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Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors have garnered considerable interest for the treatment of adult and pediatric malignant brain tumors. However, owing to their broad-spectrum nature and inability to effectively penetrate the blood-brain barrier, HDAC inhibitors have failed to provide substantial clinical benefit to patients with glioblastoma (GBM) to date. Moreover, global inhibition of HDACs results in widespread toxicity, highlighting the need for selective isoform targeting. Although no isoform-specific HDAC inhibitors are currently available, the second-generation hydroxamic acid–based HDAC inhibitor quisinostat possesses subnanomolar specificity for class I HDAC isoforms, particularly HDAC1 and HDAC2. It has been shown that HDAC1 is the essential HDAC in GBM. This study analyzed the neuropharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, and radiation-sensitizing properties of quisinostat in preclinical models of GBM. It was found that quisinostat is a well-tolerated and brain-penetrant molecule that extended survival when administered in combination with radiation in vivo. The pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic-efficacy relationship was established by correlating free drug concentrations and evidence of target modulation in the brain with survival benefit. Together, these data provide a strong rationale for clinical development of quisinostat as a radiosensitizer for the treatment of GBM.
Costanza Lo Cascio, Tigran Margaryan, Ernesto Luna-Melendez, James B. McNamara, Connor I. White, William Knight, Saisrinidhi Ganta, Zorana Opachich, Claudia Cantoni, Wonsuk Yoo, Nader Sanai, Artak Tovmasyan, Shwetal Mehta
Total views: 1541
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a systemic autoimmune disease with a dramatic sex bias, affecting 9 times more women than men. Activation of Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) by self-RNA is a central pathogenic process leading to aberrant production of type I interferon (IFN) in SLE, but the specific RNA molecules that serve as TLR7 ligands have not been defined. By leveraging gene expression data and the known sequence specificity of TLR7, we identified the female-specific X-inactive specific transcript (XIST) long noncoding RNA as a uniquely rich source of TLR7 ligands in SLE. XIST RNA stimulated IFN-α production by plasmacytoid DCs in a TLR7-dependent manner, and deletion of XIST diminished the ability of whole cellular RNA to activate TLR7. XIST levels were elevated in blood leukocytes from women with SLE compared with controls, correlated positively with disease activity and the IFN signature, and were enriched in extracellular vesicles released from dying cells in vitro. Importantly, XIST was not IFN inducible, suggesting that XIST is a driver, rather than a consequence, of IFN in SLE. Overall, our work elucidated a role for XIST RNA as a female sex–specific danger signal underlying the sex bias in SLE.
Jonathan D. Crawford, Hong Wang, Daniela Trejo-Zambrano, Raffaello Cimbro, C. Conover Talbot Jr., Mekha A. Thomas, Ashley M. Curran, Alexander A. Girgis, John T. Schroeder, Andrea Fava, Daniel W. Goldman, Michelle Petri, Antony Rosen, Brendan Antiochos, Erika Darrah
Total views: 1462
Identification and analysis of fungal communities commonly rely on internal transcribed spacer–based (ITS-based) amplicon sequencing. There is no gold standard used to infer and classify fungal constituents since methodologies have been adapted from analyses of bacterial communities. To achieve high-resolution inference of fungal constituents, we customized a DADA2-based pipeline using a mix of 11 medically relevant fungi. While DADA2 allowed the discrimination of ITS1 sequences differing by single nucleotides, quality filtering, sequencing bias, and database selection were identified as key variables determining the accuracy of sample inference. Due to species-specific differences in sequencing quality, default filtering settings removed most reads that originated from Aspergillus species, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and Candida glabrata. By fine-tuning the quality filtering process, we achieved an improved representation of the fungal communities. By adapting a wobble nucleotide in the ITS1 forward primer region, we further increased the yield of S. cerevisiae and C. glabrata sequences. Finally, we showed that a BLAST-based algorithm based on the UNITE+INSD or the NCBI NT database achieved a higher reliability in species-level taxonomic annotation compared with the naive Bayesian classifier implemented in DADA2. These steps optimized a robust fungal ITS1 sequencing pipeline that, in most instances, enabled species-level assignment of community members.
Thierry Rolling, Bing Zhai, John Frame, Tobias M. Hohl, Ying Taur
Total views: 1415
BACKGROUND Alcohol use disorder has a detrimental impact on global health and new treatment targets are needed. Preclinical studies show attenuating effects of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists on addiction-related behaviors in rodents and nonhuman primates. Some trials have shown an effect of GLP-1 agonism on reward processes in humans; however, results from clinical studies remain inconclusive.METHODS This is a predefined secondary analysis of a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial evaluating the GLP-1 agonist dulaglutide as a therapy for smoking cessation. The main objective was to assess differences in alcohol consumption after 12 weeks of treatment with dulaglutide compared to placebo. The effect of dulaglutide on alcohol consumption was analyzed using a multivariable generalized linear model.RESULTS In the primary analysis, participants out of the cohort (n = 255) who reported drinking alcohol at baseline and who completed 12 weeks of treatment (n = 151; placebo n = 75, dulaglutide n = 76) were included. The median age was 42 (IQR 33–53) with 61% (n = 92) females. At week 12, participants receiving dulaglutide drank 29% less (relative effect = 0.71, 95% CI 0.52–0.97, P = 0.04) than participants receiving placebo. Changes in alcohol consumption were not correlated with smoking status at week 12.CONCLUSION These results provide evidence that dulaglutide reduces alcohol intake in humans and contribute to the growing body of literature promoting the use of GLP-1 agonists in treatment of substance use disorders.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03204396.FUNDING Swiss National Foundation, Gottfried Julia Bangerter-Rhyner Foundation, Goldschmidt-Jacobson Foundation, Hemmi Foundation, University of Basel, University Hospital Basel, Swiss Academy of Medical Science.
Leila Probst, Sophie Monnerat, Deborah R. Vogt, Sophia Lengsfeld, Thilo Burkard, Andrea Meienberg, Cemile Bathelt, Mirjam Christ-Crain, Bettina Winzeler
Total views: 1339
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a leading cause for chronic liver diseases. Current therapeutic options are limited due to an incomplete mechanistic understanding of how steatosis transitions to NASH. Here we show that the TRIM21 E3 ubiquitin ligase is induced by the synergistic actions of proinflammatory TNF-α and fatty acids in livers of humans and mice with NASH. TRIM21 ubiquitinates and degrades ChREBP, SREBP1, ACC1, and FASN, key regulators of de novo lipogenesis, and A1CF, an alternative splicing regulator of the high-activity ketohexokinase-C (KHK-C) isoform and rate-limiting enzyme of fructose metabolism. TRIM21-mediated degradation of these lipogenic activators improved steatosis and hyperglycemia as well as fructose and glucose tolerance. Our study identifies TRIM21 as a negative regulator of liver steatosis in NASH and provides mechanistic insights into an immunometabolic crosstalk that limits fatty acid synthesis and fructose metabolism during metabolic stress. Thus, enhancing this natural counteracting force of steatosis through inhibition of key lipogenic activators via TRIM21-mediated ubiquitination may provide a therapeutic opportunity to treat NASH.
Kostas C. Nikolaou, Svenja Godbersen, Muthiah Manoharan, Stefan Wieland, Markus H. Heim, Markus Stoffel
Total views: 1304
BACKGROUND Insulin resistance of the brain can unfavorably affect long-term weight maintenance and body fat distribution. Little is known if and how brain insulin sensitivity can be restored in humans. We aimed to evaluate the effects of an exercise intervention on insulin sensitivity of the brain and how this relates to exercise-induced changes in whole-body metabolism and behavior.METHODS In this clinical trial, sedentary participants who were overweight and obese underwent an 8-week supervised aerobic training intervention. Brain insulin sensitivity was assessed in 21 participants (14 women, 7 men; age range 21–59 years; BMI range 27.5–45.5 kg/m2) using functional MRI, combined with intranasal administration of insulin, before and after the intervention.RESULTS The exercise program resulted in enhanced brain insulin action to the level of a person of healthy weight, demonstrated by increased insulin-induced striatal activity and strengthened hippocampal functional connectivity. Improved brain insulin action correlated with increased mitochondrial respiration in skeletal muscle, reductions in visceral fat and hunger, as well as improved cognition. Mediation analyses suggest that improved brain insulin responsiveness helps mediate the peripheral exercise effects leading to healthier body fat distribution and reduced perception of hunger.CONCLUSION Our study demonstrates that an 8-week exercise intervention in sedentary individuals can restore insulin action in the brain. Hence, the ameliorating benefits of exercise toward brain insulin resistance may provide an objective therapeutic target in humans in the challenge to reduce diabetes risk factors.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT03151590).FUNDING BMBF/DZD 01GI0925.
Stephanie Kullmann, Thomas Goj, Ralf Veit, Louise Fritsche, Lore Wagner, Patrick Schneeweiss, Miriam Hoene, Christoph Hoffmann, Jürgen Machann, Andreas Niess, Hubert Preissl, Andreas L. Birkenfeld, Andreas Peter, Hans-Ulrich Häring, Andreas Fritsche, Anja Moller, Cora Weigert, Martin Heni
Total views: 1296
Growing evidence indicates that the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) system is involved in the neurobiology of addictive behaviors, and GLP-1 analogues may be used for the treatment of alcohol use disorder (AUD). Here, we examined the effects of semaglutide, a long-acting GLP-1 analogue, on biobehavioral correlates of alcohol use in rodents. A drinking-in-the-dark procedure was used to test the effects of semaglutide on binge-like drinking in male and female mice. We also tested the effects of semaglutide on binge-like and dependence-induced alcohol drinking in male and female rats, as well as acute effects of semaglutide on spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSCs) from central amygdala (CeA) and infralimbic cortex (ILC) neurons. Semaglutide dose-dependently reduced binge-like alcohol drinking in mice; a similar effect was observed on the intake of other caloric/noncaloric solutions. Semaglutide also reduced binge-like and dependence-induced alcohol drinking in rats. Semaglutide increased sIPSC frequency in CeA and ILC neurons from alcohol-naive rats, suggesting enhanced GABA release, but had no overall effect on GABA transmission in alcohol-dependent rats. In conclusion, the GLP-1 analogue semaglutide decreased alcohol intake across different drinking models and species and modulated central GABA neurotransmission, providing support for clinical testing of semaglutide as a potentially novel pharmacotherapy for AUD.
Vicky Chuong, Mehdi Farokhnia, Sophia Khom, Claire L. Pince, Sophie K. Elvig, Roman Vlkolinsky, Renata C.N. Marchette, George F. Koob, Marisa Roberto, Leandro F. Vendruscolo, Lorenzo Leggio
Total views: 1256
BACKGROUND Slow-flow vascular malformations frequently harbor activating mutations in the PI3K/AKT/mTOR cascade. Phase II trials pinpointed sirolimus effectiveness as a drug therapy. Efficacy and safety of sirolimus thus need to be evaluated in large prospective phase III trials.METHODS The Vascular Anomaly-Sirolimus-Europe (VASE) trial, initiated in 2016, is a large multicentric prospective phase III trial (EudraCT 2015-001703-32), which evaluates efficacy and safety of sirolimus for 2 years in pediatric and adult patients with symptomatic slow-flow vascular malformations. In this interim analysis, we studied all patients enrolled up to October 2021 who received sirolimus for 12 or more months or who prematurely stopped the treatment.RESULTS Thirty-one pediatric and 101 adult patients were included in this analysis; 107 completed 12 or more months of sirolimus, including 61 who were treated for the whole 2-year period. Sirolimus resulted in a clinical improvement in 85% of patients. The efficacy appeared within the first month for the majority of them. Grade 3–4 adverse events were observed in 24 (18%) patients; all resolved after treatment interruption/arrest. Sirolimus increased feasibility of surgery or sclerotherapy in 20 (15%) patients initially deemed unsuitable for intervention. Among the 61 patients who completed the 2-year treatment, 33 (54%) reported a recurrence of symptoms after a median follow-up of 13 months after sirolimus arrest. While there was no difference in efficacy, clinical improvement was faster but subsided more rapidly in PIK3CA-mutated (n = 24) compared with TIE2-mutated (n = 19) patients.CONCLUSION Sirolimus has a high efficacy and good tolerance in treatment of slow-flow vascular malformations in children and adults.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02638389 and EudraCT 2015-001703-32.FUNDING The Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS grants T.0247.19, P.C005.22, T.0146.16, and P.C013.20), the Fund Generet managed by the King Baudouin Foundation (grant 2018-J1810250-211305), the Walloon Region through the FRFS-WELBIO strategic research programme (WELBIO-CR-2019C-06), the MSCA-ITN network V.A. Cure no. 814316, the Leducq Foundation Networks of Excellence Program grant “ReVAMP” (LFCR grant 21CVD03), the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 874708 (Theralymph), the Swiss National Science Foundation under the Sinergia project no. CRSII5_193694, and a Pierre M. fellowship.
Emmanuel Seront, An Van Damme, Catherine Legrand, Annouk Bisdorff-Bresson, Philippe Orcel, Thomas Funck-Brentano, Marie-Antoinette Sevestre, Anne Dompmartin, Isabelle Quere, Pascal Brouillard, Nicole Revencu, Martina De Bortoli, Frank Hammer, Philippe Clapuyt, Dana Dumitriu, Miikka Vikkula, Laurence M. Boon
Total views: 1238
We previously established that vascular smooth muscle–derived adventitial progenitor cells (AdvSca1-SM) preferentially differentiate into myofibroblasts and contribute to fibrosis in response to acute vascular injury. However, the role of these progenitor cells in chronic atherosclerosis has not been defined. Using an AdvSca1-SM cell lineage tracing model, scRNA-Seq, flow cytometry, and histological approaches, we confirmed that AdvSca1-SM–derived cells localized throughout the vessel wall and atherosclerotic plaques, where they primarily differentiated into fibroblasts, smooth muscle cells (SMC), or remained in a stem-like state. Krüppel-like factor 4 (Klf4) knockout specifically in AdvSca1-SM cells induced transition to a more collagen-enriched fibroblast phenotype compared with WT mice. Additionally, Klf4 deletion drastically modified the phenotypes of non–AdvSca1-SM–derived cells, resulting in more contractile SMC and atheroprotective macrophages. Functionally, overall plaque burden was not altered with Klf4 deletion, but multiple indices of plaque composition complexity, including necrotic core area, macrophage accumulation, and fibrous cap thickness, were reduced. Collectively, these data support that modulation of AdvSca1-SM cells through KLF4 depletion confers increased protection from the development of potentially unstable atherosclerotic plaques.
Allison M. Dubner, Sizhao Lu, Austin J. Jolly, Keith A. Strand, Marie F. Mutryn, Tyler Hinthorn, Tysen Noble, Raphael A. Nemenoff, Karen S. Moulton, Mark W. Majesky, Mary C.M. Weiser-Evans
Total views: 1213
We previously reported that treatment of mice with 6-gingerol, the most abundant phytochemical in ginger root, leads to phosphodiesterase inhibition that counteracts neutrophil hyperactivity in models of antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) and lupus. Here, we explored the extent to which oral intake of a whole-ginger extract would similarly impact neutrophils in both autoimmune mice and healthy humans. In vitro, a solubilized ginger extract was able to attenuate neutrophil extracellular trap formation (NETosis) by human neutrophils through a mechanism that was dependent upon the cyclic AMP–dependent kinase, protein kinase A. When mice with features of either APS or lupus were administered a ginger extract orally, they demonstrated reduced circulating NETs, as well as the tempering of other disease outcomes, such as large-vein thrombosis (APS) and autoantibody production (lupus). In a pilot clinical trial, which was validated in a second cohort, daily intake of a ginger supplement for 7 days by healthy volunteers boosted neutrophil cAMP, inhibited NETosis in response to disease-relevant stimuli, and reduced circulating plasma NET levels. In summary, this work demonstrates that ginger intake restrains neutrophil hyperactivity in autoimmune mouse models and that ginger consumption by healthy individuals makes their neutrophils more resistant to NETosis.
Ramadan A. Ali, Valerie C. Minarchick, Miela Zahavi, Christine E. Rysenga, Kristin A. Sturm, Claire K. Hoy, Cyrus Sarosh, Jason S. Knight, M. Kristen Demoruelle
Total views: 1191