p55PIK, a regulatory subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases, promotes cell cycle progression by interacting with cell cycle modulators such as retinoblastoma protein (Rb) via its unique amino-terminal 24 amino-acid residue (N24). Overexpression of N24 specifically inhibits these interactions and leads to cell cycle arrest. Herein, we describe the generation of a fusion protein (Tat transactivator protein (TAT)–N24) that contains the protein transduction domain and N24, and examined its effects on the proliferation and differentiation of leukemia cells. TAT–N24 not only blocks cell proliferation but remarkably induces differentiation of leukemia cells in vitro and in vivo. Systemically administered TAT–N24 also significantly decreases growth of leukemia cell tumors in animal models. Furthermore, overexpression of p55PIK in leukemia cells leads to increased proliferation; however, TAT–N24 blocks this effect and concomitantly induces differentiation. There is significant upregulation of p55PIK mRNA and protein expression in leukemia cells from patients. TAT–N24 inhibits cell cycle progression and induces differentiation of bone marrow cells derived from patients with several different types of leukemia. These results show that cell-permeable N24 peptide induces leukemia cell differentiation and suggest that p55PIK may be a novel drug target for the treatment of hematopoetic malignancies.
PI3K; p55PIK; leukemia
We have found that daily subcutaneous injection with a maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of the mGluR2/3 agonist LY379268 (20mg/kg) beginning at 4 weeks dramatically improves the phenotype in R6/2 mice. For example, we observed normalization of motor function in distance traveled, speed, the infrequency of pauses, and the ability to locomote in a straight line, and a rescue of a 15–20% striatal neuron loss at 10 weeks. As acute LY379268 treatment is known to increase cortical BDNF production, and BDNF is known to be beneficial for striatal neurons, we investigated if the benefit of daily LY379268 in R6/2 mice for striatal projection neurons was associated with increases in corticostriatal BDNF, with assessments done at 10 weeks of age after daily MTD treatment since the fourth week of life. We found that LY379268 increased BDNF expression in layer 5 neurons in motor cortex, which project to striatum, partly rescued a preferential loss of enkephalinergic striatal neurons, and enhanced substance P (SP) expression by SP striatal projection neurons. The enhanced survival of enkephalinergic striatal neurons was correlated with the cortical BDNF increase, but the enhanced SP expression by SP striatal neurons was not. Thus, LY379268 may protect the two main striatal projection neuron types by different mechanisms, enkephalinergic neurons by the trophic benefit of BDNF, and SP neurons by a mechanism not involving BDNF. The SP neuron benefit may perhaps instead involve the anti-excitotoxic action of mGluR2/3 receptor agonists.
Huntington's Disease; Therapy; mGluR2/3; Striatum; BDNF
Excitotoxic injury to striatum by dysfunctional cortical input or aberrant glutamate uptake may contribute to Huntington’s Disease (HD) pathogenesis. Since corticostriatal terminals possess mGluR2/3 autoreceptors, whose activation dampens glutamate release, we tested the ability of the mGluR2/3 agonist LY379268 to improve the phenotype in R6/2 HD mice with 120–125 CAG repeats. Daily subcutaneous injection of a maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of LY379268 (20mg/kg) had no evident adverse effects in WT mice, and diverse benefits in R6/2 mice, both in a cohort of mice tested behaviorally until the end of R6/2 lifespan and in a cohort sacrificed at 10 weeks of age for blinded histological analysis. MTD LY379268 yielded a significant 11% increase in R6/2 survival, an improvement on rotarod, normalization and/or improvement in locomotor parameters measured in open field (activity, speed, acceleration, endurance, and gait), a rescue of a 15–20% cortical and striatal neuron loss, normalization of SP striatal neuron neurochemistry, and to a lesser extent enkephalinergic striatal neuron neurochemistry. Deficits were greater in male than female R6/2 mice, and drug benefit tended to be greater in males. The improvements in SP striatal neurons, which facilitate movement, are consistent with the improved movement in LY379268-treated R6/2 mice. Our data indicate that mGluR2/3 agonists may be particularly useful for ameliorating the morphological, neurochemical and motor defects observed in HD.
Huntington’s Disease; Therapy; mGluR2/3; Striatum; Akinesia
NovaSil (NS) clay, a common anti-caking agent in animal feeds, has been shown to adsorb aflatoxins and diminish their bioavailability in multiple animal models. The safety of long-term dietary exposure to NS has also been demonstrated in a 6-month sub-chronic study in rats and in a 3-month intervention in humans highly exposed to aflatoxins. Uniform particle size NovaSil (UPSN) is a refined material derived from parent NS; it contains lower levels of dioxins/furans, and has been selected for a more consistent uniform particle size. Nevertheless, the efficacy and potential safety/toxicity of UPSN for long term-use has not yet been determined. In this research, 4-week-old male and female Sprague Dawley rats were fed rations free of clay (control) and containing UPSN at low dose (0.25%) and high dose (2%) for 13 weeks. AFB1 sorption characteristics remained the same for both clays. When compared to the control, total body weight gain was unaffected in either sex at the doses tested. No UPSN-dependent differences in relative organ weights or gross appearance were observed. Isolated differences between UPSN groups and the control were observed for some biochemical parameters and selected vitamins and minerals. None of these differences were dose-dependent, and all parameters fell between ranges reported as normal for rats less than 6 month old. The Na/K ratio, Na and vitamin E concentrations were the only parameters that were increased in both males and females in the low dose and high dose UPSN groups. Serum Zn levels in males from the 2% UPSN treatment were lower compared to the control. Serum K levels were lower in the males of UPSN groups than in the control. However, neither Na/K ratio, K, nor Zn values were dose dependent and fell outside ranges reported as normal. These results suggest that dietary inclusion of UPSN at levels as high as 2% (w/w) does not result in overt toxicity. Nevertheless, further research on the effects of clays on Na, Zn, K and vitamin E is warranted.
Aflatoxin; calcium bentonite; montmorillonite; in vivo; safety; clay
The probiotic Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001 normalizes anxiety-like behavior and hippocampal brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in mice with infectious colitis. Using a model of chemical colitis we test whether the anxiolytic effect of B. longum involves vagal integrity, and changes in neural cell function.
Mice received dextran sodium sulfate (DSS, 3%) in drinking water during three 1-week cycles. Bifidobacterium longum or placebo were gavaged daily during the last cycle. Some mice underwent subdiaphragmatic vagotomy. Behavior was assessed by step-down test, inflammation by myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity and histology. BDNF mRNA was measured in neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells after incubation with sera from B. longum- or placebo-treated mice. The effect of B. longum on myenteric neuron excitability was measured using intracellular microelectrodes.
Chronic colitis was associated with anxiety-like behavior, which was absent in previously vagotomized mice. B. longum normalized behavior but had no effect on MPOactivity or histological scores. Its anxiolytic effect was absent in mice with established anxiety that were vagotomized before the third DSS cycle. B. longum metabolites did not affect BDNF mRNA expression in SH-SY5Y cells but decreased excitability of enteric neurons.
Conclusions & Inferences
In this colitis model, anxiety-like behavior is vagally mediated. The anxiolytic effect of B. longum requires vagal integrity but does not involve gut immuno-modulation or production of BDNF by neuronal cells. As B. longum decreases excitability of enteric neurons, it may signal to the central nervous system by activating vagal pathways at the level of the enteric nervous system.
PMID: 21988661 CAMSID: cams2280
behavior; brain-derived neurotrophic factor; gut–brain axis; probiotics; vagus
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is associated with reduced incretin effects. Although previous studies have shown that hyperglycaemia contributes to impaired incretin responses in beta cells, it is largely unknown how hyperlipidaemia, another feature of type 2 diabetes, contributes to impaired glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) response. Here, we investigated the effects of NEFA on incretin receptor signalling and examined the glucose-lowering efficacy of incretin-based drugs in combination with the lipid-lowering agent bezafibrate.
We used db/db mice to examine the in vivo efficacy of the treatment. Beta cell lines and mouse islets were used to examine GLP-1 and glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide receptor signalling.
Palmitate treatment decreased Glp1r expression in rodent insulinoma cell lines and isolated islets. This was associated with impairment of the following: GLP-1-stimulated cAMP production, phosphorylation of cAMP-responsive elements binding protein (CREB) and insulin secretion. In insulinoma cell lines, the expression of exogenous Glp1r restored cAMP production and the phosphorylation of CREB. Treatment with bezafibrate in combination with des-fluoro-sitagliptin or exendin-4 led to more robust glycaemic control, associated with improved islet morphology and beta cell mass in db/db mice.
Elevated NEFA contributes to impaired responsiveness to GLP-1, partially through downregulation of GLP-1 receptor signalling. Improvements in lipid control in mouse models of obesity and diabetes increase the efficacy of incretin-based therapy.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00125-012-2776-x) contains peer-reviewed but unedited supplementary material, which is available to authorised users.
Dipeptidyl peptidase-4; Exendin-4; Glucagon-like peptide 1; Glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide; Islet; NEFA; Non-esterified fatty acid; Receptor
Background. Oseltamivir resistance in A(H1N1)pdm09 influenza is rare, particularly in untreated community cases. Sustained community transmission has not previously been reported.
Methods. Influenza specimens from the Asia–Pacific region were collected through sentinel surveillance, hospital, and general practitioner networks. Clinical and epidemiological information was collected on patients infected with oseltamivir-resistant viruses.
Results. Twenty-nine (15%) of 191 A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses collected between May and September 2011 from Hunter New England (HNE), Australia, contained the H275Y neuraminidase substitution responsible for oseltamivir resistance. Only 1 patient had received oseltamivir before specimen collection. The resistant strains were genetically very closely related, suggesting the spread of a single variant. Ninety percent of cases lived within 50 kilometers. Three genetically similar oseltamivir-resistant variants were detected outside of HNE, including 1 strain from Perth, approximately 4000 kilometers away. Computational analysis predicted that neuraminidase substitutions V241I, N369K, and N386S in these viruses may offset the destabilizing effect of the H275Y substitution.
Conclusions This cluster represents the first widespread community transmission of H275Y oseltamivir-resistant A(H1N1)pdm09 influenza. These cases and data on potential permissive mutations suggest that currently circulating A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses retain viral fitness in the presence of the H275Y mutation and that widespread emergence of oseltamivir-resistant strains may now be more likely.
Our previous studies have shown that microRNA-383 (miR-383) expression is downregulated in the testes of infertile men with maturation arrest (MA). However, the underlying mechanisms of miR-383 involved in the pathogenesis of MA remain unknown. In this study, we showed that downregulation of miR-383 was associated with hyperactive proliferation of germ cells in patients with mixed patterns of MA. Overexpression of miR-383 in NT2 (testicular embryonal carcinoma) cells resulted in suppression of proliferation, G1-phase arrest and induction of apoptosis, whereas silencing of miR-383 reversed these effects. The effects of miR-383 were mediated through targeting a tumor suppressor, interferon regulatory factor-1 (IRF1), and miR-383 was negatively correlated with IRF1 protein expression in vivo. miR-383 inhibited IRF1 by affecting its mRNA stability, which subsequently reduced the levels of the targets of IRF1, namely cyclin D1, CDK2 and p21. Downregulation of IRF1 or cyclin D1, but not that of CDK2, enhanced miR-383-mediated effects, whereas silencing of p21 partially inhibited the effects of miR-383. Moreover, miR-383 downregulated CDK4 by increasing proteasome-dependent degradation of CDK4, which in turn resulted in an inhibition of phosphorylated retinoblastoma protein (pRb) phosphorylation. These results suggest that miR-383 functions as a negative regulator of proliferation by targeting IRF1, in part, through inactivation of the pRb pathway. Abnormal testicular miR-383 expression may potentiate the connections between male infertility and testicular germ cell tumor.
male infertility; miR-383; IRF1; cell cycle; apoptosis
Frog virus 3 is the best characterized species within the genus Ranavirus, family Iridoviridae. FV3's large (∼105 kbp) dsDNA genome encodes 98 putative open reading frames (ORFs) that are expressed in a coordinated fashion leading to the sequential appearance of immediate early (IE), delayed early (DE) and late (L) viral transcripts. As a step toward elucidating molecular events in FV3 replication, we sought to identify the temporal class of viral messages. To accomplish this objective an oligonucleotide microarray containing 70-mer probes corresponding to each of the 98 FV3 ORFs was designed and used to examine viral gene expression. Viral transcription was initially monitored during the course of a productive replication cycle at 2, 4 and 9 hours after infection. To confirm results of the time course assay, viral gene expression was also monitored in the presence of cycloheximide (CHX), which limits expression to only IE genes, and following infection with a temperature sensitive (ts) mutant which at non-permissive temperatures is defective in viral DNA synthesis and blocked in late gene expression. Subsequently, microarray analyses were validated by RT-PCR and qRT-PCR. Using these approaches we identified 33 IE genes, 22 DE genes and 36 L viral genes. The temporal class of the 7 remaining genes could not be determined. Comparison of putative protein function with temporal class indicated that, in general, genes encoding putative regulatory factors, or proteins that played a part in nucleic acid metabolism and immune evasion, were classified as IE and DE genes, whereas those involved in DNA packaging and virion assembly were considered L genes. Information on temporal class will provide the basis for determining whether members of the same temporal class contain common upstream regulatory regions and perhaps allow us to identify virion-associated and virus-induced proteins that control viral gene expression.
Frog virus 3; iridovirus; ranavirus; temporal class; microarray analysis
Microarray-based classifiers and associated signature genes generated from various platforms are abundantly reported in the literature; however, the utility of the classifiers and signature genes in cross-platform prediction applications remains largely uncertain. As part of the MicroArray Quality Control Phase II (MAQC-II) project, we show in this study 80–90% cross-platform prediction consistency using a large toxicogenomics data set by illustrating that: (1) the signature genes of a classifier generated from one platform can be directly applied to another platform to develop a predictive classifier; (2) a classifier developed using data generated from one platform can accurately predict samples that were profiled using a different platform. The results suggest the potential utility of using published signature genes in cross-platform applications and the possible adoption of the published classifiers for a variety of applications. The study reveals an opportunity for possible translation of biomarkers identified using microarrays to clinically validated non-array gene expression assays.
microarray; cross-platform; gene signature; classifier; MAQC; hepatotoxicity
Differences among the various striatal projection neuron and interneuron types in cortical input, function, and vulnerability to degenerative insults may be related to differences among them in AMPA-type glutamate receptor abundance and subunit configuration. We therefore used immunolabeling to assess the frequency and abundance of GluR1 and GluR2, the most common AMPA subunits in striatum, in the main striatal neuron types. All neurons projecting to the external pallidum (GPe), internal pallidum (GPi) or substantia nigra, as identified by retrograde labeling, possessed perikaryal GluR2, while GluR1 was more common in striato-GPe than striato-GPi perikarya. The frequency and intensity of immunostaining indicated the rank order of their perikaryal GluR1:GluR2 ratio to be striato-GPe > striatonigral > striato-GPi. Ultrastructural studies suggested a differential localization of GluR1 and GluR2 to striatal projection neuron dendritic spines as well, with GluR1 seemingly more common in striato-GPe spines and GluR2 more common in striato-GPi and/or striatonigral spines. Comparisons among projection neurons and interneurons revealed GluR1 to be most common and abundant in parvalbuminergic interneurons, and GluR2 most common and abundant in projection neurons, with the rank order for the GluR1:GluR2 ratio being parvalbuminergic interneurons > calretinergic interneurons > cholinergic interneurons > projection neurons > somatostatinergic interneurons. Striosomal projection neurons had a higher GluR1:GluR2 ratio than did matrix projection neurons. The abundance of both GluR1 and GluR2 in striatal parvalbuminergic interneurons and projection neurons is consistent with their prominent cortical input and susceptibility to excitotoxic insult, while differences in GluR1: GluR2 ratio among projection neurons are likely to yield differences in Ca2+ permeability, desensitization, and single channel current, which may contribute to differences among them in plasticity, synaptic integration, and excitotoxic vulnerability. The apparent association of the GluR1 subunit with synaptic plasticity, in particular, suggests striato-GPe neuron spines as a particular site of corticostriatal synaptic plasticity, presumably associated with motor learning.
striatum; AMPA receptors; AMPA subunits; glutamate; excitotoxicity; immunohistochemistry
Hendra virus (HeV) and Nipah virus (NiV) constitute the Henipavirus genus of paramyxoviruses, both fatal in humans and with the potential for subversion as agents of bioterrorism. Binding of the HeV/NiV attachment protein (G) to its receptor triggers a series of conformational changes in the fusion protein (F), ultimately leading to formation of a postfusion six-helix bundle (6HB) structure and fusion of the viral and cellular membranes. The ectodomain of paramyxovirus F proteins contains two conserved heptad repeat regions, the first (the N-terminal heptad repeat [HRN]) adjacent to the fusion peptide and the second (the C-terminal heptad repeat [HRC]) immediately preceding the transmembrane domain. Peptides derived from the HRN and HRC regions of F are proposed to inhibit fusion by preventing activated F molecules from forming the 6HB structure that is required for fusion. We previously reported that a human parainfluenza virus 3 (HPIV3) F peptide effectively inhibits infection mediated by the HeV glycoproteins in pseudotyped-HeV entry assays more effectively than the comparable HeV-derived peptide, and we now show that this peptide inhibits live-HeV and -NiV infection. HPIV3 F peptides were also effective in inhibiting HeV pseudotype virus entry in a new assay that mimics multicycle replication. This anti-HeV/NiV efficacy can be correlated with the greater potential of the HPIV3 C peptide to interact with the HeV F N peptide coiled-coil trimer, as evaluated by thermal unfolding experiments. Furthermore, replacement of a buried glutamic acid (glutamic acid 459) in the C peptide with valine enhances antiviral potency and stabilizes the 6HB conformation. Our results strongly suggest that conserved interhelical packing interactions in the F protein fusion core are important determinants of C peptide inhibitory activity and offer a strategy for the development of more-potent analogs of F peptide inhibitors.
The bovine enteric caliciviruses Bo/Jena/1980/DE and Bo/Newbury2/1976/UK represent two distinct genotypes within a new genogroup, genogroup III, in the genus Norovirus of the family Caliciviridae. In the present study, the antigenic relatedness of these two genotypes was determined for the first time to enable the development of tests to detect and differentiate between both genotypes. Two approaches were used. First, cross-reactivity was examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using recombinant virus-like particles (VLPs) and convalescent-phase sera from calves infected with either Jena (genotype 1) or Newbury2 (genotype 2). Second, cross-reactivity was examined between the two genotypes with a monoclonal antibody, CM39, derived using Jena VLPs. The two genotypes, Jena and Newbury2, were antigenically distinct with little or no cross-reactivity by ELISA to the heterologous VLPs using convalescent calf sera that had homologous immunoglobulin G titers of log10 3.1 to 3.3. CM39 reacted with both Jena and heterologous Newbury2 VLPs. The CM39 epitope was mapped to nine amino acids (31PTAGAQIAA39) in the Jena capsid protein, which was not fully conserved for Newbury2 (31PTAGAPVAA39). Molecular modeling showed that the CM39 epitope was located within the NH2-terminal arm inside the virus capsid. Surprisingly, CM39 also reacted with VLPs from two genogroup II/3 human noroviruses by ELISA and Western blotting. Thus, although the bovine noroviruses Jena and Newbury2 corresponded to two distinct antigenic types or serotypes, they shared at least one cross-reactive epitope. These findings have relevance for epidemiological studies to determine the prevalence of bovine norovirus serotypes and to develop vaccines to bovine noroviruses.
Background and aims: Chronic bowel disturbances resembling irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) develop in approximately 25% of patients after an episode of infectious diarrhoea. Although we have previously shown that psychosocial factors operating at the time of, or prior to, the acute illness appear to predict the development of post-infectious IBS (PI-IBS), our finding of an increased inflammatory cell number in the rectum persisting for at least three months after the acute infection suggested that there is also an organic component involved in the development of PI-IBS. To evaluate this further, we measured expressions of interleukin 1β (IL-1β) and its receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) in these patients to provide additional evidence that the pathogenesis of PI-IBS is underpinned by an inflammatory process.
Methods: Sequential rectal biopsy samples were prospectively obtained during and three months after acute gastroenteritis, from eight patients who developed post-infectious IBS (INF-IBS) and seven patients who returned to normal bowel habits after acute gastroenteritis (infection controls, INF-CON). Eighteen healthy volunteers who had not suffered from gastroenteritis in the preceding two years served as normal controls (NOR-CON). IL-1β and IL-1ra gene expressions were assayed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, and their levels of expression were quantitated by optical densitometry after electrophoresis on agarose gel.
Results: INF-IBS patients exhibited significantly greater expression of IL-1β mRNA in rectal biopsies than INF-CON patients both during and three months after acute gastroenteritis. Moreover, IL-1β mRNA expression had increased in biopsies taken from INF-IBS patients at three months after the acute infection but no consistent change was observed in INF-CON patients. IL-1β mRNA expression of INF-IBS patients at three months post gastroenteritis was significantly greater than NOR-CON whereas that of INF-CON patients was not significantly different from NOR-CON. Despite these differential changes in IL-1β mRNA expression, no significant changes were observed in IL-1ra mRNA expression among the three groups.
Conclusions: These findings indicate that those patients who develop IBS post infection exhibit greater IL-1β mRNA expression, both during and after the infection, compared with individuals who do not develop PI-IBS. We conclude that such patients may be susceptible to inflammatory stimuli, and that inflammation may play a role in the pathogenesis of PI-IBS.
interleukin 1β; irritable bowel syndrome; post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome
Jena virus (JV) is a bovine enteric calicivirus that causes diarrhea in calves. The virus is approximately 30 nm in diameter and has a surface morphology similar to the human Norwalk virus. The genome sequence of JV was recently described, and the virus has been assigned to the genus Norovirus of the family Caliciviridae. In the present study, the JV capsid gene encoded by open reading frame 2 was cloned into the baculovirus transfer vector pFastBac 1, and this was used to transform Escherichia coli to generate a recombinant bacmid. Transfection of insect cells with the recombinant baculovirus DNA resulted in expression of the JV capsid protein. The recombinant JV capsid protein undergoes self-assembly into virus-like particles (VLPs) similar to JV virions in size and appearance. JV VLPs were released into the cell culture supernatant, concentrated, and then purified by CsCl equilibrium gradient centrifugation. Purified JV VLPs were used to hyperimmunize laboratory animals. An antigen capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed and characterized initially with clinical specimens containing defined human noroviruses and bovine diarrheal samples from calves experimentally infected with JV; the ELISA was specific only for JV. The ELISA was used to screen 381 diarrheal samples collected from dairy herds in Thuringia, Hesse, and Bavaria, Germany, from 1999 to 2002; 34 of these samples (8.9%) were positive for JV infection. The unexpectedly high prevalence of JV was confirmed in a seroepidemiological study using 824 serum or plasma samples screened using an anti-JV ELISA, which showed that 99.1% of cattle from Thuringia have antibodies to JV.
Epidemiological studies suggest that inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is common in developed countries and rare in countries where intestinal nematode infections are common. T cells are critical in many immune responses, including those associated with IBD and nematode infection. Among the distinct T helper (Th) cell subsets, Th1-type immune response is predominantly associated with Crohn's disease, while many nematode infections generate a strong Th2 response. The reciprocal cross regulation between Th1 and Th2 cells suggests that generation of a Th2 response by nematodes could prevent or reduce the effects of Th1-mediated diseases. In the present study, we investigated the effect of polarizing the immune response toward the Th2 type, using intestinal nematode infection, on subsequent experimental colitis. Mice were infected with the intestinal nematode Trichinella spiralis and allowed to recover before colitis was induced with dinitrobenzene sulfonic acid. The mice were sacrificed postcolitis to assess colonic damage macroscopically, histologically, and by myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity and Th cytokines. Prior nematode infection reduced the severity of colitis both macroscopically and histologically together with a decreased mortality and was correlated with a down-regulation of MPO activity, Th1-type cytokine expression in colonic tissue, and emergence of a Th2-type immune response. These results indicate a protective role of nematode infection in Th1 cell-driven inflammation and prompt consideration of a novel therapeutic strategy in IBD based on immunological distraction.
Intestinal nematode infections in rats or mice are accompanied by intestinal muscle hyper contractility that may contribute to parasite expulsion from the gut. Previous studies demonstrated that both the expulsion of nematode parasites and the associated muscle hyper contractility are dependent on CD4+ T helper cells. Nevertheless, the precise immunological mechanism underlying changes in intestinal muscle function remains to be determined. In this study, we investigated the role of interleukin 4 (IL-4) and signal transducer and activator of transcription factor 6 (STAT6) in the development of intestinal muscle hypercontractility and worm expulsion by infecting IL-4 and STAT6-deficient mice with Trichinella spiralis. Worm expulsion was almost normal in IL-4-deficient mice but substantially delayed in STAT6-deficient mice. Consistent with delayed worm expulsion, we also observed a marked attenuation of carbachol-induced muscle contraction in STAT6-deficient mice but only a moderate decrease in muscle hypercontractility in IL-4-deficient mice. In addition, we also observed severe impairment of T helper type 2 cytokine responses and intestinal mucosal mastocytosis in STAT6-deficient mice, although some degree of intestinal tissue eosinophilia was evident in these animals. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that STAT6-dependent changes in intestinal muscle function contribute to host protection in nematode infection.
Previously we presented suggestive evidence from an F2 segregating population for an interaction on blood pressure (BP) between quantitative trait loci (QTL) on rat chromosomes (Chr) 2 and 10. To prove the existence of such an interaction, we developed congenic strains for Chr 2 and 10 by introgressing the low BP QTL alleles into the Dahl salt-sensitive (S) strain. A double congenic strain was also constructed with both the Chr 2 and 10 low BP QTL alleles on the S background. The four strains (S, Chr 2 congenic, Chr 10 congenic, and Chr 2/10 double congenic) were studied for BP response to increased salt intake. An analysis of variance showed significant main effects of Chr 2, Chr 10, and a significant interaction between Chr 2 and 10 on BP and heart weight (all P < 0.0001). The interaction accounted for 24 mmHg of BP and 79 mg of heart weight. Thus, the discovery and proof of epistatic interactions are clearly critical to understanding the genetics of blood pressure.
Thrombomodulin (TM), recognized as an essential vessel wall cofactor of the antithrombotic mechanism, is also expressed by a wide range of tumor cells. Tumor cell lines subcloned from four patients with malignant melanoma displayed a negative correlation between TM expression and cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo. Overexpression of wild-type TM decreased cell proliferation in vitro and tumor growth in vivo. TM mutants with altered protein C activation capacity lead to a similar effect. In contrast, transfection of melanoma cells with mutant TM constructs, in which a portion of the cytoplasmic or lectin domain was deleted, abrogated the antiproliferative effect associated with overexpression of wild-type TM. Experiments performed with either peptide agonists/antagonists of the thrombin receptor, with hirudin, or with inhibitors of thrombin-TM interaction did not alter the growth inhibitory effect of TM overexpression. These data suggest that TM exerts an effect on cell proliferation independent of thrombin and the thrombin receptor, possibly related to the binding of novel ligands to determinants in the lectin domain which might trigger signal transduction pathways dependent on the cytoplasmic domain.
Fibrin is deposited on the endothelial cell surface in the vasculature of murine methylcholanthrene A-induced sarcomas after injection of tumor necrosis factor (TNF). Capillary endothelial cells of the tumor vascular bed become positive for tissue factor after TNF injection, based on immunocytochemistry and in situ hybridization. Intravascular clot formation was not dependent on tissue factor derived from tumor cells, since in vessels of tumors not expressing tissue factor, TNF also induced fibrin/fibrinogen deposition. However, the time course of fibrin/fibrinogen deposition after TNF differed in tumors expressing no, little, or greater amounts of tissue factor. Fibrin/fibrinogen deposition was more rapid in tumors in which the neoplastic cells expressed tissue factor than in tumors not expressing tissue factor. In the tumors not expressing tissue factor, activation of coagulation was dependent on TNF-induced synthesis of tissue factor by host cells, i.e., endothelium or monocytes/macrophages. Intravenous somatic gene transfer with tissue factor cDNA in the antisense orientation (but not sense or vector alone) reduced intravascular fibrin/fibrinogen deposition and restored blood flow to the tumor, showing that de novo tissue factor expression is central in TNF-induced activation of the coagulation mechanism.
A genetic map for rat chromosome 1 was constructed using 66 microsatellite markers typed on either or both of two populations derived from inbred Dahl salt-sensitive (S) rats: F2(LEW x S) n = 151, and F2(WKY x S) n = 159. These populations had been raised on a high salt (8% NaCl) diet. Systolic blood pressure and heart weight were found to be genetically linked to two separate regions on rat chromosome 1 in the F2(LEW x S) population. One region was centered around the anonymous SA locus and accounted for 24 mmHg of blood pressure. The other region was 55 cM from the SA locus centered around a cluster of cytochromes P450 loci, and accounted for 30 mmHg of blood pressure. Since blood pressure and heart weight were highly correlated these same regions were also linked to heart weight. These results were cross-specific as linkage of these chromosome 1 regions to blood pressure and heart weight was not observed in several other F2 populations derived by crossing S and other normotensive control strains. This is presumably due to different alleles and/or different genetic backgrounds in the various populations. The SA region of chromosome 1 was found to influence body weight in F2(LEW x S) rats. Combining the present data with our previously published data on the F2(LEW x S) population showed that four separate quantitative trait loci with additive effects accounted for 106 mmHg and 38% of the total variance of blood pressure and for 506 mg and 34% of the total variance of heart wt.
Alleles of the inducible nitric oxide synthase locus (Nos2) cosegregated highly significantly (P < 0.0001) with blood pressure in an F2 population [F2(S x MNS), n = 171] derived from a cross of inbred Dahl salt-sensitive (S) rats with Milan normotensive rats (MNS). In contrast, alleles at the constitutive brain nitric oxide synthase locus (Nos1) did not cosegregate with blood pressure in several F2 populations. Nos2 was mapped on rat chromosome 10. Nine genetic markers, including the angiotensin-converting enzyme (Ace) and Nos2 loci spanning roughly 46 cM on rat chromosome 10, all cosegregated strongly with blood pressure in the F2(S x MNS) population. Nos2 showed the highest LOD score of 6.3. Ace and Nos2 are 30 cM apart. In an F2 population [F2(S x WKY), n = 159] derived from a cross of S rats with Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats, Nos2 alleles did (P = 0.0070), but Ace alleles did not (P = 0.91), cosegregate with blood pressure. We conclude that the Nos2 locus rather than the Nos1 locus is a candidate for influencing blood pressure in the S rat. There are probably two separate but linked quantitative trait loci (QTL) for blood pressure on rat chromosome 10, one marked by Ace and the other marked by Nos2. In F2(S x MNS) functionally variant alleles at both QTL influence blood pressure, but in F2(S x WKY) only the QTL marked by Nos2 is segregating alleles influencing blood pressure.
Meth-A sarcoma cells were stable transfected to overexpress (sense construct) or underexpress (antisense construct) tissue factor. In vitro, there was no difference in plating efficiency or growth between these cell lines. In vivo, tumor cells transfected to overexpress tissue factor grew more rapidly, and established larger and more vascularized tumors than control transfectants. Antisense transfectants grew the slowest and were the least vascularized. Anticoagulation of mice with warfarin did not alter the difference between these tumor lines. Tumor cells over-expressing tissue factor released more (compared with control transfectants) mitogenic activity for endothelial cells in parallel with enhanced transcription of vascular permeability factor/vascular endothelial cell growth factor (VEGF/VPF), and diminished transcription of thrombospondin (TSP2), a molecule with anti-angiogenic properties. Antisense tissue factor transfectants, while releasing the lowest amount of mitogenic activity, had increased thrombospondin and decreased VEGF/VPF transcription compared with control transfectants or wild-type cells. Experiments with these sense, antisense, truncated sense, or vector tumor lines gave comparable results in complete medium, serum free medium or in the presence of hirudin, indicating that the activation of the coagulation mechanism was not likely to be responsible for changes in tumor cell properties. These results suggest that tissue factor regulates angiogenic properties of tumor cells by altering the production of growth regulatory molecules of endothelium by a mechanism distinct from tissue factor activation of the coagulation mechanism.
The aggregative pattern of adherence (AA) exhibited by enteroaggregative Escherichia coli upon HEp-2 cells is a plasmid-associated property which correlates with aggregative adherence fimbria I (AAF/I) expression and human erythrocyte hemagglutination. By using cloning and mutagenesis strategies, two noncontiguous plasmid segments (designated regions 1 and 2) required for AA expression have previously been identified in enteroaggregative E. coli 17-2. TnphoA mutagenesis was performed on clones containing region 1, and 16 TnphoA mutants which were negative for the AA phenotype were analyzed. The TnphoA insertion site for each mutant was determined by junctional DNA sequencing. All 16 mutations occurred within a 4.6-kb span in region 1. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the region revealed four contiguous open reading frames, designated aggDCBA, in the same span. AA-negative TnphoA insertions into all open reading frames except aggB were obtained. On the basis of mutational analysis and protein homology data, it is inferred that aggA, aggC, and aggD are involved in biogenesis of AAF/I, encoding a major fimbrial subunit, outer membrane usher, and periplasmic fimbrial chaperone, respectively. By immunogold electron microscopy, polyclonal antiserum raised against the aggA gene product decorated AAF/I fimbriae, affirming that AggA encodes an AAF/I subunit.