Project description:BACKGROUND:Chronic corticosteroid treatment suppresses HPA-axis activity and might alter activity of 11? hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases (11?-HSD). We aimed to investigate whether the endogenous glucocorticoid production and 11?-HSD activities are altered in prednisolone-treated renal transplant recipients (RTR) compared with healthy controls and whether this has implications for long-term survival in RTR. METHODS:In a longitudinal cohort of 693 stable RTR and 275 healthy controls, 24-hour urinary cortisol, cortisone, tetrahydrocorisol (THF), allotetrahydrocortisol (alloTHF), and tetrahydrocortisone (THE) were measured using liquid chromatography tandem-mass spectrometry. Twenty-four-hour urinary excretion of cortisol and metabolites were used as measures of endogenous glucocorticoid production; (THF + alloTHF)/THE and cortisol/cortisone ratios were used as measures of 11?-HSD activity. RESULTS:Urinary cortisol and metabolite excretion were significantly lower in RTR compared with healthy controls (P < .001), whereas (THF + alloTHF)/THE and cortisol/cortisone ratios were significantly higher (P < .001 and P = .002). Lower total urinary metabolite excretion and higher urinary (THF + alloTHF)/THE ratios were associated with increased risk of mortality, independent of age, sex, estimated glomerular filtration rate, C-reactive protein, body surface area, and daily prednisolone dose, respectively. CONCLUSIONS:Endogenous glucocorticoid production and 11?-HSD activities are altered in prednisolone-treated RTR. Decreased total urinary endogenous glucocorticoid metabolite excretion and increased urinary (THF + alloTHF)/THE ratios are associated with increased risk of mortality.
Project description:The factors involved in maintaining a localized inflammatory state in psoriatic skin remain poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate through metabolomic and transcriptomic profiling marked suppression of glucocorticoid biosynthesis in the epidermis of psoriatic skin leading to localized deficiency of cortisol. Utilizing a 3D human epidermis model, we demonstrate that glucocorticoid biosynthesis is suppressed by proinflammatory cytokines and that glucocorticoid deficiency promotes inflammatory responses in keratinocytes. Finally, we show in vitro and in vivo that treatment with topical glucocorticoids leads to rapid restoration of glucocorticoid biosynthesis gene expression coincident with normalization of epidermal differentiation and suppression of inflammatory responses. Taken together, our data suggest that localized glucocorticoid deficiency in psoriatic skin interferes with epidermal differentiation and promotes a sustained and localized inflammatory response. This may shed new light on the mechanism of action of topical steroids, and demonstrates the critical role of endogenous steroid in maintaining both inflammatory and differentiation homeostasis in the epidermis.
Project description:Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, the most common forms of arthritis, are chronic, painful, and disabling conditions. Although both diseases differ in etiology, they manifest in progressive joint destruction characterized by pathological changes in the articular cartilage, bone, and synovium. While the potent anti-inflammatory properties of therapeutic (i.e., exogenous) glucocorticoids have been heavily researched and are widely used in clinical practice, the role of endogenous glucocorticoids in arthritis susceptibility and disease progression remains poorly understood. Current evidence from mouse models suggests that local endogenous glucocorticoid signaling is upregulated by the pro-inflammatory microenvironment in rheumatoid arthritis and by aging-related mechanisms in osteoarthritis. Furthermore, these models indicate that endogenous glucocorticoid signaling in macrophages, mast cells, and chondrocytes has anti-inflammatory effects, while signaling in fibroblast-like synoviocytes, myocytes, osteoblasts, and osteocytes has pro-inflammatory actions in rheumatoid arthritis. Conversely, in osteoarthritis, endogenous glucocorticoid signaling in both osteoblasts and chondrocytes has destructive actions. Together these studies provide insights into the role of endogenous glucocorticoids in the pathogenesis of both inflammatory and degenerative joint disease.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The glucocorticoid receptor (GR) consists of two alternatively spliced isoforms: GR?, which activates gene transcription, and GR?, a dominant-negative receptor. Theoretically, inactivating variants of GR? could result in glucocorticoid hypersensitivity.<h4>Design</h4>A 46-year-old woman presented for evaluation of adrenal insufficiency prompted by low plasma cortisol levels and multiple unexplained symptoms but without clinical evidence of glucocorticoid insufficiency. To explain these findings, extensive clinical, genetic, and molecular studies were performed.<h4>Methods</h4>Standard clinical methods assessed the patient's hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Validated molecular techniques were used for receptor sequencing, stable transfections, stimulation of candidate genes, cDNA arrays, Ingenuity Pathway Analysis, volcano analysis, and isolation and analysis of the patient's mononuclear cells.<h4>Results</h4>Clinical studies excluded primary or secondary adrenal insufficiency, established consistently low basal cortisol levels, and demonstrated hypersensitivity to ultra-low-dose dexamethasone. Receptor sequencing identified two variants of GR9? (A3669G and G3134T) as well as the known Bcl1 polymorphism. Reductionist studies using stable osteosarcoma cell lines transfected with the GR? variants demonstrated glucocorticoid hypersensitivity of transcribed genes on cDNA array analysis. The patient's monocytes responded to hydrocortisone with exaggerated stimulation of the candidate genes GILZ and FKBP5.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Two variants of the dominant-negative GR?, in conjunction with a common Bcl1 intron variant, resulted in hypersensitivity to endogenous and exogenous glucocorticoids and, as a reflection of severity, low circulating cortisol levels without clinical evidence of glucocorticoid insufficiency. This prismatic case exemplifies the unique effects of variants of a dominant-negative receptor.
Project description:It is well-established that psychological distress reduces natural killer cell immune function and that this reduction can be due to the stress-induced release of glucocorticoids. Glucocorticoids are known to alter epigenetic marks associated with immune effector loci, and are also known to influence chromatin organization. The purpose of this investigation was to assess the effect of glucocorticoids on natural killer cell chromatin organization and to determine the relationship of chromatin organization to natural killer cell effector function, e.g. interferon gamma production. Interferon gamma production is the prototypic cytokine produced by natural killer cells and is known to modulate both innate and adaptive immunity. Glucocorticoid treatment of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells resulted in a significant reduction in interferon gamma production. Glucocorticoid treatment also resulted in a demonstrable natural killer cell nuclear phenotype. This phenotype was localization of the histone, post-translational epigenetic mark, H3K27me3, to the nuclear periphery. Peripheral nuclear localization of H3K27me3 was directly related to cellular levels of interferon gamma. This nuclear phenotype was determined by direct visual inspection and by use of an automated, high through-put technology, the Amnis ImageStream. This technology combines the per-cell information content provided by standard microscopy with the statistical significance afforded by large sample sizes common to standard flow cytometry. Most importantly, this technology provides for a direct assessment of the localization of signal intensity within individual cells. The results demonstrate glucocorticoids to dysregulate natural killer cell function at least in part through altered H3K27me3 nuclear organization and demonstrate H3K27me3 chromatin organization to be a predictive indicator of glucocorticoid induced immune dysregulation of natural killer cells.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:A widely recognized metabolic side effect of glucocorticoid (GC) therapy is steroid-induced diabetes mellitus (DM). However, studies on the molecular basis of GC-induced pancreatic beta cell dysfunction in human beta cells are lacking. The significance of non-coding RNAs in various cellular processes is emerging. In this study, we aimed to show the direct negative impact of GC on beta cell function and elucidate the role of riborepressor GAS5 lincRNA in the GC signaling pathway in human pancreatic beta cells. METHODS:Patients undergoing two weeks of high-dose prednisolone therapy were monitored for C-peptide levels. Human pancreatic islets and the human beta cell line EndoC-?H1 were incubated in pharmacological concentrations of dexamethasone. The GAS5 level was modulated using anti-sense LNA gapmeR or short oligonucleotides with GAS5 HREM (hormone response element motif). Immunoblotting and/or real-time PCR were used to assess changes in protein and RNA expression, respectively. Functional characterization included glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and apoptosis assays. Correlation analysis was performed on RNAseq data of human pancreatic islets. RESULTS:We found reduced C-peptide levels in patients undergoing high-dose GC therapy. Human islets and the human beta cell line EndoC-?H1 exposed to GC exhibited reduced insulin secretion and increased apoptosis. Concomitantly, reduced expression of important beta cell transcription factors, PDX1 and NKX6-1, as well as exocytotic protein SYT13 were observed. The expression of the glucocorticoid receptor was decreased, while that of serum and glucocorticoid-regulated kinase 1 (SGK1) was elevated. The expression of these genes was found to significantly correlate with GAS5 in human islet transcriptomics data. Increasing GAS5 levels using GAS5 HREM alleviated the inhibitory effects of dexamethasone on insulin secretion. CONCLUSIONS:The direct adverse effect of glucocorticoid in human beta cell function is mediated via important beta cell proteins and components of the GC signaling pathway in an intricate interplay with GAS5 lincRNA, a potentially novel therapeutic target to counter GC-mediated beta cell dysfunction.
Project description:Although a myriad of pathological responses contribute to traumatic brain injury (TBI), cerebral dysfunction has been closely linked to cell death mechanisms. A number of therapeutic strategies have been studied in an attempt to minimize or ameliorate tissue damage; however, few studies have evaluated the inherent protective capacity of the brain. Endogenous neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) reside in distinct brain regions and have been shown to respond to tissue damage by migrating to regions of injury. Until now, it remained unknown whether these cells have the capacity to promote endogenous repair. We ablated NSPCs in the subventricular zone to examine their contribution to the injury microenvironment after controlled cortical impact (CCI) injury. Studies were performed in transgenic mice expressing the herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase gene under the control of the nestin(?) promoter exposed to CCI injury. Two weeks after CCI injury, mice deficient in NSPCs had reduced neuronal survival in the perilesional cortex and fewer Iba-1-positive and glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive glial cells but increased glial hypertrophy at the injury site. These findings suggest that the presence of NSPCs play a supportive role in the cortex to promote neuronal survival and glial cell expansion after TBI injury, which corresponds with improvements in motor function. We conclude that enhancing this endogenous response may have acute protective roles after TBI.
Project description:Progressive loss of effector functions, especially IFN-γ secreting capability, in effector memory CD8+ T (CD8+ TEM) cells plays a causal role in asthma worsening. However, the mechanisms of CD8+ TEM cell dysfunction remain elusive. Here, we report that S100A4 drives CD8+ TEM cell dysfunction, impairing their protective memory response and promoting asthma worsening in OVA-induced asthma model. We find that allergic CD8+ TEM cells contain two subsets based on S100A4 expression. S100A4+ subsets exhibit dysfunctional effector phenotypes with increased proliferative capability, whereas S100A4- subsets retain effector function but are more inclined to apoptosis, giving rise a dysfunctional CD8+ TEM cell pool. Mechanistically, S100A4 upregulation of mitochondrial metabolism results in a decrease of acetyl-CoA levels, which impair the transcription of effector genes, especially ifn-γ, facilitating cell survival, tolerance and memory potential. Our findings thus reveal general insights into how S100A4 reprograms CD8+ TEM cells into dysfunctional and less protective phenotypes to promote asthma worsening. Overall design: Protein-coding mRNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis of S100A4+ and S100A4- CD8+ TEM cells. There were three samples for each cell population.
Project description:Cardiovascular side effects are frequent problems accompanying systemic glucocorticoid therapy, although the underlying mechanisms are not fully resolved. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been shown to promote various cardiovascular diseases although the link between glucocorticoid and ROS signaling has been controversial. As the family of NADPH oxidases has been identified as important source of ROS in the cardiovascular system we investigated the role of NADPH oxidases in response to the synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone in the cardiovascular system in vitro and in vivo in mice lacking functional NADPH oxidases due to a mutation in the gene coding for the essential NADPH oxidase subunit p22phox. We show that dexamethasone induced NADPH oxidase-dependent ROS generation, leading to vascular proliferation and angiogenesis due to activation of the transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF1). Chronic treatment of mice with low doses of dexamethasone resulted in the development of systemic hypertension, cardiac hypertrophy and left ventricular dysfunction, as well as in pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary vascular remodeling. In contrast, mice deficient in p22phox-dependent NADPH oxidases were protected against these cardiovascular side effects. Mechanistically, dexamethasone failed to upregulate HIF1? levels in these mice, while vascular HIF1? deficiency prevented pulmonary vascular remodeling. Thus, p22phox-dependent NADPH oxidases and activation of the HIF pathway are critical elements in dexamethasone-induced cardiovascular pathologies and might provide interesting targets to limit cardiovascular side effects in patients on chronic glucocorticoid therapy.
Project description:Viral clearance requires effector T-cell egress from the draining lymph node (dLN). The mechanisms that regulate the complex process of effector T-cell egress from the dLN after infection are poorly understood. Here, we visualized endogenous pathogen-specific effector T-cell migration within, and from, the dLN. We used an inducible mouse model with a temporally disrupted sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor-1 (S1PR1) gene specifically in endogenous effector T cells. Early after infection, WT and S1PR1(-/-) effector T cells localized exclusively within the paracortex. This localization in the paracortex by CD8 T cells was followed by intranodal migration by both WT and S1PR1(-/-) T cells to positions adjacent to both cortical and medullary lymphatic sinuses where the T cells exhibited intense probing behavior. However, in contrast to WT, S1PR1(-/-) effector T cells failed to enter the sinuses. We demonstrate that, even when LN retention signals such as CC chemokine receptor 7 (CCR7) are down-regulated, T cell intrinsic S1PR1 is the master regulator of effector T-cell emigration from the dLN.