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Long-chain fatty acids (FA) have been shown to regulate expression of the gene for the adipocyte FA-binding protein aP2. We examined whether this effect was exerted by FA themselves or by a FA metabolite. The alpha-bromo derivative of palmitate, an inhibitor of FA oxidation, was synthesized in the radioactive form, and its metabolism was investigated and correlated with its ability to induce aP2 in Ob1771 preadipocytes. alpha-Bromopalmitate was not utilized by preadipocytes. It was not cleared from the medium over a 24-hr period and was not incorporated into cellular lipids. Short incubations indicated that alpha-bromopalmitate exchanged across the preadipocyte membrane but remained in the free form inside the cell. In line with this, preadipocyte homogenates did not activate alpha-bromopalmitate to the acyl form. However, although it was not metabolized, bromopalmitate was much more potent than native FA in inducing aP2 gene expression. Induction exhibited the characteristics previously described for native FA, indicating that a similar if not identical mechanism was involved. The data indicated that induction of aP2 was exerted by unprocessed FA. Finally, in contrast to preadipocytes, adipocytes metabolized bromopalmitate. This reflected increased activity with cell differentiation of a palmitoyl-CoA synthase that could activate palmitate and bromopalmitate at about one-fifth the rate for palmitate. In preadipocytes, the predominant fatty-acyl-CoA synthase, arachidonyl-CoA synthase, had very low affinity for both FA. Increased activity of the palmitoyl-CoA synthase, which has a wider substrate range, is likely to be important for initiation of lipid deposition.
Human CD31 is a recently characterized molecule present on leukocytes, platelets, and endothelium. Its function is not known. Because it is a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily and structurally homologous to carcinoembryonic antigen, a putative intercellular adhesion molecule, it is believed that CD31 may function also as an adhesion molecule. In this report, we characterize the cellular reactivity of a monoclonal antibody to a murine protein that is homologous to CD31. To delineate the cellular reactivity of the murine CD31 homologue recognized by our monoclonal antibody, we used immunoperoxidase and immunoelectron microscopic techniques. The most striking finding was that the putative murine homolog of CD31 is expressed in particularly high amounts on endothelium-adherent lymphocytes transmigrating across sinusoidal or venular vascular boundaries. Such a distribution was apparent in draining murine lymph nodes during the peak of an immune response after immunization with a protein antigen in adjuvant, a situation in which there are many transmigrating lymphocytes. Immunoelectron microscopic analysis also shows that CD31 is predominantly distributed on portions of transmigrating lymphocytes that are in contact with or adjacent to areas of contact with endothelial cells. These findings suggest a previously undescribed role for CD31 in lymphocyte recruitment and transmigration.
Two colour flow cytometry was used to analyse in situ cytokine expression by human monocytes. Whole blood was cultured in siliconised glass bottles, with or without E. coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS), for various times, and the mononuclear cells (MNCs) then exposed to a variety of permeabilisation procedures prior to flow cytometric analysis. Paraformaldehyde (PF)/saponin fixation preserved cellular morphology, and caused a reproducible degree of permeabilisation (estimated by propidium iodide inclusion: mean 94%, range 86-99% (n = 33)). After fixation with 4% PF and permeabilisation with 1% saponin at 0 degrees C in PBS containing 20% human serum, MNCs were incubated with phycoerythrin(PE)-conjugated mouse anti-CD14 (monocyte phenotype) and polyclonal rabbit anti-human interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1 alpha), IL-1 beta, tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), or control rabbit IgG. Binding of rabbit antibodies was detected using goat anti-rabbit IgG fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC). FITC fluorescence was increased in CD14 PE positive cells with the three anti-cytokine antibodies following LPS stimulation, compared with controls. There was a reproducible dose related response in monocyte IL-1 beta and TNF-alpha expression following LPS stimulation, with early peaks in TNF-alpha (2 h), compared with IL-1 beta (4 h), and IL-1 alpha (12 h). Specificity of this cytokine detection system was confirmed by inhibition studies using the corresponding recombinant human cytokines, by an absence of staining in CD14 negative or unpermeabilised MNCs, and by the characteristic cytoplasmic localisation of the different cytokines visualised with UV immunochemistry. Hence, the methods described here provide a reproducible, semiquantitative and specific assay for the detection of cell associated monokines. The technique may be applicable to the analysis of a variety of different cytokines in other phenotypically defined cell populations.
The goldfish visual pathway displays a remarkable capacity for continued development and plasticity. The intermediate filament proteins in this pathway are unexpected and atypical, suggesting these proteins provide a structure that supports growth and plasticity. Using a goldfish retina lambda gt10 library, we have isolated a full-length cDNA clone that encodes a novel type III intermediate filament protein. The mRNA for this protein is located in retinal ganglion cells, and its level dramatically increases during optic nerve regeneration. The protein is transported into the optic nerve within the slow phase of axonal transport. We have named this protein plasticin because it was isolated from a neuronal pathway well known for its plasticity.
Protein kinase C (PKC) is thought to play an important role in neuronal function by mediating changes in synaptic strength. Specifically, it has been argued that persistent PKC activation underlies the maintenance of long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic transmission in the hippocampus, a model widely used to study mammalian learning and memory. Because the induction of LTP is known to be dependent upon Ca2+ influx into the postsynaptic neuron, we investigated Ca(2+)-dependent mechanisms that operate to elicit persistent PKC activation in the hippocampus. Hippocampal homogenates were incubated with Ca2+ for a brief period and subsequently assayed for persistent changes in basal (Ca(2+)-independent) PKC activity, using the selective PKC substrate neurogranin(28-43) (NG(28-43)). After Ca2+ incubation, basal PKC phosphorylation of NG(28-43) was increased and expression of the increased activity could be inhibited by PKC(19-36), a selective peptide inhibitor of PKC. These data indicate the presence of a persistently activated form of PKC in Ca(2+)-pretreated hippocampal homogenates. The persistently activated PKC was localized to the soluble fraction of homogenates. Generation of the soluble, persistently activated form of PKC was blocked by the calpain inhibitor, leupeptin, suggesting a proteolytic activation of PKC. Column chromatography and Western blots indicated the presence of PKM, a proteolytic fragment of PKC that is active in the absence of calcium, diacylglycerols, or phospholipid cofactors. Thus, Ca2+ induces proteolytic activation of PKC in hippocampal homogenates. This suggests that proteolytic activation is a plausible candidate as a mechanism underlying the persistent activation of PKC associated with LTP.
Young postweaning pigs were fed a high fat diet containing beef tallow (saturated fat) or corn oil (unsaturated fat). Adipose tissue was used to measure adipocyte size and number of cells per gram of tissue, ligand binding by beta-adrenergic receptors and lipolytic and palmitate esterification rates. Pigs fed the saturated fat diet had more saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids and less polyunsaturated fatty acid in the crude membrane fraction. Adipocytes were larger in pigs fed the saturated fat diet. There was no difference in the binding affinities of the receptors; more binding sites were expressed on a protein or cell basis and fewer sites were expressed per unit surface area in adipocyte ghosts isolated from pigs fed the saturated fat diet. Fatty acid esterification was greater in pigs fed saturated fat diets. Isoproterenol inhibition was marginal in both groups but tended to be greater in pigs fed saturated fat diets. The beta-adrenergic receptor-mediated lipolytic rates were not different; only the theophylline-stimulated rates tended to be greater in the saturated fat-fed group. Thus, a large increase in saturated fatty acid concentration of porcine adipose tissue membranes caused an increase in beta-adrenergic receptor number without any change in receptor affinity. These receptor changes were at best only marginally reflected in beta-adrenergic agonist-mediated functions.
Fragile X syndrome is the most frequent form of inherited mental retardation and segregates as an X-linked dominant with reduced penetrance. Recently, we have identified the FMR-1 gene at the fragile X locus. Two molecular differences of the FMR-1 gene have been found in fragile X patients: a size increase of an FMR-1 exon containing a CGG repeat and abnormal methylation of a CpG island 250 bp proximal to this repeat. Penetrant fragile X males who exhibit these changes typically show repression of FMR-1 transcription and the presumptive absence of FMR-1 protein is believed to contribute to the fragile X phenotype. It is unclear, however, if either or both molecular differences in FMR-1 gene is responsible for transcriptional silencing. We report here the prenatal diagnosis of a male fetus with fragile X syndrome by utilizing these molecular differences and show that while the expanded CGG-repeat mutation is observed in both the chorionic villi and fetus, the methylation of the CpG island is limited to the fetal DNA (as assessed by BssHII digestion). We further demonstrate that FMR-1 gene expression is repressed in the fetal tissue, as is characteristic of penetrant males, while the undermethylated chorionic villi expressed FMR-1. Since the genetic background of the tissues studied is identical, including the fragile X chromosome, these data indicate that the abnormal methylation of the FMR-1 CpG-island is responsible for the absence of FMR-1 transcription and suggests that the methylation may be acquired early in embryogenesis.
The effects of intracellular application of two novel Ca2+ releasing agents have been studied in cultured rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurones by monitoring Ca(2+)-dependent currents as a physiological index of raised free cytosolic Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i). A protein based sperm factor (SF) extracted from mammalian sperm, has been found to trigger Ca2+ oscillations and to sensitize unfertilized mammalian eggs to calcium induced calcium release (CICR). In this study intracellular application of SF activated Ca(2+)-dependent currents in approximately two-thirds of DRG neurones. The SF induced activity was abolished by heat treatment, attenuated by increasing the intracellular Ca2+ buffering capacity of the cells and persisted when extracellular Ca2+ was replaced by Ba2+. In addition, activity could be triggered or potentiated by loading the cells with Ca2+ by activating a series of voltage-gated Ca2+ currents. Ca(2+)-activated inward current activity was also generated by intracellular application of cyclic ADP-ribose (cADPR), a metabolite of NAD+, which causes Ca2+ release in sea urchin eggs. This activity could also be enhanced by loading the cells with Ca2+. The cADPR induced activity, but not the SF induced activity, was abolished by depleting the caffeine sensitive Ca2+ store. Ruthenium red markedly attenuated SF induced activity but had little action on cADPR induced activity or caffeine induced activity. Our results indicate that both SF and cADPR release intracellular Ca2+ pools in DRG neurones and that they appear to act on subtly distinct stores or distinct intracellular Ca2+ release mechanisms, possibly by modulating CICR.
The effect of experimental folacin deficiency on the uptake and distribution of radioactive folic acid in the rat was investigated. Less radioactivity was taken up by livers of deficient rats than controls 24 hours after intraperitoneal injection of [3H]-folic acid, although more radioactivity was incorporated by the brain and kidneys of deficient rats. The distribution of radioactivity among the three folacin-binding proteins of rat liver cytosol and the binding protein of mitochondria was also studied. In deficiency, very little radioactivity was incorporated into cytosol binding proteins I and II, while more radioactivity was incorporated into cytosol binding protein II and the mitochondrial binding protein. A decrease in the endogenous folacin associated with all protein-bound and free forms was seen in deficiency with the major decrease coming at the expense of unbound folacin, and cytosol binding protein I. This latter protein may have a primary storage role in the liver.