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The reverse transsulfuration pathway is the major route for the metabolism of sulfur-containing amino acids. The role of this metabolic pathway in macrophage response and function is unknown. We show that the enzyme cystathionine γ-lyase (CTH) is induced in macrophages infected with pathogenic bacteria through signaling involving phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/MTOR and the transcription factor SP1. This results in the synthesis of cystathionine, which facilitates the survival of pathogens within myeloid cells. Our data demonstrate that the expression of CTH leads to defective macrophage activation by (i) dysregulation of polyamine metabolism by depletion of -adenosylmethionine, resulting in immunosuppressive putrescine accumulation and inhibition of spermidine and spermine synthesis, and (ii) increased histone H3K9, H3K27, and H3K36 di/trimethylation, which is associated with gene expression silencing. Thus, CTH is a pivotal enzyme of the innate immune response that disrupts host defense. The induction of the reverse transsulfuration pathway by bacterial pathogens can be considered an unrecognized mechanism for immune escape. Macrophages are professional immune cells that ingest and kill microbes. In this study, we show that different pathogenic bacteria induce the expression of cystathionine γ-lyase (CTH) in macrophages. This enzyme is involved in a metabolic pathway called the reverse transsulfuration pathway, which leads to the production of numerous metabolites, including cystathionine. Phagocytized bacteria use cystathionine to better survive in macrophages. In addition, the induction of CTH results in dysregulation of the metabolism of polyamines, which in turn dampens the proinflammatory response of macrophages. In conclusion, pathogenic bacteria can evade the host immune response by inducing CTH in macrophages.
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.
Previous studies by us and others have indicated that renal epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) are activated in models of diabetic nephropathy (DN) and that inhibition of EGFR activity protects against progressive DN in type 1 diabetes. In this study we examined whether inhibition of EGFR activation would affect the development of DN in a mouse model of accelerated type 2 diabetes (BKS with endothelial nitric oxide knockout [eNOS]). eNOS mice received vehicle or erlotinib, an inhibitor of EGFR tyrosine kinase activity, beginning at 8 weeks of age and were sacrificed at 20 weeks of age. In addition, genetic models inhibiting EGFR activity () and transforming growth factor-α () were studied in this model of DN in type 2 diabetes. Compared with vehicle-treated mice, erlotinib-treated animals had less albuminuria and glomerulosclerosis, less podocyte loss, and smaller amounts of renal profibrotic and fibrotic components. Erlotinib treatment decreased renal oxidative stress, macrophage and T-lymphocyte infiltration, and the production of proinflammatory cytokines. Erlotinib treatment also preserved pancreas function, and these mice had higher blood insulin levels at 20 weeks, decreased basal blood glucose levels, increased glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, and increased blood levels of adiponectin compared with vehicle-treated mice. Similar to the aforementioned results, both and diabetic mice also had attenuated DN, preserved pancreas function, and decreased basal blood glucose levels. In this mouse model of accelerated DN, inhibition of EGFR signaling led to increased longevity.
© 2018 by the American Diabetes Association.
PURPOSE - Renal fibrosis is a hallmark of progressive renal disease; however, current clinical tests are insufficient for assessing renal fibrosis. Here we evaluated the utility of quantitative magnetization transfer MRI in detecting renal fibrosis in a murine model of progressive diabetic nephropathy (DN).
METHODS - The db/db eNOS-/- mice, a well-recognized model of progressive DN, and normal wild-type mice were imaged at 7T. The quantitative magnetization transfer data were collected in coronal plane using a 2D magnetization transfer prepared spoiled gradient echo sequence with a Gaussian-shaped presaturation pulse. Parameters were derived using a two-pool fitting model. A normal range of cortical pool size ratio (PSR) was defined as Mean±2SD of wild-type kidneys (N = 20). The cortical regions whose PSR values exceeded this threshold (threshold PSR) were assessed. The correlations between the PSR-based and histological (collagen IV or picrosirius red stain) fibrosis measurements were evaluated.
RESULTS - Compared with wild-type mice, moderate increases in mean PSR values and scattered clusters of high PSR region were observed in cortex of DN mouse kidneys. Abnormally high PSR regions (% area) that were detected by the threshold PSR were significantly increased in renal cortexes of DN mice. These regions progressively increased on aging and highly correlated with histological fibrosis measures, while the mean PSR values correlated much less.
CONCLUSION - Renal fibrosis in DN can be assessed by the quantitative magnetization transfer MRI and threshold analysis. This technique may be used as a novel imaging biomarker for DN and other renal diseases.
© 2018 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.
Albumin degradation in the renal tubules is impaired in diabetic nephropathy such that levels of the resulting albumin fragments increase with the degree of renal injury. However, the mechanism of albumin degradation is unknown. In particular, fragmentation of the endogenous native albumin has not been demonstrated in the kidney and the enzymes that may contribute to fragmentation have not been identified. To explore this we utilized matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization imaging mass spectrometry for molecular profiling of specific renal regions without disturbing distinct tissue morphology. Changes in protein expression were measured in kidney sections of eNOSdb/db mice, a model of diabetic nephropathy, by high spatial resolution imaging allowing molecular localizations at the level of single glomeruli and tubules. Significant increases were found in the relative abundances of several albumin fragments in the kidney of the mice with diabetic nephropathy compared with control nondiabetic mice. The relative abundance of fragments detected correlated positively with the degree of nephropathy. Furthermore, specific albumin fragments accumulating in the lumen of diabetic renal tubules were identified and predicted the enzymatic action of cathepsin D based on cleavage specificity and in vitro digestions. Importantly, this was demonstrated directly in the renal tissue with the endogenous nonlabeled murine albumin. Thus, our results provide molecular insights into the mechanism of albumin degradation in diabetic nephropathy.
Copyright © 2018 International Society of Nephrology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
Perturbation of the gut-associated microbial community may underlie many human illnesses, but the mechanisms that maintain homeostasis are poorly understood. We found that the depletion of butyrate-producing microbes by antibiotic treatment reduced epithelial signaling through the intracellular butyrate sensor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPAR-γ). Nitrate levels increased in the colonic lumen because epithelial expression of , the gene encoding inducible nitric oxide synthase, was elevated in the absence of PPAR-γ signaling. Microbiota-induced PPAR-γ signaling also limits the luminal bioavailability of oxygen by driving the energy metabolism of colonic epithelial cells (colonocytes) toward β-oxidation. Therefore, microbiota-activated PPAR-γ signaling is a homeostatic pathway that prevents a dysbiotic expansion of potentially pathogenic and by reducing the bioavailability of respiratory electron acceptors to Enterobacteriaceae in the lumen of the colon.
Copyright © 2017 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.
The risk of colon cancer is increased in patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Inflammation-induced DNA damage could be an important link between inflammation and cancer, although the pathways that link inflammation and DNA damage are incompletely defined. RAG2-deficient mice infected with Helicobacter hepaticus (Hh) develop colitis that progresses to lower bowel cancer. This process depends on nitric oxide (NO), a molecule with known mutagenic potential. We have previously hypothesized that production of NO by macrophages could be essential for Hh-driven carcinogenesis, however, whether Hh infection induces DNA damage in this model and whether this depends on NO has not been determined. Here we demonstrate that Hh infection of RAG2-deficient mice rapidly induces expression of iNOS and the development of DNA double-stranded breaks (DSBs) specifically in proliferating crypt epithelial cells. Generation of DSBs depended on iNOS activity, and further, induction of iNOS, the generation of DSBs, and the subsequent development of dysplasia were inhibited by depletion of the Hh-induced cytokine IL-22. These results demonstrate a strong association between Hh-induced DNA damage and the development of dysplasia, and further suggest that IL-22-dependent induction of iNOS within crypt epithelial cells rather than macrophages is a driving force in this process.
Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is characterized by increased macrophage infiltration, and proinflammatory M1 macrophages contribute to development of DN. Previous studies by us and others have reported that macrophage cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) plays a role in polarization and maintenance of a macrophage tissue-reparative M2 phenotype. We examined the effects of macrophage COX-2 on development of DN in type 1 diabetes. Cultured macrophages with COX-2 deletion exhibited an M1 phenotype, as demonstrated by higher inducible nitric oxide synthase and nuclear factor-κB levels but lower interleukin-4 receptor-α levels. Compared with corresponding wild-type diabetic mice, mice with COX-2 deletion in hematopoietic cells (COX-2 knockout bone marrow transplantation) or macrophages (CD11b-Cre COX2) developed severe DN, as indicated by increased albuminuria, fibrosis, and renal infiltration of T cells, neutrophils, and macrophages. Although diabetic kidneys with macrophage COX-2 deletion had more macrophage infiltration, they had fewer renal M2 macrophages. Diabetic kidneys with macrophage COX-2 deletion also had increased endoplasmic reticulum stress and decreased number of podocytes. Similar results were found in diabetic mice with macrophage PGE receptor subtype 4 deletion. In summary, these studies have demonstrated an important but unexpected role for macrophage COX-2/prostaglandin E/PGE receptor subtype 4 signaling to lessen progression of diabetic kidney disease, unlike the pathogenic effects of increased COX-2 expression in intrinsic renal cells.
© 2017 by the American Diabetes Association.
Changes in the gut microbiota may underpin many human diseases, but the mechanisms that are responsible for altering microbial communities remain poorly understood. Antibiotic usage elevates the risk of contracting gastroenteritis caused by Salmonella enterica serovars, increases the duration for which patients shed the pathogen in their faeces, and may on occasion produce a bacteriologic and symptomatic relapse. These antibiotic-induced changes in the gut microbiota can be studied in mice, in which the disruption of a balanced microbial community by treatment with the antibiotic streptomycin leads to an expansion of S. enterica serovars in the large bowel. However, the mechanisms by which streptomycin treatment drives an expansion of S. enterica serovars are not fully resolved. Here we show that host-mediated oxidation of galactose and glucose promotes post-antibiotic expansion of S. enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium). By elevating expression of the gene encoding inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in the caecal mucosa, streptomycin treatment increased post-antibiotic availability of the oxidation products galactarate and glucarate in the murine caecum. S. Typhimurium used galactarate and glucarate within the gut lumen of streptomycin pre-treated mice, and genetic ablation of the respective catabolic pathways reduced S. Typhimurium competitiveness. Our results identify host-mediated oxidation of carbohydrates in the gut as a mechanism for post-antibiotic pathogen expansion.