Widely known for its role in adipogenesis and energy metabolism, PPARγ also plays a role in platelet function. To further understand functions of platelet-derived PPARγ, we produced rabbit polyclonal (PoAbs) and mouse monoclonal (MoAbs) antibodies against PPARγ 14mer/19mer peptide-immunogens. Unexpectedly, our work produced two key findings. First, MoAbs but not PoAbs produced against PPARγ peptide-immunogens displayed antigenic crossreactivity with highly conserved PPARα and PPARβ/δ. Similarly, Santa Cruz PoAb sc-7196 was monospecific for PPARγ while MoAb sc-7273 crossreacted with PPARα and PPARβ/δ. Second, immunized rabbits and mice exhibited unusual pathology including cachexia, excessive bleeding, and low platelet counts leading to thrombocytopenia. Spleens from immunized mice were fatty, hemorrhagic and friable. Although passive administration of anti-PPARγ PoAbs failed to induce experimental thrombocytopenia, megakaryocytopoiesis was induced 4–8–fold in mouse spleens. Similarly, marrow megakaryocytopoiesis was enhanced 1.8–4–fold in immunized rabbits. These peptide-immunogens are 100% conserved in human, rabbit and mouse; thus, immune-mediated platelet destruction via crossreactivity with platelet-derived PPARγ likely caused bleeding, thrombocytopenia, and compensatory megakaryocytopoiesis. Such overt pathology would cause significant problems for large-scale production of anti-PPARγ PoAbs. Furthermore, a major pitfall associated with MoAb production against closely related molecules is that monoclonicity does not guarantee monospecificity, an issue worth further scientific scrutiny.
Monoclonal Antibody Production; MAP Technology; Thrombocytopenia; Megakaryocytopoiesis; Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors; Platelets
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) is a multifunctional transcription factor with important regulatory roles in inflammation, cellular growth, differentiation, and apoptosis. PPARγ is expressed in a variety of immune cells as well as in numerous leukemias and lymphomas. Here, we review recent studies that provide new insights into the mechanisms by which PPARγ ligands influence hematological malignant cell growth, differentiation, and survival. Understanding the diverse properties of PPARγ ligands is crucial for the development of new therapeutic approaches for hematological malignancies.
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are members of the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily. PPARγ, a ligand activated transcription factor, has important anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative functions and it has been associated with diseases including diabetes, scarring and atherosclerosis among others. PPARγ is expressed in most bone marrow derived cells and influences their function. PPARγ ligands can stimulate human B cell differentiation and promote antibody production. A knowledge gap is that the role of PPARγ in B cells under physiological conditions is not known. We developed a new B cell-specific PPARγ (B-PPARγ) knockout mouse and explored the role of PPARγ during both the primary and secondary immune response. Here, we show that PPARγ deficiency in B cells decreases germinal center B cells and plasma cell development as well as the levels of circulating antigen-specific antibodies during a primary challenge. Inability to generate germinal center B cells and plasma cells is correlated to decreased MHC class II expression and decreased Bcl-6 and Blimp-1 levels. Furthermore, B-PPARγ-deficient mice have an impaired memory response, characterized by low titers of antigen-specific antibodies and low numbers of antigen-experienced antibody-secreting cells. However, B-PPARγ-deficient mice have no differences in B cell population distribution within neither primary nor secondary lymphoid organs during development. This is the first report to show under physiological conditions that PPARγ expression in B cells is required for an efficient B cell-mediated immune response as it regulates B cell differentiation and antibody production.
Rationale: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a deadly progressive disease with few treatment options. Transglutaminase 2 (TG2) is a multifunctional protein, but its function in pulmonary fibrosis is unknown.
Objectives: To determine the role of TG2 in pulmonary fibrosis.
Methods: The fibrotic response to bleomycin was compared between wild-type and TG2 knockout mice. Transglutaminase and transglutaminase-catalyzed isopeptide bond expression was examined in formalin-fixed human lung biopsy sections by immunohistochemistry from patients with IPF. In addition, primary human lung fibroblasts were used to study TG2 function in vitro.
Measurements and Main Results: TG2 knockout mice developed significantly reduced fibrosis compared with wild-type mice as determined by hydroxyproline content and histologic fibrosis score (P < 0.05). TG2 expression and activity are increased in lung biopsy sections in humans with IPF compared with normal control subjects. In vitro overexpression of TG2 led to increased fibronectin deposition, whereas transglutaminase knockdown led to defects in contraction and adhesion. The profibrotic cytokine transforming growth factor-β causes an increase in membrane-localized TG2, increasing its enzymatic activity.
Conclusions: TG2 is involved in pulmonary fibrosis in a mouse model and in human disease and is important in normal fibroblast function. With continued research on TG2, it may offer a new therapeutic target.
fibroblast; myofibroblast; animal model; collagen; fibronectin
Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR)-γ is a nuclear hormone receptor that is activated by multiple agonists including thiazolidinediones, prostaglandins, and synthetic oleanolic acids. Many PPARγ ligands are under investigation as potential therapies for human diseases. These ligands modulate multiple cellular pathways via both PPARγ-dependent and PPARγ-independent mechanisms. Here, we review the role of PPARγ and PPARγ ligands in lung disease, with emphasis on PPARγ-independent effects. PPARγ ligands show great promise in moderating lung inflammation, as antiproliferative agents in combination to enhance standard chemotherapy in lung cancer and as treatments for pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive fatal disease with no effective therapy. Some of these effects occur when PPARγ is pharmaceutically antagonized or genetically PPARγ and are thus independent of classical PPARγ-dependent transcriptional control. Many PPARγ ligands demonstrate direct binding to transcription factors and other proteins, altering their function and contributing to PPARγ-independent inhibition of disease phenotypes. These PPARγ-independent mechanisms are of significant interest because they suggest new therapeutic uses for currently approved drugs and because they can be used as probes to identify novel proteins and pathways involved in the pathogenesis or treatment of disease, which can then be targeted for further investigation and drug development.
Rationale: The differentiation of fibroblasts into myofibroblasts is a cardinal feature of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). The transcription factor Yin Yang 1 (YY1) plays a role in the proliferation and differentiation of diverse cell types, but its role in fibrotic lung diseases is not known.
Objectives: To elucidate the mechanism by which YY1 regulates fibroblast differentiation and lung fibrosis.
Methods: Lung fibroblasts were cultured with transforming growth factor (TGF)-β or tumor necrosis factor-α. Nuclear factor (NF)-κB, YY1, and α-smooth muscle actin (SMA) were determined in protein, mRNA, and promoter reporter level. Lung fibroblasts and lung fibrosis were assessed in a partial YY1-deficient mouse and a YY1f/f conditional knockout mouse after being exposed to silica or bleomycin.
Measurements and Main Results: TGF-β and tumor necrosis factor-α up-regulated YY1 expression in lung fibroblasts. TGF-β–induced YY1 expression was dramatically decreased by an inhibitor of NF-κB, which blocked I-κB degradation. YY1 is significantly overexpressed in both human IPF and murine models of lung fibrosis, including in the aggregated pulmonary fibroblasts of fibrotic foci. Furthermore, the mechanism of fibrogenesis is that YY1 can up-regulate α-SMA expression in pulmonary fibroblasts. YY1-deficient (YY1+/−) mice were significantly protected from lung fibrosis, which was associated with attenuated α-SMA and collagen expression. Finally, decreasing YY1 expression through instilled adenovirus-cre in floxed-YY1f/f mice reduced lung fibrosis.
Conclusions: YY1 is overexpressed in fibroblasts in both human IPF and murine models in a NF-κB–dependent manner, and YY1 regulates fibrogenesis at least in part by increasing α-SMA and collagen expression. Decreasing YY1 expression may provide a new therapeutic strategy for pulmonary fibrosis.
nuclear factor-κB; α-smooth muscle actin; idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
Fibroblasts mediate immune function and may account for differences in susceptibility of the different ocular tissues to become inflamed. Recognizing these differences will promote the development of novel therapeutic strategies for diseases of the eye.
Various ocular and orbital tissues differ in their manifestations of inflammation, although the reasons for this are unclear. Such differences may be due to behaviors exhibited by resident cell types, including fibroblasts. Fibroblasts mediate immune function and produce inflammatory mediators. Chronic stimulation of ocular fibroblasts can lead to prolonged inflammation and, in turn, to impaired vision and blindness. Interleukin (IL)-1β, which is produced by various cells during inflammation, is a potent activator of fibroblasts and inducer of the expression of inflammatory mediators. The hypothesis for this study was that that human fibroblasts derived from distinct ocular tissues differ in their responses to IL-1β and that variations in the IL-1 signaling pathway account for these differences.
Human fibroblasts were isolated from the lacrimal gland, cornea, and Tenon's capsule and treated with IL-1β in vitro. Cytokine and prostaglandin (PG)E2 production were measured by ELISA and EIA. Cyclooxygenase (Cox)-2 expression was detected by Western blot. Components of the IL-1 signaling pathway were detected by flow cytometry, ELISA, Western blot, and immunofluorescence.
Cytokine and PGE2 production and Cox-2 expression were greatest in corneal fibroblasts. VEGF production was greatest in Tenon's capsule fibroblasts. Variations in IL-1 receptor and receptor antagonist expression, IκBα degradation and p65 nuclear translocation, however, did not account for these differences, but overexpression of the NF-κB member RelB dampened Cox-2 expression in all three fibroblast types.
The results highlight the inherent differences between ocular fibroblast strains and provide crucial insight into novel, tissue-specific treatments for ocular inflammation and disease, such as RelB overexpression.
Acute and chronic lung inflammation is associated with numerous important disease pathologies including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and silicosis. Lung fibroblasts are a novel and important target of anti-inflammatory therapy, as they orchestrate, respond to, and amplify inflammatory cascades and are the key cell in the pathogenesis of lung fibrosis. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) ligands are small molecules that induce anti-inflammatory responses in a variety of tissues. Here, we report for the first time that PPARγ ligands have potent anti-inflammatory effects on human lung fibroblasts. 2-cyano-3, 12-dioxoolean-1, 9-dien-28-oic acid (CDDO) and 15-deoxy-Δ12,14-prostaglandin J2 (15d-PGJ2) inhibit production of the inflammatory mediators interleukin-6 (IL-6), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), COX-2, and prostaglandin (PG)E2 in primary human lung fibroblasts stimulated with either IL-1β or silica. The anti-inflammatory properties of these molecules are not blocked by the PPARγ antagonist GW9662 and thus are largely PPARγ independent. However, they are dependent on the presence of an electrophilic carbon. CDDO and 15d-PGJ2, but not rosiglitazone, inhibited NF-κB activity. These results demonstrate that CDDO and 15d-PGJ2 are potent attenuators of proinflammatory responses in lung fibroblasts and suggest that these molecules should be explored as the basis for novel, targeted anti-inflammatory therapies in the lung and other organs.
Influenza virus leads to acute respiratory disease resulting in seasonal epidemics and periodic pandemics. Little is known about the signaling events that regulate host defense to influenza. One particular pathway, the c-Jun amino-terminal kinase (JNK) cascade is activated following influenza infection and blocking JNK leads to enhanced viral replication. We hypothesize that Mixed Lineage Kinase 3 (MLK3), an upstream regulator of JNK, is involved in the host response to influenza. To test this, wild-type and MLK3−/− mice were infected with pathogenic strain of influenza A virus, A/PR/8/34 (PR8). Although, cellular and humoral immune responses were similar between wild-type and MLK3−/− hosts, the viral load in the lungs was comparatively higher in MLK3−/− mice at day 8 post infection. Consistent with this, MLK3−/− murine lung fibrobalsts had prolonged survival and increased virion production following infection compared to wild-type. These findings support a role for MLK3 in viral production during influenza infection.
Mixed Lineage Kinase 3; Influenza virus; viability; JNK; T cell
Pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive scarring disease with no effective treatment. Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β is up-regulated in fibrotic diseases, where it stimulates differentiation of fibroblasts to myofibroblasts and production of excess extracellular matrix. Peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor (PPAR) γ is a transcription factor that regulates adipogenesis, insulin sensitization, and inflammation. We report here that a novel PPARγ ligand, 2-cyano-3,12-dioxoolean-1,9-dien-28-oic acid (CDDO), is a potent inhibitor of TGF-β–stimulated differentiation of human lung fibroblasts to myofibroblasts, and suppresses up-regulation of α–smooth muscle actin, fibronectin, collagen, and the novel myofibroblast marker, calponin. The inhibitory concentration causing a 50% decrease in aSMA for CDDO was 20-fold lower than the endogenous PPARγ ligand, 15-deoxy-Δ12,14-prostaglandin J2 (15 d-PGJ2), and 400-fold lower than the synthetic ligand, rosiglitazone. Pharmacologic and genetic approaches were used to demonstrate that CDDO mediates its activity via a PPARγ-independent pathway. CDDO and 15 d-PGJ2 contain an α/β unsaturated ketone, which acts as an electrophilic center that can form covalent bonds with cellular proteins. Prostaglandin A1 and diphenyl diselenide, both strong electrophiles, also inhibit myofibroblast differentiation, but a structural analog of 15 d-PGJ2 lacking the electrophilic center is much less potent. CDDO does not alter TGF-β–induced Smad or AP-1 signaling, but does inhibit acetylation of CREB binding protein/p300, a critical coactivator in the transcriptional regulation of TGF-β–responsive genes. Overall, these data indicate that certain PPARγ ligands, and other small molecules with electrophilic centers, are potent inhibitors of critical TGF-β–mediated profibrogenic activities through pathways independent of PPARγ. As the inhibitory concentration causing a 50% decrease in aSMA for CDDO is 400-fold lower than that in rosiglitazone, the translational potential of CDDO for treatment of fibrotic diseases is high.
myofibroblast; peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor γ; 2-cyano-3,12-dioxoolean-1,9-dien-28-oic acid; 15-deoxy-Δ12,14-prostaglandin J2; α-smooth muscle actin
In response to TGF-β1 stimulation of cultured keratocytes, posterior cells demonstrate greater Ki-67 staining at earlier time points and close mechanically induced wounds faster, whereas anterior cells are more sensitive to the myofibroblast-transforming effects of TGF-β1. This heterogeneity of keratocyte response to profibrotic stimuli may have implications on wound-healing responses after procedures that differentially affect anterior and posterior portions of the cornea.
To characterize phenotypic differences between anterior and posterior corneal keratocytes after stimulation with the profibrotic agent transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-β1) in vitro.
Sixteen corneas from healthy felines were obtained immediately after death. Lamellar dissection was performed to separate the anterior and posterior stroma at approximately 50% depth either manually (n = 2) or with a Moria microkeratome (300-μm head; n = 14). Cells from the anterior and posterior stroma were cultured separately but under identical conditions. Using immunohistochemistry and Western blot techniques, Ki-67 staining and relative expression of Thy-1, alpha smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), and fibronectin were assessed after stimulation with different TGF-β1 concentrations. In addition, anterior and posterior cells cultured in different concentrations of TGF-β1 were wounded with a razor blade, and the wound area and time to closure were determined.
Stimulation by all concentrations of TGF-β1 increased the proportion of Ki-67–positive cells in anterior and posterior cell cultures, but this increase was noted earlier in posterior cells than in anterior cells. Increasing TGF-β1 concentration also increased the relative expression of Thy-1, α-SMA, and fibronectin in anterior and posterior fibroblasts. However, anterior cells expressed these fibrotic markers at lower TGF-β1 concentrations than did posterior keratocytes. After mechanical wounding, posterior cells closed the wound area faster than did anterior cells at all concentrations of TGF-β1.
The present experiments show that anterior and posterior corneal keratocytes exhibit different sensitivities to the profibrotic growth factor TGF-β1. This heterogeneity of keratocyte response may impact wound closure after mechanical wounding.
Here we report the first 1H NMR metabolomics studies on excised lungs and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) from mice exposed to crystalline silica. High resolution 1H NMR metabolic profiling on intact excised lungs was performed using slow magic angle sample spinning (slow-MAS) 1H PASS (phase altered spinning sidebands) at a sample spinning rate of 80 Hz. Metabolic profiling on BALF was completed using fast magic angle spinning at 2kHz. Major findings are that the relative concentrations of choline, phosphocholine (PC) and glycerophosphocholine(GPC) were statistically significantly increased in silica-exposed mice compared to sham controls, indicating an altered membrane choline phospholipids metabolism (MCPM). The relative concentrations of glycogen/glucose, lactate and creatine were also statistically significantly increased in mice exposed to silica dust, suggesting that cellular energy pathways were affected by silica dust. Elevated levels of glycine, lysine, glutamate, proline and 4-hydroxyproline were also increased in exposed mice, suggesting the activation of a collagen pathway. Furthermore, metabolic profiles in mice exposed to silica dust were found to be spatially heterogeneous, in consistent with regional inflammation revealed by in vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
1H NMR; MAS; metabolomics; metabolite; molecular pathways; MRI; inflammation
To characterize phenotypic differences between anterior and posterior corneal keratocytes following stimulation with the pro-fibrotic agent transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-β1) in vitro.
Sixteen corneas from healthy felines were obtained immediately post-mortem. Lamellar dissection was performed to separate the anterior and posterior stroma at approximately 50% depth either manually (N=2) or using a Moria microkeratome (300μm head, N=14). Cells from the anterior and posterior stroma were cultured separately but under identical conditions. Using immunohistochemistry and Western Blot techniques, Ki-67 staining and relative expression of Thy-1, alpha smooth muscle actin (α–SMA), and fibronectin were assessed following stimulation with different TGF-β1 concentrations. In addition, anterior and posterior cells cultured in different concentrations of TGF-β1 were wounded with a razor blade and wound area and time to closure determined.
Stimulation by all concentrations of TGF-β1 increased the proportion of Ki-67 positive cells in anterior and posterior cell cultures, but this increase was noted at earlier time-points in posterior cells as compared to anterior cells. Increasing TGF-β1 concentration also increased the relative expression of Thy-1, α-SMA and fibronectin in anterior and posterior fibroblasts. However, anterior cells expressed these fibrotic markers at lower TGF-β1 concentrations than posterior keratocytes. Following mechanical wounding, posterior cells closed the wound area faster than anterior cells at all concentrations of TGF-β1.
The present experiments show that anterior and posterior corneal keratocytes exhibit different sensitivities to the pro-fibrotic growth factor, TGF-β1. This heterogeneity of keratocyte response may impact wound closure following mechanical wounding.
Corneal wound healing; keratocyte; fibroblast; myofibroblast; Thy-1; smooth muscle actin; fibronectin; growth factor stimulation; transforming growth factor; TGF-β1; anterior; posterior; cell-cycle entry; heterogeneity
Rationale: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a complex disease for which the pathogenesis is poorly understood. In this study, we identified lactic acid as a metabolite that is elevated in the lung tissue of patients with IPF.
Objectives: This study examines the effect of lactic acid on myofibroblast differentiation and pulmonary fibrosis.
Methods: We used metabolomic analysis to examine cellular metabolism in lung tissue from patients with IPF and determined the effects of lactic acid and lactate dehydrogenase-5 (LDH5) overexpression on myofibroblast differentiation and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β activation in vitro.
Measurements and Main Results: Lactic acid concentrations from healthy and IPF lung tissue were determined by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy; α-smooth muscle actin, calponin, and LDH5 expression were assessed by Western blot of cell culture lysates. Lactic acid and LDH5 were significantly elevated in IPF lung tissue compared with controls. Physiologic concentrations of lactic acid induced myofibroblast differentiation via activation of TGF-β. TGF-β induced expression of LDH5 via hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF1α). Importantly, overexpression of both HIF1α and LDH5 in human lung fibroblasts induced myofibroblast differentiation and synergized with low-dose TGF-β to induce differentiation. Furthermore, inhibition of both HIF1α and LDH5 inhibited TGF-β–induced myofibroblast differentiation.
Conclusions: We have identified the metabolite lactic acid as an important mediator of myofibroblast differentiation via a pH-dependent activation of TGF-β. We propose that the metabolic milieu of the lung, and potentially other tissues, is an important driving force behind myofibroblast differentiation and potentially the initiation and progression of fibrotic disorders.
lactate; idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; myofibroblast; lactate dehydrogenase; hypoxia-inducible factor 1α
The activation of transcription factor NF-κB is controlled by two main pathways: the classical canonical (RelA/p65-p50)- and the alternative noncanonical (RelB/p52)–NF-κB pathways. RelB has been shown to play a protective role in RelA/p65-mediated proinflammatory cytokine release in immune–inflammatory lymphoid cells. Increased infiltration of macrophages and lymphoid cells occurs in lungs of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, leading to abnormal inflammation. We hypothesized that RelB, and its signaling pathway, is differentially regulated in macrophages and B cells and in lung cells, leading to differential regulation of proinflammatory cytokines in response to cigarette smoke (CS). CS exposure increased the levels of RelB and NF-κB–inducing kinase associated with recruitment of RelB on promoters of the IL-6 and macrophage inflammatory protein-2 genes in mouse lung. Treatment of macrophage cell line, MonoMac6, with CS extract showed activation of RelB. In contrast, RelB was degraded by a proteasome-dependent mechanism in B lymphocytes (human Ramos, mouse WEHI-231, and primary mouse spleen B cells), suggesting that RelB is differentially regulated in lung inflammatory and lymphoid cells in response to CS exposure. Transient transfection of dominant negative IκB-kinase-α and double mutants of NF-κB–inducing kinase partially attenuated the CS extract–mediated loss of RelB in B cells and normalized the increased RelB level in macrophages. Taken together, these data suggest that RelB is differentially regulated in response to CS exposure in macrophages, B cells, and in lung cells by IκB-kinase-α–dependent mechanism. Rapid degradation of RelB signals for RelA/p65 activation and loss of its protective ability to suppress the proinflammatory cytokine release in lymphoid B cells.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; cigarette smoke; NF-κB; RelB; B cells
Pulmonary fibrosis is a group of disorders characterized by accumulation of scar tissue in the lung interstitium, resulting in loss of alveolar function, destruction of normal lung architecture, and respiratory distress. Some types of fibrosis respond to corticosteroids, but for many there are no effective treatments. Prognosis varies but can be poor. For example, patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) have a median survival of only 2.9 years. Prognosis may be better in patients with some other types of pulmonary fibrosis, and there is variability in survival even among individuals with biopsy-proven IPF. Evidence is accumulating that the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) play important roles in regulating processes related to fibrogenesis, including cellular differentiation, inflammation, and wound healing. PPARα agonists, including the hypolidipemic fibrate drugs, inhibit the production of collagen by hepatic stellate cells and inhibit liver, kidney, and cardiac fibrosis in animal models. In the mouse model of lung fibrosis induced by bleomycin, a PPARα agonist significantly inhibited the fibrotic response, while PPARα knockout mice developed more serious fibrosis. PPARβ/δ appears to play a critical role in regulating the transition from inflammation to
wound healing. PPARβ/δ agonists inhibit lung fibroblast proliferation and enhance the antifibrotic properties of PPARγ agonists. PPARγ ligands oppose the profibrotic effect of TGF-β, which induces differentiation of fibroblasts to myofibroblasts, a critical effector cell in fibrosis.
PPARγ ligands, including the thiazolidinedione class of antidiabetic drugs, effectively inhibit lung fibrosis in vitro and in animal models. The clinical availability of potent and selective PPARα and PPARγ agonists should facilitate rapid development of successful treatment strategies based on current and ongoing research.
Corneal scarring remains a major cause of blindness world-wide, with limited treatment options, all of which have side-effects. Here, we tested the hypothesis that topical application of Rosiglitazone, a Thiazolidinedione and ligand of peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), can effectively block scar formation in a cat model of corneal damage. Adult cats underwent bilateral epithelial debridement followed by excimer laser ablation of the central corneal stroma to a depth of ∼160 µm as a means of experimentally inducing a reproducible wound. Eyes were then left untreated, or received 50 µl of either 10 µM Rosiglitazone in DMSO/Celluvisc, DMSO/Celluvisc vehicle or Celluvisc vehicle twice daily for 2 weeks. Cellular aspects of corneal wound healing were evaluated with in vivo confocal imaging and post-mortem immunohistochemistry for alpha smooth muscle actin (αSMA). Impacts of the wound and treatments on optical quality were assessed using wavefront sensing and optical coherence tomography at 2, 4, 8 and 12 weeks post-operatively. In parallel, cat corneal fibroblasts were cultured to assess the effects of Rosiglitazone on TGFβ-induced αSMA expression. Topical application of Rosiglitazone to cat eyes after injury decreased αSMA expression and haze, as well as the induction of lower-order and residual, higher-order wavefront aberrations compared to vehicle-treated eyes. Rosiglitazone also inhibited TGFβ-induced αSMA expression in cultured corneal fibroblasts. In conclusion, Rosiglitazone effectively controlled corneal fibrosis in vivo and in vitro, while restoring corneal thickness and optics. Its topical application may represent an effective, new avenue for the prevention of corneal scarring with distinct advantages for pathologically thin corneas.
A recent review article suggested that idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a disease that is associated more with abnormal wound healing than with inflammation. Data derived from transgenic and gene transfer rodent models suggest that lung inflammation may be a necessary but insufficient component of IPF, and that at some point in the natural history of the disease IPF becomes no longer dependent on the inflammatory response for propagation. Altered microenvironment and involvement of epithelial cell/mesenchymal cell interaction are the most likely contributors to the pathogenesis of this chronic progressive disorder.
fibrosis; inflammation; myofibroblast; tissue repair; transforming growth factor (TGF)-β
Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) is a devastating progressive disease in which normal lung structure and function is compromised by scarring. Lung fibrosis can be caused by thoracic radiation, injury from chemotherapy and systemic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis that involve inflammatory responses. CDDO-Me (Methyl 2-cyano-3,12-dioxooleana-1,9(11)dien-28-oate, Bardoxolone methyl) is a novel triterpenoid with anti-fibrotic and anti-inflammatory properties as shown by our in vitro studies. Based on this evidence, we hypothesized that CDDO-Me would reduce lung inflammation, fibrosis and lung function impairment in a bleomycin model of lung injury and fibrosis. To test this hypothesis, mice received bleomycin via oropharyngeal aspiration (OA) on day zero and CDDO-Me during the inflammatory phase from days -1 to 9 every other day. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and lung tissue were harvested on day 7 to evaluate inflammation, while fibrosis and lung function were evaluated on day 21. On day 7, CDDO-Me reduced total BALF protein by 50%, alveolar macrophage infiltration by 40%, neutrophil infiltration by 90% (p≤0.01), inhibited production of the inflammatory cytokines KC and IL-6 by over 90% (p≤0.001), and excess production of the pro-fibrotic cytokine TGFβ by 50%. CDDO-Me also inhibited α-smooth muscle actin and fibronectin mRNA by 50% (p≤0.05). On day 21, CDDO-Me treatment reduced histological fibrosis, collagen deposition and αSMA production. Lung function was significantly improved at day 21 by treatment with CDDO-Me, as demonstrated by respiratory rate and dynamic compliance. These new findings reveal that CDDO-Me exhibits potent anti-fibrotic and anti-inflammatory properties in vivo. CDDO-Me is a potential new class of drugs to arrest inflammation and ameliorate fibrosis in patients who are predisposed to lung injury and fibrosis incited by cancer treatments (e.g. chemotherapy and radiation) and by systemic autoimmune diseases.
Cigarette smoke is a profound pro-inflammatory stimulus that contributes to acute lung injuries and to chronic lung disease including COPD (emphysema and chronic bronchitis). Until recently, it was assumed that resolution of inflammation was a passive process that occurred once the inflammatory stimulus was removed. It is now recognized that resolution of inflammation is a bioactive process, mediated by specialized lipid mediators, and that normal homeostasis is maintained by a balance between pro-inflammatory and pro-resolving pathways. These novel small lipid mediators, including the resolvins, protectins and maresins, are bioactive products mainly derived from dietary omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). We hypothesize that resolvin D1 (RvD1) has potent anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving effects in a model of cigarette smoke-induced lung inflammation.
Primary human lung fibroblasts, small airway epithelial cells and blood monocytes were treated with IL-1β or cigarette smoke extract in combination with RvD1 in vitro, production of pro-inflammatory mediators was measured. Mice were exposed to dilute mainstream cigarette smoke and treated with RvD1 either concurrently with smoke or after smoking cessation. The effects on lung inflammation and lung macrophage populations were assessed.
RvD1 suppressed production of pro-inflammatory mediators by primary human cells in a dose-dependent manner. Treatment of mice with RvD1 concurrently with cigarette smoke exposure significantly reduced neutrophilic lung inflammation and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, while upregulating the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. RvD1 promoted differentiation of alternatively activated (M2) macrophages and neutrophil efferocytosis. RvD1 also accelerated the resolution of lung inflammation when given after the final smoke exposure.
RvD1 has potent anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving effects in cells and mice exposed to cigarette smoke. Resolvins have strong potential as a novel therapeutic approach to resolve lung injury caused by smoke and pulmonary toxicants.
Transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) induced differentiation of human lung fibroblasts to myofibroblasts is a key event in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis. Although the typical TGFβ signaling pathway involves the Smad family of transcription factors, we have previously reported that peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ) ligands inhibit TGFβ-mediated differentiation of human lung fibroblasts to myofibroblasts via a Smad-independent pathway. TGFβ also activates the phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase/protein kinase B (PI3K/Akt) pathway leading to phosphorylation of AktS473. Here, we report that PPAR-γ ligands, 2-cyano-3,12-dioxooleana-1,9-dien-28-oic acid (CDDO) and 15-deoxy-(12,14)-15d-prostaglandin J2 (15d-PGJ2), inhibit human myofibroblast differentiation of normal and idiopathic pulmonary fibrotic (IPF) fibroblasts, by blocking Akt phosphorylation at Ser473 by a PPAR-γ-independent mechanism. The PI3K inhibitor LY294002 and a dominant-negative inactive kinase-domain mutant of Akt both inhibited TGFβ-stimulated myofibroblast differentiation, as determined by Western blotting for α-smooth muscle actin and calponin. Prostaglandin A1 (PGA1), a structural analogue of 15d-PGJ2 with an electrophilic center, also reduced TGFβ-driven phosphorylation of Akt, while CAY10410, another analogue that lacks an electrophilic center, did not; implying that the activity of 15d-PGJ2 and CDDO is dependent on their electrophilic properties. PPAR-γ ligands inhibited TGFβ-induced Akt phosphorylation via both post-translational and post-transcriptional mechanisms. This inhibition is independent of MAPK-p38 and PTEN but is dependent on TGFβ-induced phosphorylation of FAK, a kinase that acts upstream of Akt. Thus, PPAR-γ ligands inhibit TGFβ signaling by affecting two pro-survival pathways that culminate in myofibroblast differentiation. Further studies of PPAR-γ ligands and small electrophilic molecules may lead to a new generation of anti-fibrotic therapeutics.