Overexpression of heparanase enhances T lymphocyte activities and intensifies the inflammatory response in a model of murine rheumatoid arthritis.
ABSTRACT: Heparanase is an endo-glucuronidase that degrades heparan sulfate chains. The enzyme is expressed at a low level in normal organs; however, elevated expression of heparanase has been detected in several inflammatory conditions, e.g. in the synovial joints of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Herein, we have applied the model of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) to transgenic mice overexpressing human heparanase (Hpa-tg) along with wildtype (WT) mice. About 50% of the induced animals developed clinical symptoms, i.e. swelling of joints, and there were no differences between the Hpa-tg and WT mice in the incidence of disease. However, Hpa-tg mice displayed an earlier response and developed more severe symptoms. Examination of cells from thymus, spleen and lymph nodes revealed increased innate and adaptive immune responses of the Hpa-tg mice, reflected by increased proportions of macrophages, antigen presenting cells and plasmacytoid dendritic cells as well as Helios-positive CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Furthermore, splenic lymphocytes from Hpa-tg mice showed higher proliferation activity. Our results suggest that elevated expression of heparanase augmented both the innate and adaptive immune system and propagated inflammatory reactions in the murine RA model.
Project description:Heparanase, an endoglycosidase that cleaves heparan sulfate (HS), is involved in various biologic processes. Recently, an association between heparanase and glomerular injury was suggested. The present study examines the involvement of heparanase in the pathogenesis of Adriamycin-induced nephrotic syndrome (ADR-NS) in a mouse model.BALB/c wild-type (wt) mice and heparanase overexpressing transgenic mice (hpa-TG) were tail-vein injected with either Adriamycin (ADR, 10 mg/kg) or vehicle. Albuminuria was investigated at days 0, 7, and 14 thereafter. Mice were sacrificed at day 15, and kidneys were harvested for various analyses: structure and ultrastructure alterations, podocyte proteins expression, and heparanase enzymatic activity.ADR-injected wt mice developed severe albuminuria, while ADR-hpa-TG mice showed only a mild elevation in urinary albumin excretion. In parallel, light microscopy of stained cross sections of kidneys from ADR-injected wt mice, but not hpa-TG mice, showed mild to severe glomerular and tubular damage. Western blot and immunofluorescence analyses revealed significant reduction in nephrin and podocin protein expression in ADR-wt mice, but not in ADR-hpa-TG mice. These results were substantiated by electron-microscopy findings showing massive foot process effacement in injected ADR-wt mice, in contrast to largely preserved integrity of podocyte architecture in ADR-hpa-TG mice.Our results suggest that heparanase may play a nephroprotective role in ADR-NS, most likely independently of HS degradation. Moreover, hpa-TG mice comprise an invaluable in vivo platform to investigate the interplay between heparanase and glomerular injury.
Project description:Heparanase has been implicated in cancer but its contribution to the early stages of cancer development is uncertain. In this study, we utilized nontransformed human MCF10A mammary epithelial cells and two genetic mouse models [Hpa-transgenic (Hpa-Tg) and knockout mice] to explore heparanase function at early stages of tumor development. Heparanase overexpression resulted in significantly enlarged asymmetrical acinar structures, indicating increased cell proliferation and decreased organization. This phenotype was enhanced by coexpression of heparanase variants with a mutant H-Ras gene, which was sufficient to enable growth of invasive carcinoma in vivo. These observations were extended in vivo by comparing the response of Hpa-Tg mice to a classical two-stage 12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA)/12-o-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) protocol for skin carcinogenesis. Hpa-Tg mice overexpressing heparanase were far more sensitive than control mice to DMBA/TPA treatment, exhibiting a 10-fold increase in the number and size of tumor lesions. Conversely, DMBA/TPA-induced tumor formation was greatly attenuated in Hpa-KO mice lacking heparanase, pointing to a critical role of heparanase in skin tumorigenesis. In support of these observations, the heparanase inhibitor PG545 potently suppressed tumor progression in this model system. Taken together, our findings establish that heparanase exerts protumorigenic properties at early stages of tumor initiation, cooperating with Ras to dramatically promote malignant development.
Project description:Anti-CD20 B cell depletion therapy (BCDT) is very effective for some patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA); however the pathogenic role of B lymphocytes in RA and the primary targets of BCDT are unknown. The human TNF transgenic (hTNF-Tg) mouse model of RA displays a chronic, progressive disease that spreads from distal to proximal joints and is generally considered to be adaptive immune system independent. We have previously reported that knee arthritis in hTNF-Tg mice is accompanied by structural and functional changes of the adjoining popliteal lymph node (PLN), detectable by contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging. To better understand these changes, in this paper we show that onset of knee synovitis and focal erosions are paralleled by PLN contraction and accumulation of large numbers of B cells in the lymphatic sinus spaces within the node. Flow cytometry from TNF-Tg mice 2, 4-5, and 8-12 mo old demonstrated that B cell accumulation in the PLN follows ankle arthritis, but commences before knee disease, and involves early expansion of CD21(hi), CD23(+), IgM(hi), CD1d(+), activation marker-negative, polyclonal B cells that are found to be specifically restricted to lymph nodes draining inflamed, arthritic joints. The same B cell population also accumulates in PLNs of K/BxN mice with autoantigen-dependent arthritis. Strikingly, we show that BCDT ameliorates hTNF-Tg disease and clears follicular and CD21(hi), CD23(+) B cells from the PLNs. On the basis of these findings, we propose a model whereby B cells contribute to arthritis in mice, and possibly RA, by directly affecting the structure, composition, and function of joint-draining lymph nodes.
Project description:Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common autoimmune disease that afflicts the synovium of diarthrodial joints. The pathogenic mechanisms inciting this disease are not fully characterized, but may involve the loss of tolerance to posttranslationally modified (citrullinated) antigens. We have demonstrated that this modification leads to a selective increase in antigenic peptide affinity for major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules that carry the RA-associated shared epitope, such as HLA-DRB1*0401 (DR4). We describe the induction of arthritis in DR4-IE transgenic (tg) mice with citrullinated fibrinogen, a protein commonly found in inflamed synovial tissue and a frequent target of autoantibodies in RA patients. The disease induced in these mice was characterized by synovial hyperplasia followed by ankylosis, but lacked a conspicuous polymorphonuclear cell infiltrate. Immunological analysis of these mice through T cell epitope scanning and antibody microarray analysis identified a unique profile of citrulline-specific reactivity that was not found in DR4-IE tg mice immunized with unmodified fibrinogen or in wild-type C57BL/6 mice immunized with citrullinated fibrinogen, two conditions where arthritis was not observed. These observations directly implicate citrullinated fibrinogen as arthritogenic in the context of RA-associated MHC class II molecules.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease with episodic flares in affected joints. However, how arthritic flare occurs only in select joints during a systemic autoimmune disease remains an enigma. To better understand these observations, we developed longitudinal imaging outcomes of synovitis and lymphatic flow in mouse models of RA, and identified that asymmetric knee flare is associated with ipsilateral popliteal lymph node (PLN) collapse and the translocation of CD23(+)/CD21(hi) B-cells (B-in) into the paracortical sinus space of the node. In order to understand the relationship between this B-in translocation and lymph drainage from flaring joints, we tested the hypothesis that asymmetric tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-induced knee arthritis is associated with ipsilateral PLN and iliac lymph node (ILN) collapse, B-in translocation, and decreased afferent lymphatic flow. METHODS:TNF transgenic (Tg) mice with asymmetric knee arthritis were identified by contrast-enhanced (CE) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and PLN were phenotyped as "expanding" or "collapsed" using LNcap threshold = 30 (Arbitrary Unit (AU)). Inflammatory-erosive arthritis was confirmed by histology. Afferent lymphatic flow to PLN and ILN was quantified by near infrared imaging of injected indocyanine green (NIR-ICG). The B-in population in PLN and ILN was assessed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and flow cytometry. Linear regression analyses of ipsilateral knee synovial volume and afferent lymphatic flow to PLN and ILN were performed. RESULTS:Afferent lymph flow to collapsed nodes was significantly lower (P < 0.05) than flow to expanding nodes by NIR-ICG imaging, and this occurred ipsilaterally. While both collapsed and expanding PLN and ILN had a significant increase (P < 0.05) of B-in compared to wild type (WT) and pre-arthritic TNF-Tg nodes, B-in of expanding lymph nodes (LN) resided in follicular areas while B-in of collapsed LN were present within LYVE-1+ lymphatic vessels. A significant correlation (P < 0.002) was noted in afferent lymphatic flow between ipsilateral PLN and ILN during knee synovitis. CONCLUSIONS:Asymmetric knee arthritis in TNF-Tg mice occurs simultaneously with ipsilateral PLN and ILN collapse. This is likely due to translocation of the expanded B-in population to the lumen of the lymphatic vessels, resulting in a dramatic decrease in afferent lymphatic flow. PLN collapse phenotype can serve as a new biomarker of knee flare.
Project description:OBJECTIVE: The aim is to characterize subgroups or phenotypes of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients using a systems biology approach. The discovery of subtypes of rheumatoid arthritis patients is an essential research area for the improvement of response to therapy and the development of personalized medicine strategies. METHODS: In this study, 39 RA patients are phenotyped using clinical chemistry measurements, urine and plasma metabolomics analysis and symptom profiles. In addition, a Chinese medicine expert classified each RA patient as a Cold or Heat type according to Chinese medicine theory. Multivariate data analysis techniques are employed to detect and validate biochemical and symptom relationships with the classification. RESULTS: The questionnaire items 'Red joints', 'Swollen joints', 'Warm joints' suggest differences in the level of inflammation between the groups although c-reactive protein (CRP) and rheumatoid factor (RHF) levels were equal. Multivariate analysis of the urine metabolomics data revealed that the levels of 11 acylcarnitines were lower in the Cold RA than in the Heat RA patients, suggesting differences in muscle breakdown. Additionally, higher dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) levels in Heat patients compared to Cold patients were found suggesting that the Cold RA group has a more suppressed hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function. CONCLUSION: Significant and relevant biochemical differences are found between Cold and Heat RA patients. Differences in immune function, HPA axis involvement and muscle breakdown point towards opportunities to tailor disease management strategies to each of the subgroups RA patient.
Project description:Microglia rapidly mount an inflammatory response to pathogens in the central nervous system (CNS). Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) have been attributed various roles in inflammation. To elucidate the relevance of microglial HSPGs in a pro-inflammatory response we isolated microglia from mice overexpressing heparanase (Hpa-tg), the HS-degrading endoglucuronidase, and challenged them with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a bacterial endotoxin. Prior to LPS-stimulation, the LPS-receptor cluster-of-differentiation 14 (CD14) and Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4; essential for the LPS response) were similarly expressed in Ctrl and Hpa-tg microglia. However, compared with Ctrl microglia, Hpa-tg cells released significantly less tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF?), essentially failed to up-regulate interleukin-1? (IL1?) and did not initiate synthesis of proCD14. Isolated primary astroyctes expressed TLR4, but notably lacked CD14 and in contrast to microglia, LPS challenge induced a similar TNF? response in Ctrl and Hpa-tg astrocytes, while neither released IL1?. The astrocyte TNF?-induction was thus attributed to CD14-independent TLR4 activation and was unaffected by the cells HS status. Equally, the suppressed LPS-response in Hpa-tg microglia indicated a loss of CD14-dependent TLR4 activation, suggesting that microglial HSPGs facilitate this process. Indeed, confocal microscopy confirmed interactions between microglial HS and CD14 in LPS-stimulated microglia and a potential HS-binding motif in CD14 was identified. We conclude that microglial HSPGs facilitate CD14-dependent TLR4 activation and that heparanase can modulate this mechanism.
Project description:Heparanase is an endo-glucuronidase that specifically cleaves heparan sulfate (HS) and heparin polysaccharides. The enzyme is expressed at low levels in normal tissues, but is often upregulated under pathological conditions such as cancer and inflammation. Normal human platelets express exceptionally high levels of heparanase, but the functional consequences of this feature remain unknown. We investigated functional roles of heparanase by comparing the properties of platelets expressing high (Hpa-tg) or low (Ctr) levels of heparanase. Upon activation, Hpa-tg platelets exhibited a much stronger adhesion activity as compared to Ctr platelets, likely contributing to a higher thrombotic activity in a carotid thrombosis model. Furthermore, we found concomitant upregulated expression of both heparanase and CD62P (P-selectin) upon activation of mouse and human platelets. As platelets play important roles in tumor metastasis, these findings indicate contribution of the platelet heparanase to hyper-thrombotic conditions often seen in patients with metastatic cancer.
Project description:Hypoxia stimulates synovial hypoperfusion in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). TXNDC5 stimulates cellular proliferation in hypoxic conditions. We previously detected increased TXNDC5 expression in synovial tissues and blood from RA patients and demonstrated that the gene encoding TXNDC5 increased RA risk. The present study investigated the pathogenic roles of TXNDC5 in RA. Transgenic mice that over-expressed TXNDC5 (TXNDC5-Tg) were generated using C57BL/6J mice and treated with bovine collagen II to induce arthritis (CIA). Synovial fibroblasts from RA patients (RASFs) were cultured and incubated with TXNDC5-siRNA or CoCl(2), a chemical that induces hypoxia. CIA was observed in 80% of the TXNDC5-Tg, but only 20% of the wild-type mice (WT) developed CIA. The clinical arthritis scores reached 5 in the TXNDC5-Tg, but this index only reached 2 in the control mice. CIA TXNDC5-Tg exhibited clear pannus proliferation and bone erosion in joint tissues. A significant increase in CD4 T cells was observed in the thymus and spleen of TXNDC5-Tg during CIA. Serum levels of anti-collagen II IgG, IgG1 and IgG2a antibodies were significantly elevated in the mice. Increased cell proliferation, cell migration and TXNDC5 expression were observed in RASFs following incubation with 1 µM CoCl(2). However, this effect was diminished when TXNDC5 expression was inhibited with 100 nM siRNA. TNF-alpha, IL-1?, IL-1? and IL-17 levels were significantly increased in the blood of TXNDC5-Tg mice, but the levels of these cytokines declined in the supernatant of RASFs that were treated with TXNDC5 siRNA. The expression of adiponectin, a cytokine-like mediator, decreased significantly in RASFs following TXNDC5 siRNA treatment. These results suggest that TXNDC5-over-expressing mice were susceptible to CIA. This study also suggests that hypoxia induced TXCNDC5 expression, which contributed to adiponectin expression, cytokine production and the cellular proliferation and migration of fibroblasts in RA.