During acute inflammation, functioning lymphatics are believed to reduce edema and to provide a transiting route for immune cells, but the extent at which the dermal lymphatic remodeling impacts lymphatic transport or the factors regulating these changes remains unclear. Herein we quantify the increase in lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) and examine the expression of pro-angiogenenic and lymphangiogenic factors during acute cutaneous hypersensitivity (CHS). We found that LECs actively proliferate during CHS but that this proliferation does not affect the lymphatic vessel density. Instead, lymphatic remodeling is accompanied by lymphatic vessel leakiness and lower ejection of lymph fluid, which is observed only in the proximal lymphatic vessel draining the inflamed area. LECs and the immune cells release growth factors and cytokines during inflammation, which impact the lymphatic microenvironment and function. We identified that FGF-2, PLGF-2, HGF, EGF, and KC/CXCL17 are differentially expressed within tissues during acute CHS, but both VEGF-C and VEGF-D levels do not significantly change. Our results indicate that VEGF-C and VEGF-D are not the only players and other factors may be responsible for the LECs proliferation and altered lymphatic function in acute CHS.
The changes in signal transduction associated with the acquisition of specific cell fates remain poorly understood. We performed massive parallel assessment of kinase signatures of the radiations of the hematopoietic system, including long-term repopulating hematopoietic stem cells (LT-HSC), short-term repopulating HSC (ST-HSC), immature natural killer (iNK) cells, NK cells, B cells, T cells, and myeloid cells. The LT-HSC kinome is characterized by noncanonical Wnt, Ca(2+) and classical protein kinase C (PKC)-driven signaling, which is lost upon the transition to ST-HSC, whose kinome signature prominently features receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) activation of the Ras/MAPK signaling cassette. Further differentiation to iNK maintains signaling through this cassette but simultaneously leads to activation of a PI3K/PKB/Rac signaling, which becomes the dominant trait in the kinase signature following full differentiation toward NK cells. Differentiation along the myeloid and B cell lineages is accompanied by hyperactivation of both the Ras/MAPK and PI3K/PKB/Rac signaling cassette. T cells, however, deactivate signaling and only display residual G protein-coupled pathways. Thus, differentiation along the hematopoietic lineage is associated with major remodelling of cellular kinase signature.
Mdm2 is an E3 ubiquitin ligase that targets p53 for degradation. p53(515C) (encoding p53R172P) is a hypomorphic allele of p53 that rescues the embryonic lethality of Mdm2(-/-) mice. Mdm2(-/-) p53(515C/515C) mice, however, die by postnatal day 13 resulting from hematopoietic failure. Hematopoietic stem cells and progenitors of Mdm2(-/-) p53(515C/515C) mice were normal in fetal livers but were depleted in postnatal bone marrows. After birth, these mice had elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS) thus activating p53R172P. In the absence of Mdm2, stable p53R172P induced ROS and cell cycle arrest, senescence, and cell death in the hematopoietic compartment. This phenotype was partially rescued with antioxidant treatment and upon culturing of hematopoietic cells in methycellulose at 3% oxygen. p16 was also stabilized because of ROS, and its loss increased cell cycling and partially rescued hematopoiesis and survival. Thus, Mdm2 is required to control ROS-induced p53 levels for sustainable hematopoiesis.
SH2-domain-containing inositol 5-phosphatase-1 (SHIP) deficiency significantly increases the number of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) present in the bone marrow (BM). However, the reconstitution capacity of these HSCs is severely impaired, suggesting that SHIP expression might be an intrinsic requirement for HSC function. To further examine this question, we developed a model in which SHIP expression is ablated in HSCs while they are resident in a SHIP-competent milieu. In this setting, we find that long-term repopulation by SHIP-deficient HSCs is not compromised. Moreover, SHIP-deficient HSCs from this model repopulate at levels comparable with wild-type HSCs upon serial transfer. However, when HSCs from mice with systemic ablation of SHIP are transplanted, they are functionally compromised for repopulation. These findings demonstrate that SHIP is not an intrinsic requirement for HSC function, but rather that SHIP is required for the BM milieu to support functionally competent HSCs. Consistent with these findings, cells that comprise the BM niche express SHIP and SHIP deficiency profoundly alters their function.
We previously showed that germline or induced SHIP deficiency expands immuno-regulatory cell numbers in T lymphoid and myeloid lineages. We postulated these increases could be interrelated. Here, we show that myeloid-specific ablation of SHIP leads to the expansion of both myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC) and regulatory T (Treg) cell numbers, indicating SHIP-dependent control of Treg-cell numbers by a myeloid cell type. Conversely, T-lineage specific ablation of SHIP leads to expansion of Treg-cell numbers, but not expansion of the MDSC compartment, indicating SHIP also has a lineage intrinsic role in limiting Treg-cell numbers. However, the SHIP-deficient myeloid cell that promotes MDSC and Treg-cell expansion is not an MDSC as they lack SHIP protein expression. Thus, regulation of MDSC numbers in vivo must be controlled in a cell-extrinsic fashion by another myeloid cell type. We had previously shown that G-CSF levels are profoundly increased in SHIP(-/-) mice, suggesting this myelopoietic growth factor could promote MDSC expansion in a cell-extrinsic fashion. Consistent with this hypothesis, we find that G-CSF is required for expansion of the MDSC splenic compartment in mice rendered SHIP-deficient as adults. Thus, SHIP controls MDSC numbers, in part, by limiting production of the myelopoietic growth factor G-CSF.
Prior to imaging agent use in preclinical studies and clinical diagnostics, biological activity must be validated. The Lindmo assay has been used conventionally to quantify radiolabeled antibody (Ab) immunoreactivity, although published findings suggest it does not provide consistently accurate results. We developed and tested a near-infrared (NIR) flow cytometry (FC) method for quantifying biological activity of a dual-labeled Ab for use as a multimodal contrast agent in small animal and human positron emission tomography and NIR fluorescence imaging. Antibody specific for epithelial cell adhesion molecule was conjugated to DOTA-NHS-ester, labeled with IRDye 800CW and further labeled with (64)Cu or nonradioactive Cu prior to reacting with human prostate cancer cells for testing by the Lindmo or FC method, respectively. Immunoreactivity of the dual-labeled agent was found to be 76.4 ± 15.7% by the Lindmo assay. When tested with and without Cu labeling using NIR FC, the biological activity was found to be 73.1 ± 7.7 and 79.4 ± 8.1%, respectively. No significant differences were found between these activity levels (p > 0.05), supporting NIR FC as an alternative method for measuring immunoreactivity and demonstrating that Cu labeling does not significantly affect the agents ability to bind to its target. Biological activity was significantly reduced when the NIR dye-to-protein ratio was increased 3- to 4-fold in agent preparations when tested by FC and the Lindmo assay. In summary, NIR FC is an alternative with similar specificity and sensitivity, and greater reproducibility relative to the Lindmo assay for quantifying biological activity of NIR fluorophore-labeled, multimodal imaging agents.
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