(1/5035) The induction of macrophage spreading: role of coagulation factors and the complement system.

Unstimulated mouse peritoneal macrophages, attached to either glass or plastic substrates, responded to factors generated in serum and plasma by spreading and increasing their apparent surface area up to eightfold. Two distinct and dissociable systems were involved. The first appears related to the distinct and dissociable systems were involved. The first appears related to the contact phase of blood coagulation. It is activated by glass and not plastic surfaces, depleted by kaolin adsorption, and inhibited by soybean trypsin inhibitor. In contrast, a separate complement-dependent system can be generated in kaolin-adsorbed plasma. Activation of the complement system can occur either by the alternate or classical pathways and generates a relatively small effector molecule which is dialyzable. These factors presumably influencing the surface membrane and underlying structures may explain the rapid spreading of activated macrophages observed after both infections and chemical peritoneal inflammatory agents.  (+info)

(2/5035) 5'-Nucleotidase activity of mouse peritoneal macrophages. I. Synthesis and degradation in resident and inflammatory populations.

Mouse resident peritoneal macrophages display sufficient 5'-nucleotidase activity to hydrolyze 58 nm AMP/min per cell protein. This activity increases approximately 163 nm AMP/min per mg after 72 h in culture. The enzyme is renewed in unstimulated cells with a half-time of 13.9 h. The activity is not reduced by treatment of intact cells with a variety of proteolytic enzymes, including trypsin, pronase, urokinase, and plasmin. Cells obtained from an inflammatory exudate have diminished or absent levels of enzyme activity. Endotoxin-elicited cells display enzyme activitiy of 20.9 nm AMP/min per mg, while thioglycollate-stimulated macrophages have no detectable activity. The reduced level of activity in endotoxin-stimulated cells is due to their elevated rate of enzyme degradation, with a half-time of 6.9 h. Their rate of enzyme synthesis is essentially normal. No evidence for latent enzyme activity could be obtained in thioglycollate-stimulated cells, nor do these cells produce any inhibition of normal cell enzyme activity. Serum deprivation reduces the enzyme activity of resident cells to about 45% of control activity. These conditions do not significantly affect the rate of enzyme synthesis, but again are explainable by an increase in the rate of enzyme degradation. Pinocytic rate is elevated in endotoxin-stimulated cells which show a more rapid rate of enzyme degradation than unstimulated cells do. However, in serum-free conditions, the rate of enzyme degradation is doubled with no change in the pinocytic rate of the cells.  (+info)

(3/5035) Continuous axenic cultivation of Pneumocystis carinii.

Continuous axenic culture of Pneumocystis carinii has been achieved. A culture vessel is used that allows for frequent medium exchange without disturbance of organisms that grow attached to a collagen-coated porous membrane. The growth medium is based on Minimal Essential Medium with Earle's salt supplemented with S-adenosyl-L-methionine, putrescine, ferric pyrophosphate, N-acetyl glucosamine, putrescine, p-aminobenzoic acid, L-cysteine and L-glutamine, and horse serum. Incubation is in room air at 31 degrees C. The pH of the medium begins at 8.8 and rises to approximately 9 as the cells grow. Doubling times calculated from growth curves obtained from cultures inoculated at moderate densities ranged from 35 to 65 hours. With a low-density inoculum, the doubling time is reduced to 19 hours. The morphology of cultured organisms in stained smears and in transmission electron micrographs is that of P. carinii, and P. carinii-specific mAbs label the cultured material. Cultured organisms are infective for immunosuppressed rats and can be stored frozen and used to reinitiate culture.  (+info)

(4/5035) Characterization of proteoglycans synthesized by cultured corneal fibroblasts in response to transforming growth factor beta and fetal calf serum.

A culture system was developed to analyze the relationship between proteoglycans and growth factors during corneal injury. Specifically, the effects of transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-beta1) and fetal calf serum on proteoglycan synthesis in corneal fibroblasts were examined. Glycosaminoglycan synthesis and sulfation were determined using selective polysaccharidases. Proteoglycan core proteins were analyzed using gel electrophoresis and Western blotting. Cells cultured in 10% dialyzed fetal calf serum exhibited decreased synthesis of more highly sulfated chondroitin sulfate and heparan sulfate compared with cells cultured in 1% dialyzed fetal calf serum. The amount and sulfation of the glycosaminoglycans was not significantly influenced by TGF-beta1. The major proteoglycan species secreted into the media were decorin and perlecan. Decorin was glycanated with chondroitin sulfate. Perlecan was linked to either chondroitin sulfate, heparan sulfate, or both chondroitin sulfate and heparan sulfate. Decorin synthesis was reduced by either TGF-beta1 or serum. At early time points, both TGF-beta1 and serum induced substantial increases in perlecan bearing chondroitin sulfate and/or heparan sulfate chains. In contrast, after extended periods in culture, the amount of perlecan bearing heparan sulfate chains was unaffected by TGF-beta1 and decreased by serum. The levels of perlecan bearing chondroitin sulfate chains were elevated with TGF-beta1 treatment and were decreased with serum. Because both decorin and perlecan bind growth factors and are proposed to modulate their activity, changes in the expression of either of these proteoglycans could substantially affect the cellular response to injury.  (+info)

(5/5035) Cell cycle and hormonal control of nuclear-cytoplasmic localization of the serum- and glucocorticoid-inducible protein kinase, Sgk, in mammary tumor cells. A novel convergence point of anti-proliferative and proliferative cell signaling pathways.

The serum- and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase (sgk) is a novel serine/threonine protein kinase that is transcriptionally regulated in rat mammary tumor cells by serum under proliferative conditions or by glucocorticoids that induce a G1 cell cycle arrest. Our results establish that the subcellular distribution of Sgk is under stringent cell cycle and hormonal control. Sgk is localized to the perinuclear or cytoplasmic compartment as a 50-kDa hypophosphorylated protein in cells arrested in G1 by treatment with the synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone. In serum-stimulated cells, Sgk was transiently hyperphosphorylated and resided in the nucleus. Laser scanning cytometry, which monitors Sgk localization and DNA content in individual mammary tumor cells of an asynchronously growing population, revealed that Sgk actively shuttles between the nucleus (in S and G2/M) and the cytoplasm (in G1) in synchrony with the cell cycle. In cells synchronously released from the G1/S boundary, Sgk localized to the nucleus during progression through S phase. The forced retention of exogenous Sgk in either the cytoplasmic compartment, using a wild type sgk gene, or the nucleus, using a nuclear localization signal-containing sgk gene (NLS-Sgk), suppressed the growth and DNA synthesis of serum-stimulated cells. Thus, our study implicates the nuclear-cytoplasmic shuttling of sgk as a requirement for cell cycle progression and represents a novel convergence point of anti-proliferative and proliferative signaling in mammary tumor cells.  (+info)

(6/5035) A unique Na+/H+ exchanger, analogous to NHE1, in the chicken embryonic fibroblast.

We report the characterization of an Na+/H+ exchanger (NHE) in embryonic fibroblasts (SL-29 cells) of the chicken, a terrestrial vertebrate, where Na+ conservation is important. This exchanger is electroneutral, has a single Na+ binding site, and is highly sensitive to amiloride (IC50 2 microM), dimethyl amiloride (350 nM), and ethyl-isopropyl amiloride (25 nM). It is stimulated by serum, transforming growth factor-alpha, hypertonicity, and okadaic acid. Although these features make it resemble mammalian NHE1, other characteristics suggest distinct differences. First, in contrast to mammalian NHE1 it is inhibited by cAMP and shows a biphasic response to phorbol esters and a highly variable response to increased intracellular Ca2+ concentration. Second, whereas full-length human and rat NHE1 cDNA probes recognize a 4.8-kb transcript in rat tissues, they recognize only a 3.9-kb transcript in chicken tissues. An antibody against amino acids 631-746 of human NHE1 sequence fails to recognize a protein in SL-29 cells. Rat NHE2 and NHE3 probes do not recognize any transcript in chicken fibroblasts. The SL-29 exchanger differs markedly from the previously characterized chicken intestinal apical exchanger in its amiloride sensitivity and regulation by phorbol esters. These results suggest that a modified version of mammalian NHE1 is present in chicken tissues and imply that another functionally distinct Na+/H+ exchanger is expressed in aves.  (+info)

(7/5035) Chagas' disease diagnosis: comparative analysis of parasitologic, molecular, and serologic methods.

During the course of chronic chagasic infection, low parasitemia levels prevent parasite detection by current techniques such as hemoculture and xenodiagnosis. Since serologic tests have sensitivity but lack specificity, molecular assays based on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) have been proposed as alternative tools for parasite detection in individuals with chronic Chagas' disease. A variable degree of PCR efficiency has been reported in the literature and illustrates the need for further evaluation of large numbers of chagasic patients. In this study, we compared an optimized PCR technique with hemoculture and complement-mediated lysis (CoML) in 113 individuals from or living in endemic areas of Brazil who had conventional serologic results that were either positive, negative, or inconclusive. The PCR amplification yielded positive results in 83.5% (66 of 79) of individuals with positive serology, 47.6% (10 of 21) with negative serology, and 46.2% (6 of 13) with inconclusive serology. Of 10 patients with negative serology and positive PCR result, eight (80%) had positive CoML, indicating that they could have been chagasic but were not mounting immune responses. The PCR results were also positive for all individuals who had positive hemoculture, for 37 individuals with negative hemoculture and positive serology, and for two of six individuals with inconclusive serology and negative hemoculture. Thirteen individuals living in nonendemic areas who had negative serology were used as a negative control group: 100% had negative PCR results. Our results show that the optimized PCR protocol used here was very sensitive in detecting the presence of Trypanosoma cruzi in chronic chagasic patients. The PCR and CoML results were well correlated in all of the groups studied, which suggests that our PCR protocol may be effective in the evaluation of cure in patients who receive anti-parasite treatment.  (+info)

(8/5035) Serum is more suitable than whole blood for diagnosis of systemic candidiasis by nested PCR.

PCR assays for the diagnosis of systemic candidiasis can be performed either on serum or on whole blood, but results obtained with the two kinds of samples have never been formally compared. Thus we designed a nested PCR assay in which five specific inner pairs of primers were used to amplify specific targets on the rRNA genes of Candida albicans, C. tropicalis, C. parapsilosis, C. krusei, and C. glabrata. In vitro, the lower limit of detection of each nested PCR assay was 1 fg of purified DNA from the corresponding Candida species. In rabbits with candidemia of 120 minutes' duration following intravenous (i.v.) injection of 10(8) CFU of C. albicans, the sensitivities of the PCR in serum and whole blood were not significantly different (93 versus 86%). In other rabbits, injected with only 10(5) CFU of C. albicans, detection of candidemia by culture was possible for only 1 min, whereas DNA could be detected by PCR in whole blood and in serum for 15 and 150 min, respectively. PCR was more often positive in serum than in whole blood in 40 culture-negative samples (27 versus 7%; P < 0.05%). Lastly, experiments with rabbits injected i.v. with 20 or 200 microgram of purified C. albicans DNA showed that PCRs were positive in serum from 30 to at least 120 min after injection, suggesting that the clearance of free DNA is slow. These results suggest that serum is the sample of choice, which should be used preferentially over whole blood for the diagnosis of systemic candidiasis by PCR.  (+info)