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Publications (11)

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nitrogen mustard (NM) is a bifunctional alkylating agent that causes acute injury to the lung that progresses to fibrosis. This is accompanied by a prominent infiltration of macrophages into the lung and upregulation of proinflammatory/profibrotic cytokines including tumor necrosis factor (TNF)α. In these studies, we analyzed the ability of anti-TNFα antibody to mitigate NM-induced lung injury, inflammation and fibrosis. Treatment of rats with anti-TNFα antibody (15 mg/kg, i.v., every 9 d) beginning 30 min after intratracheal administration of NM (0.125 mg/kg) reduced progressive histopathologic alterations in the lung including perivascular and peribronchial edema, macrophage/monocyte infiltration, interstitial thickening, bronchiolization of alveolar walls, fibrin deposition, emphysema and fibrosis. NM-induced damage to the alveolar-epithelial barrier, measured by bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) protein and cell content, was also reduced by anti-TNFα antibody, along with expression of the oxidative stress marker, heme oxygenase (HO)-1. Whereas the accumulation of proinflammatory/cytotoxic M1 macrophages in the lung in response to NM was suppressed by anti-TNFα antibody, anti-inflammatory/ profibrotic M2 macrophages were increased or unchanged. Treatment of rats with anti-TNFα antibody also reduced NM-induced increases in expression of the profibrotic mediator, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β. This was associated with a reduction in NM-induced collagen deposition in the lung. These data suggest that inhibiting TNFα may represent an efficacious approach to mitigating lung injury induced by mustards. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Toxicology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email:
    Article · Aug 2015 · Toxicological Sciences
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Macrophages play a dual role in ozone toxicity, contributing to both pro- and anti-inflammatory processes. Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is a lectin known to regulate macrophage activity. Herein, we analyzed the role of Gal-3 in the response of lung macrophages to ozone. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and lung tissue were collected 24-72h after exposure (3h) of WT and Gal-3(-/-) mice to air or 0.8ppm ozone. In WT mice, ozone inhalation resulted in increased numbers of proinflammatory (Gal-3(+), iNOS(+)) and anti-inflammatory (MR-1(+)) macrophages in the lungs. While accumulation of iNOS(+) macrophages was attenuated in Gal-3(-/-) mice, increased numbers of enlarged MR-1(+) macrophages were noted. This correlated with increased numbers of macrophages in BAL. Flow cytometric analysis showed that these cells were CD11b(+) and consisted mainly (>97%) mature (F4/80(+)CD11c(+)) proinflammatory (Ly6G(-)Ly6C(hi)) and anti-inflammatory (Ly6G(-)Ly6C(lo)) macrophages. Increases in both macrophage subpopulations were observed following ozone inhalation. Loss of Gal-3 resulted in a decrease in Ly6C(hi) macrophages, with no effect on Ly6C(lo) macrophages. CD11b(+)Ly6G(+)Ly6C(+) granulocytic (G) and monocytic (M) myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSC) were also identified in the lung after ozone. In Gal-3(-/-) mice, the response of G-MDSC to ozone was attenuated, while the response of M-MDSC was heightened. Changes in inflammatory cell populations in the lung of ozone treated Gal-3(-/-) mice were correlated with reduced tissue injury as measured by cytochrome b5 expression. These data demonstrate that Gal-3 plays a role in promoting proinflammatory macrophage accumulation and toxicity in the lung following ozone exposure. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Article · Feb 2015 · Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology
  • Laurie B. Joseph · Diane E. Heck · Jessica A. Cervelli · [...] · Jeffrey D. Laskin
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sulfur mustard (SM) is a bifunctional alkylating agent causing skin inflammation, edema and blistering. A hallmark of SM-induced toxicity is follicular and interfollicular epithelial damage. In the present studies we determined if SM-induced structural alterations in hair follicles and sebaceous glands were correlated with cell damage, inflammation and wound healing. The dorsal skin of hairless mice was treated with saturated SM vapor. One to seven days later, epithelial cell karyolysis within the hair root sheath, infundibulum and isthmus were apparent, along with reduced numbers of sebocytes. Increased numbers of utriculi, some with connections to the skin surface, and engorged dermal cysts were also evident. This was associated with marked changes in expression of markers of DNA damage (phospho-H2A.X), apoptosis (cleaved caspase-3), and wound healing (FGFR2 and galectin-3) throughout pilosebaceous units. Conversely, fatty acid synthase and galectin-3 were down-regulated in sebocytes after SM. Decreased numbers of hair follicles and increased numbers of inflammatory cells surrounding the utriculi and follicular cysts were noted within the wound 3-7 days post SM exposure. Expression of phospho-H2A.X, cleaved caspase-3, FGFR2 and galectin-3 was decreased in dysplastic follicular epidermis. Fourteen days after SM, engorged follicular cysts which expressed galectin-3 were noted within hyperplastic epidermis. Galectin-3 was also expressed in basal keratinocytes and in the first few layers of suprabasal keratinocytes in neoepidermis formed during wound healing indicating that this lectin is important in the early stages of keratinocyte differentiation. These data indicate that hair follicles and sebaceous glands are targets for SM in the skin.
    Article · Jun 2014 · Experimental and Molecular Pathology
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    Vasanthi R Sunil · Kinal N Vayas · Jessica A Cervelli · [...] · Debra L Laskin
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nitrogen mustard (NM) is a toxic alkylating agent that causes damage to the respiratory tract. Evidence suggests that macrophages and inflammatory mediators including tumor necrosis factor (TNF)α contribute to pulmonary injury. Pentoxifylline is a TNFα inhibitor known to suppress inflammation. In these studies, we analyzed the ability of pentoxifylline to mitigate NM-induced lung injury and inflammation. Exposure of male Wistar rats (250g; 8-10weeks) to NM (0.125mg/kg, i.t.) resulted in severe histolopathological changes in the lung within 3d of exposure, along with increases in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cell number and protein, indicating inflammation and alveolar-epithelial barrier dysfunction. This was associated with increases in oxidative stress proteins including lipocalin (Lcn)2 and heme oxygenase (HO)-1 in the lung, along with pro-inflammatory/cytotoxic (COX-2(+) and MMP-9(+)), and anti-inflammatory/wound repair (CD163(+) and Gal-3(+)) macrophages. Treatment of rats with pentoxifylline (46.7mg/kg, i.p.) daily for 3d beginning 15min after NM significantly reduced NM-induced lung injury, inflammation, and oxidative stress, as measured histologically and by decreases in BAL cell and protein content, and levels of HO-1 and Lcn2. Macrophages expressing COX-2 and MMP-9 also decreased after pentoxifylline, while CD163(+) and Gal-3(+) macrophages increased. This was correlated with persistent upregulation of markers of wound repair including pro-surfactant protein-C and proliferating nuclear cell antigen by Type II cells. NM-induced lung injury and inflammation were associated with alterations in the elastic properties of the lung, however these were largely unaltered by pentoxifylline. These data suggest that pentoxifylline may be useful in treating acute lung injury, inflammation and oxidative stress induced by vesicants.
    Full-text Article · May 2014 · Experimental and Molecular Pathology
  • H.L. Kutscher · D Gao · S Li · [...] · P.J. Sinko
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The toxicodynamic relationship between the number and size of pulmonary microemboli resulting from uniformly sized, rigid polystyrene microparticles (MPs) administered intravenously and their potential effects on pulmonary gas exchange was investigated. CD-1 male mice (6-8 wk) were intravenously administered 10, 25 and 45μm diameter MPs. Oxygen hemoglobin saturation in the blood (SpO(2)) was measured non-invasively using a pulse oximeter while varying inhaled oxygen concentration (F(I)O(2)). Resulting data were fit to a physiologically based non-linear mathematical model that estimates 2 parameters: ventilation-perfusion ratio (V(A)/Q) and shunt (percentage of deoxygenated blood returning to systemic circulation). The number of MPs administered prior to a statistically significant reduction in normalized V(A)/Q was dependent on particle size. MP doses that resulted in a significant reduction in normalized V(A)/Q one day post-treatment were 4,000, 40,000 and 550,000 MPs/g for 45, 25 and 10μm MPs, respectively. The model estimated V(A)/Q and shunt returned to baseline levels 7days post-treatment. Measuring SpO(2) alone was not sufficient to observe changes in gas exchange; however, when combined with model-derived V(A)/Q and shunt early reversible toxicity from pulmonary microemboli was detected suggesting that the model and physical measurements are both required for assessing toxicity. Moreover, it appears that the MP load required to alter gas exchange in a mouse prior to lethality is significantly higher than the anticipated required MP dose for effective drug delivery. Overall, the current results indicate that the microemboli-based approach for targeted pulmonary drug delivery is potentially safe and should be further explored.
    Article · Nov 2012 · Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sulfur mustard (SM, bis(2-chloroethyl)sulfide) is a bifunctional alkylating agent that causes dermal inflammation, edema and blistering. To investigate the pathogenesis of SM-induced injury, we used a vapor cup model which provides an occlusive environment in which SM is in constant contact with the skin. The dorsal skin of SKH-1 hairless mice was exposed to saturated SM vapor or air control. Histopathological changes, inflammatory markers and DNA damage were analyzed 1-14 days later. After 1 day, SM caused epidermal thinning, stratum corneum shedding, basal cell karyolysis, hemorrhage and macrophage and neutrophil accumulation in the dermis. Cleaved caspase-3 and phosphorylated histone 2A.X (phospho-H2A.X), markers of apoptosis and DNA damage, respectively, were increased whereas proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) was down-regulated after SM exposure. By 3 days, epithelial cell hypertrophy, edema, parakeratosis and loss of epidermal structures were noted. Enzymes generating pro-inflammatory mediators including myeloperoxidase and cyclooxygenase-2 were upregulated. After 7 days, keratin-10, a differentiation marker, was evident in the stratum corneum. This was associated with an underlying eschar, as neoepidermis began to migrate at the wound edges. Trichrome staining revealed increased collagen deposition in the dermis. PCNA expression in the epidermis was correlated with hyperplasia, hyperkeratosis, and parakeratosis. By 14 days, there was epidermal regeneration with extensive hyperplasia, and reduced expression of cleaved caspase-3, cyclooxygenase-2 and phospho-H2A.X. These findings are consistent with the pathophysiology of SM-induced skin injury in humans suggesting that the hairless mouse can be used to investigate the dermatoxicity of vesicants and the potential efficacy of countermeasures.
    Full-text Article · Jun 2011 · Experimental and Molecular Pathology
  • Laurie Joseph · Jessica Cervelli · Andrew Gow · [...] · Debra Laskin
    Conference Paper · May 2011
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    Rama Malaviya · Vasanthi R Sunil · Jessica Cervelli · [...] · Debra L Laskin
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inhalation of sulfur mustard (SM), a bifunctional alkylating agent that causes severe lung damage, is a significant threat to both military and civilian populations. The mechanisms mediating its cytotoxic effects are unknown and were investigated in the present studies. Male rats Crl:CD(SD) were anesthetized, and then intratracheally intubated and exposed to 0.7-1.4mg/kg SM by vapor inhalation. Animals were euthanized 6, 24, 48h or 7days post-exposure and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BAL) and lung tissue collected. Exposure of rats to SM resulted in rapid pulmonary toxicity, including focal ulceration and detachment of the trachea and bronchial epithelia from underlying mucosa, thickening of alveolar septal walls and increased numbers of inflammatory cells in the tissue. There was also evidence of autophagy and apoptosis in the tissue. This was correlated with increased BAL protein content, a marker of injury to the alveolar epithelial lining. SM exposure also resulted in increased expression of markers of inflammation including cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), each of which has been implicated in pulmonary toxicity. Whereas COX-2, TNFα and iNOS were mainly localized in alveolar regions, MMP-9 was prominent in bronchial epithelium. In contrast, expression of the anti-oxidant hemeoxygenase, and the anti-inflammatory collectin, surfactant protein-D, decreased in the lung after SM exposure. These data demonstrate that SM-induced oxidative stress and injury are associated with the generation of cytotoxic inflammatory proteins which may contribute to the pathogenic response to this vesicant.
    Full-text Article · Oct 2010 · Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Caveolin-1 (Cav-1) is a membrane scaffolding protein, which functions to regulate intracellular compartmentalization of various signaling molecules. In the present studies, transgenic mice with a targeted disruption of the Cav-1 gene (Cav-1(-/-)) were used to assess the role of Cav-1 in acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity. Treatment of wild-type mice with acetaminophen (300 mg/kg) resulted in centrilobular hepatic necrosis and increases in serum transaminases. This was correlated with decreased expression of Cav-1 in the liver. Acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity was significantly attenuated in Cav-1(-/-) mice, an effect that was independent of acetaminophen metabolism. Acetaminophen administration resulted in increased hepatic expression of the oxidative stress marker, lipocalin 24p3, as well as hemeoxygenase-1, but decreased glutathione and superoxide dismutase-1; no differences were noted between the genotypes suggesting that reduced toxicity in Cav-1(-/-) mice is not due to alterations in antioxidant defense. In wild-type mice, acetaminophen increased mRNA expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokines, interleukin-1beta, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), as well as cyclooxygenase-2, while 15-lipoxygenase (15-LOX), which generates anti-inflammatory lipoxins, decreased. Acetaminophen-induced changes in MCP-1 and 15-LOX expression were greater in Cav-1(-/-) mice. Although expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, a potent hepatocyte mitogen, was up-regulated in the liver of Cav-1(-/-) mice after acetaminophen, expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen and survivin, markers of cellular proliferation, were delayed, which may reflect the reduced need for tissue repair. Taken together, these data demonstrate that Cav-1 plays a role in promoting inflammation and toxicity during the pathogenesis of acetaminophen-induced injury.
    Full-text Article · May 2010 · Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology
  • Laurie B. Joseph · Jessica A. Cervelli · Nicole M. Bremer · [...] · Debra L. Laskin
    Conference Paper · May 2010
  • LB Joseph · J Cervelli · DA Elzind · [...] · D Laskin
    Conference Paper · Apr 2009