5-Lipoxygenase contributes to PPAR [gamma] activation in macrophages in response to apoptotic cells
Andreas von Knethen
Thorsten Jürgen Maier
- Background: One hallmark contributing to immune suppression during the late phase of sepsis is macrophage polarization to an anti-inflammatory phenotype upon contact with apoptotic cells (AC). Taking the important role of the nuclear receptor PPARγ for this phenotype switch into consideration, it remains elusive how AC activate PPARγ in macrophages. Therefore, we were interested to characterize the underlying principle.
Methods: Apoptosis was induced by treatment of Jurkat T cells for 3 hours with 0.5 μg/ml staurosporine. Necrotic cells (NC) were prepared by heating cells for 20 minutes to 65°C. PPARγ activation was followed by stably transducing RAW264.7 macrophages with a vector encoding the red fluorescent protein mRuby after PPARγ binding to 4 × PPRE sites downstream of the reporter gene sequence. This readout was established by treatment with the PPARγ agonist rosiglitazone (1 μM) and AC (5:1). Twenty-four hours after stimulation, mRuby expression was analysed by fluorescence microscopy. Lipid rafts of AC, NC, as well as living cells (LC) were enriched by sucrose gradient centrifugation. Fractions were analysed for lipid raft-associated marker proteins. Lipid rafts were incubated with transduced RAW264.7 macrophages as described above. 5-Lipoxygenase (5-LO) involvement was verified by pharmacological inhibition (MK-866, 1 μM) and overexpression.
Results: Assuming that the molecule responsible for PPARγ activation in macrophages is localized in the cell membrane of AC, most probably associated to lipid rafts, we isolated lipid rafts from AC, NC and LC. Mass spectrometric analysis of lipid rafts of AC showed the expression of 5-LO, whereas lipid rafts of LC did not. Moreover, incubating macrophages with lipid rafts of AC induced mRuby expression. In contrast, lipid rafts of NC and LC did not. To verify the involvement of 5-LO in activating PPARγ in macrophages, Jurkat T cells were incubated for 30 minutes with the 5-LO inhibitor MK-866 (1 μM) before apoptosis induction. In line with our hypothesis, these AC did not induce mRuby expression. Finally, although living Jurkat T cells overexpressing 5-LO did not activate PPARγ in macrophages, mRuby expression was significantly increased when AC were generated from 5-LO overexpressing compared with wild-type Jurkat cells.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that induction of apoptosis activates 5-LO, localizing to lipid rafts, necessary for PPARγ activation in macrophages. Therefore, it will be challenging to determine whether 5-LO activity in AC, generated from other cell types, correlates with PPARγ activation, contributing to an immune-suppressed phenotype in macrophages.
Die Zünglein an der Waage : Eicosanoide und ihre Rolle bei physiologischen und pathophysiologischen Prozessen
- Wie entsteht Schmerz? Und wie kann man ihn lindern? Um diese Fragen beantworten zu können, untersuchen Forscher eine Gruppe von Schlüsselmolekülen, die Eicosanoide, und ihre Abbauprodukte. Dabei machen sie immer wieder überraschende Entdeckungen: Blockiert man etwa durch Schmerzmittel wie Acetylsalicylsäure gezielt die Entstehung des Abbauprodukts Prostaglandin, schützt dies auch vor Krebs. Verhindert man die Entstehung von Leukotrienen, lassen sich allergische Reaktionen wie Asthma, aber auch Krebs, Osteoporose und Herz-Kreislauf-Erkrankungen beeinflussen.
Quick discrimination of A delta and C fiber mediated pain based on three verbal descriptors
Bruno Georg Oertel
- Background: A delta and C fibers are the major pain-conducting nerve fibers, activate only partly the same brain areas, and are differently involved in pain syndromes. Whether a stimulus excites predominantly A delta or C fibers is a commonly asked question in basic pain research but a quick test was lacking so far. Methodology/Principal Findings: Of 77 verbal descriptors of pain sensations, "pricking", "dull" and "pressing" distinguished best (95% cases correctly) between A delta fiber mediated (punctate pressure produced by means of von Frey hairs) and C fiber mediated (blunt pressure) pain, applied to healthy volunteers in experiment 1. The sensation was assigned to A delta fibers when "pricking" but neither "dull" nor "pressing" were chosen, and to C fibers when the sum of the selections of "dull" or "pressing" was greater than that of the selection of "pricking". In experiment 2, with an independent cohort, the three-descriptor questionnaire achieved sensitivity and specificity above 0.95 for distinguishing fiber preferential non-mechanical induced pain (laser heat, exciting A delta fibers, and 5-Hz electric stimulation, exciting C fibers). Conclusion: A three-item verbal rating test using the words "pricking", "dull", and "pressing" may provide sufficient information to characterize a pain sensation evoked by a physical stimulus as transmitted via A delta or via C fibers. It meets the criteria of a screening test by being easy to administer, taking little time, being comfortable in handling, and inexpensive while providing high specificity for relevant information.
Kernel learning for ligand-based virtual screening:discovery of a new PPARgamma agonist
- Poster presentation at 5th German Conference on Cheminformatics: 23. CIC-Workshop Goslar, Germany. 8-10 November 2009 We demonstrate the theoretical and practical application of modern kernel-based machine learning methods to ligand-based virtual screening by successful prospective screening for novel agonists of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) . PPARgamma is a nuclear receptor involved in lipid and glucose metabolism, and related to type-2 diabetes and dyslipidemia. Applied methods included a graph kernel designed for molecular similarity analysis , kernel principle component analysis , multiple kernel learning , and, Gaussian process regression . In the machine learning approach to ligand-based virtual screening, one uses the similarity principle  to identify potentially active compounds based on their similarity to known reference ligands. Kernel-based machine learning  uses the "kernel trick", a systematic approach to the derivation of non-linear versions of linear algorithms like separating hyperplanes and regression. Prerequisites for kernel learning are similarity measures with the mathematical property of positive semidefiniteness (kernels). The iterative similarity optimal assignment graph kernel (ISOAK)  is defined directly on the annotated structure graph, and was designed specifically for the comparison of small molecules. In our virtual screening study, its use improved results, e.g., in principle component analysis-based visualization and Gaussian process regression. Following a thorough retrospective validation using a data set of 176 published PPARgamma agonists , we screened a vendor library for novel agonists. Subsequent testing of 15 compounds in a cell-based transactivation assay  yielded four active compounds. The most interesting hit, a natural product derivative with cyclobutane scaffold, is a full selective PPARgamma agonist (EC50 = 10 ± 0.2 microM, inactive on PPARalpha and PPARbeta/delta at 10 microM). We demonstrate how the interplay of several modern kernel-based machine learning approaches can successfully improve ligand-based virtual screening results.
Cysteine-rich protein 2 is a downstream effector of cGMP-dependent protein kinase I in nociception : poster presentation
- The experience of pain is mediated by a specialized sensory system, the nociceptive system. There is considerable evidence that the cGMP/cGMP kinase I (cGKI) signaling pathway modulates the nociceptive processing within the spinal cord. However, downstream targets of cGKI in this context have not been identified to date. In this study we investigated whether cysteine-rich protein 2 (CRP2) is a downstream effector of cGKI in the spinal cord and is involved in nociceptive processing. Immunohistochemistry of the mouse spinal cord revealed that CRP2 is expressed in superficial laminae of the dorsal horn. CRP2 is colocalized with cGKI and with markers of primary afferent C fibers. Importantly, the majority of CRP2 mRNA-positive dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons express cGKI and CRP2 is phosphorylated in a cGMP-dependent manner. To elucidate the functional role of CRP2 in nociception, we investigated the nociceptive behavior of CRP2-deficient (CRP2-/-) mice. Touch perception and acute thermal nociception were unaltered in CRP2-/- mice. However, CRP2-/- mice showed an increased nociceptive behavior in models of persistent pain as compared to wild type mice. Intrathecal administration of cGKI activating cGMP analogs increased the nociceptive behavior in wild type but not in CRP2-/- mice, indicating that the presence of CRP2 was essential for cGMP/cGKI-mediated nociception. These data indicate that CRP2 is a new downstream effector of cGKI-mediated spinal nociceptive processing and point to an inhibitory role of CRP2 in the generation of inflammatory pain.
In vivo manipulation of interleukin-2 expression by a retroviral tetracycline (tet)-regulated system
- We have used the tetracycline (tet)-regulated system as described previously to evaluate the applicability of controlled gene expression in cancer gene therapy. As a model gene, we used the human interleukin-2 (IL-2) gene, which has been placed under the transcriptional control of the tetO/promoter. Human melanoma cells were transduced by two modified retroviral tet vectors containing the transactivator regulatory unit and the IL-2 gene driven by the tetO/promoter, respectively. In the absence of tet, IL-2 expression in the target cells was stable over several months. IL-2 production was in the range of 40 U/106 cells/24 hours. A fine tuning of IL-2 expression could be achieved by culturing the transduced cells with increasing doses of tet, whereby a concentration of 500 ng/mL tet in the culture medium abrogated IL-2 expression. Most importantly for clinical application, IL-2 expression by the transduced melanoma cells could also be regulated in vivo. When nu/nu mice were inoculated with the transduced tumor cells, they failed to develop tumors. Instead, the inhibition of IL-2 expression in the transduced tumor cells by oral administration of tet led to subcutaneous tumor growth; this growth rate was comparable with the growth rate of subcutaneously inoculated untransduced parental cells. The finding demonstrates the applicability of the tet-regulated system in cancer gene therapy.
Age-related impairment of human T lymphocytes' activation: specific differences between CD4+ and CD8+ subsets
Walter E. Müller
- The relevance of physiological immune aging is of great interest with respect to determining disorders with pathologic immune function in aging individuals. In recent years, the relevance of changes in peripheral lymphocytes in age-associated neurologic diseases has become more evident. Due to the lack of immunological studies, covering more than one event after mitogenic activation, we envisaged a new concept in the present study, aiming to investigate several events, starting from T cell receptor (TCR) ligation up to T cell proliferation. In addition, we addressed the question whether changes are present in the subsets (CD4, CD8) with aging. Phosphorylation of tyrosine residues declines with increasing age in CD4+ cells. Fewer levels of CD69 positive cells after 4 h mitogenic activation, altered expression of cytokines (IL2, IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha; 22 h) and lower proliferation (72 h) were determined in aging. Moreover, it could be shown that CD8+ lymphocytes react more effectively to mitogenic stimulation with reference to CD69 expression and proliferation in both age groups (<35 and >60 years old). These data indicate that T cell activation, mediated by TCR engagement, is significantly impaired in aging and both subsets are affected. However, bypassing the TCR does not fully restore T cell function, indicating that there are more mechanisms involved than impaired signal transduction through TCR only. The results will be discussed in relation to their relevance in neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders.
Age-related changes of apoptotic cell death in human lymphocytes
Walter E. Müller
- Apoptosis seems to be involved in immunosenescence associated with aging. Moreover, in lymphocytes (PBL) of patients with Alzheimer's disease, an increased susceptibility to the apoptotic pathway has been described possibly due to impaired protection of oxidative stress. Accordingly, it seemed to be of particular interest to investigate the contribution of normal aging to the susceptibility from human lymphocytes to programmed cell death. We could show that PBL from elderly individuals (>60 years) accumulate apoptosing cells to a significant higher extent in spontaneous and activation-induced cell death compared to younger controls (<35 years). Treatment with the oxidative stressor 2-deoxy-D-ribose or with agonistic-CD95-antibody pronounced this effect even more implicating a higher sensitivity to reactive oxygen species and a higher functional CD95 expression, respectively. In addition, expression of the activation markers HLA-DR and CD95 was significantly increased in CD3+-cells of aged subjects, while expression of CD25 did not seem to be affected by age. Expression of Bcl-2 was increased in aging and correlated with the number of apoptotic cells.
Age-related increase of oxidative stress-induced apoptosis in mice prevention by Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb761)
Walter E. Müller
- Enhanced apoptosis and elevated levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a major role in aging. In addition, several neurodegenerative diseases are associated with increased oxidative stress and apoptosis in neuronal tissue. Antioxidative treatment has neuro-protective effects. The aim of the present study was to evaluate changes of susceptibility to apoptotic cell death by oxidative stress in aging and its inhibition by the antioxidant Ginkgo biloba extract EGb761. We investigated basal and ROS-induced levels of apoptotic lymphocytes derived from the spleen in young (3 months) and old (24 months) mice. ROS were induced by 2-deoxy-D-ribose (dRib) that depletes the intracellular pool of reduced glutathione. Lymphocytes from aged mice accumulate apoptotic cells to a significantly higher extent under basal conditions compared to cells from young mice. Treatment with dRib enhanced this difference, implicating a higher sensitivity to ROS in aging. Apoptosis can be reduced in vitro by treatment with EGb761. In addition, mice were treated daily with 100mg/kg EGb761 per os over a period of two weeks. ROS-induced apoptosis was significantly reduced in the EGb761 group. Interestingly, this effect seemed to be more pronounced in old mice.
Reduced antioxidant enzyme activity in brains of mice transgenic for human presenilin-1 with single or multiple mutations
Walter E. Müller
- Alzheimer's disease-related mutations in the presenilin-1 gene (PS1) are leading to an elevated production of neurotoxic beta-amyloid 1-42 and may additionally enhance oxidative stress. Here, we provide in vivo evidence indicating that brains of transgenic mice expressing different human Alzheimer-linked PS1 mutations exhibit a reduced activity of two antioxidant enzymes. For this purpose, mice transgenic for human PS1 and for single and multiple PS1 mutations were generated. Mice with multiple PS1 mutations showed a significantly decreased activity of the antioxidant enzymes Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase and glutathione reductase already at an age of 3-4 months. As expected, this effect was less pronounced for the mice with a single PS1 mutation. By contrast, animals bearing normal human PS1 showed significantly elevated enzyme activities relative to non-transgenic littermate controls.