Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) plays a critical mediator in the pathogenesis of eye diseases. The implication of IL-1β in inflammatory responses has been shown to be mediated through up-regulation of inflammatory genes, including matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9). However, the detailed mechanisms of IL-1β-induced MMP-9 expression in Statens Seruminstitut Rabbit Corneal Cells (SIRCs) are largely unclear. Here, we demonstrated that in SIRCs, IL-1β induced MMP-9 promoter activity and mRNA expression associated with an increase in the secretion of pro-MMP-9. IL-1β-induced pro-MMP-9 expression and MMP-9 mRNA levels were attenuated by pretreatment with the inhibitor of MEK1/2 (U0126), JNK1/2 (SP600125), NF-κB (Bay11-7082), or AP-1 (Tanshinone IIA) and transfection with siRNA of p42 or JNK2. Moreover, IL-1β markedly stimulated p42/p44 MAPK and JNK1/2 phosphorylation in SIRCs. In addition, IL-1β also enhanced p42/p44 MAPK translocation from the cytosol into the nucleus. On the other hand, IL-1β induced c-Jun and c-Fos mRNA expression, c-Jun phosphorylation, and AP-1 promoter activity. NF-κB translocation, IκBα degradation, and NF-κB promoter activity were also enhanced by IL-1β. Pretreatment with U0126 or SP600125 inhibited IL-1β-induced AP-1 and NF-κB promoter activity, but not NF-κB translocation from the cytosol into the nucleus. Finally, we established that IL-1β could stimulate SIRCs migration via p42/p44 MAPK-, JNK1/2-, AP-1-, and NF-κB-dependent MMP-9 induction. These results suggested that NF-κB and AP-1 activated by JNK1/2 and p42/p44 MAPK cascade are involved in IL-1β-induced MMP-9 expression in SIRCs.
The endothelial protein C-receptor (EPCR) is an endothelial transmembrane protein that binds protein C and activated protein C (APC) with equal affinity, thereby facilitating APC formation. APC has anticoagulant, antiapoptotic and antiinflammatory properties. Soluble EPCR, released by the endothelium, may bind activated neutrophils, thereby modulating cell adhesion. EPCR is therefore considered as a possible link between the anticoagulant properties of protein C and the inflammatory response of neutrophils. In the present study, we aimed to provide proof of concept for a direct binding of EPCR to the β2 –integrin Mac-1 on monocytic cells under static and physiological flow conditions.
Measurements and Main Results
Under static conditions, human monocytes bind soluble EPCR in a concentration dependent manner, as demonstrated by flow cytometry. Binding can be inhibited by specific antibodies (anti-EPCR and anti-Mac-1). Specific binding was confirmed by a static adhesion assay, where a transfected Mac-1 expressing CHO cell line (Mac-1+ cells) bound significantly more recombinant EPCR compared to Mac-1+ cells blocked by anti-Mac-1-antibody and native CHO cells. Under physiological flow conditions, monocyte binding to the endothelium could be significantly blocked by both, anti-EPCR and anti-Mac-1 antibodies in a dynamic adhesion assay at physiological flow conditions. Pre-treatment of endothelial cells with APC (drotrecogin alfa) diminished monocyte adhesion significantly in a comparable extent to anti-EPCR.
In the present study, we demonstrate a direct binding of Mac-1 on monocytes to the endothelial protein C receptor under static and flow conditions. This binding suggests a link between the protein C anticoagulant pathway and inflammation at the endothelium side, such as in acute vascular inflammation or septicaemia.
Nitric oxide (NO) appears to play an important role in the regulation of thrombosis and hemostasis by inhibiting platelet function. The discovery of NO generation by reduction of nitrite (NO2−) and nitrate (NO3−) in mammals has led to increased attention to these anions with respect to potential beneficial effects in cardiovascular diseases. We have previously shown that nitrite anions at 0.1 µM inhibit aggregation and activation of human platelet preparations in vitro in the presence of red blood cells and this effect was enhanced by deoxygenation, an effect likely due to NO generation. In the present study, we hypothesized that nitrite and nitrate derived from the diet could also alter platelet function upon their conversion to NO in vivo. To manipulate the levels of nitrite and nitrate in mouse blood, we used antibiotics, NOS inhibitors, low nitrite/nitrate (NOx) diets, endothelial NOS knock-out mice and also supplementation with high levels of nitrite or nitrate in the drinking water. We found that all of these perturbations affected nitrite and nitrate levels but that the lowest whole blood values were obtained by dietary restriction. Platelet aggregation and ATP release were measured in whole blood and the results show an inverse correlation between nitrite/nitrate levels and platelet activity in aggregation and ATP release. Furthermore, we demonstrated that nitrite-supplemented group has a prolonged bleeding time compared with control or low NOx diet group. These results show that diet restriction contributes greatly to blood nitrite and nitrate levels and that platelet reactivity can be significantly affected by these manipulations. Our study suggests that endogenous levels of nitrite and nitrate may be used as a biomarker for predicting platelet function and that dietary manipulation may affect thrombotic processes.
Dickkopf-1 (DKK-1), a major regulator of the Wnt pathway, plays an important role in cardiovascular disease. However, no study has evaluated the association of DKK-1 and acute coronary syndrome (ACS). We investigated this association and whether the Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events (GRACE) hospital-discharge risk score predicting major adverse cardiac events (MACE) can be improved by adding the DKK-1 value.
We enrolled 291 patients (46 with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction [STEMI] and 245 with non-ST elevated ACS [NSTE-ACS]) who were divided into groups by tertiles of baseline plasma DKK-1 level measured by ELISA. The GRACE risk score was calculated and predictive value alone and together with DKK-1 and/or high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) level were assessed, respectively.
Compared with patients with NSTE-ACS, those with STEMI had higher plasma DKK-1 level at baseline (P = 0.006). Plasma DKK-1 level was correlated with hs-CRP level (r = 0.295, P<0.001) and was greater with high than intermediate or low GRACE scores (P = 0.002 and P<0.001, respectively). We found 44 (15.1%) MACEs during a median 2-year follow-up. DKK-1 levels were higher for patients with than without events (P<0.001). The rate of MACE increased with increasing DKK-1 level (P<0.001). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for GRACE score with MACE was 0.524 and improved to 0.791 with the addition of hs-CRP level, 0.775 with the addition of DKK-1 level and 0.847 with both values added.
DKK-1 is an independent predictor of long-term MACE of patients with ACS. The long-term predictive ability of post-discharge GRACE score may be enhanced by adding DKK-1 level.
Pandemic 2009 H1N1 (pH1N1) influenza viruses caused mild symptoms in most infected patients. However, a greater rate of severe disease was observed in healthy young adults and children without co-morbid conditions. Here we tested whether influenza strains displaying differential virulence could be present among circulating pH1N1 viruses. The biological properties and the genotype of viruses isolated from a patient showing mild disease (M) or from a fatal case (F), both without known co-morbid conditions were compared in vitro and in vivo. The F virus presented faster growth kinetics and stronger induction of cytokines than M virus in human alveolar lung epithelial cells. In the murine model in vivo, the F virus showed a stronger morbidity and mortality than M virus. Remarkably, a higher proportion of mice presenting infectious virus in the hearts, was found in F virus-infected animals. Altogether, the data indicate that strains of pH1N1 virus with enhanced pathogenicity circulated during the 2009 pandemic. In addition, examination of chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) genotype, recently reported as involved in severe influenza virus disease, revealed that the F virus-infected patient was homozygous for the deleted form of CCR5 receptor (CCR5Δ32).
Contradictory results have been reported regarding the association between Pro12Ala polymorphism of PPARγ2 and coronary artery disease (CAD). We sought to estimate the inconsistent results by performing a comprehensive meta-analysis.
Studies in English or Chinese publications were identified by screening MEDLINE, Embase, CNKI, Wanfang and CBM. 22 studies including 8948 cases and 14427 controls were selected. A random-effects model was applied to combine the divergent outcomes of the individual studies, while addressing between-study heterogeneity and publication bias.
The Pro12Ala polymorphism of control population followed Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium for all studies (P>0.05). Overall, a marginal increased risk of CAD under the recessive genetic model (AlaAla vs ProAla+ProPro: P = 0.04, OR = 1.31, 95%CI 1.01–1.69, Pheterogeneity = 0.67, I2 = 0%) and the homozygote comparison (AlaAla vs ProPro: P = 0.04,OR = 1.30, 95%CI 1.01–1.68, Pheterogeneity = 0.68, I2 = 0%) was observed. In the subgroup analysis by ethnicity, carriers of AlaAla homozygotes had a significant increased risk for CAD among Caucasians (AlaAla vs ProAla+ProPro: P = 0.01, OR = 1.45, 95%CI 1.08–1.96, Pheterogeneity = 0.48, I2 = 0%; AlaAla vs ProPro: P = 0.02,OR = 1.44, 95%CI 1.07–1.93, Pheterogeneity = 0.46, I2 = 0%). After dividing into population source, the CAD risk magnitude of hospital-based studies was distinctly strengthened under the recessive model (P = 0.03,OR = 1.85,95%CI 1.07–3.19, Pheterogeneity = 0.87,I2 = 0%) and the homozygote comparison (P = 0.03,OR = 1.83, 95%CI 1.06–3.16, Pheterogeneity = 0.88, I2 = 0%). There was no observable publication bias as reflected by funnel plot and Egger’s linear regression test (t = -0.12, P = 0.91).
Our results demonstrated that the PPARγ2 Pro12Ala polymorphism might be risk-conferring locus for the progression of CAD among Caucasians, but not among Asians.
While the impact of inflammation as the substantial driving force of atherosclerosis has been investigated in detail throughout the years, the influence of negative regulators of pro-atherogenic pathways on plaque development has remained largely unknown. Suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS)-1 potently restricts transduction of various inflammatory signals and, thereby modulates T-cell development, macrophage activation and dendritic cell maturation. Its role in atherogenesis, however has not been elucidated so far.
Methods and Results
Loss of SOCS-1 in the low-density lipoprotein receptor deficient murine model of atherosclerosis resulted in a complex, systemic and ultimately lethal inflammation with increased generation of Ly-6Chi monocytes and activated macrophages. Even short-term exposure of these mice to high-cholesterol dieting caused enhanced atherosclerotic plaque development with accumulation of M1 macrophages, Ly-6C positive cells and neutrophils.
Our data not only imply that SOCS-1 is athero-protective but also emphasize the fundamental, regulatory importance of SOCS-1 in inflammation-prone organisms.
The role of inflammation in atherosclerosis is widely appreciated. High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), an injury-associated molecular pattern molecule acting as a mediator of inflammation, has recently been implicated in the development of atherosclerosis. In this study, we sought to investigate the association of plasma HMGB1 with coronary plaque composition in patients with suspected or known coronary artery disease (CAD).
HMGB1, high sensitive troponin T (hsTnT) and high sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP) were determined in 152 consecutive patients with suspected or known stable CAD who underwent clinically indicated 256-slice coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA). Using CCTA, we assessed 1) coronary calcification, 2) non-calcified plaque burden and 3) the presence of vascular remodeling in areas of non-calcified plaques.
Using univariate analysis, hsCRP, hsTnT and HMGB1 as well as age, and atherogenic risk factors were associated with non-calcified plaque burden (r = 0.21, p = 0.009; r = 0.48, p<0.001 and r = 0.34, p<0.001, respectively). By multivariate analysis, hsTnT and HMGB1 remained independent predictors of the non-calcified plaque burden (r = 0.48, p<0.01 and r = 0.34, p<0.001, respectively), whereas a non-significant trend was noticed for hs-CRP (r = 0.21, p = 0.07). By combining hsTnT and HMGB1, a high positive predictive value for the presence of non-calcified and remodeled plaque (96% and 77%, respectively) was noted in patients within the upper tertiles for both biomarkers, which surpassed the positive predictive value of each marker separately.
In addition to hs-TnT, a well-established cardiovascular risk marker, HMGB1 is independently associated with non-calcified plaque burden in patients with stable CAD, while the predictive value of hs-CRP is lower. Complementary value was observed for hs-TnT and HMGB1 for the prediction of complex coronary plaque.
Mice deficient in plasminogen, the precursor of plasmin, show completely arrested healing of tympanic membrane (TM) perforations, indicating that plasmin plays an essential role in TM healing. The activation of plasminogen to plasmin is performed by two plasminogen activators (PAs), urokinase-type PA (uPA) and tissue-type PA (tPA). To elucidate the functional roles of PAs in the healing of TM perforations, we investigated the phenotypes of single gene-deficient mice lacking uPA (uPA−/−) or tPA (tPA−/−) after TM perforation. Delayed healing of TM perforations was observed in uPA−/− mice but not tPA−/− mice. The migration of keratinocytes was clearly delayed and seemed to be misoriented in uPA−/− mice. Furthermore, fibrin deposition and the inflammatory response were persistent in these mice. Our findings demonstrate that uPA plays a role in the healing of TM perforations. The observed phenotypes in uPA−/− mice are most likely due to the reduced generation of plasmin.
Eps15 is an endocytic adaptor protein involved in clathrin and non-clathrin mediated endocytosis. In Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster lack of Eps15 leads to defects in synaptic vesicle recycling and synapse formation. We generated Eps15-KO mice to investigate its function in mammals. Eps15-KO mice are born at the expected Mendelian ratio and are fertile. Using a large-scale phenotype screen covering more than 300 parameters correlated to human disease, we found that Eps15-KO mice did not show any sign of disease or neural deficits. Instead, altered blood parameters pointed to an immunological defect. By competitive bone marrow transplantation we demonstrated that Eps15-KO hematopoietic precursor cells were more efficient than the WT counterparts in repopulating B220+ bone marrow cells, CD19− thymocytes and splenic marginal zone (MZ) B cells. Eps15-KO mice showed a 2-fold increase in MZ B cell numbers when compared with controls. Using reverse bone marrow transplantation, we found that Eps15 regulates MZ B cell numbers in a cell autonomous manner. FACS analysis showed that although MZ B cells were increased in Eps15-KO mice, transitional and pre-MZ B cell numbers were unaffected. The increase in MZ B cell numbers in Eps15 KO mice was not dependent on altered BCR signaling or Notch activity. In conclusion, in mammals, the endocytic adaptor protein Eps15 is a regulator of B-cell lymphopoiesis.
To study whether 18F-FDG can be used for in vivo imaging of atherogenesis by examining the correlation between 18F-FDG uptake and gene expression of key molecular markers of atherosclerosis in apoE−/− mice.
Nine groups of apoE−/− mice were given normal chow or high-fat diet. At different time-points, 18F-FDG PET/contrast-enhanced CT scans were performed on dedicated animal scanners. After scans, animals were euthanized, aortas removed, gamma counted, RNA extracted from the tissue, and gene expression of chemo (C-X-C motif) ligand 1 (CXCL-1), monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1, vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1, cluster of differentiation molecule (CD)-68, osteopontin (OPN), lectin-like oxidized LDL-receptor (LOX)-1, hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α, HIF-2α, vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF), and tissue factor (TF) was measured by means of qPCR.
The uptake of 18F-FDG increased over time in the groups of mice receiving high-fat diet measured by PET and ex vivo gamma counting. The gene expression of all examined markers of atherosclerosis correlated significantly with 18F-FDG uptake. The strongest correlation was seen with TF and CD68 (p<0.001). A multivariate analysis showed CD68, OPN, TF, and VCAM-1 to be the most important contributors to the uptake of 18F-FDG. Together they could explain 60% of the 18F-FDG uptake.
We have demonstrated that 18F-FDG can be used to follow the progression of atherosclerosis in apoE−/− mice. The gene expression of ten molecular markers representing different molecular processes important for atherosclerosis was shown to correlate with the uptake of 18F-FDG. Especially, the gene expressions of CD68, OPN, TF, and VCAM-1 were strong predictors for the uptake.
CD40L figures prominently in chronic inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis. However, since CD40L potently regulates immune function and haemostasis by interaction with CD40 receptor and the platelet integrin GPIIb/IIIa, its global inhibition compromises host defense and generated thromboembolic complications in clinical trials. We recently reported that CD40L mediates atherogenesis independently of CD40 and proposed Mac-1 as an alternate receptor.
Here, we molecularly characterized the CD40L-Mac-1 interaction and tested whether its selective inhibition by a small peptide modulates inflammation and atherogenesis in vivo.
Methods and Results
CD40L concentration-dependently bound to Mac-1 I-domain in solid phase binding assays, and a high affinity interaction was revealed by surface-plasmon-resonance analysis. We identified the motif EQLKKSKTL, an exposed loop between the α1 helix and the β-sheet B, on Mac-1 as binding site for CD40L. A linear peptide mimicking this sequence, M7, specifically inhibited the interaction of CD40L and Mac-1. cM7, a cyclisized version optimized for in vivo use, decreased peritoneal inflammation and inflammatory cell recruitment in vivo. Finally, LDLr-/- mice treated with intraperitoneal injections of cM7 developed smaller, less inflamed atherosclerotic lesions featuring characteristics of stability. However, cM7 did not interfere with CD40L-CD40 binding in vitro and CD40L-GPIIb/IIIa-mediated thrombus formation in vivo.
We present the novel finding that CD40L binds to the EQLKKSKTL motif on Mac-1 mediating leukocyte recruitment and atherogenesis. Specific inhibition of CD40L-Mac-1 binding may represent an attractive anti-inflammatory treatment strategy for atherosclerosis and other inflammatory conditions, potentially avoiding the unwanted immunologic and thrombotic effects of global inhibition of CD40L.
Atherosclerosis; Inflammation; CD40L; Mac-1; Peptide Inhibitor
Angiotensin II (AngII), the main bioactive peptide of the renin angiotensin system, exerts most of its biological actions through stimulation of AngII type 1 (AT1) receptors. This receptor is expressed as 2 structurally similar subtypes in rodents, termed AT1a and AT1b. Although AT1a receptors have been studied comprehensively, roles of AT1b receptors in the aorta have not been defined.
We initially compared the regional distribution of AT1b receptor mRNA with AT1a receptor mRNA in the aorta. mRNA abundance of both subtypes increased from the proximal to the distal aorta, with the greatest abundance in the infra-renal region. Corresponding to the high mRNA abundance for both receptors, only aortic rings from the infra-renal aorta contracted in response to AngII stimulation. Despite the presence of both receptor transcripts, deletion of AT1b receptors, but not AT1a receptors, diminished AngII-induced contractility. To determine whether absence of AT1b receptors influenced aortic pathologies, we bred AT1b receptor deficient mice into an LDL receptor deficient background. Mice were fed a diet enriched in saturated fat and infused with AngII (1,000 ng/kg/min). Parameters that could influence development of aortic pathologies, including systolic blood pressure and plasma cholesterol concentrations, were not impacted by AT1b receptor deficiency. Absence of AT1b receptors also had no effect on size of aortic atherosclerotic lesions and aortic aneurysms in both the ascending and abdominal regions.
Regional abundance of AT1b receptor mRNA coincided with AngII-induced regional contractility, but it was not associated with AngII-induced aortic pathologies.
To date, no plaque-derived blood biomarker is available to allow diagnosis, prognosis or monitoring of atherosclerotic vascular diseases. In this study, specimens of thrombendarterectomy material from carotid and iliac arteries were incubated in protein-free medium to obtain plaque and control secretomes for subsequent subtractive phage display. The selection of nine plaque secretome-specific antibodies and the analysis of their immunopurified antigens by mass spectrometry led to the identification of 22 proteins. One of them, junction plakoglobin (JUP-81) and its smaller isoforms (referred to as JUP-63, JUP-55 and JUP-30 by molecular weight) were confirmed by immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting with independent antibodies to be present in atherosclerotic plaques and their secretomes, coronary thrombi of patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and macrophages differentiated from peripheral blood monocytes as well as macrophage-like cells differentiated from THP1 cells. Plasma of patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD) (n = 15) and ACS (n = 11) contained JUP-81 at more than 2- and 14-fold higher median concentrations, respectively, than plasma of CAD-free individuals (n = 13). In conclusion, this proof of principle study identified and verified JUP isoforms as potential plasma biomarkers for atherosclerosis. Clinical validation studies are needed to determine its diagnostic efficacy and clinical utility as a biomarker for diagnosis, prognosis or monitoring of atherosclerotic vascular diseases.
The cytokine IL-10 and its family members have been implicated in autoimmune diseases and we have previously reported that genetic variants in IL-10 were associated with a rare group of diseases called juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). The aim of this study was to fine map genetic variants within the IL-10 cytokine family cluster on chromosome 1 using linkage disequilibrium (LD)-tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (tSNPs) approach with imputation and conditional analysis to test for disease associations.
Fifty-three tSNPs were tested for association between Caucasian paediatric cohorts [219 systemic JIA (sJIA), 187 persistent oligoarticular JIA (pOJIA), and 139 extended OJIA (eOJIA) patients], and controls (Wellcome Trust control cohort, WTCCC2). Significant association with sJIA was detected at rs1400986 in the promoter of IL-20 (odds ratio 1.53; 95% CI 1.21–1.93; p = 0.0004), but in no other subtypes. Imputation analysis identified additional associated SNPs for pOJIA at IL-20 and IL-24, including a rare, functional, missense variant at IL-24 with a p = 0.0002. Penalised logistic regression analysis with HyperLasso and conditional analysis identified several further associations with JIA subtypes. In particular, haplotype analysis refined the sJIA association, with a joint effect at rs1400986 and rs4129024 in intron 1 of MAPKAPK2 (p = 3.2E−5). For pOJIA, a 3-SNP haplotype including rs1878672 in intron 3 of IL-10 showed evidence for association (p = 0.0018). In eOJIA, rs10863962 (3′UTR of FCAMR) and rs12409577 (intron of IL-19) haplotype showed some evidence of association (p = 0.0003).
This study supports previous association of IL-20 with sJIA. Haplotype analyses provided stronger association signals than single point analyses, while a penalised logistic regression approach also suggested multiple independent association signals. Replication studies are required to confirm or refute these findings. The results indicate that combined effects with unknown/rare variants remain to be characterised in JIA, and represent a possible example of synthetic association in this region.
Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory condition and increased blood levels of inflammatory biomarkers have been observed in acute coronary syndromes. In addition, high expression of inflammatory markers is associated with worse prognosis of coronary artery disease. The presence and extent of inducible ischemia in patients with stable angina has previously been shown to have strong prognostic value. We hypothesized that evidence of inducible myocardial ischemia by local lesions, as measured by fractional flow reserve (FFR), is associated with increased levels of blood based inflammatory biomarkers.
Whole blood samples of 89 patients with stable angina pectoris and 16 healthy controls were analyzed. The patients with stable angina pectoris underwent coronary angiography and FFR of all coronary lesions.
We analyzed plasma levels of cytokines IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-α and membrane expression of Toll-like receptor 2 and 4, CD11b, CD62L and CD14 on monocytes and granulocytes as markers of inflammation.
Furthermore, we quantified the severity of hemodynamically significant coronary artery disease by calculating Functional Syntax Score (FSS), an extension of the Syntax Score.
For the majority of biomarkers, we observed lower levels in the healthy control group compared with patients with stable angina who underwent coronary catheterization.
We found no difference for any of the selected biomarkers between patients with a positive FFR (≤0.75) and negative FFR (>0.80). We observed no relationship between the investigated biomarkers and FSS.
The presence of local atherosclerotic lesions that result in inducible myocardial ischemia as measured by FFR in patients with stable coronary artery disease is not associated with increased plasma levels of IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-α or increased expression of TLR2 and TLR4, CD11b, CD62L and CD14 on circulating leukocytes.
Pno1 is a protein that plays a role in proteasome and ribosome neogenesis in yeast. So far, its functions in mammalian cells have not been investigated. To understand its function in mammals, we performed in situ hybridization analysis of Pno1 expression in different development stages and generated Pno1 gene knockout (KO) and transgenic (Tg) mice lineages. The results showed early lethality of homozygous Pno1 KO lineage caused, as demonstrated in parallel by ex vivo experiments, by arrest of embryo development before compaction stage. Though, heterozygous (HET) mice with 50% of normal Pno1 mRNA concentration were fertile and showed no obvious anomalies. The lymphoid organs of HET mice were normal in size, weight and cellularity, with normal T and B cell subpopulations. TCR-triggered activation and proliferation of HET T cells were normal. Proteasome activities in HET organs were uncompromised. Tg mice with actin promoter-driven Pno1 expression were also fertile, with no apparent anomalies, although they expressed 2–5-fold higher Pno1 mRNA levels. The lymphoid organs of Tg mice were of normal size, weight and cellularity with normal T and B cell sub-populations. TCR-triggered activation and proliferation of Tg T cells were normal. Tg organs and tissues presented normal proteasome activity as did their wild type counterparts. Tagged Pno1 over-expression in L cells and density gradient fractionation established that Pno1 existed in large complexes with sedimentation rates between 20S and 26S, bigger than mature 26S proteasomes. Pno1 in fractions did not coincide with 40S or 60S ribosome subunits. Our study indicates that Pno1 is essential for cellular functions, but only a small percentage of its normal level is sufficient, and excessive amounts are neither harmful nor useful. The nature of the large complexes it associates with remains to be identified, but it is certain that they are not mature proteasomes or ribosomes.
Macrophages are dynamic cells integrating signals from their microenvironment to develop specific functional responses. Although, microarray-based transcriptional profiling has established transcriptional reprogramming as an important mechanism for signal integration and cell function of macrophages, current knowledge on transcriptional regulation of human macrophages is far from complete. To discover novel marker genes, an area of great need particularly in human macrophage biology but also to generate a much more thorough transcriptome of human M1- and M1-like macrophages, we performed RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) of human macrophages. Using this approach we can now provide a high-resolution transcriptome profile of human macrophages under classical (M1-like) and alternative (M2-like) polarization conditions and demonstrate a dynamic range exceeding observations obtained by previous technologies, resulting in a more comprehensive understanding of the transcriptome of human macrophages. Using this approach, we identify important gene clusters so far not appreciated by standard microarray techniques. In addition, we were able to detect differential promoter usage, alternative transcription start sites, and different coding sequences for 57 gene loci in human macrophages. Moreover, this approach led to the identification of novel M1-associated (CD120b, TLR2, SLAMF7) as well as M2-associated (CD1a, CD1b, CD93, CD226) cell surface markers. Taken together, these data support that high-resolution transcriptome profiling of human macrophages by RNA-seq leads to a better understanding of macrophage function and will form the basis for a better characterization of macrophages in human health and disease.
A great number of studies regarding the associations between IL-1B-511, IL-1B+3954 and IL-1RN VNTR polymorphisms within the IL-1gene cluster and coronary heart disease (CHD) have been published. However, results have been inconsistent. In this study, a meta-analysis was performed to investigate the associations.
Published literature from PubMed and Embase databases were searched for eligible publications. Pooled odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using random- or fixed- effect model.
Thirteen studies (3,219 cases/2,445 controls) for IL-1B-511 polymorphism, nine studies (1,828 cases/1,818 controls) for IL-1B+3954 polymorphism and twelve studies (2,987 cases/ 2,208 controls) for IL-1RN VNTR polymorphism were included in this meta analysis. The results indicated that both IL-1B-511 and IL-1B+3954 polymorphisms were not associated with CHD risk (IL-1B-511 T vs. C: OR = 0.98, 95%CI 0.87–1.09; IL-1B+3954 T vs. C: OR = 1.06, 95%CI 0.95–1.19). Similarly, there was no association between IL-1RN VNTR polymorphism and CHD risk (*2 vs. L: OR = 1.00, 95%CI 0.85–1.17).
This meta-analysis suggested that there were no associations between IL-1 gene cluster polymorphisms and CHD.
Early and non-invasive detection of platelets on micro atherothrombosis provides a means to identify unstable plaque and thereby allowing prophylactic treatment towards prevention of stroke or myocardial infarction. Molecular magnetic resonance imaging (mMRI) of activated platelets as early markers of plaque rupture using targeted contrast agents is a promising strategy. In this study, we aim to specifically image activated platelets in murine atherothrombosis by in vivo mMRI, using a dedicated animal model of plaque rupture.
An antibody targeting ligand-induced binding sites (LIBS) on the glycoprotein IIb/IIIa-receptor of activated platelets was conjugated to microparticles of iron oxide (MPIO) to form the LIBS-MPIO contrast agent causing a signal-extinction in T2*-weighted MRI. ApoE−/− mice (60 weeks-old) were fed a high fat diet for 5 weeks. Using a small needle, the surface of their carotid plaques was scratched under blood flow to induce atherothrombosis. In vivo 9.4 Tesla MRI was performed before and repetitively after intravenous injection of either LIBS-MPIO versus non-targeted-MPIO.
LIBS-MPIO injected animals showed a significant signal extinction (p<0.05) in MRI, corresponding to the site of plaque rupture and atherothrombosis in histology. The signal attenuation was effective for atherothrombosis occupying ≥2% of the vascular lumen. Histology further confirmed significant binding of LIBS-MPIO compared to control-MPIO on the thrombus developing on the surface of ruptured plaques (p<0.01).
in vivo mMRI detected activated platelets on mechanically ruptured atherosclerotic plaques in ApoE−/− mice with a high sensititvity. This imaging technology represents a unique opportunity for noninvasive detection of atherothrombosis and the identification of unstable atherosclerotic plaques with the ultimate promise to prevent strokes and myocardial infarctions.
Inflammatory cytokines, such as TNF-α, play a key role in the pathogenesis of occlusive vascular diseases. Activation of vitamin D receptors (VDR) elicits both growth-inhibitory and anti-inflammatory effects. Here, we investigated the expression of TNF-α and VDR in post-angioplasty coronary artery neointimal lesions of hypercholesterolemic swine and examined the effect of vitamin D deficiency on the development of coronary restenosis. We also examined the effect of calcitriol on cell proliferation and effect of TNF-α on VDR activity and expression in porcine coronary artery smooth muscle cells (PCASMCs) in-vitro.
Expression of VDR and TNF-α and the effect of vitamin D deficiency in post-angioplasty coronary arteries were analyzed by immunohistochemistry and histomorphometry. Cell proliferation was examined by thymidine and BrdU incorporation assays in cultured PCASMCs. Effect of TNF-α-stimulation on the activity and expression of VDR was analyzed by luciferase assay, immunoblotting and immunocytochemistry. In-vivo, morphometric analysis of the tissues revealed typical lesions with significant neointimal proliferation. Histological evaluation showed expression of smooth muscle α-actin and significantly increased expression of TNF-α in neointimal lesions. Interestingly, there was significantly decreased expression of VDR in PCASMCs of neointimal region compared to normal media. Indeed, post-balloon angioplasty restenosis was significantly higher in vitamin D-deficient hypercholesterolemic swine compared to vitamin D-sufficient group. In-vitro, calcitriol inhibited both serum- and PDGF-BB-induced proliferation in PCASMCs and TNF-α-stimulation significantly decreased the expression and activity of VDR in PCASMCs.
These data suggest that significant downregulation of VDR in proliferating smooth muscle cells in neointimal lesions could be due to atherogenic cytokines, including TNF-α. Vitamin D deficiency potentiates the development of coronary restenosis. Calcitriol has anti-proliferative properties in PCASMCs and these actions are mediated through VDR. This could be a potential mechanism for uncontrolled growth of neointimal cells in injured arteries leading to restenosis.
Clinical and scientific work routinely relies on antecubital venipunctures for hematological, immunological or other analyses on blood. This study tested the hypothesis that antecubital veins can be considered to be a good proxy for other sampling sites. Using a hematocytometer and a flow cytometer, we analyzed the cell counts from samples coming from the radial artery, the dorsal hand veins and the antecubital veins from 18 volunteers. Most surprisingly, we identified the greatest difference not to exist between arterial and venous circulation, but between the distal (radial artery & dorsal hand veins) and proximal (antecubital veins) sampling sites. Naïve T cells had a higher cell count distally compared to proximally and the reverse was true for effector memory T cells. Despite these differences there were high correlations between the different sampling sites, which partially supports our initial hypothesis. Our findings are crucial for the future design and interpretation of immunological research, and for clinical practice. Furthermore, our results suggest a role for interval lymph nodes in the trafficking of lymphocytes.
Since oxidized LDL is thought to initiate atherosclerosis and the serum glutathione peroxidase (GPx3) reduces oxidized lipids, we investigated whether high GPx3 activity reduces cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality.
We determined GPx3 in stored samples from the Minnesota Heart Survey of 130 participants who after 5 to 12 years of follow-up had died of CVD and 240 controls. Participants were 26 to 85 years old and predominantly white. In a nested case-control, study we performed logistic regressions to calculate odds ratios (OR) adjusted for age, sex, baseline year, body mass index, smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity, total and HDL cholesterols, systolic blood pressure, serum glucose and gamma glutamyltransferase (GTT) activity. The referent was the quartile with the highest GPx3 activity (quartile 4).
OR’s for CVD mortality for increasing quartiles of GPx3 were 2.37, 2.14, 1.83 and 1.00 (P for trend 0.02). This inverse correlation was confined to those with HDLc’s below the median (P for interaction, 0.006). The OR’s for increasing quartiles of GPx3 in this group were 6.08, 5.00, 3.64 and 1.00 (P for trend, 0.002).
Individuals with both low HDLc and GPx3 activity are at markedly increased risk for death from CVD.
Adipose tissue inflammation fuels the metabolic syndrome. We recently reported that CD40L – an established marker and mediator of cardiovascular disease – induces inflammatory cytokine production in adipose cells in vitro. Here, we tested the hypothesis that CD40L deficiency modulates adipose tissue inflammation in vivo.
WT or CD40L−/− mice consumed a high fat diet (HFD) for 20 weeks. Inflammatory cell recruitment was impaired in mice lacking CD40L as shown by a decrease of adipose tissue macrophages, B-cells, and an increase in protective T-regulatory cells. Mechanistically, CD40L-deficient mice expressed significantly lower levels of the pro-inflammatory chemokine MCP-1 both, locally in adipose tissue and systemically in plasma. Moreover, levels of pro-inflammatory IgG-antibodies against oxidized lipids were reduced in CD40L−/− mice. Also, circulating low-density lipoproteins and insulin levels were lower in CD40L−/− mice. However, CD40L−/− mice consuming HFD were not protected from the onset of diet-induced obesity (DIO), insulin resistance, and hepatic steatosis, suggesting that CD40L selectively limits the inflammatory features of diet-induced obesity rather than its metabolic phenotype. Interestingly, CD40L−/− mice consuming a low fat diet (LFD) showed both, a favorable inflammatory and metabolic phenotype characterized by diminished weight gain, improved insulin tolerance, and attenuated plasma adipokine levels.
We present the novel finding that CD40L deficiency limits adipose tissue inflammation in vivo. These findings identify CD40L as a potential mediator at the interface of cardiovascular and metabolic disease.