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Youm Y.-H.,Louisiana State University | Kanneganti T.-D.,St Jude Childrens Research Hospital | Vandanmagsar B.,Louisiana State University | Zhu X.,Section on Lipid science | And 5 more authors.
Cell Reports | Year: 2012

The collapse of thymic stromal cell microenvironment with age and resultant inability of the thymus to produce naive T cells contributes to lower immune-surveillance in the elderly. Here we show that age-related increase in 'lipotoxic danger signals' such as free cholesterol (FC) and ceramides, leads to thymic caspase-1 activation via the Nlrp3 inflammasome. Elimination of Nlrp3 and Asc, a critical adaptor required for inflammasome assembly, reduces age-related thymic atrophy and results in an increase in cortical thymic epithelial cells, T cell progenitors and maintenance of T cell repertoire diversity. Using a mouse model of irradiation and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), we show that deletion of the Nlrp3 inflammasome accelerates T cell reconstitution and immune recovery in middle-aged animals. Collectively, these data demonstrate that lowering inflammasome-dependent caspase-1 activation increases thymic lymphopoiesis and suggest that Nlrp3 inflammasome inhibitors may aid the re-establishment of a diverse T cell repertoire in middle-aged or elderly patients undergoing HSCT. © 2012 The Authors.

Zhu X.,Section on Lipid science | Parks J.S.,Section on Lipid science
Annual Review of Nutrition | Year: 2012

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels are inversely associated with coronary heart disease due to HDL's ability to transport excess cholesterol in arterial macrophages to the liver for excretion i.e., reverse cholesterol transport (RCT). However, recent advances highlight additional atheroprotective roles for HDL beyond bulk cholesterol removal from cells through RCT. By promoting cellular free cholesterol (FC) efflux, HDL and its apolipoproteins (apoA-I and apoE) decrease plasma membrane FC and lipid raft content in immune and hematopoietic stem cells, decreasing inflammatory and cell proliferation signaling pathways. HDL and apoA-I also dampen inflammatory signaling pathways independent of cellular FC efflux. In addition, HDL lipid and protein cargo provide protection against parasitic and bacterial infection, endothelial damage, and oxidant toxicity. Here, current knowledge is reviewed regarding the role of HDL and its apolipoproteins in regulating cellular cholesterol homeostasis, highlighting recent advances on novel functions and mechanisms by which HDLs regulate inflammation and hematopoiesis. Copyright © 2012 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

Huang Y.,Cleveland Clinic | Didonato J.A.,Cleveland Clinic | Levison B.S.,Cleveland Clinic | Schmitt D.,Cleveland Clinic | And 28 more authors.
Nature Medicine | Year: 2014

Recent studies have indicated that high-density lipoproteins (HDLs) and their major structural protein, apolipoprotein A1 (apoA1), recovered from human atheroma are dysfunctional and are extensively oxidized by myeloperoxidase (MPO). In vitro oxidation of either apoA1 or HDL particles by MPO impairs their cholesterol acceptor function. Here, using phage display affinity maturation, we developed a high-affinity monoclonal antibody that specifically recognizes both apoA1 and HDL that have been modified by the MPO-H 2 O 2-Cl-system. An oxindolyl alanine (2-OH-Trp) moiety at Trp72 of apoA1 is the immunogenic epitope. Mutagenesis studies confirmed a critical role for apoA1 Trp72 in MPO-mediated inhibition of the ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1)-dependent cholesterol acceptor activity of apoA1 in vitro and in vivo. ApoA1 containing a 2-OH-Trp72 group (oxTrp72-apoA1) is in low abundance within the circulation but accounts for 20% of the apoA1 in atherosclerosis-laden arteries. OxTrp72-apoA1 recovered from human atheroma or plasma is lipid poor, virtually devoid of cholesterol acceptor activity and demonstrated both a potent proinflammatory activity on endothelial cells and an impaired HDL biogenesis activity in vivo. Elevated oxTrp72-apoA1 levels in subjects presenting to a cardiology clinic (n = 627) were associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk. Circulating oxTrp72-apoA1 levels may serve as a way to monitor a proatherogenic process in the artery wall. © 2014 Nature America, Inc.

Koeth R.A.,Cleveland Clinic | Wang Z.,Cleveland Clinic | Levison B.S.,Cleveland Clinic | Buffa J.A.,Cleveland Clinic | And 19 more authors.
Nature Medicine | Year: 2013

Intestinal microbiota metabolism of choline and phosphatidylcholine produces trimethylamine (TMA), which is further metabolized to a proatherogenic species, trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO). We demonstrate here that metabolism by intestinal microbiota of dietary l-carnitine, a trimethylamine abundant in red meat, also produces TMAO and accelerates atherosclerosis in mice. Omnivorous human subjects produced more TMAO than did vegans or vegetarians following ingestion of l-carnitine through a microbiota-dependent mechanism. The presence of specific bacterial taxa in human feces was associated with both plasma TMAO concentration and dietary status. Plasma l-carnitine levels in subjects undergoing cardiac evaluation (n = 2,595) predicted increased risks for both prevalent cardiovascular disease (CVD) and incident major adverse cardiac events (myocardial infarction, stroke or death), but only among subjects with concurrently high TMAO levels. Chronic dietary l-carnitine supplementation in mice altered cecal microbial composition, markedly enhanced synthesis of TMA and TMAO, and increased atherosclerosis, but this did not occur if intestinal microbiota was concurrently suppressed. In mice with an intact intestinal microbiota, dietary supplementation with TMAO or either carnitine or choline reduced in vivo reverse cholesterol transport. Intestinal microbiota may thus contribute to the well-established link between high levels of red meat consumption and CVD risk. © 2013 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.

Liu M.,Section on Lipid science | Chung S.,University of Florida | Shelness G.S.,Section on Lipid science | Parks J.S.,Section on Lipid science
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids | Year: 2012

Elevated plasma triglyceride (TG) and reduced high density lipoprotein (HDL) concentrations are prominent features of metabolic syndrome (MS) and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Individuals with Tangier disease also have elevated plasma TG concentrations and a near absence of HDL, resulting from mutations in ATP binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1), which facilitates the efflux of cellular phospholipid and free cholesterol to assemble with apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I), forming nascent HDL particles. In this review, we summarize studies focused on the regulation of hepatic very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) TG production, with particular attention on recent evidence connecting hepatic ABCA1 expression to VLDL, LDL, and HDL metabolism. Silencing ABCA1 in McArdle rat hepatoma cells results in diminished assembly of large (> 10 nm) nascent HDL particles, diminished PI3 kinase activation, and increased secretion of large, TG-enriched VLDL1 particles. Hepatocyte-specific ABCA1 knockout (HSKO) mice have a similar plasma lipid phenotype as Tangier disease subjects, with a two-fold elevation of plasma VLDL TG, 50% lower LDL, and 80% reduction in HDL concentrations. This lipid phenotype arises from increased hepatic secretion of VLDL1 particles, increased hepatic uptake of plasma LDL by the LDL receptor, elimination of nascent HDL particle assembly by the liver, and hypercatabolism of apoA-I by the kidney. These studies highlight a novel role for hepatic ABCA1 in the metabolism of all three major classes of plasma lipoproteins and provide a metabolic link between elevated TG and reduced HDL levels that are a common feature of Tangier disease, MS, and T2D. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Triglyceride Metabolism and Disease. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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