International Journal of Inflammation The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2016 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Inflammatory Serum Protein Profiling of Patients with Lumbar Radicular Pain One Year after Disc Herniation Wed, 11 May 2016 12:15:30 +0000 Earlier studies suggest that lumbar radicular pain following disc herniation may be associated with a local or systemic inflammatory process. In the present study, we investigated the serum inflammatory protein profile of such patients. All 45 patients were recruited from Oslo University Hospital, Ullevål, Norway, during the period 2007–2009. The new multiplex proximity extension assay (PEA) technology was used to analyze the levels of 92 proteins. Interestingly, the present data showed that patients with radicular pain 12 months after disc herniation may be different from other patients with regard to many measurable serum cytokines. Given a false discovery rate (FDR) of 0.10 and 0.05, we identified 41 and 13 proteins, respectively, which were significantly upregulated in the patients with severe pain one year after disc herniation. On the top of the list ranked by estimated increase we found C-X-C motif chemokine 5 (CXCM5; 217% increase), epidermal growth factor (EGF; 142% increase), and monocyte chemotactic protein 4 (MCP-4; 70% increase). Moreover, a clear overall difference in the serum cytokine profile between the chronic and the recovered patients was demonstrated. Thus, the present results may be important for future protein serum profiling of lumbar radicular pain patients with regard to prognosis and choice of treatment. We conclude that serum proteins may be measurable molecular markers of persistent pain after disc herniation. Aurora Moen, Anne-Li Lind, Måns Thulin, Masood Kamali-Moghaddam, Cecilie Røe, Johannes Gjerstad, and Torsten Gordh Copyright © 2016 Aurora Moen et al. All rights reserved. The Effect of Periodontitis on Expression of Interleukin-21: A Systematic Review Mon, 22 Feb 2016 13:19:46 +0000 Purpose. Inflammation and tissue breakdown are led by an array of inflammatory destructive mediators associated with initiation and progression of inflammatory diseases like periodontitis. Current evidence shows that these inflammatory mediators have a definitive role in the pathogenesis of various systemic diseases with an inflammatory component. Interleukin-21 (IL-21) has been associated with systemic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease that follow a chronic inflammatory cascade. Similarly recent studies have associated Interleukin-21 levels with periodontitis. This systematic review was aimed to assess the levels of IL-21 in subjects with periodontitis. Methods. A complete literature search was done in PubMed, Medline, Science Direct, and Cochrane databases and Google Scholar based on the inclusion/exclusion criteria. Six relevant articles were procured. Full text was read individually by two reviewers and data extraction was done based on STROBE statement. Results. After data extraction five observational and one interventional study were obtained. All the studies showed an increased expression of IL-21 in periodontitis and the interventional study showed reduction in IL-21 levels after nonsurgical periodontal therapy (NSP). Conclusion. Interleukin-21 levels are higher in periodontitis than controls. With this limited evidence further longitudinal studies are required to consider this as a definitive inflammatory marker. Archana Mootha, Sankari Malaiappan, N. D. Jayakumar, Sheeja S. Varghese, and Julie Toby Thomas Copyright © 2016 Archana Mootha et al. All rights reserved. Association of Alanine Aminotransferase and Periodontitis: A Cross-Sectional Analysis—NHANES 2009–2012 Thu, 11 Feb 2016 12:28:54 +0000 Objective. Alanine Aminotransferase is an enzyme associated with not only liver diseases, liver conditions, and metabolic syndrome, but also inflammation. Periodontitis is associated with increased cytokines and other markers of inflammation. The purpose of this study is to determine if an independent association between Alanine Aminotransferase and periodontitis exists. Methods. Data from the 2009-2010 and 2011-2012 National Health and Nutrition Surveys (NHANES) were combined. Data concerning periodontitis and Alanine Aminotransferase were extracted and analyzed with Rao Scott Chi-square and logistic regressions. Serum Alanine Aminotransferase was dichotomized at 40 units/liter, and periodontitis was dichotomized to the presence or absence of periodontitis. Results. In bivariate Chi-square analyses, periodontitis and Alanine Aminotransferase were associated () and remained significant in unadjusted logistic regression (OR = 1.30 [95% CI: 1.02, 1.65]). However, when other known risk factors of periodontitis were included in the analyses, the relationship attenuated and failed to reach significance (adjusted OR = 1.17 [95% CI: 0.85, 1.60]). Conclusion. Our study adds to the literature a positive but attenuated association of serum Alanine Aminotransferase with periodontitis which failed to reach significance when other known, strong risk factors of periodontitis were included in the analysis. R. Constance Wiener, Usha Sambamoorthi, and Richard J. Jurevic Copyright © 2016 R. Constance Wiener et al. All rights reserved. The Pattern of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis in a Single Tertiary Center in Saudi Arabia Sun, 07 Feb 2016 11:10:32 +0000 Introduction. Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) is the most common chronic arthritis in children. Our aim is to describe demographic, clinical, and laboratory characteristics and treatment of JIA patients followed up in Pediatric Rheumatology clinic in a tertiary center in Saudi Arabia. Methods. Medical records of all patients who are followed up between January 2007 and January 2015 were retrospectively reviewed. Data were collected about demographic, clinical, and laboratory features and treatment. Results. Total patients were 82, males were 31 (37.8%), and mean age of JIA onset was 7.1 ± 3.6 yr. Mean follow-up duration was 2.67±1.6 yr. Systemic onset JIA (SoJIA) was the commonest (36.5%), followed by polyarticular in 29.2% and oligoarticular in 28%. Large and small joints are involved in 76 (92%) and 30 (36.6%), respectively. Main extra-articular feature was fever in 34 (41.4%). Uveitis was diagnosed in 7 (8.5%) and in 5 (21.7%) of oligoarticular JIA. Anemia was found in 49 (59.7%), high ESR in 45 (54.8%), and leukocytosis and thrombocytosis in 33 (40.2%). Positive ANA was found in 30 (36.5%) mainly in oligoarticular subtype as 12 (52%) patients (out of 23) had this positive test. 9 patients (10.9%) required NSAIDs only, 6 patients (7.3%) required NSAIDs and intra-articular steroids only, and 19 (23%) required NSAIDs, methotrexate, steroids, and biologics. Conclusion. SoJIA is the most common JIA subtype in our study. A population based rather than a single center study will give more details about JIA characteristics in Saudi Arabia Mohammad H. Al-Hemairi, Shatha M. Albokhari, and Mohammed A. Muzaffer Copyright © 2016 Mohammad H. Al-Hemairi et al. All rights reserved. Investigation of the Anti-Inflammatory and Analgesic Activities of Ethanol Extract of Stem Bark of Sonapatha Oroxylum indicum In Vivo Tue, 26 Jan 2016 08:03:56 +0000 Inflammation is all a pervasive phenomenon, which is elicited by the body in response to obnoxious stimuli as a protective measure. However, sustained inflammation leads to several diseases including cancer. Therefore it is necessary to neutralize inflammation. Sonapatha (Oroxylum indicum), a medicinal plant, is traditionally used as a medicine in Ayurveda and other folk systems of medicine. It is commonly used to treat inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. Despite this fact its anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects are not evaluated scientifically. Therefore, the anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities of Sonapatha (Oroxylum indicum) were studied in Swiss albino mice by different methods. The hot plate, acetic acid, and tail immersion tests were used to evaluate the analgesic activity whereas xylene-induced ear edema and formalin induced paw edema tests were used to study the anti-inflammatory activity of Sonapatha. The administration of mice with 250 and 300 mg/kg b.wt. of O. indicum reduced pain and inflammation indicating that Sonapatha possesses analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities. The maximum analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities were observed in mice receiving 300 mg/kg b.wt. of O. indicum ethanol extract. Our study indicates that O. indicum possesses both anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities and it may be useful as an anti-inflammatory agent in the inflammation related disorders. K. Lalrinzuali, M. Vabeiryureilai, and Ganesh Chandra Jagetia Copyright © 2016 K. Lalrinzuali et al. All rights reserved. Intravenous Immunoglobulins: Mode of Action and Indications in Autoimmune and Inflammatory Dermatoses Mon, 18 Jan 2016 11:10:18 +0000 Intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIGs), a mixture of variable amounts of proteins (albumin, IgG, IgM, IgA, and IgE antibodies), as well as salt, sugar, solvents, and detergents, are successfully used to treat a variety of dermatological disorders. For decades, IVIGs have been administered for treatment of infectious diseases and immune deficiencies, since they contain natural antibodies that represent a first-line defense against pathogens. Today their indication has expanded, including the off-label therapy for a variety of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. In dermatology, IVIGs are administered for treatment of different disorders at different therapeutic regimens, mostly with higher doses then those administered for treatment of infectious diseases. The aim of this prospective review is to highlight the indications, effectiveness, side effects, and perspectives of the systemic treatment with IVIGs for patients with severe, life-threatening, and resistant to conventional therapies autoimmune or inflammatory dermatoses. Lyubomir A. Dourmishev, Dimitrina V. Guleva, and Ljubka G. Miteva Copyright © 2016 Lyubomir A. Dourmishev et al. All rights reserved. Nicotine Inhibits Clostridium difficile Toxin A-Induced Colitis but Not Ileitis in Rats Mon, 11 Jan 2016 07:15:35 +0000 Nicotine is protective in ulcerative colitis but not Crohn’s disease of the small intestine, but little is known about the effects of nicotine on Clostridium difficile toxin A-induced enteritis. Isolated ileal or colonic segments in anesthetized rats were pretreated with nicotine bitartrate or other pharmacological agents before intraluminal injection of toxin A. After 3 hours, the treated segments were removed and inflammation was assessed. Nicotine biphasically inhibited toxin A colitis but not ileitis. Pretreatment with the nicotinic receptor antagonist, hexamethonium, blocked the effects of nicotine. Pretreating the colonic segments with hexamethonium before toxin A administration resulted in more inflammation than seen with toxin A alone, suggesting that a tonic nicotinic anti-inflammatory condition exists in the colon. Nicotine also inhibited toxin A-induced increased colonic concentrations of the TRPV1 (transient receptor potential vanilloid subtype 1) agonist, leukotriene B4 (LTB4), and release of the proinflammatory neuropeptide, substance P. Pretreatment with nicotine did not protect against direct TRPV1-mediated colitis caused by intraluminal capsaicin. Nicotinic cholinergic receptors tonically protect the colon against inflammation and nicotine inhibits toxin A colitis but not toxin A ileitis in rats in part by inhibition of toxin A-induced activation of TRPV1 by endogenous TRPV1 agonists such as LTB4. Steven R. Vigna Copyright © 2016 Steven R. Vigna. All rights reserved. EOLA1 Inhibits Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 Expression by Association with MT2A in ECV304 Cells Thu, 31 Dec 2015 13:41:07 +0000 Our research group firstly discovered endothelial-overexpressed lipopolysaccharide-associated factor 1 (EOLA1, GenBank number AY074889) as a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) responsive gene in ECV304 cells. The previous studies have further demonstrated the association of EOLA1 with metallothionein 2A (MT2A), while the role of EOLA1 during LPS-induced inflammatory response in ECV304 cells is unknown. In this report, we determined the subcellular localization of EOLA1 and the regulatory capacity of EOLA1 on vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) in response to LPS in ECV304 cells. Our results show that EOLA1 is broadly diffuse in the cells, and EOLA1 expression is dramatically induced by LPS. EOLA1 knockdown results in significant enhancement of LPS-induced VCAM-1 production. Consistent with this, overexpression of EOLA1 leads to the reduction of LPS-induced VCAM-1 production. Furthermore, MT2A knockdown reduces LPS-induced VCAM-1 production. Collectively, our results demonstrate a negative regulatory role of EOLA1 on LPS-induced VCAM-1 expression involving its association with MT2A in ECV304 cells. Weiling Leng, Xiaotian Lei, Hao Meng, Xinshou Ouyang, and Ziwen Liang Copyright © 2015 Weiling Leng et al. All rights reserved. Angiogenesis in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Tue, 29 Dec 2015 06:05:44 +0000 Angiogenesis is an important component of pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Chronic inflammation and angiogenesis are two closely related processes. Chronic intestinal inflammation is dependent on angiogenesis and this angiogenesis is modulated by immune system in IBD. Angiogenesis is a very complex process which includes multiple cell types, growth factors, cytokines, adhesion molecules, and signal transduction. Lymphangiogenesis is a new research area in the pathogenesis of IBD. While angiogenesis supports inflammation via leukocyte migration, carrying oxygen and nutrients, on the other hand, it has a major role in wound healing. Angiogenic molecules look like perfect targets for the treatment of IBD, but they have risk for serious side effects because of their nature. Canan Alkim, Huseyin Alkim, Ali Riza Koksal, Salih Boga, and Ilker Sen Copyright © 2015 Canan Alkim et al. All rights reserved. VEGFR-2 Expression in Glioblastoma Multiforme Depends on Inflammatory Tumor Microenvironment Tue, 22 Dec 2015 06:08:47 +0000 Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is one of the most angiogenic tumors. However, antiangiogenic therapy has not shown significant clinical efficacy. The aim of our study was to evaluate the impact of inflammatory tumor microenvironment on the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR-2). Surgically excised primary GBM tissues were histologically examined for overall extent of inflammation (score 1–3). After immunohistochemistry, the tissue expression of ICAM-1 (optical density), the number of VEGFR-2 positive (VEGFR-2+) blood vessels (per microscopic field), and the endothelial staining intensity of VEGFR-2 (score 0–3) were determined. In GBM, the extent of inflammation was 1.9 ± 0.7 (group mean ± SD). Mean optical density of inflammatory mediator ICAM-1 was 57.0 ± 27.1 (pixel values). The number of VEGFR-2+ blood vessels and endothelial VEGFR-2 staining intensity were 6.2 ± 2.4 and 1.2 ± 0.8, respectively. A positive association was found between endothelial VEGFR-2 staining intensity and the extent of inflammation (). Moreover, VEGFR-2 staining intensity correlated with the expression level of ICAM-1 (). The expression of VEGFR-2, one of the main targets of antiangiogenic therapy, depends on GBM microenvironment. Higher endothelial VEGFR-2 levels were seen in the presence of more pronounced inflammation. Target dependence on inflammatory tumor microenvironment has to be taken into consideration when treatment approaches that block VEGFR-2 signaling are designed. Jana Jaal, Marju Kase, Ave Minajeva, Mikk Saretok, Aidi Adamson, Jelizaveta Junninen, Tõnis Metsaots, Tõnu Jõgi, Madis Joonsalu, Markus Vardja, and Toomas Asser Copyright © 2015 Jana Jaal et al. All rights reserved. CCR7 Receptor Expression in Mono-MAC-1 Cells: Modulation by Liver X Receptor α Activation and Prostaglandin E2 Sun, 06 Dec 2015 13:15:07 +0000 Cell migration via chemokine receptor CCR7 expression is an essential function of the immune system. We previously showed that prostaglandin (PG), an important immunomodulatory molecule, increases CCR7 expression and function in monocytes. Here, we explore the role of the liver X receptor α (LXRα) activation on CCR7 expression in Mono-Mac-1 (MM-1) cells in the presence of PG. To do this, MM-1 cells were stimulated with the LXRα synthetic agonist T0901317 in the presence or absence of PG. CCR7 mRNA transcription was measured using quantitative RT-PCR and protein expression was examined using flow cytometry. CCR7 function was analyzed using migration assays in response to CCL19/CCL21, which are natural ligands for CCR7. Our results show that agonist-mediated activation of LXRα in the presence of PG increases CCR7 mRNA transcription and MM-1 cell migratory capacity in response to CCL19/21. In addition, our results demonstrate that engagement of the E-prostanoids 2 and 4 (E/E) receptors present on MM-1 cells is responsible for the observed increase in CCR7 mRNA expression and function during LXRα activation. Examination of monocyte migration in response to lipid derivatives such as PG and oxysterols that are produced at sites of chronic inflammation would contribute to understanding the excessive monocyte migration that characterizes atherosclerosis. Bérengère Tanné, Stéphane Bernier, and Nancy Dumais Copyright © 2015 Bérengère Tanné et al. All rights reserved. Curbing Inflammation in Multiple Sclerosis and Endometriosis: Should Mast Cells Be Targeted? Thu, 15 Oct 2015 12:33:37 +0000 Inflammatory diseases and conditions can arise due to responses to a variety of external and internal stimuli. They can occur acutely in response to some stimuli and then become chronic leading to tissue damage and loss of function. While a number of cell types can be involved, mast cells are often present and can be involved in the acute and chronic processes. Recent studies in porcine and rabbit models have supported the concept of a central role for mast cells in a “nerve-mast cell-myofibroblast axis” in some inflammatory processes leading to fibrogenic outcomes. The current review is focused on the potential of extending aspects of this paradigm into treatments for multiple sclerosis and endometriosis, diseases not usually thought of as having common features, but both are reported to have activation of mast cells involved in their respective disease processes. Based on the discussion, it is proposed that targeting mast cells in these diseases, particularly the early phases, may be a fruitful avenue to control the recurring inflammatory exacerbations of the conditions. David A. Hart Copyright © 2015 David A. Hart. All rights reserved. Lipopolysaccharide from Rhodobacter sphaeroides Attenuates Microglia-Mediated Inflammation and Phagocytosis and Directs Regulatory T Cell Response Thu, 17 Sep 2015 14:30:04 +0000 Microglia activation and neuroinflammation are key events during the progression of neurodegenerative disorders. Microglia exhibits toll-like receptors (TLRs), with predominant expression of TLR4, inducing aberrant neuroinflammation and exacerbated neurotoxicity. Studies suggest that microglia initiate infiltration of T cells into the brain that critically influence disease conditions. We report that LPS-Rs, through TLR4 antagonism, significantly inhibit TLR4 mediated inflammatory molecules like IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, COX-2, iNOS, and NO. LPS-Rs regulates JNK/p38 MAPKs and p65-NF-κB signaling pathways, which we report as indispensible for LPS induced neuroinflammation. LPS-Rs mitigates microglial phagocytic activity and we are first to report regulatory role of LPS-Rs which blocked microglia mediated inflammation and apoptotic cell death. LPS-Rs significantly inhibits expression of costimulatory molecules CD80, CD86, and CD40. Chemokine receptor, CCR5, and T cell recruitment chemokines, MIP-1α and CCL5, were negatively regulated by LPS-Rs. Furthermore, LPS-Rs significantly inhibited lymphocyte proliferation with skewed regulatory T (Treg) cell response as evidenced by increased FOXP3, IL-10, and TGF-β. Additionally, LPS-Rs serves to induce coordinated immunosuppressive response and confer tolerogenic potential to activated microglia extending neurosupportive microenvironment. TLR4 antagonism can be a strategy providing neuroprotection through regulation of microglia as well as the T cells. Sagar Gaikwad and Reena Agrawal-Rajput Copyright © 2015 Sagar Gaikwad and Reena Agrawal-Rajput. All rights reserved. Smoking Status Effect on Inflammatory Markers in a Randomized Trial of Current and Former Heavy Smokers Sun, 23 Aug 2015 07:41:13 +0000 Background. The level of systemic inflammation as measured by circulating levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) is linked to an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and cancer. Methods. We recruited 154 current and former smokers between 40 and 80 years of age with 25 or more pack-years of smoking history to study the relationship between inflammatory markers (CRP and IL-6) and smoking status. Results. Our results show that male smokers had significantly higher levels of serum IL-6 compared to male former smokers. We did not find any gender specific differences for smoking and CRP levels but the IL-6 levels were slightly lower in females compared to males. Additionally, our results show that CRP is significantly associated with IL-6 regardless of smoking status. Modelling indicates that the significant predictors of CRP levels were biomarkers of the metabolic syndrome while the significant predictors of IL-6 levels were age and plasma triglycerides among former smokers and the numbers of smoked packs of cigarettes per year among smokers. Conclusions. In conclusion, our study showed that CRP levels were not associated with markers of smoking intensity. However, IL-6 levels were significantly associated with smoking especially among current smokers. Sami Aldaham, Janet A. Foote, H.-H. Sherry Chow, and Iman A. Hakim Copyright © 2015 Sami Aldaham et al. All rights reserved. Curbing Inflammation in Skin Wound Healing: A Review Tue, 18 Aug 2015 05:53:08 +0000 Wound healing is a complex regulated process that results in skin scar formation in postnatal mammals. Chronic wounds are major medical problems that can confer devastating consequences. Currently, there are no treatments to prevent scarring. In the early fetus wounds heal without scarring and the healing process is characterized by relatively less inflammation compared to adults; therefore, research aimed at reducing the inflammatory process related to wound healing might speed healing and improve the final scar appearance. Rodrigo G. Rosique, Marina J. Rosique, and Jayme A. Farina Junior Copyright © 2015 Rodrigo G. Rosique et al. All rights reserved. Deciphering Asthma Biomarkers with Protein Profiling Technology Thu, 06 Aug 2015 08:36:23 +0000 Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways, resulting in bronchial hyperresponsiveness with every allergen exposure. It is now clear that asthma is not a single disease, but rather a multifaceted syndrome that results from a variety of biologic mechanisms. Asthma is further problematic given that the disease consists of many variants, each with its own etiologic and pathophysiologic factors, including different cellular responses and inflammatory phenotypes. These facets make the rapid and accurate diagnosis (not to mention treatments) of asthma extremely difficult. Protein biomarkers can serve as powerful detection tools in both clinical and basic research applications. Recent endeavors from biomedical researchers have developed technical platforms, such as cytokine antibody arrays, that have been employed and used to further the global analysis of asthma biomarker studies. In this review, we discuss potential asthma biomarkers involved in the pathophysiologic process and eventual pathogenesis of asthma, how these biomarkers are being utilized, and how further testing methods might help improve the diagnosis and treatment strain that current asthma patients suffer. Zhizhou Kuang, Jarad J. Wilson, Shuhong Luo, Si-Wei Zhu, and Ruo-Pan Huang Copyright © 2015 Zhizhou Kuang et al. All rights reserved. Erratum to “Adaptive Immunity and Inflammation” Mon, 11 May 2015 12:48:17 +0000 Vincenzo Brancaleone, Asif Jilani Iqbal, Nikolaos Paschalidis, and Francesco Maione Copyright © 2015 Vincenzo Brancaleone et al. All rights reserved. Influence of Body Mass Index on Inflammatory Profile at Admission in Critically Ill Septic Patients Sun, 10 May 2015 11:23:43 +0000 Introduction. Inflammation is ubiquitous during sepsis and may be influenced by body mass index (BMI). We sought to evaluate if BMI was associated with serum levels of several cytokines measured at intensive care unit admission due to sepsis. Methods. 33 septic patients were included. An array of thirty-two cytokines and chemokines was measured using Milliplex technology. We assessed the association between cytokine levels and BMI by generalized additive model that also included illness severity (measured by SAPS 3 score); one model was built for each cytokine measured. Results. We found that levels of epidermal growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, and interleukins 4, 5, and 13 were associated with BMI in a complex, nonlinear way, independently of illness severity. Higher BMI was associated with higher levels of anti-inflammatory interleukins. Conclusion. BMI may influence host response to infection during critical illness. Larger studies should confirm these findings. Fernando G. Zampieri, Vanessa Jacob, Hermes V. Barbeiro, Fabiano Pinheiro da Silva, and Heraldo P. de Souza Copyright © 2015 Fernando G. Zampieri et al. All rights reserved. Role of MicroRNAs in Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System-Mediated Cardiovascular Inflammation and Remodeling Wed, 06 May 2015 09:57:49 +0000 MicroRNAs are endogenous regulators of gene expression either by inhibiting translation or protein degradation. Recent studies indicate that microRNAs play a role in cardiovascular disease and renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system- (RAAS-) mediated cardiovascular inflammation, either as mediators or being targeted by RAAS pharmacological inhibitors. The exact role(s) of microRNAs in RAAS-mediated cardiovascular inflammation and remodeling is/are still in early stage of investigation. However, few microRNAs have been shown to play a role in RAAS signaling, particularly miR-155, miR-146a/b, miR-132/122, and miR-483-3p. Identification of specific microRNAs and their targets and elucidating microRNA-regulated mechanisms associated RAS-mediated cardiovascular inflammation and remodeling might lead to the development of novel pharmacological strategies to target RAAS-mediated vascular pathologies. This paper reviews microRNAs role in inflammatory factors mediating cardiovascular inflammation and RAAS genes and the effect of RAAS pharmacological inhibition on microRNAs and the resolution of RAAS-mediated cardiovascular inflammation and remodeling. Also, this paper discusses the advances on microRNAs-based therapeutic approaches that may be important in targeting RAAS signaling. Maricica Pacurari and Paul B. Tchounwou Copyright © 2015 Maricica Pacurari and Paul B. Tchounwou. All rights reserved. Liver Fibrosis and Mechanisms of the Protective Action of Medicinal Plants Targeting Inflammation and the Immune Response Tue, 14 Apr 2015 08:57:46 +0000 Inflammation is a central feature of liver fibrosis as suggested by its role in the activation of hepatic stellate cells leading to extracellular matrix deposition. During liver injury, inflammatory cells are recruited in the injurious site through chemokines attraction. Thus, inflammation could be a target to reduce liver fibrosis. The pandemic trend of obesity, combined with the high incidence of alcohol intake and viral hepatitis infections, highlights the urgent need to find accessible antifibrotic therapies. Medicinal plants are achieving popularity as antifibrotic agents, supported by their safety, cost-effectiveness, and versatility. The aim of this review is to describe the role of inflammation and the immune response in the pathogenesis of liver fibrosis and detail the mechanisms of inhibition of both events by medicinal plants in order to reduce liver fibrosis. Florent Duval, Jorge E. Moreno-Cuevas, María Teresa González-Garza, Carmen Maldonado-Bernal, and Delia Elva Cruz-Vega Copyright © 2015 Florent Duval et al. All rights reserved. Serum Levels of Proinflammatory Cytokines in Painful Knee Osteoarthritis and Sensitization Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:12:34 +0000 Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disorder in the world. Among the mechanisms involved in osteoarthritis, biomarkers (cytokines profile) may be related to pain and pain intensity, functional capacity, and pressure pain thresholds (PPT). Thus, the study of these relationships may offer useful information about pathophysiology and associated mechanisms involved in osteoarthritis. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate the seric concentration of pro (IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α) and anti-inflammatory (IL-10) cytokines in patients with painful knee osteoarthritis and to correlate the levels of these biomarkers with the patients’ functional capacity and pressure pain threshold (PPT) values. Marta Imamura, Fernando Ezquerro, Fábio Marcon Alfieri, Lucy Vilas Boas, Tania Regina Tozetto-Mendoza, Janini Chen, Levent Özçakar, Lars Arendt-Nielsen, and Linamara Rizzo Battistella Copyright © 2015 Marta Imamura et al. All rights reserved. Adaptive Immunity and Inflammation Sun, 22 Feb 2015 07:33:35 +0000 Brancaleone Vincenzo, Iqbal J. Asif, Paschalidis Nikolaos, and Maione Francesco Copyright © 2015 Brancaleone Vincenzo et al. All rights reserved. Cytokines Modulate the “Immune-Metabolism” Interactions during Behçet Disease: Effect on Arginine Metabolism Tue, 27 Jan 2015 12:00:41 +0000 Aim and Methods. In this study, we evaluated NOS and arginase activities and their regulation during Behçet disease, a systemic chronic inflammatory disorder with uncertain etiology. The peripheral blood mononuclear cells of 36 patients and 15 control samples (PBMC) were cultured in either RPMI 1640, MEM, or DMEM complemented with 10% of FBS and antibiotics. Cultures were performed with or without the control or patients plasma. Subsequent treatment contained anticytokines (IL-6, TGF-β), a mitogenic effector (PHA), or NOS modulators (L-NMMA, BH4). Culture supernatants were harvested after 24 h of incubation. NO and urea measurements were, respectively, performed by modified Griess and Berthelot methods. Results. Higher urea levels were found in patients’ plasma compared to the control’s (P < 0.05). NOS modulators induced inverted production profiles for NO and urea (P < 0.05). Their results differed depending on the clinical findings (P < 0.05). It was also found that cytokine neutralization induced different response profiles in patients as opposed to control cultures (P < 0.05). Conclusion. Our results suggest that arginases can compete with NOS2 for L-arginine during Behçet disease. Both enzymes are regulated by environmental cytokines and substrate availability. Furthermore, it seems that NOS/arginase balance is dependent on clinical expression. Houda Belguendouz, Karima Lahmar-Belguendouz, Djamel Messaoudene, Zineb Djeraba, Fifi Otmani, Djennat Hakem, Ouided S. Lahlou-Boukoffa, Pierre Youinou, and Chafia Touil-Boukoffa Copyright © 2015 Houda Belguendouz et al. All rights reserved. Vasospasm in Cerebral Inflammation Mon, 29 Dec 2014 13:40:51 +0000 All forms of cerebral inflammation as found in bacterial meningitis, cerebral malaria, brain injury, and subarachnoid haemorrhage have been associated with vasospasm of cerebral arteries and arterioles. Vasospasm has been associated with permanent neurological deficits and death in subarachnoid haemorrhage and bacterial meningitis. Increased levels of interleukin-1 may be involved in vasospasm through calcium dependent and independent activation of the myosin light chain kinase and release of the vasoconstrictor endothelin-1. Another key factor in the pathogenesis of cerebral arterial vasospasm may be the reduced bioavailability of the vasodilator nitric oxide. Therapeutic trials in vasospasm related to inflammation in subarachnoid haemorrhage in humans showed a reduction of vasospasm through calcium antagonists, endothelin receptor antagonists, statins, and plasminogen activators. Combination of therapeutic modalities addressing calcium dependent and independent vasospasm, the underlying inflammation, and depletion of nitric oxide simultaneously merit further study in all conditions with cerebral inflammation in double blind randomised placebo controlled trials. Auxiliary treatment with these agents may be able to reduce ischemic brain injury associated with neurological deficits and increased mortality. Michael Eisenhut Copyright © 2014 Michael Eisenhut. All rights reserved. Anti-Inflammatory and Antiarthritic Activity of Anthraquinone Derivatives in Rodents Wed, 24 Dec 2014 00:10:05 +0000 Aloe emodin is isolated compound of aloe vera which is used traditionally as an anti-inflammatory agent. In vitro pharmacokinetic data suggest that glucuronosyl or sulfated forms of aloe emodin may provide some limitations in its absorption capacity. Aloe emodin was reported to have in vitro anti-inflammatory activity due to inhibition of inducible nitric oxide (iNO) and prostaglandin E2, via its action on murine macrophages. However, present work evidenced that molecular docking of aloe emodin modulates the anti-inflammatory activity, as well as expression of COX-2 (cyclooxygenase-2) in rodent. The AEC (4,5-dihydroxy-9,10-dioxo-9,10-dihydroanthracene-2 carboxylic acid) was synthesized using aloe emodin as starting material. The study was planned for evaluation of possible anti-inflammatory and antiarthritic activity in carrageenan rat induced paw oedema and complete Freund’s adjuvant induced arthritis in rats. The AE (aloe emodin) and AEC significantly reduced carrageenan induced paw edema at 50 and 75 mg/kg. Complete Freund’s adjuvant induced arthritis model showed significant decrease in injected and noninjected paw volume, arthritic score. AE and AEC showed significant effect on various biochemical, antioxidant, and hematological parameters. Diclofenac sodium 10 mg/kg showed significant inhibition in inflammation and arthritis. Ajay D. Kshirsagar, Prashant V. Panchal, Uday N. Harle, Rabindra K. Nanda, and Haidarali M. Shaikh Copyright © 2014 Ajay D. Kshirsagar et al. All rights reserved. Distinct Lysosome Phenotypes Influence Inflammatory Function in Peritoneal and Bone Marrow-Derived Macrophages Tue, 23 Dec 2014 06:52:47 +0000 Lysosomes play a critical role in the degradation of both extracellular and intracellular material. These dynamic organelles also contribute to nutrient sensing and cell signaling pathways. Macrophages represent a heterogeneous group of phagocytic cells that contribute to tissue homeostasis and inflammation. Recently, there has been a renewed interest in understanding the role of macrophage autophagy and lysosome function in health and disease. Thioglycollate-elicited peritoneal and bone marrow-derived macrophages are commonly used ex vivo systems to study primary macrophage function. In this study, we reveal dramatic baseline differences in the lysosome morphology and function between these macrophage populations and provide evidence that these differences can be functionally relevant. Our results provide important insights into the diversity of lysosomes in primary macrophages and illustrate the importance of accounting for this in data interpretation. Kassandra Weber and Joel D. Schilling Copyright © 2014 Kassandra Weber and Joel D. Schilling. All rights reserved. Follistatin Alleviates Synovitis and Articular Cartilage Degeneration Induced by Carrageenan Tue, 09 Dec 2014 06:55:33 +0000 Activins are proinflammatory cytokines which belong to the TGFβ superfamily. Follistatin is an extracellular decoy receptor for activins. Since both activins and follistatin are expressed in articular cartilage, we hypothesized that activin-follistatin signaling participates in the process of joint inflammation and cartilage degeneration. To test this hypothesis, we examined the effects of follistatin in a carrageenan-induced mouse arthritis model. Synovitis induced by intra-articular injection of carrageenan was significantly alleviated by preinjection with follistatin. Macrophage infiltration into the synovial membrane was significantly reduced in the presence of follistatin. In addition, follistatin inhibited proteoglycan erosion induced by carrageenan in articular cartilage. These data indicate that activin-follistatin signaling is involved in joint inflammation and cartilage homeostasis. Our data suggest that follistatin can be a new therapeutic target for inflammation-induced articular cartilage degeneration. Jun Yamada, Kunikazu Tsuji, Kazumasa Miyatake, Yu Matsukura, Kahaer Abula, Makiko Inoue, Ichiro Sekiya, and Takeshi Muneta Copyright © 2014 Jun Yamada et al. All rights reserved. Hemoglobin Expression in Nonerythroid Cells: Novel or Ubiquitous? Wed, 05 Nov 2014 11:37:13 +0000 Hemoglobin (Hb) is a major protein involved in transport of oxygen (O2). Red blood cells (RBCs) contain maximum amount of Hb and because of their unique structure and plasticity they transport O2 to various tissues of the body at an optimal concentration. Recently, it has been reported that, apart from RBCs, Hb is also expressed by nonerythroid cells such as epithelial cells of different origin. The cells expressing Hb are from the tissues where maintenance of O2 homeostasis is of paramount importance. Hb expression has been observed in the epithelial cells from human tissues including lungs, neurons, retina, and endometrium. Our group has recently demonstrated that Hb is expressed by the cervicovaginal epithelial cells. We further showed that, apart from maintaining O2 homeostasis, Hb and the peptides derived from it play an indispensable role in the protection of vaginal epithelium by exhibiting antimicrobial activity. In this review, we discuss the significance of Hb expression in vaginal epithelial cells and its role in the recognition of pathogens thereby reducing the risk and/or severity of inflammation and/or infections and the possible mechanism by which Hb exhibits antimicrobial and antioxidative functions. Debarchana Saha, Mandar Patgaonkar, Ankit Shroff, Kanchana Ayyar, Tahir Bashir, and K. V. R. Reddy Copyright © 2014 Debarchana Saha et al. All rights reserved. Macrophage Derived Platelet Activating Factor Implicated in the Resolution Phase of Gouty Inflammation Wed, 24 Sep 2014 11:07:43 +0000 Human blood derived in vitro differentiated monocytes or macrophages are a population of cells which have been investigated over the years to determine the role these cells play in the resolution phase of gout. Macrophages are able to phagocytose monosodium urate monohydrate (MSU) crystals without releasing inflammatory factors. This study analysed macrophage platelet activating factor secretion and its possible role in the pathway of gout resolution. Analysis of sunatants from in vitro differentiated macrophages stimulated with MSU crystals revealed the secretion of platelet activating factor (PAF) mean ± SEM; ng/mL per 106 cells. This secretion was absent in immature monocytes treated similarly. When these monocytes were pretreated with recombinant human PAF-acetylhydrolase (rhuPAF-AH) and MSU crystals resulted in TNFα suppression. Addition of WEB2086, a platelet activating factor (PAF) antagonist, to differentiated macrophages with MSU crystals unmasked TNFα secretion mean ± SEM; ng/mL per 106 cells. This study identifies a role for PAF and the PAF receptor antagonist in the pathway by which macrophages ingest MSU crystals and resolve the concomitant inflammation. Darshna Yagnik Copyright © 2014 Darshna Yagnik. All rights reserved. Obesity Related Alterations in Plasma Cytokines and Metabolic Hormones in Chimpanzees Thu, 18 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Obesity is characterized by chronic low-grade inflammation and serves as a major risk factor for hypertension, coronary artery disease, dyslipidemias, and type-2 diabetes. The purpose of this study was to examine changes in metabolic hormones, inflammatory cytokines, and immune function, in lean, overweight, and obese chimpanzees in a controlled environment. We observed increased plasma circulating levels of proinflammatory TH-1 cytokines, Interferon gamma, interleukin-6, interleukin-12p40, tumor necrosis factor, soluble CD40 ligand, and Interleukin-1β and anti-inflammatory TH-2 cytokines, Interleukin-4, Interleukin-RA, Interleukin-10, and Interleukin-13 in overweight and obese chimpanzees. We also observed increased levels of metabolic hormones glucagon-like-peptide-1, glucagon, connecting peptide, insulin, pancreatic peptide YY3–36, and leptin in the plasma of overweight and obese chimpanzees. Chemokine, eotaxin, fractalkine, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 were higher in lean compared to obese chimpanzees, while chemokine ligand 8 increased in plasma of obese chimpanzees. We also observed an obesity-related effect on immune function as demonstrated by lower mitogen induced proliferation, and natural killer activity and higher production of IFN-γ by PBMC in Elispot assay, These findings suggest that lean, overweight, and obese chimpanzees share circulating inflammatory cytokines and metabolic hormone levels with humans and that chimpanzees can serve as a useful animal model for human studies. Pramod Nehete, Elizabeth R. Magden, Bharti Nehete, Patrick W. Hanley, and Christian R. Abee Copyright © 2014 Pramod Nehete et al. All rights reserved.