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1.  Microparticle-induced release of B-lymphocyte regulators by rheumatoid synoviocytes 
In the present study, we investigated the ability of microparticles isolated from synovial fluids from patients with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis to induce the synthesis and release of key cytokines of B-lymphocyte modulation such as B cell-activating factor, thymic stroma lymphopoietin, and secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor by rheumatoid fibroblast-like synoviocytes.
Microparticles were analyzed in synovial fluids from patients with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, microcristalline arthritis, and reactive arthritis. In addition, microparticle release after activation from various cell lines (CEM lymphocyte and THP-1 cells) was assessed. Microparticles were isolated by differential centrifugation, and quantitative determinations were carried out by prothrombinase assay after capture on immobilized annexin V. B cell-activating factor, thymic stroma lymphopoietin, and secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor release was evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Microparticles isolated from synovial fluids obtained from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis patients or microparticles derived from activated THP-1 cells were able to induce B cell-activating factor, thymic stroma lymphopoietin, and secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor release by rheumatoid arthritis fibroblast-like synoviocytes. Conversely, CEM-lymphocytes-derived microparticles generated by treatment with a combination of PHA, PMA and Adt-D did not promote the release of B cell-activating factor but favored the secretion of thymic stroma lymphopoietin and secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor by rheumatoid arthritis fibrobast-like synoviocytes. However, microparticles isolated from actinomycin D-treated CEM lymphocytes were not able to induce B cell-activating factor, thymic stroma lymphopoietin, or secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor release, indicating that microparticles derived from apoptotic T cells do not function as effectors in B-cell activation.
These results demonstrate that microparticles are signalling structures that may act as specific conveyors in the triggered induction and amplification of autoimmunity. This study also indicates that microparticles have differential effects in the crosstalk between B lymphocytes and target cells of autoimmunity regarding the parental cells from which they derive.
PMCID: PMC2688187  PMID: 19291304
2.  Mechanisms of the noxious inflammatory cycle in cystic fibrosis 
Respiratory Research  2009;10(1):23.
Multiple evidences indicate that inflammation is an event occurring prior to infection in patients with cystic fibrosis. The self-perpetuating inflammatory cycle may play a pathogenic part in this disease. The role of the NF-κB pathway in enhanced production of inflammatory mediators is well documented. The pathophysiologic mechanisms through which the intrinsic inflammatory response develops remain unclear. The unfolded mutated protein cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTRΔF508), accounting for this pathology, is retained in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), induces a stress, and modifies calcium homeostasis. Furthermore, CFTR is implicated in the transport of glutathione, the major antioxidant element in cells. CFTR mutations can alter redox homeostasis and induce an oxidative stress. The disturbance of the redox balance may evoke NF-κB activation and, in addition, promote apoptosis. In this review, we examine the hypotheses of the integrated pathogenic processes leading to the intrinsic inflammatory response in cystic fibrosis.
PMCID: PMC2660284  PMID: 19284656
3.  Identification of genes involved in Ca2+ ionophore A23187-mediated apoptosis and demonstration of a high susceptibility for transcriptional repression of cell cycle genes in B lymphoblasts from a patient with Scott syndrome 
BMC Genomics  2005;6:146.
In contrast to other agents able to induce apoptosis of cultured cells, Ca2+ ionophore A23187 was shown to elicit direct activation of intracellular signal(s). The phenotype of the cells derived from patients having the hemorrhagic disease Scott syndrome, is associated with an abnormally high proportion of apoptotic cells, both in basal culture medium and upon addition of low ionophore concentrations in long-term cultures. These features are presumably related to the mutation also responsible for the defective procoagulant plasma membrane remodeling. We analyzed the specific transcriptional re-programming induced by A23187 to get insights into the effect of this agent on gene expression and a defective gene regulation in Scott cells.
The changes in gene expression upon 48 hours treatment with 200 nM A23187 were measured in Scott B lymphoblasts compared to B lymphoblasts derived from the patient's daughter or unrelated individuals using Affymetrix microarrays. In a similar manner in all of the B cell lines, results showed up-regulation of 55 genes, out of 12,000 represented sequences, involved in various pathways of the cell metabolism. In contrast, a group of 54 down-regulated genes, coding for histones and proteins involved in the cell cycle progression, was more significantly repressed in Scott B lymphoblasts than in the other cell lines. These data correlated with the alterations of the cell cycle phases in treated cells and suggested that the potent effect of A23187 in Scott B lymphoblasts may be the consequence of the underlying molecular defect.
The data illustrate that the ionophore A23187 exerts its pro-apoptotic effect by promoting a complex pattern of genetic changes. These results also suggest that a subset of genes participating in various steps of the cell cycle progress can be transcriptionally regulated in a coordinated fashion. Furthermore, this research brings a new insight into the defect in cultured Scott B lymphoblasts, leading to hypothesize that a mutated gene plays a role not only in membrane remodeling but also in signal transduction pathway(s) leading to altered transcriptional regulation of cell cycle genes.
PMCID: PMC1312317  PMID: 16242039
4.  Deciphering the plasma membrane hallmarks of apoptotic cells: Phosphatidylserine transverse redistribution and calcium entry 
BMC Cell Biology  2001;2:20.
During apoptosis, Ca2+-dependent events participate in the regulation of intracellular and morphological changes including phosphatidylserine exposure in the exoplasmic leaflet of the cell plasma membrane. The occurrence of phosphatidylserine at the surface of specialized cells, such as platelets, is also essential for the assembly of the enzyme complexes of the blood coagulation cascade, as demonstrated by hemorrhages in Scott syndrome, an extremely rare genetic deficiency of phosphatidylserine externalization, without other apparent pathophysiologic consequences. We have recently reported a reduced capacitative Ca2+ entry in Scott cells which may be part of the Scott phenotype.
Taking advantage of these mutant lymphoblastoid B cells, we have studied the relationship between this mode of Ca2+ entry and phosphatidylserine redistribution during apoptosis. Ca2+ ionophore induced apoptosis in Scott but not in control cells. However, inhibition of store-operated Ca2+ channels led to caspase-independent DNA fragmentation and decrease of mitochondrial membrane potential in both control and Scott cells. Inhibition of cytochrome P450 also reduced capacitative Ca2+ entry and induced apoptosis at comparable extents in control and Scott cells. During the apoptotic process, both control and more markedly Scott cells externalized phosphatidylserine, but in the latter, this membrane feature was however dissociated from several other intracellular changes.
The present results suggest that different mechanisms account for phosphatidylserine transmembrane migration in cells undergoing stimulation and programmed death. These observations testify to the plasticity of the plasma membrane remodeling process, allowing normal apoptosis even when less fundamental functions are defective.
PMCID: PMC59679  PMID: 11701087
5.  Cell Damage at the Origin of Antiphospholipid Antibodies and Their Pathogenic Potential in Recurrent Pregnancy Loss 
Antiphospholipid antibodies (APA) are associated with thrombosis, thrombocytopenia and fetal loss but they occur in a variety of diseases. Despite many efforts, a correlation between the specificity of particular subgroups of APA and particular clinical situations remains to be established. The antigens at the origin of APA remain to be identified. We discuss here the possible links between cell apoptosis or necrosis, leading to plasma membrane alterations, and the occurrence of APA in response to sustained stimulation. The pathogenic potential of APA is also considered with respect to recurrent pregnancy loss.
PMCID: PMC2364567  PMID: 18476171
6.  Increased Oxidative Stress Induces Apoptosis in Human Cystic Fibrosis Cells 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(9):e24880.
Oxidative stress results in deleterious cell function in pathologies associated with inflammation. Here, we investigated the generation of superoxide anion as well as the anti-oxidant defense systems related to the isoforms of superoxide dismutases (SOD) in cystic fibrosis (CF) cells. Pro-apoptotic agents induced apoptosis in CF but not in control cells that was reduced by treatment with SOD mimetic. These effects were associated with increased superoxide anion production, sensitive to the inhibition of IκB-α phosphorylation, in pancreatic but not tracheal CF cells, and reduced upon inhibition of either mitochondrial complex I or NADPH oxidase. CF cells exhibited reduced expression, but not activity, of both Mn-SOD and Cu/Zn-SOD when compared to control cells. Although, expression of EC-SOD was similar in normal and CF cells, its activity was reduced in CF cells. We provide evidence that high levels of oxidative stress are associated with increased apoptosis in CFTR-mutated cells, the sources being different depending on the cell type. These observations underscore a reduced anti-oxidant defense mechanism, at least in part, via diminished EC-SOD activity and regulation of Cu/Zn-SOD and Mn-SOD expressions. These data point to new therapeutic possibilities in targeting anti-oxidant pathways to reduce oxidative stress and apoptosis in CF cells.
PMCID: PMC3171475  PMID: 21931865
7.  Increased levels of circulating microparticles in primary Sjögren's syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis and relation with disease activity 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2009;11(5):R156.
Cell stimulation leads to the shedding of phosphatidylserine (PS)-rich microparticles (MPs). Because autoimmune diseases (AIDs) are characterized by cell activation, we investigated level of circulating MPs as a possible biomarker in primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
We measured plasma levels of total, platelet and leukocyte MPs by prothrombinase capture assay and flow cytometry in 43 patients with pSS, 20 with SLE and 24 with RA and in 44 healthy controls (HCs). Secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) activity was assessed by fluorometry. Soluble CD40 ligand (sCD40L) and soluble P-selectin (sCD62P), reflecting platelet activation, were measured by ELISA.
Patients with pSS showed increased plasma level of total MPs (mean ± SEM 8.49 ± 1.14 nM PS equivalent (Eq), P < 0.0001), as did patients with RA (7.23 ± 1.05 n PS Eq, P = 0.004) and SLE (7.3 ± 1.25 nM PS Eq, P = 0.0004), as compared with HCs (4.13 ± 0.2 nM PS Eq). Patients with AIDs all showed increased level of platelet MPs (P < 0.0001), but only those with pSS showed increased level of leukocyte MPs (P < 0.0001). Results by capture assay and flow cytometry were correlated. In patients with high disease activity according to extra-glandular complications (pSS), DAS28 (RA) or SLEDAI (SLE) compared with low-activity patients, the MP level was only slightly increased in comparison with those having a low disease activity. Platelet MP level was inversely correlated with anti-DNA antibody level in SLE (r = -0.65; P = 0.003) and serum β2 microglobulin level in pSS (r = -0.37; P < 0.03). The levels of total and platelet MPs were inversely correlated with sPLA2 activity (r = -0.37, P = 0.0007; r = -0.36, P = 0.002, respectively). sCD40L and sCD62P concentrations were significantly higher in pSS than in HC (P ≤ 0.006).
Plasma MP level is elevated in pSS, as well as in SLE and RA, and could be used as a biomarker reflecting systemic cell activation. Level of leukocyte-derived MPs is increased in pSS only. The MP level is low in case of more severe AID, probably because of high secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) activity, which leads to consumption of MPs. Increase of platelet-derived MPs, sCD40L and sCD62P, highlights platelet activation in pSS.
PMCID: PMC2787287  PMID: 19832990
8.  Impaired Clearance of Apoptotic Cells Promotes Synergy between Atherogenesis and Autoimmune Disease 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2004;199(8):1121-1131.
To clarify the link between autoimmune disease and hypercholesterolemia, we created the gld.apoE−/− mouse as a model of accelerated atherosclerosis. Atherosclerotic lesion area was significantly increased in gld.apoE−/− mice compared with apoE−/− mice. gld.apoE−/− mice also displayed increases in lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly, and autoantibodies compared with gld mice, and these effects were exacerbated by high cholesterol diet. gld.apoE−/− mice exhibited higher levels of apoptotic cells, yet a reduced frequency of engulfed apoptotic nuclei within macrophages. Infusion of lysophosphatidylcholine, a component of oxidized low density lipoprotein, markedly decreased apoptotic cell clearance in gld mice, indicating that hypercholesterolemia promotes autoimmune disease in this background. These data suggest that defects in apoptotic cell clearance promote synergy between atherosclerotic and autoimmune diseases.
PMCID: PMC2211887  PMID: 15096538
atherosclerosis; autoimmunity; macrophages; lysophosphatidylcholine; lymphoproliferation

Results 1-8 (8)