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1.  The Role of T Cell Immunoglobulin Mucin Domains 1 and 4 in a Herpes Simplex Virus-Induced Behçet's Disease Mouse Model 
Mediators of Inflammation  2013;2013:903948.
The T cell immunoglobulin mucin (TIM) proteins regulate T cell activation and tolerance. TIM-1 plays an important role in the regulation of immune responses and the development of autoimmune diseases. TIM-4 is a natural ligand of TIM-1, and the interaction of TIM-1 and TIM-4 is involved in the regulation of T helper (Th) cell responses and modulation of the Th1/Th2 cytokine balance. Behçet's disease (BD) is a chronic, multisystemic inflammatory disorder with arthritic, intestinal, mucocutaneous, ocular, vascular, and central nervous system involvement. Tim-1 expression was lower in a herpes simplex virus-induced BD mouse model compared to that in asymptomatic BD normal (BDN) mice. Tim-4 expression was higher in BD mice than that in BDN mice. In this study, we investigated the Tim expression in a BD mouse model with BD-like symptoms. Tim-1 and Tim-4 expression was regulated by an expression vector or siRNA injected into the BD mouse model. The Tim-1 vector injected into BD mice resulted in changes in BD-like symptoms and decreased the severity score. Treatment with Tim-4 siRNA also improved BD-like symptoms and decreased the severity score accompanied by upregulation of regulatory T cells. We showed that regulating Tim-1 or Tim-4 affected BD-like symptoms in mice.
PMCID: PMC3888750  PMID: 24453431
2.  Immunopathogenic Role of Herpes Simplex Virus in Behçet's Disease 
The role of viral infections, such as herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection, in the pathogenesis of Behçet's disease (BD) has been investigated for many years. HSV has been detected in peripheral blood leukocytes, saliva, and genital ulcers of patients with BD. Various cell adhesion molecules on cultured endothelial cells have been induced by HSV in a TNF-α dependent manner. In addition, a BD-like animal model was developed by inoculating ICR mouse earlobes with HSV, and antiviral treatment was effective in improving BD-like symptoms in this model. Still, there are several incompletely characterized proteins that possess antiviral properties and are being investigated as mediators of viral infection-related chronic inflammatory reactions. Although the role of HSV in the pathogenesis of BD remains to be fully established, recent research findings regarding HSV in BD have expanded our understanding of the disease and will hopefully lead to the development of more effective therapeutic agents in the near future.
PMCID: PMC3857840  PMID: 24349789
3.  Autophagy induction by tetrahydrobiopterin deficiency 
Autophagy  2011;7(11):1323-1334.
Tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) deficiency is a genetic disorder associated with a variety of metabolic syndromes such as phenylketonuria (PKU). In this article, the signaling pathway by which BH4 deficiency inactivates mTORC1 leading to the activation of the autophagic pathway was studied utilizing BH4-deficient Spr-/- mice generated by the knockout of the gene encoding sepiapterin reductase (SR) catalyzing BH4 synthesis. We found that mTORC1 signaling was inactivated and autophagic pathway was activated in tissues from Spr-/- mice. This study demonstrates that tyrosine deficiency causes mTORC1 inactivation and subsequent activation of autophagic pathway in Spr-/- mice. Therapeutic tyrosine diet completely rescued dwarfism and mTORC1 inhibition but inactivated autophagic pathway in Spr-/- mice. Tyrosine-dependent inactivation of mTORC1 was further supported by mTORC1 inactivation in Pahenu2 mouse model lacking phenylalanine hydroxylase (Pah). NIH3T3 cells grown under the condition of tyrosine restriction exhibited autophagy induction. However, mTORC1 activation by RhebQ64L, a positive regulator of mTORC1, inactivated autophagic pathway in NIH3T3 cells under tyrosine-deficient conditions. In addition, this study first documents mTORC1 inactivation and autophagy induction in PKU patients with BH4 deficiency.
PMCID: PMC3242797  PMID: 21795851
tetrahydrobiopterin; autophagy; mTORC1; tyrosine; phenylalanine; phenylketonuria; Akt; AMPK
4.  The role of Qa-2, the functional homolog of HLA-G, in a Behcet's disease-like mouse model induced by the herpes virus simplex 
It has been suggested that the HLA-G molecule is a genetic risk factor for Behcet's disease (BD). In this study, we evaluated the level of Qa-2, a murine nonclassical class I MHC molecule and possible functional homolog of HLA-G, to determine if it was associated with various symptoms of BD-like mice. In addition, we investigated siRNA (small interfering RNA) treatment to determine if it inhibited Qa-2 expression, thereby changing the symptoms of mice.
RNA interference (RNAi) and vector transfection were employed to manipulate gene expression in vivo in mice. siRNA (small interfering RNA) or Qa-2 expression vector was applied to inhibit or up-regulate Qa-2 expression, respectively.
The Qa-2 levels in granulocytes were lower in BD-like mice than in normal controls. The silencing of Qa-2 by intravenous injection of siRNA (500 nmol/mouse, 4 times at 3-day intervals) specifically reduced the Qa-2 levels and worsened the BD-like symptoms.
Silencing Qa-2 by injecting siRNA into mice resulted in deterioration of symptoms in BD-like mice.
PMCID: PMC2902457  PMID: 20573271
5.  Transplantation of human neural stem cells transduced with Olig2 transcription factor improves locomotor recovery and enhances myelination in the white matter of rat spinal cord following contusive injury 
BMC Neuroscience  2009;10:117.
Contusive spinal cord injury is complicated by a delayed loss of oligodendrocytes, resulting in chronic progressive demyelination. Therefore, transplantation strategies to provide oligodendrocyte lineage cells and to enhance the extent of myelination appear to be justified for spinal cord repair. The present study investigated whether transplantation of human neural stem cells (NSCs) genetically modified to express Olig2 transcription factor, an essential regulator of oligodendrocyte development, can improve locomotor recovery and enhance myelination in a rat contusive spinal cord injury model.
HB1.F3 (F3) immortalized human NSC line was transduced with a retroviral vector encoding Olig2, an essential regulator of oligodendrocyte development. Overexpression of Olig2 in human NSCs (F3.Olig2) induced activation of NKX2.2 and directed differentiation of NSCs into oligodendrocyte lineage cells in vitro. Introduction of Olig2 conferred higher proliferative activity, and a much larger number of F3.Olig2 NSCs were detected by 7 weeks after transplantation into contused spinal cord than that of parental F3 NSCs. F3.Olig2 NSCs exhibited frequent migration towards the white matter, whereas F3 NSCs were mostly confined to the gray matter or around the lesion cavities. Most of F3.Olig2 NSCs occupying the spared white matter differentiated into mature oligodendrocytes. Transplantation of F3.Olig2 NSCs increased the volume of spared white matter and reduced the cavity volume. Moreover, F3.Olig2 grafts significantly increased the thickness of myelin sheath around the axons in the spared white matter. Finally, animals with F3.Olig2 grafts showed an improvement in the quality of hindlimbs locomotion.
Transplantation of NSCs genetically modified to differentiate into an oligodendrocytic lineage may be an effective strategy to improve functional outcomes following spinal cord trauma. The present study suggests that molecular factors governing cell fate decisions can be manipulated to enhance reparative potential of the cell-based therapy.
PMCID: PMC2758886  PMID: 19772605
6.  Hepatitis B Virus X Protein Induces Perinuclear Mitochondrial Clustering in Microtubule- and Dynein-Dependent Manners▿  
Journal of Virology  2006;81(4):1714-1726.
The hepatitis B virus (HBV) X protein (HBx) is thought to play a key role in HBV replication and the development of liver cancer. It became apparent that HBx induces mitochondrial clustering at the nuclear periphery, but the molecular basis for mitochondrial clustering is not understood. Since mitochondria move along the cytoskeleton as a cargo of motor proteins, we hypothesized that mitochondrial clustering induced by HBx occurs by an altered intracellular motility. Here, we demonstrated that the treatment of HBx-expressing cells with a microtubule-disrupting drug (nocodazole) abrogated mitochondrial clustering, while the removal of nocodazole restored clustering within 30 to 60 min, indicating that mitochondrial transport is occurring in a microtubule-dependent manner. The addition of a cytochalasin D-disrupting actin filament, however, did not measurably affect mitochondrial clustering. Mitochondrial clustering was further studied by observations of HBV-related hepatoma cells and HBV-replicating cells. Importantly, the abrogation of the dynein activity in HBx-expressing cells by microinjection of a neutralizing anti-dynein intermediate-chain antibody, dynamitin overexpression, or the addition of a dynein ATPase inhibitor significantly suppressed the mitochondrial clustering. In addition, HBx induced the activation of the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and inhibition of the p38 kinase activity by SB203580-attenuated HBx-induced mitochondrial clustering. Taken together, HBx activation of the p38 MAPK contributed to the increase in the microtubule-dependent dynein activity. The data suggest that HBx plays a novel regulatory role in subcellular transport systems, perhaps facilitating the process of maturation and/or assembly of progeny particles during HBV replication. Furthermore, mitochondrion aggregation induced by HBx may represent a cellular process that underlies disease progression during chronic viral infection.
PMCID: PMC1797565  PMID: 17151129
7.  Immunological Characterizations of a Cloned 13.1-Kilodalton Protein from Pathogenic Naegleria fowleri 
We previously cloned an antigenic gene (named nfa1) from a cDNA library of Naegleria fowleri by immunoscreening. The nfa1 gene had a coding nucleotide sequence consisting of 357 bases and produced a recombinant 13.1-kDa protein (Nfa1). In this study, to get more information regarding the recombinant Nfa1 protein (rNfa1), we produced an anti-Nfa1 polyclonal antibody from mice immunized with rNfa1 and used a peroxidase staining method to carry out immunocytochemistry experiments. In addition, we observed the effect of the presence of an anti-Nfa1 antibody on the in vitro cytotoxicity of N. fowleri against Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. Trophozoites of N. fowleri in cultivation reacted strongly with a peroxidase-labeled anti-Nfa1 antibody. In inflammatory and necrotic regions of brain tissue infected with N. fowleri, labeled trophozoites that were stained brown were also observed. When examined using a transmission electron microscope, the Nfa1 protein showed pseudopodium-specific immunolocalization on a trophozoite of N. fowleri. When examined using a light microscope, CHO cells grown in cocultures with N. fowleri trophozoites (group I) for 48 h showed morphologically severe destruction but CHO cells grown in cocultures with N. fowleri trophozoites and an anti-Nfa1 polyclonal antibody (group II) showed less destruction. The results of a lactate dehydrogenase release assay showed that group I CHO cells exhibited 81% cytotoxicity and group II CHO cells exhibited 13.8% cytotoxicity.
PMCID: PMC193893  PMID: 12965933
8.  Brain-derived neurotrophic factor can act as a pronecrotic factor through transcriptional and translational activation of NADPH oxidase 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2002;159(5):821-831.
Several lines of evidence suggest that neurotrophins (NTs) potentiate or cause neuronal injury under various pathological conditions. Since NTs enhance survival and differentiation of cultured neurons in serum or defined media containing antioxidants, we set out experiments to delineate the patterns and underlying mechanisms of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)–induced neuronal injury in mixed cortical cell cultures containing glia and neurons in serum-free media without antioxidants, where the three major routes of neuronal cell death, oxidative stress, excitotoxicity, and apoptosis, have been extensively studied. Rat cortical cell cultures, after prolonged exposure to NTs, underwent widespread neuronal necrosis. BDNF-induced neuronal necrosis was accompanied by reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and was dependent on the macromolecular synthesis. cDNA microarray analysis revealed that BDNF increased the expression of cytochrome b558, the plasma membrane-spanning subunit of NADPH oxidase. The expression and activation of NADPH oxidase were increased after exposure to BDNF. The selective inhibitors of NADPH oxidase prevented BDNF-induced ROS production and neuronal death without blocking antiapoptosis action of BDNF. The present study suggests that BDNF-induced expression and activation of NADPH oxidase cause oxidative neuronal necrosis and that the neurotrophic effects of NTs can be maximized under blockade of the pronecrotic action.
PMCID: PMC2173377  PMID: 12460985
BDNF; reactive oxygen species; necrosis; cycloheximide; NADPH oxidase
9.  Apoptosis of Primary-Culture Rat Microglial Cells Induced by Pathogenic Acanthamoeba spp. 
To determine whether trophozoites and lysates of pathogenic Acanthamoeba spp. induce apoptosis in primary-culture microglial cells, transmission electron microscopic (TEM) examinations, assessment of DNA fragmentation by agarose gel electrophoresis, and the TdT-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling assay were performed. When a trophozoite of pathogenic Acanthamoeba culbertsoni came in contact with a microglial cell, the digipodium was observed by TEM. Nuclear chromatin condensation was observed in 10% of microglial cells, while it was not revealed when they were cocultured with weakly pathogenic Acanthamoeba royreba trophozoites. DNA fragmentation in microglial cells cocultured with the A. culbertsoni lysate was detected by electrophoresis, showing DNA ladder formation, whereas it was hardly observed in microglial cells cocultured with A. royreba. DNA fragmentation of microglial cells was also confirmed by flow cytometry analysis. The fluorescence of TdT-stained apoptotic bodies became intensely visible with microglial cells cocultured with the A. culbertsoni lysate. In contrast, with microglial cells cocultured with the A. royreba lysate, only a background level of fluorescence of TdT-stained apoptotic bodies was detected. These results suggest that some rat microglial cells cocultured with pathogenic A. culbertsoni undergo cytopathic changes which show the characteristics of the apoptotic process, such as nuclear condensation and DNA fragmentation.
PMCID: PMC95904  PMID: 10799471

Results 1-9 (9)