Publications by authors named "Gunther Marsche"

107 Publications

Fetal High-Density Lipoproteins: Current Knowledge on Particle Metabolism, Composition and Function in Health and Disease.

Biomedicines 2021 Mar 30;9(4). Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Division of Pharmacology, Otto Loewi Research Center, Medical University of Graz, Universitätsplatz 4, 8010 Graz, Austria.

Cholesterol and other lipids carried by lipoproteins play an indispensable role in fetal development. Recent evidence suggests that maternally derived high-density lipoprotein (HDL) differs from fetal HDL with respect to its proteome, size, and function. Compared to the HDL of adults, fetal HDL is the major carrier of cholesterol and has a unique composition that implies other physiological functions. Fetal HDL is enriched in apolipoprotein E, which binds with high affinity to the low-density lipoprotein receptor. Thus, it appears that a primary function of fetal HDL is the transport of cholesterol to tissues as is accomplished by low-density lipoproteins in adults. The fetal HDL-associated bioactive sphingolipid sphingosine-1-phosphate shows strong vasoprotective effects at the fetoplacental vasculature. Moreover, lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 carried by fetal-HDL exerts anti-oxidative and athero-protective functions on the fetoplacental endothelium. Notably, the mass and activity of HDL-associated paraoxonase 1 are about 5-fold lower in the fetus, accompanied by an attenuation of anti-oxidative activity of fetal HDL. Cholesteryl ester transfer protein activity is reduced in fetal circulation despite similar amounts of the enzyme in maternal and fetal serum. This review summarizes the current knowledge on fetal HDL as a potential vasoprotective lipoprotein during fetal development. We also provide an overview of whether and how the protective functionalities of HDL are impaired in pregnancy-related syndromes such as pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetes mellitus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9040349DOI Listing
March 2021

Obesity Affects HDL Metabolism, Composition and Subclass Distribution.

Biomedicines 2021 Feb 27;9(3). Epub 2021 Feb 27.

Division of Pharmacology, Otto Loewi Research Center, Medical University of Graz, Universitätsplatz 4, 8010 Graz, Austria.

Background: Obesity increases the risk of coronary heart disease, partly due to its strong association with atherogenic dyslipidemia, characterized by high triglycerides and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels. Functional impairment of HDL may contribute to the increased cardiovascular mortality, but the effect of obesity on composition, structure, and function of HDL is not well understood Design and Methods: We determined HDL composition, HDL subclass distribution, parameters of HDL function, and activities of most important enzymes involved in lipoprotein remodeling, including lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) and cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) in relatively young normal weight ( = 26), overweight ( = 22), and obese ( = 20) women.

Results: Obesity (body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30) was associated with noticeable changes in LCAT and CETP activities and altered HDL composition, such as decreased apolipoprotein A-I, cholesterol, and phospholipid content, while pro-inflammatory HDL serum amyloid a content was increased. We observed a marked shift towards smaller HDL subclasses in obesity linked to lower anti-oxidative capacity of serum. LCAT activity, HDL subclass distribution, and HDL-cholesterol were associated with soluble leptin receptor, adiponectin, and liver enzyme activities. Of note, most of these alterations were only seen in obese women but not in overweight women.

Conclusions: Obesity markedly affects HDL metabolism, composition, and subclass distribution linked to changes in liver and adipose tissue. HDL dysfunction may contribute to increased cardiovascular risk in obesity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9030242DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7997277PMC
February 2021

Endothelial Lipase Modulates Paraoxonase 1 Content and Arylesterase Activity of HDL.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Jan 13;22(2). Epub 2021 Jan 13.

Gottfried Schatz Research Center for Cell Signaling, Metabolism and Aging, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Medical University of Graz, Neue Stiftingtalstraße 6/6, 8010 Graz, Austria.

Endothelial lipase (EL) is a strong modulator of the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) structure, composition, and function. Here, we examined the impact of EL on HDL paraoxonase 1 (PON1) content and arylesterase (AE) activity in vitro and in vivo. The incubation of HDL with EL-overexpressing HepG2 cells decreased HDL size, PON1 content, and AE activity. The EL modification of HDL did not diminish the capacity of HDL to associate with PON1 when EL-modified HDL was incubated with PON1-overexpressing cells. The overexpression of EL in mice significantly decreased HDL serum levels but unexpectedly increased HDL PON1 content and HDL AE activity. Enzymatically inactive EL had no effect on the PON1 content of HDL in mice. In healthy subjects, EL serum levels were not significantly correlated with HDL levels. However, HDL PON1 content was positively associated with EL serum levels. The EL-induced changes in the HDL-lipid composition were not linked to the HDL PON1 content. We conclude that primarily, the interaction of enzymatically active EL with HDL, rather than EL-induced alterations in HDL size and composition, causes PON1 displacement from HDL in vitro. In vivo, the EL-mediated reduction of HDL serum levels and the consequently increased PON1-to-HDL ratio in serum increase HDL PON1 content and AE activity in mice. In humans, additional mechanisms appear to underlie the association of EL serum levels and HDL PON1 content.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22020719DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7828365PMC
January 2021

The anti-parasitic drug miltefosine suppresses human eosinophil activation and ameliorates murine allergic inflammation in vivo.

Br J Pharmacol 2021 Mar 2;178(5):1234-1248. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Division of Pharmacology, Otto Loewi Research Center, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria.

Background And Purpose: Miltefosine is an alkylphosphocholine drug with proven effectiveness against various types of parasites and cancer cells. Miltefosine is not only able to induce direct parasite killing but also modulates host immunity, for example by reducing the severity of allergies in patients. To date, there are no reports on the effect of miltefosine on eosinophils, central effector cells involved in allergic inflammation.

Experimental Approach: We tested the effect of miltefosine on the activation of human eosinophils and their effector responses in vitro and in mouse models of eosinophilic migration and ovalbumin-induced allergic lung inflammation.

Key Results: The addition of miltefosine suppressed several eosinophilic effector reactions such as CD11b up-regulation, degranulation, chemotaxis and downstream signalling. Miltefosine significantly reduced the infiltration of immune cells into the respiratory tract of mice in an allergic cell recruitment model. Finally, in a model of allergic inflammation, treatment with miltefosine resulted in an improvement of lung function parameters.

Conclusion And Implications: Our observations suggest a strong modulatory activity of miltefosine in the regulation of eosinophilic inflammation in vitro and in vivo. Our data underline the potential efficacy of miltefosine in the treatment of allergic diseases and other eosinophil-associated disorders and may raise important questions regarding the immunomodulatory effect of miltefosine in patients treated for leishmania infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.15368DOI Listing
March 2021

High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) in Allergy and Skin Diseases: Focus on Immunomodulating Functions.

Biomedicines 2020 Dec 1;8(12). Epub 2020 Dec 1.

Otto Loewi Research Center for Vascular Biology, Immunology and Inflammation, Division of Pharmacology, Medical University of Graz, Universitätsplatz 4, 8010 Graz, Austria.

From an evolutionary perspective, lipoproteins are not only lipid transporters, but they also have important functions in many aspects of immunity. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) particles are the most abundant lipoproteins and the most heterogeneous in terms of their composition, structure, and biological functions. Despite strong evidence that HDL potently influences the activity of several immune cells, the role of HDL in allergies and skin diseases is poorly understood. Alterations in HDL-cholesterol levels have been observed in allergic asthma, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis (eczema), psoriasis, urticaria, and angioedema. HDL-associated apolipoprotein (apo) A-I, apoA-IV, and apoC-III, and lyso-phosphatidylcholines potently suppress immune cell effector responses. Interestingly, recent studies provided evidence that allergies and skin diseases significantly affect HDL composition, metabolism, and function, which, in turn, could have a significant impact on disease progression, but may also affect the risk of cardiovascular disease and infections. Interestingly, not only a loss in function, but also, sometimes, a gain in function of certain HDL properties is observed. The objective of this review article is to summarize the newly identified changes in the metabolism, composition, and function of HDL in allergies and skin diseases. We aim to highlight the possible pathophysiological consequences with a focus on HDL-mediated immunomodulatory activities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8120558DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7760586PMC
December 2020

Obesity-Related Changes in High-Density Lipoprotein Metabolism and Function.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Nov 26;21(23). Epub 2020 Nov 26.

Otto Loewi Research Center, Division of Pharmacology, Medical University of Graz, 8010 Graz, Austria.

In obese individuals, atherogenic dyslipidemia is a very common and important factor in the increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Adiposity-associated dyslipidemia is characterized by low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels and an increase in triglyceride-rich lipoproteins. Several factors and mechanisms are involved in lowering HDL-C levels in the obese state and HDL quantity and quality is closely related to adiponectin levels and the bioactive lipid sphingosine-1-phosphate. Recent studies have shown that obesity profoundly alters HDL metabolism, resulting in altered HDL subclass distribution, composition, and function. Importantly, weight loss through gastric bypass surgery and Mediterranean diet, especially when enriched with virgin olive oil, is associated with increased HDL-C levels and significantly improved metrics of HDL function. A thorough understanding of the underlying mechanisms is crucial for a better understanding of the impact of obesity on lipoprotein metabolism and for the development of appropriate therapeutic approaches. The objective of this review article was to summarize the newly identified changes in the metabolism, composition, and function of HDL in obesity and to discuss possible pathophysiological consequences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21238985DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7731239PMC
November 2020

Impaired cholesterol efflux capacity in patients with Helicobacter pylori infection and its relation with inflammation.

J Clin Lipidol 2021 Jan-Feb;15(1):218-226.e1. Epub 2020 Nov 14.

Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Research Institute for Health Development, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran; Research Center of Pediatric Infectious Disease, Rasool Akram Hospital, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address:

Background: Gut microorganisms are associated with atherosclerosis and related cardiovascular disease. Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is associated with dyslipidemia and inflammation contributing to the progression of atherosclerosis.

Objective: Several studies have reported reduced HDL-C levels in H. pylori infected patients, but HDL cholesterol efflux capacity (CEC) as the most important function of HDL has not been evaluated yet.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted with 44 biopsy confirmed H. pylori patients and 43 controls. ABCA1-mediated, non-ABCA1 and total CEC were measured in ApoB-depleted serum and levels of ApoA-I, ApoB and hsCRP were estimated using ELISA technique.

Results: Total and ABCA1 mediated-CEC were reduced in patients compared to controls, independent of age, sex, body mass index and HDL-C (p < 0.001), while non-ABCA1 CEC indicated no significant change between the groups. In addition, patients showed lower serum levels of ApoA-I but increased levels of hsCRP when compared to controls. Total CEC and ABCA1-mediated CEC positively correlated with ApoA-I and HDL-C, furthermore, ABCA1-mediated CEC as well as ApoA-I inversely correlated with hsCRP.

Conclusion: The results of the present study indicate reduced CECs in H. pylori infected patients, especially ABCA1-mediated CEC which is associated with decreased ApoA-I and increased inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacl.2020.11.005DOI Listing
November 2020

Arylesterase Activity of HDL Associated Paraoxonase as a Potential Prognostic Marker in Patients With Sepsis and Septic Shock-A Prospective Pilot Study.

Front Med (Lausanne) 2020 22;7:579677. Epub 2020 Oct 22.

Intensive Care Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria.

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) plays an essential role in the immune system and shows effective antioxidative properties. We investigated correlations of lipid parameters with the sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score and the prognostic association with mortality in sepsis patients admitted to intensive care unit (ICU). We prospectively recruited consecutive adult patients with sepsis and septic shock, according to sepsis-3 criteria as well as non-sepsis ICU controls. Fifty-three patients with sepsis (49% with septic shock) and 25 ICU controls without sepsis were enrolled. Dyslipidemia (HDL-C < 40 mg/l) was more common in sepsis compared to non-sepsis patients (85 vs. 52%, = 0.002). Septic patients compared to controls had reduced HDL-C (14 vs. 39 mg/l, < 0.0001), lower arylesterase activity of the antioxidative paraoxonase of HDL (AEA) (67 vs. 111 mM/min/ml serum, < 0.0001), and a non-significant trend toward reduced cholesterol efflux capacity (9 vs. 10%, = 0.091). We observed a strong association between higher AEA and lower risk of 28-day [per 10 mM/min/ml serum increase in AEA: odds ratio (OR) = 0.76; 95% CI, 0.61-0.94; = 0.01) and ICU mortality (per 10 mM/min/ml serum increase in AEA: OR = 0.71, 95% CI, 0.56-0.90, = 0.004) in the sepsis cohort in univariable logistic regression analysis. AEA was confirmed as an independent predictor of 28-day and ICU mortality in multivariable analyses. AEA discriminated well-regarding 28-day/ICU mortality in area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) analyses. In survival analysis, 28-day mortality estimates were 40 and 69% with AEA ≥/< the 25th percentile of AEA's distribution, respectively (log-rank = 0.0035). Both compositional and functional HDL parameters are profoundly altered during sepsis. In particular, the functionality parameter AEA shows promising prognostic potential in sepsis patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2020.579677DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7642222PMC
October 2020

Current Understanding of the Relationship of HDL Composition, Structure and Function to Their Cardioprotective Properties in Chronic Kidney Disease.

Biomolecules 2020 09 21;10(9). Epub 2020 Sep 21.

Otto Loewi Research Center, Division of Pharmacology, Medical University of Graz, 8010 Graz, Austria.

In the general population, the ability of high-density lipoproteins (HDLs) to promote cholesterol efflux is a predictor of cardiovascular events, independently of HDL cholesterol levels. Although patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have a high burden of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, neither serum levels of HDL cholesterol, nor cholesterol efflux capacity associate with cardiovascular events. Important for the following discussion on the role of HDL in CKD is the notion that traditional atherosclerotic cardiovascular risk factors only partially account for this increased incidence of cardiovascular disease in CKD. As a potential explanation, across the spectrum of cardiovascular disease, the relative contribution of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease becomes less important with advanced CKD. Impaired renal function directly affects the metabolism, composition and functionality of HDL particles. HDLs themselves are a heterogeneous population of particles with distinct sizes and protein composition, all of them affecting the functionality of HDL. Therefore, a more specific approach investigating the functional and compositional features of HDL subclasses might be a valuable strategy to decipher the potential link between HDL, cardiovascular disease and CKD. This review summarizes the current understanding of the relationship of HDL composition, metabolism and function to their cardio-protective properties in CKD, with a focus on CKD-induced changes in the HDL proteome and reverse cholesterol transport capacity. We also will highlight the gaps in the current knowledge regarding important aspects of HDL biology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biom10091348DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7564231PMC
September 2020

Prolonged bedrest reduces plasma high-density lipoprotein levels linked to markedly suppressed cholesterol efflux capacity.

Sci Rep 2020 09 14;10(1):15001. Epub 2020 Sep 14.

Division of Pharmacology, Otto Loewi Research Center for Vascular Biology, Immunology and Inflammation, Medical University of Graz, Universitätsplatz 4, 8010, Graz, Austria.

Recent observations strongly connect high-density lipoproteins (HDL) function and levels with coronary heart disease outcomes and risk for infections and sepsis. To date, our knowledge of factors determining this connection is still very limited. The immobility associated with prolonged bedrest is detrimental to health, affecting several systems, including the cardiovascular, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal and urinary. Effects of prolonged bedrest on the composition and functional properties of HDL remain elusive. We evaluated metrics of HDL composition and function in healthy male volunteers participating in a randomized, crossover head-down bedrest study. We observed that HDL cholesterol efflux capacity was profoundly decreased during bedrest, mediated by a bedrest associated reduction in plasma levels of HDL-cholesterol and major apolipoproteins (apo) apoA-I and apoA-II. Paraoxonase activity, plasma anti-oxidative capacity and the activities of lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase and cholesteryl ester transfer protein were not affected. No change was observed in the content of HDL-associated serum amyloid A, a sensitive marker of inflammation. Resistive vibration exercise countermeasure during bedrest did not correct impaired cholesterol efflux capacity and only tended to increase arylesterase activity of HDL-associated paraoxonase. In conclusion, prolonged bedrest reduces plasma HDL levels linked to markedly suppressed HDL cholesterol efflux capacity. Resistive vibration exercise during bedrest did not correct HDL levels and impaired cholesterol efflux capacity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-71921-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7490699PMC
September 2020

An Updated Review of Pro- and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Plasma Lysophosphatidylcholines in the Vascular System.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Jun 24;21(12). Epub 2020 Jun 24.

Division of Pharmacology, Otto Loewi Research Center, Medical University of Graz, 8010 Graz, Austria.

Lysophosphatidylcholines are a group of bioactive lipids heavily investigated in the context of inflammation and atherosclerosis development. While present in plasma during physiological conditions, their concentration can drastically increase in certain inflammatory states. Lysophosphatidylcholines are widely regarded as potent pro-inflammatory and deleterious mediators, but an increasing number of more recent studies show multiple beneficial properties under various pathological conditions. Many of the discrepancies in the published studies are due to the investigation of different species or mixtures of lysophatidylcholines and the use of supra-physiological concentrations in the absence of serum or other carrier proteins. Furthermore, interpretation of the results is complicated by the rapid metabolism of lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) in cells and tissues to pro-inflammatory lysophosphatidic acid. Interestingly, most of the recent studies, in contrast to older studies, found lower LPC plasma levels associated with unfavorable disease outcomes. Being the most abundant lysophospholipid in plasma, it is of utmost importance to understand its physiological functions and shed light on the discordant literature connected to its research. LPCs should be recognized as important homeostatic mediators involved in all stages of vascular inflammation. In this review, we want to point out potential pro- and anti-inflammatory activities of lysophospholipids in the vascular system and highlight recent discoveries about the effect of lysophosphatidylcholines on immune cells at the endothelial vascular interface. We will also look at their potential clinical application as biomarkers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21124501DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7350010PMC
June 2020

Metabolic regulation of the lysosomal cofactor bis(monoacylglycero)phosphate in mice.

J Lipid Res 2020 07 29;61(7):995-1003. Epub 2020 Apr 29.

Institute of Molecular Biosciences, University of Graz, Graz, Austria; BioTechMed-Graz, Graz, Austria. Electronic address:

Bis(monoacylglycero)phosphate (BMP), also known as lysobisphosphatidic acid, is a phospholipid that promotes lipid sorting in late endosomes/lysosomes by activating lipid hydrolases and lipid transfer proteins. Changes in the cellular BMP content therefore reflect an altered metabolic activity of the endolysosomal system. Surprisingly, little is known about the physiological regulation of BMP. In this study, we investigated the effects of nutritional and metabolic factors on BMP profiles of whole tissues and parenchymal and nonparenchymal cells. Tissue samples were obtained from fed, fasted, 2 h refed, and insulin-treated mice, as well as from mice housed at 5°C, 22°C, or 30°C. These tissues exhibited distinct BMP profiles that were regulated by the nutritional state in a tissue-specific manner. Insulin treatment was not sufficient to mimic refeeding-induced changes in tissue BMP levels, indicating that BMP metabolism is regulated by other hormonal or nutritional factors. Tissue fractionation experiments revealed that fasting drastically elevates BMP levels in hepatocytes and pancreatic cells. Furthermore, we observed that the BMP content in brown adipose tissue strongly depends on housing temperatures. In conclusion, our observations suggest that BMP concentrations adapt to the metabolic state in a tissue- and cell-type-specific manner in mice. Drastic changes observed in hepatocytes, pancreatic cells, and brown adipocytes suggest that BMP plays a role in the functional adaption to nutrient starvation and ambient temperature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1194/jlr.RA119000516DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7328040PMC
July 2020

Lysophosphatidylcholines inhibit human eosinophil activation and suppress eosinophil migration in vivo.

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Biol Lipids 2020 07 11;1865(7):158686. Epub 2020 Mar 11.

Division of Pharmacology, Otto Loewi Research Center, Medical University of Graz, Universitätsplatz 4, 8010 Graz, Austria; BioTechMed-Graz, Graz, Austria. Electronic address:

Eosinophils are important multifaceted effector cells involved in allergic inflammation. Following allergen challenge, eosinophils and other immune cells release secreted phospholipases, generating lysophosphatidylcholines (LPCs). LPCs are potent lipid mediators, and serum levels of LPCs associate with asthma severity, suggesting a regulatory activity of LPCs in asthma development. As of yet, the direct effects of LPCs on eosinophils remain unclear. In the present study, we tested the effects of the major LPC species (16:0, 18:0 and 18:1) on eosinophils isolated from healthy human donors. Addition of saturated LPCs in the presence of albumin rapidly disrupted cholesterol-rich nanodomains on eosinophil cell membranes and suppressed multiple eosinophil effector responses, such as CD11b upregulation, degranulation, chemotaxis, and downstream signaling. Furthermore, we demonstrate in a mouse model of allergic cell recruitment, that LPC treatment markedly reduces immune cell infiltration into the lungs. Our observations suggest a strong modulatory activity of LPCs in the regulation of eosinophilic inflammation in vitro and in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbalip.2020.158686DOI Listing
July 2020

Frontline Science: Superior mouse eosinophil depletion in vivo targeting transgenic Siglec-8 instead of endogenous Siglec-F: Mechanisms and pitfalls.

J Leukoc Biol 2020 07 5;108(1):43-58. Epub 2020 Mar 5.

Division of Allergy and Immunology, Department of Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Eosinophils are important multifunctional granulocytes. When studying eosinophil function and its contribution to diseases, mouse models are often used. Mouse eosinophils selectively express sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin-like lectin (Siglec)-F. Its closest functional paralog on human eosinophils is Siglec-8. These Siglecs are being used to target eosinophils when exploring their mechanistic roles in disease and for potential therapeutic benefit. In order to facilitate preclinical studies of human Siglec-8, we developed transgenic mouse strains expressing human Siglec-8 only on the surface of eosinophils with or without endogenous Siglec-F and have begun characterizing various cellular functions in vitro and in vivo. Eosinophils from Siglec-8+ mice, with or without Siglec-F, responded to Siglec-8 antibody engagement in vitro by up-regulating surface CD11b, whereas Siglec-F antibody had no such effect. Engagement of Siglec-F or Siglec-8 with respective antibodies in vitro resulted in only modest increases in cell death. Administration of rat Siglec-F antibodies to mice led to a significant decrease in Siglec-F surface expression on eosinophils due to internalization, and thus appeared to decrease eosinophil numbers based on Siglec-F+ cells, but with proper gaiting strategies did not in fact result in significant eosinophil depletion. In marked contrast, administration of mouse Siglec-8 antibodies rapidly and effectively depleted eosinophils from blood and spleens of mice, but an F(ab') version did not, indicating an Fc-mediated mechanism for eosinophil depletion in vivo. Siglec-8 expressing mice with or without endogenous Siglec-F will be useful to study Siglec-8-based therapeutics, and may be a preferred approach when acute or chronic eosinophil depletion is needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/JLB.3HI0120-381RDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7585130PMC
July 2020

HDL-related biomarkers are robust predictors of survival in patients with chronic liver failure.

J Hepatol 2020 07 14;73(1):113-120. Epub 2020 Feb 14.

Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria. Electronic address:

Background & Aims: High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels are reduced in patients with chronic liver disease and inversely correlate with disease severity. During acute conditions such as sepsis, HDL-C levels decrease rapidly and HDL particles undergo profound changes in their composition and function. We aimed to determine whether indices of HDL quantity and quality associate with progression and survival in patients with advanced liver disease.

Methods: HDL-related biomarkers were studied in 508 patients with compensated or decompensated cirrhosis (including acute-on-chronic liver failure [ACLF]) and 40 age- and gender-matched controls. Specifically, we studied levels of HDL-C, its subclasses HDL2-C and HDL3-C, and apolipoprotein A1 (apoA-I), as well as HDL cholesterol efflux capacity as a metric of HDL functionality.

Results: Baseline levels of HDL-C and apoA-I were significantly lower in patients with stable cirrhosis compared to controls and were further decreased in patients with acute decompensation (AD) and ACLF. In stable cirrhosis (n = 228), both HDL-C and apoA-I predicted the development of liver-related complications independently of model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score. In patients with AD, with or without ACLF (n = 280), both HDL-C and apoA-I were MELD-independent predictors of 90-day mortality. On ROC analysis, both HDL-C and apoA-I had high diagnostic accuracy for 90-day mortality in patients with AD (AUROCs of 0.79 and 0.80, respectively, similar to that of MELD 0.81). On Kaplan-Meier analysis, HDL-C <17 mg/dl and apoA-I <50 mg/dl indicated poor short-term survival. The prognostic accuracy of HDL-C was validated in a large external validation cohort of 985 patients with portal hypertension due to advanced chronic liver disease (AUROCs HDL-C: 0.81 vs. MELD: 0.77).

Conclusion: HDL-related biomarkers are robust predictors of disease progression and survival in chronic liver failure.

Lay Summary: People who suffer from cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) have low levels of cholesterol carried by high-density lipoproteins (HDL-C). These alterations are connected to inflammation, which is a problem in severe liver disease. Herein, we show that reduced levels of HDL-C and apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I, the main protein carried by HDL) are closely linked to the severity of liver failure, its complications and survival. Both HDL-C and apoA-I can be easily measured in clinical laboratories and are as good as currently used prognostic scores calculated from several laboratory values by complex formulas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2020.01.026DOI Listing
July 2020

Circulating cord blood HDL-S1P complex preserves the integrity of the feto-placental vasculature.

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Biol Lipids 2020 04 15;1865(4):158632. Epub 2020 Jan 15.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria. Electronic address:

Perinatal and long-term offspring morbidities are strongly dependent on the preservation of placental vascular homeostasis during pregnancy. In adults, the HDL-apoM-S1P complex protects the endothelium and maintains vascular integrity. However, the metabolism and biology of cord blood-derived HDLs (referred to as neonatal HDL, nHDL) strikingly differ from those in adults. Here, we investigate the role of neonatal HDLs in the regulation of placental vascular function. We show that nHDL is a major carrier of sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), which is anchored to the particle through apoM (r = 0.90, p < 0.0001) in the fetal circulation. Furthermore, this complex interacts with S1P receptors on the feto-placental endothelium and activates specifically extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases 1 and 2 (ERK) and phospholipase C (PLC) downstream signaling, promotes endothelial cell proliferation and calcium flux. Notably, the nHDL-S1P complex triggers actin filaments reorganization, leading to an enhancement of placental endothelial barrier function. Additionally, nHDL induces vasorelaxation of isolated placental chorionic arteries. Taken together, these results suggest that circulating nHDL exerts vasoprotective effects on the feto-placental endothelial barrier mainly via S1P signaling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbalip.2020.158632DOI Listing
April 2020

Endothelial lipase increases eNOS activating capacity of high-density lipoprotein.

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Biol Lipids 2020 04 7;1865(4):158612. Epub 2020 Jan 7.

Gottfried Schatz Research Center, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Medical University of Graz, Neue Stiftingtalstraße 6/6, 8010 Graz, Austria; BioTechMed-Graz, Mozartgasse 12/II, 8010 Graz, Austria. Electronic address:

Endothelial lipase (EL) changes structural and functional properties of high-density lipoprotein (HDL). HDL is a relevant modulator of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) activity, but the effect of EL on HDL induced eNOS-activation has not yet been investigated. Here, we examined the impact of EL-modified HDL (EL-HDL) on eNOS activity, subcellular trafficking, and eNOS- dependent vasorelaxation. EL-HDL and empty virus (EV)-HDL as control were isolated from human serum incubated with EL-overexpressing or EV infected HepG2 cells. EL-HDL exhibited higher capacity to induce eNOS phosphorylation at Ser1177 and eNOS activity in EA.hy 926 cells, as well as eNOS-dependent vasorelaxation of mouse aortic rings compared to control HDL. As revealed by confocal and structured illumination-microscopy EL-HDL-driven induction of eNOS was accompanied by an increased eNOS-GFP targeting to the plasma membrane and a lower eNOS-GFP colocalization with Golgi and mitochondria. Widefield microscopy of filipin stained cells revealed that EL-HDL lowered cellular free cholesterol (FC) and as found by thin-layer chromatography increased cellular cholesterol ester (CE) content. Additionally, cholesterol efflux capacity, acyl-coenzyme A: cholesterol acyltransferase activity, and HDL particle uptake were comparable between EL-HDL and control HDL. In conclusion, EL increases eNOS activating capacity of HDL, a phenomenon accompanied by an enrichment of the plasma membrane eNOS pool, a decreased cell membrane FC and increased cellular CE content.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbalip.2020.158612DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7116681PMC
April 2020

Lipid-modifying therapy in chronic kidney disease: Pathophysiological and clinical considerations.

Pharmacol Ther 2020 03 18;207:107459. Epub 2019 Dec 18.

Division of Pharmacology, Otto Loewi Research Center for Vascular Biology, Immunology and Inflammation, Medical University of Graz, Austria. Electronic address:

Chronic kidney disease (CKD), which affects >10% of the population worldwide, is associated with a dramatically increased rate of cardiovascular disease (CVD). More people with CKD will die from CVD than develop end-stage renal disease with dialysis-dependency. However, the contribution of classical atherosclerotic cardiovascular risk factors is less evident than in the general population. Particularly, the relationship between dyslipidemia and CVD morbidity and mortality in CKD patients is not as evident as in the general population. While LDL cholesterol-lowering drugs such as statins significantly reduce the rate of cardiovascular events in the general population, their role in patients with end-stage renal disease has been questioned. This could be caused by a shift from atherosclerotic to non-atherosclerotic CVD in patients with advanced CKD, which cannot be effectively prevented by lipid-lowering drugs. In addition, many lines of evidence suggest that impaired renal function directly affects the metabolism, composition and functionality of lipoproteins, which may affect their responsiveness to pharmacological interventions. In this review, we highlight the challenges for the therapeutic application of lipid-lowering treatment strategies in CKD and discuss why treatment strategies used in the general population cannot be applied uncritically to CKD patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pharmthera.2019.107459DOI Listing
March 2020

Platelet-derived factors impair placental chorionic gonadotropin beta-subunit synthesis.

J Mol Med (Berl) 2020 02 20;98(2):193-207. Epub 2019 Dec 20.

Division of Cell Biology, Histology and Embryology, Gottfried Schatz Research Center, Medical University of Graz, Neue Stiftingtalstraße 6, II, 8010, Graz, Austria.

During histiotrophic nutrition of the embryo, maternal platelets may be the first circulating maternal cells that find their way into the placental intervillous space through narrow intertrophoblastic gaps within the plugs of spiral arteries. Activation of platelets at the maternal-fetal interface can influence trophoblast behavior and has been implicated in serious pregnancy pathologies. Here, we show that platelet-derived factors impaired expression and secretion of the human chorionic gonadotropin beta-subunit (βhCG) in human first trimester placental explants and the trophoblast cell line BeWo. Impaired βhCG synthesis was not the consequence of hampered morphological differentiation, as assessed by analysis of differentiation-associated genes and electron microscopy. Platelet-derived factors did not affect intracellular cAMP levels and phosphorylation of CREB, but activated Smad3 and its downstream-target plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI)-1 in forskolin-induced BeWo cell differentiation. While TGF-β type I receptor inhibitor SB431542 did not restore impaired βhCG production in response to platelet-derived factors, Smad3 inhibitor SIS3 interfered with CREB activation, suggesting an interaction of cAMP/CREB and Smad3 signaling. Sequestration of transcription co-activators CBP/p300, known to bind both CREB and Smad3, may limit βhCG production, since CBP/p300 inhibitor C646 significantly restricted its forskolin-induced upregulation. In conclusion, our study suggests that degranulation of maternal platelets at the early maternal-fetal interface can impair placental βhCG production, without substantially affecting morphological and biochemical differentiation of villous trophoblasts. KEY MESSAGES: Maternal platelets can be detected on the surface of the placental villi and in intercellular gaps of trophoblast cell columns from gestational week 5 onwards. Platelet-derived factors impair hCG synthesis in human first trimester placenta. Platelet-derived factors activate Smad3 in trophoblasts. Smad3 inhibitor SIS3 interferes with forskolin-induced CREB signaling. Sequestration of CBP/p300 by activated Smad3 may limit placental hCG production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00109-019-01866-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7007904PMC
February 2020

Effects of a multispecies synbiotic on glucose metabolism, lipid marker, gut microbiome composition, gut permeability, and quality of life in diabesity: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study.

Eur J Nutr 2020 Oct 15;59(7):2969-2983. Epub 2019 Nov 15.

Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Medical University of Graz, Auenbruggerplatz 15, 8036, Graz, Austria.

Purpose: Diabesity, the combination of obesity and type 2 diabetes, is an ever-growing global health burden. Diabesity-associated dysbiosis of the intestinal microbiome has gained attention as a potential driver of disease and, therefore, a possible therapeutic target by means of pro- or prebiotic supplementation. This study tested the effects of a multispecies synbiotic (i.e. a combination of probiotics and prebiotics) on glucose metabolism, gut microbiota, gut permeability, neutrophil function and quality of life in treatment-experienced diabesity patients.

Methods: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study with 26 diabesity patients was conducted in which patients received a daily dose of a multispecies probiotic and a prebiotic (or a placebo) for 6 months.

Results: There were no changes in glucose metabolism or mixed meal tolerance test responses throughout the study. The analysis of secondary outcomes revealed beneficial effects on hip circumference [- 1 (95% CI - 4; 3) vs +3 (- 1; 8) cm, synbiotics vs. placebo, respectively, p = 0.04], serum zonulin [- 0.04 (- 0.2; 0.1) vs +0.3 (- 0.05; 0.6) ng/ml, p = 0.004)] and the physical role item of the SF36 quality of life assessment [+ 5.4 (- 1.7; 12.5) vs - 5.0 (- 10.1; 0.2) points, p = 0.02] after 3 months of intervention, and lipoprotein (a) [- 2.1 (- 5.7; 1.6) vs +3.4 (- 0.9; 7.9) mg/dl, p = 0.02] after 6 months. There were no significant differences in alpha or beta diversity of the microbiome between groups or time points.

Conclusions: Glucose metabolism as the primary outcome was unchanged during the intervention with a multispecies synbiotic in patients with diabesity. Nevertheless, synbiotics improved some symptoms and biomarkers of type 2 diabetes and aspects of quality of life suggesting a potential role as adjuvant tool in the management of diabesity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00394-019-02135-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7501130PMC
October 2020

Apolipoprotein A-IV acts as an endogenous anti-inflammatory protein and is reduced in treatment-naïve allergic patients and allergen-challenged mice.

Allergy 2020 02 10;75(2):392-402. Epub 2019 Sep 10.

Division of Pharmacology, Otto-Loewi Research Center for Vascular Biology, Immunology and Inflammation, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria.

Background: Recent studies pointed to a crucial role for apolipoproteins in the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases. However, the role of apolipoprotein-IV (ApoA-IV) in allergic inflammation has not been addressed thoroughly thus far.

Objective: Here, we explored the anti-inflammatory effects and underlying signaling pathways of ApoA-IV on eosinophil effector function in vitro and in vivo.

Methods: Migratory responsiveness, Ca -flux and apoptosis of human peripheral blood eosinophils were assessed in vitro. Allergen-driven airway inflammation was assessed in a mouse model of acute house dust mite-induced asthma. ApoA-IV serum levels were determined by ELISA.

Results: Recombinant ApoA-IV potently inhibited eosinophil responsiveness in vitro as measured by Ca -flux, shape change, integrin (CD11b) expression, and chemotaxis. The underlying molecular mechanism involved the activation of Rev-ErbA-α and induced a PI3K/PDK1/PKA-dependent signaling cascade. Systemic application of ApoA-IV prevented airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and airway eosinophilia in mice following allergen challenge. ApoA-IV levels were decreased in serum from allergic patients compared to healthy controls.

Conclusion: Our data suggest that ApoA-IV is an endogenous anti-inflammatory protein that potently suppresses effector cell functions in eosinophils. Thus, exogenously applied ApoA-IV may represent a novel pharmacological approach for the treatment of allergic inflammation and other eosinophil-driven disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/all.14022DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7065107PMC
February 2020

Endothelial lipase increases antioxidative capacity of high-density lipoprotein.

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Biol Lipids 2019 10 17;1864(10):1363-1374. Epub 2019 Jun 17.

Otto Loewi Research Center, Division of Physiological Chemistry, Medical University of Graz, Neue Stiftingtalstraße 6/3, 8010 Graz, Austria.

Endothelial lipase (EL) is a strong determinant of structural and functional properties of high-density lipoprotein (HDL). We examined whether the antioxidative capacity of HDL is affected by EL. EL-modified HDL (EL-HDL) and control EV-HDL were generated by incubation of HDL with EL- overexpressing or control HepG2 cells. As determined by native gradient gel electrophoresis, electron microscopy, and small-angle X-ray scattering EL-HDL is smaller than EV-HDL. Mass spectrometry revealed an enrichment of EL-HDL with lipolytic products and depletion of phospholipids and triacylglycerol. Kinetics of conjugated diene formation and HPLC-based malondialdehyde quantification revealed that EL-HDL exhibited a significantly higher resistance to copper ion-induced oxidation and a significantly higher capacity to protect low-density lipoprotein (LDL) from copper ion-induced oxidation when compared to EV-HDL. Depletion of the lipolytic products from EL-HDL abolished the capacity of EL-HDL to protect LDL from copper ion-induced oxidation, which could be partially restored by lysophosphatidylcholine enrichment. Proteomics of HDL incubated with oxidized LDL revealed significantly higher levels of methionine 136 sulfoxide in EL-HDL compared to EV-HDL. Chloramine T (oxidizes methionines and modifies free thiols), diminished the difference between EL-HDL and EV-HDL regarding the capacity to protect LDL from oxidation. In absence of LDL small EV-HDL and EL-HDL exhibited higher resistance to copper ion-induced oxidation when compared to respective large particles. In conclusion, the augmented antioxidative capacity of EL-HDL is primarily determined by the enrichment of HDL with EL-generated lipolytic products and to a lesser extent by the decreased HDL particle size and the increased activity of chloramine T-sensitive mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbalip.2019.06.011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6699986PMC
October 2019

Allergic rhinitis is associated with complex alterations in high-density lipoprotein composition and function.

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Biol Lipids 2019 10 8;1864(10):1280-1292. Epub 2019 Jun 8.

Division of Pharmacology, Otto Loewi Research Center for Vascular Biology, Immunology and Inflammation, Medical University of Graz, Universitätsplatz 4, 8010 Graz, Austria.; BioTechMed Graz, Mozartgasse 12/II, 8010 Graz, Austria. Electronic address:

Despite strong evidence that high-density lipoproteins (HDLs) modulate the immune response, the role of HDL in allergies is still poorly understood. Many patients with allergic rhinitis (AR) develop a late-phase response, characterized by infiltration of monocytes and eosinophils into the nasal submucosa. Functional impairment of HDL in AR-patients may insufficiently suppress inflammation and cell infiltration, but the effect of AR on the composition and function of HDL is not understood. We used apolipoprotein (apo) B-depleted serum as well as isolated HDL from AR-patients (n = 43) and non-allergic healthy controls (n = 20) for detailed compositional and functional characterization of HDL. Both AR-HDL and apoB-depleted serum of AR-patients showed decreased anti-oxidative capacity and impaired ability to suppress monocyte nuclear factor-κB expression and pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion, such as interleukin (IL)-4, IL-6, IL-8, tumor necrosis factor alpha and IL-1 beta. Sera of AR-patients showed decreased paraoxonase and cholesteryl-ester transfer protein activities, increased lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 activity, while lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase activity and cholesterol efflux capacity were not altered. Surprisingly, apoB-depleted serum and HDL from AR-patients showed an increased ability to suppress eosinophil effector responses upon eotaxin-2/CCL24 stimulation. Mass spectrometry and biochemical analyses showed reduced levels of apoA-I and phosphatidylcholine, but increased levels of apoA-II, triglycerides and lyso-phosphatidylcholine in AR-HDL. The changes in AR-HDL composition were associated with altered functional properties. In conclusion, AR alters HDL composition linked to decreased anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties but improves the ability of HDL to suppress eosinophil effector responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbalip.2019.06.007DOI Listing
October 2019

Human myeloperoxidase (hMPO) is expressed in neurons in the substantia nigra in Parkinson's disease and in the hMPO-α-synuclein-A53T mouse model, correlating with increased nitration and aggregation of α-synuclein and exacerbation of motor impairment.

Free Radic Biol Med 2019 09 6;141:115-140. Epub 2019 Jun 6.

Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA. Electronic address:

α-Synuclein (αSyn) is central to the neuropathology of Parkinson's disease (PD) due to its propensity for misfolding and aggregation into neurotoxic oligomers. Nitration/oxidation of αSyn leads to dityrosine crosslinking and aggregation. Myeloperoxidase (MPO) is an oxidant-generating enzyme implicated in neurodegenerative diseases. In the present work we have examined the impact of MPO in PD through analysis of postmortem PD brain and in a novel animal model in which we crossed a transgenic mouse expressing the human MPO (hMPO) gene to a mouse expressing human αSyn-A53T mutant (A53T) (hMPO-A53T). Surprisingly, our results show that in PD substantia nigra, the hMPO gene is expressed in neurons containing aggregates of nitrated αSyn as well as MPO-generated HOCl-modified epitopes. In our hMPO-A53T mouse model, we also saw hMPO expression in neurons but not mouse MPO. In the mouse model, hMPO was expressed in neurons colocalizing with nitrated αSyn, carbamylated lysine, nitrotyrosine, as well as HOCl-modified epitopes/proteins. RNAscope in situ hybridization confirmed hMPO mRNA expression in neurons. Interestingly, the hMPO protein expressed in hMPO-A53T brain is primarily the precursor proMPO, which enters the secretory pathway potentially resulting in interneuronal transmission of MPO and oxidative species. Importantly, the hMPO-A53T mouse model, when compared to the A53T model, exhibited significant exacerbation of motor impairment on rotating rods, balance beams, and wire hang tests. Further, hMPO expression in the A53T model resulted in earlier onset of end stage paralysis. Interestingly, there was a high concentration of αSyn aggregates in the stratum lacunosum moleculare of hippocampal CA2 region, which has been associated in humans with accumulation of αSyn pathology and neural atrophy in dementia with Lewy bodies. This accumulation of αSyn aggregates in CA2 was associated with markers of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and the unfolded protein response with expression of activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4), C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP), MPO, and cleaved caspase-3. Together these findings suggest that MPO plays an important role in nitrative and oxidative damage that contributes to αSyn pathology in synucleinopathies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2019.05.033DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6774439PMC
September 2019

Butyrate ameliorates allergic airway inflammation by limiting eosinophil trafficking and survival.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2019 09 11;144(3):764-776. Epub 2019 May 11.

Otto Loewi Research Center for Vascular Biology, Immunology and Inflammation, Division of Pharmacology, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria; BioTechMed-Graz, Graz, Austria. Electronic address:

Background: Lung eosinophilia is a hallmark of asthma, and eosinophils are believed to play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of allergic inflammatory diseases. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), such as acetate, propionate, and butyrate, are produced in high amounts in the gastrointestinal tract by commensal bacteria and can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Although there is recent evidence that SCFAs are beneficial in allergic asthma models, the effect on eosinophils has remained elusive.

Objective: The role of SCFAs was investigated in human eosinophil function and a mouse model of allergic asthma.

Methods: Eosinophils were purified from self-reported allergic or healthy donors. Migration, adhesion to the endothelium, and eosinophil survival were studied in vitro. Ca flux, apoptosis, mitochondrial membrane potential, and expression of surface markers were determined by using flow cytometry and in part by using real-time PCR. Allergic airway inflammation was assessed in vivo in an ovalbumin-induced asthma model by using invasive spirometry.

Results: For the first time, we observed that SCFAs were able to attenuate human eosinophils at several functional levels, including (1) adhesion to the endothelium, (2) migration, and (3) survival. These effects were independent from GPR41 and GPR43 but were accompanied by histone acetylation and mimicked by trichostatin A, a pan-histone deacetylase inhibitor. In vivo butyrate ameliorated allergen-induced airway and lung eosinophilia, reduced type 2 cytokine levels in bronchial fluid, and improved airway hyperresponsiveness in mice.

Conclusion: These in vitro and in vivo findings highlight the importance of SCFAs, especially butyrate as a promising therapeutic agent in allergic inflammatory diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2019.05.002DOI Listing
September 2019

Atrial fibrillation is associated with alterations in HDL function, metabolism, and particle number.

Basic Res Cardiol 2019 05 8;114(4):27. Epub 2019 May 8.

Department of Electrophysiology, Heart Center Leipzig-University Hospital of Cardiology, Leipzig, Germany.

Increased morbidity and mortality in atrial fibrillation (AF) are related to the pro-fibrotic, pro-thrombotic, and pro-inflammatory processes that underpin the disease. High-density lipoproteins (HDL) have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and anti-thrombotic properties. Functional impairment of HDL may, therefore, associate with AF initiation or progression. We studied indices of HDL quality and quantity of AF patients and healthy controls, including HDL-particle number, HDL cholesterol, apolipoprotein (apo) A-I levels, serum amyloid A (SAA) content and HDL-cholesterol efflux capacity, and paraoxonase activity of apoB-depleted serum. Serum samples were collected from AF patients (n = 91) before catheter ablation and from age- and sex-matched control subjects (n = 54). HDL-cholesterol efflux capacity was assessed in a validated assay using [H]-cholesterol-labeled J774 macrophages. Lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) and paraoxonase activities were assessed using fluorometric assays, SAA levels were determined by ELISA, and total and subclass HDL-particle number was assessed by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. ApoA-I levels were determined by immunoturbidimetry. HDL-cholesterol efflux capacity, HDL-particle number, apoA-I levels, and LCAT activity were markedly reduced in AF patients when compared to healthy individuals (all p < 0.001), whereas HDL-associated paraoxonase activity and SAA content were not altered (p = 0.578, p = 0.681). Notably, cholesterol efflux capacity, HDL-particle number, apoA-I levels as well as LCAT activity recovered following restoration of sinus rhythm (all p < 0.001). We identified marked alterations in HDL function, HDL maturation, and HDL-particle number in AF patients. Assessing HDL-particle number and function in AF may be used as a surrogate marker of AF onset and progression and may help identifying patients at high risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00395-019-0735-0DOI Listing
May 2019

Metabolic disease and ABHD6 alter the circulating bis(monoacylglycerol)phosphate profile in mice and humans.

J Lipid Res 2019 05 20;60(5):1020-1031. Epub 2019 Mar 20.

Institute of Molecular Biosciences, University of Graz, Graz, Austria; BioTechMed-Graz Graz, Austria. Electronic address:

Bis(monoacylglycerol)phosphate (BMP) is a phospholipid that is crucial for lipid degradation and sorting in acidic organelles. Genetic and drug-induced lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs) are associated with increased BMP concentrations in tissues and in the circulation. Data on BMP in disorders other than LSDs, however, are scarce, and key enzymes regulating BMP metabolism remain elusive. Here, we demonstrate that common metabolic disorders and the intracellular BMP hydrolase α/β-hydrolase domain-containing 6 (ABHD6) affect BMP metabolism in mice and humans. In mice, dietary lipid overload strongly affects BMP concentration and FA composition in the liver and plasma, similar to what has been observed in LSDs. Notably, distinct changes in the BMP FA profile enable a clear distinction between lipid overload and drug-induced LSDs. Global deletion of ABHD6 increases circulating BMP concentrations but does not cause LSDs. In humans, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and liver cirrhosis affect the serum BMP FA composition and concentration. Furthermore, we identified a patient with a loss-of-function mutation in the gene, leading to an altered circulating BMP profile. In conclusion, our results suggest that common metabolic diseases and ABHD6 affect BMP metabolism in mice and humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1194/jlr.M093351DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6495172PMC
May 2019

Comment on Mathew et al. Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Improve HDL Function by Inhibiting Myeloperoxidase-Mediated Oxidation in Patients With Metabolic Syndrome. Diabetes Care 2018;41:2431-2437.

Diabetes Care 2019 02;42(2):e25

Division of Pharmacology, Otto Loewi Research Centre, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/dc18-2026DOI Listing
February 2019

HDL subclasses and mortality in acute heart failure patients.

Clin Chim Acta 2019 Mar 19;490:81-87. Epub 2018 Dec 19.

Gottfried Schatz Research Center for Cell Signaling, Metabolism and Aging, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Medical University of Graz, Neue Stiftingtalstraße 6/6, 8010 Graz, Austria; BioTechMed-Graz, Mozartgasse 12/II, 8010 Graz, Austria. Electronic address:

The link between HDL subclasses and the prognosis of cardiovascular diseases remains controversial. We thus evaluated the prognostic value of the HDL subclasses 3 and 2 cholesterol (HDL3-C, HDL2-C) as well as of total HDL-C for 3-month mortality in acute heart failure (AHF) patients. The serum levels of HDL3-C and total HDL-C were determined by detergent-based homogeneous assay. HDL2-C was computed by the difference between total HDL-C and HDL3-C. Out of the 132 analyzed patients, 35 (26.5%) died within three months after onset of AHF. Univariate logistic regression analyses revealed a significant inverse association of HDL3-C (odds ratio (OR) 0.46 per 1-SD increase, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.27-0.72, p = 0.001) with 3-month mortality, whereas concentrations of total HDL-C and HDL2-C showed no significant association. After adjustment for various laboratory and clinical parameters known to be associated with mortality in heart failure patients, HDL3-C concentrations remained significantly associated with 3-month mortality (OR 0.34 per 1-SD increase, 95% CI 0.15-0.74, p =0.010). We conclude that low admission serum levels of HDL3-C are associated with an increased 3-month mortality in AHF patients, whereas total HDL-C and HDL2-C showed no association. HDL3-C might thus be useful as a prognostic parameter in AHF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cca.2018.12.020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6591134PMC
March 2019

Imatinib stimulates prostaglandin E and attenuates cytokine release via EP4 receptor activation.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2019 02 16;143(2):794-797.e10. Epub 2018 Oct 16.

Division of Pharmacology, Otto Loewi Research Center, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2018.09.030DOI Listing
February 2019