Ixodes scapularis transmits the agent of human granulocytic anaplasmosis, among other pathogens. The mechanisms used by the tick to control Anaplasma phagocytophilum are not known. We demonstrate that the I. scapularis Janus kinase (JAK)–signaling transducer activator of transcription (STAT) pathway plays a critical role in A. phagocytophilum infection of ticks. The A. phagocytophilum burden increases in salivary glands and hemolymph when the JAK-STAT pathway is suppressed by RNA interference. The JAK-STAT pathway exerts its anti-Anaplasma activity presumably through STAT-regulated effectors. A salivary gland gene family encoding 5.3-kDa antimicrobial peptides is highly induced upon A. phagocytophilum infection of tick salivary glands. Gene expression and electrophoretic mobility shift assays showed that the 5.3-kDa antimicrobial peptide–encoding genes are regulated by tick STAT. Silencing of these genes increased A. phagocytophilum infection of tick salivary glands and transmission to mammalian host. These data suggest that the JAK-STAT signaling pathway plays a key role in controlling A. phagocytophilum infection in ticks by regulating the expression of antimicrobial peptides.
Aims: Peroxiredoxins (PRXs) are a newly characterized family of peroxide scavenging enzymes that not only help maintain cellular redox homeostasis but also may directly engage in a variety of intracellular signaling pathways. PRX2 is a neuronal-specific PRX believed to participate in cerebral antioxidant responses in several neurodegenerative diseases. This study investigates the potential neuroprotective effect and the underlying mechanism of PRX2 in models of ischemic neuronal injury. Results: Transgenic mice overexpressing PRX2 showed reduced brain injury and improved neurological recovery up to 3 weeks after transient focal cerebral ischemia compared to wild-type littermates. In primary cultures of cortical neurons, transfection of PRX2 but not the loss-of-catalytic-site PRX2 mutant conferred neuroprotection against cell death induced by oxygen glucose deprivation. PRX2 exhibited potent pro-survival effects in ischemic neurons by maintaining thioredoxin (Trx) in its reduced state, thereby preventing oxidative stress-mediated activation of apoptosis signal–regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) and the downstream MKK/JNK pro-death signaling pathway. PRX2 failed to provide additional neuroprotection against ischemic injury in Trx- or ASK1-knockdown neuron cultures and in mice treated with a JNK inhibitor. Innovation: This study provides evidence that neuronal overexpression of PRX2 confers prolonged neuroprotection against ischemic/reperfusion brain injury. Moreover, the results suggest a signaling pathway by which PRX2 suppresses ischemia-induced neuronal apoptosis. Conclusions: Enhanced neuronal expression and activity of PRX2 protect against ischemic neuronal injury by directly modulating the redox-sensitive Trx-ASK1 signaling complex. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 17, 719–732.
We have been studying the action mechanisms of valproic acid (VPA) in fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe by developing a genetic screen for mutants that show hypersensitivity to VPA. In the present study, we performed a genome-wide screen of 3004 haploid deletion strains and confirmed 148 deletion strains to be VPA sensitive. Of the 148 strains, 93 strains also showed sensitivity to another aliphatic acids HDAC inhibitor, sodium butyrate (SB), and 55 strains showed sensitivity to VPA but not to SB. Interestingly, we found that both VPA and SB treatment induced a marked increase in the transcription activity of Atf1 in wild-type cells. However, in clr6-1, a mutant allele the clr6+ gene encoding class I HDAC, neither VPA- nor SB induced the activation of Atf1 transcription activity. We also found that VPA, but not SB, caused an increase in cytoplasmic Ca2+ level. We further found that the cytoplasmic Ca2+ increase was caused by Ca2+ influx from extracellular medium via Cch1-Yam8 channel complex. Altogether, our present study indicates that VPA and SB play similar but distinct roles in multiple physiological processes in fission yeast.
The C-repeat (CRT)/dehydration-responsive element (DRE) binding factor (CBF/DREB1) transcription factors play a key role in cold response. However, the detailed roles of many plant CBFs are far from fully understood. A CBF gene (SsCBF1) was isolated from the cold-hardy plant Solanum lycopersicoides. A subcellular localization study using GFP fusion protein indicated that SsCBF1 is localized in the nucleus. We delimited the SsCBF1 transcriptional activation domain to the C-terminal segment comprising amino acid residues 193–228 (SsCBF1193–228). The expression of SsCBF1 could be dramatically induced by cold, drought and high salinity. Transactivation assays in tobacco leaves revealed that SsCBF1 could specifically bind to the CRT cis-elements in vivo to activate the expression of downstream reporter genes. The ectopic overexpression of SsCBF1 conferred increased freezing and high-salinity tolerance and late flowering phenotype to transgenic Arabidopsis. RNA-sequencing data exhibited that a set of cold and salt stress responsive genes were up-regulated in transgenic Arabidopsis. Our results suggest that SsCBF1 behaves as a typical CBF to contribute to plant freezing tolerance. Increased resistance to high-salinity and late flowering phenotype derived from SsCBF1 OE lines lend more credence to the hypothesis that plant CBFs participate in diverse physiological and biochemical processes related to adverse conditions.
Mitochondrial DNA plays an important role in living organisms, and has been used as a powerful molecular marker in a variety of evolutionary studies. In this study, we determined the complete mtDNA of Bean goose (Anser fabalis), which is 16,688 bp long and contains 13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNAs, 22 tRNAs and a control region. The arrangement is similar to that of typical Anseriform species. All protein-coding genes, except for Cyt b, ND5, COI, and COII, start with an ATG codon. The ATG start codon is also generally observed in the 12 other Anseriform species, including 2 Anser species, with sequenced mitochondrial genomes. TAA is the most frequent stop codon, one of three–TAA, TAG, and T- –commonly observed in Anseriformes. All tRNAs could be folded into canonical cloverleaf secondary structures except for tRNASer(AGY) and tRNALeu(CUN), which are missing the dihydrouridine (DHU) arm. The control region of Bean goose mtDNA, with some conserved sequence boxes, such as F, E, D, and C, identified in its central domain. Phylogenetic analysis of complete mtDNA data for 13 Anseriform species supports the classification of them into four major branches: Anatinae, Anserinae, Dendrocygninae and Anseranatidae. Phylogenetic analyses were also conducted on 36 Anseriform birds using combined Cyt b, ND2, and COI sequences. The results clearly support the genus Somateria as an independent lineage classified in its own tribe, the Somaterini. Recovered topologies from both complete mtDNA and combined DNA sequences strongly indicate that Dendrocygninae is an independent subfamily within the family Anatidae and Anseranatidae represents an independent family. Based on the results of this study, we conclude that combining ND2, Cyt b, and COI sequence data is a workable solution at present for resolving phylogenetic relationships among Anseriform species in the absence of sufficient complete mtDNA data.
Background and Purpose
Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is an inducible phase-2 enzyme that degrades toxic heme; its role in cerebral ischemia is not fully understood. We hypothesize that chemically induced HO-1 upregulation with the novel triterpenoid CDDO-Im (2-cyano-3,12 dioxooleana-1,9 dien-28-oyl imidazolide), a robust inducer of phase-2 genes, protects neurons against ischemic injury.
Using three different models of ischemia, including oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) in neuronal cultures, global ischemia in rats and focal ischemia in mice, we determined 1) whether CDDO-Im induces HO-1 expression and protect against ischemic injury, and 2) whether HO-1 inhibition disrupts the neuroprotective effect of CDDO-Im.
CDDO-Im treatment (50–300 nmol/L) resulted in 8-fold HO-1 upregulation in cultured neurons and protected against OGD. The protection was abolished when the cultures were transfected with Nrf2-shRNA or co-incubated with tin protoporphyrin IX (Sn-PPIX), a specific HO-1 inhibitor. In the rat model of global ischemia, intracerebroventricular (ICV) infusion of CDDO-Im (0.5–1.5 μg) augmented HO-1 expression in hippocampal neurons and resulted in significant increases in CA1 neuronal survival after global ischemia. To further strengthen the clinical relevance of the CDDO-Im treatment, we tested its effects in the mouse model of temporary focal ischemia (60 min). Post-ischemic intraperitoneal injection of CDDO-Im (10–100 μg) enhanced HO-1 expression and significantly reduced neurological dysfunction and infarct volume. ICV infusion of Sn-PPIX reduced the neuroprotective effect of CDDO-Im against global and focal ischemia.
CDDO-Im confers neuroprotection against ischemic injury by upregulating HO-1, suggesting that enhance of HO-1 expression may be a legitimate strategy for therapeutic intervention of stroke.
stroke; cytoprotective; CDDO; Nrf2
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is largely responsible for heavy economic losses in the swine industry worldwide because of its high mutation rate and subsequent emergence of virulent strains. However, the immunological and pathological responses of pigs to PRRSV strains with different virulence have not been completely elucidated.
Twenty-four piglets were divided into 4 groups (n = 6 each) and inoculated with highly pathogenic PRRSV isolate BB0907 (HP), low pathogenic PRRSV NT0801 (LP), LP derivative strain NT0801-F70 (LP-der), and DMEM medium (control), respectively. The changes in TLR2, 3, 7, and 8 gene expression and TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IFN-γ, and IL-10 secretion were evaluated using real-time PCR and ELISA at 6, 9, and 15 days post inoculation (d.p.i.). The cytokine levels were evaluated in the supernatants of porcine alveolar macrophages (PAMs) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) following stimulation with LTA, poly(I:C), CL097, and PRRSV individually.
HP caused more severe clinical signs and pathological lesions in swine than LP and LP-der had almost no virulence compared with LP. The serum levels of IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, and IFN-γ were increased in HP-infected piglets, which were greater than in those infected with LP or LP-der. The mRNA levels of TLR3, 7, and 8 were significantly up-regulated in PAMs in HP-infected pigs compared to those in groups LP and LP-der. Furthermore, TNF-α and IL-1β secretion in PAMs from group LP was statistically greater than those from the control group after stimulation with either poly(I:C) or CL097. Meanwhile, TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 levels in CL097-stimulated PBMCs from HP-infected pigs were markedly higher than those from the LP- and LP-der-infected groups.
We found that HP was a stronger inducer of TLR 3, 7, and 8 expression and IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, and IFN-γ production compared to LP and LP-der. HP enhanced production of TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 in PBMCs following CL097-stimulation more than LP and LP-der, whereas LP enhanced the secretion of TNF-α and IL-1β in poly(I:C)- and CL097-stimulated PAMs. Our data regarding cellular reactivity to different isolates should be useful in the development of more efficacious vaccines.
PRRSV; Immunogenicity; Pathogenicity; TLRs; Cytokines
Shewanella oneidensis exhibits a remarkable versatility in anaerobic respiration, which largely relies on its diverse respiratory pathways. Some of these are expressed in response to the existence of their corresponding electron acceptors (EAs) under aerobic conditions. However, little is known about respiration and the impact of non-oxygen EAs on the physiology of the microorganism when oxygen is present. Here we undertook a study to elucidate the basis for nitrate and nitrite inhibition of growth under aerobic conditions. We discovered that nitrate in the form of NaNO3 exerts its inhibitory effects as a precursor to nitrite at low concentrations and as an osmotic-stress provider (Na+) at high concentrations. In contrast, nitrite is extremely toxic, with 25 mM abolishing growth completely. We subsequently found that oxygen represses utilization of all EAs but nitrate. To order to utilize EAs with less positive redox potential, such as nitrite and fumarate, S. oneidensis must enter the stationary phase, when oxygen respiration becomes unfavorable. In addition, we demonstrated that during aerobic respiration the cytochrome bd oxidase confers S. oneidensis resistance to nitrite, which likely functions via nitric oxide (NO).
Interleukin (IL) 33, a member of IL-1 cytokine family, is well known to promote Th2 type immune responses by signaling through its receptor ST2. However, it is not clear whether ST2 is expressed by mucosal epithelium, and how it responds to IL-33 to induce inflammatory mediators. This study was to identify the presence and function of ST2 and explore the role of IL-33/ST2 signaling in regulating the inflammatory cytokine production in corneal epithelial cells. Human corneal tissues and cultured primary human corneal epithelial cells (HCECs) were treated with IL-33 in different concentrations without or with different inhibitors to evaluate the expression, location and signaling pathways of ST2 in regulating production of inflammatory cytokine and chemokine. The mRNA expression was determined by reverse transcription and real time PCR, and protein production was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), immunohistochemical and immunofluorescent staining. ST2 mRNA and protein were detected in donor corneal epithelium and cultured HCECs, and ST2 signal was enhanced by exposure to IL-33. IL-33 significantly stimulated the production of inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6) and chemokine IL-8 by HCECs at both mRNA and protein levels. The stimulated production of inflammatory mediators by IL-33 was blocked by ST2 antibody or soluble ST2 protein. Interestingly, the IκB-α inhibitor BAY11-7082 or NF-κB activation inhibitor quinazoline blocked NF-κB p65 protein phosphorylation and nuclear translocation, and also suppressed the production of these inflammatory cytokines and chemokine induced by IL-33. These findings demonstrate that ST2 is present in human corneal epithelial cells, and IL-33/ST2 signaling plays an important role in regulating IL-33 induced inflammatory responses in ocular surface.
Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) is a water-soluble, anionic, quinonoid substance that has been established as an essential nutrient in animals. Owing to the inherent properties of PQQ as an antioxidant and redox modulator in various systems, PQQ is expected to be used in pharmacological applications in the near future. Although many recent studies have investigated its neuroprotective effects, the effect of PQQ on traumatic brain injury (TBI) has not been examined. In this study we employed Morris water maze (MWM) training, the results of which showed that PQQ led to improved behavioral performance in post-TBI animals. Considering that many experiments have suggested that β-1,4-galactosyltransferase I (β-1,4-GalT-I) and -V play significant roles in inflammation and the nervous system, in the present study we used Western blot analysis to study the effect of PQQ on the expression of β-1,4-GalT-I and -V. We found apparent expression upregulation of β-1,4-GalT-I and -V after PQQ was systemically administered. Lectin-fluorescent staining with RCA-I also revealed that PQQ contributed to expression upregulation of the galactosidase β-1 (Gal β-1), 4-galactosyltransferase N-acylsphingosine (4-GlcNAc) group in microglia and neurons of the cortex and hippocampal CA2 region. In summary, our experiment established that PQQ may play an important role in recovery post-TBI.
galactosidase β-1; β-1,4-galactosyltransferase I; 4-galactosyltransferase V; 4-galactosyltransferase N-acylsphingosine group; Morris water maze; pyrroloquinoline quinone; training; traumatic brain injury
Substantial evidence implicates β-amyloid (Aβ) peptides in the etiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Aβ is produced by the proteolytic cleavage of the amyloid precursor protein by β- and γ-secretase suggesting that γ-secretase inhibition may provide therapeutic benefit for AD. Although many γ-secretase inhibitors have been shown to be potent at lowering Aβ, some have also been shown to have side effects following repeated administration. All of these side effects can be attributed to altered Notch signaling, another γ-secretase substrate. Here we describe the in vivo characterization of the novel γ-secretase inhibitor SCH 697466 in rodents. Although SCH 697466 was effective at lowering Aβ, Notch-related side effects in the intestine and thymus were observed following subchronic administration at doses that provided sustained and complete lowering of Aβ. However, additional studies revealed that both partial but sustained lowering of Aβand complete but less sustained lowering of Aβ were successful approaches for managing Notch-related side effects. Further, changes in several Notch-related biomarkers paralleled the side effect observations. Taken together, these studies demonstrated that, by carefully varying the extent and duration of Aβ lowering by γ-secretase inhibitors, it is possible to obtain robust and sustained lowering of Aβ without evidence of Notch-related side effects.
Treatment of diabetes mellitus with Traditional Chinese Medicine has a long history. The aim of this study is to establish the safety and efficacy of traditional Chinese medicine combined with glibenclamide to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus.
In a controlled, double blind, multicentre non-inferiority trial, 800 patients with unsatisfactory glycemic control (fasting glucose 7–13 mmol/L and HbA1c 7–11%) were randomly assigned to receive Xiaoke Pill, a compound of Chinese herbs combined with glibenclamide, or Glibenclamide in two study groups – drug naive group, and patients previously treated with metformin monotherapy (metformin group). Outcome measures at 48 weeks were the incidence and rate of hypoglycemia, mean difference in HbA1c, and proportion of patients with HbA1c<6.5%.
In drug naïve group, the total hypoglycemia rate and the mild hypoglycemic episode in the Xiaoke Pill arm were 38% (p = 0.024) and 41% (p = 0.002) less compared to Glibenclamide arm; in Metformin group, the average annual rate of hypoglycemia was 62% lower in Xiaoke Pill arm (p = 0.003). Respective mean changes in HbA1c from baseline were −0.70% and −0.66% for Xiaoke Pill and Glibenclamide, with a between-group difference (95% CI) of −0.04% (−0.20, 0.12) in the drug naïve group, and those in metformin group were −0.45% and −0.59%, 0.14% (−0.12, 0.39) respectively. The respective proportions of patients with a HbA1c level <6.5% were 26.6% and 23.4% in the drug naïve group and 20.1% and 18.9% in the metformin group.
In patients with type 2 diabetes and inadequate glycaemic control, treatment with Xiaoke Pill led to significant reduction in risk of hypoglycemia and similar improvements in glycemic control after 48 weeks compared to Glibenclamide.
Chinese Clinical Trial Register number, ChiCTR-TRC-08000074
Adult stem cells are well known for their self-renewal and regenerative capacity. The mechanisms protecting these cells from inflammatory damage have not been well elucidated. This study investigated the immunoprotective properties of corneal epithelial stem cells from inflammation by producing glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). Primary human limbal epithelial cells (HLECs) cultured from limbal explants were treated with interleukin (IL)-17A, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, or hyperosmotic media, with or without GDNF or nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) inhibitor (NF-κB-I) for 4–48 hours. Inflammatory mediators and Th17-inducing cytokines were determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and immunobead assays. NF-κB activation was detected by p65 phosphorylation, immunostaining and Western blotting. GDNF and its receptor, GDNF family receptor α-1, were exclusively immunolocalized in the basal layer of limbal epithelium, whereas IL-17 receptor was negative in these cells. Exogenous IL-17A stimulated the expression and production of inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-1β) and chemokine IL-8 by HLECs. Th17-inducing cytokines, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, IL-6, IL-23, and IL-1β, were significantly increased at mRNA and protein levels by HLECs exposed to TNF-α or hyperosmotic media. IL-17 activated NF-κB by p65 phosphorylation at serine 536 and nuclear translocation. GDNF or NF-κB-I blocked IL-17-induced NF-κB p65 activation and production of inflammatory mediators. Furthermore, GDNF suppressed the production of Th17-inducing cytokines through inhibiting NF-κB activation. These findings demonstrate that limbal progenitor cell-produced neurotrophic factor GDNF suppresses IL-17-mediated inflammation via NF-κB signaling pathway. This may represent a unique immunoprotective property of limbal stem cells against inflammatory challenges on the ocular surface.
Glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor; Adult stem cell; Immunoprotection; Th17; Corneal epithelium
Plant heat stress transcription factors (Hsfs) are the critical components involved in mediating responses to various environmental stressors. However, the detailed roles of many plant Hsfs are far from fully understood. In this study, an Hsf (SlHsfA3) was isolated from the cultivated tomato (Solanum lycopersicum, Sl) and functionally characterized at the genetic and developmental levels. The nucleus-localized SlHsfA3 was basally and ubiquitously expressed in different plant organs. The expression of SlHsfA3 was induced dramatically by heat stress, moderately by high salinity, and slightly by drought, but was not induced by abscisic acid (ABA). The ectopic overexpression of SlHsfA3 conferred increased thermotolerance and late flowering phenotype to transgenic Arabidopsis plants. Moreover, SlHsfA3 played a negative role in controlling seed germination under salt stress. RNA-sequencing data demonstrated that a number of heat shock proteins (Hsps) and stress-associated genes were induced in Arabidopsis plants overexpressing SlHsfA3. A gel shift experiment and transient expression assays in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves demonstrated that SlHsfA3 directly activates the expression of SlHsp26.1-P and SlHsp21.5-ER. Taken together, our results suggest that SlHsfA3 behaves as a typical Hsf to contribute to plant thermotolerance. The late flowering and seed germination phenotypes and the RNA-seq data derived from SlHsfA3 overexpression lines lend more credence to the hypothesis that plant Hsfs participate in diverse physiological and biochemical processes related to adverse conditions.
Neonates with intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) are susceptible to decreases in cellular immunity. In recent years, a growing body of evidence indicates that Hsp70 may serve as a danger signal to the innate immune system and promote receptor-mediated apoptosis. Using neonatal pigs with IUGR, we investigated immune function of pigs and expression of heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70), nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), and forkhead box O 3a (FoxO3a) in the intestinal tract. Samples from the blood, duodenum, jejunum, and ileum of normal body weight (NBW) piglets and IUGR piglets were collected at day 7 after birth. Furthermore, to test whether Hsp70 is associated with regulation of NF-κB and FoxO3a, Hsp70 was silenced using small RNA interference (siRNA) in IEC-6 cells. Body and intestinal weights were lower in IUGR piglets than in NBW piglets (p < 0.05). Proliferation of peripheral blood lymphocytes was decreased (p < 0.05) in IUGR piglets. Cytokine concentrations (IFN-γ, IL-4, IL-10, IL-1, and IL-8) were lower in serum of IUGR piglets. The levels of IFN-γ and IL-10 were decreased (p < 0.05) in the ileum of IUGR piglets, but IL-4 was increased (p < 0.05). The expressions of Hsp70 and FoxO3a were increased, and NF-κB activity was downregulated in IUGR piglets (p < 0.05). Furthermore, siRNA-mediated Hsp70 downregulation increased NF-κB activity, inhibited expression of FoxO3a, and decreased cell apoptosis. In contrast, overexpression of Hsp70 inhibited NF-κB activation. In conclusion, IUGR impairs immune functions in neonatal pigs. An inefficient immunity in IUGR piglets is associated with overexpression of Hsp70, which impairs NF-κB signaling and upregulates FoxO3a expression.
Heat shock protein 70; IUGR; Immune function; Piglet
Previous investigation has demonstrated that CD4+ T cells play a crucial role in effective immunity against Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori) infection. It has been well proved that Lpp20 is one of major protective antigens that induce immune responses after H.pylori invades host. Therefore it is valuable to identify CD4+ T cell epitopes on Lpp20, which is uncharacterized.
Putative epitopes of H-2d restricted CD4+ T cell on Lpp20 of H.pylori were predicted by the SYFPEITHI algorithm and then eight hypothetical epitope peptides were synthesized. After BALB/c mice were primed with recombinant Lpp20, splenic CD4+ T cells were isolated and stimulated with synthesized peptides to measure T cell proliferation and MHC restriction. Cytokine profile was determined by ELISA and real-time PCR. Two identified epitopes were used to immunize mice to investigate CD4+ T cell response by flow cytometry.
Two of eight peptides were able to stimulate CD4+ T cell proliferation and were mapped to residues 83-97aa and 58-72aa on Lpp20 respectively. These two peptides additively stimulated Th1 cells to secrete IFN-γ. The percentage of CD4+ T cell from mice immunized with two identified epitopes respectively was higher than the control group.
The identification and characterization of two CD4+ T cell epitopes of Lpp20 helps understand the protective immunity of Lpp20 in H.pylori infection and design effective epitope vaccines against H.pylori.
Helicobacter pylori; Lpp20; CD4+ T cell; Epitope
Allergic diseases affect large population. Pollen, a ubiquitous allergen, is the trigger of seasonal rhinitis, conjunctivitis and asthma, as well as an exacerbating factor of atopic dermatitis. However, the underlying mechanism by which pollen induces thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) triggered allergic inflammation via epithelial innate immunity is largely unknown.
To explore whether short ragweed (SRW) pollen induces TSLP/OX40L/OX40 signaling via Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4-dependent pathways in allergic disease.
Three models were used for this study, a well-characterized murine model of allergic conjunctivitis induced by SRW pollen, a topical challenge model on mouse ocular surface, and a culture model of primary human corneal epithelium exposed to aqueous extract of defatted SRW pollen (SRWe).
The topical challenges with SRW pollen generated a typical allergic conjunctivitis in BALB/c mice. Clinical signs, stimulated TSLP/OX40L/OX40 signaling and Th2 cytokines in ocular mucosa and draining cervical lymph nodes were significantly reduced or eliminated in TLR4 deficient (Tlr4-d) or MyD88 knockout (MyD88−/−) mice, compared with their wild type littermates. SRWe stimulated TSLP production by ocular epithelia in wild type, but not Tlr4-d or MyD88−/− mice. SRWe stimulated TSLP was blocked by TLR4 antibody and NF-kB inhibitor in mouse and human corneal epithelia.
We for the first time uncovered a novel phenomenon that SRW pollen, acting as a functional TLR4 agonist, initiates TLR4-dependent TSLP/OX40L/OX40 signaling that triggers Th2-dominant allergic inflammation. These findings shed light on the understanding of mucosal epithelial innate immunity, and create new therapeutic targets to cure allergic diseases.
Allergy; pollen; conjunctivitis; Toll-like receptor; thymic stromal lymphopoietin; innate immunity
Tissue engineering holds great promise for corneal transplantation to treat blinding diseases. This study was to explore the use of natural corneal stroma as an optimal substrate to construct a native like corneal equivalent. Human corneal epithelium was cultivated from donor limbal explants on corneal stromal discs prepared by FDA approved Horizon Epikeratome system. The morphology, phenotype, regenerative capacity and transplantation potential were evaluated by hematoxylin eosin and immunofluorescent staining, a wound healing model, and the xeno-transplantation of the corneal constructs to nude mice. An optically transparent and stratified epithelium was rapidly generated on donor corneal stromal substrate and displayed native-like morphology and structure. The cells were polygonal in the basal layer and became flattened in superficial layers. The epithelium displayed a phenotype similar to human corneal epithelium in vivo. The differentiation markers, keratin 3, involucrin and connexin 43, were expressed in full or superficial layers. Interestingly, certain basal cells were immunopositive to antibodies against limbal stem/progenitor cell markers ABCG2 and p63, which are usually negative in corneal epithelium in vivo. It suggests that this bioengineered corneal epithelium shared some characteristics of human limbal epithelium in vivo. This engineered epithelium was able to regenerate in 4 days following from a 4mm-diameter wound created by a filter paper soaked with 1 N NaOH. This corneal construct survived well after xeno-transplantation to the back of a nude mouse. The transplanted epithelium remained multilayer and became thicker with a phenotype similar to human corneal epithelium. Our findings demonstrate that natural corneal stroma is an optimal substrate for tissue bioengineering, and a native-like corneal construct has been created with epithelium containing limbal stem cells. This construct may have great potential for clinical use in corneal reconstruction.
Liraglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 analogue that stimulates insulin secretion and improves β-cell function. However, it is not clear whether liraglutide achieves its glucose lowering effect only by its known effects or whether other as yet unknown mechanisms are involved. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of liraglutide on Fibroblast growth factor-21 (FGF-21) activity in High-fat diet (HFD) fed ApoE−/− mice with adiponectin (Acrp30) knockdown.
HFD-fed ApoE−/− mice were treated with adenovirus vectors expressing shAcrp30 to produce insulin resistance. Hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp studies were performed to evaluate insulin sensitivity of the mouse model. QRT-PCR and Western blot were used to measure the mRNA and protein expression of the target genes.
The combination of HFD, ApoE deficiency, and hypoadiponectinemia resulted in an additive effect on insulin resistance. FGF-21 mRNA expressions in both liver and adipose tissues were significantly increased while FGF-21 receptor 1 (FGFR-1) and β-Klotho mRNA levels in adipose tissue, as well as FGFR-1-3 and β-Klotho mRNA levels in liver were significantly decreased in this model. Liraglutide treatment markedly improved insulin resistance and increased FGF-21 expression in liver and FGFR-3 in adipose tissue, restored β-Klotho mRNA expression in adipose tissue as well as FGFR-1-3, β-Klotho levels and phosphorylation of FGFR1 up to the levels observed in control mice in liver. Liraglutide treatment also further increased FGF-21 proteins in liver and plasma. In addition, as shown by hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp, liraglutide treatment also markedly improved glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity in these animals.
These findings demonstrate an additive effect of HFD, ApoE deficiency, and adiponectin knockdown on insulin resistance and unveil that the regulation of glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity by liraglutide may be partly mediated via increased FGF-21 and its receptors action.
Interleukin (IL) 33 has been recently identified as a ligand to the ST2 receptor that mediates Th2-dominant allergic inflammation. The purpose of this study was to explore the role of toll-like receptor (TLR)-mediated innate immunity in IL-33 induction by mucosal epithelium. Human corneal tissues and cultured primary human corneal epithelial cells (HCECs) were treated with a variety of viral or bacterial components without or with different inhibitors to evaluate the IL-33 regulation and signaling pathways. The level of mRNA expression was determined by reverse transcription and real time PCR, and protein was measured by ELISA, immunostaining and Western blotting. IL-33 mRNA and protein were largely induced by various microbial components, mainly by polyI:C and flagellin, the ligands to TLR3 and TLR5, respectively in human corneal epithelium ex vivo and in vitro cultures. Pro-IL-33 protein was normally restricted inside cells, and could be secreted outside when activated by ATP. The PolyI:C induced IL-33 production was blocked by TLR3 antibody or TRIF Inhibitory peptide, while flagellin stimulated IL-33 was blocked by TLR5 antibody or MyD88 Inhibitory peptide. Interestingly, IκB-α inhibitor (BAY11-7082) or NF-κB inhibitor (quinazoline) blocked NF-κB p65 protein nuclear translocation, and suppressed IL-33 production induced by PolyI:C and flagellin. These findings demonstrate that IL-33, an epithelium-derived pro-allergic cytokine, is induced by microbial ligands through TLR-mediated innate signaling pathways, suggesting a possible role of mucosal epithelium in Th2-dominant allergic inflammation.
Interleukin 33; toll-like receptor; NF-κB; Mucosal Immunity
Heat shock protein 27 (HSP27, or HSPB1) exerts cytoprotection against many cellular insults, including cerebral ischemia. We previously identified apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) as a critical downstream target of HSP27 conferring the neuroprotective effects of HSP27 against neuronal ischemia. However, the function of HSP27 is highly influenced by post-translational modification, with differential cellular effects based on phosphorylation at specific serine residues. The role of phosphorylation in neuronal ischemic neuroprotection is currently unknown. We have created transgenic mice and viral vectors containing HSP27 mutated at three critical serine residues (Ser15, Ser78 and Ser82) to either alanine (HSP27-A, non-phosphorylatable) or aspartate (HSP27-D, phospho-mimetic) residues. Under both in vitro and in vivo neuronal ischemic settings, overexpression of wild-type HSP27 (HSP27) and HSP27-D, but not HSP27-A, was neuroprotective and inhibited downstream ASK1 signaling pathways. Consistently, overexpressed HSP27 was phosphorylated by endogenous mechanisms when neurons were under ischemic stress, and single point mutations identified Ser15 and Ser82 as critical for neuroprotection. Using a panel of inhibitors and gene knockdown approaches, we identified the upstream kinase protein kinase D (PKD) as the primary kinase targeting HSP27 directly for phosphorylation. PKD and HSP27 co-immunoprecipitated, and inhibition or knockdown of PKD abrogated the neuroprotective effects of HSP27 as well as the interaction with and inhibition of ASK1 signaling. Taken together, these data demonstrate that HSP27 requires PKD-mediated phosphorylation for its suppression of ASK1 cell death signaling and neuroprotection against ischemic injury.
heat shock proteins; cerebral ischemia; neuroprotection; protein kinase D; HSP27; phosphorylation
Plasmodium spp. are pathogenic to their vertebrate hosts and also apparently, impose a fitness cost on their insect vectors. We show here, however, that Plasmodium-infected mosquitoes survive starvation significantly better than uninfected mosquitoes. This survival advantage during starvation is associated with higher energy resource storage that infected mosquitoes accumulate during period of Plasmodium oocyst development. Microarray analysis revealed that the metabolism of sated mosquitoes is altered in the presence of rapidly growing oocysts, including the down-regulation of several enzymes involved in carbohydrate catabolism. In addition, enhanced expression of several insulin-like peptides was observed in Plasmodium-infected mosquitoes. Blocking insulin-like signaling pathway resulted in impaired Plasmodium development. We conclude that Plasmodium infection alters metabolic pathways in mosquitoes, epitomized by enhanced insulin-like signaling – thereby conferring a survival advantage to the insects during periods of starvation. Manipulation of this pathway might provide new strategies to influence the ability of mosquitoes to survive and transmit the protozoa that cause malaria.
We previously reported that XccR, a LuxR-type regulator of Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc), activates the downstream proline iminopeptidase virulence gene (pip) in response to certain host plant factor(s). In this report, we further show that the expression of the xccR gene was repressed in the culture medium by an NtrC-type response regulator, which we named XerR (XccR expression-related, repressor), and that this repression was relieved when the bacteria were grown in planta. Such a regulatory mechanism is reinforced by the observations that XerR directly bound to the xccR promoter in vitro, and that mutations at the phosphorylation-related residues of XerR resulted in the loss of its repressor function. Furthermore, the expression level of xccR increased even in XerR-overexpressing Xcc cells when they were vacuum infiltrated into cabbage plants. We also preliminarily characterized the host factor(s) involved in the above mentioned interactions between Xcc and the host plant, showing that a plant material(s) with molecular weight(s) less than 1 kDa abolished the binding of XerR to the xccR promoter, while the same material enhanced the binding of XccR to the luxXc box in the pip promoter. Taken together, our results implicate XerR in a new layer of the regulatory mechanism controlling the expression of the virulence-related xccR/pip locus and provide clues to the identification of plant signal molecules that interact with XerR and XccR to enhance the virulence of Xcc.
Xcc; NtrC-like regulator; LuxR-like regulator; proline iminopeptidase; pathogen-host interaction; plant signal(s)
Previously 11 Elaphropeza species were known from Taiwan. The following two species of the genus Elaphropeza are described: Elaphropeza flaviscutum
sp. n. and Elaphropeza trimacula
sp. n. One species, Elaphropeza plumata Yang, Merz & Grootaert, is newly recorded from Taiwan. A key to 14 known species of Elaphropeza from Taiwan is presented.
Diptera; Empididae; Tachydromiinae; Elaphropeza; new species