Intracellular Hmgb1 inhibits inflammatory nucleosome release and limits acute pancreatitis in mice.
ABSTRACT: High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) is an abundant protein that regulates chromosome architecture and also functions as a damage-associated molecular pattern molecule. Little is known about its intracellular roles in response to tissue injury or during subsequent local and systemic inflammatory responses. We investigated the function of Hmgb1 in mice after induction of acute pancreatitis.We utilized a Cre/LoxP system to create mice with pancreas-specific disruption in Hmbg1 (Pdx1-Cre; HMGB1(flox/flox) mice). Acute pancreatitis was induced in these mice (HMGB1(flox/flox) mice served as controls) after injection of l-arginine or cerulein. Pancreatic tissues and acinar cells were collected and analyzed by histologic, immunoblot, and immunohistochemical analyses.After injection of l-arginine or cerulein, Pdx1-Cre; HMGB1(flox/flox) mice developed acute pancreatitis more rapidly than controls, with increased mortality. Pancreatic tissues of these mice also had higher levels of serum amylase, acinar cell death, leukocyte infiltration, and interstitial edema than controls. Pancreatic tissues and acinar cells collected from the Pdx1-Cre; HMGB1(flox/flox) mice after l-arginine or cerulein injection demonstrated nuclear catastrophe with greater nucleosome release when compared with controls, along with increased phosphorylation/activation of RELA nuclear factor ?B, degradation of inhibitor of ?B, and phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase. Inhibitors of reactive oxygen species (N-acetyl-l-cysteine) blocked l-arginine-induced DNA damage, necrosis, apoptosis, release of nucleosomes, and activation of nuclear factor ?B in pancreatic tissues and acinar cells from Pdx1-Cre; HMGB1(flox/flox) and control mice. Exogenous genomic DNA and recombinant histone H3 proteins significantly induced release of HMGB1 from mouse macrophages; administration of antibodies against H3 to mice reduced serum levels of HMGB1 and increased survival after l-arginine injection.In 2 mouse models of acute pancreatitis, intracellular HMGB1 appeared to prevent nuclear catastrophe and release of inflammatory nucleosomes to block inflammation. These findings indicate a role for the innate immune response in tissue damage.
Project description:Acute pancreatitis (AP) is a common clinical problem whose incidence has been progressively increasing in recent years. Onset of the disease is trigged by intra-acinar cell activation of digestive enzyme zymogens that induce autodigestion, release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and acinar cell injury. T-cell protein tyrosine phosphatase (TCPTP) is implicated in inflammatory signaling but its significance in AP remains unclear.In this study we assessed the role of pancreatic TCPTP in cerulein-induced AP. TCPTP expression was increased at the protein and messenger RNA levels in the early phase of AP in mice and rats. To directly determine whether TCPTP may have a causal role in AP we generated mice with pancreatic TCPTP deletion (panc-TCPTP KO) by crossing TCPTP floxed mice with Pdx1-Cre transgenic mice. Amylase and lipase levels were lower in cerulein-treated panc-TCPTP KO mice compared with controls. In addition, pancreatic mRNA and serum concentrations of the inflammatory cytokines TNF? and IL-6 were lower in panc-TCPTP KO mice. At the molecular level, panc-TCPTP KO mice exhibited enhanced cerulein-induced STAT3 Tyr705 phosphorylation accompanied by a decreased cerulein-induced NF-?B inflammatory response, and decreased ER stress and cell death.These findings revealed a novel role for pancreatic TCPTP in the progression of cerulein-induced AP.
Project description:Activin, a member of the transforming growth factor-? (TGFB) family, might be involved in pancreatic tumorigenesis, similar to other members of the TGFB family. Human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas contain somatic mutations in the activin A receptor type IB (ACVR1B) gene, indicating that ACVR1B could be a suppressor of pancreatic tumorigenesis.We disrupted Acvr1b specifically in pancreata of mice (Acvr1b(flox/flox);Pdx1-Cre mice) and crossed them with LSL-KRAS(G12D) mice, which express an activated form of KRAS and develop spontaneous pancreatic tumors. The resulting Acvr1b(flox/flox);LSL-KRAS(G12D);Pdx1-Cre mice were monitored; pancreatic tissues were collected and analyzed by histology and immunohistochemical analyses. We also analyzed p16(flox/flox);LSL-Kras(G12D);Pdx1-Cre mice and Cre-negative littermates (controls). Genomic DNA, total RNA, and protein were isolated from mouse tissues and primary pancreatic tumor cell lines and analyzed by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction, sequencing, and immunoblot analyses. Human intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN) specimens were analyzed by immunohistochemistry.Loss of ACVR1B from pancreata of mice increased the proliferation of pancreatic epithelial cells, led to formation of acinar to ductal metaplasia, and induced focal inflammatory changes compared with control mice. Disruption of Acvr1b in LSL-KRAS(G12D);Pdx1-Cre mice accelerated the growth of pancreatic IPMNs compared with LSL-KRAS(G12D);Pdx1-Cre mice, but did not alter growth of pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasias. We associated perinuclear localization of the activated NOTCH4 intracellular domain to the apical cytoplasm of neoplastic cells with the expansion of IPMN lesions in Acvr1b(flox/flox);LSL-KRAS(G12D);Pdx1-Cre mice. Loss of the gene that encodes p16 (Cdkn2a) was required for progression of IPMNs to pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas in Acvr1b(flox/flox);LSL-Kras(G12D);Pdx1-Cre mice. We also observed progressive loss of p16 in human IPMNs of increasing grades.Loss of ACVR1B accelerates growth of mutant KRAS-induced pancreatic IPMNs in mice; this process appears to involve NOTCH4 and loss of p16. ACVR1B suppresses early stages of pancreatic tumorigenesis; the activin signaling pathway therefore might be a therapeutic target for pancreatic cancer.
Project description:Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is associated with metaplastic changes in the pancreas but the transcriptional program underlying these changes is incompletely understood. The zinc finger transcription factor, PRDM3, is lowly expressed in normal pancreatic acini and its expression increases during tumorigenesis. Although PRDM3 promotes proliferation and migration of PDAC cell lines, the role of PRDM3 during tumor initiation from pancreatic acinar cells in vivo is unclear. In this study, we showed that high levels of PRDM3 expression in human pancreas was associated with pancreatitis, and well-differentiated but not poorly differentiated carcinoma. We examined PRDM3 function in pancreatic acinar cells during tumor formation and pancreatitis by inactivating Prdm3 using a conditional allele (Ptf1aCreER;Prdm3flox/flox mice) in the context of oncogenic Kras expression and supraphysiological cerulein injections, respectively. In Prdm3-deficient mice, KrasG12D-driven preneoplastic lesions were more abundant and progressed to high-grade precancerous lesions more rapidly. This is consistent with our observations that low levels of PRDM3 in human PDAC was correlated significantly with poorer survival in patient. Moreover, loss of Prdm3 in acinar cells elevated exocrine injury, enhanced immune cell activation and infiltration, and greatly increased acinar-to-ductal cell reprogramming upon cerulein-induced pancreatitis. Whole transcriptome analyses of Prdm3 knockout acini revealed that pathways involved in inflammatory response and Hif-1 signaling were significantly upregulated in Prdm3-depleted acinar cells. Taken together, our results suggest that Prdm3 favors the maintenance of acinar cell homeostasis through modulation of their response to inflammation and oncogenic Kras activation, and thus plays a previously unexpected suppressive role during PDAC initiation.
Project description:To determine the molecular basis of gene regulation in pancreatic ductal epithelial cells, we developed methods for the isolation of this cell population during mouse development and normal adult homeostasis, as well as in conditions with ductal features (acinar-to-ductal metaplasia (ADM), pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC)). Our technique utilizes the specificity of Dolichos biflorus Agglutinin (DBA) lectin marking the entire normal ductal tree, including terminal intercalated ducts (putative sites of stem or progenitor cells) and ductal structures in ADM and PanIN. We used ferromagnetic-labeled DBA lectin to isolate ductal structures. Ductal cells were isolated under the following conditions: (1) Embryonic Development in wild type mice: E14.5, E15.5, E16.5, and postnatal day 1 (P1); (2) Injury and regeneration (pancreatitis) 0, 1, 3, 5 days following cerulein-induced acute pancreatitis. Cerulein is a cholecystokinin analog which produces a self-limited pancreatitis with injury and subsequent regeneration and repair, completed five days after insult; and (3) Pdx1-Cre;LSL-KrasG12D/+ mice aged 10 and 20 weeks that harbor PanIN lesions and a subset develop PDAC. Ductal/PanIN cells were isolated from these mice and appropriate control mice (Pdx1-Cre;Kras+/+). Overall design: Expression profiling of ductal cells at embryonic days 14.5, 15.5, 16.5 and post-natal day 1 as well as days 0, 1, 3 and 5 after acute ceruelin-induced pancreatitis and 10/20 weeks aged Pdx1-Cre;LSL-KrasG12D/+ mice.
Project description:The Hippo signaling pathway is a context-dependent regulator of cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis in species ranging from Drosophila to humans. In this study, we investigated the role of the core Hippo kinases-Mst1 and Mst2-in pancreatic development and homeostasis.We used a Cre/LoxP system to create mice with pancreas-specific disruptions in Mst1 and Mst2 (Pdx1-Cre;Mst1(-/-);Mst2(fl/fl) mice), the mammalian orthologs of Drosophila Hippo. We used a transgenic approach to overexpress Yap, the downstream mediator of Hippo signaling, in the developing pancreas of mice.Contrary to expectations, the pancreatic mass of Pdx1-Cre;Mst1(-/-);Mst2(fl/fl) mice was reduced compared with wild-type mice, largely because of postnatal de-differentiation of acinar cells into duct-like cells. Development of this phenotype coincided with postnatal reactivation of YAP expression. Ectopic expression of YAP during the secondary transition (a stage at which YAP is normally absent) blocked differentiation of the endocrine and exocrine compartments, whereas loss of a single Yap allele reduced acinar de-differentiation. The phenotype of Pdx1-Cre;Mst1(-/-);Mst2(fl/fl) mice recapitulated cellular and molecular changes observed during chemical-induced pancreatitis in mice.The mammalian Hippo kinases, and YAP, maintain postnatal pancreatic acinar differentiation in mice.
Project description:Oncogenic mutations in KRAS contribute to the development of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, but are not sufficient to initiate carcinogenesis. Secondary events, such as inflammation-induced signaling via the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and expression of the SOX9 gene, are required for tumor formation. Herein we sought to identify the mechanisms that link EGFR signaling with activation of SOX9 during acinar-ductal metaplasia, a transdifferentiation process that precedes pancreatic carcinogenesis.We analyzed pancreatic tissues from Kras(G12D);pdx1-Cre and Kras(G12D);NFATc1(?/?);pdx1-Cre mice after intraperitoneal administration of caerulein, vs cyclosporin A or dimethyl sulfoxide (controls). Induction of EGFR signaling and its effects on the expression of Nuclear factor of activated T cells c1 (NFATc1) or SOX9 were investigated by quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction, immunoblot, and immunohistochemical analyses of mouse and human tissues and acinar cell explants. Interactions between NFATc1 and partner proteins and effects on DNA binding or chromatin modifications were studied using co-immunoprecipitation and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays in acinar cell explants and mouse tissue.EGFR activation induced expression of NFATc1 in metaplastic areas from patients with chronic pancreatitis and in pancreatic tissue from Kras(G12D) mice. EGFR signaling also promoted formation of a complex between NFATc1 and C-JUN in dedifferentiating mouse acinar cells, leading to activation of Sox9 transcription and induction of acinar-ductal metaplasia. Pharmacologic inhibition of NFATc1 or disruption of the Nfatc1 gene inhibited EGFR-mediated induction of Sox9 transcription and blocked acinar-ductal transdifferentiation and pancreatic cancer initiation in mice.EGFR signaling induces expression of NFATc1 and Sox9, leading to acinar cell transdifferentiation and initiation of pancreatic cancer. Strategies designed to disrupt this pathway might be developed to prevent pancreatic cancer initiation in high-risk patients with chronic pancreatitis.
Project description:We investigated whether intrapancreatic coagulation, with deposition of the fibrinogen-? dimer (Fib-?D) and hypoxia, affect the severity of acute pancreatitis (AP) in mice. Pancreata of mice with AP induced by administration of cerulein or by L-arginine, or from patients with pancreatitis, had increased deposition of Fib-?D compared with control pancreata. Heparin administration protected mice from cerulein-induced AP and prevented Fib-?D formation. Cerulein administration resulted in activation and stabilization of hypoxia-inducible factor-1? (HIF1?) in pancreata of oxygen-dependent degradation domain-luciferase HIF1? reporter mice. Cerulein also led to induction of genes regulated by HIF1?, including Vegfa and Ero1a, before evidence of Fib-?D deposition or histologic features of AP. Expression of tissue factor, which is regulated by vascular endothelial growth factor, also increased following cerulein administration. Mice with acinar cell-specific disruption of Hif1a (Hif1aAc-/-) developed spontaneous endoplasmic reticulum stress and less severe AP, but did not accumulate Fib-?D following administration of cerulein. Feeding mice increased pancreatic expression of HIF1?, indicating a physiologic role in the exocrine pancreas. Therefore, HIF1? has bifunctional roles, in exocrine pancreas homeostasis and progression of AP that is promoted by intrapancreatic coagulation.
Project description:Integrin contact with basement membrane is a major determinant of epithelial cell polarity. beta1 integrin heterodimers are the primary receptors for basement membrane in pancreatic acinar cells, which function to synthesize and directionally secrete digestive enzymes into a central lumen. Aberrant acinar secretion and exposure of the parenchyma to digestive enzyme activity lead to organ damage and pancreatitis.beta1 integrin conditional knockout mice were crossed to Ptf1a-Cre mice to ablate beta1 integrin in the pancreas. Histopathology of aged and cerulein-treated mice were assessed by histology and immunocytochemistry. Directional secretion was determined in vitro by FM1-43 loading with cerulein stimulation.Pancreas-specific ablation of beta1 integrin led to progressive organ degeneration, associated with focal acinar cell necrosis and ductal metaplasia along with widespread inflammation and collagen deposition. beta1 Integrin-null pancreata were highly susceptible to cerulein-induced acute pancreatitis, displaying an enhanced level of damage with no loss in regeneration. Degenerating beta1 integrin-null pancreata were marked by disruption of acinar cell polarity. Protein kinase C epsilon, normally localized apically, was found in the cytoplasm where it can lead to intracellular digestive enzyme activation. beta1 Integrin-null acinar cells displayed indiscriminate secretion to all membrane surfaces, consistent with an observed loss of basolateral membrane localization of Munc18c, which normally prevents basal secretion of digestive enzymes.Ablation of beta1 integrin induces organ atrophy by disrupting acinar cell polarity and exposing the pancreatic parenchyma to digestive enzymes.
Project description:BACKGROUND & AIMS:Premature activation of trypsinogen activation can cause pancreatic injury and has been associated with chronic pancreatitis (CP). Mice that lack intra-acinar activation of trypsinogen, such as trypsinogen-7-null (T(-/-)) and cathepsin B-null (CB(-/-)) mice, have been used to study trypsin-independent processes of CP development. We compared histologic features and inflammatory responses of pancreatic tissues from these mice with those from wild-type mice after the development of CP. METHODS:CP was induced in wild-type, T(-/-), and CB(-/-) mice by twice-weekly induction of acute pancreatitis for 10 weeks; acute pancreatitis was induced by hourly intraperitoneal injections of cerulein (50 ?g/kg × 6). Pancreatic samples were collected and evaluated by histologic and immunohistochemical analyses. Normal human pancreas samples, obtained from the islet transplant program at the University of Minnesota, were used as controls and CP samples were obtained from surgical resections. RESULTS:Compared with pancreatic tissues from wild-type mice, those from T(-/-) and CB(-/-) mice had similar levels of atrophy, histomorphologic features of CP, and chronic inflammation. All samples had comparable intra-acinar activation of nuclear factor (NF)-?B, a transcription factor that regulates the inflammatory response, immediately after injection of cerulein. Pancreatic tissue samples from patients with CP had increased activation of NF-?B (based on nuclear translocation of p65 in acinar cells) compared with controls. CONCLUSIONS:Induction of CP in mice by cerulein injection does not require intra-acinar activation of trypsinogen. Pancreatic acinar cells of patients with CP have increased levels of NF-?B activation compared with controls; regulation of the inflammatory response by this transcription factor might be involved in the pathogenesis of CP.
Project description:Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the fourth leading cause of cancer-associated mortality worldwide with an overall five-year survival rate less than 7%. Accumulating evidence has revealed the cancer preventive and therapeutic effects of metformin, one of the most widely prescribed medications for type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, its role in pancreatic cancer is not fully elucidated. Herein, we aimed to further study the preventive and therapeutic effects of metformin in genetically engineered mouse models of pancreatic cancer.LSL-KrasG12D/+; Pdx1-Cre (KC) mouse model was established to investigate the effect of metformin in pancreatic tumorigenesis suppression; LSL-KrasG12D/+; Trp53fl/+; Pdx1-Cre (KPC) mouse model was used to evaluate the therapeutic efficiency of metformin in PDAC. Chronic pancreatitis was induced in KC mice by peritoneal injection of cerulein.Following metformin treatment, pancreatic acinar-to-ductal metaplasia (ADM) and mouse pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (mPanIN) were decreased in KC mice. Chronic pancreatitis induced a stroma-rich and duct-like structure and increased the formation of ADM and mPanIN lesions, in line with an increased cytokeratin 19 (CK19)-stained area. Metformin treatment diminished chronic pancreatitis-mediated ADM and mPanIN formation. In addition, it alleviated the percent area of Masson's trichrome staining, and decreased the number of Ki67-positive cells. In KPC mice, metformin inhibited tumor growth and the incidence of abdominal invasion. More importantly, it prolonged the overall survival.Metformin inhibited pancreatic cancer initiation, suppressed chronic pancreatitis-induced tumorigenesis, and showed promising therapeutic effect in PDAC.