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Molecular Medicine 2014

Articles from this Volume

Fleur Schaper, Johanna Westra, and Marc Bijl

High-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) is an important molecule for several nuclear processes. Recently, HMGB1 has gained much attention as a damage-associated molecular pattern (DAMP) and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of several (auto)-immune diseases, in particular, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). A main pathogenic feature in SLE is the accumulation of apoptotic cells. Since HMGB1 is released from apoptotic cells it has been hypothesized that HMGB1 might fuel the inflammatory processes, as seen in this disease, and play a fundamental role in the pathogenesis. In this review, we discuss evidence in support of the theory that HMGB1 is an important mediator in SLE and may be considered a new autoantigen.

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Posted by Sheila Platt on Mar 13, 2014 2:30 PM CDT
Bixi Jian, Shaolong Yang, Irshad H Chaudry, and Raghavan Raju

Severe hemorrhage leads to decreased blood flow to tissues resulting in decreased oxygen and nutrient availability affecting mitochondrial function. A mitoscriptome profiling study demonstrated alteration in several genes related to mitochondria, consistent with the mitochondrial functional decline observed after trauma hemorrhage (T-H). Our experiments led to the identification of sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) as a potential target in T-H. Administration of resveratrol (a naturally occurring polyphenol and activator of SIRT1) after T-H improved left ventricular function and tissue ATP levels. Our hypothesis was that mitochondrial function after T-H depends on SIRT1 activity. In this study, we evaluated the activity of SIRT1, a mitochondrial functional modulator, and the mitochondrialglycolytic balance after T-H. We determined the changes in protein levels of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (PDK)-1 and nuclear c-Myc, peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor-γ coactivator (PGC)-1α and NF-E2-related factor (NRF)2 after T-H and after treatment with resveratrol or a combination of sirtinol (a SIRT1 inhibitor) and resveratrol. We have also tested the activity of mitochondrial complex 1. SIRT1 enzyme activity was significantly decreased after T-H, whereas resveratrol treatment restored the activity. We found elevated PDK1 and c-Myc levels and decreased PGC-1α, NRF2 and mitochondrial complex I activity after T-H. The reduced SIRT1 activity after T-H may be related to declining mitochondrial function, since resveratrol was able to reinstate SIRT1 activity and mitochondrial function. The elevated level of PDK1 (an inhibitor of pyruvate dehydrogenase complex) after T-H indicates a possible shift in cellular energetics from mitochondria to glycolysis. In conclusion, SIRT1 modulation alters left ventricular function after T-H through regulation of cellular energetics.

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Posted by MolMed Admin on Mar 13, 2014 2:05 PM CDT
Ombretta Repetto, Stefania Zanussi, Mariateresa Casarotto, Vincenzo Canzonieri, Paolo De Paoli, Renato Cannizzaro, and Valli De Re
Atrophic autoimmune gastritis (AAG) is a condition of chronic inflammation and atrophy of stomach mucosa, for which development can be partially triggered by the bacterial pathogen Helicobacter pylori (HP). HP can cause a variety of gastric diseases, such as duodenal ulcer (DU) or gastric cancer (GC). In this study, a comparative proteomic approach was used by two-dimensional fluorescence difference gel electrophoresis (DIGE) to identify differentially expressed proteins of HP strains isolated from patients with AAG, to identify markers of HP strain associated with AAG. Proteome profiles of HP isolated from GC or DU were used as a reference to compare proteomic levels. Proteomics analyses revealed 27 differentially expressed spots in AAG-associated HP in comparison with GC, whereas only 9 differential spots were found in AAG-associated HP profiles compared with DU. Proteins were identified after matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI)-TOF and peptide mass fingerprinting. Some AAG-HP differential proteins were common between DU- and GC-HP (peroxiredoxin, heat shock protein 70 [HSP70], adenosine 5′-triphosphate [ATP] synthase subunit α, flagellin A). Our results presented here may suggest that comparative proteomes of HP isolated from AAG and DU share more common protein expression than GC and provide subsets of putative AAG-specific upregulated or downregulated proteins that could be proposed as putative markers of AAG-associated HP. Other comparative studies by two-dimensional maps integrated with functional genomics of candidate proteins will undoubtedly contribute to better decipher the biology of AAG-associated HP strains.

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Posted by Leah Caracappa on Feb 28, 2014 2:09 PM CST
Yaron Arbel, Shani Shenhar-Tsarfaty, Nir Waiskopf, Ariel Finkelstein, Amir Halkin, Miri Revivo, Shlomo Berliner, Itzhak Herz, Itzhak Shapira, Gad Keren, Hermona Soreq, and Shmuel Banai
Parasympathetic activity influences long-term outcome in patients with cardiovascular disease, but the underlying mechanism(s) linking parasympathetic activity and the occurrence of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACEs) are incompletely understood. The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the association between serum cholinesterase activities as parasympathetic biomarkers and the risk for the occurrence of MACEs. Cholinergic status was determined by measuring the cumulative capacity of serum acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) to hydrolyze the AChE substrate acetylthiocholine. Cholinergic status was evaluated in randomly selected patients undergoing cardiac catheterization. The patients were divided into two groups of 100 patients in each group, with or without occurrence of MACEs during a follow-up period of 40 months. Cox regression models adjusted for potential clinical, metabolic and inflammatory confounders served to evaluate association with clinical outcome. We found that patients with MACE presented lower cholinergic status and AChE values at catheterization (1,127 ± 422 and 359 ± 153 nmol substrate hydrolyzed per minute per milliliter, respectively) than no-MACE patients (1,760 ± 546 and 508 ± 183 nmol substrate hydrolyzed per minute per milliliter, p < 0.001 and p < 0.001, respectively), whose levels were comparable to those of matched healthy controls (1,622 ± 303 and 504 ± 126 nmol substrate hydrolyzed per minute per milliliter, respectively). In a multivariate analysis, patients with AChE or total cholinergic status values below median showed conspicuously elevated risk for MACE (hazard ratio 1.85 [95% confidence interval [CI] 1.09–3.15, p = 0.02] and 2.21 [95% CI 1.22–4.00, p = 0.009]) compared with those above median, even after adjusting for potential confounders. We conclude that parasympathetic dysfunction expressed as reduced serum AChE and AChE activities in patients compared to healthy controls can together reflect impaired parasympathetic activity. This impairment predicts the risk of MACE up to 40 months in such patients. Monitoring these parasympathetic parameters might help in the risk stratification of patients with cardiovascular disease.

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Supplemental Data
Posted by Leah Caracappa on Feb 12, 2014 7:12 AM CST
Posted by Leah Caracappa on Feb 4, 2014 8:36 AM CST
Jeremy Koppel, Valerie Vingtdeux, Philippe Marambaud, Cristina d’Abramo, Heidy Jimenez, Mark Stauber, Rachel Friedman, and Peter Davies

The endocannabinoid CB2 receptor system has been implicated in the neuropathology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In order to investigate the impact of the CB2 receptor system on AD pathology, a colony of mice with a deleted CB2 receptor gene, CNR2, was established on a transgenic human mutant APP background for pathological comparison with CB2 receptor–sufficient transgenic mice. J20 APP (PDGFB-APPSwInd) mice were bred over two generations with CNR2–/– (Cnr2tm1Dgen/J) mice to produce a colony of J20 CNR2+/+ and J20 CNR2–/– mice. Seventeen J20 CNR2+/+ mice (12 females, 5 males) and 16 J20 CNR2–/– mice (11 females, 5 males) were killed at 12 months, and their brains were interrogated for AD-related pathology with both biochemistry and immunocytochemistry (ICC). In addition to amyloid-dependent endpoints such as soluble Aβ production and plaque deposition quantified with 6E10 staining, the effect of CB2 receptor deletion on total soluble mouse tau production was assayed by using a recently developed high-sensitivity assay. Results revealed that soluble Aβ42 and plaque deposition were significantly increased in J20 CNR2–/– mice relative to CNR2+/+ mice. Microgliosis, quantified with ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1 (Iba-1) staining, did not differ between groups, whereas plaque associated microglia was more abundant in J20 CNR2–/– mice. Total tau was significantly suppressed in J20 CNR2–/– mice relative to J20 CNR2+/+ mice. The results confirm the constitutive role of the CB2 receptor system both in reducing amyloid plaque pathology in AD and also support tehpotential of cannabinoid therapies targeting CB2 to reduce Aβ; however, the results suggest that interventions may have a divergent effect on tau pathology.

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Posted by Leah Caracappa on Feb 4, 2014 8:34 AM CST
Shingo Matsuo, Weng-Lang Yang, Monowar Aziz, Shingo Kameoka, and Ping Wang

Abnormalities of lipid metabolism through overexpression of fatty acid synthase (FASN), which catalyzes the formation of longchain fatty acids, are associated with the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). C75 is a synthetic α-methylene-γ-butyrolactone compound that inhibits FASN activity. We hypothesized that C75 treatment could effectively reduce the severity of experimental colitis. Male C57BL/6 mice were fed 4% dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) for 7 d. C75 (5 mg/kg body weight) or dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) (vehicle) was administered intraperitoneally from d 2 to 6. Clinical parameters were monitored daily. Mice were euthanized on d 8 for histological evaluation and measurements of colon length, chemokine, cytokine and inflammatory mediator expression. C75 significantly reduced body weight loss from 23% to 15% on d 8, compared with the vehicle group. The fecal bleeding, diarrhea and colon histological damage scores in the C75-treated group were significantly lower than scores in the vehicle
animals. Colon shortening was significantly improved after C75 treatment. C75 protected colon tissues from DSS-induced apoptosis by inhibiting caspase-3 activity. Macrophage inflammatory protein 2, keratinocyte-derived chemokine, myeloperoxidase activity and proinflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin [IL]-1β and IL-6) in the colon were significantly downregulated in the C75-treated group, compared with the vehicle group. Treatment with C75 in colitis mice inhibited the elevation of FASN, cyclooxygenase-2 and inducible nitric oxide synthase expression as well as IκB degradation in colon tissues. C75 administration alleviates the severity of colon damage and inhibits the activation of inflammatory pathways in DSS-induced colitis. Thus, inhibition of FASN may represent an attractive therapeutic potential for treating IBD.

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Posted by Leah Caracappa on Jan 17, 2014 12:34 PM CST
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