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Molecular Medicine 2014

Articles from this Volume

Myoungsun Son and Betty Diamond

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by abnormal function of both the innate and the adaptive immune system, leading to a loss of tolerance to self-antigens. Monocytes are a key component of the innate immune system and are efficient producers of multiple cytokines. In SLE, inappropriate activation of monocytes is thought to contribute to the loss of self-tolerance. In this study, we demonstrate that type 1 interferon (IFN) production by CpGchallenged monocytes can be suppressed by C1q through activating leukocyte-associated Ig-like receptor-1 (LAIR-1), which contains immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibition motifs (ITIMs). The phosphorylation of LAIR-1 and the interaction of LAIR-1 with SH2 domain–containing protein tyrosine phosphatase-1 (SHP-1) were enhanced after LAIR-1 engagement by C1q. Moreover, engagement of LAIR-1 by C1q inhibited nuclear translocation of interferon regulatory factor (IRF)-3 and IRF5 in CpGstimulated monocytes. These data suggest a model in which LAIR-1 engagement by C1q helps maintain monocyte tolerance, specifically with respect to Toll-like receptor-9–mediated monocyte activation.

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Posted by Sheila Platt on Feb 5, 2015 10:41 AM CST
Karin Palmblad, Hanna Schierbeck, Erik Sundberg, Anna-Carin Horne, Helena Erlandsson Harris, Jan-Inge Henter, Daniel J Antoine, and Ulf Andersson

Macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) is a potentially fatal complication of systemic inflammation. High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) is a nuclear protein extensively leaked extracellularly during necrotic cell death or actively secreted by natural killer (NK) cells, macrophages and additional cells during infection or sterile injury. Extracellular HMGB1 orchestrates key events in inflammation as a prototypic alarmin. The redox states of its three cysteines render the molecule mutually exclusive functions: fully reduced “all-thiol HMGB1”exerts chemotactic activity; “disulfide HMGB1” has cytokine-inducing, toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)- mediated effects—while terminally oxidized “sulfonyl HMGB1” lacks inflammatory activity. This study examines the kinetic pattern of systemic HMGB1 isoform expression during therapy in four children with severe MAS. Three of the four patients with underlying systemic rheumatic
diseases were treated with biologics and two suffered from triggering herpes virus infections at the onset of MAS. All patients required intensive care unit therapy due to life-threatening illness. Tandem mass-spectrometric analysis revealed dramatically increased systemic levels of the cytokine-inducing HMGB1 isoform during early MAS. Disease control coincided with supplementary etoposide therapy initiated to boost apoptotic cell death, when systemic HMGB1 levels drastically declined and the molecule emerged mainly in its oxidized, noninflammatory isoform. Systemic interferon (IFN)-γ and ferritin peaked concomitantly with HMGB1, whereas interleukin (IL)-18 and monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-1 levels developed differently. In conclusion, this work provides new insights in HMGB1 biology, suggesting that the molecule is not merely a biomarker of inflammation, but most likely also contributes to the pathogenesis of MAS. These observations encourage further studies of disulfide HMGB1 antagonists to improve outcome of MAS.

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Posted by Sheila Platt on Jan 27, 2015 8:59 AM CST
Ashbeel Roy, Silvia Guatimosim, Vania F Prado, Robert Gros, and Marco A M Prado

The autonomic nervous system is an important modulator of cardiac signaling in both health and disease. In fact, the significance of altered parasympathetic tone in cardiac disease has recently come to the forefront. Both neuronal and nonneuronal cholinergic signaling likely play a physiological role, since modulating acetylcholine (ACh) signaling from neurons or cardiomyocytes appears to have significant consequences in both health and disease. Notably, many of these effects are solely due to changes in cholinergic signaling, without altered sympathetic drive, which is known to have significant adverse effects in disease states. As such, it is likely that enhanced ACh-mediated signaling not only has direct positive effects on cardiomyocytes, but it also offsets the negative effects of hyperadrenergic tone. In this review, we discuss recent studies that implicate ACh as a major regulator of cardiac remodeling and provide support for the notion that enhancing cholinergic signaling in human patients with cardiac disease can reduce morbidity and mortality. These recent results support the idea of developing large clinical trials of strategies to increase cholinergic tone, either by stimulating the vagus or by increased availability of Ach, in heart failure.

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Posted by Sheila Platt on Jan 26, 2015 9:08 AM CST
Lili Sun, Hongfang Jin, Lujing Sun, Siyao Chen, Yaqian Huang, Jia Liu, Zhenzhen Li, Manman Zhao, Yan Sun, Chaoshu Tang, Bin Zhao, and Junbao Du

The study was designed to explore the role and possible mechanisms of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in the regulation of myocardial collagen remodeling in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs). We treated nine-week-old male SHRs and age- and sex-matched Wistar–Kyoto rats (WKYs) with NaHS (90 μmol/kg–1⋅day–1) for 9 wks. At 18 wks, plasma H2S, tail arterial pressure, morphology of the heart, myocardial ultrastructure and collagen volume fraction (CVF), myocardial expressions of collagen I and III protein and procollagen I and III mRNA, transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), TGF-β type I receptor (TβR-I), type II receptor (TβR-II), p-Smad2 and 3, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-13 and tissue inhibitors of MMP (TIMP)-1 proteins were determined. TGF-β1-stimulated cultured cardiac fibroblasts (CFs) were used to further study the mechanisms. The results showed that compared with WKYs, SHRs showed a reduced plasma H2S, elevated tail artery pressure and increased myocardial collagen, TGF-β1, TβR-II, p-Smad2 and p-Smad3 expressions. However, NaHS markedly decreased tail artery pressure and inhibited myocardial collagen, TGF-β1, TβR-II, p-Smad2 and p-Smad3 protein expressions, but H2S had no effect on the expressions of MMP-13 and TIMP-1. Hydralazine reduced blood pressure but had no effect on myocardial collagen, MMP-13 and TIMP-1 expressions and TGF-β1/Smad signaling pathway. H2S prevented activation of the TGF-β1/Smad signaling pathway and abnormal collagen synthesis in CFs. In conclusion, the results suggested that H2S could prevent myocardial collagen remodeling in SHR. The mechanism might be associated with inhibition of collagen synthesis via TGF-β1/Smad signaling pathway.

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Posted by Sheila Platt on Jan 20, 2015 10:19 AM CST
Gezina TML Oei, Michal Heger, Rowan F van Golen, Lindy K Alles, Moritz Flick, Allard C van der Wal, Thomas M van Gulik, Markus W Hollmann, Benedikt Preckel, and Nina C Weber

Helium, a noble gas, has been used safely in humans. In animal models of regional myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) it was shown that helium conditioning reduces infarct size. Currently, it is not known how helium exerts its cytoprotective effects and which cell death/survival pathways are affected. The objective of this study, therefore, was to investigate the cell protective effects of helium postconditioning by PCR array analysis of genes involved in necrosis, apoptosis and autophagy. Male rats were subjected to 25 min of ischemia and 5, 15 or 30 min of reperfusion. Semiquantitative histological analysis revealed that 15 min of helium postconditioning reduced the extent of I/R-induced cell damage. This effect was not observed after 5 and 30 min of helium postconditioning. Analysis of the differential expression of genes showed that 15 min of helium postconditioning mainly caused upregulation of genes involved in autophagy and inhibition of apoptosis versus I/R alone. The results suggest that the cytoprotective effects of helium inhalation may be caused by a switch from pro-cell-death signaling to activation of cell survival mechanisms, which appears to affect a wide range of pathways.

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Supplemental Data
Posted by Sheila Platt on Jan 20, 2015 10:02 AM CST
Posted by Leah Caracappa on Dec 16, 2014 10:04 AM CST
Posted by Leah Caracappa on Dec 16, 2014 10:03 AM CST
Posted by Leah Caracappa on Dec 16, 2014 10:03 AM CST
Posted by Leah Caracappa on Dec 16, 2014 10:02 AM CST
Posted by Leah Caracappa on Dec 16, 2014 10:02 AM CST
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