Multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) can be isolated and efficiently expanded from almost every single body tissue and have the ability of self-renewal and differentiation into various mesodermal cell lineages. Moreover, these cells are considered immunologically privileged, related to a lack of surface expression of costimulatory molecules required for complete T cell activation. Recently, it has been observed that MSC are capable of suppressing the immune response by inhibiting the maturation of dendritic cells and suppressing the function of T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes and natural killer cells in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases as a new strategy for immunosuppression. The understanding of immune regulation mechanisms by MSC is necessary for their use as immunotherapy in clinical applications for several diseases.
Immunosuppression; Mesenchymal stem cell; Immune system; Inflammation; Autoimmune disease
The pivotal role of spleen CD4+ T cells in the development of both malaria pathogenesis and protective immunity makes necessary a profound comprehension of the mechanisms involved in their activation and regulation during Plasmodium infection. Herein, we examined in detail the behaviour of non-conventional and conventional splenic CD4+ T cells during P. chabaudi malaria. We took advantage of the fact that a great proportion of CD4+ T cells generated in CD1d-/- mice are I-Ab-restricted (conventional cells), while their counterparts in I-Ab-/- mice are restricted by CD1d and other class IB major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules (non-conventional cells). We found that conventional CD4+ T cells are the main protagonists of the immune response to infection, which develops in two consecutive phases concomitant with acute and chronic parasitaemias. The early phase of the conventional CD4+ T cell response is intense and short lasting, rapidly providing large amounts of proinflammatory cytokines and helping follicular and marginal zone B cells to secrete polyclonal immunoglobulin. Both TNF-α and IFN-γ production depend mostly on conventional CD4+ T cells. IFN-γ is produced simultaneously by non-conventional and conventional CD4+ T cells. The early phase of the response finishes after a week of infection, with the elimination of a large proportion of CD4+ T cells, which then gives opportunity to the development of acquired immunity. Unexpectedly, the major contribution of CD1d-restricted CD4+ T cells occurs at the beginning of the second phase of the response, but not earlier, helping both IFN-γ and parasite-specific antibody production. We concluded that conventional CD4+ T cells have a central role from the onset of P. chabaudi malaria, acting in parallel with non-conventional CD4+ T cells as a link between innate and acquired immunity. This study contributes to the understanding of malaria immunology and opens a perspective for future studies designed to decipher the molecular mechanisms behind immune responses to Plasmodium infection.
Galectin-3 is a β-galactoside binding lectin with roles in diverse processes including proliferation, apoptosis, inflammation and fibrosis which are dependent on different domains of the molecule and subcellular distribution. Although galectin-3 is known to be upregulated in acute kidney injury, the relative importance of its different domains and functions are poorly understood in the underlying pathogenesis. Therefore we experimentally modulated galectin-3 in folic acid (FA)-induced acute kidney injury utilising modified citrus pectin (MCP), a derivative of pectin which can bind to the galectin-3 carbohydrate recognition domain thereby predominantly antagonising functions linked to this role. Mice were pre-treated with normal or 1% MCP-supplemented drinking water one week before FA injection. During the initial injury phase, all FA-treated mice lost weight whilst their kidneys enlarged secondary to the renal insult; these gross changes were significantly lessened in the MCP group but this was not associated with significant changes in galectin-3 expression. At a histological level, MCP clearly reduced renal cell proliferation but did not affect apoptosis. Later, during the recovery phase at two weeks, MCP-treated mice demonstrated reduced galectin-3 in association with decreased renal fibrosis, macrophages, pro-inflammatory cytokine expression and apoptosis. Other renal galectins, galectin-1 and -9, were unchanged. Our data indicates that MCP is protective in experimental nephropathy with modulation of early proliferation and later galectin-3 expression, apoptosis and fibrosis. This raises the possibility that MCP may be a novel strategy to reduce renal injury in the long term, perhaps via carbohydrate binding-related functions of galectin-3.
In this study we aim to boost the functional output of the intra-kidney islet transplantation for diabetic patients using a tissue engineered polymeric scaffold. This highly porous electrospun scaffold featured randomly distributed fibers composed of polycaprolactone (PCL) and poliglecaprone (PGC). It successfully sustained murine islets in vitro for up to 4 weeks without detected cytotoxicity. The in vivo study showed that the islet population proliferated by 89% within 12 weeks when they were delivered by the scaffold but only 18% if freely injected. Correspondingly, the islet population delivered by the scaffold unleashed a greater capability to produce insulin that in turn further drove down the blood glucose within 12 weeks after the surgery. Islets delivered by the scaffold most effectively prevented diabetic deterioration of kidney as evidenced by the lack of a kidney or glomerular enlargement and physiological levels of creatinine, urea nitrogen and albumin through week 12 after the surgery. Unlike traditional wisdom in diabetic research, the mechanistic study suggested that monocytes chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) was responsible for the improved preservation of renal functions. This study revealed a therapeutic role of MCP-1 in rescuing kidneys in diabetic patients, which can be integrated into a tissue engineered scaffold to simultaneously preserved renal functions and islet transplantation efficacy. Also, this study affords a simple yet effective solution to improve the clinical output of islet transplantation.
Cysteine-rich protein 61 (Cyr61) is a secreted matrix-associated protein that regulates a broad spectrum of biological and cellular activities. This study aimed to investigate the role of Cyr61 in progressive kidney fibrosis induced by unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) surgery in mice. The expression of Cyr61 transcripts and proteins in the obstructed kidneys were increased from day 1 and remained high until day 10 after surgery. Immunohistochemistry indicated that Cyr61 was expressed mainly in renal tubular epithelial cells. The upregulated Cyr61 in UUO kidneys was reduced in mice treated with pan-transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) antibody. The role of TGF-β in tubular Cyr61 upregulation after obstructive kidney injury was further supported by experiments showing that TGF-β1 stimulated Cyr61 expression in cultured tubular epithelial cells. Notably, the upregulation of Cyr61 in UUO kidneys was followed by a marked increase in monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) transcripts and macrophage infiltration, which were attenuated in mice treated with anti-Cyr61 antibodies. This proinflammatory property of Cyr61 in inducing MCP-1 expression was further confirmed in tubular epithelial cells cultured with Cyr61 protein. The anti-Cyr61 antibody in UUO mice also reduced the levels of collagen type 1-α1 transcripts, collagen fibril accumulation evaluated by picrosirius red staining, and the levels of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) transcripts and proteins on day 4 after surgery; however, the antifibrotic effect was not sustained. In conclusion, the TGF-β-mediated increase in tubular Cyr61 expression involved renal inflammatory cell infiltration through MCP-1 induction during obstructive kidney injury. The Cyr61 blockade attenuated kidney fibrosis in the early phase, but the antifibrotic effect could not be sustained.
Kidney fibrosis, a scarring of the tubulo-interstitial space, is due to activation of interstitial myofibroblasts recruited locally or systemically with consecutive extracellular matrix deposition. Newly published clinical studies correlating acute kidney injury (AKI) to chronic kidney disease (CKD) challenge this pathological concept putting tubular epithelial cells into the spotlight. In this work we investigated the role of epithelial cells in fibrosis using a simple controlled in vitro system. An epithelial/mesenchymal 3D cell culture model composed of human proximal renal tubular cells and fibroblasts was challenged with toxic doses of Cisplatin, thus injuring epithelial cells. RT-PCR for classical fibrotic markers was performed on fibroblasts to assess their modulation toward an activated myofibroblast phenotype in presence or absence of that stimulus. Epithelial cell lesion triggered a phenotypical modulation of fibroblasts toward activated myofibroblasts as assessed by main fibrotic marker analysis. Uninjured 3D cell culture as well as fibroblasts alone treated with toxic stimulus in the absence of epithelial cells were used as control. Our results, with the caveats due to the limited, but highly controllable and reproducible in vitro approach, suggest that epithelial cells can control and regulate fibroblast phenotype. Therefore they emerge as relevant target cells for the development of new preventive anti-fibrotic therapeutic approaches.
Ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI) is a leading cause of acute kidney injury (AKI) in both native and transplanted kidneys. The objective of the present study was to evaluate whether low-molecular-weight fucoidan (LMWF) could attenuate renal IRI in an animal model and in vitro cell models and study the mechanisms in which LMWF protected from IRI.
Male mice were subjected to right renal ischemia for 30 min and reperfusion for 24 h, or to a sham operation with left kidney removed. Kidneys undergone IR showed characteristic morphological changes, such as tubular dilatation, and brush border loss. However, LMWF significantly corrected the renal dysfunction and the abnormal levels of MPO, MDA and SOD induced by IR. LMWF also inhibited the activation of MAPK pathways, which consequently resulted in a significant decrease in the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria, ratios of Bax/Bcl-2 and cleaved caspase-3/caspase-3, and phosphorylation of p53. LMWF alleviated hypoxia-reoxygenation or CoCl2 induced cell viability loss and ΔΨm dissipation in HK2 renal tubular epithelial cells, which indicates LMWF may result in an inhibition of the apoptosis pathway through reducing activity of MAPK pathways in a dose-dependent manner.
Our in vivo and in vitro studies show that LMWF ameliorates acute renal IRI via inhibiting MAPK signaling pathways. The data provide evidence that LMWF may serve as a potential therapeutic agent for acute renal IRI.
Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a mycotoxin produced by Fusarium species which is commonly found in temperate regions worldwide as a natural contaminant of cereals. It is of great concern not only in terms of economic losses but also in terms of animal and public health. The digestive tract is the first and main target of this food contaminant and it represents a major site of immune tolerance. A finely tuned cross-talk between the innate and the adaptive immune systems ensures the homeostatic equilibrium between the mucosal immune system and commensal microorganisms. The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of DON on the intestinal immune response.
Non-transformed intestinal porcine epithelial cells IPEC-1 and porcine jejunal explants were used to investigate the effect of DON on the intestinal immune response and the modulation of naive T cells differentiation. Transcriptomic proteomic and flow cytometry analysis were performed.
DON induced a pro-inflammatory response with a significant increase of expression of mRNA encoding for IL-8, IL-1α and IL-1β, TNF-α in all used models. Additionally, DON significantly induced the expression of genes involved in the differentiation of Th17 cells (STAT3, IL–17A, IL-6, IL-1β) at the expenses of the pathway of regulatory T cells (Treg) (FoxP3, RALDH1). DON also induced genes related to the pathogenic Th17 cells subset such as IL–23A, IL-22 and IL-21 and not genes related to the regulatory Th17 cells (rTh17) such as TGF-β and IL-10.
DON triggered multiple immune modulatory effects which could be associated with an increased susceptibility to intestinal inflammatory diseases.
Fibrosis is a serious consequence of Crohn’s disease (CD), often necessitating surgical resection. We examined the hypothesis that IL-13 may promote collagen accumulation within the CD muscle microenvironment.
Factors potentially modulating collagen deposition were examined in intestinal tissue samples from fibrotic (f) CD and compared with cancer control (C), ulcerative colitis (UC) and uninvolved (u) CD. Mechanisms attributable to IL-13 were analysed using cell lines derived from uninvolved muscle tissue and tissue explants.
In fCD muscle extracts, collagen synthesis was significantly increased compared to other groups, but MMP-2 was not co-ordinately increased. IL-13 transcripts were highest in fCD muscle compared to muscle from other groups. IL-13 receptor (R) α1 was expressed by intestinal muscle smooth muscle, nerve and KIR+ cells. Fibroblasts from intestinal muscle expressed Rα1, phosphorylated STAT6 in response to IL-13, and subsequently down-regulated MMP-2 and TNF-α-induced MMP-1 and MMP-9 synthesis. Cells with the phenotype KIR+CD45+CD56+/−CD3− were significantly increased in fCD muscle compared to all other groups, expressed Rα1 and membrane IL-13, and transcribed high levels of IL-13. In explanted CD muscle, these cells did not phosphorylate STAT6 in response to exogenous IL-13.
The data indicate that in fibrotic intestinal muscle of Crohn’s patients, the IL-13 pathway is stimulated, involving a novel population of infiltrating IL-13Rα1+, KIR+ innate lymphoid cells, producing IL-13 which inhibits fibroblast MMP synthesis. Consequently, matrix degradation is down-regulated and this leads to excessive collagen deposition.
Human exfoliated deciduous teeth have been considered to be a promising source for regenerative therapy because they contain unique postnatal stem cells from human exfoliated deciduous teeth (SHED) with self-renewal capacity, multipotency and immunomodulatory function. However preservation technique of deciduous teeth has not been developed. This study aimed to evaluate that cryopreserved dental pulp tissues of human exfoliated deciduous teeth is a retrievable and practical SHED source for cell-based therapy. SHED isolated from the cryopreserved deciduous pulp tissues for over 2 years (25–30 months) (SHED-Cryo) owned similar stem cell properties including clonogenicity, self-renew, stem cell marker expression, multipotency, in vivo tissue regenerative capacity and in vitro immunomodulatory function to SHED isolated from the fresh tissues (SHED-Fresh). To examine the therapeutic efficacy of SHED-Cryo on immune diseases, SHED-Cryo were intravenously transplanted into systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) model MRL/lpr mice. Systemic SHED-Cryo-transplantation improved SLE-like disorders including short lifespan, elevated autoantibody levels and nephritis-like renal dysfunction. SHED-Cryo amended increased interleukin 17-secreting helper T cells in MRL/lpr mice systemically and locally. SHED-Cryo-transplantation was also able to recover osteoporosis bone reduction in long bones of MRL/lpr mice. Furthermore, SHED-Cryo-mediated tissue engineering induced bone regeneration in critical calvarial bone-defect sites of immunocompromised mice. The therapeutic efficacy of SHED-Cryo transplantation on immune and skeletal disorders was similar to that of SHED-Fresh. These data suggest that cryopreservation of dental pulp tissues of deciduous teeth provide a suitable and desirable approach for stem cell-based immune therapy and tissue engineering in regenerative medicine.
Prostatic stones are a common condition in older men in industrialized countries. However, aging appears not to be the unique pathogenesis of these calcifications. Our morpho-constitutional investigation of 23 stone samples suggested that infection has a significant role in the lithogenic process of prostate calcifications, even without detection of infection by clinical investigation. Most stones (83%) showed bacterial imprints and/or chemical composition, suggestive of a long-term infection process. Chronic infection may induce persistent inflammation of the tissue and secondarily, a cancerization process within a few years. Thus, the discovery of prostate calcifications by computerized tomodensitometry, for example, might warrant further investigation and management to search for chronic infection of the prostate gland.
Lymphedema is a chronic disorder that occurs commonly after lymph node removal for cancer treatment and is characterized by swelling, fibrosis, inflammation, and adipose deposition. Although previous histological studies have investigated inflammatory changes that occur in lymphedema, the precise cellular make up of the inflammatory infiltrate remains unknown. It is also unclear if this inflammatory response plays a causal role in the pathology of lymphedema. The purpose of this study was therefore to characterize the inflammatory response to lymphatic stasis and determine if these responses are necessary for the pathological changes that occur in lymphedema.
We used mouse-tail lymphedema and axillary lymph node dissection (ANLD) models in order to study tissue inflammatory changes. Single cell suspensions were created and analyzed using multi-color flow cytometry to identify individual cell types. We utilized antibody depletion techniques to analyze the causal role of CD4+, CD8+, and CD25+ cells in the regulation of inflammation, fibrosis, adipose deposition, and lymphangiogenesis.
Lymphedema in the mouse-tail resulted in a mixed inflammatory cell response with significant increases in T-helper, T-regulatory, neutrophils, macrophages, and dendritic cell populations. Interestingly, we found that ALND resulted in significant increases in T-helper cells suggesting that these adaptive immune responses precede changes in macrophage and dendritic cell infiltration. In support of this we found that depletion of CD4+, but not CD8 or CD25+ cells, significantly decreased tail lymphedema, inflammation, fibrosis, and adipose deposition. In addition, depletion of CD4+ cells significantly increased lymphangiogenesis both in our tail model and also in an inflammatory lymphangiogenesis model.
Lymphedema and lymphatic stasis result in CD4+ cell inflammation and infiltration of mature T-helper cells. Loss of CD4+ but not CD8+ or CD25+ cell inflammation markedly decreases the pathological changes associated with lymphedema. In addition, CD4+ cells regulate lymphangiogenesis during wound repair and inflammatory lymphangiogenesis.
Ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI) is a leading cause of acute renal failure. The definition of the molecular mechanisms involved in renal IRI and counter protection promoted by ischemic pre-conditioning (IPC) or Hemin treatment is an important milestone that needs to be accomplished in this research area. We examined, through an oligonucleotide microarray protocol, the renal differential transcriptome profiles of mice submitted to IRI, IPC and Hemin treatment. After identifying the profiles of differentially expressed genes observed for each comparison, we carried out functional enrichment analysis to reveal transcripts putatively involved in potential relevant biological processes and signaling pathways. The most relevant processes found in these comparisons were stress, apoptosis, cell differentiation, angiogenesis, focal adhesion, ECM-receptor interaction, ion transport, angiogenesis, mitosis and cell cycle, inflammatory response, olfactory transduction and regulation of actin cytoskeleton. In addition, the most important overrepresented pathways were MAPK, ErbB, JAK/STAT, Toll and Nod like receptors, Angiotensin II, Arachidonic acid metabolism, Wnt and coagulation cascade. Also, new insights were gained about the underlying protection mechanisms against renal IRI promoted by IPC and Hemin treatment. Venn diagram analysis allowed us to uncover common and exclusively differentially expressed genes between these two protective maneuvers, underscoring potential common and exclusive biological functions regulated in each case. In summary, IPC exclusively regulated the expression of genes belonging to stress, protein modification and apoptosis, highlighting the role of IPC in controlling exacerbated stress response. Treatment with the Hmox1 inducer Hemin, in turn, exclusively regulated the expression of genes associated with cell differentiation, metabolic pathways, cell cycle, mitosis, development, regulation of actin cytoskeleton and arachidonic acid metabolism, suggesting a pleiotropic effect for Hemin. These findings improve the biological understanding of how the kidney behaves after IRI. They also illustrate some possible underlying molecular mechanisms involved in kidney protection observed with IPC or Hemin treatment maneuvers.
Xenotransplantation using transgenic pigs as an organ source is a promising strategy to overcome shortage of human organ for transplantation. Various genetic modifications have been tried to ameliorate xenograft rejection. In the present study we assessed effect of transgenic expression of human heme oxygenase-1 (hHO-1), an inducible protein capable of cytoprotection by scavenging reactive oxygen species and preventing apoptosis caused by cellular stress during inflammatory processes, in neonatal porcine islet-like cluster cells (NPCCs). Transduction of NPCCs with adenovirus containing hHO-1 gene significantly reduced apoptosis compared with the GFP-expressing adenovirus control after treatment with either hydrogen peroxide or hTNF-α and cycloheximide. These protective effects were diminished by co-treatment of hHO-1 antagonist, Zinc protoporphyrin IX. We also generated transgenic pigs expressing hHO-1 and analyzed expression and function of the transgene. Human HO-1 was expressed in most tissues, including the heart, kidney, lung, pancreas, spleen and skin, however, expression levels and patterns of the hHO-1 gene are not consistent in each organ. We isolate fibroblast from transgenic pigs to analyze protective effect of the hHO-1. As expected, fibroblasts derived from the hHO-1 transgenic pigs were significantly resistant to both hydrogen peroxide damage and hTNF-α and cycloheximide-mediated apoptosis when compared with wild-type fibroblasts. Furthermore, induction of RANTES in response to hTNF-α or LPS was significantly decreased in fibroblasts obtained from the hHO-1 transgenic pigs. These findings suggest that transgenic expression of hHO-1 can protect xenografts when exposed to oxidative stresses, especially from ischemia/reperfusion injury, and/or acute rejection mediated by cytokines. Accordingly, hHO-1 could be an important candidate molecule in a multi-transgenic pig strategy for xenotransplantation.
Urinary incontinence, defined as the complaint of any involuntary loss of urine, is a pathological condition, which affects 30% females and 15% males over 60, often following a progressive decrease of rhabdosphincter cells due to increasing age or secondary to damage to the pelvic floor musculature, connective tissue and/or nerves. Recently, stem cell therapy has been proposed as a source for cell replacement and for trophic support to the sphincter. To develop new therapeutic strategies for urinary incontinence, we studied the interaction between mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and muscle cells in vitro; thereafter, aiming at a clinical usage, we analyzed the supporting role of MSCs for muscle cells in vitro and in in vivo xenotransplantation. MSCs can express markers of the myogenic cell lineages and give rise, under specific cell culture conditions, to myotube-like structures. Nevertheless, we failed to obtain mixed myotubes both in vitro and in vivo. For in vivo transplantation, we tested a new protocol to collect human MSCs from whole bone marrow, to get larger numbers of cells. MSCs, when transplanted into the pelvic muscles close to the external urethral sphincter, survived for a long time in absence of immunosuppression, and migrated into the muscle among fibers, and towards neuromuscular endplates. Moreover, they showed low levels of cycling cells, and did not infiltrate blood vessels. We never observed formation of cell masses suggestive of tumorigenesis. Those which remained close to the injection site showed an immature phenotype, whereas those in the muscle had more elongated morphologies. Therefore, MSCs are safe and can be easily transplanted without risk of side effects in the pelvic muscles. Further studies are needed to elucidate their integration into muscle fibers, and to promote their muscular transdifferentiation either before or after transplantation.
Previously, we have demonstrated that mucociliary clearance (MCC) is diminished within the first months after surgery in lung transplant patients and the explanation for the reduction in MCC is unknown. We hypothesized that chronic treatment with a commonly prescribed regimen of immunosuppressive drugs significantly impairs MCC. We tested this hypothesis in a murine model of lung transplantation.
Fifteen C57BL/6 mice underwent vagotomy on the right side to simulate denervation associated with lung transplantation in humans. For 6 days, seven mice (controls) were intraperitoneally injected with three 100 µL doses of phosphate buffered saline and eight mice (immunosuppressed) were injected with three 100 µL injections of tacrolimus (1 mg/kg), mycophenolate mofetil (30 mg/kg), and prednisone (2 mg/kg) once daily. Then, mice inhaled the radioisotope 99mtechnetium and underwent gamma camera imaging of their lungs for 6.5 hrs. Counts in the right lung at 1–1.5 hrs and at 6–6.5 hrs were first background-corrected and then decay-corrected to time 0 counts. Decay-corrected counts were then divided by time 0 counts. Retention at each time point was subtracted from 1.00 and multiplied by 100% to obtain percent removed by mucociliary clearance.
Although there was a slowing of MCC at 1–1.5 hrs for the immunosuppressed mice, there was no statistical difference in MCC measured at 1–1.5 hrs for the two groups of mice. At 6–6.5 hrs, MCC was significantly slower in the immunosuppressed mice, compared to controls, with 7.78±5.9% cleared versus 23.01±11.7% cleared, respectively (p = 0.006).
These preliminary results suggest that chronic treatment with immunosuppressive medications significantly slows MCC in vagotomized C57BL/6 mice. These findings could shed light on why MCC is reduced in lung transplant patients whose lungs are denervated during surgery and who are chronically treated with immunosuppressive drugs post surgery.
Heparanase is an endo-β-glucuronidase that cleaves heparan sulfate side chains, leading to structural modifications that loosen the extracellular matrix barrier and associated with tumor metastasis, inflammation and angiogenesis. In addition, the highly sulfated heparan sulfate proteoglycans are important constituents of the glomerular basement membrane and its permselective properties. Recent studies suggest a role for heparanase in several experimental and human glomerular diseases associated with proteinuria such as diabetes, minimal change disease, and membranous nephropathy. Here, we quantified blood and urine heparanase levels in renal transplant recipients and patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), and assessed whether alterations in heparanase levels correlate with proteinuria and renal function. We report that in transplanted patients, urinary heparanase was markedly elevated, inversely associated with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), suggesting a relationship between heparanase and graft function. In CKD patients, urinary heparanase was markedly elevated and associated with proteinuria, but not with eGFR. In addition, urinary heparanase correlated significantly with plasma heparanase in transplanted patients. Such a systemic spread of heparanase may lead to damage of cells and tissues alongside the kidney.The newly described association between heparanase, proteinuria and decreased renal function is expected to pave the way for new therapeutic options aimed at attenuating chronic renal allograft nephropathy, leading to improved graft survival and patient outcome.
Elevations of circulating Fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) are associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes and progression of renal failure in chronic kidney disease (CKD). Efforts to identify gene products whose transcription is directly regulated by FGF23 stimulation of fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFR)/α-Klotho complexes in the kidney is confounded by both systemic alterations in calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D metabolism and intrinsic alterations caused by the underlying renal pathology in CKD. To identify FGF23 responsive genes in the kidney that might explain the association between FGF23 and adverse outcomes in CKD, we performed comparative genome wide analysis of gene expression profiles in the kidney of the Collagen 4 alpha 3 null mice (Col4a3−/−) model of progressive kidney disease with kidney expression profiles of Hypophosphatemic (Hyp) and FGF23 transgenic mouse models of elevated FGF23. The different complement of potentially confounding factors in these models allowed us to identify genes that are directly targeted by FGF23. This analysis found that α-Klotho, an anti-aging hormone and FGF23 co-receptor, was decreased by FGF23. We also identified additional FGF23-responsive transcripts and activation of networks associated with renal damage and chronic inflammation, including lipocalin 2 (Lcn2), transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) signaling pathways. Finally, we found that FGF23 suppresses angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) expression in the kidney, thereby providing a pathway for FGF23 regulation of the renin-angiotensin system. These gene products provide a possible mechanistic links between elevated FGF23 and pathways responsible for renal failure progression and cardiovascular diseases.
Malaria associated-acute kidney injury (AKI) is associated with 45% of mortality in adult patients hospitalized with severe form of the disease. However, the causes that lead to a framework of malaria-associated AKI are still poorly characterized. Some clinical studies speculate that oxidative stress products, a characteristic of Plasmodium infection, as well as proinflammatory response induced by the parasite are involved in its pathophysiology. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the development of malaria-associated AKI during infection by P. berghei ANKA, with special attention to the role played by the inflammatory response and the involvement of oxidative stress. For that, we took advantage of an experimental model of severe malaria that showed significant changes in the renal pathophysiology to investigate the role of malaria infection in the renal microvascular permeability and tissue injury. Therefore, BALB/c mice were infected with P. berghei ANKA. To assess renal function, creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, and ratio of proteinuria and creatininuria were evaluated. The products of oxidative stress, as well as cytokine profile were quantified in plasma and renal tissue. The change of renal microvascular permeability, tissue hypoxia and cellular apoptosis were also evaluated. Parasite infection resulted in renal dysfunction. Furthermore, we observed increased expression of adhesion molecule, proinflammatory cytokines and products of oxidative stress, associated with a decrease mRNA expression of HO-1 in kidney tissue of infected mice. The measurement of lipoprotein oxidizability also showed a significant increase in plasma of infected animals. Together, our findings support the idea that products of oxidative stress, as well as the immune response against the parasite are crucial to changes in kidney architecture and microvascular endothelial permeability of BALB/c mice infected with P. berghei ANKA.
Mesothelial cell injury plays an important role in peritoneal fibrosis. Present clinical therapies aimed at alleviating peritoneal fibrosis have been largely inadequate. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are efficient for repairing injuries and reducing fibrosis. This study was designed to investigate the effects of MSCs on injured mesothelial cells and peritoneal fibrosis.
Rat bone marrow-derived MSCs (5 ×106) were injected into Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats via tail vein 24 h after peritoneal scraping. Distinct reductions in adhesion formation; infiltration of neutrophils, macrophage cells; number of fibroblasts; and level of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 were found in MSCs-treated rats. The proliferation and repair of peritoneal mesothelial cells in MSCs-treated rats were stimulated. Mechanically injured mesothelial cells co-cultured with MSCs in transwells showed distinct increases in migration and proliferation. In vivo imaging showed that MSCs injected intravenously mainly accumulated in the lungs which persisted for at least seven days. No apparent MSCs were observed in the injured peritoneum even when MSCs were injected intraperitoneally. The injection of serum-starved MSCs-conditioned medium (CM) intravenously reduced adhesions similar to MSCs. Antibody based protein array of MSCs-CM showed that the releasing of TNFα-stimulating gene (TSG)-6 increased most dramatically. Promotion of mesothelial cell repair and reduction of peritoneal adhesion were produced by the administration of recombinant mouse (rm) TSG-6, and were weakened by TSG-6-RNA interfering.
Collectively, these results indicate that MSCs may attenuate peritoneal injury by repairing mesothelial cells, reducing inflammation and fibrosis. Rather than the engraftment, the secretion of TSG-6 by MSCs makes a major contribution to the therapeutic benefits of MSCs.
The mTOR signaling pathway plays a crucial role in the regulation of cell growth, proliferation, survival and in directing immune responses. As the intestinal epithelium displays rapid cell growth and differentiation and is an important immune regulatory organ, we hypothesized that mTOR may play an important role in the protection against intestinal ischemia reperfusion (I/R)-induced injury. To better understand the molecular mechanisms by which the mTOR pathway is altered by intestinal I/R, p70S6K, the major effector of the mTOR pathway, was investigated along with the effects of rapamycin, a specific inhibitor of mTOR and an immunosuppressant agent used clinically in transplant patients. In vitro experiments using an intestinal epithelial cell line and hypoxia/reoxygenation demonstrated that overexpression of p70S6K promoted cell growth and migration, and decreased cell apoptosis. Inhibition of p70S6K by rapamycin reversed these protective effects. In a mouse model of gut I/R, an increase of p70S6K activity was found by 5 min and remained elevated after 6 h of reperfusion. Inhibition of p70S6K by rapamycin worsened gut injury, promoted inflammation, and enhanced intestinal permeability. Importantly, rapamycin treated animals had a significantly increased mortality. These novel results demonstrate a key role of p70S6K in protection against I/R injury in the intestine and suggest a potential danger in using mTOR inhibitors in patients at risk for gut hypoperfusion.
The Kallikrein-Kinin System (KKS) has been implicated in several aspects of metabolism, including the regulation of glucose homeostasis and adiposity. Kinins and des-Arg-kinins are the major effectors of this system and promote their effects by binding to two different receptors, the kinin B2 and B1 receptors, respectively. To understand the influence of the KKS on the pathophysiology of obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2DM), we generated an animal model deficient for both kinin receptor genes and leptin (obB1B2KO). Six-month-old obB1B2KO mice showed increased blood glucose levels. Isolated islets of the transgenic animals were more responsive to glucose stimulation releasing greater amounts of insulin, mainly in 3-month-old mice, which was corroborated by elevated serum C-peptide concentrations. Furthermore, they presented hepatomegaly, pronounced steatosis, and increased levels of circulating transaminases. This mouse also demonstrated exacerbated gluconeogenesis during the pyruvate challenge test. The hepatic abnormalities were accompanied by changes in the gene expression of factors linked to glucose and lipid metabolisms in the liver. Thus, we conclude that kinin receptors are important for modulation of insulin secretion and for the preservation of normal glucose levels and hepatic functions in obese mice, suggesting a protective role of the KKS regarding complications associated with obesity and T2DM.
This study analyzes the fluorimetric determination of alanyl- (Ala), glutamyl- (Glu), leucyl-cystinyl- (Cys) and aspartyl-aminopeptidase (AspAp) urinary enzymatic activities as early and predictive biomarkers of renal dysfunction in cisplatin-treated rats. Male Wistar rats (n = 8 each group) received a single subcutaneous injection of either saline or cisplatin 3.5 or 7 mg/kg, and urine samples were taken at 0, 1, 2, 3 and 14 days after treatment. In urine samples we determined Ala, Glu, Cys and AspAp activities, proteinuria, N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAG), albumin, and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL). Plasma creatinine, creatinine clearance and renal morphological variables were measured at the end of the experiment. CysAp, NAG and albumin were increased 48 hours after treatment in the cisplatin 3.5 mg/kg treated group. At 24 hours, all urinary aminopeptidase activities and albuminuria were significantly increased in the cisplatin 7 mg/kg treated group. Aminopeptidase urinary activities correlated (p<0.011; r2>0.259) with plasma creatinine, creatinine clearance and/or kidney weight/body weight ratio at the end of the experiment and they could be considered as predictive biomarkers of renal injury severity. ROC-AUC analysis was made to study their sensitivity and specificity to distinguish between treated and untreated rats at day 1. All aminopeptidase activities showed an AUC>0.633. We conclude that Ala, Cys, Glu and AspAp enzymatic activities are early and predictive urinary biomarkers of the renal dysfunction induced by cisplatin. These determinations can be very useful in the prognostic and diagnostic of renal dysfunction in preclinical research and clinical practice.
The current hypothesis postulates that NFAT5 activation in the kidney's inner medulla is due to hypertonicity, resulting in cell protection. Additionally, the renal medulla is hypoxic (10–18 mmHg); however there is no information about the effect of hypoxia on NFAT5. Using in vivo and in vitro models, we evaluated the effect of reducing the partial pressure of oxygen (PO2) on NFAT5 activity. We found that 1) Anoxia increased NFAT5 expression and nuclear translocation in primary cultures of IMCD cells from rat kidney. 2) Anoxia increased transcriptional activity and nuclear translocation of NFAT5 in HEK293 cells. 3) The dose-response curve demonstrated that HIF-1α peaked at 2.5% and NFAT5 at 1% of O2. 4) At 2.5% of O2, the time-course curve of hypoxia demonstrated earlier induction of HIF-1α gene expression than NFAT5. 5) siRNA knockdown of NFAT5 increased the hypoxia-induced cell death. 6) siRNA knockdown of HIF-1α did not affect the NFAT5 induction by hypoxia. Additionally, HIF-1α was still induced by hypoxia even when NFAT5 was knocked down. 7) NFAT5 and HIF-1α expression were increased in kidney (cortex and medulla) from rats subjected to an experimental model of ischemia and reperfusion (I/R). 7) Experimental I/R increased the NFAT5-target gene aldose reductase (AR). 8) NFAT5 activators (ATM and PI3K) were induced in vitro (HEK293 cells) and in vivo (I/R kidneys) with the same timing of NFAT5. 8) Wortmannin, which inhibits ATM and PI3K, reduces hypoxia-induced NFAT5 transcriptional activation in HEK293 cells. These results demonstrate for the first time that NFAT5 is induced by hypoxia and could be a protective factor against ischemic damage.
Background and study aims
Small intestinal ischemia-reperfusion (IR) is a frequent, potentially life threatening phenomenon. There is a lack of non-invasive diagnostic modalities. For many intestinal diseases, visualizing the intestinal mucosa using endoscopy is gold standard. However, limited knowledge exists on small intestinal IR-induced, early mucosal changes. The aims of this study were to investigate endoscopic changes in human jejunum exposed to IR, and to study concordance between endoscopic appearance and histology.
Patients and methods
In 23 patients a part of jejunum, to be removed for surgical reasons, was isolated and selectively exposed to ischemia with 0, 30 or 120 minutes of reperfusion. In 3 patients, a videocapsule was inserted in the isolated segment before exposure to IR, to visualize the mucosa. Endoscopic view at several time points was related to histology (Heamatoxylin & Eosin) obtained from 20 patients.
Ischemia was characterized by loss of villous structure, mucosal whitening and appearance of punctate lesions. This was related to appearance of subepithelial spaces and breaches in the epithelial lining in the histological view. Early during reperfusion, the lumen filled with IR-damaged, shed cells and VCE showed mucosal erosions, hemorrhage and intraluminal debris. At 60 minutes of reperfusion, the only remaining signs of IR were loss of villous structure and small erosions, indicating rapid mucosal healing.
This study shows a unique, real-time in vivo endoscopic view of early mucosal changes during IR of the human small intestine. Future studies should evaluate its usefulness in diagnosis of patients suspected of IR.