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Vascular calcification is a risk factor that predicts adverse cardiovascular complications of several diseases including atherosclerosis. Reduced dietary potassium intake has been linked to cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension and incidental stroke, although the underlying molecular mechanisms remain largely unknown. Using the ApoE-deficient mouse model, we demonstrated for the first time to our knowledge that reduced dietary potassium (0.3%) promoted atherosclerotic vascular calcification and increased aortic stiffness, compared with normal (0.7%) potassium–fed mice. In contrast, increased dietary potassium (2.1%) attenuated vascular calcification and aortic stiffness. Mechanistically, reduction in the potassium concentration to the lower limit of the physiological range increased intracellular calcium, which activated a cAMP response element–binding protein (CREB) signal that subsequently enhanced autophagy and promoted vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) calcification. Inhibition of calcium signals and knockdown of either CREB or ATG7, an autophagy regulator, attenuated VSMC calcification induced by low potassium. Consistently, elevated autophagy and CREB signaling were demonstrated in the calcified arteries from low potassium diet–fed mice as well as aortic arteries exposed to low potassium ex vivo. These studies established a potentially novel causative role of dietary potassium intake in regulating atherosclerotic vascular calcification and stiffness, and uncovered mechanisms that offer opportunities to develop therapeutic strategies to control vascular disease.
Yong Sun, Chang Hyun Byon, Youfeng Yang, Wayne E. Bradley, Louis J. Dell’Italia, Paul W. Sanders, Anupam Agarwal, Hui Wu, Yabing Chen
Total views: 15451
Dystrophin maintains the integrity of striated muscles by linking the actin cytoskeleton with the cell membrane. Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene (DMD) that result in progressive, debilitating muscle weakness, cardiomyopathy, and a shortened lifespan. Mutations of dystrophin that disrupt the amino-terminal actin-binding domain 1 (ABD-1), encoded by exons 2–8, represent the second-most common cause of DMD. In the present study, we compared three different strategies for CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing to correct mutations in the ABD-1 region of the DMD gene by deleting exons 3–9, 6–9, or 7–11 in human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and by assessing the function of iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes. All three exon deletion strategies enabled the expression of truncated dystrophin protein and restoration of cardiomyocyte contractility and calcium transients to varying degrees. We show that deletion of exons 3–9 by genomic editing provides an especially effective means of correcting disease-causing ABD-1 mutations. These findings represent an important step toward eventual correction of common DMD mutations and provide a means of rapidly assessing the expression and function of internally truncated forms of dystrophin-lacking portions of ABD-1.
Viktoriia Kyrychenko, Sergii Kyrychenko, Malte Tiburcy, John M. Shelton, Chengzu Long, Jay W. Schneider, Wolfram-Hubertus Zimmermann, Rhonda Bassel-Duby, Eric N. Olson
Total views: 3305
BACKGROUND. Noninvasive detection of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) with high specificity and sensitivity can greatly facilitate identification of at-risk populations for earlier, more effective intervention. AD patients exhibit a myriad of retinal pathologies, including hallmark amyloid β-protein (Aβ) deposits. METHODS. Burden, distribution, cellular layer, and structure of retinal Aβ plaques were analyzed in flat mounts and cross sections of definite AD patients and controls (n = 37). In a proof-of-concept retinal imaging trial (n = 16), amyloid probe curcumin formulation was determined and protocol was established for retinal amyloid imaging in live patients. RESULTS. Histological examination uncovered classical and neuritic-like Aβ deposits with increased retinal Aβ42 plaques (4.7-fold; P = 0.0063) and neuronal loss (P = 0.0023) in AD patients versus matched controls. Retinal Aβ plaque mirrored brain pathology, especially in the primary visual cortex (P = 0.0097 to P = 0.0018; Pearson’s r = 0.84–0.91). Retinal deposits often associated with blood vessels and occurred in hot spot peripheral regions of the superior quadrant and innermost retinal layers. Transmission electron microscopy revealed retinal Aβ assembled into protofibrils and fibrils. Moreover, the ability to image retinal amyloid deposits with solid-lipid curcumin and a modified scanning laser ophthalmoscope was demonstrated in live patients. A fully automated calculation of the retinal amyloid index (RAI), a quantitative measure of increased curcumin fluorescence, was constructed. Analysis of RAI scores showed a 2.1-fold increase in AD patients versus controls (P = 0.0031). CONCLUSION. The geometric distribution and increased burden of retinal amyloid pathology in AD, together with the feasibility to noninvasively detect discrete retinal amyloid deposits in living patients, may lead to a practical approach for large-scale AD diagnosis and monitoring. FUNDING. National Institute on Aging award (AG044897) and The Saban and The Marciano Family Foundations.
Yosef Koronyo, David Biggs, Ernesto Barron, David S. Boyer, Joel A. Pearlman, William J. Au, Shawn J. Kile, Austin Blanco, Dieu-Trang Fuchs, Adeel Ashfaq, Sally Frautschy, Gregory M. Cole, Carol A. Miller, David R. Hinton, Steven R. Verdooner, Keith L. Black, Maya Koronyo-Hamaoui
Total views: 1625
It has been suggested that low nephron number contributes to glomerular hypertension and hyperperfusion injury in progressive chronic kidney disease (CKD). The incidence of CKD in Japan is among the highest in the world, but the reasons remain unclear. We estimated total nephron (glomerular) number (NglomTOTAL) as well as numbers of nonsclerosed (NglomNSG) and globally sclerosed glomeruli (NglomGSG), and the mean volume of nonsclerosed glomeruli (VglomNSG) in Japanese normotensive, hypertensive, and CKD subjects and investigated associations between these parameters and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). Autopsy kidneys from age-matched Japanese men (9 normotensives, 9 hypertensives, 9 CKD) had nephron number and VglomNSG estimated using disector/fractionator stereology. Subject eGFR, single-nephron eGFR (SNeGFR), and the ratio SNeGFR/VglomNSG were calculated. NglomNSG in Japanese with hypertension (392,108 ± 87,605; P < 0.001) and CKD (268,043 ± 106,968; P < 0.001) was less than in normotensives (640,399 ± 160,016). eGFR was directly correlated with NglomNSG (r = 0.70, P < 0.001) and inversely correlated with VglomNSG (r = –0.53, P < 0.01). SNeGFR was higher in hypertensives than normotensives (P = 0.03), but was similar in normotensives and CKD, while the ratio SNeGFR/VglomNSG was similar in normotensives and hypertensives but markedly reduced in CKD. Nephron number in Japanese with hypertension or CKD was low. This results in a higher SNeGFR in hypertensives compared with normotensive and CKD subjects, but lowered SNeGFR/VglomNSG in CKD subjects, suggesting that changes in GFR are accommodated by glomerular hypertrophy rather than glomerular hypertension. These findings suggest glomerular hypertrophy is a dominant factor in maintenance of GFR under conditions of low nephron number.
Go Kanzaki, Victor G. Puelles, Luise A. Cullen-McEwen, Wendy E. Hoy, Yusuke Okabayashi, Nobuo Tsuboi, Akira Shimizu, Kate M. Denton, Michael D. Hughson, Takashi Yokoo, John F. Bertram
Total views: 1260
Checkpoint inhibitors have demonstrated efficacy in patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). However, the majority of patients do not benefit from these agents. To improve the efficacy of checkpoint inhibitors, intratumoral (i.t.) injection with innate immune activators, TLR7 and TLR9 agonists, were tested along with programmed death-1 receptor (PD-1) blockade. The combination therapy suppressed tumor growth at the primary injected and distant sites in human papillomavirus–negative (HPV-negative) SCC7 and MOC1, and HPV-positive MEER syngeneic mouse models. Abscopal effects and suppression of secondary challenged tumor suggest that local treatment with TLR agonists in combination with anti–PD-1 provided systemic adaptive immunity. I.t. treatment with a TLR7 agonist increased the ratio of M1 to M2 tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and promoted the infiltration of tumor-specific IFNγ-producing CD8+ T cells. Anti–PD-1 treatment increased T cell receptor (TCR) clonality of CD8+ T cells in tumors and spleens of treated mice. Collectively, these experiments demonstrate that combination therapy with i.t. delivery of TLR agonists and PD-1 blockade activates TAMs and induces tumor-specific adaptive immune responses, leading to suppression of primary tumor growth and prevention of metastasis in HNSCC models.
Fumi Sato-Kaneko, Shiyin Yao, Alast Ahmadi, Shannon S. Zhang, Tadashi Hosoya, Megan M. Kaneda, Judith A. Varner, Minya Pu, Karen S. Messer, Cristiana Guiducci, Robert L. Coffman, Kazutaka Kitaura, Takaji Matsutani, Ryuji Suzuki, Dennis A. Carson, Tomoko Hayashi, Ezra E.W. Cohen
Total views: 1212
BACKGROUND. Our goal was to identify changes in the metabolome in multiple sclerosis (MS) and how vitamin D supplementation alters metabolic profiles in MS patients and healthy controls. METHODS. We applied global untargeted metabolomics to plasma from a cross-sectional cohort of age- and sex-matched MS patients and controls and a second longitudinal cohort of MS patients and healthy controls who received 5,000 IU cholecalciferol daily for 90 days. We applied partial least squares discriminant analysis, weighted correlation network analysis (WGCNA), and pathway analysis to the metabolomics data. Generalized estimating equations models were used to assess change in WGCNA-identified module scores or metabolite pathways with vitamin D supplementation. RESULTS. Utilizing multiple analytical techniques, we identified metabolic alterations in oxidative stress (γ-glutamyl amino acid, glutathione) and xenobiotic metabolism (benzoate, caffeine) in MS patients compared with healthy controls in the first cohort. In the vitamin D supplementation cohort, we identified two sets of metabolites altered differentially between MS patients and healthy controls with vitamin D supplementation. The first included markers of oxidative stress and protein oxidation (P = 0.006), while the second contained lysolipids and fatty acids (P = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS. Using metabolomics, we identified alterations in oxidative stress and xenobiotic metabolism in MS patients and subsequently demonstrated a reduction of oxidative stress markers with vitamin D supplementation in healthy controls but not in MS patients. We demonstrate the utility of metabolomics in identifying aberrant metabolic processes and in monitoring the ability of therapeutic interventions to correct these abnormalities. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01667796. FUNDING. This study was supported by NIH grant K23 NS067055, grants from the Race to Erase MS, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the American Academy of Neurology, and North American Research Committee on Multiple Sclerosis.
Pavan Bhargava, Kathryn C. Fitzgerald, Peter A. Calabresi, Ellen M. Mowry
Total views: 1143
Blood pressure is regulated by extrinsic factors including noradrenaline, the sympathetic neurotransmitter that controls cardiovascular functions through adrenergic receptors. However, the fine-tuning system of noradrenaline signaling is relatively unknown. We here show that l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA), a precursor of catecholamines, sensitizes the vascular adrenergic receptor alpha1 (ADRA1) through activation of L-DOPA receptor GPR143. In WT mice, intravenous infusion of the ADRA1 agonist phenylephrine induced a transient elevation of blood pressure. This response was attenuated in Gpr143 gene–deficient (Gpr143–/y) mice. Specific knockout of Gpr143 in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) also showed a similar phenotype, indicating that L-DOPA directly modulates ADRA1 signaling in the VSMCs. L-DOPA at nanomolar concentrations alone produced no effect on the VSMCs, but it enhanced phenylephrine-induced vasoconstriction and intracellular Ca2+ responses. Phenylephrine also augmented the phosphorylation of extracellular signal–regulated kinases in cultured VSMCs from WT but not Gpr143–/y mice. In WT mice, blood pressure increased during the transition from light-rest to dark-active phases. This elevation was not observed in Gpr143–/y mice. Taken together, our findings provide evidence for L-DOPA/GPR143 signaling that exerts precursor control of sympathetic neurotransmission through sensitizing vascular ADRA1.
Daiki Masukawa, Motokazu Koga, Anna Sezaki, Yuka Nakao, Yuji Kamikubo, Tatsuo Hashimoto, Yuki Okuyama-Oki, Aderemi Caleb Aladeokin, Fumio Nakamura, Utako Yokoyama, Hiromichi Wakui, Hiroshi Ichinose, Takashi Sakurai, Satoshi Umemura, Koichi Tamura, Yoshihiro Ishikawa, Yoshio Goshima
Total views: 1059
Though an acute kidney injury (AKI) episode is associated with an increased risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD), the mechanisms determining the transition from acute to irreversible chronic injury are not well understood. To extend our understanding of renal repair, and its limits, we performed a detailed molecular characterization of a murine ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI) model for 12 months after injury. Together, the data comprising RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis at multiple time points, histological studies, and molecular and cellular characterization of targeted gene activity provide a comprehensive profile of injury, repair, and long-term maladaptive responses following IRI. Tubular atrophy, interstitial fibrosis, inflammation, and development of multiple renal cysts were major long-term outcomes of IRI. Progressive proximal tubular injury tracks with de novo activation of multiple Krt genes, including Krt20, a biomarker of renal tubule injury. RNA-seq analysis highlights a cascade of temporal-specific gene expression patterns related to tubular injury/repair, fibrosis, and innate and adaptive immunity. Intersection of these data with human kidney transplant expression profiles identified overlapping gene expression signatures correlating with different stages of the murine IRI response. The comprehensive characterization of incomplete recovery after ischemic AKI provides a valuable resource for determining the underlying pathophysiology of human CKD.
Jing Liu, Sanjeev Kumar, Egor Dolzhenko, Gregory F. Alvarado, Jinjin Guo, Can Lu, Yibu Chen, Meng Li, Mark C. Dessing, Riana K. Parvez, Pietro E. Cippà, A. Michaela Krautzberger, Gohar Saribekyan, Andrew D. Smith, Andrew P. McMahon
Total views: 1049
Subsets of mature B cell neoplasms are linked to infection with intracellular pathogens such as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), or Helicobacter pylori. However, the association between infection and the immunoglobulin-secreting (Ig-secreting) B proliferative disorders remains largely unresolved. We investigated whether the monoclonal IgG (mc IgG) produced by patients diagnosed with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) or multiple myeloma (MM) targets infectious pathogens. Antigen specificity of purified mc IgG from a large patient cohort (n = 244) was determined using a multiplex infectious-antigen array (MIAA), which screens for reactivity to purified antigens or lysates from 9 pathogens. Purified mc IgG from 23.4% of patients (57 of 244) specifically recognized 1 pathogen in the MIAA. EBV was the most frequent target (15.6%), with 36 of 38 mc IgGs recognizing EBV nuclear antigen-1 (EBNA-1). MM patients with EBNA-1–specific mc IgG (14.0%) showed substantially greater bone marrow plasma cell infiltration and higher β2-microglobulin and inflammation/infection–linked cytokine levels compared with other smoldering myeloma/MM patients. Five other pathogens were the targets of mc IgG: herpes virus simplex-1 (2.9%), varicella zoster virus (1.6%), cytomegalovirus (0.8%), hepatitis C virus (1.2%), and H. pylori (1.2%). We conclude that a dysregulated immune response to infection may underlie disease onset and/or progression of MGUS and MM for subsets of patients.
Adrien Bosseboeuf, Delphine Feron, Anne Tallet, Cédric Rossi, Cathy Charlier, Laurent Garderet, Denis Caillot, Philippe Moreau, Marina Cardó-Vila, Renata Pasqualini, Wadih Arap, Alfreda Destea Nelson, Bridget S. Wilson, Hélène Perreault, Eric Piver, Pierre Weigel, François Girodon, Jean Harb, Edith Bigot-Corbel, Sylvie Hermouet
Total views: 1046
Fibrous cap smooth muscle cells (SMCs) protect atherosclerotic lesions from rupturing and causing thrombosis, while other plaque SMCs may have detrimental roles in plaque development. To gain insight into recruitment of different plaque SMCs, we mapped their clonal architecture in aggregation chimeras of eGFP+Apoe–/– and Apoe–/– mouse embryos and in mice with a mosaic expression of fluorescent proteins in medial SMCs that were rendered atherosclerotic by PCSK9-induced hypercholesterolemia. Fibrous caps in aggregation chimeras were found constructed from large, endothelial-aligned layers of either eGFP+ or nonfluorescent SMCs, indicating substantial clonal expansion of a few cells. Similarly, plaques in mice with SMC-restricted Confetti expression showed oligoclonal SMC populations with little intermixing between the progeny of different medial SMCs. Phenotypes comprised both ACTA2+ SMCs in the cap and heterogeneous ACTA2– SMCs in the plaque interior, including chondrocyte-like cells and cells with intracellular lipid and crystalline material. Fibrous cap SMCs were invariably arranged in endothelium-aligned clonal sheets, confirming results in the aggregation chimeras. Analysis of the clonal structure showed that a low number of local medial SMCs partake in atherosclerosis and that single medial SMCs can produce several different SMC phenotypes in plaque. The combined results show that few medial SMCs proliferate to form the entire phenotypically heterogeneous plaque SMC population in murine atherosclerosis.
Kevin Jacobsen, Marie Bek Lund, Jeong Shim, Stine Gunnersen, Ernst-Martin Füchtbauer, Mads Kjolby, Laura Carramolino, Jacob Fog Bentzon
Total views: 1041