Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) play important roles in regulating diverse cellular processes in the vessel wall, including atherosclerosis. RNAseq profiling of intimal lesions revealed a lncRNA, VINAS (Vascular INfllammation and Atherosclerosis lncRNA Sequence), that is enriched in the aortic intima and regulates vascular inflammation. Aortic intimal expression of VINAS fell with atherosclerotic progression and rose with regression. VINAS knockdown reduced atherosclerotic lesion formation by 55% in LDLR-/- mice, independent of effects on circulating lipids, by decreasing inflammation in the vessel wall. Loss- and gain-of-function studies in vitro demonstrated that VINAS serves as a critical regulator of inflammation by modulating NF-κB and MAPK signaling pathways. VINAS knockdown decreased the expression of key inflammatory markers, such as MCP-1, TNF-α, IL-1β , COX-2, in endothelial (EC), vascular smooth muscle cells, and bone marrow-derived macrophages. Moreover, VINAS silencing decreased expression of leukocyte adhesion molecules VCAM-1, E-selectin, and ICAM-1 and reduced monocyte adhesion to ECs. DEPDC4, an evolutionary conserved human ortholog of VINAS with ~74% homology, shows similar regulation in human and pig atherosclerotic specimens. DEPDC4 knockdown replicated VINAS’ anti-inflammatory effects in human ECs. These findings reveal a novel lncRNA that regulates vascular inflammation, with broad implications for vascular diseases.
Viorel Simion, Haoyang Zhou, Jacob B. Pierce, Dafeng Yang, Stefan Haemmig, Yevgenia Tesmenitsky, Galina Sukhova, Peter H. Stone, Peter Libby, Mark W. Feinberg
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and FrontoTemporal Lobar Degeneration (FTLD), two incurable neurodegenerative disorders, share the same pathological hallmark named TDP43 (TAR DNA binding protein 43) proteinopathy. This event is characterized by a consistent cytoplasmic mislocalization and aggregation of the protein TDP43 which loses its physiological properties leading neurons to death. Antibody-based approaches are now emerging interventions in the field of neurodegenerative disorders. Here we tested the target specificity, in vivo distribution and therapeutic efficacy of a monoclonal full-length antibody, named E6, in TDP43 related conditions. We observed that the antibody recognizes specifically the cytoplasmic fraction of TDP43. We demonstrated its ability in targeting large neurons in the spinal cord of mice and in reducing TDP43 mislocalization and NF-B activation. We also recognized the proteasome as well as the lysosome machineries as possible mechanisms used by the antibody to reduce TDP43 proteinopathy. To our knowledge this is the first report showing the therapeutic efficacy and feasibility of a full-length antibody against TDP43 in reducing TDP43 proteinopathy in spinal neurons of an ALS/FTLD mouse model.
Silvia Pozzi, Philippe Codron, Genevieve Soucy, Laurence Renaud, Pierre Cordeau, Kallol Dutta, Christine Bareil, Jean-Pierre Julien
Primary varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection in adults is often complicated by severe pneumonia, which is difficult to treat and associated with high morbidity and mortality. Here, the simian varicella virus (SVV) nonhuman primate (NHP) model was used to investigate the pathogenesis of varicella pneumonia. SVV infection resulted in transient fever, viremia and robust virus replication in alveolar pneumocytes and bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue. Clearance of infectious virus from lungs coincided with robust innate immune responses, leading to recruitment of inflammatory cells, mainly neutrophils and lymphocytes, and finally severe acute lung injury. SVV infection caused neutrophil activation and formation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) in vitro and in vivo. Notably, NETs were also detected in lung and blood specimens of varicella pneumonia patients. Lung pathology in the SVV NHP model was associated with dysregulated expression of alveolar epithelial cell tight junction proteins (claudin-2, claudin-10 and claudin-18) and alveolar endothelial adherens junction protein VE-cadherin. Importantly, factors released by activated neutrophils, including NETs, were sufficient to reduce claudin-18 and VE-cadherin expression in NHP lung slice cultures. Collectively, the data indicate that local inflammatory responses involving activated neutrophils contribute to impaired alveolar epithelial/endothelial barrier integrity in varicella pneumonia and possibly other virus-induced acute lung injuries.
Werner J.D. Ouwendijk, Henk Jan van den Ham, Mark W. Delany, Jeroen J.A. van Kampen, Gijsbert P. van Nierop, Tamana Mehraban, Fatiha Zaaraoui-Boutahar, Wilfred F.J. van IJcken, Judith M.A. van den Brand, Rory D. De Vries, Arno C. Andeweg, Georges M.G.M. Verjans
Symbiotic microbial colonization through the establishment of the intestinal microbiome is critical to many intestinal functions including nutrient metabolism, intestinal barrier integrity and immune regulation. Recent studies suggest that education of the intestinal immunity maybe ongoing in utero. However, the drivers of this process are unknown. The microbiome and its byproducts are one potential source. Whether a fetal intestinal microbiome exists is controversial and if microbially derived metabolites are present in utero is unknown. Here, we aimed to determine whether bacterial DNA and microbially-derived metabolites can be detected in second trimester human intestinal samples. Although, we were unable to amplify bacterial DNA from fetal intestines, we report a unique fetal metabolomic intestinal profile with an abundance of bacterially derived and host derived metabolites commonly produced in response to microbiota. Though we did not directly assess their source and function, we hypothesize that these microbial associated metabolites come either from the maternal microbiome and are vertically transmitted to the fetus to prime the fetal immune system and prepare the gastrointestinal tract for postnatal microbial encounters or are produced locally by bacteria that was below our detection threshold.
Yujia Li, Jessica M. Toothaker, Shira Ben-Simon, Lital Ozeri, Ron Schweitzer, Blake T. McCourt, Collin C. McCourt, Lael Werner, Scott B. Snapper, Dror S. Shouval, Soliman Khatib, Omry Koren, Sameer Agnihorti, George Tseng, Liza Konnikova
Mottled skin pigmentation and solar lentigines from chronic photodamage with aging involves complex interactions between keratinocytes and melanocytes. However, the precise signaling mechanisms that could serve as therapeutic targets are unclear. Herein, we report that expression of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2), which regulates reduction–oxidation reactions, is altered in solar lentigines and photodamaged skin. Moreover, mottled skin pigmentation in humans could be treated with topical application of the NRF2 inducer sulforaphane (SF). Similarly, ultraviolet (UV) light-induced pigmentation of wildtype mouse ear skin could be treated or prevented with SF treatment. Conversely, SF treatment was unable to reduce UV-induced ear skin pigmentation in mice deficient in NRF2 or in mice with keratinocyte-specific conditional deletion of IL-6Rα. Taken together, NRF2 and IL-6Rα signaling are involved in the pathogenesis of UV-induced skin pigmentation and specific enhancement of NRF2-signaling could represent a potential therapeutic target.
Michelle L. Kerns, Robert J. Miller, Momina Mazhar, Angel S. Byrd, Nathan K. Archer, Bret L. Pinsker, Lance S. Lew, Carly A. Dillen, Ruizhi Wang, Lloyd S. Miller, Anna L. Chien, Sewon Kang
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) induces the failure of arteriovenous fistulas (AVF) and promotes the differentiation of vascular adventitial GLI1+ mesenchymal stem cells (GMCs). However, the roles of GMCs in forming neointima in AVFs remains unknown. GMCs isolated from CKD mice showed increased potential capacity of differentiation into myofibroblast-like cells. Increased activation of expression of PDGFRA and hedgehog (HH) signaling were detected in adventitial cells of AVFs from ESRD patients and CKD mice. PDGFRA was translocated and accumulated in early endosome when hedgehog signaling stimulates was activated. In endosome, PDGFRA mediated activation of TGFB1/SMAD signaling promoting GMCs differentiation into myofibroblast, extracellular matrix deposition, and vascular fibrosis. These responses resulted in neointima formation and AVF failure. Knockout (KO) of Pdgfra or inhibition of HH signaling in GMCs suppressed the differentiation of GMCs into myofibroblasts. In vivo, specific KO of Pdgfra inhibited GMC activation and vascular fibrosis, resulting in suppression of neointima formation and improvement of AVF patency despite CKD. Our findings could yield strategies for maintaining AVF functions.
Ke Song, Ying Qing, Qunying Guo, Eric K. Peden, Changyi Chen, William E. Mitch, Luan Truong, Jizhong Cheng
Actin-associated nonmuscle myosin II (NM2) motor proteins play critical roles in a myriad of cellular functions including endocytosis and organelle transport pathways. Cell type-specific expression and unique subcellular localization of the NM2 proteins, encoded by the Myh9 and Myh10 genes, in the mouse kidney tubules led us to hypothesize that these proteins have specialized functional roles within the renal epithelium. Inducible, conditional knockout (cKO) of Myh9 and Myh10 in the renal tubules of adult mice resulted in progressive kidney disease. Prior to overt renal tubular injury, we observed intracellular accumulation of the GPI-anchored protein uromodulin and gradual loss of Na+ K+ 2Cl- cotransporter from the apical membrane of the thick ascending limb (TAL) epithelia. The UMOD accumulation coincided with expansion of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) tubules, activation of ER stress and unfolded protein response pathways in Myh9&10 cKO kidneys. We conclude that NM2 proteins are required for localization and transport of UMOD and loss of function results in accumulation of UMOD and ER stress mediated progressive renal tubulointerstitial disease. These observations establish cell type-specific role(s) for NM2 proteins in regulation of specialized renal epithelial transport pathways and reveal the possibility that human kidney disease associated with MYH9 mutations could be of renal epithelial origin..
Karla L. Otterpohl, Brook W. Busselman, Ishara Ratnayake, Ryan G. Hart, Kimberly Hart, Claire Evans, Carrie L. Phillips, Jordan R. Beach, Phil Ahrenkiel, Bruce Molitoris, Kameswaran Surendran, Indra Chandrasekar
Canagliflozin (Cana) is an inhibitor of the sodium glucose transporter 2 (SGLT2), and is thought to act by blocking renal reuptake and intestinal absorption of glucose. Cana is FDA-approved for treatment of diabetes, and affords protection from cardiovascular and kidney diseases. In the context of the mouse Interventions Testing Program, genetically heterogeneous mice were given chow containing 180 ppm Cana at 7 months of age until their death. Cana extended median survival of male mice by 14%, with p < 0.001 by log-rank test. Cana also increased by 9% the age for 90th percentile survival (p < 0.001 by Wang/Allison test), with parallel effects seen at each of three test sites. Cana did not alter the distribution of inferred cause of death, nor of incidental pathology findings at end-of-life necropsies. No benefits were seen in female mice. The lifespan benefit of Cana is likely to reflect blunting of peak glucose levels, because similar longevity effects are seen in mice given acarbose, a diabetes drug that blocks glucose surges through a distinct mechanism, i.e. slowing breakdown of carbohydrate in the intestine. Interventions that control daily peak glucose levels deserve attention as possible preventive medicines to protect from a wide range of late-life neoplastic and degenerative diseases.
Richard A. Miller, David E. Harrison, David B. Allison, Molly A. Bogue, Lucas K. Debarba, Vivian Diaz, Elizabeth Fernandez, Andrzej T. Galecki, W. Timothy Garvey, Hashan Jayarathne, Navasuja Kumar, Martin Javors, Warren Ladiges, Francesca Macchiarini, James F. Nelson, Peter C. Reifsnyder, Nadia Rosenthal, Marianna Sadagurski, Adam B. Salmon, Daniel L. Smith, Jr., Jessica M. Snyder, David B. Lombard, Randy Strong
Somatic KRAS mutations are highly prevalent in many human cancers. In addition, a distinct spectrum of germline KRAS mutations cause developmental disorders called RASopathies. The mutant proteins encoded by these germline KRAS mutations are less biochemically and functionally activated than the mutant proteins found in cancer. We generated mice harboring conditional KrasLSL-P34R and KrasLSL-T58I “knock in” alleles and characterized the consequences of each mutation in vivo. Embryonic expression of KrasT58I resulted in craniofacial abnormalities reminiscent of RASopathy disorders, and these mice also exhibited hyperplastic growth of multiple organs, modest alterations in cardiac valvulogenesis, myocardial hypertrophy, and myeloproliferation. By contrast, embryonic KrasP34R expression resulted in early perinatal lethality from respiratory failure due to defective lung sacculation, which was associated with aberrant ERK activity in lung epithelial cells. Somatic Mx1-Cre-mediated activation in the hematopoietic compartment showed that KrasP34R and KrasT58I expression had distinct signaling effects despite causing a similar spectrum of hematologic diseases. These novel mouse strains are robust models for investigating the consequences of endogenous hyperactive K-Ras signaling in different developing and adult tissues, for comparing how oncogenic and germline K-Ras proteins perturb signaling networks and cell fate decisions, and for performing preclinical therapeutic trials.
Jasmine C. Wong, Pedro A. Perez-Mancera, Tannie Q. Huang, Jangkyung Kim, Joaquim Grego-Bessa, Maria del pilar Alzamora, Scott C. Kogan, Amnon Sharir, Susan H. Keefe, Carolina E. Morales, Denny Schanze, Pau Castel, Kentaro Hirose, Guo N. Huang, Martin Zenker, Dean Sheppard, Ophir Klein, David Tuveson, Benjamin S. Braun, Kevin Shannon
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 (T2DM) can extend mouse lifespan, with greater effect in males than in females. Utilizing a genetically heterogeneous mouse model, we tested the ability of ACA to ameliorate functional, pathological and biochemical changes that occur during aging, and 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. 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 which 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 anti-aging effects in multiple tissues, and 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 A. Whitson, John E. Wilkinson, Oliver Fiehn, Michael J. MacCoss, Sharlene M. Day, Richard A. Miller, Michael Garratt
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