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C57BL/6NCrl

RRID:IMSR_CRL:027

A LINE1-Nucleolin Partnership Regulates Early Development and ESC Identity.

  • Percharde M
  • Cell
  • 2018 Jun 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

Transposable elements represent nearly half of mammalian genomes and are generally described as parasites, or "junk DNA." The LINE1 retrotransposon is the most abundant class and is thought to be deleterious for cells, yet it is paradoxically highly expressed during early development. Here, we report that LINE1 plays essential roles in mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and pre-implantation embryos. In ESCs, LINE1 acts as a nuclear RNA scaffold that recruits Nucleolin and Kap1/Trim28 to repress Dux, the master activator of a transcriptional program specific to the 2-cell embryo. In parallel, LINE1 RNA mediates binding of Nucleolin and Kap1 to rDNA, promoting rRNA synthesis and ESC self-renewal. In embryos, LINE1 RNA is required for Dux silencing, synthesis of rRNA, and exit from the 2-cell stage. The results reveal an essential partnership between LINE1 RNA, Nucleolin, Kap1, and peri-nucleolar chromatin in the regulation of transcription, developmental potency, and ESC self-renewal.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA54174(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM113014()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM123556()

Liver Cancer Initiation Requires p53 Inhibition by CD44-Enhanced Growth Factor Signaling.

  • Dhar D
  • Cancer Cell
  • 2018 Jun 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

How fully differentiated cells that experience carcinogenic insults become proliferative cancer progenitors that acquire multiple initiating mutations is not clear. This question is of particular relevance to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which arises from differentiated hepatocytes. Here we show that one solution to this problem is provided by CD44, a hyaluronic acid receptor whose expression is rapidly induced in carcinogen-exposed hepatocytes in a STAT3-dependent manner. Once expressed, CD44 potentiates AKT activation to induce the phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of Mdm2, which terminates the p53 genomic surveillance response. This allows DNA-damaged hepatocytes to escape p53-induced death and senescence and respond to proliferative signals that promote fixation of mutations and their transmission to daughter cells that go on to become HCC progenitors.

Funding information:
  • Intramural NIH HHS - Z01 ES101765(United States)
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA118165()
  • NIEHS NIH HHS - P42 ES010337()

The TWIK2 Potassium Efflux Channel in Macrophages Mediates NLRP3 Inflammasome-Induced Inflammation.

  • Di A
  • Immunity
  • 2018 Jun 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

Potassium (K+) efflux across the plasma membrane is thought to be an essential mechanism for ATP-induced NLRP3 inflammasome activation, yet the identity of the efflux channel has remained elusive. Here we identified the two-pore domain K+ channel (K2P) TWIK2 as the K+ efflux channel triggering NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Deletion of Kcnk6 (encoding TWIK2) prevented NLRP3 activation in macrophages and suppressed sepsis-induced lung inflammation. Adoptive transfer of Kcnk6-/- macrophages into mouse airways after macrophage depletion also prevented inflammatory lung injury. The K+ efflux channel TWIK2 in macrophages has a fundamental role in activating the NLRP3 inflammasome and consequently mediates inflammation, pointing to TWIK2 as a potential target for anti-inflammatory therapies.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA108420(United States)

Defects in the Alternative Splicing-Dependent Regulation of REST Cause Deafness.

  • Nakano Y
  • Cell
  • 2018 Jun 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

The DNA-binding protein REST forms complexes with histone deacetylases (HDACs) to repress neuronal genes in non-neuronal cells. In differentiating neurons, REST is downregulated predominantly by transcriptional silencing. Here we report that post-transcriptional inactivation of REST by alternative splicing is required for hearing in humans and mice. We show that, in the mechanosensory hair cells of the mouse ear, regulated alternative splicing of a frameshift-causing exon into the Rest mRNA is essential for the derepression of many neuronal genes. Heterozygous deletion of this alternative exon of mouse Rest causes hair cell degeneration and deafness, and the HDAC inhibitor SAHA (Vorinostat) rescues the hearing of these mice. In humans, inhibition of the frameshifting splicing event by a novel REST variant is associated with dominantly inherited deafness. Our data reveal the necessity for alternative splicing-dependent regulation of REST in hair cells, and they identify a potential treatment for a group of hereditary deafness cases.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - 5 F32 MH064339-03(United States)

Persistent Sodium Current Mediates the Steep Voltage Dependence of Spatial Coding in Hippocampal Pyramidal Neurons.

  • Hsu CL
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Jun 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

The mammalian hippocampus forms a cognitive map using neurons that fire according to an animal's position ("place cells") and many other behavioral and cognitive variables. The responses of these neurons are shaped by their presynaptic inputs and the nature of their postsynaptic integration. In CA1 pyramidal neurons, spatial responses in vivo exhibit a strikingly supralinear dependence on baseline membrane potential. The biophysical mechanisms underlying this nonlinear cellular computation are unknown. Here, through a combination of in vitro, in vivo, and in silico approaches, we show that persistent sodium current mediates the strong membrane potential dependence of place cell activity. This current operates at membrane potentials below the action potential threshold and over seconds-long timescales, mediating a powerful and rapidly reversible amplification of synaptic responses, which drives place cell firing. Thus, we identify a biophysical mechanism that shapes the coding properties of neurons composing the hippocampal cognitive map.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R21 NS41764-01(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - U19 NS104590()

Primary Traumatic Axonopathy in Mice Subjected to Impact Acceleration: A Reappraisal of Pathology and Mechanisms with High-Resolution Anatomical Methods.

  • Ziogas NK
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2018 Apr 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

Traumatic axonal injury (TAI) is a common neuropathology in traumatic brain injury and is featured by primary injury to axons. Here, we generated TAI with impact acceleration of the head in male Thy1-eYFP-H transgenic mice in which specific populations of neurons and their axons are labeled with yellow fluorescent protein. This model results in axonal lesions in multiple axonal tracts along with blood-brain barrier disruption and neuroinflammation. The corticospinal tract, a prototypical long tract, is severely affected and is the focus of this study. Using optimized CLARITY at single-axon resolution, we visualized the entire corticospinal tract volume from the pons to the cervical spinal cord in 3D and counted the total number of axonal lesions and their progression over time. Our results divulged the presence of progressive traumatic axonopathy that was maximal at the pyramidal decussation. The perikarya of injured corticospinal neurons atrophied, but there was no evidence of neuronal cell death. We also used CLARITY at single-axon resolution to explore the role of the NMNAT2-SARM1 axonal self-destruction pathway in traumatic axonopathy. When we interfered with this pathway by genetically ablating SARM1 or by pharmacological strategies designed to increase levels of Nicotinamide (Nam), a feedback inhibitor of SARM1, we found a significant reduction in the number of axonal lesions early after injury. Our findings show that high-resolution neuroanatomical strategies reveal important features of TAI with biological implications, especially the progressive axonopathic nature of TAI and the role of the NMNAT2-SARM1 pathway in the early stages of axonopathy.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In the first systematic application of novel high-resolution neuroanatomical tools in neuropathology, we combined CLARITY with 2-photon microscopy, optimized for detection of single axonal lesions, to reconstruct the injured mouse brainstem in a model of traumatic axonal injury (TAI) that is a common pathology associated with traumatic brain injury. The 3D reconstruction of the corticospinal tract at single-axon resolution allowed for a more advanced level of qualitative and quantitative understanding of TAI. Using this model, we showed that TAI is an axonopathy with a prominent role of the NMNAT2-SARM1 molecular pathway, that is also implicated in peripheral neuropathy. Our results indicate that high-resolution anatomical models of TAI afford a level of detail and sensitivity that is ideal for testing novel molecular and biomechanical hypotheses.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK083402(United States)

Embryonic and postnatal neurogenesis produce functionally distinct subclasses of dopaminergic neuron.

  • Galliano E
  • Elife
  • 2018 Apr 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Most neurogenesis in the mammalian brain is completed embryonically, but in certain areas the production of neurons continues throughout postnatal life. The functional properties of mature postnatally generated neurons often match those of their embryonically produced counterparts. However, we show here that in the olfactory bulb (OB), embryonic and postnatal neurogenesis produce functionally distinct subpopulations of dopaminergic (DA) neurons. We define two subclasses of OB DA neuron by the presence or absence of a key subcellular specialisation: the axon initial segment (AIS). Large AIS-positive axon-bearing DA neurons are exclusively produced during early embryonic stages, leaving small anaxonic AIS-negative cells as the only DA subtype generated via adult neurogenesis. These populations are functionally distinct: large DA cells are more excitable, yet display weaker and - for certain long-latency or inhibitory events - more broadly tuned responses to odorant stimuli. Embryonic and postnatal neurogenesis can therefore generate distinct neuronal subclasses, placing important constraints on the functional roles of adult-born neurons in sensory processing.

Funding information:
  • European Research Council - 725729 FUNCOPLAN()
  • Medical Research Council - MR/M501645/1()
  • National Institutes of Health - DC013329()
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - R01 HG003562(United States)
  • Wellcome - 103044()
  • Wellcome - 88301()

Antibody Tumor Targeting Is Enhanced by CD27 Agonists through Myeloid Recruitment.

  • Turaj AH
  • Cancer Cell
  • 2017 Dec 11

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Abstract:

Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) can destroy tumors by recruiting effectors such as myeloid cells, or targeting immunomodulatory receptors to promote cytotoxic T cell responses. Here, we examined the therapeutic potential of combining a direct tumor-targeting mAb, anti-CD20, with an extended panel of immunomodulatory mAbs. Only the anti-CD27/CD20 combination provided cures. This was apparent in multiple lymphoma models, including huCD27 transgenic mice using the anti-huCD27, varlilumab. Detailed mechanistic analysis using single-cell RNA sequencing demonstrated that anti-CD27 stimulated CD8+ T and natural killer cells to release myeloid chemo-attractants and interferon gamma, to elicit myeloid infiltration and macrophage activation. This study demonstrates the therapeutic advantage of using an immunomodulatory mAb to regulate lymphoid cells, which then recruit and activate myeloid cells for enhanced killing of mAb-opsonized tumors.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - P41GM086210(United States)

Virus-Mediated Genome Editing via Homology-Directed Repair in Mitotic and Postmitotic Cells in Mammalian Brain.

  • Nishiyama J
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Nov 15

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Abstract:

Precise genome editing via homology-directed repair (HDR) in targeted cells, particularly in vivo, provides an invaluable tool for biomedical research. However, HDR has been considered to be largely restricted to dividing cells, making it challenging to apply the technique in postmitotic neurons. Here we show that precise genome editing via HDR is possible in mature postmitotic neurons as well as mitotic cells in mice brain by combining CRISPR-Cas9-mediated DNA cleavage and the efficient delivery of donor template with adeno-associated virus (AAV). Using this strategy, we achieved efficient tagging of endogenous proteins in primary and organotypic cultures in vitro and developing, adult, aged, and pathological brains in vivo. Thus, AAV- and CRISPR-Cas9-mediated HDR will be broadly useful for precise genome editing in basic and translational neuroscience.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R01 MH080047()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - DP1 NS096787()

CaMKIIα Expression Defines Two Functionally Distinct Populations of Granule Cells Involved in Different Types of Odor Behavior.

  • Malvaut S
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2017 Nov 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

Granule cells (GCs) in the olfactory bulb (OB) play an important role in odor information processing. Although they have been classified into various neurochemical subtypes, the functional roles of these subtypes remain unknown. We used in vivo two-photon Ca2+ imaging combined with cell-type-specific identification of GCs in the mouse OB to examine whether functionally distinct GC subtypes exist in the bulbar network. We showed that half of GCs express Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIα (CaMKIIα+) and that these neurons are preferentially activated by olfactory stimulation. The higher activity of CaMKIIα+ neurons is due to the weaker inhibitory input that they receive compared to their CaMKIIα-immunonegative (CaMKIIα-) counterparts. In line with these functional data, immunohistochemical analyses showed that 75%-90% of GCs expressing the immediate early gene cFos are CaMKIIα+ in naive animals and in mice that have been exposed to a novel odor and go/no-go operant conditioning, or that have been subjected to long-term associative memory and spontaneous habituation/dishabituation odor discrimination tasks. On the other hand, a perceptual learning task resulted in increased activation of CaMKIIα- cells. Pharmacogenetic inhibition of CaMKIIα+ GCs revealed that this subtype is involved in habituation/dishabituation and go/no-go odor discrimination, but not in perceptual learning. In contrast, pharmacogenetic inhibition of GCs in a subtype-independent manner affected perceptual learning. Our results indicate that functionally distinct populations of GCs exist in the OB and that they play distinct roles during different odor tasks.

Funding information:
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - R21-AR-063846(United States)

Long-Fiber Carbon Nanotubes Replicate Asbestos-Induced Mesothelioma with Disruption of the Tumor Suppressor Gene Cdkn2a (Ink4a/Arf).

  • Chernova T
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2017 Nov 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

Mesothelioma is a fatal tumor of the pleura and is strongly associated with asbestos exposure. The molecular mechanisms underlying the long latency period of mesothelioma and driving carcinogenesis are unknown. Moreover, late diagnosis means that mesothelioma research is commonly focused on end-stage disease. Although disruption of the CDKN2A (INK4A/ARF) locus has been reported in end-stage disease, information is lacking on the status of this key tumor suppressor gene in pleural lesions preceding mesothelioma. Manufactured carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are similar to asbestos in terms of their fibrous shape and biopersistent properties and thus may pose an asbestos-like inhalation hazard. Here we show that instillation of either long CNTs or long asbestos fibers into the pleural cavity of mice induces mesothelioma that exhibits common key pro-oncogenic molecular events throughout the latency period of disease progression. Sustained activation of pro-oncogenic signaling pathways, increased proliferation, and oxidative DNA damage form a common molecular signature of long-CNT- and long-asbestos-fiber-induced pathology. We show that hypermethylation of p16/Ink4a and p19/Arf in CNT- and asbestos-induced inflammatory lesions precedes mesothelioma; this results in silencing of Cdkn2a (Ink4a/Arf) and loss of p16 and p19 protein, consistent with epigenetic alterations playing a gatekeeper role in cancer. In end-stage mesothelioma, silencing of p16/Ink4a is sustained and deletion of p19/Arf is detected, recapitulating human disease. This study addresses the long-standing question of which early molecular changes drive carcinogenesis during the long latency period of mesothelioma development and shows that CNT and asbestos pose a similar health hazard.

Role of the Astroglial Glutamate Exchanger xCT in Ventral Hippocampus in Resilience to Stress.

  • Nasca C
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Oct 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

We demonstrate that stress differentially regulates glutamate homeostasis in the dorsal and ventral hippocampus and identify a role for the astroglial xCT in ventral dentate gyrus (vDG) in stress and antidepressant responses. We provide an RNA-seq roadmap for the stress-sensitive vDG. The transcription factor REST binds to xCT promoter in co-occupancy with the epigenetic marker H3K27ac to regulate expression of xCT, which is also reduced in a genetic mouse model of inherent susceptibility to depressive-like behavior. Pharmacologically, modulating histone acetylation with acetyl-L-carnitine (LAC) or acetyl-N-cysteine (NAC) rapidly increases xCT and activates a network with mGlu2 receptors to prime an enhanced glutamate homeostasis that promotes both pro-resilient and antidepressant-like responses. Pharmacological xCT blockage counteracts NAC prophylactic effects. GFAP+-Cre-dependent overexpression of xCT in vDG mimics pharmacological actions in promoting resilience. This work establishes a mechanism by which vDG protection leads to stress resilience and antidepressant responses via epigenetic programming of an xCT-mGlu2 network.

Intermittent Fasting Promotes White Adipose Browning and Decreases Obesity by Shaping the Gut Microbiota.

  • Li G
  • Cell Metab.
  • 2017 Oct 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

While activation of beige thermogenesis is a promising approach for treatment of obesity-associated diseases, there are currently no known pharmacological means of inducing beiging in humans. Intermittent fasting is an effective and natural strategy for weight control, but the mechanism for its efficacy is poorly understood. Here, we show that an every-other-day fasting (EODF) regimen selectively stimulates beige fat development within white adipose tissue and dramatically ameliorates obesity, insulin resistance, and hepatic steatosis. EODF treatment results in a shift in the gut microbiota composition leading to elevation of the fermentation products acetate and lactate and to the selective upregulation of monocarboxylate transporter 1 expression in beige cells. Microbiota-depleted mice are resistance to EODF-induced beiging, while transplantation of the microbiota from EODF-treated mice to microbiota-depleted mice activates beiging and improves metabolic homeostasis. These findings provide a new gut-microbiota-driven mechanism for activating adipose tissue browning and treating metabolic diseases.

Deconstruction of Corticospinal Circuits for Goal-Directed Motor Skills.

  • Wang X
  • Cell
  • 2017 Oct 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Corticospinal neurons (CSNs) represent the direct cortical outputs to the spinal cord and play important roles in motor control across different species. However, their organizational principle remains unclear. By using a retrograde labeling system, we defined the requirement of CSNs in the execution of a skilled forelimb food-pellet retrieval task in mice. In vivo imaging of CSN activity during performance revealed the sequential activation of topographically ordered functional ensembles with moderate local mixing. Region-specific manipulations indicate that CSNs from caudal or rostral forelimb area control reaching or grasping, respectively, and both are required in the transitional pronation step. These region-specific CSNs terminate in different spinal levels and locations, therefore preferentially connecting with the premotor neurons of muscles engaged in different steps of the task. Together, our findings suggest that spatially defined groups of CSNs encode different movement modules, providing a logic for parallel-ordered corticospinal circuits to orchestrate multistep motor skills.

Cortical dendritic activity correlates with spindle-rich oscillations during sleep in rodents.

  • Seibt J
  • Nat Commun
  • 2017 Sep 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

How sleep influences brain plasticity is not known. In particular, why certain electroencephalographic (EEG) rhythms are linked to memory consolidation is poorly understood. Calcium activity in dendrites is known to be necessary for structural plasticity changes, but this has never been carefully examined during sleep. Here, we report that calcium activity in populations of neocortical dendrites is increased and synchronised during oscillations in the spindle range in naturally sleeping rodents. Remarkably, the same relationship is not found in cell bodies of the same neurons and throughout the cortical column. Spindles during sleep have been suggested to be important for brain development and plasticity. Our results provide evidence for a physiological link of spindles in the cortex specific to dendrites, the main site of synaptic plasticity.Different stages of sleep, marked by particular electroencephalographic (EEG) signatures, have been linked to memory consolidation, but underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, the authors show that dendritic calcium synchronisation correlates with spindle-rich sleep phases.

A Sensitized IGF1 Treatment Restores Corticospinal Axon-Dependent Functions.

  • Liu Y
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Aug 16

Literature context:


Abstract:

A major hurdle for functional recovery after both spinal cord injury and cortical stroke is the limited regrowth of the axons in the corticospinal tract (CST) that originate in the motor cortex and innervate the spinal cord. Despite recent advances in engaging the intrinsic mechanisms that control CST regrowth, it remains to be tested whether such methods can promote functional recovery in translatable settings. Here we show that post-lesional AAV-assisted co-expression of two soluble proteins, namely insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) and osteopontin (OPN), in cortical neurons leads to robust CST regrowth and the recovery of CST-dependent behavioral performance after both T10 lateral spinal hemisection and a unilateral cortical stroke. In these mice, a compound able to increase axon conduction, 4-aminopyridine-3-methanol, promotes further improvement in CST-dependent behavioral tasks. Thus, our results demonstrate a potentially translatable strategy for restoring cortical dependent function after injury in the adult.

Discovery and characterization of two novel CB1 receptor splice variants with modified N-termini in mouse.

  • Ruehle S
  • J. Neurochem.
  • 2017 Aug 13

Literature context:


Abstract:

Numerous studies have been carried out in the mouse model, investigating the role of the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1). However, mouse CB1 (mCB1) receptor differs from human CB1 (hCB1) receptor in 13 amino acid residues. Two splice variants, hCB1a and hCB1b, diverging in their amino-termini, have been reported to be unique for hCB1 and, via different signaling properties, contribute to CB1 receptor physiology and pathophysiology. We hypothesized that splice variants also exist for the mCB1 receptor and have different signaling properties. On murine hippocampal cDNA, we identified two novel mCB1 receptor splice variants generated by splicing of introns with 117 bp and 186 bp in the N-terminal domain, corresponding to deletions of 39 or 62 amino acids, respectively. The mRNAs for the splice variants mCB1a and mCB1b are expressed at low levels in different brain regions. Western blot analysis of protein extracts from stably transfected HEK293 cells indicates a strongly reduced glycosylation because of the absence of two glycosylation sites in mCB1b. On-cell western analysis in these stable lines revealed increased internalization of mCB1a and mCB1b upon stimulation with the agonist WIN55,212-2 as compared to mCB1. Results also point toward an increased affinity to SR141716 for mCB1a, as well as slightly enhanced inhibition of neurotransmission compared to mCB1. In mCB1b, agonist-induced MAPK phosphorylation was decreased compared to mCB1 and mCB1a. Identification of mouse CB1 receptor splice variants may help to explain differences found between human and mouse endocannabinoid systems and improve the understanding of CB1 receptor signaling and trafficking in different species.

Funding information:
  • NIDA NIH HHS - K05 DA021696()
  • NIDA NIH HHS - P01 DA009158()
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R01 DA011322()

Lymphatic Endothelial Cells Control Initiation of Lymph Node Organogenesis.

  • Onder L
  • Immunity
  • 2017 Jul 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

Lymph nodes (LNs) are strategically situated throughout the body at junctures of the blood vascular and lymphatic systems to direct immune responses against antigens draining from peripheral tissues. The current paradigm describes LN development as a programmed process that is governed through the interaction between mesenchymal lymphoid tissue organizer (LTo) cells and hematopoietic lymphoid tissue inducer (LTi) cells. Using cell-type-specific ablation of key molecules involved in lymphoid organogenesis, we found that initiation of LN development is dependent on LTi-cell-mediated activation of lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) and that engagement of mesenchymal stromal cells is a succeeding event. LEC activation was mediated mainly by signaling through receptor activator of NF-κB (RANK) and the non-canonical NF-κB pathway and was steered by sphingosine-1-phosphate-receptor-dependent retention of LTi cells in the LN anlage. Finally, the finding that pharmacologically enforced interaction between LTi cells and LECs promotes ectopic LN formation underscores the central LTo function of LECs.

Editor's Highlight: Congener-Specific Disposition of Chiral Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Lactating Mice and Their Offspring: Implications for PCB Developmental Neurotoxicity.

  • Kania-Korwel I
  • Toxicol. Sci.
  • 2017 Jul 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Chiral polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners have been implicated by laboratory and epidemiological studies in PCB developmental neurotoxicity. These congeners are metabolized by cytochrome P450 (P450) enzymes to potentially neurotoxic hydroxylated metabolites (OH-PCBs). The present study explores the enantioselective disposition and toxicity of 2 environmentally relevant, neurotoxic PCB congeners and their OH-PCB metabolites in lactating mice and their offspring following dietary exposure of the dam. Female C57BL/6N mice (8-weeks old) were fed daily, beginning 2 weeks prior to conception and continuing throughout gestation and lactation, with 3.1 µmol/kg bw/d of racemic 2,2',3,5',6-pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB 95) or 2,2',3,3',6,6'-hexachlorobiphenyl (PCB 136) in peanut butter; controls received vehicle (peanut oil) in peanut butter. PCB 95 levels were higher than PCB 136 levels in both dams and pups, consistent with the more rapid metabolism of PCB 136 compared with PCB 95. In pups and dams, both congeners were enriched for the enantiomer eluting second on enantioselective gas chromatography columns. OH-PCB profiles in lactating mice and their offspring were complex and varied according to congener, tissue and age. Developmental exposure to PCB 95 versus PCB 136 differentially affected the expression of P450 enzymes as well as neural plasticity (arc and ppp1r9b) and thyroid hormone-responsive genes (nrgn and mbp). The results suggest that the enantioselective metabolism of PCBs to OH-PCBs may influence neurotoxic outcomes following developmental exposures, a hypothesis that warrants further investigation.

Exosome RNA Unshielding Couples Stromal Activation to Pattern Recognition Receptor Signaling in Cancer.

  • Nabet BY
  • Cell
  • 2017 Jul 13

Literature context:


Abstract:

Interactions between stromal fibroblasts and cancer cells generate signals for cancer progression, therapy resistance, and inflammatory responses. Although endogenous RNAs acting as damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) for pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) may represent one such signal, these RNAs must remain unrecognized under non-pathological conditions. We show that triggering of stromal NOTCH-MYC by breast cancer cells results in a POL3-driven increase in RN7SL1, an endogenous RNA normally shielded by RNA binding proteins SRP9/14. This increase in RN7SL1 alters its stoichiometry with SRP9/14 and generates unshielded RN7SL1 in stromal exosomes. After exosome transfer to immune cells, unshielded RN7SL1 drives an inflammatory response. Upon transfer to breast cancer cells, unshielded RN7SL1 activates the PRR RIG-I to enhance tumor growth, metastasis, and therapy resistance. Corroborated by evidence from patient tumors and blood, these results demonstrate that regulation of RNA unshielding couples stromal activation with deployment of RNA DAMPs that promote aggressive features of cancer. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

Genome Organization Drives Chromosome Fragility.

  • Canela A
  • Cell
  • 2017 Jul 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

In this study, we show that evolutionarily conserved chromosome loop anchors bound by CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) and cohesin are vulnerable to DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) mediated by topoisomerase 2B (TOP2B). Polymorphisms in the genome that redistribute CTCF/cohesin occupancy rewire DNA cleavage sites to novel loop anchors. While transcription- and replication-coupled genomic rearrangements have been well documented, we demonstrate that DSBs formed at loop anchors are largely transcription-, replication-, and cell-type-independent. DSBs are continuously formed throughout interphase, are enriched on both sides of strong topological domain borders, and frequently occur at breakpoint clusters commonly translocated in cancer. Thus, loop anchors serve as fragile sites that generate DSBs and chromosomal rearrangements. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

Amino Acid Transporter Slc38a5 Controls Glucagon Receptor Inhibition-Induced Pancreatic α Cell Hyperplasia in Mice.

  • Kim J
  • Cell Metab.
  • 2017 Jun 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

Glucagon supports glucose homeostasis by stimulating hepatic gluconeogenesis, in part by promoting the uptake and conversion of amino acids into gluconeogenic precursors. Genetic disruption or pharmacologic inhibition of glucagon signaling results in elevated plasma amino acids and compensatory glucagon hypersecretion involving expansion of pancreatic α cell mass. Recent findings indicate that hyperaminoacidemia triggers pancreatic α cell proliferation via an mTOR-dependent pathway. We confirm and extend these findings by demonstrating that glucagon pathway blockade selectively increases expression of the sodium-coupled neutral amino acid transporter Slc38a5 in a subset of highly proliferative α cells and that Slc38a5 controls the pancreatic response to glucagon pathway blockade; most notably, mice deficient in Slc38a5 exhibit markedly decreased α cell hyperplasia to glucagon pathway blockade-induced hyperaminoacidemia. These results show that Slc38a5 is a key component of the feedback circuit between glucagon receptor signaling in the liver and amino-acid-dependent regulation of pancreatic α cell mass in mice.

Serotonergic Projections Govern Postnatal Neuroblast Migration.

  • García-González D
  • Neuron
  • 2017 May 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

In many vertebrates, postnatally generated neurons often migrate long distances to reach their final destination, where they help shape local circuit activity. Concerted action of extrinsic stimuli is required to regulate long-distance migration. Some migratory principles are evolutionarily conserved, whereas others are species and cell type specific. Here we identified a serotonergic mechanism that governs migration of postnatally generated neurons in the mouse brain. Serotonergic axons originating from the raphe nuclei exhibit a conspicuous alignment with subventricular zone-derived neuroblasts. Optogenetic axonal activation provides functional evidence for serotonergic modulation of neuroblast migration. Furthermore, we show that the underlying mechanism involves serotonin receptor 3A (5HT3A)-mediated calcium influx. Thus, 5HT3A receptor deletion in neuroblasts impaired speed and directionality of migration and abolished calcium spikes. We speculate that serotonergic modulation of postnatally generated neuroblast migration is evolutionarily conserved as indicated by the presence of serotonergic axons in migratory paths in other vertebrates.

Synthesis and Degradation of Adenosine 5'-Tetraphosphate by Nicotinamide and Nicotinate Phosphoribosyltransferases.

  • Amici A
  • Cell Chem Biol
  • 2017 May 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

Adenosine 5'-tetraphosphate (Ap4) is a ubiquitous metabolite involved in cell signaling in mammals. Its full physiological significance remains unknown. Here we show that two enzymes committed to NAD biosynthesis, nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) and nicotinate phosphoribosyltransferase (NAPT), can both catalyze the synthesis and degradation of Ap4 through their facultative ATPase activity. We propose a mechanism for this unforeseen additional reaction, and demonstrate its evolutionary conservation in bacterial orthologs of mammalian NAMPT and NAPT. Furthermore, evolutionary distant forms of NAMPT were inhibited in vitro by the FK866 drug but, remarkably, it does not block synthesis of Ap4. In fact, FK866-treated murine cells showed decreased NAD but increased Ap4 levels. Finally, murine cells and plasma with engineered or naturally fluctuating NAMPT levels showed matching Ap4 fluctuations. These results suggest a role of Ap4 in the actions of NAMPT, and prompt to evaluate the role of Ap4 production in the actions of NAMPT inhibitors.

Macrophages Facilitate Electrical Conduction in the Heart.

  • Hulsmans M
  • Cell
  • 2017 Apr 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Organ-specific functions of tissue-resident macrophages in the steady-state heart are unknown. Here, we show that cardiac macrophages facilitate electrical conduction through the distal atrioventricular node, where conducting cells densely intersperse with elongated macrophages expressing connexin 43. When coupled to spontaneously beating cardiomyocytes via connexin-43-containing gap junctions, cardiac macrophages have a negative resting membrane potential and depolarize in synchrony with cardiomyocytes. Conversely, macrophages render the resting membrane potential of cardiomyocytes more positive and, according to computational modeling, accelerate their repolarization. Photostimulation of channelrhodopsin-2-expressing macrophages improves atrioventricular conduction, whereas conditional deletion of connexin 43 in macrophages and congenital lack of macrophages delay atrioventricular conduction. In the Cd11bDTR mouse, macrophage ablation induces progressive atrioventricular block. These observations implicate macrophages in normal and aberrant cardiac conduction.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - K24 HL105780()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL092577()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL096576()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL114477()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL117829()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL125428()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL128264()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL131495()
  • NICHD NIH HHS - R01 HD069623()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - P30 DK043351()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - P30 DK057521()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS084863()

Neurogenic Radial Glia-like Cells in Meninges Migrate and Differentiate into Functionally Integrated Neurons in the Neonatal Cortex.

  • Bifari F
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2017 Mar 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

Whether new neurons are added in the postnatal cerebral cortex is still debated. Here, we report that the meninges of perinatal mice contain a population of neurogenic progenitors formed during embryonic development that migrate to the caudal cortex and differentiate into Satb2+ neurons in cortical layers II-IV. The resulting neurons are electrically functional and integrated into local microcircuits. Single-cell RNA sequencing identified meningeal cells with distinct transcriptome signatures characteristic of (1) neurogenic radial glia-like cells (resembling neural stem cells in the SVZ), (2) neuronal cells, and (3) a cell type with an intermediate phenotype, possibly representing radial glia-like meningeal cells differentiating to neuronal cells. Thus, we have identified a pool of embryonically derived radial glia-like cells present in the meninges that migrate and differentiate into functional neurons in the neonatal cerebral cortex.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS036715(United States)

Rapid Integration of Artificial Sensory Feedback during Operant Conditioning of Motor Cortex Neurons.

  • Prsa M
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Feb 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neuronal motor commands, whether generating real or neuroprosthetic movements, are shaped by ongoing sensory feedback from the displacement being produced. Here we asked if cortical stimulation could provide artificial feedback during operant conditioning of cortical neurons. Simultaneous two-photon imaging and real-time optogenetic stimulation were used to train mice to activate a single neuron in motor cortex (M1), while continuous feedback of its activity level was provided by proportionally stimulating somatosensory cortex. This artificial signal was necessary to rapidly learn to increase the conditioned activity, detect correct performance, and maintain the learned behavior. Population imaging in M1 revealed that learning-related activity changes are observed in the conditioned cell only, which highlights the functional potential of individual neurons in the neocortex. Our findings demonstrate the capacity of animals to use an artificially induced cortical channel in a behaviorally relevant way and reveal the remarkable speed and specificity at which this can occur.

Role of Mitochondrial Metabolism in the Control of Early Lineage Progression and Aging Phenotypes in Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis.

  • Beckervordersandforth R
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Feb 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

Precise regulation of cellular metabolism is hypothesized to constitute a vital component of the developmental sequence underlying the life-long generation of hippocampal neurons from quiescent neural stem cells (NSCs). The identity of stage-specific metabolic programs and their impact on adult neurogenesis are largely unknown. We show that the adult hippocampal neurogenic lineage is critically dependent on the mitochondrial electron transport chain and oxidative phosphorylation machinery at the stage of the fast proliferating intermediate progenitor cell. Perturbation of mitochondrial complex function by ablation of the mitochondrial transcription factor A (Tfam) reproduces multiple hallmarks of aging in hippocampal neurogenesis, whereas pharmacological enhancement of mitochondrial function ameliorates age-associated neurogenesis defects. Together with the finding of age-associated alterations in mitochondrial function and morphology in NSCs, these data link mitochondrial complex function to efficient lineage progression of adult NSCs and identify mitochondrial function as a potential target to ameliorate neurogenesis-defects in the aging hippocampus.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R01 MH105128()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P01 NS097206()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R35 NS097370()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R37 NS047344()

Gut Microbiota Regulate Motor Deficits and Neuroinflammation in a Model of Parkinson's Disease.

  • Sampson TR
  • Cell
  • 2016 Dec 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The intestinal microbiota influence neurodevelopment, modulate behavior, and contribute to neurological disorders. However, a functional link between gut bacteria and neurodegenerative diseases remains unexplored. Synucleinopathies are characterized by aggregation of the protein α-synuclein (αSyn), often resulting in motor dysfunction as exemplified by Parkinson's disease (PD). Using mice that overexpress αSyn, we report herein that gut microbiota are required for motor deficits, microglia activation, and αSyn pathology. Antibiotic treatment ameliorates, while microbial re-colonization promotes, pathophysiology in adult animals, suggesting that postnatal signaling between the gut and the brain modulates disease. Indeed, oral administration of specific microbial metabolites to germ-free mice promotes neuroinflammation and motor symptoms. Remarkably, colonization of αSyn-overexpressing mice with microbiota from PD-affected patients enhances physical impairments compared to microbiota transplants from healthy human donors. These findings reveal that gut bacteria regulate movement disorders in mice and suggest that alterations in the human microbiome represent a risk factor for PD.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA060553(United States)

Tumor Interferon Signaling Regulates a Multigenic Resistance Program to Immune Checkpoint Blockade.

  • Benci JL
  • Cell
  • 2016 Dec 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Therapeutic blocking of the PD1 pathway results in significant tumor responses, but resistance is common. We demonstrate that prolonged interferon signaling orchestrates PDL1-dependent and PDL1-independent resistance to immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) and to combinations such as radiation plus anti-CTLA4. Persistent type II interferon signaling allows tumors to acquire STAT1-related epigenomic changes and augments expression of interferon-stimulated genes and ligands for multiple T cell inhibitory receptors. Both type I and II interferons maintain this resistance program. Crippling the program genetically or pharmacologically interferes with multiple inhibitory pathways and expands distinct T cell populations with improved function despite expressing markers of severe exhaustion. Consequently, tumors resistant to multi-agent ICB are rendered responsive to ICB monotherapy. Finally, we observe that biomarkers for interferon-driven resistance associate with clinical progression after anti-PD1 therapy. Thus, the duration of tumor interferon signaling augments adaptive resistance and inhibition of the interferon response bypasses requirements for combinatorial ICB therapies.

Funding information:
  • NICHD NIH HHS - R03HD077483(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM067795(United States)

Central Control Circuit for Context-Dependent Micturition.

  • Hou XH
  • Cell
  • 2016 Sep 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Urine release (micturition) serves an essential physiological function as well as a critical role in social communication in many animals. Here, we show a combined effect of olfaction and social hierarchy on micturition patterns in adult male mice, confirming the existence of a micturition control center that integrates pro- and anti-micturition cues. Furthermore, we demonstrate that a cluster of neurons expressing corticotropin-releasing hormone (Crh) in the pontine micturition center (PMC) is electrophysiologically distinct from their Crh-negative neighbors and sends glutamatergic projections to the spinal cord. The activity of PMC Crh-expressing neurons correlates with and is sufficient to drive bladder contraction, and when silenced impairs micturition behavior. These neurons receive convergent input from widespread higher brain areas that are capable of carrying diverse pro- and anti-micturition signals, and whose activity modulates hierarchy-dependent micturition. Taken together, our results indicate that PMC Crh-expressing neurons are likely the integration center for context-dependent micturition behavior.