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1.  Involvement of Transglutaminase-2 in α-MSH-Induced Melanogenesis in SK-MEL-2 Human Melanoma Cells 
Biomolecules & Therapeutics  2014;22(3):207-212.
Skin hyperpigmentation is one of the most common skin disorders caused by abnormal melanogenesis. The mechanism and key factors at play are not fully understood. Previous reports have indicated that cystamine (CTM) inhibits melanin synthesis, though its molecular mechanism in melanogenesis remains unclear. In the present study, we investigated the effect of CTM on melanin production using ELISA reader and the expression of proteins involved in melanogenesis by Western blotting, and examined the involvement of transglutaminase-2 (Tgase-2) in SK-MEL-2 human melanoma cells by gene silencing. In the results, CTM dose-dependently suppressed melanin production and dendrite extension in α-MSH-induced melanogenesis of SK-MEL-2 human melanoma cells. CTM also suppressed α-MSH-induced chemotactic migration as well as the expressions of melanogenesis factors TRP-1, TRP-2 and MITF in α-MSH-treated SK-MEL-2 cells. Meanwhile, gene silencing of Tgase-2 suppressed dendrite extension and the expressions of TRP-1 and TRP-2 in α-MSH-treated SK-MEL-2 cells. Overall, these findings suggested that CTM suppresses α-MSH-induced melanogenesis via Tgase-2 inhibition and that therefore, Tgase-2 might be a new target in hyperpigmentation disorder therapy.
PMCID: PMC4060083  PMID: 25009701
Cystamine; Melanogenesis; Transglutaminase-2; TRP-1; TRP-2; SK-MEL-2 melanoma cells
2.  FCεRI Gene Promoter Polymorphisms and Total IgE Levels in Susceptibility to Atopic Dermatitis in Korea 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2011;26(7):870-874.
IgE-dependent activation of mast cells and basophils through the high-affinity IgE receptor (FcεRI) is involved in the pathogenesis of allergen-induced immune responsiveness in atopic diseases like atopic dermatitis (AD). We sought to determine FcεRI gene polymorphisms are associated with AD in Korean patients, and analyzed the relevance of FcεRI gene polymorphisms and serum IgE levels. We conducted a case-control association analysis (175 patients and 56 controls) of Korean subjects. Genotyping was performed using the TaqMan fluorogenic 5' nuclease assay, and serum levels of IgE were measured using a fluorescence enzyme immunoassay. We found that there were no significant relationships between FcεRI and AD, although there were trends towards an association between the 66T>C (rs2251746) polymorphism and total serum IgE levels in the Korean AD patients. In conclusion, while the 66T>C (rs2251746) of the FcεRIα polymorphism may be linked to AD and higher serum IgE levels, polymorphisms in the FcεRIβ gene did not confer susceptibility to AD in our patient sample.
PMCID: PMC3124715  PMID: 21738338
Atopic dermatitis; FcεRIα Polymorphism; FcεRIβ Polymorphism; Immunoglobulin E
3.  Genetic Polymorphism of FLG in Korean Ichthyosis Vulgaris Patients 
Annals of Dermatology  2011;23(2):170-176.
Filaggrin is a key protein that facilitates the formation of skin barrier by forming a stratum corneum. Mutations in the gene encoding filaggrin (FLG) have recently been reported in patients with ichthyosis vulgaris (IV). Interestingly, there are ethnic differences between FLG mutations identified in Asians and Europeans, and few FLG mutations are overlapping between Chinese and Japanese IV patients.
The aim of this study was to investigative the genetic polymorphism of FLG in Korean IV patients.
Genomic DNA was extracted from whole venous blood specimen of Korean patients with IV and a control group, and the full sequence of FLG was determined via overlapping long-range polymerase chain reaction method.
Analysis of base sequence previously unreported reveal new nonsense mutation p.Y1767X in a Korean IV patient, and additional new single nucleotide polymorphisms.
On the basis of this study, it is anticipated that analysis of FLG gene sequence be extended to other dermatoses associated with FLG, such as atopic dermatitis.
PMCID: PMC3130859  PMID: 21747615
Filaggrin; Genetics; Ichthyosis vulgaris; Mutation; Polymorphisms
4.  Protease-Activated Receptor 2 Is Involved in Th2 Responses against Trichinella spiralis Infection 
In order to get a better understanding of the role of protease-activated receptor 2 (PAR2) in type 2 helper T (Th2) cell responses against Trichinella spiralis infection, we analyzed Th2 responses in T. spiralis-infected PAR2 knockout (KO) mice. The levels of the Th2 cell-secreted cytokines, IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13 were markedly reduced in the PAR2 KO mice as compared to the wild type mice following infection with T. spiralis. The serum levels of parasite-specific IgE increased significantly in the wild type mice as the result of T. spiralis infection, but this level was not significantly increased in PAR2 KO mice. The expression level of thymic stromal lymphopoietin, IL-25, and eotaxin gene (the genes were recently known as Th2 response initiators) of mouse intestinal epithelial cells were increased as the result of treatment with T. spiralis excretory-secretory proteins. However, the expression of these chemokine genes was inhibited by protease inhibitor treatments. In conclusion, PAR2 might involve in Th2 responses against T. spiralis infection.
PMCID: PMC3210840  PMID: 22072823
Trichinella spiralis; protease-activated receptor 2; IL-25; thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP)
5.  Prostaglandin E2 and Transforming Growth Factor-β Play a Critical Role in Suppression of Allergic Airway Inflammation by Adipose-Derived Stem Cells 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0131813.
The role of soluble factors in the suppression of allergic airway inflammation by adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) remains to be elucidated. Moreover, the major soluble factors responsible for the immunomodulatory effects of ASCs in allergic airway diseases have not been well documented. We evaluated the effects of ASCs on allergic inflammation in asthmatic mice treated with a prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) inhibitor or transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) neutralizing antibodies.
Methods and Findings
Asthmatic mice were injected intraperitoneally with a PGE2 inhibitor or TGF-β neutralizing antibodies at approximately the same time as ASCs injection and were compared with non-treated controls. In asthmatic mice, ASCs significantly reduced airway hyperresponsiveness, the number of total inflammatory cells and eosinophils in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), eosinophilic inflammation, goblet cell hyperplasia, and serum total and allergen-specific IgE and IgG1. ASCs significantly inhibited Th2 cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, and IL-13, and enhanced the Th1 cytokine (Interferon-γ) and regulatory cytokines (IL-10 and TGF-β) in the BALF and lung draining lymph nodes (LLNs). ASCs engraftment caused significant increases in the regulatory T cell (Treg) and IL-10+ T cell populations in LLNs. However, blocking PGE2 or TGF-β eliminated the immunosuppressive effect of ASCs in allergic airway inflammation.
ASCs are capable of secreting PGE2 and TGF-β, which may play a role in inducing Treg expansion. Furthermore, treatment with a PGE2 inhibitor or TGF-β neutralizing antibodies eliminated the beneficial effect of ASCs treatment in asthmatic mice, suggesting that PGE2 and TGF-β are the major soluble factors responsible for suppressing allergic airway inflammation.
PMCID: PMC4503681  PMID: 26176545
6.  Cardamonin Suppresses TGF-β1-Induced Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition via Restoring Protein Phosphatase 2A Expression 
Biomolecules & Therapeutics  2015;23(2):141-148.
Epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) is the first step in metastasis and implicated in the phenotype of cancer stem cells. Therefore, understanding and controlling EMT, are essential to the prevention and cure of metastasis. In the present study, we examined, by Western blot, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and confocal microscopy, the effects of cardamonin (CDN) on transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1)-induced EMT of A549 lung adenocarcinoma cell lines. TGF-β1 induced expression of N-cadherin and decreased expression of E-cadherin. CDN suppressed N-cadherin expression and restored E-cadherin expression. Further, TGF-β1 induced migration and invasion of A549 cancer cells, which was suppressed by CDN. TGF-β1 induced c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activation during EMT, but CDN blocked it. Protein serine/threonine phosphatase 2A (PP2A) expression in A549 cancer cells was reduced by TGF-β1 but CDN restored it. The overall data suggested that CDN suppresses TGF-β1-induced EMT via PP2A restoration, making it a potential new drug candidate that controls metastasis.
PMCID: PMC4354315  PMID: 25767682
Cardamonin; Epithelial mesenchymal transition; TGF-β1; JNK; PP2A; A549
7.  Parasitic Nematode-Induced CD4+Foxp3+T Cells Can Ameliorate Allergic Airway Inflammation 
The recruitment of CD4+CD25+Foxp3+T (Treg) cells is one of the most important mechanisms by which parasites down-regulate the immune system.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We compared the effects of Treg cells from Trichinella spiralis-infected mice and uninfected mice on experimental allergic airway inflammation in order to understand the functions of parasite-induced Treg cells. After four weeks of T. spiralis infection, we isolated Foxp3-GFP-expressing cells from transgenic mice using a cell sorter. We injected CD4+Foxp3+ cells from T. spiralis-infected [Inf(+)Foxp3+] or uninfected [Inf(-)Foxp3+] mice into the tail veins of C57BL/6 mice before the induction of inflammation or during inflammation. Inflammation was induced by ovalbumin (OVA)-alum sensitization and OVA challenge. The concentrations of the Th2-related cytokines IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13 in the bronchial alveolar lavage fluid and the levels of OVA-specific IgE and IgG1 in the serum were lower in mice that received intravenous application of Inf(+)Foxp3+ cells [IV(inf):+(+) group] than in control mice. Some features of allergic airway inflammation were ameliorated by the intravenous application of Inf(-)Foxp3+ cells [IV(inf):+(-) group], but the effects were less distinct than those observed in the IV(inf):+(+) group. We found that Inf(+)Foxp3+ cells migrated to inflammation sites in the lung and expressed higher levels of Treg-cell homing receptors (CCR5 and CCR9) and activation markers (Klrg1, Capg, GARP, Gzmb, OX40) than did Inf(-)Foxp3+ cells.
T. spiralis infection promotes the proliferation and functional activation of Treg cells. Parasite-induced Treg cells migrate to the inflammation site and suppress immune responses more effectively than non-parasite-induced Treg cells. The adoptive transfer of Inf(+)Foxp3+ cells is an effective method for the treatment and prevention of allergic airway diseases in mice and is a promising therapeutic approach for the treatment of allergic airway diseases.
Author Summary
Many studies have investigated the down-regulation of the immune system by parasite infection. CD4+CD25+Foxp3+T (Treg) cells are key players in parasite-mediated immune downregulation. Our previous study suggested that Treg cells recruited by Trichinella spiralis infection were the key cells mediating the amelioration of allergic airway inflammation in mice. In the present study, we investigated the functions of parasite-induced Treg cells using mice expressing GFP-tagged Foxp3. T. spiralis infection increased the number of Treg cells. Adoptive transfer of the parasite-induced Treg cells to mice with allergic airway inflammation ameliorated allergic airway inflammation. The transferred cells were recruited to inflammation sites in the lung. Cells from parasite-infected mice expressed higher levels of Treg-cell homing receptors and activation markers than did cells from uninfected mice. This study might help explain why immune disorders (often of unknown cause) are more prevalent among people in developed countries (areas with low parasite infection) than among those in developing countries (areas with parasite epidemics). Our finding might improve current cell therapy techniques and facilitate the development of new techniques that use parasites or parasite-borne materials to treat diverse immune disorders.
PMCID: PMC4270642  PMID: 25522145
8.  Novel Suppressive Effects of Ketotifen on Migration and Invasion of MDA-MB-231 and HT-1080 Cancer Cells 
Biomolecules & Therapeutics  2014;22(6):540-546.
The high mortality rates associated with cancer reflect the metastatic spread of tumor cells from the site of their origin. Metastasis, in fact, is the cause of 90% of cancer deaths. Therefore, considerable effort is being made to inhibit metastasis. In the present study, we screened ketotifen for anti-migratory and anti-invasive activities against MDA-MB-231 breast cancer and HT-1080 fibrosarcoma cancer cells. Cancer cell migration and invasion were measured using multi-well chambers. Additionally, western blots were used to examine the effects of ketotifen on the expressions of CDC42, Rho, Rac, and matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9). The results showed that ketotifen dose-dependently suppressed the migration and invasion of MDA-MB-231 and HT-1080 cells. Ketotifen also suppressed the expressions of CDC42, Rac, and Rho, which, significantly, are involved in MDA-MB-231 and HT-1080 cancer cell migration. Moreover, ketotifen suppressed the expression and activity of MMP-9, which is involved in degradation of the extracellular matrix leading to invasion. The overall data suggested that ketotifen suppresses the migration and invasion of MDA-MB-231 and HT-1080 cancer cells via inhibition of CDC42, Rac, Rho, and MMP-9 expression.
PMCID: PMC4256034  PMID: 25489422
Ketotifen; Migration; Invasion; MDA-MB-231; HT-1080
9.  Ursolic acid ameliorates autoimmune arthritis via suppression of Th17 and B cell differentiation 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2014;35(9):1177-1187.
Ursolic acid (UA) is a pentacyclic triterpenoid found in most plant species, which has been shown anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative activities. In this study, we examined the effects of UA on collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) in mice, and to identify the mechanisms underlying the effects.
CIA was induced in mice. Two weeks later, the mice were treated with UA (150 mg/kg, ip, 3 times per week) for 4 weeks. The expression of cytokines and oxidative stress markers in joint tissues was measured with immunohistochemistry. The numbers of CD4+IL-17+, CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ and pSTAT3 cells in spleens were determined using confocal immunostaining or flowcytometric analyses. Serum antibody levels and B cell-associated marker mRNAs were analyzed with ELISAs and qRT-PCR, respectively. CD4+ T cells and CD19+ B cells were purified from mice spleens for in vitro studies.
UA treatment significantly reduced the incidence and severity of CIA-induced arthritis, accompanied by decreased expression of proinflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-21 and IL-17) and oxidative stress markers (nitrotyrosine and iNOS) in arthritic joints. In CIA mice, UA treatment significantly decreased the number of Th17 cells, while increased the number of Treg cells in the spleens, which was consistent with decreased expression of pSTAT3, along with IL-17 and RORγt in the splenocytes. In addition, UA treatment significantly reduced the serum CII-specific IgG levels in CIA mice. The inhibitory effects of UA on Th17 cells were confirmed in an in vitro model of Th17 differentiation. Furthermore, UA dose-dependently suppressed the expression of B cell-associated markers Bcl-6, Blimp1 and AID mRNAs in purified CD19+ B cells pretreated with IL-21 or LPS in vitro.
UA treatment significantly ameliorates CIA in mice via suppression of Th17 and differentiation. By targeting pathogenic Th17 cells and autoantibody production, UA may be useful for the treatment of autoimmune arthritis and other Th17-related diseases.
PMCID: PMC4155530  PMID: 25087995
ursolic acid; rheumatoid arthritis; collagen-induced arthritis; Th17 cell; regulatory T cell; B cell; spleen; proinflammatory cytokine; STAT3
10.  Adipose-Derived Stem Cells Ameliorate Allergic Airway Inflammation by Inducing Regulatory T Cells in a Mouse Model of Asthma 
Mediators of Inflammation  2014;2014:436476.
Although several studies have demonstrated that mesenchymal stem cells derived from adipose tissue (ASCs) can ameliorate allergic airway inflammation, the immunomodulatory mechanism of ASCs remains unclear. In this study, we investigated whether regulatory T cells (Tregs) induction is a potential mechanism in immunomodulatory effects of ASCs on allergic airway disease and how these induced Tregs orchestrate allergic inflammation. Intravenous administration of ASCs significantly reduced allergic symptoms and inhibited eosinophilic inflammation. Airway hyperresponsiveness, total immune cell and eosinophils in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, mucus production, and serum allergen-specific IgE and IgG1 were significantly reduced after ASCs administration. ASCs significantly inhibited Th2 cytokines (IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13) and enhanced Th1 cytokine (IFN-γ) and regulatory cytokines (IL-10 and TGF-β) in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and lung draining lymph nodes. Furthermore, levels of IDO, TGF-β, and PGE2 were significantly increased after ASCs administration. Interestingly, this upregulation was accompanied by increased Treg populations. In conclusion, ASCs ameliorated allergic airway inflammation and improved lung function through the induction of Treg expansion. The induction of Treg by ASCs involves the secretion of soluble factors such as IDO, TGF-β, and PGE2 and Treg might be involved in the downregulation of Th2 cytokines and upregulation of Th1 cytokines production.
PMCID: PMC4160627  PMID: 25246732
11.  Gastrokine 1 regulates NF-κB signaling pathway and cytokine expression in gastric cancers† 
Journal of cellular biochemistry  2013;114(8):1800-1809.
Gastrokine 1 (GKN1) plays an important role in the gastric mucosal defense mechanism and also acts as a functional gastric tumor suppressor. In this study, we examined the effect of GKN1 on the expression of inflammatory mediators, including NF-κB, COX-2 and cytokines in GKN1-transfected AGS cells and shGKN1-transfected HFE-145 cells. Lymphocyte migration and cell viability were also analyzed after treatment with GKN1 and inflammatory cytokines in AGS cells by transwell chemotaxis and an MTT assay, respectively. In GKN1-transfected AGS cells, we observed inactivation and reduced expression of NF-κB and COX-2, whereas shGKN1-transfected HFE-145 cells showed activation and increased expression of NF-κB and COX-2. GKN1 expression induced production of inflammatory cytokines including IL-8 and -17A, but decreased expression of IL-6 and -10. We also found IL-17A expression in 9 (13.6%) out of 166 gastric cancer tissues and its expression was closely associated with GKN1 expression. GKN1 also acted as a chemoattractant for the migration of Jurkat T cells and peripheral B lymphocytes in the transwell assay. In addition, GKN1 significantly reduced cell viability in both AGS and HFE-145 cells. These data suggest that the GKN1 gene may inhibit progression of gastric epithelial cells to cancer cells by regulating NF-κB signaling pathway and cytokine expression.
PMCID: PMC3713628  PMID: 23444260
GKN1; gastric cancer; NF-κB; inflammatory mediator; cytokine
12.  Acanthamoeba Protease Activity Promotes Allergic Airway Inflammation via Protease-Activated Receptor 2 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e92726.
Acanthamoeba is a free-living amoeba commonly present in the environment and often found in human airway cavities. Acanthamoeba possesses strong proteases that can elicit allergic airway inflammation. To our knowledge, the aeroallergenicity of Acanthamoeba has not been reported. We repeatedly inoculated mice with Acanthamoeba trophozoites or excretory-secretory (ES) proteins intra-nasally and evaluated symptoms and airway immune responses. Acanthamoeba trophozoites or ES proteins elicited immune responses in mice that resembled allergic airway inflammation. ES proteins had strong protease activity and activated the expression of several chemokine genes (CCL11, CCL17, CCL22, TSLP, and IL-25) in mouse lung epithelial cells. The serine protease inhibitor phenyl-methane-sulfonyl fluoride (PMSF) inhibited ES protein activity. ES proteins also stimulated dendritic cells and enhanced the differentiation of naive T cells into IL-4-secreting T cells. After repeated inoculation of the protease-activated receptor 2 knockout mouse with ES proteins, airway inflammation and Th2 immune responses were markedly reduced, but not to basal levels. Furthermore, asthma patients had higher Acanthamoeba-specific IgE titers than healthy controls and we found Acanthamoeba specific antigen from house dust in typical living room. Our findings suggest that Acanthamoeba elicits allergic airway symptoms in mice via a protease allergen. In addition, it is possible that Acanthamoeba may be one of the triggers human airway allergic disease.
PMCID: PMC3962434  PMID: 24658532
13.  12-O-Tetradecanoylphorbol-13-Acetate Induces Keratin 8 Phosphorylation and Reorganization via Expression of Transglutaminase-2 
Biomolecules & Therapeutics  2014;22(2):122-128.
The stiffness of cancer cells is attributable to intermediate filaments such as keratin. Perinuclear reorganization via phosphorylation of specific serine residue in keratin is implicated in the deformability of metastatic cancer cells including the human pancreatic carcinoma cell line (PANC-1). 12-O-Tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) is a potent tumor promoter and protein kinase C (PKC) activator. However, its effects on phosphorylation and reorganization of keratin 8 (K8) are not well known. Therefore, we examined the underlying mechanism and effect of TPA on K8 phosphorylation and reorganization. TPA induced phosphorylation and reorganization of K8 and transglutaminase-2 (Tgase-2) expression in a time- and dose-dependent manner in PANC-1 cells. These effects peaked after 45 min and 100 nM of TPA treatment. We next investigated, using cystamine (CTM), Tgase inhibitor, and Tgase-2 gene silencing, Tgase-2’s possible involvement in TPA-induced K8 phosphorylation and reorganization. We found that Tgase-2 gene silencing inhibited K8 phosphorylation and reorganization in PANC-1 cells. Tgase-2 gene silencing, we additionally discovered, suppressed TPA-induced migration of PANC-1 cells and Tgase-2 overexpression induced migration of PANC-1 cells. Overall, these results suggested that TPA induced K8 phosphorylation and reorganization via Tgase-2 expression in PANC-1 cells.
PMCID: PMC3975474  PMID: 24753817
12-O-Tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate; Keratin 8 phosphorylation; Perinuclear reorganization; Transglutaminase-2; PANC-1 cells
14.  Phospholipase D1 Has a Pivotal Role in Interleukin-1β-Driven Chronic Autoimmune Arthritis through Regulation of NF-κB, Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1α, and FoxO3a 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2013;33(14):2760-2772.
Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) is a potent proinflammatory and immunoregulatory cytokine playing an important role in the progression of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, the signaling network of IL-1β in synoviocytes from RA patients is still poorly understood. Here, we show for the first time that phospholipase D1 (PLD1), but not PLD2, is selectively upregulated in IL-1β-stimulated synoviocytes, as well as synovium, from RA patients. IL-1β enhanced the binding of NF-κB and ATF-2 to the PLD1 promoter, thereby enhancing PLD1 expression. PLD1 inhibition abolished the IL-1β-induced expression of proinflammatory mediators and angiogenic factors by suppressing the binding of NF-κB or hypoxia-inducible factor 1α to the promoter of its target genes, as well as IL-1β-induced proliferation or migration. However, suppression of PLD1 activity promoted cell cycle arrest via transactivation of FoxO3a. Furthermore, PLD1 inhibitor significantly suppressed joint inflammation and destruction in IL-1 receptor antagonist-deficient (IL-1Ra−/−) mice, a model of spontaneous arthritis. Taken together, these results suggest that the abnormal upregulation of PLD1 may contribute to the pathogenesis of IL-1β-induced chronic arthritis and that a selective PLD1 inhibitor might provide a potential therapeutic molecule for the treatment of chronic inflammatory autoimmune disorders.
PMCID: PMC3700130  PMID: 23689131
15.  Comparison of Functional Gene Annotation of Toxascaris leonina and Toxocara canis using CLC Genomics Workbench 
The ascarids, Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonina, are probably the most common gastrointestinal helminths encountered in dogs. In order to understand biological differences of 2 ascarids, we analyzed gene expression profiles of female adults of T. canis and T. leonina using CLC Genomics Workbench, and the results were compared with those of free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. A total of 2,880 and 7,949 ESTs were collected from T. leonina and T. canis, respectively. The length of ESTs ranged from 106 to 4,637 bp with an average insert size of 820 bp. Overall, our results showed that most functional gene annotations of 2 ascarids were quite similar to each other in 3 major categories, i.e., cellular component, biological process, and molecular function. Although some different transcript expression categories were found, the distance was short and it was not enough to explain their different lifestyles. However, we found distinguished transcript differences between ascarid parasites and free-living nematodes. Understanding evolutionary genetic changes might be helpful for studies of the lifestyle and evolution of parasites.
PMCID: PMC3857499  PMID: 24327777
Toxascaris leonina; Toxocara canis; Caenorhabditis elegans; Gene ontology; CLC genomics workbench
16.  Alteration of Cytokine Production during Visceral Larva Migrans by Toxascaris leonina in Mice 
To determine alteration of immune responses during visceral larva migrans (VLM) caused by Toxascaris leonina at several time points, we experimentally infected mice with embryonated eggs of T. leonina and measured T-helper (Th) cell-related serial cytokine production after infection. At day 5 post infection (PI), most larvae were detected from the lungs, spleen, intestine, and muscle. Expression of thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) and CCL11 (eotaxin) showed a significant increase in most infected organs, except the intestine. However, expression of the CXCL1 (Gro-α) gene was most highly enhanced in the intestine at day 14 PI. Th1-related cytokine secretion of splenocytes showed increases at day 28 PI, and the level showed a decrease at day 42 PI. Th2-related cytokine secretion of splenocytes also showed an increase after infection; in particular, IL-5 level showed a significant increase at day 14 PI, and the level showed a decrease at day 28 PI. However, levels of Th17-related cytokines, IL-6 and IL-17A, showed gradual increases until day 42 PI. In conclusion, Th1, Th2, and Th17-related cytokine production might be important in immune responses against T. leonina VLM in experimental mice.
PMCID: PMC3857509  PMID: 24327787
Toxascaris leonina; visceral larva migrans (VLM); Th1; Th2; Th17; cytokine
17.  Ethacrynic Acid Inhibits Sphingosylphosphorylcholine-Induced Keratin 8 Phosphorylation and Reorganization via Transglutaminase-2 Inhibition 
Biomolecules & Therapeutics  2013;21(5):338-342.
Sphingosylphosphorylcholine (SPC) is significantly increased in the malicious ascites of tumor patients and induces perinuclear reorganization of keratin 8 (K8) filaments in PANC-1 cells. The reorganization contributes to the viscoelasticity of metastatic cancer cells resulting in increased migration. Recently, we reported that transglutaminase-2 (Tgase-2) is involved in SPC-induced K8 phosphorylation and reorganization. However, effects of Tgase-2 inhibitors on SPC-induced K8 phosphorylation and reorganization were not clearly studied. We found that ethacrynic acid (ECA) concentration-dependently inhibited Tgase-2. Therefore, we examined the effects of ECA on SPC-induced K8 phosphorylation and reorganization. ECA concentration-dependently suppressed the SPC-induced phosphorylation and perinuclear reorganization of K8. ECA also suppressed the SPC-induced migration and invasion. SPC induced JNK activation through Tgase-2 expression and ECA suppressed the activation and expression of JNK in PANC-1 cells. These results suggested that ECA might be useful to control Tgase-2 dependent metastasis of cancer cells such as pancreatic cancer and lung cancers.
PMCID: PMC3825196  PMID: 24244820
Sphingosylphosphorylcholine; Transglutaminase-2; Keratin-8 phosphorylation and reorganization; Ethacrynic acid; Migration; Invasion
18.  Serum Level of Interleukin-33 and Soluble ST2 and Their Association with Disease Activity in Patients with Behcet's Disease 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2013;28(8):1145-1153.
Interleukin (IL)-33 is an important mediator of innate immunity. Behcet's disease (BD) is an autoinflammatory disorder characterized by hyperactivity of the innate immune response. We measured serum levels of IL-33 and its receptor soluble ST2 (sST2) in patients with BD to investigate their association with disease activity. Serum levels of both IL-33 and sST2 were higher in patients with BD compared with those in normal controls (IL-33: 594.48±175.04 pg/mL in BD and 224.23±56.64 pg/mL in normal controls [P=0.048], sST2: 99.01±15.92 pg/mL in BD and 23.56±3.25 pg/mL in normal controls [P<0.001]). IL-33 and sST2 expression in skin tissue, as shown by immunohistochemistry, was higher in patients with BD compared with that in the normal controls. Serum sST2 level correlated significantly with the BD currently active form (BDCAF), Iranian BD dynamic activity measure (IBDDAM), erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein. Multiple linear regression showed that serum sST2 was an independent factor associated with IBBDAM (regression coefficient, 0.374; P=0.004), and BDCAF (regression coefficient, 0.236; P=0.047). These results demonstrate that IL-33 and sST2 are highly expressed in patients with BD and that serum sST2 is an independent factor associated with IBDDAM and BDCAF, suggesting a potential role for sST2 as a surrogate marker of disease activity in patients with BD.
PMCID: PMC3744701  PMID: 23960440
Interleukin-33; soluble ST2; Behcet Syndrome
19.  Interferon Gamma Suppresses Collagen-Induced Arthritis by Regulation of Th17 through the Induction of Indoleamine-2,3-Deoxygenase 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e60900.
C57BL/6 mice are known to be resistant to the development of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). However, they show a severe arthritic phenotype when the Ifng gene is deleted. Although it has been proposed that IFN-γ suppresses inflammation in CIA via suppressing Th17 which is involved in the pathogenesis of CIA, the exact molecular mechanism of the Th17 regulation by IFN-γ is poorly understood. This study was conducted to 1) clarify that arthritogenic condition of IFN-γ knockout (KO) mice is dependent on the disinhibition of Th17 and 2) demonstrate that IFN-γ-induced indoleamine2,3dioxgenase (IDO) is engaged in the regulation of Th17. The results showed that the IFN-γ KO mice displayed increased levels of IL-17 producing T cells and the exacerbation of arthritis. Also, production of IL-17 by the splenocytes of the IFN-γ KO mice was increased when cultured with type II collagen. When Il17 was deleted from the IFN-γ KO mice, only mild arthritis developed without any progression of the arthritis score. The proportion of CD44highCD62Llow memory-like T cells were elevated in the spleen, draining lymph node and mesenteric lymph node of IFN-γ KO CIA mice. Meanwhile, CD44lowCD62Lhigh naïve T cells were increased in IFN-γ and IL-17 double KO CIA mice. When Th17 polarized CD4+ T cells of IFN-γ KO mice were co-cultured with their own antigen presenting cells (APCs), a greater increase in IL-17 production was observed than in co-culture of the cells from wild type mice. In contrast, when APCs from IFN-γ KO mice were pretreated with IFN-γ, there was a significant reduction in IL-17 in the co-culture system. Of note, pretreatment of 1-methyl-DL- tryptophan, a specific inhibitor of IDO, abolished the inhibitory effects of IFN-γ. Given that IFN-γ is a potent inducer of IDO in APCs, these results suggest that IDO is involved in the regulation of IL-17 by IFN-γ.
PMCID: PMC3628800  PMID: 23613752
20.  The Short Stature in Atopic Dermatitis Patients: Are Atopic Children Really Small for Their Age? 
Annals of Dermatology  2013;25(1):23-27.
Short stature is sometimes seen in children with atopic dermatitis (AD); however, the topic has never been studied systematically. Objective: The aim of this study was to show whether AD itself affects stature in children and to evaluate the influence of other relevant factors such as genetic background, diet restrictions, and sleep disturbance on the stature of children with AD.
The aim of this study was to show whether AD itself affects stature in children and to evaluate the influence of other relevant factors such as genetic background, diet restrictions, and sleep disturbance on the stature of children with AD.
The study population included Korean children 7 to 8 years of age who live in one district of Seoul, Korea. We used a questionnaire as an investigating tool to survey genetic backgrounds, environmental factors, and comorbidities. Student's t-test and linear regression were employed for statistical analysis.
In univariate analysis, the average stature in the AD group was short compared with the normal control group. Parental stature, dietary habit, and sleep patterns were also relevant factors with respect to stature. However, in multivariate analysis, AD itself had no influence on stature. Significant correlations were found for such factors as parental height, sleep disturbance, presence of asthma, and dietary restrictions, in decreasing magnitude.
These results suggest that AD itself may not be the causative factor for short stature in children with AD. Therefore, consideration of other relevant factors related to short stature in patients with AD will be important for the proper management of the disease.
PMCID: PMC3582924  PMID: 23467580
Atopic dermatitis; Diet restriction; Sleep disturbance; Stature
21.  Environmental Factors Related to Enterobiasis in a Southeast Region of Korea 
Pinworm infection can occur through contact with contaminated surfaces followed by ingestion or even through inhalation of infective eggs. We have limited information regarding environmental contamination by eggs of Enterobius vermicularis. In order to determine environmental risk factors associated with the rate of E. vermicularis infection, we investigated possible environmental risk factors using a questionnaire from 46 kindergartens in 3 different cities of the southeast area of Korea. In total, using the cellotape anal swab technique, 3,422 children were examined for E. vermicularis infection. We evaluated E. vermicularis egg of books, educational materials, toys, room door handles, dusts of window edges, desks, chairs, tables, and dusts of classrooms. The overall egg-positive rate for E. vermicularis was 6.0%, and the prevalence of enterobiasis in each kindergarten ranged between 0% and 16.9%. We found that 78.9% of egg positive kindergartens were managed by private foundations, which was significantly higher, compared with kindergartens managed by public foundations or the nation. Compared with public or national kindergartens, most private kindergartens were located in residential areas and the number of children in these areas was significantly higher. In conclusion, numbers of children in kindergartens was found to be an environmental risk factor associated with transmission of enterobiasis in Korea.
PMCID: PMC3587744  PMID: 23468007
Enterobius vermicularis; environment; risk factor; kindergarten
22.  Grape-Seed Proanthocyanidin Extract as Suppressors of Bone Destruction in Inflammatory Autoimmune Arthritis 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e51377.
Chronic autoimmune inflammation, which is commonly observed in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), disrupts the delicate balance between bone resorption and formation causing thedestruction of the bone and joints. We undertook this study to verify the effects of natural grape-seed proanthocyanidin extract (GSPE), an antioxidant, on chronic inflammation and bone destruction. GSPE administration ameliorated the arthritic symptoms of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA), which are representative of cartilage and bone destruction. GSPE treatment reduced the formation of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP)-positive multinucleated cells and osteoclast activity and increased differentiation of mature osteoblasts. Receptor activator of NFκB ligand expression in fibroblasts from RA patients was abrogated with GSPE treatment. GSPE blocked human peripheral blood mononuclear cell-derived osteoclastogenesis and acted as an antioxidant. GSPE improved the arthritic manifestations of CIA mice by simultaneously suppressing osteoclast differentiation and promoting osteoblast differentiation. Our results suggest that GSPE may be beneficial for the treatment of inflammation-associated bone destruction.
PMCID: PMC3519627  PMID: 23251512
23.  Trichinella spiralis Infection Suppressed Gut Inflammation with CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ T Cell Recruitment 
In order to know the effect of pre-existing Trichinella spiralis infection on experimentally induced intestinal inflammation and immune responses, we induced colitis in T. spiralis-infected mice and observed the severity of colitis and the levels of Th1, Th2, and regulatory cytokines and recruitment of CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ T (regulatory T; Treg) cells. Female C57BL/6 mice were infected with 250 muscle larvae; after 4 weeks, induction of experimental colitis was performed using 3% dextran sulfate sodium (DSS). During the induction period, we observed severity of colitis, including weight loss and status of stool, and evaluated the disease activity index (DAI). A significantly low DAI and degree of weight loss were observed in infected mice, compared with uninfected mice. In addition, colon length in infected mice was not contracted, compared with uninfected mice. We also observed a significant increase in production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, IL-6 and IFN-γ, in spleen lymphocytes treated with DSS; however, such an increase was not observed in infected mice treated with DSS. Of particular interest, production of regulatory cytokines, IL-10 and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β, in spleen lymphocytes showed a significant increase in mice infected with T. spiralis. A similar result was observed in mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN). Subsets of the population of Treg cells in MLN and spleen showed significant increases in mice infected with T. spiralis. In conclusion, T. spiralis infection can inhibit the DSS-induced colitis in mice by enhancing the regulatory cytokine and Treg cells recruitment.
PMCID: PMC3514436  PMID: 23230342
Trichinella spiralis; dextran sulfate sodium (DSS); CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ T (Treg) cells; intestinal inflammation
24.  Obesity aggravates the joint inflammation in a collagen-induced arthritis model through deviation to Th17 differentiation 
Experimental & Molecular Medicine  2012;44(7):424-431.
White fat cells secrete adipokines that induce inflammation and obesity has been reported to be characterized by high serum levels of inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6 and TNF-α. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a prototype of inflammatory arthritis, but the relationship between RA and obesity is controversial. We made an obese inflammatory arthritis model: obese collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). C57BL/6 mice were fed a 60-kcal high fat diet (HFD) from the age of 4 weeks and they were immunized twice with type II collagen (CII). After immunization, the obese CIA mice showed higher arthritis index scores and histology scores and a more increased incidence of developing arthritis than did the lean CIA mice. After treatment with CII, mixed lymphocyte reaction also showed CII-specific response more intensely in the obese CIA mice than lean CIA. The anti-CII IgG and anti-CII IgG2a levels in the sera of the obese CIA mice were higher than those of the lean CIA mice. The number of Th17 cells was higher and the IL-17 mRNA expression of the splenocytes in the obese CIA mice was higher than that of the lean CIA mice. Obese CIA mice also showed high IL-17 expression on synovium in immunohistochemistry. Although obesity may not play a pathogenic role in initiating arthritis, it could play an important role in amplifying the inflammation of arthritis through the Th1/Th17 response. The obese CIA murine model will be an important tool when we investigate the effect of several therapeutic target molecules to treat RA.
PMCID: PMC3406287  PMID: 22513335
arthritis, experimental; inflammation; mice; obesity; Th17 cells
25.  Suppression of Transglutaminase-2 is Involved in Anti-Inflammatory Actions of Glucosamine in 12-O-Tetradecanoylphorbol-13-Acetate-Induced Skin Inflammation 
Biomolecules & Therapeutics  2012;20(4):380-385.
Glucosamine (GS) is well known for the treatment of inflam-mation. However, the mechanism and efficacy of GS for skin inflammation are unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects and mechanism of GS in the mouse 12-O-tetradecanoyl 13-acetate (TPA)-induced ear edema model. TPA-induced ear edema was evoked in ICR or transglutaminase 2 (Tgase-2) (-/-) mice. GS was administered orally (10-100 mg/kg) or topically (0.5-2.0 w/v %) prior to TPA treatment. Orally administered GS at 10 mg/kg showed a 76 or 57% reduction in ear weight or myeloperoxidase, respectively, and a decreased expression of cyclooxy-genase-2 (COX-2), NF-κB and Tgase-2 in TPA-induced ear edema by western blot and immunohistochemistry. Role of Tgase-2 in TPA ear edema is examined using Tgase-2 (-/-) mice and TPA did not induce COX-2 expression in ear of Tgase-2 (-/-) mice. These observations suggested that Tgase-2 is involved in TPA-induced COX-2 expression in the inflamed ear of mice and anti-inflammatory effects of glucosamine is mediated through suppression of Tgase-2 in TPA ear edema.
PMCID: PMC3762271  PMID: 24009824
Glucosamine;  TPA-induced ear edema;  Transglutaminase-2;  Cyclooxygenase-2;  NF-κB;  Tgase-2 (-/-) mice

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