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1.  Local proliferation dominates lesional macrophage accumulation in atherosclerosis 
Nature medicine  2013;19(9):1166-1172.
During the inflammatory response that drives atherogenesis, macrophages accumulate progressively in the expanding arterial wall1,2. The observation that circulating monocytes give rise to lesional macrophages3–9 has reinforced the concept that monocyte infiltration dictates macrophage build-up. Recent work indicates, however, that macrophages do not depend on monocytes in some inflammatory contexts10. We therefore revisited the mechanism of macrophage accumulation in atherosclerosis. We show that murine atherosclerotic lesions experience a surprisingly rapid, 4-week, cell turnover. Replenishment of macrophages in these experimental atheromata depends predominantly on local macrophage proliferation rather than monocyte influx. The microenvironment orchestrates macrophage proliferation via the involvement of scavenger receptor (SR)-A. Our study reveals macrophage proliferation as a key event in atherosclerosis and identifies macrophage self-renewal as a therapeutic target for cardiovascular disease.
doi:10.1038/nm.3258
PMCID: PMC3769444  PMID: 23933982
2.  IL-1α/IL-1R1 Expression in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Mechanistic Relevance to Smoke-Induced Neutrophilia in Mice 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(12):e28457.
Background
Cigarette smoking is the main risk factor for the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Despite this, the cellular and molecular mechanisms that contribute to COPD pathogenesis are still poorly understood.
Methodology and Principal Findings
The objective of this study was to assess IL-1 α and β expression in COPD patients and to investigate their respective roles in perpetuating cigarette smoke-induced inflammation. Functional studies were pursued in smoke-exposed mice using gene-deficient animals, as well as blocking antibodies for IL-1α and β. Here, we demonstrate an underappreciated role for IL-1α expression in COPD. While a strong correlation existed between IL-1α and β levels in patients during stable disease and periods of exacerbation, neutrophilic inflammation was shown to be IL-1α-dependent, and IL-1β- and caspase-1-independent in a murine model of cigarette smoke exposure. As IL-1α was predominantly expressed by hematopoietic cells in COPD patients and in mice exposed to cigarette smoke, studies pursued in bone marrow chimeric mice demonstrated that the crosstalk between IL-1α+ hematopoietic cells and the IL-1R1+ epithelial cells regulates smoke-induced inflammation. IL-1α/IL-1R1-dependent activation of the airway epithelium also led to exacerbated inflammatory responses in H1N1 influenza virus infected smoke-exposed mice, a previously reported model of COPD exacerbation.
Conclusions and Significance
This study provides compelling evidence that IL-1α is central to the initiation of smoke-induced neutrophilic inflammation and suggests that IL-1α/IL-1R1 targeted therapies may be relevant for limiting inflammation and exacerbations in COPD.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028457
PMCID: PMC3232226  PMID: 22163019
3.  Treating Viral Exacerbations of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Insights from a Mouse Model of Cigarette Smoke and H1N1 Influenza Infection 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(10):e13251.
Background
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a progressive lung disease that is punctuated by periods of exacerbations (worsening of symptoms) that are attributable to viral infections. While rhinoviruses are most commonly isolated viruses during episodes of exacerbation, influenza viruses have the potential to become even more problematic with the increased likelihood of an epidemic.
Methodology and Principal Findings
This study examined the impact of current and potential pharmacological targets namely the systemic corticosteroid dexamethasone and the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor- gamma agonist pioglitazone on the outcome of infection in smoke-exposed mice. C57BL/6 mice were exposed to room air or cigarette smoke for 4 days and subsequently inoculated with an H1N1 influenza A virus. Interventions were delivered daily during the course of infection. We show that smoke-exposed mice have an exacerbated inflammatory response following infection. While smoke exposure did not compromise viral clearance, precision cut lung slices from smoke-exposed mice showed greater expression of CC (MCP-1, -3), and CXC (KC, MIP-2, GCP-2) chemokines compared to controls when stimulated with a viral mimic or influenza A virus. While dexamethasone treatment partially attenuated the inflammatory response in the broncho-alveolar lavage of smoke-exposed, virally-infected animals, viral-induced neutrophilia was steroid insensitive. In contrast to controls, dexamethasone-treated smoke-exposed influenza-infected mice had a worsened health status. Pioglitazone treatment of virally-infected smoke-exposed mice proved more efficacious than the steroid intervention. Further mechanistic evaluation revealed that a deficiency in CCR2 did not improve the inflammatory outcome in smoke-exposed, virally-infected animals.
Conclusions and Significance
This animal model of cigarette smoke and H1N1 influenza infection demonstrates that smoke-exposed animals are differentially primed to respond to viral insult. While providing a platform to test pharmacological interventions, this model demonstrates that treating viral exacerbations with alternative anti-inflammatory drugs, such as PPAR-gamma agonists should be further explored since they showed greater efficacy than systemic corticosteroids.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013251
PMCID: PMC2953496  PMID: 20967263
4.  Non-adenine based purines accelerate wound healing 
Purinergic Signalling  2006;2(4):651-661.
Wound healing is a complex sequence of cellular and molecular processes that involves multiple cell types and biochemical mediators. Several growth factors have been identified that regulate tissue repair, including the neurotrophin nerve growth factor (NGF). As non-adenine based purines (NABPs) are known to promote cell proliferation and the release of growth factors, we investigated whether NABPs had an effect on wound healing. Full-thickness, excisional wound healing in healthy BALB/c mice was significantly accelerated by daily topical application of NABPs such as guanosine (50% closure by days 2.5′.8). Co-treatment of wounds with guanosine plus anti-NGF reversed the guanosine-promoted acceleration of wound healing, indicating that this effect of guanosine is mediated, at least in part, by NGF. Selective inhibitors of the NGF-inducible serine/threonine protein kinase (protein kinase N), such as 6-methylmercaptopurine riboside abolished the acceleration of wound healing caused by guanosine, confirming that activation of this enzyme is required for this effect of guanosine. Treatment of genetically diabetic BKS.Cg-m+/+lepr db mice, which display impaired wound healing, with guanosine led to accelerated healing of skin wounds (25% closure by days 2.8′.0). These results provide further confirmation that the NABP-mediated acceleration of cutaneous wound healing is mediated via an NGF-dependent mechanism. Thus, NABPs may offer an alternative and viable approach for the treatment of wounds in a clinical setting.
doi:10.1007/s11302-006-9022-2
PMCID: PMC2096660  PMID: 18404468
BALB/c mice; genetically diabetic mice; guanosine; inosine; NGF; non-adenine based purines; protein kinase N; wound healing

Results 1-4 (4)