Although the main regulators of leukocyte trafficking are chemokines, another family of chemotactic agents is cyclophilins. Intracellular cyclophilins function as peptidyl-protyl cis-trans isomerases and are targets of the immunosuppressive drug, cyclosporine A (CsA). Cyclophilins can also be secreted in response to stress factors, with elevated levels of extracellular cyclophilins detected in several inflammatory diseases. Extracellular cyclophilins are known to have potent chemotactic properties, suggesting they might contribute to inflammatory responses by recruiting leukocytes into tissues. The objective of the current study was to determine the impact of blocking cyclophilin activity using a cell-impermeable derivative of CsA, MM218, to specifically target extracellular pools of cyclophilins. We show that treatment with this compound in a mouse model of allergic lung inflammation: 1) demonstrates up to 80% reduction in inflammation, 2) directly inhibits the recruitment of antigen-specific CD4+ T cells, and 3) works equally well when delivered at 100-fold lower doses to the airways. Our findings suggest that cell-impermeable analogs of CsA can effectively reduce inflammatory responses by targeting leukocyte recruitment mediated by extracellular cyclophilins. Specifically blocking the extracellular function(s) of cyclophilins may provide a novel approach for inhibiting the recruitment of one of the principal immune regulators of allergic lung inflammation, antigen-specific CD4+ T cells, into inflamed airways and lungs.
Allergic asthma is characterized by acute influxes of proinflammatory leukocytes in response to allergen stimulation, followed by quiescent (chronic) periods between allergen challenges, during which sustained, low-level inflammation is evident. These chronic phases of disease are thought to be mediated by populations of leukocytes persisting within airways and tissues. The lack of any in situ proliferation by these cells, along with their limited lifespan, suggests that a continual recruitment of leukocytes from the circulation is needed to maintain disease chronicity. The mechanisms regulating this persistent recruitment of leukocytes are unknown. Although classic leukocyte-attracting chemokines are highly elevated after acute allergen challenge, they return to baseline levels within 24 hours, and remain close to undetectable during the chronic phase. In the present study, we investigated whether an alternative family of chemoattractants, namely, extracellular cyclophilins, might instead play a role in regulating the recruitment and persistence of leukocytes during chronic asthma, because their production is known to be more sustained during inflammatory responses. Using a new murine model of chronic allergic asthma, elevated concentrations of extracellular cyclophilin A, but not classic chemokines, were indeed detected during the chronic phase of asthma. Furthermore, blocking the activity of cyclophilins during this phase reduced the number of persisting leukocytes by up to 80%. This reduction was also associated with a significant inhibition of acute disease reactivation upon subsequent allergen challenge. These findings suggest that blocking the function of cyclophilins during the chronic phase of asthma may provide a novel therapeutic strategy for regulating disease chronicity and severity.
chronic asthma; cyclophilins; cyclosporine A; NIM811
Chemokines contribute to inflammatory responses by inducing leukocyte migration and extravasation. In addition, chemoattractants other than classical chemokines can also be present. Many chemokines have been demonstrated to cooperate, leading to an augmentation in leukocyte recruitment and providing a potential role for the presence of multiple chemoattractants. Extracellular cyclophilins are a group of alternative chemotactic factors, which can be highly elevated during various inflammatory responses and, as we have previously shown, can contribute significantly to neutrophil recruitment in an animal model of acute lung inflammation. In the current studies we investigated whether the most abundant extracellular cyclophilin, CypA, has the capacity to function in partnership with 2 classical chemokines known to be secreted in the same model, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-2/CXCL2 and keratinocyte chemoattractant (KC)/CXCL1.
Neutrophil migration in response to combinations of CypA and MIP-2 or CypA and KC was measured by in vitro chemotaxis assays. Biochemical responses of neutrophils incubated with the combinations of chemoattractants were determined by changes in chemokine receptor internalization and actin polymerization measured by flow cytometry, and changes in intracellular calcium mobilization measured with a calcium sensitive fluorochrome.
A combination of CypA and MIP-2, but not KC, augmented neutrophil migration. Based on the level of augmentation, the cooperation between CypA and MIP-2 appeared to be synergistic. Evidence that CypA and MIP-2 cooperate at the biochemical level was demonstrated by increases in receptor internalization, calcium mobilization, and actin polymerization.
These findings provide evidence for the capacity of extracellular cyclophilins to interact with classical chemokines, resulting in greater and more efficient leukocyte recruitment.
chemokine; chemotaxis; inflammation
The main regulators of leukocyte trafficking during inflammatory responses are chemokines. However, another class of recently identified chemotactic agents is extracellular cyclophilins, the proteins mostly known as receptors for the immunosuppressive drug, cyclosporine A. Cyclophilins can induce leukocyte chemotaxis in vitro and have been detected at elevated levels in inflamed tissues, suggesting that they might contribute to inflammatory responses. We recently identified CD147 as the main signaling receptor for cyclophilin A. In the current study we examined the contribution of cyclophilin-CD147 interactions to inflammatory responses in vivo using a mouse model of acute lung injury. Blocking cyclophilin-CD147 interactions by targeting CD147 (using anti-CD147 Ab) or cyclophilin (using nonimmunosuppressive cyclosporine A analog) reduced tissue neutrophilia by up to 50%, with a concurrent decrease in tissue pathology. These findings are the first to demonstrate the significant contribution of cyclophilins to inflammatory responses and provide a potentially novel approach for reducing inflammation-mediated diseases.
Antigen exposure via airway epithelia is often associated with a failure to prime or with the preferential priming of Th2 cells. We previously reported that the intranasal delivery of a Th1-inducing antigen promoted Th2-dominated responses, rather than the expected Th1 responses. Thus, we proposed that when pulmonary T cell priming is induced, the lung microenvironment might intrinsically favor the generation of Th2 types of responses. To establish a potential mechanism for such preferential priming, we examined the initial interactions between antigens and resident antigen-presenting cells (APCs) within the lung. We show that intranasally delivered antigens are preferentially taken up and can be presented to antigen-specific T cells by a resident population of CD11cbright APCs. Most of these antigen-loaded APCs remained within lung tissues, and migration into secondary lymphoid organs was not crucial for T cell priming to occur within the pulmonary tract. Furthermore, these pulmonary APCs demonstrated a marked expression of IL-6 and IL-10 within hours of antigen uptake, suggesting that resident tissue APCs have the capacity to promote Th2 T cell differentiation in situ.
Airborne hexavalent chromate, Cr(VI), has been identified by the Environmental Protection Agency as a possible health threat in urban areas, due to the carcinogenic potential of some of its forms. Particulate chromates are produced in many different industrial settings, with high levels of aerosolized forms historically documented. Along with an increased risk of lung cancer, a high incidence of allergic asthma has been reported in workers exposed to certain inhaled particulate Cr(VI) compounds. However, a direct causal association between Cr(VI) and allergic asthma has not been established. We recently showed that inhaled particulate Cr(VI) induces an innate neutrophilic inflammatory response in BALB/c mice. In the current studies we investigated how the inflammation induced by inhaled particulate Cr(VI) might alter the pathology of an allergic asthmatic response. We used a well-established mouse model of allergic asthma. Groups of ovalbumin protein (OVA)-primed mice were challenged either with OVA alone, or with a combination of OVA and particulate zinc chromate, and various parameters associated with asthmatic responses were measured. Co-exposure to particulate Cr(VI) and OVA mediated a mixed form of asthma in which both eosinophils and neutrophils are present in airways, tissue pathology is markedly exacerbated, and airway hyperresponsiveness is significantly increased. Taken together these findings suggest that inhalation of particulate forms of Cr(VI) may augment the severity of ongoing allergic asthma, as well as alter its phenotype. Such findings may have implications for asthmatics in settings in which airborne particulate Cr(VI) compounds are present at high levels.
hexavalent chromium; asthma; inflammation; lung
Cyclophilins belong to the enzyme class of peptidyl prolyl cis/trans isomerases which catalyze the cis/trans isomerization of prolyl bonds in peptides and proteins in different folding states. Cyclophilins have been shown to be involved in a multitude of cellular functions like cell growth, proliferation, and motility. Among the 20 human cyclophilin isoenzymes, the two most abundant members of the cyclophilin family CypA and CypB exhibit specific cellular functions in several inflammatory diseases, cancer development and HCV replication. A small-molecule inhibitor on the basis of aryl 1-indanylketones has now been shown to discriminate between CypA and CypB in vitro. CypA binding of this inhibitor has been characterized by fluorescence anisotropy- and isothermal titration calorimetry-based cyclosporin competition assays. Inhibition of CypA- but not CypB-mediated chemotaxis of mouse CD4+ T cells by the inhibitor provided biological proof of discrimination in vivo.
cyclophilin; PPIase; inhibition; chemotaxis
Extracellular cyclophilins have been well described as chemotactic factors for various leukocyte subsets. This chemotactic capacity is dependent upon interaction of cyclophilins with the cell surface signaling receptor CD147. Elevated levels of extracellular cyclophilins have been documented in several inflammatory diseases. We propose that extracellular cyclophilins, via interaction with CD147, may contribute to the recruitment of leukocytes from the periphery into tissues during inflammatory responses. In this study, we examined whether extracellular cyclophilin-CD147 interactions might influence leukocyte recruitment in the inflammatory disease allergic asthma. Using a mouse model of asthmatic inflammation, we show that 1) extracellular cyclophilins are elevated in the airways of asthmatic mice; 2) mouse eosinophils and CD4+ T cells express CD147, which is up-regulated on CD4+ T cells upon activation; 3) cyclophilins induce CD147-dependent chemotaxis of activated CD4+ T cells in vitro; 4) in vivo treatment with anti-CD147 mAb significantly reduces (by up to 50%) the accumulation of eosinophils and effector/memory CD4+ T lymphocytes, as well as Ag-specific Th2 cytokine secretion, in lung tissues; and 5) anti-CD147 treatment significantly reduces airway epithelial mucin production and bronchial hyperreactivity to methacholine challenge. These findings provide a novel mechanism whereby asthmatic lung inflammation may be reduced by targeting cyclophilin-CD147 interactions.
The recruitment and trafficking of leukocytes are essential aspects of the inflammatory process. Although chemokines are thought to be the main regulators of cell trafficking, extracellular cyclophilins have been shown recently to have potent chemoattracting properties for human leukocytes. Cyclophilins are secreted by a variety of cell types and are detected at high levels in tissues with ongoing inflammation. CD147 has been identified as the main signaling receptor for cyclophilin A (CypA) on human leukocytes. It is interesting that the expression of CD147 is elevated on leukocytes from inflamed tissue, suggesting a correlation among the presence of extracellular cyclophilins, CD147 expression, and inflammatory responses. Thus, cyclophilin-CD147 interactions may contribute directly to the recruitment of leukocytes into inflamed tissues. In the current studies, we show that activated human T lymphocytes express elevated levels of CD147, compared with resting T cells and that these activated T cells migrate more readily to CypA than resting cells. Furthermore, we show that unlike resting CD4+ T cells, the cyclophilin-mediated migration of activated T cells does not require interaction with heparan sulfate receptors but instead, is dependent on CD147 interaction alone. Such findings suggest that cyclophilin-CD147 interactions will be most potent when leukocytes are in an activated state, for example, during inflammatory responses. Thus, targeting cyclophilin-CD147 interactions may provide a novel approach for alleviating tissue inflammation.
Chronic inflammation is implicated in the development of several human cancers, including lung cancer. Certain particulate hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] compounds are well-documented human respiratory carcinogens that release genotoxic soluble chromate and are associated with fibrosis, fibrosarcomas, adenocarcinomas, and squamous cell carcinomas of the lung. Despite this, little is known about the pathologic injury and immune responses after repetitive exposure to particulate chromates.
In this study we investigated the lung injury, inflammation, proliferation, and survival signaling responses after repetitive exposure to particulate chromate.
BALB/c mice were repetitively treated with particulate basic zinc chromate or saline using an intranasal exposure regimen. We assessed lungs for Cr(VI)-induced changes by bronchoalveolar lavage, histologic examination, and immunohistochemistry.
Single exposure to Cr(VI) resulted in inflammation of lung tissue that persists for up to 21 days. Repetitive Cr(VI) exposure induced a neutrophilic inflammatory airway response 24 hr after each treatment. Neutrophils were subsequently replaced by increasing numbers of macrophages by 5 days after treatment. Repetitive Cr(VI) exposure induced chronic peribronchial inflammation with alveolar and interstitial pneumonitis dominated by lymphocytes and macrophages. Moreover, chronic toxic mucosal injury was observed and accompanied by increased airway pro-matrix metalloprotease-9. Injury and inflammation correlated with airways becoming immunoreactive for phosphorylation of the survival signaling protein Akt and the proliferation marker Ki-67. We observed a reactive proliferative response in epithelial cells lining airways of chromate-exposed animals.
These data illustrate that repetitive exposure to particulate chromate induces chronic injury and an inflammatory microenvironment that may promote Cr(VI) carcinogenesis.
chromium; hexavalent; inflammation; injury; intranasal; lung; proliferation; repair
Leukocyte recruitment to sites of infection or inflammation requires multiple adhesive events. While numerous players promoting leukocyte-endothelial interactions have been characterized, functionally important endogenous inhibitors of leukocyte adhesion have not been identified. Here, we describe the endothelial-derived secreted molecule, developmental endothelial locus-1 (Del-1), as an anti-adhesive factor that interferes with the integrin LFA-1-dependent leukocyte-endothelial adhesion. Endothelial Del-1-deficiency increased LFA-1-dependent leukocyte adhesion in vitro and in vivo. Del-1-/-mice displayed significantly higher neutrophil accumulation in LPS-induced lung inflammation in vivo, which was reversed in Del-1/LFA-1-double deficient mice. Thus, Del-1 is an endogenous inhibitor of inflammatory cell recruitment and could provide a basis for targeting leukocyte-endothelial interactions in disease.
The impact of the interaction between excreted and/or secreted (ES) Necator americanus products and NK cells from Necator-infected individuals was analyzed. We investigated the binding of ES products to NK cells, the expression of NK cell receptors (CD56, CD159a/NKG2A, CD314/NKG2D, CD335/NKp46, and KLRF1/NKp80), the frequency of gamma interferon (IFN-γ)-producing NK cells after whole-blood in vitro stimulation, and the capacity of N. americanus ES products to induce NK cell chemotaxis. In contrast to those from noninfected individuals, NK cells from Necator-infected individuals demonstrated no binding with N. americanus ES products. This phenomenon was not due to alterations in NK cell receptor expression in infected subjects and could not be reproduced with NK cells from uninfected individuals by incubation with immunoregulatory cytokines (interleukin-10/transforming growth factor β). Further, we found that a significantly greater percentage of NK cells from infected subjects than NK cells from uninfected individuals spontaneously produced IFN-γ upon ex vivo culture. Our findings support a model whereby NK cells from Necator-infected individuals may interact with ES products, making these cells refractory to binding with exogenous ES products. During N. americanus infection, human NK cells are attracted to the site of infection by chemotactic ES products produced by adult Necator worms in the gut mucosa. Binding of ES products causes the NK cells to become activated and secrete IFN-γ locally, thereby contributing to the adult hookworm's ability to evade host immune responses.
The L3-secreted Ancylostoma Secreted Protein-2 from the human hookworm Necator americanus (Na-ASP-2) has been selected as a candidate vaccine antigen in anticipation of clinical trials. Its crystal structure revealed that Na-ASP-2 has structural and charge similarities to CC-chemokines, suggesting that it might act as a chemokine mimic when released by the infective larvae during tissue migration. Using the air pouch model of acute inflammation, we found that Na-ASP-2 induced a significant leukocyte influx to the skin pouch, mostly comprised of neutrophils (60%) and monocytes (30%) that was transient and resolved in 24 h. Other hookworm larval proteins did not cause any inflammatory leukocytes to migrate into air pouches. In vitro chemotaxis assays confirmed our results and demonstrated that leukocyte migration was a direct effect of Na-ASP-2 exposure and not caused by other molecules released by host cells in the inflammatory microenvironment or by the expression vector.
Na-ASP-2; neutrophils; chemotaxis; vaccine; Necator americanus; air pouch; nematode
Sepsis-induced multi-organ failure continues to have a high mortality. The liver is an organ central to the disease pathogenesis. The objective of this study was to identify the liver proteins that change in abundance with sepsis and, therefore, identify new drug targets.
Proteomic discovery study and drug target validation
Research institute laboratory
Three month old C57BL/6 mice
We used a mouse model of sepsis based on cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) but with fluid and antibiotic resuscitation. Liver proteins that changed in abundance were identified by difference in-gel electrophoresis (DIGE). We compared liver proteins from 6 hr post-CLP to sham-operated mice (‘early proteins’) and 24 hr post-CLP with 6 hr post-CLP (‘late proteins’). Proteins that changed in abundance were identified by tandem mass spectrometry. We then inhibited the receptor for one protein and determined the effect on sepsis-induced organ dysfunction.
The liver proteins that changed in abundance after sepsis had a range of functions such as acute phase proteins, coagulation, ER stress, oxidative stress, apoptosis, mitochondrial proteins and nitric oxide metabolism. We found that cyclophilin increased in abundance after CLP. When the receptor for this protein, CD147, was inhibited sepsis-induced renal dysfunction was reduced. There was also a significant reduction in serum cytokine production when CD147 was inhibited.
By applying proteomics to a clinically relevant mouse model of sepsis we identified a number of novel proteins that changed in abundance. The inhibition of the receptor for one of these proteins, cyclophilin, attenuated sepsis-induced acute renal failure. The application of proteomics to sepsis research can facilitate the discovery of new therapeutic targets.
MyD88 is a common Toll-like receptor (TLR) adaptor molecule found to be essential for induction of adaptive Th1 immunity. Conversely, innate control of adaptive Th2 immunity has been shown to occur in a MyD88-independent manner. In this study, we show that MyD88 is an essential innate component in the induction of TLR4-dependent Th2 responses to intranasal antigen; thus we demonstrate what we believe to be a novel role for MyD88 in pulmonary Th2 immunity. Induction of the MyD88-independent type I IFN response to LPS is defective in the pulmonary environment. Moreover, in the absence of MyD88, LPS-induced upregulation of costimulatory molecule expression on pulmonary DCs is defective, in contrast to what has been observed with bone marrow–derived DCs (BMDCs). Reconstitution of Th2 responses occurs upon adoptive pulmonary transfer of activated BMDCs to MyD88-deficient recipients. Furthermore, the dependence of Th2 responses on MyD88 is governed by the initial route of antigen exposure; this demonstrates what we believe are novel site-specific innate mechanisms for control of adaptive Th2 immunity.
An ideal vaccine delivery system would elicit persistent protection following a single administration, preferably by a noninvasive route, and be safe even in the face of immunosuppression, either inherited or acquired, of the recipient. We have exploited the unique life cycle of the autonomous parvoviruses to develop a nonproliferating vaccine platform that appears to both induce priming and continually boost a protective immune response following a single inoculation. A crippled parvovirus vector was constructed, based on a chimera between minute virus of mice (MVM) and LuIII, which expresses Borrelia burgdorferi outer surface protein A (OspA) instead of its coat protein. The vector was packaged into an MVM lymphotropic capsid and inoculated into naive C3H/HeNcr mice. Vaccination with a single vector dose, either intravenously or intranasally, elicited high-titer anti-OspA-specific antibody that provided protection from live spirochete challenge and was sustained over the lifetime of the animal. Both humoral and cell-mediated Th1 immunity was induced, as shown by anti-OspA immunoglobulin G2a antibody and preferential gamma interferon production by OspA-specific CD4+ T cells.
Recently, a role for B cells in the pathogenesis associated with infection by Leishmania (Leishmania mexicana complex and L. donovani) has been established. In the case of L. mexicana complex parasites (L. mexicana, L. pifanoi, and L. amazonensis), a critical role for immunoglobulin G-mediated mechanisms for the amastigote stage in the host is evident; however, the immunological mechanisms involved remain to be established. In vitro analysis of the kinetics of parasite uptake by macrophages failed to indicate a major effect of antibody opsonization. Given the importance of CD4+ T cells in the development of disease caused by these parasites, the possibility that the lack of pathogenesis was due to the lack of development of an immune response at the local site (draining lymph node and/or cutaneous site) was explored. Interestingly, the level of CD4+-T-cell activation (proliferation and cytokine) in draining lymph nodes from mice lacking circulating antibody (resistant) was found to be comparable to that in nodes from wild-type mice (susceptible) at 2, 5, and 10 weeks postinfection. However, antibody-deficient animals had markedly reduced numbers of monocytes and lymphocytes recruited or retained at the site of cutaneous infection in comparison to wild-type mice, indicating a selective impairment in the local cutaneous immune response. In vitro antigen presentation studies employing tissue-derived (opsonized) amastigotes demonstrated that L. pifanoi-infected FcR−/− macrophages, in contrast to comparably infected wild-type cells, failed to activate Leishmania antigen-specific T lymphocytes. These data, taken together, suggest that one possible mechanism for the role of antibody in pathogenesis may be to mediate parasite uptake and regulate the immune response at the local cutaneous site of infection.
We show here that maintenance of Leishmania infections with Leishmania mexicana complex parasites (Leishmania amazonensis and Leishmania pifanoi) is impaired in the absence of circulating antibody. In these studies, we used mice genetically altered to contain no circulating antibody, with and without functional B cells. This experimental design allowed us to rule out a critical role for B cell antigen presentation in Leishmania pathogenesis. In addition, we show that mice lacking the common γ chain of Fc receptors (FcγRI, FcεRI, and FcγRIII) are similarly refractory to infection with these parasites. These observations establish a critical role for antibody in the pathogenesis associated with infection by members of the L. mexicana complex.
Leishmania; Fc receptor ; pathogenesis ; antigen presentation ; infection
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition of the lower respiratory tract associated with airway hyperreactivity and mucus obstruction in which a majority of cases are due to an allergic response to environmental allergens. Glucocorticoids such as prednisone have been standard treatment for many inflammatory diseases for the past 60 years. However, despite their effectiveness, long-term treatment is often limited by adverse side effects believed to be caused by glucocorticoid receptor-mediated gene transcription. This has led to the pursuit of compounds that retain the anti-inflammatory properties yet lack the adverse side effects associated with traditional glucocorticoids. We have developed a novel series of steroidal analogues (VBP compounds) that have been previously shown to maintain anti-inflammatory properties such as NFκB-inhibition without inducing glucocorticoid receptor-mediated gene transcription. This study was undertaken to determine the effectiveness of the lead compound, VBP15, in a mouse model of allergic lung inflammation. We show that VBP15 is as effective as the traditional glucocorticoid, prednisolone, at reducing three major hallmarks of lung inflammation—NFκB activity, leukocyte degranulation, and pro-inflammatory cytokine release from human bronchial epithelial cells obtained from patients with asthma. Moreover, we found that VBP15 is capable of reducing inflammation of the lung in vivo to an extent similar to that of prednisone. We found that prednisolone–but not VBP15 shortens the tibia in mice upon a 5 week treatment regimen suggesting effective dissociation of side effects from efficacy. These findings suggest that VBP15 may represent a potent and safer alternative to traditional glucocorticoids in the treatment of asthma and other inflammatory diseases.
Previous work from our laboratory demonstrated that IL-4Rα expression on a myeloid cell type was responsible for enhancement of Th2-driven eosinophilic inflammation in a mouse model of allergic lung inflammation. Subsequently, we have shown that IL-4 signaling through type I IL-4 receptors on monocytes/macrophages strongly induced activation of the IRS-2 pathway and a subset of genes characteristic of alternatively activated macrophages. The direct effect(s) of IL-4 and IL-13 on mouse eosinophils are not clear. The goal of this study was determine the effect of IL-4 and IL-13 on mouse eosinophil function.
Standard Transwell chemotaxis assay was used to assay migration of mouse eosinophils and signal transduction was assessed by Western blotting.
Here we determined that (i) mouse eosinophils express both type I and type II IL-4 receptors, (ii) in contrast to human eosinophils, mouse eosinophils do not chemotax to IL-4 or IL-13 although (iii) pre-treatment with IL-4 but not IL-13 enhanced migration to eotaxin-1. This IL-4-mediated enhancement was dependent on type I IL-4 receptor expression: γC-deficient eosinophils did not show enhancement of migratory capacity when pre-treated with IL-4. In addition, mouse eosinophils responded to IL-4 with the robust tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT6 and IRS-2, while IL-13-induced responses were considerably weaker.
The presence of IL-4 in combination with eotaxin-1 in the allergic inflammatory milieu could potentiate infiltration of eosinophils into the lungs. Therapies that block IL-4 and chemokine receptors on eosinophils might be more effective clinically in reducing eosinophilic lung inflammation.
cell permeability; cyclophilin; cyclosporin; immunosuppression