Fructose has been implicated in the pathogenesis of obesity and type 2 diabetes. In contrast to glucose, CNS delivery of fructose in rodents promotes feeding behavior. However, because circulating plasma fructose levels are exceedingly low, it remains unclear to what extent fructose crosses the blood-brain barrier to exert CNS effects. To determine whether fructose can be endogenously generated from glucose via the polyol pathway (glucose → sorbitol → fructose) in human brain, 8 healthy subjects (4 women/4 men; age, 28.8 ± 6.2 years; BMI, 23.4 ± 2.6; HbA1C, 4.9% ± 0.2%) underwent 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy scanning to measure intracerebral glucose and fructose levels during a 4-hour hyperglycemic clamp (plasma glucose, 220 mg/dl). Using mixed-effects regression model analysis, intracerebral glucose rose significantly over time and differed from baseline at 20 to 230 minutes. Intracerebral fructose levels also rose over time, differing from baseline at 30 to 230 minutes. The changes in intracerebral fructose were related to changes in intracerebral glucose but not to plasma fructose levels. Our findings suggest that the polyol pathway contributes to endogenous CNS production of fructose and that the effects of fructose in the CNS may extend beyond its direct dietary consumption.
Janice J. Hwang, Lihong Jiang, Muhammad Hamza, Feng Dai, Renata Belfort-DeAguiar, Gary Cline, Douglas L. Rothman, Graeme Mason, Robert S. Sherwin
Mitophagy occurs during ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) and limits oxidative stress and injury. Mitochondrial turnover was assessed in patients undergoing cardiac surgery involving cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). Paired biopsies of right atrial appendage before initiation and after weaning from CPB were processed for protein analysis, mitochondrial DNA/nuclear DNA ratio (mtDNA:nucDNA ratio), mtDNA damage, mRNA, and polysome profiling. Mitophagy in the post-CPB samples was evidenced by decreased levels of mitophagy adapters NDP52 and optineurin in whole tissue lysate, decreased Opa1 long form, and translocation of Parkin to the mitochondrial fraction. PCR analysis of mtDNA comparing amplification of short vs. long segments of mtDNA revealed increased damage following cardiac surgery. Surprisingly, a marked increase in several mitochondria-specific protein markers and mtDNA:nucDNA ratio was observed, consistent with increased mitochondrial biogenesis. mRNA analysis suggested that mitochondrial biogenesis was traniscription independent and likely driven by increased translation of existing mRNAs. These findings demonstrate in humans that both mitophagy and mitochondrial biogenesis occur during cardiac surgery involving CPB. We suggest that mitophagy is balanced by mitochondrial biogenesis during I/R stress experienced during surgery. Mitigating mtDNA damage and elucidating mechanisms regulating mitochondrial turnover will lead to interventions to improve outcome after I/R in the setting of heart disease.
Allen M. Andres, Kyle C. Tucker, Amandine Thomas, David J.R. Taylor, David Sengstock, Salik M. Jahania, Reza Dabir, Somayeh Pourpirali, Jamelle A. Brown, David G. Westbrook, Scott W. Ballinger, Robert M. Mentzer Jr., Roberta A. Gottlieb
SIV DNA can be detected in lymphoid tissue–resident macrophages of chronically SIV-infected Asian macaques. These macrophages also contain evidence of recently phagocytosed SIV-infected CD4+ T cells. Here, we examine whether these macrophages contain replication-competent virus, whether viral DNA can be detected in tissue-resident macrophages from antiretroviral (ARV) therapy–treated animals and humans, and how the viral sequences amplified from macrophages and contemporaneous CD4+ T cells compare. In ARV-naive animals, we find that lymphoid tissue–resident macrophages contain replication-competent virus if they also contain viral DNA in ARV-naive Asian macaques. The genetic sequence of the virus within these macrophages is similar to those within CD4+ T cells from the same anatomic sites. In ARV-treated animals, we find that viral DNA can be amplified from lymphoid tissue–resident macrophages of SIV-infected Asian macaques that were treated with ARVs for at least 5 months, but we could not detect replication-competent virus from macrophages of animals treated with ARVs. Finally, we could not detect viral DNA in alveolar macrophages from HIV-infected individuals who received ARVs for 3 years and had undetectable viral loads. These data demonstrate that macrophages can contain replication-competent virus, but may not represent a significant reservoir for HIV in vivo.
Sarah R. DiNapoli, Alexandra M. Ortiz, Fan Wu, Kenta Matsuda, Homer L. Twigg III, Vanessa M. Hirsch, Kenneth Knox, Jason M. Brenchley
Zika virus (ZIKV) is an important pathogen that causes not only neurologic, but also ocular, abnormalities. Thus, it is imperative that models to study ZIKV pathogenesis in the eye are developed to identify potential targets for interventions. Here, we studied ZIKV interactions with human retinal cells and evaluated ZIKV’s pathobiology in mouse eyes. We showed that cells lining the blood-retinal barrier (BRB), the retinal endothelium, and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) were highly permissive and susceptible to ZIKV-induced cell death. Direct inoculation of ZIKV in eyes of adult C57BL/6 and IFN-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15) KO mice caused chorioretinal atrophy with RPE mottling, a common ocular manifestation of congenital ZIKV infection in humans. This response was associated with induced expression of multiple inflammatory and antiviral (IFNs) response genes in the infected mouse retina. Interestingly, ISG15 KO eyes exhibited severe chorioretinitis, which coincided with increased retinal cell death and higher ZIKV replication. Collectively, our study provides the first evidence to our knowledge that ZIKV causes retinal lesions and infects the cells lining the BRB and that ISG15 plays a role in retinal innate defense against ZIKV infection. Our mouse model can be used to study mechanisms underlying ZIKV-induced chorioretinitis and to gauge ocular antiviral therapies.
Pawan Kumar Singh, John-Michael Guest, Mamta Kanwar, Joseph Boss, Nan Gao, Mark S. Juzych, Gary W. Abrams, Fu-Shin Yu, Ashok Kumar
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a severe fibrotic lung disease associated with fibroblast activation that includes excessive proliferation, tissue invasiveness, myofibroblast transformation, and extracellular matrix (ECM) production. To identify inhibitors that can attenuate fibroblast activation, we queried IPF gene signatures against a library of small-molecule-induced gene-expression profiles and identified Hsp90 inhibitors as potential therapeutic agents that can suppress fibroblast activation in IPF. Although Hsp90 is a molecular chaperone that regulates multiple processes involved in fibroblast activation, it has not been previously proposed as a molecular target in IPF. Here, we found elevated Hsp90 staining in lung biopsies of patients with IPF. Notably, fibroblasts isolated from fibrotic lesions showed heightened Hsp90 ATPase activity compared with normal fibroblasts. 17-
Vishwaraj Sontake, Yunguan Wang, Rajesh K. Kasam, Debora Sinner, Geereddy B. Reddy, Anjaparavanda P. Naren, Francis X. McCormack, Eric S. White, Anil G. Jegga, Satish K. Madala
T cells play a significant role in the pathogenesis of systemic autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus; however, there is relatively little information on the nature and specificity of autoreactive T cells. Identifying such cells has been technically difficult because they are likely to be rare and low affinity. Here, we report a method for identifying autoreactive T cell clones that recognize proteins contained in autoantibody immune complexes, providing direct evidence that functional autoreactive helper T cells exist in the periphery of normal mice. These T cells significantly enhanced autoreactive B cell proliferation and altered B cell differentiation in vivo. Most importantly, these autoreactive T cells were able to rescue many aspects of the TLR-deficient AM14 (anti-IgG2a rheumatoid factor) B cell response, suggesting that TLR requirements can be bypassed. This result has implications for the efficacy of TLR-targeted therapy in the treatment of ongoing disease.
Josephine R. Giles, Adriana Turqueti Neves, Ann Marshak-Rothstein, Mark J. Shlomchik
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease that is clinically silent until the majority of β cells are destroyed. There is an unmet need for reliable and cost-effective biomarkers to predict and diagnose diabetes at an early stage. A number of stable microRNAs (miRNAs) have been reported in serum and plasma and are now being investigated as biomarkers of different diseases. We measured the levels of 745 miRNAs in sera of children with recent-onset T1D and age-matched controls using locked nucleic acid–enhanced (LNA-enhanced) quantitative PCR profiling. Thirty-five miRNAs were significantly different between the groups, and 27 miRNAs were elevated in T1D. Good discriminating power was obtained for 6 miRNAs (miR-454-3p, miR-222-3p, miR-144-5p, miR-345-5p, miR-24-3p, and miR-140-5p), which were not elevated at later stages of diabetes. In silico pathway analysis, based on inferred miRNA target genes, associated glycosaminoglycan biosynthesis as well as PI3K/Akt, MAPK, and Wnt signaling pathways with early stages of T1D. Among the 27 upregulated miRNAs in T1D, 2 miRNAs significantly correlated with hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), as did 5 of 8 downregulated miRNAs. A total of 134 miRNAs significantly correlated with HbA1c when stratifying hyperglycemia-induced miRNAs from T1D-specific miRNAs. In conclusion, we have identified a serum miRNA pattern of recent-onset T1D and signaling pathways that may be involved in its pathogenesis.
Suheda Erener, Ashish Marwaha, Rusung Tan, Constadina Panagiotopoulos, Timothy J. Kieffer
Decreased noradrenergic excitation of hypoglossal motoneurons during sleep causing hypotonia of pharyngeal dilator muscles is a major contributor to the pathogenesis of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a widespread disease for which treatment options are limited. Previous OSA drug candidates targeting various excitatory/inhibitory receptors on hypoglossal motoneurons have proved unviable in reactivating these neurons, particularly during rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep. To identify a viable drug target, we show that the repurposed α2-adrenergic antagonist yohimbine potently reversed the depressant effect of REM sleep on baseline hypoglossal motoneuron activity (a first-line motor defense against OSA) in rats. Remarkably, yohimbine also restored the obstructive apnea–induced long-term facilitation of hypoglossal motoneuron activity (hLTF), a much-neglected form of noradrenergic-dependent neuroplasticity that could provide a second-line motor defense against OSA but was also depressed during REM sleep. Corroborating immunohistologic, optogenetic, and pharmacologic evidence confirmed that yohimbine’s beneficial effects on baseline hypoglossal motoneuron activity and hLTF were mediated mainly through activation of pontine A7 and A5 noradrenergic neurons. Our results suggest a 2-tier (impaired first- and second-line motor defense) mechanism of noradrenergic-dependent pathogenesis of OSA and a promising pharmacotherapy for rescuing both these intrinsic defenses against OSA through disinhibition of A7 and A5 neurons by α2-adrenergic blockade.
Gang Song, Chi-Sang Poon
Excessive ROS promote allergic asthma, a condition characterized by airway inflammation, eosinophilic inflammation, and increased airway hyperreactivity (AHR). The mechanisms by which airway ROS are increased and the relationship between increased airway ROS and disease phenotypes are incompletely defined. Mitochondria are an important source of cellular ROS production, and our group discovered that Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is present in mitochondria and activated by oxidation. Furthermore, mitochondrial-targeted antioxidant therapy reduced the severity of allergic asthma in a mouse model. Based on these findings, we developed a mouse model of CaMKII inhibition targeted to mitochondria in airway epithelium. We challenged these mice with OVA or
Sara C. Sebag, Olha M. Koval, John D. Paschke, Christopher J. Winters, Omar A. Jaffer, Ryszard Dworski, Fayyaz S. Sutterwala, Mark E. Anderson, Isabella M. Grumbach
Tregs can adopt a catabolic metabolic program with increased capacity for fatty acid oxidation–fueled oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). It is unclear why this form of metabolism is favored in Tregs and, more specifically, whether this program represents an adaptation to the environment and developmental cues or is “hardwired” by Foxp3. Here we show, using metabolic analysis and an unbiased mass spectroscopy–based proteomics approach, that Foxp3 is both necessary and sufficient to program Treg-increased respiratory capacity and Tregs’ increased ability to utilize fatty acids to fuel oxidative phosphorylation. Foxp3 drives upregulation of components of all the electron transport complexes, increasing their activity and ATP generation by oxidative phosphorylation. Increased fatty acid β-oxidation also results in selective protection of Foxp3+ cells from fatty acid–induced cell death. This observation may provide novel targets for modulating Treg function or selection therapeutically.
Duncan Howie, Stephen Paul Cobbold, Elizabeth Adams, Annemieke Ten Bokum, Andra Stefania Necula, Wei Zhang, Honglei Huang, David J. Roberts, Benjamin Thomas, Svenja S. Hester, David J. Vaux, Alexander G. Betz, Herman Waldmann
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