28 research outputs found

    Thalidomide ameliorates portal hypertension via nitric oxide synthase independent reduced systolic blood pressure

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    AIM: Portal hypertension is a common complication of liver cirrhosis and significantly increases mortality and morbidity. Previous reports have suggested that the compound thalidomide attenuates portal hypertension (PHT). However, the mechanism for this action is not fully elucidated. One hypothesis is that thalidomide destabilizes tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) mRNA and therefore diminishes TNFα induction of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and the production of nitric oxide (NO). To examine this hypothesis, we utilized the murine partial portal vein ligation (PVL) PHT model in combination with endothelial or inducible NOS isoform gene knockout mice. METHODS: Wild type, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS)-/- and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS)-/- mice received either PVL or sham surgery and were given either thalidomide or vehicle. Serum nitrate (total nitrate, NOx) was measured daily for 7 d as a surrogate of NO synthesis. Serum TNFα level was quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. TNFα mRNA was quantified in liver and aorta tissue by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. PHT was determined by recording splenic pulp pressure (SPP) and abdominal aortic flow after 0-7 d. Response to thalidomide was determined by measurement of SPP and mean arterial pressure (MAP). RESULTS: SPP, abdominal aortic flow (Qao) and plasma NOx were increased in wild type and iNOS-/- PVL mice when compared to sham operated control mice. In contrast, SPP, Qao and plasma NOx were not increased in eNOS-/- PVL mice when compared to sham controls. Serum TNFα level in both sham and PVL mice was below the detection limit of the commercial ELISA used. Therefore, the effect of thalidomide on serum TNFα levels was undetermined in wild type, eNOS-/- or iNOS-/- mice. Thalidomide acutely increased plasma NOx in wild type and eNOS-/- mice but not iNOS-/- mice. Moreover, thalidomide temporarily (0-90 min) decreased mean arterial pressure, SPP and Qao in wild type, eNOS-/- and iNOS-/- PVL mice, after which time levels returned to the respective baseline. CONCLUSION: Thalidomide does not reduce portal pressure in the murine PVL model by modulation of NO biosynthesis. Rather, thalidomide reduces PHT by decreasing MAP by an undetermined mechanism

    Antithymocyte Globulin Antibody Titer Congruent With Kidney Transplantation: Analysis of Incidence, Outcomes, Cost, and Alternative Targets

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    Rabbit antithymocyte globulin (rATG) use for immunosuppression induction is widespread but is contraindicated by the presence of anti-rATG antibodies. This study reports the incidence of positive anti-rATG antibody titers in patients before and after renal transplant and evaluates associated outcomes and costs. In addition, it will correlate CD40L and interleukin (IL)-21 with anti-rATG antibody titers. Methods: Clinical and billing records from the Indiana University Transplant Laboratory were reviewed for positive versus negative anti-rATG antibody titers, graft survival, and 7-day readmission costs between 2004 and 2018. Serum from patients with positive and negative rATG antibody titers were quantitated for CD40L and IL-21 by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: On average, between 2004 and May 2018, 163 kidney transplants per year were performed. Anti-rATG antibody titers were ordered for 17 patients/year, of which 18.2% were positive at 1:100 titer either pre- or post-transplant. Time to graft loss correlated with a positive rATG titer at time of readmission. Moreover, second kidney transplant increased the anti-rATG positive rate. A weak correlation was observed between anti-rATG titer and recipient age. Seven-day readmission treatment costs were significantly lower in patients with positive anti-rATG titer. IL-21 and CD40L were significantly greater in patients with positive anti-rATG titers after transplant when compared with negative anti rATG patients. Conclusions: Positive anti-rATG antibody titer is associated with a significant negative impact on outcomes. Monitoring of anti-rATG antibody titer is recommended to optimize treatment options in patients, especially in the setting of second transplants. Elucidation of the mechanisms associated with positive anti-rATG antibody is required. IL-21 and CD40L are potential targets for future study

    Metabolomic Characterization of Human Model of Liver Rejection Identifies Aberrancies Linked to Cyclooxygenase (COX) and Nitric Oxide Synthase (NOS)

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    BACKGROUND Acute liver rejection (ALR), a significant complication of liver transplantation, burdens patients, healthcare payers, and the healthcare providers due to an increase in morbidity, cost, and resources. Despite clinical resolution, ALR is associated with an increased risk of graft loss. A unique protocol of delayed immunosuppression used in our institute provided a model to characterize metabolomic profiles in human ALR. MATERIAL AND METHODS Twenty liver allograft biopsies obtained 48 hours after liver transplantation in the absence of immunosuppression were studied. Hepatic metabolites were quantitated in these biopsies by liquid chromatography and mass spectroscopy (LC/MS). Metabolite profiles were compared among: 1) biopsies with reperfusion injury but no histological evidence of rejection (n=7), 2) biopsies with histological evidence of moderate or severe rejection (n=5), and 3) biopsies with histological evidence of mild rejection (n=8). RESULTS There were 133 metabolites consistently detected by LC/MS and these were prioritized using variable importance to projection (VIP) analysis, comparing moderate or severe rejection vs. no rejection or mild rejection using partial least squares discriminant statistical analysis (PLS-DA). Twenty metabolites were identified as progressively different. Further PLS-DA using these metabolites identified 3 metabolites (linoleic acid, γ-linolenic acid, and citrulline) which are associated with either cyclooxygenase or nitric oxide synthase functionality. CONCLUSIONS Hepatic metabolic aberrancies associated with cyclooxygenase and nitric oxide synthase function occur contemporaneous with ALR. Additional studies are required to better characterize the role of these metabolic pathways to enhance utility of the metabolomics approach in diagnosis and outcomes of ALR

    Autotaxin expression and its connection with the TNF-alpha-NF-κB axis in human hepatocellular carcinoma

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Autotaxin (ATX) is an extracellular lysophospholipase D that generates lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) from lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC). Both ATX and LPA have been shown to be involved in many cancers. However, the functional role of ATX and the regulation of ATX expression in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remain elusive.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>In this study, ATX expression was evaluated in tissues from 38 human HCC and 10 normal control subjects. ATX was detected mainly in tumor cells within tissue sections and its over-expression in HCC was specifically correlated with inflammation and liver cirrhosis. In addition, ATX expression was examined in normal human hepatocytes and liver cancer cell lines. Hepatoma Hep3B and Huh7 cells displayed stronger ATX expression than hepatoblastoma HepG2 cells and normal hepatocytes did. Proinflammtory cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) promoted ATX expression and secretion selectively in Hep3B and Huh7 cells, which led to a corresponding increase in lysophospholipase-D activity. Moreover, we explored the mechanism governing the expression of ATX in hepatoma cells and established a critical role of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) in basal and TNF-α induced ATX expression. Further study showed that secreted enzymatically active ATX stimulated Hep3B cell invasion.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>This report highlights for the first time the clinical and biological evidence for the involvement of ATX in human HCC. Our observation that links the TNF-α/NF-κB axis and the ATX-LPA signaling pathway suggests that ATX is likely playing an important role in inflammation related liver tumorigenesis.</p

    Evaluation of 11C-Acetate and 18 F-FDG PET/CT in mouse multidrug resistance gene-2 deficient mouse model of hepatocellular carcinoma

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    Background Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains a global health problem with unique diagnostic and therapeutic challenges, including difficulties in identifying the highest risk patients. Previous work from our lab has established the murine multidrug resistance-2 mouse (MDR2) model of HCC as a reasonable preclinical model that parallels the changes seen in human inflammatory associated HCC. The purpose of this study is to evaluate modalities of PET/CT in MDR2−/− mice in order to facilitate therapeutic translational studies from bench to bedside. Methods 18F-FDG and 11C-acetate PET/CT was performed on 12 m MDR2−/− mice (n = 3/tracer) with HCC and 12 m MDR2−/+ control mice (n = 3/tracer) without HCC. To compare PET/CT to biological markers of HCC and cellular function, serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), cAMP and hepatic tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) were quantified in 3-12 m MDR2−/− (n = 10) mice using commercially available ELISA analysis. To translate results in mice to patients 11C-acetate PET/CT was also performed in 8 patents suspected of HCC recurrence following treatment and currently on the liver transplant wait list. Results Hepatic18F-FDG metabolism was not significantly increased in MDR2−/− mice. In contrast, hepatic 11C-acetate metabolism was significantly elevated in MDR2−/− mice when compared to MDR2−/+ controls. Serum AFP and LPA levels increased in MDR2−/− mice contemporaneous with the emergence of HCC. This was accompanied by a significant decrease in serum cAMP levels and an increase in hepatic TNFα. In patients suspected of HCC recurrence there were 5 true positives, 2 true negatives and 1 suspected false 11C-acetate negative. Conclusions Hepatic 11C-acetate PET/CT tracks well with HCC in MDR2−/− mice and patients with underlying liver disease. Consequently 11C-acetate PET/CT is well suited to study 1) HCC emergence/progression in patients and 2) reduce animal numbers required to study new chemotherapeutics in murine models of HCC

    The role of transglutaminase in the rat subtotal nephrectomy model of renal fibrosis

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    Tissue transglutaminase is a calcium-dependent enzyme that catalyzes the cross-linking of polypeptide chains, including those of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, through the formation of epsilon-(gamma-glutamyl) lysine bonds. This crosslinking leads to the formation of protein polymers that are highly resistant to degradation. As a consequence, the enzyme has been implicated in the deposition of ECM protein in fibrotic diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis and atherosclerosis. In this study, we have investigated the involvement of tissue transglutaminase in the development of kidney fibrosis in adult male Wistar rats submitted to subtotal nephrectomy (SNx). Groups of six rats were killed on days 7, 30, 90, and 120 after SNx. As previously described, these rats developed progressive glomerulosclerosis and tubulo-interstitial fibrosis. The tissue level of epsilon-(gamma-glutamyl) lysine cross-link (as determined by exhaustive proteolytic digestion followed by cation exchange chromatography) increased from 3.47+/- 0.94 (mean+/-SEM) in controls to 13.24+/-1.43 nmol/g protein 90 d after SNx, P </= 0.01. Levels of epsilon-(gamma-glutamyl) lysine cross-link correlated well with the renal fibrosis score throughout the 120 observation days (r = 0.78, P </= 0.01). Tissue homogenates showed no significant change in overall transglutaminase activity (14C putrescine incorporation assay) unless adjusted for the loss of viable tubule cells, when an increase from 5.77+/-0.35 to 13.93+/-4.21 U/mg DNA in cytosolic tissue transglutaminase activity was seen. This increase was supported by Western blot analysis, showing a parallel increase in renal tissue transglutaminase content. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that this large increase in epsilon-(gamma-glutamyl) lysine cross-link and tissue transglutaminase took place predominantly in the cytoplasm of tubular cells, while immunofluorescence also showed low levels of the epsilon-(gamma-glutamyl) lysine cross-link in the extracellular renal interstitial space. The number of cells showing increases in tissue transglutaminase and its cross-link product, epsilon-(gamma-glutamyl) lysine appeared greater than those showing signs of typical apoptosis as determined by in situ end-labeling. This observed association between tissue transglutaminase, epsilon-(gamma-glutamyl) lysine cross-link, and renal tubulointerstitial scarring in rats submitted to SNx suggests that tissue transglutaminase may play an important role in the development of experimental renal fibrosis and the associated loss of tubule integrity

    Porcine iGb3s gene silencing provides minimal benefit for clinical xenotransplantation

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    Background The Galα(1,3)Gal epitope (α-GAL), created by α-1,3-glycosyltransferase-1 (GGTA1), is a major xenoantigen causing hyperacute rejection in pig-to-primate and pig-to-human xenotransplantation. In response, GGTA1 gene-deleted pigs have been generated. However, it is unclear whether there is a residual small amount of α-Gal epitope expressed in GGTA1−/− pigs. Isoglobotrihexosylceramide synthase (iGb3s), another member of the glycosyltransferase family, catalyzes the synthesis of isoglobo-series glycosphingolipids with an α-GAL-terminal disaccharide (iGb3), creating the possibility that iGb3s may be a source of α-GAL epitopes in GGTA1−/− animals. The objective of this study was to examine the impact of silencing the iGb3s gene (A3GalT2) on pig-to-primate and pig-to-human immune cross-reactivity by creating and comparing GGTA1−/− pigs to GGTA1−/−- and A3GalT2−/−-double-knockout pigs. Methods We used the CRISPR/Cas 9 system to target the GGTA1 and A3GalT2 genes in pigs. Both GGTA1 and A3GalT2 genes are functionally inactive in humans and baboons. CRISPR-treated cells used directly for somatic cell nuclear transfer produced single- and double-gene-knockout piglets in a single pregnancy. Once grown to maturity, the glycosphingolipid profile (including iGb3) was assayed in renal tissue by normal-phase liquid chromatography. In addition, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were subjected to (i) comparative cross-match cytotoxicity analysis against human and baboon serum and (ii) IB4 staining for α-GAL/iGb3. Results Silencing of the iGb3s gene significantly modulated the renal glycosphingolipid profile and iGb3 was not detected. Moreover, the human and baboon serum PBMC cytotoxicity and α-GAL/iGb3 staining were unchanged by iGb3s silencing. Conclusions Our data suggest that iGb3s is not a contributor to antibody-mediated rejection in pig-to-primate or pig-to-human xenotransplantation. Although iGb3s gene silencing significantly changed the renal glycosphingolipid profile, the effect on Galα3Gal levels, antibody binding, and cytotoxic profiles of baboon and human sera on porcine PBMCs was neutral

    Methionine Adenosyltransferase α1 Is Targeted to the Mitochondrial Matrix and Interacts with Cytochrome P450 2E1 to Lower Its Expression

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    Methionine adenosyltransferase α1 (MATα1, encoded by MAT1A) is responsible for hepatic biosynthesis of S‐adenosyl methionine, the principal methyl donor. MATα1 also act as a transcriptional cofactor by interacting and influencing the activity of several transcription factors. Mat1a knockout (KO) mice have increased levels of cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1), but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. The aims of the current study were to identify binding partners of MATα1 and elucidate how MATα1 regulates CYP2E1 expression. We identified binding partners of MATα1 by coimmunoprecipitation (co‐IP) and mass spectrometry. Interacting proteins were confirmed using co‐IP using recombinant proteins, liver lysates, and mitochondria. Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) samples were used to confirm relevance of our findings. We found that MATα1 negatively regulates CYP2E1 at mRNA and protein levels, with the latter being the dominant mechanism. MATα1 interacts with many proteins but with a predominance of mitochondrial proteins including CYP2E1. We found that MATα1 is present in the mitochondrial matrix of hepatocytes using immunogold electron microscopy. Mat1a KO hepatocytes had reduced mitochondrial membrane potential and higher mitochondrial reactive oxygen species, both of which were normalized when MAT1A was overexpressed. In addition, KO hepatocytes were sensitized to ethanol and tumor necrosis factor α–induced mitochondrial dysfunction. Interaction of MATα1 with CYP2E1 was direct, and this facilitated CYP2E1 methylation at R379, leading to its degradation through the proteasomal pathway. Mat1a KO livers have a reduced methylated/total CYP2E1 ratio. MATα1’s influence on mitochondrial function is largely mediated by its effect on CYP2E1 expression. Patients with ALD have reduced MATα1 levels and a decrease in methylated/total CYP2E1 ratio. Conclusion: Our findings highlight a critical role of MATα1 in regulating mitochondrial function by suppressing CYP2E1 expression at multiple levels

    The role of SHP/REV-ERBα/CYP4A axis in the pathogenesis of alcohol-associated liver disease

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    Alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD) represents a spectrum of histopathological changes, including alcoholic steatosis, steatohepatitis, and cirrhosis. One of the early responses to excessive alcohol consumption is lipid accumulation in the hepatocytes. Lipid ω-hydroxylation of medium- and long-chain fatty acid metabolized by the cytochrome P450 4A (CYP4A) family is an alternative pathway for fatty acid metabolism. The molecular mechanisms of CYP4A in ALD pathogenesis have not been elucidated. In this study, WT and Shp-/- mice were fed with a modified ethanol-binge, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism model (10 days of ethanol feeding plus single binge). Liver tissues were collected every 6 hours for 24 hours and analyzed using RNA-Seq. The effects of REV-ERBα agonist (SR9009, 100 mg/kg/d) or CYP4A antagonist (HET0016, 5 mg/kg/d) in ethanol-fed mice were also evaluated. We found that hepatic Cyp4a10 and Cyp4a14 expression were significantly upregulated in WT mice, but not in Shp-/- mice, fed with ethanol. ChIP quantitative PCR and promoter assay revealed that REV-ERBα is the transcriptional repressor of Cyp4a10 and Cyp4a14. Rev-Erbα-/- hepatocytes had a marked induction of both Cyp4a genes and lipid accumulation. REV-ERBα agonist SR9009 or CYP4A antagonist HET0016 attenuated Cyp4a induction by ethanol and prevented alcohol-induced steatosis. Here, we have identified a role for the SHP/REV-ERBα/CYP4A axis in the pathogenesis of ALD. Our data also suggest REV-ERBα or CYP4A as the potential therapeutic targets for ALD
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