Senescence determines the fate of activated rat pancreatic stellate cells.
ABSTRACT: In chronic pancreatitis (CP), persistent activation of pancreatic stellate cells (PSC) converts wound healing into a pathological process resulting in organ fibrosis. Here, we have analysed senescence as a novel mechanism involved in the termination of PSC activation and tissue repair. PSC senescence was first studied in vitro by establishing long-term cultures and by applying chemical triggers, using senescence-associated ?-Galactosidase (SA ?-Gal) as a surrogate marker. Subsequently, susceptibility of PSC to immune cell-mediated cytolysis was investigated employing cocultures. Using the model of dibutyltin dichloride-induced CP in rats, appearance of senescent cells was monitored by immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence, and correlated with the progression of tissue damage and repair, immune cell infiltration and fibrosis. The results indicated that long-term culture and exposure of PSC to stressors (doxorubicin, H(2) O(2) and staurosporine) induced senescence. Senescent PSC highly expressed CDKN1A/p21, mdm2 and interleukin (IL)-6, but displayed low levels of ?-smooth muscle actin. Senescence increased the susceptibility of PSC to cytolysis. In CP, the number of senescent cells correlated with the severity of inflammation and the extension of fibrosis. Areas staining positive for SA ?-Gal overlapped with regions of fibrosis and dense infiltrates of immune cells. Furthermore, a close physical proximity of immune cells and activated PSC was observed. We conclude that inflammation, PSC activation and cellular senescence are timely coupled processes which take place in the same microenvironment of the inflamed pancreas. Lymphocytes may play a dual-specific role in pancreatic fibrogenesis, triggering both the initiation of wound healing by activating PSC, and its completion by killing senescent stellate cells.
Project description:Cellular senescence acts as a potent mechanism of tumor suppression; however, its functional contribution to noncancer pathologies has not been examined. Here we show that senescent cells accumulate in murine livers treated to produce fibrosis, a precursor pathology to cirrhosis. The senescent cells are derived primarily from activated hepatic stellate cells, which initially proliferate in response to liver damage and produce the extracellular matrix deposited in the fibrotic scar. In mice lacking key senescence regulators, stellate cells continue to proliferate, leading to excessive liver fibrosis. Furthermore, senescent activated stellate cells exhibit gene expression profile consistent with cell-cycle exit, reduced secretion of extracellular matrix components, enhanced secretion of extracellular matrix-degrading enzymes, and enhanced immune surveillance. Accordingly natural killer cells preferentially kill senescent activated stellate cells in vitro and in vivo, thereby facilitating the resolution of fibrosis. Therefore, the senescence program limits the fibrogenic response to acute tissue damage.
Project description:Senescence is a stable cell cycle arrest program that contributes to tumor suppression, organismal aging and certain wound healing responses. During liver fibrosis, for example, hepatic stellate cells initially proliferate and secrete extracellular matrix components that produce fibrosis; however, these cells eventually senesce and are cleared by immune cells, including natural killer (NK) cells. Here, we examine how NK cells target senescent cells and assess the impact of this process on liver fibrosis. We show that granule exocytosis, but not death-receptor-mediated apoptosis, is required for NK-cell-mediated killing of senescent cells. This pathway bias is due to upregulation of the decoy death receptor, Dcr2, an established senescence marker that attenuates NK-mediated cell death. Accordingly, mice with defects in granule exocytosis accumulate senescent stellate cells and display more liver fibrosis in response to a fibrogenic agent. Our results thus provide new insights into the immune surveillance of senescent cells and reveal how granule exocytosis has a protective role against liver fibrosis.
Project description:Cellular senescence is a stress response mechanism that limits tumorigenesis and tissue damage. Induction of cellular senescence commonly coincides with an immunogenic phenotype that promotes self-elimination by components of the immune system, thereby facilitating tumor suppression and limiting excess fibrosis during wound repair. The mechanisms by which senescent cells regulate their immune surveillance are not completely understood. Here we show that ligands of an activating Natural Killer (NK) cell receptor (NKG2D), MICA and ULBP2 are consistently up-regulated following induction of replicative senescence, oncogene-induced senescence and DNA damage - induced senescence. MICA and ULBP2 proteins are necessary for efficient NK-mediated cytotoxicity towards senescent fibroblasts. The mechanisms regulating the initial expression of NKG2D ligands in senescent cells are dependent on a DNA damage response, whilst continuous expression of these ligands is regulated by the ERK signaling pathway. In liver fibrosis, the accumulation of senescent activated stellate cells is increased in mice lacking NKG2D receptor leading to increased fibrosis. Overall, our results provide new insights into the mechanisms regulating the expression of immune ligands in senescent cells and reveal the importance of NKG2D receptor-ligand interaction in protecting against liver fibrosis.
Project description:Senescent cells accumulate in multiple aging-associated diseases, and eliminating these cells has recently emerged as a promising therapeutic approach. Here, we take advantage of the high lysosomal ?-galactosidase activity of senescent cells to design a drug delivery system based on the encapsulation of drugs with galacto-oligosaccharides. We show that gal-encapsulated fluorophores are preferentially released within senescent cells in mice. In a model of chemotherapy-induced senescence, gal-encapsulated cytotoxic drugs target senescent tumor cells and improve tumor xenograft regression in combination with palbociclib. Moreover, in a model of pulmonary fibrosis in mice, gal-encapsulated cytotoxics target senescent cells, reducing collagen deposition and restoring pulmonary function. Finally, gal-encapsulation reduces the toxic side effects of the cytotoxic drugs. Drug delivery into senescent cells opens new diagnostic and therapeutic applications for senescence-associated disorders.
Project description:Accumulated evidence suggests that activated pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) serve as the main source of the extracellular matrix proteins accumulated under the pathological conditions leading to pancreatic fibrosis in chronic pancreatitis (CP). However, little is known about the mechanisms of PSC activation. PSCs have morphologic and functional similarities to hepatic stellate cells, which are activated by hydrogen peroxide-inducible clone-5 (Hic-5), a TGF-?1-induced protein. In this study, we investigated whether Hic-5 activates PSCs, which promote pancreatic fibrosis development in CP. Hic-5-knockout and wild type mice were subjected to caerulein injection to induce CP. Hic-5 expression was strongly upregulated in activated PSCs from human CP tissue and from mouse pancreatic fibrosis in caerulein-induced CP. Hic-5 deficiency significantly attenuated mouse pancreatic fibrosis and PSC activation in the experimental murine CP model. Mechanistically, Hic-5 knock down significantly inhibited the TGF-?/Smad2 signaling pathway, resulting in reduced collagen production and ?-smooth muscle actin expression in the activated PSCs. Taken together, we propose Hic-5 as a potential marker of activated PSCs and a novel therapeutic target in CP treatment.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Liver fibrosis was viewed as a reversible process. The activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) is a key event in the process of liver fibrosis. The induction of senescence of HSCs would accelerate the clearance of the activated HSCs. Previously, we demonstrated that soluble egg antigens (SEA) of Schistosoma japonicum promoted the senescence of HSCs via STAT3/P53/P21 pathway. In this paper, our study was aimed to explore whether there are other signaling pathways in the process of SEA-induced HSCs aging and the underlying effect of SKP2/P27 signal on senescent HSCs.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>Human hepatic stellate cell line, LX-2 cells, were cultured and stimulated with SEA. Western blot and cellular immunofluorescence analysis were performed to determine the expression of senescence-associated protein, such as P27, SKP2 and FoxO3a. Besides, RNA interfering was applied to knockdown the expression of related protein. The senescence of HSCs was determined by senescence-associated ?-gal staining. We found that SEA increased the expression of P27 protein, whereas it inhibited the expression of SKP2 and FoxO3a. Knockdown of P27 as well as overexpression of SKP2 both suppressed the SEA-induced senescence of HSCs. In addition, the nuclear translocation of FoxO3a from the nucleus to the cytoplasm was induced by SEA stimulation.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>The present study demonstrates that SEA promotes HSCs senescence through the FoxO3a/SKP2/P27 pathway.
Project description:Pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) have a vital role in pancreatic fibrosis accompanied by pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and chronic pancreatitis (CP). Any agents which can affect the activation of PSCs could become potential candidates for treatment strategies in PDAC and CP. Our aim was to explore the effect of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) in the process of PSCs activation.Isolated PSCs from C57BL/6 mice were treated with various dosages of CoQ10 (1, 10, and 100?M) and different time (24h, 48h, and 72 h). Effect of CoQ10 on autophagy, apoptosis, senescence and oxidative stress, as well as the activation of PSCs were analyzed by immunocytofluorescent staining, quantitative real time RT-PCR, western blotting, SA-?-galactosidase staining, malondialdehyde and reactive oxygen species (ROS) assay.Expression of ?-smooth muscle actin, LC3II, Beclin1, Cleaved caspases-3 and Bax levels were significantly reduced in CoQ10 treatment groups. Meanwhile, compared with the control group, significant differences for the expression of desmin, P62, Bcl-2, p-PI3K, p-AKT and p-mTOR levels in CoQ10 treatment groups were found. Moreover, CoQ10 affected the secretion of extracellular matrix components for PSCs. Few SA-?-gal positive cells were found in CoQ10 treated groups. A significant decrease in ROS positive cells and malondialdehyde levels were observed after 72 h exposure to CoQ10.Our finding suggests that CoQ10 inhibits the activation of PSCs by suppressing autophagy through activating the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway. CoQ10 may act as a therapeutic agent in PSC-relating pathologies and/or anti-fibrotic approaches.
Project description:Activation of the secretin (Sct)/secretin receptor (SR) axis stimulates ductular reaction and liver fibrosis, which are hallmarks of cholangiopathies. Our aim was to define the role of Sct-regulated cellular senescence, and we demonstrated that both ductular reaction and liver fibrosis are significantly reduced in Sct-/-, SR-/-, and Sct-/-/SR-/- bile duct ligated (BDL) mice compared with BDL wild-type mice. The reduction in hepatic fibrosis in Sct-/-, SR-/-, and Sct-/-/SR-/- BDL mice was accompanied by reduced transforming growth factor-?1 levels in serum and cholangiocyte supernatant, as well as decreased expression of markers of cellular senescence in cholangiocytes in contrast to enhanced cellular senescence in hepatic stellate cells compared with BDL wild-type mice. Secretin directly stimulated the senescence of cholangiocytes and regulated, by a paracrine mechanism, the senescence of hepatic stellate cells and liver fibrosis via modulation of transforming growth factor-?1 biliary secretion. Targeting senescent cholangiocytes may represent a novel therapeutic approach for ameliorating hepatic fibrosis during cholestatic liver injury.
Project description:Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is an incurable, fibroinflammatory biliary disease for which there is no effective pharmacotherapy. We recently reported cholangiocyte senescence as an important phenotype in PSC while others showed that portal macrophages accumulate in PSC. Unfortunately, our ability to explore cholangiocyte senescence and macrophage accumulation has been hampered by limited in vitro models. Thus, our aim was to develop and characterize a three-dimensional (3D) model of normal and diseased bile ducts (cholangioids) starting with normal human cholangiocytes (NHC), senescent NHC (NHC-sen), and cholangiocytes from PSC patients. In 3D culture, NHCs formed spheroids of ~5000 cells with a central lumen of ~150??m. By confocal microscopy and western blot, cholangioids retained expression of cholangiocyte proteins (cytokeratin 7/19) and markers of epithelial polarity (secretin receptor and GM130). Cholangioids are functionally active, and upon secretin stimulation, luminal size increased by ~80%. Cholangioids exposed to hydrogen peroxide exhibited cellular senescence and the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP; increased IL-6, p21, SA-?-Gal, yH2A.x and p16 expression). Furthermore, cholangioids derived from NHC-sen or PSC patients were smaller and had slower growth than the controls. When co-cultured with THP-1 macrophages, the number of macrophages associated with NHC-sen or PSC cholangioids was five- to seven-fold greater compared to co-culture with non-senescent NHC. We observed that NHC-sen and PSC cholangioids release greater number of extracellular vesicles (EVs) compared to controls. Moreover, conditioned media from NHC-sen cholangioids resulted in an ~2-fold increase in macrophage migration. In summary, we developed a method to generate normal and diseased cholangioids, characterized them morphologically and functionally, showed that they can be induced to senescence and SASP, and demonstrated both EV release and macrophage attraction. This novel model mimics several features of PSC, and thus will be useful for studying the pathogenesis of PSC and potentially identifying new therapeutic targets.
Project description:Since the discovery of the senescence-associated secretory phenotype, the role of senescent hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development has gained increasing attention. Similar to cytokines, extracellular vesicles (EVs) are essential for intercellular communication. However, the function of EVs derived from senescent HSCs in HCC progression has not been extensively studied. The aims of the present study were to characterize the EVs derived from senescent HSCs and determine their role in the tumor microenvironment. Cellular senescence was induced in human hepatic stellate cells (HHSteCs) with various concentrations of etoposide. Induction was confirmed using EdU staining and 53BP1 and p21 immunostaining. EVs were isolated by ultracentrifugation and analyzed by nanoparticle tracking analysis. Multiplex immunoassays were used to compare the levels of growth factors secreted from hepatoma cell lines and macrophage cells pretreated with EVs derived from senescent HHSteCs (senescent EVs) with those pretreated with EVs derived from normal cultured HHSteCs (normal EVs). Treatment with 25 µM etoposide for 3 days was the most effective at inducing senescence in HHSteCs. This finding was confirmed by induction of irreversible cell-cycle arrest, upregulation of 53BP1 and p21 expression, and increased SA-?-gal staining. Senescent HHSteCs released increased quantities of EV particles compared with normally cultured HHSteCs. Multiplex analysis revealed that there was no difference between hepatoma cell lines treated with normal EVs and those treated with senescent EVs in growth factor secretion. In contrast, the secretion of epidermal growth factor (EGF) was increased by macrophage cells treated with senescent EVs compared with those treated with normal EVs. Furthermore, senescent EVs did not affect the viability of hepatoma cells but increased the viability of hepatoma cells co-cultured with macrophage cells. In conclusion, the release of EVs from senescent HSCs was higher compared with normal HSCs. Furthermore, senescent EVs promoted HCC development by upregulating EGF secretion from macrophages.