In primary melanoma, ETV1 transcription factor was suggested to be activated mainly by gene amplification and to promote tumor growth in cooperation with BRAF (V600E) . Aim of this study was to investigate ETV1 expression in human melanoma with a focus on brain metastases. We investigated ETV1 in 68 human melanoma brain metastases using FISH for ETV1 gene (located at chromosome 7p21) and centromere chromosome 7 and immunohistochemistry for ETV1, BRAF (V600E) , and ETV1/BRAF associated proteins pMSK1, pRSK1, pp38, pMEK1/2, MAPKAP kinase 2, CIC, HIF-1alpha and Ki-67. We further studied ETV1 copy number variations in 32 melanoma cell lines from primary and metastatic lesions using array CGH. The influence of the MAP kinase pathway activity on ETV1 mRNA and protein expression under BRAF wild-type and BRAF (V600E) conditions were determined in melanoma cell lines using qRT-PCR and Western Blot. No ETV1 high grade amplifications were observed in tissue samples, but low grade ETV1 gene amplifications were found in 7 (10.3 %) melanoma brain metastases. ETV1 protein expression in tissue samples (15 %) correlated with BRAF (V600E) status (p = 0.007) and HIF-1alpha expression (p = 0.049), but not with ETV1 gene dose. Application of the BRAF(V600E)-specific inhibitor vemurafenib and the BRAF(V6ooE/V600K)-inhibitor dabrafenib revealed predominant regulation of ETV-1 mRNA and protein via MAPK-pathway. ETV1 expression is a rare event in human melanoma and seems to be rather based on hyperactivation of MAPK signals, by BRAF (V600E) mutation, than on ETV1 gene amplification. Consequently, therapeutic inhibition of BRAF and the downstream MAPK pathway also down-regulates oncogenic ETV1 expression.
The idea of protecting the heart from ischemic insult during heart surgery to allow elective cardiac arrest is as old as the idea of cardiac surgery itself. The current gold standard in clinical routine is a high potassium regimen added either to crystalloid or blood cardioplegic solutions inducing depolarized arrest. Ongoing patient demographic changes with increasingly older, comorbidly ill patients and increasing case complexity with increasingly structurally abnormal hearts as morphological correlate paired with evolutions in pediatric cardiac surgery allowing more complex procedures than ever before redefine requirements for cardioprotection. Many, in part adversarial, regimens to protect the myocardium from ischemic insults have entered clinical routine; however, functional recovery of the heart is still often impaired due to perfusion injury. Myocardial reperfusion damage is a key determinant of postoperative organ functional recovery, morbidity, and mortality in adult and pediatric patients. There is a discrepancy between what current protective strategies are capable of and what they are expected to do in a rapidly changing cardiac surgery community. An increased understanding of the molecular players of ischemia reperfusion injury offers potential seeds for new cardioprotective regimens and may further displace boundaries of what is technically feasible.
Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) remains a common and potentially life-threatening complication of allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation. In the skin, GVHD can present in an acute (aGVHD), chronic lichenoid or chronic sclerotic form (clGVHD, csGVHD). Measuring peripheral blood levels of the keratinocyte-derived protease inhibitor elafin has recently emerged as a promising tool for diagnosing cutaneous aGVHD. We evaluated whether the analysis of elafin expression in skin would allow distinguishing aGVHD from drug hypersensitivity rashes (DHR) and whether cutaneous elafin expression would correlate with disease severity or altered prognosis of aGVHD and clGVHD/csGVHD. Skin biopsies from aGVHD (n=22), clGVHD (n=15), csGVHD (n=7) and DHR (n=10) patients were collected and epidermal elafin expression and its association with diverse clinical/histological parameters were analyzed. Acute GVHD and DHR displayed varying degrees of elafin expression. No elafin was detectable in csGVHD, while the molecule was increased in clGVHD as compared to aGVHD. Elafin-high aGVHD/clGVHD lesions presented with epidermal thickening and were associated with poor prognosis, i.e. decreased overall survival in aGVHD and corticosteroid resistance in clGVHD. Although cutaneous elafin does not seem to discriminate aGVHD from DHR lesions, our study strongly suggests an association between cutaneous elafin expression and poor prognosis for patients with cutaneous GVHD.Journal of Investigative Dermatology accepted article preview online, 18 November 2014. doi:10.1038/jid.2014.489.
Melanoma spreads primarily to the sentinel lymph nodes, and its risk correlates with lymphangiogenesis, which is mainly driven by vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-C. However, anti-lymphangiogenic factors are poorly characterized. We have shown in a melanoma model that Wnt1 reduces lymphangiogenesis by reducing VEGF-C expression. Screening this model for additional potentially anti-lymphangiogenic factors identified increased activin A expression and reduced expression of the antagonist, follistatin (FST), in Wnt1(+) cells. Activin A is known to reduce blood vessel formation, but the effects on lymphangiogenesis are unknown. Here we show that human primary melanoma expresses significantly higher levels of activin A and lower levels of FST compared with nevi and melanoma metastasis. Using our mouse model with melanoma cells overexpressing Wnt1, FST, Wnt1/FST, or the inhibin ?A subunit (INHBA, resulting in activin A expression), we found both activin A and Wnt1 to reduce lymphangiogenesis. Whereas Wnt1 also reduced metastasis, this was not seen with activin A. In vitro, activin A phosphorylated SMAD2 in both melanoma and lymphatic endothelium but, although it reduced sprouting of lymphatic endothelium, it enhanced the migration of melanoma cells. In conclusion, activin A is an anti-lymphangiogenic factor, but because of its pleiotropic effects on cell mobility it appears not suitable as a pharmacological target.Journal of Investigative Dermatology advance online publication, 18 September 2014; doi:10.1038/jid.2014.328.
Edema due to capillary leak is a generalized and life threatening event in sepsis and major burns for which there is no causal treatment. Local burn wounds are an ideal model to investigate the impact of a new therapeutic agent on edema formation. We aimed to identify peptide sequences of cingulin that can attenuate stress-induced endothelial cytoskeleton disarrangement in vitro and which reduce burn-induced edema in vivo.
Graft-versus-host disease is a major complication of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) and can present in an acute (aGVHD), a chronic lichenoid (clGVHD) and a chronic sclerotic form (csGVHD). It is unclear whether similar or different pathomechanisms lead to these distinct clinical presentations. To address this issue, we collected lesional skin biopsies from aGVHD (n=25), clGVHD (n=17) and csGVHD (n=7) patients as well as serial non-lesional biopsies from HCT-recipients (prior/post-HCT) (n=14) and subjected them to phenotypic and functional analyses. Our results revealed striking differences between aGVHD and clGVHD. In aGVHD, we found a clear predominance of Th2 cytokines/chemokines and, surprisingly, of IL-22 mRNA as well as an increase of IL-22-producing CD4(+) T cells. TSLP, a cytokine skewing the immune response towards a Th2 direction, was elevated at day 20-30 post-HCT in the skin of patients who later developed aGVHD. In sharp contrast to aGVHD, the immune response occurring in clGVHD showed a mixed Th1/Th17 signature with up-regulated Th1/Th17 cytokine/chemokine transcripts and elevated numbers of IFN-?- and IL-17-producing CD8(+) T cells. Our findings shed new light on the T cell responses involved in the different manifestations of cutaneous GVHD and identify molecular signatures indicating the development of the disease.
Skin squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) are the second most prevalent skin cancers. Chronic skin inflammation has been associated with the development of SCCs, but the contribution of skin inflammation to SCC development remains largely unknown. In this study, we demonstrate that inducible expression of c-fos in the epidermis of adult mice is sufficient to promote inflammation-mediated epidermal hyperplasia, leading to the development of preneoplastic lesions. Interestingly, c-Fos transcriptionally controls mmp10 and s100a7a15 expression in keratinocytes, subsequently leading to CD4 T-cell recruitment to the skin, thereby promoting epidermal hyperplasia that is likely induced by CD4 T-cell-derived IL-22. Combining inducible c-fos expression in the epidermis with a single dose of the carcinogen 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA) leads to the development of highly invasive SCCs, which are prevented by using the anti-inflammatory drug sulindac. Moreover, human SCCs display a correlation between c-FOS expression and elevated levels of MMP10 and S100A15 proteins as well as CD4 T-cell infiltration. Our studies demonstrate a bidirectional cross-talk between premalignant keratinocytes and infiltrating CD4 T cells in SCC development. Therefore, targeting inflammation along with the newly identified targets, such as MMP10 and S100A15, represents promising therapeutic strategies to treat SCCs.
Various techniques of orthotopic single lung transplantation in rats have been reported; however, their widespread use has been limited owing to the complexity of the procedure. We report a novel microsurgical lung transplantation model in rats with a high survival rate that can be performed by one surgeon alone.
Brain metastases (BM) are frequent and carry a dismal prognosis. BRAF V600E mutations are found in a broad range of tumor types and specific inhibitors targeting BRAF V600E protein exist. We analyzed tumoral BRAF V600E-mutant protein expression using the novel mutation-specific antibody VE1 in a series of 1,120 tumor specimens (885 BM, 157 primary tumors, 78 extra-cranial metastases) of 874 BM patients. In 85 cases, we performed validation of immunohistochemical results by BRAF exon 15 gene sequencing. BRAF V600E protein was expressed in BM of 42/76 (55.3%) melanomas, 1/15 (6.7%) ovarian cancers, 4/72 (5.5%) colorectal cancers, 1/355 (0.3%) lung cancers, 2/6 thyroid cancers and 1/2 choriocarcinomas. BRAF V600E expression showed high intra-tumoral homogeneity and was similar in different tumor manifestations of individual patients. VE1 immunohistochemistry and BRAF exon 15 sequencing were congruent in 68/70 (97.1%) cases, but VE1 immunostaining identified small BRAF V600E expressing tumor cell aggregates in 10 cases with inconclusive genetic results. Melanoma patients with BRAF V600E mutant protein expressing tumors were significantly younger at diagnosis of the primary tumor and at operation of BM than patients with non-mutated tumors. In conclusion, expression of BRAF V600E mutant protein occurs in approximately 6% of BM and is consistent in different tumor manifestations of the same patient. Thus, BRAF V600E inhibiting therapies seem feasible in selected BM patients. Immunohistochemical visualization of V600E-mutant BRAF protein is a promising tool for patient stratification. An integrated approach combining both, VE1 immunohistochemistry and genetic analysis may increase the diagnostic accuracy of BRAF mutation analysis.
Renal ischemia-reperfusion contributes to reduced renal allograft survival. The peptide B?(15-42), a breakdown product of fibrin, attenuates inflammation induced by ischemia-reperfusion in the heart by competitively blocking the binding of leukocytes to endothelial VE-cadherin, but whether it could improve outcomes in renal transplantation is unknown. Here, we tested the ability of B?(15-42) to ameliorate the effects of renal ischemic injury during allogenic kidney transplantation in mice. In our renal transplantation model (C57BL/6 into BALB/c mice), treatment with B?(15-42) at the time of allograft reperfusion resulted in significantly improved survival of recipients during the 28-day follow-up (60% versus 10%). B?(15-42) treatment decreased leukocyte infiltration, expression of endothelial adhesion molecules, and proinflammatory cytokines. Treatment significantly attenuated allogenic T cell activation and reduced cellular rejection. Moreover, B?(15-42) significantly reduced tubular epithelial damage and apoptosis, which we reproduced in vitro. These data suggest that B?(15-42) may have therapeutic potential in transplant surgery by protecting grafts from ischemia-reperfusion injury.
A high throughput method based on flow injection analysis was developed and validated for the quantification of the peptide B?(15-42) in cellular samples comparing different labeling strategies and detection methods. The used labels were 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-N, N, N, N-tetraaceticacid (In-DOTA) and 2-(4-isothiocyanatobenzyl) - 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-N, N, N, N-tetraacetic acid (In-DOTA-Bn) for elemental labeling. 6-Hydroxy-9-(2-carboxyphenyl)- (3H)-xanthen-3-on (fluorescein) was employed as fluorescence label. The explored peptide (mass = 3 kD) is a novel candidate drug, which shows an anti-inflammatory effect after an event of myocardial infarction. The analysed samples were fractioned cell compartments of human umbilical cord vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) maintained via lysis with Triton X buffer. In order to enhance sensitivity and selectivity of peptide quantification via flow injection the peptide was labeled prior to incubation using elemental and fluorescence labels. Quantification of the elemental and fluorescence labeled peptide was performed via flow injection analysis combined with inductive coupled plasma sector field mass spectrometry (FIA-ICP-SFMS) or fluorescence detection (FIA-FLD), respectively. The employed quantification strategies were external calibration in the case of fluorescence detection and external calibration with and without internal standardization and on-line IDMS in the case of ICP-MS detectionThe limit of detection (LOD) for FIA-ICP-MS was 9 pM In-DOTA-B?(15-42) (0.05 fmol absolute) whereas FIA-FLD showed a LOD of 100 pM (3 fmol absolute) for the fluorescein labeled peptide. Short term precision of FIA-ICP-MS was superior for all ICP-MS based quantification strategies compared to FIA-FLD (FIA-ICP-SFMS: 0.3-3.3%; FIA-FLD: 6.5%). Concerning long term precision FIA-ICP-SFMS with on-line IDMS and internal standardization showed the best results (3.1 and 4.6%, respectively) whereas the external calibration of both applied methodological approaches was only in the range of 10 %.The concentrations in the Triton X soluble fraction relative to the applied amount of Indium in the cell culture were in the range of 0.75-1.8% for In-DOTA or 0.30-0.79% for the 2-(4-isothiocyanatobenzyl) - 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-N, N, N, N-tetraacetic acid (In-DOTA-Bn) labeled peptide B?(15-42). In the Triton X insoluble fraction the relative concentrations of Indium were 0.03-0.18% for the In-DOTA labeled peptide and 0.03-0.13% for B?(15-42)-In-DOTA-Bn.
Osteopontin (OPN) is highly up-regulated in adipose tissue in human and murine obesity and has been recently shown to be functionally involved in the pathogenesis of obesity-induced adipose tissue inflammation and associated insulin resistance in mice. OPN is a protein with multiple functions and acts as a chemokine and an inflammatory cytokine through a variety of different receptors (CD44, integrins). It is expressed in many cell types including adipose tissue macrophages (ATM). However, the target cells of OPN action in obese adipose tissue are still elusive. Here, we investigated expression of OPN receptors and the impact of OPN on ATM, adipocytes, and other cells of human adipose tissue. We found broad expression of OPN receptors in different adipose tissue cell types including adipocytes. OPN stimulated inflammatory signaling pathways and secretion of cytokines in model macrophages as well as isolated human ATM. Moreover, OPN impaired differentiation and insulin sensitivity of primary adipocytes as determined by peroxisomal proliferator-activated receptor-? and adiponectin gene expression and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. Furthermore, OPN induced inflammatory signaling in human adipocytes. In conclusion, OPN activates ATM and interferes with adipocyte function. Thus these data underline the potential of OPN as a therapeutic target for obesity-induced complications.
Undifferentiated transcription factor-1 (UTF-1) and reduced expression protein-1 (REX-1) are used as markers for the undifferentiated state of pluripotent stem cells. Because no highly specific cytochemical marker for epidermal stem cells has yet been identified, we investigated the expression pattern of these markers in human epidermis and skin tumours by immunohistochemistry and in keratinocyte cell cultures. Both presumed stem cell markers were widely expressed in the epidermis and skin appendages. Distinct expression was found in the matrix cells of the hair shaft. Differentiation of human primary keratinocytes (KC) in vitro strongly downregulated UTF-1 and REX-1 expression. In addition, REX-1 was upregulated in squamous cell carcinomas, indicating a possible role of this transcription factor in malignant tumour formation. Our data point to a role for these proteins not only in maintaining KC stem cell populations, but also in proliferation and differentiation of matrix cells of the shaft and also suprabasal KC.
The urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) system is among the most crucial pericellular proteolytic systems associated with the processes of angiogenesis. We previously identified an important regulator of the uPA system in the mannose 6-phosphate/insulin-like growth factor 2 receptor (M6P/IGF2R).
It is commonly accepted that cancer cell progression is accompanied by accumulation of genetic changes. Here we searched for copy number variations in melanoma and asked whether homozygous losses always cumulate during tumor cell progression. Therefore we investigated either melanoma cell lines or tissue derived from the primary lesion and from the lymph node metastasis of the same individual patient. In vitro studies of melanoma cell lines revealed high migratory and anchorage independent growth of metastasis-derived cells. Surprisingly, whole genome DNA analysis of a primum-derived cell line revealed a total of 10 homozygous losses, whereas the matched metastasis-derived cell line only shared five of those losses. We further tested these cells in a mouse model for intradermal melanoma growth and detected fast growth of the metastasis-derived cell line and no growth of primum-derived cells. Additionally, we screened matched pairs of patient-derived melanoma primum and metastasis samples and we could also identify a case with homozygous deletions exclusively present in the primary lesion. Therefore, we suggest that tumor cell progression at the metastatic niche can occur parallel and independently from the primary tumor. We propose that for mutation-targeted therapy genotyping should be performed not only from primary, but also from metastatic melanoma.
Cell-mediated immunity is thought to be of critical importance in antisyphilitic host defense, but the exact mechanisms are still unknown. This fact is particularly true for HIV-infected persons with a deficit in CD4+ T-cell number. We therefore obtained lesional skin samples from HIV+ and HIV- patients with secondary syphilis at different time points of lesional age to search both for causative microorganisms and to characterize the inflammatory infiltrate. By doing so, we detected Treponema pallidum spirochetes with a much greater abundance in late lesions of HIV+ individuals compared with the HIV- cohort. The dominating inflammatory cells were T cells, macrophages, and neutrophils at all stages and plasma cells in older lesions. In HIV- persons, T cells consisted of equal numbers of CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells, whereas in HIV+ patients, the majority of T cells belonged to the CD8 lineage and produced both IFN-? and IL-17. Regulatory T cells and Langerhans cells were reduced in these patients compared with their HIV- counterparts. Because of our observations, we propose that T cells of both the CD4 and CD8 lineage are needed for an at least partial protective antisyphilitic immunity. Compensation mechanisms in HIV+ individuals, such as an increase of Tc1/17 cells as well as a reduction in immunoregulatory Langerhans cells and T cells, apparently do not overcome the deficiencies in these patients to eliminate the spirochete.
To determine whether the efficacy of FX06 was dependent upon the timing of reperfusion therapy or the presence of collaterals in the Efficacy of FX06 in the prevention of myocardial reperfusion injury (F.I.R.E.) trial.
In addition to a recognized role in the coagulation cascade and haemostasis, thrombin is known to have multiple functions. We hypothesized that protracted intravenous infusion of thrombin at steady state will allow to study isolated thrombin effects in vivo.
The inflammatory response after prolonged ischemia and subsequent reperfusion leads to increased risk of primary organ dysfunction after cardiac transplantation. It has been demonstrated that the fibrin-derived peptide Bbeta(15-42) (also called FX06) reduces infarct size in coronary artery occlusion/reperfusion models by inhibition of leukocyte migration. Further, Bbeta(15-42) preserves endothelial barrier function. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether Bbeta(15-42) has a protective effect in cardiac allografts exposed to prolonged global ischemia and subsequent in vivo reperfusion.
A 49-year-old immunocompetent white man had a painful ulcer (1.5 cm in diameter) on the left ventrolateral surface of a grossly enlarged tongue. The ulcer was present for two months. Impaired swallowing resulted in substantial weight loss and fatigue. Histopathologic analysis of a punch biopsy specimen indicated numerous Leishman Donovan bodies within macrophages. A polymerase chain reaction confirmed the presence of L. donovani. Therapy with two cycles of liposomal amphotericin B over a three-month period was administered. Four months after discharge, the ulcer had healed completely and the tongue returned to its normal size and function.
It is established that tumor cell-derived VEGF acts on endothelial cells to promote angiogenesis and tumor growth. Here, we demonstrate that in K5-SOS-dependent mouse skin tumors, autocrine VEGF is required for tumor cell proliferation in a cell-autonomous and angiogenesis-independent manner. VEGF is upregulated in SOS-expressing tumors, and its deletion in epidermal cells delays tumorigenesis by suppressing angiogenesis and tumor cell proliferation. Epidermis-specific Flt1 deletion also impairs tumorigenesis and proliferation. Surprisingly, complete tumor inhibition occurs in the absence of VEGF in EGFR mutant mice, demonstrating that VEGFR and EGFR synergize in neoplastic cells to promote tumor growth. Mechanistically, K5-SOS upregulates VEGF, Flt1, and Neuropilin-1 in an Erk-dependent manner, thereby activating an autocrine proliferation loop, whereas EGFR prevents tumor cells from apoptosis. Moreover, Flt1 is upregulated in human SCC, and its inhibition in SCC cells impairs proliferation. Thus, in addition to regulating angiogenesis, VEGF has to be considered as a potent growth factor for epidermal tumors.
Tetraspanins including CD9, CD37, CD63, and CD151 are linked to cellular adhesion, cell differentiation, migration, carcinogenesis, and tumor progression. The aim of the study was to detect, quantify, and evaluate the prognostic value of these tetraspanins in Merkel cell carcinoma and to study the regulation of CD9 mRNA expression in Merkel cell carcinoma cell lines in detail. Immunohistochemical staining of 28 Merkel cell carcinoma specimens from 25 patients showed a significant correlation of CD9 (P=0.03) and CD151 (P=0.043) expression to overall survival. CD9 and CD63 expression correlated significantly to patients disease-free interval (P=0.017 and P=0.058). Of primary Merkel cell carcinoma tumors, 42% were CD9 positive in contrast to only 21% of the subcutaneous in-transit metastases. Characterization of the 5 untranslated region (UTR) of the CD9 mRNA from two cultured Merkel cell carcinoma cell lines revealed the presence of two major RNA species differing only in the length of their 5 termini (183 versus 102 nucleotides). In silico analysis of the long CD9 mRNA predicted a 5 UTR folding pattern blocking ribosomal scanning and translation. Quantitative data by real-time RT-PCR not only indicated a reduction of CD9 mRNA but also a distinct quantitative shift toward the long 5 UTR in CD9 receptor negative cells. These observations provide an example for a posttranscriptional fine-tuning of CD9 gene expression in tumor cells.
Dimethylfumarate (DMF) has been shown to reduce melanoma growth and metastasis in animal models. We addressed the question of whether DMF is as effective in its antitumor activity as the US Food and Drug Administration-approved alkylating agent dacarbazine (DTIC). We also tested the possibility of an improved antitumoral effect when both therapeutics were used together. Using our severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mouse model, in which xenografted human melanoma cells metastasize from primary skin sites to sentinel nodes, we show that these treatments, alone or in combination, reduce tumor growth at primary sites. Our main finding was that metastasis to sentinel nodes is significantly delayed only in mice treated with a combination of DTIC and DMF. Subsequent experiments were able to show that a combination of DTIC/DMF significantly reduced lymph vessel density in primary tumors as examined by real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry. In addition, DTIC/DMF treatment significantly impaired melanoma cell migration in vitro. In vivo, DTIC/DMF therapy significantly reduced mRNA expression and protein concentration of the promigratory chemokines CXCL2 and CXCL11. In addition, our data suggest that this xenotransplantation model is suitable for preclinical testing of various combinations of antimelanoma agents.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a complex autoimmune disease affecting various tissues. Involvement of B and T cells as well as increased cytokine levels have been associated with disease manifestation. Recently, we demonstrated that mice with epidermal loss of JunB (JunB(Deltaep)) develop a myeloproliferative syndrome (MPS) due to high levels of G-CSF which are secreted by JunB-deficient keratinocytes. In addition, we show that JunB(Deltaep) mice develop a SLE phenotype linked to increased epidermal interleukin 6 (IL-6) secretion. Intercrosses with IL-6-deficient mice could rescue the SLE phenotype. Furthermore, we show that JunB binds to the IL-6 promoter and transcriptionally suppresses IL-6. Facial skin biopsies of human SLE patients similarly revealed low JunB protein expression and high IL-6, activated Stat3, Socs-1, and Socs-3 levels within lupus lesions. Thus, keratinocyte-induced IL-6 secretion can cause SLE and systemic autoimmunity. Our results support trials to use alpha-IL-6 receptor antibody therapy for treatment of SLE.
Acute lung injury (ALI) is a serious condition in critically ill patients that predisposes to secondary bacterial pneumonia. Vascular leak is a hallmark in the pathogenesis of ALI. The fibrin-derived peptide Bbeta(15-42) was shown to preserve endothelial barriers, thereby reducing vascular leak. The potential therapeutic role of Bbeta(15-42) in ALI has not been addressed so far.
Levels of circulating cardiac troponin I (cTnI) or T are correlated to extent of myocardial destruction after an acute myocardial infarction. Few studies analyzing this relation have employed a second-generation cTnI assay or cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) as the imaging end point. In this post hoc study of the Efficacy of FX06 in the Prevention of Mycoardial Reperfusion Injury (F.I.R.E.) trial, we aimed at determining the correlation between single-point cTnI measurements and CMR-estimated infarct size at 5 to 7 days and 4 months after a first-time ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and investigating whether cTnI might provide independent prognostic information regarding infarct size at 4 months even taking into account early infarct size. Two hundred twenty-seven patients with a first-time STEMI were included in F.I.R.E. All patients received primary percutaneous coronary intervention within 6 hours from onset of symptoms. cTnI was measured at 24 and 48 hours after admission. CMR was conducted within 1 week of the index event (5 to 7 days) and at 4 months. Pearson correlations (r) for infarct size and cTnI at 24 hours were r = 0.66 (5 days) and r = 0.63 (4 months) and those for cTnI at 48 hours were r = 0.67 (5 days) and r = 0.65 (4 months). In a multiple regression analysis for predicting infarct size at 4 months (n = 141), cTnI and infarct location retained an independent prognostic role even taking into account early infarct size. In conclusion, a single-point cTnI measurement taken early after a first-time STEMI is a useful marker for infarct size and might also supplement early CMR evaluation in prediction of infarct size at 4 months.
Haemorrhagic shock causes ischaemia and subsequent fluid resuscitation causes reperfusion injury, jointly resulting in high morbidity and mortality. We tested whether the anti-inflammatory fibrin-derived peptide, Bbeta(15-42), also called FX06, is tissue protective in a model of haemorrhagic shock.
The fibrin-derived peptide Bbeta15-42 (also called FX06) has been shown to reduce myocardial infarct size following ischemia/reperfusion. Hemorrhagic shock (HS) followed by volume resuscitation represents a similar scenario, whereby a whole organism is vulnerable to reperfusion injury.
Septic-embolic diseases are life threatening; survival critically depends on rapid diagnosis. Clinically, cutaneous manifestations like Janeway lesions are infrequently occurring but highly characteristic. In contrast, histological features are not clearly defined. We report the case of a 59-year-old male patient in deteriorating general condition and fever of unknown origin with lesions suggestive for Janeway lesions. Histology showed dilated blood vessels and extravasated erythrocytes throughout the dermis. Only serial sections revealed single, deep dermal vessels occluded by fibrin thrombi. Computed tomography scan identified multiple pulmonary round masses. Blood cultures showed growth of Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecalis. The knowledge of the described subtle histological features and a clinical-pathological correlation is essential for the diagnosis of certain cases of septic-embolic conditions.
Loss of vascular barrier function causes leak of fluid and proteins into tissues, extensive leak leads to shock and death. Barriers are largely formed by endothelial cell-cell contacts built up by VE-cadherin and are under the control of RhoGTPases. Here we show that a natural plasmin digest product of fibrin, peptide Bbeta15-42 (also called FX06), significantly reduces vascular leak and mortality in animal models for Dengue shock syndrome. The ability of Bbeta15-42 to preserve endothelial barriers is confirmed in rats i.v.-injected with LPS. In endothelial cells, Bbeta15-42 prevents thrombin-induced stress fiber formation, myosin light chain phosphorylation and RhoA activation. The molecular key for the protective effect of Bbeta15-42 is the src kinase Fyn, which associates with VE-cadherin-containing junctions. Following exposure to Bbeta15-42 Fyn dissociates from VE-cadherin and associates with p190RhoGAP, a known antagonists of RhoA activation. The role of Fyn in transducing effects of Bbeta15-42 is confirmed in Fyn(-/-) mice, where the peptide is unable to reduce LPS-induced lung edema, whereas in wild type littermates the peptide significantly reduces leak. Our results demonstrate a novel function for Bbeta15-42. Formerly mainly considered as a degradation product occurring after fibrin inactivation, it has now to be considered as a signaling molecule. It stabilizes endothelial barriers and thus could be an attractive adjuvant in the treatment of shock.
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) have been originally thought to be restricted to lipid metabolism or glucose homeostasis. Recently, evidence is growing that PPAR? ligands have inhibitory effects on tumor growth. To shed light on the potential therapeutic effects on melanoma we tested a panel of PPAR agonists on their ability to block tumor proliferation in vitro. Whereas ciglitazone, troglitazone and WY14643 showed moderate effects on proliferation, 15d-PGJ2 displayed profound anti-tumor activity on four different melanoma cell lines tested. Additionally, 15d-PGJ2 inhibited proliferation of tumor-associated fibroblasts and tube formation of endothelial cells. 15d-PGJ2 induced the tumor suppressor gene p21, a G(2)/M arrest and inhibited tumor cell migration. Shot gun proteome analysis in addition to 2D-gel electrophoresis and immunoprecipitation of A375 melanoma cells suggested that 15d-PGJ2 might exert its effects via modification and/or downregulation of Hsp-90 (heat shock protein 90) and several chaperones. Applying the recently established CPL/MUW database with a panel of defined classification signatures, we demonstrated a regulation of proteins involved in metastasis, transport or protein synthesis including paxillin, angio-associated migratory cell protein or matrix metalloproteinase-2 as confirmed by zymography. Our data revealed for the first time a profound effect of the single compound 15d-PGJ2 on melanoma cells in addition to the tumor-associated microenvironment suggesting synergistic therapeutic efficiency.
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) initiate innate immune responses and direct subsequent adaptive immunity. They play a major role in cutaneous host defense against micro-organisms and in the pathophysiology of several inflammatory skin diseases. To understand the role of TLRs in the acquisition of immunological competence, we conducted a comprehensive study to evaluate TLR expression and function in the developing human skin before and after birth and compared it with adults. We found that prenatal skin already expresses the same spectrum of TLRs as adult skin. Strikingly, many TLRs were significantly higher expressed in prenatal (TLRs 1-5) and infant and child (TLRs 1 and 3) skin than in adult skin. Surprisingly, neither dendritic cell precursors in prenatal skin nor epidermal Langerhans cells and dermal dendritic cells in adult skin expressed TLRs 3 and 6, whereas the staining pattern and intensity of both TLRs in fetal basal keratinocytes was almost comparable to those of adults. Stimulation of primary human keratinocytes from fetal, neonatal and adult donors with selected TLR agonists revealed that the synthetic TLR3 ligand poly (I:C) specifically, mimicking viral double-stranded RNA, induced a significantly enhanced secretion of CXCL8/IL8, CXCL10/IP-10 and TNF? in fetal and neonatal keratinocytes compared with adult keratinocytes. This study demonstrates quantitative age-specific modifications in TLR expression and innate skin immune reactivity in response to TLR activation. Thus, antiviral innate immunity already in prenatal skin may contribute to protect the developing human body from viral infections in utero in a scenario where the adaptive immune system is not yet fully functional.
Alterations in epidermal growth factor (EGF) expression are known to be of prognostic relevance in human melanoma, but EGF-mediated effects on melanoma have not been extensively studied. As lymph node metastasis usually represents the first major step in melanoma progression, we were trying to identify a potential role of primary tumor-derived EGF in the mediation of melanoma lymph node metastases. Stable EGF knockdown (EGFkd) in EGF-high (M24met) and EGF-low (A375) expressing melanoma cells was generated. Only in EGF-high melanoma cells, EGFkd led to a significant reduction of lymph node metastasis and primary tumor lymphangiogenesis in vivo, as well as impairment of tumor cell migration in vitro. Moreover, EGF-induced sprouting of lymphatic but not of blood endothelial cells was abolished using supernatants of M24met EGFkd cells. In addition, M24met EGFkd tumors showed reduced vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) expression levels. Similarly, in human primary melanomas, a direct correlation between EGF/VEGF-C and EGF/Prox-1 expression levels was found. Finally, melanoma patients with lymph node micrometastases undergoing sentinel node biopsy were found to have significantly elevated EGF serum levels as compared with sentinel lymph node-negative patients. Our data indicate that tumor-derived EGF is important in mediating melanoma lymph node metastasis.
Squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) are heterogeneous and aggressive skin tumors for which innovative, targeted therapies are needed. Here, we identify a p53/TACE pathway that is negatively regulated by FOS and show that the FOS/p53/TACE axis suppresses SCC by inducing differentiation. We found that epidermal Fos deletion in mouse tumor models or pharmacological FOS/AP-1 inhibition in human SCC cell lines induced p53 expression. Epidermal cell differentiation and skin tumor suppression were caused by a p53-dependent transcriptional activation of the metalloprotease TACE/ADAM17 (TNF-?-converting enzyme), a previously unknown p53 target gene that was required for NOTCH1 activation. Although half of cutaneous human SCCs display p53-inactivating mutations, restoring p53/TACE activity in mouse and human skin SCCs induced tumor cell differentiation independently of the p53 status. We propose FOS/AP-1 inhibition or p53/TACE reactivating strategies as differentiation-inducing therapies for SCCs.
Wnt signals contribute to melanoma progression by boosting their proliferation and survival. Initially, we expected that activated Wnt signaling also improves their proficiency to recruit blood and lymph vessels. To assess this, we added cell culture supernatants (SNs) of Wnt1(+) and Wnt1(-) melanoma to endothelial spheroids. Whereas SNs of Wnt1(-) melanoma cells induced lymphatic sprouts, those of Wnt1(+) cells were unable to do so and this was restored by vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C). Subsequent testing of several human melanoma lines revealed that Wnt1 suppressed their VEGF-C expression. This Wnt1 effect did not depend on glycogen synthase kinase-3? (GSK3?), ?-catenin, or activator protein-1, but was blocked by cyclosporine A (CsA). To analyze Wnt1 effects in melanoma in vivo, we selected Wnt1(-) melanoma cell lines, overexpressed Wnt1, and injected them subepidermally into severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice. We found reduced VEGF-C expression, reduced lymphangiogenesis, and delayed metastasis to sentinel nodes in Wnt1(+) as compared with Wnt1(-) melanoma (P<0.05). Concomitant overexpression of VEGF-C or feeding of animals with CsA restored lymphangiogenesis and metastasis in Wnt1(+) melanoma. In conclusion, Wnt1 is anti-lymphangiogenic by suppressing melanoma-derived VEGF-C expression.
Melanomas contain high frequencies of tumorigenic cells and their tumorigenic capacity resides in several distinct subpopulations within melanoma. Since their metastatic potential is linked to their ability to recruit lymphatic vessels, we aimed at identifying lymphangiogenic subpopulations by comparative in vitro analysis of single cell clones derived from a melanoma of a single patient. Selected lymphangiogenic clones were then grafted into severe combined immunodeficient mice, where they induced lymphangiogenesis and metastasized into sentinel nodes, whereas non-lymphangiogenic clones from the same patient did not metastasize. Transcriptome analysis revealed high expression of vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C) and platelet derived growth factor C (PDGF-C) as well as of the met proto-oncogene (MET) and its targets to be associated with this lymphangiogenic phenotype. Screening of a set of independently isolated melanoma cell lines from other patients confirmed this association between expression of high levels of MET and of VEGF-C and PDGF-C. Hence, we provide a model to screen for the lymphangiogenic potential of tumor cells. We show that the lymphangiogenic potential is heterogeneously distributed among melanoma cells within one given tumor and is associated with activation of MET signaling.
Mutations in the transcription factor SOX18 are responsible for specific cardiovascular defects in humans and mice. In order to gain insight into the molecular basis of its action, we identified target genes of SOX18 and analyzed one, MMP7, in detail.
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