Acute hypoxic vasoconstriction and development of hypoxic pulmonary hypertension (PHTN) are unique properties of the pulmonary circulation. The pulmonary endothelium produces vasoactive factors, including nitric oxide (NO), that modify these phenomena. We tested the hypothesis that NO produced by endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) modulates pulmonary vascular responses to hypoxia using mice with targeted disruption of the eNOS gene (eNOS–/–). Marked PHTN was found in eNOS–/– mice raised in mild hypoxia when compared with either controls or eNOS–/– mice raised in conditions simulating sea level. We found an approximate twofold increase in partially and fully muscularized distal pulmonary arteries in eNOS–/– mice compared with controls. Consistent with vasoconstriction being the primary mechanism of PHTN, however, acute inhalation of 25 ppm NO resulted in normalization of RV pressure in eNOS–/– mice. In addition to studies of eNOS–/– mice, the dose–effect of eNOS was tested using heterozygous eNOS+/– mice. Although the lungs of eNOS+/– mice had 50% of normal eNOS protein, the response to hypoxia was indistinguishable from that of eNOS–/– mice. We conclude that eNOS-derived NO is an important modulator of the pulmonary vascular response to chronic hypoxia and that more than 50% of eNOS expression is required to maintain normal pulmonary vascular tone.
Karen A. Fagan, Brian W. Fouty, Robert C. Tyler, Kenneth G. Morris Jr., Lisa K. Hepler, Koichi Sato, Timothy D. LeCras, Steven H. Abman, Howard D. Weinberger, Paul L. Huang, Ivan F. McMurtry, David M. Rodman
The potent cytolethal distending toxin produced by Haemophilus ducreyi is a putative virulence factor in the pathogenesis of chancroid. We studied its action on eukaryotic cells, with the long-term goal of understanding the pathophysiology of the disease. Intoxication of cultured human epithelial-like cells, human keratinocytes, and hamster fibroblasts was irreversible, and appeared as a gradual distention of three- to fivefold the size of control cells. Organized actin assemblies appeared concomitantly with cell enlargement, promoted by a mechanism that probably does not involve small GTPases of the Rho protein family. Intoxicated cells did not proliferate. Similar to cells treated with other cytolethal distending toxins, these cells accumulated in the G2 phase of the cell cycle, demonstrating an increased level of the tyrosine phosphorylated (inactive) form of the cyclin-dependent kinase p34cdc2. DNA synthesis was not affected until several hours after this increase, suggesting that the toxin acts directly on some kinase/phosphatase in the signaling network controlling the p34cdc2 activity. We propose that this toxin has an important role both in the generation of chancroid ulcers and in their slow healing. The toxin may also be an interesting new tool for molecular studies of the eukaryotic cell- cycle machinery.
Ximena Cortes-Bratti, Esteban Chaves-Olarte, Teresa Lagergård, Monica Thelestam
Intracellular bacteria have been described in several species of filarial nematodes, but their relationships with, and effects on, their nematode hosts have not previously been elucidated. In this study, intracellular bacteria were observed in tissues of the rodent parasite Litomosoides sigmodontis by transmission electron microscopy and by immunohistochemistry using antiendobacterial heat shock protein-60 antisera. Molecular phylogenetic analysis of the bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA gene, isolated by PCR, showed a close relationship to the rickettsial Wolbachia endobacteria of arthropods and to other filarial intracellular bacteria. The impact of tetracycline therapy of infected rodents on L. sigmodontis development was analyzed in order to understand the role(s) these bacteria might play in filarial biology. Tetracycline therapy, when initiated with L. sigmodontis infection, eliminated the bacteria and resulted in filarial growth retardation and infertility. If initiated after microfilarial development, treatment reduced filarial fertility. Treatment with antibiotics not affecting rickettsial bacteria did not inhibit filarial development. Acanthocheilonema viteae filariae were shown to lack intracellular bacteria and to be insensitive to tetracycline. These results suggest a mutualistic interaction between the intracellular bacteria and the filarial nematode. Investigation of such a mutualism in endobacteria-containing human filariae is warranted for a potential chemotherapeutic exploitation.
Achim Hoerauf, Kerstin Nissen-Pähle, Christel Schmetz, Kim Henkle-Dührsen, Mark L. Blaxter, Dietrich W. Büttner, Michaela Y. Gallin, Khaled M. Al-Qaoud, Richard Lucius, Bernhard Fleischer
We recently cloned monoclonal IgM autoantibodies which bind to epitopes of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (OxLDL) from apoE-deficient mice (EO– autoantibodies). We now demonstrate that those EO– autoantibodies that were originally selected for binding to copper-oxidized low-density lipoproteins (CuOx-LDL), also bound both to the oxidized protein and to the oxidized lipid moieties of CuOx-LDL. The same EO– autoantibodies showed specific binding to products of oxidized 1-palmitoyl-2-arachidonoyl-phosphatidylcholine (OxPAPC) and to the specific oxidized phospholipid, 1-palmitoyl-2-(5-oxovaleroyl)-phosphatidyl-choline (POVPC), whereas oxidation of fatty acids (linoleic or arachidonic acid) or cholesteryl esters (cholesteryl-oleate or cholesteryl-linoleate) did not yield any binding activity. Those EO– autoantibodies that bound to oxidized phospholipids (e.g., EO6) inhibited the binding and degradation of CuOx-LDL by mouse peritoneal macrophages up to 91%, whereas other IgM EO– autoantibodies, selected for binding to malondialdehyde (MDA)-LDL, had no influence on binding of either CuOx-LDL or MDA-LDL by macrophages. F(ab′)2 fragments of EO6 were equally effective as the intact EO6 in preventing the binding of CuOx-LDL by macrophages. The molar ratios of IgM to LDL needed to maximally inhibit the binding varied from ∼8 to 25 with different CuOx-LDL preparations. Finally, a POVPC–bovine serum albumin (BSA) adduct also inhibited CuOx-LDL uptake by macrophages. These data suggest that oxidized phospholipid epitopes, present either as lipids or as lipid-protein adducts, represent one class of ligands involved in the recognition of OxLDL by macrophages, and that apoE-deficient mice have IgM autoantibodies that can bind to these neoepitopes and inhibit OxLDL uptake.
Sohvi Hörkkö, David A. Bird, Elizabeth Miller, Hiroyuki Itabe, Norbert Leitinger, Ganesamoorthy Subbanagounder, Judith A. Berliner, Peter Friedman, Edward A. Dennis, Linda K. Curtiss, Wulf Palinski, Joseph L. Witztum
The first known human case of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) deficiency is presented in this report. The patient is a six-year-old boy with severe growth retardation. He has been suffering from persistent hemolytic anemia characterized by marked erythrocyte fragmentation and intravascular hemolysis, with paradoxical increase of serum haptoglobin and low bilirubin. An abnormal coagulation/fibrinolysis system, associated with elevated thrombomodulin and von Willebrand factor, indicated the presence of severe, persistent endothelial damage. Electron microscopy of renal glomeruli revealed detachment of endothelium, with subendothelial deposition of an unidentified material. Iron deposition was noted in renal and hepatic tissue. Immunohistochemistry of hepatic tissue and immunoblotting of a cadmium-stimulated Epstein-Barr virus–transformed lymphoblastoid cell line (LCL) revealed complete absence of HO-1 production. An LCL derived from the patient was extremely sensitive to hemin-induced cell injury. Sequence analysis of the patient's HO-1 gene revealed complete loss of exon-2 of the maternal allele and a two-nucleotide deletion within exon3 of the paternal allele. Growth retardation, anemia, iron deposition, and vulnerability to stressful injury are all characteristics observed in recently described HO–1 targeted mice. This study presents not only the first human case of HO-1 deficiency but may also provide clues to the key roles played by this important enzyme in vivo.
Akihiro Yachie, Yo Niida, Taizo Wada, Noboru Igarashi, Hisashi Kaneda, Tomoko Toma, Kazuhide Ohta, Yoshihito Kasahara, Shoichi Koizumi
Cholestatic liver injury appears to result from the induction of hepatocyte apoptosis by toxic bile salts such as glycochenodeoxycholate (GCDC). Previous studies from this laboratory indicate that cathepsin B is a downstream effector protease during the hepatocyte apoptotic process. Because caspases can initiate apoptosis, the present studies were undertaken to determine the role of caspases in cathepsin B activation. Immunoblotting of GCDC-treated McNtcp.24 hepatoma cells demonstrated cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase and lamin B1 to fragments that indicate activation of effector caspases. Transfection with CrmA, an inhibitor of caspase 8, prevented GCDC-induced cathepsin B activation and apoptosis. Consistent with these results, an increase in caspase 8–like activity was observed in GCDC-treated cells. Examination of the mechanism of GCDC-induced caspase 8 activation revealed that dominant-negative FADD inhibited apoptosis and that hepatocytes isolated from Fas-deficient lymphoproliferative mice were resistant to GCDC-induced apoptosis. After GCDC treatment, immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrated Fas oligomerization, and confocal microscopy demonstrated ΔFADD-GFP (Fas-associated death domain–green fluorescent protein, aggregation in the absence of detectable Fas ligand mRNA. Collectively, these data suggest that GCDC-induced hepatocyte apoptosis involves ligand-independent oligomerization of Fas, recruitment of FADD, activation of caspase 8, and subsequent activation of effector proteases, including downstream caspases and cathepsin B.
William A. Faubion, M. Eugenia Guicciardi, Hideyuki Miyoshi, Steven F. Bronk, Patricia J. Roberts, Phyllis A. Svingen, Scott H. Kaufmann, Gregory J. Gores
Heterozygous mice bearing an Arg403Gln missense mutation in the α cardiac myosin heavy chain gene (α-MHC403/+) exhibit the histopathologic features of human familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Surprisingly, homozygous α-MHC403/403 mice die by postnatal day 8. Here we report that neonatal lethality is caused by a fulminant dilated cardiomyopathy characterized by myocyte dysfunction and loss. Heart tissues from neonatal wild-type and α-MHC403/403 mice demonstrate equivalent switching of MHC isoforms; α isoforms in each increase from 30% at birth to 70% by day 6. Cardiac dimensions and function, studied for the first time in neonatal mice by high frequency (45 MHz) echocardiography, were normal at birth. Between days 4 and 6, α-MHC403/403 mice developed a rapidly progressive cardiomyopathy with left ventricular dilation, wall thinning, and reduced systolic contraction. Histopathology revealed myocardial necrosis with dystrophic calcification. Electron microscopy showed normal architecture intermixed with focal myofibrillar disarray. We conclude that 45-MHz echocardiography is an excellent tool for assessing cardiac physiology in neonatal mice and that the concentration of Gln403 α cardiac MHC in myocytes influences both cell function and cell viability. We speculate that variable incorporation of mutant and normal MHC into sarcomeres of heterozygotes may account for focal myocyte death in familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Diane Fatkin, Michael E. Christe, Orlando Aristizabal, Bradley K. McConnell, Shardha Srinivasan, Frederick J. Schoen, Christine E. Seidman, Daniel H. Turnbull, J.G. Seidman
The adapter protein SLP-76 is expressed in T lymphocytes and hematopoietic cells of the myeloid lineage, and is known to be a substrate of the protein tyrosine kinases that are activated after ligation of the T-cell antigen receptor. Transient overexpression of SLP-76 in a T-cell line potentiates transcriptional activation after T-cell receptor ligation, while loss of SLP-76 expression abrogates several T-cell receptor–dependent signaling pathways. Mutant mice that lack SLP-76 manifest a severe block at an early stage of thymocyte development, implicating SLP-76 in signaling events that promote thymocyte maturation. While it is clear that SLP-76 plays a key role in development and activation of T lymphocytes, relatively little is understood regarding its role in transducing signals initiated after receptor ligation in other hematopoietic cell types. In this report, we describe fetal hemorrhage and perinatal mortality in SLP-76–deficient mice. Although megakaryocyte and platelet development proceeds normally in the absence of SLP-76, collagen-induced platelet aggregation and granule release is markedly impaired. Furthermore, treatment of SLP-76–deficient platelets with collagen fails to elicit tyrosine phosphorylation of phospholipase C-γ2 (PLC-γ2), suggesting that SLP-76 functions upstream of PLC-γ2 activation. These data provide one potential mechanism for the fetal hemorrhage observed in SLP-76–deficient mice and reveal that SLP-76 expression is required for optimal receptor-mediated signal transduction in platelets as well as T lymphocytes.
James L. Clements, Jong Ran Lee, Barbara Gross, Baoli Yang, John D. Olson, Alexander Sandra, Stephen P. Watson, Steven R. Lentz, Gary A. Koretzky
The mouse autosomal dominant mutation Mody develops hyperglycemia with notable pancreatic β-cell dysfunction. This study demonstrates that one of the alleles of the gene for insulin 2 in Mody mice encodes a protein product that substitutes tyrosine for cysteine at the seventh amino acid of the A chain in its mature form. This mutation disrupts a disulfide bond between the A and B chains and can induce a drastic conformational change of this molecule. Although there was no gross defect in the transcription from the wild-type insulin 2 allele or two alleles of insulin 1, levels of proinsulin and insulin were profoundly diminished in the β cells of Mody mice, suggesting that the number of wild-type (pro)insulin molecules was also decreased. Electron microscopy revealed a dramatic reduction of secretory granules and a remarkably enlarged lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum. Little proinsulin was processed to insulin, but high molecular weight forms of proinsulin existed with concomitant overexpression of BiP, a molecular chaperone in the endoplasmic reticulum. Furthermore, mutant proinsulin expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells was inefficiently secreted, and its intracellular fraction formed complexes with BiP and was eventually degraded. These findings indicate that mutant proinsulin was trapped and accumulated in the endoplasmic reticulum, which could induce β-cell dysfunction and account for the dominant phenotype of this mutation.
Jie Wang, Toshiyuki Takeuchi, Shigeyasu Tanaka, Suely-Kunimi Kubo, Tsuyoshi Kayo, Danhong Lu, Kuniaki Takata, Akio Koizumi, Tetsuro Izumi
A novel approach was employed to assess the contribution of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) to obstructive nephropathy in neonatal mice having zero to four functional copies of the angiotensinogen gene (Agt). Two-day-old mice underwent unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) or sham operation; 28 days later, renal interstitial fibrosis and tubular atrophy were quantitated. In all Agt genotypes, UUO reduced ipsilateral renal mass and increased that of the opposite kidney. Renal interstitial collagen increased after UUO linearly with Agt expression, from a fractional area of 25% in zero-copy mice to 54% in two-copy mice. Renal expression of transforming growth factor-β1 was increased by ipsilateral UUO in mice expressing Agt, but not in zero-copy mice. However, the prevalence of atrophic tubules due to UUO did not vary with Agt expression. Blood pressure was not different in all groups, except for a reduction in sham zero-copy mice. We conclude that a functional RAS is not necessary for compensatory renal growth. This study demonstrates conclusively that angiotensin regulates at least 50% of the renal interstitial fibrotic response in obstructive nephropathy, an effect independent of systemic hemodynamic changes. Angiotensin-induced fibrosis likely is a mechanism common to the progression of many forms of renal disease.
Robert J. Fern, Christine M. Yesko, Barbara A. Thornhill, Hyung-Suk Kim, Oliver Smithies, Robert L. Chevalier
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