[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Leishmania is an intracellular parasite in vertebrate hosts, including man. During infection, amastigotes replicate inside macrophages and are transmitted to healthy cells, leading to amplification of the infection. Although transfer of amastigotes from infected to healthy cells is a crucial step that may shape the outcome of the infection, it is not fully understood. Here we compare L. amazonensis and L. guyanensis infection in C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice and investigate the fate of macrophages when infected with these species of Leishmania in vitro. As previously shown, infection of mice results in distinct outcomes: L. amazonensis causes a chronic infection in both strains of mice (although milder in C57BL/6), whereas L. guyanensis does not cause them disease. In vitro, infection is persistent in L. amazonensis-infected macrophages whereas L. guyanensis growth is controlled by host cells from both strains of mice. We demonstrate that, in vitro, L. amazonensis induces apoptosis of both C57BL/6 and BALB/c macrophages, characterized by PS exposure, DNA cleavage into nucleosomal size fragments, and consequent hypodiploidy. None of these signs were seen in macrophages infected with L. guyanensis, which seem to die through necrosis, as indicated by increased PI-, but not Annexin V-, positive cells. L. amazonensis-induced macrophage apoptosis was associated to activation of caspases-3, -8 and -9 in both strains of mice. Considering these two species of Leishmania and strains of mice, macrophage apoptosis, induced at the initial moments of infection, correlates with chronic infection, regardless of its severity. We present evidence suggestive that macrophages phagocytize L. amazonensis-infected cells, which has not been verified so far. The ingestion of apoptotic infected macrophages by healthy macrophages could be a way of amastigote spreading, leading to the establishment of infection.
PLoS ONE 10/2015; 10(10):e0141196. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0141196 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Preeclampsia (PE) is characterized by hypertension and proteinuria after the 20th week in pregnant women who have had no previous symptoms. Clinically, it is important to diagnose the severe form of the disease, in which blood pressure is much higher. Imbalance between angiogenic and antiangiogenic factors, as well as changes in adhesion molecules seem to contribute to the endothelial dysfunction and PE clinical manifestations. The aim of this study was to assess plasma levels of the angiogenic factors (free vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and soluble endoglin (sEng)) and adhesion molecules (soluble forms of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1) and soluble forms of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1)) in severe PE (sPE), in order to clarify the circulating profile of these factors.
Sixty women with sPE (34 with early sPE and 26 with late sPE), and 60 normotensive pregnant were enrolled in this study. Free VEGF, sICAM-1, sVCAM-1, and sEng plasma levels were determined by ELISA.
Increased sEng and sVCAM-1 and decreased free VEGF plasma levels were found in women with sPE, compared with normotensive pregnant group. However, no significant difference was observed comparing early and late sPE.
Our data confirm the imbalance in changes in angiogenic and antiangiogenic factors, as well changes in adhesion molecule (sVCAM-1) in PE. These findings give support to the hypothesis that circulating angiogenic proteins and endothelial dysfunction may have an important biologic role in PE. Data from prospective, longitudinal studies producing serial determinations of these molecules throughout pregnancy are needed to better understanding the relevance of these markers in PE diagnosis and prognosis.
American Journal of Hypertension 10/2015; DOI:10.1093/ajh/hpv170 · 2.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Preeclampsia (PE) is a pregnancy disease associated with exacerbated inflammatory response. Annexin A1 (AnxA1) is a glucocorticoid-regulated protein endowed with anti-inflammatory and proresolving properties that has been much studied in various animal models of inflammation but poorly studied in the context of human inflammatory diseases. The main objective of this study was to measure AnxA1 levels in PE women and to compare those levels in normotensive pregnant and non-pregnant women. We evaluated the association among AnxA1, ultrasensitive C reactive protein (us-CRP) and soluble tumor necrosis factor alpha receptor type 1 (sTNF-R1) plasma levels of the study participants.
This study included 40 non-pregnant, 38 normotensive pregnant and 51 PE women. PE women were stratified in early (N = 23) and late (N = 28) subgroups, according to gestational age (GA) at onset of clinical symptoms. Protein AnxA1 and us-CRP plasma levels were determined by ELISA and immunoturbidimetric assays, respectively. Transcript levels of AnxA1 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were measured by real time RT-PCR.
Increased levels of AnxA1 coincided with higher us-CRP levels in the plasma of PE women. Pregnant women with early PE had higher levels of AnxA1 and us-CRP than normotensive pregnant women with GA <34 weeks. No significant difference was found for AnxA1 and us-CRP, comparing late PE and normotensive pregnant women with GA ≥34 weeks. AnxA1 mRNA levels in PBMC were similar among the studied groups. AnxA1 was positively correlated with sTNF-R1, but not with us-CRP.
Our data show that increased AnxA1 levels were associated with a systemic inflammatory phenotype in PE, suggesting AnxA1 deregulation in PE pathogenesis. However, more studies are needed to clarify the role of AnxA1 and other proresolving molecules in the context of the systemic inflammatory response in this intriguing disease.
PLoS ONE 09/2015; 10(9):e0138475. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0138475 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The pathophysiology of chronic inflammatory pain remains poorly understood. In this context, we developed an experimental model in which successive daily injection of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) for 14 days into rat hind paws produces a persistent state of hypernociception (i.e. decrease in mechanical nociceptive threshold). This state persists for more than 30 days after discontinuing PGE2 injection. In the present study, we investigated the participation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), in the maintenance of this process. Mechanical hypernociception was evaluated using the electronic von Frey test. Activation of NF-κB signaling was measured through the determination of NF-κB p65 subunit translocation to the nucleus of dorsal root ganglion neurons (DRG) by immunofluorescence and western blotting. Herein, we detected an increase in NF-κB p65 subunit translocation to the nucleus of DRG neurons along with persistent inflammatory hypernociception compared with controls. Intrathecal treatment with either dexamethasone or PDTC (NF-κB activation inhibitor) after ending of the induction phase of the persistent inflammatory hypernociception, curtailed the hypernociception period as well as reducing NF-κB p65 subunit translocation. Treatment with antisense oligonucleotides against the NF-κB p65 subunit for 5 consecutive days also reduced persistent inflammatory hypernociception. Inhibition of PKA and PKCε reduced persistent inflammatory hypernociception, which was associated with inhibition of NF-κB p65 subunit translocation. Together these results suggest that peripheral activation of NF-κB by PKA and PKC in primary sensory neurons plays an important role in maintaining persistent inflammatory pain.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Experimental cerebral malaria (ECM) is characterized by a strong immune response, with leukocyte recruitment, blood-brain barrier breakdown and hemorrhage in the central nervous system. Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase γ (PI3Kγ) is central in signaling diverse cellular functions. Using PI3Kγ-deficient mice (PI3Kγ-/-) and a specific PI3Kγ inhibitor, we investigated the relevance of PI3Kγ for the outcome and the neuroinflammatory process triggered by Plasmodium berghei ANKA (PbA) infection. Infected PI3Kγ-/- mice had greater survival despite similar parasitemia levels in comparison with infected wild type mice. Histopathological analysis demonstrated reduced hemorrhage, leukocyte accumulation and vascular obstruction in the brain of infected PI3Kγ-/- mice. PI3Kγ deficiency also presented lower microglial activation (Iba-1+ reactive microglia) and T cell cytotoxicity (Granzyme B expression) in the brain. Additionally, on day 6 post-infection, CD3+CD8+ T cells were significantly reduced in the brain of infected PI3Kγ-/- mice when compared to infected wild type mice. Furthermore, expression of CD44 in CD8+ T cell population in the brain tissue and levels of phospho-IkB-α in the whole brain were also markedly lower in infected PI3Kγ-/- mice when compared with infected wild type mice. Finally, AS605240, a specific PI3Kγ inhibitor, significantly delayed lethality in infected wild type mice. In brief, our results indicate a pivotal role for PI3Kγ in the pathogenesis of ECM.
PLoS ONE 03/2015; 10(3):e0119633. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0119633 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) is an enzyme involved in different pathophysiological processes, including neurological disorders. However, its role in seizures and postictal outcomes is still not fully understood. We investigated the role of PI3Kγ on seizures, production of neurotrophic and inflammatory mediators, expression of a marker for microglia, neuronal death and hippocampal neurogenesis in mice (WT and PI3Kγ−/−) subjected to intrahippocampal microinjection of pilocarpine. PI3Kγ−/− mice presented a more severe status epilepticus (SE) than WT mice. In hippocampal synaptosomes, genetic or pharmacological blockade of PI3Kγ enhanced the release of glutamate and the cytosolic calcium concentration induced by KCl. There was an enhanced neuronal death and a decrease in the doublecortin positive cells in the dentate gyrus of PI3Kγ−/− animals after the induction of SE. Levels of BDNF were significantly increased in the hippocampus of WT and PI3Kγ−/− mice, although in the prefrontal cortex, only PI3Kγ−/− animals showed significant increase in the levels of this neurotrophic factor. Pilocarpine increased hippocampal microglial immunolabeling in both groups, albeit in the prelimbic, medial and motor regions of the prefrontal cortex this increase was observed only in PI3Kγ−/− mice. Regarding the levels of inflammatory mediators, pilocarpine injection increased interleukin (IL) 6 in the hippocampus of WT and PI3Kγ−/− animals and in the prefrontal cortex of PI3Kγ−/− animals 24 h (h) after the stimulus. Levels of TNFα were enhanced in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of only PI3Kγ−/− mice at this time point. On the other hand, PI3Kγ deletion impaired the increase in IL-10 in the hippocampus induced by pilocarpine. In conclusion, the lack of PI3Kγ revealed a deleterious effect in an animal model of convulsions induced by pilocarpine, suggesting that this enzyme may play a protective role in seizures and pathological outcomes associated with this condition.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Eosinophils are effector cells that have an important role in the pathogenesis of allergic disease. Defective removal of these cells likely leads to chronic inflammatory diseases such as asthma. Thus, there is great interest in understanding the mechanisms responsible for the elimination of eosinophils from inflammatory sites. Previous studies have demonstrated a role for certain mediators and molecular pathways responsible for the survival and death of leukocytes at sites of inflammation. Reactive oxygen species have been described as proinflammatory mediators but their role in the resolution phase of inflammation is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of reactive oxygen species in the resolution of allergic inflammatory responses. An eosinophilic cell line (Eol-1) was treated with hydrogen peroxide and apoptosis was measured. Allergic inflammation was induced in ovalbumin sensitized and challenged mouse models and reactive oxygen species were administered at the peak of inflammatory cell infiltrate. Inflammatory cell numbers, cytokine and chemokine levels, mucus production, inflammatory cell apoptosis and peribronchiolar matrix deposition was quantified in the lungs. Resistance and elastance were measured at baseline and after aerosolized methacholine. Hydrogen peroxide accelerates resolution of airway inflammation by induction of caspase-dependent apoptosis of eosinophils and decrease remodeling, mucus deposition, inflammatory cytokine production and airway hyperreactivity. Moreover, the inhibition of reactive oxygen species production by apocynin or in gp91(phox-/-) mice prolonged the inflammatory response. Hydrogen peroxide induces Eol-1 apoptosis in vitro and enhances the resolution of inflammation and improves lung function in vivo by inducing caspase-dependent apoptosis of eosinophils.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ZEB1 and ZEB2 have been recently related to cancer prognosis. We investigated their expression and its association with clinicopathological parameters and overall survival in invasive micropapillary carcinoma (IMPC), which is a metastasising neoplasm of the canine mammary gland. Immunohistochemical evaluation showed nuclear and cytoplasmic staining for ZEB2 and nuclear staining for ZEB1. ‘In situ’ areas presented higher positivity for cytoplasmic ZEB2 than invasive areas of IMPC did (p=0.03). ZEB1 positivity was associated with a low histological grade (p=0.01). A shorter overall survival rate was observed in IMPCs that were positive for cytoplasmic ZEB2 (p=0.04). Antibodies specificity in canine species was confirmed by western blot. Our results indicated that cytoplasmic ZEB2 appears to be an important factor in the early stages of malignancy and predicts a poor overall survival rate for IMPC in this canine mammary cancer model. ZEB1 downregulation appears to be associated with the dedifferentiation process of IMPC.
Research in Veterinary Science 10/2014; 97(3). DOI:10.1016/j.rvsc.2014.09.016 · 1.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The plasminogen (Plg)/plasmin (Pla) system is associated with a variety of biological activities beyond the classical dissolution of fibrin clots, including cell migration, tissue repair, and inflammation. Although the capacity of Plg/Pla to induce cell migration is well defined, the mechanism underlying this process in vivo is elusive. In this study, we show that Pla induces in vitro migration of murine fibroblasts and macrophages (RAW 264.7) dependent on the MEK/ERK pathway and by requiring its proteolytic activity and lysine binding sites. Plasmin injection into the pleural cavity of BALB/c mice induced a time-dependent influx of mononuclear cells that was associated with augmented ERK1/2 and IκB-α phosphorylation and increased levels of CCL2 and IL-6 in pleural exudates. The inhibition of protease activity by using a serine protease inhibitor leupeptin or two structurally different protease-activated receptor-1 antagonists (SCH79797 and RWJ56110) abolished Pla-induced mononuclear recruitment and ERK1/2 and IκB-α phosphorylation. Interestingly, inhibition of the MEK/ERK pathway abolished Pla-induced CCL2 upregulation and mononuclear cell influx. In agreement with a requirement for the CCL2/CCR2 axis to Pla-induced cell migration, the use of a CCR2 antagonist (RS504393) prevented the Plg/Pla-induced recruitment of mononuclear cells to the pleural cavity and migration of macrophages at transwell plates. Therefore, Pla-induced mononuclear cell recruitment in vivo was dependent on protease-activated receptor-1 activation of the MEK/ERK/NF-κB pathway, which led to the release of CCL2 and activation of CCR2.
The Journal of Immunology 08/2014; 193(7). DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.1400334 · 4.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inflammation is a physiological response of the immune system to injury or infection but may become chronic. In general, inflammation is self-limiting and resolves by activating a termination program named resolution of inflammation. It has been argued that unresolved inflammation may be the basis of a variety of chronic inflammatory diseases. Resolution of inflammation is an active process that is fine-tuned by the production of proresolving mediators and the shutdown of intracellular signaling molecules associated with cytokine production and leukocyte survival. Apoptosis of leukocytes (especially granulocytes) is a key element in the resolution of inflammation and several signaling molecules are thought to be involved in this process. Here, we explore key signaling molecules and some mediators that are crucial regulators of leukocyte survival
and that may be targeted for therapeutic purposes in the context of chronic inflammatory diseases.
Mediators of Inflammation 07/2014; 2014(3):829851. DOI:10.1155/2014/829851 · 3.24 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Despite intensive research, the etiopathogenesis of preeclampsia (PE) remains uncertain. Inflammatory and angiogenic factors are thought to play considerable roles in this disease. The objective of this study was to investigate the association between soluble endoglin (sEng), transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-β1) and tumor necrosis factor alpha soluble receptors (sTNF-Rs) and the clinical manifestations of PE.
Plasma levels of sEng, TGF-β1 and sTNF-Rs were determined by ELISA in 23 non-pregnant, 21 normotensive pregnant and 43 PE women. PE women were stratified into subgroups according to the severity [mild (n = 12) and severe (n = 31)] and onset-time of the disease [early (n = 19) and late (n = 24)].
Pregnancy was associated with higher levels of sEng, sTNF-R1 and sTNF-R2 than the non-pregnant state. Moreover, PE women had higher levels of sEng and sTNF-R1 than normotensive pregnant women. No difference was found in TGF-β1 levels, comparing the three study groups. Late PE had higher levels of sTNF-R1 and sTNF-R2 than early PE. No significant differences were found in sEng and TGF-β1 comparing early and late PE. sEng levels were higher in severe PE than in mild PE and no difference was found for TGF-β1, sTNF-R1 and sTNF-R2 levels. There was a positive correlation among sEng, TNF-R1 and sTNF-2 levels. Logistic regression analysis revealed that primiparity and sEng levels are independently associated with the development of PE. Furthermore, sEng levels are independently associated with the disease severity.
These results suggest that pregnancy is a condition associated with higher levels of anti-angiogenic and pro-inflammatory factors than the non-pregnant state and that PE is associated with an imbalance of these factors in the maternal circulation.
PLoS ONE 05/2014; 9(5):e97632. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0097632 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia in the elderly. Neurotrophic factors and inflammatory markers may play considerable roles in AD. In this study we measured, through Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, the plasma levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and neuronal growth factor (NGF), as well as tumor necrosis factor-alpha soluble receptors, sTNFR1 and sTNFR2, and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (sICAM-1), in 50 AD patients, 37 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 56 healthy elderly controls. BDNF levels, expressed as median and interquartile range, were higher for AD patients (2545.3, 1497.4-4153.4 pg/ml) compared to controls (1503.8, 802.3-2378.4 pg/ml), P < 0.001. sICAM-1 was also higher in AD patients. sTNFR1 levels were increased in AD when compared to controls and also to MCI. GDNF, NGF and sTNFR2 levels showed no significant differences among the studied groups. The increase in BDNF might reflect a compensatory mechanism against early neurodegeneration and seems to be related to inflammation. sTNFR1 appears to mark not only the inflammatory state but also differentiates between MCI and AD, which may be an additional tool for differentiating degrees of cognitive impairment.
Journal of Psychiatric Research 02/2014; 53(1). DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2014.01.019 · 3.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bipolar disorder (BD) is a severe psychiatric disorder of complex physiopathology that has been associated with a pro-inflammatory state. The aim of the present study was to investigate intracellular pathways associated with inflammatory signaling, assessing the phosphorylation levels of transcription factor nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPKs) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of euthymic BD patients and healthy controls. Fifteen BD euthymic type I patients, and 12 healthy controls matched by age and gender were enrolled in this study. All subjects were assessed by the Mini-International Neuropsychiatry Interview and the patients also by the Young Mania Rating Scale and the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Phosphorylation levels of p65 NF-κB subunit, and MAPK ERK1/2, and p38 were assessed by Western blot and flow cytometry. Plasma cytokines (IL-2, IL-4, IL6, IL-10, IFN-γ, TNF-α, and IL-17A) were measured using cytometric bead arrays. Western blot and flow cytometry analyses showed increased phosphorylation levels of p65 NF-κB subunit, and MAPKs ERK1/2, and p38 in BD patients in euthymia in comparison with controls. BD patients presented increased pro-inflammatory cytokines levels in comparison with controls, and TNF-α correlated with the levels of phosphorylated p65 NF-κB. The present study found increased activation of MAPK and NF-κB pathways in BD patients, which is in line with a pro-inflammatory status.
Journal of Psychiatric Research 09/2013; 47(12). DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2013.08.019 · 3.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Preeclampsia (PE) is a syndrome characterized by poor placentation and endothelial dysfunction. The diagnosis for this syndrome is based in hypertension and proteinuria presented after the 20th week of pregnancy. Despite intensive research, PE is still one of the leading causes of maternal mortality, although reliable screening tests or effective treatments of this disease have yet to be proposed. Microparticles (MPs) are small vesicles released after cell activation or apoptosis, which contain membrane proteins that are characteristic of the original parent cell. MPs have been proven to play key role in thrombosis, inflammation, and angiogenesis, as well as to mediate cell-cell communication by transferring mRNAs and microRNA from the cell of origin to target cells. Placenta-derived syncytiotrophoblast MPs are one of the most increased MPs during PE and may play an important role in the pathogenesis of this syndrome. Therefore, a better overall understanding of the role of MPs in PE may be useful for new clinical diagnoses and therapeutic approaches.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inflammation is a beneficial host reaction to tissue damage and has the essential primary purpose of restoring tissue homeostasis. Inflammation plays a major role in containing and resolving infection and may also occur under sterile conditions. The cardinal signs of inflammation dolor, calor, tumor and rubor are intrinsically associated with events including vasodilatation, edema and leukocyte trafficking into the site of inflammation. If uncontrolled or unresolved, inflammation itself can lead to further tissue damage and give rise to chronic inflammatory diseases and autoimmunity with eventual loss of organ function. It is now evident that the resolution of inflammation is an active continuous process that occurs during an acute inflammatory episode. Successful resolution requires activation of endogenous programs with switch from production of pro-inflammatory towards pro-resolving molecules, such as specific lipid mediators and annexin A1, and the non-phlogistic elimination of granulocytes by apoptosis with subsequent removal by surrounding macrophages. These processes ensure rapid restoration of tissue homeostasis. Here, we review recent advances in the understanding of resolution of inflammation, highlighting the pharmacological strategies that may interfere with the molecular pathways which control leukocyte survival and clearance. Such strategies have proved beneficial in several pre-clinical models of inflammatory diseases, suggesting that pharmacological modulation of the resolution process may be useful for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases in humans.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The inflammatory response is a physiological process that has the major role of restoring tissue homeostasis. However, uncontrolled or unresolved inflammation may cause tissue damage and contribute to the pathogenesis of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Current pharmacological therapies to treat inflammatory maladies focus on inhibition of the productive phase of the inflammatory response including inhibition of leukocyte influx. Resolution of inflammation is an active process, which relies on the production of pro-resolving molecules and activation of intracellular pathways. Here, we will discuss mechanisms and therapeutic potential of pharmacological strategies, which accelerate resolution in animal models of acute inflammation by mimicking or inducing natural pathways of resolution phase of inflammation.
Current Opinion in Pharmacology 04/2013; 13(4). DOI:10.1016/j.coph.2013.03.007 · 4.60 Impact Factor