Hydrocephalus is characterized by abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the ventricular cavity. The circulation of CSF in brain ventricles is controlled by the coordinated beating of motile cilia at the surface of ependymal cells (ECs). Here we show that MT1-MMP is highly expressed in olfactory bulb, rostral migratory stream, and ventricular system. Mice deficient for Membrane type-1-MMP (MT1-MMP) develop typical phenotypes observed in hydrocephalus such as dome-shaped skull, dilated ventricles, corpus callosum agenesis and astrocyte hypertrophy during the first two weeks of postnatal development. MT1-MMP deficient mice exhibits reduced and disorganized motile cilia with the impaired maturation of ECs, leading to abnormal CSF flow. Consistent with the defects in motile cilia morphogenesis, the expressions of pro-multiciliogenic genes are significantly decreased with a concomitant hyper-activation of Notch signaling in the wall of lateral ventricles in Mmp14-/- brains. Inhibition of Notch signaling by γ-secretase inhibitor restores ciliogenesis in Mmp14-/- ECs. Taken together, these data suggest that MT1-MMP is required for ciliogenesis and ependymal cell maturation by suppressing Notch signaling during early brain development. Our findings implicate that MT1-MMP is critical for early brain development and loss of MT1-MMP activity gives rise to hydrocephalus.
Zhixin Jiang, Jin Zhou, Xin Qin, Huiling Zheng, Bo Gao, Xin-guang Liu, Guoxiang Jin, Zhongjun Zhou
Decades ago, investigators reported that mice lacking DLX1 and DLX2, transcription factors expressed in the enteric nervous system (ENS), die with possible bowel motility problems. These problems were never fully elucidated. We found that mice lacking DLX1 and DLX2 (Dlx1/2-/- mice) had slower small bowel transit and reduced or absent neurally-mediated contraction complexes. In contrast, small bowel motility seemed normal in adult mice lacking DLX1 (Dlx1-/-). Even with detailed anatomic studies, we found no defects in ENS precursor migration, or neuron and glia density, in Dlx1/2-/- or Dlx1-/- mice. However, RNA sequencing of Dlx1/2-/- ENS revealed dysregulation of many genes, including vasoactive intestinal peptide (Vip). Our study reveals a novel connection between Dlx genes and Vip and highlights the observation that dangerous bowel motility problems can occur in the absence of easily identifiable ENS structural defects. These findings may be relevant for disorders like chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction (CIPO) syndrome.
Christina M. Wright, James P. Garifallou, Sabine Schneider, Heather L. Mentch, Deepika R. Kothakapa, Beth A. Maguire, Robert O. Heuckeroth
Deterioration or inborn malformations of the cardiac conduction system (CCS) interfere with proper impulse propagation in the heart and may lead to sudden cardiac death or heart failure. Patients afflicted with arrhythmia depend on antiarrhythmic medication or invasive therapy, such as pacemaker implantation. An ideal way to treat these patients would be CCS tissue restoration. This, however, requires precise knowledge regarding the molecular mechanisms underlying CCS development. Here, we aimed to identify regulators of CCS development. We performed a compound screen in zebrafish embryos and identified tolterodine, a muscarinic receptor antagonist, as a modifier of CCS development. Tolterodine provoked a lower heart rate, pericardiac edema, and arrhythmia. Blockade of muscarinic M3, but not M2, receptors induced transcriptional changes leading to amplification of sinoatrial cells and loss of atrioventricular identity. Transcriptome data from an engineered human heart muscle model provided additional evidence for the contribution of muscarinic M3 receptors during cardiac progenitor specification and differentiation. Taken together, we found that muscarinic M3 receptors control the CCS already before the heart becomes innervated. Our data indicate that muscarinic receptors maintain a delicate balance between the developing sinoatrial node and the atrioventricular canal, which is probably required to prevent the development of arrhythmia.
Martina S. Burczyk, Martin D. Burkhalter, Teresa Casar Tena, Laurel A. Grisanti, Michael Kauk, Sabrina Matysik, Cornelia Donow, Monika Kustermann, Melanie Rothe, Yinghong Cui, Farah Raad, Svenja Laue, Allessandra Moretti, Wolfram-H. Zimmermann, Jürgen Wess, Michael Kühl, Carsten Hoffmann, Douglas G. Tilley, Melanie Philipp
Hereditary renal cystic diseases are characterized by defects in primary cilia of renal tubular epithelial cells and abnormality of tubular epithelium, which ultimately result in the development of renal cysts. However, the mechanism leading from abnormality of the tubular epithelium to cystogenesis is not well understood. In this report, we demonstrate a critical role for Robo2 in regulating epithelial development, including ciliogenesis, polarization, and differentiation. We found that Robo2 deficiency results in cystic kidneys, and the cyst cells showed defective cilia and polarity defects in tubular epithelium. The cyst cells, less than terminally differentiated, continue to proliferate. We further established that Robo2 works with p53 as well as polarity and ciliary proteins (Par3, PKCς, ZO-2, and Claudin-2) to regulate these processes. Robo2 binds to Baiap2 (also known as IRSp53) through the IRSp53/MIM homology domain in renal epithelial cells. This binding allows Robo2 to phosphorylate MDM2 at Ser166 via Baiap2 and maintain p53 homeostasis. Disruption of the Robo2-Baiap2 complex causes MDM2 to be subjected to dephosphorylation, leading to a high level of active p53, and initiated p53-mediated cellular senescence via p21 and decreased the expression of ZO-1, ZO-2, PKCς, Par3, and Claudin-2 proteins, resulting in defects in epithelial development, including ciliogenesis, polarization, and differentiation. Importantly, double knockout of Robo2 and p53 rescued all the epithelial defects in kidneys compared with those in Robo2-knockout kidneys. Taken together, the present results demonstrate that Robo2 deficiency causes renal cystic disease, which is largely dependent on defective Robo2-Baiap2 integrated signaling in kidneys.
Qinggang Li, Shaoyuan Cui, Qian Ma, Ying Liu, Hongyu Yu, GuangRui Geng, Ewud Agborbesong, Chongyu Ren, Kai Wei, Yingjie Zhang, Jurong Yang, Xueyuan Bai, Guangyan Cai, Yuansheng Xie, Xiaogang Li, Xiangmei Chen
Previous studies have demonstrated the presence of microbial DNA in the fetal environment. However, it remains unclear whether this DNA represents viable bacteria and how it relates to the maternal microbiota across different body sites. We studied the microbiota of human and mouse dyads to understand these relationships, localize bacteria in the fetus, and demonstrate bacterial viability. In human preterm and full-term mother-infant dyads at the time of Cesarean delivery, the oral cavity and meconium of newborn infants born as early as 24 weeks of gestation contained a microbiota that was predicted to originate from in utero sources including the placenta. Using operative deliveries of pregnant mice under highly controlled, sterile conditions in the laboratory, composition, visualization, and viability of bacteria in the in utero compartment and fetal intestine were demonstrated by 16S rRNA gene sequencing, fluorescence in situ hybridization, and bacterial culture. The composition and predicted source of the fetal gut microbiota shifted between mid- and late gestation. Cultivatable bacteria in the fetal intestine were found during mid-gestation but not late gestation. Our results demonstrate a dynamic, viable mammalian fetal microbiota during in utero development.
Noelle Younge, Jessica R. McCann, Julie Ballard, Catherine Plunkett, Suhail Akhtar, Félix Araújo-Pérez, Amy Murtha, Debra Brandon, Patrick C. Seed
Left ventricular noncompaction (LVNC) is one of the most common forms of genetic cardiomyopathy characterized by excessive trabeculation and impaired myocardial compaction during fetal development. Patients with LVNC are at higher risk of developing left/right ventricular failure or both. Although the key regulators for cardiac chamber development are well studied, the role of semaphorin (Sema)/plexin signaling in this process remains poorly understood. In this article, we demonstrate that genetic deletion of Plxnd1, a class-3 Sema receptor in endothelial cells, leads to severe cardiac chamber defects. They were characterized by excessive trabeculation and noncompaction similar to patients with LVNC. Loss of Plxnd1 results in decreased expression of extracellular matrix proteolytic genes, leading to excessive deposition of cardiac jelly. We demonstrate that Plxnd1 deficiency is associated with an increase in Notch1 expression and its downstream target genes. In addition, inhibition of the Notch signaling pathway partially rescues the excessive trabeculation and noncompaction phenotype present in Plxnd1 mutants. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Semaphorin 3E (Sema3E), one of PlexinD1’s known ligands, is expressed in the developing heart and is required for myocardial compaction. Collectively, our study uncovers what we believe to be a previously undescribed role of the Sema3E/PlexinD1 signaling pathway in myocardial trabeculation and the compaction process.
Reddemma Sandireddy, Dasan Mary Cibi, Priyanka Gupta, Anamika Singh, Nicole Tee, Akiyoshi Uemura, Jonathan A. Epstein, Manvendra K. Singh
The ang1-Tie2 pathway is required for normal vascular development, but its molecular effectors are not well-defined during cardiac ontogeny. Here we show that endocardial specific attenuation of Tie2 results in mid-gestation lethality due to heart defects associated with a hyperplastic but simplified trabecular meshwork (fewer but thicker trabeculae). Reduced proliferation and production of endocardial cells (ECs) following endocardial loss of Tie2 results in decreased endocardial sprouting required for trabecular assembly and extension. The hyperplastic trabeculae result from enhanced proliferation of trabecular cardiomyocyte (CMs), which is associated with upregulation of Bmp10, increased retinoic acid (RA) signaling, and Erk1/2 hyperphosphorylation in the myocardium. Intriguingly, myocardial phenotypes in Tie2-cko hearts could be partially rescued by inhibiting in utero RA signaling with pan-retinoic acid receptor antagonist BMS493. These findings reveal two complimentary functions of endocardial Tie2 during ventricular chamber formation: ensuring normal trabeculation by supporting EC proliferation and sprouting, and preventing hypertrabeculation via suppression of RA signaling in trabecular CMs.
Xianghu Qu, Cristina Harmelink, H. Scott Baldwin
Children with trisomy 21 (Down syndrome [DS]) have a 130-fold increased incidence of Hirschsprung Disease (HSCR), a developmental defect where the enteric nervous system (ENS) is missing from distal bowel (i.e., distal bowel is aganglionic). Treatment for HSCR is surgical resection of aganglionic bowel, but many children have bowel problems after surgery. Post-surgical problems like enterocolitis and soiling are especially common in children with DS. To determine how trisomy 21 affects ENS development, we evaluated the ENS in two DS mouse models, Ts65Dn and Tc1. These mice are trisomic for many chromosome 21 homologous genes, including Dscam and Dyrk1a, which are hypothesized to contribute to HSCR risk. Ts65Dn and Tc1 mice have normal ENS precursor migration at E12.5 and almost normal myenteric plexus structure as adults. However, Ts65Dn and Tc1 mice have markedly reduced submucosal plexus neuron density throughout the bowel. Surprisingly, the submucosal neuron defect in Ts65Dn mice is not due to excess Dscam or Dyrk1a, since normalizing copy number for these genes does not rescue the defect. These findings suggest the possibility that the high frequency of bowel problems in children with DS and HSCR may occur because of additional unrecognized problems with ENS structure.
Ellen M. Schill, Christina M. Wright, Alisha Jamil, Jonathan M. LaCombe, Randall J. Roper, Robert O. Heuckeroth
Biomechanical forces and endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndoMT) are known to mediate valvulogenesis. However, the relative contributions of myocardial contractile and hemodynamic shear forces remain poorly understood. We integrated 4-D light-sheet imaging of transgenic zebrafish models with moving-domain computational fluid dynamics to determine effects of changes in contractile forces and fluid wall shear stress (WSS) on ventriculobulbar (VB) valve development. Augmentation of myocardial contractility with isoproterenol increased both WSS and Notch1b activity in the developing outflow tract (OFT) and resulted in VB valve hyperplasia. Increasing WSS in the OFT, achieved by increasing blood viscosity through EPO mRNA injection, also resulted in VB valve hyperplasia. Conversely, decreasing myocardial contractility by Tnnt2a morpholino oligonucleotide (MO) administration, 2,3-butanedione monoxime treatment, or Plcγ1 inhibition completely blocked VB valve formation, which could not be rescued by increasing WSS or activating Notch. Decreasing WSS in the OFT, achieved by slowing heart rate with metoprolol or reducing viscosity with Gata1a MO, did not affect VB valve formation. Immunofluorescent staining with the mesenchymal marker, DM-GRASP, revealed that biomechanical force-mediated Notch1b activity is implicated in EndoMT to modulate valve morphology. Altogether, increases in WSS result in Notch1b- EndoMT-mediated VB valve hyperplasia, whereas decreases in contractility result in reduced Notch1b activity, absence of EndoMT, and VB valve underdevelopment. Thus, we provide developmental mechanotransduction mechanisms underlying Notch1b-mediated EndoMT in the OFT.
Jeffrey J. Hsu, Vijay Vedula, Kyung In Baek, Cynthia Chen, Junjie Chen, Man In Chou, Jeffrey Lam, Shivani Subhedar, Jennifer Wang, Yichen Ding, Chih-Chiang Chang, Juhyun Lee, Linda L. Demer, Yin Tintut, Alison L. Marsden, Tzung K. Hsiai
During endochondral bone formation, chondrocyte hypertrophy represents a crucial turning point from chondrocyte differentiation to bone formation. Both parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) and histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4) inhibit chondrocyte hypertrophy. Using multiple mouse genetics models, we demonstrate in vivo that HDAC4 is required for the effects of PTHrP on chondrocyte differentiation. We further show in vivo that PTHrP leads to reduced HDAC4 phosphorylation at the 14-3-3–binding sites and subsequent HDAC4 nuclear translocation. The Hdac4-KO mouse shares a similar but milder phenotype with the Pthrp-KO mouse, indicating the possible existence of other mediators of PTHrP action. We identify HDAC5 as an additional mediator of PTHrP signaling. While the Hdac5-KO mouse has no growth plate phenotype at birth, the KO of Hdac5 in addition to the KO of Hdac4 is required to block fully PTHrP action on chondrocyte differentiation at birth in vivo. Finally, we show that PTHrP suppresses myocyte enhancer factor 2 (Mef2) action that allows runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2) mRNA expression needed for chondrocyte hypertrophy. Our results demonstrate that PTHrP inhibits chondrocyte hypertrophy and subsequent bone formation in vivo by allowing HDAC4 and HDAC5 to block the Mef2/Runx2 signaling cascade. These results explain the phenotypes of several genetic abnormalities in humans.
Shigeki Nishimori, Forest Lai, Mieno Shiraishi, Tatsuya Kobayashi, Elena Kozhemyakina, Tso-Pang Yao, Andrew B. Lassar, Henry M. Kronenberg
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