Nelfinavir/ritonavir reduces acinar injury but not inflammation during mouse caerulein pancreatitis.
ABSTRACT: There is no clinical treatment that reduces acinar injury during pancreatitis. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) protease inhibitors (PI), including nelfinavir (NFV) and ritonavir (RTV), may reduce the rate of pancreatitis in HIV-infected patients. Since permeability transition pore (PTPC)-mediated mitochondrial dysfunction occurs during pancreatitis, and we have shown that PI prevents PTPC opening, we studied its effects in a model of pancreatitis. The effect of NFV plus RTV (NFV/RTV) or vehicle on caerulein-induced pancreatitis in mice was compared by measuring changes in mitochondrial membrane potential in vitro and cytochrome c leakage in vivo. Histological and inflammatory makers were also compared. NFV/RTV improved DiOC6 retention in acini exposed to caerulein in vitro. In vivo NFV prevented cytosolic leakage of cytochrome c and reduced pancreatic acinar injury, active caspase-3 staining, TUNEL-positive acinar cells, and serum amylase (P < 0.05). Conversely, trypsin activity, serum cytokine levels, and pancreatic and lung inflammation were unaffected. NFV/RTV reduces pancreatic injury and acinar cell death in experimental mouse caerulein-induced pancreatitis but does not impact inflammation.
Project description:Type I interferon constitutes an essential component of the combinational therapy against viral disease. Acute pancreatitis is one side effect of type I interferon-based therapy, implying that activation of type I interferon signaling affects the homeostasis and integrity of pancreatic acinar cells. Here, we investigated the role of type I interferon signaling in pancreatic acinar cells using a caerulein-induced murine model of acute pancreatitis. Pancreas-specific ablation of interferon (alpha and beta) receptor 1 (Ifnar1) partially protected animals from caerulein-induced pancreatitis, as demonstrated by reduced tissue damage. Profiling of infiltrating immune cells revealed that this dampened tissue damage response correlated with the number of macrophages in the pancreas. Pharmacologic depletion of macrophages reversed the protective effect of Ifnar1 deficiency. Furthermore, expression of chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (Ccl2), a potent factor for macrophage recruitment, was significantly increased in the Ifnar1-deficient pancreas. Thus, type I interferon signaling in pancreatic acinar cells controls pancreatic homeostasis by affecting the macrophage-mediated inflammatory response in the pancreas.
Project description:Emerging evidence from mouse models suggests that mutant Kras can drive the development of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) precursors from acinar cells by enforcing ductal de-differentiation at the expense of acinar identity. Recently, human genome-wide association studies have identified NR5A2, a key regulator of acinar function, as a susceptibility locus for human PDA. We investigated the role of Nr5a2 in exocrine maintenance, regeneration and Kras driven neoplasia.To investigate the function of Nr5a2 in the pancreas, we generated mice with conditional pancreatic Nr5a2 deletion (PdxCre(late); Nr5a2(c/c)). Using this model, we evaluated acinar differentiation, regeneration after caerulein pancreatitis and Kras driven pancreatic neoplasia in the setting of Nr5a2 deletion.We show that Nr5a2 is not required for the development of the pancreatic acinar lineage but is important for maintenance of acinar identity. Nr5a2 deletion leads to destabilisation of the mature acinar differentiation state, acinar to ductal metaplasia and loss of regenerative capacity following acute caerulein pancreatitis. Loss of Nr5a2 also dramatically accelerates the development of oncogenic Kras driven acinar to ductal metaplasia and PDA precursor lesions.Nr5a2 is a key regulator of acinar plasticity. It is required for maintenance of acinar identity and re-establishing acinar fate during regeneration. Nr5a2 also constrains pancreatic neoplasia driven by oncogenic Kras, providing functional evidence supporting a potential role as a susceptibility gene for human PDA.
Project description:Neutrophils and their chemoattractants, the CXC-ELR chemokines keratinocyte cytokine (KC) and macrophage inflammatory protein-2 (MIP-2), play a critical role in pancreatitis. While acute pancreatitis is initiated in acinar cells, it is unclear if these are a source of CXC-ELR chemokines. KC and MIP-2 have NF-?B, activator protein-1 (AP-1) sites in their promoter regions. However, previous studies have shown increased basal and reduced caerulein-induced AP-1 activation in harvested pancreatic tissue in vitro, which limits interpreting the caerulein-induced response. Moreover, recent studies suggest that NF-?B silencing in acinar cells alone may not be sufficient to reduce inflammation in acute pancreatitis. Thus the aim of this study was to determine whether acinar cells are a source of KC and MIP-2 and to understand their transcriptional regulation. Primary overnight-cultured murine pancreatic acini were used after confirming their ability to replicate physiological and pathological acinar cell responses. Upstream signaling resulting in KC, MIP-2 upregulation was studied along with activation of the transcription factors NF-?B and AP-1. Cultured acini replicated critical responses to physiological and pathological caerulein concentrations. KC and MIP-2 mRNA levels increased in response to supramaximal but not to physiological caerulein doses. This upregulation was calcium and protein kinase C (PKC), but not cAMP, dependent. NF-?B inhibition completely prevented upregulation of KC but not MIP-2. Complete suppression of MIP-2 upregulation required dual inhibition of NF-?B and AP-1. Acinar cells are a likely source of KC and MIP-2 upregulation during pancreatitis. This upregulation is dependent on calcium and PKC. MIP-2 upregulation requires both NF-?B and AP-1 in these cells. Thus dual inhibition of NF-?B and AP-1 may be a more successful strategy to reduce inflammation in pancreatitis than targeting NF-?B alone.
Project description:Acute pancreatitis (AP) is a common and devastating inflammatory disorder of the pancreas. However, there are still no effective treatments available for the disease. Therefore, it is important to discover new therapeutic targets and strategies for better treatment and prognosis of AP patients. Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) ligand polyI:C is a double-stranded RNA mimic that can be used as an immune stimulant. Our current study indicates that polyI:C exerted excellent anti-inflammatory effects in a caerulein-induced AP mouse model and taurocholate-induced pancreatic acinar cell line injury model. We found that polyI:C triggers type I interferon (IFN) production and downstream IFN-?/? receptor (IFNAR)-dependent signaling, which play key roles in protecting the pancreas from inflammatory injury. Knockout of IFN-? and IFNAR in mice abolished the preventive effects of polyI:C on caerulein-induced AP symptoms, which include pancreatic edema, neutrophil infiltration, the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and inflammatory gene expression. Treating pancreatic acinar 266-6 cells with an IFNAR inhibitor, which blocks the interaction between type I IFN and IFNAR, diminishes the downregulation of oxidative stress by polyI:C. Additionally, a subsequent transcriptome analysis on the role of polyI:C in treating pancreatitis suggested that chemotaxis of neutrophils and the production of ROS were inhibited by polyI:C in the pancreases damaged by caerulein injection. Thus, polyI:C may act as a type I IFN inducer to alleviate AP, and it has the potential to be a promising therapeutic agent used at the early stages of AP.
Project description:The mechanisms by which reflux of bile acids into the pancreas induces pancreatitis are unknown. We reasoned that key events responsible for this phenomenon might be mediated by Gpbar1, a recently identified and widely expressed G-protein-coupled, cell surface bile acid receptor.Acute pancreatitis was induced in wild-type and Gpbar1(-/-) mice by either retrograde ductal infusion of taurolithocholic acid-3-sulfate (TLCS) or supramaximal secretagogue stimulation with caerulein. In vitro experiments were performed in which acini obtained from wild-type and Gpbar1(-/-) mice were exposed to either submicellar concentrations of TLCS (200-500 microM) or a supramaximally stimulating concentration of caerulein (10 nM).Gpbar1 is expressed at the apical pole of acinar cells and its genetic deletion is associated with reduced hyperamylasemia, edema, inflammation, and acinar cell injury in TLCS-induced, but not caerulein-induced, pancreatitis. In vitro, genetic deletion of Gpbar1 is associated with markedly reduced generation of pathological calcium transients, intracellular activation of digestive zymogens, and cell injury when these responses are induced by exposure to TLCS, but not when they are induced by exposure to caerulein.Gpbar1 may play a critical role in the evolution of bile-acid-induced pancreatitis by coupling exposure to bile acids with generation of pathological intracellular calcium transients, intra-acinar cell zymogen activation, and acinar cell injury. Acute biliary pancreatitis may be a "receptor-mediated" disease and interventions that interfere with Gpbar1 function might prove beneficial in the treatment and/or prevention of biliary acute pancreatitis.
Project description:Treatment of acute pancreatitis (AP) and chronic pancreatitis (CP) remains problematic due to a lack of knowledge about disease-specific regulatory targets and mechanisms. The purpose of this study was to screen proteins related to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and apoptosis pathways that may play a role in pancreatitis. Human pancreatic tissues including AP, CP, and healthy volunteers were collected during surgery. Humanized PRSS1 (protease serine 1) transgenic (PRSS1Tg) mice were constructed and treated with caerulein to mimic the development of human AP and CP. Potential regulatory proteins in pancreatitis were identified by proteomic screen using pancreatic tissues of PRSS1Tg AP mice. Adenoviral shRNA-mediated knockdown of identified proteins, followed by functional assays was performed to validate their roles. Functional analyses included transmission electron microscopy for ultrastructural analysis; qRT-PCR, western blotting, co-immunoprecipitation, immunohistochemistry, and immunofluorescence for assessment of gene or protein expression, and TUNEL assays for assessment of acinar cell apoptosis. Humanized PRSS1Tg mice could mimic the development of human pancreatic inflammatory diseases. EMC6 and APAF1 were identified as potential regulatory molecules in AP and CP models by proteomic analysis. Both EMC6 and APAF1 regulated apoptosis and inflammatory injury in pancreatic inflammatory diseases. Moreover, APAF1 was regulated by EMC6, induced apoptosis to injure acinar cells and promoted inflammation. In the progression of pancreatitis, EMC6 was activated and then upregulated APAF1 to induce acinar cell apoptosis and inflammatory injury. These findings suggest that EMC6 may be a new therapeutic target for the treatment of pancreatic inflammatory diseases.
Project description:Peripancreatic fat necrosis occurs frequently in necrotising pancreatitis. Distinguishing markers from mediators of severe acute pancreatitis (SAP) is important since targeting mediators may improve outcomes. We evaluated potential agents in human pancreatic necrotic collections (NCs), pseudocysts (PCs) and pancreatic cystic neoplasms and used pancreatic acini, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and an acute pancreatitis (AP) model to determine SAP mediators.We measured acinar and PBMC injury induced by agents increased in NCs and PCs. Outcomes of caerulein pancreatitis were studied in lean rats coadministered interleukin (IL)-1? and keratinocyte chemoattractant/growth-regulated oncogene, triolein alone or with the lipase inhibitor orlistat.NCs had higher fatty acids, IL-8 and IL-1? versus other fluids. Lipolysis of unsaturated triglyceride and resulting unsaturated fatty acids (UFA) oleic and linoleic acids induced necro-apoptosis at less than half the concentration in NCs but other agents did not do so at more than two times these concentrations. Cytokine coadministration resulted in higher pancreatic and lung inflammation than caerulein alone, but only triolein coadministration caused peripancreatic fat stranding, higher cytokines, UFAs, multisystem organ failure (MSOF) and mortality in 97% animals, which were prevented by orlistat.UFAs, IL-1? and IL-8 are elevated in NCs. However, UFAs generated via peripancreatic fat lipolysis causes worse inflammation and MSOF, converting mild AP to SAP.
Project description:Pancreatitis is an inflammatory disease of the pancreas characterized by dysregulated activity of digestive enzymes, necrosis, immune infiltration, and pain. Repeated incidence of pancreatitis is an important risk factor for pancreatic cancer. Legumain, a lysosomal cysteine protease, has been linked to inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis, stroke, and cancer. Until now, legumain activation has not been studied during pancreatitis. We used a fluorescently quenched activity-based probe to assess legumain activation during caerulein-induced pancreatitis in mice. We detected activated legumain by ex vivo imaging, confocal microscopy, and gel electrophoresis. Compared with healthy controls, legumain activity in the pancreas of caerulein-treated mice was increased in a time-dependent manner. Legumain was localized to CD68(+) macrophages and was not active in pancreatic acinar cells. Using a small-molecule inhibitor of legumain, we found that this protease is not essential for the initiation of pancreatitis. However, it may serve as a biomarker of disease, since patients with chronic pancreatitis show strongly increased legumain expression in macrophages. Moreover, the occurrence of legumain-expressing macrophages in regions of acinar-to-ductal metaplasia suggests that this protease may influence reprogramming events that lead to inflammation-induced pancreatic cancer.
Project description:Substance P (SP) is involved in the pathophysiology of acute pancreatitis (AP) via binding to its high-affinity receptor, neurokinin-1-receptor (NK1R). An up-regulation of SP and NK1R expression was observed in experimental AP and in caerulein-stimulated pancreatic acinar cells. However, the mechanisms that lead to this up-regulation are not fully understood. In this study, we showed the role of protein kinase C (PKC) in caerulein-induced SP and NK1R production in isolated mouse pancreatic acinar cells. Caerulein (10(-7) M) stimulation rapidly activated the conventional PKC-? and novel PKC-? as observed by the phosphorylation of these molecules. Pre-treatment of pancreatic acinar cells with Gö6976 (1-10 nM) and rottlerin (1-10 ?M) inhibited PKC-? and PKC-? phosphorylation, respectively, but not the other way round. At these concentrations used, PKC-? and PKC-? inhibition reversed the caerulein-induced up-regulation of SP and NK1R, indicating an important role of PKCs in the modulation of SP and NK1R expression. Further experiments looking into signalling mechanisms showed that treatment of pancreatic acinar cells with both Gö6976 and rottlerin inhibited the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). Inhibition of PKC-? or PKC-? also affected caerulein-induced transcription factor activation, as represented by nuclear factor-?B and AP-1 DNA-binding activity. The findings in this study suggested that PKC is upstream of the mitogen-activated protein kinases and transcription factors, which then lead to the up-regulation of SP/NK1R expression in caerulein-treated mouse pancreatic acinar cells.
Project description:Protease-activated receptor-2 (PAR2) is a 7-transmembrane G-protein-coupled tethered ligand receptor that is expressed by pancreatic acinar and ductal cells. It can be physiologically activated by trypsin. Previously reported studies (Namkung, W., Han, W., Luo, X., Muallem, S., Cho, K. H., Kim, K. H., and Lee, M. G. (2004) Gastroenterology 126, 1844-1859; Sharma, A., Tao, X., Gopal, A., Ligon, B., Andrade-Gordon, P., Steer, M. L., and Perides, G. (2005) Am. J. Physiol. 288, G388-G395) have shown that PAR2 activation exerts a protective effect on the experimental model of pancreatitis induced by supramaximal secretagogue (caerulein) stimulation. We now show that PAR2 exerts a worsening effect on a different model of experimental pancreatitis, i.e. one induced by retrograde pancreatic ductal infusion of bile salts. In vitro studies using freshly prepared pancreatic acini show that genetic deletion of PAR2 reduces bile salt-induced pathological calcium transients, acinar cell injury, and activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase, whereas genetic deletion of PAR2 has the opposite or no effect on these pancreatitis-related events when they are elicited, in vitro, by caerulein stimulation. Studies employing a combination of trypsin inhibition and activation of PAR2 with the activating peptide SLIGRL show that all these differences indeed depend on the activation of PAR2. These studies are the first to report that a single perturbation can have model-specific and opposite effects on pancreatitis, and they underscore the importance of performing mechanistic pancreatitis studies using two dissimilar models of the disease to detect idiosyncratic, model-specific events. We suggest PAR2 activation exerts a worsening effect on the severity of clinical pancreatitis and that interventions interfering with PAR2 activation may be of benefit in the treatment of patients with severe pancreatitis.