Background: Inflammation is implicated in many aging-related disorders. In animal models, menopause leads to increased gut permeability and inflammation. Our primary objective was to determine if gut permeability increases during the menopause transition (MT) in women. Our exploratory objectives were to examine whether greater gut permeability is associated with more inflammation and lower bone mineral density (BMD).Methods: We included 65 women from the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation. Key measures were markers of gut permeability (gut barrier dysfunction [fatty acid binding protein 2 [FABP2]) and immune activation secondary to gut microbial translocation (lipopolysaccharide binding protein [LBP], soluble CD14 [sCD14]); inflammation (high-sensitivity CRP); and lumbar spine (LS) or total hip (TH) BMD. Results: In our primary analysis, FABP2, LBP, and sCD14 increased by 22.8% (P = 0.001), 3.7% (P = 0.05), and 8.9% (P = 0.0002), respectively from pre- to postmenopause. In exploratory, repeated measures, mixed-effects linear regression (adjusted for age at the premenopausal visit, body mass index, race/ethnicity, and study site), greater gut permeability was associated with greater inflammation, and lower LS and TH BMD. Conclusions: Gut permeability increases during the MT. Greater gut permeability is associated with more inflammation and lower BMD. Future studies should examine the longitudinal associations of gut permeability, inflammation, and BMD.Funding: NIH, Department of Health and Human Services, through the National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Nursing Research, and NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health (U01NR004061, U01AG012505, U01AG012535, U01AG012531, U01AG012539, U01AG012546, U01AG012553, U01AG012554, U01AG012495).
Albert Shieh, Marta Epeldegui, Arun S Karlamangla, Gail A. Greendale
Small molecule inhibitors of Dual Specificity, Tyrosine Phosphorylation-Regulated Kinase 1A (DYRK1A), including harmine and others, are able to drive human beta cell regeneration. While DYRK1A is certainly a target of this class, whether it is the only, or the most important target, is uncertain. Here, we employ a combined pharmacologic and genetic approach to refine the potential mitogenic targets of the DYRK1A inhibitor family in human islets. A combination of human beta cell RNAseq, DYRK1A inhibitor kinome screens, pharmacologic inhibitors, and targeted silencing of candidate genes confirms that DYRK1A is a central target. Surprisingly, however, DYRK1B also proves to be an important target: silencing DYRK1A results in an increase in DYRK1B; simultaneous silencing of both DYRK1A and DYRK1B yields greater beta cell proliferation than silencing either individually. Importantly, other potential kinases, such as the CLK and the GSK3 families, are excluded as important harmine targets. Finally, we describe adenoviruses that are able to silence up to seven targets simultaneously. Collectively, we report that inhibition of both DYRK1A and DYRK1B is required for induction of maximal rates of human beta cell proliferation, and provide clarity for future efforts at structure-based drug design for human beta cell regenerative drugs.
Courtney Ackeifi, Ethan Swartz, Kunal Kumar, Hongtao Liu, Suebsuwong Chalada, Esra Karakose, Donald K. Scott, Adolfo Garcia-Ocaña, Roberto Sanchez, Robert J. DeVita, Andrew F. Stewart, Peng Wang
Subpial demyelination is a specific hallmark of multiple sclerosis (MS) and a correlate of disease progression. Although the mechanism(s) that mediate pathogenesis in the subpial compartment remain unclear, it has been speculated that inflammation in the overlying meninges may be associated with subpial injury. Here we show that adoptive transfer of proteolipid protein-primed Th17 cells into SJL/J recipient mice induces subpial demyelination associated with microglial/macrophage activation, disruption of the glial limitans and evidence of an oxidative stress response. This pathology was topologically associated with foci of immune cells in the meninges and occurred in the absence of measurable anti-MOG IgM or IgG antibodies. To test the role of brain-infiltrating leukocytes on subpial injury, we modulated sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptor1,5 activity with BAF312 (siponimod) treatment. Administration of BAF312, even after adoptively transferred T cells had entered the brain, significantly ameliorated clinical EAE and diminished subpial pathology, concomitant with a selective reduction in the capacity of transferred T cells to make Th17 cytokines. We conclude that sustained subpial cortical injury is associated with the capacity for brain-resident T cells to produce Th17 cytokines, and this pathological process occurs in an S1P receptor1,5-dependent manner.
Lesley A. Ward, Dennis S.W. Lee, Anshu Sharma, Angela Wang, Ikbel Naouar, Xianjie I. Ma, Natalia Pikor, Barbara Nuesslein-Hildesheim, Valeria Ramaglia, Jennifer L. Gommerman
BACKGROUND We hypothesized that obesity-associated hepato-steatosis served as a pathophysiologic chemical depot for fat-soluble vitamins and altered normal physiology. Using α-tocopherol (vitamin E) as a model vitamin, pharmacokinetics and kinetics principles were utilized to determine whether excess liver fat sequestered α-tocopherol in women with obesity-associated hepato-steatosis vs healthy controls. METHODS Custom-synthesized deuterated α-tocopherols (d3- and d6-α-tocopherols) were administered to hospitalized healthy women and women with hepato-steatosis under IND guidelines. Serial samples obtained over 72 hours were analyzed by LC/MS. Fluorescent-labelled α-tocopherol was custom-synthesized for cell studies. RESULTS In healthy subjects, 85% of intravenous d6-α-tocopherol disappeared from the circulation within 20 minutes but reappeared within minutes and peaked at 6-8 hours. d3- and d6-α-Tocopherols localized to lipoproteins. Lipoprotein redistribution occurred only in vivo within 1h, indicating a key role of liver in rapid uptake and re-release into the circulation. Compared to healthy subjects, subjects with hepato-steatosis had similar d6-α-tocopherol entry rates into liver, but reduced initial release rates (p<0.001). Similarly, pharmacokinetics parameters of AUC and Maximum Concentration (Cmax) were reduced (AUC0-8 ,p<0.01;Cmax p<0.02) in hepato-steatosis subjects, indicating reduced hepatic d6-α-tocopherol output. Reduced kinetics and pharmacokinetics parameters (AUC and Cmax) in hepato-steatosis subjects who received 2 mg were mirrored by similar reductions in healthy subjects when comparing 5 and 2 mg doses. In vitro, fluorescent-labelled α-tocopherol localized specifically to lipid in fat-loaded hepatocytes, indicating sequestration. CONCLUSIONS The unique role of the liver in vitamin E physiology is dysregulated by excess liver fat. Obesity-associated hepato-steatosis may produce unrecognized hepatic vitamin E sequestration, which might subsequently drive liver disease. Our findings raise the possibility that hepato-steatosis may similarly alter hepatic physiology of other fat-soluble vitamins.
Pierre-Christian Violet, Ifechukwude C. Ebenuwa, Yu Wang, Mahtab Niyyati, Sebastian J. Padayatty, Brian Head, Kenneth Wilkins, Stacey Chung, Varsha Thakur, Lynn Ulatowski, Jeffrey Atkinson, Mikel Ghelfi, Sheila Smith, Hongbin Tu, Gerd Bobe, Chia-Ying Liu, David W. Herion, Robert D. Shamburek, Danny Manor, Maret G. Traber, Mark Levine
Overexpression and long terminal repeat (LTR) polymorphism of the HRES-1/Rab4 human endogenous retrovirus locus have been associated with T-cell activation and disease manifestations in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Although genomic DNA methylation is overall diminished in SLE, its role in HRES-1/Rab4 expression is unknown. Therefore, we determined how lupus-associated polymorphic rs451401 alleles of the LTR regulate transcription from the HRES-1/Rab4 promoter and thus impact T-cell activation. The results show that cytosine-119 is hypermethylated while cytosine-51 of the promoter and the LTR-enhancer are hypomethylated in SLE. Pharmacological or genetic inactivation of DNA-methyltransferase-1 augmented the expression of HRES-1/Rab4. The minimal promoter was selectively recognized by metabolic stress sensor NRF1 when cytosine-119 but not cytosine-51 was methylated, and NRF1 stimulated HRES-1/Rab4 expression in human T cells. In turn, IRF2 and PSIP1 bound to the LTR-enhancer and exerted control over HRES-1/Rab4 expression in rs451401-genotype and methylation-dependent manners. The LTR-enhancer conferred markedly greater expression of HRES-1/Rab4 in subjects with rs451401CC over rs451401GG alleles that in turn promoted mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) activation upon T-cell receptor stimulation. HRES-1/Rab4 alone robustly activated mTOR in human T cells. These findings identify HRES-1/Rab4 as a methylation and rs451401 allele-dependent transducer of environmental stress and controller of T-cell activation.
Aparna Godavarthy, Ryan Kelly, John Jimah, Miguel Beckford, Tiffany Caza, David Fernandez, Nick Huang, Manuel Duarte, Joshua Lewis, Hind J. Fadel, Eric M. Poeschla, Katalin Banki, Andras Perl
Biallelic mutations of the gene encoding the transcription factor NEUROG3 are associated with a rare disorder that presents in neonates as generalized malabsorption – due to a complete absence of enteroendocrine cells – followed, in early childhood or beyond, by insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). The commonly delayed onset of IDDM suggests a differential requirement for NEUROG3 in endocrine cell generation in the human pancreas versus the intestine. However, previously identified human mutations were hypomorphic, and hence may have had residual function in pancreas. We report two patients with biallelic functionally null variants of the NEUROG3 gene who nonetheless did not present with IDDM during infancy, but instead developed permanent IDDM during middle childhood ages. The variants show no evidence of function in traditional promoter-based assays of NEUROG3 function and also fail to exhibit function in a variety of novel in vitro and in vivo molecular assays designed to discern residual NEUROG3 function. These findings imply that unlike in mice, pancreatic endocrine cell generation in humans is not entirely dependent on NEUROG3 expression, and hence suggests the presence of unidentified redundant in vivo pathways in human pancreas capable of yielding beta-cell mass sufficient to maintain euglycemia until early childhood.
R. Sergio Solorzano-Vargas, Matthew Bjerknes, Jiafang Wang, S. Vincent Wu, Manuel G. Garcia-Careaga, Duke Pisit, Hazel Cheng, Michael S. German, Senta Georgia, Martin G. Martín
Influenza is a highly contagious viral pathogen with more than 200,000 cases reported in the U.S. during the 2017-2018 season. Annual vaccination is recommended by the World Health Organization with the goal to reduce influenza severity and transmission. Currently available vaccines are ~60% effective and vaccine effectiveness varies from season to season, as well as between different influenza subtypes within a single season. Immunological imprinting from early life influenza infection can prominently shape the immune response to subsequent infections. Here, the impact of pre-existing B cell memory in the response to quadrivalent influenza vaccine was assessed using blood samples collected from healthy subjects (18 to 85 years old) prior to and 21-28 days following influenza vaccination. Influenza vaccination increased both HA-specific antibodies and memory B cells frequency. Despite no apparent differences in antigenicity between vaccine components, most individuals were biased towards one of the vaccine strains. Specifically, responses to H3N2 were reduced in magnitude relative to the other vaccine components. Overall, this study unveils a new mechanism underlying differential vaccine effectiveness against distinct influenza subtypes.
Rodrigo B. Abreu, Greg A. Kirchenbaum, Emily F. Clutter, Giuseppe A. Sautto, Ted M. Ross
Background: Serological tools for the accurate detection of recent malaria exposure are needed to guide and monitor malaria control efforts. IgG responses against P. vivax and P. falciparum merozoite surface protein-10 (MSP10) were measured as a potential way to identify recent malaria exposure in the Peruvian Amazon. Methods: A field-based study included 470 participants in a longitudinal cohort who completed a comprehensive evaluation: light microscopy and PCR on enrollment; at least one monthly follow-up by light microscopy; a second PCR; and serum and dried blood spots for serological analysis at the end of the follow-up. IgG titers against novel mammalian cell-produced recombinant PvMSP10 and PfMSP10 were determined by ELISA. Results: During the follow-up period, 205 participants were infected, including 171 with P. vivax, 26 with P. falciparum, 6 with infections by both species but at different times, and 2 with mixed infections. Exposure to P. vivax was more accurately identified when serological responses to PvMSP10 were obtained from serum (sensitivity, 58.1%; specificity, 81.8%; AUC: 0.76) than from dried blood spots (sensitivity, 35.2; specificity, 83.5%; AUC: 0.64) (PAUC < 0.001). Sensitivity was highest (serum, 82.9%; dried blood spot, 45.7%) with confirmed P. vivax infections occurring 7-30 days before sample collection; sensitivity decreased significantly in relation to time since last documented infection. PvMSP10 serological data did not show evidence of inter-species cross-reactivity. Anti-PfMSP10 responses poorly discriminated between P. falciparum exposed- and non-exposed individuals (AUC = 0.59, P > 0.05). Conclusions: Anti-PvMSP10 IgG indicates recent exposure to P. vivax at the population level in the Amazon region. Serum, not dried blood spots, should be used for such serological tests.
Angel Rosas-Aguirre, Kailash P. Patra, Maritza Calderón, Katherine Torres, Dionicia Gamboa, Edith Arocutipa, Edith Málaga, Katherine Garro, Carlos Fernández, Grace Trompeter, Yossef Alnasser, Alejandro Llanos-Cuentas, Robert H. Gilman, Joseph M. Vinetz
Gigaxonin (also known as KLHL16) is an E3 ligase adaptor protein that promotes the ubiquitination and degradation of intermediate filament (IF) proteins. Mutations in human gigaxonin cause the fatal neurodegenerative disease giant axonal neuropathy (GAN), in which IF proteins accumulate and aggregate in axons throughout the nervous system, impairing neuronal function and viability. Despite this pathophysiological significance, the upstream regulation and downstream effects of normal and aberrant gigaxonin function remain incompletely understood. Here, we report that gigaxonin is modified by O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc), a prevalent form of intracellular glycosylation, in a nutrient- and growth factor-dependent manner. Mass spectrometry analyses of human gigaxonin revealed nine candidate sites of O-GlcNAcylation, two of which – serine 272 and threonine 277 – are required for its ability to mediate IF turnover in novel gigaxonin-deficient human cell models that we created. Taken together, these results suggest that nutrient-responsive gigaxonin O-GlcNAcylation forms a regulatory link between metabolism and IF proteostasis. Our work may have significant implications for understanding the non-genetic modifiers of GAN phenotypes and for the optimization of gene therapy for this disease.
Po-Han Chen, Jimin Hu, Jianli Wu, Duc T. Huynh, Timothy J. Smith, Samuel Pan, Brittany J. Bisnett, Alexander B. Smith, Annie Lu, Brett M. Condon, Jen-Tsan Chi, Michael Boyce
Background: Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is associated with poor outcomes. A prior randomized, pilot trial demonstrated safety after oral capsular FMT in HE with favorable changes in microbial composition and cognition. However, microbial functional changes are unclear. Aim: Determine impact of FMT on gut-brain axis compared to placebo using microbial function based on bile acids (BA), inflammation (serum IL-6, lipopolysaccharide-binding protein,LBP), and EncephalApp. Methods: 20 cirrhotic patients were randomized 1:1 into receiving one-time FMT capsules from a donor enriched in Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococcaceae, or placebo capsules with 5-month follow-up for safety outcomes. Stool microbiota and BA, serum IL-6, BA and LBP, and EncephalApp were analyzed at baseline and 4-weeks post-FMT/placebo. Correlation networks between microbiota, BAs, EncephalApp, IL-6 and LBP were performed pre/post-FMT. Results: FMT-assigned participants had one HE recurrence and 2 unrelated infections. Six placebo-assigned participants developed negative outcomes. FMT, but not placebo, was associated with reduced serum IL-6 and LBP and improved EncephalApp. FMT-assigned participants demonstrated higher deconjugation and secondary BA formation in feces and serum compared to baseline. No change was seen in placebo. Correlation networks showed greater complexity post-FMT compared to baseline. Beneficial taxa such as Ruminococcaceae, Verrucomicrobiaceae and Lachnospiraceae were correlated with cognitive improvement and decrease in inflammation post-FMT. Fecal/serum secondary/primary ratios and PiCRUST secondary BA pathways did not increase in participants who developed poor outcomes. Conclusions: Gut microbial function in cirrhosis is beneficially affected by capsular FMT with improved inflammation and cognition. Lower secondary BAs in FMT recipients could select for participants who develop negative outcomes.
Jasmohan S. Bajaj, Nita Salzman, Chathur Acharya, Hajime Takei, Genta Kakiyama, Andrew Fagan, Melanie B. White, Edith A. Gavis, Mary L. Holtz, Michael Hayward, Hiroshi Nittono, Philip B. Hylemon, I. Jane Cox, Roger Williams, Simon D. Taylor-Robinson, Richard K. Sterling, Scott C. Matherly, Michael Fuchs, Hannah Lee, Puneet Puri, R. Todd Stravitz, Arun J. Sanyal, Lola Ajayi, Adrien Le Guennec, R. Andrew Atkinson, Mohammad S. Siddiqui, Velimir A. Luketic, William M. Pandak, Masoumeh Sikaroodi, Patrick M. Gillevet
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