Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-25 (1443174)

Clipboard (0)

Related Articles

1.  The phosphoproteome of toll-like receptor-activated macrophages 
First global and quantitative analysis of phosphorylation cascades induced by toll-like receptor (TLR) stimulation in macrophages identifies nearly 7000 phosphorylation sites and shows extensive and dynamic up-regulation and down-regulation after lipopolysaccharide (LPS).In addition to the canonical TLR-associated pathways, mining of the phosphorylation data suggests an involvement of ATM/ATR kinases in signalling and shows that the cytoskeleton is a hotspot of TLR-induced phosphorylation.Intersecting transcription factor phosphorylation with bioinformatic promoter analysis of genes induced by LPS identified several candidate transcriptional regulators that were previously not implicated in TLR-induced transcriptional control.
Toll-like receptors (TLR) are a family of pattern recognition receptors that enable innate immune cells to sense infectious danger. Recognition of microbial structures, like lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of Gram-negative bacteria by TLR4, causes within hours substantial re-programming of macrophage gene expression, including up-regulation of chemokines driving inflammation, anti-microbial effector molecules and cytokines directing adaptive immune responses. TLR signalling is initiated by the adapter protein Myd88 and leads to the activation of kinase cascades that result in activation of the MAPK and NFkB pathways. Phosphorylation has an essential role in these early steps of TLR signalling, and in addition regulates critical transcription factors (TFs). Although TLR signalling has been extensively studied, a comprehensive analysis of phosphorylation events in TLR-activated macrophages is lacking. It is therefore unknown whether the canonical MAPK and NFkB pathways comprise the main phosphorylation events and which other molecular functions and processes are regulated by phosphorylation after stimulation with LPS.
Recent progress in mass spectrometry-based proteomics has opened the possibility to quantitatively investigate global changes in protein abundance and post-translational modifications. Stable isotope labelling with amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) allows highly accurate quantification, and has proved especially useful for direct comparison of phosphopeptide abundance in time-course or treatment analyses.
Here, we adapted SILAC to primary mouse macrophages, and performed a global, quantitative and kinetic analysis of the macrophage phosphoproteome after LPS stimulation. Bioinformatic analyses were used to identify kinases, pathways and biological processes enriched in the LPS-regulated phosphoproteome. To connect TF phosphorylation with transcription, we generated a parallel dataset of nascent RNA and used in silico promoter analysis to identify transcriptional regulators with binding site enrichment among the LPS-regulated gene set.
After establishing SILAC conditions for efficient labelling of primary bone marrow-derived macrophages in two independent experiments 1850 phosphoproteins with a total of 6956 phosphorylation sites were reproducibly identified. Phosphoproteins were detected from all cellular compartments, with a clear enrichment for nuclear and cytoskeleton-associated proteins. LPS caused major regulation of a large fraction of phosphopeptides, with 24% of all sites up-regulated and 9% down-regulated after stimulation (Figure 3A and B). These changes were highly dynamic, as the majority of the regulated phosphopeptides were up-regulated or down-regulated transiently or in a delayed manner (Figure 3C). Overall, the extent of changes in the phosphoproteome was comparable to the transcriptional re-programming, underscoring the importance of phosphorylation cascades in TLR signalling. Our parallel transcriptome data also showed that widespread phosphorylation precedes massive transcriptional changes.
To obtain footprints of kinase activation in response to TLR ligation, we searched phosphopeptide sequences for known linear sequence motifs of 33 kinases and identified kinase motifs enriched among LPS-regulated phosphorylation sites (compared to non-regulated phosphorylation sites) (Table I). Motif ERK/MAPK was highly enriched, in accordance with the essential role of the MAPK module in TLR signalling. Other kinases with motif enrichment have also recently been linked to TLR signalling (e.g. PKD; AKT and its targets GSK3 and mTOR). However, the DNA damage-actviated kinases ATM/ATR and the cell cycle-associated kinases AURORA and CHK1/2 have not been associated with the macrophage response to TLR activation yet. These finding shed new light on older data on the effect of TLR on macrophage proliferation in response to macrophage colony stimulating factor. Of interest, in follow-up experiments using pharmacological inhibitors of the kinases with motif enrichment, we observed that inhibition of ATM kinase activity caused increased LPS-induced expression of several cytokines and chemokines, suggesting that this pathway regulates inflammatory responses.
In further bioinformatic analyses, the Gene Ontology and signalling pathway annotations of phosphoproteins were used to identify signalling pathways and cellular processes targeted by TLR4-controlled phosphorylation (Table II). Among the expected hits, based on the known TLR pathways, were TLR signalling, MAPK and AKT as well as mTOR signalling. Of interest, the annotation terms ‘Rho GTPase cycle' and ‘cytoskeleton' were significantly enriched among LPS-regulated phosphoproteins, indicating a more prominent role for cytoskeletal proteins in the transduction of TLR signals or in the biological response to it.
We were especially interested in the phosphorylation of TFs and its regulation by LPS (Figure 6A). We hypothesised that functionally important TFs should have an increased frequency of binding sites in the promoters of LPS-regulated genes (Figure 6B). To identify transcriptionally regulated genes with high sensitivity, we isolated nascent RNA after metabolic labelling (Figure 6C–E). In silico promoter scanning using Genomatix software for binding sites for all 50 TF families with phosphorylated members was used to test for enrichment in transciptionally induced genes (Figure 6F). At the early time point, binding site enrichment for the canonical TLR-associated TF NFkB was detected, and in addition we found that several other TF families with an established role in the transcription of individual LPS-target genes showed binding site enrichment (CEBP, MEF2, NFAT and HEAT). In addition, enrichment for OCT and HOXC binding sites at the early time point and SORY matrices later after stimulation indicated an involvement of the phosphorylated members of the respective TF families in the execution of TLR-induced transcriptional responses. An initial test of the function for a few of these candidate transcriptional regulators was performed using siRNA knockdown in primary macrophages. These experiments suggested that knock down of the SORY binding phosphoprotein Capicua homolog (Cic) and to a lesser extent of the CREB family member Atf7 selectively attenuates LPS-induced expression of Il1a and Il1b.
In summary, this study provides a novel and global perspective on innate immune activation by TLR signalling (Figure 5). We quantitatively detected a large number of previously unknown site-specific phosphorylation events, which are now publicly available through the Phosida database. By combining different data mining approaches, we consistently identified canonical and newly implicated TLR-activated signalling modules. In particular, the PI3K/AKT and the related mTOR pathway were highlighted; furthermore, DNA damage–response associated ATM/ATR kinases and the cytoskeleton emerged as unexpected hotspots for phosphorylation. Finally, weaving together corresponding phophoproteome and nascent transcriptome datasets through the loom of in silico promoter analysis we identified TFs with a likely role in mediating TLR-induced gene expression programmes.
Recognition of microbial danger signals by toll-like receptors (TLR) causes re-programming of macrophages. To investigate kinase cascades triggered by the TLR4 ligand lipopolysaccharide (LPS) on systems level, we performed a global, quantitative and kinetic analysis of the phosphoproteome of primary macrophages using stable isotope labelling with amino acids in cell culture, phosphopeptide enrichment and high-resolution mass spectrometry. In parallel, nascent RNA was profiled to link transcription factor (TF) phosphorylation to TLR4-induced transcriptional activation. We reproducibly identified 1850 phosphoproteins with 6956 phosphorylation sites, two thirds of which were not reported earlier. LPS caused major dynamic changes in the phosphoproteome (24% up-regulation and 9% down-regulation). Functional bioinformatic analyses confirmed canonical players of the TLR pathway and highlighted other signalling modules (e.g. mTOR, ATM/ATR kinases) and the cytoskeleton as hotspots of LPS-regulated phosphorylation. Finally, weaving together phosphoproteome and nascent transcriptome data by in silico promoter analysis, we implicated several phosphorylated TFs in primary LPS-controlled gene expression.
PMCID: PMC2913394  PMID: 20531401
macrophage; nascent RNA; phosphoproteome; SILAC; toll-like receptors
2.  Roles of a Novel Molecule ‘Shati’ in the Development of Methamphetamine-Induced Dependence 
Current Neuropharmacology  2011;9(1):104-108.
The ability of drugs of abuse to cause dependence can be viewed as a form of neural plasticity. Recently, we have demonstrated that tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) increases dopamine uptake and inhibits methamphetamine-induced dependence. Moreover, we have identified a novel molecule ‘shati’ in the nucleus accumbens of mice treated with methamphetamine using the PCR-select cDNA subtraction method and clarified that it is involved in the development of methamphetamine dependence: Treatment with the shati antisense oligonucleotide (shati-AS), which inhibits the expression of shati mRNA, enhanced the methamphetamine-induced hyperlocomotion, sensitization, and conditioned place preference. Further, blockage of shati mRNA by shati-AS potentiated the methamphetamine-induced increase of dopamine overflow and the methamphetamine-induced decrease in dopamine uptake in the nucleus accumbens. Interestingly, treatment with shati-AS also inhibited expression of TNF-α. Transfection of the vector containing shati cDNA into PC12 cells, dramatically induced the expression of shati and TNF-α mRNA, accelerated dopamine uptake, and inhibited the methamphetamine-induced decrease in dopamine uptake. These effects were blocked by neutralizing TNF-α. These results suggest that the functional roles of shati in methamphetamine-induced behavioral changes are mediated through the induction of TNF-α expression which inhibits the methamphetamine-induced increase of dopamine overflow and decrease in dopamine uptake.
PMCID: PMC3137161  PMID: 21886572
Shati; methamphetamine; dependence; tumor necrosis factor-α; dopamine; uptake; nucleus accumbens; anti-addictive.
3.  A Francisella Mutant in Lipid A Carbohydrate Modification Elicits Protective Immunity 
PLoS Pathogens  2008;4(2):e24.
Francisella tularensis (Ft) is a highly infectious Gram-negative bacterium and the causative agent of the human disease tularemia. Ft is designated a class A select agent by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Human clinical isolates of Ft produce lipid A of similar structure to Ft subspecies novicida (Fn), a pathogen of mice. We identified three enzymes required for Fn lipid A carbohydrate modifications, specifically the presence of mannose (flmF1), galactosamine (flmF2), or both carbohydrates (flmK). Mutants lacking either galactosamine (flmF2) or galactosamine/mannose (flmK) addition to their lipid A were attenuated in mice by both pulmonary and subcutaneous routes of infection. In addition, aerosolization of the mutants (flmF2 and flmK) provided protection against challenge with wild-type (WT) Fn, whereas subcutaneous administration of only the flmK mutant provided protection from challenge with WT Fn. Furthermore, infection of an alveolar macrophage cell line by the flmK mutant induced higher levels of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and macrophage inhibitory protein-2 (MIP-2) when compared to infection with WT Fn. Bone marrow–derived macrophages (BMMø) from Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and TLR2/4 knockout mice infected with the flmK mutant also produced significantly higher amounts of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and MIP-2 than BMMø infected with WT Fn. However, production of IL-6 and MIP-2 was undetectable in BMMø from MyD88−/− mice infected with either strain. MyD88−/− mice were also susceptible to flmK mutant infection. We hypothesize that the ability of the flmK mutant to activate pro-inflammatory cytokine/chemokine production and innate immune responses mediated by the MyD88 signaling pathway may be responsible for its attenuation, leading to the induction of protective immunity by this mutant.
Author Summary
Bacterial pathogens modify outer membrane components, such as lipid A or endotoxin, the lipid anchor of lipopolysaccharide, to enhance the ability to colonize, spread to different tissues, and/or avoid the host's immune defenses. Lipopolysaccharide also plays an essential role in maintaining membrane integrity and is a key factor in host innate immune recognition of Gram-negative bacterial infections. Francisella tularensis is the causative agent of the human disease tularemia and is classified as a category A select agent. Francisella novicida (Fn) is the murine counterpart of F. tularensis. The structure of Francisella spp. lipid A is unique in that it is modified by various carbohydrates that play a role in virulence and altered endotoxicity. In our study, we identified and defined the role of three genes involved in the carbohydrate modification of the base Fn lipid A structure. We showed that the lack of specific modification(s) of the Fn lipid A molecule lead to bacterial attenuation and activation of a protective immune response against a lethal wild-type infection. Therefore, alteration of Francisella lipid A structure may represent a pathogenesis strategy common to the Francisella species, and specific lipid A mutant strains may be candidates for inclusion in future vaccine studies.
PMCID: PMC2233673  PMID: 18266468
4.  Induction of cytokine granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor and chemokine macrophage inflammatory protein 2 mRNAs in macrophages by Legionella pneumophila or Salmonella typhimurium attachment requires different ligand-receptor systems. 
Infection and Immunity  1996;64(8):3062-3068.
The attachment of bacteria to macrophages is mediated by different ligands and receptors and induces various intracellular molecular responses. In the present study, induction of cytokines and chemokines, especially granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and macrophage inflammatory protein 2 (MIP-2), was examined, following bacterial attachment, with regard to the ligand-receptor systems involved. Attachment of Legionella pneumophila or Salmonella typhimurium to cultured mouse peritoneal macrophages increased the steady-state levels of cellular mRNAs for the cytokines interleukin 1beta (IL-1beta), IL-6, and GM-CSF as well as the chemokines MIP-1beta, MIP-2, and KC. However, when macrophages were treated with alpha-methyl-D-mannoside (alphaMM), a competitor of glycopeptide ligands, induction of cytokine mRNAs was inhibited, but the levels of chemokine mRNAs were not. Pretreatment of the bacteria with fresh mouse serum enhanced the level of GM-CSF mRNA but not the level of MIP-2 mRNA. In addition, serum treatment reduced the inhibitory effect of alphaMM on GM-CSF mRNA. These results indicate that bacterial attachment increases the steady-state levels of the cytokine and chemokine mRNAs tested by at least two distinct receptor-ligand systems, namely, one linked to cytokine induction and involving mannose or other sugar residues and the other linked to chemokine induction and relatively alphaMM insensitive. Furthermore, opsonization with serum engages other pathways in the cytokine response which are relatively independent of the alphaMM-sensitive system. Regarding bacterial surface ligands involved in cytokine mRNA induction, evidence is presented that the flagellum may be important in stimulating cytokine GM-CSF message but not chemokine MIP-2 message. Analysis of cytokine GM-CSF and chemokine MIP-2 signaling pathways with protein kinase inhibitors revealed the involvement of calmodulin and myosin light-chain kinase in GM-CSF but not MIP-2 mRNA induction, adding further evidence that several distinct receptor systems are engaged during the process of bacterial attachment and induction of cytokines and chemokines, such as GM-CSF and MIP-2, respectively.
PMCID: PMC174188  PMID: 8757834
5.  Expression of cytokine and chemokine mRNA and secretion of tumor necrosis factor-α by gallbladder epithelial cells: Response to bacterial lipopolysaccharides 
BMC Gastroenterology  2002;2:23.
In addition to immune cells, many other cell types are known to produce cytokines. Cultured normal mouse gallbladder epithelial cells, used as a model system for gallbladder epithelium, were examined for their ability to express the mRNA of various cytokines and chemokines in response to bacterial lipopolysaccharide. The synthesis and secretion of the tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) protein by these cells was also measured.
Untreated mouse gallbladder cells expressed mRNA for TNF-α, RANTES, and macrophage inflammatory protein-2 (MIP-2). Upon treatment with lipopolysaccharide, these cells now produced mRNA for Interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-6, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), and showed increased expression of TNF-α and MIP-2 mRNA. Untreated mouse gallbladder cells did not synthesize TNF-α protein; however, they did synthesize and secrete TNF-α upon treatment with lipopolysaccharide.
Cells were treated with lipopolysaccharides from 3 strains of bacteria. Qualitative and semi-quantitative RT-PCR, using cytokine or chemokine-specific primers, was used to measure mRNA levels of TNFα, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, KC, RANTES, MCP-1, and MIP-2. TNF-α protein was measured by immunoassays.
This research demonstrates that gallbladder epithelial cells in response to lipopolysaccharide exposure can alter their cytokine and chemokine RNA expression pattern and can synthesize and secrete TNFα protein. This suggests a mechanism whereby gallbladder epithelial cells in vivo may mediate gallbladder secretory function, inflammation and diseases in an autocrine/paracrine fashion by producing and secreting cytokines and/or chemokines during sepsis.
PMCID: PMC130965  PMID: 12377103
6.  Lipopolysaccharide signals activation of tumor necrosis factor biosynthesis through the ras/raf-1/MEK/MAPK pathway. 
Molecular Medicine  1994;1(1):93-103.
BACKGROUND: Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is known to activate macrophages, causing the release of toxic cytokines that may provoke inflammation and shock. One of the most important and best studied of these cytokines is tumor necrosis factor (TNF). Details of the signaling pathway leading to TNF biosynthesis remain unclear. The pathway is branched in the sense that TNF gene transcription and TNF mRNA translation are both strongly stimulated by LPS. Recent evidence has indicated that MAP kinase homologs become phosphorylated in LPS-stimulated cells, suggesting their possible involvement in signal transduction. We sought to test this hypothesis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Measurements of LPS-induced MEK and ERK2 activity were undertaken in LPS-sensitive and LPS-insensitive cells. Transfection studies, in which dominant inhibitors of ras and raf-1 were used to block signaling to the level of MAP kinase, were carried out in order to judge whether the TNF gene transcription and TNF mRNA translation are modulated through this pathway. RESULTS: In RAW 264.7 mouse macrophages, both ERK2 and MEK1 activity are induced by LPS treatment. In the same cell line, dominant negative inhibitors of ras and raf-1 block LPS-induced activation of the TNF promoter, as well as derepression of the translational blockade normally imposed by the TNF 3'-untranslated region. A constitutively active form of raf-1 (raf-BXB) was found to augment, but not replace, the LPS signal. In LPS-insensitive cells (RAW 264.7 x NIH 3T3 fusion hybrid cells and primary macrophages derived from C3H/HeJ mice), ERK2 activity was found to be refractory to induction by LPS. CONCLUSIONS: The ras/raf-1/MEK/MAPK pathway is chiefly responsible for transduction of the LPS signal to the level of the TNF gene and mRNA. raf and raf-1 lie upstream from (or actually represent) the physical branchpoints of the transcriptional and translation activation signals generated by LPS. The lesions that prevent LPS signaling in macrophages from C3H/HeJ mice, or in RAW 264.7 x NIH 3T3 fusion hybrid cells, occupy a proximal position in the signaling pathway.
PMCID: PMC2229930  PMID: 8790605
7.  Chemokine Receptor CCR8 Is Required for Lipopolysaccharide-Triggered Cytokine Production in Mouse Peritoneal Macrophages 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94445.
Chemokine (C-C motif) receptor 8 (CCR8), the chemokine receptor for chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 1 (CCL1), is expressed in T-helper type-2 lymphocytes and peritoneal macrophages (PMφ) and is involved in various pathological conditions, including peritoneal adhesions. However, the role of CCR8 in inflammatory responses is not fully elucidated. To investigate the function of CCR8 in macrophages, we compared cytokine secretion from mouse PMφ or bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMMφ) stimulated with various Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands in CCR8 deficient (CCR8-/-) and wild-type (WT) mice. We found that CCR8-/- PMφ demonstrated attenuated secretion of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-6, and IL-10 when stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). In particular, LPS-induced IL-10 production absolutely required CCR8. CCR8-dependent cytokine secretion was characteristic of PMφ but not BMMφ. To further investigate this result, we selected the small molecule compound R243 from a library of compounds with CCR8-antagonistic effects on CCL1-induced Ca2+ flux and CCL1-driven PMφ aggregation. Similar to CCR8-/- PMφ, R243 attenuated secretion of TNF-α, IL-6, and most strikingly IL-10 from WT PMφ, but not BMMφ. CCR8-/- PMφ and R243-treated WT PMφ both showed suppressed c-jun N-terminal kinase activity and nuclear factor-κB signaling after LPS treatment when compared with WT PMφ. A c-Jun signaling pathway inhibitor also produced an inhibitory effect on LPS-induced cytokine secretion that was similar to that of CCR8 deficiency or R243 treatment. As seen in CCR8-/- mice, administration of R243 attenuated peritoneal adhesions in vivo. R243 also prevented hapten-induced colitis. These results are indicative of cross talk between signaling pathways downstream of CCR8 and TLR-4 that induces cytokine production by PMφ. Through use of CCR8-/- mice and the new CCR8 inhibitor, R243, we identified a novel macrophage innate immune response pathway that involves a chemokine receptor.
PMCID: PMC3979852  PMID: 24714157
8.  Protection against cartilage and bone destruction by systemic interleukin-4 treatment in established murine type II collagen-induced arthritis 
Arthritis Research  1999;1(1):81-91.
Destruction of cartilage and bone are hallmarks of human rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and controlling these erosive processes is the most challenging objective in the treatment of RA. Systemic interleukin-4 treatment of established murine collagen-induced arthritis suppressed disease activity and protected against cartilage and bone destruction. Reduced cartilage pathology was confirmed by both decreased serum cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) and histological examination. In addition, radiological analysis revealed that bone destruction was also partially prevented. Improved suppression of joint swelling was achieved when interleukin-4 treatment was combined with low-dose prednisolone treatment. Interestingly, synergistic reduction of both serum COMP and inflammatory parameters was noted when low-dose interleukin-4 was combined with prednisolone. Systemic treatment with interleukin-4 appeared to be a protective therapy for cartilage and bone in arthritis, and in combination with prednisolone at low dosages may offer an alternative therapy in RA.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is associated with an increased production of a range of cytokines including tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-1, which display potent proinflammatory actions that are thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of the disease. Although TNF-α seems to be the major cytokine in the inflammatory process, IL-1 is the key mediator with regard to cartilage and bone destruction. Apart from direct blockade of IL-1/TNF, regulation can be exerted at the level of modulatory cytokines such as IL-4 and IL-10. IL-4 is a pleiotropic T-cell derived cytokine that can exert either suppressive or stimulatory effects on different cell types, and was originally identified as a B-cell growth factor and regulator of humoral immune pathways. IL-4 is produced by activated CD4+ T cells and it promotes the maturation of Th2 cells. IL-4 stimulates proliferation, differentiation and activation of several cell types, including fibroblasts, endothelial cells and epithelial cells. IL-4 is also known to be a potent anti-inflammatory cytokine that acts by inhibiting the synthesis of proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-1, TNF-α, IL-6, IL-8 and IL-12 by macrophages and monocytes. Moreover, IL-4 stimulates the synthesis of several cytokine inhibitors such as interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra), soluble IL-1-receptor type II and TNF receptors IL-4 suppresses metalloproteinase production and stimulates tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 production in human mononuclear phagocytes and cartilage explants, indicating a protective effect of IL-4 towards extracellular matrix degradation. Furthermore, IL-4 inhibits both osteoclast activity and survival, and thereby blocks bone resorption in vitro. Of great importance is that IL-4 could not be detected in synovial fluid or in tissues. This absence of IL-4 in the joint probably contributes to the disturbance in the Th1/Th2 balance in chronic RA.
Collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) is a widely used model of arthritis that displays several features of human RA. Recently it was demonstrated that the onset of CIA is under stringent control of IL-4 and IL-10. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that exposure to IL-4 during the immunization stage reduced onset and severity of CIA. However, after cessation of IL-4 treatment disease expression increased to control values.
Because it was reported that IL-4 suppresses several proinflammatory cytokines and matrix degrading enzymes and upregulates inhibitors of both cytokines and catabolic enzymes, we investigated the tissue protective effect of systemic IL-4 treatment using established murine CIA as a model. Potential synergy of low dosages of anti-inflammatory glucocorticosteroids and IL-4 was also evaluated.
DBA-1J/Bom mice were immunized with bovine type II collagen and boosted at day 21. Mice with established CIA were selected at day 28 after immunization and treated for days with IL-4, prednisolone, or combinations of prednisolone and IL-4. Arthritis score was monitored visually. Joint pathology was evaluated by histology, radiology and serum cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP). In addition, serum levels of IL-1Ra and anticollagen antibodies were determined.
Treatment of established CIA with IL-4 (1 μg/day) resulted in suppression of disease activity as depicted in Figure 1. Of great interest is that, although 1 μg/day IL-4 had only a moderate effect on the inflammatory component of the disease activity, it strongly reduced cartilage pathology, as determined by histological examination (Fig. 1). Moreover, serum COMP levels were significantly reduced, confirming decreased cartilage involvement. In addition, both histological and radiological analysis showed that bone destruction was prevented (Fig. 1). Systemic IL-4 administration increased serum IL-1Ra levels and reduced anticollagen type II antibody levels. Treatment with low-dose IL-4 (0.1 μg/day) was ineffective in suppressing disease score, serum COMP or joint destruction. Synergistic suppression of both arthritis severity and COMP levels was noted when low-dose IL-4 was combined with prednisolone (0.05 mg/kg/day), however, which in itself was not effective.
In the present study, we demonstrate that systemic IL-4 treatment ameliorates disease progression of established CIA. Although clinical disease progression was only arrested and not reversed, clear protection against cartilage and bone destruction was noted. This is in accord with findings in both human RA and animal models of RA that show that inflammation and tissue destruction sometimes are uncoupled processes. Of great importance is that, although inflammation was still present, strong reduction in serum COMP was found after exposure to IL-4. This indicated that serum COMP levels reflected cartilage damage, although a limited contribution of the inflamed synovium cannot be excluded.
Increased serum IL-1Ra level (twofold) was found after systemic treatment with IL-4, but it is not likely that this could explain the suppression of CIA. We and others have reported that high dosages of IL-1Ra are needed for marked suppression of CIA. As reported previously, lower dosages of IL-4 did not reduce clinical disease severity of established CIA. Of importance is that combined treatment of low dosages of IL-4 and IL-10 appeared to have more potent anti-inflammatory effects, and markedly protected against cartilage destruction. Improved anti-inflammatory effect was achieved with IL-4/prednisolone treatment. In addition, synergistic effects were found for the reduction of cartilage and bone destruction. This indicates that systemic IL-4/prednisolone treatment may provide a cartilage and bone protective therapy for human RA.
Effects in mice of treatment with interleukin-4 or control on disease activity, cartilage damage and bone destruction. Mice were treated intraperitoneally for 7 days with either vehicle (control) or 1 μg/day interleukin-4 (IL-4). CIA, collagen-induced arthritis. *P < 0.05, versus control, by Mann-Whitney U test.
PMCID: PMC17779  PMID: 11056663
bone destruction; cartilage oligomeric matrix protein levels; collagen-induced arthritis; interleukin-4; prednisolone
9.  JNK and ERK MAP kinases mediate induction of IL-1β, TNF-α and IL-8 following hyperosmolar stress in human limbal epithelial cells⋆ 
Experimental eye research  2005;82(4):588-596.
Hyperosmolarity has been recognized to be a pro-inflammatory stress to the corneal epithelium. The cell signalling pathways linking hyperosmolar stress and inflammation have not been well elucidated. This study investigated whether exposure of human limbal epithelial cells to hyperosmotic stress activates the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways and induces production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, interleukin (IL) -1β, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) α, and the C-X-C chemokine IL-8. Primary human limbal epithelial cultures in normal osmolar media (312 mOsM) were exposed to media with higher osmolarity (400–500 mOsM) by adding 50–90 mM NaCl, with or without SB202190, an inhibitor of c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK) pathway, PD 98059, an inhibitor of extracellular-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway, dexamethasone or doxycycline for different lengths of time. The conditioned media were collected after 24 hr of treatment for ELISA. Total RNA was extracted from cultures treated for 6 hr for semi-quantitative RT-PCR. Cells treated for 15–60 min were lysed in RIPA buffer and subjected to Western blot with phospho (p)-specific antibodies against p-JNK and p-ERK. The concentrations of IL-1β, TNF-α and IL-8 proteins in 24 hr conditioned media of limbal epithelial cells progressively increased as the media osmolarity increased from 312 to 500 mOsM. Active p-JNK-1/p-JNK-2 and p-ERK-1/p-ERK-2 were detected by Western blot and peaked at 60 min in cells exposed to hyperosmolar media. The levels of p-JNK-1/p-JNK-2 and p-ERK1/p-ERK2 were positively correlated with the medium osmolarity. SB202190, PD98059 and doxycycline markedly suppressed the levels of p-JNK-1/p-JNK-2 and/or p-ERK1/p-ERK2, as well as IL-1β, TNF-α and IL-8 mRNAs and proteins stimulated by hyperosmolar media. These findings provide direct evidence that hyperosmolarity induces inflammation in human limbal epithelial cells by increasing expression and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, a process that appears to be mediated through activation of the JNK and ERK MAPK signalling pathways. The efficacy of doxycycline in treating ocular surface diseases may be due to its ability to suppress JNK and ERK signalling activation and inflammatory mediator production in the limbal epithelium.
PMCID: PMC2198933  PMID: 16202406
cornea; epithelium; hyperosmolarity; inflammatory cytokine; chemokine; JNK; ERK; MAPK
10.  Role of anti-inflammatory compounds in human immunodeficiency virus-1 glycoprotein120-mediated brain inflammation 
Neuroinflammation is a common immune response associated with brain human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) infection. Identifying therapeutic compounds that exhibit better brain permeability and can target signaling pathways involved in inflammation may benefit treatment of HIV-associated neurological complications. The objective of this study was to implement an in vivo model of brain inflammation by intracerebroventricular administration of the HIV-1 viral coat protein gp120 in rats and to examine anti-inflammatory properties of HIV adjuvant therapies such as minocycline, chloroquine and simvastatin.
Male Wistar rats were administered a single dose of gp120ADA (500 ng) daily for seven consecutive days, intracerebroventricularly, with or without prior intraperitoneal administration of minocycline, chloroquine or simvastatin. Maraviroc, a CCR5 antagonist, was administered intracerebroventricularly prior to gp120 administration for seven days as control. Real-time qPCR was used to assess gene expression of inflammatory markers in the frontal cortex, hippocampus and striatum. Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) secretion in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was measured applying ELISA. Protein expression of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) (extracellular signal-related kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2), c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) and P38 kinases (P38Ks)) was detected using immunoblot analysis. Student’s t-test and ANOVA were applied to determine statistical significance.
In gp120ADA-injected rats, mRNA transcripts of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) were significantly elevated in the frontal cortex, striatum and hippocampus compared to saline or heat-inactivated gp120-injected controls. In CSF, a significant increase in TNF-α and IL-1β was detected. Maraviroc reduced upregulation of these markers suggesting that the interaction of R5-tropic gp120 to CCR5 chemokine receptor is critical for induction of an inflammatory response. Minocycline, chloroquine or simvastatin attenuated upregulation of IL-1β and iNOS transcripts in different brain regions. In CSF, minocycline suppressed TNF-α and IL-1β secretion, whereas chloroquine attenuated IL-1β secretion. In gp120-injected animals, activation of ERK1/2 and JNKs was observed in the hippocampus and ERK1/2 activation was significantly reduced by the anti-inflammatory agents.
Our data demonstrate that anti-inflammatory compounds can completely or partially reverse gp120-associated brain inflammation through an interaction with MAPK signaling pathways and suggest their potential role in contributing towards the prevention and treatment of HIV-associated neurological complications.
PMCID: PMC4046047  PMID: 24884548
Chloroquine; HIV-1 brain inflammation; HIV-1 gp120; Inducible nitric oxide synthase; Maraviroc; Minocycline; Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK); Pro-inflammatory cytokines; Simvastatin
11.  Identification of Proteins Differentially Expressed in Human Monocytes Exposed to Porphyromonas gingivalis and Its Purified Components by High-Throughput Immunoblotting  
Infection and Immunity  2006;74(2):1204-1214.
To characterize the roles of Porphyromonas gingivalis and its components in disease processes, we investigated the cytokine profiles induced by live P. gingivalis, its lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and its major fimbrial protein, fimbrillin (FimA). A cytokine antibody array revealed that human monocyte-derived macrophages were induced to produce chemokines (e.g., monocyte chemoattractant protein 1, macrophage inflammatory protein 1β [MIP-1β], and MIP-3α) as early as 1 h after exposure to P. gingivalis, with production declining after 24 h of exposure. As expected, an extensive repertoire of inflammatory mediators increased subsequent to infection, most predominantly tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin 1β (IL-1β), IL-6, IL-10, and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor. The induction of cytokines by P. gingivalis was not triggered simply by bacterial cell surface components, since purified P. gingivalis LPS and FimA induced similar patterns of cytokines, while the pattern of cytokines induced by live P. gingivalis was significantly different, indicating that the host defense system senses live bacteria differently than it does the cell surface components LPS and FimA. To further understand the mechanisms by which live P. gingivalis and its components exert their effects, we used a high-throughput immunoblot screening approach (Becton-Dickinson PowerBlot) to analyze intracellular proteins involved in P. gingivalis infection in human macrophages. Exposure of human macrophages to either live P. gingivalis, its LPS, or its FimA protein led to the up-regulation of 12, 8, and 10 proteins and the down-regulation of 15, 8, and 17 proteins, respectively. The expression of proteins involved in gene transcription (e.g., monocyte enhancer factor 2D [MEF2D], signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 [STAT1], STAT3, STAT6, and IL enhancer binding factors [ILF3]), of protein kinases (e.g., mitogen-activated protein kinase 3 [MAPK3], MAP3K8, double-stranded RNA-activated protein kinase [PRKR], and MAP2K4), and of proteins involved in immune responses (e.g., TNF super family member 6 [TNFSF6] and interferon-induced protein with tetratricopeptide repeat 4 [IFIT4]), apoptosis (e.g., genes associated with retinoid interferon-induced mortality 19 [GRIM19]), and other fundamental cellular processes (e.g., clathrin heavy-chain polypeptide, culreticulin, and Ras-associated protein RAB27A) was found to be modulated differentially by P. gingivalis, LPS, and FimA. These differential changes are interpreted as preferential signal pathway activation in host immune/inflammatory responses to P. gingivalis infection.
PMCID: PMC1360359  PMID: 16428770
12.  Simultaneous Induction of Apoptotic and Survival Signaling Pathways in Macrophage-Like THP-1 Cells by Shiga Toxin 1▿  
Infection and Immunity  2006;75(3):1291-1302.
Shiga toxins have been shown to induce apoptosis in many cell types. However, Shiga toxin 1 (Stx1) induced only limited apoptosis of macrophage-like THP-1 cells in vitro. The mechanisms regulating macrophage death or survival following toxin challenge are unknown. Differentiated THP-1 cells expressed tumor necrosis factor receptors and membrane-associated tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and produced soluble TNF-α after exposure to Stx1. However, the cells were refractory to apoptosis induced by TNF-α, although the cytokine modestly increased apoptosis in the presence of Stx1. Despite the partial resistance of macrophage-like THP-1 cells to Stx1-mediated killing, treatment of these cells with Stx1 activated a broad array of caspases, disrupted the mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), and released cytochrome c into the cytoplasm. The ΔΨm values were greatest in cells that had detached from plastic surfaces. Specific caspase inhibitors revealed that caspase-3, caspase-6, caspase-8, and caspase-9 were primarily involved in apoptosis induction. The antiapoptotic factors involved in macrophage survival following toxin challenge include inhibitors of apoptosis proteins and X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein. NF-κB and JNK mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) appeared to activate survival pathways, while p38 MAPK was involved in proapoptotic signaling. The JNK and p38 MAPKs were shown to be upstream signaling pathways which may regulate caspase activation. Finally, the protein synthesis inhibitors Stx1 and anisomycin triggered limited apoptosis and prolonged JNK and p38 MAPK activation, while macrophage-like cells treated with cycloheximide remained viable and showed transient activation of MAPKs. Collectively, these data suggest that Stx1 activates both apoptotic and cell survival signaling pathways in macrophage-like THP-1 cells.
PMCID: PMC1828570  PMID: 17194804
13.  Human intestinal epithelial and smooth muscle cells are potent producers of IL-6. 
Mediators of Inflammation  2003;12(1):3-8.
BACKGROUND: Interleukin-6 (IL-6), a pluripotent cytokine, has traditionally been considered the product of proinflammatory cells. However, many other cell types have been shown to produce IL-6. Since intestinal inflammation is commonly associated with a vigorous systemic inflammatory response, we hypothesized that intestinal epithelial and smooth muscle cells might contribute to that response by producing IL-6. We therefore studied the capacity of differentiated human intestinal epithelial and smooth muscle cell lines to produce IL-6 in response to various proinflammatory stimuli. MATERIALS AND METHODS: CCL-241, a human intestinal epithelial cell line, and HISM, a human intestinal muscle cell line, were grown to confluency and then treated for 24 h with various concentrations of lipopolysaccharide, Clostridium difficile culture extract containing both toxin A and toxin B, recombinant human tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), or recombinant human interleukin-1 beta (IL-1beta). Supernatants were then collected for IL-6 determination using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Cell numbers were determined using a Coulter counter. For comparison, parallel studies were performed using phorbol ester-primed U-937 and THP-1 human macrophage cell lines. RESULTS: Both human intestinal epithelial and smooth muscle cells produced IL-6 under basal conditions. In HISM cells, but not in CCL-241 cells, IL-6 release was increased slightly by treatment with C. difficile culture extract containing both toxin A and toxin B and with lipopolysaccharide. In both cell lines, IL-6 production was profoundly stimulated by treatment with IL-1beta and less so with TNF-alpha. Combinations of high-dose TNF-alpha and IL-1beta may have a slightly additive, but not synergistic, effect on IL-6 release. The amount of IL-6 produced by IL-1-stimulated intestinal cell lines was 70-fold higher than that produced by stimulated macrophage cell lines. CONCLUSIONS; Both intestinal epithelial and smooth muscle cells demonstrate the ability to release significant amounts of IL-6. The profound response to IL-1beta and TNF-alpha stimulation by both cell lines suggests that human intestinal parenchymal cells, influenced by paracrine mediators liberated from proinflammatory cells, might significantly contribute to the overall systemic inflammatory response by producing IL-6.
PMCID: PMC1781593  PMID: 12745542
14.  Effects of alpha-mangostin on the expression of anti-inflammatory genes in U937 cells 
Chinese Medicine  2012;7:19.
α-Mangostin (α-MG) is a main constituent of the fruit hull of the mangosteen. Previous studies have shown that α-MG has pharmacological activities such as antioxidant, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, antiallergic, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral effects. This study aims to investigate the anti-inflammatory molecular action of α-MG on gene expression profiles.
U937 and EL4 cells were treated with different concentrations of α-MG in the presence of 0.1 ng/mL lipopolysaccharide (LPS) for 4 h. The anti-inflammatory effects of α-MG were measured by the levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-4 in cell culture media, which were determined with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits. The gene expression profiles of all samples were analyzed with a whole human genome microarray, Illumina BeadChip WG-6 version 3, containing 48804 probes. The protein levels were determined by Western blotting analyses.
α-MG decreased the LPS induction of the inflammatory cytokines TNF-α (P = 0.038) and IL-4 (P = 0.04). α-MG decreased the gene expressions in oncostatin M signaling via mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways, including extracellular signal-regulated kinases (P = 0.016), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (P = 0.01) , and p38 (P = 0.008). α-MG treatment of U937 cells reduced the phosphorylation of MAPK kinase 3 / MAPK kinase 6 (P = 0.0441), MAPK-activated protein kinase-2 (P = 0.0453), signal transducers and activators of transcription-1 (STAT1) (P = 0.0012), c-Fos (P = 0.04), c-Jun (P = 0.019) and Ets-like molecule 1 (Elk-1) (P = 0.038).
This study demonstrates that α-MG attenuates LPS-mediated activation of MAPK, STAT1, c-Fos, c-Jun and EIK-1, inhibiting TNF-α and IL-4 production in U937 cells.
PMCID: PMC3476971  PMID: 22920833
15.  The role of sphingosine 1-phosphate in the TNF-α induction of IL-8 gene expression in lung epithelial cells 
Gene  2006;391(1-2):150-160.
Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) is an important cytokine involved in the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases of the lung. Inteleukin-8 (IL-8), a C-X-C chemokine, is induced by TNF-α and initiates injury by acting as a chemoattractant for neutrophils and other immune cells. Although sphingolipids such as ceramide and sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1-P) have been shown to serve as signaling molecules in the TNF-α inflammatory response, their role in the TNF-α induction of IL-8 gene expression in lung epithelial cells is not known. We investigated the role of sphingolipids in the TNF-α induction of IL-8 gene expression in H441 lung epithelial cells. We found that TNF-α induced IL-8 mRNA levels by increasing gene transcription, and the stability of IL-8 mRNA was not affected. Exogenous S1-P but not ceramide or sphingosine increased IL-8 mRNA levels and IL-8 secretion. Dimethylsphingosine, an inhibitor of sphingosine kinase, partially inhibited TNF-α induction of IL-8 mRNA levels indicating the importance of intracellular increases in S1-P in the IL-8 induction. S1-P induction of IL-8 mRNA was due to an increase in gene transcription, and the stability of IL-8 mRNA was not affected. S1P induction of IL-8 mRNA was associated with an increase in the binding activity of AP-1 but the activities of NF-κB and NF IL-6 were unchanged. S1-P induced the phosphorylation of ERK, p38 and JNK MAPKs. Pharmacological inhibitors of ERK and p38 but not JNK partly inhibited S1-P induction of IL-8 mRNA levels. These data show that increases in the intracellular S1-P partly mediate TNF-α induction of IL-8 gene expression in H441 lung epithelial cells via ERK and p38 MAPK signaling pathways and increased AP-1 DNA binding.
PMCID: PMC1892234  PMID: 17306937
sphingolipids; transcription; lung injury; inflammation
16.  PPARα downregulates airway inflammation induced by lipopolysaccharide in the mouse 
Respiratory Research  2005;6(1):91.
Inflammation is a hallmark of acute lung injury and chronic airway diseases. In chronic airway diseases, it is associated with profound tissue remodeling. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α (PPARα) is a ligand-activated transcription factor, that belongs to the nuclear receptor family. Agonists for PPARα have been recently shown to reduce lipopolysaccharide (LPS)- and cytokine-induced secretion of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) in human monocytes and rat mesangial cells, suggesting that PPARα may play a beneficial role in inflammation and tissue remodeling.
We have investigated the role of PPARα in a mouse model of LPS-induced airway inflammation characterized by neutrophil and macrophage infiltration, by production of the chemoattractants, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), keratinocyte derived-chemokine (KC), macrophage inflammatory protein-2 (MIP-2) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), and by increased MMP-2 and MMP-9 activity in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). The role of PPARα in this model was studied using both PPARα-deficient mice and mice treated with the PPARα activator, fenofibrate.
Upon intranasal exposure to LPS, PPARα-/- mice exhibited greater neutrophil and macrophage number in BALF, as well as increased levels of TNF-α, KC, MIP-2 and MCP-1, when compared to PPARα+/+ mice. PPARα-/- mice also displayed enhanced MMP-9 activity. Conversely, fenofibrate (0.15 to 15 mg/day) dose-dependently reduced the increase in neutrophil and macrophage number induced by LPS in wild-type mice. In animals treated with 15 mg/day fenofibrate, this effect was associated with a reduction in TNF-α, KC, MIP-2 and MCP-1 levels, as well as in MMP-2 and MMP-9 activity. PPARα-/- mice treated with 15 mg/day fenofibrate failed to exhibit decreased airway inflammatory cell infiltrate, demonstrating that PPARα mediates the anti-inflammatory effect of fenofibrate.
Using both genetic and pharmacological approaches, our data clearly show that PPARα downregulates cell infiltration, chemoattractant production and enhanced MMP activity triggered by LPS in mouse lung. This suggests that PPARα activation may have a beneficial effect in acute or chronic inflammatory airway disorders involving neutrophils and macrophages.
PMCID: PMC1199625  PMID: 16091136
PPARα; lipopolysaccharide; inflammation; neutrophil; macrophage; matrix metalloproteinase; mouse
17.  Anti-inflammatory effects of Lacto-Wolfberry in a mouse model of experimental colitis 
AIM: To investigate the anti-inflammatory properties of Lacto-Wolfberry (LWB), both in vitro and using a mouse model of experimental colitis.
METHODS: The effects of LWB on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) and interleukin (IL)-6 secretion were assessed in a murine macrophage cell line. in vitro assessment also included characterizing the effects of LWB on the activation of NF-E2 related 2 pathway and inhibition of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)-induced nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activation, utilizing reporter cell lines. Following the in vitro assessment, the anti-inflammatory efficacy of an oral intervention with LWB was tested in vivo using a preclinical model of intestinal inflammation. Multiple outcomes including body weight, intestinal histology, colonic cytokine levels and anti-oxidative measures were investigated.
RESULTS: LWB reduced the LPS-mediated induction of ROS production [+LPS vs 1% LWB + LPS, 1590 ± 188.5 relative luminescence units (RLU) vs 389 ± 5.9 RLU, P < 0.001]. LWB was more effective than wolfberry alone in reducing LPS-induced IL-6 secretion in vitro (wolfberry vs 0.5% LWB, 15% ± 7.8% vs 64% ± 5%, P < 0.001). In addition, LWB increased reporter gene expression via the anti-oxidant response element activation (wolfberry vs LWB, 73% ± 6.9% vs 148% ± 28.3%, P < 0.001) and inhibited the TNF-α-induced activation of the NF-κB pathway (milk vs LWB, 10% ± 6.7% vs 35% ± 3.3%, P < 0.05). Furthermore, oral supplementation with LWB resulted in a reduction of macroscopic (-LWB vs +LWB, 5.39 ± 0.61 vs 3.66 ± 0.59, P = 0.0445) and histological scores (-LWB vs +LWB, 5.44 ± 0.32 vs 3.66 ± 0.59, P = 0.0087) in colitic mice. These effects were associated with a significant decrease in levels of inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β (-LWB vs +LWB, 570 ± 245 μg/L vs 89 ± 38 μg/L, P = 0.0106), keratinocyte-derived chemokine/growth regulated protein-α (-LWB vs +LWB, 184 ± 49 μg/L vs 75 ± 20 μg/L, P = 0.0244), IL-6 (-LWB vs +LWB, 318 ± 99 μg/L vs 117 ± 18 μg/L, P = 0.0315) and other pro-inflammatory proteins such as cyclooxygenase-2 (-LWB vs +LWB, 0.95 ± 0.12 AU vs 0.36 ± 0.11 AU, P = 0.0036) and phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (-LWB vs +LWB, 0.51 ± 0.15 AU vs 0.1 ± 0.04 AU, P = 0.057). Moreover, antioxidant biomarkers, including expression of gene encoding for the glutathione peroxidase, in the colon and the plasma anti-oxidant capacity were significantly increased by supplementation with LWB (-LWB vs +LWB, 1.2 ± 0.21 mmol/L vs 2.1 ± 0.19 mmol/L, P = 0.0095).
CONCLUSION: These results demonstrate the anti-inflammatory properties of LWB and suggest that the underlying mechanism is at least in part due to NF-κB inhibition and improved anti-oxidative capacity.
PMCID: PMC3471103  PMID: 23082051
Lacto-Wolfberry; Colitis; Nutrition; Inflammation; Wolfberry; Inflammatory bowel disease; Crohn’s disease
18.  Mast cell activation and its relation to proinflammatory cytokine production in the rheumatoid lesion 
Arthritis Research  1999;2(1):65-74.
Mast cell (MC) activation in the rheumatoid lesion provides numerous mediators that contribute to inflammatory and degradative processes, especially at sites of cartilage erosion. MC activation in rheumatoid synovial tissue has often been associated with tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-1β production by adjacent cell types. By contrast, our in situ and in vitro studies have shown that the production of IL-15 was independent of MC activation, and was not related to TNF-α and IL-1β expression. Primary cultures of dissociated rheumatoid synovial cells produced all three proinflammatory cytokines, with production of IL-1β exceeding that of TNF-α, which in turn exceeded that of IL-15. In vitro cultures of synovial macrophages, synovial fibroblasts and articular chondrocytes all produced detectable amounts of free IL-15, macrophages being the most effective.
Increased numbers of mast cells (MCs) are found in the synovial tissues and fluids of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and at sites of cartilage erosion. MC activation has been reported for a significant proportion of rheumatoid specimens. Because the MC contains potent mediators, including histamine, heparin, proteinases, leukotrienes and multifunctional cytokines, its potential contributions to the processes of inflammation and matrix degradation have recently become evident.
Proinflammatory cytokines are important mediators of inflammation, immunity, proteolysis, cell recruitment and proliferation. Tumour necrosis factor (TNF) reportedly plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of RA, especially its ability to regulate interleukin (IL)-1β expression, this being important for the induction of prostanoid and matrix metalloproteinase production by synovial fibroblasts and chondrocytes. IL-15 has been assigned numerous biological effects and has been implicated as an important factor in TNF-α expression by monocyte/macrophages. Some in vitro studies have placed IL-15 upstream from TNF-α in the cytokine cascade, suggesting an interdependence between TNF, IL-1 and IL-15 for the promotion of proinflammatory cytokine expression in the rheumatoid joint.
To examine the in situ relationships of TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-15 in relation to MC activation in rheumatoid tissues by use of immunolocalization techniques; and to compare quantitatively the proinflammatory cytokine production by specific cell cultures and rheumatoid synovial explants with and without exposure to a MC secretagogue.
Materials and methods:
Samples of rheumatoid synovial tissue and cartilage–pannus junction were obtained from patients (n = 15) with classic late-stage RA. Tissue sections were immunostained for MC (tryptase) and the proinflammatory cytokines IL-1, TNF-α and IL-15. Rheumatoid synovial tissue explants were cultured in Dulbecco's modified Eagles medium (DMEM) containing either the MC secretagogue rabbit antihuman immunoglobulin (Ig)E, or control rabbit IgG. Primary rheumatoid synovial cell cultures, human articular chondrocytes, synovial fibroblasts and synovial macrophages were prepared as described in the full article. Conditioned culture media from these cultures were collected and assayed for IL-1β, TNF-α and IL-15 using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay methodology.
Immunohistological studies of rheumatoid synovial tissues have demonstrated local concentrations of MCs in most specimens of the rheumatoid lesion. Sites of MC activation were associated with localized oedema, and TNF-α, IL-1α and IL-1β production by a proportion of mononuclear inflammatory cells. By contrast, no evidence was found for IL-15 production in tissue sites containing either intact or activated MCs, and IL-15 expression, when observed, bore no relation to tissue sites where TNF-α and IL-1β were evident. The immunodetection of IL-15 was restricted to microfocal sites and was not typical of most junctional specimens, but was associated with a proportion of articular chondrocytes in a minority of junctional specimens.
MC activation within synovial explant cultures was induced by the addition of polyclonal antibody to human IgE. MC activation significantly reduced the levels of TNF-α and IL1β released into the medium, this representing approximately 33% of control values. By contrast, MC activation had little effect on the levels of IL-15 released into the culture medium, the average value being very low in relation to the release of TNF-α and IL-1β . Thus, induced MC activation brings about changes in the amounts of released tryptase, TNF-α and IL-1β , but not of IL-15.
Four preparations of primary rheumatoid synovial cell cultures produced more IL-1β than TNF-α, with only modest values for IL-15 production, indicating that all three cytokines are produced and released as free ligands by these cultures. Of specific cell types that produced IL-15 in vitro, macrophages produced more than fibroblasts, which in turn produced more than chondrocytes. This demonstrates that all three cell types have the potential to produce IL-15 in situ.
The biological consequences of MC activation in vivo are extremely complex, and in all probability relate to the release of various combinations of soluble and granular factors, as well as to the expression of appropriate receptors by neighbouring cells. The subsequent synthesis and release of cytokines such as TNF-α and IL-1 may well follow at specific stages after activation, or may be an induced cytokine response by adjacent macrophagic or fibroblastic cells. However, because no IL-15 was detectable either in or around activated or intact MCs, and the induced MC activation explant study showed no change in IL-15 production, it seems unlikely that the expression of this cytokine is regulated by MCs. The immunohistochemistry (IHC) demonstration of IL-15 at sites of cartilage erosion, and especially by some chondrocytes of articular cartilage, showed no spatial relationship with either T cells or neutrophils, and suggests other functional properties in these locations. The lack of evidence for an in situ association of IL-15 with TNF and IL-1 does not support a role for IL-15 in a proinflammatory cytokine 'cascade', as proposed by other in vitro experiments. We believe that sufficient evidence is available, however, to suggest that MC activation makes a significant contribution to the pathophysiological processes of the rheumatoid lesion.
PMCID: PMC17805  PMID: 11219391
interleukin-15; interleukin-1β; mast cells; rheumatoid arthritis; tumour necrosis factor-α
19.  Terameprocol, a methylated derivative of nordihydroguaiaretic acid, inhibits production of prostaglandins and several key inflammatory cytokines and chemokines 
Extracts of the creosote bush, Larrea tridentata, have been used for centuries by natives of western American and Mexican deserts to treat a variety of infectious diseases and inflammatory disorders. The beneficial activity of this plant has been linked to the compound nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA) and its various substituted derivatives. Recently, tetra-O-methyl NDGA or terameprocol (TMP) has been shown to inhibit the growth of certain tumor-derived cell lines and is now in clinical trials for the treatment of human cancer. In this report, we ask whether TMP also displays anti-inflammatory activity. TMP was tested for its ability to inhibit the LPS-induced production of inflammatory lipids and cytokines in vitro. We also examined the effects of TMP on production of TNF-α in C57BL6/J mice following a sublethal challenge with LPS. Finally, we examined the molecular mechanisms underlying the effects we observed.
RAW 264.7 cells and resident peritoneal macrophages from C57BL6/J mice, stimulated with 1 μg/ml LPS, were used in experiments designed to measure the effects of TMP on the production of prostaglandins, cytokines and chemokines. Prostaglandin production was determined by ELISA. Cytokine and chemokine production were determined by antibody array and ELISA.
Western blots, q-RT-PCR, and enzyme assays were used to assess the effects of TMP on expression and activity of COX-2.
q-RT-PCR was used to assess the effects of TMP on levels of cytokine and chemokine mRNA.
C57BL6/J mice injected i.p. with LPS were used in experiments designed to measure the effects of TMP in vivo. Serum levels of TNF-α were determined by ELISA.
TMP strongly inhibited the production of prostaglandins from RAW 264.7 cells and normal peritoneal macrophages. This effect correlated with a TMP-dependent reduction in levels of COX-2 mRNA and protein, and inhibition of the enzymatic activity of COX-2.
TMP inhibited, to varying degrees, the production of several cytokines, and chemokines from RAW 264.7 macrophages and normal peritoneal macrophages. Affected molecules included TNF-α and MCP-1. Levels of cytokine mRNA were affected similarly, suggesting that TMP is acting to prevent gene expression.
TMP partially blocked the production of TNF-α and MCP-1 in vivo in the serum of C57BL6/J mice that were challenged i.p. with LPS.
TMP inhibited the LPS-induced production of lipid mediators and several key inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, both in vitro and in vivo, raising the possibility that TMP might be useful as a treatment for a variety of inflammatory disorders.
PMCID: PMC2631502  PMID: 19133137
20.  CD45RB Is a Novel Molecular Therapeutic Target to Inhibit Aβ Peptide-Induced Microglial MAPK Activation 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(5):e2135.
Microglial activation, characterized by p38 MAPK or p44/42 MAPK pathway signal transduction, occurs in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Our previous studies demonstrated CD45, a membrane-bound protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP), opposed β-amyloid (Aβ) peptide-induced microglial activation via inhibition of p44/42 MAPK. Additionally we have shown agonism of the RB isoform of CD45 (CD45RB) abrogates lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced microglial activation.
Methodology and Results
In this study, CD45RB modulation of Aβ peptide or LPS-activated primary cultured microglial cells was further investigated. Microglial cells were co-treated with “aged” FITC-Aβ1–42 and multiple CD45 isoform agonist antibodies. Data revealed cross-linking of CD45, particularly the CD45RB isoform, enhances microglial phagocytosis of Aβ1–42 peptide and inhibits LPS-induced activation of p44/42 and p38 pathways. Co-treatment of microglial cells with agonist CD45 antibodies results in significant inhibition of LPS-induced microglial TNF-α and IL-6 release through p44/42 and/or p38 pathways. Moreover, inhibition of either of these pathways augmented CD45RB cross-linking induced microglial phagocytosis of Aβ1–42 peptide. To investigate the mechanism(s) involved, microglial cells were co-treated with a PTP inhibitor (potassium bisperoxo [1,10-phenanthroline oxovanadate; Phen]) and Aβ1–42 peptides. Data showed synergistic induction of microglial activation as evidenced by TNF-α and IL-6 release; both of which are demonstrated to be dependent on increased p44/42 and/or p38 activation. Finally, it was observed that cross-linking of CD45RB in the presence of Aβ1–42 peptide, inhibits co-localization of microglial MHC class II and Aβ peptide; suggesting CD45 activation inhibits the antigen presenting phenotype of microglial cells.
In summary, p38 MAPK is another novel signaling pathway, besides p44/42, in which CD45RB cross-linking negatively regulates microglial Aβ phagocytosis while increasing potentially neurotoxic inflammation. Therefore, agonism of CD45RB PTP activity may be an effective therapeutic target for novel agents to treat AD due to its Aβ lowering, and inflammation reducing, properties that are particularly targeted at microglial cells. Such treatments may be more effective with less potential to produce systemic side-effects than therapeutics which induce non-specific, systemic down-regulation of inflammation.
PMCID: PMC2366070  PMID: 18478117
21.  PARK2 Mediates Interleukin 6 and Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein 1 Production by Human Macrophages 
Leprosy is a persistent infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae that still affects over 200,000 new patients annually. The host genetic background is an important risk factor for leprosy susceptibility and the PARK2 gene is a replicated leprosy susceptibility candidate gene. The protein product of PARK2, Parkin, is an E3 ubiquitin ligase that is involved in the development of various forms of Parkinsonism. The human macrophage is both a natural host cell of M. leprae as well as a primary mediator of natural immune defenses, in part by secreting important pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Here, we report that down-regulation of Parkin in THP-1 macrophages, human monocyte-derived macrophages and human Schwann cells resulted in a consistent and specific decrease in interleukin-6 (IL-6) and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1/CCL2) production in response to mycobacteria or LPS. Interestingly, production of IL-6 at 6 hours by THP-1 cells stimulated with live M. leprae and M. bovis BCG was dependent on pretreatment with 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (VD). Parkin knockdown in VD-treated cells blocked IL-6 induction by mycobacteria. However, IκB-α phosphorylation and levels of IκB-ξ, a nuclear protein required for IL-6 expression, were not affected by Parkin silencing. Phosphorylation of MAPK ERK1/2 and p38 was unaffected by Parkin silencing while JNK activation was promoted but did not explain the altered cytokine production. In a final set of experiments we found that genetic risk factors of leprosy located in the PARK2 promoter region were significantly correlated with M. leprae sonicate triggered CCL2 and IL6 transcript levels in whole blood assays. These results associated genetically controlled changes in the production of MCP-1/CCL2 and IL-6 with known leprosy susceptibility factors.
Author Summary
Leprosy is an infectious disease with a strong host genetic component. The identification of host genetic lesions predisposing to disease is a powerful approach for mapping key junctions in the host pathogen interplay. Genetic variants located in the promoter region of the PARK2 gene are replicated leprosy susceptibility factors. To better understand a possible contribution of PARK2 to host effector mechanisms in leprosy patients, we developed a cellular model to test the contribution of the PARK2 encoded parkin protein to host responses to mycobacterial antigens. We observed that parkin was a mediator of IL-6 production in response to mycobacterial antigen in both THP-1 macrophages and human Schwann cells while human monocyte-derived macrophages needed to be pre-activated with VitD to show the same impact. Parkin also impacted on the constitutive production of MCP-1. The regulatory activity of parkin on cytokine production was found to be independent of the canonical TLR-NFκB signalling pathway. We also tested association of IL6 and CCL2 gene expression levels in whole blood assays with PARK2 polymorphisms. For both cytokines, we found significant associations with those PARK2 variants that were established leprosy susceptibility factors. Hence, our results show that genetic PARK2 variants that are correlated with leprosy susceptibility are also correlated with production of these cytokines following stimulation with M. leprae sonicate.
PMCID: PMC3547867  PMID: 23350010
22.  TNF-α Involvement in Insulin Resistance Induced by Experimental Scorpion Envenomation 
Scorpion venom induces systemic inflammation characterized by an increase in cytokine release and chemokine production. There have been few experimental studies assessing the effects of scorpion venom on adipose tissue function in vivo.
Methodology/Principal Findings
To study the adipose tissue inflammation (ATI) induced by Androctonus australis hector (Aah) venom and to assess possible mechanisms of ATI, mice (n = 6, aged 1 month) were injected with Aah (0.45 mg/kg), toxic fraction of Aah (FTox-G50; 0.2 mg/kg) or saline solution (control). Inflammatory responses were evaluated by ELISA and cell sorting analyses in adipose tissue 45 minutes and 24 hours after injection. Quantitative real-time PCR was used to assess the regulation of genes implicated in glucose uptake. The titers of selected inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α) were also determined in sera and in insulin target tissues. The serum concentration of IL-1β rose 45 minutes after envenomation and returned to basal level after 24 hours. The pathophysiological effects of the venom after 24 hours mainly involved M1-proinflammatory macrophage infiltration in adipose tissue combined with high titers of IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α. Indeed, TNF-α was strongly induced in both adipose tissue and skeletal muscle. We studied the effects of Aah venom on genes implicated in insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. Insulin induced a significant increase in the expression of the mRNAs for hexokinase 2 and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase in both skeletal muscle and adipose tissue in control mice; this upregulation was completely abolished after 24 hours in mice envenomed with Aah or FTox-G50.
Our findings suggest that Aah venom induces insulin resistance by mechanisms involving TNF-α-dependent Map4k4 kinase activation in the adipose tissue.
Author Summary
Androctonus australis hector (Aah) is the scorpion most frequently causing serious human envenomation. In Algeria, Aah is responsible for approximately 50,000 cases of scorpion envenomation per year. The Aah sting causes multi-system failure that may be fatal; the manifestations include cardiopulmonary abnormalities, lung edema and inflammation. In addition, hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia have been described in scorpion-envenomed animals. The mechanisms causing systemic and local inflammation are poorly understood. Here, we report that Aah venom causes pronounced upregulation of TNF-α, IL1-β and IL-6 expression in the adipose tissue, exacerbating inflammation. As the inflammatory state intensifies, 24 hours after envenomation, TNF-α and other factors are upregulated, and Map4k4 expression increases, blunting the insulin response in adipocytes by decreasing Hexokinase 2 expression. Administration of TNF-α inhibitor following the envenomation reduces Map4k4 expression and restores glucose uptake in adipose tissue. These findings provide coherent evidence linking Aah venom-induced adipose tissue inflammation to insulin resistance. The value of TNF-α inhibitors as a treatment complementary to anti-scorpion venom immunotherapy should be evaluated clinically.
PMCID: PMC3398957  PMID: 22816003
23.  Downregulation of Programmed Cell Death 4 by Inflammatory Conditions Contributes to the Generation of the Tumor Promoting Microenvironment 
Molecular carcinogenesis  2010;49(9):837-848.
Ample evidence has shown key roles of inflammation in tumor promotion and carcinogenesis, and tumor-associated macrophages are known to promote tumor growth and dissemination. Programmed cell death 4 (Pdcd4) is a novel tumor suppressor, and although various studies have revealed that the functions and expression mechanisms of Pdcd4 in tumor promotion, those in regard to inflammation remain unclear. In the present study, we examined whether inflammatory stimuli regulate Pdcd4 expression. 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA) suppressed expression of pdcd4 mRNA in human monocytic cell lines (U937, THP-1). Similarly, the bacterial endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS) downregulated pdcd4 level in mouse RAW264.7 and peritoneal macrophages. Furthermore, conditioned medium from LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages suppressed pdcd4 mRNA in RAW264.7 macrophages, and findings obtained with recombinant tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and TNF-α-specific siRNA suggested that TNF-α partly mediates LPS-triggered Pdcd4 downregulation via an autocrine mechanism. Specific inhibitors of phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) and c-jun N-terminus kinase (JNK) restored LPS-abolished pdcd4 mRNA. Consistently, in MCF7 mammary carcinoma cells, conditioned medium from TPA-differentiated/activated U937 cells suppressed pdcd4 mRNA. Additionally, knockdown of pdcd4 in RAW264.7 macrophages using siRNA significantly enhanced LPS-induced TNF-α protein production, and interferon-γ, CC chemokine ligand (Ccl) 1, Ccl20, and interleukin-10 mRNA expression. These results suggest that Pdcd4 suppresses the induction of these inflammatory mediators. Taken together, loss of Pdcd4 in macrophages may be a critical step in establishing the inflammatory environment while that in tumor cells contributes to tumor progression.
PMCID: PMC3472367  PMID: 20607724
Pdcd4; TNF-α; inflammation
24.  The anti-inflammatory effects of adiponectin are mediated via a heme oxygenase-1-dependent pathway in rat Kupffer cells 
Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.)  2010;51(4):1420-1429.
Altered expression and activity of immunomodulatory cytokines plays a major role in the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver disease. Chronic ethanol feeding increases the sensitivity of Kupffer cells, the resident hepatic macrophage, to lipopolysaccharide (LPS), leading to increased tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) expression. This sensitization is normalized by treatment of primary cultures of Kupffer cells with adiponectin, an anti-inflammatory adipokine. Here we tested the hypothesis that adiponectin-mediated suppression of LPS signaling in Kupffer cells is mediated via an interleukin-10 (IL-10)/heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) pathway after chronic ethanol feeding. Knock-down of IL-10 expression in primary cultures of Kupffer cells with siRNA prevented the inhibitory effect of globular adiponectin (gAcrp) on LPS-stimulated TNF-α expression. gAcrp increased IL-10 mRNA and protein expression, as well as expression of the IL-10 inducible gene, HO-1; expression was higher in Kupffer cells from ethanol-fed rats compared to pair-fed controls. While IL-10 receptor surface expression on Kupffer cells was not affected by ethanol feeding, IL-10-mediated phosphorylation of STAT3 and expression of HO-1 was higher in Kupffer cells after ethanol feeding. Inhibition of HO-1 activity, either by treatment with the HO-1 inhibitor, zinc protoporphyrin, or by siRNA knock-down of HO-1, prevented the inhibitory effect of gAcrp on LPS-stimulated TNF-α expression in Kupffer cells. LPS-stimulated TNF-α expression in liver was increased in mice after chronic ethanol exposure. When mice were treated with cobalt protoporphyrin to induce HO-1 expression, ethanol-induced sensitivity to LPS was ameliorated.
gAcrp prevents LPS-stimulated TNF-α expression in Kupffer cells via the activation of the IL-10/STAT3/HO-1 pathway. Kupffer cells from ethanol-fed rats are highly sensitive to the anti-inflammatory effects of gAcrp; this sensitivity is associated with both increased expression and sensitivity to IL-10.
PMCID: PMC2908267  PMID: 20052772
25.  Inhibition of nitric oxide in LPS-stimulated macrophages of young and senescent mice by δ-tocotrienol and quercetin 
Changes in immune function believed to contribute to a variety of age-related diseases have been associated with increased production of nitric oxide (NO). We have recently reported that proteasome inhibitors (dexamethasone, mevinolin, quercetin, δ-tocotrienol, and riboflavin) can inhibit lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced NO production in vitro by RAW 264.7 cells and by thioglycolate-elicited peritoneal macrophages derived from four strains of mice (C57BL/6, BALB/c, LMP7/MECL-1-/- and PPAR-α-/- knockout mice). The present study was carried out in order to further explore the potential effects of diet supplementation with naturally-occurring inhibitors (δ-tocotrienol and quercetin) on LPS-stimulated production of NO, TNF-α, and other pro-inflammatory cytokines involved in the ageing process. Young (4-week-old) and senescent mice (42-week old) were fed control diet with or without quercetin (100 ppm), δ-tocotrienol (100 ppm), or dexamethasone (10 ppm; included as positive control for suppression of inflammation) for 4 weeks. At the end of feeding period, thioglycolate-elicited peritoneal macrophages were collected, stimulated with LPS, LPS plus interferon-β (IFN-β), or LPS plus interferon-γ (IFN-γ), and inflammatory responses assessed as measured by production of NO and TNF-α, mRNA reduction for TNF-α, and iNOS genes, and microarray analysis.
Thioglycolate-elicited peritoneal macrophages prepared after four weeks of feeding, and then challenged with LPS (10 ng or 100 ng) resulted in increases of 55% and 73%, respectively in the production of NO of 46-week-old compared to 8-week-old mice fed control diet alone (respective control groups), without affecting the secretion of TNF-α among these two groups. However, macrophages obtained after feeding with quercetin, δ-tocotrienol, and dexamethasone significantly inhibited (30% to 60%; P < 0.02) the LPS-stimulated NO production, compared to respective control groups. There was a 2-fold increase in the production of NO, when LPS-stimulated macrophages of quercetin, δ-tocotrienol, or dexamethasone were also treated with IFN-β or IFN-γ compared to respective control groups. We also demonstrated that NO levels and iNOS mRNA expression levels were significantly higher in LPS-stimulated macrophages from senescent (0.69 vs 0.41; P < 0.05), compared to young mice. In contrast, age did not appear to impact levels of TNF-α protein or mRNA expression levels (0.38 vs 0.35) in LPS-stimulated macrophages. The histological analyses of livers of control groups showed lesions of peliosis and microvesicular steatosis, and treated groups showed Councilman body, and small or large lymphoplasmacytic clusters.
The present results demonstrated that quercetin and δ-tocotrienols inhibit the LPS-induced NO production in vivo. The microarray DNA analyses, followed by pathway analyses indicated that quercetin or δ-tocotrienol inhibit several LPS-induced expression of several ageing and pro-inflammatory genes (IL-1β, IL-1α, IL-6, TNF-α, IL-12, iNOS, VCAM1, ICAM1, COX2, IL-1RA, TRAF1 and CD40). The NF-κB pathway regulates the production of NO and inhibits the pro-inflammatory cytokines involved in normal and ageing process. These ex vivo results confirmed the earlier in vitro findings. The present findings of inhibition of NO production by quercetin and δ-tocotrienol may be of clinical significance treating several inflammatory diseases, including ageing process.
PMCID: PMC3267680  PMID: 22185406

Results 1-25 (1443174)