- Association of a common TLR-6 polymorphism with coronary artery disease – implications for healthy ageing? (2013)
- Background: The pro-inflammatory status of the elderly triggers most of the age-related diseases such as cancer and atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis, the leading cause world wide of morbidity and death, is an inflammatory disease influenced by life-style and genetic host factors. Stimuli such as oxLDL or microbial ligands have been proposed to trigger inflammation leading to atherosclerosis. It has recently been shown that oxLDL activates immune cells via the Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4/6 complex. Several common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the TLR system have been associated with atherosclerosis. To investigate the role of TLR-6 we analyzed the association of the TLR-6 SNP Pro249Ser with atherogenesis. Results: Genotyping of two independent groups with CAD, as well as of healthy controls revealed a significant association of the homozygous genotype with a reduced risk for atherosclerosis (odds ratio: 0.69, 95% CI 0.51-0.95, P = 0.02). In addition, we found a trend towards an association with the risk of restenosis after transluminal coronary angioplasty (odds ratio: 0.53, 95% CI 0.24-1.16, P = 0.12). In addition, first evidence is presented that the frequency of this protective genotype increases in a healthy population with age. Taken together, our results define a role for TLR-6 and its genetic variations in modulating the inflammatory response leading to atherosclerosis. Conclusions: These results may lead to a better risk stratification, and potentially to an improved prophylactic treatment of high-risk populations. Furthermore, the protective effect of this polymorphism may lead to an increase of this genotype in the healthy elderly and may therefore be a novel genetic marker for the well-being during aging.
- Attenuation of myocardial injury by HMGB1 blockade during ischemia/reperfusion is toll-like receptor 2-dependent (2013)
- Genetic or pharmacological ablation of toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) protects against myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury (MI/R). However, the endogenous ligand responsible for TLR2 activation has not yet been detected. The objective of this study was to identify HMGB1 as an activator of TLR2 signalling during MI/R. C57BL/6 wild-type (WT) or TLR2(-/-)-mice were injected with vehicle, HMGB1, or HMGB1 BoxA one hour before myocardial ischemia (30 min) and reperfusion (24 hrs). Infarct size, cardiac troponin T, leukocyte infiltration, HMGB1 release, TLR4-, TLR9-, and RAGE-expression were quantified. HMGB1 plasma levels were measured in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. HMGB1 antagonist BoxA reduced cardiomyocyte necrosis during MI/R in WT mice, accompanied by reduced leukocyte infiltration. Injection of HMGB1 did, however, not increase infarct size in WT animals. In TLR2(-/-)-hearts, neither BoxA nor HMGB1 affected infarct size. No differences in RAGE and TLR9 expression could be detected, while TLR2(-/-)-mice display increased TLR4 and HMGB1 expression. Plasma levels of HMGB1 were increased MI/R in TLR2(-/-)-mice after CABG surgery in patients carrying a TLR2 polymorphism (Arg753Gln). We here provide evidence that absence of TLR2 signalling abrogates infarct-sparing effects of HMGB1 blockade.
- CpG oligonucleotide activates Toll-like receptor 9 and causes lung inflammation in vivo (2007)
- Background Bacterial DNA containing motifs of unmethylated CpG dinucleotides (CpG-ODN) initiate an innate immune response mediated by the pattern recognition receptor Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9). This leads in particular to the expression of proinflammatory mediators such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta). TLR9 is expressed in human and murine pulmonary tissue and induction of proinflammatory mediators has been linked to the development of acute lung injury. Therefore, the hypothesis was tested whether CpG-ODN administration induces an inflammatory response in the lung via TLR9 in vivo. Methods Wild-type (WT) and TLR9-deficient (TLR9-D) mice received CpG-ODN intraperitoneally (1668-Thioat, 1 nmol/g BW) and were observed for up to 6 hrs. Lung tissue and plasma samples were taken and various inflammatory markers were measured. Results In WT mice, CpG-ODN induced a strong activation of pulmonary NFKB as well as a significant increase in pulmonary TNF-alpha and IL-1beta mRNA/protein. In addition, cytokine serum levels were significantly elevated in WT mice. Increased pulmonary content of lung myeloperoxidase (MPO) was documented in WT mice following application of CpG-ODN. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) revealed that CpG-ODN stimulation significantly increased total cell number as well as neutrophil count in WT animals. In contrast, the CpG-ODN-induced inflammatory response was abolished in TLR9-D mice. Conclusion This study suggests that bacterial CpG-ODN causes lung inflammation via TLR9.
- FTY720 treatment in the convalescence period improves functional recovery and reduces reactive astrogliosis in photothrombotic stroke (2013)
- Background: The Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) signaling pathway is known to influence pathophysiological processes within the brain and the synthetic S1P analog FTY720 has been shown to provide neuroprotection in experimental models of acute stroke. However, the effects of a manipulation of S1P signaling at later time points after experimental stroke have not yet been investigated. We examined whether a relatively late initiation of a FTY720 treatment has a positive effect on long-term neurological outcome with a focus on reactive astrogliosis, synapses and neurotrophic factors. Methods: We induced photothrombotic stroke (PT) in adult C57BL/6J mice and allowed them to recover for three days. Starting on post-stroke day 3, mice were treated with FTY720 (1 mg/kg b.i.d.) for 5 days. Behavioral outcome was observed until day 31 after photothrombosis and periinfarct cortical tissue was analyzed using tandem mass-spectrometry, TaqMan®analysis and immunofluorescence. Results: FTY720 treatment results in a significantly better functional outcome persisting up to day 31 after PT. This is accompanied by a significant decrease in reactive astrogliosis and larger post-synaptic densities as well as changes in the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor α (VEGF α). Within the periinfarct cortex, S1P is significantly increased compared to healthy brain tissue. Conclusion: Besides its known neuroprotective effects in the acute phase of experimental stroke, the initiation of FTY720 treatment in the convalescence period has a positive impact on long-term functional outcome, probably mediated through reduced astrogliosis, a modulation in synaptic morphology and an increased expression of neurotrophic factors.
- Genetic variation of TLR4 influences immunoendocrine stress response: an observational study in cardiac surgical patients (2011)
- Introduction: Systemic inflammation (e.g. following surgery) involves Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling and leads to an endocrine stress response. This study aims to investigate a possible influence of TLR2 and TLR4 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on perioperative adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol regulation in serum of cardiac surgical patients. To investigate the link to systemic inflammation in this context, we additionally measured 10 different cytokines in the serum. Methods: 338 patients admitted for elective cardiac surgery were included in this prospective observational clinical cohort study. Genomic DNA of patients was screened for TLR2 and TLR4 SNPs. Serum concentrations of ACTH, cortisol, interferon (IFN)-, interleukin (IL)-1, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)- and granulocyte macro-phage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) were determined before surgery, immediately post surgery and on the first postoperative day. Results: 13 patients were identified as TLR2 SNP carrier, 51 as TLR4 SNP carrier and 274 pa-tients as non-carrier. Basal levels of ACTH, cortisol and cytokines did not differ between groups. In all three groups a significant, transient perioperative rise of cortisol could be ob-served. However, only in the non-carrier group this was accompanied by a significant ACTH rise, TLR4 SNP carriers had significant lower ACTH levels compared to non-carriers ((mean[95% confidence intervals]) non-carriers: 201.9[187.7 to 216.1]pg/ml; TLR4 SNP car-riers: 149.9[118.4 to 181.5]pg/ml; TLR2 SNP carriers: 176.4[110.5 to 242.3]pg/ml). Compared to non-carriers, TLR4 SNP carriers showed significant lower serum IL-8, IL-10 and GM-CSF peaks ((mean[95% confidence intervals]): IL-8: non-carriers: 42.6[36.7 to 48.5]pg/ml, TLR4 SNP carriers: 23.7[10.7 to 36.8]pg/ml; IL-10: non-carriers: 83.8[70.3 to 97.4]pg/ml, TLR4 SNP carriers: 54.2[24.1 to 84.2]pg/ml; GM-CSF: non-carriers: 33.0[27.8 to 38.3]pg/ml, TLR4 SNP carriers: 20.2[8.6 to 31.8]pg/ml). No significant changes over time or between the groups were found for the other cytokines. Conclusions: Regulation of the immunoendocrine stress response during systemic inflamma-tion is influenced by the presence of a TLR4 SNP. Cardiac surgical patients carrying this ge-notype showed decreased serum concentrations of ACTH, IL-8, IL-10 and GM-CSF. This finding might have impact on interpreting previous and designing future trials on diagnosing and modulating immunoendocrine dysregulation (e.g. adrenal insufficiency) during systemic inflammation and sepsis.
- Hypothermia and postconditioning after cardiopulmonary resuscitation reduce cardiac dysfunction by modulating inflammation, apoptosis and remodeling (2009)
- Background: Mild therapeutic hypothermia following cardiac arrest is neuroprotective, but its effect on myocardial dysfunction that is a critical issue following resuscitation is not clear. This study sought to examine whether hypothermia and the combination of hypothermia and pharmacological postconditioning are cardioprotective in a model of cardiopulmonary resuscitation following acute myocardial ischemia. Methodology/Principal Findings: Thirty pigs (28–34 kg) were subjected to cardiac arrest following left anterior descending coronary artery ischemia. After 7 minutes of ventricular fibrillation and 2 minutes of basic life support, advanced cardiac life support was started according to the current AHA guidelines. After successful return of spontaneous circulation (n = 21), coronary perfusion was reestablished after 60 minutes of occlusion, and animals were randomized to either normothermia at 38°C, hypothermia at 33°C or hypothermia at 33°C combined with sevoflurane (each group n = 7) for 24 hours. The effects on cardiac damage especially on inflammation, apoptosis, and remodeling were studied using cellular and molecular approaches. Five animals were sham operated. Animals treated with hypothermia had lower troponin T levels (p<0.01), reduced infarct size (34±7 versus 57±12%; p<0.05) and improved left ventricular function compared to normothermia (p<0.05). Hypothermia was associated with a reduction in: (i) immune cell infiltration, (ii) apoptosis, (iii) IL-1beta and IL-6 mRNA up-regulation, and (iv) IL-1beta protein expression (p<0.05). Moreover, decreased matrix metalloproteinase-9 activity was detected in the ischemic myocardium after treatment with mild hypothermia. Sevoflurane conferred additional protective effects although statistic significance was not reached. Conclusions/Significance: Hypothermia reduced myocardial damage and dysfunction after cardiopulmonary resuscitation possible via a reduced rate of apoptosis and pro-inflammatory cytokine expression.
- Influence of genetic variations in TLR4 and TIRAP/Mal on the course of sepsis and pneumonia and cytokine release: an observational study in three cohorts (2010)
- Introduction: It has been proposed that individual genetic variation contributes to the course of severe infections and sepsis. Recent studies of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the endotoxin receptor and its signaling system showed an association with the risk of disease development. This study aims to examine the response associated with genetic variations of TLR4, the receptor for bacterial LPS, and a central intracellular signal transducer (TIRAP/Mal) on cytokine release and for susceptibility and course of severe hospital acquired infections in distinct patient populations. Methods: Three intensive care units in tertiary care university hospitals in Greece and Germany participated. 375 and 415 postoperative patients and 159 patients with ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) were included. TLR4 and TIRAP/Mal polymorphisms in 375 general surgical patients were associated with risk of infection, clinical course and outcome. In two prospective studies, 415 patients following cardiac surgery and 159 patients with newly diagnosed VAP predominantly caused by Gram-negative bacteria were studied for cytokine levels in-vivo and after ex-vivo monocyte stimulation and clinical course. Results: Patients simultaneously carrying polymorphisms in TIRAP/Mal and TLR4 and patients homozygous for the TIRAP/Mal SNP had a significantly higher risk of severe infections after surgery (odds ratio (OR) 5.5; confidence interval (CI): 1.34 - 22.64; P = 0.02 and OR: 7.3; CI: 1.89 - 28.50; P < 0.01 respectively). Additionally we found significantly lower circulating cytokine levels in double-mutant individuals with ventilator associated pneumonia and reduced cytokine production in an ex-vivo monocyte stimulation assay, but this difference was not apparent in TIRAP/Mal-homozygous patients. In cardiac surgery patients without infection, the cytokine release profiles were not changed when comparing different genotypes. Conclusions: Carriers of mutations in sequential components of the TLR signaling system may have an increased risk for severe infections. Patients with this genotype showed a decrease in cytokine release when infected which was not apparent in patients with sterile inflammation following cardiac surgery.
- Sphingosine 1-phosphate in renal diseases (2013)
- Because of its highly bioactive properties sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) is an attractive target for the treatment of several diseases. Since the expression of sphingosine kinases as well as S1P receptors was demonstrated in the kidney, questions about the physiological and pathophysiological functions of S1P in this organ have been raised. In this review, we summarize the current state of knowledge about S1P-mediated functions in the kidney. A special focus is put on S1P modulated signal transduction in renal glomerular and tubular cells and consequences for the development and treatment of several kidney diseases, diabetic nephropathy, glomerulonephritis, ischemia-reperfusion injury, as well as for Wilms tumor progression.
- Superimposed high-frequency jet ventilation combined with continuous positive airway pressure/assisted spontaneous breathing improves oxygenation in patients with H1N1-associated ARDS (2012)
- Background: Numerous cases of swine-origin 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus (H1N1)-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) bridged by extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) therapy have been reported; however, complication rates are high. We present our experience with H1N1-associated ARDS and successful bridging of lung function using superimposed high-frequency jet ventilation (SHFJV) in combination with continuous positive airway pressure/assisted spontaneous breathing (CPAP/ASB). Methods: We admitted five patients with H1N1 infection and ARDS to our intensive care unit. Although all patients required pure oxygen and controlled ventilation, oxygenation was insufficient. We applied SHFJV/CPAP/ASB to improve oxygenation. Results: Initial PaO2/FiO2 ratio prior SHFJV was 58-79 mmHg. In all patients, successful oxygenation was achieved by SHFJV (PaO2/FiO2 ratio 105-306 mmHg within 24 h). Spontaneous breathing was set during first hours after admission. SHFJV could be stopped after 39, 40, 72, 100, or 240 h. Concomitant pulmonary herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection was observed in all patients. Two patients were successfully discharged. The other three patients relapsed and died within 7 weeks mainly due to combined HSV infection and in two cases reoccurring H1N1 infection. Conclusions: SHFJV represents an alternative to bridge lung function successfully and improve oxygenation in the critically ill.