Publications by authors named "Brooks Scull"

19 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Defining the Inflammatory Plasma Proteome in Pediatric Hodgkin Lymphoma.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Dec 2;12(12). Epub 2020 Dec 2.

Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Cancer and Hematology Centers, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) histopathology is characterized by rare malignant Reed-Sternberg cells among an inflammatory infiltrate. We hypothesized that characteristics of inflammation in pediatric HL lesions would be reflected by the levels of inflammatory cytokines or chemokines in pre-therapy plasma of children with HL. The study objectives were to better define the inflammatory pre-therapy plasma proteome and identify plasma biomarkers associated with extent of disease and clinical outcomes in pediatric HL. Pre-therapy plasma samples were obtained from pediatric subjects with newly diagnosed HL and healthy pediatric controls. Plasma concentrations of 135 cytokines/chemokines were measured with the Luminex platform. Associations between protein concentration and disease characteristics were determined using multivariate permutation tests with false discovery control. Fifty-six subjects with HL (mean age: 13 years, range 3-18) and 47 controls were analyzed. The cytokine/chemokine profiles of subjects with HL were distinct from controls, and unique cytokines/chemokines were associated with high-risk disease (IL-10, TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-8) and slow early response (CCL13, IFN-λ1, IL-8). TNFSF10 was significantly elevated among those who ultimately relapsed and was significantly associated with worse event-free survival. These biomarkers could be incorporated into biologically based risk stratification to optimize outcomes and minimize toxicities in pediatric HL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123603DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7761312PMC
December 2020

Overcoming T cell exhaustion in LCH: PD-1 blockade and targeted MAPK inhibition are synergistic in a mouse model of LCH.

Blood 2020 Oct 19. Epub 2020 Oct 19.

1Texas Children's Cancer Center, Texas Children's Hospital, United States.

Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) is an inflammatory myeloid neoplasia characterized by granulomatous lesions containing pathological CD207+ dendritic cells (DCs) with persistent mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway activation. Standard of care chemotherapy strategies is inadequate for most patients with multisystem disease, and optimal strategies for relapsed and refractory disease are not defined. The mechanisms underlying development of inflammation in LCH lesions, the role of inflammation in pathogenesis and potential for immunotherapy are unknown. Analysis of the immune infiltrate in LCH lesions identified the most prominent immune cells as T lymphocytes. Both CD8+ and CD4+ T cells exhibited 'exhausted' phenotypes with high expression of the immune checkpoint receptors. LCH DCs showed robust expression of ligands to checkpoint receptors. Intra-lesional CD8+ T cells showed blunted expression of Tc1/Tc2 cytokines and impaired effector function. In contrast, intra-lesional regulatory T cells (Tregs) demonstrated intact suppressive activity. Treatment of BRAFV600ECD11c LCH mice with anti-PD-1 or MAPK inhibitor reduced lesion size, but with distinct responses: whereas MAPK inhibitor treatment resulted in reduction of the myeloid compartment, anti-PD-1 treatment was associated with reduction in the lymphoid compartment. Notably, combined treatment with MAPK inhibitor and anti-PD-1 significantly decreased both CD8+ T cell and myeloid LCH cells in a synergistic fashion. These results are consistent with a model that MAPK hyperactivation in myeloid LCH cells drives recruitment of functionally exhausted T cells within the LCH microenvironment and highlight combined MAPK and checkpoint inhibition as a potential therapeutic strategy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020005867DOI Listing
October 2020

JAK/STAT pathway inhibition sensitizes CD8 T cells to dexamethasone-induced apoptosis in hyperinflammation.

Blood 2020 08;136(6):657-668

Department of Oncology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN.

Cytokine storm syndromes (CSS) are severe hyperinflammatory conditions characterized by excessive immune system activation leading to organ damage and death. Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a disease often associated with inherited defects in cell-mediated cytotoxicity, serves as a prototypical CSS for which the 5-year survival is only 60%. Frontline therapy for HLH consists of the glucocorticoid dexamethasone (DEX) and the chemotherapeutic agent etoposide. Many patients, however, are refractory to this treatment or relapse after an initial response. Notably, many cytokines that are elevated in HLH activate the JAK/STAT pathway, and the JAK1/2 inhibitor ruxolitinib (RUX) has shown efficacy in murine HLH models and humans with refractory disease. We recently reported that cytokine-induced JAK/STAT signaling mediates DEX resistance in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) cells, and that this could be effectively reversed by RUX. On the basis of these findings, we hypothesized that cytokine-mediated JAK/STAT signaling might similarly contribute to DEX resistance in HLH, and that RUX treatment would overcome this phenomenon. Using ex vivo assays, a murine model of HLH, and primary patient samples, we demonstrate that the hypercytokinemia of HLH reduces the apoptotic potential of CD8 T cells leading to relative DEX resistance. Upon exposure to RUX, this apoptotic potential is restored, thereby sensitizing CD8 T cells to DEX-induced apoptosis in vitro and significantly reducing tissue immunopathology and HLH disease manifestations in vivo. Our findings provide rationale for combining DEX and RUX to enhance the lymphotoxic effects of DEX and thus improve the outcomes for patients with HLH and related CSS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020006075DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7414590PMC
August 2020

Circulating CD1c+ myeloid dendritic cells are potential precursors to LCH lesion CD1a+CD207+ cells.

Blood Adv 2020 01;4(1):87-99

Texas Children's Cancer Center, Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, TX.

Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) is a myeloproliferative disorder that is characterized by the inflammatory lesions with pathogenic CD1a+CD207+ dendritic cells (DCs). BRAFV600E and other somatic activating MAPK gene mutations have been identified in differentiating bone marrow and blood myeloid cells, but the origin of the LCH lesion CD1a+CD207+ DCs and mechanisms of lesion formation remain incompletely defined. To identify candidate LCH CD1a+CD207+ DC precursor populations, gene-expression profiles of LCH lesion CD1a+CD207+ DCs were first compared with established gene signatures from human myeloid cell subpopulations. Interestingly, the CD1c+ myeloid DC (mDC) gene signature was most enriched in the LCH CD1a+CD207+ DC transcriptome. Additionally, the BRAFV600E allele was not only localized to CD1a+CD207- DCs and CD1a+CD207+ DCs, but it was also identified in CD1c+ mDCs in LCH lesions. Transcriptomes of CD1a+CD207- DCs were nearly indistinguishable from CD1a+CD207+ DCs (both CD1a+CD207low and CD1a+CD207high subpopulations). Transcription profiles of LCH lesion CD1a+CD207+ DCs and peripheral blood CD1c+ mDCs from healthy donors were compared to identify potential LCH DC-specific biomarkers: HLA-DQB2 expression was significantly increased in LCH lesion CD1a+CD207+ DCs compared with circulating CD1c+ mDCs from healthy donors. HLA-DQB2 antigen was identified on LCH lesion CD1a+CD207- DCs and CD1a+CD207+ DCs as well as on CD1c+(CD1a+CD207-) mDCs, but it was not identified in any other lesion myeloid subpopulations. HLA-DQB2 expression was specific to peripheral blood of patients with BRAFV600E+ peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and HLA-DQB2+CD1c+ blood cells were highly enriched for the BRAFV600E in these patients. These data support a model in which blood CD1c+HLA-DQB2+ mDCs with activated ERK migrate to lesion sites where they differentiate into pathogenic CD1a+CD207+ DCs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2019000488DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6960472PMC
January 2020

CNS Langerhans cell histiocytosis: Common hematopoietic origin for LCH-associated neurodegeneration and mass lesions.

Cancer 2018 06 6;124(12):2607-2620. Epub 2018 Apr 6.

Texas Children's Cancer Center, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.

Background: Central nervous system Langerhans cell histiocytosis (CNS-LCH) brain involvement may include mass lesions and/or a neurodegenerative disease (LCH-ND) of unknown etiology. The goal of this study was to define the mechanisms of pathogenesis that drive CNS-LCH.

Methods: Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers including CSF proteins and extracellular BRAFV600E DNA were analyzed in CSF from patients with CNS-LCH lesions compared with patients with brain tumors and other neurodegenerative conditions. Additionally, the presence of BRAFV600E was tested in peripheral mononuclear blood cells (PBMCs) as well as brain biopsies from LCH-ND patients, and the response to BRAF-V600E inhibitor was evaluated in 4 patients with progressive disease.

Results: Osteopontin was the only consistently elevated CSF protein in patients with CNS-LCH compared with patients with other brain pathologies. BRAFV600E DNA was detected in CSF of only 2/20 (10%) cases, both with LCH-ND and active lesions outside the CNS. However, BRAFV600E PBMCs were detected with significantly higher frequency at all stages of therapy in LCH patients who developed LCH-ND. Brain biopsies of patients with LCH-ND demonstrated diffuse perivascular infiltration by BRAFV600E cells with monocyte phenotype (CD14 CD33 CD163 P2RY12 ) and associated osteopontin expression. Three of 4 patients with LCH-ND treated with BRAF-V600E inhibitor experienced significant clinical and radiologic improvement.

Conclusion: In LCH-ND patients, BRAFV600E cells in PBMCs and infiltrating myeloid/monocytic cells in the brain is consistent with LCH-ND as an active demyelinating process arising from a mutated hematopoietic precursor from which LCH lesion CD207 cells are also derived. Therapy directed against myeloid precursors with activated MAPK signaling may be effective for LCH-ND. Cancer 2018;124:2607-20. © 2018 American Cancer Society.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.31348DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6289302PMC
June 2018

Alternative genetic mechanisms of BRAF activation in Langerhans cell histiocytosis.

Blood 2016 11 11;128(21):2533-2537. Epub 2016 Oct 11.

Texas Children's Cancer Center, Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, TX.

Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) is characterized by inflammatory lesions containing pathologic CD207 dendritic cells with constitutively activated ERK. Mutually exclusive somatic mutations in MAPK pathway genes have been identified in ∼75% of LCH cases, including recurrent BRAF-V600E and MAP2K1 mutations. To elucidate mechanisms of ERK activation in the remaining 25% of patients, we performed whole-exome sequencing (WES, n = 6), targeted BRAF sequencing (n = 19), and/or whole-transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq, n = 6) on 24 LCH patient samples lacking BRAF-V600E or MAP2K1 mutations. WES and BRAF sequencing identified in-frame BRAF deletions in the β3-αC loop in 6 lesions. RNA-seq revealed one case with an in-frame FAM73A-BRAF fusion lacking the BRAF autoinhibitory regulatory domain but retaining an intact kinase domain. High levels of phospho-ERK were detected in vitro in cells overexpressing either BRAF fusion or deletion constructs and ex vivo in CD207 cells from lesions. ERK activation was resistant to BRAF-V600E inhibition, but responsive to both a second-generation BRAF inhibitor and a MEK inhibitor. These results support an emerging model of universal ERK-activating genetic alterations driving pathogenesis in LCH. A personalized approach in which patient-specific alterations are identified may be necessary to maximize benefit from targeted therapies for patients with LCH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2016-08-733790DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5123197PMC
November 2016

High-throughput multi-analyte Luminex profiling implicates eotaxin-1 in ulcerative colitis.

PLoS One 2013 18;8(12):e82300. Epub 2013 Dec 18.

Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America ; Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America ; Department of Cancer Biology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America ; Veterans Affairs Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America.

Accurate and high-throughput technologies are needed for identification of new therapeutic targets and for optimizing therapy in inflammatory bowel disease. Our aim was to assess multi-analyte protein-based assays of cytokines/chemokines using Luminex technology. We have reported that Luminex-based profiling was useful in assessing response to L-arginine therapy in the mouse model of dextran sulfate sodium colitis. Therefore, we studied prospectively collected samples from ulcerative colitis (UC) patients and control subjects. Serum, colon biopsies, and clinical information were obtained from subjects undergoing colonoscopy for evaluation of UC or for non-UC indications. In total, 38 normal controls and 137 UC cases completed the study. Histologic disease severity and the Mayo Disease Activity Index (DAI) were assessed. Serum and colonic tissue cytokine/chemokine profiles were measured by Luminex-based multiplex testing of 42 analytes. Only eotaxin-1 and G-CSF were increased in serum of patients with histologically active UC vs. controls. While 13 cytokines/chemokines were increased in active UC vs. controls in tissues, only eotaxin-1 was increased in all levels of active disease in both serum and tissue. In tissues, eotaxin-1 correlated with the DAI and with eosinophil counts. Increased eotaxin-1 levels were confirmed by real-time PCR. Tissue eotaxin-1 levels were also increased in experimental murine colitis induced by dextran sulfate sodium, oxazolone, or Citrobacter rodentium, but not in murine Helicobacter pylori infection. Our data implicate eotaxin-1 as an etiologic factor and therapeutic target in UC, and indicate that Luminex-based assays may be useful to assess IBD pathogenesis and to select patients for anti-cytokine/chemokine therapies.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0082300PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3867379PMC
October 2014

Deletion of cationic amino acid transporter 2 exacerbates dextran sulfate sodium colitis and leads to an IL-17-predominant T cell response.

Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 2013 Aug 23;305(3):G225-40. Epub 2013 May 23.

Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA.

L-Arginine (L-Arg) is a semiessential amino acid that has altered availability in human ulcerative colitis (UC), a form of inflammatory bowel disease, and is beneficial in murine colitis induced by dextran sulfate sodium (DSS), a model with similarity to UC. We assessed the role of cationic amino acid transporter 2 (CAT2), the inducible transporter of L-Arg, in DSS colitis. Expression of CAT2 was upregulated in tissues from colitic mice and localized predominantly to colonic macrophages. CAT2-deficient (CAT2-/-) mice exposed to DSS exhibited worsening of survival, body weight loss, colon weight, and histological injury. These effects were associated with increased serum L-Arg and decreased tissue L-Arg uptake and inducible nitric oxide synthase protein expression. Clinical benefits of L-Arg supplementation in wild-type mice were lost in CAT2-/- mice. There was increased infiltration of macrophages, dendritic cells, granulocytes, and T cells in colitic CAT2-/- compared with wild-type mice. Cytokine profiling revealed increases in proinflammatory granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, macrophage inflammatory protein-1α, IL-15, and regulated and normal T cell-expressed and -secreted and a shift from an IFN-γ- to an IL-17-predominant T cell response, as well as an increase in IL-13, in tissues from colitic CAT2-/- mice. However, there were no increases in other T helper cell type 2 cytokines, nor was there a global increase in macrophage-derived proinflammatory cytokines. The increase in IL-17 derived from both CD4 and γδ T cells and was associated with colonic IL-6 expression. Thus CAT2 plays an important role in controlling inflammation and IL-17 activation in an injury model of colitis, and impaired L-Arg availability may contribute to UC pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpgi.00091.2013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3742860PMC
August 2013

Molecular imaging of gastric neoplasia with near-infrared fluorescent activatable probes.

Mol Imaging 2012 Nov-Dec;11(6):507-15

Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology and Division of Gastroenterology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

Gastric cancer is the second leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide and is projected to rise to tenth in all-cause mortality in the near term. Early detection requires improved sensitivity and specificity of endoscopic imaging with novel methods. The objective of this study was to evaluate the utility of activatable molecular probes for the detection of gastric cancer both in vivo and ex vivo in a preclinical model. Smad4⁺/⁻ mice, which develop spontaneous gastric neoplasia, were compared to normal wild-type controls. Cathepsin-activatable and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-activatable molecular probes were injected 24 hours and 6 hours before imaging, respectively. In vivo imaging was performed using quantitative tomographic near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging. For validation, ex vivo imaging and histologic examination were performed. Molecular imaging in vivo of Smad4⁺/⁻ gastric cancer murine models revealed intense activation of both cathepsin B and MMP probes. Ex vivo imaging and histology confirmed that the detected neoplasms were adenocarcinomas and hyperplastic lesions. This study provides proof of principle that the cathepsin- and MMP-activatable molecular probes are activated in the Smad4⁺/⁻ murine model of spontaneous gastric adenocarcinoma and can be imaged by both in vivo and ex vivo NIRF methods. The cathepsin probe also detects hyperplastic lesions.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3689298PMC
March 2013

L-arginine supplementation improves responses to injury and inflammation in dextran sulfate sodium colitis.

PLoS One 2012 12;7(3):e33546. Epub 2012 Mar 12.

Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), consisting of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (UC), results in substantial morbidity and is difficult to treat. New strategies for adjunct therapies are needed. One candidate is the semi-essential amino acid, L-arginine (L-Arg), a complementary medicine purported to be an enhancer of immunity and vitality in the lay media. Using dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) as a murine colonic injury and repair model with similarities to human UC, we assessed the effect of L-Arg, as DSS induced increases in colonic expression of the y(+) cationic amino acid transporter 2 (CAT2) and L-Arg uptake. L-Arg supplementation improved the clinical parameters of survival, body weight loss, and colon weight, and reduced colonic permeability and the number of myeloperoxidase-positive neutrophils in DSS colitis. Luminex-based multi-analyte profiling demonstrated that there was a marked reduction in proinflammatory cytokine and chemokine expression with L-Arg treatment. Genomic analysis by microarray demonstrated that DSS-treated mice supplemented with L-Arg clustered more closely with mice not exposed to DSS than to those receiving DSS alone, and revealed that multiple genes that were upregulated or downregulated with DSS alone exhibited normalization of expression with L-Arg supplementation. Additionally, L-Arg treatment of mice with DSS colitis resulted in increased ex vivo migration of colonic epithelial cells, suggestive of increased capacity for wound repair. Because CAT2 induction was sustained during L-Arg treatment and inducible nitric oxide (NO) synthase (iNOS) requires uptake of L-Arg for generation of NO, we tested the effect of L-Arg in iNOS(-/-) mice and found that its benefits in DSS colitis were eliminated. These preclinical studies indicate that L-Arg supplementation could be a potential therapy for IBD, and that one mechanism of action may be functional enhancement of iNOS activity.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0033546PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3299802PMC
August 2012

Activation of two distinct Sox9-EGFP-expressing intestinal stem cell populations during crypt regeneration after irradiation.

Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 2012 May 23;302(10):G1111-32. Epub 2012 Feb 23.

Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7545, USA.

Recent identification of intestinal epithelial stem cell (ISC) markers and development of ISC reporter mice permit visualization and isolation of regenerating ISCs after radiation to define their functional and molecular phenotypes. Previous studies in uninjured intestine of Sox9-EGFP reporter mice demonstrate that ISCs express low levels of Sox9-EGFP (Sox9-EGFP Low), whereas enteroendocrine cells (EEC) express high levels of Sox9-EGFP (Sox9-EGFP High). We hypothesized that Sox9-EGFP Low ISCs would expand after radiation, exhibit enhanced proliferative capacities, and adopt a distinct gene expression profile associated with rapid proliferation. Sox9-EGFP mice were given 14 Gy abdominal radiation and studied between days 3 and 9 postradiation. Radiation-induced changes in number, growth, and transcriptome of the different Sox9-EGFP cell populations were determined by histology, flow cytometry, in vitro culture assays, and microarray. Microarray confirmed that nonirradiated Sox9-EGFP Low cells are enriched for Lgr5 mRNA and mRNAs enriched in Lgr5-ISCs and identified additional putative ISC markers. Sox9-EGFP High cells were enriched for EEC markers, as well as Bmi1 and Hopx, which are putative markers of quiescent ISCs. Irradiation caused complete crypt loss, followed by expansion and hyperproliferation of Sox9-EGFP Low cells. From nonirradiated intestine, only Sox9-EGFP Low cells exhibited ISC characteristics of forming organoids in culture, whereas during regeneration both Sox9-EGFP Low and High cells formed organoids. Microarray demonstrated that regenerating Sox9-EGFP High cells exhibited transcriptomic changes linked to p53-signaling and ISC-like functions including DNA repair and reduced oxidative metabolism. These findings support a model in which Sox9-EGFP Low cells represent active ISCs, Sox9-EGFP High cells contain radiation-activatable cells with ISC characteristics, and both participate in crypt regeneration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpgi.00519.2011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3362093PMC
May 2012

Cationic amino acid transporter 2 enhances innate immunity during Helicobacter pylori infection.

PLoS One 2011 14;6(12):e29046. Epub 2011 Dec 14.

Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America.

Once acquired, Helicobacter pylori infection is lifelong due to an inadequate innate and adaptive immune response. Our previous studies indicate that interactions among the various pathways of arginine metabolism in the host are critical determinants of outcomes following infection. Cationic amino acid transporter 2 (CAT2) is essential for transport of L-arginine (L-Arg) into monocytic immune cells during H. pylori infection. Once within the cell, this amino acid is utilized by opposing pathways that lead to elaboration of either bactericidal nitric oxide (NO) produced from inducible NO synthase (iNOS), or hydrogen peroxide, which causes macrophage apoptosis, via arginase and the polyamine pathway. Because of its central role in controlling L-Arg availability in macrophages, we investigated the importance of CAT2 in vivo during H. pylori infection. CAT2(-/-) mice infected for 4 months exhibited decreased gastritis and increased levels of colonization compared to wild type mice. We observed suppression of gastric macrophage levels, macrophage expression of iNOS, dendritic cell activation, and expression of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor in CAT2(-/-) mice suggesting that CAT2 is involved in enhancing the innate immune response. In addition, cytokine expression in CAT2(-/-) mice was altered from an antimicrobial Th1 response to a Th2 response, indicating that the transporter has downstream effects on adaptive immunity as well. These findings demonstrate that CAT2 is an important regulator of the immune response during H. pylori infection.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0029046PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3237590PMC
August 2012

Disruption of nitric oxide signaling by Helicobacter pylori results in enhanced inflammation by inhibition of heme oxygenase-1.

J Immunol 2011 Nov 10;187(10):5370-9. Epub 2011 Oct 10.

Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.

A strong cellular cross-talk exists between the pathogen Helicobacter pylori and high-output NO production. However, how NO and H. pylori interact to signal in gastric epithelial cells and modulate the innate immune response is unknown. We show that chemical or cellular sources of NO induce the anti-inflammatory effector heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in gastric epithelial cells through a pathway that requires NF-κB. However, H. pylori decreases NO-induced NF-κB activation, thereby inhibiting HO-1 expression. This inhibitory effect of H. pylori results from activation of the transcription factor heat shock factor-1 by the H. pylori virulence factor CagA and by the host signaling molecules ERK1/2 and JNK. Consistent with these findings, HO-1 is downregulated in gastric epithelial cells of patients infected with cagA(+) H. pylori but not in gastric epithelial cells of patients infected with cagA(-) H. pylori. Enhancement of HO-1 activity in infected cells or in H. pylori-infected mice inhibits chemokine generation and reduces inflammation. These data define a mechanism by which H. pylori favors its own pathogenesis by inhibiting HO-1 induction through the action of CagA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.1102111DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3208050PMC
November 2011

High-fat diet: bacteria interactions promote intestinal inflammation which precedes and correlates with obesity and insulin resistance in mouse.

PLoS One 2010 Aug 16;5(8):e12191. Epub 2010 Aug 16.

Department of Cell & Molecular Physiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States of America.

Background: Obesity induced by high fat (HF) diet is associated with inflammation which contributes to development of insulin resistance. Most prior studies have focused on adipose tissue as the source of obesity-associated inflammation. Increasing evidence links intestinal bacteria to development of diet-induced obesity (DIO). This study tested the hypothesis that HF western diet and gut bacteria interact to promote intestinal inflammation, which contributes to the progression of obesity and insulin resistance.

Methodology/principal Findings: Conventionally raised specific-pathogen free (CONV) and germ-free (GF) mice were given HF or low fat (LF) diet for 2-16 weeks. Body weight and adiposity were measured. Intestinal inflammation was assessed by evaluation of TNF-alpha mRNA and activation of a NF-kappaB(EGFP) reporter gene. In CONV but not GF mice, HF diet induced increases in body weight and adiposity. HF diet induced ileal TNF-alpha mRNA in CONV but not GF mice and this increase preceded obesity and strongly and significantly correlated with diet induced weight gain, adiposity, plasma insulin and glucose. In CONV mice HF diet also resulted in activation of NF-kappaB(EGFP) in epithelial cells, immune cells and endothelial cells of small intestine. Further experiments demonstrated that fecal slurries from CONV mice fed HF diet are sufficient to activate NF-kappaB(EGFP) in GF NF-kappaB(EGFP) mice.

Conclusions/significance: Bacteria and HF diet interact to promote proinflammatory changes in the small intestine, which precede weight gain and obesity and show strong and significant associations with progression of obesity and development of insulin resistance. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence that intestinal inflammation is an early consequence of HF diet which may contribute to obesity and associated insulin resistance. Interventions which limit intestinal inflammation induced by HF diet and bacteria may protect against obesity and insulin resistance.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0012191PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2922379PMC
August 2010

Suppressor of cytokine signaling-2 gene disruption promotes Apc(Min/+) tumorigenesis and activator protein-1 activation.

Am J Pathol 2010 May 26;176(5):2320-32. Epub 2010 Mar 26.

Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7545, USA.

Epigenetic in vitro and in vivo studies suggest that suppressor of cytokine signaling-2 (SOCS2) may normally limit tumorigenesis in the intestine; however, this theory has not been directly tested. We hypothesized that SOCS2 deficiency promotes spontaneous intestinal tumorigenesis in Apc(Min/+) mice. Therefore, we quantified tumor number, size, and load in the small intestine and colon using SOCS2(+/+)/Apc(Min/+), SOCS2(+/-)/Apc(Min/+), and SOCS2(-/-)/Apc(Min/+) mice and assayed hematocrit as an indirect marker of disease severity. Biochemical and histological assays were used to assess mechanisms. Heterozygous and homozygous disruption of SOCS2 alleles promoted 166 and 441% increases in tumor load in the small intestine, respectively, accelerated development of colon tumors, and caused severe anemia. SOCS2 deletion promoted significant increases in intestinal insulin-like growth factor-I mRNA but did not affect plasma insulin-like growth factor-I. Western blots and immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated that tumor and nontumor intestinal tissue of SOCS2(-/-)/Apc(Min/+) mice had increased serine 727 phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 compared with SOCS2(+/+)/Apc(Min/+) mice. Moreover, electromobility shift assays showed that SOCS2 deletion did not alter signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 DNA binding. However, tumors and small intestine from SOCS2(-/-)/Apc(Min/+) showed dramatic increases in activator protein-1 (AP-1) DNA binding, and SOCS2 overexpression in vitro reduced levels of AP-1. These studies indicate that SOCS2 deletion promotes the spontaneous development of intestinal tumors driven by mutations in the adenomatous polyposis coli/beta-catenin pathway and activates AP-1. Therefore, reduced expression or epigenetic silencing of SOCS2 may serve as a useful biomarker for colorectal cancer risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2353/ajpath.2010.090684DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2861097PMC
May 2010

Biochromoendoscopy: molecular imaging with capsule endoscopy for detection of adenomas of the GI tract.

Gastrointest Endosc 2008 Sep 21;68(3):520-7. Epub 2008 May 21.

Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.

Background: Current capsule endoscopy (CE) provides minimally invasive technology for GI imaging but has limited ability to discriminate different types of polyps. Near infrared fluorescent (NIRF) probes activated by biomarkers upregulated in adenomas (eg, cathepsin B) are potentially powerful tools to distinguish premalignant or malignant lesions from benign or inflammatory lesions.

Objectives: To examine whether CE can be integrated with NIRF probes to detect adenomas and whether cathepsin B-activated NIRF probes are activated by benign or inflammatory lesions.

Design: Mouse models of adenomas, hyperplactic/lymphoid polyps, and acute or chronic intestinal inflammation were injected intravenously with a cathepsin B-activated probe (Prosense 680). Dissected intestine was imaged with CE under white or NIRF light. For NIRF excitation (680 nm), dichroic and emission (700 nm) filters were combined with CE when images were recorded. Prosense 680 samples with or without protease were used as positive and negative controls. CE-based imaging data were verified by using and independent imaging system (Xenogen IVIS system).

Main Outcome Measurements: Proof of principal that CE integrated with NIRF probes can detect and discriminate adenomas from other lesions.

Results: CE-based NIRF imaging with Prosense 680 readily visualized adenomas, including in the colitis model. NIRF signals of different intensities were detected. Prosense 680 was not activated by benign or inflammatory lesions.

Limitation: Optical filters external to the capsule were used.

Conclusions: We demonstrate proof of the principle that biochromoendoscopy-CE combined with molecular probes--provides a novel approach that differentiates adenomas from benign polyps and inflammatory lesions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gie.2008.02.023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2754293PMC
September 2008

Insulin receptor substrate-1 deficiency promotes apoptosis in the putative intestinal crypt stem cell region, limits Apcmin/+ tumors, and regulates Sox9.

Endocrinology 2008 Jan 4;149(1):261-7. Epub 2007 Oct 4.

Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7545, USA. or

Reduced apoptosis of crypt stem/progenitor cells and elevated insulin and IGFs are linked to colon cancer risk. Insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1) mediates the actions of insulin, IGF-I, and IGF-II, but the role of endogenous IRS-1 in crypt apoptosis and cancer is undefined. Using IRS-1(-/-), IRS-1(+/-), and IRS-1(+/+) mice, we tested the hypothesis that reduced IRS-1 expression increases apoptosis of intestinal crypt cells and protects against Apc(min/+) (Min)/beta-catenin-driven intestinal tumors. Expression of Sox9, a transcriptional target of Tcf/beta-catenin and putative biomarker of crypt stem cells, was assessed in intestine of different IRS-1 genotypes and cell lines. Irradiation-induced apoptosis was significantly increased in the crypts and crypt stem cell region of IRS-1-deficient mice. Tumor load was significantly reduced by 31.2 +/- 14.6% in IRS-1(+/-)/Min and by 64.1 +/- 7.6% in IRS-1(-/-)/Min mice, with more prominent reductions in tumor number than size. Compared with IRS-1(+/+)/Min, IRS-1(-/-)/Min mice had fewer Sox9-positive cells in intestinal crypts and reduced Sox9 mRNA in intestine. IRS-1 overexpression increased Sox9 expression in an intestinal epithelial cell line. We conclude that even small reductions in endogenous IRS-1 increase apoptosis of crypt stem or progenitor cells, protect against beta-catenin-driven intestinal tumors, and reduce Sox9, a Tcf/beta-catenin target and putative stem/progenitor cell biomarker.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/en.2007-0869DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2194604PMC
January 2008

Suppressor of cytokine signaling-2 limits intestinal growth and enterotrophic actions of IGF-I in vivo.

Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 2006 Sep 30;291(3):G472-81. Epub 2006 Mar 30.

CB#7545, Dept. of Cell and Molecular Physiology, Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7545, USA.

Suppressors of cytokine signaling (SOCS) typically limit cytokine receptor signaling via the JAK-STAT pathway. Considerable evidence demonstrates that SOCS2 limits growth hormone (GH) action on body and organ growth. Biochemical evidence that SOCS2 binds to the IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR) supports the novel possibility that SOCS2 limits IGF-I action. The current study tested the hypothesis that SOCS2 normally limits basal or IGF-I-induced intestinal growth and limits IGF-IR signaling in intestinal epithelial cells. Intestinal growth was assessed in mice homozygous for SOCS2 gene deletion (SOCS2 null) and wild-type (WT) littermates at different ages and in response to infused IGF-I or vehicle or EGF and vehicle. The effects of SOCS2 on IGF-IR signaling were examined in ex vivo cultures of SOCS2 null and WT intestine and Caco-2 cells. Compared with WT, SOCS2 null mice showed significantly enhanced small intestine and colon growth, mucosal mass, and crypt cell proliferation and decreases in radiation-induced crypt apoptosis in jejunum. SOCS2 null mice showed significantly greater growth responses to IGF-I in small intestine and colon. IGF-I-stimulated activation of IGF-IR and downstream signaling intermediates were enhanced in the intestine of SOCS2 null mice and were decreased by SOCS2 overexpression in Caco-2 cells. SOCS2 bound directly to the endogenous IGF-IR in Caco-2 cells. The intestine of SOCS2 null mice also showed enhanced growth responses to infused EGF. We conclude that SOCS2 normally limits basal and IGF-I- and EGF-induced intestinal growth in vivo and has novel inhibitory effects on the IGF-IR tyrosine kinase pathway in intestinal epithelial cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpgi.00218.2005DOI Listing
September 2006