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Monocytes Induce STAT3 Activation in Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Promote Osteoblast Formation  [PDF]
Vicky Nicolaidou, Mei Mei Wong, Andia N. Redpath, Adel Ersek, Dilair F. Baban, Lynn M. Williams, Andrew P. Cope, Nicole J. Horwood
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0039871
Abstract: A major therapeutic challenge is how to replace bone once it is lost. Bone loss is a characteristic of chronic inflammatory and degenerative diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. Cells and cytokines of the immune system are known to regulate bone turnover by controlling the differentiation and activity of osteoclasts, the bone resorbing cells. However, less is known about the regulation of osteoblasts (OB), the bone forming cells. This study aimed to investigate whether immune cells also regulate OB differentiation. Using in vitro cell cultures of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), it was shown that monocytes/macrophages potently induced MSC differentiation into OBs. This was evident by increased alkaline phosphatase (ALP) after 7 days and the formation of mineralised bone nodules at 21 days. This monocyte-induced osteogenic effect was mediated by cell contact with MSCs leading to the production of soluble factor(s) by the monocytes. As a consequence of these interactions we observed a rapid activation of STAT3 in the MSCs. Gene profiling of STAT3 constitutively active (STAT3C) infected MSCs using Illumina whole human genome arrays showed that Runx2 and ALP were up-regulated whilst DKK1 was down-regulated in response to STAT3 signalling. STAT3C also led to the up-regulation of the oncostatin M (OSM) and LIF receptors. In the co-cultures, OSM that was produced by monocytes activated STAT3 in MSCs, and neutralising antibodies to OSM reduced ALP by 50%. These data indicate that OSM, in conjunction with other mediators, can drive MSC differentiation into OB. This study establishes a role for monocyte/macrophages as critical regulators of osteogenic differentiation via OSM production and the induction of STAT3 signalling in MSCs. Inducing the local activation of STAT3 in bone cells may be a valuable tool to increase bone formation in osteoporosis and arthritis, and in localised bone remodelling during fracture repair.
Lithium Suppresses Astrogliogenesis by Neural Stem and Progenitor Cells by Inhibiting STAT3 Pathway Independently of Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 Beta  [PDF]
Zhenzhong Zhu, Penny Kremer, Iman Tadmori, Yi Ren, Dongming Sun, Xijing He, Wise Young
PLOS ONE , 2011, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0023341
Abstract: Transplanted neural stem and progenitor cells (NSCs) produce mostly astrocytes in injured spinal cords. Lithium stimulates neurogenesis by inhibiting GSK3b (glycogen synthetase kinase 3-beta) and increasing WNT/beta catenin. Lithium suppresses astrogliogenesis but the mechanisms were unclear. We cultured NSCs from subventricular zone of neonatal rats and showed that lithium reduced NSC production of astrocytes as well as proliferation of glia restricted progenitor (GRP) cells. Lithium strongly inhibited STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 3) activation, a messenger system known to promote astrogliogenesis and cancer. Lithium abolished STAT3 activation and astrogliogenesis induced by a STAT3 agonist AICAR (5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide 1-beta-D-ribofuranoside), suggesting that lithium suppresses astrogliogenesis by inhibiting STAT3. GSK3β inhibition either by a specific GSK3β inhibitor SB216763 or overexpression of GID5-6 (GSK3β Interaction Domain aa380 to 404) did not suppress astrogliogenesis and GRP proliferation. GSK3β inhibition also did not suppress STAT3 activation. Together, these results indicate that lithium inhibits astrogliogenesis through non-GSK3β-mediated inhibition of STAT. Lithium may increase efficacy of NSC transplants by increasing neurogenesis and reducing astrogliogenesis. Our results also may explain the strong safety record of lithium treatment of manic depression. Millions of people take high-dose (>1 gram/day) lithium carbonate for a lifetime. GSK3b inhibition increases WNT/beta catenin, associated with colon and other cancers. STAT3 inhibition may reduce risk for cancer.
Exposure to Chlorinated Biphenyls Causes Polymorphonucleocytes to Induce Progenitor Cell Toxicity in Culture  [PDF]
Dwayne A. Hill,Carroll T. Reese,Dwane Clarke,Tanika V. Martin
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health , 2006, DOI: 10.3390/ijerph2006030003
Abstract: Progenitor cells (PC) are the precursors for many developmental structures and are sensitive to a variety of toxic agents including the environmental contaminants, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The mechanism(s) that contributes to the development of PCB-induced progenitor cell-related fetotoxicities are not completely understood. However, several studies have demonstrated an important role for neutrophils (polymorphonucleocytes) in the development of PCB induced toxicities. Our recent findings have indicated that conditioned medium collected from PC (CMPC) exposed to a single dose of the PCB mixture, Aroclor 1248, can activate isolated neutrophil populations. Because of our recent findings, this study was conducted to determine if conditioned medium from PC treated with a PCB mixture causes neutrophils to injure PC in culture. Isolated PC were cultured and treated with different concentrations of Aroclor 1248 for 24 hours. The resulting PC-derived conditioned media was collected and its affect on neutrophil activity was analyzed. Conditioned medium from PC treated with Aroclor 1248 was chemotactic for neutrophils. The conditioned medium from Aroclor 1248 treated-PC also stimulated neutrophils to release super oxide anion, cathepsin G and elastase into culture medium. Furthermore, the conditioned medium from Aroclor 1248 treated- PC was able to stimulate neutrophils to cause progenitor cell toxicity in co-cultures. The conditioned medium from Aroclor 1248 treated-PC was not toxic to individual neutrophil cultures or PC cultures. Moreover, the addition of a protease inhibitor to the co-cultures containing neutrophils and PC, afforded protection against neutrophil-induced cytotoxicity of PC. These data suggest that a PCB mixture can cause progenitor cells to produce a factor(s) that activates neutrophils and stimulates them to damage PC populations in culture.
Ultrashort Cationic Lipopeptides and Lipopeptoids Selectively Induce Cytokine Production in Macrophages  [PDF]
Brandon Findlay, Neeloffer Mookherjee, Frank Schweizer
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054280
Abstract: A series of ultrashort lipopeptides and lipopeptoids were tested for their ability to induce cytokine production in macrophages. Fourteen compounds were found to strongly induce production of chemokines Groα and IL-8, with a structural bias that was absent from previous antibacterial activity investigations. Compounds based on LysGlyLys and NLysGlyNLys sequences did not induce cytokine production, whereas those based on LysLysLys and NLysNLysNLys were active only when linked to a lipid tail at least sixteen carbons long. Three lipopeptides induced high levels of IL-8 production, above that of equivalent concentrations of cathelicidin LL-37, while no compound induced production of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α at or below 100 μM. Two compounds, peptoids C16OH-NLysNLysNLys and C16OH-NHarNHarNHar, were selective for IL-8 production and did not induce TNF-α or IL-1β. These compounds may prove beneficial for in vivo treatment of infectious disease, with improved bioavailability over LL-37 due to their protease-resistant scaffold.
IL-17A and IFN-γ Synergistically Induce RNase 7 Expression via STAT3 in Primary Keratinocytes  [PDF]
Maren Simanski, Franziska Rademacher, Lena Schr?der, Hanna Maria Schumacher, Regine Gl?ser, Jürgen Harder
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059531
Abstract: Human keratinocytes produce several antimicrobial peptides and proteins (AMP) which contribute to the protection of human skin against infection. RNase 7 is a major AMP involved in cutaneous defense with a high expression in keratinocytes and a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity. The cytokine IL-17A has been recently identified as a potent inducer of several AMP in keratinocytes. Since the role of IL-17A to induce RNase 7 expression is unknown we analyzed IL-17A alone and in combination with other cytokines to induce RNase 7 expression in keratinocytes. Whereas IL-17A alone only weakly induced RNase 7 expression, the synergistic combination of IL-17A and IFN-γ (IL-17A/IFN-γ) was identified as a potent inducer of RNase 7 expression. This combination was more effective in inducing RNase 7 than the combination of IL-17A/TNF-α, a combination previously identified as a strong inducer of psoriasis-related immune response genes including several AMP. IFN-γ and IL-17A both have been reported to activate the transcription factor STAT3 (Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3). Therefore we investigated the influence of STAT3 on the IL-17A/IFN-γ -mediated RNase 7 induction. The use of a STAT3 inhibitor as well as siRNA-mediated downregulation of STAT3 resulted in a diminished IL-17A/IFN-γ -mediated RNase 7 induction in keratinocytes indicating that STAT3 is involved in this process. Similarly as seen with RNase 7, treatment of keratinocytes with IL-17A/IFN-γ revealed also a synergistic induction of gene expression of the AMP human beta-defensin (hBD)-2 and -3 as well as the S100 protein psoriasin (S100A7) indicating that the combination of IL-17A/IFN-γ is a potent inducer of various AMP classes in general. This was also reflected by an increase of the Staphylococcus aureus-killing activity of IL-17A/IFN-γ -treated keratinocytes.
TGFbeta Family Members Are Key Mediators in the Induction of Myofibroblast Phenotype of Human Adipose Tissue Progenitor Cells by Macrophages  [PDF]
Virginie Bourlier, Coralie Sengenès, Alexia Zakaroff-Girard, Pauline Decaunes, Brigitte Wdziekonski, Jean Galitzky, Phi Villageois, David Esteve, Patrick Chiotasso, Christian Dani, Anne Bouloumié
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0031274
Abstract: Objective The present study was undertaken to characterize the remodeling phenotype of human adipose tissue (AT) macrophages (ATM) and to analyze their paracrine effects on AT progenitor cells. Research Design and Methods The phenotype of ATM, immunoselected from subcutaneous (Sc) AT originating from subjects with wide range of body mass index and from paired biopsies of Sc and omental (Om) AT from obese subjects, was studied by gene expression analysis in the native and activated states. The paracrine effects of ScATM on the phenotype of human ScAT progenitor cells (CD34+CD31?) were investigated. Results Two main ATM phenotypes were distinguished based on gene expression profiles. For ScAT-derived ATM, obesity and adipocyte-derived factors favored a pro-fibrotic/remodeling phenotype whereas the OmAT location and hypoxic culture conditions favored a pro-angiogenic phenotype. Treatment of native human ScAT progenitor cells with ScATM-conditioned media induced the appearance of myofibroblast-like cells as shown by expression of both α-SMA and the transcription factor SNAIL, an effect mimicked by TGFβ1 and activinA. Immunohistochemical analyses showed the presence of double positive α-SMA and CD34 cells in the stroma of human ScAT. Moreover, the mRNA levels of SNAIL and SLUG in ScAT progenitor cells were higher in obese compared with lean subjects. Conclusions Human ATM exhibit distinct pro-angiogenic and matrix remodeling/fibrotic phenotypes according to the adiposity and the location of AT, that may be related to AT microenvironment including hypoxia and adipokines. Moreover, human ScAT progenitor cells have been identified as target cells for ScATM-derived TGFβ and as a potential source of fibrosis through their induction of myofibroblast-like cells.
Hydrazinocurcumin Encapsuled Nanoparticles “Re-Educate” Tumor-Associated Macrophages and Exhibit Anti-Tumor Effects on Breast Cancer Following STAT3 Suppression  [PDF]
Xiwen Zhang, Wenxia Tian, Xiaozhong Cai, Xiaofei Wang, Weiqi Dang, Hao Tang, Hong Cao, Lin Wang, Tingmei Chen
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065896
Abstract: Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are essential cellular components within tumor microenvironment (TME). TAMs are educated by TME to transform to M2 polarized population, showing a M2-like phenotype, IL-10high, IL-12low, TGF-βhigh. STAT3 signaling triggers crosstalk between tumor cells and TAMs, and is crucial for the regulation of malignant progression. In our study, legumain-targeting liposomal nanoparticles (NPs) encapsulating HC were employed to suppress STAT3 activity and “re-educate” TAMs, and to investigate the effects of suppression of tumor progression in vivo. The results showed that TAMs treated by HC encapsuled NPs could switch to M1-like phenotype, IL-10low, IL-12high, TGF-βlow, and the “re-educated” macrophages (M1-like macrophages) considerably demonstrated opposite effect of M2-like macrophages, especially the induction of 4T1 cells migration and invasion in vitro, and suppression of tumor growth, angiogenesis and metastasis in vivo. These data indicated that inhibition of STAT3 activity of TAMs by HC-NPs was able to reverse their phenotype and could regulate their crosstalk between tumor cells and TAMs in order to suppress tumor progression.
Pre-Treatment of Recombinant Mouse MFG-E8 Downregulates LPS-Induced TNF-α Production in Macrophages via STAT3-Mediated SOCS3 Activation  [PDF]
Monowar Aziz, Asha Jacob, Akihisa Matsuda, Rongqian Wu, Mian Zhou, Weifeng Dong, Weng-Lang Yang, Ping Wang
PLOS ONE , 2011, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027685
Abstract: Milk fat globule-epidermal growth factor factor 8 (MFG-E8) regulates innate immune function by modulating cellular signaling, which is less understood. Herein, we aimed to investigate the direct anti-inflammatory role of MFG-E8 in macrophages by pre-treatment with recombinant murine MFG-E8 (rmMFG-E8) followed by stimulation with LPS in RAW264.7 cells and in peritoneal macrophages, isolated from wild-type (WT) or MFG-E8?/? mice. RAW264.7 cells and mouse peritoneal macrophages treated with rmMFG-E8 significantly downregulated LPS-induced TNF-α mRNA by 25% and 24%, and protein levels by 29% and 23%, respectively (P<0.05). Conversely, peritoneal macrophages isolated from MFG-E8?/? mice produced 28% higher levels of TNF-α, as compared to WT mice when treated with LPS. In in vivo, endotoxemia induced by intraperitoneal injection of LPS (5 mg/kg BW), at 4 h after induction, serum level of TNF-α was significantly higher in MFG-E8?/? mice (837 pg/mL) than that of WT (570 pg/mL, P<0.05). To elucidate the direct anti-inflammatory effect of MFG-E8, we examined STAT3 and its target gene, SOCS3. Treatment with rmMGF-E8 significantly induced pSTAT3 and SOCS3 in macrophages. Similar results were observed in in vivo treatment of rmMFG-E8 in peritoneal cells and splenic tissues. Pre-treatment with rmMFG-E8 significantly reduced LPS-induced NF-κB p65 contents. These data clearly indicated that rmMFG-E8 upregulated SOCS3 which in turn interacted with NF-κB p65, facilitating negative regulation of TLR4 signaling for LPS-induced TNF-α production. Our findings strongly suggest that MFG-E8 is a direct anti-inflammatory molecule, and that it could be developed as a therapy in attenuating inflammation and tissue injury.
Inducible MicroRNA-223 Down-Regulation Promotes TLR-Triggered IL-6 and IL-1β Production in Macrophages by Targeting STAT3  [PDF]
Qingyun Chen, Hui Wang, Yang Liu, Yinjing Song, Lihua Lai, Quan Han, Xuetao Cao, Qingqing Wang
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042971
Abstract: MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNA molecules that regulate gene expression by either translational inhibition or mRNA degradation. MicroRNAs play pivotal roles in the regulation of both innate and adaptive immune responses, including TLR-triggered inflammatory response. Here we reported that the expression of microRNA-223 (miR-223) was significantly decreased in murine macrophages during activation by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or poly (I:C) stimulation. The inducible miR-223 down-regulation resulted in the activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), which is directly targeted by miR-223, thus promoting the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-1β, but not TNF-α. Interestingly, IL-6 was found to be a main factor in inducing the decrease in miR-223 expression after LPS stimulation, which formed a positive feedback loop to regulate IL-6 and IL-1β. Herein, our findings provide a new explanation characterizing the molecular mechanism responsible for the regulation of IL-6 production after TLR-triggered macrophage activation.
Microfluidic Generated EGF-Gradients Induce Chemokinesis of Transplantable Retinal Progenitor Cells via the JAK/STAT and PI3Kinase Signaling Pathways  [PDF]
Uchenna J. Unachukwu, Moira Sauane, Maribel Vazquez, Stephen Redenti
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083906
Abstract: A growing number of studies are evaluating retinal progenitor cell (RPC) transplantation as an approach to repair retinal degeneration and restore visual function. To advance cell-replacement strategies for a practical retinal therapy, it is important to define the molecular and biochemical mechanisms guiding RPC motility. We have analyzed RPC expression of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and evaluated whether exposure to epidermal growth factor (EGF) can coordinate motogenic activity in vitro. Using Boyden chamber analysis as an initial high-throughput screen, we determined that RPC motility was optimally stimulated by EGF concentrations in the range of 20-400ng/ml, with decreased stimulation at higher concentrations, suggesting concentration-dependence of EGF-induced motility. Using bioinformatics analysis of the EGF ligand in a retina-specific gene network pathway, we predicted a chemotactic function for EGF involving the MAPK and JAK-STAT intracellular signaling pathways. Based on targeted inhibition studies, we show that ligand binding, phosphorylation of EGFR and activation of the intracellular STAT3 and PI3kinase signaling pathways are necessary to drive RPC motility. Using engineered microfluidic devices to generate quantifiable steady-state gradients of EGF coupled with live-cell tracking, we analyzed the dynamics of individual RPC motility. Microfluidic analysis, including center of mass and maximum accumulated distance, revealed that EGF induced motility is chemokinetic with optimal activity observed in response to low concentration gradients. Our combined results show that EGFR expressing RPCs exhibit enhanced chemokinetic motility in the presence of low nanomole levels of EGF. These findings may serve to inform further studies evaluating the extent to which EGFR activity, in response to endogenous ligand, drives motility and migration of RPCs in retinal transplantation paradigms.
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