- Treatment with the immunomodulator FTY720 does not promote spontaneous bacterial infections after experimental stroke in mice (2011)
- Background: FTY720, an immunomodulator derived from a fungal metabolite which reduces circulating lymphocyte counts by increasing the homing of lymphocytes to the lymph nodes has recently gained interest in stroke research. The aim of this study was to evaluate the protective efficacy of FTY720 in cerebral ischemia in two different application paradigms and to gather first data on the effect of FTY720 on the rate of spontaneous bacterial infections in experimental stroke. Methods: Middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in C57BL/6 mice (strain J, groups of 10 animals) was performed with two different durations of ischemia (90 min and 3 h) and FTY720 was applied 2 h after vessel occlusion to study the impact of reperfusion on the protective potency of FTY720. Lesion size was determined by TTC staining. Mice treated with FTY720 or vehicle were sacrificed 48 h after 90 min MCAO to determine the bacterial burden in lung and blood. Results: FTY720 1 mg/kg significantly reduced ischemic lesion size when administered 2 h after the onset of MCAO for 3 h (45.4 +/- 22.7 mm3 vs. 84.7 +/- 23.6 mm3 in control mice, p = 0.001) and also when administered after reperfusion, 2 h after the onset of MCAO for 90 min (31.1 +/- 28.49 mm3 vs. 69.6 +/- 27.2 mm3 in control mice, p = 0.013). Bacterial burden of lung homogenates 48 h after stroke did not increase in the group treated with the immunomodulator FTY720 while there was no spontaneous bacteremia 48 h after MCAO in treated and untreated animals. Conclusions: Our results corroborate the experimental evidence of the protective effect of FTY720 seen in different rodent stroke models. Interestingly, we found no increase in bacterial lung infections even though FTY720 strongly reduces the number of circulating leukocytes.
- Warfarin anticoagulation exacerbates the risk of hemorrhagic transformation after rt-PA treatment in experimental stroke: therapeutic potential of PCC (2011)
- Background: Oral anticoagulant therapy (OAT) with warfarin is the standard of stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation. Approximately 30% of patients with cardioembolic strokes are on OAT at the time of symptom onset. We investigated whether warfarin exacerbates the risk of thrombolysis-associated hemorrhagic transformation (HT) in a mouse model of ischemic stroke. Methods: 62 C57BL/6 mice were used for this study. To achieve effective anticoagulation, warfarin was administered orally. We performed right middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) for 3 h and assessed functional deficit and HT blood volume after 24 h. Results: In non-anticoagulated mice, treatment with rt-PA (10 mg/kg i.v.) after 3 h MCAO led to a 5-fold higher degree of HT compared to vehicle-treated controls (4.0±0.5 µl vs. 0.8±0.1, p<0.001). Mice on warfarin revealed larger amounts of HT after rt-PA treatment in comparison to non-anticoagulated mice (9.2±3.2 µl vs. 2.8±1.0, p<0.05). The rapid reversal of anticoagulation by means of prothrombin complex concentrates (PCC, 100 IU/kg) at the end of the 3 h MCAO period, but prior to rt-PA administration, neutralized the exacerbated risk of HT as compared to sham-treated controls (3.8±0.7 µl vs. 15.0±3.8, p<0.001). Conclusion: In view of the vastly increased risk of HT, it seems to be justified to withhold tPA therapy in effectively anticoagulated patients with acute ischemic stroke. The rapid reversal of anticoagulation with PCC prior to tPA application reduces the risk attributed to warfarin pretreatment and may constitute an interesting therapeutic option.
- No influence of dabigatran anticoagulation on hemorrhagic transformation in an experimental model of ischemic stroke (2012)
- Background: Dabigatran etexilate (DE) is a new oral direct thrombin inhibitor. Clinical trials point towards a favourable risk-to-benefit profile of DE compared to warfarin. In this study, we evaluated whether hemorrhagic transformation (HT) occurs after experimental stroke under DE treatment as we have shown for warfarin. Methods: 44 male C57BL/6 mice were pretreated orally with 37.5 mg/kg DE, 75 mg/kg DE or saline and diluted thrombin time (dTT) and DE plasma concentrations were monitored. Ischemic stroke was induced by transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) for 1 h or 3 h. We assessed functional outcome and HT blood volume 24 h and 72 h after tMCAO. Results: After 1 h tMCAO, HT blood volume did not differ significantly between mice pretreated with DE 37.5 mg/kg and controls (1.5±0.5 µl vs. 1.8±0.5 µl, p>0.05). After 3 h tMCAO, DE-anticoagulated mice did also not show an increase in HT, neither at the dose of 37.5 mg/kg equivalent to anticoagulant treatment in the therapeutic range (1.3±0.9 µl vs. control 2.3±0.5 µl, p>0.05) nor at 75 mg/kg, clearly representing supratherapeutic anticoagulation (1.8±0.8 µl, p>0.05). Furthermore, no significant increase in HT under continued anticoagulation with DE 75 mg/kg could be found at 72 h after tMCAO for 1 h (1.7±0.9 µl vs. control 1.6±0.4 µl, p>0.05). Conclusion: Our experimental data suggest that DE does not significantly increase hemorrhagic transformation after transient focal cerebral ischemia in mice. From a translational viewpoint, this indicates that a continuation of DE anticoagulation in case of an ischemic stroke might be safe, but clearly, clinical data on this question are warranted.
- 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.
- ADAM10 is expressed in human podocytes and found in urinary vesicles of patients with glomerular kidney diseases (2010)
- Background: The importance of the Notch signaling in the development of glomerular diseases has been recently described. Therefore we analyzed in podocytes the expression and activity of ADAM10, one important component of the Notch signaling complex. Methods: By Western blot, immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry analysis we characterized the expression of ADAM10 in human podocytes, human urine and human renal tissue. Results: We present evidence, that differentiated human podocytes possessed increased amounts of mature ADAM10 and released elevated levels of L1 adhesion molecule, one well known substrate of ADAM10. By using specific siRNA and metalloproteinase inhibitors we demonstrate that ADAM10 is involved in the cleavage of L1 in human podocytes. Injury of podocytes enhanced the ADAM10 mediated cleavage of L1. In addition, we detected ADAM10 in urinary podocytes from patients with kidney diseases and in tissue sections of normal human kidney. Finally, we found elevated levels of ADAM10 in urinary vesicles of patients with glomerular kidney diseases. Conclusions: The activity of ADAM10 in human podocytes may play an important role in the development of glomerular kidney diseases.
- The Bologna agreement is not suitable for medical education: a German view (2010)
- Central elements of the Bologna declaration have been implemented in a huge variety of curricula in humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and engineering sciences at German universities. Overall the results have been nothing less than disastrous. Surprisingly, this seems to be the perfect time for German universities to talk about introducing a curriculum that is fully compatible with the Bologna declaration for medical education as well. However, German medical education does not have problems the Bologna declaration is intended to solve, such as quality, mobility, internationalization and employability. It is already in the Post-Bologna age.
- Failure of interferon gamma to induce the anti-inflammatory interleukin 18 binding protein in familial hemophagocytosis (2010)
- Background: Familial hemophagocytosis (FHL) is a rare disease associated with defects in proteins involved in CD8+ T-cell cytotoxicity. Hyperactivation of immune cells results in a perilous, Th1-driven cytokine storm. We set out to explore the regulation of cytokines in an FHL patient who was clinically stable on low-dose immunosuppressive therapy after bone marrow transplantation over a six-month period. During this period, chimerism analyses showed that the fraction of host cells was between 1 and 10%. Both parents of the patient as well as healthy volunteers were studied for comparison. Methods/Principal Findings: Using ELISA, quantitative real-time PCR, and clinical laboratory methods, we investigated constitutive and inducible cytokines, polymorphisms, and clinical parameters in whole blood and whole blood cultures. Although routine laboratory tests were within the normal range, the chemokines IP-10 and IL-8 as well as the cytokine IL-27p28 were increased up to 10-fold under constitutive and stimulated conditions compared to healthy controls. Moreover, high levels of IFNgamma and TNFalpha were produced upon stimulation. Unexpectedly, IFNgamma induction of IL-18 binding protein (IL-18BP) was markedly reduced (1.6-fold vs 5-fold in controls). The patient's mother featured intermediately increased cytokine levels, whereas levels in the father were similar to those in the controls. Conclusions/Significance: Since IL-18 plays a major role in perpetuating hemophagocytosis, the failure of IFNgamma to induce IL-18BP may constitute a fundamental pathogenetic mechanism. Furthermore, increased production of IL-8 and IL-27 appears to be associated with this disease. Such dysregulation of cytokines was also found in the heterozygous parents, providing a novel insight into genotype-phenotype correlation of FHL which may encourage future research of this rare disease.
- PAX2 regulates ADAM10 expression and mediates anchorage-independent cell growth of melanoma cells (2011)
- PAX transcription factors play an important role during development and carcinogenesis. In this study, we investigated PAX2 protein levels in melanocytes and melanoma cells by Western Blot and immunofluorescence analysis and characterized the role of PAX2 in the pathogenesis of melanoma. In vitro we found weak PAX2 protein expression in keratinocytes and melanocytes. Compared to melanocytes increased PAX2 protein levels were detectable in melanoma cell lines. Interestingly, in tissue sections of melanoma patients nuclear PAX2 expression strongly correlated with nuclear atypia and the degree of prominent nucleoli, indicating an association of PAX2 with a more atypical cellular phenotype. In addition, with chromatin immunoprecipitation assay, PAX2 overexpression and PAX2 siRNA we present compelling evidence that PAX2 can regulate ADAM10 expression, a metalloproteinase known to play important roles in melanoma metastasis. In human tissue samples we found co-expression of PAX2 and ADAM10 in melanocytes of benign nevi and in melanoma cells of patients with malignant melanoma. Importantly, the downregulation of PAX2 by specific siRNA inhibited the anchorage independent cell growth and decreased the migratory and invasive capacity of melanoma cells. Furthermore, the downregulation of PAX2 abrogated the chemoresistance of melanoma cells against cisplatin, indicating that PAX2 expression mediates cell survival and plays important roles during melanoma progression.
- Wound healing in mice with high-fat diet- or ob gene-induced diabetes-obesity syndromes: a comparative study (2010)
- In the past, the genetically diabetic-obese diabetes/diabetes (db/db) and obese/obese (ob/ob) mouse strains were used to investigate mechanisms of diabetes-impaired wound healing. Here we determined patterns of skin repair in genetically normal C57Bl/6J mice that were fed using a high fat diet (HFD) to induce a diabetes-obesity syndrome. Wound closure was markedly delayed in HFD-fed mice compared to mice which had received a standard chow diet (CD). Impaired wound tissue of HFD mice showed a marked prolongation of wound inflammation. Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was delayed and associated with the disturbed formation of wound margin epithelia and an impaired angiogenesis in the reduced granulation tissue. Normal wound contraction was retarded and disordered. Wound disorders in obese C57Bl/6J mice were paralleled by a prominent degradation of the inhibitor of NFκB (IκB-α) in the absence of an Akt activation. By contrast to impaired wound conditions in ob/ob mice, late wounds of HFD mice did not develop a chronic inflammatory state and were epithelialized after 11 days of repair. Thus, only genetically obese and diabetic ob/ob mice finally developed chronic wounds and therefore represent a better suited experimental model to investigate diabetes-induced wound healing disorders.
- IL-27 Regulates IL-18 binding protein in skin resident cells (2012)
- IL-18 is an important mediator involved in chronic inflammatory conditions such as cutaneous lupus erythematosus, psoriasis and chronic eczema. An imbalance between IL-18 and its endogenous antagonist IL-18 binding protein (BP) may account for increased IL-18 activity. IL-27 is a cytokine with dual function displaying pro- and anti-inflammatory properties. Here we provide evidence for a yet not described anti-inflammatory mode of action on skin resident cells. Human keratinocytes and surprisingly also fibroblasts (which do not produce any IL-18) show a robust, dose-dependent and highly inducible mRNA expression and secretion of IL-18BP upon IL-27 stimulation. Other IL-12 family members failed to induce IL-18BP. The production of IL-18BP peaked between 48–72 h after stimulation and was sustained for up to 96 h. Investigation of the signalling pathway showed that IL-27 activates STAT1 in human keratinocytes and that a proximal GAS site at the IL-18BP promoter is of importance for the functional activity of IL-27. The data are in support of a significant anti-inflammatory effect of IL-27 on skin resident cells. An important novel property of IL-27 in skin pathobiology may be to counter-regulate IL-18 activities by acting on keratinocytes and importantly also on dermal fibroblasts.