Taxol (paclitaxel) is a potent anticancer drug that has been found to be effective against several tumor types, including cervical cancer. However, the exact mechanism underlying the antitumor effects of paclitaxel is poorly understood. Here, paclitaxel induced the apoptosis of cervical cancer HeLa cells and correlated with the enhanced activation of caspase-3 and TAp73, which was strongly inhibited by TAp73β small interfering RNA (siRNA). In wild-type activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3)–overexpressed cells, paclitaxel enhanced apoptosis through increased α and β isoform expression of TAp73; however, these events were attenuated in cells containing inactive COOH-terminal–deleted ATF3 [ATF3(ΔC)] or ATF3 siRNA. In contrast, paclitaxel-induced ATF3 expression did not change in TAp73β -overexpressed or TAp73β siRNA–cotransfected cells. Furthermore, paclitaxel-induced ATF3 translocated into the nucleus where TAp73β is expressed, but not in ATF3 (ΔC) or TAp73β siRNA–transfected cells. As confirmed by the GST pull-down assay, ATF3 bound to the DNA-binding domain of p73, resulting in the activation of p21 or Bax transcription, a downstream target of p73. Overexpression of ATF3 prolonged the half-life of TAp73β by inhibiting its ubiquitination and thereby enhancing its transactivation and proapoptotic activities. Additionally, ATF3 induced by paclitaxel potentiated the stability of TAp73β, not its transcriptional level. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses show that TAp73β and ATF3 are recruited directly to the p21 and Bax promoter. Collectively, these results reveal that overexpression of ATF3 potentiates paclitaxel-induced apoptosis of HeLa cells, at least in part, by enhancing TAp73β's stability and its transcriptional activity. The investigation shows that ATF3 may function as a tumor-inhibiting factor through direct regulatory effects on TAp73β, suggesting a functional link between ATF3 and TAp73β.
To exploit the biological and pharmacological properties of immunoglobulin constant domain Fc fragment and increase the killing efficacy of T cells, a single chain variable fragment specific to CD3 was fused with Fcab (Fc antigen binding), a mutant Fc fragment with specificity against Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) developed by F-star. The bispecific fusion named as FcabCD3 was expressed by transient transfection in HEK-293T cells and purified by affinity chromatography. Specific cytolytic activity of retargeted T cells to kill HER2 positive SKBR3 cell line was evaluated in vitro. FcabCD3 was able to retarget T cells to kill both Herceptin insensitive Colo205-luc cell line and HER2 low expression MDA-MB-231-luc cell line. Furthermore, FcabCD3 was effective in eliminating the Colo205 tumor established on BALB/c nu/nu mice.
Natural killer (NK) cells are abundant in the liver and serve as a major innate immune component against microbial infection. Although NK cells have been implicated in inducing hepatocellular damage in patients with chronic hepatitis virus infections, the roles that hepatic NK cells play in chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections remain obscure. In this study, we comprehensively characterized intrahepatic and peripheral NK cells and investigated their impact on liver pathology in a cohort of HBV-infected individuals; this cohort included 51 immune-activated (IA) patients, 27 immune-tolerant (IT) carriers, and 26 healthy subjects. We found that NK cells expressing NK receptors (activation receptors) preferentially accumulated in the livers of IA patients, in which they were activated and skewed toward cytolytic activity but without a concomitant increase in interferon-γ production, in comparison with those of IT carriers and healthy subjects. Further analysis showed that the livers of IA patients, in comparison with those of IT and healthy subjects, expressed higher levels of interleukin-12 (IL-12), IL-15, and IL-18 in situ and lower levels of IL-10, which in vitro can induce the activation and degranulation of NK cells from healthy individuals. Finally, hepatic NK cells displayed more cytolytic activity than peripheral NK cells, and this was found to be positively correlated with the liver histological activity index and serum alanine aminotransferase levels in these IA patients.
In IA patients, hepatic NK cells are activated and preferentially skew toward cytolytic activity, which depends on an imbalanced cytokine milieu and correlates with liver injury during chronic HBV infection.
Interleukin-22 (IL-22) is known to play a key role in promoting antimicrobial immunity, inflammation, and tissue repair at barrier surfaces by binding to the receptors IL-10R2 and IL-22R1. IL-22R1 is generally thought to be expressed exclusively in epithelial cells. In this study, we identified high levels of IL-10R2 and IL-22R1 expression on hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), the predominant cell type involved in liver fibrogenesis in response to liver damage. In vitro treatment with IL-22 induced the activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) in primary mouse and human HSCs. IL-22 administration prevented HSC apoptosis in vitro and in vivo, but surprisingly, the overexpression of IL-22 via either gene targeting (IL-22 transgenic mice) or exogenous administration of adenovirus expressing IL-22 reduced liver fibrosis and accelerated the resolution of liver fibrosis during recovery. Furthermore, IL-22 overexpression or treatment increased the number of senescence-associated β-galactosidase-positive HSCs and decreased α-smooth muscle actin expression in fibrotic livers in vivo and cultured HSCs in vitro. Deletion of STAT3 prevented IL-22-induced HSC senescence in vitro, whereas the overexpression of a constitutively activated form of STAT3 promoted HSC senescence via p53- and p21-dependent pathways. Finally, IL-22 treatment upregulated suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 expression in HSCs. Immunoprecipitation analyses revealed that SOCS3 bound p53 and subsequently increased the expression of p53 and its target genes, contributing to IL-22-mediated HSC senescence.
IL-22 induces the senescence of HSCs, which express both IL-10R2 and IL-22R1, thereby ameliorating liver fibrogenesis. The anti-fibrotic effect of IL-22 is likely mediated via the induction of HSC senescence in addition to the previously discovered hepatoprotective functions of IL-22.
p53; SOCS3; IL-22R; liver repair
In vitro, a new protocol of plant regeneration in rose was achieved via protocorm-like bodies (PLBs) induced from the root-like organs named rhizoids that developed from leaf explants. The development of rhizoids is a critical stage for efficient regeneration, which is triggered by exogenous auxin. However, the role of cytokinin in the control of organogenesis in rose is as yet uncharacterized. The aim of this study was to elucidate the molecular mechanism of cytokinin-modulated rhizoid formation in Rosa canina. Here, we found that cytokinin is a key regulator in the formation of rhizoids. Treatment with cytokinin reduced callus activity and significantly inhibited rhizoid formation in Rosa canina. We further isolated the full-length cDNA of a type-A response regulator gene of cytokinin signaling, RcRR1, from which the deduced amino acid sequence contained the conserved DDK motif. Gene expression analysis revealed that RcRR1 was differentially expressed during rhizoid formation and its expression level was rapidly up-regulated by cytokinin. In addition, the functionality of RcRR1 was tested in Arabidopsis. RcRR1 was found to be localized to the nucleus in GFP-RcRR1 transgenic plants and overexpression of RcRR1 resulted in increased primary root length and lateral root density. More importantly, RcRR1 overexpression transgenic plants also showed reduced sensitivity to cytokinin during root growth; auxin distribution and the expression of auxin efflux carriers PIN genes were altered in RcRR1 overexpression plants. Taken together, these results demonstrate that RcRR1 is a functional type-A response regulator which is involved in cytokinin-regulated rhizoid formation in Rosa canina.
Anti-HER2/neu antibody therapy has been reported to mediate tumor regression of HER2/ neu+ tumors. Here we demonstrated the expression of HER2 in a wide range of human melanoma cells including a primary culture and seven cell lines, and we further investigated whether HER2 could be served as a target for T cell mediated immunotherapy of human melanoma. Specific cytolytic activity of activated T cells (ATC) armed with anti-CD3 x anti-HER2 bispecific antibody (HER2Bi-Ab) against Malme-3M-luc cells was evaluated by bioluminescent signal generated by luciferase reporter which did not alter HER2 expression or proliferation ability of Malme-3M cells. Contrast with unarmed ATC, increased cytotoxic activity of HER2Bi-armed ATC against Malme-3M-luc cells was observed at effector/target (E/T) ratios of 1:1, 5:1, and 20:1. Moreover, HER2Bi-armed ATC expressed higher level of activation marker CD69 and secreted significantly higher level of IFN-γ than unarmed ATC counterpart at the E/T ratio of 20:1. In addition, compared with anti-HER2 mAb (Herceptin®) or unarmed ATC, HER2Bi-armed ATC showed remarkable suppression effect on Malme-3M-luc tumor cells. Furthermore, in melanoma tumor cell xenograft mice, infusion of HER2Bi-armed ATC successfully inhibited the growth of melanoma tumors. The anti-tumor effect of HER2Bi-armed ATC may provide a promising immunotherapy for melanoma in the future.
Frank Burr Mallory’s landmark observation in 1911 on the histopathology of alcoholic liver disease (ALD) was the first identification of a link between an inflammation and ALD. In this review, we summarize recent advances regarding the origins and roles of various inflammatory components in ALD. Metabolism of ethanol generates a number of metabolites, including acetate, reactive oxygen species, acetaldehyde, and epigenetic changes, that can induce inflammatory responses. Alcohol and its metabolites can also initiate and aggravate inflammatory conditions by promoting gut leakiness of microbial products, by sensitizing immune cells to stimulation and by activating innate immune pathways, such as complement. Chronic alcohol consumption also sensitizes non-immune cells, e.g., hepatocytes, to inflammatory signals and impairs their ability to respond to protective signals. Based on these advances, a number of inflammatory targets have been identified with potential for therapeutic intervention in ALD, presenting new opportunities and challenges for translational research.
Ethanol; liver injury; hepatic macrophage; cytokines; complement; inflammasome
Post-exposure prophylactic (PEP) neutralizing antibodies against Rabies are the most effective way to prevent infection-related fatality. The outer envelope glycoprotein of the Rabies virus (RABV) is the most significant surface antigen for generating virus-neutralizing antibodies. The small size and uncompromised functional specificity of single domain antibodies (sdAbs) can be exploited in the fields of experimental therapeutic applications for infectious diseases through formatting flexibilities to increase their avidity towards target antigens. In this study, we used phage display technique to select and identify sdAbs that were specific for the RABV glycoprotein from a naïve llama-derived antibody library. To increase their neutralizing potencies, the sdAbs were fused with a coiled-coil peptide derived from the human cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP48) to form homogenous pentavalent multimers, known as combodies. Compared to monovalent sdAbs, the combodies, namely 26424 and 26434, exhibited high avidity and were able to neutralize 85-fold higher input of RABV (CVS-11 strain) pseudotypes in vitro, as a result of multimerization, while retaining their specificities for target antigen. 26424 and 26434 were capable of neutralizing CVS-11 pseudotypes in vitro by 90–95% as compared to human rabies immunoglobulin (HRIG), currently used for PEP in Rabies. The multimeric sdAbs were also demonstrated to be partially protective for mice that were infected with lethal doses of rabies virus in vivo. The results demonstrate that the combodies could be valuable tools in understanding viral mechanisms, diagnosis and possible anti-viral candidate for RABV infection.
T helper 17 (Th17) cells are a newly identified subset of T helper cells that play important roles in host defense against extracellular bacteria as well as in the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease. The functions of Th17 cells are mediated via the production of several cytokines including interleukin (IL)-17 and IL-22. Recent studies show that the frequency of IL-17+ cells is significantly elevated in a variety of chronic liver diseases including alcoholic liver disease, viral hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma. IL-17 receptor is expressed virtually on all types of liver cells, while IL-22 receptor expression is restricted to epithelial cells including hepatocytes in the liver. IL-17 seems to play an important role in inducing liver inflammation via stimulating multiple types of liver nonparenchymal cells to produce proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines, while IL-22 appears to be an important factor in promoting hepatocyte survival and proliferation.
IL-17; IL-22; hepatitis; alcoholic liver disease; liver cancer
Since its discovery in the early 1990s, the Janus kinase (JAK)-signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) signaling pathway has been found to play key roles in regulating many key cellular processes such as survival, proliferation, and differentiation. There are seven known mammalian STAT family members: STAT1, 2, 3, 4, 5a, 5b, and 6. In the liver, activation of these STAT proteins is critical for anti-viral defense against hepatitis viral infection and for controlling injury, repair, inflammation, and tumorigenesis. The identification of functions for these STAT proteins has increased our understanding of liver disease pathophysiology and treatments, while also suggesting new therapeutic modalities for managing liver disease.
HCV; interferon; liver injury; liver regeneration; liver tumor
Background & Aims
Proliferation of liver stem/progenitor cells (LPCs), which can differentiate into hepatocytes or biliary epithelial cells, is often observed in chronically inflamed regions of liver in patients. We investigated how inflammation might promote proliferation of LPCs.
We examined the role of interleukin (IL)-22, a survival factor for hepatocytes, on proliferation of LPCs in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and in mice. Proliferation of LPCs in mice was induced by feeding a diet that contained 3,5-diethoxycarbonyl-1,4-dihydrocollidine (DDC).
Hepatic expression of IL-22 was increased in patients with HBV and correlated with the grade of inflammation and proliferation of LPCs. Mice on the DDC diet that overexpressed an IL-22 transgene specifically in liver (IL-22TG), or that were infected with an IL-22–expressing adenovirus, had increased proliferation of LPCs. Signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 3, a component of the IL-22 signaling pathway, was activated in LPCs isolated from DDC-fed IL-22TG mice. Deletion of STAT3 from livers of IL-22TG mice reduced proliferation of LPCs. Moreover, the receptors IL-22R1 and IL-10R2 were detected on EpCAM+CD45– LPCs isolated from DDC-fed wild-type mice. Culture of these cells with IL-22 activated STAT3 and led to cell proliferation, but IL-22 had no effect on proliferation of STAT3-deficient EpCAM+CD45– LPCs. IL-22 also activated STAT3 and promoted proliferation of cultured BMOL cells (a mouse LPC line).
In livers of mice and patients with chronic HBV infection, inflammatory cells produce IL-22, which promotes proliferation of LPCs via STAT3. These findings link inflammation with proliferation of LPCs in patients with HBV infection.
immune regulation; viral hepatitis; oval cells; signal transduction
Alpha interferon (IFN-α)-based therapy can effectively treat chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, which causes life-threatening complications. Responses to IFN-α therapy vary greatly in chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients, but underlying mechanisms are almost unknown. In this study, we found that IFN-α treatment induced a marked decrease of microRNA-122 (miR-122) expression in hepatocytes. We next showed that IFN-α-induced miR-122 downregulation was only partly due to transcriptional suppression. One IFN-stimulated gene (ISG), NT5C3, which was identified as a miR-122 target, efficiently inhibited miR-122 by binding and sequestering miR-122 with its mRNA 3′-untranslated region (3′-UTR), indicating that this ISG is involved in IFN-α-mediated miR-122 suppression. Notably, the inhibitory effect of IFN-α on miR-122 was completely abolished by blocking IFN-α-induced upregulation of NT5C3 mRNA expression by RNA interference (RNAi). Meanwhile, we observed that miR-122 dramatically inhibited HBV expression and replication. Finally, we showed that IFN-α-mediated HBV-inhibitory effects could be enhanced significantly by blocking IFN-α-induced downregulation of miR-122. We therefore concluded that IFN-α-induced inhibition of miR-122 may negatively affect the anti-HBV function of IFN-α. These data provide valuable insights for a better understanding of the antiviral mechanism of IFN-α and raise further potential interest in enhancing its anti-HBV efficacy.
The ICK (inhibitor cystine knot) defines a large superfamily of polypeptides with high structural stability and functional diversity. Here, we describe a new scorpion venom-derived K+ channel toxin (named λ-MeuKTx-1) with an ICK fold through gene cloning, chemical synthesis, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, Ca2+ release measurements and electrophysiological recordings. λ-MeuKTx-1 was found to adopt an ICK fold that contains a three-strand anti-parallel β-sheet and a 310-helix. Functionally, this peptide selectively inhibits the Drosophila Shaker K+ channel but is not capable of activating skeletal-type Ca2+ release channels/ryanodine receptors, which is remarkably different from the previously known scorpion venom ICK peptides. The removal of two C-terminal residues of λ-MeuKTx-1 led to the loss of the inhibitory activity on the channel, whereas the C-terminal amidation resulted in the emergence of activity on four mammalian K+ channels accompanied by the loss of activity on the Shaker channel. A combination of structural and pharmacological data allows the recognition of three putative functional sites involved in channel blockade of λ-MeuKTx-1. The presence of a functional dyad in λ-MeuKTx-1 supports functional convergence among scorpion venom peptides with different folds. Furthermore, similarities in precursor organization, exon–intron structure, 3D-fold and function suggest that scorpion venom ICK-type K+ channel inhibitors and Ca2+ release channel activators share a common ancestor and their divergence occurs after speciation between buthidae and non-buthids. The structural and functional characterizations of the first scorpion venom ICK toxin with K+ channel-blocking activity sheds light on functionally divergent and convergent evolution of this conserved scaffold of ancient origin.
cysteine stabilized α-helical and β-sheet motif; functional dyad; ryanodine receptor; scorpion toxin; solution structure; voltage-gated ion channel; CSαα, cysteine-stabilized helix-loop-helix; CSαβ, cysteine-stabilized α-helical and β-sheet; ECOSY, exclusive correlation spectroscopy; ICK, inhibitor cystine knot; λ-MK1, λ-MeuKTx-1; MCa, Scorpio maurus palmatus; RACE, 3′ rapid amplification of cDNA ends; SR, sarcoplasmic reticulum; UTR, untranslated region
Most studies on diabetes prevalence and awareness in China are regional or about a single province, and differences between coastal and interior provinces have not been discussed even in the nation-based studies. The aim of this study was to determine regional differences in diabetes prevalence and awareness between coastal and interior provinces, and to identify the factors associated with diabetes prevalence and awareness.
Provinces Fujian and Shaanxi were chosen to represent the coastal and interior provinces, respectively. The data of two provinces were from the China National Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders Study 2007–08. A total of 5926 people (Fujian 2672 and Shaanxi 3254) aged above 20 years were included as participants in the study. Age-standardized prevalence and awareness were compared between provinces. Logistic regression analysis was performed not only to examine risk factors of diabetes prevalence and awareness, but also to examine the association between regional difference and diabetes prevalence and awareness.
The age-standardized prevalence of diabetes in Fujian was higher than that in Shaanxi among total (11.5% vs. 8.0%), male (13.6% vs. 8.9%) and female (10.8% vs. 7.4%) populations. Diabetes awareness for total and male population in Fujian was higher than that in Shaanxi (42.3% vs. 34.9% and 46.8% vs. 35.2%, respectively). Age, sex, central obesity, family history of diabetes, and metabolic risk factors were all significantly associated with diabetes prevalence in both provinces. However, cigarette smoking was significantly associated with prevalence in Fujian and physical activity was significantly associated with the prevalence in Shaanxi. Family history of diabetes was the only independent risk factor of diabetes awareness in both provinces. After being adjusted for all listed risk factors, the regional difference of diabetes prevalence was still significant, but that of diabetes awareness lost significance.
Both diabetes prevalence and awareness were higher in coastal provinces and lower in interior provinces in China. Lifestyle risk factors were found to contribute differently to diabetes prevalence in the two provinces and other unknown risk factors may account for differences of diabetes prevalence between provinces. In addition, family history of diabetes was the only independent risk factor in both provinces.
Prevalence; Awareness; Regional differences; Diabetes
Human influenza is a seasonal disease associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The most effective means for controlling infection and thereby reducing morbidity and mortality is vaccination with a three inactivated influenza virus strains mixture, or by intranasal administration of a group of three different live attenuated influenza vaccine strains. Comparing to the inactivated vaccine, the attenuated live viruses allow better elicitation of a long-lasting and broader immune (humoral and cellular) response that represents a naturally occurring transient infection. The cold-adapted (ca) influenza A/AA/6/60 (H2N2) (AA ca) virus is the backbone for the live attenuated trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine licensed in the United States. Similarly, the influenza A components of live-attenuated vaccines used in Russia have been prepared as reassortants of the cold-adapted (ca) H2N2 viruses, A/Leningrad/134/17/57-ca (Len/17) and A/Leningrad/134/47/57-ca (Len/47) along with virulent epidemic strains. However, the mechanism of temperature-sensitive attenuation is largely elusive. To understand how modification at genetic level of influenza virus would result in attenuation of human influenza virus A/PR/8/34 (H1N1,A/PR8), we investigated the involvement of key mutations in the PB1 and/or PB2 genes in attenuation of influenza virus in vitro and in vivo. We have demonstrated that a few of residues in PB1 and PB2 are critical for the phenotypes of live attenuated, temperature sensitive influenza viruses by minigenome assay and real-time PCR. The information of these mutation loci could be used for elucidation of mechanism of temperature-sensitive attenuation and as a new strategy for influenza vaccine development.
The activation of innate immunity by various factors (e.g., lipopolysaccharide and complements) plays an important role in initiating and promoting alcoholic liver injury via the stimulation of Kupffer cells to induce oxidative stress and to produce pro-inflammatory cytokines (e.g., tumor necrosis factor [TNF]-α) that cause hepatocellular damage. Accumulating evidence suggests that the activation of innate immunity also stimulates Kupffer cells to produce the hepatoprotective cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) and the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 during alcoholic liver injury. IL-6 protects against alcoholic liver injury via the activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) and the subsequent induction of a variety of hepatoprotective genes in hepatocytes. IL-10 inhibits alcoholic liver inflammation via the activation of STAT3 in Kupffer cells/macrophages and the subsequent inhibition of liver inflammation. Recent studies have suggested that IL-10 may play a dual role in controlling ethanol-induced steatosis and liver injury via the inhibition of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α, thereby ameliorating alcoholic liver injury, or via the inhibition of the hepatoprotective cytokine IL-6, thereby potentiating alcoholic liver injury. IL-22 is another important hepatoprotective cytokine that protects against acute and chronic alcoholic liver injury by binding to a complex composed of IL-10R2 and IL-22R receptor chains on the surfaces of hepatocytes. Finally, IL-22 treatment is a potential therapeutic option for treating severe forms of alcoholic liver disease because of its antioxidant, antiapoptotic, antisteatotic, proliferative, and antimicrobial effects, as well as the potential added benefit of few side effects.
IL-6; IL-10; IL-22; alcoholic liver disease
Obesity has been demonstrated to be associated with increased serum uric acid (SUA); however, little is known regarding the relationship between maximum weight, or maximum weight fluctuation, and uric acid concentration. Through retrospective means, we determined the association of maximum weight with SUA risk.
Data of 21,414 participants (8,630 males and 12,784 females) from the 2007-8 China National Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders Study were analyzed for parameters including lifestyle habits, biochemical blood analysis and self-reported maximum weight.
Elevated SUA subjects shared a cluster of demographic features. After adjustment for age, gender, education, smoking, drinking, physical activity, WHR, height, eGFR(evaluate glomerular filtration rate), and diuretic usage, multivariate logistic regression models demonstrated maximum weight was associated with increased risk of elevated SUA level (P<0.001). Duration of maximum weight was related with decreased risk of elevated SUA level (P<0.001). There was a significant correlation between time of weight loss and risk of increased SUA level reduction (P<0.001). Furthermore, our data indicated that the degree of weight loss from maximum weight was another important factor for the risk of increased SUA level reduction (P<0.001). Finally, ROC curve analysis revealed area under the curve was 0.661 (95% CI, 0.647-0.674), statistically significant for maximum weight association with hyperuricemia (P<0.001).
Maximum weight is a strong risk factor for increased uric acid level in the Chinese population, which might serve as a novel clinical indicator suggesting hyperuricemia. Controlling maximum weight, keeping weight to the appropriate range, and maintaining the stable weight may be conducive for decreasing risk of hyperuricemia.
Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is a major cause of chronic liver disease worldwide and can lead to fibrosis and cirrhosis. The latest surveillance report published by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism showed that liver cirrhosis was the 12th leading cause of death in the United States, with a total of 29,925 deaths in 2007, 48% of which were alcohol related. The spectrum of ALD includes simple steatosis, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis, and superimposed hepatocellular carcinoma. Early work on the pathogenesis of the disease focused on ethanol metabolism–associated oxidative stress and glutathione depletion, abnormal methionine metabolism, malnutrition, and production of endotoxins that activate Kupffer cells. We review findings from recent studies that have characterized specific intracellular signaling pathways, transcriptional factors, aspects of innate immunity, chemokines, epigenetic features, microRNAs, and stem cells that are associated with ALD, improving our understanding of its pathogenesis. Despite this progress, no targeted therapies are available. The cornerstone of treatment for alcoholic hepatitis remains as it was 40 years ago: abstinence, nutritional support, and corticosteroids. There is an urgent need to develop new pathophysiology-oriented therapies. Recent translational studies of human samples and animal models have identified promising therapeutic targets.
Alcohol Liver Disease; Innate Immunity; Adaptive Immunity; Cytokines; Inflammation
Alcoholic and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis are characterized by fatty liver plus inflammation. It is generally believed that steatosis promotes inflammation, while inflammation in turn aggregates steatosis. Thus, we hypothesized the deletion of interleukin-10 (IL-10), a key anti-inflammatory cytokine, exacerbates liver inflammation, steatosis, and hepatocellular damage in alcoholic and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease models that were achieved via feeding mice with a liquid diet containing 5% ethanol for 4 weeks or a high fat diet for 12 weeks, respectively. IL-10 knockout (IL-10−/−) mice and several other strains of genetically modified mice were generated and used. Compared to wild-type mice, IL-10−/− mice had greater liver inflammatory response with higher levels of IL-6 and hepatic signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) activation, but less steatosis and hepatocellular damage after alcohol or high fat diet feeding. An additional deletion of IL-6 or hepatic STAT3 restored steatosis and hepatocellular damage but further enhanced liver inflammatory response in IL-10−/− mice. In addition, the hepatic expression of SREBP1c and key downstream lipogenic proteins and enzymes in fatty acid synthesis were downregulated in IL-10−/− mice. Conversely, IL-10−/− mice displayed enhanced levels of phosphorylated AMPK and its downstream targets including phosphorylated ACC1 and CPT-1 in the liver. Such dysregulations were corrected in IL-10−/−IL-6−/− or IL-10−/−STAT3Hep−/− double knockout mice. In conclusion, IL-10−/− mice are prone to liver inflammatory response but resistant to steatosis and hepatocellular damage induced by ethanol or high fat diet feeding. Resistance to steatosis in these mice is attributable to elevation of inflammation-associated hepatic IL-6/STAT3 activation that subsequently downregulates lipogenic genes but upregulates fatty acid oxidation-associated genes in the liver.
STAT3; SREBP-1; ethanol; high fat diet; AMPK
The purpose of this study is to investigate the current status of metal pollution of the sediments from urban-stream, estuary and Jinzhou Bay of the coastal industrial city, NE China. Forty surface sediment samples from river, estuary and bay and one sediment core from Jinzhou bay were collected and analyzed for heavy metal concentrations of Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd, Ni and Mn. The data reveals that there was a remarkable change in the contents of heavy metals among the sampling sediments, and all the mean values of heavy metal concentration were higher than the national guideline values of marine sediment quality of China (GB 18668-2002). This is one of the most polluted of the world’s impacted coastal systems. Both the correlation analyses and geostatistical analyses showed that Cu, Zn, Pb and Cd have a very similar spatial pattern and come from the industrial activities, and the concentration of Mn mainly caused by natural factors. The estuary is the most polluted area with extremely high potential ecological risk; however the contamination decreased with distance seaward of the river estuary. This study clearly highlights the urgent need to make great efforts to control the industrial emission and the exceptionally severe heavy metal pollution in the coastal area, and the immediate measures should be carried out to minimize the rate of contamination, and extent of future pollution problems.
Interleukin 22 (IL-22), which acts as either a pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory cytokine in various disease models, is markedly upregulated in chronic liver diseases, including hepatitis B and C. In this report, we demonstrate a strong correlation between IL-22 expression in the liver with active, inflammatory human liver disease. To clarify the role of IL-22 upregulation in the pathogenesis of liver diseases, liver specific IL-22 transgenic (IL-22TG) mice, under the control of albumin promoter, were developed. Despite elevated IL-22 serum levels ranging from 4000 to 7000 pg/ml, IL-22TG mice developed normally without obvious adverse phenotypes or evidence of chronic inflammation except slightly thicker epidermis and minor inflammation in the skin compared with wild-type mice. Most interestingly, IL-22TG mice were completely resistant to Concanavalin A-induced T cell hepatitis with minimal effect on liver inflammation and had accelerated liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy. Although they did not spontaneously develop liver tumors, IL-22TG mice were more susceptible to diethylnitrosamine-induced liver cancer. Microarray analyses revealed that a variety of anti-oxidant, mitogenic, acute phase genes were upregulated in the livers from IL-22TG mice compared with those from wild-type mice. These findings indicate that localized production of IL-22 in the liver promotes hepatocyte survival and proliferation but primes the liver to be more susceptible to tumor development without significantly affecting liver inflammation.
IL-22; transgenic mice; liver; cancer