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author:("mcmahon, Sara")
1.  sRAGE Induces Human Monocyte Survival and Differentiation 
The receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) is produced either as a transmembrane or soluble form (sRAGE). Substantial evidence supports a role for RAGE and its ligands in disease. sRAGE is reported to be a competitive, negative regulator of membrane RAGE activation, inhibiting ligand binding. However, some reports indicate that sRAGE is associated with inflammatory disease. We sought to define the biological function of sRAGE on inflammatory cell recruitment, survival, and differentiation in vivo and in vitro. To test the in vivo impact of sRAGE, the recombinant protein was intratracheally administered to mice, which demonstrated monocyte- and neutrophil-mediated lung inflammation. We also observed that sRAGE induced human monocyte and neutrophil migration in vitro. Human monocytes treated with sRAGE produced proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Our data demonstrated that sRAGE directly bound human monocytes and monocyte-derived macrophages. Binding of sRAGE to monocytes promoted their survival and differentiation to macrophages. Furthermore, sRAGE binding to cells increased during maturation, which was similar in freshly isolated mouse monocytes compared with mature tissue macrophages. Because sRAGE activated cell survival and differentiation, we examined intracellular pathways that were activated by sRAGE. In primary human monocytes and macrophages, sRAGE treatment activated Akt, Erk, and NF-κB, and their activation appeared to be critical for cell survival and differentiation. Our data suggest a novel role for sRAGE in monocyte- and neutrophil-mediated inflammation and mononuclear phagocyte survival and differentiation.
PMCID: PMC3671884  PMID: 20574008
2.  Transcription Factor ets-2 Plays an Important Role in the Pathogenesis of Pulmonary Fibrosis 
Ets-2 is a ubiquitous transcription factor activated after phosphorylation at threonine-72. Previous studies highlighted the importance of phosphorylated ets-2 in lung inflammation and extracellular matrix remodeling, two pathways involved in pulmonary fibrosis. We hypothesized that phosphorylated ets-2 played an important role in pulmonary fibrosis, and we sought to determine the role of ets-2 in its pathogenesis. We challenged ets-2 (A72/A72) transgenic mice (harboring a mutated form of ets-2 at phosphorylation site threonine-72) and ets-2 (wild-type/wild-type [WT/WT]) control mice with sequential intraperitoneal injections of bleomycin, followed by quantitative measurements of lung fibrosis and inflammation and primary cell in vitro assays. Concentrations of phosphorylated ets-2 were detected via the single and dual immunohistochemical staining of murine lungs and lung sections from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Ets-2 (A72/A72) mice were protected from bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis, compared with ets-2 (WT/WT) mice. This protection was characterized by decreased lung pathological abnormalities and the fibrotic gene expression of Type I collagen, Type III collagen, α–smooth muscle actin, and connective tissue growth factor. Immunohistochemical staining of lung sections from bleomycin-treated ets-2 (WT/WT) mice and from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis demonstrated increased staining of phosphorylated ets-2 that colocalized with Type I collagen expression and to fibroblastic foci. Lastly, primary lung fibroblasts from ets-2 (A72/A72) mice exhibited decreased expression of Type I collagen in response to stimulation with TGF-β, compared with fibroblasts from ets-2 (WT/WT) mice. These data indicate the importance of phosphorylated ets-2 in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis through the expression of Type I collagen and (myo)fibroblast activation.
PMCID: PMC3262682  PMID: 21562315
ets-2; Type I collagen; pulmonary fibrosis; bleomycin; fibroblast
3.  Thrombospondin-1 Contributes to Mortality in Murine Sepsis through Effects on Innate Immunity 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(5):e19654.
Thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) is involved in many biological processes, including immune and tissue injury response, but its role in sepsis is unknown. Cell surface expression of TSP-1 on platelets is increased in sepsis and could activate the anti-inflammatory cytokine transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ1) affecting outcome. Because of these observations we sought to determine the importance of TSP-1 in sepsis.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We performed studies on TSP-1 null and wild type (WT) C57BL/6J mice to determine the importance of TSP-1 in sepsis. We utilized the cecal ligation puncture (CLP) and intraperitoneal E.coli injection (IP E.coli) models of peritoneal sepsis. Additionally, bone-marrow-derived macrophages (BMMs) were used to determine phagocytic activity. TSP-1−/− animals experienced lower mortality than WT mice after CLP. Tissue and peritoneal lavage TGFβ1 levels were unchanged between animals of each genotype. In addition, there is no difference between the levels of major innate cytokines between the two groups of animals. PLF from WT mice contained a greater bacterial load than TSP-1−/− mice after CLP. The survival advantage for TSP-1−/− animals persisted when IP E.coli injections were performed. TSP-1−/− BMMs had increased phagocytic capacity compared to WT.
TSP-1 deficiency was protective in two murine models of peritoneal sepsis, independent of TGFβ1 activation. Our studies suggest TSP-1 expression is associated with decreased phagocytosis and possibly bacterial clearance, leading to increased peritoneal inflammation and mortality in WT mice. These data support the contention that TSP-1 should be more fully explored in the human condition.
PMCID: PMC3090410  PMID: 21573017
4.  Important Roles for Macrophage Colony-stimulating Factor, CC Chemokine Ligand 2, and Mononuclear Phagocytes in the Pathogenesis of Pulmonary Fibrosis 
Rationale: An increase in the number of mononuclear phagocytes in lung biopsies from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) worsens prognosis. Chemokines that recruit mononuclear phagocytes, such as CC chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2), are elevated in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid (BALF) from patients with IPF. However, little attention is given to the role of the mononuclear phagocyte survival and recruitment factor, macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF), in pulmonary fibrosis.
Objectives: To investigate the role of mononuclear phagocytes and M-CSF in pulmonary fibrosis.
Methods: Wild-type, M-CSF−/−, or CCL2−/− mice received intraperitoneal bleomycin. Lung inflammation and fibrosis were measured by immunohistochemistry, ELISA, collagen assay, BAL differentials, real-time polymerase chain reaction, and Western blot analysis. Human and mouse macrophages were stimulated with M-CSF for CCL2 expression. BALF from patients with IPF was examined for M-CSF and CCL2.
Measurements and Main Results: M-CSF−/− and CCL2−/− mice had less lung fibrosis, mononuclear phagocyte recruitment, collagen deposition, and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) expression after bleomycin administration than wild-type littermates. Human and mouse macrophages stimulated with M-CSF had increased CCL2 production, and intratracheal administration of M-CSF in mice induced CCL2 production in BALF. Finally, BALF from patients with IPF contained significantly more M-CSF and CCL2 than BALF from normal volunteers. Elevated levels of M-CSF were associated with elevated CCL2 in BALF and the diagnosis of IPF.
Conclusions: These data suggest that M-CSF contributes to the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis in mice and in patients with IPF through the involvement of mononuclear phagocytes and CCL2 production.
PMCID: PMC2049062  PMID: 17431224
bleomycin; CC chemokine ligand 2; macrophage colony-stimulating factor; mononuclear phagocytes; pulmonary fibrosis
5.  Latency Associated Peptide Has In Vitro and In Vivo Immune Effects Independent of TGF-β1 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(4):e1914.
Latency Associated Peptide (LAP) binds TGF-β1, forming a latent complex. Currently, LAP is presumed to function only as a sequestering agent for active TGF-β1. Previous work shows that LAP can induce epithelial cell migration, but effects on leukocytes have not been reported. Because of the multiplicity of immunologic processes in which TGF-β1 plays a role, we hypothesized that LAP could function independently to modulate immune responses. In separate experiments we found that LAP promoted chemotaxis of human monocytes and blocked inflammation in vivo in a murine model of the delayed-type hypersensitivity response (DTHR). These effects did not involve TGF-β1 activity. Further studies revealed that disruption of specific LAP-thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) interactions prevented LAP-induced responses. The effect of LAP on DTH inhibition depended on IL-10. These data support a novel role for LAP in regulating monocyte trafficking and immune modulation.
PMCID: PMC2288562  PMID: 18392110

Results 1-5 (5)