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CD36 Signals to the Actin Cytoskeleton and Regulates Microglial Migration via a p130Cas Complex

The pattern recognition receptor CD36 initiates a signaling cascade that promotes microglial activation and recruitment to β-amyloid deposits in the brain. In the present study we identify the focal adhesion-associated proteins p130Cas, Pyk2, and paxillin as novel members of the tyrosine kinase signaling pathway downstream of CD36 and show that assembly of this complex is essential for microglial migration. In primary microglia and macrophages exposed to β-amyloid, the scaffolding protein p130Cas is rapidly tyrosine-phosphorylated and co-localizes with CD36 to membrane ruffles contemporaneous with F-actin polymerization. These β-amyloid-stimulated events are not detected in CD36 null cells and are dependent on CD36 activation of Src family tyrosine kinases. Fyn, a Src kinase known to interact with CD36, co-precipitates with p130Cas and is an essential upstream intermediate in the signaling pathways leading to phosphorylation of the p130Cas substrate domain. Furthermore, the p130Cas-interacting kinase Pyk2 and the cytoskeletal adapter protein paxillin also demonstrate CD36-dependent phosphorylation, identifying these focal adhesion molecules as additional members of this β-amyloid signaling cascade. Disruption of this p130Cas complex by small interfering RNA silencing inhibits p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphorylation and microglial migration, illustrating the importance of this pathway in microglial activation and recruitment. Together, these data are the first to identify the signaling cascade that directly links CD36 to the actin cytoskeleton and, thus, implicates it in diverse processes such as cellular migration, adhesion, and phagocytosis.

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Statins suppress THP-1 cell migration and secretion of matrix metalloproteinase 9 by inhibiting geranylgeranylation

Macrophages secrete matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9), an enzyme that weakens the fibrous cap of atherosclerotic plaques, predisposing them to plaque rupture and subsequent ischemic events. Recent work indicates that statins strongly reduce the possibility of heart attack. Furthermore, these compounds appear to exert beneficial effects not only by lowering plasma low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol but also by directly affecting the artery wall. To evaluate whether statins influence the proinflammatory responses of monocytic cells, we studied their effects on the chemotactic migration and MMP-9 secretion of human monocytic cell line THP-1. Simvastatin dose dependently inhibited THP-1 cell migration mediated by monocyte chemoattractant protein 1, with a 50% inhibitory concentration of about 50 nM. It also inhibited bacterial lipopolysaccharide-stimulated secretion of MMP-9. The effects of simvastatin were completely reversed by mevalonate and its derivatives, farnesylpyrophosphate and geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate, but not by ubiquinone. Additional studies revealed similar but more profound inhibitory effects with L-839,867, a specific inhibitor of geranylgeranyl transferase. However, α-hydroxyfarnesyl phosphonic acid, an inhibitor of farnesyl transferase, had no effect. C3 exoenzyme, a specific inhibitor of the prenylated small signaling Rho proteins, mimicked the inhibitory effects of simvastatin and L-839,867. These data supported the role of geranylgeranylation in the migration and MMP-9 secretion of monocytes.

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Thrombospondin signaling through the calreticulin/LDL receptor-related protein co-complex stimulates random and directed cell migration

The matricellular extracellular matrix protein thrombospondin-1 (TSP1) stimulates focal adhesion disassembly through a sequence (known as the hep I peptide) in its heparin-binding domain. This mediates signaling through a receptor co-complex involving calreticulin and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor-related protein (LRP). We postulate that this transition to an intermediate adhesive state enhances cellular responses to dynamic environmental conditions. Since cell adhesion dynamics affect cell motility, we asked whether TSP1/hep I-induced intermediate adhesion alters cell migration. Using both transwell and Dunn chamber assays, we demonstrate that TSP1 and hep I gradients stimulate endothelial cell chemotaxis. Treatment with focal adhesion-labilizing concentrations of TSP1/hep I in the absence of a gradient enhances endothelial cell random migration, or chemokinesis, associated with an increase in cells migrating, migration speed, and total cellular displacement. Calreticulin-null and LRP-null fibroblasts do not migrate in response to TSP1/hep I, nor do endothelial cells treated with the LRP inhibitor receptor-associated protein (RAP). Furthermore, TSP1/hep I-induced focal adhesion disassembly is associated with reduced chemotaxis to basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) but enhanced chemotaxis to acidic (a)FGF, suggesting differential modulation of growth factor-induced migration. Thus, TSP1/hep I stimulation of intermediate adhesion regulates the migratory phenotype of endothelial cells and fibroblasts, suggesting a role for TSP1 in remodeling responses.

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Galectin-3 Is an Amplifier of Inflammation in Atherosclerotic Plaque Progression through Macrophage Activation and Monocyte Chemoattraction

Objective— Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is a 26-kDa lectin known to regulate many aspects of inflammatory cell behavior. We assessed the hypothesis that increased levels of Gal-3 contribute to atherosclerotic plaque progression by enhancing monocyte chemoattraction through macrophage activation.

Methods and Results— Gal-3 was found to be upregulated in unstable plaque regions of carotid endarterectomy (CEA) specimens compared with stable regions from the same patient (3.2-fold, P<0.05) at the mRNA (n=12) and (2.3-fold, P<0.01) at the protein level (n=9). Analysis of aortic tissue from ApoE−/− mice on a high fat diet (n=14) and wild-type controls (n=9) showed that Gal-3 mRNA and protein levels are elevated by 16.3-fold (P<0.001) and 12.2-fold (P<0.01) and that Gal-3 staining colocalizes with macrophages. In vitro, conditioned media from Gal-3–treated human macrophages induced an up to 6-fold increase in human monocyte chemotaxis (P<0.01, ANOVA), an effect that was reduced by 66 and 60% by Pertussis Toxin (PTX) and the Vaccinia virus protein 35K, respectively. Microarray analysis of human macrophages and subsequent qPCR validation confirmed the upregulation of CC chemokines in response to Gal-3 treatment.

Conclusions— Our data suggest that Gal-3 is both a marker of atherosclerotic plaque progression and a central contributor to the pathology by amplification of key proinflammatory molecules.

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Stromal Cell-Derived Factor 1α Activates LIM Kinase 1 and Induces Cofilin Phosphorylation for T-Cell Chemotaxis

Stromal cell-derived factor 1 α (SDF-1α), the ligand for G-protein-coupled receptor CXCR4, is a chemotactic factor for T lymphocytes. LIM kinase 1 (LIMK1) phosphorylates cofilin, an actin-depolymerizing and -severing protein, at Ser-3 and regulates actin reorganization. We investigated the role of cofilin phosphorylation by LIMK1 in SDF-1α-induced chemotaxis of T lymphocytes. SDF-1α significantly induced the activation of LIMK1 in Jurkat human leukemic T cells and peripheral blood lymphocytes. SDF-1α also induced cofilin phosphorylation, actin reorganization, and activation of small GTPases, Rho, Rac, and Cdc42, in Jurkat cells. Pretreatment with pertussis toxin inhibited SDF-1α-induced LIMK1 activation, thus indicating that Gi protein is involved in LIMK1 activation. Expression of dominant negative Rac (DN-Rac), but not DN-Rho or DN-Cdc42, blocked SDF-1α-induced activation of LIMK1, which means that SDF-1α-induced LIMK1 activation is mediated by Rac but not by Rho or Cdc42. We used a cell-permeable peptide (S3 peptide) that contains the phosphorylation site (Ser-3) of cofilin to inhibit the cellular function of LIMK1. S3 peptide inhibited the kinase activity of LIMK1 in vitro. Treatment of Jurkat cells with S3 peptide inhibited the SDF-1α-induced cofilin phosphorylation, actin reorganization, and chemotactic response of Jurkat cells. These results suggest that the phosphorylation of cofilin by LIMK1 plays a critical role in the SDF-1α-induced chemotactic response of T lymphocytes.

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Rapid and quantitative in vitro measurement of cellular chemotaxis and invasion

An in vitro, fluorimetric method for cellular chemotaxis and invasion has been developed using a commercially available, disposable, 96-well chamber. This 4–18 hour microtiter chamber assay has a number of important advantages over existing methods. It does not require prior labeling of cells or radioactivity, and is rapid, automatable and quantitative. Cells are quantitated by a novel actin-based fluorescence tag as reported previously (Methods in Cell Science 17: 263–270, 1995). Following quantitation, cells are easily detectable by fluorescence microscopy. In addition, this assay conserves reagents due to its low volumes in the upper and lower chambers. The assay has been optimized using cultured human lung cancer cells to identify inhibitors or activators of directed cell migration. The effects of antibodies to agrVbeta3, agrVbeta5, and CD44 on the chemotaxis and invasion of A549 cultured lung tumor cells are reported.

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An improved method for the quantitation of cellular migration: Role of αvβ3 integrin in endothelial and smooth muscle cell migration

The present study was undertaken to develop a simple and improvedmethod for the accurate quantitation of cellular migration and to examinethe role of agrvbeta3 integrins in different cellular migration. Using our newly developed micro-volume chemotaxis assay, we developed an improved quantitative method to measure in vitro chemotaxis of smooth muscle or endothelial cells toward different extracellular matrix proteins. The convenience in setup and counting of migrated cells using this method allows for large capacity screening and for various research applications with other cells as well. The signal to noise ratios were in the range of 10/1, along with about 10–20% intra- or inter-assay variabilities. Using this method, we have determined that either vitronectin at 0.4 µg/well or osteopontin at 0.4 µg/well are selective agrvbeta3 chemoattractants for endothelial or smooth muscle cells (0.5 × 105 cells/well). Additionally, a selective agrvbeta3 small molecule peptiddomimetic, monoclonal antibody LM609, or an anti-beta3 (agrvbeta3/agrIIbeta3) anti-body, c7E3 demonstrated maximal inhibition of cellular migration toward vitronectin or osteopontin. These data suggest the potential utility of this method in assessing the role of various mechanisms in cellular migration and also suggests the potential implication of an agrvbeta3 antagonist in blocking pathological processes involving endothelial or smooth muscle cell adhesion/migration.

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Exploitation of Interleukin-8-Induced Neutrophil Chemotaxis by the Agent of Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis

The agent of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) is an obligate intracellular bacterium with a tropism for neutrophils; however, the mechanisms of bacterial dissemination are not yet understood. Interleukin-8 (IL-8) is a chemokine that induces neutrophil migration to sites of infection for host defense against pathogens. We now show that HGE bacteria, and the HGE-44 protein, induce IL-8 secretion in a promyelocytic (HL-60) cell line that has been differentiated along the neutrophil lineage with retinoic acid and in neutrophils. Infected HL-60 cells also demonstrate upregulation of CXCR2, an IL-8 receptor, but not CXCR1. Human neutrophils migrate towardsEhrlichia sp.-infected cells in a chemotaxis chamber assay, and this movement can be blocked with antibodies to IL-8. Finally, immunocompetent and severe combined immunodeficient mice administered CXCR2 antisera, and CXCR2−/− mice that lack the human IL-8 receptor homologue, are much less susceptible to granulocytic ehrlichiosis than are control animals. These results demonstrate that HGE bacteria induce IL-8 production by host cells and, paradoxically, appear to exploit this chemokine to enhance infection.

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Critical role of endothelial CXCR2 in LPS-induced neutrophil migration into the lung

In models of acute lung injury, CXC chemokine receptor 2 (CXCR2) mediates migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) into the lung. Since CXCR2 ligands, including CXCL1 and CXCL2/3, are chemotactic for PMNs, CXCR2 is thought to recruit PMNs by inducing chemotactic migration. In a model of PMN recruitment to the lung, aerosolized bacterial LPS inhalation induced PMN recruitment to the lung in wild-type mice, but not in littermate CXCR2–/– mice. Surprisingly, lethally irradiated wild-type mice reconstituted with CXCR2–/– BM still showed about 50% PMN recruitment into bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and into lung interstitium, but CXCR2–/– mice reconstituted with CXCR2–/– BM showed no PMN recruitment. Conversely, CXCR2–/– mice reconstituted with wild-type BM showed a surprisingly large defect in PMN recruitment, inconsistent with a role of CXCR2 on PMNs alone. Cell culture, immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, and real-time RT-PCR were used to show expression of CXCR2 on pulmonary endothelial and bronchial epithelial cells. The LPS-induced increase in lung microvascular permeability as measured by Evans blue extravasation required CXCR2 on nonhematopoietic cells. Our data revealed what we believe to be a previously unrecognized role of endothelial and epithelial CXCR2 in LPS-induced PMN recruitment and lung injury.

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An Orally Bioavailable Small Molecule Antagonist of CRTH2, Ramatroban (BAYu3405), Inhibits Prostaglandin D2-Induced Eosinophil Migration in Vitro

Ramatroban (Baynas, BAY u3405), a thromboxane A2(TxA2) antagonist marketed for allergic rhinitis, has been shown to partially attenuate prostaglandin (PG)D2-induced bronchial hyperresponsiveness in humans, as well as reduce antigen-induced early- and late-phase inflammatory responses in mice, guinea pigs, and rats. PGD2 is known to induce eosinophilia following intranasal administration, and to induce eosinophil activation in vitro. In addition to the TxA2 receptor, PGD2 is known as a ligand for the PGD2receptor, and the newly identified G-protein-coupled chemoattractant receptor-homologous molecule expressed on Th2 cells (CRTH2). To fully characterize PGD2-mediated inflammatory responses relevant to eosinophil activation, further analysis of the mechanism of action of ramatroban has now been performed. PGD2-stimulated human eosinophil migration was shown to be mediated exclusively through activation of CRTH2, and surprisingly, these effects were completely inhibited by ramatroban. This is also the first report detailing an orally bioavailable small molecule CRTH2 antagonist. Our findings suggest that clinical efficacy of ramatroban may be in part mediated through its action on this Th2-, eosinophil-, and basophil-specific chemoattractant receptor.