Angelo Chora

Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Norte, Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal

Are you Angelo Chora?

Claim your profile

Publications (16)142.67 Total impact

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Severe sepsis remains a poorly understood systemic inflammatory condition with high mortality rates and limited therapeutic options in addition to organ support measures. Here we show that the clinically approved group of anthracyclines acts therapeutically at a low dose regimen to confer robust protection against severe sepsis in mice. This salutary effect is strictly dependent on the activation of DNA damage response and autophagy pathways in the lung, as demonstrated by deletion of the ataxia telangiectasia mutated (Atm) or the autophagy-related protein 7 (Atg7) specifically in this organ. The protective effect of anthracyclines occurs irrespectively of pathogen burden, conferring disease tolerance to severe sepsis. These findings demonstrate that DNA damage responses, including the ATM and Fancony Anemia pathways, are important modulators of immune responses and might be exploited to confer protection to inflammation-driven conditions, including severe sepsis.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Severe sepsis remains a poorly understood systemic inflammatory condition with high mortality rates and limited therapeutic options in addition to organ support measures. Here we show that the clinically approved group of anthracyclines acts therapeutically at a low dose regimen to confer robust protection against severe sepsis in mice. This salutary effect is strictly dependent on the activation of DNA damage response and autophagy pathways in the lung, as demonstrated by deletion of the ataxia telangiectasia mutated (Atm) or the autophagy-related protein 7 (Atg7) specifically in this organ. The protective effect of anthracyclines occurs irrespectively of pathogen burden, conferring disease tolerance to severe sepsis. These findings demonstrate that DNA damage responses, including the ATM and Fancony Anemia pathways, are important modulators of immune responses and might be exploited to confer protection to inflammation-driven conditions, including severe sepsis.
    Immunity 10/2013; · 19.80 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Effective CD8(+) T-cell responses against tumor or microbial antigens that are not directly expressed in antigen-presenting cells (APCs) depend on the cross-presentation of these antigens on MHC class I in APCs. To identify signaling molecules that regulate cross-presentation, we used lentiviral-based RNA interference to test the roles of hundreds of kinases and phosphatases in this process. Our study uncovered eight previously unknown genes, consisting of one positive and seven negative regulators of antigen cross-presentation. Depletion of Acvr1c, a type I receptor for TGF-β family of signaling molecules, led to an increase in CD80 and CD86 co-stimulator surface expression and secreted IL-12 in mouse bone marrow-derived DCs, as well as antigen-specific T-cell proliferation.
    European Journal of Immunology 05/2012; 42(7):1843-9. · 4.97 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Sickle human hemoglobin (Hb) confers a survival advantage to individuals living in endemic areas of malaria, the disease caused by Plasmodium infection. As demonstrated hereby, mice expressing sickle Hb do not succumb to experimental cerebral malaria (ECM). This protective effect is exerted irrespectively of parasite load, revealing that sickle Hb confers host tolerance to Plasmodium infection. Sickle Hb induces the expression of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in hematopoietic cells, via a mechanism involving the transcription factor NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2). Carbon monoxide (CO), a byproduct of heme catabolism by HO-1, prevents further accumulation of circulating free heme after Plasmodium infection, suppressing the pathogenesis of ECM. Moreover, sickle Hb inhibits activation and/or expansion of pathogenic CD8(+) T cells recognizing antigens expressed by Plasmodium, an immunoregulatory effect that does not involve Nrf2 and/or HO-1. Our findings provide insight into molecular mechanisms via which sickle Hb confers host tolerance to severe forms of malaria.
    Cell 04/2011; 145(3):398-409. · 31.96 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The generation of diversity and plasticity of transcriptional programs are key components of effective vertebrate immune responses. The role of Alternative Splicing has been recognized, but it is underappreciated and poorly understood as a critical mechanism for the regulation and fine-tuning of physiological immune responses. Here we report the generation of loss-of-function phenotypes for a large collection of genes known or predicted to be involved in the splicing reaction and the identification of 19 novel regulators of IL-1β secretion in response to E. coli challenge of THP-1 cells. Twelve of these genes are required for IL-1β secretion, while seven are negative regulators of this process. Silencing of SFRS3 increased IL-1β secretion due to elevation of IL-1β and caspase-1 mRNA in addition to active caspase-1 levels. This study points to the relevance of splicing in the regulation of auto-inflammatory diseases.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(5):e19829. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Low-grade polymicrobial infection induced by cecal ligation and puncture is lethal in heme oxygenase-1-deficient mice (Hmox1(-/-)), but not in wild-type (Hmox1(+/+)) mice. Here we demonstrate that the protective effect of this heme-catabolizing enzyme relies on its ability to prevent tissue damage caused by the circulating free heme released from hemoglobin during infection. Heme administration after low-grade infection in mice promoted tissue damage and severe sepsis. Free heme contributed to the pathogenesis of severe sepsis irrespective of pathogen load, revealing that it compromised host tolerance to infection. Development of lethal forms of severe sepsis after high-grade infection was associated with reduced serum concentrations of the heme sequestering protein hemopexin (HPX), whereas HPX administration after high-grade infection prevented tissue damage and lethality. Finally, the lethal outcome of septic shock in patients was also associated with reduced HPX serum concentrations. We propose that targeting free heme by HPX might be used therapeutically to treat severe sepsis.
    Science translational medicine 09/2010; 2(51):51ra71. · 10.76 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Several pathologic conditions are associated with hemolysis, i.e. release of ferrous (Fe(II)) hemoglobin from red blood cells. Oxidation of cell-free hemoglobin produces (Fe(III)) methemoglobin. More extensive oxidation produces (Fe(III)/Fe(IV) O) ferryl hemoglobin. Both cell-free methemoglobin and ferryl hemoglobin are thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of hemolytic disorders. We show hereby that ferryl hemoglobin, but not hemoglobin or methemoglobin, acts as a potent proinflammatory agonist that induces vascular endothelial cells in vitro to rearrange the actin cytoskeleton, forming intercellular gaps and disrupting the integrity of the endothelial cell monolayer. Furthermore, ferryl hemoglobin induces the expression of proinflammatory genes in endothelial cells in vitro, e.g. E-selectin, Icam-1, and Vcam-1, through the activation of the nuclear factor kappaB family of transcription factors. This proinflammatory effect, which requires actin polymerization, involves the activation of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase and the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase signal transduction pathways. When administered to naïve mice, ferryl hemoglobin induces the recruitment of polymorphonuclear cells, demonstrating that it acts as a proinflammatory agonist in vivo. In conclusion, oxidized hemoglobin, i.e. ferryl hemoglobin, acts as a proinflammatory agonist that targets vascular endothelial cells.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/2009; 284(43):29582-95. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Infection by Plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria, is associated with hemolysis and therefore with release of hemoglobin from RBC. Under inflammatory conditions, cell-free hemoglobin can be oxidized, releasing its heme prosthetic groups and producing deleterious free heme. Here we demonstrate that survival of a Plasmodium-infected host relies strictly on its ability to prevent the cytotoxic effects of free heme via the expression of the heme-catabolyzing enzyme heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1; encoded by the Hmox1 gene). When infected with Plasmodium chabaudi chabaudi (Pcc), wild-type (Hmox1(+/+)) BALB/c mice resolved infection and restored homeostasis thereafter (0% lethality). In contrast, HO-1 deficient (Hmox1(-/-)) BALB/c mice developed a lethal form of hepatic failure (100% lethality), similar to the one occurring in Pcc-infected DBA/2 mice (75% lethality). Expression of HO-1 suppresses the pro-oxidant effects of free heme, preventing it from sensitizing hepatocytes to undergo TNF-mediated programmed cell death by apoptosis. This cytoprotective effect, which inhibits the development of hepatic failure in Pcc-infected mice without interfering with pathogen burden, is mimicked by pharmacological antioxidants such as N-acetylcysteine (NAC). When administered therapeutically, i.e., after Pcc infection, NAC suppressed the development of hepatic failure in Pcc-infected DBA/2 mice (0% lethality), without interfering with pathogen burden. In conclusion, we describe a mechanism of host defense against Plasmodium infection, based on tissue cytoprotection against free heme and limiting disease severity irrespectively of parasite burden.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 09/2009; 106(37):15837-42. · 9.81 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Severe sepsis is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. High mortality rates in sepsis are frequently associated with neutropenia. Despite the central role of neutrophils in innate immunity, the mechanisms causing neutropenia during sepsis remain elusive. Here, we show that neutropenia is caused in part by apoptosis and is sustained by a block of hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) differentiation. Using a sepsis murine model, we found that the human opportunistic bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa caused neutrophil depletion and expansion of the HSC pool in the bone marrow. "Septic" HSCs were significantly impaired in competitive repopulation assays and defective in generating common myeloid progenitors and granulocyte-monocyte progenitors, resulting in lower rates of myeloid differentiation in vitro and in vivo. Delayed myeloid-neutrophil differentiation was further mapped using a lysozyme-green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter mouse. Pseudomonas's lipopolysaccharide was necessary and sufficient to induce myelosuppresion and required intact TLR4 signaling. Our results establish a previously unrecognized link between HSC regulation and host response in severe sepsis and demonstrate a novel role for TLR4.
    Blood 09/2009; 114(19):4064-76. · 9.78 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Homeostasis of the hematopoietic compartment is challenged and maintained during conditions of stress by mechanisms that are poorly defined. To understand how the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment influences hematopoiesis, we explored the role of Notch signaling and BM endothelial cells in providing microenvironmental cues to hematopoietic cells in the presence of inflammatory stimuli. The human BM endothelial cell line (BMEC) and primary human BM endothelial cells were analyzed for expression of Notch ligands and the ability to expand hematopoietic progenitors in an in vitro coculture system. In vivo experiments were carried out to identify modulation of Notch signaling in BM endothelial and hematopoietic cells in mice challenged with tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) or lipopolysaccharide (LPS), or in Tie2-tmTNF-alpha transgenic mice characterized by constitutive TNF-alpha activation. BM endothelial cells were found to express Jagged ligands and to greatly support progenitor's colony-forming ability. This effect was markedly decreased by Notch antagonists and augmented by increasing levels of Jagged2. Physiologic upregulation of Jagged2 expression on BMEC was observed upon TNF-alpha activation. Injection of TNF-alpha or LPS upregulated three- to fourfold Jagged2 expression on murine BM endothelial cells in vivo and resulted in increased Notch activation on murine hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells. Similarly, constitutive activation of endothelial cells in Tie2-tmTNF-alpha mice was characterized by increased expression of Jagged2 and by augmented Notch activation on hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells. Our results provide the first evidence that BM endothelial cells promote expansion of hematopoietic progenitor cells by a Notch-dependent mechanism and that TNF-alpha and LPS can modulate the levels of Notch ligand expression and Notch activation in the BM microenvironment in vivo.
    Experimental Hematology 06/2008; 36(5):545-558. · 2.91 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cerebral malaria claims more than 1 million lives per year. We report that heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1, encoded by Hmox1) prevents the development of experimental cerebral malaria (ECM). BALB/c mice infected with Plasmodium berghei ANKA upregulated HO-1 expression and activity and did not develop ECM. Deletion of Hmox1 and inhibition of HO activity increased ECM incidence to 83% and 78%, respectively. HO-1 upregulation was lower in infected C57BL/6 compared to BALB/c mice, and all infected C57BL/6 mice developed ECM (100% incidence). Pharmacological induction of HO-1 and exposure to the end-product of HO-1 activity, carbon monoxide (CO), reduced ECM incidence in C57BL/6 mice to 10% and 0%, respectively. Whereas neither HO-1 nor CO affected parasitemia, both prevented blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption, brain microvasculature congestion and neuroinflammation, including CD8(+) T-cell brain sequestration. These effects were mediated by the binding of CO to hemoglobin, preventing hemoglobin oxidation and the generation of free heme, a molecule that triggers ECM pathogenesis.
    Nature Medicine 07/2007; 13(6):703-10. · 22.86 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1, encoded by HMOX1) dampens inflammatory reactions via the catabolism of heme into CO, Fe, and biliverdin. We report that expression of HO-1 dictates the pathologic outcome of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a model of multiple sclerosis (MS). Induction of EAE in Hmox1(-/- )C57BL/6 mice led to enhanced CNS demyelination, paralysis, and mortality, as compared with Hmox1(+/+) mice. Induction of HO-1 by cobalt protoporphyrin IX (CoPPIX) administration after EAE onset reversed paralysis in C57BL/6 and SJL/J mice and disease relapse in SJL/J mice. These effects were not observed using zinc protoporphyrin IX, which does not induce HO-1. CoPPIX protection was abrogated in Hmox1(-/-) C57BL/6 mice, indicating that CoPPIX acts via HO-1 to suppress EAE progression. The protective effect of HO-1 was associated with inhibition of MHC class II expression by APCs and inhibition of Th and CD8 T cell accumulation, proliferation, and effector function within the CNS. Exogenous CO mimicked these effects, suggesting that CO contributes to the protective action of HO-1. In conclusion, HO-1 or exposure to its end product CO counters autoimmune neuroinflammation and thus might be used therapeutically to treat MS.
    Journal of Clinical Investigation 03/2007; 117(2):438-47. · 12.81 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: CD4 regulatory T cells (Treg) ensure peripheral tolerance to self-antigens and limit the deleterious effects associated with inflammatory and immune responses by mechanisms that remain to be fully understood. The enzyme heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), through its known anti-inflammatory activity, is a candidate for a functional role in Treg activity. We compared wild-type and heme oxygenase-1-deficient (hmox-1(-/-)) mice in order to assess the role of HO-1 in mouse Treg development and function under physiologic conditions. The frequency of CD25+ and Foxp3+ Treg was similar in hmox-1(-/-) and hmox-1(+/+) mice. More importantly, CD4+ CD25+ Treg purified from either hmox-1(-/-) or hmox-1(+/+) mice were equally efficient in controlling the proliferation in vitro and the expansion in vivo of CD4+ CD25- T cells, whether or not these responder cells expressed HO-1. In addition, induction of expression of HO-1 in vivo did not affect Treg suppressor function. As shown before, expression of HO-1 was higher in Treg than in naive T cells; however, naturally activated Foxp3- T cells displayed equal amount of HO-1 mRNA as Treg. Finally, we conclude that under physiological conditions in mice, Treg development, maintenance and function are independent of HO-1 activity.
    International Immunology 02/2007; 19(1):11-8. · 3.14 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Clinical Investigation - J CLIN INVEST. 01/2007; 117(2):438-447.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), which degrades heme into three products (carbon monoxide, free iron, and biliverdin), plays a protective role in many models of disease via its anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, and anti-proliferative actions. Overexpression of HO-1 has been shown to suppress immune responses and prolong the survival of allografts; however, the underlying mechanism is not clear. We demonstrate two "new" properties of HO-1 that mediate activation induced cell death (AICD) of allo-antigen-responsive murine CD4+ T cells, resulting in immunomodulation. First, it functions in vivo and in vitro to "boost" the proliferative response of CD4+ T cells to allo-antigens in the early phase of allo-antigen-driven immune responses. This "boosting" effect is accompanied with a significant increase of activation markers and IL-2 production. Second, it exerts a pro-apoptotic effect in those activated T cells after the initial burst of proliferation. We further show that the AICD effect is mediated through the Fas/CD95-FasL signal transduction pathway. Correlating with the above-mentioned findings is the observed prolongation of mouse heart graft survival when HO-1 is expressed in vivo in both donor and recipient. In conclusion, induction of HO-1 expression accelerates clonal deletion of peripheral alloreactive CD4+ T cells by promoting AICD, which is presumably a key mechanism for its immunomodulatory effects such as in prolonging the survival of transplanted organs.
    The FASEB Journal 04/2005; 19(3):458-60. · 5.70 Impact Factor
  • Source

Publication Stats

664 Citations
142.67 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013
    • Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Norte
      Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
  • 2008–2013
    • University of Lisbon
      • • Institute of Molecular Medicine
      • • Faculdade de Medicina
      Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
  • 2009–2011
    • Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC)
      Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
  • 2007
    • New University of Lisbon
      Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
  • 2005
    • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
      • Department of Surgery
      Boston, MA, United States