Elizabeth A Walker

University of Birmingham, Birmingham, ENG, United Kingdom

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Publications (56)327.43 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Purpose:Vitamin D3 is a secosteroid mainly synthesized from the conversion of the skin precursor 7-dehydrocholesterol to vitamin D3 by ultraviolet (UV) B sunlight. Extra-renal synthesis of vitamin D3 has been reported in many tissues and cells including barrier sites. This study characterizes the expression of components of vitamin D signaling in human ocular barrier cells. Methods:Human conjunctival epithelial (CCL20.2), human corneal endothelial (HCEC-12), non-pigmented ciliary body epithelial (ODM-2), and adult retinal pigment epithelial (ARPE-19) cell lines and primary human scleral fibroblasts (HSF), were analyzed for the expression of vitamin D receptor (VDR), the vitamin D activating enzymes 1α-hydroxylase (CYP27B1), 25-hydroxylases (CYP27A1 and CYP2R1), the vitamin D inactivating enzyme 24-hydroxylase (CYP24A1), and endocytic receptors cubulin and megalin utilizing a combination of RT-PCR, Immunocytochemistry and EIA. Results:CCL20.2, HSF, HCEC-12, ODM-2, and ARPE-19 express mRNA and protein for all vitamin D synthesizing and metabolizing components. The cell types tested except HSF are able to convert inactive 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D3) into active 1,25-hydroxyviatmin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3) in the order of HCEC-12>ODM2>CCL20.2>ARPE >HSF. Conclusions: This novel study demonstrates that ocular barrier epithelial cells express the machinery for vitamin D3 and can produce 1,25(OH)2D3. We suggest that vitamin D3 might play a role in immune regulation and barrier function in ocular barrier cells.
    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 02/2014; · 3.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Innate immune responses have a critical role in regulating sight-threatening ocular surface (OcS) inflammation. While glucocorticoids (GCs) are frequently used to limit tissue damage, the role of intracrine GC (cortisol) bioavailability via 11-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) in OcS defense, remains unresolved. We found that primary human corneal epithelial cells (PHCEC), fibroblasts (PHKF) and allogeneic macrophages (M1, GM-CSF; M2, M-CSF) were capable of generating cortisol (M1>PHKF>M2>PHCEC) but in corneal cells, this was independent of Toll-like receptor (TLR) activation. While PolyI∶C induced maximal cytokine and chemokine production from both PHCEC (IFNγ, CCL2, CCL3, and (CCL4), IL6, CXCL10, CCL5, TNFα) and PHKF (CCL2, IL-6, CXCL10, CCL5), only PHKF cytokines were inhibited by GCs. Both Poly I∶C and LPS challenged-corneal cells induced M1 chemotaxis (greatest LPS-PHKF (250%), but down-regulated M1 11β-HSD1 activity (30 and 40% respectively). These data were supported by clinical studies demonstrating reduced human tear film cortisol∶cortisone ratios (a biomarker of local 11β-HSD1 activity) in pseudomonas keratitis (1∶2.9) versus healthy controls (1∶1.3; p<0.05). This contrasted with putative TLR3-mediated OcS disease (Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, Mucous membrane pemphigoid) where an increase in cortisol∶cortisone ratio was observed (113.8∶1; p<0.05). In summary, cortisol biosynthesis in human corneal cells is independent of TLR activation and is likely to afford immunoprotection under physiological conditions. Contribution to ocular mucosal innate responses is dependent on the aetiology of immunological challenge.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(4):e94913. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glucocorticoid (GC) excess adversely affects skin integrity, inducing thinning and impaired wound healing. Aged skin, particularly that which has been photo-exposed, shares a similar phenotype. Previously, we demonstrated age-induced expression of the GC-activating enzyme 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) in cultured human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs). Here, we determined 11β-HSD1 levels in human skin biopsies from young and older volunteers and examined the aged 11β-HSD1 KO mouse skin phenotype. 11β-HSD1 activity was elevated in aged human and mouse skin and in PE compared with donor-matched photo-protected human biopsies. Age-induced dermal atrophy with deranged collagen structural organization was prevented in 11β-HSD1 KO mice, which also exhibited increased collagen density. We found that treatment of HDFs with physiological concentrations of cortisol inhibited rate-limiting steps in collagen biosynthesis and processing. Furthermore, topical 11β-HSD1 inhibitor treatment accelerated healing of full-thickness mouse dorsal wounds, with improved healing also observed in aged 11β-HSD1 KO mice. These findings suggest that elevated 11β-HSD1 activity in aging skin leads to increased local GC generation, which may account for adverse changes occurring in the elderly, and 11β-HSD1 inhibitors may be useful in the treatment of age-associated impairments in dermal integrity and wound healing.
    The Journal of clinical investigation 06/2013; · 15.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CONTEXT: Inactivating mutations in the enzyme hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (H6PDH- encoded by H6PD) causes Apparent Cortisone Reductase Deficiency (ACRD). H6PDH generates cofactor NADPH for 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1 encoded by HSD11B1) oxo-reductase activity, converting cortisone to cortisol. Inactivating mutations in HSD11B1 cause true cortisone reductase deficiency (CRD). Both ACRD and CRD present with HPA axis activation and adrenal hyperandrogenism. OBJECTIVE: To describe the clinical, biochemical and molecular characteristics of two additional female children with ACRD, and to illustrate the diagnostic value of urinary steroid profiling in identifying and differentiating a total of six ACRD and four CRD cases. DESIGN: Clinical, biochemical, and genetic assessment of two female patients presenting during childhood. In addition, results of urinary steroid profiling in a total of ten ACRD/ CRD patients were compared to identify distinguishing characteristics. RESULTS: Case 1 was compound heterozygous for R109AfsX3, and a novel P146L missense mutation in H6PD. Case 2 was compound heterozygous for novel nonsense mutations Q325X and Y446X in H6PD. Mutant expression studies confirmed loss of H6PDH activity in both cases. Urinary steroid metabolite profiling by gas chromatography/ mass spectrometry (GC/MS) suggested ACRD in both cases. In addition, we were able to establish a steroid metabolite signature differentiating ACRD and CRD, providing a basis for genetic diagnosis and future individualized management. CONCLUSIONS: Steroid profile analysis of a 24h-urine collection provides a diagnostic method for discriminating between ACRD and CRD. This will provide a useful tool in stratifying unresolved adrenal hyperandrogenism in children with premature adrenarche, and adult females with PCOS.
    European Journal of Endocrinology 11/2012; · 3.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glucocorticoids (GC) are implicated in the development of metabolic syndrome, and patients with GC excess share many clinical features, such as central obesity and glucose intolerance. In patients with obesity or type 2 diabetes, systemic GC concentrations seem to be invariably normal. Tissue GC concentrations determined by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and local cortisol (corticosterone in mice) regeneration from cortisone (11-dehydrocorticosterone in mice) by the 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) enzyme, principally expressed in the liver. Transgenic mice have demonstrated the importance of 11β-HSD1 in mediating aspects of the metabolic syndrome, as well as HPA axis control. In order to address the primacy of hepatic 11β-HSD1 in regulating metabolism and the HPA axis, we have generated liver-specific 11β-HSD1 knockout (LKO) mice, assessed biomarkers of GC metabolism, and examined responses to high-fat feeding. LKO mice were able to regenerate cortisol from cortisone to 40% of control and had no discernible difference in a urinary metabolite marker of 11β-HSD1 activity. Although circulating corticosterone was unaltered, adrenal size was increased, indicative of chronic HPA stimulation. There was a mild improvement in glucose tolerance but with insulin sensitivity largely unaffected. Adiposity and body weight were unaffected as were aspects of hepatic lipid homeostasis, triglyceride accumulation, and serum lipids. Additionally, no changes in the expression of genes involved in glucose or lipid homeostasis were observed. Liver-specific deletion of 11β-HSD1 reduces corticosterone regeneration and may be important for setting aspects of HPA axis tone, without impacting upon urinary steroid metabolite profile. These discordant data have significant implications for the use of these biomarkers of 11β-HSD1 activity in clinical studies. The paucity of metabolic abnormalities in LKO points to important compensatory effects by HPA activation and to a crucial role of extrahepatic 11β-HSD1 expression, highlighting the contribution of cross talk between GC target tissues in determining metabolic phenotype.
    Endocrinology 05/2012; 153(7):3236-48. · 4.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dexamethasone (DEX) is commonly used as a therapeutic agent for various ocular inflammatory diseases; however, its effect on resident naive cells is unknown. In this study, genome microarray and microRNA (miR) analyses were used to evaluate the global gene and miR expression of human corneal fibroblasts (HKFs) in response to treatment with DEX. Primary HKFs from three donors were treated with DEX for 16 hours. Treated and untreated cells were snap frozen for microarray and miR array analyses. Genes with a more than threefold change were classified into gene families using the DAVID web-based classification database, and six of these genes were validated using quantitative real-time PCR. Five miRs were also validated using miR-detection assays. Of the 41,093 genes examined, 261 were upregulated and 123 were downregulated greater than threefold after DEX treatment. Real-time PCR confirmed upregulation of six genes, including oculocutaneous albinism II (OCA2), angiopoietin-like 7 (ANGPTL7), neuron navigator 2 (NAV2), neurofilament light chain polypeptide (NEFL), solute carrier family 16/member 12 (SLC16A12), and serum amyloid A1 (SAA1). Expression of several miR including miR-16, -21, and -29C were upregulated, whereas miR-100 was downregulated in fibroblasts by DEX. DEX can greatly change the global gene and miR profile of HKFs. DEX not only downregulates inflammatory genes, but can also induce expression of angiogenic and inflammatory genes. In addition, DEX may exert posttranscriptional gene regulation through miRs. These data support a complex role for DEX-induced changes in resident cells that may have implications in the clinical management of corneal inflammation with topical glucocorticoids.
    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 06/2011; 52(10):7282-8. · 3.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In peripheral target tissues, levels of active glucocorticoid hormones are controlled by 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1), a dimeric enzyme that catalyzes the reduction of cortisone to cortisol within the endoplasmic reticulum. Loss of this activity results in a disorder termed cortisone reductase deficiency (CRD), typified by increased cortisol clearance and androgen excess. To date, only mutations in H6PD, which encodes an enzyme supplying cofactor for the reaction, have been identified as the cause of disease. Here we examined the HSD11B1 gene in two cases presenting with biochemical features indicative of a milder form of CRD in whom the H6PD gene was normal. Novel heterozygous mutations (R137C or K187N) were found in the coding sequence of HSD11B1. The R137C mutation disrupts salt bridges at the subunit interface of the 11β-HSD1 dimer, whereas K187N affects a key active site residue. On expression of the mutants in bacterial and mammalian cells, activity was either abolished (K187N) or greatly reduced (R137C). Expression of either mutant in a bacterial system greatly reduced the yield of soluble protein, suggesting that both mutations interfere with subunit folding or dimer assembly. Simultaneous expression of mutant and WT 11β-HSD1 in bacterial or mammalian cells, to simulate the heterozygous condition, indicated a marked suppressive effect of the mutants on both the yield and activity of 11β-HSD1 dimers. Thus, these heterozygous mutations in the HSD11B1 gene have a dominant negative effect on the formation of functional dimers and explain the genetic cause of CRD in these patients.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2011; 108(10):4111-6. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glucocorticoids (GCs) are highly detrimental to skin integrity and function both when applied topically for anti-inflammatory treatments and during conditions of circulating excess, e.g., Cushing's syndrome. Within target tissues, GC availability is regulated at a prereceptor level, independently of systemic levels, by isozymes of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11β-HSD) that interconvert active cortisol and inactive cortisone. Many of the adverse effects of GCs on skin are also reminiscent of the natural aging process. 11β-HSD1 (which activates cortisol), but not 11β-HSD2 (which inactivates cortisol), was expressed in epidermal keratinocytes and dermal fibroblasts in human skin and also in outer hair follicle root sheath cells in murine skin. 11β-HSD1 activity was present ex vivo in both species and increased with age in human skin tissue explants. In primary human dermal fibroblasts (HDF) from both photoprotected and photoexposed sites, 11β-HSD1 also increased with donor age. Additionally, photoexposed HDF displayed higher 11β-HSD1 mRNA expression than donor-matched photoprotected HDF. GC treatment of HDF caused upregulation of 11β-HSD1 mRNA levels independent of donor age or site. The age- and site-associated increase in dermal 11β-HSD1, and the ensuing increased local GC activation, may contribute to the adverse changes in skin morphology and function associated with chronological aging and photoaging.
    Journal of Investigative Dermatology 01/2011; 131(1):30-6. · 6.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The combined thickness of the intima and media of the carotid artery (carotid intima-medial thickness, CIMT) is associated with cardiovascular disease and stroke. Previous studies indicate that carotid intima-medial thickness is a significantly heritable phenotype, but the responsible genes are largely unknown. Hexose-6 phosphate dehydrogenase (H6PDH) is a microsomal enzyme whose activity regulates corticosteroid metabolism in the liver and adipose tissue; variability in measures of corticosteroid metabolism within the normal range have been associated with risk factors for cardiovascular disease. We performed a genetic association study in 854 members of 224 families to assess the relationship between polymorphisms in the gene coding for hexose-6 phosphate dehydrogenase (H6PD) and carotid intima-medial thickness. Families were ascertained via a hypertensive proband. CIMT was measured using B-mode ultrasound. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) tagging common variation in the H6PD gene were genotyped. Association was assessed following adjustment for significant covariates including "classical" cardiovascular risk factors. Functional studies to determine the effect of particular SNPs on H6PDH were performed. There was evidence of association between the single nucleotide polymorphism rs17368528 in exon five of the H6PD gene, which encodes an amino-acid change from proline to leucine in the H6PDH protein, and mean carotid intima-medial thickness (p = 0.00065). Genotype was associated with a 5% (or 0.04 mm) higher mean carotid intima-medial thickness measurement per allele, and determined 2% of the population variability in the phenotype. Our results suggest a novel role for the H6PD gene in atherosclerosis susceptibility.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(8):e23248. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glucose-6-phosphate (G6P) metabolism by the enzyme hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (H6PDH) within the sarcoplasmic reticulum lumen generates nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (reduced) to provide the redox potential for the enzyme 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) to activate glucocorticoid (GC). H6PDH knockout (KO) mice have a switch in 11β-HSD1 activity, resulting in GC inactivation and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activation. Importantly, H6PDHKO mice develop a type II fiber myopathy with abnormalities in glucose metabolism and activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR). GCs play important roles in muscle physiology, and therefore, we have examined the importance of 11β-HSD1 and GC metabolism in mediating aspects of the H6PDHKO myopathy. To achieve this, we examined 11β-HSD1/H6PDH double-KO (DKO) mice, in which 11β-HSD1 mediated GC inactivation is negated. In contrast to H6PDHKO mice, DKO mice GC metabolism and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis set point is similar to that observed in 11β-HSD1KO mice. Critically, in contrast to 11β-HSD1KO mice, DKO mice phenocopy the salient features of the H6PDHKO, displaying reduced body mass, muscle atrophy, and vacuolation of type II fiber-rich muscle, fasting hypoglycemia, increased muscle glycogen deposition, and elevated expression of UPR genes. We propose that muscle G6P metabolism through H6PDH may be as important as changes in the redox environment when considering the mechanism underlying the activation of the UPR and the ensuing myopathy in H6PDHKO and DKO mice. These data are consistent with an 11β-HSD1-independent function for H6PDH in which sarcoplasmic reticulum G6P metabolism and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-(oxidized)/nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (reduced) redox status are important for maintaining muscle homeostasis.
    Endocrinology 01/2011; 152(1):93-102. · 4.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The etiology of idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is unknown. We hypothesized that obesity and elevated intracranial pressure may be linked through increased 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) activity. The aim was to characterize 11β-HSD1 in human cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) secretory [choroid plexus (CP)] and drainage [arachnoid granulation tissue (AGT)] structures, and to evaluate 11β-HSD1 activity after therapeutic weight loss in IIH. We conducted in vitro analysis of CP and AGT and a prospective in vivo cohort study set in two tertiary care centers. Twenty-five obese adult female patients with active IIH were studied, and 22 completed the study. Intervention: Fasted serum, CSF, and 24-h urine samples were collected at baseline, after 3-month observation, and after a 3-month diet. Changes in urine, serum, and CSF glucocorticoids (measured by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry) after weight loss were measured. 11β-HSD1 and key elements of the glucocorticoid signaling pathway were expressed in CP and AGT. After weight loss (14.2±7.8 kg; P<0.001), global 11β-HSD1 activity decreased (P=0.001) and correlated with reduction in intracranial pressure (r=0.504; P=0.028). CSF and serum glucocorticoids remained stable, although the change in CSF cortisone levels correlated with weight loss (r=-0.512; P=0.018). Therapeutic weight loss in IIH is associated with a reduction in global 11β-HSD1 activity. Elevated 11β-HSD1 may represent a pathogenic mechanism in IIH, potentially via manipulation of CSF dynamics at the CP and AGT. Although further clarification of the functional role of 11β-HSD1 in IIH is needed, our results suggest that 11β-HSD1 inhibition may have therapeutic potential in IIH.
    The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 12/2010; 95(12):5348-56. · 6.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (H6PDH) has emerged as an important factor in setting the redox status of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) lumen. An important role of H6PDH is to generate a high NADPH/NADP(+) ratio which permits 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) to act as an oxo-reductase, catalyzing the activation of glucocorticoids (GCs). In H6PDH knockout mice 11β-HSD1 assumes dehydrogenase activity and inactivates GCs, rendering the target cell relatively GC insensitive. Consequently, H6PDHKO mice have a phenotype consistent with defects in the permissive and adaptive actions of GCs upon physiology. H6PDHKO mice have also offered an insight into muscle physiology as they also present with a severe vacuolating myopathy, abnormalities of glucose homeostasis and activation of the unfolded protein response due to ER stress, and a number of mechanisms driving this phenotype are thought to be involved. This article will review what we understand of the redox control of GC hormone metabolism regulated by H6PDH, and how H6PDHKO mice have allowed an in-depth understanding of its potentially novel, GC-independent roles in muscle physiology.
    Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 12/2010; 336(1-2):213-8. · 4.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To observe intracranial pressure in women with idiopathic intracranial hypertension who follow a low energy diet. Prospective cohort study. Outpatient department and the clinical research facility based at two separate hospitals within the United Kingdom. 25 women with body mass index (BMI) >25, with active (papilloedema and intracranial pressure >25 cm H(2)O), chronic (over three months) idiopathic intracranial hypertension. Women who had undergone surgery to treat idiopathic intracranial hypertension were excluded. Stage 1: no new intervention; stage 2: nutritionally complete low energy (calorie) diet (1777 kJ/day (425 kcal/day)); stage 3: follow-up period after the diet. Each stage lasted three months. The primary outcome was reduction in intracranial pressure after the diet. Secondary measures included score on headache impact test-6, papilloedema (as measured by ultrasonography of the elevation of the optic disc and diameter of the nerve sheath, together with thickness of the peripapillary retina measured by optical coherence tomography), mean deviation of Humphrey visual field, LogMAR visual acuity, and symptoms. Outcome measures were assessed at baseline and three, six, and nine months. Lumbar puncture, to quantify intracranial pressure, was measured at baseline and three and six months. All variables remained stable over stage 1. During stage 2, there were significant reductions in weight (mean 15.7 (SD 8.0) kg, P<0.001), intracranial pressure (mean 8.0 (SD 4.2) cm H(2)O, P<0.001), score on headache impact test (7.6 (SD 10.1), P=0.004), and papilloedema (optic disc elevation (mean 0.15 (SD 0.23) mm, P=0.002), diameter of the nerve sheath (mean 0.7 (SD 0.8) mm, P=0.004), and thickness of the peripapillary retina (mean 25.7 (SD 36.1) micro, P=0.001)). Mean deviation of the Humphrey visual field remained stable, and in only five patients, the LogMAR visual acuity improved by one line. Fewer women reported symptoms including tinnitus, diplopia, and obscurations (10 v 4, P=0.004; 7 v 0, P=0.008; and 4 v 0, P=0.025, respectively). Re-evaluation at three months after the diet showed no significant change in weight (0.21 (SD 6.8) kg), and all outcome measures were maintained. Women with idiopathic intracranial hypertension who followed a low energy diet for three months had significantly reduced intracranial pressure compared with pressure measured in the three months before the diet, as well as improved symptoms and reduced papilloedema. These reductions persisted for three months after they stopped the diet.
    BMJ (online) 07/2010; 341:c2701. · 17.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy (TAO) is a sight-threatening autoimmune disease in which de novo adipogenesis has been identified as a fundamental pathogenic mechanism. 11beta-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1 (11beta-HSD1) increases cortisol bioavailability and is pivotal in mediating glucocorticoid responses in adipose tissue and inflammation. In this study we characterize 11beta-HSD1 as a determinant of the adipogenic and inflammatory pathways in TAO orbital fat (OF) compared with normal OF. OF was harvested from 46 TAO and 44 control patients undergoing orbital surgery. Samples were examined by a combination of immunohistochemistry, real-time RT-PCR, primary cell culture, specific enzyme assays, colorimetric proliferation assays, and bead-based ELISA. Glucocorticoid (glucocorticoid receptor-alpha,11beta-HSD1, hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase) and inflammatory cytokines (IL-1beta, IL-1 receptor, IL-6, TNF-alpha, TNF-alpha inductible protein, TGF-beta2) target genes together with markers of late adipocyte differentiation (fatty-acid-binding-protein-4, glycerol-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase) were highly expressed in TAO whole OF (P < 0.05) compared with controls. Primary cultures of TAO OF stromal cells demonstrated greater 11beta-HSD1 oxoreductase activity (P < 0.05), which was regulated by cytokines, most notably TNF-alpha (P < 0.01), compared with controls. Activity increased across differentiation, and this was most marked in TAO cells (P < 0.01). Similarly, stromal cell proliferation was limited by incubation with cortisol in TAO cells only. Furthermore, cortisone decreased IL-6 (P < 0.005), IL-8 (P < 0.05), and macrophage chemoattractant protein-1 (P < 0.05) production by cultured TAO cells only, an effect that was abrogated by inhibition of 11beta-HSD1. Induction of 11beta-HSD1 activity and expression by inflammatory cytokines (TNF-alpha, IL-6) may enhance orbital adipocyte differentiation (adipogenesis) and limit proliferation in TAO. 11beta-HSD1 may also have a role in regulating the local orbital inflammatory response.
    The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 10/2009; 95(1):398-406. · 6.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We sought to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of metabolomic biomarker profiles in neurological conditions (idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), multiple sclerosis (MS) and cerebrovascular disease (CVD) compared to controls with either no neurological disease or mixed neurological diseases). Spectra of CSF (n = 87) and serum (n = 72) were acquired using (1)H NMR spectroscopy. Multivariate pattern recognition analysis was used to identify disease-specific metabolite biomarker profiles. The metabolite profiles were then used to predict the diagnosis of a second cohort of patients (n = 25). CSF metabolite profiles were able to predict diagnosis with a sensitivity and specificity of 80% for both IIH and MS. The CVD serum metabolite profile was 75% sensitive and specific. On analysing the second patient cohort, the established metabolite biomarker profiles generated from the first cohort showed moderate ability to segregate patients with IIH and MS (sensitivity:specificity of 63:75% and 67:75%, respectively). These findings suggest that NMR spectroscopic metabolic profiling of CSF and serum can identify differences between IIH, MS, CVD and mixed neurological diseases. Metabolomics may, therefore, have the potential to be developed into a clinically useful diagnostic tool. The identification of disease-unique metabolites may also impart information on disease pathology.
    NMR in Biomedicine 08/2009; 23(2):123-32. · 3.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Data are presented on the urinary corticosteroid metabolic profile of the mouse strain 129/svJ. Through the use of GC/MS we have characterized, or tentatively identified corticosterone (Kendall's compound B) metabolites of both the 11beta-hydroxy and 11-carbonyl (compound A) series in urine. Full mass spectra of the methyloxime-trimethylether derivatives of 15 metabolites are included in the paper as an aid to other researchers in the field. Metabolites ranged in polarity from tetrahydrocorticosterone (THB) to dihydroxy-corticosterone with dominance of highly polar steroids. We found that prior to excretion corticosterone can undergo oxidation at position 11beta, reduction at position 20 and A-ring reduction. Metabolites retaining the 3-oxo-4-ene structure can be hydroxylated at position 6beta- as well as at an unidentified position, probably 16alpha-. Saturated steroids can be hydroxylated at positions 1beta-, 6alpha-, 15alpha- and 16alpha. A pair of hydroxy-20-dihydro-corticosterone metabolites (OH-DHB) were the most important excretory products accounting for about 40% of the total. One metabolite of this type was identified as 6beta-hydroxy-DHB; the other, of similar quantitative importance was probably 16alpha-hydroxy-DHB. The ratio of metabolites of corticosterone (B) to those of 11-dehydro-corticosterone (A) was greater than 9:1, considerably higher than that for the equivalent "human" ratio of 1:1 for cortisol to cortisone metabolites. Results from this study allowed the evaluation of 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11beta-HSD) activity in mice with deleted glucose-6-phosphate transporter (G6PT). These mice had attenuated back-conversion of A to B resulting in an increased ratio of A-metabolites to B-metabolites [Walker EA, Ahmed A, Lavery GG, Tomlinson JW, Kim SY, Cooper MS, Stewart PM, 11beta-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 regulation by intracellular glucose-6-phosphate, provides evidence for a novel link between glucose metabolism and HPA axis function. J Biol Chem 2007;282:27030-6]. We believe this study is currently the most comprehensive on the urinary steroid metabolic profile of the mouse. Quantitatively less steroid is excreted in urine than in feces by this species but urine analysis is more straightforward and the hepatic metabolites are less subject to microbial degradation than if feces was analyzed.
    Steroids 11/2008; 73(11):1066-76. · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aetiology of idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is not known, but its association with obesity is well-recognized. Recent studies have linked obesity with abnormalities in circulating inflammatory and adiposity related cytokines. The aim of this study was to characterize adipokine and inflammatory cytokine profiles in IIH. Paired serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimens were collected from 26 patients with IIH and compared to 62 control subjects. Samples were analysed for leptin, resistin, adiponectin, insulin, IL-1beta, IL-6, IL-8 (CXCL8), TNFalpha, MCP-1 (CCL2), hepatocyte growth factor, nerve growth factor and PAI-1 using multiplex bead immunoassays. CSF leptin was significantly higher in patients with IIH (P = 0.001) compared to controls after correction for age, gender and body mass index (BMI). In the control population, BMI correlated with serum leptin (r = 0.34; P = 0.007) and CSF leptin (r = 0.51; P < 0.0001), but this was not the case for the IIH population. Profiles of other inflammatory cytokines and adipokines did not differ between IIH patients and controls once anthropometric factors had been accounted for. IIH was characterized by significantly elevated CSF leptin levels which did not correlate with BMI. We suggest that CSF leptin may be important in the pathophysiology of IIH and that obesity in IIH may occur as a result of hypothalamic leptin resistance.
    Clinical Endocrinology 10/2008; 70(6):863-9. · 3.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Exposure to excess glucocorticoid is associated with pancreatic beta cell damage and decreased glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS). Inactive glucocorticoids (cortisone, 11-dehydrocorticosterone) are converted to active cortisol and corticosterone by 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11beta-HSD1), which requires NADPH as cofactor, which is generated by hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (H6PDH). We investigated the localisation and activity of 11beta-HSD1 within pancreatic islets, and determined its functional role in the regulation of insulin and glucagon secretion. mRNA expression of 11beta-HSD1 (also known as HSD11B1), glucocorticoid receptor and H6PDH (also known as H6PD) in human pancreas and murine islets was examined by real-time PCR. 11beta-HSD1 protein levels were examined by immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence. 11beta-HSD1 activity was assessed in intact tissue and isolated islets of wild-type (WT) and both 11beta-Hsd1- and H6pdh-null mice. Glucagon secretion and insulin secretion were analysed by RIA and ELISA respectively in isolated murine islets incubated with dexamethasone. 11beta-HSD1 co-localised with glucagon in the periphery of murine and human islets, but not with insulin or somatostatin. Dexamethasone, 11-dehydrocorticosterone and corticosterone induced a dose-dependent decrease in GSIS and glucagon secretion following low glucose stimulation. Reduction of 11beta-HSD1 activity with specific inhibitors or in experiments carried out in H6pdh-null mice reversed the effects of 11-dehydrocorticosterone, but had no effect following treatment with corticosterone. Local regeneration of glucocorticoid via 11beta-HSD1 within alpha cells regulates glucagon secretion and in addition may act in a paracrine manner to limit insulin secretion from beta cells.
    Diabetologia 10/2008; 51(11):2003-11. · 6.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cortisone reductase deficiency (CRD) is characterized by a failure to regenerate cortisol from cortisone via 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11beta-HSD1), resulting in increased cortisol clearance, activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-axis (HPA) and ACTH-mediated adrenal androgen excess. 11beta-HSD1 oxoreductase activity requires the reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-generating enzyme hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (H6PDH) within the endoplasmic reticulum. CRD manifests with hyperandrogenism resulting in hirsutism, oligo-amenorrhea, and infertility in females and premature pseudopuberty in males. Recent association studies have failed to corroborate findings that polymorphisms in the genes encoding H6PDH (R453Q) and 11beta-HSD1 (Intron 3 inserted adenine) interact to cause CRD. Our objective was to reevaluate the genetics and steroid biochemistry of patients with CRD. We analyzed 24-h urine collection for steroid biomarkers by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and sequenced the HSD11B1 and H6PD genes in our CRD cohort. Patients included four cases presenting with hyperandrogenism and biochemical features clearly indicative of CRD. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry identified steroid biomarkers that correlated with CRD in each case. Three cases were identified as homozygous (R109AfsX3, Y316X, and G359D) and one case identified as compound heterozygous (c.960G-->A and D620fsX3) for mutations in H6PD. No mutations affecting enzyme activity were identified in the HSD11B1 gene. Expression and activity assays demonstrate loss of function for all reported H6PDH mutations. CRD is caused by inactivating mutations in the H6PD gene, rendering the 11beta-HSD1 enzyme unable to operate as an oxoreductase, preventing local glucocorticoid regeneration. These data highlight the importance of the redox control of cortisol metabolism and the 11beta-HSD1-H6PDH pathway in regulating hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity.
    Journal of Clinical Endocrinology &amp Metabolism 10/2008; 93(10):3827-32. · 6.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In adipose tissue, glucocorticoids regulate lipogenesis and lipolysis. Hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (H6PDH) is an enzyme located in the endoplasmic reticulum that provides a cofactor for the enzyme 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11beta-HSD1), regulating the set point of its activity and allowing for tissue-specific activation of glucocorticoids. The aim of this study was to examine the adipose tissue biology of the H6PDH null (H6PDH/KO) mouse. Real-time PCR analysis confirmed similar mRNA levels of 11beta-HSD1 and glucocorticoid receptor-alpha in wild-type (WT) and H6PDH/KO mice in liver and gonadal fat depots. Microsomal 11beta-HSD1 protein levels shown by Western blot analysis corresponded well with mRNA expression in gonadal fat of WT and H6PDH/KO mice. Despite this, the enzyme directionality in these tissues changed from predominately oxoreductase in WT to exclusively dehydrogenase activity in the H6PDH/KO mice. In the fed state, H6PDH/KO mice had reduced adipose tissue mass, but histological examination revealed no difference in average adipocyte size between genotypes. mRNA expression levels of the key lipogenic enzymes, acetyl CoA carboxylase, adiponutrin, and stearoyl-coenzyme A desaturase-2, were decreased in H6PDH/KO mice, indicative of impaired lipogenesis. In addition, lipolysis rates were also impaired in the H6PDH/KO as determined by lack of mobilization of fat and no change in serum free fatty acid concentrations upon fasting. In conclusion, in the absence of H6PDH, the set point of 11beta-HSD1 enzyme activity is switched from predominantly oxoreductase to dehydrogenase activity in adipose tissue; as a consequence, this leads to impairment of fat storage and mobilization.
    Endocrinology 06/2008; 149(5):2584-91. · 4.72 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
327.43 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2000–2012
    • University of Birmingham
      • • School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine
      • • School of Immunity and Infection
      • • Institute for Biomedical Research
      • • Group of Medical Science and Education
      Birmingham, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 2006
    • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
      • Department of Internal Medicine
      Dallas, TX, United States
  • 2001–2004
    • Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham
      Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
  • 2000–2002
    • The Queen Elizabeth Hospital
      Tarndarnya, South Australia, Australia