Expression of the calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) has previously been demonstrated in human circulating monocytes (HCM). The present study was designed to measure CaSR expression in HCM and to examine its potential modulation by pro-inflammatory cytokines, Ca2+, vitamin D sterols in U937 cell line. Twenty healthy volunteers underwent blood sampling with subsequent isolation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) at 3 visits. Flow cytometry analysis (FACS) was performed initially (V1) and 19 days later (V2) to examine intra- and intersubject fluctuations of total and surface CaSR expression in HCM and 15 weeks later (V3) to study the effect of vitamin D supplementation. In vitro experiments were conducted to assess the effects of pro-inflammatory cytokines, calcidiol, calcitriol and Ca2+ on CaSR expression in U937 cell line. By FACS analysis, more than 95% of HCM exhibited cell surface CaSR staining. In contrast, CaSR staining failed to detect surface CaSR expression in other PBMC. After cell permeabilization, total CaSR expression was observed in more than 95% of all types of PBMC. Both total and surface CaSR expression in HCM showed a high degree of intra-assay reproducibility (<3%) and a moderate intersubject fluctuation. In response to vitamin D supplementation, there was no significant change for both total and surface CaSR expression. In the in vitro study, U937 cells showed strong total and surface CaSR expression, and both were moderately increased in response to calcitriol exposure. Neither total nor surface CaSR expression was modified by increasing Ca2+ concentrations. Total CaSR expression was concentration dependently decreased by TNFα exposure. In conclusion, CaSR expression can be easily measured by flow cytometry in human circulating monocytes. In the in vitro study, total and surface CaSR expression in the U937 cell line were increased by calcitriol but total CaSR expression was decreased by TNFα stimulation.
High concentrations of oxygen aggravate the severity of lung injury in patients requiring mechanical ventilation. Although mesenchymal stem cells have been shown to effectively attenuate various injured tissues, there is limited information regarding a role for amniotic fluid stem cells (AFSCs) in treating acute lung injury. We hypothesized that intravenous delivery of AFSCs would attenuate lung injury in an experimental model of hyperoxia-induced lung injury. AFSCs were isolated from EGFP transgenic mice. The in vitro differentiation, surface markers, and migration of the AFSCs were assessed by specific staining, flow cytometry, and a co-culture system, respectively. The in vivo therapeutic potential of AFSCs was evaluated in a model of acute hyperoxia-induced lung injury in mice. The administration of AFSCs significantly reduced the hyperoxia-induced pulmonary inflammation, as reflected by significant reductions in lung wet/dry ratio, neutrophil counts, and the level of apoptosis, as well as reducing the levels of inflammatory cytokine (IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α) and early-stage fibrosis in lung tissues. Moreover, EGFP-expressing AFSCs were detected and engrafted into a peripheral lung epithelial cell lineage by fluorescence microscopy and DAPI stain. Intravenous administration of AFSCs may offer a new therapeutic strategy for acute lung injury (ALI), for which efficient treatments are currently unavailable.
Observational and experimental studies have thus far been unable to resolve whether the CYBA C242T polymorphism is associated with coronary artery disease (CAD). Therefore, we undertook a comprehensive meta-analysis to more precisely evaluate the influence of this polymorphism on CAD and potential biases.
We screened MEDLINE, Embase, CNKI, Wanfang and CBM up to January 2013 and extracted data from 22 studies with 9,279 CAD patients and 9,349 controls. A random-effects model was exploited to synthesize the inconsistent outcomes of the individual studies, while addressing between-study heterogeneity and publication bias.
The CYBA C242T polymorphism conformed to Hard-Weinberg Equilibrium for all studies (P>0.05). Overall comparison of the T allele with the C allele produced a non-significant risk estimate for CAD but with striking heterogeneity (T versus C: P = 0.87, OR = 0.99, 95%CI 0.89–1.11, Pheterogeneity<0.0001, I2 = 67.8%). However, subgroup analysis by ethnicity documented that the T allele carriers had a marginal risk increase (21%) of CAD among Caucasians (recessive genetic model: P = 0.05, 95%CI 1.00–1.46, Pheterogeneity = 0.15, I2 = 29.1%). Then data were divided into study design, the significance of CAD risk increase was substantially strengthened in matched case-control studies (allele comparison: P = 0.02, OR = 1.13, 95%CI 1.02–1.26, Pheterogeneity = 0.24, I2 = 21.6%).Further meta-regression analysis identified that a large proportion of heterogeneity was explained by body mass index (BMI) (P = 0.03, OR = 1.07, 95%CI 1.01–1.15) and study design (P = 0.03, OR = 1.30, 95%CI 1.02–1.64).There was no obvious publication bias as verified by funnel plot and Egger's linear regression test (t = −0.25, P = 0.81 for allele comparison).
Taken together, our results suggested the CYBA C242T polymorphism might be a risk-conferring factor on developing CAD and BMI and study design were probable sources of between-study heterogeneity.
Infiltration of activated immune cells and increased cytokine production define the immunophenotype of gastrointestinal (GI) inflammation. In addition, intestinal inflammation is accompanied by alteration in the numbers of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) synthesizing enterochromaffin (EC) cells and in 5-HT amount. It has been established that EC cells express interleukin (IL)-13 receptor, additionally IL-13 has been implicated in the pathogenesis of ulcerative colitis. In this study, we investigated the role of IL-13 mediated 5-HT signaling in pathogenesis of colitis.
Colitis was induced in IL-13 deficient (IL-13−/−) and wild-type (WT) mice with dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) and dinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (DNBS), as well as in IL-13−/− mice given recombinant mouse IL-13 (rmIL-13) and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HTP), the direct precursor of 5-HT.
Principal Findings and Conclusion
Elevated colonic IL-13 levels were observed in WT mice receiving DSS in comparison to control. IL-13−/− mice administered DSS exhibited significantly reduced severity of colitis compared to WT mice as reflected by macroscopic and histological damage assessments. Following DSS administration, significantly lower pro-inflammatory cytokine production and fewer infiltrating macrophages were observed in IL-13−/− mice compared to WT. The reduced severity of colitis observed in IL-13−/− mice was also accompanied by down-regulation of EC cell numbers and colonic 5-HT content. In addition, increasing colonic 5-HT content by administration of rmIL-13 or 5-HTP exacerbated severity of DSS colitis in IL-13−/− mice. IL-13−/− mice also exhibited reduced severity of DNBS-induced colitis. These results demonstrate that IL-13 plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of experimental colitis and 5-HT is an important mediator of IL-13 driven intestinal inflammation. This study revealed important information on immune-endocrine axis in gut in relation to inflammation which may ultimately lead to better strategy in managing various intestinal inflammatory conditions including inflammatory bowel disease.
Cardiac remodeling was shown to be associated with reduced gap junction expression after myocardial infarction. A reduction in gap junctional proteins between myocytes may trigger ventricular arrhythmia. Therefore, we investigated whether N-acetylcysteine exerted antiarrhythmic effect by preserving connexin43 expression in postinfarcted rats, focusing on cAMP downstream molecules such as protein kinase A (PKA) and exchange protein directly activated by cAMP (Epac). Male Wistar rats after ligating coronary artery were randomized to either vehicle, or N-acetylcysteine for 4 weeks starting 24 hours after operation. Infarct size was similar between two groups. Compared with vehicle, cAMP levels were increased by N-acetylcysteine treatment after infarction. Myocardial connexin43 expression was significantly decreased in vehicle-treated infarcted rats compared with sham operated rats. Attenuated connexin43 expression and function were blunted after administering N-acetylcysteine, assessed by immunofluorescent analysis, dye coupling, Western blotting, and real-time quantitative RT-PCR of connexin43. Arrhythmic scores during programmed stimulation in the N-acetylcysteine-treated rats were significantly lower than those treated with vehicle. In an ex vivo study, enhanced connexin43 levels afforded by N-acetylcysteine were partially blocked by either H-89 (a PKA inhibitor) or brefeldin A (an Epac-signaling inhibitor) and completely blocked when H-89 and brefeldin A were given in combination. Addition of either the PKA specific activator N6Bz or Epac specific activator 8-CPT did not have additional increased connexin43 levels compared with rats treated with lithium chloride alone. These findings suggest that N-acetylcysteine protects ventricular arrhythmias by attenuating reduced connexin43 expression and function via both PKA- and Epac-dependent pathways, which converge through the inactivation of glycogen synthase kinase-3β.
Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) is a nuclear enzyme and transcription factor that is involved in inflammatory response, but its role in T cell response remains largely unknown. We show here that PARP-1 regulates the suppressive function of CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs). Specifically, Tregs in mice with a null mutation of the PARP-1 gene (PARP-1–/–) showed significantly stronger suppressive activity than did wild-type Tregs in culture. We elucidate that this enhanced suppressive function is attributed to sustained higher expression of Foxp3 and CD25 in PARP-1−/− Tregs. Furthermore, in PARP-1−/− Tregs, Foxp3 protein shows substantially higher levels of binding to the conserved non-coding DNA sequence 2 (CNS2) at the foxp3 gene, a region important in maintaining Foxp3 gene expression in Tregs. Thus, our data reveal a role for PARP-1 in controlling the function of Tregs through modulation of the stable expression of Foxp3.
This longitudinal study aimed at comparing heart rate variability (HRV) in elite athletes identified either in ‘fatigue’ or in ‘no-fatigue’ state in ‘real life’ conditions.
57 elite Nordic-skiers were surveyed over 4 years. R-R intervals were recorded supine (SU) and standing (ST). A fatigue state was quoted with a validated questionnaire. A multilevel linear regression model was used to analyze relationships between heart rate (HR) and HRV descriptors [total spectral power (TP), power in low (LF) and high frequency (HF) ranges expressed in ms2 and normalized units (nu)] and the status without and with fatigue. The variables not distributed normally were transformed by taking their common logarithm (log10).
172 trials were identified as in a ‘fatigue’ and 891 as in ‘no-fatigue’ state. All supine HR and HRV parameters (Beta±SE) were significantly different (P<0.0001) between ‘fatigue’ and ‘no-fatigue’: HRSU (+6.27±0.61 bpm), logTPSU (−0.36±0.04), logLFSU (−0.27±0.04), logHFSU (−0.46±0.05), logLF/HFSU (+0.19±0.03), HFSU(nu) (−9.55±1.33). Differences were also significant (P<0.0001) in standing: HRST (+8.83±0.89), logTPST (−0.28±0.03), logLFST (−0.29±0.03), logHFST (−0.32±0.04). Also, intra-individual variance of HRV parameters was larger (P<0.05) in the ‘fatigue’ state (logTPSU: 0.26 vs. 0.07, logLFSU: 0.28 vs. 0.11, logHFSU: 0.32 vs. 0.08, logTPST: 0.13 vs. 0.07, logLFST: 0.16 vs. 0.07, logHFST: 0.25 vs. 0.14).
HRV was significantly lower in 'fatigue' vs. 'no-fatigue' but accompanied with larger intra-individual variance of HRV parameters in 'fatigue'. The broader intra-individual variance of HRV parameters might encompass different changes from no-fatigue state, possibly reflecting different fatigue-induced alterations of HRV pattern.
Moderate exercise training improves energetic metabolism, tissue perfusion and induces cardiac and skeletal muscle remodeling. Sildenafil, a potent phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor used to treat erectile dysfunction, reduces infarct size and increases tissue oxygenation in experimental models of cardiovascular disease. We have evaluated the effects of prolonged moderate exercise training and a repeat administration of sildenafil on the rat gastrocnemius and cardiac muscles. Animals were divided into two groups: sedentary and trained. Each group was subdivided into animals treated with vehicle or with two doses of sildenafil (10 or 15 mg/kg/day) during the last week of training. Physical exercise did not induce cardiac hypertrophy, whereas it increased mRNA levels of the PGC-1α, HIF-1α and VEGF genes, which are involved in mitochondrial biogenesis and angiogenesis, and reduced mRNA levels of FoxO3a, MuRF-1 and Atrogin-1. Sildenafil dose-dependently promoted both angiogenesis, as shown by increased capillary density, and muscle atrophy, as shown by muscle fibre size. These effects were more pronounced in trained animals. Our data confirm the beneficial effects of a moderate and prolonged training on cardiovascular and skeletal systems and document the positive and negative effects of sildenafil on these tissues at doses higher than those used in clinical practice. This report may impact on the use of sildenafil as a substance able to influence sports performance.
The associations between the interleukin-4 receptor α chain (IL4RA) I50V and Q551R polymorphisms and asthma risk remained controversial.
We searched the Pubmed, Embase, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) and Wanfang databases for studies published before February 2013. The strengths of the associations were calculated using odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
A total of 50 studies were included in this meta-analysis. There was a significant association between the IL4RA I50V polymorphism and asthma risk in a dominant genetic model (OR = 1.13, 95% CI 1.04–1.23, P = 0.005). The IL4RA Q551R polymorphism was associated with a significantly elevated asthma risk in a recessive genetic model (OR = 1.46, 95% CI 1.22–1.75, P<0.0001). Subgroup analyses found that the IL4RA I50V polymorphism was significantly associated with asthma risk in Asians (OR = 1.72, 95% CI 1.31–2.25, P<0.0001), pediatric asthma risk (OR = 1.50, 95% CI 1.13–1.99, P = 0.005), and atopic asthma risk (OR = 1.88, 95% CI 1.27–2.79, P = 0.002).
The results of this meta-analysis suggested that the IL4RA I50V and Q551R polymorphisms may be risk factors for developing asthma.
The Intermountain Risk Score (IMRS), composed of the complete blood count (CBC) and basic metabolic profile (BMP), predicts mortality and morbidity in medical and general populations. Whether longitudinal repeated measurement of IMRS is useful for prognostication is an important question for its clinical applicability.
Females (N = 5,698) and males (N = 5,437) with CBC and BMP panels measured 6 months to 2.0 years apart (mean 1.0 year) had baseline and follow-up IMRS computed. Survival analysis during 4.0±2.5 years (maximum 10 years) evaluated mortality (females: n = 1,255 deaths; males: n = 1,164 deaths) and incident major events (myocardial infarction, heart failure [HF], and stroke).
Both baseline and follow-up IMRS (categorized as high-risk vs. low-risk) were independently associated with mortality (all p<0.001) in bivariable models. For females, follow-up IMRS had hazard ratio (HR) = 5.23 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 4.11, 6.64) and baseline IMRS had HR = 3.66 (CI = 2.94, 4.55). Among males, follow-up IMRS had HR = 4.28 (CI = 3.51, 5.22) and baseline IMRS had HR = 2.32 (CI = 1.91, 2.82). IMRS components such as RDW, measured at both time points, also predicted mortality. Baseline and follow-up IMRS strongly predicted incident HF in both genders.
Repeated measurement of IMRS at baseline and at about one year of follow-up were independently prognostic for mortality and incident HF among initially hospitalized patients. RDW and other CBC and BMP values were also predictive of outcomes. Further research should evaluate the utility of IMRS as a tool for clinical risk adjustment.
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a refractory and recurrent inflammatory skin disease. Various factors including heredity, environmental agent, innate and acquired immunity, and skin barrier function participate in the pathogenesis of AD. T -helper (Th) 2-dominant immunological milieu has been suggested in the acute phase of AD. Antigen 85B (Ag85B) is a 30-kDa secretory protein well conserved in Mycobacterium species. Ag85B has strong Th1-type cytokine inducing activity, and is expected to ameliorate Th2 condition in allergic disease. To perform Ag85B function in vivo, effective and less invasive vaccination method is required. Recently, we have established a novel functional virus vector; recombinant human parainfluenza type 2 virus vector (rhPIV2): highly expressive, replication-deficient, and very low-pathogenic vector. In this study, we investigated the efficacy of rhPIV2 engineered to express Ag85B (rhPIV2/Ag85B) in a mouse AD model induced by repeated oxazolone (OX) challenge. Ear swelling, dermal cell infiltrations and serum IgE level were significantly suppressed in the rhPIV2/Ag85B treated mouse group accompanied with elevated IFN-γ and IL-10 mRNA expressions, and suppressed IL-4, TNF-α and MIP-2 mRNA expressions. The treated mice showed no clinical symptom of croup or systemic adverse reactions. The respiratory tract epithelium captured rhPIV2 effectively without remarkable cytotoxic effects. These results suggested that rhPIV2/Ag85B might be a potent therapeutic tool to control allergic disorders.
Rupture of the ventricular myocardium is an often lethal complication after myocardial infarction. Due to the dramatic hemodynamics and the short time frame between ventricular rupture and surgical closure of the defect, additional therapeutic strategies are needed. Here we report the successful therapy of ventricular rupture by percutaneous intrapericardial instillation of fibrin glue in a 72-year-old male patient with postinfarct angina secondary to anterior myocardial infarction.
Lupus nephritis (LN) is an autoimmune disorder in which co-stimulatory signals have been involved. Here we tested a cholesterol-conjugated-anti-CD40-siRNA in dendritic cells (DC) in vitro and in a model of LPS to check its potency and tissue distribution. Then, we report the effects of Chol-siRNA in an experimental model of mice with established lupus nephritis. Our in vitro studies in DC show a 100%intracellular delivery of Chol-siRNA, with a significant reduction in CD40 after LPS stimuli. In vivo in ICR mice, the CD40-mRNA suppressive effects of our Chol-siRNA on renal tissue were remarkably sustained over a 5 days after a single preliminary dose of Chol-siRNA. The intra-peritoneal administration of Chol-siRNA to NZB/WF1 mice resulted in a reduction of anti-DNA antibody titers, and histopathological renal scores as compared to untreated animals. The higher dose of Chol-siRNA prevented the progression of proteinuria as effectively as cyclophosphamide, whereas the lower dose was as effective as CTLA4. Chol-siRNA markedly reduced insterstitialCD3+ and plasma cell infiltrates as well as glomerular deposits of IgG and C3. Circulating soluble CD40 and activated splenic lymphocyte subsets were also strikingly reduced by Chol-siRNA. Our data show the potency of our compound for the therapeutic use of anti-CD40-siRNA in human LN and other autoimmune disorders.
Uncontrolled blood glucose in people with diabetes correlates with endothelial cell dysfunction, which contributes to accelerated atherosclerosis and subsequent myocardial infarction, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. In vitro, both low and high glucose induce endothelial cell dysfunction; however the effect of altered glucose on endothelial cell fluid flow response has not been studied. This is critical to understanding diabetic cardiovascular disease, since endothelial cell cytoskeletal alignment and nitric oxide release in response to shear stress from flowing blood are atheroprotective. In this study, porcine aortic endothelial cells were cultured in 1, 5.55, and 33 mM D-glucose medium (low, normal, and high glucose) and exposed to 20 dynes/cm2 shear stress for up to 24 hours in a parallel plate flow chamber. Actin alignment and endothelial nitric oxide synthase phosphorylation increased with shear stress for cells in normal glucose, but not cells in low and high glucose. Both low and high glucose elevated protein kinase C (PKC) levels; however PKC blockade only restored actin alignment in high glucose cells. Cells in low glucose instead released vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which translocated β-catenin away from the cell membrane and disabled the mechanosensory complex. Blocking VEGF in low glucose restored cell actin alignment in response to shear stress. These data suggest that low and high glucose alter endothelial cell alignment and nitric oxide production in response to shear stress through different mechanisms.
Monocyte activation and tissue infiltration are quantitatively associated with high-salt intake induced target organ inflammation. We hypothesized that high-salt challenge would induce the expansion of CD14++CD16+ monocytes, one of the three monocyte subsets with a pro-inflammatory phenotype, that is associated with target organ inflammation in humans.
A dietary intervention study was performed in 20 healthy volunteers, starting with a 3-day usual diet and followed with a 7-day high-salt diet (≥15 g NaCl/day), and a 7-day low-salt diet (≤5 g NaCl/day). The amounts of three monocyte subsets (“classical” CD14++CD16-, “intermediate” CD14++CD16+ and “non-classical” CD14+CD16++) and their associations with monocyte-platelet aggregates (MPAs) were measured by flow cytometry. Blood oxygen level-dependent magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD-MRI) was used to evaluate renal hypoxia. Switching to a high-salt diet resulted in CD14++ monocyte activation and a rapid expansion of CD14++CD16+ subset and MPAs, with a reciprocal decrease in the percentages of CD14++CD16- and CD14+CD16++ subsets. In vitro study using purified CD14++ monocytes revealed that elevation in extracellular [Na+] could lead to CD14++CD16+ expansion via a ROS dependent manner. In addition, high-salt intake was associated with progressive hypoxia in the renal medulla (increased R2* signal) and enhanced urinary monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) excretion, indicating a temporal and spatial correlation between CD14++CD16+ subset and renal inflammation. The above changes could be completely reversed by a low-salt diet, whereas blood pressure levels remained unchanged during dietary intervention.
The present work demonstrates that short-term increases in dietary salt intake could induce the expansion of CD14++CD16+ monocytes, as well as an elevation of MPAs, which might be the underlying cellular basis of high-salt induced end organ inflammation and potential thromboembolic risk. In addition, this process seems largely unrelated to changes in blood pressure levels. This finding provides novel links between dietary salt intake, innate immunity and end organ inflammation.
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.