Sexual dimorphism in asthma links the estrogen and allergic immune responses. The function of estrogen was classically believed to be mediated through its nuclear receptors, i.e., estrogen receptors (ERs). However, recent studies established the important roles of G-protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER/GPR30) as a novel membrane receptor for estrogen. To date, the role of GPER in allergic inflammation is poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to examine whether GPER might affect the functions of eosinophils, which play an important role in the pathogenesis of asthma. Here, we demonstrated that GPER was expressed in purified human peripheral blood eosinophils both at the mRNA and protein levels. Although GPER agonist G-1 did not induce eosinophil chemotaxis or chemokinesis, preincubation with G-1 enhanced eotaxin (CCL11)-directed eosinophil chemotaxis. G-1 inhibited eosinophil spontaneous apoptosis and caspase-3 activities. The anti-apoptotic effect was not affected by the cAMP-phospodiesterase inhibitor rolipram or phosphoinositide 3-kinase inhibitors. In contrast to resting eosinophils, G-1 induced apoptosis and increased caspase-3 activities when eosinophils were co-stimulated with IL-5. No effect of G-1 was observed on eosinophil degranulation in terms of release of eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN). The current study indicates the functional capacities of GPER on human eosinophils and also provides the previously unrecognized mechanisms of interaction between estrogen and allergic inflammation.
Asthma is characterized by chronic inflammation caused by activation of immune cells including Th2 lymphocytes and eosinophils. Phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) ? deficient asthmatic mice did not develop lung eosinophilia, although the detailed mechanisms are not well known. A CC chemokine eotaxin (CCL11) plays a prominent role in developing eosinophilic inflammation through CCR3. In this study, we tested the roles of PI3K? in eotaxin-induced eosinophil functions using a pharmacological inhibitor.
Growing evidence has shown an association between obesity and asthma. Adiponectin, an adipocyte-derived cytokine, is known to have anti-inflammatory effects with reduced concentrations in obese subjects. Recent findings raised the intriguing possibility that adiponectin might play a role in allergic inflammation, although the mechanistic basis for their relationship remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to examine whether adiponectin might affect functions of eosinophils, which play an important role in the pathogenesis of asthma.
A 65-year-old man was admitted for detailed examination of a growing nodular shadow in the left lung. The nodular shadow was initially detected in a routine chest X-ray check-up in March 2012 that warranted regular chest X-ray follow-up. The nodular shadow increased in size from 12 × 15?mm to 15 × 20?mm within five months. The calculated tumor doubling time (TDT) in our case was approximately 132.2 days. A malignant tumor was strongly suspected based on the rapid growth, and tumorectomy was thus performed. Cartilaginous tissue accounted for most of the pathological specimen, but a small amount of an epithelial component was observed histologically, and we diagnosed a hamartoma. Hamartoma generally shows slow annual growth, but it is important to recognize that rapid enlargement occurs in some cases.
Epidemiological studies have shown that the prevalence of adult asthma and severe asthma is higher in women. It has also been reported that female mice are more susceptible than males to the development of allergic airway inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR). The influence of gender difference in the pathogenesis of severe asthma, especially airway remodelling in an animal model, has been studied rarely. We investigated gender difference in the development of airway remodelling using a long-term antigen-challenged mouse asthma model.
Pulmonary metastasis from leiomyosarcoma is rare and its clinical management is challenging. A single lung metastasis from a perineal leiomyosarcoma occurred in a 79-year-old woman. Five months after resection of the lung metastasis, a new metastatic tumor developed in the contralateral lung. Since the patient did not desire to receive hospitalized treatment, TS-1 (an oral agent consisting of a combination of tegafur, gimeracil, and oteracil potassium) therapy was started on an outpatient basis. The lung metastasis has been successfully controlled for at least 17 months with excellent tolerability. The clinical features and the treatment of this case are discussed.
The active involvement of hospital laboratory in surveillance is crucial to the success of nosocomial infection control. The recent dramatic increase of antimicrobial-resistant organisms and their spread into the community suggest that the infection control strategy of independent medical institutions is insufficient. To share the clinical data and surveillance in our local medical region, we developed a microbiology data warehouse for networking hospital laboratories in Akita prefecture. This system, named Akita-ReNICS, is an easy-to-use information management system designed to compare, track, and report the occurrence of antimicrobial-resistant organisms. Participating laboratories routinely transfer their coded and formatted microbiology data to ReNICS server located at Akita University Hospital from their health care systems clinical computer applications over the internet. We established the system to automate the statistical processes, so that the participants can access the server to monitor graphical data in the manner they prefer, using their own computers browser. Furthermore, our system also provides the documents server, microbiology and antimicrobiotic database, and space for long-term storage of microbiological samples. Akita-ReNICS could be a next generation network for quality improvement of infection control.
Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is an autoimmune liver disease characterized by immune mediated biliary damage and frequent appearance of autoantibodies against mitochondrial enzymes. There is almost no useful animal model that is globally recognized and routinely used, however, several unique animal models manifested the characteristic clinical and pathological features of human PBC within the last 5 years. Herein, we compare the pathological features of previously reported and newly introduced novel animal models of PBC. Knowledge and understanding of the strengths and the limitations of each animal model have led to the development of promising therapies and novel tools to characterize these clinical conditions. Moreover, suitability of the model for the intended purpose should be confirmed by further research and analysis.
There are now several murine models of autoimmune cholangitis that have features both similar and distinct from human PBC. One such model, the NOD.c3c4 mouse, manifests portal cell infiltrates, anti-mitochondrial antibodies but also biliary cysts. The biliary cysts are not a component of PBC and not found in the other murine models. To address the immunopathology in these mice, we generated genetically B cell deficient Ig?(-/-) NOD.c3c4 mice and compared the immunopathology of these animals to control B cell sufficient NOD.c3c4 mice. B cell deficient mice demonstrated decreased number of non-B cells in the liver accompanied by reduced numbers of activated natural killer cells. The degree of granuloma formation and bile duct damage were comparable to NOD.c3c4 mice. In contrast, liver inflammation, biliary cyst formation and salivary gland inflammation was significantly attenuated in these B cell deficient mice. In conclusion, B cells play a critical role in promoting liver inflammation and also contribute to cyst formation as well as salivary gland pathology in autoimmune NOD.c3c4 mice, illustrating a critical role of B cells in modulating specific organ pathology and, in particular, in exacerbating both the biliary disease and the sialadenitis.
Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is a human autoimmune liver disease whose molecular pathogenesis is poorly understood because of the difficulty in accessing human tissue and the absence of appropriate animal models. Recently, several unique murine models of human PBC have been discovered. These models have great potential for illustrating the cause and the cellular events that lead to biliary-specific damage. The purpose of this review is to summarize recent progress in these models.
The treatment of primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) with conventional immunosuppressive drugs has been relatively disappointing and there have been few efforts in defining a role for the newer biological agents useful in rheumatoid arthritis and other systemic autoimmune diseases. In this study we took advantage of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) receptor II dominant negative (dnTGF-betaRII) mice, a mouse model of autoimmune cholangitis, to address the therapeutic efficacy of B-cell depletion using anti-CD20. Mice were treated at either 4-6 weeks of age or beginning at 20-22 weeks of age with intraperitoneal injections of anti-CD20 every 2 weeks. We quantitated B-cell levels in all mice as well as antimitochondrial antibodies (AMA), serum and hepatic levels of proinflammatory cytokines, and histopathology of liver and colon. In mice whose treatment was initiated at 4-6 weeks of age, anti-CD20 therapy demonstrated a significantly lower incidence of liver inflammation associated with reduced numbers of activated hepatic CD8(+) T cells. However, colon inflammation was exacerbated. In contrast, in mice treated at 20-22 weeks of age, anti-CD20 therapy had relatively little effect on either liver or colon disease. As expected, all treated animals had reduced levels of B cells, absence of AMA, and increased levels in sera of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin 6 (IL-6), and chemokine (C-C motif) ligand (CCL2) (monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 [MCP-1]). Conclusion: These data suggest potential usage of anti-CD20 in early PBC resistant to other modalities, but raise a cautionary note regarding the use of anti-CD20 in inflammatory bowel disease.
Our laboratory has reported that mice that express a dominant negative form of transforming growth factor beta receptor restricted to T cells (dnTGFbetaRII) develop an inflammatory biliary ductular disease with elevated serum levels of interleukin (IL)-12p40 and other proinflammatory cytokines and antimitochondrial autoantibodies (AMAs) closely resembling human primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC). We have used this mouse model to address the potential mechanisms of immunomodulation of liver disease by creating two unique genetic strains: IL-12p40 knockout (KO)-dnTGFbetaRII mice and IFN-gamma KO-dnTGFbetaRII mice. The two colonies of genetically modified mice-and, for purposes of controls, the dnTGFbetaRII mice-were monitored for liver immunopathology, AMAs, and intrahepatic cytokine production. Disease expression in the IFN-gamma KO-dnTGFbetaRII mice, including liver immunopathology, were similar to those of dnTGFbetaRII mice, whereas the IL-12p40 KO-dnTGFbetaRII mice had a dramatic reduction in histological autoimmune cholangitis and significant decreases in levels of intrahepatic proinflammatory cytokines, but similar levels of AMAs compared with dnTGFbetaRII controls.
Aim: Serum antimitochondrial antibody (AMA) of the IgG2 and IgG3 subclasses has been reported to be predominant in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis from developed countries. No data are available as to the significance of AMA subtypes in Japanese primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) patients who have previously manifested unique serological features, nor it is known whether AMA subclasses are influenced by bacterial stimuli, as suggested by the molecular theory of PBC. We undertook a three-step study to address these questions. Methods: First, Japanese PBC sera were tested using the established triple recombinant antigen (pML-MIT3) to find AMA subclass distribution. Second, we used the three recombinant mitochondrial antigens in PBC sera of Japanese and USA patients to explore the ethnic difference. Third, we used CpG oligodeoxynucleotides and a B cell mitogen to challenge ex vivo peripheral leukocytes from indirect immunofluorescence (IIF)-AMA-positive patients with Japanese PBC. Results: We detected most frequently IgG2-AMA followed by IgG3-AMA, with the latter being more common in IIF-AMA-positive cases, and demonstrated that the IgG3 reactivity against the dominant antigen was significantly higher in PBC sera from the USA. We determined that the bacterial stimulus was superior to the mitogen at inducing a predominant production of IgG2-AMA and CD20+ B cell activation. Conclusion: Our data cumulatively supported the hypothesis that IgG2 AMA subtypes are predominant in PBC and suggest that this might be favored by an innate immune reaction against bacterial particles, such as CpG DNA.
T cell-mediated hepatitis is a leading cause of acute liver failure; there is no effective treatment, and the mechanisms underlying its pathogenesis are obscure. The aim of this study was to investigate the immune cell-signaling pathways involved-specifically the role of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3)-in T cell-mediated hepatitis in mice.
The emergence of new regulatory and pro-inflammatory immune cell subsets and cytokines dictates the need to re-examine the role of these subsets in various diseases involving the immune system. IL-17 has been recently identified as a key cytokine involved in numerous autoimmune processes. However, its role in liver autoimmune diseases remains unclear. Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is characterized histologically by autoreactive CD4 and CD8 T cells surrounding damaged bile ducts. CD4(+) T cells are a major source of IL-17, which compose a distinct T helper subset (Th17). Thus we set out to determine the role of IL-17 in both human and a murine model of PBC in a liver-targeted manner. Our data demonstrate an increase in the frequency of IL-17(+) lymphocytic infiltration in liver tissues from PBC patients and those with other liver dysfunctions as compared to healthy livers. IL-2 receptor alpha knockout mice, a recently identified murine model of human PBC, also demonstrate marked aggregations of IL-17-positive cells within portal tracts and increased frequencies of Th17 cells in the liver compared to the periphery. Interestingly, CD4(+) T cells from livers of normal C57BL/6J mice also secreted higher levels of IL-17 relative to those from spleens, indicating a preferential induction of Th17 cells in liver tissues. Importantly, C57BL/6J cocultures of splenic CD4(+) T cells and liver non-parenchymal cells increased IL-17 production approximately 10-fold compared to T cells alone, suggesting a role of the liver microenvironment in Th17 induction in cases of liver autoimmunity and other liver inflammatory diseases.
Flavanols and procyanidins isolated from cocoa have been reported to possess multiple activities potentially relevant to oxidant defenses, vascular function, and immune function. In a combination of in vivo and in vitro studies, we and others have observed that cocoa can be an anti-inflammatory modulator and that compounds in cocoa are capable of modulating eicosanoid production, platelet aggregation, and the pool size of nitric oxide. The present study extends these findings by examining the in vitro effects of cocoa procyanidins on polymorphonuclear cells (PMNs). PMNs, part of the innate arm of the immune system, represent 50-60% of the total peripheral white blood cells and are the first cells to be recruited to the sites of inflammation or injury secondary to bacterial infections. Herein, we demonstrate that certain flavanols and procyanidins isolated from cocoa can moderate a subset of signaling pathways derived from lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation of PMNs, mainly, PMN oxidative bursts and activation markers, and they can influence select apoptosis mechanisms. We hypothesize that flavanols and procyanidins can decrease the impact of LPS on the N-formyl-Met-Leu-Phe-primed PMN ability to generate reactive oxygen species by partially interfering in activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway.
Aim: Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) treatment reduces IgM serum levels in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) without affecting serum antimitochondrial antibody (AMA) titers. We previously reported that PBC-associated hyper-IgM is secondary to a disease-specific hyperproduction following bacterial stimulation by B cells. Methods: We isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from patients with PBC and controls and evaluated whether bacterial CpG challenge in the presence of UDCA at concentrations consistent with those achieved in treated patients led to changes in total IgM, IgG-AMA, and IgM-AMA production. Further, p65 phosphorylation and CD38 cell expression were analyzed as measures of activation of the NF-kB signaling pathway and B cell subsets, respectively. Results: UDCA significantly reduced CpG-induced total IgM and IgM-AMA production, but had no impact on IgG-AMA production. UDCA also significantly reduced the activation ofnaïve and IgM memory, but not IgG memory, B cells, as represented by CD38 expression levels. Further, p65 phosphorylation was significantly reduced in the presence of UDCA. Conclusion: UDCA reduces total and IgM-AMA production in PBMC from patients with PBC by downregulating B cell activation and NF-kB signaling. These data ultimately suggest novel mechanisms of action for UDCA in chronic autoimmune cholestasis.
Interleukin-2 (IL-2) receptor alpha knockout (IL-2Ralpha(-/-)) mice have a deficiency of CD25 and a corresponding functional defect in T regulatory cells (Tregs). These mice spontaneously develop portal inflammation with biliary ductular damage and colitis with features similar to human inflammatory bowel disease with T cell infiltrates in both the liver and colon. In humans, inflammatory bowel disease may be accompanied by primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), but seldom primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC). We hypothesized that the effector mechanism responsible for T cell infiltrates would differ for colon versus liver. To address this thesis, we developed three colonies of double-knockout mice including IL-2Ralpha(-/-) CD4(-/-), IL-2Ralpha(-/-) CD8(-/-), and IL-2Ralpha(-/-) T cell receptor (TCR)-beta(-/-). Tissue immunopathology, body weight, and serum levels of cytokines, immunoglobulins, and anti-mitochondrial antibodies (AMA) were assayed at 3 months of age. Relative to IL-2Ralpha(-/-) mice, IL-2Ralpha(-/-) CD4(-/-) mice had increased biliary ductular damage but reduced inflammation in the colon. In contrast, IL-2Ralpha(-/-) CD8(-/-) mice had increased colon inflammation but markedly attenuated biliary ductular damage. Both IL-2Ralpha(-/-) CD4(-/-) and IL-2Ralpha(-/-) CD8(-/-) mice demonstrated elevated serum levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), interferon gamma (IFN-gamma), interleukin-12p40 (IL-12p40), and interleukin-2 (IL-2) compared with C57BL/6J controls, but only IL-2Ralpha(-/-) CD8(-/-) mice had increased serum levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA), AMA and interleukin-17 (IL-17). Finally, and of importance, IL-2Ralpha(-/-) TCR-beta(-/-) mice had abrogation of liver and colon pathological conditions and lacked AMA. In conclusion, on loss of Treg function in mice, CD8 T cells mediate biliary ductular damage whereas CD4 T cells mediate induction of colon-specific autoimmunity.
Mice that express a dominant-negative form of transforming growth factor-beta receptor restricted to T cells (dnTGF-betaRII) develop antimitochondrial antibodies and liver inflammation similar to human primary biliary cirrhosis.
It has been pointed out that obesity is a risk factor for, and is involved in the exacerbation of asthma. Mounting evidence about adipose tissue-derived proteins (adipokines) gave rise to the current understanding of obesity as a systemic inflammatory disorder. In this review, we summarized the involvement of leptin, focusing on eosinophil functions. Several studies have indicated that leptin can restrain eosinophil apoptosis, enhance migration, increase adhesion molecules and induce cytokine production. Since leptin also acts on a variety of immune cells related to allergic response, increased leptin in obese individuals potentially explains the mechanism by which obesity leads to an exacerbation of asthma. Further studies targeting adipokines will delineate the association between obesity and eosinophil-associated diseases.
To reveal the site of IgM production in primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), we performed immunohistochemical analysis on spleens collected from the patients with PBC.
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