[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epidemiology and genetic studies indicate that patients with telomere length shorter than average are at higher risk of dying from heart disease or stroke. Telomeres are located at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes, which demonstrate progressive length reduction in most somatic cells during aging. The enzyme telomerase can compensate for telomere loss during cell replication. The present study sought to investigate the contribution of telomerase to stroke and blood-brain barrier (BBB) dysfunction. Telomerase reverse transcriptase knockout (TERT(-/-)) mice and littermate controls with normal TERT expression were subjected to a 24-hr permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO). The stroke outcomes were assessed in terms of neurological scores and infarct volumes. In addition, we evaluated oxidative stress, permeability across the BBB, and integrity of tight junctions in brain microvessels. Neurological testing revealed that TERT(-/-) mice showed enhanced deficits compared with controls. These changes were associated with a greater infarct volume. The expression of tight junction protein ZO-1 decreased markedly in ischemic hemispheres of TERT(-/-) mice. The brain microvessels of TERT(-/-) mice also were more susceptible to oxidative stress, revealing higher superoxide and lower glutathione levels compared with mice with normal TERT expression. Importantly, TERT deficiency potentiated the production of inflammatory mediators, such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-1 beta, and intercellular adhesion molecule-1, in the ischemic hemispheres of mice with pMCAO. Our study suggests that TERT deficiency can predispose to the development of stroke in an experimental model of this disease.
Journal of Neuroscience Research 10/2010; 88(13):2859-68. · 2.97 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Telomerase, via its catalytic component telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT), extends telomeres of eukaryotic chromosomes. The importance of this reaction is related to the fact that telomere shortening is a rate-limiting mechanism for human life span that induces cell senescence and contributes to the development of age-related pathologies. The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether the modulation of telomerase activity can influence human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-mediated dysfunction of human brain endothelial cells (hCMEC/D3 cells) and transendothelial migration of HIV-1-infected cells. Telomerase activity was modulated in hCMEC/D3 cells via small interfering RNA-targeting human TERT (hTERT) or by using a specific pharmacological inhibitor of telomerase, TAG-6. The inhibition of hTERT resulted in the upregulation of HIV-1-induced overexpression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 via the nuclear factor-kappaB-regulated mechanism and induced the transendothelial migration of HIV-1-infected monocytic U937 cells. In addition, the blocking of hTERT activity potentiated a HIV-induced downregulation of the expression of tight junction proteins. These results were confirmed in TERT-deficient mice injected with HIV-1-specific protein Tat into the cerebral vasculature. Further studies revealed that the upregulation of matrix metalloproteinase-9 is the underlying mechanisms of disruption of tight junction proteins in hCMEC/D3 cells with inhibited TERT and exposed to HIV-1. These results indicate that the senescence of brain endothelial cells may predispose to the HIV-induced upregulation of inflammatory mediators and the disruption of the barrier function at the level of the brain endothelium.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HIV-1-infected brains are characterized by increased amyloid deposition. To study the influence of HIV-1 on amyloid beta (Abeta) homeostasis at the blood-brain barrier (BBB) level, we employed a model of brain microvascular endothelial cells exposed to HIV-1 in the presence or absence of Abeta. HIV-1 markedly increased endogenous Abeta levels and elevated accumulation of exogenous Abeta. Simvastatin, the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, blocked these effects. We next evaluated the effects of HIV-1 and/or simvastatin on expression of the receptor for lipoprotein related protein (LRP1) and the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE), known to regulate Abeta transport across the BBB. LRP1 expression was not affected by HIV-1; however, it was increased by simvastatin. Importantly, simvastatin attenuated HIV-1-induced RAGE expression. These results suggest that HIV-1 may directly contribute to Abeta accumulation at the BBB level. In addition, statins may protect against increased Abeta levels associated with HIV-1 infection in the brain.
Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience 11/2009; 43(2):232-43. · 3.84 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The blood-brain barrier (BBB) plays an important role in HIV trafficking into the brain and the development of the central nervous system complications in HIV infection. Tight junctions are the main structural and functional elements that regulate the BBB integrity. Exposure of human brain microvascular endothelial cells (hCMEC/D3 cell line) to HIV-infected monocytes resulted in decreased expression of tight junction proteins, such as junctional adhesion molecule-A (JAM)-A, occludin, and zonula occludens (ZO)-1. Control experiments involved exposure to uninfected monocytes. Alterations of tight junction protein expression were associated with increased endothelial permeability and elevated transendothelial migration of HIV-infected monocytes across an in vitro model of the BBB. Notably, overexpression of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)alpha or PPARgamma attenuated HIV-mediated dysregulation of tight junction proteins. With the use of exogenous PPARgamma agonists and silencing of PPARalpha or PPARgamma, these protective effects were connected to down-regulation of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) and proteasome activities. Indeed, the HIV-induced decrease in the expression of JAM-A and occludin was restored by inhibition of MMP activity. Moreover, both MMP and proteasome inhibitors attenuated HIV-mediated altered expression of ZO-1. The present data indicate that down-regulation of MMP and proteasome activities constitutes a novel mechanism of PPAR-induced protections against HIV-induced disruption of brain endothelial cells.
The FASEB Journal 02/2009; 23(5):1596-606. · 5.70 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are nuclear receptors which down-regulate inflammatory signaling pathways. Therefore, we hypothesized that alterations of PPAR functions can contribute to human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1)-induced dysfunction of brain endothelial cells. Indeed, treatment with HIV-1 transactivator of transcription (Tat) protein decreased PPAR transactivation in brain endothelial cells. We next stably over-expressed PPARalpha and PPARgamma in a newly developed cell line of human brain endothelial cells (hCMEC/D3 cells). Tat-induced up-regulation of inflammatory mediators, such as interleukin (IL)-1beta, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, CCL2, and E-selectin were markedly attenuated in hCMEC/D3 over-expressing PPARalpha or PPARgamma. These results were confirmed in CCL2 and E-selectin promoter activity studies. Similar protective effects were observed in hCMEC/D3 after activation of PPARgamma by exogenous PPAR agonists (dPGJ(2) and rosiglitazone). PPAR over-expression also prevented Tat-induced binding activity and transactivation of nuclear factor-kappaB. Importantly, increased PPAR activity attenuated induction of IL-1beta, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, CCL2, and E-selectin in hCMEC/D3 cells co-cultured with HIV-1-infected Jurkat cells. The protective effects of PPAR over-expression were reversed by the antagonists of PPARalpha (MK886) or PPARgamma (GW9662). The present data suggest that targeting PPAR signaling may provide a novel therapeutic approach to attenuate HIV-1-induced local inflammatory responses in brain endothelial cells.
Journal of Neurochemistry 09/2008; 107(2):497-509. · 3.97 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increased deposition of amyloid beta (Abeta) is characteristic for normal aging and human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1)-associated alterations of the central nervous system. In addition, both Abeta and HIV-1 are known to induce cellular oxidative stress and disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Therefore, we hypothesize that Abeta and HIV-1 protein Tat can potentiate their proinflammatory effects at the brain endothelium level. To address this hypothesis, we studied promoter activity of three proinflammatory genes in an in vitro BBB model of human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMEC) cocultured with a human astrocyte cell line producing Tat (SVGA-Tat cells) and exposed to Abeta. Treatment of HBMEC with Abeta(1-40) in the presence of SVGA-Tat cells resulted in a significant up-regulation of E-selectin, CC chemokine ligand-2, and interleukin-6 promoter activities and protein levels compared with the individual effects of Abeta or Tat. In addition, Abeta markedly amplified E-selectin promoter activity in HBMEC cocultured with HIV-1-infected Jurkat T cells. Simvastatin, the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitor, effectively blocked proinflammatory reactions induced by Abeta in cocultures with SVGA-Tat cells or with HIV-1-infected Jurkat cells. The present study indicates that a combined exposure to Abeta and Tat or HIV-1 can synergistically potentiate the expression of inflammatory genes in brain endothelial cells. In addition, simvastatin may provide a beneficial influence by reducing these effects at the BBB level.