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BACKGROUND - The role of the chemokine CCL2 in breast cancer is controversial. While CCL2 recruits and activates pro-tumor macrophages, it is also reported to enhance neutrophil-mediated anti-tumor activity. Moreover, loss of CCL2 in early development enhances breast cancer progression.
METHODS - To clarify these conflicting findings, we examined the ability of CCL2 to alter naïve and tumor entrained neutrophil production of ROS, release of granzyme-B, and killing of tumor cells in multiple mouse models of breast cancer. CCL2 was delivered intranasally in mice to elevate CCL2 levels in the lung and effects on seeding and growth of breast tumor cells were evaluated. The TCGA data base was queried for relationship between CCL2 expression and relapse free survival of breast cancer patients and compared to subsets of breast cancer patients.
RESULTS - Even though each of the tumor cell lines studied produced approximately equal amounts of CCL2, exogenous delivery of CCL2 to co-cultures of breast tumor cells and neutrophils enhanced the ability of tumor-entrained neutrophils (TEN) to kill the less aggressive 67NR variant of 4T1 breast cancer cells. However, exogenous CCL2 did not enhance naïve or TEN neutrophil killing of more aggressive 4T1 or PyMT breast tumor cells. Moreover, this anti-tumor activity was not observed in vivo. Intranasal delivery of CCL2 to BALB/c mice markedly enhanced seeding and outgrowth of 67NR cells in the lung and increased the recruitment of CD4+ T cells and CD8+ central memory T cells into lungs of tumor bearing mice. There was no significant increase in the recruitment of CD19+ B cells, or F4/80+, Ly6G+ and CD11c + myeloid cells. CCL2 had an equal effect on CD206+ and MHCII+ populations of macrophages, thus balancing the pro- and anti-tumor macrophage cell population. Analysis of the relationship between CCL2 levels and relapse free survival in humans revealed that overall survival is not significantly different between high CCL2 expressing and low CCL2 expressing breast cancer patients grouped together. However, examination of the relationship between high CCL2 expressing basal-like, HER2+ and luminal B breast cancer patients revealed that higher CCL2 expressing tumors in these subgroups have a significantly higher probability of surviving longer than those expressing low CCL2.
CONCLUSIONS - While our in vitro data support a potential anti-tumor role for CCL2 in TEN neutrophil- mediated tumor killing in poorly aggressive tumors, intranasal delivery of CCL2 increased CD4+ T cell recruitment to the pre-metastatic niche of the lung and this correlated with enhanced seeding and growth of tumor cells. These data indicate that effects of CCL2/CCR2 antagonists on the intratumoral leukocyte content should be monitored in ongoing clinical trials using these agents.
Alveolar epithelial cell (AEC) dysfunction underlies the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis in Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome (HPS) and other genetic syndromes associated with interstitial lung disease; however, mechanisms linking AEC dysfunction and fibrotic remodeling are incompletely understood. Since increased macrophage recruitment precedes pulmonary fibrosis in HPS, we investigated whether crosstalk between AECs and macrophages determines fibrotic susceptibility. We found that AECs from HPS mice produce excessive MCP-1, which was associated with increased macrophages in the lungs of unchallenged HPS mice. Blocking MCP-1/CCR2 signaling in HPS mice with genetic deficiency of CCR2 or targeted deletion of MCP-1 in AECs normalized macrophage recruitment, decreased AEC apoptosis, and reduced lung fibrosis in these mice following treatment with low-dose bleomycin. We observed increased TGF-β production by HPS macrophages, which was eliminated by CCR2 deletion. Selective deletion of TGF-β in myeloid cells or of TGF-β signaling in AECs through deletion of TGFBR2 protected HPS mice from AEC apoptosis and bleomycin-induced fibrosis. Together, these data reveal a feedback loop in which increased MCP-1 production by dysfunctional AECs results in recruitment and activation of lung macrophages that produce TGF-β, thus amplifying the fibrotic cascade through AEC apoptosis and stimulation of fibrotic remodeling.
Elucidation of acute kidney diseases and disorders (AKD), including acute kidney injury (AKI), is important to prevent their progression to chronic kidney disease. Current animal AKI models are often too severe for use in evaluating human AKI. Therefore, new animal models of mild kidney injury are needed. Here a new clinically relevant animal model using multiple low doses of cisplatin (CP) was used to evaluate AKD. When 10 mg/kg CP was administered intraperitoneally once weekly for three times to L-type fatty acid-binding protein (L-FABP) transgenic mice, moderate renal interstitial fibrosis and tubule dilatation occurred, accompanied by brush-border loss. Urinary L-FABP, a promising biomarker of AKI, changed more drastically than blood urea nitrogen or creatinine. Preventing fibrosis in organs was also studied. Oral administration of a recently reported selective semicarbazide-sensitive amine oxidase inhibitor, PXS-4728A, for 1 week attenuated kidney injury and interstitial fibrosis compared with vehicle. Inhibition of renal lipid accumulation in semicarbazide-sensitive amine oxidase inhibitor-treated mice, together with reduced oxidative stress and L-FABP suppression in proximal tubules, suggested an antifibrotic effect of semicarbazide-sensitive amine oxidase inhibition in this CP-AKD model, a representative onco-nephrology. Thus, semicarbazide-sensitive amine oxidase inhibitors may be promising candidates for the prevention of chronic kidney disease in patients using CP to treat malignancy.
The objective of this study was to determine the role of individual NFAT isoforms in TNFα-induced retinal leukostasis. To this end, human retinal microvascular endothelial cells (HRMEC) transfected with siRNA targeting individual NFAT isoforms were treated with TNFα, and qRT-PCR was used to examine the contribution of each isoform to the TNFα-induced upregulation of leukocyte adhesion proteins. This showed that NFATc1 siRNA increased ICAM1 expression, NFATc2 siRNA reduced CX3CL1, VCAM1, SELE, and ICAM1 expression, NFATc3 siRNA increased CX3CL1 and SELE expression, and NFATc4 siRNA reduced SELE expression. Transfected HRMEC monolayers were also treated with TNFα and assayed using a parallel plate flow chamber, and both NFATc2 and NFATc4 knockdown reduced TNFα-induced cell adhesion. The effect of isoform-specific knockdown on TNFα-induced cytokine production was also measured using protein ELISAs and conditioned cell culture medium, and showed that NFATc4 siRNA reduced CXCL10, CXCL11, and MCP-1 protein levels. Lastly, the CN/NFAT-signaling inhibitor INCA-6 was shown to reduce TNFα-induced retinal leukostasis in vivo. Together, these studies show a clear role for NFAT-signaling in TNFα-induced retinal leukostasis, and identify NFATc2 and NFATc4 as potentially valuable therapeutic targets for treating retinopathies in which TNFα plays a pathogenic role.
Thrombin (coagulation factor IIa) is a serine protease encoded by the F2 gene. Pro-thrombin (coagulation factor II) is cut to generate thrombin in the coagulation cascade that results in a reduction of blood loss. Procoagulant states that lead to activation of thrombin are common in bone fracture sites. However, its physiological roles and relationship with osteoblasts in bone fractures are largely unknown. We herein report various effects of thrombin on mouse osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells. MC3T3-E1 cells expressed proteinase-activated receptor 1 (PAR1), also known as the coagulation factor II receptor. They also produced monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP-1), tissue factor (TF), MCSF and IL-6 upon thrombin stimulation through the PI3K-Akt and MEK-Erk1/2 pathways. Furthermore, MCP-1 obtained from thrombin-stimulated MC3T3-E1 cells induced migration by macrophage RAW264 cells. All these effects of thrombin on MC3T3-E1 cells were abolished by the selective non-peptide thrombin receptor inhibitor SCH79797. We also found that thrombin, PAR-1, MCP-1, TF as well as phosphorylated AKT and p42/44 were significantly expressed at the fracture site of mouse femoral bone. Collectively, thrombin/PAR-1 interaction regulated MCP-1, TF, MCSF and IL-6 production by MC3T3-E1 cells. Furthermore, MCP-1 induced RAW264 cell migration. Thrombin may thus be a novel cytokine that regulates several aspects of osteoblast function and fracture healing.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Endotoxin (i.e. LPS) administration induces a robust inflammatory response with accompanying cardiovascular dysfunction and insulin resistance. Overabundance of nitric oxide (NO) contributes to the vascular dysfunction. However, inflammation itself also induces insulin resistance in skeletal muscle. We sought to investigate whether the cardiovascular dysfunction induced by increased NO availability without inflammatory stress can promote insulin resistance. Additionally, we examined the role of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS or NOS2), the source of the increase in NO availability, in modulating LPS-induced decrease in insulin-stimulated muscle glucose uptake (MGU).
METHODS - The impact of NO donor infusion on insulin-stimulated whole-body and muscle glucose uptake (hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps), and the cardiovascular system was assessed in chronically catheterized, conscious mice wild-type (WT) mice. The impact of LPS on insulin action and the cardiovascular system were assessed in WT and global iNOS knockout (KO) mice. Tissue blood flow and cardiac function were assessed using microspheres and echocardiography, respectively. Insulin signaling activity, and gene expression of pro-inflammatory markers were also measured.
RESULTS - NO donor infusion decreased mean arterial blood pressure, whole-body glucose requirements, and MGU in the absence of changes in skeletal muscle blood flow. LPS lowered mean arterial blood pressure and glucose requirements in WT mice, but not in iNOS KO mice. Lastly, despite an intact inflammatory response, iNOS KO mice were protected from LPS-mediated deficits in cardiac output. LPS impaired MGU in vivo, regardless of the presence of iNOS. However, ex vivo, insulin action in muscle obtained from LPS treated iNOS KO animals was protected.
CONCLUSION - Nitric oxide excess and LPS impairs glycemic control by diminishing MGU. LPS impairs MGU by both the direct effect of inflammation on the myocyte, as well as by the indirect NO-driven cardiovascular dysfunction.
A new microparticle-based delivery system was synthesized from reactive oxygen species (ROS)-responsive poly(propylene sulfide) (PPS) and tested for "on demand" antioxidant therapy. PPS is hydrophobic but undergoes a phase change to become hydrophilic upon oxidation and thus provides a useful platform for ROS-demanded drug release. This platform was tested for delivery of the promising anti-inflammatory and antioxidant therapeutic molecule curcumin, which is currently limited in use in its free form due to poor pharmacokinetic properties. PPS microspheres efficiently encapsulated curcumin through oil-in-water emulsion and provided sustained, on demand release that was modulated in vitro by hydrogen peroxide concentration. The cytocompatible, curcumin-loaded microspheres preferentially targeted and scavenged intracellular ROS in activated macrophages, reduced in vitro cell death in the presence of cytotoxic levels of ROS, and decreased tissue-level ROS in vivo in the diabetic mouse hind limb ischemia model of peripheral arterial disease. Interestingly, due to the ROS scavenging behavior of PPS, the blank microparticles also showed inherent therapeutic properties that were synergistic with the effects of curcumin in these assays. Functionally, local delivery of curcumin-PPS microspheres accelerated recovery from hind limb ischemia in diabetic mice, as demonstrated using non-invasive imaging techniques. This work demonstrates the potential for PPS microspheres as a generalizable vehicle for ROS-demanded drug release and establishes the utility of this platform for improving local curcumin bioavailability for treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Integrin-dependent interactions between cells and extracellular matrix regulate lung development; however, specific roles for β1-containing integrins in individual cell types, including epithelial cells, remain incompletely understood. In this study, the functional importance of β1 integrin in lung epithelium during mouse lung development was investigated by deleting the integrin from E10.5 onwards using surfactant protein C promoter-driven Cre. These mutant mice appeared normal at birth but failed to gain weight appropriately and died by 4 months of age with severe hypoxemia. Defects in airway branching morphogenesis in association with impaired epithelial cell adhesion and migration, as well as alveolarization defects and persistent macrophage-mediated inflammation were identified. Using an inducible system to delete β1 integrin after completion of airway branching, we showed that alveolarization defects, characterized by disrupted secondary septation, abnormal alveolar epithelial cell differentiation, excessive collagen I and elastin deposition, and hypercellularity of the mesenchyme occurred independently of airway branching defects. By depleting macrophages using liposomal clodronate, we found that alveolarization defects were secondary to persistent alveolar inflammation. β1 integrin-deficient alveolar epithelial cells produced excessive monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 and reactive oxygen species, suggesting a direct role for β1 integrin in regulating alveolar homeostasis. Taken together, these studies define distinct functions of epithelial β1 integrin during both early and late lung development that affect airway branching morphogenesis, epithelial cell differentiation, alveolar septation and regulation of alveolar homeostasis.
© 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Characterization of markers that identify activated macrophages could advance understanding of inflammatory lung diseases and facilitate development of novel methodologies for monitoring disease activity. We investigated whether folate receptor β (FRβ) expression could be used to identify and quantify activated macrophages in the lungs during acute inflammation induced by Escherichia coli LPS. We found that FRβ expression was markedly increased in lung macrophages at 48 hours after intratracheal LPS. In vivo molecular imaging with a fluorescent probe (cyanine 5 polyethylene glycol folate) showed that the fluorescence signal over the chest peaked at 48 hours after intratracheal LPS and was markedly attenuated after depletion of macrophages. Using flow cytometry, we identified the cells responsible for uptake of cyanine 5-conjugated folate as FRβ(+) interstitial macrophages and pulmonary monocytes, which coexpressed markers associated with an M1 proinflammatory macrophage phenotype. These findings were confirmed using a second model of acute lung inflammation generated by inducible transgenic expression of an NF-κB activator in airway epithelium. Using CC chemokine receptor 2-deficient mice, we found that FRβ(+) macrophage/monocyte recruitment was dependent on the monocyte chemotactic protein-1/CC chemokine receptor 2 pathway. Together, our results demonstrate that folate-based molecular imaging can be used as a noninvasive approach to detect classically activated monocytes/macrophages recruited to the lungs during acute inflammation.
Osteosarcoma is the most common primary malignant tumor of bone and accounts for around 50% of all primary skeletal malignancies. In addition to novel chemotherapies, there is a need for adjuvant therapies designed to inhibit osteosarcoma proliferation and tumor-induced osteolysis to attenuate tumor expansion and metastasis. As such, studies on the efficacy of bisphosphonates on human osteosarcoma are planned after feasibility studies determined that the bisphosphonate zoledronic acid (ZOL) can be safely combined with conventional chemotherapy. However, the molecular mechanisms responsible for, and means of inhibiting, osteosarcoma-induced osteolysis are largely unknown. We establish that osteosarcoma growth directly correlates with tumor-induced osteolysis and activation of osteoclasts in vivo. In vitro, tumor cells were determined to expresses surface, but not soluble, receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) and stimulated osteoclastogenesis in a manner directly proportional to their malignant potential. In addition, an aggressive osteosarcoma cell line was shown to secrete monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), resulting in robust monocyte migration. Because MCP-1 is a key cytokine for monocyte recruitment and surface-bound RANKL strongly supports local osteoclastogenesis, we suggest that high levels of these signaling molecules are associated with the aggressive potential of osteosarcoma. Consistent with these findings, abundant expression of RANKL/MCP-1 was observed in tumor in vivo, and MCP-1 plasma levels strongly correlated with tumor progression and osteolysis. ZOL administration directly attenuates osteosarcoma production of RANKL/MCP-1, reducing tumor-induced bone destruction. In vivo, these findings also correlated with significant reduction in osteosarcoma growth. ZOL attenuates tumor-induced osteolysis, not only through direct inhibition of osteoclasts, but also through direct actions on tumor expression of osteoclast activators. These data provide insight regarding the effect of ZOL on osteosarcoma essential for designing the planned upcoming prospective randomized trials to determine the efficacy of bisphosphonates on osteosarcoma in humans.
© 2014 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.