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Slow changes in systemic brain physiology can elicit large fluctuations in fMRI time series, which manifest as structured spatial patterns of temporal correlations between distant brain regions. Here, we investigated whether such "physiological networks"-sets of segregated brain regions that exhibit similar responses following slow changes in systemic physiology-resemble patterns associated with large-scale networks typically attributed to remotely synchronized neuronal activity. By analyzing a large group of subjects from the 3T Human Connectome Project (HCP) database, we demonstrate brain-wide and noticeably heterogenous dynamics tightly coupled to either respiratory variation or heart rate changes. We show, using synthesized data generated from physiological recordings across subjects, that these physiologically-coupled fluctuations alone can produce networks that strongly resemble previously reported resting-state networks, suggesting that, in some cases, the "physiological networks" seem to mimic the neuronal networks. Further, we show that such physiologically-relevant connectivity estimates appear to dominate the overall connectivity observations in multiple HCP subjects, and that this apparent "physiological connectivity" cannot be removed by the use of a single nuisance regressor for the entire brain (such as global signal regression) due to the clear regional heterogeneity of the physiologically-coupled responses. Our results challenge previous notions that physiological confounds are either localized to large veins or globally coherent across the cortex, therefore emphasizing the necessity to consider potential physiological contributions in fMRI-based functional connectivity studies. The rich spatiotemporal patterns carried by such "physiological" dynamics also suggest great potential for clinical biomarkers that are complementary to large-scale neuronal networks.
Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Functional coupling between the amygdala and the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) has been implicated in the generation of negative affective states; however, the mechanisms by which stress increases amygdala-dmPFC synaptic strength and generates anxiety-like behaviors are not well understood. Here, we show that the mouse basolateral amygdala (BLA)-prelimbic prefrontal cortex (plPFC) circuit is engaged by stress and activation of this pathway in anxiogenic. Furthermore, we demonstrate that acute stress exposure leads to a lasting increase in synaptic strength within a reciprocal BLA-plPFC-BLA subcircuit. Importantly, we identify 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG)-mediated endocannabinoid signaling as a key mechanism limiting glutamate release at BLA-plPFC synapses and the functional collapse of multimodal 2-AG signaling as a molecular mechanism leading to persistent circuit-specific synaptic strengthening and anxiety-like behaviors after stress exposure. These data suggest that circuit-specific impairment in 2-AG signaling could facilitate functional coupling between the BLA and plPFC and the translation of environmental stress to affective pathology.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Insight into type 5 long QT syndrome (LQT5) has been limited to case reports and small family series. Improved understanding of the clinical phenotype and genetic features associated with rare variants implicated in LQT5 was sought through an international multicenter collaboration.
METHODS - Patients with either presumed autosomal dominant LQT5 (N = 229) or the recessive Type 2 Jervell and Lange-Nielsen syndrome (N = 19) were enrolled from 22 genetic arrhythmia clinics and 4 registries from 9 countries. variants were evaluated for ECG penetrance (defined as QTc >460 ms on presenting ECG) and genotype-phenotype segregation. Multivariable Cox regression was used to compare the associations between clinical and genetic variables with a composite primary outcome of definite arrhythmic events, including appropriate implantable cardioverter-defibrillator shocks, aborted cardiac arrest, and sudden cardiac death.
RESULTS - A total of 32 distinct rare variants were identified in 89 probands and 140 genotype positive family members with presumed LQT5 and an additional 19 Type 2 Jervell and Lange-Nielsen syndrome patients. Among presumed LQT5 patients, the mean QTc on presenting ECG was significantly longer in probands (476.9±38.6 ms) compared with genotype positive family members (441.8±30.9 ms, <0.001). ECG penetrance for heterozygous genotype positive family members was 20.7% (29/140). A definite arrhythmic event was experienced in 16.9% (15/89) of heterozygous probands in comparison with 1.4% (2/140) of family members (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 11.6 [95% CI, 2.6-52.2]; =0.001). Event incidence did not differ significantly for Type 2 Jervell and Lange-Nielsen syndrome patients relative to the overall heterozygous cohort (10.5% [2/19]; HR 1.7 [95% CI, 0.3-10.8], =0.590). The cumulative prevalence of the 32 variants in the Genome Aggregation Database, which is a human database of exome and genome sequencing data from now over 140 000 individuals, was 238-fold greater than the anticipated prevalence of all LQT5 combined (0.238% vs 0.001%).
CONCLUSIONS - The present study suggests that putative/confirmed loss-of-function variants predispose to QT prolongation, however, the low ECG penetrance observed suggests they do not manifest clinically in the majority of individuals, aligning with the mild phenotype observed for Type 2 Jervell and Lange-Nielsen syndrome patients.
Matsushita et al. describe a model of acute kidney injury to chronic kidney disease progression in mice surviving cardiac arrest: mice develop severe acute kidney injury that initially recovers but is followed by the onset of impaired renal function on longer-term follow-up. These findings suggest that distinct cardiorenal toxicities and/or injury dynamics are operative in this cardiac arrest model that do not occur in traditional models of acute kidney injury, providing new opportunities for therapeutic and biomarker discovery for an important clinical problem.
Copyright © 2019 International Society of Nephrology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Stereotactic electroencephalography (SEEG) is a minimally invasive neurosurgical method to localize epileptogenic brain regions in epilepsy but requires days in the hospital with interventions to trigger several seizures.
OBJECTIVE - To make initial progress in the development of network analysis methods to identify epileptogenic brain regions using brief, resting-state SEEG data segments, without requiring seizure recordings.
METHODS - In a cohort of 15 adult focal epilepsy patients undergoing SEEG, we evaluated functional connectivity (alpha-band imaginary coherence) across sampled regions using brief (2 min) resting-state data segments. Bootstrapped logistic regression was used to generate a model to predict epileptogenicity of individual regions.
RESULTS - Compared to nonepileptogenic structures, we found increased functional connectivity within epileptogenic regions (P < .05) and between epileptogenic areas and other structures (P < .01, paired t-tests, corrected). Epileptogenic areas also demonstrated higher clustering coefficient (P < .01) and betweenness centrality (P < .01), and greater decay of functional connectivity with distance (P < .05, paired t-tests, corrected). Our functional connectivity model to predict epileptogenicity of individual regions demonstrated an area under the curve of 0.78 and accuracy of 80.4%.
CONCLUSION - Our study represents a preliminary step towards defining resting-state SEEG functional connectivity patterns to help localize epileptogenic brain regions ahead of neurosurgical treatment without requiring seizure recordings.
Copyright © 2019 by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.
Juxtaglomerular (JG) cells, major sources of renin, differentiate from metanephric mesenchymal cells that give rise to JG cells or a subset of smooth muscle cells of the renal afferent arteriole. During periods of dehydration and salt deprivation, renal mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) differentiate from JG cells. JG cells undergo expansion and smooth muscle cells redifferentiate to express renin along the afferent arteriole. Gene expression profiling comparing resident renal MSCs with JG cells indicates that the transcription factor Sox6 is highly expressed in JG cells in the adult kidney. In vitro, loss of Sox6 expression reduces differentiation of renal MSCs to renin-producing cells. In vivo, Sox6 expression is upregulated after a low-Na diet and furosemide. Importantly, knockout of Sox6 in Ren1d+ cells halts the increase in renin-expressing cells normally seen during a low-Na diet and furosemide as well as the typical increase in renin. Furthermore, Sox6 ablation in renin-expressing cells halts the recruitment of smooth muscle cells along the afferent arteriole, which normally express renin under these conditions. These results support a previously undefined role for Sox6 in renin expression.
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) has become a major health problem worldwide. Skeletal muscle (SKM) is the key tissue for whole-body glucose disposal and utilization. New drugs aimed at improving insulin sensitivity of SKM would greatly expand available therapeutic options. β-arrestin-1 and -2 (Barr1 and Barr2, respectively) are two intracellular proteins best known for their ability to mediate the desensitization and internalization of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Recent studies suggest that Barr1 and Barr2 regulate several important metabolic functions including insulin release and hepatic glucose production. Since SKM expresses many GPCRs, including the metabolically important β2-adrenergic receptor, the goal of this study was to examine the potential roles of Barr1 and Barr2 in regulating SKM and whole-body glucose metabolism. Using SKM-specific knockout (KO) mouse lines, we showed that the loss of SKM Barr2, but not of SKM Barr1, resulted in mild improvements in glucose tolerance in diet-induced obese mice. SKM-specific Barr1- and Barr2-KO mice did not show any significant differences in exercise performance. However, lack of SKM Barr2 led to increased glycogen breakdown following a treadmill exercise challenge. Interestingly, mice that lacked both Barr1 and Barr2 in SKM showed no significant metabolic phenotypes. Thus, somewhat surprisingly, our data indicate that SKM β-arrestins play only rather subtle roles (SKM Barr2) in regulating whole-body glucose homeostasis and SKM insulin sensitivity.
Mammalian arrestins are a family of four highly homologous relatively small ~ 45 kDa proteins with surprisingly diverse functions. The most striking feature is that each of the two non-visual subtypes can bind hundreds of diverse G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and dozens of non-receptor partners. Through these interactions, arrestins regulate the G protein-dependent signaling by the desensitization mechanisms as well as control numerous signaling pathways in the G protein-dependent or independent manner via scaffolding. Some partners prefer receptor-bound arrestins, some bind better to the free arrestins in the cytoplasm, whereas several show no apparent preference for either conformation. Thus, arrestins are a perfect example of a multi-functional signaling regulator. The result of this multi-functionality is that reduction (by knockdown) or elimination (by knockout) of any of these two non-visual arrestins can affect so many pathways that the results are hard to interpret. The other difficulty is that the non-visual subtypes can in many cases compensate for each other, which explains relatively mild phenotypes of single knockouts, whereas double knockout is lethal in vivo, although cultured cells lacking both arrestins are viable. Thus, deciphering the role of arrestins in cell biology requires the identification of specific signaling function(s) of arrestins involved in a particular phenotype. This endeavor should be greatly assisted by identification of structural elements of the arrestin molecule critical for individual functions and by the creation of mutants where only one function is affected. Reintroduction of these biased mutants, or introduction of monofunctional stand-alone arrestin elements, which have been identified in some cases, into double arrestin-2/3 knockout cultured cells, is the most straightforward way to study arrestin functions. This is a laborious and technically challenging task, but the upside is that specific function of arrestins, their timing, subcellular specificity, and relations to one another could be investigated with precision.
Maternal embryonic leucine-zipper kinase (MELK) overexpression impacts survival and proliferation of multiple cancer types, most notably glioblastomas and breast cancer. This makes MELK an attractive molecular target for cancer therapy. Yet the molecular mechanisms underlying the involvement of MELK in tumorigenic processes are unknown. MELK participates in numerous protein-protein interactions that affect cell cycle, proliferation, apoptosis, and embryonic development. Here we used both in vitro and in-cell assays to identify a direct interaction between MELK and arrestin-3. A part of this interaction involves the MELK kinase domain, and we further show that the interaction between the MELK kinase domain and arrestin-3 decreases the number of cells in S-phase, as compared to cells expressing the MELK kinase domain alone. Thus, we describe a new mechanism of regulation of MELK function, which may contribute to the control of cell fate.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Beta-arrestin-1 and -2 (Barr1 and Barr2, respectively) are intracellular signaling molecules that regulate many important metabolic functions. We previously demonstrated that mice lacking Barr2 selectively in pancreatic beta-cells showed pronounced metabolic impairments. Here we investigated whether Barr1 plays a similar role in regulating beta-cell function and whole body glucose homeostasis. Initially, we inactivated the Barr1 gene in beta-cells of adult mice (beta-barr1-KO mice). Beta-barr1-KO mice did not display any obvious phenotypes in a series of in vivo and in vitro metabolic tests. However, glibenclamide and tolbutamide, two widely used antidiabetic drugs of the sulfonylurea (SU) family, showed greatly reduced efficacy in stimulating insulin secretion in the KO mice in vivo and in perifused KO islets in vitro. Additional in vivo and in vitro studies demonstrated that Barr1 enhanced SU-stimulated insulin secretion by promoting SU-mediated activation of Epac2. Pull-down and co-immunoprecipitation experiments showed that Barr1 can directly interact with Epac2 and that SUs such as glibenclamide promote Barr1/Epac2 complex formation, triggering enhanced Rap1 signaling and insulin secretion. These findings suggest that strategies aimed at promoting Barr1 signaling in beta-cells may prove useful for the development of efficacious antidiabetic drugs.