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Alzheimer's disease currently lacks treatment options that effectively reverse the biological/anatomical pathology and cognitive deficits associated with the disease. Loss of function of the nuclear receptor REV-ERB is associated with reduced cognitive function in mouse models. The effect of enhanced REV-ERB activity on cognitive function has not been examined. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that enhanced REV-ERB function may enhance cognitive function in a model of Alzheimer's disease. We utilized the REV-ERB agonist SR9009 to pharmacologically activate the activity of REV-ERB in the SAMP8 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. SR9009 reversed cognitive dysfunction of an aged SAMP8 mouse in several behavioral assays including novel object recognition, T-maze foot shock avoidance, and lever press operant conditioning task assessments. SR9009 treatment reduced amyloid-β 1-40 and 1-42 levels in the cortex, which is consistent with improved cognitive function. Furthermore, SR9009 treatment led to increased hippocampal PSD-95, cortical synaptophysin expression and the number of synapses suggesting improvement in synaptic function. We conclude that REV-ERB is a potential target for treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
The fat mass and obesity associated gene (FTO) was the first gene identified by genome-wide association studies to correlate with higher body mass index (BMI) and increased odds of obesity. FTO remains the locus with the largest and most replicated effect on body weight, but the mechanism whereby FTO affects body weight and the development of obesity is not fully understood. Here we tested whether FTO is associated with differences in food cravings and a key aspect of dopamine function that has been hypothesized to influence food reward mechanisms. Moreover, as food cravings and dopamine function are known to decline with age, we explored effects of age on relations between FTO and food cravings and dopamine function. Seven-eight healthy subjects between 22 and 83years old completed the Food Cravings Questionnaire and underwent genotyping for FTO rs9939609, the first FTO single nucleotide polymorphism associated with obesity. Compared to TT homozygotes, individuals carrying the obesity-susceptible A allele had higher total food cravings, which correlated with higher BMI. Additionally, food cravings declined with age, but this age effect differed across variants of FTO rs9939609: while TT homozygotes showed the typical age-related decline in food cravings, there was no such decline among A carriers. All subjects were scanned with [18F]fallypride PET to assess a recent proposal that at the neurochemical level FTO alters dopamine D2-like receptor (DRD2) function to influence food reward related mechanisms. However, we observed no evidence of FTO effects on DRD2 availability.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Pulmonary fibrosis is a late manifestation of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Sepsis is a major cause of ARDS, and its pathogenesis includes endotoxin-induced vascular injury. Recently, endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT) was shown to play an important role in pulmonary fibrosis. On the other hand, dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP)-4 was reported to improve vascular dysfunction in an experimental sepsis model, although whether DPP-4 affects EndMT and fibrosis initiation during lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced lung injury is unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the anti-EndMT effects of the DPP-4 inhibitor vildagliptin in pulmonary fibrosis after systemic endotoxemic injury.
METHODS - A septic lung injury model was established by intraperitoneal injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in eight-week-old male mice (5 mg/kg for five consecutive days). The mice were then treated with vehicle or vildagliptin (intraperitoneally, 10 mg/kg, once daily for 14 consecutive days from 1 day before the first administration of LPS.). Flow cytometry, immunohistochemical staining, and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis was used to assess cell dynamics and EndMT function in lung samples from the mice.
RESULTS - Lung tissue samples from treated mice revealed obvious inflammatory reactions and typical interstitial fibrosis 2 days and 28 days after LPS challenge. Quantitative flow cytometric analysis showed that the number of pulmonary vascular endothelial cells (PVECs) expressing alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) or S100 calcium-binding protein A4 (S100A4) increased 28 days after LPS challenge. Similar increases in expression were also confirmed by qPCR of mRNA from isolated PVECs. EndMT cells had higher proliferative activity and migration activity than mesenchymal cells. All of these changes were alleviated by intraperitoneal injection of vildagliptin. Interestingly, vildagliptin and linagliptin significantly attenuated EndMT in the absence of immune cells or GLP-1.
CONCLUSIONS - Inhibiting DPP-4 signaling by vildagliptin could ameliorate pulmonary fibrosis by downregulating EndMT in systemic LPS-induced lung injury.
Antagonists of MDM2-p53 interaction are emerging anti-cancer drugs utilized in clinical trials for malignancies that rarely mutate p53, including melanoma. We discovered that MDM2-p53 antagonists protect DNA from drug-induced damage in melanoma cells and patient-derived xenografts. Among the tested DNA damaging drugs were various inhibitors of Aurora and Polo-like mitotic kinases, as well as traditional chemotherapy. Mitotic kinase inhibition causes mitotic slippage, DNA re-replication, and polyploidy. Here we show that re-replication of the polyploid genome generates replicative stress which leads to DNA damage. MDM2-p53 antagonists relieve replicative stress via the p53-dependent activation of p21 which inhibits DNA replication. Loss of p21 promoted drug-induced DNA damage in melanoma cells and enhanced anti-tumor activity of therapy combining MDM2 antagonist with mitotic kinase inhibitor in mice. In summary, MDM2 antagonists may reduce DNA damaging effects of anti-cancer drugs if they are administered together, while targeting p21 can improve the efficacy of such combinations.
Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Spontaneous eye blink rate (EBR) has been proposed as a noninvasive, inexpensive marker of dopamine functioning. Support for a relation between EBR and dopamine function comes from observations that EBR is altered in populations with dopamine dysfunction and EBR changes under a dopaminergic manipulation. However, the evidence across the literature is inconsistent and incomplete. A direct correlation between EBR and dopamine function has so far been observed only in nonhuman animals. Given significant interest in using EBR as a proxy for dopamine function, this study aimed to verify a direct association in healthy, human adults. Here we measured EBR in healthy human subjects whose dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) availability was assessed with positron emission tomography (PET)-[18F]fallypride to examine the predictive power of EBR for DRD2 availability. Effects of the dopamine agonist bromocriptine on EBR also were examined to determine the responsiveness of EBR to dopaminergic stimulation and, in light of the hypothesized inverted-U profile of dopamine effects, the role of DRD2 availability in EBR responsivity to bromocriptine. Results from 20 subjects (age 33.6 ± 7.6 years, 9F) showed no relation between EBR and DRD2 availability. EBR also was not responsive to dopaminergic stimulation by bromocriptine, and individual differences in DRD2 availability did not modulate EBR responsivity to bromocriptine. Given that EBR is hypothesized to be particularly sensitive to DRD2 function, these findings suggest caution in using EBR as a proxy for dopamine function in healthy humans.
OBJECTIVE - The dopamine D2/3 receptor subtypes (DRD2/3) are the most widely studied neurotransmitter biomarker in research on obesity, but results to date have been inconsistent, have typically involved small samples, and have rarely accounted for subjects' ages despite the large impact of age on DRD2/3 levels. We aimed to clarify the relation between DRD2/3 availability and BMI by examining this association in a large sample of subjects with BMI spanning the continuum from underweight to extremely obese.
SUBJECTS - 130 healthy subjects between 18 and 81years old underwent PET with [18F]fallypride, a high affinity DRD2/3 ligand.
RESULTS - As expected, DRD2/3 availability declined with age. Critically, age significantly interacted with DRD2/3 availability in predicting BMI in the midbrain and striatal regions (caudate, putamen, and ventral striatum). Among subjects under 30years old, BMI was not associated with DRD2/3 availability. By contrast, among subjects over 30years old, BMI was positively associated with DRD2/3 availability in the midbrain, putamen, and ventral striatum.
CONCLUSION - The present results are incompatible with the prominent dopaminergic hypofunction hypothesis that proposes that a reduction in DRD2/3 availability is associated with increased BMI, and highlights the importance of age in assessing correlates of DRD2/3 function.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
AIMS - Increased lipid peroxidation occurs in many conditions associated with inflammation. Because lipid peroxidation produces lipid aldehydes that can induce inflammatory responses through unknown mechanisms, elucidating these mechanisms may lead to development of better treatments for inflammatory diseases. We recently demonstrated that exposure of cultured cells to lipid aldehydes such as isolevuglandins (IsoLG) results in the modification of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE). We therefore sought to determine (i) whether PE modification by isolevuglandins (IsoLG-PE) occurred in vivo, (ii) whether IsoLG-PE stimulated the inflammatory responses of macrophages, and (iii) the identity of receptors mediating the inflammatory effects of IsoLG-PE.
RESULTS - IsoLG-PE levels were elevated in plasma of patients with familial hypercholesterolemia and in the livers of mice fed a high-fat diet to induce obesity and hepatosteatosis. IsoLG-PE potently stimulated nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB) activation and expression of inflammatory cytokines in macrophages. The effects of IsoLG-PE were blocked by the soluble form of the receptor for advanced glycation endproducts (sRAGE) and by RAGE antagonists. Furthermore, macrophages derived from the bone marrow of Ager null mice failed to express inflammatory cytokines in response to IsoLG-PE to the same extent as macrophages from wild-type mice.
INNOVATION - These studies are the first to identify IsoLG-PE as a mediator of macrophage activation and a specific receptor, RAGE, which mediates its biological effects.
CONCLUSION - PE modification by IsoLG forms RAGE ligands that activate macrophages, so that the increased IsoLG-PE generated by high circulating cholesterol levels or high-fat diet may play a role in the inflammation associated with these conditions.
A duplexed, functional multiaddition high throughput screen and subsequent iterative parallel synthesis effort identified the first highly selective and CNS penetrant glucagon-like peptide-1R (GLP-1R) positive allosteric modulator (PAM). PAM (S)-9b potentiated low-dose exenatide to augment insulin secretion in primary mouse pancreatic islets, and (S)-9b alone was effective in potentiating endogenous GLP-1R to reverse haloperidol-induced catalepsy.
BACKGROUND - Methamphetamine-abuse is a worldwide health problem for which no effective therapy is available. Inhibition of methamphetamine-induced transporter-mediated dopamine (DA) release could be a useful approach to treat methamphetamine-addiction. We assessed the potencies of bupropion, methylphenidate, and 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) to block DA uptake or to inhibit methamphetamine-induced DA release in HEK-293 cells expressing the human DA transporter.
FINDINGS - Bupropion, methylphenidate, and MDPV inhibited methamphetamine-induced DA release with relative potencies corresponding to their potencies to block DA uptake (potency ranks: MDPV > methylphenidate > bupropion).
CONCLUSIONS - Bupropion and methylphenidate antagonize the effects of methamphetamine in vitro and may be potential candidates for the treatment of stimulant addiction. However, drugs that very potently antagonize the effect of methamphetamine are likely to also exhibit considerable abuse liability (MDPV > methylphenidate > bupropion).