(1/15913) Highly sensitive quantitation of methamphetamine by time-resolved fluoroimmunoassay using a new europium chelate as a label.

A simple and highly sensitive time-resolved fluoroimmunoassay of methamphetamine (MA) using a new fluorescent europium chelate (BHHCT-Eu3+) as a label is described. Two variations of competitive immunoassay were attempted. In the first (one-step) assay, microtiter plates coated with anti-MA were used, and the new label was bound to a conjugate of bovine serum albumin and N-(4-aminobutyl)-MA (MA-BSA). In the second (two-step) assay, instead of the labeled MA-BSA, biotinylated MA-BSA and BHHCT-Eu3+-labeled streptavidin-BSA were used. The lowest measurable concentrations of MA for the one-step and the two-step methods were 1 ng/mL (25 pg/assay) and 1 pg/mL (25 fg/assay), respectively. These were 10 to 1000 times superior to the detection limits of MA in any other immunoassay. Intra-assay coefficient of variation was approximately 2-8% at eight different concentrations (n = 4). Analysis of 34 urine samples with the new method and conventional gas chromatography showed a good correlation (r = 0.954). The high detectability of the present assay also enabled segmental hair analysis with a few centimeters of a hair.  (+info)

(2/15913) Anti-monocyte chemoattractant protein-1/monocyte chemotactic and activating factor antibody inhibits neointimal hyperplasia in injured rat carotid arteries.

Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1)/monocyte chemotactic and activating factor (MCAF) has been suggested to promote atherogenesis. The effects of in vivo neutralization of MCP-1 in a rat model were examined in an effort to clarify the role of MCP-1 in the development of neointimal hyperplasia. Competitive polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed maximum MCP-1 mRNA expression at 4 hours after carotid arterial injury. Increased immunoreactivities of MCP-1 were also detected at 2 and 8 hours after injury. Either anti-MCP-1 antibody or nonimmunized goat IgG (10 mg/kg) was then administered every 12 hours to rats that had undergone carotid arterial injury. Treatment with 3 consecutive doses of anti-MCP-1 antibody within 24 hours (experiment 1) and every 12 hours for 5 days (experiment 2) significantly inhibited neointimal hyperplasia at day 14, resulting in a 27.8% reduction of the mean intima/media ratio (P<0.05) in experiment 1 and a 43.6% reduction (P<0.01) in experiment 2. This effect was still apparent at day 56 (55.6% inhibition; P<0.05). The number of vascular smooth muscle cells in the neointima at day 4 was significantly reduced by anti-MCP-1 treatment, demonstrating the important role of MCP-1 in early neointimal lesion formation. However, recombinant MCP-1 did not stimulate chemotaxis of vascular smooth muscle cells in an in vitro migration assay. These results suggest that MCP-1 promotes neointimal hyperplasia in early neointimal lesion formation and that neutralization of MCP-1 before, and immediately after, arterial injury may be effective in preventing restenosis after angioplasty. Further studies are needed to clarify the mechanism underlying the promotion of neointimal hyperplasia by MCP-1.  (+info)

(3/15913) The amyloid precursor protein interacts with Go heterotrimeric protein within a cell compartment specialized in signal transduction.

The function of the beta-amyloid protein precursor (betaAPP), a transmembrane molecule involved in Alzheimer pathologies, is poorly understood. We recently reported the presence of a fraction of betaAPP in cholesterol and sphingoglycolipid-enriched microdomains (CSEM), a caveolae-like compartment specialized in signal transduction. To investigate whether betaAPP actually interferes with cell signaling, we reexamined the interaction between betaAPP and Go GTPase. In strong contrast with results obtained with reconstituted phospholipid vesicles (Okamoto et al., 1995), we find that incubating total neuronal membranes with 22C11, an antibody that recognizes an N-terminal betaAPP epitope, reduces high-affinity Go GTPase activity. This inhibition is specific of Galphao and is reproduced, in the absence of 22C11, by the addition of the betaAPP C-terminal domain but not by two distinct mutated betaAPP C-terminal domains that do not bind Galphao. This inhibition of Galphao GTPase activity by either 22C11 or wild-type betaAPP cytoplasmic domain suggests that intracellular interactions between betaAPP and Galphao could be regulated by extracellular signals. To verify whether this interaction is preserved in CSEM, we first used biochemical, immunocytochemical, and ultrastructural techniques to unambiguously confirm the colocalization of Galphao and betaAPP in CSEM. We show that inhibition of basal Galphao GTPase activity also occurs within CSEM and correlates with the coimmunoprecipitation of Galphao and betaAPP. The regulation of Galphao GTPase activity by betaAPP in a compartment specialized in signaling may have important consequences for our understanding of the physiopathological functions of betaAPP.  (+info)

(4/15913) Identification of the Kv2.1 K+ channel as a major component of the delayed rectifier K+ current in rat hippocampal neurons.

Molecular cloning studies have revealed the existence of a large family of voltage-gated K+ channel genes expressed in mammalian brain. This molecular diversity underlies the vast repertoire of neuronal K+ channels that regulate action potential conduction and neurotransmitter release and that are essential to the control of neuronal excitability. However, the specific contribution of individual K+ channel gene products to these neuronal K+ currents is poorly understood. We have shown previously, using an antibody, "KC, " specific for the Kv2.1 K+ channel alpha-subunit, the high-level expression of Kv2.1 protein in hippocampal neurons in situ and in culture. Here we show that KC is a potent blocker of K+ currents expressed in cells transfected with the Kv2.1 cDNA, but not of currents expressed in cells transfected with other highly related K+ channel alpha-subunit cDNAs. KC also blocks the majority of the slowly inactivating outward current in cultured hippocampal neurons, although antibodies to two other K+ channel alpha-subunits known to be expressed in these cells did not exhibit blocking effects. In all cases the blocking effects of KC were eliminated by previous incubation with a recombinant fusion protein containing the KC antigenic sequence. Together these studies show that Kv2.1, which is expressed at high levels in most mammalian central neurons, is a major contributor to the delayed rectifier K+ current in hippocampal neurons and that the KC antibody is a powerful tool for the elucidation of the role of the Kv2.1 K+ channel in regulating neuronal excitability.  (+info)

(5/15913) Differential expression of the mRNA for the vanilloid receptor subtype 1 in cells of the adult rat dorsal root and nodose ganglia and its downregulation by axotomy.

Sensitivity to the pungent vanilloid, capsaicin, defines a subpopulation of primary sensory neurons that are mainly polymodal nociceptors. The recently cloned vanilloid receptor subtype 1 (VR1) is activated by capsaicin and noxious heat. Using combined in situ hybridization and histochemical methods, we have characterized in sensory ganglia the expression of VR1 mRNA. We show that this receptor is almost exclusively expressed by neurofilament-negative small- and medium-sized dorsal root ganglion cells. Within this population, VR1 mRNA is detected at widely varying levels in both the NGF receptor (trkA)-positive, peptide-producing cells that elicit neurogenic inflammation and the functionally less characterized glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor-responsive cells that bind lectin Griffonia simplicifolia isolectin B4 (IB4). Cells without detectable levels of VR1 mRNA are found in both classes. A subpopulation of the IB4-binding cells that produce somatostatin has relatively low levels of VR1 mRNA. A previously uncharacterized population of very small cells that express the receptor tyrosine kinase (RET) and that do not label for trkA or IB4-binding has the highest relative levels of VR1 mRNA. The majority of small visceral sensory neurons of the nodose ganglion also express VR1 mRNA, in conjunction with the BDNF receptor trkB but not trkA. Axotomy results in the downregulation of VR1 mRNA in dorsal root ganglion cells. Our data emphasize the heterogeneity of VR1 mRNA expression by subclasses of small sensory neurons, and this may result in their differential sensitivity to chemical and noxious heat stimuli. Our results also indicate that peripherally derived trophic factors may regulate levels of VR1 mRNA.  (+info)

(6/15913) Antiphospholipid, anti-beta 2-glycoprotein-I and anti-oxidized-low-density-lipoprotein antibodies in antiphospholipid syndrome.

Antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL), anti-beta 2-glycoprotein I (anti-beta 2-GPI) and anti-oxidized-low-density lipoprotein (LDL) antibodies are all implicated in the pathogenesis of antiphospholipid syndrome. To investigate whether different autoantibodies or combinations thereof produced distinct effects related to their antigenic specificities, we examined the frequencies of antiphospholipid syndrome (APS)-related features in the presence of different antibodies [aPL, beta 2-GPI, anti-oxidized low density lipoprotein (LDL)] in 125 patients with APS. Median follow-up was 72 months: 58 patients were diagnosed as primary APS and 67 as APS plus systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Anticardiolipin antibodies (aCL), anti-beta 2-GPI and anti-oxidized LDL antibodies were determined by ELISA; lupus anticoagulant (LA) by standard coagulometric methods. Univariate analysis showed that patients positive for anti-beta 2-GPI had a higher risk of recurrent thrombotic events (OR = 3.64, 95% CI, p = 0.01) and pregnancy loss (OR = 2.99, 95% CI, p = 0.004). Patients positive for anti-oxidized LDL antibodies had a 2.24-fold increase in the risk of arterial thrombosis (2.24, 95% CI, p = 0.03) and lower risk of thrombocytopenia (OR = 0.41 95% CI, p = 0.04). Patients positive for aCL antibodies had a higher risk of pregnancy loss (OR = 4.62 95% CI, p = 0.001). When these data were tested by multivariate logistic regression, the association between anti-beta 2-GPI and pregnancy loss and the negative association between anti-oxidized LDL antibodies and thrombocytopenia disappeared.  (+info)

(7/15913) The role of homophilic binding in anti-tumor antibody R24 recognition of molecular surfaces. Demonstration of an intermolecular beta-sheet interaction between vh domains.

The murine antibody R24 and mouse-human Fv-IgG1(kappa) chimeric antibody chR24 are specific for the cell-surface tumor antigen disialoganglioside GD3. X-ray diffraction and surface plasmon resonance experiments have been employed to study the mechanism of "homophilic binding," in which molecules of R24 recognize and bind to other molecules of R24 though their heavy chain variable domains. R24 exhibits strong binding to liposomes containing disialoganglioside GD3; however, the kinetics are unusual in that saturation of binding is not observed. The binding of chR24 to GD3-bearing liposomes is significantly weaker, suggesting that cooperative interactions involving antibody constant regions contribute to R24 binding of membrane-bound GD3. The crystal structures of the Fabs from R24 and chR24 reveal the mechanism for homophilic binding and confirm that the homophilic and antigen-binding idiotopes are distinct. The homophilic binding idiotope is formed largely by an anti-parallel beta-sheet dimerization between the H2 complementarity determining region (CDR) loops of two Fabs, while the antigen-binding idiotope is a pocket formed by the three CDR loops on the heavy chain. The formation of homophilic dimers requires the presence of a canonical conformation for the H2 CDR in conjunction with participation of side chains. The relative positions of the homophilic and antigen-binding sites allows for a lattice of GD3-specific antibodies to be constructed, which is stabilized by the presence of the cell membrane. This model provides for the selective recognition by R24 of cells that overexpress GD3 on the cell surface.  (+info)

(8/15913) Characterization of ZO-2 as a MAGUK family member associated with tight as well as adherens junctions with a binding affinity to occludin and alpha catenin.

ZO-2, a member of the MAGUK family, was thought to be specific for tight junctions (TJs) in contrast to ZO-1, another MAGUK family member, which is localized at TJs and adherens junctions (AJs) in epithelial and nonepithelial cells, respectively. Mouse ZO-2 cDNA was isolated, and a specific polyclonal antibody was generated using corresponding synthetic peptides as antigens. Immunofluorescence microscopy with this polyclonal antibody revealed that, similarly to ZO-1, in addition to TJs in epithelial cells, ZO-2 was also concentrated at AJs in nonepithelial cells such as fibroblasts and cardiac muscle cells lacking TJs. When NH2-terminal dlg-like and COOH-terminal non-dlg-like domains of ZO-2 (N-ZO-2 and C-ZO-2, respectively) were separately introduced into cultured cells, N-ZO-2 was colocalized with endogenous ZO-1/ZO-2, i.e. at TJs in epithelial cells and at AJs in non-epithelial cells, whereas C-ZO-2 was distributed along actin filaments. Consistently, occludin as well as alpha catenin directly bound to N-ZO-2 as well as the NH2-terminal dlg-like portion of ZO-1 (N-ZO-1) in vitro. Furthermore, immunoprecipitation experiments revealed that the second PDZ domain of ZO-2 was directly associated with N-ZO-1. These findings indicated that ZO-2 forms a complex with ZO-1/occludin or ZO-1/alpha catenin to establish TJ or AJ domains, respectively.  (+info)