Mediators of Inflammation https://www.hindawi.com The latest articles from Hindawi © 2017 , Hindawi Limited . All rights reserved. AM966, an Antagonist of Lysophosphatidic Acid Receptor 1, Increases Lung Microvascular Endothelial Permeability through Activation of Rho Signaling Pathway and Phosphorylation of VE-Cadherin Mon, 27 Feb 2017 12:54:22 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/6893560/ Maintenance of pulmonary endothelial barrier integrity is important for reducing severity of lung injury. Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) regulates cell motility, cytoskeletal rearrangement, and cell growth. Knockdown of LPA receptor 1 (LPA1) has been shown to mitigate lung injury and pulmonary fibrosis. AM966, an LPA1 antagonist exhibiting an antifibrotic property, has been considered to be a future antifibrotic medicine. Here, we report an unexpected effect of AM966, which increases lung endothelial barrier permeability. An electric cell-substrate sensing (ECIS) system was used to measure permeability in human lung microvascular endothelial cells (HLMVECs). AM966 decreased the transendothelial electrical resistance (TEER) value immediately in a dose-dependent manner. VE-cadherin and f-actin double immunostaining reveals that AM966 increases stress fibers and gap formation between endothelial cells. AM966 induced phosphorylation of myosin light chain (MLC) through activation of RhoA/Rho kinase pathway. Unlike LPA treatment, AM966 had no effect on phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases (Erk). Further, in LPA1 silencing cells, we observed that AM966-increased lung endothelial permeability as well as phosphorylation of VE-cadherin and focal adhesion kinase (FAK) were attenuated. This study reveals that AM966 induces lung endothelial barrier dysfunction, which is regulated by LPA1-mediated activation of RhoA/MLC and phosphorylation of VE-cadherin. Junting Cai, Jianxin Wei, Shuang Li, Tomeka Suber, and Jing Zhao Copyright © 2017 Junting Cai et al. All rights reserved. A Novel Role for Brain Natriuretic Peptide: Inhibition of IL-1 Secretion via Downregulation of NF-kB/Erk 1/2 and NALP3/ASC/Caspase-1 Activation in Human THP-1 Monocyte Sun, 26 Feb 2017 12:30:36 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/5858315/ Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) is a pleiotropic cytokine and a crucial mediator of inflammatory and immune responses. IL-1β processing and release are tightly controlled by complex pathways such as NF-kB/ERK1/2, to produce pro-IL-1β, and NALP3/ASC/Caspase-1 inflammasome, to produce the active secreted protein. Dysregulation of both IL-1β and its related pathways is involved in inflammatory/autoimmune disorders and in a wide range of other diseases. Identifying molecules modulating their expression is a crucial need to develop new therapeutic agents. IL-1β is a strong regulator of Brain Natriuretic Peptide (BNP), a hormone involved in cardiovascular homeostasis by guanylyl cyclase Natriuretic Peptide Receptor (NPR-1). An emerging role of BNP in inflammation and immunity, although proposed, remains largely unexplored. Here, we newly demonstrated that, in human THP-1 monocytes, LPS/ATP-induced IL-1β secretion is strongly inhibited by BNP/NPR-1/cGMP axis at all the molecular mechanisms that tightly control its production and release, NF-kB, ERK 1/2, and all the elements of NALP3/ASC/Caspase-1 inflammasome cascade, and that NALP3 inflammasome inhibition is directly related to BNP deregulatory effect on NF-kB/ERK 1/2 activation. Our findings reveal a novel potent anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory role for BNP and open new alleys of investigation for a possible employment of this endogenous agent in the treatment of inflammatory/immune-related and IL-1β/NF-kB/ERK1/2/NALP3/ASC/Caspase-1-associated diseases. Letizia Mezzasoma, Cinzia Antognelli, and Vincenzo Nicola Talesa Copyright © 2017 Letizia Mezzasoma et al. All rights reserved. A Novel CD48-Based Analysis of Sepsis-Induced Mouse Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cell Compartments Sun, 26 Feb 2017 11:14:42 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/7521701/ Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are a heterogeneous subset of cells that expands dramatically in many disease states and can suppress T-cell responses. MDSCs mainly include monocytic and granulocytic subpopulations that can be distinguished in mice by the expression of Ly6G and Ly6C cell surface markers. This identification system has been validated in experimental tumor models, but not in models of inflammation-associated conditions such as sepsis. We challenged growth factor independent 1 transcription repressor green fluorescent protein (Gfi1:GFP) knock-in reporter mice with cecal ligation and puncture surgery and found that CD11b+ MDSCs in this sepsis model comprised both monocytic and granulocytic MDSCs. The evidence that conventional Ly6G/Ly6C marker analysis may not be suited to study of inflammation-induced MDSCs led to the development of a novel strategy of distinguishing granulocytic MDSCs from monocytic MDSCs in septic mice by expression of CD48. Application of this novel model should help achieve a more accurate understanding of the inflammation-induced MDSC activity. Bei Jia, Chenchen Zhao, Guoli Li, Yaxian Kong, Yaluan Ma, Qiuping Wang, Beibei Wang, and Hui Zeng Copyright © 2017 Bei Jia et al. All rights reserved. Interleukin 35 Polymorphisms Are Associated with Decreased Risk of Premature Coronary Artery Disease, Metabolic Parameters, and IL-35 Levels: The Genetics of Atherosclerotic Disease (GEA) Study Wed, 22 Feb 2017 11:14:32 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/6012795/ Interleukin 35 (IL-35) is a heterodimeric cytokine involved in the development of atherosclerosis. The aim of the present study was to establish if the polymorphisms of IL-12A and EBI3 genes that encode the IL-35 subunits are associated with the development of premature coronary artery disease (CAD) in Mexican individuals. The IL-12A and EBI3 polymorphisms were determined in 1162 patients with premature CAD and 873 controls. Under different models, the EBI3 rs428253 (OR = 0.831, = 0.036; OR = 0.614, = 0.033; OR = 0.591, = 0.027) and IL-12A rs2243115 (OR = 0.674, = 0.010; OR = 0.676, = 0.014; OR = 0.698, = 0.027; OR = 0.694, = 0.024) polymorphisms were associated with decreased risk of developing premature CAD. Some polymorphisms were associated with clinical and metabolic parameters. Significant different levels of IL-35 were observed in EBI3 rs4740 and rs4905 genotypes only in the group of healthy controls. In summary, our study suggests that the EBI3 and IL-12A polymorphisms play an important role in decreasing the risk of developing premature CAD; it also demonstrates the relationship of the EBI3 rs4740 and rs4905 genotypes with IL-35 levels in healthy individuals. Rosalinda Posadas-Sánchez, Nonanzit Pérez-Hernández, Javier Angeles-Martínez, Fabiola López-Bautista, Teresa Villarreal-Molina, José Manuel Rodríguez-Pérez, José Manuel Fragoso, Carlos Posadas-Romero, and Gilberto Vargas-Alarcón Copyright © 2017 Rosalinda Posadas-Sánchez et al. All rights reserved. The Antimalarial Chloroquine Suppresses LPS-Induced NLRP3 Inflammasome Activation and Confers Protection against Murine Endotoxic Shock Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/6543237/ Activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome, which catalyzes maturation of proinflammatory cytokines like IL-1β and IL-18, is implicated and essentially involved in many kinds of inflammatory disorders. Chloroquine (CQ) is a traditional antimalarial drug and also possesses an anti-inflammatory property. In this study, we investigated whether CQ suppresses NLRP3 inflammasome activation and thereby confers protection against murine endotoxic shock. CQ attenuated NF-κB and MAPK activation and prohibited expression of IL-1β, IL-18, and Nlrp3 in LPS treated murine bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs), demonstrating its inhibitory effect on the priming signal of NLRP3 activation. Then, CQ was shown to inhibit caspase-1 activation and ASC specks formation in BMDMs, which indicates that CQ also suppresses inflammasome assembly, the second signal for NLRP3 inflammasome activation. In a murine endotoxic shock model, CQ effectively improved survival and markedly reduced IL-1β and IL-18 production in serum, peritoneal fluid, and lung tissues. Moreover, CQ reduced protein levels of NLRP3 and caspases-1 p10 in lung homogenates of mice with endotoxic shock, which may possibly explain its anti-inflammatory activity and life protection efficacy in vivo. Overall, our results demonstrate a new role of CQ that facilitates negative regulation on NLRP3 inflammasome, which thereby confers protection against lethal endotoxic shock. Xiaoli Chen, Ning Wang, Yuanfeng Zhu, Yongling Lu, Xin Liu, and Jiang Zheng Copyright © 2017 Xiaoli Chen et al. All rights reserved. Th1/Th17-Related Cytokines and Chemokines and Their Implications in the Pathogenesis of Pemphigus Vulgaris Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/7151285/ Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is an autoimmune disease characterized by the presence of IgG autoantibodies against desmoglein-3. Despite the variety of findings, the chemokine and cytokine profiles that characterize the immune response in the disease are still poorly explored. Thus, 20 PV patients and 20 controls were grouped according to gender, ethnicity, place of residence, and clinical parameters of the disease. Then, the levels of chemokines and of Th1/Th2/Th17/Treg/Th9/Th22-related cytokines were assessed in the serum. PV patients had higher levels of inflammatory Th1/Th17 cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-17, and IL-23), as well as higher levels of CXCL8 and reduced levels of Th1/Th2-related chemokines (IP-10 and CCL11). However, no differences in the levels of IL-2, IL-6, TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-4, IL-9, IL-12, TGF-β, IL-33, MCP-1, RANTES, and MIP-1α were found between PV patients and their control counterparts. Furthermore, PV patients with skin lesions had higher serum levels of IL-6 and CXCL8 when compared to PV patients without lesions. Taken together, our findings describe the role of cytokines and chemokines associated with Th1/Th17 immune response in PV patients. Finally, these data are important for better understanding of the immune aspects that control disease outcome, and they may also provide important information about why patients develop autoantibodies against desmogleins. Rodolfo Pessato Timoteo, Marcos Vinicius da Silva, Camila Botelho Miguel, Djalma Alexandre Alves Silva, Jonatas Da Silva Catarino, Virmondes Rodrigues Junior, Helioswilton Sales-Campos, and Carlo Jose Freire Oliveira Copyright © 2017 Rodolfo Pessato Timoteo et al. All rights reserved. The Role of Intestinal Alkaline Phosphatase in Inflammatory Disorders of Gastrointestinal Tract Tue, 21 Feb 2017 09:21:30 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/9074601/ Over the past few years, the role of intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP) as a crucial mucosal defence factor essential for maintaining gut homeostasis has been established. IAP is an important apical brush border enzyme expressed throughout the gastrointestinal tract and secreted both into the intestinal lumen and into the bloodstream. IAP exerts its effects through dephosphorylation of proinflammatory molecules including lipopolysaccharide (LPS), flagellin, and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) released from cells during stressful events. Diminished activity of IAP could increase the risk of disease through changes in the microbiome, intestinal inflammation, and intestinal permeability. Exogenous IAP exerts a protective effect against intestinal and systemic inflammation in a variety of diseases and represents a potential therapeutic agent in diseases driven by gut barrier dysfunction such as IBD. The intestinal protective mechanisms are impaired in IBD patients due to lower synthesis and activity of endogenous IAP, but the pathomechanism of this enzyme deficiency remains unclear. IAP has been safely administered to humans and the human recombinant form of IAP has been developed. This review was designed to provide an update in recent research on the involvement of IAP in intestinal inflammatory processes with focus on IBD in experimental animal models and human patients. Jan Bilski, Agnieszka Mazur-Bialy, Dagmara Wojcik, Janina Zahradnik-Bilska, Bartosz Brzozowski, Marcin Magierowski, Tomasz Mach, Katarzyna Magierowska, and Tomasz Brzozowski Copyright © 2017 Jan Bilski et al. All rights reserved. High Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio Predicts Cardiovascular Mortality in Chronic Hemodialysis Patients Tue, 21 Feb 2017 07:42:44 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/9327136/ The neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) is a novel simple biomarker of inflammation. It has emerged as a predictor of poor prognosis in cancer and cardiovascular disease in general population. But little was known of its prognostic value in chronic hemodialysis (HD) patients. Here we investigated the association between NLR and cardiovascular risk markers, including increased pulse pressure (PP), left ventricular mass index (LVMI) and intima-media thickness (IMT), and mortality in HD patients. Two hundred and sixty-eight HD patients were enrolled in this study and were followed for 36 months. The primary end point was all-cause mortality and cardiovascular mortality. Multivariable Cox regression was used to calculate the adjusted hazard ratios for NLR on all-cause and cardiovascular survival. We pinpointed that higher NLR in HD patients was a predictor of increased PP, LVMI, and IMT; HD patients with higher NLR had a lower survival at the end of the study; furthermore, high NLR was an independent predictor of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality when adjusted for other risk factors. In conclusion, higher NLR in HD patients was associated with cardiovascular risk factors and mortality. Han Li, Xiangxue Lu, Ruifang Xiong, and Shixiang Wang Copyright © 2017 Han Li et al. All rights reserved. ZNF395 Is an Activator of a Subset of IFN-Stimulated Genes Tue, 21 Feb 2017 07:08:35 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/1248201/ Activation of the interferon (IFN) pathway in response to infection with pathogens results in the induction of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) including proinflammatory cytokines, which mount the proper antiviral immune response. However, aberrant expression of these genes is pathogenic to the host. In addition to IFN-induced transcription factors non-IFN-regulated factors contribute to the transcriptional control of ISGs. Here, we show by genome wide expression analysis, siRNA-mediated suppression and Doxycycline-induced overexpression that the cellular transcription factor ZNF395 activates a subset of ISGs including the chemokines CXCL10 and CXCL11 in keratinocytes. We found that ZNF395 acts independently of IFN but enhances the IFN-induced expression of CXCL10 and CXCL11. Luciferase reporter assays revealed a requirement of intact NFκB-binding sites for ZNF395 to stimulate the CXCL10 promoter. The transcriptional activation of CXCL10 and CXCL11 by ZNF395 was abolished after inhibition of IKK by BMS-345541, which increased the stability of ZNF395. ZNF395 encodes at least two motifs that mediate the enhanced degradation of ZNF395 in response to IKK activation. Thus, IKK is required for ZNF395-mediated activation of transcription and enhances its turn-over to keep the activity of ZNF395 low. Our results support a previously unrecognized role of ZNF395 in the innate immune response and inflammation. Linda Schroeder, Christine Herwartz, Darko Jordanovski, and Gertrud Steger Copyright © 2017 Linda Schroeder et al. All rights reserved. High Fat Diet Alters Gut Microbiota and the Expression of Paneth Cell-Antimicrobial Peptides Preceding Changes of Circulating Inflammatory Cytokines Tue, 21 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/9474896/ Obesity is an established risk factor for many diseases including intestinal cancer. One of the responsible mechanisms is the chronic inflammation driven by obesity. However, it remains to be defined whether diet-induced obesity exacerbates the intestinal inflammatory status by cytokines produced in adipose tissue or the high fat diet first alters the gut microbiota and then drives intestinal inflammation. To address this question, we fed C57BL/6 mice with a high fat diet (HF, 60%) and sacrificed them sequentially after 8, 12, and 16 weeks, and then compositions of gut microbiota and expressions of antimicrobial peptides were determined. The compositions of gut microbiota were altered at 8 wk HF feeding, followed with reduced Paneth antimicrobial peptides lysozyme and Reg IIIγ after 12 and 16 wk HF feeding (), whereas elevations of circulating inflammatory cytokines IFNγ and TNF-α were observed until feeding a HF diet for 16 weeks (). These results indicated that high fat diet may stimulate intestinal inflammation via altering gut microbiota, and it occurs prior to the potential influence by circulating inflammatory cytokines. These findings emphasized the importance of microbiota, in addition to adipose tissue per se, in driving intestinal inflammation, which may thereafter promote intestinal tumorigenesis. Xiulan Guo, Jinchao Li, Renyong Tang, Guodong Zhang, Huawei Zeng, Richard J. Wood, and Zhenhua Liu Copyright © 2017 Xiulan Guo et al. All rights reserved. Torilin Inhibits Inflammation by Limiting TAK1-Mediated MAP Kinase and NF-κB Activation Mon, 20 Feb 2017 07:42:50 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/7250968/ Torilin, a sesquiterpene isolated from the fruits of Torilis japonica, has shown antimicrobial, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory properties. However, data on the mechanism of torilin action against inflammation is limited. This study aimed at determining the anti-inflammatory property of torilin in LPS-induced inflammation using in vitro model of inflammation. We examined torilin’s effect on expression levels of inflammatory mediators and cytokines in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages. The involvement of NF-kB and AP-1, MAP kinases, and adaptor proteins were assessed. Torilin strongly inhibited LPS-induced NO release, iNOS, PGE2, COX-2, NF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and GM-CSF gene and protein expressions. In addition, MAPKs were also suppressed by torilin pretreatment. Involvement of ERK1/2, , and JNK1/2 was further confirmed by PD98059, SB203580, and SP600125 mediated suppression of iNOS and COX-2 proteins. Furthermore, torilin attenuated NF-kB and AP-1 translocation, DNA binding, and reporter gene transcription. Interestingly, torilin inhibited TAK1 kinase activation with the subsequent suppression of MAPK-mediated JNK, p38, ERK1/2, and AP-1 (ATF-2 and c-jun) activation and IKK-mediated I-κBα degradation, p65/p50 activation, and translocation. Together, the results revealed the suppression of NF-κB and AP-1 regulated inflammatory mediator and cytokine expressions, suggesting the test compound’s potential as a candidate anti-inflammatory agent. Mehari Endale, Tae-Hwan Kim, Yi-Seong Kwak, Na-Mi Kim, Seung-Hyung Kim, Jae Youl Cho, Bong-Sik Yun, and Man-Hee Rhee Copyright © 2017 Mehari Endale et al. All rights reserved. The Role of IL-17 and Related Cytokines in Inflammatory Autoimmune Diseases Mon, 20 Feb 2017 06:49:57 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/3908061/ Interleukin-17 (IL-17) induces the production of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and chemokines such as CXCL1 and CXCL2 and is a cytokine that acts as an inflammation mediator. During infection, IL-17 is needed to eliminate extracellular bacteria and fungi, by inducing antimicrobial peptides such as defensin. This cytokine also plays an important role in chronic inflammation that occurs during the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases and allergies such as human rheumatoid arthritis (RA) for which a mouse model of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) is available. In autoimmune diseases such as RA and multiple sclerosis (MS), IL-17 is produced by helper T (Th) cells that are stimulated by IL-1β and IL-6 derived from phagocytes such as macrophages and from tissue cells. IL-17 contributes to various lesions that are produced by Th17 cells, one subset of helper T cells, and by γδ T cells and innate lymphoid cells. It strongly contributes to autoimmune diseases that are accompanied by chronic inflammation. Thus, a functional understanding of Th17 cells is extremely important. In this review, we highlight the roles of cytokines that promote the development and maintenance of pathogenic Th17 cells in autoimmune diseases. Taku Kuwabara, Fumio Ishikawa, Motonari Kondo, and Terutaka Kakiuchi Copyright © 2017 Taku Kuwabara et al. All rights reserved. Dyslipidemia rather than Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus or Chronic Periodontitis Affects the Systemic Expression of Pro- and Anti-Inflammatory Genes Mon, 20 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/1491405/ A high percentage of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) patients are also affected by dyslipidemia and chronic periodontitis (CP), but no studies have determined the gene expression in patients that are simultaneously affected by all three diseases. We investigated the systemic expression of immune-related genes in T2D, dyslipidemia, and CP patients. One hundred and fifty patients were separated into five groups containing 30 individuals each: (G1) poorly controlled T2D with dyslipidemia and CP; (G2) well-controlled T2D with dyslipidemia and CP; (G3) normoglycemic individuals with dyslipidemia and CP; (G4) healthy individuals with CP; (G5) systemic and periodontally healthy individuals. Blood analyses of lipid and glycemic profiles were carried out. The expression of genes, including IL10, JAK1, STAT3, SOCS3, IP10, ICAM1, IFNA, IFNG, STAT1, and IRF1, was investigated by RT-qPCR. Patients with dyslipidemia demonstrated statistically higher expression of the IL10 and IFNA genes, while IFNG, IP10, IRF1, JAK1, and STAT3 were lower in comparison with nondyslipidemic patients. Anti-inflammatory genes, such as IL10, positively correlated with parameters of glucose, lipid, and periodontal profiles, while proinflammatory genes, such as IFNG, were negatively correlated with these parameters. We conclude that dyslipidemia appears to be the primary disease that is associated with gene expression of immune-related genes, while parameters of T2D and CP were correlated with the expression of these important immune genes. Rafael Nepomuceno, Bárbara Scoralick Villela, Sâmia Cruz Tfaile Corbi, Alliny De Souza Bastos, Raquel Alves Dos Santos, Catarina Satie Takahashi, Silvana Regina Perez Orrico, and Raquel Mantuaneli Scarel-Caminaga Copyright © 2017 Rafael Nepomuceno et al. All rights reserved. Nuclear Factor of Activated T Cells and Cytokines Gene Expression of the T Cells in AIDS Patients with Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome during Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy Mon, 20 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/1754741/ Background. The etiology of immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS) in AIDS patients after the initiation of HAART remains unknown. Several researches indicated that the development of IRIS is associated with the production and variation of cytokines, whose gene expression are closely related to the Ca2+/CN-nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) pathway. Methods. We studied the expression of NFAT isoforms and their major target cytokines genes in peripheral blood CD3+ T cells of subjects through fluorescence quantitative PCR and explored the expression changes of these genes before and after HAART. Results. After the initiation of HARRT, NFAT1, IL-6, and IL-8 gene expression showed a reversal trend in the CD3+ T cells of the IRIS group and changed from low expression before HARRT to high expression after HARRT. In particular, the relative gene expression of NFAT1 was markedly higher compared with the other three isoforms. The IRIS group also showed higher NFAT4, NFAT2, NFAT1, IL-1β, IL-10, IL-2, IL-18, and TNF-α gene expression than the non-IRIS group. Conclusion. This study suggested that high expression levels of IL-2, IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-10, IL-12, and IL-18 can predict the risk of IRIS. The increased expression of NFAT1 and NFAT4 may promote the expression of cytokines, such as IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α, which may promote the occurrence of IRIS. Jia Sun, Heling Chen, Yirui Xie, Junwei Su, Ying Huang, Lijun Xu, Michael Yin, Qihui Zhou, and Biao Zhu Copyright © 2017 Jia Sun et al. All rights reserved. Comparative Expression Analyses of Pro- versus Anti-Inflammatory Mediators within Synovium of Patients with Joint Trauma, Osteoarthritis, and Rheumatoid Arthritis Mon, 20 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/9243736/ Synovial injury and healing are complex processes including catabolic effects by proinflammatory cytokines and anabolic processes by anti-inflammatory mediators. Here we examined the expression of pro- versus anti-inflammatory mediators in synovium of patients with diagnostic arthroscopy (control), joint trauma (JT), osteoarthritis (OA), and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Synovial samples from these patients were subjected to RT-PCR and double immunofluorescence confocal microscopy of pro- and anti-inflammatory mediators as well as immune cell markers. Interestingly, pro- and anti-inflammatory mediators were expressed predominantly in granulocytes in patients with JT and in macrophages, lymphocytes, and plasma cells in patients with OA and RA. Interestingly, parallel to the severity of inflammation, proinflammatory mediators IL-1β, TNF-α, and 5-LOX specific mRNA as well as immunoreactive (IR) cells were significantly more abundant in patients with RA and JT than in those with OA. However, anti-inflammatory mediators 15-LOX, FPR2, and IL-10 specific mRNA as well as IR cells were significantly more abundant in patients with OA than in those with JT and RA. These findings show that upregulation of proinflammatory mediators contributes to the predominantly catabolic inflammatory process in JT and RA synovium, whereas upregulation of anabolic anti-inflammatory mediators counteracts inflammation resulting in the inferior inflammatory process in OA synovium. Mohammed A. Al-Madol, Mohammed Shaqura, Thilo John, Rudolf Likar, Reham Said Ebied, Michael Schäfer, and Shaaban A. Mousa Copyright © 2017 Mohammed A. Al-Madol et al. All rights reserved. Lysophosphatidic Acid Triggers Apoptosis in HeLa Cells through the Upregulation of Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily Member 21 Sun, 19 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/2754756/ Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), a naturally occurring bioactive phospholipid, activates G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), leading to regulation of diverse cellular events including cell survival and apoptosis. Despite extensive studies of the signaling pathways that mediate LPA-regulated cell growth and survival, the mechanisms underlying the apoptotic effect of LPA remain largely unclear. In this study, we investigated this issue in HeLa cells. Our data demonstrate that LPA induces apoptosis in HeLa cells at pathologic concentrations with a concomitant upregulation of the expression of TNFRSF21 (tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member 21), also known as death receptor number 6 (DR6) involved in inflammation. Moreover, treatment of cells with LPA receptor (LPAR) antagonist abolished the DR6 upregulation by LPA. LPA-induced DR6 expression was also abrogated by pertussis toxin (PTX), an inhibitor of GPCRs, and by inhibitors of PI3K, PKC, MEK, and ERK. Intriguingly, LPA-induced DR6 expression was specifically blocked by dominant-negative form of PKCδ (PKCδ-DN). LPA-induced DR6 expression was also dramatically inhibited by knockdown of ERK or CREB. These results suggest that activation of the MEK/ERK pathway and the transcription factor CREB mediate LPA-induced DR6 expression. More interestingly, knockdown of DR6 using siRNA approach remarkably attenuated LPA-induced apoptosis. In conclusion, our results suggest LPA-induced apoptosis in HeLa cells is mediated by the upregulation of DR6 expression in HeLa cells. Yunzhou Dong, Yong Wu, Mei-Zhen Cui, and Xuemin Xu Copyright © 2017 Yunzhou Dong et al. All rights reserved. Association between Interleukin-10-1082 G/A and Tumor Necrosis Factor- 308 G/A Gene Polymorphisms and Respiratory Distress Syndrome in Iranian Preterm Infants Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/6386453/ Cytokine polymorphisms may contribute to the prevalence of respiratory distress syndrome. The present study was done to investigate the frequency of interleukin- (IL-) 10 and tumor necrosis factor- (TNF-) α gene polymorphisms and their association with the risk of RDS in preterm infants. One-hundred and nineteen patients with RDS and 119 healthy preterm infants were enrolled. PCR restriction fragment length polymorphism was used to determine the frequency of IL-10 and TNF-α genotypes at -1082 A and -308 A, respectively. One-hundred and nineteen out of 238 infants had RDS (50%). The age of the mothers and gestational age ranged 17–45 (mean: ) years and 24–34 (mean: ) weeks, respectively. Totally, 23 deaths were recorded in the RDS group. Incidence of TNF-α-308 A/A and TNF-α-308 G/A was 84% and 16%, respectively. TNF-a-308 G/G was not found in both groups. Prevalence of IL-10-1082 G/G and IL-10-1082 G/A variants was 65.5% and 34.5%, respectively. IL-10-1082 A/A was not found in both groups. The incidence of the allele G in the IL-10-1082 polymorphism was lower in RDS group (). We found that the risk of RDS was correlated to sex, gestational age, and IL-10-1082. Abolfazl Khoshdel, Soleiman Kheiri, Peyman Omidvari, Fahimeh Moradi, Majid Hamidi, and Hossein Teimori Copyright © 2017 Abolfazl Khoshdel et al. All rights reserved. The Combination of MBP and BCG-Induced Dendritic Cell Maturation through TLR2/TLR4 Promotes Th1 Activation In Vitro and Vivo Wed, 15 Feb 2017 13:23:42 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/1953680/ To explore whether TLR2/TLR4 could be involved in the maturation of dendritic cells and polarization of CD4+ T cells induced by dendritic cells stimulated with MBP and BCG, in vitro and in vivo experiments using TLR2−/− or TLR4−/− mice were employed. MBP and BCG elevated CD80, CD86 and MHC class II expressed on dendritic cells and increased IL-12 protein, induced DC maturation, and indirectly promoted Th1 activation. Moreover, MBP and BCG upregulated costimulatory molecules on DCs in a TLR2- and TLR4-dependent manner. The levels of IFN-γ, IL-4, and IL-10 in CD4+ T cells cocultured with dendritic cells from different types of mice were determined with ELISPOT or ELISA method. TLR2/TLR4 is important in the maturation and activation of dendritic cells and the activation of Th1 cells induced by stimulation with MBP and BCG. In conclusion, TLR2 and TLR4 play an important role in the upregulation of costimulatory molecules and MHC class II molecules on dendritic cells and the activation of Th1 cells induced by stimulation with MBP and BCG. The results above indicate that the combination of MBP and BCG induced the maturation and activation of dendritic cells and promoted Th1 activation via TLR2/TLR4. LiNa Jiang, GuoMu Liu, WeiHua Ni, NanNan Zhang, Jing Jie, Fei Xie, and GuiXiang Tai Copyright © 2017 LiNa Jiang et al. All rights reserved. UDP-Induced Phagocytosis and ATP-Stimulated Chemotactic Migration Are Impaired in STIM1−/− Microglia In Vitro and In Vivo Wed, 15 Feb 2017 12:52:48 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/8158514/ STIM1 is the only currently known intracellular calcium sensor that functions as the calcium influx regulator controlling immune cell activation. STIM1 function in immune cell calcium signalling has been studied extensively; however, its role in microglia, innate immune cells in brain, has not been fully understood. Here, we report that STIM1−/− murine microglia lost store-operated calcium influx and displayed aberrant immunological functions. Microglial functions regulated by chronic and global changes were reduced significantly, including cytokine releases and opsonin-dependent phagocytosis. More dramatically, cellular functions governed by Ca2+ regulation in local microdomains at the cell periphery, such as UDP-induced phagocytosis and ATP-stimulated chemotactic migration, were severely reduced in STIM1−/− microglia. Interestingly, UDP-induced Orai1 mobilization to the peripheral region was greatly attenuated in STIM1−/− microglia. Their chemotactic migration defect was reproduced in vivo in embryonic brain; the aggregated number of STIM1−/− microglia in LPS- (lipopolysaccharide-) injected lesions was much smaller than that in wild-type microglia. Furthermore, the neuron phagoptosis activities of activated microglia were significantly diminished in the STIM1−/− microglia. These in vitro and in vivo results suggest that STIM1-mediated store-operated calcium entry is important for the regulation of global changes which differentiates into active immune state of microglia, but it is more crucial for the regulation of local [Ca2+] microdomains which mediates the acute motility of murine microglia. Hye Min Lim, Heo Woon, Jung Woo Han, Yoshihiro Baba, Tomohiro Kurosaki, Min Goo Lee, and Joo Young Kim Copyright © 2017 Hye Min Lim et al. All rights reserved. Involvement of Toll Like Receptor 2 Signaling in Secondary Injury during Experimental Diffuse Axonal Injury in Rats Wed, 15 Feb 2017 08:13:09 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/1570917/ Treatment of diffuse axonal injury (DAI) remains challenging in clinical practice due to the unclear pathophysiological mechanism. Uncontrolled, excessive inflammation is one of the most recognized mechanisms that contribute to the secondary injury after DAI. Toll like receptor 2 (TLR2) is highlighted for the initiation of a vicious self-propagating inflammatory circle. However, the role and detailed mechanism of TLR2 in secondary injury is yet mostly unknown. In this study, we demonstrated the expression of TLR2 levels in cortex, corpus callosum, and internal capsule and the localization of TLR2 in neurons and glial cells in rat DAI models. Intracerebral knockdown of TLR2 significantly downregulated TLR2 expression, attenuated cortical apoptosis, lessened glial response, and reduced the secondary axonal and neuronal injury in the cortex by inhibiting phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) including Erk, JNK, and p38, translocation of NF-κB p65 from the cytoplasm to the nucleus, and decreasing levels of proinflammatory cytokines including interleukin-6, interleukin-1β, and tumor necrosis factor-α. On the contrary, administration of TLR2 agonist to DAI rats achieved an opposite effect. Collectively, we demonstrated that TLR2 was involved in mediating secondary injury after DAI by inducing inflammation via the MAPK and NF-κB pathways. Yonglin Zhao, Junjie Zhao, Ming Zhang, Yahui Zhao, Jiaxi Li, Xudong Ma, Tingqin Huang, Honggang Pang, Bo Wang, and Jinning Song Copyright © 2017 Yonglin Zhao et al. All rights reserved. Syndecan-1 Acts as an Important Regulator of CXCL1 Expression and Cellular Interaction of Human Endometrial Stromal and Trophoblast Cells Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/8379256/ Successful implantation of the embryo into the human receptive endometrium is substantial for the establishment of a healthy pregnancy. This study focusses on the role of Syndecan-1 at the embryo-maternal interface, the multitasking coreceptor influencing ligand concentration, release and receptor presentation, and cellular morphology. CXC motif ligand 1, being involved in chemotaxis and angiogenesis during implantation, is of special interest as a ligand of Syndecan-1. Human endometrial stromal cells with and without Syndecan-1 knock-down were decidualized and treated with specific inhibitors to evaluate signaling pathways regulating CXC ligand 1 expression. Western blot analyses of MAPK and Wnt members were performed, followed by analysis of spheroid interactions between human endometrial cells and extravillous trophoblast cells. By mimicking embryo contact using IL-1β, we showed less ERK and c-Jun activation by depletion of Syndecan-1 and less Frizzled 4 production as part of the canonical Wnt pathway. Additionally, more beta-catenin was phosphorylated and therefore degraded after depletion of Syndecan-1. Secretion of CXC motif ligand 1 depends on MEK-1 with respect to Syndecan-1. Regarding the interaction of endometrial and trophoblast cells, the spheroid center-to-center distances were smaller after depletion of Syndecan-1. Therefore, Syndecan-1 seems to affect signaling processes relevant to signaling and intercellular interaction at the trophoblast-decidual interface. Dunja Maria Baston-Buest, Olga Altergot-Ahmad, Sarah Jean Pour, Jan-Steffen Krüssel, Udo Rudolf Markert, Tanja Natascha Fehm, and Alexandra Petra Bielfeld Copyright © 2017 Dunja Maria Baston-Buest et al. All rights reserved. High Mobility Group Box-1 Protein and Outcomes in Critically Ill Surgical Patients Requiring Open Abdominal Management Tue, 14 Feb 2017 10:24:11 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/6305387/ Background. Previous studies assessing various cytokines in the critically ill/injured have been uninformative in terms of translating to clinical care management. Animal abdominal sepsis work suggests that enhanced intraperitoneal (IP) clearance of Damage-Associated Molecular Patterns (DAMPs) improves outcome. Thus measuring the responses of DAMPs offers alternate potential insights and a representative DAMP, High Mobility Group Box-1 protein (HMGB-1), was considered. While IP biomediators are being recognized in critical illness/trauma, HMGB-1 behaviour has not been examined in open abdomen (OA) management. Methods. A modified protocol for HMGB-1 detection was used to examine plasma/IP fluid samples from 44 critically ill/injured OA patients enrolled in a randomized controlled trial comparing two negative pressure peritoneal therapies (NPPT): Active NPPT (ANPPT) and Barker’s Vacuum Pack NPPT (BVP). Samples were collected and analyzed at the time of laparotomy and at 24 and 48 hours after. Results. There were no statistically significant differences in survivor versus nonsurvivor HMGB-1 plasma or IP concentrations at baseline, 24 hours, or 48 hours. However, plasma HMGB-1 levels tended to increase continuously in the BVP cohort. Conclusions. HMGB-1 appeared to behave differently between NPPT cohorts. Further studies are needed to elucidate the relationship of HMGB-1 and outcomes in septic/injured patients. Michelle S. Malig, Craig N. Jenne, Chad G. Ball, Derek J. Roberts, Zhengwen Xiao, and Andrew W. Kirkpatrick Copyright © 2017 Michelle S. Malig et al. All rights reserved. Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury following Acute Myocardial Infarction: A Critical Issue for Clinicians and Forensic Pathologists Mon, 13 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/7018393/ Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Reperfusion strategies are the current standard therapy for AMI. However, they may result in paradoxical cardiomyocyte dysfunction, known as ischemic reperfusion injury (IRI). Different forms of IRI are recognized, of which only the first two are reversible: reperfusion-induced arrhythmias, myocardial stunning, microvascular obstruction, and lethal myocardial reperfusion injury. Sudden death is the most common pattern for ischemia-induced lethal ventricular arrhythmias during AMI. The exact mechanisms of IRI are not fully known. Molecular, cellular, and tissue alterations such as cell death, inflammation, neurohumoral activation, and oxidative stress are considered to be of paramount importance in IRI. However, comprehension of the exact pathophysiological mechanisms remains a challenge for clinicians. Furthermore, myocardial IRI is a critical issue also for forensic pathologists since sudden death may occur despite timely reperfusion following AMI, that is one of the most frequently litigated areas of cardiology practice. In this paper we explore the literature regarding the pathophysiology of myocardial IRI, focusing on the possible role of the calpain system, oxidative-nitrosative stress, and matrix metalloproteinases and aiming to foster knowledge of IRI pathophysiology also in terms of medicolegal understanding of sudden deaths following AMI. Margherita Neri, Irene Riezzo, Natascha Pascale, Cristoforo Pomara, and Emanuela Turillazzi Copyright © 2017 Margherita Neri et al. All rights reserved. Iron Reduces M1 Macrophage Polarization in RAW264.7 Macrophages Associated with Inhibition of STAT1 Mon, 13 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/8570818/ Iron metabolism in inflammation has been mostly characterized in macrophages exposed to pathogens or inflammatory conditions. The aim of this study is to investigate the cross-regulatory interactions between M1 macrophage polarization and iron metabolism. Firstly, we characterized the transcription of genes related to iron homeostasis in M1 RAW264.7 macrophages stimulated by IFN-γ. The molecular signature of M1 macrophages showed high levels of iron storage (ferritin), a low level of iron export (ferroportin), and changes of iron regulators (hepcidin and transferrin receptors), which favour iron sequestration in the reticuloendothelial system and are benefit for inflammatory disorders. Then, we evaluated the effect of iron on M1 macrophage polarization. Iron significantly reduced mRNA levels of IL-6, IL-1β, TNF-α, and iNOS produced by IFN-γ-polarized M1 macrophages. Immunofluorescence analysis showed that iron also reduced iNOS production. However, iron did not compromise but enhanced the ability of M1-polarized macrophages to phagocytose FITC-dextran. Moreover, we demonstrated that STAT1 inhibition was required for reduction of iNOS and M1-related cytokines production by the present of iron. Together, these findings indicated that iron decreased polarization of M1 macrophages and inhibited the production of the proinflammatory cytokines. The results expanded our knowledge about the role of iron in macrophage polarization. Zhen-Shun Gan, Qian-Qian Wang, Jia-Hui Li, Xu-Liang Wang, Yi-Zhen Wang, and Hua-Hua Du Copyright © 2017 Zhen-Shun Gan et al. All rights reserved. Amelioration of Inflammatory Cytokines Mix Stimulation: A Pretreatment of CD137 Signaling Study on VSMC Thu, 09 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/1382805/ Previous studies showed little CD137 expressed in normal vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) and it is important to find a valid way to elevate it before studying its function. The level of CD137 was detected by RT-PCR, western blot, and flow cytometry, respectively. CD137 signaling activation was activated by agonist antibody and measured through phenotype transformation indicators and cell functions. Proteins in supernatants were detected by ELISA. The total CD137 elevates under different concentrations of CM treatment. Among these, 25 ng/ml CM treatment increases the CD137 expression mostly. However, flow cytometry demonstrates that 10 ng/ml CM elevates surface CD137 more significantly than other concentrations and reaches the peak at 36 h. At 10 ng/ml, but not 25 ng/ml CM pretreatment, the levels of phenotype related proteins such as SM-MHC, α-SMA, and calponin decrease while vimentin and NFATc1 increase, suggesting that VSMCs undergo phenotype transformation. Transwell, CCK-8 assay, and ELISA showed that the ability of VSMCs viability, migration, and IL-2 and IL-6 secretion induced by CD137 signaling was significantly enhanced by the pretreatment of 10 ng/ml CM. This research suggested that 10 ng/ml CM pretreatment is more reasonable than other concentrations when exploring CD137 function in VSMCs. Wei Zhong, Bo Li, Xiao Yang Li, Zhong Qun Wang, Chen Shao, Cui Ping Wang, Rui Chen, and Jin Chuan Yan Copyright © 2017 Wei Zhong et al. All rights reserved. Growth Arrest-Specific 6 Enhances the Suppressive Function of CD4+CD25+ Regulatory T Cells Mainly through Axl Receptor Wed, 08 Feb 2017 13:15:02 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/6848430/ Background. Growth arrest-specific (Gas) 6 is one of the endogenous ligands of TAM receptors (Tyro3, Axl, and Mertk), and its role as an immune modulator has been recently emphasized. Naturally occurring CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) are essential for the active suppression of autoimmunity. The present study was designed to investigate whether Tregs express TAM receptors and the potential role of Gas6-TAM signal in regulating the suppressive function of Tregs. Methods. The protein and mRNA levels of TAM receptors were determined by using Western blot, immunofluorescence, flow cytometry, and RT-PCR. Then, TAM receptors were silenced using targeted siRNA or blocked with specific antibody. The suppressive function of Tregs was assessed by using a CFSE-based T cell proliferation assay. Flow cytometry was used to determine the expression of Foxp3 and CTLA4 whereas cytokines secretion levels were measured by ELISA assay. Results. Tregs express both Axl and Mertk receptors. Gas6 increases the suppressive function of Tregs in vitro and in mice. Both Foxp3 and CTLA-4 expression on Tregs are enhanced after Gas6 stimulation. Gas6 enhances the suppressive activity of Tregs mainly through Axl receptor. Conclusion. Gas6 has a direct effect on the functions of CD4+CD25+Tregs mainly through its interaction with Axl receptor. Guang-ju Zhao, Jia-yi Zheng, Jia-lan Bian, Long-wang Chen, Ning Dong, Yan Yu, Guang-liang Hong, Arvine Chandoo, Yong-Ming Yao, and Zhong-qiu Lu Copyright © 2017 Guang-ju Zhao et al. All rights reserved. Comment on “Soluble Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator Receptor Plasma Concentration May Predict Susceptibility to High Altitude Pulmonary Edema” Wed, 08 Feb 2017 12:42:16 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/8546027/ Gaurav Sikri and Srinivasa Bhattachar Copyright © 2017 Gaurav Sikri and Srinivasa Bhattachar. All rights reserved. FTY720 Attenuates Angiotensin II-Induced Podocyte Damage via Inhibiting Inflammatory Cytokines Tue, 07 Feb 2017 07:42:30 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/3701385/ FTY720, a new chemical substance derived from the ascomycete Isaria sinclairii, is used for treating multiple sclerosis, renal cancer, and asthma. Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) is a bioactive sphingolipid metabolite and exists in red blood cells. FTY720 is a synthetic S1P analog which can block S1P evoking physiological effects. Recently studies show that S1P was participating in activated inflammation cells induced renal injury. The objective of this study was to assess the protective effect of FTY720 on kidney damage and the potential mechanism of FTY720 which alleviate podocyte injury in chronic kidney disease. In this study, we selected 40 patients with IgA nephropathy and examined their clinical characteristics. Ang II-infusion rat renal injury model was established to evaluate the glomeruli and tubulointerstitial lesion. The result showed that the concentration of S1P in serum and urine was positively correlated with IgA nephropathy patients’ renal injury. FTY720 could reduce renal histological lesions induced by Ang II-infusion in rats. Moreover, FTY720 decreased S1P synthesis in Ang II-infusion rats via downregulation of inflammatory cytokines including TNF-α and IL-6. In addition, FTY720 alleviated exogenous S1P-induced podocyte damage. In conclusion, FTY720 is able to attenuate S1P-induced podocyte damage via reducing inflammatory cytokines. Ke Su, Ping Zeng, Wei Liang, Zhengyu Luo, Yiman Wang, Xifeng Lv, Qi Han, Miao Yan, and Cheng Chen Copyright © 2017 Ke Su et al. All rights reserved. ADAM19: A Novel Target for Metabolic Syndrome in Humans and Mice Tue, 07 Feb 2017 06:55:14 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/7281986/ Obesity is one of the most prevalent metabolic diseases in the Western world and correlates directly with insulin resistance, which may ultimately culminate in type 2 diabetes (T2D). We sought to ascertain whether the human metalloproteinase A Disintegrin and Metalloproteinase 19 (ADAM19) correlates with parameters of the metabolic syndrome in humans and mice. To determine the potential novel role of ADAM19 in the metabolic syndrome, we first conducted microarray studies on peripheral blood mononuclear cells from a well-characterised human cohort. Secondly, we examined the expression of ADAM19 in liver and gonadal white adipose tissue using an in vivo diet induced obesity mouse model. Finally, we investigated the effect of neutralising ADAM19 on diet induced weight gain, insulin resistance in vivo, and liver TNF-α levels. Significantly, we show that, in humans, ADAM19 strongly correlates with parameters of the metabolic syndrome, particularly BMI, relative fat, HOMA-IR, and triglycerides. Furthermore, we identified that ADAM19 expression was markedly increased in the liver and gonadal white adipose tissue of obese and T2D mice. Excitingly, we demonstrate in our diet induced obesity mouse model that neutralising ADAM19 therapy results in weight loss, improves insulin sensitivity, and reduces liver TNF-α levels. Our novel data suggest that ADAM19 is pro-obesogenic and enhances insulin resistance. Therefore, neutralisation of ADAM19 may be a potential therapeutic approach to treat obesity and T2D. Lakshini Weerasekera, Caroline Rudnicka, Qing-Xiang Sang, Joanne E. Curran, Matthew P. Johnson, Eric K. Moses, Harald H. H. Göring, John Blangero, Jana Hricova, Markus Schlaich, and Vance B. Matthews Copyright © 2017 Lakshini Weerasekera et al. All rights reserved. Unconventional Role of Caspase-6 in Spinal Microglia Activation and Chronic Pain Tue, 07 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/9383184/ Chronic pain affects ~20% of the worldwide population. The clinical management of chronic pain is mostly palliative and results in limited success. Current treatments mostly target the symptoms or neuronal signaling of chronic pain. It has been increasingly recognized that glial cells, such as microglia, and inflammatory signaling play a major role in the pathogenesis of chronic pain. Caspases (CASPs) are a family of protease enzymes involved in apoptosis and inflammation. They are pivotal components in a variety of neurological diseases. However, little is known about the role of CASPs in microglial modulation as to chronic pain. In particular, our recent studies have shown that CASP6 regulates chronic pain via microglial inflammatory signaling. Inhibition of microglia and CASP signaling might provide a new strategy for the prevention and treatment of chronic pain. Temugin Berta, Jee Eun Lee, and Chul-Kyu Park Copyright © 2017 Temugin Berta et al. All rights reserved.