Mediators of Inflammation The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2015 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Differential Mucin Expression by Respiratory Syncytial Virus and Human Metapneumovirus Infection in Human Epithelial Cells Wed, 22 Apr 2015 14:09:17 +0000 Mucins (MUC) constitute an important component of the inflammatory and innate immune response. However, the expression of these molecules by respiratory viral infections is still largely unknown. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and human metapneumovirus (hMPV) are two close-related paramyxoviruses that can cause severe low respiratory tract disease in infants and young children worldwide. Currently, there is not vaccine available for neither virus. In this work, we explored the differential expression of MUC by RSV and hMPV in human epithelial cells. Our data indicate that the MUC expression by RSV and hMPV differs significantly, as we observed a stronger induction of MUC8, MUC15, MUC20, MUC21, and MUC22 by RSV infection while the expression of MUC1, MUC2, and MUC5B was dominated by the infection with hMPV. These results may contribute to the different immune response induced by these two respiratory viruses. Ma. Del Rocío Baños-Lara, Boyang Piao, and Antonieta Guerrero-Plata Copyright © 2015 Ma. Del Rocío Baños-Lara et al. All rights reserved. Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Low and High Doxycycline Doses: An In Vitro Study Wed, 22 Apr 2015 12:46:32 +0000 Doxycycline is used to treat infective diseases because of its broadspectrum efficacy. High dose administration (100 or 200 mg/day) is often responsible for development of bacterial resistances and endogenous flora alterations, whereas low doses (20–40 mg/day) do not alter bacteria susceptibility to antibiotics and exert anti-inflammatory activities. In this study, we wanted to assess the efficacy of both low and high doxycycline doses in modulating IL-8, TNF-α, and IL-6 gene expression in HaCaT cells stimulated with LPS. Three experimental settings were used, differing in the timing of doxycycline treatment in respect to the insult induced by LPS: pretreatment, concomitant, and posttreatment. Low doses were more effective than high doses in modulating gene expression of LPS-induced proinflammatory cytokines (IL-8, TNF-α, and IL-6), when added before (pretreatment) or after (posttreatment) LPS stimulation. This effect was not appreciated when LPS and doxycycline were simultaneously added to cell cultures: in this case high doses were more effective. In conclusion, our in vitro study suggests that low doxycycline doses could be safely used in chronic or acute skin diseases in which the inflammatory process, either constantly in progress or periodically recurring, has to be prevented or controlled. Roberta Di Caprio, Serena Lembo, Luisa Di Costanzo, Anna Balato, and Giuseppe Monfrecola Copyright © 2015 Roberta Di Caprio et al. All rights reserved. Sustained Interleukin-1β Exposure Modulates Multiple Steps in Glucocorticoid Receptor Signaling, Promoting Split-Resistance to the Transactivation of Prominent Anti-Inflammatory Genes by Glucocorticoids Wed, 22 Apr 2015 06:36:18 +0000 Clinical treatment with glucocorticoids (GC) can be complicated by cytokine-induced glucocorticoid low-responsiveness (GC-resistance, GCR), a condition associated with a homogeneous reduction in the expression of GC-receptor- (GR-) driven anti-inflammatory genes. However, GR level and phosphorylation changes modify the expression of individual GR-responsive genes differently. As sustained IL-1β exposure is key in the pathogenesis of several major diseases with prevalent GCR, we examined GR signaling and the mRNA expression of six GR-driven genes in cells cultured in IL-1β and afterwards challenged with GC. After a GC challenge, sustained IL-1β exposure reduced the cytoplasmic GR level, and phosphorylation, and GR nuclear translocation and led to selective GCR in the expression of the studied genes. Compared to GC alone, in a broad range of GC doses plus sustained IL-1β, FKBP51 mRNA expression was reduced by 1/3, TTP by 2/3, and IRF8 was completely knocked down. In contrast, high GC doses did not change the expression of GILZ and DUSP1, while IGFBP1 was increased by 5-fold. These effects were cytokine-selective, IL-1β dose- and IL-1R1-dependent. The integrated gain and loss of gene functions in the “split GCR” model may provide target cells with a survival advantage by conferring resistance to apoptosis, chemotherapy, and GC. Pedro Escoll, Ismael Ranz, Norman Muñoz-Antón, Ana van-den-Rym, Melchor Alvarez-Mon, Carlos Martínez-Alonso, Eva Sanz, and Antonio de-la-Hera Copyright © 2015 Pedro Escoll et al. All rights reserved. Chemokine-Ligands/Receptors: Multiplayers in Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury Tue, 21 Apr 2015 13:04:37 +0000 Spinal cord injury (SCI) results in complex posttraumatic sequelae affecting the whole neuraxis. Due to its involvement in varied neuromodulatory processes, the chemokine-ligand/receptor-network is a key element of secondary lesion cascades induced by SCI. This review will provide a synopsis of chemokine-ligand/receptor-expression along the whole neuraxis after traumatic spinal cord (sc) insults on basis of recent in vivo and in vitro findings in a SCI paradigm of thoracic force-defined impact lesions (Infinite Horizon Impactor) in adult rats. Analyses of chemokine-ligand/receptor-expression at defined time points after sc lesion of different severity grades or sham operation revealed that these inflammatory mediators are induced in distinct anatomical sc regions and in thalamic nuclei, periaqueductal grey, and hippocampal structures in the brain. Cellular and anatomical expression profiles together with colocalization/expression of neural stem/progenitor cell markers in adult sc stem cells niches or with pain-related receptors and mediators in dorsal horns, dorsal columns, and pain-processing brain areas support the notion that chemokines are involved in distinct cascades underlying clinical posttraumatic impairments and syndromes. These aspects and their implication in concepts of tailored SCI treatment are reviewed in the context of the recent literature on chemokine-ligand/receptor involvement in complex secondary lesion cascades. Friederike Knerlich-Lukoschus and Janka Held-Feindt Copyright © 2015 Friederike Knerlich-Lukoschus and Janka Held-Feindt. All rights reserved. Neutrophils Induced Licensing of Natural Killer Cells Tue, 21 Apr 2015 10:31:55 +0000 Natural killer (NK) cells acquire effector function through a licensing process and exert anti-leukemia/tumor effect. However, there is no means to promote a licensing effect of allogeneic NK cells other than cytomegalovirus reactivation-induced licensing in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in human. In mice, a licensing process is mediated by Ly49 receptors which recognize self-major histocompatibility complex class I. The distribution of four Ly49 receptors showed similar pattern in congenic mice, B10, B10.BR, and B10.D2, which have B10 background. Forty Gy-irradiated B10.D2 cells including splenocytes, peripheral blood mononuclear cells in untreated mice, or granulocyte colony-stimulating factor treated mice were injected intraperitoneally into B10 mice. We found that murine NK cells were effectively licensed by intraperitoneal injection of donor neutrophils with its corresponding NK receptor ligand in B10 mice as a recipient and B10.D2 as a donor. Mechanistic studies revealed that NK cells showed the upregulation of intracellular interferon-γ and CD107a expression as markers of NK cell activation. Moreover, enriched neutrophils enhanced licensing effect of NK cells; meanwhile, licensing effect was diminished by depletion of neutrophils. Collectively, injection of neutrophils induced NK cell licensing (activation) via NK receptor ligand interaction. Keishiro Amano, Masahiro Hirayama, Eiichi Azuma, Shotaro Iwamoto, Yoshitaka Keida, and Yoshihiro Komada Copyright © 2015 Keishiro Amano et al. All rights reserved. Repetitive Hyperbaric Oxygenation Attenuates Reactive Astrogliosis and Suppresses Expression of Inflammatory Mediators in the Rat Model of Brain Injury Mon, 20 Apr 2015 09:23:08 +0000 The exact mechanisms by which treatment with hyperbaric oxygen (HBOT) exerts its beneficial effects on recovery after brain injury are still unrevealed. Therefore, in this study we investigated the influence of repetitive HBOT on the reactive astrogliosis and expression of mediators of inflammation after cortical stab injury (CSI). CSI was performed on male Wistar rats, divided into control, sham, and lesioned groups with appropriate HBO. The HBOT protocol was as follows: 10 minutes of slow compression, 2.5 atmospheres absolute (ATA) for 60 minutes, and 10 minutes of slow decompression, once a day for 10 consecutive days. Data obtained using real-time polymerase chain reaction, Western blot, and immunohistochemical and immunofluorescence analyses revealed that repetitive HBOT applied after the CSI attenuates reactive astrogliosis and glial scarring, and reduces expression of GFAP (glial fibrillary acidic protein), vimentin, and ICAM-1 (intercellular adhesion molecule-1) both at gene and tissue levels. In addition, HBOT prevents expression of CD40 and its ligand CD40L on microglia, neutrophils, cortical neurons, and reactive astrocytes. Accordingly, repetitive HBOT, by prevention of glial scarring and limiting of expression of inflammatory mediators, supports formation of more permissive environment for repair and regeneration. Irena Lavrnja, Ana Parabucki, Predrag Brkic, Tomislav Jovanovic, Sanja Dacic, Danijela Savic, Igor Pantic, Mirjana Stojiljkovic, and Sanja Pekovic Copyright © 2015 Irena Lavrnja et al. All rights reserved. Mediators of Gut Mucosal Immunity and Inflammation Sun, 19 Apr 2015 11:47:13 +0000 Ishak Ozel Tekin, H. Barbaros Oral, and Ronit Shiri-Sverdlov Copyright © 2015 Ishak Ozel Tekin et al. All rights reserved. Decreased IL-27 Negatively Correlated with Th17 Cells in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Patients Sun, 19 Apr 2015 10:14:32 +0000 The presence of Th17 cells and IL-27 is observed in a variety of inflammatory associated cancers. However, there are some data on the role of Th17 cells and IL-27 in the regulation of immune reactions in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The aim of this study is to assess the variation of Th17 cells and IL-27 in the peripheral blood (PB) of patients with NSCLC. The proportion of Th17 cells in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was evaluated by flow cytometry. The serum concentrations of IL-27 and IL-17 were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The mRNA expression of RORγt and IL-27 in the peripheral blood was examined by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (QPCR). Expression of IL-27 was lower in NSCLC patients compared with normal controls. The frequency of Th17 cells was increased in NSCLC patients, accompanied by the upregulation of IL-17 and RORγt. IL-27 negatively correlated with the number of Th17 cells and the RORγt mRNA. Our results indicate that IL-27 might inhibit Th17 differentiation in NSCLC patients and better understanding of the regulatory effects of IL-27 on Th17 cells may shed light on potential new targets in cancer prevention and therapy. Minchao Duan, Zhengqing Ning, Zhijun Fu, Jianquan Zhang, Guangnan Liu, Qiu Wei, and Xiaoyu Zheng Copyright © 2015 Minchao Duan et al. All rights reserved. Activins and Follistatin in Chronic Hepatitis C and Its Treatment with Pegylated-Interferon-α Based Therapy Sun, 19 Apr 2015 08:05:34 +0000 Pegylated-interferon-α based therapy for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C (CHC) is considered suboptimal as not all patients respond to the treatment and it is associated with several side effects that could lead to dose reduction and/or termination of therapy. The currently used markers to monitor the response to treatment are based on viral kinetics and their performance in the prediction of treatment outcome is moderate and does not combine accuracy and their values have several limitations. Hence, the development of new sensitive and specific predictor markers could provide a useful tool for the clinicians and healthcare providers, especially in the new era of interferon-free therapy, for the classification of patients according to their response to the standard therapy and only subscribing the novel directly acting antiviral drugs to those who are anticipated not to respond to the conventional therapy and/or have absolute contraindications for its use. The importance of activins and follistatin in the regulation of immune system, liver biology, and pathology has recently emerged. This review appraises the up-to-date knowledge regarding the role of activins and follistatin in liver biology and immune system and their role in the pathophysiology of CHC. Bassem Refaat, Ahmed Mohamed Ashshi, Adel Galal El-Shemi, and Esam Azhar Copyright © 2015 Bassem Refaat et al. All rights reserved. Punicalagin Induces Nrf2/HO-1 Expression via Upregulation of PI3K/AKT Pathway and Inhibits LPS-Induced Oxidative Stress in RAW264.7 Macrophages Sun, 19 Apr 2015 07:28:59 +0000 Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative stress are thought to play a central role in potentiating macrophage activation, causing excessive inflammation, tissue damage, and sepsis. Recently, we have shown that punicalagin (PUN) exhibits anti-inflammatory activity in LPS-stimulated macrophages. However, the potential antioxidant effects of PUN in macrophages remain unclear. Revealing these effects will help understand the mechanism underlying its ability to inhibit excessive macrophage activation. Hemeoxygenase-1 (HO-1) exhibits antioxidant activity in macrophages. Therefore, we hypothesized that HO-1 is a potential target of PUN and tried to reveal its antioxidant mechanism. Here, PUN treatment increased HO-1 expression together with its upstream mediator nuclear factor-erythroid 2 p45-related factor 2 (Nrf2). However, specific inhibition of Nrf2 by brusatol (a specific Nrf2 inhibitor) dramatically blocked PUN-induced HO-1 expression. Previous research has demonstrated that the PI3K/Akt pathway plays a critical role in modulating Nrf2/HO-1 protein expression as an upstream signaling molecule. Here, LY294002, a specific PI3K/Akt inhibitor, suppressed PUN-induced HO-1 expression and led to ROS accumulation in macrophages. Furthermore, PUN inhibited LPS-induced oxidative stress in macrophages by reducing ROS and NO generation and increasing superoxide dismutase (SOD) 1 mRNA expression. These findings provide new perspectives for novel therapeutic approaches using antioxidant medicines and compounds against oxidative stress and excessive inflammatory diseases including tissue damage, sepsis, and endotoxemic shock. Xiaolong Xu, Hongquan Li, Xiaolin Hou, Deyin Li, Shasha He, Changrong Wan, Peng Yin, Mingjiang Liu, Fenghua Liu, and Jianqin Xu Copyright © 2015 Xiaolong Xu et al. All rights reserved. Markers of Inflammation Associated with Plaque Progression and Instability in Patients with Carotid Atherosclerosis Thu, 16 Apr 2015 14:31:52 +0000 Atherosclerosis is the focal expression of a systemic disease affecting medium- and large-sized arteries, in which traditional cardiovascular risk factor and immune factors play a key role. It is well accepted that circulating biomarkers, including C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, reliably predict major cardiovascular events, including myocardial infarction or death. However, the relevance of biomarkers of systemic inflammation to atherosclerosis progression in the carotid artery is less established. The large majority of clinical studies focused on the association between biomarkers and subclinical atherosclerosis, that is, carotid intima-media thickening (cIMT), which represents an earlier stage of the disease. The aim of this work is to review inflammatory biomarkers that were associated with a higher atherosclerotic burden, a faster disease progression, and features of plaque instability, such as inflammation or neovascularization, in patients with carotid atherosclerotic plaque, which represents an advanced stage of disease compared with cIMT. The association of biomarkers with the occurrence of cerebrovascular events, secondary to carotid plaque rupture, will also be presented. Currently, the degree of carotid artery stenosis is used to predict the risk of future cerebrovascular events in patients affected by carotid atherosclerosis. However, this strategy appears suboptimal. The identification of suitable biomarkers could provide a useful adjunctive criterion to ensure better risk stratification and optimize management. Enrico Ammirati, Francesco Moroni, Giuseppe Danilo Norata, Marco Magnoni, and Paolo G. Camici Copyright © 2015 Enrico Ammirati et al. All rights reserved. The Combination of N-Acetyl Cysteine, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, and Bromelain Shows High Anti-Inflammatory Properties in Novel In Vivo and In Vitro Models of Endometriosis Thu, 16 Apr 2015 14:20:47 +0000 To evaluate the efficacy of an association of N-acetyl cystein, alpha-lipoic acid, and bromelain (NAC/LA/Br) in the treatment of endometriosis we set up a new in vivo murine model. We explored the anti-inflammatory and proapoptotic effect of this combination on human endometriotic endothelial cells (EECs) and on endothelial cells isolated from normal uterus (UtMECs). We implanted fragments of human endometriotic cysts intraperitoneally into SCID mice to evaluate the efficacy of NAC/LA/Br treatment. UtMECs and EECs, untreated or treated with NAC/LA/Br, were activated with the proinflammatory stimulus TNF-α and their response in terms of VCAM1 expression was evaluated. The proapoptotic effect of higher doses of NAC/LA/Br on UtMECs and EECs was measured with a fluorogenic substrate for activated caspases 3 and 7. The preincubation of EECs with NAC/LA/Br prior to cell stimulation with TNF-α prevents the upregulation of the expression of the inflammatory “marker” VCAM1. Furthermore NAC/LA/Br were able to induce EEC, but not UtMEC, apoptosis. Finally, the novel mouse model allowed us to demonstrate that mice treated with NAC/LA/Br presented a lower number of cysts, smaller in size, compared to untreated mice. Our findings suggest that these dietary supplements may have potential therapeutic uses in the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases like endometriosis. C. Agostinis, S. Zorzet, R. De Leo, G. Zauli, F. De Seta, and R. Bulla Copyright © 2015 C. Agostinis et al. All rights reserved. Percentages of CD4+CD161+ and CD4−CD8−CD161+ T Cells in the Synovial Fluid Are Correlated with Disease Activity in Rheumatoid Arthritis Thu, 16 Apr 2015 14:19:38 +0000 Objective. CD161 has been identified as a marker of human IL-17-producing T cells that are implicated in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This study aimed to investigate the potential link between the percentage of CD161+ T cells and disease activity in RA patients. Methods. Peripheral blood (PB) from 54 RA patients and 21 healthy controls was evaluated. Paired synovial fluid (SF) (n = 17) was analyzed. CD161 expression levels on CD4+, CD8+, and CD4−CD8− T cells were assessed by flow cytometry. Results. The percentage of CD4+CD161+ T cells in RA SF was higher than RA PB, and it was positively correlated with DAS28, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and C-reactive protein (CRP). CD4−CD8−CD161+ T cell percentage was decreased in RA PB and was further reduced in RA SF, and its level in SF was inversely correlated with DAS28, ESR, and CRP. However, CD8+CD161+ T cell percentage was neither changed in RA PB and SF nor correlated with disease activity indices. Conclusion. An increased CD4+CD161+ T cell percentage and a decreased CD4−CD8−CD161+ T cell percentage are present in RA SF and are associated with disease activity, and the accumulation of CD4+CD161+ T cells in SF may contribute to the local inflammation of RA. Jinlin Miao, Kui Zhang, Feng Qiu, Tingting Li, Minghua Lv, Na Guo, Qing Han, and Ping Zhu Copyright © 2015 Jinlin Miao et al. All rights reserved. The Evaluation of Plasma and Leukocytic IL-37 Expression in Early Inflammation in Patients with Acute ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction after PCI Thu, 16 Apr 2015 12:50:31 +0000 Objective. Acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (ASTEMI) is accompanied by increased expression of inflammation and decreased expression of anti-inflammation. IL-37 was found to be involved in the atherosclerosis-related diseases and increased in acute coronary syndrome. However, the level of IL-37 in blood plasma and leukocytes from patients with ASTEMI after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) has not been explored. Methods. We collected peripheral venous blood from consented patients at 12 h, 24 h, and 48 h after PCI and healthy volunteers. Plasma IL-37, IL-18, IL-18-binding protein (BP), and high sensitive C reaction protein (hs-CRP) were quantified by ELISA and leukocytic IL-37 and ICAM-1 by immunoblotting. Results. Plasma IL-37, IL-18, and IL-18 BP expression decreased compared to those in healthy volunteers while hs-CRP level was high. Both leukocytic IL-37 and ICAM-1 were highest expressed at 12 h point but significantly decreased at 48 h point. Conclusion. These findings suggest L-37 does not play an important role in the systematic inflammatory response but may be involved in leukocytic inflammation in ASTEMI after PCI. Xin Wang, Xiangna Cai, Lan Chen, Duanmin Xu, and Jilin Li Copyright © 2015 Xin Wang et al. All rights reserved. Ginkgo biloba Extract Improves Insulin Signaling and Attenuates Inflammation in Retroperitoneal Adipose Tissue Depot of Obese Rats Thu, 16 Apr 2015 11:44:49 +0000 Due to the high incidence and severity of obesity and its related disorders, it is highly desirable to develop new strategies to treat or even to prevent its development. We have previously described that Ginkgo biloba extract (GbE) improved insulin resistance and reduced body weight gain of obese rats. In the present study we aimed to evaluate the effect of GbE on both inflammatory cascade and insulin signaling in retroperitoneal fat depot of diet-induced obese rats. Rats were fed with high fat diet for 2 months and thereafter treated for 14 days with 500 mg/kg of GbE. Rats were then euthanized and samples from retroperitoneal fat depot were used for western blotting, RT-PCR, and ELISA experiments. The GbE treatment promoted a significant reduction on both food/energy intake and body weight gain in comparison to the nontreated obese rats. In addition, a significant increase of both Adipo R1 and IL-10 gene expressions and IR and Akt phosphorylation was also observed, while NF-κB p65 phosphorylation and TNF-α levels were significantly reduced. Our data suggest that GbE might have potential as a therapy to treat obesity-related metabolic diseases, with special interest to treat obese subjects resistant to adhere to a nutritional education program. Bruna Kelly Sousa Hirata, Renata Mancini Banin, Ana Paula Segantine Dornellas, Iracema Senna de Andrade, Juliane Costa Silva Zemdegs, Luciana Chagas Caperuto, Lila Missae Oyama, Eliane Beraldi Ribeiro, and Monica Marques Telles Copyright © 2015 Bruna Kelly Sousa Hirata et al. All rights reserved. Construction, Expression, and Characterization of a Recombinant Immunotoxin Targeting EpCAM Thu, 16 Apr 2015 09:09:38 +0000 Epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) is a type I transmembrane glycoprotein overexpressed in human epithelioma but with relatively low expression in normal epithelial tissues. To exploit this differential expression pattern for targeted cancer therapy, an EpCAM-targeted immunotoxin was developed and its antitumor activity was investigated in vitro. An immunotoxin (scFv2A9-PE or APE) was constructed by genetically fusing a truncated form (PE38KDEL) of Pseudomonas aeruginosa exotoxin with an anti-EpCAM single-chain variable fragment (scFv). ELISA and flow cytometry were performed to verify immunotoxin (scFv2A9-PE or APE) antigen-binding activity with EpCAM. Cytotoxicity was measured by MTT assay. Confocal microscopy was used to observe its cellular localization. The results of ELISA and flow cytometry revealed that the immunotoxin efficiently recognized recombinant and natural EpCAM. Its antigen-binding activity was relatively lower than 2A9. MTT assay confirmed potent reduction in EpCAM-positive HHCC (human hepatocellular carcinoma) cell viability (IC50 50 pM). Immunofluorescence revealed that the immunotoxin localized to endoplasmic reticulum 24 h later. In conclusion, we described the development of an EpCAM-targeted immunotoxin with potent activity against tumor cells, which may lay the foundation for future development of therapeutic antibody for the treatment of EpCAM-positive tumors. Minghua Lv, Feng Qiu, Tingting Li, Yuanjie Sun, Chunmei Zhang, Ping Zhu, Xiaokun Qi, Jun Wan, Kun Yang, and Kui Zhang Copyright © 2015 Minghua Lv et al. All rights reserved. Inhibitory Effect of Methyleugenol on IgE-Mediated Allergic Inflammation in RBL-2H3 Cells Thu, 16 Apr 2015 09:04:38 +0000 Allergic diseases, such as asthma and allergic rhinitis, are common. Therefore, the discovery of therapeutic drugs for these conditions is essential. Methyleugenol (ME) is a natural compound with antiallergic, antianaphylactic, antinociceptive, and anti-inflammatory effects. This study examined the antiallergic effect of ME on IgE-mediated inflammatory responses and its antiallergy mechanism in the mast cell line, RBL-2H3. We found that ME significantly inhibited the release of β-hexosaminidase, tumor necrosis factor- (TNF-) α, and interleukin- (IL-) 4, and was not cytotoxic at the tested concentrations (0–100 μM). Additionally, ME markedly reduced the production of the proinflammatory lipid mediators prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), prostaglandin D2 (PGD2), leukotriene B4 (LTB4), and leukotriene C4 (LTC4). We further evaluated the effect of ME on the early stages of the FcεRI cascade. ME significantly inhibited Syk phosphorylation and expression but had no effect on Lyn. Furthermore, it suppressed ERK1/2, p38, and JNK phosphorylation, which is implicated in proinflammatory cytokine expression. ME also decreased cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) and 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) phosphorylation and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression. These results suggest that ME inhibits allergic response by suppressing the activation of Syk, ERK1/2, p38, JNK, cPLA2, and 5-LO. Furthermore, the strong inhibition of COX-2 expression may also contribute to the antiallergic action of ME. Our study provides further information about the biological functions of ME. Feng Tang, Feilong Chen, Xiao Ling, Yao Huang, Xiaomei Zheng, Qingfa Tang, and Xiaomei Tan Copyright © 2015 Feng Tang et al. All rights reserved. Astragaloside IV Inhibits NF-κB Activation and Inflammatory Gene Expression in LPS-Treated Mice Thu, 16 Apr 2015 08:56:18 +0000 In this study we investigated the role of astragaloside IV (AS-IV), one of the major active constituents purified from the Chinese medicinal herb Astragalus membranaceus, in LPS-induced acute inflammatory responses in mice in vivo and examined possible underlying mechanisms. Mice were assigned to four groups: vehicle-treated control animals; AS-IV-treated animals (10 mg/kg b.w. AS-IV daily i.p. injection for 6 days); LPS-treated animals; and AS-IV plus LPS-treated animals. We found that AS-IV treatment significantly inhibited LPS-induced increases in serum levels of MCP-1 and TNF by 82% and 49%, respectively. AS-IV also inhibited LPS-induced upregulation of inflammatory gene expression in different organs. Lung mRNA levels of cellular adhesion molecules, MCP-1, TNFα, IL-6, and TLR4 were significantly attenuated, and lung neutrophil infiltration and activation were strongly inhibited, as reflected by decreased myeloperoxidase content, when the mice were pretreated with AS-IV. Similar results were observed in heart, aorta, kidney, and liver. Furthermore, AS-IV significantly suppressed LPS-induced NF-κB and AP-1 DNA-binding activities in lung and heart. In conclusion, our data provide new in vivo evidence that AS-IV effectively inhibits LPS-induced acute inflammatory responses by modulating NF-κB and AP-1 signaling pathways. Our results suggest that AS-IV may be useful for the prevention or treatment of inflammatory diseases. Wei-Jian Zhang and Balz Frei Copyright © 2015 Wei-Jian Zhang and Balz Frei. All rights reserved. Anti-Inflammatory and Immunoregulatory Functions of Artemisinin and Its Derivatives Thu, 16 Apr 2015 08:48:37 +0000 Artemisinin and its derivatives are widely used in the world as the first-line antimalarial drug. Recently, growing evidences reveal that artemisinin and its derivatives also possess potent anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory properties. Meanwhile, researchers around the world are still exploring the unknown bioactivities of artemisinin derivatives. In this review, we provide a comprehensive discussion on recent advances of artemisinin derivatives affecting inflammation and autoimmunity, the underlying molecular mechanisms, and also drug development of artemisinins beyond antimalarial functions. Chenchen Shi, Haipeng Li, Yifu Yang, and Lifei Hou Copyright © 2015 Chenchen Shi et al. All rights reserved. Activation of Vitamin D Regulates Response of Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells to Aspergillus fumigatus in an Autocrine Fashion Wed, 15 Apr 2015 10:03:01 +0000 Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) is one of the most common fungi to cause diseases in humans. Recent evidence has demonstrated that airway epithelial cells play an important role in combating A. fumigatus through inflammatory responses. Human airway epithelial cells have been proven to synthesize the active vitamin D, which plays a key role in regulating inflammation. The present study was conducted to investigate the impact of A. fumigatus infection on the activation of vitamin D and the role of vitamin D activation in A. fumigatus-elicited antifungal immunity in normal human airway epithelial cells. We found that A. fumigatus swollen conidia (SC) induced the expression of 1α-hydroxylase, the enzyme catalyzing the synthesis of active vitamin D, and vitamin D receptor (VDR) in 16HBE cells and led to increased local generation of active vitamin D. Locally activated vitamin D amplified SC-induced expression of antimicrobial peptides in 16HBE cells but attenuated SC-induced production of cytokines in an autocrine fashion. Furthermore, we identified β-glucan, the major A. fumigatus cell wall component, as the causative agent for upregulation of 1α-hydroxylase and VDR in 16HBE cells. Therefore, activation of vitamin D is inducible and provides a bidirectional regulation of the responses to A. fumigatus in 16HBE cells. Pei Li, Ting Wu, Xin Su, and Yi Shi Copyright © 2015 Pei Li et al. All rights reserved. Decrease in Circulating Dendritic Cell Precursors in Patients with Peripheral Artery Disease Wed, 15 Apr 2015 07:14:51 +0000 Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a common manifestation of atherosclerosis. Inflammation is important for initiation and progression of the disease. Dendritic cells (DCs) as antigen-presenting cells play an important role in the immune system. Therefore, we hypothesize that, in patients with PAD, DCPs might be reduced in blood due to their recruitment into the vascular wall and induce a proinflammatory response. The numbers of myeloid DCPs, plasmacytoid DCPs, and total DCPs were analyzed by flow cytometry in blood of patients with PAD () compared to controls (). Femoralis plaques () of patients who underwent surgery were immunostained for CD209 and CD83 (mDCs) as well as CD304, CD123 (pDCs), and HLA-DR. In patients with PAD, a significant decrease in mDCPs, pDCPs, and tDCPs was observed. In immunostaining, markers indicative for mDCs (CD209: 16 versus 8 cells/0.1 mm2, ; CD83: 19 versus 5 cells/0.1 mm2, ) were significantly elevated in femoralis plaques compared to control vessels. We show for the first time that mDCPs, pDCPs, and tDCPs are significantly reduced in patients with PAD. Immunohistochemical analysis unraveled that the decrease in DCPs might be due to their recruitment into atherosclerotic plaques. Daniel Kretzschmar, Ilonka Rohm, Sebastian Schäller, Stefan Betge, Rudin Pistulli, Yevgeniya Atiskova, Hans-R. Figulla, and Atilla Yilmaz Copyright © 2015 Daniel Kretzschmar et al. All rights reserved. The Role of IL-1β in the Bone Loss during Rheumatic Diseases Sun, 12 Apr 2015 08:19:04 +0000 Several inflammatory diseases have been associated with increased bone resorption and fracture rates and different studies supported the relation between inflammatory cytokines and osteoclast activity. The main factor required for osteoclast activation is the stimulation by receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL) expressed on osteoblasts. In this context, interleukin- (IL-) 1β, one of the most powerful proinflammatory cytokines, is a strong stimulator of in vitro and in vivo bone resorption via upregulation of RANKL that stimulates the osteoclastogenesis. The resulting effects lead to an imbalance in bone metabolism favouring bone resorption and osteoporosis. In this paper, we review the available literature on the role of IL-1β in the pathogenesis of bone loss. Furthermore, we analysed the role of IL-1β in bone resorption during rheumatic diseases and, when available, we reported the efficacy of anti-IL-1β therapy in this field. Piero Ruscitti, Paola Cipriani, Francesco Carubbi, Vasiliki Liakouli, Francesca Zazzeroni, Paola Di Benedetto, Onorina Berardicurti, Edoardo Alesse, and Roberto Giacomelli Copyright © 2015 Piero Ruscitti et al. All rights reserved. Enhanced Levels of Chemokines and Their Receptors in the Colon of Microscopic Colitis Patients Indicate Mixed Immune Cell Recruitment Thu, 09 Apr 2015 11:48:26 +0000 Microscopic colitis (MC), comprising collagenous colitis (CC) and lymphocytic colitis (LC), is a common cause of chronic diarrhea. Various immune cell infiltrations in the epithelium and lamina propria are seen in MC immunopathology. We compared gene and protein expressions of different immune cell attracting chemokines and their receptors in colon biopsies from MC patients in active disease or histopathological remission (CC/LC-HR) with controls, using qRT-PCR and Luminex, respectively. CC and LC patients with active disease demonstrated a mixed chemokine profile with significantly enhanced gene and/or protein expressions of the chemokines CCL2, CCL3, CCL4, CCL5, CCL7, CCL22, CXCL8, CXCL9, CXCL10, CXCL11, and CX3CL1 and the receptors CCR2, CCR3, CCR4, CXCR1, CXCR2, and CX3CR1. Enhanced chemokine/chemokine receptor gene and protein levels in LC-HR patients were similar to LC patients, whereas CC-HR patients demonstrated almost normalized levels. These findings expand the current understanding of the involvement of various immune cells in MC immunopathology and endorse chemokines as potential diagnostic markers as well as therapeutic candidates. Moreover, this study further supports the hypothesis that CC and LC are two different entities due to differences in their immunoregulatory responses. Sezin Günaltay, Ashok Kumar Kumawat, Nils Nyhlin, Johan Bohr, Curt Tysk, Olof Hultgren, and Elisabeth Hultgren Hörnquist Copyright © 2015 Sezin Günaltay et al. All rights reserved. Value of Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester Pretreatment in Experimental Sepsis Model in Rats Wed, 08 Apr 2015 13:02:01 +0000 Background and Aim. The aim of this study was to determine the actions of caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) on the changes of endothelin-1 (ET-1) level, tumor necrosis factor- (TNF-) alpha, and oxidative stress parameters such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in experimental sepsis model in rats. Materials and Methods. Twenty-four rats were randomly divided into three experimental groups: sham (group 1), sepsis (group 2), and sepsis + CAPE (group 3), n = 8 each. CAPE was administered (10 µmol/kg) intraperitoneally to group 3 before sepsis induction. Serum ET-1, serum TNF-alpha, tissue SOD activity, and tissue MDA levels were measured in all groups. Results. Pretreatment with CAPE decreased ET-1, TNF-alpha, and MDA levels in sepsis induced rats. Additionally SOD activities were higher in rats pretreated with CAPE after sepsis induction. Conclusion. Our results demonstrate that CAPE may have a beneficial effect on ET and TNF-alpha levels and oxidative stress parameters induced by sepsis in experimental rat models. Therefore treatment with CAPE can be used to avoid devastating effects of sepsis. Ozlem Alici, Havva Sahin Kavakli, Cemile Koca, Neriman Defne Altintas, Murat Aydin, and Suleyman Alici Copyright © 2015 Ozlem Alici et al. All rights reserved. Enterococcus faecium NCIMB 10415 Modulates Epithelial Integrity, Heat Shock Protein, and Proinflammatory Cytokine Response in Intestinal Cells Wed, 08 Apr 2015 12:15:43 +0000 Probiotics have shown positive effects on gastrointestinal diseases; they have barrier-modulating effects and change the inflammatory response towards pathogens in studies in vitro. The aim of this investigation has been to examine the response of intestinal epithelial cells to Enterococcus faecium NCIMB 10415 (E. faecium), a probiotic positively affecting diarrhea incidence in piglets, and two pathogenic Escherichia coli (E. coli) strains, with specific focus on the probiotic modulation of the response to the pathogenic challenge. Porcine (IPEC-J2) and human (Caco-2) intestinal cells were incubated without bacteria (control), with E. faecium, with enteropathogenic (EPEC) or enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) each alone or in combination with E. faecium. The ETEC strain decreased transepithelial resistance (TER) and increased IL-8 mRNA and protein expression in both cell lines compared with control cells, an effect that could be prevented by pre- and coincubation with E. faecium. Similar effects were observed for the increased expression of heat shock protein 70 in Caco-2 cells. When the cells were challenged by the EPEC strain, no such pattern of changes could be observed. The reduced decrease in TER and the reduction of the proinflammatory and stress response of enterocytes following pathogenic challenge indicate the protective effect of the probiotic. Shanti Klingspor, Angelika Bondzio, Holger Martens, Jörg R. Aschenbach, Katharina Bratz, Karsten Tedin, Ralf Einspanier, and Ulrike Lodemann Copyright © 2015 Shanti Klingspor et al. All rights reserved. Matrix Metalloproteinases in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: An Update Wed, 08 Apr 2015 11:39:21 +0000 Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are known to be upregulated in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other inflammatory conditions, but while their involvement is clear, their role in many settings has yet to be determined. Studies of the involvement of MMPs in IBD since 2006 have revealed an array of immune and stromal cells which release the proteases in response to inflammatory cytokines and growth factors. Through digestion of the extracellular matrix and cleavage of bioactive proteins, a huge diversity of roles have been revealed for the MMPs in IBD, where they have been shown to regulate epithelial barrier function, immune response, angiogenesis, fibrosis, and wound healing. For this reason, MMPs have been recognised as potential biomarkers for disease activity in IBD and inhibition remains a huge area of interest. This review describes new roles of MMPs in the pathophysiology of IBD and suggests future directions for the development of treatment strategies in this condition. Shane O’Sullivan, John F. Gilmer, and Carlos Medina Copyright © 2015 Shane O’Sullivan et al. All rights reserved. Innate Immunity Components and Cytokines in Gastric Mucosa in Children with Helicobacter pylori Infection Wed, 08 Apr 2015 09:51:37 +0000 Purpose. To investigate the expression of innate immunity components and cytokines in the gastric mucosa among H. pylori infected and uninfected children. Materials and Methods. Biopsies of the antral gastric mucosa from children with dyspeptic symptoms were evaluated. Gene expressions of innate immunity receptors and cytokines were measured by quantitative real-time PCR. The protein expression of selected molecules was tested by immunohistochemistry. Results. H. pylori infection did not lead to a significant upregulation of MyD88, TLR2, TLR4, CD14, TREM1, and TREM2 mRNA expression but instead resulted in high mRNA expression of IL-6, IL-10, IFN-γ, TNF-α, and CD163. H. pylori cagA(+) infection was associated with higher IL-6 and IL-10 mRNA expression, as compared to cagA(−) strains. H. pylori infected children showed increased IFN-γ and TNF-α protein levels. IFN-γ mRNA expression correlated with both H. pylori density of colonization and lymphocytic infiltration in the gastric mucosa, whereas TNF-α protein expression correlated with bacterial density. Conclusion. H. pylori infection in children was characterized by (a) Th1 expression profile, (b) lack of mRNA overexpression of natural immunity receptors, and (c) strong anti-inflammatory activities in the gastric mucosa, possibly resulting from increased activity of anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages. This may explain the mildly inflammatory gastric inflammation often observed among H. pylori infected children. Jacek Michalkiewicz, Anna Helmin-Basa, Renata Grzywa, Mieczyslawa Czerwionka-Szaflarska, Anna Szaflarska-Poplawska, Grazyna Mierzwa, Andrzej Marszalek, Magdalena Bodnar, Magdalena Nowak, and Katarzyna Dzierzanowska-Fangrat Copyright © 2015 Jacek Michalkiewicz et al. All rights reserved. Sterile Inflammation in Drosophila Wed, 08 Apr 2015 09:02:13 +0000 The study of immune responses in Drosophila has already yielded significant results with impacts on our understanding of vertebrate immunity, such as the characterization of the Toll receptor. Several recent papers have focused on the humoral response to damage signals rather than pathogens, particularly damage signals from tumour-like tissues generated by loss of cell polarity or chromosomal instability. Both the triggers that generate this sterile inflammation and the systemic and local effects of it are only just beginning to be characterized in Drosophila. Here we review the molecular mechanisms that are known that give rise to the recruitment of Drosophila phagocytes, called hemocytes, as well as the signals, such as TNFα, that stimulated hemocytes emit at sites of perceived damage. The signalling consequences of inflammation, such as the activation of JNK, and the potential for modifying this response are also discussed. Zeeshan Shaukat, Dawei Liu, and Stephen Gregory Copyright © 2015 Zeeshan Shaukat et al. All rights reserved. Claudin-4 Undergoes Age-Dependent Change in Cellular Localization on Pig Jejunal Villous Epithelial Cells, Independent of Bacterial Colonization Wed, 08 Apr 2015 06:45:54 +0000 Newborn piglets are immunologically naïve and must receive passive immunity via colostrum within 24 hours to survive. Mechanisms by which the newborn piglet gut facilitates uptake of colostral cells, antibodies, and proteins may include FcRn and pIgR receptor-mediated endocytosis and paracellular transport between tight junctions (TJs). In the present study, FcRn gene (FCGRT) was minimally expressed in 6-week-old gut and newborn jejunum but it was expressed at significantly higher levels in the ileum of newborn piglets. pIgR was highly expressed in the jejunum and ileum of 6-week-old animals but only minimally in neonatal gut. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that Claudin-5 localized to blood vessel endothelial cells. Claudin-4 was strongly localized to the apical aspect of jejunal epithelial cells for the first 2 days of life after which it was redistributed to the lateral surface between adjacent enterocytes. Claudin-4 was localized to ileal lateral surfaces within 24 hours after birth indicating regional and temporal differences. Tissue from gnotobiotic piglets showed that commensal microbiota did not influence Claudin-4 surface localization on jejunal or ileal enterocytes. Regulation of TJs by Claudin-4 surface localization requires further investigation. Understanding the factors that regulate gut barrier maturation may yield protective strategies against infectious diseases. J. Alex Pasternak, Coral Kent-Dennis, Andrew G. Van Kessel, and Heather L. Wilson Copyright © 2015 J. Alex Pasternak et al. All rights reserved. Transcriptional Regulators of Claudins in Epithelial Tight Junctions Wed, 08 Apr 2015 06:33:04 +0000 Human gastrointestinal tract is covered by a monolayer of specialized epithelial cells that constitute a protective barrier surface to external toxic and infectious agents along with metabolic and digestive functions. Intercellular junctions, among epithelial cells, such as desmosomes, adherens, gap, and tight junctions (TJs), not only provide mechanical integrity but also limit movement of molecules across the monolayer. TJ is a complex structure composed of approximately 35 different proteins that interact with each other at the apical side of two adjacent epithelial cells. Claudin family proteins are important members of TJ with so far 24 known isoforms in different species. Claudins are structural proteins of TJ that help to control the paracellular movement by forming fence and barrier across the epithelial monolayer. Altered function of claudins is implicated in different form of cancers, inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), and leaky diarrhea. Based on their significant role in the molecular architecture of TJ, diversity, and disease association, further understanding about claudin family proteins and their genetic/epigenetic regulators is indispensable. Niamat Khan and Abdul R. Asif Copyright © 2015 Niamat Khan and Abdul R. Asif. All rights reserved.