[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Although the development of a fully protective HIV vaccine is the ultimate goal of HIV research, to date only one HIV vaccine trial, the RV144, has successfully induced a weakly protective response. The 31% protection from infection achieved in the RV144 trial was linked to the induction of nonneutralizing antibodies, able to mediate antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC), suggestive of an important role of Fc-mediated functions in protection. Similarly, Fc-mediated antiviral activity was recently shown to play a critical role in actively suppressing the viral reservoir, but the Fc effector mechanisms within tissues that provide protection from or after infection are largely unknown. Here we aimed to define the landscape of effector cells and Fc receptors present within vulnerable tissues. We found negligible Fc receptor-expressing natural killer cells in the female reproductive and gastrointestinal mucosa. Conversely, Fc receptor-expressing macrophages were highly enriched in most tissues, but neutrophils mediated superior antibody-mediated phagocytosis. Modifications in Fc domain of VRC01 antibody increased phagocytic responses in both phagocytes. These data suggest that non-ADCC-mediated mechanisms, such as phagocytosis and neutrophil activation, are more likely to play a role in preventative vaccine or reservoir-eliminating therapeutic approaches.Mucosal Immunology advance online publication, 17 February 2016; doi:10.1038/mi.2016.12.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2016 · Mucosal Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Oxidative stress, a central mediator of cardiovascular disease, results in loss of the prosthetic haem group of soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC), preventing its activation by nitric oxide (NO). Here we introduce Apo-sGC mice expressing haem-free sGC. Apo-sGC mice are viable and develop hypertension. The haemodynamic effects of NO are abolished, but those of the sGC activator cinaciguat are enhanced in apo-sGC mice, suggesting that the effects of NO on smooth muscle relaxation, blood pressure regulation and inhibition of platelet aggregation require sGC activation by NO. Tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-induced hypotension and mortality are preserved in apo-sGC mice, indicating that pathways other than sGC signalling mediate the cardiovascular collapse in shock. Apo-sGC mice allow for differentiation between sGC-dependent and -independent NO effects and between haem-dependent and -independent sGC effects. Apo-sGC mice represent a unique experimental platform to study the in vivo consequences of sGC oxidation and the therapeutic potential of sGC activators.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Nature Communications
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Enhanced arginase-induced arginine consumption is believed to play a key role in the pathogenesis of sickle cell disease-induced end organ failure. Enhancement of arginine availability with L-arginine supplementation exhibited less consistent results; however, L-citrulline, the precursor of L-arginine, may be a promising alternative. In this study, we OPEN ACCESS Nutrients 2015, 7 5218 determined the effects of L-citrulline compared to L-arginine supplementation on arginine-nitric oxide (NO) metabolism, arginine availability and microcirculation in a murine model with acutely-enhanced arginase activity. The effects were measured in six groups of mice (n = 8 each) injected intraperitoneally with sterile saline or arginase (1000 IE/mouse) with or without being separately injected with L-citrulline or L-arginine 1 h prior to assessment of the microcirculation with side stream dark-field (SDF)-imaging or in vivo NO-production with electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy. Arginase injection caused a decrease in plasma and tissue arginine concentrations. L-arginine and L-citrulline supplementation both enhanced plasma and tissue arginine concentrations in arginase-injected mice. However, only the citrulline supplementation increased NO production and improved microcirculatory flow in arginase-injected mice. In conclusion, the present study provides for the first time in vivo experimental evidence that L-citrulline, and not L-arginine supplementation, improves the end organ microcirculation during conditions with acute arginase-induced arginine deficiency by increasing the NO concentration in tissues.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The risk for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality is increased in chronic kidney disease; in this process micro-inflammation plays an essential role. Responsible mechanisms remain to a large extent unidentified. In this pilot study transcriptome analysis of peripheral blood monocytes was used to identify in an unprejudiced manner which factors could be discriminative for cardiovascular disease in patients with chronic kidney disease on hemodialysis. Forty gender- and age-matched, non-diabetic, non-smoking subjects with CRP < 20 mg/L were recruited: 9 healthy controls, 11 patients with eGFR > 60 mL/min/1.73m2 and a history of cardiovascular event (CVE), 10 patients with chronic kidney disease stage 5 on hemodialysis without previous cardiovascular event (CKD5HD) and 10 with a previous cardiovascular event (CKD5HD/CVE). Monocytes were isolated and their mRNA was submitted to focused transcriptome analysis using a macroarray platform containing ca. 700 genes associated with macrophage functional capacity. The macroarray data indicated 9 genes (8 upregulated and 1 downregulated) with a significant differential expression in CKD5HD/CVE vs. CVE alone, after excluding genes differentially expressed in CKD5HD vs.
For FCGR3A (CD16) and CX3CR1 (chemokine receptor) the upregulation vs. control and vs. CVE could be confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR for all CKD5HD patients. Furthermore, CX3CR1 relative expression on monocytes correlated with CRP. Flow cytometric analysis of purified monocytes confirmed a significant increase in the percentage of CD16 positive monocytes in all CKD5HD patients vs. control and CVE. The present study indicates the importance of a specific pro-inflammatory monocyte subpopulation, positive for CD16 and the co-expressed chemokine receptor, CX3CR1, discriminative for CKD5HD patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: IntroductionBecause of their nitric oxide (NO)-donating capacities, oxime derivatives have shown to offer some therapeutic perspective for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED) as well as cardiovascular diseases. However, to date the in vivo effect of these oximes on erectile function remains unknown. In many disease states oxidative stress occurs, impairing NO-mediated relaxations. Hence the influence of oxidative stress on oxime-induced effects is also of interest.AimsThis study aimed to evaluate the in vivo effect of formaldoxime (FAL) and formamidoxime (FAM) on blood pressure and intracavernosal pressure (ICP); and to examine the role of soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) and the influence of oxidative stress on the FAL and FAM responses.Methods
Blood pressure and ICP were monitored in vivo after resp. intravenous or intracavernosal injection of FAL and FAM. Moreover isometric tension was measured in vitro on isolated mice corpora cavernosa (CC), thoracic aorta, and femoral artery in organ baths. The role of sGC was investigated using transgenic mice lacking the alpha 1 subunit of sGC.Main Outcome MeasuresMean arterial pressure (MAP) and ICP were measured after FAL/FAM injection. In vitro relaxation of CC strips was evaluated in response to addition of FAL/FAM.ResultsIn vivo both FAL and FAM elicit a dose-dependent lowering of blood pressure (maximal ΔMAP: 33.66 ± 4.07 mm Hg [FAL] and 20.43 ± 2.06 mm Hg [FAM] ) as well as an increase of ICP (maximal increase of ICP/MAP: 70.29 ± 2.88% [FAL] and 52.91 ± 8.61% [FAM] ). The FAL/FAM effect is significantly lower in knockout vs. wild-type mice. Oxidative stress has an inhibitory effect on corporal NO-mediated relaxations induced by electrical field stimulation, acetylcholine, and sodium nitroprusside whereas the responses to 8-(4-chlorophenylthio)-guanosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate sodium salt, FAL and FAM were not influenced.Conclusions
Oximes induce erection which is mediated by sGC. The oxime-induced relaxations are resistant to oxidative stress, which increases their therapeutic potential for the treatment of ED. Pauwels B, Boydens C, Brouckaert P, and Van de Voorde, J. Oximes Induce Erection and Are Resistant to Oxidative Stress. J Sex Med **;**:**–**.
No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Journal of Sexual Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Rationale: Inspiratory resistive breathing (RB), encountered in obstructive lung diseases, induces lung injury. Soluble Guanylyl Cyclase (sGC)/cGMP pathway is downregulated in chronic and acute animal models of RB such as asthma, COPD and in endotoxin-induced acute lung injury. Objectives: i) To characterize the effects of increased concurrent inspiratory and expiratory resistance in mice, via tracheal banding, ii) To investigate the contribution of the sGC/cGMP pathway in in RB-induced lung injury. Methods and Main Results: Anesthetized C57BL/6 mice underwent RB achieved by restricting tracheal surface area to 50% (tracheal banding). RB for 24 hours resulted in increased bronchoalveolar lavage fluid cellularity and protein content, in marked leukocyte infiltration in the lungs and perturbed respiratory mechanics (increased tissue resistance and elasticity, shifted static pressure volume curve right and downwards, decreased static compliance), consistent with the presence of acute lung injury. RB downregulated the sGC expression in the lung. All manifestations of lung injury caused by RB were exacerbated by the administration of the sGC inhibitor, ODQ, or when RB was performed using sGC α1 knockout mice. Conversely, restoration of sGC signalling by prior administration of the sGC activator BAY 58-2667 prevented the RB-induced lung injury. Strikingly, direct pharmacological activation of sGC with BAY 58-2667 24h post-RB reversed, within 6 hours, the established lung injury. Conclusions: These findings raise the possibility that pharmacological targeting of the sGC/cGMP axis could be used to ameliorate lung dysfunction in obstructive lung diseases.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Nitric oxide (NO) is a gaseotransmitter, which is involved in many signalling processes in health and disease. Three enzymes generate NO from L-arginine, with citrulline formed as a by-product: neuronal NO synthase (nNOS or NOS1), endothelial NOS (eNOS or NOS3) and inducible NOS (iNOS or NOS2). NO is a ligand of soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC), an intracellular heterodimer enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of guanosine triphosphate (GTP) to cyclic GMP (cGMP). cGMP further activates protein kinase G that eventually reduces the smooth muscle tone in bronchi or vessels. Phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) degrades cGMP to GMP. However, NO reacts with superoxide anion (O2-), leading to formation of the proinflammatory molecule peroxynitrite.
Under physiological conditions, NO plays a homeostatic bronchoprotective role in healthy subjects.
In obstructive airway diseases, NO can be beneficial by its bronchodilating effect, but could also be detrimental by the formation of peroxynitrite. Since asthma and COPD are associated with increased levels of exhaled NO, chronic inflammation and increased airway smooth muscle tone, the NO/sGC/cGMP pathway could be involved in these highly prevalent obstructive airway diseases. Here we review the involvement of NO, NO synthases, guanylyl cyclases, cGMP and phophodiesterase-5 in asthma and COPD and potential therapeutic approaches to modulate this pathway.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: BackgroundMAPK-activated protein kinase 2 (MK2) plays a pivotal role in the cell response to (inflammatory) stress. Among others, MK2 is known to be involved in the regulation of cytokine mRNA metabolism and regulation of actin cytoskeleton dynamics. Previously, MK2-deficient mice were shown to be highly resistant to LPS/d-Galactosamine-induced hepatitis. Additionally, research in various disease models has indicated the kinase as an interesting inhibitory drug target for various acute or chronic inflammatory diseases.ResultsWe show that in striking contrast to the known resistance of MK2-deficient mice to a challenge with LPS/D-Gal, a low dose of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) causes hyperacute mortality via an oxidative stress driven mechanism. We identified in vivo defects in the stress fiber response in endothelial cells, which could have resulted in reduced resistance of the endothelial barrier to deal with exposure to oxidative stress. In addition, MK2-deficient mice were found to be more sensitive to cecal ligation and puncture-induced sepsis.Conclusions
The capacity of the endothelial barrier to deal with inflammatory and oxidative stress is imperative to allow a regulated immune response and maintain endothelial barrier integrity. Our results indicate that, considering the central role of TNF in pro-inflammatory signaling, therapeutic strategies examining pharmacological inhibition of MK2 should take potentially dangerous side effects at the level of endothelial barrier integrity into account.