[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: T cell differentiation into distinct functional effector and inhibitory subsets is regulated, in part, by the cytokine environment present at the time of antigen recognition. Here, we show that hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1), a key metabolic sensor, regulates the balance between regulatory T cell (T(reg)) and T(H)17 differentiation. HIF-1 enhances T(H)17 development through direct transcriptional activation of RORγt and via tertiary complex formation with RORγt and p300 recruitment to the IL-17 promoter, thereby regulating T(H)17 signature genes. Concurrently, HIF-1 attenuates T(reg) development by binding Foxp3 and targeting it for proteasomal degradation. Importantly, this regulation occurs under both normoxic and hypoxic conditions. Mice with HIF-1α-deficient T cells are resistant to induction of T(H)17-dependent experimental autoimmune encephalitis associated with diminished T(H)17 and increased T(reg) cells. These findings highlight the importance of metabolic cues in T cell fate determination and suggest that metabolic modulation could ameliorate certain T cell-based immune pathologies.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As the interface with the outside world, the airway epithelial barrier is critical to lung defense. Because of respiratory efforts, the airways are exposed to shear stress; however, little is known regarding the effects of shear on epithelial function. We report that low-level shear stress enhances epithelial barrier function, an effect that requires serial activation of the transient receptor potential vanilloid (TRPV) 4 and L-type voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC) and an increase in intracellular calcium. These changes lead to a selective decrease in aquaporin-5 (AQP5) abundance because of protein internalization and degradation. To determine whether AQP5 plays a role in mediating the shear effects on paracellular permeability, we overexpressed hAQP5 in 16HBE cells, an airway epithelial cell line without endogenous AQP5. We found that AQP5 expression was needed for shear-induced barrier enhancement. These findings have direct relevance to the regulation of epithelial barrier function, membrane permeability, and water homeostasis in the respiratory epithelia.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2008; 105(9):3345-50. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: O(2) is the ultimate electron acceptor for mitochondrial respiration, a process catalyzed by cytochrome c oxidase (COX). In yeast, COX subunit composition is regulated by COX5a and COX5b gene transcription in response to high and low O(2), respectively. Here we demonstrate that in mammalian cells, expression of the COX4-1 and COX4-2 isoforms is O(2) regulated. Under conditions of reduced O(2) availability, hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) reciprocally regulates COX4 subunit expression by activating transcription of the genes encoding COX4-2 and LON, a mitochondrial protease that is required for COX4-1 degradation. The effects of manipulating COX4 subunit expression on COX activity, ATP production, O(2) consumption, and reactive oxygen species generation indicate that the COX4 subunit switch is a homeostatic response that optimizes the efficiency of respiration at different O(2) concentrations. Thus, mammalian cells respond to hypoxia by altering COX subunit composition, as previously observed in yeast, but by a completely different molecular mechanism.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitor, simvastatin, has been shown to attenuate chronic hypoxic pulmonary hypertension (CHPH). Here, we assess whether simvastatin is capable of inducing regression of established CHPH and explore potential mechanisms of statin effect. Rats (n = 8 in each group) were exposed to chronic hypoxia (10% Fi(O(2))) for 2 or 4 wk. Simvastatin treatment (20 mg.kg(-1).day(-1)) commenced after 2 wk of hypoxia, at which time CHPH was fully established, reduced mean pulmonary artery pressure (19 +/- 0.5 vs. 27 +/- 0.9 mmHg; P < 0.001), the ratio of right ventricular free wall to left ventricular plus septal weight (0.41 +/- 0.03 vs. 0.54 +/- 0.03; P < 0.001), and medial thickening of small pulmonary arteries (13 +/- 0.4 vs. 16 +/- 0.4%; P < 0.01) compared with 4-wk hypoxic controls. Supplementation with mevalonate (50 mg.kg(-1).day(-1)) prevented the attenuation of CHPH induced by simvastatin during 2 wk of hypoxia. Because statins are known to inhibit Rho-kinase (ROCK), we determined expression of ROCK-1 and -2 in whole lung by Western blot and ROCK activity by phosphorylation of the myosin-binding subunit of myosin phosphatase. Expression of both ROCK-1 and -2 were markedly diminished in simvastatin-treated animals during normoxia and hypoxia (2- and 4-wk) exposure (P < 0.01). ROCK activity was increased threefold under hypoxic conditions and normalized with simvastatin treatment (P < 0.001). We conclude that simvastatin attenuates and induces regression of established CHPH through inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase. Inhibition of ROCK expression and activity may be an important mechanism of statin effect.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is an incurable disease characterized by a progressive increase in pulmonary vascular resistance leading to right heart failure. Carbon monoxide (CO) has emerged as a potently protective, homeostatic molecule that prevents the development of vascular disorders when administered prophylactically. The data presented in this paper demonstrate that CO can also act as a therapeutic (i.e., where exposure to CO is initiated after pathology is established). In three rodent models of PAH, a 1 hour/day exposure to CO reverses established PAH and right ventricular hypertrophy, restoring right ventricular and pulmonary arterial pressures, as well as the pulmonary vascular architecture, to near normal. The ability of CO to reverse PAH requires functional endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS/NOS3) and NO generation, as indicated by the inability of CO to reverse chronic hypoxia-induced PAH in eNOS-deficient (nos3-/-) mice versus wild-type mice. The restorative function of CO was associated with a simultaneous increase in apoptosis and decrease in cellular proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells, which was regulated in part by the endothelial cells in the hypertrophied vessels. In conclusion, these data demonstrate that CO reverses established PAH dependent on NO generation supporting the use of CO clinically to treat pulmonary hypertension.
Journal of Experimental Medicine 10/2006; 203(9):2109-19. · 13.21 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The pulmonary circulation constricts in response to acute hypoxia, which is reversible on reexposure to oxygen. On exposure to chronic hypoxia, in addition to vasoconstriction, the pulmonary vasculature undergoes remodeling, resulting in a sustained increase in pulmonary vascular resistance that is not immediately reversible. Hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction is physiological in the fetus, and there are many mechanisms by which the pulmonary vasculature relaxes at birth, principal among which is the acute increase in oxygen. Oxygen-induced signaling mechanisms, which result in pulmonary vascular relaxation at birth, and the mechanisms by which chronic hypoxia results in pulmonary vascular remodeling in the fetus and adult, are being investigated. Here, the roles of cGMP-dependent protein kinase in oxygen-mediated signaling in fetal pulmonary vascular smooth muscle and the effects of chronic hypoxia on ion channel activity and smooth muscle function such as contraction, growth, and gene expression were discussed.