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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Angiotensin II, via angiotensin receptor type 1/nuclear factor-?B activation, causes a synergistic effect on interleukin-1-?-induced inflammatory responses in cultured mesangial cells.
J Renin Angiotensin Aldosterone Syst
PUBLISHED: 10-31-2014
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The nuclear factor-?B (NF-?B) is an important regulator of the inflammatory response. Angiotensin II (Ang II) activates the NF-?B pathway linked to renal inflammation. Although both AT1 and AT2 receptors are involved in Ang II-mediated NF-?B activation, the biological processes mediated by each receptor are not fully characterized. Interleukin-1? (IL-1?) is an important macrophage-derived cytokine that regulates immune and inflammatory processes, activating intracellular pathways shared with Ang II, including the NF-?B.
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Targeting of ?-glutamyl-cysteine ligase by miR-433 reduces glutathione biosynthesis and promotes TGF-?-dependent fibrogenesis.
Antioxid. Redox Signal.
PUBLISHED: 10-30-2014
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Aims: Glutathione (GSH) is the main antioxidant against cell damage. Several pathological states course with reduced nucleophilic tone and perturbation of redox homeostasis due to changes in the 2GSH/GSSG ratio. Here we investigated the regulation of the rate limiting GSH biosynthetic heterodimeric enzyme ?-glutamate-cysteine- ligase (GCL) by microRNAs (miRNAs). Results: "In silico" analysis of the 3'-UTR regions of both catalytic (GCLc) and regulatory (GCLm) subunits of GCL, allowed to identify miR-433 as a strong candidate for the targeting of GCL. Transitory overexpression of miR-433 in HUVEC showed a downregulation of both GCLc and GCLm in a Nrf2-independent manner. Increases in pro-oxidant stimuli such as exposure to H2O2 or GSH depletion in endothelial and hepatic cells caused an expected increase in GCLc and GCLm protein expression and abrogation of miR-433 levels, thus supporting a cross-regulation of these pathways. Treatment of HUVEC with miR-433 resulted in reduced antioxidant and redox potentials, increased S-glutathionylation and reduced eNOS activation. In vivo models of renal and hepatic fibrosis were associated with transforming growth factor ?1 (TGF-?1)-related reduction of GCLc and GCLm levels that were miR-433 dependent. Innovation and Conclusion: We describe for the first time a miRNA, miR-433, capable of directly targeting GCL and promoting functional consequences in endothelial physiology and fibrotic processes by decreasing GSH levels.
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Defective histone supply causes condensin-dependent chromatin alterations, SAC activation and chromosome decatenation impairment.
Nucleic Acids Res.
PUBLISHED: 10-09-2014
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The structural organization of chromosomes is essential for their correct function and dynamics during the cell cycle. The assembly of DNA into chromatin provides the substrate for topoisomerases and condensins, which introduce the different levels of superhelical torsion required for DNA metabolism. In particular, Top2 and condensin are directly involved in both the resolution of precatenanes that form during replication and the formation of the intramolecular loop that detects tension at the centromeric chromatin during chromosome biorientation. Here we show that histone depletion activates the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) and impairs sister chromatid decatenation, leading to chromosome mis-segregation and lethality in the absence of the SAC. We demonstrate that histone depletion impairs chromosome biorientation and activates the Aurora-dependent pathway, which detects tension problems at the kinetochore. Interestingly, SAC activation is suppressed by the absence of Top2 and Smc2, an essential component of condensin. Indeed, smc2-8 suppresses catenanes accumulation, mitotic arrest and growth defects induced by histone depletion at semi-permissive temperature. Remarkably, SAC activation by histone depletion is associated with condensin-mediated alterations of the centromeric chromatin. Therefore, our results reveal the importance of a precise interplay between histone supply and condensin/Top2 for pericentric chromatin structure, precatenanes resolution and centromere biorientation.
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Alternative Effector-Function Profiling Identifies Broad HIV-Specific T-Cell Responses in Highly HIV-Exposed Individuals Who Remain Uninfected.
J. Infect. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 09-23-2014
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The characterization of host immune responses to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in HIV controllers and individuals with high exposure but seronegativity to HIV (HESN) is needed to guide the development of effective preventive and therapeutic vaccine candidates. However, several technical hurdles severely limit the definition of an effective virus-specific T-cell response. By using a toggle-peptide approach, which takes HIV sequence diversity into account, and a novel, boosted cytokine staining/flow cytometry strategy, we here describe new patterns of T-cell responses to HIV that would be missed by standard assays. Importantly, this approach also allows detection of broad and strong virus-specific T-cell responses in HESN individuals that are characterized by a T-helper type 1 cytokine-like effector profile and produce cytokines that have been associated with potential control of HIV infection, including interleukin 10, interleukin 13, and interleukin 22. These results establish a novel approach to improve the current understanding of HIV-specific T-cell immunity and identify cellular immune responses and individual cytokines as potential markers of relative HIV resistance. As such, the findings also help develop similar strategies for more-comprehensive assessments of host immune responses to other human infections and immune-mediated disorders.
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Remote diffuse reflectance spectroscopy sensor for tissue engineering monitoring based on blind signal separation.
Biomed Opt Express
PUBLISHED: 09-01-2014
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In this study the first results on evaluation and assessment of grafted bioengineered skin substitutes using an optical Diffuse Reflectance Spectroscopy (DRS) system with a remote optical probe are shown. The proposed system is able to detect early vascularization of skin substitutes expressing the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) protein compared to normal grafts, even though devitalized skin is used to protect the grafts. Given the particularities of the biological problem, data analysis is performed using two Blind Signal Separation (BSS) methods: Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Independent Component Analysis (ICA). These preliminary results are the first step towards point-of-care diagnostics for skin implants early assessment.
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Dystonia type 6 gene product Thap1: identification of a 50 kDa DNA-binding species in neuronal nuclear fractions.
Acta Neuropathol Commun
PUBLISHED: 08-02-2014
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Mutations in THAP1 result in dystonia type 6, with partial penetrance and variable phenotype. The goal of this study was to examine the nature and expression pattern of the protein product(s) of the Thap1 transcription factor (DYT6 gene) in mouse neurons, and to study the regional and developmental distribution, and subcellular localization of Thap1 protein. The goal was accomplished via overexpression and knock-down of Thap1 in the HEK293T cell line and in mouse striatal primary cultures and western blotting of embryonic Thap1-null tissue. The endogenous and transduced Thap1 isoforms were characterized using three different commercially available anti-Thap1 antibodies and validated by immunoprecipitation and DNA oligonucleotide affinity chromatography. We identified multiple, novel Thap1 species of apparent Mr 32 kDa, 47 kDa, and 50¿52 kDa in vitro and in vivo, and verified the previously identified species at 29¿30 kDa in neurons. The Thap1 species at the 50 kDa size range was exclusively detected in murine brain and testes and were located in the nuclear compartment. Thus, in addition to the predicted 25 kDa apparent Mr, we identified Thap1 species with greater apparent Mr that we speculate may be a result of posttranslational modifications. The neural localization of the 50 kDa species and its nuclear compartmentalization suggests that these may be key Thap1 species controlling neuronal gene transcription. Dysfunction of the neuronal 50 kDa species may therefore be implicated in the pathogenesis of DYT6.
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Tumor necrosis factor-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) and kidney disease.
Curr. Opin. Nephrol. Hypertens.
PUBLISHED: 07-30-2014
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The tumor necrosis factor-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) cytokine has been linked to kidney injury by functional studies in experimental animals, and has biomarker potential in kidney disease.
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The C-Terminal Module IV of Connective Tissue Growth Factor, Through EGFR/Nox1 Signaling, Activates the NF-?B Pathway and Proinflammatory Factors in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells.
Antioxid. Redox Signal.
PUBLISHED: 07-29-2014
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Abstract Aims: Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2) is a developmental gene upregulated in pathological conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, whose product is a matricellular protein that can be degraded to biologically active fragments. Among them, the C-terminal module IV [CCN2(IV)] regulates many cellular functions, but there are no data about redox process. Therefore, we investigated whether CCN2(IV) through redox signaling regulates vascular responses. Results: CCN2(IV) increased superoxide anion (O2(•-)) production in murine aorta (ex vivo and in vivo) and in cultured vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). In isolated murine aorta, CCN2(IV), via O2(•-), increased phenylephrine-induced vascular contraction. CCN2(IV) in vivo regulated several redox-related processes in mice aorta, including increased nonphagocytic NAD(P)H oxidases (Nox)1 activity, protein nitrosylation, endothelial dysfunction, and activation of the nuclear factor-?B (NF-?B) pathway and its related proinflammatory factors. The role of Nox1 in CCN2(IV)-mediated vascular responses in vivo was investigated by gene silencing. The administration of a Nox1 morpholino diminished aortic O2(•-) production, endothelial dysfunction, NF-?B activation, and overexpression of proinflammatory genes in CCN2(IV)-injected mice. The link CCN2(IV)/Nox1/NF-?B/inflammation was confirmed in cultured VSMCs. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a known CCN2 receptor. In VSMCs, CCN2(IV) activates EGFR signaling. Moreover, EGFR kinase inhibition blocked vascular responses in CCN2(IV)-injected mice. Innovation and Conclusion: CCN2(IV) is a novel prooxidant factor that in VSMCs induces O2(•-) production via EGFR/Nox1 activation. Our in vivo data demonstrate that CCN2(IV) through EGFR/Nox1 signaling pathway induces endothelial dysfunction and activation of the NF-?B inflammatory pathway. Therefore, CCN2(IV) could be considered a potential therapeutic target for redox-related cardiovascular diseases. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 00, 000-000.
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Role of 18F-FDG-PET/CT in the management of marginal zone B cell lymphoma.
Hematol Oncol
PUBLISHED: 07-01-2014
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The use of PET in patients with marginal zone B cell lymphoma (MZL) is controversial because of variability of fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) avidity. We analyzed 40 PET/CT in 25 consecutive patients to compare its performance with CT at staging and as a first-line response assessment. Sensitivity of PET/CT and CT was 96 and 76%. Mean standard uptake value was 6.1, 6.9 and 3.4 (p?=?0.3) in nodal, extranodal and splenic subtypes, respectively. Of 17 patients (extranodal: n?=?9; nodal: n?=?6; splenic subtype: n?=?2) with both imaging tests available at diagnosis, 8 (47%) had more involved areas with PET/CT than with CT, 75% of which were extranodal lesions. PET/CT resulted in upstaging of five patients although treatment of only two of them was changed. Responses of 15 patients with post-treatment PET/CT were the following: 9 negative and 6 positive of which 3 were isolated residual lesions. Progression was documented in two of these three patients. Response was also assessed by CT in 11 patients. Discrepancies were found in three: Two were in complete remission by CT while PET/CT detected localized residual disease; another patient was in partial remission by CT, whereas PET/CT showed only one positive lesion. Two of these three patients relapsed. Patients with negative post-treatment PET/CT did not relapse. With a median follow-up of 50?months (10-152?months), 3-year overall survival was 100 and 80% for patients with negative and positive post-treatment PET/CT (p?=?0.2). Three-year disease-free survival was 86%; the negative predictive value (NPV) was 100%, and the positive predictive value (PPV) was 83.3%. Although a larger number of patients will be required to further confirm these data, we can conclude that PET/CT is a useful imaging tool for both staging and response assessment in patients with nodal and extranodal MZL as a result of its high sensitivity, NPV and PPV. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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Subcutaneous implant with etonogestrel (Implanon®) for catamenial exacerbations in a patient with cystic fibrosis: a case report.
BMC Pulm Med
PUBLISHED: 04-10-2014
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Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease with equal prevalence across sexes. However, women present worse lung function with faster function decline, earlier onset of bacterial colonization, more frequent pulmonary exacerbations (PE), greater bronchial hyper-responsiveness, and higher mortality rates after puberty than men. The etiology of this gender disparity remains elusive but female hormones have been implicated in several studies.
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Tumor suppressor roles of CENP-E and Nsl1 in Drosophila epithelial tissues.
Cell Cycle
PUBLISHED: 03-10-2014
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Depletion of spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) genes in Drosophila epithelial tissues leads to JNK-dependent programmed cell death and additional blockade of the apoptotic program drives tumorigenesis. A recent report proposes that chromosomal instability (CIN) is not the driving force in the tumorigenic response of the SAC-deficient tissue, and that checkpoint proteins exert a SAC-independent tumor suppressor role. This notion is based on observations that the depletion of CENP-E levels or prevention of Bub3 from binding to the kinetochore in Drosophila tissues unable to activate the apoptotic program induces CIN but does not cause hyperproliferation. Here we re-examined this proposal. In contrast to the previous report, we observed that depletion of CENP-E or Nsl1-the latter mediating kinetochore targeting of Bub3-in epithelial tissues unable to activate the apoptotic program induces significant levels of aneuploidy and drives tumor-like growth. The induction of the JNK transcriptional targets Wingless, a mitogenic molecule, and MMP1, a matrix metaloproteinase 1 involved in basement membrane degradation was also observed in these tumors. An identical response of the tissue was previously detected upon depletion of several SAC genes or genes involved in spindle assembly, chromatin condensation, and cytokinesis, all of which have been described to cause CIN. All together, these results reinforce the role of CIN in driving tumorigenesis in Drosophila epithelial tissues and question the proposed SAC-independent roles of checkpoint proteins in suppressing tumorigenesis. Differences in aneuploidy rates might explain the discrepancy between the previous report and our results.
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Neurodegenerative changes are prevented by Erythropoietin in the pmn model of motoneuron degeneration.
Neuropharmacology
PUBLISHED: 03-02-2014
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Motoneuron diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders characterized by a progressive loss of motoneurons, muscle weakness and premature death. The progressive motor neuronopathy (pmn) mutant mouse has been considered a good model for the autosomal recessive childhood form of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Here, we investigated the therapeutic potential of Erythropoietin (Epo) on this mutant mouse. Symptomatic or pre-symptomatic treatment with Epo significantly prolongs lifespan by 84.6% or 87.2% respectively. Epo preserves muscle strength and significantly attenuates behavioural motor deficits of mutant pmn mice. Histological and metabolic changes in the spinal cord evaluated by immunohistochemistry, western blot, and high-resolution (1)H-NMR spectroscopy were also greatly prevented by Epo-treatment. Our results illustrate the efficacy of Epo in improving quality of life of mutant pmn mice and open novel therapeutic pathways for motoneuron diseases.
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Gremlin activates the Smad pathway linked to epithelial mesenchymal transdifferentiation in cultured tubular epithelial cells.
Biomed Res Int
PUBLISHED: 02-27-2014
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Gremlin is a developmental gene upregulated in human chronic kidney disease and in renal cells in response to transforming growth factor-? (TGF-?). Epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) is one process involved in renal fibrosis. In tubular epithelial cells we have recently described that Gremlin induces EMT and acts as a downstream TGF-? mediator. Our aim was to investigate whether Gremlin participates in EMT by the regulation of the Smad pathway. Stimulation of human tubular epithelial cells (HK2) with Gremlin caused an early activation of the Smad signaling pathway (Smad 2/3 phosphorylation, nuclear translocation, and Smad-dependent gene transcription). The blockade of TGF-?, by a neutralizing antibody against active TGF-?, did not modify Gremlin-induced early Smad activation. These data show that Gremlin directly, by a TGF-? independent process, activates the Smad pathway. In tubular epithelial cells long-term incubation with Gremlin increased TGF-? production and caused a sustained Smad activation and a phenotype conversion into myofibroblasts-like cells. Smad 7 overexpression, which blocks Smad 2/3 activation, diminished EMT changes observed in Gremlin-transfected tubuloepithelial cells. TGF-? neutralization also diminished Gremlin-induced EMT changes. In conclusion, we propose that Gremlin could participate in renal fibrosis by inducing EMT in tubular epithelial cells through activation of Smad pathway and induction of TGF-?.
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IL-17A is a novel player in dialysis-induced peritoneal damage.
Kidney Int.
PUBLISHED: 02-19-2014
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The classical view of the immune system has changed by the discovery of novel T-helper (Th) subsets, including Th17 (IL-17A-producing cells). IL-17A participates in immune-mediated glomerulonephritis and more recently in inflammatory pathologies, including experimental renal injury. Peritoneal dialysis patients present chronic inflammation and Th1/Th2 imbalance, but the role of the Th17 response in peritoneal membrane damage has not been investigated. In peritoneal biopsies from dialyzed patients, IL-17A immunostaining was found mainly in inflammatory areas and was absent in the healthy peritoneum. IL-17A-expressing cells included lymphocytes (CD4+ and ??), neutrophils, and mast cells. Elevated IL-17A effluent concentrations were found in long-term peritoneal dialysis patients. Studies in mice showed that repeated exposure to recombinant IL-17A caused peritoneal inflammation and fibrosis. Moreover, chronic exposure to dialysis fluids resulted in a peritoneal Th17 response, including elevated IL-17A gene and protein production, submesothelial cell infiltration of IL-17A-expressing cells, and upregulation of Th17 differentiation factors and cytokines. IL-17A neutralization diminished experimental peritoneal inflammation and fibrosis caused by chronic exposure to dialysis fluids in mice. Thus, IL-17A is a key player of peritoneum damage and it may be a good candidate for therapeutic intervention in peritoneal dialysis patients.
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Cough in children.
Arch. Bronconeumol.
PUBLISHED: 02-05-2014
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Cough during childhood is very common, and is one of the most frequent reasons for consultation in daily pediatric practice. The causes differ from those in adults, and specific pediatric guidelines should be followed for correct diagnosis and treatment. The most common cause of cough in children is viral infection producing "normal cough", but all children with persistent cough, i.e. a cough lasting more than 4-8weeks or "chronic cough", must be carefully evaluated in other to rule out specific causes that may include the entire pediatric pulmonology spectrum. The treatment of cough should be based on the etiology. Around 80% of cases can be diagnosed using an optimal approach, and treatment will be effective in 90% of them. In some cases of "nonspecific chronic cough", in which no underlying condition can be found, empirical treatment based on the cough characteristics may be useful. There is no scientific evidence to justify the use of over-the-counter cough remedies (anti-tussives, mucolytics and/or antihistamines), as they could have potentially serious side effects, and thus should not be prescribed in children.
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TWEAK and the progression of renal disease: clinical translation.
Nephrol. Dial. Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 02-05-2014
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Tumour necrosis factor-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) activates the fibroblast growth factor-inducible-14 (Fn14) receptor. TWEAK has actions on intrinsic kidney cells and on inflammatory cells of potential pathophysiological relevance. The effects of TWEAK in tubular cells have been explored in most detail. In cultured murine tubular cells TWEAK induces the expression of inflammatory cytokines, downregulates the expression of Klotho, is mitogenic, and in the presence of sensitizing agents promotes apoptosis. Similar actions were observed on glomerular mesangial cells. In vivo TWEAK actions on healthy kidneys mimic cell culture observations. Increased expression of TWEAK and Fn14 was reported in human and experimental acute and chronic kidney injury. The role of TWEAK/Fn14 in kidney injury has been demonstrated in non-inflammatory compensatory renal growth, acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease of immune and non-immune origin, including hyperlipidaemic nephropathy, lupus nephritis (LN) and anti-GBM nephritis. The nephroprotective effect of TWEAK or Fn14 targeting in immune-mediated kidney injury is the result of protection from TWEAK-induced injury of renal intrinsic cells, not from interference with the immune response. A phase I dose-ranging clinical trial demonstrated the safety of anti-TWEAK antibodies in humans. A phase II randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial exploring the efficacy, safety and tolerability of neutralizing anti-TWEAK antibodies as a tissue protection strategy in LN is ongoing. The eventual success of this trial may expand the range of kidney diseases in which TWEAK targeting should be explored.
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Translational study of the Notch pathway in hypertensive nephropathy.
Nefrologia
PUBLISHED: 01-20-2014
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The Notch signalling pathway is activated in a wide variety of human renal diseases. We have recently demonstrated that the activation of this pathway is not involved in experimental renal fibrosis induced by angiotensin II or hypertension.
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Aneuploidy and tumorigenesis in Drosophila.
Semin. Cell Dev. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 01-20-2014
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Aneuploidy, described as an abnormal number of whole chromosomes or parts of them, has been observed in the majority of sporadic carcinomas, the most common type of cancer occurring in humans and derived from putative epithelial cells. However, the causal relationship between aneuploidy and tumorigenesis remains highly debated. On the one hand, aneuploidy has been shown to be a powerful driver of tumor progression, anticancer drug resistance, and tumor relapse. On the other hand, aneuploidy causes proteotoxic and metabolic stress, which compromises cell cycle proliferation and growth. Here we discuss the role of aneuploidy in tumorigenesis in light of the contribution of Drosophila epithelial cancer models and propose a stress-induced tumor-promoting role of aneuploidy.
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Integrin-linked kinase plays a key role in the regulation of angiotensin II-induced renal inflammation.
Clin. Sci.
PUBLISHED: 01-04-2014
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ILK (integrin-linked kinase) is an intracellular serine/threonine kinase involved in cell-matrix interactions. ILK dysregulation has been described in chronic renal disease and modulates podocyte function and fibrosis, whereas data about its role in inflammation are scarce. AngII (angiotensin II) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that promotes renal inflammation. AngII blockers are renoprotective and down-regulate ILK in experimental kidney disease, but the involvement of ILK in the actions of AngII in the kidney has not been addressed. Therefore we have investigated whether ILK signalling modulates the kidney response to systemic AngII infusion in wild-type and ILK-conditional knockout mice. In wild-type mice, AngII induced an inflammatory response, characterized by infiltration of monocytes/macrophages and lymphocytes, and up-regulation of pro-inflammatory factors (chemokines, adhesion molecules and cytokines). AngII activated several intracellular signalling mechanisms, such as the NF-?B (nuclear factor ?B) transcription factor, Akt and production of ROS (reactive oxygen species). All these responses were prevented in AngII-infused ILK-deficient mice. In vitro studies characterized further the mechanisms regulating the inflammatory response modulated by ILK. In cultured tubular epithelial cells ILK blockade, by siRNA, inhibited AngII-induced NF-?B subunit p65 phosphorylation and its nuclear translocation. Moreover, ILK gene silencing prevented NF-?B-related pro-inflammatory gene up-regulation. The results of the present study demonstrate that ILK plays a key role in the regulation of renal inflammation by modulating the canonical NF-?B pathway, and suggest a potential therapeutic target for inflammatory renal diseases.
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Paricalcitol Reduces Peritoneal Fibrosis in Mice through the Activation of Regulatory T Cells and Reduction in IL-17 Production.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Fibrosis is a significant health problem associated with a chronic inflammatory reaction. The precise mechanisms involved in the fibrotic process are still poorly understood. However, given that inflammation is a major causative factor, immunomodulation is a possible therapeutic approach to reduce fibrosis. The vitamin D receptor (VDR) that is present in all hematopoietic cells has been associated with immunomodulation. We investigated whether the intraperitoneal administration of paricalcitol, a specific activator of the VDR, modulates peritoneal dialysis fluid (PDF)-induced peritoneal fibrosis. We characterized the inflammatory process in the peritoneal cavity of mice treated or not treated with paricalcitol and analyzed the ensuing fibrosis. The treatment reduced peritoneal IL-17 levels, which strongly correlated with a significantly lower peritoneal fibrotic response. In vitro studies demonstrate that both CD4+ and CD8+ regulatory T cells appear to impact the regulation of IL-17. Paricalcitol treatment resulted in a significantly increased frequency of CD8+ T cells showing a regulatory phenotype. The frequency of CD4+ Tregs tends to be increased, but it did not achieve statistical significance. However, paricalcitol treatment increased the number of CD4+ and CD8+ Treg cells in vivo. In conclusion, the activation of immunological regulatory mechanisms by VDR signaling could prevent or reduce fibrosis, as shown in peritoneal fibrosis induced by PDF exposure in mice.
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Tubular overexpression of gremlin induces renal damage susceptibility in mice.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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A growing number of patients are recognized worldwide to have chronic kidney disease. Glomerular and interstitial fibrosis are hallmarks of renal progression. However, fibrosis of the kidney remains an unresolved challenge, and its molecular mechanisms are still not fully understood. Gremlin is an embryogenic gene that has been shown to play a key role in nephrogenesis, and its expression is generally low in the normal adult kidney. However, gremlin expression is elevated in many human renal diseases, including diabetic nephropathy, pauci-immune glomerulonephritis and chronic allograft nephropathy. Several studies have proposed that gremlin may be involved in renal damage by acting as a downstream mediator of TGF-?. To examine the in vivo role of gremlin in kidney pathophysiology, we generated seven viable transgenic mouse lines expressing human gremlin (GREM1) specifically in renal proximal tubular epithelial cells under the control of an androgen-regulated promoter. These lines demonstrated 1.2- to 200-fold increased GREM1 expression. GREM1 transgenic mice presented a normal phenotype and were without proteinuria and renal function involvement. In response to the acute renal damage cause by folic acid nephrotoxicity, tubule-specific GREM1 transgenic mice developed increased proteinuria after 7 and 14 days compared with wild-type treated mice. At 14 days tubular lesions, such as dilatation, epithelium flattening and hyaline casts, with interstitial cell infiltration and mild fibrosis were significantly more prominent in transgenic mice than wild-type mice. Tubular GREM1 overexpression was correlated with the renal upregulation of profibrotic factors, such as TGF-? and ?SMA, and with increased numbers of monocytes/macrophages and lymphocytes compared to wild-type mice. Taken together, our results suggest that GREM1-overexpressing mice have an increased susceptibility to renal damage, supporting the involvement of gremlin in renal damage progression. This transgenic mouse model could be used as a new tool for enhancing the knowledge of renal disease progression.
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Allele-specific silencing of mutant huntingtin in rodent brain and human stem cells.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder resulting from polyglutamine expansion in the huntingtin (HTT) protein and for which there is no cure. Although suppression of both wild type and mutant HTT expression by RNA interference is a promising therapeutic strategy, a selective silencing of mutant HTT represents the safest approach preserving WT HTT expression and functions. We developed small hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) targeting single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) present in the HTT gene to selectively target the disease HTT isoform. Most of these shRNAs silenced, efficiently and selectively, mutant HTT in vitro. Lentiviral-mediated infection with the shRNAs led to selective degradation of mutant HTT mRNA and prevented the apparition of neuropathology in HD rat's striatum expressing mutant HTT containing the various SNPs. In transgenic BACHD mice, the mutant HTT allele was also silenced by this approach, further demonstrating the potential for allele-specific silencing. Finally, the allele-specific silencing of mutant HTT in human embryonic stem cells was accompanied by functional recovery of the vesicular transport of BDNF along microtubules. These findings provide evidence of the therapeutic potential of allele-specific RNA interference for HD.
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TWEAK promotes peritoneal inflammation.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is complicated by peritonitis episodes that cause loss of mesothelium and eventually sclerosing peritonitis. An improved understanding of the molecular contributors to peritoneal injury and defense may increase the therapeutic armamentarium to optimize peritoneal defenses while minimizing peritoneal injury. There is no information on the expression and function of the cytokine TWEAK and its receptor Fn14 during peritoneal injury. Fn14 expression and soluble TWEAK levels were measured in human PD peritoneal effluent cells or fluids with or without peritonitis. Fn14 expression was also analyzed in peritoneal biopsies from PD patients. Actions of intraperitoneal TWEAK were studied in mice in vivo. sTWEAK levels were increased in peritoneal effluent in PD peritonitis. Effluent sTWEAK levels correlated with the number of peritoneal macrophages (r=0.491, p=0.002). Potential TWEAK targets that express the receptor Fn14 include mesothelial cells and macrophages, as demonstrated by flow cytometry of peritoneal effluents and by analysis of peritoneal biopsies. Peritoneal biopsy Fn14 correlated with mesothelial injury, fibrosis and inflammation, suggesting a potential deleterious effect of TWEAK/Fn14. In this regard, intraperitoneal TWEAK administration to mice promoted peritoneal inflammation characterized by increased peritoneal effluent MCP-1, Fn14 and Gr1+ macrophages, increased mesothelial Fn14, MCP-1 and CCL21 expression and submesothelial tissue macrophage recruitment. Taken together these data suggest that the TWEAK/Fn14 system may promote inflammation and tissue injury during peritonitis and PD.
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Behavioral and transcriptome alterations in male and female mice with postnatal deletion of TrkB in dorsal striatal medium spiny neurons.
Mol Neurodegener
PUBLISHED: 11-28-2013
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The high affinity tyrosine kinase receptor, TrkB, is the primary receptor for brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and plays an important role in development, maintenance and plasticity of the striatal output medium size spiny neuron. The striatal BDNF/TrkB system is thereby implicated in many physiologic and pathophysiologic processes, the latter including mood disorders, addiction, and Huntingtons disease. We crossed a mouse harboring a transgene directing cre-recombinase expression primarily to postnatal, dorsal striatal medium spiny neurons, to a mouse containing a floxed TrkB allele (fB) mouse designed for deletion of TrkB to determine its role in the adult striatum.
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Connective tissue growth factor is a new ligand of epidermal growth factor receptor.
J Mol Cell Biol
PUBLISHED: 08-08-2013
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Chronic kidney disease is reaching epidemic proportions worldwide and there is no effective treatment. Connective tissue growth factor (CCN2) has been suggested as a risk biomarker and a potential therapeutic target for renal diseases, but its specific receptor has not been identified. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) participates in kidney damage, but whether CCN2 activates the EGFR pathway is unknown. Here, we show that CCN2 is a novel EGFR ligand. CCN2 binding to EGFR extracellular domain was demonstrated by surface plasmon resonance. CCN2 contains four distinct structural modules. The carboxyl-terminal module (CCN2(IV)) showed a clear interaction with soluble EGFR, suggesting that EGFR-binding site is located in this module. Injection of CCN2(IV) in mice increased EGFR phosphorylation in the kidney, mainly in tubular epithelial cells. EGFR kinase inhibition decreased CCN2(IV)-induced renal changes (ERK activation and inflammation). Studies in cultured tubular epithelial cells showed that CCN2(IV) binds to EGFR leading to ERK activation and proinflammatory factors overexpression. CCN2 interacts with the neurotrophin receptor TrkA, and EGFR/TrkA receptor crosstalk was found in response to CCN2(IV) stimulation. Moreover, endogenous CCN2 blockade inhibited TGF-?-induced EGFR activation. These findings indicate that CCN2 is a novel EGFR ligand that contributes to renal damage through EGFR signalling.
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Polymorphisms of the farnesyl diphosphate synthase gene modulate bone changes in response to atorvastatin.
Rheumatol. Int.
PUBLISHED: 07-30-2013
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Although their primary therapeutic indications are different, aminobisphosphonates and statins target enzymes in the mevalonate pathway, which is critical for bone homeostasis. Previous studies have shown that some polymorphisms of the gene encoding farnesyl diphosphate synthase (FDPS), the main target of aminobisphosphonates, modulate the response to these drugs. In this study, we explored whether those single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) also influence the changes in bone mineral density (BMD) following therapy with statins. Sixty-six patients with coronary heart disease were studied at baseline and after 1-year therapy with atorvastatin. BMD was measured by DXA. Three SNPs of the FDPS gene (rs2297480, rs11264359 and rs17367421) were analyzed by using Taqman assays. The results showed that there was no association between the SNPs and basal BMD. However, rs2297480 and rs11264359 alleles, which are in linkage disequilibrium, were associated with changes in hip BMD following atorvastatin therapy. Thus, patients with AA genotype at the rs2297480 locus had a 0.8 ± 0.8 % increase in BMD at the femoral neck, whereas in patients with AC/CC genotypes, BMD showed a 2.3 ± 0.8 % decrease (p = 0.02). Similar results were obtained regarding changes of BMD at the femoral trochanter and when alleles at the rs11264359 locus were analyzed. However, there was no association between BMD and rs17367421 alleles. In conclusion, these results suggest that polymorphisms of the FDPS gene may influence the bone response to various drugs targeting the mevalonate pathway, including not only aminobisphosphonates but also statins.
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Contribution of parents adult attachment and separation attitudes to parent-adolescent conflict resolution.
Scand J Psychol
PUBLISHED: 07-04-2013
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This study examined the contribution to parent-adolescent conflict resolution of parental adult attachment styles and attitudes toward adolescent separation. Questionnaires were completed by 295 couples with early to late adolescent children. Structural equation models were used to test self and partner influences on conflict resolution for three attachment orientations: confidence (model A), anxiety (model B) and avoidance (model C). Model A showed self influences between parents confidence orientation and negotiation and also via positive attitudes towards separation. Also, the fathers use of negotiation was facilitated by the mothers confidence orientation and vice versa, indicating partner influences as well. Model B showed self influences between parents anxiety orientation and the use of dominance and withdrawal and also via negative attitudes towards separation. Model C showed self influences between parents avoidance orientation and dominance and withdrawal, and a partner influence between fathers avoidance and mothers use of dominance. The results indicated that the parents adult attachment system and the parenting system were related in the area of conflict resolution, and that self influences were stronger than partner influences.
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Macrophages and Recently Identified Forms of Cell Death.
Int. Rev. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 06-26-2013
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Recent advances in cell death biology have uncovered an ever increasing range of cell death forms. Macrophages have a bidirectional relationship with cell death that modulates the immune response. Thus, macrophages engulf apoptotic cells and secrete cytokines that may promote cell death in parenchymal cells. Furthermore, the presence of apoptotic or necrotic dead cells in the microenvironment elicits differential macrophage responses. Apoptotic cells elicit anti-inflammatory responses in macrophages. By contrast macrophages may undergo a proinflammatory form of cell death (pyroptosis) in response to damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) released from necrotic cells and also in response to pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). Pyroptosis is a recently identified form of cell death that occurs predominantly in subsets of inflammatory macrophages and is associated to the release of interleukin-1? (IL-1?) and IL-18. Deregulation of these processes may result in disease. Thus, failure of macrophages to engulf apoptotic cells may be a source of autoantigens in autoimmune diseases, excessive macrophage release of proapoptotic factors or sterile pyroptosis may contribute to tissue injury and failure of pathogen-induced pyroptosis may contribute to pathogen survival. Ongoing research is exploring the therapeutic opportunities resulting this new knowledge.
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3,4-DGE is cytotoxic and decreases HSP27/HSPB1 in podocytes.
Arch. Toxicol.
PUBLISHED: 06-10-2013
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Hyperglycemia is the key driver of diabetic complications and increased concentrations of glucose degradation products. The study of peritoneal dialysis solution biocompatibility has highlighted the adverse biological effects of glucose degradation products. Recently, 3,4-dideoxyglucosone-3-ene (3,4-DGE) was identified as the most toxic glucose degradation product in peritoneal dialysis fluids. In addition, 3,4-DGE is present in high-fructose corn syrup, and its precursor 3-deoxyglucosone is increased in diabetes. The role of 3,4-DGE in glomerular injury had not been addressed. We studied the effects of 3,4-DGE on cultured human podocytes and in vivo in mice. 3,4-DGE induced apoptosis in podocytes in a dose- and time-dependent manner. 3,4-DGE promoted the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria and activation of caspase-3. While high glucose concentrations increased the levels of the podocyte intracellular antiapoptotic protein HSP27/HSPB1, 3,4-DGE decreased the expression of podocyte HSP27/HSPB1. Apoptosis induced by 3,4-DGE was caspase-dependent and could be prevented by the broad-spectrum caspase inhibitor zVAD-fmk. Antagonism of Bax by a Ku-70-derived peptide also prevented apoptosis. Intravenous administration of 3,4-DGE to healthy mice resulted in a decreased expression of HSP27/HSPB1 and caspase-3 activation in whole kidney and in podocytes in vivo. In conclusion, 3,4-DGE induces apoptotic cell death in cultured human podocytes, suggesting a potential role in glomerular injury resulting from metabolic disorders.
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Ensuring intercultural maternal health care for Mayan women in Guatemala: a qualitative assessment.
Cult Health Sex
PUBLISHED: 05-29-2013
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Indigenous (Mayan) women in Guatemala experience a disproportionate burden of maternal mortality and morbidity, as well as institutional failures to respect their rights. The Guatemalan Ministry of Health has started to offer intercultural services that respect Mayan obstetric practices and integrate them with biomedical care. We purposefully selected 19 secondary-level public health facilities of 9 departments that provided maternal healthcare to indigenous women. We carried out semi-structured interviews with biomedical providers (44), Mayan midwives or comadronas (45), and service users (18), exploring the main characteristics of intercultural care. We found that most facilities initiated the implementation of culturally appropriate services, such as accompaniment by a comadrona or family member, use the traditional teas or choosing the birthing position, but they still lacked standardisation. Comadronas generally felt excluded from the health system, although most biomedical providers reported that they were making important strides to be respectful and inclusive. Most users wanted the option of culturally appropriate services but typically did not receive them. In the health facilities, biomedicine is still the dominant discourse. Efforts at offering intercultural care still need strengthening and further monitoring. Involvement and participation of comadronas and indigenous women is key to moving forward to true intercultural services.
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TNF-related weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) promotes kidney fibrosis and Ras-dependent proliferation of cultured renal fibroblast.
Biochim. Biophys. Acta
PUBLISHED: 05-20-2013
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Tumor necrosis factor-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) regulates apoptosis, proliferation and inflammation in renal epithelial cells and plays a role in acute kidney injury. However, there is little information on the chronic effects of TWEAK. We hypothesized that TWEAK may influence renal fibrosis and regulate kidney fibroblast biology, in part, through Ras pathway. We studied a chronic model of experimental unilateral ureteral obstruction in wild type and TWEAK deficient mice, and a murine model of systemic TWEAK overexpression. TWEAK actions were also explored in cultured renal and embryonic fibroblasts. TWEAK and TWEAK receptor expression was increased in the obstructed kidneys. The absence of TWEAK decreased early kidney tubular damage, inflammatory infiltrates and myofibroblast number. TWEAK deficient mice had decreased renal fibrosis 21days after obstruction, as assessed by extracellular matrix staining. In mice without prior underlying kidney disease, systemic overexpression of TWEAK induced kidney inflammation and fibrosis. In cultured fibroblasts, TWEAK induced proliferation through activation of the Ras/ERK pathway. TWEAK also activated nuclear factor ?B (NF?B)-dependent inflammatory chemokine production in murine renal fibroblasts. In conclusion, lack of TWEAK reduces renal fibrosis in a model of persistent kidney insult and overexpression of TWEAK led to renal fibrosis. TWEAK actions on renal fibroblasts may contribute to the in vivo observations, as TWEAK promotes inflammatory activity and proliferation in fibroblast cultures.
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TWEAK transactivation of the Epidermal growth factor receptor mediates renal inflammation.
J. Pathol.
PUBLISHED: 05-14-2013
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TWEAK, a member of the TNF superfamily, binds to the Fn14 receptor eliciting biological responses. EGFR signaling is involved in experimental renal injury. Our aim was to investigate the relation between TWEAK and EGFR in the kidney. Systemic TWEAK administration into C57BL/6 mice increased renal EGFR phosphorylation, mainly in tubular epithelial cells. In vitro, in these cells TWEAK phosphorylated EGFR via Fn14 binding, ADAM17 activation, and subsequent release of the EGFR ligands HB-EGF and TGF-?. In vivo, the EGFR kinase inhibitor Erlotinib inhibited TWEAK-induced renal EGFR activation and downstream signaling, including ERK activation, up-regulation of proinflammatory factors and inflammatory cell infiltration. Moreover, the ADAM17 inhibitor WTACE-2 also prevented those TWEAK-induced renal effects. In vitro TWEAK induction of proinflammatory factors was prevented by EGFR, ERK or ADAM17 inhibition. In contrast, EGFR transactivation did not modify TWEAK-mediated NF-?B activation. Our data suggest that TWEAK transactivates EGFR in the kidney, leading to modulation of downstream effects, including ERK activation and inflammation, and suggest that inhibition of EGFR signaling could be a novel therapeutic tool for renal inflammation.
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"Induced sputum versus gastric lavage for the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis in children"
BMC Infect. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 05-08-2013
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BACKGROUND: Diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) is difficult in infants and young children. For microbiological confirmation of PTB children, sequential gastric lavage (GL) is recommended. Induced sputum (IS) may be an alternative or complementary tool, but the information is limited in children in developed countries. The aim of this study is to assess the safety and diagnostic yield from IS combined with GL for PTB diagnosis in non-HIV infected children. METHODS: The study involved 22 children with suspected PTB admitted to the Getafe Hospital from January 2007 to May 2011. IS and GL were performed on three consecutive days, according to a standardized protocol. In all samples, BK staining, culture and PCR were carried out, including Genotype MTBDR plus for resistance to INH-RIF (Isoniazid-Rifampin) since 2008. A preliminary analysis of an ongoing prospective study is presented. RESULTS: Median age was 72 months (range 1 month to 14 years of age). Seven (33%) were <= 5 years of age. Seventeen were clinically diagnosed of PTB based on positive PPD and radiological criteria. Microbiological confirmation was achieved in 10 (58.8%) by either GL or IS. M. tuberculosis was identified by GL in 8 children (47.1%) and by IS in 7 (41.2%). One infant (2 IS samples) had transient oxygen desaturation recovered spontaneously. CONCLUSIONS: IS appears to be safe and well tolerated by children for diagnosis of PTB and is more convenient. Increasing the diagnostic yield of PTB in children with PTB may be a complementary technique. Largest studies are necessary to define the role of IS in paediatric PTB.
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The C-terminal module IV of connective tissue growth factor is a novel immune modulator of the Th17 response.
Lab. Invest.
PUBLISHED: 05-06-2013
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Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2) is a matricellular protein susceptible to proteolytic degradation. CCN2 levels have been suggested as a potential risk biomarker in several chronic diseases. In body fluids, CCN2 full-length and its degradation fragments can be found; however, their in vivo effects are far from being elucidated. CCN2 was described as a profibrotic mediator, but this concept is changing to a proinflammatory cytokine. In vitro, CCN2 full-length and its C-terminal module IV (CCN2(IV)) exert proinflammatory properties. Emerging evidence suggest that Th17 cells, and its effector cytokine IL-17A, participate in chronic inflammatory diseases. Our aim was to explore whether CCN2(IV) could regulate the Th17 response. In vitro, stimulation of human naive CD4+ T lymphocytes with CCN2(IV) resulted in differentiation to Th17 phenotype. The in vivo effects of CCN2(IV) were studied in C57BL/6 mice. Intraperitoneal administration of recombinant CCN2(IV) did not change serum IL-17A levels, but caused an activation of the Th17 response in the kidney, characterized by interstitial infiltration of Th17 (IL17A+/CD4+) cells and upregulation of proinflammatory mediators. In CCN2(IV)-injected mice, elevated renal levels of Th17-related factors (IL-17A, IL-6, STAT3 and ROR?t) were found, whereas Th1/Th2 cytokines or Treg-related factors (TGF-? and Foxp-3) were not modified. Treatment with an anti-IL-17A neutralizing antibody diminished CCN2(IV)-induced renal inflammation. Our findings unveil that the C-terminal module of CCN2 induces the Th17 differentiation of human Th17 cells and causes a renal Th17 inflammatory response. Furthermore, these data bear out that IL-17A targeting is a promising tool for chronic inflammatory diseases, including renal pathologies.
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Unilateral ureteral obstruction: beyond obstruction.
Int Urol Nephrol
PUBLISHED: 03-26-2013
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Unilateral ureteral obstruction is a popular experimental model of renal injury. However, the study of the kidney response to urinary tract obstruction is only one of several advantages of this model. Unilateral ureteral obstruction causes subacute renal injury characterized by tubular cell injury, interstitial inflammation and fibrosis. For this reason, it serves as a model both of irreversible acute kidney injury and of events taking place during human chronic kidney disease. Being a unilateral disease, it is not useful to study changes in global kidney function, but has the advantage of a low mortality and the availability of an internal control (the non-obstructed kidney). Experimental unilateral ureteral obstruction has illustrated the molecular mechanisms of apoptosis, inflammation and fibrosis, all three key processes in kidney injury of any cause, thus providing information beyond obstruction. Recently this model has supported key concepts on the role in kidney fibrosis of epithelial-mesenchymal transition, tubular epithelial cell G2/M arrest, the anti-aging hormone Klotho and renal innervation. We now review the experimental model and its contribution to identifying novel therapeutic targets in kidney injury and fibrosis, independently of the noxa.
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Probing the dimerization interface of Leishmania infantum trypanothione reductase with site-directed mutagenesis and short peptides.
Chembiochem
PUBLISHED: 03-22-2013
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Binding at the interface: We tested the inhibitory activity of a set of peptide sequences derived from an ?-helix of the dimeric trypanothione reductase from Leishmania infantum. Replacement of a glutamic acid residue with a lysine promoted monomer dissociation and enzyme inhibition.
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Role of ferrocyanides in the prebiotic synthesis of ?-amino acids.
Orig Life Evol Biosph
PUBLISHED: 02-18-2013
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We investigated the synthesis of ?-amino acids under possible prebiotic terrestrial conditions in the presence of dissolved iron (II) in a simulated prebiotic ocean. An aerosol-liquid cycle with a prebiotic atmosphere is shown to produce amino acids via Strecker synthesis with relatively high yields. However, in the presence of iron, the HCN was captured in the form of a ferrocyanide, partially inhibiting the formation of amino acids. We showed how HCN captured as Prussian Blue (or another complex compound) may, in turn, have served as the HCN source when exposed to UV radiation, allowing for the sustained production of amino acids in conjunction with the production of oxyhydroxides that precipitate as by-products. We conclude that ferrocyanides and related compounds may have played a significant role as intermediate products in the prebiotic formation of amino acids and oxyhydroxides, such as those that are found in iron-containing soils and that the aerosol cycle of the primitive ocean may have enhanced the yield of the amino acid production.
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Influenza, but not HIV-specific CTL epitopes, elicits delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) reactions in HIV-infected patients.
Eur. J. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 02-15-2013
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The induction of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) is believed to be an important defense mechanism against viral infections. The availability of simple, sensitive, specific and physiologically informative in vivo tests, applicable to humans, would greatly elucidate the nature of protective immune responses and facilitate immune monitoring in large vaccine trials. Here we studied the possibility of using defined HLA-A*02:01-restricted CTL epitopes from influenza matrix protein (GL9, GILGFVFTL) and HIV Gag p17 (SL9, SLYNTVATL) to elicit a cutaneous delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) reaction. Our results show that the GL9 but not the SL9 epitope was able to induce a DTH reaction. HIV infection status, HIV RNA level and CD4(+) T-cell counts were not predictive of the extent of DTH reactions. However, a markedly reduced expression of skin homing markers CD103 and cutaneous lymphocyte associated Ag (CLA) on epitope-specific CTL populations was associated with a lack of SL9 DTH reactivity. These data demonstrate that DTH reactions can be elicited by optimally defined CTL epitopes per se and point towards specific homing markers that are required for such reactions. These data may offer new insights into the immune pathogenesis of HIV infection and provide the basis of novel immune monitoring approaches for large-scale HIV vaccine trials.
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Eradication of liver-implanted tumors by Semliki Forest virus expressing IL-12 requires efficient long-term immune responses.
J. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 02-11-2013
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Semliki Forest virus vectors expressing IL-12 (SFV-IL-12) were shown to induce potent antitumor responses against s.c. MC38 colon adenocarcinomas in immunocompetent mice. However, when MC38 tumors were implanted in liver, where colon tumors usually metastasize, SFV-IL-12 efficacy was significantly reduced. We reasoned that characterization of immune responses against intrahepatic tumors in responder and nonresponder animals could provide useful information for designing more potent antitumor strategies. Remarkably, SFV-IL-12 induced a high percentage of circulating tumor-specific CD8 T cells in all treated animals. Depletion studies showed that these cells were essential for SFV-IL-12 antitumor activity. However, in comparison with nonresponders, tumor-specific cells from responder mice acquired an effector-like phenotype significantly earlier, were recruited more efficiently to the liver, and, importantly, persisted for a longer period of time. All treated mice had high levels of functional specific CD8 T cells at 8 d posttreatment reflected by both in vivo killing and IFN-?-production assays, but responder animals showed a more avid and persistent IFN-? response. Interestingly, differences in immune responses between responders and nonresponders seemed to correlate with the immune status of the animals before treatment and were not due to the treatment itself. Mice that rejected tumors were protected against tumor rechallenge, indicating that sustained memory responses are required for an efficacious therapy. Interestingly, tumor-specific CD8 T cells of responder animals showed upregulation of IL-15R? expression compared with nonresponders. These results suggest that SFV-IL-12 therapy could benefit from the use of strategies that could either upregulate IL-15R? expression or activate this receptor.
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Endogenous NAMPT dampens chemokine expression and apoptotic responses in stressed tubular cells.
Biochim. Biophys. Acta
PUBLISHED: 02-09-2013
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Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is the most common cause of end-stage renal disease and identification of new therapeutic targets is needed. Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) is both an extracellular and intracellular protein. Circulating NAMPT is increased in diabetics and in chronic kidney disease patients. The role of NAMPT in renal cell biology is poorly understood. NAMPT mRNA and protein were increased in the kidneys of rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes. Immunohistochemistry localized NAMPT to glomerular and tubular cells in diabetic rats. The inflammatory cytokine TNF? increased NAMPT mRNA, protein and NAD production in cultured kidney human tubular cells. Exogenous NAMPT increased the mRNA expression of chemokines MCP-1 and RANTES. The NAMPT enzymatic activity inhibitor FK866 prevented these effects. By contrast, FK866 boosted TNF?-induced expression of MCP-1 and RANTES mRNA and endogenous NAMPT targeting by siRNA also had a proinflammatory effect. Furthermore, FK866 promoted tubular cell apoptosis in an inflammatory milieu containing the cytokines TNF?/IFN?. In an inflammatory environment FK866 promoted tubular cell expression of the lethal cytokine TRAIL. These data are consistent with a role of endogenous NAMPT activity as an adaptive, protective response to an inflammatory milieu that differs from the proinflammatory activity of exogenous NAMPT. Thus, disruption of endogenous NAMPT function in stressed cells promotes tubular cell death and chemokine expression. This information may be relevant for the design of novel therapeutic strategies in DN.
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Fn14 in podocytes and proteinuric kidney disease.
Biochim. Biophys. Acta
PUBLISHED: 01-31-2013
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Non-proliferative proteinuric diseases are the most common primary glomerular disorders causing end-stage renal disease. These disorders may associate low level glomerular inflammation and podocyte expression of inflammatory mediators. However, the factors regulating podocyte expression of inflammatory mediators in vivo in non-immune disorders are poorly understood. We have now explored the regulation and role of TWEAK receptor Fn14 in mediating glomerular inflammation in cultured podocytes and in experimental and human non-immune proteinuria. Transcriptomics disclosed Fn14 and MCP-1 mRNA upregulation in glomeruli from patients with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, as well as a correlation between the expression of both transcripts. Increased glomerular Fn14 and MCP-1 mRNA was confirmed in a second focal segmental glomerulosclerosis cohort and was also observed in membranous nephropathy. In human non-proliferative proteinuric kidney diseases podocytes displayed Fn14 and MCP-1 expression and NF?B activation. Podocyte Fn14 was increased in murine protein overload-induced proteinuria. In Fn14 knock-out mice with protein overload-induced proteinuria, glomerular and periglomerular macrophage infiltrates were reduced, as were MCP-1 mRNA and podocyte MCP-1 staining and podocyte numbers preserved as compared to wild-type counterparts. Adenovirus-mediated overexpression of TWEAK increased periglomerular macrophage infiltration in mice without prior kidney injury. In cultured podocytes inflammatory cytokines increased Fn14 mRNA and protein levels. TWEAK activated NF?B and increased MCP-1 mRNA and protein, an effect prevented by the NF?B inhibitor parthenolide. In conclusion, Fn14 activation results in NF?B-mediated pro-inflammatory effects on podocytes that may be relevant for the pathogenesis of non-proliferative proteinuric kidney disease of non-immune origin.
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A polymeric nanomedicine diminishes inflammatory events in renal tubular cells.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-02-2013
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The polyglutamic acid/peptoid 1 (QM56) nanoconjugate inhibits apoptosis by interfering with Apaf-1 binding to procaspase-9. We now describe anti-inflammatory properties of QM56 in mouse kidney and renal cell models.In cultured murine tubular cells, QM56 inhibited the inflammatory response to Tweak, a non-apoptotic stimulus. Tweak induced MCP-1 and Rantes synthesis through JAK2 kinase and NF-?B activation. Similar to JAK2 kinase inhibitors, QM56 inhibited Tweak-induced NF-?B transcriptional activity and chemokine expression, despite failing to inhibit NF-?B-p65 nuclear translocation and NF-?B DNA binding. QM56 prevented JAK2 activation and NF-?B-p65(Ser536) phosphorylation. The anti-inflammatory effect and JAK2 inhibition by QM56 were observed in Apaf-1(-/-) cells. In murine acute kidney injury, QM56 decreased tubular cell apoptosis and kidney inflammation as measured by down-modulations of MCP-1 and Rantes mRNA expression, immune cell infiltration and activation of the JAK2-dependent inflammatory pathway.In conclusion, QM56 has an anti-inflammatory activity which is independent from its role as inhibitor of Apaf-1 and apoptosis and may have potential therapeutic relevance.
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Osteoprotegerin in exosome-like vesicles from human cultured tubular cells and urine.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Urinary exosomes have been proposed as potential diagnostic tools. TNF superfamily cytokines and receptors may be present in exosomes and are expressed by proximal tubular cells. We have now studied the expression of selected TNF superfamily proteins in exosome-like vesicles from cultured human proximal tubular cells and human urine and have identified additional proteins in these vesicles by LC-MS/MS proteomics. Human proximal tubular cells constitutively released exosome-like vesicles that did not contain the TNF superfamily cytokines TRAIL or TWEAK. However, exosome-like vesicles contained osteoprotegerin (OPG), a TNF receptor superfamily protein, as assessed by Western blot, ELISA or selected reaction monitoring by nLC-(QQQ)MS/MS. Twenty-one additional proteins were identified in tubular cell exosome-like vesicles, including one (vitamin D binding protein) that had not been previously reported in exosome-like vesicles. Twelve were extracellular matrix proteins, including the basement membrane proteins type IV collagen, nidogen-1, agrin and fibulin-1. Urine from chronic kidney disease patients contained a higher amount of exosomal protein and exosomal OPG than urine from healthy volunteers. Specifically OPG was increased in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease urinary exosome-like vesicles and expressed by cystic epithelium in vivo. In conclusion, OPG is present in exosome-like vesicles secreted by proximal tubular epithelial cells and isolated from Chronic Kidney Disease urine.
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A microbial oasis in the hypersaline Atacama subsurface discovered by a life detector chip: implications for the search for life on Mars.
Astrobiology
PUBLISHED: 12-09-2011
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The Atacama Desert has long been considered a good Mars analogue for testing instrumentation for planetary exploration, but very few data (if any) have been reported about the geomicrobiology of its salt-rich subsurface. We performed a Mars analogue drilling campaign next to the Salar Grande (Atacama, Chile) in July 2009, and several cores and powder samples from up to 5?m deep were analyzed in situ with LDChip300 (a Life Detector Chip containing 300 antibodies). Here, we show the discovery of a hypersaline subsurface microbial habitat associated with halite-, nitrate-, and perchlorate-containing salts at 2?m deep. LDChip300 detected bacteria, archaea, and other biological material (DNA, exopolysaccharides, some peptides) from the analysis of less than 0.5?g of ground core sample. The results were supported by oligonucleotide microarray hybridization in the field and finally confirmed by molecular phylogenetic analysis and direct visualization of microbial cells bound to halite crystals in the laboratory. Geochemical analyses revealed a habitat with abundant hygroscopic salts like halite (up to 260?g kg(-1)) and perchlorate (41.13??g g(-1) maximum), which allow deliquescence events at low relative humidity. Thin liquid water films would permit microbes to proliferate by using detected organic acids like acetate (19.14??g g(-1)) or formate (76.06??g g(-1)) as electron donors, and sulfate (15875??g g(-1)), nitrate (13490??g g(-1)), or perchlorate as acceptors. Our results correlate with the discovery of similar hygroscopic salts and possible deliquescence processes on Mars, and open new search strategies for subsurface martian biota. The performance demonstrated by our LDChip300 validates this technology for planetary exploration, particularly for the search for life on Mars.
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HSP27/HSPB1 as an adaptive podocyte antiapoptotic protein activated by high glucose and angiotensin II.
Lab. Invest.
PUBLISHED: 09-19-2011
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Apoptosis is a driving force of diabetic end-organ damage, including diabetic nephropathy (DN). However, the mechanisms that modulate diabetes-induced cell death are not fully understood. Heat shock protein 27 (HSP27/HSPB1) is a cell stress protein that regulates apoptosis in extrarenal cells and is expressed by podocytes exposed to toxins causing nephrotic syndrome. We investigated the regulation of HSPB1 expression and its function in podocytes exposed to factors contributing to DN, such as high glucose and angiotensin (Ang) II. HSPB1 expression was assessed in renal biopsies from patients with DN, minimal change disease or focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), in a rat model of diabetes induced by streptozotocin (STZ) and in Ang II-infused rats. The regulation of HSPB1 was studied in cultured human podocytes and the function of HSPB1 expressed in response to pathophysiologically relevant stimuli was explored by short interfering RNA knockdown. Total kidney HSPB1 mRNA and protein expression was increased in rats with STZ-induced diabetes and in rats infused with Ang II. Upregulation of HSPB1 protein was confirmed in isolated diabetic glomeruli. Immunohistochemistry showed increased glomerular expression of HSPB1 in both models and localized glomerular HSPB1 to podocytes. HSPB1 protein was increased in glomerular podocytes from patients with DN or FSGS. In cultured human podocytes HSPB1 mRNA and protein expression was upregulated by high glucose concentrations and Ang II. High glucose, but not Ang II, promoted podocyte apoptosis. HSPB1 short interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting increased apoptosis in a high-glucose milieu and sensitized to Ang II or TGF?1-induced apoptosis by promoting caspase activation. In conclusion, both high glucose and Ang II contribute to HSPB1 upregulation. HSPB1 upregulation allows podocytes to better withstand an adverse high-glucose or Ang II-rich environment, such as can be found in DN.
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Recent patents on alphavirus protein expression and vector production.
Recent Pat Biotechnol
PUBLISHED: 07-01-2011
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Alphaviruses contain a single-strand RNA genome that can be modified to express heterologous genes at high levels. Alphavirus vectors can be packaged within viral particles (VPs) or used as DNA/RNA layered systems. The broad tropism and high expression levels of alphavirus vectors have made them very attractive for applications like recombinant protein expression, vaccination or gene therapy. Expression mediated by alphavirus vectors is generally transient due to induction of apoptosis. However, during the last years several non-cytopathic mutations have been identified within the replicase sequence of different alphaviruses, allowing prolonged protein expression in culture cells. Some of these mutants, which have been patented, have allowed the generation of stable cell lines able to express recombinant proteins for extended periods of time in a constitutive or inducible manner. Production of alphavirus VPs usually requires cotransfection of cells with vector and helper RNAs providing viral structural proteins in trans. During this process full-length wild type (wt) genomes can be generated through recombination between different RNAs. Several new strategies to reduce wt virus generation during packaging, optimize VP production, increase packaging capacity, and provide VPs with specific targeting have been recently patented. Finally, hybrid vectors between alphavirus and other types of viruses have led to a number of patents with applications in vaccination, cancer therapy or retrovirus production.
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The inflammatory cytokines TWEAK and TNF? reduce renal klotho expression through NF?B.
J. Am. Soc. Nephrol.
PUBLISHED: 06-30-2011
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Proinflammatory cytokines contribute to renal injury, but the downstream effectors within kidney cells are not well understood. One candidate effector is Klotho, a protein expressed by renal cells that has antiaging properties; Klotho-deficient mice have an accelerated aging-like phenotype, including vascular injury and renal injury. Whether proinflammatory cytokines, such as TNF and TNF-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK), modulate Klotho is unknown. In mice, exogenous administration of TWEAK decreased expression of Klotho in the kidney. In the setting of acute kidney injury induced by folic acid, the blockade or absence of TWEAK abrogated the injury-related decrease in renal and plasma Klotho levels. TWEAK, TNF?, and siRNA-mediated knockdown of I?B? all activated NF?B and reduced Klotho expression in the MCT tubular cell line. Furthermore, inhibition of NF?B with parthenolide prevented TWEAK- or TNF?-induced downregulation of Klotho. Inhibition of histone deacetylase reversed TWEAK-induced downregulation of Klotho, and chromatin immunoprecipitation showed that TWEAK promotes RelA binding to the Klotho promoter, inducing its deacetylation. In conclusion, inflammatory cytokines, such as TWEAK and TNF?, downregulate Klotho expression through an NF?B-dependent mechanism. These results may partially explain the relationship between inflammation and diseases characterized by accelerated aging of organs, including CKD.
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Viral-mediated overexpression of mutant huntingtin to model HD in various species.
Neurobiol. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 06-29-2011
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Huntingtons disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder caused by an expansion of CAG repeats in the huntingtin (Htt) gene. Despite intensive efforts devoted to investigating the mechanisms of its pathogenesis, effective treatments for this devastating disease remain unavailable. The lack of suitable models recapitulating the entire spectrum of the degenerative process has severely hindered the identification and validation of therapeutic strategies. The discovery that the degeneration in HD is caused by a mutation in a single gene has offered new opportunities to develop experimental models of HD, ranging from in vitro models to transgenic primates. However, recent advances in viral-vector technology provide promising alternatives based on the direct transfer of genes to selected sub-regions of the brain. Rodent studies have shown that overexpression of mutant human Htt in the striatum using adeno-associated virus or lentivirus vectors induces progressive neurodegeneration, which resembles that seen in HD. This article highlights progress made in modeling HD using viral vector gene transfer. We describe data obtained with of this highly flexible approach for the targeted overexpression of a disease-causing gene. The ability to deliver mutant Htt to specific tissues has opened pathological processes to experimental analysis and allowed targeted therapeutic development in rodent and primate pre-clinical models.
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Association of an SNP with intrathymic transcription of TSHR and Graves disease: a role for defective thymic tolerance.
Hum. Mol. Genet.
PUBLISHED: 06-03-2011
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Graves disease (GD) is the paradigm of an anti-receptor autoimmune disease, with agonistic auto-antibodies against the thyrotropin receptor (TSHR-thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor) being the underlying pathogenic effector mechanism. The TSHR belongs to the category of tissue-restricted antigens, which are promiscuously expressed in the thymus and thereby induce central T cell tolerance. In order to understand the association between TSHR gene polymorphisms and GD, we tested the hypothesis that TSHR gene variants affect susceptibility to GD by influencing levels of TSHR transcription in the thymus. We show that thymic glands from non-autoimmune donors homozygous for the rs179247 SNP predisposing allele of TSHR had significantly fewer TSHR mRNA transcripts than carriers of the protective allele. In addition, in heterozygous individuals, the TSHR predisposing allele was expressed at a lower level than the protective one as demonstrated by allele-specific transcript quantification. This unbalanced allelic expression was detectable in both thymic epithelial cells and thymocytes. Since the level of self-antigen expression is known to influence the threshold of central tolerance, these results are compatible with the notion that defective central tolerance contributes to the pathogenesis of GD, a scenario already implicated in type 1 diabetes mellitus, myasthenia gravis and autoimmune myocarditis.
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Glutamatergic signaling maintains the epithelial phenotype of proximal tubular cells.
J. Am. Soc. Nephrol.
PUBLISHED: 05-19-2011
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Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) contributes to the progression of renal tubulointerstitial fibrosis. The N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR), which is present in proximal tubular epithelium, is a glutamate receptor that acts as a calcium channel. Activation of NMDAR induces actin rearrangement in cells of the central nervous system, but whether it helps maintain the epithelial phenotype of the proximal tubule is unknown. Here, knockdown of NMDAR1 in a proximal tubule cell line (HK-2) induced changes in cell morphology, reduced E-cadherin expression, and increased ?-SMA expression. Induction of EMT with TGF-?1 led to downregulation of both E-cadherin and membrane-associated ?-catenin, reorganization of F-actin, expression of mesenchymal markers de novo, upregulation of Snail1, and increased cell migration; co-treatment with NMDA attenuated all of these changes. Furthermore, NMDA reduced TGF-?1-induced phosphorylation of Erk1/2 and Akt and the activation of Ras, suggesting that NMDA antagonizes TGF-?1-induced EMT by inhibiting the Ras-MEK pathway. In the unilateral ureteral obstruction model, treatment with NMDA blunted obstruction-induced upregulation of ?-SMA, FSP1, and collagen I and downregulation of E-cadherin. Taken together, these results suggest that NMDAR plays a critical role in preserving the normal epithelial phenotype and modulating tubular EMT.
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Histone H3K56 acetylation, CAF1, and Rtt106 coordinate nucleosome assembly and stability of advancing replication forks.
PLoS Genet.
PUBLISHED: 05-06-2011
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Chromatin assembly mutants accumulate recombinogenic DNA damage and are sensitive to genotoxic agents. Here we have analyzed why impairment of the H3K56 acetylation-dependent CAF1 and Rtt106 chromatin assembly pathways, which have redundant roles in H3/H4 deposition during DNA replication, leads to genetic instability. We show that the absence of H3K56 acetylation or the simultaneous knock out of CAF1 and Rtt106 increases homologous recombination by affecting the integrity of advancing replication forks, while they have a minor effect on stalled replication fork stability in response to the replication inhibitor hydroxyurea. This defect in replication fork integrity is not due to defective checkpoints. In contrast, H3K56 acetylation protects against replicative DNA damaging agents by DNA repair/tolerance mechanisms that do not require CAF1/Rtt106 and are likely subsequent to the process of replication-coupled nucleosome deposition. We propose that the tight connection between DNA synthesis and histone deposition during DNA replication mediated by H3K56ac/CAF1/Rtt106 provides a mechanism for the stabilization of advancing replication forks and the maintenance of genome integrity, while H3K56 acetylation has an additional, CAF1/Rtt106-independent function in the response to replicative DNA damage.
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[PFAPA syndrome: study of 10 cases].
Med Clin (Barc)
PUBLISHED: 04-30-2011
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«PFAPA syndrome» is an autoinflammatory entity consisting of periodic fever, aphthous stomatitis, pharyngitis and cervical adenitis. Its etiology is unknown although a dysregulation in the control of the autoinflammatory response seems to play a role. Although a genetic origin is suspected, no specific mutation has been determined yet. Corticosteroids are the mainstay of the treatment during the acute attacks. However, in long-term follow-up the role of tonsillectomy is controversial.
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The intact structural form of LLO in endosomes cannot protect against listeriosis.
Int J Biochem Mol Biol
PUBLISHED: 04-25-2011
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LLO is the major immuno-dominant antigen in listeriosis and is also required for protective immunity. Two forms of LLO can be observed in endosomal membranes, a LLO intact form and a Ctsd-processed LLO(1-491) form. Endosomes obtained from resting macrophages contained only LLO intact forms, while endosomes obtained from IFN-activated macrophages contained both forms. Both types of endosomes elicited LLO(90-91)/CD8(+) and LLO(189-201)/CD4(+) specific immune responses. However, only endosomes containing the Ctsd-processed LLO(1-491) form showed significant CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell responses similar to LM infected bone marrow derived macrophages and characteristic of protective Listeria immunity. Moreover, endosomes with intact LLO could not confer protection as vaccine carriers against murine listeriosis. While endosomes with Ctsd-processed LLO(1-491) form showed a moderate ability, slightly lower than high efficiency vaccine vectors as MØ infected with LM. These studies argue that all cell-free membrane vesicles might serve as valid vaccine carriers against infectious agents. Exclusively those cell-free vesicles MIIC competent for LLO processing are protective vaccines vectors since they recruit significant numbers of mature dendritic cells to the vaccination sites and contain a LLO(1-491) form that might be accessible for MHC class I and class II antigen presentation.
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Adjuvant combination and antigen targeting as a strategy to induce polyfunctional and high-avidity T-cell responses against poorly immunogenic tumors.
Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 03-14-2011
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Low antigen expression and an absence of coimmunostimulatory signals may be partly responsible for the low immunogenicity of many tumors. It may be possible to overcome this situation by defining a combination of adjuvants and antigens that can activate a high-avidity antitumor response. Using the poorly immunogenic B16-OVA melanoma cells as tumor model, we tested different combinations of adjuvants and antigens to treat established tumors. In the absence of exogenous antigens, repeated administration of the TLR7 ligand Imiquimod together with anti-CD40 agonistic antibodies activated only innate immunity, which was insufficient to reject intradermal tumors. Administering this adjuvant combination together with OVA as a tumor antigen induced T-cell responses that delayed tumor growth. However, administering a combination of anti-CD40 plus TLR3 and TLR7 ligands, together with antigen targeting to dendritic cells through TLR4, was sufficient to induce tumor rejection in 50% of mice. This response was associated with a greater activation of innate immunity and induction of high-avidity polyfunctional CD8(+) T-cell responses, which each contributed to tumor rejection. This therapy activated T-cell responses not only against OVA, which conferred protection against a rechallenge with B16-OVA cells, but also activated T-cell responses against other melanoma-associated antigens. Our findings support the concept that multiple adjuvant combination and antigen targeting may be a useful immunotherapeutic strategy against poorly immunogenic tumors.
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KCNQ1 gene variants and risk of new-onset diabetes in tacrolimus-treated renal-transplanted patients.
Clin Transplant
PUBLISHED: 03-01-2011
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Recent genome-wide association studies identified single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the gene encoding the pore-forming subunit of the voltage-gated K+ channel (KCNQ1) as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Tacrolimus (Tac) increased the risk of new-onset diabetes after transplantation (NODAT). The aim of this study was to analyze the association between KCNQ1 variants and the risk for NODAT in kidney-transplanted patients who received Tac as primary immunosuppressor. We genotyped three common KCNQ1 SNPs in 145 Spanish patients who received a cadaveric kidney graft and developed NODAT in the first-year post-transplant (the NODAT group), and 260 patients who remained non-diabetics (non-NODAT). In addition, we searched for DNA variants in the whole KCNQ1 coding exons in these patients. SNP rs2237895 (genotype CC) was associated with an increased risk for NODAT in our population (p = 0.008; OR = 1.83, 95% CI = 1.14-2.93), independently of other risk factors as body mass index, recipient age, or tacrolimus dosage. Other KCNQ1 variants were not associated with NODAT in our patients. Our work supported a role for KCNQ1 gene variants as determinants of the risk of developing NODAT among Tac-treated patients.
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Squamous cell carcinoma of the vagina and cervix in sheep - case report.
Acta Vet. Hung.
PUBLISHED: 03-01-2011
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This report describes the clinical and histopathological characteristics of a squamous cell carcinoma infiltrating the cervix and the vaginal wall, producing reproductive symptoms and subnormal fertility in an adult ewe. Necropsy showed a large (15-cm-long) neoplastic mass infiltrating the vaginal wall and the cervix. Histopathological examination revealed atypical squamous epithelial cords invading the basal membrane and dermis, round anaplastic cells, focal areas of necrosis, keratinisation of isolated cells, and pronounced infiltration by mononuclear cells around the cords. No squamous cell carcinoma of such localisation has been reported from sheep before. In humans, this tumour is the most common gynaecological malignancy in the world.
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Classification of modern and old Río Tinto sedimentary deposits through the biomolecular record using a life marker biochip: implications for detecting life on Mars.
Astrobiology
PUBLISHED: 02-06-2011
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The particular mineralogy formed in the acidic conditions of the Río Tinto has proven to be a first-order analogue for the acid-sulfate aqueous environments of Mars. Therefore, studies about the formation and preservation of biosignatures in the Río Tinto will provide insights into equivalent processes on Mars. We characterized the biomolecular patterns recorded in samples of modern and old fluvial sediments along a segment of the river by means of an antibody microarray containing more than 200 antibodies (LDCHIP200, for Life Detector Chip) against whole microorganisms, universal biomolecules, or environmental extracts. Samples containing 0.3-0.5?g of solid material were automatically analyzed in situ by the Signs Of LIfe Detector instrument (SOLID2), and the results were corroborated by extensive analysis in the laboratory. Positive antigen-antibody reactions indicated the presence of microbial strains or high-molecular-weight biopolymers that originated from them. The LDCHIP200 results were quantified and subjected to a multivariate analysis for immunoprofiling. We associated similar immunopatterns, and biomolecular markers, to samples with similar sedimentary age. Phyllosilicate-rich samples from modern fluvial sediments gave strong positive reactions with antibodies against bacteria of the genus Acidithiobacillus and against biochemical extracts from Río Tinto sediments and biofilms. These samples contained high amounts of sugars (mostly polysaccharides) with monosaccharides like glucose, rhamnose, fucose, and so on. By contrast, the older deposits, which are a mix of clastic sands and evaporites, showed only a few positives with LDCHIP200, consistent with lower protein and sugar content. We conclude that LDCHIP200 results can establish a correlation between microenvironments, diagenetic stages, and age with the biomarker profile associated with a sample. Our results would help in the search for putative martian biomarkers in acidic deposits with similar diagenetic maturity. Our LDCHIP200 and SOLID-like instruments may be excellent tools for the search for molecular biomarkers on Mars or other planets.
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[Tolerance of two inhaled hypertonic saline solutions in patients with cystic fibrosis].
Med Clin (Barc)
PUBLISHED: 02-02-2011
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The aim of our study was to evaluate the tolerance of two inhaled hypertonic saline solutions (HS) in patients with cystic fibrosis.
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Tenofovir nephrotoxicity: 2011 update.
AIDS Res Treat
PUBLISHED: 01-31-2011
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Tenofovir is an acyclic nucleotide analogue reverse-transcriptase inhibitor structurally similar to the nephrotoxic drugs adefovir and cidofovir. Tenofovir is widely used to treat HIV infection and approved for treatment of hepatitis B virus. Despite initial cell culture and clinical trials results supporting the renal safety of tenofovir, its clinical use is associated with a low, albeit significant, risk of kidney injury. Proximal tubular cell secretion of tenofovir explains the accumulation of the drug in these mitochondria-rich cells. Tenofovir nephrotoxicity is characterized by proximal tubular cell dysfunction that may be associated with acute kidney injury or chronic kidney disease. Withdrawal of the drug leads to improvement of analytical parameters that may be partial. Understanding the risk factors for nephrotoxicity and regular monitoring of proximal tubular dysfunction and serum creatinine in high-risk patients is required to minimize nephrotoxicity. Newer, structurally similar molecular derivatives that do not accumulate in proximal tubules are under study.
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Analysis of the cumulative changes in Graves disease thyroid glands points to IFN signature, plasmacytoid DCs and alternatively activated macrophages as chronicity determining factors.
J. Autoimmun.
PUBLISHED: 01-07-2011
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Graves disease (GD) is a chronic autoimmune process in the thyroid gland and involves IFN and IFN driven immune activation. Assuming the thyroid gland is the main site stimulating the autoimmune response, we investigated the role of IFNs and other factors in the chronic evolution of GD by comparing the transcriptomic profiles of thyroid glands from short clinical course (SC), long clinical course (LC) cases, and control glands (C). Over 200 differentially expressed genes of the immune system were identified. Results were extensively analyzed bioinformatically and validated by qPCR in 31 glands. The analysis indicated that GD involved a progressive accumulation of changes with clearly distinct profiles in the SC and LC glands. Humoral response, antigen presentation and chemokines & cytokines were overall the most represented gene ontology categories in LC cases. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis pointed to a few inflammatory pathways in SC cases whereas LC cases involved numerous complex pathways, such us "communication between innate and adaptive immune cells" and "autoimmune thyroid signaling". A broad IFN signature consisted of the over-expression of 74 and 84 type I and type II IFN responsive genes respectively (overall 96 out of 211, 45%), but many of these genes can also be directly activated through cytoplasmic viral receptors. For the first time, plasmocytoid dendritic cells were identified in GD thyroid, but surprisingly, the main producers of IFN-alpha were cells with a myeloid cell phenotype. In addition, cells with the phenotype of alternatively activated macrophages were detected in abundance in GD thyroids, confirming data from the transcriptomic analysis. Collectively, these results confirmed the role of IFNs, suggested other natural immunity triggers, identified new cell types in the local disease process, and expanded our knowledge of the processes that may determine the chronicity of GD.
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Prebiotic synthesis of protobiopolymers under alkaline ocean conditions.
Orig Life Evol Biosph
PUBLISHED: 09-22-2010
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Clasically, prebiotic chemistry has focused on the production and identification of simple organic molecules, many of them forming part of "intractable polymers" named tholins. In a previous work, we demonstrated that in experiments using an external energy source and inorganic carbon the aqueous aerosols improved the formation of hydrophilic tholins. Herein, we elucidate the role of pH (from 4 to 12) in prebiotic experiments using saline aqueous aerosols, spark discharges and an atmosphere containing CH(4). At all values of pH, the saline aqueous aerosols increased the production of a significant variety of carboxylic acids that could have been present in a primitive Krebs cycle. Moreover, the study for the first time of hydrophilic tholins by 2-D electrophoresis revealed that these are formed by a set of unexpected heavy polymeric species. The initial alkaline conditions significantly increased both the apparent molecular weight of polymeric species up to 80 kDa and their diversity. We propose the term of protobiopolymers to denote those polymeric species fractionated by 2-D electrophoresis since these are formed by biomolecules present in living systems and show diversity in length as well as in functional groups. Thus, aerosols formed in simulated alkaline ocean conditions could provide an optimal medium for the formation of the primeval materials that could be precursors to the emergence of life.
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NF-kappaB in renal inflammation.
J. Am. Soc. Nephrol.
PUBLISHED: 07-22-2010
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The NF-kappaB family of transcription factors regulates the induction and resolution of inflammation. Two main pathways, classical and alternative, control the nuclear translocation of NF-kappaB. Classical NF-kappaB activation is usually a rapid and transient response to a wide range of stimuli whose main effector is RelA/p50. The alternative NF-kappaB pathway is a more delayed response to a smaller range of stimuli resulting in DNA binding of RelB/p52 complexes. Additional complexity in this system involves the posttranslational modification of NF-kappaB proteins and an ever-increasing range of co-activators, co-repressors, and NF-kappaB complex proteins. Collectively, NF-kappaB regulates the expression of numerous genes that play a key role in the inflammatory response during human and experimental kidney injury. Multiple stimuli activate NF-kappaB through the classical pathway in somatic renal cells, and noncanonical pathway activation by TWEAK occurs in acute kidney injury. Under most test conditions, specific NF-kappaB inhibitors tend to reduce inflammation in experimental kidney injury but not always. Although many drugs in current use clinically influence NF-kappaB activation, there are no data regarding specific NF-kappaB inhibition in human kidney disease.
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Functional polymorphisms in the CYP3A4, CYP3A5, and CYP21A2 genes in the risk for hypertension in pregnancy.
Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun.
PUBLISHED: 07-10-2010
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An intronic single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the CYP3A5 gene (CYP3A5*3; SNP rs776746) affects RNA splicing and enzymatic activity. The CYP3A5*3 frequency increased with distance from the equator and natural selection has been proposed to explain the worldwide distribution of this allele. CYP3A activity has been related with the risk for hypertension in pregnancy, a major cause of morbidity and mortality among women, and CYP3A5*3 could reduce the risk for this disease in populations from regions with high sodium and water availability. The CYP3A5 genotype was related with blood pressure in the general population, but the effect on the risk for hypertension in pregnancy has not been evaluated.We compared the allele and genotype frequencies of three functional SNPs in the CYP3A5 (rs776746), CYP3A4 (rs2740574), and CYP21A2 (rs6471) genes between pregnant women who developed hypertension (n = 250) or who remained normotensive (control group, n = 250). In addition, we sequenced the full CYP3A5 coding sequence in 40 women from the two groups to determine whether some gene variants could explain the risk for hypertensive pregnancies in our population.Allele and genotype frequencies did not differ between hypertensive and normotensive women for the three CYP variants. We did not find CYP3A5 nucleotide changes that could explain a higher risk for hypertension in pregnancy. Our data suggests that the variation in CYP3A5, CYP3A4, and CYP21A2 did not contribute to the risk for hypertension in pregnancy in our population.
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The SWR1 histone replacement complex causes genetic instability and genome-wide transcription misregulation in the absence of H2A.Z.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 07-09-2010
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The SWR1 complex replaces the canonical histone H2A with the variant H2A.Z (Htz1 in yeast) at specific chromatin regions. This dynamic alteration in nucleosome structure provides a molecular mechanism to regulate transcription, gene silencing, chromosome segregation and DNA repair. Here we show that genetic instability, sensitivity to drugs impairing different cellular processes and genome-wide transcriptional misregulation in htz1Delta can be partially or totally suppressed if SWR1 is not formed (swr1Delta), if it forms but cannot bind to chromatin (swc2Delta) or if it binds to chromatin but lacks histone replacement activity (swc5Delta and the ATPase-dead swr1-K727G). These results suggest that in htz1Delta the nucleosome remodelling activity of SWR1 affects chromatin integrity because of an attempt to replace H2A with Htz1 in the absence of the latter. This would impair transcription and, either directly or indirectly, other cellular processes. Specifically, we show that in htz1Delta, the SWR1 complex causes an accumulation of recombinogenic DNA damage by a mechanism dependent on phosphorylation of H2A at Ser129, a modification that occurs in response to DNA damage, suggesting that the SWR1 complex impairs the repair of spontaneous DNA damage in htz1Delta. In addition, SWR1 causes DSBs sensitivity in htz1Delta; consistently, in the absence of Htz1 the SWR1 complex bound near an endonuclease HO-induced DSB at the mating-type (MAT) locus impairs DSB-induced checkpoint activation. Our results support a stepwise mechanism for the replacement of H2A with Htz1 and demonstrate that a tight control of this mechanism is essential to regulate chromatin dynamics but also to prevent the deleterious consequences of an incomplete nucleosome remodelling.
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PPAR-? agonist rosiglitazone protects peritoneal membrane from dialysis fluid-induced damage.
Lab. Invest.
PUBLISHED: 06-07-2010
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Exposure to non-physiological solutions during peritoneal dialysis (PD) produces structural alterations to the peritoneal membrane and ultrafiltration dysfunction. The high concentration of glucose and glucose degradation products in standard PD fluids induce a local diabetic environment, which leads to the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) that have an important role in peritoneal membrane deterioration. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ? (PPAR-?) agonists are used to treat type II diabetes and they have beneficial effects on inflammation, fibrosis, and angiogenesis. Hence, we evaluated the efficacy of the PPAR-? agonist rosiglitazone (RSG) in ameliorating peritoneal membrane damage in a mouse PD model, and we analyzed the mechanisms underlying the protection offered by RSG. Exposure of the peritoneum to PD fluid resulted in AGEs accumulation, an inflammatory response, the loss of mesothelial cell monolayer and invasion of the compact zone by mesothelial cells, fibrosis, angiogenesis, and functional impairment of the peritoneum. Administration of RSG diminished the accumulation of AGEs, preserved the mesothelial monolayer, decreased the number of invading mesothelial cells, reduced fibrosis and angiogenesis, and improved peritoneal function. Interestingly, instead of reducing the leukocyte recruitment, RSG administration enhanced this process and specifically, the recruitment of CD3+ lymphocytes. Furthermore, RSG treatment augmented the levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-10 and increased the recruitment of CD4+ CD25+ FoxP3+ cells, suggesting that regulatory T cells mediated the protection of the peritoneal membrane. In cell-culture experiments, RSG did not prevent or reverse the mesothelial to mesenchymal transition, although it decreased mesothelial cells apoptosis. Accordingly, RSG appears to produce pleiotropic protective effects on the peritoneal membrane by reducing the accumulation of AGEs and inflammation, and by preserving the mesothelial cells monolayer, highlighting the potential of PPAR-? activation to ameliorate peritoneal deterioration in PD patients.
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Globotriaosylsphingosine actions on human glomerular podocytes: implications for Fabry nephropathy.
Nephrol. Dial. Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 05-26-2010
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Transforming growth factor-?1 (TGF-?1) and the macrophage inhibitory factor receptor CD74 link the metabolic disorder with tissue injury in diabetic nephropathy. Fabry disease is an X-linked lysosomal glycosphingolipid storage disorder resulting from a deficient activity of ?-galactosidase A that leads to proteinuric renal injury. However, the link between the metabolic abnormality and renal injury is poorly characterized. Globotriaosylsphingosine (lyso-Gb3) was recently identified as a bioactive molecule accumulating in Fabry disease. We hypothesized that lyso-Gb3 could modulate the release of secondary mediators of injury in glomerular podocytes and that recently described nephroprotective actions of vitamin D receptor activation in diabetic nephropathy may apply to lyso-Gb3.
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In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.