Stimulation of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) triggers activation of a common MyD88-dependent signaling pathway as well as a MyD88-independent pathway that is unique to TLR3 and TLR4 signaling pathways leading to interferon (IFN)-beta production. Here we disrupted the gene encoding a Toll/IL-1 receptor (TIR) domain-containing adaptor, TRIF. TRIF-deficient mice were defective in both TLR3- and TLR4-mediated expression of IFN-beta and activation of IRF-3. Furthermore, inflammatory cytokine production in response to the TLR4 ligand, but not to other TLR ligands, was severely impaired in TRIF-deficient macrophages. Mice deficient in both MyD88 and TRIF showed complete loss of nuclear factor kappa B activation in response to TLR4 stimulation. These findings demonstrate that TRIF is essential for TLR3- and TLR4-mediated signaling pathways facilitating mammalian antiviral host defense.
We undertook a meta-analysis of six Crohn's disease genome-wide association studies (GWAS) comprising 6,333 affected individuals (cases) and 15,056 controls and followed up the top association signals in 15,694 cases, 14,026 controls and 414 parent-offspring trios. We identified 30 new susceptibility loci meeting genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10⁻⁸). A series of in silico analyses highlighted particular genes within these loci and, together with manual curation, implicated functionally interesting candidate genes including SMAD3, ERAP2, IL10, IL2RA, TYK2, FUT2, DNMT3A, DENND1B, BACH2 and TAGAP. Combined with previously confirmed loci, these results identify 71 distinct loci with genome-wide significant evidence for association with Crohn's disease.
Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 and TLR4 are implicated in the recognition of various bacterial cell wall components, such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS). To investigate in vivo roles of TLR2, we generated TLR2-deficient mice. In contrast to LPS unresponsiveness in TLR4-deficient mice, TLR2-deficient mice responded to LPS to the same extent as wild-type mice. TLR2-deficient macrophages were hyporesponsive to several Gram-positive bacterial cell walls as well as Staphylococcus aureus peptidoglycan. TLR4-deficient macrophages lacked the response to Gram-positive lipoteichoic acids. These results demonstrate that TLR2 and TLR4 recognize different bacterial cell wall components in vivo and TLR2 plays a major role in Gram-positive bacterial recognition.
Vertebrates achieve internal homeostasis during infection or injury by balancing the activities of proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory pathways. Endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide), produced by all gram-negative bacteria, activates macrophages to release cytokines that are potentially lethal. The central nervous system regulates systemic inflammatory responses to endotoxin through humoral mechanisms. Activation of afferent vagus nerve fibres by endotoxin or cytokines stimulates hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal anti-inflammatory responses. However, comparatively little is known about the role of efferent vagus nerve signalling in modulating inflammation. Here, we describe a previously unrecognized, parasympathetic anti-inflammatory pathway by which the brain modulates systemic inflammatory responses to endotoxin. Acetylcholine, the principle vagal neurotransmitter, significantly attenuated the release of cytokines (tumour necrosis factor (TNF), interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-6 and IL-18), but not the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10, in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated human macrophage cultures. Direct electrical stimulation of the peripheral vagus nerve in vivo during lethal endotoxaemia in rats inhibited TNF synthesis in liver, attenuated peak serum TNF amounts, and prevented the development of shock.
Studies on mice deficient in nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) subunits have shown that this transcription factor is important for lymphocyte responses to antigens and cytokine-inducible gene expression. In particular, the RelA (p65) subunit is required for induction of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha)-dependent genes. Treatment of RelA-deficient (RelA-/-) mouse fibroblasts and macrophages with TNF-alpha resulted in a significant reduction in viability, whereas RelA+/+ cells were unaffected. Cytotoxicity to both cell types was mediated by TNF receptor 1. Reintroduction of RelA into RelA-/- fibroblasts resulted in enhanced survival, demonstrating that the presence of RelA is required for protection from TNF-alpha. These results have implications for the treatment of inflammatory and proliferative diseases.
Excessive inflammation and tumour-necrosis factor (TNF) synthesis cause morbidity and mortality in diverse human diseases including endotoxaemia, sepsis, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. Highly conserved, endogenous mechanisms normally regulate the magnitude of innate immune responses and prevent excessive inflammation. The nervous system, through the vagus nerve, can inhibit significantly and rapidly the release of macrophage TNF, and attenuate systemic inflammatory responses. This physiological mechanism, termed the 'cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway' has major implications in immunology and in therapeutics; however, the identity of the essential macrophage acetylcholine-mediated (cholinergic) receptor that responds to vagus nerve signals was previously unknown. Here we report that the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor alpha7 subunit is required for acetylcholine inhibition of macrophage TNF release. Electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve inhibits TNF synthesis in wild-type mice, but fails to inhibit TNF synthesis in alpha7-deficient mice. Thus, the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor alpha7 subunit is essential for inhibiting cytokine synthesis by the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway.
Apoptosis induced by TNF-receptor I (TNFR1) is thought to proceed via recruitment of the adaptor FADD and caspase-8 to the receptor complex. TNFR1 signaling is also known to activate the transcription factor NF-kappa B and promote survival. The mechanism by which this decision between cell death and survival is arbitrated is not clear. We report that TNFR1-induced apoptosis involves two sequential signaling complexes. The initial plasma membrane bound complex (complex I) consists of TNFR1, the adaptor TRADD, the kinase RIP1, and TRAF2 and rapidly signals activation of NF-kappa B. In a second step, TRADD and RIP1 associate with FADD and caspase-8, forming a cytoplasmic complex (complex II). When NF-kappa B is activated by complex I, complex II harbors the caspase-8 inhibitor FLIP(L) and the cell survives. Thus, TNFR1-mediated-signal transduction includes a checkpoint, resulting in cell death (via complex II) in instances where the initial signal (via complex I, NF-kappa B) fails to be activated.
Mammalian cells proteolytically release (shed) the extracellular domains of many cell-surface proteins. Modification of the cell surface in this way can alter the cell's responsiveness to its environment and release potent soluble regulatory factors. The release of soluble tumour-necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) from its membrane-bound precursor is one of the most intensively studied shedding events because this inflammatory cytokine is so physiologically important. The inhibition of TNF-alpha release (and many other shedding phenomena) by hydroxamic acid-based inhibitors indicates that one or more metalloproteinases is involved. We have now purified and cloned a metalloproteinase that specifically cleaves precursor TNF-alpha. Inactivation of the gene in mouse cells caused a marked decrease in soluble TNF-alpha production. This enzyme (called the TNF-alpha-converting enzyme, or TACE) is a new member of the family of mammalian adamalysins (or ADAMs), for which no physiological catalytic function has previously been identified. Our results should facilitate the development of therapeutically useful inhibitors of TNF-alpha release, and they indicate that an important function of adamalysins may be to shed cell-surface proteins.
Smac mimetics induce apoptosis synergistically with TNF-alpha by triggering the formation of a caspase-8-activating complex containing receptor interacting protein kinase-1 (RIPK1). Caspase inhibitors block this form of apoptosis in many types of cells. However, in several other cell lines, caspase inhibitors switch the apoptotic response to necrosis. A genome wide siRNA screen revealed another member of the RIP kinase family, RIP3, to be required for necrosis. The expression of RIP3 in different cell lines correlates with their responsiveness to necrosis induction. The kinase activity of RIP3 is essential for necrosis execution. Upon induction of necrosis, RIP3 is recruited to RIPK1 to form a necrosis-inducing complex. Embryonic fibroblasts from RIP3 knockout mice are resistant to necrosis and RIP3 knockout animals are devoid of inflammation inflicted tissue damage in an acute pancreatitis model. These data indicate RIP3 as the determinant for cellular necrosis in response to TNF-alpha family of death-inducing cytokines.
A single mouse click on the topic tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in PubMed reveals about 50,000 articles providing one or the other information about this pleiotropic cytokine or its relatives. This demonstrates the enormous scientific and clinical interest in elucidating the biology of a molecule (or rather a large family of molecules), which began now almost 30 years ago with the description of a cytokine able to exert antitumoral effects in mouse models. Although our understanding of the multiple functions of TNF in vivo and of the respective underlying mechanisms at a cellular and molecular level has made enormous progress since then, new aspects are steadily uncovered and it appears that still much needs to be learned before we can conclude that we have a full comprehension of TNF biology. This review shortly covers some general aspects of this fascinating molecule and then concentrates on the molecular mechanisms of TNF signal transduction. In particular, the multiple facets of crosstalk between the various signalling pathways engaged by TNF will be addressed.
Necrosis can be induced by stimulating death receptors with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) or other agonists; however, the underlying mechanism differentiating necrosis from apoptosis is largely unknown. We identified the protein kinase receptor-interacting protein 3 (RIP3) as a molecular switch between TNF-induced apoptosis and necrosis in NIH 3T3 cells and found that RIP3 was required for necrosis in other cells. RIP3 did not affect RIP1-mediated apoptosis but was required for RIP1-mediated necrosis and the enhancement of necrosis by the caspase inhibitor zVAD. By activating key enzymes of metabolic pathways, RIP3 regulates TNF-induced reactive oxygen species production, which partially accounts for RIP3's ability to promote necrosis. Our data suggest that modulation of energy metabolism in response to death stimuli has an important role in the choice between apoptosis and necrosis.
Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) signaling gives rise to a number of events, including activation of transcription factor NF-kappaB and programmed cell death (apoptosis). Previous studies of TNF-alpha signaling have suggested that these two events occur independently. The sensitivity and kinetics of TNF-alpha-induced apoptosis are shown to be enhanced in a number of cell types expressing a dominant-negative IkappaBalpha (IkappaBalphaM). These findings suggest that a negative feedback mechanism results from TNF-alpha signaling in which NF-kappaB activation suppresses the signals for cell death.
TNFalpha is a pleiotropic cytokine that induces either cell proliferation or cell death. Inhibition of NF-kappaB activation increases susceptibility to TNFalpha-induced death, concurrent with sustained JNK activation, an important contributor to the death response. Sustained JNK activation in NF-kappaB-deficient cells was suggested to depend on reactive oxygen species (ROS), but how ROS affect JNK activation was unclear. We now show that TNFalpha-induced ROS, whose accumulation is suppressed by mitochondrial superoxide dismutase, cause oxidation and inhibition of JNK-inactivating phosphatases by converting their catalytic cysteine to sulfenic acid. This results in sustained JNK activation, which is required for cytochrome c release and caspase 3 cleavage, as well as necrotic cell death. Treatment of cells or experimental animals with an antioxidant prevents H(2)O(2) accumulation, JNK phosphatase oxidation, sustained JNK activity, and both forms of cell death. Antioxidant treatment also prevents TNFalpha-mediated fulminant liver failure without affecting liver regeneration.
The regulation of bone remodeling by an adipocyte-derived hormone implies that bone may exert a feedback control of energy homeostasis. To test this hypothesis we looked for genes expressed in osteoblasts, encoding signaling molecules and affecting energy metabolism. We show here that mice lacking the protein tyrosine phosphatase OST-PTP are hypoglycemic and are protected from obesity and glucose intolerance because of an increase in beta-cell proliferation, insulin secretion, and insulin sensitivity. In contrast, mice lacking the osteoblast-secreted molecule osteocalcin display decreased beta-cell proliferation, glucose intolerance, and insulin resistance. Removing one Osteocalcin allele from OST-PTP-deficient mice corrects their metabolic phenotype. Ex vivo, osteocalcin can stimulate CyclinD1 and Insulin expression in beta-cells and Adiponectin, an insulin-sensitizing adipokine, in adipocytes; in vivo osteocalcin can improve glucose tolerance. By revealing that the skeleton exerts an endocrine regulation of sugar homeostasis this study expands the biological importance of this organ and our understanding of energy metabolism.
The past decade has witnessed hundreds of reports declaring or refuting genetic association with putative Alzheimer disease susceptibility genes. This wealth of information has become increasingly difficult to follow, much less interpret. We have created a publicly available, continuously updated database that comprehensively catalogs all genetic association studies in the field of Alzheimer disease (http://www.alzgene.org). We performed systematic meta-analyses for each polymorphism with available genotype data in at least three case-control samples. In addition to identifying the epsilon4 allele of APOE and related effects, we pinpointed over a dozen potential Alzheimer disease susceptibility genes (ACE, CHRNB2, CST3, ESR1, GAPDHS, IDE, MTHFR, NCSTN, PRNP, PSEN1, TF, TFAM and TNF) with statistically significant allelic summary odds ratios (ranging from 1.11-1.38 for risk alleles and 0.92-0.67 for protective alleles). Our database provides a powerful tool for deciphering the genetics of Alzheimer disease, and it serves as a potential model for tracking the most viable gene candidates in other genetically complex diseases.
Obesity is highly associated with insulin resistance and is the biggest risk factor for non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. The molecular basis of this common syndrome, however, is poorly understood. It has been suggested that tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha is a candidate mediator of insulin resistance in obesity, as it is overexpressed in the adipose tissues of rodents and humans and it blocks the action of insulin in cultured cells and whole animals. To investigate the role of TNF-alpha in obesity and insulin resistance, we have generated obese mice with a targeted null mutation in the gene encoding TNF-alpha and those encoding the two receptors for TNF-alpha. The absence of TNF-alpha resulted in significantly improved insulin sensitivity in both diet-induced obesity and that resulting for the ob/ob model of obesity. The TNFalpha-deficient obese mice had lower levels of circulating free fatty acids, and were protected from the obesity-related reduction in the insulin receptor signalling in muscle and fat tissues. These results indicate that TNF-alpha is an important mediator of insulin resistance in obesity through its effects on several important sites of insulin action.
TRAF6 is a signal transducer in the NF-kappaB pathway that activates IkappaB kinase (IKK) in response to proinflammatory cytokines. We have purified a heterodimeric protein complex that links TRAF6 to IKK activation. Peptide mass fingerprinting analysis reveals that this complex is composed of the ubiquitin conjugating enzyme Ubc13 and the Ubc-like protein Uev1A. We find that TRAF6, a RING domain protein, functions together with Ubc13/Uev1A to catalyze the synthesis of unique polyubiquitin chains linked through lysine-63 (K63) of ubiquitin. Blockade of this polyubiquitin chain synthesis, but not inhibition of the proteasome, prevents the activation of IKK by TRAF6. These results unveil a new regulatory function for ubiquitin, in which IKK is activated through the assembly of K63-linked polyubiquitin chains.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the hepatic manifestation of metabolic syndrome and the leading cause of chronic liver disease in the Western world. Twenty per cent of NAFLD individuals develop chronic hepatic inflammation (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, NASH) associated with cirrhosis, portal hypertension and hepatocellular carcinoma, yet the causes of progression from NAFLD to NASH remain obscure. Here, we show that the NLRP6 and NLRP3 inflammasomes and the effector protein IL-18 negatively regulate NAFLD/NASH progression, as well as multiple aspects of metabolic syndrome via modulation of the gut microbiota. Different mouse models reveal that inflammasome-deficiency-associated changes in the configuration of the gut microbiota are associated with exacerbated hepatic steatosis and inflammation through influx of TLR4 and TLR9 agonists into the portal circulation, leading to enhanced hepatic tumour-necrosis factor (TNF)-α expression that drives NASH progression. Furthermore, co-housing of inflammasome-deficient mice with wild-type mice results in exacerbation of hepatic steatosis and obesity. Thus, altered interactions between the gut microbiota and the host, produced by defective NLRP3 and NLRP6 inflammasome sensing, may govern the rate of progression of multiple metabolic syndrome-associated abnormalities, highlighting the central role of the microbiota in the pathogenesis of heretofore seemingly unrelated systemic auto-inflammatory and metabolic disorders.
Understanding the immunological mechanisms of protection and pathogenesis in tuberculosis remains problematic. We have examined the extent to which tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF alpha) contributes to this disease using murine models in which the action of TNF alpha is inhibited. TNF alpha was neutralized in vivo by monoclonal antibody; in addition, a mouse strain with a disruption in the gene for the 55 kDa TNF receptor was used. The data from both models established that TNF alpha and the 55 kDa TNF receptor are essential for protection against tuberculosis in mice, and for reactive nitrogen production by macrophages early in infection. Granulomas were formed in equal numbers in control and experimental mice, but necrosis was observed only in mice deficient in TNF alpha or TNF receptor. TNF alpha and the 55 kDa TNF receptor are necessary conditions for protection against murine M. tuberculosis infection, but are not solely responsible for the tissue damage observed.
Many cells are resistant to stimuli that can induce apoptosis, but the mechanisms involved are not fully understood. The activation of the transcription factor nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappaB) by tumor necrosis factor (TNF), ionizing radiation, or daunorubicin (a cancer chemotherapeutic compound), was found to protect from cell killing. Inhibition of NF-kappaB nuclear translocation enhanced apoptotic killing by these reagents but not by apoptotic stimuli that do not activate NF-kappaB. These results provide a mechanism of cellular resistance to killing by some apoptotic reagents, offer insight into a new role for NF-kappaB, and have potential for improvement of the efficacy of cancer therapies.
Here we investigated the biological functions of adiponectin/ACRP30, a fat-derived hormone, by disrupting the gene that encodes it in mice. Adiponectin/ACRP30-knockout (KO) mice showed delayed clearance of free fatty acid in plasma, low levels of fatty-acid transport protein 1 (FATP-1) mRNA in muscle, high levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) mRNA in adipose tissue and high plasma TNF-alpha concentrations. The KO mice exhibited severe diet-induced insulin resistance with reduced insulin-receptor substrate 1 (IRS-1)-associated phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3-kinase) activity in muscle. Viral mediated adiponectin/ACRP30 expression in KO mice reversed the reduction of FATP-1 mRNA, the increase of adipose TNF-alpha mRNA and the diet-induced insulin resistance. In cultured myocytes, TNF-alpha decreased FATP-1 mRNA, IRS-1-associated PI3-kinase activity and glucose uptake, whereas adiponectin increased these parameters. Our results indicate that adiponectin/ACRP30 deficiency and high TNF-alpha levels in KO mice reduced muscle FATP-1 mRNA and IRS-1-mediated insulin signaling, resulting in severe diet-induced insulin resistance.
We report here that miR-155 and miR-125b play a role in innate immune response. LPS stimulation of mouse Raw 264.7 macrophages resulted in the up-regulation of miR-155 and down-regulation of miR-125b levels. The same changes also occurred when C57BL/6 mice were i.p. injected with LPS. Furthermore, the levels of miR-155 and miR-125b in Raw 264.7 cells displayed oscillatory changes in response to TNF-alpha. These changes were impaired by pretreating the cells with the proteasome inhibitor MG-132, suggesting that these two microRNAs (miRNAs) may be at least transiently under the direct control of NF-kappaB transcriptional activity. We show that miR-155 most probably directly targets transcript coding for several proteins involved in LPS signaling such as the Fas-associated death domain protein (FADD), IkappaB kinase epsilon (IKKepsilon), and the receptor (TNFR superfamily)-interacting serine-threonine kinase 1 (Ripk1) while enhancing TNF-alpha translation. In contrast, miR-125b targets the 3'-untranslated region of TNF-alpha transcripts; therefore, its down-regulation in response to LPS may be required for proper TNF-alpha production. Finally, Emu-miR-155 transgenic mice produced higher levels of TNF-alpha when exposed to LPS and were hypersensitive to LPS/d-galactosamine-induced septic shock. Altogether, our data suggest that the LPS/TNF-alpha-dependent regulation of miR-155 and miR-125b may be implicated in the response to endotoxin shock, thus offering new targets for drug design.
Two general forms of synaptic plasticity that operate on different timescales are thought to contribute to the activity-dependent refinement of neural circuitry during development: (1) long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD), which involve rapid adjustments in the strengths of individual synapses in response to specific patterns of correlated synaptic activity, and (2) homeostatic synaptic scaling, which entails uniform adjustments in the strength of all synapses on a cell in response to prolonged changes in the cell's electrical activity. Without homeostatic synaptic scaling, neural networks can become unstable and perform suboptimally. Although much is known about the mechanisms underlying LTP and LTD, little is known about the mechanisms responsible for synaptic scaling except that such scaling is due, at least in part, to alterations in receptor content at synapses. Here we show that synaptic scaling in response to prolonged blockade of activity is mediated by the pro-inflammatory cytokine tumour-necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha). Using mixtures of wild-type and TNF-alpha-deficient neurons and glia, we also show that glia are the source of the TNF-alpha that is required for this form of synaptic scaling. We suggest that by modulating TNF-alpha levels, glia actively participate in the homeostatic activity-dependent regulation of synaptic connectivity.