Aims: Nrf2 is an essential transcription factor for protection against oxidant disorders. However, its role in organ development and neonatal disease has received little attention. Therapeutically administered oxygen has been considered to contribute to bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in prematurity. The current study was performed to determine Nrf2-mediated molecular events during saccular-to-alveolar lung maturation, and the role of Nrf2 in the pathogenesis of hyperoxic lung injury using newborn Nrf2-deficient (Nrf2−/−) and wild-type (Nrf2+/+) mice. Results: Pulmonary basal expression of cell cycle, redox balance, and lipid/carbohydrate metabolism genes was lower while lymphocyte immunity genes were more highly expressed in Nrf2−/− neonates than in Nrf2+/+ neonates. Hyperoxia-induced phenotypes, including mortality, arrest of saccular-to-alveolar transition, and lung edema, and inflammation accompanying DNA damage and tissue oxidation were significantly more severe in Nrf2−/− neonates than in Nrf2+/+ neonates. During lung injury pathogenesis, Nrf2 orchestrated expression of lung genes involved in organ injury and morphology, cellular growth/proliferation, vasculature development, immune response, and cell–cell interaction. Bioinformatic identification of Nrf2 binding motifs and augmented hyperoxia-induced inflammation in genetically deficient neonates supported Gpx2 and Marco as Nrf2 effectors. Innovation: This investigation used lung transcriptomics and gene targeted mice to identify novel molecular events during saccular-to-alveolar stage transition and to elucidate Nrf2 downstream mechanisms in protection from hyperoxia-induced injury in neonate mouse lungs. Conclusion:
Nrf2 deficiency augmented lung injury and arrest of alveolarization caused by hyperoxia during the newborn period. Results suggest a therapeutic potential of specific Nrf2 activators for oxidative stress-associated neonatal disorders including BPD. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 00, 000–000.
Oxidative stress is integral to the development of endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular disease. As NRF2 is a key transcription factor in antioxidant defense, we aimed to determine whether polymorphisms within the promoter region of the gene encoding NRF2 (NFE2L2) would significantly modify vasodilator responses in humans.
Associations between the – 653A/G (rs35652124), – 651G/A (rs6706649), and – 617C/A (rs6721961) polymorphisms within the NFE2L2 promoter and vascular function were evaluated in healthy African-American (n= 64) and white (n= 184) individuals. Forearm blood flow (FBF) was measured by strain-gauge venous occlusion plethysmography at baseline and in response to incremental doses of bradykinin or sodium nitroprusside. Forearm vascular resistance (FVR) was calculated as the mean arterial pressure/FBF.
In African Americans, – 653G variant allele carriers had significantly lower FBF and higher FVR under basal conditions as well as in response to bradykinin or sodium nitroprusside compared with wild-type individuals (P< 0.05 for each comparison). In whites, although no significant associations were observed with the – 653A/G genotype, – 617A variant allele carriers had significantly higher FVR at baseline and in response to bradykinin or sodium nitroprusside compared with wild-type individuals (P < 0.05 for each comparison). The – 651G/A polymorphism was not associated with vasodilator responses in either racial group.
Polymorphisms within the NFE2L2 promoter were associated with impaired forearm vasodilator responses in an endothelial-independent manner, suggesting an important role of NRF2 in the regulation of vascular function in humans.
bradykinin; NFE2L2; NRF2; polymorphism; sodium nitroprusside; vascular function
Ozone (O3) is a strong oxidant in air pollution that has harmful effects on airways and exacerbates respiratory disorders. The transcription factor Nrf2 protects airways from oxidative stress through antioxidant response element-bearing defense gene induction. The present study was designed to determine the role of Nrf2 in airway toxicity caused by inhaled O3 in mice. For this purpose, Nrf2-deficient (Nrf2−/−) and wild-type (Nrf2+/+) mice received acute and subacute exposures to O3. Lung injury was determined by bronchoalveolar lavage and histopathologic analyses. Oxidation markers and mucus hypersecretion were determined by ELISA, and Nrf2 and its downstream effectors were determined by RT-PCR and/or Western blotting. Acute and sub-acute O3 exposures heightened pulmonary inflammation, edema, and cell death more severely in Nrf2−/− mice than in Nrf2+/+ mice. O3 caused bronchiolar and terminal bronchiolar proliferation in both genotypes of mice, while the intensity of compensatory epithelial proliferation, bronchial mucous cell hyperplasia, and mucus hypersecretion was greater in Nrf2−/− mice than in Nrf2+/+ mice. Relative to Nrf2+/+, O3 augmented lung protein and lipid oxidation more highly in Nrf2−/− mice. Results suggest that Nrf2 deficiency exacerbates oxidative stress and airway injury caused by the environmental pollutant O3.
Nrf2 protects the lung from adverse responses to oxidants, including 100% oxygen (hyperoxia) and airborne pollutants like particulate matter (PM) exposure, but the role of Nrf2 on heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) responses is not known. We hypothesized that genetic disruption of Nrf2 would exacerbate murine HR and HRV responses to severe hyperoxia or moderate PM exposures. Nrf2−/− and Nrf2+/+ mice were instrumented for continuous ECG recording to calculate HR and HRV (low frequency (LF), high frequency (HF), and total power (TP)). Mice were then either exposed to hyperoxia for up to 72 hrs or aspirated with ultrafine PM (UF-PM). Compared to respective controls, UF-PM induced significantly greater effects on HR (P < 0.001) and HF HRV (P < 0.001) in Nrf2−/− mice compared to Nrf2+/+ mice. Nrf2−/− mice tolerated hyperoxia significantly less than Nrf2+/+ mice (~22 hrs; P < 0.001). Reductions in HR, LF, HF, and TP HRV were also significantly greater in Nrf2−/− compared to Nrf2+/+ mice (P < 0.01). Results demonstrate that Nrf2 deletion increases susceptibility to change in HR and HRV responses to environmental stressors and suggest potential therapeutic strategies to prevent cardiovascular alterations.
Exposure of mice to hyperoxia produces pulmonary toxicity similar to acute lung injury/acute respiratory distress syndrome, but little is known about the interactions within the cardiopulmonary system. This study was designed to characterize the cardiopulmonary response to hyperoxia, and to identify candidate susceptibility genes in mice. Electrocardiogram and ventilatory data were recorded continuously from 4 inbred and 29 recombinant inbred strains during 96 hours of hyperoxia (100% oxygen). Genome-wide linkage analysis was performed in 27 recombinant inbred strains against response time indices (TIs) calculated from each cardiac phenotype. Reductions in minute ventilation, heart rate (HR), low-frequency (LF) HR variability (HRV), high-frequency HRV, and total power HRV were found in all mice during hyperoxia exposure, but the lag time before these changes began was strain dependent. Significant (chromosome 9) or suggestive (chromosomes 3 and 5) quantitative trait loci were identified for the HRTI and LFTI. Functional polymorphisms in several candidate susceptibility genes were identified within the quantitative trait loci and were associated with hyperoxia susceptibility. This is the first study to report highly significant interstrain variation in hyperoxia-induced changes in minute ventilation, HR, and HRV, and to identify polymorphisms in candidate susceptibility genes that associate with cardiac responses. Results indicate that changes in HR and LF HRV could be important predictors of subsequent adverse outcome during hyperoxia exposure, specifically the pathogenesis of acute lung injury. Understanding the genetic mechanisms of these responses may have significant diagnostic clinical value.
heart rate; hyperoxia; genome-wide mapping
The increasing number of population-based and epidemiological associations between oxidant pollutant exposures and cardiopulmonary disease exacerbation, decrements in pulmonary function, and mortality underscores the important detrimental effects of oxidants on public health. Because inhaled oxidants initiate a number of pathologic processes, including inflammation of the airways which may contribute to the pathogenesis and/or exacerbation of airways disease, it is critical to understand the mechanisms through which exogenous and endogenous oxidants interact with molecules in the cells, tissues, and epithelial lining fluid (ELF) of the lung. Furthermore, it is clear that inter-individual variation in response to a given exposure also exists across an individual lifetime. Because of the potential impact that oxidant exposures may have on reproductive outcomes and infant, child, and adult health, identification of the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that may influence susceptibility to oxidants remains an important issue. In this review, we discuss mechanisms of oxidant stress in the lung, the role of oxidants in lung disease pathogenesis and exacerbation (e.g. asthma, COPD, and ARDS), and the potential risk factors (e.g. age, genetics) for enhanced susceptibility to oxidant-induced disease.
oxidative stress; antioxidant; genetics; susceptibility; infant; reproductive outcome; premature; children; elderly; asthma; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; ozone; pollutants; particulates; PM; acute respiratory distress syndrome; hyperoxia; SNP; single nucleotide polymorphism
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells contribute to the development and progression of vascular diseases. We have recently shown that hyperoxia enhances NADPH Oxidase 4 (NOX4) expression, which regulates lung endothelial cell migration and angiogenesis. Regulation of NOX4 is poorly understood in the vasculature. The objective of this study is to identify transcriptional factor(s) involved in regulation of endothelial NOX4. We found that hyperoxia induced NOX4 expression was markedly reduced in Nrf2-/- mice, compared to Nrf2+/+ mice. Exposure of human lung microvascular endothelial cells (HLMVECs) to hyperoxia stimulated NRF2 translocation from the cytoplasm to the nucleus and increased NOX4 expression. Knock down of NRF2 expression using a siRNA approach attenuated basal NOX4 expression; however, it enhanced superoxide/ROS generation under both normoxia and hyperoxia. In silico analysis revealed presence of at least three consensus sequences for the antioxidant response element (ARE) in the promoter region of NOX4. In transient transfections, hyperoxia stimulated NOX4promoter activity in HLMVECs, and deletion of -438 to -458 and -619 to -636 sequences markedly reduced hyperoxia-stimulated NOX4 promoter activation. ChIP analysis revealed an enhanced recruitment of NRF2 to endogenous NOX4 promoter spanning these two AREs following hyperoxic insult. Collectively, these results demonstrate, for the first time, a novel role of NRF2 in regulating hyperoxia-induced NOX4 transcription via AREs in lung endothelium.
Cellular oxidative and electrophilic stress triggers a protective response in mammals regulated by NRF2 (nuclear factor (erythroid-derived) 2-like; NFE2L2) binding to deoxyribonucleic acid-regulatory sequences near stress-responsive genes. Studies using Nrf2-deficient mice suggest that hundreds of genes may be regulated by NRF2. To identify human NRF2-regulated genes, we conducted chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-sequencing experiments in lymphoid cells treated with the dietary isothiocyanate, sulforaphane (SFN) and carried out follow-up biological experiments on candidates. We found 242 high confidence, NRF2-bound genomic regions and 96% of these regions contained NRF2-regulatory sequence motifs. The majority of binding sites were near potential novel members of the NRF2 pathway. Validation of selected candidate genes using parallel ChIP techniques and in NRF2-silenced cell lines indicated that the expression of about two-thirds of the candidates are likely to be directly NRF2-dependent including retinoid X receptor alpha (RXRA). NRF2 regulation of RXRA has implications for response to retinoid treatments and adipogenesis. In mouse, 3T3-L1 cells’ SFN treatment affected Rxra expression early in adipogenesis, and knockdown of Nrf2-delayed Rxra expression, both leading to impaired adipogenesis.
While the ABCB1 (P-glycoprotein) drug transporter is a constituent of several blood-tissue barriers (i.e. blood-brain and blood-nerve), its participation in a putative blood-heart barrier has been poorly explored. ABCB1 could decrease the intracardiac concentrations of drugs that cause QT-prolongation and cardiotoxicity.
ABCB1-related romidepsin transport kinetics were explored in LLC-PK1 cells transfected with different ABCB1 genetic variants. ABCB1 plasma and intracardiac concentrations were determined in Abcb1a/1b (−/−) mice and wild-type FVB controls. These same mice were used to evaluate romidepsin-induced QTc prolongation over time. Finally, a cohort of 83 individuals with available QTcB and ABCB1 genotyping data were used to compare allelic variation in ABCB1 versus QTc-prolongation phenotype.
Here, we demonstrate that mice lacking the ABCB1-type P-glycoprotein have higher intracardiac concentrations of a model ABCB1 substrate, romidepsin, that correspond to changes in QT-prolongation from baseline (ΔQTc) over time. Consistent with this observation, we also demonstrate that patients carrying genetic variants that could raise ABCB1 expression in the cardiac endothelium have lower ΔQTc following a single dose of romidepsin.
To our knowledge, this is the first evidence that Abcb1-type P-glycoprotein can limit intracardiac exposure to a drug that mediates QT-prolongation and suggests that certain commonly inherited polymorphisms in ABCB1 may serve as markers for QT-prolongation following the administration of ABCB1-substrate drugs.
Depsipeptide; FK228; polymorphisms; ABCB1; QTc
Nrf2 is a key transcription factor that regulates cellular redox and defense responses. However, permanent Nrf2 activation in human lung carcinomas promotes pulmonary malignancy and chemoresistance. We tested the hypothesis that Nrf2 has cell survival properties and lack of Nrf2 suppresses chemically-induced pulmonary neoplasia by treating Nrf2+/+ and Nrf2-/- mice with urethane. Airway inflammation and injury were assessed by bronchoalveolar lavage analyses and histopathology, and lung tumors were analyzed by gross and histologic analysis. We used transcriptomics to assess Nrf2-dependent changes in pulmonary gene transcripts at multiple stages of neoplasia. Lung hyperpermeability, cell death and apoptosis, and inflammatory cell infiltration were significantly higher in Nrf2-/- mice compared to Nrf2+/+ mice 9 and 11 wk after urethane. Significantly fewer lung adenomas were found in Nrf2-/- mice than in Nrf2+/+ mice at 12 and 22 wk. Nrf2 modulated expression of genes involved cell-cell signaling, glutathione metabolism and oxidative stress response, and immune responses during early stage neoplasia. In lung tumors, Nrf2-altered genes had roles in transcriptional regulation of cell cycle and proliferation, carcinogenesis, organismal injury and abnormalities, xenobiotic metabolism, and cell-cell signaling genes. Collectively, Nrf2 deficiency decreased susceptibility to urethane-induced lung tumorigenesis in mice. Cell survival properties of Nrf2 were supported, at least in part, by reduced early death of initiated cells and heightened advantage for tumor cell expansion in Nrf2+/+ mice relative to Nrf2-/- mice. Our results were consistent with the concept that Nrf2 over-activation is an adaptive response of cancer conferring resistance to anti-cancer drugs and promoting malignancy.
Asthma is a known risk factor for acute ozone-associated respiratory disease. Ozone (O3) causes an immediate decrease in lung function and increased airway inflammation. The role of atopy and asthma in modulation of O3-induced inflammation has not been determined.
To determine if atopic status modulates O3 response phenotypes in humans.
Fifty volunteers (25 normal volunteers, 14 atopic non-asthmatics, 11 atopic asthmatics not requiring maintenance therapy) underwent a 0.4 ppm O3 exposure protocol. Ozone response was determined by changes in lung function and induced sputum composition, including airway inflammatory cell concentration, cell surface markers, cytokine and hyaluronic acid concentration.
All cohorts experienced similar decreases in lung function post O3. Atopics and atopic asthmatics had increased sputum neutrophils and IL-8 after O3 exposure; levels did not significantly change in normal volunteers. Following O3 exposure, atopic asthmatics had significantly increased sputum IL-6 and IL-1 β, and airway macrophage TLR4, FceRI, and CD23 expression; levels in normal volunteers and atopic non-asthmatics showed no significant change. Atopic asthmatics had significantly decreased IL-10 at baseline compared to normal volunteers: IL-10 did not significantly change in any group with O3. All groups had similar levels of hyaluronic acid at baseline, with increased levels after O3 exposure in atopics and atopic asthmatics.
Atopic asthmatics have increased airway inflammatory responses to O3. Elevated TLR4 expression suggests a potential pathway through which O3 generates the inflammatory response in allergic asthmatics but not in atopics without asthma.
These observations suggest that mild atopic asthma confers increased risk for exacerbation of O3-induced lung disease through promoting an enhanced innate immune inflammatory response to O3.
ozone; innate immunity; asthma; atopy; hyaluronic acid; environmental airways disease; interleukin-1 beta; interleukin-10
Ozone and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) are environmental pollutants with adverse health effects noted in both healthy and asthmatic individuals. The authors and others have shown that inhalation of ozone and LPS both induce airway neutrophilia. Based on these similarities, the authors tested the hypothesis that common biological factors determine response to these two different agents. Fifteen healthy, nonasthmatic volunteers underwent a 0.4 part per million ozone exposure for 2 h while performing intermittent moderate exercise. These same subjects underwent an inhaled LPS challenge with 20,000 LPS units of Clinical Center Reference LPS, with a minimum of 1 month separating these two challenge sessions. Induced sputum was obtained 24 h before and 4–6 h after each exposure session. Sputum was assessed for total and differential cell counts and expression of cell surface proteins as measured by flow cytometry. Sputum supernatants were assayed for cytokine concentration. Both ozone and LPS challenge augmented sputum neutrophils and subjects’ responses were significantly correlated (R = .73) with each other. Ozone had greater overall influence on cell surface proteins by modifying both monocytes (CD14, human leukocyte antigen [HLA]-DR, CD11b) and macrophages (CD11b, HLA-DR) versus LPS where CD14 and HLA-DR were modified only on monocytes. However, LPS significantly increased interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, with no significant increases seen after ozone challenge. Ozone and LPS exposure in healthy volunteers induce similar neutrophil responses in the airways; however, downstream activation of innate immune responses differ, suggesting that oxidant versus bacterial air pollutants may be mediated by different mechanisms.
Ozone (O3) remains a prevalent air pollutant and public health concern. Inf2 is a significant quantitative trait locus (QTL) on murine chromosome 17 that contributes to susceptibility to O3-induced infiltration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) into the lung, but the mechanisms of susceptibility remain unclear. The study objectives were to confirm and restrict Inf2, and to identify and test novel candidate susceptibility gene(s).
Congenic strains of mice that contained overlapping regions of Inf2 and their controls, and mice deficient in either MHC Class II genes or the Tnf cluster were exposed to air or O3. Lung inflammation and gene expression were assessed.
Inf2 was restricted from 16.42 Mbp to 0.96 Mbp, and bioinformatic analysis identified MHC class II, the Tnf cluster, and other genes in this region that contain potentially informative SNPs between the susceptible and resistant mice. Furthermore, O3-induced inflammation was significantly reduced in mice deficient in MHC class II genes, or the Tnf cluster genes, compared to wild-type controls. Gene expression differences were also observed in MHC class II and Tnf cluster genes.
This integrative genetic analysis of Inf2 led to identification of novel O3 susceptibility genes that may provide important, new therapeutic targets in susceptible individuals.
inflammation; lymphotoxin α; mouse; major histocompatibility complex; susceptibility; tumor necrosis factor
Background: Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) is involved in ozone (O3)-induced pulmonary hyperpermeability and inflammation, although the downstream signaling events are unknown.
Objectives: The aims of our study were to determine the mechanism through which TLR4 modulates O3-induced pulmonary responses and to use transcriptomics to determine potential TLR4 effector molecules.
Methods: C3H/HeJ (HeJ; Tlr4 mutant) and C3H/HeOuJ (OuJ; Tlr4 normal) mice were exposed continuously to 0.3 ppm O3 or filtered air for 6, 24, 48, or 72 hr. We assessed inflammation using bronchoalveolar lavage and molecular analysis by mRNA microarray, quantitative RT-PCR (real-time polymerase chain reaction), immunoblots, immunostaining, and ELISAs (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays). B6-Hspa1a/Hspa1btm1Dix/NIEHS (Hsp70–/–) and C57BL/6 (B6; Hsp70+/+ wild-type control) mice were used for candidate gene validation studies.
Results: O3-induced TLR4 signaling occurred through myeloid differentiation protein 88 (MyD88)-dependent and -independent pathways in OuJ mice and involved multiple downstream pathways. Genomewide transcript analyses of lungs from air- and O3-exposed HeJ and OuJ mice identified a cluster of genes that were significantly up-regulated in O3-exposed OuJ mice compared with O3-exposed HeJ mice or air-exposed controls of both strains; this cluster included genes for heat-shock proteins (e.g., Hspa1b, Hsp70). Moreover, O3-induced inflammation, MyD88
up-regulation, extracellular-signal–related kinase-1/2 (ERK1/2) and activator protein-1 (AP-1) activation, and kerotinocyte-derived chemokine (KC) protein content were significantly reduced in Hspa1a/Hspa1btm1Dix (Hsp70–/–) compared with Hsp70+/+ mice (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: These studies suggest that HSP70 is an effector molecule downstream of TLR4 and is involved in the regulation of O3-induced lung inflammation by triggering similar pathways to TLR4. These novel findings may have therapeutic and preventive implications for inflammatory diseases resulting from environmental exposures.
heat-shock protein 70; inflammation; ozone; pulmonary; toll-like receptor 4; transcriptomics
Rationale: The NF-E2 related factor 2 (Nrf2)–antioxidant response element (ARE) pathway is essential for protection against oxidative injury and inflammation including hyperoxia-induced acute lung injury. Microarray expression profiling revealed that lung peroxisome proliferator activated receptor γ (PPARγ) induction is suppressed in hyperoxia-susceptible Nrf2-deficient (Nrf2−/−) mice compared with wild-type (Nrf2+/+) mice. PPARγ has pleiotropic beneficial effects including antiinflammation in multiple tissues.
Objectives: We tested the hypothesis that PPARγ is an important determinant of pulmonary responsivity to hyperoxia regulated by Nrf2.
Methods: A computational bioinformatic method was applied to screen potential AREs in the Pparg promoter for Nrf2 binding. The functional role of a potential ARE was investigated by in vitro promoter analysis. A role for PPARγ in hyperoxia-induced acute lung injury was determined by temporal silencing of PPARγ via intranasal delivery of PPARγ-specific interference RNA and by administration of a PPARγ ligand 15-deoxy-Δ12,14-prostaglandin J2 in mice.
Measurements and Main Results: Deletion or site-directed mutagenesis of a potential ARE spanning -784/-764 sequence significantly attenuated hyperoxia-increased Pparg promoter activity in airway epithelial cells overexpressing Nrf2, indicating that the -784/-764 ARE is critical for Nrf2-regulated PPARγ expression. Mice with decreased lung PPARγ by specific interference RNA treatment had significantly augmented hyperoxia-induced pulmonary inflammation and injury. 15 Deoxy-Δ12,14-prostaglandin J2 administration significantly reduced hyperoxia-induced lung inflammation and edema in Nrf2+/+, but not in Nrf2−/− mice.
Conclusions: Results indicate for the first time that Nrf2-driven PPARγ induction has an essential protective role in pulmonary oxidant injury. Our observations provide new insights into the therapeutic potential of PPARγ in airway oxidative inflammatory disorders.
antioxidant response element; hyperoxia; inflammation; siRNA; 15d-PGJ2
The rapid decline in the cost of dense genotyping is paving the way for new DNA sequence-based laboratory tests to move quickly into clinical practice, and to ultimately help realize the promise of ‘personalized’ therapies. These advances are based on the growing appreciation of genetics as an important dimension in science and the practice of investigative pharmacology and toxicology. On the clinical side, both the regulators and the pharmaceutical industry hope that the early identification of individuals prone to adverse drug effects will keep advantageous medicines on the market for the benefit of the vast majority of prospective patients. On the environmental health protection side, there is a clear need for better science to define the range and causes of susceptibility to adverse effects of chemicals in the population, so that the appropriate regulatory limits are established. In both cases, most of the research effort is focused on genome-wide association studies in humans where de novo genotyping of each subject is required. At the same time, the power of population-based preclinical safety testing in rodent models (e.g., mouse) remains to be fully exploited. Here, we highlight the approaches available to utilize the knowledge of DNA sequence and genetic diversity of the mouse as a species in mechanistic toxicology research. We posit that appropriate genetically defined mouse models may be combined with the limited data from human studies to not only discover the genetic determinants of susceptibility, but to also understand the molecular underpinnings of toxicity.
collaborative cross; expression quantitative trait locus mapping; mouse genetics; population screening; toxicity testing; toxicogenetics
The mechanisms underlying ozone (O3)-induced pulmonary inflammation remain unclear. Interleukin-10 (IL-10) is an anti-inflammatory cytokine that is known to inhibit inflammatory mediators.
We investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying interleuken-10 (IL-10)–mediated attenuation of O3-induced pulmonary inflammation in mice.
Il10-deficient (Il10−/−) and wild-type (Il10+/+) mice were exposed to 0.3 ppm O3 or filtered air for 24, 48, or 72 hr. Immediately after exposure, differential cell counts and total protein (a marker of lung permeability) were assessed from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). mRNA and protein levels of cellular mediators were determined from lung homogenates. We also used global mRNA expression analyses of lung tissue with Ingenuity Pathway Analysis to identify patterns of gene expression through which IL-10 modifies O3-induced inflammation.
Mean numbers of BALF polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) were significantly greater in Il10−/− mice than in Il10+/+ mice after exposure to O3 at all time points tested. O3-enhanced nuclear NF-κB translocation was elevated in the lungs of Il10−/− compared with Il10+/+ mice. Gene expression analyses revealed several IL-10–dependent and O3-dependent mediators, including macrophage inflammatory protein 2, cathepsin E, and serum amyloid A3.
Results indicate that IL-10 protects against O3-induced pulmonary neutrophilic inflammation and cell proliferation. Moreover, gene expression analyses identified three response pathways and several genetic targets through which IL-10 may modulate the innate and adaptive immune response. These novel mechanisms of protection against the pathogenesis of O3-induced pulmonary inflammation may also provide potential therapeutic targets to protect susceptible individuals.
air pollution; gene array; IL-10; inflammation; lung; ozone; pulmonary
Rationale: Oxygen supplementation (e.g., hyperoxia) is used to support critically ill patients with noninfectious and infectious acute lung injury (ALI); however, hyperoxia exposure can potentially further contribute to and/or perpetuate preexisting ALI. Thus, developing novel therapeutic agents to minimize the side effects of hyperoxia is essential to improve the health of patients with severe ALI and respiratory dysfunction. We have previously shown that mice with a genetic disruption of the Nrf2 transcription factor, which squelches cellular stress by up-regulating the induction of several antioxidant enzymes and proteins, have greater susceptibility to hyperoxic lung injury. Moreover, we have recently demonstrated that Nrf2-deficiency impairs the resolution of lung injury and inflammation after nonlethal hyperoxia exposure.
Objectives: To test the hypothesis that amplification of endogenous Nrf2 activity would prevent or dampen ALI induced by hyperoxia.
Methods: Here, we tested our hypothesis using a synthetic triterpenoid compound CDDO-imidazole (CDDO-Im) (1-[2-cyano-3-,12-dioxooleana-1,9(11)-dien-28-oyl] imidazole) in Nrf2-sufficient and Nrf2-deficient mice subjected to hyperoxia-induced ALI.
Measurements and Main Results: We demonstrate that oral administration of CDDO-Im at a dose of 30 μmol/kg body weight during the hyperoxic exposure is sufficient to markedly attenuate hyperoxia-induced ALI in Nrf2-sufficient but not Nrf2-deficient mice. This protection by the CDDO-Im against hyperoxic insult was accompanied by increased levels of Nrf2-regulated cytoprotective gene expression and reduced levels of DNA damage in the lung.
Conclusions: These results suggest that up-regulation of Nrf2 signaling by CDDO-Im or its analogs may provide a novel therapeutic strategy to minimize the adverse effects of hyperoxia.
Nrf2; Keap1; antioxidants; stress response
Oxygen supplementation is used as therapy to support critically ill patients with severe respiratory impairment. Although hyperoxia has been shown to enhance the lung susceptibility to subsequent bacterial infection, the mechanisms underlying enhanced susceptibility remain enigmatic. We have reported that disruption of Nrf2, a master transcription regulator of various stress response pathways, enhances susceptibility to hyperoxia-induced acute lung injury (ALI) in mice, and have also demonstrated an association between a polymorphism in the NRF2 promoter and increased susceptibility to ALI. In this study, we show that Nrf2-deficient (Nrf2−/−) but not wild-type (Nrf2+/+) mice exposed to sub-lethal hyperoxia succumbed to death during recovery after P. aeruginosa infection. Nrf2-deficiency caused persistent bacterial pulmonary burden and enhanced levels of inflammatory cell infiltration as well as edema. Alveolar macrophages isolated from Nrf2−/− mice exposed to hyperoxia displayed persistent oxidative stress and inflammatory cytokine expression concomitant with diminished levels of antioxidant enzymes, such as Gclc, required for GSH biosynthesis. In vitro exposure of Nrf2−/− macrophages to hyperoxia strongly diminished their antibacterial activity and enhanced inflammatory cytokine expression compared to Nrf2+/+ cells. However, GSH supplementation during hyperoxic insult restored the ability of Nrf2−/− cells to mount antibacterial response and suppressed cytokine expression. Thus, loss of Nrf2 impairs lung innate immunity and promotes susceptibility to bacterial infection after hyperoxia exposure, ultimately leading to death of the host.
Oxidative stress; acute lung injury; macrophages; Marco; bacterial exacerbation
Prior microarray studies of smokers at high risk for lung cancer have demonstrated that heterogeneity in bronchial airway epithelial cell gene expression response to smoking can serve as an early diagnostic biomarker for lung cancer. As a first step in applying functional genomic analysis to population studies, we have examined the relationship between gene expression variation and genetic variation in a central molecular pathway (NRF2-mediated antioxidant response) associated with smoking exposure and lung cancer. We assessed global gene expression in histologically normal airway epithelial cells obtained at bronchoscopy from smokers who developed lung cancer (SC, n = 20), smokers without lung cancer (SNC, n = 24), and never smokers (NS, n = 8). Functional enrichment analysis showed that the NRF2-mediated, antioxidant response element (ARE)-regulated genes, were significantly lower in SC, when compared with expression levels in SNC. Importantly, we found that the expression of MAFG (a binding partner of NRF2) was correlated with the expression of ARE genes, suggesting MAFG levels may limit target gene induction. Bioinformatically we identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in putative ARE genes and to test the impact of genetic variation, we genotyped these putative regulatory SNPs and other tag SNPs in selected NRF2 pathway genes. Sequencing MAFG locus, we identified 30 novel SNPs and two were associated with either gene expression or lung cancer status among smokers. This work demonstrates an analysis approach that integrates bioinformatics pathway and transcription factor binding site analysis with genotype, gene expression and disease status to identify SNPs that may be associated with individual differences in gene expression and/or cancer status in smokers. These polymorphisms might ultimately contribute to lung cancer risk via their effect on the airway gene expression response to tobacco-smoke exposure.
Acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome are the result of intense inflammation in the lungs leading to respiratory failure. The causes of acute lung injury/acute respiratory distress syndrome are numerous (e.g., pneumonia, sepsis and trauma) but the reasons why certain individuals develop lung injury in response to these stimuli and others do not are not well understood. There is ample evidence in the literature that gene–host and gene–environment interactions may play a large role in the morbidity and mortality associated with this syndrome. In this review, we initially discuss methods for identification of candidate acute lung injury/acute respiratory distress syndrome susceptibility genes using a number of model systems including in vitro cell systems and inbred mice. We then describe examples of polymorphisms in genes that have been associated with the pathogenesis of acute lung injury/acute respiratory distress syndrome in human case–control studies. Systematic bench to bedside approaches to understand the genetic contribution to acute lung injury/acute respiratory distress syndrome have provided important insight to this complex disease and continuation of these investigations could lead to the development of novel prevention or intervention strategies.
acute respiratory distress syndrome; ARDS; association study; genetical genomics; genome-wide association studies; GWAS; haplotype; translational investigation
Aberrant tissue repair and persistent inflammation following oxidant-mediated acute lung injury (ALI) can lead to the development and progression of various pulmonary diseases, but the mechanisms underlying these processes remain unclear. Hyperoxia is widely used in the treatment of pulmonary diseases, but the effects of this oxidant exposure in patients undergoing recovery from ALI are not clearly understood. Nrf2 has emerged as a crucial transcription factor that regulates oxidant stress through the induction of several detoxifying enzymes and other proteins. Using an experimental model of hyperoxia-induced ALI (HALI), we have examined the role of oxidant stress in resolving lung injury and inflammation. We found that when exposed to sub-lethal (72 h) hyperoxia, Nrf2-deficient, but not wild-type mice, succumbed to death during recovery. When both genotypes were exposed to a shorter period of HALI (48 h), the lungs of Nrf2-deficient mice during recovery exhibited persistent cellular injury, impaired alveolar and endothelial cell regeneration, and persistent cellular infiltration by macrophages and lymphocytes. GSH supplementation in Nrf2-deficient mice immediately after hyperoxia remarkably restored their ability to recover from hyperoxia-induced damage in a manner similar to that of wild-type mice. Thus, the results of the present study indicate that the Nrf2-regulated transcriptional response, and particularly GSH synthesis, is critical for lung tissue repair and the resolution of inflammation in vivo and suggests that a dysfunctional Nrf2-GSH pathway may compromise these processes in vivo.
Oxidative stress; Nrf2; acute lung injury; DNA injury
Acute lung injury (ALI) is a syndrome with significant morbidity and mortality, but its genetic susceptibility is not clearly understood. In the present study, we characterized functional promoter single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the phase II antioxidant gene NQO1 (NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase1) to evaluate its role in susceptibility to ALI.
Three previously uncharacterized SNPs in the NQO1 promoter were selected for investigation. Luciferase assays were performed using constructs of each promoter polymorphism to evaluate function. Functional SNPs were genotyped in prospective cohort of major trauma patients (N = 264) and assessed for association with development of ALI.
The A/C SNP at -1221decreased in vitro transcription of NQO1 at baseline and after exposure to hyperoxia and other oxidant stressors. Patients heterozygous for the -1221 C allele were at significantly lesser risk of ALI after major trauma compared with patients with wild type alleles, even after adjustment for APACHE III score, and mechanism of trauma [OR, 0.46 (95% CI, 0.23, 0.90); p = 0.024].
This study demonstrated that the AC genotype at position -1221 in the NQO1 gene caused decreased transcription and was associated with a lower incidence of ALI following major trauma. These novel findings may have important implications in diseases with oxidant stress etiologies.
gene; susceptibility; ARDS; acute respiratory distress syndrome; hyperoxia; endotoxin; hydrogen peroxide; oxidant stress; SNP; single nucleotide polymorphism; lung disease
Rationale: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most frequent cause of significant lower respiratory illness in infants and young children, but its pathogenesis is not fully understood. The transcription factor Nrf2 protects lungs from oxidative injury and inflammation via antioxidant response element (ARE)-mediated gene induction.
Objectives: The current study was designed to determine the role of Nrf2-mediated cytoprotective mechanisms in murine airway RSV disease.
Methods: Nrf2-deficient (Nrf2−/−) and wild-type (Nrf2+/+) mice were intranasally instilled with RSV or vehicle. In a separate study, Nrf2+/+ and Nrf2−/− mice were treated orally with sulforaphane (an Nrf2-ARE inducer) or phosphate-buffered saline before RSV infection.
Measurements and Main Results: RSV-induced bronchopulmonary inflammation, epithelial injury, and mucus cell metaplasia as well as nasal epithelial injury were significantly greater in Nrf2−/− mice than in Nrf2+/+ mice. Compared with Nrf2+/+ mice, significantly attenuated viral clearance and IFN-γ, body weight loss, heightened protein/lipid oxidation, and AP-1/NF-κB activity along with suppressed antioxidant induction was found in Nrf2−/− mice in response to RSV. Sulforaphane pretreatment significantly limited lung RSV replication and virus-induced inflammation in Nrf2+/+ but not in Nrf2−/− mice.
Conclusions: The results of this study support an association of oxidant stress with RSV pathogenesis and a key role for the Nrf2-ARE pathway in host defense against RSV.
airway; oxidative stress; antioxidant response element; inflammation; sulforaphane
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in transcription factor binding sites (TFBSs) may affect the binding of transcription factors, lead to differences in gene expression and phenotypes, and therefore affect susceptibility to environmental exposure. We developed an integrated computational system for discovering functional SNPs in TFBSs in the human genome and predicting their impact on the expression of target genes. In this system we: (1) construct a position weight matrix (PWM) from a collection of experimentally discovered TFBSs; (2) predict TFBSs in SNP sequences using the PWM and map SNPs to the upstream regions of genes; (3) examine the evolutionary conservation of putative TFBSs by phylogenetic footprinting; (4) prioritize candidate SNPs based on microarray expression profiles from tissues in which the transcription factor of interest is either deleted or over-expressed; and (5) finally, analyze association of SNP genotypes with gene expression phenotypes. The application of our system has been tested to identify functional polymorphisms in the antioxidant response element (ARE), a cis-acting enhancer sequence found in the promoter region of many genes that encode antioxidant and Phase II detoxification enzymes/proteins. In response to oxidative stress, the transcription factor NRF2 (nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-like 2) binds to AREs, mediating transcriptional activation of its responsive genes and modulating in vivo defense mechanisms against oxidative damage. Using our novel computational tools, we have identified a set of polymorphic AREs with functional evidence, showing the utility of our system to direct further experimental validation of genomic sequence variations that could be useful for identifying high-risk individuals.