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The lung epithelial glycocalyx is a carbohydrate-enriched layer lining the pulmonary epithelial surface. Although epithelial glycocalyx visualization has been reported, its composition and function remain unknown. Using immunofluorescence and mass spectrometry, we identified heparan sulfate (HS) and chondroitin sulfate within the lung epithelial glycocalyx. In vivo selective enzymatic degradation of epithelial HS, but not chondroitin sulfate, increased lung permeability. Using mass spectrometry and gel electrophoresis approaches to determine the fate of epithelial HS during lung injury, we detected shedding of 20 saccharide-long or greater HS into BAL fluid in intratracheal LPS-treated mice. Furthermore, airspace HS in clinical samples from patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome correlated with indices of alveolar permeability, reflecting the clinical relevance of these findings. The length of HS shed during intratracheal LPS-induced injury (≥20 saccharides) suggests cleavage of the proteoglycan anchoring HS to the epithelial surface, rather than cleavage of HS itself. We used pharmacologic and transgenic animal approaches to determine that matrix metalloproteinases partially mediate HS shedding during intratracheal LPS-induced lung injury. Although there was a trend toward decreased alveolar permeability after treatment with the matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor, doxycycline, this did not reach statistical significance. These studies suggest that epithelial HS contributes to the lung epithelial barrier and its degradation is sufficient to increase lung permeability. The partial reduction of HS shedding achieved with doxycycline is not sufficient to rescue epithelial barrier function during intratracheal LPS-induced lung injury; however, whether complete attenuation of HS shedding is sufficient to rescue epithelial barrier function remains unknown.
It has been widely recognized that individual cells that exist within a large population of cells, even if they are genetically identical, can have divergent molecular makeups resulting from a variety of factors, including local environmental factors and stochastic processes within each cell. Presently, numerous approaches have been described that permit the resolution of these single-cell expression differences for RNA and protein; however, relatively few techniques exist for the study of lipids and metabolites in this manner. This study presents a methodology for the analysis of metabolite and lipid expression at the level of a single cell through the use of imaging mass spectrometry on a high-performance Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer. This report provides a detailed description of the overall experimental approach, including sample preparation as well as the data acquisition and analysis strategy for single cells. Applying this approach to the study of cultured RAW264.7 cells, we demonstrate that this method can be used to study the variation in molecular expression with cell populations and is sensitive to alterations in that expression that occurs upon lipopolysaccharide stimulation. Graphical Abstract.
In mouse models used to study parturition or pre-clinical therapeutic testing, measurement of uterine contractions is limited to either isometric tension or operative intrauterine pressure (IUP). The goal of this study was to: (1) develop a method for transcervical insertion of a pressure catheter to measure intrauterine contractile pressure during mouse pregnancy, (2) determine whether this method can be utilized numerous times in a single mouse pregnancy without affecting the timing of delivery or fetal outcome and (3) compare the contractile activity between mouse models of term and preterm labor (PTL). Visualization of the cervix allowed intrauterine pressure catheter (IUPC) placement into anesthetized pregnant mice (plug = day 1, delivery = day 19.5). The amplitude, frequency, duration and area under the curve (AUC) of IUP was lowest on days 16-18, increased significantly ( < 0.05) on the morning of day 19 and reached maximal levels during by the afternoon of day 19 and into the intrapartum period. An AUC threshold of 2.77 mmHg discriminated between inactive labor (day 19 am) and active labor (day 19 pm and intrapartum period). Mice examined on a single vs every experimental timepoint did not have significantly different IUP, timing of delivery, offspring number or fetal/neonatal weight. The IUP was significantly greater in LPS-treated and RU486-treated mouse models of PTL compared to time-matched vehicle control mice. Intrapartum IUP was not significantly different between term and preterm mice. We conclude that utilization of a transcervical IUPC allows sensitive assessment of uterine contractile activity and labor progression in mouse models without the need for operative approaches.
© 2018 Society for Reproduction and Fertility.
Neuroinflammation is consistently found in many neurological disorders, but whether or not the inflammatory response independently affects neuronal network properties is poorly understood. Here, we report that intracerebroventricular injection of the prototypical inflammatory molecule lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in rats triggered a strong and long-lasting inflammatory response in hippocampal microglia associated with a concomitant upregulation of Toll-like receptor (TLR4) in pyramidal and hilar neurons. This, in turn, was associated with a significant reduction of the dendritic hyperpolarization-activated cyclic AMP-gated channel type 1 (HCN1) protein level while Kv4.2 channels were unaltered as assessed by western blot. Immunohistochemistry confirmed the HCN1 decrease in CA1 pyramidal neurons and showed that these changes were associated with a reduction of TRIP8b, an auxiliary subunit for HCN channels implicated in channel subcellular localization and trafficking. At the physiological level, this effect translated into a 50% decrease in HCN1-mediated currents (I) measured in the distal dendrites of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells. At the functional level, the band-pass-filtering properties of dendrites in the theta frequency range (4-12 Hz) and their temporal summation properties were compromised. We conclude that neuroinflammation can independently trigger an acquired channelopathy in CA1 pyramidal cell dendrites that alters their integrative properties. By directly changing cellular function, this phenomenon may participate in the phenotypic expression of various brain diseases.
PROBLEM - Premature birth complicates 10%-12% of deliveries. Infection and inflammation are the most common etiologies and are associated with increased offspring morbidity and mortality. We hypothesize that lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced maternal inflammation causes direct placenta injury and subsequent injury to the fetal intestine.
METHOD OF STUDY - Pregnant C57Bl6 mice were injected intraperitoneally on day 15.5 with 100 μg/kg LPS or saline. Maternal serum, amniotic fluid, placental samples, and ileal samples of offspring were obtained assessed for inflammation and/or injury. Maternal placental ultrasounds were performed. Placental DNA was isolated for microbiome analysis.
RESULTS - Maternal injection with LPS caused elevated IL-1β, IL-10, IL-6, KC-GRO, and TNF. Placental tissue showed increased IL-1β, IL-6, and KC-GRO and decreased IL-10, but no changes were observed in amniotic fluid. Placental histology demonstrated LPS-induced increases in mineralization and necrosis, but no difference in placental blood flow. Most placentas had no detectable microbiome. Exposure to maternal LPS induced significant injury to the ilea of the offspring.
CONCLUSION - Lipopolysaccharide causes a maternal inflammatory response that is mirrored in the placenta. Placental histology demonstrates structural changes; however, placental blood flow is preserved. LPS also induces an indirect intestinal injury in the offspring that lasts beyond the neonatal period.
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Endothelial dysfunction, characterized by changes in eNOS, is a common finding in chronic inflammatory vascular diseases. These states are associated with increased infectious complications. We hypothesized that alterations in eNOS would enhance the response to LPS-mediated TLR4 inflammation. Human microvascular endothelial cells were treated with sepiapterin or N-nitro-L-arginine methylester (L-NAME) to alter endogenous NO production, and small interfering RNA to knockdown eNOS. Alterations of endogenous NO by sepiapterin, and L-NAME provided no significant changes to LPS inflammation. In contrast, eNOS knockdown greatly enhanced endothelial IL-6 production and permeability in response to LPS. Knockdown of eNOS enhanced LPS-induced p38. Inhibition of p38 with SB203580 prevented IL-6 production, without altering permeability. Knockdown of p38 impaired NF-κB activation. Physical interaction between p38 and eNOS was demonstrated by immunoprecipitation, suggesting a novel, NO-independent mechanism for eNOS regulation of TLR4. In correlation, biopsy samples in patients with systemic lupus erythematous showed reduced eNOS expression with associated elevations in TLR4 and p38, suggesting an in vivo link. Thus, reduced expression of eNOS, as seen in chronic inflammatory disease, was associated with enhanced TLR4 signaling through p38. This may enhance the response to infection in patients with chronic inflammatory conditions.-Stark, R. J., Koch, S. R., Choi, H., Mace, E. H., Dikalov, S. I., Sherwood, E. R., Lamb, F. S. Endothelial nitric oxide synthase modulates Toll-like receptor 4-mediated IL-6 production and permeability via nitric oxide-independent signaling.
BACKGROUND - Pulmonary fibrosis is a late manifestation of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Sepsis is a major cause of ARDS, and its pathogenesis includes endotoxin-induced vascular injury. Recently, endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT) was shown to play an important role in pulmonary fibrosis. On the other hand, dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP)-4 was reported to improve vascular dysfunction in an experimental sepsis model, although whether DPP-4 affects EndMT and fibrosis initiation during lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced lung injury is unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the anti-EndMT effects of the DPP-4 inhibitor vildagliptin in pulmonary fibrosis after systemic endotoxemic injury.
METHODS - A septic lung injury model was established by intraperitoneal injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in eight-week-old male mice (5 mg/kg for five consecutive days). The mice were then treated with vehicle or vildagliptin (intraperitoneally, 10 mg/kg, once daily for 14 consecutive days from 1 day before the first administration of LPS.). Flow cytometry, immunohistochemical staining, and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis was used to assess cell dynamics and EndMT function in lung samples from the mice.
RESULTS - Lung tissue samples from treated mice revealed obvious inflammatory reactions and typical interstitial fibrosis 2 days and 28 days after LPS challenge. Quantitative flow cytometric analysis showed that the number of pulmonary vascular endothelial cells (PVECs) expressing alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) or S100 calcium-binding protein A4 (S100A4) increased 28 days after LPS challenge. Similar increases in expression were also confirmed by qPCR of mRNA from isolated PVECs. EndMT cells had higher proliferative activity and migration activity than mesenchymal cells. All of these changes were alleviated by intraperitoneal injection of vildagliptin. Interestingly, vildagliptin and linagliptin significantly attenuated EndMT in the absence of immune cells or GLP-1.
CONCLUSIONS - Inhibiting DPP-4 signaling by vildagliptin could ameliorate pulmonary fibrosis by downregulating EndMT in systemic LPS-induced lung injury.
Although critical in phagocytosis in innate immunity, reactive oxygen species (ROS) collaterally inflict damage to host phagocytes because they indiscriminate targets. Since Nrf2 increases the expression of anti-oxidant enzymes that nullifies ROS, ROS activating Nrf2 is a critical negative regulatory step for countering the deleterious effects of ROS. Here, we postulate whether, along with ROS activating Nrf2, NADPH oxidase components also participate in direct activation of Nrf2, contributing to protection from ROS. Our results show that the p47 of the NADPH oxidase, but not p65 or p40, physically binds to Nrf2, activating the Nrf2 function. p47 binding to Nrf2/Keap1 complex suppresses the ubiquitination of Nrf2, while p47 becomes ubiquitinated by Keap1. p47 increases the nuclear translocation of Nrf2 and the expression of Nrf2-dependent genes, whereas genetic ablation of p47 decreases the expression of those genes. In a lipopolysaccharide-induced acute lung inflammation mouse model, selective expression of p47 in mouse lungs induces the expression of Nrf2-dependent genes and is sufficient to suppress neutrophilic lung inflammation. Therefore, our findings suggest that p47 is a novel regulator of Nrf2 function.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In preterm infants, soluble inflammatory mediators target lung mesenchymal cells, disrupting airway and alveolar morphogenesis. However, how mesenchymal cells respond directly to microbial stimuli remains poorly characterized. Our objective was to measure the genome-wide innate immune response in fetal lung mesenchymal cells exposed to the bacterial endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS). With the use of Affymetrix MoGene 1.0st arrays, we showed that LPS induced expression of unique innate immune transcripts heavily weighted toward CC and CXC family chemokines. The transcriptional response was different between cells from E11, E15, and E18 mouse lungs. In all cells tested, LPS inhibited expression of a small core group of genes including the VEGF receptor Although best characterized in vascular endothelial populations, we demonstrated here that fetal mouse lung mesenchymal cells express and respond to VEGF-A stimulation. In mesenchymal cells, VEGF-A increased cell migration, activated the ERK/AKT pathway, and promoted FOXO3A nuclear exclusion. With the use of an experimental coculture model of epithelial-mesenchymal interactions, we also showed that VEGFR2 inhibition prevented formation of three-dimensional structures. Both LPS and tyrosine kinase inhibition reduced three-dimensional structure formation. Our data suggest a novel mechanism for inflammation-mediated defects in lung development involving reduced VEGF signaling in lung mesenchyme.
Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.
The magnitude of the LPS-elicited cytokine response is commonly used to assess immune function in critically ill patients. A suppressed response, known as endotoxin tolerance, is associated with worse outcomes, yet endotoxin tolerance-inducing TLR4 ligands are known to protect animals from infection. Thus, it remains unknown whether the magnitude of the LPS-elicited cytokine response provides an accurate assessment of antimicrobial immunity. To address this, the ability of diverse TLR ligands to modify the LPS-elicited cytokine response and resistance to infection were assessed. Priming of mice with LPS, monophosphoryl lipid A (MPLA), or poly(I:C) significantly reduced plasma LPS-elicited proinflammatory cytokines, reflecting endotoxin tolerance, whereas CpG-ODN-primed mice showed augmented cytokine production. In contrast, LPS, MPLA, and CpG-ODN, but not poly(I:C), improved the host response to a infection. Mice primed with protective TLR ligands, including CpG-ODN, showed reduced plasma cytokines during infection. The protection imparted by TLR ligands persisted for up to 15 d yet was independent of the adaptive immune system. In bone marrow-derived macrophages, protective TLR ligands induced a persistent metabolic phenotype characterized by elevated glycolysis and oxidative metabolism as well as augmented size, granularity, phagocytosis, and respiratory burst. Sustained augmentation of glycolysis in TLR-primed cells was dependent, in part, on hypoxia-inducible factor 1-α and was essential for increased phagocytosis. In conclusion, the magnitude of LPS-elicited cytokine production is not indicative of antimicrobial immunity after exposure to TLR ligands. Additionally, protective TLR ligands induce sustained augmentation of phagocyte metabolism and antimicrobial function.
Copyright © 2017 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.