Obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS) is a serious disorder characterized by daytime hypercapnia, disordered breathing, and a reduction in chemosensitivity. Vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG), a bariatric surgical procedure resulting in weight loss and weight-independent improvements in glucose metabolism, has been observed to substantially improve sleep-disordered breathing. However, it is unclear if the ventilatory effects of VSG are secondary to weight loss or the marked change in metabolic physiology. Using preclinical mouse models, we found that VSG leads to an improvement in the hypercapnic ventilatory response (HCVR) and reductions in circulating leptin levels independent of reductions in body mass, fat mass, and caloric intake. In the absence of leptin, VSG continues to improve body mass, fat mass, and glucose tolerance in ob/ob mice but no longer affects HCVR. However, the HCVR of ob/ob mice can be returned to wild-type levels with leptin treatment. These data demonstrate that VSG improves chemosensitivity and ventilatory drive via a leptin-dependent mechanism. Clinically, these data downgrade the relative contribution of physical, mechanical load in the pathogenesis of OHS, and instead point to physiological components of obesity, including alterations in leptin signaling, as key drivers in OHS.
Deanna M. Arble, Alan R. Schwartz, Vsevolod Y. Polotsky, Darleen A. Sandoval, Randy J. Seeley
Obese individuals are often at risk for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes (T2D), and cardiovascular diseases such as angina, thereby requiring combination therapies for their comorbidities. Ranolazine is a second-line antianginal agent that also improves glycemia, and our aim was to determine whether ranolazine modifies the progression of obesity-induced NAFLD. Twelve-week-old C57BL/6J male mice were fed a low-fat or high-fat diet for 10 weeks and then treated for 30 days with either vehicle control or ranolazine (50 mg/kg via daily s.c. injection). Glycemia was monitored via glucose/pyruvate/insulin tolerance testing, whereas in vivo metabolism was assessed via indirect calorimetry. Hepatic triacylglycerol content was quantified via the Bligh and Dyer method. Consistent with previous reports, ranolazine treatment reversed obesity-induced glucose intolerance, which was associated with reduced body weight and hepatic steatosis, as well as increased hepatic pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) activity. Ranolazine’s actions on hepatic PDH activity may be directly mediated, as ranolazine treatment reduced PDH phosphorylation (indicative of increased PDH activity) in HepG2 cells. Therefore, in addition to mitigating angina, ranolazine also reverses NAFLD, which may contribute to its documented glucose-lowering actions, situating ranolazine as an ideal antianginal therapy for obese patients comorbid for NAFLD and T2D.
Rami Al Batran, Keshav Gopal, Hanin Aburasayn, Amina Eshreif, Malak Almutairi, Amanda A. Greenwell, Scott A. Campbell, Bruno Saleme, Emily A. Court, Farah Eaton, Peter E. Light, Gopinath Sutendra, John R. Ussher
In heart failure and type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM), the majority of patients have hypomagnesemia, and magnesium (Mg) supplementation has improved cardiac function and insulin resistance. Recently, we have shown that DM can cause cardiac diastolic dysfunction (DD). Therefore, we hypothesized that Mg supplementation would improve diastolic function in DM. High-fat diet–induced diabetic mouse hearts showed increased cardiac DD and hypertrophy. Mice with DM showed a significantly increased E/e’ ratio (the ratio of transmitral Doppler early filling velocity [E] to tissue Doppler early diastolic mitral annular velocity [e’]) in the echocardiogram, left ventricular end diastolic volume (LVEDV), incidence of DD, left ventricular posterior wall thickness in diastole (PWTd), and ratio of heart weight to tibia length (HW/TL) when compared with controls. DM mice also had hypomagnesemia. Ventricular cardiomyocytes isolated from DM mice exhibited decreased mitochondrial ATP production, a 1.7- ± 0.2-fold increase of mitochondrial ROS, depolarization of the mitochondrial membrane potential, and mitochondrial Ca2+ overload. Dietary Mg administration (50 mg/ml in the drinking water) for 6 weeks increased plasma Mg concentration and improved cardiac function. At the cellular level, Mg improved mitochondrial function with increased ATP, decreased mitochondrial ROS and Ca2+ overload, and repolarized mitochondrial membrane potential. In conclusion, Mg supplementation improved mitochondrial function, reduced oxidative stress, and prevented DD in DM.
Man Liu, Euy-Myoung Jeong, Hong Liu, An Xie, Eui Young So, Guangbin Shi, Go Eun Jeong, Anyu Zhou, Samuel C. Dudley Jr.
Deposition of amyloid-β protein (Aβ) to form neuritic plaques is the characteristic neuropathology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Aβ is generated from amyloid precursor protein (APP) by β- and γ-secretase cleavages. BACE1 is the β-secretase and its inhibition induces severe side effects, whereas its homolog BACE2 normally suppresses Aβ by cleaving APP/Aβ at the θ-site (Phe20) within the Aβ domain. Here, we report that BACE2 also processes APP at the β site, and the juxtamembrane helix (JH) of APP inhibits its β-secretase activity, enabling BACE2 to cleave nascent APP and aggravate AD symptoms. JH-disrupting mutations and clusterin binding to JH triggered BACE2-mediated β-cleavage. Both BACE2 and clusterin were elevated in aged mouse brains, and enhanced β-cleavage during aging. Therefore, BACE2 contributes to AD pathogenesis as a conditional β-secretase and could be a preventive and therapeutic target for AD without the side effects of BACE1 inhibition.
Zhe Wang, Qin Xu, Fang Cai, Xi Liu, Yili Wu, Weihong Song
Incidence of HPV+ oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) has been increasing dramatically. Although long-term survival rates for these patients are high, they often suffer from permanent radiotherapy-related morbidity. This has prompted the development of de-escalation clinical protocols to reduce morbidity. However, a subset of patients do not respond even to standard therapy and have poor outcomes. It is unclear how to properly identify and treat the high- and low-risk HPV+ OPSCC patients. Since HPV positivity drives radiotherapy sensitivity, we hypothesized that variations in HPV biology may cause differences in treatment response and outcome. By analyzing gene expression data, we identified variations in HPV-related molecules among HPV+ OPSCC. A subset of tumors presented a molecular profile distinct from that of typical HPV+ tumors and exhibited poor treatment response, indicating molecular and clinical similarities with HPV– tumors. These molecular changes were also observed in vitro and correlated with radiation sensitivity. Finally, we developed a prognostic biomarker signature for identification of this subgroup of HPV+ OPSCC and validated it in independent cohorts of oropharyngeal and cervical carcinomas. These findings could translate to improved patient stratification for treatment deintensification and new therapeutic approaches for treatment-resistant HPV-related cancer.
Frederico O. Gleber-Netto, Xiayu Rao, Theresa Guo, Yuanxin Xi, Meng Gao, Li Shen, Kelly Erikson, Nene N. Kalu, Shuling Ren, Guorong Xu, Kathleen M. Fisch, Keiko Akagi, Tanguy Seiwert, Maura Gillison, Mitchell J. Frederick, Faye M. Johnson, Jing Wang, Jeffrey N. Myers, Joseph Califano, Heath D. Skinner, Curtis R. Pickering
The extracellular matrix (ECM) in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) drives fibrosis progression; however, the ECM composition of the fibroblastic focus (the hallmark lesion in IPF) and adjacent regions remains incompletely defined. Herein, we serially sectioned IPF lung specimens constructed into tissue microarrays and immunostained for ECM components reported to be deregulated in IPF. Immunostained sections were imaged, anatomically aligned, and 3D reconstructed. The myofibroblast core of the fibroblastic focus (defined by collagen I, α-smooth muscle actin, and procollagen I immunoreactivity) was associated with collagens III, IV, V, and VI; fibronectin; hyaluronan; and versican immunoreactivity. Hyaluronan immunoreactivity was also present at the fibroblastic focus perimeter and at sites where early lesions appear to be forming. Fibrinogen immunoreactivity was often observed at regions of damaged epithelium lining the airspace and the perimeter of the myofibroblast core but was absent from the myofibroblast core itself. The ECM components of the fibroblastic focus were distributed in a characteristic and reproducible manner in multiple patients. This information can inform the development of high-fidelity model systems to dissect mechanisms by which the IPF ECM drives fibrosis progression.
Jeremy Herrera, Colleen Forster, Thomas Pengo, Angeles Montero, Joe Swift, Martin A. Schwartz, Craig A. Henke, Peter B. Bitterman
Psoralen plus UVA (PUVA) is an effective therapy for mycosis fungoides (MF), the skin-limited variant of cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL). In low-burden patients, PUVA reduced or eradicated malignant T cells and induced clonal expansion of CD8+ T cells associated with malignant T cell depletion. High-burden patients appeared to clinically improve but large numbers of malignant T cells persisted in skin. Clinical improvement was linked to turnover of benign T cell clones but not to malignant T cell reduction. Benign T cells were associated with the Th2-recruiting chemokine CCL18 before therapy and with the Th1-recruiting chemokines CXCL9, CXCL10, and CXCL11 after therapy, suggesting a switch from Th2 to Th1. Inflammation was correlated with OX40L and CD40L gene expression; immunostaining localized these receptors to CCL18-expressing c-Kit+ dendritic cells that clustered together with CD40+OX40+ benign and CD40+CD40L+ malignant T cells, creating a proinflammatory synapse in skin. Our data suggest that visible inflammation in CTCL results from the recruitment and activation of benign T cells by c-Kit+OX40L+CD40L+ dendritic cells and that this activation may provide tumorigenic signals. Targeting c-Kit, OX40, and CD40 signaling may be novel therapeutic avenues for the treatment of MF.
Pablo Vieyra-Garcia, Jack D. Crouch, John T. O’Malley, Edward W. Seger, Chao H. Yang, Jessica E. Teague, Anna Maria Vromans, Ahmed Gehad, Thet Su Win, Zizi Yu, Elizabeth L. Lowry, Jung-Im Na, Alain H. Rook, Peter Wolf, Rachael A. Clark
Podocyte injury is central to many forms of kidney disease, but transcriptional signatures reflecting podocyte injury and compensation mechanisms are challenging to analyze in vivo. Human kidney organoids derived from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), a potentially new model for disease and regeneration, present an opportunity to explore the transcriptional plasticity of podocytes. Here, transcriptional profiling of more than 12,000 single cells from human PSC–derived kidney organoid cultures was used to identify robust and reproducible cell lineage gene expression signatures shared with developing human kidneys based on trajectory analysis. Surprisingly, the gene expression signature characteristic of developing glomerular epithelial cells was also observed in glomerular tissue from a kidney disease cohort. This signature correlated with proteinuria and inverse eGFR, and it was confirmed in an independent podocytopathy cohort. Three genes in particular were further characterized as potentially novel components of the glomerular disease signature. We conclude that cells in human PSC–derived kidney organoids reliably recapitulate the developmental transcriptional program of podocytes and other cell lineages in the human kidney and that transcriptional profiles seen in developing podocytes are reactivated in glomerular disease. Our findings demonstrate an approach to identifying potentially novel molecular programs involved in the pathogenesis of glomerulopathies.
Jennifer L. Harder, Rajasree Menon, Edgar A. Otto, Jian Zhou, Sean Eddy, Noel L. Wys, Christopher O’Connor, Jinghui Luo, Viji Nair, Cristina Cebrian, Jason R. Spence, Markus Bitzer, Olga G. Troyanskaya, Jeffrey B. Hodgin, Roger C. Wiggins, Benjamin S. Freedman, Matthias Kretzler, European Renal cDNA Bank (ERCB), Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network (NEPTUNE)
To address challenges in the diagnosis of cognitive dysfunction (CD) related to systemic lupus erythematosus–associated (SLE-associated) autoimmune mechanisms rather than confounding factors, we employed an integrated approach, using resting-state functional (FDG-PET) and structural (diffusion tensor imaging [DTI]) neuroimaging techniques and cognitive testing, in adult SLE patients with quiescent disease and no history of neuropsychiatric illness. We identified resting hypermetabolism in the sensorimotor cortex, occipital lobe, and temporal lobe of SLE subjects, in addition to validation of previously published resting hypermetabolism in the hippocampus, orbitofrontal cortex, and putamen/GP/thalamus. Regional hypermetabolism demonstrated abnormal interregional metabolic correlations, associated with impaired cognitive performance, and was stable over 15 months. DTI analyses demonstrated 4 clusters of decreased microstructural integrity in white matter tracts adjacent to hypermetabolic regions and significantly diminished connecting tracts in SLE subjects. Decreased microstructural integrity in the parahippocampal gyrus correlated with impaired spatial memory and increased serum titers of DNRAb, a neurotoxic autoantibody associated with neuropsychiatric lupus. These findings of regional hypermetabolism, associated with decreased microstructural integrity and poor cognitive performance and not associated with disease duration, disease activity, medications, or comorbid disease, suggest that this is a reproducible, stable marker for SLE-associated CD that may be may be used for early disease detection and to discriminate between groups, evaluate response to treatment strategies, or assess disease progression.
Meggan Mackay, An Vo, Chris C. Tang, Michael Small, Erik W. Anderson, Elisabeth J. Ploran, Justin Storbeck, Brittany Bascetta, Simran Kang, Cynthia Aranow, Carl Sartori, Philip Watson, Bruce T. Volpe, Betty Diamond, David Eidelberg
Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is an intractable disorder with a poor prognosis. Although lung fibroblasts play a central role in PF, the key regulatory molecules involved in this process remain unknown. To address this issue, we performed a time-course transcriptome analysis on lung fibroblasts of bleomycin- and silica-treated murine lungs. We found gene modules whose expression kinetics were associated with the progression of PF and human idiopathic PF (IPF). Upstream analysis of a transcriptome network helped in identifying 55 hub transcription factors that were highly connected with PF-associated gene modules. Of these hubs, the expression of Srebf1 decreased in line with progression of PF and human IPF, suggesting its suppressive role in fibroblast activation. Consistently, adoptive transfer and genetic modification studies revealed that the hub transcription factor SREBP-1c suppressed PF-associated gene expression changes in lung fibroblasts and PF pathology in vivo. Moreover, therapeutic pharmacological activation of LXR, an SREBP-1c activator, suppressed the Srebf1-dependent activation of fibroblasts and progression of PF. Thus, SREBP-1c acts as a protective hub of lung fibroblast activation in PF. Collectively, the findings of the current study may prove to be valuable in the development of effective therapeutic strategies for PF.
Shigeyuki Shichino, Satoshi Ueha, Shinichi Hashimoto, Mikiya Otsuji, Jun Abe, Tatsuya Tsukui, Shungo Deshimaru, Takuya Nakajima, Mizuha Kosugi-Kanaya, Francis H.W. Shand, Yutaka Inagaki, Hitoshi Shimano, Kouji Matsushima
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