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Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a leading complication of preterm birth that affects infants born in the saccular stage of lung development at <32 weeks of gestation. Although the mechanisms driving BPD remain uncertain, exposure to hyperoxia is thought to contribute to disease pathogenesis. To determine the effects of hyperoxia on epithelial-mesenchymal interactions and to define the mediators of activated Wnt/β-catenin signaling after hyperoxia injury. Three hyperoxia models were used: A three-dimensional organotypic coculture using primary human lung cells, precision-cut lung slices (PCLS), and a murine hyperoxia model. Comparisons of normoxia- and hyperoxia-exposed samples were made by real-time quantitative PCR, RNA hybridization, quantitative confocal microscopy, and lung morphometry. Examination of an array of Wnt ligands in the three-dimensional organotypic coculture revealed increased mesenchymal expression of . Inhibition of Wnt5A abrogated the BPD transcriptomic phenotype induced by hyperoxia. In the PCLS model, Wnt5A inhibition improved alveolarization following hyperoxia exposure, and treatment with recombinant Wnt5a reproduced features of the BPD phenotype in PCLS cultured in normoxic conditions. Chemical inhibition of NF-κB with BAY11-7082 reduced expression in the PCLS hyperoxia model and mouse hyperoxia model, with improved alveolarization in the PCLS model. Increased mesenchymal Wnt5A during saccular-stage hyperoxia injury contributes to the impaired alveolarization and septal thickening observed in BPD. Precise targeting of Wnt5A may represent a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of BPD.
BACKGROUND - Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, specifically the fish-oil-derived eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have been proposed as inflammation-resolving agents via their effects on adipose tissue.
OBJECTIVE - We proposed to determine the effects of EPA and DHA on human adipocyte differentiation and inflammatory activation in vitro.
METHODS - Primary human subcutaneous adipocytes from lean and obese subjects were treated with 100 μM EPA and/or DHA throughout differentiation (differentiation studies) or for 72 h postdifferentiation (inflammatory studies). THP-1 monocytes were added to adipocyte wells for co-culture experiments. Subcutaneous and visceral adipose explants from obese subjects were treated for 72 h with EPA and DHA. Oil Red O staining was performed on live cells. Cells were collected for mRNA analysis by quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and media were collected for protein quantification by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
RESULTS - Incubation with EPA and/or DHA attenuated inflammatory response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and monocyte co-culture with reduction in post-LPS mRNA expression and protein levels of IL6, CCL2 and CX3CL1. Expression of inflammatory genes was also reduced in the endogenous inflammatory response in obese adipose. Both DHA and EPA reduced lipid droplet formation and lipogenic gene expression without alteration in expression of adipogenic genes or adiponectin secretion.
CONCLUSIONS - EPA and DHA attenuate inflammatory activation of in vitro human adipocytes and reduce lipogenesis.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Blood vessel epicardial substance (BVES), or POPDC1, is a tight junction-associated transmembrane protein that modulates epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) via junctional signaling pathways. There have been no in vivo studies investigating the role of BVES in colitis. We hypothesized that BVES is critical for maintaining colonic epithelial integrity. At baseline, Bves mouse colons demonstrate increased crypt height, elevated proliferation, decreased apoptosis, altered intestinal lineage allocation, and dysregulation of tight junctions with functional deficits in permeability and altered intestinal immunity. Bves mice inoculated with Citrobacter rodentium had greater colonic injury, increased colonic and mesenteric lymph node bacterial colonization, and altered immune responses after infection. We propose that increased bacterial colonization and translocation result in amplified immune responses and worsened injury. Similarly, dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) treatment resulted in greater histologic injury in Bves mice. Two different human cell lines (Caco2 and HEK293Ts) co-cultured with enteropathogenic E. coli showed increased attaching/effacing lesions in the absence of BVES. Finally, BVES mRNA levels were reduced in human ulcerative colitis (UC) biopsy specimens. Collectively, these studies suggest that BVES plays a protective role both in ulcerative and infectious colitis and identify BVES as a critical protector of colonic mucosal integrity.
Aims - Monocytes play an important role in hypertension. Circulating monocytes in humans exist as classical, intermediate, and non-classical forms. Monocyte differentiation can be influenced by the endothelium, which in turn is activated in hypertension by mechanical stretch. We sought to examine the role of increased endothelial stretch and hypertension on monocyte phenotype and function.
Methods and results - Human monocytes were cultured with confluent human aortic endothelial cells undergoing either 5% or 10% cyclical stretch. We also characterized circulating monocytes in normotensive and hypertensive humans. In addition, we quantified accumulation of activated monocytes and monocyte-derived cells in aortas and kidneys of mice with Angiotensin II-induced hypertension. Increased endothelial stretch enhanced monocyte conversion to CD14++CD16+ intermediate monocytes and monocytes bearing the CD209 marker and markedly stimulated monocyte mRNA expression of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1β, IL-23, chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 4, and tumour necrosis factor α. STAT3 in monocytes was activated by increased endothelial stretch. Inhibition of STAT3, neutralization of IL-6 and scavenging of hydrogen peroxide prevented formation of intermediate monocytes in response to increased endothelial stretch. We also found evidence that nitric oxide (NO) inhibits formation of intermediate monocytes and STAT3 activation. In vivo studies demonstrated that humans with hypertension have increased intermediate and non-classical monocytes and that intermediate monocytes demonstrate evidence of STAT3 activation. Mice with experimental hypertension exhibit increased aortic and renal infiltration of monocytes, dendritic cells, and macrophages with activated STAT3.
Conclusions - These findings provide insight into how monocytes are activated by the vascular endothelium during hypertension. This is likely in part due to a loss of NO signalling and increased release of IL-6 and hydrogen peroxide by the dysfunctional endothelium and a parallel increase in STAT activation in adjacent monocytes. Interventions to enhance bioavailable NO, reduce IL-6 or hydrogen peroxide production or to inhibit STAT3 may have anti-inflammatory roles in hypertension and related conditions.
Alveolar type II (AT2) epithelial cells are uniquely specialized to produce surfactant in the lung and act as progenitor cells in the process of repair after lung injury. AT2 cell injury has been implicated in several lung diseases, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and bronchopulmonary dysplasia. The inability to maintain primary AT2 cells in culture has been a significant barrier in the investigation of pulmonary biology. We have addressed this knowledge gap by developing a three-dimensional (3D) organotypic coculture using primary human fetal AT2 cells and pulmonary fibroblasts. Grown on top of matrix-embedded fibroblasts, the primary human AT2 cells establish a monolayer and have direct contact with the underlying pulmonary fibroblasts. Unlike conventional two-dimensional (2D) culture, the structural and functional phenotype of the AT2 cells in our 3D organotypic culture was preserved over 7 days of culture, as evidenced by the presence of lamellar bodies and by production of surfactant proteins B and C. Importantly, the AT2 cells in 3D cocultures maintained the ability to replicate, with approximately 60% of AT2 cells staining positive for the proliferation marker Ki67, whereas no such proliferation is evident in 2D cultures of the same primary AT2 cells. This organotypic culture system enables interrogation of AT2 epithelial biology by providing a reductionist in vitro model in which to investigate the response of AT2 epithelial cells and AT2 cell-fibroblast interactions during lung injury and repair.
Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are major components of the carcinoma microenvironment that promote tumor progression. However, the mechanisms by which CAFs regulate cancer cell migration are poorly understood. In this study, we show that fibronectin (Fn) assembled by CAFs mediates CAF-cancer cell association and directional migration. Compared with normal fibroblasts, CAFs produce an Fn-rich extracellular matrix with anisotropic fiber orientation, which guides the cancer cells to migrate directionally. CAFs align the Fn matrix by increasing nonmuscle myosin II- and platelet-derived growth factor receptor α-mediated contractility and traction forces, which are transduced to Fn through α5β1 integrin. We further show that prostate cancer cells use αv integrin to migrate efficiently and directionally on CAF-derived matrices. We demonstrate that aligned Fn is a prominent feature of invasion sites in human prostatic and pancreatic carcinoma samples. Collectively, we present a new mechanism by which CAFs organize the Fn matrix and promote directional cancer cell migration.
© 2017 Erdogan et al.
OBJECTIVE - Endoglin, a transforming growth factor-β superfamily coreceptor, is predominantly expressed in endothelial cells and has essential roles in vascular development. However, whether endoglin is also expressed in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), especially in vivo, remains controversial. Furthermore, the roles of endoglin in VSMC biology remain largely unknown. Our objective was to examine the expression and determine the function of endoglin in VSMCs during angiogenesis.
APPROACH AND RESULTS - Here, we determine that endoglin is robustly expressed in VSMCs. Using CRISPR/CAS9 knockout and short hairpin RNA knockdown in the VSMC/endothelial coculture model system, we determine that endoglin in VSMCs, but not in endothelial cells, promotes VSMCs recruitment by the endothelial cells both in vitro and in vivo. Using an unbiased bioinformatics analysis of RNA sequencing data and further study, we determine that, mechanistically, endoglin mediates VSMC recruitment by promoting VSMC migration and spreading on endothelial cells via increasing integrin/FAK pathway signaling, whereas endoglin has minimal effects on VSMC adhesion to endothelial cells. In addition, we further determine that loss of endoglin in VSMCs inhibits VSMC recruitment in vivo.
CONCLUSIONS - These studies demonstrate that endoglin has an important role in VSMC recruitment and blood vessel maturation during angiogenesis and also provide novel insights into how discordant endoglin function in endothelial and VSMCs may regulate vascular maturation and angiogenesis.
© 2017 The Authors.
The skeleton is a common site for breast cancer metastasis. Although significant progress has been made to manage osteolytic bone lesions, the mechanisms driving the early steps of the bone metastatic process are still not sufficiently understood to design efficacious strategies needed to inhibit this process and offer preventative therapeutic options. Progression and recurrence of breast cancer, as well as reduced survival of patients with breast cancer, are associated with chronic stress, a condition known to stimulate sympathetic nerve outflow. In this study, we show that stimulation of the beta 2-adrenergic receptor (β2AR) by isoproterenol, used as a pharmacological surrogate of sympathetic nerve activation, led to increased blood vessel density and Vegf-a expression in bone. It also raised levels of secreted Vegf-a in osteoblast cultures, and accordingly, the conditioned media from isoproterenol-treated osteoblast cultures promoted new vessel formation in two ex vivo models of angiogenesis. Blocking the interaction between Vegf-a and its receptor, Vegfr2, blunted the increase in vessel density induced by isoproterenol. Genetic loss of the β2AR globally, or specifically in type 1 collagen-expressing osteoblasts, diminished the increase in Vegf-positive osteoblast number and bone vessel density induced by isoproterenol, and reduced the higher incidence of bone metastatic lesions induced by isoproterenol after intracardiac injection of an osteotropic variant of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Inhibition of the interaction between Vegf-a and Vegfr2 with the blocking antibody mcr84 also prevented the increase in bone vascular density and bone metastasis triggered by isoproterenol. Together, these results indicate that stimulation of the β2AR in osteoblasts triggers a Vegf-dependent neo-angiogenic switch that promotes bone vascular density and the colonization of the bone microenvironment by metastatic breast cancer cells. © 2017 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
© 2017 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
BACKGROUND - Patients experiencing large thermal injuries are susceptible to opportunistic infections that can delay recovery and lead to sepsis. Dendritic cells (DC) are important for the detection of pathogens and activation of the innate and acquired immune responses. DCs are significantly decreased in burn patients early after injury, and the development of sepsis is associated with persistent DC depletion. In a murine model of burn wound infection, the enhancement of DCs after injury by treatment with the DC growth factor Fms-like tyrosine kinase-3 ligand (FL) enhances neutrophil migration to infection, improves bacterial clearance, and increases survival in a DC-dependent manner. FL expands the production of both conventional DCs (cDC) and plasmacytoid DCs (pDC). It has been established that cDCs are required for some of the protective effects of FL after burn injury. This study was designed to determine the contribution of the pDC subset.
METHODS - Mice were subjected to full-thickness scald burns under deep anesthesia and were provided analgesia. pDCs were depleted by injection of anti-plasmacytoid dendritic cell antigen-1 antibodies. Survival, bacterial clearance, and neutrophil responses in vivo and in vitro were measured.
RESULTS - Depletion of preexisting pDCs, but not FL-expanded pDCs, abrogated the beneficial effects of FL on survival, bacterial clearance, and neutrophil migration in response to burn wound infection. This requisite role of pDCs for FL-mediated enhancement of neutrophil migratory capacity is not due to direct effects of pDCs on neutrophils. cDCs, but not pDCs, directly increased neutrophil migratory capacity after co-culture.
CONCLUSIONS - The protective effects of FL treatment after burn injury are mediated by both pDCs and cDCs. Pharmacological enhancement of both DC subtypes by FL is a potential therapeutic intervention to enhance immune responses to infection and improve outcome after burn injury.
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.