Right heart failure from right ventricular (RV) pressure overload is a major cause of morbidity and mortality, but its mechanism is incompletely understood. We tested the hypothesis that right heart failure during 4 hours of RV pressure overload is associated with alterations of the focal adhesion protein talin, and that the inhibition of calpain attenuates RV dysfunction and preserves RV talin. Anesthetized open-chest pigs treated with the calpain inhibitor MDL-28170 (n = 20) or inactive vehicle (n = 23) underwent 4 hours of RV pressure overload by pulmonary artery constriction (initial RV systolic pressure, 64 ± 1 and 66 ± 1 mm Hg in MDL-28170 and vehicle-treated pigs, respectively). Progressive RV contractile dysfunction was attenuated by MDL-28170: after 4 hours of RV pressure overload, RV systolic pressure was 44 ± 4 mm Hg versus 49 ± 6 mm Hg (P = 0.011), and RV stroke work was 72 ± 5% of baseline versus 90 ± 5% of baseline, (P = 0.027), in vehicle-treated versus MDL-28170–treated pigs, respectively. MDL-28170 reduced the incidence of hemodynamic instability (death or systolic blood pressure of < 85 mm Hg) by 46% (P = 0.013). RV pressure overload disrupted talin organization. MDL-28170 preserved talin abundance in the RV free wall (P = 0.039), and talin abundance correlated with the maintenance of RV free wall stroke work (r = 0.58, P = 0.0039). α-actinin and vinculin showed similar changes according to immunohistology. Right heart failure from acute RV pressure overload is associated with reduced talin abundance and disrupted talin organization. Calpain inhibition preserves the abundance and organization of talin and RV function. Calpain inhibition may offer clinical utility in treating acute cor pulmonale.
right ventricular dysfunction; pulmonary hypertension; calpain; talin; heart failure
The mechanical properties of the extracellular matrix have recently been shown to promote myofibroblast differentiation and lung fibrosis. Mechanisms by which matrix stiffness regulates myofibroblast differentiation are not fully understood. The goal of this study was to determine the intrinsic mechanisms of mechanotransduction in the regulation of matrix stiffness–induced myofibroblast differentiation. A well established polyacrylamide gel system with tunable substrate stiffness was used in this study. Megakaryoblastic leukemia factor-1 (MKL1) nuclear translocation was imaged by confocal immunofluorescent microscopy. The binding of MKL1 to the α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) gene promoter was quantified by quantitative chromatin immunoprecipitation assay. Normal human lung fibroblasts responded to matrix stiffening with changes in actin dynamics that favor filamentous actin polymerization. Actin polymerization resulted in nuclear translocation of MKL1, a serum response factor coactivator that plays a central role in regulating the expression of fibrotic genes, including α-SMA, a marker for myofibroblast differentiation. Mouse lung fibroblasts deficient in Mkl1 did not respond to matrix stiffening with increased α-SMA expression, whereas ectopic expression of human MKL1 cDNA restored the ability of Mkl1 null lung fibroblasts to express α-SMA. Furthermore, matrix stiffening promoted production and activation of the small GTPase RhoA, increased Rho kinase (ROCK) activity, and enhanced fibroblast contractility. Inhibition of RhoA/ROCK abrogated stiff matrix–induced actin cytoskeletal reorganization, MKL1 nuclear translocation, and myofibroblast differentiation. This study indicates that actin cytoskeletal remodeling–mediated activation of MKL1 transduces mechanical stimuli from the extracellular matrix to a fibrogenic program that promotes myofibroblast differentiation, suggesting an intrinsic mechanotransduction mechanism.
lung fibrosis; transcription factor; α-smooth muscle actin
Mucins are gel-forming proteins that are responsible for the characteristic viscoelastic properties of mucus. Mucin overproduction is a hallmark of asthma, but the cellular requirements for airway mucin production are poorly understood. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) protein anterior gradient homolog 2 (AGR2) is required for production of the intestinal mucin MUC2, but its role in the production of the airway mucins MUC5AC and MUC5B is not established. Microarray data were analyzed to examine the relationship between AGR2 and MUC5AC expression in asthma. Immunofluorescence was used to localize AGR2 in airway cells. Coimmunoprecipitation was used to identify AGR2-immature MUC5AC complexes. Agr2−/− mice were used to determine the role of AGR2 in allergic airway disease. AGR2 localized to the ER of MUC5AC- and MUC5B-producing airway cells and formed a complex with immature MUC5AC. AGR2 expression increased together with MUC5AC expression in airway epithelium from “Th2-high” asthmatics. Allergen-challenged Agr2−/− mice had greater than 50% reductions in MUC5AC and MUC5B proteins compared with allergen-challenged wild-type mice. Impaired mucin production in Agr2−/− mice was accompanied by an increase in the proportion of mucins contained within the ER and by evidence of ER stress in airway epithelium. This study shows that AGR2 increases with mucin overproduction in individuals with asthma and in mouse models of allergic airway disease. AGR2 interacts with immature mucin in the ER and loss of AGR2 impairs allergen-induced MUC5AC and MUC5B overproduction.
asthma; airway epithelium; mucus; endoplasmic reticulum stress; protein disulfide isomerase
Short palate, lung and nasal epithelium clone 1 (SPLUNC1) is enriched in normal airway lining fluid, but is significantly reduced in airway epithelium exposed to a Th2 cytokine milieu. The role of SPLUNC1 in modulating airway allergic inflammation (e.g., eosinophils) remains unknown. We used SPLUNC1 knockout (KO) and littermate wild-type (C57BL/6 background) mice and recombinant SPLUNC1 protein to determine the impact of SPLUNC1 on airway allergic/eosinophilic inflammation, and to investigate the underlying mechanisms. An acute ovalbumin (OVA) sensitization and challenge protocol was used to induce murine airway allergic inflammation (e.g., eosinophils, eotaxin-2, and Th2 cytokines). Our results showed that SPLUNC1 in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of OVA-challenged wild-type mice was significantly reduced (P < 0.05), which was negatively correlated with levels of lung eosinophilic inflammation. Moreover, SPLUNC1 KO mice demonstrated significantly higher numbers of eosinophils in the lung after OVA challenges than did wild-type mice. Alveolar macrophages isolated from OVA-challenged SPLUNC1 KO versus wild-type mice had higher concentrations of baseline eotaxin-2 that was amplified by LPS (a known risk factor for exacerbating asthma). Human recombinant SPLUNC1 protein was applied to alveolar macrophages to study the regulation of eotaxin-2 in the context of Th2 cytokine and LPS stimulation. Recombinant SPLUNC1 protein attenuated LPS-induced eotaxin-2 production in Th2 cytokine–pretreated murine macrophages. These findings demonstrate that SPLUNC1 inhibits airway eosinophilic inflammation in allergic mice, in part by reducing eotaxin-2 production in alveolar macrophages.
SPLUNC1; asthma; alveolar macrophage; Th2 cytokines; eotaxin-2
The delivery of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) to airway epithelia is a goal of many gene therapy strategies to treat cystic fibrosis. Because the native regulatory elements of the CFTR are not well characterized, the development of vectors with heterologous promoters of varying strengths and specificity would aid in our selection of optimal reagents for the appropriate expression of the vector-delivered CFTR gene. Here we contrasted the performance of several novel gene-regulatory elements. Based on airway expression analysis, we selected putative regulatory elements from BPIFA1 and WDR65 to investigate. In addition, we selected a human CFTR promoter region (∼ 2 kb upstream of the human CFTR transcription start site) to study. Using feline immunodeficiency virus vectors containing the candidate elements driving firefly luciferase, we transduced murine nasal epithelia in vivo. Luciferase expression persisted for 30 weeks, which was the duration of the experiment. Furthermore, when the nasal epithelium was ablated using the detergent polidocanol, the mice showed a transient loss of luciferase expression that returned 2 weeks after administration, suggesting that our vectors transduced a progenitor cell population. Importantly, the hWDR65 element drove sufficient CFTR expression to correct the anion transport defect in CFTR-null epithelia. These results will guide the development of optimal vectors for sufficient, sustained CFTR expression in airway epithelia.
gene transfer; lung; cystic fibrosis
We examined the association between single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) previously associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and/or lung function with COPD and COPD-related phenotypes in a novel cohort of patients with severe to very severe COPD. We examined 315 cases of COPD and 330 Caucasian control smokers from Poland. We included three SNPs previously associated with COPD: rs7671167 (FAM13A), rs13180 (IREB2), and rs8034191 (CHRNA 3/5), and four SNPs associated with lung function in a genome-wide association study of general population samples: rs2070600 (AGER), rs11134242 (ADCY2), rs4316710 (THSD4), and rs17096090 (INTS12). We tested for associations with severe COPD and COPD-related phenotypes, including lung function, smoking behavior, and body mass index. Subjects with COPD were older (average age 62 versus 58 years, P < 0.01), with more pack-years of smoking (45 versus 33 pack-years, P < 0.01). CHRNA3/5 (odds ratio [OR], 1.89; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.5–2.4; P = 7.4 × 10−7), IREB2 (OR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.5–0.9; P = 3.4 × 10−3), and ADCY2 (OR, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.1–1.7; P = 0.01) demonstrated significant associations with COPD. FAM13A (OR, 0.8; 95% CI, 0.7–1.0; P = 0.11) approached statistical significance. FAM13A and ADCY2 also demonstrated a significant association with lung function. Thus, in severe to very severe COPD, we demonstrate a replication of association between two SNPs previously associated with COPD (CHRNA3/5 and IREB2), as well as an association with COPD of one locus initially associated with lung function (ADCY2).
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; genetic association analysis; lung function; smoking; nicotine addiction
Little is known about the mechanisms of persistent airflow obstruction that result from chronic occupational endotoxin exposure. We sought to analyze the inflammatory response underlying persistent airflow obstruction as a result of chronic occupational endotoxin exposure. We developed a murine model of daily inhaled endotoxin for periods of 5 days to 8 weeks. We analyzed physiologic lung dysfunction, lung histology, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and total lung homogenate inflammatory cell and cytokine profiles, and pulmonary gene expression profiles. We observed an increase in airway hyperresponsiveness as a result of chronic endotoxin exposure. After 8 weeks, the mice exhibited an increase in bronchoalveolar lavage and lung neutrophils that correlated with an increase in proinflammatory cytokines. Detailed analyses of inflammatory cell subsets revealed an expansion of dendritic cells (DCs), and in particular, proinflammatory DCs, with a reduced percentage of macrophages. Gene expression profiling revealed the up-regulation of a panel of genes that was consistent with DC recruitment, and lung histology revealed an accumulation of DCs in inflammatory aggregates around the airways in 8-week–exposed animals. Repeated, low-dose LPS inhalation, which mirrors occupational exposure, resulted in airway hyperresponsiveness, associated with a failure to resolve the proinflammatory response, an inverted macrophage to DC ratio, and a significant rise in the inflammatory DC population. These findings point to a novel underlying mechanism of airflow obstruction as a result of occupational LPS exposure, and suggest molecular and cellular targets for therapeutic development.
airway resistance; inhalation; neutrophils; macrophages; dendritic cells; endotoxin
The genetic basis for the underlying individual susceptibility to chlorine-induced acute lung injury is unknown. To uncover the genetic basis and pathophysiological processes that could provide additional homeostatic capacities during lung injury, 40 inbred murine strains were exposed to chlorine, and haplotype association mapping was performed. The identified single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) associations were evaluated through transcriptomic and metabolomic profiling. Using ≥ 10% allelic frequency and ≥ 10% phenotype explained as threshold criteria, promoter SNPs that could eliminate putative transcriptional factor recognition sites in candidate genes were assessed by determining transcript levels through microarray and reverse real-time PCR during chlorine exposure. The mean survival time varied by approximately 5-fold among strains, and SNP associations were identified for 13 candidate genes on chromosomes 1, 4, 5, 9, and 15. Microarrays revealed several differentially enriched pathways, including protein transport (decreased more in the sensitive C57BLKS/J lung) and protein catabolic process (increased more in the resistant C57BL/10J lung). Lung metabolomic profiling revealed 95 of the 280 metabolites measured were altered by chlorine exposure, and included alanine, which decreased more in the C57BLKS/J than in the C57BL/10J strain, and glutamine, which increased more in the C57BL/10J than in the C57BLKS/J strain. Genetic associations from haplotype mapping were strengthened by an integrated assessment using transcriptomic and metabolomic profiling. The leading candidate genes associated with increased susceptibility to acute lung injury in mice included Klf4, Sema7a, Tns1, Aacs, and a gene that encodes an amino acid carrier, Slc38a4.
ARDS; countermeasures; glutamine; genetics; metabolomics
Proteoglycans (PGs) and their associated glycosaminoglycan side chains are effectors of inflammation, but little is known about changes to the composition of PGs in response to lung infection or injury. The goals of this study were to identify changes to heparan sulfate PGs in a mouse model of gram-negative pneumonia, to identify the Toll-like receptor adaptor molecules responsible for these changes, and to determine the role of the heparan sulfate PG in the innate immune response in the lungs. We treated mice with intratracheal LPS, a component of the cell wall of gram-negative bacteria, to model gram-negative pneumonia. Mice treated with intratracheal LPS had a rapid and selective increase in syndecan-4 mRNA that was regulated through MyD88-dependent mechanisms, whereas expression of several other PGs was not affected. To determine the role of syndecan-4 in the inflammatory response, we exposed mice deficient in syndecan-4 to LPS and found a significant increase in neutrophil numbers and amounts of CXC-chemokines and total protein in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. In studies performed in vitro, macrophages and epithelial cells treated with LPS had increased expression of syndecan-4. Studies performed using BEAS-2B cells showed that pretreatment with heparin and syndecan-4 decreased the expression of CXCL8 mRNA in response to LPS and TNF-α. These findings indicate that the early inflammatory response to LPS involves marked up-regulation of syndecan-4, which functions to limit the extent of pulmonary inflammation and lung injury.
innate immunity; macrophages; neutrophils; proteoglycan; syndecan
Apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) is a key component of high-density lipoproteins that mediates reverse cholesterol transport from cells and reduces vascular inflammation. We investigated whether endogenous apoA-I modulates ovalbumin (OVA)–induced airway inflammation in mice. We found that apoA-I expression was significantly reduced in the lungs of OVA-challenged, compared with saline-challenged, wild-type (WT) mice. Next, to investigate the role of endogenous apoA-I in the pathogenesis of OVA-induced airway inflammation, WT and apoA-I−/− mice were sensitized by intraperitoneal injections of OVA and aluminum hydroxide, followed by multiple nasal OVA challenges for 4 weeks. OVA-challenged apoA-I−/− mice exhibited a phenotype of increased airway neutrophils compared with WT mice, which could be rescued by an administration of a 5A apoA-I mimetic peptide. Multiple pathways promoted neutrophilic inflammation in OVA-challenged apoA-I−/− mice, including the up-regulated expression of (1) proinflammatory cytokines (IL-17A and TNF-α), (2) CXC chemokines (CXCL5), (3) vascular adhesion molecules (i.e., vascular cell adhesion molecule–1), and (4) granulocyte colony–stimulating factors (G-CSF). Because concentrations of G-CSF in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) were markedly increased in OVA-challenged apoA-I−/− mice, we hypothesized that enhanced G-CSF expression may represent the predominant pathway mediating increased neutrophilic inflammation. This was confirmed by the intranasal administration of a neutralizing anti–G-CSF antibody, which significantly reduced BALF neutrophilia by 72% in OVA-challenged apoA-I−/− mice, compared with mice that received a control antibody. We conclude that endogenous apoA-I negatively regulates OVA-induced neutrophilic airway inflammation, primarily via a G-CSF–dependent mechanism. Furthermore, these findings suggest that apoA-I may play an important role in modulating the severity of neutrophilic airway inflammation in asthma.
airway inflammation; ovalbumin; neutrophil; apolipoprotein A-I; G-CSF
Arginase II has been shown to be involved in the hypoxia-induced proliferation of human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (hPASMCs). The signal transduction pathways responsible for the induction of arginase II are poorly understood. Cyclic AMP is involved in many intracellular processes, and cAMP levels are regulated by a balance between production via adenylate cyclases and degradation via phosphodiesterases. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of cAMP on hypoxia-induced arginase expression, activity, and proliferation in hPASMCs. We found that the cAMP analog 8-Bromo-cAMP (8-Br-cAMP), the adenylate cyclase activator forskolin, and the phosphodiesterase 3 inhibitor cilostamide prevented the hypoxic induction of arginase II mRNA and protein expression in hPASMCs. The inhibition of arginase II protein was found to be mediated by exchange protein directly activated by cAMP. Arginase activity was decreased by 8-Br-cAMP, as evidenced by significantly lower Vmax for arginase in normoxia and hypoxia. The hypoxia-induced hPASMC proliferation was completely prevented by the addition of 8-Br-cAMP, forskolin, or cilostamide. These data are the first to describe the inhibitory effect of cAMP on arginase activity, expression, and resultant proliferation of hypoxic hPASMCs.
pulmonary hypertension; l-arginine; vascular remodeling; exchange protein directly activated by cAMP (Epac); phosphodiesterase
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is associated with a decreased expression of caveolin-1 (cav-1), yet its role remains unclear. To investigate the role of cav-1, we induced pulmonary fibrosis in wild-type (WT) and cav-1–deficient (cav-1−/−) mice using intratracheal instillation of bleomycin. Contrary to expectations, significantly less collagen deposition was measured in tissue from cav-1−/− mice than in their WT counterparts, consistent with reduced mRNA expression of procollagen1a2 and procollagen3a1. Moreover, cav-1−/− mice demonstrated 77% less α-smooth muscle actin staining, suggesting reduced mesenchymal cell activation. Levels of pulmonary injury, assessed by tenascin-C mRNA expression and CD44v10 detection, were significantly increased at Day 21 after injury in WT mice, an effect significantly attenuated in cav-1−/− mice. The apparent protective effect against bleomycin-induced fibrosis in cav-1−/− mice was attributed to reduce cellular senescence and apoptosis in cav-1−/− epithelial cells during the early phase of lung injury. Reduced matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9 expressions indicated a low profile of senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) in the bleomycin-injured cav-1−/− mice. However, IL-6 and macrophage inflammatory protein 2 were increased in WT and cav-1−/− mice after bleomycin challenge, suggesting that bleomycin-induced inflammatory response substantiated the SASP pool. Thus, loss of cav-1 attenuates early injury response to bleomycin by limiting stress-induced cellular senescence/apoptosis in epithelial cells. In contrast, decreased cav-1 expression promotes fibroblast activation and collagen deposition, effects that may be relevant in later stages of reparative response. Hence, therapeutic strategies to modulate the expression of cav-1 should take into account cell-specific effects in the regenerative responses of the lung epithelium to injury.
caveolin-1; lung injury; fibrosis; cellular senescence; apoptosis
Pneumocystis species are opportunistic fungal organisms that cause severe pneumonia in immune-compromised hosts, with resultant high morbidity and mortality. Recent work indicates that IL-17 responses are important components of host defense against fungal pathogens. In the present study, we demonstrate that cell-surface β-glucan components of Pneumocystis (PCBG) stimulate human dendritic cells (DCs) to secrete IL-23 and IL-6. These cytokines are well established to stimulate a T helper–17 (Th17) phenotype. Accordingly, we further observe that PCBG-stimulated human DCs interact with lymphocytes to drive the secretion of IL-17 and IL-22, both Th17-produced cytokines. The activation of DCs was shown to involve the dectin-1 receptor with a downstream activation of the Syk kinase and subsequent translocation of both the canonical and noncanonical components of the NF-κB transcription factor family. Finally, we demonstrate that glycosphingolipid-rich microdomains of the plasma membrane participate in the activation of DCs by PCBG through the accumulation of lactosylceramide at the cell surface during stimulation with PCBG. These data strongly support the idea that the β-glucan surface components of Pneumocystis drive the activation of the IL-23/IL-17 axis during this infection, through a glycosphingolipid-initiated mechanism.
Pneumocystis; β-glucan; dendritic cells; IL-23; IL-17
Although obesity is implicated in numerous health complications leading to increased mortality, the relationship between obesity and outcomes for critically ill patients appears paradoxical. Recent studies have reported better outcomes and lower levels of inflammatory cytokines in obese patients with acute lung injury (ALI)/acute respiratory distress syndrome, suggesting that obesity may ameliorate the effects of this disease. We investigated the effects of obesity in leptin-resistant db/db obese and diet-induced obese mice using an inhaled LPS model of ALI. Obesity-associated effects on neutrophil chemoattractant response were examined in bone marrow neutrophils using chemotaxis and adoptive transfer; neutrophil surface levels of chemokine receptor CXCR2 were determined by flow cytometry. Airspace neutrophilia, capillary leak, and plasma IL-6 were all decreased in obese relative to lean mice in established lung injury (24 h). No difference in airspace inflammatory cytokine levels was found between obese and lean mice in both obesity models during the early phase of neutrophil recruitment (2–6 h), but early airspace neutrophilia was reduced in db/db obese mice. Neutrophils from uninjured obese mice demonstrated diminished chemotaxis to the chemokine keratinocyte cytokine compared with lean control mice, and adoptive transfer of obese mouse neutrophils into injured lean mice revealed a defect in airspace migration of these cells. Possibly contributing to this defect, neutrophil CXCR2 expression was significantly lower in obese db/db mice, and a similar but nonsignificant decrease was seen in diet-induced obese mice. ALI is attenuated in obese mice, and this blunted response is in part attributable to an obesity-associated abnormal neutrophil chemoattractant response.
adult respiratory distress syndrome; chemotaxis; cytokines; innate immunity
Lung endothelium is believed to be a quiescent tissue with the potential to exhibit rapid and effective repair after injury. Endothelial progenitor cells derived from the bone marrow have been proposed as one source of new endothelial cells that may directly contribute to pulmonary endothelial cell homeostasis and repair. Here we use bone marrow transplantation models, using purified hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) or unfractionated whole marrow, to assess engraftment of cells in the endothelium of a variety of tissues. We find scant evidence for any contribution of bone marrow–derived cells to the pulmonary endothelium in the steady state or after recovery from hyperoxia-induced endothelial injury. Although a rare population of CD45−/CD31+/VECadherin+ bone marrow–derived cells, originating from HSCs, can be found in lung tissue after transplantation, these cells are not readily found in anatomic locations that define the pulmonary endothelium. Moreover, by tracking transplanted bone marrow cells obtained from donor transgenic mice containing endothelial lineage–selective reporters (Tie2-GFP), no contribution of bone marrow–derived cells to the adult lung, liver, pancreas, heart, and kidney endothelium can be detected, even after prolonged follow-up periods of 11 months or after recovery from hyperoxic pulmonary endothelial injury. Our findings argue against any significant engraftment of bone marrow–derived cells in the pulmonary vascular endothelium.
endothelium; vasculature; hyperoxia; EPC; bone marrow
The molecular mechanisms underlying the reduced penetrance seen in the nonsense-mediated decay–positive (NMD+) BMPR2 mutation–associated hereditary pulmonary arterial hypertension (HPAH) remain unknown. We reasoned that the cellular and genetic mechanisms behind this phenomenon could be uncovered by combining expression profiling with Connectivity Map (cMap) analysis. Cultured lymphocytes from 10 patients with HPAH and 10 matched familial control subjects, all with NMD+ BMPR2 mutations, were subjected to expression analysis. For each group, the expression data were combined before analysis. This generated a signature of 23 up-regulated and 12 down-regulated genes in patients with HPAH compared with control subjects (the “PAH penetrance signature”). Although gene set enrichment analysis of this signature was not uniquely informative, cMap analysis identified drugs with expression signatures similar to the PAH penetrance signature. Several of these drugs were predicted to influence reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation. This hypothesis was tested and confirmed in the same cells initially subjected to the expression analysis using quantitative biochemical detection of ROS concentration. We conclude that expression of the PAH penetrance signature represents an increased risk of developing clinical HPAH and that ROS formation may play a role in pathogenesis of HPAH. These results provide the first molecular insights into NMD+ BMPR2 related HPAH penetrance and highlight the potential utility of cMap analyses in pulmonary research.
hereditary pulmonary arterial hypertention; ROS; connectivity map; expression signature; BMPR2
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of mortality in the United States. The major cause of COPD is cigarette smoking. Extensive leukocyte influx into the lungs, mediated by chemokines, is a critical event leading to COPD. Although both resident and myeloid cells secrete chemokines in response to inflammatory stimuli, little is known about the role of epithelial-derived chemokines, such as CXC chemokine ligand (CXCL)5, in the pathogenesis of cigarette smoke–induced inflammation. To explore the role of CXCL5, we generated CXCL5 gene–deficient mice and exposed them to secondhand smoke (SHS) for 5 hours/day for 5 days/week up to 3 weeks (subacute exposure). We observed a reduced recruitment of leukocytes to the lungs of CXCL5−/− mice compared with their wild-type (WT) counterparts, and noted that macrophages comprised the predominant leukocytes recruited to the lungs. Irradiation experiments performed on CXCL5−/− or WT mice transplanted with WT or CXCL5−/− bone marrow revealed that resident but not hematopoietic cell–driven CXCL5 is important for mediating SHS-induced lung inflammation. Interestingly, we observed a significant reduction of monocyte chemotactic protein–1 (MCP-1/CC chemokine ligand 2) concentrations in the lungs of CXCL5−/− mice. The instillation of recombinant MCP-1 in CXCL5−/− mice reversed macrophage recruitment. Our results also show the reduced activation of NF-κB/p65 in the lungs, as well as the attenuated activation of C-Jun N-terminal kinase, p42/44, and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases and the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 in the lungs of SHS-exposed CXCL5−/− mice. Our findings suggest an important role for CXCL5 in augmenting leukocyte recruitment in SHS-induced lung inflammation, and provide novel insights into CXCL5-driven pathogenesis.
smoke; CXCL5/LIX; macrophages; chemokines; cytokines
Type-1 and type-2 lung granulomas, respectively, elicited by bead immobilized Mycobacteria bovis and Schistosoma mansoni egg antigens (Ags) display different patterns of chemokine expression. This study tested the hypothesis that chemokine expression patterns were related to upstream cytokine signaling. Using quantitative transcript analysis, we defined expression profiles for 16 chemokines and then examined the in vivo effects of neutralizing antibodies against interferon-γ (IFN-γ), interleukin (IL)-4, IL-10, IL-12, and IL-13. Transcripts for CXCL2, −5, −9, −10, and −11 and the CCL chemokine, CCL3, and lymphotactin (XCL1), were largely enhanced by Th1-related cytokines, IFN-γ or IL-12. Transcripts for CCL11, CCL22, CCL17, and CCL1 were enhanced largely by Th2-related cytokines, IL-4, IL-10, or IL-13. Transcripts for CCL4, CCL2, CCL8, CCL7, and CCL12 were potentially induced by either Th1- or Th2-related cytokines, although some of these showed biased expression. IFN-γ and IL-4 enhanced the greatest complement of transcripts, and their neutralization had the greatest anti-inflammatory effect on type-1 and type-2 granulomas, respectively. Th1/Th2 cross-regulation was evident because endogenous Th2 cytokines inhibited type-1, whereas Th1 cytokines inhibited type-2 biased chemokines. These findings reveal a complex cytokine–chemokine regulatory network that dictates profiles of local chemokine expression during T cell–mediated granuloma formation.
Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a neutrophil (polymorphonuclear leukocyte; PMN)–driven lung injury that is associated with fever and heat-stroke, and involves approximately 40% mortality. In murine models of acute lung injury (ALI), febrile-range hyperthermia (FRH) enhanced PMN accumulation, vascular permeability, and epithelial injury, in part by augmenting pulmonary cysteine-x-cysteine (CXC) chemokine expression. To determine whether FRH increases chemokine responsiveness within the lung, we used in vivo and in vitro models that bypass the endogenous generation of chemokines. We measured PMN transalveolar migration (TAM) in mice after intratracheal instillations of the human CXC chemokine IL-8 in vivo, and of IL-8–directed PMN transendothelial migration (TEM) through human lung microvascular endothelial cell (HMVEC-L) monolayers in vitro. Pre-exposure to FRH increased in vivo IL-8–directed PMN TAM by 23.5-fold and in vitro TEM by 7-fold. Adoptive PMN transfer demonstrated that enhanced PMN TAM required both PMN donors and recipients to be exposed to FRH, suggesting interdependent effects on PMNs and endothelium. FRH exposure caused the activation of extracellular signal–regulated kinase (ERK) and p38 mitogen–activated protein kinase in lung homogenates and circulating PMNs, with an associated increase in HSP27 phosphorylation and stress-fiber formation. The inhibition of these signaling pathways with U0126 and SB203580 blocked the effects of FRH on PMN extravasation in vivo and in vitro. Collectively, these results (1) demonstrate that FRH augments chemokine-directed PMN extravasation through direct effects on endothelium and PMNs, (2) identify ERK and p38 signaling pathways in the effect, and (3) underscore the complex effects of physiologic temperature change on innate immune function and its potential consequences for lung injury.
ARDS; neutrophil; endothelium; febrile-range hyperthermia; p38 MAP kinase
Vitronectin is present in large concentrations in serum and the extracellular matrix. Although vitronectin is known to modulate neutrophil adhesion and chemotaxis, and to contribute to neutrophil-associated proinflammatory processes, a role in apoptosis has not been demonstrated. In the present studies, we found that neutrophils demonstrated more rapid progression to spontaneous or TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand–induced apoptosis when incubated under vitronectin-free conditions than when vitronectin was present. The ability of native vitronectin to delay neutrophil apoptosis was not recapitulated by the vitronectin somatomedin B domain. In contrast, inclusion of the cyclo[Arg-Gly-Asp-D-Phe-Val] peptide in cultures containing vitronectin resulted in enhanced neutrophil apoptosis, showing that the vitronectin RGD motif (Arg-Gly-Asp motif) was responsible for the antiapoptotic effects of vitronectin. Addition of antibodies to β1, β3, or β5, but not to β2 or β4 integrins, reversed the ability of vitronectin to diminish neutrophil apoptosis. The ability of vitronectin to enhance neutrophil viability was dependent on activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and extracellular signal–regulated kinase 1/2 kinases, but not on the p38 kinase. Increased numbers of apoptotic neutrophils were present in the lungs of LPS-treated transgenic vitronectin-deficient mice, as compared with control mice. These results demonstrate a novel antiapoptotic function for vitronectin.
vitronectin; inflammation; neutrophils; apoptosis; lung injury
Pulmonary endothelial functions are critical to maintain the low pressure of the pulmonary circulation and effective diffusion capacity of the lung. To investigate pulmonary endothelial cell biology in healthy or diseased lungs, we developed methods to harvest and culture pure populations of primary pulmonary arterial endothelial cells and microvascular endothelial cells from human lung explanted at time of transplantation or from donor lungs not used in transplantation. The purity and characteristics of cultured endothelial cells is ascertained by morphologic criteria using phase contrast and electron microscopy; phenotypic expression profile for endothelial specific proteins such as endothelial nitric oxide synthase, platelet/endothelial cell adhesion molecule, and von Willbrand factor; and endothelial function assays such as Dil-acetylated low-density lipoprotein uptake and tube formation. This detailed method provides researchers with the ability to establish cells for molecular, genetic, and biochemical investigation of human pulmonary vascular diseases.
lung; endothelium; smooth muscle cells; microvascular cells; pulmonary hypertension
Thy-1 is a glycosylphosphytidylinositol-linked cell-surface glycoprotein present on a subset of lung fibroblasts, which plays an important role in postnatal alveolarization. In the present study, we define the role of Thy-1 in pulmonary lipofibroblast differentiation and in the regulation of lipid homeostasis via peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor–γ (PPARγ). Thy-1 was associated with interstitial cells containing lipid droplets in vivo. The transfection of Thy-1 into Thy-1 (−) fibroblasts increased triglyceride content, fatty-acid uptake, and the expression of the lipofibroblast marker adipocyte differentiation–related protein. Thy-1 (+) fibroblasts exhibited 2.4-fold higher PPARγ activity, and the inhibition or activation of PPARγ reduced and increased triglyceride content, respectively. Thy-1 (−) fibroblasts were not responsive to either of the PPARγ agonists ciglitazone or prostaglandin J2, supporting the importance of Thy-1 in signaling via PPARγ. Thy-1 (+) fibroblasts expressed significantly higher concentrations of fatty-acid transporter protein–3 mRNA, and demonstrated higher rates of fatty-acid uptake and increased triglyceride content. The inhibition of fatty-acid transporter protein function reduced Thy-1 (+) fibroblast lipid content. The expression of Thy-1 in C57BL/6 lung fibroblasts increased during the neonatal period, coinciding with the onset of alveolarization. Thy-1 promoted lipofibroblast differentiation via the expression of PPARγ, stimulated lipid accumulation via fatty-acid esterification, and enhanced the fatty-acid uptake mediated by fatty-acid transporter proteins. Thy-1 is important in the regulation of lipofibroblast differentiation in the developing lung.
Thy-1; lipofibroblast; PPARγ; lipid metabolism
Mycoplasma pneumoniae causes acute and chronic lung infections in humans, leading to a variety of pulmonary and extrapulmonary sequelae. Of the airway complications of M. pneumoniae infection, M. pneumoniae–associated exacerbation of asthma and pediatric wheezing are emerging as significant sources of human morbidity. However, M. pneumoniae products capable of promoting allergic inflammation are unknown. Recently, we reported that M. pneumoniae produces an ADP-ribosylating and vacuolating toxin termed the community-acquired respiratory distress syndrome (CARDS) toxin. Here we report that naive mice exposed to a single dose of recombinant CARDS (rCARDS) toxin respond with a robust inflammatory response consistent with allergic disease. rCARDS toxin induced 30-fold increased expression of the Th-2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-13 and 70- to 80-fold increased expression of the Th-2 chemokines CCL17 and CCL22, corresponding to a mixed cellular inflammatory response comprised of a robust eosinophilia, accumulation of T cells and B cells, and mucus metaplasia. The inflammatory responses correlate temporally with toxin-dependent increases in airway hyperreactivity characterized by increases in airway restriction and decreases in lung compliance. Furthermore, CARDS toxin–mediated changes in lung function and histopathology are dependent on CD4+ T cells. Altogether, the data suggest that rCARDS toxin is capable of inducing allergic-type inflammation in naive animals and may represent a causal factor in M. pneumoniae–associated asthma.
Mycoplasma pneumoniae; asthma; rCARDS toxin; eosinophilia; T cell
The incidence of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) increases with age. The mechanisms that underlie the age-dependent risk for IPF are unknown. Based on studies that suggest an association of IPF and γherpesvirus infection, we infected young (2–3 mo) and old (≥18 mo) C57BL/6 mice with the murine γherpesvirus 68. Acute murine γherpesvirus 68 infection in aging mice resulted in severe pneumonitis and fibrosis compared with young animals. Progressive clinical deterioration and lung fibrosis in the late chronic phase of infection was observed exclusively in old mice with diminution of tidal volume. Infected aging mice showed higher expression of transforming growth factor-β during the acute phase of infection. In addition, aging, infected mice showed elevation of proinflammatory cytokines and the fibrocyte recruitment chemokine, CXCL12, in bronchoalveolar lavage. Analyses of lytic virus infection and virus reactivation indicate that old mice were able to control chronic infection and elicit antivirus immune responses. However, old, infected mice showed a significant increase in apoptotic responses determined by in situ terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling assay, levels of caspase-3, and expression of the proapoptotitc molecule, Bcl-2 interacting mediator. Apoptosis of type II lung epithelial cells in aging lungs was accompanied by up-regulation of endoplasmic reticulum stress marker, binding immunoglobulin protein, and splicing of X-box–binding protein 1. These results indicate that the aging lung is more susceptible to injury and fibrosis associated with endoplasmic reticulum stress, apoptosis of type II lung epithelial cells, and activation of profibrotic pathways.
idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; lung; aging; γherpesvirus; endoplasmic reticulum stress
Lung contusion (LC), commonly observed in patients with thoracic trauma is a leading risk factor for development of acute lung injury/acute respiratory distress syndrome. Previously, we have shown that CC chemokine ligand (CCL)-2, a monotactic chemokine abundant in the lungs, is significantly elevated in LC. This study investigated the nature of protection afforded by CCL-2 in acute lung injury/acute respiratory distress syndrome during LC, using rats and CC chemokine receptor (CCR) 2 knockout (CCR2−/−) mice. Rats injected with a polyclonal antibody to CCL-2 showed higher levels of albumin and IL-6 in the bronchoalveolar lavage and myeloperoxidase in the lung tissue after LC. Closed-chest bilateral LC demonstrated CCL-2 localization in alveolar macrophages (AMs) and epithelial cells. Subsequent experiments performed using a murine model of LC showed that the extent of injury, assessed by pulmonary compliance and albumin levels in the bronchoalveolar lavage, was higher in the CCR2−/− mice when compared with the wild-type (WT) mice. We also found increased release of IL-1β, IL-6, macrophage inflammatory protein-1, and keratinocyte chemoattractant, lower recruitment of AMs, and higher neutrophil infiltration and phagocytic activity in CCR2−/− mice at 24 hours. However, impaired phagocytic activity was observed at 48 hours compared with the WT. Production of CCL-2 and macrophage chemoattractant protein-5 was increased in the absence of CCR2, thus suggesting a negative feedback mechanism of regulation. Isolated AMs in the CCR2−/− mice showed a predominant M1 phenotype compared with the predominant M2 phenotype in WT mice. Taken together, the above results show that CCL-2 is functionally important in the down-modulation of injury and inflammation in LC.
lung contusion; macrophage chemoattractant protein-1; CC chemokine ligand-2; CC chemokine receptor 2; inflammation