Quantitative high throughput assays of eosinophil-mediated activities in fluid samples from patients in a clinical setting have been limited to ELISA assessments for the presence of the prominent granule ribonucleases, ECP and EDN. However, the demonstration that these ribonucleases are expressed by leukocytes other than eosinophils, as well as cells of non-hematopoietic origin, limits the usefulness of these assays. Two novel monoclonal antibodies recognizing eosinophil peroxidase (EPX) were used to develop an eosinophil-specific and sensitive sandwich ELISA. The sensitivity of this EPX-based ELISA was shown to be similar to that of the commercially available ELISA kits for ECP and EDN. More importantly, evidence is also presented confirming that among these granule protein detection options, EPX-based ELISA is the only eosinophil-specific assay. The utility of this high throughput assay to detect released EPX was shown in ex vivo degranulation studies with isolated human eosinophils. In addition, EPX-based ELISA was used to detect and quantify eosinophil degranulation in several in vivo patient settings, including bronchoalveolar lavage fluid obtained following segmental allergen challenge of subjects with allergic asthma, induced sputum derived from respiratory subjects following hypotonic saline inhalation, and nasal lavage of chronic rhinosinusitis patients. This unique EPX-based ELISA thus provides an eosinophil-specific assay that is sensitive, reproducible, and quantitative. In addition, this assay is adaptable to high throughput formats (e.g., automated assays utilizing microtiter plates) using the diverse patient fluid samples typically available in research and clinical settings.
EPX; eosinophilia; granule proteins; allergic inflammation
We previously developed two etomidate analogs that retain etomidate’s favorable hemodynamic properties, but whose adrenocortical effects are reduced in duration or magnitude. Methoxycarbonyl-etomidate (MOC-etomidate) is rapidly metabolized and ultra-short acting whereas (R)-ethyl 1-(1-phenylethyl)-1H-pyrrole-2-carboxylate (carboetomidate) does not potently inhibit 11β-hydroxylase. We hypothesized that MOC-etomidate’s labile ester could be incorporated into carboetomidate to produce a new agent that possesses favorable properties individually found in each agent. We describe the synthesis and pharmacology of methoxycarbonyl-(R)-ethyl 1-(1-phenylethyl)-1H-pyrrole-2-carboxylate (MOC-carboetomidate), a “soft” analog of carboetomidate.
MOC-carboetomidate’s octanol:water partition coefficient was determined chromatographically and compared with those of etomidate, carboetomidate, and MOC-etomidate. MOC-carboetomidate’s EC50 and ED50 for loss of righting reflexes (LORR) were measured in tadpoles and rats, respectively. Its effect on gamma-aminobutyric acid A (GABAA) receptor function was assessed using two-microelectrode voltage clamp electrophysiological techniques and its metabolic stability was determined in pooled rat blood using high performance liquid chromatography. Its duration of action and effects on arterial blood pressure and adrenocortical function were assessed in rats.
MOC-carboetomidate’s octanol:water partition coefficient was 3300 ± 280, whereas those for etomidate, carboetomidate, and MOC-etomidate were 800 ± 180, 15000 ± 3700, and 190 ± 25, respectively. MOC-carboetomidate’s EC50 for LORR in tadpoles was 9 ± 1 µM and its EC50 for LORR in rats was 13 ± 5 mg/kg. At 13 µM, MOC-carboetomidate enhanced GABAA receptor currents by 400 ± 100%. Its metabolic half-life in pooled rat blood was 1.3 minutes. The slope of a plot of the duration of LORR in rats versus the logarithm of the hypnotic dose was significantly shallower for MOC-carboetomidate than for carboetomidate (4 ± 1 vs. 15 ± 3, respectively; p = 0. 0004123). At hypnotic doses, the effects of MOC-carboetomidate on arterial blood pressure and adrenocortical function were not significantly different from those of vehicle alone.
MOC-carboetomidate is a GABAA receptor modulator with potent hypnotic activity that is more rapidly metabolized and cleared from the brain than carboetomidate, maintains hemodynamic stability similar to carboetomidate, and does not suppress adrenocortical function.
The purpose of this study is to describe the demographics, training and practice characteristics of physicians performing thoracic surgery across Canada to better assess workforce needs.
We developed a questionnaire using a modified Delphi process to generate questionnaire items. The questionnaire was administered to all Canadian thoracic surgeons via email (n = 102) or mail (n = 35).
In all, 97 surgeons completed the survey (71% response rate). The mean age of respondents was 47.7 (standard deviation 9.1) years; 10.3% were older than 60. Ninety respondents (88.7%) were men, 95 (81.1%) practised in English and 93 (76%) were born in Canada. Most (90.4%) had a medical school affiliation, with an equal proportion practising in community or university teaching hospitals. Only 18% of respondents reported working fewer than 60 hours per week, and 34% were on call more than 1 in 3. Three-quarters of work hours were devoted to clinical care, with the remaining time split among research, administration and teaching. Malignant lung disease accounted for 61.2% of practice time, with the remaining time equally split between benign and malignant thoracic diseases. Preoperative testing (49.4%) and insufficient operating time (49.5%) were the most common factors delaying delivery of care. More than 80% of respondents reported being satisfied with their careers, with 62.1% planning on retiring after age 60.
This survey characterizes Canadian thoracic surgeons by providing specific demographic, satisfaction and scope of practice information. Despite challenges in obtaining adequate resources for providing timely care, job satisfaction remains high, with a balanced workforce supply and demand anticipated for the foreseeable future.
The mechanism for the contribution of eosinophils (EOS) to asthma pathophysiology is not fully understood. Genome-wide expression analysis of airway EOS by microarrays has been limited by the ability to generate high quality RNA from sufficient numbers of airway EOS.
To identify, by genome-wide expression analyses, a compendium of expressed genes characteristic of airway EOS following an in vivo allergen challenge.
Atopic, mild asthmatic subjects were recruited for these studies. Induced sputum was obtained before and 48h after a whole lung allergen challenge (WLAC). Individuals also received a segmental bronchoprovocation with allergen (SBP-Ag) 1 month before and after administering a single dose of mepolizumab (anti-IL-5 monoclonal antibody) to reduce airway EOS. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) was performed before and 48 h after SBP-Ag. Gene expression of sputum and BAL cells was analyzed by microarrays. The results were validated by qPCR in BAL cells and purified BAL EOS.
A total of 299 transcripts were up-regulated by more than 2-fold in total BAL cells following SBP-Ag. Mepolizumab treatment resulted in a reduction of airway EOS by 54.5% and decreased expression of 99 of the 299 transcripts. 3 of 6 post-WLAC sputum samples showed increased expression of EOS-specific genes, along with the expression of 361 other genes. Finally, the intersection of the 3 groups of transcripts (increased in BAL post SBP-Ag (299), decreased after mepolizumab (99), and increased in sputum after WLAC (365)) was composed of 57 genes characterizing airway EOS gene expression.
We identified 57 genes that were highly expressed by BAL EOS compared to unseparated BAL cells after in vivo allergen challenge. 41 of these genes had not been previously described in EOS and are thus potential new candidates to elucidate EOS contribution to airway biology.
Mitomycin C (MMC), which induces apoptosis in human Tenon's fibroblasts (HTF), is frequently used to retard wound healing after glaucoma surgery. The aim of this in vitro study was to examine whether adjunctive Verapamil and Cyclosporine could augment the cytotoxic effect of MMC on HTF.
Fibroblast cell lines were established by explant culture from human tissue biopsy samples obtained during trabeculectomy procedures. Cells were exposed to MMC at varying concentrations (0.01–0.4 mg/ml) for 3 minutes, prior to washing in the presence or absence of the following drugs: Staurosporine (0.003mg/ml), Verapamil (2.5–0.25 mg/ml), or Cyclosporine (50–0.5 mg/ml). Following exposure, cells were cultured for 6 hours and surviving cells quantitated by haemocytometer counts.
Both Verapamil and Staurosporine exhibited mild toxic effects on their own, but greatly enhanced the apoptotic effect of MMC. Staurosporine is too toxic to be considered clinically, so its augmentive effect on the activity of MMC was not studied further here. Doses as low as 0.25 mg/ml of Verapamil continued to show significant augmentation of the apoptotic effect of MMC Cyclosporine at a clinically used concentration (5 mg/ml) exhibited modest augmentation of the effect of MMC.
Verapamil and Cyclosporine in clinically acceptable concentrations potentiate the effect of MMC and may obviate the need for high dose antimetabolites in trabeculectomy; however, further preclinical study is required.
Adjunctive Verapamil or Cyclosporine may allow lower dose MMC to be used in glaucoma filtration surgery while maintaining the same antifibrotic effects.
wound healing; P-glycoprotein; Mitomycin C; human Tenon's fibroblasts
TNF (designated as TNF-α under previous nomenclature) is the preeminent activator of MMP-9 generation from a variety of cells including eosinophils. We have previously established that TNF strongly synergizes with IFN-γ and IL-4 for eosinophil synthesis of Th1- and Th2-type chemokines respectively. Thus, we sought to determine if TNF-induced synthesis of MMP-9 would be enhanced by the presence of Th1, Th2, or the eosinophil-associated common beta chain (βc) cytokines. Human blood eosinophils were cultured with TNF alone or in combination with either IFN-γ, IL-4, IL-3, IL-5, or GM-CSF. Concentrations and activities of MMP-9 in eosinophil culture supernates were measured by ELISA and gelatin zymography, mRNA transcription and stabilization by quantitative real-time PCR, and signaling events by immunoblotting and intracellular flow cytometric analysis. Singularly, TNF, GM-CSF, or IL-3, but not IL-4 or IFN-γ, induced relatively small (<0.2 ng/ml) but statistically significant quantities of MMP-9. Remarkable synergistic synthesis of MMP-9 (ng/ml levels) occurred in response to TNF plus IL-3, GM-CSF or IL-5, in the order of IL-3>GM-CSF>IL-5. Zymography revealed that eosinophils release MMP-9 in its pro-form. Eosinophil stimulation with the combination of IL-3 plus TNF led to increased steady-state levels of MMP-9 mRNA, prolonged mRNA stabilization, and enhanced activation of ERK1/2 phosphorylation. Inhibition of NF-κB, MEK kinase, or p38 MAP kinase, but not JNK signaling pathways, diminished IL-3/TNF-induced MMP-9 mRNA and protein production. Thus, the synergistic regulation of eosinophil MMP-9 by IL-3 plus TNF likely involves cooperative interaction of multiple transcription factors downstream from ERK, p38, and NF-κB activation as well as post-transcriptional regulation of MMP-9 mRNA stabilization. Our data indicate that within microenvironments rich in βc-family cytokines and TNF, eosinophils are an important source of proMMP-9 and highlight a previously unrecognized role for synergistic interaction between TNF and βc-family cytokines, particularly IL-3, for proMMP-9 synthesis.
IL-3; IL-5; GM-CSF; MMP-9; mRNA stability; MAP kinase
Despite its incorporation into research studies, the safety aspects of segmental allergen bronchoprovocation and differences in cellular response among different allergens have received limited consideration.
We performed 87 segmental challenges in 77 allergic asthma subjects. Allergen dose was based on each subject’s response to whole lung allergen challenge. Bronchoalveolar lavage was performed at 0 and 48 hours. Safety indicators included spirometry, oxygen saturation, heart rate, and symptoms.
Among subjects challenged with ragweed, cat dander, or house dust mite, there were no differences in safety indicators. Subjects demonstrated a modest oxygen desaturation and tachycardia during the procedure that returned to normal prior to discharge. We observed a modest reduction in forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in one second following bronchoscopy. The most common symptoms following the procedure were cough, sore throat and fatigue. Total bronchoalveolar lavage fluid cell numbers increased from 13±4 to 106±108×104 per milliliter and eosinophils increased from 1±2 to 44±20 percent, with no significant differences among the three allergens.
In mild allergic asthma, segmental allergen bronchoprovocation, using individualized doses of aeroallergens, was safe and yielded similar cellular responses.
Volatile aromatic compounds such as benzene are general anesthetics that cause amnesia, hypnosis, and immobility in response to noxious stimuli when inhaled. Although these compounds are not used clinically, they are frequently found in commercial items such as solvents and household cleaning products and are abused as inhalant drugs. Volatile aromatic anesthetics are useful pharmacological tools for probing the relationship between chemical structure and drug activity at putative general anesthetic targets. Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine (nACh) receptors are ligand-gated ion channels widely expressed in the brain, which are thought to play important roles in learning and memory. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that aromatic anesthetics reversibly inhibit α4β2 neuronal nACh receptor function and sought to determine the structural correlates of receptor inhibition.
Electrophysiological techniques were used to quantify the effects of 8 volatile aromatic anesthetics on currents elicited by 1 mM ACh and mediated by human α4β2 nACh receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes.
All of the volatile aromatic anesthetics used in this study reversibly inhibited α4β2 nACh receptors with IC50 values ranging from 0.00091 atm for 1,2-difluorobenzene to 0.045 atm for hexafluorobenzene. With the exception of hexafluorobenzene, all of the compounds had IC50 values less than minimum alveolar concentration. Inhibitory potency correlated poorly with the cation-π binding energies of the compounds (r2 = 0.48, P = 0.059). However, there was a good correlation between inhibitory potency and the octanol/gas partition coefficient (r2 = 0.87, P = 0.0008).
Volatile aromatic anesthetics potently and reversibly inhibit human α4β2 neuronal nACh receptors. This inhibition may play a role in producing amnesia. In contrast to N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors, the inhibitory potencies of aromatic anesthetics for α4β2 neubronal nACh receptors seem to be dependent on drug hydrophobicity rather than electrostatic properties. This implies that the volatile aromatic anesthetic binding site in the α4β2 neuronal nACh receptor is hydrophobic in character and differs from the nature of the binding site in N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors.
Rationale: Most asthma exacerbations are initiated by viral upper respiratory illnesses. It is unclear whether human rhinovirus (HRV)–induced exacerbations are associated with greater viral replication and neutrophilic inflammation compared with HRV colds.
Objectives: To evaluate viral strain and load in a prospective asthma cohort during a natural cold.
Methods: Adults were enrolled at the first sign of a cold, with daily monitoring of symptoms, medication use, and peak expiratory flow rate until resolution. Serial nasal lavage and induced sputum samples were assessed for viral copy number and inflammatory cell counts.
Measurements and Main Results: A total of 52 persons with asthma and 14 control subjects without atopy or asthma were studied for over 10 weeks per subject on average; 25 participants developed an asthma exacerbation. Detection of HRVs in the preceding 5 days was the most common attributable exposure related to exacerbation. Compared with other infections, those by a minor group A HRV were 4.4-fold more likely to cause exacerbation (P = 0.038). Overall, sputum neutrophils and the burden of rhinovirus in the lower airway were similar in control subjects without atopy and the asthma group. However, among HRV-infected participants with asthma, exacerbations were associated with greater sputum neutrophil counts (P = 0.005).
Conclusions: HRV infection is a frequent cause of exacerbations in adults with asthma and a cold, and there may be group-specific differences in severity of these events. The absence of large differences in viral burden among groups suggests differential lower airway sensitization to the effects of neutrophilic inflammation in the patients having exacerbations.
asthma; virus; exacerbation; index; neutrophil
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are thought to provide the most accurate estimation of “true” treatment effect. The relative quality of effect estimates derived from nonrandomized studies (nRCTs) remains unclear, particularly in surgery, where the obstacles to performing high-quality RCTs are compounded. We performed a meta-analysis of effect estimates of RCTs comparing surgical procedures for breast cancer relative to those of corresponding nRCTs.
English-language RCTs of breast cancer treatment in human patients published from 2003 to 2008 were identified in MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane databases. We identified nRCTs using the National Library of Medicine’s “related articles” function and reference lists. Two reviewers conducted all steps of study selection. We included studies comparing 2 surgical arms for the treatment of breast cancer. Information on treatment efficacy estimates, expressed as relative risk (RR) for outcomes of interest in both the RCTs and nRCTs was extracted.
We identified 12 RCTs representing 10 topic/outcome combinations with comparable nRCTs. On visual inspection, 4 of 10 outcomes showed substantial differences in summary RR. The pooled RR estimates for RCTs versus nRCTs differed more than 2-fold in 2 of 10 outcomes and failed to demonstrate consistency of statistical differences in 3 of 10 cases. A statistically significant difference, as assessed by the z score, was not detected for any of the outcomes.
Randomized controlled trials comparing surgical procedures for breast cancer may demonstrate clinically relevant differences in effect estimates in 20%–40% of cases relative to those generated by nRCTs, depending on which metric is used.
InterPro amalgamates predictive protein signatures from a number of well-known partner databases into a single resource. To aid with interpretation of results, InterPro entries are manually annotated with terms from the Gene Ontology (GO). The InterPro2GO mappings are comprised of the cross-references between these two resources and are the largest source of GO annotation predictions for proteins. Here, we describe the protocol by which InterPro curators integrate GO terms into the InterPro database. We discuss the unique challenges involved in integrating specific GO terms with entries that may describe a diverse set of proteins, and we illustrate, with examples, how InterPro hierarchies reflect GO terms of increasing specificity. We describe a revised protocol for GO mapping that enables us to assign GO terms to domains based on the function of the individual domain, rather than the function of the families in which the domain is found. We also discuss how taxonomic constraints are dealt with and those cases where we are unable to add any appropriate GO terms. Expert manual annotation of InterPro entries with GO terms enables users to infer function, process or subcellular information for uncharacterized sequences based on sequence matches to predictive models.
http://www.ebi.ac.uk/interpro. The complete InterPro2GO mappings are available at: ftp://ftp.ebi.ac.uk/pub/databases/GO/goa/external2go/interpro2go
InterPro (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/interpro/) is a database that integrates diverse information about protein families, domains and functional sites, and makes it freely available to the public via Web-based interfaces and services. Central to the database are diagnostic models, known as signatures, against which protein sequences can be searched to determine their potential function. InterPro has utility in the large-scale analysis of whole genomes and meta-genomes, as well as in characterizing individual protein sequences. Herein we give an overview of new developments in the database and its associated software since 2009, including updates to database content, curation processes and Web and programmatic interfaces.
Culturing cells in a three dimensional hydrogel environment is an important technique for developing constructs for tissue engineering as well as studying cellular responses under various culture conditions in vitro. The three dimensional environment more closely mimics what the cells observe in vivo due to the application of mechanical and chemical stimuli in all dimensions 1. Three-dimensional hydrogels can either be made from synthetic polymers such as PEG-DA 2 and PLGA 3 or a number of naturally occurring proteins such as collagen 4, hyaluronic acid 5 or fibrin 6,7. Hydrogels created from fibrin, a naturally occurring blood clotting protein, can polymerize to form a mesh that is part of the body's natural wound healing processes 8. Fibrin is cell-degradable and potentially autologous 9, making it an ideal temporary scaffold for tissue engineering.
Here we describe in detail the isolation of neonatal cardiomyocytes from three day old rat pups and the preparation of the cells for encapsulation in fibrin hydrogel constructs for tissue engineering. Neonatal myocytes are a common cell source used for in vitro studies in cardiac tissue formation and engineering 4. Fibrin gel is created by mixing fibrinogen with the enzyme thrombin. Thrombin cleaves fibrinopeptides FpA and FpB from fibrinogen, revealing binding sites that interact with other monomers 10. These interactions cause the monomers to self-assemble into fibers that form the hydrogel mesh. Because the timing of this enzymatic reaction can be adjusted by altering the ratio of thrombin to fibrinogen, or the ratio of calcium to thrombin, one can injection mold constructs with a number of different geometries 11,12. Further we can generate alignment of the resulting tissue by how we constrain the gel during culture 13.
After culturing the engineered cardiac tissue constructs for two weeks under static conditions, the cardiac cells have begun to remodel the construct and can generate a contraction force under electrical pacing conditions 6. As part of this protocol, we also describe methods for analyzing the tissue engineered myocardium after the culture period including functional analysis of the active force generated by the cardiac muscle construct upon electrical stimulation, as well as methods for determining final cell viability (Live-Dead assay) and immunohistological staining to examine the expression and morphology of typical proteins important for contraction (Myosin Heavy Chain or MHC) and cellular coupling (Connexin 43 or Cx43) between myocytes.
We synthesized the R- and S-enantiomers of ethyl 1-(1-(4-(3-((trifluoromethyl)-3H-diazirin-3-yl)phenyl)ethyl)-1H-imidazole-5-carboxylate (trifluromethyldiazirinyl-etomidate), or TFD-etomidate, a novel photoactivable derivative of the stereoselective general anesthetic etomidate (R-(2-ethyl 1-(phenylethyl)-1H-imidazole-5-carboxylate)). Anesthetic potency was similar to etomidate’s, but stereoselectivity was reversed and attenuated. Relative to etomidate, TFD-etomidate was a more potent inhibitor of the excitatory receptors, nAChR (nicotinic acetylcholine receptor) ((α1)2β1δ1γ1) and 5-HT3AR (serotonin type 3A receptor), causing significant inhibition at anesthetic concentrations. S-but not R-TFD-etomidate enhanced currents elicited from inhibitory α1β2γ2L GABAARs by low concentrations of GABA, but with a lower efficacy than R-etomidate, and site–directed mutagenesis suggests they act at different sites. [3H]TFD-etomidate photolabeled the α-subunit of the nAChR in a manner allosterically regulated by agonists and non-competitive inhibitors. TFD-etomidate’s novel pharmacology is unlike that of etomidate derivatives with photoactivable groups in the ester position, which behave like etomidate, suggesting that it will further enhance our understanding of anesthetic mechanisms.
An incomplete major pulmonary fissure can make anatomic lung resection technically more difficult and may increase the risk of complications, such as prolonged postoperative air leak. The objective of this study was to determine if preoperative computed tomography (CT) of the chest could accurately predict the completeness of the major pulmonary fissure observed at the time of surgery.
From October 2008 to June 2009, patients at a single university institution were enrolled if they underwent surgery for a pulmonary nodule, mass or known cancer. At the time of surgery, completeness of the major pulmonary fissure was graded 1 if pulmonary lobes were entirely separate, 2 if the visceral cleft was complete with an exposed pulmonary artery at the base with some parenchyma fusion, 3 if the visceral cleft was only evident for part of the fissure without a visible pulmonary artery and 4 if the fissure was absent. The preoperative CT scan of each patient was graded by a single, blinded chest radiologist using the same scale. We used the Pearson χ2 test with 2-tailed significance to test the independence of the operative and radiologic grading.
In 48% (29 of 61) of patients, the radiologic and operative grading were the same. Of those graded differently, 94% (30 of 32) were within 1 grade. Despite this agreement, we observed no statistically significant correlation between the operative and radiologic grading (p = 0.24).
The major fissure can often be well-visualized on a preoperative CT scan, but preoperative CT cannot accurately predict the completeness of the major pulmonary fissure discovered at surgery.
In 2009, we reported a novel form of delayed anaphylaxis to red meat, which is related to serum IgE antibodies to the oligosaccharide galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose (alpha-gal). Most of these patients had tolerated meat for many years previously. The implication is that some exposure in adult life had stimulated the production of these IgE antibodies.
To investigate possible causes of this IgE antibody response, focusing on evidence related to tick bites, which are common in the region where these reactions occur.
Serum assays were carried out using biotinylated proteins and extracts bound to a streptavidin ImmunoCAP.
Prospective studies on IgE antibodies in three subjects following tick bites showed an increase in IgE to alpha-gal of twenty-fold or greater. Other evidence included i) a strong correlation between histories of tick bites and IgE to alpha-gal (χ2=26.8, p<0.001), ii) evidence that these IgE antibodies are common in areas where the tick Amblyomma americanum is common, and iii) a significant correlation between IgE antibodies to alpha-gal and IgE antibodies to proteins derived from A. americanum (rs=0.75, p<0.001).
The results presented here provide evidence that tick bites are a cause, or possibly the only cause, of IgE specific for alpha-gal in this area of the United States. Both the number of subjects becoming sensitized and the titer of IgE antibodies to alpha-gal are striking. Here we report the first example of a response to an ectoparasite giving rise to an important form of food allergy.
ticks; anaphylaxis; oligosaccharide; alpha-gal; IgE antibody to CCD
Etomidate is a sedative-hypnotic that is often used in critically ill patients because it provides superior hemodynamic stability. However it also binds with high affinity to 11β-hydroxylase, potently suppressing synthesis of steroids by the adrenal gland that are necessary for survival. We report the results of studies to define the pharmacology of (R)-ethyl 1-(1-phenylethyl)-1H-pyrrole-2-carboxylate (carboetomidate), a pyrrole analogue of etomidate specifically designed not to bind with high affinity to 11β-hydroxylase.
The hypnotic potency of carboetomidate was defined in tadpoles and rats using loss of righting reflex assays. Its ability to enhance wild-type α1β2γ2L and etomidate-insensitive mutant α1β2(M286W)γ2L human γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor activities was assessed using electrophysiological techniques. Its potency for inhibiting in vitro cortisol synthesis was defined using a human adrenocortical cell assay. Its effects on in vivo hemodynamic and adrenocortical function were defined in rats.
Carboetomidate was a potent hypnotic in tadpoles and rats. It increased currents mediated by wild-type, but not etomidate-insensitive mutant γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptors. Carboetomidate was three orders of magnitude less potent an inhibitor of in vitro cortisol synthesis by adrenocortical cells than was etomidate. In rats, carboetomidate caused minimal hemodynamic changes and did not suppress adrenocortical function at hypnotic doses.
Carboetomidate is an etomidate analogue that retains many of etomidate’s beneficial properties, but is dramatically less potent as an inhibitor of adrenocortical steroid synthesis. Carboetomidate is a promising new sedative-hypnotic for potential use in critically ill patients in whom adrenocortical suppression is undesirable.
Rationale: The hallmarks of allergic asthma are airway inflammation, obstruction, and remodeling. Airway remodeling may lead to irreversible airflow obstruction with increased morbidity and mortality. Despite advances in the treatment of asthma, the mechanisms underlying airway remodeling are still poorly understood. We reported that insulin-like growth factor (IGF) binding proteins (IGFBPs) contribute to extracellular matrix deposition in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; however, their contribution to airway remodeling in asthma has not been established.
Objectives: We hypothesized that IGFBP-3 is overexpressed in asthma and contributes to airway remodeling.
Methods: We evaluated levels of IGFBP-3 in tissues and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from patients with asthma at baseline and 48 hours after allergen challenge, in reparative epithelium in an in vitro wounding assay, and in conditioned media from cytokine- and growth factor–stimulated primary epithelial cells.
Measurements and Main Results: IGFBP-3 levels and distribution were evaluated by Western blot, ELISA, and immunofluorescence. IGFBP-3 is increased in vivo in the airway epithelium of patients with asthma compared with normal control subjects. The concentration of IGFBP-3 is increased in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of patients with asthma after allergen challenge, its levels are increased in reparative epithelium in an in vitro wounding assay and in the conditioned medium of primary airway epithelial cell cultures stimulated with IGF-I.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that one mechanism of allergic airway remodeling is through the secretion of the profibrotic IGFBP-3 from IGF-I–stimulated airway epithelial cells during allergic inflammation.
asthma; bronchoalveolar lavage; primary epithelial cells; insulin-like growth factor binding protein; fibrosis
Etomidate is a rapidly-acting sedative-hypnotic that provides hemodynamic stability. However because it causes prolonged suppression of adrenocortical steroid synthesis, its clinical utility and safety are limited. We describe the results of studies to define the pharmacology of (R)-3-methoxy-3-oxopropyl1-(1-phenylethyl)-1H-imidazole-5-carboxylate (MOC-etomidate), the first etomidate analogue designed to be susceptible to ultra-rapid metabolism.
The γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor activities of MOC-etomidate and etomidate were compared using electrophysiological techniques in human α1β2γ2L receptors. MOC-etomidate’s hypnotic concentration was determined in tadpoles using a loss of righting reflex assay. Its in-vitro metabolic half-life was measured in human liver S9 fraction and the resulting metabolite provisionally identified using high performance liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry techniques. The hypnotic and hemodynamic actions of MOC-etomidate, etomidate, and propofol were defined in rats. The abilities of MOC-etomidate and etomidate to inhibit corticosterone production were assessed in rats.
MOC-etomidate potently enhanced γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor function and produced loss of righting reflex in tadpoles. Metabolism in human liver S9 fraction was first-order with an in-vitro half-life of 4.4 min versus > 40 min for etomidate. MOC-etomidate’s only detectable metabolite was a carboxylic acid. In rats, MOC-etomidate produced rapid loss of righting reflex that was extremely brief and caused minimal hemodynamic changes. Unlike etomidate, MOC-etomidate produced no adrenocortical suppression 30 minutes after administration.
MOC-etomidate is an etomidate analogue that retains etomidate’s important favorable pharmacological properties. However, it is rapidly metabolized, ultra-short acting, and does not produce prolonged adrenocortical suppression following bolus administration.
Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) has long been regarded as a promising recombinant vaccine platform and oncolytic agent but has not yet been tested in humans because it causes encephalomyelitis in rodents and primates. Recent studies have shown that specific tropisms of several viruses could be eliminated by engineering microRNA target sequences into their genomes, thereby inhibiting spread in tissues expressing cognate microRNAs. We therefore sought to determine whether microRNA targets could be engineered into VSV to ameliorate its neuropathogenicity. Using a panel of recombinant VSVs incorporating microRNA target sequences corresponding to neuron-specific or control microRNAs (in forward and reverse orientations), we tested viral replication kinetics in cell lines treated with microRNA mimics, neurotoxicity after direct intracerebral inoculation in mice, and antitumor efficacy. Compared to picornaviruses and adenoviruses, the engineered VSVs were relatively resistant to microRNA-mediated inhibition, but neurotoxicity could nevertheless be ameliorated significantly using this approach, without compromise to antitumor efficacy. Neurotoxicity was most profoundly reduced in a virus carrying four tandem copies of a neuronal mir125 target sequence inserted in the 3′-untranslated region of the viral polymerase (L) gene.
The primary function of IL-7 is to promote maturation and survival of T cells. Through microarray expression analysis, we previously observed that human blood eosinophils express mRNA for IL-7Rα (CD127) and its common gamma chain (γc, CD132). The purpose of this study was to determine if eosinophils have functional IL-7 receptors and to assess the potential contribution of IL-7 to eosinophilic airway inflammation by evaluating its presence in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid of subjects with atopic asthma before and after segmental bronchoprovocation with allergen. Immunoblot analysis revealed that CD127 is present in highly purified human blood eosinophils. Furthermore, eosinophils responded to IL-7 with phosphorylation of STAT5, upregulation of the activation marker CD69, and prolonged survival. Neutralization of GM-CSF, but not IL-5, significantly blunted these functional responses, suggesting that IL-7 mediates its effects by promoting eosinophil release of autologous GM-CSF. Notably, the suppressive effect of anti-GM-CSF on STAT5 phosphorylation occurred within 10 min of eosinophil exposure to IL-7. Thus, IL-7 likely activates eosinophil release of preformed, rather than newly synthesized GM-CSF. The biological relevance of IL-7 to eosinophilia in vivo was implicated in a study of airway allergen challenge in allergic asthmatics. IL-7 concentrations in BAL fluid increased significantly 48 h after segmental allergen challenge and were highly correlated with BAL eosinophils (r=0.7, p<0.001). In conclusion, the airway response to allergen is associated with the generation of IL-7, which may contribute to airway inflammation by promoting enhanced eosinophil activation and survival. Activation of eosinophils is a novel function for IL-7.
eosinophils; allergy; lung
In addition to modulating the function and stability of cellular mRNAs, microRNAs can profoundly affect the life cycles of viruses bearing sequence complementary targets, a finding recently exploited to ameliorate toxicities of vaccines and oncolytic viruses. To elucidate the mechanisms underlying microRNA-mediated antiviral activity, we modified the 3′ untranslated region (3′UTR) of Coxsackievirus A21 to incorporate targets with varying degrees of homology to endogenous microRNAs. We show that microRNAs can interrupt the picornavirus life-cycle at multiple levels, including catalytic degradation of the viral RNA genome, suppression of cap-independent mRNA translation, and interference with genome encapsidation. In addition, we have examined the extent to which endogenous microRNAs can suppress viral replication in vivo and how viruses can overcome this inhibition by microRNA saturation in mouse cancer models.
Virus host range is shaped by cellular determinants such as transcription factors and receptor expression. In addition, we have previously shown that tissue-specific microRNAs can be utilized to direct the specificity of a replication competent picornavirus, Coxsackievirus A21. In this report, we demonstrate the mechanism by which microRNAs are able to directly influence oncolytic viruses, an important class of anticancer agents. We show that microRNA expression is an important determinant of permissivity to oncolytic virus replication, but the actual abundance of that expression is far more important. In addition, we show that there are actually multiple different stages in the life cycle of a replication competent picornavirus that are amenable to regulation by cellular microRNAs. We proceed to illustrate that microRNAs can regulate virus tropism in vivo, but demonstrate that circulating high viral titers in the blood can overcome this mechanism of conferring tissue specificity. MicroRNAs are well known to have both oncogenic or oncosuppressive activities in human cancers. Here, we show that tissue-specific microRNA expression can also be used to modulate the efficacy of viral anticancer therapeutics, and the mechanism by which they are able to do so.
We hypothesized that there are clinically relevant differences in eosinophil integrin expression and activation in patients with asthma. To evaluate this, surface densities and activation states of integrins on eosinophils in blood and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) of 19 asthmatic subjects were studied before and 48 h after segmental Ag challenge. At 48 h, there was increased expression of αD and the N29 epitope of activated β1 integrins on blood eosinophils and of αM, β2, and the mAb24 epitope of activated β2 integrins on airway eosinophils. Changes correlated with the late-phase fall in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) after whole-lung inhalation of the Ag that was subsequently used in segmental challenge and were greater in subjects defined as dual responders. Increased surface densities of αM and β2 and activation of β2 on airway eosinophils correlated with the concentration of IL-5 in BAL fluid. Activation of β1 and β2 on airway eosinophils correlated with eosinophil percentage in BAL. Thus, eosinophils respond to an allergic stimulus by activation of integrins in a sequence that likely promotes eosinophilic inflammation of the airway. Before challenge, β1 and β2 integrins of circulating eosinophils are in low-activation conformations, and αDβ2 surface expression is low. After Ag challenge, circulating eosinophils adopt a phenotype with activated β1 integrins and upregulated αDβ2, changes that are predicted to facilitate eosinophil arrest on VCAM-1 in bronchial vessels. Finally, eosinophils present in IL-5-rich airway fluid have a hyperadhesive phenotype associated with increased surface expression of αMβ2 and activation of β2 integrins.
adhesion molecules; eosinophils; cell trafficking; inflammation; lung; integrins
The InterPro database (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/interpro/) integrates together predictive models or ‘signatures’ representing protein domains, families and functional sites from multiple, diverse source databases: Gene3D, PANTHER, Pfam, PIRSF, PRINTS, ProDom, PROSITE, SMART, SUPERFAMILY and TIGRFAMs. Integration is performed manually and approximately half of the total ∼58 000 signatures available in the source databases belong to an InterPro entry. Recently, we have started to also display the remaining un-integrated signatures via our web interface. Other developments include the provision of non-signature data, such as structural data, in new XML files on our FTP site, as well as the inclusion of matchless UniProtKB proteins in the existing match XML files. The web interface has been extended and now links out to the ADAN predicted protein–protein interaction database and the SPICE and Dasty viewers. The latest public release (v18.0) covers 79.8% of UniProtKB (v14.1) and consists of 16 549 entries. InterPro data may be accessed either via the web address above, via web services, by downloading files by anonymous FTP or by using the InterProScan search software (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/Tools/InterProScan/).