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Blood vessel epicardial substance (BVES) is a tight-junction associated protein that was originally discovered from a cDNA screen of the developing heart. Research over the last decade has shown that not only is BVES is expressed in cardiac and skeletal tissue, but BVES is also is expressed throughout the gastrointestinal epithelium. Mice lacking BVES sustain worse intestinal injury and inflammation. Furthermore, BVES is suppressed in gastrointestinal cancers, and mouse modeling has shown that loss of BVES promotes tumor formation. Recent work from multiple laboratories has revealed that BVES can regulate several molecular pathways, including cAMP, WNT, and promoting the degradation of the oncogene, c-Myc. This review will summarize our current understanding of how BVES regulates the intestinal epithelium and discuss how BVES functions at the molecular level to preserve epithelial phenotypes and suppress tumorigenesis.
Blood vessel epicardial substance (BVES), or POPDC1, is a tight junction-associated transmembrane protein that modulates epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) via junctional signaling pathways. There have been no in vivo studies investigating the role of BVES in colitis. We hypothesized that BVES is critical for maintaining colonic epithelial integrity. At baseline, Bves mouse colons demonstrate increased crypt height, elevated proliferation, decreased apoptosis, altered intestinal lineage allocation, and dysregulation of tight junctions with functional deficits in permeability and altered intestinal immunity. Bves mice inoculated with Citrobacter rodentium had greater colonic injury, increased colonic and mesenteric lymph node bacterial colonization, and altered immune responses after infection. We propose that increased bacterial colonization and translocation result in amplified immune responses and worsened injury. Similarly, dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) treatment resulted in greater histologic injury in Bves mice. Two different human cell lines (Caco2 and HEK293Ts) co-cultured with enteropathogenic E. coli showed increased attaching/effacing lesions in the absence of BVES. Finally, BVES mRNA levels were reduced in human ulcerative colitis (UC) biopsy specimens. Collectively, these studies suggest that BVES plays a protective role both in ulcerative and infectious colitis and identify BVES as a critical protector of colonic mucosal integrity.
The beneficial effects of the gut microbiota on growth in early life are well known. However, knowledge about the mechanisms underlying regulating intestinal development by the microbiota is limited. p40, a Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG-derived protein, transactivates epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in intestinal epithelial cells for protecting the intestinal epithelium against injury and inflammation. Here, we developed p40-containing pectin/zein hydrogels for targeted delivery of p40 to the small intestine and the colon. Treatment with p40-containing hydrogels from postnatal day 2 to 21 significantly enhanced bodyweight gain prior to weaning and functional maturation of the intestine, including intestinal epithelial cell proliferation, differentiation, and tight junction formation, and IgA production in early life in wild-type mice. These p40-induced effects were abolished in mice with specific deletion of EGFR in intestinal epithelial cells, suggesting that transactivation of EGFR in intestinal epithelial cells may mediate p40-regulated intestinal development. Furthermore, neonatal p40 treatment reduced the susceptibility to intestinal injury and colitis and promoted protective immune responses, including IgA production and differentiation of regulatory T cells, in adult mice. These findings reveal novel roles of neonatal supplementation of probiotic-derived factors in promoting EGFR-mediated maturation of intestinal functions and innate immunity, which likely promote long-term beneficial outcomes.
BACKGROUND - Understanding blood-brain barrier responses to inflammatory stimulation (such as lipopolysaccharide mimicking a systemic infection or a cytokine cocktail that could be the result of local or systemic inflammation) is essential to understanding the effect of inflammatory stimulation on the brain. It is through the filter of the blood-brain barrier that the brain responds to outside influences, and the blood-brain barrier is a critical point of failure in neuroinflammation. It is important to note that this interaction is not a static response, but one that evolves over time. While current models have provided invaluable information regarding the interaction between cytokine stimulation, the blood-brain barrier, and the brain, these approaches-whether in vivo or in vitro-have often been only snapshots of this complex web of interactions.
METHODS - We utilize new advances in microfluidics, organs-on-chips, and metabolomics to examine the complex relationship of inflammation and its effects on blood-brain barrier function ex vivo and the metabolic consequences of these responses and repair mechanisms. In this study, we pair a novel dual-chamber, organ-on-chip microfluidic device, the NeuroVascular Unit, with small-volume cytokine detection and mass spectrometry analysis to investigate how the blood-brain barrier responds to two different but overlapping drivers of neuroinflammation, lipopolysaccharide and a cytokine cocktail of IL-1β, TNF-α, and MCP1,2.
RESULTS - In this study, we show that (1) during initial exposure to lipopolysaccharide, the blood-brain barrier is compromised as expected, with increased diffusion and reduced presence of tight junctions, but that over time, the barrier is capable of at least partial recovery; (2) a cytokine cocktail also contributes to a loss of barrier function; (3) from this time-dependent cytokine activation, metabolic signature profiles can be obtained for both the brain and vascular sides of the blood-brain barrier model; and (4) collectively, we can use metabolite analysis to identify critical pathways in inflammatory response.
CONCLUSIONS - Taken together, these findings present new data that allow us to study the initial effects of inflammatory stimulation on blood-brain barrier disruption, cytokine activation, and metabolic pathway changes that drive the response and recovery of the barrier during continued inflammatory exposure.
Development of the intestinal microbiota during early life serves as a key regulatory stage in establishing the host-microbial relationship. This symbiotic relationship contributes to developing host immunity and maintaining health throughout the life span. This study was to develop an approach to colonize conventionally raised mice with a model probiotic bacterium, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG), and to determine the effects of LGG colonization on intestinal development and prevention of colitis in adulthood. LGG colonization in conventionally raised was established by administering LGG to pregnant mice starting at gestational day 18 and pups at postnatal days 1- 5. LGG colonization promoted bodyweight gain and increased diversity and richness of the colonic mucosa-associated microbiota before weaning. Intestinal epithelial cell proliferation, differentiation, tight junction formation, and mucosal IgA production were all significantly enhanced in LGG-colonized mice. Adult mice colonized with LGG showed increased IgA production and decreased susceptibility to intestinal injury and inflammation induced in the dextran sodium sulfate model of colitis. Thus, neonatal colonization of mice with LGG enhances intestinal functional maturation and IgA production and confers lifelong health consequences on protection from intestinal injury and inflammation. This strategy might be applied for benefiting health in the host.
Epithelia form intelligent, dynamic barriers between the external environment and an organism's interior. Intercellular cadherin-based adhesions adapt and respond to mechanical forces and cell density, while tight junctions flexibly control diffusion both within the plasma membrane and between adjacent cells. Epithelial integrity and homeostasis are of central importance to survival, and mechanisms have evolved to ensure these processes are maintained during growth and in response to damage. For instance, cell competition surveys the fitness of cells within epithelia and removes the less fit; extrusion or delamination can remove apoptotic or defective cells from the epithelial sheet and can restore homeostasis when an epithelial layer becomes too crowded; spindle orientation ensures two-dimensional growth in simple epithelia and controls stratification in complex epithelia; and transition to a mesenchymal phenotype enables active escape from an epithelial layer. This review will discuss these various mechanisms and consider how they are subverted in disease.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Viruses that cause systemic disease often spread through the bloodstream to infect target tissues. Although viremia is an important step in the pathogenesis of many viruses, how viremia is established is not well understood. Reovirus has been used to dissect mechanisms of viral pathogenesis and is being evaluated in clinical trials as an oncolytic agent. After peroral entry into mice, reovirus replicates within the gastrointestinal tract and disseminates systemically via hematogenous or neural routes. Junctional adhesion molecule-A (JAM-A) is a tight junction protein that serves as a receptor for reovirus. JAM-A is required for establishment of viremia and viral spread to sites of secondary replication. JAM-A also is expressed on the surface of circulating hematopoietic cells. To determine contributions of endothelial and hematopoietic JAM-A to reovirus dissemination and pathogenesis, we generated strains of mice with altered JAM-A expression in these cell types and assessed bloodstream spread of reovirus strain type 1 Lang (T1L), which disseminates solely by hematogenous routes. We found that endothelial JAM-A but not hematopoietic JAM-A facilitates reovirus T1L bloodstream entry and egress. Understanding how viruses establish viremia may aid in development of inhibitors of this critical step in viral pathogenesis and foster engineering of improved oncolytic viral vectors.
© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Par polarity proteins play key roles in asymmetric division of Drosophila melanogaster stem cells; however, whether the same mechanisms control stem cells in mammals is controversial. Although necessary for mammary gland morphogenesis, Par3 is not essential for mammary stem cell function. We discovered that, instead, a previously uncharacterized protein, Par3-like (Par3L), is vital for mammary gland stem cell maintenance. Par3L function has been mysterious because, unlike Par3, it does not interact with atypical protein kinase C or the Par6 polarity protein. We found that Par3L is expressed by multipotent stem cells in the terminal end buds of murine mammary glands. Ablation of Par3L resulted in rapid and profound stem cell loss. Unexpectedly, Par3L, but not Par3, binds to the tumour suppressor protein Lkb1 and inhibits its kinase activity. This interaction is key for the function of Par3L in mammary stem cell maintenance. Our data reveal insights into a link between cell polarity proteins and stem cell survival, and uncover a biological function for Par3L.
Junctional adhesion molecule-A (JAM-A) is a tight junction-associated signaling protein that regulates epithelial cell proliferation, migration, and barrier function. JAM-A dimerization on a common cell surface (in cis) has been shown to regulate cell migration, and evidence suggests that JAM-A may form homodimers between cells (in trans). Indeed, transfection experiments revealed accumulation of JAM-A at sites between transfected cells, which was lost in cells expressing cis- or predicted trans-dimerization null mutants. Of importance, microspheres coated with JAM-A containing alanine substitutions to residues 43NNP45 (NNP-JAM-A) within the predicted trans-dimerization site did not aggregate. In contrast, beads coated with cis-null JAM-A demonstrated enhanced clustering similar to that observed with wild-type (WT) JAM-A. In addition, atomic force microscopy revealed decreased association forces in NNP-JAM-A compared with WT and cis-null JAM-A. Assessment of effects of JAM-A dimerization on cell signaling revealed that expression of trans- but not cis-null JAM-A mutants decreased Rap2 activity. Furthermore, confluent cells, which enable trans-dimerization, had enhanced Rap2 activity. Taken together, these results suggest that trans-dimerization of JAM-A occurs at a unique site and with different affinity compared with dimerization in cis. Trans-dimerization of JAM-A may thus act as a barrier-inducing molecular switch that is activated when cells become confluent.
© 2014 Monteiro et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
OBJECTIVE - The peripheral myelin protein-22 (PMP22) gene is associated with the most common types of inherited neuropathies, including hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsies (HNPP) caused by PMP22 deficiency. However, the function of PMP22 has yet to be defined. Our previous study has shown that PMP22 deficiency causes an impaired propagation of nerve action potentials in the absence of demyelination. In the present study, we tested an alternative mechanism relating to myelin permeability.
METHODS - Utilizing Pmp22(+) (/) (-) mice as a model of HNPP, we evaluated myelin junctions and their permeability using morphological, electrophysiological, and biochemical approaches.
RESULTS - We show disruption of multiple types of cell junction complexes in peripheral nerve, resulting in increased permeability of myelin and impaired action potential propagation. We further demonstrate that PMP22 interacts with immunoglobulin domain-containing proteins known to regulate tight/adherens junctions and/or transmembrane adhesions, including junctional adhesion molecule-C (JAM-C) and myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG). Deletion of Jam-c or Mag in mice recapitulates pathology in HNPP.
INTERPRETATION - Our study reveals a novel mechanism by which PMP22 deficiency affects nerve conduction not through removal of myelin, but through disruption of myelin junctions.
© 2014 American Neurological Association.