Oligodendrocyte processes wrap axons to form neuroprotective myelin sheaths, and damage to myelin in disorders, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), leads to neurodegeneration and disability. There are currently no approved treatments for MS that stimulate myelin repair. During development, thyroid hormone (TH) promotes myelination through enhancing oligodendrocyte differentiation; however, TH itself is unsuitable as a remyelination therapy due to adverse systemic effects. This problem is overcome with selective TH agonists, sobetirome and a CNS-selective prodrug of sobetirome called Sob-AM2. We show here that TH and sobetirome stimulated remyelination in standard gliotoxin models of demyelination. We then utilized a genetic mouse model of demyelination and remyelination, in which we employed motor function tests, histology, and MRI to demonstrate that chronic treatment with sobetirome or Sob-AM2 leads to significant improvement in both clinical signs and remyelination. In contrast, chronic treatment with TH in this model inhibited the endogenous myelin repair and exacerbated disease. These results support the clinical investigation of selective CNS-penetrating TH agonists, but not TH, for myelin repair.
Meredith D. Hartley, Tania Banerji, Ian J. Tagge, Lisa L. Kirkemo, Priya Chaudhary, Evan Calkins, Danielle Galipeau, Mitra D. Shokat, Margaret J. DeBell, Shelby Van Leuven, Hannah Miller, Gail Marracci, Edvinas Pocius, Tapasree Banerji, Skylar J. Ferrara, J. Matthew Meinig, Ben Emery, Dennis Bourdette, Thomas S. Scanlan
Multiple reports of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) expression have established its presence in human epicardial adipose tissue (eAT). Its functional relevance to eAT, however, remains largely unknown. In a recent study, we reported that adrenergic stimulation of eAT was associated with downregulation of secreted proteins involved in oxidative stress–related and immune-related pathways. Here, we explored the UCP1-associated features of human eAT using next-generation deep sequencing. Paired biopsies of eAT, mediastinal adipose tissue (mAT), and subcutaneous adipose tissue (sAT) obtained from cardiac surgery patients, with specific criteria of high and low expression of UCP1 in eAT, were subjected to RNA sequencing. Although eAT exhibited a depot-specific upregulation in the immune-related pathways relative to mAT and sAT, high UCP1 expression in eAT was specifically associated with differential gene expression that functionally corresponded with downregulation in the production of reactive oxygen species and immune responses, including T cell homeostasis. Our data indicate that UCP1 and adaptive immunity share a reciprocal relationship at the whole-transcriptome level, thereby supporting a plausible role for UCP1 in maintaining tissue homeostasis in human eAT.
Kanta Chechi, Jinchu Vijay, Pierre Voisine, Patrick Mathieu, Yohan Bossé, Andre Tchernof, Elin Grundberg, Denis Richard
Heart failure (HF) is associated in humans and mice with increased circulating levels of CXCL9 and CXCL10, chemokine ligands of the CXCR3 receptor, predominantly expressed on CD4+ Th1 cells. Chemokine engagement of receptors is required for T cell integrin activation and recruitment to sites of inflammation. Th1 cells drive adverse cardiac remodeling in pressure overload–induced cardiac dysfunction, and mice lacking the integrin ligand ICAM-1 show defective T cell recruitment to the heart. Here, we show that CXCR3+ T cells infiltrate the heart in humans and mice with pressure overload–induced cardiac dysfunction. Genetic deletion of CXCR3 disrupts CD4+ T cell heart infiltration and prevents adverse cardiac remodeling. We demonstrate that cardiac fibroblasts and cardiac myeloid cells that include resident and infiltrated macrophages are the source of CXCL9 and CXCL10, which mechanistically promote Th1 cell adhesion to ICAM-1 under shear conditions in a CXCR3-dependent manner. To our knowledge, our findings identify a previously unrecognized role for CXCR3 in Th1 cell recruitment into the heart in pressure overload–induced cardiac dysfunction.
Njabulo Ngwenyama, Ane M. Salvador, Francisco Velázquez, Tania Nevers, Alexander Levy, Mark Aronovitz, Andrew D. Luster, Gordon S. Huggins, Pilar Alcaide
Iron deficiency is present in ~50% of heart failure (HF) patients. Large multicenter trials have shown that treatment of iron deficiency with i.v. iron benefits HF patients, but the underlying mechanisms are not known. To investigate the actions of iron deficiency on the heart, mice were fed an iron-depleted diet, and some received i.v. ferric carboxymaltose (FCM), an iron supplementation used clinically. Iron-deficient animals became anemic and had reduced ventricular ejection fraction measured by magnetic resonance imaging. Ca2+ signaling, a pathway linked to the contractile deficit in failing hearts, was also significantly affected. Ventricular myocytes isolated from iron-deficient animals produced smaller Ca2+ transients from an elevated diastolic baseline but had unchanged sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ load, trigger L-type Ca2+ current, or cytoplasmic Ca2+ buffering. Reduced fractional release from the SR was due to downregulated RyR2 channels, detected at protein and message levels. The constancy of diastolic SR Ca2+ load is explained by reduced RyR2 permeability in combination with right-shifted SERCA activity due to dephosphorylation of its regulator phospholamban. Supplementing iron levels with FCM restored normal Ca2+ signaling and ejection fraction. Thus, 2 Ca2+-handling proteins previously implicated in HF become functionally impaired in iron-deficiency anemia, but their activity is rescued by i.v. iron supplementation.
Yu Jin Chung, Antao Luo, Kyung Chan Park, Aminah A. Loonat, Samira Lakhal-Littleton, Peter A. Robbins, Pawel Swietach
Glioblastomas, which contain stem cell–like glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs), are universally lethal cancers. While neural stem cells (NSCs) are usually quiescent, single-cell studies suggest that proliferating glioblastoma cells reside in the GSC population. Interrogating in silico glioma databases for epigenetic regulators that correlate with cell cycle regulation, we identified the chromatin remodeler HELLS as a potential target in glioblastoma. GSCs preferentially expressed HELLS compared with their differentiated tumor progeny and nonmalignant brain cells. Targeting HELLS disrupted GSC proliferation, survival, and self-renewal with induction of replication stress and DNA damage. Investigating potential molecular mechanisms downstream of HELLS revealed that HELLS interacted with the core oncogenic transcription factors, E2F3 and MYC, to regulate gene expression critical to GSC proliferation and maintenance. Supporting the interaction, HELLS expression strongly correlated with targets of E2F3 and MYC transcriptional activity in glioblastoma patients. The potential clinical significance of HELLS was reinforced by improved survival of tumor-bearing mice upon targeting HELLS and poor prognosis of glioma patients with elevated HELLS expression. Collectively, targeting HELLS may permit the functional disruption of the relatively undruggable MYC and E2F3 transcription factors and serve as a novel therapeutic paradigm for glioblastoma.
Guoxin Zhang, Zhen Dong, Briana C. Prager, Leo J.K. Kim, Qiulian Wu, Ryan C. Gimple, Xiuxing Wang, Shideng Bao, Petra Hamerlik, Jeremy N. Rich
Peripheral hyperinsulinemia resulting from subcutaneous insulin injection is associated with metabolic defects that include abnormal glucose metabolism. The first aim of this study was to quantify the impairments in liver and muscle glucose metabolism that occur when insulin is delivered via a peripheral vein compared to when it is given through its endogenous secretory route (the hepatic portal vein) in overnight-fasted conscious dogs. The second aim was to determine if peripheral delivery of a hepato-preferential insulin analog could restore the physiologic response to insulin that occurs under meal-feeding conditions. This study is the first to our knowledge to show that hepatic glucose uptake correlates with insulin’s direct effects on the liver under hyperinsulinemic-hyperglycemic conditions. In addition, glucose uptake was equally divided between the liver and muscle when insulin was infused into the portal vein, but when it was delivered into a peripheral vein the percentage of glucose taken up by muscle was 4-fold greater than that going to the liver, with liver glucose uptake being less than half of normal. These defects could not be corrected by adjusting the dose of peripheral insulin. On the other hand, hepatic and nonhepatic glucose metabolism could be fully normalized by a hepato-preferential insulin analog.
Dale S. Edgerton, Melanie Scott, Ben Farmer, Phillip E. Williams, Peter Madsen, Thomas Kjeldsen, Christian L. Brand, Christian Fledelius, Erica Nishimura, Alan D. Cherrington
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is triggered mainly by mutations in genes encoding sarcomeric proteins, but a significant proportion of patients lack a genetic diagnosis. We identified a potentially novel mutation in ryanodine receptor 2, RyR2-P1124L, in a patient from a genotype-negative HCM cohort. The aim of this study was to determine whether RyR2-P1124L triggers functional and structural alterations in isolated RyR2 channels and whole hearts. We found that P1124L induces significant conformational changes in the SPRY2 domain of RyR2. Recombinant RyR2-P1124L channels displayed a cytosolic loss-of-function phenotype, which contrasted with a higher sensitivity to luminal [Ca2+], indicating a luminal gain of function. Homozygous mice for RyR2-P1124L showed mild cardiac hypertrophy, similar to the human patient. This phenotype, evident at 1 year of age, was accompanied by an increase in the expression of calmodulin (CaM). P1124L mice also showed higher susceptibility to arrhythmia at 8 months of age, before the onset of hypertrophy. RyR2-P1124L has a distinct cytosolic loss-of-function and a luminal gain-of-function phenotype. This bifunctionally divergent behavior triggers arrhythmias and structural cardiac remodeling, and it involves overexpression of CaM as a potential hypertrophic mediator. This study is relevant to continue elucidating the possible causes of genotype-negative HCM and the role of RyR2 in cardiac hypertrophy.
Francisco J. Alvarado, J. Martijn Bos, Zhiguang Yuchi, Carmen R. Valdivia, Jonathan J. Hernández, Yan-Ting Zhao, Dawn S. Henderlong, Yan Chen, Talia R. Booher, Cherisse A. Marcou, Filip Van Petegem, Michael J. Ackerman, Héctor H. Valdivia
The autoantigen-specific Tregs from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), i.e., PSC-Tregs, have the ability to suppress autoimmunity. PSC-Tregs can be programmed to be tissue associated and to infiltrate into local inflamed tissues to suppress autoimmune responses after adoptive transfer. Nevertheless, the mechanisms by which the autoantigen-specific PSC-Tregs suppress the autoimmune response remain to be fully elucidated. In this study, we generated functional autoantigen-specific Tregs from the induced PSC (iPSCs), i.e., iPSC-Tregs, and investigated the underlying mechanisms of autoimmunity suppression by these Tregs in a type 1 diabetes (T1D) murine model. A double-Tg mouse model of T1D was established in F1 mice, in which the first generation of RIP-mOVA Tg mice that were crossed with OT-I T cell receptor (TCR) Tg mice was challenged with vaccinia viruses expressing OVA (VACV-OVA). We show that adoptive transfer of OVA-specific iPSC-Tregs greatly suppressed autoimmunity in the animal model and prevented the insulin-secreting pancreatic β cells from destruction. Further, we demonstrate that the adoptive transfer significantly reduced the expression of ICAM-1 in the diabetic pancreas and inhibited the migration of pathogenic CD8+ T cells and the production of the proinflammatory IFN-γ in the pancreas. These results indicate that the stem cell–derived tissue-associated Tregs can robustly accumulate in the diabetic pancreas, and, through downregulating the expression of ICAM-1 in the local inflamed tissues and inhibiting the production of proinflammatory cytokine IFN-γ, suppress the migration and activity of the pathogenic immune cells that cause T1D.
Mohammad Haque, Fengyang Lei, Xiaofang Xiong, Jugal Kishore Das, Xingcong Ren, Deyu Fang, Shahram Salek-Ardakani, Jin-Ming Yang, Jianxun Song
Mechanisms leading to osteoporosis are incompletely understood. Genetic disorders with skeletal fragility provide insight into metabolic pathways contributing to bone strength. We evaluated 6 families with rare skeletal phenotypes and osteoporosis by next-generation sequencing. In all the families, we identified a heterozygous variant in SGMS2, a gene prominently expressed in cortical bone and encoding the plasma membrane–resident sphingomyelin synthase SMS2. Four unrelated families shared the same nonsense variant, c.148C>T (p.Arg50*), whereas the other families had a missense variant, c.185T>G (p.Ile62Ser) or c.191T>G (p.Met64Arg). Subjects with p.Arg50* presented with childhood-onset osteoporosis with or without cranial sclerosis. Patients with p.Ile62Ser or p.Met64Arg had a more severe presentation, with neonatal fractures, severe short stature, and spondylometaphyseal dysplasia. Several subjects had experienced peripheral facial nerve palsy or other neurological manifestations. Bone biopsies showed markedly altered bone material characteristics, including defective bone mineralization. Osteoclast formation and function in vitro was normal. While the p.Arg50* mutation yielded a catalytically inactive enzyme, p.Ile62Ser and p.Met64Arg each enhanced the rate of de novo sphingomyelin production by blocking export of a functional enzyme from the endoplasmic reticulum. SGMS2 pathogenic variants underlie a spectrum of skeletal conditions, ranging from isolated osteoporosis to complex skeletal dysplasia, suggesting a critical role for plasma membrane–bound sphingomyelin metabolism in skeletal homeostasis.
Minna Pekkinen, Paulien A. Terhal, Lorenzo D. Botto, Petra Henning, Riikka E. Mäkitie, Paul Roschger, Amrita Jain, Matthijs Kol, Matti A. Kjellberg, Eleftherios P. Paschalis, Koen van Gassen, Mary Murray, Pinar Bayrak-Toydemir, Maria K. Magnusson, Judith Jans, Mehran Kausar, John C. Carey, Pentti Somerharju, Ulf H. Lerner, Vesa M. Olkkonen, Klaus Klaushofer, Joost C.M. Holthuis, Outi Mäkitie
Zika virus (ZIKV) infection during pregnancy causes significant adverse sequelae in the developing fetus, and results in long-term structural and neurologic defects. Most preventive and therapeutic efforts have focused on the development of vaccines, antivirals, and antibodies. The placental immunologic response to ZIKV, however, has been largely overlooked as a target for therapeutic intervention. The placental inflammatory response, specifically IL-1β secretion and signaling, is induced by ZIKV infection and represents an environmental factor that is known to increase the risk of perinatal developmental abnormalities. We show in a mouse model that maternally administrated IL-1 receptor antagonist (IRA; Kineret, or anakinra), following ZIKV exposure, can preserve placental function (by improving trophoblast invasion and placental vasculature), increase fetal viability, and reduce neurobehavioral deficits in the offspring. We further demonstrate that while ZIKV RNA is highly detectable in placentas, it is not correlated with fetal viability. Beyond its effects in the placenta, we show that IL-1 blockade may also directly decrease fetal neuroinflammation by mitigating fetal microglial activation in a dose-dependent manner. Our studies distinguish the role of placental inflammation during ZIKV-infected pregnancies, and demonstrate that maternal IRA may attenuate fetal neuroinflammation and improve perinatal outcomes.
Jun Lei, Meghan S. Vermillion, Bei Jia, Han Xie, Li Xie, Michael W. McLane, Jeanne S. Sheffield, Andrew Pekosz, Amanda Brown, Sabra L. Klein, Irina Burd
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