The publication data currently available has been vetted by Vanderbilt faculty, staff, administrators and trainees. The data itself is retrieved directly from NCBI's PubMed and is automatically updated on a weekly basis to ensure accuracy and completeness.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.
We reported previously that mouse embryonic stem cells do not have a functional IFN-based antiviral mechanism. The current study extends our investigation to the inflammatory response in mouse embryonic stem cells and mouse embryonic stem cell-differentiated cells. We demonstrate that LPS, TNF-α, and viral infection, all of which induce robust inflammatory responses in naturally differentiated cells, failed to activate NF-κB, the key transcription factor that mediates inflammatory responses, and were unable to induce the expression of inflammatory genes in mouse embryonic stem cells. Similar results were obtained in human embryonic stem cells. In addition to the inactive state of NF-κB, the deficiency in the inflammatory response in mouse embryonic stem cells is also attributed to the lack of functional receptors for LPS and TNF-α. In vitro differentiation can trigger the development of the inflammatory response mechanism, as indicated by the transition of NF-κB from its inactive to active state. However, a limited response to TNF-α and viral infection, but not to LPS, was observed in mouse embryonic stem cell-differentiated fibroblasts. We conclude that the inflammatory response mechanism is not active in mouse embryonic stem cells, and in vitro differentiation promotes only partial development of this mechanism. Together with our previous studies, the findings described in this article demonstrate that embryonic stem cells are fundamentally different from differentiated somatic cells in their innate immunity, which may have important implications in developmental biology, immunology, and embryonic stem cell-based regenerative medicine.
Copyright © 2017 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
Skeletal co-morbidities in type 1 diabetes include an increased risk for fracture and delayed fracture healing, which are intertwined with disease duration and the presence of other diabetic complications. As such, chronic hyperglycemia is undoubtedly a major contributor to these outcomes, despite standard insulin-replacement therapy. Therefore, using the streptozotocin (STZ)-induced model of hypoinsulinemic hyperglycemia in DBA/2J male mice, we compared the effects of two glucose lowering therapies on the fracture resistance of bone and markers of bone turnover. Twelve week-old diabetic (DM) mice were treated for 9weeks with: 1) oral canagliflozin (CANA, dose range ~10-16mg/kg/day), an inhibitor of the renal sodium-dependent glucose co-transporter type 2 (SGLT2); 2) subcutaneous insulin, via minipump (INS, 0.125units/day); 3) co-therapy (CANA+INS); or 4) no treatment (STZ, without therapy). These groups were also compared to non-diabetic control groups. Untreated diabetic mice experienced increased bone resorption and significant deficits in cortical and trabecular bone that contributed to structural weakness of the femur mid-shaft and the lumbar vertebra, as determined by three-point bending and compression tests, respectively. Treatment with either canagliflozin or insulin alone only partially rectified hyperglycemia and the diabetic bone phenotype. However, when used in combination, normalization of glycemic control was achieved, and a prevention of the DM-related deterioration in bone microarchitecture and bone strength occurred, due to additive effects of canagliflozin and insulin. Nevertheless, CANA-treated mice, whether diabetic or non-diabetic, demonstrated an increase in urinary calcium loss; FGF23 was also increased in CANA-treated DM mice. These findings could herald ongoing bone mineral losses following CANA exposure, suggesting that certain CANA-induced skeletal consequences might detract from therapeutic improvements in glycemic control, as they relate to diabetic bone disease.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PURPOSE - Erythropoietin (EPO) is a promising neuroprotective agent and is currently in Phase III clinical trials for the treatment of traumatic brain injury. The goal of this study was to determine if EPO is also protective in traumatic eye injury.
METHODS - The left eyes of anesthetized DBA/2J or Balb/c mice were exposed to a single 26 psi overpressure air-wave while the rest of the body was shielded. DBA/2J mice were given intraperitoneal injections of EPO or buffer and analyses were performed at 3 or 7 days post-blast. Balb/c mice were given intramuscular injections of rAAV.EpoR76E or rAAV.eGFP either pre- or post-blast and analyses were performed at 1 month post-blast.
RESULTS - EPO had a bimodal effect on cell death, glial reactivity, and oxidative stress. All measures were increased at 3 days post-blast and decreased at 7-days post-blast. Increased retinal ferritin and NADPH oxygenases were detected in retinas from EPO-treated mice. The gene therapy approach protected against axon degeneration, cell death, and oxidative stress when given after blast, but not before.
CONCLUSIONS - Systemic, exogenous EPO and EPO-R76E protects the retina after trauma even when initiation of treatment is delayed by up to 3 weeks. Systemic treatment with EPO or EPO-R76E beginning before or soon after trauma may exacerbate protective effects of EPO within the retina as a result of increased iron levels from erythropoiesis and, thus, increased oxidative stress within the retina. This is likely overcome with time as a result of an increase in levels of antioxidant enzymes. Either intraocular delivery of EPO or treatment with non-erythropoietic forms of EPO may be more efficacious.
BACKGROUND - Glaucoma is a complex neurodegeneration and a leading cause of blindness worldwide. Current therapeutic strategies, which are all directed towards lowering the intraocular pressure (IOP), do not stop progression of the disease. We have demonstrated that recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) gene delivery of a form of erythropoietin with attenuated erythropoietic activity (EpoR76E) can preserve retinal ganglion cells, their axons, and vision without decreasing IOP. The goal of this study was to determine if modulation of neuroinflammation or oxidative stress played a role in the neuroprotective activity of EPO.R76E.
METHODS - Five-month-old DBA/2J mice were treated with either rAAV.EpoR76E or a control vector and collected at 8 months of age. Neuroprotection was assessed by quantification of axon transport and visual evoked potentials. Microglia number and morphology and cytokine and chemokine levels were quantified. Message levels of oxidative stress-related proteins were assessed.
RESULTS - Axon transport and visual evoked potentials were preserved in rAAV.EpoR76E-treated mice. The number of microglia was decreased in retinas from 8-month-old rAAV.EpoR76E-treated mice, but proliferation was unaffected. The blood-retina barrier was also unaffected by treatment. Levels of some pro-inflammatory cytokines were decreased in retinas from rAAV.EpoR76E-treated mice including IL-1, IL-12, IL-13, IL-17, CCL4, and CCL5. TNFα messenger RNA (mRNA) was increased in retinas from 8-month-old mice compared to 3-month-old controls regardless of treatment. Expression of several antioxidant proteins was increased in retinas of rAAV.EpoR76E-treated 8-month-old mice.
CONCLUSIONS - Treatment with rAAV.EpoR76E preserves vision in the DBA/2J model of glaucoma at least in part by decreasing infiltration of peripheral immune cells, modulating microglial reactivity, and decreasing oxidative stress.
Within the white matter, axonal loss by neurodegeneration is coupled to glial cell changes in gene expression, structure and function commonly termed gliosis. Recently, we described the highly variable expansion of gliosis email@example.com in degenerative optic nerves from the DBA/2J mouse model of chronic, age-related glaucoma. Here, to estimate and compare the levels of axonal loss with the expansion of glial coverage and axonal degeneration in DBA/2J nerves, we combined semiautomatic axon counts with threshold-based segmentation of total glial/scar areas and degenerative axonal profiles in plastic cross-sections. In nerves ranging from mild to severe degeneration, we found that the progression of axonal dropout is coupled to an increase of gliotic area. We detected a strong correlation between axon loss and the aggregate coverage by glial cells and scar, whereas axon loss did not correlate with the small fraction of degenerating profiles. Nerves with low to medium levels of axon loss displayed moderate glial reactivity, consisting of hypertrophic astrocytes, activated microglia and normal distribution of oligodendrocytes, with minimal reorganization of the tissue architecture. In contrast, nerves with extensive axonal loss showed prevalent rearrangement of the nerve, with loss of axon fascicle territories and enlarged or almost continuous gliotic and scar domains, containing reactive astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and activated microglia. These findings support the value of optic nerve gliotic expansion as a quantitative estimate of optic neuropathy that correlates with axon loss, applicable to grade the severity of optic nerve damage in mouse chronic glaucoma.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Phenome-wide association is a novel reverse genetic strategy to analyze genome-to-phenome relations in human clinical cohorts. Here we test this approach using a large murine population segregating for ∼5 million sequence variants, and we compare our results to those extracted from a matched analysis of gene variants in a large human cohort. For the mouse cohort, we amassed a deep and broad open-access phenome consisting of ∼4,500 metabolic, physiological, pharmacological and behavioural traits, and more than 90 independent expression quantitative trait locus (QTL), transcriptome, proteome, metagenome and metabolome data sets--by far the largest coherent phenome for any experimental cohort (www.genenetwork.org). We tested downstream effects of subsets of variants and discovered several novel associations, including a missense mutation in fumarate hydratase that controls variation in the mitochondrial unfolded protein response in both mouse and Caenorhabditis elegans, and missense mutations in Col6a5 that underlies variation in bone mineral density in both mouse and human.
Glaucoma challenges the survival of retinal ganglion cell axons in the optic nerve through processes dependent on both aging and ocular pressure. Relevant stressors likely include complex interplay between axons and astrocytes, both in the retina and optic nerve. In the DBA/2J mouse model of pigmentary glaucoma, early progression involves axonopathy characterized by loss of functional transport prior to outright degeneration. Here we describe novel features of early pathogenesis in the DBA/2J nerve. With age the cross-sectional area of the nerve increases; this is associated generally with diminished axon packing density and survival and increased glial coverage of the nerve. However, for nerves with the highest axon density, as the nerve expands mean cross-sectional axon area enlarges as well. This early expansion was marked by disorganized axoplasm and accumulation of hyperphosphorylated neurofilamants indicative of axonopathy. Axon expansion occurs without loss up to a critical threshold for size (about 0.45-0.50 μm(2)), above which additional expansion tightly correlates with frank loss of axons. As well, early axon expansion prior to degeneration is concurrent with decreased astrocyte ramification with redistribution of processes towards the nerve edge. As axons expand beyond the critical threshold for loss, glial area resumes an even distribution from the center to edge of the nerve. We also found that early axon expansion is accompanied by reduced numbers of mitochondria per unit area in the nerve. Finally, our data indicate that both IOP and nerve expansion are associated with axon enlargement and reduced axon density for aged nerves. Collectively, our data support the hypothesis that diminished bioenergetic resources in conjunction with early nerve and glial remodeling could be a primary inducer of progression of axon pathology in glaucoma.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Persons with type 1 and type 2 diabetes have increased fracture risk, attributed to deficits in the microarchitecture and strength of diabetic bone, thought to be mediated, in part, by the consequences of chronic hyperglycemia. Therefore, to examine the effects of a glucose-lowering SGLT2 inhibitor on blood glucose (BG) and bone homeostasis in a model of diabetic bone disease, male DBA/2J mice with or without streptozotocin (STZ)-induced hyperglycemia were fed chow containing the SGLT2 inhibitor, canagliflozin (CANA), or chow without drug, for 10weeks of therapy. Thereafter, serum bone biomarkers were measured, fracture resistance of cortical bone was assessed by μCT analysis and a three-point bending test of the femur, and vertebral bone strength was determined by compression testing. In the femur metaphysis and L6 vertebra, long-term diabetes (DM) induced deficits in trabecular bone microarchitecture. In the femur diaphysis, a decrease in cortical bone area, cortical thickness and minimal moment of inertia occurred in DM (p<0.0001, for all) while cortical porosity was increased (p<0.0001). These DM changes were associated with reduced fracture resistance (decreased material strength and toughness; decreased structural strength and rigidity; p<0.001 for all). Significant increases in PTH (p<0.0001), RatLAPs (p=0.0002), and urine calcium concentration (p<0.0001) were also seen in DM. Canagliflozin treatment improved BG in DM mice by ~35%, but did not improve microarchitectural parameters. Instead, in canagliflozin-treated diabetic mice, a further increase in RatLAPs was evident, possibly suggesting a drug-related intensification of bone resorption. Additionally, detrimental metaphyseal changes were noted in canagliflozin-treated control mice. Hence, diabetic bone disease was not favorably affected by canagliflozin treatment, perhaps due to insufficient glycemic improvement. Instead, in control mice, long-term exposure to SGLT2 inhibition was associated with adverse effects on the trabecular compartment of bone.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Damage to the eye from blast exposure can occur as a result of the overpressure air-wave (primary injury), flying debris (secondary injury), blunt force trauma (tertiary injury), and/or chemical/thermal burns (quaternary injury). In this study, we investigated damage in the contralateral eye after a blast directed at the ipsilateral eye in the C57Bl/6J and DBA/2J mouse. Assessments of ocular health (gross pathology, electroretinogram recordings, optokinetic tracking, optical coherence tomography and histology) were performed at 3, 7, 14 and 28 days post-trauma. Olfactory epithelium and optic nerves were also examined. Anterior pathologies were more common in the DBA/2J than in the C57Bl/6 and could be prevented with non-medicated viscous eye drops. Visual acuity decreased over time in both strains, but was more rapid and severe in the DBA/2J. Retinal cell death was present in approximately 10% of the retina at 7 and 28 days post-blast in both strains. Approximately 60% of the cell death occurred in photoreceptors. Increased oxidative stress and microglial reactivity was detected in both strains, beginning at 3 days post-injury. However, there was no sign of injury to the olfactory epithelium or optic nerve in either strain. Although our model directs an overpressure air-wave at the left eye in a restrained and otherwise protected mouse, retinal damage was detected in the contralateral eye. The lack of damage to the olfactory epithelium and optic nerve, as well as the different timing of cell death as compared to the blast-exposed eye, suggests that the injuries were due to physical contact between the contralateral eye and the housing chamber of the blast device and not propagation of the blast wave through the head. Thus we describe a model of mild blunt eye trauma.
Kidney size adaptively increases as mammals grow and in response to the loss of 1 kidney. It is not clear how kidneys size themselves or if the processes that adapt kidney mass to lean body mass also mediate renal hypertrophy following unilateral nephrectomy (UNX). Here, we demonstrated that mice harboring a proximal tubule-specific deletion of Pten (Pten(ptKO)) have greatly enlarged kidneys as the result of persistent activation of the class I PI3K/mTORC2/AKT pathway and an increase of the antiproliferative signals p21(Cip1/WAF) and p27(Kip1). Administration of rapamycin to Pten(ptKO) mice diminished hypertrophy. Proximal tubule-specific deletion of Egfr in Pten(ptKO) mice also attenuated class I PI3K/mTORC2/AKT signaling and reduced the size of enlarged kidneys. In Pten(ptKO) mice, UNX further increased mTORC1 activation and hypertrophy in the remaining kidney; however, mTORC2-dependent AKT phosphorylation did not increase further in the remaining kidney of Pten(ptKO) mice, nor was it induced in the remaining kidney of WT mice. After UNX, renal blood flow and amino acid delivery to the remaining kidney rose abruptly, followed by increased amino acid content and activation of a class III PI3K/mTORC1/S6K1 pathway. Thus, our findings demonstrate context-dependent roles for EGFR-modulated class I PI3K/mTORC2/AKT signaling in the normal adaptation of kidney size and PTEN-independent, nutrient-dependent class III PI3K/mTORC1/S6K1 signaling in the compensatory enlargement of the remaining kidney following UNX.