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Am J Pathol [journal]
- Matrix Metalloproteinase-3 Promotes Early Blood-Spinal Cord Barrier Disruption and Hemorrhage and Impairs Long-Term Neurological Recovery after Spinal Cord Injury. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Am J Pathol 2014 Oct 1.
After spinal cord injury (SCI), blood-spinal cord barrier (BSCB) disruption by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) leads to BSCB permeability and blood cell infiltration, contributing to permanent neurological disability. Herein, we report that MMP-3 plays a critical role in BSCB disruption after SCI in mice. MMP-3 was induced in infiltrated neutrophils and blood vessels after SCI, and NF-κB as a transcription factor was involved in MMP-3 expression. BSCB permeability and blood cell infiltration after injury were more reduced in Mmp3 knockout (KO) mice than in wild-type (WT) mice, which was significantly inhibited by Mmp3 siRNA or a general inhibitor of MMPs, N-isobutyl-N-(4-methoxyphenylsulfonyl)glycyl hydroxamic acid. The level of tight junction proteins, such as occludin and zonula occludens-1, which decreased after SCI, was also higher in Mmp3 KO than in WT mice. Exogenously, MMP-3 injection into the normal spinal cord also induced BSCB permeability. Furthermore, MMP-9 activation after injury was mediated by MMP-3 activation. Finally, improved functional recovery was observed in Mmp3 KO mice compared with WT mice after injury. These results demonstrated the role of MMP-3 in BSCB disruption after SCI for the first time and suggest that the regulation of MMP-3 can be considered a therapeutic target to inhibit BSCB disruption and hemorrhage, and thereby enhance functional recovery after acute SCI.
- uPAR Induces Expression of TGF-β and Interleukin 4 in Cancer Cells to Promote Tumor-Permissive Conditioning of Macrophages. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Am J Pathol 2014 Oct 10.
Cancer cells condition macrophages and other inflammatory cells in the tumor microenvironment so that these cells are more permissive for cancer growth and metastasis. Conditioning of inflammatory cells reflects, at least in part, soluble mediators (such as transforming growth factor β and IL-4) that are released by cancer cells and alter the phenotype of cells of the innate immune system. Signaling pathways in cancer cells that potentiate this activity are incompletely understood. The urokinase receptor (uPAR) is a cell-signaling receptor known to promote cancer cell survival, proliferation, metastasis, and cancer stem cell-like properties. The present findings show that uPAR expression in diverse cancer cells, including breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, and glioblastoma cells, promotes the ability of these cells to condition co-cultured bone marrow-derived macrophages so that the macrophages express significantly increased levels of arginase 1, a biomarker of the alternatively activated M2 macrophage phenotype. Expression of transforming growth factor β was substantially increased in uPAR-expressing cancer cells via a mechanism that requires uPA-initiated cell signaling. uPAR also controlled expression of IL-4 in cancer cells via a mechanism that involves activation of ERK1/2. The ability of uPAR to induce expression of factors that condition macrophages in the tumor microenvironment may constitute an important mechanism by which uPAR promotes cancer progression.
- LIMK1 Regulates Human Trophoblast Invasion/Differentiation and Is Down-Regulated in Preeclampsia. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Am J Pathol 2014 Oct 9.
Successful human pregnancy requires extensive invasion of maternal uterine tissues by the placenta. Invasive extravillous trophoblasts derived from cytotrophoblast progenitors remodel maternal arterioles to promote blood flow to the placenta. In the pregnancy complication preeclampsia, extravillous trophoblasts invasion and vessel remodeling are frequently impaired, likely contributing to fetal underperfusion and maternal hypertension. We recently demonstrated in mouse trophoblast stem cells that hypoxia-inducible factor-2 (HIF-2)-dependent Lim domain kinase 1 (LIMK1) expression regulates invasive trophoblast differentiation by modulating the trophoblast cytoskeleton. Interestingly, in humans, LIMK1 activity promotes tumor cell invasion by modulating actin and microtubule integrity, as well as by modulating matrix metalloprotease processing. Here, we tested whether HIF-2α and LIMK1 expression patterns suggested similar roles in the human placenta. We found that LIMK1 immunoreactivity mirrored HIF-2α in the human placenta in utero and that LIMK1 activity regulated human cytotrophoblast cytoskeletal integrity, matrix metallopeptidase-9 secretion, invasion, and differentiation in vitro. Importantly, we also found that LIMK1 levels are frequently diminished in the preeclampsia setting in vivo. Our results therefore validate the use of mouse trophoblast stem cells as a discovery platform for human placentation disorders and suggest that LIMK1 activity helps promote human placental development in utero.
- Accelerated Partial Hepatectomy-Induced Liver Cell Proliferation Is Associated with Liver Injury in Nur77 Knockout Mice. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Am J Pathol 2014 Oct 7.
Nur77, encoded by Nr4a1 (alias Nur77), plays roles in cell death, survival, and inflammation. To study the role of Nur77 in liver regeneration, wild-type (WT) and Nur77 knockout (KO) mice were subjected to standard two-thirds partial hepatectomy (PH). Nur77 mRNA and protein levels were markedly induced at 1 hour after PH in WT livers, coinciding with ERK1/2 activation. Surprisingly, Nur77 KO mice exhibited a higher liver-to-body weight ratio than WT mice at 24, 48, and 72 hours after PH. Nur77 KO livers exhibited increase in Ki-67-positive hepatocytes at 24 hours, with early induction of cell-cycle genes. Despite accelerated regeneration, Nur77 KO livers paradoxically incurred necrosis, hepatocyte apoptosis, elevated serum alanine aminotransferase activity, and Kupffer cell accumulation. Microarray analysis revealed up-regulation of genes modulating inflammation, cell proliferation, and apoptosis but down-regulation (due to Nur77 deficiency) of glucose and lipid homeostasis genes. Levels of proinflammatory cytokines IL-6, IL-12, IL-23, and CCL2 were increased and levels of anti-inflammatory IL-10 were decreased, compared with WT. Activated NF-κB and STAT3 and mRNA levels of target genes Myc and Bcl2l1 were elevated in Nur77 KO livers. Overall, Nur77 appears essential for regulating early signaling of liver regeneration by modulating cytokine-mediated inflammatory, apoptotic, and energy mobilization processes. The accelerated liver regeneration observed in Nur77 KO mice is likely due to a compensatory effect caused by injury.
- p63 Inhibits Extravillous Trophoblast Migration and Maintains Cells in a Cytotrophoblast Stem Cell-Like State. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Am J Pathol 2014 Oct 7.
Proper differentiation of placental epithelial cells, called trophoblast, is required for implantation. Early during placentation, trophoblast cell columns help anchor the developing embryo in the uterine wall. Although proximally continuous with villous cytotrophoblast (CTB) distally, these cells differentiate into invasive extravillous trophoblast. We previously reported that p63, a p53 family member, is highly expressed in proliferative villous CTB and required for induction of the trophoblast lineage in human pluripotent stem cells. We now further explore its function in human trophoblast by using both primary CTB from the early placenta and established trophoblast cell lines. We show that p63 is expressed in epidermal growth factor receptor-positive CTB and that its expression decreases with differentiation into HLA-G(+) extravillous trophoblast. In trophoblast cell lines, p63 is expressed in JEG3 cells but absent from HTR8 cells. Overexpression of p63 in both cell lines enhances cell proliferation and significantly reduces cell migration; conversely, down-regulation of p63 in JEG3 cells reduces cell proliferation and restores cell migration. Analysis of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, cell adhesion, and matrix degradation pathways shows that p63 blocks epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, promotes a CTB-specific cell adhesion profile, and inhibits expression of matrix metalloproteinases. Taken together, these data show that p63 maintains the proliferative CTB state, at least partially through regulation of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, cell adhesion, and matrix degradation pathways.
- Uptake of Neutrophil-Derived Ym1 Protein Distinguishes Wound Macrophages in the Absence of Interleukin-4 Signaling in Murine Wound Healing. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Am J Pathol 2014 Oct 7.
The determination of regenerative wound-healing macrophages as alternatively activated macrophages is currently questioned by the absence of IL-4 in wound tissue. Yet, murine wound tissue expressed high levels of Ym1 (chitinase 3-like 3), an established marker of the IL-4-induced alternatively activated macrophage phenotype. Ym1 was expressed in wound neutrophils but not in macrophages. Initially, Ym1-free wound-healing macrophages, invading from the wound margins, became gradually positive for the protein in the absence of IL-4 signaling and Stat6 activation, as they entered the neutrophil-populated wound regions. IL-4 failed to induce Ym1 protein in ex vivo-cultured wound tissue explants containing wound-healing macrophages. Recombinant Ym1 protein was selectively taken up by macrophages but not by keratinocytes and endothelial cells. Cultured macrophages lost the ability to take up the recombinant protein when four highly conserved residues and the 70-amino acid small α+β domain essential for Ym1 function were removed. The data suggest that the IL-4/Stat6-independent presence of Ym1 protein in wound-healing macrophages is of exogenous origin, with Ym1 taken up from wound neutrophils as the cellular source. The data suggest that in situ determination of wound-healing macrophages, often defined by Ym1, might not essentially describe an IL-4-dependent macrophage phenotype. Consequently, wound-healing macrophages should not be classified by the established categories of the well-accepted but simplified paradigm of M1/M2 macrophage activation.
- Interferon-γ Safeguards Blood-Brain Barrier during Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Am J Pathol 2014 Oct 7.
The function of blood-brain barrier is often disrupted during the progression of multiple sclerosis and its animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). However, the molecular mechanism of blood-brain barrier modulation during neuroinflammation remains unclear. Herein, we show that the expression of interferon-γ (IFNγ) receptor on endothelial cells (ECs) protected mice from the brain inflammation during EAE. IFNγ stabilized the integrity of the cerebral endothelium and prevented the infiltration of leukocytes into the brain. Further analysis revealed that IFNγ increased the expression of tight junction proteins zonula occludens protein 1 and occludin, as well as membranous distribution of claudin-5, in brain ECs. Silencing claudin-5 abolished the IFNγ-mediated improvement of EC integrity. Taken together, our results show that IFNγ, a pleiotropic proinflammatory cytokine, stabilizes blood-brain barrier integrity and, therefore, prevents brain inflammation during EAE.
- The Neurotensin-HIF-1α-VEGFα Axis Orchestrates Hypoxia, Colonic Inflammation, and Intestinal Angiogenesis. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Am J Pathol 2014 Oct 7.
The expression of neurotensin (NT) and its receptor (NTR1) is up-regulated in experimental colitis and inflammatory bowel disease; NT/NTR1 interactions regulate gut inflammation. During active inflammation, metabolic shifts toward hypoxia lead to the activation of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1, which enhances vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression, promoting angiogenesis. We hypothesized that NT/NTR1 signaling regulates intestinal manifestations of hypoxia and angiogenesis by promoting HIF-1 transcriptional activity and VEGFα expression in experimental colitis. We studied NTR1 signaling in colitis-associated angiogenesis using 2,4,6-trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid-treated wild-type and NTR1-knockout mice. The effects of NT on HIF-1α and VEGFα were assessed by various molecular assays on human colonic epithelial cells overexpressing NTR1 (NCM460-NTR1) and human intestinal microvascular-endothelial cells. NTR1-knockout mice had reduced microvascular density (P = 0.0007) and mucosal integrity score (P = 0.0334) compared with those in wild-type mice after 2,4,6-trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid treatment. VEGFα mRNA levels were increased in NCM460-NTR1 cells treated with 10(-7) mol/L NT (P = 0.0001 and P = 0.0082 at 1 and 6 hours post-treatment, respectively). NT exposure in NCM460-NTR1 cells caused stabilization, nuclear translocation, and transcriptional activity of HIF-1α in a diacylglycerol kinase-dependent manner. NT did not stimulate tube formation in isolated human intestinal macrovascular endothelial cells but did so in human intestinal macrovascular endothelial cells cocultured with NCM460-NTR1 cells. Our results demonstrate the importance of an NTR1-HIF-1α-VEGFα axis in intestinal angiogenic responses and in the pathophysiology of colitis and inflammatory bowel disease.
- Detection of Activated Parietal Epithelial Cells on the Glomerular Tuft Distinguishes Early Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis from Minimal Change Disease. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Am J Pathol 2014 Oct 7.
In rodents, parietal epithelial cells (PECs) migrating onto the glomerular tuft participate in the formation of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) lesions. We investigated whether immunohistologic detection of PEC markers in the initial biopsies of human patients with first manifestation of idiopathic nephrotic syndrome with no immune complexes can improve the sensitivity to detect sclerotic lesions compared with standard methods. Ninety-five renal biopsies were stained for claudin-1 (PEC marker), CD44 (activated PECs), and LKIV69 (PEC matrix); 38 had been diagnosed as early primary FSGS and 57 as minimal change disease. PEC markers were detected on the tuft in 87% of the biopsies of patients diagnosed as primary FSGS. PEC markers were detected in FSGS lesions from the earliest stages of disease. In minimal change disease, no PEC activation was observed by immunohistology. However, in 25% of biopsies originally diagnosed as minimal change disease the presence of small lesions indicative of a sclerosing process were detected, which were undetectable on standard periodic acid-Schiff staining, even though only a single histologic section for each PEC marker was evaluated. Staining for LKIV69 detected lesions with the highest sensitivity. Two novel PEC markers A-kinase anchor protein 12 and annexin A3 exhibited similar sensitivity. In summary, detection of PECs on the glomerular tuft by immunostaining improves the differentiation between minimal change disease and primary FSGS and may serve to guide clinical decision making.
- Deletion of the microRNA-143/145 Cluster Leads to Hydronephrosis in Mice. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Am J Pathol 2014 Oct 7.
Obstructive nephropathy, the leading cause of kidney failure in children, can be anatomic or functional. The underlying causes of functional hydronephrosis are not well understood. miRNAs, which are small noncoding RNAs, regulate gene expression after transcription. We found that miR-145-5p, a member of the miR-143/145 cluster that is highly expressed in smooth muscle cells of the renal vasculature, was present in the pelvicalyceal system and the ureter. To evaluate whether the miR-143/145 cluster is involved in urinary tract function we performed morphologic, functional, and gene expression studies in mice carrying a whole-body deletion of miR-143/145. miR-143/145-deficient mice developed hydronephrosis, characterized by severe papillary atrophy and dilatation of the pelvicalyceal system without obvious physical obstruction. Moreover, mutant mice showed abnormal ureteral peristalsis. The number of ureter contractions was significantly higher in miR-143/145-deficient mice. Peristalsis was replaced by incomplete, short, and more frequent contractions that failed to completely propagate in a proximal-distal direction. Microarray analysis showed 108 differentially expressed genes in ureters of miR-143/145-deficient mice. Ninety genes were up-regulated and 18 genes were down-regulated, including genes with potential regulatory roles in smooth muscle contraction and extracellular matrix-receptor interaction. We show that miR-143/145 are important for the normal peristalsis of the ureter and report an association between the expression of these miRNAs and hydronephrosis.