Chronic allergic asthma is characterized by Th2-typed inflammation, and contributes to airway remodeling and the deterioration of lung function. Viticis Fructus (VF) has long been used in China and Korea as a traditional herbal remedy for treating various inflammatory diseases. Previously, we have isolated a novel phytochemical, pyranopyran-1, 8-dione (PPY), from VF. This study was conducted to evaluate the ability of PPY to prevent airway inflammation and to attenuate airway responses in a cockroach allergen-induced asthma model in mice. The mice sensitized to and challenged with cockroach allergen were treated with oral administration of PPY. The infiltration of total cells, eosinophils and lymphocytes into the BAL fluid was significantly inhibited in cockroach allergen-induced asthma mice treated with PPY (1, 2, or 10 mg/kg). Th2 cytokines and chemokine, such as IL-4, IL-5, IL-13 and eotaxin in BAL fluid were also reduced to normal levels following treatment with PPY. In addition, the levels of IgE were also markedly suppressed after PPY treatment. Histopathological examination demonstrated that PPY substantially inhibited eosinophil infiltration into the airway, goblet cell hyperplasia and smooth muscle hypertrophy. Taken together, these results demonstrate that PPY possesses a potent efficacy on controlling allergic asthma response such as airway inflammation and remodeling.
Pulmonary fibrosis is often triggered by an epithelial injury resulting in the formation of fibrotic lesions in the lung, which progress to impair gas exchange and ultimately cause death. Recent clinical trials using drugs that target either inflammation or a specific molecule have failed, suggesting that multiple pathways and cellular processes need to be attenuated for effective reversal of established and progressive fibrosis. Although activation of MAPK and PI3K pathways have been detected in human fibrotic lung samples, the therapeutic benefits of in vivo modulation of the MAPK and PI3K pathways in combination are unknown. Overexpression of TGFα in the lung epithelium of transgenic mice results in the formation of fibrotic lesions similar to those found in human pulmonary fibrosis, and previous work from our group shows that inhibitors of either the MAPK or PI3K pathway can alter the progression of fibrosis. In this study, we sought to determine whether simultaneous inhibition of the MAPK and PI3K signaling pathways is a more effective therapeutic strategy for established and progressive pulmonary fibrosis. Our results showed that inhibiting both pathways had additive effects compared to inhibiting either pathway alone in reducing fibrotic burden, including reducing lung weight, pleural thickness, and total collagen in the lungs of TGFα mice. This study demonstrates that inhibiting MEK and PI3K in combination abolishes proliferative changes associated with fibrosis and myfibroblast accumulation and thus may serve as a therapeutic option in the treatment of human fibrotic lung disease where these pathways play a role.
Background and Aims
Specific hyper-responsiveness towards an allergen and non-specific airway hyperreactivity both impair quality of life in patients with respiratory allergic diseases. We aimed to investigate cellular responses following specific and non-specific airway challenges locally and systemically in i) sensitized BALB/c mice challenged with grass pollen allergen Phl p 5, and in ii) grass pollen sensitized allergic rhinitis subjects undergoing specific airway challenge in the Vienna Challenge Chamber (VCC).
Methods and Results
BALB/c mice (n = 20) were intraperitoneally immunized with grass pollen allergen Phl p 5 and afterwards aerosol challenged with either the specific allergen Phl p 5 (n = 10) or the non-specific antigen ovalbumin (OVA) (n = 10). A protocol for inducing allergic asthma as well as allergic rhinitis, according to the united airway concept, was used. Both groups of exposed mice showed significantly reduced physical activity after airway challenge. Specific airway challenge further resulted in goblet cell hyperplasia, enhanced mucous secretion, intrapulmonary leukocyte infiltration and lymphoid follicle formation, associated with significant expression of IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13 in splenocytes and also partially in lung tissue. Concerning circulating blood cell dynamics, we observed a significant drop of erythrocyte counts, hemoglobin and hematocrit levels in both mouse groups, challenged with allergen or OVA. A significant decrease in circulating erythrocytes and hematocrit levels after airway challenges with grass pollen allergen was also found in grass pollen sensitized human rhinitis subjects (n = 42) at the VCC. The effects on peripheral leukocyte counts in mice and humans however were opposed, possibly due to the different primary inflammation sites.
Our data revealed that, besides significant leukocyte dynamics, particularly erythrocytes are involved in acute hypersensitivity reactions to respiratory allergens. A rapid recruitment of erythrocytes to the lungs to compensate for hypoxia is a possible explanation for these findings.
Galectin-9 (Gal-9), a lectin having a β-galactoside-binding domain, can induce apoptosis of Th1 cells by binding to TIM-3. In addition, Gal-9 inhibits IgE/Ag-mediated degranulation of mast cell/basophilic cell lines by binding to IgE, thus blocking IgE/Ag complex formation. However, the role of Gal-9 in mast cell function in the absence of IgE is not fully understood. Here, we found that recombinant Gal-9 directly induced phosphorylation of Erk1/2 but not p38 MAPK in a human mast cell line, HMC-1, which does not express FcεRI. Gal-9 induced apoptosis and inhibited PMA/ionomycin-mediated degranulation of HMC-1 cells. On the other hand, Gal-9 induced cytokine and/or chemokine production by HMC-1 cells, dependent on activation of ERK1/2 but not p38 MAPK. In addition, the lectin activity of Gal-9 was required for Gal-9-mediated cytokine secretion by HMC-1 cells. These observations suggest that Gal-9 has dual properties as both a regulator and an activator of mast cells.
Halofuginone (HF) is an active component of extracts derived from the plant alkaloid febrifugine and has shown therapeutic promise in animal models of fibrotic disease. Our main objectives were to clarify the suppressive effect of HF on concanavalin A (ConA)-induced liver fibrosis. ConA injection into the tail vein caused a great increase in the serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels, while orally administration of HF significantly decreased the levels of the transaminases. In addition, the levels of hyaluronic acid (HA), procollagen III (PCIII) and TGF-β1 in the serum and collagen I, α-SMA, tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase 2 (TIMP2) and Smad3 in the liver tissue were significantly lowered with the treatment of HF. Histological examination also demonstrated that HF significantly reduced the severity of liver fibrosis. Since ConA-induced liver fibrosis is caused by the repeated activation of T cells, immunomodulatory substances might be responsible for the suppressive effect of HF. We found that the production of nuclear factor (NF)-kB in the serum was increased in ConA-treated group, while decreased significantly with the treatment of HF. The changes of inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α), IL-6 and IL-1β in the serum followed the same rhythm. All together, our findings indicate that orally administration HF (10ppm) would attenuate the liver fibrosis by suppressing the synthesis of collagen I and inflammation-mediated liver injury.
Mycobacterium immunogenum is an emerging pathogen of the immune-mediated lung disease hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) reported in machinists occupationally exposed to contaminated metal working fluid (MWF). However, the mechanism of its interaction with the host lung is unclear. Considering that alveolar macrophages play a central role in host defense in the exposed lung, understanding their interaction with the pathogen could provide initial insights into the underlying immunopathogenesis events and mechanisms. In the current study, M. immunogenum 700506, a predominant genotype isolated from HP-linked fluids, was shown to multiply intracellularly, induce proinflammatory mediators (TNF-α, IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-6, GM-CSF, NO) and cause cytotoxicity/cell death in the cultured murine alveolar macrophage cell line MH-S in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The responses were detected as early as 3h post-infection. Comparison of this and four additional genotypes of M. immunogenum (MJY-3, MJY-4, MJY-12, MJY-14) using an effective dose-time combination (100 MOI for 24h) showed these macrophage responses in the following order (albeit with some variations for individual response indicators). Inflammatory: MJY-3 ≥ 700506 > MJY-4 ≥ MJY-14 ≥ MJY-12; Cytotoxic: 700506 ≥ MJY-3 > MJY-4 ≥ MJY-12 ≥ MJY-14. In general, 700506 and MJY-3 showed a more aggressive response than other genotypes. Chemical blocking of either p38 or JNK inhibited the induction of proinflammatory mediators (cytokines, NO) by 700506. However, the cellular responses showed a somewhat opposite effect. This is the first report on M. immunogenum interactions with alveolar macrophages and on the identification of JNK- and p38- mediated signaling and its role in mediating the proinflammatory responses during these interactions.
The antigen-presenting abilities of basophils and their role in initiating a Th2 phenotype is a topic of current controversy. We aimed to determine whether human basophils can be induced to express MHC Class II and act as antigen presenting cells for T cell stimulation. Isolated human basophils were exposed to a panel of cytokines and TLR-ligands and assessed for MHC Class II expression. MHC Class II was expressed in up to 17% of isolated basophils following incubation with a combination of IL-3, IFN-γ and GM-CSF for 72 hours. Costimulatory molecules (CD80 and CD86) were expressed at very low levels after stimulation. Gene expression analysis of MHC Class II-positive basophils confirmed up-regulation of HLA-DR, HLA-DM, CD74 and Cathepsin S. However, MHC Class II expressing basophils were incapable of inducing antigen-specific T cell activation or proliferation. This is the first report of significant cytokine-induced MHC Class II up-regulation, at both RNA and protein level, in isolated human basophils. By testing stimulation with relevant T cell epitope peptide as well as whole antigen, the failure of MHC Class II expressing basophils to induce T cell response was shown not to be solely due to inefficient antigen uptake and/or processing.
With their location in the perisinusoidal space of Disse, hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) communicate with all of the liver cell types both by physical association (cell body as well as cytosolic processes penetrating into sinusoids through the endothelial fenestrations) and by producing several cytokines and chemokines. Bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), circulating levels of which are elevated in liver diseases and transplantation, stimulates HSCs to produce increased amounts of cytokines and chemokines. Although recent research provides strong evidence for the role of HSCs in hepatic inflammation and immune regulation, the number of HSC-elaborated inflammatory and immune regulatory molecules may be much greater then known at the present time. Here we report time-dependent changes in the gene expression profile of inflammatory and immune-regulatory molecules in LPS-stimulated rat HSCs, and their validation by biochemical analyses. LPS strongly up-regulated LPS-response elements (TLR2 and TLR7) but did not affect TLR4 and down-regulated TLR9. LPS also up-regulated genes in the MAPK, NFκB, STAT, SOCS, IRAK and interferon signaling pathways, numerous CC and CXC chemokines and IL17F. Interestingly, LPS modulated genes related to TGFβ and HSC activation in a manner that would limit their activation and fibrogenic activity. The data indicate that LPS-stimulated HSCs become a major cell type in regulating hepatic inflammatory and immunological responses by altering expression of numerous relevant genes, and thus play a prominent role in hepatic pathophysiology including liver diseases and transplantation.
Recent experimental studies provide evidence indicating that manipulation of the mononuclear phagocyte phenotype could be a feasible approach to alter the severity and persistence of pulmonary injury and fibrosis. Mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) has been reported as a target to regulate macrophage polarization. The present work was designed to investigate the therapeutic potential of MR antagonism in bleomycin-induced acute lung injury and fibrosis.
We first demonstrated the expression of MR in magnetic bead-purified Ly6G-/CD11b+ circulating monocytes and in alveolar macrophages harvested in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) from C57BL/6 mice. Then, a pharmacological intervention study using spironolactone (20mg/kg/day by oral gavage) revealed that MR antagonism led to decreased inflammatory cell infiltration, cytokine production (downregulated monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, transforming growth factor β1, and interleukin-1β at mRNA and protein levels) and collagen deposition (decreased lung total hydroxyproline content and collagen positive area by Masson’ trichrome staining) in bleomycin treated (2.5mg/kg, via oropharyngeal instillation) male C57BL/6 mice. Moreover, serial flow cytometry analysis in blood, BALF and enzymatically digested lung tissue, revealed that spironolactone could partially inhibit bleomycin-induced circulating Ly6Chi monocyte expansion, and reduce alternative activation (F4/80+CD11c+CD206+) of mononuclear phagocyte in alveoli, whereas the phenotype of interstitial macrophage (F4/80+CD11c-) remained unaffected by spironolactone during investigation.
The present work provides the experimental evidence that spironolactone could attenuate bleomycin-induced acute pulmonary injury and fibrosis, partially via inhibition of MR-mediated circulating monocyte and alveolar macrophage phenotype switching.
Ovarian cancer G protein-coupled receptor 1 (OGR1) stimulation by extracellular protons causes the activation of G proteins and subsequent cellular functions. However, the physiological and pathophysiological roles of OGR1 in airway responses remain largely unknown. In the present study, we show that OGR1-deficient mice are resistant to the cardinal features of asthma, including airway eosinophilia, airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), and goblet cell metaplasia, in association with a remarkable inhibition of Th2 cytokine and IgE production, in an ovalbumin (OVA)-induced asthma model. Intratracheal transfer to wild-type mice of OVA-primed bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (DCs) from OGR1-deficient mice developed lower AHR and eosinophilia after OVA inhalation compared with the transfer of those from wild-type mice. Migration of OVA-pulsed DCs to peribronchial lymph nodes was also inhibited by OGR1 deficiency in the adoption experiments. The presence of functional OGR1 in DCs was confirmed by the expression of OGR1 mRNA and the OGR1-sensitive Ca2+ response. OVA-induced expression of CCR7, a mature DC chemokine receptor, and migration response to CCR7 ligands in an in vitro Transwell assay were attenuated by OGR1 deficiency. We conclude that OGR1 on DCs is critical for migration to draining lymph nodes, which, in turn, stimulates Th2 phenotype change and subsequent induction of airway inflammation and AHR.
Chlamydia pneumoniae (CP) lung infection can induce chronic lung inflammation and is associated with not only acute asthma but also COPD exacerbations. However, in mouse models of CP infection, most studies have investigated specifically the acute phase of the infection and not the longer-term chronic changes in the lungs. We infected C57BL/6 mice with 5×105 CP intratracheally and monitored inflammation, cellular infiltrates and cytokine levels over time to investigate the chronic inflammatory lung changes. While bacteria numbers declined by day 28, macrophage numbers remained high through day 35. Immune cell clusters were detected as early as day 14 and persisted through day 35, and stained positive for B, T, and follicular dendritic cells, indicating these clusters were inducible bronchus associated lymphoid tissues (iBALTs). Classically activated inflammatory M1 macrophages were the predominant subtype early on while alternatively activated M2 macrophages increased later during infection. Adoptive transfer of M1 but not M2 macrophages intratracheally 1 week after infection resulted in greater lung inflammation, severe fibrosis, and increased numbers of iBALTS 35 days after infection. In summary, we show that CP lung infection in mice induces chronic inflammatory changes including iBALT formations as well as fibrosis. These observations suggest that the M1 macrophages, which are part of the normal response to clear acute C. pneumoniae lung infection, result in an enhanced acute response when present in excess numbers, with greater inflammation, tissue injury, and severe fibrosis.
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.