T cell receptor diversity prevents T cell leukemia, lymphoma development / von Nabil Saleh Ahmed Al-Ghaili
Nabil al- Ghaili
- Gene therapy is a promising therapeutic strategy that emerged from the attractive idea of targeting therapy at the molecular level. For many patients who suffer from genetic and acquired diseases that cannot be effectively treated by conventional treatment approaches gene therapy remains a huge hope of cure in spite of the hurdles regarding efficacy and safety that need to be overcome. The development of efficient gene transfer vehicles, mainly retroviral vectors, led to the first successful gene therapy trial, to treat patients suffering from X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome (X-SCID) using gene modified stem cells (Hacein-Bey-Abina, Le Deist et al. 2002). Despite the success of this trial, it revealed the danger of retroviral insertional mutagenesis as a major adverse event of gene therapy using gene-modified stem cells (Hacein-Bey-Abina, von Kalle et al. 2003). In contrast to stem cells, T cells are relatively resistant to insertional mutagenesis and transformation even after transduction with potent oncogenes using retroviral vectors (Newrzela, Cornils et al. 2008). However, mature T cells can self-renew, proliferate and survive for long periods. These criteria are supposed to render T cells prone to transformation. Therefore, the questions of mature T cells transformability and the control mechanism limiting their transformation are still elusive.
Development of lentiviral vectors for the gene therapy of HIV infection
- Drug toxicity and viral resistance limit long-term efficacy of antiviral drug treatment for HIV
infection. Thus, alternative therapies need to be explored. Previously, group of “Prof. von Laer”
tested the infusion of T lymphocytes transduced with a retroviral vector (M87o) that expresses an
HIV entry inhibitory peptide (maC46). Gene-modified autologous T cells were infused into 10
HIV-infected patients with advanced disease and multidrug resistant virus during antiretroviral
combination therapy. T cell infusions were tolerated well with no severe side effects. A
significant increase of CD4 counts was observed post infusion. At the end of the one-year
follow-up, the CD4 counts of all patients were still around or above baseline. Gene-modified
cells could be detected in peripheral blood, lymph nodes and bone marrow throughout the oneyear
follow-up, whereby marking levels correlated with the cell dose. No significant changes of
viral load were observed during the first four months. Four of the seven patients that changed
their antiviral drug regimen thereafter responded with a significant decline in plasma viral load.
In conclusion, the transfer of gene-modified cells was safe, led to sustained levels of gene
marking and may improve immune competence in HIV-infected patients with advanced disease
and multidrug resistant virus. However, the low level of gene marking and the lack of substantial
long-term in vivo accumulation of gene-protected cells observed in this trial clearly demonstrate
the requirement for new vectors with new strategy.
In this thesis self‐inactivating lentiviral vectors harboring internal promoters and RNA elements
were therefore evaluated for their potential use in a clinical gene‐therapy trial. The results from
this work provide the basis for the selection of a suitable candidate vector for extensive
preclinical testing. Apart from being capable of transducing non‐dividing cells, lentiviral vectors
incorporate a number of additional features that are of potential value for gene therapeutic
applications. These include a larger packaging capacity, higher titers than γ‐retroviral vectors
and, most importantly, a reduced risk of deregulating cellular genes due to its natural integration
profile. The use of internal promoters to drive expression of the therapeutic transgene maC46
should further improve the safety profile of these new‐generation vectors, while an additional
artificial splice acceptor (SA) into the 5‟UTR of the transgene over all elevate transgene
expression. The rationale for this is that hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells will be
protected from enhancer‐mediated transactivation effects and also from potential side effects due
to the aberrant expression of maC46 while at the same time the full clinical benefit for the
patients is maintained.
In order to find a suitable candidate for preclinical studies, two candidate therapeutic vectors
harboring different regulatory elements were selected based on results from pilot experiments.
The internal promoters used to drive expression of codon optimized maC46 were the PGK
promoter and MPSV promoter. This work focuses on the transgene expression levels in
lymphoid cells and antiviral activity. The issues of long term expression, propensity to
methylation mediated silencing of the promoters, and genotoxicity were also touched. In a first
step the performance of different vectors was evaluated in the human T cell lines. Based on
promising data from ex vivo human peripheral blood mononuclear cells, the vector carrying the
MPSV promoter along with intron were selected for in vivo transplantation experiments.
In summary, the ex vivo data suggested the long term survival of lentiviral gene modified cells,
along with maintained expression of introduced genes. It was observed that the expression of
these constructs depends strongly on the activation and differentiation status of the targeted T
cells. This regulation was not linked to any specific promotor. In vivo study shows that maC46
can be introduced into murine multiple hematopoietic lineages via lentiviral vector and expressed
at high levels in their mulilineage progeny, without altering the hematopoiesis. There was no
sign of any kind of hematopoietic or lymphoid malignancies. Although gene-modified
lymphocytes persisted in-vivo, the downregulation of transgene expression was consistent with
the ex-vivo observation. In contrast to that the T cells transplanted group showed delayed
engraftment of donor cells and there was no expression of C46 in blood and lymphatic organs. .
In conclusion, when considering HIV gene therapy focusing CD4+ T cells, potential problems of
T cell activation status as related to the desired clinical effect must be addressed. These results
might open the way for a gene therapy targeting mainly or exclusively activated T cells and
could be exploited for immunostimulatory as well as suppressive approaches.
5-Lipoxygenase contributes to PPAR [gamma] activation in macrophages in response to apoptotic cells
Andreas von Knethen
Thorsten Jürgen Maier
- Background: One hallmark contributing to immune suppression during the late phase of sepsis is macrophage polarization to an anti-inflammatory phenotype upon contact with apoptotic cells (AC). Taking the important role of the nuclear receptor PPARγ for this phenotype switch into consideration, it remains elusive how AC activate PPARγ in macrophages. Therefore, we were interested to characterize the underlying principle.
Methods: Apoptosis was induced by treatment of Jurkat T cells for 3 hours with 0.5 μg/ml staurosporine. Necrotic cells (NC) were prepared by heating cells for 20 minutes to 65°C. PPARγ activation was followed by stably transducing RAW264.7 macrophages with a vector encoding the red fluorescent protein mRuby after PPARγ binding to 4 × PPRE sites downstream of the reporter gene sequence. This readout was established by treatment with the PPARγ agonist rosiglitazone (1 μM) and AC (5:1). Twenty-four hours after stimulation, mRuby expression was analysed by fluorescence microscopy. Lipid rafts of AC, NC, as well as living cells (LC) were enriched by sucrose gradient centrifugation. Fractions were analysed for lipid raft-associated marker proteins. Lipid rafts were incubated with transduced RAW264.7 macrophages as described above. 5-Lipoxygenase (5-LO) involvement was verified by pharmacological inhibition (MK-866, 1 μM) and overexpression.
Results: Assuming that the molecule responsible for PPARγ activation in macrophages is localized in the cell membrane of AC, most probably associated to lipid rafts, we isolated lipid rafts from AC, NC and LC. Mass spectrometric analysis of lipid rafts of AC showed the expression of 5-LO, whereas lipid rafts of LC did not. Moreover, incubating macrophages with lipid rafts of AC induced mRuby expression. In contrast, lipid rafts of NC and LC did not. To verify the involvement of 5-LO in activating PPARγ in macrophages, Jurkat T cells were incubated for 30 minutes with the 5-LO inhibitor MK-866 (1 μM) before apoptosis induction. In line with our hypothesis, these AC did not induce mRuby expression. Finally, although living Jurkat T cells overexpressing 5-LO did not activate PPARγ in macrophages, mRuby expression was significantly increased when AC were generated from 5-LO overexpressing compared with wild-type Jurkat cells.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that induction of apoptosis activates 5-LO, localizing to lipid rafts, necessary for PPARγ activation in macrophages. Therefore, it will be challenging to determine whether 5-LO activity in AC, generated from other cell types, correlates with PPARγ activation, contributing to an immune-suppressed phenotype in macrophages.
Impact of tumour microenvironmental factors on dendritic cell differentiation and function
- Um der Erkennung durch das körpereigene Immunsystem entkommen, weisen Tumore
Modifikationen in ihrer Mikroumgebung auf. Zu diesen gehören u. a. veränderte
Sauerstoffkonzentrationen im Tumorkern und die Freisetzung biochemischer Faktoren aus
Tumorzellen, welche die Funktion von Tumor-assoziierten Phagozyten, wie z.B.
Dendritischen Zellen (DC) beeinflussen. DC sind professionelle Antigen-präsentierende
Zellen, die eine Spezialisierung in verschiedene funktionale Subtypen aufweisen. Myeloische
DC (mDC) sind besonders effizient in Hinsicht auf die Präsentation von Antigenen,
wohingegen plasmazytoide DC (pDC) regulatorisch auf das Immunsystem einwirken. Beide
Subtypen spielen eine wichtige Rolle bei der Karzinogenese.
Während humane mDC, zur therapeutischen Verwendung, ex vivo aus Monozyten
hergestellt werden können, war dies für humane pDC bisher nicht möglich. Ein war deshalb
ein erstes Ziel dieser Arbeit, ein Protokoll zur Generierung humaner pDC aus humanen
Monozyten zu entwickeln. Diese wurden mittels des Wachstumsfaktors Fms-related tyrosine
kinase 3 ligand (Flt3-L) zu pDC-Äquivalenten differenziert, welche als monocyte-derived pDC
(mo-pDC) bezeichnet wurden. In der Tat zeigten mo-pDC ein für humane pDC
charakteristisches Oberflächenmarkerprofil und wiesen, im Vergleich zu mDC, eine geringe
Kapazität zur Induktion der Proliferation autologer T Zellen und zur Phagozytose
apoptotischer Zellen auf. Mo-pDC erwarben im Verlauf ihrer Differenzierung aus Monozyten
eine kontinuierlich erhöhte Expression des pDC-spezifischen Transkriptionfaktors E2-2 und
seiner spezifischen Zielgene. Der wichtigste funktionale Parameter von pDC ist die
Produktion großer Mengen von Interferon-α (IFN-α). Mo-pDC sezernierten, nach vorheriger
Aktivierung mit Tumornekrosefaktor-α (TNF-α) oder wenn zu ihrer Differenzierung neben
Flt3-L auch Vitamin D3 oder all-trans-Retinolsäure verwendet wurde, ebenfalls große
Wurden mo-pDC unter Hypoxie, einem prominenten Faktor der Tumormikroumgebung,
generiert, so waren die Expression des spezifischen Transkriptionsfaktors E2-2 und die
Freisetzung von IFN-α stark vermindert. Diese Daten zeigten zunächst, dass mo-pDC für das
Studium von Differenzierung und Funktion humaner pDC eingesetzt werden können.
Weiterhin lieferten sie Hinweise auf eine veränderte Differenzierung humaner pDC unter
Hypoxie. In einem nächsten Schritt wurde folglich untersucht, ob Hypoxie auch die
Differenzierung von pDC aus deren physiologischen Vorläufern beeinflusst. Wurden
Knochenmarkszellen der Maus mit Flt3-L unter Normoxie oder Hypoxie kultiviert, so war die
Differenzierung zu pDC unter Hypoxie in der Tat unterdrückt. Dies war abhängig von der
Hypoxie-induzierten Aktivität des Hypoxie-induzierten Faktors 1 (HIF-1), da die Flt3-Linduzierte
Differenzierung von murinen Knochenmarkszellen, in denen die Expression von
HIF-1 in pDC-Vorläuferzellen ausgeschaltet war, unter Hypoxie normal verlief.
Zusammenfassend kann also gesagt werden, dass Hypoxie, durch Aktivierung von HIF-1,
Differenzierung und Funktion von pDC unterdrückt. Dieser Mechanismus könnte zu ihrer
beschriebenen Dysfunktion in humanen Tumoren beitragen.
Neben Hypoxie sind viele andere Faktoren an der Immunsuppression in Tumoren beteiligt.
Eine Komponente der Mikroumgebung in Tumoren ist das Vorhandensein apoptotischer
Tumorzellen. Apoptose von Tumorzellen findet, im Kontrast zur generellen Sicht von
Tumoren als Apoptose-resistente Entitäten, auch in unbehandelten Tumoren im Überfluss
statt. Apoptotische körpereigene Zellen unterdrücken unter physiologischen Bedingungen
das Immunsystem. Deshalb könnte das Freisetzen von apoptotischem Material oder die
Sekretion von Faktoren aus sterbenden Tumorzellen einen starken Einfluss auf die Funktion
von Tumor-assoziierten DC und die damit verbundene Aktivierung von tumoriziden
Lymphozyten haben. Eine diesbezügliche Studie war das zweite Ziel der vorliegenden
Arbeit. Humane mDC wurden zu diesem Zweck mit Überständen lebender, apoptotischer
oder nekrotischer humaner Brustkrebszellen aktiviert und anschließend mit autologen T
Zellen ko-kultiviert. Danach wurde das zytotoxische Potential der ko-kultivierten T Zellen
analysiert. Interessanterweise unterdrückte die Aktivierung mit Überständen apoptotischer
Tumorzellen die DC-vermittelte Generierung tumorizider T Zellen durch die Ausprägung
einer Population von regulatorischen T Zellen (Treg), die durch die gleichzeitige Expression
der Oberflächenmoleküle CD39 und CD69 charakterisiert war. Die Ausprägung der CD39-
und CD69-exprimierenden Treg Zell-Population war abhängig von der Freisetzung des
bioaktiven Lipids Sphingosin-1-Phosphat (S1P) aus apoptotischen Zellen, welches durch den
S1P-Rezeptor 4 zur Freisetzung des immunregulatorischen Zytokins IL-27 aus mDC führte.
Neutralisierung von IL-27 in AC-aktivierten Ko-Kulturen von mDC und T Zellen blockierte die
Generierung von CD39- und CD69-exprimierenden Treg Zellen und resultierte folglich in der
Aktivierung zytotoxischer T Zellen. Weiterhin war die Bildung von Adenosin in den Ko-
Kulturen für die Unterdrückung zytotoxischer T Zellen vonnöten. Erste Experimente lieferten
Hinweise auf eine direkte Interaktion von CD69- und CD39-exprimierenden Treg Zellen mit
CD73-exprimierenden zytotoxischen T Zellen. CD39 und CD73 werden für die Bildung von
Adenosin aus ATP benötigt, weswegen die Interaktion von Treg Zellen und zytotoxischen T
Zellen die Adenosin-Produktion fördern könnte.
Zusammenfassend zeigen die hier präsentierten Befunde wie Faktoren der
Tumormikroumgebung die Funktion von humanen DC Subtypen beeinflussen können. Ein
Verständnis der zugrundeliegenden Mechanismen kann wertvolle Informationen für die Wahl
effektiver Immuntherapien oder Chemotherapien liefern und so die Therapie humaner
Sphingosine 1-phosphate modulates antigen capture by murine langerhans cells via the S1P2 receptor subtype
Heinfried Hermann Radeke
Se Kyoo Jeong
- Dendritic cells (DCs) play a pivotal role in the development of cutaneous contact hypersensitivity (CHS) and atopic dermatitis as they capture and process antigen and present it to T lymphocytes in the lymphoid organs. Recently, it has been indicated that a topical application of the sphingolipid sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) prevents the inflammatory response in CHS, but the molecular mechanism is not fully elucidated. Here we indicate that treatment of mice with S1P is connected with an impaired antigen uptake by Langerhans cells (LCs), the initial step of CHS. Most of the known actions of S1P are mediated by a family of five specific G protein-coupled receptors. Our results indicate that S1P inhibits macropinocytosis of the murine LC line XS52 via S1P2 receptor stimulation followed by a reduced phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) activity. As down-regulation of S1P2 not only diminished S1P-mediated action but also enhanced the basal activity of LCs on antigen capture, an autocrine action of S1P has been assumed. Actually, S1P is continuously produced by LCs and secreted via the ATP binding cassette transporter ABCC1 to the extracellular environment. Consequently, inhibition of ABCC1, which decreased extracellular S1P levels, markedly increased the antigen uptake by LCs. Moreover, stimulation of sphingosine kinase activity, the crucial enzyme for S1P formation, is connected not only with enhanced S1P levels but also with diminished antigen capture. These results indicate that S1P is essential in LC homeostasis and influences skin immunity. This is of importance as previous reports suggested an alteration of S1P levels in atopic skin lesions.
Novel chalcone-based fluorescent human histamine H 3 receptor ligands as pharmacological tools
J. Stephan Schwed
- Novel fluorescent chalcone-based ligands at human histamine H(3) receptors (hH(3)R) have been designed, synthesized, and characterized. Compounds described are non-imidazole analogs of ciproxifan with a tetralone motif. Tetralones as chemical precursors and related fluorescent chalcones exhibit affinities at hH(3)R in the same concentration range like the reference antagonist ciproxifan (hH(3)R pK(i) value of 7.2). Fluorescence characterization of our novel ligands shows emission maxima about 570 nm for yellow fluorescent chalcones and ≥600 nm for the red fluorescent derivatives. Interferences to cellular autofluorescence could be excluded. All synthesized chalcone compounds could be used to visualize hH(3)R proteins in stably transfected HEK-293 cells using confocal laser scanning fluorescence microscopy. These novel fluorescent ligands possess high potential to be used as pharmacological tools for hH(3)R visualization in different tissues.
Consequences of altered eicosanoid patterns for nociceptive processing in mPGES-1-deficient mice
Carlo Federico Angioni
Rolf M. Nusing
- Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)-dependent prostaglandin (PG) E2 synthesis in the spinal cord plays a major role in the development of inflammatory hyperalgesia and allodynia. Microsomal PGE2 synthase-1 (mPGES-1) isomerizes COX-2-derived PGH2 to PGE2. Here, we evaluated the effect of mPGES-1-deficiency on the noci-ceptive behavior in various models of nociception that depend on PGE2 synthesis. Surprisingly, in the COX-2-dependent zymosan-evoked hyperalgesia model, the nociceptive behavior was not reduced in mPGES-1-deficient mice despite a marked decrease of the spinal PGE2 synthesis. Similarly, the nociceptive behavior was unaltered in mPGES-1-deficient mice in the formalin test. Importantly, spinal cords and primary spinal cord cells derived from mPGES-1-deficient mice showed a redirection of the PGE2 synthesis to PGD2, PGF2α and 6-keto-PGF1α (stable metabolite of PGI2). Since the latter prostaglandins serve also as mediators of noci-ception they may compensate the loss of PGE2 synthesis in mPGES-1-deficient mice.
Intrinsic Up-Regulation of 2-AG Favors an Area Specific Neuronal Survival in Different In Vitro Models of Neuronal Damage
- BACKGROUND: The endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) acts as a retrograde messenger and modulates synaptic signaling e. g. in the hippocampus. 2-AG also exerts neuroprotective effects under pathological situations. To better understand the mechanism beyond physiological signaling we used Organotypic Entorhino-Hippocampal Slice Cultures (OHSC) and investigated the temporal regulation of 2-AG in different cell subsets during excitotoxic lesion and dendritic lesion of long range projections in the enthorhinal cortex (EC), dentate gyrus (DG) and the cornu ammonis region 1 (CA1).
RESULTS: 2-AG levels were elevated 24 h after excitotoxic lesion in CA1 and DG (but not EC) and 24 h after perforant pathway transection (PPT) in the DG only. After PPT diacylglycerol lipase alpha (DAGL) protein, the synthesizing enzyme of 2-AG was decreased when Dagl mRNA expression and 2-AG levels were enhanced. In contrast to DAGL, the 2-AG hydrolyzing enzyme monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) showed no alterations in total protein and mRNA expression after PPT in OHSC. MAGL immunoreaction underwent a redistribution after PPT and excitotoxic lesion since MAGL IR disappeared in astrocytes of lesioned OHSC. DAGL and MAGL immunoreactions were not detectable in microglia at all investigated time points. Thus, induction of the neuroprotective endocannabinoid 2-AG might be generally accomplished by down-regulation of MAGL in astrocytes after neuronal lesions.
CONCLUSION: Increase in 2-AG levels during secondary neuronal damage reflects a general neuroprotective mechanism since it occurred independently in both different lesion models. This intrinsic up-regulation of 2-AG is synergistically controlled by DAGL and MAGL in neurons and astrocytes and thus represents a protective system for neurons that is involved in dendritic reorganisation.
Can biorelevant media be simplified by using SLS and tween 80 to replace bile compounds?
- In the scientific literature, the use of a surfactant is recommended for both designing quality control tests for water insoluble or sparingly water soluble drugs and for predicting the bioavailability of drugs from various types of formulations. Since the number of poorly soluble drugs is increasing, the selection of adequate dissolution test for these becomes more and more important. The aim of the present study was to develop predictive and discriminatory test methods based on surfactants that are recommended in the literature. Particular respect was given to the use of sodium lauryl sulfate and Tween 80, the two most commonly used surfactants for this purpose. Tamoxifen was used as a model drug. Dissolution experiments were performed using various concentrations of the two surfactants in buffer media typically used to prepare biorelevant test media. Results were then compared with those deriving from the same test formulations in biorelevant and simplified “biorelevant” media. Results from this study indicate that the concentration of surfactant has a huge impact on both the rate and extent of drug release from the formulation and also on the discriminatory power of the test. However, they also indicate that a well designed and validated test medium containing SLS or Tween 80 can be useful in terms of establishing a discriminatory test medium that possibly could also be used to assure batch to batch bioequivalence. Therefore, the approach described in the present paper might be very helpful for developing predictive and discriminatory methods in early formulation development for poorly soluble drugs and which could also be adopted for QC.
The role of the Ca2+-dependent protease calpain in the diabetes-associated platelet hyperreactivity
- Platelets from diabetic patients are characterised by hyperreactivity resulting in exaggerated adhesion, aggregation and thrombus formation which contribute to the development of cardiovascular complications known to be one of the main causes of diabetes-related mortality. One of the mechanisms suggested to be involved in the diabetes-related platelet hyperactivation is the increased [Ca2+]i which leads to the overactivation of Ca2+-dependent proteases, the calpains. Among the calpain isoforms expressed in platelets the two ubquitiously expressed μ- and m-calpain are thought to play an important role in physiological and pathophysiological processes. Particularly μ-calpain is known to be involved in many steps of physiological platelet activation such as aggregation, adhesion, secretion, and signalling. However, we could show that diabetes was associated with an enhanced activation of both μ- and m-calpain in platelets
In the first part of the study we focussed on the characterization of the molecular mechanism regulating calpain activity. Indeed, although Ca2+ is considered to be the main regulator of the proteolytic activity of the conventional calpains, other mechanisms such as the presence of phospholipids and phosphorylation have been reported to affect their activity. Since most studies reported the phosphorylation of m-calpain we were interested to see whether μ-calpain activity might be also affected by phosphorylation. We could show that the activity of μ-calpain was enhanced by the PKC activator PMA suggesting its possible regulation by phosphorylation. However, whether PKC directly targeted μ-calpain remains unclear. Given that substrate recognition is important for a protease to process its substrate and since no common consensus could be attributed to calpain substrates, our next interest was to understand the mechanism regulating the recognition of its substrates by calpain. Since phosphorylation has been reported to protect different proteins from calpain degradation we investigated whether the calpain substrate CD31 could be phosphorylated in platelets and whether this could affect its recognition by calpain. Although we could show that the tyrosine phosphorylation of CD31 was increased after activation of platelets by thrombin and that this effect was attenuated in platelets from diabetic patients, tyrosine phosphorylation of CD31 seemed to have no effect on its sensitivity to calpain-mediated proteolysis.
After the analysis of the mechanism regulating calpain activity as well as its interaction with its substrates, our next interest was the identification of new calpain substrates in platelets. Since a previous study from our group showed that PPARγ agonists could indirectly reverse the diabetes-associated calpain activation we performed DIGE analysis of platelet samples from diabetic patients before and after PPARγ agonist treatment. Using this approach we could identify four novel calpain substrates in platelets: Integrin-linked kinase (ILK), α parvin, CLP36 and septin-5. Next, we assessed the effect of calpain-mediated cleavage on the function of these newly identified proteins. We could show that μ-calpain was essential for the dissociation of ILK from the IPP complex and its activation while m-calpain-mediated cleavage led to its cleavage and inactivation. Functionally, we also showed that μ-calpain was involved in platelet adhesion while m-calpain was important for spreading.
The next protein we analysed was septin-5, a small GTPase known to regulate platelet degranulation by association with other septins and syntaxin-4. We found that the interaction between septin-5 and syntaxin-4 was inhibitory for platelet degranulation. We could demonstrate that the μ-calpain-mediated cleavage dissociated septin-5 from syntaxin 4 and led to increased secretion of platelet α-granules. Next, we investigated the in vivo role of calpain in the diabetes-associated platelet hyperreactivity. We induced diabetes in mice and could reproduce calpain activation in platelets such as that found in human. Indeed, calpain activation in murine platelets also led to the cleavage of several calpain substrates including ILK and septin-5. Moreover, platelets from diabetic mice demonstrated an increased aggregation and thrombus formation in vivo. Treatment of the animals with the calpain inhibitor A-705253 (30 mg/kg/day for 10 days) significantly restored platelet function and substrate cleavage. In conclusion, in this part of the study, we could show that the increased calpain-dependent α-granule secretion and platelet adhesion may account for the enhanced vascular proliferation and thrombus formation in diabetes and calpain inhibition represents a promising way to prevent atherothrombosis development.
In the last part of the study we analysed another enzyme known to play a crucial role in diabetes, the AMPK which is an energy-sensing kinase known to be impaired in diabetes. We could show that the two catalytic subunits AMPK α1 and α2 are expressed in platelets. The AMPKα2 seemed to be the subunit involved in platelet activation since AMPKα2-deficient mice demonstrated a defect in clot retraction and the stabilization of the thrombus while the animals showed a normal bleeding time. Mechanistically, we showed in platelets that the upstream kinase of AMPKα2 is LKB1 which was activated by thrombin stimulation via a PI-3K-dependent pathway. AMPKα2 then phosphorylated the Src-family kinase Fyn, which is responsible for the phosphorylation of its substrate β3 integrin on Tyr747. These data indicate that AMPKα2, by affecting Fyn phosphorylation and activity, plays a key role in platelet αIIbβ3 integrin signalling, leading to clot retraction and thrombus stability. Although the effect of diabetes in the AMPK-dependent pathway could not be investigated we assume that the dysregulation of this pathway may account for the thrombus destabilization and enhanced embolization encountered in diabetes.