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.
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a leading complication of preterm birth that affects infants born in the saccular stage of lung development at <32 weeks of gestation. Although the mechanisms driving BPD remain uncertain, exposure to hyperoxia is thought to contribute to disease pathogenesis. To determine the effects of hyperoxia on epithelial-mesenchymal interactions and to define the mediators of activated Wnt/β-catenin signaling after hyperoxia injury. Three hyperoxia models were used: A three-dimensional organotypic coculture using primary human lung cells, precision-cut lung slices (PCLS), and a murine hyperoxia model. Comparisons of normoxia- and hyperoxia-exposed samples were made by real-time quantitative PCR, RNA hybridization, quantitative confocal microscopy, and lung morphometry. Examination of an array of Wnt ligands in the three-dimensional organotypic coculture revealed increased mesenchymal expression of . Inhibition of Wnt5A abrogated the BPD transcriptomic phenotype induced by hyperoxia. In the PCLS model, Wnt5A inhibition improved alveolarization following hyperoxia exposure, and treatment with recombinant Wnt5a reproduced features of the BPD phenotype in PCLS cultured in normoxic conditions. Chemical inhibition of NF-κB with BAY11-7082 reduced expression in the PCLS hyperoxia model and mouse hyperoxia model, with improved alveolarization in the PCLS model. Increased mesenchymal Wnt5A during saccular-stage hyperoxia injury contributes to the impaired alveolarization and septal thickening observed in BPD. Precise targeting of Wnt5A may represent a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of BPD.
Complex circuit interactions within the nucleus accumbens (NAc) facilitate goal-directed behavior. Medium spiny neurons (MSNs) mediate NAc output by projecting to functionally divergent brain regions, a property conferred, in part, by the differential projection patterns of D1- and D2 dopamine receptor-expressing MSNs. Glutamatergic afferents to the NAc direct MSN output by recruiting feedforward inhibitory microcircuits comprised of parvalbumin (PV)-expressing interneurons (INs). Furthermore, the GABA heteroreceptor (GABAR), a G-coupled G-protein-coupled receptor, is expressed at glutamatergic synapses throughout the mesolimbic network, yet its physiological context and synaptic mechanism within the NAc remains unknown. Here, we explored GABAR function at glutamatergic synapses within PV-IN-embedded microcircuits in the NAc core of male mice. We found that GABAR is expressed presynaptically and recruits a noncanonical signaling mechanism to reduce glutamatergic synaptic efficacy at D1(+) and D1(-) (putative D2) MSN subtypes. Furthermore, PV-INs, a robust source of neuronal GABA in the NAc, heterosynaptically target GABAR to selectively modulate glutamatergic transmission onto D1(+) MSNs. These findings elucidate a new mechanism of feedforward inhibition and refine mechanisms by which GABA heteroreceptors modulate mesolimbic circuit function. Glutamatergic transmission in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) critically contributes to goal-directed behaviors. However, intrinsic microcircuit mechanisms governing the integration of these synapses remain largely unknown. Here, we show that parvalbumin-expressing interneurons within feedforward microcircuits heterosynaptically target GABA heteroreceptors (GABAR) on glutamate terminals. Activation of presynaptically-expressed GABAR decreases glutamatergic synaptic strength by engaging a non-canonical signaling pathway that interferes with vesicular exocytotic release machinery. These findings offer mechanistic insight into the role of GABA heteroreceptors within reward circuitry, elucidate a novel arm to feedforward inhibitory networks, and inform the growing use of GABAR-selective pharmacotherapy for various motivational disorders, including addiction, major depressive disorder, and autism (Cousins et al., 2002; Kahn et al., 2009; Jacobson et al., 2018; Stoppel et al., 2018; Pisansky et al., 2019).
Copyright © 2019 the authors.
Hilar mossy cells (HMCs) in the hippocampus receive glutamatergic input from dentate granule cells (DGCs) via mossy fibers (MFs) and back-projections from CA3 pyramidal neuron collateral axons. Many fundamental features of these excitatory synapses have not been characterized in detail despite their potential relevance to hippocampal cognitive processing and epilepsy-induced adaptations in circuit excitability. In this study, we compared pre- and postsynaptic parameters between MF and CA3 inputs to HMCs in young and adult mice of either sex and determined the relative contributions of the respective excitatory inputs during and models of hippocampal hyperexcitability. The two types of excitatory synapses both exhibited a modest degree of short-term plasticity, with MF inputs to HMCs exhibiting lower paired-pulse (PP) and frequency facilitation than was described previously for MF-CA3 pyramidal cell synapses. MF-HMC synapses exhibited unitary excitatory synaptic currents (EPSCs) of larger amplitude, contained postsynaptic kainate receptors, and had a lower NMDA/AMPA receptor ratio compared to CA3-HMC synapses. Pharmacological induction of hippocampal hyperexcitability transformed the abundant but relatively weak CA3-HMC connections to very large amplitude spontaneous bursts of compound EPSCs (cEPSCs) in young mice (∼P20) and, to a lesser degree, in adult mice (∼P70). CA3-HMC cEPSCs were also observed in slices prepared from mice with spontaneous seizures several weeks after intrahippocampal kainate injection. Strong excitation of HMCs during synchronous CA3 activity represents an avenue of significant excitatory network generation back to DGCs and might be important in generating epileptic networks.
Although the functionality of the lens water channels aquaporin 1 (AQP1; epithelium) and AQP0 (fiber cells) is well established, less is known about the role of AQP5 in the lens. Since in other tissues AQP5 functions as a regulated water channel with a water permeability (P) some 20 times higher than AQP0, AQP5 could function to modulate P in lens fiber cells. To test this possibility, a fluorescence dye dilution assay was used to calculate the relative P of epithelial cells and fiber membrane vesicles isolated from either the mouse or rat lens, in the absence and presence of HgCl, an inhibitor of AQP1 and AQP5. Immunolabeling of lens sections and fiber membrane vesicles from mouse and rat lenses revealed differences in the subcellular distributions of AQP5 in the outer cortex between species, with AQP5 being predominantly membranous in the mouse but predominantly cytoplasmic in the rat. In contrast, AQP0 labeling was always membranous in both species. This species-specific heterogeneity in AQP5 membrane localization was mirrored in measurements of P, with only fiber membrane vesicles isolated from the mouse lens, exhibiting a significant Hg-sensitive contribution to P. When rat lenses were first organ cultured, immunolabeling revealed an insertion of AQP5 into cortical fiber cells, and a significant increase in Hg-sensitive P was detected in membrane vesicles. Our results show that AQP5 forms functional water channels in the rodent lens, and they suggest that dynamic membrane insertion of AQP5 may regulate water fluxes in the lens by modulating P in the outer cortex.
Dopamine signaling encodes reward learning and motivated behavior through modulation of synaptic signaling in the nucleus accumbens, and aberrations in these processes are thought to underlie obsessive behaviors associated with alcohol abuse. The nucleus accumbens is divided into core and shell sub-regions with overlapping but also divergent contributions to behavior. Here we optogenetically targeted dopamine projections to the accumbens allowing us to isolate stimulation of dopamine terminals ex vivo. We applied 5 pulse (phasic) light stimulations to probe intrinsic differences in dopamine release parameters across regions. Also, we exposed animals to 4weeks of chronic intermittent ethanol vapor and measured phasic release. We found that initial release probability, uptake rate and autoreceptor inhibition were greater in the accumbens core compared to the shell, yet the shell showed greater phasic release ratios. Following chronic ethanol, uptake rates were increased in the core but not the shell, suggesting region-specific neuronal adaptations. Conversely, kappa opioid receptor function was upregulated in both regions to a similar extent, suggesting a local mechanism of kappa opioid receptor regulation that is generalized across the nucleus accumbens. These data suggest that dopamine axons in the nucleus accumbens core and shell display differences in intrinsic release parameters, and that ethanol-induced adaptations to dopamine neuron terminal fields may not be homogeneous. Also, chronic ethanol exposure induces an upregulation in kappa opioid receptor function, providing a mechanism for potential over-inhibition of accumbens dopamine signaling which may negatively impact downstream synaptic function and ultimately bias choice towards previously reinforced alcohol use behaviors.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Constitutive WNT activity drives the growth of various human tumors, including nearly all colorectal cancers (CRCs). Despite this prominence in cancer, no WNT inhibitor is currently approved for use in the clinic largely due to the small number of druggable signaling components in the WNT pathway and the substantial toxicity to normal gastrointestinal tissue. We have shown that pyrvinium, which activates casein kinase 1α (CK1α), is a potent inhibitor of WNT signaling. However, its poor bioavailability limited the ability to test this first-in-class WNT inhibitor in vivo. We characterized a novel small-molecule CK1α activator called SSTC3, which has better pharmacokinetic properties than pyrvinium, and found that it inhibited the growth of CRC xenografts in mice. SSTC3 also attenuated the growth of a patient-derived metastatic CRC xenograft, for which few therapies exist. SSTC3 exhibited minimal gastrointestinal toxicity compared to other classes of WNT inhibitors. Consistent with this observation, we showed that the abundance of the SSTC3 target, CK1α, was decreased in WNT-driven tumors relative to normal gastrointestinal tissue, and knocking down CK1α increased cellular sensitivity to SSTC3. Thus, we propose that distinct CK1α abundance provides an enhanced therapeutic index for pharmacological CK1α activators to target WNT-driven tumors.
Copyright © 2017 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.
BACKGROUND - Intimal hyperplasia remains the primary cause of vein graft failure for the 1 million yearly bypass procedures performed using human saphenous vein (HSV) grafts. This response to injury is caused in part by the harvest and preparation of the conduit. The use of Brilliant Blue FCF (FCF) restores injury-induced loss of function in vascular tissues possibly via inhibition of purinergic receptor signaling. This study investigated whether pretreatment of the vein graft with FCF prevents intimal hyperplasia.
METHODS - Cultured rat aortic smooth muscle cells (A7r5) were used to determine the effect of FCF on platelet-derived growth factor-mediated migration and proliferation, cellular processes that contribute to intimal hyperplasia. The effectiveness of FCF treatment during the time of explantation on preventing intimal hyperplasia was evaluated in a rabbit jugular-carotid interposition model and in an organ culture model using HSV.
RESULTS - FCF inhibited platelet-derived growth factor-induced migration and proliferation of A7r5 cells. Treatment with FCF at the time of vein graft explantation inhibited the subsequent development of intimal thickening in the rabbit model. Pretreatment with FCF also prevented intimal thickening of HSV in organ culture.
CONCLUSIONS - Incorporation of FCF as a component of vein graft preparation at the time of explantation represents a potential therapeutic approach to mitigate intimal hyperplasia, reduce vein graft failure, and improve outcome of the autologous transplantation of HSV.
Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.
UNLABELLED - Newborn neurons enter an extended maturation stage, during which they acquire excitability characteristics crucial for development of presynaptic and postsynaptic connectivity. In contrast to earlier specification programs, little is known about the regulatory mechanisms that control neuronal maturation. The Pet-1 ETS (E26 transformation-specific) factor is continuously expressed in serotonin (5-HT) neurons and initially acts in postmitotic precursors to control acquisition of 5-HT transmitter identity. Using a combination of RNA sequencing, electrophysiology, and conditional targeting approaches, we determined gene expression patterns in maturing flow-sorted 5-HT neurons and the temporal requirements for Pet-1 in shaping these patterns for functional maturation of mouse 5-HT neurons. We report a profound disruption of postmitotic expression trajectories in Pet-1(-/-) neurons, which prevented postnatal maturation of 5-HT neuron passive and active intrinsic membrane properties, G-protein signaling, and synaptic responses to glutamatergic, lysophosphatidic, and adrenergic agonists. Unexpectedly, conditional targeting revealed a postnatal stage-specific switch in Pet-1 targets from 5-HT synthesis genes to transmitter receptor genes required for afferent modulation of 5-HT neuron excitability. Five-HT1a autoreceptor expression depended transiently on Pet-1, thus revealing an early postnatal sensitive period for control of 5-HT excitability genes. Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing revealed that Pet-1 regulates 5-HT neuron maturation through direct gene activation and repression. Moreover, Pet-1 directly regulates the 5-HT neuron maturation factor Engrailed 1, which suggests Pet-1 orchestrates maturation through secondary postmitotic regulatory factors. The early postnatal switch in Pet-1 targets uncovers a distinct neonatal stage-specific function for Pet-1, during which it promotes maturation of 5-HT neuron excitability.
SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT - The regulatory mechanisms that control functional maturation of neurons are poorly understood. We show that in addition to inducing brain serotonin (5-HT) synthesis and reuptake, the Pet-1 ETS (E26 transformation-specific) factor subsequently globally coordinates postmitotic expression trajectories of genes necessary for maturation of 5-HT neuron excitability. Further, Pet-1 switches its transcriptional targets as 5-HT neurons mature from 5-HT synthesis genes to G-protein-coupled receptors, which are necessary for afferent synaptic modulation of 5-HT neuron excitability. Our findings uncover gene-specific switching of downstream targets as a previously unrecognized regulatory strategy through which continuously expressed transcription factors control acquisition of neuronal identity at different stages of development.
Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/361758-17$15.00/0.
The endogenous cannabinoid (eCB) system has been suggested to play a key role in ethanol preference and intake, the acute effects of ethanol, and in the development of withdrawal symptoms following ethanol dependence. Ethanol-dependent alterations in glutamatergic signaling within the lateral/basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) are critical for the development and expression of withdrawal-induced anxiety. Notably, the eCB system significantly regulates both glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic activity within the BLA. Chronic ethanol exposure significantly alters eCB system expression within regions critical to the expression of emotionality and anxiety-related behavior, including the BLA. Here, we investigated specific interactions between the BLA eCB system and its functional regulation of synaptic activity during acute and chronic ethanol exposure. In tissue from ethanol naïve-rats, a prolonged acute ethanol exposure caused a dose dependent inhibition of glutamatergic synaptic activity via a presynaptic mechanism that was occluded by CB1 antagonist/inverse agonists SR141716a and AM251. Importantly, this acute ethanol inhibition was attenuated following 10 day chronic intermittent ethanol vapor exposure (CIE). CIE exposure also significantly down-regulated CB1-mediated presynaptic inhibition at glutamatergic afferent terminals but spared CB1-inhibition of GABAergic synapses arising from local inhibitory-interneurons. CIE also significantly elevated BLA N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA or anandamide) levels and decreased CB1 receptor protein levels. Collectively, these data suggest a dynamic regulation of the BLA eCB system by acute and chronic ethanol.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
We report on a microfluidic platform for culture of whole organs or tissue slices with the capability of point access reagent delivery to probe the transport of signaling events. Whole mice retina were maintained for multiple days with negative pressure applied to tightly but gently bind the bottom of the retina to a thin poly-(dimethylsiloxane) membrane, through which twelve 100 μm diameter through-holes served as fluidic access points. Staining with toluidine blue, transport of locally applied cholera toxin beta, and transient response to lipopolysaccharide in the retina demonstrated the capability of the microfluidic platform. The point access fluidic delivery capability could enable new assays in the study of various kinds of excised tissues, including retina.