Therapeutic strategies targeting complement have revolutionized the treatment of myasthenia gravis (MG). However, a deeper understanding of complement modulation in the human system is required to improve treatment responses and identify “off-target effects” shaping long-term outcomes. For this purpose, we studied a cohort of MG patients treated with either eculizumab (n = 10) or azathioprine (n = 10) as well as treatment-naïve (n = 10) patients using a combined proteomics and metabolomics approach. This strategy confirmed known effects of eculizumab on the terminal complement cascade. Beyond that, eculizumab modulated the serum proteometabolome as distinct pathways were altered in eculizumab-treated patients including the oxidative stress response, mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling and lipid metabolism with particular emphasis on arachidonic acid signaling. We detected reduced levels of arachidonate 5-lipoxygenase (ALOX5) and leukotriene A4 (LTA4) in eculizumab-treated patients. Mechanistically, ligation of the C5a receptor (C5aR) is needed for ALOX5 metabolism and generation of downstream leukotrienes. As eculizumab prevents cleavage of C5 into C5a, decreased engagement of C5aR may inhibit ALOX5-mediated synthesis of pro-inflammatory leukotrienes. These findings indicate distinct “off-target effects” induced by eculizumab, illuminating potential mechanisms of action that may be harnessed to improve treatment outcomes.
Christopher Nelke, Christina B. Schroeter, Frauke Stascheit, Niklas Huntemann, Marc Pawlitzki, Alice G. Willison, Saskia Räuber, Nico Melzer, Ute Distler, Stefan Tenzer, Kai Stühler, Andreas Roos, Andreas Meisel, Sven G. Meuth, Tobias Ruck
Mechanical, thermal, and chemical pain sensation is conveyed by primary nociceptors, a subset of sensory afferent neurons. The intracellular regulation of the primary nociceptive signal is an area of active study. We report here the discovery of a Gβ5-dependent regulatory pathway within mechanical nociceptors that restrains anti-nociceptive input from metabotropic GABA-B receptors. In mice with conditional knockout (cKO) of Gnb5 targeted to peripheral sensory neurons, we demonstrate the impairment of mechanical, thermal, and chemical nociception. We further report the specific loss of mechanical nociception in Rgs7-Cre+/-; Gnb5fl/fl mice but not in Rgs9-Cre+/-; Gnb5fl/fl mice, suggesting that Gβ5 might specifically regulate mechanical pain in Rgs7+ cells. Additionally, Gβ5-dependent and Rgs7-associated mechanical nociception is dependent upon GABA-B receptor signaling since both were abolished by treatment with a GABA-B receptor antagonist and since cKO of Gβ5 from sensory cells or from Rgs7+ cells potentiated the analgesic effects of GABA-B agonists. Following activation by the Mrgprd agonist β-alanine, enhanced sensitivity to inhibition by baclofen was observed in primary cultures of Rgs7+ sensory neurons harvested from Rgs7-Cre+/-; Gnb5fl/fl mice. Taken together, these results suggest that the targeted inhibition of Gβ5 function in Rgs7+ sensory neurons might provide specific relief for mechanical allodynia, including that contributing to chronic neuropathic pain, without reliance on exogenous opioids.
Mritunjay Pandey, Jian-Hua Zhang, Poorni R. Adikaram, Claire M. Kittock, Nicole Lue, Adam M. Awe, Katherine N. Degner, Nirmal Jacob, Jenna N. Staples, Rachel Thomas, Allison B. Kohnen, Sundar Ganesan, Juraj Kabat, Ching-Kang Chen, William F. Simonds
Elderly individuals frequently report cognitive decline, while various studies indicate hippocampal functional declines with advancing age. Hippocampal function is influenced by ghrelin through hippocampus-expressed growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR). Liver-expressed antimicrobial peptide 2 (LEAP2) is an endogenous GHSR antagonist that attenuates ghrelin signaling. Here, we measured plasma ghrelin and LEAP2 levels in a cohort of cognitively normal individuals older than 60 and found that LEAP2 increased with age while ghrelin (also referred to in literature as “acyl-ghrelin”) marginally declined. In this cohort, plasma LEAP2/ghrelin molar ratios were inversely associated with Mini-Mental State Examination scores. Studies in mice showed an age-dependent inverse relationship between plasma LEAP2/ghrelin molar ratio and hippocampal lesions. In aged mice, restoration of the LEAP2/ghrelin balance to youth-associated levels with lentiviral shRNA Leap2 downregulation improved cognitive performance and mitigated various age-related hippocampal deficiencies such as CA1 region synaptic loss, declines in neurogenesis, and neuroinflammation. Our data collectively suggest that LEAP2/ghrelin molar ratio elevation may adversely affect hippocampal function and, consequently, cognitive performance; thus, it may serve as a biomarker of age-related cognitive decline. Moreover, targeting LEAP2 and ghrelin in a manner that lowers the plasma LEAP2/ghrelin molar ratio could benefit cognitive performance in elderly individuals for rejuvenation of memory.
Jing Tian, Lan Guo, Tienju Wang, Kun Jia, Russell H. Swerdlow, Jeffrey M. Zigman, Heng Du
Central glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptor (GIPR) signaling is critical in GIP-based therapeutics’ ability to lower body weight, but pathways leveraged by GIPR pharmacology in the brain remain incompletely understood. We explored the role of Gipr neurons in the hypothalamus and dorsal vagal complex (DVC) — brain regions critical to the control of energy balance. Hypothalamic Gipr expression was not necessary for the synergistic effect of GIPR/GLP-1R coagonism on body weight. While chemogenetic stimulation of both hypothalamic and DVC Gipr neurons suppressed food intake, activation of DVC Gipr neurons reduced ambulatory activity and induced conditioned taste avoidance, while there was no effect of a short-acting GIPR agonist (GIPRA). Within the DVC, Gipr neurons of the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS), but not the area postrema (AP), projected to distal brain regions and were transcriptomically distinct. Peripherally dosed fluorescent GIPRAs revealed that access was restricted to circumventricular organs in the CNS. These data demonstrate that Gipr neurons in the hypothalamus, AP, and NTS differ in their connectivity, transcriptomic profile, peripheral accessibility, and appetite-controlling mechanisms. These results highlight the heterogeneity of the central GIPR signaling axis and suggest that studies into the effects of GIP pharmacology on feeding behavior should consider the interplay of multiple regulatory pathways.
Alice Adriaenssens, Johannes Broichhagen, Anne de Bray, Julia Ast, Annie Hasib, Ben Jones, Alejandra Tomas, Natalie Figueredo Burgos, Orla Woodward, Jo Lewis, Elisabeth O’Flaherty, Kimberley El, Canqi Cui, Norio Harada, Nobuya Inagaki, Jonathan Campbell, Daniel Brierley, David J. Hodson, Ricardo Samms, Fiona Gribble, Frank Reimann
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a relapsing-remitting disorder characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Anxiety symptoms are commonly observed in IBD patients, but the mechanistic link between IBD and anxiety remains elusive. Here, we sought to characterize gut-to-brain signaling and brain circuitry responsible for the pathological expression of anxiety-like behaviors in male dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced experimental colitis mice. We found that DSS-treated mice displayed increased anxiety-like behaviors, which were prevented by bilateral GI vagal afferent ablation. The locus coeruleus (LC) is a relay center connecting the nucleus tractus solitarius to the basolateral amygdala (BLA) in controlling anxiety-like behaviors. Chemogenetic silencing of noradrenergic LC projections to the BLA reduced anxiety-like behaviors in DSS-treated mice. This work expands our understanding of the neural mechanisms by which IBD leads to comorbid anxiety and emphasizes a critical role of gastric vagal afferent signaling in gut-to-brain regulation of emotional states.
Chin-Hao Chen, Tsung-Chih Tsai, Yi-Jen Wu, Kuei-Sen Hsu
Growing evidence indicates that the glucagon-like-peptide-1 (GLP-1) system is involved in the neurobiology of addictive behaviors and GLP-1 analogues may be used for the treatment of alcohol use disorder (AUD). Semaglutide is a long-acting GLP-1 analogue with compelling characteristics for clinical translation. The goal of this study was to examine the effects of semaglutide on biobehavioral correlates of alcohol use in rodents, using psychopharmacology and electrophysiology experiments. A drinking-in-the-dark procedure was used to test the effects of semaglutide on binge-like drinking in male and female mice. We also tested the effects of semaglutide on both binge-like and dependence-induced alcohol drinking in male and female rats. Finally, the acute effects of semaglutide on GABA neurotransmission were examined by recording spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSCs) from central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) and infralimbic cortex (ILC) neurons. Results showed that semaglutide dose-dependently reduced binge-like alcohol drinking in mice; a similar effect was observed on the intake of other caloric/non-caloric solutions. Semaglutide also reduced binge-like and dependence-induced alcohol drinking in rats. In alcohol-naïve rats, an acute application of semaglutide increased sIPSC frequency in CeA and ILC neurons, suggesting enhanced GABA release, while in alcohol-dependent rats, semaglutide did not significantly alter overall CeA and ILC GABA transmission. In conclusion, the GLP-1 analogue semaglutide decreased alcohol intake across different drinking models and species and modulated central GABA neurotransmission in rodents, providing support for clinical testing of semaglutide as a potential novel pharmacotherapy for AUD.
Vicky Chuong, Mehdi Farokhnia, Sophia Khom, Claire L. Pince, Sophie K. Elvig, Roman Vlkolinsky, Renata C.N. Marchette, George F. Koob, Marisa Roberto, Leandro F. Vendruscolo, Lorenzo Leggio
Autosomal Recessive Spastic Ataxia of Charlevoix-Saguenay (ARSACS) is caused by mutations in SACS gene encoding sacsin, a huge protein highly expressed in cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs). ARSACS patients, as well as mouse models, display early degeneration of PCs, but the underlying mechanisms remain unexplored, with no available treatments. In this work, we demonstrated aberrant calcium (Ca2+) homeostasis and its impact on PC degeneration in ARSACS. Mechanistically, we found pathological elevation in Ca2+-evoked responses in Sacs-/- PCs, as the result of defective mitochondria and ER trafficking to distal dendrites and strong downregulation of key Ca2+ buffer-proteins. Alteration of cytoskeletal linkers, that we identified as specific sacsin interactors, likely account for faulty organellar trafficking in Sacs-/- cerebellum. Based on this pathogenetic cascade, we treated Sacs-/- mice with Ceftriaxone, a repurposed drug which exerts neuroprotection by limiting neuronal glutamatergic stimulation, and thus Ca2+ fluxes into PCs. Ceftriaxone treatment significantly improved motor performances of Sacs-/- mice, at both pre- and post-symptomatic stages. We correlated this effect to restored Ca2+ homeostasis, which arrests PC degeneration and attenuates secondary neuroinflammation. These findings disclose new key steps in ARSACS pathogenesis and support further optimization of Ceftriaxone in pre-clinical and clinical settings for the treatment of ARSACS patients.
Andrea Del Bondio, Fabiana Longo, Daniele De Ritis, Erica Spirito, Paola Podini, Bernard Brais, Angela Bachi, Angelo Quattrini, Francesca Maltecca
Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a classical neuralgic pain condition with distinct clinical characteristics. Modeling TN in rodents proves challenging. Recently, we found that a foramen in rodent skull base, the foramen lacerum, provides direct access to the trigeminal nerve root. Using this access, we developed FLIT (Foramen Lacerum Impingement of Trigeminal nerve root) model and observed distinct pain-like behaviors in rodents, including paroxysmal asymmetric facial grimaces, head tilt when eating, avoidance of solid chew, lack of wood chewing, etc. The FLIT model recapitulated key clinical features of TN, including lancinating pain-like behavior, and dental pain-like behavior. Importantly, when compared with a trigeminal neuropathic pain model (infraorbital nerve chronic constriction injury, IoN-CCI), the FLIT model was associated with significantly higher numbers of c-Fos positive cells in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1), unraveling robust cortical activation in the FLIT model. Using intravital two-photon calcium imaging, synchronized S1 neural dynamics were only present in the FLIT but not the IoN-CCI model, revealing differential implication of cortical activation in different pain models. Taken together, FLIT is a clinically relevant rodent model of TN which could facilitate pain research and therapeutics development.
Weihua Ding, Liuyue Yang, Qian Chen, Kun Hu, Yan Liu, Eric Bao, Changning Wang, Jianren Mao, Shiqian Shen
Cephalic tetanus (CT) is a severe form of tetanus that follows head wounds and the intoxication of cranial nerves by tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT). Hallmarks of CT are cerebral palsy, which anticipates the typical spastic paralysis of tetanus, and rapid evolution of cardiorespiratory deficit even without generalized tetanus. How TeNT causes this unexpected flaccid paralysis, and how the canonical spasticity then rapidly evolves into cardiorespiratory defects remain unresolved aspects of CT pathophysiology. Using electrophysiology and immunohistochemistry, we demonstrate that TeNT cleaves its substrate VAMP within facial neuromuscular junctions and causes a botulism-like paralysis overshadowing its canonical spasticity. Meanwhile, TeNT spreads among brainstem neuronal nuclei and, as shown by an assay to monitor the ventilation ability of CT mice, it harms essential functions like respiration. A partial axotomy of the facial nerve revealed a still-unknown ability of TeNT to undergo intra-brainstem diffusion, which allows the toxin to spread onto brainstem nuclei devoid of direct peripheral efferents. Other showing a mechanism possibly involved in the transition from local to generalized tetanus, these findings suggest that patients with idiopathic facial nerve palsy should be immediately considered for CT and treated with antisera to block the potential progression of a life-threatening form of tetanus.
Federico Fabris, Stefano Varani, Marika Tonellato, Ivica Matak, Petra Šoštarić, Patrik Meglić, Matteo Caleo, Aram Megighian, Ornella Rossetto, Cesare Montecucco, Marco Pirazzini
Respiration can positively impact cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow in the brain, yet its effects on central nervous system (CNS) fluid homeostasis including waste clearance function via the glymphatic and meningeal lymphatic systems remain unclear. Here, we investigated the effect of supporting respiratory function via continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) on glymphatic-lymphatic function in spontaneously breathing anesthetized rodents. To do this, we used a systems approach combining engineering, magnetic resonance imaging, computational fluid dynamics analysis, and physiological testing. We first designed a nasal CPAP device for use in the rat and demonstrated that it functioned similar to clinical devices as evidenced by its ability to open the upper airway, augment end-expiratory lung volume, and improve arterial oxygenation. We further showed that CPAP increased CSF flow speed at the skull base and augmented glymphatic transport regionally. The CPAP-induced augmented CSF flow speed was associated with an increase in intracranial pressure (ICP), including the ICP waveform pulse amplitude. We suggest that the augmented pulse amplitude with CPAP underlies the increase in CSF bulk flow and glymphatic transport. Our results provide new insights into the functional crosstalk at the pulmonary-CSF interface and suggest that CPAP might have therapeutic benefit for sustaining glymphatic-lymphatic function.
Burhan Ozturk, Sunil Koundal, Ehab Al Bizri, Xinan Chen, Zachary H. Gursky, Feng Dai, Andrew S. Lim, Paul Heerdt, Jonathan Kipnis, Allen Tannenbaum, Hedok Lee, Helene Benveniste
No posts were found with this tag.