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INTRODUCTION - Metabolic stress (e.g., gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and obesity) and infections are common during pregnancy, impacting fetal development and the health of offspring. Such antenatal stresses can differentially impact male and female offspring. We sought to determine how metabolic stress and maternal immune activation (MIA), either alone or in combination, alters inflammatory gene expression within the placenta and whether the effects exhibited sexual dimorphism.
METHODS - Female C57BL/6 J mice were fed a normal diet or a high fat diet for 6 weeks prior to mating, with the latter diet inducing a GDM phenotype during pregnancy. Dams within each diet group at gestational day (GD) 12.5 received either an intraperitoneal injection of the viral mimic, polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly(I:C)) or saline. Three hours post injection; placentae were collected and analyzed for changes in the expression of 248 unique immune genes.
RESULTS - Placental immune gene expression was significantly altered by GDM, MIA and the combination of the two (GDM+MIA). mRNA expression was generally lower in placentae of mice exposed to GDM alone compared with the other experimental groups, while mice exposed to MIA exhibited the highest transcript levels. Notably, fetal/placental sex influenced the responses of many immune genes to both metabolic and inflammatory stress.
DISCUSSION - GDM and MIA provoke inflammatory responses within the placenta and such effects exhibit sexual dimorphism. The combination of these stressors impacts the placenta differently than either condition alone. These findings may help explain sexual dimorphism observed in adverse pregnancy outcomes in human offspring exposed to similar stressors.
Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
is a Gram-negative opportunistic pathogen that causes diverse infections, including pneumonia, bacteremia, and wound infections. Due to multiple intrinsic and acquired antimicrobial-resistance mechanisms, isolates are commonly multidrug resistant, and infections are notoriously difficult to treat. The World Health Organization recently highlighted carbapenem-resistant as a "critical priority" for the development of new antimicrobials because of the risk to human health posed by this organism. Therefore, it is important to discover the mechanisms used by to survive stresses encountered during infection in order to identify new drug targets. In this study, by use of imaging, we identified hydrogen peroxide (HO) as a stressor produced in the lung during infection and defined OxyR as a transcriptional regulator of the HO stress response. Upon exposure to HO, differentially transcribes several hundred genes. However, the transcriptional upregulation of genes predicted to detoxify hydrogen peroxide is abolished in an strain in which the transcriptional regulator is genetically inactivated. Moreover, inactivation of in both antimicrobial-susceptible and multidrug-resistant strains impairs growth in the presence of HO OxyR is a direct regulator of and , which encode the major HO-degrading enzymes in , as confirmed through measurement of promoter binding by recombinant OxyR in electromobility shift assays. Finally, an mutant is less fit than wild-type during infection of the murine lung. This work reveals a mechanism used by this important human pathogen to survive HO stress encountered during infection.
Copyright © 2018 American Society for Microbiology.
BACKGROUND - Experiences in early life lay the foundation for later development and functioning. Severe psychosocial deprivation, as experienced by children in early institutional care, constitutes an adverse experience with long-term negative consequences. The Bucharest Early Intervention Project sought to examine the effects of foster care as an alternative to institutional care for abandoned infants in Romanian institutions.
METHODS - At a mean age of 22 months, institutionalized children were randomized to foster care or care as usual. At age 12 years, we followed-up with 98 of these children (50 randomized to foster care), as well as assessed 49 never institutionalized comparison children. Adaptive functioning was assessed across seven domains-mental health, physical health, substance use, risk-taking behavior, family relations, peer relations, and academic performance. Children at or above the threshold for adaptive functioning in at least six of seven domains were classified as having overall adaptive functioning in early adolescence.
RESULTS - Among all children who had experienced severe early deprivation, 40% exhibited adaptive functioning. Children randomized to foster care were significantly more likely to exhibit adaptive functioning at age 12 years than children in the care as usual condition (56% vs. 23%). In support of external validity, children who met the threshold for adaptive functioning at age 12 years had higher IQs and were more physiologically responsive to stress. Among children randomized to foster care, children placed prior to age 20 months were more likely to meet the threshold for adaptive functioning than those placed after this age (79% vs. 46%).
CONCLUSIONS - This study provides causal evidence that placing children into families following severe deprivation increases the likelihood of adaptive functioning in early adolescence.
© 2018 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
Genetic mutations in the human small heat shock protein αB-crystallin have been implicated in autosomal cataracts and skeletal myopathies, including heart muscle diseases (cardiomyopathy). Although these mutations lead to modulation of their chaperone activity , the functions of αB-crystallin in the maintenance of both lens transparency and muscle integrity remain unclear. This lack of information has hindered a mechanistic understanding of these diseases. To better define the functional roles of αB-crystallin, we generated loss-of-function zebrafish mutant lines by utilizing the CRISPR/Cas9 system to specifically disrupt the two αB-crystallin genes, α and α We observed lens abnormalities in the mutant lines of both genes, and the penetrance of the lens phenotype was higher in α than α mutants. This finding is in contrast with the lack of a phenotype previously reported in αB-crystallin knock-out mice and suggests that the elevated chaperone activity of the two zebrafish orthologs is critical for lens development. Besides its key role in the lens, we uncovered another critical role for αB-crystallin in providing stress tolerance to the heart. The αB-crystallin mutants exhibited hypersusceptibility to develop pericardial edema when challenged by crowding stress or exposed to elevated cortisol stress, both of which activate glucocorticoid receptor signaling. Our work illuminates the involvement of αB-crystallin in stress tolerance of the heart presumably through the proteostasis network and reinforces the critical role of the chaperone activity of αB-crystallin in the maintenance of lens transparency.
© 2018 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
Flow of fluids through the gut, such as milk from a neonatal diet, generates a shear stress on the unilaminar epithelium lining the lumen. We report that exposure to physiological levels of fluid shear stress leads to the formation of large vacuoles, containing extracellular contents within polarizing intestinal epithelial cell monolayers. These observations lead to two questions: how can cells lacking primary cilia transduce shear stress, and what molecular pathways support the formation of vacuoles that can exceed 80% of the cell volume? We find that shear forces are sensed by actin-rich microvilli that eventually generate the apical brush border, providing evidence that these structures possess mechanosensing ability. Importantly, we identified the molecular pathway that regulates large vacuole formation downstream from mechanostimulation to involve central components of the autophagy pathway, including ATG5 and LC3, but not Beclin. Together our results establish a novel link between the actin-rich microvilli, the macroscopic transport of fluids across cells, and the noncanonical autophagy pathway in organized epithelial monolayers.
© 2017 Kim et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
SIGNIFICANCE - Pyridine dinucleotides, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP), were discovered more than 100 years ago as necessary cofactors for fermentation in yeast extracts. Since that time, these molecules have been recognized as fundamental players in a variety of cellular processes, including energy metabolism, redox homeostasis, cellular signaling, and gene transcription, among many others. Given their critical role as mediators of cellular responses to metabolic perturbations, it is unsurprising that dysregulation of NAD and NADP metabolism has been associated with the pathobiology of many chronic human diseases. Recent Advances: A biochemistry renaissance in biomedical research, with its increasing focus on the metabolic pathobiology of human disease, has reignited interest in pyridine dinucleotides, which has led to new insights into the cell biology of NAD(P) metabolism, including its cellular pharmacokinetics, biosynthesis, subcellular localization, and regulation. This review highlights these advances to illustrate the importance of NAD(P) metabolism in the molecular pathogenesis of disease.
CRITICAL ISSUES - Perturbations of NAD(H) and NADP(H) are a prominent feature of human disease; however, fundamental questions regarding the regulation of the absolute levels of these cofactors and the key determinants of their redox ratios remain. Moreover, an integrated topological model of NAD(P) biology that combines the metabolic and other roles remains elusive.
FUTURE DIRECTIONS - As the complex regulatory network of NAD(P) metabolism becomes illuminated, sophisticated new approaches to manipulating these pathways in specific organs, cells, or organelles will be developed to target the underlying pathogenic mechanisms of disease, opening doors for the next generation of redox-based, metabolism-targeted therapies. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 28, 180-212.
Serotonin (5-HT) is an important neurotransmitter in the central nervous system where it modulates circuits involved in mood, cognition, movement, arousal, and autonomic function. The 5-HT transporter (SERT; SLC6A4) is a key regulator of 5-HT signaling, and genetic variations in SERT are associated with various disorders including depression, anxiety, and autism. This review focuses on the role of SERT in the sympathetic nervous system. Autonomic/sympathetic dysfunction is evident in patients with depression, anxiety, and other diseases linked to serotonergic signaling. Experimentally, loss of SERT function (SERT knockout mice or chronic pharmacological block) has been reported to augment the sympathetic stress response. Alterations to serotonergic signaling in the CNS and thus central drive to the peripheral sympathetic nervous system are presumed to underlie this augmentation. Although less widely recognized, SERT is robustly expressed in chromaffin cells of the adrenal medulla, the neuroendocrine arm of the sympathetic nervous system. Adrenal chromaffin cells do not synthesize 5-HT but accumulate small amounts by SERT-mediated uptake. Recent evidence demonstrated that 5-HT receptors inhibit catecholamine secretion from adrenal chromaffin cells via an atypical mechanism that does not involve modulation of cellular excitability or voltage-gated Ca channels. This raises the possibility that the adrenal medulla is a previously unrecognized peripheral hub for serotonergic control of the sympathetic stress response. As a framework for future investigation, a model is proposed in which stress-evoked adrenal catecholamine secretion is fine-tuned by SERT-modulated autocrine 5-HT signaling.
The prenatal environment is now recognized as a key driver of non-communicable disease risk later in life. Within the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) paradigm, studies are increasingly identifying links between maternal morbidity during pregnancy and disease later in life for offspring. Nutrient restriction, metabolic disorders during gestation, such as diabetes or obesity, and maternal immune activation provoked by infection have been linked to adverse health outcomes for offspring later in life. These factors frequently co-occur, but the potential for compounding effects of multiple morbidities on DOHaD-related outcomes has not received adequate attention. This is of particular importance in low- or middle-income countries (LMICs), which have ongoing high rates of infectious diseases and are now experiencing transitions from undernutrition to excess adiposity. The purpose of this scoping review is to summarize studies examining the effect and interaction of co-occurring metabolic or nutritional stressors and infectious diseases during gestation on DOHaD-related health outcomes. We identified nine studies in humans - four performed in the United States and five in LMICs. The most common outcome, also in seven of nine studies, was premature birth or low birth weight. We identified nine animal studies, six in mice, two in rats and one in sheep. The interaction between metabolic/nutritional exposures and infectious exposures had varying effects including synergism, inhibition and independent actions. No human studies were specifically designed to assess the interaction of metabolic/nutritional exposures and infectious diseases. Future studies of neonatal outcomes should measure these exposures and explicitly examine their concerted effect.
Group B Streptococcus (GBS), a leading cause of neonatal sepsis and meningitis, asymptomatically colonizes up to 30% of women and can persistently colonize even after antibiotic treatment. Previous studies have shown that GBS resides inside macrophages, but the mechanism by which it survives remains unknown. Here, we examined the ability of 4 GBS strains to survive inside macrophages and then focused on 2 strains belonging to sequence type (ST)-17 and ST-12, to examine persistence in the presence of antibiotics. A multiple stress medium was also developed using several stressors found in the phagosome to assess the ability of 30 GBS strains to withstand phagosomal stress. The ST-17 strain was more readily phagocytosed and survived intracellularly longer than the ST-12 strain, but the ST-12 strain was tolerant to ampicillin unlike the ST-17 strain. Exposure to sub-inhibitory concentrations of ampicillin and erythromycin increased the level of phagocytosis of the ST-17 strain, but had no effect on the ST-12 strain. In addition, blocking acidification of the phagosome decreased the survival of the ST-17 strain indicating a pH-dependent survival mechanism for the ST-17 strain. Congruent with the macrophage experiments, the ST-17 strain had a higher survival rate in the multiple stress medium than the ST-12 strain, and overall, serotype III isolates survived significantly better than other serotypes. These results indicate that diverse GBS strains may use differing mechanisms to persist and that serotype III strains are better able to survive specific stressors inside the phagosome relative to other serotypes.
Like all other vertebrate groups, amphibian responses to the environment are mediated through the brain (hypothalamic)-pituitary-adrenal/interrenal (HPA/I) axis and the sympathetic nervous system. Amphibians are facing historically unprecedented environmental stress due to climate change that will involve unpredictable temperature and rainfall regimes and possible nutritional deficits due to extremes of temperature and drought. At the same time, amphibians in all parts of the world are experiencing unprecedented declines due to the emerging diseases, chytridiomycosis (caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans) and ranavirus diseases due to viruses of the genus Ranavirus in the family Iridoviridae. Other pathogens and parasites also afflict amphibians, but here I will limit myself to a review of recent literature linking stress and these emerging diseases (chytridiomycosis and ranavirus disease) in order to better predict how environmental stressors and disease will affect global amphibian populations.
Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.