Recombinant Human Thymosin Beta-4 Protects against Mouse Coronavirus InfectionRead 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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From the Role of Microbiota in Gut-Lung Axis to SARS-CoV-2 Pathogenesis
Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for the outbreak of a new viral respiratory infection. It has been demonstrated that the microbiota has a crucial role in establishing immune responses against respiratory infections, which are controlled by a bidirectional cross-talk, known as the “gut-lung axis.” The effects of microbiota on antiviral immune responses, including dendritic cell (DC) function and lymphocyte homing in the gut-lung axis, have been reported in the recent literature. Additionally, the gut microbiota composition affects (and is affected by) the expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2), which is the main receptor for SARS-CoV-2 and contributes to regulate inflammation. Several studies demonstrated an altered microbiota composition in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, compared to healthy individuals. Furthermore, it has been shown that vaccine efficacy against viral respiratory infection is influenced by probiotics pretreatment. Therefore, the importance of the gut microbiota composition in the lung immune system and ACE2 expression could be valuable to provide optimal therapeutic approaches for SARS-CoV-2 and to preserve the symbiotic relationship of the microbiota with the host.
Impact of MMP2 rs243865 and MMP3 rs3025058 Polymorphisms on Clinical Findings in Alzheimer’s Disease Patients
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system with higher prevalence in elderly people. Despite numerous research studies, the etiopathogenesis of AD remains unclear. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are endopeptidases involved in the cleavage of extracellular matrix proteins and basement membrane compounds. In the brain, the pathological role of MMPs includes the disruption of the blood-brain barrier leading to the induction of neuroinflammation. Among various MMPs, MMP-2 and MMP-3 belong to candidate molecules related to AD pathology. In our study, we aimed to evaluate the association of MMP2 rs243865 and MMP3 rs3025058 polymorphisms with AD susceptibility and their influence on age at onset and MoCA score in patients from Slovakia. Both MMP gene promoter polymorphisms were genotyped in 171 AD patients and 308 controls by the PCR-RFLP method. No statistically significant differences in the distribution of MMP2 rs243865 (-1306 C>T) and MMP3 rs3025058 (-1171 5A>6A) alleles/genotypes were found between AD patients and the control group. However, correlation with clinical findings revealed later age at disease onset in MMP2 rs243865 CC carriers in the dominant model as compared to T allele carriers (CC vs. CT+TT: vs. , ). The results of MMP3 rs3025058 analysis revealed that 5A/6A carriers in the overdominant model tended to have earlier age at disease onset as compared to other MMP3 genotype carriers (5A/6A vs. 5A/5A+6A/6A: vs. , ). In conclusion, our results suggest that MMP2 rs243865 and MMP3 rs3025058 promoter polymorphisms may have influence on age at onset in AD patients.
CD28 Genetic Variants Increase Susceptibility to Diabetic Kidney Disease in Chinese Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Cross-Sectional Case Control Study
Few studies have illuminated the genetic role of T cell costimulatory molecule CD28/CD80/CTLA4 variants in diabetic kidney disease (DKD) susceptibility. We aimed to investigate the causal role of genetic polymorphisms in CD28/CD80/CTLA4 with DKD susceptibility in patients with T2DM. A total of 3253 patients with T2DM were recruited for genotyping: including 204 DKD patients and 371 controls in stage 1 and 819 DKD patients and 563 controls in stage 2; besides, 1296 T2DM patients were selected for the analysis of association between loci and DKD-related traits. A subset of 227 T2DM patients (118 patients with DKD and 109 patients without DKD) from the total population above were selected to assess serum soluble CD28 (sCD28) levels. Then, we performed a candidate gene association study to identify single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with DKD susceptibility and further used those SNPs to perform Mendelian randomization analyses of serum sCD28 level and DKD susceptibility. Under additive genetic models, CD28-rs3116494 ( [95% CI 1.11, 1.51], ) and CD80-rs3850890 ( [95% CI 1.02, 1.31], ) were associated with DKD susceptibility adjusted for age, gender, body mass index (BMI), duration of diabetes, and HbA1c. CD28-rs3116494 was associated with serum sCD28 level ( [95% CI 0.08, 0.44], ). The Mendelian randomization analysis showed that CD28-rs3116494 played a causal role in DKD by influencing serum sCD28 levels ( [95% CI 0.46, 1.83], ). In conclusion, we identified that two novel SNPs, CD28-rs3116494 and CD80-rs3850890, were associated with DKD susceptibility. Using the Mendelian randomization analysis, our study provided evidence for a causal relationship between serum CD28 levels and DKD with T2DM in the Chinese population.
Anti-Interleukin-16-Neutralizing Antibody Attenuates Cardiac Inflammation and Protects against Cardiac Injury in Doxorubicin-Treated Mice
Background. Interleukin-16 (IL-16) is an important inflammatory regulator and has been shown to have a powerful effect on the regulation of the inflammatory response. Cardiac inflammation has been reported to be closely related to doxorubicin- (DOX-) induced cardiac injury. In this study, the role of IL-16 in DOX-induced cardiac injury and the possible mechanisms were examined. Methods. Cardiac IL-16 levels were first measured in DOX- or saline-treated mice. Additionally, mice were pretreated with the anti-IL-16-neutralizing antibody (nAb) or isotype IgG for 1 day and further administered DOX or saline for 5 days. Then, cardiac injury, cardiac M1 macrophage levels, and cardiomyocyte apoptosis were analyzed. The effects of the anti-IL-16 nAb on macrophage differentiation and cardiomyocyte apoptosis were also investigated in vitro. Results. DOX administration increased IL-16 expression in cardiac macrophages compared with that of saline treatment. The anti-IL-16 nAb significantly decreased serum levels of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), myocardial-bound creatine kinase (CK-MB), and cardiac troponin T (cTnT) and elevated cardiac function in DOX-induced mice. Treatment with the anti-IL-16 nAb also reduced p65 pathway activation, decreased M1 macrophage-related marker and cytokine expression, and protected against cardiomyocyte apoptosis in DOX-induced mice. In cell studies, the anti-IL-16 nAb also reduced DOX-induced M1 macrophage differentiation and alleviated apoptosis in cardiomyocytes cocultured with macrophages. Conclusions. The anti-IL-16 nAb protects against DOX-induced cardiac injury by reducing cardiac inflammation, and IL-16 may be a promising target to prevent DOX-related cardiac injury.
Contribution of Thrombospondin-1 and -2 to Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
Thrombospondin (TSP) proteins have been shown to impact T-cell adhesion, migration, differentiation, and apoptosis. Thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) is specifically upregulated in several inflammatory diseases and can effectively promote lipopolysaccharide- (LPS-) induced inflammation. In contrast, thrombospondin-2 (TSP-2) has been associated with activation of “anti-inflammatory” T-regulatory cells (Tregs). In this study, we investigated the effects of both TSP-1 and TSP-2 overexpression on macrophage polarization and activation in vitro and in vivo. We analyzed the effects of TSP-1 and TSP-2 on inflammation, vascular endothelial permeability, edema, ultrastructural morphology, and apoptosis in lung tissues of an ARDS mouse model and cultured macrophages. Our results demonstrated that TSP-2 overexpression effectively attenuated LPS-induced ARDS in vivo and promoted M2 macrophage phenotype polarization in vitro. Furthermore, TSP-2 played a role in regulating pulmonary vascular barrier leakage by activating the PI3K/Akt pathway. Overall, our findings indicate that TSP-2 can modulate inflammation and could therefore be a potential therapeutic target against LPS-induced ARDS.
Metformin and Probiotics Interplay in Amelioration of Ethanol-Induced Oxidative Stress and Inflammatory Response in an In Vitro and In Vivo Model of Hepatic Injury
Alcohol-induced liver injury implicates inflammation and oxidative stress as important mediators. Despite rigorous research, there is still no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved therapies for any stage of alcoholic liver disease (ALD). Interestingly, metformin (Met) and several probiotic strains possess the potential of inhibiting alcoholic liver injury. Therefore, we investigated the effectiveness of combination therapy using a mixture of eight strains of lactic acid-producing bacteria, commercialized as Visbiome® (V) and Met in preventing the ethanol-induced hepatic injury using in vitro and in vivo models. Human HepG2 cells and male Wistar rats were exposed to ethanol and simultaneously treated with probiotic V or Met alone as well as in combination. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress markers, inflammatory markers, lipid metabolism, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and oxidative stress were evaluated, using qRT-PCR, Oil red O staining, fluorimetry, and HPLC. In vitro, probiotic V and Met in combination prevented ethanol-induced cellular injury, ER stress, oxidative stress, and regulated lipid metabolism as well as inflammatory response in HepG2 cells. Probiotic V and Met also promoted macrophage polarization towards the M2 phenotype in ethanol-exposed RAW 264.7 macrophage cells. In vivo, combined administration of probiotic V and Met ameliorated the histopathological changes, inflammatory response, hepatic markers (liver enzymes), and lipid metabolism induced by ethanol. It also improved the antioxidant markers (HO-1 and Nrf-2), as seen by their protein levels in both HepG2 cells as well as liver tissue using ELISA. Hence, probiotic V may act, in addition to the Met, as an effective preventive treatment against ethanol-induced hepatic injury.