[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Elevated cholesterol and triglycerides in blood lead to atherosclerosis and fatty liver, contributing to rising cardiovascular and hepatobiliary morbidity and mortality worldwide.
A cell-penetrating nuclear transport modifier (NTM) reduced hyperlipidemia, atherosclerosis, and fatty liver in low-density lipoprotein receptor-deficient mice fed a Western diet. NTM treatment led to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in blood compared with control animals (36% and 53%, respectively; P<0.005) and liver (41% and 34%, respectively; P<0.05) after 8 weeks. Atherosclerosis was reduced by 63% (P<0.0005), and liver function improved compared with saline-treated controls. In addition, fasting blood glucose levels were reduced from 209 to 138 mg/dL (P<0.005), and body weight gain was ameliorated (P<0.005) in NTM-treated mice, although food intake remained the same as that in control animals. The NTM used in this study, cSN50.1 peptide, is known to modulate nuclear transport of stress-responsive transcription factors such as nuclear factor kappa B, the master regulator of inflammation. This NTM has now been demonstrated to also modulate nuclear transport of sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP) transcription factors, the master regulators of cholesterol, triglyceride, and fatty acid synthesis. NTM-modulated translocation of SREBPs to the nucleus was associated with attenuated transactivation of their cognate genes that contribute to hyperlipidemia.
Two-pronged control of inflammation and dyslipidemia by modulating nuclear transport of their critical regulators offers a new approach to comprehensive amelioration of hyperlipidemia, atherosclerosis, fatty liver, and their potential complications.
Journal of the American Heart Association. 02/2013; 2(2):e000093.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease characterized by the production of auto-antibodies against self-antigens such as double-stranded DNA and phospholipids. Classical comorbidities of SLE include glomerulonephritis, infection, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, skin disorders, and neurological disease. In addition to these classical comorbidities, there is emerging evidence that SLE patients are at higher risk of developing insulin resistance and other components of the metabolic syndrome. Visceral adipose tissue inflammation is a central mediator of insulin resistance in the obese setting, but the mechanism behind the pathogenesis of metabolic disease in the SLE patient population is unclear. We hypothesize that lupus-associated changes in the adaptive immune system are associated with disruption in glucose homeostasis in the context of SLE. To test this hypothesis, we assessed the metabolic and immunological phenotype of SLE-prone B6.SLE mice. B6.SLE mice fed low fat diet had significantly worsened glucose tolerance, increased adipose tissue insulin resistance, increased beta cell insulin secretion, and increased adipocyte size compared to their respective B6 controls. Independent of diet, B cells isolated from the white adipose tissue of B6.SLE mice were skewed towards IgG production and the level of IgG1 was elevated in the serum of SLE-prone mice. These data show that B6.SLE mice develop defects in glucose homeostasis even when fed low fat diet, and suggest that B cells may play a role in this metabolic dysfunction.
AJP Endocrinology and Metabolism 10/2012; · 4.51 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Obesity triggers a low-grade systemic inflammation, which plays an important role in the development of obesity-associated metabolic diseases. In searching for links between lipid accumulation and chronic inflammation, we examined invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells, a subset of T lymphocytes that react with lipids and regulate inflammatory responses. We show that iNKT cells respond to dietary lipid excess and become activated before or at the time of tissue recruitment of inflammatory leukocytes, and that these cells progressively increase proinflammatory cytokine production in obese mice. Such iNKT cells skew other leukocytes toward proinflammatory cytokine production and induce an imbalanced proinflammatory cytokine environment in multiple tissues. Further, iNKT cell deficiency ameliorates tissue inflammation and provides protection against obesity-induced insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis. Conversely, chronic iNKT cell stimulation using a canonical iNKT cell agonist exacerbates tissue inflammation and obesity-associated metabolic disease. These findings place iNKT cells into the complex network linking lipid excess to inflammation in obesity and suggest new therapeutic avenues for obesity-associated metabolic disorders.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2012; 109(19):E1143-52. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent clinical and preclinical studies have demonstrated that systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, unlike in the general population, little is known regarding the efficacy of atheroprotective interventions in patients with SLE. The current study aims to determine the benefit of lymphocyte inhibition on reducing the atherosclerotic burden in SLE-susceptible LDLr-deficient mice.
Female LDLr(-/-) mice were lethally irradiated and reconstituted with bone marrow from C57Bl/6 mice (LDLr.B6) or the SLE-susceptible B6.Sle1.2.3 mice (LDLr.Sle). At 16 weeks post transplant, mice were treated with atorvastatin (10 mg/kg), mycophenolate mofetil (MMF; 40 mg/kg), or both (MMF-A) for 8 weeks, after which the extent of atherosclerosis and the presence of SLE were assessed.
Following 8 weeks of treatment, we observed that atorvastatin-mediated reduction in cholesterol levels attenuated atherogenesis in LDLr.B6 mice but failed to significantly reduce atherosclerotic lesion size in LDLr.Sle mice, in spite of a significant reduction in serum cholesterol levels. Treatment with MMF and MMF-A attenuated atherogenesis in LDLr.B6 and LDLr.Sle mice. In addition, MMF-containing regimens inhibited recruitment of CD4+ T cells to atherosclerotic lesions in LDLr.Sle mice. In these mice, MMF also reduced the proportion of activated splenic T cells, as well as interleukin 10 secretion by T cells. With regard to lupus activity, MMF had no overt effect on anti-double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) antibody titres or kidney function and pathology.
The current study demonstrates that reduction of cholesterol levels alone is not atheroprotective in lupus-mediated atherogenesis. This is the first study to demonstrate that MMF reduces the atherosclerotic burden in a model of lupus-accelerated atherosclerosis. Our results suggest that MMF treatment may prove beneficial in preventing CVD in patients with SLE.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 09/2011; 71(3):408-14. · 9.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells are a unique subset of T lymphocytes that share characteristics with both innate and adaptive immune cells. The iNKT cell receptor recognizes glycolipid antigens presented in the context of CD1d, an analogue of the major histocompatibility complex class I molecule. These cells rapidly produce a variety of cytokines in response to stimuli, providing them with the capacity to regulate the activities of other cells in the immune system. These regulatory properties of iNKT cells play critical roles in a variety of disease models for infection, autoimmunity, inflammation and cancer. Here, we review the role of iNKT cells in modulating the immune response in autoimmune diseases and we discuss prospects and limitations for targeting iNKT cells during immunotherapy for these diseases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells are a subset of T lymphocytes that react with glycolipid antigens presented by the major histocompatibility complex class I-related glycoprotein CD1d. Although iNKT cells express an antigen-specific receptor of the adaptive immune system, they behave more like cells of the innate immune system. A hallmark of iNKT cells is their capacity to produce copious amounts of immunoregulatory cytokines quickly after activation. The cytokines produced by iNKT cells can influence the level of activation of many cell types of the innate and adaptive immune systems as well as the quality of an adaptive immune response. As such, iNKT cells have emerged as important regulators of immune responses, playing a role in microbial immunity, autoimmunity, tumor immunity, and a variety of inflammatory conditions. Although several endogenous and exogenous glycolipid antigens of iNKT cells have been identified, how these glycolipids orchestrate iNKT-cell functions remains poorly understood. Nevertheless, iNKT cells hold substantial promise as targets for development of vaccine adjuvants and immunotherapies. These properties of iNKT cells have been investigated most extensively in mouse models of human disease using the marine sponge-derived agent alpha-galactosylceramide (alpha-GalCer) and related iNKT-cell antigens. While these preclinical studies have raised enthusiasm for developing iNKT-cell-based immunotherapies, they also showed potential health risks associated with iNKT cell activation. Although alpha-GalCer treatment in humans was shown to be safe in the short term, further studies are needed to develop safe and effective iNKT-cell-based therapies.