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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.
Before insulin can stimulate glucose uptake in muscle, it must be delivered to skeletal muscle (SkM) through the microvasculature. Insulin delivery is determined by SkM perfusion and the rate of movement of insulin across the capillary endothelium. The endothelium therefore plays a central role in regulating insulin access to SkM. Nitric oxide (NO) is a key regulator of endothelial function and stimulates arterial vasodilation, which increases SkM perfusion and the capillary surface area available for insulin exchange. The effects of NO on transendothelial insulin efflux (TIE), however, are unknown. We hypothesized that acute reduction of endothelial NO would reduce TIE. However, intravital imaging of TIE in mice revealed that reduction of NO by l--nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (l-NAME) enhanced the rate of TIE by ∼30% and increased total extravascular insulin delivery. This accelerated TIE was associated with more rapid insulin-stimulated glucose lowering. Sodium nitroprusside, an NO donor, had no effect on TIE in mice. The effects of l-NAME on TIE were not due to changes in blood pressure alone, as a direct-acting vasoconstrictor (phenylephrine) did not affect TIE. These results demonstrate that acute NO synthase inhibition increases the permeability of capillaries to insulin, leading to an increase in delivery of insulin to SkM.
© 2018 by the American Diabetes Association.
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.
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.
A viable vascular endothelial layer prevents vasomotor dysfunction, thrombosis, inflammation, and intimal hyperplasia. Injury to the endothelium occurs during harvest and "back table" preparation of human saphenous vein prior to implantation as an arterial bypass conduit. A subfailure overstretch model of rat aorta was used to show that subfailure stretch injury of vascular tissue leads to impaired endothelial-dependent relaxation. Stretch-induced impaired relaxation was mitigated by treatment with purinergic P2X7 receptor (P2X7R) inhibitors, brilliant blue FCF (FCF) and A740003, or apyrase, an enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of ATP. Alternatively, treatment of rat aorta with exogenous ATP or 2'(3')-O-(4-Benzoyl benzoyl)-ATP (BzATP) also impaired endothelial-dependent relaxation. Treatment of human saphenous vein endothelial cells (HSVEC) with exogenous ATP led to reduced nitric oxide production which was associated with increased phosphorylation of the stress activated protein kinase, p38 MAPK. ATP- stimulated p38 MAPK phosphorylation of HSVEC was inhibited by FCF and SB203580. Moreover, ATP inhibition of nitric oxide production in HSVEC was prevented by FCF, SB203580, L-arginine supplementation and arginase inhibition. Finally, L-arginine supplementation and arginase inhibition restored endothelial dependent relaxation after stretch injury of rat aorta. These results suggest that vascular stretch injury leads to ATP release, activation of P2X7R and p38 MAPK resulting in endothelial dysfunction due to arginase activation. Endothelial function can be restored in both ATP treated HSVEC and intact stretch injured rat aorta by P2X7 receptor inhibition with FCF or L-arginine supplementation, implicating straightforward therapeutic options for treatment of surgical vascular injury.
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.
SIGNIFICANCE - Pyridine dinucleotides, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP), were discovered more than 100 years ago as necessary cofactors for fermentation in yeast extracts. Since that time, these molecules have been recognized as fundamental players in a variety of cellular processes, including energy metabolism, redox homeostasis, cellular signaling, and gene transcription, among many others. Given their critical role as mediators of cellular responses to metabolic perturbations, it is unsurprising that dysregulation of NAD and NADP metabolism has been associated with the pathobiology of many chronic human diseases. Recent Advances: A biochemistry renaissance in biomedical research, with its increasing focus on the metabolic pathobiology of human disease, has reignited interest in pyridine dinucleotides, which has led to new insights into the cell biology of NAD(P) metabolism, including its cellular pharmacokinetics, biosynthesis, subcellular localization, and regulation. This review highlights these advances to illustrate the importance of NAD(P) metabolism in the molecular pathogenesis of disease.
CRITICAL ISSUES - Perturbations of NAD(H) and NADP(H) are a prominent feature of human disease; however, fundamental questions regarding the regulation of the absolute levels of these cofactors and the key determinants of their redox ratios remain. Moreover, an integrated topological model of NAD(P) biology that combines the metabolic and other roles remains elusive.
FUTURE DIRECTIONS - As the complex regulatory network of NAD(P) metabolism becomes illuminated, sophisticated new approaches to manipulating these pathways in specific organs, cells, or organelles will be developed to target the underlying pathogenic mechanisms of disease, opening doors for the next generation of redox-based, metabolism-targeted therapies. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 28, 180-212.
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.
Staphylococcus aureus is a pathogen that causes significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Within the vertebrate host, S. aureus requires heme as a nutrient iron source and as a cofactor for multiple cellular processes. Although required for pathogenesis, excess heme is toxic. S. aureus employs a two-component system, the heme sensor system (HssRS), to sense and protect against heme toxicity. Upon activation, HssRS induces the expression of the heme-regulated transporter (HrtAB), an efflux pump that alleviates heme toxicity. The ability to sense and respond to heme is critical for the pathogenesis of numerous Gram-positive organisms, yet the mechanism of heme sensing remains unknown. Compound '3981 was identified in a high-throughput screen as an activator of staphylococcal HssRS that triggers HssRS independently of heme accumulation. '3981 is toxic to S. aureus; however, derivatives of '3981 were synthesized that lack toxicity while retaining HssRS activation, enabling the interrogation of the heme stress response without confounding toxic effects of the parent molecule. Using '3981 derivatives as probes of the heme stress response, numerous genes required for '3981-induced activation of HssRS were uncovered. Specifically, multiple genes involved in the production of nitric oxide were identified, including the gene encoding bacterial nitric oxide synthase (bNOS). bNOS protects S. aureus from oxidative stress imposed by heme. Taken together, this work identifies bNOS as crucial for the S. aureus heme stress response, providing evidence that nitric oxide synthesis and heme sensing are intertwined.