A novel influenza A virus (IAV) of the H7N9 subtype has been isolated from severely diseased patients with pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome and, apparently, from healthy poultry in March 2013 in Eastern China. We evaluated replication, tropism, and cytokine induction of the A/Anhui/1/2013 (H7N9) virus isolated from a fatal human infection and two low-pathogenic avian H7 subtype viruses in a human lung organ culture system mimicking infection of the lower respiratory tract. The A(H7N9) patient isolate replicated similarly well as a seasonal IAV in explanted human lung tissue, whereas avian H7 subtype viruses propagated poorly. Interestingly, the avian H7 strains provoked a strong antiviral type I interferon (IFN-I) response, whereas the A(H7N9) virus induced only low IFN levels. Nevertheless, all viruses analyzed were detected predominantly in type II pneumocytes, indicating that the A(H7N9) virus does not differ in its cellular tropism from other avian or human influenza viruses. Tissue culture-based studies suggested that the low induction of the IFN-β promoter correlated with an efficient suppression by the viral NS1 protein. These findings demonstrate that the zoonotic A(H7N9) virus is unusually well adapted to efficient propagation in human alveolar tissue, which most likely contributes to the severity of lower respiratory tract disease seen in many patients.
Humans are usually not infected by avian influenza A viruses (IAV), but this large group of viruses contributes to the emergence of human pandemic strains. Transmission of virulent avian IAV to humans is therefore an alarming event that requires assessment of the biology as well as pathogenic and pandemic potentials of the viruses in clinically relevant models. Here, we demonstrate that an early virus isolate from the recent A(H7N9) outbreak in Eastern China replicated as efficiently as human-adapted IAV in explanted human lung tissue, whereas avian H7 subtype viruses were unable to propagate. Robust replication of the H7N9 strain correlated with a low induction of antiviral beta interferon (IFN-β), and cell-based studies indicated that this is due to efficient suppression of the IFN response by the viral NS1 protein. Thus, explanted human lung tissue appears to be a useful experimental model to explore the determinants facilitating cross-species transmission of the H7N9 virus to humans.
The human hCLCA1 and murine mCLCA3 (chloride channels, calcium-activated) have recently been identified as promising therapeutic targets in asthma. Recurrent airway obstruction in horses is an important animal model of human asthma. Here, we have cloned and characterized the first equine CLCA family member, eCLCA1. The 913 amino acids eCLCA1 polypeptide forms a 120-kDa transmembrane glycoprotein that is processed to an 80-kDa protein in vivo. Three single nucleotide polymorphisms were detected in the eCLCA1 coding region in 14 horses, resulting in two amino acid changes (485H/R and 490V/L). However, no functional differences were recorded between the channel properties of the two variants in transfected HEK293 cells. The eCLCA1 protein was detected immunohistochemically in mucin-producing cells in the respiratory and intestinal tracts, cutaneous sweat glands, and renal mucous glands. Strong overexpression of eCLCA1 was observed in the airways of horses with recurrent airway obstruction using Northern blot hybridization, Western blotting, immunohistochemistry, and real-time quantitative RT-PCR. The results suggest that spontaneous or experimental recurrent airway obstruction in horses may serve as a model to study the role of CLCA homologs in chronic airway disease with overproduction of mucins.
asthma; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; calcium-activated chloride channels; goblet cells; mucus overproduction
Influenza viruses (IV) cause pneumonia in humans with progression to lung failure and fatal outcome. Dysregulated release of cytokines including type I interferons (IFNs) has been attributed a crucial role in immune-mediated pulmonary injury during severe IV infection. Using ex vivo and in vivo IV infection models, we demonstrate that alveolar macrophage (AM)-expressed IFN-β significantly contributes to IV-induced alveolar epithelial cell (AEC) injury by autocrine induction of the pro-apoptotic factor TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL). Of note, TRAIL was highly upregulated in and released from AM of patients with pandemic H1N1 IV-induced acute lung injury. Elucidating the cell-specific underlying signalling pathways revealed that IV infection induced IFN-β release in AM in a protein kinase R- (PKR-) and NF-κB-dependent way. Bone marrow chimeric mice lacking these signalling mediators in resident and lung-recruited AM and mice subjected to alveolar neutralization of IFN-β and TRAIL displayed reduced alveolar epithelial cell apoptosis and attenuated lung injury during severe IV pneumonia. Together, we demonstrate that macrophage-released type I IFNs, apart from their well-known anti-viral properties, contribute to IV-induced AEC damage and lung injury by autocrine induction of the pro-apoptotic factor TRAIL. Our data suggest that therapeutic targeting of the macrophage IFN-β-TRAIL axis might represent a promising strategy to attenuate IV-induced acute lung injury.
Acute lung injury induced by influenza virus (IV) infection has been linked to an unbalanced release of pro-inflammatory cytokines including type I interferons (IFN) causing immune-mediated organ damage. Using ex vivo and in vivo IV infection models, we demonstrate that alveolar macrophage-expressed IFN-β induces alveolar epithelial cell injury by autocrine induction of the pro-apoptotic TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL). Elucidating the cell-specific underlying signalling pathways revealed that IV-induced IFN-β release from alveolar macrophages (AM) strictly depended on protein kinase R- (PKR-) and NF-κB-signalling. Autocrine activation via the macrophage type I IFN receptor (IFNAR) resulted in increased expression and release of TRAIL which caused apoptosis of IV-infected and non-infected alveolar epithelial cells and promoted alveolar barrier dysfunction as demonstrated in ex vivo co-cultures and in bone marrow chimeric mouse models in vivo. Importantly, we found TRAIL highly upregulated in and released from AM of hospitalized patients with pandemic H1N1-induced lung failure. Therapeutic targeting of the macrophage IFN-β-TRAIL axis might therefore represent a promising strategy to attenuate IV-induced acute lung injury.
Pigeon protozoal encephalitis (PPE) is an emerging central-nervous disease of domestic pigeons (Columba livia f. domestica) reported in Germany and the United States. It is caused by the apicomplexan parasite Sarcocystis calchasi which is transmitted by Accipter hawks. In contrast to other members of the Apicomplexa such as Toxoplasma and Plasmodium, the knowledge about the pathophysiology and host manipulation of Sarcocystis is scarce and almost nothing is known about PPE. Here we show by mRNA expression profiling a significant down-modulation of the interleukin (IL)-12/IL-18/interferon (IFN)-γ axis in the brains of experimentally infected pigeons during the schizogonic phase of disease. Concomitantly, no cellular immune response was observed in histopathology while immunohistochemistry and nested PCR detected S. calchasi. In contrast, in the late central-nervous phase, IFN-γ and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) α-related cytokines were significantly up-modulated, which correlated with a prominent MHC-II protein expression in areas of mononuclear cell infiltration and necrosis. The mononuclear cell fraction was mainly composed of T-lymphocytes, fewer macrophages and B-lymphocytes. Surprisingly, the severity and composition of the immune cell response appears unrelated to the infectious dose, although the severity and onset of the central nervous signs clearly was dose-dependent. We identified no or only very few tissue cysts by immunohistochemistry in pigeons with severe encephalitis of which one pigeon repeatedly remained negative by PCR despite severe lesions. Taken together, these observations may suggest an immune evasion strategy of S. calchasi during the early phase and a delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction as cause of the extensive cerebral lesions during the late neurological phase of disease.
Inflammatory bowel disease is a condition of acute and chronic inflammation of the gut. An important factor contributing to pathogenesis is a dysregulated mucosal immunity against commensal bacteria and fungi. Host pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) sense commensals in the gut and are involved in maintaining the balance between controlled responses to pathogens and overwhelming innate immune activation. C-type lectin receptors (CLRs) are PRRs recognizing glycan structures on pathogens and self-antigens. Here we examined the role of the murine CLR specific intracellular adhesion molecule-3 grabbing non-integrin homolog-related 3 (SIGNR3) in the recognition of commensals and its involvement in intestinal immunity. SIGNR3 is the closest murine homolog of the human dendritic cell-specific intercellular adhesion molecule-3-grabbing non-integrin (DC-SIGN) receptor recognizing similar carbohydrate ligands such as terminal fucose or high-mannose glycans. We discovered that SIGNR3 recognizes fungi present in the commensal microbiota. To analyze whether this interaction impacts the intestinal immunity against microbiota, the dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis model was employed. SIGNR3−/− mice exhibited an increased weight loss associated with more severe colitis symptoms compared to wild-type control mice. The increased inflammation in SIGNR3−/− mice was accompanied by a higher level of TNF-α in colon. Our findings demonstrate for the first time that SIGNR3 recognizes intestinal fungi and has an immune regulatory role in colitis.
SIGNR3; C-type lectin receptor; host innate immunity; colitis; carbohydrate recognition; microbiota; fungi
T-cell receptor γ alternate reading frame protein (TARP) is expressed by human prostate epithelial, prostate cancer, and mammary cancer cells, but is not found in normal mammary tissue. To date, this protein has only been described in humans. Additionally, no animal model has been established to investigate the potential merits of TARP as tumor marker or a target for adoptive tumor immunotherapy. In this study conducted to characterize feline T-cell receptor γ sequences, constructs very similar to human TARP transcripts were obtained by RACE from the spleen and prostate gland of cats. Transcription of TARP in normal, hyperplastic, and neoplastic feline mammary tissues was evaluated by conventional RT-PCR. In felines similarly to the situation reported in humans, a C-region encoding two open reading frames is spliced to a J-region gene. In contrast to humans, the feline J-region gene was found to be a pseudogene containing a deletion within its recombination signal sequence. Our findings demonstrated that the feline TARP ortholog is transcribed in the prostate gland and mammary tumors but not normal mammary tissues as is the case with human TARP.
cat; C-region; J-region; T-cell receptor γ alternate reading frame protein (TARP); tumor marker
In recent years several technologies for the complete analysis of the transcriptome and proteome have reached a technological level which allows their routine application as scientific tools. The principle of these methods is the identification and quantification of up to ten thousands of RNA and proteins species in a tissue, in contrast to the sequential analysis of conventional methods such as PCR and Western blotting. Due to their technical progress transcriptome and proteome analyses are becoming increasingly relevant in all fields of biological research. They are mainly used for the explorative identification of disease associated complex gene expression patterns and thereby set the stage for hypothesis-driven studies. This review gives an overview on the methods currently available for transcriptome analysis, that is, microarrays, Ref-Seq, quantitative PCR arrays and discusses their potentials and limitations. Second, the most powerful current approaches to proteome analysis are introduced, that is, 2D-gel electrophoresis, shotgun proteomics, MudPIT and the diverse technological concepts are reviewed. Finally, experimental strategies for biomarker discovery, experimental settings for the identification of prognostic gene sets and explorative versus hypothesis driven approaches for the elucidation of diseases associated genes and molecular pathways are described and their potential for studies in veterinary research is highlighted.
malaria; parasites; bird; cytochrome b; Haemoproteus; Plasmodium; Leucocytozoon; host specificity; Besnoitia; Passeriformes; Psittaciformes; letter
We assessed the prediction that access of the viral NS1 protein to cellular PDZ domain protein networks enhances the virulence of highly pathogenic avian influenza A viruses. The NS1 proteins of most avian influenza viruses bear the C-terminal ligand sequence Glu-Ser-Glu-Val (ESEV) for PDZ domains present in multiple host proteins, whereas no such motif is found in the NS1 homologues of seasonal human virus strains. Previous analysis showed that a C-terminal ESEV motif increases viral virulence when introduced into the NS1 protein of mouse-adapted H1N1 influenza virus. To examine the role of the PDZ domain ligand motif in avian influenza virus virulence, we generated three recombinants, derived from the prototypic H5N1 influenza A/Vietnam/1203/04 virus, expressing NS1 proteins that either have the C-terminal ESEV motif or the human influenza virus RSKV consensus or bear a natural truncation of this motif, respectively. Cell biological analyses showed strong control of NS1 nuclear migration in infected mammalian and avian cells, with only minor differences between the three variants. The ESEV sequence attenuated viral replication on cultured human, murine, and duck cells but not on chicken fibroblasts. However, all three viruses caused highly lethal infections in mice and chickens, with little difference in viral titers in organs, mean lethal dose, or intravenous pathogenicity index. These findings demonstrate that a PDZ domain ligand sequence in NS1 contributes little to the virulence of H5N1 viruses in these hosts, and they indicate that this motif modulates viral replication in a strain- and host-dependent manner.
Domestic cats serve as the reservoir hosts of Bartonella henselae and may develop mild clinical symptoms or none after experimental infection. In humans, B. henselae infection can result in self-limiting cat scratch disease. However, immunocompromised patients may suffer from more-severe courses of infection or may even develop the potentially lethal disease bacillary angiomatosis. It was reasoned that cats with immunocompromising viral infections may react similarly to B. henselae infection. The aim of our study was to investigate the influence of the most important viruses known to cause immunosuppression in cats—Feline leukemia virus (FeLV), Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), and Feline panleukopenia virus (FPV)—on natural B. henselae infection in cats. Accordingly, 142 cats from animal shelters were necropsied and tested for B. henselae and concurrent infections with FeLV, FIV, or FPV by PCR and immunohistochemistry. A significant association was found between B. henselae and FeLV infections (P = 0.00028), but not between B. henselae and FIV (P = 1.0) or FPV (P = 0.756) infection, age (P = 0.392), or gender (P = 0.126). The results suggest that susceptibility to B. henselae infection is higher in cats with concurrent FeLV infections, regardless of whether the infection is latent or progressive. Histopathology and immunohistochemistry for B. henselae failed to identify lesions that could be attributed specifically to B. henselae infection. We conclude that the course of natural B. henselae infection in cats does not seem to be influenced by immunosuppressive viral infections in general but that latent FeLV infection may predispose cats to B. henselae infection or persistence.
Similar to human breast cancer mammary tumors of the female dog are commonly associated with a fatal outcome due to the development of distant metastases. However, the molecular defects leading to metastasis are largely unknown and the value of canine mammary carcinoma as a model for human breast cancer is unclear. In this study, we analyzed the gene expression signatures associated with mammary tumor metastasis and asked for parallels with the human equivalent.
Messenger RNA expression profiles of twenty-seven lymph node metastasis positive or negative canine mammary carcinomas were established by microarray analysis. Differentially expressed genes were functionally characterized and associated with molecular pathways. The findings were also correlated with published data on human breast cancer.
Metastatic canine mammary carcinomas had 1,011 significantly differentially expressed genes when compared to non-metastatic carcinomas. Metastatic carcinomas had a significant up-regulation of genes associated with cell cycle regulation, matrix modulation, protein folding and proteasomal degradation whereas cell differentiation genes, growth factor pathway genes and regulators of actin organization were significantly down-regulated. Interestingly, 265 of the 1,011 differentially expressed canine genes are also related to human breast cancer and, vice versa, parts of a human prognostic gene signature were identified in the expression profiles of the metastatic canine tumors.
Metastatic canine mammary carcinomas can be discriminated from non-metastatic carcinomas by their gene expression profiles. More than one third of the differentially expressed genes are also described of relevance for human breast cancer. Many of the differentially expressed genes are linked to functions and pathways which appear to be relevant for the induction and maintenance of metastatic progression and may represent new therapeutic targets. Furthermore, dogs are in some aspects suitable as a translational model for human breast tumors in order to identify prognostic molecular signatures and potential therapeutic targets.
The Berlin Fat Mouse Inbred (BFMI) line is a new mouse model for obesity, which was long-term selected for high fatness. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are involved in the control of energy homeostasis, nutrient metabolism and cell proliferation. Here, we studied the expression patterns of the different Ppar genes and the genes in the PPAR pathway in the BFMI line in comparison to physiological changes.
At the age of 10 weeks, the BFMI mice exhibited marked obesity with enlarged adipocytes and high serum triglycerides concentrations in comparison to the often used mouse line C57BL/6 (B6). Between these two lines, gene expression analyses revealed differentially expressed genes belonging to the PPAR pathway, in particular genes of the lipogenesis and the fatty acid transport.
Surprisingly, the Ppar-α gene expression was up-regulated in liver and Ppar-γ gene expression was down-regulated in the white adipose tissue, indicating the activation of a mechanism that counteracts the rise of obesity.
Cell adhesion is an important regulator of cell growth and motility. Recently the hepatocyte cell adhesion molecules 1 and 2 (HEPACAM1 and 2), members of the immunoglobulin family of adhesion genes, have been identified. HEPACAM1 is involved in negative cell cycle regulation via p53, p21 and p27 signalling but also mediates increased human breast cancer cell spread. The role and expression pattern of HEPACAM2 has not been analyzed so far. In the present study we quantified gene expression levels of HEPACAM1 and 2 to evaluate their possible role during the carcinogenesis of canine mammary tumours.
Adenomas displayed increased HEPACAM1 and 2 mRNA expression levels and decreased HEPACAM1 protein expression levels when compared to normal gland, carcinomas and lymph node metastases. In contrast, metastatic carcinomas, intravascular tumour cells and lymph node metastases had HEPACAM 1 protein and mRNA expression levels similar to normal gland but decreased HEPACAM2 mRNA expression when compared to normal gland of the same dog.
HEPACAM1 and 2 seem to be important for cell-cell adhesion of normal and neoplastic canine mammary cells. The loss of HEPACAM1 protein expression in adenomas but not in carcinomas questions its role as a tumour suppressor at late stages of malignant transformation and indicates that it might rather be involved in physiologic mammary cell adhesion and canine mammary tumour metastasis. Furthermore, it can be speculated, whether HEPACAM2 plays a different role in malignancy and metastasis of canine mammary tumours since its transcriptional levels are different in carcinomas and their lymph node metastases when compared to HEPACAM1.
A large number of Sarcocystis spp. infect birds as intermediate hosts, but pigeons are rarely affected. We identified a novel Sarcocystis sp. that causes lethal neurologic disease in domestic pigeons in Germany. Experimental infections indicated transmission by northern goshawks, and sequence analyses indicated transnational distribution. Worldwide spread is possible.
Apicomplexa; protozoa; polyuria; depression; torticollis; encephalitis; ribosomal; RNA; 18S; 28S; parasites; dispatch
The genetic make-up of the host has a major influence on its response to combat pathogens. For influenza A virus, several single gene mutations have been described which contribute to survival, the immune response and clearance of the pathogen by the host organism. Here, we have studied the influence of the genetic background to influenza A H1N1 (PR8) and H7N7 (SC35M) viruses. The seven inbred laboratory strains of mice analyzed exhibited different weight loss kinetics and survival rates after infection with PR8. Two strains in particular, DBA/2J and A/J, showed very high susceptibility to viral infections compared to all other strains. The LD50 to the influenza virus PR8 in DBA/2J mice was more than 1000-fold lower than in C57BL/6J mice. High susceptibility in DBA/2J mice was also observed after infection with influenza strain SC35M. In addition, infected DBA/2J mice showed a higher viral load in their lungs, elevated expression of cytokines and chemokines, and a more severe and extended lung pathology compared to infected C57BL/6J mice. These findings indicate a major contribution of the genetic background of the host to influenza A virus infections. The overall response in highly susceptible DBA/2J mice resembled the pathology described for infections with the highly virulent influenza H1N1-1918 and newly emerged H5N1 viruses.
Although the contribution of alveolar type II epithelial cell (AEC II) activities in various aspects of respiratory immune regulation has become increasingly appreciated, our understanding of the contribution of AEC II transcriptosome in immunopathologic lung injury remains poorly understood. We have previously established a mouse model for chronic T cell-mediated pulmonary inflammation in which influenza hemagglutinin (HA) is expressed as a transgene in AEC II, in mice expressing a transgenic T cell receptor specific for a class II-restricted epitope of HA. Pulmonary inflammation in these mice occurs as a result of CD4+ T cell recognition of alveolar antigen. This model was utilized to assess the profile of inflammatory mediators expressed by alveolar epithelial target cells triggered by antigen-specific recognition in CD4+ T cell-mediated lung inflammation.
We established a method that allows the flow cytometric negative selection and isolation of primary AEC II of high viability and purity. Genome wide transcriptional profiling was performed on mRNA isolated from AEC II isolated from healthy mice and from mice with acute and chronic CD4+ T cell-mediated pulmonary inflammation.
T cell-mediated inflammation was associated with expression of a broad array of cytokine and chemokine genes by AEC II cell, indicating a potential contribution of epithelial-derived chemoattractants to the inflammatory cell parenchymal infiltration. Morphologically, there was an increase in the size of activated epithelial cells, and on the molecular level, comparative transcriptome analyses of AEC II from inflamed versus normal lungs provide a detailed characterization of the specific inflammatory genes expressed in AEC II induced in the context of CD4+ T cell-mediated pneumonitis.
An important contribution of AEC II gene expression to the orchestration and regulation of interstitial pneumonitis is suggested by the panoply of inflammatory genes expressed by this cell population, and this may provide insight into the molecular pathogenesis of pulmonary inflammatory states. CD4+ T cell recognition of antigen presented by AEC II cells appears to be a potent trigger for activation of the alveolar cell inflammatory transcriptosome.
We found antibodies to leptospires in 25 (18%) of 141 wild boars from Berlin (95% confidence interval 12–25). Seropositivity was associated with chronic interstitial nephritis (odds ratio 10.5; p = 0.01), and leptospires were detected in kidney tissues. Wild boars represent a potential source for human leptospirosis in urban environments.
Leptospirosis; Sus scrofa; urban; wildlife; zoonoses; dispatch
The functional role of UV irradiation, in combination with the E6 and E7 proteins of the cutaneous human papillomavirus (HPV) types in the malignant conversion of benign papillomatous lesions, has not been elucidated. Transgenic SKH-hr1 hairless mice expressing HPV-20 and HPV-27 E6 and E7 proteins in the suprabasal compartment were generated and exposed to chronic UV irradiation. Histological and immunohistochemical examination of skin samples revealed enhanced proliferation of the epidermal layers and papilloma formation in both transgenic strains in comparison to what was observed with nontransgenic mice. Squamous cell carcinoma developed in the HPV-20 E6/E7 transgenic line as well as in the HPV-27 E6/E7 transgenic line. Several weeks after cessation of UV-B exposure, enhanced proliferation, as measured by BrdU incorporation, was maintained only in HPV-20 transgenic skin. Keratin 6 expression was increased in the transgenic mice throughout all cell layers. Expression of the differentiation markers involucrin and loricrin was reduced and disturbed. p63α expression was differentially regulated with high levels of cytoplasmic expression in clusters of cells in the granular layer of the skin in the transgenic lines 20 weeks after cessation of UV-B exposure, in contrast to uninterrupted staining in the nontransgenic lines. p53 was expressed in clusters of cells in nontransgenic and HPV-27 transgenic mice, in contrast to an even distribution in a higher number of cells in HPV-20 transgenic animals.
The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) p38/MAPK-activated protein kinase 2 (MK2) signaling pathway plays an important role in the posttranscriptional regulation of tumor necrosis factor (TNF), which is dependent on the adenine/uridine-rich element (ARE) in the 3′ untranslated region of TNF mRNA. After lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation, MK2-deficient macrophages show a 90% reduction in TNF production compared to the wild type. Tristetraprolin (TTP), a protein induced by LPS, binds ARE and destabilizes TNF mRNA. Accordingly, macrophages lacking TTP produce large amounts of TNF. Here, we generated MK2/TTP double knockout mice and show that, after LPS stimulation, bone marrow-derived macrophages produce TNF mRNA and protein levels comparable to those of TTP knockout cells, indicating that in the regulation of TNF biosynthesis TTP is genetically downstream of MK2. In addition, we show that MK2 is essential for the stabilization of TTP mRNA, and phosphorylation by MK2 leads to increased TTP protein stability but reduced ARE affinity. These data suggest that MK2 inhibits the mRNA destabilizing activity of TTP and, in parallel, codegradation of TTP together, with the target mRNA resulting in increased cellular levels of TTP.
In order to investigate the role of the ferric uptake regulator Fur in the porcine lung pathogen Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, we constructed an isogenic in-frame deletion mutant, A. pleuropneumoniae Δfur. This mutant showed constitutive expression of transferrin-binding proteins, growth deficiencies in vitro, and reduced virulence in an aerosol infection model.
Interleukin (IL)-10 is a regulator of inflammatory responses and is secreted by a variety of different cell types including T cells. T regulatory cells have been shown to suppress immune responses by IL-10–dependent, but also IL-10–independent, mechanisms. Herein, we address the role of T cell–derived IL-10 in mice with an inactivation of the IL-10 gene restricted to T cells generated by Cre/loxP-mediated targeting of the IL-10 gene. Splenocytes from this T cell–specific mutant secrete increased amounts of proinflammatory cytokines after activation in vitro compared with show enhanced contact hypersensitivity reactions, and succumb to severe immunopathology upon infection with Toxoplasma gondii. Despite intact IL-10 genes in other cell types, the dysregulation of T cell responses observed in the T cell–specific IL-10 mutant closely resembles the phenotype in complete IL-10 deficiency. However, in contrast to complete IL-10 deficiency, sensitivity to endotoxic shock and irritant responses of the skin are not enhanced in the T cell–specific IL-10 mutant. Our data highlight the importance of T cell–derived IL-10 in the regulation of T cell responses and demonstrate that endotoxic shock and the irritant response of the skin are controlled by IL-10 from other cell types.
cytokines; gene targeting; inflammation; inflammatory bowel disease; allergic contact dermatitis
Congenital heart defects are the leading non-infectious cause of death in children. Genetic studies in the mouse have been crucial to uncover new genes and signaling pathways associated with heart development and congenital heart disease. The identification of murine models of congenital cardiac malformations in high-throughput mutagenesis screens and in gene-targeted models is hindered by the opacity of the mouse embryo.
We developed and optimized a novel method for high-throughput multi-embryo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Using this approach we identified cardiac malformations in phosphatidylserine receptor (Ptdsr) deficient embryos. These included ventricular septal defects, double-outlet right ventricle, and hypoplasia of the pulmonary artery and thymus. These results indicate that Ptdsr plays a key role in cardiac development.
Our novel multi-embryo MRI technique enables high-throughput identification of murine models for human congenital cardiopulmonary malformations at high spatial resolution. The technique can be easily adapted for mouse mutagenesis screens and, thus provides an important new tool for identifying new mouse models for human congenital heart diseases.
Phagocytosis of apoptotic cells is fundamental to animal development, immune function and cellular homeostasis. The phosphatidylserine receptor (Ptdsr) on phagocytes has been implicated in the recognition and engulfment of apoptotic cells and in anti-inflammatory signaling. To determine the biological function of the phosphatidylserine receptor in vivo, we inactivated the Ptdsr gene in the mouse.
Ablation of Ptdsr function in mice causes perinatal lethality, growth retardation and a delay in terminal differentiation of the kidney, intestine, liver and lungs during embryogenesis. Moreover, eye development can be severely disturbed, ranging from defects in retinal differentiation to complete unilateral or bilateral absence of eyes. Ptdsr -/- mice with anophthalmia develop novel lesions, with induction of ectopic retinal-pigmented epithelium in nasal cavities. A comprehensive investigation of apoptotic cell clearance in vivo and in vitro demonstrated that engulfment of apoptotic cells was normal in Ptdsr knockout mice, but Ptdsr-deficient macrophages were impaired in pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine signaling after stimulation with apoptotic cells or with lipopolysaccharide.
Ptdsr is essential for the development and differentiation of multiple organs during embryogenesis but not for apoptotic cell removal. Ptdsr may thus have a novel, unexpected developmental function as an important differentiation-promoting gene. Moreover, Ptdsr is not required for apoptotic cell clearance by macrophages but seems to be necessary for the regulation of macrophage cytokine responses. These results clearly contradict the current view that the phosphatidylserine receptor primarily functions in apoptotic cell clearance.
Approximately 21,700 seals died during a morbillivirus epidemic in northwestern Europe in 2002. Phocine distemper virus 1 was isolated from seals in German waters. The sequence of the P gene showed 97% identity with the Dutch virus isolated in 1988. There was 100% identity with the Dutch isolate from 2002 and a single nucleotide mismatch with the Danish isolate.
harbor seal; phocine distemper virus; germany; RT-PCR; immunohistochemistry; serology
Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, the causative agent of porcine pleuropneumonia, is capable of persisting in oxygen-deprived surroundings, namely, tonsils and sequestered necrotic lung tissue. Utilization of alternative terminal electron acceptors in the absence of oxygen is a common strategy in bacteria under anaerobic growth conditions. In an experiment aimed at identification of genes expressed in vivo, the putative catalytic subunit DmsA of anaerobic dimethyl sulfoxide reductase was identified in an A. pleuropneumoniae serotype 7 strain. The 90-kDa protein exhibits 85% identity to the putative DmsA protein of Haemophilus influenzae, and its expression was found to be upregulated under anaerobic conditions. Analysis of the unfinished A. pleuropneumoniae genome sequence revealed putative open reading frames (ORFs) encoding DmsB and DmsC proteins situated downstream of the dmsA ORF. In order to investigate the role of the A. pleuropneumoniae DmsA protein in virulence, an isogenic deletion mutant, A. pleuropneumoniae ΔdmsA, was constructed and examined in an aerosol infection model. A. pleuropneumoniae ΔdmsA was attenuated in acute disease, which suggests that genes involved in oxidative metabolism under anaerobic conditions might contribute significantly to A. pleuropneumoniae virulence.