False colored transmission EM of skeletal muscle from mice lacking nNOSμ. Percival and colleagues (page 816) have determined that skeletal muscle harbors two distinct isoforms of nNOS, nNOSμ and nNOSβ, and that they are both involved in the regulation of skeletal muscle performance. nNOSμ matches blood supply with the metabolic demands of active muscle, while nNOSβ regulates skeletal muscle structural and functional integrity to maintain force production during and after exercise.
The liver serves as a target organ for several important pathogens, including hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV and HCV, respectively) and the human malaria parasites, all of which represent serious global health problems. Because these pathogens are restricted to human hepatocytes, research in small animals has been compromised by the frailty of the current mouse xenotransplantation models. In this issue of the JCI, Bissig et al. demonstrate robust HBV and HCV infection in a novel xenotransplantation model in which large numbers of immunodeficient mice with liver injury were engrafted with significant quantities of human hepatocytes. This technical advance paves the way for more widespread use of human liver chimeric mice and forms the basis for creating increasingly complex humanized mouse models that could prove useful for studying immunopathogenesis and vaccine development against hepatotropic pathogens.
Ype P. de Jong, Charles M. Rice, Alexander Ploss
Although several homing receptors are known to be differentially expressed by Tregs in lymphoid tissues compared with those found in peripheral tissues, it remains unclear whether these cells traffic between the two locations. In this issue of the JCI, Tomura et al. report steady-state Treg migration from the skin to draining LNs in mice. Furthermore, they report that not only does skin inflammation exacerbate LN-directed Treg homing, it also triggers reverse circulation of Tregs from LNs to skin, whereby these cells contribute to regulation of the immune response. These results now form a new framework for our understanding of Treg homing.
Hironori Matsushima, Akira Takashima
Chikungunya disease is a severely debilitating, mosquito-borne, viral illness that has reached epidemic proportions in Africa, Asia, and the islands of the Indian Ocean. A mutation enhancing the ability of the chikungunya virus (CHIKV) to infect and be transmitted by Aedes albopictus has increased the geographical range at risk for infection due to the continuing global spread of this mosquito. Research into disease pathogenesis, vaccine development, and therapeutic design has been hindered by the lack of appropriate animal models of this disease. The meticulous study reported in this issue of the JCI by Labadie et al. is one of the first reports describing CHIKV infection of adult immunocompetent nonhuman primates. Using traditional and modern molecular and immunological approaches, the authors demonstrate that macaques infected with CHIKV are a good model of human CHIKV infection and also show that persistent arthralgia in humans may be caused by persistent CHIKV infection of macrophages.
Stephen Higgs, Sarah A. Ziegler
While erudite cell biologists have for many decades described singular immotile appendages known as primary cilia to be present on most cells in our bodies, cilial function(s) long remained an enigma. Driven largely by an ever increasing number of discoveries of genetic defects in primary cilia during the past decade, cilia were catapulted from a long lasting existence in obscurity into the bright spotlight in cell biology and medicine. The study by O’Toole et al. in this issue of the JCI adds a novel “enzymatic” facet to the rapidly growing information about these little cellular tails, by demonstrating that defects in the XPNPEP3 gene, which encodes mitochondrial and cytosolic splice variants of X-prolyl aminopeptidase 3, can cause nephronophthisis-like ciliopathy. Future studies are in order now to elucidate the cystogenic pathways affected by disrupted enzymatic function of XPNPEP3 in cilia-related cystogenic diseases.
Erwin P. Böttinger
The cellular and molecular events that initiate and promote malignant glioma development are not completely understood. The treatment modalities designed to promote its demise are all ultimately ineffective, leading to disease progression. In this issue of the JCI, Kioi et al. demonstrate that vasculogenesis and angiogenesis potentially play distinct roles in the etiology of primary and recurrent malignant gliomas, suggesting that patient therapy should perhaps be tailored specifically against the predominant vasculature pathway at a given specific stage of gliomagenesis.
Jeffrey P. Greenfield, William S. Cobb, David Lyden
Ewing sarcoma (EWS) is an aggressive bone tumor of uncertain cellular origin. CD99 is a membrane protein that is expressed in most cases of EWS, although its function in the disease is unknown. Here we have shown that endogenous CD99 expression modulates EWS tumor differentiation and malignancy. We determined that knocking down CD99 expression in human EWS cell lines reduced their ability to form tumors and bone metastases when xenografted into immunodeficient mice and diminished their tumorigenic characteristics in vitro. Further, reduction of CD99 expression resulted in neurite outgrowth and increased expression of β-III tubulin and markers of neural differentiation. Analysis of a panel of human EWS cells revealed an inverse correlation between CD99 and H-neurofilament expression, as well as an inverse correlation between neural differentiation and oncogenic transformation. As knockdown of CD99 also led to an increase in phosphorylation of ERK1/2, we suggest that the CD99-mediated prevention of neural differentiation of EWS occurs through MAPK pathway modulation. Together, these data indicate a new role for CD99 in preventing neural differentiation of EWS cells and suggest that blockade of CD99 or its downstream molecular pathway may be a new therapeutic approach for EWS.
Anna Rocchi, Maria Cristina Manara, Marika Sciandra, Diana Zambelli, Filippo Nardi, Giordano Nicoletti, Cecilia Garofalo, Stefania Meschini, Annalisa Astolfi, Mario P. Colombo, Stephen L. Lessnick, Piero Picci, Katia Scotlandi
Irreversible cell growth arrest, a process termed cellular senescence, is emerging as an intrinsic tumor suppressive mechanism. Oncogene-induced senescence is thought to be invariably preceded by hyperproliferation, aberrant replication, and activation of a DNA damage checkpoint response (DDR), rendering therapeutic enhancement of this process unsuitable for cancer treatment. We previously demonstrated in a mouse model of prostate cancer that inactivation of the tumor suppressor phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (Pten) elicits a senescence response that opposes tumorigenesis. Here, we show that Pten-loss–induced cellular senescence (PICS) represents a senescence response that is distinct from oncogene-induced senescence and can be targeted for cancer therapy. Using mouse embryonic fibroblasts, we determined that PICS occurs rapidly after Pten inactivation, in the absence of cellular proliferation and DDR. Further, we found that PICS is associated with enhanced p53 translation. Consistent with these data, we showed that in mice p53-stabilizing drugs potentiated PICS and its tumor suppressive potential. Importantly, we demonstrated that pharmacological inhibition of PTEN drives senescence and inhibits tumorigenesis in vivo in a human xenograft model of prostate cancer. Taken together, our data identify a type of cellular senescence that can be triggered in nonproliferating cells in the absence of DNA damage, which we believe will be useful for developing a “pro-senescence” approach for cancer prevention and therapy.
Andrea Alimonti, Caterina Nardella, Zhenbang Chen, John G. Clohessy, Arkaitz Carracedo, Lloyd C. Trotman, Ke Cheng, Shohreh Varmeh, Sara C. Kozma, George Thomas, Erika Rosivatz, Rudiger Woscholski, Francesco Cognetti, Howard I. Scher, Pier Paolo Pandolfi
Despite the high doses of radiation delivered in the treatment of patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the tumors invariably recur within the irradiation field, resulting in a low cure rate. Understanding the mechanism of such recurrence is therefore important. Here we have shown in an intracranial GBM xenograft model that irradiation induces recruitment of bone marrow–derived cells (BMDCs) into the tumors, restoring the radiation-damaged vasculature by vasculogenesis and thereby allowing the growth of surviving tumor cells. BMDC influx was initiated by induction of HIF-1 in the irradiated tumors, and blocking this influx prevented tumor recurrence. Previous studies have indicated that BMDCs are recruited to tumors in part through the interaction between the HIF-1–dependent stromal cell–derived factor–1 (SDF-1) and its receptor, CXCR4. Pharmacologic inhibition of HIF-1 or of the SDF-1/CXCR4 interaction prevented the influx of BMDCs, primarily CD11b+ myelomonocytes, and the postirradiation development of functional tumor vasculature, resulting in abrogation of tumor regrowth. Similar results were found using neutralizing antibodies against CXCR4. Our data therefore suggest a novel approach for the treatment of GBM: in addition to radiotherapy, the vasculogenesis pathway needs to be blocked, and this can be accomplished using the clinically approved drug AMD3100, a small molecule inhibitor of SDF-1/CXCR4 interactions.
Mitomu Kioi, Hannes Vogel, Geoffrey Schultz, Robert M. Hoffman, Griffith R. Harsh, J. Martin Brown
Urolithiasis, a condition in which stones are present in the urinary system, including the kidneys and bladder, is a poorly understood yet common disorder worldwide that leads to significant health care costs, morbidity, and work loss. Acetaminophen-induced liver damage is a major cause of death in patients with acute liver failure. Kidney and urinary stones and liver toxicity are disturbances linked to alterations in oxalate and sulfate homeostasis, respectively. The sulfate anion transporter–1 (Sat1; also known as Slc26a1) mediates epithelial transport of oxalate and sulfate, and its localization in the kidney, liver, and intestine suggests that it may play a role in oxalate and sulfate homeostasis. To determine the physiological roles of Sat1, we created Sat1–/– mice by gene disruption. These mice exhibited hyperoxaluria with hyperoxalemia, nephrocalcinosis, and calcium oxalate stones in their renal tubules and bladder. Sat1–/– mice also displayed hypersulfaturia, hyposulfatemia, and enhanced acetaminophen-induced liver toxicity. These data suggest that Sat1 regulates both oxalate and sulfate homeostasis and may be critical to the development of calcium oxalate urolithiasis and hepatotoxicity.
Paul A. Dawson, Christopher S. Russell, Soohyun Lee, Sarah C. McLeay, Jacobus M. van Dongen, David M. Cowley, Lorne A. Clarke, Daniel Markovich
Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and attacks of muscle atonia triggered by strong emotions (cataplexy). Narcolepsy is caused by hypocretin (orexin) deficiency, paralleled by a dramatic loss in hypothalamic hypocretin-producing neurons. It is believed that narcolepsy is an autoimmune disorder, although definitive proof of this, such as the presence of autoantibodies, is still lacking. We engineered a transgenic mouse model to identify peptides enriched within hypocretin-producing neurons that could serve as potential autoimmune targets. Initial analysis indicated that the transcript encoding Tribbles homolog 2 (Trib2), previously identified as an autoantigen in autoimmune uveitis, was enriched in hypocretin neurons in these mice. ELISA analysis showed that sera from narcolepsy patients with cataplexy had higher Trib2-specific antibody titers compared with either normal controls or patients with idiopathic hypersomnia, multiple sclerosis, or other inflammatory neurological disorders. Trib2-specific antibody titers were highest early after narcolepsy onset, sharply decreased within 2–3 years, and then stabilized at levels substantially higher than that of controls for up to 30 years. High Trib2-specific antibody titers correlated with the severity of cataplexy. Serum of a patient showed specific immunoreactivity with over 86% of hypocretin neurons in the mouse hypothalamus. Thus, we have identified reactive autoantibodies in human narcolepsy, providing evidence that narcolepsy is an autoimmune disorder.
Vesna Cvetkovic-Lopes, Laurence Bayer, Stéphane Dorsaz, Stéphanie Maret, Sylvain Pradervand, Yves Dauvilliers, Michel Lecendreux, Gert-Jan Lammers, Claire E.H.M. Donjacour, Renaud A. Du Pasquier, Corinne Pfister, Brice Petit, Hyun Hor, Michel Mühlethaler, Mehdi Tafti
Protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) and SH2 domain–containing protein tyrosine phosphatase–2 (SHP2) have been shown in mice to regulate metabolism via the central nervous system, but the specific neurons mediating these effects are unknown. Here, we have shown that proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neuron–specific deficiency in PTP1B or SHP2 in mice results in reciprocal effects on weight gain, adiposity, and energy balance induced by high-fat diet. Mice with POMC neuron–specific deletion of the gene encoding PTP1B (referred to herein as POMC-Ptp1b–/– mice) had reduced adiposity, improved leptin sensitivity, and increased energy expenditure compared with wild-type mice, whereas mice with POMC neuron–specific deletion of the gene encoding SHP2 (referred to herein as POMC-Shp2–/– mice) had elevated adiposity, decreased leptin sensitivity, and reduced energy expenditure. POMC-Ptp1b–/– mice showed substantially improved glucose homeostasis on a high-fat diet, and hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp studies revealed that insulin sensitivity in these mice was improved on a standard chow diet in the absence of any weight difference. In contrast, POMC-Shp2–/– mice displayed impaired glucose tolerance only secondary to their increased weight gain. Interestingly, hypothalamic Pomc mRNA and α–melanocyte-stimulating hormone (αMSH) peptide levels were markedly reduced in POMC-Shp2–/– mice. These studies implicate PTP1B and SHP2 as important components of POMC neuron regulation of energy balance and point to what we believe to be a novel role for SHP2 in the normal function of the melanocortin system.
Ryoichi Banno, Derek Zimmer, Bart C. De Jonghe, Marybless Atienza, Kimberly Rak, Wentian Yang, Kendra K. Bence
Islet transplantation for the treatment of type 1 diabetes mellitus is limited in its clinical application mainly due to early loss of the transplanted islets, resulting in low transplantation efficiency. NKT cell–dependent IFN-γ production by Gr-1+CD11b+ cells is essential for this loss, but the upstream events in the process remain undetermined. Here, we have demonstrated that high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) plays a crucial role in the initial events of early loss of transplanted islets in a mouse model of diabetes. Pancreatic islets contained abundant HMGB1, which was released into the circulation soon after islet transplantation into the liver. Treatment with an HMGB1-specific antibody prevented the early islet graft loss and inhibited IFN-γ production by NKT cells and Gr-1+CD11b+ cells. Moreover, mice lacking either of the known HMGB1 receptors TLR2 or receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE), but not the known HMGB1 receptor TLR4, failed to exhibit early islet graft loss. Mechanistically, HMGB1 stimulated hepatic mononuclear cells (MNCs) in vivo and in vitro; in particular, it upregulated CD40 expression and enhanced IL-12 production by DCs, leading to NKT cell activation and subsequent NKT cell–dependent augmented IFN-γ production by Gr-1+CD11b+ cells. Thus, treatment with either IL-12– or CD40L-specific antibody prevented the early islet graft loss. These findings indicate that the HMGB1-mediated pathway eliciting early islet loss is a potential target for intervention to improve the efficiency of islet transplantation.
Nobuhide Matsuoka, Takeshi Itoh, Hiroshi Watarai, Etsuko Sekine-Kondo, Naoki Nagata, Kohji Okamoto, Toshiyuki Mera, Hiroshi Yamamoto, Shingo Yamada, Ikuro Maruyama, Masaru Taniguchi, Yohichi Yasunami
Wolfram syndrome is an autosomal-recessive disorder characterized by insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, caused by nonautoimmune loss of β cells, and neurological dysfunctions. We have previously shown that mutations in the Wolfram syndrome 1 (WFS1) gene cause Wolfram syndrome and that WFS1 has a protective function against ER stress. However, it remained to be determined how WFS1 mitigates ER stress. Here we have shown in rodent and human cell lines that WFS1 negatively regulates a key transcription factor involved in ER stress signaling, activating transcription factor 6α (ATF6α), through the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. WFS1 suppressed expression of ATF6α target genes and repressed ATF6α-mediated activation of the ER stress response element (ERSE) promoter. Moreover, WFS1 stabilized the E3 ubiquitin ligase HRD1, brought ATF6α to the proteasome, and enhanced its ubiquitination and proteasome-mediated degradation, leading to suppression of ER stress signaling. Consistent with these data, β cells from WFS1-deficient mice and lymphocytes from patients with Wolfram syndrome exhibited dysregulated ER stress signaling through upregulation of ATF6α and downregulation of HRD1. These results reveal a role for WFS1 in the negative regulation of ER stress signaling and in the pathogenesis of diseases involving chronic, unresolvable ER stress, such as pancreatic β cell death in diabetes.
Sonya G. Fonseca, Shinsuke Ishigaki, Christine M. Oslowski, Simin Lu, Kathryn L. Lipson, Rajarshi Ghosh, Emiko Hayashi, Hisamitsu Ishihara, Yoshitomo Oka, M. Alan Permutt, Fumihiko Urano
Diet-induced obesity (DIO) leads to inflammatory activation of macrophages in white adipose tissue (WAT) and subsequently to insulin resistance. PPARγ agonists are antidiabetic agents known to suppress inflammatory macrophage activation and to induce expression of the triacylglycerol (TG) synthesis enzyme acyl CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1) in WAT and in adipocytes. Here, we investigated in mice the relationship between macrophage lipid storage capacity and DIO-associated inflammatory macrophage activation. Mice overexpressing DGAT1 in both macrophages and adipocytes (referred to herein as aP2-Dgat1 mice) were more prone to DIO but were protected against inflammatory macrophage activation, macrophage accumulation in WAT, systemic inflammation, and insulin resistance. To assess the contribution of macrophage DGAT1 expression to this phenotype, we transplanted wild-type mice with aP2-Dgat1 BM. These mice developed DIO similar to that of control mice but retained the protection from WAT inflammation and insulin resistance seen in aP2-Dgat1 mice. In isolated macrophages, Dgat1 mRNA levels correlated directly with TG storage capacity and inversely with inflammatory activation by saturated fatty acids (FAs). Moreover, PPARγ agonists increased macrophage Dgat1 mRNA levels, and the protective effects of these agonists against FA-induced inflammatory macrophage activation were absent in macrophages isolated from Dgat1-null mice. Thus, increasing DGAT1 expression in murine macrophages increases their capacity for TG storage, protects against FA-induced inflammatory activation, and is sufficient to reduce the inflammatory and metabolic consequences of DIO.
Suneil K. Koliwad, Ryan S. Streeper, Mara Monetti, Ivo Cornelissen, Liana Chan, Koji Terayama, Stephen Naylor, Meghana Rao, Brian Hubbard, Robert V. Farese Jr.
The glomerular basement membrane (GBM) is a key component of the filtering unit in the kidney. Mutations involving any of the collagen IV genes (COL4A3, COL4A4, and COL4A5) affect GBM assembly and cause Alport syndrome, a progressive hereditary kidney disease with no definitive therapy. Previously, we have demonstrated that the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) antagonist uterine sensitization–associated gene-1 (USAG-1) negatively regulates the renoprotective action of BMP-7 in a mouse model of tubular injury during acute renal failure. Here, we investigated the role of USAG-1 in renal function in Col4a3–/– mice, which model Alport syndrome. Ablation of Usag1 in Col4a3–/– mice led to substantial attenuation of disease progression, normalization of GBM ultrastructure, preservation of renal function, and extension of life span. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that USAG-1 and BMP-7 colocalized in the macula densa in the distal tubules, lying in direct contact with glomerular mesangial cells. Furthermore, in cultured mesangial cells, BMP-7 attenuated and USAG-1 enhanced the expression of MMP-12, a protease that may contribute to GBM degradation. These data suggest that the pathogenetic role of USAG-1 in Col4a3–/– mice might involve crosstalk between kidney tubules and the glomerulus and that inhibition of USAG-1 may be a promising therapeutic approach for the treatment of Alport syndrome.
Mari Tanaka, Misako Asada, Atsuko Y. Higashi, Jin Nakamura, Akiko Oguchi, Mayumi Tomita, Sachiko Yamada, Nariaki Asada, Masayuki Takase, Tomohiko Okuda, Hiroshi Kawachi, Aris N. Economides, Elizabeth Robertson, Satoru Takahashi, Takeshi Sakurai, Roel Goldschmeding, Eri Muso, Atsushi Fukatsu, Toru Kita, Motoko Yanagita
The receptor tyrosine kinase ret protooncogene (RET) is implicated in the pathogenesis of several diseases and in several developmental defects, particularly those in neural crest–derived structures and the genitourinary system. In order to further elucidate RET-mediated mechanisms that contribute to these diseases and decipher the basis for specificity in the pleiotropic effects of RET, we characterized development of the enteric and autonomic nervous systems in mice expressing RET9 or RET51 isoforms harboring mutations in tyrosine residues that act as docking sites for the adaptors Plcγ, Src, Shc, and Grb2. Using this approach, we found that development of the genitourinary system and the enteric and autonomic nervous systems is dependent on distinct RET-stimulated signaling pathways. Thus, mutation of RET51 at Y1062, a docking site for multiple adaptor proteins including Shc, caused distal colon aganglionosis reminiscent of Hirschsprung disease (HSCR). On the other hand, this mutation in RET9, which encodes an isoform that lacks the Grb2 docking site present in RET51, produced severe abnormalities in multiple organs. Mutations that abrogate RET-Plcγ binding, previously shown to produce features reminiscent of congenital anomalies of kidneys or urinary tract (CAKUT) syndrome, produced only minor abnormalities in the nervous system. Abrogating RET51-Src binding produced no major defects in these systems. These studies provide insight into the basis of organotypic specificity and redundancy in RET signaling within these unique systems and in diseases such as HSCR and CAKUT.
Sanjay Jain, Amanda Knoten, Masato Hoshi, Hongtao Wang, Bhupinder Vohra, Robert O. Heuckeroth, Jeffrey Milbrandt
The autosomal recessive kidney disease nephronophthisis (NPHP) constitutes the most frequent genetic cause of terminal renal failure in the first 3 decades of life. Ten causative genes (NPHP1–NPHP9 and NPHP11), whose products localize to the primary cilia-centrosome complex, support the unifying concept that cystic kidney diseases are “ciliopathies”. Using genome-wide homozygosity mapping, we report here what we believe to be a new locus (NPHP-like 1 [NPHPL1]) for an NPHP-like nephropathy. In 2 families with an NPHP-like phenotype, we detected homozygous frameshift and splice-site mutations, respectively, in the X-prolyl aminopeptidase 3 (XPNPEP3) gene. In contrast to all known NPHP proteins, XPNPEP3 localizes to mitochondria of renal cells. However, in vivo analyses also revealed a likely cilia-related function; suppression of zebrafish xpnpep3 phenocopied the developmental phenotypes of ciliopathy morphants, and this effect was rescued by human XPNPEP3 that was devoid of a mitochondrial localization signal. Consistent with a role for XPNPEP3 in ciliary function, several ciliary cystogenic proteins were found to be XPNPEP3 substrates, for which resistance to N-terminal proline cleavage resulted in attenuated protein function in vivo in zebrafish. Our data highlight an emerging link between mitochondria and ciliary dysfunction, and suggest that further understanding the enzymatic activity and substrates of XPNPEP3 will illuminate novel cystogenic pathways.
John F. O’Toole, Yangjian Liu, Erica E. Davis, Christopher J. Westlake, Massimo Attanasio, Edgar A. Otto, Dominik Seelow, Gudrun Nurnberg, Christian Becker, Matti Nuutinen, Mikko Kärppä, Jaakko Ignatius, Johanna Uusimaa, Salla Pakanen, Elisa Jaakkola, Lambertus P. van den Heuvel, Henry Fehrenbach, Roger Wiggins, Meera Goyal, Weibin Zhou, Matthias T.F. Wolf, Eric Wise, Juliana Helou, Susan J. Allen, Carlos A. Murga-Zamalloa, Shazia Ashraf, Moumita Chaki, Saskia Heeringa, Gil Chernin, Bethan E. Hoskins, Hassan Chaib, Joseph Gleeson, Takehiro Kusakabe, Takako Suzuki, R. Elwyn Isaac, Lynne M. Quarmby, Bryan Tennant, Hisashi Fujioka, Hannu Tuominen, Ilmo Hassinen, Hellevi Lohi, Judith L. van Houten, Agnes Rotig, John A. Sayer, Boris Rolinski, Peter Freisinger, Sethu M. Madhavan, Martina Herzer, Florence Madignier, Holger Prokisch, Peter Nurnberg, Peter Jackson, Hemant Khanna, Nicholas Katsanis, Friedhelm Hildebrandt
Many signaling pathways that contribute to tumorigenesis are also functional in pregnancy, although they are dysregulated in the former and tightly regulated in the latter. Transformation-related protein 53 (Trp53), which encodes p53, is a tumor suppressor gene whose mutation is strongly associated with cancer. However, its role in normal physiological processes, including female reproduction, is poorly understood. Mice that have a constitutive deletion of Trp53 exhibit widespread development of carcinogenesis at early reproductive ages, compromised spermatogenesis, and fetal exencephaly, rendering them less amenable to studying the role of p53 in reproduction. To overcome this obstacle, we generated mice that harbor a conditional deletion of uterine Trp53 and examined pregnancy outcome in females with this genotype. These mice had normal ovulation, fertilization, and implantation; however, postimplantation uterine decidual cells showed terminal differentiation and senescence-associated growth restriction with increased levels of phosphorylated Akt and p21, factors that are both known to participate in these processes in other systems. Strikingly, uterine deletion of Trp53 increased the incidence of preterm birth, a condition that was corrected by oral administration of the selective COX2 inhibitor celecoxib. We further generated evidence to suggest that deletion of uterine Trp53 induces preterm birth through a COX2/PGF synthase/PGF2α pathway. Taken together, our observations underscore what we believe to be a new critical role of uterine p53 in parturition.
Yasushi Hirota, Takiko Daikoku, Susanne Tranguch, Huirong Xie, Heather B. Bradshaw, Sudhansu K. Dey
Signaling via the neuronal NOS (nNOS) splice variant nNOSμ is essential for skeletal muscle health and is commonly reduced in neuromuscular disease. nNOSμ is thought to be the predominant source of NO in skeletal muscle. Here we demonstrate the existence of what we believe to be a novel signaling pathway, mediated by the nNOS splice variant nNOSβ, localized at the Golgi complex in mouse skeletal muscle cells. In contrast to muscles lacking nNOSμ alone, muscles missing both nNOSμ and nNOSβ were severely myopathic, exhibiting structural defects in the microtubule cytoskeleton, Golgi complex, and mitochondria. Skeletal muscles lacking both nNOSμ and nNOSβ were smaller in mass, intrinsically weak, highly susceptible to fatigue, and exhibited marked postexercise weakness. Our data indicate that nNOSβ is a critical regulator of the structural and functional integrity of skeletal muscle and demonstrate the existence of 2 functionally distinct nNOS microdomains in skeletal muscle, created by the differential targeting of nNOSμ to the sarcolemma and nNOSβ to the Golgi. We have previously shown that sarcolemmal nNOSμ matches the blood supply to the metabolic demands of active muscle. We now demonstrate that nNOSβ simultaneously modulates the ability of skeletal muscle to maintain force production during and after exercise. We conclude therefore that nNOS splice variants are critical regulators of skeletal muscle exercise performance.
Justin M. Percival, Kendra N.E. Anderson, Paul Huang, Marvin E. Adams, Stanley C. Froehner
Mutation of the von Hippel–Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor protein at codon 200 (R200W) is associated with a disease known as Chuvash polycythemia. In addition to polycythemia, Chuvash patients have pulmonary hypertension and increased respiratory rates, although the pathophysiological basis of these symptoms is unclear. Here we sought to address this issue by studying mice homozygous for the R200W Vhl mutation (VhlR/R mice) as a model for Chuvash disease. These mice developed pulmonary hypertension independently of polycythemia and enhanced normoxic respiration similar to Chuvash patients, further validating VhlR/R mice as a model for Chuvash disease. Lungs from VhlR/R mice exhibited pulmonary vascular remodeling, hemorrhage, edema, and macrophage infiltration, and lungs from older mice also exhibited fibrosis. HIF-2α activity was increased in lungs from VhlR/R mice, and heterozygosity for Hif2a, but not Hif1a, genetically suppressed both the polycythemia and pulmonary hypertension in the VhlR/R mice. Furthermore, Hif2a heterozygosity resulted in partial protection against vascular remodeling, hemorrhage, and edema, but not inflammation, in VhlR/R lungs, suggesting a selective role for HIF-2α in the pulmonary pathology and thereby providing insight into the mechanisms underlying pulmonary hypertension. These findings strongly support a dependency of the Chuvash phenotype on HIF-2α and suggest potential treatments for Chuvash patients.
Michele M. Hickey, Theresa Richardson, Tao Wang, Matias Mosqueira, Evguenia Arguiri, Hongwei Yu, Qian-Chun Yu, Charalambos C. Solomides, Edward E. Morrisey, Tejvir S. Khurana, Melpo Christofidou-Solomidou, M. Celeste Simon
Transformation of epithelial cells is associated with loss of cell polarity, which includes alterations in cell morphology as well as changes in the complement of plasma membrane proteins. Rab proteins regulate polarized trafficking to the cell membrane and therefore represent potential regulators of this neoplastic transition. Here we have demonstrated a tumor suppressor function for Rab25 in intestinal neoplasia in both mice and humans. Human colorectal adenocarcinomas exhibited reductions in Rab25 expression independent of stage, with lower Rab25 expression levels correlating with substantially shorter patient survival. In wild-type mice, Rab25 was strongly expressed in cells luminal to the proliferating cells of intestinal crypts. While Rab25-deficient mice did not exhibit gross pathology, ApcMin/+ mice crossed onto a Rab25-deficient background showed a 4-fold increase in intestinal polyps and a 2-fold increase in colonic tumors compared with parental ApcMin/+ mice. Rab25-deficient mice had decreased β1 integrin staining in the lateral membranes of villus cells, and this pattern was accentuated in Rab25-deficient mice crossed onto the ApcMin/+ background. Additionally, Smad3+/– mice crossed onto a Rab25-deficient background demonstrated a marked increase in colonic tumor formation. Taken together, these results suggest that Rab25 may function as a tumor suppressor in intestinal epithelial cells through regulation of protein trafficking to the cell surface.
Ki Taek Nam, Hyuk-Joon Lee, J. Joshua Smith, Lynne A. Lapierre, Vidya P. Kamath, Xi Chen, Bruce J. Aronow, Timothy J. Yeatman, Sheela G. Bhartur, Benjamin C. Calhoun, Brian Condie, Nancy R. Manley, R. Daniel Beauchamp, Robert J. Coffey, James R. Goldenring
Tropomyosin-related kinase receptor C (TrkC) is a neurotrophin receptor with tyrosine kinase activity that was expected to be oncogenic. However, it has several characteristics of a tumor suppressor: its expression in tumors has often been associated with good prognosis; and it was recently demonstrated to be a dependence receptor, transducing different positive signals in the presence of ligand but inducing apoptosis in the absence of ligand. Here we show that the TrkC ligand neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) is upregulated in a large fraction of aggressive human neuroblastomas (NBs) and that it blocks TrkC-induced apoptosis of human NB cell lines, consistent with the idea that TrkC is a dependence receptor. Functionally, both siRNA knockdown of NT-3 expression and incubation with a TrkC-specific blocking antibody triggered apoptosis in human NB cell lines. Importantly, disruption of the NT-3 autocrine loop in malignant human neuroblasts triggered in vitro NB cell death and inhibited tumor growth and metastasis in both a chick and a mouse xenograft model. Thus, we believe that our data suggest that NT-3/TrkC disruption is a putative alternative targeted therapeutic strategy for the treatment of NB.
Jimena Bouzas-Rodriguez, Jorge Ruben Cabrera, Céline Delloye-Bourgeois, Gabriel Ichim, Jean-Guy Delcros, Marie-Anne Raquin, Raphaël Rousseau, Valérie Combaret, Jean Bénard, Servane Tauszig-Delamasure, Patrick Mehlen
Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) results from mutations in the NF1 tumor suppressor gene, which encodes the protein neurofibromin. NF1 patients display diverse clinical manifestations, including vascular disease, which results from neointima formation and vessel occlusion. However, the pathogenesis of NF1 vascular disease remains unclear. Vessel wall homeostasis is maintained by complex interactions between vascular and bone marrow–derived cells (BMDCs), and neurofibromin regulates the function of each cell type. Therefore, utilizing cre/lox techniques and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation to delete 1 allele of Nf1 in endothelial cells, vascular smooth muscle cells, and BMDCs alone, we determined which cell lineage is critical for neointima formation in vivo in mice. Here we demonstrate that heterozygous inactivation of Nf1 in BMDCs alone was necessary and sufficient for neointima formation after vascular injury and provide evidence of vascular inflammation in Nf1+/– mice. Further, analysis of peripheral blood from NF1 patients without overt vascular disease revealed increased concentrations of inflammatory cells and cytokines previously linked to vascular inflammation and vasoocclusive disease. These data provide genetic and cellular evidence of vascular inflammation in NF1 patients and Nf1+/– mice and provide a framework for understanding the pathogenesis of NF1 vasculopathy and potential therapeutic and diagnostic interventions.
Elisabeth A. Lasater, Fang Li, Waylan K. Bessler, Myka L. Estes, Sasidhar Vemula, Cynthia M. Hingtgen, Mary C. Dinauer, Reuben Kapur, Simon J. Conway, David A. Ingram Jr.
The human epidermis serves 2 crucial barrier functions: it protects against water loss and prevents penetration of infectious agents and allergens. The physiology of the epidermis is maintained by a balance of protease and antiprotease activities, as illustrated by the rare genetic skin disease Netherton syndrome (NS), in which impaired inhibition of serine proteases causes severe skin erythema and scaling. Here, utilizing mass spectrometry, we have identified elastase 2 (ELA2), which we believe to be a new epidermal protease that is specifically expressed in the most differentiated layer of living human and mouse epidermis. ELA2 localized to keratohyalin granules, where it was found to directly participate in (pro-)filaggrin processing. Consistent with the observation that ELA2 was hyperactive in skin from NS patients, transgenic mice overexpressing ELA2 in the granular layer of the epidermis displayed abnormal (pro-)filaggrin processing and impaired lipid lamellae structure, which are both observed in NS patients. These anomalies led to dehydration, implicating ELA2 in the skin barrier defect seen in NS patients. Thus, our work identifies ELA2 as a major new epidermal protease involved in essential pathways for skin barrier function. These results highlight the importance of the control of epidermal protease activity in skin homeostasis and designate ELA2 as a major protease driving the pathogenesis of NS.
Chrystelle Bonnart, Céline Deraison, Matthieu Lacroix, Yoshikazu Uchida, Céline Besson, Aurélie Robin, Anaïs Briot, Marie Gonthier, Laurence Lamant, Pierre Dubus, Bernard Monsarrat, Alain Hovnanian
Tregs play an important role in protecting the skin from autoimmune attack. However, the extent of Treg trafficking between the skin and draining lymph nodes (DLNs) is unknown. We set out to investigate this using mice engineered to express the photoconvertible fluorescence protein Kaede, which changes from green to red when exposed to violet light. By exposing the skin of Kaede-transgenic mice to violet light, we were able to label T cells in the periphery under physiological conditions with Kaede-red and demonstrated that both memory phenotype CD4+Foxp3– non-Tregs and CD4+Foxp3+ Tregs migrated from the skin to DLNs in the steady state. During cutaneous immune responses, Tregs constituted the major emigrants and inhibited immune responses more robustly than did LN-resident Tregs. We consistently observed that cutaneous immune responses were prolonged by depletion of endogenous Tregs in vivo. In addition, the circulating Tregs specifically included activated CD25hi Tregs that demonstrated a strong inhibitory function. Together, our results suggest that Tregs in circulation infiltrate the periphery, traffic to DLNs, and then recirculate back to the skin, contributing to the downregulation of cutaneous immune responses.
Michio Tomura, Tetsuya Honda, Hideaki Tanizaki, Atsushi Otsuka, Gyohei Egawa, Yoshiki Tokura, Herman Waldmann, Shohei Hori, Jason G. Cyster, Takeshi Watanabe, Yoshiki Miyachi, Osami Kanagawa, Kenji Kabashima
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a mosquito-borne alphavirus that induces in humans a disease characterized by fever, rash, and pain in muscles and joints. The recent emergence or reemergence of CHIKV in the Indian Ocean Islands and India has stressed the need to better understand the pathogenesis of this disease. Previous CHIKV disease models have used young or immunodeficient mice, but these do not recapitulate human disease patterns and are unsuitable for testing immune-based therapies. Herein, we describe what we believe to be a new model for CHIKV infection in adult, immunocompetent cynomolgus macaques. CHIKV infection in these animals recapitulated the viral, clinical, and pathological features observed in human disease. In the macaques, long-term CHIKV infection was observed in joints, muscles, lymphoid organs, and liver, which could explain the long-lasting CHIKV disease symptoms observed in humans. In addition, the study identified macrophages as the main cellular reservoirs during the late stages of CHIKV infection in vivo. This model of CHIKV physiopathology should allow the development of new therapeutic and/or prophylactic strategies.
Karine Labadie, Thibaut Larcher, Christophe Joubert, Abdelkrim Mannioui, Benoit Delache, Patricia Brochard, Lydie Guigand, Laurence Dubreil, Pierre Lebon, Bernard Verrier, Xavier de Lamballerie, Andreas Suhrbier, Yan Cherel, Roger Le Grand, Pierre Roques
The chemokines are a large family of mainly secreted molecules involved in the regulation of numerous physiological and pathophysiological processes. Despite many years of investigation, the precise cellular sources of most chemokines have remained incompletely defined as a consequence of the limited availability of suitable reagents to visualize the expression of chemokine proteins at the single-cell level. Here, we developed a simple flow cytometry–based assay using commercially available chemokine-specific antibodies for efficient cell-associated detection of 37 of 39 murine chemokines. To demonstrate the utility of this methodology, we used it to reevaluate the nature of homeostatic chemokines in the hematopoietic compartment, to delineate the complete chemokine profiles of NK cells and B cells in response to major polyclonal stimuli, and to assess the chemokine response of DCs to bacterial infection. The versatility of this analytical methodology was further demonstrated by its application to selected human chemokines and should greatly facilitate any future investigation into chemokine biology at large.
Jens Eberlein, Tom T. Nguyen, Francisco Victorino, Lucy Golden-Mason, Hugo R. Rosen, Dirk Homann
A paucity of versatile small animal models of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been an impediment to both furthering understanding of virus biology and testing antiviral therapies. We recently described a regulatable system for repopulating the liver of immunodeficient mice (specifically mice lacking fumaryl acetoacetate hydrolase [Fah], recombination activating gene 2 [Rag2], and the γ-chain of the receptor for IL-2 [Il-2rγ]) with human hepatocytes. Here we have shown that a high transplantation dose (3 × 106 to 5 × 106 human hepatocytes/mouse) generates a higher rate of liver chimerism than was previously obtained in these mice, up to 95% human hepatocyte chimerism. Mice with a high level of human liver chimerism propagated both HBV and HCV, and the HCV-infected mice were responsive to antiviral treatment. This human liver chimeric mouse model will expand the experimental possibilities for studying HBV and HCV infection, and possibly other human hepatotropic pathogens, and prove useful for antiviral drug testing.
Karl-Dimiter Bissig, Stefan F. Wieland, Phu Tran, Masanori Isogawa, Tam T. Le, Francis V. Chisari, Inder M. Verma
Jae Young Choi, Monal Khansaheb, Nam Soo Joo, Mauri E. Krouse, Robert C. Robbins, David Weill, Jeffrey J. Wine
Marie-Therese Rached, Aruna Kode, Barbara C. Silva, Dae Young Jung, Susan Gray, Helena Ong, Ji-Hye Paik, Ronald A. DePinho, Jason K. Kim, Gerard Karsenty, Stavroula Kousteni
Maria D’Apolito, Xueliang Du, Haihong Zong, Alessandra Catucci, Luigi Maiuri, Tiziana Trivisano, Massimo Pettoello-Mantovani, Angelo Campanozzi, Valeria Raia, Jeffrey E. Pessin, Michael Brownlee, Ida Giardino