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Neural circuits are actively remodeled during brain development, but the molecular mechanisms that trigger circuit refinement are poorly understood. Here, we describe a transcriptional program in C. elegans that regulates expression of an Ig domain protein, OIG-1, to control the timing of synaptic remodeling. DD GABAergic neurons reverse polarity during larval development by exchanging the locations of pre- and postsynaptic components. In newly born larvae, DDs receive cholinergic inputs in the dorsal nerve cord. These inputs are switched to the ventral side by the end of the first larval (L1) stage. VD class GABAergic neurons are generated in the late L1 and are postsynaptic to cholinergic neurons in the dorsal nerve cord but do not remodel. We investigated remodeling of the postsynaptic apparatus in DD and VD neurons using targeted expression of the acetylcholine receptor (AChR) subunit, ACR-12::GFP. We determined that OIG-1 antagonizes the relocation of ACR-12 from the dorsal side in L1 DD neurons. During the L1/L2 transition, OIG-1 is downregulated in DD neurons by the transcription factor IRX-1/Iroquois, allowing the repositioning of synaptic inputs to the ventral side. In VD class neurons, which normally do not remodel, the transcription factor UNC-55/COUP-TF turns off IRX-1, thus maintaining high levels of OIG-1 to block the removal of dorsally located ACR-12 receptors. OIG-1 is secreted from GABA neurons, but its anti-plasticity function is cell autonomous and may not require secretion. Our study provides a novel mechanism by which synaptic remodeling is set in motion through regulated expression of an Ig domain protein.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
The collagen IV sulfilimine cross-link and its catalyzing enzyme, peroxidasin, represent a dyad critical for tissue development, which is conserved throughout the animal kingdom. Peroxidasin forms novel sulfilimine bonds between opposing methionine and hydroxylysine residues to structurally reinforce the collagen IV scaffold, a function critical for basement membrane and tissue integrity. However, the molecular mechanism underlying cross-link formation remains unclear. In this work, we demonstrate that the catalytic domain of peroxidasin and its immunoglobulin (Ig) domains are required for efficient sulfilimine bond formation. Thus, these molecular features underlie the evolutionarily conserved function of peroxidasin in tissue development and integrity and distinguish peroxidasin from other peroxidases, such as myeloperoxidase (MPO) and eosinophil peroxidase (EPO).
© 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
AIMS - Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) plays an important role in inflammatory diseases and is over-expressed in human atherosclerotic artery specimens. The present study investigated the role of TSLP in platelet activation and thrombosis models in vitro and in vivo, as well as the underlying mechanism and signaling pathway.
METHODS AND RESULTS - Western blotting and flow cytometry demonstrated that the TSLP receptor was expressed on murine platelets. According to flow cytometry, platelet stimulation with TSLP induced platelet degranulation and integrin αIIbβ3 activation. A TSLPR deficiency caused defective platelet aggregation, defective platelet secretion and markedly blunted thrombus growth in perfusion chambers at both low and high shear rates. TSLPR KO mice exhibited defective carotid artery thrombus formation after exposure to FeCl3. TSLP increased Akt phosphorylation, an effect that was abrogated by the PI3K inhibitors wortmannin and LY294002. The PI3K inhibitors further diminished TSLP-induced platelet activation. TSLP-mediated platelet degranulation, integrin αIIbβ3 activation and Akt phosphorylation were blunted in platelets that lacked the TSLP receptor.
CONCLUSION - This study demonstrated that the functional TSLPR was surface-expressed on murine platelets. The inflammatory cytokine TSLP triggered platelet activation and thrombus formation via TSLP-dependent PI3K/Akt signaling, which suggests an important role for TSLP in linking vascular inflammation and thrombo-occlusive diseases.
© 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Autoreactive B lymphocytes are essential for the development of T cell-mediated type 1 diabetes (T1D). Cytoplasmic Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) is a key component of B cell signaling, and its deletion in T1D-prone NOD mice significantly reduces diabetes. However, the role of BTK in the survival and function of autoreactive B cells is not clear. To evaluate the contributions of BTK, we used mice in which B cells express an anti-insulin BCR (125Tg) and promote T1D, despite being anergic. Crossing Btk deficiency onto 125Tg mice reveals that, in contrast to immature B cells, mature anti-insulin B cells are exquisitely dependent upon BTK, because their numbers are reduced by 95%. BTK kinase domain inhibition reproduces this effect in mature anti-insulin B cells, with less impact at transitional stages. The increased dependence of anti-insulin B cells on BTK became particularly evident in an Igκ locus site-directed model, in which 50% of B cells edit their BCRs to noninsulin specificities; Btk deficiency preferentially depletes insulin binders from the follicular and marginal zone B cell subsets. The persistent few Btk-deficient anti-insulin B cells remain competent to internalize Ag and invade pancreatic islets. As such, loss of BTK does not significantly reduce diabetes incidence in 125Tg/NOD mice as it does in NOD mice with a normal B cell repertoire. Thus, BTK targeting may not impair autoreactive anti-insulin B cell function, yet it may provide protection in an endogenous repertoire by decreasing the relative availability of mature autoreactive B cells.
OBJECTIVE - To share our experience on clinical presentation and management of patients diagnosed with Hashimoto's Encephalopathy (HE) at Vanderbilt Medical Center between 1999 and 2012.
BACKGROUND - HE is a rare disorder characterized by encephalopathy and central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction, elevated antithyroid antibodies, the absence of infection or structural abnormalities in the CNS, and a response to treatment with steroids. The relationship between thyroid antibodies and encephalopathy has remained unresolved.
DESIGN/METHODS - Retrospective chart review.
RESULTS - We identified 13 patients who met the criteria for the diagnosis of HE. The median age was 49 years (range, 2-66) and all except one were women. Encephalopathy in the form of altered mental status, stroke-like symptoms or seizures, with prompt resolution of symptoms upon receiving steroids, was the commonest presentation, seen in 7 patients. The second commonest presentation was subacute progressive decrease in cognitive function, which reversed within days to weeks after steroid therapy, seen in 4 patients. Electroencephalogram (EEG) was available in 12 patients and was abnormal in 8, showing nonspecific cerebral dysfunction in all 8 and epileptiform activity in 3. Treatment consisted of steroids in the acute phase for 12 of 13 patients with rapid improvement in symptoms. Maintenance therapy was rituximab in 7 patients, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) in 7, azathioprine in 4, mycophenolate mofetil in 3, and methotrexate in 1 (some patients received sequential therapy with different agents). There was complete or near complete resolution of symptoms in 12 of the 13 patients.
CONCLUSIONS - We present a cohort of patients in whom CNS dysfunction was associated with elevated antithyroid antibodies and reversal of disease followed immunomodulatory therapies.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Subcutaneous immunoglobulin infusions are effective, safe and well tolerated in the treatment of primary immunodeficiencies, but only limited data on the treatment of children are available. We investigated the efficacy, safety and pharmacokinetics of home therapy with a 16% liquid human immunoglobulin G preparation (Vivaglobin®) when administered subcutaneously in children with primary immunodeficiencies. Data were analysed from 22 children (2-<12 years) who participated in two prospective, open-label studies (one in Europe/Brazil, one in North America). All children had previously received intravenous immunoglobulins. They started weekly subcutaneous immunoglobulin infusions with an approximately 3-month wash-in/wash-out period, followed by a 6-month (Europe/Brazil) or 12-month (North America) efficacy evaluation period. In Europe/Brazil, subcutaneous doses generally equalled the previous weekly equivalent intravenous doses. In North America, subcutaneous doses during the efficacy evaluation period were 126% (median) of the previous weekly equivalent intravenous doses. Efficacy end-points in both studies included the occurrence of serious bacterial infections and any infections, and serum immunoglobulin G trough levels. Median serum immunoglobulin G trough levels exceeded those during previous intravenous therapy by 13% (North America) and 16% (Europe/Brazil). During the efficacy evaluation period of both studies, none of the children had a serious bacterial infection; the mean overall infection rate/patient year was 4·7 in Europe/Brazil and 5·6 in North America, concurring with previous reports in adults. The adverse event profile was comparable to previous reports in adults. Both studies confirmed the efficacy and safety of subcutaneous immunoglobulin therapy with Vivaglobin in children with primary immunodeficiencies.
© 2011 The Authors. Clinical and Experimental Immunology © 2011 British Society for Immunology.
Alternate therapies are needed for treatment of secondary bacterial pneumonia following influenza. The immunomodulatory peptide P4 has shown promise in mouse models of primary pneumococcal infection. Mice infected with influenza virus and then challenged with Streptococcus pneumoniae were treated with a combination of P4 peptide and intravenous immune globulin. Survival was improved from 20% to 80% in treated mice relative to controls. Clinical cure correlated with increased clearance of bacteria and decreased lung consolidation. Greater trafficking of professional phagocytic cells to the site of pneumococcal infection coupled with enhanced opsonophagocytosis as manifest by decreased surface display of Fcγ receptors (FcγR) on neutrophils and macrophages were associated with P4 peptide treatment. This suggests that the mechanism of action for improved clearance of bacteria engendered by P4 is through improved uptake by phagocytes mediated by IgG Fc-Fcγ receptor interactions following antibody-mediated opsonophagocytosis of bacteria. Antibody-based therapies, when coupled with immune modulators, such as P4 peptide, may be an effective tool together with antibiotics in our armamentarium against severe pneumonia.
Monomeric HIV envelope vaccines fail to elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies or to protect against infection. Neutralizing antibodies against HIV bind to native functionally active Env trimers on the virion surface. Gag-Env pseudovirions recapitulate the native trimer and could serve as an effective epitope presentation platform for study of the neutralizing antibody response in HIV-infected individuals. To address if pseudovirions can recapitulate native HIV virion epitope structures, we carefully characterized these particles, concentrating on the antigenic structure of the coreceptor binding site. By blue native gel shift assays, Gag-Env pseudovirions were shown to contain native trimers that were competent for binding to neutralizing monoclonal antibodies. In enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, pseudovirions exhibited increased binding of known CD4-induced antibodies after addition of CD4. Using flow cytometric analysis, fluorescently labeled pseudovirions specifically identified a subset of antigen-specific B cells in HIV-infected subjects. Interestingly, the sequence of one of these novel human antibodies, identified during cloning of single HIV-specific B cells and designated 2C6, exhibited homology to mAb 47e, a known anti-CD4-induced coreceptor binding site antibody. The secreted monoclonal antibody 2C6 did not bind monomeric gp120, but specifically bound envelope on pseudovirions. A recombinant form of the antibody 2C6 acted as a CD4-induced epitope-specific antibody in neutralization assays, yet did not bind monomeric gp120. These findings imply specificity against a quaternary epitope presented on the pseudovirion envelope spike. These data demonstrate that Gag-Env pseudovirions recapitulate CD4 and coreceptor binding pocket antigenic structures and can facilitate identification of B-cell clones that secrete neutralizing antibodies.
Mammalian orthoreoviruses (reoviruses) are prototype members of the Reoviridae family of nonenveloped viruses. Reoviruses contain ten double-stranded RNA gene segments enclosed in two concentric protein shells, outer capsid and core. These viruses serve as a versatile experimental system for studies of virus cell entry, innate immunity, and organ-specific disease. Reoviruses engage cells by binding to cell-surface carbohydrates and the immunoglobulin superfamily member, junctional adhesion molecule-A (JAM-A). JAM-A is a homodimer formed by extensive contacts between its N-terminal immunoglobulin-like domains. Reovirus attachment protein σ1 disrupts the JAM-A dimer, engaging a single JAM-A molecule by virtually the same interface used for JAM-A homodimerization. Following attachment to JAM-A and carbohydrate, reovirus internalization is promoted by β1 integrins, most likely via clathrin-dependent endocytosis. In the endocytic compartment, reovirus outer-capsid protein σ3 is removed by cathepsin proteases, which exposes the viral membrane-penetration protein, μ1. Proteolytic processing and conformational rearrangements of μ1 mediate endosomal membrane rupture and delivery of transcriptionally active reovirus core particles into the host cell cytoplasm. These events also allow the φ cleavage fragment of μ1 to escape into the cytoplasm where it activates NF-κB and elicits apoptosis. This review will focus on mechanisms of reovirus cell entry and activation of innate immune response signaling pathways.
RATIONALE - p120-catenin (p120) is an armadillo family protein that binds to the cytoplasmic domain of classical cadherins and prevents cadherin endocytosis. The role of p120 in vascular development is unknown.
OBJECTIVE - The purpose of this study is to examine the role of p120 in mammalian vascular development by generating a conditionally mutant mouse lacking endothelial p120 and determining the effects of the knockout on vasculogenesis, angiogenic remodeling, and the regulation of endothelial cadherin levels.
METHODS AND RESULTS - A conditional Cre/loxP gene deletion strategy was used to ablate p120 expression, using the Tie2 promoter to drive endothelial Cre recombinase expression. Mice lacking endothelial p120 died embryonically beginning at embryonic day 11.5. Major blood vessels appeared normal at embryonic day 9.5. However, both embryonic and extraembryonic vasculature of mutant animals were disorganized and displayed decreased microvascular density by embryonic day 11.5. Importantly, both vascular endothelial cadherin and N-cadherin levels were significantly reduced in vessels lacking p120. This decrease in cadherin expression was accompanied by reduced pericyte recruitment and hemorrhaging. Furthermore, p120-null cultured endothelial cells exhibited proliferation defects that could be rescued by exogenous expression of vascular endothelial cadherin.
CONCLUSIONS - These findings reveal a fundamental role for p120 in regulating endothelial cadherin levels during vascular development, as well as microvascular patterning, vessel integrity, and endothelial cell proliferation. Loss of endothelial p120 results in lethality attributable to decreased microvascular density and hemorrhages.