Gene expression of inflammatory molecules in circulating lymphocytes from arsenic-exposed human subjects.
ABSTRACT: Long-term arsenic exposure is associated with an increased risk of vascular diseases including ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and carotid atherosclerosis. The pathogenic mechanisms of arsenic atherogenicity are not completely clear. A fundamental role for inflammation in atherosclerosis and its complications has become appreciated recently. To investigate molecular targets of inflammatory pathway possibly involved in arsenic-associated atherosclerosis, we conducted an exploratory study using cDNA microarray and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to identify genes with differential expression in arsenic-exposed yet apparently healthy individuals. As an initial experiment, array hybridization was performed with mRNA isolated from activated lymphocytes of 24 study subjects with low (0-4.32 microg/L), intermediate (4.64-9.00 microg/L), and high (9.60-46.5 microg/L) levels of blood arsenic, with each group comprising eight age-, sex-, and smoking frequency-matched individuals. A total of 708 transcripts of known human genes were analyzed, and 62 transcripts (8.8%) showed significant differences in the intermediate or high-arsenic groups compared with the low-level arsenic group. Among the significantly altered genes, several cytokines and growth factors involving inflammation, including interleukin-1 beta, interleukin-6, chemokine C-C motif ligand 2/monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (CCL2/MCP1), chemokine C-X-C motif ligand 1/growth-related oncogene alpha, chemokine C-X-C motif ligand 2/growth-related oncogene beta, CD14 antigen, and matrix metalloproteinase 1 (interstitial collagenase) were upregulated in persons with increased arsenic exposure. Multivariate analyses on 64 study subjects of varying arsenic exposure levels showed that the association of CCL2/MCP1 plasma protein level with blood arsenic remained significant after adjustment for other risk factors of cardiovascular diseases. The results of this gene expression study indicate that the expression of inflammatory molecules may be increased in human subjects after prolonged exposure to arsenic, which might be a contributory factor to the high risk of atherosclerosis in arseniasis-endemic areas in Taiwan. Further multidisciplinary studies, including molecular epidemiologic investigations, are needed to elucidate the role of arsenic-associated inflammation in the development of atherosclerosis and subsequent cardiovascular disease.
Project description:Blood levels of inflammation-related markers may reveal molecular pathways contributing to carcinogenesis. To date, prospective associations with colorectal cancer (CRC) risk have been based on few studies with limited sets of analytes. We conducted a case-cohort study within the Japan Public Health Center-based Prospective Study Cohort II, comparing 457 incident CRC cases during median 18 years follow-up with a random subcohort of 774 individuals. Baseline plasma levels of 62 cytokines, soluble receptors, acute-phase proteins, and growth factor markers were measured using Luminex bead-based assays. We estimated hazard ratios (HRs) associating each marker with CRC risk by Cox proportional hazards models adjusted for potential confounders. Subanalyses compared cases by years after blood draw (<5 vs. ?5) and anatomical subsite (colon vs. rectum). Linear trends in quantiles of four C-C motif ligand (CCL) chemokines, one C-X-C motif ligand (CXCL) chemokine, and a soluble receptor were nominally associated with CRC risk based on ptrend < 0.05, but none met false discovery rate corrected statistical significance. HRs for the 4th vs. 1st quartile were: 1.69 for CCL2/MCP1, 1.61 for soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor 2, 1.39 for CCL15/MIP1D, 1.35 for CCL27/CTACK, 0.70 for CXCL6/GCP2 and 0.61 for CCL3/MIP1A. Among cases diagnosed 5+ years after enrollment, CCL2/MCP1, CCL3/MIP1A and CXCL6/GCP2 retained nominal statistical significance. There were no significant differences in associations between colon and rectum. Our findings implicate chemokine alterations in colorectal carcinogenesis, but require replication for confirmation. Noninvasive chemokine assays may have potential application in colorectal cancer screening and etiologic research.
Project description:The C-C motif chemokine receptor-2 (CCR2) regulates monocyte and macrophage recruitment and is necessary for macrophage-dependent inflammatory responses and the development of atherosclerosis. Although adipose tissue expression and circulating concentrations of CCL2 (also known as MCP1), a high-affinity ligand for CCR2, are elevated in obesity, the role of CCR2 in metabolic disorders, including insulin resistance, hepatic steatosis, and inflammation associated with obesity, has not been studied. To determine what role CCR2 plays in the development of metabolic phenotypes, we studied the effects of Ccr2 genotype on the development of obesity and its associated phenotypes. Genetic deficiency in Ccr2 reduced food intake and attenuated the development of obesity in mice fed a high-fat diet. In obese mice matched for adiposity, Ccr2 deficiency reduced macrophage content and the inflammatory profile of adipose tissue, increased adiponectin expression, ameliorated hepatic steatosis, and improved systemic glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity. In mice with established obesity, short-term treatment with a pharmacological antagonist of CCR2 lowered macrophage content of adipose tissue and improved insulin sensitivity without significantly altering body mass or improving hepatic steatosis. These data suggest that CCR2 influences the development of obesity and associated adipose tissue inflammation and systemic insulin resistance and plays a role in the maintenance of adipose tissue macrophages and insulin resistance once obesity and its metabolic consequences are established.
Project description:Oxidative damage to lipids and lipoproteins is implicated in the development of atherosclerotic vascular diseases, including peripheral artery disease (PAD). The paraoxonases (PON) are a group of antioxidant enzymes, termed PON1, PON2, and PON3 that protect lipoproteins and cells from peroxidation and, as such, may be involved in protection against the atherosclerosis process. PON1 inhibits the production of chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2) in endothelial cells incubated with oxidized lipoproteins. PON1 and CCL2 are ubiquitously distributed in tissues, and this suggests a joint localization and combined systemic effect. The aim of the present study has been to analyze the quantitative immunohistochemical localization of PON1, PON3, CCL2 and CCL2 receptors in a series of patients with severe PAD. Portions of femoral and/or popliteal arteries from 66 patients with PAD were obtained during surgical procedures for infra-inguinal limb revascularization. We used eight normal arteries from donors as controls. PON1 and PON3, CCL2 and the chemokine-binding protein 2, and Duffy antigen/chemokine receptor, were increased in PAD patients. There were no significant changes in C-C chemokine receptor type 2. Our findings suggest that paraoxonases and chemokines play an important role in the development and progression of atherosclerosis in peripheral artery disease.
Project description:CCR2 chemokine receptor signaling has been implicated in the generation of diverse types of neuropathology, including neuropathic pain. For example, ccr2 knock-out mice are resistant to the establishment of neuropathic pain, and mice overexpressing its ligand, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP1; also known as CCL2), show enhanced pain sensitivity. However, whether CCR2 receptor activation occurs in the central or peripheral nervous system in states of neuropathic pain has not been clear. We developed a novel method for visualizing CCR2 receptor activation in vivo by generating bitransgenic reporter mice in which the chemokine receptor CCR2 and its ligand MCP1 were labeled by the fluorescent proteins enhanced green fluorescent protein and monomeric red fluorescent protein-1, respectively. CCR2 receptor activation under conditions such as acute inflammation and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis could be faithfully visualized by using these mice. We examined the status of CCR2 receptor activation in a demyelination injury model of neuropathic pain and found that MCP1-induced CCR2 receptor activation mainly occurred in the peripheral nervous system, including the injured peripheral nerve and dorsal root ganglia. These data explain the rapid antinociceptive effects of peripherally administered CCR2 antagonists under these circumstances, suggesting that CCR2 antagonists may ameliorate pain by inhibiting CCR2 receptor activation in the periphery. The method developed here for visualizing CCR2 receptor activation in vivo may be extended to G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) in general and will be valuable for studying intercellular GPCR-mediated communication in vivo.
Project description:Specific targeting of inflammation remains a challenge in many pathologies, because of the necessary balance between host tolerance and efficacious inflammation resolution. Here, we discovered a short, 4-mer peptide which possesses antagonist properties towards CC chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2), but only when displayed on the surface of lipid nanoparticles. According to BLAST analysis, this peptide motif is a common repeating fragment in a number of proteins of the CC chemokine family, which are key players in the inflammatory response. In this study, self-assembled, peptide-conjugated nanoparticles (CCTV) exhibited typical properties of CCR2 antagonism, including affinity to the CCR2 receptor, inhibition of chemotactic migration of primary monocytes, and prevention from CC chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2)-induced actin polymerization. Furthermore, CCTV ameliorated NFkB activation and downregulated the secondary, but not the primary, inflammatory response in cultured macrophages. When conjugated with gadolinium or europium cryptates, CCTV enabled targeted imaging (via magnetic resonance imaging and time-resolved fluorescence) of atherosclerosis, a chronic inflammatory condition in which the CCL2/CCR2 axis is highly dysfunctional. CCTV targeted CCR2hiLy6Chi inflammatory monocytes in blood and the atherosclerotic plaque, resulting in cell-specific transcriptional downregulation of key inflammatory genes. Finally, CCTV generated pronounced inflammasome inactivation, likely mediated through reactive oxygen species scavenging and downregulation of NLRP3. In summary, our work demonstrates for the first time that a short peptide fragment presented on a nanoparticle surface exhibit potent receptor-targeted antagonist effects, which are not seen with the peptide alone. Unlike commonly used cargo-carrying, vector-directed drug delivery vehicles, CCTV nanoparticles may act as therapeutics/theranostics themselves, particularly in inflammatory conditions with CCL2/CCR2 pathogenesis, including cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Project description:Members of the Navajo Nation, who possess a high prevalence of cardiometabolic disease, reside near hundreds of local abandoned uranium mines (AUM), which contribute uranium, arsenic and other metals to the soil, water and air. We recently reported that hypertension is associated with mine waste exposures in this population. Inflammation is a major player in the development of numerous vascular ailments. Our previous work establishing that specific transcriptional responses of cultured endothelial cells treated with human serum can reveal relative circulating inflammatory potential in a manner responsive to pollutant exposures, providing a model to assess responses associated with exposure to these waste materials in this population. To investigate a potential link between exposures to AUM and serum inflammatory potential in affected communities, primary human coronary artery endothelial cells were treated for 4?h with serum provided by Navajo study participants (n=145). Endothelial transcriptional responses of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) and chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2) were measured. These transcriptional responses were then linked to AUM exposure metrics, including surface area-weighted AUM proximity and estimated oral intake of metals. AUM proximity strongly predicted endothelial transcriptional responses to serum including CCL2, VCAM-1 and ICAM-1 (P<0.0001 for each), whereas annual water intakes of arsenic and uranium did not, even after controlling for all major effect modifiers. Inflammatory potential associated with proximity to AUMs, but not oral intake of specific metals, additionally suggests a role for inhalation exposure as a contributor to cardiovascular disease.
Project description:Obesity-induced inflammation caused by adipocyte-macrophage interactions plays a critical role in developing insulin resistance, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) regulate inflammatory gene expression in these cells. Recently, the soy isoflavone daidzein was reported to act as a PPAR activator. We examined whether daidzein affected adipocyte-macrophage crosstalk via the regulation of PPARs. Co-cultures of 3T3-L1 adipocytes and RAW264 macrophages, or palmitate-stimulated RAW264 macrophages were treated with daidzein in the presence or absence of specific inhibitors for PPARs: GW6471 (a PPAR? antagonist), and GW9662 (a PPAR? antagonist). Inflammatory gene expression was then determined. Daidzein significantly decreased chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (Ccl2, known in humans as monocyte chemo-attractant protein 1 (MCP1)) and interleukin 6 (Il6) mRNA levels induced by co-culture. In 3T3-L1 adipocytes, daidzein inversed the attenuation of adiponectin gene expression by co-culture, and these effects were inhibited by the PPAR-? specific inhibitor. Daidzein also decreased Ccl2 and Il6 mRNA levels in RAW264 macrophages stimulated with palmitate or conditioned medium (CM) from hypertrophied 3T3-L1 adipocytes. This inhibitory effect on Il6 expression was abrogated by a PPAR-? inhibitor. Additionally, we examined the activation of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-?B) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathways and found that daidzein significantly inhibited palmitate-induced phosphorylation of JNK. Our data suggest that daidzein regulates pro-inflammatory gene expression by activating PPAR-? and -? and inhibiting the JNK pathway in adipocyte and macrophage co-cultures. These effects might be favorable in improving adipose inflammation, thus, treatment of daidzein may be a therapeutic strategy for chronic inflammation in obese adipose tissue.
Project description:Chemokines mediate leukocyte migration and homeostasis and are key targets in inflammatory diseases including atherosclerosis, cytokine storm, and chronic autoimmune disease. Chemokine redundancy and ensuing network robustness has frustrated therapeutic development. Salivary evasins from ticks bind multiple chemokines to overcome redundancy and are effective in several preclinical disease models. Their clinical development has not progressed because of concerns regarding potential immunogenicity, parenteral delivery, and cost. Peptides mimicking protein activity can overcome the perceived limitations of therapeutic proteins. Here we show that peptides possessing multiple chemokine-binding and anti-inflammatory activities can be developed from the chemokine-binding site of an evasin. We used hydrogen-deuterium exchange MS to map the binding interface of the evasin P672 that physically interacts with C-C motif chemokine ligand (CCL) 8 and synthesized a 16-mer peptide (BK1.1) based on this interface region in evasin P672. Fluorescent polarization and native MS approaches showed that BK1.1 binds CCL8, CCL7, and CCL18 and disrupts CCL8 homodimerization. We show that a BK1.1 derivative, BK1.3, has substantially improved ability to disrupt P672 binding to CCL8, CCL2, and CCL3 in an AlphaScreen assay. Using isothermal titration calorimetry, we show that BK1.3 directly binds CCL8. BK1.3 also has substantially improved ability to inhibit CCL8, CCL7, CCL2, and CCL3 chemotactic function in vitro We show that local as well as systemic administration of BK1.3 potently blocks inflammation in vivo Identification and characterization of the chemokine-binding interface of evasins could thus inspire the development of novel anti-inflammatory peptides that therapeutically target the chemokine network in inflammatory diseases.
Project description:The zinc finger X-linked duplicated (ZXD) family of transcription factors has been implicated in regulating transcription of major histocompatibility complex class II genes in antigen presenting cells; roles beyond this function are not yet known. The expression of one gene in this family, ZXD family zinc finger C (ZXDC), is enriched in myeloid lineages and therefore we hypothesized that ZXDC may regulate myeloid-specific gene expression. Here we demonstrate that ZXDC regulates genes involved in myeloid cell differentiation and inflammation. Overexpression of the larger isoform of ZXDC, ZXDC1, activates expression of monocyte-specific markers of differentiation and synergizes with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (which causes differentiation) in the human leukemic monoblast cell line U937. To identify additional gene targets of ZXDC1, we performed gene expression profiling which revealed multiple inflammatory gene clusters regulated by ZXDC1. Using a combination of approaches we show that ZXDC1 activates transcription of a gene within one of the regulated clusters, chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2; monocyte chemoattractant protein 1; MCP1) via a previously defined distal regulatory element. Further, ZXDC1-dependent up-regulation of the gene involves eviction of the transcriptional repressor B-cell CLL/lymphoma 6 (BCL6), a factor known to be important in resolving inflammatory responses, from this region of the promoter. Collectively, our data show that ZXDC1 is a regulator in the process of myeloid function and that ZXDC1 is responsible for Ccl2 gene de-repression by BCL6.