Paired Ig-like type 2 receptor (PILR)? inhibitory receptor and its counterpart PILR? activating receptor are coexpressed on myeloid cells. In this article, we report that PILR?, but not PILR?, is elevated in human rheumatoid arthritis synovial tissue and correlates with inflammatory cell infiltration. Pilr?(-/-) mice produce more pathogenic cytokines during inflammation and are prone to enhanced autoimmune arthritis. Correspondingly, engaging PILR? with anti-PILR? mAb ameliorates inflammation in mouse arthritis models and suppresses the production of proinflammatory cytokines. Our studies suggest that PILR? mediates an important inhibitory pathway that can dampen inflammatory responses.
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common primary brain tumor in adults, and the limited available treatment options have not meaningfully impacted patient survival in the past decades. Such poor outcomes can be at least partly attributed to the inability of most drugs tested to cross the blood-brain barrier and reach all areas of the glioma. The objectives of these studies were to visualize and compare by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) imaging mass spectrometry the brain and tumor distribution of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitors pictilisib (GDC-0941, 2-(1H-indazol-4-yl)-6-(4-methanesulfonyl-piperazin-1-ylmethyl)-4-morpholin-4-yl-thieno[3,2-d]pyrimidine) and GNE-317 [5-(6-(3-methoxyoxetan-3-yl)-7-methyl-4-morpholinothieno[3,2-d]pyrimidin-2-yl)pyrimidin-2-amine] in U87 and GS2 orthotopic models of GBM, models that exhibit differing blood-brain barrier characteristics. Following administration to tumor-bearing mice, pictilisib was readily detected within tumors of the contrast-enhancing U87 model whereas it was not located in tumors of the nonenhancing GS2 model. In both GBM models, pictilisib was not detected in the healthy brain. In contrast, GNE-317 was uniformly distributed throughout the brain in the U87 and GS2 models. MALDI imaging revealed also that the pictilisib signal varied regionally by up to 6-fold within the U87 tumors whereas GNE-317 intratumor levels were more homogeneous. Liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analyses of the nontumored half of the brain showed pictilisib had brain-to-plasma ratios lower than 0.03 whereas they were greater than 1 for GNE-317, in agreement with their brain penetration properties. These results in orthotopic models representing either the contrast-enhancing or invasive areas of GBM clearly demonstrate the need for whole-brain distribution to potentially achieve long-term efficacy in GBM.
Many oncology drugs are administered at their maximally tolerated dose without the knowledge of their optimal efficacious dose range. In this study, we describe a multifaceted approach that integrated preclinical and clinical data to identify the optimal dose for an antiangiogenesis agent, anti-EGFL7. EGFL7 is an extracellular matrix-associated protein expressed in activated endothelium. Recombinant EGFL7 protein supported EC adhesion and protected ECs from stress-induced apoptosis. Anti-EGFL7 antibodies inhibited both of these key processes and augmented anti-VEGF-mediated vascular damage in various murine tumor models. In a genetically engineered mouse model of advanced non-small cell lung cancer, we found that anti-EGFL7 enhanced both the progression-free and overall survival benefits derived from anti-VEGF therapy in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, we identified a circulating progenitor cell type that was regulated by EGFL7 and evaluated the response of these cells to anti-EGFL7 treatment in both tumor-bearing mice and cancer patients from a phase I clinical trial. Importantly, these preclinical efficacy and clinical biomarker results enabled rational selection of the anti-EGFL7 dose currently being tested in phase II clinical trials.
Sustained tumor progression has been attributed to a distinct population of tumor-propagating cells (TPCs). To identify TPCs relevant to lung cancer pathogenesis, we investigated functional heterogeneity in tumor cells isolated from Kras-driven mouse models of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). CD24(+)ITGB4(+)Notch(hi) cells are capable of propagating tumor growth in both a clonogenic and an orthotopic serial transplantation assay. While all four Notch receptors mark TPCs, Notch3 plays a nonredundant role in tumor cell propagation in two mouse models and in human NSCLC. The TPC population is enriched after chemotherapy, and the gene signature of mouse TPCs correlates with poor prognosis in human NSCLC. The role of Notch3 in tumor propagation may provide a therapeutic target for NSCLC.
The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway is a central mediator of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-driven angiogenesis. The discovery of small molecule inhibitors that selectively target PI3K or PI3K and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) provides an opportunity to pharmacologically determine the contribution of these key signaling nodes in VEGF-A-driven tumor angiogenesis in vivo. This study used an array of micro-vascular imaging techniques to monitor the antivascular effects of selective class I PI3K, mTOR, or dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitors in colorectal and prostate cancer xenograft models. Micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) angiography, dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI), vessel size index (VSI) MRI, and DCE ultrasound (DCE-U/S) were employed to quantitatively evaluate the vascular (structural and physiological) response to these inhibitors. GDC-0980, a dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor, was found to reduce micro-CT angiography vascular density, while VSI MRI demonstrated a significant reduction in vessel density and an increase in mean vessel size, consistent with a loss of small functional vessels and a substantial antivascular response. DCE-MRI showed that GDC-0980 produces a strong functional response by decreasing the vascular permeability/perfusion-related parameter, K (trans). Interestingly, comparable antivascular effects were observed for both GDC-980 and GNE-490 (a selective class I PI3K inhibitor). In addition, mTOR-selective inhibitors did not affect vascular density, suggesting that PI3K inhibition is sufficient to generate structural changes, characteristic of a robust antivascular response. This study supports the use of noninvasive microvascular imaging techniques (DCE-MRI, VSI MRI, DCE-U/S) as pharmacodynamic assays to quantitatively measure the activity of PI3K and dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitors in vivo.
Brutons tyrosine kinase (Btk) is a therapeutic target for rheumatoid arthritis, but the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which Btk mediates inflammation are poorly understood. Here we describe the discovery of CGI1746, a small-molecule Btk inhibitor chemotype with a new binding mode that stabilizes an inactive nonphosphorylated enzyme conformation. CGI1746 has exquisite selectivity for Btk and inhibits both auto- and transphosphorylation steps necessary for enzyme activation. Using CGI1746, we demonstrate that Btk regulates inflammatory arthritis by two distinct mechanisms. CGI1746 blocks B cell receptor-dependent B cell proliferation and in prophylactic regimens reduces autoantibody levels in collagen-induced arthritis. In macrophages, Btk inhibition abolishes Fc?RIII-induced TNF?, IL-1? and IL-6 production. Accordingly, in myeloid- and Fc?R-dependent autoantibody-induced arthritis, CGI1746 decreases cytokine levels within joints and ameliorates disease. These results provide new understanding of the function of Btk in both B cell- or myeloid cell-driven disease processes and provide a compelling rationale for targeting Btk in rheumatoid arthritis.
The Esx-1 (type VII) secretion system is a major virulence determinant of pathogenic mycobacteria, including Mycobacterium marinum. However, the molecular events and host-pathogen interactions underlying Esx-1-mediated virulence in vivo remain unclear. Here we address this problem in a non-lethal mouse model of M. marinum infection that allows detailed quantitative analysis of disease progression. M. marinum established local infection in mouse tails, with Esx-1-dependent formation of caseating granulomas similar to those formed in human tuberculosis, and bone deterioration reminiscent of skeletal tuberculosis. Analysis of tails infected with wild type or Esx-1-deficient bacteria showed that Esx-1 enhanced generation of proinflammatory cytokines, including the secreted form of IL-1beta, suggesting that Esx-1 promotes inflammasome activation in vivo. In vitro experiments indicated that Esx-1-dependent inflammasome activation required the host NLRP3 and ASC proteins. Infection of wild type and ASC-deficient mice demonstrated that Esx-1-dependent inflammasome activation exacerbated disease without restricting bacterial growth, indicating a host-detrimental role of this inflammatory pathway in mycobacterial infection. These findings define an immunoregulatory role for Esx-1 in a specific host-pathogen interaction in vivo, and indicate that the Esx-1 secretion system promotes disease and inflammation through its ability to activate the inflammasome.
Whole-body MRI combined with a semiautomated hierarchical multispectral image analysis technique was evaluated as a method for detecting viable tumor tissue in a murine model of metastatic breast cancer (4T1 cell line). Whole-body apparent diffusion coefficient, T(2), and proton density maps were acquired in this study. The viable tumor tissue segmentation included three-stage k-means clustering of the parametric maps, morphologic operations, application of a size threshold, and reader discrimination of the segmented objects. The segmentation results were validated by histologic evaluation, and the detection accuracy of the technique was evaluated at three size thresholds (15, 100, and 500 voxels). The accuracy was 88.9% for a 500-voxel size threshold, and the area under receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.84. The regions of segmented viable tumor tissue within the primary tumors were found mostly on the periphery of the tumors in agreement with the histologic findings. The presented technique was found capable of detecting metastases and segmenting the viable tumor from necrotic regions within tumors found in this model. It offers a noninvasive, whole-body, viable tumor tissue detection method for preclinical and potentially clinical applications such as tumor screening and evaluating therapeutic efficacy.
Uncontrolled T helper type 1 (T(H)1) and T(H)17 cells are associated with autoimmune responses. We identify surface lymphotoxin-alpha (LT-alpha) as common to T(H)0, T(H)1 and T(H)17 cells and employ a unique strategy to target these subsets using a depleting monoclonal antibody (mAb) directed to surface LT-alpha. Depleting LT-alpha-specific mAb inhibited T cell-mediated models of delayed-type hypersensitivity and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. In collagen-induced arthritis (CIA), preventive and therapeutic administration of LT-alpha-specific mAb inhibited disease, and immunoablated T cells expressing interleukin-17 (IL-17), interferon-gamma and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), whereas decoy lymphotoxin-beta receptor (LT-betaR) fusion protein had no effect. A mutation in the Fc tail, rendering the antibody incapable of Fcgamma receptor binding and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity activity, abolished all in vivo effects. Efficacy in CIA was preceded by a loss of rheumatoid-associated cytokines IL-6, IL-1beta and TNF-alpha within joints. These data indicate that depleting LT-alpha-expressing lymphocytes with LT-alpha-specific mAb may be beneficial in the treatment of autoimmune disease.
Glioblastoma (GBM), the most common primary brain tumor in adults, presents a high frequency of alteration in the PI3K pathway. Our objectives were to identify a dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor optimized to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and characterize its brain penetration, pathway modulation in the brain and efficacy in orthotopic xenograft models of GBM.
Resistance to anti-angiogenic therapy can occur via several potential mechanisms. Unexpectedly, recent studies showed that short-term inhibition of either VEGF or VEGFR enhanced tumour invasiveness and metastatic spread in preclinical models. In an effort to evaluate the translational relevance of these findings, we examined the consequences of long-term anti-VEGF monoclonal antibody therapy in several well-validated genetically engineered mouse tumour models of either neuroendocrine or epithelial origin. Anti-VEGF therapy decreased tumour burden and increased overall survival, either as a single agent or in combination with chemotherapy, in all four models examined. Importantly, neither short- nor long-term exposure to anti-VEGF therapy altered the incidence of metastasis in any of these autochthonous models, consistent with retrospective analyses of clinical trials. In contrast, we observed that sunitinib treatment recapitulated previously reported effects on tumour invasiveness and metastasis in a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumour (PNET) model. Consistent with these results, sunitinib treatment resulted in an up-regulation of the hypoxia marker GLUT1 in PNETs, whereas anti-VEGF did not. These results indicate that anti-VEGF mediates anti-tumour effects and therapeutic benefits without a paradoxical increase in metastasis. Moreover, these data underscore the concept that drugs targeting VEGF ligands and receptors may affect tumour metastasis in a context-dependent manner and are mechanistically distinct from one another.
Joint and skeletal development is highly regulated by extracellular matrix (ECM) proteoglycans, of which chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) are a major class. Despite the requirement of joint CSPGs for skeletal flexibility and structure, relatively little is understood regarding their role in establishing joint positioning or in modulating signaling and cell behavior during joint formation. Chondroitin sulfate synthase 1 (Chsy1) is one of a family of enzymes that catalyze the extension of chondroitin and dermatan sulfate glycosaminoglycans. Recently, human syndromic brachydactylies have been described to have loss-of-function mutations at the CHSY1 locus. In concordance with these observations, we demonstrate that mice lacking Chsy1, though viable, display chondrodysplasia and decreased bone density. Notably, Chsy1(-/-) mice show a profound limb patterning defect in which orthogonally shifted ectopic joints form in the distal digits. Associated with the digit-patterning defect is a shift in cell orientation and an imbalance in chondroitin sulfation. Our results place Chsy1 as an essential regulator of joint patterning and provide a mouse model of human brachydactylies caused by mutations in CHSY1.
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