Spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) are primary auditory neurons in the spiral ganglion that transmit sound information from the inner ear to the brain and play an important role in hearing. Impairment of SGNs causes sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), and it has been thought until now that SGNs cannot be regenerated once lost. Furthermore, no fundamental therapeutic strategy for SNHL has been established other than inserting devices such as hearing aids and cochlear implants. Here we show that the mouse spiral ganglion contains cells that are able to proliferate and indeed differentiate into neurons in response to injury. We suggest that SRY-box transcription factor 2/SRY-box transcription factor 10–double-positive (Sox2/Sox10–double-positive) Schwann cells sequentially started to proliferate, lost Sox10 expression, and became neurons, although the number of new neurons generated spontaneously was very small. To increase the abundance of new neurons, we treated mice with 2 growth factors in combination with valproic acid, which is known to promote neuronal differentiation and survival. This treatment resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of SGNs, accompanied by a partial recovery of the hearing loss induced by injury. Taken together, our findings offer a step toward developing strategies for treatment of SNHL.
Takahiro Wakizono, Hideyuki Nakashima, Tetsuro Yasui, Teppei Noda, Kei Aoyagi, Kanako Okada, Yasuhiro Yamada, Takashi Nakagawa, Kinichi Nakashima
BACKGROUND. Although aberrant glycosylation is recognized as a hallmark of cancer, glycosylation in clinical breast cancer (BC) metastasis has not yet been studied. While preclinical studies show that the glycocalyx coating of cancer cells is involved in adhesion, migration, and metastasis, glycosylation changes from primary tumor (PT) to various metastatic sites remain unknown in patients. METHODS. We investigated N-glycosylation profiles in 17 metastatic BC patients from our rapid autopsy program. Primary breast tumor, lymph node metastases, multiple systemic metastases, and various normal tissue cores from each patient were arranged on unique single-patient tissue microarrays (TMAs). We performed mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) combined with extensive pathology annotation of these TMAs, which enabled spatially differentiated cell-based analysis of N-glycosylation patterns in metastatic BC. RESULTS. N-glycan abundance increased during metastatic progression independent of BC subtype and treatment regimen, with high-mannose glycans most frequently elevated in BC metastases, followed by fucosylated and complex glycans. Bone metastasis, however, displayed increased core-fucosylation and decreased high-mannose glycans. Consistently, N-glycosylated proteins and N-glycan biosynthesis genes were differentially expressed during metastatic BC progression, with reduced expression of EpCAM and mannose-trimming enzymes and elevated N-glycan branching and sialylation enzymes in BC metastases versus PT. CONCLUSION. We show for the first time in patients that N-glycosylation of breast cancer cells undergoing metastasis occurs in a metastatic site-specific manner, supporting the clinical importance of high-mannose, fucosylated, and complex N-glycans as future diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets in metastatic BC. FUNDING. United States National Institutes of Health grants NIH R01CA213428, R01CA213492, T32CA193145, Dutch Province Limburg “LINK”, European Union ERA-NET TRANSCAN2-643638.
Klára Ščupáková, Oluwatobi T. Adelaja, Benjamin Balluff, Vinay Ayyappan, Caitlin M. Tressler, Nicole M. Jenkinson, Britt S.R. Claes, Andrew P. Bowman, Ashley M. Cimino-Mathews, Marissa J. White, Pedram Argani, Ron M.A. Heeren, Kristine Glunde
Controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) provides a highly informative means to investigate host-pathogen interactions and enable in vivo proof-of-concept efficacy testing of new drugs and vaccines. However, unlike Plasmodium falciparum, well-characterized P. vivax parasites that are safe and suitable for use in modern CHMI models are limited. Here, two healthy malaria-naïve UK adults with universal donor blood group were safely infected with a clone of P. vivax from Thailand by mosquito-bite CHMI. Parasitemia developed in both volunteers and, prior to treatment, each volunteer donated blood to produce a cryopreserved stabilate of infected red blood cells. Following stringent safety screening, the parasite stabilate from one of these donors (“PvW1”) was thawed and used to inoculate six healthy malaria-naïve UK adults by blood-stage CHMI, at three different dilutions. Parasitemia developed in all volunteers, who were then successfully drug treated. PvW1 parasite DNA was isolated and sequenced to produce a high quality genome assembly by using a hybrid assembly method. We analysed leading vaccine candidate antigens and multigene families, including the Vivax interspersed repeat (VIR) genes of which we identified 1145 in the PvW1 genome. Our genomic analysis will guide future assessment of candidate vaccines and drugs, as well as experimental medicine studies.
Angela M. Minassian, Yrene Themistocleous, Sarah E. Silk, Jordan R. Barrett, Alison Kemp, Doris Quinkert, Carolyn M. Nielsen, Nick J. Edwards, Thomas A. Rawlinson, Fernando Ramos Lopez, Wanlapa Roobsoong, Katherine J.D. Ellis, Jee-Sun Cho, Eerik Aunin, Thomas D. Otto, Adam J. Reid, Florian A. Bach, Geneviève M.C. Labbé, Ian D. Poulton, Arianna Marini, Marija Zaric, Margaux Mulatier, Raquel Lopez Ramon, Megan Baker, Celia H. Mitton, Jason C. Sousa, Nattawan Rachaphaew, Chalermpon Kumpitak, Nongnuj Maneechai, Chayanut Suansomjit, Tianrat Piteekan, Mimi M. Hou, Baktash Khozoee, Kirsty McHugh, David J. Roberts, Alison M. Lawrie, Andrew M. Blagborough, Fay L. Nugent, Iona J. Taylor, Kimberly J. Johnson, Philip J. Spence, Jetsumon Sattabongkot, Sumi Biswas, Julian C. Rayner, Simon J. Draper
COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2, has spread worldwide with a dire disaster situation. To urgently investigate the pathogenicity of COVID-19 and develop vaccines and therapeutics, animal models that are highly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection are needed. In the present study, we established an animal model highly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 via the intratracheal tract infection in CAG-promoter-driven human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 transgenic (CAG-hACE2) mice. The CAG-hACE2 mice showed several severe symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection, with definitive weight loss and subsequent death. Acute lung injury with elevated cytokine and chemokine levels was observed at an early stage of infection in CAG-hACE2 mice infected with SARS-CoV-2. The analysis of the hACE2 gene in CAG-hACE2 mice revealed that more than 15 copies of hACE2 genes were tandemly integrated into the mouse genome, supporting the high susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2. In the developed model, immunization with viral antigen or injection of plasma from immunized mice prevented body weight loss and lethality due to infection with SARS-CoV-2. These results indicate that a highly susceptible model of SARS-CoV-2 infection in CAG-hACE2 mice via the intratracheal tract is suitable for evaluating vaccines and therapeutic medicines.
Masamitsu N. Asaka, Daichi Utsumi, Haruhiko Kamada, Satoshi Nagata, Yutaka Nakachi, Tomokazu Yamaguchi, Yoshihiro Kawaoka, Keiji Kuba, Yasuhiro Yasutomi
Islet-enriched transcription factors (TFs) exert broad control over cellular processes in pancreatic α and β cells and changes in their expression are associated with developmental state and diabetes. However, the implications of heterogeneity in TF expression across islet cell populations are not well understood. To define this TF heterogeneity and its consequences for cellular function, we profiled >40,000 cells from normal human islets by scRNA-seq and stratified α and β cells based on combinatorial TF expression. Subpopulations of islet cells co-expressing ARX/MAFB (α cells) and MAFA/MAFB (β cells) exhibited greater expression of key genes related to glucose sensing and hormone secretion relative to subpopulations expressing only one or neither TF. Moreover, all subpopulations were identified in native pancreatic tissue from multiple donors. By Patch-seq, MAFA/MAFB co-expressing β cells showed enhanced electrophysiological activity. Thus, these results indicate combinatorial TF expression in islet α and β cells predicts highly functional, mature subpopulations.
Shristi Shrestha, Diane C. Saunders, John T. Walker, Joan Camunas-Soler, Xiao-Qing Dai, Rachana Haliyur, Radhika Aramandla, Greg Poffenberger, Nripesh Prasad, Rita Bottino, Roland Stein, Jean-Philippe Cartailler, Stephen C.J. Parker, Patrick E. MacDonald, Shawn E. Levy, Alvin C. Powers, Marcela Brissova
In chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and very likely all cancer types, extracellular vesicles (EVs) are a common mechanism by which intercellular messages are communicated between normal, diseased, and transformed cells. Studies of EVs in CLL and other cancers have great variability and often lack reproducibility. For CLL patient plasma and cell lines, we sought to characterize current approaches used in isolating EV products and understand whether cell culture–conditioned media or complex biological fluids confound results. Utilizing nanoparticle tracking analysis, protein quantification, and electron microscopy, we show that ultracentrifugation with an OptiPrep cushion can effectively minimize contaminants from starting materials including plasma and conditioned media of CLL cell lines grown in EV-depleted complete RPMI media but not grown in the serum-free media AIM V commonly used in CLL experimental work. Moreover, we confirm the benefit of including 25 mM trehalose in PBS during EV isolation steps to reduce EV aggregation, to preserve function for downstream applications and characterization. Furthermore, we report the highest particles/μg EVs were obtained from our CLL cell lines utilizing the CELLine bioreactor flask. Finally, we optimized a proliferation assay that offers a functional evaluation of our EVs with minimal sample requirements.
Sara Elgamal, Emanuele Cocucci, Ellen J. Sass, Xiaokui M. Mo, Angela R. Blissett, Edward P. Calomeni, Kerry A. Rogers, Jennifer A. Woyach, Seema A. Bhat, Natarajan Muthusamy, Amy J. Johnson, Karilyn T. Larkin, John C. Byrd
Energy balance is controlled by interconnected brain regions in the hypothalamus, brain stem, cortex and limbic system. Gene expression signatures of these regions can help elucidate the pathophysiology underlying obesity. RNA sequencing was conducted on P56 C57BL/6NTac male mice and E14.5 C57BL/6NTac embryos punch-biopsies in 16 obesity-relevant brain regions. The expression of 190 known obesity-associated genes (monogenic, rare and low-frequency coding variants, genome-wide association studies (GWAS), syndromic) were analyzed in each anatomical region. Genes associated with these genetic categories of obesity had localized expression patterns across brain regions. Known monogenic obesity causal genes were highly enriched in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus and developing hypothalamus. The obesity-associated genes clustered into distinct ‘modules’ of similar expression profile and these are distinct from expression ‘modules’ formed by similar analysis with genes known to be associated with other disease phenotypes (type 1 and type 2 diabetes, autism, breast cancer) in the same energy balance-relevant brain regions.
Maria Caterina De Rosa, Hannah J. Glover, George Stratigopoulos, Charles A. LeDuc, Qi Su, Yufeng Shen, Mark W. Sleeman, Wendy K. Chung, Rudolph L. Leibel, Judith Y. Altarejos, Claudia A. Doege
The syndrome of spontaneous preterm birth (sPTB) presents a challenge to mechanistic understanding, effective risk stratification, and management. Individual associations between sPTB, ethnicity, vaginal microbiota, metabolome and innate immune response are known, but not fully understood and knowledge has yet to impact clinical practice. Here we use multi-data type integration and composite statistical models to gain insight into sPTB risk by exploring the cervicovaginal environment of an ethnically heterogenous pregnant population (n=346 women; n=60 sPTB <37 weeks’ gestation, including n=27 sPTB <34 weeks). Analysis of cervicovaginal samples (10-15+6 weeks) identified novel interactions between risk of sPTB and microbiota, metabolite, and maternal host defense molecules. Statistical modelling identified a composite of metabolites (leucine, tyrosine, aspartate, lactate, betaine, acetate and Ca2+) associated with risk of sPTB <37 weeks (Area Under the Curve - AUC 0.752). A combination of glucose, aspartate, Ca2+ and Lactobacillus crispatus and L. acidophilus relative abundance, identified risk of early sPTB <34 weeks, (AUC 0.758); improved by ethnicity stratification (AUC 0.835). Increased relative abundance of L. acidophilus appeared protective against sPTB <34 weeks. By using cervicovaginal fluid samples, we demonstrate the potential of multi-datatype integration for developing composite models towards understanding the contribution of the vaginal environment to risk of sPTB.
Flavia Flaviani, Natasha L. Hezelgrave, Tokuwa Kanno, Erica M. Prosdocimi, Evonne Chin-Smith, Alexandra E. Ridout, Djuna K. von Maydell, Vikash Mistry, William G. Wade, Andrew H. Shennan, Konstantina Dimitrakopoulou, Paul T. Seed, Andrew James Mason, Rachel M. Tribe
Neutrophils are produced in the bone marrow (BM) in a process called granulopoiesis, in which progenitor cells sequentially develop into mature neutrophils. During the developmental process, which is finely regulated by distinct transcription factors, neutrophils acquire the ability to exit the BM, properly distribute throughout the body, and migrate to infection sites. Previous studies have demonstrated that CD40 ligand (CD40L) influences hematopoiesis and granulopoiesis. Here, we investigate the effect of CD40L on neutrophil development and trafficking by performing functional and transcriptome analyses. We found that CD40L signaling plays an essential role in the early stages of neutrophil generation and development in the BM. Moreover, CD40L modulates transcriptional signatures, indicating that this molecule enables neutrophils to traffic throughout the body and to migrate in response to inflammatory signals. Thus, our study provides new insights into the complex relationships between CD40L signaling and granulopoiesis and suggests a novel and non-redundant role of CD40L signaling in neutrophil development and function.
Tábata T. França, Ashraf Al-Sbiei, Ghada Bashir, Yassir A. Mohamed, Ranieri C. Salgado, Lucila A. Barreiros, Sarah M. da Silva Napoleão, Cristina W. Weber, Janáira F.S. Ferreira, Carolina S. Aranda, Carolina Prando, Mayra B. de Barros Dorna, Igor Jurisica, Maria J. Fernandez-Cabezudo, Hans D. Ochs, Antonio Condino-Neto, Basel K. Al-Ramadi, Otavio Cabral-Marques
Severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infects epithelial cells of the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract and causes related symptoms. HIV infection impairs gut homeostasis and is associated with an increased risk of COVID-19 fatality. To investigate the potential link between these observations, we analysed single cell transcriptional profiles and SARS-CoV-2 entry receptor expression across lymphoid and mucosal human tissue from chronically HIV infected individuals and uninfected controls. Absorptive gut enterocytes displayed the highest co-expression of SARS-CoV-2 receptors ACE2, TMPRSS2 and TMPRSS4, of which ACE2 expression was associated with canonical interferon response and antiviral genes. Chronic treated HIV infection was associated with a clear antiviral response in gut enterocytes and, unexpectedly, with a significant reduction of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 target cells. Gut tissue from SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals, however, showed abundant SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein in both the large and small intestine, including an HIV co-infected individual. Thus, upregulation of antiviral response genes and downregulation of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 in the GI tract of HIV infected individuals, does not prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection in this compartment. The impact of these HIV-associated intestinal mucosal changes on SARS-CoV-2 infection dynamics, disease severity and vaccine responses remains unclear and require further investigation.
Rabiah Fardoos, Osaretin E. Asowata, Nicholas Herbert, Sarah K. Nyquist, Yenzekile Zungu, Alveera Singh, Abigail Ngoepe, Ian M. Mbano, Ntombifuthi Mthabela, Dirhona Ramjit, Farina Karim, Warren Kuhn, Fusi G. Madela, Vukani T. Manzini, Frank Anderson, Bonnie Berger, Tune H. Pers, Alex K. Shalek, Alasdair Leslie, Henrik Kløverpris
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