TLR4/AP-1-Targeted Anti-Inflammatory Intervention Attenuates Insulin Sensitivity and Liver SteatosisRead 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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Increased Serum Interleukin-2 Levels Are Associated with Abnormal Peripheral Blood Natural Killer Cell Levels in Patients with Active Rheumatoid Arthritis
Objective. To investigate the relationship between serum interleukin-2 (IL-2) levels and disease activity, absolute numbers of peripheral lymphocyte subsets, autoantibodies, and associated cytokines in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods. This study included 106 patients with RA, evaluated their disease activity (DAS28 score), and divided them into disease remission (), low disease activity (), and moderate-high disease activity () groups. Flow cytometry was used to detect the absolute numbers of peripheral lymphocyte subpopulations and CD4+ T cell subsets in each group, and serum cytokine levels were measured using cytometric bead array. Results. Serum IL-2 levels in RA patients were positively correlated with disease activity and rheumatoid factor titers ( and , respectively), and multiple regression analysis revealed that serum IL-2 levels were an independent factor affecting disease activity. Serum IL-2 levels were positively correlated with Th17/Treg ratios (). Compared with the remission group, peripheral lymphocyte and CD4+ T lymphocyte subsets in patients with active RA decreased to varying degrees; however, the numbers of peripheral natural killer (NK) cells were significantly higher in the moderate-high disease activity group than in the remission () and low disease activity () groups; the percentages of NK cells had the same trend. In addition, the number and percentage of NK cells were positively correlated with serum IL-2 levels ( and , respectively). Conclusions. In RA patients, serum IL-2 levels were not only correlated with patients’ disease activity and autoantibody levels but were also involved in their Th17/Treg immune imbalance. In addition, in patients with active RA, NK cell levels were abnormally elevated, possibly due to high serum levels of IL-2.
Circulating Th1 and Th2 Subset Accumulation Kinetics in Septic Patients with Distinct Infection Sites: Pulmonary versus Nonpulmonary
Background. Persistent peripheral CD4+T cell differentiation towards T helper (Th)2 rather than Th1 has been proved to be related to immunosuppression and poor prognosis in sepsis. However, it is unclear whether these circulating Th1 and Th2 subtype accumulations differed in septic populations of distinct infection sites and presented different associations with outcomes among patients with pulmonary versus nonpulmonary sepsis. Methods. From a secondary analysis of a prospective observational study, seventy-four previously immunocompetent patients with community-acquired severe sepsis within 24 hours upon onset were enrolled. Whole blood was collected on the admission day (D0), 3rd day (D3), and 7th day (D7). The patients were classified as pulmonary () and nonpulmonary sepsis (). Circulating Th1 and Th2 populations were evaluated by flow cytometry, and clinical data related to disease severity and inflammatory response were collected. The associations of circulating Th1 and Th2 subset accumulations with distinct infection sites or outcomes within subgroups were explored. Results. Patients with pulmonary sepsis held similar disease severity and 28-day mortality with those of nonpulmonary sepsis. Of note is the finding that circulating Th2 levels on D7 () as well as Th2/Th1 on D3 () and D7 () were higher in the pulmonary sepsis compared with nonpulmonary sepsis while Th1 levels were lower on D0, D3, and D7 (, <0.01, and =0.05, respectively). Compared to 28-day survivors, higher Th2/Th1 driven by increased Th2 were observed among 28-day nonsurvivors on D3 and D7 in both groups. The association between circulatory Th2 populations or Th2/Th1 and 28-day death was detected in pulmonary sepsis (, ), rather than nonpulmonary sepsis. Conclusions. Circulating Th2 accumulation was more apparent among pulmonary sepsis while nonpulmonary sepsis was characterized with the hyperactive circulating Th1 subset among previously immunocompetent patients. This finding suggested that circulating Th1 and Th2 subset accumulations vary in septic subgroups with different infection sites.
Pain Mechanism in Rheumatoid Arthritis: From Cytokines to Central Sensitization
Pain is the most common symptom in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Although in recent years, through the implementation of targeted treatment and the introduction of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), the treatment of RA patients has made a significant progress, a large proportion of patients still feel pain. Finding appropriate treatment to alleviate the pain is very important for RA patients. Current research showed that, in addition to inflammation, RA pain involves peripheral sensitization and abnormalities in the central nervous system (CNS) pain regulatory mechanisms. This review summarized the literature on pain mechanisms of RA published in recent years. A better understanding of pain mechanisms will help to develop new analgesic targets and deploy new and existing therapies.
Expression of Matrix Metalloproteinases and Their Tissue Inhibitors in Peripheral Blood Leukocytes and Plasma of Children with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Gene expression profiles of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their tissue inhibitors (TIMPs) were evaluated in peripheral blood leukocytes of children with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Gene expression patterns were correlated with their plasma protein counterparts, systemic parameters of liver injury, and selected markers of inflammation. The MMP-2, MMP-9, MMP-12, MMP-14, TIMP-1, TIMP-2, TGF-β, and IL-6 transcripts levels were tested by the real-time PCR. Plasma concentrations of MMP-9, TIMP-1, MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratio, MMP-2/TIMP-2 ratio, sCD14, leptin, resistin, IL-1 beta, and IL-6 and serum markers of liver injury were estimated by ELISA. The MMP-9, TIMP-2 expression levels, plasma amounts of MMP-9, TIMP-1, and the MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratio were increased in children with NAFLD. Concentrations of AST, ALT, GGT, and leptin were elevated in serum patients with NAFLD, while concentration of other inflammatory or liver injury markers was unchanged. The MMP-2 and MMP-9 levels correlated with serum liver injury parameters (ALT and GGT concentrations, respectively); there were no other correlations between MMP/TIMP gene expression profiles, their plasma counterparts, and serum inflammatory markers. Association of MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression with serum liver injury parameters (ALT, GGT) may suggest leukocyte engagement in the early stages of NAFLD development which possibly precedes subsequent systemic inflammatory responses.
IκB Kinase Inhibitor VII Modulates Sepsis-Induced Excessive Inflammation and Cardiac Dysfunction in 5/6 Nephrectomized Mice
Background. Chronic kidney disease condition requires regular dialysis; the patients have greater risk of sepsis and have high mortality rate compared to general people with sepsis. The adverse cardiac condition leads to mortality in subjects with sepsis. In the present work, we studied the consequences of chronic kidney damage by 5/6 nephrectomy on cardiac function in mice induced with sepsis and the mechanism involved. Methods. We used C57BL/6 mice and subjected them to 5/6 nephrectomy; after induction of chronic kidney damage, they were subjected to sepsis by either LPS treatment or by cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) method. The cardiac function test was done by echocardiography. Protein expression was done by western blot analysis. Results. The 5/6 nephrectomized mice showed significant increase in blood creatinine and urea levels compared to sham-operated mice; the mice also showed decreased ejection fraction and increased levels of phosphorylated IkBα and nuclear translocation of the NF-κB and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). When subjected to CLP and LPS treatment, the 5/6 nephrectomized mice augmented cardiac abnormalities and lung inflammation and increased plasma levels of TNF-α, IL-1, IL-12, and IL-18. Also, we evidenced increased levels of p-IKKα/β and Ikβα, NF-κβ, and iNOS. Treatment of IKK inhibitor VII in 5/6 nephrectomized mice after LPS administration or CLP attenuated these effects. Conclusion. Chronic kidney disease could lead to abnormal cardiac function caused by sepsis in mice; this may be due to increased expression of NF-κβ and iNOS in cardiac tissues.
Leptin Promoted IL-17 Production from ILC2s in Allergic Rhinitis
Background. Interleukin-17 plays important roles in allergic diseases. Several studies proved that leptin promoted Th17 immune responses by inducing RORγt transcription. ILC2 is an important member of the early stage of immune response. Therefore, we aimed to explore the effect of leptin on the IL-17 production by ILC2 in AR in this study. Methods. Fifteen AR patients and fifteen healthy controls were enrolled. Serum leptin levels were measured, and their correlation with the frequency of IL-17+ ILC2 cells was analyzed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and flow cytometry. ILC2 was stimulated by leptin, and the expression of IL-17, IL-5, and IL-13 was detected by ELISA. The correlated pathways were confirmed by real-time PCR. Results. We found that serum leptin and the frequency of IL-17-producing ILC2s in AR were significantly higher compared with those in controls. After being incubated with leptin, the frequency of IL-17+ ILC2 cells and IL-17 production from ILC2 was upregulated compared with that in controls. We also found that leptin induced RORγt and Ahr expression by ILC2. Moreover, leptin-induced IL-17-producing ILC2 concomitantly expressed IL-5 and IL-13. Conclusions. Our data provide preliminary evidence that leptin-induced IL-17 production from ILC2 cells is dependent on RORγt and Ahr expression and the blockade of leptin may be a promising target for the treatment of AR.