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Isoketals (IsoKs) are highly reactive γ-ketoaldehyde products of lipid peroxidation that covalently adduct lysine side chains in proteins, impairing their function. Using C. elegans as a model organism, we sought to test the hypothesis that IsoKs contribute to molecular aging through adduction and inactivation of specific protein targets, and that this process can be abrogated using salicylamine (SA), a selective IsoK scavenger. Treatment with SA extends adult nematode longevity by nearly 56% and prevents multiple deleterious age-related biochemical and functional changes. Testing of a variety of molecular targets for SA's action revealed the sirtuin SIR-2.1 as the leading candidate. When SA was administered to a SIR-2.1 knockout strain, the effects on lifespan and healthspan extension were abolished. The SIR-2.1-dependent effects of SA were not mediated by large changes in gene expression programs or by significant changes in mitochondrial function. However, expression array analysis did show SA-dependent regulation of the transcription factor ets-7 and associated genes. In ets-7 knockout worms, SA's longevity effects were abolished, similar to sir-2.1 knockouts. However, SA dose-dependently increases ets-7 mRNA levels in non-functional SIR-2.1 mutant, suggesting that both are necessary for SA's complete lifespan and healthspan extension.
The number of patients surviving with congenital heart disease (CHD) has soared over the last 3 decades. Adults constitute the fastest-growing segment of the CHD population, now outnumbering children. Research to date on the heart-brain intersection in this population has been focused largely on neurodevelopmental outcomes in childhood and adolescence. Mutations in genes that are highly expressed in heart and brain may cause cerebral dysgenesis. Together with altered cerebral perfusion in utero, these factors are associated with abnormalities of brain structure and brain immaturity in a significant portion of neonates with critical CHD even before they undergo cardiac surgery. In infancy and childhood, the brain may be affected by risk factors related to heart disease itself or to its interventional treatments. As children with CHD become adults, they increasingly develop heart failure, atrial fibrillation, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and coronary disease. These acquired cardiovascular comorbidities can be expected to have effects similar to those in the general population on cerebral blood flow, brain volumes, and dementia. In both children and adults, cardiovascular disease may have adverse effects on achievement, executive function, memory, language, social interactions, and quality of life. Against the backdrop of shifting demographics, risk factors for brain injury in the CHD population are cumulative and synergistic. As neurodevelopmental sequelae in children with CHD evolve to cognitive decline or dementia during adulthood, a growing population of CHD can be expected to require support services. We highlight evidence gaps and future research directions.
© 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.
Congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDGs) constitute a rapidly growing family of human diseases resulting from heritable mutations in genes driving the production and modification of glycoproteins. The resulting symptomatic hypoglycosylation causes multisystemic defects that include severe neurological impairments, revealing a particularly critical requirement for tightly regulated glycosylation in the nervous system. The most common CDG, CDG-Ia (PMM2-CDG), arises from phosphomannomutase type 2 (PMM2) mutations. Here, we report the generation and characterization of the first Drosophila CDG-Ia model. CRISPR-generated pmm2-null Drosophila mutants display severely disrupted glycosylation and early lethality, whereas RNAi-targeted knockdown of neuronal PMM2 results in a strong shift in the abundance of pauci-mannose glycan, progressive incoordination and later lethality, closely paralleling human CDG-Ia symptoms of shortened lifespan, movement impairments and defective neural development. Analyses of the well-characterized Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ) reveal synaptic glycosylation loss accompanied by defects in both structural architecture and functional neurotransmission. NMJ synaptogenesis is driven by intercellular signals that traverse an extracellular synaptomatrix and are co-regulated by glycosylation and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). Specifically, trans-synaptic signaling by the Wnt protein Wingless (Wg) depends on the heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG) co-receptor Dally-like protein (Dlp), which is regulated by synaptic MMP activity. Loss of synaptic MMP2, Wg ligand, Dlp co-receptor and downstream trans-synaptic signaling occurs with PMM2 knockdown. Taken together, this Drosophila CDG disease model provides a new avenue for the dissection of cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neurological impairments and is a means by which to discover and test novel therapeutic treatment strategies.
© 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, yet its etiology and pathogenesis are poorly understood. PD is characterized by selective dopaminergic (DAergic) degeneration and progressive hypokinetic motor impairment. Mutations in dj-1 cause autosomal recessive early-onset PD. DJ-1 is thought to protect DAergic neurons via an antioxidant mechanism, but the precise basis of this protection has not yet been resolved. Aging and manganese (Mn) exposure are significant non-genetic risk factors for PD. Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is an optimal model for PD and aging studies because of its simple nervous system, conserved DAergic machinery, and short 20-day lifespan. Here we tested the hypothesis that C. elegans DJ-1 homologues were protective against Mn-induced DAergic toxicity in an age-dependent manner. We showed that the deletion of C. elegans DJ-1 related (djr) genes, djr-1.2, decreased survival after Mn exposure. djr-1.2, the DJ-1 homologue was expressed in DAergic neurons and its deletion decreased lifespan and dopamine (DA)-dependent dauer movement behavior after Mn exposure. We also tested the role of DAF-16 as a regulator of dj-1.2 interaction with Mn toxicity. Lifespan defects resulting from djr-1.2 deletion could be restored to normal by overexpression of either DJR-1.2 or DAF-16. Furthermore, dauer movement alterations after djr-1.2 deletion were abolished by constitutive activation of DAF-16 through mutation of its inhibitor, DAF-2 insulin receptor. Taken together, our results reveal PD-relevant interactions between aging, the PD environmental risk factor manganese, and homologues of the established PD genetic risk factor DJ-1. Our data demonstrate a novel role for the DJ-1 homologue, djr-1.2, in mitigating Mn-dependent lifespan reduction and DA signaling alterations, involving DAF-2/DAF-16 signaling.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by the progressive loss of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. We have recently shown that human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) modified to release glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) decrease disease progression in a rat model of ALS when delivered to skeletal muscle. In the current study, we determined whether or not this effect could be enhanced by delivering GDNF in concert with other trophic factors. hMSC engineered to secrete GDNF (hMSC-GDNF), vascular endothelial growth factor (hMSC-VEGF), insulin-like growth factor-I (hMSC-IGF-I), or brain-derived neurotrophic factor (hMSC-BDNF), were prepared and transplanted bilaterally into three muscle groups. hMSC-GDNF and hMSC-VEGF prolonged survival and slowed the loss of motor function, but hMSC-IGF-I and hMSC-BDNF did not have any effect. We then tested the efficacy of a combined ex vivo delivery of GDNF and VEGF in extending survival and protecting neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) and motor neurons. Interestingly, the combined delivery of these neurotrophic factors showed a strong synergistic effect. These studies further support ex vivo gene therapy approaches for ALS that target skeletal muscle.
In addition to its role as an essential neurotransmitter, dopamine serves important physiologic functions in organs such as the kidney. Although the kidney synthesizes dopamine through the actions of aromatic amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) in the proximal tubule, previous studies have not discriminated between the roles of extrarenal and intrarenal dopamine in the overall regulation of renal function. To address this issue, we generated mice with selective deletion of AADC in the kidney proximal tubules (referred to herein as ptAadc-/- mice), which led to selective decreases in kidney and urinary dopamine. The ptAadc-/- mice exhibited increased expression of nephron sodium transporters, decreased natriuresis and diuresis in response to l-dihydroxyphenylalanine, and decreased medullary COX-2 expression and urinary prostaglandin E2 excretion and developed salt-sensitive hypertension. They had increased renin expression and altered renal Ang II receptor (AT) expression, with increased AT1b and decreased AT2 and Mas expression, associated with increased renal injury in response to Ang II. They also exhibited a substantially shorter life span compared with that of wild-type mice. These results demonstrate the importance of the intrarenal dopaminergic system in salt and water homeostasis and blood pressure control. Decreasing intrarenal dopamine subjects the kidney to unbuffered responses to Ang II and results in the development of hypertension and a dramatic decrease in longevity.
BACKGROUND - Asian populations habitually consume a large amount of cruciferous vegetables and other plant-based foods. Few epidemiologic investigations have evaluated the potential health effects of these foods in Asian populations.
OBJECTIVE - We aimed to examine the associations of cruciferous vegetables, noncruciferous vegetables, total vegetables, and total fruit intake with risk of all-cause and cause-specific mortality.
DESIGN - The analysis included 134,796 Chinese adults who participated in 2 population-based, prospective cohort studies: the Shanghai Women's Health Study and the Shanghai Men's Health Study. Dietary intakes were assessed at baseline through in-person interviews by using validated food-frequency questionnaires. Deaths were ascertained by biennial home visits and linkage with vital statistics registries.
RESULTS - We identified 3442 deaths among women during a mean follow-up of 10.2 y and 1951 deaths among men during a mean follow-up of 4.6 y. Overall, fruit and vegetable intake was inversely associated with risk of total mortality in both women and men, and a dose-response pattern was particularly evident for cruciferous vegetable intake. The pooled multivariate hazard ratios (95% CIs) for total mortality across increasing quintiles of intake were 1 (reference), 0.91 (0.84, 0.98), 0.88 (0.77, 1.00), 0.85 (0.76, 0.96), and 0.78 (0.71, 0.85) for cruciferous vegetables (P < 0.0001 for trend) and 0.88 (0.79, 0.97), 0.88 (0.79, 0.98), 0.76 (0.62, 0.92), and 0.84 (0.69, 1.00) for total vegetables (P = 0.03 for trend). The inverse associations were primarily related to cardiovascular disease mortality but not to cancer mortality.
CONCLUSION - Our findings support recommendations to increase consumption of vegetables, particularly cruciferous vegetables, and fruit to promote cardiovascular health and overall longevity.
The disruption of host-symbiont interactions through the use of antibiotics can help elucidate microbial functions that go beyond short-term nutritional value. Termite gut symbionts have been studied extensively, but little is known about their impact on the termite's reproductive output. Here we describe the effect that the antibiotic rifampin has not only on the gut microbial diversity but also on the longevity, fecundity, and weight of two termite species, Zootermopsis angusticollis and Reticulitermes flavipes. We report three key findings: (i) the antibiotic rifampin, when fed to primary reproductives during the incipient stages of colony foundation, causes a permanent reduction in the diversity of gut bacteria and a transitory effect on the density of the protozoan community; (ii) rifampin treatment reduces oviposition rates of queens, translating into delayed colony growth and ultimately reduced colony fitness; and (iii) the initial dosages of rifampin had severe long-term fitness effects on Z. angusticollis. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that the antibiotic-induced perturbation of the microbial community is associated with prolonged reductions in longevity and fecundity. A causal relationship between these changes in the gut microbial population structures and fitness is suggested by the acquisition of opportunistic pathogens and incompetence of the termites to restore a pretreatment, native microbiota. Our results indicate that antibiotic treatment significantly alters the termite's microbiota, reproduction, colony establishment, and ultimately colony growth and development. We discuss the implications for antimicrobials as a new application to the control of termite pest species.
The rising prevalence of methylmercury (MeHg) in seafood and in the global environment provides an impetus for delineating the mechanism of the toxicity of MeHg. Deleterious effects of MeHg have been widely observed in humans and in other mammals, the most striking of which occur in the nervous system. Here we test the model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), for MeHg toxicity. The simple, well-defined anatomy of the C. elegans nervous system and its ready visualization with green fluorescent protein (GFP) markers facilitated our study of the effects of methylmercuric chloride (MeHgCl) on neural development. Although MeHgCl was lethal to C. elegans, induced a developmental delay, and decreased pharyngeal pumping, other traits including lifespan, brood size, swimming rate, and nervous system morphology were not obviously perturbed in animals that survived MeHgCl exposure. Despite the limited effects of MeHgCl on C. elegans development and behavior, intracellular mercury (Hg) concentrations (
Anthrax toxin receptors 1 and 2 (ANTXR1 and ANTXR2) have a related integrin-like inserted (I) domain which interacts with a metal cation that is coordinated by residue D683 of the protective antigen (PA) subunit of anthrax toxin. The receptor-bound metal ion and PA residue D683 are critical for ANTXR1-PA binding. Since PA can bind to ANTXR2 with reduced affinity in the absence of metal ions, we reasoned that D683 mutant forms of PA might specifically interact with ANTXR2. We show here that this is the case. The differential ability of ANTXR1 and ANTXR2 to bind D683 mutant PA proteins was mapped to nonconserved receptor residues at the binding interface with PA domain 2. Moreover, a D683K mutant form of PA that bound specifically to human and rat ANTXR2 mediated killing of rats by anthrax lethal toxin, providing strong evidence for the physiological importance of ANTXR2 in anthrax disease pathogenesis.