In this issue of JCI Insight, Nadeem et al. explore how reduced coverage of vessels by pericytes contributes to arteriovenous malformations. They found that inhibiting Notch signaling specifically in perivascular cells in mice resulted in severe arteriovenous malformations, with a significant reduction in pericytes and marked changes in vascular smooth muscle cells. The cover image shows retinal vasculature perfused with blue latex compound from a mouse with conditional inhibition of perivascular Notch signaling.
Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are high-flow lesions directly connecting arteries and veins. In the brain, AVM rupture can cause seizures, stroke, and death. Patients with AVMs exhibit reduced coverage of the vessels by pericytes, the mural cells of microvascular capillaries; however, the mechanism underlying this pericyte reduction and its association with AVM pathogenesis remains unknown. Notch signaling has been proposed to regulate critical pericyte functions. We hypothesized that Notch signaling in pericytes is crucial to maintain pericyte homeostasis and prevent AVM formation. We inhibited Notch signaling specifically in perivascular cells and analyzed the vasculature of these mice. The retinal vessels of mice with deficient perivascular Notch signaling developed severe AVMs, together with a significant reduction in pericytes and vascular smooth muscle cells (vSMC) in the arteries, while vSMCs were increased in the veins. Vascular malformations and pericyte loss were also observed in the forebrain of embryonic mice deficient for perivascular Notch signaling. Moreover, the loss of Notch signaling in pericytes downregulated Pdgfrb levels and increased pericyte apoptosis, pointing to a critical role for Notch in pericyte survival. Overall, our findings reveal a mechanism of AVM formation and highlight the Notch signaling pathway as an essential mediator in this process.
Taliha Nadeem, Wil Bogue, Bianca Bigit, Henar Cuervo
Hypoglycemia is a frequent complication of diabetes, limiting therapy and increasing morbidity and mortality. With recurrent hypoglycemia, the counterregulatory response (CRR) to decreased blood glucose is blunted, resulting in hypoglycemia-associated autonomic failure (HAAF). The mechanisms leading to these blunted effects are only poorly understood. Here, we report, with ISH, IHC, and the tissue-clearing capability of iDISCO+, that growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) neurons represent a unique population of arcuate nucleus neurons activated by glucose deprivation in vivo. Repeated glucose deprivation reduces GHRH neuron activation and remodels excitatory and inhibitory inputs to GHRH neurons. We show that low glucose sensing is coupled to GHRH neuron depolarization, decreased ATP production, and mitochondrial fusion. Repeated hypoglycemia attenuates these responses during low glucose. By maintaining mitochondrial length with the small molecule mitochondrial division inhibitor-1, we preserved hypoglycemia sensitivity in vitro and in vivo. Our findings present possible mechanisms for the blunting of the CRR, significantly broaden our understanding of the structure of GHRH neurons, and reveal that mitochondrial dynamics play an important role in HAAF. We conclude that interventions targeting mitochondrial fission in GHRH neurons may offer a new pathway to prevent HAAF in patients with diabetes.
Mitchell Bayne, Alexandra Alvarsson, Kavya Devarakonda, Rosemary Li, Maria Jimenez-Gonzalez, Darline Garibay, Kaetlyn Conner, Merina Varghese, Madhavika N. Serasinghe, Jerry E. Chipuk, Patrick R. Hof, Sarah A. Stanley
Metabolic syndrome (MetS), which is associated with chronic inflammation, predisposes males to hypogonadism and subfertility. The underlying mechanism of these pathologies remains poorly understood. Homozygous leptin-resistant obese db/db mice are characterized by small testes, low testicular testosterone, and a reduced number of Leydig cells. Here we report that IL-1β, CCL2 (also known as MCP-1), and corticosterone concentrations were increased in the testes of db/db mice relative to those in WT controls. Cultured murine and human Leydig cells responded to cytokine stress with increased CCL2 release and apoptotic signals. Chemical inhibition of CCL2 rescued Leydig cell function in vitro and in db/db mice. Consistently, we found that Ccl2-deficient mice fed with a high-energy diet were protected from testicular dysfunction compared with similarly fed WT mice. Finally, a cohort of infertile men with a history of MetS showed that reduction of CCL2 plasma levels could be achieved by weight loss and was clearly associated with recovery from hypogonadism. Taken together, we conclude that CCL2-mediated chronic inflammation is, to a large extent, responsible for the subfertility in MetS by causing damage to Leydig cells.
Qingkui Jiang, Constanze C. Maresch, Sebastian Friedrich Petry, Agnieszka Paradowska-Dogan, Sudhanshu Bhushan, Yongsheng Chang, Christine Wrenzycki, Hans-Christian Schuppe, Petr Houska, Michaela F. Hartmann, Stefan A. Wudy, Lanbo Shi, Thomas Linn
Patient-derived organoid models are proving to be a powerful platform for both basic and translational studies. Here we conduct a methodical analysis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) tumor organoid drug response in paired patient-derived xenograft (PDX) and PDX-derived organoid (PXO) models grown under WNT-free culture conditions. We report a specific relationship between area under the curve value of organoid drug dose response and in vivo tumor growth, irrespective of the drug treatment. In addition, we analyzed the glycome of PDX and PXO models and demonstrate that PXOs recapitulate the in vivo glycan landscape. In addition, we identify a core set of 57 N-glycans detected in all 10 models that represent 50%–94% of the relative abundance of all N-glycans detected in each of the models. Last, we developed a secreted biomarker discovery pipeline using media supernatant of organoid cultures and identified potentially new extracellular vesicle (EV) protein markers. We validated our findings using plasma samples from patients with PDAC, benign gastrointestinal diseases, and chronic pancreatitis and discovered that 4 EV proteins are potential circulating biomarkers for PDAC. Thus, we demonstrate the utility of organoid cultures to not only model in vivo drug responses but also serve as a powerful platform for discovering clinically actionable serologic biomarkers.
Ling Huang, Bruno Bockorny, Indranil Paul, Dipikaa Akshinthala, Pierre-Oliver Frappart, Omar Gandarilla, Arindam Bose, Veronica Sanchez-Gonzalez, Emily E. Rouse, Sylvain D. Lehoux, Nicole Pandell, Christine M. Lim, John G. Clohessy, Joseph Grossman, Raul Gonzalez, Sofia Perea Del Pino, George Daaboul, Mandeep S. Sawhney, Steven D. Freedman, Alexander Kleger, Richard D. Cummings, Andrew Emili, Lakshmi B. Muthuswamy, Manuel Hidalgo, Senthil K. Muthuswamy
Mutations of CNTNAP1 were associated with myelination disorders, suggesting the role of CNTNAP1 in myelination processes. Whether CNTNAP1 may have a role in early cortical neuronal development is largely unknown. In this study, we identified 4 compound heterozygous mutations of CNTNAP1 in 2 Chinese families. Using mouse models, we found that CNTNAP1 is highly expressed in neurons and is located predominantly in MAP2+ neurons during the early developmental stage. Importantly, Cntnap1 deficiency results in aberrant dendritic growth and spine development in vitro and in vivo, and it delayed migration of cortical neurons during early development. Finally, we found that the number of parvalbumin+ neurons in the cortex and hippocampus of Cntnap1–/– mice is strikingly increased by P15, suggesting that excitation/inhibition balance is impaired. Together, this evidence elucidates a critical function of CNTNAP1 in cortical development, providing insights underlying molecular and circuit mechanisms of CNTNAP1-related disease.
Wanxing Li, Lin Yang, Chuanqing Tang, Kaiyi Liu, Yulan Lu, Huijun Wang, Kai Yan, Zilong Qiu, Wenhao Zhou
Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy for solid tumors has shown limited efficacy in early-phase clinical studies. The majority of CARs encode CD28 and/or 41BB costimulatory endodomains, and we explored whether MyD88 and CD40 (MC) costimulatory endodomains in CARs could improve their antitumor activity. We generated CD28-, 41BB-, and MC-CAR T cells and demonstrated that MC-CAR T cells have greater proliferative capacity and antitumor activity in repeat stimulation assays and in tumor models in vivo. Transcriptomic analysis revealed that MC-CAR T cells expressed higher levels of MYB and FOXM1, key cell cycle regulators, and were activated at baseline. After stimulation, MC-CAR T cells remained in a less differentiated state than CD28- and 41BB-CAR T cells as judged by low levels of transcription factor TBET and B lymphocyte induced maturation protein 1 expression and lower cytolytic activity in comparison with CD28- and 41BB-CAR T cells. Thus, including MyD88 and CD40 signaling domains in CARs may improve current CAR T cell therapy approaches for solid tumors.
Brooke Prinzing, Patrick Schreiner, Matthew Bell, Yiping Fan, Giedre Krenciute, Stephen Gottschalk
Diabetic neuropathy is a major complication of diabetes. Current treatment options alleviate pain but do not stop the progression of the disease. At present, there are no approved disease-modifying therapies. Thus, developing more effective therapies remains a major unmet medical need. Seeking to better understand the molecular mechanisms driving peripheral neuropathy, as well as other neurological complications associated with diabetes, we performed spatiotemporal lipidomics, biochemical, ultrastructural, and physiological studies on PNS and CNS tissue from multiple diabetic preclinical models. We unraveled potentially novel molecular fingerprints underlying nerve damage in obesity-induced diabetes, including an early loss of nerve mitochondrial (cardiolipin) and myelin signature (galactosylceramide, sulfatide, and plasmalogen phosphatidylethanolamine) lipids that preceded mitochondrial, myelin, and axonal structural/functional defects; started in the PNS; and progressed to the CNS at advanced diabetic stages. Mechanistically, we provided substantial evidence indicating that these nerve mitochondrial/myelin lipid abnormalities are (surprisingly) not driven by hyperglycemia, dysinsulinemia, or insulin resistance, but rather associate with obesity/hyperlipidemia. Importantly, our findings have major clinical implications as they open the door to novel lipid-based biomarkers to diagnose and distinguish different subtypes of diabetic neuropathy (obese vs. nonobese diabetics), as well as to lipid-lowering therapeutic strategies for treatment of obesity/diabetes-associated neurological complications and for glycemic control.
Juan P. Palavicini, Juan Chen, Chunyan Wang, Jianing Wang, Chao Qin, Eric Baeuerle, Xinming Wang, Jung A. Woo, David E. Kang, Nicolas Musi, Jeffrey L. Dupree, Xianlin Han
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) induces the failure of arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) and promotes the differentiation of vascular adventitial GLI1-positive mesenchymal stem cells (GMCs). However, the roles of GMCs in forming neointima in AVFs remain unknown. GMCs isolated from CKD mice showed increased potential capacity of differentiation into myofibroblast-like cells. Increased activation of expression of PDGFRA and hedgehog (HH) signaling were detected in adventitial cells of AVFs from patients with end-stage kidney disease and CKD mice. PDGFRA was translocated and accumulated in early endosome when sonic hedgehog was overexpressed. In endosome, PDGFRA-mediated activation of TGFB1/SMAD signaling promoted the differentiation of GMCs into myofibroblasts, extracellular matrix deposition, and vascular fibrosis. These responses resulted in neointima formation and AVF failure. KO of Pdgfra or inhibition of HH signaling in GMCs suppressed the differentiation of GMCs into myofibroblasts. In vivo, specific KO of Pdgfra inhibited GMC activation and vascular fibrosis, resulting in suppression of neointima formation and improvement of AVF patency despite CKD. Our findings could yield strategies for maintaining AVF functions.
Ke Song, Ying Qing, Qunying Guo, Eric K. Peden, Changyi Chen, William E. Mitch, Luan Truong, Jizhong Cheng
With an expanding aging population burdened with comorbidities, there is considerable interest in treatments that optimize health in later life. Acarbose (ACA), a drug used clinically to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), can extend mouse life span with greater effect in males than in females. Using a genetically heterogeneous mouse model, we tested the ability of ACA to ameliorate functional, pathological, and biochemical changes that occur during aging, and we determined which of the effects of age and drug were sex dependent. In both sexes, ACA prevented age-dependent loss of body mass, in addition to improving balance/coordination on an accelerating rotarod, rotarod endurance, and grip strength test. Age-related cardiac hypertrophy was seen only in male mice, and this male-specific aging effect was attenuated by ACA. ACA-sensitive cardiac changes were associated with reduced activation of cardiac growth–promoting pathways and increased abundance of peroxisomal proteins involved in lipid metabolism. ACA further ameliorated age-associated changes in cardiac lipid species, particularly lysophospholipids — changes that have previously been associated with aging, cardiac dysfunction, and cardiovascular disease in humans. In the liver, ACA had pronounced effects on lipid handling in both sexes, reducing hepatic lipidosis during aging and shifting the liver lipidome in adulthood, particularly favoring reduced triglyceride (TAG) accumulation. Our results demonstrate that ACA, already in clinical use for T2DM, has broad-ranging antiaging effects in multiple tissues, and it may have the potential to increase physical function and alter lipid biology to preserve or improve health at older ages.
Jonathan J. Herrera, Sean Louzon, Kaitlyn Pifer, Danielle Leander, Gennifer E. Merrihew, Jea H. Park, Kate Szczesniak, Jeremy Whitson, John E. Wilkinson, Oliver Fiehn, Michael J. MacCoss, Sharlene M. Day, Richard A. Miller, Michael Garratt
Actin-associated nonmuscle myosin II (NM2) motor proteins play critical roles in a myriad of cellular functions, including endocytosis and organelle transport pathways. Cell type–specific expression and unique subcellular localization of the NM2 proteins, encoded by the Myh9 and Myh10 genes, in the mouse kidney tubules led us to hypothesize that these proteins have specialized functional roles within the renal epithelium. Inducible conditional knockout (cKO) of Myh9 and Myh10 in the renal tubules of adult mice resulted in progressive kidney disease. Prior to overt renal tubular injury, we observed intracellular accumulation of the glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored protein uromodulin (UMOD) and gradual loss of Na+ K+ 2Cl– cotransporter from the apical membrane of the thick ascending limb epithelia. The UMOD accumulation coincided with expansion of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) tubules and activation of ER stress and unfolded protein response pathways in Myh9&10-cKO kidneys. We conclude that NM2 proteins are required for localization and transport of UMOD and loss of function results in accumulation of UMOD and ER stress–mediated progressive renal tubulointerstitial disease. These observations establish cell type–specific role(s) for NM2 proteins in regulation of specialized renal epithelial transport pathways and reveal the possibility that human kidney disease associated with MYH9 mutations could be of renal epithelial origin.
Karla L. Otterpohl, Brook W. Busselman, Ishara Ratnayake, Ryan G. Hart, Kimberly R. Hart, Claire M. Evans, Carrie L. Phillips, Jordan R. Beach, Phil Ahrenkiel, Bruce A. Molitoris, Kameswaran Surendran, Indra Chandrasekar
Symbiotic microbial colonization through the establishment of the intestinal microbiome is critical to many intestinal functions, including nutrient metabolism, intestinal barrier integrity, and immune regulation. Recent studies suggest that education of intestinal immunity may be ongoing in utero. However, the drivers of this process are unknown. The microbiome and its byproducts are one potential source. Whether a fetal intestinal microbiome exists is controversial, and whether microbially derived metabolites are present in utero is unknown. Here, we aimed to determine whether bacterial DNA and microbially derived metabolites can be detected in second trimester human intestinal samples. Although we were unable to amplify bacterial DNA from fetal intestines, we report a fetal metabolomic intestinal profile with an abundance of bacterially derived and host-derived metabolites commonly produced in response to microbiota. Though we did not directly assess their source and function, we hypothesize that these microbial-associated metabolites either come from the maternal microbiome and are vertically transmitted to the fetus to prime the fetal immune system and prepare the gastrointestinal tract for postnatal microbial encounters or are produced locally by bacteria that were below our detection threshold.
Yujia Li, Jessica M. Toothaker, Shira Ben-Simon, Lital Ozeri, Ron Schweitzer, Blake T. McCourt, Collin C. McCourt, Lael Werner, Scott B. Snapper, Dror S. Shouval, Soliman Khatib, Omry Koren, Sameer Agnihorti, George Tseng, Liza Konnikova
Primary varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection in adults is often complicated by severe pneumonia, which is difficult to treat and is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Here, the simian varicella virus (SVV) nonhuman primate (NHP) model was used to investigate the pathogenesis of varicella pneumonia. SVV infection resulted in transient fever, viremia, and robust virus replication in alveolar pneumocytes and bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue. Clearance of infectious virus from lungs coincided with robust innate immune responses, leading to recruitment of inflammatory cells, mainly neutrophils and lymphocytes, and finally severe acute lung injury. SVV infection caused neutrophil activation and formation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) in vitro and in vivo. Notably, NETs were also detected in lung and blood specimens of varicella pneumonia patients. Lung pathology in the SVV NHP model was associated with dysregulated expression of alveolar epithelial cell tight junction proteins (claudin-2, claudin-10, and claudin-18) and alveolar endothelial adherens junction protein VE-cadherin. Importantly, factors released by activated neutrophils, including NETs, were sufficient to reduce claudin-18 and VE-cadherin expression in NHP lung slice cultures. Collectively, the data indicate that alveolar barrier disruption in varicella pneumonia is associated with NET formation.
Werner J.D. Ouwendijk, Henk-Jan van den Ham, Mark W. Delany, Jeroen J.A. van Kampen, Gijsbert P. van Nierop, Tamana Mehraban, Fatiha Zaaraoui-Boutahar, Wilfred F.J. van IJcken, Judith M.A. van den Brand, Rory D. de Vries, Arno C. Andeweg, Georges M.G.M. Verjans
While autoantibodies are used in the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the function of B cells in the inflamed joint remains elusive. Extensive flow cytometric characterization and SPICE algorithm analyses of single-cell synovial tissue from patients with RA revealed the accumulation of switched and double-negative memory programmed death-1 receptor–expressing (PD-1–expressing) B cells at the site of inflammation. Accumulation of memory B cells was mediated by CXCR3, evident by the observed increase in CXCR3-expressing synovial B cells compared with the periphery, differential regulation by key synovial cytokines, and restricted B cell invasion demonstrated in response to CXCR3 blockade. Notably, under 3% O2 hypoxic conditions that mimic the joint microenvironment, RA B cells maintained marked expression of MMP-9, TNF, and IL-6, with PD-1+ B cells demonstrating higher expression of CXCR3, CD80, CD86, IL-1β, and GM-CSF than their PD-1– counterparts. Finally, following functional analysis and flow cell sorting of RA PD-1+ versus PD-1– B cells, we demonstrate, using RNA-Seq and emerging fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy of cellular NAD, a significant shift in metabolism of RA PD-1+ B cells toward glycolysis, associated with an increased transcriptional signature of key cytokines and chemokines that are strongly implicated in RA pathogenesis. Our data support the targeting of pathogenic PD-1+ B cells in RA as a focused, novel therapeutic option.
Achilleas Floudas, Nuno Neto, Viviana Marzaioli, Kieran Murray, Barry Moran, Michael G. Monaghan, Candice Low, Ronan H. Mullan, Navin Rao, Vinod Krishna, Sunil Nagpal, Douglas J. Veale, Ursula Fearon
Canagliflozin (Cana) is an FDA-approved diabetes drug that protects against cardiovascular and kidney diseases. It also inhibits the sodium glucose transporter 2 by blocking renal reuptake and intestinal absorption of glucose. In the context of the mouse Interventions Testing Program, genetically heterogeneous mice were given chow containing Cana at 180 ppm at 7 months of age until their death. Cana extended median survival of male mice by 14%. Cana also increased by 9% the age for 90th percentile survival, with parallel effects seen at each of 3 test sites. Neither the distribution of inferred cause of death nor incidental pathology findings at end-of-life necropsies were altered by Cana. Moreover, although no life span benefits were seen in female mice, Cana led to lower fasting glucose and improved glucose tolerance in both sexes, diminishing fat mass in females only. Therefore, the life span benefit of Cana is likely to reflect blunting of peak glucose levels, because similar longevity effects are seen in male mice given acarbose, a diabetes drug that blocks glucose surges through a distinct mechanism, i.e., slowing breakdown of carbohydrate in the intestine. Interventions that control daily peak glucose levels deserve attention as possible preventive medicines to protect from a wide range of late-life neoplastic and degenerative diseases.
Richard A. Miller, David E. Harrison, David B. Allison, Molly Bogue, Lucas Debarba, Vivian Diaz, Elizabeth Fernandez, Andrzej Galecki, W. Timothy Garvey, Hashan Jayarathne, Navasuja Kumar, Martin A. Javors, Warren C. Ladiges, Francesca Macchiarini, James Nelson, Peter Reifsnyder, Nadia A. Rosenthal, Marianna Sadagurski, Adam B. Salmon, Daniel L. Smith Jr., Jessica M. Snyder, David B. Lombard, Randy Strong
The brain ventricles are part of the fluid compartments bridging the CNS with the periphery. Using MRI, we previously observed a pronounced increase in ventricle volume (VV) in the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model of multiple sclerosis (MS). Here, we examined VV changes in EAE and MS patients in longitudinal studies with frequent serial MRI scans. EAE mice underwent serial MRI for up to 2 months, with gadolinium contrast as a proxy of inflammation, confirmed by histopathology. We performed a time-series analysis of clinical and MRI data from a prior clinical trial in which RRMS patients underwent monthly MRI scans over 1 year. VV increased dramatically during preonset EAE, resolving upon clinical remission. VV changes coincided with blood-brain barrier disruption and inflammation. VV was normal at the termination of the experiment, when mice were still symptomatic. The majority of relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) patients showed dynamic VV fluctuations. Patients with contracting VV had lower disease severity and a shorter duration. These changes demonstrate that VV does not necessarily expand irreversibly in MS but, over short time scales, can expand and contract. Frequent monitoring of VV in patients will be essential to disentangle the disease-related processes driving short-term VV oscillations from persistent expansion resulting from atrophy.
Jason M. Millward, Paula Ramos Delgado, Alina Smorodchenko, Laura Boehmert, Joao Periquito, Henning M. Reimann, Christian Prinz, Antje Els, Michael Scheel, Judith Bellmann-Strobl, Helmar Waiczies, Jens Wuerfel, Carmen Infante-Duarte, Claudia Chien, Joseph Kuchling, Andreas Pohlmann, Frauke Zipp, Friedemann Paul, Thoralf Niendorf, Sonia Waiczies
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), 2 incurable neurodegenerative disorders, share the same pathological hallmark named TDP43 (TAR DNA binding protein 43) proteinopathy. This event is characterized by a consistent cytoplasmic mislocalization and aggregation of the protein TDP43, which loses its physiological properties, leading neurons to death. Antibody-based approaches are now emerging interventions in the field of neurodegenerative disorders. Here, we tested the target specificity, in vivo distribution, and therapeutic efficacy of a monoclonal full-length antibody, named E6, in TDP43-related conditions. We observed that the antibody recognizes specifically the cytoplasmic fraction of TDP43. We demonstrated its ability in targeting large neurons in the spinal cord of mice and in reducing TDP43 mislocalization and NF-κB activation. We also recognized the proteasome as well as the lysosome machineries as possible mechanisms used by the antibody to reduce TDP43 proteinopathy. To our knowledge, this is the first report showing the therapeutic efficacy and feasibility of a full-length antibody against TDP43 in reducing TDP43 proteinopathy in spinal neurons of an ALS/FTLD mouse model.
Silvia Pozzi, Philippe Codron, Geneviève Soucy, Laurence Renaud, Pierre Junior Cordeau, Kallol Dutta, Christine Bareil, Jean-Pierre Julien
Somatic KRAS mutations are highly prevalent in many cancers. In addition, a distinct spectrum of germline KRAS mutations causes developmental disorders called RASopathies. The mutant proteins encoded by these germline KRAS mutations are less biochemically and functionally activated than those in cancer. We generated mice harboring conditional KrasLSL-P34Rand KrasLSL-T58I knock-in alleles and characterized the consequences of each mutation in vivo. Embryonic expression of KrasT58I resulted in craniofacial abnormalities reminiscent of those seen in RASopathy disorders, and these mice exhibited hyperplastic growth of multiple organs, modest alterations in cardiac valvulogenesis, myocardial hypertrophy, and myeloproliferation. By contrast, embryonic KrasP34R expression resulted in early perinatal lethality from respiratory failure due to defective lung sacculation, which was associated with aberrant ERK activity in lung epithelial cells. Somatic Mx1-Cre–mediated activation in the hematopoietic compartment showed that KrasP34R and KrasT58I expression had distinct signaling effects, despite causing a similar spectrum of hematologic diseases. These potentially novel strains are robust models for investigating the consequences of expressing endogenous levels of hyperactive K-Ras in different developing and adult tissues, for comparing how oncogenic and germline K-Ras proteins perturb signaling networks and cell fate decisions, and for performing preclinical therapeutic trials.
Jasmine C. Wong, Pedro A. Perez-Mancera, Tannie Q. Huang, Jangkyung Kim, Joaquim Grego-Bessa, Maria del pilar Alzamora, Scott C. Kogan, Amnon Sharir, Susan H. Keefe, Carolina E. Morales, Denny Schanze, Pau Castel, Kentaro Hirose, Guo N. Huang, Martin Zenker, Dean Sheppard, Ophir D. Klein, David A. Tuveson, Benjamin S. Braun, Kevin Shannon
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) play important roles in regulating diverse cellular processes in the vessel wall, including atherosclerosis. RNA-Seq profiling of intimal lesions revealed a lncRNA, VINAS (Vascular INflammation and Atherosclerosis lncRNA Sequence), that is enriched in the aortic intima and regulates vascular inflammation. Aortic intimal expression of VINAS fell with atherosclerotic progression and rose with regression. VINAS knockdown reduced atherosclerotic lesion formation by 55% in LDL receptor–deficient (LDLR–/–) mice, independent of effects on circulating lipids, by decreasing inflammation in the vessel wall. Loss- and gain-of-function studies in vitro demonstrated that VINAS serves as a critical regulator of inflammation by modulating NF-κB and MAPK signaling pathways. VINAS knockdown decreased the expression of key inflammatory markers, such as MCP-1, TNF-α, IL-1β, and COX-2, in endothelial cells (ECs), vascular smooth muscle cells, and bone marrow–derived macrophages. Moreover, VINAS silencing decreased expression of leukocyte adhesion molecules VCAM-1, E-selectin, and ICAM-1 and reduced monocyte adhesion to ECs. DEP domain containing 4 (DEPDC4), an evolutionary conserved human ortholog of VINAS with approximately 74% homology, showed similar regulation in human and pig atherosclerotic specimens. DEPDC4 knockdown replicated antiinflammatory effects of VINAS in human ECs. These findings reveal a potentially novel lncRNA that regulates vascular inflammation, with broad implications for vascular diseases.
Viorel Simion, Haoyang Zhou, Jacob B. Pierce, Dafeng Yang, Stefan Haemmig, Yevgenia Tesmenitsky, Galina Sukhova, Peter H. Stone, Peter Libby, Mark W. Feinberg
While the RV144 HIV vaccine trial led to moderately reduced risk of HIV acquisition, emerging data from the HVTN702 trial point to the critical need to reexamine RV144-based correlates of reduced risk of protection. While in RV144, the induction of V2-binding, non-IgA, IgG3 antibody responses with nonneutralizing functions were linked to reduced risk of infection, the interactions between these signatures remain unclear. Thus, here we comprehensively profile the humoral immune response in 300 RV144 vaccinees to decipher the relationships between humoral biomarkers of protection. We found that vaccine-specific IgG1, IgG3, and IgA were highly correlated. However, ratios of IgG1:IgG3:IgA provided insights into subclass/isotype polyclonal functional regulation. For instance, in the absence of high IgG1 levels, IgG3 antibodies exhibited limited functional activity, pointing to IgG3 as a critical contributor, but not sole driver, of effective antiviral humoral immunity. Higher IgA levels were linked to enhanced antibody effector function, including neutrophil phagocytosis (ADNP), complement deposition (ADCD), and antibody-dependent NK degranulation (CD107a), some of which were increased in infected vaccinees in a case/control data set, suggesting that IgA-driven functions compromised immunity. These data highlight the interplay between IgG1, IgG3, and IgA, pointing to the need to profile the relationships between subclass/isotype selection.
Stephanie Fischinger, Sepideh Dolatshahi, Madeleine F. Jennewein, Supachai Rerks-Ngarm, Punnee Pitisuttithum, Sorachai Nitayaphan, Nelson Michael, Sandhya Vasan, Margaret E. Ackerman, Hendrik Streeck, Galit Alter
Complex I (also known as NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase) deficiency is the most frequent mitochondrial disorder present in childhood. NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase iron-sulfur protein 3 (NDUFS3) is a catalytic subunit of the mitochondrial complex I; NDUFS3 is conserved from bacteria and essential for complex I function. Mutations affecting complex I, including in the Ndufs3 gene, cause fatal neurodegenerative diseases, such as Leigh syndrome. No treatment is available for these conditions. We developed and performed a detailed molecular characterization of a neuron-specific Ndufs3 conditional KO mouse model. We showed that deletion of Ndufs3 in forebrain neurons reduced complex I activity, altered brain energy metabolism, and increased locomotor activity with impaired motor coordination, balance, and stereotyped behavior. Metabolomics analyses showed an increase of glycolysis intermediates, suggesting an adaptive response to the complex I defect. Administration of metformin to these mice delayed the onset of the neurological symptoms but not of neuronal loss. This improvement was likely related to enhancement of glucose uptake and utilization, which are known effects of metformin in the brain. Despite reports that metformin inhibits complex I activity, our findings did not show worsening a complex I defect nor increases in lactic acid, suggesting that metformin should be further evaluated for use in patients with mitochondrial encephalopathies.
Susana Peralta, Milena Pinto, Tania Arguello, Sofia Garcia, Francisca Diaz, Carlos T. Moraes