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Resting-state functional MRI (rsfMRI) has recently revealed correlated signals in the spinal cord horns of monkeys and humans. However, the interpretation of these rsfMRI correlations as indicators of functional connectivity in the spinal cord remains unclear. Here, we recorded stimulus-evoked and spontaneous spiking activity and local field potentials (LFPs) from monkey spinal cord in order to validate fMRI measures. We found that both BOLD and electrophysiological signals elicited by tactile stimulation co-localized to the ipsilateral dorsal horn. Temporal profiles of stimulus-evoked BOLD signals covaried with LFP and multiunit spiking in a similar way to those observed in the brain. Functional connectivity of dorsal horns exhibited a U-shaped profile along the dorsal-intermediate-ventral axis. Overall, these results suggest that there is an intrinsic functional architecture within the gray matter of a single spinal segment, and that rsfMRI signals at high field directly reflect this underlying spontaneous neuronal activity.
Nonvisual arrestins (arrestin-2/arrestin-3) interact with hundreds of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) subtypes and dozens of non-receptor signaling proteins. Here we describe the methods used to identify the interaction sites of arrestin-binding partners on arrestin-3 and the use of monofunctional individual arrestin-3 elements in cells. Our in vitro pull-down assay with purified proteins demonstrates that relatively few elements in arrestin engage each partner, whereas cell-based functional assays indicate that certain arrestin elements devoid of other functionalities can perform individual functions in living cells.
Scaffold proteins tether and orient components of a signaling cascade to facilitate signaling. Although much is known about how scaffolds colocalize signaling proteins, it is unclear whether scaffolds promote signal amplification. Here, we used arrestin-3, a scaffold of the ASK1-MKK4/7-JNK3 cascade, as a model to understand signal amplification by a scaffold protein. We found that arrestin-3 exhibited >15-fold higher affinity for inactive JNK3 than for active JNK3, and this change involved a shift in the binding site following JNK3 activation. We used systems biochemistry modeling and Bayesian inference to evaluate how the activation of upstream kinases contributed to JNK3 phosphorylation. Our combined experimental and computational approach suggested that the catalytic phosphorylation rate of JNK3 at Thr-221 by MKK7 is two orders of magnitude faster than the corresponding phosphorylation of Tyr-223 by MKK4 with or without arrestin-3. Finally, we showed that the release of activated JNK3 was critical for signal amplification. Collectively, our data suggest a "conveyor belt" mechanism for signal amplification by scaffold proteins. This mechanism informs on a long-standing mystery for how few upstream kinase molecules activate numerous downstream kinases to amplify signaling.
While many studies have characterized the inflammatory disposition of adipose tissue (AT) during obesity, far fewer have dissected how such inflammation resolves during the process of physiological weight loss. In addition, new immune cells, such as the eosinophil, have been discovered as part of the AT immune cell repertoire. We have therefore characterized how AT eosinophils, associated eosinophilic inflammation, and remodeling processes, fluctuate during a dietary intervention in obese mice. Similar to previous reports, we found that obesity induced by high-fat diet feeding reduced the AT eosinophil content. However, upon switching obese mice to a low fat diet, AT eosinophils were restored to lean levels as mice reached the body weight of controls. The rise in AT eosinophils during dietary weight loss was accompanied by reduced macrophage content and inflammatory expression, upregulated tissue remodeling factors, and a more uniformly distributed AT vascular network. Additionally, we show that eosinophils of another metabolically relevant tissue, the liver, did not oscillate with either dietary weight gain or weight loss. This study shows that eosinophil content is differentially regulated among tissues during the onset and resolution of obesity. Furthermore, AT eosinophils correlated with AT remodeling processes during weight loss and thus may play a role in reestablishing AT homeostasis.
© 2018 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Physiological Society and the American Physiological Society.
Carotid body glomus cells mediate essential reflex responses to arterial blood hypoxia. They are dopaminergic and secrete growth factors that support dopaminergic neurons, making the carotid body a potential source of patient-specific cells for Parkinson's disease therapy. Like adrenal chromaffin cells, which are also hypoxia-sensitive, glomus cells are neural crest-derived and require the transcription factors Ascl1 and Phox2b; otherwise, their development is little understood at the molecular level. Here, analysis in chicken and mouse reveals further striking molecular parallels, though also some differences, between glomus and adrenal chromaffin cell development. Moreover, histology has long suggested that glomus cell precursors are 'émigrés' from neighbouring ganglia/nerves, while multipotent nerve-associated glial cells are now known to make a significant contribution to the adrenal chromaffin cell population in the mouse. We present conditional genetic lineage-tracing data from mice supporting the hypothesis that progenitors expressing the glial marker proteolipid protein 1, presumably located in adjacent ganglia/nerves, also contribute to glomus cells. Finally, we resolve a paradox for the 'émigré' hypothesis in the chicken - where the nearest ganglion to the carotid body is the nodose, in which the satellite glia are neural crest-derived, but the neurons are almost entirely placode-derived - by fate-mapping putative nodose neuronal 'émigrés' to the neural crest.
Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - We sought to determine the outcome of suicidal hanging and the impact of targeted temperature management (TTM) on hanging-induced cardiac arrest (CA) through an Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST) multicenter retrospective study.
METHODS - We analyzed hanging patient data and TTM variables from January 1992 to December 2015. Cerebral performance category score of 1 or 2 was considered good neurologic outcome, while cerebral performance category score of 3 or 4 was considered poor outcome. Classification and Regression Trees recursive partitioning was used to develop multivariate predictive models for survival and neurologic outcome.
RESULTS - A total of 692 hanging patients from 17 centers were analyzed for this study. Their overall survival rate was 77%, and the CA survival rate was 28.6%. The CA patients had significantly higher severity of illness and worse outcome than the non-CA patients. Of the 175 CA patients who survived to hospital admission, 81 patients (46.3%) received post-CA TTM. The unadjusted survival of TTM CA patients (24.7% vs 39.4%, p < 0.05) and good neurologic outcome (19.8% vs 37.2%, p < 0.05) were worse than non-TTM CA patients. However, when subgroup analyses were performed between those with an admission Glasgow Coma Scale score of 3 to 8, the differences between TTM and non-TTM CA survival (23.8% vs 30.0%, p = 0.37) and good neurologic outcome (18.8% vs 28.7%, p = 0.14) were not significant. Targeted temperature management implementation and post-CA management varied between the participating centers. Classification and Regression Trees models identified variables predictive of favorable and poor outcome for hanging and TTM patients with excellent accuracy.
CONCLUSION - Cardiac arrest hanging patients had worse outcome than non-CA patients. Targeted temperature management CA patients had worse unadjusted survival and neurologic outcome than non-TTM patients. These findings may be explained by their higher severity of illness, variable TTM implementation, and differences in post-CA management. Future prospective studies are necessary to ascertain the effect of TTM on hanging outcome and to validate our Classification and Regression Trees models.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE - Therapeutic study, level IV; prognostic study, level III.
Arrestins are a small family of proteins with four isoforms in humans. Remarkably, two arrestins regulate signaling from >800 G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) or nonreceptor activators by simultaneously binding an activator and one out of hundreds of other signaling proteins. When arrestins are bound to GPCRs or other activators, the affinity for these signaling partners changes. Thus, it is proposed that an activator alters arrestin's ability to transduce a signal. The comparison of all available arrestin structures identifies several common conformational rearrangements associated with activation. In particular, it identifies elements that are directly involved in binding to GPCRs or other activators, elements that likely engage distinct downstream effectors, and elements that likely link the activator-binding sites with the effector-binding sites.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Arrestins are soluble relatively small 44-46 kDa proteins that specifically bind hundreds of active phosphorylated GPCRs and dozens of non-receptor partners. There are binding partners that demonstrate preference for each of the known arrestin conformations: free, receptor-bound, and microtubule-bound. Recent evidence suggests that conformational flexibility in every functional state is the defining characteristic of arrestins. Flexibility, or plasticity, of proteins is often described as structural disorder, in contrast to the fixed conformational order observed in high-resolution crystal structures. However, protein-protein interactions often involve highly flexible elements that can assume many distinct conformations upon binding to different partners. Existing evidence suggests that arrestins are no exception to this rule: their flexibility is necessary for functional versatility. The data on arrestins and many other multi-functional proteins indicate that in many cases, "order" might be artificially imposed by highly non-physiological crystallization conditions and/or crystal packing forces. In contrast, conformational flexibility (and its extreme case, intrinsic disorder) is a more natural state of proteins, representing true biological order that underlies their physiologically relevant functions.
Purpose - The purpose of this study was to identify the molecular defect in the disease-causing human arrestin-1 C147F mutant.
Methods - The binding of wild-type (WT) human arrestin-1 and several mutants with substitutions in position 147 (including C147F, which causes dominant retinitis pigmentosa in humans) to phosphorylated and unphosphorylated light-activated rhodopsin was determined. Thermal stability of WT and mutant human arrestin-1, as well as unfolded protein response in 661W cells, were also evaluated.
Results - WT human arrestin-1 was selective for phosphorylated light-activated rhodopsin. Substitutions of Cys-147 with smaller side chain residues, Ala or Val, did not substantially affect binding selectivity, whereas residues with bulky side chains in the position 147 (Ile, Leu, and disease-causing Phe) greatly increased the binding to unphosphorylated rhodopsin. Functional survival of mutant proteins with bulky substitutions at physiological and elevated temperature was also compromised. C147F mutant induced unfolded protein response in cultured cells.
Conclusions - Bulky Phe substitution of Cys-147 in human arrestin-1 likely causes rod degeneration due to reduced stability of the protein, which induces unfolded protein response in expressing cells.
Functional MRI based on blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) contrast is well established as a neuroimaging technique for detecting neural activity in the cortex of the human brain. While detection and characterization of BOLD signals, as well as their electrophysiological and hemodynamic/metabolic origins, have been extensively studied in gray matter (GM), the detection and interpretation of BOLD signals in white matter (WM) remain controversial. We have previously observed that BOLD signals in a resting state reveal structure-specific anisotropic temporal correlations in WM and that external stimuli alter these correlations and permit visualization of task-specific fiber pathways, suggesting variations in WM BOLD signals are related to neural activity. In this study, we provide further strong evidence that BOLD signals in WM reflect neural activities both in a resting state and under functional loading. We demonstrate that BOLD signal waveforms in stimulus-relevant WM pathways are synchronous with the applied stimuli but with various degrees of time delay and that signals in WM pathways exhibit clear task specificity. Furthermore, resting-state signal fluctuations in WM tracts show significant correlations with specific parcellated GM volumes. These observations support the notion that neural activities are encoded in WM circuits similarly to cortical responses.