In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (41)

Articles by Marion Gröger in JoVE

 JoVE Biology

A Rapid Automated Protocol for Muscle Fiber Population Analysis in Rat Muscle Cross Sections Using Myosin Heavy Chain Immunohistochemistry

1CD Laboratory for the Restoration of Extremity Function, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, Medical University of Vienna, 2Core Facility Imaging, Core Facilities, Medical University Vienna, 3Department of Hand, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Burn Center, BG Trauma Center Ludwigshafen, Plastic and Hand Surgery, University of Heidelberg

JoVE 55441

Other articles by Marion Gröger on PubMed

Dimethylfumarate Inhibits TNF-induced Nuclear Entry of NF-kappa B/p65 in Human Endothelial Cells

Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). May, 2002  |  Pubmed ID: 11971029

Fumaric acid esters, mainly dimethylfumarate (DMF), have been successfully used to treat psoriasis. Based on previous observations that DMF inhibited expression of several TNF-induced genes in endothelial cells, we wished to explore the molecular basis of DMF function in greater detail. In first experiments we analyzed DMF effects on tissue factor expression in human endothelial cells in culture, because tissue factor is expressed by two independent sets of transcription factors, by NF-kappa B via TNF and by early gene response-1 transcription factor via vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). We show that DMF inhibits TNF-induced tissue factor mRNA and protein expression as well as TNF-induced DNA binding of NF-kappa B proteins, but not VEGF-induced tissue factor protein, mRNA expression, or VEGF-induced early gene response-1 transcription factor/DNA binding. To determine where DMF interferes with the TNF/NF-kappa B signaling cascade, we next analyzed DMF effects on I kappa B and on the subcellular distribution of NF-kappa B. DMF does not inhibit TNF-induced I kappa B alpha phosphorylation and I kappa B degradation; thus, NF-kappa B is properly released from I kappa B complexes even in the presence of DMF. Importantly, DMF inhibits the TNF-induced nuclear entry of NF-kappa B proteins, and this effect appears selective for NF-kappa B after the release from I kappa B, because the constitutive shuttling of inactive NF-kappa B/I kappa B complexes into and out from the nucleus is not blocked by DMF. Moreover, DMF does not block NF-kappa B/DNA binding. In conclusion, DMF appears to selectively prevent the nuclear entry of activated NF-kappa B, and this may be the basis of its beneficial effect in psoriasis.

Fibroblast Growth Factor-2 Induces Lef/Tcf-dependent Transcription in Human Endothelial Cells

The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Nov, 2002  |  Pubmed ID: 12235165

Lef/Tcf proteins belong to a family of architectural transcription factors that control developmental processes and play an important role in oncogenesis. Classical activators of Lef/Tcf-dependent transcription comprise the Wnt family of proteins, which translocate beta-catenin into the nucleus and allow the formation of transactivation-competent Lef/Tcf-beta-catenin complexes. Here we show that in human endothelial cells fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) reduces GSK-3 activity and augments nuclear levels of beta-catenin. FGF-2 induced Lef/Tcf-dependent transcription of a cyclin D1-luciferase construct. Gel shift assays revealed binding of Tcf-4 as the only Lef/Tcf family member and of beta-catenin to the Lef/Tcf site in the cyclin D1 promoter. Cotransfection with a dominant negative Tcf-4 construct inhibited the FGF-2-induced cyclin D1 promoter activity. Overexpression of an uninhibitable GSK-3beta mutant resulted in partial inhibition of FGF-2-mediated cyclin D1 induction. The importance for cyclin D1 in FGF-2-induced angiogenesis in vivo is shown in cyclin D1(-/-) mice, where FGF-2-induced new vessel formation was significantly reduced compared with FGF-2-induced angiogenesis in cyclin D1(+/+) mice. In conclusion, FGF-2 is a novel modulator of Lef/Tcf-beta-catenin signaling in endothelial cells, suggesting that angiogenic properties of FGF-2 are at least in part mediated by Lef/Tcf-beta-catenin activation.

Endothelial Precursor Cells in the Synovial Tissue of Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis

Arthritis and Rheumatism. Jul, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 15248213

To find evidence for the presence of endothelial precursor cells, which can induce new vessel formation, in the synovial tissue of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA).

Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cell Recruitment by Immobilized CXCR3 Ligands

Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). Dec, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 15557149

Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) recognize microbes, viruses in particular, and provide unique means of innate defense against them. The mechanism of pDC tissue recruitment remained enigmatic because the ligands of CXCR3, the cardinal chemokine receptor on pDCs, have failed to induce in vitro chemotaxis of pDCs in the absence of additional chemokines. In this study, we demonstrate that CXCR3 is sufficient to induce pDC migration, however, by a migratory mechanism that amalgamates the features of haptotaxis and chemorepulsion. To mediate "haptorepulsion" of pDCs, CXCR3 requires the encounter of its cognate ligands immobilized, optimally by heparan sulfate, in a form of a negative gradient. This is the first report of the absolute requirement of chemokine immobilization and presentation for its in vitro promigratory activity. The paradigmatic example of pDC haptorepulsion described here may represent a new pathophysiologically relevant migratory mechanism potentially used by other cells in response to other chemokines.

IL-3 Induces Expression of Lymphatic Markers Prox-1 and Podoplanin in Human Endothelial Cells

Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). Dec, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 15585837

Factors determining lymphatic differentiation in the adult organism are not yet well characterized. We have made the observation that mixed primary cultures of dermal blood endothelial cells (BEC) and lymphatic endothelial cells (LEC) grown under standard conditions change expression of markers during subculture: After passage 6, they uniformly express LEC-specific markers Prox-1 and podoplanin. Using sorted cells, we show that LEC but not BEC constitutively express IL-3, which regulates Prox-1 and podoplanin expression in LEC. The addition of IL-3 to the medium of BEC cultures induces Prox-1 and podoplanin. Blocking IL-3 activity in LEC cultures results in a loss of Prox-1 and podoplanin expression. In conclusion, endogenous IL-3 is required to maintain the LEC phenotype in culture, and the addition of IL-3 to BEC appears to induce transdifferentiation of BEC into LEC.

The Fibrin-derived Peptide Bbeta15-42 Protects the Myocardium Against Ischemia-reperfusion Injury

Nature Medicine. Mar, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 15723073

In the event of a myocardial infarction, current interventions aim to reopen the occluded vessel to reduce myocardial damage and injury. Although reperfusion is essential for tissue salvage, it can cause further damage and the onset of inflammation. We show a novel anti-inflammatory effect of a fibrin-derived peptide, Bbeta15-42. This peptide competes with the fibrin fragment N-terminal disulfide knot-II (an analog of the fibrin E1 fragment) for binding to vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin, thereby preventing transmigration of leukocytes across endothelial cell monolayers. In acute or chronic rat models of myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury, Bbeta15-42 substantially reduces leukocyte infiltration, infarct size and subsequent scar formation. The pathogenic role of fibrinogen products is further confirmed in fibrinogen knockout mice, in which infarct size was substantially smaller than in wild-type animals. Our findings conclude that the interplay of fibrin fragments, leukocytes and VE-cadherin contribute to the pathogenesis of myocardial damage and reperfusion injury. The naturally occurring peptide Bbeta15-42 represents a potential candidate for reperfusion therapy in humans.

Regulation of Matrilysin Expression in Endothelium by Fibroblast Growth Factor-2

Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. Apr, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16494848

Matrilysin (MMP7) is a secreted matrix metalloproteinase, which contributes to angiogenesis by breaking down basement membranes. We show that the angiogenic factor FGF-2 induces MMP7 expression in human endothelial cells. The promoter contains a Lef/Tcf consensus sequence, but using wildtype or Lef/Tcf-mutated promoter constructs, FGF-2-induced MMP7 reporter activity is independent from Lef/Tcf sites. Instead, we show that overexpression of a dominant negative Stat3 mutant reduces FGF-2-mediated MMP7 promoter activity. However, Stat3 does not bind to the MMP7 promoter, but activates MMP7 gene expression indirectly via AP-1. This is confirmed by MMP7 promoter constructs with mutated AP-1 sites which did not respond to FGF-2 and by siRNAs against Stat1 and Stat3, which repressed FGF-2-induced MMP7 protein expression. In conclusion, we show that FGF-2-induced MMP7 expression in endothelium depends on AP-1 and FGF-2 signaling to AP-1 involves a Stat1/3-dependent pathway.

A Previously Unknown Dermal Blood Vessel Phenotype in Skin Inflammation

The Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Dec, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17882274

Podoplanin and lymphatic vascular endothelial hyaluronan receptor-1 (LYVE-1) are considered as lineage markers for lymphatic vessel (LV) endothelial cells (LECs). We have recently shown that IL-3 induces de novo expression of these genes in cultured blood vessel (BV) endothelial cells (BEC). To ask, if this is trans-differentiation or activation, we analyzed inflamed skin samples and cytokine-stimulated organ-cultured skin and found a subset of blood capillaries within the papillary dermis expressing low amounts of podoplanin and LYVE-1 as well as high amounts of cytokine-inducible adhesion molecules. In contrast, neighboring lymphatic capillaries express high amounts of podoplanin, LYVE-1 and low amounts of cytokine-inducible adhesion molecules. The different response patterns to inflammatory stimuli were reproducible in cell culture, when cytokine-stimulated BEC and LEC were analyzed. These findings signify that expression of "lymphatic proteins" on BEC corresponds to cell activation.

Peptide Bbeta(15-42) Preserves Endothelial Barrier Function in Shock

PloS One. 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19401765

Loss of vascular barrier function causes leak of fluid and proteins into tissues, extensive leak leads to shock and death. Barriers are largely formed by endothelial cell-cell contacts built up by VE-cadherin and are under the control of RhoGTPases. Here we show that a natural plasmin digest product of fibrin, peptide Bbeta15-42 (also called FX06), significantly reduces vascular leak and mortality in animal models for Dengue shock syndrome. The ability of Bbeta15-42 to preserve endothelial barriers is confirmed in rats i.v.-injected with LPS. In endothelial cells, Bbeta15-42 prevents thrombin-induced stress fiber formation, myosin light chain phosphorylation and RhoA activation. The molecular key for the protective effect of Bbeta15-42 is the src kinase Fyn, which associates with VE-cadherin-containing junctions. Following exposure to Bbeta15-42 Fyn dissociates from VE-cadherin and associates with p190RhoGAP, a known antagonists of RhoA activation. The role of Fyn in transducing effects of Bbeta15-42 is confirmed in Fyn(-/-) mice, where the peptide is unable to reduce LPS-induced lung edema, whereas in wild type littermates the peptide significantly reduces leak. Our results demonstrate a novel function for Bbeta15-42. Formerly mainly considered as a degradation product occurring after fibrin inactivation, it has now to be considered as a signaling molecule. It stabilizes endothelial barriers and thus could be an attractive adjuvant in the treatment of shock.

Identification of Oncostatin M As a STAT5-dependent Mediator of Bone Marrow Remodeling in KIT D816V-positive Systemic Mastocytosis

The American Journal of Pathology. May, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21457934

Systemic mastocytosis is a neoplastic disease of mast cells harboring the activating KIT mutation D816V. In most patients, mast cell infiltration in the bone marrow is accompanied by marked microenvironment alterations, including increased angiogenesis, osteosclerosis, and sometimes fibrosis. Little is known about the mast cell-derived molecules contributing to these bone marrow alterations. We show here that neoplastic mast cells in patients with systemic mastocytosis express oncostatin M (OSM), a profibrogenic and angiogenic modulator. To study the regulation of OSM expression, KIT D816V was inducibly expressed in Ba/F3 cells and was found to up-regulate OSM mRNA and protein levels, suggesting that OSM is a KIT D816V-dependent mediator. Correspondingly, KIT D816V(+) HMC-1.2 cells expressed significantly higher amounts of OSM than the KIT D816V(-) HMC-1.1 subclone. RNA interference-induced knockdown of STAT5, a key transcription factor in KIT D816V(+) mast cells, inhibited OSM expression in HMC-1 cells, whereas a constitutively activated STAT5 mutant induced OSM expression. Finally, OSM secreted from KIT D816V(+) mast cells stimulated growth of endothelial cells, fibroblasts, and osteoblasts, suggesting that mast cell-derived OSM may serve as a key modulator of the marrow microenvironment and thus contribute to the pathology of systemic mastocytosis.

Exercise Training Increases Endothelial Progenitor Cells and Decreases Asymmetric Dimethylarginine in Peripheral Arterial Disease: a Randomized Controlled Trial

Atherosclerosis. Jul, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21481871

Supervised exercise training (SET) is recommended as initial treatment to improve walking capacity in peripheral arterial disease (PAD) patients with intermittent claudication. Various mechanisms by which SET yields beneficial effects are postulated, however data regarding its influence on angiogenesis are scarce. Thus, we designed a prospective randomized controlled trial to study the impact of SET on markers of angiogenesis and endothelial function in PAD.

Interleukin-33 Induces Expression of Adhesion Molecules and Inflammatory Activation in Human Endothelial Cells and in Human Atherosclerotic Plaques

Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. Sep, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21737781

Interleukin (IL)-33 is the most recently described member of the IL-1 family of cytokines and it is a ligand of the ST2 receptor. While the effects of IL-33 on the immune system have been extensively studied, the properties of this cytokine in the cardiovascular system are much less investigated. Methods/Results- We show here that IL-33 promoted the adhesion of human leukocytes to monolayers of human endothelial cells and robustly increased vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, endothelial selectin, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 protein production and mRNA expression in human coronary artery and human umbilical vein endothelial cells in vitro as well as in human explanted atherosclerotic plaques ex vivo. ST2-fusion protein, but not IL-1 receptor antagonist, abolished these effects. IL-33 induced translocation of nuclear factor-κB p50 and p65 subunits to the nucleus in human coronary artery endothelial cells and human umbilical vein endothelial cells and overexpression of dominant negative form of IκB kinase 2 or IκBα in human umbilical vein endothelial cells abolished IL-33-induced adhesion molecules and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 mRNA expression. We detected IL-33 and ST2 on both protein and mRNA level in human carotid atherosclerotic plaques.

High-throughput Flow Injection Analysis of Labeled Peptides in Cellular Samples - ICP-MS Analysis Versus Fluorescence Based Detection

International Journal of Mass Spectrometry. Oct, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 22723737

A high throughput method based on flow injection analysis was developed and validated for the quantification of the peptide Bβ(15-42) in cellular samples comparing different labeling strategies and detection methods. The used labels were 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-N, N', N'', N'''-tetraaceticacid (In-DOTA) and 2-(4-isothiocyanatobenzyl) - 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-N, N', N'', N'''-tetraacetic acid (In-DOTA-Bn) for elemental labeling. 6-Hydroxy-9-(2-carboxyphenyl)- (3H)-xanthen-3-on (fluorescein) was employed as fluorescence label. The explored peptide (mass = 3 kD) is a novel candidate drug, which shows an anti-inflammatory effect after an event of myocardial infarction. The analysed samples were fractioned cell compartments of human umbilical cord vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) maintained via lysis with Triton X buffer. In order to enhance sensitivity and selectivity of peptide quantification via flow injection the peptide was labeled prior to incubation using elemental and fluorescence labels. Quantification of the elemental and fluorescence labeled peptide was performed via flow injection analysis combined with inductive coupled plasma sector field mass spectrometry (FIA-ICP-SFMS) or fluorescence detection (FIA-FLD), respectively. The employed quantification strategies were external calibration in the case of fluorescence detection and external calibration with and without internal standardization and on-line IDMS in the case of ICP-MS detectionThe limit of detection (LOD) for FIA-ICP-MS was 9 pM In-DOTA-Bβ(15-42) (0.05 fmol absolute) whereas FIA-FLD showed a LOD of 100 pM (3 fmol absolute) for the fluorescein labeled peptide. Short term precision of FIA-ICP-MS was superior for all ICP-MS based quantification strategies compared to FIA-FLD (FIA-ICP-SFMS: 0.3-3.3%; FIA-FLD: 6.5%). Concerning long term precision FIA-ICP-SFMS with on-line IDMS and internal standardization showed the best results (3.1 and 4.6%, respectively) whereas the external calibration of both applied methodological approaches was only in the range of 10 %.The concentrations in the Triton X soluble fraction relative to the applied amount of Indium in the cell culture were in the range of 0.75-1.8% for In-DOTA or 0.30-0.79% for the 2-(4-isothiocyanatobenzyl) - 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-N, N', N'', N'''-tetraacetic acid (In-DOTA-Bn) labeled peptide Bβ(15-42). In the Triton X insoluble fraction the relative concentrations of Indium were 0.03-0.18% for the In-DOTA labeled peptide and 0.03-0.13% for Bβ(15-42)-In-DOTA-Bn.

Epidermal Growth Factor Facilitates Melanoma Lymph Node Metastasis by Influencing Tumor Lymphangiogenesis

The Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Jan, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 22951723

Alterations in epidermal growth factor (EGF) expression are known to be of prognostic relevance in human melanoma, but EGF-mediated effects on melanoma have not been extensively studied. As lymph node metastasis usually represents the first major step in melanoma progression, we were trying to identify a potential role of primary tumor-derived EGF in the mediation of melanoma lymph node metastases. Stable EGF knockdown (EGFkd) in EGF-high (M24met) and EGF-low (A375) expressing melanoma cells was generated. Only in EGF-high melanoma cells, EGFkd led to a significant reduction of lymph node metastasis and primary tumor lymphangiogenesis in vivo, as well as impairment of tumor cell migration in vitro. Moreover, EGF-induced sprouting of lymphatic but not of blood endothelial cells was abolished using supernatants of M24met EGFkd cells. In addition, M24met EGFkd tumors showed reduced vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) expression levels. Similarly, in human primary melanomas, a direct correlation between EGF/VEGF-C and EGF/Prox-1 expression levels was found. Finally, melanoma patients with lymph node micrometastases undergoing sentinel node biopsy were found to have significantly elevated EGF serum levels as compared with sentinel lymph node-negative patients. Our data indicate that tumor-derived EGF is important in mediating melanoma lymph node metastasis.

Components of the Interleukin-33/ST2 System Are Differentially Expressed and Regulated in Human Cardiac Cells and in Cells of the Cardiac Vasculature

Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology. Jul, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23567618

Interleukin-33 (IL-33) is a recently described member of the IL-1 family of cytokines, which was identified as a ligand for the ST2 receptor. Components of the IL-33/ST2 system were shown to be expressed in normal and pressure overloaded human myocardium, and soluble ST2 (sST2) has emerged as a prognostic biomarker in myocardial infarction and heart failure. However, expression and regulation of IL-33 in human adult cardiac myocytes and fibroblasts was not tested before. In this study we found that primary human adult cardiac fibroblasts (HACF) and human adult cardiac myocytes (HACM) constitutively express nuclear IL-33 that is released during cell necrosis. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interferon (IFN)-γ and IL-1β significantly increased both IL-33 protein and IL-33 mRNA expression in HACF and HACM as well as in human coronary artery smooth muscle cells (HCASMC). The nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) inhibitor dimethylfumarate inhibited TNF-α- and IL-1β-induced IL-33 production as well as nuclear translocation of p50 and p65 NF-κB subunits in these cells. Mitogen-activated protein/extracellular signal-regulated kinase inhibitor U0126 abrogated TNF-α-, IFN-γ-, and IL-1β-induced and Janus-activated kinase inhibitor I reduced IFN-γ-induced IL-33 production. We detected IL-33 mRNA in human myocardial tissue from patients undergoing heart transplantation (n=27) where IL-33 mRNA levels statistically significant correlated with IFN-γ (r=0.591, p=0.001) and TNF-α (r=0.408, p=0.035) mRNA expression. Endothelial cells in human heart expressed IL-33 as well as ST2 protein. We also reveal that human cardiac and vascular cells have different distribution patterns of ST2 isoforms (sST2 and transmembrane ST2L) mRNA expression and produce different amounts of sST2 protein. Both human macrovascular (aortic and coronary artery) and heart microvascular endothelial cells express specific mRNA for both ST2 isoforms (ST2L and sST2) and are a source for sST2 protein, whereas cardiac myocytes, cardiac fibroblasts and vascular SMC express only minor amounts of ST2 mRNA and do not secrete detectable amounts of sST2 antigen. In accordance with the cellular distribution of ST2 receptor, human cardiac fibroblasts and myocytes as well as HCASMC did not respond to treatment with IL-33, as recombinant human IL-33 did not induce NF-κB p50 and p65 subunits nuclear translocation or increase IL-6, IL-8, and monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP-1) level in HACF, HACM and HCASMC. In summary, we found that endothelial cells seem to be the source of sST2 and the target for IL-33 in the cardiovascular system. IL-33 is expressed in the nucleus of human adult cardiac fibroblasts and myocytes and released during necrosis. Proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IFN-γ and IL-1β increase IL-33 in these cells in vitro, and IL-33 mRNA levels correlated with TNF-α and IFN-γ mRNA expression in human myocardial tissue.

Human but Not Mouse Adipogenesis is Critically Dependent on LMO3

Cell Metabolism. Jul, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23823477

Increased visceral fat is associated with a high risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome and is in part caused by excessive glucocorticoids (GCs). However, the molecular mechanisms remain undefined. We now identify the GC-dependent gene LIM domain only 3 (LMO3) as being selectively upregulated in a depot-specific manner in human obese visceral adipose tissue, localizing primarily in the adipocyte fraction. Visceral LMO3 levels were tightly correlated with expression of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type-1 (HSD11B1), the enzyme responsible for local activation of GCs. In early human adipose stromal cell differentiation, GCs induced LMO3 via the GC receptor and a positive feedback mechanism involving 11βHSD1. No such induction was observed in murine adipogenesis. LMO3 overexpression promoted, while silencing of LMO3 suppressed, adipogenesis via regulation of the proadipogenic PPARγ axis. These results establish LMO3 as a regulator of human adipogenesis and could contribute a mechanism resulting in visceral-fat accumulation in obesity due to excess glucocorticoids.

Protein Kinases Paralleling Late-phase LTP Formation in Dorsal Hippocampus in the Rat

Neurochemistry International. Oct, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24911953

Hippocampal long term potentiation (LTP), representing a cellular model for learning and memory formation, can be dissociated into at least two phases: a protein-synthesis-independent early phase, lasting about 4h and a protein-synthesis-dependent late phase LTP lasting 6h or longer, or even days. A large series of protein kinases have been shown to be involved and herein, a distinct set of protein kinases proposed to be involved in memory retrieval in previous work was tested in dorsal hippocampus of the rat following induction of late-phase LTP. A bipolar stimulation electrode was chronically implanted into the perforant path, while two monopolar recording electrodes were implanted into the dentate gyrus of the dorsal hippocampus. The recording electrode was measuring extracellular excitatory postsynaptic potentials, while the other one measured population spikes. Protein kinases were determined by immunoblotting and immunoflourescence on hippocampal areas showed the distribution pattern of protein kinases PKN1 and NEK7. Induction of LTP was proven, elevated levels for protein kinases PKN1, RPS6KB1, STK4, CDC42BPB, PRKG, TLK, BMX and decreased levels for NEK7, MAK14 and PLK1 were observed. A remarkable overlap of protein kinases observed in spatial memory processes with those proposed in LTP formation was demonstrated. The findings may be relevant for design of future studies on protein kinases and for the interpretation of previous work.

Apelin Promotes Lymphangiogenesis and Lymph Node Metastasis

Oncotarget. Jun, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24962866

Whereas the role of the G-protein-coupled APJ receptor and its ligand, apelin, in angiogenesis has been well documented, the ability of the apelin/APJ system to induce lymphangiogenesis and lymphatic metastasis has been largely unexplored. To this end, we first show that APJ is expressed in lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) and, moreover, that it responds to apelin by activating the apelinergic signaling cascade. We find that although apelin treatment does not influence the proliferation of LECs in vitro, it enhances their migration, protects them against UV irradiation-induced apoptosis, increases their spheroid numbers in 3D culture, stimulates their in vitro capillary-like tube formation and, furthermore, promotes the invasive growth of lymphatic microvessels in vivo in the matrigel plug assay. We also demonstrate that apelin overexpression in malignant cells is associated with accelerated in vivo tumor growth and with increased intratumoral lymphangiogenesis and lymph node metastasis. These results indicate that apelin induces lymphangiogenesis and, accordingly, plays an important role in lymphatic tumor progression. Our study does not only reveal apelin as a novel lymphangiogenic factor but might also open the door for the development of novel anticancer therapies targeting lymphangiogenesis.

Peripapillary Rat Sclera Investigated in Vivo with Polarization-sensitive Optical Coherence Tomography

Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. Oct, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25352116

To demonstrate polarization-sensitive (PS) optical coherence tomography (OCT) for noninvasive, volumetric, and quantitative imaging of the birefringent properties of the peripapillary rat sclera; to compare the findings from PS-OCT images to state-of-the-art histomorphometric analysis of the same tissues.

Molecular and Cellular Effects of in Vitro Shockwave Treatment on Lymphatic Endothelial Cells

PloS One. 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25502694

Extracorporeal shockwave treatment was shown to improve orthopaedic diseases and wound healing and to stimulate lymphangiogenesis in vivo. The aim of this study was to investigate in vitro shockwave treatment (IVSWT) effects on lymphatic endothelial cell (LEC) behavior and lymphangiogenesis. We analyzed migration, proliferation, vascular tube forming capability and marker expression changes of LECs after IVSWT compared with HUVECs. Finally, transcriptome- and miRNA analyses were conducted to gain deeper insight into the IVSWT-induced molecular mechanisms in LECs. The results indicate that IVSWT-mediated proliferation changes of LECs are highly energy flux density-dependent and LEC 2D as well as 3D migration was enhanced through IVSWT. IVSWT suppressed HUVEC 3D migration but enhanced vasculogenesis. Furthermore, we identified podoplaninhigh and podoplaninlow cell subpopulations, whose ratios changed upon IVSWT treatment. Transcriptome- and miRNA analyses on these populations showed differences in genes specific for signaling and vascular tissue. Our findings help to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying shockwave-induced lymphangiogenesis in vivo.

Levosimendan Exerts Anti-inflammatory Effects on Cardiac Myocytes and Endothelial Cells in Vitro

Thrombosis and Haemostasis. Feb, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25273157

Levosimendan is a positive inotropic drug for the treatment of acute decompensated heart failure (HF). Clinical trials showed that levosimendan was particularly effective in HF due to myocardial infarction. Myocardial necrosis induces a strong inflammatory response, involving chemoattractants guiding polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) into the infarcted myocardial tissue. Our aim was to examine whether levosimendan exhibits anti-inflammatory effects on human adult cardiac myocytes (HACM) and human heart microvascular endothelial cells (HHMEC). Cardiac myocytes and endothelial cells were stimulated with interleukin-1β (IL)-1β (200 U/ml) and treated with levosimendan (0.1-10 µM) for 2-48 hours. IL-1β strongly induced expression of IL-6 and IL-8 in HACM and E-selectin and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) in HHMEC and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). Treatment with levosimendan strongly attenuated IL-1β-induced expression of IL-6 and IL-8 in HACM as well as E-selectin and ICAM-1 in ECs. Levosimendan treatment further reduced adhesion of PMN to activated endothelial cells under both static and flow conditions by approximately 50 %. Incubation with 5-hydroxydecanoic acid, a selective blocker of mitochondrial ATP-dependent potassium channels, partly abolished the above seen anti-inflammatory effects. Additionally, levosimendan strongly diminished IL-1β-induced reactive oxygen species and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activity through inhibition of S536 phosphorylation. In conclusion, levosimendan exhibits anti-inflammatory effects on cardiac myocytes and endothelial cells in vitro. These findings could explain, at least in part, the beneficial effects of levosimendan after myocardial infarction.

Autophagy Facilitates Secretion and Protects Against Degeneration of the Harderian Gland

Autophagy. 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25484081

The epithelial derived Harderian gland consists of 2 types of secretory cells. The more numerous type A cells are responsible for the secretion of lipid droplets, while type B cells produce dark granules of multilamellar bodies. The process of autophagy is constitutively active in the Harderian gland, as confirmed by our analysis of LC3 processing in GFP-LC3 transgenic mice. This process is compromised by epithelial deletion of Atg7. Morphologically, the Atg7 mutant glands are hypotrophic and degenerated, with highly vacuolated cells and pyknotic nuclei. The mutant glands accumulate lipid droplets coated with PLIN2 (perilipin 2) and contain deposits of cholesterol, ubiquitinated proteins, SQSTM1/p62 (sequestosome 1) positive aggregates and other metabolic products such as porphyrin. Immunofluorescence stainings show that distinct cells strongly aggregate both proteins and lipids. Electron microscopy of the Harderian glands reveals that its organized structure is compromised, and the presence of large intracellular lipid droplets and heterologous aggregates. We attribute the occurrence of large vacuoles to a malfunction in the formation of multilamellar bodies found in the less abundant type B Harderian gland cells. This defect causes the formation of large tertiary lysosomes of heterologous content and is accompanied by the generation of tight lamellar stacks of endoplasmic reticulum in a pseudo-crystalline form. To test the hypothesis that lipid and protein accumulation is the cause for the degeneration in autophagy-deficient Harderian glands, epithelial cells were treated with a combination of the proteasome inhibitor and free fatty acids, to induce aggregation of misfolded proteins and lipid accumulation, respectively. The results show that lipid accumulation indeed enhanced the toxicity of misfolded proteins and that this was even more pronounced in autophagy-deficient cells. Thus, we conclude autophagy controls protein and lipid catabolism and anabolism to facilitate bulk production of secretory vesicles of the Harderian gland.

Hippocampal Receptor Complexes Paralleling LTP Reinforcement in the Spatial Memory Holeboard Test in the Rat

Behavioural Brain Research. Apr, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25639541

The current study was designed to examine learning-induced transformation of early-LTP into late-LTP. Recording electrodes were implanted into the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus in male rats and early-LTP was induced by weak tetanic stimulation of the medial perforant path. Dorsal right hippocampi were removed, membrane proteins were extracted, separated by blue-native gel electrophoresis with subsequent immunoblotting using brain receptor antibodies. Spatial training resulted into reinforcement of LTP and the reinforced LTP was persistent for 6h. Receptor complex levels containing GluN1 and GluN2A of NMDARs, GluA1 and GluA2 of AMPARs, nAchα7R and the D(1A) dopamine receptor were significantly-elevated in rat hippocampi of animals underwent spatial learning, whilst levels of GluA3 and 5-HT1A receptor containing complexes were significantly reduced. Evidence for complex formation between GluN1 and D(1A) dopamine receptor was provided by antibody shift assay, co-immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometric analysis. Thus our results propose that behavioural stimuli like spatial learning reinforce early LTP into late LTP and this reinforced LTP is accompanied by changes in certain receptor levels in the membrane fraction of the rat hippocampus.

Drebrin Depletion Alters Neurotransmitter Receptor Levels in Protein Complexes, Dendritic Spine Morphogenesis and Memory-related Synaptic Plasticity in the Mouse Hippocampus

Journal of Neurochemistry. Jul, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25865831

Drebrin an actin-bundling key regulator of dendritic spine genesis and morphology, has been recently proposed as a regulator of hippocampal glutamatergic activity which is critical for memory formation and maintenance. Here, we examined the effects of genetic deletion of drebrin on dendritic spine and on the level of complexes containing major brain receptors. To this end, homozygous and heterozygous drebrin knockout mice generated in our laboratory and related wild-type control animals were studied. Level of protein complexes containing dopamine receptor D1/dopamine receptor D2, 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 1A (5-HT1(A)R), and 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 7 (5-HT7R) were significantly reduced in hippocampus of drebrin knockout mice whereas no significant changes were detected for GluR1, 2, and 3 and NR1 as examined by native gel-based immunoblotting. Drebrin depletion also altered dendritic spine formation, morphology, and reduced levels of dopamine receptor D1 in dendritic spines as evaluated using immunohistochemistry/confocal microscopy. Electrophysiological studies further showed significant reduction in memory-related hippocampal synaptic plasticity upon drebrin depletion. These findings provide unprecedented experimental support for a role of drebrin in the regulation of memory-related synaptic plasticity and neurotransmitter receptor signaling, offer relevant information regarding the interpretation of previous studies and help in the design of future studies on dendritic spines.

Individual Phases of Contextual Fear Conditioning Differentially Modulate Dorsal and Ventral Hippocampal GluA1-3, GluN1-containing Receptor Complexes and Subunits

Hippocampus. Dec, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25914080

In contextual fear conditioning (CFC), the use of pharmacological and lesion approaches has helped to understand that there are differential roles for the dorsal hippocampus (DH) and the ventral hippocampus (VH) in the acquisition, consolidation and retrieval phases. Concomitant analysis of the DH and the VH in individual phases with respect to α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate receptors and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subtype N1 (GluN1)-containing complexes (RCC) and subunits has not been reported so far. Herein, CFC was performed in mice that were euthanized at different time points. DH and VH samples were taken for the determination of RCC and subunit levels using BN- and SDS-PAGE, respectively, with subsequent Western blotting. Evaluation of spine densities, morphology, and immunohistochemistry of GluA1 and GluA2 was performed. In the acquisition phase levels of GluA1-RCC and subunits in VH were increased. In the consolidation phase GluA1- and GluA2-RCC levels were increased in DH and VH, while both receptor subunit levels were increased in the VH only. In the retrieval phase GluA1-RCC, subunits thereof and GluA2-RCC were increased in DH and VH, whereas GluA2 subunits were increased in the VH only. GluN1-RCC levels were increased in acquisition and consolidation phase, while subunit levels in the acquisition phase were increased only in the DH. The immunohistochemical studies in the individual phases in subareas of hippocampus supported immunochemical changes of GluA1 and GluA2 RCC's. Dendritic spine densities and the prevalence of thin spines in the acquisition phase of VH and mushroom spines in the retrieval phase of the VH and DH were increased. The findings from the current study suggest different receptor and receptor complex patterns in the individual phases in CFC and in DH and VH. The results propose that different RCCs are formed in the individual phases and that VH and DH may be involved in CFC.

Frontal Cortex and Hippocampus Neurotransmitter Receptor Complex Level Parallels Spatial Memory Performance in the Radial Arm Maze

Behavioural Brain Research. Aug, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25930220

Several neurotransmitter receptors have been proposed to be involved in memory formation. However, information on receptor complexes (RCs) in the radial arm maze (RAM) is missing. It was therefore the aim of this study to determine major neurotransmitter RCs levels that are modulated by RAM training because receptors are known to work in homo-or heteromeric assemblies. Immediate early gene Arc expression was determined by immunohistochemistry to show if prefrontal cortices (PFC) and hippocampi were activated following RAM training as these regions are known to be mainly implicated in spatial memory. Twelve rats per group, trained and untrained in the twelve arm RAM were used, frontal cortices and hippocampi were taken, RCs in membrane protein were quantified by blue-native PAGE immunoblotting. RCs components were characterised by co-immunoprecipitation followed by mass spectrometrical analysis and by the use of the proximity ligation assay. Arc expression was significantly higher in PFC of trained as compared to untrained rats whereas it was comparable in hippocampi. Frontal cortical levels of RCs containing AMPA receptors GluA1, GluA2, NMDA receptors GluN1 and GluN2A, dopamine receptor D1, acetylcholine nicotinic receptor alpha 7 (nAChR-α7) and hippocampal levels of RCs containing D1, GluN1, GluN2B and nAChR-α7 were increased in the trained group; phosphorylated dopamine transporter levels were decreased in the trained group. D1 and GluN1 receptors were shown to be in the same complex. Taken together, distinct RCs were paralleling performance in the RAM which is relevant for interpretation of previous and design of future work on RCs in memory studies.

Spatial and Working Memory Is Linked to Spine Density and Mushroom Spines

PloS One. 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26469788

Changes in synaptic structure and efficacy including dendritic spine number and morphology have been shown to underlie neuronal activity and size. Moreover, the shapes of individual dendritic spines were proposed to correlate with their capacity for structural change. Spine numbers and morphology were reported to parallel memory formation in the rat using a water maze but, so far, there is no information on spine counts or shape in the radial arm maze (RAM), a frequently used paradigm for the evaluation of complex memory formation in the rodent.

A Peptide to Reduce Pulmonary Edema in a Rat Model of Lung Transplantation

PloS One. 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26536466

Despite significant advances in organ preservation, surgical techniques and perioperative care, primary graft dysfunction is a serious medical problem in transplantation medicine in general and a specific problem in patients undergoing lung transplantation. As a result, patients develop lung edema, causing reduced tissue oxygenation capacity, reduced lung compliance and increased requirements for mechanical ventilatory support. Yet, there is no effective strategy available to protect the grafted organ from stress reactions induced by ischemia/reperfusion and by the surgical procedure itself.

Mouse Hippocampal GABAB1 but Not GABAB2 Subunit-containing Receptor Complex Levels Are Paralleling Retrieval in the Multiple-T-maze

Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26539091

GABAB receptors are heterodimeric G-protein coupled receptors known to be involved in learning and memory. Although a role for GABAB receptors in cognitive processes is evident, there is no information on hippocampal GABAB receptor complexes in a multiple T maze (MTM) task, a robust paradigm for evaluation of spatial learning. Trained or untrained (yoked control) C57BL/6J male mice (n = 10/group) were subjected to the MTM task and sacrificed 6 h following their performance. Hippocampi were taken, membrane proteins extracted and run on blue native PAGE followed by immunoblotting with specific antibodies against GABAB1, GABAB1a, and GABAB2. Immunoprecipitation with subsequent mass spectrometric identification of co-precipitates was carried out to show if GABAB1 and GABAB2 as well as other interacting proteins co-precipitate. An antibody shift assay (ASA) and a proximity ligation assay (PLA) were also used to see if the two GABAB subunits are present in the receptor complex. Single bands were observed on Western blots, each representing GABAB1, GABAB1a, or GABAB2 at an apparent molecular weight of approximately 100 kDa. Subsequently, densitometric analysis revealed that levels of GABAB1 and GABAB1a but not GABAB2- containing receptor complexes were significantly higher in trained than untrained groups. Immunoprecipitation followed by mass spectrometric studies confirmed the presence of GABAB1, GABAB2, calcium calmodulin kinases I and II, GluA1 and GluA2 as constituents of the complex. ASA and PLA also showed the presence of the two subunits of GABAB receptor within the complex. It is shown that increased levels of GABAB1 subunit-containing complexes are paralleling performance in a land maze.

Melanin Pigmentation in Rat Eyes: In Vivo Imaging by Polarization-Sensitive Optical Coherence Tomography and Comparison to Histology

Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. Nov, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26595606

The purpose of this study was to demonstrate polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) for imaging pigmented structures in the posterior eye segments of albino and pigmented rats and to correlate depolarization contrast of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and choroid in in vivo PS-OCT to melanin pigmentation detected in postmortem histologic serial sections.

Spectral Degree of Polarization Uniformity for Polarization-sensitive OCT

Journal of Modern Optics. 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26689829

Depolarization of light can be measured by polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) and has been used to improve tissue discrimination as well as segmentation of pigmented structures. Most approaches to depolarization assessment for PS-OCT - such as the degree of polarization uniformity (DOPU) - rely on measuring the uniformity of polarization states using spatial evaluation kernels. In this article, we present a different approach which exploits the spectral dimension. We introduce the spectral DOPU for the pixelwise analysis of polarization state variations between sub-bands of the broadband light source spectrum. Alongside a comparison with conventional spatial and temporal DOPU algorithms, we demonstrate imaging in the healthy human retina, and apply the technique for contrasting hard exudates in diabetic retinopathy and investigating the pigment epithelium of the rat iris.

Automated Muscle Fiber Type Population Analysis with ImageJ of Whole Rat Muscles Using Rapid Myosin Heavy Chain Immunohistochemistry

Muscle & Nerve. Aug, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26788932

Skeletal muscle consists of different fiber types which adapt to exercise, aging, disease, or trauma. Here we present a protocol for fast staining, automatic acquisition, and quantification of fiber populations with ImageJ.

Evidence That Cingulin Regulates Endothelial Barrier Function In Vitro and In Vivo

Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. Apr, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26821949

Cingulin is a cytoplasmic component of tight junctions. Although modulation of cingulin levels in cultured epithelial model systems has no significant effect on barrier function, evidence from cingulin knockout mice suggests that cingulin may be involved in the regulation of the behavior of epithelial or endothelial cells. Here, we investigate the role of cingulin in the barrier function of endothelial cells.

Tissue Factor is Induced by Interleukin-33 in Human Endothelial Cells: a New Link Between Coagulation and Inflammation

Scientific Reports. May, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27142573

Tissue factor (TF) is the primary trigger of coagulation. Elevated levels of TF are found in atherosclerotic plaques, and TF leads to thrombus formation when released upon plaque rupture. Interleukin (IL)-33 was previously shown to induce angiogenesis and inflammatory activation of endothelial cells (ECs). Here, we investigated the impact of IL-33 on TF in human ECs, as a possible new link between inflammation and coagulation. IL-33 induced TF mRNA and protein in human umbilical vein ECs and coronary artery ECs. IL-33-induced TF expression was ST2- and NF-κB-dependent, but IL-1-independent. IL-33 also increased cell surface TF activity in ECs and TF activity in ECs-derived microparticles. IL-33-treated ECs reduced coagulation time of whole blood and plasma but not of factor VII-deficient plasma. In human carotid atherosclerotic plaques (n = 57), TF mRNA positively correlated with IL-33 mRNA expression (r = 0.691, p < 0.001). In this tissue, IL-33 and TF protein was detected in ECs and smooth muscle cells by immunofluorescence. Furthermore, IL-33 and TF protein co-localized at the site of clot formation within microvessels in plaques of patients with symptomatic carotid stenosis. Through induction of TF in ECs, IL-33 could enhance their thrombotic capacity and thereby might impact on thrombus formation in the setting of atherosclerosis.

Interleukin-33 Stimulates GM-CSF and M-CSF Production by Human Endothelial Cells

Thrombosis and Haemostasis. Aug, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27173404

Interleukin (IL)-33, a member of the IL-1 family of cytokines, is involved in various inflammatory conditions targeting amongst other cells the endothelium. Besides regulating the maturation and functions of myeloid cells, granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and macrophage-CSF (M-CSF) have been shown to play a role in such pathologies too. It was the aim of our study to investigate a possible influence of IL-33 on GM-CSF and M-CSF production by human endothelial cells. IL-33, but not IL-18 or IL-37, stimulated GM-CSF and M-CSF mRNA expression and protein production by human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and human coronary artery ECs (HCAECs) through the nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) pathway in an IL-1-independent way. This effect was inhibited by the soluble form of ST2 (sST2), which is known to act as a decoy receptor for IL-33. The 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitor fluvastatin could also be shown to moderately reduce the IL-33-mediated effect on M-CSF, but not on GM-CSF expression. In addition, IL-33, IL-1β, GM-CSF and M-CSF were detected in endothelial cells of human carotid atherosclerotic plaques using immunofluorescence. Upregulation of GM-CSF and M-CSF production by human endothelial cells, an effect that appears to be mediated by NF-κB and to be independent of IL-1, may be an additional mechanism through which IL-33 contributes to inflammatory activation of the vessel wall.

Polarization Properties of Single Layers in the Posterior Eyes of Mice and Rats Investigated Using High Resolution Polarization Sensitive Optical Coherence Tomography

Biomedical Optics Express. Apr, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27446670

We present a high resolution polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) system for ocular imaging in rodents. The system operates at 840 nm and uses a broadband superluminescent diode providing an axial resolution of 5.1 µm in air. PS-OCT data was acquired at 83 kHz A-scan rate by two identical custom-made spectrometers for orthogonal polarization states. Pigmented (Brown Norway, Long Evans) and non-pigmented (Sprague Dawley) rats as well as pigmented mice (C57BL/6) were imaged. Melanin pigment related depolarization was analyzed in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and choroid of these animals using the degree of polarization uniformity (DOPU). For all rat strains, significant differences between RPE and choroidal depolarization were observed. In contrast, DOPU characteristics of RPE and choroid were similar for C57BL/6 mice. Moreover, the depolarization within the same tissue type varied significantly between different rodent strains. Retinal nerve fiber layer thickness, phase retardation, and birefringence were mapped and quantitatively measured in Long Evans rats in vivo for the first time. In a circumpapillary annulus, retinal nerve fiber layer birefringence amounted to 0.16°/µm ± 0.02°/µm and 0.17°/µm ± 0.01°/µm for the left and right eyes, respectively.

Polystyrene-Divinylbenzene-Based Adsorbents Reduce Endothelial Activation and Monocyte Adhesion Under Septic Conditions in a Pore Size-Dependent Manner

Inflammation. Oct, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27503310

Endothelial activation with excessive recruitment and adhesion of immune cells plays a central role in the progression of sepsis. We established a microfluidic system to study the activation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells by conditioned medium containing plasma from lipopolysaccharide-stimulated whole blood or from septic blood and to investigate the effect of adsorption of inflammatory mediators on endothelial activation. Treatment of stimulated whole blood with polystyrene-divinylbenzene-based cytokine adsorbents (average pore sizes 15 or 30 nm) prior to passage over the endothelial layer resulted in significantly reduced endothelial cytokine and chemokine release, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 secretion, adhesion molecule expression, and in diminished monocyte adhesion. Plasma samples from sepsis patients differed substantially in their potential to induce endothelial activation and monocyte adhesion despite their almost identical interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha levels. Pre-incubation of the plasma samples with a polystyrene-divinylbenzene-based adsorbent (30 nm average pore size) reduced endothelial intercellular adhesion molecule-1 expression to baseline levels, resulting in significantly diminished monocyte adhesion. Our data support the potential of porous polystyrene-divinylbenzene-based adsorbents to reduce endothelial activation under septic conditions by depletion of a broad range of inflammatory mediators.

LAMP-2 is Required for Incorporating Syntaxin-17 into Autophagosomes and for Their Fusion with Lysosomes

Biology Open. Oct, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27628032

Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved process used for removing surplus and damaged proteins and organelles from the cytoplasm. The unwanted material is incorporated into autophagosomes that eventually fuse with lysosomes, leading to the degradation of their cargo. The fusion event is mediated by the interaction between the Qa-SNARE syntaxin-17 (STX17) on autophagosomes and the R-SNARE VAMP8 on lysosomes. Cells deficient in lysosome membrane-associated protein-2 (LAMP-2) have increased numbers of autophagosomes but the underlying mechanism is poorly understood. By transfecting LAMP-2-deficient and LAMP-1/2--double-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) with a tandem fluorescent-tagged LC3 we observed a failure of fusion between the autophagosomes and the lysosomes that could be rescued by complementation with LAMP-2A. Although we observed no change in expression and localization of VAMP8, its interacting partner STX17 was absent from autophagosomes of LAMP-2-deficient cells. Thus, LAMP-2 is essential for STX17 expression by the autophagosomes and this absence is sufficient to explain their failure to fuse with lysosomes. The results have clear implications for situations associated with a reduction of LAMP-2 expression.

Inhibition of the Transcriptional Repressor Complex Bcl-6/BCoR Induces Endothelial Sprouting but Does Not Promote Tumor Growth

Oncotarget. 01, 2017  |  Pubmed ID: 27880939

The oncogenic potential of the transcriptional repressor Bcl-6 (B-cell lymphoma 6) was originally discovered in non-Hodgkin patients and the soluble Bcl-6 inhibitor 79-6 was developed to treat diffuse large B-cell lymphomas with aberrant Bcl-6 expression. Since we found Bcl-6 and its co-repressor BCoR (Bcl-6 interacting co-repressor) to be regulated in human microvascular endothelium by colorectal cancer cells, we investigated their function in sprouting angiogenesis which is central to tumor growth. Based on Bcl-6/BCoR gene silencing we found that the transcriptional repressor complex in fact constitutes an endogenous inhibitor of vascular sprouting by supporting the stalk cell phenotype: control of Notch target genes (HES1, HEY1, DLL4) and cell cycle regulators (cyclin A and B1). Thus, when endothelial cells were transiently transfected with Bcl-6 and/or BCoR siRNA, vascular sprouting was prominently induced. Comparably, when the soluble Bcl-6 inhibitor 79-6 was applied in the mouse retina model of physiological angiogenesis, endothelial sprouting and branching were significantly enhanced. To address the question whether clinical treatment with 79-6 might therefore have detrimental therapeutic effects by promoting tumor angiogenesis, mouse xenograft models of colorectal cancer and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma were tested. Despite a tendency to increased tumor vessel density, 79-6 therapy did not enhance tumor expansion. In contrast, growth of colorectal carcinomas was significantly reduced which is likely due to a combined 79-6 effect on cancer cells and tumor stroma. These findings may provide valuable information regarding the future clinical development of Bcl-6 inhibitors.

HO-1 Inhibits Preadipocyte Proliferation and Differentiation at the Onset of Obesity Via ROS Dependent Activation of Akt2

Scientific Reports. Jan, 2017  |  Pubmed ID: 28102348

Excessive accumulation of white adipose tissue (WAT) is a hallmark of obesity. The expansion of WAT in obesity involves proliferation and differentiation of adipose precursors, however, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we used an unbiased transcriptomics approach to identify the earliest molecular underpinnings occuring in adipose precursors following a brief HFD in mice. Our analysis identifies Heme Oxygenase-1 (HO-1) as strongly and selectively being upregulated in the adipose precursor fraction of WAT, upon high-fat diet (HFD) feeding. Specific deletion of HO-1 in adipose precursors of Hmox1(fl/fl)Pdgfra(Cre) mice enhanced HFD-dependent visceral adipose precursor proliferation and differentiation. Mechanistically, HO-1 reduces HFD-induced AKT2 phosphorylation via ROS thresholding in mitochondria to reduce visceral adipose precursor proliferation. HO-1 influences adipogenesis in a cell-autonomous way by regulating events early in adipogenesis, during the process of mitotic clonal expansion, upstream of Cebpα and PPARγ. Similar effects on human preadipocyte proliferation and differentiation in vitro were observed upon modulation of HO-1 expression. This collectively renders HO-1 as an essential factor linking extrinsic factors (HFD) with inhibition of specific downstream molecular mediators (ROS &AKT2), resulting in diminished adipogenesis that may contribute to hyperplastic adipose tissue expansion.

Does Extracellular DNA Production Vary in Staphylococcal Biofilms Isolated From Infected Implants Versus Controls?

Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. Feb, 2017  |  Pubmed ID: 28194715

Prosthetic implant infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus and epidermidis are major challenges for early diagnosis and treatment owing to biofilm formation on the implant surface. Extracellular DNA (eDNA) is actively excreted from bacterial cells in biofilms, contributing to biofilm stability, and may offer promise in the detection or treatment of such infections.

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