Adipose tissue macrophages (ATM) are crucial for maintaining adipose tissue homeostasis and mediating obesity-induced metabolic abnormalities, including prediabetic conditions and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Despite their key functions in regulating adipose tissue metabolic and immunologic homeostasis under normal and obese conditions, a high-resolution transcriptome annotation system that can capture ATM multifaceted activation profiles has not yet been developed. This is primarily attributed to the complexity of their differentiation/activation process in adipose tissue and their diverse activation profiles in response to microenvironmental cues. Although the concept of multifaceted macrophage action is well-accepted, no current model precisely depicts their dynamically regulated in vivo features. To address this knowledge gap, we generated single-cell transcriptome data from primary bone marrow-derived macrophages under polarizing and non-polarizing conditions to develop new high-resolution algorithms. The outcome was creation of a two-index platform, MacSpectrum (https://macspectrum.uconn.edu), that enables comprehensive high-resolution mapping of macrophage activation states from diverse mixed cell populations. MacSpectrum captured dynamic transitions of macrophage subpopulations under both in vitro and in vivo conditions. Importantly, MacSpectrum revealed unique “signature” gene sets in ATMs and circulating monocytes that displayed significant correlation with BMI and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) in obese human patients. Thus, MacSpectrum provides unprecedented resolution to decode macrophage heterogeneity and will open new areas of clinical translation.
Chuan Li, Antoine Menoret, Cullen Farragher, Zhengqing Ouyang, Christopher Bonin, Paul Holvoet, Anthony T. Vella, Beiyan Zhou
Obliterative bronchiolitis (OB) is a poorly understood airway disease characterized by the generation of fibrotic bronchiolar occlusions. In the lung transplant setting, OB is a pathological manifestation of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS), which is a major impediment to long-term recipient survival. Club cells play a key role in bronchiolar epithelial repair, but whether they promote lung transplant tolerance through preventing OB remains unclear. We determined if OB occurs in mouse orthotopic lung transplants following conditional transgene-targeted club cell depletion. In syngeneic lung transplants club cell depletion leads to transient epithelial injury followed by rapid club cell-mediated repair. In contrast, allogeneic lung transplants develop severe OB lesions and poorly regenerate club cells despite immunosuppression treatment. Lung allograft club cell ablation also triggers the recognition of alloantigens, and pulmonary restricted self-antigens reported associated with BOS development. However, CD8+ T cell depletion restores club cell reparative responses and prevents OB. In addition, ex-vivo analysis reveals a specific role for alloantigen-primed effector CD8+ T cells in preventing club cell proliferation and maintenance. Taken together, we demonstrate a vital role for club cells in maintaining lung transplant tolerance and propose a new model to identify the underlying mechanisms of OB.
Zhiyi Liu, Fuyi Liao, Davide Scozzi, Yuka Furuya, Kaitlyn N. Pugh, Ramsey R. Hachem, Delphine L. Chen, Marlene Cano, Jonathan M. Green, Alexander S. Krupnick, Daniel Kreisel, Anne-Karina T. Perl, Howard J. Huang, Steven L. Brody, Andrew E. Gelman
Nemaline myopathy is a congenital neuromuscular disorder characterized by muscle weakness, fiber atrophy and presence of nemaline bodies within myofibers. However, the understanding of underlying pathomechanisms is lacking. Recently, mutations in KBTBD13, KLHL40 and KLHL41, three substrate adaptors for the E3-ubiquitin ligase Cullin-3, have been associated with early-onset nemaline myopathies. We hypothesized that deregulation of Cullin-3 and its muscle protein substrates may be responsible for the disease development. Using Cullin-3 knockout mice, we identified accumulation of non-muscle alpha-Actinins (ACTN1 and ACTN4) in muscles of these mice, which we also observed in KBTBD13 patients. Our data reveal that proper regulation of Cullin-3 activity and ACTN1 levels is essential for normal muscle and neuromuscular junction development. While ACTN1 is naturally downregulated during myogenesis, its overexpression in C2C12 myoblasts triggered defects in fusion, myogenesis and acetylcholine receptor clustering; features that we characterized in Cullin-3 deficient mice. Taken together, our data highlight the importance for Cullin-3 mediated degradation of ACTN1 for muscle development, and indicate a new pathomechanism for the etiology of myopathies seen in Cullin-3 knockout mice and nemaline myopathy patients.
Jordan Blondelle, Kavya Tallapaka, Jane T. Seto, Majid Ghassemian, Madison Clark, Jenni M. Laitila, Adam Bournazos, Jeffrey D. Singer, Stephan Lange
Recently, by utilizing conventional and tamoxifen inducible Bmal1 (Brain and muscle Arnt-like protein 1) knockout mice, we found that delaying the loss of circadian rhythms to adulthood attenuates the impact on general integrity and survival at least under 12h light/12h dark conditions (LD). To understand further the contribution of Bmal1 in post-natal life under conditions of circadian disruption, we subjected inducible knockout mice (KO) and their littermate controls (Ctrl) to forced desynchrony protocols including cycles with non-24h periods, randomized light/dark cycles, and jet lag, and monitored their locomotor activity using radiotelemetry. Under these conditions, control mice cannot be entrained, as reflected by their maintenance of circadian behavior irrespective of schedules. By contrast, KO mice displayed higher activity levels in the dark phases of most cycles. Under a 3h light/3h dark regime, Ctrls displayed higher activity levels in the dark phases of all cycles although there were still obvious circadian rhythms, suggesting that an ultradian mechanism is also involved. Insulin sensitivity was markedly reduced by disrupted light schedules as expected in Ctrls, but not in the KOs. Thus, Bmal1 deletion in adult mice facilitates adaptation to new light/dark schedules and protects from insulin resistance induced by circadian disruption.
Guangrui Yang, Lihong Chen, Jiayang Zhang, Baoyin Ren, Garret A. FitzGerald
Biomechanical forces and endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndoMT) are known to mediate valvulogenesis. However, the relative contributions of myocardial contractile and hemodynamic shear forces remain poorly understood. We integrated 4-D light-sheet imaging of transgenic zebrafish models with moving-domain computational fluid dynamics to determine effects of changes in contractile forces and fluid wall shear stress (WSS) on ventriculobulbar (VB) valve development. Augmentation of myocardial contractility with isoproterenol increased both WSS and Notch1b activity in the developing outflow tract (OFT) and resulted in VB valve hyperplasia. Increasing WSS in the OFT, achieved by increasing blood viscosity through EPO mRNA injection, also resulted in VB valve hyperplasia. Conversely, decreasing myocardial contractility by Tnnt2a morpholino oligonucleotide (MO) administration, 2,3-butanedione monoxime treatment, or Plcγ1 inhibition completely blocked VB valve formation, which could not be rescued by increasing WSS or activating Notch. Decreasing WSS in the OFT, achieved by slowing heart rate with metoprolol or reducing viscosity with Gata1a MO, did not affect VB valve formation. Immunofluorescent staining with the mesenchymal marker, DM-GRASP, revealed that biomechanical force-mediated Notch1b activity is implicated in EndoMT to modulate valve morphology. Altogether, increases in WSS result in Notch1b- EndoMT-mediated VB valve hyperplasia, whereas decreases in contractility result in reduced Notch1b activity, absence of EndoMT, and VB valve underdevelopment. Thus, we provide developmental mechanotransduction mechanisms underlying Notch1b-mediated EndoMT in the OFT.
Jeffrey J. Hsu, Vijay Vedula, Kyung In Baek, Cynthia Chen, Junjie Chen, Man In Chou, Jeffrey Lam, Shivani Subhedar, Jennifer Wang, Yichen Ding, Chih-Chiang Chang, Juhyun Lee, Linda L. Demer, Yin Tintut, Alison L. Marsden, Tzung K. Hsiai
Extracellular mRNAs (ex-mRNAs) potentially supersede extracellular miRNAs (ex-miRNAs) and other RNA classes as biomarkers. We performed conventional small-RNA-sequencing (sRNA-seq) and sRNA-seq with T4 polynucleotide kinase (PNK) end-treatment of total exRNA isolated from serum and platelet-poor EDTA, ACD, and heparin plasma to study the effect on ex-mRNA capture. Compared to conventional sRNA-seq PNK-treatment increased the detection of informative ex-mRNAs reads up to 50-fold. The exRNA pool was dominated by hematopoietic cells and platelets, with additional contribution from the liver. About 60% of the 15- to 42-nt reads originated from the coding sequences, in a pattern reminiscent of ribosome-profiling. Blood sample type had a considerable influence on the exRNA profile. On average approximately 350 to 1,100 distinct ex-mRNA transcripts were detected depending on plasma type. In serum, additional transcripts from neutrophils and hematopoietic cells increased this number to near 2,300. EDTA and ACD plasma showed a destabilizing effect on ex mRNA and non-coding RNA ribonucleoprotein complexes compared to other plasma types. In a proof-of-concept study, we investigated differences between the exRNA profiles of patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and healthy controls. The improved tissue resolution of ex mRNAs after PNK-treatment enabled us to detect a neutrophil-signature in ACS that escaped detection by ex miRNA analysis.
Kemal M. Akat, Youngmin A. Lee, Arlene Hurley, Pavel Morozov, Klaas E.A. Max, Miguel Brown, Kimberly Bogardus, Anuoluwapo Sopeyin, Kai Hildner, Thomas G. Diacovo, Markus F. Neurath, Martin Borggrefe, Thomas Tuschl
Breast cancer bone metastases often cause a debilitating non-curable condition with osteolytic lesions, muscle weakness and a high mortality. Current treatment comprises chemotherapy, irradiation, surgery and anti-resorptive drugs that restrict but do not revert bone destruction. In metastatic breast cancer cells, we determined the expression of sclerostin, a soluble Wnt inhibitor that represses osteoblast differentiation and bone formation. In mice with breast cancer bone metastases, pharmacological inhibition of sclerostin using an anti-sclerostin antibody (Scl-Ab) reduced metastases without tumor cell dissemination to other distant sites. Sclerostin inhibition prevented the cancer-induced bone destruction by augmenting osteoblast-mediated bone formation and reducing osteoclast-dependent bone resorption. During advanced disease, NF-κB and p38 signaling was increased in muscles in a TGF-β1-dependent manner, causing muscle fiber atrophy, muscle weakness and tissue regeneration with an increase in Pax7-positive satellite cells. Scl-Ab treatment restored NF-κB and p38 signaling, the abundance of Pax7-positive cells and ultimately muscle function. These effects improved the overall health condition and expanded the life span of cancer-bearing mice. Together, these results demonstrate that pharmacological inhibition of sclerostin reduces bone metastatic burden and muscle weakness with a prolongation of the survival time. This might provide novel options for treating musculoskeletal complications in breast cancer patients.
Eric Hesse, Saskia Schröder, Diana Brandt, Jenny Pamperin, Hiroaki Saito, Hanna Taipaleenmäki
Imatinib (Gleevec) reverses type 1 diabetes (T1D) in NOD mice and is currently in clinical trials in individuals with recent-onset disease. While research has demonstrated that imatinib protects islet β cells from the harmful effects of ER stress, the role the immune system plays in its reversal of T1D has been less well understood, and specific cellular immune targets have not been identified. In this study, we demonstrate that B lymphocytes, an immune subset that normally drives diabetes pathology, are unexpectedly required for reversal of hyperglycemia in NOD mice treated with imatinib. In the presence of B lymphocytes, reversal was linked to an increase in serum insulin concentration, but not an increase in islet β cell mass or proliferation. However, improved β cell function was reflected by a partial recovery of MafA transcription factor expression, a sensitive marker of islet β cell stress that is important to adult β cell function. Imatinib treatment was found to increase the antioxidant capacity of B lymphocytes, improving reactive oxygen species (ROS) handling in NOD islets. This study reveals a novel mechanism through which imatinib enables B lymphocytes to orchestrate functional recovery of T1D β cells.
Christopher S. Wilson, Jason M. Spaeth, Jay Karp, Blair T. Stocks, Emilee M. Hoopes, Roland W. Stein, Daniel J. Moore
Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling consists of an array of successively acting kinases. The extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) are major components of the greater MAPK cascade that transduce growth factor signaling at the cell membrane. Here we investigated ERK1/2 signaling in skeletal muscle homeostasis and disease. Using mouse genetics, we observed that the muscle-specific expression of a constitutively active MEK1 mutant promotes greater ERK1/2 signaling that mediates fiber-type switching to a slow, oxidative phenotype with type I myosin heavy chain expression. Using a conditional and temporally regulated Cre strategy as well as Mapk1 (ERK2) and Mapk3 (ERK1) genetically targeted mice, MEK1-ERK2 signaling was shown to underlie this fast-to-slow fiber type switching in adult skeletal muscle as well as during development. Physiologic assessment of these activated MEK1-ERK1/2 mice showed enhanced metabolic activity and oxygen consumption with greater muscle fatigue resistance. Moreover, induction of MEK1-ERK1/2 signaling increased dystrophin and utrophin protein expression in a mouse model of limb-girdle muscle dystrophy and protected myofibers from damage. In summary, sustained MEK1-ERK1/2 activity in skeletal muscle produces a fast-to-slow fiber-type switch that protects from muscular dystrophy, suggesting a therapeutic approach to enhance the metabolic effectiveness of muscle and protect from dystrophic disease.
Justin G. Boyer, Vikram Prasad, Taejeong Song, Donghoon Lee, Xing Fu, Kelly M. Grimes, Michelle A. Sargent, Sakthivel Sadayappan, Jeffery D. Molkentin
A vast body of literature has established GRK2 as a key player in the development and progression of heart failure. Inhibition of GRK2 improves cardiac function post injury in numerous animal models. In recent years, discovery of several non-canonical GRK2 targets has expanded our view of this kinase. Here, we describe the novel and exciting finding that cardiac GRK2 activity can regulate whole body metabolism. Transgenic mice with cardiac-specific expression of a peptide inhibitor of GRK2 (TgβARKct) display an enhanced obesogenic phenotype when fed a high fat diet (HFD). In contrast, mice with cardiac-specific overexpression of GRK2 (TgGRK2) show resistance to HFD induced obesity. White adipose tissue (WAT) mass was significantly enhanced in HFD fed TgβARKct mice. Furthermore, regulators of adipose differentiation were differentially regulated in WAT from mice with gain or loss of GRK2 function. Using complex metabolomics we found that cardiac GRK2 signaling altered myocardial BCAA and endocannabinoid metabolism and modulated circulating BCAA and endocannabinoid metabolite profiles on a HFD, and one of the BCAA metabolites identified here enhances adipocyte differentiation in vitro. Taken together, these results suggest that metabolic changes in the heart due to GRK2 signaling on a HFD control whole body metabolism.
Benjamin P. Woodall, Kenneth S. Gresham, Meryl A. Woodall, Mesele-Christina Valenti, Alessandro Cannavo, Jessica Pfleger, J. Kurt Chuprun, Konstantinos Drosatos, Walter J. Koch
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