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2015 Anniversary Issue


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Molecular Medicine 2015

Articles from this Volume

F Jeroen Vogelaar, Felice N van Erning, Marlies S Reimers, Hans van der Linden, Hans Pruijt, Adriaan J C van den Brule, and Koop Bosscha

In the era of personalized cancer medicine, identifying mutations within patient tumors plays an important role in defining high-risk stage II colon cancer patients. The prognostic role of BRAF V600E mutation, microsatellite instability (MSI) status, KRAS mutation and PIK3CA mutation in stage II colon cancer patients is not settled. We retrospectively analyzed 186 patients with stage II colon cancer who underwent an oncological resection but were not treated with adjuvant chemotherapy. KRAS mutations, PIK3CA mutation, V600E BRAF mutation and MSI status were determined. Survival analyses were performed. Mutations were found in the patients with each mutation in the following percentages: 23% (MSI), 35% (KRAS), 19% (BRAF) and 11% (PIK3CA). A trend toward worse overall survival (OS) was seen in patients with an MSI (5-year OS 74% versus 82%, adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1.8, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.6–4.9) and a KRAS-mutated tumor (5-year OS 77% versus 82%, adjusted HR 1.7, 95% CI 0.8–3.5). MSI and BRAF-mutated tumors tended to correlate with poorer disease-free survival (DFS) (5-year DFS 60% versus 78%, adjusted HR 1.6, 95% CI 0.5–2.1 and 5-year DFS 57% versus 77%, adjusted HR 1.1, 95% CI 0.4–2.6 respectively). In stage II colon cancer patients not treated with adjuvant chemotherapy, BRAF mutation and MSI status both tended to have a negative prognostic effect on disease-free survival. KRAS and MSI status also tended to be correlated with worse overall survival.

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Posted by Sheila Platt on May 9, 2016 12:40 PM CDT
Fausto Chiazza, Aurélie Couturier-Maillard, Elisa Benetti, Raffaella Mastrocola, Debora Nigro, Juan C Cutrin, Loredana Serpe, Manuela Aragno, Roberto Fantozzi, Bernard Ryffel, Christoph Thiemermann, and Massimo Collino

Although the molecular links underlying the causative relationship between chronic low-grade inflammation and insulin resistance are not completely understood, compelling evidence suggests a pivotal role of the nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (NOD)-like receptor pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome. Here we tested the hypothesis that either a selective pharmacological inhibition or a genetic downregulation of the NLRP3 inflammasome results in reduction of the diet-induced metabolic alterations. Male C57/BL6 wild-type mice and NLRP3–/– littermates were fed control diet or high-fat, high-fructose diet (HD). A subgroup of HD-fed wild-type mice was treated with the NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitor BAY 11-7082 (3 mg/kg intraperitoneally [IP]). HD feeding increased plasma and hepatic lipids and impaired glucose homeostasis and renal function. Renal and hepatic injury was associated with robust increases in profibrogenic markers, while only minimal fibrosis was recorded. None of these metabolic abnormalities were detected in HD-fed NLRP3–/– mice, and they were dramatically reduced in HD-mice treated with the NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitor. BAY 11-7082 also attenuated the diet-induced increase in NLRP3 inflammasome expression, resulting in inhibition of caspase-1 activation and interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18 production (in liver and kidney). Interestingly, BAY 11-7082, but not gene silencing, inhibited nuclear factor (NF)-κB nuclear translocation. Overall, these results demonstrate that the selective pharmacological modulation of the NLRP3 inflammasome attenuates the metabolic abnormalities and the related organ injury/dysfunction caused by chronic exposure to HD, with effects similar to those obtained by NLRP3 gene silencing.

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Supplemental Material
Posted by Sheila Platt on May 9, 2016 12:25 PM CDT
Heba Abdel-Aziz, Mathias Schneider, Winfried Neuhuber, Abdel Meguid Kassem, Saleem Khailah, Jürgen Müller, Hadeel Gamal Eldeen, Ahmed Khairy, Mohamed T Khayyal, Anastasiia Shcherbakova, Thomas Efferth, and Gudrun Ulrich-Merzenich

Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is one of the most common disorders in gastroenterology. Patients present with or without increased acid exposure indicating a nonuniform etiology. Thus, the common treatment with proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) fails to control symptoms in up to 40% of patients. To further elucidate the pathophysiology of the condition and explore new treatment targets, transcriptomics, proteomics and histological methods were applied to a surgically induced subchronic reflux esophagitis model in Wistar rats after treatment with either omeprazole (PPI) or STW5, a herbal preparation shown to ameliorate esophagitis without affecting refluxate pH. The normal human esophageal squamous cell line HET-1A and human endoscopic biopsies were used to confirm our findings to the G-protein–coupled receptor (GPR) 84 in human tissue. Both treatments reduced reflux-induced macroscopic and microscopic lesions of the esophagi as well as known proinflammatory cytokines. Proteomic and transcriptomic analyses identified CINC1–3, MIP-1/3α, MIG, RANTES and interleukin (IL)-1β as prominent mediators in GERD. Most regulated cyto-/chemokines are linked to the TREM-1 signaling pathway. The fatty acid receptor GPR84 was upregulated in esophagitis but significantly decreased in treated groups, a finding supported by Western blot and immunohistochemistry in both rat tissue and HET-1A cells. GPR84 was also found to be significantly upregulated in patients with grade B reflux esophagitis. The expression of GPR84 in esophageal tissue and its potential involvement in GERD are reported for the first time. IL-8 (CINC1–3) and the TREM-1 signaling pathway are proposed, besides GPR84, to play an important role in the pathogenesis of GERD.

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Posted by Sheila Platt on May 9, 2016 10:10 AM CDT
Iglika Djoumerska-Alexieva, Lubka Roumenina, Anastas Pashov, Jordan Dimitrov, Maya Hadzhieva,Sandro Lindig, Elisaveta Voynova, Petya Dimitrova, Nina Ivanovska, Clemens Bockmeyer, Zvetanka Stefanova, Catherine Fitting, Markus Bläss, Ralf Claus, Stephan von Gunten, Srini Kaveri, Jean-Marc Cavaillon, Michael Bauer, and Tchavdar Vassilev

Sepsis is a major cause for death worldwide. Numerous interventional trials with agents neutralizing single proinflammatory mediators have failed to improve survival in sepsis and aseptic systemic inflammatory response syndromes. This failure could be explained by the widespread gene expression dysregulation known as “genomic storm” in these patients. A multifunctional polyspecific therapeutic agent might be needed to thwart the effects of this storm. Licensed pooled intravenous immunoglobulin preparations seemed to be a promising candidate, but they have also failed in their present form to prevent sepsis-related death. We report here the protective effect of a single dose of intravenous immunoglobulin preparations with additionally enhanced polyspecificity in three models of sepsis and aseptic systemic inflammation. The modification of the pooled immunoglobulin G molecules by exposure to ferrous ions resulted in their newly acquired ability to bind some proinflammatory molecules, complement components and endogenous “danger” signals. The improved survival in endotoxemia was associated with serum levels of proinflammatory cytokines, diminished complement consumption and normalization of the coagulation time. We suggest that intravenous immunoglobulin preparations with additionally enhanced polyspecificity have a clinical potential in sepsis and related systemic inflammatory syndromes.

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Posted by Sheila Platt on Mar 31, 2016 10:52 AM CDT
Maria Karmella Apaya, Chih-Yu Lin, Ching-Yi Chiou, Chung-Chih Yang, Chen-Yun Ting, and Lie-Fen Shyur

Sepsis remains a major medical issue despite decades of research. Identification of important inflammatory cascades and key molecular mediators are crucial for developing intervention and prevention strategies. In this study, we conducted a comparative oxylipin metabolomics study to gain a comprehensive picture of lipid mediator dynamics during the initial hyperinflammatory phase of sepsis, and demonstrated, in parallel, the efficacy of simvastatin and plant galactolipid, 1,2-di-O-α-linolenoyl-3-O-β-galactopyranosyl-sn-glycerol (dLGG) in the homeostatic regulation of the oxylipin metabolome using a lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced sepsis C57BL/6J mouse model. LPS increased the systemic and organ levels of proinflammatory metabolites of linoleic acid including leukotoxin diols (9-,10-DHOME, 12-,13-DHOME) and octadecadienoic acids (9-HODE and 13-HODE) and arachidonic acid-derived prostanoid, PGE2, and hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acids (8-, 12- and 15-HETE). Treatment with either compound decreased the levels of proinflammatory metabolites and elevated proresolution lipoxin A4, 5(6)-EET, 11(12)-EET and 15-deoxy-PGJ2. dLGG and simvastatin ameliorated the effects of LPS-induced mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)-dependent activation of cPLA2, cyclooxygenase-2, lipoxygenase, cytochrome P450 and/or epoxide hydrolase lowered systemic TNF-α and IL-6 levels and aminotransferase activities and decreased organ-specific infiltration of inflammatory leukocytes and macrophages, and septic shock-induced multiple organ damage. Furthermore, both dLGG and simvastatin increased the survival rates in the cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) sepsis model. This study provides new insights into the role of oxylipins in sepsis pathogenesis and highlights the potential of simvastatin and dLGG in sepsis therapy and prevention.

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Posted by Sheila Platt on Mar 31, 2016 9:09 AM CDT
Giovanni Grasso, Giovanni Tomasello, Marcello Noto, Concetta Alafaci, and Francesco Cappello

Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) following aneurysm bleeding accounts for 6% to 8% of all cerebrovascular accidents. Although an aneurysm can be effectively managed by surgery or endovascular therapy, delayed cerebral ischemia is diagnosed in a high percentage of patients resulting in significant morbidity and mortality. Cerebral vasospasm occurs in more than half of all patients after aneurysm rupture and is recognized as the leading cause of delayed cerebral ischemia after SAH. Hemodynamic strategies and endovascular procedures may be considered for the treatment of cerebral vasospasm. In recent years, the mechanisms contributing to the development of vasospasm, abnormal reactivity of cerebral arteries and cerebral ischemia following SAH, have been investigated intensively. A number of pathological processes have been identified in the pathogenesis of vasospasm, including endothelial injury, smooth muscle cell contraction from spasmogenic substances produced by the subarachnoid blood clots, changes in vascular responsiveness and inflammatory response of the vascular endothelium. To date, the current therapeutic interventions remain ineffective as they are limited to the manipulation of systemic blood pressure, variation of blood volume and viscosity and control of arterial carbon dioxide tension. In this scenario, the hormone erythropoietin (EPO) has been found to exert neuroprotective action during experimental SAH when its recombinant form (rHuEPO) is administered systemically. However, recent translation of experimental data into clinical trials has suggested an unclear role of recombinant human EPO in the setting of SAH. In this context, the aim of the current review is to present current evidence on the potential role of EPO in cerebrovascular dysfunction following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage.

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Posted by Sheila Platt on Mar 28, 2016 2:31 PM CDT
Carole Muller, Kamal Yassin, Luo-Sheng Li, Magnus Palmblad, Suad Efendic, Per-Olof Berggren, Anthony Cerami, Michael Brines, and Claes-Göran Östenson

Effects of ARA290 on glucose homeostasis were studied in type 2 diabetic Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rats. In GK rats receiving ARA290 daily for up to 4 wks, plasma glucose concentrations were lower after 3 and 4 wks, and hemoglobin A1c (Hb A1c) was reduced by ~20% without changes in whole body and hepatic insulin sensitivity. Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion was increased in islets from ARA290-treated rats. Additionally, in response to glucose, carbachol and KCl, islet cytoplasmic free Ca2 concentrations, [Ca2 ]i, were higher and the frequency of [Ca2 ]i oscillations enhanced compared with placebo. ARA290 also improved stimulus–secretion coupling for glucose in GK rat islets, as shown by an improved glucose oxidation rate, ATP production and acutely enhanced glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. ARA290 also exerted an effect distal to the ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channel on the insulin exocytotic pathway, since the insulin response was improved following islet depolarization by KCl when KATP channels were kept open by diazoxide. Finally, inhibition of protein kinase A completely abolished effects of ARA290 on insulin secretion. In conclusion, ARA290 improved glucose tolerance without affecting hematocrit in diabetic GK rats. This effect appears to be due to improved β-cell glucose metabolism and [Ca2 ]i handling, and thereby enhanced glucose-induced insulin release.

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Supplemental Data
Posted by Sheila Platt on Mar 24, 2016 12:07 PM CDT

Li Diao,David Patsouris, Ali-Reza Sadri, Xiaojing Dai,Saeid Amini-Nik, and Marc G Jeschke

Extensively burned patients often suffer from sepsis, a complication that enhances postburn hypermetabolism and contributes to increased incidence of multiple organ failure, morbidity and mortality. Despite the clinical importance of burn sepsis, the molecular and cellular mechanisms of such infection-related metabolic derangements and organ dysfunction are still largely unknown. We recently found that upon endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, the white adipose tissue (WAT) interacts with the liver via inflammatory and metabolic signals leading to profound hepatic alterations, including hepatocyte apoptosis and hepatic fatty infiltration. We therefore hypothesized that burn plus infection causes an increase in lipolysis of WAT after major burn, partially through induction of ER stress, contributing to hyperlipidemia and profound hepatic lipid infiltration. We used a two-hit rat model of 60% total body surface area scald burn, followed by intraperitoneal (IP) injection of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa-derived lipopolysaccharide (LPS) 3 d postburn. One day later, animals were euthanized and liver and epididymal WAT (EWAT) samples were collected for gene expression, protein analysis and histological study of inflammasome activation, ER stress, apoptosis and lipid metabolism. Our results showed that burn plus LPS profoundly increased lipolysis in WAT associated with significantly increased hepatic lipid infiltration. Burn plus LPS augmented ER stress by upregulating CHOP and activating ATF6, inducing NLRP3 inflammasome activation and leading to increased apoptosis and lipolysis in WAT with a distinct enzymatic mechanism related to inhibition of AMPK signaling. In conclusion, burn sepsis causes profound alterations in WAT and liver that are associated with changes in organ function and structure.

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Posted by Sheila Platt on Mar 24, 2016 11:00 AM CDT
Sergio I Valdés-Ferrer, Julien Papoin, Meghan E Dancho, Peder S Olofsson, Jianhua Li, Jeffrey M Lipton,
Patricia Avancena, Huan Yang, Yong-Rui Zou, Sangeeta S Chavan, Bruce T Volpe, Sara Gardenghi, Stefano Rivella, Betty Diamond, Ulf Andersson, Bettie M Steinberg, Lionel Blanc, and Kevin J Tracey


Patients surviving sepsis develop anemia, but the molecular mechanism is unknown. Here we observed that mice surviving polymicrobial gram-negative sepsis develop hypochromic, microcytic anemia with reticulocytosis. The bone marrow of sepsis survivors accumulates polychromatophilic and orthochromatic erythroblasts. Compensatory extramedullary erythropoiesis in the spleen is defective during terminal differentiation. Circulating tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin (IL)-6 are elevated for 5 d after the onset of sepsis, and serum high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) levels are increased from d 7 until at least d 28. Administration of recombinant HMGB1 to healthy mice mediates anemia with extramedullary erythropoiesis and significantly elevated reticulocyte counts. Moreover, administration of anti-HMGB1 monoclonal antibodies after sepsis significantly ameliorates the development of anemia (hematocrit 48.5 ± 9.0% versus 37.4 ± 6.1%, p < 0.01; hemoglobin 14.0 ± 1.7 versus 11.7 ± 1.2 g/dL, p < 0.01). Together, these results indicate that HMGB1 mediates anemia by interfering with erythropoiesis, suggesting a potential therapeutic strategy for anemia in sepsis.

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Posted by Sheila Platt on Mar 17, 2016 10:06 AM CDT
Zhongyu Liu, Nathaniel Bone, Shaoning Jiang, Dae Won Park, Jean-Marc Tadie, Jessy Deshane, Cilina Ann Rodriguez, Jean-Francois Pittet, Edward Abraham, and Jaroslaw W Zmijewski

Alterations in metabolic and bioenergetic homeostasis contribute to sepsis-mediated organ injury. However, how AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a major sensor and regulator of energy expenditure and production, affects development of organ injury and loss of innate capacity during polymicrobial sepsis remains unclear. In the present experiments, we found that cross-talk between the AMPK and GSK3β signaling pathways controls chemotaxis and the ability of neutrophils and macrophages to kill bacteria ex vivo. In mice with polymicrobial abdominal sepsis or more severe sepsis induced by the combination of hemorrhage and intraabdominal infection, administration of the AMPK activator metformin or the GSK3β inhibitor SB216763 reduced the severity of acute lung injury (ALI). Improved survival in metformin-treated septic mice was correlated with preservation of mitochondrial complex V (ATP synthase) function and increased amounts of ETC complex III and IV. Although immunosuppression is a consequence of sepsis, metformin effectively increased innate immune capacity to eradicate P. aeruginosa in the lungs of septic mice. We also found that AMPK activation diminished accumulation of the immunosuppressive transcriptional factor HIF-1α as well as the development of endotoxin tolerance in LPS-treated macrophages. Furthermore, AMPK-dependent preservation of mitochondrial membrane potential also prevented LPS-mediated dysfunction of neutrophil chemotaxis. These results indicate that AMPK activation reduces the severity of polymicrobial sepsis-induced lung injury and prevents the development of
sepsis-associated immunosuppression.

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Supplemental Data
 
Posted by Sheila Platt on Mar 14, 2016 2:52 PM CDT
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