Josef Lichtmannegger

Helmholtz Zentrum München, München, Bavaria, Germany

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Publications (18)99.24 Total impact

  • Hans Zischka, Josef Lichtmannegger
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    ABSTRACT: In Wilson's disease (WD) and related animal models, liver mitochondria are confronted with an increasing copper burden. Physiologically, the mitochondrial matrix may act as a dynamic copper buffer that efficiently distributes the metal to its copper-dependent enzymes. Mitochondria are the first responders in the event of an imbalanced copper homeostasis, as typical changes of their structure are among the earliest observable pathological features in WD. These changes are due to accumulating copper in the mitochondrial membranes and can be reversed by copper-chelating therapies. At the early stage, copper-dependent oxidative stress does not seem to occur. On the contrary, however, when copper is massively deposited in mitochondria, severe structural and respiratory impairments are observed upon disease progression. This provokes reactive oxygen species and consequently causes the mitochondrial membranes to disintegrate, which triggers hepatocyte death. Thus, in WD mitochondria are prime targets for copper, and the excessive copper burden causes their destruction, subsequently provoking tissue failure and death.
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 02/2014; · 4.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The gaseous olefin ethylene (ET) is metabolized in mammals to the carcinogenic epoxide ethylene oxide (EO). Although ET is the largest volume organic chemical worldwide, the EO burden in ET-exposed humans is still uncertain and only limited data is available on the EO burden in ET-exposed rodents. Therefore, EO was quantified in blood of mice, rats, or four volunteers that were single exposed for 6 h to constant atmospheric ET concentrations of between 1 and 10000 ppm (rodents) or 5 and 50 ppm (humans). Both compounds were determined by gas chromatography. At ET concentrations between 1 and 10000 ppm, areas under the concentration-time curves of EO in blood (Nmol x h/l) ranged from 0.039 to 3.62 in mice and from 0.086 to 11.6 in rats. At ET concentrations ≤30 ppm, EO concentrations in blood were 8.7-fold higher in rats and 3.9-fold higher in mice than in the volunteer with the highest EO burdens. Based on measured EO concentrations, levels of EO adducts to hemoglobin and lymphocyte DNA were calculated for diverse ET concentrations and compared with published adduct levels. For given ET exposure concentrations, there were good agreements between calculated and measured levels of adducts to hemoglobin in rats and humans and to DNA in rats and mice. Reported hemoglobin adduct levels in mice were higher than calculated ones. Furthermore, information is given on species-specific background adduct levels. In summary, the study provides most relevant data for an improved assessment of the human health risk from exposure to ET.
    Toxicological Sciences 09/2013; · 4.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial dysfunctions decisively contribute to the progression of human diseases, implying that functional tests of isolated mitochondria may furnish conclusive information for diagnosis and therapy. Classical mitochondrial isolation methods, however, lack precisely adjustable settings for cell rupture, which is the most critical step in this procedure, and complicates subsequent analyses. Here, we present an efficient method to isolate functionally active, intact mitochondria from cultured or primary cells and minute tissue samples in a rapid, highly reproducible manner.
    Analytical Biochemistry 08/2013; · 2.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The cell-toxic bile salts glycochenodeoxycholic acid (GCDCA) and taurochenodeoxycholic acid (TCDCA) are responsible for hepatocyte demise in cholestatic liver diseases, while tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) is regarded hepatoprotective. We demonstrate the direct mitochondrio-toxicity of bile salts which deplete the mitochondrial membrane potential and induce the mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT). The bile salt mediated mechanistic mode of destruction significantly differs from that of calcium, the prototype MPT inducer. Cell-toxic bile salts initially bind to the mitochondrial outer membrane. Subsequently, the structure of the inner boundary membrane disintegrates. And it is only thereafter that the MPT is induced. This progressive destruction occurs in a dose- and time-dependent way. We demonstrate that GCDCA and TCDCA, but not TUDCA, preferentially permeabilize liposomes containing the mitochondrial membrane protein ANT, a process resembling the MPT induction in whole mitochondria. This suggests that ANT is one decisive target for toxic bile salts. To our knowledge this is the first report unraveling the consecutive steps leading to mitochondrial destruction by cell-toxic bile salts.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 05/2013; · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous quantitative proteomic studies on the actions of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) in 5L rat hepatoma cells, a cell model frequently used for investigating the mechanisms of TCDD toxicity, had indicated that dioxin exposure reduced the abundance of numerous proteins which are regulated at the level of protein synthesis initiation. In the present study, we have analysed the mechanism mediating this inhibition. TCDD treatment of the cells largely prevented the activation of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E-binding protein 1, a regulator of translation initiation and substrate of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). By "working upwards" from mTOR, we observed that TCDD inhibited endogenous and IGF-I-induced AKT and ERK activation by interfering with tyrosine phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate 1. This inhibition was mediated by a TCDD-induced secreted factor which was identified as insulin-like growth factor binding protein 4 (IGFBP-4). The induction of IGFBP-4 protein was dependent on a functional aryl hydrocarbon receptor and was preceded by a rapid increase in the level of IGFBP-4 mRNA indicating that IGFBP-4 is a previously unknown transcriptional target of TCDD in 5L cells. IGFBP-4 was not induced by TCDD in the parental cell line of 5L cells, Fao, and in various closely related rat hepatoma cell lines as well as in other unrelated cell types. Analysis of 5L cell chromosomes by multicolour spectral karyotyping (SKY) revealed that the cells carry several hitherto uncharacterised chromosomal translocations. The observations suggest that in 5L cells the Igfbp-4 gene may have got under the control of a promoter containing dioxin responsive element(s) leading to the induction of IGFBP-4 by TCDD. These findings emphasise a particular caution when interpreting and extrapolating results on the action mechanisms of TCDD obtained in studies using 5L cells as a model system.
    Toxicology 04/2013; · 4.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Wilson disease (WD) is a rare hereditary condition that is caused by a genetic defect in the copper-transporting ATPase ATP7B that results in hepatic copper accumulation and lethal liver failure. The present study focuses on the structural mitochondrial alterations that precede clinical symptoms in the livers of rats lacking Atp7b, an animal model for WD. Liver mitochondria from these Atp7b–/– rats contained enlarged cristae and widened intermembrane spaces, which coincided with a massive mitochondrial accumulation of copper. These changes, however, preceded detectable deficits in oxidative phosphorylation and biochemical signs of oxidative damage, suggesting that the ultrastructural modifications were not the result of oxidative stress imposed by copper- dependent Fenton chemistry. In a cell-free system containing a reducing dithiol agent, isolated mitochondria exposed to copper underwent modifications that were closely related to those observed in vivo. In this cell-free system, copper induced thiol modifications of three abundant mitochondrial membrane proteins, and this correlated with reversible intramitochondrial membrane crosslinking, which was also observed in liver mitochondria from Atp7b–/– rats. In vivo, copper-chelating agents reversed mitochondrial accumulation of copper, as well as signs of intra-mitochondrial membrane crosslinking, thereby preserving the functional and structural integrity of mitochondria. Together, these findings suggest that the mitochondrion constitutes a pivotal target of copper in WD.
    The Journal of clinical investigation 03/2011; 121(4):1508-18. · 15.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Copper is an essential redox-active metal ion which in excess becomes toxic due to the formation of reactive oxygen species. In Wilson disease the elevated copper level in liver leads to chronic oxidative stress and subsequent hepatitis. This study was designed to evaluate the copper chelating efficiency of the bacterial methanobactin (MB) in a rat model for Wilson disease. Methanobactin is a small peptide produced by the methanotrophic bacterium Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b and has an extremely high affinity for copper. Methanobactin treatment of the rats was started at high liver copper and serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels. Two dosing schedules with either 6 or 13 intraperitoneal doses of 200mg methanobactin per kg body weight were applied. Methanobactin treatment led to a return of serum AST values to basal levels and a normalization of liver histopathology. Concomitantly, copper levels declined to 45% and 24% of untreated animals after 6 and 13 doses, respectively. Intravenous application of methanobactin led to a prompt release of copper from liver into bile and the copper was shown to be associated with methanobactin. In vitro experiments with liver cytosol high in copper metallothionein demonstrated that methanobactin removes copper from metallothionein confirming the potent copper chelating activity of methanobactin.
    Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology 01/2011; 25(1):36-41. · 1.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Wilson's disease is a human genetic disorder which results in copper accumulation in liver and brain. Treatments such as copper chelation therapy or dietary supplementation with zinc can ameliorate the effects of the disease, but if left untreated, it results in hepatitis, neurological complications, and death. Tetrathiomolybdate (TTM) is a promising new treatment for Wilson's disease which has been demonstrated both in an animal model and in clinical trials. X-ray absorption spectroscopy suggests that TTM acts as a novel copper chelator, forming a complex with accumulated copper in liver. We have used X-ray absorption spectroscopy and X-ray fluorescence imaging to trace the molecular form and distribution of the complex in liver and kidney of an animal model of human Wilson's disease. Our work allows new insights into metabolism of the metal complex in the diseased state.
    Biochemistry 02/2009; 48(5):891-7. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A pathological increase of the permeability of the mitochondrial membranes may culminate in the irreversible rupture of the mitochondrial outer membrane. Such a permeability transition is lethal because it results in the release of death-inducing molecules from mitochondria and/or metabolic failure. Current methods to assess this outer membrane damage are mostly indirect or scarcely representative of the overall mitochondrial population. Here we present an analytical and preparative approach using free flow electrophoresis to directly distinguish rat liver mitochondria that have undergone the permeability transition from unaffected organelles or from organelles that are damaged to a minor degree. Mitochondrial populations, which considerably differ in outer membrane integrity or cytochrome c content, were separated by this means. We further show that the relative abundance of each population depends on the dose of the permeability transition inducer and the duration of the treatment time. Finally, we have employed this approach to investigate the impairment of mitochondria that were isolated from livers subjected to ischemia/reperfusion damage.
    Analytical Chemistry 08/2008; 80(13):5051-8. · 5.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: As part of a comprehensive survey of the impact of the environmental pollutant and hepatocarcinogen 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) on the proteome of hepatic cells, we have performed a high resolution two-dimensional gel electrophoresis study on the rat hepatoma cell line 5L. 78 protein species corresponding to 73 different proteins were identified as up- or down-regulated following exposure of the cells to 1 nm TCDD for 8 h. There was an overlap of only nine proteins with those detected as altered by TCDD in our recent study using the non-gel-based isotope-coded protein label method (Sarioglu, H., Brandner, S., Jacobsen, C., Meindl, T., Schmidt, A., Kellermann, J., Lottspeich, F., and Andrae, U. (2006) Quantitative analysis of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin-induced proteome alterations in 5L rat hepatoma cells using isotope-coded protein labels. Proteomics 6, 2407-2421) indicating a strong complementarity of the two approaches. For the majority of the altered proteins, an effect of TCDD on their abundance or posttranslational modifications had not been known before. Several observations suggest that a sizable fraction of the proteins with altered abundance was induced as an adaptive response to TCDD-induced oxidative stress that was demonstrated using the fluorescent probe dihydrorhodamine 123. A prominent group of these proteins comprised various enzymes for which there is evidence that their expression is regulated via the Keap1/Nrf2/antioxidant response element pathway. Other proteins included several involved in the maintenance of mitochondrial energy production and the regulation of the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway. A particularly intriguing finding was the up-regulation of the mitochondrial outer membrane pore protein, voltage-dependent anion channel-selective protein 2 (VDAC2), which was dependent on the presence of a functional aryl hydrocarbon receptor. The regulatability of VDAC2 protein abundance has not been described previously. In view of the recently discovered central role of VDAC2 as an inhibitor of the activation of the proapoptotic protein BAK and the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway, the present data point to a hitherto unrecognized mechanism by which TCDD may affect cellular homeostasis and survival.
    Molecular &amp Cellular Proteomics 03/2008; 7(2):394-410. · 7.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This protocol describes the purification of mitochondria from rat liver with the aid of zone electrophoresis in a free flow device (ZE-FFE). Starting from liver homogenate, cell debris and nuclei are removed by low speed centrifugation. A crude mitochondrial fraction is obtained by medium speed centrifugation and is further purified by washing followed by a Nycodenz gradient centrifugation. Lysosomes and microsomes are located at the upper parts of the gradient, whereas mitochondria are found in the medium part of the gradient. A subsequent purification step with ZE-FFE efficiently removes remaining lysosomes and microsomes and, importantly, damaged mitochondrial structures. The resulting purified mitochondria can be concentrated by centrifugation and used for further experiments. Finally, possible modifications of this protocol with respect to the isolation of pure lysosomes are discussed.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 02/2008; 424:333-48. · 1.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tetrathiomolybdate (TTM) is a potent copper-chelating agent that has been shown to be effective in Wilson disease patients with neurological symptoms. Here, we investigate the potential use of TTM in treating the acute hepatic copper toxicosis in Long-Evans Cinnamon (LEC) rats, an authentic model for Wilson disease. After the onset of acute hepatitis, LEC rats were treated once with 10 mg TTM/kg. After 1 and 4 days, parameters of liver toxicity and the subcellular distribution and binding of copper and iron were studied. In 11 out of 12 rats TTM rapidly improved acute hepatitis. Hepatic copper decreased through removal from cytosolic metallothionein and lysosomal metallothionein polymers. The remaining lysosomal copper forms a metallothionein-copper-TTM complex. In an almost moribund rat, however, TTM caused severe hepatotoxicity with fatal outcome. TTM is effective in treating acute hepatitis in LEC rats when applied before the animals become moribund. TTM appears to act by removing the presumable reactive copper associated to lysosomal metallothionein polymers. The remaining lysosomal copper seems to be inactivated by forming a complex with TTM. Moreover, TTM removes copper from cytosolic copper-containing metallothionein. As a consequence, metallothionein is degraded and the uptake of copper-metallothionein into the lysosomes and the formation of the metallothionein polymer associated copper is reduced.
    Journal of Hepatology 04/2004; 40(3):409-16. · 9.86 Impact Factor
  • Dominik Klein, Josef Lichtmannegger, Matthias Finckh, Karl H Summer
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    ABSTRACT: The Long-Evans cinnamon (LEC) rat, an authentic model for Wilson disease, is characterized by a mutation in the Atp7b gene leading to a defective copper excretion and, as a consequence, to an accumulation of the metal in the liver and copper-associated hepatotoxicity. In the present communication expression profiles of genes in the liver from wild-type Long-Evans agouti (LEA) and LEC rats at different stages of copper accumulation and liver disease were investigated. Disease states were defined according to serum aspartate aminotransferase activity and bilirubin levels in serum and from histopathology of the liver. Gene expression was determined with the Affymetrix RTU34 oligonucleotide array covering 1031 genes. Compared to the LEA rat, the nondiseased LEC rat with already increased hepatic copper level showed an enhanced expression of genes, particularly related to oxidative stress and DNA damage. During the progression of the liver disease, in particular genes related to oxidative stress, DNA damage, apoptosis and inflammation with acute-phase reaction were upregulated.
    Archive für Toxikologie 11/2003; 77(10):568-75. · 5.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Wilson's disease is an autosomal recessive human illness in which large quantities of copper accumulate in various organs, including the brain and the liver. If left untreated, it results in hepatitis, neurological complications, and death. Long-Evans Cinnamon (LEC) rats have a homologous mutation to Wilson's disease and thus provide an animal model. Liver lysosomes from tetrathiomolybdate-treated LEC rats were isolated and analyzed by Cu and Mo K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy. The lysosomes contained a Cu-Mo-S cluster in which the Mo is coordinated by four sulfurs at 2.24 A with approximately three copper neighbors at 2.70 A. Each Cu is coordinated to 3-4 sulfurs at 2.28 A with approximately one Mo neighbor at 2.70 A. These results indicate the formation of a biologically novel molybdenum-copper-sulfur cluster.
    Journal of the American Chemical Society 03/2003; 125(7):1704-5. · 10.68 Impact Factor
  • D Klein, J Lichtmannegger, U Heinzmann, K H Summer
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    ABSTRACT: The Long-Evans cinnamon rat has a mutation homologous to the human Wilson disease gene, leading to gross copper accumulation and the development of hepatitis. D-penicillamine, a copper-chelating drug widely and efficiently used in treating Wilson disease, has also been shown to prevent hepatitis in Long-Evans cinnamon rats. The objectives of this study were: i) to investigate the effectiveness of D-penicillamine when administered to the already affected animals, and ii) to elucidate the mechanism of action of the drug. Long-Evans cinnamon rats were divided into groups according to age and treatment with D-penicillamine. The drug was administered orally before and after the onset of hepatitis. Livers were examined by light and electron microscopy. The effect of D-penicillamine on the subcellular distribution and binding of copper was investigated in more detail. Finally, the interaction between D-penicillamine and specific hepatic copper-binding proteins was studied in vitro. D-penicillamine when given to either healthy or diseased animals prevented or reversed hepatitis, respectively. The drug particularly inhibited the disease-specific accumulation of copper in lysosomes of hepatocytes, tissue macrophages and Kupffer cells. When administered to diseased animals, the drug sequestered copper particularly from insoluble lysosomal particles. According to results obtained in vitro, the mobilization of this copper is likely to proceed through the solubilization of these particles. In contrast and as supported by the in vitro data, D-penicillamine had only a minor effect on copper bound to metallothionein in the cytosol. Our findings on the Long-Evans cinnamon rat provide some conclusions on the mechanism of action of D-penicillamine in Wilson disease therapy. The drug prevents the formation or promotes the solubilization of copper-rich particles which occur in lysosomes of hepatocytes and Kupffer cells in the livers of patients with Wilson disease. Once chelated with D-penicillamine copper might then be excreted into urine. However, the mobilization of copper by D-penicillamine seems to be limited due to the binding of the metal to metallothionein in liver cytosol. This copper, even at relatively high concentrations, apparently may be well tolerated.
    Journal of Hepatology 03/2000; 32(2):193-201. · 9.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Long-Evans cinnamon (LEC) rat has a mutation homologous to the human Wilson's disease gene, leading to copper-induced hepatotoxicity. The mechanism of how excess copper damages the liver or what chemical form of copper is toxic is still unclear. In liver cytosol, copper levels were highest just before the onset of hepatitis and declined thereafter. In cytosol, total copper was bound to metallothionein (MT). Considerable amounts of both copper and iron accumulated in lysosomes with increasing age and development of liver damage. Lysosomal levels of presumably reactive non-MT-bound copper were increased. In severely affected livers, large amounts of copper were associated with insoluble material of high density which, upon ultrastructural information, was found to be derived from the lysosomes of Kupffer cells. This copper-rich material is considered to consist of polymeric degradation products of copper-MT. We suggest that chronic copper toxicity in LEC rats involves the uptake of copper-loaded MT into lysosomes, where it is incompletely degraded and polymerizes to an insoluble material containing reactive copper. This copper, together with iron, initiates lysosomal lipid peroxidation, leading to hepatocyte necrosis. Subsequent to phagocytosis by Kupffer cells, the reactive copper may amplify liver damage either directly or through stimulation of these cells.
    European Journal of Clinical Investigation 05/1998; 28(4):302-10. · 3.37 Impact Factor
  • K H Summer, D Klein, J Lichtmannegger, T Wolff
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    ABSTRACT: The glutathione (GSH) depleting effect of 2-chloroacetophenone (CN) was studied in freshly isolated rat hepatocytes. CN proved to be more effective in depleting GSH than diethylmaleate, phorone or styrene oxide. The reaction between GSH and CN followed a 1:1 stoichiometry, allowing adjustment of cellular GSH concentrations at distinct levels. After incubating cells (8 mg protein/ml) with 200 mumol CN/l for 5 min, GSH depletion was almost complete without signs of cytotoxicity. At 300 mumol/l CN, GSH depletion persisted, and cytotoxicity occurred after 30 min. Activities of cytochrome P450 dependent enzymes, even at concentrations up to 500 mumol CN/l, were only marginally affected. Therefore, CN is of particular value for in vitro studies at decreased availability of GSH.
    Archive für Toxikologie 02/1996; 71(1-2):127-9. · 5.22 Impact Factor