Minnelide, a pro-drug of triptolide, has recently emerged as a potent anticancer agent. The precise mechanisms of its cytotoxic effects remain unclear.
Cell viability was studied using CCK8 assay. Cell proliferation was measured real-time on cultured cells using Electric Cell Substrate Impedence Sensing (ECIS). Apoptosis was assayed by Caspase activity on cultured lung cancer cells and TUNEL staining on tissue sections. Expression of pro-survival and anti-apoptotic genes (HSP70, BIRC5, BIRC4, BIRC2, UACA, APAF-1) was estimated by qRTPCR. Effect of Minnelide on proliferative cells in the tissue was estimated by Ki-67 staining of animal tissue sections.
In this study, we investigated in
vitro and in
vivo antitumor effects of triptolide/Minnelide in non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). Triptolide/Minnelide exhibited anti-proliferative effects and induced apoptosis in NSCLC cell lines and NSCLC mouse models. Triptolide/Minnelide significantly down-regulated the expression of pro-survival and anti-apoptotic genes (HSP70, BIRC5, BIRC4, BIRC2, UACA) and up-regulated pro-apoptotic APAF-1 gene, in part, via attenuating the NF-κB signaling activity.
In conclusion, our results provide supporting mechanistic evidence for Minnelide as a potential in NSCLC.
Long-term exposure to cigarette smoke (CS) can have deleterious effects on lung epithelial cells including cell death and the initiation of inflammatory responses. CS-induced cell injury can elaborate cell surface signals and cellular byproducts that stimulate immune system surveillance. Our previous work has shown that the expression of ligands for the cytotoxic lymphocyte activating receptor NKG2D is enhanced in patients with COPD and that the induction of these ligands in a mouse model can replicate COPD pathologies. Here, we extend these findings to demonstrate a role for the NKG2D receptor in CS-induced pathophysiology and provide evidence linking nucleic acid-sensing endosomal toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling to COPD pathology through NKG2D activation. Specifically, we show that mice deficient in NKG2D exhibit attenuated pulmonary inflammation and airspace enlargement in a model of CS-induced emphysema. Additionally, we show that CS exposure induces the release of free nucleic acids in the bronchoalveolar lavage and that direct exposure of mouse lung epithelial cells to cigarette smoke extract similarly induces functional nucleic acids as assessed by TLR3, 7, and 9 reporter cell lines. We demonstrate that exposure of mouse lung epithelial cells to TLR ligands stimulates the surface expression of RAET1, a ligand for NKG2D, and that mice deficient in TLR3/7/9 receptor signaling do not exhibit CS-induced NK cell hyperresponsiveness and airspace enlargement. The findings indicate that CS-induced airway injury stimulates TLR signaling by endogenous nucleic acids leading to elevated NKG2D ligand expression. Activation of these pathways plays a major role in the altered NK cell function, pulmonary inflammation and remodeling related to long-term CS exposure.
Immune-mediated responses were the main causes of liver damage during viral hepatitis, and recently viral RNA mimetic Poly I:C was used to induce a NK cell-dominated acute hepatitis. Interleukin-17A (IL-17A), the cytokine tightly associated with various autoimmune diseases, was known to play protective or pathological roles in LPS and ConA-induced hepatitis. However, its role in NK cell-mediated acute hepatitis remains unknown. Here we demonstrated that Poly I:C treatment triggered IL-17A production from hepatic γδT cells. Neutralizing IL-17A by monoclonal antibodies reduced Poly I:C-induced intrahepatic inflammatory responses and the liver injury through decreased accumulation, activation and cytolytic activity of NK cells in the liver. Furthermore, Poly I:C didn't trigger IL-17A secretion from γδT cells directly, and Kuppfer cells were demonstrated to be the accessory cell that can secrete IL-23. Finally, our findings demonstrated a pathological role of IL-17A and γδT cells in Poly I:C-induced acute hepatitis, which provides novel insights into viral infection-induced hepatitis and may serve as potential target in clinic immunotherapy against these disease.
Excessive mucin degradation by intestinal bacteria may contribute to inflammatory bowel diseases because access of luminal antigens to the intestinal immune system is facilitated. This study investigated how the presence of a mucin degrading commensal bacterium affects the severity of an intestinal Salmonella enterica Typhimurium-induced gut inflammation. Using a gnotobiotic C3H mouse model with a background microbiota of eight bacterial species (SIHUMI) the impact of the mucin-degrading commensal bacterium Akkermansia muciniphila (SIHUMI-A) on inflammatory and infectious symptoms caused by S. Typhimurium was investigated. Presence of A. muciniphila in S. Typhimurium-infected SIHUMI mice caused significantly increased histopathology scores and elevated mRNA levels of IFN-γ, IP-10, TNF-α, IL-12, IL-17 and IL-6 in cecal and colonic tissue. The increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines was accompanied by 10-fold higher S. Typhimurium cell numbers in mesenteric lymph nodes of SIHUMI mice associated with A. muciniphila and S. Typhimurium (SIHUMI-AS) compared to SIHUMI mice with S. Typhimurium only (SIHUMI-S). The number of mucin filled goblet cells was 2- to 3- fold lower in cecal tissue of SIHUMI-AS mice compared to SIHUMI-S, SIHUMI-A or SIHUMI mice. Reduced goblet cell numbers significantly correlated with increased IFN-γ mRNA levels (r2 = −0.86, ***P<0.001) in all infected mice. In addition, loss of cecal mucin sulphation was observed in SIHUMI mice containing both A. muciniphila and S. Typhimurium compared to other mouse groups. Concomitant presence of A. muciniphila and S. Typhimurium resulted in a drastic change in microbiota composition of SIHUMI mice: the proportion of B. thetaiotaomicron in SIHUMI-AS mice was 0.02% of total bacteria compared to 78% – 88% in the other mouse groups and the proportion of S. Typhimurium was 94% in SIHUMI-AS mice but only 2.2% in the SIHUMI-S mice. These results indicate that A. muciniphila exacerbates S. Typhimurium-induced intestinal inflammation by its ability to disturb host mucus homeostasis.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) infections are associated with considerable morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients due to antibiotic resistance. Therefore, we investigated the efficacy of the anti-P. aeruginosa serotype O11 lipopolysaccharide monoclonal antibody Panobacumab in a clinically relevant murine model of neutropenia induced by cyclophosphamide and in combination with meropenem in susceptible and meropenem resistant P. aeruginosa induced pneumonia. We observed that P. aeruginosa induced pneumonia was dramatically increased in neutropenic mice compared to immunocompetent mice. First, Panobacumab significantly reduced lung inflammation and enhanced bacterial clearance from the lung of neutropenic host. Secondly, combination of Panobacumab and meropenem had an additive effect. Third, Panobacumab retained activity on a meropenem resistant P. aeruginosa strain. In conclusion, the present data established that Panobacumab contributes to the clearance of P. aeruginosa in neutropenic hosts as well as in combination with antibiotics in immunocompetent hosts. This suggests beneficial effects of co-treatment even in immunocompromised individuals, suffering most of the morbidity and mortality of P. aeruginosa infections.
During systemic inflammation different neutrophil subsets are mobilized to the peripheral blood. These neutrophil subsets can be distinguished from normal circulating neutrophils (CD16bright/CD62Lbright), based on either an immature CD16dim/CD62Lbright or a CD16bright/CD62Ldim phenotype. Interestingly, the latter neutrophil subset is known to suppress lymphocyte proliferation ex vivo, but how neutrophils become suppressive is unknown. We performed transcriptome analysis on the different neutrophil subsets to identify changes in mRNA expression that are relevant for their functions. Neutrophil subsets were isolated by fluorescence-activated cell sorting from blood of healthy volunteers that were administered a single dose of lipopolysaccharide (2 ng/kg i.v.) and the transcriptome was determined by microarray analysis. Interestingly, the CD16bright/CD62Ldim suppressive neutrophils showed an interferon-induced transcriptome profile. More importantly, IFN-γ, but not IFN-α or IFN-β stimulated neutrophils, acquired the capacity to suppress lymphocyte proliferation through the expression of programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1). These data demonstrate that IFN-γ-induced expression of PD-L1 on neutrophils enables suppression of lymphocyte proliferation. Specific stimulation of neutrophils present at the inflammatory sites might therefore have a pivotal role in regulating lymphocyte-mediated inflammation and autoimmune disease.
Sensitization and exposure to the allergenic fungus Alternaria alternata has been associated with increased risk of asthma and asthma exacerbations. The first cells to encounter inhaled allergens are epithelial cells at the airway mucosal surface. Epithelial barrier function has previously been reported to be defective in asthma. This study investigated the contribution of proteases from Alternaria alternata on epithelial barrier function and inflammatory responses and compared responses of in vitro cultures of differentiated bronchial epithelial cells derived from severely asthmatic donors with those from non-asthmatic controls. Polarised 16HBE cells or air-liquid interface (ALI) bronchial epithelial cultures from non-asthmatic or severe asthmatic donors were challenged apically with extracts of Alternaria and changes in inflammatory cytokine release and transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) were measured. Protease activity in Alternaria extracts was characterised and the effect of selectively inhibiting protease activity on epithelial responses was examined using protease inhibitors and heat-treatment. In 16HBE cells, Alternaria extracts stimulated release of IL-8 and TNFα, with concomitant reduction in TER; these effects were prevented by heat-treatment of the extracts. Examination of the effects of protease inhibitors suggested that serine proteases were the predominant class of proteases mediating these effects. ALI cultures from asthmatic donors exhibited a reduced IL-8 response to Alternaria relative to those from healthy controls, while neither responded with increased thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) release. Only cultures from asthmatic donors were susceptible to the barrier-weakening effects of Alternaria. Therefore, the bronchial epithelium of severely asthmatic individuals may be more susceptible to the deleterious effects of Alternaria.
Growing concerns regarding the impact of the accumulation of plastic waste over several decades on the environmental have led to the development of biodegradable plastic. These plastics can be degraded by microorganisms and absorbed by the environment and are therefore gaining public support as a possible alternative to petroleum-derived plastics. Among the developed biodegradable plastics, oxo-biodegradable polymers have been used to produce plastic bags. Exposure of this waste plastic to ultraviolet light (UV) or heat can lead to breakage of the polymer chains in the plastic, and the resulting compounds are easily degraded by microorganisms. However, few studies have characterized the microbial degradation of oxo-biodegradable plastics. In this study, we tested the capability of Pleurotus ostreatus to degrade oxo-biodegradable (D2W) plastic without prior physical treatment, such as exposure to UV or thermal heating. After 45 d of incubation in substrate-containing plastic bags, the oxo-biodegradable plastic, which is commonly used in supermarkets, developed cracks and small holes in the plastic surface as a result of the formation of hydroxyl groups and carbon-oxygen bonds. These alterations may be due to laccase activity. Furthermore, we observed the degradation of the dye found in these bags as well as mushroom formation. Thus, P. ostreatus degrades oxo-biodegradable plastics and produces mushrooms using this plastic as substrate.
Protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) is a key molecule in modulating low-degree inflammatory conditions such as diabetes. The role of PTP1B in other chronic inflammations, however, remains unknown. Here, we report that PTP1B deficiency ameliorates Dextran Sulfate Sodium (DSS)-induced murine experimental colitis via expanding CD11b+Gr-1+ myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). Employing DSS-induced murine experimental colitis as inflammatory animal model, we found that, compared with wild-type littermates, PTP1B-null mice demonstrated greater resistance to DSS-induced colitis, as reflected by slower weight-loss, greater survival rates and decreased PMN and macrophage infiltration into the colon. The evidence collectively also demonstrated that the resistance of PTP1B-null mice to DSS-induced colitis is based on the expansion of MDSCs. First, PTP1B-null mice exhibited a greater frequency of MDSCs in the bone marrow (BM), peripheral blood and spleen when compared with wild-type littermates. Second, PTP1B levels in BM leukocytes were significantly decreased after cells were induced into MDSCs by IL-6 and GM-CSF, and the MDSC induction occurred more rapidly in PTP1B-null mice than in wild-type littermates, suggesting PTP1B as a negative regulator of MDSCs. Third, the adoptive transfer of MDSCs into mice with DSS-colitis significantly attenuated colitis, which accompanies with a decreased serum IL-17 level. Finally, PTP1B deficiency increased the frequency of MDSCs from BM cells likely through enhancing the activities of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) and Janus kinase 2 (JAK2). In conclusion, our study provides the first evidences that PTP1B deficiency ameliorates murine experimental colitis via expanding MDSCs.
Previous studies by us and other have provided evidence that leukocytes play a critical role in the development of diabetic retinopathy, suggesting a possible role of the innate immune system in development of the retinopathy. Since MyD88 is a convergence point for signaling pathways of the innate immune system (including Toll-Like Receptors (TLRs) and interleukin-1ß (IL-1ß)), the purpose of this study was to assess the role of MyD88 and its dependent pathways on abnormalities that develop in retina and white blood cells related to diabetic retinopathy.
C57BL/6J mice were made diabetic with streptozotocin. Chimeric mice were generated in which MyD88-dependent pathways were deleted from bone marrow-derived only. Mice were sacrificed at 2 mos of diabetes for assessment of, leukostasis, albumin accumulation in neural retina, leukocyte-mediated killing of retinal endothelial cells, and cytokine/chemokine generation by retinas of diabetic mice in response to TLR agonists,
IL-6 and CXCL1 were generated in retinas from diabetic (but not nondiabetic mice) following incubation with Pam3CysK/TLR2, but incubation with other TLR ligands or IL-1ß did not induce cytokine production in retinas from nondiabetic or diabetic mice. Diabetes-induced abnormalities (leukostasis, ICAM-1 expression on the luminal surface of the vascular endothelium, retinal superoxide generation) were significantly inhibited by removing either MyD88 or the signaling pathways regulated by it (TLRs 2 and 4, and IL-1ß) from bone marrow-derived cells only. Leukocyte-mediated killing of endothelial cells tended to be decreased in the marrow-derived cells lacking TLR2/4, but the killing was significantly exacerbated if the marrow cells lacked MyD88 or the receptor for IL-1ß (IL-1ßr).
MyD88-dependent pathways play an important role in the development of diabetes-induced inflammation in the retina, and inhibition of MyD88 might be a novel target to inhibit early abnormalities of diabetic retinopathy and other complications of diabetes.
Lipocalin-2 (Lcn-2) is involved in divergent processes such as acute kidney injury or bacterial host defence. Our study was designed to evaluate the functional role of Lcn-2 in nephrotoxic serum nephritis (NTS). Since Lcn-2 is expressed in tubular epithelial cells as well as in cells of innate immunity such as macrophages and polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN), we induced NTS in wild-type (WT), Lcn-2 knock-out (KO) mice and WT/Lcn-2 KO chimeras. Mice lacking Lcn-2 exhibited more glomerular damage with increased proteinuria and interstitial leukocyte accumulation compared to WT mice. Chimeras able to express Lcn-2 in macrophages and PMN but not in epithelial cells were found to develop NTS comparable to wild-type controls. In contrast, chimeras expressing Lcn-2 in tubular epithelial cells with no expression in innate immune cells developed increased NTS due to decreased concerted apoptosis but increased necrosis and formation of damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) such as high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB-1) in the kidney. In vivo blockade of HMGB-1, a toll-like receptor (TLR)-2 agonist, significantly reduced inflammation and NTS in Lcn-2 knock-out mice. In parallel, TLR-2 signalling was found to drive Lcn-2 transcription in vitro. Taken together, Lcn-2 expressed in innate immune cells is protective in NTS by inducing concerted apoptosis and inhibiting the formation of HMGB-1 thereby limiting cytokine production via TLR-2 signalling. In parallel, TLR-2 dependent transcription of Lcn-2 is an endogenous inhibitor of inflammation in NTS.
The endotoxin-mediated production of pro-inflammatory cytokines plays an important role in the pathogenesis of liver disorders. Heat shock protein (Hsp70) overexpression has established functions in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-mediated inflammatory response. However, little is known about the role of Hsp70 activity in LPS signaling. We hypothesized that inhibition of Hsp70 substrate binding activity can ameliorate LPS-induced liver injury by decreasing induction of pro-inflammatory factors. In this study, C57/BL6 mice were injected intraperitoneally with LPS and 2-phenylethynesulfonamide (PES), an inhibitor of Hsp70 substrate binding activity. We found that i. PES prevented LPS-induced increase in serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) activity, infiltration of inflammatory cells, and liver cell apoptosis; ii. PES reduced inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) protein expression as well as serum nitric oxide (NO), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and interleukin-6 (IL-6) content in LPS-stimulated mice; iii. PES reduced the mRNA level of iNOS, TNF-α, and IL-6 in LPS-stimulated liver. iiii. PES attenuated the degradation of inhibitor of κB-α (IκB-α) as well as the phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) in LPS-stimulated liver. Similar changes in the protein expression of inflammatory markers, IκB-α degradation, and NF-κB phosphorylation and nuclear translocation were observed in RAW 264.7 cells. Further mechanistic studies revealed that PES remarkably reduced the elevation of [Ca2+]i and intracellular pH value (pHi) in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells. Furthermore, PES significantly reduced the increase in Na+/H+ exchanger 1 (NHE1) association to Hsp70 in LPS-stimulated macrophages and liver, suggesting that NHE1-Hsp70 interaction is required for the involvement of NHE1 in the inflammation response. In conclusion, inhibition of Hsp70 substrate binding activity in vivo reduces the induction of pro-inflammatory factors and prevents LPS-induced liver injury likely by disrupting NHE1-Hsp70 interaction which consequently reduces the activation of IκB-α-NF-κB pathway in liver.
Liver fibrosis is associated with infiltrating immune cells and activation of hepatic stellate cells. We here aimed to investigate the effects of the CC chemokine CCL3, also known as macrophage inflammatory protein-1α, in two different fibrosis models. To this end, we treated mice either with carbon tetrachloride or with a methionine- and choline-deficient diet to induce fibrosis in CCL3 deficient and wild-type mice. The results show that the protein expression of CCL3 is increased in wild-type mice after chronic liver injury. Deletion of CCL3 exhibited reduced liver fibrosis compared to their wild-type counterparts. We could validate these results by treating the two mouse groups with either carbon tetrachloride or by feeding a methionine- and choline-deficient diet. In these models, lack of CCL3 is functionally associated with reduced stellate cell activation and liver immune cell infiltration. In vitro, we show that CCL3 leads to increased proliferation and migration of hepatic stellate cells. In conclusion, our results define the chemokine CCL3 as a mediator of experimental liver fibrosis. Thus, therapeutic modulation of CCL3 might be a promising target for chronic liver diseases.
Urotensin II (UII) is implicated in immune inflammatory diseases through its specific high-affinity UT receptor (UTR). Enhanced expression of UII/UTR was recently demonstrated in the liver with acute liver failure (ALF). Here, we analysed the relationship between UII/UTR expression and ALF in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)/D-galactosamine (GalN)-challenged mice. Thereafter, we investigated the effects produced by the inhibition of UII/UTR system using urantide, a special antagonist of UTR, and the potential molecular mechanisms involved in ALF. Urantide was administered to mice treated with LPS/GalN. Expression of UII/UTR, releases of proinflammatory cytokines including tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ), and activation of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) signaling pathway were assessed in the lethal ALF with or without urantide pretreatment. We found that LPS/GalN-challenged mice showed high mortality and marked hepatic inflammatory infiltration and cell apoptosis as well as a significant increase of UII/UTR expression. Urantide pretreatment protected against the injury in liver following downregulation of UII/UTR expression. A close relationship between the acutely flamed hepatic injury and UII/UTR expression was observed. In addition, urantide prevented the increases of proinflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α, IL-1β and IFN-γ, and activation of NF-κB signaling pathway induced by LPS/GalN in mice. Thus, we conclude that UII/UTR system plays a role in LPS/GalN-induced ALF. Urantide has a protective effect on the acutely inflamed injury of liver in part through preventing releases of proinflammatory cytokines and activation of NF-κB pathway.
Brucella spp. are facultative intracellular bacterial pathogens responsible for brucellosis, a worldwide zoonosis that causes abortion in domestic animals and chronic febrile disease associated with serious complications in humans. There is currently no approved vaccine against human brucellosis, and antibiotic therapy is long and costly. Development of a safe protective vaccine requires a better understanding of the roles played by components of adaptive immunity in the control of Brucella infection. The importance of lymphocyte subsets in the control of Brucella growth has been investigated separately by various research groups and remains unclear or controversial. Here, we used a large panel of genetically deficient mice to compare the importance of B cells, transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP-1), and major histocompatibility complex class II-dependent pathways of antigen presentation as well as T helper 1 (Th1), Th2, and Th17-mediated responses on the immune control of Brucella melitensis 16 M infection. We clearly confirmed the key function played by gamma interferon (IFN-γ)-producing Th1 CD4+ T cells in the control of B. melitensis infection, whereas IFN-γ-producing CD8+ T cells or B cell-mediated humoral immunity plays only a modest role in the clearance of bacteria during primary infection. In the presence of a Th1 response, Th2 or Th17 responses do not really develop or play a positive or negative role during the course of B. melitensis infection. On the whole, these results could improve our ability to develop protective vaccines or therapeutic treatments against brucellosis.
Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) is a devastating progressive disease in which normal lung structure and function is compromised by scarring. Lung fibrosis can be caused by thoracic radiation, injury from chemotherapy and systemic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis that involve inflammatory responses. CDDO-Me (Methyl 2-cyano-3,12-dioxooleana-1,9(11)dien-28-oate, Bardoxolone methyl) is a novel triterpenoid with anti-fibrotic and anti-inflammatory properties as shown by our in vitro studies. Based on this evidence, we hypothesized that CDDO-Me would reduce lung inflammation, fibrosis and lung function impairment in a bleomycin model of lung injury and fibrosis. To test this hypothesis, mice received bleomycin via oropharyngeal aspiration (OA) on day zero and CDDO-Me during the inflammatory phase from days -1 to 9 every other day. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and lung tissue were harvested on day 7 to evaluate inflammation, while fibrosis and lung function were evaluated on day 21. On day 7, CDDO-Me reduced total BALF protein by 50%, alveolar macrophage infiltration by 40%, neutrophil infiltration by 90% (p≤0.01), inhibited production of the inflammatory cytokines KC and IL-6 by over 90% (p≤0.001), and excess production of the pro-fibrotic cytokine TGFβ by 50%. CDDO-Me also inhibited α-smooth muscle actin and fibronectin mRNA by 50% (p≤0.05). On day 21, CDDO-Me treatment reduced histological fibrosis, collagen deposition and αSMA production. Lung function was significantly improved at day 21 by treatment with CDDO-Me, as demonstrated by respiratory rate and dynamic compliance. These new findings reveal that CDDO-Me exhibits potent anti-fibrotic and anti-inflammatory properties in vivo. CDDO-Me is a potential new class of drugs to arrest inflammation and ameliorate fibrosis in patients who are predisposed to lung injury and fibrosis incited by cancer treatments (e.g. chemotherapy and radiation) and by systemic autoimmune diseases.
Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) commonly suffer from acute exacerbations (AECOPD) and display varying disease severity. However, there is no available biomarker for the classification of AECOPD. This study is aimed at investigating the sputum cellular profiles to classify patients with AECOPD.
A total of 83 patients with AECOPD and 26 healthy controls were recruited. Their demographic and clinical characteristics were recorded, and their lung function was examined. The phenotypes of sputum inflammatory cells were characterised, and the concentrations of sputum and serum amyloid-A (SAA), C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) were measured. Based on the sputum inflammatory cell profiles, individual patients were categorized into one of the four subgroups with inflammatory eosinophilic, neutrophilic, paucigranulocytic, and mixed granulocytic AECOPD. Most AECOPD patients were reevaluated within 12–14 months after discharge.
There were 10 (12%) eosinophilic, 36 (43%) neutrophilic, 5 (6%) mixed granulocytic, and 32 (39%) paucigranulocytic AECOPD patients. The patients with mixed granulocytic or neutrophilic AECOPD had a higher BODE score, more sputum inflammatory cells, lower lung function, and longer hospital stay, accompanied by higher concentrations of sputum MMP-9, IL-6 and CRP, and serum SAA, IL-6 and CRP. Notably, 83% of patients with neutrophilic AECOPD displayed evidence of bacterial infection and many of them responded poorly to standard therapies. In addition, patients with mixed granulocytic or neutrophilic stable COPD remained at lower lung functions and higher levels of inflammation.
Patients with AECOPD display heterogeneous inflammation, and the profiles of sputum inflammatory cells may be used as valuable biomarkers for the classification of AECOPD patients.
Morbi-mortality in cystic fibrosis (CF) is mainly related to chronic lung infection and inflammation, uncontrolled tissue rearrangements and fibrosis, and yet the underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. We evaluated inflammatory and fibrosis responses to bleomycin in F508del homozygous and wild-type mice, and phenotype of fibroblasts explanted from mouse lungs and skin. The effect of vardenafil, a cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor, was tested in vivo and in culture. Responses of proinflammatory and fibrotic markers to bleomycin were enhanced in lungs and skin of CF mice and were prevented by treatment with vardenafil. Purified lung and skin fibroblasts from CF mice proliferated and differentiated into myofibroblasts more prominently and displayed higher sensitivity to growth factors than those recovered from wild-type littermates. Under inflammatory stimulation, mRNA and protein expression of proinflammatory mediators were higher in CF than in wild-type fibroblasts, in which CFTR expression reached similar levels to those observed in other non-epithelial cells, such as macrophages. Increased proinflammatory responses in CF fibroblasts were reduced by half with submicromolar concentrations of vardenafil. Proinflammatory and fibrogenic functions of fibroblasts are upregulated in CF and are reduced by vardenafil. This study provides compelling new support for targeting cGMP signaling pathway in CF pharmacotherapy.
Altered sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) homeostasis and signaling is implicated in various inflammatory diseases including atherosclerosis. As S1P levels are tightly controlled by S1P lyase, we investigated the impact of hematopoietic S1P lyase (Sgpl1−/−) deficiency on leukocyte subsets relevant to atherosclerosis.
Methods and Results
LDL receptor deficient mice that were transplanted with Sgpl1−/− bone marrow showed disrupted S1P gradients translating into lymphopenia and abrogated lymphocyte mitogenic and cytokine response as compared to controls. Remarkably however, Sgpl1−/− chimeras displayed mild monocytosis, due to impeded stromal retention and myelopoiesis, and plasma cytokine and macrophage expression patterns, that were largely compatible with classical macrophage activation. Collectively these two phenotypic features of Sgpl1 deficiency culminated in diminished atherogenic response.
Here we not only firmly establish the critical role of hematopoietic S1P lyase in controlling S1P levels and T cell trafficking in blood and lymphoid tissue, but also identify leukocyte Sgpl1 as critical factor in monocyte macrophage differentiation and function. Its, partly counterbalancing, pro- and anti-inflammatory activity spectrum imply that intervention in S1P lyase function in inflammatory disorders such as atherosclerosis should be considered with caution.
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are resistant to environmental degradation and can cause multitude of health problems. Cytochrome P450 1A (Cyp1a) is often up-regulated by POPs through the activation of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) pathway and is thus usually used as a biomarker for xenobiotics exposure. To develop a convenient in vivo tool to monitor xenobiotic contamination in the water, we have established GFP transgenic medaka using the inducible cyp1a promoter, Tg(cyp1a:gfp). Here we tested Tg(cyp1a:gfp) medaka at three different stages, prehatching embryos, newly hatched fry and adult with 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodiebnzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), a dioxin. While GFP induction was observed in all three stages, newly hatched fry were the most sensitive with the lowest observed effective concentration of 0.005 nM or 16.1 ng/L. The highly sensitive organs included the kidney, liver and intestine. With high concentrations of TCDD, several other organs such as the olfactory pit, tail fin, gills, lateral line neuromast cells and blood vessels also showed GFP expression. In addition, Tg(cyp1a:gfp) medaka fry also responded to two other AhR agonists, 3-methylcholanthrene and benzo[a]pyrene, for GFP induction, but no significant GFP induction was observed towards several other chemicals tested, indicating the specificity of this transgenic line. The GFP inducibility of Tg(cyp1a:gfp) medaka at both fry and adult stages may be useful for development of high-throughput assays as well as online water monitoring system to detect xenobiotic toxicity.
Influenza virus A (IAV) causes annual epidemics and intermittent pandemics that affect millions of people worldwide. Potent inflammatory responses are commonly associated with severe cases of IAV infection. The complement system, an important mechanism of innate and humoral immune responses to infections, is activated during primary IAV infection and mediates, in association with natural IgM, viral neutralization by virion aggregation and coating of viral hemmagglutinin. Increased levels of the anaphylatoxin C5a were found in patients fatally infected with the most recent H1N1 pandemic virus. In this study, our aim was to evaluate whether targeting C5 activation alters inflammatory lung injury and viral load in a murine model of IAV infection. To address this question C57Bl/6j mice were infected intranasally with 104 PFU of the mouse adapted Influenza A virus A/WSN/33 (H1N1) or inoculated with PBS (Mock). We demonstrated that C5a is increased in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) upon experimental IAV infection. To evaluate the role of C5, we used OmCI, a potent arthropod-derived inhibitor of C5 activation that binds to C5 and prevents release of C5a by complement. OmCI was given daily by intraperitoneal injection from the day of IAV infection until day 5. Treatment with OmCI only partially reduced C5a levels in BALF. However, there was significant inhibition of neutrophil and macrophage infiltration in the airways, Neutrophil Extracellular Traps (NETs) formation, death of leukocytes, lung epithelial injury and overall lung damage induced by the infection. There was no effect on viral load. Taken together, these data suggest that targeting C5 activation with OmCI during IAV infection could be a promising approach to reduce excessive inflammatory reactions associated with the severe forms of IAV infections.
The Notch pathway plays a role in the processes of cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis, which affect the development and function of various organs. Dendritic cells (DCs), as professional antigen-presenting cells (APCs), induce T cell activation and promote T cell differentiation by antigen stimulation. Research has shown that Notch ligand delta-like 4 (Dll4) in APCs is associated with stimulation of a Th1-type response. However, the regulatory roles of Dll4 in the activation and function of DCs have yet to be clearly elucidated. In this study, we demonstrated that activation of Dll4-pretreated bone marrow-derived DCs by performing ovalbumin (OVA) stimulation expressed a high level of interleukin (IL)-10 without diminishing IL-12 production. By contrast, the proinflammatory cytokines, IL-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, decreased in Dll4-pretreated DCs by performing either lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or OVA stimulation. Compared to fully mature DCs, lower levels of MHC class II CD40 and higher levels of CD80 and CD86 molecules were expressed in these semi-mature like DCs. Dll4 Notch signaling also enhanced Notch ligand mRNA expression of Dll1, Dll4, and Jagged1 in DCs. Dll4-modified DCs exhibited a reduced capacity to stimulate the proliferation of OVA-specific CD4+ T cells, but actively promoted large amounts of IL-10 production in these activated T cells. Furthermore, immunomodulatory effects of Dll4-modified DCs were examined in an established asthmatic animal model. After adoptive transfer of OVA-pulsed plus Dll4-pretreated DCs in OVA-immunized mice, OVA challenge induced lower OVA-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) and higher IgG2a antibody production, lower eotaxin, keratinocyte-derived chemokine (KC), IL-5, and IL-13 release in bronchial alveolar lavage fluid, attenuated airway hyper-responsiveness, and promoted higher IL-10 and interferon (IFN)-γ production in the spleen. In summary, our findings elucidate the new role of Dll4 in the phenotype and function of DCs and provide a novel approach for manipulating T cell-driven deleterious immune diseases.
Tumour Necrosis Factor (TNF) is critical for host control of M. tuberculosis, but the relative contribution of TNF from innate and adaptive immune responses during tuberculosis infection is unclear. Myeloid versus T-cell-derived TNF function in tuberculosis was investigated using cell type-specific TNF deletion. Mice deficient for TNF expression in macrophages/neutrophils displayed early, transient susceptibility to M. tuberculosis but recruited activated, TNF-producing CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells and controlled chronic infection. Strikingly, deficient TNF expression in T-cells resulted in early control but susceptibility and eventual mortality during chronic infection with increased pulmonary pathology. TNF inactivation in both myeloid and T-cells rendered mice critically susceptible to infection with a phenotype resembling complete TNF deficient mice, indicating that myeloid and T-cells are the primary TNF sources collaborating for host control of tuberculosis. Thus, while TNF from myeloid cells mediates early immune function, T-cell derived TNF is essential to sustain protection during chronic tuberculosis infection.
Serum and bronchoalveolar fluid IL-6 are increased in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and predict prolonged mechanical ventilation and poor outcomes, although the role of intra-alveolar IL-6 in indirect lung injury is unknown. We investigated the role of endogenous and exogenous intra-alveolar IL-6 in AKI-mediated lung injury (indirect lung injury), intraperitoneal (IP) endotoxin administration (indirect lung injury) and, for comparison, intratracheal (IT) endotoxin administration (direct lung injury) with the hypothesis that IL-6 would exert a pro-inflammatory effect in these causes of acute lung inflammation.
Bronchoalveolar cytokines (IL-6, CXCL1, TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-10), BAL fluid neutrophils, lung inflammation (lung cytokines, MPO activity [a biochemical marker of neutrophil infiltration]), and serum cytokines were determined in adult male C57Bl/6 mice with no intervention or 4 hours after ischemic AKI (22 minutes of renal pedicle clamping), IP endotoxin (10 µg), or IT endotoxin (80 µg) with and without intratracheal (IT) IL-6 (25 ng or 200 ng) treatment.
Lung inflammation was similar after AKI, IP endotoxin, and IT endotoxin. BAL fluid IL-6 was markedly increased after IT endotoxin, and not increased after AKI or IP endotoxin. Unexpectedly, IT IL-6 exerted an anti-inflammatory effect in healthy mice characterized by reduced BAL fluid cytokines. IT IL-6 also exerted an anti-inflammatory effect in IT endotoxin characterized by reduced BAL fluid cytokines and lung inflammation; IT IL-6 had no effect on lung inflammation in AKI or IP endotoxin.
IL-6 exerts an anti-inflammatory effect in direct lung injury from IT endotoxin, yet has no role in the pathogenesis or treatment of indirect lung injury from AKI or IP endotoxin. Since intra-alveolar inflammation is important in the pathogenesis of direct, but not indirect, causes of lung inflammation, IT anti-inflammatory treatments may have a role in direct, but not indirect, causes of ARDS.
The inducible T cell kinase (ITK) regulates type 2 (Th2) cytokines that provide defense against certain parasitic and bacterial infections and are involved in the pathogenesis of lung inflammation such as allergic asthma. Activation of ITK requires the interaction of its SH3 domain with the poly-proline region of its signaling partner, the SH2 domain containing leukocyte phosphoprotein of 76 kilodaltons (SLP-76). The specific disruption of the ITK-SH3/SLP-76 poly-proline interaction in vitro by a cell-permeable competitive inhibitor peptide (R9-QQP) interferes with the activation of ITK and the transduction of its cellular functions in T lymphocytes. In the present investigation, we assessed the effects of R9-QQP treatment on the induction of an in vivo immune response as represented by lung inflammation in a murine model of allergic asthma. We found that mice treated with R9-QQP and sensitized and challenged with the surrogate allergen ovalbumin (OVA) display significant inhibition of lung inflammation in a peptide-specific manner. Thus, parameters of the allergic response, such as airway hyper-responsiveness, suppression of inflammatory cell infiltration, reduction of bronchial mucus accumulation, and production of relevant cytokines from draining lymph nodes were significantly suppressed. These findings represent the first demonstration of the biological significance of the interaction between ITK and SLP-76 in the induction of an immune response in a whole animal model and specifically underscore the significance of the ITK-SH3 domain interaction with the poly-proline region of SLP-76 in the development of an inflammatory response. Furthermore, the experimental approach of intracellular peptide-mediated inhibition might be applicable to the study of other important intracellular interactions thus providing a paradigm for dissecting signal transduction pathways.