Status of the Micro Vertex Detector of the Compressed Baryonic Matter Experiment
Rita De Masi
Franz M. Wagner
- The CBM experiment will investigate heavy-ion collisions at beam energies from 8 to 45 AGeV
at the future accelerator facility FAIR. The goal of the experiment is to study the QCD phase
diagram in the vincinity of the QCD critical point. To do so, CBM aims at measuring rare probes
among them open charm. In order to identify those rare and short lived particles despite the
rich combinatorial background generated in heavy ion collisions, a micro vertex detector (MVD)
providing an unprecedented combination of high rate capability and radiation hardness, very light
material budget and excellent granularity is required. In this work, we will discuss the concept of
this detector and summarize the status of the R&D.
[Tagungsbericht zu:] Das Atrium von San Marco in Venedig. Die Genese der Genesismosaiken : Bad Homburg, Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften, 22. - 23.06.2012
Herbert L. Kessler
- Bericht der Organisatoren:
Die Tagung wollte ein Zeichen setzen: ein Zeichen, dass es geboten sei, sich erneut der Cotton Genesis und ihrem ausdrücklichsten mittelalterlichen Nachfahren, den Schöpfungsmosaiken der Vorhalle von San Marco in Venedig, zuzuwenden. Die Diskussion dieser Verbindung von frühchristlichen Illuminationen, die nur noch in wenigen verkohlten Fragmenten überliefert sind, mit den mittelalterlichen Mosaiken ist seit der Entdeckung durch Johan Jakob Tikkanen 1889 geführt worden. Sie kam 1986 mit der Edition der Cotton Genesis durch Kurt Weitzmann und Herbert Kessler zu einem vorläufigen Abschluss. Die Mosaiken erschienen als weitgehend getreue Kopie der Buchmalereien der Handschrift, die dabei allein redaktionelle, aber keine konzeptionelle Veränderungen durch die Mosaizisten erfahren hätten...
Sepsis 2012 : Paris, France, 7 - 9 November 2012 ; meeting abstracts
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.
LPS-induced Pellino3 degradation is mediated by p62-dependent autophagy
Andreas von Knethen
- Background: In macrophages Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) is activated in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and induces proinflammatory cytokine expression . Therefore, mechanisms terminating proinflammatory gene expression are important. Autophagy plays a central role in controlling innate immune responses by lysosomal degradation of signaling proteins, thus contributing to the resolution of inflammation . Autophagic proteins like p62 directly interact with molecules involved in the TLR4-signaling pathway, but a correlation with the IRAK E3 ligase and scaffold protein Pellino3 remains obscure [3,4]. Hence, we are interested in elucidating the function of Pellino3 to prove our hypothesis that it is a key regulator in the TLR4-signaling cascade .
Methods: We used the cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) mouse model causing polymicrobial sepsis to analyze Pellino3 protein and mRNA expression. Furthermore, we induced endotoxemia in RAW264.7 mouse macrophages by LPS treatment to verify in vivo experiments. Lentiviral Pellino3 knockdown in RAW264.7 macrophages was used for cytokine measurements at mRNA level. To analyze potential Pellino3 binding partners in TLR4-signaling by mass spectrometry (MS), we overexpressed FLAG-tagged Pellino3 in RAW264.7 macrophages, treated cells for 3, 6 and 24 hours with LPS and immunoprecipitated Pellino3 via its FLAG-tag. To consider Pellino3 degradation as a result of p62-mediated autophagy, we transiently knocked down p62 by siRNA in RAW264.7 macrophages and also pharmacologically blocked LPS-induced autophagy by Bafilomycin A1.
Results: We demonstrated Pellino3 protein degradation in primary CD11b+ splenocytes after 24 hours following CLP operation and confirmed this in RAW264.7 macrophages after 24-hour LPS stimulation. Knockdown of Pellino3 attenuates proinflammatory cytokines, for example IL-6 mRNA, after 6 hours of LPS. Furthermore, we found by MS and verifying immunoprecipitation experiments that p62 is a Pellino3 binding partner, thus targeting Pellino3 for degradation. In line, both p62 knockdown and Bafilomycin A1 treatment prevent Pellino3 degradation, supporting an autophagic mechanism.
Conclusion: Our observations highlight a regulatory role of Pellino3 on TLR4 signaling. Thus, antagonism of Pellino3 in the hyperinflammatory phase of sepsis may counteract the cytokine storm. Furthermore, stabilization of Pellino3 by inhibition of autophagy in the hypoinflammatory phase of sepsis may improve immunity. In consideration of these two conflictive sepsis phases, modulation of Pellino3 may provide a new strategy for the development of a therapy approach in sepsis.
Attenuated NOX2 expression impairs ROS production during the hypoinflammatory phase of sepsis
Andreas von Knethen
- Background: The multicomponent phagocytic NADPH oxidase produces reactive oxygen species (ROS) after activation by microorganisms or inflammatory mediators . In the hypoinflammatory phase of sepsis, macrophages are alternatively activated by contact with apoptotic cells or their secretion products. This inhibits NADPH oxidase and leads to attenuated ROS production  and furthermore contributes among others to a hyporeactive host defense. Due to this immune paralysis, sepsis patients suffer from recurrent and secondary infections . We focused on the catalytic subunit of NADPH oxidase, the transmembrane protein NOX2 . We assume that after induction of sepsis the expression of NOX2 is reduced and hence ROS production is decreased.
Methods: We induced polymicrobial sepsis in mice by cecal ligation and puncture. The ability of peritoneal macrophages (PMs) to produce ROS was determined by FACS via hydroethidine assay. NOX2 expression of PMs was determined by western blot and qPCR. To elucidate the mechanism causing mRNA destabilization, we performed in vitro experiments using J774 macrophages. To obtain an alternatively activated phenotype, macrophages were stimulated with conditioned medium from apoptotic T cells (CM). By luciferase assays we figured out a 3'UTR-dependent regulation of NOX2 mRNA stability. Assuming that a protein is involved in the mRNA degradation, we performed a RNA pulldown with biotinylated NOX2-3'UTR constructs followed by mass spectrometry. We verified the role of SYNCRIP by siRNA approach. Additionally, we overexpressed NOX2 in J774 cells and analyzed the ROS production (w/wo CM treatment) by FACS.
Results: We found an impaired expression of NOX2 at RNA and protein level along with decreased ROS production after induction of sepsis in mice as well as stimulating J774 macrophages with CM of apoptotic T cells. This is due to a time-dependent NOX2 mRNA degradation depending on SYNCRIP, a RNA-binding protein, which stabilizes NOX2 mRNA through binding to its 3'UTR under normal conditions. In line, knockdown of SYNCRIP also decreases NOX2 mRNA expression. We assume that a CM-dependent modification or degradation of SYNCRIP prevents its stabilizing function. As the overexpression of NOX2 restores ROS production of CM-treated J774 cells, we assume that NOX2 expression is crucial for maintaining NADPH activity during the hypoinflammatory phase of sepsis.
Conclusion: Our data imply a regulatory impact of SYNCRIP on NOX2 stability during the late phase of sepsis. Therefore, further understanding of the regulation of NADPH oxidase could lead to the design of a therapy to reconstitute NADPH oxidase function, finally improving immune function in sepsis patients.
Kinetic characterization of selective peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor gamma modulators in vitro
Michael J. Parnham
Andreas von Knethen
- Background: The ligand-activated transcription factor, peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), has been shown to play an essential role in immunosuppression during sepsis. PPARγ is upregulated in T cells of septic patients, sensitizing these cells to PPARγ-dependent apoptosis and thus contributing to T-cell depletion [1,2]. In the polymicrobial cecum ligation and puncture (CLP) sepsis model in mice, both T-cell-specific gene knockout (Lck-Cre PPARγfl/fl) and systemic pharmacological PPARγ antagonism by GW9662 improved survival . Because GW9662 was only effective when applied 3 hours after CLP, we were interested to extend this time frame. For this reason we characterized the kinetics of SPPARγMs when administered before or in combination with the agonist thiazolidinedione, rosiglitazone.
Methods: A PPARγ-dependent transactivation assay was used in HEK293T cells. It is based on the vector pFA-PPARγ-LBD-GAL4-DBD encoding the hybrid protein PPARγ-LBD-GAL4-DBD and the reporter vector pFR-Luc, carrying a GAL4-responsive element in front of the Firefly luciferase gene. These two vectors were co-transfected, in combination with a control vector encoding Renilla luciferase (pRL-CMV) to normalize Firefly luciferase activity for transfection efficiency. Following transfection, cells were incubated with the SPPARγMs F-MOC and MCC-555 and the PPARγ antagonist GW9662 for different times (2 to 48 hours) and at increasing doses (0.01 to 10 μM), with or without rosiglitazone (0.01 to 10 μM). Transactivation was analyzed using a 96-well plate format.
Results: Rosiglitazone transactivated PPARγ in a time-dependent and dose-dependent manner, the response gradually increasing to a maximum at 48 hours with 10 μM. Low concentrations (0.01 to 0.1 μM) of SPPARγMs F-MOC and MCC-555 and the PPARγ antagonist GW9662 all exerted dose-independent antagonistic effects at an early incubation time point (2 hours). From 10 hours onwards, MCC-555 and GW9662, given alone, both exerted PPARγ agonistic effects, MCC-555 in parallel to responses to rosiglitazone, but GW9662 with characteristics of partial antagonism. F-MOC showed no dose-dependent effect at any concentration at later time points. Only GW9662 (1 to 10 μM) was able to inhibit rosiglitazone (0.1 to 1 μM)-induced PPARγ transactivation after 10 hours.
Conclusion: Our kinetic analysis reveals clear differences in the modulatory characteristics of PPARγ inhibitors, with previously unreported early inhibitory effects and late agonistic or partial agonistic activity. New SPPARγMs with extended inhibitory activity may prove useful in the therapy of sepsis.
Ninjurin 1 contributes to TLR-induced inflammation in endothelial cells
- Background: Nerve injury induced protein 1 (Ninjurin 1 (Ninj1)) was first identified in Schwann cells and neurons contributing to cell adhesion and nerve regeneration. Recently, the role of Ninj1 has been linked to inflammatory processes in the central nervous system where functional repression reduced leukocyte infiltration and clinical disease activity during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in mice . But Ninj1 is also expressed outside the nervous system in various organs such as the liver and kidney as well as on leukocytes [2,3]. Therefore, we hypothesized that Ninj1 contributes to inflammation in general; that is, also outside the nervous system, with special interest in the pathogenesis of sepsis.
Methods: Ninj1 was repressed by transfecting HMEC-1 cells, a human dermal microvascular endothelial cell line with siRNA targeting Ninj1 (siNinj1) or a negative control (siC). Subsequently, cells were stimulated with 100 ng/ml LPS (TLR4 agonist), 3 μg/ml LTA (TLR2 agonist) or 100 n/ml poly(I:C) (TLR3 agonist) for 3 hours. The inflammatory response was analyzed by real-time PCR. In addition, transmigration of neutrophils across a HMEC-1 monolayer was measured using transwell plates (pore size 3 μm).
Results: Repression of Ninj1 by siRNA reduced Ninj1 mRNA expression in HMEC about 90% (Figure 1A). Reduced Ninj1 expression decreased neutrophil migration to 62.5% (Figure 1B) and TLR signaling. In detail, knockdown of Ninj1 significantly reduced TLR-2 and TLR-4 triggered expression of ICAM-1 and IL-6 (Figure 1C,D) while poly(I:C)-induced expression was only slightly reduced. To analyze a more specific TLR-3 target, we measured IP-10 mRNA expression, which was also significantly reduced in siNinj1-transfected cells (Figure 1E).
Conclusion: Our in vitro data strongly indicated that Ninj1 is involved in regulation of TLR signaling and therewith contributes to inflammation. In vivo experiments will clarify its impact on systemic inflammation.
Pattern recognition receptors as key players in adrenal gland dysfunction during sepsis
Thi Hoai Nguyen Tran
Stefan R. Bornstein
- Background: Undergoing systemic inflammation, the innate immune system releases excessive proinflammatory mediators, which finally can lead to organ failure. Pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), such as Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and NOD-like receptors (NLRs), form the interface between bacterial and viral toxins and innate immunity. During sepsis, patients with diagnosed adrenal gland insufficiency are at high risk of developing a multiorgan dysfunction syndrome, which dramatically increases the risk of mortality. To date, little is known about the mechanisms leading to adrenal dysfunction under septic conditions. Here, we investigated the sepsis-related activation of the PRRs, cell inflammation, and apoptosis within adrenal glands.
Methods: Two sepsis models were performed: the polymicrobial sepsis model (caecal ligation and puncture (CLP)) and the LTA-induced intoxication model. All experiments received institutional approval by the Regierungspräsidium Darmstadt. CLP was performed as previously described , wherein one-third of the caecum was ligated and punctured with a 20-gauge needle. For LTA-induced systemic inflammation, TLR2 knockout (TLR2-/-) and WT mice were injected intraperitoneally with pure LTA (pLTA; 1 mg/kg) or PBS for 2 hours. To detect potential direct adrenal dysfunction, mice were additionally injected with adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH; 100 μg/kg) 1 hour after pLTA or PBS. Adrenals and plasma samples were taken. Gene expressions in the adrenals (rt-PCR), cytokine release (multiplex assay), and the apoptosis rate (TUNEL assay) within the adrenals were determined.
Results: In both models, adrenals showed increased mRNA expression of TLR2 and TLR4, various NLRs, cytokines as well as inflammasome components, NADPH oxidase subunits, and nitric oxide synthases (data not shown). In WT mice, ACTH alone had no effect on inflammation, while pLTA or pLTA/ACTH administration showed increased levels of the cytokines IL-1β, IL-6, and TNFα. TLR2-/- mice indicated no response as expected (Figure 1, left). Interestingly, surviving CLP mice showed no inflammatory adrenal response, whereas nonsurvivors had elevated cytokine levels (Figure 1, right). Additionally, we identified a marked increase in apoptosis of both chromaffin and steroid-producing cells in adrenal glands obtained from mice with sepsis as compared with their controls (Figure 2).
Conclusion: Taken together, sepsis-induced activation of the PRRs may contribute to adrenal impairment by enhancing tissue inflammation, oxidative stress and culminate in cellular apoptosis, while mortality seems to be associated with adrenal inflammation.
Chasing the Unicorn: RHIC and the QGP
Robert D. Pisarski
- At nonzero temperature, it is expected that QCD undergoes a phase transition to a deconfined, chirally symmetric phase, the Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP). I review what we expect theoretically about this possible transition, and what we have learned from heavy ion experiments at RHIC. I argue that while there are unambiguous signals for qualitatively new behavior at RHIC, versus experiments at lower energies, that in detail, no simple theoretical model can explain all salient features of the data.