A critical event of pharyngeal swallowing is the elevation of the hyolaryngeal complex to open the upper esophageal sphincter. Current swallowing theory assigns this function to the submental and thyrohyoid muscles. However, the attachments of the long pharyngeal muscles indicate that they could contribute to this function, yet their role is uninvestigated in humans. In addition, there is evidence the posterior digastric and stylohyoid contribute to hyoid elevation. A cadaver model was used to document the structural properties of muscles. These properties were used to model muscle groups as force vectors and analyze their potential for hyolaryngeal elevation. Vector magnitude was determined using physiological cross-sectional areas (PCSAs) of muscles calculated from structural properties of muscle taken from 12 hemisected cadaver specimens. Vector direction (lines of action) was calculated from the three-dimensional coordinates of muscle attachment sites. Unit force vectors in the superior direction of submental, suprahyoid (which includes the submental muscles), long pharyngeal, and thyrohyoid muscles were derived and compared by an analysis of variance (ANOVA) to document each muscle’s potential contribution to hyolaryngeal elevation. An ANOVA with Tukey HSD post hoc analysis of unit force vectors showed no statistically significant difference between the submental (0.92 ± 0.24 cm2) and long pharyngeal (0.73 ± 0.20 cm2) muscles. Both demonstrated greater potential to elevate the hyolaryngeal complex than the thyrohyoid (0.49 ± 0.18 cm2), with P < 0.01 and P < 0.05, respectively. The suprahyoid muscles (1.52 ± 0.35 cm2) demonstrated the greatest potential to elevate the hyolaryngeal complex: greater than both the long pharyngeal muscles (P < 0.01) and the thyrohyoid (P < 0.01). The submental and thyrohyoid muscles by convention are thought to elevate the hyolaryngeal complex. This study demonstrates that structurally the long pharyngeal muscles have similar potential to contribute to this critical function, with the suprahyoid muscles having the greatest potential. If verified by functional data, these findings would amend current swallowing theory.
Deglutition; Laryngeal elevation; Physiological cross-sectional area; Structural properties; Hyolaryngeal complex; Deglutition disorders
Drug shortages have substantial economic costs and mandate treatment changes that may affect efficacy and toxicity.
Cancer drug shortages have increased considerably over the past 5 years, but quantitative analyses of the scope and effects are limited. We assessed the effects of drug shortages on outpatient medication use in a single New York City university hospital.
We examined pharmacy records for drug shortages, as defined by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. We assessed outpatient records for all patients with cancer treated with infusional antineoplastic medications from April 2010 to September 2010 and April 2011 to September 2011.
Twelve medications were in shortage in 2010 and 22 in 2011. Drugs in shortage were used for 170 patients (50.8%) in 2010 and 241 patients (63.6%) in 2011 (P < .001). Of 235 patients treated in August-September 2011, there were 23(9.8%) documented therapy changes due to shortages, compared with zero changes in August-September 2010 (P < .001). Among patients treated in August-September 2010, 24 (11.4%) received paclitaxel and 19 (9.0%) received docetaxel. Among patients treated in August-September 2011, 11 (4.7%) received paclitaxel and 38 (16.2%) received docetaxel, a 69% decrease for paclitaxel and 80% increase for docetaxel from 1 year prior (P = .009, and P = .024, respectively). The estimated cost of a single treatment with paclitaxel for one patient with body-surface area 1.75 was $47.59 versus $858.39 for docetaxel, a 1,704% increase. Surveyed physicians frequently reported lower level evidence (30.4%) and increased risk of toxicity (34.8%) with alternative therapy in drug shortage cases.
Oncology drug shortages affected the majority of patients in our center and increased at an alarming rate. Drug shortages have substantial economic costs and mandate treatment changes that may affect efficacy and toxicity.
The burden and significance of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) colonization in the ICU is not clearly understood.
We searched PubMed and EMBASE up to May 2013 for studies reporting the prevalence of VRE upon admission to the ICU and performed a meta-analysis to assess rates and trends of VRE colonization. We calculated the prevalence of VRE on admission and the acquisition (colonization and/or infection) rates to estimate time trends and the impact of colonization on ensuing VRE infections.
Across 37 studies (62,959 patients at risk), the estimated prevalence of VRE on admission to the ICU was 8.8% (7.1-10.6). Estimates were more consistent when cultures were obtained within 24 hours from admission. The VRE acquisition rate was 8.8% (95% CI 6.9-11.0) across 26 evaluable studies (35,364 patients at risk). Across US studies, VRE acquisition rate was 10.2% (95% CI 7.7-13.0) and demonstrated significant decline in annual trends. We used the US estimate of colonization on admission [12.3% (10.5-14.3)] to evaluate the impact of VRE colonization on admission in overall VRE prevalence. We demonstrated that VRE colonization on admission is a major determinant of the overall VRE burden in the ICU. Importantly, among colonized patients (including admitted and/or acquired cases) the VRE infection rates vary widely from 0-45% (with the risk of VRE bacteremia being reported from 0-16%) and <2% among those without a proven colonization.
In summary, up to 10.6% of patients admitted in the ICU are colonized with VRE on admission and a similar percentage will acquire VRE during their ICU stay. Importantly, colonization on admission is a major determinant of VRE dynamics in the ICU and the risk of VRE-related infections is close related to colonization.
Immunisation programs are designed to reduce serious morbidity and mortality from influenza, but most evidence supporting the effectiveness of this intervention has focused on disease in the community or in primary care settings. We aimed to examine the effectiveness of influenza vaccination against hospitalisation with confirmed influenza. We compared influenza vaccination status in patients hospitalised with PCR-confirmed influenza with patients hospitalised with influenza-negative respiratory infections in an Australian sentinel surveillance system. Vaccine effectiveness was estimated from the odds ratio of vaccination in cases and controls. We performed both simple multivariate regression and a stratified analysis based on propensity score of vaccination. Vaccination status was ascertained in 333 of 598 patients with confirmed influenza and 785 of 1384 test-negative patients. Overall estimated crude vaccine effectiveness was 57% (41%, 68%). After adjusting for age, chronic comorbidities and pregnancy status, the estimated vaccine effectiveness was 37% (95% CI: 12%, 55%). In an analysis accounting for a propensity score for vaccination, the estimated vaccine effectiveness was 48.3% (95% CI: 30.0, 61.8%). Influenza vaccination was moderately protective against hospitalisation with influenza in the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
Active-site serine D,D-transpeptidases belonging to the penicillin-binding protein family (PBPs) have been considered for a long time as essential for peptidoglycan cross-linking in all bacteria. However, bypass of the PBPs by an L,D-transpeptidase (Ldtfm) conveys high-level resistance to β-lactams of the penam class in Enterococcus faecium with a minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of ampicillin >2,000 µg/ml. Unexpectedly, Ldtfm does not confer resistance to β-lactams of the carbapenem class (imipenem MIC = 0.5 µg/ml) whereas cephems display residual activity (ceftriaxone MIC = 128 µg/ml). Mass spectrometry, fluorescence kinetics, and NMR chemical shift perturbation experiments were performed to explore the basis for this specificity and identify β-lactam features that are critical for efficient L,D-transpeptidase inactivation. We show that imipenem, ceftriaxone, and ampicillin acylate Ldtfm by formation of a thioester bond between the active-site cysteine and the β-lactam-ring carbonyl. However, slow acylation and slow acylenzyme hydrolysis resulted in partial Ldtfm inactivation by ampicillin and ceftriaxone. For ampicillin, Ldtfm acylation was followed by rupture of the C5–C6 bond of the β-lactam ring and formation of a secondary acylenzyme prone to hydrolysis. The saturable step of the catalytic cycle was the reversible formation of a tetrahedral intermediate (oxyanion) without significant accumulation of a non-covalent complex. In agreement, a derivative of Ldtfm blocked in acylation bound ertapenem (a carbapenem), ceftriaxone, and ampicillin with similar low affinities. Thus, oxyanion and acylenzyme stabilization are both critical for rapid L,D-transpeptidase inactivation and antibacterial activity. These results pave the way for optimization of the β-lactam scaffold for L,D-transpeptidase-inactivation.
Acinetobacter baumannii is an increasingly problematic pathogen in United States hospitals. Antibiotics that can treat A. baumannii are becoming more limited. Little is known about the contributions of penicillin binding proteins (PBPs), the target of β-lactam antibiotics, to β-lactam–sulbactam susceptibility and β-lactam resistance in A. baumannii. Decreased expression of PBPs as well as loss of binding of β-lactams to PBPs was previously shown to promote β-lactam resistance in A. baumannii. Using an in vitro assay with a reporter β-lactam, Bocillin, we determined that the 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) for PBP1a from A. baumannii and PBP3 from Acinetobacter sp. ranged from 1 to 5 μM for a series of β-lactams. In contrast, PBP3 demonstrated a narrower range of IC50s against β-lactamase inhibitors than PBP1a (ranges, 4 to 5 versus 8 to 144 μM, respectively). A molecular model with ampicillin and sulbactam positioned in the active site of PBP3 reveals that both compounds interact similarly with residues Thr526, Thr528, and Ser390. Accepting that many interactions with cell wall targets are possible with the ampicillin-sulbactam combination, the low IC50s of ampicillin and sulbactam for PBP3 may contribute to understanding why this combination is effective against A. baumannii. Unraveling the contribution of PBPs to β-lactam susceptibility and resistance brings us one step closer to identifying which PBPs are the best targets for novel β-lactams.
Enterococcus faecium has emerged as one of the most important pathogens in healthcare-associated infections worldwide due to its intrinsic and acquired resistance to many antibiotics, including vancomycin. Antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (aPDT) is an alternative therapeutic platform that is currently under investigation for the control and treatment of infections. PDT is based on the use of photoactive dye molecules, widely known as photosensitizer (PS). PS, upon irradiation with visible light, produces reactive oxygen species that can destroy lipids and proteins causing cell death. We employed Galleria mellonella (the greater wax moth) caterpillar fatally infected with E. faecium to develop an invertebrate host model system that can be used to study the antimicrobial PDT (alone or combined with antibiotics). In the establishment of infection by E. faecium in G. mellonella, we found that the G. mellonella death rate was dependent on the number of bacterial cells injected into the insect hemocoel and all E. faecium strains tested were capable of infecting and killing G. mellonella. Antibiotic treatment with ampicillin, gentamicin or the combination of ampicillin and gentamicin prolonged caterpillar survival infected by E. faecium (P = 0.0003, P = 0.0001 and P = 0.0001, respectively). In the study of antimicrobial PDT, we verified that methylene blue (MB) injected into the insect followed by whole body illumination prolonged the caterpillar survival (P = 0.0192). Interestingly, combination therapy of larvae infected with vancomycin-resistant E. faecium, with antimicrobial PDT followed by vancomycin, significantly prolonged the survival of the caterpillars when compared to either antimicrobial PDT (P = 0.0095) or vancomycin treatment alone (P = 0.0025), suggesting that the aPDT made the vancomycin resistant E. faecium strain more susceptible to vancomycin action. In summary, G. mellonella provides an invertebrate model host to study the antimicrobial PDT and to explore combinatorial aPDT-based treatments.
Cancer vaccines have not been optimized. They depend on adjuvants to create an immunogenic microenvironment for antigen presentation. However, remarkably little is understood about cellular and molecular changes induced by these adjuvants in the vaccine microenvironment. We hypothesized that vaccination induces dendritic cell activation in the dermal vaccination microenvironment but that regulatory processes may also limit the effectiveness of repeated vaccination. We evaluated biopsies from immunization sites in two clinical trials of melanoma patients. In one study (Mel38), patients received one injection with an adjuvant mixture alone, comprised of incomplete Freund's adjuvant (IFA) plus granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF). In a second study, patients received multiple vaccinations with melanoma peptide antigens plus IFA. Single injections with adjuvant alone induced dermal inflammatory infiltrates consisting of B cells, T cells, mature dendritic cells (DC) and vessels resembling high endothelial venules (HEV). These cellular aggregates usually lacked organization and were transient. In contrast, multiple repeated vaccinations with peptides in adjuvant induced more organized and persistent lymphoid aggregates containing separate B and T cell areas, mature DC, HEV-like vessels, and lymphoid chemokines. Within these structures, there are proliferating CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes, as well as FoxP3+CD4+ lymphocytes, suggesting a complex interplay of lymphoid expansion and regulation within the dermal immunization microenvironment. Further study of the physiology of the vaccine site microenvironment promises to identify opportunities for enhancing cancer vaccine efficacy by modulating immune activation and regulation at the site of vaccination.
cancer vaccines; immunotherapy; melanoma; histology; dendritic cells; T-lymphocytes; chemokines
Bypass of classical penicillin-binding proteins by the l,d-transpeptidase of Enterococcus faecium (Ldtfm) leads to high-level ampicillin resistance in E. faecium mutants, whereas carbapenems remain the lone highly active β-lactams. Kinetics of Ldtfm inactivation was determined for four commercial carbapenems and a derivative obtained by introducing a minimal ethyl group at position 2. We show that the bulky side chains of commercial carbapenems have both positive and negative effects in preventing hydrolysis of the acyl enzyme and impairing drug binding.
COL-3 is a chemically modified tetracycline that targets multiple aspects of matrix metalloproteinase regulation. This phase I clinical trial was conducted to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of COL-3 in adults with recurrent high-grade glioma, to describe the effects of enzyme-inducing antiseizure drugs (EIADs) on its pharmacokinetics, and to obtain preliminary evidence of activity. Adults with recurrent high-grade glioma were stratified by EIAD use. COL-3 was given orally daily without interruption until disease progression or treatment-related dose-limiting toxicity (DLT). Three patients in each EIAD group were evaluated at each dose level beginning with 25 mg/m2/day and escalated by 25 mg/m2/day. Toxicity, response, and pharmacokinetics were assessed. Thirty-three patients were evaluated. The MTD was 75 mg/m2/day in the −EIAD patients while one was not determined in +EIAD patients. The common toxicities observed were anemia, ataxia, diarrhea, hypokalemia, CNS hemorrhage, and myalgia. One partial response was observed. −EIAD patients tended to have a higher steady-state trough concentration that was apparent only at the 100 mg/m2/day dose level (P = 0.01). This study suggests that: (a) EIAD use does affect the pharmacokinetics of COL-3 at higher doses; and (b) there was not enough suggestion of single-agent activity to warrant further study in recurrent high-grade gliomas.
COL-3; Anticonvulsants; Pharmacokinetics; Gliomas
Cysteine residues in insulin degrading enzyme have been reported as non-critical for its activity. We found that converting the twelve cysteine residues in rat insulin degrading enzyme (IDE) to serines resulted in a cysteine-free form of the enzyme with reduced activity and decreased activation by polyanions. Mutation of each cysteine residue individually revealed cysteine 904 as the key residue required for maximal activity and polyanion activation, although other cysteines affect polyanion binding to a lesser extent. Based on the structure of IDE, Asn 575 was identified as a potential hydrogen bond partner for Cys904 and mutation of this residue also reduced activity and decreased polyanion activation. The oligomerization state of IDE did not correlate with its activity, with the dimer being the predominant form in all the samples examined. These data suggest that there are several conformational states of the dimer that affect activity and polyanion activation.
Endogenous expression of the adaptor protein HSH2 is regulated in a dynamic manner during B cell maturation and differentiation. Developing B cells lack detectable HSH2, whereas T1 and T2 B cells in the periphery exhibit increasing levels of expression. Mature follicular B cells exhibit decreased expression of HSH2 compared to T2 cells and expression is further downregulated in germinal center B cells. In contrast, marginal zone B cells and B1a/b B cells exhibit high-level HSH2 expression. Regulation of HSH2 expression plays a critical role in determining the outcome of the humoral immune response as demonstrated using HSH2 transgenic mice. Constitutive expression of HSH2 in the B lineage at levels comparable to B1a/b B cells results in decreased serum Ig titers for all subclasses with the exception of IgA. HSH2 Tg mice immunized with T-dependent or T-independent antigens exhibit a moderate decrease in the production of antigen-specific IgM, whereas class switched isotypes are decreased by approximately 80–90% compared to control mice. Analysis of HSH2 Tg B cell activation in vitro demonstrated that HSH2 selectively regulates the B cell response to TNF family receptors (i.e. CD40 and BAFF-R), but not BCR- or TLR-dependent signals. These data demonstrate that changes in HSH2 expression have profound effects on the humoral immune response.
Primary angiosarcoma of the brain is extremely rare; only 15 cases have been reported in adults over the last 25 years.
We describe two cases of primary angiosarcoma of the brain that are well characterized by imaging, histopathology, and immunohistochemistry. Case 1: our first patient was a 35-year-old woman who developed exophthalmos. Subtotal resection of a left extra-axial retro-orbital mass was performed. Case 2: our second patient was a 47-year-old man who presented to our facility with acute visual loss, word-finding difficulty and subtle memory loss. A heterogeneously-enhancing left sphenoid wing mass was removed. We also review the literature aiming at developing a rational approach to diagnosis and treatment, given the rarity of this entity.
Gross total resection is the standard of care for primary angiosarcoma of the brain. Adjuvant radiation and chemotherapy are playing increasingly recognized roles in the therapy of these rare tumors.
Angiosarcoma; Primary Central Nervous System (CNS) Tumors; Sarcoma; Bevacizumab; Temozolomide
Enterococci have the potential for resistance to virtually all clinically useful antibiotics. Their emergence as important nosocomial pathogens has coincided with increased expression of antimicrobial resistance by members of the genus. The mechanisms underlying antibiotic resistance in enterococci may be intrinsic to the species or acquired through mutation of intrinsic genes or horizontal exchange of genetic material encoding resistance determinants. This paper reviews the antibiotic resistance mechanisms in Enterococcus faecium and Enterococcus faecalis and discusses treatment options.
enterococcus; antibiotic resistance; review; treatment
To study optic nerve head (ONH) topography parameters measured by Stratus optical coherence tomography (OCT) in normal subjects and to analyze ONH data for differences in relation to disc size, ethnicity, and age.
Three hundred sixty-seven normal subjects underwent Stratus optical coherence tomography ONH measurement using the fast optic disc scan protocol software package 3.0. Only ONH scans meeting specific qualification criteria were included for data analysis ensuring appropriate scan quality and reliability. ONH topographic parameters of qualified scans were analyzed for differences in regards to optic disc size, age, and ethnicity.
Two hundred and twelve qualified ONH scans were included for data analysis. Mean disc area was 2.27±0.41 mm2 and optic cup area, rim area, and horizontal integrated rim width increased with disc size, whereas vertical integrated rim area did not. Vertical integrated rim area, horizontal integrated rim width, and rim area decreased and cup area increased with age. Mean optic disc area was larger in African-Americans as compared with Hispanics or Whites and this difference was statistically significant.
Optic cup area, rim area, and horizontal integrated rim width correlated to disc size. Vertical integrated rim area, horizontal integrated rim width, rim area, and cup area, changed with age. African-American optic discs had larger disc area measurements as compared with Whites optic discs and this difference was statistically significant.
Stratus OCT; optic nerve head; topography; normals
The use of proteins for therapeutic applications requires the protein to maintain sufficient activity for the period of in vivo treatment. Many proteins exhibit a short half-life in vivo and, thus, require delivery systems for them to be applied as therapeutics. The relative biocompatibility and the ability to form functionalized bioconjugates via simple chemistry make gold nanoparticles excellent candidates as protein delivery systems. Herein, two protocols for coupling proteins to gold nanoparticles were compared. In the first, the strong biomolecular binding between biotin and streptavidin was used to couple catalase to the surface of gold nanoparticles. In the second protocol, the formation of an amide bond between carboxylic acid coated gold nanoparticles and free surface amines of catalase using carbodiimide chemistry was performed. The stability and kinetics of the different steps involved in these protocols were studied using UV-Visible spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering, and transmission electron microscopy. The addition of mercaptoundecanoic acid in conjugation with (N-(6-(biotinamido)hexyl)-3′-(2′-pyridyldithio)-propionamide increased the stability of biotinylated gold nanoparticles. Although the carbodiimide chemistry based bioconjugation approach exhibited a decrease in catalase activity, the carbodiimide chemistry based bioconjugation approach resulted in more active catalase per gold nanoparticle compared to that of mercaptoundecanoic acid stabilized biotinylated gold nanoparticles. Both coupling protocols resulted in gold nanoparticles loaded with active catalase. Thus, these gold nanoparticle systems and coupling protocols represent promising methods for the application of gold nanoparticles for protein delivery.
Gold nanoparticles; carbodiimide chemistry; biotin-streptavidin binding; catalase
The widespread use of antibiotics has resulted in a growing problem of antimicrobial resistance in the community and hospital settings. Antimicrobial classes for which resistance has become a major problem include the β-lactams, the glycopeptides, and the fluoroquinolones. In gram-positive bacteria, β-lactam resistance most commonly results from expression of intrinsic low-affinity penicillin-binding proteins. In gram-negative bacteria, expression of acquired β-lactamases presents a particular challenge owing to some natural spectra that include virtually all β-lactam classes. Glycopeptide resistance has been largely restricted to nosocomial Enterococcus faecium strains, the spread of which is promoted by ineffective infection control mechanisms for fecal organisms and the widespread use of colonization-promoting antimicrobials (especially cephalosporins and antianaerobic antibiotics). Fluoroquinolone resistance in community-associated strains of Escherichia coli, many of which also express β-lactamases that confer cephalosporin resistance, is increasingly prevalent. Economic and regulatory forces have served to discourage large pharmaceutical companies from developing new antibiotics, suggesting that the antibiotics currently on the market may be all that will be available for the coming decade. As such, it is critical that we devise, test, and implement antimicrobial stewardship strategies that are effective at constraining and, ideally, reducing resistance in human pathogenic bacteria.
Inversion polymorphisms have been linked to a variety of fundamental biological and evolutionary processes. Yet few studies have used large-scale genomic sequencing to directly compare the haplotypes associated with the standard and inverted chromosome arrangements. Here we describe the targeted genomic sequencing and comparison of haplotypes representing alternative arrangements of a common inversion polymorphism linked to a suite of phenotypes in the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis). More than 7.4 Mb of genomic sequence was generated and assembled from both the standard (ZAL2) and inverted (ZAL2m) arrangements. Sequencing of a pair of inversion breakpoints led to the identification of a ZAL2-specific segmental duplication, as well as evidence of breakpoint reusage. Comparison of the haplotype-based sequence assemblies revealed low genetic differentiation outside versus inside the inversion indicative of historical patterns of gene flow and suppressed recombination between ZAL2 and ZAL2m. Finally, despite ZAL2m being maintained in a near constant state of heterozygosity, no signatures of genetic degeneration were detected on this chromosome. Overall, these results provide important insights into the genomic attributes of an inversion polymorphism linked to mate choice and variation in social behavior.
chromosomal polymorphism; evolutionary genetics; haplotype-based sequencing; inversion
Background. DCIS treated by mastectomy ensures high local control rates. There is limited data on risk for relapse and lack of clear indication for adjuvant radiation therapy (RT). We report a retrospective review on a population of DCIS patients treated with mastectomy. The objective was to identify the overall incidence of relapse, risk factors for local recurrence, and accordingly for whom adjuvant postmastectomy RT may be considered. Methods. This is an IRB-approved retrospective study on a prospective breast cancer database. From 1997 to 2007, we identified 969 patients with diagnoses of DCIS, among them 211 breasts in 207 patients were treated with mastectomy and comprise the study group. Results. With a median followup of 55 months (4.6 years) the 10-year relapse-free survival is 97%. Two of 211 breasts (0.9%) treated with mastectomy developed a local-regional recurrence. Both the relapses were among patients defined as having <1 mm final mastectomy margin. Conclusions. The rare local relapse after mastectomy limits our ability to reliably identify risk factors for relapse. The consideration for postmastectomy RT should be based on an individualized risk evaluating surgical technique used, presence of BRCA mutation, grade and extent of tumor, and proximity of lesion to the margin of resection.
Starburst amacrine cells in the macaque retina were studied by electron microscopic immunohistochemistry. We found that these amacrine cells make a type of synapse not described previously; they are presynaptic to axon terminals of bipolar cells. We also confirmed that starburst amacrine cells are presynaptic to ganglion cell dendrites and amacrine cell processes. In order to determine the functions of these synapses, we localized acetylcholine receptors using a monoclonal antibody (mAb210) that recognizes human α3- and α5-containing nicotinic receptors and also antisera against the five known subtypes of muscarinic receptors. The majority of the mAb210-immunoreactive perikarya were amacrine cells and ganglion cells, but a subpopulation of bipolar cells was also labeled. A subset of bipolar cells and a subset of horizontal cells were labeled with antibodies to M3 muscarinic receptors. A subset of amacrine cells, including those that contain cholecystokinin, were labeled with antibodies to M2 receptors. Taken together, these results suggest that acetylcholine can modulate the activity of retinal ganglion cells by multiple pathways.
acetylcholine; nicotinic; muscarinic; cholinergic; presynaptic receptors
Receptors encoded within the Trem locus have been shown to play an important role in modulating the cellular response to PRR signaling. TLT2 is a member of the Trem locus that is conserved in mouse and human. TLT2 exhibits a unique expression pattern in that it is expressed on cells of the myeloid and lymphoid lineage, suggesting that it plays a role in both innate and adaptive immunity. Here, studies reveal that TLT2 plays an important role in potentiating neutrophil antibacterial activity and chemotaxis. TLT2 ligation enhances the neutrophil response to the formylated peptide FMLP leading to increased ROS production, degranulation and chemotaxis. Moreover, TLT2 has the ability to specifically potentiate neutrophil activation and chemotaxis in response to a range of agonists that bind to G protein-coupled receptors, as it does not potentiate the response of cells to growth factor receptor-, Fc receptor- or TLR-mediated signaling. Finally, TLT2 ligation potentiates the recruitment of neutrophils to sites of inflammation in vivo. These findings reveal a novel functional role for TLT2 that involves potentiation of neutrophil responses to G protein-coupled receptor signaling. Thus TLT2 appears to play an important role in enhancing the innate immune response via a novel molecular mechanism.
Neprilysin (NEP), a member of the M13 subgroup of the zinc-dependent endopeptidase family is a membrane bound peptidase capable of cleaving a variety of physiological peptides. We have generated a series of neprilysin variants containing mutations at either one of two active site residues, Phe563 and Ser546. Among the mutants studied in detail we observed changes in their activity towards leucine5-enkephalin, insulin B chain, and amyloid β1–40. For example, NEPF563I displayed an increase in preference towards cleaving leucine5-enkephalin relative to insulin B chain, while mutant NEPS546E was less discriminating than neprilysin. Mutants NEPF563L and NEPS546E exhibit different cleavage site preferences than neprilysin with insulin B chain and amyloid ß1–40 as substrates. These data indicate that it is possible to alter the cleavage site specificity of neprilysin opening the way for the development of substrate specific or substrate exclusive forms of the enzyme with enhanced therapeutic potential.
The marginal zone (MZ) of the mouse spleen contains macrophages that express receptors that trap pathogens, including the scavenger receptor macrophage receptor with a collagenous structure and the C-type lectin specific intracellular adhesion molecule-grabbing nonintegrin receptor 1 (SIGN-R1). We previously reported that expression of SIGN-R1 was decreased in CD19-deficient mice. In this study, we demonstrate that SIGN-R1 is expressed on a subset of macrophage receptor with a collagenous structure (MARCO)+ macrophages. This subset is diminished when MZ B cells are absent due to either genetic developmental defects or following transient migration of B cells out of the MZ. When B cells return to the MZ, there is a delay in recovery of SIGN-R1–expressing macrophages. During this period, capture of Ficoll, which for the macrophages requires SIGN-R1, remains defective not only by the macrophages, but also by the B cells. Thus, MZ B cells regulate expression of molecules on macrophages that are important for trapping Ag, which, in turn, is required for Ag capture by the B cells.