Sepsis is characterized by a systemic response to severe infection. Although the inflammatory phase of sepsis helps eradicate the infection, it can have detrimental consequences if left unchecked. Therapy directed against inflammatory mediators of sepsis has shown little success and has the potential to impair innate antimicrobial defenses. Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and the product of its enzymatic reaction, CO, have beneficial antiinflammatory properties, but little is known about their effects on microbial sepsis. Here, we have demonstrated that during microbial sepsis, HO-1–derived CO plays an important role in the antimicrobial process without inhibiting the inflammatory response. HO-1–deficient mice suffered exaggerated lethality from polymicrobial sepsis. Targeting HO-1 to SMCs and myofibroblasts of blood vessels and bowel ameliorated sepsis-induced death associated with Enterococcus faecalis, but not Escherichia coli, infection. The increase in HO-1 expression did not suppress circulating inflammatory cells or their accumulation at the site of injury but did enhance bacterial clearance by increasing phagocytosis and the endogenous antimicrobial response. Furthermore, injection of a CO-releasing molecule into WT mice increased phagocytosis and rescued HO-1–deficient mice from sepsis-induced lethality. These data advocate HO-1–derived CO as an important mediator of the host defense response to sepsis and suggest CO administration as a possible treatment for the disease.
Su Wol Chung, Xiaoli Liu, Alvaro A. Macias, Rebecca M. Baron, Mark A. Perrella
Fibrin deposition within joints is a prominent feature of arthritis, but the precise contribution of fibrin(ogen) to inflammatory events that cause debilitating joint damage remains unknown. To determine the importance of fibrin(ogen) in arthritis, gene-targeted mice either deficient in fibrinogen (Fib–) or expressing mutant forms of fibrinogen, lacking the leukocyte receptor integrin αMβ2 binding motif (Fibγ390–396A) or the αIIbβ3 platelet integrin-binding motif (FibγΔ5), were challenged with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). Fib– mice exhibited fewer affected joints and reduced disease severity relative to controls. Similarly, diminished arthritis was observed in Fibγ390–396A mice, which retain full clotting function. In contrast, arthritis in FibγΔ5 mice was indistinguishable from that of controls. Fibrin(ogen) was not essential for leukocyte trafficking to joints, but appeared to be involved in leukocyte activation events. Fib– and Fibγ390–396A mice with CIA displayed reduced local expression of TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6, which suggests that αMβ2-mediated leukocyte engagement of fibrin is mechanistically upstream of the production of proinflammatory mediators. Supporting this hypothesis, arthritic disease driven by exuberant TNF-α expression was not impeded by fibrinogen deficiency. Thus, fibrin(ogen) is an important, but context-dependent, determinant of arthritis, and one mechanism linking fibrin(ogen) to joint disease is coupled to αMβ2-mediated inflammatory processes.
Matthew J. Flick, Christine M. LaJeunesse, Kathryn E. Talmage, David P. Witte, Joseph S. Palumbo, Malinda D. Pinkerton, Sherry Thornton, Jay L. Degen
Triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells–1 (TREM-1) potently amplifies acute inflammatory responses by enhancing degranulation and secretion of proinflammatory mediators. Here we demonstrate that TREM-1 is also crucially involved in chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Myeloid cells of the normal intestine generally lack TREM-1 expression. In experimental mouse models of colitis and in patients with IBD, however, TREM-1 expression in the intestine was upregulated and correlated with disease activity. TREM-1 significantly enhanced the secretion of relevant proinflammatory mediators in intestinal macrophages from IBD patients. Blocking TREM-1 by the administration of an antagonistic peptide substantially attenuated clinical course and histopathological alterations in experimental mouse models of colitis. This effect was also seen when the antagonistic peptide was administered only after the first appearance of clinical signs of colitis. Hence, TREM-1–mediated amplification of inflammation contributes not only to the exacerbation of acute inflammatory disorders but also to the perpetuation of chronic inflammatory disorders. Furthermore, interfering with TREM-1 engagement leads to the simultaneous reduction of production and secretion of a variety of pro-inflammatory mediators such as TNF, IL-6, IL-8 (CXCL8), MCP-1 (CCL2), and IL-1β. Therefore, TREM-1 may also represent an attractive target for the treatment of chronic inflammatory disorders.
Mirjam Schenk, Axel Bouchon, Frank Seibold, Christoph Mueller
Monocyte recruitment to sites of inflammation is regulated by members of the chemokine family of chemotactic cytokines. However, the mechanisms that govern the migration of monocytes from bone marrow to blood and from blood to inflamed tissues are not well understood. Here we report that CC chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2) is highly expressed on a subpopulation of blood monocytes whose numbers are markedly decreased in CCR2–/– mice. In bone marrow, however, CCR2–/– mice had an increased number of monocytes, suggesting that CCR2 is critical for monocyte egress. Intravenous infusion of ex vivo–labeled WT or CCR2–/– bone marrow into WT recipient mice demonstrated that CCR2 is necessary for efficient monocyte recruitment from the blood to inflamed tissue. Analysis of mice lacking monocyte chemoattractant protein–1 (MCP-1), MCP-3, MCP-5, or MCP-2 plus MCP-5 revealed that MCP-3 and MCP-1 are the CCR2 agonists most critical for the maintenance of normal blood monocyte counts. These findings provide evidence that CCR2 and MCP-3/MCP-1 are critical for monocyte mobilization and suggest new roles for monocyte chemoattractants in leukocyte homeostasis.
Chia-Lin Tsou, Wendy Peters, Yue Si, Sarah Slaymaker, Ara M. Aslanian, Stuart P. Weisberg, Matthias Mack, Israel F. Charo
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a lethal X-linked disorder associated with dystrophin deficiency that results in chronic inflammation and severe skeletal muscle degeneration. In DMD mouse models and patients, we find that IκB kinase/NF-κB (IKK/NF-κB) signaling is persistently elevated in immune cells and regenerative muscle fibers. Ablation of 1 allele of the p65 subunit of NF-κB was sufficient to improve pathology in mdx mice, a model of DMD. In addition, conditional deletion of IKKβ in mdx mice elucidated that NF-κB functions in activated macrophages to promote inflammation and muscle necrosis and in skeletal muscle fibers to limit regeneration through the inhibition of muscle progenitor cells. Furthermore, specific pharmacological inhibition of IKK resulted in improved pathology and muscle function in mdx mice. Collectively, these results underscore the critical role of NF-κB in the progression of muscular dystrophy and suggest the IKK/NF-κB signaling pathway as a potential therapeutic target for DMD.
Swarnali Acharyya, S. Armando Villalta, Nadine Bakkar, Tepmanas Bupha-Intr, Paul M.L. Janssen, Micheal Carathers, Zhi-Wei Li, Amer A. Beg, Sankar Ghosh, Zarife Sahenk, Michael Weinstein, Katherine L. Gardner, Jill A. Rafael-Fortney, Michael Karin, James G. Tidball, Albert S. Baldwin, Denis C. Guttridge
Tight regulation of COX-2 expression is a key feature controlling eicosanoid production in atherosclerosis and other inflammatory syndromes. Adhesive interactions between platelets and monocytes occur in these conditions and deliver specific signals that trigger inflammatory gene expression. Using a cellular model of monocyte signaling induced by activated human platelets, we identified the central posttranscriptional mechanisms that regulate timing and magnitude of COX-2 expression. Tethering of monocytes to platelets and to purified P-selectin, a key adhesion molecule displayed by activated platelets, induces NF-κB activation and COX-2 promoter activity. Nevertheless, COX-2 mRNA is rapidly degraded, leading to aborted protein synthesis. Time-dependent signaling of monocytes induces a second phase of transcript accumulation accompanied by COX-2 enzyme synthesis and eicosanoid production. Here, generation of IL-1β, a proinflammatory cytokine, promoted stabilization of COX-2 mRNA by silencing of the AU-rich mRNA decay element (ARE) in the 3′-untranslated region (3'UTR) of the mRNA. Consistent with observed mRNA stabilization, activated platelets or IL-1β treatment induced cytoplasmic accumulation and enhanced ARE binding of the mRNA stability factor HuR in monocytes. These findings demonstrate that activated platelets induce COX-2 synthesis in monocytes by combinatorial signaling to transcriptional and posttranscriptional checkpoints. These checkpoints may be altered in disease and therefore useful as targets for antiinflammatory intervention.
Dan A. Dixon, Neal D. Tolley, Kristi Bemis-Standoli, Mark L. Martinez, Andrew S. Weyrich, Jason D. Morrow, Stephen M. Prescott, Guy A. Zimmerman
Multiple and paradoxical effects of airway smooth muscle (ASM) 7-transmembrane–spanning receptors activated during asthma, or by treatment with bronchodilators such as β2–adrenergic receptor (β2AR) agonists, indicate extensive receptor crosstalk. We examined the signaling of the prostanoid-EP1 receptor, since its endogenous agonist prostaglandin E2 is abundant in the airway, but its functional implications are poorly defined. Activation of EP1 failed to elicit ASM contraction in mouse trachea via this Gαq-coupled receptor. However, EP1 activation markedly reduced the bronchodilatory function of β2AR agonist, but not forskolin, indicating an early pathway interaction. Activation of EP1 reduced β2AR-stimulated cAMP in ASM but did not promote or augment β2AR phosphorylation or alter β2AR trafficking. Bioluminescence resonant energy transfer showed EP1 and β2AR formed heterodimers, which were further modified by EP1 agonist. In cell membrane [35S]GTPγS binding studies, the presence of the EP1 component of the dimer uncoupled β2AR from Gαs, an effect accentuated by EP1 agonist activation. Thus alone, EP1 does not appear to have a significant direct effect on airway tone but acts as a modulator of the β2AR, altering Gαs coupling via steric interactions imposed by the EP1:β2AR heterodimeric signaling complex and ultimately affecting β2AR-mediated bronchial relaxation. This mechanism may contribute to β-agonist resistance found in asthma.
Dennis W. McGraw, Kathryn A. Mihlbachler, Mary Rose Schwarb, Fahema F. Rahman, Kersten M. Small, Khalid F. Almoosa, Stephen B. Liggett
Mice lacking macrophage elastase (matrix metalloproteinase-12, or MMP-12) were previously shown to be protected from the development of cigarette smoke–induced emphysema and from the accumulation of lung macrophages normally induced by chronic exposure to cigarette smoke. To determine the basis for macrophage accumulation in experimental emphysema, we now show that bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from WT smoke-exposed animals contained chemotactic activity for monocytes in vitro that was absent in lavage fluid from macrophage elastase–deficient mice. Fractionation of the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid demonstrated the presence of elastin fragments only in the fractions containing chemotactic activity. An mAb against elastin fragments eliminated both the in vitro chemotactic activity and cigarette smoke–induced monocyte recruitment to the lung in vivo. Porcine pancreatic elastase was used to recruit monocytes to the lung and to generate emphysema. Elastin fragment antagonism in this model abrogated both macrophage accumulation and airspace enlargement.
A. McGarry Houghton, Pablo A. Quintero, David L. Perkins, Dale K. Kobayashi, Diane G. Kelley, Luiz A. Marconcini, Robert P. Mecham, obert M. Senior,, Steven D. Shapiro
Neonatal rodents are more tolerant to hyperoxia than adults. We determined whether maturational differences in lung NF-κB activation could account for the differences. After hyperoxic exposure (O2 > 95%), neonatal (<12 hours old) lung NF-κB binding was increased and reached a maximum between 8 and 16 hours, whereas in adults no changes were observed. Additionally, neonatal NF-κB/luciferase transgenic mice (incorporating 2 NF-κB consensus sequences driving luciferase gene expression) demonstrated enhanced in vivo NF-κB activation after hyperoxia in real time. In the lungs of neonates, there was a propensity toward NF-κB activation as evidenced by increased lung I-κB kinase protein levels, I-κBα phosphorylation, β-transducin repeat–containing protein levels, and total I-κBα degradation. Increased lung p-JNK immunoreactive protein was observed only in the adult lung. Inhibition of pI-κBα by BAY 11-7085 resulted in decreased Bcl-2 protein levels in neonatal lung homogenates and decreased cell viability in lung primary cultures after hyperoxic exposure. Furthermore, neonatal p50-null mutant (p50–/–) mice showed increased lung DNA degradation and decreased survival in hyperoxia compared with WT mice. These data demonstrate that there are maturational differences in lung NF-κB activation and that enhanced NF-κB may serve to protect the neonatal lung from acute hyperoxic injury via inhibition of apoptosis.
Guang Yang, Aida Abate, Adia G. George, Yi-Hao Weng, Phyllis A. Dennery
Activation of PKCβII is associated with the response to ischemia/reperfusion (I/R), though its role, either pathogenic or protective, has not been determined. In a murine model of single-lung I/R, evidence linking PKCβ to maladaptive responses is shown in the following studies. Homozygous PKCβ-null mice and WT mice fed the PKCβ inhibitor ruboxistaurin subjected to I/R displayed increased survival compared with controls. In PKCβ-null mice, phosphorylation of extracellular signal–regulated protein kinase-1 and -2 (ERK1/2), JNK, and p38 MAPK was suppressed in I/R. Expression of the immediate early gene, early growth response-1 (Egr-1), and its downstream target genes was significantly increased in WT mice in I/R, particularly in mononuclear phagocytes (MPs), whereas this expression was attenuated in PKCβ-null mice or WT mice fed ruboxistaurin. In vitro, hypoxia/reoxygenation-mediated induction of Egr-1 in MPs was suppressed by inhibition of PKCβ, ERK1/2, and JNK, but not by inhibition of p38 MAPK. These findings elucidate key roles for PKCβII activation in I/R by coordinated activation of MAPKs (ERK1/2, JNK) and Egr-1.
Tomoyuki Fujita, Tomohiro Asai, Martin Andrassy, David M. Stern, David J. Pinsky, Yu Shan Zou, Morihito Okada, Yoshifumi Naka, Ann Marie Schmidt, Shi-Fang Yan
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