VEGF is required for growth and survival in neonatal mice. (1/5287)

We employed two independent approaches to inactivate the angiogenic protein VEGF in newborn mice: inducible, Cre-loxP- mediated gene targeting, or administration of mFlt(1-3)-IgG, a soluble VEGF receptor chimeric protein. Partial inhibition of VEGF achieved by inducible gene targeting resulted in increased mortality, stunted body growth and impaired organ development, most notably of the liver. Administration of mFlt(1-3)-IgG, which achieves a higher degree of VEGF inhibition, resulted in nearly complete growth arrest and lethality. Ultrastructural analysis documented alterations in endothelial and other cell types. Histological and biochemical changes consistent with liver and renal failure were observed. Endothelial cells isolated from the liver of mFlt(1-3)-IgG-treated neonates demonstrated an increased apoptotic index, indicating that VEGF is required not only for proliferation but also for survival of endothelial cells. However, such treatment resulted in less significant alterations as the animal matured, and the dependence on VEGF was eventually lost some time after the fourth postnatal week. Administration of mFlt(1-3)-IgG to juvenile mice failed to induce apoptosis in liver endothelial cells. Thus, VEGF is essential for growth and survival in early postnatal life. However, in the fully developed animal, VEGF is likely to be involved primarily in active angiogenesis processes such as corpus luteum development.  (+info)

The histone acetylase PCAF is a phorbol-ester-inducible coactivator of the IRF family that confers enhanced interferon responsiveness. (2/5287)

Transcription factors of the interferon regulatory factor (IRF) family bind to the type I interferon (IFN)-responsive element (ISRE) and activate transcription from IFN-inducible genes. To identify cofactors that associate with IRF proteins, DNA affinity binding assays were performed with nuclear extracts prepared from tissue culture cells. The results demonstrated that the endogenous IRFs bound to the ISRE are complexed with the histone acetylases, PCAF, GCN5, and p300/CREB binding protein and that histone acetylase activities are accumulated on the IRF-ISRE complexes. By testing recombinant proteins, we show that PCAF directly binds to some but not all members of the IRF family through distinct domains of the two proteins. This interaction was functionally significant, since transfection of PCAF strongly enhanced IRF-1- and IRF-2-dependent promoter activities. Further studies showed that expression of PCAF and other histone acetylases was markedly induced in U937 cells upon phorbol ester treatment, which led to increased recruitment of PCAF to the IRF-ISRE complexes. Coinciding with the induction of histone acetylases, phorbol ester markedly enhanced IFN-alpha-stimulated gene expression in U937 cells. Supporting the role for PCAF in conferring IFN responsiveness, transfection of PCAF into U937 cells led to a large increase in IFN-alpha-inducible promoter activity. These results demonstrate that PCAF is a phorbol ester-inducible coactivator of the IRF proteins which contributes to the establishment of type I IFN responsiveness.  (+info)

Shp-2 tyrosine phosphatase functions as a negative regulator of the interferon-stimulated Jak/STAT pathway. (3/5287)

Shp-2 is an SH2 domain-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase. Although the mechanism remains to be defined, substantial experimental data suggest that Shp-2 is primarily a positive regulator in cell growth and development. We present evidence here that Shp-2, while acting to promote mitogenic signals, also functions as a negative effector in interferon (IFN)-induced growth-inhibitory and apoptotic pathways. Treatment of mouse fibroblast cells lacking a functional Shp-2 with IFN-alpha or IFN-gamma resulted in an augmented suppression of cell viability compared to that of wild-type cells. To dissect the molecular mechanism, we examined IFN-induced activation of signal transducers and activators of transcription (STATs) by electrophoretic mobility shift assay, using a specific DNA probe (hSIE). The amounts of STAT proteins bound to hSIE upon IFN-alpha or IFN-gamma stimulation were significantly increased in Shp-2(-/-) cells. Consistently, tyrosine phosphorylation levels of Stat1 upon IFN-gamma treatment and, to a lesser extent, upon IFN-alpha stimulation were markedly elevated in mutant cells. Furthermore, IFN-gamma induced a higher level of caspase 1 expression in Shp-2(-/-) cells than in wild-type cells. Reintroduction of wild-type Shp-2 protein reversed the hypersensitivity of Shp-2(-/-) fibroblasts to the cytotoxic effect of IFN-alpha and IFN-gamma. Excessive activation of STATs by IFNs was also diminished in mutant cells in which Shp-2 had been reintroduced. Together, these results establish that Shp-2 functions as a negative regulator of the Jak/STAT pathway. We propose that Shp-2 acts to promote cell growth and survival through two mechanisms, i.e., the stimulation of growth factor-initiated mitogenic pathways and the suppression of cytotoxic effect elicited by cytokines, such as IFNs.  (+info)

Fish oil feeding delays influenza virus clearance and impairs production of interferon-gamma and virus-specific immunoglobulin A in the lungs of mice. (4/5287)

Ingestion of fish oil can suppress the inflammatory response to injury and may impair host resistance to infection. To investigate the effect of a diet containing fish oil on immunity to viral infection, 148 BALB/c mice were fed diets containing 3 g/100 g of sunflower oil with either 17 g/100 g of fish oil or beef tallow for 14 d before intranasal challenge with live influenza virus. At d 1 and d 5 after infection, the mice fed fish oil had higher lung viral load and lower body weight (P < 0.05). In addition to the greater viral load and weight loss at d 5 after infection, the fish oil group consumed less food (P < 0.05) while the beef tallow group was clearing the virus, had regained their preinfection weights and was returning to their preinfection food consumption. The fish oil group had impaired production of lung interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), serum immunoglobulin (Ig) G and lung IgA-specific antibodies (all P < 0. 05) although lung IFN-alpha/beta and the relative proportions of bronchial lymph node CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes did not differ between groups after infection. The present study demonstrates a delay in virus clearance in mice fed fish oil associated with reduced IFN-gamma and antibody production and a greater weight loss and suppression of appetite following influenza virus infection. However, differences observed during the course of infection did not affect the ultimate outcome as both groups cleared the virus and returned to preinfection food consumption and body weight by d 7.  (+info)

Interferon-alpha does not improve outcome at one year in patients with diffuse cutaneous scleroderma: results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. (5/5287)

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether interferon-alpha (IFNalpha) reduces the severity of skin involvement in early (<3 years) diffuse scleroderma. METHODS: In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial, 35 patients with early scleroderma received subcutaneous injections of either IFNalpha (13.5 x 10(6) units per week in divided doses) or indistinguishable placebo. Outcomes assessed were the modified Rodnan skin score, as determined by a single observer at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months, as well as data on renal, cardiac, and lung function. Pre- and posttreatment skin biopsy samples were analyzed and blood was obtained for assessment of procollagen peptide levels. RESULTS: There were 11 withdrawals from the IFNalpha group and 3 from the placebo group due to either toxicity, lack of efficacy, or death. In the intent-to-treat analysis, there was a greater improvement in the skin score in the placebo group between 0 and 12 months (mean change IFNalpha -4.7 versus placebo -7.5; P = 0.36). There was also a greater deterioration in lung function in patients receiving active therapy, as assessed by either the forced vital capacity (mean change IFNalpha -8.2 versus placebo +1.3; P = 0.01) or the diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (mean change IFNalpha -9.3 versus placebo +4.7; P = 0.002). Skin biopsy showed no significant decrease in collagen synthesis in the IFNalpha group, and no significant differences in the levels of procollagen peptides were seen between the 2 groups. CONCLUSION: This study suggests that IFNalpha is of no value in the treatment of scleroderma, and that it may in fact be deleterious.  (+info)

Interleukin-10 inhibits expression of both interferon alpha- and interferon gamma- induced genes by suppressing tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT1. (6/5287)

Interleukin-10 (IL-10) helps maintain polarized T-helper cells in a T-helper lymphocyte 2 (Th2) phenotype. Part of this process involves the prevention of the development of Th1 cells, which are a primary source of interferon gamma (IFNgamma), a potent activator of monocytes and an inhibitor of Th2 proliferation. Because monocytes and macrophages are important mediators of Th1-type responses, such as delayed-type hypersensitivity, we sought to determine if IL-10 could directly mediate inhibition of IFNgamma- and IFNalpha-induced gene expression in these cells. Highly purified monocytes were incubated with IL-10 for 60 to 90 minutes before the addition of IFNgamma or IFNalpha. IL-10 preincubation resulted in the inhibition of gene expression for several IFN-induced genes, such as IP-10, ISG54, and intercellular adhesion molecule-1. The reduction in gene expression resulted from the ability of IL-10 to suppress IFN-induced assembly of signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) factors to specific promoter motifs on IFNalpha- and IFNgamma-inducible genes. This was accomplished by preventing the IFN-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT1, a component of both IFNalpha- and IFNgamma-induced DNA binding complexes. Therefore, IL-10 can directly inhibit STAT-dependent early response gene expression induced by both IFNalpha and IFNgamma in monocytes by suppressing the tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT1. This may occur through the ability of IL-10 to induce expression of the gene, suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3).  (+info)

Combination interferon-alpha2a and 13-cis-retinoic acid enhances radiosensitization of human malignant glioma cells in vitro. (7/5287)

We investigated the individual and combined effects of cis-retinoic acid (CRA) and/or IFN-alpha (IFN) and/or radiation therapy (RT) against a human glioma cell line (American Type Culture Collection; U373MG) to evaluate the possible radiosensitization properties of these agents in vitro. Glioma cells were incubated for 24 h in 96-well plates (2 x 10(2) cells/well) in standard culture medium. Sets of U373 (n = 12) were exposed to CRA (3 x 10(6) microM), IFN (25 units/ml), CRA plus IFN, or standard culture medium. After an additional 24 h of incubation, the U373 cells were subjected to increasing radiation doses (up to 16 Gy). Glioma cells were harvested 92 h after irradiation, and cell survival curves were determined from [3H]thymidine incorporation data (over the last 24 h). The experiment was repeated for both the untreated control group and the combined CRA/IFN group. To verify the [3H]thymidine assays, a clonogenic assay was also performed. Single cell suspensions of U373 cells were plated out in six-well plates (n = 3). After chemical and RT treatment, colonies of 50 cells or more were counted, and cell survival curves were generated as fractions of nonirradiated controls. The amount of RT (in Gy) that would cause a 50% survival fraction (lethal dose 50 or LD50) was calculated from the survival curves by regression analysis. The following LD50s were obtained: [table: see text] The results showed that for both the [3H]thymidine incorporation assay and the clonogenic assay, the combination of IFN/CRA rendered U373 cells more susceptible to ionizing radiation than the untreated control or either single agent alone.  (+info)

Maturation, activation, and protection of dendritic cells induced by double-stranded RNA. (8/5287)

The initiation of an immune response is critically dependent on the activation of dendritic cells (DCs). This process is triggered by surface receptors specific for inflammatory cytokines or for conserved patterns characteristic of infectious agents. Here we show that human DCs are activated by influenza virus infection and by double-stranded (ds)RNA. This activation results not only in increased antigen presentation and T cell stimulatory capacity, but also in resistance to the cytopathic effect of the virus, mediated by the production of type I interferon, and upregulation of MxA. Because dsRNA stimulates both maturation and resistance, DCs can serve as altruistic antigen-presenting cells capable of sustaining viral antigen production while acquiring the capacity to trigger naive T cells and drive polarized T helper cell type 1 responses.  (+info)