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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.
OBJECTIVES - Cardiopulmonary bypass-induced endothelial dysfunction has been inferred by changes in pulmonary vascular resistance, alterations in circulating biomarkers, and postoperative capillary leak. Endothelial-dependent vasomotor dysfunction of the systemic vasculature has never been quantified in this setting. The objective of the present study was to quantify acute effects of cardiopulmonary bypass on endothelial vasomotor control and attempt to correlate these effects with postoperative cytokines, tissue edema, and clinical outcomes in infants.
DESIGN - Single-center prospective observational cohort pilot study.
SETTING - Pediatric cardiac ICU at a tertiary children's hospital.
PATIENTS - Children less than 1 year old requiring cardiopulmonary bypass for repair of a congenital heart lesion.
INTERVENTION - None.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS - Laser Doppler perfusion monitoring was coupled with local iontophoresis of acetylcholine (endothelium-dependent vasodilator) or sodium nitroprusside (endothelium-independent vasodilator) to quantify endothelial-dependent vasomotor function in the cutaneous microcirculation. Measurements were obtained preoperatively, 2-4 hours, and 24 hours after separation from cardiopulmonary bypass. Fifteen patients completed all laser Doppler perfusion monitor (Perimed, Järfälla, Sweden) measurements. Comparing prebypass with 2-4 hours postbypass responses, there was a decrease in both peak perfusion (p = 0.0006) and area under the dose-response curve (p = 0.005) following acetylcholine, but no change in responses to sodium nitroprusside. Twenty-four hours after bypass responsiveness to acetylcholine improved, but typically remained depressed from baseline. Conserved endothelial function was associated with higher urine output during the first 48 postoperative hours (R = 0.43; p = 0.008).
CONCLUSIONS - Cutaneous endothelial dysfunction is present in infants immediately following cardiopulmonary bypass and recovers significantly in some patients within 24 hours postoperatively. Confirmation of an association between persistent endothelial-dependent vasomotor dysfunction and decreased urine output could have important clinical implications. Ongoing research will explore the pattern of endothelial-dependent vasomotor dysfunction after cardiopulmonary bypass and its relationship with biochemical markers of inflammation and clinical outcomes.
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.
Diabetic gastroparesis (GP) is a clinical syndrome characterized by delayed gastric emptying (DGE). Loss of Nrf2 (Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2) led to reduced nNOSα mediated gastric motility and DGE. The molecular signaling of cinnamaldehyde (CNM) mediated Nrf2 activation and its mechanistic role on DGE were further investigated in obese/T2D female mice. Adult female homozygous Nfe2l2 (C57BL/6J) and their wild-type (WT) littermates (Nfe2l2) mice were fed with high fat diet (HFD; Obese/T2D model), or normal diet (ND) with or without CNM (50 mg/kg b.w; i.p). Supplementation of CNM attenuated (p < 0.05) DGE in WT female but not in Nrf2 KO Obese/T2D mice. CNM (1) normalized serum estradiol-17β levels, (2) induced gastric Nrf2 and phase II antioxidant enzymes through extracellular signal-regulated kinase, (ERK)/c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)/p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), (3) reduced glucose synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3β) and aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) and this was associated with (4) increased estrogen receptor expression, BH (Cofactor of nNOS) biosynthesis enzyme GCH-1 and nNOSα dimerization in WT Obese/T2 diabetic female mice. In addition, CNM restored impaired nitrergic relaxation in hyperglycemic conditions. These findings emphasize the importance of Nrf2 in maintaining nNOSα mediated GE and may have a translational relevance to treat obese/diabetic gastroparesis in women.
Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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.
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.
Aims - Monocytes play an important role in hypertension. Circulating monocytes in humans exist as classical, intermediate, and non-classical forms. Monocyte differentiation can be influenced by the endothelium, which in turn is activated in hypertension by mechanical stretch. We sought to examine the role of increased endothelial stretch and hypertension on monocyte phenotype and function.
Methods and results - Human monocytes were cultured with confluent human aortic endothelial cells undergoing either 5% or 10% cyclical stretch. We also characterized circulating monocytes in normotensive and hypertensive humans. In addition, we quantified accumulation of activated monocytes and monocyte-derived cells in aortas and kidneys of mice with Angiotensin II-induced hypertension. Increased endothelial stretch enhanced monocyte conversion to CD14++CD16+ intermediate monocytes and monocytes bearing the CD209 marker and markedly stimulated monocyte mRNA expression of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1β, IL-23, chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 4, and tumour necrosis factor α. STAT3 in monocytes was activated by increased endothelial stretch. Inhibition of STAT3, neutralization of IL-6 and scavenging of hydrogen peroxide prevented formation of intermediate monocytes in response to increased endothelial stretch. We also found evidence that nitric oxide (NO) inhibits formation of intermediate monocytes and STAT3 activation. In vivo studies demonstrated that humans with hypertension have increased intermediate and non-classical monocytes and that intermediate monocytes demonstrate evidence of STAT3 activation. Mice with experimental hypertension exhibit increased aortic and renal infiltration of monocytes, dendritic cells, and macrophages with activated STAT3.
Conclusions - These findings provide insight into how monocytes are activated by the vascular endothelium during hypertension. This is likely in part due to a loss of NO signalling and increased release of IL-6 and hydrogen peroxide by the dysfunctional endothelium and a parallel increase in STAT activation in adjacent monocytes. Interventions to enhance bioavailable NO, reduce IL-6 or hydrogen peroxide production or to inhibit STAT3 may have anti-inflammatory roles in hypertension and related conditions.
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.