(1/25276) Cell-mediated immunity: dealing a direct blow to pathogens.

Cytotoxic T lymphocytes are essential for defence against viral infections. Recent data demonstrating direct killing of intracellular bacteria by granulysin, a protein released from the granules of cytotoxic T lymphocytes, emphasize the contribution of these lymphocytes to the control of tuberculosis.  (+info)

(2/25276) Binding of the G domains of laminin alpha1 and alpha2 chains and perlecan to heparin, sulfatides, alpha-dystroglycan and several extracellular matrix proteins.

The C-terminal G domain of the mouse laminin alpha2 chain consists of five lamin-type G domain (LG) modules (alpha2LG1 to alpha2LG5) and was obtained as several recombinant fragments, corresponding to either individual modules or the tandem arrays alpha2LG1-3 and alpha2LG4-5. These fragments were compared with similar modules from the laminin alpha1 chain and from the C-terminal region of perlecan (PGV) in several binding studies. Major heparin-binding sites were located on the two tandem fragments and the individual alpha2LG1, alpha2LG3 and alpha2LG5 modules. The binding epitope on alpha2LG5 could be localized to a cluster of lysines by site-directed mutagenesis. In the alpha1 chain, however, strong heparin binding was found on alpha1LG4 and not on alpha1LG5. Binding to sulfatides correlated to heparin binding in most but not all cases. Fragments alpha2LG1-3 and alpha2LG4-5 also bound to fibulin-1, fibulin-2 and nidogen-2 with Kd = 13-150 nM. Both tandem fragments, but not the individual modules, bound strongly to alpha-dystroglycan and this interaction was abolished by EDTA but not by high concentrations of heparin and NaCl. The binding of perlecan fragment PGV to alpha-dystroglycan was even stronger and was also not sensitive to heparin. This demonstrated similar binding repertoires for the LG modules of three basement membrane proteins involved in cell-matrix interactions and supramolecular assembly.  (+info)

(3/25276) Antitumor effect of allogenic fibroblasts engineered to express Fas ligand (FasL).

Fas ligand is a type II transmembrane protein which can induce apoptosis in Fas-expressing cells. Recent reports indicate that expression of FasL in transplanted cells may cause graft rejection and, on the other hand, tumor cells may lose their tumorigenicity when they are engineered to express FasL. These effects could be related to recruitment of neutrophils by FasL with activation of their cytotoxic machinery. In this study we investigated the antitumor effect of allogenic fibroblasts engineered to express FasL. Fibroblasts engineered to express FasL (PA317/FasL) did not exert toxic effects on transformed liver cell line (BNL) or colon cancer cell line (CT26) in vitro, but they could abrogate their tumorigenicity in vivo. Histological examination of the site of implantation of BNL cells mixed with PA317/FasL revealed massive infiltration of polymorphonuclear neutrophils and mononuclear cells. A specific immune protective effect was observed in animals primed with a mixture of BNL or CT26 and PA317/FasL cells. Rechallenge with tumor cells 14 or 100 days after priming resulted in protection of 100 or 50% of animals, respectively. This protective effect was due to CD8+ cells since depletion of CD8+ led to tumor formation. In addition, treatment of pre-established BNL tumors with a subcutaneous injection of BNL and PA317/FasL cell mixture at a distant site caused significant inhibition of tumor growth. These data demonstrate that allogenic cells engineered with FasL are able to abolish tumor growth and induce specific protective immunity when they are mixed with neoplastic cells.  (+info)

(4/25276) Phenotype of mice and macrophages deficient in both phagocyte oxidase and inducible nitric oxide synthase.

The two genetically established antimicrobial mechanisms of macrophages are production of reactive oxygen intermediates by phagocyte oxidase (phox) and reactive nitrogen intermediates by inducible nitric oxide synthase (NOS2). Mice doubly deficient in both enzymes (gp91(phox-/-)/NOS2(-/-)) formed massive abscesses containing commensal organisms, mostly enteric bacteria, even when reared under specific pathogen-free conditions with antibiotics. Neither parental strain showed such infections. Thus, phox and NOS2 appear to compensate for each other's deficiency in providing resistance to indigenous bacteria, and no other pathway does so fully. Macrophages from gp91(phox-/-)/NOS2(-/-) mice could not kill virulent Listeria. Their killing of S. typhimurium, E. coli, and attenuated Listeria was markedly diminished but demonstrable, establishing the existence of a mechanism of macrophage antibacterial activity independent of phox and NOS2.  (+info)

(5/25276) Structure of CD94 reveals a novel C-type lectin fold: implications for the NK cell-associated CD94/NKG2 receptors.

The crystal structure of the extracellular domain of CD94, a component of the CD94/NKG2 NK cell receptor, has been determined to 2.6 A resolution, revealing a unique variation of the C-type lectin fold. In this variation, the second alpha helix, corresponding to residues 102-112, is replaced by a loop, the putative carbohydrate-binding site is significantly altered, and the Ca2+-binding site appears nonfunctional. This structure may serve as a prototype for other NK cell receptors such as Ly-49, NKR-P1, and CD69. The CD94 dimer observed in the crystal has an extensive hydrophobic interface that stabilizes the loop conformation of residues 102-112. The formation of this dimer reveals a putative ligand-binding region for HLA-E and suggests how NKG2 interacts with CD94.  (+info)

(6/25276) Reciprocal control of T helper cell and dendritic cell differentiation.

It is not known whether subsets of dendritic cells provide different cytokine microenvironments that determine the differentiation of either type-1 T helper (TH1) or TH2 cells. Human monocyte (pDC1)-derived dendritic cells (DC1) were found to induce TH1 differentiation, whereas dendritic cells (DC2) derived from CD4+CD3-CD11c- plasmacytoid cells (pDC2) induced TH2 differentiation by use of a mechanism unaffected by interleukin-4 (IL-4) or IL-12. The TH2 cytokine IL-4 enhanced DC1 maturation and killed pDC2, an effect potentiated by IL-10 but blocked by CD40 ligand and interferon-gamma. Thus, a negative feedback loop from the mature T helper cells may selectively inhibit prolonged TH1 or TH2 responses by regulating survival of the appropriate dendritic cell subset.  (+info)

(7/25276) Induction of serotonin transporter by hypoxia in pulmonary vascular smooth muscle cells. Relationship with the mitogenic action of serotonin.

-The increased delivery of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) to the lung aggravates the development of hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension in rats, possibly through stimulation of the proliferation of pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PA-SMCs). In cultured rat PA-SMCs, 5-HT (10(-8) to 10(-6) mol/L) induced DNA synthesis and potentiated the mitogenic effect of platelet-derived growth factor-BB (10 ng/mL). This effect was dependent on the 5-HT transporter (5-HTT), since it was prevented by the 5-HTT inhibitors fluoxetine (10(-6) mol/L) and paroxetine (10(-7) mol/L), but it was unaltered by ketanserin (10(-6) mol/L), a 5-HT2A receptor antagonist. In PA-SMCs exposed to hypoxia, the levels of 5-HTT mRNA (measured by competitive reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction) increased by 240% within 2 hours, followed by a 3-fold increase in the uptake of [3H]5-HT at 24 hours. Cotransfection of the cells with a construct of human 5-HTT promoter-luciferase gene reporter and of pCMV-beta-galactosidase gene allowed the demonstration that exposure of cells to hypoxia produced a 5.5-fold increase in luciferase activity, with no change in beta-galactosidase activity. The increased expression of 5-HTT in hypoxic cells was associated with a greater mitogenic response to 5-HT (10(-8) to 10(-6) mol/L) in the absence as well as in the presence of platelet-derived growth factor-BB. 5-HTT expression assessed by quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and in situ hybridization in the lungs was found to predominate in the media of pulmonary artery, in which a marked increase was noted in rats that had been exposed to hypoxia for 15 days. These data show that in vitro and in vivo exposure to hypoxia induces, via a transcriptional mechanism, 5-HTT expression in PA-SMCs, and that this effect contributes to the stimulatory action of 5-HT on PA-SMC proliferation. In vivo expression of 5-HTT by PA-SMC may play a key role in serotonin-mediated pulmonary vascular remodeling.  (+info)

(8/25276) Fas/Apo [apoptosis]-1 and associated proteins in the differentiating cerebral cortex: induction of caspase-dependent cell death and activation of NF-kappaB.

The developing cerebral cortex undergoes a period of substantial cell death. The present studies examine the role of the suicide receptor Fas/Apo[apoptosis]-1 in cerebral cortical development. Fas mRNA and protein are transiently expressed in subsets of cells within the developing rat cerebral cortex during the peak period of apoptosis. Fas-immunoreactive cells were localized in close proximity to Fas ligand (FasL)-expressing cells. The Fas-associated signaling protein receptor interacting protein (RIP) was expressed by some Fas-expressing cells, whereas Fas-associated death domain (FADD) was undetectable in the early postnatal cerebral cortex. FLICE-inhibitory protein (FLIP), an inhibitor of Fas activation, was also expressed in the postnatal cerebral cortex. Fas expression was more ubiquitous in embryonic cortical neuroblasts in dissociated culture compared to in situ within the developing brain, suggesting that the environmental milieu partly suppresses Fas expression at this developmental stage. Furthermore, FADD, RIP, and FLIP were also expressed by subsets of dissociated cortical neuroblasts in culture. Fas activation by ligand (FasL) or anti-Fas antibody induced caspase-dependent cell death in primary embryonic cortical neuroblast cultures. The activation of Fas was also accompanied by a rapid downregulation of Fas receptor expression, non-cell cycle-related incorporation of nucleic acids and nuclear translocation of the RelA/p65 subunit of the transcription factor NF-kappaB. Together, these data suggest that adult cortical cell number may be established, in part, by an active process of receptor-mediated cell suicide, initiated in situ by killer (FasL-expressing) cells and that Fas may have functions in addition to suicide in the developing brain.  (+info)