Effects of Shikonin on the Functions of Myeloid Dendritic Cells in a Mouse Model of Severe Aplastic AnemiaRead the full article
Mediators of Inflammation publishes papers on all types of inflammatory mediators, including cytokines, histamine, bradykinin, prostaglandins, leukotrienes, PAF, biological response modifiers and the family of cell adhesion-promoting molecules
Chief Editor, Professor Agrawal, is an Assistant Clinical Professor of the Division of Basic and Clinical Immunology. Dr. Agrawal's research focuses on the dendritic cells of the immune system in the context of aging and autoimmunity.
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Phenotypic and Functional Changes in Peripheral Blood Natural Killer Cells in Crohn Disease Patients
We investigated activation status, cytotoxic potential, and gut homing ability of the peripheral blood Natural Killer (NK) cells in Crohn disease (CD) patients. For this purpose, we compared the expression of different activating and inhibitory receptors (KIR and non-KIR) and integrins on NK cells as well as their recent degranulation history between the patients and age-matched healthy controls. The study was conducted using freshly obtained peripheral blood samples from the study participants. Multiple color flow cytometry was used for these determinations. Our results show that NK cells from treatment-naïve CD patients expressed higher levels of activating KIR as well as other non-KIR activating receptors vis-à-vis healthy controls. They also showed increased frequencies of the cells expressing these receptors. The expression of several KIR and non-KIR inhibitory receptors tended to decrease compared with the cells from healthy donors. NK cells from the patients also expressed increased levels of different gut-homing integrin molecules and showed a history of increased recent degranulation events both constitutively and in response to their in vitro stimulation. Furthermore, treatment of the patients tended to reverse these NK cell changes. Our results demonstrate unequivocally, for the first time, that peripheral blood NK cells in treatment-naïve CD patients are more activated and are more poised to migrate to the gut compared to their counterpart cells from healthy individuals. Moreover, they show that treatment of the patients tends to normalize their NK cells. The results suggest that NK cells are very likely to play a role in the immunopathogenesis of Crohn disease.
Interleukin-22 Polymorphisms in Plasmodium falciparum-Infected Malaria Patients
Background and Objectives. Malaria infection, caused by Plasmodium falciparum, is the most lethal and frequently culminates in severe clinical complications. Interleukin-22 (IL-22) has been implicated in several diseases including malaria. The objective of this study was to investigate the role of IL-22 gene polymorphisms in P. falciparum infection. Material and Methods. Ten single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), rs976748, rs1179246, rs2046068, rs1182844, rs2227508, rs2227513, rs2227478, rs2227481, rs2227491, and rs2227483, of IL-22 gene were genotyped through PCR-based assays of 250 P. falciparum-infected patients and 200 healthy controls. In addition, a luciferase reporter assay was done to assess the role of the rs2227513 SNP in IL-22 gene promoter activity. Results. We found that the rs2227481 TT genotype (odds ratio 0.254, confidence interval = 0.097-0.663, ) and the T allele is associated with protection against P. falciparum malaria as well as the rs2227483 AT genotype (odds ratio 0.375, confidence interval = 0.187-0.754, ). The haplotype A-T-T of rs1179246, rs1182844, and rs976748 was statistically more frequent in the control group (frequency 41%, ) as well as the haplotype A-G of rs2046068 and rs2227491 (frequency 49.4%, ). The variant rs2227513 G allele had a statistically higher activity () with the luciferase reporter assay. Conclusion. The study suggests that IL-22 polymorphisms in rs2227481 and rs2227483 could contribute to protection against P. falciparum malaria. Also, the G allele of rs2227513, located in the promoter region of IL-22 gene, could be essential for higher expression levels of IL-22 cytokine.
Monocyte/Lymphocyte Ratio and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality in Peritoneal Dialysis Patients
Objectives. The monocyte-to-lymphocyte ratio (MLR), as a new marker of the systemic inflammatory response, is associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality in the general population and hemodialysis patients. However, the association between the MLR and CVD mortality in peritoneal dialysis (PD) has received little attention. Methods. In this multicenter retrospective cohort study, 1753 incident PD patients from November 1, 2005, to June 30, 2017, with a baseline MLR were enrolled. The primary endpoint was CVD mortality. The association of MLR with CVD mortality was assessed using a multivariable-adjusted Cox model and the Fine and Gray competing risk model. Results. Of 1753 patients, the mean age was years, 56.9% of patients were male, and the Charlson comorbidity index was . During the follow-up period of months, 368 patients died, of which 200 (54.3%) deaths were caused by CVD events. CVD mortality rates for the lowest, middle, and highest MLR tertiles were 70.6, 78.4, and 88.9 per 1000 patient-years, respectively (). Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed that survival rates were significantly different among the three MLR groups (, ). After adjusting for confounding factors, the highest MLR tertile was significantly associated with a hazard ratio (HR) for CVD mortality of 1.45 (95% confidence interval, 1.13-2.51, ). The Fine and Gray method analysis showed that using all-cause mortality as competing risk, the highest MLR tertile remained an independent predictor of CVD mortality (, 95% CI 1.10-2.47, ). Conclusions. Higher MLR levels at the commencement of PD may be independently associated with increased CVD mortality in PD patients.
Trimethylamine N-Oxide Generated by the Gut Microbiota Is Associated with Vascular Inflammation: New Insights into Atherosclerosis
Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) is a biologically active molecule generated by the gut microbiota. Accumulating evidences have indicated a close association between high plasma TMAO levels and the risk of developing atherosclerosis (AS). AS is considered a chronic inflammatory disease initiated by vascular endothelial inflammatory injury. Both observational and experimental studies suggest that TMAO can cause endothelial inflammatory injury. However, a clear mechanistic link between TMAO and vascular inflammation of AS is not yet summarized. In this review, we discuss the association between TMAO and AS and focus on the potential role of TMAO in endothelial inflammatory injury. Finally, the utility of TMAO-targeted therapeutic strategies for the treatment of AS is also analyzed.
Defects of CTLA-4 Are Associated with Regulatory T Cells in Myasthenia Gravis Implicated by Intravenous Immunoglobulin Therapy
Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a CD4+ T cell-dependent autoimmune disease resulting from aberrant immune response mediated by circulating autoantibodies at the neuromuscular junction. Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) is an expensive and commonly used immunotherapeutic approach to treat patients with MG. The mechanisms of actions involved in IVIg treatment, however, remain to be investigated. In an effort to examine the roles of various subsets of CD4+ T cells in the periphery blood of MG and uncover the mechanisms that contribute to the therapeutical effects of IVIg, we first demonstrated that a subset of CD4+ T cells, CTLA-4-expressing regulatory T (Treg) cells, were underrepresented and functionally defective in MG patients. The dynamic profiling during the IVIg therapy course further revealed an inverse relationship between the frequency of CTLA-4+ Treg and the quantitative MG (QMG) score that represents disease severity. Our mechanistic studies indicated that IVIg expands CTLA-4-Treg cells via modulating antigen-presenting dendritic cells (DCs). To determine the molecular defects of CTLA-4 in abnormities of Treg in MG patients, we demonstrated hypermethylation at -658 and -793 CpGs of CTLA-4 promoter in MG Tregs. Interestingly, IVIg therapy significantly reduced the methylation level at these two sites in MG patients. Overall, our study may suggest a role of CTLA-4 in functionally defected Treg cells in MG and its actions involved in IVIg therapy.
Interleukin-9 Deletion Relieves Vascular Dysfunction and Decreases Blood Pressure via the STAT3 Pathway in Angiotensin II-Treated Mice
Background. Multiple interleukin (IL) family members were reported to be closely related to hypertension. We aimed to investigate whether IL-9 affects angiotensin II- (Ang II-) induced hypertension in mice. Methods. Mice were treated with Ang II, and IL-9 expression was determined. In addition, effects of IL-9 knockout (KO) on blood pressure were observed in Ang II-infused mice. To determine whether the effects of IL-9 on blood pressure was mediated by the signal transducer and activator of the transcription 3 (STAT3) pathway, Ang II-treated mice were given S31-201. Furthermore, circulating IL-9 levels in patients with hypertension were measured. Results. Ang II treatment increased serum and aortic IL-9 expression in a dose-dependent manner; IL-9 levels were the highest in the second week and continued to remain high into the fourth week after the treatment. IL-9 KO downregulated proinflammatory cytokine expression, whereas it upregulated anti-inflammatory cytokine levels, relieved vascular dysfunction, and decreased blood pressure in Ang II-infused mice. IL-9 also reduced smooth muscle 22α (SM22α) expression and increased osteopontin (OPN) levels both in mice and in vitro. The effects of IL-9 KO on blood pressure and inflammatory response were significantly reduced by S31-201 treatment. Circulating IL-9 levels were significantly increased in patients with the hypertension group than in the control group, and elevated IL-9 levels positively correlated with both systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure in patients with hypertension. Conclusions. IL-9 KO alleviates inflammatory response, prevents phenotypic transformation of smooth muscle, reduces vascular dysfunction, and lowers blood pressure via the STAT3 pathway in Ang II-infused mice. IL-9 might be a novel target for the treatment and prevention of clinical hypertension.