Sex-based differences influence incidence and outcome of infectious disease. Women have a significantly greater incidence of urinary tract infection (UTI) than men, yet, conversely, male UTI is more persistent with greater associated morbidity. Mechanisms underlying these sex-based differences are unknown, in part due to a lack of experimental models. We optimized a model to transurethrally infect male mice and directly compared UTI in both sexes. Although both sexes were initially equally colonized by uropathogenic E. coli, only male and testosterone-treated female mice remained chronically infected for up to 4 weeks. Female mice had more robust innate responses, including higher IL-17 expression, and increased γδ T cells and group 3 innate lymphoid cells in the bladder following infection. Accordingly, neutralizing IL-17 abolished resolution in female mice, identifying a cytokine pathway necessary for bacterial clearance. Our findings support the concept that sex-based responses to UTI contribute to impaired innate immunity in males and provide a rationale for non-antibiotic-based immune targeting to improve the response to UTI.
Anna Zychlinsky Scharff, Matthieu Rousseau, Livia Lacerda Mariano, Tracy Canton, Camila Rosat Consiglio, Matthew L. Albert, Magnus Fontes, Darragh Duffy, Molly A. Ingersoll
BACKGROUND. Dietary changes have led to a growing prevalence of Type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. A hallmark of both disorders is hepatic lipid accumulation, derived in part from increased de novo lipogenesis. Despite high protein diets being popular for weight loss to tackle these metabolic disorders, the effect of dietary protein on de novo lipogenesis is poorly studied. We aimed to characterise the effect of dietary protein on de novo lipid synthesis. METHODS. Herein, we use a 3-way crossover interventional study in healthy males to determine the effect of high protein feeding on de novo lipogenesis as well as in vitro models to determine the effects of specific amino acids on fatty acid synthesis. The primary outcome was change in de novo lipogenesis-associated triglycerides in response to protein feeding. RESULTS. We demonstrate that high protein feeding, rich in glutamate, increases de novo lipogenesis-associated triglycerides in plasma (2-fold compared to Control; p < 0.0001) and liver-derived very low-density lipoprotein particles (1.8 fold; p < 0.0001) in samples from human subjects (n = 9 per group). In hepatocytes, we show that glutamate derived carbon is incorporated into palmitate and subsequently into triglycerides. In addition, supplementation with glutamate, glutamine and leucine, but not lysine increases synthesised triglyceride content in cells and decreases glucose uptake. Glutamate, glutamine and leucine increase activation of protein kinase B, suggesting that these amino acids induce de novo lipogenesis via the insulin signalling cascade. CONCLUSION. These findings provide mechanistic insight into how select amino acids may induce de novo lipogenesis and insulin resistance, suggesting that high protein feeding to tackle diabetes and obesity requires greater consideration.
Evelina Charidemou, Tom Ashmore, Xuefei Li, Ben D. McNally, James A. West, Sonia Liggi, Matthew Harvey, Elise Orford, Julian L. Griffin
The Mitochondrial Pyruvate Carrier (MPC) occupies a central metabolic node by transporting cytosolic pyruvate into the mitochondrial matrix and linking glycolysis with mitochondrial metabolism. Two reported human MPC1 mutations cause developmental abnormalities, neurological problems, metabolic deficits, and for one patient, early death. We aimed to understand biochemical mechanisms by which the human patient C289T and T236A MPC1 alleles disrupt MPC function. MPC1 C289T encodes two protein variants, a mis-spliced, truncation mutant (A58G) and a full length point mutant (R97W). MPC1 T236A encodes a full length point mutant (L79H). Using human patient fibroblasts and complementation of CRISPR-deleted, MPC1 null mouse C2C12 cells, we investigated how MPC1 mutations cause MPC deficiency. Truncated MPC1 A58G protein was intrinsically unstable and failed to form MPC complexes. The MPC1 R97W protein was less stable but when overexpressed formed complexes with MPC2 that retained pyruvate transport activity. Conversely, MPC1 L79H protein formed stable complexes with MPC2, but these complexes failed to transport pyruvate. These findings inform MPC structure-function relationships and delineate three distinct biochemical pathologies resulting from two human patient MPC1 mutations. They also illustrate an efficient gene pass-through system for mechanistically investigating human inborn errors in pyruvate metabolism.
Lalita Oonthonpan, Adam J. Rauckhorst, Lawrence R. Gray, Audrey C. Boutron, Eric B. Taylor
BACKGROUND. Physical function decreases with age, and though bioenergetic alterations contribute to this decline, the mechanisms by which mitochondrial function changes with age remains unclear. This is partially because human mitochondrial studies require highly invasive procedures, such as muscle biopsies, to obtain live tissue with functional mitochondria. However, recent studies demonstrate that circulating blood cells are potentially informative in identifying systemic bioenergetic changes. Here, we hypothesize that human platelet bioenergetics reflect bioenergetics measured in muscle biopsies. METHODS & RESULTS. We demonstrate that maximal and ATP-linked respiratory rate measured in isolated platelets from older adults (86–93 years) correlates significantly with maximal respiration (r = 0.595; P = 0.003) measured by muscle biopsy respirometry and maximal ATP production (r = 0.643; P = 0.004) measured by 31P-MRS respectively, in the same individuals. Comparison of platelet bioenergetics in this aged cohort to platelets from younger adults (18–35 years) shows aged adults demonstrate lower basal and ATP-linked respiration. Platelets from older adults also show enhanced proton leak, which is likely due to increased protein levels of uncoupling protein 2, and correlates with increased gate speed in this cohort (r = 0.58; P = 0.0019). While no significant difference in glycolysis was observed in older adults compared to younger adults, platelet glycolytic rate correlated with fatigability (r = 0.44; P = 0.016). CONCLUSIONS. These data advance the mechanistic understanding of age-related changes in mitochondrial function. Further, they suggest that measuring platelet bioenergetics provides a potential supplement or surrogate for muscle biopsy measurement and may be a valuable tool to study mitochondrial involvement in age-related decline of physical function.
Andrea C. Braganza, Catherine G. Corey, Adam J. Santanasto, Giovanna Distefano, Paul M. Coen, Nancy W. Glynn, Seyed-Mehdi Nouraie, Bret H. Goodpaster, Anne B. Newman, Sruti Shiva
Parkinson’s is primarily a non-familial, age-related disorder caused by α-synuclein accumulation and the progressive loss of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc). G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR)-cAMP signaling has been linked to a reduction in human Parkinson’s incidence and α-synuclein expression. Neuronal cAMP levels are controlled by GPCRs coupled to Gs or Gi/o, which increase or decrease cAMP, respectively. Regulator of G protein signaling 6 (RGS6) powerfully inhibits Gi/o signaling. Therefore, we hypothesized that RGS6 suppresses D2 autoreceptor- Gi/o signaling in SNc dopamine neurons promoting neuronal survival and reducing α-synuclein expression. Here we provide novel evidence that RGS6 critically suppresses late-age-onset SNc dopamine neuron loss and α-synuclein accumulation. RGS6 is restrictively expressed in human SNc dopamine neurons and, despite their loss in Parkinson’s, all surviving neurons express RGS6. RGS6-/- mice exhibit hyperactive D2 autoreceptors with reduced cAMP signaling in SNc dopamine neurons. Importantly, RGS6-/- mice recapitulate key sporadic Parkinson’s hallmarks, including: SNc dopamine neuron loss, reduced nigrostriatal dopamine, motor deficits, and α-synuclein accumulation. To our knowledge, Rgs6 is the only gene whose loss phenocopies these features of human Parkinson’s. Therefore, RGS6 is a key regulator of D2R-Gi/o signaling in SNc dopamine neurons, protecting against Parkinson’s neurodegeneration and α-synuclein accumulation.
Zili Luo, Katelin E. Ahlers-Dannen, Mackenzie M. Spicer, Jianqi Yang, Stephanie Alberico, Hanna E. Stevens, Nandakumar S. Narayanan, Rory A. Fisher
Diabetic β cell failure is associated with β cell dedifferentiation. To identify effector genes of dedifferentiation, we integrated analyses of histone methylation as a surrogate of gene activation status and RNA expression in β cells sorted from mice with multiparity-induced diabetes. Interestingly, only a narrow subset of genes demonstrated concordant changes to histone methylation and RNA levels in dedifferentiating β cells. Notable among them was the α cell signature gene Gc, encoding a vitamin D-binding protein. While diabetes was associated with Gc induction, Gc-deficient islets did not induce β cell dedifferentiation markers and maintained normal ex vivo insulin secretion in the face of metabolic challenge. Moreover, Gc-deficient mice exhibited a more robust insulin secretory response than normal controls during hyperglycemic clamps. The data are consistent with a functional role of Gc activation in β cell dysfunction, and indicate that multiparity-induced diabetes is associated with altered β cell fate.
Taiyi Kuo, Manashree Damle, Bryan J. González, Dietrich Egli, Mitchell A. Lazar, Domenico Accili
Many cytokines and chemokines that are important for hematopoiesis activate the PI3K signaling pathway. Because this pathway is frequently mutated and activated in cancer, PI3K inhibitors have been developed for the treatment of several malignancies, and are now being tested in the clinic in combination with chemotherapy. However, the role of PI3K in adult hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), particularly during hematopoietic stress, is still unclear. We previously showed that the individual PI3K catalytic isoforms P110α or P110β have dispensable roles in HSC function, suggesting redundancy between PI3K isoforms in HSCs. We now demonstrate that simultaneous deletion of P110α and P110δ in double knockout (DKO) HSCs uncovers their redundant requirement in HSC cycling after 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) chemotherapy administration. In contrast, DKO HSCs are still able to exit quiescence in response to other stress stimuli, such as LPS. We found that DKO HSCs and progenitors have impaired sensing of inflammatory signals ex vivo, and that levels of IL1-β and MIG are higher in the bone marrow after LPS than after 5-FU administration. Furthermore, exogenous in vivo administration of IL1-β can induce cell cycle entry of DKO HSCs. Our findings have important clinical implications for the use of PI3K inhibitors in combination with chemotherapy.
Shayda Hemmati, Taneisha Sinclair, Meng Tong, Boris Bartholdy, Rachel O. Okabe, Kristina Ames, Leanne Ostrodka, Tamanna Haque, Imit Kaur, Taylor S. Mills, Anupriya Agarwal, Eric M. Pietras, Jean J. Zhao, Thomas M. Roberts, Kira Gritsman
Cancer development is influenced by hereditary mutations, somatic mutations due to random errors in DNA replication, or external factors. It remains unclear how distinct cell-intrinsic and -extrinsic factors impact oncogenesis within the same tissue type. We investigated murine soft tissue sarcomas generated by oncogenic alterations (KrasG12D activation and p53 deletion), carcinogens (3-methylcholanthrene [MCA] or ionizing radiation), and in a novel model combining both factors (MCA plus p53 deletion). Whole-exome sequencing demonstrated distinct mutational signatures in individual sarcoma cohorts. MCA-induced sarcomas exhibited high mutational burden and predominantly G-to-T transversions, while radiation-induced sarcomas exhibited low mutational burden and a distinct genetic signature characterized by C-to-T transitions. The indel to substitution ratio and amount of gene copy number variations were high for radiation-induced sarcomas. MCA-induced tumors generated on a p53-deficient background showed the highest genomic instability. MCA-induced sarcomas harbored mutations in putative cancer-driver genes that regulate MAPK signaling (Kras and Nf1) and the Hippo pathway (Fat1 and Fat4). In contrast, radiation-induced sarcomas and KrasG12Dp53–/– sarcomas did not harbor recurrent oncogenic mutations, rather they exhibited amplifications of specific oncogenes: Kras and Myc in KrasG12Dp53–/– sarcomas, and Met and Yap1 for radiation-induced sarcomas. These results reveal that different initiating events drive oncogenesis through distinct mechanisms.
Chang-Lung Lee, Yvonne M. Mowery, Andrea R. Daniel, Dadong Zhang, Alexander B. Sibley, Joe R. Delaney, Amy J. Wisdom, Xiaodi Qin, Xi Wang, Isibel Caraballo, Jeremy Gresham, Lixia Luo, David Van Mater, Kouros Owzar, David G. Kirsch
The ang1-Tie2 pathway is required for normal vascular development, but its molecular effectors are not well-defined during cardiac ontogeny. Here we show that endocardial specific attenuation of Tie2 results in mid-gestation lethality due to heart defects associated with a hyperplastic but simplified trabecular meshwork (fewer but thicker trabeculae). Reduced proliferation and production of endocardial cells (ECs) following endocardial loss of Tie2 results in decreased endocardial sprouting required for trabecular assembly and extension. The hyperplastic trabeculae result from enhanced proliferation of trabecular cardiomyocyte (CMs), which is associated with upregulation of Bmp10, increased retinoic acid (RA) signaling, and Erk1/2 hyperphosphorylation in the myocardium. Intriguingly, myocardial phenotypes in Tie2-cko hearts could be partially rescued by inhibiting in utero RA signaling with pan-retinoic acid receptor antagonist BMS493. These findings reveal two complimentary functions of endocardial Tie2 during ventricular chamber formation: ensuring normal trabeculation by supporting EC proliferation and sprouting, and preventing hypertrabeculation via suppression of RA signaling in trabecular CMs.
Xianghu Qu, Cristina Harmelink, H. Scott Baldwin
Alteration of innate immune cells in the lungs can promote loss of peripheral tolerance that leads to autoimmune responses in cigarette smokers. Development of autoimmunity in smokers with emphysema is also strongly linked to the expansion of autoreactive T helper (Th) cells expressing interferon gamma (Th1), and interleukin 17A (Th17). However, the mechanisms responsible for enhanced self-recognition and reduced immune tolerance in smoker with emphysema remain less clear. Here we show that C1q, a component of the complement protein 1 complex (C1), is downregulated in lung CD1a+ antigen presenting cells (APCs) isolated from emphysematous human, and mouse lung APCs after chronic cigarette smoke exposure. C1q potentiated the function of APCs to differentiate CD4+ T cells to Tregs, while it inhibited Th17 cell development and proliferation. Mice deficient in C1q that were exposed to chronic smoke exhibited exaggerated lung inflammation marked by increased Th17 cells, while reconstitution of C1q in the lungs enhanced Tregs abundance, dampened smoke-induced lung inflammation, and reversed established emphysema. Our findings demonstrate that cigarette smoke-mediated loss of C1q could play a key role in reduced peripheral tolerance, which could be explored to treat emphysema.
Xiaoyi Yuan, Cheng-Yen Chang, Ran You, Ming Shan, Bon Hee Gu, Matthew Madison, Gretchen Diehl, Sarah Perusich, Li-Zhen Song, Lorraine Cornwell, Roger D. Rossen, Rick Wetsel, Rajapakshe Kimal, Cristian Coarfa, Holger Eltzschig, David B. Corry, Farrah Kheradmand
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