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The connection between inflammation and cancer was initially recognized by Rudolf Virchow in the nineteenth century. During the last decades, a large body of evidence has provided support to his hypothesis, and now inflammation is recognized as one of the hallmarks of cancer, both in etiopathogenesis and ongoing tumor growth. Infection with the pathogen Helicobacter pylori is the primary causal factor in 90% of gastric cancer (GC) cases. As we increase our understanding of how chronic inflammation develops in the stomach and contributes to carcinogenesis, there is increasing interest in targeting cancer-promoting inflammation as a strategy to treat GC. Moreover, once cancer develops and anti-cancer immune responses are suppressed, there is evidence of a substantial shift in the microenvironment and new targets for immune therapy emerge. In this chapter, we provide insight into inflammation-related factors, including T lymphocytes, macrophages, pro-inflammatory chemokines, and cytokines, which promote H. pylori-associated GC initiation and growth. While intervening with chronic inflammation is not a new practice in rheumatology or gastroenterology, this approach has not been fully explored for its potential to prevent carcinogenesis or to contribute to the treatment of GC. This review highlights current and possible strategies for therapeutic intervention including (i) targeting pro-inflammatory mediators, (ii) targeting growth factors and pathways involved in angiogenesis in the gastric tumor microenvironment, and (iii) enhancing anti-tumor immunity. In addition, we highlight a significant number of clinical trials and discuss the importance of individual tumor characterization toward offering personalized immune-related therapy.
BACKGROUND - Vascular dysfunction is commonly seen during severe viral infections. Endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), has been postulated to play an important role in regulating vascular homeostasis as well as propagation of the inflammatory reaction. We hypothesized that the loss of eNOS would negatively impact toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) signaling and worsen vascular function to viral challenge.
METHODS - Human microvascular endothelial cells (HMVECs) were exposed to either control or eNOS siRNA and then treated with Poly I:C, a TLR3 agonist and mimicker of dsRNA viruses. Cells were assessed for protein-protein associations, cytokine and chemokine analysis as well as transendothelial electrical resistance (TEER) as a surrogate of permeability.
RESULTS - HMVECs that had reduced eNOS expression had a significantly elevated increase in IL-6, IL-8 and IP-10 production after Poly I:C. In addition, the knockdown of eNOS enhanced the change in TEER after Poly I:C stimulation. Western blot analysis showed enhanced phosphorylation of p38 in sieNOS treated cells with Poly I:C compared to siControl cells. Proximity ligation assays further demonstrated direct eNOS-p38 protein-protein interactions. The addition of the p38 inhibitor, SB203580, in eNOS knockdown cells reduced both cytokine production after Poly I:C, and as well as mitigated the reduction in TEER, suggesting a direct link between eNOS and p38 in TLR3 signaling.
CONCLUSIONS - These results suggest that reduction of eNOS increases TLR3-mediated inflammation in human endothelial cells in a p38-dependent manner. This finding has important implications for understanding the pathogenesis of severe viral infections and the associated vascular dysfunction.
S100 proteins are distinct dimeric EF-hand Ca-binding proteins that can bind Zn, Mn, and other transition metals with high affinity at two sites in the dimer interface. Certain S100 proteins, including S100A7, S100A12, S100A8, and S100A9, play key roles in the innate immune response to pathogens. These proteins function via a "nutritional immunity" mechanism by depleting essential transition metals in the infection that are required for the invading organism to grow and thrive. They also act as damage-associated molecular pattern ligands, which activate pattern recognition receptors (e.g., Toll-like receptor 4, RAGE) that mediate inflammation. Here we present protocols for these S100 proteins for high-level production of recombinant protein, measurement of binding affinities using isothermal titration calorimetry, and an assay of antimicrobial activity.
Hematopoiesis is a dynamic system that requires balanced cell division, differentiation, and death. The 2 major modes of programmed cell death, apoptosis and necroptosis, share molecular machinery but diverge in outcome with important implications for the microenvironment; apoptotic cells are removed in an immune silent process, whereas necroptotic cells leak cellular contents that incite inflammation. Given the importance of cytokine-directed cues for hematopoietic cell survival and differentiation, the impact on hematopoietic homeostasis of biasing cell death fate to necroptosis is substantial and poorly understood. Here, we present a mouse model with increased bone marrow necroptosis. Deletion of the proapoptotic Bcl-2 family members Bax and Bak inhibits bone marrow apoptosis. Further deletion of the BH3-only member Bid (to generate triple-knockout [TKO] mice) leads to unrestrained bone marrow necroptosis driven by increased Rip1 kinase (Ripk1). TKO mice display loss of progenitor cells, leading to increased cytokine production and increased stem cell proliferation and exhaustion and culminating in bone marrow failure. Genetically restoring Ripk1 to wild-type levels restores peripheral red cell counts as well as normal cytokine production. TKO bone marrow is hypercellular with abnormal differentiation, resembling the human disorder myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), and we demonstrate increased necroptosis in MDS bone marrow. Finally, we show that Bid impacts necroptotic signaling through modulation of caspase-8-mediated Ripk1 degradation. Thus, we demonstrate that dysregulated necroptosis in hematopoiesis promotes bone marrow progenitor cell death that incites inflammation, impairs hematopoietic stem cells, and recapitulates the salient features of the bone marrow failure disorder MDS.
© 2019 by The American Society of Hematology.
BACKGROUND - Exposure of rodents to chronic high-fat diet (HFD) results in upregulation of inflammatory markers and proliferation of microglia within the mediobasal hypothalamus. Such hypothalamic inflammation is associated with metabolic dysfunction, central leptin resistance, and maintenance of obesity. Bariatric surgeries result in long-term stable weight loss and improved metabolic function. However, the effects of such surgical procedures on HFD-induced hypothalamic inflammation are unknown. We sought to characterize the effects of two bariatric surgical procedures, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) and biliary diversion (BD-IL), in female mice with particular emphasis on HFD-induced hypothalamic inflammation and microgliosis.
METHODS - RYGB and BD-IL were performed on diet-induced obese (DIO) mice. Quantitative RT-PCR and fluorescent microscopy were used to evaluate hypothalamic inflammatory gene expression and microgliosis. Results were compared to lean (CD), DIO sham-surgerized mice (DIO-SHAM), and dietary weight loss (DIO-Rev) controls.
RESULTS - In female mice, RYGB and BD-IL result in normalization of hypothalamic inflammatory gene expression and microgliosis within 8 weeks of surgery, despite ongoing exposure to HFD. Paralleling these results, the hypothalamic expression levels of the orexigenic neuropeptide Agrp and the anorexic response of surgical mice to exogenous leptin were comparable to lean controls (CD). In contrast, results from DIO-Rev mice were comparable to DIO-SHAM mice, despite transition back to standard rodent show and normalization of weight.
CONCLUSION - Bariatric surgery attenuates HFD-induced hypothalamic inflammation and microgliosis and restores leptin sensitivity, despite ongoing exposure to HFD.
Sepsis disproportionately affects the very old and the very young. IL-1 signaling is important in innate host defense but may also play a deleterious role in acute inflammatory conditions (including sepsis) by promulgating life-threatening inflammation. IL-1 signaling is mediated by two distinct ligands: IL-1α and IL-1β, both acting on a common receptor (IL-1R1). IL-1R1 targeting has not reduced adult human sepsis mortality despite biologic plausibility. Because the specific role of IL-1α or IL-1β in sepsis survival is unknown in any age group and the role of IL-1 signaling remains unknown in neonates, we studied the role of IL-1 signaling, including the impact of IL-1α and IL-1β, on neonatal murine sepsis survival. IL-1 signaling augments the late plasma inflammatory response to sepsis. IL-1α and not IL-1β is the critical mediator of sepsis mortality, likely because of paracrine actions within the tissue. These data do not support targeting IL-1 signaling in neonates.
Copyright © 2018 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
Helicobacter pylori infection induces a chronic gastric inflammation which can lead to gastric ulcers and cancer. The mucosal immune response to H. pylori is first initiated by the activation of gastric epithelial cells that respond to numerous bacterial factors, such as the cytotoxin-associated gene A or the lipopolysaccharide intermediate heptose-1,7-bisphosphate. The response of these cells is orchestrated by different receptors including the intracellular nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-containing protein 1 or the extracellular epidermal growth factor receptor. This nonspecific response leads to recruitment and activation of various myeloid (macrophages and dendritic cells) and T cells (T helper-17 and mucosal-associated invariant T cells), which magnify and maintain inflammation. In this review, we summarize the major advances made in the past year regarding the induction, the regulation, and the role of the innate and adaptive immune responses to H. pylori infection. We also recapitulate efforts that have been made to develop efficient vaccine strategies.
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Solute carrier family 7 member 2 (SLC7A2, also known as CAT2) is an inducible transporter of the semi-essential amino acid L-arginine (L-Arg), which has been implicated in wound repair. We have reported that both SLC7A2 expression and L-Arg availability are decreased in colonic tissues from inflammatory bowel disease patients and that mice lacking Slc7a2 exhibit a more severe disease course when exposed to dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) compared to wild-type (WT) mice. Here, we present evidence that SLC7A2 plays a role in modulating colon tumorigenesis in the azoxymethane (AOM)-DSS model of colitis-associated carcinogenesis (CAC). SLC7A2 was localized predominantly to colonic epithelial cells in WT mice. Utilizing the AOM-DSS model, Slc7a2 mice had significantly increased tumor number, burden, and risk of high-grade dysplasia vs. WT mice. Tumors from Slc7a2 mice exhibited significantly increased levels of the proinflammatory cytokines/chemokines IL-1β, CXCL1, CXCL5, IL-3, CXCL2, CCL3, and CCL4, but decreased levels of IL-4, CXCL9, and CXCL10 compared to tumors from WT mice. This was accompanied by a shift toward pro-tumorigenic M2 macrophage activation in Slc7a2-deficient mice, as marked by increased colonic CD11bF4/80ARG1 cells with no alteration in CD11bF4/80NOS2 cells by flow cytometry and immunofluorescence microscopy. The shift toward M2 macrophage activation was confirmed in bone marrow-derived macrophages from Slc7a2 mice. In bone marrow chimeras between Slc7a2 and WT mice, the recipient genotype drove the CAC phenotype, suggesting the importance of epithelial SLC7A2 in abrogating neoplastic risk. These data reveal that SLC7A2 has a significant role in the protection from CAC in the setting of chronic colitis, and suggest that the decreased SLC7A2 in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may contribute to CAC risk. Strategies to enhance L-Arg availability by supplementing L-Arg and/or increasing L-Arg uptake could represent a therapeutic approach in IBD to reduce the substantial long-term risk of colorectal carcinoma.
Background & Aims - Chronic inflammation is a predisposing condition for colorectal cancer. Many studies to date have focused on proinflammatory signaling pathways in the colon. Understanding the mechanisms that suppress inflammation, particularly in epithelial cells, is critical for developing therapeutic interventions. Here, we explored the roles of transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) family signaling through SMAD4 in colonic epithelial cells.
Methods - The gene was deleted specifically in adult murine intestinal epithelium. Colitis was induced by 3 rounds of dextran sodium sulfate in drinking water, after which mice were observed for up to 3 months. Nontransformed mouse colonocyte cell lines and colonoid cultures and human colorectal cancer cell lines were analyzed for responses to TGFβ1 and bone morphogenetic protein 2.
Results - Dextran sodium sulfate treatment was sufficient to drive carcinogenesis in mice lacking colonic expression, with resulting tumors bearing striking resemblance to human colitis-associated carcinoma. Loss of SMAD4 protein was observed in 48% of human colitis-associated carcinoma samples as compared with 19% of sporadic colorectal carcinomas. Loss of increased the expression of inflammatory mediators within nontransformed mouse colon epithelial cells in vivo. In vitro analysis of mouse and human colonic epithelial cell lines and organoids indicated that much of this regulation was cell autonomous. Furthermore, TGFβ signaling inhibited the epithelial inflammatory response to proinflammatory cytokines.
Conclusions - TGFβ suppresses the expression of proinflammatory genes in the colon epithelium, and loss of its downstream mediator, SMAD4, is sufficient to initiate inflammation-driven colon cancer. Transcript profiling: GSE100082.
Early breaches in B cell tolerance are central to type 1 diabetes progression in mouse and man. Conventional BCR transgenic mouse models (VH125.Tg NOD) reveal the power of B cell specificity to drive disease as APCs. However, in conventional fixed IgM models, comprehensive assessment of B cell development is limited. To provide more accurate insight into the developmental and functional fates of anti-insulin B cells, we generated a new NOD model (V125NOD) in which anti-insulin VDJH125 is targeted to the IgH chain locus to generate a small (1-2%) population of class switch-competent insulin-binding B cells. Tracking of this rare population in a polyclonal repertoire reveals that anti-insulin B cells are preferentially skewed into marginal zone and late transitional subsets known to have increased sensitivity to proinflammatory signals. Additionally, IL-10 production, characteristic of regulatory B cell subsets, is increased. In contrast to conventional models, class switch-competent anti-insulin B cells proliferate normally in response to mitogenic stimuli but remain functionally silent for insulin autoantibody production. Diabetes development is accelerated, which demonstrates the power of anti-insulin B cells to exacerbate disease without differentiation into Ab-forming or plasma cells. Autoreactive T cell responses in V125NOD mice are not restricted to insulin autoantigens, as evidenced by increased IFN-γ production to a broad array of diabetes-associated epitopes. Together, these results independently validate the pathogenic role of anti-insulin B cells in type 1 diabetes, underscore their diverse developmental fates, and demonstrate the pathologic potential of coupling a critical β cell specificity to predominantly proinflammatory Ag-presenting B cell subsets.
Copyright © 2018 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.