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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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, Andreas Pohlmann, Frauke Zipp, Friedemann Paul, Thoralf Niendorf, Sonia Waiczies
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
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
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