Increased calcium entry into dystrophin-deficient muscle fibres of MDX and ADR-MDX mice is reduced by ion channel blockers. (1/1336)

1. Single fibres were enzymatically isolated from interosseus muscles of dystrophic MDX mice, myotonic-dystrophic double mutant ADR-MDX mice and C57BL/10 controls. The fibres were kept in cell culture for up to 2 weeks for the study of Ca2+ homeostasis and sarcolemmal Ca2+ permeability. 2. Resting levels of intracellular free Ca2+, determined with the fluorescent Ca2+ indicator fura-2, were slightly higher in MDX (63 +/- 20 nM; means +/- s.d.; n = 454 analysed fibres) and ADR-MDX (65 +/- 12 nM; n = 87) fibres than in controls (51 +/- 20 nM; n = 265). 3. The amplitudes of electrically induced Ca2+ transients did not differ between MDX fibres and controls. Decay time constants of Ca2+ transients ranged between 10 and 55 ms in both genotypes. In 50 % of MDX fibres (n = 68), but in only 20 % of controls (n = 54), the decay time constants were > 35 ms. 4. Bath application of Mn2+ resulted in a progressive quench of fura-2 fluorescence emitted from the fibres. The quench rate was about 2 times higher in MDX fibres (3.98 +/- 1.9 % min-1; n = 275) than in controls (2.03 +/- 1.4 % min-1; n = 204). The quench rate in ADR-MDX fibres (2.49 +/- 1.4 % min-1; n = 87) was closer to that of controls. 5. The Mn2+ influx into MDX fibres was reduced to 10 % by Gd3+, to 19 % by La3+ and to 47 % by Ni2+ (all at 50 microM). Bath application of 50 microM amiloride inhibited the Mn2+ influx to 37 %. 6. We conclude that in isolated, resting MDX muscle fibres the membrane permeability for divalent cations is increased. The presumed additional influx of Ca2+ occurs through ion channels, but is well compensated for by effective cellular Ca2+ transport systems. The milder dystrophic phenotype of ADR-MDX mice is correlated with a smaller increase of their sarcolemmal Ca2+ permeability.  (+info)

Transthyretin Leu12Pro is associated with systemic, neuropathic and leptomeningeal amyloidosis. (2/1336)

We report a middle-aged woman with a novel transthyretin (TTR) variant, Leu12Pro. She had extensive amyloid deposition in the leptomeninges and liver as well as the involvement of the heart and peripheral nervous system which characterizes familial amyloid polyneuropathy caused by variant TTR. Clinical features attributed to her leptomeningeal amyloid included radiculopathy, central hypoventilation, recurrent subarachnoid haemorrhage, depression, seizures and periods of decreased consciousness. MRI showed a marked enhancement throughout her meninges and ependyma, and TTR amyloid deposition was confirmed by meningeal biopsy. The simultaneous presence of extensive visceral amyloid and clinically significant deposits affecting both the peripheral and central nervous system extends the spectrum of amyloid-related disease associated with TTR mutations. The unusual association of severe peripheral neuropathy with symptoms of leptomeningeal amyloid indicates that leptomeningeal amyloidosis should be considered part of the syndrome of TTR-related familial amyloid polyneuropathy.  (+info)

Stretch-independent activation of the mechanosensitive cation channel in oocytes of Xenopus laevis. (3/1336)

Oocytes of the South African clawed toad Xenopus laevis possess in their plasma membrane a so-called stretch-activated cation channel (SAC) which is activated by gently applying positive or negative pressure (stretch) to the membrane patch containing the channels. We show here that this mechanosensitive channel acted as a spontaneously opening, stretch-independent non-selective cation channel (NSCC) in more than half of the oocytes that we investigated. In 55% of cell-attached patches (total number of patches, 58) on 30 oocytes from several different donors, we found NSCC opening events. These currents were increased by elevating the membrane voltage or raising the temperature. NSCC and SAC currents shared some properties regarding the relative conductances of Na+>Li+>Ca2+, gating behaviour and amiloride sensitivity. Stretch-independent currents could be clearly distinguished from stretch induced SAC currents by their voltage and temperature dependence. Open events of NSCC increased strongly when temperature was raised from 21 to 27 degrees C. NSCC currents could be partly inhibited by high concentrations of extracellular Gd3+ and amiloride (100 and 500 microM, respectively). We further show exemplarily that NSCC can seriously hamper investigations when oocytes are used for the expression of foreign ion channels. In particular, NSCC complicated investigations on cation channels with small conductance as we demonstrate for a 4 pS epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) from guinea pig distal colon. Our studies on NSCCs suggest the involvement of these channels in oocyte temperature response and ion transport regulation. From our results we suggest that NSCC and SAC currents are carried by one protein operating in different modes.  (+info)

Comparison of ultrasmall particles of iron oxide (USPIO)-enhanced T2-weighted, conventional T2-weighted, and gadolinium-enhanced T1-weighted MR images in rats with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. (4/1336)

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Ultrasmall particles of iron oxide (USPIO) constitute a contrast agent that accumulates in cells from the mononuclear phagocytic system. In the CNS they may accumulate in phagocytic cells such as macrophages. The goal of this study was to compare USPIO-enhanced MR images with conventional T2-weighted images and gadolinium-enhanced T1-weighted images in a model of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). METHODS: Nine rats with EAE and four control rats were imaged at 4.7 T and 1.5 T with conventional T1- and T2-weighted sequences, gadolinium-enhanced T1-weighted sequences, and T2-weighted sequences obtained 24 hours after intravenous injection of a USPIO contrast agent, AMI-227. Histologic examination was performed with hematoxylin-eosin stain, Perls' stain for iron, and ED1 immunohistochemistry for macrophages. RESULTS: USPIO-enhanced images showed a high sensitivity (8/9) for detecting EAE lesions, whereas poor sensitivity was obtained with T2-weighted images (1/9) and gadolinium-enhanced T1-weighted images (0/9). All the MR findings in the control rats were negative. Histologic examination revealed the presence of macrophages at the site where abnormalities were seen on USPIO-enhanced images. CONCLUSION: The high sensitivity of USPIO for macrophage activity relative to other imaging techniques is explained by the histologic findings of numerous perivascular cell infiltrates, including macrophages, in EAE. This work supports the possibility of intracellular USPIO transport to the CNS by monocytes/macrophages, which may have future implications for imaging of human inflammatory diseases.  (+info)

Integrin-regulated secretion of interleukin 4: A novel pathway of mechanotransduction in human articular chondrocytes. (5/1336)

Chondrocyte function is regulated partly by mechanical stimulation. Optimal mechanical stimulation maintains articular cartilage integrity, whereas abnormal mechanical stimulation results in development and progression of osteoarthritis (OA). The responses of signal transduction pathways in human articular chondrocytes (HAC) to mechanical stimuli remain unclear. Previous work has shown the involvement of integrins and integrin-associated signaling pathways in activation of plasma membrane apamin-sensitive Ca2+-activated K+ channels that results in membrane hyperpolarization of HAC after 0. 33 Hz cyclical mechanical stimulation. To further investigate mechanotransduction pathways in HAC and show that the hyperpolarization response to mechanical stimulation is a result of an integrin-dependent release of a transferable secreted factor, we used this response. Neutralizing antibodies to interleukin 4 (IL-4) and IL-4 receptor alpha inhibit mechanically induced membrane hyperpolarization and anti-IL-4 antibodies neutralize the hyperpolarizing activity of medium from mechanically stimulated cells. Antibodies to interleukin 1beta (IL-1beta) and cytokine receptors, interleukin 1 receptor type I and the common gamma chain/CD132 (gamma) have no effect on me- chanically induced membrane hyperpolarization. Chondrocytes from IL-4 knockout mice fail to show a membrane hyperpolarization response to cyclical mechanical stimulation. Mechanically induced release of the chondroprotective cytokine IL-4 from HAC with subsequent autocrine/paracrine activity is likely to be an important regulatory pathway in the maintenance of articular cartilage structure and function. Finally, dysfunction of this pathway may be implicated in OA.  (+info)

Cyclic stretch regulates autocrine IGF-I in vascular smooth muscle cells: implications in vascular hyperplasia. (6/1336)

Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) subjected to acute or chronic stretch display enhanced growth rates in vitro and in vivo. Clinical examples of vascular hyperplasia (e.g., systolic hypertension and postinjury restenosis) suggest that local insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) expression is enhanced. Therefore, we investigated the role of in vitro cyclic stretch on rat VSMC IGF-I secretion and cellular growth. In serum-free medium, cyclic stretch (1 Hz at 120% resting length for 48 h) stimulated thymidine incorporation approximately 40% above that seen in nonstretched cells. Graded stretch magnitude (100-125% resting length) yielded graded increases in VSMC growth. Exogenous IGF-I increased growth of serum-starved, nonstretched VSMC in a dose-dependent manner, with maximal growth seen with 10(-7) M. IGF-I secretion from stretched cells was 20- to 30-fold greater than from those cells cultured in a static environment. Stretch-induced increases in growth were completely blocked on addition of anti-IGF-I and partially blocked with platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) antibodies and with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (tyrphostin-1). Finally, blockade of stretch-activated cation channels with GdCl3 profoundly inhibited stretch-induced growth. We conclude that stretch increases VSMC IGF-I secretion and that such autocrine IGF-I is required for stretch-induced growth. PDGF and stretch-sensitive cation channels are likely additional components of a complex pathway that regulates stretch-induced VSMC seen in systolic hypertension and postinjury restenosis.  (+info)

Intravenous glycine improves survival in rat liver transplantation. (7/1336)

In situ manipulation by touching, retracting, and moving liver lobes gently during harvest dramatically reduces survival after transplantation (P. Schemmer, R. Schoonhoven, J. A. Swenberg, H. Bunzendahl, and R. G. Thurman. Transplantation 65: 1015-1020, 1998). The development of harvest-dependent graft injury upon reperfusion can be prevented with GdCl3, a rare earth metal and Kupffer cell toxicant, but it cannot be used in clinical liver transplantation because of its potential toxicity. Thus the effect of glycine, which prevents activation of Kupffer cells, was assessed here. Minimal dissection of the liver for 12 min plus 13 min without manipulation had no effect on survival (100%). However, gentle manipulation decreased survival to 46% in the control group. Furthermore, serum transaminases and liver necrosis were elevated 4- to 12-fold 8 h after transplantation. After organ harvest, the rate of entry and exit of fluorescein dextran, a dye confined to the vascular space, was decreased about twofold, indicating disturbances in the hepatic microcirculation. Pimonidazole binding, which detects hypoxia, increased about twofold after organ manipulation, and Kupffer cells isolated from manipulated livers produced threefold more tumor necrosis factor-alpha after lipopolysaccharide than controls. Glycine given intravenously to the donor increased the serum glycine concentration about sevenfold and largely prevented the effect of gentle organ manipulation on all parameters studied. These data indicate for the first time that pretreatment of donors with intravenous glycine minimizes reperfusion injury due to organ manipulation during harvest and after liver transplantation.  (+info)

ATP release mechanisms in primary cultures of epithelia derived from the cysts of polycystic kidneys. (8/1336)

Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) cyst enlargement is exacerbated by accumulation of fluid within the lumen of the cyst. Extracellular nucleotides and nucleosides stimulate fluid and chloride (Cl-) secretion across epithelia and are potent autocrine and paracrine agonists within tissues. This study tests the hypothesis that ATP may be released by ADPKD epithelial cells. Once released, extracellular nucleotides and their metabolites may become "trapped" in the cyst lumen. As a consequence, extracellular ATP may augment ADPKD cyst enlargement through stimulation of salt and water secretion across ADPKD epithelia that encapsulate ADPKD cysts. To test this hypothesis, bioluminescence detection assays of ATP released from primary cultures of human ADPKD epithelial cells were compared with non-ADPKD human epithelial primary cultures. ADPKD cultures release comparable or greater amounts of ATP than non-ADPKD cultures derived from proximal tubule or cortex. ATP release in both ADPKD and non-ADPKD primary epithelial monolayers was directed largely into the apical medium; however, basolateral-directed ATP release under basal and stimulated conditions was also observed. Hypotonicity potentiated ATP release into the apical and basolateral medium in a reversible manner. Reconstitution of isotonic conditions with specific osmoles or inhibition with mechanosensitive ion channel blockers dampened hypotonicity-induced ATP release. "Flash-frozen" cyst fluids from ADPKD cysts, harvested from multiple donor kidneys, were screened by luminometry. A subset of cyst fluids contained as much as 0.5 to 10 microM ATP, doses sufficient to stimulate purinergic receptors. Taken together, these results show that ADPKD and non-ADPKD human epithelial primary cultures release ATP under basal and stimulated conditions and that ATP is released in vitro and into the cyst fluid by cystic epithelial cells in concentrations sufficient to stimulate ATP receptors. It is hypothesized that extracellular nucleotide release and signaling may contribute detrimentally to the gradual expansion of cyst fluid volume that is a hallmark of ADPKD.  (+info)