- This Month in AJP. [Journal Article]
- AJAm J Pathol 2017 Jan 17
- The following highlights summarize research articles that are published in the current issue of The American Journal of Pathology.
The following highlights summarize research articles that are published in the current issue of The American Journal of Pathology.
- Adeno-Associated Virus-Mediated Mini-Agrin Delivery Is Unable to Rescue Disease Phenotype in a Mouse Model of Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy Type 2I. [Journal Article]
- AJAm J Pathol 2017; 187(2):431-440
- Agrin is a basement membrane-specific proteoglycan that can regulate orientation of cytoskeleton proteins and improve function of dystrophic skeletal muscle. In skeletal muscle, agrin binds with high...
Agrin is a basement membrane-specific proteoglycan that can regulate orientation of cytoskeleton proteins and improve function of dystrophic skeletal muscle. In skeletal muscle, agrin binds with high affinity to laminin(s) and α-dystroglycan (α-DG), an integral part of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex. Miniaturized forms of agrin (mAgrin) have been shown to ameliorate disease pathology in a laminin-α2 knockout mouse model of muscular dystrophy, acting as a link between α-DG and laminin(s). Here, we test whether mAgrin might also improve pathologies associated with FKRP-related dystroglycanopathies, another form of muscular dystrophy characterized by weak interactions between muscle and basement membranes. We demonstrate in vitro that mAgrin enhances laminin binding to primary myoblasts and fibroblasts from an FKRP mutant mouse model and that this enhancement is abrogated when mAgrin is in molar excess relative to laminin. However, in vivo delivery of mAgrin via adeno-associated virus (AAV) into FKRP mutant mice was unable to improve dystrophic phenotypes, both histologically and functionally. These results likely reflect insufficient binding of mAgrin to hypoglycosylated α-DG on muscle fibers and possibly abrogation of binding from molar excess of overexpressed AAV-delivered mAgrin. Further exploration of mAgrin modification is necessary to strengthen its binding to other membrane components, including hypoglycosylated α-DG, for potential therapeutic applications.
- A Novel Mouse Model of Staphylococcus aureus Vascular Graft Infection: Noninvasive Imaging of Biofilm Development in Vivo. [Journal Article]
- AJAm J Pathol 2017; 187(2):268-279
- Staphylococcus aureus causes very serious infections of vascular grafts. Knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of this disease is largely lacking because of the absence of representable models. There...
Staphylococcus aureus causes very serious infections of vascular grafts. Knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of this disease is largely lacking because of the absence of representable models. Therefore, the aim of this study was to set up a mouse model of vascular graft infections that closely mimics the human situation. A catheter was inserted into the right carotid artery of mice, which acted as a vascular graft. Mice were infected i.v. using 8 different S. aureus strains, and development of the infection was followed up. Although all strains had varying abilities to form biofilm in vitro and different levels of virulence in mice, they all caused biofilm formation on the grafts. This graft infection was monitored using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and (18)F-fluordeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET). MRI allowed the quantification of blood flow through the arteries, which was decreased in the catheter after infection. FDG-PET revealed high inflammation levels at the site of the catheter after infection. This model closely resembles the situation in patients, which is characterized by a tight interplay between pathogen and host, and can therefore be used for the testing of novel treatment, diagnosis, and prevention strategies. In addition, combining MRI and PET with microscopic techniques provides an appropriate way to characterize the course of these infections and to precisely analyze biofilm development.
- Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein-3 Deficiency Leads to Behavior Impairment with Monoaminergic and Synaptic Dysfunction. [Journal Article]
- AJAm J Pathol 2017; 187(2):390-400
- Insulin-like growth factor binding protein (IGFBP)-3 regulates IGF bioactivity, induces apoptosis, and inhibits cell growth independent of IGFs, but the functional role of IGFBP3 in the brain is not ...
Insulin-like growth factor binding protein (IGFBP)-3 regulates IGF bioactivity, induces apoptosis, and inhibits cell growth independent of IGFs, but the functional role of IGFBP3 in the brain is not clear. In the present study, we revealed the effect of IGFBP3 on the brain by characterizing the phenotype of Igfbp3-null mice. Compared with wild-type mice, Igfbp3-null mice had significantly decreased IGF-1 content in the brain but no change in weights of brain and body. In Igfbp3-null mice, the number of dendritic spines was significantly reduced, and the dendritic diameter was thickening. In addition, in Igfbp3-null mice, a decrease in phosphorylated Akt and ERK1/2 significantly reduced PSD-95 expression, and GAD65/67 expression was significantly decreased. These results indicate that IGFBP3 deficiency impairs neuronal structure and signaling. In behavioral studies, Igfbp3-null mice were hyperactive, and a Y-maze alternation test revealed impaired spatial working memory but no anxiety-like behavior. Monoaminergic analysis using high-performance liquid chromatography indicated that Igfbp3-null mice had lower levels of dopamine and serotonin compared with wild-type mice, suggesting an abnormal monoaminergic neurotransmission. In conclusion, our studies found that the deletion of IGFBP3 results in behavioral impairments that are associated with abnormal synaptic function and monoaminergic neurotransmission, which helps to characterize the critical role of IGFBP3 in the brain.
- Impairment of Host Liver Repopulation by Transplanted Hepatocytes in Aged Rats and the Release by Short-Term Growth Hormone Treatment. [Journal Article]
- AJAm J Pathol 2017 Jan 11
- Hepatocyte transplantation is an alternative to whole liver transplantation. Yet, efficient liver repopulation by transplanted hepatocytes is low in livers of old animals. This restraint might be bec...
Hepatocyte transplantation is an alternative to whole liver transplantation. Yet, efficient liver repopulation by transplanted hepatocytes is low in livers of old animals. This restraint might be because of the poor proliferative capacity of aged donor hepatocytes or the regenerative impairment of the recipient livers. The age-dependent liver repopulation by transplanted wild-type hepatocytes was investigated in juvenile and senescent rats deficient in dipeptidyl-peptidase IV. Repopulation was quantified by flow cytometry and histochemical estimation of dipeptidyl-peptidase IV enzyme activity of donor cells in the negative host liver. As a potential pathway involved, expression of cell cycle proteins was assessed. Irrespective of the age of the donor hepatocytes, large cell clusters appeared in juvenile, but only small clusters in senescent host livers. Because juvenile and senescent donor hepatocytes were likewise functional, host-derived factor(s) impaired senescent host liver repopulation. Growth hormone levels were significantly higher in juvenile than in senescent rats, suggesting that growth hormone might promote host liver repopulation. Indeed, short-term treatment with growth hormone augmented senescent host liver repopulation involving the growth hormone-mediated release of the transcriptional blockade of genes associated with cell cycle progression. Short-term growth hormone substitution might improve liver repopulation by transplanted hepatocytes, thus augmenting the therapeutic benefit of clinical hepatocyte transplantation in older patients.
- miR-24 Inhibition Increases Menin Expression and Decreases Cholangiocarcinoma Proliferation. [Journal Article]
- AJAm J Pathol 2017 Jan 10
- Menin (MEN1) is a tumor-suppressor protein in neuroendocrine tissue. Because cholangiocytes can take on a neuroendocrine phenotype, we tested the novel hypothesis that menin regulates cholangiocarcin...
Menin (MEN1) is a tumor-suppressor protein in neuroendocrine tissue. Because cholangiocytes can take on a neuroendocrine phenotype, we tested the novel hypothesis that menin regulates cholangiocarcinoma proliferation. Menin and miR-24 expression levels were measured in the following intrahepatic and extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) cell lines, Mz-ChA-1, TFK-1, SG231, CCLP, HuCCT-1, and HuH-28, as well as the nonmalignant human intrahepatic biliary line, H69. miR-24 miRNA and menin protein levels were manipulated in vitro in Mz-ChA-1 cell lines. Markers of proliferation and angiogenesis (Ki-67, vascular endothelial growth factors A/C, Tie1/2, vascular endothelial growth factor receptors 2/3, and Ang1/2) were evaluated. Invasion and migration were evaluated with Boyden chamber and scratch assays. Mz-ChA-1 cells were injected into the flanks of nude mice and treated with miR-24 inhibitor or inhibitor scramble. Menin expression was decreased in advanced CCA specimens, whereas miR-24 expression was increased in CCA. Menin overexpression decreased proliferation, angiogenesis, migration, and invasion. Inhibition of miR-24 increased menin protein expression while decreasing proliferation, angiogenesis, migration, and invasion. miR-24 was shown to negatively regulate menin expression by luciferase assay. Tumor burden and expression of proliferative and angiogenic markers was decreased in the miR-24 inhibited tumor group compared to controls. Interestingly, treated tumors were more fibrotic than the control group. miR-24-dependent expression of menin may be important in the regulation of nonmalignant and CCA proliferation and may be an additional therapeutic tool for managing CCA progression.
- Changes in the Luminal Environment of the Colonic Epithelial Cells and Physiopathological Consequences. [Review]
- AJAm J Pathol 2017 Jan 09
- Evidence, mostly from experimental models, has accumulated, indicating that modifications of bacterial metabolite concentrations in the large intestine luminal content, notably after changes in the d...
Evidence, mostly from experimental models, has accumulated, indicating that modifications of bacterial metabolite concentrations in the large intestine luminal content, notably after changes in the dietary composition, may have important beneficial or deleterious consequences for the colonic epithelial cell metabolism and physiology in terms of mitochondrial energy metabolism, reactive oxygen species production, gene expression, DNA integrity, proliferation, and viability. Recent data suggest that for some bacterial metabolites, like hydrogen sulfide and butyrate, the extent of their oxidation in colonocytes affects their capacity to modulate gene expression in these cells. Modifications of the luminal bacterial metabolite concentrations may, in addition, affect the colonic pH and osmolarity, which are known to affect colonocyte biology per se. Although the colonic epithelium appears able to face, up to some extent, changes in its luminal environment, notably by developing a metabolic adaptive response, some of these modifications may likely affect the homeostatic process of colonic epithelium renewal and the epithelial barrier function. The contribution of major changes in the colonocyte luminal environment in pathological processes, like mucosal inflammation, preneoplasia, and neoplasia, although suggested by several studies, remains to be precisely evaluated, particularly in a long-term perspective.
- Modulation of Antiviral Immunity by Heme Oxygenase-1. [Review]
- AJAm J Pathol 2017 Jan 09
- Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is a stress-inducible, anti-inflammatory, and cytoprotective enzyme expressed in most cell types in the organism. Under several stress stimuli, HO-1 expression and activity is...
Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is a stress-inducible, anti-inflammatory, and cytoprotective enzyme expressed in most cell types in the organism. Under several stress stimuli, HO-1 expression and activity is up-regulated to catalyze the rate-limiting enzymatic step of heme degradation into carbon monoxide, free iron, and biliverdin. Besides its effects on cell metabolism, HO-1 is also capable of modulating host innate and adaptive immune responses in response to sepsis, transplantation, and autoimmunity, and preventing oxidative damage associated with inflammation. In addition, recent studies have reported that HO-1 can exert a significant antiviral activity against a wide variety of viruses, including HIV, hepatitis C virus, hepatitis B virus, enterovirus 71, influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, dengue virus, and Ebola virus, among others. Herein, we address the current understanding of the functional significance of HO-1 against a variety of viruses and its potential as a therapeutic strategy to prevent and control viral infections. Furthermore, we review the most important features of the immunoregulatory functions for this enzyme.
- Periostin Promotes Scar Formation through the Interaction between Pericytes and Infiltrating Monocytes/Macrophages after Spinal Cord Injury. [Journal Article]
- AJAm J Pathol 2017 Jan 09
- Scar formation is a prominent pathological feature of traumatic central nervous system (CNS) injury, which has long been implicated as a major impediment to the CNS regeneration. However, the factors...
Scar formation is a prominent pathological feature of traumatic central nervous system (CNS) injury, which has long been implicated as a major impediment to the CNS regeneration. However, the factors affecting such scar formation remain to be elucidated. We herein demonstrate that the extracellular matrix protein periostin (POSTN) is a key player in scar formation after traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI). Using high-throughput RNA sequencing data sets, we found that the genes involved in the extracellular region, such as POSTN, were significantly expressed in the injured spinal cord. The expression of POSTN peaked at 7 days after SCI, predominantly in the scar-forming pericytes. Notably, we found that genetic deletion of POSTN in mice reduced scar formation at the lesion site by suppressing the proliferation of the pericytes. Conversely, we found that recombinant POSTN promoted the migration capacity of the monocytes/macrophages and increased the expression of tumor necrosis factor-α from the monocytes/macrophages in vitro, which facilitated the proliferation of pericytes. Furthermore, we revealed that the pharmacological blockade of POSTN suppressed scar formation and improved the long-term functional outcome after SCI. Our findings suggest a potential mechanism whereby POSTN regulates the scar formation after SCI and provide significant evidence that POSTN is a promising therapeutic target for CNS injury.
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- Elevated Expression of Moesin in Muscular Dystrophies. [Journal Article]
- AJAm J Pathol 2017 Jan 09
- Fibrosis is the main complication of muscular dystrophies. We identified moesin, a member of the ezrin-radixin-moesin family, in dystrophic muscles of mice representing Duchenne and congenital muscul...
Fibrosis is the main complication of muscular dystrophies. We identified moesin, a member of the ezrin-radixin-moesin family, in dystrophic muscles of mice representing Duchenne and congenital muscular dystrophies (DMD and CMD, respectively) and dysferlinopathy, but not in the wild type. High levels of moesin were also observed in muscle biopsy specimens from DMD, Ullrich CMD, and merosin-deficient CMD patients, all of which present high levels of fibrosis. The myofibroblasts, responsible for extracellular matrix protein synthesis, and the macrophages infiltrating the dystrophic muscles were the source of moesin. Moesin-positive cells were embedded within the fibrotic areas between the myofibers adjacent to the collagen type I fibers. Radixin was also synthesized by the myofibroblasts, whereas ezrin colocalized with the myofiber membranes. In animal models and patients' muscles, part of the moesin was in its active phosphorylated form. Inhibition of fibrosis by halofuginone, an antifibrotic agent, resulted in a major decrease in moesin levels in the muscles of DMD and CMD mice. In summary, the results of this study may pave the way for exploiting moesin as a novel target for intervention in MDs, and as part of a battery of biomarkers to evaluate treatment success in preclinical studies and clinical trials.