Chloride intracellular channel 4 (CLIC4) is a mammalian homologue of EXC-4 whose mutation is associated with cystic excretory canals in nematodes. Here we show that CLIC4-null mouse embryos exhibit impaired renal tubulogenesis. In both developing and developed kidneys, CLIC4 is specifically enriched in the proximal tubule epithelial cells, in which CLIC4 is important for luminal delivery, microvillus morphogenesis, and endolysosomal biogenesis. Adult CLIC4-null proximal tubules display aberrant dilation. In MDCK 3D cultures, CLIC4 is expressed on early endosome, recycling endosome and apical transport carriers before reaching its steady-state apical membrane localization in mature lumen. CLIC4 suppression causes impaired apical vesicle coalescence and central lumen formation, a phenotype that can be rescued by Rab8 and Cdc42. Furthermore, we show that retromer- and branched actin-mediated trafficking on early endosome regulates apical delivery during early luminogenesis. CLIC4 selectively modulates retromer-mediated apical transport by negatively regulating the formation of branched actin on early endosomes.
Chloride intracellular channel (CLIC) 4 is an ion channel, localized in the cytoplasm, and first identified as an actin binding protein. Here, Chou et al. knockout CLIC4 in mice and observe tubulogenesis and renal proximal tubule dilation defects, which is caused by irregular actin and endosomal trafficking.
The four Toll/IL-1R (TIR) domain-containing adaptor proteins MyD88, MAL, TRIF and TRAM are well established as essential mediators of TLR signaling and gene induction following microbial detection. In contrast, the function of the fifth, most evolutionarily conserved TIR adaptor sterile alpha and HEAT/Armadillo motif-containing protein (SARM) has remained more elusive. Recent studies of Sarm−/− mice have highlighted a role for SARM in stress-induced neuronal cell death and immune responses in the CNS. However, whether SARM has a role in immune responses in peripheral myeloid immune cells is less clear. Thus, we characterized TLR-induced cytokine responses in SARM-deficient murine macrophages, and discovered a requirement for SARM in CCL5 production, while gene induction of TNF, IL1β, CCL2 and CXCL10 were SARM-independent. SARM was not required for TLR-induced activation of MAPKs or of transcription factors implicated in CCL5 induction, namely NF-κB and IFN regulatory factors, nor for Ccl5 mRNA stability or splicing. However, SARM was critical for the recruitment of transcription factors and of RNA polymerase II to the Ccl5 promoter. Strikingly, the requirement of SARM for CCL5 induction was not restricted to TLR pathways, as it was also apparent in cytosolic RNA and DNA responses. Thus, this study identifies a new role for SARM in CCL5 expression in macrophages.
Four of the five members of the Toll-interleukin-1 receptor (TIR) domain-containing adaptor family are required for signaling downstream of Toll-like receptors, promoting innate immune responses against different pathogens. However, the role of the fifth member of this family, sterile alpha and TIR-domain containing 1 (SARM), is unclear. SARM is expressed primarily in the central nervous system where it is required for axonal death. Studies in C.elegans have also shown a role for SARM in innate immunity. To clarify the role of mammalian SARM in innate immunity, we infected SARM−/− mice with a number of bacterial and viral pathogens. SARM−/− mice show normal responses to Listeria monocytogenes, Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), and influenza virus, but show dramatic protection from death after CNS infection with vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV). Protection correlates with reduced CNS injury and cytokine production by non-hematopoietic cells, suggesting that SARM is a positive regulator of cytokine production. Neurons and microglia are the predominant source of cytokines in vivo, supporting a role for SARM as a link between neuronal injury and innate immunity.
Loss-of-function mutations of progranulin (PGRN) have been linked to frontotemporal dementia, but little is known about the effects of PGRN deficiency on the brain in health and disease. PGRN has been implicated in neurovascular development, inflammation, and Wnt signaling, a pathway involved in the formation of the blood–brain barrier (BBB). Because BBB alterations and inflammation contribute to ischemic brain injury, we examined the role of PGRN in the brain damage produced by ischemia-reperfusion. PGRN+/− and PGRN−/− mice underwent middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) with monitoring of cerebral blood flow. Infarct volume and motor deficits were assessed 72 h later. Post-ischemic inflammation was examined by expression of inflammatory genes and flow cytometry. BBB structure and permeability were examined by electron microscopy (EM) and Evans blue (EB) extravasation, respectively. MCAO resulted in ∼60% larger infarcts in PGRN+/− and PGRN−/− mice, an effect independent of hemodynamic factors or post-ischemic inflammation. Rather, massive hemorrhages and post-ischemic BBB disruption were observed, unrelated to degradation of tight junction (TJ) proteins or matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). By EM, TJ were 30–52% shorter, fewer, and less interlocking, suggesting a weaker seal between endothelial cells. Intracerebral injection of platelet-derived growth factor-CC (PDGF-CC), which increases BBB permeability, resulted in a more severe BBB breakdown in PGRN+/− and PGRN−/− than wild-type mice. We describe a previously unrecognized involvement of PGRN in the expression of key ultrastructural features of the BBB. Such a novel vasoprotective role of PGRN may contribute to brain dysfunction and damage in conditions associated with reduced PGRN function.
blood–brain barrier; frontotemporal dementia; neurovascular unit; progranulin; stroke
Chloride intracellular channel (CLIC) 4 has diverse functions in membrane trafficking, apoptosis, angiogenesis and cell differentiation. CLIC4 is abundantly expressed in macrophages, but its role in innate immune functions is unclear. Here we show that primary murine macrophages expressed increased amounts of CLIC4 after exposure to bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The endogenous CLIC4 level is significantly elevated in the brain, heart, lung, kidney, liver and spleen after LPS injection of mice. Stable macrophage lines overexpressing CLIC4 produced more TNF, IL-6, IL-12 and CCL5 than mock transfectants when exposed to LPS. To explore the role of CLIC4 in vivo, we generated CLIC4-null mice. These mice were protected from LPS-induced death, had reduced serum levels of inflammatory cytokines. Upon infection with Listeria monocytogenes, CLIC4-deficient mice were impaired in their ability to clear infection, and their macrophages responded to Listeria by producing less inflammatory cytokines and chemokines than the wild type controls. When challenged with LPS in vitro, deletion of clic4 gene had little effect in MAPK and NF-κB activation, but led to a reduced accumulation of phosphorylated IRF3 within macrophages. Conversely, overexpression of CLIC4 enhanced LPS-mediated IRF3. Thus, CLIC4 is an LPS-induced product that can serve as a positive regulator of LPS signaling.
inflammation; innate responses; macrophage; TLR-signaling
Progranulin haploinsufficiency is associated with frontotemporal dementia in humans. Deficiency of progranulin led to exaggerated inflammation and premature aging in mice. The role of progranulin in adaptations to nerve injury and neuropathic pain are still unknown. Here we found that progranulin is up-regulated after injury of the sciatic nerve in the mouse ipsilateral dorsal root ganglia and spinal cord, most prominently in the microglia surrounding injured motor neurons. Progranulin knockdown by continuous intrathecal spinal delivery of small interfering RNA after sciatic nerve injury intensified neuropathic pain-like behaviour and delayed the recovery of motor functions. Compared to wild-type mice, progranulin-deficient mice developed more intense nociceptive hypersensitivity after nerve injury. The differences escalated with aging. Knockdown of progranulin reduced the survival of dissociated primary neurons and neurite outgrowth, whereas addition of recombinant progranulin rescued primary dorsal root ganglia neurons from cell death induced by nerve growth factor withdrawal. Thus, up-regulation of progranulin after neuronal injury may reduce neuropathic pain and help motor function recovery, at least in part, by promoting survival of injured neurons and supporting regrowth. A deficiency in this mechanism may increase the risk for injury-associated chronic pain.
nerve injury; growth factor; microglia; neuroinflammation; pain, dorsal root ganglia; spinal cord
Secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI) is an anti-inflammatory protein that is observed at high levels in asthma patients. Resiquimod, a TLR7/8 ligand, is protective against acute and chronic asthma, and it increases SLPI expression of macrophages in vitro. However, the protective role played by SLPI and the interactions between the SLPI and resiquimod pathways in the immune response occurring in allergic asthma have not been fully elucidated. To evaluate the role of SLPI in the development of asthma phenotypes and the effect of resiquimod treatment on SLPI, we assessed airway resistance and inflammatory parameters in the lungs of OVA-induced asthmatic SLPI transgenic and knockout mice and in mice treated with resiquimod. Compared with wild-type mice, allergic SLPI transgenic mice showed a decrease in lung resistance (p < 0.001), airway eosinophilia (p < 0.001), goblet cell hyperplasia (p < 0.001), and plasma IgE levels (p < 0.001). Allergic SLPI knockout mice displayed phenotype changes significantly more severe compared with wild-type mice. These phenotypes included lung resistance (p < 0.001), airway eosinophilia (p < 0.001), goblet cell hyperplasia (p < 0.001), cytokine levels in the lungs (p < 0.05), and plasma IgE levels (p < 0.001). Treatment of asthmatic transgenic mice with resiquimod increased the expression of SLPI and decreased inflammation in the lungs; resiquimod treatment was still effective in asthmatic SLPI knockout mice. Taken together, our study showed that the expression of SLPI protects against allergic asthma phenotypes, and treatment by resiquimod is independent of SLPI expression, displayed through the use of transgenic and knockout SLPI mice.
Secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor is a serine protease inhibitor produced by various cell types, including neutrophils and activated macrophages, and has anti-inflammatory properties. It has been shown to promote wound healing in the skin and other non-neural tissues, however, its role in central nervous system injury was not known. We now report a beneficial role for secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor after spinal cord injury. After spinal cord contusion injury in mice, secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor is expressed primarily by astrocytes and neutrophils but not macrophages. We show, using transgenic mice over-expressing secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor, that this molecule has an early protective effect after spinal cord contusion injury. Furthermore, wild-type mice treated for the first week after spinal cord contusion injury with recombinant secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor exhibit sustained improvement in locomotor control and reduced secondary tissue damage. Recombinant secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor injected intraperitoneally localizes to the nucleus of circulating leukocytes, is detected in the injured spinal cord, reduces activation of nuclear factor-κB and expression of tumour necrosis factor-α. Administration of recombinant secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor might therefore be useful for the treatment of acute spinal cord injury.
spinal cord injury; neuroinflammation; wound healing; neutrophil; astrocytes; macrophage
Progranulin (PGRN) is a widely expressed protein involved in diverse biological processes. Haploinsufficiency of PGRN in the human causes tau-negative, ubiquitin-positive frontotemporal dementia (FTD). However, the mechanisms are unknown. To explore the role of PGRN in vivo, we generated PGRN-deficient mice. Macrophages from these mice released less interleukin-10 and more inflammatory cytokines than wild type (WT) when exposed to bacterial lipopolysaccharide. PGRN-deficient mice failed to clear Listeria monocytogenes infection as quickly as WT and allowed bacteria to proliferate in the brain, with correspondingly greater inflammation than in WT. PGRN-deficient macrophages and microglia were cytotoxic to hippocampal cells in vitro, and PGRN-deficient hippocampal slices were hypersusceptible to deprivation of oxygen and glucose. With age, brains of PGRN-deficient mice displayed greater activation of microglia and astrocytes than WT, and their hippocampal and thalamic neurons accumulated cytosolic phosphorylated transactivation response element DNA binding protein–43. Thus, PGRN is a key regulator of inflammation and plays critical roles in both host defense and neuronal integrity. FTD associated with PGRN insufficiency may result from many years of reduced neutrotrophic support together with cumulative damage in association with dysregulated inflammation.
The innate immune system relies on evolutionally conserved Toll-like receptors (TLRs) to recognize diverse microbial molecular structures. Most TLRs depend on a family of adaptor proteins termed MyD88s to transduce their signals. Critical roles of MyD88-1–4 in host defense were demonstrated by defective immune responses in knockout mice. In contrast, the sites of expression and functions of vertebrate MyD88-5 have remained elusive. We show that MyD88-5 is distinct from other MyD88s in that MyD88-5 is preferentially expressed in neurons, colocalizes in part with mitochondria and JNK3, and regulates neuronal death. We prepared MyD88-5/GFP transgenic mice via a bacterial artificial chromosome to preserve its endogenous expression pattern. MyD88-5/GFP was detected chiefly in the brain, where it associated with punctate structures within neurons and copurified in part with mitochondria. In vitro, MyD88-5 coimmunoprecipitated with JNK3 and recruited JNK3 from cytosol to mitochondria. Hippocampal neurons from MyD88-5–deficient mice were protected from death after deprivation of oxygen and glucose. In contrast, MyD88-5–null macrophages behaved like wild-type cells in their response to microbial products. Thus, MyD88-5 appears unique among MyD88s in functioning to mediate stress-induced neuronal toxicity.
Brains from subjects who have Alzheimer's disease (AD) express inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). We tested the hypothesis that iNOS contributes to AD pathogenesis. Immunoreactive iNOS was detected in brains of mice with AD-like disease resulting from transgenic expression of mutant human β-amyloid precursor protein (hAPP) and presenilin-1 (hPS1). We bred hAPP-, hPS1-double transgenic mice to be iNOS+/+ or iNOS−/−, and compared them with a congenic WT strain. Deficiency of iNOS substantially protected the AD-like mice from premature mortality, cerebral plaque formation, increased β-amyloid levels, protein tyrosine nitration, astrocytosis, and microgliosis. Thus, iNOS seems to be a major instigator of β-amyloid deposition and disease progression. Inhibition of iNOS may be a therapeutic option in AD.
Macrophages are activated from a resting state by a combination of cytokines and microbial products. Microbes are often sensed through Toll-like receptors signaling through MyD88. We used large-scale microarrays in multiple replicate experiments followed by stringent statistical analysis to compare gene expression in wild-type (WT) and MyD88−/− macrophages. We confirmed key results by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, Western blot, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Surprisingly, many genes, such as inducible nitric oxide synthase, IRG-1, IP-10, MIG, RANTES, and interleukin 6 were induced by interferon (IFN)-γ from 5- to 100-fold less extensively in MyD88−/− macrophages than in WT macrophages. Thus, widespread, full-scale activation of macrophages by IFN-γ requires MyD88. Analysis of the mechanism revealed that MyD88 mediates a process of self-priming by which resting macrophages produce a low level of tumor necrosis factor. This and other factors lead to basal activation of nuclear factor κB, which synergizes with IFN-γ for gene induction. In contrast, infection by live, virulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) activated macrophages largely through MyD88-independent pathways, and macrophages did not need MyD88 to kill Mtb in vitro. Thus, MyD88 plays a dynamic role in resting macrophages that supports IFN-γ–dependent activation, whereas macrophages can respond to a complex microbial stimulus, the tubercle bacillus, chiefly by other routes.
macrophage activation; Toll-like receptors; innate immunity; NF-κB; microarray gene expression analysis
Macrophages are among the most sensitive targets of bacterial endotoxin (LPS), responding to minute amounts of LPS by releasing a battery of inflammatory mediators. Transfection of macrophages with secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI) renders these cells refractory to LPS stimulation. Here we show that uptake of LPS from soluble CD14 (sCD14)-LPS complexes by SLPI-overexpressing cells was only 50% of that seen in control cells. SLPI transfectants and mock transfectants did not differ in the surface expression of CD14 or CD18. We show, in addition, that recombinant human SLPI can bind to purified endotoxin in vitro. SLPI caused a decrease in the binding of LPS to sCD14 as assessed both by fluorescence quenching of labeled LPS and by nondenaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. These results suggest that the inhibitory effect of SLPI on macrophage responses to LPS may, in part, be due to its blockade of LPS transfer to soluble CD14 and its interference with uptake of LPS from LPS-sCD14 complexes by macrophages.
Mouse secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI) was recently characterized as a lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced product of macrophages that antagonizes their LPS-induced activation of NF-κB and production of NO and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) (F. Y. Jin, C. Nathan, D. Radzioch, and A. Ding, Cell 88:417–426, 1997). To better understand the role of SLPI in innate immune and inflammatory responses, we examined the kinetics of SLPI expression in response to LPS, LPS-induced cytokines, and LPS-mimetic compounds. SLPI mRNA was detectable in macrophages by Northern blot analysis within 30 min of exposure to LPS but levels peaked only at 24 to 36 h and remained elevated at 72 h. Despite the slowly mounting and prolonged response, early expression of SLPI mRNA was cycloheximide resistant. Two LPS-induced proteins—interleukin-10 (IL-10) and IL-6—also induced SLPI, while TNF and IL-1β did not. The slow attainment of maximal induction of SLPI by LPS in vitro was mimicked by infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa in vivo, where SLPI expression in the lung peaked at 3 days. Two LPS-mimetic molecules—taxol from yew bark and lipoteichoic acid (LTA) from gram-positive bacterial cell walls—also induced SLPI. Transfection of macrophages with SLPI inhibited their LTA-induced NO production. An anti-inflammatory role for macrophage-derived SLPI seems likely based on SLPI’s slowly mounting production in response to constituents of gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, its induction both as a direct response to LPS and as a response to anti-inflammatory cytokines induced by LPS, and its ability to suppress the production of proinflammatory products by macrophages stimulated with constituents of both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.