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1.  β2-Adrenergic agonists augment air pollution–induced IL-6 release and thrombosis 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(7):2935-2946.
Acute exposure to particulate matter (PM) air pollution causes thrombotic cardiovascular events, leading to increased mortality rates; however, the link between PM and cardiovascular dysfunction is not completely understood. We have previously shown that the release of IL-6 from alveolar macrophages is required for a prothrombotic state and acceleration of thrombosis following exposure to PM. Here, we determined that PM exposure results in the systemic release of catecholamines, which engage the β2-adrenergic receptor (β2AR) on murine alveolar macrophages and augment the release of IL-6. In mice, β2AR signaling promoted the development of a prothrombotic state that was sufficient to accelerate arterial thrombosis. In primary human alveolar macrophages, administration of a β2AR agonist augmented IL-6 release, while the addition of a beta blocker inhibited PM-induced IL-6 release. Genetic loss or pharmacologic inhibition of the β2AR on murine alveolar macrophages attenuated PM-induced IL-6 release and prothrombotic state. Furthermore, exogenous β2AR agonist therapy further augmented these responses in alveolar macrophages through generation of mitochondrial ROS and subsequent increase of adenylyl cyclase activity. Together, these results link the activation of the sympathetic nervous system by β2AR signaling with metabolism, lung inflammation, and an enhanced susceptibility to thrombotic cardiovascular events.
doi:10.1172/JCI75157
PMCID: PMC4071386  PMID: 24865431
2.  Minimizing Oxidation and Stable Nanoscale Dispersion Improves the Biocompatibility of Graphene in the Lung 
Nano letters  2011;11(12):5201-5207.
To facilitate the proposed use of graphene and its derivative graphene oxide (GO) in widespread applications, we explored strategies that improve the biocompatibility of graphene nanomaterials in the lung. In particular, solutions of aggregated graphene, Pluronic dispersed graphene, and GO were administered directly into the lungs of mice. The introduction of GO resulted in severe and persistent lung injury. Furthermore, in cells, GO increased the rate of mitochondrial respiration and the generation of reactive oxygen species, activating inflammatory and apoptotic pathways. In contrast, this toxicity was significantly reduced in the case of pristine graphene after liquid phase exfoliation, and was further minimized when the unoxidized graphene was well-dispersed with the block copolymer Pluronic. Our results demonstrate that the covalent oxidation of graphene is a major contributor to its pulmonary toxicity and suggest that dispersion of pristine graphene in Pluronic provides a pathway for the safe handling and potential biomedical application of two-dimensional carbon nanomaterials.
doi:10.1021/nl202515a
PMCID: PMC3237757  PMID: 22023654
graphene; graphene oxide; biocompatibility; pluronic; poloxamer
3.  Leptin Promotes Fibroproliferative Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome by Inhibiting Peroxisome Proliferator–activated Receptor-γ 
Rationale: Diabetic patients have a lower incidence of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and those who develop ARDS are less likely to die. The mechanisms that underlie this protection are unknown.
Objectives: To determine whether leptin resistance, a feature of diabetes, prevents fibroproliferation after lung injury.
Methods: We examined lung injury and fibroproliferation after the intratracheal instillation of bleomycin in wild-type and leptin-resistant (db/db) diabetic mice. We examined the effect of leptin on transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1–mediated transcription in primary normal human lung fibroblasts. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BAL) samples from patients with ARDS and ventilated control subjects were obtained for measurement of leptin and active TGF-β1 levels.
Measurements and Main Results: Diabetic mice (db/db) were resistant to lung fibrosis. The db/db mice had higher levels of peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor-γ (PPARγ), an inhibitor of the transcriptional response to TGF-β1, a cytokine critical in the pathogenesis of fibroproliferative ARDS. In normal human lung fibroblasts, leptin augmented the transcription of profibrotic genes in response to TGF-β1 through a mechanism that required PPARγ. In patients with ARDS, BAL leptin levels were elevated and correlated with TGF-β1 levels. Overall, there was no significant relationship between BAL leptin levels and clinical outcomes; however, in nonobese patients, higher BAL leptin levels were associated with fewer intensive care unit– and ventilator-free days and higher mortality.
Conclusions: Leptin signaling is required for bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis. Leptin augments TGF-β1 signaling in lung fibroblasts by inhibiting PPARγ. These findings provide a mechanism for the observed protection against ARDS observed in diabetic patients.
doi:10.1164/rccm.201009-1409OC
PMCID: PMC3266063  PMID: 21317313
acute lung injury; fibrosis; lung; diabetes mellitus
8.  Alveolar Epithelial β2-Adrenergic Receptors 
β2-adrenergic receptors are present throughout the lung, including the alveolar airspace, where they play an important role for regulation of the active Na+ transport needed for clearance of excess fluid out of alveolar airspace. β2-adrenergic receptor signaling is required for up-regulation of alveolar epithelial active ion transport in the setting of excess alveolar edema. The positive, protective effects of β2-adrenergic receptor signaling on alveolar active Na+ transport in normal and injured lungs provide substantial support for the use of β-adrenergic agonists to accelerate alveolar fluid clearance in patients with cardiogenic and noncardiogenic pulmonary edema. In this review, we summarize the role of β2-adrenergic receptors in the alveolar epithelium with emphasis on their role in the regulation of alveolar active Na+ transport in normal and injured lungs.
doi:10.1165/rcmb.2007-0198TR
PMCID: PMC2214676  PMID: 17709598
pulmonary edema; acute respiratory distress syndrome; acute lung injury; alveoli; albuterol
9.  Leptin Resistance Protects Mice from Hyperoxia-induced Acute Lung Injury 
Rationale: Human data suggest that the incidence of acute lung injury is reduced in patients with type II diabetes mellitus. However, the mechanisms by which diabetes confers protection from lung injury are unknown.
Objectives: To determine whether leptin resistance, which is seen in humans with diabetes, protects mice from hyperoxic lung injury.
Methods: Wild-type (leptin responsive) and db/db (leptin resistant) mice were used in these studies. Mice were exposed to hyperoxia (100% O2) for 84 hours to induce lung injury and up to 168 hours for survival studies. Alveolar fluid clearance was measured in vivo.
Measurements and Main Results: Lung leptin levels were increased both in wild-type and leptin receptor–defective db/db mice after hyperoxia. Hyperoxia-induced lung injury was decreased in db/db compared with wild-type mice. Hyperoxia increased lung permeability in wild-type mice but not in db/db mice. Compared with wild-type control animals, db/db mice were resistant to hyperoxia-induced mortality (lethal dose for 50% of mice, 152 vs. 108 h). Intratracheal instillation of leptin at a dose that was observed in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid during hyperoxia caused lung injury in wild-type but not in db/db mice. Intratracheal pretreatment with a leptin receptor inhibitor attenuated leptin-induced lung edema. The hyperoxia-induced release of proinflammatory cytokines was attenuated in db/db mice. Despite resistance to lung injury, db/db mice had diminished alveolar fluid clearance and reduced Na,K-ATPase function compared with wild-type mice.
Conclusions: These results indicate that leptin can induce and that resistance to leptin attenuates hyperoxia-induced lung injury and hyperoxia-induced inflammatory cytokines in the lung.
doi:10.1164/rccm.200603-312OC
PMCID: PMC1899284  PMID: 17185651
alveolar fluid clearance; pulmonary edema; Na,K-ATPase; diabetes mellitus; oxygen
10.  Ambient particulate matter accelerates coagulation via an IL-6–dependent pathway 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2007;117(10):2952-2961.
The mechanisms by which exposure to particulate matter increases the risk of cardiovascular events are not known. Recent human and animal data suggest that particulate matter may induce alterations in hemostatic factors. In this study we determined the mechanisms by which particulate matter might accelerate thrombosis. We found that mice treated with a dose of well characterized particulate matter of less than 10 μM in diameter exhibited a shortened bleeding time, decreased prothrombin and partial thromboplastin times (decreased plasma clotting times), increased levels of fibrinogen, and increased activity of factor II, VIII, and X. This prothrombotic tendency was associated with increased generation of intravascular thrombin, an acceleration of arterial thrombosis, and an increase in bronchoalveolar fluid concentration of the prothrombotic cytokine IL-6. Knockout mice lacking IL-6 were protected against particulate matter–induced intravascular thrombin formation and the acceleration of arterial thrombosis. Depletion of macrophages by the intratracheal administration of liposomal clodronate attenuated particulate matter–induced IL-6 production and the resultant prothrombotic tendency. Our findings suggest that exposure to particulate matter triggers IL-6 production by alveolar macrophages, resulting in reduced clotting times, intravascular thrombin formation, and accelerated arterial thrombosis. These results provide a potential mechanism linking ambient particulate matter exposure and thrombotic events.
doi:10.1172/JCI30639
PMCID: PMC1978421  PMID: 17885684
11.  Wnt Coreceptor Lrp5 Is a Driver of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis 
Rationale: Wnt/β-catenin signaling has been implicated in lung fibrosis, but how this occurs and whether expression changes in Wnt pathway components predict disease progression is unknown.
Objectives: To determine whether the Wnt coreceptor Lrp5 drives pulmonary fibrosis in mice and is predictive of disease severity in humans.
Methods: We examined mice with impaired Wnt signaling caused by loss of the Wnt coreceptor Lrp5 in models of lung fibrosis induced by bleomycin or an adenovirus encoding an active form of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β. We also analyzed gene expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
Measurements and Main Results: In patients with IPF, analysis of peripheral blood mononuclear cells revealed that elevation of positive regulators, Lrp5 and 6, was independently associated with disease progression. LRP5 was also associated with disease severity at presentation in an additional cohort of patients with IPF. Lrp5 null mice were protected against bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis, an effect that was phenocopied by direct inhibition of β-catenin signaling by the small molecular inhibitor of β-catenin responsive transcription. Transplantation of Lrp5 null bone marrow cells into wild-type mice did not limit fibrosis. Instead, Lrp5 loss was associated with reduced TGF-β production by alveolar type 2 cells and leukocytes. Consistent with a role of Lrp5 in the activation of TGF-β, Lrp5 null mice were not protected against lung fibrosis induced by TGF-β.
Conclusions: We show that the Wnt coreceptor, Lrp5, is a genetic driver of lung fibrosis in mice and a marker of disease progression and severity in humans with IPF. Evidence that TGF-β signaling can override a loss in Lrp5 has implications for patient selection and timing of Wnt pathway inhibitors in lung fibrosis.
doi:10.1164/rccm.201401-0079OC
PMCID: PMC4226053  PMID: 24921217
lung fibrosis; Wnt/β-catenin signaling; peripheral blood mononuclear cell
12.  Nitric Oxide Prevents Alveolar Senescence and Emphysema in a Mouse Model 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(3):e0116504.
Nω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) treatment induces arteriosclerosis and vascular senescence. Here, we report that the systemic inhibition of nitric oxide (NO) production by L-NAME causes pulmonary emphysema. L-NAME-treated lungs exhibited both the structural (alveolar tissue destruction) and functional (increased compliance and reduced elastance) characteristics of emphysema development. Furthermore, we found that L-NAME-induced emphysema could be attenuated through both genetic deficiency and pharmacological inhibition of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1). Because PAI-1 is an important contributor to the development of senescence both in vitro and in vivo, we investigated whether L-NAME-induced senescence led to the observed emphysematous changes. We found that L-NAME treatment was associated with molecular and cellular evidence of premature senescence in mice, and that PAI-1 inhibition attenuated these increases. These findings indicate that NO serves to protect and defend lung tissue from physiological aging.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0116504
PMCID: PMC4355068  PMID: 25756287
13.  Flow Cytometric Analysis of Macrophages and Dendritic Cell Subsets in the Mouse Lung 
The lung hosts multiple populations of macrophages and dendritic cells, which play a crucial role in lung pathology. The accurate identification and enumeration of these subsets are essential for understanding their role in lung pathology. Flow cytometry is a mainstream tool for studying the immune system. However, a systematic flow cytometric approach to identify subsets of macrophages and dendritic cells (DCs) accurately and consistently in the normal mouse lung has not been described. Here we developed a panel of surface markers and an analysis strategy that accurately identify all known populations of macrophages and DCs, and their precursors in the lung during steady-state conditions and bleomycin-induced injury. Using this panel, we assessed the polarization of lung macrophages during the course of bleomycin-induced lung injury. Alveolar macrophages expressed markers of alternatively activated macrophages during both acute and fibrotic phases of bleomycin-induced lung injury, whereas markers of classically activated macrophages were expressed only during the acute phase. Taken together, these data suggest that this flow cytometric panel is very helpful in identifying macrophage and DC populations and their state of activation in normal, injured, and fibrotic lungs.
doi:10.1165/rcmb.2013-0086MA
PMCID: PMC3824047  PMID: 23672262
pulmonary macrophages; alveolar macrophages; interstitial macrophages; macrophage polarization; lung fibrosis
14.  Impaired Clearance of Influenza A Virus in Obese, Leptin Receptor Deficient Mice Is Independent of Leptin Signaling in the Lung Epithelium and Macrophages 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e108138.
Rationale
During the recent H1N1 outbreak, obese patients had worsened lung injury and increased mortality. We used a murine model of influenza A pneumonia to test the hypothesis that leptin receptor deficiency might explain the enhanced mortality in obese patients.
Methods
We infected wild-type, obese mice globally deficient in the leptin receptor (db/db) and non-obese mice with tissue specific deletion of the leptin receptor in the lung epithelium (SPC-Cre/LepRfl/fl) or macrophages and alveolar type II cells (LysM-Cre/Leprfl/fl) with influenza A virus (A/WSN/33 [H1N1]) (500 and 1500 pfu/mouse) and measured mortality, viral clearance and several markers of lung injury severity.
Results
The clearance of influenza A virus from the lungs of mice was impaired in obese mice globally deficient in the leptin receptor (db/db) compared to normal weight wild-type mice. In contrast, non-obese, SP-C-Cre+/+/LepRfl/fl and LysM-Cre+/+/LepRfl/fl had improved viral clearance after influenza A infection. In obese mice, mortality was increased compared with wild-type mice, while the SP-C-Cre+/+/LepRfl/fl and LysM-Cre+/+/LepRfl/fl mice exhibited improved survival.
Conclusions
Global loss of the leptin receptor results in reduced viral clearance and worse outcomes following influenza A infection. These findings are not the result of the loss of leptin signaling in lung epithelial cells or macrophages. Our results suggest that factors associated with obesity or with leptin signaling in non-myeloid populations such as natural killer and T cells may be associated with worsened outcomes following influenza A infection.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0108138
PMCID: PMC4169489  PMID: 25232724
15.  Suppression of inflammation and acute lung injury by the transcription factor Miz1 via repression of C/EBP-δ 
Nature immunology  2013;14(5):461-469.
Inflammation is essential for host defense but can cause tissue damage and organ failure if unchecked. How the inflammation is resolved remains elusive. Here we report that the transcription factor Miz1 was required for terminating lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammation. Genetic disruption of the Miz1 POZ domain, which is essential for its transactivation or repression activity, resulted in hyper-inflammation, lung injury and increased mortality in LPS-treated mice while reduced bacterial load and mortality in mice with Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia. Loss of the Miz1 POZ domain prolonged pro-inflammatory cytokine expression. Upon stimulation, Miz1 was phosphorylated at Ser178, which is required for recruiting histone deacetylase 1 to repress transcription of C/EBP-δ, an amplifier of inflammation. Our data provide a long-sought mechanism underlying resolution of LPS-induced inflammation.
doi:10.1038/ni.2566
PMCID: PMC3631447  PMID: 23525087
16.  Proteasomal inhibition after injury prevents fibrosis by modulating TGF-β1 signalling 
Thorax  2011;67(2):139-146.
Background
The development of organ fibrosis after injury requires activation of transforming growth factor β1 which regulates the transcription of profibrotic genes. The systemic administration of a proteasomal inhibitor has been reported to prevent the development of fibrosis in the liver, kidney and bone marrow. It is hypothesised that proteasomal inhibition would prevent lung and skin fibrosis after injury by inhibiting TGF-β1-mediated transcription.
Methods
Bortezomib, a small molecule proteasome inhibitor in widespread clinical use, was administered to mice beginning 7 days after the intratracheal or intradermal administration of bleomycin and lung and skin fibrosis was measured after 21 or 40 days, respectively. To examine the mechanism of this protection, bortezomib was administered to primary normal lung fibroblasts and primary lung and skin fibroblasts obtained from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and scleroderma, respectively.
Results
Bortezomib promoted normal repair and prevented lung and skin fibrosis when administered beginning 7 days after the initiation of bleomycin. In primary human lung fibroblasts from normal individuals and patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and in skin fibroblasts from a patient with scleroderma, bortezomib inhibited TGF-β1-mediated target gene expression by inhibiting transcription induced by activated Smads. An increase in the abundance and activity of the nuclear hormone receptor PPARγ, a repressor of Smad-mediated transcription, contributed to this response.
Conclusions
Proteasomal inhibition prevents lung and skin fibrosis after injury in part by increasing the abundance and activity of PPARγ. Proteasomal inhibition may offer a novel therapeutic alternative in patients with dysregulated tissue repair and fibrosis.
doi:10.1136/thoraxjnl-2011-200717
PMCID: PMC3595535  PMID: 21921091
17.  Nuclear β-Catenin Is Increased in Systemic Sclerosis Pulmonary Fibrosis and Promotes Lung Fibroblast Migration and Proliferation 
Pulmonary fibrosis is a disease that results in loss of normal lung architecture, but the signaling events that drive tissue destruction are incompletely understood. Wnt/β-catenin signaling is important in normal lung development, but whether abnormal signaling occurs in lung fibrosis due to systemic sclerosis and the consequences of β-catenin signaling toward the fibrogenic phenotype remain poorly defined. In this study, we show nuclear β-catenin accumulation in fibroblastic foci from lungs of patients with systemic sclerosis–associated advanced pulmonary fibrosis. Forced activation of β-catenin signaling in three independently derived sources of normal human lung fibroblasts promotes proliferation and migratory activities but is not sufficient to activate classic markers of fibroblast activation, such as TGF-β, type 1 collagen, α-smooth muscle actin, and connective tissue growth factor. These findings indicate that activation of β-catenin signaling in pulmonary fibroblasts may be a common feature of lung fibrosis, contributing to fibroproliferative and migratory activities associated with the disease.
doi:10.1165/rcmb.2010-0113OC
PMCID: PMC3262680  PMID: 21454805
Wnt/β-catenin signaling; scleroderma; fibrosis
18.  Update in Environmental and Occupational Medicine 2010 
doi:10.1164/rccm.201103-0467UP
PMCID: PMC3136990  PMID: 21693716
19.  The Effect of Rosuvastatin in a Murine Model of Influenza A Infection 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e35788.
Rationale
HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors such as rosuvastatin may have immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects that may reduce the severity of influenza A infection. We hypothesized that rosuvastatin would decrease viral replication, attenuate lung injury, and improve mortality following influenza A infection in mice.
Methods
C57Bl/6 mice were treated daily with rosuvastatin (10 mg/kg/day) supplemented in chow (or control chow) beginning three days prior to infection with either A//Udorn/72 [H3N2] or A/WSN/33 [H1N1] influenza A virus (1×105 pfu/mouse). Plaque assays were used to examine the effect of rosuvastatin on viral replication in vitro and in the lungs of infected mice. We measured cell count with differential, protein and cytokines in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, histologic evidence of lung injury, and wet-to-dry ratio on Day 1, 2, 4, and 6. We also recorded daily weights and mortality.
Results
The administration of rosuvastatin had no effect on viral clearance of influenza A after infection. Weight loss, lung inflammation and lung injury severity were similar in the rosuvastatin and control treated mice. In the mice infected with influenza A (A/WSN/33), mortality was unaffected by treatment with rosuvastatin.
Conclusions
Statins did not alter the replication of influenza A in vitro or enhance its clearance from the lung in vivo. Statins neither attenuated the severity of influenza A-induced lung injury nor had an effect on influenza A-related mortality. Our data suggest that the association between HMG CoA reductase inhibitors and improved outcomes in patients with sepsis and pneumonia are not attributable to their effects on influenza A infection.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035788
PMCID: PMC3335012  PMID: 22536437
20.  Epithelial Cell Death Is an Important Contributor to Oxidant-mediated Acute Lung Injury 
Rationale: Acute lung injury and the acute respiratory distress syndrome are characterized by increased lung oxidant stress and apoptotic cell death. The contribution of epithelial cell apoptosis to the development of lung injury is unknown.
Objectives: To determine whether oxidant-mediated activation of the intrinsic or extrinsic apoptotic pathway contributes to the development of acute lung injury.
Methods: Exposure of tissue-specific or global knockout mice or cells lacking critical components of the apoptotic pathway to hyperoxia, a well-established mouse model of oxidant-induced lung injury, for measurement of cell death, lung injury, and survival.
Measurements and Main Results: We found that the overexpression of SOD2 prevents hyperoxia-induced BAX activation and cell death in primary alveolar epithelial cells and prolongs the survival of mice exposed to hyperoxia. The conditional loss of BAX and BAK in the lung epithelium prevented hyperoxia-induced cell death in alveolar epithelial cells, ameliorated hyperoxia-induced lung injury, and prolonged survival in mice. By contrast, Cyclophilin D–deficient mice were not protected from hyperoxia, indicating that opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore is dispensable for hyperoxia-induced lung injury. Mice globally deficient in the BH3-only proteins BIM, BID, PUMA, or NOXA, which are proximal upstream regulators of BAX and BAK, were not protected against hyperoxia-induced lung injury suggesting redundancy of these proteins in the activation of BAX or BAK.
Conclusions: Mitochondrial oxidant generation initiates BAX- or BAK-dependent alveolar epithelial cell death, which contributes to hyperoxia-induced lung injury.
doi:10.1164/rccm.201002-0181OC
PMCID: PMC3086743  PMID: 20959557
cell death; epithelium; Bcl-2 proteins; acute respiratory distress syndrome
21.  Hypoxic activation of AMPK is dependent on mitochondrial ROS but independent of an increase in AMP/ATP ratio 
Free radical biology & medicine  2009;46(10):1386-1391.
AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a sensor of cellular energy status found in metazoans that is known to be activated by stimuli that increase the cellular AMP/ATP ratio. Full activation of AMPK requires specific phosphorylation within the activation loop of the catalytic domain of the α-subunit by upstream kinases such as the serine/threonine protein kinase LKB1. Here we show that hypoxia activates AMPK through LKB1 without an increase in the AMP/ATP ratio. Hypoxia increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels and the antioxidant EUK-134 abolished the hypoxic activation of AMPK. Cells deficient in mitochondrial DNA (ρ0 cells) failed to activate AMPK during hypoxia but are able to in the presence of exogenous H2O2. Furthermore, we provide genetic evidence that ROS generated within the mitochondrial electron transport chain and not oxidative phosphorylation is required for hypoxic activation of AMPK. Collectively, these data indicate that oxidative stress and not an increase in the AMP/ATP ratio is required for hypoxic activation of AMPK.
doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2009.02.019
PMCID: PMC3326346  PMID: 19268526
AMP-activated kinase; Hypoxia; LKB1; Mitochondria; Reactive oxygen species; Free radicals
22.  Hypoxia Leads to Na,K-ATPase Downregulation via Ca2+ Release-Activated Ca2+ Channels and AMPK Activation ▿  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2011;31(17):3546-3556.
To maintain cellular ATP levels, hypoxia leads to Na,K-ATPase inhibition in a process dependent on reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the activation of AMP-activated kinase α1 (AMPK-α1). We report here that during hypoxia AMPK activation does not require the liver kinase B1 (LKB1) but requires the release of Ca2+ from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and redistribution of STIM1 to ER-plasma membrane junctions, leading to calcium entry via Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channels. This increase in intracellular Ca2+ induces Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinase kinase β (CaMKKβ)-mediated AMPK activation and Na,K-ATPase downregulation. Also, in cells unable to generate mitochondrial ROS, hypoxia failed to increase intracellular Ca2+ concentration while a STIM1 mutant rescued the AMPK activation, suggesting that ROS act upstream of Ca2+ signaling. Furthermore, inhibition of CRAC channel function in rat lungs prevented the impairment of alveolar fluid reabsorption caused by hypoxia. These data suggest that during hypoxia, calcium entry via CRAC channels leads to AMPK activation, Na,K-ATPase downregulation, and alveolar epithelial dysfunction.
doi:10.1128/MCB.05114-11
PMCID: PMC3165547  PMID: 21730292
23.  Particulate matter Air Pollution induces hypermethylation of the p16 promoter Via a mitochondrial ROS-JNK-DNMT1 pathway 
Scientific Reports  2012;2:275.
Exposure of human populations to chronically elevated levels of ambient particulate matter air pollution < 2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5) has been associated with an increase in lung cancer incidence. Over 70% of lung cancer cell lines exhibit promoter methylation of the tumor suppressor p16, an epigenetic modification that reduces its expression. We exposed mice to concentrated ambient PM2.5 via inhalation, 8 hours daily for 3 weeks and exposed primary murine alveolar epithelial cells to daily doses of fine urban PM (5 µg/cm2). In both mice and alveolar epithelial cells, PM exposure increased ROS production, expression of the DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1), and methylation of the p16 promoter. In alveolar epithelial cells, increased transcription of DNMT1 and methylation of the p16 promoter were inhibited by a mitochondrially targeted antioxidant and a JNK inhibitor. These findings provide a potential mechanism by which PM exposure increases the risk of lung cancer.
doi:10.1038/srep00275
PMCID: PMC3281276  PMID: 22355787
24.  Alcohol Worsens Acute Lung Injury by Inhibiting Alveolar Sodium Transport through the Adenosine A1 Receptor 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(1):e30448.
Objective
Alcohol intake increases the risk of acute lung injury (ALI) and the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and is associated with poor outcomes in patients who develop these syndromes. No specific therapies are currently available to treat or decrease the risk of ARDS in patients with alcoholism. We have recently shown increased levels of lung adenosine inhibit alveolar fluid clearance, an important predictor of outcome in patients with ARDS. We hypothesized that alcohol might worsen lung injury by increasing lung adenosine levels, resulting in impaired active Na+ transport in the lung.
Methods
We treated wild-type mice with alcohol administered i.p. to achieve blood alcohol levels associated with moderate to severe intoxication and measured the rate of alveolar fluid clearance and Na,K-ATPase expression in peripheral lung tissue and assessed the effect of alcohol on survival during exposure to hyperoxia. We used primary rat alveolar type II cells to investigate the mechanisms by which alcohol regulates alveolar Na+ transport.
Results
Exposure to alcohol reduced alveolar fluid clearance, downregulated Na,K-ATPase in the lung tissue and worsened hyperoxia-induced lung injury. Alcohol caused an increase in BAL fluid adenosine levels. A similar increase in lung adenosine levels was observed after exposure to hyperoxia. In primary rat alveolar type II cells alcohol and adenosine decreased the abundance of the Na,K-ATPase at the basolateral membrane via a mechanism that required activation of the AMPK.
Conclusions
Alcohol decreases alveolar fluid clearance and impairs survival from acute lung injury. Alcohol induced increases in lung adenosine levels may be responsible for reduction in alveolar fluid clearance and associated worsening of lung injury.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0030448
PMCID: PMC3260305  PMID: 22272351
25.  Particulate matter air pollution causes oxidant-mediated increase in gut permeability in mice 
Background
Exposure to particulate matter (PM) air pollution may be an important environmental factor leading to exacerbations of inflammatory illnesses in the GI tract. PM can gain access to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract via swallowing of air or secretions from the upper airways or mucociliary clearance of inhaled particles.
Methods
We measured PM-induced cell death and mitochondrial ROS generation in Caco-2 cells stably expressing oxidant sensitive GFP localized to mitochondria in the absence or presence of an antioxidant. C57BL/6 mice were exposed to a very high dose of urban PM from Washington, DC (200 μg/mouse) or saline via gastric gavage and small bowel and colonic tissue were harvested for histologic evaluation, and RNA isolation up to 48 hours. Permeability to 4kD dextran was measured at 48 hours.
Results
PM induced mitochondrial ROS generation and cell death in Caco-2 cells. PM also caused oxidant-dependent NF-κB activation, disruption of tight junctions and increased permeability of Caco-2 monolayers. Mice exposed to PM had increased intestinal permeability compared with PBS treated mice. In the small bowel, colocalization of the tight junction protein, ZO-1 was lower in the PM treated animals. In the small bowel and colon, PM exposed mice had higher levels of IL-6 mRNA and reduced levels of ZO-1 mRNA. Increased apoptosis was observed in the colon of PM exposed mice.
Conclusions
Exposure to high doses of urban PM causes oxidant dependent GI epithelial cell death, disruption of tight junction proteins, inflammation and increased permeability in the gut in vitro and in vivo. These PM-induced changes may contribute to exacerbations of inflammatory disorders of the gut.
doi:10.1186/1743-8977-8-19
PMCID: PMC3132719  PMID: 21658250

Results 1-25 (35)