Martine Alexandre

Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, United States

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Publications (7)52.24 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Clinical studies indicate that cigarette smoking increases the risk for developing acute pancreatitis. The nicotine metabolite 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK) is a major cigarette smoke toxin. We hypothesized that NNK could sensitize to pancreatitis and examined its effects in isolated rat pancreatic acini and in vivo. In acini, 100 nM NNK caused three- and fivefold activation of trypsinogen and chymotrypsinogen, respectively, above control. Furthermore, NNK pretreatment in acini enhanced zymogen activation in a cerulein pancreatitis model. The long-term effects of NNK were examined in vivo after intraperitoneal injection of NNK (100 mg/kg body wt) three times weekly for 2 wk. NNK alone caused zymogen activation (6-fold for trypsinogen and 2-fold for chymotrypsinogen vs. control), vacuolization, pyknotic nuclei, and edema. This NNK pretreatment followed by treatment with cerulein (40 μg/kg) for 1 h to induce early pancreatitis responses enhanced trypsinogen and chymotrypsinogen activation, as well as other parameters of pancreatitis, compared with cerulein alone. Potential targets of NNK include nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and β-adrenergic receptors; mRNA for both receptor types was detected in acinar cell preparations. Studies with pharmacological inhibitors of these receptors indicate that NNK can mediate acinar cell responses through an nonneuronal α(7)-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α(7)-nAChR). These studies suggest that prolonged exposure to this tobacco toxin can cause pancreatitis and sensitize to disease. Therapies targeting NNK-mediated pathways may prove useful in treatment of smoking-related pancreatitis.
    AJP Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 07/2012; 303(6):G696-704. DOI:10.1152/ajpgi.00138.2012 · 3.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The premature activation of digestive enzyme zymogens in the pancreatic acinar cell is an important initiating event in acute pancreatitis. We have previously demonstrated that vacuolar ATPase (vATPase) activity is required for zymogen activation. Adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) regulates vATPase function in kidney and epididymal clear cells. To determine whether AMPK could affect pancreatitis responses, its effects were first examined in a cellular model of pancreatitis, cerulein-hyperstimulated (100 nM) pancreatic acini. This treatment caused a prominent increase in trypsin and chymotrypsin activities. Pretreatment with AICAR or metformin (AMPK activators) or compound C (an AMPK inhibitor) reduced or increased cerulein-induced zymogen activation, respectively. The association of the vATPase E subunit with membranes, a marker of its activation, tended to be inversely related to AMPK activity (assessed by AICAR and compound C treatments). Cerulein treatment did not change AMPK (α and β) levels but did lead to an increase in its activation (phosphorylation of Thr172) and induced the time-dependent translocation of the enzyme to a Triton-insoluble compartment. Basal in vivo studies showed that AMPK was widely distributed between membrane and soluble fractions generated by differential centrifugation. After cerulein hyperstimulation, AMPK levels selectively decreased in fractions containing the highest levels of active zymogens. These studies suggest that AMPK activity has a protective role in the pancreatic acinar cell that inhibits zymogen activation in the basal state, and this AMPK effect is reduced during pancreatitis. Therapies that prevent the selective reduction of AMPK in compartments that support zymogen activation could reduce injury during pancreatitis.
    AJP Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 07/2012; 303(6):G723-32. DOI:10.1152/ajpgi.00082.2012 · 3.80 Impact Factor
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    Gastroenterology 05/2012; 142(5):S-20. DOI:10.1016/S0016-5085(12)60078-X · 16.72 Impact Factor
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    Martine Alexandre · Stephen J Pandol · Fred S Gorelick · Edwin C Thrower
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    ABSTRACT: Cigarette smoking has been linked to many diseases, including pancreatic cancer and more recently, pancreatitis. Electronic searches of primarily PubMed from 1990 to August 2011 were conducted and only articles published in English were reviewed. Original articles and reviews were selected based on screening of article abstracts and their relevance to tobacco smoking, its components, nicotine and its metabolites, and their effects particularly on the pancreas. Smoking may affect the risk of developing chronic pancreatitis or its progression. Smoking may also affect the risk for developing acute pancreatitis. Its effects in pancreatitis appear to be dose dependent and its effects may be alcohol independent but synergize with alcohol. Specific constituents of cigarette smoke, including nicotine and its metabolites, could mediate effects on the pancreas.
    Pancreatology 11/2011; 11(5):469-74. DOI:10.1159/000332196 · 2.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Novel protein kinase C isoforms (PKC δ and ε) mediate early events in acute pancreatitis. Protein kinase D (PKD/PKD1) is a convergent point of PKC δ and ε in the signaling pathways triggered through CCK or cholinergic receptors and has been shown to activate the transcription factor NF-κB in acute pancreatitis. For the present study we hypothesized that a newly developed PKD/PKD1 inhibitor, CRT0066101, would prevent the initial events leading to pancreatitis. We pretreated isolated rat pancreatic acinar cells with CRT0066101 and a commercially available inhibitor Gö6976 (10 μM). This was followed by stimulation for 60 min with high concentrations of cholecystokinin (CCK, 0.1 μM), carbachol (CCh, 1 mM), or bombesin (10 μM) to induce initial events of pancreatitis. PKD/PKD1 phosphorylation and activity were measured as well as zymogen activation, amylase secretion, cell injury and NF-κB activation. CRT0066101 dose dependently inhibited secretagogue-induced PKD/PKD1 activation and autophosphorylation at Ser-916 with an IC(50) ∼3.75-5 μM but had no effect on PKC-dependent phosphorylation of the PKD/PKD1 activation loop (Ser-744/748). Furthermore, CRT0066101 reduced secretagogue-induced zymogen activation and amylase secretion. Gö6976 reduced zymogen activation but not amylase secretion. Neither inhibitor affected basal zymogen activation or secretion. CRT0066101 did not affect secretagogue-induced cell injury or changes in cell morphology, but it reduced NF-κB activation by 75% of maximal for CCK- and CCh-stimulated acinar cells. In conclusion, CRT0066101 is a potent and specific PKD family inhibitor. Furthermore, PKD/PKD1 is a potential mediator of zymogen activation, amylase secretion, and NF-κB activation induced by a range of secretagogues in pancreatic acinar cells.
    AJP Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 01/2011; 300(1):G120-9. DOI:10.1152/ajpgi.00300.2010 · 3.80 Impact Factor
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    Gastroenterology 01/2011; 140(5). DOI:10.1016/S0016-5085(11)61584-9 · 16.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Low extracellular pH (pHe) occurs in a number of clinical conditions and sensitizes to the development of pancreatitis. The mechanisms responsible for this sensitization are unknown. Because abnormal Ca(2+) signaling underlies many of the early steps in the pathogenesis of pancreatitis, we evaluated the effect of decreasing pHe from 7.4 to 7.0 on Ca(2+) signals in the acinar cell. Low pHe significantly increased the amplitude of cerulein-induced Ca(2+) signals. The enhancement in amplitude was localized to the basolateral region of the acinar cell and was reduced by pretreatment with ryanodine receptor (RYR) inhibitors. Because basolateral RYRs also have been implicated in the pathogenesis of pancreatitis, we evaluated the effects of RYR inhibitors on pancreatitis responses in acidic conditions. RYR inhibitors significantly reduced the sensitizing effects of low pHe on zymogen activation and cellular injury. These findings suggest that enhanced RYR-mediated Ca(2+) signaling in the basolateral region of the acinar cell is responsible for the injurious effects of low pHe on the exocrine pancreas.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2010; 286(3):1919-26. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M110.158329 · 4.57 Impact Factor