene which encodes the receptor for thrombopoietin. We investigated the contribution of the Env-Mpl extracellular domain in the constitutive activation of this truncated cytokine receptor and found that the rearrangement of the env sequences in the env-mpl fusion gene was not required for oncogenicity. A pathogenic variant, DEL3MPLV, was generated, which differs from MPLV by the deletions of 22 amino acids of the Env signal peptide, all of the mature Env sequences, and 18 N-terminal amino acids of the v-Mpl extracellular domain. The resulting del3-mpl oncogene product conserves in its extracellular region the first 12 amino acids of the Env signal sequence including a cysteine residue, and 25 amino acids of the v-Mpl. We show here that a mutation converting this cysteine to a glycine completely abolishes del3-mpl oncogenicity and that the del3-mpl oncogene product is constitutively activated by disulfide-linked homodimerization.
Thrombopoietin (Thpo) and its receptor (Mpl), which regulate megakaryopoiesis, are expressed in the central nervous system (CNS), where Thpo is thought to exert pro-apoptotic effects on newly generated neurons. Mpl expression has been analysed in brain tissue on transcript level and in cultured primary rat neurons and astrocytes on protein level. Herein, we analysed Mpl expression in the developing and adult murine CNS by immunohistochemistry and investigated the brain of mice with homozygous Mpl deficiency (Mpl-/-) by MRI.
Mpl was not detectable at developmental stages E12 to E15 in any resident cells of the CNS. From E18 onwards, robust Mpl expression was found in various brain areas, including cerebral cortex, olfactory bulb, thalamus, hypothalamus, medulla, pons, and the grey matter of spinal cord. However, major developmental changes became obvious: In the subventricular zone of the cerebral cortex Mpl expression occurred only during late gestation, while in the hippocampus Mpl expression was detectable for first time at stage P4. In the white matter of the cerebellum Mpl expression was restricted to the perinatal period. In the adult cerebellum, Mpl expression switched to Purkinje cell. The majority of other Mpl-positive cells were NeuN-positive neurons. None of the cells could be double-labelled with astrocyte marker GFAP. Mpl-/- mice showed no gross abnormalities of the brain.
Our data locate Mpl expression to neurons at different subdivisions of the spinal cord, rhombencephalon, midbrain and prosencephalon. Besides neuronal cells Mpl protein is also expressed in Purkinje cells of the adult cerebellum.
v-mpl is a truncated form of a receptor-like chain which belongs to the cytokine receptor superfamily. This sequence has been transduced in the myeloproliferative leukemia virus as an env-mpl fusion gene responsible for an acute myeloproliferative disorder in mice. We constructed a series of viral mutants in the mpl sequence. Analysis of their oncogenic potential in vivo indicated that a critical 69-amino-acid-long cytoplasmic domain of v-Mpl is required for myoproliferative leukemia virus pathogenicity. We also developed an in vitro assay and showed that expression of the env-mpl gene confers growth factor independence to murine as well as to human hematopoietic growth factor-dependent cell lines. These findings strongly suggest that v-Mpl delivers a constitutive proliferative signal through a limited region of its cytoplasmic domain.
Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and the nontoxic derivative of lipid A, monophosphoryl lipid A (MPL), were employed to assess the relationship between expression of LPS-inducible inflammatory genes and the induction of tolerance to LPS in murine macrophages. Both LPS and MPL induced expression (as assessed by increased steady-state mRNA levels) of a panel of seven "early" inflammatory genes including the tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-1 beta, type 2 TNF receptor (TNFR-2), IP-10, D3, D8, and D2 genes (the last four represent LPS-inducible early genes whose functions remain unknown). In addition, LPS and MPL were both capable of inducing tolerance to LPS. The two stimuli differed in the relative concentration required to induce various outcome measures, with LPS being 100- to 1,000-fold more potent on a mass concentration basis. Characterization of the tolerant state identified three distinct categories of responsiveness. Two genes (IP-10 and D8) exhibited strong desensitization in macrophages pretreated with tolerance-inducing concentrations of either LPS or MPL. In macrophages rendered tolerant by pretreatment with LPS or MPL, a second group of inducible mRNAs (TNF-alpha, interleukin-1 beta, and D3) showed moderate suppression of response to secondary stimulation by LPS. The third category of inducible genes (TNFR-2 and D2) showed increased expression in macrophages pretreated with tolerance-inducing concentrations of either LPS or MPL. All of the LPS-inducible genes examined exhibited modest superinduction with less than tolerance-inducing concentrations of either stimulus, suggesting a priming effect of these adjuvants at low concentration. The differential behavior of the members of this panel of endotoxin-responsive genes thus offers insight into molecular events associated with acquisition of transient tolerance to LPS.
Infections and chronic diseases can alter the host’s immunological balance or result in immuno-deficiencies. We hypothesize that this may also affect the performance of vaccine adjuvants. Accordingly, the potency and adjuvanticity of eight adjuvant formulations based on Montanide ISA720, MF59, monophosphoryl lipid A (MPL), QS21 (saponin derivative), MPL-SE (stable emulsion of a MPL derivative), and MPL-AF (MPL in aqueous formulation) were studied in immune gene knockout mice, IFN-γ −/−, IL-4 −/−, and STAT6 −/−, using the P. falciparum MSP1 vaccine, P30P2MSP1-19 as a model immunogen. The adjuvants showed preferential requirements for the immune mediators to induce immune responses to MSP1-19, and the effects were formulation-specific. While emulsion-type adjuvants were highly effective in mice, their potency was more readily suppressed by immune knockouts; and additions of immunomodulators were required to restore efficacy. Formulated adjuvants had characteristics distinct from their individual components, and multi-components formulations were not necessarily superior. We conclude that perturbation of immune environments will have measurable impact on adjuvant’s potency. Evaluation of adjuvants in immune knockout models may be a supplementary approach to measure and compare adjuvants’ efficacy, and to further unveil their distinct biological activities.
BACKGROUND: The value of corticosteroids in severe acute asthma continues to be debated. METHODS: Ninety consecutive patients admitted to the emergency room with severe acute asthma were studied in a randomised, double blind, controlled trial to determine the efficacy of corticosteroids. Eighty two patients completed the study. All received oxygen therapy and intensive bronchodilator treatment. The patients were divided into three groups for steroid treatment, receiving intravenous methylprednisolone 10 mg/kg every four hours for 48 hours (29 patients, group A); intravenous methylprednisolone 2 mg/kg every 4 hours for 48 hours (27 patients, group B); or no intravenous corticosteroids (26 patients, group C). RESULTS: There were no differences on admission among the three groups in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), peak expiratory flow (PEF), or arterial oxygen or carbon dioxide tension; and the rates of recovery in FEV1, FVC, and PEF were similar. CONCLUSIONS: Corticosteroids given with bronchodilators have not shown a beneficial effect in the first 48 hours of recovery of severe acute asthma. Only in those patients who failed to respond by the third hour of treatment, and in those who were previously taking oral corticosteroids, does a favourable, though not statistically significant, effect appear to occur.
The chronic myeloproliferative disorders (MPD), polycythemia vera (PV), essential thrombocytosis (ET) and idiopathic myelofibrosis (IMF), are characterized by a spectrum of clinical features and linked by common genetic lesions in JAK2 and MPL. However, the clinical phenotypes in genetically undefined MPD patients are similar to those patients with JAK2 and MPL lesions. We, therefore, sought to determine whether there were JAK2 or MPL lesions in a well-defined, JAK2 V617F-negative MPD cohort, and to determine if clinical associations could be identified based on variations identified in these genes.
We examined the JAK2 and MPL genes in JAK2 V617F-negative PV, IMF and idiopathic erythrocytosis (ERT) patients for sequence variations.
We identified two previously unrecognized JAK2 mutations and three previously unrecognized MPL mutations in JAK2 V617F-negative PV, erythrocytosis and IMF patients. We identified JAK2 exon 12 lesions in 30% of JAK2 V617F-negative PV patients, and either JAK2 V617F or JAK2 exon 12 lesions in 9% of ERT patients In IMF, in addition to the MPL gene mutation, W515K, we identified three additional mutations: 204P and 2 intervening sequence transitions: IVS 11/12 and 10/11.
While the clinical phenotype of JAK2 exon 12 lesions in the MPD was predominantly erythroid, there was significant disease spectrum overlap between JAK2 V617F and JAK2 exon 12 mutations. By contrast, MPL gene mutations were not associated with erythrocytosis, but segregated primarily with the phenotypes of thrombocytosis, extramedullary disease, myelofibrosis and osteosclerosis.
Mutations in the thrombopoietin receptor (MPL) may activate relevant pathways and lead to chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs). The mechanisms of MPL activation remain elusive because of a lack of experimental structures. Modern computational biology techniques were utilized to explore the mechanisms of MPL protein activation due to various mutations.
Transmembrane (TM) domain predictions, homology modeling, ab initio protein structure prediction, and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were used to build structural dynamic models of wild-type and four clinically observed mutants of MPL. The simulation results suggest that S505 and W515 are important in keeping the TM domain in its correct position within the membrane. Mutations at either of these two positions cause movement of the TM domain, altering the conformation of the nearby intracellular domain in unexpected ways, and may cause the unwanted constitutive activation of MPL's kinase partner, JAK2.
Our findings represent the first full-scale molecular dynamics simulations of the wild-type and clinically observed mutants of the MPL protein, a critical element of the MPL-JAK2-STAT signaling pathway. In contrast to usual explanations for the activation mechanism that are based on the relative translational movement between rigid domains of MPL, our results suggest that mutations within the TM region could result in conformational changes including tilt and rotation (azimuthal) angles along the membrane axis. Such changes may significantly alter the conformation of the adjacent and intrinsically flexible intracellular domain. Hence, caution should be exercised when interpreting experimental evidence based on rigid models of cytokine receptors or similar systems.
Although methylprednisolone (MP) is the standard of care in acute spinal cord injury (SCI), its functional outcome varies in clinical situation. Recent report demonstrated that MP depresses the expression of growth-promoting neurotrophic factors after acute SCI. The present study was designed to investigate whether continuous infusion of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) after MP treatment promotes functional recovery in severe SCI. Contusion injury was produced at the T10 vertebral level of the spinal cord in adult rats. The rats received MP intravenously immediately after the injury and BDNF was infused intrathecally using an osmotic mini-pump for six weeks. Immunohistochemical methods were used to detect ED-1, Growth associated protein-43 (GAP-43), neurofilament (NF), and choline acethyl transferase (ChAT) levels. BDNF did not alter the effect of MP on hematogenous inflammatory cellular infiltration. MP treatment with BDNF infusion resulted in greater axonal survival and regeneration compared to MP treatment alone, as indicated by increases in NF and GAP-43 gene expression. Adjunctive BDNF infusion resulted in better locomotor test scores using the Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan (BBB) test. This study demonstrated that continuous infusion of BDNF after initial MP treatment improved functional recovery after severe spinal cord injury without dampening the acute effect of MP.
Regeneration; Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor; Methylprednisolone; Spinal Cord Injuries
Rationale: Mechanical ventilation is known to induce ventilator-induced diaphragm dysfunction. Patients submitted to mechanical ventilation often receive massive doses of corticosteroids that may cause further deterioration of diaphragm function.
Objectives: To examine whether the combination of 24 hours of controlled mechanical ventilation with corticosteroid administration would exacerbate ventilator-induced diaphragm dysfunction.
Methods: Rats were randomly assigned to a group submitted to 24 hours of controlled mechanical ventilation receiving an intramuscular injection of saline or 80 mg/kg methylprednisolone, a group submitted to 24 hours of spontaneous breathing receiving saline, or methylprednisolone and a control group.
Measurements and Main Results: The diaphragm force–frequency curve was shifted downward in the mechanical ventilation group, but this deleterious effect was prevented when corticosteroids were administered. Diaphragm cross-sectional area of type I fibers was similarly decreased in both mechanical ventilation groups while atrophy of type IIx/b fibers was attenuated after corticosteroid administration. The mechanical ventilation-induced reduction in diaphragm MyoD and myogenin protein expression was attenuated after corticosteroids. Plasma cytokine levels were unchanged while diaphragm lipid hydroperoxides were similarly increased in both mechanical ventilation groups. Diaphragmatic calpain activity was significantly increased in the mechanical ventilation group, but calpain activation was abated with corticosteroid administration. Inverse correlations were found between calpain activity and diaphragm force.
Conclusions: A single high dose of methylprednisolone combined with controlled mechanical ventilation protected diaphragm function from the deleterious effects of controlled mechanical ventilation. Inhibition of the calpain system is most likely the mechanism by which corticosteroids induce this protective effect.
respiratory muscles; steroids; proteolysis; calpain
A data set was generated to examine global changes in gene expression in rat liver over time in response to a single bolus dose of methylprednisolone. Four control animals and 43 drug-treated animals were humanely killed at 16 different time points following drug administration. Total RNA preparation from the livers of these animals were hybridized to 47 individual Affymetrix RU34A gene chips, generating data for 8799 different probe sets for each chip. Data mining techniques that are applicable to gene array time series data sets in order to identify drug-regulated changes in gene expression were applied to this data set. A series of 4 sequentially applied filters were developed that were designed to eliminate probe sets that were not expressed in the tissue, were not regulated by the drug treatment, or did not meet defined quality control standards. These filters eliminated 7287 probe sets of the 8799 total (82%) from further consideration. Application of judiciously chosen filters is an effective tool for data mining of time series data sets. The remaining data can then be further analyzed by clustering and mathematical modeling techniques.
Data mining; gene arrays; glucocorticoids; mathematical modeling; pharmacogenomics
A data set was generated to examine global changes in gene expression in rat liver over time in response to a single bolus dose of methylprednisolone. Four control animals and 43 drug-treated animals were humanely killed at 16 different time points following drug administration. Total RNA preparations from the livers of these animals were hybridized to 47 individual Affymetrix RU34A gene chips, generating data for 8799 different probe sets for each chip. Data mining techniques that are applicable to gene array time series data sets in order to identify drug-regulated changes in gene expression were applied to this data set. A series of 4 sequentially applied filters were developed that were designed to eliminate probe sets that were not expressed in the tissue, were not regulated by the drug treatment, or did not meet defined quality control standards. These filters eliminated 7287 probe sets of the 8799 total (82%) from further consideration. Application of judiciously chosen filters is an effective tool for data mining of time series data sets. The remaining data can then be further analyzed by clustering and mathematical modeling techniques.
Data mining; gene arrays; glucocorticoids; mathematical modeling; pharmacogenomics
We previously reported that lifetime consumption of soy proteins or whey proteins reduced the incidence of azoxymethane (AOM)-induced colon tumors in rats. To obtain insights into these effects, global gene expression profiles of colons from rats with lifetime ingestion of casein (CAS, control diet), soy protein isolate (SPI), and whey protein hydrolysate (WPH) diets were determined.
Male Sprague Dawley rats, fed one of the three purified diets, were studied at 40 weeks after AOM injection and when tumors had developed in some animals of each group. Total RNA, purified from non-tumor tissue within the proximal half of each colon, was used to prepare biotinylated probes, which were hybridized to Affymetrix RG_U34A rat microarrays containing probes sets for 8799 rat genes. Microarray data were analyzed using DMT (Affymetrix), SAM (Stanford) and pair-wise comparisons. Differentially expressed genes (SPI and/or WPH vs. CAS) were found. We identified 31 induced and 49 repressed genes in the proximal colons of the SPI-fed group and 44 induced and 119 repressed genes in the proximal colons of the WPH-fed group, relative to CAS. Hierarchical clustering identified the co-induction or co-repression of multiple genes by SPI and WPH. The differential expression of I-FABP (2.92-, 3.97-fold down-regulated in SPI and WPH fed rats; P = 0.023, P = 0.01, respectively), cyclin D1 (1.61-, 2.42-fold down-regulated in SPI and WPH fed rats; P = 0.033, P = 0.001, respectively), and the c-neu proto-oncogene (2.46-, 4.10-fold down-regulated in SPI and WPH fed rats; P < 0.001, P < 0.001, respectively) mRNAs were confirmed by real-time quantitative RT-PCR. SPI and WPH affected colonic neuro-endocrine gene expression: peptide YY (PYY) and glucagon mRNAs were down-regulated in WPH fed rats, whereas somatostatin mRNA and corresponding circulating protein levels, were enhanced by SPI and WPH.
The identification of transcripts co- or differentially-regulated by SPI and WPH diets suggests common as well as unique anti-tumorigenesis mechanisms of action which may involve growth factor, neuroendocrine and immune system genes. SPI and WPH induction of somatostatin, a known anti-proliferative agent for colon cancer cells, would inhibit tumorigenesis.
colon cancer; soy; whey; gene expression profiling; neuro-endocrine; microarray; rat
This case series analyses the beneficial effect of methylprednisolone in pulmonary leptospirosis, which usually has an aggressive course and grave outcome.
30 patients of pulmonary leptospirosis were evaluated. The initial 13 patients did not receive corticosteroids while the remaining 17 all received bolus methylprednisolone one gram intravenously for three days followed by oral prednisolone 1 mg/kg for seven days, on the basis of occasional case reports of benefit in pulmonary leptospirosis. APACHE III and lung injury scores of similar severity were considered while comparing outcomes in those who received methylprednisolone with those who did not.
Dyspnoea and haemoptysis were the commonest symptoms in those with pulmonary manifestations. Overall mortality was 18% (3 of 17) in patients who received methylprednisolone, as compared with 62% (8 of 13 patients) in those who did not (p<0.02). In patients with established acute lung injury (ALI score >2.5), five of eight patients survived in the subgroup with corticosteroids (37% mortality) while only one of nine patients survived in the group that did not receive corticosteroids (89% mortality). Corticosteroids affected outcome only if given within the first 12 hours after the onset of pulmonary manifestations. Mortality seemed to correlate with the APACHE scores, and number of quadrants affected on chest radiographs, more than with blood gas pressures.
Corticosteroids reduce mortality and change outcome significantly when used early in the management of pulmonary leptospirosis.
pulmonary leptospirosis; acute lung injury; corticosteroids; methylprednisolone
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.
CCN2/CTGF is known to be involved in tooth germ development and periodontal tissue remodeling, as well as in mesenchymal tissue development and regeneration. In this present study, we investigated the roles of CCN2/CTGF in the proliferation and differentiation of periodontal ligament cells (murine periodontal ligament-derived cell line: MPL) in vitro.
In cell cultures of MPL, the mRNA expression of the CCN2/CTGF gene was stronger in sparse cultures than in confluent ones and was significantly enhanced by TGF-β. The addition of recombinant CCN2/CTGF (rCCN2) to MPL cultures stimulated DNA synthesis and cell growth in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, rCCN2 addition also enhanced the mRNA expression of alkaline phosphatase (ALPase), type I collagen, and periostin, the latter of which is considered to be a specific marker of the periosteum and periodontium; whereas it showed little effect on the mRNA expression of typical osteoblastic markers, e.g., osteopontin and osteocalcin. Finally, rCCN2/CTGF also stimulated ALPase activity and collagen synthesis.
These results taken together suggest important roles of CCN2/CTGF in the development and regeneration of periodontal tissue including the periodontal ligament.
Monophosphoryl lipid A (MPL) is a nontoxic derivative of the lipid A region of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) that is being developed as both an adjuvant and prophylactic drug for septic shock. We compared the ability of LPS and MPL to induce interleukin-10 (IL-10), IL-12 p35, IL-12 p40, gamma interferon (IFN-gamma), glucocorticoid receptor (GR), IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra), and inducible nitric oxide synthase mRNA expression in murine peritoneal macrophages. These genes were chosen for their ability to positively or negatively regulate the host immune response and thus for their potential involvement in MPL-induced adjuvanticity or in its ability to protect against sepsis. LPS was a more potent inducer of IL-12 p35, IL-12 p40, and IFN-gamma mRNA, as well as of IL-12 protein, than MPL. In contrast, MPL induced higher levels of IL-10 mRNA than did LPS from 1 to 1,000 ng/ml. In general, MPL was not a more potent inducer of negative regulatory genes, since MPL and LPS induced similar levels of GR and IL-1ra mRNA. Addition of anti-IL-10 antibody to cultures increased the induction of MPL-induced IL-12 p35, IL-12 p40, and IFN-gamma mRNA, suggesting that the enhanced production of IL-10 by MPL-stimulated macrophages contributes to decreased production of mRNA for IL-12 (p35 and p40) and IFN-gamma. Conversely, the addition of exogenous IL-10 to LPS-treated macrophages reduced the mRNA expression of these cytokine genes. These studies suggest that enhanced production of IL-10 by MPL-stimulated macrophages may contribute to the reduced toxicity of MPL through its negative action on induction of cytokines shown to enhance endotoxicity.
Previously, we described a cell group expressing tuberoinfundibular peptide of 39 residues (TIP39) in the lateral pontomesencephalic tegmentum, and referred to it as the medial paralemniscal nucleus (MPL). To identify this nucleus further in rat, we have now characterized the MPL cytoarchitectonically on coronal, sagittal, and horizontal serial sections. Neurons in the MPL have a columnar arrangement distinct from adjacent areas. The MPL is bordered by the intermediate nucleus of the lateral lemniscus nucleus laterally, the oral pontine reticular formation medially, and the rubrospinal tract ventrally, whereas the A7 noradrenergic cell group is located immediately mediocaudal to the MPL. TIP39-immunoreactive neurons are distributed throughout the cytoarchitectonically defined MPL and constitute 75% of its neurons as assessed by double labeling of TIP39 with a fluorescent Nissl dye or NeuN. Furthermore, we investigated the neuronal inputs to the MPL by using the retrograde tracer cholera toxin B subunit. The MPL has afferent neuronal connections distinct from adjacent brain regions including major inputs from the auditory cortex, medial part of the medial geniculate body, superior colliculus, external and dorsal cortices of the inferior colliculus, periolivary area, lateral preoptic area, hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus, lateral and dorsal hypothalamic areas, subparafascicular and posterior intralaminar thalamic nuclei, periaqueductal gray, and cuneiform nucleus. In addition, injection of the anterograde tracer biotinylated dextran amine into the auditory cortex and the hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus confirmed projections from these areas to the distinct MPL. The afferent neuronal connections of the MPL suggest its involvement in auditory and reproductive functions.
tuberoinfundibular peptide of 39 residues; cytoarchitectonic description; brainstem auditory nuclei; neuronal projection; retrograde and anterograde tracer; cholera toxin beta subunit
Psychological stress plays a role in the exacerbation of functional lower urinary tract disorders such as painful bladder syndrome and overactive bladder. To better understand the mechanism underlying this relationship, we characterized changes in micturition, anxiety-related behavior, and bladder pathology in rats exposed to repeated water avoidance (WA) stress.
Twenty-four Wistar rats were subjected to WA stress or sham. Immediately following acute (day 1) and chronic (day 10) stress or sham, rats were placed in a metabolic cage for a 2-hour voiding behavior assessment. Voiding parameters were compared to baseline values obtained prior to stress. Four animals from each group were sacrificed on day 10 and bladders harvested for histologic and gene expression studies. The remaining 8 animals per group underwent repeated voiding assessment every 3 days for 1 month followed by 10 days of repeat WA stress or sham. Bladder histology and gene expression were studied.
Rats exposed to WA stress developed a significant increase in micturition frequency and decrease in latency to void, voiding interval and volume of first void compared to sham and baseline. Alterations in micturition persisted for approximately 1 month. Stressed rats showed increased fecal pellet excretion and anxiety-like behavior. Additionally, bladder specimens from stressed animals revealed increased angiogenesis, and increased total and activated mast cells.
In rats, repeated psychological stress results in lasting alterations in micturition frequency, interval, and volume. This rodent model may represent a valid tool for studying syndromes characterized by increased urinary frequency.
Water avoidance stress; overactive bladder; painful bladder syndrome/interstitial cystitis; animal model; urinary frequency
To enhance immunity induced by DNA vaccination against human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), we evaluated the efficacy of monophosphoryl lipid A (MPL), an adjuvant of bacterial origin. BALB/c mice were intramuscularly injected with immunogenic DNA, encoding the env and rev genes of the HIV-1(IIIB) strain, formulated with MPL dissolved in different vehicles (MPL in stable emulsion and MPL in aqueous formulation). The sera from mice immunized with the two preparations of MPL revealed 2(6) to 2(9) times higher HIV-1-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) titers than the sera from mice immunized without MPL. In virus neutralization tests for HIV-1(IIIB), by p24 assay and antifusion assay of infected MOLT-4 cells, MPL tends to elicit antibody more protective than antibody elicited without adjuvant. MPL also elicited stronger delayed-type hypersensitivity and cytotoxic-T-lymphocyte activity against HIV-1(IIIB) compared to DNA alone. HIV-1-specific IgG subclass analysis showed that MPL tends to facilitate IgG2a production, suggesting enhancement of a predominant T-helper-type-1 response, and this enhancement may help to facilitate protective-antibody induction. Furthermore, a chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) assay was employed to determine whether MPL affected the gene expression process. Interestingly, both MPL preparations reduced CAT activity in the muscle injected with CAT expression vector but increased anti-CAT antibody production. These results indicate that MPL acts as an effective adjuvant for immunogenic DNA injection despite reduced expression of encoding protein in muscle. We conclude that MPL has a strong adjuvant effect on DNA vaccination against HIV-1.
The goal of this study was to define the temporal changes in gene expression after retinal injury and to relate these changes to the inflammatory and reactive response. A specific emphasis was placed on the tetraspanin family of proteins and their relationship with markers of reactive gliosis.
Retinal tears were induced in adult rats by scraping the retina with a needle. After different survival times (4 hours, and 1, 3, 7, and 30 days), the retinas were removed, and mRNA was isolated, prepared, and hybridized to the Affymatrix RGU34A microarray (Santa Clara, CA). Microarray results were confirmed by using RT-PCR and correlation to protein levels was determined.
Of the 8750 genes analyzed, approximately 393 (4.5%) were differentially expressed. Clustering analysis revealed three major profiles: (1) The early response was characterized by the upregulation of transcription factors; (2) the delayed response included a high percentage of genes related to cell cycle and cell death; and (3) the late, sustained profile clustered a significant number of genes involved in retinal gliosis. The late, sustained cluster also contained the upregulated crystallin genes. The tetraspanins Cd9, Cd81, and Cd82 were also associated with the late, sustained response.
The use of microarray technology enables definition of complex genetic changes underlying distinct phases of the cellular response to retinal injury. The early response clusters genes associate with the transcriptional regulation of the wound-healing process and cell death. Most of the genes in the late, sustained response appear to be associated with reactive gliosis.
An alcohol bolus causes the blood alcohol level (BAL) to peak at 1-2 hours post ingestion. The ethanol elimination rate is regulated by alcohol metabolizing enzymes, primarily alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH1), acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), and cytochrome P450 (CYP2E1). Recently, S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) was found to reduce acute BALs 3h after an alcohol bolus. The question, then, was: what is the mechanism involved in this reduction of BAL by feeding SAMe? To answer this question, we investigated the changes in ethanol metabolizing enzymes and the epigenetic changes that regulate the expression of these enzymes during acute binge drinking and chronic drinking.
Rats were fed a bolus of ethanol with or without SAMe, and were sacrificed at 3h or 12 h after the bolus.
RT-PCR and Western blot analyses showed that SAMe significantly induced ADH1 levels in the 3h liver samples. However, SAMe did not affect the changes in ADH1 protein levels 12h post bolus. Since SAMe is a methyl donor, it was postulated that the ADH1 gene expression up regulation at 3h was due to a histone modification induced by methylation from methyl transferases. Dimethylated histone 3 lysine 4 (H3K4me2), a modification responsible for gene expression activation, was found to be significantly increased by SAMe at 3h post bolus.
These results correlated with the low BAL found at 3h post bolus, and support the concept that SAMe increased the gene expression to increase the elimination rate of ethanol in binge drinking by increasing H3K4me2.
Acute myopathy caused by oral corticosteroids is rare. We present a case of myopathy occurring after two doses of methylprednisolone. Typically, acute steroid myopathy occurs with therapy using intravenous corticosteroids at high doses. Acute myopathy developing very early in the course of treatment with oral corticosteroids has been reported only once in the literature. Corticosteroid therapy may be complicated by myopathy, usually chronic, after prolonged high-dose therapy. Acute myopathy caused by exogenous corticosteroids is rare, usually with intravenous corticosteroids at high doses.
A 49-year-old Caucasian man developed acute myopathy after taking oral methylprednisolone for only two days, 24 mg on day 1 and 20 mg on day 2. He discontinued the medication because of new-onset myalgias and lethargy on day 3 and was seen in our clinic four days after beginning therapy. He completely recovered in four weeks by discontinuing the corticosteroids.
Among the many complications of corticosteroid therapy, acute myopathy is very rare. It requires prompt recognition and adjustment of therapy.