(1/1352) Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes induce mast cell activation and cytokine release.

The Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, is introduced into human hosts via tick bites. Among the cell types present in the skin which may initially contact spirochetes are mast cells. Since spirochetes are known to activate a variety of cell types in vitro, we tested whether B. burgdorferi spirochetes could activate mast cells. We report here that freshly isolated rat peritoneal mast cells or mouse MC/9 mast cells cultured in vitro with live or freeze-thawed B. burgdorferi spirochetes undergo low but detectable degranulation, as measured by [5-3H] hydroxytryptamine release, and they synthesize and secrete the proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha). In contrast to findings in previous studies, where B. burgdorferi-associated activity was shown to be dependent upon protein lipidation, mast cell TNF-alpha release was not induced by either lipidated or unlipidated recombinant OspA. This activity was additionally shown to be protease sensitive and surface expressed. Finally, comparisons of TNF-alpha-inducing activity in known low-, intermediate-, and high-passage B. burgdorferi B31 isolates demonstrated passage-dependent loss of activity, indicating that the activity is probably plasmid encoded. These findings document the presence in low-passage B. burgdorferi spirochetes of a novel lipidation-independent activity capable of inducing cytokine release from host cells.  (+info)

(2/1352) Reduction of sodium deoxycholic acid-induced scratching behaviour by bradykinin B2 receptor antagonists.

1. Subcutaneous injection of sodium deoxycholic acid into the anterior of the back of male ddY mice elicited dose-dependent scratching of the injected site with the forepaws and hindpaws. 2. Up to 100 microg of sodium deoxycholic acid induced no significant increase in vascular permeability at the injection site as assessed by a dye leakage method. 3. Bradykinin (BK) B2 receptor antagonists, FR173657 and Hoe140, significantly decreased the frequency of scratching induced by sodium deoxycholic acid. 4. Treatment with aprotinin to inhibit tissue kallikrein reduced the scratching behaviour induced by sodium deoxycholic acid, whereas treatment with soybean trypsin inhibitor to inhibit plasma kallikrein did not. 5. Although injection of kininase II inhibitor, lisinopril together with sodium deoxycholic acid did not alter the scratching behaviour, phosphoramidon, a neutral endopeptidase inhibitor, significantly increased the frequency of scratching. 6. Homogenates of the skin excised from the backs of mice were subjected to gel-filtration column chromatography followed by an assay of kinin release by trypsin from each fraction separated. Less kinin release from the fractions containing kininogen of low molecular weight was observed in the skin injected with sodium deoxycholic acid than in normal skin. 7. The frequency of scratching after the injection of sodium deoxycholic acid in plasma kininogen-deficient Brown Norway Katholiek rats was significantly lower than that in normal rats of the same strain, Brown Norway Kitasato rats. 8. These results indicate that BK released from low-molecular-weight kininogen by tissue kallikrein, but not from high-molecular-weight kininogen by plasma kallikrein, may be involved in the scratching behaviour induced by the injection of sodium deoxycholic acid in the rodent.  (+info)

(3/1352) Riluzole improves functional recovery after ischemia in the rat retina.

PURPOSE: Retinal ischemia leads to neuronal death. The effects of riluzole, a drug that protects against the deleterious effect of cerebral ischemia by acting on several types of ion channels and blocking glutamatergic neurotransmission, were investigated in a rat model of retinal ischemic injury. METHODS: Retinal ischemia was induced by increasing intraocular pressure above systolic blood pressure for 30 minutes. Electroretinograms were recorded before ischemia and at different periods of reperfusion. Riluzole was injected or topically applied to the eye before or after ischemia and twice daily during the reperfusion period. Retinas were harvested for histopathology (toluidine blue and silver-impregnation stainings, Tdt-dUTP terminal nick-end labeling [TUNEL] method) and immunohistochemistry for cytoskeletal glial fibrillary acid protein and c-jun NH2-terminal kinase (p-JNK). RESULTS: Ischemia for 30 minutes caused a reduction of a- and b-waves of the electroretinogram. Systemic and topical treatments with riluzole significantly enhanced the recovery of the reduced a- and b-waves after defined reperfusion times. Riluzole also prevented or attenuated ischemia-induced retinal cell death (necrosis and apoptosis) and reduced the activation of p-JNK, c-jun phosphorylation, and the increase of cytoskeletal proteins induced by ischemic injury. CONCLUSIONS: Riluzole acted in vivo as a potent neuroprotective agent against pressure-induced ischemia. Therefore, riluzole may be a major drug for use in protection against retinal injury.  (+info)

(4/1352) Genome-wide linkage analysis of chronic relapsing experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in the rat identifies a major susceptibility locus on chromosome 9.

The immunization of inbred Dark Agouti (DA) rats with an emulsion containing homogenized spinal cord and CFA induces chronic relapsing experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a disease with many similarities to multiple sclerosis. We report here the first genome-wide search for quantitative trait loci regulating EAE in the rat using this model. We identified one quantitative trait locus on chromosome 9, Eae4, in a [DA(RT1av1) x BN(RT1n)]F2 intercross showing linkage to disease susceptibility and expression of mRNA for the proinflammatory cytokine IFN-gamma in the spinal cord. Eae4 had a larger influence on disease incidence among rats that were homozygous for the RT1av1 MHC haplotype (RT1av1 rats) compared with RT1n/av1 rats, suggesting an interaction between Eae4 and the MHC. Homozygosity for the DA allele at markers in Eae4 and in the MHC was sufficient for EAE. Thus, Eae4 is a major genetic factor determining susceptibility to EAE in this cross of DA rats. In addition, there was support for linkage to phenotypes of EAE on chromosomes 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 12, and 15. The chromosome 12 region has been shown previously to predispose DA rats to arthritis, and the chromosome 2 region is syntenic to Eae3 in mice. We conclude that Eae4 and probably the other identified genome regions harbor genes regulating susceptibility to neuroinflammatory disease. The identification and functional characterization of these genes may disclose critical events in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis; understanding these events could be essential for the development of new therapies against the disease.  (+info)

(5/1352) Protection against necrosis but not apoptosis by heat-stress proteins in vascular smooth muscle cells: evidence for distinct modes of cell death.

We have reported previously that cultured vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) isolated from spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) show higher proliferation and cell death than normotensive controls. In addition to protecting cells against death, heat stress proteins (HSPs) appear to play a role in cell proliferation. This investigation examines the involvement of HSP72 and HSP27 in altered SHR VSMC proliferation and death. We have performed detailed discriminatory analysis to characterize which type of VSMC death is induced by heat stress (HS) and serum deprivation. Serum deprivation induced apoptosis (caspase-3 cleavage and DNA laddering) and secondary necrosis, the 2 processes being a continuum of each other. In contrast, acute HS (46 degrees C, 30 minutes), which inhibited BN. lx and SHR VSMC proliferation by 2-fold, increased necrosis (by 5-fold and 2-fold, respectively) but not apoptosis. HSP72 and HSP27 expression evoked in VSMC by mild HS (44 degrees C, 15 minutes) 6 hours before acute HS prevented the inhibition of proliferation and induction of necrosis with no effect on serum deprivation-induced or staurosporine-induced apoptosis. This induced expression of HSP72 and HSP27 did not eliminate the higher basal proliferation, apoptosis, and necrosis of SHR VSMC compared with BN.lx VSMC, suggesting that these HSPs are not involved in altered SHR VSMC proliferation and death. Also, although apoptosis and necrosis may be a continuum, in VSMC the 2 processes may be distinguished by HS, in which only necrosis is prevented by prior HSP accumulation. This observation may be of use in designing strategies for cellular protection.  (+info)

(6/1352) Induction of atherosclerosis in Brown Norway rats by immunization with ovalbumin.

A study was carried out to establish an animal model that would be suitable for evaluating the role of the diet in immune cell-mediated atherogenesis. Brown Norway rats were initially treated with hypervitamin D2 for 4 days and then fed on an atherogenic diet for 3 months, during which period the rats were either immunized with ovalubumin plus Al(OH)3 (OVA group) or with Al(OH)3 alone (control group) every 3 weeks. Aortic lesions were mainly composed of foam cells, the lesions evaluated by the intimal thickness of the ascending aorta being more severe in the OVA group than in the control group. The OVA group, in comparison with the control group, showed prominently increased serum levels of OVA-specific IgG and rat chymase, an indicator of mast cell degranulation. The intimal thickness was positively correlated with the level of chymase. Immunization had no effect on the serum lipid levels. These results support the hypothesis that mast cells play a role in the early stage of atherosclerosis and suggest that this animal model could be useful for evaluating the role of the diet in immune-related atherogenesis.  (+info)

(7/1352) Donor hematopoietic progenitor cells in nonmyeloablated rat recipients of allogeneic bone marrow and liver grafts.

BACKGROUND: Although the persistence of multilineage microchimerism in recipients of long-surviving organ transplants implies engraftment of migratory pluripotent donor stem cells, the ultimate localization in the recipient of these cells has not been determined in any species. METHODS: Progenitor cells were demonstrated in the bone marrow and nonparenchymal liver cells of naive rats and in Brown Norway (BN) recipients of Lewis (LEW) allografts by semiquantitative colony-forming unit in culture (CFU-C) assays. The LEW allografts of bone marrow cells (BMC) (2.5x10(8)), orthotopic livers, or heterotopic hearts (abdominal site) were transplanted under a 2-week course of daily tacrolimus, with additional single doses on days 20 and 27. Donor CFU-C colonies were distinguished from recipient colonies in the allografts and recipient bone marrow with a donor-specific MHC class II monoclonal antibody. The proportions of donor and recipient colonies were estimated from a standard curve created by LEW and BN bone marrow mixtures of known concentrations. RESULTS: After the BMC infusions, 5-10% of the CFU-C in the bone marrow of BN recipients were of the LEW phenotype at 14, 30, and 60 days after transplantation. At 100 days, however, donor CFU-C could no longer be found at this site. The pattern of LEW CFU-C in the bone marrow of BN liver recipients up to 60 days was similar to that in recipients of 2.5x10(8) BMC, although the donor colonies were only 1/20 to 1/200 as numerous. This was expected, because the progenitor cells in the passenger leukocytes of a single liver are equivalent to those in 1-5x10(6) BMC. Using a liquid CFU-C assay, donor progenitor cells were demonstrated among the nonparenchymal cells of liver allografts up to 100 days. In contrast, after heart transplantation, donor CFU-C could not be identified in the recipient bone marrow, even at 14 days. CONCLUSION: effective immunosuppression, allogeneic hematopoietic progenitors compete effectively with host cells for initial engraftment in the bone marrow of noncytoablated recipients, but disappear from this location between 60 and 100 days after transplantation, coincident with the shift of donor leukocyte chimerism from the lymphoid to the nonlymphoid compartment that we previously have observed in this model. It is possible that the syngeneic parenchymal environment of the liver allografts constitutes a privileged site for persistent progenitor donor cells.  (+info)

(8/1352) Voltage-activated calcium currents in rat retinal ganglion cells in situ: changes during prenatal and postnatal development.

Voltage-activated calcium currents (ICa) are one way by which calcium influx into neurons is mediated. To investigate changes in kinetic properties of ICa during neuronal development and to correlate possible kinetic changes with specific differentiation processes, the ICa of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) was recorded with the perforated patch-clamp technique in rat retinal slices and in whole mounts at different prenatal and postnatal stages. ICa density increased between embryonic day (E) 20 and the adult stage, paralleled by a shift in activation of the omega-conotoxin GVIA-sensitive ICa toward more negative membrane potentials. Furthermore, developmental alterations were observed in ICa inactivation rate during a 120 msec test pulse and in steady-state inactivation of ICa. The most striking feature in ICa kinetics was a transient slowing of calcium current deactivation, which peaked at postnatal day (P)3-5 and affected all ICa subtypes. Although the shift in activation and the decreased inactivation rate of ICa can be explained by differential regulation of distinct calcium channel subtypes, it is more likely that a more general alteration of the cells' functional state was the underlying factor in alterations in steady-state inactivation and current deactivation of ICa. Alterations in the omega-conotoxin GVIA-sensitive and the toxin-resistant currents temporarily coincide with dendritic differentiation, and it is tempting to speculate about their role in network formation in the inner retina. In contrast, alterations in steady-state inactivation and current deactivation may be involved in the regulation of RGC survival, because they occur during the period of programmed cell death in the ganglion cell layer. In conclusion, distinct time windows of alterations in calcium channel properties were found, and this study has provided a basis for performing functional assays to clarify in detail the developmental process to which these alterations are related.  (+info)