We have previously shown that following traumatic brain injury (TBI) the presence of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) may be neuroprotective. APP knockout mice have increased neuronal death and worse cognitive and motor outcomes following TBI, which is rescued by treatment with exogenous sAPP? (the secreted ectodomain of APP generated by ?-secretase cleavage). Two neuroprotective regions were identified in sAPP?, the N and C-terminal domains D1 and D6a/E2 respectively. As both D1 and D6a/E2 contain heparin binding activity it was hypothesized that this is responsible for the neuroprotective activity. In this study, we focused on the heparin binding site, encompassed by residues 96-110 in D1, which has previously been shown to have neurotrophic properties. We found that treatment with APP96-110 rescued motor and cognitive deficits in APP-/- mice following focal TBI. APP96-110 also provided neuroprotection in Sprague-Dawley rats following diffuse TBI. Treatment with APP96-110 significantly improved functional outcome as well as preserve histological cellular morphology in APP-/- mice following focal controlled cortical impact injury. Furthermore, following administration of APP96-110 in rats after diffuse impact acceleration TBI, motor and cognitive outcomes were significantly improved and axonal injury reduced. These data define the heparin binding site in the D1 domain of sAPP?, represented by the sequence APP96-110, as the neuroprotective site to confer neuroprotection following TBI. The product of ?-secretase cleavage of the amyloid precursor protein, sAPP? is neuroprotective following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Of interest was whether this neuroprotective activity could be further delineated to a heparin binding region within sAPP?, corresponding to the region APP96-110 (see diagram demonstrating the domain structure of sAPP?). Indeed treatment with APP96-110 improved functional outcome following TBI, an effect that was not seen with a mutated version of the peptide that had reduced heparin binding affinity.
The innate immune system senses pathogens through pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) that signal to induce effector cytokines, such as type I interferons (IFNs). We characterized IFN-? as a type I IFN because it signaled via the Ifnar1 and Ifnar2 receptors to induce IFN-regulated genes. In contrast to other type I IFNs, IFN-? was not induced by known PRR pathways; instead, IFN-? was constitutively expressed by epithelial cells of the female reproductive tract (FRT) and was hormonally regulated. Ifn-?-deficient mice had increased susceptibility to infection of the FRT by the common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) herpes simplex virus 2 and Chlamydia muridarum. Thus, IFN-? is a potent antipathogen and immunoregulatory cytokine that may be important in combating STIs that represent a major global health and socioeconomic burden.
The antigen receptor for natural killer T cells (NKT TCR) binds CD1d-restricted microbial and self-lipid antigens, although the molecular basis of self-CD1d recognition is unclear. Here, we have characterized NKT TCR recognition of CD1d molecules loaded with natural self-antigens (Ags) and report the 2.3 Å resolution structure of an autoreactive NKT TCR-phosphatidylinositol-CD1d complex. NKT TCR recognition of self- and foreign antigens was underpinned by a similar mode of germline-encoded recognition of CD1d. However, NKT TCR autoreactivity is mediated by unique sequences within the non-germline-encoded CDR3? loop encoding for a hydrophobic motif that promotes self-association with CD1d. Accordingly, NKT cell autoreactivity may arise from the inherent affinity of the interaction between CD1d and the NKT TCR, resulting in the recognition of a broad range of CD1d-restricted self-antigens. This demonstrates that multiple self-antigens can be recognized in a similar manner by autoreactive NKT TCRs.
Only a minority of smokers develop lung cancer, possibly due to genetic predisposition, including DNA repair deficiencies. To examine whether inter-individual variations in DNA repair activity of N-methylpurine DNA glycosylase (MPG) are associated with lung cancer, we conducted a blinded, population-based, case-control study with 100 lung cancer case patients and 100 matched control subjects and analyzed the data with conditional logistic regression. All statistical tests were two-sided. MPG enzyme activity in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from case patients was higher than in control subjects, results opposite that of 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase (OGG1) DNA repair enzyme activity. For lung cancer associated with one standard deviation increase in MPG activity, the adjusted odds ratio was 1.8 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.2 to 2.6; P = .006). A combined MPG and OGG1 activities score was more strongly associated with lung cancer risk than either activity alone, with an odds ratio of 2.3 (95% CI = 1.4 to 3.6; P < .001). These results form a basis for a future panel of risk biomarkers for lung cancer risk assessment and prevention.
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