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1.  Superoxide Dismutase 3 Limits Collagen-Induced Arthritis in the Absence of Phagocyte Oxidative Burst 
Mediators of Inflammation  2012;2012:730469.
Extracellular superoxide dismutase (SOD3), an enzyme mediating dismutation of superoxide into hydrogen peroxide, has been shown to reduce inflammation by inhibiting macrophage migration into injured tissues. In inflamed tissues, superoxide is produced by the phagocytic NOX2 complex, which consists of the catalytic subunit NOX2 and several regulatory subunits (e.g., NCF1). To analyze whether SOD3 can regulate inflammation in the absence of functional NOX2 complex, we injected an adenoviral vector overexpressing SOD3 directly into the arthritic paws of Ncf1∗/∗ mice with collagen-induced arthritis. SOD3 reduced arthritis severity in both oxidative burst-deficient Ncf1∗/∗ mice and also in wild-type mice. The NOX2 complex independent anti-inflammatory effect of SOD3 was further characterized in peritonitis, and SOD3 was found to reduce macrophage infiltration independently of NOX2 complex functionality. We conclude that the SOD3-mediated anti-inflammatory effect on arthritis and peritonitis operates independently of NOX2 complex derived oxidative burst.
PMCID: PMC3317049  PMID: 22529530
2.  A New Mouse Model for Temporal- and Tissue-Specific Control of Extracellular Superoxide Dismutase 
Genesis (New York, N.Y. : 2000)  2009;47(3):142-154.
The extracellular isoform of superoxide dismutase (EC-SOD, Sod3) plays a protective role against various diseases and injuries mediated by oxidative stress. To investigate the pathophysiological roles of EC-SOD, we generated tetracycline-inducible Sod3 transgenic mice and directed the tissue-specific expression of transgenes by crossing Sod3 transgenic mice with tissue-specific transactivator transgenics. Double transgenic mice with liver-specific expression of Sod3 showed increased EC-SOD levels predominantly in the plasma as the circulating form, whereas double transgenic mice with neuronal-specific expression expressed higher levels of EC-SOD in hippocampus and cortex with intact EC-SOD as the dominant form. EC-SOD protein levels also correlated well with increased SOD activities in double transgenic mice. In addition to enabling tissue-specific expression, the transgene expression can be quickly turned on and off by doxycycline supplementation in the mouse chow. This mouse model, thus, provides the flexibility for on–off control of transgene expression in multiple target tissues.
PMCID: PMC3018233  PMID: 19165829
EC-SOD; TRE promoter; CamKII-tTA; LAP-tTA; transgenic mouse model
3.  Manganese Superoxide Dismutase gene dosage affects chromosomal instability and tumor onset in a mouse model of T cell lymphoma 
Free radical biology & medicine  2008;44(8):1677-1686.
Increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as superoxide have been implicated as causal elements of oncogenesis. A variety of cancers have displayed changes in steady state levels of key antioxidant enzymes with the mitochondrial form of superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) being commonly implicated. Increasing MnSOD expression suppresses the malignant phenotype in various cancer cell lines and suppresses tumor formation in xenograft and transgenic mouse models. We examined the impact of MnSOD expression in the development of T cell lymphoma in mice expressing pro-apoptotic Bax. Lck-Bax38/1 transgenic mice were crossed to mice overexpressing MnSOD (Lck-MnSOD) as well as MnSOD +/− mice. The effect of MnSOD on apoptosis, cell cycle, chromosomal instability (CIN), and lymphoma development was determined. The apoptotic and cell cycle phenotypes observed in thymocytes from control and Bax transgenic mice were unaffected by variations in MnSOD levels. Remarkably, increased gene dosage of MnSOD significantly decreased aneuploidy in pre-malignant thymocytes as well as the onset of tumor formation in Lck-Bax38/1 mice. The observed effects of MnSOD support a role for ROS in CIN and tumor formation in this mouse model of T cell lymphoma.
PMCID: PMC2374742  PMID: 18291119
MnSOD; ROS; Apoptosis; Bcl-2; Oncogenesis; Chromosomal Instability
4.  Amelioration of collagen-induced arthritis by CD95 (Apo-1/Fas)-ligand gene transfer. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1997;100(8):1951-1957.
Both rheumatoid arthritis and animal models of autoimmune arthritis are characterized by hyperactivation of synovial cells and hyperplasia of the synovial membrane. The activated synovial cells produce inflammatory cytokines and degradative enzymes that lead to destruction of cartilage and bones. Effective treatment of arthritis may require elimination of most or all activated synovial cells. The death factor Fas/Apo-1 and its ligand (FasL) play pivotal roles in maintaining self-tolerance and immune privilege. Fas is expressed constitutively in most tissues, and is dramatically upregulated at the site of inflammation. In both rheumatoid arthritis and animal models of autoimmune arthritis, high levels of Fas are expressed on activated synovial cells and infiltrating leukocytes in the inflamed joints. Unlike Fas, however, the levels of FasL expressed in the arthritic joints are extremely low, and most activated synovial cells survive despite high levels of Fas expression. To upregulate FasL expression in the arthritic joints, we have generated a recombinant replication-defective adenovirus carrying FasL gene; injection of the FasL virus into inflamed joints conferred high levels of FasL expression, induced apoptosis of synovial cells, and ameliorated collagen-induced arthritis in DBA/1 mice. The Fas-ligand virus also inhibited production of interferon-gamma by collagen-specific T cells. Coadministration of Fas-immunoglobulin fusion protein with the Fas-ligand virus prevented these effects, demonstrating the specificity of the Fas-ligand virus. Thus, FasL gene transfer at the site of inflammation effectively ameliorates autoimmune disease.
PMCID: PMC508384  PMID: 9329958
5.  The Anti-Arthritic and Immune-Modulatory Effects of NHAG: A Novel Glucosamine Analogue in Adjuvant-Induced Arthritis 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:487610.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is potentially devastating condition which lacks good treatment options. Pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin-1beta (IL-1β), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), and oxidative stress markers such as nitric oxide (NO) and peroxide (PO) are mediators of RA pathogenesis. In the present study N-[2,4,5-trihydroxy-6-(hydroxymethyl) tetrahydro-2H-pyran-3-yl]acrylamide (NHAG), analogue of glucosamine, was evaluated in adjuvant-induced arthritic model of rats. The disease progression was monitored by analysing arthritis scoring, loss of body weight, paw oedema, and histological changes in joints. RA associated hyperalgesia was evaluated by gait analysis. The serum or plasma levels of NO, PO, glutathione (GSH) superoxide dismutase (SOD) IL-1β and TNF-α were analyzed to monitor the state of disease severity. The arthritic control animals exhibited significant increase in arthritic score (P < 0.003) and paw oedema (P < 0.001) with parallel loss in body weight (P < 0.04). The NHAG-treated arthritic animals exhibited refinement in the gait changes associated with arthritis. NHAG also significantly decreased the NO (P < 0.02) and PO (P < 0.03) with concurrent increased in GSH (P < 0.04) and SOD (P < 0.007). Both IL-1β (P < 0.001) and TNF-α (P < 0.001), were significantly decreased in NHAG-treated group. Thus NHAG might have a therapeutic potential for arthritis by exerting antioxidative and immunomodulatory effects.
PMCID: PMC3732632  PMID: 23971039
Journal of neurochemistry  2008;108(4):1009-1018.
Mutations in superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1, EC cause familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (fALS); with aggregated forms of mutant protein accumulating in spinal cord tissues of transgenic mouse models and human patients. Mice over-expressing wild-type human SOD1 (WT hSOD1) do not develop ALS-like disease, but co-expression of WT enzyme at high levels with mutant SOD1 accelerates the onset of motor neuron disease compared to mice expressing mutant hSOD1 alone. Spinal cords of mice expressing both proteins contain aggregated forms of mutant protein and, in some cases, evidence of co-aggregation of WT hSOD1 enzyme. In the present study, we used a cell culture model of mutant SOD1 aggregation to examine how the presence of WT SOD1 affects mutant protein aggregation, finding that co-expression of WT SOD1, human (hSOD1) or mouse (mSOD1), delayed the formation of mutant hSOD1 aggregates; in essence appearing to slow the aggregation rate. In some combinations of WT and mutant hSOD1 co-expression, the aggregates that did eventually form appeared to contain WT hSOD1 protein. However, WT mSOD1 did not co-aggregate with mutant hSOD1 despite displaying a similar ability to slow mutant hSOD1 aggregation. Together, these studies indicate that WT SOD1 (human or mouse), when expressed at levels equivalent to the mutant protein, modulates aggregation of FALS-mutant hSOD1.
PMCID: PMC2801375  PMID: 19077113
superoxide; dismutase; aggregation; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
7.  SOD3 Reduces Inflammatory Cell Migration by Regulating Adhesion Molecule and Cytokine Expression 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(6):e5786.
Inflammatory cell migration characteristic of ischemic damages has a dual role providing the tissue with factors needed for tissue injury recovery simultaneously causing deleterious development depending on the quality and the quantity of infiltrated cells. Extracellular superoxide dismutase (SOD3) has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory role in ischemic injuries where it increases the recovery process by activating mitogen signal transduction and increasing cell proliferation. However, SOD3 derived effects on inflammatory cytokine and adhesion molecule expression, which would explain reduced inflammation in vascular lesions, has not been properly characterized. In the present work the effect of SOD3 on the inflammatory cell extravasation was studied in vivo in rat hind limb ischemia and mouse peritonitis models by identifying the migrated cells and analyzing SOD3-derived response on inflammatory cytokine and adhesion molecule expression. SOD3 overexpression significantly reduced TNFα, IL1α, IL6, MIP2, and MCP-1 cytokine and VCAM, ICAM, P-selectin, and E-selectin adhesion molecule expressions in injured tissues. Consequently the mononuclear cell, especially CD68+ monocyte and CD3+ T cell infiltration were significantly decreased whereas granulocyte migration was less affected. According to our data SOD3 has a selective anti-inflammatory role in ischemic damages preventing the migration of reactive oxygen producing monocyte/macrophages, which in excessive amounts could potentially further intensify the tissue injuries therefore suggesting potential for SOD3 in treatment of inflammatory disorders.
PMCID: PMC2686160  PMID: 19495415
8.  Functional alterations of the ubiquitin-proteasome system in motor neurons of a mouse model of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis† 
Human Molecular Genetics  2008;18(1):82-96.
In familial and sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and in rodent models of the disease, alterations in the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) may be responsible for the accumulation of potentially harmful ubiquitinated proteins, leading to motor neuron death. In the spinal cord of transgenic mice expressing the familial ALS superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene mutation G93A (SOD1G93A), we found a decrease in constitutive proteasome subunits during disease progression, as assessed by real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry. In parallel, an increased immunoproteasome expression was observed, which correlated with a local inflammatory response due to glial activation. These findings support the existence of proteasome modifications in ALS vulnerable tissues. To functionally investigate the UPS in ALS motor neurons in vivo, we crossed SOD1G93A mice with transgenic mice that express a fluorescently tagged reporter substrate of the UPS. In double-transgenic UbG76V-GFP /SOD1G93A mice an increase in UbG76V-GFP reporter, indicative of UPS impairment, was detectable in a few spinal motor neurons and not in reactive astrocytes or microglia, at symptomatic stage but not before symptoms onset. The levels of reporter transcript were unaltered, suggesting that the accumulation of UbG76V-GFP was due to deficient reporter degradation. In some motor neurons the increase of UbG76V-GFP was accompanied by the accumulation of ubiquitin and phosphorylated neurofilaments, both markers of ALS pathology. These data suggest that UPS impairment occurs in motor neurons of mutant SOD1-linked ALS mice and may play a role in the disease progression.
PMCID: PMC3298865  PMID: 18826962
9.  Distinct contribution of IL-6, TNF-α, IL-1, and IL-10 to T cell–mediated spontaneous autoimmune arthritis in mice 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2004;114(4):582-588.
Cytokines play key roles in spontaneous CD4+ T cell–mediated chronic autoimmune arthritis in SKG mice, a new model of rheumatoid arthritis. Genetic deficiency in IL-6 completely suppressed the development of arthritis in SKG mice, irrespective of the persistence of circulating rheumatoid factor. Either IL-1 or TNF-α deficiency retarded the onset of arthritis and substantially reduced its incidence and severity. IL-10 deficiency, on the other hand, exacerbated disease, whereas IL-4 or IFN-γ deficiency did not alter the disease course. Synovial fluid of arthritic SKG mice contained high amounts of IL-6, TNF-α, and IL-1, in accord with active transcription of these cytokine genes in the afflicted joints. Notably, immunohistochemistry revealed that distinct subsets of synovial cells produced different cytokines in the inflamed synovium: the superficial synovial lining cells mainly produced IL-1 and TNF-α, whereas scattered subsynovial cells produced IL-6. Thus, IL-6, IL-1, TNF-α, and IL-10 play distinct roles in the development of SKG arthritis; arthritogenic CD4+ T cells are not required to skew to either Th1 or Th2; and the appearance of rheumatoid factor is independent of joint inflammation. The results also indicate that targeting not only each cytokine but also each cell population secreting distinct cytokines could be an effective treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
PMCID: PMC503774  PMID: 15314695
10.  Increased expression of beta-arrestin 1 and 2 in murine models of rheumatoid arthritis; Isoform specific regulation of inflammation 
Molecular immunology  2011;49(1-2):64-74.
Pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines play critical roles in autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Recently, it has been reported that β-arrestin 1 and 2 are involved in the regulation of inflammation. We hypothesized that β-arrestin 1 and 2 play critical roles in murine models of RA. Using a collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) and a human TNFα transgenic (TNFtg) mouse model, we demonstrated that β-arrestin 1 and 2 expression are significantly increased in joint tissue of CIA mice and TNFtg mice. In fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) isolated from hind knee joint of CIA mice, we observed an increase of β-arrestin 1 and 2 protein and mRNA levels in the early stage of arthritis. In FLS, low molecular weight hyaluronan (HA)-induced TNFα and IL-6 production was increased by overexpression of β-arrestin 1 but decreased by overexpression of β-arrestin 2 demonstrating isoform specific regulation. TNFα and HA induced an increase of β-arrestin 1 and 2 expression in FLS, while high mobility group box (HMGB)-1 only stimulated β-arrestin 1 expression. TNFα- or HA- induced β-arrestin 2 expression was blocked by a p38 inhibitor. To examine the in vivo role of β-arrestin 2 in the pathogenesis of arthritis, WT and β-arrestin 2 KO mice were subjected to collagen antibody-induced arthritis (CAIA). β-arrestin 2 KO mice exhibited more severe arthritis in CAIA. Thus β-arrestin 2 is anti-inflammatory in CAIA. These composite observations suggest that β-arrestin 1 and 2 differentially regulate FLS inflammation and increased β-arrestin 2 may reduce experimental arthritis severity.
PMCID: PMC3205331  PMID: 21855149
CIA; β-arrestin; FLS; CAIA
11.  Critical role for CuZn-superoxide dismutase in preventing spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage during acute and chronic hypertension in mice 
Backgrounds and Purpose
Superoxide is associated with spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) during hypertension. The goal of this study was to test the hypothesis that changes in superoxide, in genetically altered mice with deletion and overexpression of CuZn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1), modulate susceptibility to ICH.
Chronic hypertension was produced by infusion of angiotensin II (AngII) and an inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase in drinking water in SOD1 transgenic (SOD1Tg) mice, SOD1 deficient (SOD1−/−) mice, and their respective wild-type (WT)-littermates. Acute hypertension was produced by daily injections of AngII in some mice with chronic hypertension to produce ICH. We evaluated susceptibility to ICH, oxidative stress [superoxide, NAD(P)H oxidase activity, SOD activity], gene expression, and activity of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs).
Incidence, size, and number of ICH were reduced in SOD1Tg mice, and were increased in SOD1−/− mice compared to their WT-littermates. Levels of superoxide increased in the brain even before developing ICH in WT-littermates, while levels of superoxide remained low in SOD1Tg mice. Changes in level of MMP-9 paralleled oxidative stress in SOD1Tg mice and WT-littermates. Moreover, levels of superoxide and MMP-9 were greater in SOD1−/− mice than WT-littermates after induction of ICH. Active MMPs colocalized on cerebral vessels that appeared to lead toward regions with ICH.
These results suggest that superoxide contributes to the pathogenesis of spontaneous ICH, possibly through activation of MMP-9, and that SOD1 protects against spontaneous ICH during hypertension.
PMCID: PMC2847648  PMID: 20150548
Oxidative stress; SOD1; MMP-9; brain hemorrhage
12.  Manganese superoxide dismutase: beyond life and death 
Amino acids  2010;42(1):139-158.
Manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) is a nuclear-encoded antioxidant enzyme that localizes to the mitochondria. Expression of MnSOD is essential for the survival of aerobic life. Transgenic mice expressing a luciferase reporter gene under the control of the human MnSOD promoter demonstrate that the level of MnSOD is reduced prior to the formation of cancer. Overexpression of MnSOD in transgenic mice reduces the incidences and multiplicity of papillomas in a DMBA/TPA skin carcinogenesis model. However, MnSOD deficiency does not lead to enhanced tumorigenicity of skin tissue similarly treated because MnSOD can modulate both the p53-mediated apoptosis and AP-1-mediated cell proliferation pathways. Apoptosis is associated with an increase in mitochondrial levels of p53 suggesting a link between MnSOD deficiency and mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis. Activation of p53 is preventable by application of a SOD mimetic (MnTE-2-PyP5+). Thus, p53 translocation to mitochondria and subsequent inactivation of MnSOD explain the observed mitochondrial dysfunction that leads to transcription-dependent mechanisms of p53-induced apoptosis. Administration of MnTE-2-PyP5+ following apoptosis but prior to proliferation leads to suppression of protein carbonyls and reduces the activity of AP-1 and the level of the proliferating cellular nuclear antigen, without reducing the activity of p53 or DNA fragmentation following TPA treatment. Remarkably, the incidence and multiplicity of skin tumors are drastically reduced in mice that receive MnTE-2-PyP5+ prior to cell proliferation. The results demonstrate the role of MnSOD beyond its essential role for survival and suggest a novel strategy for an antioxidant approach to cancer intervention.
PMCID: PMC2975048  PMID: 20454814
MnSOD; p53; Cancer; Chemotherapy
13.  Detailed analysis of the cell infiltrate and the expression of mediators of synovial inflammation and joint destruction in the synovium of patients with psoriatic arthritis: implications for treatment 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2006;65(12):1551-1557.
The synovial tissue is a primary target of many inflammatory arthropathies, including psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Identification of proinflammatory molecules in the synovium may help to identify potentially therapeutic targets.
To investigate extensively the features of cell infiltration and expression of mediators of inflammation and joint destruction in the synovium of patients with PsA compared with patients with rheumatoid arthritis matched for disease duration and use of drugs.
Multiple synovial tissue biopsy specimens were obtained by arthroscopy from an inflamed joint in 19 patients with PsA (eight oligoarthritis, 11 polyarthritis) and 24 patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Biopsy specimens were analysed by immunohistochemistry to detect T cells, plasma cells, fibroblast‐like synoviocytes, macrophages, proinflammatory cytokines, matrix metalloproteinases and tissue inhibitor metalloproteinase‐1, adhesion molecules and vascular markers. Stained sections were evaluated by digital image analysis.
The synovial infiltrate of patients with PsA and rheumatoid arthritis was comparable with regard to numbers of fibroblast‐like synoviocytes and macrophages. T cell numbers were considerably lower in the synovium of patients with PsA. The number of plasma cells also tended to be lower in PsA. The expression of tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), interleukin (IL) 1β, IL6 and IL18 was as high in PsA as in rheumatoid arthritis. The expression of matrix metalloproteinases, adhesion molecules and vascular markers was comparable for PsA and rheumatoid arthritis.
These data show increased proinflammatory cytokine expression in PsA synovium, comparable to results obtained for rheumatoid arthritis, and support the notion that, in addition to TNFα blockade, there may be a rationale for treatments directed at IL1β, IL6 and IL18.
PMCID: PMC1798447  PMID: 16728461
14.  Doxycycline-Induced Expression of Transgenic Human Tumor Necrosis Factor α in Adult Mice Results in Psoriasis-like Arthritis 
Arthritis and Rheumatism  2013;65(9):2290-2300.
To generate doxycycline-inducible human tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα)–transgenic mice to overcome a major disadvantage of existing transgenic mice with constitutive expression of TNFα, which is the limitation in crossing them with various knockout or transgenic mice.
A transgenic mouse line that expresses the human TNFα cytokine exclusively after doxycycline administration was generated and analyzed for the onset of diseases.
Doxycycline-inducible human TNFα–transgenic mice developed an inflammatory arthritis– and psoriasis-like phenotype, with fore and hind paws being prominently affected. The formation of “sausage digits” with characteristic involvement of the distal interphalangeal joints and nail malformation was observed. Synovial hyperplasia, enthesitis, cartilage and bone alterations, formation of pannus tissue, and inflammation of the skin epidermis and nail matrix appeared as early as 1 week after the treatment of mice with doxycycline and became aggravated over time. The abrogation of human TNFα expression by the removal of doxycycline 6 weeks after beginning stimulation resulted in fast resolution of the most advanced macroscopic and histologic disorders, and 3–6 weeks later, only minimal signs of disease were visible.
Upon doxycycline administration, the doxycycline-inducible human TNFα–transgenic mouse displays the major features of inflammatory arthritis. It represents a unique animal model for studying the molecular mechanisms of arthritis, especially the early phases of disease genesis and tissue remodeling steps upon abrogation of TNFα expression. Furthermore, unlimited crossing of doxycycline-inducible human TNFα–transgenic mice with various knockout or transgenic mice opens new possibilities for unraveling the role of various signaling molecules acting in concert with TNFα.
PMCID: PMC3798087  PMID: 23740547
15.  Anti-Inflammatory Effect of Targeted Delivery of SOD to Endothelium: Mechanism, Synergism with NO Donors and Protective Effects In Vitro and In Vivo 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e77002.
Pro-inflammatory activation of vascular endothelium is implicated in pathogenesis of severe conditions including stroke, infarction and sepsis. We have recently reported that superoxide dismutase (SOD) conjugated with antibodies (Ab/SOD) that provide targeted delivery into endothelial endosomes mitigates inflammatory endothelial activation by cytokines and agonists of Toll-like receptors (TLR). The goal of this study was to appraise potential utility and define the mechanism of this effect. Ab/SOD, but not non-targeted SOD injected in mice alleviated endotoxin-induced leukocyte adhesion in the cerebral vasculature and protected brain from ischemia-reperfusion injury. Transfection of endothelial cells with SOD, but not catalase inhibited NFκB signaling and expression of Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 induced by both cytokines and TLR agonists. These results affirmed that Ab/SOD-quenched superoxide anion produced by endothelial cells in response to proinflammatory agents mediates NFκB activation. Furthermore, Ab/SOD potentiates anti-inflammatory effect of NO donors in endothelial cells in vitro, as well as in the endotoxin-challenged mice. These results demonstrate the central role of intracellular superoxide as a mediator of pro-inflammatory activation of endothelium and support the notion of utility of targeted interception of this signaling pathway for management of acute vascular inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3795626  PMID: 24146950
16.  Protective role of extracellular superoxide dismutase in renal ischemia/reperfusion injury 
Kidney international  2010;78(4):374-381.
Extracellular superoxide dismutase (SOD3) is highly expressed in renal tissues and an important regulator of vascular function. We hypothesized that deletion of SOD3 will attenuate recovery of renal blood flow and increase oxidative stress and injury following renal ischemia/reperfusion.
Expression and activities of SOD isoforms, basal superoxide production, and NADPH oxidase activity were evaluated in renal cortical homogenates from male and female wild-type (WT) and SOD3-knockout (SOD3−/−) mice. After 60 minutes of unilateral ischemia, we assessed renal reperfusion using an ultrasonic flow probe (Transonic) and histological measures of oxidative stress and injury in the post-ischemic kidneys.
Total SOD activity was reduced in male SOD3−/− versus WT mice (7.4±0.3 vs 12.6±1.7 U/ml, p=0.01). However, total SOD activity was similar in female SOD3−/− versus WT mice (14.2±1.4 vs 16.3±1.8 U/ml, n.s.), suggesting up-regulated SOD1 activity. Basal superoxide production was significantly higher in female SOD3−/− versus WT counterparts, but not male. NADPH oxidase activity was similar in WT and SOD3−/− mice. Compared to WT mice, renal blood flow after ischemia was attenuated in kidneys from male, but not female, SOD3−/− mice. After 24 hours, kidneys from male and female SOD3−/− mice demonstrated more oxidative stress (3-nitrotyrosine staining) and renal cast formation than those from WT mice.
Loss of SOD3 impairs reperfusion after renal ischemia in male but not in female mice, which is associated with preserved total SOD activity in females. Yet, SOD3 deletion increases post-ischemic oxidative stress and injury in both sexes, demonstrating a key role for SOD3 in renal ischemia/reperfusion injury.
PMCID: PMC3888358  PMID: 20505656
kidney; ischemia; reperfusion; reperfusion injury; renal circulation; oxidative stress; superoxide; superoxide dismutase
17.  Effect of green tea extract and vitamin C on oxidant or antioxidant status of rheumatoid arthritis rat model 
Elevated free radical generation in inflamed joints and impaired antioxidant system has been implicated in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Green tea extracts (GTE) have been shown to reduce inflammation in inflammatory arthritis murine model. This study investigates possible mechanisms by which vitamin C and GTE protect joints in RA rat model. This study included forty adult male rats that were divided into four groups (10 rats each); control group, collagen II induced RA group (CII), CII treated with vitamin C (CII + Vit C) and CII treated with GTE (CII + GTE) in physiology laboratory, Assiut University, Egypt. After 45 days of treatment, plasma levels of lipid peroxides (LPO), nitric oxide (NO), ceruloplasmin (CP), superoxide dismutase (SOD), uric acid (UA) and glutathione (GSH) were detected using colorimetric methods, PGE2 using ELISA and copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) using spectrometer. In CII group, levels of LPO, NO, PGE2, UA, CP, Cu were higher while SOD, GSH, Zn were lower than controls. In groups treated with vitamin C and GTE, levels of SOD, GSH were increased while levels of LPO, NO, PGE2, Cu, CP were decreased compared with CII group. Levels of UA were decreased and Zn increased in GTE treated group compared with CII group. GTE treated group showed higher Zn and low Cu levels compared with vitamin C treated group. This study suggests proper GTE and vitamin C intake may effectively normalize the impaired oxidant/antioxidant system and delaying complication of RA.
PMCID: PMC3453301  PMID: 23105850
Rheumatoid arthritis; Green tea extract; Vitamin C; Oxidant; Antioxidant
18.  Extracellular superoxide dismutase in the airways of transgenic mice reduces inflammation and attenuates lung toxicity following hyperoxia 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1999;103(7):1055-1066.
Extracellular superoxide dismutase (EC-SOD, or SOD3) is the major extracellular antioxidant enzyme in the lung. To study the biologic role of EC-SOD in hyperoxic-induced pulmonary disease, we created transgenic (Tg) mice that specifically target overexpression of human EC-SOD (hEC-SOD) to alveolar type II and nonciliated bronchial epithelial cells. Mice heterozygous for the hEC-SOD transgene showed threefold higher EC-SOD levels in the lung compared with wild-type (Wt) littermate controls. A significant amount of hEC-SOD was present in the epithelial lining fluid layer. Both Tg and Wt mice were exposed to normobaric hyperoxia (>99% oxygen) for 48, 72, and 84 hours. Mice overexpressing hEC-SOD in the airways attenuated the hyperoxic lung injury response, showed decreased morphologic evidence of lung damage, had reduced numbers of recruited inflammatory cells, and had a reduced lung wet/dry ratio. To evaluate whether reduced numbers of neutrophil infiltration were directly responsible for the tolerance to oxygen toxicity observed in the Tg mice, we made Wt and Tg mice neutropenic using anti-neutrophil antibodies and subsequently exposed them to 72 hours of hyperoxia. Both Wt and Tg neutrophil-depleted (ND) mice have less severe lung injury compared with non-ND animals, thus providing direct evidence that neutrophils recruited to the lung during hyperoxia play a distinct role in the resultant acute lung injury. We conclude that oxidative and inflammatory processes in the extracellular lung compartment contribute to hyperoxic-induced lung damage and that overexpression of hEC-SOD mediates a protective response to hyperoxia, at least in part, by attenuating the neutrophil inflammatory response.
PMCID: PMC408251  PMID: 10194479
19.  Can vagus nerve stimulation halt or ameliorate rheumatoid arthritis and lupus? 
Acetylcholine, the principal vagus neurotransmitter, inhibits inflammation by suppressing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines through a mechanism dependent on the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit (alpha7nAChR) that explains why vagus nerve stimulation is anti-inflammatory in nature. Strong expression of alpha7nAChR in the synovium of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis patients was detected. Peripheral macrophages and synovial fibroblasts respond in vitro to specific alpha7nAChR cholinergic stimulation with potent inhibition of proinflammatory cytokines. Fibroblasts balance inflammatory mechanisms and arthritis development through feedback cholinergic stimulation by nearby immune cells. Collagen induced arthritis in alpha7nAChR(-/-) mice was significantly severe and showed increased synovial inflammation and joint destruction compared to the wild-type mice. Similar to vagal nerve stimulation and alpha7nAChR agonists, polyunsaturated fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) also suppress inflammation. In view of their similar anti-inflammatory actions, it is proposed that vagal nerve stimulation, alpha7nAChR agonists and EPA and DHA may augment the formation of anti-inflammatory lipid molecules: lipoxins, resolvins, protectins and maresins. This implies that therapies directed at regulation of the cholinergic and alpha7nAChR mediated mechanisms and enhancing the formation of lipoxins, resolvins, protectins and maresins may halt and/or ameliorate rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and other rheumatological conditions.
PMCID: PMC3037330  PMID: 21261967
20.  A Metabolically-Stabilized Phosphonate Analog of Lysophosphatidic Acid Attenuates Collagen-Induced Arthritis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e70941.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a destructive arthropathy with systemic manifestations, characterized by chronic synovial inflammation. Under the influence of the pro-inflammatory milieu synovial fibroblasts (SFs), the main effector cells in disease pathogenesis become activated and hyperplastic while releasing a number of signals that include pro-inflammatory factors and tissue remodeling enzymes. Activated RA SFs in mouse or human arthritic joints express significant quantities of autotaxin (ATX), a lysophospholipase D responsible for the majority of lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) production in the serum and inflamed sites. Conditional genetic ablation of ATX from SFs resulted in attenuation of disease symptoms in animal models, an effect attributed to diminished LPA signaling in the synovium, shown to activate SF effector functions. Here we show that administration of 1-bromo-3(S)-hydroxy-4-(palmitoyloxy)butyl-phosphonate (BrP-LPA), a metabolically stabilized analog of LPA and a dual function inhibitor of ATX and pan-antagonist of LPA receptors, attenuates collagen induced arthritis (CIA) development, thus validating the ATX/LPA axis as a novel therapeutic target in RA.
PMCID: PMC3726599  PMID: 23923032
21.  Extracellular ATP and the P2X7 receptor in astrocyte-mediated motor neuron death: implications for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 
During pathology of the nervous system, increased extracellular ATP acts both as a cytotoxic factor and pro-inflammatory mediator through P2X7 receptors. In animal models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), astrocytes expressing superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1G93A) mutations display a neuroinflammatory phenotype and contribute to disease progression and motor neuron death. Here we studied the role of extracellular ATP acting through P2X7 receptors as an initiator of a neurotoxic phenotype that leads to astrocyte-mediated motor neuron death in non-transgenic and SOD1G93A astrocytes.
We evaluated motor neuron survival after co-culture with SOD1G93A or non-transgenic astrocytes pretreated with agents known to modulate ATP release or P2X7 receptor. We also characterized astrocyte proliferation and extracellular ATP degradation.
Repeated stimulation by ATP or the P2X7-selective agonist BzATP caused astrocytes to become neurotoxic, inducing death of motor neurons. Involvement of P2X7 receptor was further confirmed by Brilliant blue G inhibition of ATP and BzATP effects. In SOD1G93A astrocyte cultures, pharmacological inhibition of P2X7 receptor or increased extracellular ATP degradation with the enzyme apyrase was sufficient to completely abolish their toxicity towards motor neurons. SOD1G93A astrocytes also displayed increased ATP-dependent proliferation and a basal increase in extracellular ATP degradation.
Here we found that P2X7 receptor activation in spinal cord astrocytes initiated a neurotoxic phenotype that leads to motor neuron death. Remarkably, the neurotoxic phenotype of SOD1G93A astrocytes depended upon basal activation the P2X7 receptor. Thus, pharmacological inhibition of P2X7 receptor might reduce neuroinflammation in ALS through astrocytes.
PMCID: PMC2901222  PMID: 20534165
22.  Decreased Pulmonary Extracellular Superoxide Dismutase during Systemic Inflammation 
Free radical biology & medicine  2008;45(6):897-904.
Oxidative damage is a major cause of lung injury during systemic inflammatory response syndrome. In the present study, expression of an anti-oxidant enzyme, extracellular superoxide dismutase (EC-SOD), and its protective role against pulmonary oxidative damage were investigated using mouse models of systemic inflammation. Intraperitoneal injection with bacterial endotoxin lipopolysaccharides (LPS, 20 mg/kg) caused oxidative damage in lungs as assessed by increased tyrosine nitration in proteins. LPS administration also resulted in a rapid and significant loss of pulmonary EC-SOD more than 80% in a time- and dose-dependent manner, but other types of SODs, cytoplasmic CuZn-SOD and mitochondrial Mn-SOD, were not affected. EC-SOD protein is most abundant in lungs but also present at high levels in other tissues such as heart and white fat; however, the LPS-mediated decrease in this enzyme was most apparent in the lungs. Intravenous injection of mice with tumor necrosis factor α (10 μg per mouse) also caused 60% decrease in EC-SOD in lungs, suggesting that the EC-SOD down-regulation is mediated by this LPS-inducible inflammatory cytokine. A protective role of EC-SOD against LPS-mediated systemic inflammation was shown by an increased survival rate (75% vs.29% in 5 days) and decreased pulmonary oxidative damage in EC-SOD transgenic mice that overexpress the human EC-SOD gene. These results demonstrate that the inflammation-mediated EC-SOD down-regulation has a major pathophysiological impact during the systemic inflammatory response syndrome.
PMCID: PMC2953464  PMID: 18640266
EC-SOD; oxidative stress; nitro tyrosine; systemic inflammation; superoxide dismutase; endotoxemia
23.  Suppression of type I collagen gene expression by prostaglandins in fibroblasts is mediated at the transcriptional level. 
Molecular Medicine  2000;6(8):705-719.
BACKGROUND: Tissues undergoing a chronic inflammatory process, such as the synovium in rheumatoid arthritis, are characterized by the infiltration of lymphocytes of different subsets and activation of monocyte/macrophages. Interleukin-1 (IL-1), a monocyte/ macrophage product that stimulates synovial fibroblasts to produce matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), prostaglandins, and other cytokines, also has profound effects on the synthesis of extracellular matrix components such as type I collagen. In previous studies, we have shown that synovial fibroblasts and chondrocytes isolated from human joint tissues are particularly sensitive to prostaglandins, which modulate the effects of IL-1 on collagen gene expression in an autocrine manner. MATERIALS AND METHODS: BALBc/3T3 fibroblasts were treated with IL-1 and prostaglandins in the absence and presence of indomethacin to inhibit endogenous prostaglandin biosynthesis. Collagen synthesis was analyzed by SDS-PAGE as [3H]proline-labeled, secreted proteins, and prostaglandin production and cyclic adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (camp) content were assayed. The expression of type I collagen gene (Col1a1) promoter-reporter gene constructs was examined in transient transfection experiments, and the binding of nuclear factors to the Col1a1 promoter region spanning -222 bp/+ 116 bp was analyzed by DNase I footprinting and electrophoretic mobility shift (EMSA) assays. RESULTS: IL-1 increased the synthesis of type I and type III collagens in BALBc/3T3 fibroblasts; greater increases were observed when IL-1-stimulated synthesis of PGE2 was blocked by indomethacin. Transient transfection experiments demonstrated dose-dependent inhibition of the-222 bp Col1a1 promoter by exogenously added prostaglandins with the order of potency of PGF2alpha > PGE2 > PGE1 DNase I footprinting showed increased protection, which extended from the region immediately upstream of the TATA box, owing to the binding of nuclear factors from PGE2- or PGE1-treated BALBc/3T3 cells. EMSA analysis showed zinc-dependent differences in the binding of nuclear factors from untreated and prostaglandin-treated cells to the -84 bp/-29 bp region of the Col1a1 promoter. CONCLUSIONS: These results show that the inhibition of Col1a1 expression by IL-1 in fibroblasts is mediated by prostaglandins at the transcriptional level and suggest that PGE-responsive factors may interact directly or indirectly with basal regulatory elements in the proximal promoter region of the Col1a1 gene.
PMCID: PMC1949972  PMID: 11055589
24.  Pharmacological Inhibition of Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase/Visfatin Enzymatic Activity Identifies a New Inflammatory Pathway Linked to NAD 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(5):e2267.
Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT), also known as visfatin, is the rate-limiting enzyme in the salvage pathway of NAD biosynthesis from nicotinamide. Since its expression is upregulated during inflammation, NAMPT represents a novel clinical biomarker in acute lung injury, rheumatoid arthritis, and Crohn's disease. However, its role in disease progression remains unknown. We report here that NAMPT is a key player in inflammatory arthritis. Increased expression of NAMPT was confirmed in mice with collagen-induced arthritis, both in serum and in the arthritic paw. Importantly, a specific competitive inhibitor of NAMPT effectively reduced arthritis severity with comparable activity to etanercept, and decreased pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion in affected joints. Moreover, NAMPT inhibition reduced intracellular NAD concentration in inflammatory cells and circulating TNFα levels during endotoxemia in mice. In vitro pharmacological inhibition of NAMPT reduced the intracellular concentration of NAD and pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion by inflammatory cells. Thus, NAMPT links NAD metabolism to inflammatory cytokine secretion by leukocytes, and its inhibition might therefore have therapeutic efficacy in immune-mediated inflammatory disorders.
PMCID: PMC2377336  PMID: 18493620
25.  Apremilast, a novel PDE4 inhibitor, inhibits spontaneous production of tumour necrosis factor-alpha from human rheumatoid synovial cells and ameliorates experimental arthritis 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2010;12(3):R107.
Type 4 phosphodiesterases (PDE4) play an important role in immune cells through the hydrolysis of the second messenger, cAMP. Inhibition of PDE4 has previously been shown to suppress immune and inflammatory responses, demonstrating PDE4 to be a valid therapeutic target for immune-mediated pathologies. We assessed the anti-inflammatory effects of a novel PDE4 inhibitor, apremilast, in human synovial cells from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, as well as two murine models of arthritis.
Cells liberated from tissue excised from arthritic joints of RA patients were cultured in the presence of increasing concentrations of apremilast for 48 hours and spontaneous tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) production was analysed in culture supernatants by ELISA. In addition, arthritis was induced in BALB/c and DBA/1 mice by passive transfer of anti-type II collagen mAb and immunisation with type II collagen, respectively. Mice with established arthritis received 5 or 25 mg/kg apremilast and disease severity was monitored relative to mice receiving vehicle alone. At the end of the study, paws were removed and processed for histopathological assessment. Behavioural effects of apremilast, relative to rolipram, were assessed in naïve DBA/1 mice using an automated activity monitor (LABORAS).
Apremilast dose dependently inhibited spontaneous release of TNFα from human rheumatoid synovial membrane cultures. Furthermore, apremilast significantly reduced clinical score in both murine models of arthritis over a ten day treatment period and maintained a healthy joint architecture in a dose-dependent manner. Importantly, unlike rolipram, apremilast demonstrated no adverse behavioural effects in naïve mice.
Apremilast is an orally available PDE4 inhibitor that reduces TNFα production from human synovial cells and significantly suppresses experimental arthritis. Apremilast appears to be a potential new agent for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
PMCID: PMC2911898  PMID: 20525198

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