Skeletal muscle can regenerate from muscle stem cells and their myogenic precursor cell progeny, myoblasts. However, precise gene editing in human muscle stem cells for autologous cell replacement therapies of untreatable genetic muscle diseases has not yet been reported. Loss-of-function mutations in SGCA, encoding α-sarcoglycan, cause limb-girdle muscular dystrophy 2D/R3, an early onset, severe and rapidly progressive form of muscular dystrophy affecting equally girls and boys. Patients suffer from muscle degeneration and atrophy affecting the limbs, respiratory muscles, and the heart. We isolated human muscle stem cells from two donors with the common SGCA c.157G>A mutation affecting the last coding nucleotide of exon 2. We found that c.157G>A is an exonic splicing mutation that induces skipping of two co-regulated exons. Using adenine base editing, we corrected the mutation in the cells from both donors with >90% efficiency, thereby rescuing the splicing defect and α-sarcoglycan expression. Base edited patient cells regenerated muscle and contributed to the Pax7 positive satellite cell compartment in vivo in mouse xenografts. We hereby provide the first evidence that autologous gene repaired human muscle stem cells can be harnessed for cell replacement therapies of muscular dystrophies.
Helena Escobar, Anne Krause, Sandra Keiper, Janine Kieshauer, Stefanie Müthel, Manuel García de Paredes, Eric Metzler, Ralf Kühn, Florian Heyd, Simone Spuler
Bariatric surgery is the most effective method for weight loss in morbid obesity. There is significant individual variability in the weight loss outcomes, yet factors leading to postoperative weight loss or weight regain remain elusive. Alterations in the µ-opioid receptor (MOR) and dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) systems are associated with obesity and appetite control, and the magnitude of initial brain receptor system perturbation may predict long-term surgical weight loss outcomes. We tested this hypothesis by studying 19 morbidly obese women (mean BMI 40) scheduled to undergo bariatric surgery. We measured their preoperative MOR and D2R availabilities using positron emission tomography (PET) with [11C]carfentanil and [11C]raclopride, respectively, and then assessed their weight development association with regional MOR and D2R availabilities at 24-month follow-up. MOR availability in the amygdala consistently predicted weight development throughout the follow-up period, but no associations were found for D2R. This is the first study to demonstrate that neuroreceptor markers prior to bariatric surgery are associated with the postoperative weight loss. Postoperative weight regain may derive from dysfunction in the opioid system, and weight loss outcomes after bariatric surgery may be partially predicted based on preoperative brain receptor availability opening up new potential for treatment possibilities.
Henry K. Karlsson, Lauri Tuominen, Semi Helin, Paulina Salminen, Pirjo Nuutila, Lauri Nummenmaa
BACKGROUND. Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is a condition predominantly affecting obese women of reproductive age. Recent evidence suggests that IIH is a disease of metabolic dysregulation, androgen excess and an increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity. Here we evaluate systemic and adipose specific metabolic determinants of the IIH phenotype. METHODS. In fasted, matched IIH (N=97) and control (N=43) patients, we assessed: glucose and insulin homeostasis and leptin levels. Body composition was assessed along with an interrogation of adipose tissue function via nuclear magnetic resonance metabolomics and RNA sequencing in paired omental and subcutaneous biopsies in a case control study. RESULTS. We demonstrate an insulin and leptin resistant phenotype in IIH in excess to that driven by obesity. Adiposity in IIH is preferentially centripetal and is associated with increased disease activity and insulin resistance. IIH adipocytes appear transcriptionally and metabolically primed towards depot-specific lipogenesis. CONCLUSIONS. These data show that IIH is a metabolic disorder in which adipose tissue dysfunction is a feature of the disease. Managing IIH as a metabolic disease could reduce disease morbidity and improving cardiovascular outcomes. FUNDING. This study was supported by the National Institute of Health Research UK (NIHR-CS-011-028), the Medical Research Council UK (MR/K015184/1) and the Midlands Neuroscience Teaching and Research Fund.
Connar S.J. Westgate, Hannah F. Botfield, Zerin Alimajstorovic, Andreas Yiangou, Mark Walsh, Gabrielle Smith, Rishi Singhal, James L. Mitchell, Olivia Grech, Keira A. Markey, Daniel Hebenstreit, Daniel A. Tennant, Jeremy W. Tomlinson, Susan P. Mollan, Christian Ludwig, Ildem Akerman, Gareth G. Lavery, Alexandra J. Sinclair
Retinoic acid (RA) signaling is essential for enteric nervous system (ENS) development since vitamin A deficiency or mutations in RA signaling profoundly reduce bowel colonization by ENS precursors. These RA effects could occur because of RA activity within the ENS lineage or via RA activity in other cell types. To define cell-autonomous roles for retinoid signaling within the ENS lineage at distinct developmental time points, we activated a potent floxed dominant-negative RA receptor α (RarαDN) in the ENS using diverse CRE recombinase-expressing mouse lines. This strategy enabled us to block RA signaling at pre-migratory, migratory, and post-migratory stages for ENS precursors. We found that cell-autonomous loss of retinoic acid receptor (RAR) signaling dramatically affects ENS development. CRE activation of RarαDN expression at pre-migratory or migratory stages caused severe intestinal aganglionosis, but at later stages, RarαDN induced a broad range of phenotypes including hypoganglionosis, submucosal plexus loss, and abnormal neural differentiation. RNA-sequencing highlighted distinct RA-regulated gene sets at different developmental stages. These studies show complicated context-dependent RA-mediated regulation of ENS development.
Tao Gao, Elizabeth C. Wright-Jin, Rajarshi Sengupta, Jessica B. Anderson, Robert O. Heuckeroth
Transitions between cell fates commonly occur in development and disease. However, reversing an unwanted cell transition in order to treat disease remains an unexplored area. Here, we report a successful process of guiding ill-fated transitions toward normalization in vascular calcification. Vascular calcification is a severe complication that increases all-cause mortality of cardiovascular disease but lacks medical therapy. The vascular endothelium is a contributor of osteoprogenitor cells to vascular calcification through endothelial-mesenchymal transitions, in which endothelial cells (ECs) gain plasticity and ability to differentiate into osteoblast-like cells. We created a high throughput screening and identified SB216763, an inhibitor of glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3), as an inducer of osteoblastic-endothelial transition. We demonstrated that SB216763 limits osteogenic differentiation in ECs at an early stage of vascular calcification. Lineage tracing showed that SB216763 redirected osteoblast-like cells to the endothelial lineage and reduced late-stage calcification. We also find that deletion of GSK3beta in osteoblasts recapitulated osteoblastic-endothelial transition and reduced vascular calcification. Overall, inhibition of GSK3beta promoted the transition of cells with osteoblastic characteristic to endothelial differentiation thereby ameliorating vascular calcification.
Jiayi Yao, Xiuju Wu, Xiaojing Qiao, Daoqin Zhang, Li Zhang, Jocelyn A. Ma, Xinjiang Cai, Kristina I. Boström, Yucheng Yao
Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is a primary feature of cardiovascular complications in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. MiRNA-30 is an important posttranscriptional regulator of LVH, but it is unknown whether miRNA-30 participates in the process of CKD-induced LVH. In the present study, we found that CKD not only results in LVH but also suppresses miRNA-30 expression in the myocardium. Rescue of cardiomyocyte-specific miRNA-30 attenuates LVH in CKD rats without altering CKD progression. Importantly, in vivo and in vitro knockdown of miRNA-30 in cardiomyocytes leads to cardiomyocyte hypertrophy by upregulating the calcineurin signalling directly. Furthermore, CKD-related detrimental factors, such as fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF-23), uraemic toxin, angiotensin-II (Ang-II) and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), suppress cardiac miRNA-30 expression, while miRNA-30 supplementation blunts cardiomyocyte hypertrophy induced by such factors. These results uncover a novel mechanism of CKD-induced LVH and provide a potential therapeutic target for CKD patients with LVH.
Jingfu Bao, Yinghui Lu, Qin-ying She, Weijuan Dou, Rong Tang, Xiaodong Xu, Mingchao Zhang, Ling Zhu, Qing Zhou, Hui Li, Guohua Zhou, Zhongzhou Yang, Shaolin Shi, Zhihong Liu, Chunxia Zheng
Endothelial cells are important in the maintenance of healthy blood vessels and in the development of vascular diseases. However, the origin and dynamics of endothelial precursors and remodeling at the single-cell level have been difficult to study in vivo due to technical limitations. We aimed to develop a direct visual approach to track the fate and function of single endothelial cells over several days-weeks in the same vascular bed in vivo using multiphoton microscopy (MPM) of transgenic Cdh5-Confetti mice and the kidney glomerulus as a model. Individual cells of the vascular endothelial lineage were identified and tracked due to their unique color combination, based on the random expression of cyan/green/yellow/red fluorescent proteins. Experimental hypertension, hyperglycemia, and laser-induced endothelial cell ablation rapidly increased the number of new glomerular endothelial cells that appeared in clusters of the same color, suggesting clonal cell remodeling by local precursors at the vascular pole. Furthermore, intravital MPM allowed the detection of distinct structural and functional alterations of proliferating endothelial cells. No circulating Cdh5-Confetti+ cells were found in the renal cortex. The heart, lung, and kidneys showed more significant clonal endothelial cell expansion compared to the brain, pancreas, liver and spleen. Serial MPM of Cdh5-Confetti mice in vivo is a powerful new technical advance to study endothelial remodeling and repair in the kidney and other organs under physiological and disease conditions.
Dorinne Desposito, Ina Maria Schiessl, Georgina Gyarmati, Anne Riquier-Brison, Audrey Izuhara, Hiroyuki Kadoya, Balint Der, Urvi Nikhil Shroff, Young-Kwon Hong, Janos Peti-Peterdi
Extensive activation of glial cells during a latent period has been well documented in various animal models of epilepsy. However, it remains unclear whether activated glial cells contribute to epileptogenesis; i.e., the chronically persistent process leading to epilepsy. Particularly, it is not clear whether inter-glial communication between different types of glial cells contributes to epileptogenesis, as past literature mainly focused on one type of glial cell. Here, we show that temporally distinct activation profiles of microglia and astrocytes collaboratively contribute to epileptogenesis in a drug-induced status epilepticus model. We found that reactive microglia appeared first, followed by reactive astrocytes and increased susceptibility to seizures. Reactive astrocytes exhibited larger Ca2+ signals mediated by IP3R2, whereas deletion of this type of Ca2+ signaling reduced seizure susceptibility after status epilepticus. Immediate, but not late, pharmacological inhibition of microglial activation prevented subsequent reactive astrocytes, aberrant astrocyte Ca2+ signaling, and the enhanced seizure susceptibility. These findings indicate that the sequential activation of glial cells constitutes a cause of epileptogenesis after status epilepticus. Thus, our findings suggest that the therapeutic target to prevent epilepsy after status epilepticus should be shifted from microglia (early phase) to astrocytes (late phase).
Fumikazu Sano, Eiji Shigetomi, Youichi Shinozaki, Haruka Tsuzukiyama, Kozo Saito, Katsuhiko Mikoshiba, Hiroshi Horiuchi, Dennis Lawrence Cheung, Junichi Nabekura, Kanji Sugita, Masao Aihara, Schuichi Koizumi
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive fibrotic lung disease. We previously identified fibrogenic mesenchymal progenitor cells (MPCs) in the lungs of IPF patients that serve as an obligatory driver of progressive fibrosis. Recent single cell RNA sequencing work revealed that IPF MPCs with the highest transcriptomic network entropy differ the most from control MPCs; and that CD44 was a marker of these IPF MPCs. We hypothesize that IPF MPCs with high CD44 (CD44hi) expression will display enhanced fibrogenicity. We demonstrate that CD44 expressing MPCs are present at the periphery of the IPF fibroblastic focus, placing them in regions of active fibrogenesis. In a humanized mouse xenograft model, CD44hi IPF MPCs are more fibrogenic than CD44lo IPF MPCs and knock-down of CD44 diminishes their fibrogenicity. CD44hi IPF MPCs display increased expression of pluripotency markers and self-renewal compared to CD44lo IPF MPCs; properties potentiated by IL-8. The mechanism involves the accumulation of CD44 within the nucleus where it associates with the chromatin modulator protein BRG1 and the Zeb1 transcription factor. This CD44/BRG1/Zeb1 nuclear protein complex targets the Sox2 gene promoting its upregulation and self-renewal. Our data implicates CD44 interaction with the epigenetic modulator protein Brg1 in conveying IPF MPCs with cell-autonomous fibrogenicity.
Libang Yang, Hong Xia, Karen A. Smith, Adam Gilbertsen, Daniel Beisang, Jonathan Kuo, Peter B. Bitterman, Craig A. Henke
T cell receptor (TCR) triggering by antigen results in metabolic reprogramming that, in turn, facilitates T cells’ exit from quiescence. The increased nutrient requirements of activated lymphocytes are met in part by upregulation of cell surface transporters and enhanced uptake of amino acids, fatty acids and glucose from the environment. However, the role of intracellular pathways of amino acid biosynthesis in T cell activation is relatively unexplored. Asparagine (Asn) is a non-essential amino acid that can be synthesized intracellularly through the glutamine-hydrolyzing enzyme asparagine synthetase (ASNS). We set out to define the requirements for uptake of extracellular Asn and ASNS activity in CD8+ T cell activation. At early timepoints of activation in vitro, CD8+ T cells expressed little or no ASNS and, as a consequence, viability and TCR-stimulated growth, activation and metabolic reprogramming were substantially impaired under conditions of Asn deprivation. At later timepoints (>24h of activation), TCR-induced mTOR-dependent signals resulted in upregulation of ASNS, that endowed CD8+ T cells with the capacity to function independently of extracellular Asn. Thus, our data suggest that the coordinated upregulation of ASNS expression and uptake of extracellular Asn is involved in optimal T cell effector responses.
Helen Carrasco Hope, Rebecca J. Brownlie, Christopher M. Fife, Lynette Steele, Mihaela Lorger, Robert J. Salmond
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